Fridays Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Fridays Rugby News

Fridays Rugby News

Fridays Rugby News sees Wallabies selling Oz short, Brumbies declining, Crusaders name change, and changes to the Waratahs.



Are Wallabies Selling Australia Short

Christy Doran Has a question for everyone over at Foxsports. How much is the Wallaby jersey worth?

Wallabies Rory Arnold, Sefa Naivalu and Nick Phipps have already confirmed their departure with Adam Coleman and Marika Koroibete also rumoured to be off. Add Pocock and Foley to the mix and things start to look grim for next year.

But the guy Christy (and me) wants to keep in Australia is Samu Kerevi. It’s hard to see where he’s wrong though. Samu is the linchpin that holds the Reds together, but he’s not a lock in starter for the Wallabies… Yet. So for me I’m more concerned with the Reds than the Wallabies.

Doran says,

‘Questions must be asked.

How is one of the most destructive ball carriers in world rugby leaving just as he enters his prime?

Kerevi is only 25 and has the potential to be a Ma’a Nonu-type player.

So what does it say about the attitude of Kerevi and others, not yet halfway through their careers, yet passing on the Wallabies jersey?’

Christy goes on to mention Aaron Smith’s new deal in New Zealand as an example of people staying put but earlier he mentioned that the nearest thing we have to Smith, Will Genia, was having trouble talking RA into a three year deal of his own. He’s only a year older! Maybe It’s only Waratahs players that get long deals from RA?

If Kerevi does head to Suntory it’s hard to imagine he’ll come back a better player in a few years.


Brumbies Halftime Decline

James Slipper and Folau Fainga’a run on

Self-confessed pie lover Blocka Dutton delves into the one stat the Brumbies are winning this year. They lead Super Rugby in points scored against in the first 20 minutes of the second half. I don’t know what they’re putting in the oranges over at Brumby land but something has to change.

The coaches have figured out somethings wrong and are looking at the routine they go through for the 12 minutes the team is in the changeroom.

“We’ve identified the starts to second halves. Our leaders have spoken about it and we’ll tweak a couple of things around what we do at half-time,” McKellar said.

“We want to make some adjustments there to make sure we get a better performance in that period. It’s your individual efforts, some guys sit down at half-time and get a bit leg heavy because it is a 12-minute break.

“Individually you’ve got to make sure you’re all ready to go at the start of the second half. There’s no magic wand, it’s about your own process and making sure you’re ready to go from the 40th minute.

“…It’s pretty crystal clear to this group that effort is an expectation. I think we’ll get a reaction.”

“It’s an important game [this week] off the back of a bye week and a performance we weren’t all that pleased with. This week is an opportunity to bounce back,” McKellar said.

“We reviewed [the game against the Reds] hard, open and honestly. But the last couple of training days have been a couple of our best, so there are good signs there.

“The big thing we lacked against the Reds was just effort and intensity around the collision area. We were out-enthused. They ran harder and tackled harder than us and we got what we deserved. We’re looking to turn that around.”


Crusaders move towards a name change.

The Crusaders continue to show a huge amount of leadership and maturity in the aftermath of an idiot killing 50 people while they prayed in Christchurch a few weeks ago. They’ve ditched the knights on horseback for the rest of the season at least and admitted that their name and imagery is probably untenable.

And they’ve engaged a company called Research First to carry out research for the rest of the season.

This from the Guardian.

Research First will deliver feedback and recommendations about the club’s name and branding with a view to change for the 2020 season.

The team’s current badge features a sword-wielding knight with a cross on his chest in the style of a medieval Crusader.

“This is an event that rocked our community and brought some important issues to the fore,” said the Crusaders’ CEO, Colin Mansbridge . “One of the contentious issues that has been brought up in the aftermath of the Christchurch attacks is the name of our rugby team – the Crusaders.

“Because of our desire to be the best we can be and to support our community, we are treating the question around the appropriateness of our brand extremely seriously. We are committed to undertaking a thorough process, taking into account all relevant opinions and, most importantly, we are committed to doing the right thing.”

The research will provide recommendations on two possible options: retaining the Crusaders name but changing the branding and associated imagery; or undertaking a complete rebranding, including the name and all imagery.

Steve Tew, chief executive of the sport’s governing body in the country, New Zealand Rugby, said: “Maintaining the status quo in terms of the Crusaders name, along with the current imagery of knights on horseback is, in our view, no longer tenable because of the association with the religious Crusades that has now been drawn. That is therefore not one of the options that we will be considering.”


Hooper Rested, Beale To The Bench

Photo courtesy of Tim Anger

The Tahs have shaken things up after their loss to the Sunwolves last week. While many punters were shocked by the result I believe the Waratahs won’t be the last big name to get knocked over by the Japanese Super Rugby side.

The Waratahs haven’t won against the Blues at Eden Park in ten years and without Hooper that task won’t get easier.

The highs of beating the Crusaders meant next to nothing when full-time came on Friday night in Newcastle.

While skill execution was poor, intensity – perhaps more alarming – was deemed to be an issue.

“Within seven days we had polarised performances and a lot of that was our attitude into the game around our intent,” Gibson said. “It’s been very easy around making sure we get back to the levels we know we can.

“There’s a shift in intensity. We were very bitterly disappointed with what we showed. Everyone on the team’s had a good, hard look at themselves and gone, ‘that’s not us’. For us it’s been an easy week. As a coach you’re on edge looking for those complacency signs.”

Will Miller has recovered from an ankle injury and will line up at No.7 in his first starting opportunity since last year’s semi-final in Johannesburg against the Lions.

But the big news of the day was Beale being dropped to the bench – something that has not happened since he returned to the Waratahs in 2014 from a stint at the Melbourne Rebels.

Gibson insists Beale has not been dropped and it will be interesting to see if he returns against the Rebels in round 10.

Although Beale was not thrilled about having to sit on the bench, Gibson won’t mind, for there is unprecedented depth in the Waratahs’ midfield since he took over as coach.

Waratahs team

(1-15): Harry Johnson-Holmes, Damien Fitzpatrick, Sekope Kepu, Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Jack Dempsey, Will Miller, Michael Wells, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Alex Newsome, Karmichael Hunt, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Cam Clark, Israel Folau.

Bench: Andrew Tuala, Rory O’Connor, Chris Talakai, Tom Staniforth, Lachlan Swinton, Jake Gordon, Kurtley Beale, Lalakai Foketi.

Blues team 

(1-15): Alex Hodgman, James Parsons, Sione Mafileo, Patrick Tuipulotu, Josh Goodhue, Tom Robinson, Blake Gibson, Akira Ioane, Jonathan Ruru, Otere Black, Rieko Ioane, Ma’a Nonu, TJ Faiane, Caleb Clarke, Melani Nanai.

Bench: Matt Moulds, Marcel Renata, Ofa Tuungafasi, Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, Dalton Papalii, Sam Nock, Harry Plummer, Michael Collins.


  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Maybe Kerevi is putting the needs of his family and village before simply wanting to seek glory for himself. I think it’s a bit rich of Doran, while cruising through life at Fox, to insinuate that Kerevi has a poor attitude when he is known to heavily support so many people back in Fiji.

    Kerevi has to look at 30 year old outside backs like Folau, who show zero leadership or improvement, warning $1 million + every year, while he, by all accounts, is offered pittances.

    Why stay in Australia given his situation, especially when you add in the culture Brad Thorn seems from the outside to be creating a trhe Reds?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bang on mate. I’m with Kerevi.

      p.s. in Canberra evening of 25 Apr. Let me know if you’re around

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        At this stage I’m almost certain to here all through April, so should definitely work something out!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,
    I wonder how much of players like Kerevi leaving is because RA have shown with their ineptitude over the last 4 or 5 years that they don’t actually value the jersey either. While he has struggled at times, watching people like Beale continually under perform and be credited with so much demonstrates it’s not about the performance on and off the field so why bother staying?

    While the whole name change of the Crusaders is polarising I think the process that this is going through is demonstrating some great leadership and is providing some degree of caring to those who were so badly affected by the shooting. I’m ok with it and even if the name doesn’t change I think the process has been good.

    I think the both the Brumbies and Tahs will struggle this week. It’s great to see Beale on the bench as I think he needs to reassess some of his game as he’s been very poor this year.

    • Hoss

      Morning KRL,

      TGIF, this week feels like its been 11 days long.

      Hard to take any male called Christy seriously isn’t it – especially when he is the same one who pronounced how hard Hannigan tackles – i mean, come on princess, really.

      I cant blame Kerevi one bit. He has an enlarged family to provide for, the physicality he brings to his game will see only a career of 7-8 years before his body is shagged and his earning capacity impacted if not ended and to top it off he sees mediocrity rewarded – nay, encouraged to get a gold jersey.

      The actions of the Crusaders and the Christchurch Muslim community has been nothing short of all class over the last 3 weeks. The dignity, compassion, depth of respect and understanding for each other truly lifts the soul and speaks volumes for the community & country as a whole during trying times. If only we could all learn from it.

      PS – it does NOT mean i will cheer the Nearlies though (unless they play the DDD or SD’s), or by association the groupie with a whistle – Nigel Owen.

      • Greg

        help me out here… DDD?

        • Hoss

          The Dutch Dirt Diggers – Saffa’s

        • Brisneyland Local

          What about the FISM’s?

        • Who?

          What about the Argentines? The Falkland Islands Silver Medallists..?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. As in Who would Hoss back? The Nearlies or the FISM’s?

        • Hoss

          Rule Britannia – the Nearlies.

          She’s my queen too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thought that would be the answer!

      • Who?

        Are you ok, Hoss? That’s the straightest, least ironic/sarcastic/cynical post I’ve seen from you in a good while, totally out of character. Same sentiments, just not twisted behind humour… You sure you’re ok? Or was it just the result of the loss to the Wolves?

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Sorry for my absence, pesky work! Gee don’t they know that rugby is far more important! I hope all GAGR’s are enjoying their Friday morning. He goes BL on another bit of a rant!
    – Christy Doran can go and get fucked! He is an absolute part of the problem, definitely not the solution. Christy Ra Ra tah man! Sing the praises of Folau and Sk8tr boy. Look at the contracts that they get and of how little use they are to OZ. Yet some one like Kerevi, who is part of the solution, and is likely to get bugger all. Kerevi deserves the big contract. Yet with the money the other two are burning through, he wont see it. On top of that, Doran fails to mention that there are multiple Reds leaving. No mention of the culture created by Thorn that is driving players away. As other have mentioned the Islander players support a whole family so the expectations upon them are significantly greater. And besides all of what “I am a knob” Mr Doran says, it is Samu’s life. He gets to choose, not us , and particularly not virtue signalling wankers like Doran! Rant Over.
    – Curusader name change. I am, like KRL impressed with the manner in which they are conducting themselves. No knee jerk, measured process, and done for the right reasons. Hard not to be impressed with our Christchurch brethren!
    – Hooper rested, Beale Bench. But according to an interview I read with Gibson yesterday, Beale is not being dropped! WTF! Of course he is. And Gibson should be using that exact language. “Gilbert, your performances this year have blown dog! We know you are trying hard, but mate it isn’t working. Go to the bench. In fact, go back to grade rugby (of which I doubt Kurtley has played a club game in like 10 years!)”
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Doran is almost as bad a Growden and his dribbling article on Rugby Heaven about the Shute Shield. What a couple of tossers

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep I hear you! Shute Shield! Australia Premier Rugby competition! I doubt it!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Again Happy Birthday for Wednesday! Old Man!

      • Hoss

        You kept the birthday quiet ol’ dog.

        So whats that make you in human years – not sure of the exchange rate in years between your lot and normal earthlings ??

        Happy birthday.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha I’ve changed my DNA to reflect the environment I know live in. 59 years young with a mental age that ranges from 15 to 27 at best

    • Huw Tindall

      Will go in to bat for Folau and Hooper. The kids love them, especially Folau. If you’ve been to a kids clinic or fan day you’d double their salary. They are attracting and keeping kids in the game. I’ve only been to one of these days with a nephew when I was back in Aus, but have seen plenty of the pics his mum posts from these events, and it’s amazing. They are both half alright players too. Not sure what Kerevi is like in Qld at the local clinics there but assume he’s a draw card too. Anyhow, I do agree. I’d be chucking money at Kerevi.

      Agree Gilbert deserves the bench. Last week he needed to step up and help Mason but offered nothing. Sure he got a sneaky try with game smarts but if I see him throw his hands in the air in protest rather than sprinting back into the defensive line I’ll petition RA to tear his contract up.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I not doubting their worth as a draw card to kids. But in Hooper’s case (Lee Majors – The 6 million $ man). we are paying him all that money and he isnt even the best 7 in the country! Folau, we are paying all this money and he can only pass in one direction and cant really kick. There are players of higher skill in our game and they are not on the money these two are on.
        Dont get me wrong, they deserve good salaries. But not the money they are presently on. That RA money could be used better to fund grassroots player and coach development. we certainly need a stronger coaching development pathway.
        Although this may seem biased as a Rebels supporter, I think if Folau or Hooper were not from the Tah’s they would not be on the packages they are on.
        Agree on Gilbert throwing his hands in the air. The act of a petulant child.

      • Happyman

        I can only speak from my sons interaction with Hooper a few years ago he was on tour with a school team and saw him on the street a group approached him to ask for an autograph and he basically told them no in a not very polite way.

        Now perhaps he has matured as he was a fair bit younger then but it has always coloured my thinking on him. People should be judged on when the cameras are not on them.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nope he hasn’t. still a twatt

      • Brumby Runner

        The kids love them. If that’s the measure of worthiness for a massive contract, then Quade would be worth many yens of millions, Huw.

        • Who?

          Exactly. Look at Twitter followers – Hooper has none (I can’t find him on Twitter), Folau’s lost a bundle in the last year, Cooper still has double RA’s following, and the Wallabies’ following.
          I’m pretty confident that Samu would be about the only player in the Reds most kids would know these days.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The kids do like Thor! He is very popular!

        • Bernie Chan

          Sanchez, QC, Thor, Kerevi…a marketing departments dream if you want to attract kids (win the kids…get the parents!).
          Young kids know and love Izzy, but the parent group may have gone ‘off’ him due to some public comments….?
          If Izzy and Hooper are worth $1million per annum for 5 seasons, then Kerevi is worth more…and Sanchez deserves more than a 1 year deal as he is perhaps the most important player in a Wallas XV because the alternatives suck…

        • Huw Tindall

          Sanchez for mine is the most important (valuable!) player. Not sure why he only did a 1 year deal. Maybe they wanted to sign him for longer but Sanchez wanted freedom to cash in overseas. Will be may angles to it but I’d err on the side of caution and suggest his professional agent got the best deal possible, all things concerned.

        • Who?

          I read (maybe Spiro? Or was it the Doran article? Might’ve been that Doran article…) that Sanchez wants a 3 year deal, RA is refusing such a long term contract. I don’t see how it’s fine to sign Folau until 2022 but not Genia…….

        • Huw Tindall

          Interesting! Maybe they are hoping guys like Ruru, Gordon, Powell etc will come through so 9 is less of a risk? Seems a bit unreasonable though. Google tells me he’ll be well on the way to 32 at this world cup so 3 years would be 35 and near 36 for RWC 2023. Maybe that’s a factor BUT he is only 1 year older than Folau.

          I guess at some point they’ve got to make tough decisions on who to contract. To their credit they put guys like Petaia and Valentini on longer term contracts to keep the young guys in the game. Always going to be someone who seemingly misses out though.

          I’m pretty sure I read an article at the end of last year about RA recruiting a new head of player contracting. Some high flying player manager from NH or something. Basically someone who knows all the tricks and what players are worth. Tried to find the article now just quickly but could get any results but I’m sure I read this.

        • Who?

          If they’ve recruited someone who was experience at recruitment in the NH, then they’d realize that (according to reports last year) the contracts given to Hooper and Folau are amongst the highest in the world, and arguably too high.
          Genia doesn’t look to be having any issues. 3 years isn’t a long time, and I don’t see that he’d be any greater a risk in 2023 than Gregan was. Doesn’t mean I don’t hope we find a couple of new guys to push him out! But if he’s keen to sign on, why not?
          In terms of the younger guys, they should have a standardized contract, whereby they can sign these guys and guarantee minimum rates based on appearances. “Sign with us for four years, if you hit this number of caps, we guarantee this figure. If you hit this, we guarantee this. If you fail to make this many caps, we have the option to renegotiate. If you hit this many, you have the option to negotiate elsewhere, but we retain last rights to buy your services.” Or something along those lines..?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. QC should be paid more as well purely for the number of bums on seats he pulls in.

        • Huw Tindall

          Chris Hemsworth or Taniela?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Both. But in that context I was talking Taniela

        • Huw Tindall

          I’m happy that Hooper isn’t on Twitter. Probably means he’s less of chance of being a snowflake.

        • Who?

          Or having fan involvement, promoting the game, etc… I get that it’s not always a great to have social media (I don’t have FB or Twitter), but in that circumstance, you almost owe it to your employer to have that form of presence to promote the game.

        • Huw Tindall

          Most employers try to keep their employees off twitter and social media! :D

          Maybe create an account run by RA social media for Wallabies Captain. Bit like the POTUS account that gets handed onto every US president.

        • Who?

          That would be a good tactic…
          I get trying to keep people off Twitter, but I can’t imagine Hooper ever being anything other than a great example on Twitter, the same way he trains the house down all week and gives everything he has on the weekend. IF guys like the Badger can garner a following like they have by living ‘healthy’ lifestyles, I can’t see why Hooper wouldn’t fancy himself doing the same thing.

        • Huw Tindall

          You and I aren’t in the ‘entertainment’ business, despite how engaging I think my presentations are, so twitter is a risk. Rugby on the other hand needs all the attention it can get! If that means Twitter followers I’ll take it!

        • Who?

          Agreed! :-)
          Well, Twitter’s not really a risk for me, I’m not controversial and I’m a nobody, but…. Agreed. :-)

        • Huw Tindall

          Wasn’t Quade’s deal when the Reds got him back about 800K? Rough 50/50 split Reds v RA top up? This after he was injured and went overseas and couldn’t make the Toulon side. He wasn’t screaming pay me $1m.

    • Happyman

      Morning BL work can be a bastard.
      Re Doran what a plonker Typical from of a kiwi from south of the border to come up with such drivel re Kerevi.
      Foxsports have become lick North Korean state media totally out of touch with reality.
      I know for a fact that he stayed in Australia last contract for about half of what he was offered overseas. I do not know of many people who would accept that kind of disparity to stay in a geographic location. Obviously Doran wouldn’t or he would still be in the land of the long white cloud.
      As a Reds supporter I wish he would stay but from a business perspective I know what I would do unless RA come up with something much better.

      $1.2 Mill for Hooper and god knows what for a 30 year old fullback per annum just pay the man.

    • Custard Taht

      Of course Gibson cannot say Beale has been dropped or benched for performance issues… will it look when Cheika selects Beale at 12, if Gibson said his benching is performance related.

      • Brisneyland Local

        It would look like the truth to all those that have watched him this year!

        • Brumby Runner

          And last and the one before that….

      • Happyman

        The Eggchasers podcast has a saying and that is “Money Plays’ Basically if a coach recruits a player on big money he does not want to answer to the board as to why X is not playing.

    • Hoss

      Now just a god-dang minute – ‘Kurtley hasn’t played a club game in like 10 years’ – bollocks

      Haven’t you seen his efforts in both the Blue & Gold Jerseys – they are grade quality for sure.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure gold Hoss!

      • Greg

        Take it easy Hoss…. BL meant first grade not colts.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ha ha ha! Pure Gold.

        • Hoss

          If i had known the requirements to be an international 12 were:

          – Lazy. Tick
          – Run sideways. Tick
          – Inability to tackle. Tick
          – Whinge, bitch and moan about team mates. Tick, tick and tick.
          – Propensity to party hard. Phd Tick.
          – Waffle on with shit. Tick, i mean, have you read the crap i post on here.
          – Carry on like a prat withing team environment. Punching team mates, disseminating degrading images of women, going out till 4 in morning before BIL deciding game. Fail, but i would be willing to learn

          Listing the above, i was a bees dick of wearing gold. Can you imagine 118 – 122 kg’s (playing weight) of raw hunter valley beef in the 12 channel – i could have been a contender.

        • Brisneyland Local


        • Greg

          @HossRugby:disqus OK… that’s a start but… do you have any photos of the coach that will seal it?

        • Bernie Chan

          That Assange bloke probably has it hidden somewhere…

        • Huw Tindall

          Steak tartare in the 12 channel? You got some Frog blood in you?

        • Hoss

          Tres bien.

  • John Miller

    When a Wallabies jersey has been so systematically de-valued, why would we then expect a player to value the jersey? Each case is different of course, but there is little coincidence that RA’s arbitrary player contracting system, combined with Michael Cheika’s non-meritorious selection policy, means Doran’s attack is entirely directed at the wrong parties. The RWC is the 4-yearly cycle that is not only the carrot to incentivise retention, when wasted (as this last 4 years under Cheika most certainly has been), it is also the impetus to clear the decks.

    At provincial level in Brisvegas, add the fact that Brad Thorn is doing his best to ruin team unity in the name of some undefined “culture” which seems only to consist of his way, his clipboard, a red marker pen, combat fatigues, a God complex and a series of inaudible grunts. With his rumoured 4 year extension, It is no wonder Kerevi sees no success north of the Tweed any time soon. He might be the next Nonu, if both Thorn and Cheika would stop shifting him between 12 and 13 and allow him to become a master craftsman in his best position. And whilst Kurtley Beale (to accommodate, Bernard Foley’s limited play making ability) predominantly resides in the Gold 12 jersey – despite his own poor form and limited function for several seasons – and with a comparatively meagre RA contact offer and the prospect of becoming a centre “utility”, I’d be seeking soft tackles, amazing noodles and plentiful Yen if I was Kerevi as well. And surely Japanese rugby can’t be that bad for Kerevi’s form if a middle aged AAC can play several seasons and then comfortably stroll straight back into test rugby with no need for the cauldron of either Super or even European first class rugby? Regardless, it’s hard to blame anyone from the Reds seeking cushy post-RWC pastures.

    Cheika is gone in 2020 and therefore, Phipps is too. Foley will have to actually earn his jersey. Totally the “too hard” basket. Sayonara Nard.

    Don’t blame any Aussie backrowers for abandoning all hope either. When Ned Hanigan and Dean Mumm command Wallabies incumbency time after eye-watering time, there is clearly nothing they or you can do to influence selections – and 2020 is too late for global recognition.

    Whilst being clearly inferior to Australia’s best openside flanker (and player) – and arguably, on form and function, other talented Australian 7’s over several seasons – Michael Hooper’s untouchable status within Cheika’s Wallabies (and the subsequently disasterous 5 year, multi-million dollar deal), that has already claimed the ranks of several exceptional players. McMahon was sick of playing a test battering ram in the land of giants and escaped to Nippon to “hone his openside skills”. Fardy had an opinion, ba baaaaah. Pocock toils at the coalface every test match with little hard-shouldered ruck support from a tramline focused openside and generally a powderpuff blindside. And he is always going to be a better 7 (who is forced to wear 8 but covers the 7 core functions), than any 8 (who actually plays 8 but can’t cover the 7 core functions). So the eightman slot is effectively gone for RWC as well. Are talented players so desperate to be an incumbent the year AFTER a World Cup when what little money floating around has already been spent on posterboys and global glory is 4 years away? Grab the cash for 2 years and if you feel up to it (the coach isn’t a complete tool), come back with a season to go.

    Unlike the Australian 7 jersey over countless seasons, the standard of halfbacks behind Genia have training wheels. Yet RA dithers.

    The situation is a manifestation of blind idiocy at administrative level, parochialism and bias at coaching level and a reality of “value” internationally. Blaming the players for a lack of loyalty when all around Australian rugby show either too little, or far, far too much is breathtaking in its stupidity. Another black eye for mainstream Australian sporting media.

    • idiot savant

      Yes I cant see what all the fuss is about. Kerevi should be admired for the prioritising of his family. At the same time I doubt its forever. He could easily come back after 2 years and try to regain his gold jersey. And I have never seen anyone come back from Japan and not be up to speed. Their league may not be as physical but its bloody quick so they are always fit. Bad for the Reds though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thorn has made his bed, he will now be made to lie in it!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Well written my friend and nothing to debate just a general agreement with it all. Go you

    • Brisneyland Local

      Here Here JM. An excellent write up!

    • Brumby Runner

      JM, that is as good and accurate an assessment of rugby in Australia over the past 4 years that has ever been published. I do not disagree with a single word in there.These have been dark, dark days for Wallabies’ fans and I daresay many of the players. I hope there will a significant change come the end of RWC this year.

    • You have just outlined 5 or so years of my complete overwhelming frustration. Good therapy. 100% spot on. I feel very uneasy when young players, who fail to get a look in because of the likes of Phipps and Hanigan, choose over seas and a accused of not valuing the gold jersey. How can they when only the select few are valued here. Hoopers contract is the clearest indictment on the AUS situation.

    • Gun

      Sweet post. Nailed it. Reading A Jones in the Oz today and doubting whether those in charge can turn this around. Surely it’s obvious that not only are the administrators out of their depth but super rugby is no longer a vehicle for rugby in this country. It’s no good having money from tv rights and no one watching the game on tv or at the ground.
      I wonder if many who have played for the Wallas in recent years really care about success in the same way as other nations. Many players are now expats, like many in the administration and coaching ranks. Why would they care beyond their CV?
      Maybe that kind of desire is old fashioned. Putting everything on the line for the honour of team and country is probably no longer vogue.

      • Brisneyland Local

        IF they win they will watch it. And they will attend.
        That is the mantra they need to have. Problem is, RA dont know how to have a winning culture, they just do whats best for North Sydney!

        • Gun

          I agree but only to a certain extent. The flaws in the aim and execution of super rugby are many and varied but perhaps the biggest problem is that the comp’s aim is apparently not to be 5he best rugby compor indeed best football comp but to be a tier to something else. Our sides may never win again and we may never se the support or dollars that we saw during the super league war and corresponded with Walla success.

        • Brisneyland Local

          true. BUt my commercial brain always says when you win more people watch you!

    • theduke

      Please print this out and hammer it to the door of Rugby Australia’s offices

    • Bernie Chan

      I had a bit of a rage yesterday about the Doran piece…but you’ve covered it way better!
      Like many other rugby fans, it galls me to see Oz lose so many players due to the preferential treatment bestowed upon the “chosen few”…
      RA, the NSWRU and the QRU have taken mismanagement to a totally new level.
      Maybe we need Twiggy to mount a takeover…it will take a decade to repair the damage, but we have to start somewhere…

    • Ben Fox

      Well said!

  • Jason

    It’s insane that we have or am contemplating spending big on guys like Folau, and Foley. Yes they are good players but they are the wrong age and aren’t phenomenal, Folau has a host of tactical issues, Foley is far from world class. We give Hooper the biggest contract we’ve ever given a player and he’s not even the best player we have in his position!

    RA contracting is nothing more than a boys club!

    • laurence king

      Jason, regarding yesterday’s comment ‘living in a bubble’, I was referring to Cheika, not you. If I have inadvertently caused any offence, my apologies. Cheers

  • Mica

    Wouldn’t you put Mack on the bench and drop Beale?

    • Brisneyland Local

      I would. Gilbert needs to be punished, and visibly so. Mack Mason needs more game time.

      • John Miller

        More game time + a public show of confidence from a club that’s given him scant playing opportunities over several seasons, before throwing him into the viper pit & then seemingly abandoning him after he’s inevitably been bitten. HowToRuinYoungTalent 101.

        • Brisneyland Local


  • RF

    Gutted for Israel Dagg. Big loss to the game.

    • Brisneyland Local

      A champion of the game.

  • Who?

    One thing that Doran’s article doesn’t consider regarding Kerevi is where he’s been played for the Wallabies. He’s played a lot of 13. 13, in the current Wallabies setup, is something of a graveyard for attack, and a nightmare for defence. In defence, you’re expected to carry having a green winger alongside you, while they’re in the defensive line covering Foley and Beale. Often, it’s Koroibete. TK’s one of the best defensive 13’s in the world, so he’s done well there. But everyone else has had moments of struggle.
    In attack, our 13 generally does nothing. Folau consistently runs in the 13 channel, and the unwritten law of the Wallaby backline remains, “Give it to Issy.” So the 13 gets pushed further out. It wasn’t uncommon last year to see our 13’s (all of them) running outside the 5m lines, generally with very little space and no one outside them. That’s where wingers are meant to be (but with space preserved). Our best 13’s haven’t traditionally played as wingers on attack. They set up their wingers, and they cut infield. And Kerevi’s natural position is 12 – he’s better even further infield. So, we’re taking a 12, sticking him in the 13 jersey, then running him on the wing, and asking why he’s not bullocking through the midfield like he does at Super level. It’s insanity.

    • Happyman

      Its like we are watching the same game.

    • Damo19

      Who you are absolutely right. 13 is definitely the Wallabies poison chalice jersey number and you could probably have emphasised even more the difficulties of outside centre under Grey’s rubix cube defensive structure. Players in constant motion around you. A bloody nightmare.

  • Sequel

    The Kerevi situation is heartbreaking for all, especially Reds fans. Who could blame for taking some big $$ elsewhere. He is very unlikely to play in his best (read only) position at 12 while Cheika is around, so why hang around on the off chance the next guy may like him, or more importantly have a game plan that values getting over the gain line in the middle of the field.

    I don’t post here regularly but I say the same thing each time – rugby is a SIMPLE game. Give the ball to the massive hardest running tackle breaking unit. He charges over or or through the gain line, either score then or build pressure off quick phase play and score later.

    Cheika, and RA admin’s lack of control over how he runs the team, needs to take a lot of blame for the player drain. Cheika appears committed to three core philosophies that have worked to systematically make us worse and deny players the opportunity to play to their strengths and in their best postitions.

    The first is to pick ‘the best’ player and play them out of position take your pick buy Pocock is the big one here. Next next is the ‘duel play maker’ concept, the rest of world rugby employs big ball caries in the midfeild – not us. Finally ‘blind loyalty’ to certain players – Foley!

    All of these act to reduce your options on how you play the game. If you believed in these three philosophies like Cheika clearly does it would be perfect reasonable to have the Pooper, to play Beal at 12, persist with Foley. Just these 3 things alone make it almost impossible to regularly win games.

    Like I say the Kerevi situation is heartbreaking, probably as much for him as us fans. BTW I have been to a few fans days up here and Kerevi is an absolute star with the kids (even us big ones) – worth a stack of cash – lets hope he gets it.

  • dsb

    Rugby Australia remains the problem for the lack of sensible and strategic decision making in this country!


Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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