Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News has hands off Eddie, player awards, the Brumbies 2020 squad and a crazy crazy idea.


Hands Off

The RFU have told Rugby Australia to keep their hands off Our Eddie, despite the fact that he’s ours.

The Scowling One is contracted to the RFU until 2021, but as the RFU chief Bill Sweeney says below, they might want to keep him on for France 2023.

“Eddie’s one of the world’s best coaches – if not the best – despite the result against South Africa,” Sweeney said, according to rugby.com.au

“One of the first priorities when we get back will be to sit down and have a chat. We will do it as a matter of urgency.

“Eddie is committed to his contract through to the end of August 2021 and he is fulfilling that.

“There are a lot of emotions flying around after a game so let the dust settle a little bit and then see where his head’s at, see how he feels about it.

“But the first step is to honour that contract through to 2021 and then we’ll discuss what goes on beyond that.”

Fiji is also reportedly sniffing around Our Eddie – hands off! – but even the RFU chief says that the ‘story’ the ARU can spin for Eddie could be pretty tempting.

“When you’re in Eddie’s position, you’re going to have people sniffing around and you can imagine the story Australia would put together,” Sweeney said.

“We can only control our relationship with him and we can only control what we will wrap around him to enable us to perform at our best.”

Pieter-Steph Du Toit and Malcolm Marx


Pieter-Steph Du Toit has stolen the Player of the Year award away from that token American guy, whatever his name is, at the World Rugby Big Ceremony last night.

Du Toit, a 6ft odd uglier Afrikaner version of Brad Pitt, said that winning the award was probably the best moment of his life.

“This is probably one of the best moments of my life,” said Du Toit (via rugby.com.au)

“I think it is the two biggest experiences in the rugby world that you can get. It is as unbelievable experience for me and I couldn’t be happier at the moment.”

The unfortunately initialed PSDT took out the prize over Alun “Undeserved” Wyn Jones, England’s second best flanker Tom Curry, the Little Man That Could Cheslin Kolbe, Ardie Savea and some token American guy.

Meanwhile, Rassie Erasmus took out the coach of the year award, and the Springboks took out team of the year award, which is bloody redundant in the world cup year.

“This has been a long journey to keep believing and trusting and not getting frustrated with each other, keeping the belief going,” Erasmus said.

“For me, it is significant that, no matter what, the boys always kept South Africa above their own interests, above their own egos and always kept the Springboks and South Africa’s interests up there.”

Other awards:

Women’s 15s Player of the Year – Emily Scarratt (England)

Breakthrough Player of the Year – Romain Ntamack (France)

Men’s 7s Player of the Year – Jerry Tuwai (Fiji)

World Rugby Referee Award – Wayne Barnes (England)

Vernon Pugh Award for Distinguished Service – Bernard Lapasset (France)

Award for Character – The city of Kamaishi **the city that had a stadium built a school destroyed by the tsunami a few years ago

IRP Special Merit Award – Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)

IRP Try of the Year – TJ Perenara (New Zealand, v Namibia)

Brumbies Schools  v Barbarians at 2019 Australian Rugby Championships (Photo Credit SPA Images)


Brumbies coach Dan McKellar is desperately hoping the youngsters coming through, like Pete Samu, will save his bacon next year as all the veterans will leave more better-paying pastures.

McKellar said this as the Brumbies announced their squad for 2020. The squad is without yesteryear’s Christian Lealiifano, Rory Arnold, David Pocock, Matt Lucas, Josh Mann-Rea and Sam Carter.

“I think we’ve lost some experienced players but we’re really comfortable in the boys that we’ve brought in because they’ve been in our program for a couple of years now,” he said (via rugby.com.au)

“Obviously Christian’s the one that most people will talk about ,captain and 10, but the options we’ve got there in Kuenzle, Lolesio and Pasitoa, those guys, the first two in particular have been around our program for a number of years.

“They know how we play, they know what’s expected of them and we’ve worked hard with them to make sure that they’re ready to thrive at this level.”

McKellar hopes to plug that gap with the signings of Noah Lolesio and Bayley Kuenzle and Queensland schoolboy star Reesjan Pasitoa, who will be competing for the #10 jersey.

“I think we’ve lost some experienced players but we’re really comfortable in the boys that we’ve brought in because they’ve been in our program for a couple of years now,” he said.

“Obviously Christian’s the one that most people will talk about ,captain and 10, but the options we’ve got there in Kuenzle, Lolesio and Pasitoa, those guys, the first two in particular have been around our program for a number of years.

“They know how we play, they know what’s expected of them and we’ve worked hard with them to make sure that they’re ready to thrive at this level.”

Nic White will also join the Brumbies next year.

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Harry Lloyd, Tom Ross, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Shambeckler Vui, Folau Fainga’a, Lachlan Lonergan, Connal Mcinerney, Murray Douglas, Blake Enever, Nick Frost, Caderyn Neville, Darcy Swain, Jahrome Brown, Tom Cusack, Lachlan McCaffrey, Will Miller, Pete Samu, Rob Valetini

Backs: Issak Fines, Ryan Lonergan, Joe Powell, Nic White, Bayley Kuenzle, Noah Lolesio, Reesjan Pasitoa, Len Ikitau, Tevita Kuridrani, Guy Porter, Irae Simone, Tom Wright, Tom Banks, Mack Hansen, Solomone Kata, Andrew Muirhead,Toni Pulu

Shute Shield Round 9 - Uni v Randwick

The Kooks

Fox Sports journo Christy Doran has put forward a perplexing argument, that the NRC should instead be a National Club Championship or something like that.

“Rugby Australia, lend me your ears,” Doran begins.

“Something that can help bring the fractured rugby community together, its players, its respective boards together and help the Wallabies once again become a powerhouse rugby nation in the world.

“What is this idea you ask?

“A National Club Championship, which embraces the excellent support and quality that exists throughout the grassroots level of the game.”

Yeah. This thing again.

“To begin with, all of Sydney’s Shute Shield clubs and Brisbane’s Premier clubs,” Doran continues.

“That alone will see 20 clubs qualify.

“Plus, two representative sides from Canberra, Perth and a single side from Melbourne.

“Five pools of five followed by knockout stages.

“Imagine Brisbane’s Brothers club up against Warringah at Rat Park in Sydney, or Randwick travelling to Queensland University, Canberra’s Owls hosting Sydney University down the Hume Highway or Nedlands against the Marlins at Manly Oval?”

And then the best bit:

“Supporters could make a weekend of it – and they would too.”

Ok call me cynical, but I think Fox Sports are testing the waters via Doran. NRC’s not doing so well but club is. Hence this crazy idea.

  • Who?

    Has Doran written anything vaguely related to reality this year? Really puzzles me that guys like him maintain employment whilst those who curate these pages are volunteers (or all but volunteers). I know which source I trust.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Spot on. Besides Doran is purely part of the NSW Mafia and will continue what is best for that and his fox masters/

      • Geoffro

        Sure.Id be more interested in a Champions league concept but Im sure Mr Doran would be less than impressed with Perth and Vikings as our Australian reps.

        • Brisneyland Local

          It can only be Sydney for those FUx morons!

      • Andy

        McCargle is the problem. Not that I rate Doran at all (he is a terrible journalist) but he has on a few occasions this year accused the Waratahs and Wallabies of having a losing culture, which they do. Only to be shot down by McCargle and Mitchell. These are the 2 that were calling people idiots for suggesting Cheika should be moved on last year.

        • AllyOz

          I am wondering what criteria Fox use to select their on air talent when it comes to former players. I think they could dig a bit deeper into the past and have some players from the 70 – 80s as well as the youngsters and the golden era players. It might give better balance. I suppose Martin is in that older group but, probably in part due to overexposure on Brisbane radio and the fact that he comes across as a tosspot I am sort of over him.

        • Happyman

          Mate to be fair I really like Justin Harrison who has done the RWC stuff. Hoiles is good since they decided that the footy show was not the way to go. Morgan Turanui is really good.

          Unfortunately they take too much truth serum and saw some uncomfortable things.

          Mitchell, Martin, Kearns can go.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Jeremy Paul is good too, and as much as I don’t like the English prick, it was good having Stu Barns on the Fox RWC coverage. Just as something different. Why don’t they have guest commentators/studio talent for every test/super rugby game like they do in cricket? Breaks up the monotony

        • AllyOz

          Wouldn’t disagree with any of that. Didn’t see anything of Turunui on the Kayo coverage but got something out of both Hoiles’ and Harrison’s comments.

        • Happyman

          Mate hit up the Rugby Ruckus podcast

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Morgs is decent in a lot of his analysis but again he is way too good mates with Cheika to be honest about the Wallabies or Cheika. Means all his thoughts around the wallabies and Aussie rugby, other than his good analysis about specific plays, is pointless.

        • Happyman

          Disagree mate his feelings on MC are nuanced.

          His view is to paraphrase both darkness and light.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          After they lost to England it was the first time he has ever really criticised him (and even that was barely and through gritted teeth). In fact, he was even defending Cheika’s Wallabies culture saying it didn’t need to change and even somewhat defending his game plan.

          Some of his other pearls of wisdom have been:

          – it isn’t the coaches fault at all, it is all the fault of the players for not implementing Cheika’s game plan, as opposed to the coaching or the plan; and

          – the reason the team was terrible from 2016-18 was because Cheika empowered the players and gave then too much freedom (this was obviously nonsense as he controls everything) and 2019 would see Cheika take back control and dominate.

          Needless to say, this was nonsense. Morgs is another ex-Randwick player who is good mates with Cheika. He doesn’t criticise Cheike and either somewhat buys into this ‘Australian way’ running rugby nonsense, or pretends to defend Cheik.

          I look forward to hearing his analysis once Cheika goes.

          Ben Kimber is great.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Mitchell, loved him as a player, but unfortunately think he is abysmal as a journalist and commentator. How stupid do these people think we are when they defend Cheik, his culture and game plan?

          I get that you don’t want to bash a mate. But honestly, if you’re too close to the people in the Wallabies to be honest about the state of the sport, you shouldn’t have that job.

        • Andy

          Yep. Stay away from journalism if you can’t be objective.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think the whole lot of them are the problem. They were all backing Cheika the whole way. The only mainstream media guy that came out aginst cheika was Matty Burke. Mind you that was after backing him for years too.

        • We’re all guilty of backing Cheika for at least a while. I didn’t think he deserved coach of the year in 2015 personally, but thought he deserved another 4 years back then.

          Mid-2017 was when it changed for me. The wheels were coming off and there was no sign of a change – in tactics, personnel or skills.

          Back then I was naive enough to believe it was just continually picking a bad team. 2019 has shown even when he mostly picks a team that I agree with (even if not totally) he just coaches them tactically really badly too. Good teams can analyse the weaknesses in how Australia play and beat them. They don’t even have to play well to do it, just apply pressure in the right places.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Not me. Was never guilty of backing him. I thought he was a tool from the beginning. Am to be 100% honest, am immensely sad that I was right. I would rather he proved to be a legend and the Wallabies developed into a team that we love and were successful. But alas.

        • Fair enough. Let’s hope the next coach meets your standards from the off and delivers too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          IF he is genuine coach with a good skills background and believes palyers should play their actual positions and be the best form player for that position, I am sure I will love him.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Or Her!

        • While I’d love to see a woman as head coach of a national team, I don’t think rugby is quite there yet. I think the fans and players might be, moreso than the administrators, but I haven’t seen the women picking up the experience. Yet. I’d like to say by the ‘27 RWC but I think perhaps the aftermath of that one is where we might see a woman HC appointed for the first time.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I agree. BUt I would love my girls to see it!

        • Andy

          You can add Cannon to that list. Pretty sure he got dumped by fox sports after he spoke out.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are probably right there.

      • AllyOz

        isnt he a kiwi? though now that I think about it all the head roles in NSW recently have been held by kiwi’s

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. BUt I dont hold anything against him for being a Kiwi. just a biased moron.

    • Ron Botswell

      The bloke has literally never played a game of rugby before, at any age group or level, yet somehow has a paid job analysing the sport because he did a journalism degree. It’s not a shock that his general analysis is terrible. It would be like a bricklayer getting a job providing expert commentary on banking, or vice versa.

      • Yowie
        • disqus_NMX

          Oh my that’s awesome, I’m borrowing that one!

        • Yowie

          Dunning Kruger Effect explains a sh!tload about a lot of people you come across.
          In high school holidays (in the 90s) I worked for a lawn maintenance guy who predominantly hired unemployable thick blokes (no jokes please). One of these thick blokes knew with great certainty that:-
          (a) all the various university clubs and societies were just fronts for homosexual organisations (isn’t there an actual named club for that though?); and
          (b) if Australia just used all the oil we dug out of the ground (rather than participating in international oil markets) petrol would be cheaper.

          Conversely, you try and get a straight answer out of a top-of-their-field expert and it’s always “not sure, it depends”

        • juswal

          Not named after Matt Dunning and the late Ruben Kruger.

        • AllyOz

          F*&k your smart Yowie to know stuff like that…but you already know that don’t you.

          It differs from the Matt Dunning Effect that means you can’t add up – leading to you taking random pot shots for field goals.

        • Yowie

          Subtle burn noted & appreciated.

        • laurence king

          Now I feel depressed, reality has set in.

        • Damo

          Yes, the ignorant, especially the aggressive ignorant, have no idea how ignorant they are. Unfortunately once upon a time we only had to deal with these types at the water cooler, at a BBQ or seated next to us on the bus, but since we gave them a laptop/smart phone and an internet connection they are everywhere. Arghhhh!
          BTW Yowie, for some reason replying to your posts makes me feel like I’m taking an IQ test. I love it!!

    • Tomthusiasm

      Not sure if it’s an Editorial directive but the vast majority of Fox rugby articles tend to go down the tabloid journalism route. A lot of focus on the negative aspects of the game in Oz, they milked (and are probably still milking) the saga surrounding an ex fullback for NSW for as much as they could. Love getting Campo’s opinion on anything and everything.

  • Geoffro

    If Eddie got a good offer hed be off quick enough( just ask the Stormers)

  • Nutta

    Folk tend to forget how the Canberra lads came to both Sydney and Brisbane and handed everyone their arses. And did anyone miss the fact that non NSW/Qld teams actually played the NRC final? So no, let’s go back where we were yeh? Because that was so… like… proven to be successful. And let me guess, still no team in western Sydney? Moronic.

    • Keith Butler

      Sounds like a great idea. I wonder what the travel bills would be like unless the east coasters fancy pedalling across the Nullabor to Perth.

      • John Tynan

        We’d quickly drop them after a token length of engagement that served to build up a reliable fan base and commercial support, because, like, inconvenient….

      • John Tynan

        Also, “Give me back my toast rack!!”

    • Brumby Runner

      Yes, Nutta. How good was it to see the Vikings put 100 points on the cream of the SS. Macca at 15 was unbelievably good, outscored other teams by himself iirc, often dotting down after running from his own try line with two or three kick and retrieves along the way.

      But give me the NRC any day. Much higher standard of play and many players from the NRC teams have moved up to Super rugby. That’s what it set out to achieve, and that’s what it is now doing.

    • Crescent

      Can’t help but to want to headbutt the screen with disappointment when I read that column. Maintain the status quo at all costs with the clubs that have left the largest development opportunity (yes – Western Sydney) to rot on the vine whilst protecting their patch at the expense of the game. Make it sound like a good idea, but it is really just another proposal to shore up the self interested failures of policy that centralise the bulk of revenue within approx 6 clubs, and leave the rest to attempt to develop talent that can be purchased away at the first opportunity.

      It is going to take a very unpopular dictator type leader to get any proposal that would actually develop the game to the benefit of all member unions, and I am not aware of any that want to take on the cluster fuck that is rugby in Australia. Sadly, in my view, there is an opportunity to create structures that would allow more clubs to flourish (admittedly, some will be at the expense of existing, very well off clubs, who will not go bust, but won’t enjoy the advantages they have accrued) to broaden the base of the game to raise the ultimate height of the professional tip. Possibly another discussion for another day, because making it a reality is largely pure fantasy. Would need another World Cup hosting windfall to fund the transition.

      • laurence king

        How do you get anyone to give up power, or their share of the pie. Self-interest will win out pretty much every time. So with that in mind, what in terms of infrastructure, pathways, etc can be implemented that will benefit all parties. It would be great to see an overhaul of rugby in Australia but I can’t see it happening quickly. So what is currently possible? Have a goal of changing and educating the younger generation as to what is required to grow the game in Australia.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          It takes leadership to develop a vision that is bigger than one party’s self interest. Rassie has just shown what can be done if a group of people buy into a vision that is bigger than themselves. After the 2007 RWC NZ provinces bought into a future to develop the game by distributing resources and players away from Auckland Blues and Christchurch Crusaders to the Hurricanes, Highlanders and Chiefs. The NZ successes in 2011 and 2015 can be directly attributed to Auckland Blues willingness to sacrifice their own self interest and buy into a better future. However it takes leadership and a crisis to Make this happen. We have a crisis with Australia’s worst performance at RWC 2019 however we have no leadership at RA!

        • laurence king

          All true, but I would say to you that the crisis (in the minds of those supporting the status quo) is not sufficient to make major change. These parties will only be willing to make major changes if it can be demonstrated that they will be worse off with the status quo. I’m speaking here of both self interest and lethargy. So, I’m asking, what can be done. Further crisis would likely precipitate change, but if that doesn’t happen, what?
          See, say we get a new national coach, we have got good players, we rise through the rankings to 2 or 3, crowds improve, we get to the semis in four years and nothing changes. This could easily happen, in fact is likely to happen and the comfy bastards remain comfy bastards.
          So if that is the likely scenario what can be implemented?

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          A great leader use or even “manufacture” a crisis because they think strategically and know that they need to state the case for change as change will be resisted. RA almost bankrupt, the worst performance at the RWC for longer than a decade, RA in conflict with itself and third parties (e.g. Twiggy) taking away control. The crisis in RA is not a weak case for change, it is the lack of leadership. We accepted that will cannot be #1 anymore and that we should be considered as a Tier 2 nation captive to the decisions our sponsors and SANZAAR makes.

        • laurence king

          I can imagine the Monty Python mob saying ‘Mere triffles, in our day that was not considered a crisis…..

        • There are a couple of ways. Revolution at the point of a gun (or the edge of a guillotine or similar) or a revolution of ideas.

          France had the guns and guillotines. Not French Rugby, France the country. If you go to historical reenactments there the crowd go wild chanting “Vive Le Roi! Vive Le Roi!” which for a country that literally executed their nobility is a little ironic…

          The Kiwis, the Welsh and the South Africans all did it the second way. Two world cups on the bounce and being favourites for a third, despite totally changing how they play in 2019 says it all for the Kiwis. A team that no-one here rates being within 5 minutes and 3 points of reaching the RWC final against the eventual winners says a lot for the impact of the rebuild in Wales. The revolution from PdV to Erasmus and actually winning that little gold cup says a lot for SA.

          It can be done. Someone needs to go in and point out some hard facts to people who whinge and complain.

          Do I believe RA can do this? With the current board, not a chance.

        • laurence king

          Well yes, unless someone comes along who can present a strong case and engender some sense of common purpose amongst all the stake holders. I think if people would swallow their pride and think about what is best for the game, Ziggy could be the man. Some deal involving him and Fox involving the possibility of a Pacific wide competition would be interesting

        • I love the idea of Ziggy coming back and Spiders from Mars 1-15 playing in Green and Gold. We really would play like we’re out of this world and we’d have an excuse for the game plans being psychedelic!

          But, more seriously, Twiggy might be leader we need, would he get the support and buy in? Would anyone? That’s my real doubt about it all…

        • laurence king

          Cheeky! Someone pulled me up on this site and laughed at me when I made the same mistake last week, lol.

        • It was WAY too good to pass up. And I listened to the album on the way into work this morning.

    • Happyman

      Mate I don’t want to get into the our colours are better than your colours argument.

      From my perspective and I say this as someone who attended about 10 Qld Premier Club rugby games this year. The strength of the local comp is just that it is local. Most local clubs have 6 grades and each day is a played all the way down from 8am in the morning plus 2 colts teams . Clubs serve a different purpose nt he modern age we are feeders for the level above.

      The NRC is important as it is a step above our club competition. Th issue is it is not a development league and when players are picked on capacity not resume then it will develop more passion and following.

      I would be all in favour of a knock out comp where literally every club in Australia could put in a team and it come down to two over the course of a season. Technically this give the Dubbo Bulls a chance of getting to the big dance. not be so insular.

      Fox have an agenda and that is to get some cheap content after having overpaid for the cricket RL and AFL. Doran is just the mouthpiece.

  • Yowie

    The RFU have told Rugby Australia to keep their hands off Our Eddie, despite the fact that he’s ours.

    Well we’re going to take back Kylie Minogue then!
    (the Poms can have/keep Dannii though)

    • Happyman

      As a Reds fan frankly they can keep him.

      From MC to Eddie god help us

      • Yowie

        Agreed. Was his Reds stint the peak of EJ’s obsession with League-style hit-ups you reckon?

        • Happyman

          I really don’t know I thought it might have been Cricket after the Bulls @ 3 for 93 I though we have the chance to push on for a rally good total.

          God that season hurt so bad. Bring Back Link

    • Crescent

      Eddie will be smart enough to use any interest to get himself a nice little pay rise from England. He won’t get the support and resources he needs from RA to succeed the way he has in England – I doubt he would be interested in the job after his previous experience in the role.

      Let’s face it – you need to be a sado masochist to want the Wallabies role, because you are in for a world of pain for the forseeable future

  • AllyOz

    Interesting article in the Nine papers today


    I had always thought most head injuries occur from low tackles but the expert (an Irish doctor named Rafferty) suggests that oversimplifies things.

    “This is a common interpretation that is frequently heard from coaches, players and even some medics and scientists, but they are considering frequency, not propensity,” Dr Raftery says.

    “Yes, head injuries do occur with low tackles, but low tackles have a lower propensity (risk) compared with high tackles. Sure, low tackles have a higher frequency in that there are more of them in a game of rugby, but high tackles are 4.5 times more likely (as measured by head injuries per 1000 player hours) to cause a concussion when compared to a low tackle.”

    I think that, for both Rugby Union and Rugby League, lowering the tackle height, although it would take a while to bed down, would be that bad for the game. There were some very damaging tackles by players like Itoje where the tackler hit the tackled player between waist and chest so that spectacle of the big tackle will still be there. But for both rugby codes, and perhaps even more so in RL it would potentially promote more open ball play with the tacklers less likely to “tie up the ball” by going high, but that would also work in RU too.

    • Who?

      Very good article from Roy there.
      You think that lowering the tackle height would, or wouldn’t be bad? I think you mean wouldn’t (going off your following statements), but you’ve written ‘would’.
      The major issue in Rugby is that we have far too many players going in with their head in front of the knees of the ball carrier. Sometimes it’s because they don’t want to cop a boot, but that means they cop a knee in the face. Oftentimes it’s just an intent to land a dominant tackle, and poor technique (i.e. dominant shoulder) that wasn’t coached out at Under 8’s, as it should have been. That’s why we see the majority of concussions on the field. Occasionally you’re going to have something unavoidable, like Sinckler’s tackle/concussion. But the majority of poor tackles are still preventable with better coaching.

      • AllyOz

        yes i also seem to f*&k something up when writing these days – i think i need an editor. ;)

        • AllyOz

          always not also – F&ck me I am getting worse

        • Who?

          I thought you might’ve done that deliberately! :-D

        • AllyOz

          official opening of the new bridge at Harwood is set for 17 November 2019


          it is just a walk over so I am not sure what that means in terms of when vehicles will be able to drive over. Getting closer though

        • Who?

          Thanks. They did similar up here for the new Range Bypass. They did a ceremonial opening, bike ride, vintage cars, then the next day they let people run it. And then they opened it to the general public the next day. Hopefully it’ll be similar here? We’ll find out in a couple of weeks. :-)

        • AllyOz

          Be good to have it open for the Christmas school holidays

        • AllyOz

          Just spoken to our transport and logistic manager and RMS have told him they hope to have it open by Christmas. The bridge itself has been complete for many months but there have been issues with the approaches.

    • Can I just say that’s a REALLY weird comparative stat to use and doesn’t directly support his argument. Head injuries per 1,000 player hours from high tackles compared to low doesn’t say anything which are more dangerous, per se.

      You’d need head injuries per 100,000 (high/low) tackles for that (the number is a guess, it could be per 1,000 or per 10,000 to give you a good value).

      It’s not clear from what he’s written that he’s not eliding low tackles (where getting hit by knees, pelvis etc.) is a risk and non-high tackles – getting hit by your “rock hard abs” is not a serious concussion risk to the best of my knowledge.

      There’s a 28% of tackling players getting concussed he seems to just ignore. I find it hard to believe head-to-head clashes and incidents like Sinkler’s account for all of those.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, interesting to see how Eddie goes in the next few years and how he builds the English team for the between RWC games. I think England will have a 4 year aim of RWC 2023 and nothing else will matter.

    Typical of Fox Sport to back such a shit idea. They complain about RA but are doing more to hurt rugby here in Australia than any other group. What a complete bunch of dickheads

    No real surprises with the awards and while there’s always options I’m pretty happy with them. A fitting end to the tournament.

    Go Canberra. Time to step up again

    • Yowie

      I don’t watch much Fox, but they might have the “commercial radio problem” of constantly needing content for the talking heads to kick-around between songs/games – no matter how inane or cringe-inducing to sensible people.
      Fox Sports (Rugby) might be one of the few areas of the Fox empire where there isn’t really an agenda being pushed from the top.

      • AllyOz


        • Yowie

          *moves AllyOz up the list for the upcoming Stalinist purge*

        • AllyOz

          I will be standing there behind Andrew Bolt and Alan – don’t miss me if you get the chance

        • Yowie

          The firing squad might waste all their bullets making sure Andrew & Alan are definitely dead, so you’ll probably get to do a runner*
          [*I would say “do a bolt” but that would confuse things]

      • idiot savant

        If only that were true. Fox rugby is a very narrow gene pool of ex player chums, dependent on being part of the Wallabies inner sanctum for access to coach, players, and stories. They are not really independent and fearless in their analysis and commentary. McCardle was suspended for criticising Cheika last year. Mitchell has boasted about how he got rid of journalists from the Fox Rugby Podcast and there has been no bigger supporter of Cheika than Mitchell. Its a kind of creepy incestuous group with no respect for anyone outside their ex player group.

    • Keith Butler

      Read on the bbc website that EJ was going to have a clear out of players in time for the 6Ns 2020. The 30+s better watch their backs. Don’t expect to see Dan Cole again and Joe Marler has served his purpose. Time for our props to learn to scrum better.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Marler is a good scrummager.

        Both Vunipola and Sinckler are poor scrummagers. Does he stick with props and back rowers that are good around the park, or build an English side around the set piece?

        Eight years of Eddie is equally likely to poison England and to make England the best team in the world – fascinating stuff!

        • Who?

          The really fascinating thing is that Shag was facing the same conundrum with the ABs. He very publicly dropped one of the guys (might’ve been King Karl?) just before the Eden Park Bledisloe, saying that though he’s great in the scrum, he (Shag) needed more around the park from his props, and expressing his own sadness at having to let the prop go.
          It actually makes me look and think we’re even MORE lucky than we already realise, given that, of our 4 continuing first choice props (Slips, Sio, 7A’s and Tupou), only one has ongoing scrummaging issues (Sio, with his continuing tendency to overextend). The other guys are actually quite good in the scrum.
          And, given props aren’t developed overnight, it places the tragedy of 03-05 under Eddie and the focus on developing real props that came out of that experience into sharper focus. 05, Slips would’ve been what, 15? And the other guys just a bit younger? So they’d have benefitted from the pain of that experience and the increased scrum coaching.

        • Keith Butler

          Both Marler and Sinckler at Quins where Adam Jones, no slouch at TH in his day has been mentoring young Kyle. Not sure that Marler will be up for more internationals. Time for Ellis Genge to step up.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Okay poor scrummager might be an exaggeration. But he certainly is no Malherbe there. He’s a prop you pick for how brilliant he is around the park.

        • Nutta

          There’s this really handy guy coming through named Matt…Dunning I think it was…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Agree on the loosies I think the 2 No7’s is a failed experiment. You need a big ball carrying and hard hitting 6. 2 fast pilferers can work at times but too easy to nullify and reduces the overall affect

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not sure how you to figure that? The only team to successfully utilise a traditional 6 was the Boks, who played a very traditional set piece power game (almost 10 man rugby). All the other successful teams this year utilised two 7:

          – Wales won the 6N with two 7s
          – 3 of the 4 World Cup semi finalists got there with two 7s

          New Zealand got smacked by England once they picked a 6/lock at 6 for his set piece work (where he didn’t work in the line out).

          Ireland was the other side to utilise a traditional 6 and was terrible.

          Didn’t even Japan use two 7s?

          I think the best option at 6 is the best option at 6. If you have a PSDT or Kaino at 6 you use him, but you don’t pick an average 6 over a 7 just because he is larger. The All Blacks and Ireland discovered that.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree you pick the best players and not an average guy just to get a big 6 and that’s where we went wrong with Barrett. However I don’t agree that 2 pure 7’s are a good option. If you have 7 that can play the role of a 6 well then that is ok but the point is you have to have someone playing the 6 role and balancing out the loose forward trio

        • I certainly agree on Marler. He might play for 1/2 more year(s) but he won’t be there in 2023. I’m not sure Genge has what it takes… but in 4 years time we’ll see I guess.

          I think Curry and Underhill might have struggled if Hansen had picked Savea, Cane and Read too, rather than Barrett, Savea and Read. Barrett off the bench can cover 6 but he’s not really a starting back rower. Having a speed and power contest that really was a contest against that level of experience might have changed that match. They were certainly not up to the real smash and grab from the Boks and there’s now a template for nullifying them. Wales have used it too, in the warm-ups, so others will start to use it.

          Not sure you’ll see Itoje at 6 in an England shirt, he’s a menace at 5 but if Sarries move him to 6 closer to full time, who knows?

    • Happyman

      Mate unfortunately I think that England are going to be very good for the next four years. There team was the youngest int he Tourney. They have a good flyhallf coming through at Quins and there player pool is very large. They also have probably the best club comp in the world.

      I think your mob might be in for a tough couple of years. Our lost generation is moving on and the next one is acually really good. SA is coming to life and we will see if they can maintain the rage. Suddenly the AB’s look vulnerable. Questions around Props, Hooker, Number 8 and Centres.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate, there’s always issues in the pre RWC years where coaches tend to go with the proven few. Our depth will see the next ones come through ok and if you look at the NPC there are some very good players already demonstrating their abilities. Next year with a new coaching team, new NZRFU CEO and new players may be a learning period but I’m happy with the way we develop players through NPC and Super rugby to the ABs.
        Interesting so many years ago Graham Mourie made a comment that if England ever got their selections right they’d be the best team in the world because they have so much depth. Still hasn’t really happened yet though and while they do have a very good club competition, this competition and the way it is set up also prevents a lot of the national development we see here.

        • Happyman

          Mate the true issue is depth. The thing about any sporting organisation is depth the old saying that steel sharpens steel is appropriate. I know about ten boys from Brisbane who have gone overseas to play. While they are not at the very top they provide depth. NZ is in the same boat.

          The English will find it harder at the skilled positions will a DOR in England go for a Lima S or the English guy coming through.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Always an issue there. Clubs want to win and if that’s at the expense of a local player developing they don’t care

        • Happyman

          Mate it happens at every level. In a professional place a coach comes in and signs a big name and when he settles in he realises what he has locally is better but is reluctant to play it.

          The Eggchasers have a good saying about this. They call it “money plays”.

          Say you are the Back up to an Aging Kieran Reid you won’t be playing in the big games no matter how good you are.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah and it is one reason why we limit the number of overseas players allowed in our competitions. Makes it easier because the NZRFU have some ownership of the players and are able to enforce their play a fair bit.

        • adastra32

          The point is well-made but the situation is somewhat mitigated by the fact that there are 12 teams in the Gallagher Premiership, so 24 potential opportunities to get regular, high level game time if you are a F/H. The club academies are rewarded for identifying and bringing through new national talent. It is not ideal and, of course, money does talk in attracting overseas players, but it won’t stop the required flow imo.

      • I kind of hope you’re right, but… the RFU won’t commit to 4 years from Eddie yet which seems short-sighted. They might after a review of the RWC rather than today, but it still seems short-sighted. England also suffers, IMO, from too many teams to pick from and too many foreign players – they always have the potential but you have to get it just right. They did this year, but can they maintain it for another 4 years?

        Australian rugby… yes, there are people coming through but who will RA appoint? Will the Old Boys let the talent actually flourish? I really hope so, but I don’t know.

        SA – Erasmus is meant to be moving back upstairs and a new head coach is coming in. Personally I think that’s mad, but that’s the plan. Will the new head coach be up to scratch?

        Meanwhile, I watched some Mitre 10 Cup and the Kiwis might dip a bit (I remember saying that fours ago too though) but their production line seems strong. They’ll put Savea on the back of the scrum and pick a tall 6 at a push, or shift to just having 2 lineout jumpers for a year or two, or having Savea lift Cane (who can jump and lifted by Savea will get high…) and presumably Squire will be fit and raring to go next year too. I think their new coach, if they go outside the current camp, will be more interesting. I can understand them saying No to Gatland since he’s coaching the Lions in 2021 (I think they’re missing a trick but I understand it) but I think they’ve got some serious thinking about bringing in an outsider too.

        Still, it’s going to be interesting and I certainly hope the new players and new coaches in G&G put up a better showing that Cheik-ball.

  • juswal

    South Africa has PSDT. England has PTSD.

  • Greg

    In case I don’t get a chance later in the week….

    Best wishes for a happy off season – let’s face it, it has been a hard few years – to all of the hard-working writers for the site as well as all of the forum contributors.

    It has been great to read the articles and to debate some of the issues around rugby and the wobblies in particular. It has been a lot of fun, even if it meant learning about Hoss’ cousin, and masseur and…

    I look forward to doing it all again next season as we bring home the Bliidisloe.

  • Someone characterised Doran’s idea as a kind of Heineken Cup, but inside the old boys’ network.

    I think the thing to make it work would be actually to do it more like the Heineken Cup, maybe both tiers, but for the moment lets stick with the top tier.

    For a trial run, lets keep it simple and take the top four sides from the Shute Shield, the Brisbane Premiership, the NRC and Twiggyball. (Personally I don’t think that’s the right mix but this makes it about Australian Rugby clearly so it’s an easier sell, and keeps the next phase simpler.)

    You have S1-4, B1-4, N1-4, and T1-4. Teams ranked 1 go into pools A-D. The pool with S1 can’t have S2, but can have any of the others, B1 can’t have B2 and so on. Then 3 and 4 can’t be from the same groups as the 1 and 2 seeds. So you might have a pool with S1, B2, T3 and N4, then N1, T2, S3 and B4 etc.

    You play like a knockout, with the last 16, teams ranked 1 from the various contests are seeded 1-4, randomly based on whether they’re in pool A, B, C or D, and the others are given a seeding number that makes sense from there. You can steal the Aussie Open (Tennis) predicted final 16 bracket to get the numbers. This gives you a nice 4 week competition so players get extra time with small cost on their bodies and it’s a pretty high intensity competition with what should be all good sides and hopefully engaged crowds.

    Up to the organisers if you knock every loser out, which tennis does, or, to grow the game, you steal a leaf from 7’s and the losers go into plate, shield and bowl finals. Personally I recommend the latter.

    If you’re going to be an arse about GRR, you invite the top 4 sides from Japan to play. If you’re not convinced about the quality of the SS and BL, you invite their top 2 each and the top 4 from the Mitre 10 League 1. There are variations like that.

    Honestly, I’d run this as one of Friday, two on Saturday and one on Sunday, and I’d run a women’s contest in parallel, one on Friday, one on Saturday, two on Sunday – but I’m out of touch with what the TV landscape for sport it and how that would work. You’d need to juggle the matches a bit to make sure no one did Sunday to Friday but otherwise it’s pretty decent IMO.

    Can’t see RA selling it, sadly.


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

More in Rugby

  • Rugby Report Card 100 – New Beginning

    Blake and Richard get the new rugby season started. Discussing the changes that occur after a World...

  • Reds Rout Rebels in Regional Romp

    The Queensland Reds will take away no Super Rugby Competition points from their 57-5 win over the...

  • An Off-Season Special: 15 XVs

    One of the biggest challenges for sport specific news agencies is to keep the content flowing all year around.  Now we here at GAGR don’t put ourselves under that pressure, and probably suffer because of our approach but, hey, what are you going do?  Elsewhere, other outlets don’t have that freedom (or...

  • Why we need to think before we shoot down Raelene Castle

    While this period of time over Christmas is traditionally supposed to be the ‘off-season’, the turn of...