Wallabies to play Wales in final test named

Here is the Wallabies side named to play Wales this Saturday in an afternoon fixture at the Sydney Football Stadium:

15. Kurtley Beale
14. Adam Ashley-Cooper
13. Rob Horne
12. Pat McCabe
11. Digby Ioane
10. Berrick Barnes
9. Will Genia
8. Wycliff Palu
7. David Pocock
6. Scott Higginbotham
5. Nathan Sharpe
4. Sitaleki Timani
3. Sekope Kepu
2. Tatafu Polota Nau
1. Benn Robinson


16. Stephen Moore
17. Ben Alexander
18. Dave Dennis
19. Michael Hooper
20. Rob Simmons
21. Nic White
22. Anthony Faingaa

The return of Kurtley Beale is a welcome one.  That said I am scratching my head at two other changes to the team and one of the continued selections:In moving Rob Simmons to the bench, the Wallabies have demoted one of the most consistent performers in their forward pack from the last two test matches.  I do not know what is gained by demoting the guy for a replacement who does not bring anything additional to the table in terms of skills or presence around the field.  Equally, keeping Simmons on the bench is a bit perplexing when Dave Dennis can play both at lock and in the back row.  This move makes the team look a bit “forward heavy” on the reserves bench for mine.

I can not understand why you would drop Mike Harris off the bench for an afternoon game when your first choice fly half has already been struggling with cramp? As simplistic at this sounds, if Barnes were to be incapacitated again I would have thought the security of having Harris on the bench would be comforting.  I concede that if Barnes goes off the obvious move is Beale to fly half, Ashley-Cooper to full back and Faingaa onto the wing however I am not sure I would keen to put Beale under that sort of pressure in his first game back after injury.

Palu has been more of a liability than a positive in this test series and looks seriously short of a gallop for mine.  I can not understand why the Wallabies brains trust would not switch Higginbotham to number 8 and give Michael Hooper a start at number 6 and send Palu off for some fitness work before the Super 15 season restarts.  

Finally, to state the obvious the Waratahs are disproportionately represented in the team with 8 representatives which continues to show that Super 15 form seems to count for nothing.  Equally I am not all that displeased that the two contending teams in the Australian Super 15 conference (Reds and Brumbies) are not as at risk as they might have been to injury for the final 3 rounds of that competition as they would have been if form was a selection criteria.

Selection imbroglios aside, it will be a fascinating third test on Saturday.


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One comment

  1. 1

    My honest opinion is that Beale shouldnt even be in the squad. He was charged with assault, what a great representative for our NATIONAL team, and not only that but also what a great role-model to the younger players- ‘Hey if you beat up some guy and get charged with assault, dont worry! You still get the PRIVILEDGE to play for your country’. It’s disgraceful. And the fact that Mike Harris isnt include is just ridiculous, doesn’t make any sense!

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