Doubt SBW will play, he's off back to Union isn't he at the close of the NRL season?
Have to pick him if he's available, IMHO.
If NZ won, would he be the first player to have union and league WC winners' medals?
Guess Brad Thorn the other possible, but dunno if he was playing for the 'Roos in 2000.
I hope SBW plays..
This is the sort of squad I expect to see and I think overall it is a good one.
1 Kevin LOCKE
2 Jason NIGHTINGALE
3 Shaun KENNY DOWALL
4 Dean WHARE
5 Manu VATUVEI
6 Kieran FORAN
7 Shaun JOHNSON
8 Jesse BROMWICH
9 Issac LUKE
10 Jared WAEREA-HARGREAVES
11 Sonny Bill WILLIAMS
12 Kevin PROCTOR
13 Simon MANNERING
14 Elijah TAYLOR
15 Ben MATULINO
16 Frank PRITCHARD
17 Sam MCKENDRY
18 Sam PERRETT 19 Alex GLENN 20 Sam RAPIRA 21 Thomas LEULUAI 22 Josh HOFFMAN 23 Lewis BROWN 24 Greg EASTWOOD
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Adam Blair, Konrad Hurrell, Tohu Harris and Frank Paul Nuuausala are in the mix.
EDIT - Take out Lewis Brown from the squad if Jeremy Smith is still available (he probably should start at 13, Mannering to 12 and Proctor/Pritchard fight it out for a bench spot).
I tried to squeeze in a bolter but couldn't.. Perhaps a strong showing in a GF win could see a surprise.
1 Billy SLATER
2 Darius BOYD
3 Josh MORRIS
4 Greg INGLIS
5 Brett MORRIS
6 Johnathon THURSTON
7 Cooper CRONK
8 Matt SCOTT
9 Cam SMITH
10 James TAMOU
11 Greg BIRD
12 Sam THAIDAY
13 Paul GALLEN
14 Robbie FARAH
15 Nate MYLES
16 Luke LEWIS
17 Anthony WATMOUGH
18 Andrew FIFITA 19 Michael JENNINGS 20 Matt GILLETT 21 Brent TATE 22 Daly CHERRY-EVANS 23 Jarryd HAYNE 24 Corey PARKER
Fifita and Tamou could easily interchange. Sheens loves continuity though and the 17 I have named is the 17 that won the ANZAC Test apart from Gidley and Hodges out injured and in there place Farah and JMoz. You can substitute Farah out and bring in anyone from the extended bench (barring the outside backs).
Why Hargreaves? He has a good mentality but doesn't seem big enough for that particular jersey number.
Not big enough? How big do you want him? He is one of the best props in the NRL. One of the more obvious choices for my money. Also, can you explain your earlier comment that your number 7 will hurt you?
Just Kidding - although I can think of various CW posters who in cricket chat seem to take a counter punching attitude to posting rather than contributing new ideas.
On Johnson - he is a noob on the international stage and I thought his noobness showed in the last test regardless of how good he looks for the warriors.
On Hargreaves - never mind me I just googled his stats and he is 6 foot 4 - just doesn't stand out against the other men mountains on show. Some believe he has discipline issues at the highest level with regards to giving away dumb penalties on the 5th tackle etc.
In terms of contributing my own content - Australia will walk this unless they read their own press and believe they can just turn up. Most Aussie fans (and I ran a poll on cricsim) are taking the other nations seriously, but some aren't and say that Australia has a 100% chance of winning. And if that type of cockiness permeates the coaching staff then Aussie will get bundled out in an upset at some stage.
I personally think Aussie have a 75% chance of victory primarily because the officiating at the international level seems to allow the aussies to go offside on defence on every play. Either that or the Aussie line speed is just phenomenally fast when they put on a Roos jumper. A good carry by a kiwi in the last test was 4 metres because the defence was meeting us 2 metres away from the line of the ruck. Often 1 metre. That was the difference in the teams the last few internationals we have played against each other that and the fact your interchange bench has super stars on it and when they come on to the field all fresh they blow us away.
I'd have RTS over Nightingale tbh, and I've generally been a Nightingale fan. He just hasn't been himself this year.
This is the only international sport I don't religiously cheer for Australia. Like seeing other nations do well. Cheering on filthy Queenslanders is tough to do as well.
England squad: Carl Ablett (Leeds), Tom Briscoe (Hull), George Burgess, Sam Burgess, Tom Burgess (all South Sydney), Rob Burrow (Leeds), Josh Charnley (Wigan), Rangi Chase (Castleford), Leroy Cudjoe (Huddersfield), Liam Farrell (Wigan), James Graham (Canterbury Bulldogs), Ryan Hall (Leeds), Zak Hardaker (Leeds), Chris Hill (Warrington), Gareth Hock (Widnes), Michael McIlorum (Wigan), Lee Mossop (Wigan), Sean O'Loughlin (Wigan), James Roby (St Helens), Kevin Sinfield (Leeds, capt), Sam Tomkins (Wigan), Kallum Watkins (Leeds), Ben Westwood (Warrington), Gareth Widdop (Melbourne).
I guess, (un)lucky Luke Burgess aside, the most notable absences are Morley, Crabtree & Jon Wilkin.
We're very well served at prop anyway, so Wilkin's maybe the biggest surprise as he covers stand off, lock and second row. I'd have probably had him in there instead of Farrell, myself.
That said Westwood's cheap shot on Blake Green in the GF might yet mean he misses out.
Crabtree annoys me for some unknown reason.