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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees more Rugby Championship thoughts, Club/NRC Corner, a dire message from World Rugby and the Wallabies keen to take on their mentor.


More Shock Selections

Folau eyeing space.

Folau eyeing space.

The names are back!

The Wallabies have made five changes to the side that beat the Springboks last weekend for their game this weekend against the Pumas.

David Pocock, Adam Coleman, Sekope Kepu and Nick Phipps are among the big names returning to the squad.

However the biggest shock is the return of Israel Folau… on the wing.

Folau has started at Fullback for 61 straight tests, but with Dayne Haylett-Petty near flawless at fullback in Folau’s absence, Michael Cheika has made the tough choice to move Folau.

Kepu will return from the bench, as will Tupou, while 7As will have to put on a big performance against a powerful Argentinian scrum.

The Pumas, meanwhile, have made three changes to their squad, as they look to get their first win on Australian soil in 35 years.

Wallabies squad: Scott Sio, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Allan Alaalatoa, Rory Arnold, Izack Rodda, Lukhan Tui, Michael Hooper (c), David Pocock, Will Genia, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Matt Toomua, Reece Hodge, Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty. Reserves: Folau Faingaa, Sekope Kepu, Taniela Tupou, Adam Coleman, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks.

Pumas squad: Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Matias Moroni, Jeronimo De La Fuente, Ramiro Moyano, Nicolas Sanchez, Gonzalo Bertranou, Javier Ortega Desio, Marcos Kremer, Pablo Matera, Tomas Lavanini, Guido Petti, Santiago Medrano, Agustin Creevy (c), Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro. Reserves: Julian Montoya, Santiago Garcia Botta, Juan Pablo Zeiss, Matias Alemanno, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Martin Landajo, Bautista Ezcurra, Juan Cruz Mallia.

So many good names coming back for the Wallabies is a great sign, but this Pumas side under Mario Ledesma is looking very dangerous. I think our lads can bring it home and retain the Puma Trophy, but I think it’s going to be a lot tighter than we think. Wallabies by 7.

If you want to hear more about this upcoming match (and Argentinian rugby in general) check out our latest Dropped Kick-Off pod where we chatted to Americas Rugby guru, Paul Tait. It goes alright.

The other big match of the Rugby Championship sees the All Blacks host the Boks in windy Wellington.

The Boks have shown moments of promise in the last few years with one or two close games in these fixtures, but in general, it’s been an absolute demolition by New Zealand. I don’t see that stopping here after the performance they put in last week in Brisbane. All Blacks by 15 or more.

Club/NRC Corner

Lausii Taliauli, the horse in full flow.

Lausii Taliauli, the horse in full flow.

It’s time for our final post of club related news for the year, coming all the way from the city of churches, Adelaide.

In what was a riveting final to the Coopers Premier Grade, Brighton claimed a 28-16 win over Burnside last Saturday. The hosts had pulled off an impressive win during the semis over Burnside, so this victory will be sure to add some more salt into the wound.

The win hands Brighton their 10th premiership since the start of the new millennium, marking the first premiership they’ve won back-to-back in five years. For Burnside, this is an ultimate case of the one that got away.

This final brings us to the end of the club side of news for the year. Hope you guys enjoyed this segment, and before you know it, it’ll be 2019.

But the footy never stops, and with that, we head into the NRC.

Round Three will all but confirm the heavyweights and the favourites for this season, and it’s fair to say there’s four teams that have already emerged.

First up, NSW Country Eagles will kick off with an exciting fixture against the Melbourne Rising in Mudgee, beginning what will be an exhausting, but pivotal period of their season in which they will be playing three games in eight days.

The Rising have shown a lot of improvement of the first fortnight of the competition, getting blasted by the Fiji Drua before nearly stealing a big one against last year’s champions QLD Country in Townsville. But the Eagles, despite a delayed start to the season, showed in their loss to the Western Force that they have a lot of firepower, and now with more time under their belt, they will only get stronger as the season goes on.

The clashes between these two teams have been some of the best games in NRC history. As good as the Rising were last week, I reckon the Eagles will lift a lot after last weekend and take this one in front of the Mudgee faithful. Eagles by 4.

Next up is what will probably be the match of the round, as QLD Country host the Fijian Drua in Mackay.

Both sides have had perfect starts to the competition. The Drua currently lead the ladder, smashing both the Rising and Brisbane City in the opening rounds. Country have had a more difficult route but have been no-less impressive, with an away win in Canberra and a grind-out win against the Rising.

The big factor here will be whether Fiji can translate their success at home to when they’re on the road, something that they really struggled with last year. Country will be good, but if the Drua bring that form, they’ll take the win. This one is going to be a cracker. Drua by 3.

And finally, to finish off on Saturday we head down to beautiful Sydney, where the Sydney Rays will host Brisbane City. Both sides will be desperate for a win here, so expect plenty of fire. The Rays lost to Canberra last week, but did okay considering a disrupted buildup and only two training sessions. Add in as well that some players actually only met each other on game day.

This week they should be much improved, with more time together and returning Wallabies (such as Rob Simmons) adding some grit to the side.

Brisbane City, by comparison, have had the hardest start of any team in the campaign, with heavy back-to-back losses to Fiji and the Western Force. A loss here, and their season is effectively over.

Both sides have good talent, so really what it comes down to is how they play. The Rays will be much improved, but I’m predicting after two weekends of getting hammered, City will sniff blood and get a much needed win. City by 5.

Lastly, on Sunday, the second heavyweight clash of the weekend sees the Canberra Vikings hosting the Western Force at Viking Park.

Starting with the visitors, their time together beforehand has seen them look a class above everyone else so far this year, winning in Brisbane and at home against NSW Country. Despite that, NSW Country did expose a lot of chinks in their armor in the second half, despite them finishing that game strongly.

The Vikings, on the other hand, look to have hit their stride after losing in week one with a big win in Sydney last round. With a warmer weekend in Canberra predicted, hopefully a larger crowd will turn up and inspire the Vikings to put on a good performance. A win here would send a strong message about their Toast Rack credentials to the rest of the comp. And it helps that Rob Valentini is back for them as well.

This is another contender for match for the round. And while I think the Vikings will be a tough outfit to beat, I’m going with the Force to go three from three. Force by 7.

Check out all the NRC teams here, courtesy of rugby.com.au. 

Enjoy your NRC action this weekend, and remember, if in doubt, scrum it out.

One Year Away from Ruin

rugby-world-cup-generic

Not to put a damper on your day, but Australia might not be the only place where rugby is struggling, according to World Rugby Vice Chairman Agustín Pichot.

Reported in  The Guardian, Pichot has said that unions and clubs worldwide need to hammer out a new ten year blueprint before next year’s World Cup, saying that the current model in place is “not working.”

Ironically, 18 months ago World Rugby announced an historic agreement in San Francisco that was intended to give clarity to the global calendar until 2032.

Now, according to Pichot, the game is struggling worldwide, both on-and-off the field. And according to him, it comes down to (you guessed it) a lack of clarity.

“If you ask me as a businessman, the business side of it is not working,” Pichot said.

“If you ask me as the playing side, it’s not working. Is the international game under threat? I think it is. Look at the balance sheets of some nations and you can see exactly where we stand.

“By the 2019 World Cup we need to have a blueprint for the next 10 years. On a scale of one to 10, I think we’re four out of 10 now [in terms of finding a solution] but before we were not even on the chart. We need to push that needle from four to at least six or seven.

“I’m not going to be an accomplice to rugby’s ruin.

“My view is that players cannot carry on playing as they are now. You cannot have them playing 30-odd competitive club and international games just because you want bums on seats.

“I have been a professional player so I understand how it goes but you have to take care of the athlete. The first principle is the players’ welfare because they inspire everyone, both us now and the next generation. That is important for the growth of the game.”

Representatives of the game are set to meet in Sydney in the next month, and according to Pichot, a deal has to be hammered out here.

“I’m a business guy and I want to have a safe business model and for the international game to be respected,” Pichot said.

“The growth of the game is very big for me; I like to see emerging countries develop.

“If rugby wants to be big and a sound business, we cannot behave like an old-school organisation. We have a group in Sydney to reopen the door, then I think all parties should meet again.

“We should work with them to see what’s better. How many games does a club need to break even? How many games does a nation need? But ask the big club owners and they all want the international game. It is not a question of them not wanting the international game.”

It seems almost ironic to me that Pichot wants to fix the ‘old-school’ nature of rugby by having a meeting in Sydney. Even more so, he believes he is the one that is uniquely placed to unite the various factions in the game.

“The biggest problem – in business and in sport – is egos. I don’t have that problem. Premier Rugby is a big problem but I’m not so emotionally involved. We’re going to give it 130 %.”

Wallaby Chat

Scott Sio can't believe his luck as he sets of for the tryline. Neither can the referee Nigel Owens

Scott Sio can’t believe his luck as he sets of for the tryline. Neither can the referee Nigel Owens

Aside from Stephen Larkham’s little dig at Mario Ledesma, it’s been pretty quiet on the Wallabies front which the exception of today’s squad naming.

But, according to Scott Sio when he chatted with Fox Sports, the piggies are keen to lock horns with their former mentor.

“[Mario is] very passionate but also quite technical,” Sio said of Ledesma.

“He knew when to take you aside and have a one-on-one chat and then he also had the ability to really get the team up and get them going for a session.

“He was a great believer in how you train is how you’re going to play on the weekend and making the most of your training.

“That was one thing we really got from him and I think hopefully it’s something that we’ve kept.

‘The scoreline [against the All Blacks last weekend] didn’t reflect how that game actually went on the weekend for them.

“I thought they had some great play in attack and really challenged the All Blacks for quite a lot of time in that game.

“So just looking forward to the battle, I think it will be a physical 80 minutes and then we look forward to seeing him (Ledesma) after.”

In the other big news, Michael Cheika welcomed the return of Adam Ashley-Cooper to Australian rugby, and put out a challenge for the big man to push for inclusion in what would be a fourth World Cup (which would make Cooper equal with George Gregan‘s record of appearing at four World Cups for Australia).

After speaking with him, Cheika admitted Cooper was on the same page.

“I didn’t have to say anything because he took the words out of my mouth,” Cheika said to Fox Sports.

“He said, ‘I’m not looking for any favours or entrees or anything, I want to come back through Super Rugby, prove myself that I’m good enough to take the spot.’

“And if he plays good enough in Super Rugby, then he’ll get an opportunity I’d imagine like any other player.

“There’s no accords, no guarantees and he doesn’t want it that way. If he does come back he’ll want to earn it himself.

“That’s the quality of the man, that’s what Ashley-Cooper’s about.”

What do we reckon GAGRs? Does AAC have he chops to make it back into the World Cup side?

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Also on a side note, shoutout to Ned our Monday News writer, who this week started a brand new internship with the Queensland Reds. He’ll be joining us again come November internationals. Congrats mate, well deserved!

    • Mart

      P.s the Sydney game is on Saturday not sunday? 2.30pm woollahra oval

    • Greg

      IS he a selector? Does he have any influence with MR Thorne?

      Congrats and all the best.

  • andrewM

    Need to get an early night Nick? You missed the rugby news story of the day – Castle actually referring to WSR
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/castle-gives-go-ahead-for-world-series-to-become-a-western-force-in-sydney-20180913-p503md.html

    • Nutta
      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Jesus. That is a hard read. West’s are such a good club. Would be so gutted if there were to go under

        • Nutta

          Yeh, Nah, It may be a back-handed blessing in disguise.

          See what I thought was amusing with the whole Twiggy West Sydney discussion was the veritable shrieking from NSWRU/SRU that Shute Shield was hands off.

          Funnily enough I think that’s great because it cuts both ways and as my Old Da used to say “Be careful what you wish for Boy because you just might get it.”

          The bell-ends who run Shute and SRU have shown their intent often enough regarding rugby west of Anzac Pde and Pacific Hwy – that they quite plainly think we should all just fk off.

          Facta non verba – they have shown it time after time after time.

          So fine! Let them keep their Shute and jamb it up their chute whilst they are about it. But the same applies in reverse Bhoyos.

          Twigg & Co will take what’s left of West Hrb, Penrith, Parra, and the +2million others who live in the Wastelands of Western Sydney and do something with a comp that wants us, will include us and won’t treat us as mere incubators for eastern seaboard clubs who need an otherwise socially undesirable player (as they see it).

          The exclusionist, myopic, pot-belly, undersized-cashmere-sweater-wearing fat-boys can keep the east and their incestuous, self-serving Old Boy affiliations in-tact. Good luck to them.

          As a matter of fact, I would predict a “Best of” West v East match in a few years and I reckon I know full well who is going to wipe the floor with the other…

        • Who?

          The revolution is coming… Tiocfaidh Ar La

  • IIPA

    Liked Pichot as a player and I like him as agent provocateur in WR. I’m aware not everyone is a fan though.

    Can’t argue with some of the things he’s saying though. I do find Sydney an interesting location given its not exactly a place renowned for being free of rugby self-interest.

    Global calendar and the club-country balance are too things vital to get right… though the latter won’t be easy.

    I like the Wallabies team generally. Feel a bit sorry for Banks and Powell ( or Gordon ). MK must surely be on his last chance.

    • Who?

      “If you ask me as a businessman, the business side of it is not working,” Pichot said.

      A businessman, an employee of Twiggy Forrest. RA would love reading about him referring to himself as a businessman! :-D

      I don’t know what’s meant by:

      He said, ‘I’m not looking for any favours or entrees or anything,

      What’s the relevance of a first dinner course in terms of getting back into the Wallabies..?
      Also… Why do we need a 35 year old outside back? It’s as crazy as the Blues signing Nonu back. Both were great players, but their time is well past.

      • IIPA

        I tend to agree re AAC but he could provide depth in a World Cup. He’s obviously aiming for one last tilt. And he is class all be it I do recall his lack of a passing game at 13.

        I actually think he’s a fit and young 35 if that makes sense. Although the grey hair suggests otherwise.

  • Gottsy

    This time last year I had, for some time, been calling for someone to replace foley, for Beale to have more playmaking influence, Tui in the back row, DHP at fullback and Folau on the wing (with Thor playing more minutes)

    If they fck this up I’m gonna like a right twat

    • SuckerForRed

      There will be a lot of us on that twat seat Gottsy…… Except I still don’t like KB in 10.

      • Gottsy

        Yeah i was a bit apprehensive about it too, but seeing the way that Toomua was pretty much steering the ship from 12 last week has given me a bit more confidence. Still better start warming up the twat seat though haha

  • disqus_NMX

    Foley dropped, Folau to wing…. Cheika must have started reading GAGR comments for tips!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Maybe he started watching rugby, rather than basing things off his memories of 2014 Super Rugby.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Scary isn’t it? Now if they lose we’ll all look like a bunch of tossers lol

      • Greg

        and the Pooper?

        • disqus_NMX

          One change per game… I am looking into my crystal ball and seeing 8 games from now… Hooper to the bench, Pocock to captain, QC brought back into the fold, Phipps dropped, Tupou to start, Banks in, 9 Genia 10 QC 12 Tomua 11 Beale… until eventually, his final act is to drop himself and appoint a new coach!

        • SuckerForRed

          Can I have some of what you’re having?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think you need/want Quade + Beale in the same run on side. Too many non-tacklers. Also, I don’t think you need more than two playmakers.

          I think you want one “X-Factor” guy in the side (either Quade or Beale), one secondary playmaker at either 12 or fullback like the Kiwis do it, and the rst of your guys need to be able to perform their role roles to a high standard.

        • disqus_NMX

          I see Beale as a better X-factor outside back, than as a playmaker. Beale running lines off Genia/QC/Tomua makes my pants wet.

        • disqus_NMX

          Hooper out injured… Pocock to captain and 7. Crikey, we’ve jumped forward in time two games!

          http://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/09/14/rugby-championship-wallabies-argentina-hooper-injury

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Feel sorry for anyone who gets injured but that’s good news.

        • Greg

          I don’t Beale at 11… but who knows!

        • Who?

          Beale basically played the 2015 RWC England game at 11… Came off the bench early replacing a winger. Campo wore 11, too, and he played a bit of first receiver…
          Not saying it’s necessarily the right decision, but it’s not necessarily the wrong one, either.

        • disqus_NMX

          Yep. I was just astounded that he was on the bench, and not one of the first picked.

        • disqus_NMX

          11 or 15, not fussed. He excelled at 15 back in the day. He’s a pretty good 12, but was better at 15. I know it’s not a universal opinion, but it’s how I see it.

    • Missing Link

      if Nathan Grey is replaced soon then I’m certain he’s been reading our comments

    • HK Red

      I want to know what memo we all missed. The changes in the last two games are astounding to me. Shit we been banging on about for two years now finally seems to be happening.

  • onlinesideline

    Personally I think the players are in a permanent state of burn out. Super rugby is a brutal comp and then to back up for a June series then a 4 nations then an EOYT – its absolute madness. I have noticed that in all 3 stages of the calender, the SR, 4N and Nov tests there has been a general slowchiness to the players / play (horrible word but its the best description) for a good few years.

    When you add in the intensity of pre-season training – they get through the year but to a certain extent they are going through the motions. Rugby success is getting down to sports science / recovery more than skill and on field brains. Add in 23 member squads where small faster forwards have no impact, the game is looking like WWE for a lot of the 80 mins. Bearhugs and flopzies. Just boring pick and drives, mauls, yada yada. To me there is a short window in SR when the boys look to have a real spring in their step, the rest they look like valium.

    Getting rid of June series is great and the less SR travel the better. I wonder how the workloads of union compare to AFL and League. Both codes the boys seems faster and fresher but bordering on ridiculous to compare really, I admit.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Yeah, centralised systems like New Zealand or Ireland is, really, the only way forward.

      The ridiculous burnout that occurs in France and the English premiership may be one of the few things that keeps domestic Aussie rugby going, especially if we do centralise enough to have players rested. But Super Rugby is at least 4-5 rounds too long only opinion.

      I can’t agree about the June series (July from next year). I think they’re the most enjoyable part of the global rugby calendar. The RC is a bit stale, and on the spring tour we don’t get best of 3 series unfortunately.

      • onlinesideline

        agree re series, but lets make up our mind, one or the other
        A June series and maybe august series or a revamped knock out 4N

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m happy with the current internationals, but I would make Super Rugby shorter. The July internationals apparently won’t run the year after RWC years either to give the players a rest.

        • Bakkies

          They won’t run in RWC years either. The Six Nations teams have already announced their RWC warm up schedules.

          In years after RWCs it will be two test tours. I actually believe that three test tours are finished as the Six Nations teams have committed to playing tier two teams in this window and another test period in that cycle is taken up by the Lions.

          The RA will lose money and as per usual I don’t see a back up plan.

      • Ed

        Two reasons why the RC is “stale” is due to the dominance of the ABs, not their fault, and the same draw, which all four unions can change if they want. As Jamie pointed out in the podcast, we are the ones who want the matches where they are so rugby does not go up against the AFL/NRL finals.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Partially. But I just think best of 3 series are more exciting. The format of the Tri Nations was better.

          It will help the competition a lot if Argentina improve to the point that they’re competitive. But until now, they haven’t been.

    • Parker

      Agreed, but the need for rest and modulation is at odds with the Chieka doctrine of high intensity footy — all in all the time. It seems his ideal state is frenzy — hardly a sustainable approach for humans, even high performance ones.

      • onlinesideline

        Mate call me cynical but Cheika not geting a Wallaby jersey himself, the jersey appreciation theme and make the most of it while you have the opportunity theme is through the roof in camp Wallaby. Theres a little bit of making up for himself not having the jersey, over correcting on pissweak Wallaby years a few years back, a proud bloke who doesnt want to screw up a once in a lifetime opportunity. Its all understandable and I kind of admire Cheika for it but yeah I get the sense their could be even more mental stuff and less physical movement just for movements sake.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Slips set to join the Rebels. Makes me sad as a Brumbies fan, but jeez I’m excited for the Rebels. If Scott Higginbotham returns to Melbourne they will have to be renamed the Rebs.

    1. Slipper*
    2. Uelese
    3. That young bloke who was class
    4. Philip
    5. Coleman
    6. Jones
    7. Cottrell
    8. Naisarani
    9. Genia*
    10. Quade*
    11. Naivalu
    12. Toomua
    13. English
    14. Hodge
    15. DHP

    The guys like Koroibete, Maddocks, Hardwick, Ruru, Ainsley coming off the pine. That’s a lot of Wallabies who will he starting on the bench.

    • onlinesideline

      That is a GOOOOOOOD side. He is no mug this Vessels guy. I count 13 wallabies and 2-3 blokes pressing. 10 wallabies in run 5 of which are Wallaby run ons.

      • Xaviera

        Only once, and it’s like Hotel California.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Toomua won’t be available until the finals next year though, and even then I’d be tempted to give him a rest as he will have played for 18 months straight, so for 2019 it will really be something like

        9. Genia
        10. Quade
        11. Naivalu
        12. Hodge
        13. English
        14. Maddocks
        15. Haylett-Petty

        21. Ruru
        22. Meakes
        23. Koroibete

        • onlinesideline

          what about the forwards, are they just chopped liver ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          They’ll stay the same as I posted above, I presume. I can’t see any reason why, barring injury, those players won’t all be available for the entire season.

        • onlinesideline

          oh yeah missed it

        • disqus_NMX

          The forwards are too busy complaining about the back’s hair styles ;)

    • Ed

      Salary cap anyone?????

      • onlinesideline

        I dont undertsand money stuff, I just dream of Ella run arounds in the UK and Corneilson 4 try days against the ABs at the SCG followed by a good winter house party listening to the doors and chasing Queenwood girls. Yeah 30 years ago…..but I totally digress

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        You could say the same about Hoops, Folau, Beale, Foley and Kepu on the one team though.

        • Ed

          Agree on the Wallatahs too.
          Our side can’t compete financially against this.

        • IIPA

          You only had Powell, Speight, Kuridrani, Banks, in your backline, three Wallaby second Rowers, all Wallaby fromt row and Pocock plus cost of living in Canberra !!

        • Bakkies

          Powell, Speight and Banks aren’t on big money. I doubt Rory Arnold and Sam Carter are either. The Brumbies have mainly recruited young talent.

        • IIPA

          Yeah I wasn’t really serious in making the total team salary budget comparison. But my point was the Brumbies like to cling to the idea they are how they were originally, discarded players from other states and club guys who couldnt get a go. And that’s far from the complete case nor do they have a mortgage on having guys in their team playing for a contract or not huge dollars. Cam Clark, Will Miller, Damien Fitzpatrick, Alex Newsome, Jed Holloway for starters. All are local too.

        • Bakkies

          Well George Smith, Finegan, Mortlock, Gerrard, Young, Holbeck, etc couldn’t get games for the Waratahs passed over by league players and talents such as Stu Pinkerton, Francis Cullimore, Daniel Manu and Marc Strchebina.

        • IIPA

          Bakkies it’s not 1998. Nor should you re-write history

          Dan Manu one of the greats. Wouldnt be a Tahs fan who doesnt appreciate his controbution. None of those four players you listed were ‘league’ players. Pinkerton and Stcherbina were much lauded schoolboy rugby stars. Gerrard and Mortlock were poached basically out of colts. What did you want the Tahs to do with both Waugh and G.Smith… just stockpile one of them for a rainy day?

        • Bakkies

          Schoolboys stars that achieved what exactly as a Waratah?

          Smith nearly went to league after being passed over by the Waratahs. As for the Waratahs hoarding players never……

        • IIPA

          Do you appreciate how small-minded that reads ?

          Pinkerton made 65 Waratah appearances, Stcherbina 42.

          I’ve played zero Super rugby games. You ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’re still claiming that the Brumbies still claim they’re made up of leftovers based on, as far as I can tell, absolutely nothing.

          Then again I think it was you defending the Shute Shield as ‘grassroots’ the other day, and so I think it is pretty clear what your ideological view of Australian rugby is fairly different from my own.

        • IIPA

          Darn right that was me. Sorry I could have sworn the Shute Shield was part of ‘club rugby’……

          Look I should have specified. I don’t think the Brumbies team have thought of themselves as rejects for a long time. But some of their fans cling to this notion the way Qld league fans cling to the notion of underdog status. The ‘Wallatahs’ tag shits me. I was merely making the point there are plenty of players in the NSW team, some of the most valuable ones this year, that have neither played for the Wallabies or on big coin.

          Anyway lets agree to ideological differences and I will say was impressed with your Vikings last week at Concord Oval. Dont know much about the likes of Swain, Oakman-Hunt or the loose head Taula but they were great. And you have Valentini back this week.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Never denied it was part of club rugby. Only someone with severe cognitive problems would claim that. Equally, only someoen with severe conflictive issues could possibly claim that Shute Shield is ‘grassroots’.

          Anyone who still claims the Brumbies are rejects are idiots. But it is definitely true that the Brumbies sign fewer superstars and develop more of their own players who have less fanfare. The Tahs did that a bit this year, which was nice to see, with guys like Wells and Fitzpatrick.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          ‘the Brumbies like to cling to the idea they are how they were originally, discarded players from other states and club guys who couldnt get a go’

          Um, no they don’t?

          At the end of the day though, guys like Banks are still players that couldn’t get a go elsewhere.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, Banks was signed as a bloke who couldn’t get minutes with the Reds, Powell was signed out of a non-rugby job, neither Cartner nor Enever could be considered consistent Wallabies (Enever wasn’t one until last year) and I really doubt Arnold is one big money. Speight definitely isn’t.

          So, really, it is Pocock in the forwards and perhaps Kuridrani that would be on ‘big money’. And I somehow doubt TK is actually getting paid as much as he is worth to the team, especially relative to the big names at the Tahs.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        $5.5 million is the cap, but it doesn’t include ARU “top ups”, so teams can get a team way in excess of the cap if the ARU is amenable to topping up the squad.

        • disqus_NMX

          Makes a complete mockery of the idea of a cap.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          The cap is to prevent teams from depleting their finances, which was particularly a risk when teams “knew” the ARU needed to provide all current teams to fullfill its contractual commitments and so they would be bailed out if they overspent.

          Most caps are for equalisation purposes. This one isn’t. The effect of top ups has tended to dis-equalise things by causing the best players to remain at their team of choice. There is no competition wide cap anyway, only an ARU one for Aussie teams. There’s little point to the ARU properly equalising the 1/3 of the comp under their control.

          If SANZAAR was serious about SR as a professional league rather than a development league, they’d bring in proper equalisation measures across the comp.

        • disqus_NMX

          Thanks Andrew, appreciate the clarification!

    • Bakkies

      Why be excited for the Rebels they are basically going to be hoarding players like the Waratahs did over a decade ago and you will have players with Super Rugby experience stuck in club Rugby. What that leads to is players going overseas.

      Due to the RA’s shrinking to greatness policy the Brumbies picked up five Force players for this year and only one is left Chance Peni and is very fortunate considering his two suspensions. Three of those Force players have gone down to Melbourne.

      • Missing Link

        I’m excited for the Rebels as I am for the other 3 teams. Each of our 4 teams give us an opportunity to win a super rugby title. I’m also excited for the Force and WSR as it represents a great development opportunity for players. We all need to move forward together in the same direction. time to fill your glass up beyond the half way mark

        • Bakkies

          When the Rebels stop costing Australian Rugby tens of millions I might change my tune. I just can’t support them and the Waratahs.

    • Missing Link

      I’d imagine some of those names would be looking for opportunities elsewhere, hopefully within Aus Rugby as they’re too good quality not to keep around. I can also see Koroibete starting over Naivalu and Ainsley at 3. I’m assuming you mean by “that young bloke who was class” you mean Fereti Sa’aga, he’s a decent player. I think the Rebels also still have laurie weeks around, not sure what’s going on with him, they have a lot of props on their books.

  • onlinesideline

    Reckon KB gonna put up plenty a Garry Owen for his mate Izzy on the sidelines.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, looking forward to Sat. I like the look of this team although I’m still not sold on Beale as a 10. I think he slows the speed of the distribution out to the center. Good to see Poey back but still think the loosies are unbalanced and this might hurt.
    Not holding my breath on any changes to the rygby set up as WR doesn’t actually have the muscle to bring the clubs into line and the clubs don’t care as they’ll just buy more players.

  • Xaviera

    Could be an interesting fixture between Sydney Rays and Brisbane City, as all the match officials will be at Woollahra on Saturday. Not so sure about the teams….

  • OeildeNuit Nighteyes

    Time to end june and november tests.

    Year 1 : World Cup
    Year 2 : Six Nations and Rugby Championship
    Year 3 : World Cup
    Year 4 : Six Nations, RC and Lions

    Less games. North and Souh only play during the world cup, il will be more exciting.

    • Ed

      So more financial power to the NH clubs to entice more of the best SH players then?

    • Tah Tragic

      A WC every 2 years will devalue it. Too much of a good thing and will become ho-hum.

      • Kevino

        Let alone will only leave 12 months for qualifying. It’s not just about tier 1 and automatic qualification.

    • Bakkies

      Six Nations will be on every year. It basically funds the pro game and channels money down to the grassroots.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    In typical fashion, you always miss one news story:

    Reported yesterday in the Sydney Morning Herald, Raelene Castle has given a conditional green light to Twiggy Forrest’s WSR competition, putting her support behind a bid for a WSR team in Western Sydney.

    “A high-level meeting between Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle and her counterparts at NSW Rugby and the Sydney Rugby Union on Monday agreed to move to the next step of discussions with Forrest and his World Series team, who are proposing to fund a team in the region as part of their eight-team vision for the international rebel league.”

    Read here:

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/castle-gives-go-ahead-for-world-series-to-become-a-western-force-in-sydney-20180913-p503md.html

    • Alister Smith

      Thats a very interesting one and I wonder what the ramifications are for Shute Shield. Listening to one of the GAGR podcasts (can’t remember which one sorry) a couple of months ago and they spoke about the traditional clubs “mining” the junior talent in western Sydney at the expense of the performance of the Parramatta’s and Penrith. Also, as I understand it, players in the WSR, as part of their contracts, have to dedicate a minimum number of hours to community rugby programmes etc.

      Combine that with Augustin Pichot’s comments, the decision to hold the meeting about future developments in Sydney and his connections with Minderoo and we have an interesting 6-12 months ahead of us.

    • Bakkies

      Two things WSR is not a Rebel league all unions except for the RA have approved it.

      The other is that is brain dead of the RA, SRU and the NSWRU to think they can stop uncontracted amateur club players from taking up pro contracts with WSR blatant restraint of trade and preventing players from earning a living.

    • Happyman

      Mate unfortunately I think you may have missed the biggest one for the year. It is always the way.
      I think if they do get a team up in Western Sydney it could be a complete game changer for the Tahs. I just wish my beloved Reds would jump on board and ditch the Super Rugby. IMHO the Saffas are going north anyway so the sooner we get rid of them the better.

      • Bakkies

        The Brumbies are pretty keen on looking at other options as the consequences of signing up to five more years of a competition that is not working is far to grim.

    • SuckerForRed

      “No matter what we do, it’s important that whatever is done is done for the right reasons for rugby.”

      Anyone else get the feeling, reading between the lines, that someone has been told to sit down, shut up, and listen to an alternative but is still not happy?

      • Greg

        The pirate might indeed be asserting herself. Good to see.

  • Mart

    Izzy to the wing is a good move.

    It means we don’t have to play a fulback on the wing. Now just play Pocock in his position and we’re getting there

    • onlinesideline

      If we can resolve the Pooper we’re basically back to Links team / style.
      Only took 4 years.
      Maybe Castle had Cheika sit in front of Links Wallaby replays Clockwork Orange style last week.

      • Missing Link

        watching bledisloe cup games end on end is like watching “ooltra varlence”

  • Greg

    Any more news re a possible move to Melbourne for Mr Cooper?

    • Brisneyland Local

      I have heard it is pretty much done.

      • Happyman

        Ditto which begs the question if the reb have Cooper, Genia and Slipper next year who do you support.

        For me still Reds emotionally

        • Brisneyland Local

          I will be torn. I will support both. But when they play each other, part of me would love to see them, the Rebs carve the Reds up to stick it up BT’s ass!

    • Metootootoo

      I doubt that anything will be announced until after the Rising play Brisbane next week.

  • Andrew H

    Amazing quote from two dads, ‘I’m not looking for any favours or entrees or anything, I want to come back through Super Rugby, prove myself that I’m good enough to take the spot.’
    If only RA and SR clubs would have that attitude towards league converts rather than rushing them straight into their sides.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well Happy Freaky Friday to all of you. I don’t know about you lot, but I can already smell and taste that beer that is coming at the end of today. My slections from the current squad.
    1. Scott Sio (48 Tests) Good to Go
    2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (85 Tests) ok, but would like to see more of BPA.
    3. Allan Alaalatoa (26 Tests) Woud rather Tongan Thor start unless this is injury related.
    4. Rory Arnold (16 Tests) Good to go
    5. Izack Rodda (10 Tests) Good to Go
    6. Lukhan Tui (10 Tests) Good to go.
    7. Michael Hooper (c) (85 Tests) Nope. Pooper to die a natural death. Pocock to 7 and Captain.
    8. David Pocock (72 Tests) Samu to 8
    9. Will Genia (93 Tests)
    10. Kurtley Beale (77 Tests) Swap with Toomua
    11. Marika Koroibete (14 Tests) Anyone by Koroibete
    12. Matt Toomua (36 Tests) Swap with Beale.
    13. Reece Hodge (30 Tests) Yep and let him kick most of the inplay kick shared with Toomua.
    14. Israel Folau (66 Tests) Finally !!!
    15. Dane Haylett-Petty (24 Tests) Ok
    Reserves
    17. Sekope Kepu (96 Tests) Good to go.
    18. Taniela Tupou (5 Tests) Should be starting!
    19. Adam Coleman (25 Tests) Yep some mongrel off the bench.
    20. Pete Samu (6 Tests) Hooper to the bench.
    21. Nick Phipps (66 Tests) Gordon, Powell or Sorovi. But not the bovine sprinkler.
    22. Bernard Foley (61 Tests) If we must.
    23. Jack Maddocks (3 Tests) Good to go.

    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Brumby Runner

      I think TPN is a little lucky to be starting. FF has put in some very strong displays for the Wallabies and will imo be the No 1 No 2 in a short time. TPN to battle with BPA for the bench.

      I am not unhappy about TT starting on the bench. Give him some more time/experience to take the starting spot. Intrigued by Kepu on the bench to cover LHP but could be the start of something big.

      Pocock to 7 and Samu/Timu to 8 is the last remaining big change to get through Cheika’s head. Must happen soon. I would even prefer one of Samu/Timu on the bench tbh.

      No other No 9 will even get game time at all while Cheika has Phipps available. Unfortunately, can’t see any change here for the moment.

      Beale and Toomua will clearly swap around during the game so it is really irrelevant what numbers they have on their backs. Hope the combination blossoms, but if not, Foley/Toomua to get a go in later tests.

      Nearly there. Second row has been sorted. Front row is strong in the starters and the bench. Signs of something better in the halves and inside backs, at least by strengthening the defence. Exciting young backs coming through in Maddocks, Banks and Petaia.

      Go Wallabies.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. Now it is just the game plan that we have to worry about ;-)

      • IIPA

        Cheika has shown a real distaste for punishing poor form. TPN could hardly have gone much worse last week or looked more the worse for wear after a short time. The ridiculous back and forth is taking it’s toll. Since his slashing try at Leichardt oval in the ‘trial”, Marika has really done nothing of note with the ball and been a liabilty in defence and tactically for 3 test matches in a row. I agree there are exciting backs coming through but I think there’s more to it than Maddocks, Banks and Petaia. Look at Maddocks and Petaia in Super Rugby ( Jack started great but did drop off a little ) and then tell me the likes of Muirhead and Newsome didnt show just as much at different times. Even Tom English who Cheika likes to deny even exists.

      • Bakkies

        Well Hooper has been ruled out. Pocock to 7, Samu to 8. Still think Samu is too small to be a test 8.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        mate I don’t agree that its irrelevant for Beale and Toomua with their numbers, KB is a crappy 10 and if he swaps at all it should be out further. He doesn’t distribute well and his crabbing across the field cramps the outside backs.
        Now that the pooper has gone I see this as our biggest weakness

    • Keith Butler

      Looks like you’ve got a very early Christmas present. Hooper out with hamstring injury, picked up last week, and Pocock takes over as captain at 7. Balanced back row at last. Aussies for big win and end of Pooper as we know it. In future Hoops warms pine but comes on for Mr Energiser Bunny cameo for final 20 mins.

      • Brisneyland Local

        KB would never wish for a player to be injured. But at least we will see what this combo looks like. I am pretty sure it will be a one off.

        • Keith Butler

          Didn’t mean for it to sound like that. I’d never wish an injury on any player no matter who. As you say, see how the new combo works and just a one off.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Apologies I wasnt inferring you had implied that. I am looking forward to it. I am going to have egg on my face if it doesnt work. For once I am looking forward to a wallabies match.

        • Keith Butler

          No prob. Just watched the Saffas give theDarkness a serve. A Wallabies win would make a great weekend,

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      your curse on Hooper worked mate. Now extended that to Korobiete and I’ll be happy

      • Hoss

        Every cloud mate, every cloud……

        • Alister Smith

          every silver lining has a cloud Hoss

      • Brisneyland Local

        Ha ha, I am getting a lot of that today. Would never wish that on a player. But lets see how the combo goes. You never know. It may suck. I would prefer to see someone other than Koroibete. BUt if that is the only whinge other than Tupou not starting (which I am not sure is due to a bit of injury protection) I would be happy.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I still don’t like Beale at 10

        • Brisneyland Local

          I woul prefer Toomua. But at least Spanners isnt there.

    • Adrian

      Well BL, you predicted the #7,..as it turns out.
      Good comments I think, though I think Korebette will be ok,as I thought he would last week. Naivalu in next time if he’s not.
      Agree re Gordon over Phipps, but not the other half backs…

      I think that essentially Beale, Toomua, DHP, Folau will play the same interchangeable game irrespective of their number.
      I think though, that stripping Folau of 15 is a way of getting him to realise (or not) that he is part of a TEAM. I wouldn’t be surprised if Castle suggested the move to Cheika!

      Yes, I’d start Tuopo, but I’m comfortable about having him there with Kepu at the end.

      I’d probably prefer more pace, but I’m happy enough with DHP for now

      Have we seen the beginning of the co-captain era, once Hooper is fully fit? One starting and one on the bench?
      Amongst a number of reasons for the Pooper, was that both were 100% 80 minute players, and perhaps that has changed?
      I know, I know,….co-captain piss people off as much as heathens do to to BT, but it sort of looks like that already!

      Wallabies by about 7 I guess, but they have the capacity to win by a lot I think.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Adrian, insightful comments as always. I hope Koroibete comes good. But I thoink he needs some serious offseason work to ge there. Gordon would be my preference too. With Sorovi as understudy to him, to start developing depth. Something we have been notoriously bad with. I think you are right on the 10/12/15 combo. In attack the will swap, but it is how they defend that concerns me more. Gee the Argies showed some serious punch in attack, and they got over the line tot he AB’s which makes it double better. So our D is going to have to be at its best. Better then it was against the insipid Bokkies.
        Folau is a good move. Speaking of heatherns, happy clapper, Folau and Thorn, my sources are telling me that Mrs Folau has signed with Sunshine Coast Lightning. So Izzy may be headed this way.
        Definitely start Topou if he is fullly fit. PAce is an issue. We dont have a Rocket Rod Davies coming through the mix, and we need a speed machine.
        Co-Captains only worries me when they are both on the field. If it was an arrangement between Hooper and Pocock with one substituting for the other than would be fine.
        I think 7 is a fair margin, if the combinations gel. I really dont have a good feeling about this referump after the research and reading I have done.

        • Adrian

          Thanks BL.
          I don’t have any inside information on this, but if the misses is going to play in Qld, then Issy is a chance for not just Reds, but Broncos. My thinking was/is that if Issy (read Manager) thinks we are no chance at all in WC, then he’ll go.
          I can imagine Cheika replying to something Castle may have said, and saying “…he shits me too, but…” and Castle saying “…no ifs or buts…”

          Then Tahs could use feed up cash for Hunt, Tui, …and Maffi if he is on some sort of weekend community service thing!

        • Brisneyland Local

          It will be at least a year before Mafi is allowed community service.

  • Larry Jorgensen

    Just returned from NZ. Some observations:

    – best planning decision made was to not arrive early to attend 2nd Bled
    – NZ rugby is also ruminating over the NH club threat. Look at who has jumped recently before fulfilling the AB dream
    – read “The Jersey” while there. Very interesting and worth the effort. And ironically, while the premise is to determine why NZ is dominate, as many questions are raised about the resilience of this dominance as are the answers as to why they currentlty are. Apparently club rugby is suffering there also for a number of reasons, one being that kids cant play club rugby between 13 and 18 as the school program is mandated priority. The chapter covering this tells how Frank Bunce is working a one man show to keep his South Auckland club going.
    – It is not as front of mind as my previous visit. Hansen’s assertion that the NZ government should assist the ABs was met with general bemusement by media. Could the national obsession be waning?
    – attended the Auckland Tasman NPC top of the table clash. Friday night game and a crowd of no more than 5 – 6 K at Eden Park. Very empty and lacking atmosphere. The game was ordinary also.
    – At executive level there is acute awareness of the challenges and they feverishly working how to evolve. This includes deeper engagements with NH clubs

    • Brisneyland Local

      LJ, funny I got back from NZ about 5 weeks ago and read The Jersey whilst I was over there too. that whole Club vs School thing was being debated by NZ mates of mine whilst I was over there. They see some clear benefits, but obviously there are some clear deficits as well.
      Re the funding from NZ government, I can understand it going down rather flatly. But to be honest, whilst I was there they annouced that NZ was officially going to Card Licences for drivers licences. Believe it or not, on the South Island (cant speak about the North) they still use paper licences. WTF!

      • Bakkies

        It was the same in Ireland plastic card licences and photo ID for social welfare (previously you could rock up to the post office to collect dole for your cousin while he is in Spain) only has come in over the past few years.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Amazing isnt it. The only paper licence that I have ever had were my motorcycle L’s back in 1988. And my pilots licence, which only swapped to cards a few years back.

        • Who?

          Pilot’s licence? How do you fit in the planes?! I’m thinking light aircraft, not commercial, and I’m remembering childhood flights in tiny cessnas to regional NSW. And how I didn’t fit, and I was small!!! Or do you prefer ultralights, where you can get the wind in your face, and more headroom (given most of them don’t have an enclosed cockpit)?

        • Brisneyland Local

          I fly both helicopters and Fixed wing. I can fit in C-172’s (believe it or not) but the person behind me is screwed. The pilots seat have a fair bit more room and adjustment in the seat. Helicopters (AS-350’s) have plenty of room.

        • Who?

          So, if you moved to NZ, you’d automatically be a flight lieutenant, like Sir Richie, given he’s a chopper and glider pilot? :-P
          Hidden talents. My ex-stepfather was an ultralight CFI, so my experiences are all based around him. I prefer the ground – even my favourite flying experiences were clipping fences, banking 3m off the ground in an ultralight (because you get that sense of speed that’s completely absent when you’ve got altitude and no close proximity items to use to judge speed. And that ultralight? It was the one from Mad Max).

        • Missing Link

          It’s definitely a wake up call when you descend close enough to the ground to realise how fast you’re actually going

        • Brisneyland Local

          you see it is down amongst the weeds where it is the most fun.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sweet. I was ranked higher than Sir Rutchie when I got out of the Army. Infact so was KRL. I love being airborne. I also have 3500+ skydives and wingsuit jumps. You have to feel your knees in the breeze.

        • Who?

          I wasn’t factoring in your prior record – you’d be an air marshall! :-P
          Was KRL in with Rhys Darby? Can he confirm Rhys’ piece about saving ammo whilst on drill..? That was hilarious… Almost believable, given how much they’ve slashed funding. God Defend NZ, because they’ve cut funding for any bullets! :-P
          No sleight intended on KRL or Kiwi servicemen – we all know that they’re awesome. It’s just the reality of funding for defence in a country that might be a great place to visit, but just isn’t worth the effort and expense of invading it (seriously, you’ve gotta own Australia to make it worthwhile invading NZ).
          I couldn’t ever step out of a plane…….. I’d rather be asked to scrum against Taniela. Either way, I’d be in hospital rather quickly afterwards…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ha ha.
          Not sure on the Kiwi’s. KRL will be able to confirm!

        • Gun

          Pilot’s licences are paper again!

        • Brisneyland Local

          I still have the card one. But the card runs out soon.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Other interesting news from where the weather is great and the lifestyle wonderful. Izzy was doing the radio rounds up here on the Brissy stations. Very little of it was spent plugging Saturdays game. Most of spent discussing his potential move to Brisbane. Whilst he played it with a straight bat (ha ha ha get it), looks like he is plugging a move up here. Which the Reds cant afford.

    • Ed

      Could they if Quade, Karmichael and Slipper are off the books?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Potentially. They lost one of their major sponsors a little while ago. RA have presently been paying their bills as they are technically insolvent. When and by how much they are off the books is the real question. There is no doubt they will still be paying residuals on Quade’s contract. Intially that is what stopped Quade’s potential earlier move to the Brumbies. Reds said it was an all or nothing deal, so the Brumbies walked away. Which was fucking stupid on the Reds behalf.
        Hunt will still be on their books as it is unlikely at this stage someone will take him. Slipper will get a deal, and should release all of his funds.
        So the question is, what is the delta? And what price are they paying for Izzy?

        • Gareth

          Hey BL – If they do manage to free up QC & Slippers $$ for an izzy swap then that has to be a good thing. I imagine that Izzy would get most of his $$ from Rugby Australia so the reds might be able to cover their staff wages in future.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Dont get me wrong, Izzy coming to the Reds wouldnt be such a bad thing. It will all dpend on the $$$$ they are talking about. Izzy doesnt come cheap. But if he is prepared to take a pay cut to be co-located with his bride. Then there may be space. But it all depends what the Rebs will dish out for QC and whether the Reds are prepared to accept that. You never know, BT might be pig headed like he was last time.

        • Ed

          Thanks BL.
          Remember Matt Burke wrote a few weeks ago that the Tahs should be peed off with Israel taking his time on re-signing with them. Maybe BT will guarantee the number 15 jersey for Folau.

        • Brisneyland Local

          NOt sure on the one. Knowing BT he will play him in the front row if that is his opinion of where he is best suited. I think this deal is mostly about getting him and his wife co-located.

  • Missing Link

    whoever coined the phrase “Izzy on a wing and a prayer” deserves credit

  • onlinesideline

    Waiting for the –
    Bill Burr of Australian Rugby to make an entrance
    The Mack Truck of Wallaby supporter Optimism
    The Marcus Welby of Australian Rugby Psychosis
    The Billy Birmhimgham of Wallaby IDs

    Yes Ladies and Gentlemen he is Inbound Soon – Do not Fear
    The one and only “Hoss of Wordsmith County”
    His pre-test tips and insights
    Not to be missed

  • Hoss

    Good morning and greetings from the Ponderosa.

    After a week on my back contemplating the sheer stupidity and humour of life, i am back.

    9 kilos lighter, daily sponge baths from a slightly built, polite and respectful Phillipino Nurse named Raul, with delicate hands – it may not have been love, but it’s the next best thing, gave me time to sit and absorb the complexities and vagaries of my time on this orb and the dwindling IQ of the masses.

    What a week – PC gone mad, selections approaching the common sense and seemingly good decisions out of RA – i have awoken in an alternate universe.

    Folau on the wing – who’d a thunk it ?? (apart from every man and his dog on here) and the twittersphere is yet to ignite – maybe Dusty hid his wife’s phone ? If we can just get Cheik to admit the folly of the Pooper and send Koribete back to the nether-ness to learn his craft we might be onto something. Also a bit worried about our piggies and no cover for LH ?? Why wouldn’t you start Kepu and have 7A’s on the pine – problem solved ????

    It’s a game i would expect to win and for all the improvement out of the FISM’s – still should be gold by 12+

    Great news on the Western Sydney front, well played the gent from the Peoples Republic of WA (PROWA) the Wests own, Mr Kerry Packer and The Pirate and RA Board. Interesting times and i reckon this is the embryo from which the new Oz Rugby will grow. Early on in the piece, intimacy between new partners is awkward and cumbersome, lots of elbows and teeth and miss-timed advances. Now they have been dating and flirting a while, things should go smoother.

    And now to PC world where you cant laugh and discuss the actions of a person acting like a turd on a sporting arena because of said persons lack of Y Chromosone or additional levels of melanin, life truly is funny. ironic, but very very funny.

    Good to be back – go the Wallabies

    • Habitual Offender

      A week on your back with a lovely Philipino nurse?
      No wonder the rest of us somehow feel offended.

    • Brisneyland Local

      What happened mate? Is everything ok?

      • Hoss

        Hi Briz. Back in the saddle, floored with pneumonia for a week. Was feeling off for a couple of weeks leading up to it. A week in Private Hosp, all Better now, rested and looking forward to some better rugby and the banter

        • Greg

          Good to see you back. Hope all is well.

          I didn’t know your cousin was a nurse as well!

        • Missing Link

          Welcome back mate, have seen someone with pneumonia and I thought I was going to have to call a priest. Glad you didn’t walk towards the tunnel of light. On the bright side, when you said you’d lost 9kg, I thought you may have required a bowel preparation prior to surgery. That’s an experience in itself!

        • Hoss

          Yep – stick weight watchers where the sun don’t shine, I am starting the 6 week intense pneumonia weight loss programme. I reckon a lung is a small price to pay to look good.

          I am part Kardashian

        • Human

          Which part is Kardashian?

        • onlinesideline

          Hope its not the butt impmants

        • Hoss

          Would need to think that through carefully. The whole family has seen more semen than the USS Zamwalt.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold.

        • Human

          Indeed. There could be close to 50 potential anthropology PhD’s in that family.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Are you going to get a butt lift?

        • onlinesideline

          Two words Hoss
          BONE BROTH
          You’ll be like a new man within a week – trust me mate
          check this guy out
          https://petesorganicmarket.com
          If you are in Sydney or surrounding hinterland he will deliver
          Load up on a couple of weeks worth

        • Hoss

          Cheers my Hungarian lust merchant. Not to bashful to admit i was known as ‘Snickers’ in my youth – always satisfies.

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte sorry to hear that. Rest up, stay hydrated ;-) and enjoy the ruggers!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good to hear you’re ok mate. Take it easy

    • Missing Link

      sent my regards to Raul

      • Hoss

        I asked him to wear a bright red nail polish – removed any moral
        ambiguity I had about the matter

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold.
          I thought like me you would have sold your morals years ago.

        • Hoss

          Pushed down real deep mate – I get the ‘bends’ even thinking how far down they are.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I just sold mine decades ago. that way I dont have to worry about them resurfacing!

    • Keith Butler

      Hope all’s ok now. Losing 9 kg, I wish. Should rename you Pony. A few beers, and the odd pie or two this weekend should soon see you back to fighting weight.

  • onlinesideline

    Dempsey is back in NRC this week
    Last seen doing some stretching
    Good Luck
    Wonder if he is an EOYT contender ?

    • Missing Link

      hope so!

    • The Jackal

      Get him on the plane to South Africa & Argentina, might not play in the TRC but get him reacquainted with everything. Got to be a close to a shoe-in for the best first XV we can put on the park

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    BREAKING NEWS:

    Hooper ruled out due to injury… Pocock will captain the side.

    Pete Samu comes into the starting lineup, while Hanigan comes onto the bench.

    http://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/09/14/rugby-championship-wallabies-argentina-hooper-injury

    Thoughts, GAGRs?

    • Who?

      Sad for Hooper, and amazing he made it through the Test (he clearly twinged it in the first half, well before he covered a kick back and slid it into touch, a huge effort for a fit forward, let alone one with a dud hammy).
      But kind of hilarious given all the talk below about Pocock to 7 and captain and Samu to the bench.

    • Bobas
      • joy

        Hannigan should be at 6 and Samu on the bench.

        • Bobas

          Hanigan contains potassium benzoate

    • Brisneyland Local

      Fell sorry for Hooper, as no one likes to see a player out injured. But hopefully we will now see a balanced squad. Am glad that Samu gets another starting opportunity. I think he will be a good player moving forward for the Wallabies.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Naisirani will be a better option at 8 then Pete Samu next year.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Potentially. We will see how the rest of this year and next year pans out.

    • first time long time

      Hooper picked for the first two tests undercooked and off the pace because of his hammy, tweaked it again in the 3rd and again at training. I would go so far as to say that’s pretty shithouse player management.

      • Bernie Chan

        Agree…what was Cheika thinking? Not too easy to recover from a dodhy hammy…

    • Greg

      It wasn’t me OK. I didn’t do it…. don’t even think it was me.

      Seriously, best wishes to him for a speedy recovery. Could this trigger a change? Will he come back form the bench in teh last 20 for a few games?

      Hopefully Pocock is 100%

    • The Jackal

      End of the Michael Hooper era. When is he off contract? Might look to head overseas when he cant crack the starting XV again after this absence. Will be great off the bench at next year’s World Cup

      • Who?

        Seriously funny! :-D Given he just signed for 5 years…

    • Mart

      Bad for Hooper. Good that Pocock is at 7 But now there’s 2 6’s in the backrow?
      Samu at 8? i don’t know

      • joy

        Samu’s a lightweight 6 or a featherweight 8. I don’t get the enthusium for him..

  • Bernie Chan

    Sadly, I don’t think Pichot is far off the mark…

  • onlinesideline

    In one week:
    The Pooper dissolved
    Izzy on the wing
    Foley benched
    Pocock Captain

    I think Mark Ella gone bush and had a little chat with them Elders bout the Wallabies eh ?
    Things lookin right now mate
    (Que the Didgeriidoo)

    • John Tynan

      Are you on a haiku challenge?

      • onlinesideline

        No its 6 in the morning for me and Im fading
        Haiku keeps it short and sweet

  • onlinesideline

    BREAKING NEWS: – There has been no breaking news and no late withdrawals for over 10 minutes since the Hooper news – A first in 4 weeks.

  • Happyman

    Gents with a proper back row we are all going to feel slightly silly if they don’t perform this week.

    With respect to Hooper he should just be wrapped in cotton wool till November hamstrings are a funny injury. I tore my old man hammy a couple of years ago and still have issues with it today.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      I think when changes r made they need time to settle. … let’s hope there’s me knee jerk reactions

  • Bakkies
    • paul

      And it sums up rugby in this country $million salaries and no expense spared for the Wallabies.

      But below that good luck.

  • joy

    You’ll have to bench this blog if we lose this weekend.

    • Greg

      we will indeed be in a bit of strife.

      Just so long as the boys play well, I am happy (ish :-) )

      Go Gold!!

  • Adrian

    Bookies saying 10.5.
    I said 7
    We have the capacity to win by 20 if everything clicks

    • Brisneyland Local

      Until the referump sticks that metal thing in his mouth!

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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