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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Heart break for Australian Rugby, Baa Baas name their squad, Analysis of Cheika’s team and Sam Burgess blames egos for England World Cup performance.


 

MCMAHON SIGNS WITH THE SUNWOLVES

Sean McMahon reflects on a job well done

Sean McMahon reflects on a job well done

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse. It just got worse.

Former Rebel and Wallaby hard nut back rower Sean McMahon has signed with the Japanese Super Rugby side the Sunwolves for the 2019 season, all but confirming he will be out for the next World Cup.

RUGBY.com.aubroke the news, revealing that the Rebels, the Reds and the Force all approached the 24 year old in an effort to secure his services.

Sunwolves officials confirmed the deal was signed back in July for a one-year contract.

This doesn’t complete rule out the chances for McMahon to return for the RWC, as he could sign with an Australian team for the 2020-21 seasons, thus making him eligible.

Money would be a major factor in McMahon staying in Japan, as his $800,000 Top League contract far exceeds what he could earn in Australian, with Wallabies David Pocock and Michael Hooper still playing (Hooper is on $1 Million plus).

McMahon’s presence was sorely missed in the Wallabies camp during 2018, with Michael Cheika having a revolving door in the back row (minus Poey and Hoops), in particular his work around the field in both attack and defence.

Cheika has been regularly asked about McMahon coming back into the Wallabies fold, to which he has developed a standard response.

“We’ve been really clear with Sean about what we’d like,” Cheika said.

“The ball is in his court.”

Well McMahon appears to have taken that ball and set himself up nicely in Japan.

Despite being in the same conference as the Australian teams, it is believed that Australian players playing for the Moon Dogs still are not eligible to play for the Wallabies. Perhaps for this World Cup we will see the McMahon Law, which will allow him to come back.

BAA BAAS SQUAD NAMED

Luke Jones offloads.

Luke Jones offloads.

In the final match of the year featuring an international team, the Barbarians will take on Los Pumas at Twickenham on Saturday afternoon (Sunday morning in Australia.)

The squad coached by Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus (Sounds like a Harry Potter character), has a strong South African presence, but also will feature three Australian players in Luke Jones, Rebels co-captain Tom English and former Rebel Jack Debreczeni. Crusaders Wyatt Crockett will captain the side.

Fijian Drua scrumhalf Frank Lomani has been named on the bench, which is an exciting prospect to see him at this level, given his intensity at NRC and the skills he picked up training under Will Genia.

The squad includes 13 South Africans have been named including Breakthrough player of the year Aphiwe Dyantyi and the South African captain Siya Kolisi. Argentinian big man Juan Manuel Leguizamon has been tasked with anchoring the scrum from the back in the number 8 jersey.

15 Jack Debreczeni (Chiefs)
14 Tommaso Benvenuti (Benetton & Italy)
13 Tom English (Rebels & Australia)
12 Damian de Allende (Stormers & South Africa)
11 Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions & South Africa)
10 Handre Pollard (Bulls & South Africa)
9 Leon Fukofuka (Auckland & Tonga)
1 Wyatt Crockett (Crusaders & New Zealand, Captain)
2 Schalk Brits (Stormers & South Africa)
3 Trevor Nyakane (Bulls & South Africa)
4 Luke Jones (Bordeaux Begles & Australia)
5 Lood de Jager (Bulls & South Africa)
6 Siya Kolisi (Stormers & South Africa)
7 Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers & South Africa)
8 Juan Manuel Leguizamon (Jaguares & Argentina)

Replacements

16 Steven Kitshoff (Stormers & South Africa)
17 Malcolm Marx (Lions & South Africa)
18 Anton Peikrishvili (Cardiff Blues & Georgia)
19 Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Stormers & South Africa)
20 Jordan Taufua (Crusaders)
21 Frank Lomani (Rebels & Fiji)
22 Jesse Kriel (Bulls & South Africa)
23 Elton Jantjies (Lions & South Africa)

 

D-DAY LOOMS FOR CHEIKA

Image via Reddit User u/Jiffyrabbit

Image via Reddit User u/Jiffyrabbit

As the dismal 2018 comes to an end, so comes the final meeting of the year for the Rugby Australia board, to which the discussion of the fate of Cheika and his staff will most likely discussed.

This was reported earlier this week that there are potentially a few candidates to replace Cheika should the RA board swing the axe to start 2019 on a better not. Former Springboks coach Jake White and Scotland Director of Rugby Scott Johnson are considered frontrunners but around the Internet plenty of other names are out there.

Assistant Coaches at Super Rugby level have had their names thrown around and even Stuart Lancaster and David Nucifora’s names have been spoken in the shadows after their success in the Irish competition.

Regardless of whom they pick it is clear from the reception from Fans, Players and the media that the time has come for Cheika and his merry men.

Avid Green and Gold reader and commenter Adrian even went, as far to say,

“It’s pathetic that RA can’t see all of the mismatch tactics and selections More complex than chess, but played with draft pieces and managed by a 3rd grade chess player.”

Adrian raises a strong point with this, but even if you remove the emotion, and objectively look at the way the Wallabies have been selected and positioned, the writing is on the wall that the coaches are running around like chickens with their heads chopped off in an effort to cover themselves.

Ben Smith (No not that Ben Smith) and Nicholas Bishop have published articles in the past few days that highlight the need for change. Smith compares the poor set up to protect the clearance kicker that on multiple occasions this season have cost Australia tries. Bishop examines the poor set up of playing props in different positions have having Jack Maddocks cover the field out of position. The conclusion is quite similar and quite damning.

Michael Cheika has continuously said he has a plan for the World Cup, and that his plan may have kept him and his crew in the job. The last year and last few articles have shown that the plan is no longer working. The meeting on December 10thwill indeed be an interesting one.

FOXSPORTS Christy Doran published a humours yet potentially accurate prediction as to how that meeting will look.

BURGESS BITES BACK

Burgess_Sam_England1

NRL Star and former England test player Sam Burgess has hit back at critics of the 2015 World Cup in a series of tweets claiming it was ego’s that were responsible for the teams failure escape the “Pool of Death.”

Head Coach Stuart Lancaster and Defensive Coach Andy Farrell were just some of the men to depart the English national side after the team went through their worst ever World Cup. Both men have gone on to find success after their departures.

Farrell will be the man to replace Joe Schmidt as Ireland’s Head Coach after the World Cup, whilst Lancaster has helped Leinster continue to grow in the Irish and European competition.

Burgess has laid the blame at the players, though not naming names, for the failure of the team and not just one coach or player.

Burgess tweeted: “I seem to be getting a few tweets regarding the Rugby WC in 2015….Still. If people actually rewatched the games I participated in you will see I added to the team. What cost us an early exit was individual egos and selfish players not following our leader. Which ….

“Essentially cost the coach and other great men their jobs. Tournaments are not won by the coaching staff or one player. It takes a commitment from the full group. I guarantee you this, I was committed but others had their own agendas. I have fond memories of my time in RU

“And some great friends. One day I will tell my side of the story, but for now I love watching @EnglandRugby and cannot wait to see them as they prepare for the 2019 WC in Japan.”

Burgess played 5 tests for England including 3 during the World Cup when he was playing Premiership Rugby for Bath.

He then returned to NRL after signing a lucrative deal with South Sydney

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Singapore Sling

    According to AAP RA has a phone conference set up for Thursday with Jake White. Apparently White wants a long term deal.

    • Bakkies

      Understandable.

      • Singapore Sling

        Agree but I don’t think it’s wise to wed themselves to him through the next RWC cycle. Give him two years with a performance clause. If White wants too much or too long put it to Laurie Fisher, Scott Johnson or Knuckles as interim.

        • Bakkies

          I would rather have Cheika than Johnson. Johnson isn’t coaching and has a reputation for job hopping when it gets tough.

        • Singapore Sling

          I’d rather run a raffle at $100 a ticket and give the job to the winner than Cheika. To buy a ticket punter must have played third grade or better. The winner is assisted by three of his mates who must prove they played 5ths or better. A selection panel of consisting of a collective of winning colts sides from this years comps across the country voting on a rolling basis.

        • Damo

          And you sit them down and show them a 2018 Wallabies highlights(???) reel and tell them don’t do any of that!! Especially that set move where the last person with the ball throws it over the touchline.

        • Custard Taht

          That pass to no one over the touchline is my second favourite move….my favourite is by far and away, the long looping pass on your try line that hits an opposition player on the fly on the chest….masterful.

    • Damo

      A very promising bit of news SS. Cross fingers. Jake White is probably as well equipped as anyone, having coached here before, to hit the ground running which will be critical. Big concern is that a new coach won’t be able to get his hands on a squad till after Super Rugby mid year. Precious little time. Maybe some creative cooperation with the Super coaches could be achieved. I’m sceptical about that though.

    • idiot savant

      Who leaked to AAP? Are RA leaking the long term deal as an argument for not appointing him? “We tried to find a suitable replacement but the terms weren’t favourable so we have no option but to stick with Cheik.”

      • Singapore Sling

        …..what a deflating thought, or maybe White leaked it to kick the hornets nest. Could be spin either way.

      • RF

        Shouldn’t be any issue giving him a 2 or year deal. He’d either be a success and stay on or else his replacement would have ample time in the next World Cup cycle.

        Cheika needs to be replaced, I wouldn’t be rushing to appoint White quite yet though. We’d be abandoning our proud rugby traditions of how the Wallabies should play etc with him.

      • Custard Taht

        I think it might be Russian hackers, they just can’t help but interfere in governance.

  • RF

    Shit, Stuart Lancaster would be a sensational coup for Australian Rugby if they could pull that off.

    I’d actually be excited for 2019. The previous best-case Jake White wasn’t inspiring

    • Bakkies

      He won’t do it. He has kids in school in England and commutes from Leeds to Dublin on a weekly basis.

      • Singapore Sling

        His kids go to school in rugby league heartland? Must be his links to his Uni days and early career.

        • Bakkies

          Schools and club Rugby is strong in Yorkshire. Due to the weakness of the Yorkshire pro clubs they go elsewhere.

      • RF

        He expressed an interest in working in the southern hemisphere already. This would be a fantastic opportunity for him.

        • Bakkies

          The Reds job was never going to happen. He also hasn’t worked as a number one since 2015.

        • RF

          He’s joint #1 at the best club side in the world mate. Any interview he gives makes it clear his future is as #1.

        • Bakkies

          Leo Cullen is the Leinster Head Coach.

        • RF

          And Lancaster is the Leinster Senior Coach. They are very much a partnership

        • Bakkies

          That’s a working title that was made up.

        • RF

          Yes it was made up, I’m not sure how it could be anything but.

          They couldn’t call him “head coach” as there is a head coach. They didn’t call him “assistant coach” as he isn’t. They have him an alternative senior title to keep everyone happy.

          Not sure why this is an issue.

        • Bakkies

          You are the one who said he is work side by side as a number one.

        • RF

          They are the coaching partnership. He is the joint head of their coaching team, is it worth having several posts arguing over semantics?

          Back in May the big controversy in the sports pages was that Lancaster was getting all of the credit for their success, from players and media, ahead of Cullen. Many sources give the power to Lancaster. I believe it is a partnership.

  • Bakkies

    It is Munster under 19 that the Australian Schoolboys are playing on Friday. Match is at Thomond Park under lights. Good experience for the boys and an opportunity to get out of Aus Rugby before they get ruined. Munster already have South Africans in the Academy.

    • Bakkies

      I see on The Roar that the RA have cut Aus Schools funding so they can have two Academy sides in NSW and Qld. This makes it tougher for kids in the other territories and states to make the squad. ACT only have two boys in the touring party to Ireland and Scotland which should be the highlight of their schooling.

      The Clown College have to go.

      • Singapore Sling

        Outrageous! I guess they have to plump out Hoopers contract somehow.

        • Bakkies

          Obscene. I feel for the kids underage Rugby thrown between two basket case organisations the RA and the ASRU. Maybe the Brumbies have played their hand by getting the boys out of this political minefield and in to the Academy which might explain the low number of reps in the squad.

  • onlinesideline

    Curious to know more about Jake White. I didnt follow his Brumby selections very closely and its been a while. I wonder what kind of backlne he would pick. He was a Toomua fan if memory is correct.

    • Custard Taht

      I think Jake White likes a 10 who can kick in general play…..

      • Bakkies

        A 9 who can kick properly. That would bring Ian Prior in to the mix. His game suits test Rugby. If White wants to come back he should go to the Force or the Reds. I would rather the Brumbies develop Powell, Lonergan and Seámus Smith all young local players.

        • idiot savant

          Good point about Prior. He is the only effective box kicker among Australia’s halves atm, White and Frisby having been banished.

        • Bakkies

          Prior is also a far better goal kicker than Foley.

        • idiot savant

          He is actually a clever idea if he can still run at the pace required for test rugby. Smart player who has learnt a lot under Link, White, and coaches at Harlequins.

        • Bakkies

          Prior hasn’t got a lot of miles on the clock as he moved around at a young age to get game time.

        • Custard Taht

          I have too much respect for the box to kick it.

          White could possibly coaxed back by Jake.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think he would try and get Nic White back.

          White starting with Genia off the bench would probably be good for Aussie rugby and for Genia.

          Cooper at 10 and Toomua at 12, or Hodge at 12 or 15 look likely to me under a White team.

        • Custard Taht

          Stewart could be a bolter under Jake. Young, but is a solid defender and kicker.

      • BarneySF
        • Custard Taht

          Nah, no way there are that many fans left.

        • Missing Link

          Last one out turn off the lights?

      • idiot savant

        Yes I think thats right. He had Toomua at 10 in 2013 and the Brums made the final. Im not sure Toomua’s kicking is as good these days.

        • Hitcho

          I’d take Toomua’s kicking over Foley’s… well everything!

        • Brumby Runner

          But is it his kicking, or the type of kicking dictated by a game plan? If there is a game plan.

    • Duvstar

      He liked Toomua but didn’t really use him for his kicking at all – more his ability to take it to the line if I remember correctly.

      This was a team that had Lealiifano at 12 (who kicked from the tee), Jesse Mogg’s monster boot from 15 and Nic White for box kicks and long distance penalties. Lealiifano scored all our points in that final (1 try and a good 5 or so kicks). Some of the best kickers we’ve seen in Australian rugby for some time.

      They also had a serious forward pack – Sio, Moore, Alexander, Fardy, Carter, G Smith, B Mowen.

      But yes, if any man can come in at a late time and get together a late game plan it’s Jake White – very shrewd tactician

      • Who?

        And willing to listen. It was the fact he dragged in Eddie that gave him the tactical edge in 2007…

      • John Miller

        That backrow alone almost carried the Brumbies to the 2013 title.

        The other important aspect of any Jake White coached team: any thoughts of player power are crushed at the front door.

        • Who?

          True. Though it wasn’t the brutal dictatorship some might expect…

        • John Miller

          Absolutely right Who? White walked the fine line surprisingly well in Pony-land. Established his assertiveness early, closed the door on the “here’s how we do things around here” discussions quickly, and managed to do so without ostracising any players, whilst actually galvanising the group.

          I understand that a push towards the status quo by senior Brumby ringleaders was met with something akin to: “That may have been how things went. It isn’t how things are going to go. There’s either a jersey or a door awaiting your response.”

        • Bakkies

          Yep that’s how it should be when what went on isn’t working.

        • Bakkies

          The back row is the most important aspect of modern Rugby. The keys to Wales wins against the Wallabies were Ellis Jenkins and Justin Tipuric. Faletau, Navidi and James Davies no there. Warburton retired. Always related Tipuric and he has excellent tracking and ball skills. Lineout option too. I saw Ellis Jenkins play under age and knew he had something but it has taken a while to break through.

          The Lions openside options are ridiculous the most open race in history. Van der Flier, Leavy, Watson, Underhill, Davies, Barclay, Tipuric. Then you have Jenkins and Curry starting to make their mark at test level. You also can never rule out O’Brien despite his set backs.

  • Simon

    I believe the full Cheika quote was:

    “We’ve been really clear with Sean about what we’d like. I’d like him to sign for a relative pittance in Australia so I can select him in the squad to provide the illusion there’s competition for spots, when in reality we all know who I’m going to pick irrespective of form and he might get 10 minutes off the bench in the big games and if he’s really lucky maybe a start against Uruguay.”

    • RF

      Cheika will never pick an Australian squad again, even in the unlikely event that he stays on. I don’t think that we can blame him for this, even though people will.

      • Patrick

        Yes we can. I think he remains the only forward in all of Australia besides David Pocock who can consistently hit the gain line/oppponent with a low centre of gravity and hunger to keep going. Put it this way, if that had been McMahon on Saturday, there’d be less of Owen Farrell than there is now and there’d be a try on the board.

        And he is in Japan because he knows that some talented high-potential 85kg tackle bag from NSW is gonna get picked ahead of him no matter what.

        • hippyb9

          Whilst Sean McMahon is a fabulous loose forward, unfortunately he is another small one in international terms. Up against the Vunipolas and Vermeulens, it is an uphill battle notwithstanding his trademark determination.

        • Patrick

          At least with him we know there will be a battle, whichever way the hill is sloping.

        • RF

          Who is the 85kg high-potential tackle bag from NSW? Hooper is the same weight as McMahon (and a lower centre of gravity).

          McMahon is a loss to Australian rugby, it’s unfortunate that he’s not going to stick around but he’s in Japan because he’s a professional and he will earn a lot more money. RA can’t afford to pay big contracts to players down the pecking order.

          You could argue a case for McMahon being ahead of Hooper, I don’t agree personally.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Bullshit! Of course he is to blame. I actually don’t think he’ll ever accept a selection panel and if one is forced on him all it’ll do is provide him an excuse

        • RF

          This just seems to be a product of the current sentiment around the manager. Cheika is not to blame and it is not “bullshit”

          McMahon is going because he is being offered a contract far above what he should be commanding here as a 24 year old of his standing.

          Pocock and Hooper are widely regarded as two of the finest professional rugby players in Australia and have been for the last few years. I agree with that consensus, I understand that some people here do not and have been unnecessarily patronising about it, but that is their prerogative. The figures being touted around for McMahon’s contract are beyond what RA could offer to a player who will likely struggle to make a match-day squad. He’s a professional in a career with a short shelf-life and he did what most of us would do.

          Michael Cheika gave McMahon his test debut as a 20 year old who had just completed his first season in senior rugby, and gave him all of his 26 caps. He hasn’t been short-changed. Between 2014 and now there have been better players ahead of him. He is now developing into a player who can deservedly make a claim for a spot in the team and is at the age where players typically make this breakthrough. It’s sad to see him go.

          It’s unfortunate that he is going but it is up to him. It’s a lot of money. The latest attempts to demonise Cheika is just part of the mob mentality prevalent here. He’s failed as Wallabies coach and people will just throw any mud at him knowing there are like-minded people in the echo chamber who will back it up.

        • Pocock and Hooper may be two of the finest back row forwards in Australia. I’ll grant you one of those without batting an eyelid, with the other I’m more of the opinion he’s eye-catching but I’m less convinced about what he actually achieves.

          In 2015 the Pooper, and if we’re being honest a dubious call in a quarter final, helped the Wobs reach the RWC final. Since then, it has looked less and less effective – I know in 2017 Pocock was away – but in 2018 the best looking back row performance, in my opinion at least, was when Hooper was unavailable. McMahon might not be the answer, he seems like a 6.5 to me but he’s likely to play 6 better than Hanigan, who Cheika seems to insist on picking. He could back Pocock up at a second fetcher, if a new coach put Pocock in the 7 shirt, then pick from a range of number 8’s. Yes, that means dropping Hooper. Heretical I know. But this approach would have had, potentially McMahon at around 50-60 caps if he’d turned into the kind of blindside that could be there. He’d be a senior player, expecting to produce in Japan and in the next RWC too.

          McMahon may not have turned into that quality player, and a youngster like Dempsey might turn into a threat for that longer run too. We’ll never know now.

          You may be of the opinion that the Pooper is still working. I’m more of the opinion that Cheika is stuck in his selection policies, despite what’s happening on the pitch and playing favourites. Head coaches have to make tough calls and some perfectly good players aren’t quite good enough. There’s a guy called Nick Evans, 16 caps for the All Blacks. He’s best known, though, for playing for Harlequins in England. Why? He played at 10 and he was a year younger than this guy called Dan Carter… McMahon could be that guy. But given the weirdness of his other selections, I’m prepared to say I think it’s another Cheika issue.

        • RF

          Hard to disagree with that really.

          I’m not of the opinion that Pooper is working. Its not, but I don’t see much of anything working under Cheika in the last 3 years.

          Our best performances this year were in June against Ireland, they both played fine (Pocock was exceptional though) we’ve been awful everywhere since then. I’m still of the hope that they can play together under a difference coaching team.

        • Hope springs eternal. It is certainly possible that with a new coaching setup they could work together better. Wales rarely, but occasionally, played Tipuric and Warburton together – it mostly needed Warburton being fit and Lydiate injured. That gave them two genuine fetchers who should be in the conversation for a NH XV if not a World XV, at least until Warburton retired earlier this year. Neither of them might have made it in any given year, but they would be in the running. Gatland and McBryde managed to get them working together well and the team performed without a genuine 6 so it can be done, even in the modern game. It did put strain on the tight five in particular, because they’re both built like whippets, to get to the breakdown and jackal over the ball, they couldn’t do some of those big heavy impact runs you want from a 6, so they shifted back to the tight five running in slightly unusual channels.

          I just think the roles of the back row positions are different and they’re all there for a reason. As injury cover, like with Savea for Read, or Tipuric for Lydiate, you can run with two fetchers and adapt slightly to cover their deficiencies while, in Savea’s case he mostly plays straight up 8, they adapt to his different play style compared to Read, in Tipuric’s case they work out a system for first and second fetcher and stick to it, and cover the fact he’s too tall and skinny (relatively) to be a blindside. But it’s a short-term fix, not the regular starting choice. (That said, I think Savea at 8 could be a solution for the AB post-Japan if he wants to make the move and Cane or Todd slots in at 7 and maybe Fifita at 6.)

        • Bakkies

          Eloise don’t forget that Wales had Faletau at 8 to balance out the back row and they could all jump in the lineout. Lydiate was originally an openside but changed his game.

          Scotland have done the same when they played Barclay and Watson at 6 and 7 they had a ball carrying 8. Barclay can also jump.

        • Moriarty once too, I think. But yes, that’s true – although they’ve had had Faletau and more recently Moriarty to do that for them so it wasn’t like a change there. But they probably picked up the slack too from 8. I honestly don’t remember Lydiate as an open side, he just seems more suited to the blindside and always has. The fact they can jump is certainly nice – it’s become useful for a flanker to jump, but it’s not really core for either of them, it’s a bonus. I guess it’s becoming more important as 8’s are changing shape and becoming wrecking balls that can sprint but not jump so much. A flanker or two that can jump so you keep your line out options is important.

        • John Miller

          Lots of good stuff in this entry Eloise. But the Scotland 2015 RWC quarter final banana skin occurred because the Scots dominated the breakdown contest with Pocock unavailable and Cheika playing a tramline focused Hooper with a too-early-to-be-serious McMahon in their first XV third row.

          The really effective dimension of the Pooper alignment is the Pocock bit.

        • I certainly agree with that now.

          I think that in the 2015 RWC, quarter-final aside – thanks for the reminder, it’s more arguable. It might be one of those situations where “these are our best three back row players, we’re going to make it work” and over a tournament you can do that, longer term it’s harder.

          Hooper’s decline is interesting. He clearly puts in effort, running around like a … well you can choose whether you say energiser bunny or lunatic. But his impact is low. Sometimes negative. Is that coaching? Some of it must be, the charging out of the line must be coached. The not getting involved in the breakdown and so on though… that just seems weird to me.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Pocock absolutely. Hooper I’m not so sure. I think he may have been heading that way once but like most players has regressed and is not performing anywhere near as good as he should be.
          I get what you’re saying about Cheika giving McMahon his starts, but he also stopped picking him and while it is absolutely the coaches prerogative to pick who he/she wants in any team, the decision by Cheika to not pick him was why he left for overseas. I think it is also a big reason why he’s playing for the Sunwolves and not in Australia so for that it is Cheika I blame.

    • But – well if he’s in SR, why couldn’t the Wallabies select him?

      • Adrian

        Yes, why not?

        • Who?

          Because their policy states that you’ve got to have an Australian contract going forward, or qualify under the Giteau clause. I’ve long advocated for what Kevino’s said above – it should read that you need to be playing in an RA-affiliated competition. That would allow someone playing for Hawaii in GRR or the Cheetahs in SR to play for the Wallabies.

        • exactly. they can wave their wand and hey prestp McMahon is available. Also would cover non-Aus Rapid Rugby teams….and the Drua…

        • Adrian

          Agree that is how it should be Who

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Because Cheika’s the coach and he isn’t one of his love children

        • Adrian

          I think he was initially a “love child “KRL, but fell out, and decided to leave.

          He was mostly picked from memory once WC was over, and some thought he was lucky bto be in WC squad.

          There have been others who have fallen out including Sitilaki Timmani, Skeleton, Naiyaravoro, Hardwick, and possibly others. Borderline with Lopetti Timmani and Fardy I think.

          I don’t think it is totally black and white, but rather attitude, where some players let their performances do the talking, and others use the training paddock, their mouths or their energy on the field (and I don’t mean Hooper)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I personally think all these players that Cheika has set aside are ones who have questioned him. I don’t think Cheika is someone who manages questioning/criticism well

        • Adrian

          Yes, I’m thinking that too.

          Especially if he has witnesses I suspect

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That is gold mate

  • Cunning Linguist

    Cheika’s plan must be to lull the rest of the rugby world into a false sense of security, having spent the past 3 years losing regularly enough to make everyone else think the Wallies are easy beats. Then, come World Cup time – he will pounce and unleash his hidden ace up his sleeve….Pffft. Sack him now.
    Jake White should have been signed up years ago.

    • RF

      Disagree that White should have been signed up years ago. The ARU/RA has made the right appointments but they don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future.

      Deans was a great coup, the outstanding coach in the Southern Hemisphere. Link was the obvious choice to replace him, and Cheika was the clear choice to replace Link.

      Obviously it hasn’t worked out but hindsight is 20/20.

      We should be setting our stall out to bring in Stuart Lancaster and have him working with the likes of Wessell or Cron and set up some sort of succession plan.

      Jake White would be very much my plan B.

      • Bakkies

        Too early for Cron. He is what two years out of club Rugby. That is not enough. Wessels needs results he only has a losing record.

        White in as head coach. Larkham as backs coach due to his working relationship with White (they both know how to win World Cups), Ryan as defence coach and Gandalf to coach the forwards. Grey and Raiwalui to go. Brumbies and Reds don’t do anything after July. They will only have to bring in one coach not a whole new coaching team.

        Mick Byrne to take a more holistic role so skills development is pushed through from under age to pro/senior Rugby so the test coach has finished products rather than waste time on teaching them how to catch and pass.

        I don’t even know if the RA have a similar Grassroots to Green shirts pathway plan that the IRFU has had for years.

        • RF

          I would prefer Jake White to Cheika but I am against White on principle.

          We have a proud rugby tradition in Australia and a philosophy on how the game should be played. White represents, in my opinion, the antithesis of this. These are desperate times but they don’t necessarily require desperate measures. Let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater.

          Someone like Lancaster would embrace our culture. I mention Cron as someone to join the coaching setup, not lead it.

          As I said I would prefer White to the current setup as we would win more games, but it’s not an either/or situation.

          On a side note, I hold Larkham and the coaches more at fault than Cheika and I sincerely hope that they are not involved in the future of the national team.

        • Singapore Sling

          Is this proud rugby tradition the mythical running rugby? In my opinion the tradition of Australian rugby revolved around intelligence on the field and in the coaches box. We simply out thought our opponents rather than impose a particular plan on them. Cheika purports his Blue Ass Fly game plan as running rugby……if that’s it then bury it with the Clown.

        • RF

          Smart and running rugby are not mutually exclusive.

          Using the current coach’s failings to dismiss its value is specious reasoning.

          We don’t need a reactionary appointment, we just need a good appointment.

        • Singapore Sling

          I agree they are not mutually exclusive. Knowing when to run, when to kick and from where, when to commit numbers to the breakdown and most importantly defence+field position=points

        • Bakkies

          and running over them. Spot on Slinger.

        • Bakkies

          RF that is too romantic a notion and Australian Rugby is too far behind. We are dropping down to France’s level which is way behind the leaders.

          The potential candidates that are Australian are too far behind to even get an interview. A thanks but no thanks email rejection. I mentioned above that Cron is too soon out of club Rugby and achieved nothing concrete at pro level to warrant even an interview. You don’t see people touting Darren Coleman for a Wallabies role.

          What Australian philosophy on how to play the game? Cheika has been pushing that since 2014 and the results are rubbish. Players are regressing. O’Neill scrapped the national coaching development program and it is reflected on the results and the lack of coaches coming through. Knuckles said he struggles to name even Australian coaches abroad let alone at home. I don’t include pencil pushers like Johnson in that.

        • RF

          France, like Australia, has the raw talent though. They need to sort out their structures also but they are in a difficult position where they can’t reign in their clubs which are autonomous. We can take total control of the structures in Australia.

        • Bakkies

          France have the structure but like Australia they have a jobs for the culture in coaching selection where coaches are pushed above their station or way past it and think that they are above having a foreign coach.

          Well the scoreboard paints a picture. The 80s are over and picking a coach that is Australian for the sake of it just doesn’t work. We don’t have the coaching talent of NZ to stick to romance and get results.

          Someone said that Pdivvy was promoted too early I suggest they look at his coaching experience before he got involved with the Boks.

        • RF

          “picking a coach that is Australian for the sake of it just doesn’t work. ”

          I am advocating an Englishman for the job. For France, I reckon they would jump at the chance of having a top class foreign coach.

          France’s biggest problem is that their clubs are autonomous are are bigger than the national team. England is falling into the same trap and the only way for them is down.

          We’re not hamstrung by this and control our own destiny.

        • Bakkies

          An Englishman who hasn’t been a head coach for three years and Lancaster after being hammered in England what makes you think that he will be remotely interested in stepping in to the underfunded cesspit that is Australian Rugby while his family is on the other side of the world?

          Dealing with the idiots in the RA will be child play to White. Boofheads like de Clyne are mature adults compared to the ANC politicians who interfere with SA Rugby.

        • RF

          Because he has already expressed an interest in working down here.

        • Who?

          ‘We’ can’t take control of the structures in Australia. The states have control of RA, but have no control of themselves. The entire system needs to be burned to the ground and rebuilt from scratch with a modern democracy, rather than the feudal nightmare under which we currently live.

        • RF

          I agree, the thing is that we can do that. France and England cannot.

        • Who?

          I so wish we could. But we need to burn down ALL of RA’s power structures and, crucially, remove pretty well every single insider there. And we – the greater rugby public – have no capacity for that. :-(

        • Bakkies

          Control our own destiny? Re-read what you just submitted.

          The RA have a shrinking to greatness policy, completely unbalanced funding and state dominated.

          France have far more talent and professional sides but like Australia pick the wrong coaches who go through far too many coaches. Worse selectors than Cheika so they have players playing in the fear they will get dropped and lack of combinations.

        • RF

          What is the problem with it? We can control our destiny. The clubs are not in the same position as those in England or France, we operate a closed shop

        • Bakkies

          Eh no we can’t. We are going further apart and following our own path after what de Clyne and Puller orchestrated last year.

        • RF

          We can’t control our destiny? Why not? No need to open with insults or condescending “eh”s if that’s ok.

          France operate an independent open league system with dozens of autonomous professional clubs in the league pyramid and many more beneath. French rugby revolves around the elite clubs and the gap grows larger each year, the test side is very much a second priority. This can never change in France unless there is a breakaway which would be disastrous for the national union.

          On the other hand, Australia operates 4 top level professional outfits which are generally controlled by the state unions of the national governing body, at which the national side is the number one priority. There is nothing that cannot be changed in Australian rugby with sufficient time, effort and money. The governing bodies of rugby in SANZAR own the top level competition.

        • Who?

          What you’re missing RF is that the big states control RA, but the big states are both bankrupt and totally self interested. It isn’t a centralised system. It’s not a federation, it’s a feudal – and I use that word very deliberately – confederation. The vassal states don’t always subjugate themselves to their suzerain, and the suzerain’s power is only valid if supported by the vassals. Further, being a feudal system, there’s a lot of nepotism and ineptitude…
          We, the rugby public, might think we can change it, but we have no voice. It’s held by vested interests who’ve installed incompetent fools.

        • RF

          I’m not missing the point, Who. Unlike France, the stakeholders are should share the same common interest and it is potentially fixable. It’s not easy, if it was it would already be done.

        • Bakkies

          Common interest eh? The Brumbies for instance have far different interests to the VRU/Rebels and Waratahs/NSWRU.

        • RF

          It’s interesting that you never accept any points in a discussion and will remain entrenched in your views irrespective of the argument. Even arguing against intelligent coaching earlier. It seems pointless to be even engaging in discussions like this with that kind of an approach.

          The basic structures of the game here versus France means that things can change here’s but they can’t there. That’s not an opinion it’s a fact. Whether or not things will ever change is the debate.

        • Who?

          Running Rugby is a NSW tradition, 10 man rugby actually has some history in Qld.
          However, with the players available at Wallaby level, I don’t see that White would maintain a ‘kick at all times’ policy. He understands that Aussies have a completely different mindset to Saffas. Saffas, when told what to do, will say, “Yes boss” and do it. That’s it. Aussies, White found, would immediately ask, “Why?” Once he got his head around that (that it wasn’t an act of insubordination), my connections say that White appreciated that, because it showed buy in.
          And it’s hard to hold Larkham fully accountable for the backs’ play when history suggests he may not have much say in who’s selected, and has to work with players he’s apparently recently stated don’t have much rugby nous. That doesn’t sound like a coach who’s getting the selections he wants…

        • Singapore Sling

          The running rugby people swoon over was born in 1984 and underpinned by a forward pack of Topo, Tom Lawton, Andy McIntyre, Williams, Cutler, Poidoven and Codey. The highlights reel has of clips of enterprising backs play but the pigs laid the foundations. Anytime a back runs through a gap it’s thought of as running rugby in Australia.

        • Who?

          It was born in the 20’s, peaked in 1928-30 in the Tahs tour of Europe and the Wallabies’ tour of NZ, then disappeared until Cyril Towers taught it at Matraville High in the 70’s. The piggies that developed into the 84 tour and beyond were what made it possible for that style to be a winning style. We’d always run it in the backs, but never as effectively as under the flat attack style of Towers and the Ellas which was only truly possible with that strong pack.

        • Adrian

          Agree Who.
          Need good big forwards for running rugbR to work at Test level

        • onlinesideline

          Thats quite the reply Who. Who are you really ? Gordan Bray ?

          You must have quite the collection of rugby reads..

        • Who?

          No, I’m just some numpty sitting in the backblocks, not even currently an active member of my club (I’m a life member, but not an active member, and not a local member). :-(
          And not that many books. But I retain useless information. :-P
          Towers used to walk miles from home to teach the Ella boys and their classmates at Matraville, and the school coach who allowed him in was the coach of the 78 Schoolboys team that toured Europe.
          I can’t remember who told the story, but someone was watching the Wales/Wallabies 84 game high in the stands at the Arms Park, and the old guy next to him got up early and went to leave. The Aussie asked the Welshman, “Where are you going?” “Home, I’ve seen this game before, I know how it ends?”
          “How have you seen it before?”
          “I was here and saw the Waratahs of 1928…”
          What an incredible compliment to Towers, that the team for whom the poem was written (the game they play in Heaven, the Waratahs of 1928, and 27), when he was regarded the best centre in the world, he was personally able to lay the foundations for its reappearance after over 50 years………. And that style was recognized over half a world away.

        • Brumby Runner

          I am flabbergasted that there is still someone who buys into the Aussie way of playing.

          I know you are a fan of Cheika, but he should be held most responsible for the shambles the Wallabies are in right now. He is the first to go, and then if necessary shunt the assistants as well. But no way can any assistant, Grey included even though he has the worst defensive setup ever on display at test rugby level, be held primarily responsible for the situation that has deteriorated from day 1 of Cheika’s post-2015 tenure.

        • RF

          I am firmly in favour of Cheika being sacked as Wallabies coach and have said that repeatedly here.

          I do believe in the Wallabies way of playing the game. We have a proud tradition of playing intelligent and attractive rugby. That’s what I want to see, what I believe delivers success, what suits our rugby culture, our national psyche, and the type of player we produce.

          Just because our manager has failed doesn’t mean that this is wrong.

        • Bakkies

          What waffle. Go on define our way of playing?

          We haven’t played intelligent Rugby in over a decade.

        • RF

          No need to resort to insults, Bakkies.

          Australian rugby lost its way through most of the 20th century until the 1970s when we started playing intelligent rugby. Learning from others, self-aware of our strengths and weaknesses, being at the cutting edge of the game tactically, analysing the opposition, applying logic, creativity to the game. It is what built the reputation for the Wallabies globally. It is how we closed the gap with the top, and reached the top, without the playing pool. Not just fast, loose and wild or whatever the hell it is that Cheika’s team are doing now.

          You can deride this if you wish but this isn’t a theory I am inventing. I can hardly provide a thesis on “intelligent rugby” here but happy to discuss at length if you are buying the schooners next Bledisloe!

          You say we haven’t played intelligent rugby in over a decade (perhaps, was Eddie Jones the last true proponent of intelligent rugby we’ve had in the job for a long period?) does this counter my argument that we should be playing intelligent rugby? This coincides with the decline in our standing in world rugby.

        • Bakkies

          To play intelligent Rugby you need intelligent players which we don’t have enough of (Link used multiple game plans with the Reds but most of those players have left or aren’t wanted by Cheika), intelligent game plans and intelligent coaches who strategise.

          By the way I didn’t resort to insults. Time is well past most of what you are saying. The so called Australian way of playing and philosophy is long gone.

          We need to resort to going back to the absolute basics if the players don’t buy in to that they can go elsewhere. Joe Schmidt turned Ireland around in a few months after losing to Italy and came fifth under Declan Kidney by playing absolute basic Rugby.

        • RF

          The time for what I say (Learning from others, self-aware of our strengths and weaknesses, being at the cutting edge of the game tactically, analysing the opposition, applying logic, creativity to the game) is long gone?

        • Bakkies

          Yes it went out the window when Knuckles and the last of the players from the amateur to pro era went. In came a new breed along with more than a few players that were hyped at school level than went in to pro and test Rugby without the maturity and rounded skill set.

        • Adrian

          Agree 100% RF, especially last paragraph…. notwithstanding that Cheika is responsible for them

        • Patrick

          I think the ship has sailed insofar as getting your knickers in a knot about “the Australian way” is concerned. Because what we have had for three years now is not that either.

        • RF

          I know it is not. We have no “way”, we’re inept that is why we want Cheika out

        • phil peake

          Agree re. Cron. His brain needs to be in there.

        • John Miller

          “…and Gandalf to coach the forwards”.

          Good chuckle at that one Bakkies.

      • Silver Ghost

        good comments RF.
        And totally agree with you.
        The last 3 years have been disappointing, but lets not rewrite history. Cheika took us to a RWC final, when we thought we might be the team to bow out of the “pool of death”

        Time for him to move on now. Lancaster and/or Nucifora would be great.

        • Who?

          We only thought that because his players created such a rift in the Wallabies that the previous coach felt completely powerless. In June 2014, on a run of 7 straight wins, I felt pretty jolly good about our prospects in 2015.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          And, really, Joubert took us to the World Cup final.

          This will sound cruel, but I honestly believe Cheika owes a lot of his reputation to incorrect refereeing decisions by Joubert.

        • Who?

          Ouch!!! Scotland, and the 2014 SR Final..?

        • RF

          Would his reputation have been bad if the Crusaders won that game? Would we ignore all the other great work he did transforming the Waratahs?

          Can we review every other decision in that game or only that one?

          Can we selectively look through his Leinster history to discredit that, how about his Shute Shield at Randwick?

          The desperation to discredit him because he’s failed as Wallabies coach is really sad.

        • Who?

          If you look at his successes (Leinster and the Tahs), both were built off having a crazy, running, big 6. Why hasn’t he ever tried this for the Wallabies..? He controls everything, certainly selection.
          There’s plenty around Leinster who aren’t Cheika’s biggest fans.

        • RF

          Any Leinster fan who has lived through the amateur era through to Matt Williams, Declan Kidney and subsequently Matt O’Connor would appreciate the absolutely amazing job he did there and you just need to talk to any player involved about what he did.

          Cheika is a failure as Wallabies coach. Doesn’t change his past.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’re right, he had one very good year at Leinster.

          He’s never had or built sustained success anywhere though; the opposite of White, who has done it almost everywhere.

        • Who?

          Ask Mike Ross what he thinks of Cheika… The current WR player of the year is on record as saying, “Everyone’s a bit afraid of Michael Cheika.” Is that the way you run a team – by terrifying your players..? I’m not sure that’s sustainable. It’s not the Macqueen way, which has become the modern way (even Graham Henry had to learn to take a more collegial approach to tactics and strategy).

        • RF

          I’ve read Mike Ross’ book and you are taking a partial quote without context.

          Come on, Who, you’re better than “D Braithwaite”, do you really need to go down this rabbit hole of discrediting everything he has done?

        • Who?

          I don’t know that I’m better than anyone – I’m just as big a fool as anyone else posting on here. :-)
          I’m not discrediting everything he’s done, I’m saying he’s not universally loved or universally successful.
          Not being universally successful doesn’t mean he’s a failure. Macqueen wasn’t near as successful with the Rebels as he was with the Tahs or Brums (let alone the Wallabies). Woodward wasn’t always successful. Ted definitely wasn’t always successful
          But you’ve got to learn from your mistakes, you’ve got to surround yourself with people smarter than yourself and be willing to listen to what they say (also a major failing for Deans, and something Ted had to work out. It’s something Link did quietly – he had great backroom staff, we just mostly didn’t know their names, or exactly how much influence they had. And it’s something White actually does well). Cheika seems disinterested from the day to day running of the team, which is partially man management (which he now seems to love), and tactics. How can a head coach improve when he doesn’t spend the time on how his team plays the game?

        • RF

          There is absolutely no argument that he is universally successful. He has failed in the Wallabies job, i want him out.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I am a Leinster fan and previously from Dublin, and while I was not living there while Cheika coached Leinster, I do appreciate his results there.

          Doesn’t change anything else I’ve said though. He can have good short term results when he motivates a strong squad. He hasn’t never demonstrated the strategic or coaching nous to build sustained success, however.

        • RF

          His last game as Leinster coach was the Heineken Cup final, he built Leinster to that status and lay the foundations for his successor (a superior coach) to immediately continue that success.

          He similarly built on the ashes of Michael Foley’s reign of terror in Sydney to build the Waratahs from the ground up into Super Rugby champions. The following season, in a dual-role, the Waratahs coasted to the Australian conference and went out in the semi-final to the eventual winners of the competition.

          If you write this off then you can hardly claim that Jake White (a world class coach) has built sustained success anywhere as all of his successes were one-offs too. And that is not discrediting White who is a fantastic manager.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Actually, despite Larkham not being ready to be a head coach the Brumbies made the finals from 2014-17.

          And despite PDV being sneered at the Boks were the top team in the world in 09, won the Lions series and PDV had the best professional record of anyone vs the All Blacks other than Christie and Macqueen.

        • RF

          So you are crediting White with the Brumbies “sustained success” after he left, but not extending the same courtesy to Cheika? Leinster won 3 European titles and a league in the 3 years after he departed, but he gets no credit for it?

          Not very consistent.

        • Who?

          I guess DBTB’s point is that White instituted a complete cleanout at the Brumbies and handed it off to assistants he developed, wheres Cheika had St Joe step in, and Cheik wasn’t responsible for a major restructure and cleanout like White was. That doesn’t mean that Cheika didn’t have an impact in the speed of St Joe’s success. I always say the first 12 months of a coach’s tenure are really a continuation of the previous coach’s tenure (hence I credit Connolly for Deans’ first Bledisloe win, and give a little grace to Deans over the 8-53 loss in SA, as he was completely deconstructing and reconstructing the Wallaby defensive system). But just as equally, Cheika handed the Tahs off to Gibson and they went through some rough times.

        • RF

          In fairness, Who, do you really think that was DBTB’s was trying to fairly assess Cheika? Looking at his posts here it is clearly just another attempt to remove any credit from Cheika’s past.

          Cheika wasn’t able to clear out the playing staff en-masse in Leinster and had to largely work with what he was given. Is that an easier job? He deserves enormous credit for building what he did in Leinster. He took a side derided as “lady-boys” with non-existent structures off the pitch and moulded them into European Champions laying the groundwork for European dominance.

          This in no way means that White should not be given credit for his outstanding achievements in the game or that we should pretend that Cheika’s reign as Wallabies coach can be regarded as anything but a failure. None of this is black and white.

        • Bakkies

          Nick Mallett’s record against the ABs is good.

        • Old_Laurentian

          Well said.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          So he had one good result with Leinster, and would have taken the Tahs to a single final.

          Club rugby is irrelevant.

          Hardly a fantastic CV. Cheika still dines out on winning the 2014 final and getting the Wallabies to the World Cup final – both were the result of Joubert making refereeing errors.

        • RF

          That is such a remarkably inaccurate assessment of his coaching record I don’t even know where or start.

          You are not prepared to give him any credit whatsoever, that is your prerogative. Not sure what the point in having a discussion is when your views are so entrenched.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How is it factually inaccurate? If you can point out where I’m factually wrong, then I’ll be happy to admit it. However, I think you’ll find my comment is factually true, and while everyone has the right to their own opinion, they do not have the right to their own facts.

        • RF

          We all felt good about Link.

          In an ideal world we would now be talking about who should be replacing Link after his second world cup cycle ends next year, and in an ideal world this would have been where Cheika would come in after continued success with the Waratahs.

          Unfortunately that is not how it worked out.

        • Who?

          I’m not confident Cheika would’ve had sustained success at the Tahs. Because of his failings as a tactical leader. He’s shown no capacity to evolve and adapt.
          But agree we’d be looking at Link’s replacement, had the board not backed a player over the coach, had the board not backed the Tah playing faction (who backed Beale) over the coach.
          It’s fascinating that Wayne Smith (journo) has written this week (not verbatim), “I was ok with Cheika – I still held hope – until last week, when Pocock was ruled out and he mentioned to me that he was thinking of bringing in Beale as cover even though by that point we knew he was suspended for a breach of team protocols.”
          To even consider removing punishments to cover your own backside, by going to a bloke who’s clearly been out of form, it shows that Cheika’s totally devoid of ideas. And is more beholden to his mates than anything else.

        • RF

          Perhaps. At Leinster his side did tactically evolve and adapt though. Compare the one dimensional side that got hammered at home in the 2006 semi final to the won that beat Leicester in 2010. The personnel was not a million miles away, the evolution of the team was clear for all to see.

          We never got to see what would have become of the Waratahs under Cheika, maybe it all would have ended in tears. There was a big dip without him though.

          As for the Wallabies, he has been a failure as Wallabies coach plain and simple. We could talk all day about mistakes etc. That’s why he needs to go.

        • Old_Laurentian

          Well said RF that’s where the rot started. “Had the board not backed a player over the coach, had the board not backed the Tah playing faction (who backed Beale) over the coach.” Despicable. Unforgettable.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        How was Cheika the obvious choice?

        Because he was Waratahs coach, or because Joubert made an incorrect refereeing decision, allowing him to win super rugby?

        White won a World Cup, he was obviously a better choice than Cheika. But Cheika had the support of the NSW faction.

        • RF

          This revisionism discrediting prior achievements is really in keeping with just throwing shit at a failing manager. Saying that Cheika only got it because of an NSW faction is ludicrous. He got it because of his CV.

          Cheika was the outstanding choice and Link was the outstanding choice. When you have an outstanding option like that in your own country you go for it. We don’t have an option like this now which is why we should be looking overseas.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How did Cheika’s CV stack up to White’s?

          The answer is, not well.

          Given that White’s CV is far superior to Cheika’s, and Cheika got the job after coaching NSW, I think it’s a fair bet to say he probably got it due to the NSW faction.

        • RF

          In 2013 Jake White quit the Brumbies because he was overlooked by the ARU for the big job which they gave to Link. He was in the Australian system at this stage. Why didn’t the all-powerful NSW faction scupper this? Did Link get it because of the QLD faction?

          Of course not.

          Link was the outstanding choice because of his CV. Jake White may be an excellent coach and he may have won a World Cup, but there is more to consider than that. Link was a product of Australian rugby and a rarity in our game in the professional era, a highly regarded coach on the global stage. He was the right man for the job.

          Cheika was the exact same, except with a slightly stronger CV than Link’s.

          The saddest thing in all of this is that we should be going into Link’s final 12 months in the job now and talking about the merits of Cheika taking over for 2020.

        • onlinesideline

          How was Cheikas CV slighty stronger than Links ? Link won the 2011 comp and took 2 other teams to a Super final in the hardest provincial comp in the world. Cheika won 1 x Super final and Leinster. I’d say Link came out on top there. Super rugby was and always will be the hardest comp to win with the highest standard of teams across the comp.

        • RF

          I’m not dissing Link in any way, he had a great CV.
          Cheika won the Heineken Cup and Super Rugby which is why I said slightly stronger, I accept the counter view though. The point is that they were both outstanding candidates at the time.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Is winning that better than winning a World Cup?

          If White had been the benefit of an incorrect refereeing decision in 2013, he would have won super rugby also.

        • RF

          And if the Crusaders weren’t incorrectly given a try decision the game would have been more comfortable for the Waratahs, or are we only allowed to use certain decisions to retrospectively attack someone we don’t like

        • Old_Laurentian

          And for me Link could produce a new team strategy every week — intelligent analysis of opponents and the ability to take his team into new territory consistently.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Cheika had a stronger CV than Link?

          Why, because Joubert made an incorrect referring decision (which he admitted afterwards), which gave the Tahs the win?

        • RF

          Did you even watch that Super Rugby final? You should go back and watch it and see if you can find any other contentious decisions. Be warned, it won’t suit your agenda though.

        • Old_Laurentian

          So true, but dreams…

        • OnTheBurst

          To be fair, NSW won Super Rugby in 2014 because they were the best team of the year, they were minor premiers and fully deserved the championship.

          Bit of a cheap shot to say it was one Joubert decision that made it happen. Not least it’s a disingenuous point, as there were other decisions in that match (like Nadolo’s try-that-wasn’t) that went against the Tahs, as much as the Kiwi narrative prefers to ignore it…

      • Old_Laurentian

        Except for the mis-step that says Link shouldn’t have been replaced.

  • Silver Ghost

    I know ‘tell’m he’s dreaming’ but give Lancaster and Nucifora (as a pair) 5 games lead up and then RWC and that would suit me down to the ground.
    Come on RA make a positive move!

    • subfreq

      Nucifora has been the architect of Ireland’s success behind the scenes. Would be brilliant to get him back after the WC doing the same for us.

      • Silver Ghost

        Do we really have to wait until after the RWC?
        The problem for Nucifora is that all the ‘player power’ guys that pushed him out of the Brumbies are still influential – Larkham, Gregan, Kafer to name 3.
        He would be great though.

        • Adrian

          That’s what I mean by Foxtel mafia

      • RF

        I think that is generous to Nucifora.

        He’s the High Performance Director but it is the office rather than he who fills it. It seems that Joe Schmidt is pulling the strings there anyway. The role has been the catalyst for the national coach dictating selections, policies, transfers etc to the provincial sides (and this I believe is key to any hope we have going forward).

        The driver of talent can possibly be attributed to Guy Easterby and Simon Broughton (a kiwi) who are practically running the strongest nursery in world rugby at the moment in Leinster.

        Rugby Australia needs a position like Nucifora’s (possibly even with Nucifora) which will structure, regulate and dictate rugby issues to our Super Rugby teams. This is essential.

        This would give a world class coaching setup an opportunity to thrive and compete on a level playing field with the teams which have over-taken them.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Didn’t Nucifora fail at every role since he was removed as Brumbies coach? Maybe Ireland’s success is primarily down to Schmidt and the coaching at the provinces, more so than Nucifora?

        And don’t tell me he was behind the Brumbies’ 04 victory when I have it on good authority that he was effectively removed halfway through the season, and the senior players coached the team from then. We don’t need any more divisive figures like Cheika.

        • Bakkies

          Nucifora is a figurehead to oversee and coordinate pro Rugby. Previously a committee I think it was called the pro game board did the same role. The overseas player contract positions at Munster, Ulster and Leinster along with player management preceded Nucifora.

    • Adrian

      It won’t happen Silver, because the boys at Foxtel hate him (Nuicifora)

      Would be great if Castle put Foxtel on their arse…..IMO

  • Happyman

    Fellow GAGR’s
    On the last week before we have to search inferior sites for our rugby content let me add this as I have been away for a couple of days. Thanks to all of the contributors both at the top of the page and in the comments sections they have made a frustrating year of Rugby more enjoyable.
    My thoughts below
    -Aus Rugby is in the position of NZ 2007. It is either MC and his assistants that have to go or just the assistants. Either way we have the opportunity to have root and branch change where we look at the structural problems in the game. Our systems are antiquated.
    -I really don’t care who the Wallabies coach is for next years RWC we are no chance of winning it anyway.
    -We need to start afresh the role to be filled is a National Director of Rugby and the person to do that is either of Scott Johnson (Running Scottish Rugby) or David Nucifora (Running Irish Rugby) Both are Australians and high level operators who are not in the Boys club that are currently running the place.
    – Both have put systems in place that have rewarded players who express themselves when they play and recruited high quality individuals who have flourished in there roles and improved the quality of the systems
    – Supporting sport is built on hope first and then results. Every person I speak to is just sick of the bias towards certain players either perceived or real and the acceptance of poor performance and tactics on a continued basis this has to change. It is one thing when you say this player over that but when everyone just says WTF Foley at 12
    – Our need is to change the basis of our entire coaching structures from size to skill based that will require all of the stakeholders from under 6 to the Wallabies to upskill and be seen as part of the pathway.
    -I have no doubt it can be done and I have no doubt we have the capability in this country. Green shoots are springing up all over the place. There are groups and individuals who are giving up time at every level to help others who ask for the help for free so it not a question of money it is a question of organisation and good will.
    – The ball is RA’s court and they need to show some much needed backbone and leadership something that has been lacking from that organisation for many years.

    • RF

      I do agree.

      In my opinion the problem is Cheika’s coaching team rather than Cheika himself, who is an accomplished manager. I don’t think that anyone would be successful with that ticket.

      But, it is his ticket. There is so much bad blood etc now that I don’t see how Cheika can possibly continue in the role. Under no circumstances should his coaches be forced on his successor either. We need a clean sweep and there is no reason not to ahead of the world cup. The “we can’t afford it” argument doesn’t take into account the financial and commercial realities of our situation, we can afford it. With the commercial implications of the next 18 months we cannot afford not to.

      I actually think that this will all make Cheika a better coach going forward, he will be very considered in his next backroom staff team.

      • Bakkies

        The problem starts at Schoolboys not enough comp games and the national coach is picked on teaching experience over actual coaching. Andrew Moloney over the likes of Phil Mooney is brain dead. As I mentioned below the RA are exasperating the issues with dumb management.

        They are going in with far less games together compared to their opposition. Planning for a specific JWC starts when the relevant age group is at school.

        Cheika is one of the root causes he picks an unbalanced pack that are under skilled, too nice and lack ball carriers. Throw in poor clean out work. You can’t play a 1-3-3-1 pod system when the forwards lack those key pointers. The backs are trying to skip them by going wide too early or sideways which allows the opposition defence to stick to 101 by drifting them in to touch.

        • Singapore Sling

          Phil Mooney the perfect example of wasted talent in Australian rugby. A travesty of unrealised potential.

        • Bakkies

          Mooney isn’t the only one. We have got far more experienced coaches in the schools that have worked in high levels previously than we have working professionally in the five sides.

      • Who?

        I don’t know that you can fully blame Cheika’s coaching staff. They’re dealing with the selection policies put in front of them. They’re working fully under Cheika’s approval. If Cheika has a problem with Grey’s defence or Larkham’s attack, Mick’s skills work or Simon’s lineout and scrum coaching, he’s the boss, he can argue it.
        He’s had Grey with him since what, 2013?! And through most of that time, we’ve had the same issues in defence. Once opponents figured out how to unlock it, we were done. There’s been far too little adaptation over the past 3 years.
        Cheika might have a good record at a lower level, but so did Deans. It doesn’t mean that you can get the best available from the best players, which is what you’ve got to do at national level. At provincial level, you can recruit and refuse to build the structure you want, and play the game you want. At the top level, if you’re missing the key player you need for your game plan, you can’t just buy him in. It’s eligibility-based, not money based.

        • RF

          No doubt Cheika is better suited to managing at provincial level where you have more flexibility.

        • Huw Tindall

          Think we are really missing Ledesma in the setup. He seemed a guy who could tell Chek how it is to his face. The honesty of a friend and experienced campaigner. Larkham and Grey are in Chek’s shadow.

      • Happyman

        Fair call absolute power and all that.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Not much to say that I havnt said already. But I will add this:
    Do we think that McMahon has signed with Sunwolves because he has categorically been told by the Ass Clown that he is not in the selection framework.
    Did Mcmahon get another version of QC’s “Go and find your enjoyment of rugby again.”
    I would rather McMahon in the team than Hooper!

    • Silver Ghost

      A back row of McMahon, Naisarani, Pocock, with Demsey on the bench (or Demsey start and McMahon on the bench) would be a great back row.
      Good luck to McMahon though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        SG. I wish him all the best. I am not cranky with him for taking opportunities elsewhere. I am devastated that he, Liam F’ing Gill and a number of other players have been forced off shore to accommodate a person who isnt even the 3rd best 7 in the country, to be in the squad and to be its captain. Cheika is responsible for this!

        • Silver Ghost

          I’m not as big on Gill as you and some others, but that’s OK (that’s what these forums are for!)
          But we all know the current backrow is unbalanced and agree with you that it’s sad to see McMahon go.
          The Wallabies have form in this area though. Remember previous coaches trying to shoehorn Smith and Waugh into the same side. It didn’t work then either.
          Pick your best 6, best 7 and best 8, and build a combination.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Couldnt agree more.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely

      • RF

        Ah Hooper is a top class player and will at the very least always be in the 23.
        He’s out of his depth as a captain and in a poorly managed and poorly coached side. Under different circumstances he can be a fantastic player for us.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I dont have an issue with him being on the bench as a Super Sub. the little energizer bunny that comes on against tired legs. I definitely see a spot for Hooper there. Just not as the starting 7 and not as the Captain.

        • RF

          I wouldn’t give up hope of accomodating Hooper and Pocock in the same team under a better manager/coaching team. But I agree, Pocock starts at 7 regardless and Hooper shouldn’t be captain.

        • idiot savant

          Its a bit like having Cane and Savea on the ground together. I think the ABs have tried it when Reid was injured but clearly haven’t persevered with it. Morgan Turinui observed that having both Pocock and Hooper on the ground playing like 7s in defence has sometimes led to shortened numbers in the defensive line as they both commit to rucks and both follow the ball like 7s. Poidevin observed that because their workrate is so high the front row in particular have become used to making less tackles. These are some of the flow on effects of playing two 7s that aren’t as obvious as missing one big ball runner and line out jumper. Add it all up though and it adds to the complexity of the rugby under Cheika.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah really valid points. Simple plan, ruthlessly executed. Played by players who are the best in their position and trained collectively to bed down combinations. It is not rocket surgery.

        • Hoss

          Rocket Surgery ?? You keep me young Mr Briz.

        • Who?

          That’s now an accepted mixed metaphor, Hoss. One of my favourites in general conversation. :-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          We used to call them Darganism’s! When I first joined the Army there was a bunch of old school Sergeants! Ex-Vietname viets. Hard as nails, great soldiers! But they were not blessed with high levels of education and speaking skills. they would often confuse sayings. Rocket surgery was a mix of the two sayings “Its not Rocket science” and “Its not brain surgery!” The old fellas would clip the two sayings together. Whether on purpose to be funny or just accidentally. Either way that is where the saying came from.

        • John Tynan

          Easy tiger, it can’t be that simple….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Except that when Savea was 8 he played the 8 role because Cane played the 7 role instead of running around and achieving nothing. Savea is actually a pretty good 8 option

        • The difference is, the AB use it when Read is injured and Savea brings something to the team that Cane doesn’t, with those tight driving ball carries and he keeps those soft hands that Read has. He lets Cane run wider, more like Read does when the play breaks down. They lose a bit of finesse at the base of the scrum – they’re losing someone whose played number 8 all his life for someone who fills in, and a line out jumper, but as a side they’re good enough to adjust.

          The Wobs… despite the Pooper being their starting structure for ages, don’t seem to adjust to having both of them. If you think back to when Waugh and Smith were selected to counter McCaw, they changed the way they played to accommodate each other. That doesn’t seem to happen now.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Why should he at the very least always be in the 23?

          We need a maximum of two 7s in the 23 – Pocock is clearly our best, and I would definitely have McMahon over Hooper these days, and maybe Gill.

        • RF

          He would clearly be in the match-day 23 as the majority of people would rate him as being one of the 2 best loose-forwards we have.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Would a majority of people rate him above McMahon?

        • Adrian

          Yes, I think they would Worldwide DBTB

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not those who understood rugby and the 7 role

        • Bernie Chan

          IMHO…if we were picking a #7 to be the best #7 then the order would be 1. Pocock, 2. Gill (though I thought Gilly was closing in on Pocock with his all-round skillset..), 3. McMahon, 4. Hooper…but I’m just a paying spectator anyway.

        • Adrian

          Agree 100%

        • Mica

          Hooper’s a centre. They really should have identified this years ago. I guess in the current team we just like to play out of position so I guess playing him at 7 fits. All you need to think of is does he remind you more of Sam Cane or Ryan Crotty?

        • Adrian

          Mica, in my fantasy team Hooper is on the bench covering every position from 7 to 15, depending upon where speed, defence and basic ball skills were required. That would often be in the centres

        • Bakkies

          Van der Flier is shorter than Hooper I believe but makes a lot more tackles and is regularly over the ball.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I don’t think he offers enough over the others to be in the team. Yeah he’s a little energiser bunny running around everywhere really fast, but he’s actually pretty ineffective on the field and doesn’t actually achieve much. I see him in the future being a really highly paid Super rugby player

      • onlinesideline

        Im not convinced losing Macca is a huge loss. He definitely had his moments, made some determined breaks and made some relentless cover tackles but I also remember in certain matches, the bigger matches, against the Poms for instance, he was ineffectual at getting over the advantage line by virtue of his size. Often he seemed to be just halted and thensquashed. With the packs looking even bigger all round 2 years later, especially, the northern sides, I would be very worried having him at 8. Was he ever really an 8 anyhow ?

        IMO we need each positions to be fielded by people with the perfect physical dimesions / specs thats required of that position. Why do we think we can field blokes who arent while Ireland, England, Saffas, ABs, Argies all field no 8s that are basically beasts with speed. We just seem delusional with this thinking. The idea Macmahon will out run the opposition in the last 20 or anyone else is delusional too. Every side has subbies. Playmaking, intelligent kicking, changing direction, players working together properly, adjusting tactics, skills, proper team selections win matches. Is Macmahon anything more than a workhorse ?

        • onlinesideline

          Agree OLSL.

        • Silver Ghost

          Mate, happy for you to prefer Demsey over McMahon. That’s the constructive purpose of these forums. And would be a great debate.
          Today we are forced to discuss Demsey, Hooper, Pocock and Ned Flanders (with occassionally the sacrificial Lukhan Tui) as our only choices.

          Having read the articles Dylan references above, I wonder how much guys like McMahon were also stuff around having to play 6,7 and 8 (agree with you ,he’s not an 8)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree he’s a 7 not an 8. I just think he’s a better 7 than Hooper

        • hippyb9

          It was a pity that Jed Holloway was unable to be picked on the recent tour. He has potential as a number 8.

        • 100% agree he’s not an 8. I’m not as stuck on the Pooper as some. I think he might have a role as 6 with Pocock at 7 and Hooper on the bench, or some other bench, watching the match to be brutally honest.

      • Adrian

        Yes, I’d start Dempsey

    • Singapore Sling

      He basically admitted he was behind “others” for his favoured open side position. A few weeks after saying that he said his body could not sustain the ball carrying role Cheika expected.

      • Who?

        Hadn’t heard him admitting his body couldn’t maintain that ball carrying. It’s true.
        It’s something they’re shortly going to face in the NFL. Their top high school prospect is currently a running back, who’s decided that, in college, he’s going to turn himself into a linebacker. Because linebackers make more money and have longer careers. Running backs get smashed on every carry, get injured, have shorter careers and make less money. Why would you go for a ball carrying role?!

        • Singapore Sling

          This mate https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/sean-mcmahon-says-he-could-be-retired-from-rugby-at-age-30-as-japan-stint-appears-on-horizon-20171125-gzspgu.html

          After a sunwolves game here I spoke with a fringe Wallabies ex Reds player. We were talking about skill drills for kids/juniors and adults. He said in 2015 RWC squad the second best passer both sides at pace in the Wallabies squad was McMahon. Interesting not because it was McMahon but because it wasn’t a back….

        • Who?

          Fascinating…
          I’m not surprised that a forward who was that far up the passing pecking order. Because the Tahs forwards threw some passes this year that made Foley’s efforts in Gold look like U8’s efforts. There was one try I saw (can’t remember who it was against – maybe the Chiefs?) where three consecutive Tahs forwards threw 5-10m passes left to right across their bodies running straight ahead at full pace to put an open winger in for a try. All the passes were in front of the runner. I’d have been impressed if they were backs, but they were forwards…

        • Ads

          Kepu generally has a great pass/offload. And put some of that down to Cron too. He should be in line for forwards coach if not too soon…

        • Singapore Sling

          Kepu threw the pass that put Folau through the gap to score in the England test. It was a thing of beauty.

        • Who?

          Exactly. I’m sure I pointed out that the only try scored from passing in that game was from him. And the disallowed try at 26 minutes was created by him drawing in the outside defender and setting Toomua free.

        • Singapore Sling

          He’d be an interesting proposition as a bench back rower coming on with 20 to go. Might be worth a shot if Tupou continues his progress.

        • Who?

          He started at 8… But I’d be happy with him covering LHP. I guess if you wanted Slipper (another with a decent passing game) at bench LHP, then you could consider Kepu for that role…

        • onlinesideline

          I actually thought he was a flanker when he was young.

        • Bakkies

          Kepu was a number 8.

        • Adrian

          Similar from Latu v Argentina I think

        • onlinesideline

          so did Latu

        • John Tynan

          TOO SOON!!

        • Adrian

          Agree 100% Who.

          It happened a few times, and in the last few matches for Wallabies, both Kepu and Latu have done it, and both have set up tries for Folau.

          It is totally possible

        • John Tynan

          Best ball last weekend was Kepu to Izzy for the try.

        • Huw Tindall

          Not Genia or Giteau or Beale!?

        • Singapore Sling

          Giteau may not have been the the squad at that point but Beale and Genia would’ve. Didn’t really resonate with me at the time but when so much focus is on the poor basic skills of the backs its ironic that a forward would put most to shame.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yes true it’s symptomatic of the basic skills problem. Back to basics for the guys. Catch draw pass.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Well we all know how well Cheika’s game plan of Ball Carriers has worked out for us.

        • Adrian

          Exactly BL

      • Keith Butler

        SeanMc was more than ok as a ball carrier for the Rebs. His ability to break tackles and retain possession was first class. Doing the same job at international level was a big step up and it was difficult for him. Always thought that he was best suited as a 7.

        • Singapore Sling

          I agree he is a 7. I don’t necessarily want a 7 to be a limpit on the ball at every ruck. It’s impractical and for every two turnovers won you incur one or two penalties. McMahon was developing into a very good link player and as I mentioned elsewhere he has a very good passing game. Using undersized players as battering rams at test level is unsustainable (for the player) over the long run. Look at how Dean’s used McCabe…..in my opinion he shortened his career by fives years turning a smallish courageous winger into a crash ball 12.

    • Keith Butler

      Sean Mc gave everything (and some) when he was at the Rebs and would have made a great club captain. If you could put him in Ned Hanigan’s body the problem position of 6 for the G&G would be solved for years. Unfortunately, in my view, he does not have the bulk to cut it as either a 6 or 8 at international level. While Cheika is in charge and with Poey and Hooper in the squad the chances of him making it at 7 is pretty remote. Him and Leitch in the Wolves back row would be pretty good.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think the Sunwolves have recruited well.
        I like you would definitely have Pooey 7, potentially McMahon 8. But a bench player definitely.

      • Simon

        Yeah McMahon will fit very well into the game the Sunwolves play IMO. He doesn’t quite have the bulk for line busting in tight, or the breakdown presence, but he’s extremely powerful and hard to bring down when the game becomes unstructured.

        He’ll see a lot of opportunities for that with the Sunwolves.

        • Patrick

          Bulk schmulk. Most of our forwards play 15kgs under their weight and he played 15kgs above.

        • Simon

          In the loose he does, he’s an absolute beast. Trucking it up in tight against opposition forwards he doesn’t make as much progress, especially at international level. Ultimately you have to obey the laws of physics.

          That’s what we are really lacking, a truly world class crash ball runner.

          But as I said the Sunwolves don’t really play tight, or the breakdown game, so I think he’ll carve it up. Unfortunately mostly against our Aussie teams.

        • Patrick

          Ok fine, he is not a dream pick, but really (and unbelievably) the Q is would you rather have him or Hanigan? Because he certainly does not make less yards in tight than Hanigan or even basically anyone in the team except Sio.

        • Simon

          I’d rather Hanigan goes back to Super Rugby for a few years before he’s let anywhere near the Wallabies (his continued inclusion just personifies everything wrong with Cheika), but a Pocock-Hooper-McMahon backline is just too short IMO. You need at least one of the back rowers to be a genuine lineout option.

          I’m hoping Naisarani proves to be the right option to partner Pocock and Hooper. He’s got Hanigan’s height and is a genuinely damaging ball runner. If not, maybe Valetini.

        • John Tynan

          He might not have the bulk, but line busting he can do regardless.

      • mattyjinred

        Irony. Hooper doesnt have the bulk to play 6 or 8 so they play him at 7 even though his pilfering is heavily sub-par. He aint an opensider.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Or did he sign to make sure he wouldn’t be affected by the poor coaching that has made every other player in the team get worse since they’ve been in it?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Good point mate. Very good point!

      • John Tynan

        That’s the one I was going to add.

      • Gottsy

        I think that’s more to the point

  • juswal

    Jeez, I love Sean McMahon. I think I’ve posted that before.

    In the outlandish hypothetical scenario where he’s eligible and I’m selecting the Wallabies, he would be my first pick for the 23. He wouldn’t be in the XV, because Pocock, but he’s fantastic cover for the back row.

    And failing that, I reckon he has potential as an outside centre.

  • Bakkies

    Georgina has just posted an update stating that White’s interview with the RA has been cancelled due to the leak.

    • RF

      Hmm.

      1) White leaked. He plays the media, wouldn’t put it past him.
      2) RA leaked in part of an effort to humliate Cheika into resigning
      3) RA leaked to make it look like they are trying so they can’t be blamed if they do nothing
      4) RA leaked to see what candidates crawl out of the woodwork
      5) RA leaked to test the waters with the public, blazers and sponsors

      • Singapore Sling

        Leaks everywhere…..Loose lips and all that.

        • laurence king

          The ship has already sunk, it’s got barnacles on it

      • Who?

        Given the amount of leaks around the Wallabies team last week, and the number of people inside RA, and the source (GeeRob), they’ve got to be the primary suspect for the leaks.
        Option 5 is an interesting one…

    • Bernie Chan

      IFF RA cancelled a phone hookup because of a media leak then they are more spineless and lacking in leadership than we thought. It was a phone call only for effs sake, and that may have come to nothing….but RA needs to consider every possible contingency as they cannot allow the Wallabies to languish at this historic low level.
      Good luck to Sean McMahon..one of too many who have been poorly handled by RA and the selectors…(don’t mention LFG!). be interesting to see if he makes it back for the finals after recovering from his knee injury.

      • onlinesideline

        Sean was always going to go – 800k a year for playing rugby in Japan.
        Too good to be true.

        • Bernie Chan

          Fair enough I think…in his position I would think anyone would re-sign with the Sunwolves. McMahon’s $800k (didn’t actually know the ‘number’…thought it was higher..!) vs Hoopers $1million plus…I think the Sunwolves are getting a bargain.

        • Huw Tindall

          This is it. Thought he basically went to cash for his family and essentially admitted his body couldn’t handle the rugby anymore. Was his own decision and fair enough.

    • RF

      According to the article White approached RA to set it up.

      Whatever you think about Cheika, that is a real snake in the grass thing to do. It is not the done thing in sporting management (or in life in general) to go touting yourself for a job while there is an incumbent.

      • Bakkies

        Nothing wrong with approaching the RA to say that you are interested and allocate a suitable time to talk. Cheika has less than a year left on his deal and the Japanese season finishes in January.

        White often puts international out clauses in his contracts.

        • RF

          There is something very wrong with it, it is dishonorable. I challenge you to find examples of this ever happening in professional sport.

        • Bakkies

          It is common in sport just look at Football and the NRL with Wayne Bennett and Ivan Cleary.

          In sport it is common public knowledge about the duration of the incumbent’s length of contract. Dave Wessels had an interview with the Scarlets three weeks ago with time left on his current deal.

        • RF

          The article says that White approached RA. The current coach has 12 month on his contract. It is an entirely different situation. Of course it is perfectly acceptable for a coach to answer a call from a prospective employer.

          Scarlets are actively recruiting for a job to be filled in 6 months time. Wessels did not approach them to sack a manager currently employed.

          It is not the done thing in sport.

        • Old_Laurentian

          With respect “Not the done thing.. ” where have i heard that before?

        • Bakkies

          Exactly I have had to do it myself as I couldn’t be certain that I had a future beyond my contract so I looked elsewhere as much as I tried to keep it quiet.

        • John Tynan

          Normally done via an agent approaching prospective employers. I’d suggest it would be harder to find when it DOESN’T happen in professional sport.

        • Old_Laurentian

          Surely everywhere? Sport and business.

      • Brisneyland Local

        RF, got to disagree with you there mate. I run companies. Big companies. And this is absolutely common practice in the business world.

        • RF

          Have to defer to you there mate.

          From my experience in senior management in APAC at some of the largest multinationals on the nasdaq, I’ve not experienced inbound enquiries about roles that are already occupied to be honest. But in a sporting context it is unheard of, and forgive the pun, very unsporting.

        • Brisneyland Local

          In Soccer there were a number of approaches made to the Football Federation about Ange Postecoglou’s job before he pulled the pin. They are just done more discretely. I.E. not leaked to the Media.
          In the business realms I operate (C Level), people are talking to people all the time about roles within companies already occupied. It is a daily occurence.

        • RF

          Sadly I have not been involved in handing out the 100m packages for our C-level gigs, or I would pay for Joe Schmidt myself!

          Not aware of approaches for Ange Postecoglou’s in the public domain anyway.

        • Brisneyland Local

          It was talked about on Fuxtel. I wouldnt have ever read an article about the round ball game to be honest.

        • Damo

          My take would be that if you were a skilled practitioner in any field and were looking for the next step in your career…and you identified an organisation, right in your field of expertise, that was clearly and publicly a management shit fight reflected in reported persistent performance failure…and you were pretty confident its board of directors were about to deal with the problem, it should surprise no one that you at least poke your head in the door.

        • Old_Laurentian

          And keep your foot in the door. Watch this space!

        • Bakkies

          It was in the news that he was tapped up for other roles.

          Another example is Rassie Erasmus at Munster saying he would stay then state he was talking to SARU on a daily basis. Less then senior players stated he was staying yet Rassie sealed the deal while the Lions players were away.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thanks for that Bakkies!

        • John Tynan

          Half of the M&A projects at any one time are probably unsolicited approaches.

  • Kevino

    Easy solution for ARU or what ever they want to call themselves these days.

    Change the wording from:

    Playing super rugby in Australia

    to

    Playing Super rugby in the Australian conference

    And McMahon can play at the World Cup

    • Brisneyland Local

      Not a bad idea! Well done!

  • Adrian

    Thanks for the mention Dylan.

    It’s just so frustrating, when I know that these guys can play properly if coached.

    On the odd occasion (eg 2nd half v Pumas) they have shown they can play. Yet they didn’t do it before then, and haven’t done it since.

    Glenn Ella said exactly that on SBS last weekend.

    Others here have mentioned this at times, including Who below who explains it in the Waratah context.

    This is what I mean by Cheika being Cheika.

    When Cheika is being Larkham and/or a 3rd grade Chess player, and not being himself, it is still his responsibility.

    RA should see this, and probably sack them all.

    If they only sack the forwards coach it will be totally gutless.

    If they don’t sack Larkham and Grey it will be totally gutless.

    What version of gutless are we about to see?…..or will the meeting be postponed?

    • RF

      Cheika has to go. They all do.

      With a bit of grovelling could you even get Link back for 12 months?

      • Brumby Runner

        I would love the poetic justice of Link coming back and sacking the Tahs’ cohort that arguably has been the catalyst for the very bad times that have endured under Cheika.

        • Old_Laurentian

          I don’t think Link is that sort of person. He has just walked away with his honour intact.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Link would never come back.

        • RF

          Not disagreeing, but as a matter of interest, why not?

          If the power-brokers at RA are different and they back him to do what he wants, why wouldn’t? It’s the dream job for him surely?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Because he is done.
          He has moved past that and found a good place to be.
          Coming back would only dredge up the whole past.
          On top of that it would just open him up to sledging and white-anting from people that will lose their position in the team.

        • RF

          From the sound of it you have a personal connection there so I can’t argue with that.

          It’s a sad state of affairs then, he’s only 53. We’ve lost a good man.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Not a direct personal connection. I am friends with friends of his. I have met him only once. Believe it or not it was in an airport business lounge in Christchurch. After he had left the Wallabies. I had a brief chat with him about what he was doing. Didn’t mention rugby once, more to do with the rebuild of Christchurch.

        • Old_Laurentian

          We have.

        • Old_Laurentian

          Dream? Nightmare more like. He is better than that, sadly.

      • Fatflanker

        He won’t be going RF – not unless he falls on his own sword. I suspect he’ll offer to do so at his meeting but RA will keep him on. I’d bet on it.

      • Singapore Sling

        A bit of water under the bridge? You’d need two complete flushings of the Murray Darling and a full drainage of the channel country into the inland lakes. The scurrilous reporting disgorged by Georgie girl and others over at the SMH then run with by social media killed Links love for the game.

        A decorated Wallabies warrior, tight head nonetheless and wonderful coach of both NSW and Qld he deserved better. I would love him back!

        • Old_Laurentian

          Agree. Link was a coach with a flexible and intelligent approach. He just needed support he didn’t get. But you cant expect anyone to return for a second crucifixion.

    • Brisneyland Local

      They will come up with some mealy mouthed way to postpone the meeting. Then in the new year we will find out that the meeting went ahead and the Ass Clown and his three ring circus are remaining!

  • Adrian

    For what it is worth, I lost faith in Cheika only last week, and the reasons were:
    A. Not that he is a liar , as most coaches are
    B. Not that he’s a poor selector, as many coaches are
    C. Not that he is delusional, as I am delusional too
    BUT
    Because he avoids like the plague tactics that actually work for him
    AND
    Repeatedly uses tactics that have NEVER worked for him

    • Silver Ghost

      Adrian
      When you loose faith, then the writing is on he wall.
      Agreeing with you, one thing that I don’t understand is, all his successful teams have had really abrasive No. 6’s and for the last 2 years he’s gone for lightweight mobile no-abrasive players like Ned Flanders. He has not even tried the likes of Cotrell.
      I guess that what you refer to when you say Cheika not being Cheika?

    • Whilst I kind of agree with A, I think there are different sorts of lying.

      Coaches talking to the press play head games with their team and with the opposition coach. In the broad sense that’s lying, because they’re not telling the truth but, at the same time, you can sit there and look at it and know what’s going on. It’s pretty much the same as a politician not answering the question and giving their scripted answer to the question they wanted the interviewer to ask. I don’t mind this, even though I’d never encourage my hypothetical children to do it, it’s part of the fun of the build up to the match.

      But what Cheika did about the non-selection was a Trumpian whopper. He actively said one thing, knowing the facts were something different, and he must have known, although presumably he hoped otherwise, there’d be a leak and the truth would come out. That’s not head games, that’s not team loyalty, that’s actively trying to bury bad news and cover it up. However much Aaron Smith fucked up, Zac Guildford messed up, Jordie Barrett didn’t, the England team in 2011 were a bunch of yobs, Andy Powell was an idiot with his drunken rampage up the hard shoulder the wrong way and… well I could keep on going (I’ve deliberately selected non-Aussie ones to show it’s a widespread thing), the other respective head coaches have all got out in front of the stories. Everyone knew what was going on, what the sanction was and what it was for, and in the case of Guildford accepted he was on his final warning and then gone. Aussie Head Coaches before Cheika managed this too, lest we forget.

      However, I’m not sure whether to welcome you aboard our bandwagon, or to offer you a drink to cushion the pain for your loss of faith.

      • Adrian

        You are right of course Eloise.

        The outright bullshitting did piss me off, but I would have accepted it if the outrageously impotent tactics had ever worked….and they only did in two matches and two half matches out of about 45 matches.

        I kept thinking it was about to change

  • phil peake

    Over 200 comments and no one talking about how positive it is to be seeing Luke Jones, Tom English and Jack D playing for the Baa Baas!
    I wonder how we get to watch the game….not on FoxSports..shame.

    • Bakkies

      Luke Jones is no doubt playing due to being on the outer at Bordeaux.

      • phil peake

        I like to think it’s because he’s an awesome player that the Wallabies want to see play and because he’s played for the Barbarians before.

        • Bakkies

          Awesome player steady on. He is solid but it is clear that he is on the outer with Jones due to him going to Australia last year after signing an extension stating that he was looking at going home than following through on that.

        • phil peake

          Perhaps on the outer because he decided to come home. Let’s see how he goes this weekend. For me, his work rate, defence, breakdown, aggression and lineout prowess are exactly what the Wallabies are missing. I can’t wait to see him back.

  • Bernie Chan

    The analysis by Nick Bishop puts into words what many suspected…the defensive shuffling has made things worse. Maddocks (and the other wings required to play the openside defender role…) must be gassed by the constant running to either flank. Genia can’t stay close to the ruck as he is the ‘sweeper’ and Cheika has limited the effectiveness of his props by the ad hoc changing of the sides they are playing. If this is the “plan” Cheika has for the RWC then our goose is cooked…

    • Silver Ghost

      Bernie, don’t want to depress you but have a read of the other article to which Dylan refers. Combined they are damning.
      It’s clear other sides have worked us out.

      • Bernie Chan

        Maate…you couldn’t! Hence an earlier reference to “gallows humour” on G&GR….the other article just adds to a sense of impending doom for the Wallas as far as the RWC goes. The signs seem apparent to all but the Wallas coaching group, but the good ship Wallaby hasn’t altered course. Cheika is either some latent rugby savant (apologies to IS…) who sees what no one else can see, or he is stubbornly delusional.
        I’ll always watch our Wallas and hope, bit it has been bloody tough viewing…As an Aussie, I can always cheer for the underdog in any contest…and BL that includes Fiji!
        On a positive note…great to see the Baa Baas lineup…naturally heavy with Boks, but some seriously talented “flair” players that should light up the pitch.

  • skip

    I remember when the wallaby jersey would make unpaid amateurs turn down less than half what Sean M has taken. I genuinely understand why he doesn’t want RA to be his employers.

    • RF

      In the amateur era players had careers (and in amateur rugby they were highly paid professions) to fall back on. This is McMahon’s career, and it is a short one. If he questions his body’s ability to sustain it here, it is possibly his only shot at a bumper contract.

      Sad to see him go, he’s got 26 caps and is at the age now where players really break through at this level.

      • skip

        Yeah. I can really see why he doesn’t want to put his body through the wringer for half what Hooper gets paid to lose most tests and super games he plays in and exit the World Cup at the group stage and thinking ‘I could have earned twice as much in Japan and then France’. It’s just a shame the leadership of Rugby in Australia have made that such an easy choice for someone of his talent.

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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