Friday’s rugby news has the Wallabies still up-beat, BOD resentful, some Pro-12 pre-season news and Umaga in trouble.
New look Wallabies still positive
After the devastating news that Wallabies captain James Horwill will miss the upcoming Test with a hamstring injury, a number of starters have publically emphasised their strident confidence. While also commenting on the quality play of replacement Kane Douglas, new vice captain Ben Mowen asserted, ‘Anytime you lose a guy of James’ leadership and what he brings, it’s then up to the rest of the guys to lift their game.’
Meanwhile, newly promoted captain Will Genia will look to increase his running workload in Saturday’s Test. With some poor form against the All-Blacks, Genia has reiterated his need to test the opposition defense around the ruck. Hopefully this change, along with a renewed partnership with Cooper at 10, will give the Wallabies a bit more attacking spark. [/one_half]
O’Driscoll opens up about Lions snub
After the announcement that Brian O’Driscoll will retire at the end of the year, the Irish legend has revealed that he is still angry over his omission from the third Lions Test against Australia. ‘When you’re left with disappointment that way, you can’t but feel a little bit of resentment, you know,’ BOD said.
Warran Gatland’s unpopular and surprising decision was somewhat vindicated by the 41-16 win. But O’Driscoll saw that given the performance of the forward pack, he would have done just as well as Davies and Roberts. The Irish centre, who earlier revealed that he hasn’t been dropped since he was 17, said, ‘I guess it comes back to you backing yourself, feeling you too could have done some things that maybe others didn’t do on the day.’ [/one_half]
Pro-12 pre-season news
Munster tighthead prop BJ Botha has sustained a grade two medial ligament injury to his right knee which will keep him out of action for at least the first four weeks of the season. Despite the loss of the South African international, Munster head coach Rob Penney remained upbeat, saying, ‘We’re lucky that we have some good young talent coming through.’
In other Pro12 news, the Harlequins have announced that centre George Lowe has signed a contract extension, keeping him at the club until the end of the 2015/16 season. The 23 year old has already lodged over 100 caps for the Harlequins, with the team’s Director of Rugby Conor O’Shea asserting, ‘It is really exciting for everyone here at Harlequins knowing what he can achieve.’ [/one_half]
Umaga in trouble over outburst
Another New Zealand coach is in hot water for criticising the officials, with Counties Manukau coach Tanu Umaga facing an official sanction after blasting the performance of referee Glen Jackson. ‘We understand that we’re from down south and we’re meant to stay down south and things like that,’ Umaga said after the match. ‘But we just want to be fair, we want it the same on both sides.’
The former All-Blacks captain offered a semi-apology for his comments, saying his emotions had got the better of him and that he needed to ‘go through the right channels’ to air his concerns. Despite this admission, Umaga may still be in trouble with the NZRU, who are keen to send a message to NPC coaches about their public comments about officials. [/one_half]