The inaugural Super Rugby Trans-Tasman season is done and dusted, so we’re counting down the days until the international fixtures kick off in this week’s edition of Coach’s Corner.
Every Friday, our rugby analyst here on The Roar, Nick Bishop, answers your questions about the goings-on across the rugby world
With the first Test against France now just a fortnight away, all eyes turn to the Wallabies as they prepare to try and stun France at the SCG. The European powerhouse won’t be at full strength, thanks to results in the Top 14; Toulouse’s semi-final win meaning stars Antoine Dupont and Romain Ntamack, among others, won’t make it through Australia’s overseas quarantine in time for the first Test at least.
Do the Aussies have a chance of getting the jump on Les Bleus? Or will their All Blacks-esque squad depth hold the visitors in good stead?
In other Wallabies news, captain Michael Hooper has issued a warning that overseas sabbaticals are the only way to move Australian rugby forward, given the continued struggle of the sport on home soil.
Is it time for Rugby Australia to move on from the old ways? Or is there a middle-ground solution to help get the code out of its funk?
Across the ditch, the other Blues broke an 18-year title drought to claim Super Rugby Trans-Tasman glory, with a hard-fought final win over the gutsy Highlanders. The 23-15 win, thanks to a late Ben Gibson try, breaks the Crusaders’ stranglehold on southern hemisphere rugby, and sparked scenes of joy at Eden Park.
Further north, the Harlequins pulled off one of the sport’s greatest comebacks in the English Premiership semi-final. They gave Bristol Bears a 28-0 half time lead before a blistering second stanza saw them win 43-36, seeing them through to the final against Exeter. And how could we forget Louis Lynagh, son of Wallabies great and captain Michael, flattening none other than the Fijian Flyer himself, Semi Radradra?
Got a question for Nick? Be sure to leave it in the comments section below, and come back later in the week to see his answers!