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The Roar

JC

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Joined March 2021

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Don’t expect anything of Latu, Greysy. I do expect more of the Tahs, however — like requiring that Latu to spend a season in club rugby without any dramas before they resign him.

Rugby News: Samu Kerevi injury stunner - likely out for the YEAR, Wallabies 'died wondering' vs. Poms, DC backs Latu

Nice work by Wright — as nifty as his footwork on the field!

Rugby News: Samu Kerevi injury stunner - likely out for the YEAR, Wallabies 'died wondering' vs. Poms, DC backs Latu

A gentle reminder to Coleman that BS doesn’t go down well in Tahs or Wallaby-land:

“I can’t hang a guy for something he hasn’t done … “
But you can consider previous behaviour as an indicator of future behaviour and make your decisions accordingly to protect the team’s culture and reputation.

“Further to that, everyone knows it could be his last shot and his last chance.”
Didn’t the Tahs, Cheika and RA say the same thing to him three years ago?

“I have had a bunch of chats with him, five or six, over the last bit of time, even as late as last night. And he is saying all the right things.”
Talk is cheap.

“He hasn’t broken my trust … “
Yet.

“If it doesn’t work out, it is on me and on my head. I am prepared for that.”
So you’ll sack Latu and then fall on your sword?

Rugby News: Samu Kerevi injury stunner - likely out for the YEAR, Wallabies 'died wondering' vs. Poms, DC backs Latu

Feeling some sympathy for NZ, Brett. But clearly they haven’t learnt from Australia’s expertise in conducting rugby civil war. I mean as the big boss of NZ Sport, surely Raelene Castle has to take responsibility for the mess … 😛

Australian rugby areas: Why the next All Blacks win cannot come quickly enough

Development over recruitment every time, Frankly. Focusing on the long-term builds a pipeline into the future, whereas throwing millions at a couple of stars for their marquee value produces nothing of long-term value. Tom Wright (and before him Rocky Elsom and Berrick Barnes) are great examples of the ‘league’ players to target because they’re really union-developed players who want(ed) to return to union and are prepared to put in the hard yards for selection. If a league star is signing on for the money (also known as ‘doing what’s best for my family’) or for World Cup glory, avoid him.

Target potential over stars: Suaalii a strong option but rugby can't repeat past mistakes in hunt for NRL converts

I don’t know if Channel 7 streamed them live or not. I listened along to live commentary by a Kiwi guy and his cat on YouTube, pretty quirky! Then caught the replays later.

Rugby News: NRL's 'next level weapon' is RA's No.1 target, NZR boss backs Foster (for now), Eddie successor blow

What a surprise packet Uganda was! Good to see some of the lesser-known teams taking it to the big boys.

Aussie women win 7s gold after Levi's perfect 10, men finish out of medals

Inspired play by the women, following their mid-comp wobble v Fiji. Congrats to the entire squad. Well done also to the men. Some good moments but not quite there yet. Still, improved on their Commonwealth Games ranking from 2018. Hopefully, there will be the money for them to recruit a full-time squad before too long. As much as Kerevi and Nawanqanitawase are good players, the cohesion that a stable squad brings may be more valuable.

Aussie women win 7s gold after Levi's perfect 10, men finish out of medals

Exactly, Rhys. How about talking up the youngsters who have actually chosen to play rugby, like Nawaqanitawase. Not players who’ve chosen another sport. It’s like history repeating itself!

Rugby News: NRL's 'next level weapon' is RA's No.1 target, NZR boss backs Foster (for now), Eddie successor blow

So our Sevens teams are competing for medals at the Commonwealth Games this weekend. We’re in the midst of vibrant club comps across the country. The Wallabies have just arrived in Buenos Aires for a mini-series against the Cheika-coached Pumas. So many great narratives but McLennan wants to talk about players from another sport. Is he for real?

Rugby News: NRL's 'next level weapon' is RA's No.1 target, NZR boss backs Foster (for now), Eddie successor blow

Joe, thanks for this — it’s always good to discuss options for the season. I do have qualms about moving TRC to the start of the year, given the weather and rustiness. How would you select prob v poss teams with no recent rugby as a guide? Also, I like the idea of expanding TRC to include Fiji and Japan, but does Samoa have a case for inclusion too given recent results? How would you fit even a round-robin SRP into 10 weeks from April to mid-June? You can make NZ Test players available for NPC but that’s inviting burnout for those who’re also playing full SRP and Test seasons.
I really think Aus/NZ need to do what’s best for our game, players and supporters, and not be distracted by what the north is doing. For mine, Australia should look at three different seasons, depending on what levels our semi-pro and pro players are at:
1. Club/SRAU: March-Dec
2. SRAU/SRP: Sept-June
3. SRP/Test: Jan-Nov
SRAU would occupy that time when the Wallabies are prepping for and on the Spring Tour, and provide natural progression for club players looking to step up.
The other thing that you address is the perception of TRC as being tired. I don’t disagree but don’t really see that the Six Nations is more exciting in and of itself. It’s the same six countries playing each other every year. There’s more history, it’s more intense due to geography, and demand for tickets is higher due to population. But TRC is never going to have those things so let’s not try to compete.
What we need is fewer TRCs to restore the excitement. So perhaps it only happens once in a four-year cycle, or at most every second year. If this month hasn’t shown everyone that good old-fashioned tours are what people really love, then nothing will. Why can Wales do a full three-Test tour of SA but NZ never does? It doesn’t make sense. We need more variety, less sameness. More tours, fewer tournaments.

A one-stop solution to improve the structure of rugby in the Southern Hemisphere

Eddie last week: I’m devastated by rugby’s lack of media coverage in Australia.
Eddie this week: My dream job is to coach league.
😔

Rugby News: Wallaby prop replaced for Argentina Tests, Eddie's dream job revealed, defiant call on TRC red cards

Just the ticket to get us all (well, all except Muzzo) revved up for a weekend of sevens action — thanks, Hugh! Trying to manage expectations is tough when both teams have had stellar seasons on the circuit.

What to expect and how you can watch the Aussie 7s teams fight for gold at the Commonwealth Games

What a story! Thanks, Tony, and all the best to Matt Gibbon. Shooting stars bursting onto the rugby scene tend to get most of the attention but I love the slow burns.

Watching the Aus A games, it really struck me how much better they were as a spectacle, and probably more enjoyable to play. Like others here, I’d love to see the TMO’s role limited to foul play and questionable tries.

'Gonna have to go harder': Dark times and a 'bad idea' behind him, Aus A tour has Gibbon ready to seize Wallabies chance

No destination at this stage, Rhys, which makes me wonder if he’s been cut. If that’s the case, it would very disappointing. We need to be developing our local talent or we’ll lose them to the Brumbies, Force or Rebels who are prepared to put in the hard yards. Look at Matt Philip now — Sydney born and bred, and now (in his late 20s) starting to fulfil his promise for the Rebels who were prepared to invest time and patience. Sorry for the rant but I really liked what I saw of Douglas in 2021. 😔

Rugby News: 'I want to win RWC with two countries' - Razor turns up heat on NZR, Tah joins Force, French star's NRL gig

Gibbon caught the eye during the Aus A games so I hope he continues to put his hand up and gets a chance at some stage. But Sio’s resurgence is great for the Wallabies.

Why the Wallabies should be taking Argentina very seriously

Not sure if they’re all strictly counted as turnovers, but there were at least three instances where England ball was turned over to Australia or incurred a penalty in the first half of Test 3 alone directly because of Hooper. Two involved Care, when he grabbed Care’s arm and the ball was knocked on, and again when Care didn’t release following a Hooper tackle. Hooper was as busy in defence as ever but defence wasn’t the Wallabies’ problem in Test 3 because they had a lot of possession. Their issue was not finishing enough of their attacking raids. Hooper probably didn’t have his best-ever series, especially in Test 2, but if everyone did their job to the standard he does, the Wallabies would have won the series.

'He's brilliant at it': Why Hoops has iron grip on Wallabies captaincy, how Cheika has changed in Argentina

Didn’t say anything about a committee or popularity, just that Hooper draws on other players’ voices and their expertise at times. That’s why you have a senior leadership group.

'He's brilliant at it': Why Hoops has iron grip on Wallabies captaincy, how Cheika has changed in Argentina

Tooly, I still haven’t recovered from your accusation during the Super Rugby season that Michael Hooper wears Western Force pyjamas — whatever that was supposed to signify. From your latest commentary, I’ve gathered that our mollycoddled marsupials are going to South America to worship at the feet of a Russian-dictator-inspired former coach who knows everything about them (despite his loathing for research, spooky!), before donning life jackets to play (water?) polo against the very nice Argentinians and their horses. Unfortunately, coach Rennie fails to come up with the creative tactics to overcome the Wallabies’ lack of polo ability. Did I miss anything? Just asking for a Rhodes scholar who’s as confused as I am.

Why the Wallabies should be taking Argentina very seriously

Forgot about Goddard potentially returning. Not a bad pick-up but hope they announce additional playing resources for the tight-five soon.

Rugby News: 'I want to win RWC with two countries' - Razor turns up heat on NZR, Tah joins Force, French star's NRL gig

Yep, the Super clubs need to start their pre-season earlier, and play a Super Rugby AU towards the end of the year, while the Wallabies are up north.

Rugby News: 'I want to win RWC with two countries' - Razor turns up heat on NZR, Tah joins Force, French star's NRL gig

Getting a bit alarmed at the exits from the Tahs. It’s up to about 12 now, although several were expected. Not sure why Robertson would think he’ll get an easier ride at the Force when they have Prior and Fines ahead of him, and isn’t McDonald there too? Particularly sorry to see Douglas go. I thought he had potential to turn into a first-rate tighthead lock in the years ahead. As it stands the Tahs don’t have one specialist lock, although three good hybrids. Recruiting and nurturing future lock stars should be the first priority. I’m also hoping that the Tahs make a play for Sio.

Rugby News: 'I want to win RWC with two countries' - Razor turns up heat on NZR, Tah joins Force, French star's NRL gig

No offence. We just miss the Bled.

'He's brilliant at it': Why Hoops has iron grip on Wallabies captaincy, how Cheika has changed in Argentina

Did you mean Gibbon as your bench loosehead? Robertson’s not in the squad. More likely it’ll be Sio, though.

Why the Wallabies should be taking Argentina very seriously

Thanks for the colourful column, Nick. One day, I’ll get to Argentina to experience the country and the rugby. This mini-tour is shaping as a good challenge for the Wallabies. Rennie’s suggested that Arnold won’t be available for the first Test, so perhaps Holloway comes into 6 to deal with the defensive maul. Otherwise Swain needs to start, which would be a shame as Frost deserves some reward for his fine game against England. Not sure about Paisami between Cooper and Ikitau; it didn’t really work against Japan last year; perhaps Simone or Foketi are a bit closer to the finished article, although very different from Kerevi. Some very positive progress came out of the England series — we know who our starting and finishing hookers are (finally!) — and I should say how impressed I’ve been with Fainga’a. He seems much more focused on his role and invested in the team, although the ‘rig’ is still a work in progress! Hopefully, the Wallabies return from Argentina having played to their potential and with a clear first choice at 6, maybe 15 too (although in Kellaway’s absence that might have to wait).

Why the Wallabies should be taking Argentina very seriously

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