How many fresh faces will we see wearing Wallabies gold in June 2016?
Over the last five non Rugby World Cup (RWC) or Lions Series years, roughly five players have made their Wallabies debuts each June Test series. After seven rounds of Super Rugby, the collective health of Australia’s rugby stars has remained relatively intact. Yet, with the likes of Wallabies incumbent Kane Douglas’ unlikely to recover from a knee reconstruction in time and a number of Super Rugby rounds to come, there will be the opportunity for new blood.
Now, this is something that I have always pondered. How would the Pacific Nation sides shape up if they had a local competition to hold local talent and potentially draw back players who have strayed around the world.
A little while back we looked at the hypothetical Fijian side, which was overflowing with barnstorming backs who were accompanied by some great forward talent.
There was a 9-6 split of Fijians and ‘foreigners’ in the starting XV, with a further 4-4 split on the bench.
This weeks Samoan side is heavily laden with Samoan talent who have pledged allegiance to other nations. Similarly to the Fijian side, a lot of top tier nations sport Samoan talent among their ranks, however the Wallabies and All Blacks dominate this squad with 5 and 4 respectively.
The penultimate week of the Rugby World Cup (RWC) is upon us and if there is one inarguable truth that can be taken out of the 2015 tournament and that is the closing of the gap. The gap between the tier 1 nations (10 teams) and the chasing tier 2 nations (13 teams).
Since round one, Japan’s performances have been the story of the RWC, Fiji have overcome some poor form in recent years, Georgia have improved by leaps and bounds and the days of 100+ point wins are evidently over.