One Percenters: Latham harbours ambitions for Queensland return

International
by Beth Newman, Emma Greenwood and Iain Payten

Queensland great Chris Latham says his ultimate coaching ambition would be to return to Ballymore and his beloved Queensland Reds.

Latham is currently Samoa's attack coach but he will finish up with the Pacific Island nation after this year's Rugby World Cup.

Chris Latham played in three World Cups for Australia. Photo: Getty ImagesBeyond that, the 44-year-old isn't sure what will come next for him, though he expects his next coaching step would be another move overseas.

Reds coach Brad Thorn and his assistants are locked into deals for 2020, but Latham said a return to Queensland would certainly be at the top of his list of desires when it came to coaching.

"As a coach, you've got to be open to all areas, so again my heart obviously lies in Australia and especially at Queensland," he said.

"Nothing would make me prouder than to be able to be coaching here in Australia and particularly in Queensland but there's got to be opportunities there for that to occur and at the moment, it doesn't seem like those opportunities are there so you've just got to keep moving around and getting that experience."

Latham has coached in Japan as well as in Australia and has also run coaching academies since retiring from rugby in 2012.

Scomo meets and greets Wallabies

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Wallabies captain David Pocock speak after Australia's win over Samoa. Photo: Getty ImagesPrime Minister Scott Morrison attended Saturday night's Wallabies-Samoa Test and he spoke with players and coach Michael Cheika on-field after the Test match.

Morrison and skipper for the night David Pocock were snapped chatting and we couldn't help but wonder what the pair might have been discussing.

Pocock is a vocal advocate of social justice and the need for action on climate change.

We suspect the conversation stayed pretty much entirely on footy but many reckon Pocock will pursue a future in politics after he hangs up the boots, so could this be the first meeting of many?

Scott Morrison made a special pre-match presentation in Parramatta. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyMorrison and Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Aiono Sailele Malielegaoi were involved in a pre-match ceremony as well, with Morrison gifting Malielegaoi an Indigenous Wallabies jersey.

Cultural respect

There was another indigenous jersey presentation before the Wallabies-Samoa kick-off, too, but the second one was on the field.

Wallabies centre Matt Toomua, who has Samoan heritage, presented Samoa skipper Jack Lam with a Wallabies' indigenous-design jersey before the visitors performed the Suva Tau.

As a response to the sign of respect, Lam laid in front of the Samoans as they performed their war cry.

Samoa support strong in Sydney

There was a large contingent of Samoa fans in the stands at Bankwest on Saturday night, a reflection of the tight-knit community in Sydney.

Such is the strength of Manu Samoa's connection with Sydney's west, the team held its own fundraiser in Granville this week, raising over $90,000 towards helping the team.

There were some familiar faces to the Wallabies there to help their side including Scott Sio's parents, David and Tina, and Allan and Michael Alaalatoa's parents as well.

The Sios are heavily involved in the Samoan community and they were also at Lidcombe Oval on Thursday afternoon for Samoa's main training session in the west.

A nice reminder of the global connections in rugby. 

Phipps' low-key Sydney goodbye no oversight

Nick Phipps might have played his final Test for the Wallabies on Saturday night. Photo: RUGBY.com.au/Stuart WalmsleyPocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu were given official farewells after Saturday night's game but one man who wasn't part of the celebrations was halfback Nick Phipps.

Phipps is heading to London to play for Premiership side London Irish in the 2019-20 season and may well have played his final Test but there was no framed photo handed out for him after the match.

The 30-year-old missed the World Cup cut and has not featured much for the Wallabies this winter but he hasn't officially declared his intentions for Test rugby after this year, still eligible for Wallabies duties under the "Giteau Law".

If it was his farewell, it was a fitting one - helping Australia secure a win in Sydney's west where things began for him.

Anthem given Indigenous touch at Coogee Oval

Saturday's Randwick-Argentina match at Coogee Oval was an historic day for the proud club on the field but they added an extra touch before the match too.

When the national anthems were sung, the 'Wicks had a local Indigenous woman sing Advance Australia Fair.

She didn't simply sing it in English, though - she sang in her Indigenous dialect before singing the English version.

It was a nice acknowledgement of the history of the local area and a good touch from the Galloping Greens.

QLD GPS drought broken

One of the longest droughts in Queensland schoolboys rugby was ended on Saturday when Brisbane Boy's College toppled Nudgee College on their home turf.

BBC had not won at Nudgee's Ross Oval since 1985 but this was their best chance in a long time, with the school from Brisbane's inner west having a stellar season.

In Sydney schools action, Waverley College became the second school to have their names engraved on the Manu Sutherland Shield after beating St Augustine's at Bankwest Stadium.

The CAS school edged out their northern beaches rivals to join Nudgee College on the shield, after Nudgee beat Brisbane State High at Suncorp Stadium ahead of July's Wallabies-Argentina Test.

Rugby faces link up for "Team Rugby"

Adam Freier, Ben O'Donnell, Ned Hanigan, Sammie Treherne and Eva Karpani promote "Team Rugby". Photo: SuppliedFaces from all facets of rugby joined together on Sunday morning to promote a new Rugby Australia initiative "Team Rugby".

Representatives from the Classic Wallabies, Sevens, Wallaroos and Wallabies gathered at Birchgrove Oval in Sydney and appeared on Sunrise.

For more information, go to team.rugby.