Eddie Jones has made history by talking sense twice in the last seven days. First in the Times, giving his match preview and picking the back row to be an edge for us.
The second, a great article pointed out by Bobas in the Independent, goes through in depth how Australia has managed to clearly dominate world rugby with only 40 of us playing it. It’s too long and probably illegal to put it all here, but there were a couple of good points he makes about the talent pool, and why expanding the S14 for Aussie teams over time is so important:
“In Australia, there are four professional teams [until pretty recently, it was three], each offering 30 or so full-time contracts. It means there are only seven or eight possible candidates for each Wallaby position, including first-season rookies, the majority of whom aren’t really in the running.
There are 16 elite teams in Australian rugby league and 18 in Aussie Rules. In union, there are four. Below those Super 14 teams, there are possibly five clubs who might play at the standard of the Second Division in England. If you were a keen young sportsman, where would you concentrate your efforts? In England, if you fall short of expectations or fail to fulfil your potential at one club, there’s always the chance of a contract elsewhere. In Australia, that chance doesn’t exist.”
There was another interesting article this week as well on Rugbyheaven called Truth of Twickenham Revealed, in which Ewen Mckenzie and Ben Darwin decided to ‘put the record straight’ on the infamous uncontested scrum debacle of 2005 at Twickenham.
The two ex-wallabies point out that no two props can hold a scrum together on their own, because if you re-look at the footage (photo attached):
- We have a midget backrow – Smith, Waugh and Roe
- One of them, Smith at 8, has dropped off the scrum to play 9
- You could drive a bus through the middle of the locks – Sharpe and McMenimen – which the Poms did
As McKenzie said:
“It was like bringing a knife to a gun fight”
So there we have it. Baxter and Dunning are actually great props. We’ll find out today.
I finally watched the second half of the Italy game last night and you know what, I reckon there was a lot positive there. Some very good rugby, royally fµcked by the last pass every time. And the eyeteyes tackled their nuts off as well.
I know I’m desperately searching for it, but if a few of these passes stick and Link and Darwin are right, then just maybe today……..