Wednesday’s rugby news has Cheika punished, Genia starting, more debate on the Test exclusion policy and McCaw back from injury.
Cheika found guilty
Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has pleaded guilty to verbally abusing a cameraman in Durban last month and will be placed on a suspended six month ban and forced to fork out $6000 in legal costs. If Cheika breaches SANZAR’s code of conduct between now and August 31 next year he will have the ban imposed.
The NSW coach was previously fined for abusing match officials at Stade Francais and may also have been hurt by very publicly damaging Canberra Stadium recently.
Genia soldiering on
Wallabies halfback Will Genia will take part in Friday’s match against the Blues despite rolling his ankle last week. Genia said that he could play through the injury, asserting, “There’s still a bit of pain there, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone whose not experiencing pain while playing and training anyway.”
Genia characterised the match as “do or die”, while also citing the desire to be a part of Quade Cooper’s 100th match as a driving factor in his decision to play.
Gregan pushes for sabbaticals
Former Wallaby captain George Gregan has urged the ARU to allow players to go on short-term sabbaticals to Europe or Japan, preventing a mass exodus after the World Cup. The Australian Super Rugby salary cap is set til 2017 while Test payments have been reduced from $13,1000 to $10,000.
The Brumbies in particular risk losing a host of their big-name players at the end of the season, including Lealiifano, Matt Toomua, Scott Fardy, Jesse Mogg, Nic White, Scott Sio and Henry Speight. The prospect of a short stint overseas down the track could make the ARU financials more competitive.
McCaw returns for Crusaders
Richie McCaw is set to rejoin his Crusader teammates after two months on the sidelines with a broken thumb. Although the health of the inspirational McCaw will help Todd Blackadder’s team, the All Blacks legend will ease back into action off the bench against the Brumbies on Saturday.
The Crusaders are currently sitting at eighth on the table, hoping to start their finals push this week. This team will also be boosted by the return of All Blacks lock Luke Romano, while captain Kieran Read is likely to start despite a head knock against the Chiefs.