“Players… they read all that stuff.” Michael Cheika’s admission that the Wallabies get rattled by a bit of social media sledging is as refreshing as it is troubling.
Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Andy Friend’s tenure as coach of the Australian men’s sevens team will come to an end in July after just 18 months in the job.
Rugby Australia says Friend unsuccessfully applied for a new contract, with the former Brumbies coach’s successor to be named on Monday.
Australian women’s sevens coach Tim Walsh is the obvious choice, after he announced in January he would step down after next month’s Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and declared his interest in overseeing the men’s side.
Walsh steered the hugely successful women’s team to gold at the Rio Olympics in 2016, and also helped them to a maiden World Series win in the 2015-16 season.
Rugby Australia said on Friday it was eager to keep Friend in the fold in a new position still in development.
The announcement of Friend’s departure comes just 24 hours after he revealed his Commonwealth Games squad.
“Andy is an incredibly experienced coach and he has done a first-class job in developing and implementing a quality professional program,” said RA general manager high performance Ben Whitaker.
“He has demonstrated a great ability to advance players, on and off the field and produce an outfit that is now capable of competing with any team in the world.
“Importantly, Andy will continue to lead the team into the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games next month with a goal of winning gold on home soil.”
Friend guided the Aussie men to a drought-breaking tournament victory at the Sydney 7s in January – their first World Series tournament win in six years.
Whitaker said the process for appointing a new men’s seven’s coach started late last year.