The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined September 2009







Average rugby player; shrewd judge of a pie and glass of shiraz! Follow me on Twitter UncleArgyle@ArgyleSports



Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Wallabies: Picking the pigs

While the average rugby fan may still be engrossed in the 2014 Super Rugby season, some of us are thinking about the impending series against the erratic French, who arrive on our shores in approximately eight weeks for a three-match series.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

State of play - Wallaby number 8

Harry Jones’ recent article about the better number 8s getting, or who have gone, around in world rugby left me pondering questions like how much the Wallabies really miss Wycliff Palu and who should be first choice Wallaby number 8 on the northern hemisphere tour?

Bring back the “Emu’s” tour! 😉

Cheika has tough decisions to make in the Wallabies backline

I am surprised on one hand, but on the other not really.

Twist in the Beale-Patston saga: reports of evidence manipulation

Thanks Rob – interesting stuff indeed. As I have said before, what does it infer when both McKenzie and Patston have resigned and Beale remains? I would think Beale’s case appears decidedly stronger in light of this report. Not a good look for the ARU.

Cheika has tough decisions to make in the Wallabies backline

Fair point, much would rely on Horwill and Jones, McCalman goes OK at the front and Skelton and Hodgson can both be used in variations but I accept your point.

Cheika has tough decisions to make in the Wallabies backline

Good Morning Lordy and all,

A few issues for consideration; as I recall on the day of his announcement as Wallaby coach, Michael Chieka indicated that what had worked for the Waratah’s in 2015 may not necessarily translate into his (Chieka’s) game plan for the Wallabies and that the game plan will evolve.

Its an interesting point to me as that man Kurtley Beale obviously offered the Waratah’s so much in the #12 jumper and his future is obviously in limbo. So the question is will Chieka look for a similar player to wear the #12 jumper for the Wallabies or look to something a little different? Personally I hope he retains Christian Lealiifano who in my opinion performed very well against the All Blacks and should be given further opportunity. I think both he and Kurindrani would benefit with another start together before the 1st test.

As for Will Genia and Quade Cooper; I would actually start both against the Barbarians as obviously Phipps and Foley have had plenty of game time, we know what they bring and perhaps give both 20 minutes at the end of the Baa-Baa’s for measure. But I think the Wallabies would benefit by getting the old pairing of Cooper and Genia more match fitness. I would also rest Hooper, Slipper, Kepu, Fainga’a, Simmons, Carter and Higginbotham as much as possible and give Faulkner a start. I would start Horwill and Skelton. My team to take on the Baa-Baa’s;

1. Benn Robinson
2. Josh Mann-Rea
3. Tetera Faulkner
4. Will Skelton
5. James Horwill
6. Luke Jones
7. Matt Hodgson (C)
8. Ben McCalman
9. Will Genia
10. Quade Cooper
11. Tom English
12. Christian Lealiifano
13. Tevita Kurindrani
14. Henry Speight
15. Israel Folau

16. James Hanson
17. James Slipper
18. Ben Alexander
19. Sam Carter
20. Sean McMahaon
21. Nick Phipps
22. Bernard Foley
23. Kyle Godwin

Cheika has tough decisions to make in the Wallabies backline

Mate I still have a heap of respect for what Robbie and Ewen were trying to do, but Michael Chieka is a different egg isn’t he. Your on the money about the appeal ‘his honest’ approach has to a broad range of people. His vernacular is that of the toiler who does not entertain waffle, of which plenty appears to flow from St Leonard’s at times. I can’t see the relationship being without its issues in the future, i ll back Chieka to win most of those given the circumstances of his appointment.

I am really keen to see his selections and tactics. I think Will Skelton will be on his test bench, and Henry Speight will come in for Joe Tomane. His like for physicality will be a challenge for the Wallabies who of recent appeared to play more for position and space until last Saturday night. I think there is a healthy mixture if both combined. I also like the elevation of Nathan Grey.

Cheika will ensure Wallabies are a football team, not a business

Good Morning Lordy and all,

I welcome the announcement of Michael Chieka with cautious optimism; the optimism comes from a belief that Michael Chieka is the right coach at this point of time in the history of Australian Rugby. His no BS approach is exactly what is required now. The caution comes from, we have heard about ‘saviors’ before when O’Neill signed Deans, and when Pulver signed McKenzie. Great business minds meeting with proven provincial rugby minds – what could possibly go wrong! Well plenty as we Wallaby fans are all too aware. How is this different?

Well Chieka is the factor here; he is not establishment like Deans & McKenzie were, despite Deans being NZ establishment, establishment all the same. Cheika has largely circumvented establishment politics by the timing of this opportunity, but also his own authentic working class approach to life – it owes you nothing and you earn what you work for. If you don’t like me, I don’t care type stuff!

I wish the ARU well in trying to put a bridle on this bloke and at the same time get the results they want from his methodology. They are going have to accept him warts, broken doors and all. I am not sure if the establishment and Chieka are entirely congruent with each other and think the ARU should take the back seat – they simply cant afford the PR fall out if they lose another coach. This is also a good time to get the the ‘Blazer Brigade’ out of the dressing room and back into the board room. Let the rugby people play rugby, and the administrators administer.

Cheika will ensure Wallabies are a football team, not a business


Nic White may consider himself lucky. I think we’ll see a 6. Higginbotham, 7. Hooper, 8 McCalman back row for the tests, but I am interested to know is Luke Jones going as a lock, BSF or as a genuine utility?

Wallabies squad for end of year tour announced

I was think of Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) from the Jaws movie actually!

Show me the way to go home….

I am thinking Brendan McKibbon may make the tour as back up to Phipps & Genia. I am also thinking Ben Alexander may get cut maybe for Paddy Ryan or Paul Alo-Emile to come in.

Michael Cheika expected to be unveiled as Wallabies coach today

Morning all,

Some questions?

1. Will any regulars be cut from Cheika’s touring squad?

2. Will any bolters make the tour?

3. Will Kurtley Beale remain an employee of the ARU?

Michael Cheika expected to be unveiled as Wallabies coach today


” It had Links imprint all over it.”

What, even the Nic White box kick? 🙂

One day soon, Bill, the penny will drop

Go to Rugby Heaven and it looks like Larkham will not be part of the Wallaby structure. Shame.

One day soon, Bill, the penny will drop

Mike, Sheek, RK, Mess and all,

It is my recollection that a broadcaster last night made commentary that in that last week prior to the Brisbane test McKenzie did not have much to do with the team and the game plan was provided by Hooper and other senior members of the side. To me the Wallabies game had some resonance with what the Tah’s had been doing earlier in the year but they still looked to operate out wide as they had with McKenzie. However tell me the team did not see the value in ball retention over field position?

I don’t think the players, even those not from NSW will have too many teething issues in rolling out the Chieka style game. I think that we will probably see more Randwick in Chieka than we did in Link and I am not adverse to that at all.

One day soon, Bill, the penny will drop

Good morning Brett and all,

fine article mate, well played. I would love to see the ‘trident’ coaching approach of Chieka, Larkham & Foley, with it overseen by a National Director of Rugby as you say. There is merit in this style as you have mentioned and will not go over it but perhaps add something else;

Firstly – Give Chieka the gig until 2019 and tell Foley & Larkham not to get involved in any factionalism or white anteing. If they do – they are out and your in McKay!

Secondly – let all three coach their provinces in 2015 – I think by taking away three provincial coaches at this stage is a non sense. The Wallaby schedule does allow for it but 2016 could be a different prospect.

Three – Get together; get on the same page with a game plan or plans that can be congruent with what each province is doing. Sure there will be nuances for each but have a basic blue print of how Australian Rugby should be played so every Super Team and NRC Team is playing a similar style so if or when a player is called into the fold there is a basic understanding of how the game is to be played and the environment is not foreign to them. Kiwis do it and it seems to work for them.

Four – The National Coaching Director – is essentially what the old National Coaching Panel was before it was done away with many moons ago. Harped on about this many times before. This should not be a position held by an aspiring Wallaby coach – but a figure who has been there and done that. I would think Bob Dwyer or Rod MacQueen would be worth approaching.

Five – Get the administration and board to be administrators and board members, not hangers on as some appear to be. I think in this age and before there were far too many jersey pullers, blazer brigade types who had access to the team and dressing room. Let the rugby people take care of the rugby. Why a CEO needs to talk rugby tactics etc or even be in or around a dressing shed has always been a mystery to me.

Six – appoint a Team Manager – I would think former Detective Inspector Ian ‘Speed’ Kennedy would do nicely. Been involved in rugby an awful long time, was part of the 99 campaign knows the game and has his Randwick connection with Chieka. Perhaps Jeff Miller, David Giffen or even Dan Vickermann? Touch young but would command respect.

Seven – Bill Pulver should resign his post. This is complete speculation but I’ll run this by you as a scenario – Bill Pulver phones Michael Chieka two weeks ago and sounds him out about the job. Bill Pulver does not take into account that Cheika and McKenzie go way back to their playing days at Randwick. Bill Pulver tells all that no approach has been made to any other coach. Chieka, as a loyal mate to McKenzie phones him and tells him what Pulver is up to, not to white ant Link but as any good friend should do and tell him that all is not well in his world. As if he was not already aware. You think Ewen would stick around? As I said this is just total speculation and I am not saying this occurred but is it plausible?

Mate as for Beale; I wish him well. I don’t condone his slanging match with Di Patston, nor do I condone his message incident but as I said yesterday, he is about the only one left standing. What does that infer? I can tell you there are some Wallabies out there, some with a high standing who have done much worse that the inadvertent sending of a vulgar sms or public argument but have had their matters handled inside the inner sanctum. Give him the just punishment he deserves but lets not throw him under a bus as say the look the ARU is now cleansed of its cultural issues. That would be a non sense, but has such non sense not been the modus operendi for the ARU for some time now?

One day soon, Bill, the penny will drop


SPIRO: Anatomy of the ARU-Beale crisis 2: Michael Cheika next Wallabies coach

Thanks mate- but just A these days 🙂

SPIRO: Anatomy of the ARU-Beale crisis 2: Michael Cheika next Wallabies coach

This looks interesting,

“Some really interesting news on the new Wallaby coach coming to me from a recent Wallaby player. Here goes…
Quote unquote … “Michael Cheika signs a three year deal with the ARU. Details still to be negotiated if he can coach the Waratahs next season. Assistants for spring tour will be announced tomorrow, potentially Steve Larkham and Michael Foley. That’s not off the press as they say.. Thoughts?”

Taken from the Facebook page of NZ News Personality Tony Veitch.

SPIRO: Anatomy of the ARU-Beale crisis 2: Michael Cheika next Wallabies coach

Is Nick Farr-Jones telling us something here?

Will the ARU announce a new Wallaby coach and the departure of Bill Pulver as ARU CEO either at the same time? Or within a short time thereafter? I would think ARU Board Chairman Michael Hawker would listen to his former Sydney University, New South Wales and Wallaby team mate in Farr-Jones and also one of his former Wallaby coaches in Alan Jones.

Farr-Jones is usually quite a diplomatic type but he has not minced his words on this occasion. Why is that? For what purpose? Just to be heard? Reckon there is more to this statement myself.

Pulver may regret going to ARU: Farr-Jones

Good Morning Spiro and all,

I don’t think the blood letting at the ARU is over, and I hope not. I mean how does Bill Pulver look when he has now has had two highly qualified and respected coaches in Robbie Deans and Ewen McKenzie depart the Wallaby Family (Family – really?) as they had lost the ‘dressing room’ on his watch as CEO; argue that rigorous vetting was done on the employment of former staffer Di Patston where all we are really left with is more questions on the topic; blame the media for the ‘character assassination’ (or robust questioning) of the McKenzie involvement in this saga, then discuss the issues of giving McKenzie too much power and has arguably tainted the discipline process of Kurtley Beale and then have to call in specialist PR people to clean up the mess! Where does the buck actually stop? I thought ultimately with the boss?

At times I have been critised by some for drawing inferences, that’s fine argument is healthy, but what inference can be drawn when 3 weeks ago Kurtley Beale was in strife for a mid air slanging match with Di Patston and it appeared to me, after digesting opinion, information and media further, that Patston, McKenzie, Pulver and the ARU had taken the moral high ground and KB was the villain. I dont condone the text messages but seriously – why did that have to be made public? Is Australian Rugby better for it? Could the discipline matter not have been handled privately? Now, in a cascading of events that have left me gob smacked at times, neither Patston or McKenzie remain employed by the ARU and Kurtley does. What does that infer, anyone?

A burning question for me is why would a person who is medicated and on stress leave make themselves unemployed? Would that not contribute to the stress? And why would a man like Ewen McKenzie, who as I understand coveted the Wallaby coaching role, earned it, hit a couple weeks of bad publicity, capitulated and abdicate his role? I mean I understand Ewen to be a resilient, tough guy who was highly thought of by his peers. Not the type of person who gives in easily – but appears to have under the blow torch of the media – it all seems out of character to me.

I previously wrote an article about the McKenzie/Hooper coaching/captaincy combination – it appears to have been a poor decision by Ewen. Would we be in this situation of Stephen Moore was skipper? Its a hypothetical but one to ponder.

I will say I admire him for what he achieved as a player and as a coach. His contribution to Australian Rugby should not be forgotten, nor this sad chapter of his story be the defining moments of Ewen McKenzie’s place in the history of Australian Rugby. I wish him well for his future personally and professionally.

As for the next coach – I say Chieka. Let him take the team now, let him coach the Tah’s 2015 and give him the gig until 2019. What really is the alternative as a coach? However I think there are some alternatives as to who can be a CEO of the ARU as I think Bill Pulver should also be objectively examined by the ARU Board in his handling of this saga.

SPIRO: Anatomy of the ARU-Beale crisis 2: Michael Cheika next Wallabies coach

🙂 absolute Gold isn’t it.

Wallabies truth session - Exclusive coverage

How’s about a legal scrum old boy?

Forget losing his Wallaby jersey, Beale could be in real legal trouble

G’day RT,

mate you appear the most learned on the topic to me; if it was an offence of strict liability – then the accused may still have a mistake of fact defense would they not?

By the way I am surprised we have not heard the cry of “OBJECTION YOUR HONOUR” from the floor. “Its the vibe.”

I tell you what, you can be Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell and I will be Dennis Denutto and pass a few post its along the way?

“Do you need some water?” 🙂

Forget losing his Wallaby jersey, Beale could be in real legal trouble

May I subscribe to your newsletter 🙂

Forget losing his Wallaby jersey, Beale could be in real legal trouble

Ah The Memphis Trousers himself 🙂

Only an Australian PM!

Forget losing his Wallaby jersey, Beale could be in real legal trouble


I would like to think I am a social conservative with compassion. I respect a number of center left polices and firmly believe John Curtin and Ben Chifley were two of our better Prime Ministers however I am not sure there are too many after that and would argue some have even blown out Ben’s ‘Light on the Hill’.

An anecdote from my days in ‘The Bay’. I used to walk from Belongil to the Pass most mornings. Every morning I walked, rain, hail or shine I would cross paths with a male runner dressed only in a beard and when weather permitted, a hat. Full frontal meat and two veg every time. When in Rome as they say – live and let live. Anyhow one morning I was wearing a National Party Cap. What an offense indeed! Well the jogger stopped abruptly this morning with this seething look in his eyes. I was thinking to myself? “Is he flirting with me?” 🙂

Well not quite – he launched into this diatribe about the sins of right wing politics – in his birthday suit with absolutely no compunction for his dress code or use of the English language. I commenced to laugh at him and this entire situation and walked off. Only to be accused from a distance of oppressing the said jogger.
I love democracy!

Forget losing his Wallaby jersey, Beale could be in real legal trouble