Thursday’s rugby news has Wallaby coaching discussions, the Rebels panned, a new look Reds team and old heads available for the Crusaders.
Cheika to meet with Foley
Michael Chieka will discuss the vacant position of Wallabies set-piece coach with Michael Foley before Sunday’s Super Rugby season opener between the Waratahs and Force. Cheika pursued Foley for the job during the end-of-year tour last season, with Foley declining the offer due to commitments with the Force.
The Waratahs coach once again emphasised that he was able to divide his national and Super Rugby duties, stating that the meeting would not disrupt his side’s preparations. “I’m able to have that discussion, but at the same time focus 100 per cent on the team,” he said.
Burke talks down Rebels
Former Wallaby Matt Burke has dismissed the Rebels’ chances during this season, characterising the Melbourne franchise as once again making up the numbers. “I just don’t think they have got anything,” Burke said. “They have got some players that can actually add to the game but it is the consistency in among the group that is not there.
The problem for the team, according to Burke, surrounded the issue of recruitment, with the environment of Melbourne rugby union not condusive to holding onto quality players.
Genia praises refreshed Reds
Reds halfback Will Genia has said that the complete rebuilding of the team will pay dividends during this year, praising the introduction of a number of new faces as well as significantly changed playing patterns.
“The biggest thing is the fresh energy and enthusiasm, because we’ve changed the way we want to play and our whole calling structure,” Genia said. The former Wallaby also praised the effect of new talent Karmichael Hunt, James O’Connor and Adam Thomson.
McCaw and Carter back
All Black legends Dan Carter and Richie McCaw will both be in the starting XV when the Crusaders open the 2015 Super Rugby season against the Rebels in Christchurch on Friday.
Despite playing no part in the trial matches and with many pundits expecting McCaw to ease his way into the side off the bench, he will instead start at blindside flanker, with Matt Todd leading side from openside. Dan Carter has been preferred at first five-eighth with Tom Taylor to play at inside center.