Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has Digby Ioane signs with the Crusaders, Will Genia praises Mike Byrne, Tom Robertson re-signs with the Waratahs and Dane Coles named in Hurricanes team.

Ioane to Crusaders

The Crusaders have confirmed the signing of former Queensland Red and Wallabies winger Digby Ioane.

Ioane is expected to replace departing winger Nemani Nadolo.

“I have had a great time playing in France and Japan, but the opportunity to be part of a New Zealand Super Rugby team is too good to pass up,” he said.

“I love the intensity and tempo of Super Rugby and the New Zealand teams are leading the charge in that respect at the moment, so I can’t wait to be a part of that.

“I have a huge respect for the Crusaders, having faced them as the opposition team on a number of occasions, and I am honoured to be linked with such a quality team.

“I would like to thank my manager Michael Hobbs and Robbie Deans for their support in making this happen.”

Genia Praises Byrne

will genia

Will Genia has praised newly appointed national skills coach Mike Byrne.

Genia sought Byrne out in France following his knee injury.

“After I had my surgery, I got some advice from around things I could do around kicking and passing, so I’ve known him for a while now actually and he’s been very good to me,” he said.

“He’s given me drills to work on with my pass and kicking and a lot of that was just over the phone, speaking to him.

“To actually meet him has been really great.

“He’s putting emphasis on the things you tend to forget. It’s the little elements – passing, kicking, catching that will make a difference when you’re fatigued in games.

“It’ll make a huge difference, it’s something that’ll be over more long-term.

Robertson Re-signs

Young Waratahs prop Tom Robertson has re-signed with the Waratahs for a further two seasons.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson praised the young prop who is also studying medicine at the University of Sydney.

“His efforts in balancing and managing his studies together with his work on the field is remarkable,” he said.

“Tom loves the scrum, and with that attitude, and his willingness to work hard and be the best, the team can only benefit.

“Like many of the new talented players who have stepped up for the Tahs this year, Tom is another exciting prospect for us.

“He has added a lot to the front row and I’m really looking forward to seeing how he continues to develop with the Waratahs.”

Coles Named

Hurricanes hooker Dane Coles has been named to start against the Chiefs this weekend but still may pull out due to a rib injury suffered last weekend against the Sharks.

“Colesy is improving each day and doing everything he can to get himself fit,” said Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd.

“We are hopeful he’ll make it to the start line but if he doesn’t, we have every confidence in Ricky and Leni to do the job for us.

“Whoever goes out there on Saturday knows we are in for a really tough test because the Chiefs are a quality team.”

If Coles is unable to play he will be replaced by Ricky Riccitelli.


  • blueboy11

    Would be remarkable if Coles made the lineup and actually lasted past half time… Pretty amazing how he’s turned himself from something of a novelty player into a club captain and genuine star over the past 3 seasons.

    Also good to see the Tahs look to be backing Robertson, that tight five could use some new blood, and if he can add a little more dynamism and work rate in open play to his already solid scrummaging he could be a very good player for a long time.

    • Daniel

      Cant believe Ioane is back in super but still cant play for the wallabies. He is what we are missing from our current backline. ARU misses the boat again. God help us.

      • blueboy11

        I agree the wallabies have missed a real strike weapon on the wing since he left for France and Folau moved to 15. Looked like Speight or Tomane might fill that void, but hasn’t really happened for either for various reasons.

        At this point though, he is a 31 year-old who based a lot of his game on athleticism that will likely start diminishing over the next couple of seasons, so I doubt he’ll be the force he was back in the Reds’ heyday (will still probably look fantastic in that wide open Crusaders system though…).

        • Daniel

          Yeah excatly. I beat he is a top try scorer for the saders.

        • Braveheart81

          He scored 5 tries in 25 games for Stade Francais and 0 tries in 8 games for the Honda Heat. Hasn’t exactly been setting the world alight in that department in the last three years.

        • first time long time

          I agree, would have loved to see the Digby of old back, but I think that ship has sailed.
          Bet the Crusaders get the max out of him though.
          I would rather the Reds start Magne on the wing ahead of any of the other options next year. Although he may be an outside centre down the track, he is already better than the other wingers in the squad and all going well has a lot of test footy in his future.
          Nothing not to loved about a 6’5″ 100kg rampaging ranga!

        • Keith Butler

          sefa naivalu from the rebels

        • Braveheart81

          He becomes eligible for the Wallabies in November I believe.

        • blueboy11

          Certainly seems to be in that mould. Would like to see him play a little more 13 for the Rebels next season (will get the chance without Ellison there as well) to round out his game a little, but certainly is already a fantastic runner with ball in hand.

        • Keith Butler

          It will be interesting to see where the Rebels play him. I reckon they have to play Inman at centre to hold up the defence so it could be a toss up between Sefa and Hodge. Also bearing in mind that Shipperley will be back from his broken leg so our wing stocks will be high.

      • Braveheart81

        Have you seen him play in the last few years? He was well off the pace for the Wallabies when he left in 2013 and then struggled at Stade Francais for two seasons. He spent the last season with the Honda Heat in Japan and struggled to get on the field and make an impact. His knees appear shot. This seems like the Crusaders taking a punt and throwing him a lifeline rather than pinching him out from under one of the Aussie teams. Digby may prove me wrong but judging from his health and form in the last three years, it seems unlikely.

        • Daniel

          Yes. But is he any worse than the current wingers we have.

        • sampro


        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Or he’ll do a Umaga and move into centre. Tana got about another 4 years by moving in one spot

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Must admit the Digby Ioane signing comes as a surprise. I thought one of the Australian conferences would have snatched him up. I hope he goes well and shows what has been missed.

    • Happyman

      Seems a Shame to have missed out on Digby. He was pretty well busted when he left the Reds. Quite a few players have gone to Japan where the games are not quite as intense and gotten healthy again then come back to Super Rugby and gone well not notably some of the South Africans. I can understand why they have gone for another Brisbane raised prospect as the last one worked out OK.

      • npivag

        Victorian-raised prospect* ;)

    • Brisneyland Local

      Couldnt agree with you more. I loved watching Digby running off Willy G and Quade (both in the Reds and Wallabies). He gave them options and line breaking power. And when he didnt break the line he had three players committed to dragging him down, which left gaps in the defensive line. He is still one of my all time favourite players, and was always so generous with fans. I remember fondly him signing my then 2 year old daughters Wallabies Jump suit, and posed for a photo with her in it. I hope he does really well, and am saddened that the Reds didnt have their ear to the ground well enough to hear that possibility of signing him and at least having a crack at it.

      • Spank

        I agree he was great in the Ben Tune mould. Loved watching him (both) play and a pity we are not getting him back if he is still as good. We shall soon see.

  • Rebels3

    With digby back it raises a question for me. Should wallaby qualified players be eligible for the wallabies if they are playing in super rugby? I understand we want the best available wallabies playing in Australia so we have the best possible quality or give youngsters the best players to watch on tv. But isn’t he going to be doing this is New Zealand. I mean he will be playing in a competition where he will play 5 Australian teams. He will be accessible to watch at viewer friendly times. It will also open up the door to the option of players wanting a new experience and maybe moving to New Zealand or in particular Japan offers them this experience. If this was open for debate then not only digby would be eligible but alaatoa (crusaders), Woodward (hurricanes, even tho he’s a kiwi is eligible for the wallabies, I think?), even nadolo before he was capped by Fiji (not sure if he was capped by Fiji before he played for the crusaders?) would all be options. I’m sure there is potentially a few others.

    • Braveheart81

      Nadolo is Fiji capped. I’m not sure if Woodward is eligible. I think he might be. It is likely that there would be a bunch of players who have an Aussie born parent or grandparent making them eligible for the Wallabies.

      I don’t imagine the ARU would change the rule unless there were particular players they were really interested in. I highly doubt they’d do it on the basis of any uncapped players.

      • Dud Roodt

        I think Woodward would have been eligible if he had stayed one more year at the Rebels. I was always disappointed he didn’t as I think he’s a very good player who likely won’t be getting picked by the AB’s..

        I think we should allow Aussie players to play for Kiwi teams. Where’s the downside? As Rebels3 mentioned, Aussie fans will see just as much of them. If anything they’ll get better training and coaching than they would here. And returning from Auckland doesn’t take much when called up for Wallaby duty

        • Braveheart81

          The ARU has to pay insurance for them if they aren’t playing for an Australian team and they select them for international duty.

        • Train Without A Station

          The downside is that it doesn’t help keep them at Australian teams.

        • muffy

          I cant see there being that many numbers, the Kiwi teams have a lot of players lining up, if it went out to 10 players, I would be surprised

        • Spank

          Mate I agree 100%. Why not make it a SANZAR rule that so long as you play in Super Rugby you are automatically eligible for your home country. Bit like ‘State of Origin’/’Sate of Union’.

        • jamie

          I dunno. I can’t see how Aussies playing with South African based teams is any different from Japan or Europe. I can definitely understand New Zealand: we play them more and we’re only a couple hours away.

          BUT. I don’t know how you can justify just New Zealand. Logistically it makes sense, but just picking one other country sounds suss to me.

        • jamie

          Flight from Auckland to Sydney is the same as a flight from Perth..

  • Huw Tindall

    Reading in this SMH article it’s says that Taqele Naiyaravoro isn’t available for Wallabies selection, along with Greg Holmes, Liam Gill and Dave Dennis because they’ve already made commitments to overseas clubs….Taqele just came back didn’t he?!

    • jamie

      Yes, but he’s made himself unavailable as he’s playing for his Japanese club.

      • Huw Tindall

        Must be a short of a bob if he would rather play in Japan than have a crack at the wallabies when he knows Cheika is a fan.

        • jamie

          Taqele seems like a kind of mercenary to me.

          2 tries in 23 minutes of gametime for the wallabies isn’t bad ;-)

  • gladstonekinnoul

    We are hearing here up north that Matt Giteau is taking a 2 month pay cut to play for Aus in the RC. Good on him. Wish some of our other sportsmen(football) had some pride in the jersey. Good luck to Aus in the RC

    • Braveheart81

      He shouldn’t need to. Toulon are obliged to do so under World Rugby Regulations. Clearly he has great pride in the jersey and has relished getting another opportunity but it’s also easier for someone on his sort of salary to decide to forgo it for a couple of months. At 13k a test or something it’s also not like he doesn’t get paid well to play for Australia.

      • gladstonekinnoul

        All fair points but even still if he is losing out slightly, it still sends a good message.


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

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