Hertford Highlander

Deans gives Elsom the boot – RWC Wallabies named

Written by Gwyn Pratley (Hertford Highlander)

Posted in :Original Content, RWC 2011, Wallabies on 18 Aug 2011 at 06:47
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Give it a boot Robbie, give it a boot, when the heat’s on Robbie’s got his boots on, – boot it Robbie’!

Watching and listening to rugby during the early eighties, that was the chorus to the infamous Ranfurly Shield song that blasted out on Saturday morning radio across the country as Robbie Deans and his fellow Cantabrians set about defending the coveted Log o’ Wood.

Since those early days of Robbie teaming up with his brother ‘Diesel’ in that great Canterbury Shield side, I have always been a fan of Robbie Deans, and probably always will be.

Watching him produce quality performances in the amateur era as a player, then through to a mightily successful Super career as a coach and now onto the international stage, Deans continues to be at the forefront of his profession.

One quality that has always trademarked Deans as a coach is his willingness to challenge his players and be able to make the tough decisions.

One of the toughest things a coach need to be is a – selector.

Especially when you work as a coach day in and day out with the players with which you are charged responsibility of.

Deans again seems with the naming of his 30 man Rugby World Cup squad to have made those tough calls. Gone are Matt Giteau who not long ago was called the ‘Million Dollar Man’ in Perth due to the size of his pay cheque – the same Matt Giteau that guided round a lethal Aussie back division with aplomb only last season.

Add to that the sacking of Rocky Elsom as captain for the youthful James Horwill and you get an idea of the magnitude of the calls Deans is prepared to make.

Like it or not Australia are simmering away nicely in the build-up to the big event.

A few other coaches of note, could well take a few lessons from Dean’s when it comes to making the tough calls (on RWC selection) – before it’s too late.

Wallabies’ 30-man World Cup squad:

Backs – Kurtley Beale, James O’Connor, Drew Mitchell, Digby Ioane, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Rob Horne, Pat McCabe, Anthony Faingaa, Berrick Barnes, Quade Cooper, Nick Phipps, Luke Burgess, Will Genia.

Forwards – Ben McCalman, Radike Samo, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Rocky Elsom, Scott Higginbotham, James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons, Nathan Sharpe, Dan Vickerman, Ben Alexander, Sekope Kepu, James Slipper, Salesi Ma’afu, Stephen Moore, Saia Faingaa, Tatafu Polota-Nau.

Like the song say’s Robbie has given a few players the proverbial boot. Others will be well aware of this trait and are sure to be on their mettle over the next two months in order to avoid Robbie lacing up his size 10’s again during rugby’s showcase tournament.


  • Good (and easy) call on leaving Giteau out, he was a divisive players at the Brumbies and would probably be the same at the Walabies. he got way to big for his boots.

    Leaving Elsom out must have been an extremely difficult call.

  • Comment 1, posted at 18.08.11 07:17:58 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Two big calls. Giteau was for a long time by far the biggest danger in the Aussie backline: making most of their breaks and kicking their points.

    Elsom has also long been regarded as their spark in the pack, and there was a lot of interest in not losing him, despite the sojourn up North.

    Deans is a top coach, and these are probably the right calls. I’m not sure any SA coach has the balls to make calls like that – if PdV does, then don’t expect to see CJ and Frans in the squad.

  • Comment 2, posted at 18.08.11 07:24:03 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • Interesting

  • Comment 3, posted at 18.08.11 07:26:12 by Mutley Reply
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 1) :

    Elsom still in the Squad.

    @Big Fish (Comment 2) :

    Will be interesting to see the mix of the Bok and AB squads! 😎

  • Comment 4, posted at 18.08.11 07:26:29 by Hertford Highlander Reply
    Competition WinnerCompetition WinnerCompetition Winner Author
    Hertford Highlander
  • @Hertford Highlander (Comment 4) : Ah okay.

  • Comment 5, posted at 18.08.11 07:44:56 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • Terrible call leaving Matt Giteau out.

  • Comment 6, posted at 18.08.11 08:11:50 by Rooiwillie Reply

  • @Rooiwillie (Comment 6) : Would you have such a dividing force in your team?

    Players who think they are bigger than the game have no place in the game.

  • Comment 7, posted at 18.08.11 08:15:25 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©
  • I see Matt Giteau’s sister plays in the Australian national womens side. Nothing to do with the subject in hand i know….

  • Comment 8, posted at 18.08.11 08:33:11 by Caratacus Reply

  • Wow!!! Brave move from Deans. Only time will tell what effect this will have. 🙄

  • Comment 9, posted at 18.08.11 09:05:15 by Viking Reply
  • Its Teichman all over again. Only with the aussies this time… Why rock the boat so close to the world cup?

  • Comment 10, posted at 18.08.11 09:09:46 by Rahul Reply

  • Not historical and sentimental, but rather the ability to lead right here, right now… I like it… Well played Deans

  • Comment 11, posted at 18.08.11 09:31:53 by DarkDestroyer Reply

  • Its not that hard a call he made- Giteau has been garbage all year and unlike the Bok selections there is no need for the coach to select on sentiment or political interferance. As for Elsom, he was the Aussies best last Sat and I think its a case of Deans wanting him to concentrate on his own game without the captaincy issues. Only weakness of the Aussies is their tight 5…other than that they look good!

  • Comment 12, posted at 18.08.11 12:28:05 by SheldonK Reply


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