Australia Sticks with Rugby World Cup Plan to Involve Players
The 2019 Rugby World Cup loss by the Wallabies to Wales apparently did not change coach Michael Cheika’s strategy for the next match with Uruguay.
It is expected that the Wallabies will rest key men and roll those yet to get playing time into starting roles.
According to prop Scott Sio, it is expected that the selectors will stick to the plan that was devised ahead of the tournament to maintain the tradition of getting everyone on the squad some World Cup opportunities.
Asked if he thought the selectors would do something drastic in the wake of the loss to Wales, Sio said, “I don’t think so. I think ‘Cheik’ and them have been very steady in their plan. I think it’s more about that squad mentality, making sure everyone’s ready to play.”
At the 2015 Rugby World Cup, Cheika switched out 14 of his 15 starters for the game with Uruguay. The strategy resulted in a 65 – 3 win for Australia.
More will be known when the official selections are announced for Saturday’s game in Oita.
Uruguay are currently ranked 18th in the world to Australia’s 6th, so while on the surface it might appear that Cheika is taking Uruguay lightly, that would be foolish and the recent win by Samoa in Pool A play supplies the evidence.
Early indications are that Matt Toomua, because of his versatility, will play five-eighth. He is showing nicely in two appearances off the bench and he could benefit from a good outing to raise his claim for a regular berth.
The ban to Reece Hodge has left Australia stretched at the outside backs position. That could mean that Dane Haylett-Perry will get another start, especially after his goo performance against Wales.
The back row many remain unchanged, as Cheika has only five players available from which to pick.