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The Roar

JC

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Joined March 2021

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Being a bit cheeky, Tim. It would blow most people’s minds if Robertson did take on the Rebels. But if he’s serious about proving his credentials to the NZR board, who knows??? 😱

Rugby News: Razor 'open' to Wallabies job, Kiwis' Covid crisis gives RTS debut hope, Gregan hails Eddie's 'courage'

From memory, two reasons for Robertson missing out on the ABs job were the perception that he hadn’t had to deal with adversity in his coaching career, and nor did he have overseas coaching experience. So, here’s the position Robertson has been waiting for — overseas and filled with adversity. May I present the Melbourne Rebels! Great city, decent roster, pathways starting to produce but team needs some help with playing identity and setting up structures for long-term success. It’s a match made in heaven, surely.

Rugby News: Razor 'open' to Wallabies job, Kiwis' Covid crisis gives RTS debut hope, Gregan hails Eddie's 'courage'

HJH now out injured too. Really hope nothing happens to 7As and that Tupou’s calf is 100%.

The Wallabies tight five that could possibly beat England... just

Wallabies socials are also reporting that HJH has suffered a long-term Achilles injury this week and has been replaced by Sam Talakai. The tighthead prop curse continues …

Holloway debut hopes hobbled, May also in doubt as Jones gets ready for verbal warfare

Can’t say I agree with all of this, PS, but the inclusion of Fa’amausili is surely premature. Seems like he’s another project player, along with Vunivalu. Having said that, hopefully he’s not needed. Interestingly, a photo from opposed training yesterday seems to show Slipper packing at tighthead with Bell at loosehead. Sio was opposing Slipper and I couldn’t make out the other tighthead, but presumably it was 7As.

The Wallabies tight five that could possibly beat England... just

Thanks, IFSA! Although it probably needs someone with more diplomacy to unite all the warring tribes!!

'NZ have treated us poorly': Why Phil Kearns is backing RA's hard ball, and how rugby 'wins over league every week'

Interesting to see who Rennie and McKellar pick in the second row. I think they’ll go for experience to start the first Test.

Rugby News: 'Flair's one thing, ridiculous is another' - Wallaby great lauds Rennie impact, wants calm Quade, 'mongrel' locks

Love the peek at some of the key Aussie players — thanks, Hugh.

Perfect chance for 15s fans to get into sevens as Aussies continue Com Games buildup at Oceania tournament

England could find an edge in the lock position, where Australia’s options of Nick Frost, Darcy Swain, Cadeyrn Neville and Jed Holloway were lacking the international experience of England beast Maro Itoje.

No doubting Itoje’s experience or athleticism, but his temperament is sometimes called into question. Philip, who doesn’t seem to rate a mention, is pretty experienced these days and had a fine Super Rugby tournament. I like his workrate and good temperament, along with Swain’s maul-disrupting superpowers. And pretty excited to see what Frost, Neville and Holloway can bring, too.

Rugby News: 'Flair's one thing, ridiculous is another' - Wallaby great lauds Rennie impact, wants calm Quade, 'mongrel' locks

The bit about only having club footy back in the day is not strictly true, either. There was the South Pacific Champs until about 1990, I think, and then the Super Six. Australian rugby always recognised the benefit of a cross-border provincial competition, even before professionalism.
The other thing is that, whatever problems Super Rugby has encountered in later years, you can’t ignore that NZ, SA and Aus have really benefited from distilling their talent into four or five teams — rather than England’s 12 clubs or France’s 14. World Cup results would suggest that the southern nations’ greater level of cohesion through their Super teams has outweighed the north’s access to bigger talent pools.
I don’t necessarily think we should always do what we’ve done in the past, and if sticking with Super Rugby Pacific and $30m a year is going to send Aus rugby broke then of course we need to find a better outcome. But we need to look at the whole picture, and Kearns should be challenged if he’s providing spin rather than the full picture.
As others have said, it’s all a negotiating strategy. Super Rugby Pacific was better than a lot of people (including me) expected. It needs better marketing, of course, and Australia needs an improved financial deal to make it sustainable, but RA aren’t just going to ditch it without trying to work through the issues with NZ. Ideally, I’d like Super Rugby AU in some form, followed by a Pacific crossover, so we get the best of both worlds.

'NZ have treated us poorly': Why Phil Kearns is backing RA's hard ball, and how rugby 'wins over league every week'

Speak softly and carry a big stick is probably the way a lot of rugby fans would prefer to see business done. But, even if we don’t like the shouty approach of McLennan and Kearns, it’s hard to argue with the message itself. They’re simply saying that Australian rugby will make decisions in its best interests going forward (as you’d hope they would always do). Even I can can see that $30m a year isn’t going to keep the good ship rugby afloat for very long; Aus will just lose all our top players overseas. If NZ isn’t interested in sharing revenues from Super Rugby Pacific, and RA and its broadcasters see more value in a Super AU comp or a hybrid model of some sort from 2024, of course they have to consider it very seriously.

'NZ have treated us poorly': Why Phil Kearns is backing RA's hard ball, and how rugby 'wins over league every week'

Agree. You don’t need to bag other sports in order to highlight the qualities of your own game. It’s immature and allows pointless comparisons to flourish. My challenge to RA is not to mention the NRL or AFL or, in fact, any other sport, for a whole year. Just focus on rugby being the best it can be on its own terms. You might find it refreshing.

'NZ have treated us poorly': Why Phil Kearns is backing RA's hard ball, and how rugby 'wins over league every week'

Kalani Thomas is with the Junior Wallabies this year, and I don’t think Jack Grant is seen as a future Test player, but I could be wrong. James Tuttle was starting to show something towards the back end of the Rebels’ season, or perhaps they’ll look at young Spencer Jeans or Henry Robertson to join the Aus A program.

Reece Hodge included in Australia A rugby squad picked for Pacific Nations Cup

Thanks for clarifying, although it’s hard to see that happening with the halfbacks, given the A matches are happening at the same time as the Wallabies games. You release a halfback from the Wallabies and there’s no one to cover in the event of a last-minute injury or illness.

Reece Hodge included in Australia A rugby squad picked for Pacific Nations Cup

Great chat with lean, mean Harry Wilson, and good to hear he’s still developing his footwork going into contact. Hope to see him running the wide channels in the gold at some point this year, provided that doesn’t mean Bobby V’s gone down with injury.

Martial arts, lost kgs and chats with Dave - How Harry Wilson has prepared for Wallabies return

Confused by your reference to Gordon at halfback as he’s not going to Fiji. He’s in the Wallabies squad. It’s strange, though, that Aus A haven’t selected another halfback in case Lonergan is injured. Fines-Leleiwasa seems the obvious pick but perhaps he is injured.

Reece Hodge included in Australia A rugby squad picked for Pacific Nations Cup

Still wishing the Reds the best, though.

'No one expects us to win': The Reds look for inspiration from State of Origin in Super Rugby finals

Spot on. So glad Sio’s rediscovering his best form. I know he’s got a cousin playing in France but I kinda think he’d want to try and push for a third RWC, and get the feeling he’s really a homebody. Reds could do with him but can’t see it with Thorn there. Force is a possibility as he and Fainga’a are housemates, but Tahs most likely as Faulkner must be close to retirement.

RUGBY NEWS: Marika's warning shot for England, Deans' wrap for Aussies, Sio's emotional Brumbies farewell

So tired of Thorn’s endless references to league. After five years at the Reds, I kind of think he should be drawing on his own team’s fighting spirit to prepare them for their QF, not to mention fixing up their lineout and other issues.

'No one expects us to win': The Reds look for inspiration from State of Origin in Super Rugby finals

Yeah, there’s no outstanding candidate for fullback. Campbell’s form has probably been the most consistent but he’s untried at Test level, which is why I think it’ll be Hodge, given his experience, big boot and steady improvement since returning too soon from injury. Whoever it is, they must be confident taking the high ball.

RUGBY NEWS: Marika's warning shot for England, Deans' wrap for Aussies, Sio's emotional Brumbies farewell

Marky and Pietsch more likely to be selected for Aus A, given their relative inexperience. Koroibete and Kellaway will surely be Wallaby wings, with Hodge at fullback and Wright or Petaia on the bench and Campbell in the squad (assuming all are fit, of course). Just my take!

RUGBY NEWS: Marika's warning shot for England, Deans' wrap for Aussies, Sio's emotional Brumbies farewell

Where’s Scott Sio going? Could be a good pick-up for the Tahs if he’s still motivated to play for the Wallabies.

RUGBY NEWS: Marika's warning shot for England, Deans' wrap for Aussies, Sio's emotional Brumbies farewell

If I was recruiting for the Brumbies, I’d be looking into Jack Maddocks’ availability. Big talent that needs a good program. His French season has been disrupted by injury so he may be after a fresh start.

Rugby News: Mo'unga reveals he's leaving NZ after RWC, Tane's Tahs contract boost, Phipps on the move

Didn’t mean London in particular, where SA did quite well. More that they got four golds at the start of the series and since then very inconsistent. But perhaps Covid has had an impact as others have suggested.

Rugby News: Aussies break 20-year drought against Kiwis, Skelton, Koroibete star in finals, Matera cleared

Good decision.

Rugby News: Mo'unga reveals he's leaving NZ after RWC, Tane's Tahs contract boost, Phipps on the move

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