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Thread: Waratah SA Touring Squad

  1. #1
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    Waratah SA Touring Squad

    Holmes squeezed out

    c/o Fox Sports,
    January 28, 2007

    RISING halfback Josh Holmes missed out as the New South Wales Waratahs today named seven uncapped players in a 26-man squad for their opening three Super 14 matches in South Africa.
    Recent Wallaby tourists Brett Sheehan and Josh Valentine were preferred but coach Ewen McKenzie said last year's Australian Under-21 star Holmes could count himself unlucky not to be among the rookie throng which includes exciting five-eighth prospect Kurtley Beale.

    Tom Carter, Ben Hand, Dean Mumm, Beau Robinson, Jeremy Tilse and Lachlan Turner are the other new Super 14 faces.

    They'll set out on Wednesday as last year's semi-finalists and open their campaign against the renamed Lions in Johannesburg early Saturday (AEDT) before meeting the Sharks in Durban and Cheetahs in Kimberley.

    "Nearly a third of the squad haven't played Super Rugby but they've played for NSW in one form or another and I'm confident they can do the job for us," McKenzie said.

    "It was a really tough call with the halfbacks and we almost took all three.

    "Josh Holmes is starting to put on a lot of pressure and is unlucky to miss out but with so many uncapped players already in the squad we opted for experience at the scrum base."

    “Chris Siale is also unlucky but the guys staying behind still have important matches to play for the NSW A side and they know that a call up could come at any moment.”

    The starting XV will be finalised on Tuesday ahead of the squad’s departure on Wednesday.

    McKenzie was confident his team would be ready despite the late return of Wallaby squad players.

    "We always enjoy the South African challenge and I think the renamed Lions will be a significant force this year with a new coach and outstanding Currie Cup form behind them.

    "We might be a bit rusty with three of our Wallabies (Captain Phil Waugh, Rocky Elsom and Adam Freier) going in without match practice but there's enough pre-season form on the board to suggest we're ready to play for real points."

    McKenzie said arriving in Johannesburg just two days before playing the first game had been carefully thought out.

    "This trip is six months in the making but in the end it's really about getting two good sleeps in before the game and making sure we're up for the match and there'll be no worries about that.

    "There are no gimmicks or pseudo-science, just a lot of commonsense about travel and the pluses and minuses about going early or going late.

    "All we've heard for 10 years is how much time teams spend on the road so we thought we'd do something about it, who knows it might catch on."

    NSW Waratahs tour squad:
    Al Baxter, Kurtley Beale*, Aaron Broughton-Rouse, Will Caldwell, Tom Carter*, Tim Davidson, Rocky Elsom, Adam Freier, Daniel Halangahu, Ben Hand*, Sam Harris, Peter Hewat, Ben Jacobs, Dean Mumm*, Sam Norton-Knight, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Beau Robinson*, Benn Robinson, Brett Sheehan, Jeremy Tilse*, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui, Lachlan Turner*, Josh Valentine, Phil Waugh (capt). *Uncapped Super Rugby

    Unavailable: Matt Dunning (knee), Alex Kanaar (knee), Daniel Vickerman (shoulder), Dave Dennis (knee), David Lyons (knee)

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    "Bloody oath we did!"

    Nathan Sharpe, Legend.

  2. #2
    I doubt there will be much surprise with the starting XV. I would have left sheehan at home and taken Holmes...

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