Rennie backs Paisami in Wallabies return

Coach Dave Rennie is expecting the transition from Samu Kerevi to Hunter Paisami to be seamless as the Wallabies prepare for a fast and furious Test against Japan on Saturday. Kerevi failed to overcome an ankle injury to face the Brave Blossoms in Oita, with Paisami to play his first Test since August as he […]

Rennie backs Paisami in Wallabies return

Coach Dave Rennie is expecting the transition from Samu Kerevi to Hunter Paisami to be seamless as the Wallabies prepare for a fast and furious Test against Japan on Saturday.

Kerevi failed to overcome an ankle injury to face the Brave Blossoms in Oita, with Paisami to play his first Test since August as he returns at inside centre.

Paisami is one of four changes to the starting XV with lock Matt Philip returning, his Rebels teammate Rob Leota recalled at blindside flanker and Tom Wright named on the wing in place of Marika Koroibete, who opted not to tour.

Brumbies hooker Connal McInerney is in line for a potential Test debut after being a surprise inclusion on the bench with Rennie admitting the rake role is wide open.

The blockbusting Kerevi was Australia’s best player during the Rugby Championship and was key to their run of four wins over world champions South Africa and Argentina.

He is expected to be available for their next Test against Scotland on November 8, with England and Wales Tests to follow.

But Rennie backed 23-year-old Reds centre Paisami to perform well.

“He will play his own game,” Rennie said.

“What we know with Hunter, he’s explosive and powerful, he’s got a really good skill set so not a lot changes really.

“He’s slotted in really nicely and he’s had a full training week over here so we think it will be seamless.”

While Petaia started the last Test on the wing, Rennie felt he wasn’t up to 80 minutes in the warm conditions under the roof in Oita, which was the scene of their World Cup quarter-final elimination by England in 2019.

“He does give us a fair bit of versatility but we’re not convinced that he’d go 80 if he started,” Rennie said.

“Japan have picked six loosies (loose forwards) in their pack so we imagine it’s going to be a reasonably quick game from their mindset and so we’ve taken all that into account.”

Nic White will again partner Quade Cooper in the halves, while the front row of James Slipper, Taniela Tupou and hooker Folau Fainga’a will line up for their fourth consecutive match.

Slipper is set to surpass former teammates Will Genia and Sekope Kepu and join George Smith on 111 Tests for Australia when he runs on.

Rennie said they still hadn’t worked out if Cooper and fellow Japan-based Sean McMahon will be available for the UK leg of the tour due to club commitments despite the game falling within the international window.

“Our intention is to take them to Europe,” Rennie said.

“We’re trying to come to a resolution that suits everyone,.”

Wallabies: Reece Hodge, Tom Wright, Len Ikitau, Hunter Paisami, Andrew Kellaway, Quade Cooper, Nic White, Rob Valetini, Michael Hooper (c), Rob Leota, Matt Philip, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Folau Fainga’a, James Slipper. Res: Connal McInerney, Angus Bell, Allan Alaalatoa, Darcy Swain, Pete Samu, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor, Jordan Petaia.

Source : The Roar More   

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Why I’m a ‘glass half full’ rugby fan

I am quietly excited, boys and gorillas. I think RA is starting to get it right. During the week, I had some discussions with people high up in the stratosphere of rugby, but not necessarily in the inner circle and I detect an element of pessimism, but I have to say that I don’t always […]

Why I’m a ‘glass half full’ rugby fan

I am quietly excited, boys and gorillas.

I think RA is starting to get it right. During the week, I had some discussions with people high up in the stratosphere of rugby, but not necessarily in the inner circle and I detect an element of pessimism, but I have to say that I don’t always read the tea leaves the way they do.

At the outset, I want to declare myself as a “glass half full” person. As do a few informed Roarers. No names, no pack drill.

We have a new triumvirate this year – Hamish McLennan, Andy Marinos and Dave Rennie, ably assisted by others.

They do seem to be pulling together in one coordinated direction.

We Roarers, who all think we are the “keepers of the flame”, probably don’t have much to complain about.

McLennan and Marinos have pretty much left most of the PR to the coach who is handling it very well. He leaves us in no doubt which way he is going.

His explanations about selections are well reasoned and what we want to hear. He clearly cares about every player, whether they be a squaddie, or a fringe player or a developer who is back at their franchise doing work, in the off-season.

I would think that, with that kind of thoroughness, no player is in doubt as to what his program is, in the pre-season.

This is a coach who does not play favourites, gives everyone an opportunity, understands their particular situations and (as far as I can see) their family circumstances), and their needs.

He has taken the pressure off the back office and allowed them to get on with their job. Whether they are or not, remains to be seen, but you have to think that Raelene Castle would have loved to have that much space to work in, and not always been in the spotlight. Crappy timing and not surrounded by good people.

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Are we, for once in our lives, getting it right?

I think that the recent Rugby Championship, like the two Covid affected seasons that preceded it, put a lot of things into sharp perspective, and have given us a new appreciation of our game.

With the shakeup in Super Rugby, the various re-alignments going on, the Pacific nations finally getting a guernsey, Japan’s resurgence, et al, things are looking up.

What does everyone think? Seems to me that the glass is fuller rather than emptier.

Source : The Roar More   

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