Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News has a departing plumber, Reece Hodge not taking compliments well, yet another new idea to run rugby, and Cheika looking forward to Brissyslo3

Mario Doing One


Wallabies scrum coach Mario Ledesma will be the Wallabies scrum coach for not much longer, after Michael Cheika announced that the Argentine is heading home to coach the Jaguares next year.

Cheika announced after the Pumas game that Ledesma will leave the Wallabies setup after the third Bledisloe in Brisbane, on 21 October.

Coaching the Jags could potentially lead Ledesma to being involved big-time in the Argentina setup, with rumour swirling that current boss Daniel Hourcade will get the chop after winning nada this year so far.

However, Cheika isn’t concerned that Mario will give away secrets, or indeed disappear down pipes in order to fight a mutated turtle for the affections of a princess.

“Mario is not going to go there and say ‘They use these lineout calls’, that’s not him as a person, just the same as I’ve never asked Mick [Byrne] what those chaps [the All Black] do, never,” Cheika said, according to Fox Sports.

“Because it’s about respecting them, and people might say that’s naive to think but it’s not, because we’re still working on the old school premise of trust.

“He’s stepping up now, he thinks his time is right to be a head coach and I agree with that. And also the opportunity to come home — it wouldn’t be happening if he was going to France or England.

“That guy has committed every inch of himself to the Wallabies, and I was pretty devastated when he told me, but then I understood exactly what the story was. I want him to succeed and do very well.”

With Ledesma leaving, there’s been some chatter about who will replace him. Some say Lord Laurie, some say Nick Stiles. Cheika says:

“I’ll appoint someone temporarily just to come on the spring tour, because Mario will do Bledisloe and that will be the end,’ Cheika replied when asked.

“They’ll come on spring tour and then we’ll appoint someone after that. I’ve spoken to a few people, I don’t want to talk about who for their own privacy, and it’s probably more about logistics.

“There’s one person in particular I’ve got my head on but it’s probably just about logistics right now, because other people have other commitments.

“It’s not a given what I’ll do there but over the next week we’ll try to finalise who’ll come on the tour with us. I’ll probably take a more active role in the forwards’ work over the tour in particular, because I don’t want to rush into appointing someone and I didn’t want to start the process of looking and talking about it until it became official.”

Something About Hodge


Reece Hodge was awarded the Giant Watch after playing really really well against Argentina, but the man himself reckons he didn’t really get ticking.

“I guess it was good to get involved a little bit more,” Hodge said post-match (via

“There are still – I’m still a bit filthy with myself with a few errors that I did make – I missed a couple of tackles as well.

“It definitely wasn’t a complete performance and there was plenty to improve on before the Bledisloe.”

Hodge, who’s like a fullback or a flyhalf or a centre or something, played with #11 on his back on Saturday, a shirt he’s worn for a couple of games. Hodge does a lot of things, except kicking for goal when Foley’s already missed like 7 attempts, and one of those things he does is run into space and/or defenders.

“I think it’s the forwards’ carries that allows me to do that,” Hodge said.

“If we aren’t getting that quick ball and good carries up the middle I have to stay on the outside and make sure I’m holding their defence.

“Whereas when we get those quick rucks and our forwards are making metres through the middle, it allows me to get out, work around the corner and work hard so I can be an extra option for the first and second receiver.”

Talking about Bledisloe, Hodge is keen keen keen to get back into it and give those New Zealanders with the really shitty online fans (except you Kiwi Rugby Lover) a good go.

“Obviously it’s going to be a tough assignment but we get a week off now, a down week and then we will get into our normal preparation on the Gold Coast for the game,” Hodge said

“I think time together helps, our combinations are slowly building and things like ruck speed, our tackling, not going to ground before the opposition and finishing on top – that’s slowly improving.

“There is still a bit to work on there but we know if we keep our shape we can attack really well and it’s about the same thing in defence.

“It’s all about getting that consistency and making sure we keep building, making sure we don’t go backwards in any area each week.”

World Series Rugby?


Another bunch of blokes who reckon they could run the game better the ARU have popped up again, and it appears these fellas have been here before.

The One Percenters column, a part of that just has all the small news story things, is reporting that Geoffrey Levy and David Shein have written a letter to Sanzaar proposing a new rugby comp.

Levy and Shein were associated with World Rugby Corporation which, the article says, tried to do a World Series thing to rugby in 1995 but failed, although it did have a hand in making rugby go professional that year.

“Geoffrey Levy and David Shein have written a letter to SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos proposing a world-wide league that splits teams into geographical regions, with a world championship on offer,” says the article.

“They proposed conferences of 10 teams, split by time zones, with a conference finals system seeing the winners taking each other on in the bid for that international prize.

“The pair have also created a Facebook page, ‘Save Rugby Union‘. which has garnered 161 likes at the time of writing, with a survey for fans to give their input on what they’d like to see in an international competition.”

(For reference, GAGR’s Facebook page has 27,000 likes. We successful) has a part of the letter which reads,  “Tinkering around the edges won’t cut it.  Without fans the game cannot remain meaningful or relevant.

“So now, twenty years later, if rugby is going to get it right, it is time for SANZAAR (which was born as a result of the changes forced by the WRC) to revisit the principles and competition structure that the WRC proposed. What was true then is still highly relevant today and as new, bold people take over, hopefully things can be viewed with an open mind.”



Karmichael Hunt.

Michael Cheika is looking forward to the Bledisloe in Brisbane, or as he likes to call it Brissyslo3.

“It should be a really good match because we’re going to have to step up to the plate and perform better,” Cheika said, according to Stuff.

“The dips aren’t as big in our game as they maybe were in the first half in that first game [in Sydney]. Since that first half the championship has been really good. We’ve got to finish more things obviously but good is not enough.

“It’s a great challenge always to play the Kiwis. They’re the world’s best and we want to step up to the plate and give the people in Brisbane something to cheer about.”

The Brissyslo3 might feature the return of Karmichael Hunt, which will give Cheika a headache as Cheika would hate to randomly change a winning team in a Bledisloe game.

With no one injured after Argentina, that will give Cheika some things to think about.

Michael Hooper also threw his two cents in, adding: “I can’t wait to play them. Who gets the privilege to play that game in two weeks will have to do a job. I’m excited to turn up for that week in the Gold Coast and face these guys on the Saturday in Brisbane.”

  • Bobas

    Hodge had a huge game, let’s remember he will be playing outside Genia at the Rebels next season.

    Also that photo of him again proves that you can’t take a bad photo of Fardy.

  • onlinesideline

    is there a footy version of Order of Australia for Ladesma ? – hes been bloody brilliant.

    • Tomthusiasm

      Excited to see what he can do with the Jags, also this opens up a good opportunity for the next potential Aussie forwards coach.

      • hasto

        nick stiles?

        • Bernie Chan

          Stiles did not do well with the Reds (and he wasn’t given much time…) but when he coached the Bris City side their scrum was a genuine attacking weapon. As others have observed, he also had the Reds scrum going well when he was just the forwards coach. Imagine if Cheika picks Fisher…and rooms him with Grey!

        • Simon

          I’d definitely endorse Stiles for at least the Spring Tour period. The Reds’ scrum got to be the best in competition under his tutelage, although perhaps a lot of that had to do with having Greg Holmes there who I maintain was the best scrummaging tighthead in the competition.

          It got to the stage where the best of the opposing scrums could just about hold them but anybody else, I was cheering when the ref signalled a scrum, even if the Reds were the ones who conceded it, because I knew we were about to get a penalty.

        • Bernie Chan

          Perhaps one of the ‘truisms’ of rugby…the pack starts with the TH prop and then the TH lock…As a side (Reds) issue, Brad Thorn may have a decent pack to tutor (he has the QLD Country pack working as a unit…), and though Tupou is still a tad green as a TH, his upside is immense…locks look good and the loosies can only get better with one G. Smith setting the standard…Higgers has something to prove as well..(would love to see him in the Baa Baas XV!).

        • Tomthusiasm

          I reckon his schedule’s free

        • Simon

          Co-interim scrum coach!

        • Fatflanker

          …following a global talent search, of course.

  • Gottsy

    Nick Stiles had the reds set piece just about best in comp when he was the forwards coach, but it slipped a bit after he took the top job. Kind of fits the mould of Bernie’s attack and Nathan grey’s defense.
    I kid!! Either him or Lord Laurie would be a good fit.

    • onlinesideline

      I dont think MC will pick Laurie. Im no pyschologist but that tweet Laurie made re our defense after Bled 1 would have stung, maybe Grey more than Cheika but additionally and probably more relevant, Laurie could be just too much of a presence as not just a scrum coach but potentially as overall coach. Cheika’s on a good wicket and its only 2 years out till RWC – would you want to foster competition for your own job in creating a platform for Laurie to take over. There will be a new CEO coming in too. He wont pick Laurie IMO.

      • Gottsy

        To be honest mate I was thinking the exact same thing.
        Also, I was actually wrestling with myself, on one hand it would be great to see him in there, on the other hand though it would also be great to see him at one of the super clubs getting results. As you said, not sure it will happen but fingers crossed we get who we need in the positions we need them in all round!

        • onlinesideline

          Adding to what you said re SR – Larkhm and Grey were obviously asked to leave their SR roles and come full time to Wallabies for a reason, so based on that you’d have to assume that MC wants full committment from all 4 sidekicks, Lark, Grey, Byrnes and scrumdoc. So Laurie will probably not get the nod for that reason alone and it wouldnt surprise me that Laurie would say “no thanks” anyhow, knowing him.

        • Bakkies

          Grey and Larkham aren’t officially on the books as coaches at their respective Super Rugby teams. They will still be there in the background as they haven’t relocated to Moore Park to take up office space.

      • Andy

        Fischer was never the scrum coach at ACT from what I understand. That’s was Palmer, even when he was playing.

        Fischer was more a breakdown and defence specialist. Mind you, would be great to see him on the books for those 2 areas…./

      • Alister Smith

        Perhaps you’re right but I don’t get the sense that Cheika will hang on beyond the World Cup – so as long as he isn’t the sort of bloke who is so dogmatic that he can’t stand having others in his team that can express a different opinion then I think he would possibly consider him. Given that he brought Stephen Larkham in and Larkham was probably his most likely competitor in the domestic system at the time then it does seem he is prepared to consider other views within the team structure (though probably not to be expressed once a decision is made what direction to go). Of course, there might be other reasons he might not want to work with Laurie or he might think someone else is better – certainly the force appeared well coached in the forwards this year so Barakat might be considered the best option. Ben Darwin could also probably handle the scrum coaching element but would also bring a unique outlook in terms of strategy and analysis. He would be my pick.

    • idiot savant

      I think Dan Palmer or Joe Barakat are the form scrum coaches in Australia. Availability might be an issue.

      • onlinesideline

        Link ?

        • idiot savant

          Who’s he?

        • ReinFORCE

          Good times good times. Miss him

      • Adrian

        Palmer might be the guy Cheika has in mind. Short term could be Stiles, but I’d prefer a coach that can turn good forwards into a good pack….Thorn for short term gig?

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Bledisloe 3 should be epic. Always hard to win at Brisbane and with the injuries to some key players the AB’s will be hurting. I just hope we get a good referee

    • onlinesideline

      yeah its going to go down to the wire again – another nail biter for sure.

      • Darrin Briggs

        Epic game!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That was one for the true fans mate. What a classic battle. Couple of mistakes on both sides that were capitalised on and made for a great show. Glad the red card went no further, it was dumb and deserved a penalty or even yellow but red was a bit much. On the edge of my seat for that one for sure

  • Bakkies

    Understandable decision from Ledesma. Not just because of the opportunity but more time to spend with his family as he has been living away from most of his adult life.

    The Pumas do need a change in head coach but the problems over there go beyond Hourcade and Perez. The Jaguares get a lot of stick which is unnecessary. They did win 7 games this season and only really started to struggle when they travelled extensively with a few knocks. Last year they just rotated constantly which didn’t help anyone.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      The Jaguares had some poor losses at home, including to the Brumbies.

      • Bakkies

        The Brumbies played really well to be fair after flogging the Kings who the other Australian teams struggled with.

        It was the Force loss after travelling that killed them. The season was lost after the Kings beat them in BA.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, it was probably the best the Brumbies had played for 80 minutes since playing the Hurricanes in round 1 2016.

          The travel is tough for them to overcome, but if it is going to continue being na issue then I just don’t understand how they will be able to overcome the issue. The players must be getting really bored with each other’s company by now too.

        • Bakkies

          The issue is the coaching as they playing a high risk offloading game which has led them to making poor decisions in attack by pushing passes that are not on which has led to them playing without the ball. They have also neglected their scrummaging strength to the point where they are risking a card a match due to giving away justified scrum penalties. The referees have made their mind up as Reynal was giving penalties to the Wallabies straight away.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies


          And the most atrocious discipline I have ever seen.

        • Bakkies

          That goes hand in hand through poor ball security and lack of fitness

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, you’re right, but I think it also comes with being fed up with being stuck with exactly the same people every week of the year. And the frustration of continually falling away at the end of matches.

          Hopefully they sort it out and get back to where they were a few years ago.

        • Andy

          They miss Fernandes Lob… he is very underrated and a really good leader.

          I like their current captain but I wouldn’t say he is calm under pressure.

  • Bakkies

    Listening to the report card. Argentina were their own worst enemy. Pushing passes and not building phases which led to them conceding 64% possession. Can’t win a game with that amount of ball while you tire too much in the last twenty.

    There is a problem with the draw as it has remained the same since 2012 due to O’Neill’s deals which affect the travel patterns for everyone.

  • Bakkies

    Some say the Wallabies are improving but they attacked well on tour last year and the same problems were there with the forwards and defensive set ups.

    The Wallabies averaged 25 missed tackles in the first five matches and missed 13 tackles against the Pumas who only had 36% of the ball and burning the Wallabies on the counter.

    The Wallabies results are having a poor season as four from nine isn’t good enough given the level of the opposition. Should be six from nine as you expect to beat the Boks and Scotland at home. The wins have only come against Argentina, Italy and Fiji.

    • Ed

      We have done both. Our attack has improved on last year’s tournament – 25 tries compared with 14 in 2016, but our defence conceded 22 tries against 16 last year.
      In the six RC matches our tackling efficiency was above 80 percent once – 87 percent against the Argies in Canberra. We were between 69 percent (Sydney) and 77 percent for the rest of the tests. The ABs were between 83 and 90 percent tackling efficiency for the tournament.
      If our backs defend in Brisbane like they did in Mendoza, we will be toast.

  • Bay35Pablo

    Word Rugby Series. Laughable. Unless it delivers bucketloads of cash to European clubs more than they already get, which is nigh on impossible, it won’t happen. Otherwise they’d sell their dear Mum to be in it …..

  • Waz_dog

    That red card of Damian de Allende was a joke. I’m glad that the governing body stated that the offence shouldn’t have been a red card in the first place.

    • Bakkies

      The governing body in Sanzaar who are as credible as the ANC

  • juswal

    World Rugby Corporation was a deadly serious proposition in 1995 and came close to owning international rugby outright. About 450 players signed for fat Packer-funded contracts. The scheme folded when Murdoch money enabled the national unions to offer professional contracts to retain their squads and establish professional-provincial comps. The SANZA(A)R/Super scenario that we have today is a reaction to the WRC.

  • Bakkies

    Senate Inquiry timetable is out for tomorrow. 12pm -8pm AEDT. Tim North, Rob Clarke, RUPA, WA Government and TBA.

    There is going to be a story on the ARU on the 7:30 Report either today or tomorrow night

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Hahaha thanks Nick

  • Kev Brown

    Australian rugby
    Same shit
    Same looop from the coach
    Eastern ru


Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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