Melbourne Rebels extended team for Round 6 v Highlanders:
Nic Stirzaker (Captain)
Extended Reserves (two to be omitted)
Right, I misread it and thought both were signing on for 2018 and 2019. He's having one more roll of the dice. I don't know what sort of season he'd have to have to get back in the All Blacks squad. Hansen is very loyal to his current squad so he'll need some injury assistance.
He certainly won't surpass Whitelock in the pecking order (and shouldn't) but against the Lions he could be a good option to have around. Bit more grunt than Pat T and Romano IMO.
BBBR is obviously getting him to really up his work rate as often at the moment you can't tell them apart.
I think he may be in serious consideration.
One way to take it to the Lions is to beat them at their own strengths and smash them at the breakdowns and halt their ball carriers in their tracks. That's the kind of skill set Bird has.
@nzzp In the last 5 years, India have won 3 out of every 4 tests they have played at home. Away they have won 1 out of every 4 tests they have played. Of course that's the largest disparity between home and away form for the major nations...
That's mainly because they have won so many at home. Their away form is actually better than England's. We win away from home more than England and India do.
ARU clarifiies Super Rugby position; no decision made on axing teams
"As announced by SANZAAR following the SANZAAR Board meeting in London earlier this month, the four member nations have undertaken a period of stakeholder consultation to work towards an agreed outcome on the competition format for the 2018 season," ARU chief executive Bill Pulver said.
"This stakeholder consultation, which has included consultation with broadcast partners in each territory, is ongoing. At this point, there has been no determination on the future competition format or the teams involved in the competition.
"We also wish to confirm for the public record that no decision has been taken on the removal of one of Australia's Super Rugby teams.
"ARU, as a joint venture partner of SANZAAR, is working towards a final resolution in the shortest timeframe possible and will inform Rugby fans as soon as an outcome is reached."
The Force had earlier responded to the report themselves with chief executive Mark Sindeberry saying: "Under no circumstances do we believe today's speculation around the future of the Road Safety Western Force to be true.
"Two and half weeks ago, through a national phone link-up all clubs were told that the ARU, through the governing body SANZAAR, was investigating a number of issues and those issues had to be resolved prior to a decision being made to reduce any of the Australian franchises.
"There has been no further contact from the Australian Rugby Union to any of the Western Force players or staff, so at this time there is no further comment on the matter until substantiated facts are put forward."
@Mattasaurus Beating the brumbies at Canberra has always been hard. Always, no matter how bad they are.
I really hope they don't get cut.
I can understand the commercial reasons behind supporting the Rebels and Force over the Brumbies. But isn't that what has got Australian rugby into this mess in the first place, making commercial decisions at the expense of good rugby decisions?
Happy enough with the 5 points, but we still have a lot to work on.
Jerome was great last night. He turns 34 in two weeks, but he's still easily the standard for 6s in this country. I thought he looked good last week too.
I'm hoping we drop Tupou from the starting line-up once Luatua comes back, because he's adding very little to the team at the moment. At this level, he's too small to be a lock, and not dynamic or physical enough to be a 6.
I think Taramai has done his dash off the bench, it's time to bring Pryor in. He's played every game so far this season and has done little to nothing in his game time.