One Percenters: Phipps fits wedding into bye week, Cheika heads north

International
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Another interesting week in rugby.

What did you miss on and off the field in the past seven days?

Phipps packing plenty into bye week

Nick Phipps and fiancee Ebony Bamford at the John Eales Medal. Photo: Getty ImagesWallabies and Waratahs halfback Nick Phipps won't be taking it easy on or off the field in NSW's bye week.

Phipps is tying the knot next Saturday, marrying long-time partner Ebony Bamford in the south of Sydney.

"It's really exciting. I've been the young one at the club always like having a laugh and a joke around with the older boys getting married," he said.

"It's going to be fantastic, really looking forward to it."

Though it's a lighter week for the Waratahs, Phipps said he wouldn't be asking for any extra days off ahead of the nuptials.

"We made sure it wasn't going to impact any of the training becasue as I said to the boss, that's number one - the boss being the missus," he said.

A bit of push and shove at the end of Friday night's clash with the Lions sent some panic through Ebony as well, the he joked.

Waratahs skipper Michael Hooper and flyhalf Bernard Foley are two of Phipps' groomsmen and both were a tad sore and sorry after the Lions match.

"I saw the 'mitty' on the fence after the game and she might've pointed out that Hoops had blood running down his eye and she said, 'He better fix that up for the photos', she saw Bernard got put to sleep so she was like, 'He better be right for the wedding'," he said.

The pair will delay their honeymoon until the end of the season.

McMahon's new addition


Wallabies flanker Sean McMahon has become a dad, with wife Nia giving birth to son, Mac, this week.

McMahon is currently in Queensland, but will be returning to Japan to link up with Japanese side, Suntory later this month.

The 23-year-old won't be playing for Australia this year, but is yet to close the door on a 2019 Super Rugby return, with changes to the Top League potentially keeping the chance for a World Cup comeback alive.

Cheika visits Nudgee College

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika spent Wednesday afternoon at famous rugby nursery Nudgee College, speaking to both players and coaches.

The chat to the coaches, we hear, was focused on two primary topics.

How to build team culture was at the top of the list but there was also a focus on "selling the dream" to players as they leave school to avoid losing players like star South Sydney Rabbitoh Angus Crichton.

Crichton was a star at Sydney's Scots College and an Australian Schoolboy in 2013 but chose rugby league over the 15 man game when he was reportedly told by the Waratahs that he wouldn't make his Super Rugby debut until he was 23.

Ensuring Australia's best schoolboy talent stays in rugby is essential and Nudgee has a big part to play in that.

Prior to skipper the Force

Ian Prior helped the Force to a win in Argentina. Photo: AFPForce halfback Ian Prior has been announced as the club's captain, ahead of its first World Series match on May 4.

Prior has returned to Australia from England, where he played with London club, Harlequins, on a short-term deal.

The nine played four seasons with the Force before its Super Rugby axing in September last year.

The WA club has also had some fun on social media this week, calling for fans to name a gif of their swan logo dabbing, now dubbed 'U-Swan Bolt'.

They will play their first match against Fiji, on May 4.

Speight's special milestone

Brumbies winger Henry Speight played his 100th Super Rugby match on Sunday afternoon against the Jaguares, but an extra special prelude to the milestone came on Saturday.

Speight's father Sam was on hand to present his son with his milestone jersey. at the side's captain's run, an extra-special moment for both men.

Korovata continues historic year

Ana Krovota is all smiles for the Brumbies. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyBrumbies' Super W player Anna Korovata is adding another spot of history to her CV, recently appointed club captain at the Uni-Norths Owls.

Korovata, who spoke to RUGBY.com.au during the Super W season, is believed to be the first female club captain in Canberra and possibly Australia as well.

Great to see more women making history around the country in rugby.

World Deaf Rugby 7s kicks off


More than 180 players will descend on Sydney this week, to play iin the World Deaf Rugby 7s Championships.

The week-long tournament is the first competition of its kind in Australia since the early 2000s, and the hosts are hot favourites to take out the title.

All matches will be held at the David Phillips Sports Complex at Daceyville in Sydney's south, with Australia's men also playing a Test against Wales on Friday night.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.  For more information, click here.

TEAMS

Australian Men’s Deaf Sevens team 

Jason Boseley

Damien Boulton

Dave Brighton

Nick Brock

Mathew Cain

Kelly Dobbyn-Dodunski

Joshua Doe

Ronald Franklin

Dale Hynes

David Hoffman

Kyle Howlett

Dave Kearsey

Simote Lauti

Nicholas Marlor

Apenisa Matairavulu

David Page

Anthony Parlour

Jonah Poppe

Alex Readford

Aaron Robertson

Scott Shoesmith

Caleb Transom

Che Williamson

Coach David Hoffman

Australian Women’s Deaf Sevens team 

Wing Yin Cheung

Aisha Maria Hitaua

Jamie Howell

Rona Lazo

Haley Martin

Samantha Martin

Oshin Slinn

Lauren Townsend

Beth Weller

Peter Ware

SCHEDULE

Monday April 23; 10am – 6pm

Men’s and women’s Sevens matches 

Tuesday April 24, 10am – 4:30pm

Men’s and women’s Sevens matches

Thursday April 26, 10am – 3:30pm

Men’s and women’s Sevens matches

Friday April 27, 5pm – 9pm

Australia vs Wales Test

Super W sportsmanship

Grace Hamilton speaks to a Queensland counterpart after the Super W final. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyThe inaugural Super W final was a brutal affair, with neither side shying away from trying to make a physical statement.

Come post-match, though, and it was clear there was a wider sense of appreciation from both Queensland and NSW's women about the event in which they had starred.

Captains Kirby Sefo and Ash Hewson crossed paths between post-match press conferences on Friday and embraced each other, a sign of the goodwill between the sides.

it was a reflection of the respect all the players have for each other and a fitting way to finish a gladatorial afternoon.