Friday’s Rugby News has all the Wallabies squad announcement, a new refereeing model proposal, latest TPN goss (unfortunately not hair-related), and an update on Israel Folau’s whereabouts.
One time, instead of actually reviewing the Melbourne rock band Jet’s album Shine On, Pitchfork.com (NSFW) posted a video of a chimpanzee urinating into its own mouth. You probably wish the same thing had been done here once you read this squad announcement.
Reece Hodge will get his first Wallabies start against the Saffers, in place of Adam Ashley-Cooper. Dean Mumm, who came on for Scott Fardy early on in Wellington, starts on the blindside of the scrum. For the first time in absolute yonks, the same lock pairing will start two games in a row – with Yamba’s very own Kane Douglas and Tasmanian Adam Coleman being the tall timber.
That’s probably the best news. The Pooper, Fooper and Mooper (that’s just Stephen Moore by himself, had to keep the run going) are all still starting, despite all of them underperforming to various degrees. Michael Cheika’s named eight replacements, and so will have to cut one before the game.
Don’t forget to check out GAGR’s preview of the game.
Squad: 15 Israel Folau, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Bernard Foley, 11 Reece Hodge, 10 Quade Cooper, 9 Will Genia, 8 David Pocock, 7 Michael Hooper, 6 Dean Mumm, 5 Adam Coleman, 4 Kane Douglas, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Stephen Moore, 1 Scott Sio.
Replacements: 16 Tatafu Polota-Nau, 17 James Slipper 18 Allan Ala’alatoa, 19 Rory Arnold, 20 Lopeti Timani/Sean McMahon, 21 Nick Phipps, 22 Tevita Kuridrani, 23 Drew Mitchell. (One to be omitted.)
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Judge Ye Not
The Waratahs have made a submission to SANZAAR, suggesting a new referee and judiciary model, the SMH reports. The submission will be discussed at a meeting of all 18 SANZAAR executives next week.
There are no really concrete parts of the model, but Andrew Hore, the new CEO of the Waratahs, told the SMH that SANZAAR needs a more mature and transparent approach to reffing and reviewing in both Super and the RC.
“Our fear is that unless we start opening things up and be more transparent and having better communications systems, then there is the potential for corruption to creep into the game. As soon as we take a more mature attitude to it the better, in our view,” Hore said.
“We feel there are some systems that the English Premiership Rugby runs, which has an independent assessor giving feedback and really strong rules around the sharing of complaints and information around other teams. That’s a mature way of looking at things. American football also has really good systems and structures that many rugby competitions in the world seem fearful of adopting.”
In addition, Hore adds, a more transparent system would safeguard against corruption.
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TPN Doing One
Payto and/or Panda of the Daily Telegraph are reporting that Greatest Lids XV captain Tatafu Polota-Nau will be taking his outrageous hairstyles to England next year.
There hasn’t been any confirmation of his departure just yet, but TPN was on stage alongside Dave Dennis, Matt Carraro, Jeremy Tilse, Benn Robinson and Wycliff Palu as departing Waratahs players at the annual Waratahs awards night last weekend.
Bristol, the newly promoted cashed-up side in the Aviva Premiership, seems to be TPN’s destination. Having passed the Giteau Law threshold easily – if it gets a run in Brisbane it’ll be his 67th cap – he’d be able to still play for the Wallabies. However, the Giteau Law players generally start games, so as Payto and/or Panda point out, would our afroed hero really want to fly back to be benched behind Stephen Moore?
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Israel Folau isn’t going anywhere, according to Michael Cheika (via Fox Sports).
No, he’s not responding to the AFL’s obscene puff piece put out yesterday that involved Kevin Sheedy saying the AFL should re-sign Israel Folau (it wasn’t very well done, Sheedy called people from the eastern suburbs ‘Easties’ – um?). Instead, Cheika is responding to calls for Folau to be moved into the centres.
“I’m not going to explain my rationale until I hear the rationale why he would play better closer in,” Cheika said, stamping his feet. “I’ve coached the player since he’s been in rugby and I think I’ve got a pretty good rapport with him and know exactly where his strengths are.”
“(If) we get the ball to him with the opportunities in those spaces and he’ll deliver. I could bring him in closer and he could get more touches but will he deliver more excellence in there? That’s the question,” Cheika ironically asked, knowing full well that there’s only one way to find out.
Folau has previously said he’d prefer to play at 13.
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