RUCK & MAUL
None of your business ... Brumbies coach Jake White has called on Waratahs' Benn Robinson to concentrate on his game, not who is next boss will be. Photo: Getty Images
Brumbies coach Jake White has reacted to comments by Waratahs skipper Benn Robinson that the NSW players want to be involved in finding Michael Foley's coaching replacement. Robinson said this week it was important the Waratahs players were part of the process in finding Foley's successor. White, the former Springboks and World Cup-winning coach, was interviewed by John Morrison for the ABC's national digital rugby show - Front Row Rugby - which airs today. ''I'd say just focus on being a player, Benn, and concentrate on the things that you need to concentrate on,'' he said. ''When you join a company you can't then ask the person interviewing you whether you can have a say in who the CEO is or the chairman of the group are - you join a company and you put your head down and do what you have to.'' Next year's Waratahs-Brumbies clash should be a doozie.
The push for Michael Cheika to take over as Waratahs coach continues, but we hear he will return to Sydney only if several important people are involved at Moore Park. For this to happen some Waratahs waxwork figures would have to depart. There is also substantial support for former All Blacks coach and now Chiefs assistant coach Wayne Smith taking Foley's place. Our Kiwi snouts tell us Smith and the Tahs have been in contact, and so another New Zealand coach could soon be part of the Australian rugby environment. Then there are those adamant Alan Gaffney will take over from Foley. One coaching team revealed yesterday revolved around Gaffney (head coach and backs coach), Greg Mumm (lineout, breakdown and defence), Mark Bell (scrum) and Scott Bowen (team manager). A high-profile player has also been named as part of this coaching team, but we're not certain if he is actually aware he is part of the contingent. And the exodus from Waratahland continues: Michael Garnett, the marketing and partnerships general manager, is leaving at the end of the month.
Town's coldest ticket
The Waratahs awards night looms. After a dreadful season, and Foley, team manager Chris Webb and chairman Eddie Zemancheff having departed, some believe it could be the shortest awards function in the history of the code. As one media wag told R@M: ''What are they going to serve? Two-minute noodles?''
The Manly Daily came up with a smart idea a few days ago. The newspaper devised a ''God's Country XV'' involving players from the peninsula that could double as a very competitive NSW team - and perhaps even be able to beat the Tahs. The line-up is: Mark Gerrard (c), Tom Kingston, Andrew Smith, Pat McCabe, Robbie Coleman, Sam Lane, Brett Sheehan, Wycliff Palu, Michael Hooper, Scott Fardy, Hugh Pyle, Cadeyrn Neville, Jono Owen, Josh Mann-Rea, Pek Cowan. Reserves: Josh Holmes, Beau Robinson, Luke Holmes, Elvis Taione, Salesi Manu, Eddie Aholelei, George Smith. Coaches: Tim Lane and Sam Harris. As Lane told the paper: ''That's not a bad side, is it?''
A toast with Sherry
The Australian Rugby Union appointed its first woman to the board last month in Ann Sherry. Now a partnership between the ARU and UN Women Australia has led to a Hilton Hotel lunch on August 17, the day before the Bledisloe Cup Test in Sydney. Lisa Wilkinson is MC, and the ARU is running a competition to reward some of the unsung female heroes of rugby. See rugby.com.au.
A high-ranking Australian provincial official got very tired and emotional on a recent flight, to the extent he was contacted by police over his behaviour. The same person is renowned for falling asleep during meetings. And no, it's not Radio.