One Percenters: June boost for Wallabies, Irish prop pops up at UQ

International
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

The Wallabies' third June Test officially sold out on Friday and there could be more good news to come.

Rugby Australia appears on the verge of announcing a naming rights sponsor for the upcoming June Series against Ireland.

Australia hasn't had a naming rights sponsor for the series since the 2014 matches against France.

Rugby AU CEO Raelene Castle hinted at the addition of a sponsor for the Tests against Ireland, speaking to RUGBY.com.au this week.

"We are working really hard on new sponsor opportunities of which there's some really positive things in the wind, so it's good," she said.

"I think we will be looking to make a good announcement later in the week (about a June Series sponsor).

"Hugely exciting and we'll be looking to make that announcement at the same time the Wallabies get announced next week."

The Sydney Test was officially announced as a sell-out last Friday, with Brisbane also on track for at least 40,000 at the first Test.

SenseRugby expands west


Aussie Sevens star Jesse Parahi and wife Carlien are the brains behind Senserugby, a rugby program designed for children who might not usually be able to play.

Parahi announced this week that successful program is being launched in Western Australia, an exciting development for the organisation that began in 2015.

Great to see more kids having the chance to play rugby.

Ireland prop pops up at UQ

Former Ireland international prop, Tom Court, is back packing down in the front row for the Red Heavies, at 37 years of age.Tom Court has traded his Ireland jersey for the the maroon of UQ. Photo: Getty ImagesAfter retiring from an impressive professional career – which included 32 caps for Ireland – in 2016, Court returned to Australia and his native Brisbane to do a bit of coaching at UQ, but pretty soon the itch to play became unbearable and he laced up the boots.

We’re told he was only supposed to play 30 minutes against GPS last Saturday but ended up playing 70.

It would have been 80 if not for a yellow card – which he denies he conceded deliberately just for a rest.

Classic Wallabies call into Brisbane

Chris Latham and Morgan Turinui paid a visit to Brisbane State High School's training at Carina on Thursday afternoon, with about 150 kids in attendance.

Working on core skills was the order of the day, as the focus on making juniors more "complete" rugby players takes centre stage.Chris Latham and Morgan Turinui took 150 Brisbane State High students through a clinic on Thursday. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan Hertel"The great thing about coming down to this is, hopefully, when these kids who are from 12 to 16 progress through to the professional ranks, they're more complete rugby players," Turinui said.

"What we want to see from our Super Rugby players when they arrive is young kids who are highly skilled in the game.

"Then we can train their bodies, train their minds, to excel at the professional level."

Smith shows his entrepeneurial side


George Smith turns most things to gold on a rugby field and now he's embarked on a new venture. 

The veteran flanker has opened a kids centre, called Croc's Play Centre, north of Brisbane.

If the move is anything like what he's produced in rugby, it should be a big success.

Aussies off to Bingham Cup

The Melbourne Chargers are looking to defend their Bingham Cup crown. Photo: Melbourne Chargers FacebookAustralia's gay rugby teams will take flight this week, ahead of the Bingham Cup in Amsterdam.

The Sydney Convicts, Brisbane Hustlers and Melbourne Chargers will all be competing at the international competition, held every two years.

Sydney's side held a farewell event at Rugby AU on Sunday, attended by CEO Raelene Castle, as they prepare to mount a challenge for the trophy.

The event will feature 66 teams from around the world, and is named in honour of Mark Bingham, a gay rugby player who passed away in the September 11 attacks.

The Chargers are the defending champions, having lifted the trophy in Nashville in 2016.

Good luck, guys!

Walsh grounded ahead of London Sevens

There hasn't been much time for rest for Aussie Sevens coach Tim Walsh, after taking up the reins of the men's side.

He will be hanging behind the side this week, though, as the rest of the team goes to London.

Walsh and wife Roza were due to welcome their second child this week, with the mentor to stay in Sydney until next Thursday., to enjoy some new family time.