October 11 and 18, sits on the calendar with excitement but some dread for Australian Rugby fans.
First, the Wallabies will brave the haka at Wellington’s Sky Stadium. The “Cake Tin” as it is affectionately known sits boldly on the harbour and boasts swirling powerful winds which have given even the greatest kickers Carter, Wilkinson and the like, nightmares at the sheer thought of the chaos which may occur when they kick the Gilbert. The last time Australia defeated New Zealand in Wellington was back in 2000 when John Eales beautifully struck his match-winning goal, we all nostalgically remember.
If the Wallabies can conquer this challenge, they face an even more fearsome one in the second week of their tour.
The Wallabies will face the All Blacks in Auckland at their almighty fortress Eden Park. They will not only be facing the greatest rugby team in the world that afternoon, but the encasing dark spirits, and black mystique generated by the howling home crowd. One that was so powerful it stole even Quade Cooper’s magic. Eden Park has tortured the Wallabies since 1986, with 34 years past Australia has not been able to break the losing curse at the home of New Zealand Rugby.
But a new era in Australian Rugby has arrived with Kiwi coach Dave Rennie at the helm and wonder-kids Jordan Petaia and Fraser McReight by his side.
There is a genuine excitement in Australia’s next generation of rugby players. They are an incredibly talented crop of players passionate about building a dominate Wallabies team like the sides of yesteryear. There is no better indication of this then the Junior Wallabies who were the runners up of the Junior Rugby World Cup 2019, only falling short to France by 1 point after defeating New Zealand, England, Ireland, Italy and Argentina. We all hope these players can break Australia’s 20-year Bledisloe Cup drought.
So, at Inside Feed we thought we would push the boat out, filling the shoes of the Wallabies selectors and pick a Bolter XV, who could triumph over the All Blacks in their backyard and bring the Bledisloe cup back across the Tasman for the first time since 2002.
Wallabies Bolter XV
Allan Alaalatoa (VC) (Brumbies, Test Caps: 37)
Tolu Latu (Stade Français, Test Caps: 15)
Taniela Tupou (Reds, Test Caps: 16)
Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (Reds, Test Caps: 16)
Rory Arnold (Stade Toulousain, Test Caps: 22)
Liam Wright (C) (Reds, Test Caps: 1)
Fraser McReight (Reds, Uncapped)
Harry Wilson (Reds, Uncapped)
Tate McDermott (Reds, Uncapped)
James O’Connor (VC) (Reds, Test Caps: 52)
Filipo Daugunu (Reds, Uncapped)
Matt Toomua (Rebels, Test Caps: 47)
Hunter Paisami ( Reds, Uncapped)
Jordan Petaia (Reds, Test Caps: 2)
Tom Banks (Brumbies, Test Caps: 4)
In a team of 5 debutants with a clear vision for the future. Inspirational Reds Captain Liam Wright has been selected to lead the Wallabies to RWC 2023 and beyond. Brumbies Captain Allan Alaalatoa will bring strength and determination as Vice-Captain upfront. Mercurial Fly-Half James O’Connor will complete a full circle redemption from bad-boy superstar debuting as the second youngest Wallaby ever at the raw age of 18, to mature backline leader.
We have pulled the reins on Rugby Australia’s Giteau Law adaptations allowing two international-based players to join the squad. Taking Tolu Latu away from the croissants of Paris and onto the battlegrounds of New Zealand and selecting Rory Arnold, the tallest Wallaby to ever play, he gives great all-round set-piece nous at a towering 208cm.
The scrum will be bolstered by Super Rugby Au MVP Taniela Tupou (aka Tongan Thor). Tupou punishes anything in his path and will be key to the success of Australian rugby in the future. A young but exciting all Queensland back row has been picked with the former captain of the Junior Wallabies and Australia’s best prospect since David Pocock, Fraser McReight at 7. Then rounding off the forward pack the dynamic Kieran Read-esque ball runner Harry Wilson, a man touted become a Wallabies great.
A star-studded backline of agile Scrum-Half Tate McDermott and wonder-kid Jordan Petaia, a player regarded as the best junior in the world will provide speed and creativity. Supported by the Fijian Flyer Filipo Daugunu and Super Rugby Au final try-scorer Tom Banks at Fullback.
This squad of bolters is genuinely exciting and will provide exhilarating running rugby and passionate performance under Dave Rennie. Putting the fight to the All Blacks for the Bledisloe Cup.
Bring on October 11!