Happy Thursday everyone, I’m back after a week away enjoying the sun sand and surf. Let’s get into it with a few observations and some other malarky.
Reds Development and Queensland President’s XV squads confirmed; law innovations announced for Queensland Rugby Challenger Series
If you’re chasing a rugby fix this weekend have a look at this game. It will either be a cracking game or a damp squid. If it isn’t on Stan I would expect it to be on the Reds Facebook live feed.
From our friends at Reds Rugby.
Made up of Brisbane club players and Reds Development players the plan is that the best performing will make a tour to Japan in the next few weeks. I would have preferred it to be completely contracted players v non contracted players as it would have added more spice.
President’s XV head coach Simon Craig has selected a strong 24 man squad, with Wests Ethan Dobbins, Latu Talakai and Ben Navosailagi named as a three-pronged contingent from the premiership winners.
GPS stalwart Michael Richards has been named in the backrow, while the likes of Eli Pilz (Easts), Tyler Campbell (Bond University), Brad Twidale (UQ), Tom Lucas (Sunnybank) and Tayler Adams (Brothers) will also have the opportunity to test themselves at the next level.
Craig said: “We’re excited about the group we’ve put together”.
Sunday 9 October – Sunnybank Rugby Club
4.00pm – Queensland Reds Development v Queensland President’s XV
Saturday 15 October – Easts Rugby Union Club
3.00pm – Queensland Reds Development v Queensland President’s XV
What Dane Coles said to Pablo Matera
In surprising news to many Dane Coles is a tool on the field with Pablo giving some insight into why he didn’t shake Dane’s hand after the second test match.
Matera began the show full of praise and joy for his time in New Zealand with the Crusaders Super Rugby franchise where he helped win another title for the team with his physical ball running and defence.
“I think he came in when there was like ten minutes left and he just continued picking on me, in every ruck, in every scrum, saying something. To be honest, it really hurt me, some strong things I don’t want to repeat it but I couldn’t understand why, because they were winning by 40 points, he just came on, I didn’t understand why he was with that attitude.”
I think Coles is one of those guys who is probably a decent guy off the field but has the white line fever.
World Rugby statement: MND study findings on ex-Scottish players
Also from Rugbypass
This is an interesting piece, I’ve had a bit to do with MND and it’s just a terrible disease. The one thing I do know is that there’s more about this that we don’t know than we do. I would counsel that it’s a very small sample size and that the article is quite alarmist.
World Rugby has welcomed the findings of a study which revealed concerning evidence of a considerably increased risk of motor neurone disease among former players and called for the elimination of contact training and a reduction in the global calendar.
A study led by the University of Glasgow looking at former Scotland internationals (from both the amateur era and later professional players) found ex-rugby players had more than twice the risk of neurodegenerative disease, and a 15 times higher risk of a motor neurone disease diagnosis.
‘Fantastic’ Barnes set to overtake Owens’ test referee record
Probably the finest ref in the world at the moment, who seems to facilitate the game better than anyone at the moment, Wayne Barnes is officiating his 100th game in November. Ironically for our Kiwi brethren that 100th match is the game between Wales and New Zealand.
In other news everyone’s favourite cheese-eating surrender monkey will be officiating the blockbuster Romania v Samoa game in November. To be honest I like the fact he has owned the decision, he was wrong but he owned it.
From Rugbypass again
Englishman Barnes will then set an outright record of 101 Test matches when he referees the game between Six Nations Grand Slam winners France and reigning world champions South Africa in Paris a week later on November 12.
World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said: “Congratulations to Wayne on his selection and pending record. To be so good for so long as a referee is no easy feat. Wayne Barnes, like Nigel Owens before him, reaches 100 tests by being not just a fantastic referee, but a great team player, a student of the game and someone who is greatly respected by players, coaches and fans alike.”
Worcester Warriors players have their contracts terminated with immediate effect
Sad news from England with a once proud club being torn to shreds.
Worcester Warriors players and staff will have their contracts terminated with immediate effect following part of the club being wound up in the High Court.
HMRC had been pursuing Worcester, who are suspended from all competitions, since August for unpaid taxes.
This isn’t good news and will have a profound effect on the economics of the professional game in the future. Many players in England are currently unemployed; they’re not playing due to a reduction in the salary cap and the commensurate smaller squad sizes.