Category Archive: Australia Rugby

Australia Rugby News

Mar 10

Rugby: James O’Connor to face disciplinary hearing over alleged cocaine possession

  • O’Connor to front French discipline commission on 29 March
  • suspended by Toulon after arrest and charge over cocaine possession

Former Wallabies international James O’Connor has been summoned to face a French rugby disciplinary hearing this month over his alleged cocaine possession.

O’Connor is to front the Ligue Nationale de Rugby’s discipline and rules commission on 29 March, along with co-accused Ali Williams, an ex-All Black.

Related: Rugby union players Ali Williams and James O’Connor arrested in Paris

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/10/rugby-james-oconnor-to-face-disciplinary-hearing-over-alleged-cocaine-possession

Mar 09

Kurtley Beale to return to Waratahs at end of English rugby season

  • Beale would like to play for Australia at 2019 World Cup
  • 28-year-old has had conversation with Michael Cheika about his plans

Kurtley Beale will return to Australia within months, after the end of his one-year deal with English club Wasps.

Beale has signed a two-year deal with the ARU and the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

Related: Kurtley Beale signs for Wasps on reported £700,000 salary

Related: Australian Rugby Union relief after man charged over All Blacks listening device

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/10/rugby-kurtley-beale-to-return-to-australia-at-end-of-english-season

Mar 01

‘Determined, a deep thinker and fiercely loyal’: Dan Vickerman honoured at service

  • A thousand turn out in Sydney to remember former Wallabies player
  • Vickerman died 10 days ago at the age of 37

Dan Vickerman has been remembered as “an absolute colossus” and “an adoring dad” at an emotional service for the former Wallabies star in Sydney.

A who’s who of Australian rugby were among about a thousand family and friends to pack Sydney University Oval No1’s grandstand and surrounds to celebrate Vickerman’s life and mourn his loss on Wednesday.

Related: Dan Vickerman, former Wallabies player, dies aged 37

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/01/determined-a-deep-thinker-and-fiercely-loyal-dan-vickerman-honoured-at-service

Feb 28

James O’Connor will not be offered new contract, says Toulon owner

  • Australian player suspended by Top 14 club after Paris arrest
  • Former Wallabies winger charged with possession of cocaine

James O’Connor’s night in a Paris police cell appears to have cost him a future at Toulon as the French rugby club weighs up his immediate punishment. The Top 14 club’s owner, Mourad Boudjellal, says O’Connor’s contract, set to end in July, will be his last.

“’He has reopened the debate about his contract extension. We are not going to renew it,” Boudjellal told French newspaper Le Figaro. “We are going to try and manage this season. But I don’t want to overwhelm him.”

Related: Rugby union players Ali Williams and James O’Connor arrested in Paris

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/28/james-oconnor-will-not-be-offered-new-contract-says-toulon-owner

Feb 19

Dan Vickerman, former Wallabies player, dies aged 37

‘Uncompromising competitor’, who died at his family home on Saturday night, is survived by his wife and two children

The former rugby union player Dan Vickerman, a veteran of 63 Tests for Australia, has died at the age of 37.

Vickerman died on Saturday night and is survived by his wife and two children.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/19/dan-vickerman-former-wallabies-player-dies-aged-37

Feb 07

Australian Rugby Union relief after man charged over All Blacks listening device

  • ‘Welcome news that an individual has been called to account,’ says Bill Pulver
  • All Blacks coach Steve Hansen says charge is ‘very hard to understand’

The Australian Rugby Union’s chief executive, Bill Pulver, has reacted with relief to news that New South Wales police have charged a man in relation to the discovery of a listening device in the All Blacks team’s hotel before a Bledisloe Cup match in Sydney last year.

An investigation was established after the discovery of the audio device in a Double Bay hotel room in August 2016 and, on Tuesday, a 51-year-old was charged with public mischief.

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/feb/07/australian-rugby-union-relief-after-man-charged-over-all-blacks-listening-device

Jan 12

Wallabies player Quade Cooper to get back in boxing ring in February

  • Fight will be Australian’s third professional bout
  • Rugby star’s opponent to be named next week

Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper will climb back into the boxing ring for his third professional fight on the undercard of the Anthony Mundine-Danny Green rematch.

Related: Floyd Mayweather offers new terms to fight Conor McGregor

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/jan/12/wallabies-player-quade-cooper-to-get-back-in-boxing-ring-in-february

Dec 30

Australia’s sporting year in review – fairytales, flops and fiascos of 2016

A trio of rags-to-riches stories did their best to mask an underwhelming year for Australian sport on the international stage

If there remains a stoical band of Australians who believe in the inherent superiority of Athleticus australis, 2016 must surely have given them pause. Seldom have so many Australian athletes given so much for such little return.

We’ll get to the woes of Australia’s First XI and the Wallabies soon enough, but the new world order – which looks remarkably like the old one, when you put aside the halcyon years of the 1990s and early 2000s – was most starkly illustrated at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, when Australia’s 421-strong team won 29 medals, eight of them gold.

Related: Australia’s well-planned, well-funded Olympic over-achievement is finished | Paul Connolly

Related: Rio 2016: Kim Brennan rises above sinking feeling to claim golden moment | Jonathan Horn

Related: Problems endure but 2016 was a big year for women in Australian sport | Merryn Sherwood

Related: The challenge for the W-League this season is to keep the hype alive | Lydia Williams

Related: ‘Did the Doggies win?’: Bulldogs fan survives AFL grand final heart attack

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/dec/31/australias-sporting-year-in-review-fairytales-flops-and-fiascos-of-2016

Dec 11

Global contract negotiator Michael Cheika remains key to Wallabies recovery | Rajiv Maharaj

The coach’s knowledge of the rapidly evolving international player market should be reason enough to keep his job despite the Wallabies’ annus horribilis

Reflecting on the Wallabies’ car crash 2016 season, it’s tempting to call for coach Michael Cheika’s immediate sacking as head coach. His removal is easily justified: played 15, won six, lost nine.

It’s a terrible return despite the sugar-coating by sycophantic local media, including some who embarrassingly tipped the Wallabies to roll England three-zip in the June series and who, despite the complete opposite outcome, then talked up the prospects of a grand slam in the just completed European tour. The glowing pre-Test commentary has been cringe-worthy at times.

Related: Has Australia fallen out of love with rugby union?

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/dec/12/global-contract-negotiator-michael-cheika-remains-key-to-wallabies-recovery

Dec 08

Has Australia fallen out of love with rugby union?

Australia were well beaten by England on Saturday but the sport is facing bigger troubles at home, where participation, investment and interest are falling

By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The Wallabies have returned home after a heavy defeat to England in front of a capacity crowd at Twickenham. Taking a beaten from England is never easy for any Australian sports fan, but the result was softened by the fact that the match reports hovered slightly above the weekend’s lawn bowl results. Rugby union is largely out of sight and out of mind here.

If you don’t live in Australia, it is hard to believe that rugby union features so low on the sporting agenda. The Wallaby jersey has been worn by some of the game’s greatest players and the country’s contribution to the sport has been enormous historically, but the game is losing relevance for Australians. The country’s stadiums are barely filled and the crowds are muted.

Related: Wallabies end 2016 on a low note but positives emerge from European tour | John Davidson

Related: From Fiji to Sweden: how a Scottish cricket coach taught the world to play

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/behind-the-lines/2016/dec/08/australia-rugby-union-england

Dec 07

Michael Cheika backed by Australian RU to remain coach for World Cup

• ARU chief Bill Pulver says Cheika still has his confidence
• ‘Michael Cheika is under no pressure. There’s no one better to do the job’

Michael Cheika has been backed by the Australian Rugby Union to remain as their coach until after the 2019 World Cup at least, despite leading the team to nine defeats this year.

Cheika signed a contract extension in May only months after his side made last year’s World Cup final against the All Blacks.

Related: Australia’s Michael Cheika: it is not about revenge against England

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/dec/07/michael-cheika-backed-australian-rugby-union-world-cup-coach

Dec 07

Christian Leali’ifano wins rugby union excellence award

  • Brumbies player honoured by peers with Rupa Medal for Excellence
  • Twenty-nine-year-old has been receiving treatment for leukaemia since August

Brumbies playmaker Christian Leali’ifano has won the 2016 Rupa Medal for Excellence, one of Australian rugby’s most prestigious awards.

Leali’ifano, who has leukaemia, was voted by his peers as the individual to have shown the best performance, leadership, consistency and discipline, both on and off the field, across the international and domestic seasons.

Related: Perth to host Bledisloe Cup clash between Wallabies and All Blacks in 2019

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/dec/07/christian-lealiifano-wins-rugby-union-excellence-award

Dec 06

Autumn internationals: Who makes the cut for our best XV of the series? | Robert Kitson

England and Ireland dominate and there is room for plenty of All Blacks while Stuart Hogg and Justin Tipuric fly the flag for Scotland and Wales

Full-back Stuart Hogg (Scotland)

The lovely individual try Hogg scored against Georgia in Kilmarnock earns him this award, a 70-metre solo effort which required a neat chip and regather in addition to pace and vision. Rob Kearney and Mike Brown both have their warrior qualities and Ben Smith enjoyed a great Rugby Championship but Hogg is currently in pole position to be the Lions Test full-back in New Zealand.

Related: Autumn internationals 2016 verdict: Guardian writers’ highs and lows

Related: Magic moment from Mako Vunipola set England’s unstoppable train in motion | Andy Bull

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2016/dec/06/autumn-internationals-best-xv-england-ireland-all-blacks

Dec 06

Wallaby Bernard Foley sees enough to be encouraged despite tough year

Australia ended year with 6-9 record from 15 Test matchesBut Foley says over a dozen debutants bode well for futureWallabies five-eighth Bernard Foley insists the tough times endured by Australia this year have laid the foundation for future success.Au…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/dec/06/wallabies-european-tour-future-success

Dec 04

Wales shock Australian men’s rugby sevens, women’s team fall to NZ

  • Wales 21-12 Australia (mens) in quarter-final
  • New Zealand 17-5 Australia (womens) in final

The Australian men’s rugby sevens team suffered an upset quarter-final loss in the Dubai Sevens, losing 21-12 to Wales before recovering to finish fifth in the tournament.

South Africa won the competition, beating Olympic gold medallists and two-time defending series champions Fiji 26-14 in the final.

Related: The Olympic Games and rugby sevens: a match made in heaven | Matt Cleary

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/dec/04/wales-shock-mens-rugby-sevens-women-fall-nz

Dec 03

Eddie Jones says England are determined to be No1 in world – video

England rugby head coach Eddie Jones said after their 37-21 victory over Australia that his side are determined to become No1 in the world. They are currently second in the world and having defeated Australia four times this year Jones compared the cur…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/video/2016/dec/03/eddie-jones-says-england-are-determined-to-be-no1-in-world-video

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