One Percenters: Ruru on Wallaby watch, real world Mumm

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika loves a bolter and Perth Spirit halfback Michael Ruru could be next on the list, according to NRC coach Kevin Foote.

Ruru has shown the value of the NRC in the past year, coming from club rugby in Perth to starring for the Spirit and working his way through the ranks at the Force.

The New Zealand-born nine was third in line at the Force at the start of the year before a season-ending injury to Ryan Louwrens gave the debutant a chance to play regular games.

By the end of 2017, Ruru was the easy first-choice for the Force by the end of the season.

He has been one of the form Spirit players in the NRC this season and Foote said that hadn't been ignored by those higher up the ranks.

"It you think about Ruru - he started NRC in 2014 and then didn't do it in 2015 and 2016 he say behind Louwrens - we had to pick him on the flank to give him time," he said.

Now look at him, he's pretty much the player of the tournament so far and he may be being looked at for the Spring Tour.

"The NRC's awesome in that sense, it does a couple of things for us (in Perth) - it's been that competition to focus on while everything (with the Force) has been going on and it gives them exposure."

Foote said Ruru would be ready to compete at the international level if he was given a call-up.

"He fought from the third place, behind Ryan Louwrens and Ian Prior, who had both played SR and by the end he was starting.

"He’s older, he’s got kids, he‘s a mature leader and he's ready for the next step."

Cheika has picked players out of the NRC in the past, despite having little involvement in Test teams during the year, with both Kyle Godwin and Tolu Latu joining the Test fold after strong showings in the provincial competition last year.

Mitchell's retirement on pause

Drew Mitchell has only been retired since May, but the 71-Test winger will be back on the field later this month, playing for the Classic Wallabies against Alan Jones' Barbairans.

Mitchell will line up alongside former teammates Stephen Hoiles, Lote Tuqiri and Radike Samo in Lismore against the Baabaas, in a charityumatch on Tuesday October 24 to raise funds for the Limore Flood Appeal.

The Classics will also be holding skills clinic for local children on Monday October 23, at Lismore rugby club from 5-7pm AEDT.

Mumm in the real world

Dean Mumm retired from rugby at the end of the Super Rugby season and he's into the grind like the rest of us now.

The 33-year-old posted on Twitter this week marking his first day as a full-time 9-to-5er for an Insurance company.

FIji back-to-back in Pasifika Cup

The Drua had a big win in Sydney on Saturday in the NRC, but they weren't the only Fijians smiling on Pasifika Day, though.

NSW Fiji took on NSW Tonga in the final of the Pasifika Cup at Eastwood and managed to pull off an incredible comeback to take the title.

It was their second straight win in the competition, that pits NSW Tonga, Fiji, Samoa and a Barbarians side against each other.

Empanadas all the rage

Empanadas, a Spanish pastry akin to a good old fashioned meat pie, have been on the Wallabies' minds this week.

We doubt they have been able to consume too many, given they are on nutrition plans, but both Michael Hooper and Tatafu Polota-Nau cast their minds straight to the tasty treats when asked what they love about Argentina this week.

Speaking of Spanish and Polota-Nau, the pair have been like two peas in a pod in the lead up to the Test in Mendoza.

TPN busted out a few lines of Spanish when speaking to Argentinian reporters and even belted out a tune.

The Wallabies hooker will never be accused of lacking originality.

WRC makes a comeback

Long-time rugby fans may remember the World Rugby Corporation, that tried to cause a World Series-like stir back in 1995, by creating a global competition.

That disruption led to the creation of what was then SANZAR in late 1995, and the birth of the professional era.

Well, the guys behind that are back, with a new iteration that aims to reshape world rugby.

Well-funded duo Geoffrey Levy and David Shein have written a letter to SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos proposing a world-wide league that splits teams into geographical regions, with a world championship on offer.

They proposed conferences of 10 teams, split by time zones, with a conference finals system seeing the winners taking each other on in the bid for that international prize.

The pair have also created a Facebook page, 'Save Rugby Union'. which has garnered 161 likes at the time of writing, with a survey for fans to give their input on what they'd like to see in an international competition.

"Tinkering around the edges won’t cut it.  Without fans the game cannot remain meaningful or relevant," the letter said.

"So now, twenty years later, if rugby is going to get it right, it is time for SANZAAR (which was born as a result of the changes forced by the WRC) to revisit the principles and competition structure that the WRC proposed. What was true then is still highly relevant today and as new, bold people take over, hopefully things can be viewed with an open mind.

But change can only be driven by the fans, players past and present, and officials.

"That is why today we are calling on them to have their say."