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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s rugby news has some Wallaby optimism, more Brumbies staying on, Richard Graham safe for now and a serious lay-off for George North.


Wallabies on track, says Hooper

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Michael Hooper has emphasised that in the wake of the squad’s three-day camp in Brisbane, the Wallabies have been instilled with a firm belief that they can win this year’s Rugby World Cup. Although Australia has slipped to sixth in the world, the Wallaby captain believed his team was on the right track.

“[The camp] has been a monumental move forward for us,” he said, adding, “Looking around the room at the 51 players there, there’s no doubt we’ve got the talent pool.” Cheika, along with assistants Stephen Larkham and Nathan Grey, have planned four or five more “morning after” gatherings between now and the end of the Super Rugby season and will also revive their 51-man squad in the coming week.

Brumbies re-sign two more

Ita Vaea Try

The Brumbies have continued to solidify their future playing squad, with news that Ita Vaea and Rory Arnold have signed two-year extensions. Vaea’s signing is particularly remarkable, given that the 26-year-old was told he would never play rugby again when doctors found blood clots in his heart in 2012. After a two year absence, Vaea has now played every game in 2015.

In other Brumbies news, David Pocock will rejoin the starting side, with Jarrad Butler shifting to No.8 and Blake Enever promoted to starting at lock. Assistant coach Dan McKellar suggested the change was a tactical move, saying, “It’s certainly not a performance selection by any means…we just feel Ita can give us real punch in that last 30 minutes.”

Graham safe til the off-season

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Reds rugby boss Jim Carmichael has denied rampant speculation and guaranteed Richard Graham’s job til the end of the season. “No one is being moved on mid-season as some spoonful of sugar to appease the critics,” Carmichael said. “That’s not what Queensland rugby is about.”

The Reds CEO did say that the Reds would have to make a decision for next season and was also committed to adding a number of skill specialists to the coaching staff. While dissapointed in this year’s poor start, Carmichael added that Graham “is in charge at a time of significant change at the Reds with new players, transitioning from our previous coach, a new style and pathways being enhanced.”

North suffers another concussion

George North at full tilt 2  in Lions vs Force 2013

Welsh winger George North has suffered his fourth serious concussion in the past five months, raising serious concerns about his long-term health. The 22-year-old was knocked unconscious when struck by Wasps No8 Nathan Hughes’s knee as he was scoring a last Friday night, with his club now consulting with a neurosurgeon to determine the safety of any return to the field.

World Rugby medical adviser Dr Barry O’Driscoll has insisted that North should sit out the rest of the season under the care of a neurologist. Hughes has been controversially suspended for three weeks, despite the disciplinary panel conceding that there was no intention in his act, with the panel introducing recklessness as a sufficient mental state for the punishment.

  • Vinnie Gorham

    And Wallabies announce BMW as official partner for two years. Adding coal to the rich privately educated rugby stereotype… Or maybe Pulver just wanted a new 5 series

    • Loyal Tah Fan

      Or perhaps BMW are providing some desperately needed sponsorship money for the wallabies. Who would you like to sponsor them?? Great Wall??

      • Vinnie Gorham

        Toyota would be smart considering Japan have the World Cup in 2019 and it is a popular brand of car in Australia and more affordable

        • Braveheart81

          They are a major sponsor of the AFL already.

        • Vinnie Gorham

          They are major sponsors of a lot of things… That’s what you do when your company makes a tonne of money and wants brand exposure…

        • Braveheart81

          Yes, but it’s highly unlikely that a car company is going to be a major sponsor of two rival sports in the same country. I’d be surprised if their agreement with the AFL didn’t have exclusivity from both perspectives; AFL can’t sign another car manufacturer as a sponsor and Toyota can’t sponsor another football code.

        • Brendan Hume

          Toyota sponsored the U20’s NRL comp for a few years while doing the AFL, currently sponsor the Cowboys in the NRL and were a partner with the ARU for years through the Lexus brand.

        • bad ass

          It’s not them our us. They can sponsor both.

        • Yeah, that’ll never work, choosing cars of the masses… Phhhttt… Oh, wait…

        • Joeleee

          And they also probably don’t want to sponsor the Wallabies because the demographic of viewers doesn’t hit their target market.

    • Train Without A Station

      Yeah fuck Pulver’s hopeless. Couldn’t he get Ferrarri to sponsor them?

      • Bobas

        Renault could build engines for them

      • Billl

        Chuck Maserati and Delorean in there why don’t ya. Or is that your point?

        • Billl

          Sorry, long exposure to the lambo fan’s laughing it up at the expense of, as they term it, ferarri fags. Ya haf to admit they do provide some amusement.

    • Guest 1

      Getting a lot of mileage with this statement, ha get it?
      But on a serious note I think the wallabies are looking to attract more real estate agents as their core viewing demographic.

  • Bruce Lyle

    is there a list of the other 28 players in wider training group? assuming Jack Pot is not eligible to make up a full 24 from the tahs would like to know who else’s is in there.

    • jamie

      Will Skelton equates to two players I think. In size anyway, on game day he’s about half the player you ideally want/need.

      • MM

        Pathetic statement, especially when it takes 3 players to bring him down and usually way ahead of the advantage line.

        • KakaduKid

          Takes 3 to lift him as well. It’s not Slelton’s fault that Tah fans talk him up to the point of absurdity. He’s a bloke doing his best to ply his trade as a professional footballer. He’s already streets ahead of any of us. But let’s not kid ourselves that he’s good enough to play in any of the five teams that sit above us. He’s a crowd favorite which is just fine. But he’s too slow around the park, unfit, inaccurate at the ruck, can’t jump and doesn’t know how to push.

  • John Tynan

    “Transitioning” was when he sat in Link’s shadow for most of a season. Transitioning was “maybe” last year when he was still working off partly his recruiting program and partly Link’s personnel. This year is full blown RG, and it ain’t pretty….

  • Billl

    “instilled with a firm belief” oh just stop it Hooper! Too fing good!

    • Masher

      You’d hope that the players already had that. Be a bit embarrassing if they came out and said “We’re hopeful but don’t expect much”

  • Douglas

    I didn’t know losing almost every game and having the highest points deficit was a “new style” of playing rugby.

    • Train Without A Station

      Nobody said it was a winning style!

  • Seb V

    George North is only 22? Already one of best wingers going away. Crazy.

  • Mark Blackwood

    I would love to believe Hooper but those are the same spirited words that were being broadcast by the players BEFORE last season happened…

  • MM

    They’re doing the sponsorship thing all wrong – much more thought needs to go into it. Here’s some suggestions – Get onto it PULVER!!!!!!
    Front Row – John Deere
    Second row – Mack Trucks
    Back row – Landcruiser V8 Utes

    Backs – eh, lots of fast shiny things about…..

  • KakaduKid

    Hooper is delusional. 12 months out from the RWC this same playing group lose to NZ, SAf, Argies then white ant their coach then win only one game on their EOYT or 2 if you count the Barbars. This is a dysfunctional squad playing without a settled gameplan. Whatever Hooper says, the opposite usually turns out to be true.
    The only things the Wallabies should say are that they are proud to be in gold and that they’ll do everything they can to win every game they play. Let’s be honest, the Wallabies are in worse shape than at any RWC since 2003.

  • Bamboo

    Probably not mate. Only one of those teams will play in a World Cup final.

    Same brand as the English cricket team is probably more accurate. Lets manage expectations huh?

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