Deans must find room for Tuqiri: Horan - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Deans must find room for Tuqiri: Horan

By Darren Walton 25/06/2009 02:18:53 PM Comments (0)

Former Test selector Tim Horan believes Robbie Deans will be taking a huge risk if he overlooks powerhouse winger Lote Tuqiri for the Wallabies' Tri Nations campaign.

Tuqiri was the only fit member of Deans' 30-man squad not given game time in the June internationals against the Barbarians and Italy and has again been omitted from Saturday night's Test against France in Sydney.

Unless he's bluffing, Deans looks to have shown his hand by picking speedsters Lachie Turner, Drew Mitchell and Peter Hynes on the wings ahead of Tuqiri so far in 2009.

Horan, though, believes Deans would be rolling the dice if he left the 67-Test veteran on the outer for the bigger Tests of the winter - most particularly the Bledisloe Cup clashes with the All Blacks.

"I still believe that Lote should be on the bench somewhere because having a small back three can sometimes hurt you when it's a wet game or a tough game against the All Blacks," Horan said on Thursday.

"When it's pretty close, you need players to get you across the advantage line.

"So I'd like to see Lote there in time. He's too good an asset, especially in those tighter games.

"We saw in the Lions and Springboks match last week that you need bigger players to get across the advantage line and then offload to the quicker players.

"Sometimes in Test matches, that's the only way to get through that defensive line."

Horan acknowledged that being a specialist winger, as opposed to boasting the versatility of a Mitchell or an Adam Ashley-Cooper, was working against Australian rugby's reputed highest-paid player.

"He can only play one position virtually," Horan said.

"Putting him at outside centre in a Test match would be a last resort, but I just think he's obviously suffered for the way NSW have been playing their game plan.

"But certainly he's someone who tries to look for the ball ... it will come for him; he'll play more Test matches, there's no doubt.

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