Happy Thursday everyone, I’m back after a week off.
As a Queensland fan I did not see that coming. I was out at a function during the Reds game last week and even after I saw the result on the WhatsApp group I was still nervous watching the last two minutes. Now where has that been all year and can they back it up this week?
The Disrespect – Blues to Leave Some Players Home for the Clash with the Reds
The Blues think they can get the job done without the assistance of four nearlies this weekend.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is back in the matchday 23 for the Blues as they prepare to take on the Queensland Reds in Brisbane on Friday night. But the Blues are missing a number of key players, with four All Blacks set to miss the round 13 clash due to the national team’s resting policy.
Halfback Finlay Christie, winger Caleb Clarke, New Zealand’s answer to the question no one want to know, Rieko Ioane, and prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi will all miss the trans-Tasman derby. Captain Dalton Papali’i has also been ruled out of the match due to suspension. In his absence, veteran Patrick Tuipulotu will lead a reshuffled Blues side this week. Jordan Lay, Cameron Suafoa and Akira Ioane have all been named in the run-on side this week, while there are another three changes in the backline.
It’s Queensland’s final home game for the year and if they can beat the Blues they will play finals given they have the Highlanders and Drua away to finish. I understand that Suncorp is a potato patch ATM so I don’t know what the game will look like.
Perth player banned for five years for ref attack
SYDNEY, May 17 (Reuters) – A rugby player in Western Australia has been banned for 96 matches, about five years of play, over physical abuse of a referee during club match in April.
The Perth Bayswater Rugby Club player was not named in the Rugby Western Australia statement confirming the sanction, the strictest available under World Rugby laws. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the player had knocked over the referee in an incident initially deemed accidental but reassessed after witness statements and video evidence.
“We strongly condemn any form of abuse or harassment towards match officials, and are determined to ensure that any such behaviour is stamped out of the game,” RugbyWA chief executive Simon Taylor said in the statement. “The rugby community must remain vigilant against abuse towards match officials, and we hope that this sanction contributes to ensuring a more respectful approach to officials at any level of rugby.”
Rugby union has a reputation as a tough game, but verbal abuse of, or physical contact with, referees and touch judges has always been taboo.
South Africa fullback Percy Montgomery missed the 2003 World Cup campaign after being handed a lengthy ban for pushing over a touch judge, while England flanker Neil Back served a six onth ban in 1996 for a similar assault on a referee.
Eddie Jones picks Aussie stars for Barbarians v World XV match
Eddie Jones has selected Australia stars Quade Cooper and Samu Kerevi to play for the Barbarians against a World XV later this month at Twickenham.
The Barbarians meet the World XV, coached by Steve Hansen, on 28 May.
The experienced pair will be looking to play themselves into World Cup contention after long-term injuries. Jones was sacked by the Rugby Football Union in December after seven years as England boss, before being appointed head coach of his native Australia. Cooper and Kerevi are set to join Alun Wyn Jones, Rhys Webb and Taulupe Faletau in the Barbarians ranks.
While a number of England players approached by Jones are unlikely to be available, with the game falling in the middle of players’ mandatory five week rest period, Cooper and Kerevi will add significant creativity and firepower to the Barbarians. The mercurial Cooper returned to the Wallaby fold in 2021 after four years in the international wilderness, with Jones hinting he is firmly in Australia’s World Cup plans as one of three fly-halves. Meanwhile, Kerevi impressed against Jones’ England on the summer tour in July but suffered a serious knee injury playing sevens in August and has only just made his return to competitive action.
The World Cup in France starts on 8 September.
This match will be Jones’ first time back at Twickenham since leaving his role with England. “I am very much looking forward to returning to Twickenham stadium – a venue I have so many fond memories of – as head coach of the Barbarians, and I’m more motivated than ever to put on a show,” Jones said.
Meanwhile, Hansen is set to unleash a powerful World XV, with Charles Piutau, Ngani Laumape, Marika Koroibete, Semi Radradra, and Israel Folau all set to feature.
Junior Wallabies announce squad for New Zealand series
From spend the money on these kids file. #whoneedsgaolrugbyplayers
Junior Wallabies coach Nathan Grey has confirmed a 31 player squad for a two Test series against New Zealand.
The Junior Wallabies will face the Kiwis at NZCIS in Wellington at 12pm (AEST) on Monday 29 May, before meeting again at Sky Stadium at 2.30pm on Saturday 3 June. The squad is headlined by returning Sevens star Darby Lancaster, who will join the group after the completion of the World Series. Lancaster has emerged as one of the brightest talents on the Sevens circuit, scoring 20 tries in 34 matches in 2022-23.
The squad is stacked with Super Rugby talent, including Reds centre Taj Annan and Waratahs scrumhalf Teddy Wilson. Annan is one of 11 Reds players in the squad that will go into camp on the Gold Coast from May 21. Meanwhile, Wilson is joined by Waratahs teammate Jack Bowen, who made his Super Rugby Pacific debut against the Blues last month and Rebels forward Daniel Maiava. Reds playmaker Tom Lynagh, Waratahs fullback Max Jorgensen and Force front-rower Marley Pearce were initially selected in the squad but will be unavailable for the NZ series due to their Super Rugby Pacific commitments.
“We’re very excited about getting the squad together and testing ourselves against New Zealand, who always present a great challenge,” Grey said in a statement. “In particular the scheduling of the second game as a curtain-raiser to the Super Rugby Pacific fixture presents a valuable opportunity for the players to experience a big stadium and a big stage to perform on. Many of the players in this squad essentially picked themselves through the quality and consistency of their performances playing for their clubs over the last month.
“Super Rugby Pacific commitments have forced some changes but we have the benefit of being able to draw from an extended shadow squad of players who have been involved in the program to date. From all corners of Australia, they come together under the Junior Wallabies banner, to represent their country with pride and take a huge step in their development as Rugby players.”
The second fixture of the series will be broadcast live on Stan Sport, serving as a curtain-raiser for the Hurricanes-Crusaders clash.
Junior Wallabies Squad
Taj Annan (Souths)
John Bryant (Souths)
Ben Daniels (Brothers)
Nick Bloomfield (Easts)
Harrison Usher (Bond)
Jarrod Homan (Easts)
Tim Ryan (Brothers)
Nick Baker (GPS)
Trevor King (Souths)
Max Craig (Easts)
Harry McLaughlin-Phillips (Souths)
Leafi Talataina (Endeavour Hills)
Mason Gordon (Wests Bulldogs)
David Vaihu (Wests Bulldogs)
Daniel Maiava (Wyndham Rhinos)
Liam Bowron (Royals)
Massimo De Lutiis (Wests)
Lachlan Hooper (Tuggeranong)
Klayton Thorn (Gungahlin)
Matias Jensen (Randwick)
Chris Mickelson (Uni-Norths)
Ned Slack-Smith (Palmyra)
Jhy Legg (Wests Scarborough)
Darby Lancaster (Eastern Suburbs)
Jack Barrett (Randwick)
Ollie McCrea (Eastern Suburbs)
Teddy Wilson (Eastern Suburbs)
Jack Bowen (Eastern Suburbs)
Henry O’Donnell (Northern Suburbs)
Jackson Ropata (Southern Districts)
Tom Morrison (Sydney Uni) *Tom Lynagh, Max Jorgensen and Marley Pearce initially selected but unavailable for the NZ series due to Super Rugby Pacific commitments