Wallabies coach Dave Rennie reflects on George Gregan-Jeff Wilson tackle in 1994 All Blacks clash


Roosters’ Vic Radley, Wallabies Dave Rennie, Minister Stuart Ayers and Matildas Kyah Simon and Alanna Kennedy.

No Wallabies-Shield clash

A potential clash between the Wallabies’ match with the Springboks and the Shute Shield on September 3 has been avoided, with Rugby Australia now playing the Test match in the evening.

The Wallabies-Boks’ Test was confirmed as the second event at the new Allianz Stadium on Thursday. The Herald reported the preference of the host broadcaster Nine (owner of this masthead) was for the game to be an afternoon kickoff to avoid clashing with NRL and AFL games that night.

That would have meant a clash with the Shute Shield decider, however, and talks were held between RA and the Sydney Rugby Union about moving the club grand final day to Sunday.

But Rugby Australia has opted to play the Test at night after all, and while it hasn’t been announced, ticket alerts have been sent out with the 7.30pm kick-off. That means the Shute Shield and other club deciders will be held at Leichhardt Oval as planned. The decision almost certainly means the Wallabies Test will be screened on one of Nine’s secondary channels, with NRL hard to budge from Nine’s line-up on the main channel.

Sevens switch support

Australian women’s sevens coach Tim Walsh would be willing to support any of the top sevens players making a switch to the Wallaroos for their World Cup campaign later this year, and has discussed it with Australian women’s coach Jay Tregonning.

The Wallaroos were on track to pull off an upset win over New Zealand earlier this week but just fell short. They will take part in the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand in October, a tournament where they have only made the semi-finals once in six attempts.

Asked if any sevens talent could make a late switch, Walsh told The Cauliflower: “I’m talking with Jay [Tregonning] and Rugby Australia. We’re stakeholders within a business. I’m very player-centric around being strategic in how we’re going to use each other and what the organisation needs.

“I reckon nearly every single one of those girls would be able to go and play and perform but if you’re not preparing within a team, it’s very hard to just drop in a player. I wouldn’t be doing that from a sevens point of view. Players, if they want to go and do it, then I’d like to support them.”

Sharni Williams has played in three World Cups.

Sharni Williams has played in three World Cups.Credit:Getty

Walsh says Sharni Williams is the most likely to give it a crack. Williams has already played at three World Cups as a centre, in 2010, 2014 and 2017.

“I think she’d definitely be keen to,” Walsh said. “It’s for us to work out how we can make that happen.”

Gamble responsibly

Reckon Dave Rennie is a fan of Charlie Gamble? Just ask him when he can get his hands on him for Wallabies selection.

“He will be eligible in April next year,” Rennie shot back when asked.

Charlie Gamble was a standout player for the Waratahs in 2022.

Charlie Gamble was a standout player for the Waratahs in 2022.Credit:Getty

“He has been outstanding, and outstanding both sides of the ball. He has definite presence post-tackle but he carries really well, too. He has been massive for the Waratahs, so we are well aware of him.”

Mild Monday

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There were no atrocities to report out of Mad Monday celebrations from the Reds and Waratahs. Unless you count the singing voice of former Wales international Jamie Roberts, who was captured belting Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing in the Dark with Harry Johnson-Holmes for patrons at the North Bondi Golf Club.

The next day the Waratahs boarded a boat in Sydney Harbour and let their hair down after a season they can be pleased with.

The most damage appeared to be done a few days earlier when Lachie Swinton played a round of golf with teammates not required for the quarter-final in Hamilton.

Let’s just say Swinton’s slice at the 7th landed on more road than fairway.

Up north, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Suliasi Vunivalu paid tribute to Josh Dugan and Blake Ferguson with a couple of pineapple cruisers in hand as they posed for a pic on a boat.

Watch every match of the Super Rugby Pacific on the Home of Rugby, Stan Sport. Semi-finals this week with Crusaders v Chiefs (Friday 5.05pm AEST) and Blues v Brumbies (Saturday 5.05pm) both streaming ad-free, live and on demand only on Stan Sport.



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