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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Big names to start for the Rebels, Gibson not resting players, Nothing set in stone for Kerevi’s future and Skelton still a World Cup chance.


 

BIG INS FOR REBELS

Luke Jones lineout to Genia Waratahs v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

The Melbourne Rebels have named one of their strongest sides with halfback Will Genia cleared to play on Friday night.

Genia was subbed off early in the second half against the Sunwolves after a knock to the head left Australian rugby fan holding their breath.

Rebels coach Dave Wessels was pleased he could start Genia after he passed all his concussion protocols. 

“I got a good feeling from Will straight after the game, because he passed his HIA (Head Injury Assessment) straight away, which is always a pretty good sign,” Wessels said.

“Head injuries are a serious one, so we’re very much guided by the medical staff because there’s very strict protocols that have to be followed and tests and things that have to be passed, so we’re delighted for Will that he’s passed all of those things.”

Wallaby World Cup hopefuls Luke Jones and Isi Naisarani return to the starting line up after overcoming injuries. Their return forced Wessels to make some big changes to his line up, Rob Leota, Sam Jeffries and Jordan Uelese have all been omitted.  

The Rebels suffered a narrow loss to the Waratahs in their last outing, after dominate first half saw them fall off in the second. Wessels believes his side has improved both mentally and physically as they look to continue their run towards a maiden finals series.

“I feel like the last couple of weeks there’s been a lot of growth in the group,” he said.

“We learnt some hard lessons in that Waratahs game … one thing we’ve improved on a lot is how to control moments in the game when things don’t go your way and not letting one bad moment become two.”

“It’s great to have those guys back in the side, but it wasn’t an easy decision,” Wessels said.

“I think the decision was made around the short turn around, so it’s obviously a fair flight to Japan and (it’s also a) six-day turnaround, so we made a fair few changes in the pack to get the freshest bodies on there.”

The biggest change is high profile recruit Matt To’omua has been given the chance to start, pushing Billy Meakes to the bench.

1. Tetera Faulkner 2. Anaru Rangi 3. Jermaine Ainsley 4. Matt Philip 5. Adam Coleman 6. Luke Jones 7. Richard Hardwick 8. Isi Naisarani 9. Will Genia 10. Quade Cooper 11. Marika Koroibete 12. Matt To’omua 13. Reece Hodge 14. Jack Maddocks 15. Dane Haylett-Petty

Reserves

16. Hugh Roach 17. Matt Gibbon 18. Sam Talakai 19. Ross Haylett-Petty 20. Angus Cottrell 21. Michael Ruru 22. Billy Meakes 23. Tom English

GIBSON NOT RESTING STARS

Waratahs v Jaguares 2019-5

Under Rugby Australia guidelines, implemented by head coach Michael Cheika, the Super Rugby teams are required to rest all Wallaby hopefuls at least one though preferably twice throughout the season.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is yet to rest five of his Wallabies (lets be honest they are not hopefuls) Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper Rob Simmons and Sekope Kepu.

With the Waratahs season hanging on by a thread, the NSW coach has made the call to not rest any of his star players despite the requirement. 

“Obviously the opportunity for our boys to have those match-ups out of these next two games, they’re derby games that are essentially Australian trials in my eyes,” Gibson said.

“These guys are not only playing hard for the Waratahs but they are also putting their hands up for further selection.

“So (there’s) plenty at stake for them, a lot of meaning in these games, so I want to give them the opportunity.”

Gibson was asked if he would continue to not rest players as per the requirement if the Waratahs were a chance at the finals.

“Hypothetically it would (be) nice to be in that situation and wouldn’t that be a good conversation to have,” he said.

Karmichael Hunt is expected to be out for 12 weeks, with Lalakai Foketi getting the call to start at 12. Curtis Rona has also been given the chance to start after his efforts against the Jaguares last weekend.

“Off the back of two really excellent performances off the bench, we’ve found his (Rona’s) form too irresistible,” Gibson said.

“We had to put him in.”

Cam Clark moves to the bench and Mack Mason is called back into the 23.

Jack Dempsey will miss the derby due to injury.

“Jack is still not 100 per cent and I am not willing to risk him,” Gibson said.

“He took a significant injury to his back against the Sharks, so much so that we were really concerned for him for his future.

“He is carrying a fair few injuries. We are just being conservative with Jack because we know there are bigger opportunities there for him if he can get his body right.”

WARATAHS (15-1): Kurtley Beale, Alex Newsome, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Lalakai Foketi, Curtis Rona, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (c), Lachlan Swinton, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson

Reserves: Andrew Tuala, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Chris Talakai, Jed Holloway, Will Miller, Jake Gordon, Mack Mason, Cam Clark

SKELTON STILL A WORLD CUP CONTENDER

Tahs v Force 2017 (7 of 14)

When Will Skelton re-signed with English powerhouse club Saracens, it appeared his chances of playing in the World Cup were all but extinguished.

Now it looks like there might be a shine of hope behind his giant frame.

Saracens have come out and said they’re resigned to losing the lock to the World Cup later in the year.

Given he wouldn’t qualify for the Giteau Law, Skelton would have to follow in the footsteps of Matt To’omua, who signed a deal to join the Rebels at the end of the Premiership season. A similar deal is likely to have been signed by Exeter Half Back Nic White, who is putting in a bid for a World Cup spot.

Wallabies Captain Michael Hooper said Skelton would be a welcome addition to the Wallabies if a deal could be struck.

“He’s a massive unit,” Hooper said.

‘He’s a unique person in that someone that big can be on the footy field and he can turn a game.

“Been plenty of games where he’s turned it through his size.

“That’s always been the hard thing for him around being mobile enough to get the repeat efforts.

“From the game I saw in the European Cup final, he was amazing – a  lot of repeat involvements so he’s playing good rugby.” 

Skelton has lost 20kg since moving to England, finding a new form of athleticism he was unable to produce when playing in Australia. 

Despite signing a two year deal with the London club, Saracens said they expect the Wallabies to come knocking at their door for Skeltons services.

“Will has spoken to me about it,” Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said of the club’s players’ player of the year winner.

“He is keen to play in the World Cup, but he is also keen to play for Saracens, which is quite complex.

“There hasn’t been much contact from Australia but I think there will be and we want our players to play in the World Cup.

“For that to happen he probably has to sign longer term there, which is not what we want but if that is what Will decides, that is what he decides.

“Nic White has some arrangement. We haven’t been approached yet, but you’d imagine that might suggest something like that.”

 

KEREVI FUTURE STILL NOT SET

2019-reds-v-sunwolves-2

Rumours have been flying around all season regarding the future of Samu Kerevi, who will be out of contract at the end of the Super Rugby season.

Will he re-sign with Queensland? Has he signed with Suntory and chase Japanese money? There was even a rumour he would join the Brumbies at one point.

Well Kerevi has come out and said nothing is set in stone but an announcement is coming soon on his future.

“The announcement and decision will come very soon,” he said.

“I’m still sorting every little detail out.

“It’s really hard, the decision, I’m thinking about my family, I’m thinking about myself and footy and things – and when the decision is made I’ll be feeling more stress free, I guess.

“My main focus now is the Reds and playing really well for them and putting my best foot forward for them each week and this week will be no different.”

Kerevi has been one of the inform Super Rugby players this season, leading the competition in carries and defenders beaten and is one of the top players for metres carried, clean breaks and offloads.

Him leaving would be a massive blow to Australian Rugby.

Currently Kerevi sits on 25 Wallaby caps and will no doubt add to them in the Rugby Championship and World Cup later this year, but will still fall short under the Giteau Law, ruling him out of any potential Wallaby selection if he leaves.

Kerevi has spoken about his love of Rugby and also the importance of family. He supports his wider family back home in Fiji and here in Australia.

”Looking to the future, you’d love (to stay) but we’ve just got to see where everything lands by the end of the season,” Kerevi said.

“For me, it’s getting to a stage where I’ve got to plan for the future as well.

“As much as what I want, I’ve got to look after my family as well.

“My family is really important to me and this is a big family for me as well.”

Speaking at the launch for the Wallabies World Cup jersey in Sydney he remains humble by the chance to pull on the Gold jersey and a chance to compete at the World Cup.

“It’s still surreal putting on a gold jersey every time you play,” he said.

“Even today, to think that you’ve got the opportunity to play in the World Cup if you get selected, that’s a really humbling feeling.

“I come from a small island in Fiji, the environment that I grew up in wasn’t too nice and for me to be able to wear this jersey is really special.”

 

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Well lots of good and interesting news here this morning! And in my new light of being positive and refraining from calling anyone an Ass Clown, here we go:
    – Great to see Willy G bounce back. He is gritty little player and I cant wait to see him on the paddock to pants the Tahs!
    – Speaking of pantsing the Tah’s! This is going to be a really tough game. I will wait to post further details in the preview, but am tipping Rebs by 8. You heard first here!
    – I havnt been following Skelton enough overseas, but it seems to me we have a great bunch of locks here, do we need him?
    – I sure hope Kerevi stays! If the RA had any spare cash we should be throwing it this guys way. He is young and has plenty of games ahead of him, and is the best player in his position.
    How’s that for positive lads and ladettes! Over to you GAGR’s!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      If the Rebels lose another oento this Tahs side then jeez. Wessels will need to go back to the drawing board, both tactically and in terms of mental preparation. The Rebs have blown leads the last 4 times they played the Tahs. The Brumbies keep doing it against the Rebels.

      • Brisneyland Local

        It is funny how Aus teams seem to have “Hoodoo” sides that they keep losing against though they probably shouldn’t.
        I am hopeful this week that they have their mojo back and their minds sharpened.

        • Custard Taht

          What is even funnier, is that list of “hodoo” teams continue to grow, especially at International level!

        • Brisneyland Local

          God yeah. To be 100% honest. Fiji scares the crap out of me. They are not the easy beats everyone thinks they are /were. There involvement in NRC with the Drua, and also GRR, they are building a solid base. Their Kiwi coach is excellent. And that is a year on from where they almost beat us in Brissy. I was at that game and we should have lost it. We got a very dubious call going our way (for once).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Doesn’t scare me, I think it’d be great if Fiji made the QFs!

        • Brisneyland Local

          To be honest so do I I would be happier though if it was at the expense of someone else! F One J One (Fiji) are my second nation! I love them.

        • Custard Taht

          I think the RWC might produce a few unexpected losses. Fiji have done it before when they harpooned wales!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. And they keep on improving.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Georgia almost harpooned Wales (nice allusion, btw) as well a couple of autumns back. The Lelos host Scotland here in Tbilisi in late August (which they might win due to the Jocks wilting in the insane heat). Tough pool we’re in at the RWC.

    • Happyman

      Like a unicorn shitting a rainbow this morning BL
      Rebels by quite a bit I hope.
      Give Kerevi the Falou money he is 25 and has the chance to be world class. He is also a good role model.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep 100%

      • joy

        What’s he going to do with -$4m plus costs?

      • RF

        No single player should be getting the Folau money as RA can’t justify having a player as the highest earner of any football code in the country.

        We were spending insane money on his services. The only possible argument for Folau’s salary was the potential off-set in commercial revenue, which I would dispute. Kerevi certainly doesn’t deliver this.

        • Who?

          Folau wasn’t the highest earner (Hooper is and was – $6 Million Man).

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Where is BL and what have you done with his body?

      I’m actually backing the Rebels to step up. I know the Tahs will have RWC positions on the line but I think the Rebels are better in most positions except perhaps 7 (Can’t believe I wrote that) and 11. I know Koribete has played well in attack in the last few games but I still don’t think he understands defence enough and the Tahs could easily target him.

      Yeah let’s bring Skelton back! WTF for? There are better locks here who are proven and while he’s rocking it up north he was a powder puff last time and I think he’d fall back into old habits and be a powder puff again. There are enough here who are very good and I don’t think he brings anything to the table that isn’t already here. Of course with Cheika and co seeming to have a preference for anyone in the North or ex league who knows where it will go.

      I get the feeling that when Kerevi talks about looking after his family, he’s letting us all know that he’s going to chase the money. Good on him, he’s proven himself time and time again and has had to modify his game and shuffle around to accommodate Beale and others at 12 who have all been shit. Go look after your family mate.

      • Brisneyland Local

        AM still here. Dont worry I am just warming up to come in off the long run up when the next fuck up occurs.
        Koroibete. Is a conundrum. I agree, but the last three weeks something has gelled and he is improving week by week. Hopefully that continues.
        Yep not convinced we need Skelton.
        Kerevi can do what he likes, I hope he stays, but he has earnt the right to make his choices.

        • Happyman

          So tomorrow then

        • Brisneyland Local

          Possibly.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Possibly.

      • NSWelsham in London

        firstly, let me state my caveat (he cannot go back to his old ways).. OK, watching Skelton quite closely throughout the Premiership as a Saracens fan (not glory hunting they are the closest team to where i live) he has been sensational, good enough to move Itoje out of the locks and back to 6. They guy is lighter, more mobile and throws his body into everything. Yes our locks are getting better but it wouldnt hurt bringing him back and maybe the thuggery Itoje has showed him will rub off on some of our other wallabies… I do get the downside though of the guys slogging it on home soil only for RA to bring back a guy from the North…

        • Hoss

          I’am with you. For all the good seconds we have – none have the grunt and game breaking ability of Mr Skelton, Our current crop are relaibel and tradesman like, but…….

          And besides most props would love a Big Willy pushing hard behind them – there not normal those guys. Not like us 8’s, brawn with brains, the thinking men’s rugby players us, not bad looks either…….

        • Who?

          Given everyone says he’s lost 20kg, how big is he now? I’m guessing that puts him maybe 125kg? And 204cm?
          .
          So, that’s 5kg heavier than Arnold, maybe 3kg on Coleman (who’s the same size), 6kg on Rodda. 10kg on the 115kg that’s been Simmons’ listed weight for years, but I’d imagine (given he’s much less of a beanpole than he was when first listed at 115kg years ago) he’s a few kg heavier than that now (but still notably lighter than Skelton – and way heavier than Hanigan).
          4kg bigger than Retallick, 3cm shorter (same weight) than RG Snyman, maybe 2kg heavier than Etzebeth.
          .
          Will’s still a big unit, but now he’s in shape, he’s not nearly that far ahead of the others in weight. It also weighs on his lineout ability – having lost those 20kg, he should (not saying he is or isn’t, but should) be a strong, regular lineout option.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          You know what they say…. Bring a big strong lad down to size, not a smaller one up to size!

    • IIPA

      You’ve turned from an angry Craig McDermott to a mellow Simon Katich rolling the arm over with some gentle off-breaks !

      The Rebels side looks very good. Hardwick seems to be getting back to 2017 form. Rona is a good pick for this match as otherwise the Tahs backline look quite out-gunned.

      I look forward to a weekend of Cooper/Foley debates….

      • Brisneyland Local

        I was going for the Mitchell Johnson thunderbolt with a bit of glare at the end!
        I am over the debates. Lets see who steers their team to victory, and has the least errors in their game.

        • Custard Taht

          I saying that, we have had some good mass debates over the Cooper/Foley tape.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep and I think that debate will rage on even after they retire.

        • Bernie Chan

          You’re big enough to be more of an angry Curtly Ambrose…?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep but too pasty white to really pull it off! ;-)

    • Damo

      Hoss has got us all psyched up to be positive today- and hell why not. But BL make sure you keep the Bob Willis long run up in your kit. Rugby shitstorms and disappointing actions by the powers that be seem to be never far away in this country.
      Rebs v Tahs really looks like a cracker. Both teams close to full strength- and have a look at the Rebs bench! Tahs are going to struggle up front I think, but for them it’s the last train to Clarkesville, so they are going to have to have a serious crack.
      I have watched a bit of big Will this year. He seems to play a lot more minutes than he did here, clearly fitter. He is certainly making an impact at the collisions and the mauls, but still goes missing in games and isn’t used much in lineouts. He definitely isn’t is agile as a Retallick or Snyman but could be useful in a world cup that is going to dominated by big forwards and big mid fields.
      Maybe we need to crowd fund a contract top up for Samu to keep him in the home that is girt by sea.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Damo, not dropping it from the kit bag, just not using it as my stock ball!
        Yep I think if the Rebs forwards fire their scrum and to be honest their line out will be too strong for the tarts. If Genia gets quick ball then Copper should open up the back line and fire.
        A GAGR contract top up! That is a good idea!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Damo, not dropping it from the kit bag, just not using it as my stock ball!
        Yep I think if the Rebs forwards fire their scrum and to be honest their line out will be too strong for the tarts. If Genia gets quick ball then Copper should open up the back line and fire.
        A GAGR contract top up! That is a good idea!

    • Bernie Chan

      Higgers about to play his 100th game for the Reds! Do the Reds have the most centurions in Oz rugby?
      Hope he gets into the RWC squad…the only loosie that can play an expansive game like a Fijian, great in a lineout and decent scrummager too.

      • Who?

        That’ll be 8, then. And of those 8, half were moved on or passed on by the Reds in the last 2 years (Genia, Simmons, Cooper, Slipper).

        • Bernie Chan

          8 current players…? 30 players thus far (the way the current QRU discards players I suspect Higgers will the last for a very long time…) have played 100 or more games for the Reds/QLD. Sean Hardman holds the record at 148 Caps! Those 4 names you listed don’t make the QRU look very clever…

        • Who?

          I was going off professional caps… A lot of the guys on the 100 cap club played either before Super Rugby or across the transition.

        • Bernie Chan

          You are spot on…after I read you reply I did some searching, out of curiosity, as I recalled a former QRU Chairman make a comment (was It Latham’s 100th…?) along the lines of “QLD has ‘x’ number of players that have played 100 games, and in the same period NSW only has ‘y’ number of players that have played 100 games…. Must have been bloody hard to play 100+ games in the amateur era with full time work etc…Galls me to see Simmons, Slippers, QC and Sanchez play in another jersey..

        • Who?

          The only good thing about seeing those four play in other jerseys is that at least, in spite of the issues that led them out of their home state, they’re all enjoying their rugby and look likely to be heading off to Japan. It’d be nicer if Douglas had left, Simmons had stayed and then mentored Rodda/LSL/Hockings/Blythe (though I’ll readily admit the Reds still have way more depth at lock than the Tahs, even though the Tahs claimed Simmons). It would’ve been great if Slipper hadn’t felt depressed and isolated. The other situations, I’ll leave them alone. But add those four to the Reds’ current list, and they’d be an excellent team.

        • Bernie Chan

          Amen to that mate…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          And all playing great still…..

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Kerevi is the best 12 in the world atm….

      • Who?

        I’d love to see someone try and argue for anyone else over him. Maybe there’s someone out there, I have no idea who it might be, but it’d be a very, very hard sell…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I think maybe Lienert Brown but he offers a totally different style of game. You would specifically want his very unique but impressive style in your setup to go for him over the destructive Kerevi or Laumape style that’s so effective….

        • From NooZealand

          I was going to suggest ….., but I’ve been told to shut up. Just kidding didn’t think of anyone. ((:)). https://media3.giphy.com/media/c8YC8htf5YQg0/giphy.gif

  • Yowie

    (Re Skelton) “He’s a massive unit,” Hooper said.

    Indeed, but when will Michael Hooper answer the key questions about the religion of the Pope and where bears go to the toilet?

    • Dud Roodt

      Asking the important questions!

    • Mica

      And he’s got his “rig” in shape. *rolls eyes*.
      Just the usual waffle.

    • Popes sh*t in the woods if my understanding is correct. Not sure about bears as I always try to avoid them..

      • From NooZealand

        Some think that the pope shits everywhere, but it is holy shit.

    • Who?

      I believe the Pope is Coptic and lives in Alexandria. If QI the other week is to be believed…

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Need to find a way to keep Kerevi Wallaby-eligible, whatever it takes.

    • Yowie

      A long test series against Nauru (visitors) where Kerevi plays every game?

  • theduke

    That’s a great looking rebels side. Would love to see them click and have a blinder.

  • Hoss

    Konnichiwa,

    We find ourselves in the shadows of the RWC and my delusion is ramping up.

    Bought the twin jerseys last night – love the indigenous one, its a ripper and in all the doom and gloom i finally realised i am excited !

    Excited by the tournament, excited by our depth and (drum roll) our prospects – yes, our prospects.

    Lets cast off the yoke of the past and embrace the possibilities of a gold future – stranger things have happened after all

    New Selectors, new game plans (with strong hints of being ‘different’), new defensive structure, enhanced player depth (Big Willy was after all voted ‘players player’ up north – no mean feet with Itoje in the team !!) and for his failings i look at what Chek did in 2 months in 2015 with not much prep, lesser depth and without some wise heads supporting him.

    Nope, its a new dawn, a golden dawn – somebody pass me the cool-aid, i am in. As Mr Churchill offered ‘Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.’

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      You’re already drinking the cool aid mate. I think you need a nice cup of tea and some quiet time in a dark room by yourself.

      • Hoss

        ‘Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.’

        There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow my friend. The day of the Wallaby approaches.

        • Missing Link

          Holy shit Hoss, have you converted to Confucianism or something?

        • Hoss

          I thought it was Dr Zeuss ?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Mark Twain, but Dr. Zeuss is better. Seems you’ve got some inspiration from Oh, the Places You’ll Go. Hope it’s not the Thinks You Can Think.

        • Nutta

          Nope. Golden Haze gave it away. He’s on the Golden Brown.

          https://youtu.be/z-GUjA67mdc

        • Hoss

          All the years ive listened to that i have never seen the clip – brilliant.

    • Missing Link

      can you tell whoever filled your glass to come and fill mine too, mine is still half empty

      • Hoss

        The ink of the past is dry. The pages of the future are yet to be written.

        Why not us, why not now?

        Indeed.

        • IIPA

          Lovely sentiments – but you obviously missed the jersey unveiling with Phipps, Foley and Hanigan three of the six players chosen to model the jersey….
          They are three pretty good looking roosters so maybe this decision was based on photogenics and not probability of selection…..

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nope definitely based on selection.

        • Hoss

          NSW based Jersey unveil mate – no more than that and besides i was busy and couldn’t model myself.

          Condom full of walnuts comes to mind though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        ML I take the engineering approach. The glass is neither half full or half empty, the glass is twice as big as it needs to be!

    • Brisneyland Local

      That quote perfectly surmises myself! ;-)

    • joy

      Your well founded enthusiasm wont save contributors to this website. They run around in all directions like homeless electrons.

      • Hoss

        Morning Joy. We are all fans united by our desired goal and love of the game.

        We all want to arrive at the same end point, only the path we take along the way varies.

      • Hoss

        Morning Joy. We are all fans united by our desired goal and love of the game.

        We all want to arrive at the same end point, only the path we take along the way varies.

    • Keith Butler

      I am concerned Hoss, I think you may have contracted MND ( Mad Novicastrian Disease) excess optimism is one of the symptoms. Either that or it’s the ‘dope’ you brought from the local camel farm.

      • Hoss

        Looking back only gives you a stiff neck. Onward’s to glory my friend, onward’s to glory.

        • Brisneyland Local

          No taking a viagra and getting it caught in your throat gives you a stiff neck!

        • Hoss

          FFS Briz – you do the rants, i do the funny stuff.

          I turn my back for one fucking minute

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sincerest apologies! ;-)

        • Keith Butler

          Do not worry my friend, the big light blue taxi is on it’s way.

        • Hoss

          i could use the rest mate

    • Mica

      Aaahhh drunk already Mr Hoss. :p

      • Hoss

        Its 12 o’clock somewhere in the world mate.

    • Mica

      Aaahhh drunk already Mr Hoss. :p

    • RF

      What concerns me is our lack of a test-quality #10. Cooper and Foley are very poor options and I couldn’t see either of them even factoring into the conversation of a match-day 23 of New Zealand, England, Ireland, South Africa or Wales, yet we will be relying on one of them to lead our team.

      Going into the 2015 World Cup we were fortunate that Foley had a little bit of form and not too much time had passed since Cooper had been regarded as a great prospect.

      It is remarkable that in the last 4 years we have been unable to develop more options.

      • Hoss

        All fair comments RF, but I wouldn’t rule our Toomua at 10 just yet. I believe he is the missing piece of the puzzle that locks all our plans together

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Don’t forget Quade Cooper has been overall one of the best 10s in all of super rugby. That includes all of NZs and SA 10s. Was the best until they went over to SA and their forwards got flogged but last week that form was back! If Quades not having an overall good year…… then Barrett, Mounga, McKenzie, Ioane, Bosch, Bonnilla, Janties or any of the others are doing any better!
        Personally I think if our forwards hold their own in Any game…. Quade is the man we need and will be good! Toomua and or Lealifano as cover! (12 cover aswell)

    • Yeah, call me crazy, but I’m starting to feel it as well.
      Still not sure about 10 though – seems like the weakest position compared to the best around the world.

      • Hoss

        Keen to see if Toomua spends more time at first receiver over coming weeks – could be a terrific answer and pivotal to our D to have a 10 defend at 10, all the other pieces fall right into place

    • From NooZealand

      Really, like this. As they say: That’s the spirit. https://media2.giphy.com/media/YmVNzDnboB0RQEpmLr/giphy.gif

  • Mart

    Who’s Gibson got left to rest?

    • Who?

      Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson is yet to rest five of his Wallabies (lets be honest they are not hopefuls) Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper Rob Simmons and Sekope Kepu.

      • RF

        I have grave concerns over strain that the we have placed on Michael Hooper. He has played almost the same amount of Super Rugby games as Richie McCaw has and in half the time and is going to be (I presume) the youngest Wallabies centurion in history at some point this year. Possibly the youngest of any tier 1 nation? And he’s playing in one of the most demanding of positions and he plays a high intensity game.

        I don’t think that the human body is designed to take this level of intensity.

        • Who?

          Completely agree. And he’s got another 4 years on his contract beyond this. He’s played way more Tests than Pocock in a shorter time in the same position. They play the position in very contrasting manners, but the point is he’s not swanning around doing nothing – he goes 100mph the whole time he’s out there. He’s been among the Tahs’ best each week. He can’t afford to be playing SR Finals.

        • donktec

          i don’t think the human body is designed. Not mine, anyway (boom boom!)

    • Brisneyland Local

      Himself?

      • Mica

        LOL :)

  • Missing Link

    I think I’ll watch the Rebels vs. Waratahs with the TV on mute. It’s either going to be Kearnsey, Clarkie and Co salivating over the sky blue, or Kearnsey, Clarkie and Co complaining about the weather in Melbourne affecting the Tahs synergy and how the ref is favouring the Rebels and they shouldn’t even be playing there anyway.

    • Funk

      It’s because the Rebels have been offside the whole night!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha Gold mate

  • Silver Ghost

    Thanks Dylan
    If the Rebels win this weekend (which hopefully they do), will Phil Kearns argue that they shouldn’t be in the competition because basically the Rebels are national side?
    I think I count 13 Wallabies plus 1 spring tour development player, in the starting 15
    Should be a ripper of a game.

    • andrewM

      No..Based on this weekend’s squad, he’ll argue that they should be playing in GRR

    • Bobas

      Matt Burke said the Rebels should just be a development side for the tahs and are just making up comp numbers.

  • Pedro

    I think Gibson is a good coach. For the past two seasons the Waratahs haven’t looked great on paper, especially in the tight five, but they’ve been decent on the park. However, not resting players is pretty lame, considering the other provinces have done so. It’s actually worked out well for the Brumbies as there whole squad has got a workout and a ton of tried combinations. The Waratahs don’t deserve to play in the finals as it is, but will be shooting the Wallabies in the foot of they burn out players trying to do so.

  • MST

    Simmons and Kepu haven’t been rested at all.

    Beale was rested round 1 (which is pretty useless considering he has played every minute of every game since, but still counts as a game off). Hooper was rested round 8 (but has played every minute of every game otherwise). Foley was rested round 7 – remember the pasting that Mason got? Foley has played all but 10 minutes other than the game he was rested.

    Aside from players who have been injured, no team has rested a player for more than one match.

    • Mica

      Beale should have been rested in round 8…………..

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    I be reckoning Dylan takes up the daily news on a permanent basis…
    Look at the euphoria he has created. First BLL all bells and whistles and WTF is Hoss on?
    Sadly I fear that when those British&Irish Lions are deconstructed and allowed to play under separate flags, it’ll be one of them vs our diggers across the dutch that we’ll all be watching on that fateful first Saturday in November whilst sucking on our Asahis.
    The prophetic Day of the Wallaby may well be annulled in the first QF against England.

    • Brisneyland Local

      This is where my positivity ends! If we make it out of our pool!

  • Crescent

    Interesting times. I called the Tahs season as over last week. They may be a mathematical chance, but even if they manage to Bradbury their way into the finals, they won’t be going deep into the series.

    I am openly wondering if Gibson will thumb his nose at the agreement to rest players if they manage to string some wins together. He is creating a rod for his own back. Stick a fork in the team, they are done with reference to the finals – he needs to start resting players from this weekend.

  • Bernie Chan

    I see Mr Ellyse Perry is starting in the #12 jersey for the Rebels. Suspect this isn’t a demotion of Meakes, as he has been a great foil for QC, rather a chance for Wessels to look at the playmaking combos at his disposal. Great to see him start a Super Rugby game again, and hope he turns it on…the Wallas need him in form (even if it spoils Cheika’s plans…).

    • Brisneyland Local

      100% agree. And especially for this game the ability to be a further link man between Genia, QC and the finishers out wide. This should help significantly. It will also help of the recycling of play if Genia or QC get bogged in the break down.

    • Damo

      Matt at 12 is going to be interesting I think. Meakes loves to run and head bang into the defence and Quade has worked pretty well with him this season. MT is more of a distributor (both are good defenders). What I would like to see from this selection approach is a bit more open real estate for Hodge and the back 3- but particularly Hodge. He runs good lines and knows where to be. The inside guys just need to set him up more frequently- as the Brumbies did so well with Tevita K last week.

      • Bernie Chan

        Will be interesting indeed. Meakes has shown he can distribute but his direct running also means the defence can’t hold off him. Toomua doesn’t mind playing quite direct, and QC won’t be constrained for space (like having Foley at #12 in that crazy Wallabies backline…) and Toomuas passing game will pose extra questions for the Tahs. An extra tactical kicker to deal with too…The Hunt injury means major loss for the Tahs defence. Would love to see the outside back get the ball in space…

  • adastra32

    OK I’ll state my two penny’s worth on the Skelton issue. He is now sufficiently well developed by Saracens to be able to compete excellently at Test match level intensity in the last month or so (that means in games and vs. opposition of that standard). He will be in the front line for the English Premiership final this coming weekend so have a look at him to see if this is being maintained.

    For the WB “we have got enough good locks” brigade I say, in the modern game, you can NEVER have too many good players for a position. One of the reasons that Big Will is now competitive is that he has had to compete for a place with a significant number of the best playing at Saracens.

    I’d go for it if it was my decision. RWCs have been known to be quite attritional, haven’t they? But just don’t tempt him back and then either dump him or fail to support his new ‘way of working’….

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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