One Percenters: Former Wallaby links up with Sevens

by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

He's already one of the busiest men in rugby but former Wallabies flanker Stephen Hoiles has added another gig to his week by taking on a part-time coaching role with the Australian men's sevens program.

The inclusion of the 2014 Super Rugby winner is one of a number of changes made by new coach Tim Walsh.

Hoiles will be a consultant on areas such as contact and breakdown work.

Hoiles is already doing terrific work as boss of the Classic Wallabies group, who tour nationally and internationally for charity games and clinics with youngsters. He is also a commentator with Fox Sports. 

With much of the Aussie sevens squad still young both in age and experience, it is believed Hoiles's role will be as much as a mentor as a coach.

The Sevens are looking to tap into the Classic Wallabies network to help develop their players and provide extra expertise when overseas.

Already, the Classics often play exhibition games around Sevens tournaments and for tournaments where Hoiles doesn't travel, there are plans to have a Classic Wallaby involved with the team away from home.

In other changes under Walsh's new regime, former head of performance NIck Poulos is a high-profile departure, moving on to a role with A-League club Central Coast. There are also several other changes in backroom staff of both the men's and women's programs.

Sevens Olympians locked in

Aussie Sevens co-captain Sharni Williams has joined a growing list of Rio Olympians to sign on for another Olympic crack.

Williams, who is a core part of the champion side, has re-signed with the program through to Tokyo 2020 as the side's Olympic preparations ramp up.

The 30-year-old follows fellow stars Charlotte Caslick, Emilee Cherry and Vani Pelite who have re-committed in recent weeks after winning gold in Rio.

Shannon Parry is tipped to follow in Williams' footsteps soon, with the final members who will form the core of that Olympic push to be finalised in the coming weeks.

Genia picked for Baabaas

Wallabies halfback Will Genia will be staying on an extra week at the end of this year's Spring Tour after being picked to play in the annual Barbarians match.

Genia was one of four players announced as Baabaas reps for 2019 against Argentina, along with Springboks Eben Etzebeth, Handre Pollard and Tendai 'Beast' Mtawarira.

The Baabaas will take on Argentina on December 1 at Twickenham.

Coleman's mad dash south well worth it

Adam Coleman and his partner, Tonia, welcomed a baby girl into the world on Sunday morning.

Coleman received word his girl was on the way on Saturday afternoon at about 12pm and jumped on the first flight back to Melbourne.

The star lock wasn't the only Australian player in a mad dash on Saturday, though, with Rob Simmons called into the squad in Coleman's place.

After calling Sydney Rays coach Chris Whitaker to inform him of the news Simmons arrived at a jam packed Sydney airport unable to catch a flight to Brisbane due to delays.

He boarded a flight to the Gold Coast instead and was met by his wife Lucy - who happened to be visiting her parents in town at the time.

The hour long - pending traffic - drive down the M1 then followed but after all that, Simmons arrived at Suncorp ahead of the team.

Talk about chaos!

Springboks won't be back in Brisbane in 2019

The Wallabies and Springboks won't be playing off in Brisbane next year. Photo: Getty ImagesA 27,849 crowd at Brisbane on Saturday night was the lowest for a Wallabies Test against the Springboks in recent memory in Queensland.

Just 700-odd more than the 2018 June Test against Italy in Brisbane, the numbers did not look good for the Wallabies.

The Wallabies have had strong crowds for other opponents in the past year with 45,000 in Brisbane for the third Bledisloe Test last October and 47,623 watching Australia beat Ireland.

Poor Bledisloe performances diminished their attraction in the Rugby Championship but there is a view that Brisbane has an element of fatigue when it comes to the Springboks, despite a history of tight clashes but they will not be back in Brisbane next year.

Australia will host the Pumas in one of their two home Tests in 2019 as part of a shortened Rugby Championship tournament ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Argentina and the Wallabies haven't played in Brisbane since a 2000 clash at Ballymore, with their more recent Tests held on the Gold Coast, Perth and Canberra.

The Pumas haven't traditionally been huge crowd-drawers but under Mario Ledesma they are fast improving and will be keenly observed by Aussies.

Argentina showed some dangerous signs against the All Blacks in Nelson on Saturday night and another high-octane performance could make them an even more attractive team to watch.

Son of a gun gets Rays call-up

The late changes in the Sydney Rays lineup were a point of plenty of discussion this weekend but there was one inclusion who went under the radar at Concord Oval.

With Rob Simmons and Conor Vest both late scratchings, a young flanker by the name of Christian Poidevin came into the Rays reserves.

The son of former Waratahs skipper and Wallabies flanker Simon Poidevin, Christian has been playing for Randwick's colts this year and is earmarked for a big future.

Top refs gather in Queensland

Angus Gardner was at Waratahs training on Wednesday. Photo: Getty ImagesThe ongoing discussion around the danger of neck rolls gathered plenty of momentum this week and you can't help but wonder if the referees bosses were tuning in.

They were certainly not far away when Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and his captain Michael Hooper raised the concern with David Pocock's late withdrawal.

World Rugby and SANZAAR had their refereeing group in camp this week on the Gold Coast, debriefing the first two rounds of the Rugby Championship with Alain Rolland leading the charge.

Aussies might just be hoping the discussion found its way to the officials as they discuss the future of the game.

QRU adds two new directors

The QRU has added two new board members this week with Jane Schmitt and Selwyn Button joining the directors. 

Schmitt is an experienced businesswoman and has been AMA Queensland CEO most recently.

Fans may recognize Button's name - the Indigenous education specialist gave the acknowledgement of country at Saturday night's Test against the Springboks.

Former Wallaby David Clarke was also given life membership.

QRU chairman Jeff Miller said the two would be valuable additions.

"The QRU is delighted to gain the services of Jane Schmitt and Selwyn Button to complement to existing skills on our Board," he said in a statement.

"Jane has extensive professional and Board experience and Selwyn has been assisting the QRU’s excellent Indigenous Program as a senior member of our Indigenous Advisory Council for several years, so his appointment is a great fit for this organisation.

“I’m pleased that David Clark has been recognised for his lifelong service to Rugby in this state with QRU life membership, the highest honour the organisation can bestow on a member of the Rugby community in Queensland.”

Springboks connection for anthem singer

Button wasn't the only person in pre-game with a strong rugby connection.

South Africa's anthem singer was Sumari Botha, niece of Springboks great Joost van der Westhuizen.

Steelers great calls time

Ryan Scott has retired from wheelchair rugby. Photo: SuppliedRyan Scott, one of Australia's most decorated wheelchair rugby players, has retired from the sport.

Scott played at four Paralympic Games and five World Championships ina 17-year international career.

Scott told the Australian Paralympic Committee's website that the decision was a difficult one with Tokyo 2020 on the horizon.

"It has been a tough decision knowing that I won’t play in Tokyo [2020 Paralympics], especially wanting to be part of another Games with your mates, but I feel really confident that I’m leaving with the Steelers in really good hands."

Congratulations on an incredible career, Ryan!

Shute Shield repeat in Jack Scott final

Sydney Uni and Warringah battled it out in the recent Shute Shield final and the two clubs' women's teams will be shooting for the Jack Scott Cup next week.

The Ratettes are the defending champions but Sydney Uni is yet to drop a game in 2018 and will be hard to stop in the decider.

Marlins take on the Navy to promote Invictus

The Manly Marlins will be helping promote the upcoming Invictus Games in an exhibition match against the Navy.

The Invictus games, which involves injured servicemen and women from around the world, are kicking off in Sydney in October.

It's an event that means a lot to those involved and the match will help raise awareness and support for the Games.

Manly will take on the Navy on Saturday September 22 at Brookvale Oval.