Thursdays Rugby News sees Junior Wallabies named, Rebels make 4 changes, Rugby Championship schedule confirmed and Five Aussie Women’s coaches invited to the World Rugby Academy.
JUNIOR WALLABIES NAMES
The Junior Wallabies 32-man squad has been named and 12 Super Rugby contracted players have been included.
Queensland contracted players Isaac Lucas, Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson, as well as Jack Hardy will link up with the squad after they return from the Reds tour of South Africa.
NSW will be represented by Tahs players Angus Bell, Ben Donaldson, Will Harris, Pat Tafa and Will Harrison.
The Melbourne Rebels have two of their three players listed for this weekend’s match against in Esei Ha’angana, Semisi Tupou and Trevor Hosea.
Sevens speedster Triston Reilly has also been named after he was released by Aussie Mens Coach Tim Walsh for the U20 Championship.
Head Coach Jason Gilmore is looking forward to having the team in camp for longer and building a strong platform a head of the World Championship in Argentina later in the year.
“We’ve got nine members of the 2018 World Championship squad back again in the fold, so they will be leading some of our newer members in the group,” Gilmore said.
“The whole squad have put in the work to earn their spot so it’s now a matter of maintaining this work ethic as we head into camp.”
The Junior Wallabies came second last year going down to New Zealand 43-28 in the final.
Oliver Barden (NSW) Angus Bell (NSW) Darcy Breen (NSW) Joe Cotton (QLD) Ben Donaldson (NSW) Max Douglas (NSW) Esei Ha’angana (VIC) Jack Hardy (QLD) Will Harris (NSW) Will Harrison (NSW) Trevor Hosea (VIC) Tom Kibble (QLD) Nathan Lawson (NSW) Noah Lolesio (ACT) Lachlan Lonergan (ACT) Isaac Lucas (QLD) Michael McDonald (WA) Fraser McReight (QLD) Josh Nasser (QLD) Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW) Kye Oates (QLD) Bryon Ralston (QLD) Triston Reilly (AU7s) Henry Robertson (NSW) Egan Siggs (QLD) Patrick Tafa (NSW) Sione Tui (VIC) Semisi Tupou (VIC) Liam Usher (QLD) Joey Walton (NSW) Harry Wilson (QLD) Michael Wood (QLD)
Oceania U20s Championship, Bond University, Gold Coast
Round 1 – Friday, April 26
New Zealand v Fiji, 5pm
Australia v Japan, 7pm
Round 2 – Tuesday, April 30
New Zealand v Japan, 5pm
Australia v Fiji, 7pm
Round 3 – Saturday, May 4
Japan v Fiji, 5pm
New Zealand v Australia, 7pm
REBELS TEAM NEWS
The Melbourne Rebels have made four changes to the side that put the Sunwolves to the sword with three of their regular starters out due to ‘niggles’.
Hooker Anaru Rangi, Lock Matt Phillip and Winger Jack Maddocks are all being rested due to minor injuries, with replacement Prop Pone Fa’amausili missing out Sam Talakai who comes back into the starting line up.
Robbie Abel replaces Rangi (rolled ankle) at No. 2, Ross Haylett-Petty comes in for Phillip (bruised heel) and Semisi Tupou comes from the bench and into the starting line up for Maddocks.
When asked about the resting of Maddocks, Rebels coach Dave Wessels had this to say:
“Jack’s got a bit of a grumbly knee with tendonitis in his patella, so we’ll just settle that down and he’ll be right to go next week,” Wessels said.
“Those decisions are made a lot easier when a guy like Semisi (Tupou) trains as well as he does and also plays well in the minutes he got against the Sunwolves, so he’s an exciting young prospect for us (and) we’re excited to see what Semisi brings.”
Wessels is adamant that despite the teams win and position in the Australian conference that they are not taking the Stormers lightly.
“I don’t think the Stormers played particularly well against the Reds last week and I think they’ll be frustrated by that, which is dangerous for us.
“They very nearly beat the Hurricanes and I thought they played well in large parts against the Blues, so they’re a good side.
“We haven’t given much thought to the Waratahs yet, we’ve got a huge game this weekend.
“We were disappointed with our performances in South Africa, we obviously lost on the hooter against the Lions at Ellis Park and then really didn’t play well against the Sharks in Durban.
“We haven’t beaten a South African team yet this year and I think that opportunity is a marker for us – a mini-milestone in our season – so we’re very keen to make a statement with our performance.”
The Rebels have been able to play an up tempo game against recent opposition but Wessels believes that the Rebels will be up for the challenge, hence the plan to bring Sam Talakai back after he was rested.
“The Stormers do provide some challenges that maybe we haven’t had in our last two games,” Wessels said.
“I think we’ve got to get those things right.
“They’ve got a really world class front row, so that’s a huge challenge for our pack and I think one that our guys will be up for.
“Probably to combat some of their strengths at set piece time we’ve chosen a slightly heavier front row to go into this game.
“I thought Jermaine Ainsley played very well, probably his best game for us in a while, starting last week against the Sunwolves, and then Hugh Roach made a real impact when he came off the bench.
“So we’ll look to up the tempo towards the back end of the game.”
Rebels to face Stormers:
1 Tetera Faulkner 2 Robbie Abel 3 Sam Talakai 4 Ross Haylett-Petty 5 Adam Coleman 6 Luke Jones 7 Angus Cottrell © 8 Isi Naisarani 9 Will Genia 10 Quade Cooper 11 Marika Koroibete 12 Billy Meakes 13 Tom English 14 Semisi Tupou 15 Reece Hodge
16 Hugh Roach 17 Matt Gibbon 18 Jermaine Ainsley 19 Esei Ha’angana 20 Rob Leota 21 Richard Hardwick 22 Michael Ruru 23 Campbell Magnay
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP CONFIRMED
SANZAAR confirmed the abbreviated schedule for the Rugby Championship this year, being brought down to a six-match, three round competition with a fourth round allotted for the second Bledisloe Cup.
Due to the World Cup, the Rugby Championship has to be shortened from its regular six-round, 12-match event, with each team playing each other either home or away.
The effect of not having the June/ July series is that the Rugby Championship have been forward to start closer to the end of the unbroken 21 week Super Rugby Season.
The Wallabies will play South Africa in Johannesburg, host the Pumas in Brisbane, play Bledisoe one against the All Blacks in Perth and finish off against New Zealand at the fortress of Eden Park.
Approximately four weeks later the Wallabies will host Samoa before heading off to Japan for the World Cup.
The Rugby Championship (All times AEST)
South Africa v Australia, Johannesburg, Sunday July 21, 1:05am
Argentina v New Zealand, Buenos Aires, Sunday July 21, 8:40am
New Zealand v South Africa, Saturday July 27, 5:35pm
Australia v Argentina, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane, Saturday July 27, 8pm
Australia v New Zealand, Optus Stadium, Perth, August 10, 8pm
Argentina v South Africa, Salta, August 11, 5:40am
Additional Test weekend
New Zealand v Australia, Auckland, August 17, 5:35pm
South Africa v Argentina, Pretoria, August 18, 1:05am
SUPER W COACHES JOIN HIGH PERFORMANCE ACADEMY
Five prominent women in High Performance roles in Australian Rugby have been given the opportunity to attend World Rugby’s High Performance Academy in Stellenbosch in South Africa this May.
Two Buildcorp Super W Head Coaches from Queensland, Moana Virtue and Melbourne Rebels Women’s Head Coach, Alana Thomas, will travel alongside Match Offical Amber McLachlan, Strength and Conditioning coaches Sophie Pidcock and Emma Lincoln Smith from the NSW Waratahs Women’s side for the week-long Academy.
The Academy will focus on personal and professional development of all the coaches involved as they look to expand womens rugby around the world.
This is a strong step forward for Womens rugby in Australia, after a second strong season of Super W, the success of Womens sevens and the latest report regarding an increase in female participation in sevens and XVs.
World Rugby General Manager, High Performance Peter Horne said: “One of the strategic priorities of World Rugby is the growth and development of the Women’s game.
“Over recent times we have seen unprecedented levels of interest in Women’s High Performance Coaching, Match Officiating and Strength & Conditioning.
“This edition of the World Rugby HP Academy will be the first time that the programme will focus solely on talented women in these High Performance roles to grow their capability and build a supportive global network of the future leaders of our game.”
Rugby Australia Head of Women’s Rugby, Jilly Collins, was impressed and delighted to have five women from Australia selected for the academy.
“We are delighted that five candidates have been selected from Australia to attend World Rugby’s Academy in Stellenbosch.” She said.
“It is a fantastic opportunity for them to develop and meet other women from around the world with similar Rugby aspirations.
“It is important that more women recognise what’s available to them in Rugby and the various career pathways.”
“This is a very exciting opportunity to gain professional development on the global stage and meet with fellow coaches from around the world,” Moana Virtue said
“It’s really important in coaching that you are constantly striving to improve and understand the game better and this will allow us to learn not just about our roles within the game, but the wider machine that is important to the growth of Rugby.
“It’s also humbling to be representing the next generation of women coming through the system in Australia and I look forward to working with my colleagues when we get to South Africa.”