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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s rugby news has Horwill on-board with the possible JOC signing, the Waratahs involved in a takeover bid, the Reds apparently chasing Karmichael Hunt and Steffon Armitage contemplating a French switch.


Horwill trusts Red’s management

JOC At 10

Captain James Horwill has expressed his faith in the Red’s management, saying that he is sure that if former Wallaby James O’Connor is coming to Queensland, the recruitment team will make sure that it is for the right reasons. Reds chief executive Jim Carmichael has refused to confirm the rumours that the 23-year-old has already signed a two-year deal, reiterating that the team will wait until the end of their disappointing Super Rugby season before announcing any additions to the squad. 

“I think anyone who comes here will come for the right reasons and fit into our culture,” Horwill said. “I’m sure if Richard [Graham] and Jim didn’t see that in any individual, then they wouldn’t go down that path.” 

Waratahs in takeover bid

KMP-WARvLIONS-7458Former ARU director Jon Collins has been revealed as the third party interested in a private equity takeover of Super Rugby table-toppers the Waratahs. Among the declining revenue throughout Australian rugby, ARU boss Bill Pulver has expressed his openness to private investment. “When you look at every elite sporting competition around the world, virtually all of them have private equity involvement,” Pulver said last month.

Collins will have to overcome rival groups led by former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer and Pet Resorts founder David Levy. Despite the fact that the Waratahs have won five games in a row to sit atop the competition table, the season has still been a commercial dissapointment, with the franchise posting a loss for 2013. 

Hunt’s best fit at Reds

Reds huddle

Along with the chase of James O’Connor, negotiations are also said to be ongoing between the Reds and code hopper Karmichael Hunt, who looms as a full-back option with Aidan Toua signing with French club Agen and youngster Jonah Placid heading to the Melbourne Rebels. 

Hunt has already displayed his rugby talents during a winning run at French rugby club Biarritz in 2009-10. At age 27, but with 11 years of professional football of various codes under his belt, Hunt could opt for a quick stint in Australian Rugby in order to then capitalise on the Japanese/French rugby boom at the back-end of his career.  

Armitage possibly joining French World Cup effort

Toulon’s star back-rower Steffon Armitage is contemplating switching his allegiance to France for next year’s World Cup after being denied a run at England due to their exclusion of foreign-based players. Armitage may benefit from a loophole in the IRB’s Olympic Sevens qualifying regulations where certain ‘capped’ players can swap countries for another where citizenship is held.

South Africa hooker Schalk Brits questioned England’s approach after losing to Toulon in the Heineken Cup final. “If you want to win a World Cup, you need your best guys,” he said. “South Africa has continued to pick overseas guys and it’s the right thing to do.”  

  • Patrick

    If teams like England start to run up against some of their best players in foreign guernseys the pressure will really be on. I’m not sure we would have wanted to have Gits-Fofana-Mitchell lining up at 12 13 14 for the French for example!

    • Braveheart81

      They never will be able to in test rugby. This relates purely to Olympic 7s. I guess they could run out at 5, 6, and 7 against us at the Olympics :)

      • Rebel Rouser

        Actually, not true Braveheart. According to the article Regulation 8 apparently states “any player who has not played for 18 months for one of the ‘capped’
        teams in the nation they have already played for and holds a passport
        for another country, can represent that other country in next season’s
        Sevens World Series and then be eligible to play 15s for them as well.”

        I would assume this was put in place so that those cases where, for instance, a Fijian player has managed to be capped once or twice for the ABs, is never picked again and it means he can’t represent Fiji ever again.

        It’s a very interesting turn of events, because it does suggest Gits could turn out for France. I remember something about him having ancestry there that would allow him to have a passport. This could really throw the cat amongst the pigeons.

        • Braveheart81

          Reading the regulations it still seems very confused.

          8.9.1. says that if you are captured for a particular union under 8.2, you remain captured by that union even if you represent someone else at the Olympic Games Sevens event.

          8.12 says that once you represent the union of which you are a national at the Olympic Sevens event, you remain tied to that union in all forms of the game.

          It seems possible to me that Stefon Armitage could play 7s for France (if he becomes a French citizen) but then couldn’t represent France in 15s because he has represented England in 15s but could never represent England again because he is now tied to France.

          http://www.irb.com/irbuploader/ePubs/Handbook/Website_Content/140701_English/#/136/

        • Rebel Rouser

          I just tried to sit down and read that whole section and it is bloody confusing!!!

          But yes – having waded through that – I belive you are right and the article is wrong. It looks like 8.2 is binding for 15s. 8.9 then allows you to represent a different country in 7s but that does not give you 15s eligibility.

  • BarneySF

    Phew thought it said Joan Collins.

  • AlfieR

    With the form the Reds have just started to show, a good long break for Willy G and Coops, and the signing of JOC and Hunt, I say we are going to run away with the competition next year :D
    Yes – I am a mildly optimistic Reds fan…

    • Robson

      Surprisingly mild in fact.

  • Robson

    Looks like Horwill has regained his diplomatic mojo again.

    • The Cheat

      Hopefully fast forward 12 months and we aren’t quoting him saying “signing James O’Connor was the @%*#($%@$$^$**(@ decision of all time”

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