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Wallabies could well pay dearly for lack of backline cover

For a bloke who’s so often demonstrated a conservative streak at odds with the Wallaby way, it’s strange how readily Robbie Deans has taken a punt when it comes to the composition of his reserves bench.

Not for the first time, the embattled Australian coach has opted for a 5/2 forwards/backs split on the bench this weekend. And, while it’s by no means the area of greatest concern as his injury-dogged team front a white-hot All Blacks outfit, it could well bring them undone before anything else.

Obviously, no coach can expect to have all eventualities covered, but surely the last thing the Wallabies need is to find themselves short on specialist backline back-up – particularly against a side with so many  strike weapons.

Bear in mind, of course, too, that one of the only two back reserves named (Drew Mitchell) is woefully short of a gallop after such a chequered last couple of years. And that on top of the fact that, up front, Deans has already gone for a grossly underdone Wycliff Palu as his starting No 8.

That gutsy effort in Rosario – even if it was against an Argentine side with little left in the tank – might well have the Wallabies in reasonable heart. But I suspect things could get ugly – especially if that injury bogey strikes when, and where, they can least afford it.

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As someone who’s been around the block a few times, I’m often accused of being a super-cynic. But, given cycling’s latest, and biggest, drugs debacle, I don’t think you’d need to be remotely “champions league’’ material in that department to have written it off as a sport – big time.

Considering we are, I fancy, only seeing the tip of the iceberg at this stage, it’s impossible to imagine how a sport so long bedevilled by the spectre of doping can hope to claw back any semblance of credibility in the foreseeable future.

— Peter Thomson

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One Response to Wallabies could well pay dearly for lack of backline cover

  • John Wagner says:

    Peter,
    Yes it is a concern for the Wallabies. But really, who else? The Tank of Test Players is almost empty. The ABs will be disappointed if they don’t win by 50 or more!

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