June Wallabies squad snubs

by Sam Phillips

Every national squad in every sporting code creates contention.

Michael Cheika's first Wallabies squad of 2017 is no different.

He has picked this squad with an eye to the future but also kept several veterans on board that haven't been in fantastic form in 2017.

There are a handful of players that, without question, can consider themselves unlucky.

But instead of simply highlighting who was unlucky to miss and why, it's important to highlight who each player could have replaced in the squad.

IN: Scott Fardy

OUT: Jack Dempsey

Fardy has been in fine form this year. Photo: Getty ImagesCheika explained his omission of players in Fardy's situation by saying he wanted to provide opportunity for younger talent.

Dempsey fits that mould but Cheika's explanation also came with the caveat that the older player - or player heading overseas at the end of the year - wasn't in the frame to start.

Fardy has made a very strong case to be the starting blindside flanker with the Brumbies this year.

He is still the best player Australia has in that position and provides added breakdown presence, which will be required with the absence of David Pocock.

Dempsey is a talented prospect but he has played 30 minutes of rugby in the last eight weeks - a club cameo with Gordon at the weekend.

IN: Tom English

OUT: Eto Nabuli

English has relished a shift to outside centre, which was somewhat forced through the Rebels' injury crisis.

Both he and Amanaki Mafi have been consistent shining lights through some pretty dark Melbourne performances this year.

The 26-year-old has shown he can cover outside centre as well as wing and would therefore be a suitable outside back to warm the pine if required.Tom English can consider himself unlucky. Photo: Getty ImagesNabuli is still very raw.

He has the finishing talent but also does some stupid things on field - see last week's yellow card against the Force - and struggles with his defensive positioning.

English is a well-rounded option but doesn't have the explosiveness of the Fijian.

The problem Nabuli will face, though, is the number of players in this squad that have a similar skill set.

Marika Koroibete, Sefa Naivalu and Henry Speight all offer the required finishing ability and have shown a propensity to hunt more work infield.

IN: Billy Meakes

OUT: Kyle Godwin

Meakes has been superb for the Force in 2017. Photo: Getty ImagesGodwin has hardly set the world on fire since making the move east.

Cheika explained his rationale behind the selection but Meakes has been in far better form as a staple in the spot Godwin vacated at the Force.

Godwin's selection is an understandable one but Meakes offers the same defensive nous with a better attacking arsenal.

He is a better with ball in hand and can create for others but Godwin does have an edge in the kicking department.