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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s rugby news has the Wallabies gearing up for the Spring Tour, the Rebels looking for big signings, Folau fit and a JOC injury downgraded. 


Wallabies look for mental edge on tour

wallabies scrum and clancy vs england

With the year’s Test schedule announced, Ewen McKenzie has immediately looked towards the Spring Tour fixtures, saying that wins over England and Wales could give Australia a psychological edge over their World Cup Pool B competition. “You can create pressure and you can create doubt and confusion and questions over playing style,” McKenzie said.

The Wallabies coach said the key to winning a World Cup was consistency in all the 2014 Tests. But the Spring tour will be particularly influential, with the five games featuring matches against Wales in Cardiff, France in Paris, Ireland in Dublin and finishing with England in London. 

Rebels to go on signing spree

Rebels mascotThe Rebels have re-signed promising young breakaway Sean McMahon, with coach Tony McGahan saying that the 19 year-old was a future Wallaby. After being recruited from the national sevens team, the aggressive McMahon has been one of the Rebels’ best and has played every game this season.

McGahan has also looked towards the off-season, declaring his intention to go after some big name off-contract playmakers. While the Rebels coach tried to emphasise that the inexperienced pairing of Bryce Hegarty and Nic Stirzaker would develop, he said that the club would be trying to secure some high-profile inside backs, including Matt Toomua, Matt Harris and Christian Lealiifano 

Folau finally available

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An ARU spokesperson has confirmed that Waratahs fullback Israel Folau will not be pulled from this weekend’s match against the Bulls. After missing the Tahs’ two games in South Africa with a throat injury, Folau was controversially forced to sit out last Saturday’s loss to the Western Force.

Meanwhile, SANZAR has postponed Michael Cheika’s judicial hearing scheduled to commence on Wednesday afternoon. On request from Cheika, the hearing to deal with his alleged sideline confrontation with a TV cameraman in Durban has been moved to Thursday night.  

O’Connor sustains hamstring injury

JOC new clubLondon Irish representative James O’Connor has picked up a hamstring injury which was feared to have ruled the former Wallaby out of the final three games of the season. But director of rugby Brian Smith has now said that O’Connor’s injury will only keep O’Connor out of this week’s game against Northampton, with a probable return for the last two matches

Smith also said that JOC’s time at London Irish had been successful, asserting, “He has been terrific. He’s a very good player and been instrumental in a couple of key wins for us.” 

  • Antony

    If I was a Rebels fan, I’d be spewing if they dropped a bundle of cash on Mike Harris.

    • Meatray

      What about Matt Harris? Whoever that is?

      • swingpass

        he is mike toomua’s cousin

  • Grickles

    As a Rebels fan I’m not sure how I feel about these big signings considering how Beale & O’Connor went. But I also think the that not having a top level fly-half is holding back what is otherwise a talented backline.

    • DaMackle

      I am not a Rebels fan, but like the type of rugby they play when tails are up. I think Hegarty is a good player of what I have seen. His only short coming is that he is under-done, this season is probably exactly what he needs… Depth at that position is probably what Macgahan is concerned about. I saw what happened when you brought Angus Roberts (not sure on name) on in the Tahs game.

    • Klaus

      I don’t think you can put those 3 in the same boat as O’Connor and Beale. Beale & O’Connor have always been pre-madonna’s and I am sure spend alot of time in front of the mirror saying how good they are. The 3 the Rebels are looking at a very good honest toilers. Good decision if they can pull it off.

      • Mica

        I think you mean First Lady, rather than before Madonna. ;)

  • Dave

    Mike Harris will be knocked but he is the sort of player the Rebels could use as they move from the infant stage to a mature, highly competitive team. He does the basics well, hits hard and kicks straight.

    Would still take Toomua over any other inside centre/playmaker though.

    • Garry

      “He does the basics well, hits hard and kicks straight.”

      They already have a fullback that ticks those boxes. They need a playmaker which Mike Harris may not be?

  • boyo

    JOC is not playing for the not-nots.

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