Three Eye Catching Australian Players in Early Weeks of Super Rugby Season

FOLAU FAINGA’A” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by NAPARAZZI

Dave Rennie’s first game as Wallabies national coach isn’t scheduled to take place until July 4 when Ireland come on tour Down Under, but he has to build Australia up from a low ebb.

They are outside the top six in the current rugby union world rankings, a distant third-best of Tier 1 Southern Hemisphere nations behind World Cup winners South Africa and neighbours New Zealand.

Although the mighty All Blacks face a new era following on from legendary coach Steve Hansen leaving his post, the greater focus is on Australia. The Wallabies have work to do to restore national pride after being blitzed by England in the World Cup quarter-finals out in Japan.

With that in mind, this is a look at some of the Australian players who may be catching Rennie’s eye in the early weeks of the Super Rugby season.

Folau Fainga’a

Scoring tries isn’t required of a hooker really, but Brumbies front row Folau Fainga’a has taken the lead in this department in the campaign to date. He crossed five times in the early matches of the season, putting the backs to shame.

Brumbies look the clear best of the Australian franchises in Super Rugby so far this term. Fainga’a was at the World Cup under Rennie’s predecessor Michael Cheika, but only played twice for the Wallabies there.

He wasn’t in the squad for their defeats by Wales and England at the tournament, so remains untainted by those losses. After grabbing headlines with his Super Rugby exploits, it would be no surprise to Fainga’a get a chance to stake his claim for Australia’s number 2 jersey.

Although Brumbies have started the Australian Conference really well, they remain 25/1 outsiders to top the Super Rugby standings at the end of the regular season and 20/1 to win the Grand Final in the latest rugby union betting on this competition with bet365.

Tate McDermott

 

The Wallabies are without Will Genia at scrum half going forward. He has been a fine servant in the half back berth for Australia, but after over 100 caps it’s time for fresh blood.

Tate McDermott of Queensland Reds could be the answer. He’s scored four Super Rugby tries and played Sevens at international level for Australia before. Aged just 21, McDermott would be a newcomer to the Wallabies setup but is precisely the kind of young talent Rennie needs to be looking at for his new-look national side. If he continues to score tries and be effective at number nine, then he has every chance of getting a shot with Australia.

Harry Wilson

 

McDermott’s Reds teammate Harry Wilson is also looking very handy in the back row. The flanker isn’t far behind Fiji born Isi Naisarani, who is already in the Wallabies international fold, in terms of carries made in Super Rugby.

If there is one area in which Australia still have strength-in-depth going into Rennie’s tenure, then it looks to be at the breakdown. Wilson is just 20 and has plenty of development still to come.

David Pocock has retired from Wallabies duties following the World Cup, but Michael Hooper still brings a wealth of experience. Just having young Wilson in Rennie’s first squad could help further his rugby education.

 

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