When Robbie ‘Dingo’ Deans announced that he’d crossed the Tasman to take over from John Connolly as head coach of the Wallabies back in December 2007, it was pretty enormous news in New Zealand. Continue reading
The Mole made an ass out of umption and was up soreheaded at 8am to watch a game that didn’t kick off for three hours. Here’s mud in yer eye, REM sleep! Continue reading
In considering who to look out for in the Aussie team, it’s tempting to look beyond the obvious and think about Pat McCabe in the No12 jersey, the Warwick Taylor-esque straightman to the glittering talents that surround him. Continue reading
In the 2007 Super 14 season, the Queensland Reds were brutal. They finished ten points adrift at the bottom of the table with two wins, the lowest in the competition, the second lowest points scored tally and the worst defensive record. In the final match of the season, the Blue Bulls beat them 92-3. Amidst all this mediocrity, James Horwill ran about the place making tackles, hitting rucks, carrying the football and sticking out like a sore thumb. Many of the Reds squad mentioned him as their favourite team mate, highlighting his enthusiasm. He earned the soubriquet ‘Big Kev’, named for an Australian entrepreneur who promoted his own cleaning products with the catchphrase “I’m Excited”. This season, the Queensland Reds, under Horwill’s captaincy, finished top of the log and beat the Crusaders in the final. James Horwill is a champion.
What sort of team can afford to leave out a 92-times capped 28-year old who has twice been nominated for IRB International Player of the Year [the most recent of these nominations coming a mere 20 months ago in December 2009], who has scored 624 international points, including a not to be sniffed at 29 tries – of halfbacks, only Joost van der Westhuizen  and Dan Carter [equal, on 29] can match or exceed him – and who has started international games at scrum-half, out-half and first centre? You’ve guessed it: Australia. They’re that good, apparently. Continue reading