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Tahs fume over Douglas injury

By Jim Morton,


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    The NSW Waratahs’ resistance to forfeiting their Wallabies for an extended Test camp before the Lions series has been inflamed by a needless injury to lock Kane Douglas.

    Douglas rolled his ankle while playing a game of touch football in a Wallabies logistics camp on Tuesday as part of a promotion for the British and Irish Lions tour.

    Waratahs coach Michael Cheika said the injury will keep him off the training paddock for at least a fortnight, robbing the second-rower of valuable pre-season training.

    The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) was already facing a backlash from both NSW and Queensland over the plans to quarantine the Wallabies players three weeks before the three-Test Lions series kicks off on June 22.

    Cheika said Super Rugby teams, who released 49 players in total for this week’s two-day camp, had been guaranteed by the ARU there wouldn’t be any physical activity.

    But they were surprised to see Douglas suffer his injury in a Wallabies v British Backpackers touch game in a suburban park.

    “We were assured there would be no rugby content whatsoever and we’ve had a player injured shooting an advertisement without the correct strapping,” Cheika told AAP.

    “He’s now going to start the season with just two weeks of training – that type of stuff makes it (releasing players) hard to swallow.

    “I understand mistakes can happen sometime but we can minimise them and that shouldn’t be happening.

    “That makes it very difficult to believe in the process when the details aren’t being maintained correctly.”

    While Lions coach Warren Gatland hopes Australian provinces will field Wallabies in their pre-Test tour matches, it looks unlikely to occur.

    Australian coach Robbie Deans wants to prepare his Test squad in the extended three-week camp from June 1 to safeguard against late injuries and ensure combinations gel.

    But it would mean Queensland, who sacrificed their Super bye, would be prevented from fielding their full-strength team in a money-spinning sell-out against the Lions at Suncorp Stadium on June 8.

    On the same weekend, the other four Australian sides are playing two Super Rugby derbies, in which the Waratahs have most at stake, potentially losing their entire starting forward pack.

    A final decision on quarantining the Wallabies in June has yet to occur despite opposition from the provinces during an ARU high-performance unit (HPU) meeting late last year.

    “If we’re taking a consultation approach and the view from all the states at the HPU meeting was this shouldn’t happen,” Cheika said.

    “If we’re not being incorporated in the decision, then make the decision and be accountable for it.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (70)

    • January 17th 2013 @ 9:23pm
      allrounder said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:23pm | ! Report

      wrap them up in cotton wool. how dare a rugby player be forced to play touch rugby.

      if he knew he had an injury you’d think he’d have said ‘i need to strap my ankle first fellas’. are modern players not up to strapping their own ankles or taking the initiative to ask for a strapper?

      cheika stop carrying on like a numpty. the wallabies take priority just like any clubs 1st grade side takes priority over lower grades. (there ‘s always one numpty at every club that thinks their 2nd grade side’s needs are always being overlooked by the 1st grade side. thats because its the way it should be). so if deans denies the super xv sides its players for a few weeks before the lions series so be it. if a member of the wallaby squad gets injured at wallaby training or a promotion involving playing ‘touch’ rugby then thats bad luck.

      • January 17th 2013 @ 9:51pm
        Justin2 said | January 17th 2013 @ 9:51pm | ! Report

        Yes the full physio team would have been on stand by for that touch game…

        • January 18th 2013 @ 9:35am
          allrounder said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          a blind drunk nutless monkey can strap an ankle!

          • January 18th 2013 @ 9:39am
            Justin2 said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

            Well they didn’t have any of those there either.

            The point Cheika raises is fair, it’s not the injury but the fact they were told the would be no activity.

            • January 18th 2013 @ 10:04am
              allrounder said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:04am | ! Report

              a game of touch rugby frankly is no activity

              • January 18th 2013 @ 10:06am
                Justin2 said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:06am | ! Report

                You couldn’t honestly believe that so I’ll assume it’s tongue in cheek.

              • January 18th 2013 @ 10:11am
                allrounder said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:11am | ! Report

                a game of touch rugby against some backpackers for an advert… that might raise their heart rates to about 40 bpm

              • January 18th 2013 @ 2:12pm
                johnson said | January 18th 2013 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                I blame deans. Touch rugby is the most dangerous activity that a professional rugby player could be taking. Deans is behind this you mark my words. He is lucky he is not out for the season!!! Damn you deans

      • January 18th 2013 @ 6:35am
        mania said | January 18th 2013 @ 6:35am | ! Report

        Cheika is not shaping up to be the coach that i thought he’d be. already he’s whining about the lions tour and trying to screw up his players chances of preperaing for the the tour.
        in regards to kanes injury, cheika does realise its a contact sport and that sht happens? strapping wouldnt have prevented the injury. strapping is all mental.

        • January 18th 2013 @ 9:35am
          Justin2 said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          Touch footy is contact and we strap players for mental injuries?…

        • January 18th 2013 @ 9:35am
          stanley grella said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:35am | ! Report

          taking the players out of supeRugby for the tahs is horrible. as it is for every aus superugby team. in the position the tahs are, rebuilding after a horror yeah, to miss up to 13 players from there squad expecially for a derby is a nightmare.

          i dont think cheika really cares that much about douglas injury, its an inconvieniance but it is a great illustration for the point that if a player can get injured on a “non physical” camp for the wallabies then how exactly is training instead of playing for three weeks going to gaurantee anything.

          there are alot of fans that care deeply about super rugby, all those fans (well 99.9 percent of them) feel strongly about there national team to, but to suggest those emotionally invested in the tahs, reds or anyone else should write the year off so the wallabies are better prepared are kidding. a 3 week camp isnt going to garuntee us victory against the lions, a 6 month camp isnt. were not playing any lead up games, i would prefer players be battle hardened on reduced training than train for 3 weeks without getting bruised.

          • January 18th 2013 @ 9:39am
            allrounder said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:39am | ! Report

            anyone that cares more about super rugby than the lions series doesn’t deserve to watch rugby

            • January 18th 2013 @ 9:43am
              Justin2 said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:43am | ! Report

              Maybe, just maybe, the extra match is more beneficial to the players then being in a camp 3 weeks out. Players need match practice and touch. 3 weeks without it is too long. They will be rusty in the first test IMO.

              • January 18th 2013 @ 10:09am
                allrounder said | January 18th 2013 @ 10:09am | ! Report

                i agree its a call that needs a balance between rest and match fitness.

                but heres the thing. deans was burned in 2012 losing just about every important player we have… yet do the fans cut him slack… no they demand he takes second rate players from our under achieving super xv franchises and demand that we still win every match by relative cricket scores.

                no wonder he’s cautious.

                if genia for instance gets injured a week or two before the series…well there goes our chances. unlike NZ or the lions we do not have depth to be able to afford injuries. a bit of we’d rather be safe than sorry is understandable.

    • January 17th 2013 @ 10:03pm
      saus said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:03pm | ! Report

      And it has started, the tahs start to play the blame game.

      • January 18th 2013 @ 6:38am
        mania said | January 18th 2013 @ 6:38am | ! Report

        agree, cheika is fitting right into the tah’s culture like he’s been there for decades

        • January 18th 2013 @ 2:15pm
          johnson said | January 18th 2013 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

          I think cheika needs to go. we at the Tahs don’t like our coachs and I cant wait for the knives to come out:)

    • January 17th 2013 @ 10:10pm
      Winston said | January 17th 2013 @ 10:10pm | ! Report

      Injuries are part of he game. Would you like some cheese with that whine. Wallabies should come first. This would not be an issue in NZ

    • Roar Guru

      January 17th 2013 @ 11:19pm
      El Gamba said | January 17th 2013 @ 11:19pm | ! Report

      Something is wrong with his conditioning if he is doing his ankle during a game of touch. He’s a professional athlete.

      • January 18th 2013 @ 6:36am
        mania said | January 18th 2013 @ 6:36am | ! Report

        its an accident gamba. all the preperation and strapping in the world cant prevent an accident

        • January 18th 2013 @ 9:52am
          jameswm said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:52am | ! Report

          Step on something not quite even, and if you’re susceptible (flexible ankle joints), you’ll roll it.

          Absolutely nothing to do with conditioning.

    • January 18th 2013 @ 7:14am
      Darwin Stubbie said | January 18th 2013 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      ‘a Wallabies v British Backpackers touch game in a suburban park.’…. WTF ??

    • January 18th 2013 @ 7:41am
      MikeG said | January 18th 2013 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      Geez Cheika’s gone overboard on this one…So Douglas rolled his ankle, big deal. He’ll be right for round one