The Brumbies won the first and only Provincial championship in Aus, while old faces return to the Wallabies. Connoly worried about lack of emerging Aussie talent.
Laughed off APC ends with Brumbies on top
The mailigned Australian Provincial Championship ended with a wet squib on Friday night. In Canberra, with only about 4000 spectators in attendance, Eddie Jones’ new Reds folded against the Brumbies to the tune of 42 – 17.
A Warathas castoff, Stephen Hoiles was the Brmubies main man. The Brumbies lead 21 – 3.at halftime.
So the Brumbies end up holding the APC trophy forever. Next season there’ll be a national club championship with clubs from ACT (1), New South Wales (3), Queensland (2), Western Australia (1) and Victoria (1) fighting it out on a national level.
Aussies name squad for EOYT
In November the Aussies play relatively mild games against Italy, Ireland, Wales and Scotland.
After the APC finished, John Connoly named a 37 man squad for the EOYT. Out goes George Gregan. Of own choice. The skipper choosing to rest so he can be better prepared for the World Cup next year.
Stirling Morlock will skipper the side. The side is:
Stirling Mortlock (captain), Adam Ashley-Cooper, Al Baxter, Rodney Blake, Alister Campbell, Brendan Cannon, Mark Chisholm, Sam Cordingley, Rocky Elsom, Gene Fairbanks, Mark Gerrard, Matt Giteau, Stephen Hoiles, Greg Holmes, James Horwill, Stephen Larkham, Chris Latham, David Lyons, Tai McIsaac, Hugh McMeniman, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Wycliff Palu, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Clyde Rathbone, Benn Robinson, Mat Rogers, Nathan Sharpe, Brett Sheehan, Cameron Shepherd, Guy Shepherdson, George Smith, Scott Staniforth, Lote Tuqiri, Morgan Turinui, Dan Vickerman, Phil Waugh.
Connoly worries about emerging Australian talent – or rather lack thereof
Connoly writing for Rugbyheaven reckons that when the game went professional the Australians were ahead of everyone because ethey could learn from League and Aussie Rules. Australia have also always been technically ahead of everyone.
BUT, the latest weaknesses in the scrum and lock department have shown that the Aussies are struggling to keep up with the pace. Competitors are starting to get parity technically and tactically.
And this is the crunch – with the player resources countries like England, New Zealand and Australia are now drawing ahead of Australia.
Australia is running on reserve with their talent – there is a talent drought in Australia.
Connoly wants to use the EOYT to blood new talent, with people like Sam Shepherdson, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Al Baxter and Ben Coutts will all get a run ahead of RWC 2007.