One Percenters: Cheika determined to lift the mood

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

What did you miss in the week of rugby?

Mindset shifts for Test rugby

The Wallabies will bring a fearless attitude to their June Series Tests, coach Michael Cheika says.

In another TV appearance that doubled as somewhat of a squad reveal, Cheika said Australia's 23-0 Super Rugby record against New Zealand teams needed to change.

"I think in a lot of the games that we’ve played, some of the teams have been in those same games have been brilliant in patches," he said.

"It’s about saying, ‘I want to be brilliant for 80 minutes, because I want to be the best, not I want to survive or I'm happy to be second or third, but to be the best.

"That’s an attitude the Australian team will be playing with - no fear of failure and having been well-prepared to go out and have that positive mindset."

On another Wallabies note, news that Nick Phipps and Samu Kerevi will miss the series with syndesmosis has opened the door for Jake Gordon and Rob Horne to come into the squad.

Injuries open doors

Phipps' withdrawal, though, leaves a huge opportunity for the original third-choice No. 9 in the squad - the Brumbies' Joe Powell.

Powell's coach Stephen Larkham is certainly confident the youngster will play a role in the next three weeks, judging by his comments on Saturday night.

"I think so," he said when asked whether Powell could feature.

"(Those were) really tough conditions and it doesn’t get any tougher for a halfback with the greasy ball from lineout not too bad but a couple of phases in and from a scrum, it's as  slippery as a cake of soap.

"He did a really good job tonight distributing and worked really well around the paddock as well.

"Nothing different to any other of his (previous) games."

Larkham is a huge fan of Powell, having convinced Cheika to bring him in from the blue this time last year, and you can bet he'll be pushing his case at Test selection time.

Shire the pride of sevens

Think the Kiwi Super Rugby teams are dominant? They've got nothing on Cronulla's Pride Sevens.

The shire side have gone through two tournaments undefeated, without conceding a single point - accumulating a 283-0 ledger in those tournaments.

Coached by former Aussie Sevens player Michael Black and fitness trainer Justin Lang, this side also produced Australia's most recent World Series debutant in Cassie Staples.

Watch this space.

Wallaroos go across the ditch

The Wallaroos left the country this week to head to a four nation series in New Zealand.

They'll play England, Canada and New Zealand in the series, but they'll have to do it without Shannon Parry.

Parry is staying home with a hamstring strain, in a blow to the side, with the Wallaroos preferring to keep her on ice ahead of August's World Cup.


There's another quirk to his story, though - we've heard he's related to one of the geniuses behind satirical site the Betoota Advocate.

In the interests of integrity, we won't be unveiling the writer's identity, but writing may well run in this family.

O'Connor homecoming fake news

Your weekly dose of "fake news" comes from a French report about the Top 14 final, that suggested James O'Connor was returning to the Queensland Reds after this weekend's final.

We asked around and it's pretty clear that is by no means on the cards. Garbage in fact!

Wagga masters

Want to play Sevens but don't want to be competing with spring chickens?

The Wagga Masters is open to men and women over 30 years, and kicks off in October.

For more information head to