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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has the Wallaby and England teams announced, Jones suspicious of Hayne move and new Highlanders coach announced for next season.


Cheika Names Team

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has named three debutants in the starting team to face England and one possible debutant on the bench in Nick Frisby.

Rory Arnold is set to be the tallest ever Wallaby starting in second row; Samu Kerevi will play inside centre and Dane Haylett-Petty will start on the wing.

“This team of 2016 has a great opportunity to build on the foundations in place,” Cheika said.

“We have a good mix of new blood and players who have been connected to the group for some time and the energy and enjoyment within the group has been excellent.

“The work ethic and application of every player in the squad shows just how much the Wallabies jersey means to each of them, and these 23 players know they represent the group when they run out on Saturday.”

England Side Named

England coach Eddie Jones has named the England side to take on the Wallabies in Brisbane.

Young lock Maro Itoje will start in the second row whilst George Ford has been dropped to the bench to make way for Owen Farrell to start at five-eight.

“We have picked a side to win in Brisbane,” Jones said.

“We’ve only ever won three games in Australia so it’s a great opportunity to put down a marker and create history.

“We have a young squad with an average age of 24 so we are still developing and improving. It’ll be a great challenge for us and one we’re looking forward to meeting head on.”

ENGLAND: Mike Brown, Anthony Watson, Jonathan Joseph, Luther Burrell, Marland Yarde, Owen Farrell, Ben Youngs, Billy Vunipola, Chris Robshaw, James Haskell, Maro Itoje, George Kruis, Mako Vunipola, Dylan Hartley (c) Dan Cole. Res: Luke Cowan-Dickie, Matt Mullan, Paul Hill, Courtney Lawes, Joe Launchbury, Danny Care, George Ford, Jack Nowell

Jones Suspicious

Eddie Jones has admitted he is suspicious of Jarrad Hayne’s decision to play for the Fiji Sevens team.

“I must admit I was surprised they played him,” Jones said.

“There must be something going on behind the scenes because it’s quite a unique selection.

“You talk to anyone who knows anything about sevens, you’re looking at about a period of three to six months to be ready to play at the top class level. You can’t just walk in. It doesn’t’ matter if you’re the best runner in the NFL, you’ve got to be able to play sevens.

“Certainly, his performance in London suggests he’s going to be struggling to make that team.”

New Highlanders Coach

Former All Black Tony Brown has been announced as the Highlanders coach for next year for the departing Jamie Joseph.

Brown has been an assistant coach under Joseph since 2014.

Former All Black Scott McLeod and former Hurricanes coach Mark Hammett will be Brown’s assistant coaches.

“I wasn’t sure the timing was right for me, but having spoken to people inside and outside the organisation, I know now that this is too good an opportunity to pass up,” he said.

“I get a lot of satisfaction from working with the current group of players and coaches, and with some fresh challenges for the club on the horizon, the best option was to recommit to the Highlanders.”

  • Just saw an article on Fox Sports that said George Smith is going to sign for the Reds next season. Please let that be true!

    • Pedro

      Poor Gill.

    • Woolfe

      And Peter Fitzsimons! (OK, you got me, that’s a lie!)

    • drrea81

      I think it is pretty clever from the Reds. World class, senior player who is a crowd favourite

  • Big Ted

    As a Brumbies man I must admit a little part of me has died knowing that he might don a jersey that is not Blue and Gold, but I’m bloody excited to see one of the all time greats running around in Oz again! Hope it’s no show-bag

  • npivag

    Get excited Reds fans. With the Smith signing (plus Houston and probably Quade), Kerevi/Frisby getting a run in the Wallabies, and young up-and-comers like Nabuli being flagged for greatness, the Reds don’t look so bad in 2017.
    With 2016 being a year for a whole heap of young guys to get minutes, 2017 will have a better squad with a more solid coaching structure. Plus you’ll have excitement machine (and potentially Australia’s own Millner-Skudder) JJ Taulagi back next year AND solid big-bopper Kane Douglas. Wow-wee.

    • npivag

      Do I overrate JJ? Maybe, but the man has some X-factor.

      • McWarren

        Hmmm, that phrase “X-factor” covers a magnitude of rights and wrongs. As soon as I hear it mentioned I become skeptical of the players long term reliability.
        JJ must be hiding it really well.

    • The fact that there will be no excuse to be bad is what worries me.

      • Simon

        There’s barely been any excuse to be bad this year, in terms of cattle.

        The tight five have given us a competition-leading scrum and lineout, our hooker is a backup 7 over the ball, the back row has been impressive, our 9 is the second-choice Wallaby, Kerevi has been a beast, Nabuli and Hunt have shown promise.

        10 has been a weak link, obviously, but with that much set piece dominance, it’s almost criminal that we’re where we are on the table.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Very True MC, Very true.
        Because with RG there we thought they had hit rock bottom, where in fact they just hired an excavator and kept on digging!

    • Joy

      And Moore?

      • npivag

        You are correct. Moore is not a very exciting signing to me because Ready is looking good and with Moore and TPN set to leave Aus at a similar time, hopefully he and Hanson would step up to duel for the test jersey.

        • Funk

          So Moore passing on his experience and knowledge to Ready isn’t an exciting prospect? I think is is probably the best thing that could happen to Ready for him to progress as a player. Moore will not be an 80min player at the Reds (as he isn’t at the Brums at the moment) so Ready will get some good time on the field as well as learning from the best…win win!

    • Simon

      The Reds have had plenty of good players both last year and this year.

      The problem has not been lack of talent. And the solution is not just cramming more talent in there. The entire organisation needs a shakeout.

      • npivag

        Experienced talent (particularly a play maker), a coaching set up that can run the team from preseason to end of the year, and more depth won’t make a difference? Right then.

        • Simon

          It will make a difference. It won’t make THE difference unless there are deeper changes than just on the player roster. More talent is just papering over the cracks.

          Still waiting to see who that experienced play maker is, too. I remember it being stated that the hunt for a top quality 10 was our top priority for 2016. Instead we got Goromaru and told Jono Lance (NRC player of the tournament) to bugger off. It’s that sort of attitude that’s at least part of the problem. Hopefully that’ll change with Carmichael’s departure.

    • Rugby Paradise

      I predict normal transmission to resume… We all are aware that thanks to a very generous late ruling by Craig Joubert in the final, the Waratahs finally had their little moment in the sun in 2014 but we all knew they could never sustain success down there. The Reds are set to resume their rightful place as the leading rugby franchise in Australia starting in 2017.

      • npivag

        I wouldn’t go that far, honestly the Reds’ ‘moment in the sun’ was no longer than the Tahs’.

  • TheMountain

    Jones has named a pretty serious side, I don’t think we can get too complacent with their lightning centre pairing and Billy Vunipola and Maro Itoje in the engine room

  • Richard Webb

    Ok… George Smith playing for the Reds is a great excuse to resurrect my 7 year old Foxtel account.

  • FraserDLarry Jorgensen

    So looking forward to the first post match interview with the ebullient Mike Brown.

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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