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Big deal for Pocock as Rebels try again

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Greg Growden

RUCK & MAUL

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The Breakdown: fantastic week of rugby

The Waratahs have made some odd player selections this week, but they still look set to beat the Brumbies.

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The Rebels are back in the running for Wallabies star David Pocock. Our ever reliable Melbourne snouts have told R&M the Rebels are about to throw a ''massive offer'' at Pocock in the hope he can solve their back-row problems. The Brumbies are also chasing and hope Pocock will make Canberra his home. But the Rebels offer will be tempting. Remember, Pocock's close friend James O'Connor is at the Rebels. On the Force coaching front, Michael Cheika remains favourite. Several other candidates are being told ''thanks for your interest, but …'' and that the preferred candidate has until July 15 to accept. Also, the Perth push to have several Waratahs involved next year, including manager Chris Webb and coach Michael Foley, led one of the Force's leading officials to ask for a ''please explain'' from a higher-up. Then again, this bobbing and weaving Force official is the master of denial.

Blast from the past

The best rugby video of the year? Maaaate. Easy. Former Wallaby coach Eddie Jones's sensational spray after the recent Japan-French Barbarians match. Jones, now coaching the Japanese team, is in fine form, ripping into his team after the loss then turning on one of his players, who was sat beside him at the press conference. The player soon discovers the mistake of smirking. It reminds us how much we miss Fast Eddie and his always eventful, always informative media gatherings. Magic stuff, and never boring.

But wait there's more.

Hart murmurs

The Waratahs' selection of Grayson Hart at halfback tomorrow night was a brave one, especially as he will be combining with a rookie No.10, Bernard Foley. Our snouts tell us not everyone in the playing group is excited by this latest change. Some are astounded, and several believe it is ''desperation time''. This came after several players were offered reduced contracts for next season. The Waratahs are not a happy family. There is bound to be another Moore Park eruption.

Jitters for Mitchell

Waratahs winger Drew Mitchell has revealed the dramas of playing football in an interview in tomorrow night's match program. Mitchell gets prematch nerves and said the last meal he has before a game ''is more about putting something in so I can then have something to bring back up in the sheds. It's very rare that I wouldn't get sick before a game. If I'm not ill in the dressing room, then there's a pretty good chance it will happen out on the field.''

Lealiifano leads

Christian Lealiifano hasn't played for weeks but, somehow, he is still leading the Australian Super Rugby player of the year competition. With two rounds left, Lealiifano is on 17 points with David Pocock. Scott Higginbotham, Kurtley Beale and Will Genia follow on 15, then Liam Gill on 13. The top Waratah is Wycliff Palu on 12.

Samoan sledge

The best sledge of the week goes to Samoa's Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, and his attack on referees after his country's international against Scotland at Apia Park last month. Tuilaepa went on radio to claim the officials had an attitude of racial discrimination. ''They think they know everything and then they send idiots to officiate an important game,'' he said. The PM also wants a clock installed at the ground. ''If the siren sounds and the referee continues the match unnecessarily, then a rock hitting his head would be justified.'' Cuckoo. Cuckoo.

Rumours

■ The Australian province serial-offending official known as ''Radio'' has done it again. Now he's texted private photographs of a player to another. The dressing room is furious and want him gone.

■ A high-ranking Waratahs official is to be headhunted as a spruiker for Fantastic Furniture after he recently explained over and over again in an interview that everything at NSW was ''fantastic''.

■ One Sydney club is unimpressed that numerous invited Waratahs dignitaries did not turn up to one of their functions. One pathetic excuse from a Waratahs heavy was: ''Bye round … need the break.''

14 comments so far

  • Eddie Jones needs to make up his mind if he is blaming himself or the players. It seems he's not sure. He's done a Ricky Stewart. I would say not helpful.

    Commenter
    backrow
    Date and time
    July 06, 2012, 11:11AM
    • Who's Ricky Stewart????????

      Commenter
      Muzzo
      Location
      Orange
      Date and time
      July 08, 2012, 12:51PM
  • "The Rebels are back in the running for Wallabies star David Pocock."

    So the rape of the Western Force continues. How rugby is expected to develop in WA is beyond me. The Force are just a training ground for the Eastern States franchises to plunder and loot at will.

    Commenter
    GWS
    Location
    Hong Kong
    Date and time
    July 06, 2012, 11:55AM
    • Rape of the Western Force? I seem to remember all the eastern states getting raped by the Force when they first started. Seems they havent been doing too well over there as a team so why wouldnt the players be looking elsewhere to teams with more promise?
      I'd love to see the Force doing well in the comp and be able to retain their players, but sadly it's not the case.

      Commenter
      Xand
      Date and time
      July 06, 2012, 1:48PM
      • I agree the Force raped the Reds after 2005 they deserve to be in th whole they are. If they came good with the money promised to Giteau with or without the Third party maybe they wouldnt be in this position. Bye the way If I was Pocock going under the tutorlidge of Jake White is a no brainer forget the Rebels because they a looking like a bunch of overpaid Nancy Boys with sharp haircuts

        Commenter
        Johnr62
        Location
        Brisbane
        Date and time
        July 06, 2012, 3:04PM
      • You cannot set up a franchise from thin air?

        The poaching state by state in Australian Super Rugby does nothing for the overall health and growth of rugby in Australia. The NFL and AFL drafts show the path Super Rugby should be taking.

        Commenter
        GWS
        Location
        Hong Kong
        Date and time
        July 06, 2012, 3:53PM
    • I would say Fast Eddie is just playing the game, typical of Japan culture for the Boss to offer to fall on his sword and resign, taking the blame. Not for one moment do I think he blamed himself very much with all that steam coming out of his ears. . think he was trying to suggest that inate Japanese politeness to opponents doesn't work on the rugby pitch!

      GWS, as a Reds man I well remember how the Force started...by signing some of the best players from the Reds and the Qld Rugby system in the first few years; Sharpe, Ioane, Mitchell, Pelesasa, Vedelago, McIsaac, Pocock, Brown, O'Connor etc. The Force will always have a problem with no home grown players in the foreseeable future but they are part of the free market that is now professional rugby with no loyalty except to the dollar.

      Commenter
      rugbyforever
      Location
      Hong Kong
      Date and time
      July 06, 2012, 2:23PM
      • The NFL and AFL overcome similar problems with a draft. SANZAR needs to look at something similar.

        Commenter
        GWS
        Location
        Hong Kong
        Date and time
        July 06, 2012, 3:56PM
    • I know this may be naive, but maybe it is time for the ARU to step in and try and create further incentives for Force players to stay in Perth.

      Australian rugby is not strong enough to field 5 competitive Super 15 teams, but if the right decisions and investments are made now, then it is very possible that the force will be able to retain players on their own merit in the future.

      Commenter
      Mike
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      July 06, 2012, 2:38PM
      • Lealiifano still leading the 'best player award' in Aussie S15 just illustrates what amazing form he was in prior to that shocking injury.
        Simply tragic for him and all of us!

        Commenter
        Machooka
        Location
        inner west sydney
        Date and time
        July 06, 2012, 2:43PM

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