Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has Quade Cooper out of the Olympics, Tatafu Polota-Nau returning to the starting team, Leroy Houston on the verge of coming home and Eddie Jones recruits Glen Ella as England’s skills coach.

No Rio for Cooper

Quade Cooper australian sevensMen’s Sevens coach Andy Friend has revealed that Quade Cooper will not be considered for the remaining two world series sevens tournaments or the Rio Olympics.

Cooper made his Sevens debut in Las Vegas this year and also played in the following competition in Vancouver.

“There’s no doubt Quade is a quality player, but put simply, we just haven’t had the opportunity to work with him as much as we would have liked over the past five months,” Friend said.

“Each day I have a group of 20-plus players working on different structures and patterns of play and I don’t think we would have got the very best out of Quade had we just thrown him into a tournament with limited preparation — particularly for an event as momentous as the Olympics.

“As many players have found out throughout this season’s world series, it is no easy task to transition from fifteens to the sevens form of the game.

“Although we are still a few months out from the Games, I think it offers the fairest outcome for everyone by making the call now.

Polota-Nau Returns

Waratahs hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau will return to the starting side this weekend against the Cheetahs.

Polota-Nau replaces Hugh Roach who is dropped to the bench.

“You see when he came on he settled the team, especially in the set piece,” said Wycliff Palu.

“His presence around the field is a big plus for us.”

Israel Folau is also no certainty to play this weekend after missing Thursday’s training through illness.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson said Folau had caught a bug in the latter part of their trip to South Africa.

Houston to Come Home

Ex Queensland Reds star and current Bath player Leroy Houston is allegedly on the verge of signing a deal with the Reds for next season making him eligible to play for the Wallabies.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika visited Houston in England in March when he went to encourage ex-pats to play Super Rugby and be eligible to play for the Wallabies.

Houston said he was “chuffed and flattered” to be recognised by Cheika.

Houston played for the Reds between 2008-2011 playing 46 matches before moving overseas. In 2013 Houston was awarded the club’s players player at Bath.

It is understood Quade Cooper is also in talk to return to the Reds and also Will Genia to a lesser extent.

Jones Poaches Ella

England coach Eddie Jones has recruited Glen Ella as skills coach during England’s three match tour of Australia.

Ella will be responsible for England’s attacking play and providing backs skills coaching.

“We are very happy that Glen will be joining up with us out in Australia,” Jones said.

“Glen has coached rugby all around the world, and not only brings with him a wealth of experience, but also has one of the best attacking minds in the business.

“Working alongside myself and the rest of the coaching team, Glen will assist me in developing our attack play strategies and also provide some specialist backs skills coaching.

“It’s an area we know we need to improve, and I am sure we will benefit greatly from having Glen on board for the tour.”


Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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