Rugby

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s rugby news has Cheika discussing the RWC captaincy, overseas stars available for the Rugby Championship, Skelton returning and disciplinary concerns for England. 


Cheika narrows captaincy field

The real deal, local artist Michael Cheika displays his work

With the International season looming, Australia head coach Michael Cheika has seemingly already decided on his Wallaby captain. Cheika made it clear at the launch of the new Australian World Cup jersey that the two contenders for the captain role are Michael Hooper and Stephen Moore.

“We will pick a captain who will go the distance… [there is] no point chopping and changing,” Cheika said. The Australian coach also said he would name the captain before the Wallabies take on South Africa in the opening match of the Rugby Championship on July 18.

Overseas stars available

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Overseas-based stars Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell and George Smith have all declared their availability for the Wallabies’ Rugby Championship opener. Cheika said he had already spoken to the trio, who became eligible under new, relaxed ARU rules.

“They’ve all shown their interest in playing, so it all comes down to the selection table like everyone else,” Cheika said. The Wallabies will have a squad of around 45 picked at the conclusion of the Super Rugby season this weekend which will then be reduced to 35 for the opening two Tests of the Championship.

Skelton back from suspension

will skelton

Wallabies lock Will Skelton will return for Saturday’s final round Super Rugby home match against the Reds after an unsuccessful appeal against a two-week ban for a tip tackle kept him out of both the Waratahs’ South African games.

While Skelton said that he had spent some of his time off the field working on his tacking technique, he and Waratahs assistant coach Daryl Gibson emphasised that there was no thought of tempering the lock’s intensity. “We want our players to play tough and part of this is being physical,” Gibson said.

England deny discipline concerns

Chris Ashton - still annoying

RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie insists England have no concerns over player discipline, despite losing three possible contributors to their World Cup campaign recently through on and off-field misbehaviour. “I don’t think there’s an underlying problem,” said Ritchie. “I know all of the players in the squad recognise their responsibilities”

Powerful centre Manu Tuilagi was ruled out after being convicted of assaulting a taxi driver and two female police officers, hooker Dylan Hartley was dropped for head-butting an opponent, while flyhalf Danny Cipriani has been arrested on suspicion of drunk-driving.

 

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