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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News has Sekope Kepu’s retirement, players for the Pumas game and extras for the Samoa game, as well as a new coach for the Moondogs.


sekope kepu scores vs all blacks wallabies 2015

360 No Sekope

Saturday’s test against Samoa will be Sekope Kepu’s last at home, after the veteran prop announced he was retiring from international rugby after the RWC yesterday.

The tighthead prop became the first prop to 100 Wallaby caps, an effort he reached last year.

Since debuting with the Wallabies in 19 BC 2008, Kepu has made himself a mainstay of increasingly strengthening Wallabies front row.

Before the Auckland Bledisloe, Cheika made Kepu do a speech in front of the lads and Kepu says that’s the first time he realised how much he had achieved.

“Cheik got us to speak in Auckland, speak to the group, the centurions group and it was then that I realised what a unique group to be a part of,” Kepu told rugby.com.au.

“Obviously through the years, you just play footy and you love it, you just want to get every Test you can and play in every game you can but to actually notch 100 last year and to be a part of such a special group…It’s one of those things – you never thought you’d be able to achieve that and to have done so, it’s something I’m very, very privileged to do and I’ve been fortunate to play for as long as I have been.”

Kepu, who made his debut against Samoa at loosehead, is happy to see everything be wrapped in a neat little package.

“I remember that day very well – baptism of fire, I guess,” he said.

“in 2011, leading into the World Cup as well, it was my first start at loosehead. To come full circle again in my last Test match on home soil is going to be very special.”

Lautolo, Renie celebrates 240813D-2310.JPG

Los Verdes Contre The Big Cats

Los Galopantes Verdes de Randwick are set to play Silver Country’s Big Spotty Cats in the seaside barrio of Sidney this weekend, as the Big Spotty Cats prepare for the Rugby World Cup.

Rugby.com.au reports that NSW Country and the Sydney NRC team will release players to play for Randwick, including a few Los Ualabís y un pouco de Los Ualabís júniors.

Mitch Short, Will Harrison, Ben Donaldson, Christian Poidevin and James Ramm have all been released by Sydney, while it is expected Ned Hanigan, Dave Vea and Triston Reilly will be released from the NSW Country Eagles.

Sydney coach Chris Whittaker said he was more than happy to release his players for the Big Spotty Cats match.

“Playing an international team, it’s a massive opportunity for the young guys,” Whittaker said.

“Just look at the 9s and 10s – Mitch Short, Will Harrison and Ben Donaldson – it’s going to be a big step up. Playing Aussie 20s is a big step up and playing NRC is another good opportunity for them and this will be another good opportunity.

“It will give them a good mark on where they need to get to.

“Argentina are one of the best teams in the world and it’s not going to be easy for them but it’ll be a really good learning curve for them.”

Un local de Randwick himself, Whittaker was a young’un watching the 1988 game for Randwick against the All Blacks at Coogee Oval, a game which featured Michael Cheika.

“I was about 14 years old – I remember it was packed…it was massive, I remember looking up at the apartment blocks around and there were people on every balcony, it was a big occasion.”

Rob Valentini

Twose In

Jack Maddox and Rob Valentini have joined up with the Wallabies squad as extras for the squad against Samoa.

The addition of these is possibly a sign that Cheika is taken a conservative approach to Saturday’s game.

The winger and back-rower have joined up with the squad in New Caledonia, where the Wallabies are currently running up sand dunes in preparation for the RWC.

Fox Sports reports that the Samoa match will feature a lot of rested first team players. Pocock is expected to make his return – as captain too – while trying not end up like the kicker in that Simpsons episode.

Valentini, who is uncapped, is also expected to get game time along with Maddox. The winger, who unlike most Wallabies wingers is actually fast, was sent home early from South Africa earlier this year.

Fox Sports also reports that Kurtley Beale and Samu Kerevi will be wrapped in the finest cotton wool made from prime Darling Downs product for this test.

The Sunwolves team thank their fans

A Japan Coach For The Moondogs

Super Rugby will have its first Japanese coach, with Naoya Okubo to takeover the Sunwolves in their terminal season.

Formerly the assistant coach under Tony Brown, the former director of rugby for Suntory Sungoliath will take the reigns for 2020.

“The Sunwolves in the 2020 season need to bring the game forward in Japan after the World Cup. I am proud to receive an opportunity to be involved at such an important time,” he said in a statement, according to KyodoNews.

Okubo, a former international scrumhalf with 23 caps, ran the Sungoliath for 3 seasons from 2012-2016, taking them to 3 titles during his time.

The Sunwolves will be no more after next year, after Sanzaar had another strike of inspiration and decided to cut them.

  • juswal

    A pleasingly bilingual news bulletin, Nick.

    However, Rob’s name is Valetini, not Valentini. He’ll shine your shoes but he won’t bring you roses and chocolates. And it’s Jack Maddocks, not Maddox. The names are correct in the linked Foxsports article — easy enough to copy them over.

    • Bobas

      I’d has-heard a guess that he knows what he’s doing.

      • juswal

        Colour me trolled.

    • BigNickHartman

      I plagiarise a lot of my work from Fox Sports but obviously not as much as I can! Thanks juswal, I try to pump these out before bed so inevitably mistakes are made

  • Gottsy

    Seems I’ve been a bit out of the loop, can anyone tell me why Valetini and Maddocks have been rushed in instead of Samu and Banks? (No disrespect to the former, they’re both excellent players)

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Because Cheika has proven himself a poor coach?

      In seriousness, it either means those guys are ahead of Banks and Samu in Cheika’s eyes, or he is just trying to get a look at them.

      • Braveheart81

        Valetini is ahead of Samu, but Banks has already been over there. He is clearly ahead of Maddocks. He was one of 5 players named in the initial train-on squad for the RWC.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          And yet he lost out to a grandpa who barely had 10 minutes in the rugby championship. He obviously, for unfathomable reasons, fell down Cheika’s order of preference. In 2017 and 18 Banks was better than Maddocks, but Cheika pickers Jack. Seems to me equally probable that the selection advisors convinced Cheika to try Banks, but he was unimpressed and has revereted to preferring guys like Maddocks and AAC.

        • Braveheart81

          It seems pretty clear that both Banks and Maddocks will be playing this weekend and that Banks is ahead of Maddocks in the pecking order.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You may be right. But it seemed pretty clear to me that Banks was ahead of AAC until the World Cup squad was announced. So, I don’t take any sort of logic for granted when it comes to Cheika.

        • Braveheart81

          I thought so too. Ultimately I don’t think they were really competing for the same role in the squad. DHP has been picked as the backup fullback behind Beale because the selectors view him as a better wing option than Banks. Banks is seen as a fullback only so when he didn’t win the starting XV role his chances of being selected were limited.

          I would have taken Banks in my 31.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, well, to phrase it another way, I thought that Banks was ahead of DHP too after his horror show in South Africa, never to be seen again. So the point still stands, even if with a different player.

          It’s crazy to me that DHP is seen is a better wing option. He’s a terrible defender and very slow. DHP a better fullback, I can accept whether or not I quite agree. Beale isn’t better at anything. Throughout the rugby championship, as throughout his career, his liability under the high ball was too great.

          I honestly don’t see what role AAC fills. As a centre/wing utility he must surely be behind Hodge and Petaia. We have at least four centres ahead of him, and at least 5 outside backs ahead of him.

        • OnTheBurst

          Agree with every word Dazza

        • Max Graham

          Agree!

        • Geoffro

          What IS the point of playing two guys who havent been given the nod for Japan in a WC warmup game.AAC and DHP are going for better or worse and both need a bit of time on the paddock

        • Braveheart81

          I expect both of them will play too. If the 2015 USA game is anything to go by I would expect the majority of the 23 will be the back half of the RWC squad plus some of the extras.

          I’d guess we will put out a team that looks something like:

          1. Kepu 2. Uelese 3. Tupou 4. Coleman 5. Simmons 6. Demspey 7. Pocock 8. Valetini 9. Powell 10. Foley 11. Maddocks 12. JOC 13. Kuridrani 14. DHP 15. Banks
          16. TPN 17. HJH 18. Ala’alatoa 19. Jones 20. Wright 21. Phipps 22. Toomua 23. Maddocks

        • Geoffro

          Even in your backhalf selection no AAC . Hes looking more like a team mascot than anything.Maybe hes required for his knowledge of the lingo

        • Braveheart81

          I left him out by accident. I picked Maddocks twice. Now edited.

        • Geoffro

          Understand.Hes a forgettable selection in my books too

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          Isn’t AAC in the squad so that Cheika has someone his own age to talk to?

          Maybe post-tournament, they’re going to suit-up together in the golden oldies event.

        • AllyOz

          They might start Toomua rather than JOC given JOC has started the past couple and looks to be locked into 13 – still I understand the rationale as JOC hasn’t yet had a crack at 12

        • Max Graham

          Both of those will start.

        • Geoffro

          Fine.Lucky the Samoans are pretty poor at the moment cause we wont dazzle them with our speed.

        • laurence king

          Maybe he is confusing AAC and Hodge with Steve Austen ie the slow-motion

        • Geoffro

          Hes just confused.Both are bearably passable utility players that shouldnt be near a run on side imo

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Hodge actually has a really good try scoring rate, a big boot, is quick enough and a good defender. AAC is meh.

        • Geoffro

          Sorry,just dont like Hodge in his role in this squad which seems he has been selected as a winger.Maybe in AACs( spent force) spot as a utility with another better wing option being selected

        • laurence king

          I think that there is still some life in the old dog, but should he have been picked over over any other 10 backs who haven’t been picked? No

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          To be honest I wouldn’t even have in my Brumbies squad if he was on offer. Formerly a very good player, but…

        • joy

          He’s defence has OK in Super Rugby and against SA but was atrocious against the Pumas and the Kiwis where he managed 1 of 3, 2 of 6 and 3 of 6 respectively. Speed?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Suspect that is bad luck and being put into bad positions. He has been a good defender for years.

        • Max Graham

          If the faster blokes could tackle and kick they might have been able to show their dazzling pace.

        • Geoffro

          True that.Its just a shame these guys though they may be abe to defend we havent the

        • laurence king

          It gives them game time if in case there is an injury is the up side of the choice I guess

        • Max Graham

          Yep. Banks will play on the weekend.

        • laurence king

          Banks will just have to wait until next year I think. Banks was favoured by Larkham imo and by the other selectors, but clearly not Cheika.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It is interesting to me that you think he likes flash over solidity. How do we account for his preference for guys like Beale, Koroibete, Hoops? But on the other hand, how do we explain Hanigan, Mumm, Hodge, DHP? I honestly cannot work Cheika out. His selections and game plans are ofte unfathomable for me.

      • Geoffro

        Thought Banks and Powell were already training as add ons in NCal.Dont see why Pete Samu has been cold shoudered.Scored a nice itte wingers try on Saturday with a bit of a Campoesque shuffle and was pretty good all round

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          In my opinion, it is because Cheika is a terrible selector.

        • laurence king

          Imo, if a coach can’t pick the right players, then he can’t implement the game plan effectively or save things when it goes pear shaped. It also suggests that the coach lacks a proper grasp of the actual game plan. Or am I just making too much of it?

        • Brumby Runner

          I’m with you all the way LK.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Cheika gets what Cheika wants mate. TBF I’m all for coaches getting who they want, as long as they’re held accountable for the results and that’s the bit missing here.

    • Steve

      If you’re looking for method it’s the wrong place Gottsy. We only do madness here.

    • Braveheart81

      Tom Banks has been in Noumea since the start of the camp. The original train-on squad has been Banks, Wright, Jones, Polota-Nau and Powell. Harry Johnson-Holmes and Nick Phipps were added to that after the Shute Shield grand final.

      I can’t tell you why Samu isn’t there but it seems like Wright has been preferred to him.

      • Max Graham

        Banks isn’t a winger. Samu has obviously been left in the cold for choosing a wedding over the Wallabies.

      • Gottsy

        Cheers mate. I really hope that Samu isn’t on the outer

  • sambo6

    When watching the Wallabies, my 5 year old boy’s favourite player is KEPU….because his name has the word ‘poo’ in it.

    I try to convey to him all the great things Sekope has done in service of the wallaby jumper, over many years. But he just loves is saying ‘poo’..cracks the little fella up.

    Either way…Sekope Kepu shall be remember fondly by multiple members of the Sambo6 household.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s gold. Go the little one

    • AllyOz

      shame Pocock will be retired by the time he reaches early adolescence and sexual names become a pre-occupation.

    • Missing Link

      Scott “Farty” a close second?

      • Moz

        Known as the Fartstar in our house!

    • onlinesideline

      Closely followed by Sir Hoss’s “Tupou or not Tupou”
      What does he call Thor ?
      2 poos ?

      • Who?

        The Abbatoir. Because he’ll slaughter a good number of piggies before he’s done. :-)

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      I always thought Piri Weepu must’ve been confused.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, great posting.

    What a great career Kepu has had. Lots of ups and downs but a fantastic achievement and I hope his game goes well.

    What will be interesting is if the two players brought in have outstanding games, especially if Maddocks blitzes it on the wing and shows up the pace that’s currently missing.

    The Randwick vs Argies game is one I really don’t get. Not sure all the reasons behind it but I’m just not seeing what the Argies will get out of this that they can’t get in an opposed training run in the team. Still a great experience for the Randwick players.

    • Huw Tindall

      I’m more worried about Maddocks getting steam rolled on defense. It’s a glaring weakness in his Super season.

  • Huw Tindall

    Just when you thought NSW were taking NRC seriously they release 10 players TK help Argentina warm up for the World Cup -_-

    • Max Graham

      I personally think it’s a great move! There is more interest in the Randwick vs Pumas game – the crowd will be massive. I do realize there is another side of the argument so can see where you’re coming from.

      • Geoffro

        good point.At least wont hear the crickets chirping like some of the NRC games just played

      • AllyOz

        Maybe the Pumas could have played Sydney City or whatever they’re called

        • Max Graham

          Sydney City already had a game booked. Also, Randwick will arguably pull a far bigger crowd and generate more interest.

        • AllyOz

          All true

      • Huw Tindall

        Yeah but it irks me they’ve prioritised an exhibition match whilst people are bending over backwards to grow the NRC and get it the attention the quality of the rugby deserves.

        • Max Graham

          I personally don’t believe the NRC deserves more attention than it receives. How many teams should I support every year? The local club side AND my super rugby side AND the national side AND some recently manufactured team that represents my general geographic area against teams I have no feelings for? Meanwhile, massive AFL crowds turn up each week to watch a sport that requires fans to only support one team. In my opinion, the NRC is a concept that probably looked good when presented in a PowerPoint pack. I’m pretty sure it will never amount to anything or turn up a player who wouldn’t have been discovered anyway. But then again, my preferred model would be to scrap Super Rugby and have the 5 Oz teams join the kiwi NPC, so what do I know?

  • AllyOz

    Didn’t Cheik use the Randwick U20s to trial his new attacking and defensive systems? This could mean the Argies pick up all our secrets in this game. Hopefully they give them the Bled 2 version and they learn nothing rather than the Bled 1 version (though not sure if the refs will help and remove one of the Argies for the rest of the game).

    Congratulations to Sekope Kepu, a great servant who has made a fantastic contribution.

    Also good to see the Sunwolves choose a Japanese coach. The Japanese teams in Super Rugby will now have 100% native born head coaches vs Australia’s 25%. Hopefully the Sunwolves survive in some shape or form, whether it be in GRR or another, yet unseen, competition. I think a strong Japanese presence, as a pioneer of the game in Asia is a key to the growth of the game in Asia.

    • Bobas

      Don’t worry, Hanigan will learn a few lessons and then be rushed back into the squad for his IP.

      • AllyOz

        and deservedly so

      • Brumby Runner

        IP? Is that his Invisible Presence? Unfortunately, with Ned, it just isn’t the same as Ruchie’s Invisible Cloak.

    • Fatflanker

      We have secrets…who knew?

  • Missing Link

    Congrats to Sekope, he was always a refreshing change from seeing Al Baxter fold like a 2 bit poker player, he actually had a side step and scored a try or two which is no easy feat for a man his size. Also bonus points to Kep for thumbing his nose at the darkness, he may or may not have been heard saying “nah stuff youze bro, I’m playing for the Wallabies ay” as he boarded a one way flight from Auckland to Sydney

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Just heard Andrew Deegan signed up for the Rebels. Good on him, but sad that the rest of Australia continue to take from WA without putting anything back

    • Braveheart81

      Presumably the Force can sign a replacement from NSW where they signed Deegan from originally if they’d like.

    • Ads

      isn’t he from Randwick?

      • onlinesideline

        how do you write a word that sounds like a muffled chuckle, similar to the sound the back of the class smartarse would make ? For guidance – Sort of like an inverted fart but with your throat.

      • Geoffro

        Fines will be the next one to be “stolen” Sorry for Force but they are just stepping stones in these youngsters careers

        • Bernie Chan

          Fines is a fantastic scrum half talent…won the POTY in his debut Premier Rugby season but didn’t get a QRU contract. Another talent to escape the QRU..

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Another player that slipped through and made his name in WA. The Force provided him with the opportunity to develop. Sad to see him go and especially to the Rebels. Wouldn’t it be better if the Rebels can develop their own talent instead of Wessels raiding the Force?

        • Missing Link

          There are already several Victorian juniors in the Rebels, and you don’t hear Rebels fans lamenting the Brumbies stealing their home grown talent in CLL and Pete Samu. I’d prefer to focus on feeding the Wallabies the best players rather than drawing provincial lines in the sand. You wont hear NZ’ers complaining about that sort of stuff, they are unified, why can’t we be too?

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Half of the Rebels side made their name at the Force – how many of the Brumbies made their name at the Rebels? A lot of these players were products of the Future Force system, a system financed by private WA donations. Even your coaching team made their name at the Force. It is an unfortunate outcome from axing the Force that there provincial lines were drawn in the sand as WA Rugby are fighting for survival.

        • Braveheart81

          They’re professional players trying to maximise their career opportunities. It’s unfortunate that they aren’t staying with the Force as far as the Force and WA rugby fans are concerned and maybe that will change if GRR takes off. As it currently stands though, there’s a lot of uncertainty there and players with a short professional career and opportunities elsewhere are going to seek them out.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          I have no problem with players making decisions about their careers.
          My issues is with the hypocrisy of Eastern States to raid the 3rd largest player base in Australia (WA players) when they believe that WA players are not good enough to have our own team in Superugby. Also that RA that represent the Eastern States refuse to contribute to the development of these players but when we used our own funds to develop these player they are more than prepared to benefit from it.

        • Ads

          As above that simply isn’t true. More players have gone to WA than the other way around.

        • Braveheart81

          Your posts are getting pretty ridiculous now. We understand that WA fans are upset about what happened and will potentially never get over it. It’s happened though and isn’t going to change. Hopefully the situation in WA will improve and hopefully GRR will take off. Thinking that the Waratahs or Rebels signing players from the Force is hypocritical is ridiculous though.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          What is ridiculous is how dumb the axing of WA Rugby community was and how this continue to play out.
          A team that represented both Victoria and WA in Superugby and play games in both states would have been far more sensible and would even got the financial backing of Forrest.

        • Ads

          The point of my comment was to show it is completely untrue that you said “the rest of Australia continue to take from WA without putting anything back”. That’s horseshit. The victim mentality is tedious. Yes it would be better if the there were more local players in Victoria and WA. Until that happens the Force and probably to a lesser extent Vic will continue to raid NSW and QLD. It’s good for the game and those players to get those opportunities.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Pocock, Sharpe, Giteau, O’Connor. Just a few Australian stars who grew up in WA since children, plying their trade in the WA system, and who the rest of Australia then nicked.

        • Ads

          Didn’t see the irony font for a second there and nearly went apoplectic :)

    • Who?

      Sad for the Force, but a savvy signing for Deegan. Not great for Maddocks and Hodge (given they’ve had aspirations to play 10), but the only other established 10 at the Rebels is Toomua (who’s arguably not an established 10). Meaning Deegan’s a real shot at getting plenty of game time next year. Where, if he’d signed for the Tahs, sure, no Foley, but Mac Mason, Harrison… And the Brums have a few guys, too.
      .
      Hope the Force can find another quality player.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Surely Hodge didn’t have serious aspirations to play 10.

        • Who?

          Who knows, I thought they said (when justifying Cheika using him as a 10) that he’d played there as a kid? Though James Slipper also played 10 as a kid (as Gordon Bray likes to remind us). And, let’s be honest, over the past few years, we’ve seen as much quality playmaking from Kepu and Slipper (and Moore) as we’ve seen from some of our supposed playmakers. Kepu threw more try assists in London last year alone than any of the backs did.

        • Braveheart81

          Hodge played some games at fly half for Australia at the under 20 RWC in 2013 so he was at least playing there at a pretty good level.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Which is insane given how unreliable his pass is when he is pressed for time.

      • Braveheart81

        Maddocks was never going to end up at 10. I don’t know why that theory started. He has no relevant experience there.

        • Who?

          I thought someone like Larkham started it..?
          Where do you think he’ll end up? Yet another 15?

        • Braveheart81

          I think it was Larkham that started it. I just can’t see it happening at this level. When he’s getting some opportunity at test level and otherwise playing Super Rugby, when is it meant to happen? Hard to see him usurping a more seasoned 10 to take the spot so it would need to be a pet project where the coach is willing to sacrificed the results of a professional team to try and develop a player into another position.

        • Who?

          I agree it’d be crazy to develop him at 10 in a Super team. It would’ve been great to see him getting game time there in the NRC last year and this year, but….. :-(

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maddocks wrote an article on playersvoice where he said that he and all his coaches (including Wessels and Cheika) saw him as a 10.

          The best analyst of Aussie rugby, Nicholas Bishop, has also often said he sees Maddocks as a 10.

    • Moz

      I think he’s just being realistic, and knows he’s not really going to be noticed by the powers that be unless he’s playing Super Rugby.
      I imagine Jack McGregor is possibly on the radar as well, and may be signed elsewhere in a little while. Another back three player with actual pace, although that’s not really valued by the Wallabies at the moment….
      I see also that Clay Uyen is also off to France. Another great player, and came up through the local system.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        The problem is with RA, WA is too far for them to take notice and why a Superugby team in Perth is needed

        • Ads

          They don’t even look after western Sydney. Please don’t interpret them as malicious towards WA. They are just grossly incompetent.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Do you kids have to move a thousand kms to play professional rugby when you live in western Sydney? Agree that RA is grossly incompetent but they are also malicious towards WA.

          RA still have not taken accountability for the mountain of debt that they left Rugby WA with when they axed the Force – Rugby WA is still technically insolvent. RA saved “$14 million last year” from axing the Force however are not prepared to give WA $1million to cover the debt they left us with. If that is not malicious what is?

        • Ads

          A gross misrepresentation of facts?
          So you are happy for east coast kids/players to move thousands of miles to play for the Force but not the other way around? You don’t see a double standard there? You would have had no high level viable team if large numbers of Force players hadn’t move thousands of miles to WA. When i lived in Freo for work the vast majority of the local rugby players were east coast guys moved over (typically for mining related work), ex-pat kiwis, saffas and poms/brits, and islanders.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          East Coast kids have the option to develop their careers without having to relocate – WA kids do not. No double standard here!
          Players that moved to WA in the past made the choice because they were overlooked or missed by the local system/team. McDonald and Tizanno were not missed by the system or overlooked – they were developed here and targeted.

        • Ads

          Many of the Super squads pull talent from the lower tiers. This has always been the case. It is the appropriate pathway. Often kids from NSW or QLD end up at the brumbies or vice versa. Moving from Melb to Brisbane or vice versa is as a big a move as from WA to the east coast in every way with the possible exception of time zone – it’s easier to call home in the same timezone. It is a massive double standard.
          Your second massive double standard is saying players who moved to WA did so of their own free will, but somehow McDonald and Tizanno are being targeted. Have they been abducted or held against their will? I’ve moved for work opportunities several times. I never once saw this as a failing of where i was living previously. A good opportunity presents itself and you take it.

        • Braveheart81

          It’s professional sport. The players can do what they like. Some players move for greater opportunity, some move for greater remuneration. Players have gone to WA for both those reasons and players will leave WA for both those reasons as well. McDonald and Tizzano are both exciting prospects out of WA. They have decided they will move elsewhere for the next stage of their careers.

          It’s unfortunate they don’t have a local Super Rugby team to play for but that isn’t going to change anytime soon.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Unfortunate is not the first word that comes to mind…
          It is dumb, tragic and irresponsible that the third largest player base in the country do not have a local Superugby team for them to play for! Especially if you consider how much RA wasted on the Rebels.

        • Braveheart81

          RA also spent millions propping up the Force in its last two years.

        • Perth girl

          Have you any idea how many millions RA have spent on the rebels? It’s the reason that they are so broke!

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Are you seriously arguing that people that moved over for work should not play rugby?

        • Ads

          Of course not. It’s one of rugby’s key attributes. I was saying that my experience is that most of the players in WA I experienced had moved thousands of kms to be there already. So the argument that there is no pathway without moving has little merit.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      And the Tahs signed Future Force and WA grown youngsters Michael McDonald and Carlo Tizzano. The Force need to find a way to hang on to their home grown players as supporters like myself will not continue to support a team that is set-up to prop up the East States with private funds donated to the Future Force. This is another example of how WA Rugby is raided by the rest of Australia without getting anything in return.

      • Ads

        Orders of magnitude more players have gone from east to west than the other way around.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          True that players go to where the opportunities are, however there is history here from RA decision to axed the 3rd largest player base. Without a professional team in Perth, rugby will not survive in WA. This will mean that players will not be playing professional rugby and how can that be great for the game. For 100 years WA only produced a single Wallaby and after the Force was created many player graduated to higher honours.
          For rugby to survive the raiding of our player base, we may have to concentrate recruitment to players that is not illegible to play for the Wallabies e.g. Samoans,Tongans or young players that are prepared to show long term commitment to the Force and GRR.

        • Ads

          There has been no raiding of your player base. The opposite has occurred. At any high level you have been propped up by East coast players. GRR provides a very limited development pathway so will unlikely attract those players who believe they could move on to higher honours other than as a stepping stone as with Deegan.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          The Force has been established to provide a pathway for local players (the third largest player base in Australia) to the national level. Without the Force professional rugby in WA will not exist.
          That is the point that RA missed when they axed the Force. WA is so isolated that it cannot be used as a stepping stone as we cannot move teenagers thousands of km from their home to become professional players. The pathway needs to be in WA.

        • Ads

          Your initial post proves that to not be true. Deegan has used it as a stepping stone. Others can and will do so.

        • Braveheart81

          RA made the decision to cut the Western Force because they believed they had to remove a team to keep Australian Super Rugby financially viable. The Western Force were the only team they have the ability to cut. It was a grubby deal and I can completely understand WA fans being upset about it and probably never getting over it.

          It happened two years ago though. It’s not going to help anyone in WA or elsewhere by dwelling on it.

        • Perth girl

          Braveheart sorry for “dwelling on it” we are on our knees here. A pittance from RA, a million dollar debt and falling participation numbers as League, Soccer and AFL make their presence felt. We were used by Clyne and RA and lied to. You don’t forget that easily!

      • joy

        That’s a bit rich. How many years did eastern players prop up the Force?

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          But you got funding from RA to develop these players. We have to fund the Future Force ourselves as RA pulled almost all funding to WA Rugby! RA also placed Rugby WA in a technically bankrupt position when they did not lived up to their assurances to continue to support a WA rugby franchise. These assurances were needed to fund the redevelopment of Nib stadium and build Rugby headquarters. When will RA take accountability for their mistakes?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The majority of WA’s professional players are guys who moved thousands of kilometres from their home to play in WA…

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          After they were overlooked or slipped through the system in their own state…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, well, that’s not true for a lot of guys mate. Giteau, Pocock, Sharpe, JOC – these are guys that the Force chased and pursed when other eastern states wanted them.

          You’re now obfuscating and changing the point. It is true that to become a Wallaby a west australian probably has to move to the east coast, but I have limited sympathy for highly paid professional sports players having to move to get an even more prestigious and highly paid position.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          I was specifically commenting on you statement that “the majority of WA professional players are guys that moved thousands of km”. This is just not true. The majority of players that made name in WA, moved because they could not get a spot in their local Superugby team or slipped through the system

        • Perth girl

          Those players were signed years ago when the Force was in SR. We are talking about now when players are signed from WA after being developed here or given a chance here. Rugby WA get a pittance from RA and have been left with 1 mill debt that they can’t pay back since the Force was axed. The money for the team and RWA comps comes directly from Andrew Forest’s pocket he also pays for the future Force program that many of these young guys who have just been signed by SR teams have been a part of. RA do not give a shit about WA although we seem to be doing a good job of developing talent here

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think the point is, the players will move where the best opportunity presents itself, as they did when the Force existed. Somehow, I doubt there was the same level of indignation at this from Western Australians back when the Force existed.

          I understand the anger at this given the context of what happened to the Force. But trying to tell a narrative of the East continually plundering the West just doesn’t hold any water. It could just as easily be said that the only reason the West has many players is because they take them from the east.

      • Perth girl

        Hannes, it is abundantly clear that the majority of people on this site couldn’t care less and have no interest in rugby in WA. The rebels continue to take players from WA who have either been developed here or who have been given an opportunity here after being discarded by SR teams. RA continue to pour money into that team to the detriment of the other sides but no one seems to care. I hope SR falls on it’s arse in 2020!

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Spot on Perth girl, the Rebels is a costly mistake that RA continue to make.
          What continue to disappoint is that people that suppose to be part of the rugby community cannot grasp or care that there will be no professional rugby players coming from the state with the third largest player base in the country without the Force. They just refuse to see the bigger picture.

    • Missing Link

      There’s another way to look at it Hannes, Andrew is a good player and he requires experience at super rugby level to bridge the gap between where he is currently at now and the national side. He will always remember his roots and with Cooper departing the Rebels it opens to door for Deegan to make the number 10 jersey his own. We could be looking at the next Wallaby 10 here and we wont get an accurate idea unless he is playing against other world class or just below players on a regular basis.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        The alternative is that GRR quality to improve to close the gap with Superugby that will extend the player depth from which to pick Wallabies from. It will be important that we get longer term contracts in place once GRR is firing on all cylinders especially for young upcoming WA based players. Players also need to make a commitment to the competition just as supporters and Twiggy did.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I don’t think GRR will ever do that unless there are some major changes. This includes an expansion or amalgamation with other Tier 1 and 2 level teams and playing under the World Rugby Laws rather than the current ones that while maybe making the game attractive, although I admit not to me, are providing the perfect excuse for RA and others to exclude them. Don’t get me wrong I think what twiggy has done for WA has been fantastic and provided a real shot in the Arm after being fucked over by RA, but I don’t think it is sustainable or will ever provide a clear pathway into the Wallabies.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          RA never needed an excuse to exclude WA, we are f*&cked over and over again… At least RA continue to stuff up rugby for the rest of Australia as well. Hope they will be bankrupted soon.

        • Ads

          There’s the attitude!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Understand the sentiment given the treatment of WA by RA in recent years, but that isn’t quite true.

  • Moz

    Nick, I doff my cap to you this morning! That was all bloody funny.
    Moondoggies terminal season….
    Finest cotton wool, etc etc.

    Well done Sir!

  • joy

    I don’t think there are any significant sand dunes in New Caledonia.

  • RedAnt

    Well I hope Kepu wasn’t planning on becoming a motivational speaker after retiring.

    • laurence king

      Maybe he should have given the speech to the opposition

  • Nick Gregory

    360 No Sekope and neat little package – two gems in one article. Thank you, Nick <3

Rugby

Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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