Banks relishing clash with ‘world class’ Petaia, Scotland’s Finn Russell shock, Louis Lynagh saga drags on

The topic of who’s shaping because the Wallabies No.15 this 12 months has been rumbling on this week, and is bound to be an enormous speaking level once more after Friday evening’s Brumbies vs. Reds conflict in Canberra.

The Brumbies’ Tom Banks has began the season on fireplace and is taken into account favorite to land the function later this season ought to his type maintain by the rest of the marketing campaign.

However Queensland coach Brad Thorn moved Jordie Petaia to the No.15 jersey final week on the Reds and he’ll keep there for the conflict towards the Brumbies.

Banks was filled with reward for his Wallabies teammate and potential rival for a beginning fullback spot when the Australians face England mid 12 months.

The Roar consultants Brett McKay and Harry Jones are joined by the Herald’s Iain Payten to debate the No.15 battle and a lot extra in The Roar Rugby Podcast.

“He’s a world class player,” Banks instructed reporters. “When you watched the sport towards the Drua, he was fairly good. So he’s clearly an enormous risk.

“It’s about trying to take the ball away from him and try to take time and space away from him because we know what he can do. But not much changes in the way we’re trying to play.”

The match between the 2 unbeaten sides may effectively decide the highest positioned Australian crew on the finish of the SRP common season, and Banks mentioned the Brumbies have been additionally aware of the influence James O’Connor can have from No.10.

“O’Connor is a massive threat,” Banks mentioned. “He steers that team really well. If we can do a number on him we will go a long way towards winning the game.”

Banks mentioned the battle of the again threes may show decisive.

“You don’t want to kick them loose balls – they’ve got that really dangerous back three that all counter really well so it’s about being really smart and trying to put them under pressure in the right end of the field,” Banks mentioned. “I’m no doubt they’ll do the same to us but it’s about trying to get on top early.”

The battle of the entrance three must be no much less impactful, and Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has given a begin to Folau Fainga’a at hooker.

“He’s a big body, 115kg in the middle of the scrum there,” mentioned McKellar. “His scrum work’s been actually good, so we’ve picked him for that motive. He was good within the quarter-hour he performed towards the Tahs, actually energetic, his work off the ball was wonderful.

“His primary role this week is making sure we front up at set piece.”

Requested about the specter of Taniela Tuou and the Brumbies struggles within the set piece towards the Reds final season, McKellar acknowledged his crew confronted a problem however felt they have been higher ready to fulfill it.

“Where our scrum is at this year we’re in much better place than where it has been in the past,” he mentioned. “We scrummaged well for big portions of the game last year, it was just the last 20-25 minutes – the game down here we had quite a few injures and they got momentum off the back of it.”

McKellar made 4 adjustments to his crew and the Brumbies depth seems to be to set them aside, particularly because the Reds wrestle with damage considerations.

“James just controls the game really well, Taniela’s building and he’s obviously a threat at scrum time but if we do our jobs well then we should be okay,” mentioned McKellar.

Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa is relishing his alternative to renew the rivalry and tackle a pack containing Tupou – the person he shared minutes with for the Wallabies final 12 months.

“It’s been built over the last couple of years … we’ve got some of the best players going head to head so I think that’s awesome,”  Alaalatoa mentioned.

Allan Alaalatoa of the Brumbies

Allan Alaalatoa. (Picture by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Photos)

“Whenever you get the prospect to consider it it nonetheless hurts somewhat bit (the Tremendous Rugby AU closing loss).

“We’ve got to nail our detail, channel that emotion and make sure we’re 100 per cent clear on what we’re going to do.”

He mentioned Tupou was the Reds’ “powerhouse – somebody that when he desires to show it on, can actually put stress on.

“They’ll probably look to Nella to drive them so we need to do everything we can to stop him and guys like Harry Wilson and Jordy Petaia, just to name a few.”

Finn Russell dropped by Scotland for Eire conflict

Lions flyhalf Finn Russell hasn’t had probably the most commanding Six Nations to this point however it’s nonetheless a shock to see him as one in every of two gamers dropped for the ultimate recreation towards Eire.

Coach Gregor Townsend referred to as up the comparatively inexperienced Blair Kinghorn.

Requested what Russell has accomplished to advantage being dropped, Townsend instructed reporters: “I’d desire to give attention to what Blair has accomplished and the way effectively he’s performed and the way he’s deserved his alternative, which he actually has along with his performances all through the season.

“We see this as a chance for Blair. He’s been in actually good type. He wasn’t accessible for our match (in Rome) final week (resulting from private causes) however the week earlier than that he performed his finest recreation of the season towards Connacht.

“He’s come on twice off the bench and shown what he can do in that (Scotland number 10) jersey. He started (at stand-off) against Tonga and played really well and he’s built on that performance so we believe this is the right time, the right game for him to play in.”

Requested how Russell had reacted, Townsend mentioned: “OK, yeah, fine. Like any conversation when you give someone news that they’re not starting, they’re initially disappointed but they support the team. Finn will support Blair, as he has done this week.”

Louis Lynagh saga rolls on

Louis Lynagh must wait to comply with within the Take a look at match footsteps of his dad Michael after being missed but once more for his England rugby debut by coach Eddie Jones.

Lynagh, 21-year-old son of the previous Wallabies nice, who has been in and round Jones’ arrange for the previous six months made the reduce for England’s 28-man squad for the primary time earlier than Saturday’s match towards France in Paris, resulting in hopes he would get a primary cap.

.As a substitute, Jones sprang a distinct shock in his bid to cease France profitable the Grand Slam, shifting fullback Freddie Steward to the wing and pushing George Furbank into the No.15 shirt.

After Max Malins was dropped from the squad, Lynagh appeared to be in with a critical likelihood of carrying the quantity 14 jersey however Jones says that, even with the tactical shift, he’s picked what he believes is England’s strongest 23.

That leaves Lynagh nonetheless free to play for 3 nations – Australia, Italy and England, though the Poms are clear favourites and he ought to get a nod for the mid 12 months tour down underneath.

In the meantime Charlie Ewels, who was despatched off simply 82 seconds into the loss towards Eire has been suspended for 3 matches.

Damian Penaud has been introduced again to play on the suitable wing for France of their bid to seal their first Slam since 2010.

Penaud missed the 13-9 spherical 4 victory over Wales after testing optimistic for COVID-19 however he’s recovered to take the place of Yoram Moefana in the one change to the beginning XV for Saturday’s match.

France’s crew choice has proven outstanding continuity all through the Six Nations as 11 gamers have began all 5 matches, with all however one of many adjustments made within the match being compelled by COVID.

Mack assault again

Canberra’s Mack Hansen has been restored to Eire’s crew to play Scotland.

The year-old former Brumbies winger was man of the match towards Wales and scored an eye catching strive towards France earlier than being dropped for the win over England.

Not sufficient Chiefs

The Chiefs can be and not using a host of their prime gamers for Saturday evening’s Tremendous Rugby Pacific match towards Moana Pasifika in Auckland, with lots of their first-choice squad unavailable.

The facet can be with out All Blacks Sam Cane, Luke Jacobson, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Anton Lienert-Brown, Angus Ta’avao and Josh Lord for the match, with 17 gamers unavailable for choice.

Former Wallaby Christian Leali’ifano will make his first run-on begin for Moana Pasifika.

Flyhalf Leali’ifano, who performed 26Tests for the Wallabies between 2013 and 2019, and scrumhalf Jonathan Taumateine will type a contemporary inside again mixture. because the crew goes into time administration mode with three make up video games on the horizon.

(With AAP)

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