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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News explores the return of key Wallabies and a beloved jersey, the Rebels and Reds tie down key players for Super Rugby season, Fiji’s Super Rugby bid stalls and the English injury list grows.


Cheika’s squad boosted for Contiki tour

Both Kuridrani and the jersey are set to return for the Wallabies

Both Kuridrani and the jersey are set to return for the Wallabies


With Michael Cheika set to name his squad for the Wallabies tour through Japan and Europe, he’s set to retain a similar squad to the Rugby Championship along with the timely inclusion of injured stars.

Cheika is set to unveil the squad of around 30 on Thursday, with the players due to fly to Japan on Saturday night for the 3rd Bledisloe test match before they complete the rugby version of the Contiki trip throughout Europe.

Brumbies centre Tevita Kuridrani and backrower Pete Samu are set to return from injury, making themselves available for selection for the Canberra Vikings in their NRC semifinal against the Drua on the weekend.

The pair is set to join the Wallabies squad after their commitments with the Vikings are done, along with Reds centre Samu Kerevi, who has been recovering from a ruptured bicep suffered during the Ireland test series.

These are welcome inclusions and provide timely boosts to the depth of the side, who are set to miss Lurkam Tui for the Tour along with the captain of the ‘batting above his average’ XV Matt Toomua and Tatafu Polota-Nau, who will miss the clash in Japan due to club commitments before returning for the European Tour.

Speaking of the Tour, the Wallabies are preparing to roll out their widely popular Indigenous jersey when they take on the old enemy England at Twickenham.

The jersey drew rave reviews for its design and ability to put the All Blacks in a trance for long enough for us to beat them, with some calls for it to be adopted permanently.

However, the jersey will remain a one-off annual occasion, with players pleased and privileged to be wearing the Dennis Golding designed jersey again.

“The whole team was really honoured to run out in the Indigenous jersey last year to recognise not only the role of Indigenous players in the Wallabies throughout history but as a broader recognition of Indigenous culture and its importance in our country,” Michael Hooper said.

“I was pleased that we were able to play in a way that was fitting of the occasion in Brisbane last year and we are very keen to come up with a strong performance again in London at the end of our tour.”

Red and Rebel Reinforcements

Unlike soccer, Luke Jones is actually heading home

Unlike soccer, Luke Jones is actually heading home


The Reds and Rebels have tied down further reinforcements for the upcoming 2019 Super Rugby season.

Starting up north, the Reds have resigned classy young breakaway Adam Korczyk who joins the likes of Samu Kerevi, Izack Rodda and JP Smith in recommitting to the Queensland side in the last month.

Korczyk had a breakout season for the Reds this year, clearly establishing him as a player for the future and he was excited to remain in red.

“I love Queensland, I love playing for Queensland and for me staying in Queensland was the best option for my rugby career progression,” he said.

“It’s a competitive environment we have here at the Reds – especially in the back-row group with guys like Scott Higginbotham, Liam Wright, Caleb Timu and Angus Scott-Young and it’s just going to make me better.”

Meanwhile, the Rebels continue to add to their never-ending depth by signing towering Lock Luke Jones for the next two years.

Jones returns after two years playing for French side Bordeaux and was looking to return home after his stint playing for the Barbarians in Sydney and still believed he had plenty to give to Australian rugby.

“I’m not content with my rugby as yet and to continue my development as a player, the most important consideration for me was to find a world class rugby program that would help take my game to the next level,” Jones stated.

“Speaking with David Wessels and a few of my former teammates and looking at the quality of the list at the Rebels, it’s going to be a great challenge for me week to week to earn my spot. I wanted to return to Australia and the fact that I get to return to Melbourne just makes it that much more satisfying.”

Fiji left on island time

Fiji's hopes of Super Rugby inclusion rests on hopeful prayers

Fiji’s hopes of Super Rugby inclusion rests on hopeful prayers


Fiji’s Super Rugby bid has been left on island time for now as negotiations for the World League delay an agreement on the future of the Super Rugby.

Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) submitted a bid to join the southern hemisphere’s professional rugby competition in June, but have all but given up hope of success after SANZAAR upped its financial demands on prospective entrants.

This figure was understood to be in the ballpark of $14-17 million, which have destroyed the hopes of nationally-led bids of countries such as Samoa and Fiji, who seemed like obvious inclusions in the new system.

The FRU now look likely to seriously entertain an approach from ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s renegade World Series Rugby, which is desperately hunting for further teams in a bid to launch an eight-team competition by next March.

SANZAAR’s appetite for expansion has appeared to have cooled down and is contingent on new and current entrants bringing revenue into the partnership, which Fiji lack in principal despite having the facilities to host a team.

Regardless of this expansion talk, any further talk on the future of the Super Rugby is set to be pushed back to 2019 as World Rugby continues to work on the formation of the World League.

The concept was looking at having the 6 best sides from both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere compete in a competition outside of World Cup years, with advocates hoping to put the proposal in front of broadcasters in time for the next round of World Rugby meetings in November.

The World League appears to have the backing of the SANZAAR nations along with France as they see it as an opportunity to raise broadcast revenue for all nations (because of course that’s the main thing they take out of it, not the opportunity it opens up for greater exciting matches between nations).

The main sticking point seems to be the distribution of money, with concerns about whether the likes of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales would be able to come to an agreement with SANZAAR nations, who only represent 30% of broadcast revenue worldwide.

Hoepfully this gets sorted soon so we can finally receive some closure regarding the future of the Super Rugby and let’s pray that it doesn’t drag on like other Super Rugby decisions.

Vunipola adds to England’s broken spirit

Billy Vunipola won't be doing this against the Springboks and Wallabies this November

Billy Vunipola won’t be doing this against the Springboks and Wallabies this November


England continues their bad luck with injury, with Number eight Billy Vunipola set to miss three months after having surgery on his broken arm.

The Sydney born backrower broke his left arm during Saracens’ 13-3 Champions Cup victory over Glasgow on Sunday and will miss all of England’s November internationals, including the Wallabies’ visit to Twickenham on November 24.

Vunipola had only recently returned to action after fracturing his right arm during England’s mid-year tour of South Africa and it adds to a long list of injuries that have restricted him to starting three internationals in two years.

“It’s awful news for Saracens and England, but mainly for Billy. You really feel for him,” England half Danny Care said. “I saw first hand a week or so ago, Harlequins against Saracens, he had a man-of-the-match performance. He was absolutely brilliant that day and showed what he could do when fully fit.”

His absence leaves a black hole at the number 8 position for Aussie Eddie, who was already missing Sam Simmonds through injury and Nathan Hughes through Twitter brain explosion.

Vunipola’s brother prop Mako also suffered a calf strain during the clash while second row Nick Isiekwe added to the national team’s injury woes by suffering an ankle sprain.

Both players will be monitored but should be fit for the Spring Tour, however, this continues England’s bad run with injuries that have depleted their side ahead of clashes against South Africa, Japan, New Zealand and Australia.

Vunipola will join the growing list of injuries for the English side with lock Joe Launchbury ruled out after knee surgery last week while Bath fullback Anthony Watson and Johnathan Joseph were already ruled out with a torn Achilles and ankle injury respectively earlier in the year.

  • Valzc

    « The FRU now look likely to seriously entertain an approach from ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s renegade World Series Rugby, which is desperately hunting for further teams in a bid to launch an eight-team competition by next March.«  I don’t believe there’s any desperation involved. I think you’ll find Twiggy’s had quite a few definitely showing interest in jumping on board the ‘not renegade’ comp.

    • Technically it’s a renegade organisation as it’s not supported by RA or WR.

      The fact there’s growing support across all of Australia’s rugby-supporting public doesn’t change that fact right now. If it takes off and is a success – and personally I hope it does, don’t get me wrong – there will be some political fudging and they’ll be welcomed into the wider world rugby community somehow.

      Despite spending a little while on their website, I can’t find the articles of governance of RA – their constitution or similar. So I’m not 100% sure what the options are. But given they’re run and report to some extent as a business and make a loss, it occurs to me that one thing Twiggy could do might be to just buy them out. As part of the deal, he forces an acceptable of Twiggyball. Instant political acceptance, and goodbye to the old boys currently in power.

      Perhaps Twiggyball then becomes the equivalent of the Mitre 10 cup in NZ and a pathway for the Australian club sides to feed into SR, but with a concentration in WA. There are 4 SR sides at the moment, so 8/9 teams in Twiggyball, 4 based in WA, 1 in Tasmania, 1 is South Australia, 1 in Fiji, 1 in NZ and/or 1 tbd. Ideally this grows the sport’s support, gives each SR 2 feeder teams for players (or maybe you have 1 fixed feeder team and 5 pool teams for a draft, or all 9 as a talent pool for the super rugby sides – if you take this last model, you only really need 8 sides so it might be the easiest to implement). If you’re playing at this level, Fiji probably needs a SR team too, but if Twiggy is in charge and promises them full support for a SR team as well, then they’ll probably get one.

      The finances for this probably make Twiggyball a lot more attractive in the long run too – you’re not paying out SR level contracts, so you don’t need that number of bodies tuning in, biting shirts, going through the turnstiles etc. But I bet you’d find enough support for them in most of those places, if not all.

      • Bakkies

        Eloise Twiggy has the support of the IRB it is the bellends in Moore Park who are stalling it. The IRB want another pro comp in Asia and so do the region’s confederation.

        There was plenty of interest in teams for the first season.

        • MST

          WR has publicly endorsed Twiggys competition. I believe RA also had to agree to it as part of that process. As such it now presents the Pacific and other nations a viable opportunity to join a muliti- national comp with potentially some financial support if they get in early.

          With the whole league of nations and the knock on effects, the putting off of the SR comp decision might be making the SA part of SANZAAR happy. If I were in their shoes I would already be eyeing off elbowing Italy out of the 6 nations and then reduce my SR footprint with a view to play the Kiwis via the RC. It means they play the top revenue raising teams every year.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Do you have anything the corroborates this? Not questioning that it has happened but I just haven’t seen anything about it except on here.

        • MST

          No, just reading tea leaves. But logically a stronger team in the 6 nations would reinvigorate it. With Italy ranked outside the top 10 and European teir two nation being better matched and wanting game time a lower level 6nations would benifit many. We all know SA want to play up north and it would work for them, the TV deal and the 6nations comp.

        • Brumby Runner

          MST the article quoted in the news above seems to indicate that TRC in its present form at least will also disappear with the introduction of the World League (or LON or whatever it will be called tomorrow). And it seems to also kiss goodbye to the Super Rugby competition, albeit with no indication of what might replace it.

        • MST

          I would guess that RA and the NZRU would want to maintain a southern hemisphere comp to maintain a “local comp” if the 6 nations is retained. They would one controlled revenue stream and the RC is the cash cow for both.

        • Bakkies

          Well the League of Nations is a toilet of an idea. Up there with Shute Shield under 18s badly throughout.

          Italy won’t get kicked out of the Six Nations. It would almost put their union out of business no one has any desire to see that happen.

          I have been in Italy during the Six Nations their broadcast quality leaves Foxsports for dead. The way Fox presents Rugby is badly out of date.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How does the broadcast differ, Bakkies?

        • Bakkies

          Similar to BT’s and Super Sports with hands on demonstrations for viewers and a studio panel. Kafe’s modern version of his chalkboard with dots and scribbled on a screen is more likely to confuse viewers.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It was pretty stunning comparing how good SBSs coverage of the World Cup was compared to the rugby coverage we get in Aus.

        • Bakkies

          Yeah the Rugby coverage is like a Footy Show episode from the 90s.

        • WR might broadly support Twiggy’s idea. If it’s to run in Australia it requires the support of RA, which is, loosely speaking, the body that is franchised to run rugby in all parts of the country for WR. There’s a different legal term for it but they won’t get involved with Twiggyball behind RA’s back, unless RA are delinquent in their duties in the eyes of WR.

          And, at that level they’re not. They’re organising competitions within Australia, they’re meeting the commitments of Australia to SANZAAR, they’re putting out a test side, men’s and women’s, they’re putting out 7’s sides too.

          The fact they’re making decisions that are pissing off their fan base and so on is not actually important as far as WR is concerned, not directly at least. I’m sure it’s covered under good governance of the game or something similar but the main thing is rolling out the sides to play their matches still.

        • ForceFan

          You are correct growing the game in Australia IS RA’s responsibility. WR will not intervene in RA’s mess. That’s up to the member unions/bodies in Australia to step up and make RA accountable.

          All that was required from RA is for the Western Force to play in another competition.
          That approval has obviously already been give – as indicated by the announcement on 29 Sep.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        morning Eloise,
        I think Australia desperately needs a genuine national feeder into Super rugby as the jump from club level is just too much and one of the main reasons behind their poor showing over the last few years. I don’t really care if it’s Twiggy or the NRC or a combination of both. But it needs to happen I think.

        I’m not sure I’d put in a NZ team as well don’t need it and i think you’d get more benefit out of another PI team.

        • I would certainly agree with the need for a competition to feed into the Super Rugby, that’s why I suggested if Twiggy can take over RA he might morph his contest into that round. I’m not fixated on that idea, or joining it to the NRC or using the NRC to do it properly or something else.

          Another PI team would be good, I agree. I’d thought a NZ team might work because I’m not sure of the number of players at that level and it also gets the Aussie players used to meeting the kiwis at that level too, used to their style of play and so on. Also, if the agreement is in place with the NZRU, you probably need to keep it once RA under new management gives the go ahead. But philosophically I’m not welded to the idea, two PI teams probably make more sense if you can swing it.

      • ForceFan

        “Technically it’s a renegade organisation as it’s not supported by RA or WR.” RUBBISH!

        After the World Rugby meeting in Sydney, on 29 Sep it was announced that:
        “The proposal for a full-scale, elite Asia Pacific competition was considered by World Rugby’s Executive Committee on Wednesday. The Executive Committee recommended the concept for approval to the World Rugby Council, subject to finalisation of regulatory and governance
        criteria.”
        “This concept is about developing and growing the great game of rugby union in an untapped region, with the support of local communities,” founder Andrew Forrest AO said.
        “We have worked closely with World Rugby, Rugby Australia, Hong Kong Rugby Union and New Zealand Rugby for several months to get this over the line.”

        https://www.westernforce.com.au/asian-rugby-expansion-a-step-closer/

        To get to this stage WSR has already been OK’d by Rugby Australia, member Unions and World Rugby.
        There’s heaps happening behind the scenes.
        The fact that Minderoo/WSR in not in the press every day means little. The focus is on Making It Happen – MIH.

        It’s going to happen next year.

        • There’s a difference in what we’re talking about that I seem to have blinked and missed. He’s been told to wait 2 years was the last I saw. If he sets up an competition before then it’s a renegade organisation. If he waits until the people in Sydney get their act together, it’s officially sanctioned.

          WR might well be in favour of it, but you can bet your last dollar if Twiggy tries to set it up in Australia after RA have said “wait a bit” they won’t be so keen.

        • Jack

          I don’t see why it should be called a renegade org since his aim is to set up a competition in which Western Force can compete and since RA cut WF out of SR, and the other teams are from countries not in SR (except for possibly on NZ Mitre 10 team), how is that Andrew Forrest being a deserter or someone who rejects lawful behaviour?

        • Just in case there’s any doubt, I should say again, I support Twiggyball.

          But the structure of rugby is that WR in principle tries to oversee rugby as a world game, expand it and so on. It has a number of stakeholders, of which by far the biggest group numerically are the various national unions. There are a few others, like a players association and an officials group and so on (it changes from time to time and I don’t follow it incredibly closely, it’s dull and I don’t care that much). The national unions are the bit that matter here. Each of those, RA would be the one that matters here, is responsible for running rugby within their country.

          So if RA endorses Twiggyball, all is fine and good. If RA says “woah, hang on” and he goes ahead and plays in Australia. then he’s playing in Australia without the approval of the organisation that is officially set up to endorse professional play in the country. That makes it a renegade (you can substitute a different word if you don’t like that one) outfit.

        • Jack

          Well what options does he have if they wont take his state team or his money?

        • Currently the option seems to be “hurry up and wait” at least if he wants to play in WA. Since that’s his avowed goal, that’s it. In a more global scale, he could set up in a different country or countries first (Japan, Fiji, Samoa say) and then move into WA later.

        • Jack

          Well, and I am not having a go at you at all, but it seems to me that RA have cut off one state of professional rugby and for some reason are not supportive of that state for finding another competition for themselves. For example, (I know you know this) South Africa Rugby Union assisted the Kings and Cheatahs in finding a new comp, but RA did nothing to assist WF in finding a new comp and seem to be blocking the new comp that AF has devised for his state Does that sound about right?.

        • Someone else has suggested I’ve conflated two bits of news. If I have (and it’s certainly possible), then what I’ve been saying is wrong. But if I’ve read it properly, then your interpretation is closer to the mark, yes.

        • ForceFan

          Bang on Jack. RA has done nothing, zilch, nada to maintain the development pathway in WA – especially in maintaining a development pathway for professional players.
          RA for support of rugby in WA is now below that which it offers to NT, SA and Tasmania.
          Club rugby players in Perth are meant to be happy playing in the WA NRC and then transferring across to an East Coast SR franchise if/when they are considered good enough.
          RA should hang its collective heads in shame for turning its back on Rugby in the West.
          Thank you Minderoo/Andrew Forrest for rebuilding the game in WA.
          Rugby on the East Coast most likely will get smaller before it gets bigger.

        • Bakkies

          Eloise the bellends at the RA have approved it after months of stalling looking for bureaucratic detail so Twiggy’s new Latin American CEO put the foot down. Too smart.

          Brett Robinson threw his toys out of the cot. Time you stopped playing politics with these clowns and go back to fixing people.

        • ForceFan

          I believe you are confusing 2 issues.
          1. The World Series Rugby competition has been approved with the involvement of Western Force.
          2. The make-up of the 8 teams.

          Re the latter…….It was NSWRU which requested no involvement for Western Sydney until after 2020.
          This is no problem to WSR as Western Sydney WAS NOT a WSR initiative. It was a group of interested NSW parties who approached WSR re Western Sydney.
          Isn’t it a shame that the establishment has once again turned its back on Minderoo $$ which could have grown the game, beyond the proposed under-age development, in this much-neglected region of NSW.

          Evidently, there is no shortage of teams trying to part of the initial, Phase 1 stage of WSR.

        • You could well be right.

          I find the pronouncements of RA and NSWRU hard to fight through.

        • ForceFan

          Force Fans have been in that situation with RA for quite a while now……..

        • Bakkies

          Spot on Jack and FF the RA, SRU and NSWRU have their heads in the sands. Clubs in the east are seeking out Twiggy hence the mutiny from
          Papworth and co as they are sick of the underfunding and they know where the money has gone.

          This is what I don’t got when people compare this Papworth’s letter in 2016. When that letter was written there was no hint to the average joe in community Rugby where the money was going, Senate Inquiry, etc it was just believed that the game needed to cut a side a to cut costs as the RA was struggling to survive.

          I predicted months ago this was going to happen as bodies on the east coast will find out slowly that the money being thrown away by the RA has being going on for years and the state unions have done little to address it. Now the clubs are rattling cages as they are being charged levies to pay off debts and lack of revenue.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        ARU constitution: http://twf.com.au/attachment.php?attachmentid=4827&d=1495113048

        RA is a “company limited by guarantee”. This is a not-for-profit type of organisation (most non-government schools for example are the same type of company). It means that there are no shareholders, but the members are on the hook (guarantee) for a nominal (limited) amount if the company is ever wound up.

        If Twiggy wanted to “buy” RA, it’s a matter of proposing to the voting members that they call an extraordinary general meeting to do something (e.g. vote out the board, or pass a resolution in support of WSR that the board has to implement, or whatever). In exchange, Twiggy would make a donation to rugby in some form – e.g. via the Rugby Foundation, or directly to RA, or to the voting members.

        He suggested something like this to keep the Force in SR, but at that time the ARU chairman said the board wouldn’t recommend such a thing to the voting members. Twiggy could in theory have tried going to the voting members directly, but he didn’t. It would take time – the voting members would want to hear the board’s views, and then consult with their members, etc.

        From memory, NSW and QLD have 3 votes each (2 because they have over 50,000 players, and 1 because they have a Super Team). VIC and the ACT have 2 votes (1 for being a state/territory and 1 for their Super team). All the other states and territories have one, and RUPA has one. In time, it’s not beyond Twiggy to get their support directly if necessary. What he’s proposing has to be widely seen as good for rugby in Australia.

        • Silver Ghost

          So f twiggy could convince VIC (2), ACT (2), SA(1), Tas(1),WA(1) and RUPA (1) – 8 votes , he could roll the ‘Old School Tie’ mob??

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I guess. But would that bunch feel comfortable enough without some support from QLD or NSW? I think they’d need to know that there was significant minority support(40% or so) or popular support within NSW and QLD that wasn’t being expressed by the NSW and QLD administrations to convince themselves that maybe overall the rugby comunity was in favour across Australia.

          It really comes down to selling a vision widely. The vision might include new funds, but it has to be seen as beneficial.

          Rugby still has a lot of people in it who just don’t get commercially run lleagues. For them it’s all about nations and states/provinces – the representative hierarchy.

        • Bakkies

          Vic ain’t going to roll the RA board now the VRU need to fund both the Rebels and the community game. The Brumbies need to get NSW on board and I believe the NT have a vote.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    That Rebels squad is looking very serious now. I hope this all translates into improved on field performances. Last year they definitely improved but a couple of times just dropped the ball and let other teams in when they shouldn’t have.

    Good to see England getting allo their excuses ready for when they get smashed later this year. TBF they are having a very bad run of injuries and I hope none of them are career threatning. I always hate to see a player get badly injured even though it is part of the game.

    The future of SANZAAR is going to be interesting with the LoN concept and the challenges this will bring. I must admit as much as I’d love to see a PI team in the competition history has shown that they just don’t have the financial capabilities to match what is needed at this level without serious help and that will always be their downfall. I’d love to see them either as part of the NRC or Twiggy’s competition as I think getting settled in either of those would allow them to build the capabilities off field that they need. I hope them and Samoa do get into the LoN as I think they will challenge some of the other teams regularly and this combined with a couple of clubs in either NRC or Twiggy’s competition will really see some growth in those countries.

    • Bakkies

      England had bad injuries last year and still beat the Wallabies by a record margin. Cheika should have been on the guillotine after that tour. Allister Coetzee lost his job after the Boks tour and they were only hammered by Ireland.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The difference is that in South Africa all the media wasn’t spewing endless propaganda supporting the coach.

        • Bakkies

          True when Naas Botha and Nick Mallett put out their opinions about Coetzee they made it constructive criticism and nothing personal. Just Rugby related. Mallett has a lot of time for Coetzee as a man. With Cheika too many paid pundits don’t criticise his poor performance because it is personal. You shouldn’t be in the job if you let personal relationships get in the way of putting out opinions and constructive criticism when it is warranted.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I don’t think Cheika should still be the coach of the Wallabies, but that doesn’t change the fact that when I’ve met him he has been very polite and courteous. He seems a nice guy but that’s not what I base my opinion of him as a coach on.

        • Bakkies

          Exactly.

          You wouldn’t get the Irish style opinions and comments on Foxsports or Ten.

          https://youtu.be/becUZDi-fEI

        • Who?

          Ouch!

        • Bakkies

          Yeah and the Alan Jones of Irish Rugby George Hook wasn’t even on the panel.

          https://youtu.be/QdO2VynB6ZQ

        • HK Red

          Even this one……”Australia always struggled to produce a good 10” ….so Lynagh, Ella, Larkham all shit obviously. Even McLean was pretty handy. On the flip side “Ireland have always produced world class 10’s”, ……..uhmm ?

        • Bakkies

          Lynagh started his test career as a 12, Larkham at fullback and moved to 10 as there had been multiple options tried after Lynagh’s retirement.

          Since Larkham retired eleven years ago apart from Cooper’s two or three good seasons we haven’t had strong performers in the shirt.

        • HK Red

          They were still good 10’s and these guys commentating didn’t just start watching rugby 10 years ago.

        • Bakkies

          Just look at the results, chopping and changing alongside with the lack of game sense.

        • HK Red

          If you want to take the narrow view of the last 5-10 years, then their claims are legitimate. However, my point was (and was pretty clear) their claim that Ireland have “always” produced good 10’s while Australia have not, is incorrect and does a massive disservice to some exceptional Wallaby 10’s.

        • Custard Taht

          God I hope Cheika doesn’t read this forum. He has already tried his 12 at 10, his 10 at 12, the next logical step would be trying his preferred 15 at 10…..get ready for Folau at 10.

        • Human

          Lynagh only started as 12 because Ella was at 10…Noddy was always a 10.

        • Who?

          So that was 2014. They were commenting about Foley not being much chop!
          The points about Lynagh and much more tellingly Larkham are fair, but, at the same time, I’d argue that ROG and Sexton moved on the game for Irish 10’s. ROG had vision and options in attack that his predecessors couldn’t match, and Sexton is next level again.
          Look at 1980 through 2007, Australia had a strong run of very high quality 10’s. We had several very good 10’s 2008-2012, but our coach in that period started to thin our pack, and post 2014 the coach’s policies have contributed to a continuation of that. But I’ll readily admit, we haven’t really produced a good new 10 in the last 5 years…

        • Bakkies

          David Humphreys controlled the game, made good decisions and nailed clutch kicks this made O’Gara better. The Wallabies could do with a 10 like him and he took charge.

          Competition and O’Gara in his book admitted that he had deficiencies in his game which stemmed on from not being worked on at training. That and going on a Lions Tour with Wilko who was putting in the extra work changed that.

        • HK Red

          Wow, that’s pretty ugly. That lot need to pull their heads in.

        • Bakkies

          Well they weren’t wrong Boks lost 38-3.

        • HK Red

          Yeah SA lost, but do they need to be that snarky? They could be more professional.

        • Who?

          To be fair, the snarkiest guy sounded South African……..

        • Bakkies

          Who Brent Pope? He played 8 for Otago in Zinny’s day. Writes kids books in his spare time.

        • Bakkies

          It is called being honest. O’Gara and O’Shea have jobs in the game but still called a spade a shovel. Jeremy Paul is one of the that goes on Foxsports that calls it how it is.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Harsh but true

      • Jack

        too true

    • Custard Taht

      The seat of Wessel’s could become very hot next year, if the results don’t live up to the squad and expectations.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That’s always the risk isn’t it? I think the team should do well but I’d take the captain role off Coleman, I’m not sure he enjoys being captain as it seemed to affect his game a bit.

        • Custard Taht

          What doesn’t help Wessels is that he is highly regarded by many.

          Agreed on Coleman, if Quade does sign with the Rebs, I would make him el capitano.

      • Perth girl

        With a squad of approx 90 now he should do well! I wonder what their “salary cap” is!

        • Custard Taht

          Salary cap, schmalary cap….it is but a number….

        • Bakkies

          Exactly who is going to audit and fine them?

        • Perth girl

          Well if the other State Unions are going to let them get away with it you only have yourselves to blame!

        • Custard Taht

          The other states are in, as they, between a rock and a hard place….they aren’t in a position to object because they need the RA money. So RA can effectively do what they want unhindered, less the gravy train comes to a halt.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Mornging GAGR’s! Another rainy day here in Sydney, such marvellous weather! Rugby news is light on today (not a go at Nathan, just not much out there). BL’s mad ramblings for Hump day:
    – Big Shout out to @KRL and @Nutta for catching up with me for a dinner in Sydney. A great evening of food, beers and chatting about all things that are the love of rugby. A Fantastic evening.
    – @KRL has volunteered to organise (you can remove the knife from your back at any point there mate) one in a couple of weeks time. So a big shout to any Sydney based GAGR’s who might want to join us. Or Even if Hoss can organise a trip down to the big smoke.
    – I personally am looking forward to the announcement of the squad. I am looking for some new inclusions. Some bolters perhaps.
    – The Rebels are starting to look very ominous on paper. Please let it be so.
    – NRC Finals. Cant wait. Bring it on.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate no worries.
      Great catching up with you and Nutta. Such a small world.

      Team looking at a Sat night in Sydney in a few weeks time. Got a bit on over the next month though so after that. Any interested parties just up click on this post.

    • onlinesideline

      what kind of food ? – please elaborate.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Bavarian Beer cafe

        • onlinesideline

          Interesting, Octoberfest comes to Sydney.
          Worscht and Frankfurters then – cant beat it

        • Brisneyland Local

          Was Kransky and Dunkel for me.

        • Greg

          In Manly?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pazzamatta!

        • Nutta

          The true Sydney spiritual home of the Adidas tracksuit, white runners and the phat muffler.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The place that RA wont acknowledge exists.

        • Greg

          I am 5 mins from the manly cafe…. even though a fan of german beer, 4 pines across the road has great beer. Schweinshaxe is always a bit of a challenge.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Love the pork Knuckle

    • Nutta

      Grand evening gentlemen. Selection of pig, pretzel, sauerkraut and a pitcher of beer never goes astray.

      I was only disappointed I left my commemorative plastic mug on the bloody table when we left! Beggorrahhh!

      • Brisneyland Local

        The Sacred Plastic Mug of GAGR over consumption. A total travesty!

        • Damo

          I hope you blokes used the night as a selection committee session, picked the Wallaby squad and mailed it off to the coach. I’m sure he would run with it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes we did have that discussion.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes we did have that discussion.

        • Damo

          Great to see this online community popping offline for a feed and a couple of quiet ones. Pity I’m here in Qld.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Damo I live in QLD as well. But now work in Syd Monday to friday.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      Ominous on paper, and unstoppable in training.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Nah there are no Hooper’isms here.

    • Keith Butler

      Still a problem in the front row for me. We got turned over at scrum time last season for my liking. Give the captaincy to someone else and let Coleman get his mojo back.

  • paul

    Curious of the timeline regards this World Test league, the ultimate achievement would be to reduce the amount of Tests each year, say a max of 12, with better revenue.

    This would then free up some space to be able to create better flexibility below, give that level more potential to create revenue.

    For example super rugby is hampered from being a viable proposition due to the limitations placed on it simply being a feeder for the test teams.

    Can it reduce the need for RC to be 6 games, say a single round, and if so then how do you schedule things from July on wards.

    One of the biggest issues regards Australia is the problem of lack of domestic content, the market here prefers the NRL/AFL style comps.

    We’ve been presenting the exact opposite and the domestic market has voted.

  • Adrian

    Nice summary Nathan.

    It’ll be interesting who Cheika picks in his “about 30 squad” for Japan, and then the “few more” he adds after NRC. I heard Cheika use those words somewhere, so I’ll use them too.

    Hints in MSM that Dempsey won’t be picked, and that Valetini is a bolter following NRC. TPN, Toomua Tui not considered

    Here is my crack at the selections:
    Kepu, Alaalatoa, Sio, Tuopo, Ainsley, BPN, Folau Fainga, Latu, Coleman, Arnold, Simmons, Roda, Hooper, Pocock, Hannigan, Timu, Cotrell, Genia, Phipps, Gordon, Foley, Beale, Meakes, Hodge, Koeebette, Folau, DHP, Banks, Naivalu, Maddocks. That’s 30 I think.

    After NRC: Samu, Kurandrani, Jordan Petaia, Valetini.

    If it were me, I wouldn’t have Ainsley, but would use a hooker as 5th prop. I wouldn’t have Maddocks, but would have Duncan Paea’aia. I would have Dempsey, but not Valetini, and I’d also have Kerevi if fit. I’d have Cooper too, but that’s another story!

    I guess we’ll know some of this tomorrow

    • Brisneyland Local

      Personally I like your additionals more than Cheika’s!
      Mate are you going to come and join KRL, Nutta and myself for a beer one night?

      • Adrian

        Sounds good BL
        Triple flat white for me!

        • Brisneyland Local

          No beer and Pork knuckle?

      • Adrian

        Thanks for that.
        When are you all in town next?

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am in Syd now every Mon-Fri. Based in Parra. KRL is just up the road. And NUtta came down from the mountains to join us. I will touch base with KRL and work out eh next one and issue the invite. We are trying to summon Hoss as well.

    • onlinesideline

      Samu is fit – he’ll go

      • Adrian

        Ok by me. I presume you mean Peter?
        Kerevi ok by me too

        • onlinesideline

          yeah Peter

    • idiot savant

      Dempsey must go, unless there is some danger of it impeding a full recovery. The side needs the fight he brings and has showed in his return. Theres just not enough of his kind of struggle at every contest.

      Im interested in why you would leave Maddocks out? He is a very smart footballer and thats also a commodity in short supply in this side.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if Timu misses the boat. He has been a tad below his usual quality lately, is not a reliable line out target. I think Dempsey offers more and if Samu is fit, theres less need for him.

      • Adrian

        Yes Idiot, I’d have Dempsey too

        Maddocks is a hard one, because he’s a good footballer. My thinking is that with Kurandrani and/or Kerevi and Hodge and DHP (and possibly Rona) in the squad, he’s just too slow ☹️

        Yes, I wouldn’t be surprised re Timu missing out. He’s in my squad because I hope that Cheika selects exactly the same 23 as played Argentina, and uses the 2nd half display from Argentina to motivate the guys who were hooked or didn’t get on. Only difference is I’d start with the Kepu, Latu, Alaalatoa front and find someone to replace Toomua on the bench. I’d have Rona as the bench guy, so that if someone got hurt, Rona could go to 13, and Hodge to wherever the inury was. Kerevi/Kurandrani won’t be fit for Bled 3

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t get the Maddocks hype. I’ve seen no positives in his performances as a winger. Not really fast enough or strong enough through contact.

          He’s been earmarked as a 10 for a reason – he’s a skilled footballer and playmaker, and that’s where he should be considered. Australia’s obsession with sticking random guys on the wing is so frustrating. It’s a specialist position – no wonder we don’t score any tries.

        • Custard Taht

          You need to drink more kool-aid man, the numbers on their back mean nothing…..it is all about the process and positioning…..and I see no reason why Maddocks can’t be caught out of position as good, if not better than the others.

        • Nutta

          And the training. Don’t forget the training.

        • Custard Taht

          Oh yeah.. .it’s all about practice.

          I really feel sorry for the Wallabies…if only there was a world cup or gold medal for practice.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Boys on the Rugby Report Card have pointed it out. Beale is a 15 who can’t catch a high ball so he’s played at 12, Koroibete is a winger who plays both wings, Hodge is a 13 who attacks on the wing, Folau is a winger who attacks at 13 and DHP is a fullback playing fullback.

          Utter clusterfuck.

        • Custard Taht

          Yep, the last two words sum it up nicely.

    • Silver Ghost

      Hi Adrian
      On that other rugby site, Nicholas Bishop wrote a good article, more technically describing the bend the line approach that you and others have been advocating.
      Pity the best exponent of this approach is McMahon, who’s decided that Japan is his future.
      Dempsey is another, and so he should be picked for the tour.
      I think the days of picking a hooker as a 5th prop are gone mate.

      • Adrian

        Hi Silver

        Yes, I read the other article, and it’s clearly possible to do

        I’d normally agree re hookers and props, but when I saw what happened to Ainsley in his 5 minutes of test a few games ago, I thought,… well it’s not him. These 3 current hookers are unusually wide and strong, and would survive I think as the emergency 5th prop. Latu sometimes plays prop for Uni. Maybe a space for a bolter?…or call on TPN as emergency in UK

        Agree 100% re Dempsey, but there are mutterings in Fox Sports that he needs time. Does that mean a hidden injury?

        • Silver Ghost

          I’m not convinced about Arnold. He’s tall but doesn’t bend the line at all. I’d like to see Phillips given a go.
          He loves contact.
          Don’t be too harsh on Ainsley, he’s 23. I think more potential than Robinson.

        • Adrian

          Your probably right re Ainsley. It just looked dangerous watching. Robertson injured, but somehow he manages…as a 5th prop

          Arnold a huge disappointment. He was good in last SR matches, but not since. He’s no Rhodes scholar, but you’d think he’d learn.

          Phillip is a real goer, as is the unavailable Tui…as a lock

          This is all exacerbated by Coleman being a bit flat

  • andrewM

    A couple of years ago, not sure if it was 2015 or 2016 I believe, Mark Sinderberry wrote a letter to the ARU advising them of the upcoming financial woes that the Force were expecting. In the same letter, he urged the ARU to consider equalisation measure to better spread the available talent across the Australian Unions, specifically the Force and the Rebels. At the time, this was ignored and ironically the Force ended up finishing ahead of both the Reds and the Waratahs.

    Fast Forward to 2018 and it seems the ARU have finally taken heed of Mark’s advice. It is truly breathtaking the measures that they have gone to stack the Rebels with as much talent as they can and yet, miraculously stay under the cap.

    Further news that Fiji’s application to join Super Rugby was rejected because SANZAAR had upped the joining fee to a minimum $18 mil comes as another surprise – Weren’t the ARU offered $50 million to keep the Force? This in the same week that we watch the ARU and NSWRU drag their heels over WSR in Western Sydney, as apparently they have their own plan – despite them having had the past twenty years to do something.

    As if Force supporters did not need any more conspiracy theory ammunition!

    Looking forward to seeing this year’s financial reports for all Unions and Super teams –wonder if any further ‘Alliance’ agreements will be needed in the coming months?

    • Jack

      Sorry andrewM, but MRRU Pty Ltd will not be issuing their reports to the great unwashed, so we will just take Badens’s word as it is that they are under salary cap and good to go (financially into the future, that is)

      • Bakkies

        Now the VRU are back in ownership they will.

        • Jack

          Um I don’t follow, now the VRU are back in ownership, the VRU who did not publish their 2017 reports, will not be publishing their 2018 reports or their MRRU PL reports (i would think)

        • Bakkies

          Oh here we go again. Time for a revolt me thinks. People wonder why Papworth and co don’t want Victorian representation on their committee.

          There is little to suggest from the 2016 annual reports that they can sustain ownership without further support from the RA. What did de Clyne say to Alan Jones that we can no longer afford to bail out Super sides? Jones called him out on the bs.

      • lebe homu
        • lebe homu

          AUTOMICHACKERSCREW AT GMAIL DOT COM
          KING OF HACKS

  • phil peake

    Luke Jones is the best news in Australian rugby I’ve heard in a while. He would go straight into No. 6 for me (Pocock 7, Holloway 8). Rebels will be a good pack with Jones and Philip in it. Both with massive and effective work rates. Both would be in my Wallabies pack.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Pate is good. Foie gras

  • Hoss

    Guten tag heir Rugby lovers,

    Forgot it was Oktobfest,a time when hounds become foxes through the hallucinogenic properties of hops. I have a confession, well, one of many. I cant stand the taste of beer – its all swill to me. Want to remove rust from metal sure, reduce the rash around the ol’ lovers paradise – dip it in, but drink it – fuck that. Give me the soothing properties of peat, oats, barley & rye any day.

    Sorry for late arrival – been locked in a room with auditors all day and fuck me sideways if they aren’t the most joyless, oxygen stealing, walking dead individuals i have seen this year than give up.Told them i need 90 minutes to absorb their feedback – that or cause an incident with a stapler and a rubber band and make the news.

    Not much to add – i just saw on the Joseph Goebbels Site – rugby.com.au that Spanners has only signed on for 2019 (12 month contract), by then Steven Segal will be gone so i gaze into the crystal ball and note Steven will have three parts of SFA to grow an understudy in time for RWC 19 – surely QC gets a look in now – surely ?

    Other news – FFS, the Rebels look strong on paper. I put a pineapple on them a few weeks back at $51 to win next year – Wessells may feel the growing warmth of a Bunsen Burner around the crotchel area to ensure he succeeds.

    For all the faeces thrown at BT on here (and i am a Tahs man) he is building / retaining a cracking squad also – a lot to like. Surely he cant be that much a bible-basher that these young kids are staying / coming and who am i to criticise – its what he knows from his AB / Crusaders day and a quick google machine thingy look-up on the success of the Nearlies & The Saders show they had a modicum of success during his tenure – stick with what you know i reckon.

    Back in with the blood-suckers now – once more into the breach.

    • Brisneyland Local

      So are you coming down to join us on the next gathering?
      I like you prefer Red and single malts of the Islay variety. BUt when in Germany, Goose step up and down the hall ways! ha ha

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Just don’t mention the war!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gold.

    • Nutta

      Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
      Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
      To his full height…

      Yes do all that.

      But refrain from stripping your sleeve and baring your scars to Auditors. It doesn’t end well.

      And come for a drink.

      • Hoss

        I am often the dumbest in the room, but to be dumbest and shortest in the room amongst such elite gentlemen, well there had better be plenty of rye on offer.

        One quick question though – whats the range on these ankle braclet thingies the courts impose – could be an issue ?

        • Nutta

          Nah. If someone shows up looking for you we just buy them a drink to.

        • Hoss

          I’am in

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Ah the blood sucking leeches that are Auditors. You can only apply to be one if you can prove you have no sense of humour and the pedantic approach off a teenage boy looking for the password to get into a porn site.

      I feel for you my friend but smile knowing that all their friends are of the same type and they don’t really have a life. Some of them aren’t really alive either.

      Looking forward to catching up

      • onlinesideline

        you guys HAVE to a pic – no reverse prison shots this time

    • Custard Taht

      In regards to Spanners, he is on the verge of signing a multi year deal….the sticking point is that he is asking for $5 million over 6 years, and RA are offering $7million over 6 years…

      • Hoss

        Goebbels reports he has signed a one year only and will be 30 at end of the Kill Bill tournament- no way he gets multi year multi million if he does i am following GAYFL.

        • Custard Taht

          RA see Foley as the Tom Brady of the Wallabies….so much so they are making sure they trade away and roadblock any viable alternatives.

        • Bernie Chan

          More like RG III or Johnny Manziel in recent NFL history (JaMarcus Russell or Ryan Leaf might take the cake…). Spanners “ain’t no Brady…”.

        • Who?

          If he were the Tom Brady of the Wallabies, he should’ve won the Rugby World Cup in 2015. Brady won his first Super Bowl in his first season, didn’t he..?
          Foley can’t possibly be Brady – Brady’s far more caustically competitive, far more arrogant, and Foley comes across as a much nicer bloke.

  • Perth girl

    Nathan I’m not sure why you would suggest that Minderoo are desperately looking for teams to play in WSR next year. When expressions of interest were put out about a dozen teams were keen to get their hands on the Million dollars prize money

  • Stin

    Might be premature injury wise but would love I see Dempsey in there…

  • Bakkies

    Anthony Foley’s two year anniversary has just past.

    https://www.sportsjoe.ie/rugby/sky-sports-tribute-anthony-foley-99931

  • Brisneyland Local

    Cool. Am in Phillip Island at the moment for the GP will touch base when I get back.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, watches Matt Dunning's dropkick on repeat

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