Happy Thursday everyone. The northern tour awaits, and the English game is in disarray. I, for one, am looking forward to the sleepless nights ahead. Thanks to Charlie for pulling a double shift this week as KARL had some issues. As always guys and girls this is a fan site and if you want to make your voice heard we are only to happy to bring another into our band of fanatics.
The Northern Tour, the Good the Bad and the Ugly
Via the SMH
Michael Hooper will return from his mental health break over the past 6 months. Firstly, I hope he’s refreshed and in a better mental state than he was before stepping away. He is to be commended for understanding that that was what he needed. From a Wallaby supporter’s perspective it’ll be interesting to see how fresh he is going into the Northern tour. Due to our horrific injury toll and relatively small player pool most of our players who have played through looked tired at the end of the Rugby Championship. James Slipper, for example, has played a lot of rugby and looked cooked.
Dirty Harry Wilson, for mine. His omission from the squad is mystifying and doesn’t make sense. He had a fantastic Super Rugby Season. Morgan T from Stan always talks about a body of work, this was Wilson’s Super season.
Carries 202 Ranking 1
Metres Carried 1036 Ranking 10
Offloads 17 Ranking 8
Tackles Made 158 Ranking 9
Source Super Rugby Website
Now, I listen to the Eggchasers podcast, and they have a rule called Cocker’s Law. If you make a case for a player to go into a squad you have to say who you would drop. So, Ned Hanigan or Langi Gleeson should not tour, both don’t have the body of work. I would say if you have another player who you think should’ve toured you have to say who you’d drop.
Matt Philip ruptures ACL. From Pravda. You have to feel for this bloke, Philip suffered the injury during training, mere hours before the side was set to head to Europe for the spring tour.
The SMH are reporting it occurred after he fell during a lineout drill, ruling him out for the rest of the year and likely a significant portion of Super Rugby Pacific in 2023. Philip had only just returned from a sternum injury, missing the 40-14 defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park.
It continues the horror run of injuries for the Wallabies, already missing Izack Rodda due to a foot injury while Darcy Swain is unavailable for the first two tests against Scotland (October 30) and France (November 6) after his six match ban.
In any contact sport teams have to pay the injury gods. This year it’s been Australia’s turn. Hopefully we get a good run into the RWC
Finn Russell ‘expected to be left out of Scotland squad’ as Gregor Townsend prepares to announce group
From the Scotsman
This is the negative piece of having players who play in different countries. Given he is a generational talent not having him available or being able to manage his load is an issue that the Scots will have to deal with going forward. Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend will name his squad for the Autumn Nations Series later on Wednesday, with doubts surrounding the inclusion of flyhalf Finn Russell.
The Scots play four matches in as many weeks, first against Australia on Saturday, October 29, then Fiji on Saturday, November 5, New Zealand on Sunday, November 13 and Argentina on Saturday, November 19, all at BT Murrayfield.
Townsend rested Russell for Scotland’s summer tour of Argentina and BBC Sport Scotland is reporting that the Racing 92 flyhalf is set to be omitted from the group once more. Russell isn’t available to play against Australia as the fixture falls outside the test window, but the BBC claims that he will not be summoned for the remaining three matches despite being eligible to participate in them.
Capped 62 times for the Scots, Russell has largely been Scotland’s first choice No 10 since 2014, but the 30 year old and Townsend have at times experienced a tense relationship. Finn walked out of the Scotland squad in early 2020 ahead of the Six Nations, criticising Townsend’s coaching methods.
Rennie To Make His Own Call On Future
From the SMH GeeRob’s article stated the following.
Next year’s Rugby World Cup is likely to be Dave Rennie’s swansong if the Wallabies coach’s contract isn’t extended at the end of the upcoming spring tour.
Unveiling a 36 man Australia squad on Sunday full of surprises Rennie dropped one of his own, making it clear he would be the master of his own fate should Rugby Australia baulk at extending him after his side’s five Test European swing.
This could be a pivotal point in Oz rugby: do we pick and stick or do we cut and run? I like DR, I think he’s a great coach and IMHO win/loss is not a coaching statistic. Our team has consistency issues and in elite sport there are fine margins but I’d extend his tenure on favourable terms if a deal can be sorted out. I’d offer a two plus two deal with some KPIs in place. Happy to discuss.
‘It’s been the darkest week in English club rugby history’
I must confess to a bit of schadenfreude with English rugby’s implosion over the last few months. I often hear the English saying how we need to suck it up by not overpaying for talent and how our player drain is our own fault. Now, due to the overpayment of players in the English league they are actually on their knees. Two clubs have closed the doors and another owner has said he would sell his club for a pound.
In the middle of this catastrophe Jamie George has said senior players must be consulted in any restructure. Two points, first being a good rugby player doesn’t make you a smart or savvy person. Second, when senior players get involved in negotiations they come at it from a senior player’s perspective. They have long and successful careers and aren’t in tune with the vast majority of the players who play professional contact sport. The average career is 3 years not ten.
There’s a lot going on in English rugby and it will have a huge effect on the economics on the game going forward.