Thursday’s rugby news has broken doors, Hooper targeted, pack size issues and Burgess’ possible debut .
Wallabies staff doing damage
The Wallabies may be slapped with a repair bill of “a few thousand euros” and are prepared to pay the costs of fixing a hole in the wall at Lansdowne Road after the discovery of dressing room damage in Dublin.
The Wallabies say a member of the support staff caused a hole in the wall and the team immediately notified the IRFU following the match. While the identity of the support staff member has not been revealed, it is understood not to be coach Michael Cheika and the Wallabies are insisting that it was not related to an angry outburst..
England focus on Hooper
England has singled out Test captain Michael Hooper for special attention in this weekend’s World Cup preview clash, emphasising the Waratah’s speed to the breakdown. “Hooper needs special attention. We have to nullify him at the weekend and keep him quiet,” England assistant Graham Rowntree said.
“He’s pretty central to everything Australia do offensively – and at the breakdown as well.” Both teams are undergoing losing streaks and Sunday’s match will be both England and Australia’s final international of 2014.
Slipper talks down pack weights
Wallabies prop James Slipper has emphasised that the heart of all eight scrummagers will be able to overcome a hefty 40kg size difference against England. While emphasising the weight imbalance, Slipper said “The heart of some of the players in this team, we’ll do anything to get a win and if that means putting our body on the line, we’ll do it.”
Despite the horrid November tour, England’s scrum has stayed strong in tight losses to New Zealand and South Africa, led by 125kg wrecking ball David Wilson.
Burgess a possible call-up
Sam Burgess could make his rugby union debut from the bench for Bath against Harlequins in the Premiership on Friday. The 25-year-old has only recently resumed training after fracturing a cheekbone just 8 weeks ago and Bath head coach Mike Ford has said, “We are just waiting for Sam to tell us when he feels ready.”
Burgess, 25, joined the Premiership club from South Sydney Rabbitohs for about £270,000 at the end of the NRL season in October.