Eddie Jones reckons the latest wunderkind of English rugby Henry Arundell reminds him of Matt Giteau – and he hopes the youngster will show the same work ethic that helped turn the Wallaby into one of rugby’s greats.
Jones has fast-tracked 19-year-old Arundell, who has scored some eye-catching tries this year – into his pre-Australian tour training squad.
And England’s Australian coach revealed that he instantly saw some of the same qualities that prompted him to give 20-year-old Giteau a Test debut when he was in charge of the Wallabies back in 2002.
“The reason I have compared Arundell with Giteau is a similar story,” Jones told reporters..
“You get reports through on young players, and where there is smoke, there is usually some fire.
“I remember getting a sevens report on Giteau, what he could do, and then you go and watch him play. Within five minutes you can generally work out whether he’s got it or not, whether he’s got something special.”
Jones saw that “something special” in Arundell when he watched him play for Irish against Wasps earlier this month, reckoning he was impressed with the way he responded to making an early handling mistake for a knock-on by then scoring a superb individual try.
“Giteau was the same,” added Jones. “I went to watch him play halfback for his club, and within five minutes you could tell he had something about him.
“But then the hard part comes, when they’ve got to work really hard, they’ve got to not believe what’s being said about them, that they’re not a kid wonder, that they’ve got to apply themselves to the task – and that’s when the real player comes through.”
That’s what Giteau did, going on to make 103 appearances for the Wallabies over a 14-year period.
Arundell’s first selection in the camp has opened up the possibility of him being a bolter for the three-Test tour in July after scoring 11 tries in 15 matches for Irish and England U20s this season.
“Obviously, there’s been a fair bit of publicity about the young boy, but we’ll just wait and see,” said Jones.
World Rugby is expected to announce tough new laws around water carriers designed to speed up the flow of the game – provoking a typically cheeky response from South African Director of Rugby Rassie Erasmus.
The global governing body has banned head coaches or directors of rugby from being used as water-carriers after Erasmus controversially filled the role against the Lions last year.
Erasmus was obviously passing on coaching to players while in the role.
“Was just talking to my line manager yesterday!! She also thought ‘Director of Rugby’ has a such a formal ring to it ! We agreed that Director of coaching will be so much better title for me! Lekka !! Can’t wait,” Erasmus tweeted in response to the law change.
The change goes beyond just stifling Erasmus of course.
Teams will be permitted up to two dedicated water-carriers and in elite-level rugby, water-carriers will only be able to enter the field of play twice per half at points agreed with the match officials. That can only be during a stoppage in play or after a try has been scored.
In other changes, World Rugby will rule that any comments to match officials from team officials on the field that are not related to the treatment of an injured player will result in a penalty kick.
Team staff catching kicks to prevent the opposition from taking instant lineouts will also reslut n penalties.
The Times newspaper reported that new regulations will come into force in a global trial on July 1 and will be included in the women’s World Cup in New Zealand later this year and the 2023 men’s tournament in France
Mark Harrington, World’s Rugby’s chief player welfare and rugby services officer, told The Times: “We’re taking concrete action to improve the flow of rugby matches. We’ve received feedback from across the game that the number of people who aren’t players interrupting the flow of the game was getting out of hand.”
Chiefs lock Naitoa Ah Kuoi says he was surprised with the reaction to his interview with Stan Sport after the win over the Rebels on the weekend.
“I honestly thought nothing of it and then people started showing me, I said, ‘Man, I was just yarning, instead of trying to be something I’m not, really’,” he told Stuff.
“I was so rattled before it, and then once they asked about my nails, that was when I just lost it, I was just going to be myself.
“There’s a lot of guys who say really good generic answers. For myself, in any environment, I like to back myself and be who I am.”
Ah Kuoi cracked up the Stan team, joking around with Tim Horan, Morgan Turinui and Nick McArdle, showing them his painted finger nails and singing a Stevie Nicks song.
His teammates enjoyed the interview. “Some of them said I should’ve sung for a little bit longer,” he said. “I was keen to, but they moved on to other questions, so it was probably good they stopped me because I would’ve sung the whole bloody song.”
Western Force veteran Richard Kahui became the second SRP player to escape further sanction despite being sent off on the weekend.
A day after Waratahs prop Paddy Ryan was cleared to play after his red card against the Hurricanes, former All Black Kahui had his contentious red card for a high tackle on Highlanders flyhalf Mitch Hunt dismissed.
Kahui came off the bench for the Force in the 45th minute of their 61-10 loss to the Highlanders and was sent off by referee Ben O’Keeffe in the 74th minute after a head-to-head collision with Hunt.
SANZAAR said Kahui’s tackle was worthy a yellow card but mitigating circumstances lowered the incident from a red.
Rugby lawyer to the stars Aaron Lloyd talks through the judiciary process with Harry Jones and Brett McKay in this week’s The Roar Rugby podcast.
“Having conducted a detailed review of all the available evidence, including all camera angles and additional evidence, including from the player, a medical report on the opposition player involved, and having considered the submissions from his legal representative, Michael Tudori. The judicial committee found that the player had not committed an act of foul play worthy of the red card threshold,” chair Mike Mika said in a statement.
“The judicial committee reviewed the case in accordance with Reg 17.16.1 of World Rugby’s regulations and the World Rugby Head Contact Process.
“The evidence and submissions on behalf of the player, together with surrounding circumstances, satisfied the Committee that there was mitigation to lower the incident from red card to a yellow card. Whilst the incident is dangerous, the contact with the head was not intentional or highly reckless.
“Kahui was shown to be lowering himself for the tackle on the right-hand side of the opposing player when a significant movement from the ball carrier meant that the late change in direction contributed to head contact.”
The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) will next week induct six legends of the game into the Queensland Rugby Hall of Fame, including the first female player and the first coach.
Former Wallaroos captain Selena Worsley and Queensland’s most famous coach Bob Templeton will join the Hall of Fame along with Bill McLean of the famous McLean dynasty, Queensland’s first 100-cap player Stan Pilecki, 1960s flanker Jules Guerassimoff and two-time Super-rugby winning captain Peter Slattery.
The six will be inducted in a special presentation at next Friday’s Queensland Rugby Long Lunch at the Brisbane Convention and Entertainment Centre, which will also celebrate the 1991 Rugby World Cup-winning Wallabies.
The Queensland Rugby Hall of Fame honours players and coaches who have made a contribution to the game in the State. The new inductees join an honour roll of 17 existing members stretching back to 1893.
QRU Chair Brett Clark said the six new inductees had all made a lasting impact on the game in the eras in which they played.
“You know you’ve got it right when every single inductee begs the question of why weren’t they inducted already,” he said.
“In the case of Bob Templeton and Stan Pilecki, we already have the Bob Templeton Cup played for between Queensland and NSW, and the Stan Pilecki Medal for the best Reds player.
“Bill McLean’s family had the original stand at Ballymore named in their honour and the new McLean Stand now under construction will be similarly named.
“The Hall of Fame induction is further lasting recognition of their contribution, as well as an overdue recognition of the outstanding contributions of Jules Guerassimoff, Peter Slattery and Selena Worsley.”
Worsley will be the first woman added to the Hall of Fame.
“Selena was a pioneer in women’s rugby and captained the Wallaroos to two Women’s Rugby World Cup championships, as well as a dual-code player for women’s State of Origin,” Clark said.
“Inductees need to have been retired from the professional game for more than five years, so Selena was one of the first pioneers of the women’s game we could induct and was an unanimous choice.
“Peter Slattery was also an unanimous choice from the modern era – he captained Queensland in back-to-back Super Rugby titles in the 1990s and was a Rugby World Cup winner in 1991.
“And Jules Guerassimoff is undoubtedly one of the most popular choices for the Hall of Fame. He remains a larger-than-life character in a game that has produced many of them. He was a true legend of the game and until overtaken by Stan Pilecki more than a decade later was the highest capped Queensland player.
“Pilecki was probably the only player of that era who could compete with Jules as a character – both refugees and hard men on the field. Stan was the first Queenslander to reach 100 caps and while a late-blooming Wallaby was renowned as the ultimate team man.
“Bob Templeton is the first inductee to have never played for Queensland and was selected on the basis of his stellar coaching record, which included 233 games as Queensland coach and as assistant coach of the Wallabies in 1991.
“Bill McLean is best remembered as part of a rugby dynasty, which included his father Doug senior, his son Peter and his nephew Paul, who was an inaugural inductee into the Hall of Fame. What is not as well-known was his bravery off the pitch – having been selected for the 1939 Wallabies who never played due to the Second World War, he immediately joined up as a commando who parachuted behind Japanese lines in Borneo.”
The selection panel included existing Hall of Fame members Andrew Slack and Tim Horan, Roar Rugby expert Jim Tucker, rugby historians Reg Roberts and Scott Oakhill and Wallaroos Vanessa Bradley and Emilee Barton (nee Cherry). The panel chose six inductees to catch up from a hiatus due to coronavirus. A maximum of three inductees a year are usually chosen.