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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesdays Rugby News sees Emma Tonegato’s sevens return, Matt Philip re-signs, English Spies and the Sydney Sevens matches announced.




Emma Tonegato

Emma Tonegato

Australian Sevens star Emma Tonegato is confident her shoulder will hold up ahead of her return to World Series Sevens in Sydney this weekend, after being named a part of the womens squad.

A shoulder injury in last season at the world cup back in July, forced the 23 year old to undergo surgery and length stay in the rehab group. This was the second time she injured that shoulder but is not worried about it going into her first tournament of the season.

“It’s always in the back of your head, I’m not genetically blessed with my shoulders but I’ve been seeing a psychologist and I’m feeling really confident,” she said.

“I’ve had lots of time with the girls and full team training so yeah, I’m ready.”

It was a blessing for Tonegato that the team opted to have trial matches, instead of playing in the New Zealand Fast Four tournament, as the trials gather her an extra confidence boost that she is up to the task.

“I definitely was one who was pushing for those games so I could have some game time before we take on the best in the world,” she said.

“I felt really confident after those games and it gave me that little confidence boost that I needed.

“I think we have such competitive girls in the team that everyone was going their hardest and it was such a good selection tool for Johnny (Women’s coach John Manenti) so there was no hesitation, everyone was out there to put their name forward for the team.”

“At the start, she knew it was a big road,” Manenti said, as he throws his full confidence that Tonegato is up to the challenge and ready to play.

“She’s worked hard and deserved her opportunity and fully confident in the fact that she’s ready to play.”

Emma Toneato’s return is a timely one with many of the stars of the Womens team still out injured, with co-captain Shannon Perry suffering a recent set back on her injured ankle. Charlotte Caslick is still out with hand injury and Emilee Cherry haha been ruled out due to pregnancy.


Matt Philip is tackled by Hamish Stewart.

Matt Philip is tackled by Hamish Stewart.

Melbourne Rebels hard-man Matt Philip has signed a contract extension that will keep him in Melbourne for the 2020/21 season.

The 24 year old second rower was a staple of the Rebels forward pack in 2018, making 16 appearance for the club after coming across from the Western Force.

Phillip’s motivations for signing on we clear as he is determined to add to his three Wallaby caps and win a Super Rugby Title.

“There’s a great vibe around our program at the moment and that’s built on a lot of hard work and a buy in from our entire group around who we want to be and how we want to play,” said Philip.

“I’m a driven guy and I love competing all the time. I think that’s a dimension I add to the group and in return, I really feel like this environment gives me the best chance to evolve as a player and a person.”

“Living in Melbourne is something that I honestly had a few worries about initially, but it’s not hard to fall in love with this city. It’s been a great place to live and to play and I want to repay my enjoyment of living here with performances on the park that make Melbourne proud of me and the Rebels.”

Rebels Coach Dave Wessels praised the efforts of Matt Phillip, claiming his attitude and output have a positive impact on the team. Having Phillip extend his contract was a priority for Wessels and the Club.

“We’re really excited that Matt has recommitted to the club. I’ve had the chance to work with Matt for a few seasons now and his hunger to constantly compete and be better in all aspects of his development is something that I admire,” Wessels said.

“Matt’s a guy who isn’t afraid of hard work. Melbourne can be proud to be represented by a guy as competitive as Matty.”

“I know he has a sense of unfinished business down here, so now it’s our job to harness that motivation ahead of what is an important season.”


Ben O'Donnell

Ben O’Donnell

With this year being an Olympic qualifying year for the sevens teams every point earned is vital for securing a spot at the Tokyo games.

After finishing seventh in Hamilton, a strong start will be needed by the Aussie men if they want to defend their title in Sydney and score enough points to automatically qualify for the Olympics.

Australia drew Argentina, Tonga and South Africa on their opening day of the tournament, with their match against Argentina being the opening game. the Men will want to finish top of their pool to reduce the chance of a potential quarter final match up against current number 1 Fiji, who are in top form coming off their victory at the Hamilton Sevens.

The South Africans have had a strong start to the season, finishing sixth in Dubai, claiming the bronze in Cape Town and finished fourth in Hamilton last weekend.

Australia were able to beat Argentina last weekend during the pool stage. Tonga are the 16th invitational team, after they secured a victory in the Oceania Qualifying match.

Coach Tim Walsh will be sweating the injury cloud over key player Ben O’Donnell, who injured his knee in New Zealand last weekend.

“Not sure – we will have to assess him in the morning,” Walsh told RUGBY.com.au.

“It is the same niggle as before, from Cape Town. We will see how he pulls up in the morning and obviously a a player like him, we will give him every chance to see where he is at.”





English spies in the Irish camp sounds like the latest drama on Netflix, but according to Irish Rugby coach Joe Schmidt it’s something his team have become aware of.

Spying in sport has become a hot topic recently with Leeds United manger Marcelo Bielsa admitting that he has spied on rival teams training sessions.

Schmidt and England Coach Eddie Jones were having a laugh about this issue at the Six Nations launch in London last Wednesday, with Jones even joking he was off to buy binoculars to spy on the Irish camp. Ireland and England have been in camp in Portugal not far from each other.

Schmidt now claims that his team have been spied on and that he was “kind of disappointed” when he found out.

“I would have to say that I’m not a believer in it,” the Irish coach claimed. “I don’t think that it’s necessary. I would still like to think there is a sense of fair play. I love some of the amateur values that still exist in rugby. But I know it happens. I know it’s happened to us.”

Schmidt wouldn’t go into too much detail but said he “stumbled onto it (the espionage)”, and would not name those involved.

Many teams including Ireland has stopped taking part in traditional captains run training sessions at opposition stadiums for fear of being spied.

“It’s happened a couple of times,” he said. “I think when it filters back you are disappointed but you kind of acknowledge, ‘OK, it’s their process. It’s their way of collecting information.’ You just shrug your shoulders.

“But I don’t think you can get distracted by it. And if you became paranoid about it you’d never train properly. You’d always be worried by somebody looking. We always say, ‘If they spy on us but we do it well enough, maybe, we’ll still be able to get a result’.”

Former Australia coach Jones claims he use to use the tactic of spying but no longer feels the need too as the game has changed.

“Fifteen years ago, we used to send people out in costumes to watch training – it used to be part of the pre-match brief. I can remember sending a coach, who is now in a senior position, dressed like a swagman to watch one team train and he got chased out of there.

“You do not need to do it now because you see everything in a game. I have been coaching for 20 years and it has always been going on but I can say with a hand on my heart, we don’t do it any more. We don’t see the value of it because we can glean most of the stuff from games now.”


  • Brisneyland Local

    Good morning GAGR’s.
    Well am on the train with the land of the great unwashed. I always thought it was a smart idea to wear shoes on public transport, but on today’s trip I don’t think everyone agrees with me. Over to today’s news:
    -Re Joe Schmidt being upset over spying allegations and espionage. I am sure this is being done as pre-series banter to get the crowd interested. It happens it ha always happened. Whether you like it or not it will happen.
    – The 7’s was disappointing for the Aus team. But my beloved Fijians are looking fantastic. The surprise, although it shouldn’t be, is the USA. Aren’t they coming along in leaps and bounds. Hopefully some of that can migrate across to their 15’s.
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      On the Looser cruiser mate! Good to bring you down to reality.
      I’m like you. Yes it happens but it’s more about the media infighting than reality.
      Your 7’s looked a bit out of sorts. Lot’s of work to do for them, they almost looked as though they were pushing too hard and need to settle and work their way forward rather than get a spectacular try. Fiji are awesome and that bit at the start where they raised that girl up was just all class.
      It’ll be interesting to see the USA 15’s develop over the next few years. I reckon that by about 2027 they will be a real threat at the RWC, if not earlier.

      • Happyman

        Yes Public Transport I can feel the joy being sucked out of you on the journey.
        With the USA the math around some of the talent they could have wiht development is just crazy Something like 5,000 American football players graduate each year from college and of those only about 300 get drafted or end up in the NFL or CFL. NFL requires very different fitness levels as they are all explosive athletes who would find playing for a full 80 minutes impossible.

        Cannot wait for the season to start indeed getting out to the Brisbane 7’s this weekend for some club sevens should be a good entree for the main course of the season proper.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Might see you out there!

        • Happyman

          might do

      • Brisneyland Local

        They (USA) really do look good. they have some serious speed that is really hard to negate. Especially in the 7’s.
        Yeah Aus looked all 6’s and 7’s. I agree totally with your summation.
        Go Fiji! (Also my dark horse for the RWC to make the semi’s!)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m baking them to make the Qtrs. I think a Semi is a step too far yet but they certainly are stepping up

        • Happyman

          Going to be an interesting pool we get Fiji early with the usual little lead up for them due to clubs letting them go as late as possible so they might be a bit underdone. They then play Wales last with a few games under their belt and time together so look out.
          If they beat us which is a possibility then they could conceivably top the group IMHO based on recent performance.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely mate. I’m so hanging out for this tournament

        • Happyman

          That is why four years is perfect. The last one is still close enough to remember well but far enough away that the appetite is well and truly wetted. Effectlively 6 weeks of Rugby being dominant on the sporting landscape.

          Realistically I think 6 teams can win it
          South Africa
          With Scotland Argentina France Fiji and Samoa offering the spoiler tag.

          If they try and do a Quasi world cup thing every year it will just devalue it.

    • Custard Taht

      Unless you find a bug in your hotel room, is it really spying?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Even then if it was self planted it aint spying!

        • Hoss

          Gold mate.

        • Nutta

          So if there was no-one to hear the tree fall…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Just like one handed clapping!

  • Duncher

    It’s so great to have the daily news back. I was starting to get antsy.

  • Huw Tindall

    Other news has Geerob reporting Adam Coleman looking to London Irish next season. Only 31 tests so nowhere near the Giteau rule 60 test mark so will be out of the loop for at least a couple of years of the next RWC cycle. Thumbs up signing Phillip on till 2020 but losing Coleman is kick in the nuts. Still, only so much money going round and second rowers don’t seem to attract as much as 9/10 and the backrow.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Losing Coleman isn’t good. But I reckon Johnson will scrap the giteau rule. That is my hot tip. His first point difference will be scrapping that bad boy.

      • Happyman

        Mate I hope not as then we end up like Fiji, Tonga and all the other tier 2 nations where we get our players back a week before the games.

        I expect something like the Welsh model where if you are offered a local contract and knock it back then you are not considered but if you are overseas as you are not wanted by the locals then you are considered..

        Or probably just better central contracting. Not $1.2m Per annum for the third best 7 and the eighth best Captain in Australia. That is going to be a tough legacy contact to swallow.

        • Dylan Langes

          Whoever made that contract deal from a RA perspective needs to be hung drawn and quartered.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. I am sure we cant unfuck the current contract malaise. But on future contracts we can have clauses inserted.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Be nice, but as Happyman says belowit could bring even more problems

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree. But, they are already trying behind the scenes in Europe to get releases for some of the others.

      • Dylan Langes

        I really hope that he doesn’t. Unless its to say no more OS players. If we allow anyone to play for the Wallabies it will kill Rugby in Australia. As Happyman brings up you don’t want for us to end up with players in camp for a week and then we wonder why we get smashed because we have 23 strangers playing together. Plus what’s a players incentive to stay here?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Trust me I dont want it scrapped unless there are strong neasures put in place to protect local rugby. But at the moment we dont have the depth, because it is all overseas. So that is why it is my tip.

        • Dylan Langes

          I think we do have the depth we just don’t have the right people in place to harness it. Ask yourself why Rob Valentini was taken as the development player on the spring tour when we already have a plethora of back rowers, and he was injured most of last season. Wouldn’t it have been better to take say a young 5/8 or half back or a position where we are weak and help that player grow?

          We need to build the depth at home rather than look to the ones who went over seas. Because bringing back players not in Australia won’t fix anything, it will make matters worse.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree. 9 and 10 are our two biggest risk position. Yet we are not developing players there.

        • Adrian

          Na, I think,…unfortunately that the gloss has worn off Dylan, and it doesn’t matter about incentives when money is plentiful elsewhere

        • Dylan Langes

          I think Adrian there is still the lure of playing for the Wallabies, hence why guys like Luke Jones and Campbell Magnay have come back to Super Rugby. They would have made more money is France and Japan respectively.

          Johnny Sexton returned from France to play for Ireland because their program was better without the eligibility rules. We need to build a program that players want to be apart of.

          And plenty of players don’t make it following the money when the call of home is strong.

      • Adrian

        Agree re changing Giteau rule to anyone rule . I’d have it anyone who has been available for 5 seasons since they were 18, irrespective of whether they were selected or not.

        I don’t believe for a minute that the thought of Wallaby selection keeps guys at home for more than a couple of seasons when the money is better for most players OS.

        I remember slogan of 15 years ago…
        ” I wanna be a Wallaby”
        My son’s team used to say “I wanna be a wantabe”

        • Dylan Langes

          I just think scrap the Giteau Law completely. We got lucky in 2015 and it won’t happen again.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep I hear you.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bugga! I like him and I think the lack of quality coaching and inconsistent selections has led to this. Another fail from the dicks running the Wallabies

    • Keith Butler

      Can’t figure out why Coleman would go to the Irish, they’re not even in the Premiership but likely to be promoted. If true, I guess money talks

  • Hoss

    Good afternoon honourable members of the House of Rugby,

    Good to be back – some semblance of sanity in this world. I had a confused Australia day being a mix of First Australian and Irish stock. Part of me felt disconnected and sullied the other enjoying a long weekend and a wee dram, why is it the alcoholic always win out ??

    Anyhoo – what a cracker of a year to look forward to as an Oz fan. The Oz conference looks tight, real tight and enjoyable and the squads are, on paper, really even (remove pin and lob grenade here) and perhaps some gain for the pain of 2017 could finally show. For mine its ‘Year of the Coach’. They all have a fair sprinkling of cattle, but who has the minerals ?

    The Padre has a good young squad with huge potential, great young piggies, he gets AKA back after his self-imposed layoff latelast year, there’s plenty of well credentialed support in the coaching department and they are free of off-field distraction and i can easily see them topping the Oz conference. Kepler and his lot – well its acid on sperm producing gland time for the Southern boys. They have THE squad in Oz – do they have the nous and Rugby IQ to blend it all – my tip, they could easily win the Oz conference. 457 and the Tah’s – on paper the squad is ok. The addition of a 3 metre tall Saffa to help, plus Two-dads and Genitals for depth and experience. My tip – could easily win the Oz conference. Dan Murphy’s Brumbies – good squad, skinny at 10 still, but they are well drilled, and any side with Brian in it has a red-hot chance. My tip, could easily win Oz conference.

    On paper its the most competitive Oz conference i have ever seen. No easy beats, no stand-outs. All capable of beating one-another on any given day. resting Wallaby players will have an impact and squad depth will be tested.How refreshing

    With Mandrake to oversee Mr Segall and co and TBA coming as third selector is that a glimmer of hope i see on the horizon………….

    Nice to have the anger of 2018 replaced by optimism – for now at least.

    Serenity now.

    • Happyman

      Pure gold Hoss you had me with Brian for a moment but I got there in the end.

      January Rugby a Victory of hope over experience.

      • AllyOz

        I am still puzzling it out ….that may be all those concussions.

        • Hoss

          Answers are on page 53 mate

        • AllyOz

          and now you want me to read….

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Welcome back my friend. What are holidays for but to drink to excess and get confused about your heritage. My only real question is about seeing two dads as anything positive. Comes across as a self indulgent wanker to me and exactly the sort of person Australian rugby needs to get rid of if it ever wants to dig itself out of the hole it is currently in. I don’t see any of his play being so good that it makes up for the self indulgent “rules are for others not me” attitude that this dickhead brings to the table.
      Right rant over! I agree all the teams look as though they could take the competition this year, it’s certainly going to be an interesting year.

      • Hoss

        Hello comrade – good to be back amongst the fraternity. You may be right re two-dads, maybe I am still 2015 AAC in my mind. For now I will stick with positive, you can’t put a price on his experience and sense of calm he brings, I reserve the right to completely change my mind with zero remorse or embarrassment at a later stage.

        I love the inter web, I have never been wrong and also extremely interesting……

      • Adrian

        We’ll KRL, …AAC could be a wanker, but I suspect he gets others to do his dirty work!

  • AllyOz

    amateur values…I think some things are just values regardless of whether the game is amateur or professional. I think trying to gain an unfair advantage through spying is akin to individuals taking performance enhancing drugs. Train hard and play hard and to the edge but not over line on the rules (there may need to be the odd offence to determine where the line is on that particular day). Respect your opponents.

  • Adrian

    Thanks Dylan, the really interesting news is yet to come,…but when it does…it will be an anticlimax!

    • Dylan Langes

      You have peaked my interest.

  • Hoss

    Mr Adrian,

    Good afternoon. I forgot how soothing and therapeutic were your dollops of rugby wisdom and insight were.

    Looking forward to a good year for Oz rugby domestically and ets see what happens from there.

    Plenty of players returning, good squad depth, if nothing else the Oz conference of SR should be a nail biter.

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