Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s rugby news has our unproven halves highlighted, a bold RWC prediction, Japan losing a coach and a massive doping ban. 

Larkham uneasy over halves

stephen bernie larkham

Legendary Wallaby playmaker Stephen Larkham has been questioned about the failure of the Test team to secure a starting halves combination for the upcoming Rugby World Cup. During his playing days, Larkham emphasised the need for secure inside back combinations to build continuity.

But the Australian assistant coach downplayed the impact on the current squad, who are used to chopping and changing week to week. When pressed on his key selection criteria, Larkham said: “Consistency in that position is the No.1 thing … making sure you are running the team around the paddock, you are taking the right options.”

Smith predicts pool of death


Wallabies great George Smith has predicted that  heavyweights Wales and England won’t qualify from the “pool of death”. Smith, with 111 tests to his name, believes that Australia and Fiji will be the sides to make the playoffs.

Fiji recently beat Samoa in the final of the Pacific Nations Cup, and Smith emphasised that the team’s addition of a number of Super 15 and Top 14 stars, as well as the management of coach John McKee would propel Fiji out of the pool stages.

Eddie leaving Japan

eddie jones japan

Japan head coach Eddie Jones will resign following next month’s Rugby World Cup, the Japan Rugby Football Union announced yesterday. “His mind is made up,” executive director Nori- yuki Sakamoto said. “We appreciate what he has done to advance Japan rugby over the past four years.”

Jones acknowledged that he would not be leading Japan’s new Super Rugby franchise but has been negotiating with the Stormers. “Four years is enough for an international coach,’ he asserted. “My focus was always to change Japanese rugby history and ensure Japan was a serious rugby nation by the time I left.”

Welshman banned for doping

Wales Under 20 - has 6N comp

World Rugby has confirmed that Welsh sevens international Carl Townsend has been suspended for four years for an anti-doping rule violation. The 27-year-old underwent an in-competition urine test on 7 June at the Grand Prix 7s in Moscow, Russia. His sample was found to contain the presence of the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone, a WADA prohibited substance.

Townsend accepted that he had committed a violation and waived his right to an oral hearing, saying that he had taken the banned substances in a period of retirement from semi-professional rugby earlier in the year before he was called up for the Sevens development squad.

  • Simon

    Hope George is right. I have a few English relatives who still won’t let me forget 2003. Would be nice to knock them out of the RWC in the pool stage at Twickenham!

  • dane

    Good trolling George!

  • Funk

    So Eddie is off to the Stormers then????

    • Niall

      Any coach in the past 10 years whored himself to more teams/countries and been so ineffective wherever he has gone?

      • qwas

        Yes a world cup final and a world cup victory are pretty terrible. He should be ashamed of himself

      • Garry

        But he never missed an oppotunity to piss on the WB’s in the last 5 years, through his media articles, especially when his mate JWhite was running for WB coach. It would have been interesting, if White had have been successful, to see fast Eddie would have dropped the Japan gig, to be Whites assisstant.

  • Seb V

    Is George part Fijian?

    • Klaus

      Nope. Tongan.

  • Mickey

    “My focus was always to change Japanese rugby history and ensure Japan was a serious rugby nation by the time I left.”

    You failed Eddie. They were below average when you took over. They are below average now as you depart. Your only saving grace is they’ll still be below average in 10, 20, 30, 100 years time.

    • Tahs_Man_Fan

      Haha, you’re a pelican mate!!

      Under Eddie Jones Japan have defeated Samoa, Scotland, Wales, Tonga, USA and Canada, none of whom they’d ever beaten before. They have been champs of the Asian cup for 4 straight years and runner up in the Pacific Nations Cup 2/4 years he was in charge. They have a solid scrum, and players who now have a bit of mongrel about them, with forwards playing hard, constructive rugby and the backs putting together some nice looking phases.

      Let’s just remember that Japan has NEVER won a match at the RWC. They are now in a genuine position, if they can turn up, to beat any one of Samoa, Scotland and USA. They could even make the quarter finals!!

      Anyone who says Eddie Jones achieved nothing is an idiot and someone who is clueless about global rugby.

  • Nutta

    Great comment George. Good media management – it will get the smelly’s talking heads talking about everyone in the pool except Oz which won’t be a bad thing and gets the Fijian’s some exposure. I think it’s a great comment that WE SHOULD ALL “up” and promote it on every platform we can so it gets legs. Get around and do your bit G&GR Lovers!
    I love Eddie Jones’ honesty and open attitude. Leave aside his coaching style, he’s had his crack, he is happy to be judged as the proof will be in the pudding of Bill and then he moves onwards to a new challenge. Good luck to him. Honourable.

  • Robson

    I was wandering around the streets of Launceston one Saturday morning with my tongue hanging out for a “rugby fix” when I went into a bookstore and spied the sole remaining copy of a rugby magazine. I eagerly snatched it up and bought it. Out on the street again I flicked through the pages and came across an article written by Eddie Jones. At the time he was still the Wallabies coach. It seems hugely contradictory because I don’t remember what the article was about, but I do remember being impressed that it was one of the most intelligent rugby articles I had ever read! It perplexed me from then on that the Wallaby’s results weren’t better than they were.

    • Nutta

      In academic management writings eternal search for the next sporting or military analogy it’s sometimes referred to as the Rommel factor – a guy who proved more than simply worthy multiple times and had the kit bag to bring clear success, but when put in a different structure with different agendas and cattle couldn’t get the job done (surprise surprise)

  • Zeb, why do you portray Larkham as being “uneasy” about the halves? In the article you cribbed from, in Rugby Heaven, his message is a positive one, in which he paints the competition for the halfback spots as an improvement over the set combinations of his day.

    “Reminded of his mantra as a 102-capped player after saying the Wallabies are still uncertain what their best No.9 and 10 combination is, he replied: “I used to like [continuity] because that is the way it was.
    These guys are now used to the fact that it is chopping and changing week to week.
    We will make a decision on our selection based on whether we think [the] combination is going to be important, or whether we think the guys can handle the change week to week”

    It’s a strange day in Kansas when the Herald is positive, and Green & Gold Rugby adds negative spin. Did you mistakenly eat Greg Growden, thinking he was a pie?

  • Chris M

    What would be the banned substance he would take to make a fracture heal faster?

  • Braveheart81

    He hasn’t played a game yet since announcing his recovery has he? I’d wait and see him get through a match before rushing to any judgement.

    It could all end in tears.

  • Parker

    ML, while I appreciate your preference for consistent common standards, your reasoning is fraught with inconsistency and biases about which you seem unaware. There seems to be a presumption in your post that western medical practice is the norm to be applied everywhere. So does that mean that players in countries where Western medical facilities are limited are at an unfair advantage against first world rugby countries and why are you not so concerned about doing something to redress that imbalance. Furthermore, there are a number of remedies available in first world countries that can hasten the healing of broken bones at a rate far faster than what many doctors estimate. They are the herbal and homeopathic remedies that the guardians of fragmented medicine (as opposed to holistic medicine)

    are intent on creating doubt about for their own professional advantage. When I broke my ankle, the orthopedic surgeon gave me 6 weeks of plaster casted immobility for the repair of the bones. I went home and each day drank a tea made from the herb that in early English times was known as “knitbone”. Back in the day it was fed to chickens so their egg shells would be strong enough to withstand the cart borne trip to market along unsealed country roads. The doctor, at my insistence, xrayed the site at 3 weeks and was astonished to find it to be completely healed. Many years later my son had a bad arm break and was given six weeks too. I gave him the homeopathic version called Symphytum Oficinale because by this time evidence as to the strain the tea can place on the liver had come to light. His breaks healed in two weeks, again to the doctor’s wide eyed astonishment. Quite apart from the sad scenario where after 30 years, fragmentary medicine has yet to avail itself of the advantages of non pharmaceutical remedies, the issue is that a closed mind often leads to disbelief of empirical facts. Rather being skeptical of traditional Fijian medicine, which does not warrant quotation marks around it, you should be very skeptical about the practice of the doctors who were only able to see Naholo’s injury through a limited viewpoint…unless you’re living on a flat earth.

  • Pedro
  • Pedro

    Just had a chat to one of the physicians at my work and the only thing that has any supporting data is using those vibrating plate machines:;jsessionid=56AD27BA6A885F44EF422B1B703CA980.f03t04

    and just in case you were wondering, hyberbaric chambers do not seem to improve healing of fractures.

  • Robson

    I have a friend who is a herbalist. She tells me that there are some herbal remedies that assist the body’s natural ability to heal itself faster than what modern medicine does. Ayurvedic medicine for instance has been used by the people of India to heal all manner of complaints for centuries.

  • Chris M

    I’m sorry. You can’t sanction someone for outstanding results. You sanction them for a failure of a test.

  • Chris M

    Fair enough. Not the usual thing anabolics are used for. But if that is what’s being used, he’s running a pretty significant risk.

  • Pedro

    Agreed, they’re just the only thing that can build bone mass.

  • Nutta

    You bored or just under-deployed?

  • Pedro

    Bit of both. My studies have me researching things I’m far less interested in but are health related, so my tendency to procrastinate made this seem an important task and work wasn’t busy.

  • Parker

    That’s a very ignorant statement. See my post above

  • Pedro

    I should have written: that I’m aware of.

  • Pedro

    Don’t you think that your two anecdotal examples could be explained genetically? Especially as rapid healing was observed in both you and your son?


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