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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at Rennie’s pitch for changes to the Giteau law, Michael Hooper’s future as Wallabies captain, Beale’s early exit and the Force’s future beyond 2020.


Rennie’s law

dave rennie

New Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is looking to tweak the controversial ‘Giteau Law’ as a potential exodus looms.

Rennie faced the media on Monday as he continues to quarantine in New Zealand, preparing to officially start as coach in July.

With a host of potential selections looking to say Au Revoir to Australian rugby, the former Glasgow boss has adamantly ruled out selecting players from European competitions, citing the differences in style and training protocols.

“You have to be able to compare apples with apples and playing in France is very different,” he believes.

“We have no influence over how they’re training or what they’re doing. They pick a lot of big men and while they have some excellent clubs it’s very different training-wise.

“There’s not a lot of time on the grass or emphasis around skill set and conditioning. We have minimal influence over those players while they’re away.

“Having been up there the last three years, I’ve got a pretty good idea about how a lot of those French clubs train and so on.”

Whilst he refuses the idea of picking players from Europe, Rennie has proposed the idea of including teams from Japan in a revised Super Rugby competition, allowing players to earn big money whilst not giving their dreams of representing their country,

“Who knows what the future holds around Super Rugby but the question could be, what if there were Japanese clubs involved in the competition and if some of our top players were in Japan?” he ponded.

“We’ve certainly got players playing in that competition and whether that would make them eligible for selections (is worth considering) because you can compare apples with apples,

“If we had a Wallaby playing for the Blues, for example, we get to see him playing against the best Aussies.

“From a selection point of view that makes sense.

“Best case scenario is we have them here, helping our young kids develop, good players around them and helping our Super Rugby guys around.”

Captain’s call

Michael Hooper 

Michael Hooper 

The Wallabies captaincy is up for grabs.

That’s the message being flouted by Dave Rennie as he prepares to take over as Wallabies coach, leaving incumbent Michael Hooper’s future in limbo.

As the Australian Super Rugby clubs prepare for their return to action, Rennie has made it clear that whilst Hooper remains the front-runner, he admits that he will look to pick the best side available before dishing out the captain’s armband.

“We haven’t spoken about captaincy at all,” he told media.

“I’ve spoken to Hoops a lot on various things but all we’ve talked about at the moment is earning the right to play.

“So, it’s about playing well enough to win the jersey and then we’ll sort out who captain will be.

“Clearly he’s not doing it at the Waratahs and that’s been good for his game to be honest, I think he’s played really well.

“He’s still leading no doubt, just hasn’t got the (c) next to his name.

“He’s a strong contender for captain but we haven’t firmed up any decisions around that and we’ll work out what the team is first and then we’ll select the captain but there’s lots of good leaders in amongst that group.”

One player who had loomed as a future captain was Reds lock Izack Rodda before he decided to leave for France.

Whilst Rennie was disappointed with his decision, he revealed that he remains in constant contact with the 23-year-old as he looks to convince him to return at the end of his short-term deal.

“I’ve spoken a lot to Izack,” he said.

“I had a good chat to him last week. He’s gone and the whole situation was really messy and I think could’ve been handled a lot better, so it’s disappointing.

“He’s signed a 12-month deal, so it doesn’t mean the door is shut on him to come back.

“It was very messy, but if you do right by your players some of those guys come back because they know they’ve been looked after in the past.”

Bye Bye Beale

Kurtley Beale missed a couple of kickable penalties.

Kurtley Beale missed a couple of kickable penalties.

Waratahs and Wallabies fullback Kurtley Beale looks set to make an early departure from Australian rugby as he prepares for life in France.

According to the Herald, Beale is no longer part of the Waratahs set-up, with the 31-year-old’s management putting in a release request to the club and RA in order allow him to freshen up before joining Racing 92 in France.

The report suggests that the utility back has not been at training with the Waratahs all week, with the club putting it down to flu-like symptoms on Friday.

However, this claim by the Tahs was blown wide open when the fullback was spotted playing hooky at a boat party organised by broadcaster and former Wallabies coach Alan Jones.

As of last month, Beale revealed that he was still eager to play for the Tahs whilst looking forward to the new challenge in Paris.

“It’s going to be fun and a new chapter for me with my fiancee,” he told David Campese’s podcast.

“It’s important to make sure now we’re giving everything to the Tahs and I still haven’t retired from international rugby, so I’m going to put my hand up 100 per cent.

“I’m only 31. I still think I have a lot to give to the game.”

One challenge that he will need to solve before getting over there is to learn the name of his new coach, which he couldn’t name when pressed about it.

“That’s a tough question mate…I don’t know the name of him,” he said.

With Beale’s departure expected to be confirmed by the club during the week, it leaves captain Michael Hooper as the winner of Survivor: 2014 Super Rugby Champions edition.

Along with Beale’s departure, Rebels lock Luke Jones, also bound for Racing 92, is also set to depart Melbourne without playing in Super Rugby AU.

Forceful future

Photo Credit Delphy

Photo Credit Delphy

Whilst the Western Force’s reunion with the East Coast Mafia in the Super Rugby Australia competition is only short-term, new chairman Hamish McLennan is looking to ensure their presence will continue beyond 2020.

As RA decides on where the future of the Super Rugby lies, the leading candidate so far is a trans-Tasman tournament with the potential for teams from Japan and the Pacific to join depending on COVID conditions.

One team that McLennan is confident that will be involved is the Force, who flouted the importance of having a Western Australian influence in the rugby and sporting landscape.

“The team construct still has to be decided,” McLennan said via ABC News.

“I’d like to think the Western Force could be in there. I think Twiggy Forrest has been terrific to me over the last couple of weeks.

“I think West Australian representation is really important…so it would be nice if we had five teams but it’s too early to say.”

With the coronavirus still hitting South Africa and Argentina hard, McLennan is eager to lock in a competition with NZ sooner rather than later, hopefully of etching out a deal over the next two months.

“If it’s to happen with New Zealand, we need to decide it all in the next four to six weeks,” he said.

“There are a lot of things up in the air because of the pandemic. Our desire is to do something with New Zealand. We’re having some informal conversations with the Kiwis at the moment.

“We think a cross-Tasman competition given the pandemic and the fact we’re lucky to be living in this part of the world … if we can do something between the two countries that would be ideal.”

  • Geoffro

    Whatsisname may have reached out to Rodda but doesnt seem to have communicated with KB

    • wilful

      Sounds good to me. Does Beale really have any future in gold? With full respect to his past contributions, I hope not.

    • Hoss

      Goodbye Gilbert, Bienvenue le crabe.

    • Nutta

      I reckon as-per basic due-diligence he would have spoke to both. The difference would be that Rodda would actually pay attention.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s, gee this is fun having this back. My random thoughts for a Tuesday.
    • The more I hear from Rennie, the more I like him. No bullshit, no ego. No Ass Clown. I hope these words turn into forward progress, but as I mentioned to Hoss the other day, even the coach from the U12 D team for Wagga Wagga would look good in comparison to the cheika disease.
    • My vote is for a new captain for the new era. Hooper has too much baggage, and to be honest was not a good captain.
    • Piss off Beale and I hope we never see you playing for Aus ever again. Single biggest disgrace to wear the Green and Gold.
    • I don’t know about you other GAGR’s but I have been watching heaps of the NZ super Rugby and am loving it. God it is fast. And my biggest fear after watching it, is that the Australian players are no where near fit enough compared to their Kiwi cousins. Lots of penalties for off side, but gee that opens the game up to counter attack rugby, and the Kiwi’s are dominant at that. Blues look good, Crusaders look great. There are no easy games in the Kiwi conference. It is not like they have an easy game rest like they do when the play the Reds or the Tahs!
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      You’re up early mate. Must be a slow day. I watched the games last weekend and they are great. Not sure how much of it is good games and how much is just “Rugby’s back” euphoria but either way I really enjoyed them. Rennie is certainly sounding like he’s got the goods and I’m getting very hopeful. With you on Hooper and Beale.

    • Perth girl

      A new captain yes but it shouldn’t be Rodda even if he does come back in to the fold. While I dont have much respect for Beale as a person he could be great on the field. I’ve just watched the 2010 Bled game in HK, one of the best games around, and he was great as was most of the team in that game. Of course McLennan is cosying up to Twiggy, RA need his money! He is fully committed to GRR for next season if the virus is under control in Asia.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I dont think Rodda should be capt. I have other views on who should be capt. Beale in his day was good on the field, appalling off it. But he hasnt been good on field for at least the last 4 years or even longer.

      • Brumby Runner

        10 years ago? Who else should be selected on the basis of their form in that game 10 years ago?

        • Perth girl

          Where did I say he should be selected? I said he could be great on the field. I said I thought the players played well in that game!

    • laurence king

      I think that we have a few decent candidates: AAA, White, Toomua who I think all would do a good job but for mine, I reckon JOC.

      • Brumby Runner

        Captain needs to be a certain starter. While JOC looks to have the 10 or 12 spot in his grasp atm, if Rennie wants to go with a dash of new blood, he might find his versatility puts him more securely on the bench. Same with MT perhaps.

      • I think they’re all decent shouts, assuming they all start. I think it depends a bit on what Rennie wants to do, and the SR rump might change plans, but I think starting with Toomua at 10, then moving him back to 15 or out to 12 and blooding the younger 10’s for the last 20-30 minutes this season might work well, and keep the captain on the field. I think JOC has issues with longevity and finding a starting spot, White and 7A’s start but end the game. Toomua might not be the captain come 2023 – Hartley wasn’t even there for England for example, but you probably want to pick someone you think is likely to be your captain through to France. Maybe 7A’s is a better shout though, and you can have a CC or similar to take over who can rotate a bit more.

        • Brumby Runner

          Agree with your thoughts on Toomua and the late opportunities for Lolesio or whomever. Think MT is probably precisely the type of No 10 Rennie favours for his workload, ability to run the ball and make ground in contact and his strong defense. I expect he will be the No 10 for some time under Rennie.

        • Maybe. I think it will be interesting to see how the young guns develop, although none of them have been done any favours with Covid-19. But they will develop into 2023 and will need some serious game time sometime.

        • laurence king

          Yeh, it will be interesting to what Rennie decides. AAA, Toomua and JOC all hav a maturity about them tat appeals. If their in the team they will be leaders that’s certain. And of course we don’t know how Hooper will respond to the situation.

      • Ads

        I reckon Hooper is a better option than all of those. He played and captained well last year. There is no certainty any of those are 80 minute players or even firm starters. White maybe. He wouldn’t be a bad option. I like his aggro. I prefer captain from 1-9. We’ve finally got great depth at 1-3 so would be silly not to rotate those through. 4,5,6,8 aren’t certain to me, or definitely not captaincy candidates.
        It’s all speculation and we will see! My guess is Rennie like so many provincial and national coaches before will pick Hooper. BTW he’s correct in not naming anyone for now. Pushing Hooper to be better is a god thing!

        • Who?

          I think your logic is spot on here. There’s no point in appointing someone before you’ve gone to camp, or finding a way to get the best out of them. Rennie’s point about Hooper looking more relaxed and free playing without the weight of responsibility of the captaincy.
          I agree the captain should, ideally, be one of those rare things – the 80 minute player. No question, Hooper’s been one of those. You don’t find 80 minute players wearing 1, 2, 3. Often a lock will sub, the 6 and/or 8. The 9. The 10 may even sub. And again, I’m in agreement with you that you want someone not far from the ball. I’d go to 10 for a captain (Noddy did ok), but no higher.
          .
          I also agree with you that Hooper has grown into the role. He’s followed the Baxter path – Baxter was picked as starting THP far too young (through no fault of his own), and only really reached maturity – where he made me think, “Yeah, he’s finally doing the job!” in the last 12 months before getting the chop (2003-2008 – 5 years). Hooper’s time frame’s basically the same (2014-2019), and last year, he showed class in his role as captain. Even though he had to sit alongside Cheika.
          .
          If Hooper keeps the arm band, I won’t be surprised, and I won’t be too unhappy. Because, in spite of my questions about KPIs and the like, he definitely gives his all for the full 80, and he’s finally learned how to lead his team. There’s no more, “They’re not listening to me,” there’s no more whining. He’s grown in maturity and found respect for those around him and now carries himself with dignity on the field. And he’s finally – finally – going to have a decent coach to guide him (regardless of whether he’s captain or not).

      • Nutta

        JOC? Dude… Wow. I agree with the first part of your sentence though in that there are plenty of options.

        • laurence king

          If past behavior was a guide, I wouldn’t concider the man. However, from what I understand, his attitude has completely turned around, something of a redemption story. It does happen lol. And he can play.

    • Crescent

      Also been watching all the Kiwi games – great party atmosphere in the grounds, some great play. Loved seeing Bryn Gatland sink his old man’s team with a drop goal – now that makes for an interesting Christmas lunch! Hope the Aussie version will bring the same kind of joy – just glad for rugby to be back, and I hope with a bunch of Wallaby positions overtly up for grabs, all the guys look to make their mark.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I hope so too. I hope the skill levels have improved from last year.

      • I hope so too. I can see some competitive games, I’m just not sure I can see them all being competitive is the problem I have right now. But I hope to be proved wrong.

    • I agree about the NZ games. I’d also note how they’ve adapted. Look at the difference in the penalty count in Wellington on Sunday. The Canes had played a game and learnt from it, the Saders had seen a game but not really felt the lessons in their muscle memory. After 40 minutes and some adjustments at half time, they pretty much reversed the flow of penalties though.

      I have to say, judging on the second half of this last weekend, we’re in for 8 cracking rounds, probably with penalty counts back to a more normal level.

      I saw the Beale headline somewhere and my first thought was pretty much the same as yours. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. He played his best rugby by far in Wasps colours, unlike Le Roux who dipped far below his international standards for some reason.

      My opinion on Hooper is well known too.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Welcome back EP, I hope you are doing well during this Covid period.
        I admit there was a little bit of ‘just glad its back on’, watching those games, but have watched most of them twice, amd just downright impressed.
        Beauden Barrett is really gifted and the difference he has made to the Blues is amazing. ANd you are 100% right, the Saders took a half of live rugby to adjust. ANd boy did they adjust.
        Our teams will not be as bright as the NZ teams, as I fear they have had the rugby smarts smacked out of them. Hopefully the Brumbies boys get it back a lot quicker.

        • I agree Barrett has made a difference, he’s bought maturity and confidence to the backs and I suspect between him and Carter they’ve bought that superstar dedication to the training field and that’s making a difference all round.

          But I’ve been impressed by Sotutu as well. I think he’s been the pick of the No. 8’s so far. Saves had flashes against the Saders and was playing his first full game back after a knee injury so he might rise up still, but Sotutu would be my pick for the AB8 right now.

        • Brumby Runner

          Tu’u next best on form so far.

        • Maybe, I haven’t seen a clear cut second to my mind, players having good parts of their game rather than really holding their hand up.

          I wonder though, everyone says about how 7’s live on the offside line and so on, but I wonder if the harsher interpretation of the laws is affecting how 8’s play a little more. They’re often looking to hit the ruck, make the cover tackle and so on, and if they’re taking an extra two steps to not get pinged for coming in at an angle, they’re half a step back to not pinged for offside, it’s just hitting their natural game in the loose a bit more than you might predict. So the ones that shine are doing well at lineout, ball carrying and other things.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Interesting how things work out when you have a smart coach and a smart captain isn’t it?

      • Who?

        Eloise, Nick Bishop did analysis on the refereeing from Round 1 of SRA. He made a case that the two games were reffed in completely opposing styles at the breakdown. So it’s no surprise that one team had adapted and the other (who admittedly hadn’t yet played) hadn’t.

        • Possibly, I’d have to rewatch them to see and, honestly, I was just too excited to see rugby. I did think BOK, much maligned in this parish, was clearly referring a little differently in the Saders v Cane match to what we’d seen in week 1. It wasn’t an instant whistle, but he looked for advantage, and generally looked to give the tackled player a beat to release the ball if the supporting player was there incredibly fast, rather than blowing instantly.

          But I think we need to see what it looks like, maybe this weekend, maybe next, when everyone has had a week or two to adapt and try to work out how to play with it. I’m expecting we’ll see more penalties than in SR before Covid struck, but it won’t be 30+ per match, down in the 20’s and maybe by the end of SRA down into the teens as it properly beds in.

        • Who?

          All good Eloise – I haven’t had a chance to watch, but did manage to read Nick’s article. He demonstrated that both refs from week one were equally whistle-happy, but they had completely opposite perspectives.
          I’m not sure the tackled player should have a moment to play the ball – as long as it’s not the tackler on the ball (i.e. it’s someone arriving through the gate not bound to the ball carrier), they should be releasing. There’s never been a requirement in law for someone to ‘survive the cleanout’.
          .
          I’m not sure we’ll avoid a rash of penalties until the referees figure it out and become consistent. Until they’re predictable, it’s hard for the players to even think about adapting.

        • When I say “a moment” I really do mean “a moment”. The laws say a lot of things have to be done immediately. The tackler has to release (but also has to hold on long enough to show they’ve completed the tackle). The tackled player has to immediately release the ball, yet they are also allowed to immediately place it in any direction. I don’t know about you, but I can’t hit the floor and instantly stretch my arm out, that takes a fraction of second.

          The issue I think I was seeing is when the first player to the breakdown is basically there as soon as the tackler and tackled player hit the floor and “instantly” tries to play it. But the tackler hasn’t yet released the tackled player, has got their arms around the ball… and that looks like a cheap penalty to the tackling side. There was a slight pause to let everything sort itself out around that, let everyone try and do all the different conflicting things the laws say they’re meant to be able to, and then if the tackled player hangs on, penalty that way. If the tackler hangs on to help his mate, penalty for that.

          It was never a five second tug of war, I’m not sure it ever got as long as two seconds, the only time it did the ref said “I was waiting to see if you won the ball and got advantage” which given he’d done it a couple of minutes earlier and they had won the ball (and butchered a try from 5 metres out) everyone nodded happily about.

        • Nutta

          Correct. The sequence is (and ALWAYS has been)
          1. Tackle completed,
          2. Tackler releases,
          3. Carrier releases,
          4. 2ndMan may now compete the ball.

        • Who?

          I’m not so sure about point 4, Nutta. If the ball carrier’s on the ground, there’s no reason why the arriving player shouldn’t have the right to go for the ball. Just as they would if they were in a maul. If you removed Point 3, I’d have less disagreement, and if it’s about the tackler jackalling it’s self-evident. But if the tackler’s around the bootlaces and the arriving player goes straight for the ball, I don’t see why they shouldn’t be allowed to contest immediately, and why the ball carrier shouldn’t be required to play the ball immediately.

        • Nutta

          But you’re discussing what you feel ‘should’ be versus what ‘is’. For me it’s a case of exclusions:
          * The tackle must be completed or the Carrier can simply get up and keep running with no release.
          * The completed tackle triggers that the Carrier must release the ball to contest. Unless he is ‘tackled’ he has no obligation to release even if lying on the ground.
          * Once the ball is released to contest, then others (on their feet and on-side) may contest.

          That said, it’s all in the blink of the proverbial eye…

        • Who?

          You’re right, it’s all in the blink of an eye. But… Point 2.
          ‘The completed tackle triggers that the carrier must release the ball to contest. Unless he is ‘tackled’ he has no obligation to release even if lying on the ground.
          .
          That’s not correct. Rugby’s a game played on your feet, and there’s an example in law that illustrates you’re wrong. If a player collects a kick on the ground, they cannot be tackled. They must be allowed to regain their feet, or arriving players can contest the ball. They’re not permitted to flop on the player on the ground, to tackle them, but arriving players can jackal. This perfectly illustrates that being on the ground without being tackled still removes the ball carrier’s right to retain the ball when faced with an arriving player on their feet. Because the player on their feet has priority access to the ball.
          .
          So I’m happy to agree that tacklers must hold long enough to ensure the tackle’s completed, and that ball carriers shouldn’t begin their release until the tackle’s complete, with the exception being when an arriving player who does NOT wrap/hold the ball carrier (which would make them a ‘tackle assist’) enters through the gate and contests (only) the ball.

        • Nutta

          Hmmm…

          You cannot ‘tackle’ a player already on the ground in that you cannot leave your feet to jamb a should into them. Agree. But that’s from a perspective of dangerous play, safety and hitting a defenceless person – akin to not attacking someone in the air (such as a lineout jumper or ball-catcher).

          However you can effect a tackle on a player already on the ground by putting a hand on them. That is what then completes the ‘tackle equation’ (if you will) and posits them now as a tackled player who must now release the ball as until a Ball Carrier is actually tackled they are under no obligation to release the ball.

          So by your example (say), Carrier catches highball and then face-plants (because he’s a nufty). No one has ‘tackled’ him. He has no obligation to release just because he is on the ground. Before he can regain feet the 1st opponent arrives and puts a hand on him. We now have tackle. With tackle, the Carrier must release. Assuming no fellow defender arrives and establishes the ruck (‘hands off’), the 2nd man or the Tackler who has now released, may now pick-up.

          Or am I off with the fairies?

        • Who?

          You’re not off with the fairies, it’s just a question of whether that hand on the player on the ground is legally required. I don’t believe it is. If the nufty goes for the high ball and face plants, then the arriving player doesn’t need to stick a hand on him – they can just go directly at the ball.

          But if no one gets there and he regains his feet, he’s not obligated to place the ball and pick it up again, he can just go. Because he’s not prevented someone on their feet from playing the game, and his time not in the game (i.e. off his feet) didn’t have material impact.

          This is an area that saw a lot of attention – and a lot of demonstrations of poor understanding of the laws amongst Australian players – a bit over a decade ago. I recall a lot of Aussies being penalized for tackling players on the ground, and when they finally got it through their heads they couldn’t just drive through a prone player’s spine, they took to just standing around waiting for the player to stand up, rather than figuring out they could simply jackal immediately. It took Kiwis to demonstrate the error of their ways (by doing it to us!).

          It’s all tiny degrees of the same thing, wonderful subtleties. :-)

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, by gee Rennie is sounding good isn’t he? Saying the right things, keeping people engaged, fucking off the dickheads and generally just making me hopeful again. Interesting comments on his approach to overseas players and how he seems against them coming back, especially from France. He obviously isn’t impressed with the way they are managed there and has misgivings about their ability to come back fresh and able to contribute in a meaningful way. I guess he’s got the knowledge of the systems there and maybe he’s correct.

    I like that he isn’t committing to a captain yet. Not sure why you’d want to employ the one who took you from 2nd in the world to 7th and whilst I acknowledge it’s not all his fault I think it will forever taint him. personally I think he needs to leave the captaincy and work on his game so he can be more dominant on the ball both in attack and defence.

    Won’t miss Beale at all, did some good things a few times but generally never lived up to his hype and had too many issues that pulled the Wallabies down.

    I hope the Force stays in whatever scenario the future brings to the table. The issues with poor performance over the last few years of Super rugby and numbers not stacking up were, I think, more a reflection of the disaster that was the Wallaby setup under Cheika and how that negativity flowed down into the Super teams than anything else. I think with the resurgence of cases in Victoria today and the ongoing issue of how to stay safe, anything other than a Trans Tasman competition is a long way off and if this does come into being I hope Perth are part of it.

  • formerflanker

    Good to see a new coach putting all incumbents on notice – both as players and leaders. It sharpens the mind.
    Hoops made lots of on-field decisions that were debatable but must have been part of the Cheika game plan and strategy.
    Under a new coach those decisions (“shall I take the 3 or attack from 5m out?”) may change.
    Since he is one of the best at leading by example and will be under new instructions from Rennie, Hoops should stay as (c).

    • Hoss

      Hi FF, good to see you back here.

      Its an interesting point you raise. I have staff like Hoops. Great at what they do, organised, methodical, consistent at their role and a known-entity – you know you will get a good showing, day-in, day out you can build around them. BUT (you must have known it was coming) completely shit at leadership. To the point that the thing that makes them great at their individual roles within a team, make them shite at leading the very same team. Now, i dont dig at his skill, commitment, or ethic. Just that as a leader he doesn’t (IMO) have that ‘follow me’ intrinsic quality. The team are better with him in the side – for sure, but not as leader for mine.

      • Nutta

        The difference between a Leader and a Technician.

        • Hoss

          Yep. Great in their own cosmos with nobody else to think of and only themselves to manage. BUT, when they try to apply those same principles to a bunch of faulty, needy, whiny, ungrateful fuckers called humanoids they are found wanting.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I think there are still a lot of players specifically the PI players that have low opinions of Hooper. Infact Kepu said as much and he was a Wallaby and Tah team mate of hooper. Hopper is tainted from Cheika, and from the Link player mutiny. He needs to earn his spot as a plyer and concentrate on that.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        And unless he actually learns to dominate in the contact I think he may struggle as there are other players who can dominate as well as pilfer and all the other 7 roles – as opposed to what Hooper did under Cheika

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true. Watching the amount of turnover under the new rules in the Kiwi SR, you really need a jackal in the team and that is not the role Hooper provides.

        • formerflanker

          Interesting point.
          Hooper gets blown away at the breakdown; he’s no immovable Pocock-like colossus over the ball.
          However, if I am seeing the NZ refs correctly, they are giving the jackal just a moment to secure possession. The arriving clearer-outerers have less time to shift the jackal.
          That will suit Hooper.

        • Brisneyland Local

          May do, if he can get at it. But the cleaning out in the Kiwi games has been precision and rocket hard like. SO we will see I guess. but gee those games were good to watch.

  • Hoss

    Welcome back all.

    Been having discussions with a few gents of ill-repute on the side and I an genuinely excited by Mr D Rennie (nickname TBA). I like his thinking, i even appreciate his frankness, honesty and willingness to start from a blank piece of paper without fear or favour.

    I would however stand in defence of one M Cheika and allegations of ‘favouritism’. I reckon such allegations are baseless. I would simply contend that he did pick the best Waratah available for any Wallaby position, so consistent, yes, favourites, i don’t see it.

    As for a new captain. The time is right, societal expectations would welcome it and just whats best for the game in our country dictate it MUST be from a player of PI heritage and 7A’s or a returning S Kerevi would do it nicely for mine. Such an appointment would be both appropriate and go someway to repairing fractures within the Wallaby PI fraternity and community regarding a whole host of issues from Folau to World Cup Performance. It sends a positive message to the wider PI community and surely engages a whole new generation who not only want to be a Wallaby, but also see a pathway rightfully extends to the very pinnacle of our sport.

    New coach, new thinking, new actions, new hope.

    #you’rewelcomeRA

    • Tah Tragic

      Are you taking suggestions on a nickname? “New coach, new thinking, new actions, A NEW HOPE” – how about the wizened Jedi master Obi-Wan?

      Yes, yes, isolation has taken it toll.

      • Hoss

        ‘Obi Wan’ – love it. Just a heads-up, I will over time steal said moniker and claim it as an original idea of my own, like I do with Nutta’s……’it seems my hypocrisy knows no bounds’

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          May I humbly submit this well-known fix for indigestion etc… I remember the advert from the seventies – Reach for a Rennie’s.
          Could the nickname be “The Cure” (we all know for which disease)? Or if you want to take the name further, “Robert Smith”…? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/7698f3c16950687e447865c600551cf9fd135122f5bd5187386e474461807f88.jpg

        • Yowie

          I like it. By why stop there? To take it down more tangential rabbit-holes, how about:

          Robert Smith -> goths -> The Crow -> Brandon Lee -> Bruce Lee…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Kevin Bacon!

        • Who?

          My wife used SOOOO many of those whilst pregnant…

        • Tah Tragic

          Be my guest. I’m yet to have an original thought and live off passing other’s ideas off as my own. I really can’t complain.

        • you’d be a Daisy if you didn’t.

        • Nutta

          Will somebody just make a fkn decision please!?!?

        • Hoss

          Yep – last time i try a democratic approach. Back to ‘Hoss’ rules – my way or the highway sunshine

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahaha so Sky blue selection is not favouritism based and Cheika was all about selecting people from other states when the Waratahs couldn’t provide the best. Some would argue that was every position, but I digress

    • Brumby Runner

      Hoss, on the nickname, I’d go with something like Quickeze. As Dingo points lout, we desperately need to get over the indigestion of the past 5 years.

    • Reds Revival

      While Roy and HG have created this nickname for V’Landys, I think it could equally apply to Rennie – “The man of golden feathers”. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

    • Rene from the old comedy show Allo Allo?

  • Huw Tindall

    Guess we’ll find out if Maddocks is the real deal at 15 now with KB looking for accommodation in Southern France. All in all a good thing I reckon. Some career highlights (and lowlights) and forever grateful that we had a top line indigenous player in Rugby.

    Refreshing to see refs blowing ruck and offside penalties too. I don’t care if there is 40 penalties in a game as a result. The players will adapt quickly. Hopefully the refs maintain the rage and don’t ease up as they are just reffing the rule as written.

    Rennie making all the right noises. Lots of young talent to choose from and some old heads in key positions should make a really interesting team selection first up. Will we see the continued comeback of JOC as his promise starts to be realised late in the career or will the young tryos snap up the 10 jersey? Who is going to put up their hand up their hand in the second row to replace the 2m behomoths who chased the £ and €? Will the fixture that is Hooper be be the highest paid bench player or will he rise to the challenge and recapture career best form? All questions will be answer in time but hell I’m just impatient for it all to start now!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      hey Huw, yeah some good stuff. I’m not sure JOC is a good option for 10. I think he’d be better 1 place out as he’s just a tad off the pace for a 10. I do actually like his play and always have, it was his attitude that got me and that seems to have changed dramatically so good on him.

      • Reds Revival

        What I like about JOC at 10 is that he keeps the defense second guessing what he is going to do. He can turn on the pace when he needs to over a short distance, but it is his passing game that is most dangerous. Much like Larkham in that regard.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah but he can do that at 12 and i think his ability to distribute the ball and take it up into the contact is better there

      • Huw Tindall

        Hey mate – late reply and a day or so out but hey! Back to a classic old topic for GAGR is players out of position! If the Reds run him at 10 for the Super AU then I hope that’s where he is considered rather than shuffle around in the backs like we’ve done in the recent times. Based on the aborted season and how you think Super AU will play out who do you see as the strong 10 candidates for a Reniie Wallabies?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Personally I’
          d like to see any of the young ones coming through to be the 10. I like Lolesio and Harrison is looing quite good in a poor team which says something.

        • Huw Tindall

          Wouldn’t worry a bit about “throwing them to the lions” at such a young age? We’ve done that in the past promoting the ‘next big thing’ to Test matches and they’ve struggled with the intensity and been somewhat scarred after that.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          If we dont tote them as the next best thing and just bring them through with help then i think they’ll be fine.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Hopefully RA will not again ask Forrest to pay for the Force to play Superugby. If that’s the case I would prefer that we play GRR. What is good for Victoria, ACT, NSW and QLD should be good for WA.

    • Perth girl

      Hannes I think Twiggy might be going halves with RA, I’m sure that I read it somewhere maybe on SOB

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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