One Percenters: Trump forces Rebels onto commuter train, Wallabies World Cup jersey to be unveiled

Super Rugby
by Beth Newman, Emma Greenwood and Iain Payten

Donald Trump might not appear to have much to do with Super Rugby but the USA president created a roadblock for the Melbourne Rebels last weekend.

Trump's visit forced a host of road closures around Tokyo, making it difficult to travel around the city with ease, particularly if you're trying to use a team bus.

The Rebels were booked on the red eye flight back to Melbourne and the timing combined with Trump's visit meant they had to take a different route to the airport.

The Rebels' journey to Tokyo airport, as told by their Instagram story. Photo: Melbourne Rebels/InstagramMelbourne's playing group went straight from the game to the train, making it to the airport just in time for their trip home.

There was no VIP service either - the Rebels were among the infamous Japanese crowds as they began their whirlwind journey back to Australia.

By Sunday morning, they were back in Victoria savouring their record-breaking win over the Sunwolves.

Kurtley weighing up his future

Kurtley Beale has given the first indication he may be going the post-World Cup flight out of Australia.

Beale is off contract with Rugby Australia and the Waratahs, and there is talk he may be headed back to England and potentially land at Wasps again.

Asked at the weekend if he was treating his last few Waratahs games like they may be his last, Beale said: "I haven’t really thought about it too much. Obviously I leave that up to my manager. There are a few things happening around the traps. 

"It’s a massive year for me. I am just making sure I get my body right for now and it’s a massive game (against Melbourne). I haven’t really been thinking about it too much."

Vote for your favourite Rugby World Cup jersey

The Wallabies' 2019 Rugby World Cup jersey will be unveiled on Wednesday but before a new strip is added to the collection, we're asking you which of the past World Cup kits you like the most.

In a knockout social media contest, will be giving all our fans on Facebook and Twitter the chance to vote for their faovurites.

This weekend has been quarter-final weekend with 1987 vs 2003, 1991 vs 2007 1995 vs 2011 and 1999 vs 2015.

So far, the 2003 jersey and the 1991 jersey have progressed to the final four with some incredibly tight results ensuring that every vote counts.

There's still a chance to vote in the final two match ups of the quarter-finals, before the semis begin on Monday.

The winner will be revealed on Tuesday night, before the 2019 Rugby World Cup strip is launched.

Keep an eye on all our channels to have your say.

Force nab a win in Fiji

The Western Force began the Pacific legs of their Global Rapid Rugby series with a 27-15 win over the Fijian Latui on Saturday.

Tries to Jack McGregor, Isaak Fines and Feleti Kaitu'u helped the Force ensure they kept their winning run going in this 

There were plenty of recognisable names in the Latui outfit as well with scrumhalf Frank Lomani among the 23 that faced off against the Force.

The Force take on Kagifa Samoa in Perth next Friday night in the next round of their Pacific series. 

QPR puts mental health front and centre

Easts captain Tom Milosevic being presented the Rick Tyrrell Cup. Photo: QRU Media/Brendan HertelQueensland Rugby Union has partnered with Rugby Unite, the State Government and Queensland Mental Health Commission to roll out a world-first mental heath awareness training program to the state’s rugby clubs.

The Rugby Unite program was founded by four mates - Damon Rielly, Darren Gaffney, Michael Chettle and Alex Corones - who lost friend Rick Tyrrell in 2015 due to his battles with mental health.

Their program has been raising awareness about mental health within Brisbane Rugby clubs but will now be rolled out around the state’s 240 rugby clubs. 

The three-year Rugby Unite program will provide not just information about combatting mental health in grassroots Rugby clubs but will also train volunteers in mental health first aid.

 It is the first time a sporting organisation has combined awareness of mental health with formal training to recognise the signs and provide tools to get sufferers the help they need.

Rielly said the shock of Tyrrell’s passing highlighted how mental illness could strike anyone – and how it went unrecognised.

 “As mates we did not have the understanding to recognise his mental health condition or how to help,” Rielly said.

 “Rick’s death spurred us into action to do whatever we could, to prevent anyone else from having to deal with a similar tragedy. Rugby Unite was formed in 2016 and is committed to working with the Queensland Rugby community to address the issue of mental illness, because it affects more people than anyone really realises.”

The Rugby Unite program also honours the memory of former Queensland Reds and Wallabies great Stan Pilecki, who was a tireless campaigner for mental health awareness.

QRU Chief Executive Officer David Hanham said the work of Rugby Unite and the advocacy of Pilecki had brought mental health into the spotlight.

“Based on State-wide mental health statistics almost 5000 of our 26,000 registered players will suffer some sort of mental health issue every year,” Hanham said.

 “We will be providing our Rugby community not just with encouragement to talk about mental illness, but providing each club with the tools to identify it and get people into the health system.”

Tyrrell’s former clubs Easts and Sunnybank played for the fifth annual Rick Tyrrell Cup last weekend - the teams playing in the opposition’s socks in a show of support - with the Tigers winning 26-19.

Kerevi makes fan's day

Samu Kerevi made the day of one fan after a chance meeting at Nadi International Airport this week.

Kerevi made a quick trip home to Fiji after being rested by the Reds from their clash against the Chiefs under Rugby Australia’s workload policy.

And he created the “highlight of 2019” for one fan, who later posted her chance airport meeting with the Reds captain to Instagram.

Kerevi is expected to be back in action for the Reds’ clash against the Jaguares at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday.

Ryan's World Cup plans dashed

Fiji's World Cup campaign has been dealt a strange blow this week with defence coach Peter Ryan revealing they had withdrawn their offer for his services at the World Cup.

Ryan was set to be Fiji's defence coach for the tournament, as he has been in recent seasons, but in a LinkedIn post on Wednesday he wrote that was no longer the case.

"Just wanting to let everyone know that I have been informed by John McKee (Fiji head coach) that Fiji Rugby Union have overspent their World Cup budget," he wrote.

"Due to this, I will no longer be working with Fiji. 

"(I'm) very disappointed. I was expecting to achieve something special, but alas this will not happen.

"Just want to wish the Fiji rugby players all the very best in their endeavours."

Ryan has been involved with the Fijian side since 2017, appointed as defence coach ahead of that year's June Test series.

Clyne breaks silence on Folau affair

CamfReron Clyne. Photo: Getty ImagesRugby Australia chairman Cameron Clyne says the game might be hurting in the wake of Israel Folau's dismissal but said inaction would have been far more harmful to the sport.

Clyne spoke to ABC podcast 'The Ticket", his first interview since the Folau drama began, and said their action was the least painful outcome.

"Yes, the game has suffered reputationally through this, but had we not dealt with this in a clear and decisive way the game would have suffered way more, there is no question of that," he said.

"We would have suffered tremendous backlash from a lot of people."

The former NAB CEO said Rugby AU had received plenty of support from other organisations and individuals for their decision, dismissing the suggestion that termination was an overreaction from the national body.

"If they (critics) can point out an organisation where posting this would be acceptable we'd be interested to hear [from them] and also a sponsor that'd be happy to be associated with that," he said.

"The reality is that the overwhelming number of companies and the overwhelming number of sponsors would not want to be associated with a post that generated harm."