…of a Cadillac
Number one with a bullet, I’m a power pack
My bail conditions backing-off to allow use of the internet couldn’t have come at a better time for the first Wednesday’s Rugby News of 2024:
Jed Holloway opens up about Eddie Jones’ Wallabies
RugbyPass reports on Jed Holloway’s thoughts on the Eddie Jones stint.
Holloway was a Wallabies regular under former coach Dave Rennie. The New South Welshman (but good bloke, notwithstanding) debuted against the Pumas in 2022 and started at either blindside flanker or lock in all but one of the remaining 10 Tests that year. Holloway, now 31, played at least 70 minutes in seven of the 10 Tests
he played in in which he played.
Jed Holloway has opened up about the Wallabies’ environment in 2023 and what he thought of coach Jones reportedly interviewing with Japan before the Rugby World Cup.
“To be honest I don’t think anyone felt settled in just where you lie, especially the older boys, because he was very eager to bring through the young guys,” Holloway told RugbyPass.
“It started to become very evident I think after that South Africa Test over there where he saw they (the Wallabies) needed to go in another direction. Then (Michael) Hoops getting injured, then we lose against the Pumas, and then in the Melbourne Test.”
“He thought the was doing the right thing for Australian rugby.”
“It sucks, don’t get me wrong, because as a player you’ve sacrificed so much to try and be there and be in a World Cup – let’s be real about it, it was my last opportunity to do it. So yeah, I was gutted.”
“I’ve heard the boys say it and it’s true, no one worked harder than Eddie. He was up at all hours of the night messaging and he wanted to get the best out of his players.”
Jones’ second-stint with the Wallabies began against defending world champions South Africa in Pretoria. South Africa went on to win The Rugby Championship clash by an emphatic 43-12 margin which promoted the change Holloway spoke about above.
Generation-next was thrown into the deep end but it couldn’t save the Wallabies from a series of defeats to Argentina, and New Zealand before the Rugby World Cup squad was named on 10 August.
“There was definitely conversations amongst older boys and just around those Test matches, around the direction he was going in and some of the conversations he did have, and they’d filter back through it,” Holloway added when asked about what the senior players said amongst themselves.
“Just reminiscing now, it’s kind of hard to put words on the emotions or feeling. It was a strange sort of thing because after that New Zealand Test, we came in and trained for two days and then we found out at the nighttime that we weren’t getting picked (for the World Cup)”.
“You never felt comfortable. I kind of had a feeling it was coming. I think a couple of other boys, Quade’s talked about him sensing it was coming as well.”
“It’s hard to put words on. You always want to go outside yourself to try, in my area lineouts and stuff like that, to try and get a feeling from other coaches and stuff like that where we stood. He kept it all pretty close to his chest.”
“You could definitely get the urge that something was coming and then it (non-selection) kind of got dropped on us at once.”
With a World Cup campaign already under pressure, hours before the Wallabies’ clash with the Welsh, The Sydney Morning Herald reported that coach Jones had interviewed for the soon-to-be-vacant Japan head coach role before the World Cup.
“I was pissed off, to be honest with you,” Holloway explained.
“Whenever you performed badly they questioned your commitment and the coaches sometimes do that, review what you do as a player leading up to it.”
“For a significant milestone which is the World Cup, which I think it’s in every rugby players thing as the main thing circled that they want to be a part of, to hear the person leading your team is having interviews with people… ended a lot of international careers. It sucked. It sucked.”
“It takes a special kind of person to do that. (That’s the) best I can put it.”
…the nominees are…
Nathan Williamson reports that Rugby Australia has confirmed the nominees for the major award winners ahead of Wednesday’s (today’s) RA Awards in
some sh!thole Sydney.
Wallabies Angus Bell, Marika Koroibete, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Will Skelton and Rob Valetini are the nominees for the John Eales Medal.
“For whom the Bell tolls” (time marches on) would become the first prop to win the award after a dominant World Cup campaign. Koroibete is in the running for his third Medal.
Emily Chancellor, Georgina Friedrichs, Eva Karpani, Ash Marsters and Maya Stewart are the five nominated for the Wallaroos Player of the Year.
The Wallaroos excelled in 2023, headlined by a maiden win over France along with victories over Wales, Fijiana and the USA. On the other hand, in 2023 the Wallabies [REDACTED BY GAGR MANAGEMENT].
Charlotte Caslick, Alysia Lefau-Fakaosilea and Maddison Levi are the women’s nominees for the Shaun McKay Medal.
Levi was nominated for World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, having broken the record for most tries in a World Series, with Caslick and Lefau-Fakaosilea equally as influential in their title wins in Dubai and Cape Town.
Nathan Lawson, Henry Paterson and Dietrich Roache have been nominated for the Men’s Shaun McKay Award.
Rassie injures self
Rugby365 reports that South Africa’s universally loved Director of Rugby, Rassie Erasmus, has shared graphic images of the injuries he sustained in a “freak accident” last month. Click the article link if you’re the type of weirdo who is into that sort of thing. GAGR website cookies are compiling a list of those who do. Just saying.
On 27 January 2024, SA Rugby issued a statement saying that Erasmus was recovering in hospital “following a medical procedure for chemical burns”.
He suffered the burns after using a “powerful detergent”.
SA Rugby allayed fears by saying that the Bok boss was in good health and that he would resume his duties “within weeks”.
Referees will just have to rely on feedback from amateur critics until then. Queenslanders are once-again expected to do the heavy lifting.
Armour developed to minimise women’s sporting injuries
ABC News reports that Brisbane-based company Fempro Armour has developed equipment to protect women playing contact sports, lessening the impact to breasts, shoulders and ribs. Bond University players will test out the new armour in a three-stage clinical trial.
The prototype armour is the brainchild of Fempro Armour head, Stefanie Bofinger, who wants to ensure women have the best protection while playing hard-hitting sports.
“There’s nothing’s worse than when you’re playing in your early 20s and then, 20 to 30 years down the line, your body is paying for it because it had all these injuries” Bofinger said.
“We want to get those girls that are playing professionally now, even socially, to be as safe as possible.”
“Women still have to wear protective gear that is designed for the male shape and, as we know, we have different needs than a male has — but we still have to put up with wearing protective gear that is made for [men].“
“Manufacturers these days do recognise that women are playing more sport, especially contact sport … so they’re taking what is out on the market, shrinking it and then they’re classing that as a ‘female version’.”
There are two different types of armour which will be available for athletes playing contact sports – one which protects just the chest and the ribs, and then a more advanced model which also includes shoulder protection.
Bofinger said “We will produce an undergarment, which will be similar to a sports bra in essence, however it will have internal pockets where the armour will sit in, so the undergarment will be quite snug and then [players] wear their traditional jersey on top of it.”
Bofinger explained that the prototype works like an airbag, absorbing energy and using viscoelastic memory foam to push the impact back away from the player.
“So it will not create a 100 per cent impact point, but the air molecules in our product will absorb the energy and then push it back out … So that way it will minimise the energy force going into the body, which then also minimises injuries.”
The plan is to give the Bond University players first access to the product, before it will eventually be distributed across Australia and the world in department and sporting stores. The final product is expected to be released in July.
Once the product is ready and available to be used by players, Bond University plans to team up with Bofinger to run a clinical trial where they will gather data in the hope of setting a new standard at World Rugby.
The trial will be run over three periods – short, medium and long-term — to compare impact data from injuries over time.