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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Squads, Squads and more Squads, Twiggy Ball pushed back and Quade lines up against the Reds.


 

 

REBELS VS REDS TRIAL AKA QUADES RED DEAD REDEMPTION 

2018-Reds-v-Rebels-16

Quade Cooper will finally don the navy blue Melbourne Rebels jersey as he takes on his former team, the Reds, in a trial match in Ballarat tonight. 

Cooper was a late withdrawal with knee issues, last Saturday in the trial match against the Brumbies. It looks like he has over come them just in time for the start of the Super Rugby season.

Though he will have to wait another week to pair up with his old mate Will Genia who wasn’t named.

Dave Wessels has made a few changes to his 35-man squad including bringing in new recruits Isi Naisarani and Brad Wilkin, bringing back club captain Tom English at 13 and Anaru Rangi into the starting squad.

Lukhan Salakai-Loto FKA Tui will play rugby for Queensland tonight for the first time since he stepped away after the Wallabies loss to Argentina on the Gold Coast last year. 

Brandon Paenga-Amosa and Caleb Timu are the only capped Wallabies from last season listed for Queensland, with the rest of the Spring Tour squad resting after Cheika’s boot camp.

Bryce Hegarty will have his first go around in a Reds jersey, after making the move north in a trade deal for Karmichael Hunt between the Reds and NSW.

Kick off is at 6:30pm Feb 1st and will be live streamed from the Rebels Facebook page for those who can’t get to Ballarat.

Rebels Squad

1. Ben Daley 2. Anaru Rangi 3. Sam Talakai 4. Luke Jones 5. Matt Philip 6. Rob Leota 7. Brad Wilkin 8. Isi Naisarani 9. Michael Ruru 10. Quade Cooper 11. Semisi Tupou 12. Billy Meakes 13. Tom English 14. Tazi Tautalatasi 15. Beaudine Waaka

Reserves

Forwards

Fereti Saaga, Mees Erasmus, Matt Gibbon, Robbie Abel, Hugh Roach, Pone Faamausili, Rhys Brodie, Sam Jeffries, Trevor Hosea, Esei Haangana, Ikapote Tupai, John Mokofosi, Richard Hardwick, Michael Koko

Backs

Harrison Goddard, Stu Dunabr, Nav Hailsila, Sione Tui, Justin Masters, Archie King

Reds Squad

Forwards

Harry Hoopert, Feao Fotuaika, Ruan Smith, Gavin Luka, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Efi Ma’afu, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Harry Hockings, Angus Blyth, Angus Scott-Young Liam Wright, Caleb Timu, Adam Korczyk, Fraser McReight, Scott Higginbotham

Backs

Moses Sorovi, Tate McDermott, Scott Malolua, Hamish Stewart, Teti Tela, Duncan Paia’aua, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Filipo Daugunu, Jock Campbell, Bryce Hegarty, Jack Hardy, Will Eadie, Isaac Lucas

TWIGGY BALL DELAYED

matt hodgson andrew twiggy forrest dave wessels

Fyre Festival creator Billy McFarland could learn a thing or two from Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest when it comes to building an organisation, if it’s not ready to run sometimes you have to delay it.

Thats what Forrest has been forced to do with Global Rapid Rugby akaTwiggy Ball.

Time ran out on the competition organisers who failed to finalise the arrangements with two of the teams slated to be apart of the six team Asia Pacific competition, expect to start in March.

Forrest released a statement, claiming to be confident the competition will still go a head in 2020.

“In 2019, fans are going to get a real feel for how the entertainment experience we pioneered in Australia last year will evolve throughout the Asia Pacific. It will form a runway for the launch of an even bigger investment in 2020, once strong broadcasting arrangements are in place,” he said.

“Making Rapid Rugby a reality has required a considerable amount of courage and determination. That determination, and our vision, has not changed. The strategy required to realise it requires a strong foundation.”

Forrest admitted that expecting organisers to have a 60 game series in eight international territories was going to be a tough ask, especially when they only have 15 week. At least he saved himself the embarrassment of a Netflix doco.

Former Wallaby and Global Rapid Rugby head of Rugby Matt Hodgson believes an extra year will help turn the competition into something long-term.

“We don’t want it to be a one year thing, we want it to be a long term project and success. This means you’ll see Global Rapid Rugby around for the long term, which is exciting.

“And there is a lot of upside in what we can deliver in 2020 now, to make the greatest spectacle we can in the time frame we are now presented with.”

The upside for Twiggy is this gives him the chance to try and secure more teams for the competition, mainly a team from Japan and a second team from Australia.

The delay will hit the Western Force hard, with the team still playing NRC and being involved in another Showcase Series later in the year, with all player contracts honoured. 

The delay might also work in favour of Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby, both of whom have come round to the idea of another competition in the region, especially if it can do the work growing the game in a way neither body can afford right now.

 

 

WALSH BRINGS OUT THE BIG GUNS

Jesse Parahi

Jesse Parahi

Aussie Men’s Sevens coach Tim Walsh had called in the big guns a head of the Sydney Sevens this weekend, bring in Jesse Parahi and Michael Wells to bring some grunt to the team.

Walsh also named Ben O’Donnell who has been under the injury cloud all week and wasn’t expect to play.

Parahi and Wells have been brought in to add some strength to the breakdown, allowing the playmakers time and space to work some magic.

“I’ll just focus on my game this weekend,”Parahi said.

“That’s generally being a bit of a prick at the breakdown and annoying blokes there and then also just running hard and making my tackles so I’ll be aiming to do that this weekend.”

Coach Tim Walsh believes that Parahi would be a welcome addition with all of his experience. 

“He’s an experienced player, adds a real point of difference in so many different areas but particularly that ball-carrying and ruck areas,” he said.

“He was bouncing around there today so he’s really looking forward to getting out there and playing.”

The Sydney Sevens could prove to me make or break for the Mens team, with it important for them to perform better than they did in Hamilton if they want to finish top four in the world rankings, thus automatically qualifying for the Olympics in Tokyo 2020.

Australia’s men’s team for Sydney Sevens: Henry Hutchison, Simon Kennewell, Michael Wells, Lewis Holland (c), Ben O’Donnell, John Porch, Jeral Skelton, Jesse Parahi, Josh Coward, Nick Malouf, Maurice Longbottom, Lachie Anderson.

Men’s pool draw for Sydney Sevens Day Two (Sat Feb 2):

10.28am Australia vs Argentina

3.56pm Australia vs Tonga

8.23pm South Africa vs Australia

(all times AEDT)

 

LET THE SIX NATIONS BEGIN

 

RBS Six Nations tropy - Photo credit Inpho and RBS Six Nations

RBS Six Nations tropy – Photo credit Inpho and RBS Six Nations

The Six Nations kicks off this weekend, with what would surely be an extremely competitive season with five of the top 10 teams in the world playing off. For a full break down and what to expect check out Mark McCarthy’s write up on the Six Nations.

Round one has France up against Wales, Scotland against Italy and the big one Ireland hosting England.

This article will look mostly at the match up between Joe Schmidt’s men and the men of Eddie Jones but this will be an entertaining weekend of rugby.

The showdown between England and Ireland promises to be a massive match, with the Irish looking to continue their northern hemisphere dominance.

Robbie Henshaw will start at full back for the second time in his 36 test career, beating out hard man Rob Kearney for the spot. The Dynamic Duo of Murray and Sexton are back to lead the match from 9 and 10 with captain Rory Best in the 2 jersey.

Eddie Jones has gone with Elliot Day at fullback leaving no place in the 23 for Mike Brown. Jones has looked for a mixture of youth and experience with Wasp scrum half Dan Robson a chance to earn and England cap. Owen Farrell will lead the English squad.

Ireland Starting XV

15. Robbie Henshaw (Buccaneers/Leinster) 36, 14. Keith Earls (Young Munster/Munster) 72, 13. Garry Ringrose (UCD/Leinster) 17, 12. Bundee Aki (Galwegians/Connacht) 12, 11. Jacob Stockdale (Ballynahinch/Ulster) 14, 10. Jonathan Sexton (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 78, 9. Conor Murray (Garryowen/Munster) 67, 1. Cian Healy (Clontarf/Leinster) 84, 2. Rory Best (Banbridge/Ulster) (capt) 112, 3. Tadhg Furlong (Clontarf/Leinster) 28, 4. Devin Toner (Lansdowne/Leinster) 63, 5. James Ryan (UCD/Leinster) 13, 6. Peter O’Mahony (Cork Constitution/Munster) 52, 7. Josh van der Flier (UCD/Leinster) 13, 8. CJ Stander (Shannon/Munster) 28

16. Sean Cronin (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 65, 17. Dave Kilcoyne (UL Bohemians/Munster) 24, 18. Andrew Porter (UCD/Leinster) 11, 19. Quinn Roux (Galwegians/Connacht) 8, 20. Sean O’Brien (UCD/Leinster) 52, 21. John Cooney (Terenure College/Ulster) 4, 22. Joey Carbery (Clontarf/Munster) 16, 23. Jordan Larmour (St. Mary’s College/Leinster) 9

England starting XV

15 Elliot Daly (Wasps, 25 caps), 14 Jonny May (Leicester Tigers, 40 caps), 13 Henry Slade (Exeter Chiefs, 17 caps), 12 Manu Tuilagi (Leicester Tigers, 27 caps), 11 Jack Nowell (Exeter Chiefs, 29 caps), 10 Owen Farrell (Saracens, 65 caps), 9 Ben Youngs (Leicester Tigers, 80 caps); 1 Mako Vunipola (Saracens, 51 caps), 2 Jamie George (Saracens, 32 caps), 3 Kyle Sinckler (Harlequins, 17 caps), 4 Maro Itoje (Saracens, 26 caps), 5 George Kruis (Saracens, 27 caps), 6 Mark Wilson (Newcastle Falcons, 8 caps), 7 Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, 5 caps), 8 Billy Vunipola (Saracens, 36 caps).

16 Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, 7 caps), 17 Ellis Genge (Leicester Tigers, 5 caps), 18 Harry Williams (Exeter Chiefs, 15 caps), 19 Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, 68 caps), 20 Nathan Hughes (Wasps, 18 caps), 21 Dan Robson (Wasps, uncapped), 22 George Ford (Leicester Tigers, 51 caps), 23 Chris Ashton (Sale Sharks, 42 caps).

 

 

 

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Also, it looks like Kerevi is likely to be lured abroad after the World Cup…

    We will need to further relax the foreign eligibility rule to keep more players in Aus. I still support 7 years signed to an Aussie super rugby team, regardless of the number of caps. We want to reward players who played in Australia for a long time, not those that are favoured by the current coaches, and we don’t want to punish players that mature later.

    • Dylan Langes

      Im sorry DB but i respectfully disagree. I don’t think we should allow OS players at all. We need to focus on better improving the systems at home, making this a place players want to stay regardless of money. Look to the Irish model.
      If we start allowing OS players to come back they won’t get a full camp, they won’t gel as well and we’ll be worse off.
      We definitely need better selectors and better player management for sure but we should invest time in those fields.
      Also if we rely to heavily on OS players we lose out on player development.

      • Ed

        Well we will have to wait until next year before we have better systems for the Wallabies to be in place.
        Reports of the Wallabies Sydney camp last month was it was basically fitness work, little if any time with a ball. Our catch and pass skills are poor, yet the coach’s focus is on fitness. Maybe if he had a defensive system that did not exhaust the players meant they would not be rooted by 60 minutes.
        A question should be asked to Pete Samu about the differences in training and preparation at the Crusaders and the Brums/Wallabies.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bang on mate. I still remember Dan Carter telling one of the wingers that they watched him run all over the park and targeted him with high balls because they could see he was knackered. Interesting how only Grey and Cheika can see the brilliance of this system and no-one else does.

        • Hoss

          Lemon Lips Mitchell mate – DC moved him around like a chess piece.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hoss, Can you send your contact details to jcmasher@me.com? BLL and I would like to catch up at some stage.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        New Zealand have the best systems in the world, and event they are being affected by the player drain. There are a lot of good Kiwi players that I think would be pushing for All Blacks starting spots if they were at home still.

        The reality is that the economic disparities between the north and the south are so great that regardless of how good our systems are, we won’t be able to field a team nearly so strong if we just look domestically.

        The term ‘brain drain’ was coined in the 1960s to describe the number of Iranian trained professionals moving abroad. Despite having one of the best medical education systems in the world, more Iranian-trained doctors were working in New York than in Iran, due primarily to salary differences.

        We’ve reached this tipping point in Australian rugby. In fact, I think we reached it a few years ago.

        • Dylan Langes

          You hit the nail on the head. New Zealand have the best system in the world and despite being drained they continue to be the best. They aren’t running around calling for law changes to bring Dan Carter back.

          Lima Sopoanga was the back up to Barrett, he left and they filled the spot, that’s what the Kiwis do. They adjust and adapt and move on. Yes it helps they have blood to spare and we don’t but it doesn’t help when good players are being push overseas by our poor program and poor top level coaching staff.

          Thats an interesting point about the doctors.

          I still use the example of Campbell Magnay and Luke Jones coming back to Australia, they probably aren’t earning more money here so why do it?

          I mentioned it earlier in the week that Johnny Sexton chose to come back to Ireland after a stint in France for less money because their program was better.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I personally don’t think they are the best team in the world currently.

          I also think that even if they are, the gap had shrunk massively over the last few years.

        • John_R

          Luke has definitely come back at a bargain basement price. But I think Magnay might have had his hand forced, as he missed the entire season through injury.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Ireland also have a massive tax refund for professional sports players who stay in Ireland for 10+ years.

          Also, Sexton’s body wasn’t lasting in France and he wanted to prolong his career somewhere where his playing hours were strictly controlled.

          Very different situation.

        • Who?

          Plus, working under Lancaster (supported by Bishop), as well as Schmidt and Faz, who wouldn’t move to Leinster for the Rugby program? One of the best coached teams in the world.

      • Keith Butler

        What about overseas players who qualify through residency – like Bundi Aki and CJ Stander – both playing against England and good luck to them.

        • Dylan Langes

          Thats different than a Wallaby who goes and plays Northern Hemisphere rugby.
          We have a few current wallabies that qualify through residency.

    • Happyman

      Kerevi has taken significantly less money to stay in the past so I would not begrudge him the chance to go overseas for the payday.

      I think we should recognise that we are a nett exporter of talent and just concentrate on building the base. The big issue IMHO is that players straight out of school go for overseas to academies or scholarships. Being from Brisbane I know of ten players who have gone overseas either straight out of school or within 12 months. That is our real player drain.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,

    I think the game between Rebels and Reds will be interesting. I hope Quade doesn’t see it as a pay back and tries to do too much to show BT what he’s missing out on and just plays good thoughtful rugby. I really want to see him exert his presence on the game and provide the guidance and direction we want in a 10. Some good long touch finders would also be quite nice.

    Looking forward to the 6 Nations I think it’ll be an interesting competition. I agree with Ireland being the favourites but I’d be hesitant to write off Wales or England as well. Either way it’ll be fun.

    • Happyman

      Mate I hope QC underplays his hand tonight against the Reds he totally outplayed Stewart in the NRC game. My smokey to watch is Tasi Tautalatasi he played club rugby in Qld for Souths last year and to many it was mystifying that the Reds did not want him. The Rebels backs are pretty sharp but keep an eye on him IMHO he will play Super Rugby this year.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Interesting. I guess we’ll see how it pans out

      • Adrian

        Fast or big or both?

        • Happyman

          Big enough without being huge. Quick smart good hands and a good defender.

          I think he will progress but it will be difficult in a rebels backline with Hodge Meekes English et al

        • Adrian

          Might be difficult to get a run, and difficult to get his hands on the ball if he does get a run.

          Cooper will help, but somehow quicker hands are neededboutside of him.

          Still, better off than Reds who don’t have a 5/8, and better off (IMO) than Brums re inside backs creating options for outside backs

  • Silver Ghost

    Nice reference to Fyre Festival Dylan.
    To mix analogies, Twiggy Ball does seem to have a bit of “tell’em he’s dreamin”.
    I think twiggy would have been better doing what Frank Lowey did to soccer (or what ever they now call the no hands game), buy the domestic competition (NRC) and run it professionally.
    On another note, I don’t get the idea of the Rebels (and the NRC Rising, for that matter) playing outside of Melbourne. Crawl-Walk-Run should be the growth motto. It’s not as if the Rebel fan base in Melbourne is that large that they can ignore them until the Super season starts. I suppose a few St Pat’s boys will show up!
    Apart from Italy games, I think 6N will be really close.

    • Dylan Langes

      As a Rebel support I ask myself that everyday.

  • I Should be Coach

    Hi Y’al. So glad y’all are back and posting. This site truly has been about 70% of my laughs these days. Never have I been so happy and laughing after a Wobs loss.

    BL, KRL, Hoss, Adrian, Nutta and the countless others who I simply can’t name – thanks for everything. What a great group and thanks again for the laughs. More to come.

    • Adrian

      Looking like you’ll be doing a bit of laughing this year then Coach.

      Still, 4 things will be different this year:
      1. Johnson effect
      2. Third selector effect
      3. Changes to assistants (TBC)
      4. Cooper, Hunt, Slipper in the mix
      Will anything change?
      I think it will, but many (most?) think it won’t.

      Fuck, they better, because 2 months ago I was beginning to think what everyone else has been thinking for years.

      I took something, and I’m over it now!

      Bring on the SR, the RC, and the WC

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That’s the Adrian I remember. Welcome back mate.
        To me the way the 3rd selector – and who it is, along with Johnson fits into the mix will be interesting and may set the tone for the performances later in the year. I still can’t help but feel it’s got more chance of being ugly than sweet.
        I’m not so sure on changes to the assistants, it would seem to me that the review at Christmas last year would ha be been the time for that to allow any newbies to settle in. Anything from now on just gives less time for their replacement to bed in.
        I think Cooper, maybe as there really aren’t a lot of options at 10. Slipper, also maybe as he is a proven performer but I’m not so sure either Hunt or AAC will do more than play ok for the Tahs.
        Still as you say “Bring it on!”

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Thanks ISBC. Should be a fun year

  • John_R

    If Kerevi does go to Japan, would he still be able to play Super Rugby? Ala the flexible contracts?

  • Who?

    Bummer – didn’t realize it was 6:30 Daylight Savings time – only managed to get onto the FB stream for the second half of the trial. :-(

    • Huw Tindall

      how’d it pan out?

      • Who?

        Currently 19 all, Rebels hot on attack – hang on, turned over.

        Apparently the current Rebels THP is playing his second year of Rugby!

        • Huw Tindall

          and then…..(can’t watch it right now)

        • Who?

          Rebels gain possession from a Reds knock on at the Rebels defensive 5m line with 2m on the clock. Reds leading by 2. Rebels dominate the scrum, the turn it over out wide… But it’s called back for a penalty against the Reds at the scrum. Off the lineout, 14 went straight through the Reds line in the midfield, quick ball to the left, then knocked on into touch with 30 seconds on the clock . Reds just need to win the scrum and put the ball into touch… But the Rebels win a tight head, spread it wide, some great off loads and in for the match winner!!! Grandstand finish. :-)

        • Huw Tindall

          And the crowd goes wild! Great blog post! Felt like I was there! Did QC throw the final pass? That’d cause some to go into raptures.

        • Who?

          Nah, I didn’t even see QC on the field – both he and Stewart played the first half. Comments on the stream were that QC outplayed Stewart, Stewart copped a big hit (not sure, but maybe that’s why he left the field? Paia’aua was the dominant Red (along with Tate McDermott) in the second half), QC did some good things, and some things that didn’t pay off.

          The end of the game was really dominated by the ball carrying of Tautalatasi. He was the one who threw the intercept on his own 10m line, but was saved by the scrum penalty. He was the one who broke the midfield apart. He straightened the attack off the scrum tight head, buying time for team mates to get around the corner in numbers, as otherwise the Reds would’ve had the width covered. He had some excellent touches.

          So, it was 19 all, the Reds got to 26-19, then Rebels 24-26 (missed the conversion, commentators said it was windy on that side of the field, and it was out wide – Reds’ conversion was next to the posts), and the Rebels then scored the final try.

          Adrian – can’t be certain which player was which, because I was watching on my phone. So I can’t even comment on whether the ref’s regular interventions were accurate. And, with 70 players used between the two teams, we had a lot of players who were complete unknowns out there. The commentators said in the second half that it was almost a full strength Reds team out there at one point, but the Rebels were largely unknowns. As mentioned, stunningly, in the second half (but not all the second half), the Rebels had a THP out there playing his second year of Rugby. I know they said the Reds played three scrumhalves. Robbie Abel got out there near the end. The subs just kept on coming – ten minutes from time, the Rebels were getting shunted in the scrums, the last three scrums they’d subbed their entire front row and then dominated.

          Very hard to take anything concrete from my viewing experience on my iPhone. Other than Tautalatasi looked rather good with ball in hand, and the Reds had a couple of worrying breaks through the middle of their defensive line in the second half. The commentators were saying, “It’s a trial, everyone’s spent,” but with so many subs, and with how hard the Reds have supposedly been pushed by their gym junkie coach (and their new defensive coach – I know his brother, I can’t imagine Peter’s anything other than a very, very hard man! In the most complimentary sense), I don’t see that as an excuse (and I don’t think Peter will, either).

        • Adrian

          Thanks Who

        • Adrian

          Who went well and who didn’t Who?

        • Huw Tindall

          very nice Adrian :)

        • Parker

          That’s some of the best live, written commentary I’ve ever seen. Get your agent to give BBC.com a call right away.

  • Ian Rodger

    Phipps and Rona have signed with London Irish apparently! Hopefully Cheika will do what he did with Fardy when he decided to go overseas and not select them. Give Gordon, Powel and maybe one of the QLD

    • Huw Tindall

      Not the biggest losses if we are honest. Rona probably not pushing for longer term Wallabies selections and Phipps at the end of his career and unlikely to make RWC2023 anyway. Time to move on and give the youngsters a red hot go.

      Tahs will certainly need to do some recruiting for next year though! Getting Reece Hodge back home to Sydney would be an excellent buy I think. Manly boy would surely love a run at the Tahs!?

      • Ian Rodger

        I’d rather not see Phipps at the 2019 rwc if i’m honnest. He’s just to erratic, every pass just goes high, low, to far in front or behind the player. Not really usefull if you need to either keep the ball to score to win or keep the ball to defend your lead.

        Yeah they will definitely need somebody to fill the 13 spot. Hodge would be a great get for the Tahs but not sure the Rebs would let him go easily. Maybe they can get English across. Very solid player, never really does anything outrageous but always plays solid, something the Tahs need. They’ve got Foley and beale for the creative stuff. A hard running, solid 13 is something they could do with.

        • Huw Tindall

          Agree Phipps not at RWC19 wouldn’t be a bad thing. Could happen too if Gordon outplays him at the Tahs and Genia continues his high standards. In saying that Phipps’s motor and defence are a huge asset in a leaky Wallabies defensive line.

          Wouldn’t be surprised Foley and Beale leave as well. Will be 30 and 31 respectively after RWC and I think both contracts are up this year as well. Like Phipps will be pushing it at 34/35 years of age for RWC 2023.

        • Ian Rodger

          Phipps defence is definitely a big asset but i don’t think the upside is bigger than his passing down side. A 9’s first job is still get the ball out of the ruck and straight in to the hands of the waiting players as straight and quick as possible. Phipps offers the pace but not the accuracy in my opinion. Gordon has a big motor and his defence has been pretty solid.

          Good point, didn’t really think about them leaving but just read that Foley only extended his contract for the coming season.
          The Tahs will need Mack mason to step up and find another 12 as well as a 13. What sort of implications will this have for the wallbies after RWC19? Who is ready to step up in to the 10 jersey? 12 will probably be Toomua but 10 will be a challenge i reckon.

        • Huw Tindall

          Well Kerevi and TK are still young at 25 and 27 so they should be around for a while shoring up our centre stocks. Can’t believe TK is only 27 too! Seems to have been around for years. Toomua is 29 now but signed a 2 year deal with the Rebels so should be in the mix too at 10 or 12. His better half Elyse Perry is killing it for Aussie cricket too which we understand is a good part of the reason he came home as well so hopefully he is sticking around.

        • Ian Rodger

          I read somewhere on this thread that Kerevi might also go overseas after this RWC and i wouldn’t be supprised if TK goes as well. Hopefully somebody like Petaia can keep developing. Him and Toomua could form a nice centre partnership.

          If TK and Kerevi both stay i still don’t know if i am a big fan of them playing together, especially with folau at fullback. That leaves our 10 as only playmaker and he might be going overseas too. So we might end up with a 2 crashball centres and ball running full-back and a inexperienced, sole. playmaker. Doesn’t sound like the best scenario.

        • Huw Tindall

          Urgh that’d be a kick in the nuts losing Kerevi. Massive part of the Reds and potentially Wallabies.

          Agree that Kerevi and TK may be too similar as a pair but the Nonu example shows a crash ball can change their ways and develop passing game. Doesn’t have to be a second fly half style. Just good short passes and link play.

          Izzy may not make 2023 either. Will be 33 so tail end of career and if Banks comes on as much as everyone seems to believe he can then you never know.

        • Ian Rodger

          Agreed, losing Kerevi would suck big time.

          True, let’s hope Kerevi can develop some of those nonu like ball skills. The couple of times i’ve seen Kerevi and TK play together i wasn’t that impressed to be honest.

          I really do hope Banks keeps developing. Him, Petaia and Hodge seem to be the “next” generation of backs. But i feel we desperately need a young 10 to develop into something decent. Hopefully Stewart at the Reds or Deegan at the force can keep developing and put pressure on Foley and take the jersey after the world cup.

        • Who?

          Foley’s not a playmaker, and wouldn’t cope any better with TK and Kerevi playing in a conventional 12/13 pairing, so I don’t know that a new playmaker would be a step backwards…
          The coaching appointment in Gold may well have a significant impact on player contracts, too.

        • Parker

          Excuse me, what kind of creative stuff are you expecting from Foley? Prepare to be disabused.

        • Ian Rodger

          I don’t think I ever said he was creative. Just that he is our sole playmaker if beale doesn’t play.

  • Huw Tindall

    Few thoughts late in the day:
    – Spice in the Rebs v Reds match for sure! Hope they all go well. Tahs looked OK with the B team but tight 5 still a bit average which is a worry. Mason looked very handy at 10.
    – Those English and Irish teams look the business. English backrow a little raw and untried but elsewhere is very solid. Irish team as expected with all the big guns. Should be a cracking first weekend of 6N.
    – 7s is a lovely distraction from the 15 man version! Aussie ladies topping their group despite a close loss to USA. Good chance of meeting NZ in the final on Sunday now.
    – GRR. What can you say. It was very ambitious so not surprised they couldn’t get a fully fledged international tourney off the ground in a short space of time. Not a bad thing as can wait and align better with future of Super rugby when SANZAAR sort the next TV rights deal this year.

    Once again – it’s great to have GAGR back and welcome back to everyone! Happy posting!

  • Ant

    Nice to hear a player’s own voice, rather than the usual, predictable media-trained soundbites: “That’s generally being a bit of a prick at the breakdown and annoying blokes there…”

    Ha!

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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