Australia

Boks ponder Wallaby selection

Mon, 01 Sep 2014 07:23
Boks-wallabies-strauss
Last year it was Genia and Cooper
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The Springboks are holding off making any tactical plans against the Wallabies until their coach announces what is expected to be a much changed team for the Perth clash this weekend.
 
The start of the Rugby Championship saw Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie made a number of surprising selections for his first two games against the All Blacks in Sydney and in Auckland respectively.
 
However, it seems that the plan to play Kurtley Beale at flyhalf may have failed along with the attempt to form a cohesive halfback pairing with Nick White.
 
Pat McCabe will definitely not be featuring having being forced to retire after sustaining another neck injury in Auckland.
 
After the Eden Park mauling McKenzie shot a warning to his players that 'selection is a one-game contract'
 
The Springboks' defensive coach, John McFarland, said from their base in Perth, that there is no need to spend too much time pondering the Wallabies and what they will bring until their team is named.
 
"Australia have some X-factor players, but it depends what Ewen [McKenzie] picks over the next week," Mcfarland said.
 
"There are some guys [in the Wallabies squad] that are recognised as the best in their positions, so it will be a big challenge."
 
The biggest selection the Boks, as well as many rugby pundits, will be interested in, is who is selected at flyhalf.
 
"It will be one of three, either [Matt] Toomua, [Kurtley] Beale or {Bernard] Foley -  obviously Foley and Beale were a great combination in Super Rugby, but we will have to wait to see what Ewen picks," the coach went on.
 
Mcfarland said he was not too surprised when Beale, the Waratahs star playmaker, was picked for the No.10 jumper in the first two games.
 
"Beale played really well in Super Rugby - Ewen would know the Wallabies better than I would and he would know who suits his team and the pattern he wants to play for the game so it's not surprising that Kurtley is in contention as a flyhalf," the coach added.
 
With the importance of a strong halfback pairing essential at international level, the Wallabies are facing a slight problem with their tried and tested combinations out with long-term injuries.
 
Will Genia and Quade Cooper have been the Wallabies preferred options at No.9 and No.10 for quite some time, and the change in these pivotal roles also means a rethink for the Boks brain-trust.
 
Well, last year it was Genia and Cooper and [Nic] White played in the Cape Town I think," Mcfarland continued.
 
"Until we see who they pick you don't want to put too much effort into setting a game plan.
 
"You can look at their general pattern of play and what they do and what their strengthens and weaknesses are, but until we see who he has picked on Wednesday - you don't want to spend to much time on it."
 
The Springboks take on the Wallabies in Perth on Saturday with Australia yet to register a win while the Springboks sit on top of the table with two tight victories over Argentina.
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