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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby news buys into the hype leading into the Super Rugby AU Grand Final between the Brumbies and the Reds, and previews this weekend’s club rugby action, as a potential broadcaster enters the fray for the rugby rights, and a Springboks trial highlights South Africa’s return to rugby.


Everything on the line

Nic White v Angus Blyth Brumbies v Reds Super Rugby 2020 (Photo Credit QRUBrendan Hertel)

Teams are in for Saturday night’s Super Rugby AU Grand Final, as the the ACT Brumbies and the Queensland Reds prepare to do battle at a ‘sold-out’ GIO Stadium.

“Grand Final week – this is what it’s all about,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said.

“We’re embracing the challenge ahead against a worthy opponent, whom we respect.

“Our journey to get here started back in November with our Reds to regions trip across Queensland. We travelled around the world. We worked hard in two pre-seasons. We’ve battled through a global pandemic. Many of our guys in this group have come through our pathway and club rugby – they’ve thrived and have grown as men during this year.

“We’ve reconnected with our state. They believe in us and we want to make them proud this weekend, plus achieve something together as a group.”

The Reds have shuffled their backline, with Hunter Paisami to start at outside centre, and Jordan Petaia shifting to the right-wing after recovering from last weekend’s brutal encounter with the Melbourne Rebels. The other change to the staring lineup is JP Smith, who replaces Harry Hoopert at loose-head.

Meanwhile, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has bet the house, calling up 20-year-old playmaker Noah Lolesio to start at flyhalf on his first game back from injury.

“As a team we’re really happy for Noah,” McKellar said.

“He was playing good footy before his setback, he’s done a lot of work to get himself right and trained very well over the last two weeks. We’ve got full confidence and belief in his ability.

“To be able to play a home final in front of our family and our supporters is something we set out to do at the start of this competition and we can’t wait for that opportunity.

“We’ve prepared well over the last two weeks and we know the Reds are going to be a huge challenge on Saturday night but it’s one we’re looking forward to.”

In another huge selection call, Lolesio will partner Joe Powell in the halves, with Wallaby scrumhalf Nic White riding the pine. There are two changes to the pack, with Murray Douglas coming in for Darcy Swain in the second-row, while Lachie McCaffrey comes in at blindside flanker with Rob Valetini dropping to the bench.

Club rumble

Warringah’s Josh Holmes celebrates.

Looking to clubland, this weekend is serving up some tasty matchups across the country.

For Round 10 of Shute Shield there are several clashes that could decide the order of the ladder as the competition reaches its halfway point, with Manly fighting to make the finals when they go up against Eastern Suburbs, while the Sydney University V Randwick will be shown live on tv for 7Two’s Match of the Round.

Gordon will take on Northern Suburbs in the Battle of the North. Considered to be one of the great grudge matches in the Shute Shield, this year’s clash will be especially spicy, as Gordon are a yet to lose this season and are in a rich vein of form, but will be challenged by second-place Northern Suburbs on Saturday at Chatswood Oval.

Another interesting game will be the Hunter Wildfires V Southern Districts game, as Souths continue to fall down the ladder. Meanwhile, former Super Rugby halfback and Warringah legend Josh Holmes is set to bring up 200 games for the club when they take on the Two Blues.

In Round 8 of the Hospital Cup, the Match of the Round is Easts v Sunnybank. While the team might be sitting towards the bottom of the ladder, Sunnybank could throw a spanner in the works for Easts if they manage a win.

Easts are coming off the bye, and are looking to solidify their spot in the top four of the standings after building a solid season which should see them make the finals.

Only four points separate first and fourth no one in the top four can afford to drop a game, as Brothers could very easily swoop in to claim a spot.

In Canberra, the quality of the John I Dent Cup this year has been outstanding. All bets are off this weekend, and while the Whites are the only team mathematically out of contention, and this weekend serves up several big clashes.

In the Match Of The Round, top of the table Tuggeranong Vikings host Gungahlin Eagles, who have been counting on the experience of Matt Giteau pushing them towards finals contention.

In Perth, WA Premiere Grade has effectively been a two way race between Cottesloe and Associates, and this weekend will see the penultimate round with Cottesloe facing up against Joondalup in what will be a critical encounter. While 1-6 are effectively guaranteed finals contention, given the results we saw last week anything could happen.

As always, head over to rugby.com.au and check out G&GR alumn Nick Wasiliev’s column for the full scope.

Golden streams

Samu Kerevi on the burst.

Rumours are swirling around that Nine Network and its online streaming service Stan may be interested in taking on the rugby rights in Australia.

The reported broadcast deal would see Wallabies matches telecast on Nine’s free-to-air channel and Super Rugby games shown on Stan.

The likes of Netflix and Amazon Prime have been looking to get into streaming sports, and if Stan were to broadcast the rugby, it would the first Australian sport to find a home on an established streaming service.

Network Ten has expressed interest in rights for Wallabies matches but only at a low price, but Optus look to be out of the running, choosing instead to concentrate on its global soccer rights.

Rugby Australia bidding process for its rights closed earlier this month, but has failed to attract any solid bids.

The problem is, any potential broadcasters are still in the dark about what exactly is on offer moving forward, with the configuration of the Southern Hemisphere competition very much up in the air.

It is unlikely that any potential broadcaster would shell out tens of millions of dollars for rugby, but it is encouraging to hear any competition for the rugby rights.

Reports suggest Fox Sports is still the frontrunner, despite Foxtel chief executive Patrick Delany recently suggesting rugby fell outside their “tier-one” sports. Rugby Australia is in the last year of a five-year $285m contract with Fox Sports.

Another source of funding could come from private equity, with many companies sniffing around rugby following CVC Capital’s bought an interest in the Pro14.

Green & Gold Rugby?

A Green V Gold Springbok trial is on the cards.

Rugby will finally return to South Africa, with a series of fixtures announced in the lead-up to the Rugby Championship.

Of particular interest will be a proposed Green V Gold selection trial for the Springboks on 3 October in Cape Town. Assistant coaches Mzwandile Stick and Deon Davids will coach the two teams, with the current director of rugby Rassie Erasmus and former defence coach Jacques Nienaber acting as the teams commissioners.

The selection process will take the form of a draft pick from an enlarged squad of 60 players, with Green and Gold team bosses taking alternate turns in an old-style ‘schoolyard pick’ to assemble their match-day squads of 25 players each.

The drama will unfold live on SuperSport, with the enlarged squad set to be announced live on Saturday before the crucial draft pick next week.

“This will not only be an opportunity to see the best of the best available in South Africa square off against each other in what promises to be something never seen before, but it will also provide the players with another valuable opportunity to shake off the rust and get the legs and lungs going after not playing any rugby in the last six months,” said Erasmus.

“The players will be encouraged to showcase their skills, individually and in their teams, and while it will be full-on, we’re expecting to see a highly competitive match of quality players against each other. It will be exciting from the moment we select the squads, with a number of twists thrown in for good measure through the build-up to the match and the actual encounter in Cape Town.”

The game, billed as the Springbok Showdown, is a part of SA Rugby’s plan to relaunch the domestic season, and fixtures also include a Vodacom Super Fan Saturday round between the Super Rugby franchises, with the possibility of involving Currie Cup teams in some kind of competition.

The local competition will continue over Christmas and New Year and will culminate in semi-finals (16 January) and a final on January 23 next year.

  • Mica

    Brave call by Dan to put Noah straight back into the side. No ones better placed to say whether he’s ready or not. In some ways, this could be a good indicator if he’s ready for test rugby or not. Early days in his career, but some players seem to be born ready. Rennie will be watching with interest!

    • Reds Revival

      The Reds would be crazy not to give Noah a bit of extra attention, much like the Highlanders did at the start of the season. I think he learnt a lot from that game, but he still has the potential to be rattled, particularly first game back from an injury. Should be a great match up between him and JOC 2.0.

      • Hambone

        I think the 5/8 warrants extra attention in every game no? Speaking from an old balding backrowers perspective ;)

  • Custardtaht

    Good to see RA having options beyond Foxtel. Nine/Stan isn’t a bad combination (would prefer cartman), at least it would be a step in the right direction in bringing Rugby to the heathens and barbarians.

    Hopefully the final lives up to the hype and pre game expectations. If it does, it will be a cracking, physical game. Both sides are aware that a yelllow guernsey is on the line for many.

    At the start of the super season, who woulda thought that no kiwi teams would make the final. Having two Aus teams in the final pours a bucket of ice on the thinking that Aus teams aren’t up to NZ standards.

    • Yowie

      I still have PTSD for how channel 9 handled their 2011 Rugby World Cup hosing rights, i.e buying the Rugby rights with a view to suppressing the World Cup in favour of their concurrent Loig coverage. 9’s form included putting out inaccurate program guides showing no rugby (only to sneak a pool game onto Gem in between daytime Seppo sitcoms). Did my head in.

      • Mica

        Apt use of the word hosing too. Nice work Yowie!

        • Yowie

          haha, typo, but I’ll leave it now.

      • Reds Revival

        Initially I thought you mis-spelled “hosting”, but I think it was correct to say that 9 hosed all over the RWC.

      • Custardtaht

        In Sydney, I don’t recall having those issues during the world cup. But what you describe was a common problem across their entire broadcast not just sport. They were one of the main contributors to why I learnt other means of watching shows.

        The commentary team will be Eddie Maquire, Warnie, Phil Gould and Tracy Grimshaw on the sidelines..

        • Yowie

          Stay tuned for the “bring back Phil Kearns (sorry mate)” petition.

        • Custardtaht

          I’ll only sign it if it includes Matt Burke, greg martin and Cheika.

        • Yowie

          Better do up a petition for a less annoying commentary team consisting of primary school children arguing, a blackboard being scratched with fingernails and a smoke alarm with low batteries.

        • laurence king

          So that’s the problem. I took the bloody things out of the alarms a year ago because they kept on screaming.

        • Mica

          Oooooh Cheika would be a lock in at 9 for sure!!

        • Custardtaht

          I can see it now “The half time spray” with Michael Cheika or,

          Instead of Kafes Chalkboard, it could Cheikas Driving Range….where he discusses the tactics, with insights such as;

          Just keep on doing what they are doing, trust the process, trust their team mates and show more intent.

          They are running backwards, sideways, every which way but forward…I fucking love it.

          The ref is fucking them.

        • Yowie

          Could have a live graphic on the corner of the screen throughout the whole game (incl. half-time) showing Cheika’s blood pressure.

        • Mica

          Performance on the training paddock!?!?

        • Damo

          It would need sub titles.

        • Bobas

          ‘I don’t know why the wallabies needed training size exemptions in NZ, all I would have needed was a few extra hills and DJ’s, youknowwhatimean?’

        • You’re welcome to him mate. Somehow, no I know how, on paper he should be good, he got the gig giving colour commentary on the 6N before Covid, along with SCW.

          I guess I know he watched the matches, but I think maybe he was on acid… his commentary bore no resemblance to what anyone else saw. Given that included SCW (OK, he never sees anything sensible either to analyse but at least he talks about the same sorts of things as everyone else), Sam Warburton and few other recent ex players, you’d have to think they might have some idea.

      • Dud Roodt

        Ha fucking hell. Remember they got Ray Hadley to commentate? I was half expecting Ray Rabbits Warren and Darryl Eastlake to blow our eardrums away while asking questions why the ref had forgotten the tackle count.

        • Yowie

          I’ve seen Ray Hadley MC a few events (retirement age investors type thing) in person. FFS he can blabber some rubbish and irrelevant personal anecdote tangents. I suppose that’s a necessary skill for a radio DJ.

        • Dud Roodt

          Yeah when your entire career is based around inflating your own self-worth while simultaneously instilling fear in the elderly, I guess you get good at it.

        • Hoss

          Bullseye DR, summed up beautifully.

        • Yowie

          In RH’s credit, he stood up against the “Pell is an innocent victim” brigade, including some of his radio colleagues, at the time.

          You wouldn’t think that being on the “anti-pedo” team is a remarkable accolade, but we live in strange times.

        • Dud Roodt

          Yes the bar has been set very low when not defending a paedophile/paedophile enabler is seen as noble.

        • Dave P

          Never heard a rugby game commentary sound like a horse race before or since.

      • Bobas
        • Bobas

          I remember Ken Sutcliffe not knowing the current accepted terms of player positions. I think at one stage the outside centre was referred to as the ‘three-quarters’.

        • Yowie

          Cheers for finding that Media Watch piece. I had partially forgotten how truly awful Ch9 was about it all.

    • Dally M

      Nine saying it’s all bollocks as with zero sport on Stan, they would have to change their whole business model to do so.

      • Custardtaht

        That’s shit. Is anything we read on the internet true!

        • Dally M

          It’s always worth a try, telling the other bidders that Nine is keen, to push up the price and have people bidding against themselves.

          You just have to make sure the people you are claiming are interested, don’t find out and call you out on it…lol.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahaha classic mate.
      Interestingly in the SMH they are reporting 9 is denying their interest. Personally I can’t see anyone being too interested until they know what 2021 is going to bring

      • Custardtaht

        Even then, I can’t see any network etc throwing huge offers around. Rugby is going to have to start low and build up interest and then dollars.

        • Reds Revival

          It makes sense for RA to take a short term deal ATM, and hope that an improved performance from the Wallabies and Super Rugby teams puts them in a better position to renegotiate in a year or two.

        • Damo

          Yep, start conservatively, support the coach in getting an upturn in the win loss ratio and, importantly, get some decent people into RA’s marketing department and sell the shit out of what we’re offering. Build brand value, as the marketing bozos would say.

  • Reds Revival

    Hoss, what happened to your iron clad guarantee that Optus were still in “up to the tonsils”?? Am I now going to have to fact check all of your statements?

    • Custardtaht

      I think “Optus” is to hoss, what monica is to Clinton……

      • Reds Revival

        A cigar?

      • Yowie

        Can a GaGR forum contributor be impeached?
        If so, will the pro-Waratah majority block witness testimonies and make a sham of the whole process?

        • Custardtaht

          I imagine that would be indeed the case. I want to hear Hoss come out and categorically deny having any relations first. After that who knows, maybe the north shore, Eastern suburbs latte sipping boys network isn’t what it used to be.

        • Hoss
    • Mica

      And, and, and he’s a Queenslander Hoss. I wouldn’t take that. Hang on, I need to go grab my popcorn………..Ok, back now, proceed Mr Hoss. :) :) :)

      • Hoss

        Press Release –

        Minister for the Hunter, Right Honourable Hoss

        In media reports today unfounded, disturbing and appalling rumours have surfaced regarding the origins and residency of the Member for The Hunter and Family Planning Secretary Hoss.

        Whilst many will recall the trial of a few years ago, ending in a hung jury, no conviction has ever been recorded against said member for indecent relations with livestock or first cousins and by default proving he is not, nor ever has been a resident of the Queensland Peoples Republic of Queensland (QPRQ).

        Whilst the origins of these rumours are being investigated a spokesperson for the beloved member also adds in defence of this trolling:

        – Mr Hoss does not own a Banjo
        – Has most his own teeth
        – Has rarely had evocative dreams about cousins and small rodent like mammals and utilising whipped dairy as an accoutrement
        – Can count passed 21 whilst fully dressed

        At this time no further comments shall be made to dignify these outrageous allegations.

        Ends.

        • Mica

          Over to you Reds Revival. More popcorn please!

        • Reds Revival

          I’m consulting with my legal team as we speak…

        • Yowie
        • Damo

          Hey, hey, hey. Boys think of poor Jack O and his efforts to pen this edition of Friday news. I’m taking this back to rugby. Reddddsss!! Go you good things!!!

        • Hoss

          True that. Despite the above i would love to see a reds win – good for all Oz rugby me thinks.

        • Reds Revival

          Your Honour, I put to the Court that the Right Honourable Member for the Hunter (and I use that title reservedly as there appears no reputable documentation to back up that position), did in fact claim on the Green & Gold Rugby Forum, on Wednesday 16th September, Year of Our Lord 2020, that Optus were indeed in it, “up to their tonsils”. I present “Exhibit A”:
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41dcbbd83e16089cfe1661b2a2962079cca2b7cb1ed744d2cfce20a3c4a8f427.png

          This of course, brings into question Mr Hoss’ earlier claims of discovering the secret of cold nuclear fusion, bringing peace to the Balkans, the known living whereabouts of Elvis Presley, Adolph Hitler, and Harold Holt, as well as the secret to a BBQ hotplate that cooks evenly.

          I therefore propose that in the face of this house of cards, the NSW Waratahs should be stricken from the register, and sent back to play Kentwell Cup.

        • Hoss
    • Hoss

      I have prepared a statement that my counsel will deliver.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iaqm7Q19h6s

  • Geoffro

    I know nobody cares but having a whinge.As a Gordon n Nthn suburbs junior (many moons ago) I was tongueing to see my old alma maters face off in a top of the table SS clash,right….wrong. in their wisdom, ch 7 deign Wicks v Uni as tv motd.Wankers

    • UTG

      It’s going to be the best match between the sides in such a long time. I guess we’ll have to catch up on the delayed stream.

    • IIPA

      Geoffro, Gordon responded to some comments of similar ilk on the Shute Shield insta page.

      Apparently Chatswood Oval is undergoing some renovations and they aren’t able to get all the camera positions they need. I guess 2 or 3 is enough for Cluch TV livestream but not okay for professional broadcast on Ch 7.

      So yeah you’ve actually gone off wrong here. Nothing Ch 7 can do about it. Agree it’s a pity but the Uni Randwick game should be a cracker if Randwick can get some ball for their backline.

      • Geoffro

        Fair enough,makes sense since Gordon v Nthn Subs IS the match of the round. Ta

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    The uncertainty of the broadcasting deal is already impacting the line-ups for next year. The Force is in the worst position as they need a strong recruiting drive to improve their squad for the 2021 season and to replace some players that are getting too old. To attract about 10-20 new quality players will be extremely challenging in this environment especially if these commercial deal continue to drag out as they most often do. The pre-season is just a couple of months away and it is likely that these commercial negotiations will be resolved until well into Q1 2021.

    Rugby Australia can help if they can give the Force early clarity on if or how the salary cap will be applied to them (they should at least get a cap that is 33% above those of the other franchises) and if Force players can play for the Wallabies. The larger cap is required to help the Force to sign some of the few overseas based Australian players that come off contract this year. Twiggy has the money to back these Force contracts even if the broadcasting deals do not deliver enough funding. A strong Force is in the interest of Australia regardless of where the play in 2021: Superugby AU, TT or in a NZRU competition.

    • Dally M

      How can RA give them clarity without a broadcast deal?

      RA may not even exist if they can’t get one sorted.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        They can do two things:
        – Give the Force a conditional offer that will help lock an option to play Superugby next year. At the moment they have nothing and many not play any rugby next year that makes it very difficult to attract quality players. This will level the playing field with the other franchises that know that they will play Superugby if RA gets a competition up and running. The offer can be highly conditional but should stipulate what cap would apply if the Force accept the offer.
        – Make it clear that players playing for the Force in 2021 will be eligible to play for the Wallabies in 2021. There is no need for this to be a negotiated outcome that can drag out to 2021 before it is settled as it will compromise the ability of the Force to sign up players like a Rodda, Kurevi etc. Australia will be in a better position if these players play for the Force in 2021 and are available for the Wallabies regardless of how next year’s competition turn out and it will also assist the broadcasting negotiations.

        • Ads

          Agree with both those Hannes. A deal contingent on sorting the broadcast deal seems the best of both worlds.

        • Dally M

          Given they Force are signing players like Robertson, Godwin, McIntyre, Anstee and Kurindrani; it would appear that there those discussions have already taken place and they know what they expect to be doing next year. Is there any evidence that says otherwise?

          As to your second point, this was seemingly resolved a few years ago:

          https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/05/01/western-force-world-series-rule-changes

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          With the exception of maybe Kurindrani none of the players above gets Wallaby top-ups and none of these players should play for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship as they didn’t make the 44 +2.

          My understanding is if you play in Australia that you are eligible to play for the Wallabies and if you do not you are not eligible. It sounds simple enough and it is likely that the Force will play in the Australian or Trans-Tasman Superugby competition next year. However RA has not made a formal offer for the Force to participate that the Force can accept and is not likely to make such an offer until early next year. The nature of these negotiations will drag out until the last minute. This year’s offer came just weeks before the start of the season. If the RA offer is not forthcoming or unacceptable it is still possible that the Force may play in New Zealand next year. In this unlikely scenario the Force will be based on New Zealand and play all their games in New Zealand and the players that signed with the Force would not be eligible to play for the Wallabies under the current rule. Some players will accept this risk, however the better players that have more options will not.

          Why is this important? If RA wants Forrest to bring some of our overseas based talent like a Kurevi, Rodda, and others back to Australia it would be a mistake to use Wallaby eligibility as a bargaining chip to entice the Force to play in Australia. By the time the Force can accept a RA offer to play in Australia it would be too late to sign these Wallabies. The Force will then again play with a squad that is not on the same level as the other franchises that will compromise the integrity of the Superugby AU tournament. There is a win-win here if there is a little bit of flexibility from RA.

  • Moz
    • Reds Revival

      Bit of a blow for the Tahs. They may have to hang on to KHunt for another year. When are The Force going to sign Rodda?

      • Moz

        You’d have to imagine that they are having a bit of a chat to Rodda and a few others up in Japan.

        I’d like to see the Tags hang onto KHunt. I’ve always enjoyed watching him play.

      • Mica

        LOL :)

      • Perth girl

        The Tahs dont have any money to sign anyone that why Godwin didn’t follow up on the letter of intent

      • OnTheBurst

        As a rusted on TAHt I am actually good with this. I’ve heard a lot of hype about Godwin over the years and TBH haven’t see the body of work to back that hype up…

        I think KHunt is the right guy to have at the Tahs to mentor some of the young guys coming through, like Joey Walton.

        While all of that will sound like sour grapes re Godwin, I genuinely think it’s great that the Force have held on to him. He’s no doubt solid and being a bit of a “name” hopefully the Force can leverage his presence to get some more quality signings.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Jack, Interesting call by McKellar and I hope he’s ready. I admit I like his play and it’ll be good to see him against JOC 2.0. Both teams are very close and this is a really hard game to call. I think it’ll be a couple of little things deciding the match. I still think the Brumbies should take it out as they are the most consistent of the two teams and that means a lot

    I can’t see anyone committing to a sponsorship deal until they know what is happening in 2021 and I think we’re a we way away from knowing where that is at yet. SMH is saying 9 denies their interest but with an inability to trust anything in the media who knows?

    Good to see the SA players back and fighting for the team. Still no certainty around RC games and some are reporting on their sites that a lot of players won’t turn up. Could be Australia’s year.

    • Reds Revival

      KARL, as Hugh Cavill said on the GAGR Podcast, “broke people will do desperate things”. None of the Unions can afford not to be at TRC, even if their team is under prepared. They quite simply need the TV revenue to survive.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah mate but it may be interesting as to what team turns up. I don’t think that either the Argies or the Saffas are going to be able to have their number 1 team turn up through people being unable to travel from Europe, people being positive with Coronovirus and their local competitions being on. Certainly going to be an interesting year

  • Moz

    TRAIN TO PERTH
    Tevita Kuridrani is set to sign with the Western Force for the 2021 season.

    It means that Saturday’s grand final will be his final game for the Brumbies.

    The former Wallabies centre was not picked in coach Dave Rennie’s 44-man squad for the October Bledisloe Cup Tests, however the “K-train” remains a dangerous midfielder and will form a powerfield centre combination with Kyle Godwin, who has rebuffed NSW Waratahs to remain in Perth.

    Kuridrani is believed to be on $600,000 with Rugby Australia and the Brumbies, but will accept less than that to join the Perth franchise that is building a strong roster for next season.

    Former Queensland Reds playmaker Jake McIntyre, now playing for French club Clermont, is another to sign with the Force next season, as is Aussie Sevens flyer Tim Anstee.

    They’re also set to sign a number of Argentinian stars including halfback Tomas Cubelli.

    Toot toot!!!!

    • Hoss

      Takin shape Moz. A good 10 is desperately needed. Lance was ok at best and a solid back-up, but a livewire at 10 is needed to piece it all together.

      • Moz

        Yeah, it is good news. Just trying to remember how Jake McIntyre was, and how he has been going over the last couple of years as well.
        But we also don’t want to just sign people for one year, and be constantly rebuilding and starting again. Hopefully build some combinations and consistency. Having the Force back could really help bring back some Aussies from overseas. More keen for that than signing players from other countries.
        I know it goes against the Ben Darwin theory and beliefs, but I want 5 teams, and more Aussies playing here.

        • OnTheBurst

          Isaac Lucas at 10 for the Force would be interesting… I know he’s one of the 3 Renegade Reds but he’s a proper talent

        • Hoss

          It’s the Kevin Costner theory aint it – if you build it they will come. Agree that it provides a pathway for young up and comers as well, so there’s a production line of talent perpetually coming through as they see an opportunity to stay.

        • Moz

          Absolutely, as I know they are still putting money in the Future Force, to develop the younger players.
          All looking good, although I am somewhat conflicted by thinking about Kevin Costner in much detail. I’m thinking more Paul Newman from Slapshot.

        • Alister Smith

          I thought the Kevin Costner theory was “you can spend an ridiculously huge amount on a movie and it can still be a flop” aka as the Waterworld theory.

        • Damo

          Jake is now just 26. He had 2 good seasons with Agen in the French Top 14- in the 23 pretty much every game. Clermont have signed him for this season. Have seen a few of his Agen highlights. He looks more physically solid than he was at the Reds and seemed pretty composed at 10 (just highlights though). He might be a good get for the Force.

        • Moz

          Good to know, I’ll try and find a few of the games from RugbyPass.

        • Reds Revival

          Out of interest, are you able to use your Rugby Pass account to watch Super Rugby? If so, do you have to set up a VPN to be based out of another country?

        • Moz

          I live in Singapore, so this is one of the countries it operates out of. Great little app! I’d imagine you would need to use a VPN if you are in Oz.

        • Who?

          Mac Mason’s been sent to play for the Roma Echidnas – so I reckon he’d be available.
          But the real target may be Sam Greene… Good reports from Japan. He was McIntyre’s backup at the Reds. McIntyre was the Brisbane City 10, Sam Greene was the Qld Country 10.

      • Custardtaht

        Funny you mention that. I have heard from a source in Perth, that Twiggy has signed off on Cheika and Spanners at the Force next year as well as Skelton. There is a groundswell that the Force is coming back into the RA fold.

        • donktec

          Signed off on gardening leave so they never enter WA again? It’s hard to see that the Force would gain anything from hewhoshallnotbenamed and spanners.

        • Moz

          Yeah, yeah, nah. Not sure what need they would have with the A.Clown as they just signed Tim Sampson for another 2 years. Spanners……geez struth, really?? Wouldn’t mind Skelton however. Team up with Rodda.

        • Hoss

          Wouldn’t that be a spicy meatball having Segall back in Oz rugby with nuthin to lose. be great opera.

        • Custardtaht

          That it would be.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      The Force also announced that they signed Godwin for two years. Still no-one in the top 46 but building depth.

    • RahRah

      Mate if what you say is true I’ve just become the happiest sandgroper in town!

  • Custardtaht

    For those looking to further their Rugby or Rugby administrator careers, Michael Hooper has listed his house for sale. Apparently it is not North Shore enough. Some of the features are;

    1. Comes with Waratah Blue bench tops
    2. The keys to RA HQ
    3. A direct line to Cheika on the blue phone

    • Yowie

      4. tunnel “undermining” the property next door (which is owned by a former Wallabies coach)

      • Custardtaht

        The neighbourhood can’t wait for him to leave. Apparently there has been a seagull problem since he moved in.

  • Hoss

    In other news McKellar has pulled out of Wallabies gig – they’ve gone for rebels & Lions Geoff Parling as a replacement

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2020/09/17/geoff-parling-joins-wallabies-ahead-of-bledisloe-cup

    • Reds Revival

      Rumour has it that one of the Super Rugby coaches is going to be on the move. I’d have my money on Wessels looking to go.

      • Hoss

        The article says Hewatt is on the move to Nipponville hence McKellar staying put – most like until end of 21 when his Pony contract expires. With a RWC likely on home turf in 27 you’d want to be coach of the home nation i’d reckon.

        Keppler seems a decent and likeable guy, but why would he get more from the Rebs in 21 than he did 3 years previous…time for a new face and message for mine.

Rugby

Mad rugby supporter from Newcastle. Offering unbiased takes on why the Brumbies are the best team in Super Rugby.

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