RUCK & MAUL
Kane Douglas ... one of several new faces in the Wallabies' squad. Photo: Getty Images
The Wallabies have certainly discovered this season whether there is actually any depth in Australian rugby. In a season in which the Test team has been decimated by injury, the Wallabies have, in the course of eight internationals, been forced to select 36 different players. That includes 10 new caps, with the latest being Waratahs second-rower Kane Douglas. The other newcomers have been Luke Morahan, Joe Tomane, Mike Harris, Dan Palmer, Michael Hooper, Liam Gill, Cooper Vuna, Dave Dennis and Dom Shipperley. What is most disconcerting is the long list of unavailable players through injury. At the moment, 27 prospective Test players cannot be picked. You can even select a reasonable Wallabies unavailable line-up. From fullback: Lachie Turner, Drew Mitchell, Rob Horne, Christian Lealiifano, Tomane, James O'Connor, Will Genia, Wycliff Palu, David Pocock, Ben McCalman, James Horwill, Sitaleki Timani, Palmer or Salesi Ma'afu, Stephen Moore, Sekope Kepu.
Tahs interview gripe
As Michael Cheika prepares to be fitted for a Waratahs head coach's tracksuit, there have been rumblings among those candidates who have missed out. One aspiring coach still hoping for an assistant coaching gig at Moore Park has told his mates that the Waratahs interview process was ''a farce''. He was also amazed that one high-ranking Waratahs official was not allowed to question him during the interview.
Beer with a kick
A long-time Wallabies fan called in to say he and his friends have been involved in a drinking game in which each time an Australian player kicks a grubber, they have a beer. They have no recollection of the second half of any recent Australian Test.
Kane's curve ball
On the day Kane Douglas discovered he was the latest new Wallaby, he found out that you have to be prepared for anything at media conferences. One of the visiting Argentine media corp threw Douglas a real curve ball when he asked: ''Who do you think will win the Test match - Argentina or Australia?" Douglas naturally looked stunned, asking back: ''Who do I think is going to win?'' ''Yes,'' the visiting media man nodded. With Wallabies coach Robbie Deans standing nearby, Douglas blocked it away by saying: ''We know it's going to be tough, but we know we can do it.'' And a bit of trivia about one of his Wallabies forward teammates. South Australia is not exactly a rugby hotbed, but it can at least boast that the Wallabies back-up flanker Liam Gill played his first game of rah-rah in Adelaide.
Stretches and drills
The Wallabies have been hard at it during their week of training at the Southport School. Also hard at it were two locals who briefly stopped Wallabies training on Tuesday. Several players noticed that a car parked on a street nearby had begun to shake, rattle and roll. On inspection, they discovered a couple involved in some old-fashioned humpy magumpy. For those innocent Wallabies unsure of what was going on, confirmation came when the male occupant of the car opened the door to pull up his pants.
Sticky night ahead
It could be a tense Australian Rugby Union delegates' box at the Gold Coast Test tomorrow night, especially with several board members being caught out trying to undermine the chief executive, John O'Neill. At least two have been voicing their concerns about the ARU's direction, but it still appears most of the board supports O'Neill. An aspiring director has also been accused of interfering in the Waratahs coaching appointment process, which has deeply upset one of those involved in finding Michael Foley's successor.
■ Strong mail that the first match of next year's Super Rugby competition will be between the Reds and the Brumbies.
■ You can't stop Radio. This notorious provincial official who can't keep his mouth shut has upset players by leaking, via his mate The Wizard on social media, that an ironwoman and a star rugby performer have again become very pally. Now Radio's biggest defender has gone AWOL. He won't even return the provincial coach's calls.
■The thirst of a high-ranking official for Bloody Mary after Bloody Mary on the morning of the Perth Test astounded onlookers.