Rugby Union: My Wallabies Team to face the All Blacks

As there is a break is hostilities in the Ashes, it is time to focus on other sporting events coming up this weekend and there is no big sporting event upcoming that the first Bledisloe Cup Test match between the Australia Wallabies and the New Zealand All Blacks on Saturday night.

Ewen McKenzie has named of squad of 30 for the game and has suggested that he will wait until just before game time to name his number 10. Given that delay, it is time to look into the crystal ball and make my own selections for this weekend’s test match. So here is Shumpty’s Wallabies XXII:

1. Scott Sio

2. Stephen Moore

3. Ben Alexander

4. James Horwill

5. Scott Fardy

6. Ben Mowen

7. Michael Hooper

8. Jake Schatz

9. Will Genia

10. Quade Cooper

11. Nick Cummins

12. Christian Lealiifano

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper

14. Israel Folau

15. Jesse Mogg

16. Albert Anae

17. Sekope Kepu

18. Rob Simmons

19. Liam Gill

20. Nic White

21. Matt Toomua

22. Joe Tomane

In picking this squad I have looked for combinations and form over reputations and thus it will be no surprise that I am picking mainly Brumbies and Reds players. Matt Toomua only misses out because of the form of Genia and Cooper together for the Reds. The Brumbies front row gets my nod and I have put Albert Anae on the bench because of his versatility in being able to play all three positions up front. Jake Schatz is my bolter: I have a preference for Ben Mowen at number but given the squad to choose from it is pretty obvious that Coach McKenzie will be playing him at 6 so Schatz gets rewarded for a brilliant season at the back of the scrum for the Reds.

I find no place for James O’Connor in my team. The reason is simple: he is out of form and needs some time in club rugby to regain same.

It will be a fantastic test match in Sydney to kick of the Rugby Championship and, if Australia is to have any hope of getting back the trophy, one that Australia must win given that the last two fixtures between the teams will be played in New Zealand (Westpac Stadium and Forsyth Barr Stadium).

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