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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well S14 has drawn to a close, now the next step in the Rugby Union Calender is the Internationals.

Lansdowne Cup (AUS-IRE)

Tri Nations (AUS-NZ-RSA)

Bledisloe Cup (AUS-NZ)

Currie Cup (AUS-RSA)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
It should be a interesting season, big changes in all the Tri Nations team since the RWC last year.

All Blacks
Lost a fair few quality players at the end of the RWC, with some extra playes like Jerry Collins retiring from Internationals only recently as well, lots of fresh faces in the All Blacks squad with a bit of a rebuilding phase to happen over the next 12 months for them.

One thing is sure, NZ have never lacked in producing quality players who should step up to the grade. Stalwarts like Carter and McCaw should see the All Blacks have another competitive season.

Player to watch: Tuitavake

Wallabies
Wallabies lost there long time halves pairing of Gregan and Larkham at the close of the RWC, also missing out of the Wallabies this year will be full back Chris Latham.

On a brighter note, the ARU have signed arguably the best rugby coach in the world Robbie Deans(kiwi), with a swag of young talent coming through the S14 ranks as well, 2008 will be a interesting year for the Wallabies with key positions 5/8, halfback and fullback still up in the air.

I envision that the Wallabies will have a competitive season under Deans, with Giteau and Mortlock commanding the backs around, whilst Elsom and Vickerman drive the forward pack.

Player to watch: Burgess

Springboks

After winning the RWC the Springboks are currently the highest ranked team in the world, they do have a new coach, a new game plan and a influx of new players.

A slighly dissapointing season for RSA S14 teams might carry over to the Tri-Nations as well. I expect the Saffas to be stong at home but lose in all there away matches.

Player to watch: Chavanga(prob spelt wrong)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wallabies Squad

PLAYER S14 DOB Ht (cm) Wt(kg) CAPS POINTS

Forwards (17)

Alexander, Ben Brum 13.11.84 189 120 0 0

Baxter, Alistair NSW 21.1.77 190 116 51 5

Brown, Richard WF 28.8.84 189 106 0 0

Chisholm, Mark Brum 18.9.81 197 115 35 25

Dunning, Matt NSW 19.12.78 182 119 36 0

Elsom, Rocky NSW 14.2.83 197 112 32 25

Freier, Adam NSW 20.3.80 175 101 20 10

Hoiles, Stephen Brum 13.10.81 190 98 15 15

Horwill, James QLD 29.5.85 200 117 1 0

Moore, Stephen QLD 20.1.83 186 112 20 5

Mumm, Dean NSW 5.3.84 196 109 0 0

Palu, Wycliff NSW 27.7.82 194 120 17 5

Polota-Nau, Tatafu NSW 26.7.85 181 113 3 0

Robinson, Benn NSW 19.7.84 183 113 6 0

Sharpe, Nathan WF 26.2.78 200 115 64 30

Smith, George Brum 14.7.80 180 104 83 45

Waugh, Phil NSW 22.9.79 175 100 66 20



Backs (13)

Ashley-Cooper, Adam Brum 27.3.84 182 97 12 20

Barnes, Berrick QLD 28.5.86 183 88 4 16

Burgess, Luke NSW 20.8.83 179 89 0 0

Cordingley, Sam QLD 20.3.76 178 87 14 0

Cross, Ryan WF 6.10.79 191 100 0 0

Giteau, Matt WF 29.9.82 178 85 51 259

Hynes, Peter QLD 18.7.82 180 92 0 0

Ioane, Digby QLD 14.7.85 179 94 1 5

Mortlock, Stirling Brum 20.5.77 191 102 63 463

Sheehan, Brett NSW 16.9.79 173 90 1 0

Shepherd, Cameron WF 30.3.84 189 97 6 19

Tuqiri, Lote NSW 23.9.79 191 104 58 140

Turner, Lachie NSW 11.5.87 189 88 0 0


2007 World Cup squad players not considered for selection due to injury:

Holmes, Greg QLD 11.6.83 183 112 13 10

Latham, Chris QLD 8.9.75 193 102 78 200

Mitchell, Drew WF 26.3.84 182 92 21 70

McMeniman, Hugh QLD 1.11.83 200 114 12 0

Staniforth, Scott WF 12.12.77 188 99 12 35

Vickerman, Dan NSW 4.6.79 204 115 52 0


Players also not considered for selection in the Qantas Wallabies squad or the Australia A squad due to injury:

PLAYER Super 14 Team

Carter, Tom NSW

Edwards, Dayna QLD

Fava, Scott WF

Hockings, Tom WF

Horua, Tamaiti WF

Kepu, Sekope NSW

Lealiifano, Christian Brumbies

Roe, John QLD

Schifcofske, Clinton QLD

Va’aulu, Brando QLD
 

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does look like a pretty good wallabies squad
 

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They will win the Bledisloe as well as the Tri-Nations.

When is Argentina joining up, so we can then have a southern slam.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
the Wallaby backs should have a lot of speed.

Hynes, Turner, Ioane and Ashley Cooper are some of the fastest players in Australia
 

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This is the first time in a while I have genuinely been unsure of how the AB's will play. A lot of new players in the team, and a different focus it seems. But in saying that, the AB's are sometimes their most dangerous when they are unpredictable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
yeah i dont know about the AB's this year, they just dont seem to have the same 'aura' about them, they still have some quality players in the squad. I think the northern hemisphere exodus of NZ players is finally starting to take its toll.

In the past, when one good player left new zealand, there were two players to take his spot. Now with the players leaving younger and younger, it seems the talent pool isnt as deep as it once was.
 

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It's still far deeper than Australia could ever wish for, but I think the biggest problem in the team this year will be the front row. Hore is great, but Afoa and Tialata are shit, and Woodcock is out injured still.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yeah old Rodzilla suffered from a lack of game time and the new rules didnt really help his game, he is a bit to big and wasnt mobile enough.

The ARU said they wouldnt top up his contract next year so it means he will be heading off to play rugby in France. I hope he comes back one day, hopefully he gets a lot of game time and France and comes back a better player.

Good to see the Southern Hemisphere teams have wins over the weaklings from the North this weekend.
 

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Horrible conditions in Wellington, O'Driscoll was shivering after the game. But the AB's managed to stick it together, and play a very tight, controlled game of rugby. I thought the forwards in particular played brilliantly, especially the back row.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Wallabies team for the game against the Irish in Melbourne this weekend.


15. Cameron Shepherd (Western Force)

14. Peter Hynes* (Queensland Reds)

13. Stirling Mortlock (ACT Brumbies) captain

12. Berrick Barnes (Queensland Reds)

11. Lote Tuqiri (NSW Waratahs)

10. Matt Giteau (Western Force)

9. Luke Burgess* (NSW Waratahs)

8. Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs)

7. George Smith (ACT Brumbies)

6. Rocky Elsom (NSW Waratahs)

5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)

4. James Horwill (Queensland Reds)

3. Matt Dunning (NSW Waratahs)

2. Stephen Moore (Queensland Reds)

1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)



Run on reserves:



16. Adam Freier (NSW Waratahs)

17. Al Baxter (NSW Waratahs)

18. Dean Mumm* (NSW Waratahs)

19. Phil Waugh (NSW Waratahs)

20. Sam Cordingley (Queensland Reds)

21. Ryan Cross* (Western Force)

22. Adam Ashley-Cooper (ACT Brumbies)

* denotes new cap

Good to see Hynes selected, he has being the most consisten aussie winger all year, apart from maybe tuqiri.
 

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No idea why Barnes and Burgess are starting. Cordingley should be in the starting team, and I would also put Cross in. Barnes shouldn't even be in the Wallabies squad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Cordingley is to old, Burgess looks like a very refined player.

As for Cross, well he is a outside centre, Barnes is a inside centre and played most of the S14 season there.

Deans usually likes to have a inside centre that is a ball player as well, similar to what he has had at the Crusaders the last few years. Cross is your typical power centre, reasonable hands but powerful running, its to similar to Mortlock and limits the attacking oppurtunities.
 

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We'll see how they go I guess. I still have my doubts on those inside backs (even Giteau is a bit wobbly at Test level). I think the team will be quite different come Tri-Nations/Bledisloe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wallabies beat Ireland in a close match down in Melbourne, 41'000 i think the crowd was, i thought it was a reasonably match, first hit out of the season is also a rusty one.

What annoyed me, was they were boasting about playing the game with the roof closed, but they only closed it just before the game, after it had already rained on the pitch.. whats with that?

New Zealand beat England, South Africa beat Wales and Scotland beat Argentina..
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Australia vs. France this weekend


Cult hero Sebastien Chabal will bring experience with him

Wallaby Team

15. Cameron Shepherd (Western Force)

14. Peter Hynes (Queensland Reds)

13. Stirling Mortlock (ACT Brumbies) captain

12. Berrick Barnes (Queensland Reds)

11. Lote Tuqiri (NSW Waratahs)

10. Matt Giteau (Western Force)

9. Luke Burgess (NSW Waratahs)

8. Wycliff Palu (NSW Waratahs)

7. George Smith (ACT Brumbies)

6. Rocky Elsom (NSW Waratahs)

5. Nathan Sharpe (Western Force)

4. James Horwill (Queensland Reds)

3. Matt Dunning (NSW Waratahs)

2. Stephen Moore (Queensland Reds)

1. Benn Robinson (NSW Waratahs)



Run on reserves:



16. Adam Freier (NSW Waratahs)

17. Al Baxter (NSW Waratahs)

18. Dean Mumm (NSW Waratahs)

19. Phil Waugh (NSW Waratahs)

20. Sam Cordingley (Queensland Reds)

21. Ryan Cross* (Western Force)

22. Adam Ashley-Cooper (ACT Brumbies)



* denotes potential new cap
 

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Chabal looks like one of those Gauls that used to cause so much trouble for the Romans.

Straight out of Asterix and Obelix!
 
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