Should England Copy Wallaby Blueprint?

Australia despite being in limbo at the moment still have one extremely powerful weapon in there slowly decreasing arsenal. That is the back row double act of Michael Hooper and David Pocock.

Having two specialist openside flankers allows you a certain dominance at the breakdown. Both Pocock and Hooper are very good on the floor.

After years of having searched for a high quality, top class seven two have come along at once for England, Tom Curry and Sam Underhill.

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Credit: Instagram (@thomascurry_7)

Now in the back row it is fair to say that Billy Vunipola is almost certain to start at number eight for England in the World Cup the starting berth on the blindside is by no means nailed down which could open the door for England to copy the Australian model.

Using both expert pilferer Tom Curry and physical defender Sam Underhill could help lift England’s game to the next level and provide England’s backs with even quicker ball and possibly more chance and when you have the finishing ability of Henry Slade and Jonny May in your team the tries will come.

Tom Curry was England’s best player in the Six Nations. He offered himself up to carry, defended extremely well and was a nuisance at the breakdown, in essence he did the basics of being an openside flanker extremely well. At just 21 years of age the younger of the Curry twins (only be 90 minutes) has the potential to get even better and challenge the very best the game has to offer.

One performance thats sums up what Sam Underhill is all about is the excellent display he put on against New Zealand. Not only was his physical defence on full display, his breakdown expertise was put to good use and he turned Hurricanes star Beauden Barrett inside out (word has it Barrett is still searching for Underhill).

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Credit: Instagram (@samunderhill)

Coupling the insatiable appetite for turnovers of Tom Curry and the physical dominance of Sam Underhill could cause the very best back rows (Australia amongst them) some serious problems.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Australia Are Genuine Contenders

Australia managed just four wins last year as well as suffering a humiliating defeat to Argentina on the Gold Coast, England thrashing them at Twickenham and Ireland claiming a history making 2-1 series win. They only won one game in November and that was against a very underpowered Italy in Padua.

If that wasn’t bad enough the media storm created by Israel Folau and his contract being revoked following homophobic comments will not have made life any easier for head coach Michael Cheika.

Despite all this Australia are still definitely capable of winning the World Cup.

One significant advantage are their pool opponents, now Georgia, Fiji and Uruguay should not pose a real threat to Australia and despite the abilities of these teams the biggest threat Australia will face is Wales.

Now Wales are in good form, 14 wins on the bounce including Ireland, England, South Africa and Australia but the last time Wales beat Australia away from home was way back in 1987 at the very first World Cup.

Now looking at Wales away form recently they aren’t quite the same team on the road, Wales struggled against France and Italy in the Six Nations, both times escaping by the skin of their teeth. Australia will fancy their chances there.

Australia will also have the chance to unleash arguably the best half back combination of recent Australian history in Will Genia and Quade Cooper both of whom have been in excellent form for the Melbourne Rebels.

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By http://www.davidmolloyphotography.com from Sydney, Australia – 2017.06.24.15.28.29-Quade Cooper, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60479171

Australia are so much better when Genia is playing, his speed from the base and tactical play is better than any other Australian scrum-half. Cooper is a genius, he attacks well and has a good mix to his play with clever kicks, an elusive turn of pace and an outrageous step. His game has also developed to incorporate him in link plays.

This half back mix could cause any team problems, that is Cooper can get his head in the right place and work hard.

One of the most celebrated part of Australia’s current team is the back row and that devilish mixture of Michael Hooper and David Pocock. Both world class openside operators deployed together to not just dominate but monopolise control of the breakdown.

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By http://www.davidmolloyphotography.com from Sydney, Australia – 2017.06.17.15.31.45-Michael Hooper run-0003, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60432829

The breakdown will be a key area at the World Cup no matter what team you play. If Australia get quick ball there will be hell to pay for the opposition Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks and Jordan Petaia are dangerous players and getting the ball in space crafted by a creative Wallabies midfield is what these players dream of.

If Australia can top their pool there is every chance they can win the World Cup. Dark horse is not the traditional Australian tag but one they will definitely be happy with after the horror show of 2018.

World XV: Part One

We at Rugby360 are passionate about rugby. Here is our Dream Team. Think you could do better, let us know in the comments.

1 Cian Healy (Ireland)

The Ireland prop was resurgent last season. At 31 he is in his prime for a prop, expect him to wrestle with Leinster teammate Jack McGrath for the starting berth in the green of Ireland. A monster in the scrum.

2 Malcolm Marx (South Africa)

The most dynamic hooker in world rugby. This season he has also improved his set piece game one hundred times over. One to watch this autumn.

3 Tadhg Furlong (Ireland)

Massive for the Lions and he is continuing to improve. Furlong is redefining the role of a tighthead prop. Nobody can match the Irish prop for all round ability.

4 Brodie Retallick (New Zealand)

This man could probably play lock, flanker, centre or out on the wing. He’s quick, powerful, dominant in the lineout. The best second row in the world, a formidable partner to Sam Whitelock.

5 Maro Itoje (England)

Too good to leave out. He was a bit lacklustre for England last term but in his early season games for Saracens he certainly looks to have his swagger back. A future England captain in the making.

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By Clément Bucco-Lechat – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=46847620

6 Peter O’Mahony (Ireland)

Hugely influential for both his province and country. O’Mahony is great on the floor almost like a second openside but works so hard in the loose too. A real leader.

7 David Pocock (Australia)

The greatest openside in the game. Unrivalled at the breakdown, the turnover king. Pocock has all the attributes needed to be one of the best opensides of all time. Not as quick as Hooper, Todd or Kolisi but so much better in every other department.

8 Kieran Read (New Zealand)

Lucky that Billy Vunipola has had his share of injuries. Read is the quintessential All Black. Gives his all on the field, never settles for second best, a testament to the longevity of the All Blacks and an asset to any team.

There are our forwards picks! Stay tuned for our backs tomorrow!