With the current international season getting underway, we have a look at which Western Force players could make the Wallabies within the next few seasons.
Adam Coleman - When a World Cup winning Wallabies coach compares you to the great John Welborn, you know you're doing something right. Dwyer said Coleman has the same qualities as Welborn who Dwyer is famous for picking out of obscurity in 1990. Dwyer said "when I saw Coleman I thought he could fit in for sure... he's an eager beaver, he wants to work," (the Mercury).
Dwyer is right, Coleman is definitely showing the hard working qualities of a future World Cup winning squad member. When the 2019 World Cup comes around Coleman will be at the peak of his athletic career at the age of 27.
Coleman is a physical presence on attack and over the last three games he has averaged four metres per carry. He is also a very effective tackler, not having missed a tackle in a recent match.
We should look to see Coleman as a member of the squad within two years, and definitely as a starting experienced lock in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Angus Cottrell - Although Cottrell broke his leg against the Crusaders, this will definitely not stop him from performing at an international level in the future. It is almost just as well Cottrell didn't get selected for this years Wallabies squad, as it would have hurt him a lot more to lose that opportunity, as well as the rest of his season at the Force.
Western Force coach Michael Foley said he is confident Cottrell will bounce back from his broken leg injury and become a future Wallaby (SMH 2014).
Cottrell has rugby in his bloodline, with his father representing Queensland and his grandfather Nev Cottrell captaining the Wallabies for two tests in the 50's.
The current Wallabies back row is probably the position with the most depth in the entire squad. You can not fault the Wallabies selection at flanker with Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy and Matt Hodgson as the three. At 32 years old, this may be Matt Hodgsons last season as a Wallaby, being the oldest man in the squad. This should make room for someone like Cottrell within the next few seasons.
Sam Wykes - At the age of 26, Wykes is not short of international experience having played for Australia in two IRB Junior World Championships. In 2005 he was selected as the captain of the schoolboys squad that traveled to UK, defeating both England and Ireland's u19s squads.
Wykes is a true master of the line-out and is physical and skillful in general play. He is consistent as a running option, and over the last three games he has made at least 30 running metres. On the defensive end, Wykes is solid in his tackle making ability. Against the Stormers he made 15 tackles despite the brutal loss and his missed tackle ratio is very low, making 92% of his tackles of the last three games.
Many Force fans expected to see Wykes in this years Wallabies squad, but it wasn't the case. The lock position is probably the biggest question mark on the Wallabies side at the moment, with three of the five locks not having a test cap when they were selected. It is position that could be chopped and changed quite a bit before the 2015 world cup.
Wykes is committed to the Force for until the end of the 2015 season, so he will be able to focus on playing some strong rugby and make the international selectors aware of his form. We could expect to see Wykes in the Wallabies squad within the next two years as an experienced lock.
Coming soon... Look to see Western Force hooker Nathan Charles coming off the bench for his first Wallaby cap this weekend against France. Charles will be backing up Tatafu Polota-Nau after the devastating Stephen Moore injury. News on Moore's injury will be published on the Wild West within the coming days.
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Article by Luke Worthington