Date: July 29 2012
If Michael Foley, recently offered a three-year deal to coach the Western Force, does stay at the Waratahs he will need the diplomacy skills of Henry Kissinger to win back the faith of several key players. Sunday Maul has been told four senior Waratahs - including two Wallabies - have made it known that Foley has ''lost the dressing room''. As anyone involved in professional sport knows, if the head coach has lost the dressing room, he is doomed, especially if there is a threat of a player revolt. Some players, after eight straight losses, want Foley to properly commit himself to the Waratahs or move on. Two senior forwards are again pushing for Michael Cheika to take over as Waratahs coach. And don't expect their 2012 star signing, South African halfback Sarel Pretorius, to be sighted in the Waratahs jersey next season. Meanwhile, some Force players are wondering if their province will ever appoint a coach, blaming official bungling for the long, tedious delay.
TAHS AND FEATHERED
Numerous influential Sydney rugby identities have joined forces to demand change at the Waratahs. A meeting will be held this week where reform plans will be formulated. Underperforming Waratahs directors are being targeted. Some in Waratahland are so disenchanted they are considering boycotting the forthcoming player awards function.
BY THE BOOK
There's not much love in South Africa for former Springboks coach Peter de Villiers. His autobiography has irritated many. SA Rugby magazine was unimpressed De Villiers claimed the 2012 World Cup quarter-final against Australia was ''fixed''. The magazine commented: ''True to P Divvy protocol, he then contradicts this statement and covers himself legally with the offering: 'I cannot say if there was match-fixing without facts to prove it'.'' If you can't prove it, why make the allegation? And the day the public needs De Villiers to do their thinking for them is the day the fictional world of Idiocracy becomes reality.''
RUMOURS OF THE WEEKEND
❏ Name the high-ranking, but clearly out of touch, Waratahs official who a few days ago asked: ''Who's Todd Louden?'' This is despite the former Waratahs assistant coach for a time being a strong chance of snaring a spot back at Moore Park, before a deeply embarrassing U-turn.
❏ Major drama at the Australian province that employs the serial-offending official known as ''radio'' because of his big mouth. The players want him out, but the CEO has told them to back off. They then told the CEO in the most direct language where he should go. The players are also requesting that at the next board meeting a very high-profile figure sever all ties with the province.
❏ The father of a promising Brumbies forward was sighted in deep conversation with a Waratahs heavy at North Sydney pool a few days ago. A provincial move might be afoot.
❏ Did club rugby identity Bob Wilson really damage his AC joint, bruise his ribs and shoulder blade by slipping over while walking his dog Dodger during the week?
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