Happy Thursday everyone, big week with the Rugby Championship coming up so plenty to discuss. Thanks to everyone for their input into last week’s subject of transgender sport, it was thoughtful and respectful which is unusual on the Interwebs. For mine it was great to see the divergent views expressed in a considered way. Work has intervened in the more important things in life so it will be short and sharp this week.
A Wallabies 15 of Injured and Overseas Based Players
Word coming through that Hunter Paisami (Squatter) is unavailable through injury gave me pause as to how well we are doing as a country at the moment. If you were to add in unavailable through being based overseas you could put together a decent team that would be competitive.
Current injured Wallaby 15
1 Scott Sio
2 Dave Porecki
3 Allan Ala’alatoa
4 Cadeyrn Neville
5 Will Skelton (OS)
6 Sean McMahon (OS)
7 Michael Hooper
8 Liam Gill (OS)
9 Nick Phipps (OS)
10 Quade Cooper
11 Andrew Kellaway
12 Hunter Paisami
13 Curtis Rona OS although going to the Force
14 Luke Morahan (OS)
15 Tom Banks
Honourable mentions to Ollie Hoskins and Adam Coleman. Feel free to add others.
An Experienced Squad v an Ageing Squad
I must admit it has been fun watching the NZ media feast on the supposed dead body of a New Zealand rugby team suffering a form slump for the first time in a generation.
I have always been a big believer of rugbynomics. While they were winning it was all about the culture and the love of the jersey that made many of the supporters holier than thou. From my perspective it was all about money and how they used it. For mine NZ has fallen into a trap that they have managed to avoid for 25 years in keeping players for a little too long.
Looking back, they paid and used Jerome Kaino until just past his peak and then let him go to France to make his retirement money. The list of those guys goes on, Jerry Collins, Tana et al.
They have fallen into the trap of trying to keep certain players throughout their career. Sam Whitelock as an example. Now 34 he was in the top three in his position in the world for ten years and now just looks a bit slow.
Second row has always been one of the most important positions on the field. You win your own clean first phase ball and disrupt the other teams first phase. A great 2nd row also hits lots of ruck and stops someone like Malcolm Marx from ruining your ball. I’ve always subscribed to the view that you have to move the piano into position for someone to play it. For mine the Nearlies just don’t have the elite second rowers to create a virtuoso. After Sam W and Brodie R let me know who you think NZ have in the position who has the potential to be world class, and if you think the answer’s Scott Barrett you haven’t paid attention to the question.
I still worry that they are going to take their frustrations out on the Wallabies come Bledisloe time.
NSW Waratahs sign Nemani Nadolo
Nemani hasn’t played for Fiji for 3 years just saying
The NSW Waratahs have signed former Crusaders and Leicester flyer Nemani Nadolo for the 2023 Super Rugby Pacific season. Nadolo returns to the Waratahs, having initially been contracted to the club in 2008.
He made his name across the world before returning to Super Rugby with the Crusaders in 2014, ending tied on top as the competition’s leading try-scorer as he helped the powerhouses to the title. The 34 year old has scored 22 tries in 32 Tests for Fiji, playing a crucial role in the 2015 Rugby World Cup campaign with the hulking winger eager to push his case for a recall.
“Who would’ve thought after leaving these doors 12 years ago I’d get another opportunity to be part of the club again,” reflected Nadolo in a statement. He is a great addition to the NSW set up and hopefully will provide the Jamie Roberts professionalism from last year.
RFU statement: Eddie Jones’ criticism of private schools system
Interesting piece with many parallels to Australian rugby.
England boss Eddie Jones has been rebuked by the RFU for criticising the English game’s reliance on the private schools system. The head coach said in a newspaper interview published over the weekend that “you are going to have to blow the whole thing up” because it produces “closeted” players who lacked resolve.
The view was condemned in a Sportsmail column as “insulting” and “divisive and disrespectful” by 2003 World Cup-winning mastermind Clive Woodward – and the bosses at Twickenham have now reacted by highlighting the importance of private schools to the game.
Personally I think Eddie could be talking about Australian rugby in exactly the same way.