Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News details the review of a controversial law, examines the transformation of Jame O’Connor, explores the new laws being trialled in the NRC and looks at a young gun ready to lead his team back to NRC glory.


Reviewing Giteau’s law

Samu Kerevi

Samu Kerevi

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has confirmed that the infamous ‘Giteau’s Law’ will be reviewed at the end of the year.

Giteau’s law states that overseas players must have accrued 60 Test caps for Australia or have played seven years professionally in the country if they wish to be eligible for selection in the Wallabies.

In its current form, players such as Samu Kervei, Adam Coleman and Rory Arnold would be unavailable for selection until they signed a contract of intent to return to Australian rugby.

Whilst Castle reaffirmed that the rule was still effective, she admitted that it would be foolish for the organisation to not review the law.

“The Giteau rule has worked really well for us and if you think about the players we couldn’t select for the World Cup, there is probably only three or four you would look at and say they would have had a big crack at making the Wallabies for the World Cup,” said Castle on Tuesday.

“It would be irresponsible for us not to review it.”

She also took the chance to shed light on the battle to get towering Saracens lock Will Skelton back for the World Cup, confirming that a difference in return date was the catalyst for his non-selection.

“He basically had to give up the last year of his Saracens contract, and sign with Rugby Australia and we would have had some flexibility like we did with Nic White and Matt Toomua, they could finish their seasons and come back and play the back few games of Super Rugby, that would have been within the bounds of the Giteau law,” Castle said.

“But he was looking to not come back until the following year and that wasn’t acceptable to us.”

Castle stressed that the rule would likely remain for the future, believing that it was crucial in keeping promising talent in Australia

“The fundamental is we need our good players playing Super Rugby, so we need to make sure we look at it from that perspective,” she said.

“Don’t give any open doors for opportunities for players to think ‘well I’m going to disappear off and not play Super Rugby and then I’m a dead cert to be selected for the World Cup.

“So that the bit that we’re trying to balance.”

Golden Sheaf to Gold Jersey

James O'Connor

James O’Connor

Reformed bad-boy James O’Connor has described the relief and joy of having his name read out at the World Cup launch last Friday.

It was only eight years ago that O’Connor was absent from the 2011 Rugby World Cup squad announcement after sleeping through his alarm as a result of a boozy night at The Golden Sheaf in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs (Classic Wednesday’s).

O’Connor was grateful for his latest opportunity, reflecting on the growth and change that he has made in between the two announcements.

“I was just in the moment,” O’Connor told foxsports.com.au.

“It wasn’t about anyone else or anything else, it was just like, ‘I missed this announcement eight years ago.’

“It’s funny because I was speaking to Dave Pocock last night about similar things, just about life.

“I guess the only constant in life is change and growth.

“It wasn’t even a lifetime ago, it was almost like two lifetimes ago that version of me, in 2011, I missed that, the choices you make and I’m here now and soaking it up.”

The critical turning point for O’Connor was missing out on the previous World Cup in England, revealing the whole process had broken his ego.

“I think missing out on the 2015 World Cup was a big part of it,” he says.
“The whole year of coming back to the Reds and being injured and being broken and being depressed, I wasn’t in a good mindset.

“When I went back there, I was just broken. My ego had been broken.”

He credited a group called Saviour World for his transformation, whose brutal honesty and ‘unique’ training methods helped him realise that there was more to life than just rugby.

“Once I got to the UK I started working with a group called Saviour World, who I push their message and want to get it out there because, f**k, it literally saved me,” he revealed.

“I met this guy, Oli, from Saviour World, who I met when I moved to London Irish (in 2013), just a chance meeting, a football player was working with him, who I didn’t even know, a mutual friend introduced us and I had a conversation with him and he just blew my mind.

“At that stage, he was like, ‘Look, we could work together but until you’re going to do it 100 per cent, don’t waste my time.’

“I was like, f**k, I’ve never had someone say that to me and be so brutally honest.”

Captains welcome (N)ew (R)ule (C)hanges

Drua win 2018 NRC (Credit Getty Images)

The eight captains of the NRC for 2019 have welcomed the addition of experimental rules into the competition.

The comp will begin this Saturday and will trial a rugby-league style 50-22/22-50 kicking rule along with awarding a dropout when the ball is held up over the line, which can be taken at any part of the goal-line.

NSW Country captain Ned Hanigan applauded the move, particular the drop out rule, which will allow defending teams to immediately relieve pressure.

“That’s always been a bit of a questionable rule – you hold them up over the line and they get a five-metre scrum, which straight away puts the pressure back on you,” he said.

“This way it’s a quick hold up, get the ball back, kick to buggery down the field and yeah, so it’ll be a bit exciting, it’ll open the game up.”

This was shared by Brisbane City captain Fraser McReight, who believes that the new laws will create more opportunities for attacking rugby.

“I think I can see this year it’s going to be a very high-scoring NRC but it’s not going to be five-metre scrums, scrum, scrum, scrums, penalty try,” he suggests.

“It’s going to be held them up, kick the ball up, attacking rugby,

“We like that and it’s rewarding because the best thing about rugby is not just the scrums and the mauls but for me, I love the running, I love the tackling, love the openness and the freedom of the game, that’s what this NRC season’s going to do so I can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle believes that the NRC is the perfect environment for introducing and testing new rules as it will hopefully improve the flow of the game and create a more exciting product for fans.

“The whole point of the trial is so they can look at it in a competition like this, and make sure it doesn’t open up opportunities in other areas of the game,” she said.

“Because sometimes when you change a law here, this happens over there and then you end up with unfortunate consequences.

“So trialling it makes sure when you put into Super Rugby and Test rugby you are really sure it is the right law change.”

McReady to go

Fraser McReight  training NRC 2019 Brisbane City (Photo Credit - QRU/Brendan Hertel)

Brisbane City captain Fraser McReight has backed his side to bounce back and contend for top spot in this year’s NRC.

The two-time champions have failed to feature in the finals since 2015, with McReight confident that his past twelve months have given him the experience to help lead Brisbane back to the promised land.

“I didn’t really find my best form last year, maybe just a bit of confidence was lacking and I’m not too sure what happened,” he said.

“I think the Reds’ preseason helped me immensely with my rugby, then playing U20s and having Super Rugby, I’ve learned a lot of things through experience, through Samu (Kerevi), Higgers (Scott Higginbotham), Wrongas (Liam Wright), all these really good footy players and really good minds in the game just moulding you and telling you what to do.

“In big games just calm your nerves and go back to the basics and I think that’s going to help the team this year a lot.”

McReight has been skyrocketed to the captaincy role after a whirlwind 2019, with the flanker looking forward to continuing his development against seasoned veterans.

“I feel physically ready, obviously everyone’s still working, no one’s perfect, so I’ve still got my own little work-ons but in terms of being physical and a bit more knowledgeable about the game and especially my game, I think I’m a lot better prepared than I was last year,” he said.

“It’s a task, it’s a challenge. Of course in club rugby, you play against men week in, week out but this is the next step up.

“Everyone’s a bit better skill-wise, bit more physical, it’s a lot faster game so it’s probably more about how you can adapt to the quickness of the game and not just slow down and slash behind because that’s how you get left behind.

“I think playing up against men, especially for someone my age 20, sort of want to make a Super Rugby career next year and the year after I think it’s vital that we step up, adapt, play really well and leaves us into good stead come next year.”

McReight and Brisbane City will face an uphill battle in their opening match, where they will host defending champions Fiji Drua at Ashgrove Sports Ground on Saturday afternoon.

  • formerflanker

    So in eliminating one reason for scrums, an attacking team held up over the line is penalised by the loss of field position?
    Makes as much sense to me as the silly change when a maul moving forward and then collapsed saw the scrum feed go to the retreating team.

    • Of the trial rule changes that is the one I don’t mind. I’m not saying I think it will necessarily be kept but I don’t mind seeing how it plays out. There’s nothing wrong with rewarding good defensive effort on occasion and rugby is meant to be a game where both sides of the game matter after all.

      I think the 50-22 law is just silly – the stated reasons for introducing it will not cause they changes they’re after. Some of the others, like the waist high tackles will probably just change who gets carted off for HIAs. The tackled player should get hit in the head less often (although goal line defence will be interesting, when the runner basically starts off with their torso horizontal…) but the tackler is suddenly always putting their head close to knees, the pelvis and so on. Good technique, no problem, but desperation last second tackles? Could be messy.

      • Geoffro

        The refs just need to use common sense.The most ridiculous thing Ive seen lately was Etzebeth being awarded a penalty for tackled in the air when he leapt over a defender.He tried it again later in the match but the ref had wised up and used his brains but should have been savvy from the get go.Same if a player launches himself headfirst at someones knees.You have to take some responsibility for putting yourself in harms way

        • Refs and common sense… yeah, right.

          Can I direct you to final round of matches in TRC this year and the scrums. Two referees that are from the country that is considered by some to take the scrum most seriously, who have been on the Elite panel for years and are going to Japan in a month’s time. I know the teams were different and there probably were differences as well, but totally different interpretations of what was happening at the scrums. One yelled “use it” a lot, the other blew for penalty kicks a lot. That’s using their “common sense” and what they see…

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I don’t like promoting defence over attack which is what that one does. I prefer to see teams rewarded for attack. I also think that’s the “Australian way” more than defence is.
        Agree that neither the kicking nor lowering of tackle will achieve what they think. Stupid knee jerk reactions

        • idiot savant

          But isn’t it to stop the endless pick and drive which is boring for all but dedicated rugby fans? It encourages the attacking team to use backs when close to the line, pass, run angles, make the game attractive to spectators.

        • Who?

          How do any of the law changes do that? Especially the law change that makes it a high tackle to tackle above waist high? How are you supposed to defend picks and drives when you can’t touch the shoulders?
          .
          World Rugby have made very, very, very few logical changes this century. They should be more conservative in changing laws, and instead determine whether the current laws are being correctly (and comprehensively) enforced, especially respecting an areas that are an issue. Rugby’s laws are already comprehensive enough that there’s likely already a solution.

        • Brumby Runner

          Who? I might well be wrong, but I thought the only law changes coming into the NRC were those relating to the 50/22, 22/50 and held up in goal drop kick. If my memory serves me, the high tackle law change was to be trialed in a French lower competition.

        • Who?

          You may be right. Looking here, it says high tackles are “approved in closed trials.”
          But the NRC will see automatic Team YC’s (closed trials in NRC).
          Some of the other proposals are just insane. “Proposal to delay the defensive offside line being removed until the first receiver takes a pass.” Seriously?!?! So that just means that scrumhalves have freedom to run the entire width of the field and must reach the defensive line before anyone can move, if they don’t pass..? These people need to be removed from all positions of authority in the game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Those options have always been there. I do get the intent but rewarding defence over attack isn’t right to me

        • Brumby Runner

          I’m comfortable with the notion, and I hope it does realise the more open, attacking play that is intended. Won’t be long now to see it all in action.

        • Keith Butler

          Still trying to get my head round this. I suppose you could argue that there will only be a few pick and drives before the defence is penalised which might encourage more open play. However, the attacking teams might opt for more P&Ds and the refs reaching for yellow cards for persistent infringement. When close to try line, instead of rewarding defence would it lead to penalty tries. Just speculation until we see it in practice.

        • I think the law tweaks and the current interpretations in general have slid that way over the last few years. I broadly don’t mind rewarding attack but I don’t object to this particular tweak.

          Why? Because I think it gives variety. If you kick from under your sticks, do you kick long, kick short and compete, do a really short restart like at a 22 to try and regather? Equally, how do teams defend against it? That long kick theoretically gives you time to press forwards in a good defensive line but it also gives the receiving team a good chance to build an attack. The shorter restarts have all kinds of ways to work well for the kicking team but become higher and higher risk too…

          So as an experiment I’d be interested to see how it plays out. It might be dull and not work. But at least it’s not instantly flawed.

  • Patrick

    Fark how someone got to the wallabies without ever hearing some home truths blows my mind.

    I do in hindsight think we absolutely ducked up three three amigos and who knows what it cost Australian rugby.

    • onlinesideline

      but in fairness he did say that even when people offered some not so subtle advice / suggestions / pull your head ins that he was deaf to them. There’s a linit to what a coach / Deans could have done. They are not therapists. There is culture building and man management. And Im sure in fairness to Deans he went over and beyond as coach to instill values into these kids. But being 100% how is he supposed to what each kids emotional hurts / challenges are, so that they may surface at an airport or whatever. Making it even harder was that JOC was scoring tries and bloody good ones for the Wallabies. Maybe and just maybe there could be a rule that you cant become a Wallaby until 20 or 21….dunno.

      thoughts ?

      • Geoffro

        Some people just grow up faster than others.JOC seems to have taken a bit longer to mature but i still dont rate his transgressions (self harming mostly) anywhere near those of sportsmen who have been guilty of harm to others.Besides,an under 21 ban woud rob us of one of the most exciting backs we have in the squad going to Japen

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          His transgressions are nowhere near as bad as other people in the Wallabies, or the All Blacks.

          However, the rumours were that his attitude had a poisonous effect on the Wallabies when he was younger. But he seems to have changed that utterly. Based on everything he has said, I think he will have a hugely positive impact on team culture now. So, good on him, that’s great.

        • Geoffro

          I know the culture,a bunch of resentful prima donnas or holier than thous rather than one that can provide some sort of guidance.Funny he had to wind up in london before he met someone in the rugby fraternity willing to help him through his issues than teammates who encouraged them

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Honestly, I’m not that surprised. He was 17 when he debuted at super rugby and 18 when he debuted for the Wallabies. And he was good looking. From that moment on he was in the spotlight, with everyone in the media and the public telling him he was ‘The Man’. He was on the Suisse ads on TV, among other things. He was also ultra talented.

          Certainly not surprising that all that could be confusing for a young man of that age.

          When he moved to England, however, he was no longer the superstar. English fans didn’t really care about some 24 year old Aussie playing for an okay team, who wasn’t going to make the English team. It really isn’t surprising that that was humbling for him, and getting out of the spotlight was good for him.

          Based on Deans’ biography and everything I know of the man, I suspect he did his best to help James. But, I don’t think the structures around him were right at that time.

        • Nutta

          But that’s the point – you help as far as you reasonably can whilst it’s still in the interests of the team. THEN YOU DROP HIM. The coach owes his energy to his team and not to one (or 3) dickhead/s and the dickhead/s need to learn some life lessons. My dad used to have funny sayings and one of them was ‘The difference between a smart-arse and a man is a mouthfull of your own blood’. Everyone needs a smack in the mouth sometimes in life. If you’re bright & lucky it’s only metaphoric. If you’re not so bright (like me) it’s the occasional jab. If you’re a ClassA idiot (aka JOC/Beale/QC) it’s 10rounds over 5yrs with Tyson. Allsorts.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I wouldn’t say that about those guys – especially JOC and QC, both of whom haven’t had any behavioural transgressions recently. Even back in the 09-13 period I wouldn’t have referred to any of them as idiots.

        • Ads

          Didn’t JOC get done for cocaine in 2017? Not sure if you mean that is either not recent or not a behavioural transgression. I’m not saying he shouldn’t get given a go, but it’s not like he’s been clean for that long.

        • onlinesideline

          nahh – he was fined for being under the influence of a kiwi ……. inexcusable

        • Nutta

          Ali Baba Williams wasn’t it?

        • onlinesideline

          I dont want to think about it – his Hakas still cringe

        • onlinesideline

          lol – gold mate – good stuff

        • From NooZealand

          Why bring the All Blacks in? and if that is the case, what about other teams? Whether good or behavior; it had an effect in the Australian/Wallabies environment.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Look, that’s a fair question, but the reason is because you’re our closest neighbours, the All Blacks are the team I know next best after the Wallabies, and because I’ve often been lectured by Kiwis that ‘better people make better All Blacks’ when they criticise the Wallabies’ culture.

          But I take your point. The same could probably be said about any international side, which was the point I intended to convey – he hasn’t done anything terrible by international standards.

        • From NooZealand

          Cheers. As for “better people make better All Blacks”, I do not buy that if they try to imply that the All Blacks are better players because they are better people. It is simply good for our society, wherever we live, that we all try to be better people. BTW, the ABs squad has been name and will post it now on Wednesday’s news.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I like the squad.

        • onlinesideline

          you mean like David Boon sinking 52 cans of beer on flight to England ?

        • Geoffro

          Didn’t we just give a state funeral to a guy who held a world beer drinking record.

        • Nutta

          Not quite a world record holder, but a state funeral for an authentic, hard-drinking Ocker nonetheless – even if he did treat his wife like shite.

        • Brisneyland Local

          He held the Oxford University Record for skulling a yard of ale.

        • Nutta

          That’s pretty decent.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I tried it once. I couldnt get within 1.5 secs of Bob’s record.

        • Keith Butler

          Got a bit worried when I read the JOC article. Thought he suddenly got religion. Then I looked at the Saviour World website a breathed a sigh of relief. Still looked pretty weird though.

        • Funk

          If he was an all black, his indiscretions would be hushed up and swiftly swept under the rug.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah good point.

          Ok make it a character test then.
          You have to pick up an olive from the top of a block of ice, without using your hands, your legs, your feet or your mouth or your ears. If you can you are considered having the requisite skills to be a Wallaby.

        • Geoffro

          pucker up lads

        • Nutta

          I’ll pay to watch that.

        • idiot savant

          So you’re saying that only guys with big arses have got character?

        • onlinesideline

          yesss … they are called forwards

      • Patrick

        Good points but as it happens you’ve hit on one of my sensitive spots with this line:

        There’s a limit to what a coach / Deans could have done. They are not therapists

        Well no they aren’t but at this point we were already basically the last major team not to have someone dedicated to mental preparation.

        Guess what? We still don’t.

        • onlinesideline

          couldnt agree more – we seem so slow on the uptake. The kiwis even made a doco for us to get the point across.
          maybe Cheika doesnt feel comfortable being questioned too much by any Dr Footy on his thinking

  • Hoss

    Well, now the Pirate knows what it’s like to be Mrs Hoss in trying to accommodate a Big Willy

    • Geoffro

      My missus took the same risk but I caught her cheating out :)

    • onlinesideline

      Well she did only want him for a brief stint.

    • Keith Butler

      She may tell you one day.

      • From NooZealand

        …one day soon. ((:))

    • Keith Butler

      Imperial or metric?

  • Custard Taht

    I understand the push for player safety, but unless the contact element of the contact sport is removed, the players won’t be safe.

    I think Rugby just need to mitigate the risks down to acceptable, brief the players on the risks and let the players who want to play, play.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Giteau law changes would be interesting. Morahan, Fardy, McMahon, Gill and potentially Skelton would have been the guys that we might have wanted in the squad. However, next year we are losing Arnold and Kerevi, amongst others. Those guys have relatively few caps and have not been in Aussie super rugby for a super long time, so the rule would be needed to be watered down a lot to nab them.

    Jeez those law change quotes read like a media release.

    It’s still interesting to me that there is such a push from RA to have Ned Hanigan at the front and centre of seemingly every media release and Wallabies ad. Even when he doesn’t make the squad, he is usually one of the guys in a photo unveiling a New Jersey or a poster ahead of a Bledisloe Cup match. I wonder why?

    • Geoffro

      Why Hanigan ? same reason Kwagga Smith doesnt do any promo shots for the Boks

      • Keith Butler

        Kwagga Smith. Face like a dogs backside with a hat on.

        • Geoffro

          Lived in is kind,dogs backside…not so much :)). If Kwagga had Hanigans size though he’d be awesome.Shows where a little bit of ticker can get you

        • Keith Butler

          Absolutely.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Still seems strange to use the most controversial Wallaby of recent years. One who to many symbolises the worst aspects of Cheika’s alleged favouritism towards New South Welshmen. I also don’t think that he is a Peter O’Toole, and isn’t the only good looking man in the Wallabies.

    • Custard Taht

      Reward for training well.

    • From NooZealand

      One of the first changes to that regulation is to change the name “Giteau Law”.

      • onlinesideline

        The Big Willy law ?
        (for some its important, some not))

        • Jcr

          According to Mr Hoss , the Big Willy law is only a short term conjugal exemption

        • Hoss

          Based on leap years.

        • Fatflanker

          Boots on and waiting for Cheika’s call right now.

    • Mart

      Still can’t believe Morahan doesn’t have more Wallabies caps

    • Nutta

      He’s obviously a thinker with a deep and profound understanding of the game.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,
    I’m not a fan of the new rules but willing to give them time. I get the idea of supporting the defence on the line but now you’re not supporting attacking rugby. So a complete switch around and not sure that it’ll promote attacking rugby. I don’t think the kicking rule will provide the space they think it will either. Some kickers will be able to do it but I think the emphasis on getting kicks right will have an adverse affect on passing and other skills. The tackle rule is crap. It’s tacklers that get hurt more than the tackled player and this rule will increase the injuries to the tackler. A slight miscalculation and the head will get hit with knees, hips and thighs.
    I like the good news story with JOC and long may it continue.
    The Giteau rule was always going to be reviewed and it’ll be interesting to see how they maintain a balance with players needing to stay and others wanting to earn more off shore. The lack of depth here means they need to compromise in ways NZ doesn’t (yet).

    • onlinesideline

      its taken them 4 years to come to the conclusion it needs reviewing.
      Soooo slow. Couldnt they have reveiewd it, say, I dunno, 6 months ago in prep for RWC 2019 ?
      Anyone for tea ?

    • Damo

      The Springboks, who seem to have a pretty open policy on selection, have selected 8 overseas based players in their 31. I have to say I would be hard pressed to find 8 OS based Wallabies who would necessarily be better than those selected for this World Cup. I suppose White and JOC may have stayed in their English clubs if we had a more flexible selection policy. Fardy probably stands out- although his selection would depend on O’Connor and Johnson over riding Cheika. Skelton, Gill? I don’t know.

  • joy

    O’Conner is behaving like a born again Christian. Sweet as sugar and as humble as home made apple pie. I prefer the original version. Feisty, bold, non compliant, willing to try anything and have a go. His transgressions were mostly trivial and grossly exaggerated by a self indulgent outrage class. They went after him, Cooper and Beale with an air of self righteous zealotry which continues to poison rugby for to this very day (Folau). Come now, compared to previous generations of Wallabies their transgressions were just trivia, weren’t they? How long do we have to wait for an new bunch of brilliant amigos to emerge and entertain us with their silky skills, creativity, colour, daring and disregard for social norms, to emerge and lift the Wallabies out of the rugby doldrums and up on to the podium. Long suffering rugby fans will never lose hope. We shall never surrender.

    • Nutta

      Whoa there Joy.

      Firstly, without going too far down the rabbit hole, in my opinion what each of these guys did is simply not worthy of representing the jersey.

      In brief;

      One guys ego was so far bigger than the team he didn’t even bother to show up.

      Another guys ego was so fragile and destructive he simply couldn’t play within a team and then cried foul when it turned to shite

      And the other guy … well as one of my mates put it; ‘You pull that shite on my wife, best ring the cops and report yourself missing then hope they find you before I do.’

      And neither of the facts of RA choosing to accept these behaviours nor us having seen same/worse before divorces us – as the ultimate guardians of our game – from recognising that.

      • onlinesideline

        I hear you re the Jersey and the jersey DEFINTiELY needs to be respected off the field. And a no-show is bad. But I honestly don’t think with JOC it was “incidents” that made him toxic for coaches, it was something else. He clearly had a disposition which said me first, team second. An aloofness or narcissistic demeanour that rubbed the other players the wrong way. Thats not really an attitude problem per se but something deeper. Its a person protecting an inner self that felt bottomless and thus vulnerable. He needed to be told / taught that he has an inner being that is real and most importantly likeable to other people, way more than the temporary talents of slippery Jim. Hes clearly sought this guidance out and hes removed these illusionary husks that he was shrouded in. Like you say it is a rabbit hole and complex. We are all accountable, even at that age but……..

        On the other hand, I dont disagree with some of the things Joy referred to with respect to the the modern day medias tendency to be absolutely fricken brutal when making money from someones downfall. It is absolutely disgusting and these retards do untold damage with the sub conscious message they spread, in the idea its OK to prosper from someone else misery if its presented behind the cloak of a corporate context. A truly disgusting profession.

        • Nutta

          Both fair points.

        • Dud Roodt

          I agree with you. I remember hearing a story from someone down at the Rebels when JOC was there that when he was injured, as the youngest member of the team he had a requirement to spend each game in the corporate boxes. He refused.

          Not a huge discretion by most standards, but I think it went a long way to defining who he was as a person in those days.

          I am very happy to see his current attitude.

        • joy

          Yes. I’m not saying these three are angels but they must be allowed to grow up naturally, with help if they ask for it, which sees them retaining the qualities that made them great in the first place. David Campese and Justin Harrison a good examples of this. They were out there during their playing careers and still out there now. They are very much left field thinkers and they have had an impact on the rugby world. The confected outrage in the media and a certain cohort outside the media doesn’t help with this process. I don’t want to see a PC bashed and chastened James O’Conner. I want to see the grown up version of the original, warts and all. Beale’s OK, maybe needs forget the party line and loosen up a bit. Cooper solved his own problems while remaining true to himself. He was and still is the worst treated of the three.

        • onlinesideline

          well JOC has dropped about 5 F-bombs in interviews since returning, so thats good. I have actually had a good chuckle watching him answer questions in chill out mode and then let slip a good “well f..k”
          Its pretty funny and reassuring too. He’s still fundamentally a good ocker. (trick is to be a good egg as well)

        • joy

          I’m disappointed I missed that. And the amusement.

    • Who?

      I followed the link to see what he’s into, and it seems like a pyramid scheme. You can’t even find out what the thing is until you’ve handed over cash.
      If it’s working for him, good, but… Very secretive.

    • Parker

      The place for exceptionalism is scarce in our country.

    • Keith Butler

      Well he was rescued by Saviour World.

    • Max Graham

      I was kind of around when JOC turned up at the Force. He was a dick. Almost an extraordinary waste of talent. Stoked that he’s turned himself around so well.

  • From NooZealand

    ABs squad announced and on Wednesday’s Podcast.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      All Blacks Squad
      Rugby World Cup 2019
      Joe Moody
      Nepo Laulala
      Angus Ta’ava
      Ofa Tuungafasi
      Atu Moli
      Dane Coles
      Codie Taylor
      Liam Coltman
      Patrick Tuipulotu
      Sam Whitelock
      Brodie Retallick
      Scott Barrett
      Luke Jacobson
      Matt Todd
      Ardie Savea
      Sam Cane
      Kieran Read (captain)
      Aaron Smith
      TJ Perenara
      Brad Weber
      Richie Mo’unga
      Beauden Barrett
      Sonny Bill Williams
      Ryan Crotty
      Jack Goodhue
      Anton Lienert-Brown
      Rieko Ioane
      Sevu Reece
      George Bridge
      Jordie Barrett
      Ben Smith

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Strong squad. Feel for Laumape and Havili.

      • onlinesideline

        wouldnt mind Fifita in our squad

      • Hoss

        Lightweights.

        No Franks or Squires ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nope but it’ll do

        • Hoss

          I guess it’s a B- overall.

        • Squires is meant to be not quite up to speed and considered not worth the risk yet. He’s playing Mitre 10 I believe and is on standby though.

          I guess I’m not surprised but feel sorry for Laumape. I’d have taken him over SBW. Few surprises in the rest of the squad. Franks hasn’t quite been himself. Thought they might have taken him for experience but after he was dropped for Bled II not surprised to see him miss out either.

          I saw there’s another Goodhue in the Mitre 10. Not sure he’s up for an AB cap but he might be up for a Super Rugby contract next year based on the 1 match I’ve seen him play this year. Got to say, as the AB say goodbye to another crop of player, youngsters trying to pushing up into SR at least look to be in fine form. Worryingly so for the rest of the world.

      • Keith Butler

        Not surprised that Franks was left out. Scott Barrett as a 5/6? Laumape will be disappointed but I suppose something had to give when you selects 3 scrum halves. Jordie Barrett to fill in at centre if required?

      • Brumby Runner

        First thing to stand out is three No 9s.

        Also, congrats to Reece and Bridge for getting the call up after some outstanding performances.

  • OnTheBurst

    I don’t want to be a poo-pooer, but how is Fraser McReight captaining an NRC side? Surely there are some older wiser heads who could be captaining and providing some mentoring for a bloke who is only 20 years old. Or am I worrying too much? McReight is a star in the making, don’t get me wrong….

    PS https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeF1JO7Ki8E

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s gold

    • Max Graham

      Maybe…..

      Some people are born leaders – sometimes letting them lead from the start works well. Graham Smith with the Proteas is a good example. Alexander of Macedonia is another.

      • Who?

        It’s a really interesting one, isn’t it? He’s done ok captaining this year – runners up in the U20’s RWC with Fraser as captain.
        Then again, it doesn’t always work. Hooper was captain very young, and his captaincy skills have taken time to develop (I’d say he’s finally improved in the last year, having improved his language towards referees).

  • Hoss

    Hot off the press. Pataia returning home from Noumea with a slight hamstring twinge, nothing to keep him out of RWC, but certainly out of Samoa Test. The Bovine Sprinkler and HJH joining squad as training reps only

    • adastra32

      So the one chance for a look at the teenager before RWC19 goes. A talented young man (as attested) with a lack of recent form and no international experience may be catapulted into the biggest tourney of them all. What could possibly go wrong? This seems like what it probably is – Cheika’s Las Vegas play (a VERY big gamble). with odds to match..

      • onlinesideline

        Hammie problems after long injury very common

        • Who?

          Take a look at what they’ve been doing at training…
          “It’s very Micheal Cheika.” Not scientific, intense! Is it any wonder there’s injuries? As many (not including myself) predicted..?

        • Hoss

          Bit harsh Doc. You can’t plan for a hammy twinge. Apparently he was diving for a tackle and tweaked it a smidge.

          It’s gonna happen.

        • Who?

          But is the hammy twinge as likely to happen when you’ve got them up before the sun, and you’re keeping them up late, training most of the day..?
          Petaia was supposedly playing club last month, so whilst he was returning, he’s not as lacking in match fitness as Pocock…

    • onlinesideline

      how are ya Snickers ?
      yeah – pics on fox of piggies squating up stairs with barbells – havent seen that before

      • Hoss

        Apparently it’s like an army camp. Up at sparrow-fart, drills all day, collapse into bed late – rinse and repeat.

        I’ve got the young fellow at 14 in my opening RWC game.

        I have kept that site I had done for the GAGR RWC squad last week on here and gonna use it for actual match day 23 selections during Kill Bill. Should be fun.

        I reckon the Perth 23, less
        Hodge and FKA and with Poey / Pataia is about right. Maybe with Dempsey in the mix somewhere as well.

        • onlinesideline

          Im a fan of Dempsey like you mate – we seem to be his only supporters on here. I think he’ll work his way into contention as I think Ulesessss will too. I wouldnt be suprised to DHP regain his position as starting FB with Banks on outer. I woudl say about 3 of our best players will be out from Perth test from injuries – its a long comp and shiite happens. Murphys law and when it rains it pours law – anything can happen. For some reason I foresee the dads army contigent in our backs taking centre stage and our weakness be on the world stage. You know what else I foreseee when I gaze into my crytsal ball. That somehow they handle it, for one reason. I forwards will be on the front foot. Thats our saving grace.

        • Hoss

          Nutta made a great observation some time back re Dempsey’s footwork immediately prior to the tackler making contact and he nearly always beats the first up tackler and makes metres. He’s a solid line out jumper, more mobile than FKA and a better defender. We lose 10-ish kgs of beef but gain a heck of a lot more and I don’t so much mind FKA off the bench as cover for 4,5 & 6. A bench of FKA, Brian and Coleman all injected at the 45-50minute mark looks very good IMO.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I actually looked to check it wasn’t April Fools Day. FFS what the hell is going on

  • onlinesideline

    dont know if its my imagination but OZ sport generally across the board after the 2000 games seems to have lost that killer instinct we once had. Conversely that seemed like the beginning of a much better era for the Poms which is still going – they were atrocious in everything. In prep for their games they did what we did – pull the finger out.

    • Patrick

      Yes I agree. Cricket as well, tennis, everything but swimming really.

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

More in Rugby