Robbie Deans: Hi lads, thanks so much for coming on such short notice.
Chris Hickey: No problems Robbie.
Andy Friend: The Brumbies are glad to have the opportunity.
John Mitchell: Yes, Robbie, just like old times hey? But seriously, I just want to say what an honour it is for me, I mean for all of us, to be here today. It’s a wonderful example of your inclusivity when it comes to Australian Rugby and I think we are all just so lucky to have you here at our disposal.
AF: Woah. You kiss anymore arse there Mitch and we’ll have to surgically remove you from Robbie’s pants.
JM: I’m sorry? Was I talking to you? WAS I F*%#ING TALKING TO YOU???!!! MATE THIS IS ROBBIE’S MEETING SO SHOW THE MAN SOME F*$@ING RESPECT. I THINK HE F(@&ING WELL DESERVES IT DON’T YOU? HOW MANY F#@!CKING SUPER TITLES HAVE YOU WON YOU LITTLE PRICK!
RD: That’s enough Mitch. We’re all here for the same cause -. Let’s keep it civil.
JM: Yes, sorry Robbie. Absolutely. Whatever you say.
RD: Come in!
Geoff Clark (QLD Physio): Hi everyone, sorry I’m late.
RD: No not at all. Perfect timing. Coffee lads?
CH: Just a flat white thanks. One sugar.
AF: Latte thanks. Skinny. No sugars.
JM: Umm…what are you going to have Robbie? A cappuccino?
RD: In fact I think I’ll just have a hot chocolate thanks mate.
JM: Brilliant idea. I’ll have one too.
GC: Ummm, ok. I’ll be back in a sec.
JM: Bring some biscuits too. AND NOT THOSE F($#ING CHEAP-ARSE ONES I GOT LAST TIME!
JM: Sorry Robbie.
CH: So, who’s coming from the Reds? Herbert? McAll? Carozza?
RD: I’m not too sure to be honest, they said they’d send someone. But first things first. Again, I appreciate your time this morning. Can I start by reiterating my text. I want to make this as confidential as possible. We don’t want to look like we are in panic stations mode.
JM: Which we’re not Robbie, are we? Its just a journey we’re on. Right? And the journey’s just begun.
RD: Thanks Mitch, yes, this is about a deposit in belief for Australian Rugby. Recognising your contribution and profiting from the growth of knowledge.
GC: Hi guys, your drinks. Hope I got them right.
JM: You F$&#ING WELL BETTER HAVE YOU C#*T.
JM: Sorry Robbie.
RD: Thanks for the drinks. Mate, whilst your here, do you mind just taking a quick photo for us? We need to record this moment as a unique one in the destiny of the Wallabies!
GC: Ummm, ok, sure…
RD: Ok, everyone…let’s look at Chris. For the photo.
RD: Settle Mitch.
RD: Thanks mate.
GC: Now, where would you like me to sit?
RD: Sorry? Oh sit? Umm. Yeah ok, I guess someone should take some note. Just in that chair over in the corner. Ok?
GC: Ummm, ok.
RD: Right. Moving forward I have a quick 5 point plan of which I want some very quick feedback before the big man comes in about ten minutes to ‘debrief’ the Tri-Nations.
JM: Sounds great Robbie. Excellent plan. Five points. Nice and simple. To the point I am sure. Brilliant.
RD: These are the key areas of the game we need to focus on. Ok first. Our forwards lack aggression. They aren’t tough enough and they don’t know how to handle the physical side of the contact work. Now I think some of our provincial sides probably don’t put as much focus on this as I would like. Andy? How much work do the Brumby forwards put into their work at the breakdown.
AF: The who at the what-now?
RD: Forwards. At the breakdown. I think it would be worth our while if we went back to basics with regards rucking and mauling training for all our forwards. What do you think?
AF: Umm. Well. Yeah. Of course we at the Brumbies are happy to consider it but we…ummm…operate..on a…ummm..inclusive structure at the Brumbies and I …errr…would need to take this back to…ummm…the team, COACHING team that is. Of course. The coaching team. We dictate our game plan at the Brumbies. So I’d have to go back to Stirlo and Geor..OWEN and Youngy I mean. I’d have to go back to Owen and Youngy and have a chat to them. But I’m sure we would consider it. Sure.
RD: Ok. Thanks. If we could all at least consider it please. Numbers at the breakdown and securing quality ball should be the first priority.
JM: Absolutely Robbie. I couldn’t agree more. It’s our absolute focus over in Perth I can assure you. But you can never do too much I know that for a fact. But as I’ve told you before our boys Brownie, Hodg, Bam Bam, Sharpie, Pek and the rest are really putting in the hard work. They really make a invaluable impression around the park.
RD: Moving on. Number Two. Passing. … Andy? Are you..texting?
AF: Sorry Robbie…ahh …yes. Just my wife. Umm…kids are sick…just checking in.
RD: Ok, well we’ll be done soon. So passing. It’s a basic skill, again, but we seem to be lacking in it. The accuracy and precision really is quite poor. Chris, what about you? Is that something the Tahs are working on?
CH: Absolutely Robbie. It’s a big focus for us and something I actually identified as an issue myself in the off-season.
RD: Great Chris. So how are you looking to resolved the problem?
CH: Oh. Well. I thought you would have seen? We’ve recruited Berrick Barnes from the Reds.
RD: Ahh..well…that’s not exactly what I meant. But let’s move..
JM: Stupid bastard.
RD: Mitch! Moving on. Point three. Our kicking game. It’s a big part of world rugby at the moment and the South Africans are kings at it. We need to improve big time. What can we do?
CH: Robbie, this is another I wanted to work on at the Tahs and I think we’ve come up with a great way to improve our kicking game.
RD: Please don’t say Berrick Barnes again.
CH: Oh….Um…ok…then…well…did you know we signed Drew Mitchell too?
JM: YES YOU C*$#ING LATTE DRINKING SON OF A STINKING WHORE WE DID KNOW YOU RAPED US OF ONE OF OUR BIGGEST NAMES!!! SOMEONE WE’VE INVESTED UNLIMITED TIME AND F@*$ING MONEY IN AND THEN YOU COME BLOODY WELL SWANNING IN AND POACH HIM FROM UNDER OUR NOSE!
GC: Umm, if I may…
JM: NO YOU BLOODY WELL MAY NOT! JUST TAKE THE F^$&ING NOTES DICKHEAD!
RD: C’mon Mitch. Please.
JM: Sorry Robbie, sorry. Kicking…. It’s definitely a big part of our game plan Robbie. I agree 100%. 150% even. We’ve got James working with some of the West Coast Eagles on his accuracy and distance and signing Andre Pretorius was part of my own personal plan to assist in developing the kicking game of our young stars.
RD: Excellent Mitch. Great work. Now, number four. The set piece. The scrum is improving but now the lineout seems to be failing. We’re not cunning enough. What’s the plan?
CH: Um…we’ve signed Hendrik Roodt??
AF: Hmmm. Ok. Ahhh, Robbie?
RD: Yes. Andy. Your thoughts?
AF: We, at the Brumbies, don’t believe we need to focus on that type of play. We believe we have the skills across the park to maintain pressure across the pitch and don’t see the need to focus on that aspect of the game.
RD: On lineouts?
JM: You’re reading! He’s reading his phone Robbie! Give me that you little prick!
AF: Wait. No I’m not. Hey! Give it back!
JM: Here it is Robbie. Just as I f$&#ing suspected! It’s a bloody text from Hoiles saying that he’s spoken to George and Squeak and they all agree that rucking and mauling drills would eat into their touch games.
AF: That’s not what he meant.
JM: SHUT UP DICKNOSE!
RD: Right, lads, if we can just move on to the last point? If we can? OK? Fitness. We are lacking in it big time. We can’t close out the games and other teams are running over the top of us. What are the solutions.
GC: umm, if I may?
JM: NO YOU F$&#ING WELL MAY NOT!
CH: Josh Holmes is pretty fit. We signed him this year. And we got rid of Matt Dunning!
AF: Fitness? Like..umm..fitness sessions? Ahh gees, I’m going to have to get back to you on that one Robbie. Ummm..John, can I have my phone back please?
JM: F&$# OFF! Our fitness is great Robbie. I have the boys spending a lot of time pre-season playing squash in fact. Beautiful sport, but it really builds that core stamina that I, like you, firmly believe in. Do you, ahh, play squash Robbie? Because I love the game. Only started playing a year or so ago. But its a wonderful game. So skillful. A true artists’ game. Oh, look, I have my racquet here under my chair. I’d forgotten. Fancy a game after this perhaps? If you’ve got time?
RD: Thanks Mitch. Actually, I can’t. I’m due up at John’s office right now in fact and I better get up there. I hear he has the red pants on. So. Yes. Thanks guys. Umm. Not sure what we got out of today, but let’s keep in touch.
JM: Will do Robbie. Loved it. LOVED IT! Great meeting. Really got a lot out of it. You’re doing a fantastic job. Good luck with John. Tell him I said hi could you? Could you? Please?
GC: umm Robbie?
RD: Ahh, yes. Just drop those notes on my desk and I’ll have someone type them up for us. Thanks.
GC: Ahhhhh fuck!