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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News looks at the teams named for Union’s version of State of Origin, the return of Christian Lealiifano to the Wallaby fold, how Matt Toomua has been welcomed into the Rebels folds and the quest for the next Sevens star.


Derby sides named

Izaia Perese beats Curtis Rona to score

Izaia Perese beats Curtis Rona to score

Both the NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds have named their sides ahead of their must-win clash at Suncorp Stadium, with both sides making multiple changes to the teams that narrowly lost to the Lions and Rebels respectively.

Reds coach Brad Thorn has made two changes to his side, with the main change coming with the inclusion of former Blues flyhalf Matt McGahan at fullback, the son of NZ league great Hugh McGahan.

McGahan has been handed his debut for the Reds as a result of injury to Hamish Stewart along with the unavailability of Issac Lucas (Junior Wallabies), with defensive coach Peter Ryan confident he can do the job despite not playing in his regular position.

“It’s not his regular position, He’s normally a 10,” Ryan admitted. “Him getting to the end of the line or communicating what he’s doing in his role there is second to none so I don’t think he’ll have a problem.”

The other change to the side sees Scott Higginbotham relegated to the bench, with Angus Scott-Young shifting from blindside flanker to number 8 and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto joining Liam Wright in a new look back row.

Meanwhile south of the border, coach Daryl Gibson has recalled Adam Ashley-Cooper from the bench to partner Karmichael Hunt in what will be Ashley-Cooper’s 150th Super Rugby match.

In their other changes to the lineup, prop Tom Robertson will make his first start of the season, replacing everyone’s favourite redhead, Harry Johnson-Holmes, along with Ned Hanigan moving from blindside flanker to the second row.

The shift by Hanigan will accompany the return of Lachlan Swinton to the starting lineup, replacing Tom Staniforth, who will consider himself bitterly unlucky as he’s been one of their better players in the past month or so.

This will be an interesting test for both sides, who must win this match to have any finals aspirations, along with the quality of the surface which will be facing its 10th game of rugby on it in 9 days.

The teams are as followed:

Reds: Matt McGahan, Jock Campbell, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Sefa Naivalu, Bryce Hegarty, Tate McDermott, Angus Scott-Young, Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Angus Blyth, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Alex Mafi, JP Smith

Reserves: Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Harry Hoopert, Ruan Smith, Scott Higginbotham, Caleb Timu, Moses Sorovi, Duncan Paia’aua, Seb Wileman

Waratahs: Kurtley Beale, Alex Newsome, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Karmichael Hunt, Cam Clark, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper, Lachlan Swinton, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson

Reserves: Tolu Latu, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Chris Talakai, Tom Staniforth, Will Miller, Jake Gordon, Lalakai Foketi, Curtis Rona

Lealiifano back in Wallaby mix

Back in the Wallaby set up

Back in the Wallaby set up

Christian Lealiifano has been rewarded for his excellent start to the season, with the fly-half invited into the Wallabies camp commencing this Sunday.

Lealiifano has been one of the main reasons for the Brumbies turn of form which has seen them rocket to the top of the Australian Conference, winning 4 out of their last 5.

His inclusion in the camp set to run from Sunday-Tuesday caps off his remarkable return to rugby, with his selection coming less than three years after being diagnosed with leukaemia.

Another key inclusion will be Matt Toomua, who is set to make his Rebels debut on Friday from the bench after being granted his early release from English Premiership side Leicester Tigers.

Outside of these two, the squad is expected to be similar to the one that took part in the first two camps, which was based off the Spring Tour squad, along with the inclusion of players such as Luke Jones and James Slipper.

Despite their injuries, it is expected that Rob Valetini (knee) and Jordan Petaia (foot) will be invited by Michael Cheika to join the squad in camp as they continue their rehab.

The camp will commence for Rebels and Brumbies players on the Sunday in Brisbane, with players from NSW and Queensland expected to join on Monday after bashing each other up on Saturday night.

It is expected to focus heavily on monitoring fitness levels (to see which players get injured this time around), with Director of rugby Scott Johnson and independent selector Michael O’Connor expected to be in attendance to see which players.

Meakes welcomes Toomua’s return

Billy Meaks

Rebels centre Billy Meakes has welcomed the addition of Matt Toomua to the Rebels, believing that his arrival will provide added competition needed to help push the side ahead of the finals.

Toomua return to Australian rugby starts from the bench on Friday night against the Bulls, adding to the star-studded backline that the Rebels have put together, led by the reinvigorated Quade Cooper.

Many have speculated that his return may jeopardise the starting position that Meakes had nailed down with his impressive early season form.

However, Meakes was unfazed by the threat of losing his starting position, stating that Toomua has already settled into the Rebels environment, relishing the experience that he brings to the side.

“It’s good to have him around the club. He obviously has a wealth of knowledge in Super Rugby and at Test level, and he has obviously played in the premiership for a small amount of time,” Meakes said.

“To have him here, in and amongst the group, pushing for spots, and just his presence around the group is great.”

The Rebels are looking to ride off the momentum gained from their performance during their win over the Reds, with Meakes believing that the side has refound its identity over the past fortnight.

“We feel like we have come on in leaps and bounds in the last couple of weeks,” he said. “We feel like the back end of the Hurricanes game and then the Reds game in patches, we have really started finding our identity again as a team”.

Meakes and his fellow inside backs will be up against a massive (literally) challenge in the form of Burger Odendaal and Johnny Kotze, acknowledging that they must meet their intensity and physicality if they wish to come out on top.

Sevens Outback search

Ella and RA are hoping to discover more talent like Green

Glen Ella and RA are hoping to discover more talent like Green

In the quest to help Australia compete for Gold at the Olympics, Glen Ella and Rugby Australia have headed into the bush to unearth the next Sevens star.

Ella and Rugby Australia officials have spent the last two weeks travelling through remote areas from Bathurst to Uluru to scout talent in the hopes of providing them with a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The extensive search went as far as inside Alice Springs Correctional Centre, in which during the testing phase, one man ran 5.1 seconds for the 40-metre dash remaking “I haven’t run for six years, I feel so light.”

“I don’t think at the time they recognised the enormity of it that they could go from that facility into attending a national camp,” said former Australian sevens assistant coach Jarred Hodges, who is heading up the program.

Ella expressed his pride in providing Indigenous people from these areas a golden opportunity to help transform their lives and shine on an international stage.

“We never felt uncomfortable at all,” Ella told the Herald. “We just told the guys when they get out for what they’re in prison for that there is some hope for them. It gives them an opportunity to turn their lives around but it’s still up to them and it’s no guarantee.”

After finding success during the first instalment of the road trip, Rugby Australia has announced another two-week leg across 3500km that will begin in Taree and visit Kempsey, Ballina, Gold Coast and Moree, among other areas.

The search will culminate with 130 players being selected to fly to Sydney to bid for selection in two First Nations squads, which will compete in 5 domestic and 2 international tournaments.

This will attempt to unearth Indigenous talent with an eye on hoping to hand out full-time contracts, with the possibility of playing in the 2024 Paris Olympics or later.

The value of this opportunity was shown by the discovery of a 17-year-old girl with an impressive step and pass, whose invitation to the trials in Sydney caused both parents to burst into tears out of pride.

“I was so taken aback from that,” Hodges said. “It was just to offer an opportunity. There was no guarantee but for them to have the governing body come out and hold such an event for them it meant everything.”

  • Geoffro

    Haha,not the 10th game of RUGBY in 9 days.The league boys shouldn’t have torn up the surface too much with their pretend scrums and rucks.Reds to put the final nail in the Tahs anyhow.Will Wessels be under instruction to use Toomua as a first five only in our never ending quest to find our best number 10 ? Hope not because would like to see him and Quade in combo,just shift Billy or Hodge to the wing and hook Korobeite please.

  • onlinesideline

    Bob Hawke – may not have agreed with his politics but I fully admired the way he carried himself as a bloke and as an Australian, domestically and also internationally. He wasnt perfect, but who the hell is ? Good brain, good spirit and from a distance, (away from the mirky world of politics) seemed like a principled human being that wanted to do some good for his fellow aussies. I think he did.

    A proud and good natured aussie, just the way he would want be remembered.
    Was sad to hear the news TBH.
    R.I.P

    • Hoss

      Yep – Vale Hawkie.

      The Australia we enjoy today was much moulded by Bob and ‘The Placido Domingo’ of politics in those heady days of the 80’s

      • Greg

        All this said… I think the ideas Labor are putting forward now are better than the same old, same old. We will see.

        Can we just get back to talking about religion?

        • Hoss

          Commie sympathiser

        • Heathen

        • Timbo

          no the new name is Neo Marxist

        • Hoss

          I love their albums.

    • Geoffro

      The current mob just pale in comparison in vision,courage,intelligence and tenacity.RIP indeed.

    • Nutta

      I think he was a good servant. Obviously smart, had a good connection with the voter and obviously cunning enough to rise to the top of the labor movement (no small feat).
      He was at the forefront of a number of big initiatives that were to the betterment of the nation no-doubt. And he didn’t ever seem to struggle with the same desperate need for attention as Keating does these days.

      But I struggle to get past both the backflip on Barunga and how he treated his wife sorry fellas.

      • idiot savant

        About the same as JFK treated his wife.

        • Who?

          We’ve got two politicians standing at this election who have had an affair, impregnated their new woman, divorced their first wife, and then married their ‘baby-mama’. In that order. One was pilloried about it, and Mr Joyce is currently not on the front bench (which is more than appropriate). The other one is likely to be our new Prime Minister.
          We’re making great strides for equality, but clearly there’s still work to be done – by all involved in the debacle that is Australian politics. Because, as you rightly point out, we’re about 20 years behind the US (Hawke copying JFK, and you could argue the current two muppets were copying Clinton).

    • Happyman

      Hard to argue with that. The choice on the weekend is between intellectual dwarfs in comparison with the politics of the 70’s 80’s and early 90’s.

      • joy

        And 2000’s.

    • Greg
      • onlinesideline

        yeah, nice. He obviously loved the average aussie and saw himself as an average aussie. Hard not to like isnt it.

        • James Pettifer

          Of course not every average aussie gets awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford.

          His gift was to not only be intelligent and highly educated but to be able to connect to everyone.

      • From NooZealand

        Cheers!

      • Hoss

        That’s the story of the year. Cheers mate.

      • Bernie Chan

        Barrie Cassidy knew Hawke as well as any journalist could…loved that story. Thanks for putting it up..

      • Patrick

        that was great. I share some of Nutta’s concerns about the infidelity but I think he and Howard are still clearly head and shoulders above the rest

        • Who?

          Isn’t it terrible that our best 4 political speakers from the big parties are at least 12 years out of the job? Hewson articulates well. Keating’s still got the same biting wit (it’s just familiar these days). But Hawke and Howard, both of them (well, until yesterday for Mr Hawke) could still have journos eating out of their hands, or could eat the journos off the cuff, as the moment required. Whereas our other politicians, ScoMo resorts to ‘How Good’ or ‘Canberra Bubble’, and Bill’s famous for the complete inanity of his ‘zingers’ (Micallef’s gonna have so much fun with him if he wins tomorrow).
          .
          Love them or hate them, their capacity to frame an argument on the fly is/was still, as you say, head and shoulders above the capacity of their successors to frame one in advance!
          .
          Crazy thing is, if we had 1983 Labor party rules, Bill Shorten would likely be Bill Hayden (being the least impressive member of his own front bench, and then turfed out), and if 1983 had Rudd’s 2015 Labor party rules, Mr Hawke could never have arranged the late challenge, and would never have been Prime Minister.
          .
          I know, off topic, no disrespect to the Rugby discussion intended.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    I feel for Staniforth and I really don’t get what Gibson sees in Hanigan that is better, apart from lineout catching. I just don’t think that outweighs his lack of impact everywhere else. I don’t think the whole idea of a lightweight mobile pack works. I don’t see the mobility of the light forward pack that much better than a big strong pack these days and despite being mobile the players still need to win the contact to gain ground. Unfortunately for the Tahs because that’s not happening and players keep having to run back to support players behind them the mobility is wasted.
    I think if the Reds keep the ball close and take the Tahs on up front I think they will take this.

    I actually hope we see Toomua at 10 this week. I think a backup 10 is more important than another 12 and I’d rather see him play there to see if he can back up that way

    • Hoss

      Morning mate. The worst selection of 2019. Staniforth has been colossal. Abrasive, busy around the park, good on D and very very consistent.

      I saw Ned get man-handled by a winger last week, a winger for God’s sake. Not even a ballboy gets pushed around by a winger.

      • AllyOz

        maybe Naiyavoro (sorry for the spelling)

        • Hoss

          I really hate it when people use facts to counter my points.

        • Custard Taht

          Don’t let the truth get in the way, just label it as fake news and call the offender a name….maybe deadend ally.

        • Hoss

          I’d vote for you.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Maybe because Hanigan is a first choice Wallaby m8

      • Brumby Runner

        Same game that Rob Simmons was unceremoniously dumped on his arse by Jantjes? What a monster second row.

      • Keith Butler

        But Ned got his own back by pushing Seconds out of the way

        • John Miller

          But Seconds got his own back by pushing Hooper out of the way.

        • Keith Butler

          And Hooper kicked his cat but not on camera.

    • Geoffro

      The one word alone sums up the Tahs forwards-lightweight.Hanigan is so lazy he hardly fits into the mobile persona they may be trying to imitate.Quade should only start ,don’t think he’s a bench option and would like to see Toomua outside him as a second playmaker taking some pressure off then move to 10 if QC is having one of his off days.We really need as many 10s and 12s in the mix as possible to try and squeeze Foley out of Cheika’s mind so I’d give Toomua as much gametime as possible to showcase his wares.

      • Singapore Sling

        Not sure hanigan is lazy just soft.

        • Geoffro

          goes hand in hand

        • Geoffro

          goes hand in hand

        • joy

          Why the hate Hannigan stuff. He has improved all year. Has Cheika and Gibson both got it wrong?

        • Brumby Runner

          From an outsider’s viewpoint – yes.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Quade hasn’t been having off days tho…. It’s been a case of send it back into the forwards where a 10 just doesn’t shine! A game like that Toomua and his harder straight running would make sense….

    • Happyman

      Mate firstly as a Reds supporter where hope always outweighs experience.
      I actually think this will be the turn of the tide. Bit of rain about so the smaller Tahs pack could be an issue. Not being played in a sandpit so the scrum should be a QLD weapon. We have a ten who can actually kick. Kerevi v Hunt should be good but my call for a big game is CFS he was poor last game and his form usually bounces after a poor showing.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Kerevi will show up Hunt I think. I just hope he defends well

    • joy

      Well he did play 10 and had no impact but he is a 12 although not with the same instinct to attack as Meakes

  • Custard Taht

    Cheika is a cunning bastard…..he includes the likes of Lealiifano, Toomua and the others in competition with his favs. To us outsiders it appears to be a good sign rewarding form. However it is just a ploy to get them to pick up a calf injury and clear the decks for Foley, Beale, AAC and his others favs.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Absolutely.

      • Custard Taht

        Pretty sure he attended the ACME Academy with Wile E Coyote. They have similar traits, plans and outcomes.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think he went to the Blackadder school of cunning.

        • Custard Taht

          Upon reflection, you are probably right. Wile E does appear to have more than one plan, whereas Cheika only has the one bastardised version of the frontal assault without support.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh course the enemy will never suspect that we will do the same thing as we have done the last 29 times!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He doesn’t need a tail to be called a weasel

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He doesn’t need a tail to be called a weasel

        • Yowie

          haha

          “Hey, Lealiifano & Toomua! Can you just run really hard into this tunnel, that isn’t even painted onto a wall or anything”

        • Damo

          And I’m dreading the big anvil that will fall on the Wallabies come September.

    • John Miller

      I suspect it is a Cheika ploy to offset a direct comparison of skills/capabilities between Foley & Cooper and thereby make it seem like an “open race”. Cheika will then be able to say, “oh, we considered the vast array of flyhalf options and compared a number of strengths and weaknesses and, lo and behold, it turns out our incumbent is the right choice after all.”

      “Now – B Team flyhalves – report to North Stradbroke Island and look for a big sand hill with Carl Cox at the top. Schnell!”

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yep. 5 more months

      • Patrick

        Ha ha ha ha ha you must have been proud of that one

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yep. 5 more months

  • Bobas

    Lealiifano has been called up to wallaby camp but after seeing what it did to Pocock he has instead opted for another round of chemotherapy

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure gold.

    • Yowie

      I like it.

    • Greg

      At least with chemo, you have a chance of surviving!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Gold

  • AllyOz

    Thanks Nathan – the Outback 7’s story is one of the most uplifting things I have read in recent weeks. Good to see some good news out there.

    • Happyman

      Agreed mate it just shows how many good things are going on. I hope they go up the Cape I saw a league tourney up there a few years ago and some of the players up there are just freaks. The only caveat is as the NRL has found out it is hard to get them to leave there families for an extended period.

      • AllyOz

        The article said one boy ran 50 metres in 4.6 secs which would put him as 3rd fastest in the current Australian 7’s side. Given that genuine pace is almost impossible to train and such a useful asset that is pretty amazing. Nudgee brought some boys down as part of an arrangement with Noel Pearson’s project (not rugby related in anyway as I remember it). Initially, boys were brought down on their own but it didnt work at all so then they brought groups down and I think it worked much better. It would be a massive change to come from a very close knit community to a boarding school or competitive sport environment.

        • AllyOz

          sorry 5.1 sec for 40m… I was a bit too generous

        • Happyman

          Agreed mate putting him at a 9.2 for the 100 would be handy.

          Country and family is very important to the indigenous boys and girls. Particularly for the truly remote kids. So if they can find the correct balance between performance and welfare it could be win win.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Is the Noel Pearson Project anything like the Allan Parsons Project?

        • GeorgiaSatellite
        • AllyOz

          No….no it doesn’t

        • AllyOz

          No….no it doesn’t

    • GO THE Q REDS

      It’s kind of sad it hasn’t been happening for years to be honest!

    • Anonymous bloke

      It’s great isn’t it?

  • joy

    Toomua’s weakness when he left was field kicking. It will be interesting to see if he has improved.

  • Crescent

    Hello fellow rugby fiends.

    With all the non-playing related noise out there, I just wanted to point out that tomorrow afternoon, from 1pm to 3pm for the east coastikins, the Twiggy ball fixture of Fijian Latui v Kagifa Samoa will be shown on SBS and pay TV. I have watched some of the games between Hong Kong and Singapore, but am really excited to check out the Fiji v Samoa match up – should be brutal and entertaining. If any fixture can make Global Rapid Rugby really sing, this is the one!

    Banish the gloom of the passing of former PM’s, off field shenanigans and distressing news on the future of the code, time to look at someone investing beyond the end of their nose and trying something out of the box! All before we settle in to see if Gods Chosen Ones can once more thwart those youthful northerners

    • Brisneyland Local

      Crescent, vinaka for that! Greatly Appreciated. Go Fiji

  • RF

    He’s been sacked

    • Yowie

      Sportsbet are paying $1.000000001 on the newspaper headlines being “Izzy gone” or similar.

    • Yowie

      Sportsbet are paying $1.000000001 on the newspaper headlines being “Izzy gone” or similar.

    • Greg
    • Greg
    • Greg

      Rugby anyone?

    • Greg

      Rugby anyone?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      And let the shit fight begin

      • Who?

        Well, that’s stage 1, outcome as we all expected. Question is the next step – does he appeal to RA, or can he go straight to court?

    • Bernie Chan

      Alas I don’t think this is the end to the sorry saga…as KRL put it…”shit fight…”.
      On the rugby front…seems DPA has fallen way down the BT “pecking order”…is this because he is going overseas, or is he going overseas because he feels he has fallen out of favour? McGahan is not a fullback and has no Super Rugby experience…A very inexperienced backline that will again rely heavily on Kerevi. I guess the Reds will keep it tight…
      C’mon Reds!

  • RF

    He’s been sacked

  • Juan_Time

    I think CLL’s inclusion is a great outcome (and hopefully not a token). The more I reflect on the last 18 months, his game is really solid and consistent and suited to Test Rugby more than Super Rugby if anything. His defence is strong, goal kicking potentially better than the rest – and fits the mould that good people make excellent players. Should have been taken on the last spring tour and hopefully gets some time this year. He may not be the potential match winner that Quade and KB could be, but he’s not prone to the down side either. With Kerevi and TK outside him, I think we have a strong midfield. More Mo’unga than Barrett.

    • joy

      Australia doesn’t win by tracking ordinary. We win by having a go.

  • Juan_Time

    I think CLL’s inclusion is a great outcome (and hopefully not a token). The more I reflect on the last 18 months, his game is really solid and consistent and suited to Test Rugby more than Super Rugby if anything. His defence is strong, goal kicking potentially better than the rest – and fits the mould that good people make excellent players. Should have been taken on the last spring tour and hopefully gets some time this year. He may not be the potential match winner that Quade and KB could be, but he’s not prone to the down side either. With Kerevi and TK outside him, I think we have a strong midfield. More Mo’unga than Barrett.

  • Richard Patterson

    My thoughts are with the good, loyal fans of Rugby in Australia who every day, on every occasion stand by the sport and support it. Today has been a milestone day for many of the wrong reasons and the whole sporting world has watched Rugby Australia deal with an issue without any real precedent. The best news is Rugby Australia does not need Israel Folau. Rugby Union does not need Israel Folau. Rugby Union has survived nearly 200 years, and will go on without Israel Folau. Rugby fans in Australia can now get back to doing what they do best which is supporting the game we all love. Like everyone, I hope the sport can move forward positively. Not certain it has an option.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      No matter what anyone’s personal feelings are of the outcome (and the Australian courts might well reverse today’s decision), but at the end of the day RA acted strongly and swiftly when Folau’s post threatened the financial sustainability and reputation of the sport in the media, and got a result designed to protect the finances of the sport.

      You do have to question the lack of foresight in re-signing him for four years and $4 million when they knew his views, knew he may post them again, and he was a 30 year old outside back with colossal weaknesses that have never improved, when they could have looked at re-signing probably both Kerevi, McMahon and someone else for the value of Folau’s contract.

      • joy

        Folau’s decision to challenge the decision in court will cost RA millions. How does this protect the finances of the sport?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Didn’t realise he has decided to challenge it?

          It may, but it also may result in a court victory for RA and Folau being made liable for costs, in which case it would cost him millions.

          That’s a big risk for Izzy to take.

          I know you probably think he’s definitely going to win, and he may, but based on your previous posts I am sceptical as to whether you have any idea what you’re talking about in relation to the law. Most barrister’s and legal academics I’ve seen and spoken to have said they’re honestly not sure who will win.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        And what makes you think RA acting strong and swiftly was correct? Almost EVERY non biased and unassociated assesment of what RA did says they’ve handled it poorly! Including the AFL bosses!
        And I assume by your last paragraph you feel that RA shouldn’t sign any Christian players?
        That poll posted yesterday shows a massive majority of the public think what Folou did should be allowed. Only 5% believed he shouldn’t be allowed to share his beliefs publically. That 5% don’t understand basic Human Rights or the law!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’ve missed the points of what I said pretty spectacularly. I shouldn’t bother, but I’m going to give you the time of day, but I shall in the faint hope you actually want to engage rather than get emotional and upset as many pro-Folau Christians have got recently:

          1. I didn’t see any comment from the AFL, but even so it’s irrelevant. AFL has far more behavioural issues than rugby and it is good to see RA holding our code to a higher standard. AFL is also the most financially sustainable sport in the country, can afford to take risks and isn’t beholden to sponsors. Even the NRL said Folau wasn’t welcome after his post. And plenty of neutrals in the media have been pro-RA, so you’re just plain wrong on your claim that all neutrals think they handled it poorly.

          2. This comment is almost too ridiculous to reply to. Again, you’ve created a straw man. I was very specific in saying why RA shouldn’t have signed him under the terms they did for the length they did. The majority of RAs players are Christians and there are no issues, are there? This was specifically an issue with Folau given his past behaviour being a good indicator of future behaviour, and the fact he is a 30 year old outside back well past his prime with colossal weaknesses. Either don’t re-sign him, sign him for 1-2 years and/or sign him for far less money.

          3. Haven’t seen any poll like that, do you have a link? The only poll I saw was one in which almost evrhone supported freedom of religious and expression. That’s not a useful statistic because I 100% believe in these things too, almost everyone does. People just differ as to how far they should go and in which situations they should apply. Even if you’re right about the poll results, it doesn’t matter, as most people are apathetic to rugby, whereas the opinions of Qantas and how the sport is portrayed in the media makes a much bigger difference to RA than what non-rugby fans think about their conduct.

  • Patrick

    Ok in fairness Abbott also never looked like he hated a beer!

    • Who?

      Also, like Bob, a Rhodes Scholar who won a blue…
      Wonder if it’s the boredom of living in England and homesickness that got them to a point where they became so familiar with booze..? :-P

      • joy

        I liked them both.

  • GO THE Q REDS

    Well looks like Folou is happy to skip all the inevitable nonsense and go straight to the Supreme Court.
    More players in line for potential reprimands/sacking after publically supporting Folou today….. Curtis Rona, Sekope Kepu, Kerevi and Luchan Salakaia loto!

    • MungBean
      • joy

        Mung Bean!

    • Who?

      Ouch… I didn’t realize how personal some of them were. Like Rona’s post. That’s incendiary! Might be handy for Curtis that he’s only got a few more Super games left…

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Well RA has made their bed now right?….so if the players wanna support what RA define as something so hateful that it’s worth all this drama… they have to shut that down asap….surely

    • Patrick

      In fairness, all they did was try to sack a player for expressing core beliefs of many Christian churches… who could have predicted that anything would go wrong?

  • Nutta

    I’m sorry but ‘remote areas from Bathurst to Uluru’?

    Bathurst? Remote? So by definition Orange, Mudgee, Dubbo etc are remote?

    Wow.

    • Who?

      Come on Nutta, you know Bathurst is remote. The joke/rumour after the Shorkies game was that only 2% of Tahs season ticket holders made it ‘all the way’ out to Parra for that game, so of course Bathurst is remote! :-P

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    It’s a prett kaughabje comment from you mate, given how much you’ve missed every point.

    I passed no judgment on Folau’s comments, except to say that after last year RA couldn’t allow him to post them again and get away with it. Qantas last year made evident their displeasure.

    Folau is a great try scorer but can’t pass, defend or kick. Cost so many matches by not throwing passes.

    Who cares if Qantas is hypocritical. Okay, let’s assume wants is hypocritical… RA still needs it’s money, so RA is still beholden to it.

    Well, there haven’t been any problems until this, and even now Folau is the only one leaving and the majority of the wallabies are still Christian.

    Also, I’m not ‘debating’ you, as you haven’t made a point that has any bearing anything I’ve said.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      You don’t need to judge someone… It’s where and how you throw your support that shows where you lie on an issue. And that’s clear with you! YOUR condemning him because RA expressed they didn’t want him sharing his beliefs on social media. That has yet to be confirmed a correct call through a court of law! And in a previous post to you I allready caught you up on the laws and human rights breaches RA have made! So at an UNBIASED schooled look at this RA are in the wrong!
      And if you think Folous short comings are SO bad that they outway his massive possatives as a great player…… then I will remember to ignore your opinion on any players form from now on as you clearly have no ability to assess a player objectively! I suppose you think Barret is a garbage player aswell….. because he’s one of the worst defenders in rugby. Or Mounga. Maybe is garbage aswell….. as his conversion rate are poor! Actually, instead of my listing everyone….. how about you prove your point and list who you think the Good players are!
      And “Who cares if Qantas are hypocritical?” WOW….. That’s a pearler. As long as the gay murders and woman bashings aren’t happening outside my house its OK is it! What a terrible position to have. It’s actually disgustingly naive.
      I’m sure your well aware(actually I’m not surprised if you haven’t… but google it anyway) that there’s a global phenomenon happening atm where companies that get involved with political correctness….. crash n burn! I would not be surprised if Qantas take a big hit after the public stance he has taken! We will see!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Wow, how irrelevant.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          NO its actually terribly important and very relevant. Your just poor at debate….

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@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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