Wednesday’s rugby news has more Beale discussion, the new NRC laws, AAC’s word of warning and the Springboks team selected.
Beale ready for playmaker role
New Wallabies five-eighth Kurtley Beale has insisted that he will be ready for the responsibilities of the position in Saturday’s opening Bledisloe Cup Test. Emphasising that he will not try to overplay his hand, the Waratahs playmaker said, “I’ve got some really good players in and around me, so my key role is to try and give them the ball as much as I can, and try and direct the play.”
With Foley out of the team, Beale may also be called upon to take up the kicking duties. McKenzie said that he would make the choice in the upcoming days between Brumbies halfback Nic White and Beale, who said he has been practicing all year and would be ready to step up if needed.
NRC law changes announced
The NRC competition has announced new law changes which are designed to reward attacking rugby and reduce frustrating stoppages. The IRB has said that it will monitor the success of the changes, with some measures potentially being adopted throughout global rugby.
The changes include a 30-second clock on scrums, quicker goal-kicks, less stringent policing of crooked lineouts, increasing conversions to three points and reducing penalties and field-goals to two. “It’s all designed to make sure on the one hand make sure we retain the core fabric of the game, but on the other make sure it is played the way want it to be played,” ARU boss Bill Pulver said.
AAC delivers warning
The NSW Waratah said that taking out the Bledisloe Cup will be a near-impossible task if Australia do not win the opening Test at ANZ Stadium, with the team playing the All Blacks at Eden Park the following week.
AAC also emphasised that Australia’s Super Rugby form will flow into the game, reflected in the team’s style of play. “The framework that we believe in and that we’ve got is to go out there and just attack and attack the All Blacks and take on the best,” he said.
Springboks team announced
The Springboks have named their starting line-up for the opening match of the Rugby Championship against Argentina on Saturday. A notable change has been the promotion of inexperienced flyhalf Handre Pollard, named ahead of Morne Steyn. Damian de Allende will also make his Springbok debut in the centres alongside returning captain Jean de Villiers.
Pollard won his first cap in South Africa’s last international against Scotland in June after Steyn was withdrawn from the squad by his French club and both Pat Lambie and Johan Goosen were injured.