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Thread: Qantas Wallabies for Wales 2

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    Qantas Wallabies for Wales 2

    Connolly looks to speed men for Brisbane decider

    May 30, 2007 - 9:49am
    Story by: ARU


    Western Force speedster Digby Ioane will make his Test debut in Brisbane

    Qantas Wallabies Coach John Connolly today announced his team for Saturday’s second Bundaberg Rum Rugby Series clash with Wales at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

    Connolly has made four changes to his starting lineup following a dramatic last gasp 29-23 victory at Telstra Stadium last Saturday night.

    Lock Dan Vickerman returns to the starting team after playing a fifteen minute cameo form the reserves bench in his return from a shoulder reconstruction last Saturday night.

    George Smith replaces Phil Waugh at openside flanker, with the Wallabies co-captain named on a reserves bench that again features five forwards and two backs.

    In another change to the pack, 22 year old Benn Robinson replaces his Waratahs counterpart Matt Dunning at loosehead prop, with Dunning reverting to the bench.

    Connolly also made two changes to his backline, but opted to retain the centre pairing of Adam Ashley-Cooper and Stirling Mortlock and will continue to experiment with Matt Giteau at scrumhalf.

    Mortlock will Captain the team for the second Test against Wales, while the youngest member of the Wallabies 30-man winter squad, Digby Ioane, will make his Test debut on the right wing.

    21 year old Ioane burst onto the scene as a bolter for the Wallabies’ 2005 Spring Tour of France and the UK and has forced his way into the Test team on the back of a strong Super 14 campaign for the Western Force.

    The partnership of Ioane and Drew Mitchell on the wings provides the Wallabies with speed to burn out wide, while the team will be bolstered by the return of flyhalf Stephen Larkham.

    The 95-Test veteranhas reclaimed the Number 10 jersey from Sam Norton-Knight after missing the Wallabies’ season-opening victory with a hamstring injury.

    Connolly said he is looking for a more polished performance from his team on Saturday.

    “There’s no doubt we have to improve on last week’s performance and we want to move on from that and produce a much more disciplined performance this Saturday,” said Connolly.

    “We’ve made a couple of changes in the forwards and backs which we need to do to look at improving our depth and assessing different players prior to the World Cup, but we’re also hoping to build on some of the combinations we used in the first Test,” he said.

    The winner of Saturday night’s Test will be awarded the James Bevan Trophy, while the Wallabies will look to extend its proud record at Suncorp Stadium, having lost just one match at the venue since its redevelopment in 2001.

    Qantas Wallabies for Wales 2:

    1. Benn Robinson
    2. Stephen Moore
    3. Guy Shepherdson
    4. Nathan Sharpe
    5. Dan Vickerman
    6. Rocky Elsom
    7. George Smith (vc)
    8. Wycliff Palu

    9. Matt Giteau
    10. Stephen Larkham
    11. Drew Mitchell
    12. Adam Ashley-Cooper
    13. Stirling Mortlock (c)
    14. Digby Ioane #D
    15. Julian Huxley

    16. Adam Freier
    17. Matt Dunning
    18. Mark Chisholm
    19. Stephen Hoiles
    20. Phil Waugh (vc)
    21. George Gregan
    22. Mark Gerrard

    #D = Test debut

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    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    MG won't be happy, no Staniforth at all. I'm glad Knuckles read my post about having Ioane on the wing. Finally he's sort of listening to us! Sort of. Well, not at all really.

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    Yeah, was just thinking Chook, perhaps we should stop commenting on the team at all
    My hope is that they run this combo this week and then rest Bernie.
    Then at Subi go for
    #9 Gregan
    #10 Giteau
    #12 Staniforth
    to give him a run.
    To have been on the bench and not ot onto the field and then been dropped is hardly a fair trial when you have others playing as ordinarily as Ashley-Cooper getting a second shot.
    Stanners now won't have played any Rugby for five weeks.
    Perhaps a flight to Coffs Harbour to play Samoa wouldn't be out of order?

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    Champion Contributor jazza93's Avatar
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    looks good they should beat wales pretty easy this time.
    it should be
    9. Giteau
    10. Larkham
    12. Staniforth

    if they`re not giving up on gits at 9

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    Senior Player Contributor hopep's Avatar
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    Looks like selectors have decided to pick a brumbies team this week
    Brumbies 45%; Western Force 18%; Waratahs 32%; Reds 5%

    thats including Digs as a Force - he doesn't start with reds till 2008.
    Still unimpressed with props - hope they perform better this week.

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    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    That more accurately follows the sequence of aussie teams in the S14. Perhaps Connolly is using a system whereby in each Test, a different S14 team is predominant. The Test v Fiji could be Force dominant and whoever we play after that will be Reds dominant.

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    South Africa

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    Senior Player Contributor hopep's Avatar
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    Chook are you suggesting the Connolly has a system?
    I thought it was goats entrails ....

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    i knew and i aint happy

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by main game
    i knew and i aint happy
    of cousre not Happy is Happy

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    Champion Skiza's Avatar
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    Good to see Ioane getting a go, but not impressed about Stanners being demoted...the guy didnt even get a run last week! Though i suppose some players deserve another chance......just one more

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkizaWWE
    Good to see Ioane getting a go, but not impressed about Stanners being demoted...the guy didnt even get a run last week! Though i suppose some players deserve another chance......just one more
    Well it's obvious Knuckles thought spanner had a shocker!

    So much for selecting based on form how do you show form with your tracksuit on?

    Maybe he didn't cheer loud enough?

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    C'mon the

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    Wallabies plan might be hamstrung

    Wednesday, May 30, 2007

    Rejigged Wallabies plans could be thrown into disarray with Stephen Larkham once again in some doubt for Saturday night's second Test against Wales.

    The 95-Test maestro played only a limited part in a training session at Ballymore late today after feeling tightness in his troublesome hamstring.

    Larkham, who prior to training predicted he would be 100 per cent, will rest tomorrow before being assessed again on Friday when Australia has its captain's run at Suncorp Stadium.

    Coach John Connolly felt Larkham should be right to play but has been taking an ultra-cautious approach with his invaluable playmaker.

    If the five-eighth is ruled out it may force a second rethink by the Wallabies selectors after they overlooked long-term skipper George Gregan to give Matt Giteau time at halfback beside Larkham.

    Connolly had originally earmarked Gregan to start at Suncorp Stadium but Larkham's late scratching before the 29-23 first Test win forced a change.

    While Larkham and Giteau know each other's games inside out after lining up at No.10 and 12 for the Brumbies and Wallabies from 2003, they have started together in the halves just twice.

    Connolly felt it crucial to give Giteau, Larkham and rookie inside centre Adam Ashley-Cooper, who received little ball at Telstra Stadium, time together before winding down experimentation during the upcoming Tri-Nations.

    "We could go to the Gregan, Larkham, Giteau situation tomorrow," he said of Australia's old firm 9,10, 12 combination.

    "We know want we get and they click in very well.

    "In terms of what sits below them, by chance we get to a World Cup game if we lose one or two of them, we have to have some idea what direction we're going to take, who the best person for the job is and who's had experience in the team."

    Connolly praised Gregan for his selfless commitment to the World Cup cause after benching him for the second straight week.

    Not since 1996 has Gregan been overlooked for two consecutive Test starts but it remains to be seen whether he may get a late starting recall at No.9 if Larkham is ruled out.

    The 128-Test half had been told he'd start in one of the first three domestic Tests, leaving him short-odds to play against Fiji in Perth next week if he doesn't start on Saturday night.

    Connolly admitted Gregan was disappointed at missing out but has impressed all with his team-first attitude, work ethic and tutelage of novice No.9 Giteau.

    "He's worked hard with Matt Giteau and he's done everything he can, playing a big role behind the scenes," Connolly said.

    "He's disappointed, he would like to play, but he also understands the situation we've got."

    Veteran assistant coach Alec Evans, who first identified Gregan as a 20-year-old, agreed: "He's very positive. He's training as hard as I've ever seen him and he's certainly not going to roll over."

    With flanker Phil Waugh making way for George Smith in one of three changes to the starting pack, centre Stirling Mortlock will take over the captaincy.

    Premier lock Dan Vickerman, who gave the last pass for Stephen Hoiles to score Saturday's last-gasp match-winning try, and loose-head prop Benn Robinson have also been promoted from the bench.

    New Zealand-born, Melbourne-raised, Brisbane-schooled Western Force flyer Digby Ioane has been given a dream debut in front of family and friends four decades after father Natu played for Samoa against NZ Maori.

    Backs coach Scott Johnson likened the fast-stepping 21-year-old to British Lions pocket-rockets Shane Williams and Jason Robinson.

    "He can beat most people in a phone booth, he has wonderful feet," Johnson said.

    "He's a different player. He brings an edge. He brings a point of difference.

    "With Digby you will see something unique."

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    Champion Contributor chook's Avatar
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    The news just keeps getting better and better. Wrap cotton wool around Bernie until the RWC and just play Gregan at 9 and everyone else in their correct spots. All this pussyfooting around just makes things harder.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Right once again chookmeister...

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