All Blacks

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Wallaroos named, Wallabies named, All Black muscle, and a baby Black Fern.



Wallaroo’s Named For Ferns.

The Wallaroos have named their side for their first ever test match in Western Australia. The team is revelling in a proper test season for the first time ever. Rather than coming together a couple of days before a test match with our cousins across the ditch, they had two tests against Japan and a decent amount of time together. And that, for me, makes this interesting as all… Let’s just say I’m interested.

This from Rugby Australia’s press release.

Scrumhalf Georgia Cormick has been promoted into the starting XV alongside front-rower, Liz Patu after strong performances from both women in the Japan Series.

Patu’s opposite in the scrum Evelyn Horomia rejoins the starting XV after missing the second Test against Japan while New South Wales’ Iliseva Batibasaga has won selection in the matchday 23 for the first time since 2016.

The Buildcorp Wallaroos will meet their trans-Tasman rivals, the Black Ferns at 3pm AWST in the first Test in a blockbuster double-header with the men’s Bledisloe Cup fixture.

Buildcorp Wallaroos Head Coach, Dwayne Nestor said: “This is a great opportunity for us this week to show off the improvements we have been working hard on since the Japan Series.

“We’ve targeted some keys area of growth that we want to work on, and the squad has responded really well to those challenges.

“Bringing in some new faces in the starting XV freshens us up and is a just reward for the hard work and performances of Georgia, Liz and Evelyn.

“Georgia (Cormick) is a talent to watch and she has approached this opportunity with great excitement and focus.

“Playing in venue like Optus Stadium will be an amazing experience, especially considering the history of the occasion.

“Every time we wear the gold jersey, we are aware of the responsibility it carries and we’re looking forward to another opportunity to play New Zealand.”

1.Liz Patu, Wests, Queensland Women’s XV, 21 caps

2. Averyl Mitchell, Souths (Brisbane), Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

3. Evelyn Horomia, Brothers, NSW Waratahs Women, 5 caps

4. Michaela Leonard, Vikings, Brumbies Women, 2 caps

5. Alisha Hewett, GPS/ADFRU, Queensland Women’s XV, 19 caps

6. Millie Boyle, (vc), Royals (Canberra), Queensland Women’s XV, 10 caps

7. Emily Chancellor, Sydney University, NSW Waratahs Women, 4 caps

8. Grace Hamilton (c), Sydney University, NSW Waratahs Women, 13 caps

9. Georgia Cormick, Power House, Melbourne Rebels Women, 2 caps

10. Trilleen Pomare, Kalamunda, Rugby WA Women, 9 caps

11. Lori Cramer, University of Queensland, Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

12. Ariana Hira Herangi, Kalamunda, Rugby WA Women, 2 caps

13. Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

14. Samantha Treherne, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 12 caps

15. Mahalia Murphy, Campbelltown/Maitland, NSW Waratahs Women, 9 caps

16. Ash Marsters, Harlequins, Melbourne Rebels Women, 8 caps

17. Emily Robinson, Warringah, NSW Waratahs Women, 9 caps

18. Christina Sekona, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 1 cap

19. Rebecca Clough, Cottesloe, RugbyWA Women, 22 caps

20. Shannon Mato, Sunnybank, Queensland Women’s XV, 2 caps

21. Iliseva Batibasaga, Sydney University, NSW Waratahs Women, 13 caps

22. Arabella McKenzie, Randwick, NSW Waratahs Women, 2 caps

23. Mhicca Carter, Cottesloe, Rugby WA Women, 4 caps

Wallabies Named For All Blacks

James O’Connor

It’s an odd feeling, usually, by this stage of the year, we’ve been pounded twice by New Zealand, failed to win the Bledisloe and had no chance of winning the Rugby Championship. This year we have all that to look forward to! With the World Cup around the corner the Rugby Championship has been shortened this year and we actually still have a chance to win it.

The Wallabies seem to have their sights set on the big prize this year and are still fiddling with their lineup, and that’s why I wasn’t too surprised to see former wild child James O’Connor named at outside-centre this week. Samu Kerevi has been the focal point of the Wallabies attack so far this year it’s been a little hard for Tevita Kuridrani to put his usual mark on the game. I hope this is more of a let’s see what JOC’s gat than a TK’s not quite there decision because that’s not what’s been happening.

“I think there is time for experimenting,” 1991 World Cup-winning coach Bob Dwyer told AAP.

“You are looking to see where there are areas you might be able to get some improvement.

“Putting people into teams that might not have been considered a first choice, moving people around.

 “New Zealand in their last game (against South Africa) moved Beauden Barrett to fullback so they could try Richie Mo’unga at fly-half, to see what’s going to be their best combination.” In Australia’s two Tests so far in 2019, the selectors opted for a big, hard-running centre combination of Samu Kerevi at No.12 and Kuridrani at No.13 with mixed results.

It’s a big move away from the previously preferred option of having a second playmaker — often Kurtley Beale — at inside centre alongside either Kuridrani or Kerevi.

Allan Alaalatoa will return to Test arena for the first time in 2019 in what caps a memorable week, after the 25-year old took out the Brett Robinson Award as Brumbies Players’ Player of the Year.

Alaalatoa is joined in the front-row by hooker Tolu Latu with Folau Fainga’a shifting to the reserves while Nic White partners Christian Lealiifano in the halves. This will be the first Test start for White and Lealiifano as a halves pairing but the combination has a long history following several seasons as chief playmakers at the Brumbies in Super Rugby.

1. Scott Sio (56 Tests)

2. Tolu Latu (13 Tests)

3. Allan Alaalatoa (32 Tests)

4. Izack Rodda (19 Tests)

5. Rory Arnold (21 Tests)

6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (13 Tests)

7. Michael Hooper (c) (93 Tests)

8. Isi Naisarani (2 Tests)

9. Nic White (24 Tests)

10. Christian Lealiifano (20 Tests)

11. Marika Koroibete (21 Tests)

12. Samu Kerevi (vc) (27 Tests)

13. James O’Connor (45 Tests)

14. Reece Hodge (35 Tests)

15. Kurtley Beale (85 Tests)

16. Folau Fainga’a (9 Tests)

17. James Slipper (88 Tests)

18. Taniela Tupou (13 Tests)

19. Adam Coleman (31 Tests)

20. Luke Jones (4 Tests)

21. Will Genia (102 Tests)

22. Matt To’omua (44 Tests)

23. Tom Banks (4 Tests)

All Blacks Bring The Muscle.

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

Bad News. It looks like the All Blacks have just about picked their best side for the Wallabies this weekend. After spending the first two tests testing combinations the Kiwis are done messing around and have bought the big guns out.

Hansen has stayed with the twin playmaker setup of Richie Mo’unga at five-eighth and Beauden Barrett at fullback, which had its first airing two weeks ago in the 16-16 draw against South Africa.

Seasoned halfback Aaron Smith returns while the impressive Anton Lienert-Brown starts at inside centre in place of Sonny Bill Williams.

There are four changes up front from the Springboks stalemate, most notably the return of twin flankers Ardie Savea and Sam Cane.

Openside specialist Savea, arguably the best player in New Zealand this year, will make his first appearance as a blindside flanker in 37 Tests.

It means veteran captain Kieran Read remains at No.8, squashing the speculation that he would shift to the side of the scrum to make way for Savea’s power running from the base.

Injured lock Brodie Retallick is replaced by Scott Barrett, who has recovered from a broken finger suffered seven weeks ago.

 Barrett is one of four Crusaders players in the tight five.

The exception is hooker Dane Coles, promoted to start ahead of Crusaders rake Codie Taylor.

All Blacks to face Australia

Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Rieko Ioane, Richie Mo’unga, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (capt), Sam Cane, Ardie Savea, Sam Whitelock, Scott Barrett, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Res: George Bridge, Ngani Laumape, TJ Perenara, Matt Todd, Patrick Tuipulotu, Angus Ta’avao, Atu Moli, Codie Taylor.


 Meet Baby Fern Grace Brooker

There’s a lovely story coming out of NZ about Black Fern tourist Grace Brooker. Brooker has never left New Zealand and her first trip out of the choicest place on earth is as a member of one of the best women’s rugby squads in the world.

It has been a long time coming for the outside back – the flight, yes, but mainly the opportunity to debut for her dream team.

“I’m just trying to comprehend everything. This is my first time out of New Zealand, as well. Lots of firsts.”

Brooker earned a contract in May 2018, but hasn’t yet worn the black jersey or travelled with the team.

Her parents Mel and Dave are making the trip all the way from Oxford in rural Canterbury for the baby of the family to make her on-field bow.

Brooker admits she is also “the baby of the Black Ferns” family too.

“Twenty sisters can’t replace my real sister, but they are all pretty awesome.”

It is probably no coincidence that the excited debutant is rooming with a teammate many of the Black Ferns refer to as the mother of the team, first five-eighth Krysten Cottrell.

“No annoying habits, she has been really good actually, holding my hand and making sure I get everything done on time. She’s been really helping me out actually.

“She’s kind of a mother figure for the whole team, when we need direction or a timekeeper, Duffy [Cottrell] is on it.”

The Black Ferns are the holders of the Laurie O’Reilly Trophy, and will only need to win just one of their two tests against the Wallaroos to secure it.

Grace did not make the side this time but she did get to use that passport.

Black Ferns to play the Wallaroos
Selica Winiata,  Renee Wickliffe, Carla Hohepa, Chelsea Alley,  Ayesha Leti-I’iga, Ruahei Demant, Kendra Cocksedge, Charmaine McMenamin, Les Elder (C), Pia Tapsell, Charmaine Smith, Eloise Blackwell, Aleisha-Pearl Nelson, Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Toka Natu
Reserves: Forne Burkin, Leilani Perese, Olivia Ward-Duin, Joanah Ngan-Woo, Kennedy Simon, Arihiana Marino-Tauhinu, Krysten Cottrell, Kilisitina Moata’ane


All Blacks

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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