Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has three changes for the Wallabies, James Haskell ruled out for the third test, Kyle Godwin to the Brumbies and Eddie Jones defends England’s tactics.

Cheika Changes Three

​Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has made three changes to the starting side for the final test against England on Saturday.

Will Skelton and Rob Simmons will come into the second row whilst Matt Toomua will replace Samu Kerevi at inside centre.

”​Willy, even though he’s been playing, he’s been playing with injury, a shoulder injury, he hasn’t been able to show us his best yet this season,” Cheika said.

“We put him through some hard work here these two or three weeks we’ve been together. To get him to the fitness [needed] for a guy like Willy. He’s a big guy, if he’s not at that fitness he can’t play international footy.”

Cheika also explained his decision to bring Toomua into the side.

“He’s an experienced player, he plays in that role as second playmaker for us, so it was a logical choice,” Cheika said.

“He came back and we probably could have spun him out last week, but I think he needed more running in his legs. There’s a long way to go yet in this season so I didn’t want to burn him early.”

Haskell Out

In-form backrower James Haskell in the only change to the England team that defeated the Wallabies in Melbourne last week.

Kiwi-born flanker Teimana Harrison will replace Haskell at openside flanker.

“Teimana comes into the side at seven for James Haskell whose foot hasn’t quite recovered from Saturday,” Eddie Jones said.

“Teimana has trained well throughout the tour and deserves his spot. He’s an excellent defender and his robustness will be important to us at the start of the game. Jack Clifford is unlucky to miss out, but will finish the game for us.”

“You have to work extremely hard to earn an England cap so there was no temptation to make changes for the sake of change,” he said.

“To play for England you have to be in the best 23 and that’s what this selection represents.”

Godwin to Brumbies

Western Force centre Kyle Godwin has been linked with a move to the Brumbies next season.

The Brumbies are currently looking for a replacement centre for the overseas-bound Matt Toomua.

Force flanker Chris Alcock could also follow Godwin to the Brumbies as a back up for David Pocock who will be play in 2017.

Wallaby hooker Nathan Charles is also reportedly looking to move overseas.

The Force will already be without Alby Mathewson, Solomoni Rasolea, Guy Millar, Steve Mafi, Oliver Hoskins, Tom Sexton, Brad Lacey, Rory Walton, Albert Nikoro and Chris Heiberg who are all leaving at the end of the season.

Jones Defends Tactics

England coach Eddie Jones has hit back at claims that his side are too conservative and says that they play “winning rugby”.

“We play winning rugby, we want to win games of rugby, that’s what keeps the fans excited.

“Whatever way we need to win, we’ll win. If we need to kick the ball we’ll kick it, if we need to run we’ll run, if we need to pass we’ll pass.

“I must admit I’m not concerned how Australia are going to play, or how Australia think we’re going to play.

“We’re just worried about preparing ourselves, our biggest challenge is for us to be ready for the game.

“What Australia does – we’ll cope with whatever they want to do.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I’m with Eddie, leading a series 2 – 0 and odds on to win 3 – 0 is a good position to be in and I would rather be there than on the other side but be playing nice attractive rugby. Personally, an ugly win is better than a beautiful loss any day of the week.

    • Dud Roodt

      Yep – totally agree. I know I’d be happier if the Wallabies had played less than attractive footy and be up 2 zip. It seems to be a refrain of ours when we lose “well we play running rugby” – who gives a shit. As awesome as running rugby is, winning is what keeps fans.

      • Big Ted

        I think Australian Rugby supporters are a slight exception to the rule. Don’t get me wrong, the general public would certainly have been happier had we won last week, but I can still see the media/public would have questioned what we were doing wrong if the possession and field position stats had been reversed. I believe it’s part of why many Aussie Rugby supporters are so fickle. The so called “Fair weather supporter” expects victory that looks good too.

        • John Tynan

          It’s a fair point – think of the outcry when it was proposed that Jake White should coach the Wobs. I was personally unprepared to watch us play Jake Ball, regardless of winning.

        • John Tynan

          …andthe relevance is because I don’t think I’m a fair weather supporter BTW.

        • Big Ted

          Exactly. I’m a tragic who will support the wallabies regardless of how they play win/lose/draw but in a market where we have other options like AFL, League and football (plus others), the average Australian punter wants entertainment as well as victories. Poor wallabies are a bit damned if they do-damned if they don’t in a way. I wish it wasn’t the case, but it is what it is. The ARU haven’t helped themselves over the years with their marketing and junior development. It has allowed itself to become alienated and a small fish in a big pond. I personally credit Cheika for sticking to his guns and trying to advocate running rugby. He hasn’t come out and said that it is the perfect product. He has said that it is the style that Australia wants (which is true) and the style that he wants to play and wallabies just need to get better at playing that style (which is also very true).

      • First time long time

        To make matters worse we didn’t even play attractive rugby last week.

        • Seb V

          Exactly, even if you look back at our RWC, half of those games weren’t “attractive” either. Scotland and Fiji for example. and the prior EOYT was the most boring I’ve ever seen us play.

        • BloodRed

          But we were really good at running into things

      • Daverugby

        I would rather lose than play like England, totally reliant on the opposition falling asleep to win games. That is fine though. England playing well isn’t why we lost. The first game we didn’t use our opportunities and the second we weren’t manipulating England into doing what we wanted them to do. If we went pick and drive we would have done them by fifty. Even if that didn’t work we would have drawn the players in and spread it wide like we wanted too, and won. I don’t even care about the popularity of rugby compared to other games. I love it and want to see it played in good spirit.

    • Seb V

      Same. It was still a very exciting game of rugby – for an English fan.

    • Patrick


  • Dud Roodt

    Stoked to see Godwin move to a team with a good coach to really see what he can achieve

    • Big Ted

      Yep. Godwin showed so much promise a few years ago but injuries and lack of good attacking guidance capable of upskilling him has left him treading water somewhat. Has the potential to be a really well rounded 12. I’m pretty sure he led Super Rugby for tackles broken a few seasons back.

      • Dud Roodt

        2014 (I think) he looked so good. I would say he’s lost 2 good years of footy whether it be through injury or being stuck under Foley’s negative at all costs game plan – it’s lucky he’s still so young

        • Joy

          If Godwin had what it takes to be Australia’s second playmaker the Force wouldn’t be at the bottom of the table. Let’s face it, he’s a lightweight hard man without much creativity.

        • Dud Roodt

          Well I guess we’ll see when he’s not on a shit team

    • nmpcart

      Which good coach is that?

      • Dud Roodt

        Larkham? Or, basically anyone but Foley

  • Brendan Hume

    things are looking tough at the Force next year…

    • Woolfe

      No tougher than normal

  • First time long time

    Have been thinking about Cheikas selections.
    The last couple of games he has picked a few guys he obviously doesn’t have faith in…..frisby next to no game time despite how bad Phipps has been, Morahan dropped after 90 sec of play! He might as well pick players he is going to use as long as he is willing to die by those decisions.
    3 tests into the year and no decent combinations developing anywhere on the field

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I hope so mate


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

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