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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Squads, Squads and more Squads, Aussie players join Kiwi teams, Hansen wants a 4-month break, and Australia is the team to beat.


 

JUNIOR WALLABIES NAMED

Junior Wallabies defend

Junior Wallabies defend

Junior Wallabies Head Coach, Jason Gilmore, named an 87-man extended training squad a head of the World U20s Championship in 2019.

Players have been selected from the previous Australian Schools tri-nations series, the U19s Rugby Championship and their club seasons. Several of the members are linked to Super Rugby sides, or members of their development program.

11 players selected were apart of the 2018 U20s Championship squad, with a further 22 having been members of the training squad for 2018, Gilmore is hoping that these players will offer knowledge, insight and experience to the newer squad members.

Gilmore said: “This wider training squad that we have selected comes off the back of several weeks of national competition, both at the U19 Rugby Championship as well as the Australian Schoolboys.

“From here the boys will be linking up with their state-based academies where they will continue to train until we assemble in January at the Australian Institute of Sport where our preparations will really ramp up.”

Players from Australian Schools teams will also join up with the squad in an effort to increase high performance pathways.

“Our 87-strong squad comes off the back of the URC and elite representative Rugby seasons where we have been able to identify and capture a lot of talented players.

“Working with the state academies we’re looking forward to seeing how these players continue to develop as move through the U20s calendar year.”  Adrian Thompson, Rugby Australia’s Head of National Talent Management,said

The Junior Wallabies will compete at the Oceania Rugby U20s Championship on the Gold Coast and the World Rugby U20s Championship in 2019 in Argentina.

ACT

Billy Carberry, Tauati Chan-Tung, Will Goddard, Wyll Holland, Kristian Jensen, Fred Kaihea, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan, Ben Love, Zane Marolt, Lachlan Osborne, Rory Scott, Lincoln Smith, Seamus Smith

NSW

Bo Abra, Angus Bell, Darcy Breen, Liam Cornish, Ben Donaldson, Max Douglas, Brooklyn Hardaker, Will Harris, Will Harrison, Jack Lafolafo, Nathan Lawson, Ciaran Loh, Jack Murray,Ed Poolman, Henry Robertson, Lachlan Shelly,Pat Tafa, Joey Walton, Hunter Ward, Jeremy Williams, Finn Wright, Yool Yool, Triston Reilly,

Queensland

Nathan Carroll, Will Chaffey, Lachlan Connors, Joe Cotton, Will Deardon, Ethan Dobbins, Max Dowd, Will Feeney, Reno Gerrard, Carter Gordon, Lloyd Gorman, Isaac Henry, Phoenix Hunt, Elijah Kefu, Tom Kibble, Tyrell Kopua, Viliami Lea, Isaac Lucas, Emmanuel Maliko, Callum McDonald, Fraser McReight, Josh Nasser, Kye Oates, Ben Paxton-Hall, Jordan Petaia, Byron Ralston, Sam Samu, Egan Siggs, Tristan Stanghon, Bayley Tau Tau, Laurence Tominiko, Emosi Tuqiri, Liam Usher, Rhys Van Nek, Harry Wilson, Michael Wood, Jeral Skelton

Victoria

Oliver Barden, Esei Haangana, Trevor Hosea, Tom Jeffries, Sione Tui, Semisi Tupou

Western Australia

Oliver Callan, Jack Hardy, Victor Harris, Brody Macaskill, Michael McDonald, Jackson Pugh, Carlo Tizzano

 

KIWIS NAME THEIR SQUADS

Photo credit Cam Inniss Photography

Photo credit Cam Inniss Photography

New Zealand Super Rugby sides unveiled their squads for the 2019 season on Wednesday, putting on display some notable additions, with some big names departing NZ Rugby.

Former Melbourne Rebels flyhalf Jack Debreczeni had been offered a lifeline by the Cheifs, after a strong Mitre 10 season for Northland, scoring 100 points and kicking at 85%

Debreczeni was brought back to the Rebels for the 2018 season, but struggled to maintain his spot in the squad. With the addition of Quade Cooper and Matt Toomua for the 2019 season, and Coach Dave Wessels opting for Reece Hodge and Jack Maddocks at the end of the 2018 season, it appeared that Debreczeni didn’t have a spot in Melbourne anymore.

Auckland born Debreczeni was a member of the Australian School Boys side, and played 54 games for the Rebels, and this season became the clubs second highest point scorer.

Ex Reds prop Sef Faagase has also returned to New Zealand after a strong season in the Mitre 10 competition with Canterbury. Faagase has signed with the Highlanders having previously played 43 games for the Reds.

Debreczeni and Faagase will be looking to follow on from Angus Ta’avo, who was rejected by the Waratahs and went on to become an All Black this year, after a season with the Chiefs. A few injuries or tired players and they could get their shot, thats how Tom Taylor got his All Black jersey.

For the full squad line-ups follow the link. Check out the Ins and Outs below.

Chiefs

IN: Reuben O’Neill, Angus Ta’avao (EPS), Laghlan McWhanell, Pita Gus Sowakula, Jack Debreczeni (Rebels), Tumua Manu, Bailyn Sullivan, Sean Wainui, Ataata Moeakiola, Etene Nanai-Seturo

OUT: Mitchell Graham, Dominic Bird, Liam Messam, Charlie Ngatai, Johnny Fa’auli, Regan Verney, Sam McNicol, Levi Aumua, Toni Pulu (Brumbies), Tim Nanai-Williams

Crusaders

IN: Harry Allan, Whetu Douglas, Brett Cameron, Ereatara Enari, Leicester Faingaanuku, Ngane Punivai

OUT: Wyatt Crockett (retirement), Pete Samu (Brumbies), Jack Stratton, Mike Delany, Tim Bateman, Jone Macilai, Seta Tamanivalu (France)

Hurricanes

IN: Fraser Armstrong, Geoff Cridge, Liam Mitchell, Heiden Bedwell-Curtis, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Richard Judd, Fletcher Smith (Highlanders), Billy Proctor, James Marshall, Salesi Rayasi

OUT: Reg Goodes, Murray Douglas (Brumbies), Michael Fatialofa, Brad Shields, Blade Thomson, Jamie Booth, Ihaia West (UK), TJ Va’a, Julian Savea, Peter Umaga-Jensen

Highlanders

IN: Ray Niuia, Josh Josefa-Scott, Ayden Johnstone, Sef Fa’agase, Jack Whetton, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Folau Fakatava, Marty Banks (Japan), Bryn Gatland (Blues)

OUT: Greg Pleasants-Tate, Guy Millar, Aki Seiuli, Kalolo Tuiloma, Alex Ainley, Dan Pryor, Josh Renton, Lima Sopoaga (UK), Fletcher Smith (Hurricanes)

Blues

IN: Ezekiel Linenmuth, Marcel Renata, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Jacob Pierce, Jed Brown, Tom Robinson, Hoskins Sotutu, Harry Plummer, Ma’a Nonu, Levi Aumua, Tanielu Tele’a,

OUT: Pauliasi Manu, Isaac Salmon, Mike Tamoaieta, Jerome Kaino, Glenn Preston, Kara Pryor, Murphy Taramai, Bryn Gatland, Matt Johnson, George Moala, Tamati Tua

FOX SPORTS predicted the best XV for each side. Have a look at their thoughts.

HANSEN SEEKS LONGER BREAKS

steve-hansen-listens

Last week it was reported that the RFU were building a rugby calendar that would see rugby in domestic and international forms run for 11 months of the year.

Now All Blacks Coach Steve Hansen has made a claim he believes players should be given ‘16 weeks’ between their last games of the season and their first of the next.

“They don’t get enough of a break,” Hansen said after his sides win of Australia

“You can’t keep going round and round and round without running out of petrol  — at some stage you’ve got to recharge the tank.”

Hansen has brought in 19 development players for the match against Japan, to give some of his first string players a break to recharge, as he believes so many of them are running on empty.

“The one thing I’d really want is that everyone gets 16 weeks break between their last game and their next one,” said Hansen.

“The England boys have suffered a bit from the Lions tour  — and it’s not only one season, it kicks on. It’s a worldwide problem and probably the team that’s managing it best at the moment is Ireland.

“They go ‘you can’t play’ because they own the players and franchises completely. They’ve got a good model.”

New Zealand is set to play Japan, before they head to Europe to finish a five-test tour against Ireland, England and Italy. Hansen says his side won’t be taking England or Ireland lightly.

“You can rest assured we’ve got a lot of respect for England,” added Hansen.

“They’ve got one or two people injured at the moment but so does everybody, that’s the nature of the beast. That’s why I keep harping on about the need for a global season that looks after the welfare of the players.”

 

 WALES TARGET WALLABIES

Sam Warburton

Former Welsh captain Sam Warburton believes that Australia are the team to beat for Wales this test tour, stating that a win would be a great morale boost a head of the World Cup next year.

The Wallabies haven’t lost to Wales since 2008, claiming 13 victories, a streak that Warburton would like to see end.

The Wales test is important for the Wallabies, after only claiming three wins out of a 10 test 2018 season. A poor result on the three-test European tour would create added pressure ahead of 2019 World Cup.

Warburton believes that a victory to Wales could open the floodgates for his countrymen, in a similar way it did when they beat the Springboks in 2014, ending a 15-year losing streak, going on to win their next three encounters.

“When we beat South Africa, we’ve gone on to beat them three times afterwards,” Warburton said to Walesonline.co.uk.

“I know they might have been a bit weaker but now when we play South Africa, I felt as a player, we don’t have that sticking point.

“Whereas with Australia, it is there.

“You don’t care as a player, you take the field believing you can win. But you’ve still got that nagging stat in the back of your mind.

“That’s why I think beating Australia would be brilliant.

“I’d like us to beat Australia and I wouldn’t care if we lost all the other ones because we’ve got them in the group next year. I think it’s really important.

“They could be a completely different outfit in 12 months time but it would be great mentally, knowing when you next face them you can look at them and think ‘last time we played you, we beat you’.”

 

 

 

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well from Prolonged absence to first commenter, my stocks are rising. BL’s random thoughts whilst coffee’ing on a low rugby news day:
    – 16 weeks off. Really Who in the real world gets 16 weeks off. Hansen you are kidding. The body can fully recover and regenerate in 8 weeks. So anything north of 10 weeks is overly generous in my book.
    – Of course Wales are going to target us. We are absolutely ripe for the picking. And whilst Fiji previously have always been a bruising encounter, most tier one teams think they can beat them and usually do. Not the case now. Fiji are a genuine threat. A Kiwi coach, systems in place, building depth through the Drua. They will make the finals for sure.
    – AAC! For Fuck sake I still cant get over that.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Dylan Langes

      Don’t get me started on AAC. I just can’t get over that, it is everything wrong with Australian Rugby that they bring back an older player when we should be growing the young guys. The worst thing is Cheika will do what he always does, hell play AAC at 13 and name Petaia on the bench, then give Petaia 3 tests for a total of 10 minutes of game time. Or he will give Petaia 80 minutes and burn him out.
      There is a chance we don’t leave the pool stages next year, especially if we lose to Wales in two weeks. They will be up and about as will Fiji.
      Poor All Blacks are tired and have the depth to call up a full second XV that would do damage to most world teams.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep I agree their B Team would beat almost everyone.

      • Adrian

        Don’t worry too much Dylan.

        I’m not sure he’ll play him. More a stunt

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I agree he’s used AAC as a distraction. Actually doing a good job of it too.

        • Adrian

          Exactly Kiwi
          Haven’t heard of much else, though Castle’s comment that winning all 3 represents a “pass mark” or something similar is interesting

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Interesting that there’s nothing there about the consequences of not attain8ng the pass mark. I fell we’ll hear a lot about disappointment and learning but nothing will change

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        If Georgia beat Italy in a week or so, and the Wallabies don’t.. Well, they’re in the same pool at RWC. In a way not leaving the pool could be good. It would force drastic change and mean we’d have to qualify. I don’t want it to happen, but I don’t think I’d be weeping if it did.

      • Parker

        The selection of AAC certainly gives the lie to Chieka’s refusal to select QC from NRC

    • Huw Tindall

      More respected commentators than us have backed the AAC call. Even if he is just a tourist his leadership and experience is what this mentally fragile and quite young team needs. I honestly don’t think we’ll see many minutes, if any, from AAC. With Toomua and Kerevi back our centre stocks are on the rise. Maybe half a game against Italy to see if he still has it. I don’t think he has signed for a Super side next year and unless he does I think any RWC selection is a mile off. Especially with TK back and another full season for Petaia.

      • Nutta

        Two-dads inclusion – at the moment no one is owning 13 on their merits. As such, beggars aren’t choosers. So whilst I am disappointed to have to both reach back at all, but also reach back to someone with such baggage in their history, given our record of late, if he’s fit then he should get a look in. But only on basis of selection on merit.

        • Singapore Sling

          I can’t understand the lack of respect for Tom English. He’s not an X factor player but has captained the rebels, defends well and understands what’s required from a 13.

          Two dads will be able to mentor the young players in the lost art of ringing your mum and getting her to fight your battles.

        • Nutta

          I don’t disagree and you raise a valid point about English. He seems a good option especially defensively. The JP kid from Qld country I also rate. So I would be favouring them over 2Dads.

          Kerevi showed last weekend what a destructive presence he is attacking but I don’t rate him defensively and with 2 clear liabilities in our centre-line already who won’t be dropped short of committing a crime against humanity (Foley and Beale), well our 13 needs to be rock solid – which is why I value K’drani so highly (when fit).

          My current vote is English. But he hasn’t had the run and so doesn’t own the jersey on merit as-yet. Therefore 2Dads is entitled to a shot. Circular logic, but beggars aint choosers.

        • Singapore Sling

          I think Kerevi’s problem is he’s half suited to both 12 and 13. He’s a better attacking threat from 13 as he lacks the sudden acceleration for a good 12 but can wind it up from 13 and use the extra space and his fend. He’s a flat, heavy footed defender so is less exposed in the narrow 12 channel. Watch him defend in broken play he’s lost.

        • Nutta

          I agree. That’s why he’s not a stand-alone 13 and certainly not a 13 with a sieve inside him (Beale) and a shotgun (Kirobete) outside him.

          For me he is a 12 but needs a sound 13 outside him. I would favour Kevi at 12 with K’drani at 13. But that means the Messiah is out of the centres to either bench, 15 or the wing and that won’t happen in this incarnation.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He defends fine at 13. He’s not TK but is no worse than Hodge (and is much better in attack). Stick him outside Toomua at 13. At least we will finally have a proper outside centre with experience there, even if he is better at 12.

          Or go with 10. Toomua, 12. Kerevi, 13. Petaia, but which will never drop Iceman and Turnstile.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate that final 10, 12 and 13 would be my pick. I know it’ll never happen under Cheika but it would be a hell of a lot better than what is there now.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’d love to see to see 10. Quade, 12. Toomua, 13. TK (Kerevi until TK is back).

          You know, that 10-12-13 our last coach, who was far more competent than Cheika, realised was our best five years ago.

        • laurence king

          Outside of Tomua at least he would be receiving the pass in the right place rather than his ankles or behind him

        • Greg

          These discussion drive me to tears!

          I like that 10/12/13 but we will never know…. and we keep saying similar things each week…

          what to do?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Drink

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m pretty sure he was leading super rugby in tackle breaks when he was playing 12 on a per minutes basis.

          Since when was extreme acceleration required for the centres? It’s a benefit, sure, but not a prerequisite.

        • Singapore Sling

          Since I said so. Nah, just my opinion as 12 only has a few meters to hit top speed whereas a 13 would have double in most cases. I agree it’s not a prerequisite but it does indicate he’s better suited to the outside position. I’d be curious to see if Kerevi made those meters from the inside channel.

        • Geoffro

          Horan had that turn of speed and yes he could pick a gap for sure but Kerevi has excellent ability in close contact which suits him at 12

        • Nutta

          Lloyd Walker. Brilliant centre but slower than Tom Lawton.

        • Singapore Sling

          Don’t forget Kafer.

        • I think quite a few centres can be ok at both positions, but are better at one or the other. Some of that is simply experience – if you play a lot at 12, you’re used to those looks and the different looks and angles you get at 13 will throw you and vice versa. Some is about the somewhat different demands that can be in place depending on the position – 12’s tend to need to make more tackles on bigger ball carriers and play a bit tighter, 13’s tend to need to make the right tackle against a bigger array of players from more angles at higher speed, 13’s often need more top speed, 12 need a better step and acceleration to break through a small gap.

          Rare, annoying players have it all. Crotty in recent times. Some teams have a different system – England in the Carling and Gusgott era played left and right centres for example and they were pretty interchangeable. Some of the great French and Welsh sides in the late 70’s and early 80’s could swap their centres at will too. But it is uncommon.

          I think Kerevi probably makes a better 12 than 13. But with a solid 12 inside him he might be a good enough 13 if you want him on the park. If we assume Cheika is sticking with Foley at 10, Toomua at 12 and Kerevi at 13 could work. Toomua seems like he’s a solid defender and attacker, he’d shore up Kerevi’s inside if you felt that you had to pick him in the 13 jersey. It wouldn’t be my first choice pick for those shirts tbh but it might work better than what we’ve got.

          I think I’d go Toomua, Kerevi, K’drani probably, as my inside backs. It’s hard to see them performing worse than we’ve seen so far.

        • Singapore Sling

          Good summary EP. Wherever Kerevi plays he needs to exploit Newton’s second law of motion.

        • idiot savant

          He is a 12.5 then.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          There’s no reason that a geriatric should walk into the squad after playing second tier rugby these last two years – especially as he looked too old back in June 2016, and especially especially because the last thing we need is another non-passing back.

          All I hear defenders say is ‘he’s experienced, maybe he won’t be good enough, but he’ll just be given the shot to show he is in training’.

          Well, that may be true, but picking him sends a message to every single Tom English in Australia that they’re not wanted and should may as well go overseas to maximise their earnings. Why stay if you’re English or Rona?

          Just another example of Cheika not really caring about Australian rugby after 2019, his concern seems to just be his particular stake in it.

        • laurence king

          Be careful about what you say about geriatrics around here mate.
          I think that AC was a great player, but how is picking him now going to help, it seems foolish. And I think that it’s indicative of Cheika’s state of mind that he would do this. It’s a mark of desperation, a covering of butt rather than doing something pro-active (oh hell, I’ve used a word that I swore I’d never use again after leaving the education profession – I’ve just crapped on my day). He could just as easily brought along a former centre as a mentor.

        • Geoffro

          Horan,Little,Roff,Mortlock and maybe Gits were great players.AAC was just a good and fairly consistent utility.I don’t get the walkup opportunity Cheika is giving him.Proactive-thats the stuff you put on your face to remove blemishes isn’t it.Big tube required at the mo’.

        • laurence king

          Isn’t some yoghurty stuff to settle your tummy?

        • Geoffro

          Probiotic to settle tummy,I wouldn’t be sucking the proactive down unless you wanted to unsettle it big time.

        • laurence king

          So, that’s why I’ve got the shits

        • Geoffro

          No,you’ve got the shits because you’re a Walla supporter

        • laurence king

          Surely not, that couldn’t possibly be true. I’m a believer in The Plan

        • Geoffro

          Now you’re giving me the shits :)

        • laurence king

          Here, have some Proactive

        • John Tynan

          Stop it you two, I’m getting looks for giggling. :)

        • Geoffro

          Be careful I’ll send him around with the chainsaw,that’ll shut you up.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think AAC was a great defender and a very longstanding servant of Australian rugby (I’m not sure ‘loyal’ is the right word given uprisings against certain coaches).

          But he was too limited to be a great player. A certain who cannot or will not pass can not be considered great in my eyes. He was very good though.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I agree it’s a desperation move. Cheika looked absolutely devastated after that last game. All the bragheart bullshit has got him nowhere and I think he is starting to realise it. My pick on ACC is that it’s a distraction, go8ng with you on this Adrian, to take the heat off the dismal efforts by him and his team of arse licking assistants

        • John Miller

          Selecting AAC also installs another staunch Cheika-phile within Wallabies ranks. The siege mentality MC seems to operate within is singularly boosted by an untouchable player group who know perfectly well that their international test playing free ride depends on Cheika remaining head coach. The laughable myth of “strong culture” constantly rolled out can be distilled down to, a pile of blokes insulated from accountability as long as they remain loyal to each other and nothing changes from the top down. It is an embarrassing indictment to a once proud institution and jersey. For all the talk of “too expensive” to remove Cheika, the true and escalating cost to rugby in Australia in goodwill, reputation and credibility is incalculable.

        • laurence king

          I believe that you’re absolutely correct in your assessment regarding accountability and the inner sanctum of players

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I love how the media talks about how the playing group is behind Cheika.

          Somehow i imagine the playing group would have been behind Link had he seen off Hooper, Beale and AAC like Cheika has with strong senior leaders like Fardy, Higgers and Quade, while populating the squad with his cronies.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Interesting because Kerevi played 13 for the Reds. He can attack and Defend in that slot. But struggles at 12. Which is a another reason I have concern about Cheika playing players out of position.

        • Nutta

          The couple of runs he’s had in Gold at 13 have not been pretty defensively…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sorry Nutta I screwed up. He has been a 12 at Reds. And played well there. At 13 he has struggled. Mate am still getting over the bike trip. All over the shop like a mad persons shit!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate Kerev’s issue with defence is that he’s a much better 12 than a 13. I really don’t see how so many people think these positions are so interchangeable. The only one I’ve seen able to do that is Crotty, everyone else specialises in one or the other.
          Kerevi is a much better option at 12 than anyone else but it won’t happen while Chieka is there and has his love child Beale playing there, no matter how shit he is at it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          And helping to mount Coups to oust coaches!

        • Nutta

          Dude at that he is certainly 1st class. I mean I’m generally a facta non verba guy when judging results and to rack up Nucifora, Friend, Dingo, Link et al and the beat goes on… Maybe Cheks feels it’s better to keep your friends close…

        • laurence king

          Something a little less byzantine from Cheika, like selecting the best players in their best positions and ditching the plan may quieting us critics and produce better results

        • Heresy!

        • Brisneyland Local

          It just re-enforces his position. Surround himself with those that owe him!

        • Geoffro

          What has he done lately to merit inclusion in the squad at all except to say he wants to play at the ’19 world cup .He could train the house down but by some accounts the guys have been doing that, then they go out and get flogged.I honestly hope he doesn’t take the field if he does tour but there will be plenty of people plugging for him just to see if he’s still got it.Real shame for the other candidates..

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah I think your pragmatic view is on the money here Nutta. If we had the full compliment of centres available AAC wouldn’t get a look in edge ways. Think Toomua, Beale, Kerevi, TK, and Hodge (qualifies for everywhere except #9!). Then bolters like Petaia and we are doing OK. No need to call in Two-Dad’s Army.

      • Brisneyland Local

        His experience I am happy with. But his leadership was certainly part of the cultural problem that existed in the Wallabies. Particularly with the Dublin incident and the effects afterwards. AAC was definitely part of the Coup. that kind of mentality is not something we want bought back into the squad.

        • David Creagh

          Brumbies too, my understanding is that he was a very destabilising influence and their was a sigh of relief when he left.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I had heard about something like that. Wasnt sure on the details.

        • Huw Tindall

          Fair enough and that’s a legitimate concern. I don’t like to put too much stock in things which we really only hear about through hearsay though. We don’t know what his role was exactly so I’d be hasty to judge. I don’t think Chek would countenance any descent and it was a bit of a masterstroke getting RA to lock him in and back him 100% in public. Players couldn’t undermine him like Link if they wanted! Maybe he is a smart bloke after all!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          The thing is none of this dissent is with Cheika as he’s feathering their nests. If a new coach comes in with some balls, half of thieves team will be fucked off.

        • It’s more AAC’s descent from this (possible) glory days since he’s not playing first tier rugby, that worries me. His (admittedly hearsay) dissent is an issue for me too, but if he’s there mainly to mentor and only there for the November series, while he may also disrupt the camp it’s not going to be a lasting issue.

          Of course with Cheika’s selection policies one never knows…

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have no doubt that is why AAC was bought back into the mix. It re-inforces his position.
          It is just a pity that his tactical masterstroke, will have strategically bad consequences for Aus Rugby.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I actually disagree mate. This isn’t the Roar so we can do that without getting personal.
        I think bringing AAC into the team in Japan without him being part of any team in Aus is a kick in the head for the players here. TBH I’ve never rated him as more than a good player and I’m not sure that with all the time away he’ll have got any better

        • Huw Tindall

          This is still the internet KRL – rationale debate and a willingness to accept others views doesn’t come with the territory :D

          To his credit AAC has well past 60 Test caps so can be called up under the current selection policy. Not playing in an Australian team would wipe out Toomua and TPN. The ‘signed for 2 years but not yet playing’ rule which allows Toomua to be selected (<60 Tests) seems a bit of a loop hole if we want people actually playing in Aus.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate that is gold. Sitting with BL drinking wine and we agree the internet is not for rational thoughts

        • Huw Tindall

          Ha glad I could add to the evening! I’m a full work day away from enjoying a well earned (some may dispute that) drink.

      • David Creagh

        Sorry Huw, I disagree also. Most of the “respected commentators” backing it seem to be SMH and Fox sports. That removes them from “respected commentators” for a start. The Wallabies need to look forward not backwards in their selections.

        • Huw Tindall

          Ha I agree mate! Wasn’t referring to the usual crowd. I was referring specifically to Ben Kimber and Morgan Turinui on their new site and podcast.

    • Missing Link

      Apparently Hansen spoke to several university lecturers who advised him that 16 weeks off each year was pretty common these days :D

      • Funk

        Has anyone checked Hansen’s Twitter, he may have been twitting with some “social influencer’s” about health wellbeing!?!?

      • Nutta

        I speak to Uni lecturers who dictate to me on the altruistic purity of first-wave feminism and also how Sweden is the ultimate example of a liberal democracy. I reply that formalist equality does not mean or bring equity and if Sweden is so bloody great then explain their even more xenophobic immigration outcomes than ours but also why they just elected the most right-wing government in Europe since the end of WW2.

        Don’t believe lecturers just because they are lecturers. They generally live in bubbles. And before anyone gets all uppity – yes I am one Matthew Burke so I bloody well can comment.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I suspect the migration levels Sweden has been taking might have something to do with the rise in an anti-immigration party.

          But you’re right that – regardless of your opinion on the migrant crisis – the Swedish government has evidently not been listening to their people on the migration issue in recent years. You could say the same thing about Germany.

        • Alister Smith

          Sweden’s rugby team isn’t very good either. Let’s not follow them.

        • David Creagh

          I had a Swedish guy in a fourth grade side I played in a few years back, he was pretty handy but handy fourth grade. He was confident of going back and playing for the national side, if that is the level of quality over there we should send the Wallabies over. They may come within 15 points….

        • Alister Smith

          I played in Switzerland (two part seasons) and we had a couple of Swiss reps in our side. Good players but I would say about a Brisbane fourth grade standard – one of them perhaps thirds. I think Sweden would possibly beat Switzerland. Our club was Swiss League One and we played a Spanish team in their b league (Valencia) and got our arses handed to us (i wasn’t too bad but the rest of our fellas understandably struggle with the 35 degree heat on a Spanish summer evening.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep them and school teachers!

      • onlinesideline

        Gender studies is exhausting you know. Its tiring for the brain to be in a constant state of confusion.

        • laurence king

          To try and figure out just where on the scale one fits is very difficult. There used to be two and now, well we should use a scale from one to 10 and using decimals with Neanderthal being a One and Helga (the lady in a sex education movie from 1970) being a 10. I think that I would be somewhere around a 2.4

    • Happyman

      AAC does my head in also. If you need a mentor take a non playing one.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Concur.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      AAC being in the squad coming from second tier rugby represents everything that is wrong with Cheika’s coaching.

      – not developing youngsters;
      – wedded to the past;
      – performance not being the basis of selection;
      – trying to make up for a bunch of no-tackling backs with 1-2 good defenders;
      – perceived or real bias.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Spot on!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absofriggenlutely

    • Alister Smith

      I think there is a need for a genuine off-season. Particularly for Southern Hemisphere and Super Rugby players. It’s not just the number of games but the distance travelled, the impact that has on injury and injury recovery and also the time away from family etc. If it means a trade off between a shorter season where rugby is played at a higher quality vs a longer season with more players getting injured and the quality of the games suffering then I would prefer the former. I would also rather see more day time games because I think the quality of the game is generally better (but the fact that TV pays everyone’s salaries means that is unlikely).

      • Brisneyland Local

        Concur. I think that there needs to be a genuine off season., But 16 weeks off is almost a third of a year. That is a little beyond the pale.

        • Alister Smith

          As a player I only ever played between March and September (though started training in Dec/Jan). That is only 7 months and I think that’s generally enough. Blokes these days are finishing internationals at end November and having their first Super Rugby trial in the first week of Feb – which is your 8 weeks (roughly) and I think, with the intensity of the game and the travel aspect, that is a bit much. If the Super Rugby season was shortened and the international tours brought forward to finish in mid October that would give a proper break for players. They can still train, do community /junior coaching work and practice skills during that time (for the Wallabies that would be tackle basics and learning how to catch and pass). It’s not as if there isn’t plenty of northern hemisphere rugby to watch.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate I can only compare it to what I know. In the Army the down time over the Xmas period was about 4 weeks at max.Whilst not to the same level of fitness as those guys (AB’s) we were still of a very high standard of fitness.
          Sitting in my office here working for me, is a retired olympic rower. I shall not name him, but he has a few Golds, silvers and bronzes to his name. A lot of you would know him.
          I showed him the article and he burst out laughing. He reckons that would be a doddle. He explained his old training and competition schedule to me. It sounded gruelling.

        • I think you need to read the comment and look at the video again. He’s not actually saying 16 weeks with no training, he’s saying 16 weeks between the last game in November and the start of the next competition. He’s not going to get it, but think about how it breaks down in terms of actual rest then starting back into training, team exercises and the like.

          And you can bet that the likes of the ABs and the NZ SR players and the like are keeping up a level of S&C work during the “rest” too. Probably enough to make most of us “keyboard warriors” (a name that in this instance I’ll wear, although not with any pride) feel exhausted just reading it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are correct. I think that they may have 2-3 weeks with no physical training or calorie constraint, but after that they will be back hard into S&C.

    • Sixteen weeks off would be lovely, in any profession. Although I’ve never been a professional rugby player, I think a 16 week gap would actually give you 4-6 weeks to actually have a break, then 10-12 weeks to ramp up your pre-season training gently to full intensity so you’re mentally and physically at your peak as the season starts and ready to go for the whole season. I don’t think there’s a hope in hell of him getting it, but I suspect you’d see a game with the first matches having fewer random injuries and a higher intensity because everyone would be fit and ready to go.

      I get the Welsh media up here. They’re almost ignoring the Wales v Scotland game (which is a charity fundraiser for Doddy Weir and Motor Neurone Disease, an excellent cause) to focus on targeting Australia. That will probably change tonight as the real build-up for Saturday’s game starts but it’s an indicator of just how important beating the Wobs is in Wales. And from where I’m sitting “Cymru am byth!” seems like a battlecry that is being hwyled with belief rather than hope this year. Australia just look to have too many frailties. Although we haven’t seen Wales together for a while, they’re looking good. They performed in the 6N without Warburton so his early retirement won’t the shock that it might have been.

      Did AAC ever wear a Tahs shirt? Why yes, of course he did. Did Cheika pluck him from third tier rugby over many others who haven’t worn a Tahs shirt? Why yes, of course he did. Why is anyone surprised?

      Honestly, I think I’m most interested to see two things, maybe three.
      1) How well Fiji do. I don’t know if Fiji will be a genuine threat – does the Drua and the Kiwi coach give them the systems and the familiarity to challenge tier 1 nations over 80 minutes? I don’t know but I will be watching to see. Another year of it and it will be very interesting to see them… if Australia continue to tread water at best that group with Wales, Fiji and Georgia could be a real group of death.
      2) Australia v Italy. Italy are starting to improve under O’Shea, We all know how I feel about the Wobs under Cheika. What will happen when they clash?
      3) Possibly Australia v England. I think England are in deep shit. They’re likely to get stuffed vs the Saffas and the ABs. Their pack is too disrupted and while the Boks can have an off day, their pack usually shows up, and England’s backs aren’t that creative. The ABs are just that good. A win over Japan… well probably, but it will depend on who Jones can select that is still walking after the first two matches and how Joseph coaches the Cherry Blossoms. So it could be a case of both teams are desperate for a win, both teams are playing badly, lets see who is least crap. That doesn’t necessarily make for a high-skill fun game but sometimes it makes for a really compelling watch.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Really good points EP. I think Fiji by 2019 will be a genuine threat. Watching the way the Drua are developing, it is evident the systems that John McKee is putting in place are starting to have a trickle down effect. we still have most of the 2019 Season, plus NRC for the them to further develop. I think Fiji’s star is on the rise. But I am completely biased.

        • I don’t have any skin in the game when it comes to Fiji but it’s always good to see more competitive games. An improved Fiji would be a good thing for world rugby, picking off the weaker tier 1 sides (and we really have to count the Wobs there at the moment) and posing a genuine threat to the bigger ones would be a wonderful thing to see.

          I really hope they are on the rise with my “fan of the game” hat on. I’m just dreading the reaction if the qualifiers from that pool in Japan wear red shirts and white shirts and there’s no GAG in sight.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. McKee is not stiffling their attacking game, and is strongly assisting their defensive game. He is also teaching them that scrums and line outs are attacking weapons. Not something to be endured so that you can go on the attack.
          I share your concern that there will be few GAG jerseys in the crowd. God I wouldnt spend my hard earnds to watch this current team in my home city let alone travel to Nipponville to do so.

  • paul

    16 Week break, this is the catch 22 of the set up we have down south. Yes 16 weeks would be nice, but is he advocating less tests. How do you propose that when your test teams are playing 15/16 tests each year.

    You are relying to much on a top down model to generate income, flogging you top players to much to drive that income, of course they need a break.

    It is the failure of building a level below test rugby to generate income that is leading to this situation.

    Until the game here is prepared to make the sacrifice to grow a better domestic model with a larger base then wishing for longer breaks is just plain bullshit talk.

  • Happyman

    Good Morning GAGR’s my two cents for the day.
    I observed with interest the selection train on squad of the Junior Wallabies and agree with most of the selections.
    – My biggest bug bear is that from the Queensland names I can spot two guys who I know of and perhaps there are more who really did not play Rugby this year. One is a big kid who played a season of league and one game of Colts 2 and was selected in a team. He was the shittest player in his position in that game looked like Tarzan played like Jane was also a complete penalty magnet. The other played one game of Colts one after a season of league and gets given a armchair ride.
    Let me say this I do not blame the boys if you were one of the chosen then ones then you would be stupid not to take advantage of the system.

    I can honestly say that there are probably between five and ten players who are better Rugby players at the moment than these boys position in Queensland let alone Australia.
    As I see it there are several problems with this approach.
    1 The boys who get picked do not have any investment in the game they will play league or union and they don’t have any love of it.
    2 The boys who do not get picked get pretty pissed off seeing boys who are not better players than them selected and give it away or go overseas.
    3 I have had it said to me look at the size of them they are great athletes and in some cases yes they are but I can tell you they are shit Rugby players. How many times are we hearing that the the Kiwi’s are playing smarter than us well you reap what you sow the players selected have not had twenty games of Rugby experience this year so when they make dumb decisions it is because they are inexperienced.

    To the boys not picked who deserve the opportunity this is my advice. Get an youtube highlight clip of you doing pretty shit that has nothing to do with smart game play you know the stuff behind the back flick passes illegal shoulder charges the sort of stuff, for god sake don’t show you winning a line out of making a great clean out Scrummaging well that is so last year, Then find an agent and change your name by deed pole to something that is recognisable where people might ask if your dad or uncle was a player in the day.

    So to quote a fellow GAGR when we are still getting a lubeless reaming from the darkness in five years time you will know that it is a result of the what is being done now and frankly has been done for the past fifteen years.

    My solution is pick Rugby players they have an investment in and love of the game. If you play League no problem but if you want to be selected for a Rugby Union rep team play the season of Union and become a better Rugby player, if you don’t want to do that then you will not be considered for selection.

    • Human

      Brilliantly put, Happyman.

    • Nutta

      In terms of the philosophy behind your post I agree wholeheartedly. I can’t comment on the specifics because I don’t know the lads, but assuming your comments about the Qld contingent are accurate it would be more than a fair assumption that Qld as a microcosm probably mirrors the other state squads to some degree or more.

      Athletes over footy players is never a good idea. All you get are dopey Rockem-Sockems wearing Blades. That’s not quality meat. And picking athletes hoping to find footy players among them is madness – hope is not a tactic. Pick footy players. Then work on their physique.

      In terms of lads who miss out going overseas for a spell and to try your luck, take your boots and go Boys. You will have a blast.

      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/46cf0855bb48406d860a1050184b7f5ff6b5b67ff89db32c08993209754136dc.jpg

      • Happyman

        Mate if you look at entire Super and then Test season how many times did you smack your head after an Australian team/player did something stupid. This is my point our elite players don’t play enough Rugby so actually don’t know how to play the game properly.

        • Nutta

          I think its both Dude plus a 3rd factor.

          Firstly, the guys being selected are there based on the wrong criteria so it’s poor quality meat.

          Secondly, even when they are there they then aren’t playing enough anyway but rather warm the seats in their No1’s, so it’s soft meat.

          Thirdly, the size of the pool they are selecting from is simply too small. The idiocy of for years excluding club players from national age-group teams has now been fixed at least but the continuing non-capitalisation on major player sources (like western Sydney or Logan or Nth Melbourne etc) means the gene pool itself is simply too small.

          Consider the NFL guys each year:
          High school players = 1,100,000
          High School Snrs = 310,000
          1st Yr College players = 17,500 (-94.4%)
          College Snrs = 15,500 (-11.4%)
          Combine = 350 (-97.7%)
          Drafted = 256 (-26.9%)
          Still playing 4yrs later = 150 (-41.4%)

          So for a Highschool Snr to make a 4yr pro Player the probability is 0.05% chance.

          Now equating the NFL to Super Rugby and reversing this back up to Australian high-school level through to Wobblies, that would mean:

          4 Teams at 35 players each plus some floaters = 140 guys at 0.05%

          That means we need 280,000 across 4yrs = 70,000 players PER YEAR (without injury attrition) just to fill the Super Ranks from which to pick the Wobblies if we were playing at a comparable level.

          Yup.

    • hippyb9

      Perhaps the squad could be expanded to 187?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate agree 100% with your ideas on this. I don’t know the details but my first thought was 85 is a friggen huge squad.

      • Happyman

        Mate I don’t have an issue with he squad size as exposure to better systems can only improve players, my issue is with the methodology.the handpicked boys don’t have to prove they are worth it a they have not gone up against there peers week in week out to prove they are worth the spot.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree. It always amazes me how much credibility is given to League players here. Most of them are crap at the detailed skills needed for rugby. Yes they are usually big and can run hard. It most of them know nothing about positioning, can’t tackle well and their decision making is rubbish.

          It shits me to tears

  • laurence king

    Just for a laugh, (because I’m laid up recovering from an incident with a chainsaw that required many stitches) can we put a quantitative measurement on THE CHEIKA PLAN? The plan of plans, devious, cunning, awe-inspiring as it is; so that we may have a proper gauge when we sit down to watch our beloved Wallabies play.

    • Nutta

      Incident with chainsaw requiring many stitches – sounds like a standard weekend for a Wobbly fan

      • laurence king

        Honestly didn’t feel it, happened that quick, just felt the pants pull across the thigh. Watching the Wallabies is slower and with greater realisation

        • Nutta

          Ha! So mangling yourself with a chainsaw empirically hurts less than supporting the Wobblies. That’s gold. That’s sad. But that’s gold.

        • laurence king

          Immeasurably so, I’ll be up and about next week, but I can’t say the same about my footy team

        • Glad you’re basically ok.

        • laurence king

          Yes thank you, but I can only find half my wits

        • Check under the whiteboard…

        • onlinesideline

          mmm …. sounds like the Chinese guy that stayed late in his own factory one night after every one had left and while wearing his undone cardingan decided to load up the back stand of a textile rewinder. He flicked the on switch and It didnt end well.

          In my earlier days if I ever saw someone with their shirt out around a lathe, it was 2 days tied to a chair watching videos of lathe accidents. No second chances with machinery mate. You sound lucky. Go buy a lottery ticket.

        • laurence king

          Yeh, I can’t even say ‘contempt born from familiarity’, I was just far, far to casual and that amounts to stupidity.
          Anyway, the chainsaw was between the brackets, what about THE CHEIKA PLAN, does it have a quantitatively measurable effect on out team, can the mathematicians amongst us come up with a formula, a theorem. In a hundred years or so students will see this formula scrawled up on the board and told, ‘now work that one out’.

        • onlinesideline

          Mate I wouldnt worry about the Cheika plan, I would just be happy your pants didnt become one with everything.

        • laurence king

          The nurse wanted to take off my pants, I wouldn’t let her. I had gone commando that morning. I didn’t want to laughed at by the medical staff while they were stitching me up

        • onlinesideline

          You go commando around a chain saw ? Mate Im sending health and safety round to your place.

        • laurence king

          It would be extremely unlikely to hit it, needle in a haystack chance.

        • Nutta

          Nurse taking pants off Commando casualty chainsaw victim… sounds like a different sort of movie.

        • laurence king

          More a comedy of errors

        • David Creagh

          His plan is the same plan that he has used for the last two years. Intensity and fitness, and picking the same old same old.

        • Singapore Sling

          Mate you wound will be healed and Cheikas Wallabies will still be shit.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hope you’re ok mate.

      I see it as “a plan so cunning you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel” Plan

      • laurence king

        I won’t be doing anything too strenuous for a while, ran a Stihl ‘Boss’ across my thigh. Will have decent scar to remind me not to be an idiot.
        We have Hoss to thank for drawing our attention to The Plan, and it is truly a brilliant plan, because clearly he has shared it with our betters namely Lieutenant Darling and General Melchett and they have become believers or otherwise he would have been tossed out on his arse

        • Brisneyland Local

          That’s Captain Darling to You Slack Bladder!

      • Happyman

        In the words of the immortal Blackadder “Found it Pinched spent it”

    • Habitual Offender

      Noticed the term “Incident”, not “Accident” LK.
      You weren’t attempting to amalgamate the genres of chainsaw/body art I hope?

      • laurence king

        You’ve got me there, a Mike Parr wannabe, I’m going fishing next an I’m thinking of doing something arty and painful with fishhooks

        • Habitual Offender

          yeah..naah.
          Been there, sunk 3 large treble hooks into myself not long ago. Covered from the left index finger knuckle to the inside of the wrist, all fully buried.
          Wasnt so bad going in, sheer hell pulling then back out the same way…
          Not arty but def painful.

        • laurence king

          It’s the barbs isn’t it, buggers of things.
          It’s a bit rough using having yourself as bait, so can i ask, did you catch anything.

        • Habitual Offender

          Yup, a fish about the same length as the the hooks..
          Hours from anywhere so had to operate with pliers and a mates old fishing knife.
          All good fun, apparently.

        • laurence king

          I’m glad it was worth it then lol

    • Hoss

      Not the ol -‘go commando, nick myself with the Stihl, finally meet cute nurse and give her a surprise’ trick.

      That’s an oldie but a goodie, Mr King……

      On a serious note – sheeeiiiitttt – that could have ended a whole lot worse mate.

      Rest up and FFS be careful, i like my self inflicted wounds to be wearing gold, not carrying Stihls.

      • laurence king

        Thankyou Hoss, if that was the plan, and I’m not saying it was mind you, it turned out badly because the nurse was older than I was.

        • Hoss

          i will give you something to guide you through the various moral conundrums one encounters from time to time and has served me in good stead.

          It doesn’t matter where it goes, as long as it disappears.

        • laurence king

          I’m going all red faced

    • David Creagh

      Bad luck mate. Hope you recover soon. Unless you drop started it, then – You stupid idiot :-)

      • laurence king

        No, no drop start

  • laurence king

    beautifully put

  • Ed

    Wayne Smith opined earlier this week that Jed Holloway appeared to be sent home, with BPA likely also (as TPN joins them in Cardiff) and one more back to Oz.

    • laurence king

      Is it maybe something we’ve missed in Cheika’s selection protocols or something. Should we delve a little more into how he makes his selections. Has anybody noticed whether more tea is purchased by Camp Wallaby immediately before teams are selected. Can anybody check his phone calls, maybe he’s contacting an astrologer, maybe certain letters or combinations of certain letters or numbers in names or birth-dates. Guys, we’ve missed something, I can feel it my waters, I’m on to something here….. “Oh Cheika, you clever brilliant insightful man, you are just so far ahead of us in our thinking, OH, OH OH, I’m all agog at you’re wonderful plan”

      • Singapore Sling

        Tea = meth

        • laurence king

          Now do you mean, Methylated spirits or Methamphetamine, because there’s a world of difference here?
          My dad told me about how they would cut a hole in a Queensland Blue and fill it with methylated spirits and wait till it worked its way through to the bottom, apparently to taste like gin.
          Now in regards to Cheika’s plan, that doesn’t sound so bad, so I’m thinking, you’re meaning Methamphetamine.

        • Greg

          I can tell you form (accidental) experience that ingesting methylated spirits is not recommended.

        • laurence king

          But did you water it down, it could make the world of difference. I was given some a litre of Fijian rum, a more potent brew would be hard to find, but after mixing it with a third water it wasn’t too bad, 59% proof I think it was, it was consumed watching the Wallabies v ABs wc final.

        • Brumby Runner

          Yeah, but Methyl Alcohol (wood alcohol) is deadly and should never be touched, even through a pumpkin.

        • laurence king

          No wonder it was called The Great Depression

      • David Creagh

        Ouija board?

    • Adrian

      Obviously an intended leak, and probably true

  • Ed

    The record of the Wallabies from the year after a world cup to before the European tour the year ahead of the following RWC during the professional era (success rate):

    1996 to 1-Nov-1998 – 67.6% (23/34)
    2000 to 1-Nov-2002 – 66.7% (18/27)
    2004 to 1-Nov-2006 – 55.9% (19/34)
    2008 to 1-Nov-2010 – 53.8% (21/39)
    2012 to 1-Nov-2014 – 52.5% (21/40)
    2016 to now – 41.0% (16/39)

    One aspect that stands out is the number of tests played in 2000 to 2002 period – effectively a season of fewer games compared to the same periods from 2008.

    • Custard Taht

      It also shows the Wallabies have started a descending turn and turned it into a spiral dive.
      We have been on the decline now for over a decade.

      • John Miller

        True – but the pre-Cheika decade witnessed a comparative plateaued, glacial decline.

        Since 2014, Michael Cheika has presided over a statistical Kamikaze dive bomber. If we are looking at “trajectory” – we are 25% from our last dozen games. His continuing tenure is indefensible.

        • Custard Taht

          Yep and still the show goes on….it will take years to recover from this.

  • Dave P

    AAC selected for his ‘experience’? What, losing? Being a part of player power cliques? Tom English surely has earnt his squad position based on performance this year. Wales are targetting us? Iwouldn’t be surprised if the Italians aren’t eyeing off a Wallaby pelt as well.

    • Custard Taht

      He is experienced in supporting Cheika, the only experience that counts.

  • Guest83

    Hi All, random question that’s long been bothering me

    Why is Horwill never considered for selection considering he passes Giteau’s law?

    I never really understood his fall from grace

    Sure he had a few bad season after returning from injury but considering the patience shown to the rest of the Wallabies over the years surely it was a bit harsh??

    His form over in the UK seems decent and I don’t think anyone could say that our locks have been performing? If we’re going to give AAC another crack why doesn’t Horwill seem to come into consideration?

    • Geoffro

      Don’t think he’s really shown any interest in returning to the fold

      • Geoffro

        For s&g and in honour of twodads I’ll give an over 30’s side of current players a go. Keps,TPN,Alexander,Horwill,Fardy,Pocock,Higgers,Genia,Quade,Gits,AAC,Digby,Speight,Barnes. I’m missing a lock but Simmo should have graduated by WC time.

        • Miss Rugby

          Though Alexander has retired …

        • Geoffro

          Its OK we’ve got Holmes….nearly as old,though I did see Benny Alexander running around against the Japanese last weekend so will just keep him in training as a mentor then roll him out when it’s time.

        • Custard Taht

          Bring back Radike Samo!

        • Geoffro

          Get him to sign a super contract (preferably with the tahs,cause he’s played for everyone else) and I’ll consider it.

        • Nutta

          So will Kane Douglas be 30 by Bill Time. Greg Holmes is still going around I think for a TH pushing Benny to the bench. And how did you leave Georgie Smith out of the side – pushing Higgers to the bench?

        • Geoffro

          It’ll be tight but Kane can fight it out with Simmo.How could I forget George , I assume he’s going around again-bloody amazing.Greg Holmes still going ?/ He’s in !

        • David Creagh

          Move Fardy to the row and you can have Poey and George.

        • Geoffro

          Mate,as coach I reserve the right to move any of them anywhere.Georgie would make a fine flyhalf though I do like the idea of a Smocock

  • David Creagh

    //sarcasm
    Nah must be Banks, he has done nothing in the tests he has played so far
    //end sarcasm

    • Adrian

      Exactly David
      Angus Whateverhisnameis with stay on tour as he hasn’t buggered anything up, and has been injured, so hasn’t mucked up at training either.
      I hope he stays actually, and gets time v Italy

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    The tickets for the Bleddisloe test in Perth next year sold out within 6 days, the first time a Bleddisloe test sold out since 12 years ago! This will break the previous record in WA for a rugby match by al ost 20,000! Rugby Australia wanted to teach ordinary WA rugby supporters a lesson after we took the ARU to court by not only cutting the Force and WA’s share of funding but also taking away our annual test match in 2018 and give it to the Gold Coast (90 km from where a test was played the previous week). Both of these tests were played in half empty stands. WA rugby supporters however is teaching Rugby Austrakia another lesson. We are the captain of our own destiny independent of an organisation that does not represent us. Rugby is thriving in WA, despite the Rugby Australia misadministration of lying Clyne. Rugby can take a hinit from what is happening at Cricket Australia. It is obvious that Clyne got the decision to axe the Force terribly wring and should take responsibility for it and step down for the sake of rugby.

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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