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NSW Waratahs captain Dave Dennis 'disappointed' to miss out on Wallabies selection against France

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Waratahs title credentials on the line

The Waratahs have a big chance of winning the competition if they can beat the defending champs, the Chiefs in New Zealand.

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Waratahs captain Dave Dennis was disappointed to miss out on Wallabies selection for the upcoming series against France but is comfortable with the decision. 

Dennis narrowly missed out on a call-up after coach Ewen McKenzie chose to name five second-rowers, three of whom are uncapped, and six back-rowers in his 32-man squad last week.

The versatile NSW back-rower, who plays at No.6 and No.8 for the Waratahs and calls their lineouts, has been a regular in a gold jersey after his debut against Scotland in 2012, playing 18 Tests primarily at blindside breakaway. He missed out on a call-up for the British and Irish Lions series under Robbie Deans last year and was not selected in McKenzie's first Wallabies squad when he took over in August. 

"I still have ambitions to play in the gold jersey in the World Cup next year": Dave Dennis.

"I still have ambitions to play in the gold jersey in the World Cup next year": Dave Dennis. Photo: Anthony Johnson

But Dennis played four Tests after starting on the bench on the side's end of year tour of Europe and was used to market the new Wallabies jersey shortly before McKenzie named a side without him.

"Any time you miss out it's disappointing but I had a good chat with Ewen and I know where I'm at with my game and what he wants from me," Dennis said. "I understand what he's trying to do with the make-up of the squad and blooding some new locks. It's 12 months out from a World Cup, you need to give guys some opportunities, so I'm comfortable with that decision that he made."

The Waratahs flew to New Zealand on Thursday night before their clash with two-time Super Rugby champions the Chiefs in New Plymouth. Dennis said he still had ambitions to make it into the Wallabies squad before next year's World Cup.

"I still have ambitions to play in the gold jersey in the World Cup next year, so I just have to keep working hard. I've always been a glass-half-full kind of guy so I'm looking at the positives," he said. "I'm just lucky I get an opportunity to stay here and lead the boys and be in the hunt for the finals with the Waratahs."

Dennis will go head to head with All Blacks breakaway Liam Messam, who moves back to No.6 as one of eight changes coach Dave Rennie made after the side's dismal loss to the Hurricanes.

"With [former captain Craig Clarke] not playing, Messam has a big role in that forward pack in terms of controlling what they do," Dennis said. "We know we're going to have to be patient in attack. No disrespect to the Rebels, but the Chiefs will challenge us for the full 80 minutes. It's going to be a high-pressure match and it will be the team who can play with a lot of energy and stick to their game for the whole length of it that [wins].

"We've proven we can do that but probably still haven't proved we can do it consistently for the whole match. We're still chasing that as a team."

9 comments so far

  • Don't know why Dennis was even a consideration quite frankly. He seems to be the invisible man in the games I have seen, only appearing at the interviews before and after the game.

    Tommy gun
    Date and time
    May 29, 2014, 11:32PM
    • You couldn't have seen any games then.

      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 1:30PM
  • I'm always disappointed when the teams are read out and I'm not there, either. I guess the difference between me and Dave Dennis is that I live in the real world - and don't expect to be selected.

    Date and time
    May 30, 2014, 11:34AM
    • Dennis was kidding himself if he thought he was close to a test jersey. I'm not sure how he gets a Tahs' one each week.

      Honest Max
      Date and time
      May 30, 2014, 1:29PM
      • What negative, cynical planet do you live on? Dennis has been very good and inspirational for the Waratahs. I'm not saying he's the best forward playing for the Aussie teams, but even if I did, it would be more accurate and fair than some of the comments above.

        Date and time
        May 30, 2014, 4:28PM
        • The snarky comments above are unpleasant and unnecessary. Dave is a terrific down to earth guy who answered a question put to him "how do you feel?". Pretty obvious answer I would have thought. Over the years a lot of coaches have rated Dave and they can't all be idiots. He was chosen captain by Cheika, who is a noted hard man. Give the negativity a rest.

          Kiama via Oslo
          Date and time
          May 30, 2014, 5:10PM
          • To be honest..Dennis shouldn't even be starting for the Tahs. Way too soft when up against his opposite from other nations.

            Date and time
            May 30, 2014, 5:16PM
            • If he moved north he would walk into the Reds team and then he would be considered a great player by their sycophantic supporters.

              Date and time
              June 01, 2014, 3:18PM
            • Your comment was written before the chiefs game. Did you see that game? And if you did, and if you heard what Dennis went through before scoring his try and then still stick to your comment above, you are showing your true colours; and not the slightest objectivity. Whatever you may think, there are many Waratahs fans proud of him and very pleased to have him in our team.

              Date and time
              June 01, 2014, 8:49PM

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