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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s rugby news has Dennis going overseas, Cooper in contention for the Sydney Sevens, Smiler staying put and Women’s rugby rankings introduced


Dennis signs with Exeter

Waratahs v Bulls 2014 Keith McInnes KMA3301

Waratahs captain Dave Dennis has joined Aviva Premiership title contenders Exeter Chiefs for the 2017 season. The Australia international follows Greg Holmes to Sandy Park after the Queensland Reds prop signed in December. The Chiefs announced that Dennis, who has 18 Test caps and 93 Waratahs’ caps to his name, has agreed a three-year deal.

The 30-year-old has played all of his Super Rugby games for NSW since debuting in 2007 and emphasised, “I could easily stay here until my career ended but I’ve always wanted to challenge myself in a different environment. I’m not getting any younger and, with the transition of Michael (Hooper) into the captaincy, I’m really comfortable with the way I’ll be leaving the club at the end of the year.”

Cooper’s role uncertain

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While Quade Cooper has made himself available for the Sydney Sevens event, new coach Andy Friend says the talented playmaker needs to prove himself on the training paddock before they make a final call on his selection. The Wallabies star’s commitments with French club Toulon means he won’t arrive in Australia until Wednesday, limiting his training time.

Friend emphasised that he was not going to pick Quade Cooper “just because he’s Quade Cooper”. “We need to check his condition and if he’s going to add value to the squad. If he is going to add value to the squad, let’s get him in,” Friend said. “If he’s not, he’s missed the boat for this one and we’ll hold back, and play the guys who have been here.”

Smiler re-signs

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Jordan Smiler has turned his back on a deal with second division French side Nevers, putting his family first in re-signing with the Brumbies. Smiler walked away from his deal when his father got ill and son Keanu was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy.

His rugby future was up in the air until the Brumbies offered him a chance to re-sign on a two-year deal. “I could have very easily be playing and very settled in France right now. But it didn’t happen because it wasn’t the right timing so that’s gone now, and the focus is on here,” Smiler said.

New Women’s rugby rankings

Australia womens sevens Trophy lift

World Rugby has introduced the first official global rankings for women’s test rugby just ahead of this year’s women’s Six Nations, and New Zealand have taken the honour of being No 1. The rankings were introduced after a comprehensive process of analysing every result from the first official women’s international matches dating back to 1987.

World Rugby Chairman Bernard Lapasset emphasised that the rankings will drive the competitiveness and exposure of the female game, while encouraging member unions to play more test matches. “It’s a positive step for one of the fastest growing team sports in the world, as it brings parity with the men’s game,” he added.

  • dom par

    I feel a bit sorry for Dennis. A few years ago being a Waratah forward was pretty much a walk-in for the Wallabies, regardless of personal form. Yet he was never given much of a chance, while deadbeats like Elsom, S. Timani and Mumm were . Considering he was versatile enough to convincingly play 4/5/6/8, I am suprised his Wallaby caps are so low. I know he was a big, big reason for the Sydney Stars having such a dramatically better performance in 2015 as well.

    Also in regards to Smiler, I feel like we really need to start blooding new guys at Wallaby level who can play 6 and 8. Vaea, Jones, Timani, Korcyzk, Smiler, Butler all come to mind. Otherwise they’re just going to continue to go overseas and we’ll be left to pick up the pieces, with a midget backrow of McMahon, Hooper and Gill.

    There is a place for non-jumping, low-turnover, small forwards like McMahon, and Hooper, but we can’t have more than 1 in the same 23.

    • Parker

      I don’t think it’s fair to call Mumm a deadbeat, particularly after his RWC efforts. And Elsom may have been past his prime while S. Timani hadn’t reached it, but deadbeat is not what they were either.

      • dom par

        Sorry i should have clarified. I meant pre-europe mumm. That guy was a 3 out of 10 every test match. Mr invisible. Rwc mumm was pretty decent though (by the low standards of our 2nd row stocks at least)

        • Braveheart81

          Dave Dennis wasn’t in the picture at that point in time. He wasn’t a consistent starter for the Waratahs before Mumm went to Europe.

    • TheMountain

      other than being a Kiwi, Smiler is pretty much the last player I would blood for the wallabies. Cottrell Timani, Korcyzk, and Vaea are all miles ahead of him in the backrow and he doesn’t have nearly the physical attributes to sub as lock at internationals. I think when you’re complaining about having McMahon, Hooper and Gill in your backrow you need to take a step back and re-evaluate

      • brumby runner

        I have a lot of time for Cottrell and Ita Vaea will be pushing hard for the Wallabies’ No 8 spot this year. I am concerned that Lopeti promises more than he will ever deliver, but that could be the result of the Rebels continuing to play him at lock. Korczyk has a few years yet to reah the dizzying heights of being Wallaby ready – has hardly played any Super rugby yet.

        Otherwise, I am very happy to have Jordan Smiler putting in for the Brumbies at either No 6 or replacement lock. He is the go to man in the lineout when he plays; he hits tremendously hard in defense; his ball skills are good and he just keeps going at 100mph all game. If we are looking at No 6 and No 8 spots, I’d prefer him to either McMahon or Gill, great as they might be in their own rights.

        • TheMountain

          He’s a great worker for the Ponies, I just have ethical issues picking out and out Kiwis for the Wallabies

      • dom par

        I’m complaining that if we go a gill/hooper/mcmahon route, we’ll get blown off the ball at ruck time, and suffer at lineout and scrum time.

        I rate all 3 players very highly, but if we have all 3 in the same 23 we’re making it hard for ourselves.

    • Braveheart81

      I think Jones should get more of a look in this season. Korczyk is miles away and I believe he did his knee so won’t be playing in 2016.

      Vaea should get a crack this year but the biggest thing standing in both his and Timani’s way is that neither of them are an option in the lineout. Hooper and Pocock seem likely to continue playing 7 and 8 together and provide a better lineout than Vaea or Timani in place of one of them would.

      Anyone competing with Fardy for the 6 jersey needs to be a strong lineout option which is where I see Jones’ opportunity.

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