One Percenters: Sinckler sledge picked up at Twickenham, White keeping Wallabies door open

International
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

The Wallabies were on the end of a cheeky England sledge on the field after a week of ups and downs off it.

England prop Kyle Sinckler sparked a heated push and shove just after half-time with a sledge that the Wallabies "were f****** snitches", picked up on the referees' microphone.

It was believed the tighthead was having a go at Australian players after the news of sanctions for Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper emerged on Friday.

The pair were both stood down for a match after senior players went to coach Michael Cheika about them bringing female family and friends back to their hotel room in Cardiff.

The Wallabies have a strict rule banning any guests from hotel rooms and the leadership group considered it a breach.

Sinckler, was man of the match, was chatty all game and his niggle during play and in gaps was clearly effective with the tighthead the man of the match.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said Sinckler's jabs were simply another way for England to try and get under Australia's skin.

"You need to understand that at a certain point commentary stops," he said.

 "I can sledge you on anything I want and be nasty and it may not even be true.

"That’s what sledging is. If you sledge you can use any tactics you want. You’ve seen the cricket, most of sledging is not true. It’s to rile you up and to jab you in the side, that is what it is.

"You asking me to comment on sledging on the field is pretty average.

"Anyone could be saying anything to niggle.

"I’m not against sledging, if you’re into it, if that’s what they want to do, I can tell you from being a good sledger on the field, it’s usually niggle. You want to get under people’s skin and you’ll say anything and most of it it’s not true. Most of what gets under your skin is the stuff that is not true."

Captain Michael Hooper said he hadn't heard the sledge but that the week's dramas hadn't affected the team.

Uelese eyeing early return 

Jordan Uelese was thrown into the fray early. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyWallabies coach Michael Cheika will be sweating on the fitness of promising hooker Jordan Uelese in the coming months.

Tatafu Polota-Nau appears to be struggling with the rigours of Test rugby at the age of 33, Tolu Latu is more rocks than diamonds at this stage of his career and both Folau Faingaa and Brandon Paenga-Amosa are, for reasons that remain unclear at this point, out of favour.

The hopes of the nation may rely on Uelese's rehabilitation from a nasty ACL injury to his knee suffered the week before the June Tests in Auckland.

In some good news we hear the 21-year-old is tracking better than expected in his road to a return.

The Rebels are confident he could play as early as late February to mid-March, meaning he may only miss the first four games of the Super Rugby season.

Neighbours like the look of Quade's kicks 

Quade Cooper's first day at Rebels HQ was always going to draw the eyes of the awaiting media but he also caught the attention of Melbourne Storm stars Curtis Scott and Christian Welch.

We hear the pair were particularly interested in Cooper's crisp white Nike kicks, the star flyhalf quick to inquire as to whether they could trade "shoe guy" contacts.

White keeps Wallabies door open

Former Wallabies halfback Nic White has expressed a desire to one day play Test rugby again.

White left Australia after missing out on the 2015 Rugby World Cup squad and is currently playing for Exeter in the English Premiership after two seasons with Montpellier.

Speaking to the BBC after Exeter's win against Gloucester last weekend, White said he hadn't closed the door on an Australian return.

"I'm only 28, I think I'm getting better with every game," he said.

"I haven't closed the door, but they're decisions that aren't up to me."

White signed off in Australian rugby with impressive cameos in the 2015 Rugby Championship, including a match-winning shift against the All Blacks in the opening Bledisloe of that year.

Shute Shield confirmed for 2019

The Shute Shield has announced its draw for 2019 and critically, it will finish earlier next year.

That move means it will not overlap or butt up against the 2019 NRC competition, something that has been a source of tension in the past.

The competition will kick off on April 6 with the final regular round on August 3.

Click here for the full draw.

Fiji feel the freeze

This week has been a chilly one in Europe and the Flying Fijians were probably feeling the most brutal front of poor rugby weather.

The Fijians were caught in snow this week during a training session, reinforcing exactly how cold the Northern Hemisphere can get.

Fiji shocked France in Paris on Sunday morning AEDT with a 21-14 win over Les Bleus.

Clearly the climate was no issue.

Fiji take historic honours

Fiji had a lot to celebrate this weekend with their women winning the inaugural Oceania Women's XVs competition in Suva.

Fijian women have taken up the game in spades in the Pacific Nation after the men's 2016 Olympic Gold Medal in Sevens and it's beginning to spread to a host of different countries

Australia and New Zealand are both expected to be included in the tournament next year but would likely field a development squad.

Brumbies unveil wider training squad

The Brumbies announced their initial Super W training squad this week ahead of the second season of the women's XVs competition.

New coach Adam Butt said the quality of players trialling was extremely high.

“We had a large turnout of around 85 players which shows the interest in this competition and the future of Super W is looking bright," he said.

"The players made selections difficult which is great thing for the game and I know there will be some disappointed players out there.”

SQUAD

Brumbies Super W training squad

Tania Afamasaga, Kiahan Bellchambers, Zara Besseling, Ashley Bishop, Ally Brislane, Rachele Brown, Louise Burrows, Skye Churchill, Peta Cox, Bridgette Cunningham, Biola Dawa, Harriett Elleman, Benita Ese Sale, Jane Garraway, Brooke Gilroy, Carly Hill, Jess Howard, Grace Kemp, Michaela Leonard, Jacky Lynden, Irene Macarthur, Paremo Marsh, Kristie Mathews, Sammy Maxwell, Emily Mcdonald, Kaitlyn Mckay, Ivy Merlehan, Shellie Milward, Claudia Obst, Georgia O’neill, Paige Penning, Michelle Perry, Darcy Read, Ally Reid, Paris Robinson, Emily Sogal, Tayla Stanford, Stefanie Stewart-Jones, Violeta Tupuola, Rosie Williams, Remi Wilton, Sammie Wood, Lai Yabaki