Wallabies’ World Cup back rower Jack Dempsey says he’s going to have a “deep think” about a change of allegiance to Scotland, and he could conceivably debut for the Scots against Australia on their northern tour later this year.
Dempsey, who last played for the Wallabies on October 11, 2019, has a Scottish grandfather and under new eligibility laws would qualify for Scotland, where he plays club rugby for Glasgow Warriors.
While Dempsey is keeping his cards close to his chest at this stage he’s made it clear what a change of allegiance would mean to his father, saying: “I know my dad doesn’t want me to bloody play for Scotland!”
Dempsey played 14 Tests for the Wallabies and spent seven seasons with the Waratahs before feeling he had plateaued and needed a change up.
Dempsey was coy when asked if he had any discussions with Scotland coach Gregor Townsend aboout a switch.
“Maybe I have or maybe I haven’t,” he said. “I don’t know. I can’t really talk about it.
“I’m pretty focussed on the Warriors at the moment. I’m going to have a deep think.
“A few of the lads have been into me, trying to get some insight into what I am thinking.
“But I’ve pretty much had the same mindset since the laws were changed. I’m just focusing on the Warriors at the moment and, obviously, the date for me to officially change isn’t until September or October or something like that, so I’ll address that when the time comes.”
Dempsey was in attendance when the Wallabies played Scotland in November.
“When they came here for the Autumn Tests last year, I went to the game and watched it live – sitting in the crowd having a few Guinnesses – and that was the first game I’d been to at Murrayfield when I wasn’t part of the squad,” Dempsey said.
“So, if I’m not playing it will be good because I can go there and have a few more beers in the stand and watch the game, and if I am playing on either team … I don’t know, it will be good either way.
“I’m not thinking about it too much. I just think it is a good thing to see those two teams play the game here.
“Is the door open? Well, it’s not closed. But if the door is closed, I’m always going to sneak through the window, I’m just one of those guys!
“I’ve got my parents coming over for the Edinburgh game in two weeks. I haven’t seen them for a while, so I’ll catch up with them, and my mum is obviously the one who’s on the Scottish side, so I’ll pick her brain about a few different things and what she’s thinking, because I know my dad doesn’t want me to bloody play for Scotland!”
A leading NZ commentator has called for a rethink on the All Blacks rotation policy at a time when the game is battling for every fan it can secure.
Newstalk ZB commentator Elliott Smith, writing in The New Zealand Herald makes a decent point on the decision to leave big names out of games on home soil.
“Super Rugby’s All Blacks rest weeks are hard to stomach as it is, but it’d be more ideal if those weeks could be burned off while teams are out of market,” wrote Smith.
“Attracting fans is hard enough as it is, let alone when teams are missing the players that turn fans from watching on the couch to parking up at the ground.
Harry Jones and Brett McKay are joined by NZ writer Jamie Wall to look at the crisis engulfing the All Blacks in the latest Roar Rugby Podcast. Stream it here or in your app of choice
“There’s a method to the madness I’m sure, but Beauden Barrett, Jordie Barrett and Ardie Savea all rest up this week, robbing Auckland and Wellington fans the chance to see those key players, who entertained in Perth and Canberra last week.
“Injuries and travel bills can throw curveballs but making the turnstiles click across the Tasman should be less of a priority than on home soil.”
The Highlanders have begun their search for a new head coach with incumbent Tony Brown leaving for Japan at the end of the season.
New CEO Peter Kean told stuff.co.nz that the search was delayed by Covid but has stepped up recently.
“You clearly we don’t want to destabilise things during the season, but certainly that process is starting,” he said.
“From my understanding Browny is not going to come back and as head coach next year. I think his time’s up.”
Kean said the Highlanders would weigh up between promoting an assistant such as Clarke Dermody or looking externally.
It cerrtainly won’t be to everyone’s taste, but Queensland are going to introduce Super Rugby to something new at Suncorp on Friday night, with light up goal posts.
The posts will feature during the Queensland team introduction, half-time light show and activate when tries are scored and goals are kicked. Keen to hear the thoughts of Roarers on this!