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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees a Game of To Knee or Not to Knee,  Someone Doing Exactly What They Said They Wouldn’t,  Club Finals Fever  and European Internationals Commence


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Advisory Warning: This is likely to cause considerable consternation. It will also contain some personal opinion towards the end.

In a move that is certainly going to garner a lot of attention, if not controversy, senior Wallaby Dane Haylettt-Petty has revealed the Wallabies could take a knee during the national anthem prior to the Bledisloe game on October 31.

Haylett-Petty told FoxSports that it was certainly something worth considering and the squad as a whole would be discussed before they take to the field again next week.

“It’s great that sport has an amazing opportunity to have a say and join conversations, a lot of sports have done that and it would be a great thing for us to do,” Haylett-Petty said. “I obviously can’t speak for everyone but definitely I think it’d be a great show of support. I think that’s probably a discussion to have as a group, and we’d definitely consider it.”

Haylett-Petty went on to add that the work of new coach Dave Rennie in recognising and embracing different cultures in the camp is also a factor in the coming discussion about taking a knee.

This all coincides with the launch of the latest iteration of the Wallaby Indigenous jersey and the call by one of Australia’s most famous indigenous Wallabies, Mark Ella, for more development pathway opportunities for young indigenous players. With only 14 players of indigenous heritage having pulled on the green and gold, it is definitely an area that more can be done in.

Now this is where it could get controversial for some. Please read something else if it makes you uncomfortable.

It would appear that not all think the Wallabies should follow the lead of most other sports worldwide and show solidarity for the equality movement worldwide. Former Wallaby captain Nick Farr-Jones has told the Wallabies not to take a knee, telling 2GB’s Ben Fordham that he didn’t see a problem saying, “I don’t think here in Australia that we have a major issue in relation to discrimination of coloured people,” Farr-Jones said. “We went to South Africa in ’92 when it was opening up, when apartheid was just about behind it.”

He added, “We had a minute silence for victims of township violence before we played our Test match in Cape Town but here in Australia I think if you surveyed your listeners, I think 99 per cent would agree that all lives matter. We don’t have that issue. Let’s not make it a political issue in a sporting event.” Except of course, when he was backing Israel Folau using his voice to make political statements, but I digress.

In saying all this, Farr-Jones shows just how out of touch he is with actual, normal human beings. He may not see a problem with “the coloureds” in Point Piper but you only need to look just a little bit outside your comfortable little bubble to see what issues still exist here, let alone overseas.

Up here in Queensland we have seen one major party propose a curfew after 8pm for youth in Townsville and Cairns, which while it doesn’t explicitly say it, specifically targets indigenous youth. We see continuing imbalances in health, education, employment, examples of differing treatment by law enforcement, and yet Farr-Jones says there is no problem? Farr-Jones’ comments are ignorant at best, and I genuinely hope that’s all it is.

How about you take off your rose coloured glasses for a moment, see there is a problem, then see what you think Nick? Ask indigenous players what has been said to them on the field, then see what you think? Visit an indigenous community where economic opportunities are limited because there is no land ownership even though that is where the so-called “white protectors” moved them a century ago.

No Nick, there is a problem, and to be honest, with comments like that, you are part of that problem.


Michael Cheika

After being relieved to thinking I would never have to type his name in a news article again, I was saddened to have to report Michael Cheika is back in the news.

The former Wallaby coach, who left the role after the World Cup last year famously said earlier this year that he could never coach against a team he has worked with in the past, telling the Times it would be traitorous to coach against a former team.

He said, “I’ve always felt that I couldn’t ever go back and coach against a team I’ve already coached,” he told the publication. “I feel that’s almost being a traitor; I know this is probably not very cool or modern day professional. But that’s been in my mind with a couple of conversations I’ve had in France.”

Well fellow readers, it is time to prepare the stocks and rotten tomatoes because a certain Cheika, M., was featured in social media images of the Argentina Pumas as they got to work preparing for their Tri-Nations tournament in coming weeks.

I am in two minds on this one to be honest. Part of me is really sad that he has gone back on his word in this and is helping the Pumas. The other part of me is really hoping he is taking a key role in attack coaching so they can be as predictable as the Wallabies were for the last few seasons.



With only a couple of weeks left in the club season and the stocks on the shelves looking low, let’s grab a tin of beans from the back and see what we can cook up this week.

In South Australia it is grand final weekend and Brighton will be looking to reclaim their stranglehold on the trophy in recent years and win the trophy back for the first time since 2018. They’ll have their work cut out against Old Collegians, who smashed last year’s grand final winners Burnside 42-17 in last week’s preliminary final

To New South Wales now and the Shute Shield is onto their elimination finals and after the close games last week there should be more action in store this week as the four remaining sides fight to play on for the title next week. After escaping with a one point win against Randwick last week, minor premiers Gordon will be facing a stern test in Easts, who made it through despite losing to Eastwood last week. Some reward for being the minor prems and winning in the first week! The TV game on Sunday (7TWO 3pm ADST) sees Norths play Eastwood.

Both games shape up to very tight affairs, as was the top half of the Shute Shield table all season long, but my prediction is that Gordon and Norths will win through. So expect them to lose.

Up to the Hospital Cup in Queensland and it is preliminary final weekend. While I am here can I just curse the fact that every competition in every capital city seems to have a different finals format? It can get confusing at times for an old bloke. Anyway, after last week saw Uni comprehensively put away Easts to book their spot in the grand final next week, we see the Tigers backing up to play Bond who put away GPS in a much tighter affair.

Logic says that Easts should win, after all they were rivalling Uni for top spot all season but Bond fought extremely hard to beat GPS, defending like demons in the last five minutes or so in their own 22. The question will be whether that was their grand final or if they have more in the tank. My kiss of death says Easts should win by 8.



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Despite soaring case numbers right across the continent and the uncertainty that goes with it all, the Northern Hemisphere internationals swing back into action this weekend with a few interesting clashes, including the recommencement of the Six Nations games that were suspended right at the start of all this craziness. Four teams are still in mathematical hope of winning, as explained by the BBC here. The Womens Six Nations will also resume, with England in a very strong position.

The weekend also sees the English Premiership final, with newly crowned European champions Exeter looking to complete the double against a Wasps outfit hit by positive cases to 7 players and four staff in the past week. Such is the world we now live in is that Bristol, who were beaten by Wasps in their semi-final were on standby to take their place if more positive tests had emerged. Exeter really should win this one, but if they peaked last week in the Euro final or Wasps can put together a real back to the wall effort then it could be a different story.

We also have a round of the Pro14, which rather predictably has been dominated so far by the big Irish provinces.

The international schedule in the North looks like this- Friday night UK time has Scotland tacking on Georgia in a tune up for the Scots remaining Six Nations games and the following Eight Nations competition. Saturday has the delayed Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy and a friendly between France and Wales.

Sunday afternoon UK time has England taking on the Barbarians- the English are missing Wasps and Exeter players and the Baa-Baa’s squad is not perhaps it’s usual standard with all the international travel restrictions but regardless, this is usually a pretty high scoring match where defence is perhaps a little more optional than usual.






  • Pfitzy

    NFJ = NFI.

    Massive Folau supporter tho, so there’s that. Oh, wait…

    • Came here to write this! My favourite halfback but now he can fuck off.

      • Parker

        Being a great rugby player never guaranteed anyone character, intelligence, or an evolved psyche, the list could go on, but I’ll stop now.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Well said Sully

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Wasn’t NFJ one of the ‘dream team’ RA board members proposed by the Kearns Cartel?

    Jaysus we dodged more than one bullet there.

  • I’m embarrassed to be named after NFJ. Thanks Dad. Great rant btw Ben!

    • Geoffro

      S’alright,nobody’d ever know if you didn’t tell em.Could be worse,he might’ve named you Donald (after Bradman,of course)

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    I’m entirely sympathetic to the need for acknowledgment and solidarity. For me, though, ‘taking a knee’ is for the Sepos and their situation. I have no objection to some sort of symbolism, but I wish we’d come up with something of our own. Then again, I used to feel that way about Hallowe’en, and now look at me, wearing a mask everywhere.

    • Huw Tindall

      Sensitive topic isn’t so need to tread carfeully. I’m in your camp a bit with the knee thing. It’s very US so leave them to it. RA came out today and said they won’t be taking a knee and that the indigenous jersey was their way of making a statement and representing which, to be fair, they’ve been doing for a few years now so all credit to the Wobs. The jersey was and is a belter of an idea and it’s something uniquely Aussie rugby.

      • Geoffro

        so RA has made a statement saying the team will not take a knee.What happens if some do ? They will not (had better not !) censure them.Sport is known as a way of life in a lot of countries including ours,to say it is separated from politics is naive.If a peaceful statement protesting violations of human rights by any individuals is going to set mate against mate…were not mates

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Be interesting to see if someone does. It’ll also be interesting to see it compared to Folau’s “freedom of speech” Bullshit so things could get nasty

        • Geoffro

          Be nice to believe that any actions are heartfelt rather than overthought or otherwise motivated.Now I’m being naive

        • formerflanker

          “….the leaders have discussed the idea with Wallabies coach Dave Rennie and others in team management and then gone back to the 44-man squad. Unanimously, they agreed not to kneel.” (The Australian)
          Sounds like a sensible way to deal with the issue.

        • Geoffro

          I find it hard to believe it was unanimous but if thats what RA and The Australian say,then it must be true :)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah because they haven’t told lies to us over the last 5 years on any other subject I suppose

        • Alister Smith

          the original statement from DHP was in response to a question in an interview. In a way, it is potentially a bit of media stirring to generate a story. I think it has been handled well within the team from what I have read elsewhere.

    • UTG

      Athletes in the US kneel because they don’t believe the anthem represents them (a lot of Indigenous NRL players don’t sing the national anthem for the same reason). So it seems a bit odd to belt out the anthem proudly for the first two tests, take a knee for the third and presumably bang it out again in Brisbane. Perhaps there’s something else that can be done, a moment of silence for Indigenous deaths in custody?

      Anyway, don’t think there a lot of winners out of this either way.

      • Thomas Murray

        Aussie rugby is already on their knees with the ABs,So it wouldn’t make a difference

        • UTG

          The execution of your trolling is improving but I feel your bait is wasted now we are all well accustomed to your game. Maybe time to setup a new account and see if you get more bites?

        • Mike D

          Firstly, your trolling has gone from attempting to take the piss out of rugby fans, to rather callous dismissal of a serious social issue. This in itself is a form of racism through the assumption that it’s ok for your casual fun to be attained at the expense of an entire race of people. You may not have meant to do that, but you did so through thoughtlessness, which is a form of arrogance. Please do not do that.

          Secondly, your trolling really is mediocre. I mean, why would the ABs be on their knees WITH Aussie Rugby? Also your punctuation and grammar are TERRIBLE. I mean, goodness me, where to start? (I’m assuming here that you actually attended school, like grade 5 or equivalent).

          So, to help you out I’ve put together a few pointers on your work.
          Aussie Rugby is a proper noun – you need to capitalise it.
          Aussie Rugby is also a singular noun, the pronoun “their” does not agree, it should read “its”. Alternatively, if you choose to consider Aussie Rugby a plural, then you should have used “are” instead of “is” so that the verb agrees with the noun.
          You have ended the first clause, such as it is, with a comma, but then capitalised “So”.
          You have failed to end the sentence with a full stop.

          You’re welcome.

    • Hoss

      Sorry mate was just finishing up Maccas and putting my nikes on, what were you saying again?

  • formerflanker

    Don’t go there boys. Please.
    Political posturing during the national anthem will strain relations with supporters, bring deserved backlash from many quarters, set mate against mate, and drag bitterness into the world of Australian rugby.
    There are many vehicles for players to use if they want to make political statements – a test match and the national anthem are only useful if you want to drive a stake into the heart of rugby.
    Hell, even writing about just the possibility can cause “considerable consternation” and that’s just surrounding one player and one journalist.

    Only ever take a knee when practicing tackling technique.

    • Brumby Runner

      Maybe chain themselves to a tractor or whatever. How did that go down with the conservative element?

      Up to the players imo. If they all want to, or don’t object to players kneeling, then go for it. Not my business nor anyone else’s in my opinion.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I’m not so sure it would drive a stake in top the heart of rugby. I actually believe most people will respect the intent and thought behind it

  • Gun

    GAGR as a political vehicle, not likely to change opinion or move the needle on serious problems.

    • formerflanker

      Sure, but it’s better than shouting at clouds.

      • Gun

        A contrary view could be let’s leave this site to rugby and discuss contested views in person. Or just shout at clouds.

  • Parker

    Well said Ben. Poor old NFJ hasn’t grown beyond his GPS high schooling. Excellence on the field doesn’t necessarily translate to off it.

    • Geoffro

      Fitzsimons had a go at Nick.Actually sounded coherent for a change

      • Patrick

        Must be off his meds, that would be the first time in 20 years

  • Kokonutcreme

    I was surprised Haylett-Petty made the suggestion, only because the Wallabies had already played twice so the timing was a bit off. I like Rennie’s comment that the indigenous jersey should become the Wallabies default as that honours the First Nations people. If Haylett-Petty and others feel strongly enough about an issue, I’d still like to think that in a team environment they are made to feel welcome and safe to express that, whether by taking a knee, raising an arm, or wearing a wristband with a message.

    Suppressing individual’s opinions or voices is so last century.

    • Geoffro

      It’s not so last century,it’s just more subtle these days (in western countries at least),but doesn’t stop certain people wishing they could break out the batons and teargas just like the good ol’ days

    • formerflanker

      It appears that DHP was pressured into some form of statement by an ABC journalist at a press conference.
      He doesn’t seem to have read a prepared statement. Just came up with what he said on the spur of the moment after several BLM questions from said journalist.
      I’d say he was wedged and we ended up with a media frenzy.

  • Geoffro

    just stupid for Cheik to say in the first place he’d never coach against a team he’s coached before.He coaches for a living ferchrissakes and it’s not a huge pond.What a knob

    • Patrick


  • Razorback

    I think you are out of touch Ben ,most Aussie I talk to think exactly like NickFarr Jones mate

    • Geoffro

      True,more’s the pity.Having an opinion and believing in a cause is not “out of touch” though

    • Mike D

      I think that there is a wider dialogue and Nick Farr Jones’ position is a very narrow one. I do not think exactly like Nick Farr Jones, I disagree vehemently with his position on this. I am a white Australian with no aboriginal heritage. You now have one Aussie you have spoken with who has a different point of view.

  • Wish we could join the Six Nations. What a great tournament it is. Don’t look forward to the future if the only team we play every year is the ABs.

    Separately, the effective death of Super Rugby is a tragedy. I recall listening to the great Murray MEXTED extolling the virtues of the Super XII back in ‘the good old days’. The door is still open on that if the Kiwis agreed to a Trans Tasman Super 10 competition but the Kiwis see it otherwise. Be interesting to see how their finances stack up.

  • Hoss

    Happy Saturday earthlings,

    Gather round and take a knee, or not and let’s chat.

    Firstly, what an ignorant comment from
    NFJ and only serves to show the disconnect and privilege of his world and exemplifies all that still stifles our great game. That these fucktards and their ilk still whisper and drip poison into the ears of those with influence in our game is a cancer
    on our game.

    232 years of dispossession, the stain on our nation of separated families or being considered ‘fauna’ until the 1960’s – not even ‘human’ and a national shame in our treatment. Nope Nick, nothing to see hear move along.

    But I agree with him on one point. The empty symbolism of ‘taking a knee’. Exactly what will it achieve, whose life will it help and what changes will arise for our first nations peoples – a lineage that I share courtesy of an indigenous Great Grand Father.

    What are the beneficial ripples that will reach those most in need? I’ll tell you – sweet fuck all. Our First Nations peoples don’t need the hollow platitudes that such actions provide nor the sympathy of million dollar athletes. What’s needed is change, serious, legislated, meaningful change across a a spectrum so broad I couldn’t possibly do it justice listing it here today.

    For mine Dave Rennie have been the voice of respect and reason in this front and I let Mr Ella so eloquently close out my piece…..’that reconciliation is not just one act but millions of small ones that’s we’ve too heal all Australians’….now there’s a man of integrity, NFJ take note.

    • RedAnt

      Well said, but I do disagree that taking a knee is necessarily ‘empty symbolism’. Yes, it would be much better if our behaviour changed, but attitudes drive behaviour. And awareness drives attitudes (there’s a reason the word ‘ignorant’ is so loaded). If the whole team took a knee (or came up with another gesture) it would send a clear message and no doubt challenge some people’s beliefs. And that is the whole point.

      • Hoss

        Fair enough mate and I respect different views – barring the rampant, wilful ignorance of NFJ. I think to take a knee in the indigenous jersey undermines what they are doing in the first place. At least it’s got people talking and thinking of what little individual action we could all take that would effect lasting, meaningful change for our First Nations peoples. Wasn’t it Aussie Russell who said ‘what we do in life echos an eternity’ or some such – if enough of us make that change then we have a movement, kneeling or not.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Well said mate

    • formerflanker

      being considered ‘fauna’ until the 1960’s – not even ‘human’

      I assume you are referring to a societal attitude. There was certainly no official law to that effect, as Nyunggai Warren Mundine has said.

  • skip

    Whoever could have thought that a privately educated, caucasian banker with a double barreled surname could be out of touch with social issues that effect minorities.

    credit Betoota Advocate.


Passionate about rugby from the grass roots up. Usually found at Brisbane club rugby games, or being involved in the junior and schools system. Love a chat, happy to admit when I'm wrong. I will watch any game of rugby regardless of who is playing, from juniors through to tests

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