One Percenters: Thorn's Folau dream

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Reds coach Brad Thorn is daring to dream - literally - about Israel Folau heading north to join Queensland in Super Rugby next season.

The jungle drums are beating loudly that Folau is likely to line up in a Reds jersey at the start of next season, part of a fresh contract which will keep him in Australia for the Rugby World Cup, and likely beyond.

The move is tipped to be announced after the Waratahs finish their Super Rugby season and before the Rugby Championship kicks off next month.

It's a prospect which even has the typically straight bat Thorn dreaming of what could be in 2019.

"I guess it's one of those things where you have those dreams at night and some people see sheep jumping, I see Izzy in a Queensland jersey," Thorn told RUGBY.com.au earlier this week.

"Izzy is playing his footy and his manager is running that stuff and we aren't hassling him or anything.

"If we heard he was interested in coming here that would be exciting and you imagine those (cross-field kicks).

"He's a real talent and I'm sure NSW and all other clubs feel the same way.

"We're coming to the end of our season, we will get through our next game and have a break.

"Along that process you're getting positions filled and getting into that next season."

The Waratahs would hate to lose Folau and a move north would likely see them scrambling around for a replacement star. Maybe even a replacement Izzy.

There is talk Izzy Perese is open to a move away from Ballymore.

League target Tonegato sticking with rugby as well

Emma Tonegato had a double in the quarter-final. Photo: Getty ImagCharlotte Caslick isn't the only Aussie sevens star who has had been chased by women's NRL clubs.

Speedster Emma Tonegato told RUGBY.com.au this week she'd been approached by several clubs about playing in the six-week NRLW comp later this year.

Tonegato is an obvious target given she was a member of the NSW Origin and Jillaroos teams prior to joining the Australian sevens program in 2014.

But - like Caslick - the 23-year-old winger has rebuffed the league advances.

"To be honest I have had interest from clubs but at this stage it's only a six week comp, the NRL," Tonegato said.

"So in terms of looking after myself and my career, rugby is where I want to be at the moment.

"The money is better in rugby, we're full-time here. I won't shut the door to league in the future, it's probably a game you can play longer compared to sevens, which is a lot harder on the body.

"But right now my mind is on sevens and until that comp gets as big as sevens or can offer similar things, I will be staying in this program."

Faagase, Ready face moves

Andrew Ready was farewelled by the Reds at Friday night's home game against the Sunwolves, bringing an end to his time at Ballymore.

The 25-year-old was on the Wallabies' radar after a breakout 2016 but the arrival of Stephen Moore at the club relegated his standing in the pecking order, forced to fight for time off the bench with Alex Mafi.

The arrival of Brandon Paenga-Amosa this year compounded Ready's woes and he made just three bench cameos this season, toiling behind both the recently capped Wallabies hooker and Mafi.

We hear Ready was not offered another contract by the club, with the Force tipped as his next destination.

While Ready's departure is a done deal, it's understood Sef Faagase's situation is a little more complicated.

Faagase, like Ready, has been forced to settle for time off the bench this season - JP Smith and Taniela Tupou lead pipe locks to start at loosehead and tighthead prop, respectively, each week.

 

I’ve loved every minute being part of the Reds. Thank you 😘❤️👏🏽

A post shared by Sef Fa'agase (@sef_faagase) on


He took to Instagram to bid farewell to Ballymore but it's understood the Reds are still in contract talks with the versatile 27-year-old.

We hear Faagase is eager to return to New Zealand to play in the Mitre 10 Cup, with Kiwi Super Rugby franchises potential suitors.

Brumbies bid farewell


It's not just Queensland clearing out some players, with a host of Brumbies saying their farewells after their final round win in Sydney.

Some, such as Kyle Godwin's impending move to Connacht and backrower Isi Naisarani's shift to Melbourne, are well-known but the centre is just the beginning of those departing Canberra.

Rory Arnold will once again be the only Arrnold at the Brumbies with coach Dan McKellar confirming on Saturday night that Rory's twin Richie was moving on.

Young back James Dargaville, props Nic Mayhew and Mees Erasmus, hooker Robbie Abel are also moving on.

Centre Andrew Smith will be bowing out of rugby altogether after eight years with the club, waving an understated goodbye to the Brumbies. 

South Australia takes Div Two Schools trophy

South Australia's boys claimed the 2018 Australian Schools Division Two title.

The crow-eaters took the final 74-5 over Tasmania to defend their 2017 title on the Gold Coast.

David Pocock's wild wombat chase

We've heard of wild goose chases but David Pocock took his Instagram followers on a wild wombat chase this week.

The Brumbies and Wallabies flanker worked his way through a storm water drain in chase of a wombat but it was ultimately a fruitless quest.

Better luck next time, Poey!

Samoa into Rugby World Cup

Samoa has qualified for the Rugby World Cup. Photo: Getty ImagesSamoa is the latest country to make it into the Rugby World Cup, completing the Pool A lineup.

The Pacific Islanders toppled Germany 42-28 in the away leg of their qualifying series to secure their spot in the 2019 tournament.

Their inclusion leaves just two spots left in the Japan tournament - one for the top African side and one for a repechage winner.

Germany will go into that repechage against Hong Kong, Canada and an African team as they vie for their own spot.

DRAW

2019 Rugby World Cup pools

Pool A

Ireland, Scotland, Japan (hosts), Russia, Samoa

Pool B

 New Zealand (holders), South Africa, Italy, Africa winners, repechage winners

Pool C

England, France, Argentina, United States, Tonga

Pool D

 Australia, Wales, Georgia, Fiji, Uruguay

Star links with Australian schoolboys 

The puns were flying thick and fast in the RUGBY.com.au commentary last week when it was revealed NSW II fly-half Matt Minogue is cousins with superstars Kylie and Dannii Minogue.

Minogue was one of the NSW II's best as they almost knocked off NSW I in the final of the Australian Schools Championship at St Ignatius' College.

It's not known if he's a musical type but Minogue's teammate Daniel Ala certainly is.

Management revealed the NSW II fullback, who was also named in the Australian Schoolboys squad, is the lead singer in a boy band at St Augustine's College.

The Australian schoolboy coaches may need name badges when they get together later this year for Tests against Tonga and New Zealand with two Angus Bells picked in the squad.

Luckily, one Angus Bell is a giant prop and the other is a flying winger, so they won't be seen together on the field or at the dinner buffet.

Gardner appointed to TRC fixtures

Australian referee Angus Gardner will take the reins of the Argentina vs South Africa and South Africa vs New Zealand clashes in the 2018 Rugby Championship.

It's the first time Gardner has been given back-to-back TRC fixtures, a big tick for his refereeing this season.

Aussie students take on the world

 

Finals day feels 💚💛💚 #uniroos #lemon&lime

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Australia's University Sevens teams collected silver in the 2018 World University Championships in Namibia.

The Aussie men were pipped by South Africa in the final, 24-14, with France winning bronze.

Australia's women went down to the French in their final, 24-7 as Belgium took bronze.