Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News sees the Brumbies and Wallabies poach a Chiefs flyer, South Africa and Argentina name their squads, the Steelers keep rolling on and World Rugby continues to grow


Brumby signing enters Wallabies Pulu

Celebrating their new signing

Celebrating their new signing

The Brumbies have signed exciting Chiefs flyer Toni Pulu on a two-year deal for the 2019 season. This news has been followed by the revelation that Pulu is immediately available for selection in the Wallabies after a dispensation by World Rugby.

The former Chiefs flyer holds an Australian passport and has previously played sevens for Niue — his ancestral home.

But a Rugby Australia spokesman told Fox Sports that World Rugby had cleared the 29-year-old speedster for Wallabies takeoff should coach Michael Cheika wish to select him.

Pulu is considered to be one of the fastest wingers in the game currently, debuting for the Chiefs in 2016 with the coach at the time, Dave Renne, labelling him the fastest man in New Zeland Rugby.

“Quicker than all our players, quicker than Damian (McKenzie) and Brad Weber,” Rennie said. “He ran a 4.78 (seconds) this year over 40 (metres)…There’d be no-one quicker than that in the country.”

Pulu joins fellow New Zealand recruit Pete Samu in returning home (sort of) and he was excited to be joining the Canberra side.

“I am thrilled to be joining the Brumbies and am looking forward to beginning a new stage of my rugby career in Australia,” Pulu said.

“The Brumbies are a well known and well-respected organisation and I have been impressed by what I have seen and heard when playing against them.”

“They are known for their free-flowing rugby and for their unique family culture. I have enjoyed my time with the Chiefs immensely but am very much looking forward to moving to Canberra and settling in with my new club.”

Brumbies coach Dan Mckellar was thrilled with his new acquisition, which will superbly complement the attacking style of football that Mckellar looked to play in 2018.

“With the changes we’re making in our game, and the style we’re looking to play, we’ve got to recruit guys that match that,” McKellar said.

“Toni has genuine speed, but not only that, he’s a natural footballer too, he sees space well, communicates and has an excellent offload game. He’s come from a team which has had a lot of success and play a similar style to the one we want to play so he’s a good fit for us.”

Pulu is an exciting signing for the Brumbies and will fit in perfectly in a lightning back three with Tom Banks and Henry Speight, the latter who earlier in the week confirmed he will join Ulster on a short-term deal until December.

Rivals confirm Rugby Championship squads

Tomas Cubelli clears the ruck

Both Argentina and South Africa have announced their preliminary squads for the upcoming Rugby Championship.

Former Wallabies scrum guru Mario Ledesma has stamped his footprint on the Argentinian side, naming 36 men in his debut squad for the Pumas.

Ledesma will be looking to ensure that players carry their form from the Jaguares, who reached the Super Rugby playoffs for the first time in the just-ended season, onto the international stage with the Pumas.

He has included seven uncapped players in his squad, which include Lucas Favre, Marco Ciccioli, Diego Fortuny, Santiago Grondona, Franco Molina and Mayco Vivas.

The side is as followed:
Forwards – Matias Alemanno, Rodrigo Bruni, Marco Ciccioli, Agustin Creevy, Lucas Favre, Diego Fortuny, Santiago Garcia Botta, Santiago Grondona, Marcos Kremer, Ignacio Larrague, Tomas Lavanini, Juan Manuel Leguizamon, Pablo Matera, Vivas Mayco, Santiago Medrano, Franco Molina, Julian Montoya, Javier Ortega Desio, Guido Petti, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Juan Zeiss.

Backs – Gonzalo Bertranou, Emiliano Boffelli, Sebastian Cancelliere, Tomas Cubelli, Jeronimo de la Fuente, Bautista Delguy, Joaquin Diaz Bonilla, Bautista Ezcurra, Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias, Martin Landajo, Juan Cruz Mallia, Matias Moroni, Ramiro Moyano, Matias Orlando, Nicolas Sanchez.

Rassie Erasmus, South Africa’s Director of Rugby, announced a Springbok squad of 35 players on late Monday.

The side includes the return of second rower (and man-beast) Eben Etzebeth, who returns from a long layoff from a serious shoulder injury that sidelined him for the entire 2018 Super Rugby season.

Etzebeth is joined by the return of serial flopper over the ruck, Malcolm Marx and Warren Whiteley from injury along with the inclusion of three uncapped players in Lions backrower Cyle Brink, along with Stormers flyhalf Damian Willemse, and Bulls loose forward, Marco van Staden.

The Springbok side is below:
Forwards – Cyle Brink, Jean-Luc du Preez, Thomas du Toit, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Francois Louw, Wilco Louw, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Akker van der Merwe, Marco van Staden, Warren Whiteley

Backs – Lukhanyo Am, Ross Cronje, Faf de Klerk, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Andre Esterhuizen, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Lionel Mapoe, Lwazi Mvovo, Embrose Papier, Handre Pollard, Ivan van Zyl, Damian Willemse

The two sides start their campaign with a clash against each other in Durban on August 18.

Steelers keep rollin’ in World Championships

Ryley Batt continues to star for the Steelers

Ryley Batt continues to star for the Steelers

In the words of Limp Bizkit, the Steelers keep rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ rollin’ on in their quest to win the IWRF Wheelchair Rugby World Championships after taking care of Denmark.

The Steelers ended Denmark’s unbeaten run in the top of the table Pool A clash by defeating the Danes 61-49, all but securing their berth in the Semi-Finals.

They raced to 16-12 at quarter time and never relented, leading by 11 tries at halftime which was the narrowest margin for the rest of the contest.

Powerhouse skipper Ryley Batt (30 tries), was again the focal point for the Australian offence, while Chris Bond (15), Andrew Edmondson (8), Jayden Warn (5) and Andrew Harrison (3) also crossed for tries.

Australian head coach Brad Dubberley said that while he was pleased with the win and to end Denmark’s winning streak, he conceded it was far from a flawless display for the defending Paralympic and World Champions.

“It was good to have a game like that because we didn’t want to get to the finals without having a battle and having to work for it,” Dubberley said.

“But I think the frustrating thing was we were probably a bit too slow to get to jobs that we were allocated and the communication on the court wasn’t there to the level we expect.”

It’s awesome to see an Australian rugby side dominate like this and hopefully, they can continue this form when they face both Ireland and Japan today.

Australia and New Zealand dwarfed by Rugby’s global expansion

The true 'world game'

The true ‘world game’

Rugby has continued its push throughout the globe, with recent survey results indicating that the largest nations around the world are continuing to embrace the sport.

The survey was conducted by Neilson Sport found that there are more rugby union fans in China, Brazil, India and the US than there are people in Australia and New Zealand combined, with one in three of the world’s 800 million rugby union followers are Indian, Chinese, American or Brazilian.

Asia, North America, South America and Africa have the fastest-growing fan-bases with 112.5, 52.8, 38.2 and 32.7 million respectively. Remarkably, India, with a national side far from even contending for a regional rugby title, has 25 million fans, as many as Australia’s entire population.

The top 10 rugby fan nations are now the US, China, India, France, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Argentina.

The survey showed the average age of rugby fans has fallen two years to 36, indicating the code is successfully attracting younger audiences. Also, more than one in three fans are now women or girls in both traditional and emerging rugby nations.

World Rugby chief executive Brett Gosper says the survey shows the broadening global appeal of the sport after the recent addition of a sevens competition at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

“World Rugby is committed to ensuring a thriving, growing, inclusive game that is accessible to all and this research, which demonstrates significant fan growth, reflects a sport that is effective in attracting a new, younger audience in non-traditional rugby nations, despite huge competition for eyeballs and attention,” he said at the Rugby World Cup 2019 trophy tour in Delhi.

“The research also demonstrates that rugby has significant growth potential in both traditional and non-traditional markets … we will use the insight to guide our decision-making and approach to growing fans and participants in rugby globally.”

  • onlinesideline

    I’m not going to lie – with Toomua and now Pulu, Im started to get excited.
    As Hugh Hefner once said “sometimes you have to get off the train and just enjoy the journey”

    • John Tynan

      Been there, done that. Don’t do it to yourself!!

      • onlinesideline

        I refuse. Will always back the boys to the hilt and risk dissapointment.

        Fuke em. This is Straya’ we’re talking bout here mate.
        Even if Im sitting in my armchair at 87 years of age yet to retake the Bledisloe I will still turn to my dog and say “We’re going to do it this year, isnt that right mate ?” If the dog happens to drop a fart and leave the room, I’ll turn to the cat and say …..

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Go you buddy. I’m pretty sure it’ll happen well before you turn 87. That is unless you are 86 now lol

        • John Tynan

          Sorry, I thought you were excited around Brums news, and it was the hard bitten reds cynic in me advising against.
          And in reality, I say that, but I’m there fronting up proving the misquoted Einstein thing about doing the same thing and expecting a different result

        • Archie

          Fark’n heck… I hope for your sake you blokes win it this year. We don’t need it for the hundredth time in a row and its nice to share.

        • onlinesideline

          are you the cat in my living room ?

  • Huw Tindall

    At 29 Pulu must be a pretty slim chance to break into the Wallabies side. Would you take him to a RWC with little to no experience? Post RWC 2019 you’d probably look to invest in younger talent as he’d be ~34 by RWC 2023. Good sign for the Brumbies though. No doubt about that. Hopefully we see him in NRC this year.

    • onlinesideline

      29 is old ? – Gits was brought back at 103
      Odds on he will be in the team.

      • Huw Tindall

        Gits was brought back though….Pulu hasn’t been brought in yet to start with.

        • onlinesideline

          Whats the dfference Huw, its irrelevant. Brough in, brought back.
          He is the fastest guy in NZ rugby, in peak physical condition and has been playing with top 3 kiwi teams. Hes a walk in to Wallabies …. you can absolutely guarantee he will be in Bledisloe.

        • Huw Tindall

          Quite a bit I’d think! Can’t see Chieka blooding a new winger in a Beldisloe who hasn’t even been near a Wallabies extended training squad. He isn’t in Cessnock this week so I’ll eat my hat if we see him in Bledisloe this year. If he is outstanding in Super 2019 then could be a shot. Not doubting his talent and pace.

        • onlinesideline

          I’ll eat my hat and do something interesting with my umbrella ella ella too if he isnt seen in the Bled team. May not be Bled 1 but will def be in Bled 2. Cheika put Samu in the team straight off the bat and you would have to say that Pulu is more a winger than Samu is more an 8. Samu is class but hes not amazing. We have a few options at 8 but we are not overflowing with world class 11s with pace like this guy. You want to beat the darkness you need blokes like this.

        • Braveheart81

          I reckon there’s zero chance he’ll be in the Wallaby squad this year. He hasn’t been recruited because Cheika wants him for the Wallabies.

        • onlinesideline

          Maybe not, but its my tip Cheik will be on the blower faster than a rat up a drain pipe mate.

        • Braveheart81

          Wing is an area where we already have plenty of depth and players like Banks and Maddocks are waiting for a debut and Naivalu can’t make the team.

          Pulu is fast but isn’t particularly good in my view. There’s a reason why he wasn’t in the starting side for the Chiefs unless there were injuries. He’s a good Super Rugby recruit for the Brumbies but I don’t think he’ll play a test for the Wallabies. Have you actually watched him play much?

        • onlinesideline

          Banks is a FB though. Maddocks is over rated in my book and needs more bulk. I dont know where he is supposed to fit in, Wallabies wise. Confused about the fuss with this guy. Potential as a good SR player but not as a Wallaby in my book. Just an opinion.

          What specialist right wings do we really have with blsitering speed ? DHP ?

        • Braveheart81

          Banks will play wing at the start of his test career like pretty much every fullback who gets an opportunity in test rugby. I think he’ll be in the 23 jersey for the first Bledisloe.

          Banks and Koroibete would be our fastest wingers.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Daugunu would be quicker over 40-50m I think, but isn’t eligible yet as far as I know.

          There isn’t a huge difference between wing and fullback these days, especially in the way that Cheik uses them.

          I think it is pretty evident that going forward Banks and Folau are likely to be two of our best back three players. The question for me is who the third is going to be. Cheika seems to want Hodge as the utility bench player, DHP is a walking injury and seems to have lost pace and Koroibete struggles to defend, lacks a step at times and doesn’t know how to get involved when the ball doesn’t go his way.

          I would imagine Koroibete, Banks and Folau will be what Cheika decides on, but I think there is room for Pulu to try and nab Koroibete’s wing.

        • onlinesideline

          I find that so weird. Why are FBs started as wings? WTF is going on in the world. All Wallaby backs seem like multi positioned, multi skilled, utilities with no specialist skills. Look at the difference between Rodger Gould and David Campese. Thats how it should be today. Its bloody madness I say. Swapping around will be the death of me.

        • Braveheart81

          Because often they share a lot of the same skillsets, one of the wingers tends to play a second fullback role and often teams have a key player at fullback.

          Lots of great fullbacks started out on the wing. Chris Latham, Joe Roff (although played most of his test career on the wing), Ben Smith, Israel Folau, Leigh Halfpenny etc. etc.

          There’s also two wingers so it is often easier to get a chance their first.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Can I watch?

        • Parker

          100 bucks and you can hold the umbrella.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Koroibete was brought into the squad before he even played rugby.

          Not saying Pulu should be picked, but come on, this is Cheik. Nothing would be surprising except him choosing to drop Bernard Foley, Michael Hooper or David Pocock.

        • Huw Tindall

          Stop picking holes in my argument mate!! Korobiete was a freak in his last year in league though. Like Folau prolific. His highlight reel from that year is sensational even for a guy like me who would rather do chores than watch League.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He’s not that great mate

        • onlinesideline

          No but hes very good and we dont hve much very good a the moment. The difference between pretty good which we do have and very good is a few points. Every bled is decided by a try or thereabouts (except for bled 1 last year). I’m not saying he’s Johah but hes a very good winger and speed is a must to be teh darkness. It just takes one counter attack to seal a match.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          All fair points

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I actually think we’re pretty well served in outside backs. Outside backs and locks are where we have the most depth.

          The one with the biggest question marks over him in my eyes is DHP. I thought he was a really good player in 2016 and initially in 2017, he played well for the Wallabies then. He’s had a lot of injuries since, however, and while he still has good rugby intelligence I don’t think he has the speed or elusiveness he did a few years ago.

        • Nutta

          For me, DHP Sauce is a great fullback but an ordinary winger. So either play him at FB or don’t play him. Of course we all understand what that means for the Right Wing…

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Milner-Skudder was brought in in 2015 and was a revelation.

      Koroibete has no idea to get involved at times and struggles to defend in open play; Naivalu and Speight are out of favour: Petaia is very young.

      I’m not saying he will necessarily make it. But I’d be surprised if Cheik didn’t want to get a look at a guy that fast. He has a very good try scoring rate for the Chiefs.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah but he also hasn’t made the ABs for some good reasons, and not just that others are better. He goes missing in games, doesn’t defend that well and is limited in his innovative play. TBH he’s all yours. Good luck

        • onlinesideline

          Is this Steve Hansen ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          nah mate I’m not that old or that arrogant

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He hasn’t made the All Blacks because the All Blacks have the luxury of being able to leave our Havili, Bridge, Savea (recently), Naholo (usually) and Lam.

          All those guys would be in with a very good chance of making the Wallabies.

          Cheika missed a trick by not getting Banks involved off the bench in June though. He’ll certainly be one of our top 3 outside backs. He’s in a level with Koroibete and Daugunu for speed, but has the fullback skills of DHP/Hodge.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that is part of it but TBH he’s got speed but not much else. I’d have Lam and Savea ahead of him even now.

        • Mica

          Sure but Lam would absolutely walk into any other international team now.
          I always use the analogy of the ABs being like Australian Cricket in the 90s.
          So many great players who would walk into other international teams just didn’t get a look in. How many tests would have Stuart Macgill played if he didn’t have Shane Warne in front of him?

        • Archie

          I think there’re a heap of All Black rejects that other international sides, including Australia, would pine for.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m not so sure. Maybe some of the lower level nations but none of the top 4 or 5 should be really

        • Brisneyland Local

          The operative words there KRL, Should be!

        • Missing Link

          Bundee Aki comes to mind

        • Mica

          Not really rejects as such, more so squad/extended squad.
          I think it is more of a depth thing. NZ could pick 2 of about 6 wingers and 2 or 3 of both a scrummy and a first five and you wouldn’t really see much difference. In fact it would be interesting to see a best NZ 23 vs. the next best 23 and I bet it would be seriously close and over a series could go either way.

        • juswal

          “Clean-up on Aisle 3. It’s Archie again.”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sounds like a genuine Wallaby! ha ha ha ha

        • Silver Ghost

          When I played in Adelaide back in the 80’s any backpacker would only have to ask the coach ‘any chance of a game bro?’ to be guaranteed a start in the 1st 15 that Saturday. Two games later, he would be playing 3rd grade.
          Every Kiwi that came to Australian shores was viewed as an All Black trialist.
          I reckon Cheika still holds that view (e.g is Samu that much better than Colby Fainga, Richard Hardwick or Adam Korczyk?).

        • Nutta

          Look out cuzzy bro! He’ll smash you eh?

        • Adrian

          Good points Silver.
          In this case though, I don’t so much see it as a Cheika stunt (and he is capable of stunts), but a Brumbies thing.
          Both of these new hybrid players are going to the Brumbies, who think they have discovered a new passport driven loophole,….

          They think that Kiwiland is place to look, … especially if they were or could ever have been AB trialists.

          Still, both Pulu and Samu are good players, and Samu provides Cheika with an energetic backrower who can jump a bit,…and can’t play for anyone else now

        • Parker

          Oh, and as an Aussie, he wouldn’t be eligible.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          While that may be true I’m sure that if he looked as though he had the goods there would have been a way to get him in. NZ citizenship is pretty easy to get for an Aussie.

        • 22DropOut

          He started playing pro rugby at 26/27 right?
          What is the oldest debutant for the All Blacks in the pro era?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I don’t know but it’s not about his age

    • 22DropOut

      Presuming that the ARU actively sought this dispensation from World Rugby I expect he will be included

    • Parker

      If he’s running faster than every body else around him does his age matter? Just ask Radike Samo if you’re in doubt.

  • Will Honeycomb

    Any chance that when someone joins an Australian team he can be quoted using some of his own words, rather than this identikit corporate PR inane blather.

    Who writes this stuff for them? If they are going to outsource it, couldn’t they at least get someone like the Honey Badger to do some of the drafting? Or perhaps Stephanie Rice unplugged.

    • onlinesideline

      “Sweating like a Gypsy with a Mortgage” – liked that one.

      • Nutta

        That was a ‘Hoss-ism’ wasn’t it?

        • onlinesideline

          probably was Hoss originally out the bush somwhere – but first time I heard it was his interview just after a game in WA – was funny to begin with but then when he started adding in 4 funnies per sentence it was ridiculous. But was good value at the time when he first burst onto the scene. Enjoyed the way he ran face first into some Poms at Twickenham even more though. Shit I loved that.

      • Who?

        I don’t mind “nervous as a duck in a doona factory”… He’s a bit busy with “25 good sorts chargin’ hard with a purpose” at the moment, otherwise getting him drafting press releases (especially for guys without much Aussie lingo) wouldn’t be a bad idea…

        • onlinesideline

          lol – love it

    • Brisneyland Local

      Busier than a one armed brick layer in Baghdad!
      Pure gold!

    • Nathan Williamson

      Seems to be all reading from the same song book, thats what made Mr Ba(dge)chelor so appealing. Seems like they just pick from the list below and go from there https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b5f2e3c36842e01522035ba9dff4740e7388985350bbf37b264c1d2d22f0707f.jpg

  • Nutta

    So the rest of world rugby has embraced new markets from non-traditional areas (and their cash). That’s great. It’s absolutely fantastic that the rest of the known planet is waking up to and being included into the game. Yet I scarcely believe my 13yr old daughter – who lives on the outskirts of Sydney and is bustin’ to play rugby like her uncles and cousins (both boys and girls) – is playing both rugby league 9’s and AFL through completely school-sponsored programmes and nary a rugby match in-sight though.

    Don’t worry about us though. Our game will stay firmly entrenched right where it is thanks very much. Don’t even think about brave new markets in new countries – when we can’t even cross our own fkn cities to organise a chook raffle. It makes me giggle about To Kill a Mockingbird and the Missionary circle women discussing taking good ‘ol Baptist Christianity to the poor Mrunas of Africa but blithely ignoring the opportunity to do good in their own town.

    • Nutta

      Sorry Archie – edited after your vote.

    • idiot savant

      Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course but you do wonder why the ARU didnt spend the truckload of cash they received after the RWC held here on (non private) school sponsored rugby programs. An opportunity lost. And now the recent injury toll in Queensland private school rugby has the potential to further reduce the base. Time to start spinning about the dangers of rugby league and AFL…

      • Alister Smith

        yes we might be lucky that AFL bloke punched old mate in the head and broke his jaw last week – otherwise all the parents would be putting the boys/girls in AFL

    • Brisneyland Local

      Charge hard Nutta. Agree. God we cant even support a western Sydney team.

      • Nutta

        The Republic of Nutta grows. The revolution is coming. Tiocfaidh ár lá.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes your day will come nutta.

        • Who?

          I believe Nutta’s day is our day, too. :-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes, whilst he remains a benevalent dictator!

        • Nutta

          Bhahahaha!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Is that done with your little finger alongside your mouth, Dr Evil style?

        • Nutta
        • Brisneyland Local

          Excellent!
          Said in my very best Monty Burns impression.

        • Nutta

          Look, the actual treatise is far longer then this but here’s the short version:

          The Republic of Nutta is not that of a benevolent dictator. It’s a fully-fledged democracy with a couple of strings attached.

          Fundamentally I believe that Citizenship is not a right. It’s a privilege. It needs to be earned and it needs to be maintained but likewise the sacrifice is to be respected.

          Citizenship is entrusted to those over 21yrs of age once they have demonstrated both 3 continuous years of tax-paying (PAYE or Company Director) and appropriate Community Service.

          Citizenship has one right and one obligation: the right is that a Citizen gets to vote and the obligation is that the Citizen must answer the Call of Parliament as enacted.

          Community Service is split into Primary and Secondary services. Primaries are army/navy/airforce but also cops/ambo’s/firies. 3yrs fulltime service in a Primary arm qualifies. Secondaries include Bush-Firies, Salvo’s, SES, Vinnies, Flying Doctors, Lifeline, Army Reserves etc. You could answer the phone for the cops or push a mop at your local casualty department. 5yrs part-time service with a Secondary qualifies. But just do SOMETHING appropriately approved and administered that adds to the greater community good. Once you qualify with initial service, you maintain with the equivalent of 4wks service annually.

          Call of Parliament is a protected action by the Parliament to be enacted only in times of defined National Crisis bringing with it limited powers to suspend the normal rule of law and direct the Citizenry to where it is needed based on ¾ majority vote. Consider it Martial Law with special powers to direct Citizens as/where required.

          So on the back of PAYING for the community (tax) and EFFORT for the community (Comm Serv), then you get to have a say in the community (vote). From there, everything is pretty much the same as now – the voter decides who is in parliament, parliament sets the laws of the land within the confines of the constitution and the Judiciary interpret such acts of parliament and we go from there. Although obviously as a Republic there is a Pres. The Pres is elected by Parliament based on 2/3rds majority (so there is a deal-breaker the Parliament can work with).

          25yrs as a Citizen or 2 consecutive terms as a Member of Parliament earns Lifetime Citizenry. Conviction of a major offence (measured by sentence of incarceration for 5yrs or more) strips Citizenry (although you can earn it back under a 3 strike principle). Citizenry privileges (voting) are suspended whilst incarcerated but obligations (Call of Parliament) are not.

          If you don’t want to be a Citizen that’s fine. You don’t have to. But you won’t get to vote and yet are still subject to the laws of the land as decided by the Parliament.

          There are only three immutable laws:
          1. Only Citizens vote. No one else gets a say.
          2. Failure to answer the Call of Parliament in good faith is a capital crime.
          3. Involvement in Rugby commensurate to your physical capabilities is considered an immutable Call of Parliament (and thus subject to Law2).

        • Brisneyland Local

          Am reading this now.

        • Nutta

          So did I earn the name?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very Starship Troopers! But I subscribe to your philosophies!

        • Nutta

          Yeh I see the connection. But honestly my idea is that those who ‘put in’ get to have a say. You don’t have to ‘put in’ and you don’t have to die. But if you choose to not ‘put in’ then you don’t get to have a say.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate, You have the con!

        • Nutta

          And that’s what I’m actually a little scared about…

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        And that’s a damning issue that reflects Nuttas rant as having a fair bit of truth behind it

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah concur. Mismanagement is the word that springs to mind.
          Incompetence is another word that springs to mind.
          To think of it, if brain power were dynamite, RA doesnt have enough bang to blow their nose!

    • Wato

      I share your pain. We live in the MacArthur area and my 16 yo played mungo ball this year cos the nearest team for his age is 45 minutes away.

      • Mart

        Yep. Don’t get me started on Tahs school holidays camp with zero Tahs

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Good rant mate and some very valid points. It’s certainly a shit fight

    • disqus_NMX

      Yup, my son plays AFL. His school doesn’t even play union. They have AFL, League, and soccer. Public school though, so not on the radar of the RAh RAhs. And this is in Qld. I’ve even grown to like AFL myself to the point that I’m even willing to watch the weekend’s highlights :) Watched coaching videos on YouTube so I can drill him in the skills. Union will always be my favourite, but I no longer even care that he prefers AFL. We always go to at least one Wallabies game per year, and sometimes a GC Suns game, but now I’m starting to think about taking him to a game at the MCG to see his favourite team (not the Suns lol) amongst 100,000 crazed fans.

      And so, that’s how the erosion of rugby is progressing. AFL, League, and soccer are winning. RAs are stuck in elitism. There’s only two ways they can compete. Either spread into the working classes. Or find a bunch of elites to throw their private cash at it to keep it elite but pay for top players. I’m a bit surprised that it took someone like Andrew Forest so long to do exactly that, and then only when it was too late for his team. Choose RAhs: lose the elitism, or open your wallets, or watch your game disappear into obscurity in this country.

      • onlinesideline

        the complaint about the west in Sydney being ignored is 1000% valid and its a fkn mystery to me but conversely when you look at the makeup of the aussie schoolboy team, some of them are from Scots / Joeys whatever but the bulk of them come from ALL OVER the country. And so why I def think more money and sincere effort could be put towards the west, is the elitist claim really valid or is it just a failure to compete against the other codes because they are inept, lazy and comfortable. ie is it willful or just ppl who are second rate running the game ?

        • 22DropOut

          I can’t imagine that Rugby Australia is actively looking to exclude the general population, more that it is blazers looking after their own regardless of the consequences. It’s reflected in everything from grass-roots to the franchise selections in Super Rugby.

        • disqus_NMX

          It HAS to be either ineptitude, or elitism, or both. It can’t be neither. I say both. There’s some obvious ineptitude. But there is also some obvious elitism. And I think a large part of the elitism is subconscious. It is human nature to want to hang out with people just like yourself. If you’ve grown up with money and class, then the idea of hanging out with, or playing against, the working class bogans has not much appeal. So there is no desire to spread the game into the bogan suburbs. However, we all want our club, state, country to be the best, so there is some desire to poach highly skilled bogans and bring them into your team. They are tolerated and cheered when they do well, but that’s as far as it goes. So that’s why I say, entirely seriously, the elite have to choose either to spread into the bogan suburbs, or open their wallets, or watch the game wither. If you want the most skilful athletes to play rugby, then someone has to pay their salaries. It either has to be a broad fan base paying their game tickets, and putting viewer numbers in front of TVs, or a narrow elite fan base forking out big cash. So far the choice is to wither.

        • Charcoal

          The broader appeal across the classes works OK in NZ and SA, so why not here, if RA had the will to take on NRL in its heartland.

      • 22DropOut

        AFL will be king and all other sports also rans before long. Without getting into the merits of the different sports, which is subjective, AFL is the only administration body with its house in order.They are playing the long game, with a sound strategy and a bucketload of cash.

        Union ignore the big problems (it is elitist and our top level, Super Rugby, is detrimental to the game) and just rearrange the deckchairs on the Titanic.
        League is League and association football will always struggle with an inferior product to what people see on TV but participation will always be strong.

        Rugby Australia really should do some homework on what happened in Ireland where the game was on a lower footing in a more competitive landscape than rugby in Australia and suffered from a greater “elitist” problem too. It’s not beyond repair but there is no quick fix.

        • disqus_NMX

          Pretty spot on 22. AFL is fun to watch and play, and is inclusive. League is largely boring as bat shit. Union is fun to watch and play, but elitist, and an administrative mess.

          What did Ireland do?

        • Who?

          Ireland centralized everything and copied the NZRU model.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Rugby in Ireland had to compete with Gaelic football and soccer, in Australia its AFL, soccer and league. So I don’t think that it’s quite fair to say that it is a more competitive sporting landscape. But you’re absolutely right that they’ve done an unbelievable job in broadening the game’s appeal and removing the stigma of elitism.

          Mind you, I think there are more non-elitist pathways in Australia than before with the NRC, although it’s still a work in progress. The stigma and perception of elitism is absolutely still there though.

        • 22DropOut

          And hurling.

          And the football they are competing with is in the hotbed of the biggest sporting industry in the world

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          As someone who has lived in both countries I would say that the market is more oversaturated in Australia. Sports like hurling aren’t comparable to Aussie Rules in terms of popularity.

          You’re right though, it is impressive how Ireland have managed to bring rugby into direct competition with soccer.

          I do think that the lack of rugby league is a huge difference between the two nations. Australia would be in a completely different position if there was only one rugby code of significance like is the case in Ireland. Like it or not rugby league is a simpler game for people to play at school/with friends/etc and the makeup of the competition means that it dominates media and TV compared to rugby. Relatively small local clubs with local rivalries are very different to a limited number of state-wide clubs which appear so distant from the average fan.

          The NRC is a great initiative and helps to at least bring a professional arm that is more tangible to people, but I don’t really see the answer for the ARU. Not that I suggest they’re acting perfectly either. What would you suggest that they do?

        • 22DropOut

          I have also lived in both countries for long periods of time fwiw. In Ireland you have the GAA sports in every school, town and village across the country. Football massive participation too but European football completely saturates the sporting media. Ireland’s football, despite its struggling semi-professional league, is essentially part of the English football structure in terms of scouting infrastructures at grass-roots level and public interest in the top level of the sport.

          There is no quick fix for the game here. The focus should be growing participation across all demographics naturally and giving the sport a top level professional competition that is marketable. Super Rugby it ain’t. That we are still persisting with this knee-jerk reaction to the game going professional in the 90s is perplexing.

          But there isn’t an overnight fix.

          Of the major team-field sports played in Australia, rugby has the distinct advantages over all being the only international sport that we are genuinely competitive in.

          Football… participation will always be strong but in terms of capturing the hearts and minds of the young the game will never really take off. The A-League will always be poor and the European leagues are not at a compatible time for the market here to take a serious interest in. The national team will always be relatively weak and the national indifference to the World Cup which just passed speaks volume.

          League and AFL… both are essentially domestic sports (despite League being played in some patches of England) and will always remain parochial.

          Rugby is an international sport and Australia has a world class side. There is huge potential for the game here. Rugby is the only football code that has the potential to unite the country behind a sporting cause.
          Not that I have faith in our ability to put it right.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t deny that fact. But to an even greater extent than the capital cities dominate the sporting market in Australia Dublin dominates Ireland. I also don’t think you can overlook Rugby’s professionalism.

          Personally, I hope you’re right that the Australian public actually care about being good at an international football code, but I fear that most people are more interested in just having to think simply and not compare themselves to others, except when the rugby league World Cup rolls around and they’re virtually guaranteed a win.

          Exiting Super Rugby is difficult though. It would result in such a drop in revenue that almost every decent player would quickly head abroad I think. This is no small thing as the rich clubs overseas in England and France seem to be on the verge of perhaps destroying the international arm of the game, or making it like soccer where internationals only really matter at Euro/Asia Cup/Copa America/World Cup.

    • Nathan Williamson

      Well said, always believed that there needs to be more work done within rugby development in getting the sport into the public schools and create pathways to get away from the white collar, private school stigma that the sport has

      • Nutta

        Firstly it creates a bigger gene pool

        Secondly it’s more cash

        Thirdly, if boxing and MMA teaches us nothing else, it teaches us that given the chance, hungry folk coming up from underneath will always knock over the comfortable, entitled fat folk at the top who got soft. In our sport in this country it’s just wave after wave of entitled, fat folk.

  • Hoss

    Good morning earthlings,

    Plenty of passion on here today, long may it last. As usual Nutta is right and thank you for using small words. Great that massive OS markets are opening up, how the fark can we leverage / exploit them when we cant grow the game 45 minutes west of Sydney with a demographic that consists of a genetic pre-disposition to play gods game ?? To quote the learned one – ‘first meat, than gravy’

    Next – whats with the fascination and almost fanatic zeal for all things Kiwi to automatically be a Wallaby, Wallaby contender, Wallaby bolter, Wallaby trialist ?? If that was the only prerequisite Russell Crow would have been a loosie, Crowded house the fairies, Dragon on the pine, Sam Neil head coach and on and on goes the list. I get the thinking, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, a quick ‘sugar hit’ (dont grow your own, import somebody else’), supposed instant results but does nothing for the long term good of the game here. Next thing you know it will be NZ back-packers, NZ crims (overstay 457 = Wallaby selection), NZ geography students – can identify Australia on an Atlas = Wallaby trial, Fly over Australia on a plane – wider Wallaby squad selection – STOP !!!!!

    I played with and against some terrific Kiwis, love spending time there and enjoy the banter, but enough is enough, when it came / comes time for Rugby – they were all called ‘Anthrax’ by me – fucks a lot of livestock..

    Its go time.

    • onlinesideline

      agree but Pulu is as Aussie as you and I

      • Hoss

        I here you cobber, but the conspiracist in me reckons anyone who develops there game their, stays longer that 7 days their in one stint (lets face it after three days their the time travel back to 1975 is a bit twee), has worn Ugg boots, lingers a little to long at the meat aisle at Coles staring at lamb, has ever used ‘ah bro’ or ‘cuz’ in a sentence is a Kiwi – except if they help us win the Old Mug, well then, their dinky-di, true blue Stralians, no wuckers indeed.

        • Greg

          It’s not the Ugg boots @HossRugby:disqus that are the giveaway. It’s the oversized wellies Bro.

        • Hoss

          Definitely Uggies mate – any excuse to get a foot inside sheepskin…………….

        • Greg

          i was going to repeat the joke about wellies and sheep legs but thought it best not to.

        • Nutta

          I would have said ‘flesh inside sheepskin…’ But if yours is a foot then I’m impressed.

        • Greg

          that is probably because you are thinking about metric rather than imperial measures?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          wellies with Velcro on the front

    • IIPA

      Between Nutta’s rant and your spiel on the fascination with Kiwis ( cheika also thinks anyone who even looks Fijian is worth a start on the wing )- I’ve enjoyed this mornings GAGR.

      That said Pulu seems about as Aussie as a meatpie and tuckshop arms at the school canteen so I say “Welcome Tony”

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Only baaabara and meeeeery mate.

      With you 100% the only ones you are getting are those not considered good enough for the ABs which means that you are always going to be behind. Mate don’t get me wrong part of me is laughing inside and looking at another 10 years of Bledisloe but the realist in me wants RA to tell the franchises to piss off and develop their own. Sure you may need help with some of the coaching and administration until RA gets their shit together and develops a national framework but FFS stop taking rejects and develop your own players.

      No wonder so many like Gill fuck off overseas why in the hell would they bother to stay when they know that some dickhead will get all glassy eyed over another country or code reject and put them in front.

      • Nutta

        Yes & no. Don’t forget that John West Rejects was the very foundation of the Donkeys – the cast-offs no-one else wanted. One mans trash…

        That said, it must be bloody disheartening for the Fringers, U21’s and U19’s Wingers coming through to see such things done. That said, the guy is dinkum Aussie by my understanding, only that he has effectively been off-shore (some may say off-world in the land of Middle Earth). At least it’s not a Mungo this time though.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Maybe different this time but if he had the goods the ABs would have e grabbed him. I agree mate the guys coming through the lower ranks seeing all this must get pissed. No wonder the Mungo’s and Air Faries get them

    • Fatflanker

      Dragon were Kiwis?…say it ain’t so!

      • Hoss

        Ive seen the April Sun in Cuba mate – its actually in Auckland.

        • John R

          Was a bar on Cuba St in Wellington at one stage as well!

    • Charcoal

      It’s not just the Pacific Islander population in Western Sydney that should be the focus, as they only represent a minority of the broader population in the region. There’s a bigger potential catchment pool, if only there was the will to exploit it.

  • Adrian

    Don’t think Pulu is a Wallaby any time soon, but he’s news today.
    As a (sort of) Kiwi he won’t be bad, but we actually do have a few wingers. We have the fast (and often big) guys who are so-so kickers, and the multipurpose guys who are 50% full-back, and complement Izzy.

    Pulu is one of the former, up against Korebette, Naivalu and Co.

    On the other wing we have DHP, who IMO is about to be superseded by Banks or Hodge or Maddocks,…or Rona

    The interesting thing for now, is whether Hodge &/or Rona will start on the wing, and the other will be at 13, with Banks at 23….or …we have a 6:2 bench? With a 6:2 bench, Hodge is the only certainty, either at 13, 14 or 23. I’m not sure yet

  • Keith Butler

    Nice catty comment about Malcolm Marx Nathan. Would you like me to draw you up a list of SR players for all countries who flop over rucks like dead fish – it would be pages long. One of the worst areas of officiating in the game. Not supporting body weight, clearing out opposition not bound to ruck, driving in the the side etc etc. It’s a bloody disgrace.

    • Nathan Williamson

      By the time I finished the list I would be already working on next week’s news, it’s an area of the game that’s always ignored and something that needs a big crackdown

    • Nutta

      In my mind it is because we have not enforced the ‘Release’ rule. When a Carrier is tackled, firstly the Tackler must release the Carrier and then the Carrier must release the ball. However in recent years we have allowed the Carrier too much leeway to get back to his feet. This then encouraged Tacklers to stay on the tackle longer. This then meant we allowed the Carrier far to long to place, regather, shift, hold-in then pass off the deck. This is what has then encouraged support runners to play wider and flatter expecting a veritable pass from the Carrier from off the ground and some 3 seconds after being tackled. This needs to stop as the Supporter is too far sideways to have any hope of entering through any sort of gate should the pass not come.

      I still remember my U14 Coach hurling anatomically impossible abuse regarding my parentage mixed around the core message that the only difference between a Pig and a Fairy in open play was that a Pig runs 5m deep and 1m wide whilst a Fairy runs 5m wide and 1m deep! To me the altruism is still just that – true!

      Go back to enforcing Tackle (knees on the ground), then release Carrier and then Carrier release ball. It will clean that shite up quick smart.

      • Keith Butler

        Spot on Nutta. Too often we hear the ref yell “tackler release” but the ballcarrier hangs on to the ball like a limpet and the whole thing descends into a farcical mess. All we really ask for is the refs to enforce the letter of the law and start dishing out a few more cards. Of course going back to my playing days anyone lying on or over the ball knew what to expect and I admit to be on the receiving end of some neat footwork. Maybe I should start a ‘Bring Back Shoeing’ campaign.

        • Nutta

          It’s funny because I still do shoe people a bit and no one says much about it. As long as you observe the forms, no Ref has pulled me up except maybe a gentle comment for years. Let’s be clear, we have never been allowed to stamp (stand above and stomp down) or stab (lash out in-front) and we have toned it down a lot. But if you get your shoulders past the ball, churn your feet and make sure it’s in proximity to the ball and not their face then my experience is it’s all good.

        • Keith Butler

          Gentle reminders of where the opposition shouldn’t be laying are ok in my book. No cards of any colour back when I was playing and the only time the red mist descended on me I ended up with a well deserved 12 weeks suspension for stamping. As fate would have it I took time off for an extended holiday in Aus which is where I met my future wife.

      • juswal

        I remember, as clearly as if it were yesterday, in an under-7s match against St Benedict’s, being penalised for passing the ball while I was lying on the ground. I didn’t know any of the laws of rugby (I was only 4) so maybe it was the first I learned, and I learned it the hard way. So I’m still outraged every time I see a tackled player pop the ball up to a supporting runner. If he gets away with it, why couldn’t I?

  • Bay35Pablo

    Click a web site poll and you are a “fan” despite maybe never having watched, attended or even know what the game is.
    Having got about 300 people onto a FB rugby site to try to support grass roots rugby without really trying, but then finding it very hard to get traction to get them to do more, such numbers are rubbery at best.

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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