Saturday 13 April 2013

NRL 2013: Picking the Australian and New Zealand Teams for the Canberra Test #AusvNZ

Picking the Likely Australian and New Zealand Teams for Canberra Test

2013 NRL Premiership

By W D Nicolson - April 13, 2013


Everyone might be talking Origin... but Tests MATTER.

Traditionally here on people LOVE team prediction pieces.

So with a Test Match coming up next Friday night in Canberra (which HAS to sell out Canberrans you hear?), here is our best guess at the two teams picked for the only Test in-season for 2013.

The Round 6 Tipping Preview is here with PLENTY of Latest of Late Mail.
TEST MATCH MAIL - ANZAC Test in Canberra

So who gets the call on Sunday night for the Friday Night Test in Canberra?

Let's take a look...

The availability of Justin Hodges, Sam Thaiday and Kurt Gidley probably means there is probably no room for Tony Williams, Robbie Farah or Josh Morris who were part of the squad in the Townsville Test.

Aaron Woods is the likely bolter, meaning Hoffman probably is the last casualty as Australia go for two props on the bench, with Greg Bird as the backrower. There's a chance Paul Gallen could start at prop and James Tamou shifting to the bench, allowing Bird to start.

The glut of available backrowers if Woods is picked, might see Luke Lewis and Anthony Watmough miss out entirely, while Jarryd Hayne is the only real threat to Brett Morris on the wing. There is talk Matt Gillett could be a bolter but it is hard to see him forcing his way in.

Under most pressure is David Shillington but he's not going that badly that the ARL would leave him out as the only genuine contender from the home town Raiders (though Josh Papalii would be a sensational PR move and he would do a fine job). EDIT: Shillington hurt early in Canberra-Warriors, you would think he's unlikely to be fit now.

Other contenders: Ashley Harrison, Ben Hannant, Trent Merrin, Daly Cherry-Evans, Michael Jennings, Akuila Uate, Josh Papalii, Andrew Fifita and Michael Gordon.

  1. Billy SLATER
  2. Darius BOYD
  3. Greg INGLIS
  4. Justin HODGES
  5. Brett MORRIS
  6. Johnathan THURSTON
  7. Cooper CRONK
  8. Matthew SCOTT
  9. Cameron SMITH (c)
  10. James TAMOU
  11. Greg BIRD
  12. Sam THAIDAY
  13. Paul GALLEN
  14. Kurt GIDLEY
  15. Luke LEWIS
  16. Nate MYLES
  17. Anthony WATMOUGH
  18. Josh MORRIS
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Voting Allocation for Round 6 of the NRL is here.

The Kiwi lineup won't feature Benji Marshall, Gerard Beale, Krisnan Inu, Sam Kasiano and Elijah Taylor due to injury, after those five players were part of the Test team last November. Sam Perrett, Frank Pritchard  Dean Whare and Kevin Proctor were part of that squad but appear to be out of contention here - though Perrett and Whare are probably next in line behind the players below. Most of this list was sourced from

Giving Konrad Hurrell a chance at Test level would be a gutsy move by the Kiwis - but they don't seem to make enough of these when it comes to one-off Tests - when a roll of the dice is usually worth the gamble. The other option is to move Mannering to the centres to accommodate another backrower - but if they pick Alex Glenn there anyway - that's backrower overkill and fairly negative when it comes to the ability to score points.

Oh yeah, and Sonny Bill Williams looks in decent form so I'd suggest they should pick him. EDIT: OR NOT - He's withdrawn with a knee injury.

Other contenders: Jason Taumalolo, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Kevin Locke, Thomas Leuluai, Sam Rapira, Russell Packer, Tohu Harris, Justin Horo, Bronson Harrison and FuiFui MoiMoi. Though there is some speculation over whether or not the above players will pledge their allegiance to New Zealand or another Pacific team given this is a World Cup year.

New Zealand named a 19 man squad:
Jesse Bromwich, Kieran Foran, Alex Glenn, Tohu Harris, Josh Hoffman, Shaun Johnson, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, Issac Luke, Simon Mannering (c), Ben Matulino, Sam McKendry, Jason Nightingale, Sam Perrett, Frank Pritchard, Kevin Proctor, Elijah Taylor, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, Dean Whare.

  1. Josh HOFFMAN
  2. Sam PERRETT
  4. Dean WHARE
  6. Kieran FORAN
  7. Shaun JOHNSON
  8. Jesse BROMWICH
  9. Issac LUKE
  11. Frank PRITCHARD
  12. Kevin PROCTOR
  13. Simon MANNERING (c)
  14. Elijah TAYLOR
  15. Sam McKENDRY
  16. Ben MATULINO
  17. Alex GLENN
  18. Tohu HARRIS

Update: Hurrell and Vatuvei miss out (though both are listed as injured on club site) and some combination of Kenny-Dowall/Perrett/Whare/Tuivasa-Sheck/Nightingale/Hoffman will be the fullback/threequarter line. Jeremy Smith was picked, but is facing suspension, so Tohu Harris replaces him in the squad.

Adam Blair is the biggest name casualty, closely followed by Greg Eastwood (who may be injured).

  1. Josh HOFFMAN
  2. Manu VATUVEI
  3. Konrad HURRELL
  4. Alex GLENN
  6. Kieran FORAN
  7. Shaun JOHNSON
  9. Issac LUKE
  10. Jesse BROMWICH
  11. Adam BLAIR
  12. Simon MANNERING (c)
  13. Jeremy SMITH
  14. Ben MATULINO
  15. Lewis BROWN
  16. Sam McKENDRY
  17. Greg EASTWOOD
  18. Thomas LEULUAI will have our NSW and QLD teams next week.
 Who are your bolters for next Friday's Test Match in Canberra?
The NRL Injury List is updated regularly during each week of the season, making it an invaluable Fantasy and Tipping Tool alongside our Weekly NRL Previews once again.

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If we are missing any players on this list - please comment below, reply on Twitter or email this address.
Who will take Ben Barba's mantle as champion in the 2013 @NRLTweet Player of the Year Awards?

The Prestigious Award returns for a 4th season in 2013.

@NRLTweet Player of the Year Award Voters:
Warrick Nicolson @NRLTweet | Nigel Wilbow @parramatters
Justin Davies @dragonpunk12 | Greg Delaney @gregdelaney84
Matt Spillane @devonhead | Matt Trodden @trods2906
Matt Vickers @mercurialmattyv | Ben Hoese @gunnermcdagget
Adrian McMurray @adrmcm | Matthew Duncan @mrpeninsula
Maria Tsialis @mtsialis | Ben Jones @benwah87

Review all of the voting results from 2012 right here

Remember you can track all the votes each week after each match in 2013 via the Twitter hashtag #nrltweetpoty