Deans hails Sharpe and Wallabies back row

By Adrian Warren, NZ Newswire Updated August 7, 2012, 5:11 pm

Robbie Deans says his squad for the inaugural Rugby Championship includes an injection of players in positions in which Australia has historically lacked depth and has hailed the form of veteran lock Nathan Sharpe.

The 30-man squad for the four-nation championship starting later this month included uncapped back-rowers Liam Gill and Jake Schatz of Queensland and Waratahs lock Kane Douglas.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans said a lot of the squad resolved itself due to injuries.

Australian under-20 captain Gill and fellow openside flanker Michael Hooper, who earned three caps in the June Tests, will give Deans the luxury of providing quality backup to Wallabies captain and starting No.7 David Pocock.

"There's an injection of players in areas where we historically haven't had a lot of depth, openside being an obvious one which is great for those two blokes (Gill and Hooper)," Deans said on Tuesday.

"Michael Hooper has had a taste and introduction and Liam fulfilled his obligations to the (Australian) under-20s before we involved him in this instance.

"It's good to have those two points of enthusiasm added to the group.

"Schatzy obviously gets rewarded for his efforts through Super Rugby, where he's been very consistent and he's grown rapidly."

Deans said Douglas earned a spot ahead of Rebels rookie and former rower Cadeyrn Neville on the basis of his greater set-piece experience.

Douglas joins a second-row contingent including 105-Test veteran Sharpe, who postponed his retirement to help the Wallabies, following the long-term injury to fellow lock and first-choice captain James Horwill.

"Sharpey is probably playing the best rugby of his career, to be honest," Deans said.

"It becomes very clear when the end looms and he's enjoying his rugby."

Wallabies squad:

Ben Alexander, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Berrick Barnes, Kurtley Beale, Quade Cooper, Dave Dennis, Kane Douglas, Anthony Faingaa, Saia Faingaa, Will Genia, Liam Gill, Mike Harris, Scott Higginbotham, Michael Hooper, Rob Horne, Digby Ioane, Sekope Kepu, Drew Mitchell, Stephen Moore, Nick Phipps, David Pocock (capt), Tatafu Polota-Nau, Benn Robinson, Radike Samo, Jake Schatz, Nathan Sharpe, Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Sitaleki Timani, Nic White.

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9 Comments

  1. il Duce07:47pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Stu-pid Wharfie spouting it's usual dribble..shifting the goalposts to suit its jaundiced view of the world. Before the semis it was " no Deans, no super title for NZ" Now we have the title with the Chiefs..its tune has become " no Deans , no title for the Crusaders" What a sad depressed wee thing.

    Reply
  2. 05:38pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yea DD talks one thing show me the money!! So far its AB's all the way V Boks, Wallabies and Pumas, now that its 4 look at how a fern beats all those animals, wow mother nature is potent hey?

    Reply
  3. Lisa05:30pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    I don't see Aussie with many titles either stu-pid :)

    Reply
  4. Stu04:55pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Crusaders: Titleless without Deans and it will remain this way if the persist with old grey top!

    Reply
  5. il Duce04:53pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Deans hails Sharpe??? .....should be Deans hails Mary!!!

    Reply
  6. il Duce04:47pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    ..so he's got.... "two points of enthusiasm added to the group"...W.T.F????

    Reply
  7. Dastardly Dave04:39pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Hey ROMMEL Robbies 50 percent win loss ratio makes him the WOMAN not the man you drongo!!

    2 Replies
  8. ROMMEL03:55pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Robbie is the man ,not only is he the man but he's a canterbury man,not only that he's a north canterbury man ,not only that he's a glenmark man ,which makes him pure world class rugby quality ,which as i've said makes him THE MAN ,,,,,ja

    Reply
  9. Warwick03:38pm Tuesday 07th August 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Yes Rob, the only problem they may have is you.

    Reply

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