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Get well soon, fellas: Wallabies have an entire Test team in the infirmary

RUCK & MAUL

Kane Douglas ... one of several new faces in the Wallabies' squad.

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.

Rumours

■ 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.

14 comments so far

  • The massive injury list being suffered by the Wallabies begs the question of what is the quality of their conditioning training. Ankles, knees etc can sometimes just be down to bad luck but the number of hamstring injuries to our players appears to be disproportionate compared to other teams. Is this a reflection of the management of their conditioning. I am asking, not necessarily critisising.

    Commenter
    Gottalarf
    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 2:14PM
    • May just simply be that the players are asked to stretch out properly and if there is a weakness in the Hammie, or the player for one reason or other has cooled slightly a tear can result. Dont forget they have a long season, many of the backs would be doing sprint training and weights and often as muscles build up sometimes there is a slightly better development in one leg or area and this can lead to problems. And once blown there is always a little bit of scare tissue residue and that can catch at strange times leading to unravelling. Yep the old snap bubble and pop in the back of the leg, not pleasant and certainly hurts. The other problem that can evolve is also lower baclk probles, via the sciatic nerve , this gives the feeling of a blown hammie but not necessarily true. The only problem here is that it takes time to rectify the problem, takes time to recognise its not muscular but nerve , but try stretching out, it aint fun

      Commenter
      Lindsay
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 3:37PM
    • Gottalarf must agree - conditioning has been off since World Cup time. @Lindsay - don't be so apologetic.

      Hamstring injuries during RWC were appalling - backs and forwards alike - so it MUST be a conditioning issue. They should not be doing the same training so there is obviously an over-emphasis on something that is creating a biomechanical overload. Then the issue of reovery - the old thing for hammies is miss 2 games and if any doubt miss a 3rd. Beale missed one and back in and then re-injured. Awful management (I am a physio by the way, with an AFL training background).

      As for the underlying low back issues - that is 1990s stuff. It is bread and butter and there is no excuse for missing it these days with MRI. A player comes off in the AFL with s suspect hammy and they have an MRI to confirm and grade the tear. If its spasm due to sciatica or disc issues it is a slower road, but is no excuse.

      They are obviously training a lot but whether the program is appropriate is the question. A long season is a cop out - they play S15 and then go to camp for internationals. AFL plays a pre-season then 22 rounds then finals. NRL plays 26 rounds then finals. They are lucky to get a month off training total, so lack of condition and poor management of training loads relative to the requirements of the game (sprint/recover resilience) is an obvious thing. Fixing it is harder, but the kiwis don't seem to have the problem (cannot blame travel etc).............

      Commenter
      Muckabout
      Location
      Port Stephens
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 7:38PM
  • I actually reckon that "Unavailable Wallabies First XV" would roll the available Wallabies easily.

    Commenter
    The Claw
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 3:13PM
    • Don't know about "easily" but it would certainly be a good match.

      Commenter
      M
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 3:34PM
    • It would be a game similar to the old style of All Black selection of Possibles vs Probables

      Commenter
      Bullitt
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 7:57PM
  • Funny how we have a team of stars on the get well list and somehow thats Robbie Dean's fault. I would like to see how many former Australian Coaches could perform given the massive injury list. If you took Woodcock, McCaw, Carter, Reid, Mealamu, Smith, Nonu , Jane and Dagg out of the NZ side, or M Steyne, Hoogard, Beast, Kirshner out of the SA side bet they would not be performing too well.
    Lets stop rubbishing DEans and get behind the guy, he has and is doing a great job especially he now has 2 hands tied behind his back.

    Commenter
    Lindsay
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 14, 2012, 3:31PM
    • I actually agree, but your statement got me thinking about NZ's back ups

      Woodcock - Franks
      McCaw - Cane / Todd
      Carter - Cruden - Barrett - Taylor
      Reid - Thomson
      Mealamu - Hore
      Smith / Nonu - Fruean
      Jane - Gear - Guildford - Savea
      Dagg - Robinson

      Doesn't look anywhere near as bad as the poor old Wallabies

      Commenter
      piru
      Location
      Perth via Rakaia (via 2 pints)
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 5:05PM
    • Wow even the all blacks 2nd 3rd string still looks world class. Says a lot about the lack of depth in Australian rugby.

      Commenter
      kw
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 14, 2012, 7:29PM
    • @ piru ( 2 cans)
      Is your theory based on the 'fact' that NZ have far greater depth in the player pool department ??

      Commenter
      Machooka
      Location
      inner west sydney
      Date and time
      September 15, 2012, 11:07AM

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