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ACT Brumbies

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News has a milestone for Lilo, redemption for Slips, a return for JOC, and new faces for women’s Sevens.

Christian Lealiifano settles the Brumbies

150 for Liali’ifano

It’s been a rare pleasure to watch Christian Leali’ifano, affectionately known as Lilo by just about everyone, clock up 149 games. And no matter what the result of this Saturday’s semi-final against the Jaguares it’ll be an honour to watch his 150th.

What’s particularly surprising is the lack of test matches to compliment his Super Rugby appearances. There’s no doubt he had the class to be a long term Wallaby but a Knee injury, A broken ankle and Leukemia at key moments in his career cruelled his chances.

Meanwhile, the Brumbies have named a largely unchanged side for the semi with only Lachlan McCaffrey playing at #eight for the injured Pete Samu.

1 Scott SIO
2 Folau FAINGA’A
10 Christian LEALIIFANO
11 Toni PULU
12 Irae SIMONE
14 Henry SPEIGHT
15 Tom BANKS
17 James SLIPPER
19 Darcy SWAIN
20 Murray DOUGLAS
21 Jahrome BROWN
22 Matt LUCAS

James Slipper

Slipper’s Redemption!

I chose this 2018 photo of James Slipper to remind us Reds fans of what we lost when New coach Brad Thorn was left with no choice but to let Slipper go after his hardline stance with Karmichael Hunt.

While Hunt was a Johnny come lately, Slipper had come through the Queensland system and played his entire senior career at the Reds. At the time I hoped for leniency but it wasn’t to be and Slipper was cut adrift when I thought he needed his community the most.

Now barely a year later Slipper finds himself part of the strongest forward unit in the country and two wins away from a second Super Rugby title. This from Chris Dutton in the SMH

It’s a scenario Slipper probably regarded as an impossible dream when he was serving an illicit drugs suspension last year, putting him on the outer at the Queensland Reds. But the darkest moments of a 121-game, 72-Test career led him to the Brumbies; a place where rejects and misfits have thrived since 1996.

“He’s been excellent all year and I can certainly sense that hunger,” said Brumbies coach Dan McKellar. “He came to the Brumbies wanting to win games and wanting to win trophies. We’re in a position in the second last week of the season where we can do that.

“To have someone of his experience who’s been there and done it before driving the group, it’s enormous.”

“It’s about enjoying the moment as it comes,” Slipper said. “It’s a big task to travel halfway around the world for a game, but it’s another moment we can prove to ourselves that we can do it.

“[Playing finals] is probably something I didn’t foresee. I wanted to come to the Brumbies and contribute to the team. I feel like I’ve done that playing every game this year.

“That was one of my big goals. Everything now is a bit of a bonus. But in saying that, I couldn’t be more hungry to win a competition again. I’ll just play my part and do what I can to make sure we can give it a crack.”

Reds Consider JOC!


The Queensland Reds are considering a shock move to revive the Super Rugby career of forgotten Wallaby James O’Connor.

Once the whiz kid with the world at his feet after scoring a hat-trick in his Test debut as an 18-year-old, O’Connor’s career almost flat-lined in his early 20s after a combination of off-field controversies and dwindling on-field form put him into exile.

Initially, former Queensland State of Origin star turned English rugby enforcer Ben Te’o was the Reds’ top target to replace Kerevi, but that option has now gone cold with the England Test star believed to have linked with the Japanese Super Rugby franchise the Sunwolves, despite its battle to keep its spot in the competition.

Enter O’Connor.

The troubled playmaker has plied his trade with England club Sale Sharks since 2017 but is currently back in Australia on holidays.

Nine News understands he is eager to resurrect his 44-Test Wallabies career but needs to sign with a Super Rugby franchise for that to happen.

Ellia Green during Aussie Women training session

Aussie Sevens Wants You!

The Australian Women’s Sevens programme is looking for new players! Just like in 2013 they are holding trial days for interested players.

The best prospects from the upcoming testing events will be flown down to Sydney for more testing and given a run in the Uni 7s Series, kicking off in September.

“Those testing days, once they’ve come to Sydney, depending on where they’re at would determine that next stage,” he said.

“If we feel confidently there that we’ve seen enough, then we’d be in a position to back them and offer them a full-time contract as part of the squad.

“We certainly have the flexibility and the capacity to do that, it’s just having that talent stand out that warrants us to move that quickly but we’re able to do that.”


Search for a Sevens Star

Sunshine Coast

University of the Sunshine Coast

Thursday  July 11, 6-9pm

Sunday July 14, 10am-1pm

Gold Coast

Bond University

Wednesday July 17, 6-9pm

Griffith University

Sunday July 21, 10am-1pm


Ballymore Stadium

Saturday July 20, 10am-1pm

Wednesday July 24, 6-9pm

Other News

An update from Raelene Castle

Rugby league rocked by first proof of former players with CTE

All aboard the K-Train: Meet the Wallaroos’ newest wrecking ball Eva Karpani

Chiefs coach Colin Cooper has unexpectedly stepped down

  • Jason

    Not sure the Reds are actually the side in need of playmaking but JO’C could fill the 12 hole left with the Reds nicely.

    The Reds have Matt McGahan, Hamish Stewart, and not sure if Bryce Hegarty is still around for next season. So the Reds have 2 options at fly half maybe a third. But JO’C’s experience and versatility would be a really nice foil to add to the Reds team for 2020; although I think he’d be more of a fit with another club.

    • AllyOz

      at 12 perhaps to replace DP and Kerevi?

    • An unconfirmed rumour that McGahan might be moving on.

      • AllyOz

        to NSW?

  • Dud Roodt

    Warren Gatland confirmed as next coach of the Chiefs

    • Really? That was quick.

      • Dud Roodt

        Yeah lightning. One hour after I saw he would be coaching in NZ it was confirmed

        • Missing Link

          Far out Daryl Gibson stitched up twice in a week :D

          Will Colin Cooper coach the Waratahs?

        • Dud Roodt

          At this stage we’d take anyone

        • Greg

          Let’s see who is available after the mediation today

        • David Creagh


        • Dud Roodt

          This might get me banished from these parts – but ABSOLUTELY!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Wow! That will make for an interesting 2020.

  • Sorry about the lateness of the News guys. Completely my stuff up. Been sitting ready since last night.

    • Who?

      Let’s be honest, Sully – you were on strike, looking for an extra 10c/month! :-P

  • Nutta

    Morning Fellow Drunkards and Fornicators … and probably even a few Gays as well.

    You’re all welcome. Even the Backs.

    Lilo resurrected a career after illness. Slipper resurrected a career after… Hunt was making a fist of it until he shanked his knee. Quade is giving it a go. Beale somehow still has a job. Bugger it, JOC may as well be given a crack too. Although I hope it goes better than his last stop at the Reds. I still have that picture of Ginea getting between JOC and Higgers in the dressing room in my head. Personally I reckon Gins should have stepped away. My old Man used to say ‘The difference between a smart-arse and a young man is a punch in the teeth and tasting your own blood.’ so I reckon Higgers may have done us all a favour there. But anyways, seeing as we are all about inclusion & redemption and the Reds are bang hard-up for some midfield class they haven’t got much to lose I guess especially as wee lil’ JOC would be an entre to Thorn in a bad mood I reckon.

    • Yowie

      “You’re all welcome. Even the Backs.”

      Ok, now you’re starting to test my usual tolerant & inclusive attitude.

      • Damo

        I think the deep ingrained prejudice against us backs came from that back in the day scenario when we used to stand behind the ruck looking at it like it was viper pit and yelling “come on forwards, get here!!!”

        • Yowie

          You have no proof that I did that in the under 14s (and under 15s) before switching to the forwards for being too slow & thick.

        • Damo

          I went into a ruck one day and made a nuisance of myself. An opposition lock punched me in the mouth so I figured I wasn’t wanted there!

        • Nutta

          I talked to a Back once. It was in the Royal Hotel after a hard-fought away win against the Tumut Bulls. Our new No10 was standing there alone with a purple sparkly drink in a long tall glass in his hand. I thought I should expand my horizons a little so I sauntered over and just casually said “Is your missus in the dunny?” He looked at me blankly, took a sip of the purple-sparkly thing and said ‘I didn’t bring the missus.’

          Apparently the drink is called a Fruit Tingle.

          I haven’t deliberately talked to a Back since. That was 1996.

        • Yowie

          Backs won’t even grab each other by the short-shorts and lift to crotch-to-face height. There is something a bit sus about not doing that.

        • Nutta

          Now you’re just trying to bait me.

        • Damo

          Nutta, you would have gotten much better engagement if you had asked for his favourite 3-egg sponge recipe.

        • Nutta

          Special beating technique and all…

        • Who?

          I’m sure you have. IN fact, half of this comments section is you doing exactly that! Yowie, Damo…
          Just you can’t see their sparkly purple beverages through the computer. ;-)

        • Nutta

          You under appreciated the strategic placement of the word ‘deliberately’.

          Inadvertent actuality – the fact that the person I conversed with happened to be a Back – is completely different to if the person was deliberately interacted with BECAUSE they were a Back.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha Yep always good to welcome a back into a ruck the right way.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        “Even the backs” is inclusive mate. hahahahaha

    • Hoss

      Breaking news.

      SMH has got its hands on Dusty’s indoctrination interviews to join his church.

      Startling stuff.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha gold

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Covering every base there mate. Better watch out you’ll have the Folau team trying to ban you from the forum. TBH I don’t mind JOC coming back, he is an amazingly talented player when things go right, I just wonder if he has changed as much as people are reporting. Absolutely agree on the “Contact counselling” approach. IT can go too far at times but it’s sorted out more men than it’s broken.

  • AllyOz

    Some thoughts:
    1. Aussie 7s Wants You – no it doesn’t – it doesn’t want me anywhere near a 7s team (unless watching as a paying customer and eating an over priced hot dog)
    2. JOC – well I am all about second chances. I think he is a talented player and it would be good to see him take on a chance at redemption. I think they need a 12. But I am just not certain that it would be a good fit for Qld and JOC. I hope he gets a chance to play back here somewhere but I thought he might work better at the Brumbies.
    3. Colin Cooper looks like he’s carved from stone.
    4. A news story elsewhere that Karmichael H will be cut from the Waratahs but they are taking on a NRL second rower and will to turn him into a 12. I am sure we have been here before.

    • Keith Butler

      I seem to recall us SDs trying that in 2015 – worked pretty well I thought. Mind you if Burgess had changed codes a couple of seasons earlier he would have made a great 6.

    • David Creagh

      I’m allergic to 7s. Every time I have played it I have spewed so it must be an allergy right? Isn’t anaphylactic shock loss of breath that may result in death?

      • Who?

        It’s a real shame that Propfest – which was widely promoted on here – never got off the ground…

        • David Creagh

          Tell me more…. I must have missed something.

        • Who?

          It was a proposed 7’s tournament that was going to be held in Hornsby years ago. 7 a side, but a 60m long field, minimum BMI 30 for all participants. There were more details it was promoted fairly heavily on here, but it didn’t happen.

    • BarneySF

      Surely JOC is not a chance with Thorny with the whole drug bust thing (Slips; KHunt) + any sniff of him being bad for the culture (Quade)

    • Brumby Runner

      Why would you think JOC would work better at the Brumbies? In Simone, the Brumbies have the most promising No 12 in the country, who fits very neatly into the style of play the Brumbies are utilising. And after Simone, there is a lineup of young guns waiting to come through, including Tom Wright. One person the Brumbies do not need in anyone’s wildest dreams is JOC.

      • Simone is something special I agree. JOC may /MAY/ cover 10/12 I guess. Nick White as back-up half.

      • AllyOz

        Just because they lost their 10 BR – nothing more than that. I don’t understand as well as you what they have coming through the pipeline.

        • Brumby Runner

          IMO, and I think in the majority of posters here, JOC is not a No 10.

          As for the Brumbies next year, there are about five options that are likely to be tried at No 10.

          Noah Lolesio, the No 12 at the U20s world championships.

          Irae Simone if someone like Tom Wright comes good at No 12. Anyone but JOC imo.

          Bayle Keunzle who I understand is probably the front runner for the spot.

          Mack Hansen, a local from the JID competition.

        • AllyOz

          well looks like a moot point BR as the Daily Tele says the Reds have signed him. So breath easy – he’s someone else’s worry.

    • You are probably right about JOC. Could not see him impressing Brad Thorn. That said he and Nick White may go well at the Brumbies. JOC certainly has talent BUT is he still bigger than the game (in his opinion).

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Well I’ll be damned… Warren Gatland is coming back to the coach the Chiefs!

    Interesting move, will wonder how his tactics will fly in NZ. Certainly a class coach, and will only add to the rumours that he desperately wants the All Black coaching role.

    Read here:

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey Nic,

      I think he’ll be able to modify his approach as he has with Wales. He knows that he needs different styles for different teams and I’m sure he can change as needed. He absolutely wants the AB job but I think he’ll need to wait until he finishes with the Lions first. Not sure when the tour to SA is but I’m picking he couldn’t do the AB job until after that.

      • Keith Butler


        • Kiwi rugby lover


      • Yowie

        Gatland (or anyone) could coach the ABs as a side gig using only an out-of-office email message.

        “Thank you for your email.
        I am out of the office, coaching the British & Irish Lions.
        If your coaching predicament is urgent please just counter-attack & score tries like normal.”

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        I thought he was leaving Wales after this World Cup. Probably wouldn’t matter if he is coaching in NZ at the same time, is there some rule that you have to be coaching in the British Isles to be coaching the Lions, right? Wouldn’t it just be like Robbie Deans; spending all his time in Japan, yet routinely in contact and stepping out to coach the Baabaas? Correct me on that though, I got no idea.

        Either way, I think Gatland knows that he will need to be in the NZ system for a little while before he can get the AB job, which is probably why he’s agreed to a four year contract. Hansen was under Sir Graham for years before he took over.

        Out of curiousity, not to change the subject, but you have any intel on who will be taking the reins after Hansen leaves?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think Robertson from the Crusaders will be up there but maybe he’ll step in as assistant and Foster will take the lead

    • Huw Tindall

      Isn’t he confirmed as Lions coach for next run in Saffa as well? Busy man

  • Greg

    Mediation is already over. and court is the next stop.

    If I am a lawyer…. why would I not seek to spend the entire 2M that has been donated?

    • Twoilms

      I am a lawyer and this is what lawyers do.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,

    Congratulations to Lilo, with everything he’s had go on in his life that’s an amazing record. I think he’s the form 10 in Australia and I hope he gets the reward he deserves with the Wallabies. Brumbies looking good and this game should be close. Good story on Slipper as well, he appears to be over his issues and that’s awesome to see. Nice lead into JOC who has had more second chances than most in my mind. As a player with his head on he’s very good but I would have reservations based on past performances, I am quite likely wrong and as a replacement for Kerevi he may well be the right guy but I’m taking a wait and see approach myself.

    Go the girls. It’s really good to see so much good news on the woman’s rugby here. Nice to see RA doing it well.

  • Missing Link

    Am I the only person who thinks that RA would be better off in a meditation session with Izzy instead of a mediation session?

    • Yowie

      Nah, one of them would have an advantage at the stage where you have to “clear your mind of all thoughts”

  • adastra32

    Don’t want to pee on the bonfire, but JOC has hardly been ripping up the turf during his time at SAle Sharks according to those who take an interest in the team.

  • So The Wallaby selectors will reportedly consider James O’Connor and Nick White – based on their form of course. Ha, Ha! Let them PROOVE themselves first!

  • I see on another site that NRC may trial a new no tackle above the waste law!!! Wow, if we mix the AFL no tackle below the waste law, we can have ‘no tackle Rugby’ – some call that ‘touch’. Fortunately while the NH have proposed the new law there is no way they will approve it.

ACT Brumbies

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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