Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News has Kellaway heading overseas, Latu speaks on the help he received, Andy Farrell puts the challenge out for Ireland and Folau recalls his AFL training in Melbourne.



Andrew Kellaway

It appears another Australian player is heading overseas at the end of the season with Waratahs outside back Andrew Kellaway signing with the Northampton Saints for the 2018/19 season.

Kellaway, who has played 22 matches for the Waratahs, was an Australian U20s star. In 2014 he set a try scoring record in the U20s Championship, where he scored 10 tries in 5 matches. Julian Savea and former Waratah Zac Guilford had previously held the record.

Kellaway debuted for the Waratahs in 2016, having a break out season that saw him join the Wallabies on their end of season tour, but has struggled to maintain consistency throughout the past two seasons. The Waratahs back three is a tough spot to break into this season, with the likes of Cam Clark and Alex Newsome keeping Kellaway out of the match day squads.

After the Saints announced the signing this is what Kellaway had to say. (via

“Getting the chance to join Northampton Saints was a really exciting opportunity for me and one I jumped at,” said Kellaway.

“The Club has a great history of success and their ambition is clear to see with Chris Boyd and the new coaching set-up coming in this summer, as well as the number of top-quality players also joining the Club next year.

“I’m excited to get going and to pull on the Black, Green and Gold jersey for the first time.”

Kellaway isn’t the only Tahs player heading to Northampton, Taqele Naiyaravoro signed a contract with the Saints early this year.

It is a shame to lose a player of Kellaway’s potential but unfortunately for him, the Waratahs and Australian Rugby have a plethora of outside backs, meaning you have to be really special to stand out in the crowd.



Tolu Latu had to face some harsh realities this season. He had lost his starting spot in the Waratahs and was overlooked for the Wallabies Spring Tour in 2017. It was the sort of thing that can leave a player down and out, had it not been for a tough talk with Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson and the extra push from skipper Michael Hooper.

“Sitting down with ‘Gibbo’, getting told I’m being out worked (by other players) really lit the fire, and made me put in the hard work and do the little things like more throwing and the extra stuff,” Latu said. (Via Fox Sports)

Though there was a perception that Latu had become complacent and lazy, he acknowledged that not picking up the intensity and doing the extras definitely didn’t help him.

That’s where Michael Hooper came to the rescue.

“He (Hooper) knew that I needed to get my reps up,” Latu said to Fox Sports

“He’s like, ‘mate, just grab me whenever you want. I’m here to help you out.’

“So every morning Hoops comes in at the Tahs and I’m throwing to him.

“He’s standing on a ladder and I’m just throwing to him.

“Probably 100 throws every morning.

“By the end of the day I’ve probably thrown 200 balls.”

Latu continued to praise Hooper, saying he is the first bloke to training and always willing to help others do extras.

Despite only playing 4 previous test for Australia, this is almost a second chance for Latu, given how much time he spent out of the Waratahs match day 23.

Latu edged out Folau Fainga’a for a spot on the bench in Brisbane, but did he do enough to keep his spot or take the No. 2 from Brendan Paenga-Amosa? We will find out when Cheika names his squad this afternoon.

It is great to see the commitment from players willing to help their team mates improve on their skills, it is that style of culture that can keep players in Australia and turn down the lure of European or Japanese money.




Irish Assistant Coach Andy Farrell has put forth the challenge for the Irish team to show the Rugby world what they are made of a head of their do or die clash with the Wallabies.

The Six Nations and Grand Slam champions will be looking to make up for their efforts in Brisbane when they take on the Wallabies in Melbourne on Saturday night.

Speaking with The Irish Independent Farrell had this to say.

“We’ll see what we’re made of, I mean, this is what top-level rugby’s all about. We’ll see what the good old-fashioned Irish ticker’s about, won’t we? Because it’s the game that matters for us to stay alive. There’s a few lads that are a bit down on themselves, a bit frustrated.

The Wallabies victory over Ireland on Saturday was the first loss for the Irish since March of 2017. A statistic that has stung many of the Irish players.

“There’s a realisation that they (The Wallabies) deserved to win and that hurts within itself and I do get the sense that, after a couple of meetings and understanding how we need to move forward for the rest of the week, the key is to hold them back, especially after watching training this morning.” Farrell continued.

“Sometimes it isn’t complicated, it’s a little bit of attitude and a bit of fight.”

A little bit of attitude and a bit of fight was what got the Wallabies over the line in Brisbane and will need to carry over on Saturday nightthey want to close out this series in two games. The Men in Gold have shown that they can be good enough to win; they just need to carry the belief and the intelligence over with them.



There is no denying that Izzy Folau is one of, if not the best player in World Rugby under the high ball. It is a skill the Waratahs seem to have finally worked out how to properly utilise this year, with Bernard Foley and Kurtley Beale kicking either high balls or cross kicks to the big man. Most defenders will have a crack, and most come off second best.

Back in Melbourne in preparation for the second test against the Irish, Izzy has been reflecting on the early part of his career, not the part where he played AFL, but the part where he trained at the same facility as an AFL club.

This week the Wallabies have been training at the Holden Centre in Melbourne, home of the Collingwood Football Club, but it was with Collingwood’s rival club Carlton that Folau honed his craft. (Via ESPN)

Folau didn’t play for Carlton (he played for GWS) but during his time with the Melbourne Storm, the NRL and AFL club shared a training facility, and according to Folau, cross code skills practice happened a bit.

“We used to do a lot of kick-catch work with Carlton, and it really taught us some great skills catching above our heads, off our chest.”

Izzy already has the advantage of height, standing at 6ft 4in, add on his ability to mark the ball with his hands above his head and hit the ground-running make him a defences’ nightmare.

Izzy also credits doing extras with Melbourne Storm Fullback Billy Slater for helping to master the technique of the high ball.

“Billy Slater was one I used to see do extras after training and his catching technique was unreal, so I really looked up to him and followed.

“I wanted to learn that skill because of guys like him.”

Billy Slater would be a very handy player to do extras with, but again it shows just how much effort and hard work needs to go into being the best.


  • John Tynan

    Top of the morning, GAGR’s. Nothing meaningful to contribute this morning aside from a comment on the photo used on the piece about the Irish showing some fight.
    I hadn’t seen that angle of Coleman’s “indiscretion” but it immediately took me back to the good old days of giving my brothers (all younger) a “typewriter”.
    Obviously in this scenario I’m Coleman, delivering the typewriter and the poor green bugger is a brother about to cop the carriage return slap on the chops after being delivered the chest poking “typing” bit – very sticky keys those old typewriters, you had to type HARD.
    I’ll be swimming in a sea of nostalgia this morning, all thanks to GAGR editorial decisions!

    • Timbo

      No no no! He’s checking his pulse. Adam Coleman is a trained first aider and was very concerned.

      • John Tynan

        I forgot about the check-the-carotid-pulse-with-the-forearm technique

  • Mart

    The only upside is it opens up an outside back position. We’ll take any from Melbourne please… someone say Niavalu?

    • Missing Link

      Maddocks should go to the Tahs as they lose Taqele and Kellaway. Maddocks can then play wing with Folau and Hegarty to 15.

      Rebels need a 10 and also to have Koro and Sefa on each wing

      • Mart

        we’ll take any of them ;)

      • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

        Yes, the Rebel Force needs a 10 – surely that’s Maddocks, given his history in the position?

        • Missing Link

          I keep hearing that but he seems to be picked in the back 3. Appears that Wessels is over Debreczeni and is using Hodge as a bandaid while trying to ease Adams off the 15M platform with floaties.

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          Hodge as backup 10 instead of a specialist… where have I heard that before?

        • Braveheart81

          Isn’t his history as a 10 purely as a schoolboy?

        • Dud Roodt

          I thought schoolboy and at Easts?

        • Braveheart81

          Maybe in Colts although he can’t have played much Colts at all. The first grade I saw he was at fullback or on the wing. Archie King or Mack Mason were the 10.

    • Braveheart81

      Naivalu is definitely a good one to chase. He’s signed until the end of 2019 though. The Tahs should be going after a barnstorming winger like Naivalu or similar (to replace Taqele), Naisarani and a bruising lock. Work out the best options available in each position and make sure we get a good upgrade with the money available.

      • Missing Link

        I think Naisarani will end up at the Rebels replacing Mafi, but who is the magic bullet at 10. Didn’t see enough of Adams against the Force, but he was very good off the tee and made a good read to score that intercept try.

        • Braveheart81

          Yes, I think the Rebels will chase Naisarani as well. Nothing stopping the Tahs doing the same though.

          With the improvement of the Wells and the return of Dempsey next year it might make sense for the Tahs to focus their attention on a lock recruit.

        • Mart

          Need a dominating 2nd rower badly

        • IIPA

          Adams is good. Steady enough with some x-factor running ability and a good kicking game. They also have Jack McGregor there who might be ready after one more NRC.

        • Braveheart81

          McGregor is heading over to play for the Force.

        • IIPA

          That’ll give them two very decent fly-halves

      • McWarren

        Bruising lock? You already have Simmo and Ned!

        • Braveheart81

          Ideally Hanigan would move back to 6 where he is best suited. It would be to get a ball running lock to complement Simmons which Staniforth hasn’t proven good enough.

          Holloway did well in his one game there but it’s clearly a position the Tahs should seek a substantial upgrade.

          Simmons has been huge for the Tahs this year and has turned around an average lineout into a very good one and a poor scrum into a serviceable one.

          Getting an enforcer to complement him would be great though.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan, Pity about Kellaway but to be honest I’m with him on this. He’s not getting game time so he may as well move on. Good to see Hooper helping out with Latu but I’m not so sure it’s anything more than what I’d think was normal. These guys are fully paid professional players who have nothing else to do except improve their skills and be better. I’d have thought that something like this would be the norm for all of them. Maybe the fact that so little of them do improve is an indication that it doesn’t happen.

    I think the Irish are really hurting after last weekend and I’m sure we’ll see a different team this week. I’ll be honest, I’m going to the game in Sydney and I’d much rather go to a decider than a dead duck so as much as I want a 3 nil victory for Australia, part of me hopes they do step up. By the way I’d like that with the French in NZ as well but I think a 9 point gap is going to be easier to get up to than a 41 point gap.

    • Missing Link

      Shame about Kellaway as I had him pencilled in as a future Wallaby a few years ago. I guess others caught up and surpassed him. All the best for his future.

    • Brendan Hume

      Aussie defensive structure wasn’t really tested on Saturday. With Sexton in, I can see the Irish straightening the attack and testing our backs more. Although it was one of our better defensive efforts last week, Koroibete can be pretty rubbish with his positioning and decision making, and Beale, Kerevi and Foley have all shown weaknesses in the past. That said – the Irish forwards will have to lay a platform and this might be where we gain an ascendancy. Should be a cracker

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree mate. I thought ther Irish forwards really didn’t step up last week but I think they will this time.

        • Parker

          Step up to get knocked down I hope.

  • Missing Link

    Morning all, appreciate all the responses to my post yesterday, there were a few comprehensive responses, but special mention to kokonutcreme for theirs.

    • Richard Patterson

      There were some very enlightening responses. Do you feel wiser for the exercise Missing Link?

      • Missing Link

        I sure do. I’m not afraid to talk about anything that will help the Wallabies bridge the gap!

        • Richard Patterson

          What is interesting is similar commentary emerging in the NBA about the dominance of the Golden State Warriors and whether it’s good for the NBA or not. In the 1980’s (before social media), the sports world loved the Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers rivalry. After 4 consecutive finals involving the Warriors and Cavaliers (in this era of social media) people seem less appreciative – or is the issue about Warriors dominance?
          People dislike the New England Patriots because they win too much and they are not a media friendly organisation.
          For years people hated the New York Yankees and Manchester United because in sports lacking salary cap’s they bought success. Manchester City and Chelsea followed suit.
          NRL fans in Sydney struggle with the Melbourne Storm because they win too much – from a city with no history with Rugby League.

          NZ Rugby took it upon themselves after 2007 to model themselves into a world class operation with the All Blacks as their flagship team. Let’s face it – outside of yachting and rowing they hardly face stiff competition in New Zealand!! Across every aspect of the sport they raised the bar. They were also very unapologetic about moving people on who did not “buy in” or were more about “Me” not “We”. Aren’t they characteristics of any great sporting organisation or business entity?
          Division rival NY Jets will never copy the Patriots model because “F..ked are we here in NY ever going to do what those f..kwits up there in Boston are doing”. The Patriots eat their lunch 2x a season every season.
          For years NSW State of Origin adopted the same pig-headed approach. 12 out of 13 series (is it?) later, I doubt anything has changed.
          Over his dead body would Michael Cheika ever concede to examining the All Blacks approach to Rugby.
          Ditto RA and NZR. Is what it is I guess. Brain influencing heart. Or is it heart influencing brain? Either way – they are interesting dynamics.

          My thoughts about Australia maintaining exposure to NZ Rugby through Super Rugby are well known (I think).
          They mirror my thoughts about getting Australian schoolboy teams touring NZ. Playing 3 matches in heartland NZ for 1 week and getting a taste for what it’s all about. Returning home better rugby players for the experience. Ditto about getting Australian schoolboy coaches registered into NZR coaching clinics.
          Maybe NZ Rugby get lazy, rest on their laurels and get blindsided on the big stages. It is possible – but those bad memories are still fresh.
          More likely is you see more teams, countries learning from NZ and making themselves better for the experience. There’s a side touring Australian shores who have done just that. It’s got them to No. 2 ranked in the world. It shows it can be done.
          Will Australia do it? Time will tell I guess.

        • Alister Smith

          We shouldn’t be too proud to learn off a system that is world class, regardless of where it comes from. 4-5 of the top 10 teams in the world have NZ coaches, they are obviously doing something right

  • Braveheart81

    Stats of the day:

    The first test win over Ireland was the first time Australia has kept a team tryless since the win over Wales in the 2015 RWC. A period of over 2 and a half years and more than 30 tests.

    Tom Robertson and the Wallabies scrum drawing the penalty against Tadgh Furlong was the first scrum penalty Furlong has conceded in 22 tests (courtesy of Strewthcobber on the forum).

    • Mart

      The other stat was, last time Ireland scored a try against Wallabies in Aus was 10 years ago and it won try of the year. Ireland might need to step it up a notch ;)

    • John Tynan

      Interesting choice of protagonist? “ie Tom Robertson and the Wallaby scrum….”

      • Braveheart81

        Well, the Irish THP prop got penalised so you do the maths.

  • McWarren

    RA was right to say we don’t have the talent in this country. The catch is they’re right because 100+ of them are overseas, and growing.

    Honestly how can these clowns still hold positions of influence?

    • Braveheart81

      It’s a question of whether we can pay for them. Kellaway’s future at the Waratahs given his current position within the squad would be a low level contract. I’d be sure the offer from Northampton would be significantly higher.

      • McWarren

        I think the money written off to the Rebels would have helped. I think getting rid of the state unions would also save a few bob and a lot of headaches. Plenty of ways to save money to allow a 5th team if the special interests are ignored.

        • Braveheart81

          Sure, but what’s done is done and bailouts have happened because RA had an obligation to provide 5 teams under the agreement.

          RA has absolutely no power to get rid of the state unions. I agree that centralising the structures and giving RA more ability to make decisions around the grassroots would be a great step forward. Being able to achieve it is a different story.

          The expenditure on players hasn’t changed under either 4 or 5 teams because it is based on a percentage of revenue. Clearly this year there are more players contracted than the four teams require (particularly at the Rebels). From next year the average should go up.

          There is still going to be more money on offer for a lot of the players overseas though.

  • Hoss

    Afternoon all.

    No team named till around 4, but i don’t expect many, if any changes. Our 11 & 13 worry me defensively and i reckon Schmidt will offer them so low hanging fruit this weekend that they wont be able to resist and lead to big problems for us.

    The one player this week who hasn’t got much mention and will have an impact is the fabled Melbourne weather. I believe its rained all week and rain predicted Saturday as well, for mine, that plays right into the Paddies court. Kick for the corners and make it a set-piece slugathon. Both teams will be improved, the Greens angry, the Gold confident. Shapes up beautifully. I am nervous of Kerevi / Koribete, but stick with my 3-0 prediction for the series. Gold by 5.

    • Greg

      Roof closed I presume?

      • Hoss

        Its at AAMI isnt it – Rebels ground Open roof ?

        • Greg

          oops – there is that

        • Missing Link

          It’s good now, I’m not sure what happened in 2016 but all of the Rebels games and the Fiji test since have not suffered the same problem.

    • Adrian

      Thanks Hoss
      I’m not so worried about that part of the defence (Ks part)
      I think Ireland will stick to ball retention style they used last week, and …as I predicted last week, not a huge amount of kicking.
      If I worried about anything, it will be them offloading on the charge, and our guys slipping off tackles as distinct from missing them.
      Ireland will be better for the staff changes, better for the run, and better if it’s wet.
      We’ll be better for the run.

      That makes everything about equal. Last week bookies gave us 0.5 start at kick-off after giving us 1.5 earlier. At the moment Ireland is on 1.5 start, but that could easily come in to 0.5 by kick-off, so just about all square. Bookies odds are a good guide, as not influenced by prior prejudice, re players being rated on their form of two years ago.

      I’ll make my prediction when team named, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Ireland wins

      • Hoss

        Hi Adrian – yep the game has that feel about it. A few on here last week citing Koribetes defensive stats (facts are stubborn, stats are far more pliable). What the stats didnt cover were the amount of times Koribete came screaming in, over committed and got nobody (hence it didnt affect his tackle completions, not tackle made and technically none ‘missed’ as he had badly / over read the situation – he ran up and grabbed big old handfuls of O2 and i reckon thats what Schmidt will offer him this week, a sacrificial ‘patsy’ to run in and smash who will be the decoy. I am happy to be wrong, but i get an uneasy feeling.

    • Braveheart81

      Team has been announced and is unchanged from the first test.

      • onlinesideline

        I wonder if 7As was fit but overlooked. If so good for Robertson. He played well and was right there in that shunt at 67th minute.

      • Hoss

        no issues there and a good call. Build confidence, combinations and match-smarts.

      • Funk

        Ireland have made a few changes to their starting line up.
        IRELAND: Rob Kearney, Andrew Conway, Garry Ringrose, Robbie Henshaw, Keith Earls, Johnny Sexton, Connor Murray, CJ Stander, Dan Leavy, Peter O’Mahony (c), James Ryan, Devin Toner, Tadhg Furlong, Niall Scannell, Cian Healy

        Reserves: Rob Herring, Jack McGrath, Andrew Porter, Tadhg Beirne, Jordi Murphy, John Cooney, Joey Carbery, Jordan Larmour

        • Who?

          Interesting Kearney survived – thought Larmour might’ve made his way out there.
          Not surprised at Ringrose/Henshaw in the centres (Aki did nothing), Toner, etc.

    • onlinesideline

      Mate I honestly think the fear of wet weather is old school. Our scrum was a weapon and can be in the wet too. Playing wet weather footy is not rocket science for a team with half a brain. We are just as capable as they are in putting it in the corner. And do Ireland have the experience of playing a FAST team, like us, in the wet ? Could be their worse nightmare. Could be a chance for Thor and BPM and Latu to go burrowing in close.

      • Hoss

        Yep mate – spot on. In regards to the coaches it was nice to hear nothing but crickets chirping after Brissie.

        I think both teams will be up 15-20% on game one. Game 2 will see just how smart our players and coaches are – will we roll out what we did in game 1 or ‘go for the gap’ and mix it up and keep em guessing. I got on us at $4.75 for a 3-0 series win a few weeks back, so i am all for a slightly altered game plan and a famous Melbourne victory.

  • Adrian

    Good summary Dylan.

    Izzy jumping stuff is a bit of a pre-game Melbourne publicity thing via the teams PR department.

    Storm (and Izzy) trained with a few AFL teams occasionally, but Izzy did the jumping stuff from day 1 in Melbourne, when he was 17. Coach Bellamy recognised the potential.

    Cheika seemed to know about it in 2015, but then forgot about it when Izzy injured his ankle in early rounds of WC.

    Gibson rediscovered it this year, and Cheika has followed suit.

    It is very hard to defend against, and should be used again on Saturday

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I dont think anyone can compete in the air with him but I’d think waiting until he lands and knocking him over wouldn’t be that hard. Most teams try putting 2 or 3 in the air against him and that just leaves holes in the defence. I think you’ll find teams will start letting him go and catching him on the ground as the better outcome


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

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