One Percenters: All change at central station

International
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Tony McGahan leaving the Rebels will be just the start of the moves expected in Super Rugby, as the season draws to a close.

Depending on which of the Rebels or Force is ultimately cut, speculation is intensifying that Dave Wessels could pop up in Melbourne next year should the WA franchise be the team cut.

Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham is already joining the Wallabies full-time, while Waratahs assistant Nathan Grey is believed to be following suit, after splitting his role between NSW and the national side since 2015.

Change won’t just be in clubland, though, ARU COO Rob Clarke officially finished his tenure last Friday night, and there’s no swift moves to replace the influential figure at St Leonards.

Clarke’s loss will be a significant one for the governing body, and how the rest of the Super Rugby process plays out will be intriguing, to say the least, without his presence alongside CEO Bill Pulver.

With the ARU’s EGM to come this week, governance structure could be a hot-button issue, with pushes for a Super Rugby commission to be established as well.

Townsend talked up


Wallabies coach Michael Cheika slapped down a Scottish journalist when asked if he was surprised by the Scots’ quality on Saturday, and his opposition counterpart, Gregor Townsend was similarly frank when asked whether his team was underestimated.

“I thought you guys in the media were definitely talking us up and that was because of the last two games,” he said.

“Not just that, I think we've had very close games over the last four or five occasions when we've played Australia and the momentum that the players had built up during the Six Nations and last week, though it wasn't perfect against Italy, showed that we would come in here with confidence.”

Though their players showed composure on the field, Townsend said his Aussie defence coach Matt Taylor was not so calm in the final stages.

“I was trying to stay calm but my defence coach was, a little feeling was coming off Matt Taylor, who's been involved in those two one-point defeats, who was brought up in Australia,” he said.

“I don't know what he would have been doing if we'd lost at the end.”

Pocock goes back to his roots

David Pocock has been in Zimbabwe and this week the Wallabies flanker visited some of his former schools, where his rugby journey began.


Mental health the focus in Armidale

 

Kicking goals for mental health @batyraus #taslife #thearmidaleschool #wellbeing #football #armidale #wintersport

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This weekend The Armidale School hosted Sydney Grammar in a 'Batyr Round' day of matches, with each player wearing one pola dot sock, aimed to raise awareness for mental health issues.

Capped Wallaby James Holbeck was among those in attendance on the day.

Aussie 7s off to France

 

#BREAKING | Your #Aussie7s team to compete at @clermont7s next weekend!

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The Aussie Sevens women are leaving for their final 2016-17 tournament today, heading to Clermont in France.

They're yet to win a tournament this season, after claiming the series title and the Olympic gold medal in 2016.

New Zealand has the series wrapped up but the Aussies could still make an impact on the overall standings with a strong French showing.

Mid-week Wallabies more fiery than Saturday

They lacked intensity on the field, but One Percenters has heard there was a bit of friendly fire at Wallabies training during the week, with two high-profile Wallabies coming to blows in one session..

And, just quietly, we reckon it might have been a bit of a size mismatch.

Hopefully, fans can see more of that on the pitch next weekend.

Wallabies fans getting all social

There were plenty of frustrated Wallabies fans after Saturday's loss to Scotland but one fan's Facebook rant caught some social momentum on Sunday. 

Lismore's Jack Quigley posted on the Wallabies' Facebook page asking to address the players before the Brisbane Test in a bid to remind them what a cap means to the regular fan. 

"Give me 15 minutes. That's all I want. To look the guys in the eye and tell them WHAT IT MEANS to be a rugby fan in this country," he wrote. 

His post had more than 17,000 likes, 5200 comments and 1500 shares at the time of writing.  

Read the full post here. 

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