Monday 18 December 2017 / 04:39 AM

WORST WALLABIES XV OF THE MODERN ERA

Our Worst All Blacks XV of the Modern Era feature in April sparked a fair bit of debate, and we’re expecting our line-up of Wallaby duds from the last 20 years will do the same.

  1. Matt Dunning – 45 Tests (2003-09)

Conspiracy theorists believe he was selected as a marketing ploy to get the fat man off the couch. Great come scrum-time but fitness around the park was a big issue. Infamous for his successful 30-metre drop goal for the Waratahs when they needed to score a try to make the playoffs.

  1. Adam Freier – 25 Tests (2002-08)

Built like a brick shithouse, his ability on the field was very similar. Now Head of Digital and Wallabies Media for the ARU.

  1. Guy Shepherdson – 17 Tests (2006-07)

The Brumbies bookend was selected to anchor the scrum at the 2007 World Cup. The Wallabies were steamrolled at scrum-time by England in losing their quarter-final.

  1. Al Kanaar – 1 Test (2005)

Never heard of him? Exactly.

  1. Nathan Sharpe – 116 Tests (2002-12)

Most Aussie fans will want to kill me for putting the long-serving lock in this team, but stats don’t lie. He left the Reds with a 30% winning record to head to the Force (22% winning record) and then the Wallabies (52%). Was it his fault his teams didn’t perform? I’l leave that up to you. Great lineout jumper but he has no business being on the field for anything else apart from being big.

  1. Scott Fardy – 35 Tests (2013-16)

Still getting starts in the current Australian team. Average lineout jumper, average defender, average ball carrier, just an average bloke. The Reuben Thorne of Australian rugby – but at least they haven’t made him captain…yet.

  1. Richard Brown – 23 Tests (2008-10)

Australia generally have pretty good No.7s – and Brown was No.8. But injuries forced him to play out of position on the openside for a Test against the All Blacks. His lack of pilfering ability really hindered his team from getting any turnover ball.

  1. Scott Fava – 5 Tests (2005-06)

The first person to play for all four (at the time) Australian Super Rugby franchises – because no one wanted to keep him. He got relegated to the bench because he failed a club alcohol breath test.

  1. Matt Henjak – 4 Tests (2004-05)

He should have focused on his pass instead of assaulting his teammates and the general public.

  1. Quade Cooper – 59 Tests (2009-16)

Has he had a good game in the gold jersey? Not when it matters. If it’s a big game or the game is on the line, Cooper goes missing. He’s a big reason the Bledisloe has been in NZ for 14 years, and his recall this year sums up the state of Australian rugby.

  1. Cooper Vuna – 2 Tests (2012)

A New Zealand Warriors and Newcastle Knights NRL discard, Vuna joined the Melbourne Rebels in 2011 and received a Wallabies call-up a year later courtesy of the controversial residential rule. The Auckland-born nugget – who hadn’t lived in Australia until the age of 19 – played twice against Wales for the injury-hit Wallabies, before slipping off to Japan.

  1. Anthony Fainga’a – 23 Tests (2010-12)

If I had a $1 for every time he made a line break, I’d have zero dollars.

  1. Morgan Turinui – 20 Tests (2003-05)

Turinui was selected after the 2003 World Cup as a big body to dent the defensive line. Instead of denting it, he knocked the ball on into it.

  1. Rod Davies – 1 Test (2011)

Watch this highlights package of the Wallabies v Samoa from 2011 and tell me I’m wrong.

  1. Sam Norton-Knight – 2 Tests (2007)

The Wallabies have had a string of fine players when it comes to the No.15 jersey so it was hard to find one…until Norton-Knight crossed my mind. Only two caps but a skinny fullback with limited pace. Aerial ping-pong was his game, preventing him from being snapped in half by running the ball. Extra credit for having the most Australian rugby private school name possible, but a point off for being shoved by teammate Lote Tuqiri for being stupid.

[YouTube – antipodean0]

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About the author

Ryan Frisby

Sunshine Coast-based Ryan is proud product of Southland, NZ, and was unsurprisingly brought up on a steady diet of ruby union - which has led him to provide CBS with his forthright views on the 15-a-side code.

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