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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Round Squads rolling in, Lealiifano backs Alaalatoa and Wigan Warrior announce the date of their new Pride round.


 

 

TAHS GO WITH YOUTH

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

“They’re ready to go.” 

In his first outing as the Head Coach of the Waratahs, Rob Penney has backed some of his younger players to take the next step as the Waratahs take on the Crusaders.

Will Harrison will make his Super Rugby debut in the 10 jersey after two preseason matches there. Despite his lack of exposure, Penney believes that the former Wallabies U20s star is ready to step up.

“First of all, he’s got a great skill set. He’s also very tough individual,” he said.

“He’s got good resilience but physically he’s a robust character, puts himself in tough positions.

“He’ll put his head in dark places and he’s prepared to do that for the team which is a fantastic attribute for someone defending in the inside channels and maybe having to do the odd hard carry on the inside channels.”

Fellow U20s sensation Mark Nawaqanitawase will start on the wing for his Super Rugby debut, while Angus Bell and Carlo Tizzano will get a chance off the bench. 

Penney stands behind these selections based on the form the boys have shown.

“They’re ready to go,” he said.

“We wouldn’t have compromised their development.

“If we didn’t believe they were of stern enough stuff mentally or physically then we wouldn’t put them into that position, we wouldn’t compromise them.

“There’s still two or three young men that haven’t been given access. They’re chewing at the bit to get a chance but they’re deemed to be not in that same situation as being able to handle the next level up yet.

“This young group have got the opportunity to step across the threshold and give it a go and see what happens.”

1. Tom Robertson 2. Robbie Abel 3. Tetera Faulkner 4. Tom Staniforth 5. Rob Simmons © 6. Lachlan Swinton 7. Michael Hooper 8. Jed Holloway 9. Jake Gordon 10. Will Harrison 11. Alex Newsome 12. Karmichael Hunt 13. Lalakai Foketi 14. Mark Nawaqanitawase 15. Kurtley Beale

Reserves

16. Damien Fitzpatrick 17. Angus Bell 18. Chris Talakai 19. Ryan Mccauley 20. Jack Dempsey 21. Carlo Tizzano 22. Mitch Short 23. Jack Maddocks

FIRST AUSSIE DERBY

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

When the Brumbies and Reds square off on Friday’s Australian Super Rugby season opener, they will have two rookie fly halves to steer their ships. Rising stars Noah Lolesio and Isaac Lucas have been given the starting five eighth positions for the Brumbies and Reds respectively.

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar is full of confidence in the young fly halves abilities.

“He came down here full of confidence, from day one he’s been very vocal and comfortable in directing and pushing much older players around the park,” McKellar said of Lolesio.

“I said to Noah last year — ‘I’d like you to do some goalkicking in a game so that you’re under pressure’ and he said to me: ‘What’s pressure?’

“That’s just sort of the attitude he has — he’s not arrogant and doesn’t get ahead of himself but he has that self confidence and belief in his own ability and is very calm and composed.

“He’ll make a mistake or two along the way as we all do.

“It’s about how we respond and how we react to that.”

When asked what he expects from Lucas, Reds coach Brad Thorn said he wants him to play his game.

“Just to do his job, just to be Zaccy really,” Thorn said

“He’s a real talent, he showed that last year. He played eight games for us and he would have played another eight (if available).

“He did well with the 20s and enjoyed the NRC at 10 and he’s been working hard so it’ll be good to see him out there and expressing himself.”

James O’Connor and Jordan Petaia will pair up in the centres for the first time in Reds colours, whilst Henry Speight will make an emotional Queensland debut as he takes on his old team in front of a Canberra crowd.

Interesting moves by Thorn see Wallabies back rower Lukhan Salakaia-Loto move into the second row with Angus Blyth and Wallabies lock Izack Rodda pushed to the bench. Harry Wilson will make his debut at No.8

Dane Zander, Seru Uru and Hunter Paisami are also in line for Reds debuts off the bench.

Brumbies to take on Reds

1. Scott Sio 2. Folau Fainga’a 3. Allan Alaalatoa © 4. Darcy Swain 5. Murray Douglas 6. Rob Valetini 7. Tom Cusack 8. Pete Samu 9. Joe Powell 10. Noah Lolesio* 11. Tom Wright 12. Irae Simone 13. Tevita Kuridrani 14. Solomone Kata* 15. Tom Banks

Reserves

16. Connal McInerney 17. Harry Lloyd* 18. James Slipper 19. Caderyn Neville^ 20. Will Miller^ 21. Ryan Lonergan 22. Bayley Kuenzle* 23. Andy Muirhead

Reds to play Brumbies

1.    JP Smith 2.    Brandon Paenga-Amosa 3.    Taniela Tupou 4.    Angus Blyth 5.    Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 6.    Angus Scott-Young 7.    Liam Wright © 8.    Harry Wilson* 9.    Tate McDermott 10.    Isaac Lucas 11.    Henry Speight* 12.    James O’Connor 13.    Jordan Petaia 14.    Jock Campbell 15.    Bryce Hegarty

Reserves

16.    Alex Mafi 17.    Dane Zander** 18.    Feao Fotuaika 19.    Izack Rodda 20.    Seru Uru** 21.    Moses Sorovi 22.    Hamish Stewart 23.    Hunter Paisami**

 

CAPTAINS TICK OF APPROVAL

Christian Lealiifano

Christian Lealiifano

Though he left the Brumbies at the end of last season, the legacy and influence of former captain Christian Lealiifano is still very present for new captain Alan Alaalatoa.

When approached to step as the new leader of the Brumbies, Alaalatoa reached out to Lealiifano in Japan, and the former skipper gave the young prop the confidence boost about his new role.

“Definitely. He’s someone that I spoke to first about it, when Dan brought up the opportunity about being captain and he was, obviously being the last captain that we’ve had, he was definitely someone I wanted to go back to and ask,” he said.

“It wasn’t a decision taken lightly and he gave me some great advice if I was to take the captaincy and he’s definitely someone that if I need to message him or if I need some pointers I know he’s going to be around the corner or on the other side of the phone.

“He’s told me that even though he’s on the other side of the world, he’s always there for me to provide that advice.”

Lealiifano was proud to have watched Alaalatoa grow from the young buck at the club to being a leader that would help the group strive for excellence. Speaking to RUGBY.com.au from Japan, Christian threw his full support behind Alan.

“You see him laughing a lot, he’s always smiling and things and in and around the place he’s always pretty jovial and happy and I think most of the time he is and people just love being around him,” he said.

“He gets it. He gets both worlds – being a Polynesian boy and understanding that and then understanding dynamics of groups and how people function so that’s something that’s impressed me.

“As humble as he is, he would never say that he gets it but he does and that was why I was like, “he’s the perfect fit’ because he understands the group dynamic, drives standards and values that he believes in and people follow and that’s an infectious trait to have and that’s what i think he uses as well.”

 

WIGAN WARRIORS ANNOUNCE PRIDE ROUND

Embed from Getty Images

English Rugby League team the Wigan Warriors yesterday confirmed that their round 8 match against French team Catalans Dragons will be Pride Day, as the club look to support the LGBTQ+ community.

The Pride Round announcement came after the Dragons had signed a controversial former Australian Full Back, a signing that caused a stir in the RFL community.

The match will take place on Sunday March 22nd and all Wigan players will wear Rainbow socks and laces as a sign of inclusion, as the club invites LGBTQ+ groups to join them on the day.

Kris Radlinski, the executive director had this to say on the announcement. 

“Here at Wigan Warriors we are committed to the core values of Inclusion and Respect. Our community foundation have a long history of supporting local LGBTQ+ groups and initiatives, and we want everyone who engages with our game to feel welcome, valued and most of all, respected.”

“Rugby League has a strong history of inclusion, of breaking down barriers and of being an forward-thinking sport. I think that today more than any day that it is vitally important we reiterate that message. We’re looking forward to working with charities, local and hopefully national groups, to make this day a success.”

 

  • Gottsy

    …aaaaaand we’re back! Howdy gang.
    Really looking forward to this reds v Brumbies game, a lot of young blokes out to prove themselves, I feel a bit of a new era beginning.
    Great to see Neville back to, he’s severely underrated in my opinion

    • Geoffro

      Think the conditions may take the edge off what could have been an excellent opening encounter.

      • Huw Tindall

        It’s a stinker but at least the rules provide for a drinks break at the 20 and 60 min marks. Hopefully bushfire smoke doesn’t play a factor as I believe if it’s called off there is no replay/alternate ground and the teams share the points which would please no fans.

        • John Tynan

          Long term Reds fan – first round points would be awesome however they came…

        • Yowie

          haha, so the summer of devastating bushfires wouldn’t be all bad…

        • Geoffro

          Would be even worse if played up here [qld].Temps are lower but the humidity is a shocker and hard to stay hydrated.

        • laurence king

          Played with a couple of blokes over the years who didn’t mind having a smoke at half-time lol

      • ballymoreburning

        it will be near impossible to hold onto the pill from about 5 mins into the game. hoping for a pragmatic (rather than aspirational) approach from the young reds.
        this game will be won by the team that works hardest and kicks more.

        • Geoffro

          Brumbies usually come out of the blocks firing so will be a good test for the youngsters

      • Gottsy

        Ahh shit I just checked Aus weather- it’s cooler in bris! Also what’s doing with the fires around there?

        • Yowie

          Not smokey in Brisbane at the moment and hasn’t been for a while.

        • Geoffro

          Youre more likely to be paddling a canoe down the street in Brisvegas now the monsoons have come than sucking smoke

        • Geoffro

          Thought of going down with the missus last week to stay with the kids who live in Banks and maybe catch the opener .Glad I gave it a miss as two days ago they a had their bags and the cars packed ready to evac from the fire front only a couple ks away.Fires still close , heavy smoke and hot,wifey not happy.Meanwhile…in balmy Tweed Heads am having a cold one and reactivating Kayo

    • Keith Butler

      Yeah. Don’t know what happened to Neville. When he was at the Rebs I thought he had the makings of a Wallaby lock but just seemed to disappear from the scene.

      • Gottsy

        when he was at the reds, he always killed it but could never get a string of games. hopefully, whatever it was he’s overcome it, and gets a decent crack in canberra

    • Who?

      Even if Neville never makes it to wear Gold, it’s great to have warriors stick around in the game like he’s doing. Depth and maturity’s a great thing in tight forwards.

  • Huw Tindall

    Frothing for the weekend’s games! Blocked out my diary Friday morning UK time with some vague but important sounding meetings so the team PA doesn’t bother me whilst I’m watching Brums v Reds. I was excited for 2019 as it was a RWC year but potentially more excited in 2020 for all the unknowns and potential of youth and new coaches. On top of this 6 Nations kicks off this weekend and the Sydney 7s is on. With timezones I can probably squeeze in 16 hours of rugby per day.

    • Steve

      My strategy was “I’ll be in mid-morning on Friday because I’ll be sitting on my arse watching footy”

      It seems to have been effective on the surface at least

      • Huw Tindall

        The straight up the guts and into them approach. I like it.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Managed to get signed up to RugbyPass so will be able to watch these games between work commitments. Looking good and humming for it to start.,

      • Huw Tindall

        That’s the dream. How’d you manage that? Seems only available to people in countries with no domestic carrier.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          It works here in Korea. Apparently it’s the go to app here. Good to because you get NH and SH rugby

        • Bernie Chan

          Get a media box, stream hundreds of channels and use a VPN if a region is locked out! Sold commonly in Singapore and China, so I imagine south Korea has the tech…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate I understand every word there but have no idea what it means. I’m a techno monkey sorry

        • Huw Tindall

          Nice. I know my banker wanker mates in Singapore have it. Best of both worlds as you say. Wonder if it extends to North Korea. Maybe Kim’s a fan.

        • Yowie

          Slim Kim would be a Highlanders fan I reckon – often threatening but rarely the real deal.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahahathat not sure that fat little fuck would be but you never know

      • Greg

        “between work commitments”

        riiiight!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Shhhh my boss might be reading

    • Keith Butler

      Beware of supporter burn out Huw.

    • Gottsy

      I’m with you mate. “Working from home” on Friday

  • Dave P

    What’s the go with the English rugby league story? Thought this was an Australian rugby website.

    • Huw Tindall

      Was hoping they’d stop talking about that peanut out of principle.

      • Greg

        who?

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Don’t blame who? He didn’t even comment.

        • Who?

          Good call. But I took the lower case ‘w’ to mean ‘not me’. :-)
          .
          Poor Israel, because he told people he thinks are going to hell that they’re going to hell, he’s now had to go there himself. To be very clear, League is a form of hell. An outer level, granted, but still hell! :-P

    • Timbo

      Its as if Wiggan are just doing that to offend one bloke. But you’re right. who cares about RL from another country? Personally I hope Folau does really well in France.

    • Keith Butler

      Agreed. Just opens a can of worms.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Dylan, So looking forward to this starting again. Great to see Penney take the plunge on the youngsters along with Brad and Dan. This is absolutely the way forward for Australian rugby and while there might be the odd mistake it’s a clear way forward that bringing back geriatrics from the UK, who I might add have struggled to step up fully, was never going to be.
    Hope the fires don’t cause too many issues and glad to see that player welfare is winning over commercialism. Good luck to Triple A I hope he’s one of those players that steps up with the captaincy and great to see Triple L helping out.

  • Yowie

    Rising stars Noah Lolesio … have been given the starting five eighth positions for the Brumbies.…
    “That’s just sort of the attitude he has — he’s not arrogant…”

    Just as well Lolesio is at 10 because clearly he’s not No. 9 material.

    • Geoffro

      Youre confusing arrogance with annoying,bigmouthed nuisanseness

  • Nutta

    Morning Cobbers.

    Really excited to see the youth on display. Whilst Franchises would prefer to see trusted & true especially from a marketing/crowd-appeal perspective, the national health requires the turnover. Unlike last Bill cycle where we saw eat/sleep/rave/repeat of squad, whether by hook or crook we are seeing the cattle change to match the cycle. For instance I read somewhere this week we will see 4 fresh 10’s this first week – Grand. This will stand the national team in good stead. That said, it is time for a few coaches to show how good they are.

    I rate 7A’s. I reckon he will be a great captain as a person. However I disagree with 1/2/3/7 as Capt because they are so heavily rotated by fatigue & injury. You need your best leader on the field with 10min to go and not getting subbed-off at 60min.

    It’s going to be hot this weekend. That along with early-season jitters and sweat will make for lots of dropsies and generally crap footy. But it will show who is tough enough to hang-on. Let’s get it on!

    Great call Wigan. Typical shite behaviour from the Vichy-Frogs.

    • Who?

      Vichy-Frogs?! That’s a term I only usually see used by people who claim that Rugby only exists in France over League because the Vichy government discriminated against League, and therefore associate Union with Nazism…

  • Wallabrumby

    Pumped for tomorrow and Saturday, hoping we can close the gap further on NZ teams this year.
    Great to see some new players coming through in key positions and will be interesting to see who we are talking about 4 rounds in.
    New year, new decade, new players, new wallabies coach, new era for Aus rugby?

    On a side not SA conference could be interesting, could be a pile of dung or might unearth some new stars. If anyone bothers to even watch them :)

    • laurence king

      Yes, looking forward to the season, the dross has gone and the young blokes look to have the makings of some seriously good Wallabies in the next couple of years.

  • Patrick

    Not sure I dare watch the Tahs game!

  • Who?

    Worth posting…

    ” charset=”utf-8″> https://t.co/DyIKp3zwkg“>pic.twitter.com/DyIKp3zwkg— Medway RFC (@MedwayRFC) January 26, 2020

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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