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

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at praise from one front-rower to another, the All Blacks preparing for a big inclusion, Stephen Holies calls for the recall of a forgotten Wallaby and how the growing professionalism in women’s rugby has helped transform the Wallaroos preparation.


From Calf to Bull

Sekope Kepu powers through the contact.

Sekope Kepu powers through the contact.

Wallaby prop Sekope Kepu has praised the growth of fellow front-rower Taniela Tupou along with expressing tempered optimism about the strength of the front row ahead of the first Bledisloe contest this Saturday.

The veteran prop is likely in his final year for the Wallabies, having signed for Aussie London Irish beyond the 2019 World Cup, with the 33-year-old proud of the effort that Tupou has put in adding brains to his considerable brawn.

“He is definitely ahead of where I was when I was 23,” Kepu said.

“We always have a giggle about it because we are 10 years apart. He is 23 and playing tighthead and he is the strongest guy I have ever seen in terms of his physique and the way he lifts in the gym.

“He has got it all and now I am starting to see his mental preparation.

“But yeah, I have seen him since he first came into camp in 2017/16. He has that confidence now and we are going to push each other as hard as we can to do our best.”

Kepu was the anchor (before he went off injured) of the Wallabies dominant scrum during their win over Los Pumas, with the most promising part for him being the work of the bench front-rowers in continuing their command for 80 minutes.

“What excites me is the guys that came on and finished the job. It is probably something we have lacked over the years, and Allan (Alalaatoa) is still out. He hasn’t come back, and is that’s even more exciting for us as a front row and also as a forward pack,” Kepu said.

Whilst he was pleased with the effort in Brisbane, Kepu knows that the task will be a whole another level when they face up against the number one ranked All Blacks.

“They’re a world-class team and you only have to look through their forward pack and the experience they’ve got, the Test caps they’ve got, they’ve played together really well,” Kepu said.

“I’m sure they’ll prepare really, really well and want to bounce back as we did from the Springboks the first week. The challenge for us is to rise to that and just keep building.

“We’re not going to rest on our laurels and think we’ve done a great job. We’ve parked that and we’ve got a massive, massive challenge on Saturday. We can’t be fooled into thinking otherwise.”

Calling the Bluff

2018-Wallabies-v-Springboks-Captains-Run-3

The Kiwis are calling Michael Cheika’s bluff regarding the fitness of David Pocock, stating that they are preparing for his inclusion in the Wallabies matchday squad for Saturday.

Pocock seems to be close to recovery, with the flanker named in the Wallabies squad for the first time in the Rugby Championship along with taking part in the side’s main training season at the WACA on Tuesday.

This word has seemed to hit enemy territory, with the All Blacks coaching staff preparing for the return of Pocock, who would likely come off the bench if selected on Thursday.

“You always prepare for that sort of scenario. But we have played against those two (Pocock and Michael Hooper) when they play together, a number of times,” All Blacks assistant coach Ian Foster said.

“They’re quality footballers so we’re preparing for that. But we also know if he doesn’t make it, there will be someone else there who will do a job. Ultimately whatever happens on Saturday will happen but we are guessing that he will play.”

Fellow flanker Sam Cane seemed a bit more certain (and blunt) about his return, confident that he could re-inject himself into the Wallabies setup with no dramas.

“Yep,” Cane said when asked if he would bet on Pocock lining up for the Wallabies on Saturday.

“When you have played that much Test match footy and you’re used to playing at Super Rugby level consistently, I think it’s more of a mental than physical thing,” he said.

“I would expect him to come back and be right in the thick of things. Your match fitness is not normally where you want it to be but because you have been in those situations before you can normally just push on through.

“A guy like David Pocock, his best and worst game is not a big margin between them.”

The All Blacks have their own conundrum at the flanker position, with the coaching staff contemplating their own version of ‘Pooper’, with the speculation growing that Cane and Ardie Savea will join Kieran Read in the back row.

“I will tell you on Thursday. Obviously, I am not going to say anything like that so we’ll wait and see,” Foster said.

For Pete’s sake

Pete Samu picks up from the back of the scrum

Pete Samu picks up from the back of the scrum

As Australians finest doctors/religious figures/voodoo healers trying to get David Pocock back to full fitness, former Wallaby Stephen Holies has urged selectors to recall Brumby Pete Samu into the Wallabies squad.

With his impending return inevitable, many have questioned where it fits into the side, especially Holies, who has expressed his concern as to who can cover (or donate their calf) if Pocock’s aggrevates his calf injury.

“I think there’s always going to be doubt with Poey’s injury now,” Hoiles told the Fox Rugby Podcast.

“If they pick him — and it looks like they will for this World Cup — there’s going to be concerns in the back of their minds, so there’s always going to have to be cover for him and there’s not too many other specialist sevens in the squad.

“Pete Samu can cover that role, he’s pretty good on the ball, but he’s not in the squad.

“Liam Wright wears No. 7 on his back for the Queensland Reds, but he’s not a traditional seven either — he hasn’t played a Test match yet.”

With this in mind, Holies has turned to Samu as the ideal man to cover the position.

Samu has fallen out of favour with Wallabies big brass, with Fox Sports revealing that his decision to miss part of a training camp earlier in the year to attend a wedding and poor Spring Tour form has harmed his position.

Holies has urged the selectors to put this incident behind and recognise the versatility and dynamic ball-running ability that Samu can bring to the picture.

“I would personally love to see Pete Samu in the mix,” Hoiles said.

“He’s still a very dynamic ball-runner, he had a hamstring injury and missed the Brumbies semi-final, but I thought his form in the two-three weeks leading up to that was almost an automatic pick — whether it be six or eight — I thought Samu was walking into this Test team.

“I can’t carry Luke Jones on my Wallaby bench in the back-row because he’s not a specialist six, he’s not a specialist seven or eight, he’s not a specialist four or five, he’s cover.

“You’d be mad not to have Pete Samu on the bench.”

Reaping what’s been Clough

2019-reds-v-crusaders-double-header-6

The advancements that have made within women’s rugby in Australia have been exponentially over the past decade and there aren’t many that has experienced it quite like Wallaroos lock Rebecca Clough.

As a Perth-based player, Clough would often receive her training programs from coaches in the East Coast Mafia and would have to find her own ground and facilities to train on during her earlier years in the Wallaroos squad.

The rise in funding and recognition in women’s sport has allowed for dedicated women’s rugby staff to help the 30-year-old and her WA team-mates to prepare for the exapnded international season, which she believes has been crucial in the side’s increasing quality and professionalism.

“I used to train by myself – I used to have to get a program from our strength and conditioning (S&C) trainers in Brisbane or Sydney…I would have to go and find my own field or gym and do it myself in years gone by.” Clough revealed.

“The last year or so – we’ve got dedicated S&C trainers on the ground here in Perth and in all the cities that look after the Wallaroos.

“The attention to detail that the staff now show us, that for me is the biggest improvement or benefit to my game and to the girls’ game on a whole.”

The clash with the Black Ferns will be the first full international contest to be played in Perth and just the 3rd time they have played in an Australian state not named NSW.

It also marks the first time that Clough will enter and play in the new Optus Stadium, having saved the moment for this special occassion.

“I’ve had many a chance to go but I’ve declined all the previous games like the State of origin and lots of AFL games because I knew this was in the pipeline and it’s been my goal to make this Test match,” she said.

“I kind of wanted to make it even more special, so the first time being there, I’m playing on Optus Stadium, I think it’s going to be surreal.”

With plans for a Four Nations tournament involving Australia, USA, New Zealand and Canada in the pipeline, Clough is enticed to continue playing on for as long as her body will allow her to.

“I want to try and play as long as I can and I guess the allure of more Test matches is enough to make me want to keep playing and it’s a really exciting time in women’s rugby.”

  • Andy

    It’s a disgrace that Samu isn’t in the squad. Arguably the best Wallaby forward in the last 4 rounds of super rugby.

    If the rumour is correct about him falling out with Cheika over not being able to attend the first training camp (due to a wedding) then that days it all for me especially considering the leniency shown to Latu.

    • onlinesideline

      best man – ok
      guest – go to training camp

      anyhow what are we taking about – 1 day
      seems very strange.

  • sambo6

    KEPU: “I’m sure they’ll prepare really, really well and want to bounce back as we did from the Springboks the first week

    Yes…the all blacks will probably prepare ‘really, really’ well

    No…they wont want to ‘bounce back’ anything like the way the wallabies did the week after their boks game…..

    • I’m just remembering Hansen – our priorities this year are Bill and Bled. That’s not quite how he said it, but… I’m expecting no messing about and a bit of a wake-up on Saturday from a Nearlies side that have been training skills rather than S&C.

  • Ian Rodger

    I get the scary feeling with Pocock that their is a lot more going on then we know. A calf injury usually doesn’t take this long to recover from. I wouldn’t be surprised if we have seen the last of pocock in Wallaby gold unfortunately. I very much hope i’m wrong but

    • Custard Taht

      I think it is more they are saving him for the world cup, by limiting the opportunities the All Blacks and others have to practice changing light bulbs, by screwing his head right off his shoulders.

      • Yowie

        I read on a NZ rugby forum that Pocock should be red-carded for always trying to head-butt the under-arm/bicep/lats areas of All Blacks players.

      • formerflanker

        Since referees, assistant referees, and citing commissioners/panels don’t take action against players ripping at Poey’s neck, it’s time for his own team to take action.
        There must be a dozen ways to get even/retaliate/challenge the ref.

        • Yowie

          Didn’t John Eales raise the issue of French foul play with the ref quite courageously and effectively one time?

        • Custard Taht

          Exactly. Select a “goon” for one match, who will not be missed when suspended. Their whole being, to enforce some discipline on the 1st person to attack Pococks neck/head.

        • Ads

          Angus Scott-Young looks like a perfect candidate. Or Latu if Ulesse progresses well.

        • nmpcart

          Didn’t Pocock invent the neck roll – testing it on Michael Leach from the Chiefs as I recall.

      • AllyOz

        I wouldn’t be worried if they didn’t play him until a pool game personally but I do feel a bit sorry for Pete Samu. He was enormous for the Brumbies in those latter games of the season. I think he has a big future post WC if he doesn’t get the opportunity to play in September

  • Hoss

    So Methuselah is impressed by how much The Abattoir ‘lifts in the gym’? I lift 140kgs getting out of bed everyday, where’s my recognition?

    • Custard Taht

      Does your bar bounce back? It is all about the bounce back and then not resting on your laurels.

      • Hoss

        I don’t know anyone who can bounce back after Mrs Hoss’ meatloaf it’s like the wallabies, over prepared and under delivers.

        • Nutta

          Wow Dude. That’s harsh.

        • Hoss

          You’re right mate, occasionally the wallabies get it right.

    • onlinesideline

      he was referring to medicine balls not …

      • Hoss

        That was a nickname of a medical student who came from Uni to our team – fair to say he had a culture shock.

    • Keith Butler

      Morning mate. You do yourself a disservice. I was thinking more of a svelte 125kg.

      • Hoss

        I was wearing a corset.

        • Keith Butler

          Was wondering why you pecs looked enormous. Must have pushed the bay window up to your chest. I’ll have to try it.

        • AllyOz

          to quote Blackadder “It’s lucky I wore my corset or my sides would be splitting with laughter” … I think he was being sarcastic but I’m not

    • John Tynan

      You should see him batting in the nets.

      • Nutta

        After 6yrs in a Christian Bros boarding school I don’t want to see any more batting of any sort – in the nets, chapel or anywhere else for that matter.

        • John Tynan

          What I’m hearing is you have a very wristy technique?

        • Nutta

          I can turn balls both ways.

        • John Tynan

          Ah, the German Method.

        • Nutta

          Yeh. Izzy’s church wants to hire me for conversion therapy

        • Yowie

          What’s your highest number “not out”?

        • Nutta

          I have no idea how to respond to that. Stumped.

        • Custard Taht

          Is that a googly?

        • Nutta

          Very close to it.

      • Hoss

        Was seeing them well when you arrived.

    • Yowie

      Plus, that’s technically a sit-up.

      • Hoss

        Incredible core strength as well. i’am an athlete.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I was thinking you probably rolled out of bed rather than the sit up, but your incredible core strength is impressive.

        • Hoss

          Its all about inertia

      • Keith Butler

        Gold.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Recognition where it is due. You are a supreme machine my friend!

      • Hoss

        Cheers mate.

        In a lot of ways George Smith and i are alike. Poor trainers, didn’t like pre-season, carry a bit of puddin’ around the equator – upon reflection that bastard was lucky to only play 111 more tests than i did.

        • Yowie

          Plus you’re both not rocking the dreadlocks thing anymore.

        • Hoss

          The similarities are uncanny !

        • Brisneyland Local

          Cant imagine you in dreadlocks. Mind you I had a pony tail before I became follicly challenged.

        • Yowie

          I can’t believe that Izzy had no room for “male pony tail wearers” on his list.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Doesnt matter I was batting 7/8 anyway on his list!

        • Greg

          You are not a drinker?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold.

        • Hoss

          I cant even remember the list ?

          1. Vegans
          2. Kiwis
          3. French Ref’s
          4. The Greens
          5. People who watch Gogglebox
          6. ?
          7. ?
          8. ?

          Any takers ?

        • Yowie

          6. F*ckers who think super-sour beer is great.

        • Hoss

          Your right mate – Boutique Beers – you can taste the gayness.

        • Yowie

          Nah, boutique beers are alright generally, but it’s all about balance instead of extreme experiences.

          (probably the same for gayness)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Those who behave like Roar’ites on this site!

        • onlinesideline

          that site always feels like League people making comments about union

        • Brisneyland Local

          I read it occasionally when I am craving that extra union hit. But come away feeling sullied!

        • Greg

          @HossRugby:disqus
          Shamelessly stolen from Brian Nankervis….

          If you are holding a dinner party, how will you know if any of the people you have invited are Vegans?

          Don’t worry…. they will tell you.

        • Hoss

          Mate – when i eat something i want it to have had parents

        • Keith Butler

          On an alcoholic note, men who drinking cocktails.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Is a Martini a cocktail?

        • Hoss

          Its not gay, but it doesnt help.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have been renowned for being unhelpful!

        • Yowie

          The trouble with more people (of either gender) drinking cocktails is the delay it causes in a busy bar.
          If we can have transit lanes on the freeway for multi-passengered vehicles can we not have cocktail-orderers in one crowded non-advancing section of the bar then a special fast section for people coming up with an efficient order of x number of schooners or pints* for their table?
          (*Guinness not included due to the foam-settling delay)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Beer Lane, Mixed spirits lane, then cocktail lane. Makes sense.

        • AllyOz

          “either” gender….that is so cysgendered of you

        • Yowie

          Haha, got me. Dammit. Since I’m out of the right-on lefty club now, I’ll have to find out where to sign-on with the bigots.

        • AllyOz

          PM me your address details and I will send you the membership form (I think I spelled cis wrong BTW)

        • Yowie

          No worries. Does membership still come with a free subscription to the Murdoch papers?

        • AllyOz

          That’s where I’m copying the membership form from for you silly!

        • Nutta

          I resent your presumption to gender-classify me. How do you know I’m not a lady?

          https://youtu.be/4THO9-N–k4

        • AllyOz

          you’re very pretty Nutta – I think we might have met before on the dance floor at the Dubbo RSL?

        • Nutta
        • AllyOz

          the nights coming back to me now………uggghhhh

        • On a note of pure pedantry, cis-gendered. As opposed to transgendered. But 9/10, cisnormative is the word you’re actually after…

        • AllyOz

          It is sometimes difficult to get the nomenclature correct. I think, reading it back and now with a better understanding, your 9/10 is a little generous. Have you been doing Cheika’s match assessments for the Tah’s players in the Wallaby squad.

        • Damn, my secret is out!

          And you could be right, misspelt and actually the wrong word, 9/10 is pretty generous. But I was pretty surprised to see even something close to the right word on this forum, so, to paraphrase the AssClown “you clearly took the training well” and marks for that and effort!

        • Keith Butler

          Debatable. Change to drinks with umbrellas in them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ack got it!

        • Nutta

          I’ve told the story about the No10 drinking a Fruit Tingle before…

        • Damo

          After all the work Nathan put into todays news and this banter is all we’ve got! Very amusing though. On a Nathan news/ rugby note, I get very nervous when All Blacks are in the media telling us how good we are. “They’re quality footballers…bla bla”. They can just piss off.

        • Hoss

          Greg Clarke did a take on it on Monday mate – about the Steve Hanson timeline. Basically by Friday the Nearlies will be underdogs and lucky to compete. Then on Saturday all hell breaks loose.

        • Keith Butler

          Don’t worry Damo normal service will be resumed when Cheks names his team.

        • onlinesideline

          says it all doesnt it
          Ive never had a cocktail in my life and never will
          Wine, whiskey, vodka, depending on mood and company.
          Not a beer drinker either – I weigh enough thanks very much.

        • Keith Butler

          Poms wearing socks with sandals. Caught out badly with this one in 1980 and have the photo to prove it. Once bitten as they say.

        • Damo

          And the ultimate weapon of male sartorial destruction. From the bottom- deckies with no socks, white chinos, polo with the collar turned up and… cashmere sweater (any colour) around the shoulders and the sleeves knotted in a very casual way at the front. Maybe the GFC wiped that one out, not sure.

        • Hoss

          Gold – its bad Miami Vice.

          Ive seen men – use that term loosely – wearing RM’s with no socks, especially in Brissie. Its the emancipation of masculinity. As an Adidas Rome and no socks wearer in the 80’s i can vouch for the stink of leather shoes no socks, let alone the sheer audacity to wear RM’s with no socks and looking ‘vulnerable’ FFS.

        • Damo

          I “sent away” for a pair of Adidas “Azteca Gold” in the early 70’s. They took about 6 weeks to arrive in the mail. I was beside my self when they arrived. I thought I was Tommy Smith but I must have looked like a teenage pimp.

        • Hoss

          How cool is that ! I remember sending the form in the back of the comics for ‘Sea Monkeys’ and that growing coral-stuff. About 8 weeks later it arrived and i nearly wet myself. That and the arrival of the new monthly Mad Magazines at the newsagent – it was heddy stuff.

        • Brisneyland Local

          When we got our comics in the mail, we also knew the kid next door’s dad would get his delivery of the early iterations of Penthouse and Playboy. They were heddy days!

        • Hoss

          Karen Pini was my introduction to the female form.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah yes. Remember well!

        • AllyOz

          Didn’t he play for Brisbane Wests, Italy and a couple of tests for Australia?

        • AllyOz

          woops just google searched images….definitely not the same one and I think I just broke some sort of company internet usage policy

        • Hoss

          I know Tasmania was well represented……….

        • Damo

          I believe that was the March 1980 issue of Australian Penthouse Hoss (googled). I remember buying that issue – for the interview with Al Grasby!

        • Nutta

          February 1979…

        • Hoss

          Just ducked out to the shed mate to check ??

        • Nutta

          Let’s just say that I’m useful on trivia night.

        • onlinesideline

          susie quatrro for me – can the can
          couldnt believe what I was seeing, the way that big fan blew her hair
          even at 7 I thought maybe they should turn the fan down just a BIT

        • Brisneyland Local

          RM’s can only be worn with jeans or Mole’ies. Nothing else

        • onlinesideline

          I just dry reched
          WTH is going on ?
          those shoes with no socks and the rolled up chinos used to be conidered the spivyish look and now its considered italian retro and stylish – blokes are wearing it at weddings. There is just no words.

        • onlinesideline

          the old cas sleeve knot – as in “just come from cellar unloading some wine crates”

        • onlinesideline

          people who shake your hand with their right hand and then couple it with their left hand for extra sincerity and a quick eye pause to let it sink in.

        • Nutta

          Yes. Those, rats-tails and man-buns are the true sinners. They are right up there with facial-hair man-scapers. Crimes against humanity stuff.

        • Yowie

          It puts the early films of Steven Seagal into perspective. The guys he was fighting weren’t even villains, they were just reacting to the pony-tail.

        • John Tynan

          10/10 for the Seagal reference

        • Nutta

          … I … MUST … KILL … HIM …

        • onlinesideline

          oh those man buns.
          just … no …. cant look

        • AllyOz

          What is that thing called that Folau Faingaa has? Is that a rat’s tail? or does it have some cultural significance?

        • Nutta

          No idea. But I’m betting there’s a book running somewhere on it in the Jarpy vs George Smith manner.

        • onlinesideline

          you can include the 2 european favourites you see here in Budapest to that list:

          middle aged men wearing ridiclously tight shirts
          middle aged (or any man) wearing the oh so fashionable “neck scarf”

          What some European blokes will do to remind everyone they dont work on a farm anymore like their grandparents did is incredible

        • Nutta

          Now hold on. I’ve seen literal armies of Waratarts fans trooping down to Moore Park in their Landrovers with their rotund pot bellies covered in a slightly tight, pastel coloured cashmere pullover and neckscarf…

        • onlinesideline

          its spread there to has it ?

        • Nutta

          Oh I thought Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs were ground-zero for that shite.

        • onlinesideline

          nahh – it originates here in some form. They are still brushing off the feudal lords, it still traumatises them. Anything provincial looking means freedom. But for some odd reason the Octoberfest look is making a comeback. Word is thats next for the eastern suburbs.

          Not sure whats worse, rolled up chinos and sockless shoes or Austrian horn blowers shorts. Actually on reflection the rolled up chinos take the prize.

        • Nutta

          I respect your research

        • Cravats have a long and, I’m told, distinguished history. Especially in that part of the world that used to be called Bohemia, where you are.

          Fortunately as a middle-aged wlw I’m beyond caring about the dictates of fashion, and never cared about men’s fashion.

        • onlinesideline

          whats a WLW Eloise ?

        • Women-loving-woman. (And is therefore going to hell.) It’s an inclusive term for lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, gender fluid people in their female-fluid-state, many but not all women who identify as genderqueer and a significant subset of women who identify as pansexual.

          Welcome to the fun world of gender identity politics in 20-bi-teen!

        • onlinesideline

          Geezuz, thats confusing for me, must be hell for you – haha

        • Nah, I’ve had a few decades to get used to my sexuality and about 1 less to get used to the various labels.

          I’ve had a few years longer to try and understand hands in the ruck and how the scrum half is meant to put the ball into the scrum – now THAT’S confusing. Straight… yeah, right.

        • onlinesideline

          :)

        • Hoss

          I committed a few crimes against humanity in the 80’s with the permed wave. There must be a god as she has left me bald as a badger now in punishment

        • Brisneyland Local

          To quote Martin Briggs:
          “Hate god back, it works for me!”

        • Hoss

          I do recall seeing an image of a peroxide neo-nazi over a recent Queensland dinner – very distressing actually.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I was in disguise as Jason Akermanis!

        • AllyOz

          I think JOC has given up the peroxide look these days so not him

      • Keith Butler

        A lean, mean, fighting machine. Nice to see peeps have fun today.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Damn straight. Hump day !

        • Hoss

          Would hate to measure the productivity lost today of various org’s we represent….

        • Keith Butler

          No problem for us retirees. Just warming up for an afternoon of bowls. A beautiful day here in Launceston.

        • Hoss

          26 in Godsville and 28 forecast for tomorrow. Got a pile of work to sort through with 0 intent of doing it today.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bahahawahaha

    • Huw Tindall

      I think the Sealy mattress manufacturers deserve the recognition in this instance

  • Custard Taht

    I find it amusing that there is a belief that they bounced back against the argies after the saffa loss. All they did was meet expectations.

    I find it even more amusing that after one win from a less than impressive performance, they are not going to rest on their laurels.

  • Nutta

    I’ve been wondering where Pete was. Class player with class pedigree who comes from a winning culture – so yeh, let’s leave him out… fk me.

    AiB preparing for Poey? Well that’s simple. Go to the nearest Rural-Co, buy some old fashioned scythes and practice decapitating tackle-bags. It will be pretty close to that next time Poey plays.

  • Yowie

    “I used to train by myself – I used to have to get a program from our strength and conditioning (S&C) trainers in Brisbane or Sydney…I would have to go and find my own field or gym and do it myself in years gone by.” Clough revealed.

    But did she force herself up sand-hills to the point of long-term injury!?

    • Brisneyland Local

      No because there wasnt Cheika at the top of the hill playing DJ for her! ;-)

    • Bernie Chan

      Luckily she didn’t ask a coach for a training program and stayed with the qualified S&C trainers…?

      • Yowie

        Imagine the Cheika-style press conferences though.

        “The team is training really well, the players have told us as much”

        • Bernie Chan

          Don’t have to imagine too hard! I suspect he already has that speech ‘locked-and-loaded’…:)

    • AllyOz

      She doesn’t own a boom box and couldn’t hire a DJ so that prevented over extension of the calf muscle

  • Greg

    The High Court just found that an employer is able to limit free speech. A different situation to the one much discussed here… but….

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/former-public-servant-michaela-banerji-loses-high-court-free-speech-case-20190807-p52enu.html

    • Yowie

      Since we’ve broken the seal now:
      The cousin of the sacked rugby star Israel Folau has reportedly been let go from his job at a Sydney Catholic school after calling the church a “synagogue of Satan”.
      https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/aug/02/israel-folau-cousin-dismissed-catholic-school-religious-beliefs

      It will be interesting to hear the distinction made as to why the Catholic employer was in the right but Rugby Australia was in the wrong.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        Many distinctions. Josiah resigned is the first one.

      • Who?

        Religious Institutions are legally exempted from religious discrimination. You can’t have a bloke eating ham sandwiches at a Muslim school, you can’t have a member of the Bahai faith leading a Sikh temple. You can’t have people teaching something they don’t believe. It’s core to the role – even if you’re ‘just’ a sports teacher. Whereas religion’s not a core issue in any other form of employment.
        .
        It’d be like having a bloke modelling women’s underwear. Just not a good fit for the situation, inauthentic, not having the necessary structure or being the right person for the job.

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          I think it is really about an employee being seen to uphold the standards of his/her/its employer. As The Complainant in RA’s case is highly recognisable in shaming his employers moral beliefs, it is therefore conduct unbecoming an employee. It’s not like me, as a Mr Whippy, slagging off at a bbq all the toxic gunk that goes into that excreted rubbish – not to mention dipping it into that chocolate sludge bucket that hasn’t seen a clean for six months, then rolling it in sprinkles half-made up of dessicated weevils. I’m hardly recognisable and no-one but my employer would care and they’d only know if they were at that same bbq.
          BUT, as a sole trader, that will never happen…
          Business has been quiet lately.

        • Who?

          It’s about that in an area where the employer’s standards are relevant to the freedom that is being impinged. The RA case is completely different, as religious expression isn’t covered by RA’s purposes. Catholic schools exist to educate children about the world and mould them into good Catholics. RA exists to enable all people to be able to play Rugby. It doesn’t have in its mandate any policy on whether or not those people should believe that other people (inside or outside the game) should hold certain religious beliefs.
          .
          Cath Ed is free to fire Josiah Folau (let’s be honest, isn’t the ability to choose your children’s teachers a major selling point for private schools), because his freedom of religious expression is subject to his choice to be employed by a religious institution. Israel Folau’s freedom of religious expression isn’t subject to any impediment by his contract with RA because RA isn’t a religious institution.
          Whether or not his religious statement is held to be such, that’s another argument. Whether it’s found to be discrimination (when it’s his theoretical interpretation of his holy book, not his actions towards a person) is another point they may use. Israel’s not won yet (no one has), but Josiah’s case is pretty open and shut.
          .
          Now, where can I find some ice cream……….

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          Yes, but equality and inclusion and not sending people to hell are pretty much core to RA’s purposes and Israel certainly indicated a few of RA’s beliefs did not match his own. My Mr Whippy van holds a certain publicly respected stance on climate change (though it is not within its core purpose) and if I were seen to be openly deriding that stance on a social platform, I would have my arse kicked at the very least. If I did it again, that arse would be out the door.
          Josiah spouting his rubbish is just the stuff of some immature, unskilled, amateurish and arrogant nitwit and thoroughly deserved his casual status to be cancelled.
          Best ice cream is Messina’s Apple Pie Gelato in a 1 litre bucket…

        • Who?

          RA’s beliefs about an afterlife are irrelevant. Because it’s not a religious institution, it’s a sporting body. What RA says doesn’t impact on the eternal destiny of any person. If the AFL were to come out and say that I was going to hell, I wouldn’t care. Whether it was because I live in Qld, because I believe that AFL is terrible and shouldn’t exist… Similarly, if the NRL were to come out and say there’s no heaven or hell, and death is it, I wouldn’t care. If the FFA came out and said I was going to heaven in spite of my epiphany that soccer is the embodiment of evil, and proclaimed that heaven is standing in goal during endless penalty shootouts for eternity (which sounds like a version of hell to me), again, has no impact on me.
          .
          Now, I get I have privilege on multiple fronts (very little melanin, ‘traditional’ gender/family arrangements, etc), but if my 14 year old kid were getting his religious instruction from Instagram…
          .
          Folau’s beliefs about the afterlife and religion don’t match RA’s, but there’s no evidence that his beliefs about inclusion in sport clash with RA’s. We haven’t seen any evidence he’s personally discriminated against anyone in person, for any reason. We haven’t seen that his belief has resulted in negative actions.
          .
          This is a very different discussion as to whether a teacher in a religious school is required not to believe that their employer is sending people to hell, and whether a public servant has the right to publicly air grievances (even under a pseudonym) about the government for which they work. Both of those are directly related to the nature of their employment. Rugby isn’t in any way tied to religion (and if it were, in spite of being called, “The game they play in Heaven,” I expect it’d be tied to non-religion (atheism (mainly non-militant), agnosticism, that sort of thing. Because the old boys are largely that way inclined, regardless of what the current playing group (full of Pacific Islanders and Saffas) might be), and that should always remain the case.
          .
          Now, I have serious doubts about the claims you’ve made about your Mr Whippy van and climate change position. I’ve never seen an ice cream van – from any company – that’s run on batteries and/or doesn’t have a massive soot trail spread out on the bodywork above the exhaust. :-P

      • AllyOz

        I think part of it was (1) he resigned (or they came to a mutual agreement that he leave) and (2) he was on a short term casual contract – i used to do that work and was only hired to the end of term or the end of the year so they could have just not renewed. I don’t dispute though that it was an interesting development but I think there are some clear distinctions as Who? has outlined.

        • Yowie

          Based on your direct experience, does Izzy’s cousin have a point (and therefore need to be silenced), or is the place not very Satan-worshipping in reality. My collection of nunsploitation films indicates that old-mate might actually be on to something.

        • AllyOz

          Sorry to disappoint but no I didn’t find any Satan worshipping. I was at Nudgee so there was a lot of rugby worshipping. The cult of Elton Flatley was particularly strong at the time. I had JOC in the year group I looked after in one year and Will Chambers and Nemani Nadolo (different surname at the time but I could never pronounce it let alone spell it) in another. JOC only boarded on week nights and I did mainly Fridays and weekends so I never had a lot to do with him but seemed like a decent kid at the time. The other boys were great. I gave Nemani my suit when (at 6’5″ and 125 kgs) I grew out of it. He was 17 at the time and it was a perfect fit.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      The High Court found that protection of an independent and professional public service is just as important a part of a democracy as freedom of political communication, and so the two need to be balanced. Both sides in the case agreed that the employee’s communications were damaging to the public service, and the overall impact on political communication resulting from the sacking was found by the court to be reasonable in the circumstances. There is particular legislation covering communications of public service employees. There was no finding about employers in general in this case.

  • Hoss

    Now THIS is interesting. RA, you paying attention.

    Would lower any offer to a former fullback if i were you. It seems a precedent has been set.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-07/high-court-free-speech-public-service–banerji-decision/11377990

    • Who?

      Doesn’t change it, because it’s not freedom of religious expression in a role that has no relationship to religion. Whereas that case is about freedom of political expression in a role that is expressly related to politics.
      It’s a definite precedent, it’s just not in the same field. An equivalent would be if a teacher at a Catholic school was arguing they should be permitted to proselytise Islam. And in that situation, the religious institution (the school) is exempted from religious discrimination laws.
      Another example would be if some idiot decided to come in and institute proselytise League in Rugby, maybe even instituting things like 40/20’s and line drop outs… It’s fine for Rugby administrators to discriminate against those who would recruit out of Rugby into League.

      • Yowie

        I don’t think a “loigy” would use a word like “proselytise”. Of course he might tell everyone that League is “more better” than Union.

        • Who?

          Exactly. We must maintain standards. ;-)
          .
          I could equally have gone with something about Collingwood fans not being permitted to try and get elected to the Carlton board in order to change the Carlton AFL club from what it currently is to being a tiddlywinks Quoits and Croquet club. They treat AFL like religion down there, don’t they?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh no no no no no. It is far more important than that down there.

      • Hoss
    • Gipetto

      Don’t worry Qantas can cough up $10 million as part of its sponsorship deal; RA was only following orders. No rational person looks to RA for guidance on moral issues; It struggles with its core business.

  • Huw Tindall

    Was wondering what happened to Pete Samu. He should be in the team for his tucked shirt discipline if nothing else. Seems a bit petty to deny selection due to attending a wedding for an early training camp. Not like he told Chek last minute 3 days before a Bled test that he was unavailable for selection as he had a wedding to go too. Baffling.

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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