To win rugby games, some swear by playing error-free footy. Others by having a strong set piece. I have heard Rod Kafer talk of the importance of getting over the advantage line.
Wallabies prop Scott Sio has signed a new three-year contract with Rugby Australia and the Brumbies.
Brumbies coach Dan McKellar says it’s a no-brainer to take both his loosehead props, Scott Sio and James Slipper, to the World Cup later this year.
Wallabies incumbent Sio signed a new three-year contract with Rugby Australia and the Brumbies on Wednesday.
The deal keeps the 55-Test scrum powerhouse in Australian rugby until the end of 2022.
Sio, 27, has been working in tandem this Super Rugby season with Slipper, who McKellar signed after he was discarded by the Queensland Reds last season.
McKellar said Sio could have been irked by the signing of an 86-Test veteran in his position, but instead he chose to put the team first.
“Scotty’s attitude has been exceptional, the first time I spoke to him about the possibility of Slips coming, he just said whatever is best for the team,” McKellar said.
“He understood the benefits for him and Slips with managing their loads and minutes.
“Scotty is a powerful bloke with the football … he’s starting to understand how damaging he can be in attack and defence, and his scrum and maul work has always been quality.
“He’s really developing into a leader, Scotty, I’ve been really pleased with his attitude. It would be quite easy for somebody to go the other way and not be happy about it but he’s really bought into it and he’s playing well.
“They’re good mates and understand each other’s role well, one starts a game and one finishes it. It’s a good place to be in.”
Michael Cheika said he was “pleased” Sio had committed to Australian rugby and McKellar urged the Wallabies coach to take both his looseheads to the World Cup.
“I’d be taking Sio and Slipper when they’re playing well and they’re both doing that. They’re both in a really good headspace and in good condition,” he said.
“There’s plenty of experience there. I’ve never been to a World Cup but I imagine a benefit is to have really good experience, especially around set piece.”
Sio joins fellow Brumbies and Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa (2023) in signing long term, while Slipper and hooker Folau Faingaa are both contracted until the end of next season.
“It’s nice because they’re all a big part of our game,” McKellar said.