Tuesday’s Rugby News Looks at the All Blacks squad, what colour is gold, more recruits for the Force and, a good news story from the Bond Bull Sharks.
No Ardie Savea for Bledisloe 3
Perhaps a little respite for the Wallabies with news that All Blacks #8 Ardie Savea has stayed in NZ after the birth of his second child, a boy, a few days ago. I think it’s a special time in a fathers life and he should take all the time he needs, it’s only fair.
“Ardie’s baby boy has arrived, so he’ll be joining us late this week,” said Foster, who expected the back-rower to be back for the next Test in Brisbane on November 7.
Savea has been ultra-physical in the opening two Tests of the series and his defensive work at the breakdown led to a number of crucial penalties that got the side out of jail on their own line.
Blues #8 Hoskins Sotutu, seems to be the logical replacement for Savea after coming off the bench in the 16 all draw and in their 27-7 win last game.
Meanwhile, the Wallabies have made a couple of changes to their squad by bringing in back-rower Isi Naisarani and Brumbies hooker Connal McInerney. Waratahs hooker Tom Horton drops out of the squad – team officials say he is not injured – while Naisarani is an addition.
That Yellow Jersey
The Wallabies jersey has been a lot of colours over the years and not all of them have been gold as pointed out by both Quade Cooper and Dave Rennie. And frankly, it’s not a great thing. When you see the emerald green of Ireland or the jet black of New Zealand you immediately no what country is playing, Australia’s jersey not so much.
But according to a Wayne Smith article in the Oz today that’s all going to change with Wallaby Gold to become a set colour with no exceptions. My only question is why did it take so long?
There aren’t too many advantages to being chairman of Rugby Australia these days. Mostly it has been a challenge for all who have filled it in recent years and almost invariably the chairmen leave office feeling bloodied and bruised. It has been pretty much all downside since Hamish McLennan took over the role, negotiating with unruly SANZAAR partners, dealing with the unpredictable on a daily basis and trying to rationalise RA’s finances and future. Still, the one small advantage is that he gets to address the things that really irk him and right now he has turned his attention to the Wallabies jersey.
His explanation of why Australia has chopped and changed colours on the jersey is as good as anyone’s. “Perhaps it is symptomatic of our inconsistent approach on a range of levels,” he ventured. “But I’m looking to tap into our heritage and not change it.
“You wouldn’t change the Coca-Cola red or Tiffany blue and when you see it, you instantly recognise it. The same with the baggy green. So we are going to gather together a group of esteemed Wallabies and coaches and will lay out a process and vote on the jersey colour and then not change it. The Wallaby jersey is premium and unique in Australian sport and the Wallaby gold will be cast in stone.”
My vote is for #f0c44d
Western Force spending spree
While the other Australian Super Rugby are watching their pennies and hoping the pounds will look after themselves the Western force is spending like there is no tomorrow and putting together a group that could challenge the eastcoast elitist for top spot.
On Saturday they announced Argentinian international prop Santiago Medrano is set to join former Wallaby props Greg Holmes and Tom Robinson in the West. And rumour has it they are about to announce the signing of Argentinian flyhalf Santiago Iglesias bringing their South American international contingent to four.
Medrano made both his Super Rugby debut for the Jaguares and his first international appearance two years ago. He has 18 caps for Argentina and played 30 Super matches.
On the same day they announce that former Fiji head coach John McKee was replacing Van Humphries as forward coach for next season. Apparently Van was off to roll some *^$# next Saturday.
McKee was coach of Fiji from 2014-2019, leading the nation in two World Cups.
Before his stint with Fiji, McKee spent time with French Top 14 outfit AS Montferrand, Irish PRO14 team Connacht, and Australian domestic side Central Coast Rays, which he led to their inaugural NRC title in 2007.
“It was fantastic to see the Force in Super Rugby AU this year. The style of rugby they played throughout the competition showed how much potential there is within the group,” McKee said.
“Tim Sampson’s done a fantastic job here developing the team over the past few years and has created a strong club culture with a balanced mix of national and international experience, as well as some great young talent coming through the ranks.”
Devon Henson’s amazing recovery
Look this story actually came out in the lead up to Bond’s major semi final match against Easts on Saturday. While the big story out of the game was 35 year old Former Wallabies captain Ben Mowan’s last chance to win a club competition this story felt more like what rugby is really about.
Devon Henson was a young up and coming South African rugby player when a chance knock while playing for his school in Capetown changed his life.
“I was tackling someone and his head came up and cracked me on the jaw,” Henson said.
“I felt it as a bit of a head knock but carried on, scored a try and finished the game.
“It was only after the game that my left hand started going numb and then my left arm, tongue and left side too.” He collapsed.
“I sustained a Carotid Artery Dissection (CAD) which is like having a stroke,”
Henson said of a tear to the wall of the artery and a narrowing of the vessel.
“My doctor told me, if I was his son, I’d never get on the field again but it was up to me.”
Henson got on with his life, studied, Found a nice girl and ended up on the Goldy working in the fitness industry when another check up found something amazing.
“More scans and tests showed my blood flow at 100 per cent and my body had fully repaired from the stroke which the doctor said was a bit freakish,” Henson said.
So rugby was back on the table! He turned out for the thirds and slowly worked his way up to packing in the row with Angus Blyth for Bond in the Hospital Cup.
Check out his full story here!