Happy Thursday everyone, Thursday lite this week as my paying job takes precedence.
On an aside I liked Falou Faingaa’s chat, it was good gas and helps sell the game.
Interesting that Will Skelton is getting MotM plaudits for his game against Ireland, oops, Leinster, on the weekend. Looks like one of Eddie’s three.
Lets get it done.
Eddie Jones, Steve Hansen confirm their Barbarians, World XV teams
This will be a tasty game. Teams from Rugbypass, I don’t know if Stan are carrying it or not or where we can get it.
Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen have named their respective Barbarians and World XV starting teams for this Sunday’s star-studded Killik Cup clash at Twickenham. Having confirmed their squads last Friday, the players have since assembled in London and rather than wait until later in the week before announcing the exact line-ups, the coaches have opted to go early and heighten the tantalising prospect of the stellar-cast talent that will be on show.
The various head-to-heads are lit. For instance, the opposing full-backs are Gareth Anscombe and Charles Piutau, Tevita Li finds himself facing Israel Folau, Samu Kerevi’s opposite number is Ngani Laumape, it’s Quade Cooper against Adam Hastings at flyhalf and so on, and that’s before you get into the forwards where the tasty individual battles include Steven Luatua against Vilame Mata at No8.
A statement read: “Barbarian FC and the World XV, led by Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen respectively, have named their matchday line-ups for this weekend’s Killik Cup clash at Twickenham Stadium. The Killik Cup will be on the line this Sunday (KO:2pm), with both squads jam-packed with world-class talent and internationals from 11 nations represented. Wales and British and Irish Lions legend Alun Wyn Jones has been named as Barbarians captain, while Italy’s Michele Lamaro will lead out the World XV in London.”
RugbyPass will be publishing an exclusive interview this weekend with World XV scrum-half Nick Phipps, the Australian who exited London Irish last summer to take up a contract in Japan with NEC Green Rockets in Tokyo.
BARBARIANS: 1. Alex Waller, 2, Nic Dolly, 3. Enrique Pieretto, 4. Alun Wyn Jones (c), 5. Stephan Lewies. 6. Aaron Wainwright, 7. Kai Yamamoto, 8. Steven Luatua, 9. Jack Maunder, 10. Quade Cooper (vc), 11. GTevita Li, 12. Samu Kerevi, 13. Seta Tamanivalu, 14. Adam Radwan, 15. Gareth Anscombe. replacements: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Tom West, 18. Carlu Sadie, 19. Rob Simmons, 20, Sione Vailanu, 21. Francois Hougaard, 22. Aaron Cruden, 23. Sam Johnson.
WORLD XV: 1. Wyn Jones, 2. Fraser Brown, 3. Oli Keeble, 4. Api Ratuniyarawa, 5. Harry Hockings, 6. Sebastian Negri, 7. Michele Lamaro (c), 8. Vilame Mata, 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Adam Hastings, 11. Sbu Nkosi, 12. Ngani Laumape, 13. Semi Radradra, 14. Israel Folau, 15, Charles Pitau. replacements: 16. Elliot Dee, 17. Allan Dell, 18. Marcus Street, 19. Niccolo Cannone, 20. Jordi Murphy, 21. Bryn Hall, 22. Rhys Parchell, 23. Kaminieli Rasaku.
National Training Centre at Ballymore
From Reds Rugby
The National training centre is nearing completion and is worth a look. It’s going to be a great base for rugby going forward; with government and QRU inaction it should’ve been done 15 years ago.
O’Connor and Paisami return to face Highlanders in Dunedin
I hope the Squatter returns against the Landers in good form as he’s probably not going to France if he doesn’t. Queensland have certainly missed his squaring up the attack.
From Reds Rugby
Queensland Reds head coach Brad Thorn has confirmed his team for Queensland’s crucial SRP round 14 clash against the Highlanders on Friday night. He’s has made six changes to the starting XV who fell to the Blues last round, with James O’Connor set to return from concussion at inside-centre in Dunedin. Fresh from confirming his future at Ballymore, Hunter Paisami will make his return to the Queensland side via the bench after recovering from a knee injury suffered in Round 5.
Thorn said: “It’s an important game on Friday night with both sides pushing towards finals. We expect it to be a quality contest. The Highlanders are always a strong opposition with some great players and passionate fans in Dunedin. We’re pleased to welcome Hunter back. He’s been working hard and will bring impact as a finisher.”
Peni Ravai, Matt Faessler and Zane Nonggorr return to the starting side in a new-look front row combination, while Angus Blyth and Connor Vest start as locks for the third straight match. After featuring off the bench in Queensland’s last two fixtures, Harry Wilson is back in the starting side with Seru Uru to provide strike as a finisher. Wilson will reprise his combination with co-captain Liam Wright and Fraser McReight in the backrow.
Tom Lynagh runs on at flyhalf for the first time since Round 3 and will partner co-captain Tate McDermott as Lawson Creighton drops to the bench. O’Connor and Josh Flook, who made a successful return from injury last week, start in the centres, while winger Mac Grealy comes into the run-on side for the fifth time in his career with Filipo Daugunu ruled out with a foot injury. Jock Campbell and Suliasi Vunivalu both retain their positions in the back three as Queensland look to claim victory at Forsyth Barr Stadium for the first time since 2013. Paisami is set to play his first game since recovering from a medial ligament injury alongside the likes of Sef Fa’agase and Kalani Thomas as a finisher.
Versatile forward Jake Upfield also comes onto the bench with Ryan Smith ruled out with a calf injury.
Highlanders v Queensland Reds, Forsyth Barr Stadium, Friday 26 May, 5:05pm AEST. Watch live on Stan Sport.
- Peni Ravai – Easts – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji
- Matt Faessler – Brothers – Toowoomba Grammar School – USQ Saints
- Zane Nonggorr – Bond University – The Southport School – Gold Coast Eagles
- Angus Blyth – Bond University – The Southport School – Casuarina Beach Rugby Club
- Connor Vest – University of Queensland – Grafton High School – Grafton Junior Rugby Club
- Liam Wright – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School – Easts
- Fraser McReight – Brothers – Brisbane Grammar School – Albany Creek Brumbies
- Harry Wilson – Brothers – St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace – Gunnedah Red Devils
- Tate McDermott – University of Queensland – Sunshine Coast Grammar School – Flinders Rugby Club
- Tom Lynagh – University of Queensland – Epsom College – Richmond Rugby Club
- Mac Grealy – University of Queensland – Downlands College – Souths Toowoomba
- James O’Connor – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
- Josh Flook – Brothers – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Brothers
- Suliasi Vunivalu – Wests – Saint Kentigern College, Auckland
- Jock Campbell – University of Queensland – The Southport School – Inverell Highlanders
- Richie Asiata – Easts – Anglican Church Grammar School
- Dane Zander – University of Queensland – St Joseph’s Nudgee College – Albany Creek Brumbies
- Sef Fa’agase – Sunnybank – Shailer Park State High School – Beaudesert Warriors
- Jake Upfield – Bond University – The Southport School
- Seru Uru – Wests – Ratu Kadavulevu School, Fiji – Namoli Rugby Club, Fiji
- Kalani Thomas – University of Queensland – Ipswich Grammar School – Souths
- Lawson Creighton – Brothers – Padua College
- Hunter Paisami – Wests – Mangere College, Auckland
Commentators Need to Lift Their Game
I’ve been happy to watch the new overlords at Stan take over as the coverage of rugby has been a huge improvement since the dark days of Foxtel.
However, the commentators have of late been poor and need to recalibrate. Sean Maloney and his crew of side kicks have been hopelessly NSW centric over the past few weeks. They need to realise that there are other states that watch the game from a national supporter base.
Many say the Kiwi coverage is superior; however, I’d take the same argument with them. Anyone who watched the Rebels v Landers game last weekend would’ve been treated to the Kiwis getting the Rebels names wrong consistently which as far as I am concerned shows a lack of respect for the viewers as well as a lack of preparation.
The bias in the NZ commentary was very average listening to them say that a TMO decision was a disgrace on a Rebels held up try and that the conversion of the Landers knock on try should be taken quickly before a replay is shown lacks professionalism IMHO.
Both crews need to be better and perhaps show some neutrality. I would start by not referring to the local team as we.