One Percenters: Rebels emerge as Slipper's possible new home

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

The Rebels have emerged as a serious contender for James Slipper's services next season.

Slipper appears to have no future at Ballymore under Brad Thorn but has taken a different stance on his exile than that of Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt, telling media in the lead up to the Wallabies trial that he was eager to play Super Rugby in 2019.

A move away from Queensland looks the only possible way for that to happen and it is understood the 29-year-old has informed the Rebels they are his first preference.

The Waratahs have already said they're not in the market for Slipper, and the Brumbies are well stocked for props.

The detail of a possible move for Slipper to Melbourne is yet to be discussed but with Amanaki Mafi, Lopeti Timani and Geoff Parling moving on, the Rebels have the financial scope to sign Slipper.

Any cash taken off Queensland's hands would be a favourable result for the Reds given they will still be paying Cooper and Hunt for the entirety of next season unless circumstances dramatically change.

Cheika 'proud of' new Ledesma after Pumas appointment

Mario Ledesma won't be an easy man to replace. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyFew people were more pleased to hear of Mario Ledesma's appointment as Pumas coach than Michael Cheika.

Cheika brought Argentinian Ledesma back to Australia with him in 2013 and the pair have forged a strong bond as colleagues and friends.

The Wallabies coach was sad to see Ledesma leave the Wallabies and hopes his long-time mate finds success with the Pumas, with an obvious exception.

"Mario back in his home country - we're obviously good friends and I'm very proud of the fact that he'll be doing that job," he said.

"It's going to be great fun when we play against each other.

"He's about as Aussie an Argentinian as you can get. I really want him to do well - there's only one game I don't want him to do well in every year or two I should say but obviously we're great friends and that's what rugby creates.

"It creates friendships with people across the globe and that's what we've had and I want him to do really well in that job." 

Reds move on attack coach slot 

Applications for the Reds' attack coach job close on Wednesday but we hear a few big names have already been discussed in the Ballymore board room.

Despite turning down the job 12 months ago former coach Phil Mooney's name has once again been raised, with premiership-winning attack coach Jim McKay also in the mix.

Mooney is the man credited with laying the platform for Queensland's 2011 Super Rugby title and given he has settled in Brisbane as Grammar's director of rugby, it is little surprise to see his name raised again.

McKay - the man behind the attack which led the Reds to the 2011 crown - was most recently the coach of Japanese Top League side Kobelco Steelers but departed the club at the end of last season.

Another name in the mix is Shane Drahm, who is currently coaching Brisbane Boys College's 1st XV.

Drahm led Nudgee College's 1st XV for four years prior to that, while also running GPS' attack alongside Shane Arnold.

Kepu on the canteen


The Wallabies were being worked hard at Sunday's fan day in Sydney's west.

Some were running water for local junior matches, some were taking coaching clinics and giving tips to kids on their skills.

Props Sekope Kepu and Scott Sio were manning the canteen during the afternoon, giving their maths skills a work out as the customers flooded in.

Kepu knows exactly how important a lot of these small jobs are - he's a rugby dad as well as a Wallaby, with his kids playing junior rugby in Sydney's south.

It was only a couple of hours out of their lives but the hundreds of fans that turned up were chuffed to see plenty of their rugby heroes.

As for, the most in-demand autograph? It should be no surprise that Izzy Folau takes the cake in that space.

Wessels officially an Aussie

He might still have a South African accent but Rebels coach Dave Wessels is officially an Australian citizen.

Wessels announced the good news on Twitter earlier this week, after six years in Australia with his family.

He followed it up later in the week with a very Australian complaint - waiting on hold to speak with a Tesltra consultant.

Nudgee College pays tribute to recovering teen

A spate of schoolboy rugby injuries in Queensland has left many families heartbroken and sparked

Nudgee College's Alexander Clark, 15, was the latest to suffer a serious injury playing GPS rugby and the school banded together to show its support.

In a video posted to social media called 'Be Strong Alex', students formed a heart on the school oval as a symbol of their support for the teenager.

Classic Wallabies team up with Gingercloud

The MRP is an important rugby program. Photo: SuppliedThe Classic Wallabies are working to help give kids with learning and perceptual disabilities more opportunities to play rugby.

The former players' group has created a partnership with the Gingercloud organisation that runs the Modified Rugby Program (MRP), an initiative that has grown from 16 children to 250 children in just four years.

MRP ambassador and Classic Wallabies board member Nathan Sharpe said the move was an important one.

"We back the vision of creating a life without limitation for children and young adults with learning and perceptual disabilities,” he said.

“We want to continue to support the game we have been fortunate enough to play and the MRP is the key to creating a rugby community where everyone belongs.”

Trans-Tasman rivals unite over a brew


Tim Horan and Dan Carter are legends on their respective sides of the ditch and the pair have united in a refreshing business venture.

Horan and Carter are two founders of Brick Lane Brewing, a brand that has grown quickly in recent months.