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Code switch is never easy: Deans

By Tom Wald,

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    Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has warned of the difficulties of switching to rugby union before Sam Tomkins’ history-making appearance for the Barbarians on Saturday at Twickenham.

    The Wigan fullback will become the first contracted rugby league player to be selected for the Barbarians and he’ll have the unique distinction of playing against the Kangaroos and Wallabies in successive weeks.

    The 22-year-old livewire was well contained and struggled under the high ball at times during England’s 30-8 loss to Australia in Saturday night’s Four Nations rugby league final in Leeds.

    And Deans said changing codes was never a simple proposition.

    “It is a tough transition,” Deans told AAP.

    “Not too many have made that transition to be fair, successfully.

    “It will create a lot of interest.”

    With Tomkins only having a handful of training sessions to come to grips with the 15-a-side game, Wallabies skipper James Horwill said he should expect a searching examination at Twickenham.

    “I think it will add an extra spice to the game,” Horwill said.

    “It will be interesting to see how a guy that has not played any rugby recently takes on an international side.”

    With Berrick Barnes and James O’Connor expected to fill the five eighth and inside centre roles, an aerial assault could be on Australia’s agenda.

    “That is something we will look at during the week,” Horwill said.

    The appearance of Tomkins playing rugby union is certain to attract plenty of attention from both codes.

    His older brother Joel recently crossed to rugby union while Sam signed a five-year deal with Wigan, including a clause not to talk to rugby union clubs for at least three years.

    The timing of the fixture is one of the major reasons for the availability of the younger Tomkins as he has finished his rugby league commitments for the season.

    However the Wallabies have plenty of other elusive Barbarians players to worry about this week.

    Deans conceded that creative Melbourne Rebels five eighth Danny Cipriani loomed as a major threat – especially given the tradition of the Barbarians for playing an open game.

    “He will enjoy the nature of the game,” Deans said.

    “He is a very good player and will be given a license to do that.

    “We suffered in 2008 against him (in Australia’s 28-14 win against England). He broke the line a couple of times with some really good touches.”

    Wallabies captain James Horwill said planning for Cipriani was never easy.

    “It is hard to pick what he will and won’t do … during the Super Rugby season he really took teams apart,” he said.

    Following the intense scrutiny of the World Cup, Horwill said the Wallabies were looking forward to playing with more freedom.

    “We want to play an attractive style of play, I think it will be a fairly entertaining spectacle from a fans’ point of view,” he said.

    “We will go out there and see what we can do.

    “We want to get a result.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (156)

    • November 22nd 2011 @ 2:58pm
      King of the Gorgonites said | November 22nd 2011 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

      Going to be a great game. At this stage tis looking at a possible 50K crowd.

    • Roar Guru

      November 22nd 2011 @ 7:44pm
      jeznez said | November 22nd 2011 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

      Strong looking Barbarians team, will line up something like the below and the Wallabies will have their work cut out for them.

      1. Perugini
      2. Mealamu
      3. Marconnet
      4. Matfield
      5. Shaw
      6. Kaino
      7. Bergamasco
      8. White
      9. Stringer
      10. Cipriani
      11. Habana
      12. Kahui
      13. Fruean
      14. Rabeni
      15. Toeava
      16. Strauss
      17. Guinazu
      18. Bortolami
      19. Thomson
      20. Kenatale
      21. Mortlock
      22. Tompkins

      • November 23rd 2011 @ 5:17am
        kingplaymaker said | November 23rd 2011 @ 5:17am | ! Report

        There’s not much point in all this fanfare of bringing in Tomkins if he’s then put on the bench.

    • November 22nd 2011 @ 9:46pm
      Tiger said | November 22nd 2011 @ 9:46pm | ! Report

      Has not played any rugby recently? Well he played 30 something RUGBY league games this year! He has never played a rugby union game in his life!

      As for not many players making a successful transition, how many rugby league players who signed with union recently didn’t make their national team? Most made it within a year of crossing to a sport they had never played before! Doesn’t seem too hard!

      • November 22nd 2011 @ 11:31pm
        allblackfan said | November 22nd 2011 @ 11:31pm | ! Report

        let’s see how he handles those mauls! And rucks! And high balls! And … etc etc

      • November 23rd 2011 @ 12:04am
        trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 12:04am | ! Report

        Isn’t James Horvill supposed by definition to be frightfully intelligent as he is a rugby union player?

        If that is the case how is it that he thinks Sam Tomkins has “not played any rugby recently?”

        Trying telling fans of Wigan – one of the world’s great clubs – that Tomkins doesn’t play “rugby!”

        I just wish he’d played a bit more “rugby” on Saturday against the Kangaroos…

        • November 23rd 2011 @ 12:23am
          allblackfan said | November 23rd 2011 @ 12:23am | ! Report

          can’t answer for him. just have to ask him!
          This game may suit Tomkins’ RL instincts as traditionally the BaaBaas are expected to forego the kicking game for the running game!! (Hasn’t always worked out that way but still …!!)
          The BaaBaas tradition also requires just two formal training sessions, one of which MUST be followed by a get-to-know-your-teammates sessions down at the local! (I’m serious!)

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 12:27am
            trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 12:27am | ! Report

            I didn’t ask the question of you allblackfan – so you don’t have to ask him yourself.

            Does anybody understand the ordering of people’s posts on the Roar – their placing often appears to be utterly haphazard?

            • November 23rd 2011 @ 3:47am
              kingplaymaker said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:47am | ! Report

              trakl apparently responses to a post beginning on the left move rightwards down the page until they reach the right and stop. At that point, you need to head up to the original post on the left where it says ‘reply’ and your post will appear below on the left of the rightwards-moving columns. Or something like that, I don’t claim to understand it fully.

        • November 23rd 2011 @ 4:24am
          Gormon said | November 23rd 2011 @ 4:24am | ! Report

          To Australians, particularly of Queensland persuasion, Rugby Union counts as ‘rugby’ whereas league would be under ‘footie’ or ‘league’ – Although I could just be making an excuse for the big guy.

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 9:19am
            Dan said | November 23rd 2011 @ 9:19am | ! Report

            I think this counts for NSW too… The English League fan often gets awfully offended if the word “rugby” is used to imply union, as they feel it’s somehow an insult to league over there. But for Australians in NSW and QLD Rugby League is so dominant that it’s really just known as “footie” or even “football”. Hence we’re pretty comfortable thinking of rugby as meaning “rugby union”.

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 12:19pm
            Bakkies said | November 23rd 2011 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

            The game is called Rugby as it is governed by the International Rugby Board. Loig is a hybrid breakaway (as it broke away from the establishment when it first started) version of the sport.

            • November 23rd 2011 @ 5:43pm
              Crosscoder said | November 23rd 2011 @ 5:43pm | ! Report

              Loig or league is a collection of sporting clubs,that play in a competition.The A league,

              Just leave it as league,rugby league or possibly even running rugby .

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 10:08pm
                Rough Conduct said | November 23rd 2011 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

                Big League? The League Lounge? The Australian RL community have embraced the term, what is the problem?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:00am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:00am | ! Report

                Just leave it as League or Rugby League.

            • November 23rd 2011 @ 9:29pm
              trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 9:29pm | ! Report


              Oh dear.

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 10:27pm
                trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 10:27pm | ! Report

                @Rough Conduct – it doesn’t appear to be a “problem” for some of the Australian RL community.

                But the Australian RL community doesn’t embody and represent everything that rugby league has been since 1895 and everything it could be in the future.

                Re-name the game – by all means – and drop “Rugby” altogether (although please not for the redundant, cripplingly meaningless “League”) – but all of this should be done on the game’s own terms – and not have it presented a fait accompli by the combination of insularity, ignorance and arrogance that characterises Horwill’s comment vis-a-v-s Tomkins and its reporting of it by Australian newspapers.

            • November 23rd 2011 @ 9:58pm
              NF said | November 23rd 2011 @ 9:58pm | ! Report

              Loig i hate the term but it no secret Bakkies being an league hater uses it to troll us leaguies, League is league, Rugby is Rugby there end of story. Sick of constant cheat beating by the rah rahs here.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:05am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                Trakl is trying to contradict your posts NF.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:39am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:39am | ! Report

                Does Kovana’s Mate Bakkies ever get moderated by the latter’s friends?

        • November 23rd 2011 @ 7:19am
          kovana said | November 23rd 2011 @ 7:19am | ! Report

          Please Trakl, of the people who know of Rugby Union and Rugby league, the MAJORITY call RU just ‘Rugby’ and the call RL ‘League’.

          Even in Australia they call RL ‘League’.

          Why would you purposefully try and confuse people by calling BOTH codes just RUGBY.

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 9:06am
            Rough Conduct said | November 23rd 2011 @ 9:06am | ! Report

            This seems to be a difficult concept for some. It is like calling the United States – America, technically you could be talking about Argentina or Canada, but anyone with half a brain knows you are referring the the USA.

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 10:50am
            trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 10:50am | ! Report

            I never call both games just RUGBY.

            I call rugby union “rugby union” and rugby league “rugby league”.

            Please Kovana why can you not see how absurd it is for Horwill to speak of Tomkins not having played much “rugby recently?”

            It is not for Horwill or Australian websites to tell fans of a world famous “rugby” club like Wigan that one of their star players has been doing anything other than playing “rugby” – it just happens to be of the league and not union code.

            Why is the ARU the body for Australian rugby but the ARL is the body for “league?” It’s meaningless drivel – and maybe worse.

            The games were founded over here – not by Horwill or complacent Australian rugby league and rugby union journalists or even the blessed Spiro Zavos himself.


            • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:02am
              Dan said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:02am | ! Report

              Traki, you’re English then I take it?
              If so you need to understand the massive cultural difference that exists between England and Australia regarding football codes.

              In England you all play soccer – which you call football – leaving the rugby football codes to fight for relevance on the edges. In Australia’s Northern states of NSW and QLD Rugby League is king and is known mostly as just “footie” or “football” and also “league”. Rugby Union is a niche sport in Australia and is never really known as “football” because of this and therefore is relatively comfortably referred to as just “union” or “rugby”. The fact is that most Rugby League fans don’t really care much about this, because their game is “footie” and only is only really referred to as “league” in order to differentiate it to outsiders.

              So to break it down for you, the short-hand in the Rugby League/Union playing states in Aus is often:
              Footie/football = Rugby League, with “League” being used in ambiguous circumstances
              Rugby/Union = Rugby Union

              I can see how this would be annoying to an Englishman, but it’s actually more a reflection on how strong Rugby League is in Australia than anything else. In England you’re game is so badly run and weak, that you’re at war with union over everything, whereas here the concern is the growing power of the AFL. I actually quite enjoy the union and am happy for it to be called “rugby” as a shorthand, whilst league is comfortably referred to as “football/footie”.

              Horwill is a QLD and is used to living in a state where League is the absolute and uncontested king and known as simply “footie/football”. It would never have occurred to him that his use of the name “rugby” as meaning “union” would be offensive to anyone.

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:32am
                trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                I understand all of the above.

                But Dan – how should I put this – it isn’t all about Australians!

                The games are rugby league and rugby union. It is not for the ARU or its adherents – or even complacent fans of rugby league to determine for everybody else what these games shall be called.

                The ARU runs Australian rugby union and the ARL the Australian rugby league. There’s no such game as “league” – there are myriad “leagues” representing hundreds of sports throughout the world and it is damaging – and wrong – to rugby league and all who follow the game to have the name “rugby” be withheld or ignored.

                It is up to the game itself t give away the name “rugby” – and not to have it taken away from the game through a combination of rugby union arrogance and Australian rugby league complacency.

                Webb Ellis was a Salford lad! He would be turning in his grave.

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:54am
                Dan said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:54am | ! Report

                Web Ellis wasn’t actually responsible for the birth of the game Trakl; that’s just a bit of popular mythology… the Rugby codes origins have a longer history than that.

                But anyway Takl, as I said, whilst I understand sort of where you’re coming from (what with your country’s massive soccer obsession not allowing you to use the term football) I really think you just need to get over it. Horwill and the ARU aren’t “deciding” anything, it’s just that for Australians this is what the game is comfortably referred to. It’s not as if he came out and said in a zealous tone “WE KNOW RUGBY UNION SIMPLY AS ‘RUGBY’ AND YOU MUST ALL DO AS WE DO!!” No, he just wasn’t aware that he was in a country in which this different use of language would upset anyone. Like how Europeans get upset when Americans say “Football” to mean American Football.

                It’s like when English soccer fans come over here and get their nickers in a twist because we call their game soccer and insist that we all call it “football”; all you’re doing is trying to impose your own lingustic norms over a society with a markedly different sporting cultural evolution.
                So you can continue to call soccer “football”, and we’ll continue to call Rugby League “football/footie/league” and Rugby Union “Union/Rugby” and soccer “soccer”. K?

            • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:04am
              kovana said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:04am | ! Report

              Well thats just YOU and your feelings.

              When Horwill stated Tomkins has not played ‘rugby’, the majority of people who know of ANY of the Rugby code know he is referring to RUGBY UNION.

              If he said he is only been playing ‘League’ everyone would know he is referring to Rugby LEAGUE..

              Anyways, thats the way the world turns.. Most League fans refer to RL as league anyways, and most RU fans refer to RU as RUGBY..

              No confusion whatsoever.

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:26am
                trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:26am | ! Report

                Not here they don’t.

                And why the CAPITALS?

                Let’s see a pattern: YOU – ANY – RUGBY UNION – LEAGUE – RL – RU – RU – RUGBY…

                No. Just shouting.

                Speak up on your own behalf and not on the behalf of everybody else.

                And I’ve not mentioned “confusion” – merely absurdity.

                Like your POST!

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 12:54pm
                Rough Conduct said | November 23rd 2011 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

                The only absurdity is your inability to understand what is widely accepted practice in Australia, Horwill is Australian, as is this website, Rugby means RU – it never means RL.

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 5:56pm
                Jaceman said | November 23rd 2011 @ 5:56pm | ! Report


                He was quoted by an English journo I assume and may or may not have said rugby, RU, rugger, union, whatever – most of us knew what he meant – get a real job…

              • November 23rd 2011 @ 9:39pm
                trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

                Dan – I know about the mythology of the birth of “rugby” and I’m glad that you do too.

                Nonetheless, Webb Ellis is rather central to this “mythology” and he really was a Salford lad.

                He would be turning in his grave.

                It’s not all about Australians! Their insularity remains astonishingly damaging when they, as the game’s powerhouse, could be a huge force for good. It’s such a shame.

                There were many years when the French rugby league were forced by edict to call themselves “Le Jeu a Treize” – they fought back (for once) and won the right to call themselves what the game’s birthright demands.

                It is the ARL isn’t it? Not the ALL – The Australian League League?

                It’s up to the game to change its name – which I would favour, incidentally (but not for the meaningless League) – and not have it changed for them by Australian rugby union forwards, sporting websites or complacent Australian rugby league fans.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 12:42am
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 12:42am | ! Report

                Trakl I don’t know any other way to explain it to you to make you understand, but I’ll try one last time:

                No one in Australia said “it was all about Australia”… it’s simply the normative nature of the term “football”. Again, “Football” is a term that generally gets tagged to the dominant football code of a region and in Australia’s case – in NSW and QLD – this happens to be Rugby League. Hence the use of the word that way IN THIS COUNTRY. Australian’s don’t go around telling other people what to call their sports, but in our particular corner of the world that’s how we happen to label our sports.

                Why is it so incredibly hard for you to understand this? Or is this just a British thing; that you all need to impose your linguistic norms on everyone else? I know that the language originated in your country, but that doesn’t mean you get to dictate how it is used everywhere. Have you ever tried telling an American that “football” actually doesn’t mean “American Football”? Did he tell you to get @#$#ed? He had every right to if he did. What we call a sport in one place doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re going to follow our lead in another.

                Ultimately it seems to me that you think that the confusion over the name of the sport – for which you apparently blame Spiro Zavos and James Horwill for some obscure reason – is responsible for League’s relatively shallow international footprint. Might I suggest that the issue is quite a bit deeper than a simple question of semantics? The fact is that Union had a hand in keeping league out of some countries and in others League’s own international body was simply too disorganised to establish the game in potential markets. It’s worth remembering that League in England hasn’t been very well run for a long time – too busy bickering with the union boys it seems, whilst in Australia the media barons almost tore it to pieces in the 90s. The decades before that the game was localised in Sydney and Brisbane and the governing body wasn’t about to become a major exporter (or in a position to). But even if they’d wanted to, how far would they have got? Soccer embedded itself almost everywhere and made it very difficult for alternatives to arise. Only in rare countries like the US, where soccer’s British origins and the existence of a home-grown Americanised Rugby spin-off did the spread of soccer falter. But it got their first in most other places, and sport is like faith: it’s very hard to convert someone else’s flock. And League has always had a hard time converting soccer folk – never mind Union fans.

        • November 23rd 2011 @ 3:09pm
          Sledgeandhammer said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

          When was the last time an NRL player, coach or administrator referred to rugby league as ‘rugby’. I have never heard it. Footy- yes, league- yes, rugby league – yes, never ‘rugby’. You my friend need a reality check.

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 3:25pm
            kovana said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:25pm | ! Report

            Lol.. He is no doubt a yorkshire lad who goes by the names of Paley or Gort in the online world.

            This is his MO.. Fighting for ‘RUGBY’ whilst at the same time confusing his fellow League fans.

            This whole ‘Rugby’ word debate seems to have heated up when Rugby 7s was accepted at a olympic sport. For some reason i see more and more league fans trying to call RL just RUGBY.

            Also that website made by league fans called ‘’ was initially called ‘’ prior to the 2009 olympic decision.

            • November 23rd 2011 @ 9:56pm
              trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

              @Kovana – I am not these people who you mention. I’ve lived all my life in the south of England. I do not want rugby league to be called “rugby” – I want it to be called “rugby League” – not too complex even for a conspiracy theorist such as yourself to understand is it? Rugby union is rugby union.
              @Sledgeandhammer – the whole world does not revolve around the NRL. And you too miss the point.
              @Jaceman – “get a real job” is a silly retort – even for an AFL man, isn’t it?
              @RoughConduct – What’s wrong with Horwill and others such as your good self to learn that what Horwill “means” to you becomes meaningless for some of us who aren’t lucky enough to be Australian? Incidentally, can you fix it so that Spiro Zavos and his friends have only those people resident in Australia able to read this “Australian” website? As it appears we must all walk, talk, breathe Australian before being allowed to pass comment?

              I repeat – it is absurd for Horwill to say of Tomkins – who plays for one of the most famous “rugby” clubs of the world – that he hasn’t played “rugby recently.” He’s played at least as much “rugby” as Horwill – rugby league and not rugby union, that is.

              Tomkins’ club is affiliated to the Rugby Football League and not the League Football League. It is not for Johnny come lately’s from the Antipodes to tell one of our favourite sons that he doesn’t play “rugby.”


              • November 23rd 2011 @ 10:53pm
                Rob9 said | November 23rd 2011 @ 10:53pm | ! Report

                When David Beckham comes out here with the galaxy early next month and starts talking about ‘football’, there wont be too many Australians getting all worked up over the fact that that title has been traditionally reserved for other sports on our soil. We’ll simply acknowledge the cultural difference and get on with life. I also doubt there will be many of us getting our wires crossed and expecting Becks to start using his hands and kicking around an oval shaped ball. Just as id suspect Rugby League and Rugby Union fans in the north and south of England knew exactly what Horwill was referring to when he made the quote re; Tomkins.

            • November 24th 2011 @ 7:27am
              trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:27am | ! Report

              @Kovana – … your idiocy?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:35am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:35am | ! Report

                How about sticking to the current topic.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:50am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:50am | ! Report

                @ Kovana – it’s good that the Age in reporting the Tomkins story refers to “rugby union” and “rugby league” – isn’t it?!

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:02am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:02am | ! Report

                No its not good.

                He is a League player. Not a Rugby player.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:05am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:05am | ! Report

                Are you going to tell the Roar’s “mods” to tell the Age off?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:13am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:13am | ! Report

                Yea.. I should ey.

                Is this the same ‘The Age’ with their Rugby League section under the ‘NRL’.

                Looky here, their Rugby League section is called ‘LeagueHQ’.

                While their Rugby Union section is called ‘Rugby Heaven’.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:19am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:19am | ! Report

                @ Kovana – Is it because it’s a Melbourne paper that the headline refers to “union” and not “rugby union?”

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:32am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:32am | ! Report

                You were the one that brought the age into this.

                “Headingley to stage league club challenge”

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:38am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                @Kovana – Headingley?

                So what?

          • November 24th 2011 @ 1:07am
            trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 1:07am | ! Report

            @Dan – I understood you the first time and not just the “last” – it’s a pity that you’ve failed even to acknowledge – let alone engage with – any of the points I make.

            Your last paragraph is history at its most tendentious – and evinces something other than a willingness to try to comprehend different strands of the rugby league narrative.

            Learning of the history – origins and development of, say, English or French rugby league – might leave you in a stronger position to comment with authority on how Horwill’s comments might be perceived by those who are unlucky enough to be something other than Australian.

            I don’t accuse Horwill of “malice aforethought” or anything like that – just of being ignorant of how his comments might be perceived by those who love the game in the country of its origin.

            It’s worthwhile to point out that not everybody in the rugby league world either accepts – or in Horwill’s case, understands – Australian sporting terminology.

            • November 24th 2011 @ 7:04am
              kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:04am | ! Report

              Trak., fact is Tomkins has not played ANY Rugby at all. Only League.


              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:15am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:15am | ! Report

                Why the CAPITALS?


              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:20am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:20am | ! Report

                For EMPHASIS.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:28am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:28am | ! Report

                @Kovana… you’re not very bright?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:35am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:35am | ! Report

                @ Trak.


              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:43am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:43am | ! Report

                @ Kovana – You’re not, alas.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:00am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                You really have gone off tangent now.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:04am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:04am | ! Report

                @Kovana – The Age: “Tomkins” switch to union tough.”

                Oh dear. I’ll have to write and tell them it’s RUGBY union!

                Or maybe you’ll do it for the whole “world?”

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:15am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:15am | ! Report

                The Age


                ‘Rugby Heaven’.

                By the way. Dont care if they call it ‘union’ because we know they are talking about Rugby.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:22am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:22am | ! Report

                @ Kovana – I”ll do the decent thing and call it “rugby union” and not just “union.”

                These pesky Victorians, “eh” – are they not part of your “world?”

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:36am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:36am | ! Report

                Well they were still good enough to name their respective sections as such.

                ‘LeagueHQ’ – For Rugby League

                ‘Rugby Heaven’. – For Rugby Union

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:46am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:46am | ! Report

                @Kovana – looks like things are changing on The Age.

            • November 24th 2011 @ 9:30am
              Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:30am | ! Report


              Again, I understand your point about Horwill – I just think it’s a non-issue for anyone other than pedants and micromanagers who are incapable of seeing the bigger picture. It’s worth pointing out that soccer managed to do pretty well in your country in spite of Rugby Union not being particularly fond of it either… perhaps the ERFL is just – and has always been – incompetent?

              You’re English, so I’ll put it to you this way: you need to focus more on fixing up your own backyard an awful lot more than you need to be imposing your own linguistic imperialism on us. League is a raging success in Australia, and it’s a relative failure in England and I assure that in neither case was the use of the term “League” the catalyst. At the end of the day you’re mad at the wrong people; venting your rage at some random Qlder who would look at you in bewilderment if he heard this diatribe and likely wonder “why don’t they just get their own house in order instead of whinging about how people on the other side of the world talk about sport”?
              If this incredibly offensive use of the word “rugby” is so damaging, so detrimental to the game, then why is Rugby League such a success in Australia?

              You remind me an awful lot of the soccer-folk here in Aus who have for years been blaming the lack of media interest and attention their sport gets to some weird conspiracy centreing on the fact that most people won’t call their game “football” (which they claim their sport has the right to because they don’t actually know the word’s etymology). Their arrogant crusade to force newspapers and TV stations to call the game football instead of soccer mostly just annoyed people and made them all out to be a pack of ignorant bigots.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:51am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:51am | ! Report

                @Dan – I repeat – the pomposity of tone and the language studded with references to “imperialism” ill-suit the banality of your argument.

                I’ll be happy to agree with you regarding rugby league’s failings here – although do be careful not to fall into the trap prevalent on the Roar to proclaim its death every few minutes, won’t you – but that’s for another day.

                Horwill’s statement to many outside Australia is pure gibberish.

                If you don’t care to hear that – go elsewhere.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:13am
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                No offence Trakl, but the “offensiveness” of Horwills statement doesn’t seem to have registered anywhere but in your comments… It certainly didn’t rate a mention in any of your country’s major publications, so I can only assume that its you and maybe a handful of other English Rugby League zealots who have found it necessary to make such a mountain out of so small a molehill.

                I just think you need to get over and get a little perspective… for one who complains about the banality of other people’s arguments it strikes me as awfully ironic that you can’t see how the subject matter could be at all to blame.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:03pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:03pm | ! Report

                Dan, no offence, but speak on your own behalf.

                I’m either pretending or not.

                When Beckham comes to Australia will an AFL player or NRL player be quoted of him:” He hasn’t played much football recently?”

                And if one does – will you be steadfast in your inability to see the ludicrousness of such a remark?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:35pm
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:35pm | ! Report

                Actually Trakl, for that analogy to work the scenario would have to be Beckham coming to Australia and playing against an invitational soccer side in which a local AFL or RL player has been selected to play in the side for the sake of making it more the exhibition.

                Then if Beckham (you see, he’s coming here and so he’s the foreigner not understanding the local culture – it doesn’t make sense to have it be an AFL or NRL player making the comment) makes the comment that said player will find it hard because he hasn’t played any football before we will all sit back and agree, because we all know Beckham is English and doesn’t know that Football means something different here. But that’s because we actually understand that the world contains more than one culture and that each one has its idiosyncrasies.

                Get it now?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:58pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:58pm | ! Report

                @ Dan – no Dan the analogy was yours to begin with – not mine. An NRL or AFL player saying of Beckham he hasn’t played any football “recently” would be wrong twice – the “football” bit and the “recently” bit.

                Do you not understand that for those outside your blessed realms the notion that Tomkins has been doing anything other than playing “rugby” – you know, for Wigan Rugby League Club affiliated to the Rugby Football League – is manifestly false.

                Tomkins himself would be bewildered at such a misguided remark.

                Ask him – or find one of your friends in the press to ask him as to whether he’s played any “rugby” recently – what do you think he’ll say?

                In fact, in reports this morning he speaks of “rugby union” and “rugby league” – perfectly clear in Australia and in England and in France and in…

                Even, I would imagine, clear to Horwill himself…

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:09pm
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

                To be honest trakl, I think if anyone were to ask Tomkins that question he would likely answer “who gives a toss”, because it’s pretty clear to me that no one else apart from you actually thinks this is an issue or believes that we all have to be so insanely PC that sports people need to read briefs on every cultural niche they will be within 100kms of just so they don’t slip up and use a word in a context that someone in the host population may become confused over.

                It’s like how I don’t beat the living sh#t out of my American friends for buying a g-string when I tell them they should pick up thongs for the beach; I recognise that their misunderstanding is a result of separate – but equally valid – evolutions of the meaning of the word. So you see, it’s not “manifestly false” that Tomkins hasn’t played “rugby recently”, because to the people of Australia, NZ and South Africa that statement would have been perfectly understood. The fact that YOU don’t accept this short-hand doesn’t actually make it “manifestly false”… Did you honestly think it did? I mean, sh#t, you’re an articulate and clearly educated guy, how can you be so petty and irrational?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:17pm
                Rob9 said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:17pm | ! Report

                Great analogy dan. Something tells me it will still be lost on him though

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:28pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:28pm | ! Report

                @Dan – except that he didn’t when speaking to the papers this very morning.

                He speaks of “rugby union” and “rugby league” – too complex for you to comprehend clearly but straightforward to the rest of us.

                And do please speak for yourself – or else you’ll be speaking of Tomkins with all the background knowledge supporting Horwill’s comments on the man – ie none.

                You don’t have to care for any of this – but there are others who do. They may even reside outside Australia – believe it or not – but their views are perhaps informed by a wider knowledge than that evinced in your platitudinous screeds thus far.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:30pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

                @Rob9 – yeah great analogy Dan! It will be lost on him!

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:36pm
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

                You were right Rob, the analogy was lost on him and he seems to be impervious to facts… he apparently believes that short-hand is a grammatically and legally debatable commodity that one can take ownership of. It’s like no-one told him that languages are all in a state of constant development and that what is accepted in one part of the world may not be accepted in another. I wonder what would happen if he went to Russia – he’d probably freak out when he discovered that they actually have their own language there; he’d probably berate Russian visitors to England for having the audacity to speak their local tongue!

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:51pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

                @Dan – Yeah what an analogy! “Beckham’s not played any football recently.”

                Dull-witted. Twice over.

                And now we go to Russia… to prove Horwill’s idiocy!

                Oh dear.

              • November 25th 2011 @ 10:06am
                kovana said | November 25th 2011 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                TrakL, still fighting the good fight for the Rugby World Cup.

      • November 23rd 2011 @ 3:22pm
        Justin said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

        Dont worry it was said by Dingo Deans, that should be all you need to know 😉

        • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:02pm
          trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:02pm | ! Report

          @Rob9 – that’s perfectly reasonable.

          But “League” is a meaningless name for any sport beyond Australia’s shores.

          It seems that it’s Australians who are “getting worked up” simply because they have been informed that their chosen nomenclature for the sport of rugby league is not shared or supported or understood by plenty of those who love the game outside Australia.

          Is there not one Australian rugby league fan who cares for the game beyond Australia?

          Must every post merely confirm Australians’ insularity when it comes to that country’s most popular winter sport for about half its population?

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 11:41pm
            Rob9 said | November 23rd 2011 @ 11:41pm | ! Report

            From what i’ve seen, no one’s suggesting the rest of the world should roll over and adopt our terminology for different sporting codes. This is far from the reality. We as Australians live with and accept that the meaning for ‘football’ changes from state to state within our own country.

            What i do take exception to is Horwill being labelled as ignorant and arrogant for using the word ‘Rugby’ (which is commonly used not just in Australia but across the globe) to identify the sport of Rugby Union. It may not be what certain sections of the uk use when talking about Rugby Union and we dont expect you to conform to our ways, but we do expect you to respect our cultural difference in this area in the same way we do when an Englishmen comes to our shores and uses the word ‘football’ to talk about what we know as soccer.

            • November 24th 2011 @ 12:08am
              trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 12:08am | ! Report

              Horwill pontificates about Tomkins, an Englishman who plays for Wigan – a famous English “rugby” club – and suggests that he hasn’t played any “rugby recently.” (And I still don’t get the “recently” as he’s only ever grown up playing rugby league).

              For you this might not sound ignorant or arrogant – but for generations of Wigan fans and English rugby league followers who have seen the game they love battle for everything it has got – it is both of those things.

              We can “object” as strongly as you of things we don’t like, can’t we? Or must one be an Australian citizen before passing comment?

              Australian rugby league fans have had it easy. So many appear to know nothing of the game beyond your country’s shores.

              What’s wrong with learning about others, for a change, and recognising that the NRL is not the be-all and end-all of rugby league?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:08am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:08am | ! Report

                In other words, why should the majority of those in the world who know of any Rugby, bend to the will of ‘wigan’.?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:36am
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:36am | ! Report


                Do you know that English soccer managers have come over here and worked in the A-League and have always referred to soccer as “football”? Do you know how many people get as worked up as you are about Horwill? Zero.

                We don’t call it football. Here football means Australian Rules Football or Rugby League, but we know you English don’t understand that, so we don’t bother “correcting” you, as you have a different sporting culture.

                Please observe this fact and try to learn from it.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:43am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                @Dan – your pomposity of tone ill-suits the banality of your argument.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:50am
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:50am | ! Report

                Pomposity of tone? Oh dear, we are getting worked up aren’t we?

                Listen, how about you deal with the substance of the argument rather than resorting to name calling?

                How exactly was that point not valid? English soccer people come to this country – Australia – and use a different word for the sport than is natural here. Yet no one get upset; no one tries to impose our rules onto them. Why?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:56am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:56am | ! Report

                @Dan – “imposition” of “rules” is something that rugby league fans outside of Australia have had to put up with and differs from pointing out the insularity of the game’s adherents on the Roar.

                I repeat: For Horwill to say of Tomkins that he hasn’t played “any rugby recently” is – for many of us who are as entitled to comment on these pages even though we happen not to be Australian – utterly risible.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:07am
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:07am | ! Report

                Trakl, maybe if you lot actually focussed on doing something tangible about the state of the game over there – instead of finding such banal things get upset about – your national team may actually start winning the odd game against the Kangaroos?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:13am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                @Dan – the Kangaroos are much better than England.

                Why boast about that here?

                What has that to do with Horwill’s comments?

                And how precisely might I have helped England play better the other night – other than kidnap the likes of Thurston or Smith or Inglis or….?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:17am
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:17am | ! Report

                Boast? I wasn’t really boasting; I was simply trying to get at the source of this angst of yours, which seems to emanate from the low profile of Rugby League in England. I can only assume that if the game was bigger than Union over there and the English team had the kind of rivalry the union team has with the wallabies (though only because the wallabies don’t have access to guys like Inglis, Thurston and Locky :P) then we just wouldn’t be having this conversation.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 12:02pm
                Rob9 said | November 24th 2011 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

                Can I remind you that James Horwill is the captain of the Australian Rugby Union team. I wouldn’t expect the next captain of the English Rugby Union team to know a hell of a lot about the NRL or the 16 clubs that operate within it. I’d say the ‘recently’ part was more tongue in cheek or he genuinely didn’t know if he’d played any Rugby Union before… and why should he as he is commenting on a guy who is coming across from another sport to have a one off cameo in Rugby (Union) (I’m really getting sick of having to put that Union in there for you trackl)?

                Mate you can object about whatever you like here. Nothing wrong with that, we’re a free country like your own. It’s what you choose to object to and how you go about it that’s raised a few eyebrows along the way. Trust me there are plenty of things that Australians post on this site that have my eyes rolling back in my head too. It’s when you go labelling Horwill as ignorant and arrogant that I object to your objection. The whole thing is a non-event and the way you’re going about it doesn’t do much to counter the image of the ‘whining pom’.

                I’m the first to admit my interest in Super League only extends to the guys in their twilight years going over there for a stint. I and I dare say the majority of Australians aren’t so ignorant to think that the game starts and ends on the eastern seaboard of our continent though. The statement “Australian Rugby League fans have had it easy” suggests you don’t know a whole heap about our game here either. But I don’t expect the average English Rugby League fan to know a whole heap about the NRL. You’ve accused Australians of expecting the world to bow down and conform to our use of language. But by labelling a foreigner from another game who employs the use of a word that is commonly referenced around the world to identify the sport of Rugby Union as arrogant and ignorant, you’re doing just that. Does the word hypocrite have the same meaning there as it does here in Australia?

                With regards to the numerous names we have for Rugby League in Australia, how on earth can that concern you? I couldn’t care less if you called it Pink Elephant Ball up there in England. It’s the same game (plus or minus a bit of white paint on the field depending where you are) and both countries have built their own traditions with it for over 100 years. We should have enough ‘respect’ for one and other to allow individuals from each country (regardless of whether they’re the national captain of another code) to speak in their native tongue and refer to it by the name that they have known it by in their homeland.

                If I were a Wigan fan what I’d be more concerned about is why one of my star players was playing in a game to aid the promotion of another code and the repercussions that could come from his involvement if he were to sustain a season ending injury. In the scheme of things what word Horwill used to refer to Rugby Union (should) means nothing. Recognise that Rugby (Union) is a multicultural sport where even certain positions take on different names and in some cases even meanings. Try and be a bit more cultured than to think that visiting team captains should take on local language to keep certain right winged pockets in the north of England happy (in my experience of playing Rugby (union) based in the south of England, I didn’t come across anyone who took exception to me referring to Rugby Union as Rugby and Rugby League as League as I do here at home).

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:48pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:48pm | ! Report

                @ Dan – again your “knowledge” of the state of English rugby league and on how “big” it is appears to be based on so much of the partial drivel one reads on the Roar.

                The Kangaroos were far too good the other night.

                A topic for another thread.

                Horwill should not pontificate on things of which he is ignorant. Again I ask why the “recently?”

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:00pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:00pm | ! Report

                @Rob9 – “mate” can I remind you that I know full well who Horwill is and that his ignorance doesn’t concern me per se – it’s just that he has no need to pass on any fatuous comments on things he knows nothing about in the first place.

                His “recently” gives the game away – he hasn’t a clue.

                A “no comment” would have done him justice.

                “I’m the first to admit” – as you put it – that my interest in rugby union is far greater than your interest in and knowledge of English rugby league. I love the game. It’s my second favourite game in the world.

                It is not for Australian rugby union players however – or Australian rugby league fans or journalists – to say of an English rugby league player that he hasn’t played much “rugby recently” and not expect to be told that what they are saying is, always has been and always will be insulting nonsense to many rugby league fans beyond the golden beaches of Australia.

                Australian rugby league – its players, fans, journalists – have it easy by comparison with what the game has had to put up with elsewhere.

                You might well not be interested in hearing any of it – but it doesn’t make it any the less true.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 10:47pm
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 10:47pm | ! Report


                Please enlighten me, exactly how big is Rugby League in England? I tried give my Liverpool nut English friend a bit of stick about the League after the Kangaroos win over the weekend and he said that I needed to understand that “in England League is just a non-event; it barely makes the papers, and no one really notices when the national side is playing. It’s just played in a couple of weird town up north that the rest of the country has forgotten about”.

                Now, you’ll probably contest this, and I imagine that there’s a fair bit of hyperbole in there, but given how little your papers seemed to say about the 4 Nations (and how there was not a peep about Horwill’s supposedly earth-shattering faux pas … ) can he really be that far off? Is it possible that no one should even both telling Horwill that he offended someone because the ludicrousness of the complaint and the number of people involved resemble the type of “offence” that sees the Westboro Baptist church take to the streets?

                You keep going on about how Australians have “had it easy”, but Rugby Union existed here too and yet League has prevailed… why do you suppose that is? Maybe you really need to stop whining about semantics and admit that you’re just pissed that we’ve done such a superior job of growing OUR game whilst you’ve been a failure. But that’s just too hard, so instead of trying to actually be constructive you resign yourself to fighting pointless battles, to the point that now the only battle you’re capable of fighting is one over semantics. You need to get a life

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:11pm
                Rob9 said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:11pm | ! Report

                Ahh well ive said about all i can on the topic without repeating myself. If this gets your goat as much as it seems to have, i really do pity you. You must live a very frustrating life with people constantly stepping on your toes.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:22pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:22pm | ! Report

                @Dan – the insult about “getting a life” has taken you an awful long time to produce and thus lacks the flourish with which you were hoping its impact might make.

                It ill becomes you.

                Newspaper coverage for rugby league in England is and always has been utterly abysmal.

                If your “Liverpool nut friend” is reflecting the game’s popularity through national newspaper coverage he is entirely correct.

                If, on the other hand, he is referring to a game that historically has been the second highest supported team sport on a weekly basis behind football – and miles ahead of rugby union at club level for about 105-110 years of the game’s history since its formation – then he is speaking the kind of drivel which manifests itself in the Roar from the legions of “end is nigh” merchants vis-a-vis English (and indeed Australian) rugby league.

                Your attitude to the saintly Horwill differs from mine – Australia rugby union captain or not his remarks are nonsense and born of the kind of ignorance and arrogance manifested in your kindly imprecation that I should “get a life” merely for having the temerity to state that the whole world is not yet ready to accept Australian sporting terminology.

                Rugby league in England has “prevailed” too – and it has been up against so much more than Australian rugby league has had to put up with. Do you not understand that its very reason for existing arose out of the kind of intractable social “arrangements” that then continued to try and strangle it at every stage of its period of growth?

                You would do better to read about the game’s birth – for one thing Australian rugby league owes its existence to it – and try to absorb all the ways that the establishment and rugby union has tried to cripple it.

                You might then appear a little less sanguine when seeing Australia rugby union players hijack the word “rugby” from those who have been playing it all their lives for historic clubs.

                You might not care that French rugby league was banned from using “Rugby” in its name – I don’t care if you do or don’t actually – but I do. I’m glad that they fought for the right to have “Rugby” when others wanted to crush the game altogether.

                I don’t care that you don’t care for any of this.

                I’m just puzzled as to why you care that I care?

                Why should I try to disguise my sincere feelings on the matter – simply to spare your blushes or the reverent Horwill’s?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:29pm
                Dan said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:29pm | ! Report

                This is seriously beginning to boor me now, but your imperious tone on the “origins of the game” really does irritate me… I’m fully aware of the games history – in your country, in France and in mine (and, incidentally, the history of both codes in Germany and Russia) – I just happen to think your reaction to Horwill’s use of a – to him and the majority of the Southern Hemisphere – natural shorthand is utterly absurd in its vociferousness. You’re carrying on like he’d made a jewish joke at Auschwitz for crying out loud! THAT’s why I just told you to get a life, because I cannot honestly understand how you can be so insanely precious over something so unimportant.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:35pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:35pm | ! Report

                Thank you so much for your “pity” Rob9 – and sincerity too.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:46pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:46pm | ! Report

                Its “bore” Dan – and I wish I could say I find your tone merely “irritating” – alas at every step you appear to have got the impression that non-Australian residents have first to seek your permission before responding to any old rubbish written and reported in the Roar.

                Your knowledge of rugby league – as evinced in your guileless questions as to the historic status of rugby league in this country with some “Liverpool nut friend” as your best alibi – suggests you need to re-visit the musty old books on rugby league that have lain mouldering on your bedside table.

                But then that might mean your “getting a life” yourself instead of insulting lives belonging to others whose points of view you find puzzling?

              • November 25th 2011 @ 12:12am
                Dan said | November 25th 2011 @ 12:12am | ! Report

                Wow, you’ve gone grammar-gestapo on me on a sports message board… I’m not writing my dissertation here trakl and it’s almost midnight. Also, if you’re going to trip people up for spelling and grammar, try getting your own right; what you wanted to say was “it’s bore”, not “its bore”.

                But anyway, I’ll sign off with this: I never said you needed anyone’s permission to respond to anything on here, I simply thought your reaction was over-the-top for such an utter non-event. Then you started carrying one about the “manifest” falsity of the statement, and I became bewildered at how someone so articulate could have such a poor understanding of the nature of language.

                With that, good-night and good-bye.

              • November 25th 2011 @ 12:42am
                trakl said | November 25th 2011 @ 12:42am | ! Report

                @Dan – “gestapo” – “Jews” – “concentration camps” – “imperialism” – “Russia” – are you sure you’re not showing us a rough draft of a “dissertation” that otherwise only you would be likely to read?

                Stop giving with one hand – lauding my “articulacy” and “intelligence” – only to take away with the other – “get a life” etcetera.

                The fact that you can’t be bothered to apologise for the latter suggests one must doubt the sincerity of the former.

                Good night and sleep tight – and maybe carry the the thought with you that this really is not about the “nature of language” – but more that some of us outside Australia care about the history and traditions of a sport that here and elsewhere – through a combination of ignorance and arrogance – continues either to be misunderstood, patronised or traduced.

                And Horwill is less culpable it seems than the Australian rugby league community bathing in the insularity of its own little world.

        • November 24th 2011 @ 7:19am
          trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:19am | ! Report

          @Kovana – in other words, it’s not for a conspiratorial nincompoop such as you to tell Tomkins he hasn’t played any “rugby recently.”

          Incidentally, I read on the Age that the reporter differentiates correctly between the two codes of rugby football.

          Good, eh!

          • November 24th 2011 @ 7:25am
            kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:25am | ! Report

            “He has not played any Rugby at all, but has played alot of League.”

            The majoirty of the Rugby Playing world would easily understand that statement.

            As opposed to:

            “He has not played any Rugby at all, but has played alot of Rugby.”

            • November 24th 2011 @ 7:35am
              trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:35am | ! Report

              Stop speaking for the “majoirty” (sic) of the world.

              You sound like a megalomaniac.

              It’s still wrong.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:38am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:38am | ! Report

                Its slang Trak/Paley.

                I, and the majority of the Rugby world, will continue to call Rugby Union ‘Rugby’ whilst calling Rugby League ‘League’.

                If you do not like it, i suggest you email the mods on this site to change the tabs at the top.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:38am
                The Other White Wendell said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:38am | ! Report

                do you guys remember when steffy went on the ‘league is rugby’ crusade about two years ago? i miss her

              • November 24th 2011 @ 7:46am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 7:46am | ! Report

                @ Kovana – paranoid as well as conspiratorial!

                Who cares what you think of “…the World?”

                Are you best mates with the “mods” or something?

                They get things as wrong as you do – though maybe not so often.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 8:59am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 8:59am | ! Report

                Rugby Union is commonly known as Rugby.

                Rugby League is commonly known as League.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:16am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                Not here!

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:29am
                kovana said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:29am | ! Report

                Well thats nice to know, but really.

                Who cares.

                I will continue to call Rugby League ‘League’ and Rugby Union ‘Rugby’

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:35am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:35am | ! Report

                @ Kovana – so what?

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:48am
                clipper said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:48am | ! Report

                Kovana – you’re correct. In the Eastern Suburbs, where Rugby is more popular it is always referred to as Rugby, and when people talk about league, they always use league. When I lived in London, Rugby was always referred to as Rugby, as no one used to talk about league, and as I never lived ‘up north’, I don’t know what they say up there, although I would assume they called it Rugby League from what other people have told me as those northerners would always want to irritate the southerners.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 9:59am
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 9:59am | ! Report

                @clipper – oh dear.

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:05pm
                sledgeandhammer said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:05pm | ! Report

                I’ve just worked it out. Trackl is a guy who hates league and is trying to give it a bad name by coming on sites such as this and acting like a complete prat. Probably taken it a tad too far this time though don’t you think. Nice wind up though!

              • November 24th 2011 @ 11:58pm
                trakl said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

                @brilliant contribution Sledgehammer!

                Keep up the good work!

                And remember to pack an apple for your tupperware box lunch!

              • November 25th 2011 @ 2:04pm
                wannabprop said | November 25th 2011 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                @clipper. My northern English (Rugby League supporter) friends actually just called it ‘Rugby’. Probably explains the offence taken to Horvill’s apparent indiscretion and this ‘debate’. The fact that I’m actually reading this also indicates just how much I’m missing ‘Rugby’!

            • November 25th 2011 @ 2:34pm
              clipper said | November 25th 2011 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

              wannabprop – my point exactly – those northerners will do anything to irritate the southerners!

    • November 22nd 2011 @ 10:56pm
      Drop kick said | November 22nd 2011 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

      Is there any coverage of the match on free to air?

      • November 23rd 2011 @ 3:00pm
        Jono said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

        The answer seems to be no. There is nothing in the TV guide and the ARU website lists only FOX sports as broadcasting the game and that was only updated on Monday.

        • Roar Guru

          November 23rd 2011 @ 3:21pm
          Hoy said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:21pm | ! Report

          Yeah, I tried finding out why I can’t view it free to air. Nine doens’t have a contact us or a query thing on their website. I learnt during the World Cup not to call and complain about their coverage because they just don’t care.

          • November 23rd 2011 @ 5:30pm
            allblackfan said | November 23rd 2011 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

            the reason why is that this game was not included in the ARU’s contract with Nine is that it wasn’t on the fixtures list at the time the contract was negotiated. Remmeber, this tour was only negotiated like3-6 months ago and is all about earning some $dinaro for the ARU. Barbarian games are NEVER covered FTA so at least Fox has picked up the ball with this. Should be worth getting/staying up to watch live!

            • November 24th 2011 @ 2:19am
              Jono said | November 24th 2011 @ 2:19am | ! Report

              Barbarian games never been on FTA is not completely accurate. The last Barbarians game in England back during the Spring tour 2008 was shown by Seven (or did Ten have the Spring Tour rights then?) and the Barbarians game two years ago in Australia which had Sonny Bill was shown by Seven.

              At least the Wales game will be on FTA with SBS announcing on Wednesday that they would show it live.

    • November 23rd 2011 @ 3:51am
      kingplaymaker said | November 23rd 2011 @ 3:51am | ! Report

      I doubt Tomkins will play at full-back, maybe in the centres.

      • November 23rd 2011 @ 4:16am
        Ben S said | November 23rd 2011 @ 4:16am | ! Report

        You think Sam Tomkins will line up in the most defensively challenging position on a rugby union field despite having basically spent an entire league career playing 10 or 15, and with Mortlock, Kahui, Rabeni, Fruean and Toeava also able to play in the midfield?

      • November 23rd 2011 @ 12:22pm
        Bakkies said | November 23rd 2011 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

        He will be peeling oranges for most of the game much like Willie Mason did for the Barbarians

        • November 23rd 2011 @ 10:02pm
          trakl said | November 23rd 2011 @ 10:02pm | ! Report

          Even the busted flush, Willie Mason – after an abject spell at Hull Kingston Rovers – managed to help create two rather wonderful scores due to his ability “magically” to offload the ball. While playing in the centres! In the spell of a few minutes.

          Not bad for a washed up rugby league prop used to being “spelled” every few minutes.

          • November 24th 2011 @ 11:08pm
            sledgeandhammer said | November 24th 2011 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

            That’s because rugby is the running game. Mason was able to get the ball in his hands and be creative, not just smash into brick wales for 80 minutes. Bet he loved it too!

    • November 23rd 2011 @ 8:03am
      Matt said | November 23rd 2011 @ 8:03am | ! Report

      I reckon jeznez has the team pretty much bang on. I too think they’ll probably start Tomkins off the bench, as I believe they did with Willie Mason last time?

      It’s certainly a good environment for him to have a dabble and exocise the demons he clearly harbours for trying out Rugby Union. The Barbarians common mentality is to play loose and enjoy the game, so there shouldn’t be too much drudgery.

      Some recent Baa-baas matches have tended to be against the World’s premier side at the time, so games have seen tighter play from the Barbarians with a lot of emphasis on winning and upsetting the national team opponent.

      However this time, with Henry and Hansen (and other members of the AB’s team) no doubt being relaxed after the recent WC, I wonder if they’ll hark back to tradition and throw the pill around a lot. Certainly they have a team to do so, with guys like Stringer, Ciprianni, Toeava etc. Plus some big hitters in Rabeni, Freuan and Kahui. Tomkins may even see more space and ball then he did against the Roos last weekend?!

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