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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Wallaroos named, Wallabies named, All Black muscle, and a baby Black Fern.



Wallaroo’s Named For Ferns.

The Wallaroos have named their side for their first ever test match in Western Australia. The team is revelling in a proper test season for the first time ever. Rather than coming together a couple of days before a test match with our cousins across the ditch, they had two tests against Japan and a decent amount of time together. And that, for me, makes this interesting as all… Let’s just say I’m interested.

This from Rugby Australia’s press release.

Scrumhalf Georgia Cormick has been promoted into the starting XV alongside front-rower, Liz Patu after strong performances from both women in the Japan Series.

Patu’s opposite in the scrum Evelyn Horomia rejoins the starting XV after missing the second Test against Japan while New South Wales’ Iliseva Batibasaga has won selection in the matchday 23 for the first time since 2016.

The Buildcorp Wallaroos will meet their trans-Tasman rivals, the Black Ferns at 3pm AWST in the first Test in a blockbuster double-header with the men’s Bledisloe Cup fixture.

Buildcorp Wallaroos Head Coach, Dwayne Nestor said: “This is a great opportunity for us this week to show off the improvements we have been working hard on since the Japan Series.

“We’ve targeted some keys area of growth that we want to work on, and the squad has responded really well to those challenges.

“Bringing in some new faces in the starting XV freshens us up and is a just reward for the hard work and performances of Georgia, Liz and Evelyn.

“Georgia (Cormick) is a talent to watch and she has approached this opportunity with great excitement and focus.

“Playing in venue like Optus Stadium will be an amazing experience, especially considering the history of the occasion.

“Every time we wear the gold jersey, we are aware of the responsibility it carries and we’re looking forward to another opportunity to play New Zealand.”

1.Liz Patu, Wests, Queensland Women’s XV, 21 caps

2. Averyl Mitchell, Souths (Brisbane), Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

3. Evelyn Horomia, Brothers, NSW Waratahs Women, 5 caps

4. Michaela Leonard, Vikings, Brumbies Women, 2 caps

5. Alisha Hewett, GPS/ADFRU, Queensland Women’s XV, 19 caps

6. Millie Boyle, (vc), Royals (Canberra), Queensland Women’s XV, 10 caps

7. Emily Chancellor, Sydney University, NSW Waratahs Women, 4 caps

8. Grace Hamilton (c), Sydney University, NSW Waratahs Women, 13 caps

9. Georgia Cormick, Power House, Melbourne Rebels Women, 2 caps

10. Trilleen Pomare, Kalamunda, Rugby WA Women, 9 caps

11. Lori Cramer, University of Queensland, Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

12. Ariana Hira Herangi, Kalamunda, Rugby WA Women, 2 caps

13. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

14. Samantha Treherne, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 12 caps

15. Mahalia Murphy, Campbelltown/Maitland, NSW Waratahs Women, 9 caps

16. Ash Marsters, Harlequins, Melbourne Rebels Women, 8 caps

17. Emily Robinson, Warringah, NSW Waratahs Women, 9 caps

18. Christina Sekona, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 1 cap

19. Rebecca Clough, Cottesloe, RugbyWA Women, 22 caps

20. Shannon Mato, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

21. Iliseva Batibasaga, Sydney University, NSW Waratahs Women, 13 caps

22. Arabella McKenzie, Randwick, NSW Waratahs Women, 2 caps

23. Mhicca Carter, Cottesloe, Rugby WA Women, 4 caps

Wallabies Named For All Blacks

James O’Connor

It’s an odd feeling, usually, by this stage of the year, we’ve been pounded twice by New Zealand, failed to win the Bledisloe and had no chance of winning the Rugby Championship. This year we have all that to look forward to! With the World Cup around the corner the Rugby Championship has been shortened this year and we actually still have a chance to win it.

The Wallabies seem to have their sights set on the big prize this year and are still fiddling with their lineup, and that’s why I wasn’t too surprised to see former wild child James O’Connor named at outside-centre this week. Samu Kerevi has been the focal point of the Wallabies attack so far this year it’s been a little hard for Tevita Kuridrani to put his usual mark on the game. I hope this is more of a let’s see what JOC’s gat than a TK’s not quite there decision because that’s not what’s been happening.

“I think there is time for experimenting,” 1991 World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer told AAP.

“You are looking to see where there are areas you might be able to get some improvement.

“Putting people into teams that might not have been considered a first choice, moving people around.

 “New Zealand in their last game (against South Africa) moved Beauden Barrett to fullback so they could try Richie Mo’unga at fly-half, to see what’s going to be their best combination.” In Australia’s two Tests so far in 2019, the selectors opted for a big, hard-running centre combination of Samu Kerevi at No.12 and Kuridrani at No.13 with mixed results.

It’s a big move away from the previously preferred option of having a second playmaker — often Kurtley Beale — at inside centre alongside either Kuridrani or Kerevi.

Allan Alaalatoa will return to Test arena for the first time in 2019 in what caps a memorable week, after the 25-year old took out the Brett Robinson Award as Brumbies Players’ Player of the Year.

Alaalatoa is joined in the front-row by hooker Tolu Latu with Folau Fainga’a shifting to the reserves while Nic White partners Christian Lealiifano in the halves. This will be the first Test start for White and Lealiifano as a halves pairing but the combination has a long history following several seasons as chief playmakers at the Brumbies in Super Rugby.

1. Scott Sio (56 Tests)

2. Tolu Latu (13 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (32 Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (19 Tests)

5. Rory Arnold (21 Tests)

6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (13 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (93 Tests)

8. Isi Naisarani (2 Tests)

9. Nic White (24 Tests)

10. Christian Lealiifano (20 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (21 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (27 Tests)

13. James O’Connor (45 Tests)

14. Reece Hodge (35 Tests)

15. Kurtley Beale (85 Tests)

16. Folau Fainga’a (9 Tests)

17. James Slipper (88 Tests)

18. Taniela Tupou (13 Tests)

19. Adam Coleman (31 Tests)

20. Luke Jones (4 Tests)

21. Will Genia (102 Tests)

22. Matt To’omua (44 Tests)

23. Tom Banks (4 Tests)

All Blacks Bring The Muscle.

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

Bad News. It looks like the All Blacks have just about picked their best side for the Wallabies this weekend. After spending the first two tests testing combinations the Kiwis are done messing around and have bought the big guns out.

Hansen has stayed with the twin playmaker setup of Richie Mo’unga at five-eighth and Beauden Barrett at fullback, which had its first airing two weeks ago in the 16-16 draw against South Africa.

Seasoned halfback Aaron Smith returns while the impressive Anton Lienert-Brown starts at inside centre in place of Sonny Bill Williams.

There are four changes up front from the Springboks stalemate, most notably the return of twin flankers Ardie Savea and Sam Cane.

Openside specialist Savea, arguably the best player in New Zealand this year, will make his first appearance as a blindside flanker in 37 Tests.

It means veteran captain Kieran Read remains at No.8, squashing the speculation that he would shift to the side of the scrum to make way for Savea’s power running from the base.

Injured lock Brodie Retallick is replaced by Scott Barrett, who has recovered from a broken finger suffered seven weeks ago.

 Barrett is one of four Crusaders players in the tight five.

The exception is hooker Dane Coles, promoted to start ahead of Crusaders rake Codie Taylor.

All Blacks to face Australia

Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Res: George Bridge, Ngani Laumape, TJ Perenara, Matt Todd, Patrick Tuipulotu, Angus Ta’avao, Atu Moli, Codie Taylor.


 Meet Baby Fern Grace Brooker

There’s a lovely story coming out of NZ about Black Fern tourist Grace Brooker. Brooker has never left New Zealand and her first trip out of the choicest place on earth is as a member of one of the best women’s rugby squads in the world.

It has been a long time coming for the outside back - the flight, yes, but mainly the opportunity to debut for her dream team.

“I’m just trying to comprehend everything. This is my first time out of New Zealand, as well. Lots of firsts.”

Brooker earned a contract in May 2018, but hasn’t yet worn the black jersey or travelled with the team.

Her parents Mel and Dave are making the trip all the way from Oxford in rural Canterbury for the baby of the family to make her on-field bow.

Brooker admits she is also “the baby of the Black Ferns” family too.

“Twenty sisters can’t replace my real sister, but they are all pretty awesome.”

It is probably no coincidence that the excited debutant is rooming with a teammate many of the Black Ferns refer to as the mother of the team, first five-eighth Krysten Cottrell.

“No annoying habits, she has been really good actually, holding my hand and making sure I get everything done on time. She’s been really helping me out actually.

“She’s kind of a mother figure for the whole team, when we need direction or a timekeeper, Duffy [Cottrell] is on it.”

The Black Ferns are the holders of the Laurie O’Reilly Trophy, and will only need to win just one of their two tests against the Wallaroos to secure it.

Grace did not make the side this time but she did get to use that passport.

Black Ferns to play the Wallaroos
Selica Winiata,  Renee Wickliffe, Carla Hohepa, Chelsea Alley,  Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Ruahei Demant, Kendra Cocksedge, Charmaine McMenamin, Les Elder (C), Pia Tapsell, Charmaine Smith, Eloise Blackwell, Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Toka Natu
Reserves: Forne Burkin, Leilani Perese, Olivia Ward-Duin, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Kennedy Simon, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Krysten Cottrell, Kilisitina Moata’ane


  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,
    This weekend is going to be epic. Both teams have got enough questions over them to make things interesting. I think both teams are still not settled and I’m not sure it will be after the game either. Next week may be a better indication of where the coaches are going.
    I’m looking forward to the girls too I agree the Wallaroos are much better prepared this year and it should be a better match up.
    Heading home from 2 weeks in NZ so tomorrow night is sorted. TV, beers and some loud yelling to follow

    • This years Wallaroos are the best I’ve seen. Hope it’s a great match. I’m trying to prepare for the inevitable result in the mens game. But before a Bledisloe there is always hope.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely mate. I’m hanging for 2020

  • Gottsy

    I don’t mind seeing JOC and Kerevi in the centres. I know this is extremely premature, but I feel like they could have a slight Nonu/Smith kind of vibe.
    Not sure our forwards will be as dynamic as they need to be to get one over the darkness, but time will tell.
    Fingers crossed for a decent showing in Perth, but I’m in two minds about the result. NZ won’t be playing their full hand, and beating them in the lead up to the last couple of WC’s has done nothing but give the media false hope. All I ask is that our defense sharpens up a bit, there’s no way that we can claim any progress whatsoever unless we stop leaking tries (last start against the argies notwithstanding)

  • AllyOz

    We are now entering that glorious time of the year where we hit peak optimism for the Wallabies. In the last couple of years, it has run dry by 15 mins into the first match but I am lucky to be part of the generation where we used to watch the Wallabies win Bledisloes. For the younger ones amongst us, I imagine it must be like growing up a NSW Leaguie post 2009 at State of Origin time though that has turned around.

    • Yowie

      Being from NSW and being a leaguie would be a bit of a double curse. Try not to be too hard on them.

    • AllyOz

      Looks like it might last at least a week longer this year. It’s a good day to be Australian

  • John Tynan

    Look at me getting all 21st century – in listing a Wallaroos squad, do we really need to put ACT/Qld/Waratahs “Women’s” to differentiate?
    I know the GAGR report is a cut and paste from the presser, but what is the purpose of RA doing that?

    • I’ve given up trying to understand RA.

      • John Tynan

        Good point.

  • Hoss

    Morning from the Ponderosa,

    Howling Nor-Westerlies, reckon the ranch has moved about 3 feet closer to the coast, the winds are ripping through. Hate these winds, all you can smell and taste is coal dust and meth amphetamine from up the Valley further.

    How exciting is the day before a Bledisloe – especially THIS Bledisloe. Best gold XXIII to trot out for an age, sure there’s one-two we dont all agree on, there always will be, but who cares, its Bledisloe time and i for one like our chances. The Nearlies will be no easy-beats, never will be, but we meet them later in the season, have had 7-8 weeks together and are a little more steely nosed. I like our scrum, our lineout is much improved and our D structures at least see the farking stupidity of a thousand moving parts stop.

    I can see parity in the set piece at worst. The Nearlies ‘may’ have an edge in the loose, but are still unsettled a wee bit at 10-15 and i expect Latu & Hoops to be up for it – Saturday nite cant come quick enough.

    And what about our Wallaroos – i reckon there a smokey as well, love this side.

    Saturday night is shaping as a ‘gold out’ – you heard it hear first

    GO YOU BLOODY GOOD THINGS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Keith Butler

      A great evenings entertainment with, hopefully, two wins for the G&G. My beers are at the ready.

    • Brisneyland Local

      At sitting at the QClub at sydney airport watching flight after flight get cancelled, hoping like shit that I will get out of here.

      • Hoss

        It ain’t easing up here mate. Few stiff ‘turbulence medication’ elixirs may be required.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Am on to my eighth! They will have to push me to the plane in a wheel chair if I have anymore! My flight has been delayed. But looks like I will get out.

        • Greg

          Worst comes to the worst BLL, you can don some RMs and a cashmere pullover and join as at the RA screening at Moore Park.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I was seeing if I could keep drinking, get hammered, and either do a Kurtley Beale and punch some one out, or do a Tolu Latu and get behind the wheel of a car and fall asleep. I would be a monty for Wallabies selection then!

        • Happyman

          Sorry mate you are not a Tah so you are no chance.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah forget that bit

        • Who?

          Kurtley wasn’t a Tah when he was misbehaving…

        • Yowie

          If you make a real scene of yourself I’ll watch ACA tonight for the story “Shocked passengers film Qantas mistreating wheelchair-bound man with remarkable speech & co-ordination difficulties”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Was last heard screaming somehting about a stupid Ass clown fucking a Wallaby!

      • Keith Butler

        Safe journey mate. We were expecting the worse but the high winds passed us by.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Winds are pretty crap here. I was due to take off at 3:30. NOt taking off til 7 pm now. Am tired and over this travelling crap. Glad I am on Hols next week.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Just landed from NZ. It’s rough

        • Hoss

          Jeez that’s harsh on your kin mate. Sure, there a little dim, simple even and they are a couple of poxy islands make no mistake, but to call them ‘rough’, coming from one of their own hurts even more.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          My people understand English and context so they know it was about the wind and the landing

        • Brisneyland Local

          Welcome home old boy!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good to be back mate. PDT was good and I’m off to Korea in Oct

        • Brisneyland Local

          Time for a beer before you go.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Hope he supporters will turn up early to what the Wallaroos play as well. With Kiwi and Aussie burgers at $14 the stadium will make a killing.

    • Keith Butler

      Thought the Kiwi was a protected species. Bit unfair as their flightless and easy to catch. Roos on the other hand.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        The Kiwi burger is the better choice: lamb with a black All Black bun. The Aussie burger has chicken and looks a bit sad and you would need at least a litre of beer to swallow it.
        Have a look at for the menu options

  • juswal

    Thanks for this edition of NZ Rugby News, Sully.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Here’s some stats: if Michael Cheika loses this weekend’s Bledisloe Cup match he breaks Robbie Dean’s record of 29 losses and will become the first Wallaby coach ever to lose 30 matches during his total tenure since long term coaching appointments began in 1982.

    • Yowie

      Hey hey! Something for the trophy cabinet.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        Shall we all chip in for a trophy for him?

        • Jcr

          Imagine the AR trophy cupboard might look like one of those old shadow boards in the work shop showing where things used to be . Maybe make a Cheika shape one ?

        • Brisneyland Local

          What one like a giant dildo!

        • John Tynan

          Wish I knew what was on BLL’s mind.
          Said no-one ever.

        • Brisneyland Local

          People only follow me purely out of curiosity as to where I will end up!

        • Jcr

          Maybe more like where the above mentioned weapon of love sometimes gets parked .

        • Jcr

          Actually there could be all sorts of shapes , a big black cross for Izzy, if he gets returned . A used condom for storing Nathans Defense Plans , actually maybe a whole box of them .

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold!

        • John Tynan

          I would give folding stuff for that!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Thanks Nick, But I am pretty sure most readers here didnt need that stat to know that Cheika is the worst Wallabies coach ever!

    • Who?

      I guess that, at least, if he wins, he has the consolation of knowing he has another shot at the title the following week. :-P

      • Greg

        That is cruel!

  • Nutta

    I’ve so much to say. But I just feel sick. So I’ll just leave this here…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Nutta, what a great read! Thanks for re-sharing that. I agree 100% Doesn’t matter how good you are, or how fast you are. Sometimes it just has to be about wanting it more and being prepared to bleed for it.

    • NSWelsham in London

      wow, there was a lot of hate on this site back in 2012, when did all the angry people leave?

      • Hoss

        They started up ‘The Roar’

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s gold mate. Had the same sort of thing a few times and it’s spot on. Go hard, go early and get in first. Not so easy these days with tv and the like but you need to want it to get it

    • Hoss

      Change the team and dates mate – it could be true again for tomorrow.


    • laurence king

      I must be old, but that story really appeals

  • Huw Tindall

    Is everyone as pumped as I am after that Rugby Australia video all over social media of Bledisloe moments? Almost signed up to my local rugby club up here in the UK despite being more past it than a two week old carton of milk. Selections and debate aside I hope the guys rip in and are fearless. The scrum to turn the screws. CLL to turn back the clock to the days he had hair. Marika to be the defensive missile and wipe out people on kick chase and kick off. Thor to smite people with his hammer like thighs. White to control territory with his box kicks. JOC to rekindle his glory days and step like he was a 19 year old again. Kerevi to steam roll Ardie Sarvea like the heavy roller on the WACA on the final day of a test match. Hooper to make a try saver to make Gregan’s effort look paltry. Naisarani to show Read the vigor of youth. Chekia to break a few windows in celebration. Me to be drunk before lunchtime in the UK because we won!! Bring. It. On.

All Blacks

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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