One Percenters: Waratahs to stick with SCG, Thorn closing in on new contract

Super Rugby
by Beth Newman, Emma Greenwood and Iain Payten

NSW Rugby will receive a report on the SCG surface on Monday but are expecting things to be business as usual in Saturday's match against the Crusaders.

NSW's clash with the Reds a fortnight ago was marred by the surface with chunks of the surface dislodged in scrums and even in some heavy tackles.

The SCG trust has since replaced 3000m2 of turf in a bid to ensure it can stand up to the pressure.

Assistant coach Chris Whitaker said they were confident there would be no need to move the game or change the field configuration for the clash.

The SCG surface was ripped up by scrums on Saturday night. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart Walmsley"They've replaced a fair bit of it and there was obviously a league game there on Friday night," he said.

"I think there's a meeting on Monday with Andrew (NSW Rugby CEO Andrew hore) and the guys higher up to work out what's going on but I think we're pretty confident that the game will go ahead because the SCG trust is putting a bit of work into it."

The surface made it through Friday's rugby league game between the Roosters and Rabbitohs, though that played in a north-south configuration, that covers less of the affected turf.

The Waratahs aren't planning on rotating their east-west configuration, a move that aimed to give members a better view of the game.

"I think the field's going to stay the same way, think they were pretty happy with the spectator side of things the other night," Whitaker said.

"I think it was a better viewing for the spectators but there's been no chat about changing the field."

Thorn closing in on new deal

Reds coach Brad Thorn is on the cusp of re-signing with the Queensland Rugby Union, set to be offered a deal until the end of 2021.

While the Reds’ fighting comeback in Tokyo breathed life into a campaign that started with three consecutive losses, their record is not believed to have been an issue for the QRU, who see Thorn as a pivotal part of their future.

With assistants Peter Ryan and Jim McKay already locked in for next year, the Reds can now turn their attention to off-contract stars such as Samu Kerevi.

Kerevi is rumoured to be considering an overseas stint after the World Cup but his leadership, as much as his in-field ability, are a must if the Reds are to get the most out of their young group.

Timu looking for French fields

Caleb Timu is the latest Wallabies player linked with a move overseas next season, with the rampaging Queensland backorder being courted by a high-profile French club. 

Sevens ask Aussies to Dream Big Time

The Aussie Sevens program is kicking off a new recruitment initiative focusing on Indigenous talent, with the "Dream Big Time" tour to kick off next week.

Talent scouts will visit regional parts of Australia from Uluru to Broken Hill over a two-week tour aimed at encouraging Indigenous athletes to show their rugby skills.

For more information, head to firstnationsrugby.com.au

Queensland supporting Doubles Daley

Queensland's rugby community is rallying around Souths stalwart "Doubles" Daley as he battles lung cancer.

Daley is a tireless servant of rugby in the state and is a life member of the Souths club, which counts Samu Kerevi and Quade Cooper among its members.

Souths has set up a fundraiser to help contribute to his medical costs as he fights the deadly disease.

To donate, click here.

Cheika goes back to school

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and defence coach Nathan Grey took time out of their schedules to help train the U14 Marist College rugby side

The pair were in Canberra for Friday night's Brumbies-Waratahs game and made time to go and visit the local school and pitch in with some of their training.

There was no publicity around the visit on any official channels but the school posted their gratitude after the fact on Friday.

Aussie women having a nice time in France


Australia's Women's Sevens are filling a two-month gap between tournaments with a rare mid-season international trip to France.

While the trip is a chance for injured stars like Shannon Parry to work their way back into tournament action, there are a host of big name players who took the trip as well.

Australia has trained against the French side and will take on some international sides in a tournament.

Charlotte Caslick (hand) did not make the trip, with Emma Sykes, Alicia Quirk, Demi Hayes and Dom Du Toit all also missing with injury.

SQUAD

Aussie women's Sevens in France

Alysia Lefau-Tukino

Cassandra Staples

Ellia Green

Faith Nathan

Emma Tonegato

Lauren Brown

Lillian Dick

Madison Higgins Ashby

Mahalia Murphy

Page McGregor

Rhiannon Byers

Samantha Treherne

Sariah Paki

Shannon Parry

Yasmin Meakes