Welcome fellow rugby lovers. That beautiful game that embodies so much of which is good in this world. Remember from 12:00pm today the week only gets better as the weekend and more rugby approaches.
Nic White commits to Brumbies, Australian Rugby until 2023
In news that will please most Wallaby fans as well as Brumbies fans Nic White has turned down a reported $1.0m deal from Japan to stay with Australia until after the next Rugby World Cup. With rumours swirling he would once again make the move overseas, White believes he still has plenty to achieve for club and country.
“I’m really happy to be staying at the club and in Australian Rugby,” White said in a statement.
“It’s been a long process, but my goal has always been to stay at the Brumbies and to continue to earn the right play for my country.” Along with the signing of Lolesio this is another good news story for Australia and the Brumbies. “Nic’s one of the best halfbacks in the world and to have him recommit to Australian rugby is a massive positive for the Wallabies and the Brumbies,” Wallabies coach Dave Rennie said.
I must admit that while his flailing arms and continual appeals to the ARs annoys the shit out of me I do agree that he is one of the best 9s in Australia and this is good news. Now if he can only stop wasting time at the back of the ruck that allows the opposition time to settle their defence I’d be even happier.
Ireland to play Maori All Blacks in NZ
Ireland have announced today that they intend to take an extended squad to NZ and play the Maori All Blacks midweek between the tests. The Triple Crown champions will meet the representative team in Hamilton on June 29, three days before they kick off their test series at Eden Park and again in Wellington on July 12.
“The Maori All Blacks will provide a stern test of our squad strength and depth,” Ireland coach Andy Farrell said in a statement on Tuesday. “They are effectively a test match side that have a proud tradition and impressive record of results.” Their last meeting was in 2010 at Rotorua International Stadium where the Maori All Blacks won a 31-28 thriller.
This is awesome news that will not only add to the tour but also ensure that Ireland come with a strong team rather than having a lot rest up at home as is usually the case with these tours.
I get the feeling that Ireland are feeling pretty good at the moment and fancy their chances. I guess winning 3 of the last 5 games against the ABs will do that. I do think that games in NZ with a fresh AB side and an Irish side coming off a hard, and largely unforgettable 6 Nations, and hard club scene is going to be a different story from a tired NZ team at the end of a long season. I know almost everyone in the world apart from the AB supporters will be counting on Ireland to win the series but my money is certainly on NZ. Ireland may get their first ever win in NZ and maybe that’ll be enough for them and their supporters before heading into another 1/4 final loss at a RWC.
Rugby Australia set to reignite code war as it targets NRL stars for World Cup
I had to add this one mainly because it sh!ts me to tears and I think one of the biggest issues that rugby faces here.
Rugby Australia is set to reignite the code war with rugby league, declaring it will try and poach some of the NRL’s best young talent leading into the home 2027 Rugby World Cup.
The Wallabies have a history of poaching top league talent – including Timana Tahu, Israel Folau, Karmichael Hunt and Suliasi Vunivalu in more recent times – and RA is ready to swoop again with its biggest drawcard event on the horizon. The Herald reported last week RA is planning to create a “future fund” of up to $100 million from the profits of the 2027 Rugby World Cup. “[RA chief executive] Andy [Marinos] and I have been speaking about it,” McLennan told The Sun-Herald. “There are a few good league players who grew up with rugby that he and [Wallabies coach] Dave Rennie have been looking at.” Interestingly NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo questioned why anyone would leave the 13-man game. Abdo said he wasn’t worried by McLennan’s comments. “Coming out of the pandemic, we’re going to see the international game revitalised. We have a World Cup this year in the UK, we have a Pacific double-header coming up in June and we are working on an international calendar in October and November on an annual basis.” making the comment that he thinks there’s enough for most league players to not want to change.
My issue with all of this is that while some of these league players have some outstanding athleticism and attacking skills, it takes a lot longer than people realise for these players to be the equivalent of a good rugby player who has played the game for years and knows instinctively what to do. I know I’ll get smashed for this but I still haven’t seen any of them, except perhaps Thorn, really step up fully. Every other league wannabe struggles with the different parts of their game that don’t seem to be ever fixed. Folau was great in the air, probably one of the best in the world in fact, and if you gave him space he was dangerous. BUT, his distribution was crap; couldn’t pass to the right or accurately to the left, his positioning was always woeful and he needed others to tell him where to be, his post contact work was poor and he didn’t know how to compete for the ball and his tackling and kicking were well below what is required at even Super level let alone test level. I personally am not a fan of Koriobete as I think he has more deficiencies than good skills. Loses the ball in contact too much and while he’s running around close to the ruck I don’t think he’s that effective and when he’s there if the ball does get to the wing there’s no one to take advantage of it.
For me if a league player wants to join rugby to have a shot at the RWC in 2027 then he should change over soon, go offshore to get some decent coaching away from the media here for at least 2 years and then come back and spend 2 seasons proving himself in Super Rugby before he gets a look in. Anything less than that is a waste of both RA money and his time.