Rugby Australia

Rugby Australia announces Super Rugby AU schedule for 2021 competition

The five-team domestic competition filled the breach in Australia from July through September this year after the wider Super Rugby season was shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With COVID-19 virtually eliminated in Australia, Super Rugby AU’s second instalment will be a genuine home-and-away season rather than having teams confined to biosecure hubs in eastern states as happened this year.

Wallabies considering 'taking a knee' alongside donning First Nations jersey

RA on Wednesday unveiled the 2020 First Nations jersey to be worn against New Zealand and Argentina in two games of the Tri Nations tournament starting next week.

Designed by Sydney artist Dennis Golding, the jersey pays tribute to each of the 14 Indigenous Australians who have played Test rugby.

Bledisloe Cup: Veteran prop James Slipper admits Wallabies 'deserve to be underdogs'

Not this time.

A new coach, new staff and 16 uncapped players in Dave Rennie's 44 man squad has left only the bravest of Wallabies fans giving the Australians a hope when the first Bledisloe Cup Test kicks off in Wellington on Sunday.

Some players may take the lack of confidence in the fresh-faced Wallabies personally. Not James Slipper.

He has endured enough defeats at the hands of the All Blacks - 14 in his 96 Tests - to admit the Wallabies "do not have a leg to stand on" when it comes to results when it counts against the Kiwis.

Wallabies forced to assess player options for Rugby Championship following injury to offshore star

Arnold was at the top of coach Dave Rennie’s hit list after Rugby Australia announced selection revisions earlier this month that opened the door to high-profile players plying their trade overseas.

For 2020 Rennie is allowed to select two players who have not met the 60-test or seven-year service threshold that has been in place since 2015, and with a lack of depth in the second row, Arnold was in the frame.

Standing 208cm, the former Brumby has played 26 tests and was part of Australia’s World Cup campaign last year before leaving for France.

Wallabies excited for freedom

In New Zealand for two Bledisloe Cup matches next month, the Australian side were going through their mandatory 14-day quarantine in a Christchurch hotel.

Pending negative Covid-19 tests on Monday for the entire touring party, they would have the freedom to train as a full squad tomorrow.

The Wallabies arrived in Christchurch on Friday night, and were escorted to their hotel by the New Zealand Defence Force.

While their movements had been heavily limited, Kiwi-born hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa said he had enjoyed the three days.

Qantas ends 30-year partnership with Rugby Australia

The Australian airline has been seeking cost savings because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has severely affected the travel industry.

"While it's disappointing to lose a loyal partner, it is understandable," said RA's interim chief executive Rob Clarke.

RA announced in June that it was cutting a third of its full-time staff.

The airline had already said it was losing 2,500 jobs and had posted an annual pre-tax loss of Aus$2.7bn (£1.51bn).

Brumbies hang on to win Super Rugby AU title

The victory ensured the Brumbies' third title at Super Rugby level, having won the broader international Super Rugby competition in 2001 and 2004.

Hooker Folau Fainga'a, winger Andy Muirhead and fullback Tom Banks all crossed for the home side, while first-five Noah Lolesio, surprisingly brought back after two months out with a hamstring injury, kicked 13 points.

Loose forward Harry Wilson and lock Angus Blyth scored tries for the Reds and James O'Connor added 13 points from the boot to give them hopes of adding to their only Super Rugby title in 2011.

Former British and Irish Lions star to join Wallabies coaching staff

Parling played for the Rebels in 2018 and has made successful transition into coaching, engineering the Melbourne lineout over the past two years.

In Super Rugby AU, the Rebels had the best lineout success (88 per cent), ahead of the Brumbies and Waratahs (both 83 per cent).

Brumbies coach McKellar was the first target for the Wallabies, but told Dave Rennie he wanted to remain working in Canberra this year after his assistant Peter Hewat opted to take up a role in Japan.

Bledisloe Cup: Wallabies can train together in quarantine in NZ - Jacinda Ardern

The Wallabies are due to play the All Blacks in two Bledisloe Cup matches in New Zealand.

The Wallabies coach had complained about the lack of preparation time due to quarantine requirements.

Ardern told Morning Report the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield was happy for the team to train together while in quarantine.

Training will be allowed from day three and the full squad from day six.

Hooper will take 2021 Waratahs sabbatical to play under Steve Hansen in Japan

It was last April when swingeing Covid-19 pay cut arrangements were confirmed by Rugby Australia following lengthy discussions with the Rugby Union Players Association.

To compensate for the loss of earnings, Rugby Australia agreed that a half-dozen of its top stars would be permitted to seek out six-month contracts overseas outside of the international Test window. This stipulation has now been taken advantage of by Hooper who will join Toyota Verblitz who have ex-All Blacks boss Hansen and ex-Wallabies assistant Simon Cron on their management ticket.