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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News has injury news, Jed Holloway news and your favourite – Phil Kearns news!


Adam Coleman - ready to

The Injury Report Card

Rugby.com.au is reporting that Tevita Kuridrani and Jordan Petaia are looking good, as they slowly return to full training.

Kuridrani hurt his hamstring in the lead-up to the Samoa test, while Petaia also hurt his hamstring in New Caledonia.

Cheika said that Kuridrani could be in the mix for the Fiji game on 21 September, while Petaia might not be about until 5 October Uruguay match.

“Tevita, he’s running nearly back at full pace so I’m hopeful he’s going to be right to be available for selection next weekend,” Cheika said.

“Our target for Jordan is a couple of weeks later, but he’s on track.

“If not Wales, the one after but we’re hopeful it’ll be for Wales, if not, I’m comfortable with the one after.”

Adam Coleman, who had an injury scare against Samoa, worked separately from the main training group. However, Cheika said he wasn’t concerned about the hand injury Coleman is carrying.

Just in case, Luke Jones has been flown to Japan as cover.

“Jack and Tom Banks are here and Luke Jones, so we can keep them for this week until the official tournament starts next week,” Cheika said.

“They’re just providing some extra training cover and, of course, they would be the next guys in if we had any injuries.”

Bernard Foley

It’s Kearns, stupid!

Phil Kearns – unrelated to Mr Kurns – is desperately trying to maintain relevance as a talking head, as he’s told Fox Sports (via AAP) that Bernard Foley is Australia’s choice flyhalf.

Despite all evidence to the contrary.

“It’s great to have Christian back. He showed a really good performance but also an average performance,” Kearns said.

 “When Bernard’s on song, he’s a very, very good 10 and very reliable, which is so important.

“I think the biggest issue isn’t so much which one but who can be most consistently good?

“And I think your 10 is probably going to have to be playing six games or seven games at the tournament, so that consistency factor is critical.”

“Their ability to mitigate the dew factor is also critical”, Kearns didn’t add.

Kearns, while he’s on the shit opinions, also champions the return of the Pooper.

“When you’re talking about the best sixes and sevens in the world, Hooper and Pocock would get a mention,” Kearns said.

“The work rate’s phenomenal but if you’ve got those two, you need a tall back- rower as well and perhaps that’s where we’re lacking.”

Holloway about to put Ashley-Cooper in for the tahs first try.

Pogue MaHolloway

For some reason, the northern hemisphere leagues are going on while there’s a World Cup. What is World Rugby doing.

With Jean Kleyn, Tadhg Beirne, Peter O’Mahony and CJ Stander all included in Ireland’s squad, Munster needs some cover in the back-row.

So they’ve turned to Jed Holloway, the Waratahs backrower/lock, according to the 42.ie.

Holloway has 52 caps with the Waratahs, and one appearance on the GAGR pod.

His move is subject to a work permit.

Oh, and Stephen Larkham will be his coach.

Gareth Anscombe - moved down the road

Anscombe

Gun Welsh flyhalf Gareth Anscombe has spoken about his understandable anguish from being excluded from the World Cup due to injury.

Anscombe was ruled out after suffering a serious knee injury in a warm-up game against England at Twickenham.

Anscombe knew he had a gummy knee going into the game, but decided to continue playing on.

“I was feeling good and it was all done on the run down the sidelines and stepping [English winger Elliot] Daly.

“I went to step him running full speed, a motion I have done countless times before.

“I just felt a pop and remember hitting the deck and did not feel right. We checked the knee and structurally it was positive so we did our best to carry on.

“I was then kicking the ball out of hand and it felt looser not stable. I did a chip kick at the end, a shot to nothing, and I knew I was coming off.”

Initially given crutches and told he’d be out for around five weeks, scans told him otherwise. Out for 9 months, until May.

“I guess when Japan comes around that will be the hardest time to deal with it,” the Kiwi-born flyhalf told the BBC.

“It was tough to take after a thorough eight weeks in a gruelling training camp. The most frustrating thing was that I had such a fitness base and my body was feeling fit and healthy.

“For it to be taken away was a tough pill to swallow and I can’t say it has fully hit me yet.

“Those are the things I will miss, even stepping out of the Wales WhatsApp group a couple of weeks ago was tough.

“I had been working towards this tournament for a long while and felt I could have played a key role in helping the team achieve something pretty special. So I suppose the hardest time for me will be waking up and watching the boys play in Japan.”

In his time off though, Anscombe has started a sports search engine company.

  • While I appreciate the point Kearns is making, I’m pretty sure his evidence base is incorrect or at least out of date. In 2018, and the small exposure in 2019, where is the evidence that Foley was consistently a good performer? In that period he actually had a pretty decent pack most of the time and Australia ran up their worst record in a year, well ever… That’s not solely his fault of course but some of the blame rests with the person who is meant to control and guide Australia’s attack, kick the Wallabies’ out of their 22 on defence and the like.

    Now Lilo has certainly had a poor performance. Against a rampant AB side who were hurting and who, regardless of your opinion of the quality of the refereeing, smashed the Wallabies in every facet of the game. But Foley had a bad one against SA in similar circumstances this year too. So I’d question that idea that Foley is consistent and certain that he’s likely to be the player to see the Wallabies through the final stages with any chance of winning.

    • Jason

      In 2018, and the small exposure in 2019, where is the evidence that Foley was consistently a good performer? In that period he actually had a pretty decent pack most of the time and Australia ran up their worst record in a year, well ever… That’s not solely his fault of course but some of the blame rests with the person who is meant to control and guide Australia’s attack, kick the Wallabies’ out of their 22 on defence and the like.

      To add to that he hasn’t even been kicking well and that’s apparently his biggest benefit over the alternatives.

      Yeah, it baffles me that Cheika persists with Foley, given the number of guys who can ‘play’ fly half in the squad I’d sooner had Quade who will rack up points against the lesser oppositions and might be able to win against the top teams.

      • I’d certainly be happy with Cooper over Foley too. I can understand taking Toomua as a bench player: he’s that utility player and, used from the bench, there’s definitely a role for him. While I disagree with the decision Hansen made to take SBW over Laumape ultimately it more or less came down to that, and Hansen gets paid big bucks to make those calls.

        Foley just doesn’t stack up IMO. If Cheika had a winning percentage like Hansen, or even well over 50%, I’d say he’s earned the right to make those calls, and while I might disagree, I’ll suck it up. But with his track record, no such luck.

        • Patrick

          Or even an even 50, or even better than any other wallaby coach I can think of

        • Nah, he’d need to be half-way decent for me to cut him that much slack I think.

        • Patrick

          So bitter ;)

          Me too!

    • Custard Taht

      If Cheika does run with Foley, we should all wear Western Force Guernsey’s in protest….

      • Geoffro

        Cheika should have a real run with Spanners,then he might realise something.I’ll nick down to Vinnies today,they probably still got my old Force jersey on the rack.

      • I hope we’re safe from that… I really do.

      • andrewM

        If you want to show how screwed you think things really are, you need to wear a rebels guernsey

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Morning Eloise, He’s consistently average so that’s something.

      • True enough. The phrasing requires consistently good, rather than occasionally brilliant though…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Foley is consistent!
      Consistently utter shite!

      • I’m going to take the unusual step of defending Foley. He’s not THAT bad. If you put me, or Hoss, any of the ageing former members of the forwards union in the GAG 10 shirt, we’d be worse than Foley. We would genuinely be utter shite.

        Foley is consistently not up to the job of a test standard 10. I’m going to say in the last year or so, he’s not really up to the job of a SR 10 either, although that’s more contentious. But put him in the NRC and I’m sure he’d look good in his position. Put me there, and with the greatest respect to Hoss him too, in a 10 shirt at any level, we’d look bad.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nah I reckon you two would star!

  • Has anyone seen the news that Super Rugby is moving to a Summer start – in fact right in the middle of January to be sure the players are down and out well before game’s end. Pity the players as obviously SAANZR don’t. The Reds may be lucky (sort of) with three road trips before they get a home game.

    • Jason

      I think all those who say ‘you can’t play rugby in January’ 1) harden up, they are professional athletes; 2) they play games in Japan, Fiji and Brisbane where it regularly becomes 30+.

      I personally love it!

      • paul

        Well you may personally love it and good onya. But its the other 95% of the Australian market that are not interested in Super rugby, now that’s the problem!!

        • Dud Roodt

          Which this change goes some way to trying to alleviate;

          1. brings the start earlier to beat the other sports starts (including their pres-seasons)
          2. don’t have an inexplicable break mid-tournament whereby the 3 people still interested realise there are other more interesting things on than the remaining 3 rounds of SR

      • Geoffro

        We may love it but heatstroke is serious business.I hope all the teams conditioners and scientists are well accreditated and educated along with the players

        • There are variations in the laws for the welfare of the players. You see them in operation in the US occasionally. They have a drinks break, usually at a stoppage like a penalty but sometimes just an official one, at around the 20 minute mark.

          You also see people running water (or whatever’s in the bottles) on a lot more often and the referee not complaining. I watched something broadcast from Nevada where a 15’s match lasted well over 2 hours with no injury breaks, because before just about every scrum and every lineout you’d see a quick pause for a drink. It was only 15 or 20 seconds, but it added up.

        • Geoffro

          Fair play too.Rolling replacements is a good idea also rather than have more affected players trying to push through,especially the heftier guys (though I know they wouldn’t implement it for super rugby)

        • It’s already there for the front rows (although not for heatstroke reasons). Got to have fit front rows if possible for a scrum, so you can bring back a fit prop or hooker that you’ve subbed off. You could sub out the front row after 20 minutes, then swap them again at half time and again at the 60 minute mark on the grounds of heat… it’s all within the laws.

          The back 5 don’t get that protection though, although if you get a second rower taken down with heatstroke you’d see it changed pretty fast I think.

        • Geoffro

          Didn’t know that.Thought they could only return if there was no other alternative

        • It’s possible they changed the interpretations and I’ve missed it, but the laws require two props and hooker and that’s certainly been used to swap players as rolling subs before.

        • Who?

          Pretty sure the Wallabies have done it before – possibly under Link? But we weren’t able to sub on our last replacement back, because we’d used all our subs. Or maybe it was against the Wallabies..? It was a while ago!

        • Geoffro

          Think you’ll find it’s ok if a front rower is injured or carded and a previously subbed FR required for contested scrums but not for purposes of fatigue.

        • It has certainly been done for other reasons and the laws don’t specifically forbid it. But I don’t keep up on the interpretations around substitutions and it’s entirely possibly they tweaked it. I don’t think they meant for rolling front row substitutions after all!

        • Who?

          I believe one of the law variations that’s up for trial (but not in the NRC) is to restrict the number of subs. Allow the same number of people on the bench, but not allow people to use all of them, to increase fatigue to preserve smaller players in the game.
          .
          I remember hearing Leaguies wanting to do the same thing years ago, saying it’s better than during their unlimited interchange period, but still tough for the little guys with the number of rolling subs they’re permitted per game.

        • Geoffro

          Haha,it’s tough enough for the big guys to swat those little rascals anyway sometimes.How good is Kolbe

      • Who?

        I love it (can’t have too much Rugby!), but you can’t play Rugby in January. They play rugby in Brisbane where it gets to 30º+, but they also don’t schedule day games – or seemingly even home games – in that heat. I recall watching a game in March in Brisbane a few years ago where it was 35º on the field, and both teams (the other team being Saffas, not Kiwis, so you can’t claim it’s because they don’t understand heat) were absolutely shot. They had to add unscheduled breaks for drinks,etc. At the order of the doctors on the sideline.
        .
        Then factor in that, whilst Brisbane generally only gets to the mid 30’s at worst (but with high humidity), remember that only a week or so before the scheduled beginning of Super Rugby we see the Australian Open (tennis, which is apparently a sport) in Melbourne, where every year we see at least 3 days over 40ºC, and elite tennis players struggling.
        .
        The only way to survive January may be to schedule all games in January/February in NZ…

        • Geoffro

          Agree,QLD is a no go , the humidity in summer is a shocker and getting worse by the year.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Rain and even snow maybe at that time of the year

        • Unsheduled breaks wont fit in too well with broadcast schedules either one would think?

        • Dud Roodt

          More ad break opportunities is never a bad thing for a tv station.

        • Max Graham

          Darwin rugby plays in plus 30’s. Better standard than you’d expect too.

        • Who?

          The question isn’t so much the standard, it’s the intensity and the duration of that intensity. And adaptation to that heat. Many (most?) Super players just can’t deal with it. Whereas guys from Fiji, Samoa and Tonga must really struggle when they move to Europe.

        • Max Graham

          They’ll be fine. Get some buckets and sponges.

        • Geoffro

          Yeah,and restrict the number of schooeys the night before from 20 to 10(tough ask in the top end). Celebacy should be mandatory too.Retaining as much fluid as possible is paramount

      • Custard Taht

        Agreed. This should give the Reds a real good home field advantage…..on the same level as the mile high stadium of Denver.

        • Who?

          That game I referenced in my post about a game in March in the afternoon, where it was 35º? The Reds had no home advantage – they were belted just as much by the heat as their Saffa opponents. Maybe it’s an advantage against the Highlanders, but not against the Bulls, Lions, Sharks, Stormers, Pumas, or necessarily even the Tahs, Brums and Rebels.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Concur. The Brissy game are generally only advantageous against the Kiwis. The Saffa’s are pretty well used to it.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      It will be good to see the season go through without the normal break near the end to accommodate the international window though. I’m sure the teams will have the necessary protocols in place for the heat. I know in the past they’ve had water breaks in the two halves and I’d guess they’ll do that again. For me the biggest issue will be coaches and managers allowing them enough of a break after RWC so they can refresh and get their minds and bodies rested and back into a good place

      • Geoffro

        I’m sure they’re onto it.The science and methods of prevention/management of overheating go a lot further than a couple extra water breaks though

    • Brisneyland Local

      Doesnt make much of a difference. As it is farkin hot in Brissy til the end of March at least. Jan- Mar the weather is the same. SO if I were the Reds I would want as many games as possible up in Brissy in that period to take advantage of their love of the warmth.

      • Damo

        Yep, I’d be happy to host the Crusaders here on Australia Day weekend!

        • Geoffro

          Bears asking the question whether the Fijiaans may derive any benefit from the weather conditions in Japan.At least we’re facing them up north where I dont think its too hot or humid

        • Damo

          Heat notwithstanding this game is no gimme. Fiji will throw the kitchen sink at us and if we don’t have our defensive A game the offloads will start and that could end anywhere.
          They follow us with Uruguay then Georgia, so if they beat us they could arrive at the final pool game (Wales) with a QF in the bag. They will target us. They have size, the best structure they have possibly ever had, and some real attacking prowess.
          On the flip side of this, if the Wallabies do win it, I think it will be a big positive for our prospects in the tournament.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The game is in Sapporo. It is predicted to be 25 deg and 65% humidity. In my view having lived in Brisbane, Fiji and Japan. This will favour the Fijians. Not the temp but definitely the humidity.

        • Damo

          A little bit of research tells me that the enclosed, air conditioned Sapporo Dome is operated at 25deg in summer. Not sure about humidity.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Air Conditioning will decrease the humidity. Nil Advantage.

        • Its all good, we have a winged keel.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Are you bragging?

        • heh.
          Only a little

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep Agree. And play it at 3 pm to really fark them over.

        • Bernie Chan

          To the Western Stand then… stay in the shade. Been roasted too often in Bay 322..

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. Just have to make sure you are well lubricated.

        • Brumby Runner

          Well basted I would have thought BLL.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah that too

    • Max Graham

      Reds should move their early season games to Cairns and Townsville with a 2pm kick off. The NQ summer will sort out kiwis quick smart.

  • IIPA

    On a quietish news day ten days out from the World Cup I know let’s print quotes by P.Kearns promoting B.Foley. Should be good for at least 150 comments.

    Well played GAGR.

    • Geoffro

      Aand ,who were those blokes McKee,Gatland, Biggar,Sexton,Pollard and Farrell giving Kearns article upvotes.Please don’t encourage him , you may help sway opinion Foleys way…………………oh.

      • IIPA

        Haha nicely done. Though McKee has his own inconsistent 10 to worry about and Gatland is fast running out of 10s.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        hahaha Gold mate

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Kearns is the Poido of this generation. Every comment he makes should be treated as being part of “opposite day” and we should assume that the reverse is actually true.

    This sounds very much like Kearns is suffering from relevance deprivation syndrome.

    And to think – he was on the shortlist for the RA CEO job.

    • Geoffro

      Is he now shooting for director of rugby on Htrae – Bizarro World. (those who havent got a kids brain like me can go look it up)

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      “relevance depreciation syndrome” Love it

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick,

    The injury to Petaia must have been more than a slight strain to keep him out this long. I hope he does recover well and while I rate him I think being thrown into a must win game against Wales at the RWC is probably not the best strategy to bring him forward. he may do really well, but it could also really slow his development. It’ll be good to see Kuridrani back. I’d actually like to see JOC at 12 and Kuridrani at 13 at some stage as I think that may be a pretty good combination. Not quite the crash of Kerevi but maybe better distribution skills.

    Kearns cracks me up. It’s like watching a game and in the middle of the commentary he’ll pop up with some inane comment that is almost unrelated to anything. he is so far out of his depth it’s not funny.

    Good to see Larkham looking after his mates. I really hope Larkham picks up his coaching skills and comes back one day to take over the Wallabies and does really well just to stuff it to Cheika and the team that sacked him to cover the rest of the poor performances. Feel sorry for Anscombe, it’d be gutting to miss out on the RWC when you were almost guaranteed a position. Hope he comes better and is able to go to the next one.

    • Geoffro

      Also wouldn’t mind seeing JOC get an extended run as backup 12 – little convinced with Toomua.Yes , you can really see those cogs shifting in Kearnsy’s head when hes part of the panel before he adds his inevtable pearls of wisdom.

    • adastra32

      Re: Petaia, you are right – and some. Chucking a Test match rookie, however talented, into a RWC quarter final would be not just very unwise, but potentially cruel and damaging to the guy. Might as well give him a shirt with a target on the front.

      • Geoffro

        A loy of sensible arguments against,but I just want to see the kid play and what he’s got to offer.Damn the torpedo’s !!

        • Max Graham

          Me too!!!

  • disqus_NMX

    If I were Wales, I’d be firing the entire medical staff and starting afresh. “Anscombe knew he had a gummy knee going into the game, but decided to continue playing on.” – how was that allowed to happen without an MRI to check the integrity of the MCL etc? “I just felt a pop…” – and that’s the ACL gone right there (and the 9 months), and yet they still let him play on, risking more damage to the ACL (presuming it wasn’t clean snapped already) and to the meniscus (and by the sounds of the story, more damage was actually done). “… and remember hitting the deck and did not feel right. We checked the knee and structurally it was positive so we did our best to carry on” – unbelievable! I’d understand risking this if it was the final of the RWC and he insisted on playing, but it was a warm up game, utterly ridiculous.

    • Geoffro

      Feel sorry for him and agree he shouldn’t have played but my understanding is that an ACL injury wont have healed sufficiently to accept the load for him to compete at the WC anyway.Think his aspirations were already shot before that game.

      • Bobas

        An ACL has no blood flow so if it’s torn or ruptured it won’t heal.
        The hamstring graft surgery takes at least 6 months to recover from, the LARS (which is out of fashion at the moment 3 months).
        There is current thinking that playing without an ACL can be OK in 40% of people.
        Anscombe was probably thrown in the see how you go without it. I was in the same boat and as soon as I got all my flexibility in the knee back I tore my meniscus…

        If you do an ACL pray is an avulsion fracture where the ligament is intact and has torn off the bone it’s attached to.

        • Geoffro

          Thanks for the info.At my age Im more likely to fall over and break a hip than do an ACL and luckily in my younger days I avoided any knee injury which sounds exceedingly painful

        • Damo

          Yes, we don’t google “sports injury recovery” anymore. More likely to be searching “living with arthritic joints”.

        • Dud Roodt

          Is it as high as 40%? I thought the consensus was much lower (around 10%) for people who can properly function without an ACL?
          There was an NBA player (can’t remember his name) who they discovered had played most of his career without both his ACL’s

        • Bobas

          I did mine in Dec ’17.

          That’s what I was told by both the orthopedic surgeon and physio I saw independently.

          The latter was of the opinion that sports people are getting surgeries unnecessarily.
          The surgeon said that sports clubs don’t have the time to wait and see and then have to do the surgery anyway.

        • Max Graham

          Didn’t King Wally Lewis play without one?

        • Max Graham

          I thought I knew a thing or two about ACLs. Guessing you know a ‘bit’ more than me….. I know mine is rooted!

    • Damo

      I always find the use of the collective “we” by professional sports people interesting. There will be no “we” spending 9 months on the sideline.

    • Max Graham

      Good call! The ACL’s role is to stop really bad stuff happening in the knee. Playing rugby without one is insane!

  • Mart

    No Doubt Munster will play Hollaway at 8, his real position and he’ll kill it.
    Urgh australian rugby

  • Nutta

    Jed Holloway – wouldn’t it be just poetic/tragic if a good No8 has to go north to be allowed to play No8?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      He’s sort of forced to play lock by the paucity of locks at the Tahs.

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Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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