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Thread: WALLABY GREATS SET FOR EMOTIONAL HOME FAREWELL AS QANTAS WALLABIES PREPARE FOR RETU

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    WALLABY GREATS SET FOR EMOTIONAL HOME FAREWELL AS QANTAS WALLABIES PREPARE FOR RETU

    Qantas Wallabies Coach John Connolly has today announced his team to take on South Africa in the return Tri Nations clash in Sydney this Saturday night (8.05pm EST kick off).

    Two of Australia’s sporting icons will bid farewell to Australian fans in their final appearance for the Wallabies on home soil.

    132-Test veteran George Gregan and his long-time halves counterpart Stephen Larkham will play their final Test in Australia in the Telstra Stadium clash, signaling the end of an era for the Wallabies as the star duo continue their path to a World Cup swansong.

    On what will be an historic night for Australian sport, Larkham will play his 100th Test for the Wallabies and in doing so will become the third player to register a century of Test caps for Australia alongside Gregan (132) and David Campese (101).

    Connolly has also made changes to his team, having three players ruled out through injury and suspension and introducing lock Hugh McMeniman to the reserves bench.

    It is a long-awaited return to the Test arena for the injury-plagued 23-year-old, who is in line to play his first match in the Wallabies jersey since the 2005 Spring Tour.

    Number 8 Wycliff Palu will learn of the extent of his shoulder injury later in the week, leaving the door ajar for Stephen Hoiles to make his debut in the Wallabies starting XV.

    Hoiles’ place on the reserves bench has been filled by David Lyons, who rejoined the squad after completing the Pacific Nations Cup with Australia A.

    Hooker Stephen Moore succumbed to a sternum injury, allowing Adam Freier the opportunity to make his first appearance in the starting lineup this season.

    Freier’s elevation to the starting XV gives Queensland and Australia A hooker Sean Hardman the chance to win his third Test cap for the Wallabies after being called into the squad on standby for the injured Moore on Monday.

    Wing Lote Tuqiri is serving a two-match suspension for breaching team standards and his place on the right wing has been awarded to Mark Gerrard, while Drew Mitchell returns to the side on the reserves bench.

    Connolly expects an emotional home farewell for Gregan and Larkham.

    “They are virtually icons of Australian sport,” said Connolly.

    “We’ve just been so blessed in this country to have such incredibly consistent players playing in two of our key positions over the past 12 or so years,” he said.

    “They are two great warriors of Australian sport and I’m sure they will receive a fitting farewell from the supporters on Saturday night in what is such a crucial Test for the Wallabies.”

    The Wallabies can retain the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate with a win on Saturday night.

    QANTAS WALLABIES v SOUTH AFRICA

    Saturday 7 July 2007

    Telstra Stadium, Sydney

    Kick off: 8.05pm EST





    1. Matt Dunning
    2. Adam Freier
    3. Guy Shepherdson
    4. Nathan Sharpe
    5. Dan Vickerman
    6. Rocky Elsom
    7. George Smith (vc)
    8. Stephen Hoiles
    9. George Gregan
    10. Stephen Larkham
    11. Adam Ashley-Cooper
    12. Matt Giteau
    13. Stirling Mortlock (c)
    14. Mark Gerrard
    15. Julian Huxley

    16. Sean Hardman
    17. Al Baxter
    18. Hugh McMeniman
    19. David Lyons
    20. Phil Waugh (vc)
    21. Scott Staniforth
    22. Drew Mitchell

    Match notes

    * Australia is the current holder of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate after winning two of the three Tests between the two Nations in 2006.
    * Last meeting: South Africa 22 Australia 19, Newlands Stadium, Cape Town (16/6/2007).
    * Overall: Played 64, South Africa 40, Australia 23, Drawn 1.
    * Last meeting at Telstra Stadium: Australia 20 South Africa 18 (2006).
    * South Africa has not defeated Australia in Australia since 2005 and has not won in Sydney since 1993.

    Tri Nations notes

    * Australia last won the Tri Nations in 2001.
    * New Zealand has owned the Tri Nations title for the last two years (2005, 2006).
    * The trophy has been won seven times by New Zealand and twice each by Australia and South Africa.
    * New Zealand won the inaugural Tri Nations title in 1996.

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    McMeniman makes determined return

    Anyone else thing it's strange that there is no mention of Chisholm in any of the press regarding the team or McMeniman being selected?
    He isn't one of the forced changes listed so he has either been dropped or "rested" to allow room.
    Very strange.

    McMeniman makes determined return

    July 05, 2007 - 10:58am
    Story by: Sportal


    Powerhouse utility forward Hugh McMeniman will make his long awaited return to the Test arena on Saturday after he was a surprise selection on the Qantas Wallabies bench to face the Springboks.

    The highly regarded 23-year-old has endured a horror run of injuries, which has seen him manage just nine Super 14 matches for the Reds in the past two-seasons.

    McMeniman will look to erase the memory of his most recent Wallabies appearance that saw him stretchered from the field with a neck injury, just eight-minutes into the first match of the 2006 Spring Tour.

    McMeniman has recovered from two separate shoulder injuries suffered during the 2007 Super 14 season and showed promising signs in his two recent appearances for Australia A, but the big Queenslander admits his call-up came as a shock.

    "During this year I haven't played that many games and I thought I was thousands to make even this squad," McMeniman said

    "I'm lucky to be here but there was definitely doubts during the year about making this squad or the World Cup squad."

    While he's happy to take his chance, the modest McMeniman admitted he's not sure exactly what the selectors see in him.

    But Wallabies coach John Connolly said McMeniman deserved his opportunity to fulfill his obvious potential.

    "We thought it was important to bring Hugh McMeniman back into the fold, he played well in the last couple of A-games, we think he's a player with a lot of talent," Connolly said.

    While his time on the field has been limited of late McMeniman said he's worked hard to improve technical aspects of his game, which he hopes can contribute to an injury free run in the future.

    "I've had a bad run … but I've played two (Australia) A games so far and they went pretty good so hopefully I can get a roll on," McMeniman said.

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    Legend Contributor Thequeerone's Avatar
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    Not enough EWF players yet !

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