What did you miss on the lighter side of this week of rugby?
Waratahs turning Japanese
While their Wallabies are in the midst of their June series, the Waratahs squad will be heading to Japan to take on Top League champions Suntory. The Japanese powerhouse, formerly coached by Eddie Jones, announced the June 11 matchup on Friday morning.
Suntory is one of the most well-known Japanese clubs and it’s housed plenty of Australians in the past, most recently flanker George Smith, along with his Reds teammate and Japan international Hendrik Tui.
Held at the Chichibu Stadium as part of the Chichibu Mintano rugby festival, the clash will come one day after the Wallabies’ first June Test , against Fiji, in Melbourne. It won’t be the first time the Waratahs have played in Japan, having faced the Sunwolves in Tokyo last year, while a handful of their current squad have spent time in the Top League.
The NSW side also took on the Panasonic Wild Knights in this year's Brisbane Tens, going down to their Asian rivals 15-5.
Fringe players off to Japan
The Waratahs aren't the only ones looking to Japan, with former Aussie Sevens and standout Randwick backrower Sam Figg signing with Mazda, in the country's south.
North of the border, promising scrumhalf Scott Gale has given up on his quest for a Super Rugby contract, signing with Kamaishi Seawaves, where Brumbies backrower Scott Fardy plied his trade before his return to Australia in 2013.
Kings put the kybosh on Waratahs pre-game
They clinched a shock upset on Friday night but the Kings were disrupting the Waratahs well before the game this week.
The Waratahs were left waiting outside the tunnel at Allianz Stadium on Thursday morning, as the Kings finished their captain’s run, a session that ran well past its scheduled conclusion.
Everything was relatively civil but it was all part of the storm that left the Waratahs in a hole this week.
Tick for country Vic
This week was a big one for regional Victoria, with Shepparton fielding the state’s first country women’s rugby team.
The Shepparton Bulls made their competition debut against the well-established Box Hill Broncos, going down 101-0, but the result was but a footnote for the fledgling side.
Premier Grade in limbo
There are question marks over the makeup of the Queensland Premier Rugby competition in 2018, as the 2017 incarnation plays out.
Logan had been earmarked for a promotion into Premier grade in 2018, but could field just two teams in their fixtures with Brothers this weekend.
Their progress has some concerned that the QRU may look elsewhere for a 10th club next season.
Caslick's silky footwork
Not for the first time, some of Australia's Super Rugby players might want to have a quick look at the Aussie Sevens women for some inspiration.
The first day of the Kitakyushu Sevens was an undefeated one for the Aussies and this kick and chase effort from Charlotte Caslick was the highlight.
It's been a while since David Pocock has updated his followers with his latest activities in Africa, but the flanker is back online.
He and partner Emma have spent the last little while in Zimbabwe, as he continues his sabbatical from the game.
Some photos from this morning. Such a privilege to be able to spend time in the bush. Reminded what an incredible planet we live on and how important it is to keep preserving habitat for its non-human inhabitants. A treat getting to see one of my favourite birds, the Southern Ground-Hornbill. Happy #earthday