PNC- Australia A name big guns
Super powers of world rugby and 2 times Rugby World Cup winners Australia have named there A team to create havoc in the Pacific Nations Cup. Phil Mooney is their coach and his rise as an international coach will see an interesting test for him and his boys in the next 5 weeks of gruelling rugby. Phil’s last role was as head coach of the Queensland Reds in the super 14, they got a few hidings in the first 2/3’s of the season, but came red hot in the end nearly toppling finalists the Crusaders & the Waratah’s. His style seems to encourage the offence and he is used to working with young and raw talent, so this season is made for him. In his side will be four Wallabies from the 2007 RWC in France, add in league covert Timana Tahu and loads of super 14 talent including super 14 rookie of the year Tyrone Smith this team is set to hum.
Australia A is Japans first PNC opponent at home, Japan has been at it in the last month winning the Asian Cup, as well as going to the wire against the Past All Blacks. Mr Kirwan has had his hands on the cheery blossoms for long enough to have some genuine moulds coming through in their play, this experience and longevity will be sure to make a difference in results this season. Last year they really pushed some teams in the first 40, however they ran out of petrol in the second half and let wins slip away. The local crowds are loud in Japan and with a bit of luck & massive support this could be the start of a great season.
1. Pek Cowan 2. Sean Hardman 3. Guy Shepherdson 4. Van Humphries 5.Peter Kimlin 6. Mitch Chapman 7. Matt Hodgson 8. Julian Salvi 9. Josh Holmes 10. Ben Lucas 11. Francis Fainifo 12. Timana Tahu 13. Morgan Turinui (c) 14. Matt Carraro 15. Mark Gerrard
16. Tai McIsaac 17. Tai McIsaac 18. Al Campbell 19. Poutasi Luafutu 20. Patrick Phibbs 21. Tyrone Smith 22. Sam Norton-Knight
Starting 15 yet to be named.