Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Captain Pocock, Pumas vs Randwick, TPN calls time and a Red heads south.


 

 

CAPTAIN POEY IS BACK!

2018-Wallabies-v-Ireland-6

And Wallabies fans across Australia stood on their desks and declared “Oh Captain my Captain.”

The news finally broke of the return to test Rugby of David Pocock, who, in place of Michael Hooper, will wear the captains band as the Wallabies take on Samoa on Saturday.

Pocock is one of a number of experienced players taking the field on Saturday, with the centurions Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Genia and Sekope Kepu all starting.

The idea of the Samoa match  was to be a trail two weeks out from the World Cup, but Michael Cheika has elected to rest several players who had significant time during the Rugby Championship including Nic White, Michael Hooper, Isi Naisarani, Izack Rodda, Christian Lealiifano, Samu Kerevi, Allan Alaalatoa, Reece Hodge, Rory Arnold and Kurtley Beale.

To cope with those resting players Cheika has called in a handful of players not named in the 31 man squad to fill gaps.

Many players will be given their chance to push for starting spots as Cheika looks to try out so new (and old) combinations to find the best fit for the World Cup.

Despite not being named in the 31 man squad, Brumbies back rower Rob Valentini stands a chance to pick up his first Wallabies cap after he was named on the bench. As his international career starts,  plenty will come to an end, with this being the last time Will Genia, Sekope Kepu and Tatafu Polota-Nau are confirmed to play in Australia for the Wallabies, with a chance it could be the last for a few more players.

1. James Slipper (90 Tests) 2. Jordan Uelese (3 Tests) 3. Sekope Kepu (105 Tests) 4. Rob Simmons (97 Tests) 5. Adam Coleman (33 Tests) 6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (15 Tests) 7. David Pocock (c) (77 Tests) 8. Jack Dempsey (11 Tests) 9. Will Genia (vc) (104 Tests) 10. Bernard Foley (69 Tests) 11. Marika Koroibete (23 Tests) 12. Matt To’omua (46 Tests) 13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (118 Tests) 14. Dane Haylett-Petty (32 Tests) 15. Tom Banks (5 Tests)

Reserves

16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (89 Tests) 17. Scott Sio (58 Tests) 18. Taniela Tupou (15 Tests) 19. Luke Jones (5 Tests)  20. Liam Wright (1 Test)  21. Rob Valetini* 22. Nick Phipps (71 Tests) 23. James O’Connor (47 Tests)

PUMAS READY FOR RANDWICK

Nicolas Sanchez scores for the Pumas

Nicolas Sanchez scores for the Pumas

It has been 31 years since Randwick faced the All Blacks at a suburban ground and on Saturday the old Sydney club will get that chance to face another international team when Los Pumas have their final hit out before the World Cup.

After a long year for the Jaguares and shortened Rugby Championship, Coach Mario Ledesma decided he would prefer an easier hit out to help his team adjust to the time zone, and have one final team run.

“Obviously the Jaguares played a lot of footy this year — that’s why we didn’t want a very demanding Test,” said Ledesma, who played at four World Cups.

“I’m not (knocking) the Wicks, I’m a fan, but we’re going to start with a pretty similar team.

“We had the chance to play against Fiji or Samoa like Australia, but it was more about going through out structures and a game plan more than a physically demanding Test, and we feel very comfortable over here.”

Back in 1988, the Randwick side boasted some names that are still talked about today with the likes of Simon Poidevin, Eddie Jones and Michael Cheika taking part.

But Ledesma isn’t expecting the same experience to come up against the Pumas, more the up and coming talent that Australia has to offer. Randwick will include Will Harrison and Ben Donaldson, both who starred for the Junior Wallabies earlier the year.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty young team,” Ledesma said.

“I saw some of those players playing in the under-20s this year.

“They have two really interesting fly-halves that were training here this morning.

“I think that (Wallabies back-rower) Ned’s (Hanigan) playing.

“Apparently there was some back and forth and pressure from (NSW) Country.

“But I think it would be good for him to play against us and good for us to have a guy like Ned in front.”

Whilst they might have some young bloods in their team, Randwick will feature former Wallabies Andrew Walker and Adam Freier, the later who made his Wallabies debut back in 2002, packing down against Ledesma. The pair then worked together when Ledesma coached the Wallabies and Freier worked as the media manager.

“I used to see Randwick and obviously Adam Freier, who used to show all his talent, and apparently he’s playing on the weekend. It could be his last,” quipped Ledesma, who followed Randwick during his time in Sydney.

“I think it’s going to be a favour for Australian rugby to retire him. I think it’s time.”

POLOTA-NAU CALLS TIME

2017-Wallabies-v-Italy-19

After 15 years at the international level, Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has decided to call time on his international career, with one final run on his home turf at Bankwest stadium on Saturday.

TPN missed out on making his third World Cup appearance, and barring being called in as emergency cover, 

“It is (special) because the west has given me the opportunity to take rugby with both hands and go for it,” Polota-Nau said.

“If it wasn’t for Parramatta Two Blues picking up the skill set I possessed back in schoolboys days, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to don the green and gold.

“It’s a privilege really to wear the Wallabies jersey.

“It’s another opportunity to wear the gold jersey, most likely for the last time, and  it’s been a hell of a journey and I have been incredibly fortunate to wear the jersey every time.”

Despite not being named to go to Japan, TPN is confident in the young players that Cheika has chosen, and is far from being a bitter old man.

“There are various skills each hooker possesses and to be honest I have been fortunate to witness that. Unfortunately my skill set isn’t as good as the rest of them but to honest I couldn’t be at a happier place and I have every confidence they will do the job in Japan.”

Polota-Nau will face Samoa for the first time since 2011, when he was a part of the side that was upset by Samoa, who were the better team according to the hooker.

“It’s a very important game, not just to get different combinations in the right places but also an opportunity for guys who don’t get much exposure to Test rugby to test their wares against Samoa,” Polota-Nau said.

“Samoa are a really experienced side, with a lot of them playing in the Premiership, where I am playing. They will have a lot to offer and a lot up their sleeve as they prepare for Japan as well.”

 

 REBELS SIGN A RED

2018-Reds-v-Brumbies-7

The Melbourne Rebels have continued their rebuild by adding former Queensland Reds halfback James Tuttle to their 2020 list.

Tuttle was a regular in the reds squad before suffering injury set backs, and ultimately losing his spot to Tate McDermott and Moses Sorvovi.

he is grateful though, to have a second shot at Super Rugby.

“I’d like to thank Dave Wessels for the opportunity for me to continue on my Super Rugby career in Melbourne,” said Tuttle.

“I’m really excited to be joining a Club with such a highly regarded coaching staff and full of talented players right throughout the squad.

“The more competition you have in your playing group, the higher the standards you’re exposed to out on the training paddock.

“I’m looking forward to mixing it with those talented players and doing everything I can to fight for a starting spot.” 

Along with Fijian half back Frank Lomani, Tuttle will have the chance to fill the void left at the club after Will Genia and Michael Ruru departed.

It was also confirmed by the club that they had signed Western Force flyhallf Andrew Deegan, who has lead the Force at NRC and Global Rapid Rugby level.

“Having played professional rugby now in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres (with Connacht), I feel like I’m returning to the Super Rugby with a lot more experience.

“The backline at the Rebels is stacked with talent across the board, so it will be exciting to work alongside plenty of guys who have international experience.

“The Rebels look like they’ve been building something special over the last couple of seasons and I’m excited to be a part of it,” said Deegan.

Rebels GM Nick Ryan was excited that the Rebels could secure they young talent like Tuttle and Deegan.

“It’s exciting for the Club to be able to secure both Andrew and James as talented playmakers who have a worldly mix of rugby experience and youth,” said Ryan.

“Our 2020 campaign is going to be built on hard work and driving high standards day in, day out. The fact both players arrive here with experience of other professional environments means they will hit the ground running and we want to create an environment of great competition for spots in the 23 each week.

“In addition to international Matt To’omua and Frank Lomani, we now have quality depth in our playmaking stocks. It takes a squad mentality to be successful in Super Rugby and we are looking forward to finalising our roster very soon.”

 

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,

    Some interesting picks in the team this week and if either some who missed out on the cup squad play really well, or some who were picked play poorly then there will certainly be some interesting discussions. Not sure if players are locked into he RWC squad or not but I can’t see Cheika making changes regardless. I hope there are no injuries to either side.

    Good luck with the future TPN, hope it goes well and thanks for your time in Gold. Im not sure bringing you back to not be picked was a good move but I guess the chance to play one more home game makes it all worthwhile.

    Not sure what the Argies will get out of their game but good luck.

    Not that surprised to see Tuttle go south. I actually liked his play and hopefully he will develop further down there.

    • Geoffro

      Don’t know how the faithful will react if Pumas pull out all stops and give the lads in myrtle green a true bollocking.Probably be a more lighthearted affair I reckon anyway.

      • Max Graham

        The Pumas should thrash Randwick. I don’t agree that it will be lighthearted at all, but do think each team will have very different goals. Great opportunity for club players to experience playing a tier one team. They’ll never forget it.

        • From NooZealand

          The Pumas should thrash Randwick They might or they will, but should they? 100% agree on the rest of your comment.

        • Brumby Runner

          Absolutely. A test team playing a side which isn’t near the top of the fourth tier in this country.

        • From NooZealand

          Understand me friend. It is simply that it can also be read that the pumas have to trash them. I understand that they should as in that they shouldn’t have any problem putting in a big score.

        • Geoffro

          Its an odd matchup.I cant see it being too fearsome.Ledesma should suit up in tribute to his bud Freier

        • Max Graham

          Is the NRC really a tier though? ;)

  • Brumby Runner

    So, the mysteries with selections continue. Where’s Joe Powell and HJH? Joe has been a member of the squad all year and was taken to Neumea from the beginning of this training stint, but fails to even get bench time. HJH was flown over last week. Why? So he can watch Slipper and Sio train?

    • Dud Roodt

      Probably to provide solid opposition to those that will play and will feature in the RWC.

      Or, you know, consssspirrraaaaaaaaaaaaacccccccccyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Who?

        Do you know what Phipps is doing next year? Is he staying..? Maybe it’s meant to be an opportunity for a farewell test for him, too?
        Not suggesting he should move on (I’ve often questioned core skills, but never his effort), but given his service over the years, if he’s moving on, it’s far from inappropriate.
        .
        That said, it’d make way more sense to play Powell than Genia, and HJH than Slipper and Sio… If we’re effectively running out Australia A and protecting key Wallabies.
        .
        Oh, and fascinating that AAC’s apparently selected as a 13, not a winger… Given he played there all year for the Tahs. That makes him – as I said – our fourth choice 13 (behind JOC, TK, and SK) in the 31, which is crazy when we’re taking only two scrumhalves…

        • Dud Roodt

          Yeah Phipps is headed to London Irish. I agree with you on Phipps, always tried his guts out (to varying degrees of success), always gave it his all.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Especially when Sprinkling all over a bar!

        • Dud Roodt

          Haha yes you’ve always had it in for him since he used that bar as a urinal. To be fair to Phipps, I’ve spent some time in the Woollahra Hotel, and the lack of charm in the place sometimes makes me want to piss all over it too. Who knows, a few shandies and I could be sword fighting my mate while ordering?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Dont cross the streams!

        • Dud Roodt

          How else does one assert dominance?

        • Brisneyland Local
        • Geoffro

          Loser to perform the bubbler ?

        • Dud Roodt

          You spelt “winner” wrong

        • Geoffro

          Sorry,I forgot the importance of a winners entitlement to a victory lap.

        • Dud Roodt

          Not to mention drinking the spoils from a winners trophy of some kind

        • Geoffro

          Just not too much shaking of the bottle ala motosport please

        • Dud Roodt

          Haha. more than 3 shakes and it’s a wank anyway right?

        • Who?

          Thanks – forgot he was heading to London Anzac with Kepu et al.
          .
          So, it’s a farewell to Sydney for Phipps, Kepu, AAC, and the old Two Blues hooker Taf. Whilst there’s questions about squad balance (AAC as a 13 is his best use, it’s where he played all season, but whether we require 4 centres against only 2 scrumhalves is a valid question), about use of players (i.e. HJH and Powell left out, when they could give Slipper/Sio and Genia a rest), it’s really hard to argue that those blokes don’t deserve a run in their only home Test this year (bearing in mind they’re all Tahs, all long term Wallabies and it’s the only game in Sydney).
          .
          They’ve been smart enough to flag it that way with Taf – and it’s been (I think) fairly well received. Why didn’t they just flag the same for the other guys? They deserve the recognition, and it might’ve damped down the inevitable backlash. Yet again, RA have managed to take something that is at worst quite reasonable, but actually more likely quite a positive thing, and made it a negative. Typical RA and Cheika……. :-(

        • Dud Roodt

          It is quite the Antipodean team the Irish! Scotty Staniforth was a trend setter all those years ago.

          Yeah it does appear to be a farewell for those players – and I think that’s fair enough.

          I think maybe if they come out and say that they’re essentially using this test as a ticker tape parade for retiring players you diminish the game (meaning some fans won’t buy tickets) and you also perhaps disrespect your opposition a bit too.
          But I would say given the timing of the announcements this week that they are doing exactly that, without spelling it out.

        • Who?

          I’m not sure it diminishes the game. You’re talking about two hundred cappers, a 90 capper, not sure how many Phipps has, but he’s been a fixture. They may not quite be first choice this year (Kepu’s still played most of the Tests), but they’re hardly dud players.
          .
          And, promoted that way, it’d be more honest than saying it’s a warm up for the RWC (given how many players won’t feature there), and I’m not sure that the faithful wouldn’t turn up just to say goodbye to those guys. They’ve earned it.

        • Dud Roodt

          What I mean is that if you promote it mainly as a Johnny Farnham type farewell tour it becomes a bit of a testimonial rather than a final hit out for us before trying to win the world cup.

        • Who?

          Isn’t that what it is? I mean, how many of the guys playing are going to be first choice players in Japan..? At least 7 of the starting 15 won’t be starters in Japan (most won’t even make the bench), and the same deal for 4 of the 8 on the bench. Let’s be honest, the selection’s already changed it from a launch point to a practice match, given we’ve got Pocock, Dempsey, and Uelese looking for game time returning from injury, we’re not playing the Wallaby captain, the first choice halves, 12, 13, 15…
          .
          I think that, given we’re not mugs, given they’ve been selling tickets for three or four months (I remember seeing discount codes months ago, and I’m not even in NSW!), calling out that it’s the last game for those blokes may spur on any ticket sales. After all, they did exactly that for Genia and (to a lesser extent) Kerevi in Brisbane before the Argentina Test. Did that turn a RC game into a farewell tour? Or did it spur on ticket sales?
          And this if four long term servants – we’re talking just shy of 400 Wallaby caps, and countless Tah caps. They deserve it.

        • Dud Roodt

          Ha mate I agree with you that it’s a good thing to do (farewell them), I’m just not sure RA want to market it as a farewell tour game rather than a serious hit out.

        • Brumby Runner

          You seem to be forgetting Who? that the game is out West at Parramatta (actually almost central, but much too far West for the run of the mill rugby fan in Sydney). No amount of promotion is likely to add to the crowd.

        • Who?

          I know, I know… Hence why I’d have thought you’d try anything at all possible.
          But I realize that it’s more likely that fans of AAC from his Brumbies days are more likely to turn out than the Eastern Suburbs elitists, who’d rather turn up their noses and watch the ‘Wicks get smashed by an 80% Pumas team running at blokes my age and older than drive past Anzac Parade (where’s Nutta’s photo when you need it?!).

        • AllyOz

          They should give Andrew Walker a run in this one too.

        • AllyOz

          you have a fullback/right wing to replace too (unless he wins his court action).

        • Max Graham

          Have the other officially retired from test rugby like Taff? Maybe hard to have an official farewell for those who haven’t said goodbye. Just a thought. Your comment made me think about the reasoning and that’s the only thing I could come up with.

        • Who?

          Kepu declared his retirement last week?
          Phipps hasn’t said anything, but I think he’d be pretty realistic about the chances of being Giteau-law selected (knowing how rare that’s been outside RWC years).
          AAC’s 35. Surely he’s said something?

        • Damo

          Farewell appearances, non RWC players selected. I have to ask what on earth is the purpose of this game, other than to see if the glue is dry on Poey’s repair work? This is on top of one of MC’s training camps. If there is anything more to learn about the Wallabies RWC game plan or selection tactics this game/ team is not going to enlighten us. I would have thought there was merit in taking 31 very fresh players to Japan- jumping out of their skins to get on the field. The only positive I can see is if Banks totally embarrasses the selectors by having a blinder.

        • Who?

          It’s also the only Sydney test this year. Can’t have a year without a test in Sydney… Even if there’s no stadium inside the traditional area defined by RA to be ‘Sydney’.

        • Max Graham

          Don’t forget Petaia for 13. We do seem to be very solid when it comes to depth in the midfield.

        • idiot savant

          Jordan is more myth than reality so far. Yes he’s showed potential in 1 and a half games of super rugby at 13 but so far his body doesn’t appear to be up to the rigours of top shelf rugby. Reminds me of CFS early in his career.

        • Who?

          Forgot him!!! I knew I had AAC as our 5th choice 13 the other week, but I couldn’t remember who I had in front of him…
          That said, until he’s actually played, as IS says below, he’s a bit of a myth. He could be an awesome 100 cap Wallaby one day, even if he doesn’t get a cap until the next RWC. He’s still so young…

    • Geoffro

      S’pose its one of the benefits of having Qantas as a major sponsor.These guys can fly willy nilly all over the shop gratis.

    • Howard

      Add Maddocks flying over late in the camp then not used. Powell must feel very hard done by

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I know. He’s been shafted for years by Chieka. I bet if White or Genia are injured Phipps will get called up too

      • Max Graham

        I think Powell has some though times ahead too. Some good young halfbacks coming through. McDermott from the Reds looks the goods to me.

        • idiot savant

          White has the job for the next few years you would think and its hard not to imagine McDermott will be blooded at the higher level next year off the bench. Louwrens is apparently coming back to the Rebels and Gordon won’t go away. With McDonald and Lonergan being prospects for 2 or 3 years time, you would think next year might be Powell’s last chance.

        • Max Graham

          Louwrens will hopefully never get near the Gold Jersey. He’s been away a while – maybe he’ll come back more ripped with super human fitness….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I agree. He needs to work on his weaknesses. I’d like his speed and length to improve and at times he gets caught up away from the ball and I think he needs to work on that. I do like his decision making though as I think for the most part he gets it right

    • Max Graham

      HJH is understandable – injury cover and allowed squad to have 3 full front rows for training. Slipper hasn’t had much game time so him starting and Sio on the bench makes good sense I reckon. It’s a test jersey and shouldn’t be handed out as an award for participation. HJH will play 50+ tests and will be better for this experience.
      Powell is harder to understand. No issues with Genia starting, but not sure what the rationale as to Phipps’ inclusion was. We can’t see what’s happening at training and there might be compelling reasons. But on the surface it is a bit weird.

      • idiot savant

        I wonder if the 6.2 bench played in Phipps favour? Powell can only play halfback but Phipps has a few more strings – he can play wing and steal opposition footy boots.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          He’s not bad at shoving pesky medics out of the way either.

    • idiot savant

      We don’t know if there were any injury niggles which might explain why HJH was sent over. Its also possible Cheik wanted him to play to protect one of the loose heads but lost the argument with the other selectors.

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        To control his schnitty intake in case he has to fly to Japan halfway through the campaign.

  • Geoffro

    Fairly solid forward pack but a bit underwhelmed by the backs.Hoping the bench gets emptied early and Banks (and Pocock) have blinders.

    • Max Graham

      Smart back line. I don’t mind this team. Reckon they’d be as good as the ‘A’ team.

      • Geoffro

        Who knows.Cheika might feel justified to switch a few of them over to A teamers if they perform well.Hope not.

        • Max Graham

          Agree. They’re smart – they could win you a super rugby title – but they aren’t going to knock off the best test teams.

      • idiot savant

        Smart, but slow in places. I think Nanai Williams will be fancying the gap between AAC and DHP.

        • Max Graham

          Yeah? I reckon 5m either side of AAC is tough to crack!!

  • Dud Roodt

    Fuck, the pesky Rebels further raiding the stocks of the North East Elites! I’ve had ENOUGH of it goddam it!

    • Geoffro

      Hannes has scared them away from WA,now they’re looking north again

      • Dud Roodt

        Wessels was all over the forum reading every comment and ended up quietly sobbing into is hot choccy last night. It clearly had the desired effect

        • Geoffro

          Crack up :)

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Mission accomplished QED

  • Gottsy

    Great to see Poey back starting at 7 but I can’t help but feel that it will be like the last time they started him there- give him a totally unbalanced team, and then use the loss as an excuse to not keep him in the starting line up

    • Brisneyland Local

      Gottsy, of course. It is the Cheika way!

      • Gottsy

        I would be so happy to be proven wrong, but I’ve just got a bad feeling about it haha

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are not on your Pat Malone there mate.

    • Max Graham

      Why is the team unbalanced? Pocock and Dempsey compliment each other well I reckon.

      • Who?

        But where’s the 8? Dempsey’s a good 6.5, Pocock’s a 7, but LSL’s a 5.

        • Max Graham

          I don’t think you need 3 specialists with 3 specialist skill sets at all. You certainly need the 3 blokes to cover all the needs and these 3 blokes can fulfill the needs of the backrow well I reckon. Valetini on the bench too!! I’m happy.

        • Who?

          I agree, they just need to be balanced. I just don’t think they are, given we’ve got a big tight forward and two loose forwards. We don’t really have a #8 in there. Dempsey fills more the 6 role, I consider him a 6.5, not an 8. LSL’s a 5.

      • Brumby Runner

        Needs more than a couple of players saying how good they think the other is, Max.

  • Dud Roodt

    OK question for the more intellectually gifted among us;

    Can someone please tell me how Cooper Vuna can play for Tonga this weekend against the AB’s when he has 2 Wallabies tests to his name?

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      I don’t know the specific wording of the rule, but I’d say it’s the same one that saw the Human Skewer play for Fiji after his time with Australia. I’m sure there are other examples too.

    • Who?

      Easy! He played 7’s for Tonga. 7’s is under the International Olympic Committee’s jurisdiction, as it’s an Olympic sport. And 7’s determines your national availability under World Rugby, too.
      So, the easiest pathway to transfer nations – and the only way to play for two nations in the current arrangement – is to follow the IOC’s eligibility pathway. That requires that you don’t represent your ‘former’ nation for 18 months, then be selected to play for that nation in a WR/IOC sanctioned tournament. Then, once you’ve represented that other nation (i.e. been named in a 7’s weekend and gotten on the field), you’re eligible for XV’s.
      .
      Here’s the scary thing – he’s far from the only Wallaby who could do this. George Smith could’ve done it for this RWC (he could’ve done in it 2015! It was more than 18 months after the Lions tour). With the 18 months, all of these guys could’ve done it:
      Will Skelton
      Quade Cooper
      Nic White
      Christian Leali’ifano
      Luke Jones
      James O’Connor
      Scott Fardy
      .
      All blokes who have significant numbers of supporters who would love to see them in Gold this year, or who have come back and been selected in Gold after breaks for various reasons.
      .
      It’s an unusual option, but, honestly, I’m not opposed to the option. For people with strong ties to another country, especially the Pacific Islands, I think it’s only fair they’re given the option. The scary thing is, Kerevi could easily choose to represent Fiji in 2023, as he could head off for a 7’s tournament in 2021 (whilst still tied to Japan) and be eligible to represent Fiji immediately.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Wow that is bloody scary!

        • From NooZealand

          You scared? Now I can see you shaking in your boots behind a broomstick … well several broomsticks.

        • Brisneyland Local

          NOt scared scared. But it is a scary concept that that many players “could” obstensively line up against us. All of them above average.

        • From NooZealand

          Just kidding my friend. I could see a six plus foot Aussie veteran shaking when I know Aussies are hard cookies when the time comes. Ha ha ha. I knew what you meant .

        • Brisneyland Local

          Got it. Many things scare me. An angry wife scares me! Facing fast bowlers scares me! The pub running out of beer, scares me!

      • Dud Roodt

        Right – thanks for the info!

        So Fardy could play for Ireland as he’s been there long enough? Haven’t they extended the residency rule out to 5 years? Or could he have been picked for Ireland 7’s on day one of his arrival in ireland, then been eligable 18 months later for Ireland 15’s?

        • Who?

          The residency rule is out to five years, but that only applies if you’re uncapped. If you’re capped, the only way to change countries is under the IOC eligibility system. WR didn’t want to implement the IOC system, they believe their system is better. And where we’re talking about team-based sports, there’s a lot more tie to nationality, as opposed to more individual sports as you find in many Olympic sports. No one talks about Jamaica winning the Olympic Gold in the 100m in 2008, 2012 and 2016. They talk about Usain Bolt. It’s not a big deal if a pole vaulter changes their representation between Olympics (as we’ve had a few descendants of former USSR countries (I think mainly Ukraine?) represent us at pole vault over the past decade or two), but it’d feel a lot bigger if, say, LeBron decided he was going to represent Brazil instead of the US.
          .
          Now, what the rest of the IOC requirement is, I’m not sure. I’m not sure if it’s citizenship, a passport, etc. But I believe it’s only 18 months’ stand down, and in Rugby it’s just being part of a high level sanctioned 7’s event.
          .
          Folau? He could absolutely transfer to Tonga. The question about ‘restraint of trade’ is still arguably applicable, though, as what his representatives would describe as the reputational damage created by RA’s decision to sack him makes him far less employable in many regions of the world (i.e. France, the UK, possibly Japan) at a point in time when he’s approaching retirement, and payment from Tonga wouldn’t remotely compare with RA’s contract. So even taking that option, I’m sure he’d still argue he’s still at a significant financial loss.

        • Dud Roodt

          Thanks again for the education.

          I don’t think it complies under a restraint of trade ruling though, as it’s not RA stopping someone else from signing him, it’s the other teams not wanting to sign him. The reputational damage was done by him. But fuck this is getting dangerously close to opening up a can of worms and the people who mysteriously disappeared when the Folau thing died down might come crawling back out

        • From NooZealand

          Thanks again for the education. Yes, it’s been very good. Cheers.

      • Dud Roodt

        Also begs the question – why doesn’t Izzy do this?

        • AllyOz

          No apparently it doesn’t work according to the SMH.

          “Given Folau has already represented Australia, he cannot switch immediately and play for another country. However, there is a little-known loophole Folau could use to his advantage. He would have to sit out international rugby for three years and then participate in a Olympic sevens qualifying tournament to have any chance of making a shock switch.”

          It says he would have to sit out international rugby for a period first.

        • Dud Roodt

          Who? said it’s 18 months. Which is a lot better than 3 years.

          Of course, I couldn’t give a rats ass what he does, but might stop his claim that he’s a victim of restraint of trade as he can’t play international footy. He could go and earn squillions in Japan (if a team was willing to pay him), then get a call up for Tonga 7’s, then be playing for Tonga come 2023

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Nicely researched and written. I’d personally like World Rugby to do more to allow players from Tier 1 countries to be able to play for their heritage country when they are no longer wanted for the Tier 1 team. At least this is a start

        • Who?

          An accidental start on WR’s behalf…
          I didn’t research it – read it a while ago. :-)
          .
          Would’ve been fascinating if it’d happened a twenty years ago. Leinster might not have had Nacewa. They didn’t try to make him an AB for 3 years after he’d played for Fiji. When they realised he’d been capped by Fiji, they could’ve sent him straight tot he AB 7’s, picked him in a single game, and then let him win 100 AB 15’s caps.

      • Brumby Runner

        Who?, in my wildest dreams, I cannot see Will Skelton playing 7s. As a matter of interest, who are you saying Nic White, JOC, Luke Jones and Scott Fardy could play for under these arrangements?

        • Jcr

          Was a very big rig who played for Manawatu , here in the Queenstown 7s a number of years ago , from memory it was when Beauden was first playing 7s and he was in contention for the NZ team . Great to watch , like watching a dark Gulliver v mob of those little fuckers , can’t remember what they were called but think I’m nearly right.

        • Who?

          I couldn’t imagine Skelton playing 7’s either. But, if he got on in the dying seconds of one match, he’d be set. It’d be hilarious to watch, but that’s all that’s required for eligibility. Just as Isa Nacewa played 120 seconds from the 80th minute on in a singular RWC game for Fiji, and was forever tied to them (even though he was NZ born and wanted to be an AB).
          .
          Those guys could play for anyone where they met the other requirements, which I haven’t fully researched. I’m not sure whether it’s required that you be a citizen, a permanent resident or hold a passport. Let’s go the easiest of those players – JOC. He was eligible for all three SANZAR countries at the time of his debut. His grandparents and parents came from NZ and SA. So, if he’d decided he wanted to play elsewhere, I’d imagine it wouldn’t have been too hard to organize a passport. It’s like the guys this weekend – before last June, if Toomua had wanted to play for Samoa (rather than the Wallabies), he’d have just needed to organize a Samoan passport.

    • Geoffro

      I know Nanai Williams switched to Samoa by first playing sevens for them Vuna played for Tonga before he was selected by the Wallabies too didn’t he ?

      • Brumby Runner

        I would think Naiyarovoro would be a prime candidate for a switch under these arrangements.

        • Geoffro

          For who ?

      • Who?

        Vuna played NRL for the Knights before he was a Wallaby…
        I thought Nanai-Williams never played for NZ or any nation other than Samoa?

        • Geoffro

          Looked it up.Vuna played RL for Tonga and Tonga train on squad for RWC 2011 (dont know if he he played any games) Nanai played sevens for NZ and only junior rep side in XV

    • Missing Link

      Did he even play for Tonga 7’s during an olympics or com games?

      • Dud Roodt

        Not sure mate. Her dropped off my radar the day he left Oz!

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    The more I look through the squad to play Manu Samoa, the more I want to name them “The Expendables” (plus Poey).

    Cheika clearly is not risking any of “his” first-choice players this weekend.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Does any one else smell shades of 2011?

      • Dud Roodt

        No. For one simple reason.

        Alesana Tuilagi has retired. And thank the good lord fuck for that

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good Point DR, good point. Aside from him, the scenario is looking eerily similar.

        • onlinesideline

          I watched the highlights the other day. Manu were rag dolling Timani and also double teaming him. And he was hugee and they were just squatting him like a fly. Doesnt look like footy, it looks like a gladiator pit of last man standing saves their family. Violent stuff.

        • Dud Roodt

          I remember having an overwhelming sense of dread about 5 mins in…

        • Who?

          I remember predicting we’d struggle to score points with the backline that Deans selected. That there wasn’t enough playmaking, not enough support for Giteau. I never imagined that Alesana would pile on the points…..
          Cheika’s become a master of poor results, but he’s still behind Robbie in his capacity to spring a massive disappointment on us. We expect it from Cheika, many didn’t ever learn to expect it from Robbie.

        • From NooZealand

          Cheers. Saw some of his games. Great player.

      • AllyOz

        maybe your gas pipes are leaking

        • Brisneyland Local

          I hope so. Am at work, that will mean I can evacuate the building and go home for the day!

        • Who?

          And you can see Bankwest from there. Maybe the gas pipe’s contaminating the stadium, and the game will be called off..?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sitting at my desk now looking at the stadium now. I hope not! I just want to go home early! I have had enough of today.

        • Dud Roodt

          Me too.

          Let’s all boycott our places of business and go to the pub for the afternoon

        • Brisneyland Local

          There is merit in that suggestion.

        • Keith Butler

          Suffer in yer jocks working person. Spent the morning planting our plot at Swan Bay with more of the same this arvo. So much for retirement!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Am so jealous!

        • Keith Butler

          Yeah, life is a bitch isn’t it. Good to see Pocock back. Strong pack looks like LSL has the 6 jersey glued to his back but who knows, we may yet see the return of the Pooper come the RWC. Backline apart from Banks and Koribete a bit on the slow side. Compare and contrast with the Darkness who have picked virtually their 1st XV. Just about to get stuck in to a few tinnies after a hard day on the land. Blueberry gin jam bubbling on the cooker.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I envy you!

      • Geoffro

        Not really.Samoa has a pretty bad w/l rate over the last few years (they regularly get beat by Georgia).Even if they had all their offshore players on deck dont think theyve enough time together

        • Brisneyland Local

          Am hoping that is the case. But this is the cheika Wallabies! And that scares me more.

      • sambo6

        2011 smelt ‘toxic’ I heard someone say once……

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes. Then he had to learn how to enjoy his rugby again.

    • Ads

      It’s high risk for Poey. I unfortunately wont be surprised if he cops a knock this game and misses the WC.

      • Geoffro

        Hope not but if he cant get through this game he never would make it far at the WC anyway

        • Ads

          Yeah I agree, just first game back to cop Samoa is a big ask from an injury/physicality POV. Hope for no injuries to either team.

    • Brumby Runner

      Slipper, Sio, LSL, Genia, JOC, Tupou, Toomua – all first choice game day 23 players.

      • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

        Yeah, apologies. I mean starters. Should have been clearer.

        JOC and LSL would be the only ones fitting that bill, maybe Sio. I think we can safely assume that Poey isn’t Cheika’s preferred starting 7.

      • Mr Wobbly

        Can’t spell Koroibete?

  • Ads

    you mean the quarter final? :)
    Agree, just got a horrible feeling it will all go pear-shaped.

    • onlinesideline

      I dont. I’ve got a pretty good feeling about this team and where the coaches are taking it. Im just still utterly bewildered how Banks could be left out. Even just to use him in the pool matches and see how he handles it.

  • formerflanker

    Dylan, what is this captain’s band you refer to?

  • onlinesideline

    Ive heard d worse plans

  • Dud Roodt

    OK – one final comment from me – was anyone else aware that Michael Aaaaaalaaaaalotaaaaaa had declared for Samoa and will be running out against us?

    I know we are currently in a prop infused purple patch, but a real shame I reckon. Would have been amazing to have 2 brothers run out on either side of the scrum in gold.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/09/05/wallabies-samoa-team-announcement

    • Who?

      That’s not a terrible team……..

      • Dud Roodt

        Not by any stretch. Few Wallaby “rejects” (for want of a better word) might have something to prove too

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      This brotherly love thing has happened before – remember when we played Fiji, and they had the magnificently-named Campese Ma’afu in their front row, up against his Wallaby brother Salesi Ma’afu?

      • Brisneyland Local

        No one is allowed to hit my brother but me!

      • Dud Roodt

        I do indeed – and Campese is still running around for them!

  • Nutta

    Thanks for your effort TPN. I’ll happily buy you many beers if I ever get the chance.

    • Huw Tindall

      Such a nice bloke he’ll be buying you the beers! Have a friend who used to live next door to Taf and some of the Tahs out near Centennial Park in Sydney back in the day. Would go over for BBQs regularly and Taf got them tickets to RWC2015 when some of them were living in London. Top bloke by all accounts.

Melbourne Rebels
@DylanGLanges

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

More in Melbourne Rebels

  • Thursday’s Rugby News

    Thursdays Rugby News sees Another Cheika Fit Camp, Petaia injured again, All Blacks RWC Squad and New signings at...

  • Thursday’s Rugby News

    Thursdays Rugby News sees Robertson optimistic, Wallaroos ready for Japan, Vale James Small and Matt Gibbon staying in Melbourne....

  • Rebels outplayed by the Chiefs

    The Rebels ended their season with another punishing loss, this time 59-8 as the Chiefs inflicted another...

  • Preview: Rebels v Chiefs

    The Rebels host the Chiefs in a winner-takes-all contest at AMMI Park The equation is simple: the...