Wednesday’s Rugby News sees the search for a new Rugby Australia Chairman, Super Rugby suspensions, a fascinating interview with Andrew Kellaway, and the Springboks receiving an international sports award.
Search for new RA Chairman
In typical rugby union fashion, the favourite to succeed Cameron Clyne as Rugby Australia chairman is Sydney University boardroom veteran David Mortimer.
A committee, made up of John Sharp, Daryl McDonough and Mark L’Huillier, is currently interviewing candidates for the position of chairman and two new directors. This represents a third of the nine seats on the RA board, highlighting the significance of the decision.
Among the other candidates are V8 Supercars chairman Peter Wiggs, Jim Tate, a Westpac executive and son of former Wallaby Murray Tate, NSW Rugby director Kerry Chikarovski, Bruce Hodgkinson, a barrister, and former Rugby Union Players Association chairman.
Sydney Olympics bid guru and lawyer Rod Mcgeoch has also been mentioned, along with former NSW premier Mike Baird, and World Cup-winning former Wallabies captain Nick Farr-Jones.
Lawyers, bankers, and politicians. How very rugby union.
Super Rugby Suspensions
Highlanders winger Patelesion Tomkinson has been handed a three-week suspension for his dangerous tackle on Tom Banks.
It is little comfort for the Brumbies after their heartbreaking 23-22 loss to the Highlanders.
Tomkinson’s yellow card came in the 44th minute, with commentators and fans alike stunned by the decision.
Tomkinson was expected to receive a six-week suspension, however, SANZAAR’s foul play review found unexplained “mitigating factors,” that reduced it to three weeks. How surprising.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar refused to blame referee Nic Berry after the loss.
“I thought it was a red card, but I don’t want to sit here and whinge about referees or anything like that,” McKellar said.
Fascinating Kellaway Interview
The Waratahs worst start to a season in their 25-year history in Super Rugby continued on Friday night. To make matters worse it was a former Tahs young gun who sealed the win for the opposition, as Andrew Kellaway crossed out wide for a double.
“It was great to do it. (But) it was disappointing for some of those guys that I’m really good friends with. It’s not so nice seeing them so disappointed, which is what they were, they were gutted after the game, and we know that feeling well after the first two games, we were devastated,” Kellaway said.
Kellaway’s story is becoming an ever more present one in Australian rugby, after returning from a season at Northampton.
Stuck behind Wallabies fullback Israel Folau, Kellaway had to wait his turn on the sidelines before slowly being introduced into the squad. First on the wing and occasionally at fullback.
However, luck never quite went Kellaway’s way.
“I started to get a lot more game time towards the end of my time there and, I guess, you could say I was unlucky. I broke my throat and then I broke my foot, so I missed the better part of two seasons there and I was starting both times I had those injuries.
Reflecting on his time at the Tahs, Kellaway spoke candidly.
“I wasn’t ready and I was just young.”
“I was behind Israel, so you roll in most days and knowing who he is and what he can do and I guess I probably just didn’t push myself as hard as I could have and upon reflection, I probably regret that a little bit, but it’s a mistake I definitely won’t make again,” Kellaway said.
I highly recommend you give this episode a listen.
Boks receive international award
The Springboks have won the Laureus Sports Team of the Year at the annual International Awards but former Brumbies skipper Christian Lealifano missed out on the comeback of the year award.
South Africa received the award due to the impact their World Cup win had on the broader community within South Africa.
Wallabies and Brumbies flyhalf Lealifano was nominated for the Laureus comeback of the year award after playing at the Rugby World Cup three years after being diagnosed with leukemia.
The award went to motor racing driver Sophia Florsch having returned to racing after a spinal injury.
“You feel like you have won already.”
“You probably shouldn’t get an award for being recognised for being healthy and alive. I have been given the gift of life already,” Lealifano said.