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Australia squad

_Ed_

Cricket Web: All-Time Legend
Rugby: Elsom dumped as Wallabies captain | RUGBY WORLD CUP News

Backs - Kurtley Beale, James O'Connor, Drew Mitchell, Digby Ioane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Berrick Barnes, Quade Cooper, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess, Will Genia.

Forwards - Ben McCalman, Radike Samo, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (capt), Rob Simmons, Nathan Sharpe, Dan Vickerman, Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, James Slipper, Salesi Ma'afu, Stephen Moore, Saia Faingaa, Tatafu Polota-Nau.
Thoughts?

I found the captaincy decision surprising, although you can't fault the way Horwill led the Reds this year.

The other major talking point is obviously Giteau - it's a big call to leave someone with that much experience behind.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
Stoked for Kev, it's been pretty painfully obvious that Elsom has been burdened by the captaincy - He's at his best when all he has to do is smash the other bloke and not have to worry about playing the ref as well.

WRT Giteau, he does have a wealth of experience but his showings this year have been below par. I don't see the sense in taking 3 hafbacks (Phipps will be lucky to see any time) and perhaps Gits could have covered that role. But saying that Giteau has shown in the past, and as recently as last night via twitter, that his attitude when things don't go his way that he chucks a wobbly - would Giteau have been happy going on a 8 week tour of NZ playing no rugby? I think not, and would have potentially been a negative influence on the squad - something which is not needed.

And Maafu...wtf!?!?!?! he brings nothing!
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
I think Giteau's non-selection is a positive move for Australia. I've mentioned a lot over the past few years that players like Rokocoko, Giteau, Spies, Smit, etc. have produced a series of performances well below what should be expected of them.

With regards the halfback, I think most teams will pick three halfbacks more as security than anything. Like the Cricket World Cup, replacements have to be permanent so if Genia has a slight injury, you can't temporarily fly Phipps and use him as cover, unless you replace Genia outright. Same reasoning behind three hookers for essentially one starting spot.

Elsom's captaincy is terrible so elevating Horwill is certainly a good move - should've happened about a month ago pre-Tri Nations though.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
I

Elsom's captaincy is terrible so elevating Horwill is certainly a good move - should've happened about a month ago pre-Tri Nations though.
Please make a post on what a good rugby captain does - and if it comes down to team talks how do we as fans know who is better than the next guy. If your answer is leading by example then fair enough I guess.

I would have taken Gits before Berrick Barnes who I believe is the worst back NZ or Australia have ever played in a test match. All he does is kick - no matter what the situation.

however if Matt would've been a negative influence sitting on the sideline then maybe it is for the best.
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
Please make a post on what a good rugby captain does - and if it comes down to team talks how do we as fans know who is better than the next guy. If your answer is leading by example then fair enough I guess.

I would have taken Gits before Berrick Barnes who I believe is the worst back NZ or Australia have ever played in a test match. All he does is kick - no matter what the situation.

however if Matt would've been a negative influence sitting on the sideline then maybe it is for the best.
I think if you compare Elsom to say, McCaw, who I think is a superb captain, you can take any aspect like inspiration to teammates, communication with the referee, good decision making (e.g. when presented with options from penalties), media interaction, etc. as reasons why I've never rated Elsom as Australian captain. From at least watching him captain the Reds and his general play in the Wallaby jersey, Horwill seems fits most of those categories well and although has a long way to go to reach the standards of a McCaw, hes a better option in my view for the Wallabies. But as I mention, I think its harsh to change the captaincy at this point. After Elsom's efforts last year, and his injury-affected season this year, I'm surprised Horwill didn't have the entire Tri Nations to captain Australia.

I actually don't mind Barnes; admittedly he can be a bit flakey - and with a long injury perhaps thats an even greater risk - but as a back-up 10/12 I'd still take him over Giteau.
 

TT Boy

Hall of Fame Member
Would have taken Gits for his kicking. JOC, Quade and Beale have pretty average % with the boot while despite having a poor Super 15 and not kicking to his usual standards, Giteau was still comfortably the best Aus kicker in Super 15 and the 5th overall, just behind metronome Morne Steyn in the % stakes
 

Somerset

Cricketer Of The Year
I doubt they'd trust him at test level though - remember hes basically lost games on his boot before at international level (the shock loss to Scotland in particular).
 

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