One Percenters: Gill exploring Aussie avenues

Super Rugby
by Sam Phillips and Beth Newman

Liam Gill is the latest Australian talent plying his trade abroad searching for an avenue back to Australia in 2019.

We hear Gill's management has reached out to Australian Super Rugby clubs to explore any potential interest but cash remains a prohibitive factor.

Gill is understood to be earning more than $500,000 per year and with Michael Hooper and David Pocock on the Rugby Australia books, top up cash is limited.

That is not a new situation for Gill, though, as when he left the Reds in 2016 his salary was almost entirely paid by the QRU.Liam Gill is eager to head home. Photo: AFPThat may have to be the situation once more if Gill is to return to a Super Rugby club as the Waratahs and Brumbies have Hooper and Pocock, respectively, while Melbourne are already under some salary cap pressure.

The Reds don't have a stack of cash to throw around either but that may change if and when Quade Cooper is announced as a Rebels player.

There's also the potential for more dollars to be freed up should Karmichael Hunt decide to leave the club.

Watch this space.

Cooper still tipped to head south

Quade Cooper is still tipped to be a Rebel in 2019. Photo: Getty ImagesWhile on the topic of Cooper Melbourne fans can take no news as good news at this point in time.

Each of the Rebels, Reds and Rugby Australia have been relatively quiet on the progress of the transfer but we understand all parties are still set on sending the star flyhalf to Melbourne.

Cooper's case is certainly helped by some superb form through the back half of the NRC despite Brisbane City falling short of a finals berth.

Ryan heading to the Majors

Major League Rugby in the USA is starting to look heavily at the ranks of Australian rugby for players and we hear they've landed one of their biggest fish yet - 100-cap Waratah prop Paddy Ryan.

Ryan, who played three Tests for the Wallabies, finished up his Aussie career with a Shute Shield premiership and a game on home turf in Tamworth as skipper of the NSW Country Eagles on Saturday.

We're tipping a few beers were consumed in honour of the man NSW players know as "Froffies".

Good luck to one of the nice guys of Aussie rugby.

ET eyeing World Cup glory

Emma Tonegato has one eye on the 2021 Women's World Cup. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyEmma Tonegato has her eyes set on a second Olympic gold in 2020 after re-signing with the Australian women's sevens team last week.

But she is also keen to give another big event the following year a crack - the Womens Rugby World Cup in 2021 - which will hopefully be hosted by Australia.

Tonegato hasn't played XVs rugby but played for the Jillaroos in league, so she knows how to handle herself with more than six teammates.

"The World is in 2021 so there is definitely an opportunity to look at that post-Tokyo. I will definitely consider but at the moment I am focused on sevens and the Olympics and after that it will definitely on my radar," she told us.

"It would be a nice achievement to have that on my resume and to experience that, with a different bunch of people. If Australian wins the bid to host the World Cup that’d be amazing, too."

Sevens stars, Toomua go celeb spotting

What do Sam Treherne, Yasmin Meakes, Ellia Green and Matt Toomua all have in common?Matt Toomua bumped into Neymar this week. Photo: InstagramThey bumped into some A list celebs at airports during the week!Treherne, Meakes and Greene all bumped into the Hollywood star. Photo: Instagram

Clark, English staying put

Both Tom English and Cam Clark have re-signed with the Rebels and Waratahs, respectively.

The outside backs have both had quality years and it's pleasing to see them sticking around for 2019.