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Tahs officials make farce first stop on itinerary

Date

Greg Growden

The final days, perhaps ... coach Michael Foley with several Waratahs.

The final days, perhaps ... coach Michael Foley with several Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

The antics at the Waratahs and Force keep getting crazier. As NSW coach Michael Foley keeps a foot in both camps, with the word still strong he will be forced to leave or depart to Perth on a three-year deal, some Waratahs officials are spreading it around that they are being offered at least $100,000 a season more from the Force. There is also intriguing manoeuvring over who will be on the Waratahs coaching staff next year, and who the new team manager will be. Sydney University's Todd Louden emerged as a probable coach but that move might have lost momentum.

Former Wallabies assistant coach Tim Lane's name has bobbed up again at Moore Park, but he has also been linked to the Force, as has Brian Melrose. For a while Alan Gaffney's assistant coach position at the Waratahs was under serious threat, but some are now pushing him to be the new director of rugby. And assistant coach Scott Bowen is being suggested as the man to take over from Chris Webb as team manager. Webb surprisingly left the Waratahs fold a week early last Friday. At the Force, a new coaching candidate has emerged from left field - Queenslander Steve Meehan, who was recently coaching Bath. We hear Meehan and Force officials are expected to meet today.

 

Boys show the way

Over ever-reliable snout Sir Larry was at the Scots-Kings trial match last weekend and reports it was a wild affair. Many players were sent off for fiery acts, and another yellow-carded following an all-in brawl during the second half. We also hear some very nasty comments were made by one of the team's coaching staff to a touch judge. As Sir Larry commented: ''If only the Waratahs showed as much fight.''

Bunker antics

The most popular YouTube video at the Waratahs Moore Park bunker? Easy. We hear the Waratahs staff have this week been in stitches over the ''NSW Waratahs season review''. You can watch it on: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7FELhmfOluE

Haden backswings

Trans-Tasman sledging is off and running a month off from the Bledisloe Cup. The inaugural golf day involving classic All Blacks and Wallabies will be held at Oatlands on August 17. Former All Blacks hard man Andy Haden has already started the mind games. ''You haven't seen the Bledisloe Cup for 10 years and you won't be seeing the Waterford Crystal that's up for grabs at the golf,'' Haden said. ''I just hope there's room for it on the shelf back home - maybe it's time we invested in a new trophy cabinet because there's plenty in there already. Still, we're happy to give you Aussies an opportunity to win something connected to rugby - it's been a while, eh?'' And there are still spots available to play in the tournament. Give the ARU a call.

O'Neill in sights

Rumblings at ARU board level with several directors working behind the scenes to restrict the power of head honcho John O'Neill. We hear two nose-out-of-joint ARU directors are leading the push, with the help of a well-known figure, and there is bound to be an explosion the next time the board meets. It will take all of ARU chairman Michael Hawker's diplomatic powers to bring ''peace in our time''. Maybe that's one of the reasons why a ''bleat session'' meeting involving the ARU and the five Australian provincial chief executive officers and chairmen has been delayed until late next month.

No distractions

The best quote at yesterday's Australian Super Rugby awards goes to Rookie of the Year, Joseph Tomane. Asked his thoughts of Canberra, Tomane said: ''I love the fact that there's nothing to do.''

Rumours of the week

■ Wallabies captain David Pocock is expected to decide tomorrow whether he is off to the Brumbies or stay at the Western Force. The Brumbies should feel confident, especially as Force officials have badly bungled their recent head coach negotiations.

■ A high-profile Wallaby is threatening to leave his province if it continues to employ that notorious official known as Radio because of his big mouth. The province's players are also very concerned about Radio's mate - the Wizard - who is starting to hover. It's high time the province's hierarchy listen to their players and sort this mess out. It's gone on for far too long.

■ Strong mail Waratahs utility Daniel Halangahu could soon be playing in Italy with Parma.

■ Horrible whisper that Waratahs players and officials have been told ''unauthorised contact with the media'' is now a sackable offence.

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