England

Thursdays Rugby News 7/4/22

Thursdays Rugby News 7/4/22

Great week of rugby last week and a great week ahead with the community game getting going.

Vultures are circling Eddie Jones ahead of the English tour

Eddie Jones

Several head coaches are starting to put their hand up when asked if they would be interested in the English head coaching job whenever it became available. Everyone’s favourite South African Rassie has said he would give it a go. We can now add Ronan O’Gara to the list per Rugby Pass Here

Having been given the full support of the board, which is generally the death nell for any head coach, Eddie comes to Australia with significant pressure on his job. Lots of the glitterati of English rugby don’t like Eddie and have been sharpening the spears for some time. I just wish people would realise that he got them to a RWC final only a couple of years ago.

The Tests are just around the corner.

Reds Women Fully Recognised

This is a great story from the weekend.

The Queensland Rugby Union (QRU) has today confirmed the Queensland Reds Women’s Cap Project has been completed, ahead of this weekend’s Women in Rugby round double header at Suncorp Stadium.

Vintage Red Vanessa Bradley has worked hard over the last eight months to document 26 years of Women’s Rugby history, identifying a total of 238 women who have represented Queensland since the first capped match in 1996. Both Vintage and current Queensland Reds will this weekend receive their physical Queensland Cap, and find out their individual Queensland Cap number, as part of a special ceremony at Suncorp Stadium.

Prior to the Reds Round 5 Super W clash against the Melbourne Rebels, the Vintage Reds women will take part in a cap presentation event at Suncorp Stadium before forming a guard of honour for the current team as they take to the field. The match-day-23 will then be presented with their caps post-match by the Vintage Reds women on field, before then together taking a lap of honour around the Stadium.

“Collating this information has taken the best part of eight months,” said Bradley. “Shirley Russell was heavily involved in the Vintage Reds and there was a desire to complete the Women’s Cap project and she knew this is something I would enjoy. I’ve been fortunate to have long service leave and have been able to dedicate my time to the project. The process has involved going over hours of footage, working with former coaches and managers and sourcing old programs and team sheets. Given I played from 1996 through to 2009, I was able to identify a lot of players and reconnect with them. I’ve relived 26 years of Women’s Rugby, it’s been a great trip down memory lane.

“We set up a Facebook group which acted as a communication tool for the generations of Queensland players, and individuals were able to send through old programs, newspaper clippings, photos etc and then we were able to cross reference sources against each other. When women debut for Queensland in the future, they will know their own individual cap number and will know where they fit into Queensland Rugby history. I want that to be my gift to the game. This weekend I’m really looking forward to being on field with over 100 other women who have shared the same experience, playing for Queensland, and just absorbing the occasion.”

The QRU is immensely grateful to the Neilsen Group for their philanthropic support of this important cultural moment in the history of Rugby Union. In particular, we thank Mrs Paula Neilsen and Mr Raymond Neilsen for their advocacy and generosity.

Shannon Parry OAM, Queensland Reds Super W Captain said: “This weekend marks an important moment in the recognition of Women’s Rugby in Queensland. “The Cap Project would not have been possible without the generous support of Paula and Raymond Neilsen. Their donation has enabled the QRU to take this step and we thank them dearly. This weekend we will honour both our past and present players, while also hopefully inspiring future players in the stands and those watching at home. It will be a great celebration for the women’s game.”

Judiciary The Gift That Keeps On Giving

The Raffle that is the Super Rugby by Judiciary process is just going from bad to worse. I just do not understand the process which seems to be completely outcome-based and also seems to be open to allegations of extreme bias.

Tom Banks gets off.

Nemani Nagusa Drua Captain gets six reduced to three for having a good record and the increased by a further week for a swinging arm. Here

Tuaina Taii Taulima gets three weeks for his clean out on James Slipper. Here

Dane Zander got three weeks for his hit a couple of weeks ago.

At the time of writing Caleb Clarke was fighting his case.

Hopefully they can sort this our as it is a blight on the game which needs to be addressed.

I cannot wait for the judiciary to say actually we are giving him the full measure as he is not a good bloke.

Fergus Lee-Warner: Worcester Warriors sign Western Force forward

Force Players

Worcester Warriors have made lock/back-row forward Fergus Lee-Warner their third signing for the 2022/23 season on a three year contract.

Lee-Warner, 28, will arrive at Sixways from Perth-based Western Force at the end of the forthcoming Super Rugby Pacific season. Lee-Warner has also played for Western Force in Australia’s National Rugby Championship having previously represented the Greater Sydney Rams.

Lee-Warner, who is 6ft 4ins tall and weights 17-and-a-half stone, is English-qualified through a grandfather.

“I am really excited about joining Warriors,” Lee-Warner said. “I have been playing Super Rugby here in Perth since 2020 when Force came back in. I have really enjoyed my time here with Force but I have always wanted to play in the Gallagher Premiership. I feel like it’s a really good competition and another step in my career that I want to take. It’s the chance for me to experience something different. Jono Lance is a mate and I spoke to him about coming to Worcester.“

Warriors Director of Rugby Alan Solomons believes that Lee-Warner has the skills and physical attributes to flourish in the Premiership. “Fergus is an experienced, physical, abrasive lock/six. His attributes are ideally suited to the Premiership and there is no doubt that he will make his mark here at Sixways,” Solomons said. “Jono Lance and others who have coached him speak very highly of him as both a player and a person. He will clearly add great value to the Warriors and we all look forward to welcoming him here at Sixways.”

Steve Diamond, Warriors’ Lead Rugby Consultant, has also welcomed the addition of Lee-Warner to next season’s squad. “With his physical assets, Fergus should be a real asset and I’m looking forward to working with him when he arrives in the summer.“

England

Like all things in rugby I am afirm believer that we all love the game just support different colours.

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