Jumper still up in the air for Wallabies - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Jumper still up in the air for Wallabies

By Glenn Cullen 21/09/2004 06:18:41 PM Comments (0)

Australian coach Eddie Jones has admitted he still has a selection quandary over the troublesome third lineout jumping role ahead of the Wallabies' Spring tour to Europe.

Jones on Tuesday named a predictable touring party for the four Tests starting November 6, with Queensland utility back Drew Mitchell and NSW backrower Stephen Hoiles the only players amongst the 28 not to have been selected in a Wallaby squad before.

A further seven players will join the squad - which has two Tests against Scotland and one each with France and England - for a midweek `Australia A' match against the French Barbarians on November 16.

While there are up to 35 players at his disposal, the No.6 role still remains up in the air with Jones undecided about going for workrate in the incumbent George Smith or opting for height with a taller but less physical flanker.

"That's still unclear, it will depend on form and fitness," Jones said of the position.

"We recognise that we need to have a third line-out jumper in the side and that's something that we've never gone away from but George is, and has been, our best option at No.6 and we'll just have to re-appraise that as we go along in our preparations."

Jones has been tinkering with his flanker set-up since the 2003 domestic Test series where he instituted the use of two smaller openside players in Smith and Phil Waugh in the lead up to the World Cup.

He seemingly abandoned the idea in favour of a taller forward in Radike Samo at No.6 to start this year's Tests in Australia but reverted to Smith and Waugh by the second match of the Tri Nations against South Africa.

And now he's rethinking the situation again, saying Samo, John Roe and David Lyons would also be in contention for the role.

Hoiles, who has impressed with Randwick in club rugby and with limited time for the Waratahs in the Super 12, could also provide some cover, though Jones primarily sees him at the back of the pack.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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