Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees The Wallabies side is in, A new coach for the Tahs, New signings at the Rebels, and a Foley supporter.




Petaia set for a Wallabies debute

Petaia set for a Wallabies debute

Another day another Wallabies side named.

Michael Cheika has made sweeping changes to his starting XV, including 12 changes and a debutant.

Allan Alaalatoa, Michael Hooper and Dane Haylett-Petty were the only players from the starting XV against Wales to retain their starting spots, with DHP being shifted to the wing in favour of Kurtley Beale at full back.

It is another change to the halves pairing this week with Nic White and Christian Lealiifano named at 9 and 10, despite being dropped after the match against Fiji. Cheika might have made his decision on Lealiifano being his player maker for the tournament, after Matt To’omua was named at inside centre, despite a standout performance filing in for Bernard Foley. 

Teenager Jordan Petaia is set to make his debut, replacing Marika Koroibete, where he will become the youngest Wallaby to play in a World Cup. Wallaby fans will be excited to see what X-factor Petaia can bring, with there being much hype around the youngster.

Folau Fainga’a, Jack Dempsey, Tevita Kuridrani, Rob Simmons, Lealiifano, and Petaia will all start although none were named in the 23 to face Wales, whilst James Slipper, Adam Coleman, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, White, To’omua and Kurtley Beale being promoted from the bench. Taniela Tupou is the new face on the bench this week with Scott Sio rested. 

It will be tough match for the back row, with Cheika putting the Pooper on ice, with Dempsey and Salakaia-Loto looking to cement their spot in the 6 or 8 jersey, with Isi Naisarani being rested.

Sekope Kepu, Rory Arnold, David Pocock, Will Genia, James O’Connor and Adam Ashley-Cooper have all moved to the bench.

Wallabies to face Uruguay

1. James Slipper (93 Tests) 2. Folau Fainga’a (11 Tests) 3. Allan Alaalatoa (35 Tests) 4. Rob Simmons (98 Tests) 5. Adam Coleman (36 Tests) 6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (18 Tests) 7. Michael Hooper (c) (97 Tests) 8. Jack Dempsey (12 Tests) 9. Nic White (28 Tests) 10. Christian Lealiifano (23 Tests) 11. Jordan Petaia* 12. Matt To’omua (49 Tests) 13. Tevita Kuridrani (60 Tests) 14. Dane Haylett-Petty (35 Tests) 15. Kurtley Beale (89 Tests)


16. Jordan Uelese (6 Tests) 17. Sekope Kepu (108 Tests) 18. Taniela Tupou (16 Tests) 19. Rory Arnold (24 Tests) 20. David Pocock (80 Tests) 21. Will Genia (107 Tests) 22. James O’Connor (50 Tests) 23. Adam Ashley-Cooper (120 Tests)


Waratahs gather under posts v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

The NSW Waratahs have found their replacement for Daryl Gibson, another New Zealander, Rob Penney.

Penney is the former coach of the New Zealand U20s, who also coached Canterbury to four consecutive premierships in the National Provincial Championships between 2008 and 2011. He also served as head coach of Munster where he was named PRO 12 coach of the year.

“Rob is an extremely experienced coach who embodies the characteristics we identified for our ideal candidate,” said fellow kiwi, NSW Rugby CEO Andrew Hore.

“This position was one which drew a vast level of interest from across world rugby, Rob’s appointment is the result of an exhaustive recruitment process — speaking volumes for the calibre of coach we’ve been able to secure for the Waratahs.

“With a strong history of player development across each of his previous roles, I have no doubt Rob will harness the wealth of talent coming though our pathways and build sustainable success for the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

“Rob understands the connection between our NSW Rugby pathways and competitions and the Waratahs, and is keen to embrace the strategic vision of our entire organisation.”

“This is an exciting time for the Waratahs and I’d like to welcome Rob on board.”

Penney is looking to hit the ground running, as he looks to finalise the Waratahs list after departures of high profile players such as, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu and Curtis Rona, along with the sacking of Israel Folau.

“The Waratahs are an organisation revered throughout world rugby, with a proud history of performance and player development,” said Penney,

“To be given the opportunity to help this playing group get the most out of both themselves as individuals and as a collective is an exciting one.

“I’m looking forward to contributing to the betterment of Australian rugby, ensuring we have a working environment at the Waratahs to foster the young talent already assembled.

“To see players grow, develop and reach their own personal goals is a hugely satisfying part of coaching — one I’m personally looking forward to here in Australia.

“Ultimately, I want our players to represent the jersey with pride and ensure New South Wales continues to be a leader in Australian rugby.”

Penney has a clear vision of the type of players he plans to recruit, and the players he intends to nurture in the current Waratahs squad. A tighthead prop, a ball-carrying forward and a line-breaking outside back are the types of players Penney believes he needs to find success with his new team.

“If those vulnerabilities aren’t covered then there’s a potential for what’s happened in the last couple of years to occur again. In saying that, there’s a wonderful group of young talent coming in and emerging. We’ve got to support those with a bit of maturity as well.”


The Smith twins

The Smith twins

Thats Cameron Orr and Ruan Smith, Sorry for the confusion. Fair play to the Rebels social media team, it was a good joke.

The Melbourne Rebels have continued their off seasons signing front rowers Cameron Orr and Ruan Smith.

Smith, who will leave his brother and the Queensland Reds, reflected on his decision to move south,

“It’s the club where plenty of players have been given opportunities and that has clearly created a strong culture, that I want to be part of.

“I know playing finals is what all teams want to achieve and I feel the Rebels are on the right path to achieving their expectations and goals.

“The Melbourne Rebels put an emphasis on having a successful culture driven by coaches and players as well.

“I know it will be the perfect environment for me to perform my best with lots of competition in my position.

“I have had a for bit to do with Dave in the past and I know the calibre of coach he is and I’m extremely excited to learn from him and the rest of the coaching staff.

Former Australian U20s prop, Orr is excited to get a crack at Super Rugby, after plying his trade in Europe and Global Rapid Rugby.

“It’s great to get my first crack at Super Rugby after having had a taste of professional rugby in the UK,” said Orr, who spent time with European power house Gloucester before more recently joining the Western Force.

“The Rebels have been making giant strides in the last two seasons and it’s exciting to be a part of that journey.

“I’m really looking forward to mixing it with the Melbourne guys and testing myself in a pack with so many Wallabies,” stated Orr.

“We’re very excited to sure up our front row stocks with Ruan and Cam joining the Rebels,” said Ryan.

“Ruan brings over 60 caps of Super Rugby experience and a professional work ethic that will suit our world class environment.

“Cam’s time in Europe will no doubt have elevated his forward play, particularly around set piece, so we’re excited to see him test himself now at Super Rugby level.

“Together, they offer us both experience and enthusiasm and will make our pack even hungrier as we chase our first finals appearance in 2020.”




All Black Legend Dan Carter has come out saying he is a huge Bernard Foley fan and is struggling seeing the Australia fly half fall from grace.

Speaking with the Foxsport Rugby podcast, Carter weighed in on the Australian fly half debate.

“I’m a huge Bernard Foley fan and it’s breaking to me see his lack of confidence,”

“He was such a big part of 2015 and the success you guys had.

“He was playing with such freedom.

“But I don’t know whether he’s overthinking little things and is a little bit hesitant.

“And for someone like Matty To’omua to come on the other night and just be direct, decisive — it completely changed the game.

“As a rugby lover — and obviously I follow a lot of No 10s — to see Bernard going through this patch, where I just feel he’s lost that freedom that he used to play with.

“And obviously Christian coming on, he’s had a fantastic year.”

Carter thinks the jersey should stay with Lealiifano going forward, and has also backed Will Genia as one of the best 9s in the World.

“I’d say they’re probably going to stick with him (Lealiifano) but just I love a bit more competition there,” Carter said.

“I just feel like Foley’s overthinking things and he’s lacking that consistent game time where he can get that confidence back.

“And the nines, Will is world class.

“I was a bit surprised to see him not start in those Bledisloe Cup games.

“He’s shown what he can do off the bench as well.

“I guess the problem is they’ve only got a couple more pool games.

“They’ll qualify for the quarters but they need to have a couple of games together, consistently, to build those combinations.

“You can’t be chopping and changing and still have that uncertainty, which I feel like there is at the moment.”



Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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