Tuesday’s rugby news has the 2016 Rugby Championship schedule released, Michael Cheika supporting Quade Cooper, marquee players announced for NRC and Toulon sign Sireli Bobo.
Wallabies Release Schedule
The ARU have announced the schedule for the home games of The Rugby Championship next year.
In 2016 the Wallabies will play the All Blacks in Sydney, the Springboks in Brisbane and then the Puma’s in Perth.
nib Stadium will also host the Wallabies match against South Africa in the 2017 Rugby Championship.
“nib Stadium is a wonderful venue for Rugby and certainly delivers a fantastic atmosphere when the ‘Sea of Blue’ fill the stands for Western Force matches,” said ARU CEO Bill Pulver.
“We want that sea of blue to turn gold on September 17 when the Qantas Wallabies host the Pumas from Argentina next year, and again when we welcome the Springboks back to Perth in 2017.
“Our fans deserve the best possible experience when they come to a Test match and a move to a rectangular venue which is fan-friendly and purpose-built for Rugby is a great outcome for fans.
Cheika Backs Cooper
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has back Quade Cooper after he insisted he had no issue with the Wallabies following his controversial tweet in Mendoza.
Cooper has now tweeted an apology on twitter for his offensive language.
“As footballers, we’re still human beings. We’ve got feelings. I bit back at a bit of criticism and I used some language that probably shouldn’t have been used. There was some online criticism directed at me personally. I’m disappointed in that but I’m human, I’ve got feelings. That’s it,” Cooper told reporters.
“I’ve never been one to read into media but this one time it caught my eye. I’m disappointed in myself for getting trapped in that. At the end of the day, it got to me this one time. I’m disappointed in the language I used more than anything.”
“We’ve had two very good victories and I was very proud of that. That’s where you have to understand, this team is doing some great things. We’ve got a great culture, we’re building as a team, we’ve got some great people,” Cooper said.
“I think that’s where it got me. It’s disappointing that people on the outside are still having a crack at us. This team means so much to me that when people on the outside are throwing stones, it kind of got to me. I shouldn’t let that happen but it just shows the passion for this team.”
Cheika acknowledged that Cooper’s tweet was a “mistake”.
“It’s all about discipline and we’re all trying to improve that on and off the field,” he said.
“People have a right to have an opinion but it’s about having the discipline to deal with it … People make mistakes … I’ve certainly made a few in my time and that’s all it is.”
Marquee Players for NRC
The ARU have announced which Wallabies will be aligned with which NRC teams in the lead up to this year’s NRC.
Players recognised as Qantas Wallabies for the 2015 NRC are those that were part of the 2014 Spring Tour plus Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau and David Pocock who missed the tour with injuries.
New South Wales Waratahs duo Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley will be aligned with the Sydney Stars, while powerhouse Sean McMahon headlines Melbourne Rising’s Wallabies.
Brumbies trio Henry Speight, Christian Lealiifano and Joe Tomane will be affiliated to the UC Vikings whilst Sam Carter and Matt Toomua will represent NSW Country Eagles. James Horwill, Quade Cooper and Will Genia will be aligned with 2014 Champions Brisbane City and Tetera Faulkner and Kyle Godwin will be playing for Perth Spirit.
Click HERE for the full list of marquee players.
Toulon Sign Bobo
French club Toulon have signed 39 year old veteran Fijian wing Sireli Bobo as Rugby World Cup cover.
Bobo spent the last season with La Rochelle who finished ninth in the Top 14.
Toulon are expecting to be without both Bryan Habana and Drew Mitchell for the World Cup, making Bobo a useful addition out wide.
The former Biarritz and Racing 92 speedster will be asked to provide cover alongside compatriot Josua Tuisova and World Cup joker Julien Caminati.
Bobo has made 16 appearances for Fiji since making his debut in 2004.