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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees more Wallabies rest, Anthony Fainga’a retires, Some new tricks from an old dog and Super W wants to include New Zealand.


 

 

WALLABY REST CONTINUES AT WARATAHS

Waratahs v Highlanders 2018 Semi Final 1st half-3

 Waratah Wallabies will head into round one with no warm up games played as NSW Daryl Gibson elects to rest eight Wallabies a head of their trial match with the Brumbies tonight. 

It would be normal practice to see the Wallabies players back for the final trial match to bring them up to match level before the start of season, but this year the Australian Super coaches are working with Wallabies Coach Michael Cheika to manage the work load of players.

The Waratahs have Jack Dempsey, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Ned Hanigan back in the team with eight other Wallabies from last season still on the sidelines: Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Rob Simmons, Michael Hooper, Nick Phipps, Bernard Foley, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau.

The Brumbies will be without Scott Sio, Allan Alaalatoa and David Pocock but will have their skipper Christian Lealiifano on deck and will welcome back Folau Faingaa, Pete Samu, Rory Arnold, Henry Speight and Tom Banks.

This means that due to the resting policy, these Wallaies will have to rely on their contact training and match simulations to run out the cobwebs a head of the start of Super season next week.

Despite not having a proper hit out to start the season, NSW assistant coach Chris Whitaker believes his Wallabies will be ready for Super Rugby.

“The intensity at training, with the load management and things like that, they’ll be ready to go,” Whitaker said.

“There is obviously a contact element (with) introduce to contact sessions we do at training.  Each week we increase the amount of contact. By next week it’ll be full whack and 100 per cent contact. They’ll be getting enough contract load in the training sessions, throughout the week, to be ready for the game.”

Both teams appear to have plenty of depth in certain spots so the trial match will be the last opportunity before the start of the season for players to show why they deserve a spot. 

With Pocock and Samu in the Brumbies back row McCaffrey, Cusack and Valetini will all be looking to secure that finally spot, and with Tom Banks a lock for the 15 jersey, the back three becomes even more competitive for Jordan Jackson-Hope, Tom Wright, Chance Peni, Lausii Taliauli, Toni Pulu, Andy Muirhead, Len Ikitau and Speight.

With plenty of Wallabies in the Waratahs backline, the 11, 13 and 14 jersey will be hotly contested by the likes of Lalakai Foketi, Curtis Rona, Cam Clark, Alex Newsome and Ashley-Cooper.

Waratahs: Alex Newsome, Curtis Rona, Lalakai Foketi, Karmichael Hunt, Cameron Clark, Mack Mason, Mitch Short, Jack Dempsey, Will Miller (capt), Lachlan Swinton, Ryan McCauley, Jed Holloway, Shambeckler Vui, Andrew Tuala, Harry Johnson-Holmes. Reserves: JP Sauni, Rory O’Connor, Chris Talakai, Le Roux Roets, Ned Hanigan, Pat Tafa, Jake Gordon, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Harrison, Richard Woolf, Will Harris, Cody Walker, Hugh Sinclair, Ben Donaldson.

Brumbies: 1. James Slipper 2. Folau Fainga’a 3. Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin 4. Rory Arnold 5. Sam Carter 6. Robbie Valetini 7. Tom Cusack 8. Lachlan McCaffrey 9. Joe Powell 10. Christian Lealiifano 11. Lausii Taliauli 12. Irae Simone 13. Tevita Kuridrani 14. Toni Pulu 15. Tom Banks

Reserves: 16. Josh Mann-Rea 17. Tom Ross 18. Vunipola Fifita 19. Blake Enever 20. Jahrome Brown 21. Matt Lucas 22. Wharenui Hawera 23. Chance Peni 5. Darcy Swain 6. Murray Douglas 8. Pete Samu 11. Andy Muirhead 12. Tom Wright 13. Len Ikitau 14. Henry Speight 15. Jordan Jackson-Hope 18. Bayley Kuenzle

 

EDDIE JONES: THE FACT FINDING MISSION AND NIGHT ON THE TOWN.

Wallabies-v-England-Suncorp-33

England pulled off one of their best wins in their time under Eddie Jones on the weekend when they beat Ireland in Dublin. It may have been their best win in a long time. So how did they do it?

Gerard Meagher from The Guardian believes that two options people wont consider straight up was a night out in London before camp, and a fact-finding trip to Australia. Both Eddie Jones believes help build the leadership that England desperately needed.

Without the experienced leaders of Dylan Hartley or Chris Robshaw in the England squad, there was concern, in particular if Owen Farrell’s thumb injury had been more serious, as to who would step up and lead on the field.

Well according to Jones, plenty of serious players have stepped up, dubbed “The Generals” by Billy Vunipola.

“The senior players organised a night out and didn’t get into trouble which was fantastic and isn’t always the case when you’ve got 30 guys going out and having a drink,” Jones told the BBC. “They wanted to go into the camp ready to go, have some stories to tell and have some togetherness. We believe that is so important.”

Jones and his High Performance Manager, Neil Craig; a fellow Aussie and AFL coach (read more into they way he lead the way for Sport Science) conducted a fact finding trip to Australia to research the “ability to refocus.” Something that was key to Englands success on the weekend.

Jones believes that a Tests often last around 100 minutes from first whistle to last, with the ball only in play for around a third of that. Figuring out what his players need to be dong for the other two thirds was the reason for his trip Australia, where he worked with Ric Charlesworth a former cricketer, hockey player and coach – and spent time visiting AFL teams as well the Melbourne Rebels and Melbourne Storm.

“Golf takes four hours but you hit the ball for maybe five minutes,” he said. “Good golfers are good in between the shots and now in rugby it’s such an important part of the game that you have to be good in play. That’s something we’ve been working with the senior players a lot on with Neil Craig. We went to Australia to study that aspect particularly and see what we could learn. If you do a positive thing you can lose focus, if you do a negative thing you can lose focus. It’s that ability to refocus.”

Mako Vunipola spoke about how England put the theory to the test against a tough Irish defence.

“There were breaks in play when we just came in together,” he said. “Mark Wilson was like, ‘Oh boys, you’ve gotta love this,’ and to be fair it was tough, but one of those enjoyable moments.”

CONCUSSION FORCES RETIREMENT FROM FAINGA’A

Anthony-Fainga'a

Former Wallaby and Queensland Red, Anthony Fainga’a announced his retirement from rugby on Wednesday in an interview with FOX SPORTS where he opened up about his concussion trauma.

The 32 year old was apart of the 2011 Queensland Red premiership side, and played 23 test for the Wallabies, including the 2011 World Cup.

Fainga’a has opened up to just how bad his head injuries have been and why the decisions to walk alway from rugby was needed.

“I’m probably only one more head knock away from being a vegetable or not being able to play with my kids,” Fainga’a said.

“After a couple of really big head knocks, I had to make a big decision.

“In 2016, my twin brother (fellow former Wallaby Saia) got married and at the altar, I was actually getting held up because of the head knocks.

“I received a couple of really big head knocks over my career and I was standing at the altar getting held up, I got walked out by someone.

“I got a few head knocks last year and after all these head knocks I had to make a decision, make a choice about what I wanted to do with my future.

“I love the rugby game so much but I needed to look after my mental health.”

After leaving the Reds in 2016, Fainga’a continued his rugby career in Japan playing for Kintetsu Liners.

Anthony had the fortune of being able to talk to his brothers, twin Saia and younger brother, former Melbourne Rebel, Colby, both professional players about the possibility of retirement.

“When I would speak it out loud, it was an easy decision but when I was thinking about it, it was like, how hard is this, I love the game and I’ve got offers to keep going and I should play still,”

“They (Saia and Colby) would never say: ‘It’s time to hang the boots up.’

“But I told them and they were so happy for me.

“My message would be it’s never too early, it’s never too late to finish up.

“Everyone wants to keep playing, everyone loves rugby but it only takes that one head knock.

“Especially for younger players, they need to make the hard decision.

“The easy decision is to keep playing, the hard choice is to say I’m going to give this up and go and do something else.”

 

 

TRANS TASMIN SUPER W?

2018-SuperW-QLD-v-NSW-5

At the launch for the 2019 Super Rugby and Super W competitions on Tuesday, one topic that was brought up by some of the stars of Super W was the idea of the provincial teams taking on New Zealand teams, either by expanding the competition, or doing annual tours like days of old.

RugbyWA women’s captain Mhicca Carter believes that a competition similar to Super Rugby would be the ‘dream’ for the women, New Zealand leading the standards in terms of womens rugby.

“That would be incredible, that’s the dream,” she said.

“New Zealand are the best in the world so we need to be up to speed with how they’re developing and the progression of what they’re doing.

“When you play against the best it’s only going to beneficial for us, so ideally that would be amazing. There’s hope for the future for that to come which is very exciting.”

Since this is unlikely to happen in the short term, Carter believes it would be a handy boost for the Aussie teams, should they be able to tour New Zealand.

“For the sport to develop to the level that  we need it to for the Wallaroos to be where we want them to be, there’s got to be more games, “ she said.

“Playing throughout the provincial areas of New Zealand would be incredible. I think we’d love to see more games, it’s only going to grow us as a country.”

Former Wallaroo and NSW Captain Ash Hewson had previously called for the inclusion of New Zealand in Super W, but also believes that a provincial tour would be a great starting point.

“I think there’s a really large disparity between the top four teams in the world, and the rest of the world,” she said.

“For us to mix it with the best teams in the world which we’re more than capable of, skill wise, it’s about getting that exposure to those quality games and that quality rugby.

“To play provincial teams from New Zealand I think would be unbelievable.”

Hewson went on to include something not often heard in Australian Rugby circles, that we need to not rush to expand, and take our time to grow.

It’s developing, we’ve got to be patient.

“You don’t want to over kill it I guess. There’s a process I think the people running it are very aware of that.”

 

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! COffee in hand, EA off running around doing things, giving me peace! News posted. BL’s ramblings afoot:
    – Devastated for Ant Fainga’a! He really was a good player. A great servant of the game for the Reds and the Wallabies. Loved watching him play. Fearless. I wish him all the best!
    – Well done to Eddie Jones. (YES that hurts coming out). But he outsmarted Ireland and won.
    – So whoever plays the Waratahs first knows where to attack now. Pick the rusty player and target them hard.
    – Another crap article on Fux sports talking about potential attack coaches for the Wallabies. They listed DArryl Gibson, Simon Wisemantel, Glen Ella, MAtt Giteau, Morgan Turinui, and Jim McKay. The reasons they listed for some were just blatant plugging for the lads! Very poor journalism.
    – This whole third selector thing is going to be a pretty crucial thing. For fuck sake I hope Cheika gets no input into the selection of that third selector.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • laurence king

      I know I said it yesterday, but I hope Larkham gets the gig as part of his new post. That would upset Cheiks. And in defense of Mickey Mouse, I never saw him losing his temper when reading the comics as a kid.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure Gold LK! Pure Gold.

    • Huw Tindall

      First post mate. Sure the EA isn’t blocking your diary out in the mornings now?

      That Waratahs side should, on paper, get pasted by the Brumbies near full strength side. Will be interesting to see how they go. Hopefully a stream is available and I can put into effect my brand spanking new VPN and watch it live.

      • laurence king

        Been a Waratahs supporter all my life, but I don’t think they’ve got the forwards this year to make a mark. The backs, now that they are away from camp wallaby may start to find some form again.

        • Huw Tindall

          LK we were saying the same things last year but they managed to do it with a shonky scrum – with Dempsey and Holloway ready to go this year plus Latu with his head screwed on straight we can’t be worse in the pack. Still, compared to the other rosters we look weak. Time will tell.

        • Ed

          A problem for the Tahs’ pack will be when Sekope has his three matches off, which ones they will be? With Dr Tom not available for the season, Gibson will have to be strategic which games Kepu sits out – probably both Sunwolves games and one other.

        • Huw Tindall

          Ed I don’t even want to think about resting Kepu we are even shallower in the props than we are the second row. What I’d give for a Greg Holmes type or one of the Smith brothers from Qld even.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep there is something about those Smith Brothers!

        • laurence king

          Huw, my thoughts on the Tah forwards were in how they stack up against the Brumbies, Reds and Rebels. I don’t think that will get them out of the conference

        • Adrian

          Can’t agree Laurence.
          I think a slightly smaller, slightly more mobile, but much more heady pack than all of the rest.

        • laurence king

          Hope you’re right Adrian.

        • John Tynan

          “heady”? the mind boggles!

        • Adrian

          Na..I think slightly better pack Huw.

          Dempsey didn’t play at all last year, Holloway missed first half, and Hooper was injured at one stage.

          I think Kepu will play either side at times to cover Robertson injury.

          Watch Shambeckler Vui at THP if he gets a go

          Should be interesting.

        • Huw Tindall

          Vui could have picked up an injury in the trial tonight. Already testing the kiddie pool levels of depth in the props! Who is this Rory O’Connor bloke on their roster then? Remember reading a bit about him being a late developer and having stuck it out in club rugby.

        • Adrian

          Yes, fingers crossed for Vui
          He reminds me of Kepu. Has a good video on YouTube.
          I’ll try and find out about O’Connor..and Walker Huw

        • Huw Tindall

          Good to have men with some inside lines. Along with BLL with some insight into the Reds the GAGR forum has some great little tidbits of info for the interested punter!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Nah She off getting set up for a workshop I am running this arvo. She is a little OCD and things have to be just right.
        I agree with your predictions.

    • Dylan Langes

      I read that article BLL and decided i wouldn’t cover clickbait. Castle did say they weren’t going to reach into Super Rugby to find the new coach

      • Brisneyland Local

        It concerns me. They bring in Giteau or Gibson, we get more of the same. Creative differences forge excellence.

        • Dylan Langes

          Giteau has no coaching experience and Gibson would be a yes man. I know that Cheika, Grey and Gibson are premiership winning coaches but it doesn’t mean it will translate well at the top level.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Concur.

        • Dud Roodt

          Hasn’t Gibson already said he’s not interested?

        • Huw Tindall

          Absolutely. Rebels announced just now that Wessels has signed till end of 2021 ruling him out of Wallaby coach post Chek. Wessels responded by saying he isn’t ready. Flat out. No arrogance. Meanwhile Grey and Larkham rolled up to national coaching duties with essentially bugger all on their rosters. Larkham 4 so so years and the Brumbies and Grey 1 good season at the Tahs. Got give Wessels some credit there.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true!

        • Dylan Langes

          Exactly, he’s only been the head coach for two season, this will be his third. He has had a good apprenticeship as a coach but he isn’t ready and its great he has the humility to accept that. maybe he will be for the 2023 world cup.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’d dispute Grey had even 1 good year with the Tahs mate. Good on Wessels for acknowledging this. I wonder how many of the coaches around the world who could be considered for the Wallabies are seeing it as more of a poisoned chalice than an opportunity. The next coach is going to have do some serious cleaning up of the whole situation and unless this is done well the woes will only continue. I personally think breaking the player power is an absolute must and if this means 10 or so senior players have to go then so be it. Australian rugby needs to look a bit long term with the new coach and maybe bringing in a short term coach with a mandate to clean up and then a longer term coach once that has occurred may be a good plan.

        • Brumby Runner

          KRL, I’m not sure it’s a problem of player power so much as a matter of dickhead players. The player power on show at the Brumbies some years ago resulted in the sidelining of a coach but ended up with a SR title to their names. Now, that was power.

          The issue with the Wallabies since 2015 has been that there is a clique of dickheads there who cause trouble either for the coach or for the Assistants but who would have absolutely SFA intellect to orchestrate a title in the absence of a head coach.

          I can live with the former, but the latter just shits me to tears.

        • Huw Tindall

          Grey’s season was, of course, the 2014 season where the Tahs won they have the best attack and defensive record in the comp. In both instances the Crusaders were second. Points for 481 vs 445 and points against 422 vs 372. A whopping +209 points differential and 15% better defensive record than the Crusaders.

        • Adrian

          That was before he worked out his super complicated musical chairs. There was some movement, as most teams do, but not wholesale movement. Foley and Beale were in the team too

        • Huw Tindall

          That’s the biggest mystery of all. Where did it all go wrong? Tahs pack was big in that year but backline was arguably less flashy than the 2018/19 version.

        • Adrian

          Attack ok. They had Betham and Alofa Alofa who both scored a few tries.
          In 2015, they made semis. In 2016 and 2017 they were poor, especially in defence. Semis in 2018, making the most metres and most linebreaks in the comp, so it didn’t all go wrong.
          Their defence was 4th worst in 18, and (from memory) 2nd worst in 17 when Grey coached.

          I think it all went to Grey’s head, and he went out of control after world Cup, thinking he was a genius.

          Remember the rope in early 2017? That’s when he lost the players and Gibson. He went to Wallabies full-time and Cheika let him do his thing, except for 1/2 time in 2017 Bled 1.

          People who know people say he is good at coaching guys to tackle, and the players more or less like him but don’t respect his strategies

        • Huw Tindall

          Excellent insight Adrian. I suppose the only answer for why this was to allowed to infect the Wallabies is Chek and his blind loyalty plus giving him complete free rein on who he hired. Grey’s CV was not up to scratch for international defense coach. Along with Chek taking a less hands on approach to detailed attack/defense strategy it just seems to have become a confused sh!t show. Chek saying one thing about broad strategy and then Larkham and Grey doing their own thing.

        • Adrian

          Exactly

          As far as I know, the handshake offer of a full time job was made in 14/15, but not accepted until 17…. when he was sacked by Gibson.

          At that point it was obvious that Grey’s complex strategy didn’t work,…but a handshake is a handshake ….etc etc

          I think that the clearest thing anyone has said is Castle saying re Cheika
          “….do what he does best which is coach”

          I’m 100% certain she wants HIM to coach, not to devolve everything to others

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          I’m glad that rumour about Wessels heading to the NH has been scotched. I like the cut of his jib, and he seems to have plenty of player loyalty. Good for the Oz game in general.

        • Adrian

          I don’t think you’ll find Gibson is a yes man if you look into it Dylan.

        • John Tynan

          more of a “Yis, bro” than a yes man

        • Brisneyland Local

          I dont think of him as a yes man. But it just adds further weight to a Tahs power play. I think it, regardless of his ability and merit, the perception would be wrong!

        • Adrian

          I know that’s the perception, and agree that for now that rules him out.

        • Dylan Langes

          Fair enough Adrian, bit easy for me behind my computer

        • Dylan Langes

          Actually I’m surprised Fox didn’t name Drew Mitchell. Not that he’d be a good option but because he works for them and he hasn’t transitioned out of being ‘one of the boys’ yet

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am sure he will be in list two!

        • Happyman

          I would go for Morgan T out of that list. He is quite insightful.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think he would be a good option.

        • Brumby Runner

          My favourite would be Jeremy Paul. He is no nonsense and would stand up to any intimidation by Cheika. But, of course, too many posters already think there is some mythical Canberra mafia that controls every aspect of the game in this country. Wouldn’t go down well with members of that crowd.

        • Brisneyland Local

          JP would be a good selector. Agree he wouldnt take crap from Cheika. NOt a big believer in the Brumbies / ACT conspiracy.

    • Ed

      Agree on Eddie.
      Here is an article about how England manipulated Ireland’s defence:
      https://therugbymagazine.com/six-nations/england-attack-channels-analysis

      You can bet that has Eddie’s hands all over it.

      Would our head coach go to that detail? Nah mate, I just focus on ourselves. This theory of “let Cheika be Cheika” and it will be apples is absolute bollocks. The world has moved on from 2014, plus what works in SR does not necessarily translate at test level. This was something Eddie did acknowledge once he was a test coach.

      FUX – it shits me when they have Cheika on as they never question his word salads for answers.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Oh so true. But that is the Conflict of interests that is FUX Sports and RA.

      • John Tynan

        Great article, thanks for the link.

    • formerflanker

      An EA of my acquaintance who works for a very large international company in Sydney tells me that many execs are looking for business trips to Japan in October/November.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep that is true. Trying to find an industry visit of some nature.
        Alas I cant pull that one off.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think the whole 3rd selector, attack coach and Johnson saga is going to be a real post spinner this year. So much potential to go so horribly wrong and with those muppets at Fox sport getting involved the chance of it going bad only increases.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Couldnt agree more. The key thing is, Cheika can not be involved in the selection process. It can not be someone in his clique. There needs to be competitive tension. If there is a clique there, there wont be!

        • Brumby Runner

          You mean, someone like Bernie Larkham BLL?

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think someone disagreeing with Cheika is a positive thing. But allegedly Bernie wasnt the man.!

      • Hoss

        Most interesting tid-bit on FOX was the suggestion that Segall wanted Gitteau available for selection in THIS years RWC ??? So much for building depth and all that other BS, he was basically going to reassemble the 2015 squad and cross his fingers

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He does live in the past. Maybe he shoukd spend some time listening to Bruce S sing Glory Days

  • Hoss

    PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

    Good morning Gaggers,

    After a meeting of the Eastern Branch of the Hunter Valley Regional Planning Committee (Sub Branch) of BLL, KRL and myself (acting chair) we wish to extend an open invitation to all on GAGR:

    NSW Waratah’s V Nipponville Sunwolves
    Macdonald Jones Stadium Newcastle
    Friday 29th March 2019
    7.45pm kick-off

    The offer is open to all on GAGR and their significant ‘others’ . All are welcome in gods playground of the Hunter Valley

    A very loose itinerary / idea as follows:

    • For those who can – maybe arrive mid-morning on Friday 29th (match day)and we meet for a casual lunch and one, two or six tipples of your favourite drop and resolve all RA problems. Nominations will also be taken for role of Third Wallaby Selector.

    • Check in at your accommodation of choice (depending on budget Rydges Crowne Plaza Newcastle https://www.rydges.com/accommodation/regional-nsw/newcastle / is right on the Harbour and central to local bars, restaurants and approx. 12 minutes to the Stadium). There’s also accommodation in the Vineyards (about 1 hour from Newcastle) Otherwise no shortage of options for every budget in Australia’s biggest provincial city.

    • I have connections at the Stadium and was hoping for a sweetheart deal on a Corp Box – but the event is being run by the Waratahs and its $300 / person, minimum 14 people. I can get a block of well-placed tickets in the Eastern Grandstand – right on half way and 6-7 rows back at $52 each (we can square up on match day)

    • For those interested I would also provide an exclusive Hoss guided tour of the Pokolbin Vineyards (I only ask you lock the windows and keep all hands and belongings inside the bus as we pass through Cessnock) on the Saturday (8-12 seat bus) with some tastings and lunch at a hidden treasure. Your cost would just be your purchases and lunch.

    • Saturday night – for those that stay on, nothing planned, open to offers. Plenty of great new bars and restaurants in town and light rail opening soon to get you around easily. Or maybe you just kick back with you loved one and relax.

    Get on board – this could be the inception of our very own Barmy Army – ‘The Bold Green and Gold’, ‘The Ragged Gaggers’, ‘The Gagger Shaggers’. Who knows where it will all end, world cups, Bledisloe Tours, pleading not guilty in Newcastle Court on the Monday, or maybe just a nasty rash to take home as a memento.

    I only ask you let us know by Monday 11th Feb so I can secure best available remaining tickets and make necessary plans .

    Those interested just make comment below and I will get you some contact details.

    A weekend in Hossville – you know you want to.

    • Brisneyland Local

      THe BL’s are in!

      • Hoss

        Gidddiup.

      • Ed

        Take your bike BL, there are some good rides in Newie.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Will have to do that to work off some of the calories I will be racking up.
          Did a 55km ride sunday morning in Bris. Third ride back for the year. Last 5km hurt.

        • Ed

          Last 5km up Cootha?? ;)

          My copy of The Jersey arrived today. I am looking forward to it. The author was one of the few British rugby writers I would read instead of trolls like S.Jones.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nah. we Road out to Woody Point and back.
          The last 5km were coming through Bridgeman Downs, up the hills.
          I was already shot at Aspley!

    • Huw Tindall

      This has got Fyre Festival 2.0 written all over it

      • Brisneyland Local

        Nope. we are all booking our own rooms, so we know at least we are guaranteed of Accom. Also I know the wineries Monsieur Hoss has listed. they are a dab hand at serving good plonk.
        Unless Hoss is promising models, which I doubt as we are all bringing significant others along, this has all the debauchery of a middle eat too much, drink too much watch too much rugby trip written all over it.
        Just perfect in my book! You coming?

        • Hoss

          I am prepared to wear something skimpy, as long as we arrive at a ‘safe word’ first. I am still negotiating with Kanye West – stay tuned.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Armageddon!

        • Huw Tindall

          Would be there with bells on but I’ll be sorting out SME customer treatment strategies over in Ireland. Only get back to Aus once a year really and usually not in rugby season :(

        • Brisneyland Local

          Bugger. Would have been good to sink some tubes! And some Vino!

    • John Tynan

      Will revert.
      Sounds good to me but “Want to go interstate to meet some people for the first time who banter on a rugby website?” doesn’t have “Weekend in the Maldives” kinda ring.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Come on JT, where is your sense of adventure. I made my wife read Hoss’s posts and she is dying to meet him. Has launched almost as much coffee out of her nose reading those posts than I have.

      • Hoss

        Close your eyes and let me paint the picture JT – better still, hire ‘Deliverance’ and that’s pretty much a weekend in Hossville..

        The sound of banjo’s always stirs my loins.

        On a side note, anyone know the safe range on these ankle bracelets that Dept of Corrections issue ?????

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes 5km!

    • Keith Butler

      An invitation almost too good to refuse. I will seek the advice of she who must be obeyed.

      • Hoss

        An international flavour – i knew this would go global.

        • Keith Butler

          Didn’t realise Tassie was global or are you referring to my SD roots?

        • John Tynan

          Just don’t bring any Bob Brown, anti-Adani attitude with you KB. I’m a dirty old coal miner…

        • Keith Butler

          Is my Drop Tony Abbott T shirt allowed?

        • Hoss

          Newcastle is a very safe Labor seat mate – you might get asked for an autograph.

        • John Tynan

          Yes, but no red budgies.

        • Keith Butler

          If we make it, that’s a promise. My ‘assets’ have shrunk with age!

        • Hoss

          either or – Technically Tassie is overseas

        • Keith Butler

          She who must be obeyed she say yes. Looking forward to meeting up with you and the rest. A word of warning though. We will be howlin for the Wolves.

        • Hoss

          Can’t wait to meet you and your beautiful bride mate. Mr & Mrs Briz are in, myself and Mrs Hoss (got a $20 bet going with some on here that Mrs Hoss is not actually inflatable). So that’s 6 of us so far. Get me on 68hossman@gmail.com with your details mate. I can get u at airport and get u to Ncle accomm digs etc. bring your drinking elbow and sense of humour. It’s on. Hoss

        • Keith Butler

          On there way.

    • From NooZealand

      Would have love to be there. I am sure there would be a few funny tales afterwards. My best to all the foundational Gagger Shaggers’,

  • nmpcart

    Anthony Fainga’a would potentially be a good defence coach. My understanding was he organised the on field defence for the Reds during their heyday. Whether that translates to coaching it I suppose is another story but while never a flashy player he was very effective.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I can attest to that. He definitely did. He was fearless in his tackling, which unfortunately has led to some of his issues now.
      In attack he also ran great lines outside of QC, with Ant on one side and Digby on the other. Fantastic days!

      • Dylan Langes

        As a Rebels fan I am really hoping Hodge/Meakes and Koriobete will be able to link up with QC in a similar way. All strong runners that just need the ball at the right time in space.

        • Brisneyland Local

          DL, I think you are right. Having QC and Genia link will ensure the first part. In those Reds days, Ant and Digby just ran hard either side of QC. Both assumed they were getting the ball QC decided the better line and the ball would appear in front of one of them. they just had to grab it and run hard. but he, QC, almost always put them in a gap.

        • Dylan Langes

          Chills at that thought

      • Happyman

        Ant was essentially the Reds midfield general and was capable of reading defence fantastically well. Further to my point of the other day he is the type of character who would make a great coach as he was not the most gifted player but got everything out of his body in terms of preparation and game smarts.
        I know he and his brother have a few business things going on in property so I believe he will set himself up pretty well for the future.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah the boys before they left Qld drank coffee at the same Cafe as me after training. would always have a chat to them. they were always very friendly and very open. Then when I bought my daughters along to Rookies for Reds days at Ballymore, they remembered me from coffee, and linked me to my nephew who played for the reds at the time, so the twins and my nephew took my girls and they got spoilt rotten! Got great photos of my girls being taught to pass by Ant and Willy g! Proud Dad moments!

        • Happyman

          They were great day I remember my son said to me in late 2012. Dad do you realise I have never seen the Reds lose a match live. Two things happened 1 said to him “just wait”. then the Reds Said “Hold my beer”

          PS I did consider infanticide at that moment also.

        • Brisneyland Local

          So it was your son that jinxed us.

        • Happyman

          Thankfully he has grown into a fine young man who realises the error of his ways but I can tell you exactly where I was when he made that statement.
          Night market in Cairns watching the Reds play the Brums first home game lost in about 3 years. Eating Pizza and drinking beer.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold!

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Let’s get him well first. I hope he gets first-rate help.

  • formerflanker

    I may have missed any discussion about Will Miller’s captaincy selection for the “Tahs trial. An inspired choice and I hope he brings as much enthusiasm to his captaincy as he does to his play. I guess his time as captain of Norths will stand him in good stead.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,

    I think it’d be great to see some Trans Tasman Super W games. I hope this is something people are looking at seriously.

    Interesting that Eddie came over here to look for answers in every sport except rugby. Makes you wonder what, if anything, all these jobs for the boys in high performance and the like are actually doing anything similar or whether they either don’t know or don’t care about the science behind it all. For some reason I think the latter more than the former.

    A real shame to see Fainga’a have to end his career in such a way. I guess it just emphasises how important it is to teach people how to tackle properly. It’s ok being hard and fearless in the tackle but getting technique correct is critical. I’m glad he managed to see the light and realise his life is more important but a real shame for the game.

    • Dylan Langes

      Cheers KRL

      I hope they take their time to build a strong product in Australia first. It won’t be taken seriously if we send our teams over and they get 50 points put on them every time.

      Neil Craig is an actual genius at this stuff and its astounding that Jones snapped him up. But Jones did visit the Rebels, or at least claims he did in the article.
      If you want to look at the flaw with high performance in Aus rugby ask why is the head coach the one running fitness sessions. Thats old school. I dealt with that shit when I worked with footy teams in Melbourne that were coached by ex AFL players who had the old school mentality.

      We need to do more regarding concussions to help reduce risks to guys like Fainga’a

  • Huw Tindall

    That still counts! I had some mates who were connected into in some league circles back in the day and got plenty of juicy stories about everything recreational drugs (everyone knew Joey Johns liked to dabble) and the use of performance enhancing drugs (endemic).

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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