Sometimes its a moral dilemma being an Australian.
Before the World Cup I said that I didn’t want Karmichael Hunt, Darius Boyd or Sam Thaiday anywhere near the Australian World Cup Side. This was based on the fact that they had legal problems hanging over their heads and they liked engaging in sexual activities in the same room…..the latter being more of an English thing.
Fast forward a few weeks, and Brett Stewart is ruled out of the World Cup through injury leaving the Australian squad with only one fullback.
My first thought when I heard the news….Karmichael Hunt.
I knew this would happen, it was going to be too perfect for the Australian team to not have any off field issues hanging over it during the World Cup. I knew at some point Karmichael Hunt would find his way into the side….I just hoped it wouldn’t happen.
Still, if I can go from not wanting these idiots in the side, to them being the first replacements I think of when players are injured, what hope of sanity is there for the coach who’s job is on the line when he has to pick his side?
Australia has a ridiculous amount of amazing fullbacks to choose from. In fact our 10th best fullback would be the first player picked in any other side in the world.
The problem is, when you think of rep games, how many of the other fullbacks have what you want?
Size, speed, experience at rep level….
In Australia we have so many great players who have never played State Of Origin or been selected to play for Australia because they don’t fit into the type of player we usually pick in representative teams.
We like big wingers and fullbacks. We like hard workers in the back row and hookers that can play the full 80 minutes week in week out. We like five-eights who can defend like a forward…..its like a list of things we need to have.
Lets face it, its never failed us.
That’s why we’ve selected the likes of Greg Bird at five-eight for Australia in the past, even when its pretty obvious that he isn’t a natural five-eight. Its why centers like Israel Folau and Greg Inglis play on the wings.
Its also why the likes of Preston Campbell have never got a run. Hell, look at the form Billy Slater has had to show over an entire season to put Hunt out of the Queensland Fullback role!
Karmichael Hunt ticks all the boxes us Australian’s like ticked when it comes to a rep player….and that’s why he was the first cab off the rank when Brett Stewart was ruled out.
As Aussies, we know he is what we want. Yes it gives us an uneasy feeling, and yes we wish we could have picked someone else…..but I’m not about to bag the Aussie coach or the selectors for picking the same guy that jumped into my head when I heard Stewart was out.
You can take a moral stand against many things, but for an Australian, when it comes down to it, we want to win. Even if the cost of winning means we have to throw ourselves off the moral high ground.
A well known Rugby League writer, League Freak has established a reputation among supporters of the game for his fearless commentary and unmatched insight. With a reach that spans both sides of the globe, League Freak has produced an independent network that allows him to distribute content to his many thousands of followers. He is the owner and main author of LeagueFreak.com
Apr 22, 2021 0