Rugby World Cup quarterfinal: Australia Line Up and Ratings

Australia line up

A hugely exciting weekend of Rugby World Cup quarterfinal action starts with England v Australia on Saturday morning. The team’s selection, and the Australia line up are critical to the hopes of the national side.

Charlie Inglefield previews the two confirmed line-ups to see who might have the slight advantage.

Australia line up

15. Kurtley Beale
Beale has recovered from being concussed against Georgia to take his place at full-back. At his best, he is one of the great counterattackers but his versatility has perhaps played against him these last few years. His support play and eye for a gap mark him out as a big danger to England’s Rugby World Cup hopes. Beale’s defence and ability under the high ball will be tested by England on Saturday. 7/10

14. Reece Hodge
The Wallabies will be delighted to have Hodge back after his controversial banning against Fiji. Hodge has become indispensable for Australia with a booming boot, an eye for the try line and is a very decent placekicker. He has a similar game to Stirling Mortlock and rarely has a bad outing. Will be desperate to get out there and make his presence known legally to England. 7/10

13. Jordan Petaia
A huge gamble by Michael Cheika in such a crucial Rugby World Cup match. There is no doubting how good this young lad is but with just 13 Super XV matches behind him and England will target him. Cheika has obviously seen something special with him and he is also an unknown to England. Has pace, a step and power similar to that of Israel Folau. England needs to be aware of him. 7/10


12. Samu Kerevi
Kerevi has probably been Australia’s best back in this Rugby World Cup. Like Tuilagi he never fails to get over the gain-line and is blessed with pace and Fijian handling. Australia will look to him to blunt Tuilagi’s influence and to use his 17 stones to good use when attacking England’s defence. Kerevi has a knack of scoring tries from close range or from his own 22. 8/10

11. Marika Koroibete
Koroibete is now one of the first names on the team sheet for the Wallabies. He will be a major running threat alongside Samu Kerevi and can score length of the field tries. England has to close down his time and space otherwise Koroibete will give the Wallabies a great attacking platform. It will be a great match between England’s back three and their Australian counterparts. 8/10

10. Christian Lealiifano
Another big selection gamble by Michael Cheika. Lealiifano struggled against Fiji as they targeted their big runners down his channel. His partnership with Will Genia has only lasted one game in this tournament and many thought that Bernard Foley or Matt Toomua might start. It is great to see him out there given his titanic recovery from leukaemia. 6.5/10

9. Will Genia
On his day Genia is one of the best in the business and he has so much experience playing these big games. Genia has struggled for consistency in the World Cup with some suggesting that Nic White should have started. His battle with Ben Youngs will go a long way in deciding who wins this quarter-final. England’s back row will look to pressure Genia at every opportunity. 7/10

1. Allan Alaalatoa
Alaalatoa is a big part of the Wallabies’ front three revival. England must not assume that they will have the dominant front row in this contest. For all of Australia’s inconsistency since 2015, their scrummaging has improved immeasurably. Alaalatoa is a powerful scrummager who loves to get the ball in his hands. A fascinating contest coming up against Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola. 7/10

2. Tolu Latu
I have loved watching Latu in this World Cup. He is getting better at the basics and is a powerful threat in the loose. Latu was excellent against Wales and carries the ball better than most hookers in world rugby. He will have his work cut out against the experienced Jamie George and England like the Wallabies will look to pressurise Latu’s throwing in at the lineout. 7.5/10

3. Scott Sio
Sio has said that the Wallabies are ready to scrummage for 80 minutes against England, and I won’t be betting against him. He has become an integral part of Australia’s improved forward pack and he will want to put collective pressure on Kyle Sinckler and Mako Vunipola. 7/10

4. Rory Arnold
Despite the scrappy win against Georgia in Australia’s last pool match, Arnold and Rodda made a complete mess of Georgia’s line out. It helps to be 6 foot 8 of course but Australia will target England’s traditionally solid line out. Arnold and Rodda will have to have the game of their’s lives against Maro Itoje and Courtney Lawes. 7/10


5. Izack Rodda
Rodda was excellent against the powerful Georgians in his combination with Arnold. He is also starting to make a big impact in the tackle by knocking blokes backwards. Australia will need him to offer more in the carry to challenge England’s defence and stop their runners making big metres. 7/10

6. David Pocock
Quite simply he is one of the great modern-day back rowers. Blighted by injury for all of his career because of his bravery, Pocock always gets back to his best. He is the master at the breakdown but his all-round game is pretty damn good as well. Just watch his pass out of the tackle to put Dane Haylett-Petty in against Wales. The matchup between England’s young guns, Sam Underhill and Tom Curry against Pocock and Michael Hooper will be thrilling. 9/10

7. Michael Hooper (C)
Hooper rarely has an ordinary game such is his presence around the field. He can score tries, turnover ball, push hard in the tight and his support play is outstanding. A key leader and talisman for Australia and alongside Pocock is a real threat at the breakdown to England. Like Owen Farrell, he can get penalised so has to keep his and his team’s discipline. 9/10

8. Isi Naisarani
A hugely impressive addition to this Wallaby outfit. Naisarani has burst onto the Super XV scene with the Melbourne Rebels this year and has taken to test match rugby with aplomb. He is the rising star of Australian rugby and he will relish the battle against Billy Vunipola. 8/10

Total: 112 (150)


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