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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News has Quade leaving Toulon, officially, Meakes signing for the Force, officially, the Fainga’a brothers meeting all sorts of milestones, and John Connolly ragging on Aussie rugby.


Quade Leaves Toulon

quade

Quade Cooper has confirmed he’s left French club Toulon, reports Sky Sports and others.

Posting on Twitter in French, Quade told his horde of dedicated fans “Goodbye, thanks everyone, to my brothers and my family in Toulon, I’ll miss you. See you soon.” Interestingly, he also tweeted:”When I get back to Aus I’m going to whoop Jarryd Hayne at Fifa & in return he will join the Super rugby franchise I join..”

Since joining Toulon only last year, soon after the end of the World Cup in November, Quade struggled to settle in south of France and struggled for form at the megabucks French club. Bigmouth Toulon owner Mourad Boudjellal rather amusingly compared him to Jonny Wilkinson as, saying that going from the Englishman to Quade was like going from “foie gras to pate”.

This frees up the mercurial and popular flyhalf to return to the promised land for next season. Whether that’s the Reds or the Rebels or perhaps even the Force, remains to be seen.

Meakes Signs For Force

As reported last week, Bill Meakes has put pen to paper on a two-year deal to play for the Western Force.

“I am absolutely stoked to be here and looking forward to getting stuck in,” Meakes told the media, especially rugby.com.au. “I met the boys just a few days ago and everyone has been extremely welcoming and the city looks beautiful so I’m really excited to be here for the next two years.”

“Dane Haylett-Petty even left me a surprise welcome gift in outside my hotel room” he didn’t add.

Meakes, a Sydney lad, is coming back home after heading overseas without any Super caps. Also a former U20s and sevens rep, Meakes played 46 times for Gloucester.

Dave Wessels, the interim Force coach, also added that “All the way through the negotiations it was very clear that [Meakes] is extremely ambitious and has a hunger to perform which is a great attribute to have.”

Saia Wanted 100 Caps

Reds and Wallabies hooker Saia Fainga’a is raring to play against the Rebels this weekend, after recovering from illness and a lack of match fitness.

Saia, currently on 99 caps, really wants to get to 100. Having missed out on the Chiefs game last Friday (luckily, some could say), Saia is now stuck on 99 caps.  “I’m hurting because making 100 was one of my bucket-list goals,” Faingaa told the Daily Tele. “I probably pushed too hard when I kept playing on the foot and ruined my own season in a way.”

This will be Saia’s final game for the Reds, as next year he is returning to the Brumbies to replace the Reds-bound Stephen Moore. It will also be the final game Saia plays with his twin brother Anthony; the twins have played their club rugby together so far to date, but next year Anthony will be in Japan (Kintetsu Liners, to be exact).

Furthermore, this game will be momentous for Mrs Fainga’a, as Saia and Anthony will be facing up against their Rebels brother Colby.

“Of all the milestones I look back on fondly at the Reds, that first time Anthony and I played against Colby in 2010 was one of the really special moments, with mum and dad in the stands crying,” Saia said. “To have that chance again in a farewell game would be great.” Naw.

Seeing off his Reds career, Saia Fainga’a is quite pleased with himself in reflection. “We were told we’d made a bad decision in 2008 by coming to a club that had just finished last, had a losing culture and was disorganised off the field. We’re very proud of the part we played in a Reds revival, winning the 2011 Super Rugby title, building a team culture to be proud of and making Brisbane home.”

The Reds will play the Rebels in the Fainga’a Derby in Brisbane on Friday.

Aus Rugby “Predictable”

Ex-Wallabies chief John “Knuckles” Connolly has told Fox Sports that he thinks Australian rugby has become predictable, having an obsession with the ball-in-hand strategy.

“We’re obsessed with ball-in-hand in Australia,” Connolly said, “but kicking is an important part of the game.”

Connolly added: “New Zealand sides, and Canterbury and Otago  particularly, kick more than any other side so they kick to attack as well, so they’ve got a complete game. We all want to see running rugby, but I think we need to mix it up.”

Running rugby has had a massive emphasis put on it in this country since Michael Cheika returned to coach the Waratahs, and is seen as important part of the ARU’s engagement strategy as it as seen as the most entertaining form of the game.

“If you know what the opposition is going to do all the time it becomes very predictable,” Connolly continued. “The Force beat Michael Cheika’s side three times when he coached NSW, so they knew what he was doing.”

“Eddie Jones didn’t do anything last month. All they did was tackle strongly in the midfield, knew where the opposition were coming, kicked their penalties and kicked for good field position. They played very little rugby, but they definitely outsmarted us.”

Connolly went on to say that he believes if any changes are to be made, it starts with how youngsters and grassroots rugby are coached.

  • Hopefully that FIFA game doesn’t have the opposite repercussions and we see Quade in an Eels jersey.

    • Brisneyland Local

      MC,
      I don’t think even Quade is dumb enough to go to Parramatta!

      • john hunuhunu

        Not dumb enough not good enough he cant tackle opposition would love to see Quade on the other side they’ll run straight over him he can’t hide at fullback like he does in union

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes but the fact that he can actually count to ten rules him out immediately.

  • Guesticles

    Someone didn’t read the faingaa article properly before reporting on it… He’ll be stuck on 99 after Friday night, hence the “hurting”, “ruined season” and “bucket list” quotes

    • BigNickHartman

      Indeed someone has. Will fix up,thanks Guesticles!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Go Saia! The Faianga Brothers are owed a debt of loyalty for the stalwart enthusiasm and dedication they have shown that team.
    Quade I so hope he comes home, will be immensely disappointed if he goes south.
    If he brings Jarryd with him, so be it!

    • Bring Back Kooks

      One of the best trade the Brumbies ever made was giving up 2 Fiangaa’s for 1 Moore. Looks like the Reds are getting their own back.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Almost. They are giving up one Moore and getting Saia. Ant is off to Japan!

        • Christopher

          Iirc ant is joining after japan now.

      • Funk

        Is that the 2 Fainga’as that were integral in winning a Championship? How many did the Brums win after that trade?
        I have to say I wasn’t convinced when that deal was first done but the brothers were fantastic for the Reds and it’s sad to see them go, but at the same time it’s also great to see Moore coming back.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I must admit that in the past I’ve rated Moore as one of the best players in Australia, but something seems to have gone wrong this year

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I must admit I agree. They have given really good service and I think have suffered from poor players around them more than anything else

      • Brisneyland Local

        Everything about them was good. Well behaved boys, family oriented. Took my girls (6 & 9) to a Rookies to Reds day for girls, the Faianga boys, Will and Quade C were excellent. A sponsors dream.

  • npivag

    Force would be a good team for Quade to sign for, current issues aside they do have a no-dickheads policy that seems to genuinely ring true.
    That being said Quade is not signing for a ‘small market’ team, the mans wants his $$$ and fair enough.

    • Train Without A Station

      Is that a sarcastic comment RE the Force?

  • Trevor

    If knuckles reckons it starts with youngsters and how they are coached, good luck with that! Having coached kids rugby for 10 years, I’ve seen it all. There is a large percentage (50%) of kids coaches who are complete knuckleheads, they refuse to follow the coaching guidelines set out because they know best, most of them don’t even know the rules of the game, and they are terrible with the kids. Yep, they’re volunteers and dads so can’t be criticised, but geez some of them do a lot more damage than good. The ARU need to be a lot more stringent in making sure kids are coached correctly.

    • npivag

      Often it’s those coaches or no coaches though, beggars can’t be choosers.

      • aj

        we had a big improvement with our juniors at our club by getting grade players, senior coaches or colts to help out with the U12s-U16s on weekday practice sessions

  • jamie

    I was watching our club U20s backline practice kicking and exiting our 22 last night. Straight into touch, box kicks with chasers, one bounce into touch, and up and unders that are actually competed for. Why can colts do it but the wallabies can’t?

    • Train Without A Station

      Probably because the Wallabies do it against international opposition, not an empty field.

      • jamie

        Why does it matter about the opposition? Placing box kicks where players can chase and kicking into touch aren’t really related to the opposition.

        • Train Without A Station

          Because of pressure.

          Executing skills under zero pressure is easy.

          With defenders disrupting rucks and rushing up in defence it puts more pressure on the kicker’s executing.

          Different game factors which mean they may be trying to chew off as many meters as possible, risking it not going out increase this pressure.

          To say that because a junior team can do this running against an open field under no pressure, that an international team should be able to do it, with another international team trying to prevent them from doing it, is a little unfair.

    • Seb V

      pressure pressure pressure… Our boys have little experience kicking under pressure cos they are told to run it even if that means running side-to-side and making no ground. JUST DON’T KICK IT!

  • Gavin

    Maybe Quade should have focussed on Toulon and not other sports and globetrotting if he wanted to be a success?

    • Funk

      Yeah how dare he want to go to the Olympics!!
      In his spare time he should have been reading comic books to appease his glorious team owner.

      • Gavin

        Childish retort.

        If he wanted to succeed at one of the world’s greatest sides he should have put 100% of his focus on it. He never gave himself a fighting chance.

        If he doesn’t want to be a serious union player that is up to him, he shouldn’t be treated as one then,

        • muffy

          One of the worlds greatest sides??? depends what you are looking for in a :team”… for me a team of hired mercinaries to inflate a pompus owners ego (alegedly) can never be one of the worlds greatest side.

        • Gavin

          Why are you so puzzled? Look at the playing roster and the honours list (3 of the last 4 European Cups).

          Does that not qualify as one of the world’s greatest sides?

        • muffy

          Thats my point.

        • Who?

          You’ve also got to look at how the team plays, and whether that suits the playing roster. The team has traditionally been based around kicking 10’s and crash/barge merchants. Giteau couldn’t run the Wallaby backline at 10. Wilkinson ran the team well.
          Asking Quade to play at Toulon in Toulon’s game plan is the same as asking Owen Farrell to play for the Tahs and never kick. It’s just not going to work out.

        • Funk

          The bloke hasn’t even signed for a Super team yet and already you and your Anti-Quade cronies already have your pitch-forks outs a-ready-for-a-linchin’!!

        • Gavin

          What pitch-forks? What are you talking about?

          The only cronies with an agenda are the kids here who think he is infallible.

        • jamie

          I don’t think anyone thinks he’s infallible…? He’s a great player when he’s on, end of.

  • Red Man

    So the dropped, injury prone, out of form Quade wants to limp back to Australian rugby and sign a fat contract huh? Assume he’s targeting the Reds again after his sorry I’m going, oh maybe I’m staying antics with them last year. I think I get it. The most value he could provide Australian rugby would be acting as a live tackling bag in defensive drills. The guy an utter waste of time and money.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Other than the cash, the main reason that Quade left the Reds was because of Richard Graham and the QRU’s ineptitude. I don’t blame him for that, or the many other players that left. They could see the impending trainwreck that was coming and were smart to jump. If they want him back good on them. If he comes back even better!

      • Jack

        100%

      • Dave

        So the dreadful 2015 Reds with their 4 wins and 13th place was 100% down to Richard Graham right? You’re telling me that a playing roster that contained experienced test players Slipper, Faianga, Holmes, Horwill, Simmons, Gill and Thompson in the forwards and Genia, Cooper, Faianga and O’Connor in the backs are 100% reliant on a coach for them to win games at Super Rugby level?

        No thought ever given to telling Graham to take a hike and from that point on, they run the bloody show coz they sure as hell don’t want their playing reputations ruined by being associated with such a dismal side. Oh no not these boys… it was all we don’t like the coach so let’s all sulk and let’s all not try our best and let’s all call our agents to get us jobs in England or France or Japan or Perth or wherever it would be easier.

        That is the problem with you lot up there where too much sunshine makes people lazy and stupid. You got used by a bunch of cronies who lucked out in 2011 when a Crusaders team had to play every game on the road and whom you got up to beat in the final. Those same bunch of cronies who rested on their laurels for 4 years afterwards and then pissed off when it all got too hard. Ease up on the XXXX’s and wake up! You’ve been used and now you want the most selfish prick of them all back. Hallo!?

        • Funk

          I’m a little confused by your rant? If it is all about the caliber of players in the ranks…why does any national team even have a coach?? Maybe you need to tell a few of the poms on here that coaches mean nothing, so there is basically no difference between Lancaster and Jones!

        • Dave

          History is full of good sides where the player roster is superior to the appointed coaching staff.
          The great one’s ensure the pride in the jersey and the standards they represent overcame the threat of any sub-standard coach. The poor one’s use the coach as an excuse and give up. You decide which one the Reds belong.
          Nice guy that he may be, you seriously think Kevin Walters the reason the Queensland Maroons win this year’s Origin series tonight 3-0?

        • Karl Knuth

          By your logic the Warahtahs should have won every game since the beginning of SR?

          Good players, play well for good coaches.

        • Dave

          Wrong. They had a bunch of lazy, entitled pricks. Cheika arrived, got them fit, they won. Cheika leaves, they go back to being lazy and entitled.

        • Train Without A Station

          What do you think a coach’s job is exactly Dave?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Wow Dave, have you finished your rant? DO you actually know any of the people involved in that whole thing personally? I do, and you are well far of the mark!
          Two other things, I am not a Qld’er and I don’t drink XXXX.

        • Dave

          I got friends in high places across rugby in Queensland. The 2015 Reds mailed it in from the very beginning, collected their pay chequers all the way through – then fled like rats down a drain pipe leaving the once proud QRU buried. It was all “what can you do for me”, not “here’s what I can do for the QRU”. Spineless mate.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate most of the problem is the QRU. Inept administrators, incapable of organising a piss up, and yes I know these people too!

    • Train Without A Station

      You’re right.

      With the abundance of experienced 10s putting in flawless performances for the Australian Super Rugby teams, who needs a bloke like Quade with 100 odd caps of Super Rugby experience and 58 caps of test experience.

      The Reds for example have been much better off without him.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Wonderful sarcasm! Love it!
        Tip of the hat TWAS, tip of the hat!

      • Happyman

        Well Said TWAS Haters got to Hate.

    • Gavin

      If he focussed on one sport and worked hard he could resurrect his career and maybe start to deliver on the promise he showed several years ago. A lot of ifs there, unlikely but possible.

      • Who?

        Which one – Hayne or Cooper? Cooper’s form only improved after he started boxing…

    • jamie

      Actually I think it shows a lot of positive character to leave Richard Graham’s toxic culture.

      Everyone seems to remember but what Quade did when he was barely out of his teens. He isn’t a dickhead anymore. Look on his social media accounts.

  • Simon

    “We were told we’d made a bad decision in 2008 by coming to a club that had just finished last, had a losing culture and was disorganised off the field.”

    Things are so different now. Now we come SECOND last!!

    Although, if the Force manage to upset the Brumbies we could still come last in the Australasian group. That really would bring things full circle for the Fainga’as.

  • Seb V

    I heard A.Fainga was also signed with the Brumbies…

  • Keith Butler

    Please let it be the Reds. We have enough problems at the Rebels without adding to them.

    • jamie

      Game management and a lack of a 10 with vision is our problem… I’d welcome Quade in a heartbeat, even as a bench option and to teach JackDeb how to throw a long pass

      • Train Without A Station

        Nah but I think Quade is a shit bloke despite having never met him so obvs the Rebels are better off without him. Yuck. They should ban him from returning to Australia in fact.

        • Patrick

          I nearly bit.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Be interesting to see how, or if, Quade has improved since he’s been away. I personally don’t rate him that high as a player, I think that while he shows some incredible skills at times, his defence is too suspect and he makes poor decisions when pressured which happens at the higher level. This puts too much pressure on other players. Unlike a lot (most) Kiwis I actually think he’s a nice guy who’s learnt from earlier mistakes and has matured well. His work off the field is great and he is really good with fans, especially kids. Good luck to him but I don’t think he’ll be the answer to ARU problems

Rugby

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

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