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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Drew Mitchell back in camp, The Wallaroos name their squad, Quade Cooper the Highlander and Gardner a potential for the big game.



Drew Mitchell

Drew Mitchell is back in Wallaby camp after a quick phone call from Michael Cheika asking the 71 test veteran to come for a run in Wallaby camp to help fill numbers and mentor the young blokes.

Seems like a good deal right?  Anyone who remembers fitness sessions might disagree and after a double fitness session on Tuesday, Drew Mitchell might not agree either.

“It sounds good in theory but when you actually start doing it, you start to question it,” Mitchell said to 

“It’s been good to be around, but it’s also been really hard. What I am doing here? I am not sure.”

Cheika was looking for some experience to help out with training, with the Waratahs still focused on their finals campaign Mitchell had the option to pull out of fitness drills, but wanted to be a team player so his partner didn’t have to do all the work on his own. Unfortunately for Drew, his partner was Rebels Captain and on-field workhorse, Adam Coleman, who was under instructions from Cheik to flog Mitchell in the crawling drills.

“Cheik is big on when things get tough to not go all isolated and go within, and I was really impressed when things were hard, how much the boys rallied around each other, including myself.

“Because for those guys who are struggling, it’s a lot easier to get through it when you guys rallying around you. I was impressed by that.

“It’s been 15 months since I finished footy and about a year or so before that when I was last with this group, so it was nice. It’s good to be around the squad.

“It’s always a privilege and honour in whatever capacity to be around this group. But it also reinforces that I made the right decision.

Mitchell retired from professional Rugby 15 months ago, and though he stayed in shape (for his inventible run on The Bachelor no doubt) by training for triathlons, the gruelling training to stay Rugby ready seems to reinforce that he made the right call.

“There are some young guys here, but if I was capable to run around with the boys, maybe just to chime in and fill the numbers but also to maybe pass on a bit to the younger guys,” Mitchell said about the young outside backs coming up in Wallaby camp

Mitchell has been mic’ed up for the whole time for a special feature on Fox Sports, Kick and Chase; so expect to see his shenanigans soon.



France v Australia - IRB Womens Rugby World Cup 3rd Place Play-Off

After a successful Super Women’s Rugby season, the Wallaroos have named their squad to take on the Black Ferns in the opening match before the first Bledisloe in Sydney.

This is first time the Wallaroos have played the opener for the Wallabies on Aussie soil, having played the curtain raiser for Bledisloe 3 at Eden Park, where they fell short to the Kiwi’s 67-3.

Times have changed since then, with the start of a the Super W competition, more money, time and resources have been devoted to growing our presence in Women’s Rugby.

This will be the 50thtest played by the Wallaroos, which is nothing when compared to some of the women in the Six Nations Women’s competitions, some of who boast 100 test caps to their names.

Coach Dwayne Nestor spoke to The Australian about the growing professionalism in the sport, and the need to be smarter if they want to beat the Black Ferns.

“The Black Ferns are now on contracts,”

“They’re not huge contracts. They’re not going to be able to buy a house with it but it allows them to go into camp for 50 days a year. Compare that to us: we’ll be in camp for 10 days. We just have to be clever and innovative with our time.”

“Any Tests we can get at that level, either against New Zealand, or playing any of the teams in the top five, can only make us stronger.”

Despite there still being players from the previous World Cup, the squad is made up of relative new comers, with 13 debutants named out of the 28 named in the squad. The squad is also missing Sevens stars Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry, both unavailable for selection.

The Wallaroos with play the Black Ferns in Sydney on August 18thand in Auckland on the 25thof August.

Wallaroos squad for the NZ series: Mhicca Carter* (WA), Emily Chancellor* (NSW), Rebecca Clough (WA), Georgia Cormick* (Vic), Melissa Fatu* (NSW), Kendra Fell* (WA), Toa Filimoehala* (Qld), Fenella Hake (Qld), Grace Hamilton (NSW), Alisha Hewett (Qld), Evelyn Horomia (NSW), Fi Jones* (NSW), Atasi Lafai* (NSW), Kiri Lingman (Qld), Crystal Maguire* (NSW), Michelle Milward (ACT), Cobie-Jane Morgan (NSW), Mahalia Murphy (NSW), Hana Ngaha (Qld), Georgia O’Neill* (ACT), Shanice Parker* (NSW), Liz Patu, (Qld), Trilleen Pomare (WA), Sarah Riordan (Qld), Emily Robinson (NSW), Alice Tonumaivao* (Vic), Samantha Treherne (Qld), Darryl Wickliffe* (WA).



Wallabies v Barbarians 2017 second half-3

Not according to the Highlanders he wont be. After a tweet from The Otago Daily Times caught the attention of the Highlanders, the Dunedin team channelled their inner Donald Trump with a simple hashtag “#FakeNews.”

With Lima Sopoaga leaving to join English team Wasps, the Highlanders are on the hunt to find a replacement, it just wont be the former Wallaby (via

ODT sought out a quote from the Highlanders, with Chief Executive Roger Clark stating the club hadn’t even thought out the exiled Red.

“He is not somebody we have ever considered or would consider,” Clark said.

“Nothing has changed for us. We are really happy with the two young guys we have got.

“They will play Mitre 10 Cup and we will obviously sign a third 10 at some stage.

“But we are in no hurry to do that.”

The Highlanders recently resigned Josh Ioane and have signed up and comer Bryn Gatland, with an aim to fill the third number 10 jersey.

Cooper could be looking at playing another year for Souths, with Brad Thorn not budging on letting Quade back in, unless the Reds can strike a deal with one of the other Aussie clubs. One thing is for sure; he won’t be catching a pass from Aaron Smith next season.


Angus Gardner

Angus Gardner

Australian whistle blower Angus Gardner could be the first Australian to referee a Super Rugby final since 1996, after he wasn’t named to officiate a match this weekend.

That would seem strange to not give him a chance to back out his performance from the Waratahs Highlanders match, but according to is method to this madness.

It would seem that the Referee who is booked in for the final is given the week before off, and it would be highly likely that Gardner has earned a call up.

It would be a showing of support for Gus from SANZAAR, especially after he was thrown under the bus during the June series for the red card for Benjamin Fall when the World Rugby Judiciary Committee deemed his decision wrong.

After there being much criticisms of Referees this season, with over officiating technicalities, seeking out foul play penalties and copious amounts of TMOs, Gardner displayed a level of professionalism and maturity in calling the quarter final that would be worthy of the big job.

South African Jaco Peyper will referee the Crusaders and Hurricanes in Christchurch, with New Zealand’s Glen Jackson refereeing the Lions Tahs game in Johannesburg. With those big names in action this weekend it would seem logical Angus Gardner would call the Final in a week’s time.

If the 15-test referee is selected, he will be the first Aussie whistle blower in 22 years to officiate the final, with Wayne Erikson being the first back in 1996.


  • onlinesideline

    I really hate the fact that Mitchell was mic’d up and it will be edited into a segment on Fox. The enviroment should have a sense of privacy to it and dare I say it, oh fuck it I will, Holiness to it. This is Wallaby camp ffs.

    Its just devaluing the seriousness of it all and will be turned into a Sean maloney ribbing of Mitchell upchucking and lack of fitness. Blah Balh – hysterical. This is secret mens business and Fox should quite the half time interviews while they’re at it.

    Mic at training, game interviews, fireworks, dumpf dumpf at games. The media – can always be trusted to devalue and trash traditions if it means more clicks. Can’t stand the fuckers.

    • Ed

      Agree Online. I have rarely watched K&C as it disappoints me that they do not go into tactics like the equivalent NZ or SA shows. There are all these ex-Wallabies and they should be explaining to the viewers why team A is doing this well/poorly etc.

      • onlinesideline

        Yean I watched a couple but tuned out. Its just not serious enough and I find it insulting that they think we really are in need of more jibberish / joksters.

        I think this is another aussie PC thing, where people feel socially pressured not to get too involved, too deep, too technical, too passionate. Its quickly met with, “calm down mate” or “righto righto” I actually find this one of the most annoying things about Australian culture. We expect of ourselves to tap into whatever we tap into to win yet it remains almost taboo to express exactly WTF it really is. We are somehow compelled to “refrain” from actually articulating it all like say an American would. I dont actually think this is an English rooted trait either as one of the things I like about the Poms is when its “on” they can get right into shit and really stay in the zone outwardly, talk about it, analyse it, pysche up for it. We on the other hand have this hidden pressure to restrain showing our emotions. Thus we end up with numbing shows like K&C. I think ppl thirst for more real talk but we aint gettig it. Maybr again its the rugby union crowd in Australia, because you do see more emotions among the aussie soccer fraternity.

        Thats my take.

        • Hoss

          She’ll be right mate, no wuckers.

        • onlinesideline

          Lol – yeah. I suppose it existed before PC too Hoss on reflection, when you put it like that.

          Who knows mate. Personally, I find one element of it makes sense, as in we dont carry on like Prima Donnas but at the same time, when you have lost the Bledisloe for 15 odd years, when the hell do you start to get serious about things ? Its half the bloody fun, preparing for war, getting into shit.

        • Hoss

          Agree with your post mate, there’s always time for seriousness and brevity. i was an avid watcher of The Rugby Club, then Rugby HQ – when you would have Eales, Gregan, Kearns, Kafer, Hetmet discussing selections, tactics, Kafe’s chalkboard always insightful and educational, there was always good-natured ribbing – an enjoyable show and you learnt more about Gods game – almost through osmosis. Then i recall a Channel 9 guru, whose claim to fame was the ‘Footy Show’ got hold of fox sports and added his secret herbs and spices and what do you know – first we end up with Greg Martin hosting a 30 minute wank-fest – that didn’t last, now we end up with a show based on inside gags and jokes, in depth player interviews from Mitchell about room-mates and bathroom jokes (is it just me or do these segments run 5 minutes longer than they should). Mic’d up players saying sweet fa in a game – as insightful as Helen Keller looking at a rainbow, on ground interviews DURING a game (that didn’t last), sideline interviews with players keen to get off and reset with coaches & team mates – instead we get pearls like ‘back ourselves’, ‘execute’ and ‘stick to our game plan’ – wheres Sam Backo when you need him – ‘basically we are playing like fucking arseholes Nat and the ref is shit’ – now THERE’S a halftime interview i want to hear. We have ‘Lou’s News’ – thanks for rehashing 24 hour old news and results, phew, lucky we had that segway into nothingness.

          I subscribe to FUX as they are the only show in town that’s ad free during play, BUT, I LOVE watching / listening to BEIN SPORTS Northern Tour Coverage – its a breathe of fresh air.

          I suppose i should be grateful that the hosts aren’t cross-dressing and with live studio audiences in their best trackies – oh well, theres always next season.

          Why cant the code gain traction again ??

        • Nutta

          Duntroon or Pentridge: you mixing these places up?

        • Missing Link

          PC = Bob used to be your father’s brother, but now you wouldn’t dare assume xir’s gender by using a heterornormative pronoun. Finding it harder and harder to make jokes about this shit when you realise some people take this crap seriously :)

        • Hoss

          How dare you Link. Look, i am fragile and i have had enough. This is my last warning to you and Nutta. If you persist in using words or more then two syllables without a hyperlink to their actual meaning i will mount an aggressive social media campaign on Farcebook and Twitters and call you out.

          You are both ‘wordist’s’ and i have never been so offended, at least not till i am so offended about another issue next time.

        • Missing Link

          I will issue a public apology and ensure that safe places are provided for POF (people of fragility) like yourself, and other minorities, in future. We are working towards a more tolerant and equal rugby society, we have even found a place to accept the persecuted All Black Fans Living in Australia (ABFLA) community onto our website. This is only the beginning.

        • Nutta

          For the nebbish who struggle the unami-esque elements in the skeuomorphic offerings of Rugby commentators on Foxtel, it is truly a lucubrated experience to find anything beyond or better than the uneducated enunciations of the ultracrepidarians they use on K&C.

          There you go Hoss.

        • Braveheart81

          Being the only discussion show, it has to try and appeal to a wide audience. I’m not sure what else they can really do. Make it too technical and they limit their audience greatly. Make it too light hearted and serious rugby fans don’t watch. I actually think Kick and Chase is pretty decent. There was pretty good analysis of the semi finals last night.

          If the viewership was greater then you can have more shows. Look at AFL for example. When you’ve got that many viewers you end up with some highly technical shows, some interview shows and some variety shows.

        • onlinesideline

          Its being more technical, more passionate and less PC.
          The trifecta.

        • Ed

          I understand Braveheart’s points of trying to cover for a wide group of watchers but many people can find the game complicated re rulings etc and the tactics.
          When I lived in London in the late 90s, I read Stuart Barnes’ column in the Sunday Times every week as it discussed tactics where it even had diagrams to explain how team A would do this and what team B would do/did to counteract it. The Torygraph also had such analysis from ex-players too.

          Come back to Oz and read he said this blah, blah, blah and more on the politics of the sport, not about the tactics.

          What is great about GAGR with Brian Smith and MST, and Nick Bishop’s on the other site is the analysis that many of us watchers of the game like to read and learn about it.

        • greedez

          & come back, Scott Allen….please

      • Who?

        That assumes that they’re capable of doing that analysis… Perhaps the commentary is a reflection of the Rugby IQ of the country?

      • Archie

        I think Kick and Chase is pretty good.

        They play it in NZ along with the South African Super Sports equivalent. Kick and Chase is better than the SA version IMO

        • Nutta

          Dude fkn Play School would be better then the Saffa stuff – and i haven’t done chuff in a long time.

        • Archie

          Haha true story. They are a bit dry

      • Peter Ascough

        I agree Ed. This year I watched the Channel 10 coverage of the Irish Tests instead of Foxtel. I really enjoyed the Matt Burke, Nathan Sharpe, Gordon Bray commentary. Far more analytical and less biased than Clarke, Kearns, Kafer etc.

    • Braveheart81

      I think you’re making a big deal out of what is a very preliminary Wallabies camp where most of what they are doing is fitness.

      People complain just as much about not getting any rugby media and then when they actually try and engage and introduce people to players and provide player insights into games it gets shouted down as being too invasive.

      Half time interviews are the norm in a lot of sports now. Networks and fans want access and are paying for it. It’s not like players need to give away state secrets. They’re doing a 20 second grab with the commentator as they walk off the field.

      • onlinesideline

        “A 20 second grab” ? – doesnt sound like something you’d remember.

        • Nutta

          Depends on who grabbed me.

      • Dud Roodt

        Have to agree. Of course most of us would prefer they didn’t jam a microphone into someones mouth the second they walk off the pitch when they can’t even breathe (just like in the swimming when they come out dying and have to chat about the minutiae of the laps), but it just the way things are.
        When a company forks out millions for the rights to a product, they expect a lot in return. Just showing the game isn’t enough.

        So many people on here (including me) complain about the parlous state of Australian rugby, but will then complain about Fox Sports wanting their pound of flesh.

        Unfortunately, if you want a high profile for your sport and your sportsmen, you can’t hide them away from the camera. Nor should you want to.

  • Keith Butler

    So, the Tahs beat the Lions and play the Saders in the final. Gardener is still the ref. Mr Moody is up to his usual tricks and is referred by the TMO for a borderline act of foul play that Gardener gives him a red card for. Imagine the outcry. Sanzar may have to re think if the Tahs make it to the final.

    • Greg

      That would be a case of “what goes round, comes round”. Moody dodged a bullet with his two week suspension earlier in the year.

      • Nutta

        Whilst I agree with your point of universal square-up on folk like Moody, Erp and a few others Keith’s point is valid. Finals between 2 countries need a 3rd country ref. To be clear, I don’t think Refs cheat, but assumed influences in the heat of the moment are pervading.

    • Happyman

      I would suggest that the Angus Gardiner will get the gig if the Tahs lose and Jaco if the Tahs win. The real issue is Ben Chick Chick Skeen. and the host broadcaster influence.

      I actually fancy the Canes against the Saders although a fun fact from a kiwi pod says the Saders have not lost a knockout game at home since 1998 so history is in there favour.

      • Missing Link

        If anyone can beat the Crusaders at home, it’ll be the canes.

        • Happyman

          I admire the Saders but hate them at the same time. You cannot argue with the success but they are so cynical in the attention to detail around skirting and breaking the rules that when playing that you just cannot like them.
          Having said that when they switch on the flair they are so good to watch.

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          You could change the word “Saders” in your post to “ABs” and you would have a pretty accurate insight into how the rest of the rugby world feels about NZ.

        • juswal

          Today’s sneer-whinge from Archie is only seconds away . . .

        • Happyman

          Truthfully mate it is partially envy I just wish our players were smart enough to show that level of attention to detail.

        • disqus_NMX

          I also wish our players were smart enough to show that level of detail. But not in the sneaky, tricky, cheating department. Good, clean, kick-arse, skilful, winning will get the fans back.

        • Nutta

          The underlying reasons may differ (swap out pushing the limits of the laws to pushing the limits of credulity), but swap Cru for Tarts and AIB for Wobbly and you have the same emotions here in Aus.

        • Keith Butler

          Was thinking the same thing myself.

        • Patrick

          No not at all Nutta I have never considered the Tarts particularly good at pushing the limits of the rules, far from it, I have always considered them ridiculously over-talented under-performing prima donnas.

          Say what you want about the Saders they are well-drilled. But maybe it is a Tarts tactic: If a tart high tackles someone I assume it was a mistake due to lack of training, if a Sader does it I assume it is deliberate :)

        • Nutta

          Nah Dude. With the Cru it’s pushing the boundaries of the law. With the Tarts it’s pushing the boundaries of sanity.

        • Keith Butler

          Could substitute clinical for cynical. You’d love them to get a good pasting but the likelihood of that happening is pretty remote. Hope the Canes can turn them over though.

        • Parker

          Is that a redundancy given that they’re the only ones playing them?

      • Nutta
  • OnTheBurst

    “Darryl” is an interesting name for a sheila!

    • Ads


      • Dud Roodt

        No, he said “Darryl”

        • Ads

          Ah yes, that sneaky second R makes all the difference. Maybe.

  • ForceFan

    Foxtel K&C – mindless chatter.
    Dumbed down to the max for reasons unknown.

    • Missing Link

      “The rugby show for league fans”

  • Muzz

    Re Wallaroos where is the gun player for the Force women’s super rugby team who scored all the tries earlier this year?

    • D-Box

      Courtney Hodder – injured in the School Girls Nationals

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      Can anyone shed any light on what’s happening with that young Qld school kiddie who stole the show at the Tens? Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea? Is she in the mix at all for XVs? Or just the shorter or junior forms for now?

      • Braveheart81

        She played the whole season for Queensland in the Super W competition and she has a development contract with the Aussie 7s.

        • IIPA

          That’s a real pisser re Courtney Hodder and hopefully back next season.

          ALF is indeed a sevens target but also not entirely sure she’s qualified under residency for another year.

    • Perth girl

      Courtney broke her leg Muzz

  • Mart

    Jackson reffing Tahs lions. Not a good result for Tahs.
    I like his reffing style But he lets a lot go, get ready for the breakdown to be a shit fight. Lions pack will be all over it. Pity Pocock doesn’t play for Tahs, it’s his scene.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Is Hooper back? Miller’s out with concussion. Yeah, Future Prime Minister David Pocock (I only ever refer to him as this – good thing I’m not a commentator) would be handy. Need Latu to start.

  • Perth girl

    Congratulations to all the ladies named in the Wallaroo’s squad. I wonder when RA is going to start paying these athletes instead of expecting them to play for expenses only

    • Patrick

      Agree entirely. Say you need 35 players to be sure of fielding 22 in position. Just pay those 35 even $25kpa, a total of $875k a year. It really should be affordable and it would mean they could train about twice as much which would surely pay off in results which would translate to tv and to great community – targeted advertising possibilities for the game!

  • Tomthusiasm

    I just saw that Jack Debreczeni is in this year’s Northland squad, not sure what the go is there. Is he contracted to the Rebels next year or did they let him go?


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

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