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Pool A - Australia, England, Wales, Fiji, Uruguay

James

Cricket Web Owner
18 September 2015England v FijiTwickenham Stadium, London
20 September 2015Wales v UruguayMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
23 September 2015Australia v FijiMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
26 September 2015England v WalesTwickenham Stadium, London
27 September 2015Australia v UruguayVilla Park, Birmingham
1 October 2015Wales v FijiMillennium Stadium, Cardiff
3 October 2015England v AustraliaTwickenham Stadium, London
6 October 2015Fiji v UruguayStadium mk, Milton Keynes
10 October 2015Australia v WalesTwickenham Stadium, London
10 October 2015England v UruguayManchester City Stadium, Manchester
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Not too confident getting through this pool.
I wouldn't be either. My tip is for Wales and England to go through. It has been years since Australia has had a good end of year tour in England,

Australia sabotaged themselves in their game against us by
a) changing a winning team from the week before
b) changing a winning team
c) making changes to a winning team
d) see above

What really hurt them is that they hit upon a winning formula and line up against the All Blacks in the first Bledisloe but decided in their post game review that Foley and Phipps had not played well. In addition they weren't happy with some other peeps. So they dumped them for Eden park and lost. Now they have a lack of certainty who is their best team with only a warm up game against USA to sort things out.
Who do you play at 1st 5?
Who do you play at half back?
Who do you play at 2nd 5?
Who will be the second lock - Skelton? or will he be off the bench.

Perhaps the australian coach knows who he will be starting? But it is a mystery to me at the moment and I am sure a mystery to you as well. These things, barring injury should have been decided by at a minimum the last year end tour. With only late bolters being considered for less important positions like wing, or tighthead prop.

Those positions I listed are vital - and Australia doesn't have settled players in those positions, and that again is a euphemism. In reality probably the coaches are still watching who is training well and are making up their minds.

Australia are the least organised team going into this world cup. If they beat Wales, who have been swanning around the Middle east doing endurance runs in 40 degree temperatures and then doing weight training in high altitudes in Switzerland in a no expense spared build up I will eat my hat.

Australia on paper can put out one of the top sides on this planet and that goes for a 22 man roster and not just 15 guys. Australia have real depth for the first time. I just don't see them pulling the right names out of the hat and even if they do the combinations haven't been playing enough with each other to be ready for England and Wales in the first round.

Good Luck Australia.
 
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James

Cricket Web Owner
The funny this is why is the Australia v Wales game in London and not in Cardiff?
 

the big bambino

International Captain
The uncertainty Hurricane mentions about the Wallabies is fair comment though I think we have improved under Cheika. Our scrum is still a problem but I don't expect it to collapse like our batting in the 80s anymore. I suspect though it will be dominated at some time in the cup. Skelton's a bench player for mine atm. Half, five eight and inside Phipps, Foley and Giteau. The first 2 mentioned have combination and there's a worry over goal kicking if Foley doesn't play. Tevita, Speight, Horne and Israel the outside backs. Toomua and Beale off the bench.

I have enough compassion for James O'Connor to send Quade Cooper to the same corner of hell just to keep him company.
 
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WalkingWicket

State 12th Man
Huge blow for Wales potentially with Halfpenny and Webb out...they're two huge players. Could seriously affect their chances.
 

Tangles

International Vice-Captain
Checked my watching options and its $200 for 48 games. FU. Or $28 a game. Bleh.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Huge blow for Wales potentially with Halfpenny and Webb out...they're two huge players. Could seriously affect their chances.
As I posted elsewhere, they have capable replacements with Anscombe and Hook. For the sake of the competition as a spectacle lets hope they go with Gareth although he is more of a gamble.

Question for Howe, who was that young buck who they felt was being unfairly kept out of the side by halfpenny 6 months ago.
 

Hurricane

Hall of Fame Member
Also who asked Wales and these teams to have warm up games? Every and I mean every game of rugby I watch someone from one of the teams will get injured and often a player on both teams. The risk of injury is huge. I don't care if this is captain hindsight talking, I would have used a massive rotation policy for these games and given my key guys one game each and my fringe guys a start in each match.
 

WalkingWicket

State 12th Man
As I posted elsewhere, they have capable replacements with Anscombe and Hook. For the sake of the competition as a spectacle lets hope they go with Gareth although he is more of a gamble.

Question for Howe, who was that young buck who they felt was being unfairly kept out of the side by halfpenny 6 months ago.
Anscome is still nursing an injury and Hook is past his best. They're both talented players, but they're not a shade on Halfpenny.
 

Marcuss

Hall of Fame Member
I assume you mean Liam Williams? Who is only just coming back from injury himself.

Apparently Anscombe is out for a fortnight too
 

marc71178

Eyes not spreadsheets
Does seem ridiculous that as per the rankings, 3 of the top 5 and 4 of the top 9 nations are in this group.
 

ripper868

Cricketer Of The Year
Re Wales and the not playing Australia in Cardiff thing - it is because they are not hosting the Tournament (unlike in 1999) and Australia successfully lobbied this when the pools were announced. Hard on Fiji and Uruguay? Perhaps, but fact is on that day the Wales v Australia game is the best match, and therefore should be on centre court i.e. Twickenham.

I'll only get to one match that Aus plays - in Birmingham v Uruguay - due to my work schedule. Also have tickets to the quarter final that South Africa will be in - logic being I'll see South Africa v Aus/Eng/Wal rather than Aus/Eng/Wal v Scot/Samoa. Also if Aus do top the group and England run second I'll be able to swap tickets easily like for like.

Just as a note, the 2 world Cups held in the UK (1991, 1999) has resulted in 2 Australian victories. Here's hoping for third, and an AUS v NZ final - making it 3/3 world cups this year (Cricket, Netball, Rugby) with an ANZAC final.
 

social

Hall of Fame Member
The uncertainty Hurricane mentions about the Wallabies is fair comment though I think we have improved under Cheika. Our scrum is still a problem but I don't expect it to collapse like our batting in the 80s anymore. I suspect though it will be dominated at some time in the cup. Skelton's a bench player for mine atm. Half, five eight and inside Phipps, Foley and Giteau. The first 2 mentioned have combination and there's a worry over goal kicking if Foley doesn't play. Tevita, Speight, Horne and Israel the outside backs. Toomua and Beale off the bench.

I have enough compassion for James O'Connor to send Quade Cooper to the same corner of hell just to keep him company.
Funnily enough, England's scrum looks to be a big problem for them as they have recently been dominated at times by both France and Ireland

Much will depend on interpretation though & NH refs are rarely sympathetic towards the Wallabies
 

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