White fears Super mess over Lions plans

By Jim Morton,

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31 Have your say

    Bewildered Brumbies coach Jake White believes Wallabies plans to strip Australian Super Rugby teams of their Test players for crucial penultimate round matches are blatantly unfair.

    White has joined his Queensland and NSW counterparts – Ewen McKenzie and Michael Cheika – in opposing Robbie Deans’ wish to put his Test squad into an extended three-week camp before the British and Irish Lions series in June.

    But the former South Africa coach believes it’s the Brumbies who will pay the biggest price if the ARU decide to quarantine Test players, even though he expects the Reds and Waratahs to have more chosen.

    The Brumbies are scheduled to meet the Melbourne Rebels on June 7 in Canberra – 15 days before the first Wallabies-Lions Test – in their second last fixture match and desperately want the likes of David Pocock, Stephen Moore, Ben Alexander and Pat McCabe available.

    The same weekend, NSW play the Western Force in Perth while Queensland, who have a Super bye, host the Lions at Suncorp Stadium.

    Still tormented by missing last season’s finals by one point following a last-round upset loss to the Blues, White said every competition point would be hugely important to his team’s play-off hopes that late in the competition.

    “Last year in the last round our whole season changed so I find it highly unlikely that in the last rounds this year that the expectations from anybody would not be to play your best teams,” he told AAP.

    “We’re all happy to help (the Wallabies) but it’s making sure everyone wins. We can’t have this situation.”

    McKenzie has said he’d be prepared to compromise by allowing Test players to start their camp on June 2 in the hope they’d be released towards the end of the week to play that weekend.

    But that would not appease 2007 World Cup winner White who feels he needs his young, improving side together for a full week to prepare for their clash with the Rebels.

    “Ewen is in a different situation because he’s talking about a Lions (tour) game and he also has a very settled team,” he said.

    “It makes no difference if one guy (Quade Cooper) boxes one Saturday and plays the next Saturday – there’s not many teams who can afford that.

    “The Waratahs have a Wallaby pack of forwards who play together every Saturday – if it’s not for the Waratahs it’s for the Wallabies.

    “We’re in a very different situation.

    “We can’t afford to lose four guys or five guys and then by Saturday they’re back to play.”

    The Brumbies provided eight of 49 players to a Wallabies logistics camp this month and they have no issue with resting Test players from their Lions tour clash on June 18.

    White confirmed Pocock would make his Brumbies debut this Friday night against his old Force teammates in a Darwin trial.

    Former Wallabies winger Clyde Rathbone will also make his comeback, playing at centre outside playmakers Matt Toomua and Christian Lealiifano who will trial at 10 and 12 with McCabe (neck) sidelined until round four.

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (31)

    • January 31st 2013 @ 4:49am
      Hightackle said | January 31st 2013 @ 4:49am | ! Report

      I know what would solve this.
      A 6th Australian team.

    • January 31st 2013 @ 5:48am
      mania said | January 31st 2013 @ 5:48am | ! Report

      ok taking them out for 3 weeks is a little much. 2 weeks would be sufficient. but using a snorefest aus derby as your argument? u gotta be kidding. brumbies vs rebels? this is one of 2 games in the round robin.

      • January 31st 2013 @ 6:02am
        Justin2 said | January 31st 2013 @ 6:02am | ! Report

        Rebels were great to watch last year.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 6:02am
          mania said | January 31st 2013 @ 6:02am | ! Report

          yeah when they werent playing aus sides

    • January 31st 2013 @ 5:55am
      Billy Bob said | January 31st 2013 @ 5:55am | ! Report

      Was that facetious?
      What we need is 8 to 10 teams playing every season, separate to super or as a conference on the fringe of super.
      We could shrink, rather than abandon the Shute shield and the Brisbane comp to accommodate this and to keep club traditions engaged.

    • January 31st 2013 @ 7:17am
      Justin2 said | January 31st 2013 @ 7:17am | ! Report

      Interesting article in the Australian, the only decent place for union coverage in AUS. White basically saying toomua will be 10 not CL and he isn’t sure where McCabe will fit in either.

      I think CL is a better 10 myself and at test level I don’t think he is sound enough defensively at 12.

      Intrigue grows but if CL isn’t playing 10 in super rugby there is now way he can be picked there for the lions tour…

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2013 @ 9:15am
        Jiggles said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:15am | ! Report

        Regardless of where White plays him, Deans will probably justs go a head and pick him somewhere like no 8, muttering something like “his ability to convert power into motion in the positive differential area means he has a better chance of gaining entry into the more than equal opportunities zone at the indubitable time-moment of the encounter.”

        • January 31st 2013 @ 1:07pm
          nick said | January 31st 2013 @ 1:07pm | ! Report

          oh Jiggles you kill me – best Deans impression ever

      • January 31st 2013 @ 9:23am
        rl said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        J2, a mate of mine in Canberra was RAVING about Matty Toomua last year before he was injured, and says all the signs are there again in training this year. His words were “if you think the backline was humming with Christian at 10, wait til you see Matty in charge”.

        • Roar Guru

          January 31st 2013 @ 9:27am
          Jiggles said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:27am | ! Report

          To’omua needs to perform this year. I was a big fan of his as a schoolboy but he has rarely clicked as a senior. I saw a bit of him playing for Easts in Sydney in 2011 and he was very average.

          • January 31st 2013 @ 9:34am
            rl said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:34am | ! Report

            The buzz was 2012 was going to be his break-out year (yes, heard all that before!), the 2011 year you allude to made him realise it wouldn’t just “happen” for him on talent alone. Newfound attitude to training, his off-field regime, etc, etc.

            All that being said, we are obviously yet to see it realised on the field and, given the Brumbies heightened expectations for this season, CL’s performances in 10 last year and the depth of options at White’s disposal, Toomua will want to start very well or he’ll quickly be on the outer.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 9:30am
          Justin2 said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          I’m a bit with Jiggles right now. I think Toomua could be good, he has had some injuries but I dont think he has got to where he looked he might a few years ago. Be good to see him kick on.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 12:59pm
          nickoldschool said | January 31st 2013 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

          Great news rl. Am a CL fan first but very happy to see Toomua perform at ten and help CL cement a 12 jersey with the Brumbies then wallabies.

          The ACT back line looks fantastic on paper and White will have plenty of options during the game.

    • January 31st 2013 @ 9:10am
      Johnno said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:10am | ! Report

      Cut to the chase on this. i think the super rugby sides should give there players away. And shows why centralisation is needed, and why have advocated for more imports per team, to deal with player welfare issues like this. The flexibility of rotation with out compromising standards.
      But the super rugby teams in OZ are the only major sports comps in OZ, that are not as advanced on imports like the A-league or NRL, or NBL, or BBL,or AFL.

      But what I think should be done is a compensation plan. The super rugby sides get a cut of the lions series profits, for basically having there season compromised .

      • January 31st 2013 @ 9:31am
        Justin2 said | January 31st 2013 @ 9:31am | ! Report

        What the fa..rk are you on about?

        • January 31st 2013 @ 10:51am
          cm said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:51am | ! Report

          Johnno’s just Johnno, J2. I haven’t got the time to decipher his meanderings and suggest you don’t try, either.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 10:58am
          Johnno said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:58am | ! Report

          What i;m on about is this.The Lions tour is going to impact in who the aussy super teams finish. Why shouldn’t they get a financial compensation for lost earnings, it has already been mooted.
          Now the All Blacks and wallabies will get one in 2015 from the IRB in lost earnings, as the RC or super rugby season will be compromised.

    • January 31st 2013 @ 10:39am
      Gary Russell-Sharam said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:39am | ! Report

      Jiggles well said in relation to Deans’ selection.

      On the subject of Toomua he would seriously need to have a tremendous year to actually realise all the potential that he has had written about him. I know that injury has played a part in his curtailment of his career but when he has been on the field he hasn’t really grabbed the opportunity that has been presented. He needs to do this, this season or he will be nowhere.

      Re the resting of the Wallabies from Super matches. I’m against it. for two reasons, 1 you need match hardened players not training players. 2. A well adjusted Wallaby coach can pull a team together with a week of training prior to a match. Just ask any Wallaby coach from the amateur days. Bob Dwyer would be a start and Alan Jones would be another. Coaches that have the respect of players and can get into the heads of players don’t need 3 weeks of training to get their message across.

      • Roar Guru

        January 31st 2013 @ 10:56am
        Jiggles said | January 31st 2013 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        Three very good schoolboy 10s came through the system in Queensland at around the same time. Lucas, Cooper and a couple of years later To’omua. of the three in terms of potential I ranked them as Lucas, To’omua & Cooper. To’omua was like Lucas in that he could control a game even behind a back that was struggling, which is something Cooper lacked at schoolboy level and probably does to some extent at Test level now.

        While Cooper has improved at every level and refined his game, Lucas was stuffed around at 9 by the powers to be. A mistake in my opinion. He is good enough to start at 10 at every other team in Australia besides Queensland right now. To’omua yes he has had the worst injury run of the three, but he hasn’t, like you say, excelled when the opportunity presents itself. He should have been carving up the Shute Shield in 2011. Instead he was fumbling around and he looked almost out of his league at times.

        • January 31st 2013 @ 11:47am
          Justin2 said | January 31st 2013 @ 11:47am | ! Report

          I agree about Lucas Jigs, he should have been the player the Rebels went after above any other…

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