Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has new Wallabies, Cheika to utilise Skelton, Larkham pondering RWC role and a change at 12 for England. 

Horne and McMahon called up


Waratahs winger Rob Horne and rising Melbourne Rebels flanker Sean McMahon have been promoted to the starting side for the final European tour match against England.

With Tevita Kuridrani unavailable due to a low-grade ankle injury, Adam Ashley-Cooper has been selected at outside centre, which allows Horne to earn a starting position on the wing ahead of Joe Tomane. McMahon, who made his Test debut against Wales three weeks ago, will replace Luke Jones at blindside flanker after being rested against Ireland,

Cheika has RWC plans for Skelton

Two Mikes - Michael Cheika and NSW Premier Mike Baird

Michael Cheika has unveiled his plans for building massive lock Will Skelton into a World Cup weapon. Skelton has come off the bench as an impact player during the Spring Tour, averaging 20 minutes a game. Cheika has said that he hopes to increase this time span incrementally during the Super Rugby season and the Rugby Championships with the ultimate aim of having the Waratah lock play 80 minute matches at the World Cup.

The increase in Skelton’s minutes is part of the new Wallaby coach’s desire to turn the Test pack into a more aggressive and direct force.

Larkham open to RWC role


Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham has said that he would “certainly be interested” in lending a hand to Australia’s World Cup preparations, although he previously turned down an official assistant role to focus on his Super Rugby duties.

“Doing a short stint in preparation for the World Cup would be something I’d certainly consider, however I’ve made a commitment here with the Brumbies and I want to see that through,” Larkham said, further emphasising that he was impressed with the Wallabies burgeoning attacking style under Cheika.

England switch centres

Billy Twelvetrees

England have made three changes to their starting side, with flanker Tom Wood and hooker Dylan Hartley restored to starting pack positions while the backline will feature Billy Twelvetress at inside centre. Twelvetrees, who started every game in last season’s Six Nations, will shift Owen Farrell to the bench with George Ford retained at flyhalf.

Also, it has been confirmed by Bath Rugby that Sam Burgess will be placed on the bench for this week’s match against Harlequins, to be used as cover in the centres.



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