Tuesday’s rugby news has Link resting star Wallabies, the Bulls with a clean bill of health, a new director of NSWRU and some international signings.
Link may rest superstars
A number of senior Wallabies may be rested for the opening stages of the Rugby Championship as Ewen Mckenzie will be placing a big selection emphasis on match fitness, rather than selecting underdone players hampered by niggling injuries. ‘You have to pick players who are fit and raring to go,’ McKenzie said. ‘By doing that you create depth, you create competition, you create trust.’
Key players who may enter a period of rehab include Captain James Horwill, Will Genia and Wycliff Palu. With David Pocock, Scott Higginbotham, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sitaleki Timani all sidelined by long-term injuries, this policy could result in a number of new additions to the Wallaby squad.
What do you think of McKenzie’s selection policy? And which new faces do you want to see in the Wallabies Rugby Championship squad? Let us know in the comments below.
Bulls at full strength
Bulls team doctor Org Strauss has confirmed that coach Frans Ludeke will be able to pick a full-strength team, bar a couple of long-term injuries, for their match against the Brumbies on Saturday. The likes of Jan Serfontein, Flip van der Merwe and Francois Hougaard have all been cleared to play, leaving captain Dewald Potgieter (flu) as the only bystander at training on Monday.
This news adds to the Brumbies’ already daunting Semi-final task. Assisted by a notoriously hostile Loftus Versfeld stadium crowd, the Bulls have won 22 out of 24 of their home games against trans-Tasman teams over the past five years and have not lost to the Brumbies at Loftus since 2006.
New Director of NSWRU
Former State Liberal Party Leader Kerry Chikarovski has been appointed to the Board of New South Wales Rugby Union. Chikarovski holds experience as chair of the NSW Women’s Rugby Union and has established a successful government relations business since her retirement from politics in 2003.
‘She brings a wide range of skills and energy to our board and I believe her appointment will greatly benefit NSW Rugby Union,’ said NSWRU Chairman Nick Farr-Jones. Although Micheal Cheika might be nervous about having a politician on the Board, as long as there are no losses in Argentina there will be no need for a leadership challenge.
International news corner
Springbok World Cup winner and former world player of the year Bryan Habana is set to finalise his two-year contract with European champions Toulon on Tuesday, the club revealed yesterday.
Irish province Munster has confirmed the signing of South African winger Gerhard van den Heever from the Stormers on a two-year deal.
Sam Warburton’s hamstring injury suffered during the second British and Irish Lions Test against Australia has been found to be a grade three tear, requiring the Welsh captain to miss around four months of rugby.