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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at the sevens squad, Clark re-signs, when the location of next World Cups will be decided and South Africa set for a national tour


Sevens squad named

Australian Men Sydney 7s Lewis Holland passes

Australia has named a 13-man squad for their upcoming Olympic qualifier in Fiji.

The Aussies were forced to go through the tournament after failing to secure automatic qualification due to finishing 7th in the World Rugby Sevens Series.

They have appeared to have gone all out to secure their Toyko berth, naming Australian and Rebels flyer Jack Maddocks along with Brumbies forward Tom Cusack.

The Aussie men will meet Vanuatu, Nauru, American Samoa and Tonga in Pool C with their main rivals shaping up to be Samoa and Tonga who also find themselves in the same Olympic qualification path as Australia.

“The team has had a really good pre-season and we have prepared really well for the Oceania Sevens,” Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach Tim Walsh said.

“Every team competing is aiming to join the Olympic Games and we expect Tonga and Samoa to be the biggest barriers for us achieving that goal.

“Jack (Maddocks) has worked really well with the squad and progressed well in Sevens and we’re looking forward to seeing him in action.”

The squad is captained by Lewis Holland, who admitted that his side was overeager in their approach to the Sevens circuit last year.

“If you just train, you kind of don’t really get in the flow of it, then when you go to play you want to just get out there and go 100 miles an hour and sometimes it’s not the best because you get four people on the sideline where there should be one person,” he said.

“The blokes from Rio will probably have that feeling because our first game we were a little bit like that, same as the World Cup in San Fran that we kind of, we were a little bit too eager to get to things instead of just being composed and a bit more, just fall into the game speed, rather than trying to chase the game.”

The squad is as followed:
Nick Malouf, Lachlan Anderson, Joe Pincus, Tom Cusack, Simon Kennewell, Maurice Longbottom, Josh Coward, Josh Turner, Lewis Holland (c), Ben O’Donnell, Jack Maddocks, Henry Hutchison, Jesse Parahi.

Clark commits

Jordan Petaia bundels Cameron Clark into touch

Jordan Petaia bundels Cameron Clark into touch

Waratahs flyer Cameron Clark has re-signed with the club until the end of the 2020 Super Rugby season.

Clark has been arguably one of the club’s best since joining in 2017, nailing down a spot in the back three during his 38 games in the sky blue.

New Waratahs head coach Rob Penney was pleased to keep Clark in his home state, believing that he can take the neccessary step towards his maiden gold jersey in 2020.

“Cameron is part of a group of young, talented, home-grown outside backs here at the [NSW] Waratahs and I’m glad he’ll be with us in 2020,” Penney said.

“To represent your country at a Commonwealth or Olympic Games is a significant feat, to then go and make a successful transition from Sevens to the 15-man game is really impressive.

“I know Cameron has been in and around the fringes of the national squad and 2020 represents a big opportunity for him to build on his recent involvement in training squads and camps.

“After some time off at the back of the NRC, Cameron will be fresh and ready to get started for pre-season and I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Clark believes the decision was a no-brainer, looking forward to get back into it after injury kept him out for the majority of the NRC.

“I’ve been involved in rugby in NSW since I was a junior and to represent the [NSW] Waratahs has been a massive thrill for me,” Clark said.

“When the decision came to continue on it was a no-brainer, it’s an exciting time here at the [NSW] Waratahs and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.

“I’m feeling fresh and ready to go, we’ve got a great group of guys here who will be keen to get stuck in during pre-season.”

Double bids

bernard foley_try_1

With the 2019 Rugby World Cup well and truly over, the attention now turns to future editions of the tournament.

Whilst France is set to host the 2023 edition, the hosting duties for the 2027 and 2031 tournaments are still up in the end, which World Rugby is set to award simultaneously.

“As we look to the future, I can confirm today that the World Rugby Council has approved the implementation of a dual host selection process for 2027 and 2031,” Chairman Bill Beaumont said.

“The dual selection process will be launched in November 2020 and will enable World Rugby to select an optimal combination of hosts rather like what we’ve achieved here.”

World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper said he hoped the council would be willing to take a risk and take the tournament to new territories, referencing the success of Japan.

“(Japan) have been magnificent and warm hosts. We really hope other unions find the courage now to throw their hat into the ring to host a Rugby World Cup, perhaps as an emerging nation,” he said.

“I hope that it also gives courage to World Rugby to be bold in decisions as they were in 2009 when they chose Japan.”

There appears to be a range of emerging nations set to put their hands up to host the event, with Russia and Argentina contenders for the 2027 tournament, along with Australia.

America has also been touted as a potential host for either event, however, they are more likely to be selected for the 2031 tournament as they are due to host the 2026 Football World Cup and Los Angeles has already been selected to host the 2028 Olympics.

The bid process will formally begin in November 2020, with the final call to be made in 2021.

Springboks set for national tour

England v South Africa - Rugby World Cup 2019 Final

South Africa is set to enter full party mode as they celebrate the Springboks World Cup success.

The triumphant team arrives on a series of flights during Tuesday and Wednesday, with captain Siya Kolisi and coach Rassie Erasmus expected to amongst the first to land back home.

From Thursday to Monday, open-top bus tours will take the victorious side through Johannesburg, Pretoria, Soweto, Durban, East London, Port Elizabeth and Cape Town, with thousands expected to line the streets to celebrate their achievement.

The move is significant due to the severe economic downturn that South Africa has been facing, with the country facing stagnant growth, record near-30 per cent unemployment and widespread poverty and inequality.

However, President Cyril Ramaphosa believes that the parades allow South Africans to thank the team for injecting positivity into the country during times of hardship.

“At a time when South Africa is experiencing profound challenges, we have rallied around the victory in Japan,” he said.

“The outpouring of support for the Springboks on the road to the final once again showed the immense potential of sport to unite us as a people.

“Saturday was a triumphant day as it confirmed what we are as a nation, firm in its resolve to find unity in its diversity, as exemplified in our national rugby team.”

Ramaphosa hailed Siya Kolisi for how he has inspired the country, coming from an impoverished town near Port Elizabeth to rise and become South Africa’s first black captain.

“This is the dream of a young man of humble circumstances to one day wear the green and gold jersey, and of a country that has enabled him to see it realised,” the president said in regards to Kolisi.

  • Mishad

    Thanks for the news summary. So Australia must win this 7s qualifier tournament in Fiji otherwise they have a last chance in June next year? not sure how it all works. In any case some more rugby to keep us busy over next 2 days. Be good to see how Maddocks fairs.
    SCHEDULE
    All times AEDT.
    Thursday November 7.
    11:06am – Australia vs Vanuatu
    4:58pm – Australia vs Nauru

    Friday November 8
    12:34pm – Australia vs American Samoa
    4:58pm – Australia vs Tonga

    Looks like the RWC result all fell into place for South Africa. No doubt deserved winners, and typical reaching political spin offs abound. But for good reason. The story of Kolisi coming from humble beginnings to captain of a RWC winning squad cant be made up, and I hope it inspires and empowers many who have in the past, had little hope for themselves in fulfilling their potential.

    • The qualifying for the Olympic 7’s is a bit complex and I’m not sure I understand it all but, more or less, there are a batch of fairly easy places a long way out for doing well in the overall competition and/or winning specific tournaments, then as you get closer and closer the competition for the remaining places gets tougher and tougher so you have to win various tournaments.

      A long time ago, someone suggested to me it was modelled on the tennis system, where you couldn’t just be the country’s best, you also had to have a sufficiently high ranking in the WTA or ATP rankings to qualify. The Rugby 7’s basically say “these places score you points to qualify for the Olympics” and if you get enough you get in.

  • Ads

    How good were Japan as hosts? Just fantastic – well done and thank you. It would be great to get more countries like that to host. Even the US would be good to drive growth there. I’d love (but don’t think it is practical) a joint Pacific Islands hosting ticket. A pool based in each of Fiji, Samoa, Tonga. And give Hawaii the 4th. That would be awesome!

  • Yowie

    with Russia…contenders for the 2027 tournament…
    The 1995 World Cup food poisoning suffered by the All Blacks will seem like a cherished memory compared to the various radiological and neurotoxic symptoms that will befall Russia’s pool and finals opponents.

  • Nutta

    Morning Cobbers
    Dual bidders for a Bill? What? A proper open and competitive process? No quiet sweet-heart deal done behind closed doors? How unlike rugby. More like soccer. Oh…wait…shite.
    USA hosting a Bill – would be fantastic. Huge. Get on with it.
    Thank-you for calling a Super Franchise what it is; a club. It’s not accurate to call them NSW or Qld etc because they stopped being representative sides a looonnnggg time ago.
    I see EJ is still copping a dead-set pasting from the Eng press. Poor bugger.
    South Africa – good luck to them. Their country needs it. I hope they get some real value out of it as a community. it won’t fix corruption etc but it will add to the general bank-account balance of happiness.

    • Yowie

      USA hosting a Bill – would be fantastic. Huge. Get on with it.

      I can’t wait to see the “Make the Rugby World Cup Great Again” campaign and hats.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t get why people are excited for the US? It’s a huge, vast country in which the populous don’t give a fuck about rugby. The World Cup may be invisible. Most Americans may not know it is on.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        So a bit like if it was here in Australia then

        • Yowie

          *Ba-dum ting*

          Good one

        • John Tynan

          Low blow, but well played, Sir.

        • Yowie

          KRL’s low sledge makes Aust & NZ all square now for the 1981 Chappell underarm bowling incident.

        • Yowie

          KRL’s low sledge makes Aust & NZ all square now for the 1981 Chappell underarm bowling incident.

      • Ads

        Hey Darryl, For me I like the US for two main reasons. Firstly any of Britain (and Ireland), NZ, Aus possibly even Saffas and France feels boring – been there done that – several times for some of them. Secondly I reckon there’s a nice underdog thing going on with the minnows hosting. The US is a rugby minnow, but would be fine for stadiums, hotels etc. Canada would be a similar option. I’d really love the joint PI option as below but don’t know if it works in terms of stadia, accommodation etc. Just my POV!

        • Yowie

          Plus, it might jump-start a growth phase of USA rugby. Greater global audiences might mean more TV revenue and perhaps more cash filtering down to pay for Super teams etc? Having said that, I’m sure that concept can come unstuck 100 ways.

        • Ads

          Yeah, you can imagine the morning tv shows getting a rugby scrum pushing against some NFL guys, or them making a big deal of no pads etc. I think it would go ok.

        • Yowie

          forward passes being a bad thing” might need to grow on the local audience.
          World Rugby might need to get Wayne Barnes to referee every USA game as a bit of a soft transition.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          PI, Argentina, Italy, Georgia are all far more interesting minnows than the US. At least South Africa is culturally different and not a purely a child of the British Empire.

        • Gun

          Your bias is showing DBTB!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          My bias being?

        • Gun

          Anti American.

        • Ads

          I don’t get how you could be against the US getting it but pro Georgia. “Far more interesting” is largely subjective. I have no personal interest in Georgia hosting, would support Argentina, and am meh about Italy. The US has far more upside for the global game than any of those others. PI I have a soft spot for, and think that they would deliver the best world cup ever.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Well, Georgia at the very least is a strong and emerging rugby nation (the US is not) and rugby is by far the most popular sport in the country (unlike the US). Rather like Japan, it will have a huge local following. It is much easier for fans in the UK and Europe to visit.

        • Ads

          Georgia has far lower playing numbers than the US, and far less growth potential.
          https://www.world.rugby/development/player-numbers
          Georgia are 14th to the US’s 17th in world ranking. Not a significant difference.
          https://www.world.rugby/rankings/mru?lang=en
          And in most lists, Rugby isn’t anywhere near the top of most popular sports in Japan so not sure why Japan would have a huge local following, but the US definitely wouldn’t.
          https://neoprimesport.com/top-5-most-popular-sports-in-japan-till-now/
          And the US is as easy to get to as Japan (and certainly easier than cups hosted by Aus/NZ) for many fans in the UK/Europe. There’s no reason the US couldn’t do a good job.
          I’m not advocating for them to get it. It wouldn’t be a bad idea if they did though.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Look at Georgia’s results over the last two years. Far better than the US. The entire country is also rugby mad, which the US is not.

          Sure, but you wouldn’t pick Aus or NZ for reasons of logistical ease for visitors from Europe, but because they’re tier 1 teams.

          The US is not logistically easy, it’s not a tier 1 nation, it’s not a rugby mad nation. I just don’t see the appeal.

        • Ads

          If their results were far better they would have a far better ranking. They don’t. They are a small, poor country. The flight difference London to New York is 2-3hrs longer than to Tbilisi. It’s really not that big a deal logistically. Georgia doesn’t stack up on any measure when compared to the US. It’s pretty obvious the US makes far more sense by any sensible metric.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          There’s a big difference between 1 and 4, between 5 and 8. Georgia’s ranking points are only a few off Italy’s and Georgia is higher than Samoa. Georgia beat Samoa and Tonga last year.

          Not really. The metrics that would argue in favour of the US is that the country has better infrastructure and more players (although I’m sceptical about how they calculate that, like the RFUs numbers). The arguments against it is that it is a huge country where virtually no one gives a fuck about rugby and where the sport will almost certainly not take off.

          The argument in favour of Georgia is that it is easier to get to from Europe (and it is with low cost airlines and the train system), it is much, much easier to get around the country, the food and wine is fantastic there, it is much cheaper than the US, and it is the main sport of the country. Rather like Japan, the entire nation would get behind the World Cup in a huge way.

          I’m labouring under no delusions that Georgia will get it. However, the main argument for the US seems to be ‘wouldn’t it be cool?’. Rather like Melbourne, I don’t see rugby ever taking off in the US.

        • Ads

          The rankings difference Goergia to US is a bit over 3 points which is far more than 1-4 (9 points) or 5 to 8 (5 points). A 3 point differential is closer to the difference between NZ and England, or Ireland to France, or Scotland to Fiji (i.e. quite similar and either team could win on the day).

          Even if you are skeptical of player numbers they are orders of magnitude different.

          I’ve traveled around Eastern Europe a bit, and I wouldn’t describe it as easy, even over short distances. And if we’re relying on food I think we are well in land of personal subjectivity.

          The US makes good sense developmentally, and financially. There’s no reason it couldn’t be a success likes women’s soccer. In a country of 300mill, a “marginal” cult following (like in Australia) would be more than sufficient.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Georgia wouldn’t be able to host on its own. Stunning country, would (should!!) be a Mecca for rugby lovers, but only has 2 or 3 decent stadia and lacks sufficient hotel and transport infrastructure for such an event. Also, the population of just under 4 million is mostly very poor, so is not attractive for advertisers (which is why they can never crack the 6 Nations conversation). Food and wine fantastic, beer pretty good too. And cheap!! I don’t live there anymore, but I highly recommend a visit.

          Co-hosting would be the best option, but distance would make this unlikely. There will never be the political will to co-host with Russia. Romania would be the nearest decent-sized rugby nation to go in with, but it’s a bit far away (a reminder: Romania qualified for this year’s RWC, but were later disqualified for fielding ineligible players – residency rules). I doubt Romania has good enough infrastructure either – it didn’t when I was there in 2013. Romania and Italy could work, although Italy could go it alone in terms of infrastructure.

          I think the US makes a lot of sense TBH, Dazzer.

      • Nutta

        Morning. There is a serious explosion in US and particularly college participation. They have over 450,000 registered players and over 2,500 clubs registered with approximately 40% of those clubs being College clubs. Comparatively in England there are approx 350k registered, NZ has less than 200k including women & children and Oz less again. So in the US we have a whole swag of generally well-off, sports-activated, middle-class spending Yanks just waiting to get on-board if we choose to turn it on. So from an intra-Yank perspective sure it’s fringe (450k out of 350m) but from a world rugby perspective it’s fkn massive and with the whole Irish/Scots/French/American connection it will be huge.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I doubt it. It’s a country of 350 million or so people. If we think Melbourne is too saturated for rugby to take off, the US certainly is.

        • Yowie

          The USA and Melbourne cultures are quite different though.
          One has an irritating superiority complex, weird food and their own version of football, the other is the USA

        • Gun

          Very good.

        • Gun

          Thing about the US is that 20 years ago rugger was/is massively popular as a women’s college game. So if many of the mums played the game it’s likely a few of their kids do as well.

        • Parker

          Rugby is the fastest growing sport in the US, with the women’s game growing at the fastest rate of all.

      • Gun

        I was living in the US around ‘95 when they hosted the football (soccer) World Cup. They were mad for it. I suspect if they have a team in it they would back it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Soccer is a far bigger sport in the US and around the world than rugby. The football World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world. Football is mostly invisible in Aus unless one intentionally follows it, but you can’t escape it during the FIFA World Cup.

      • The idea would be that if you have the RWC in the US it would engage the populace. Rugby isn’t really a huge sport in Japan and look at what hosting it has done there…

        For my sins I listen to an American sports show as a podcast. There’s a long, complicated story, but in a very abbreviated version it’s a way of feeling close to my dad before his stroke. I don’t really care about the sports but, every four years they get excited about football (which I also don’t care about) and women’s football as the respective world cups come around. The occasionally talk about Seven’s when it’s Las Vegas or when the USA team win. It’s hard to imagine, even if they crash out in the pool stages, that American sports broadcasters wouldn’t be all over talking about rugby if they were hosting it.

        Would there be a lasting impact? Pass. But it looks like America is falling out of love with American Football because of the concussion issue. If they get the 2027 RWC they might just fall in love with rugby as an alternative…

    • Gun

      A franchise?

      • Nutta

        I reckon so.

    • Keith Butler

      The British press, don’t you just love them? No. They’re a bunch of two faced bastards controlled by Rupert.

  • Neil Pocock

    Nathan….. Your a brave man trying to highlight the extreme low situation SA is in atm! You risk public humiliation for pointing out the truths of their sad situation!
    An Argie then a USA World Cup sounds interesting to me too!

  • AllyOz

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/super-rugby/teams/waratahs/how-wallabies-great-matt-cockbain-plans-on-taking-the-waratahs-to-the-top/news-story/75a2e63d0ee5d6c62e0eae9a4684e8be

    Not sure if this item made it in the news at the time. But I think its a pretty good development. Matt was a great player for the Wallabies and has a long coaching history with some head coaching experience in japan. He is also responsible for one of my concussions but I suspect that I am not in a select group there. Perfectly legal shot by the way but the lad could hit. Maybe these are sort of coaches we need coming back and then lifting them to the next level somehow.

    • Yowie

      Is there more of a story to getting the concussion from Matt Cockbain? I’m a fan of the “mortals playing against Internationals at a club game” stories that pop up on here from time to time.

      • AllyOz

        you are assuming that I am not an international

      • AllyOz

        and I am not … I am extremely far from it but I did play a bit of second grade in Brisbane and I even played 4 1st grade games at GPS in the 1990s. So I was a pretty ordinary footballer but, in those times there just seemed to be the chance to play against Wallabies etc.

        the particular incident was just a relatively hard, semi-opposed 1st v 2nds Thursday night training. I was supposed to run a move and take it off the back of a ruck on the diagonal, I was too slow and I wasn’t helped by the fact that they also ran that move and new exactly what I was doing. Initial contact somewhere between waist and sternum, a sharp jerk back of the head, and contact with the base of the skull to the hard Ashgrove turf. Good night Mr Oz.

        Honestly, at the time I was somewhere between a 2nd and 3rd grade Brisbane club player (and I was even written up as such in the Courier Mail – that was my 15 minutes of fame. Tony Darcy was quoted as saying something like “we were so desperate we had to call in one of our 3rd grade locks (my name) to fill in on the bench”. I still have the article somewhere but he actually had a bit of a strategic reason too in that he had a bloke that he wanted to motivate from 2nd grade and didn’t bring him on. I played 10 minutes against a Souths backline that included Tim Horan, Jason Little and Damien Smith (who I had played with at Armidale at uni) and I jumped against Garrick Morgan in a lineout – just the once – the aforementioned Matt Cockbain decided it might be better if I lifted him rather than him lifting me. It was a good decision. We also had Dan Herbert, Brent Cockbain, Mark Murray and Ben Tune in that side. I literally played about 70 minutes of 1st grade all up but I have a first grade tie and they put my name on the Grand Final video because I sat on a 9 man bench (but wasn’t named in the 7).

        In country club rugby I played against Fletcher Dyson and Tim Gavin and with Sam Carter. I also played an invitational game for a fundraiser who broke his neck and played with Matt Burke and Scott Bowen and against Sam Payne most of the NSW backline. I am probably coming off as a real knob here but it was just the time and being really lucky. The 4 club games I had in 1st grade were against the better teams – Souths, Brother and Uni so most of the current Qld players were in those sides. Plenty of people have had better careers – few have had luckier.

        • Yowie

          Awesome stuff.
          You had me panicking for a second to the effect of “have I been sh!t-stirring Owen Finegan or similar on a rugby forum?”

        • AllyOz

          I think blokes like Nutta might have been a bit closer to the real professional thing to me. The other thing with me is that it was on the edge of that professional era so and Qld and NSW probably only played 5 – 6 games a year so you saw a lot of your Wallabies. I might have had a similar build to Owen Finegan at the time – I hope he is keeping himself in better shape than I am.

        • Who?

          You don’t sound over the top, you sound like you spent half your time on the field going, “Man, that was Tim Horan who just ran right past me!” “Wow – I just got smashed in the breakdown by Garrick Morgan!”
          :-P

        • AllyOz

          yes I was a little overawed. One of the other half games I had in 1st grade was against them at the famous Chipsy Wood Oval. With me though it was being stepped by Garrick Morgan and smashed at the ruck by Tim Horan :)

  • Bernie Chan

    Pat Howard gets another gig in Oz rugby? He is announced as part of the review panel in our RWC….Sharpie is another panelist.

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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