Monday’s Rugby News has the Force’s court case starting, Hodge thinking he can play 10, Our Gus as GF ref, and SBW appealing his ban.
Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forest reckons the Brumbies and the Rebels should merge. Fun times and happy comments ahead.
The Twig has recently come out in full support of the Force, and has talked to the Daily Telegraph about his idea.
“[The merger] will bolster the rugby culture in Victoria, giving players there access to one of the best teams in the country,” Forrest said.
“It will allow the Brumbies to broaden their sponsorship appeal and it will, importantly, allow the Western Force to continue to grow its incredible support base.”
More importantly, the statements come in the light of the Force v ARU court battle starting today. The article says, “should WA Rugby lose the arbitration case, it’s believed the “whatever it takes” line from Forrest could translate to further legal action against the ARU, as far up as the Supreme Court.”
In case you forgot, the lawsuit brought by the Force is going to argue that the alliance agreement the Force and the ARU signed including something about a broadcast deal, which means that the ARU can’t cut them until the broadcast deal ends (2020).
To counter, the ARU will argue that SARU’s decision to move the Kings and the Cheetahs to Pro 12 means that the current broadcast deal is going to be void soon anyway.
AND LUCKILY THANK CHRIST the court case is slated to take between 5-10 days to talk over, with a ruling due a week after that.
That means if the arbritration case fails…drum roll…
The ARU will announce that the Force will be cut the week before the 1st Bledisloe game!
Quade Cooper and Jono Lance weren’t picked for the Wallabies squad, leaving Bernard Foley the only flyhalf in the 742-man extended squad. Naturally, questions have arisen as to who the backup flyhalf is.
Well, Reece Hodge reckons it could be him!
“I grew up playing 10 all my life, until I was 20, I played 10 for Aussie under-20s, and it was only really after I came back from injury and put a bit of size on that I was shifted out to 12,” Hodge said, according to the Daily Telegraph.
“Even that year at Manly I played a bit of 10 as well. I think the more experience I get in training, and if I have to play it in a game, the more confident I will be.
“But it’s not like I’m being thrown in the deep end because it’s somewhere I’ve grown up playing and I’m confident in that role.
“It’s just about flicking a switch in your head that this is where I need to play for the team now, and I need to be the dominant playmaker rather than second fiddle.
“Whatever happens, happens. But I will be confident if I get called up.”
It actually just seems like Hodge is desperate for a spot anywhere in the backline.
“I’ve got to be prepared to play wherever I can in the backline, obviously since I’ve come into the Wallabies’ fold I’ve played anywhere from 11 to 15 at some point,” Hodge said, raising his hand as high as he possibly cou,d.
“The preparation doesn’t change, whether I’m starting, on the bench or not even in the squad, I’ve always got to be prepared to play whatever role the team needs me to.
“Whether I start at 10, 11 or 12, 13, I could be shifted out to the wing, shift in, it’s definitely just perfecting my skillet in each of those positions and making sure I make that switch in my head that I know I’m playing this position, I need to do this for the team, and make sure I nail my role down.”
Aw yeah…that’s it!
That phrase will be ringing around Ellis Park next weekend it seems, as Angus Gardner is set to take the whistle at the Super Rugby final at Ellis Park next weekend, rugby.com.au reports.
With the final featuring a team from New Zealand and South Africa, Our Gus would seem like a natural choice.
Coupled with the fact that Jaco Peyper, whistle-in-chief for the Lions-Hurricanes game, sin-binned Beauden Barrett, there’s also a bit of clamour from the Hurricanes to have Our Gus in there.
“It’s an interesting question,” Hurricanes coach Chris Boyd said post-game.
“We shouldn’t need to do that but at the end of the day, whether it’s sub-conscious or it’s just a style, the Kiwi referees will get used to the New Zealand style and the African referees the African style and the Aussie referees the Australian style.
“I think it’ll be interesting around that space. To me, there’s three clearly dominant referees in SANZAAR at the moment and I think they probably could’ve used all three in a slightly different way.”
The Lions made the final over the weekend, beating the Hurricanes 44-29 in Johannesburg, while the Crusaders saw off the Chiefs 27-13 in Christchurch.
Hey, remember when Sonny Bill Williams shoulder charged old mate in the Lions game?
Well he got banned for that, and the ban handed down at the time looked like he’d be off the naughty chair in time for the 1st Bledisloe.
Turns out, that may not be the case. Originally given a 4-match ban, SBW felt he’d be able to use a trial match between Counties Manuka and Taranaki, but now World Rugby have ruled that a trial match…ain’t a real match. Shock!
Matches, World Rugby said, must be “a meaningful consequence for the player”. So says rugby.com.au anyway.
In light of the ruling, New Zealand Rugby and SBW are set to being the appeals process.
“New Zealand Rugby has confirmed that Sonny Bill Williams has appealed the World Rugby Judicial Committee’s decision not to include the All Blacks match on 11 August in the four week suspension given to Williams,” a statement said.
“As the matter will now be decided by an appeal committee, no further comment will be made at this time.”
Podcast will be recorded tomorrow. 2 great games this weekend. Congrats to the lions. Should be a cracking final
— Rugby Report Card (@rugby_podcast) July 30, 2017