The Aussie Super Rugby season is back and so is One Percenters for 2018!
What have you missed in rugby this week?
Cooper doing the hard yards
Quade Cooper hasn’t been spotted around Ballymore but he’s throwing everything into his 2018 campaign with Brisbane club, Souths.
Cooper, who will be by far the most expensive Premier Rugby player this season, is doing all the hard yards with his new teammates.
The 29-year-old roughed it with teammates on the Gold Coast for the club’s preseason camp and has spent much of his time in the gym recently, working out with James O’Connor when he was in Australia and Digby Ioane on his recent return to Brisbane.
Cooper might not have a future with Queensland in Super Rugby but there are whispers his hard work may land him somewhere else, and it might not be as far as expected.
Fleck gives tick to new Super Rugby format
It’s easy to forget it wasn’t just Australia affected in last year’s Super Rugby overhaul, with South Africa’s draw vastly changed in 2018.
The new (or old, depending on how you view it) Super Rugby format means the South African teams are back to facing both the Aussies and Kiwis ever year, where they had been alternating.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said the shift was a necessary change for the competition, though dismissed the notion that it could flow on to Springboks success.
“It had to go that way,”he said after a narrow loss to the Waratahs.
“We can’t just be playing New Zealand one year and Australia the next.
“We all learn from each other and we all want to play against each other.
“It’s the best format when you’re going strength vs strength again and we all get the opportunity to play here in Sydney and likewise they come and play in Cape Town and we play in New Zealand.
“The competition has to go that way, like the old format. We’re super excited about this year and getting those opportunities to play.”
Royals clinging to Calcutta Cup
Scotland beat England for the first time in a decade overnight, a result that excited pretty much everyone except England fans.
And, when it came time for Princess Anne to hand over the Calcutta Cup to Scotland captain John Barclay, she wasn’t quite ready to let it go to the northerners.
Sevens duo going bush
Sevens stars Lewis Holland and Charlotte Caslick have been working just as hard off the field as on the field in recent times.
The couple recently bought a farm together in Queensland and this week received their first lot of heifers.
Classics head to HK
The Classic Wallabies will be a part of the Hong Kong 10s again in 2018 and they’re taking some big names to the tournament next month.
Tim Horan is set to coach the group, with Wendell Sailor, Stephen Hoiles, Mark Gerrard, Adam Freier and Peter Kimlin among the playing squad, looking to better thier 2017 finish.
Last year’s group also included a host of Sevens development players who are making the mark this season, inlcuding breakout star Ben O’Donnell.
Women top of the Okinawa pops
Whiile their top-flight team flew to Vegas, Australia’s next tier of women’s Sevens players finished third in the Okinawa Sevens.
The Aussies went down to England in their Semi-final in Japan, before blitzing Russia in the third-placed final on Sunday afternoon.
Australia’s side in Okinawa included players like Cassie Staples and Queensland development player and rising star Alysia Fakaosilea.
Tevita tops the Brumbiies bowling stocks
Tevita Kuridrani has taken some 2018 silverware already, in the Brumbies’ annual backs bowling contest.
Flyhalf Wharenui Hawera was the reigning champ but the Wallabies centre snatched the title, and a snazzy championship belt, off his teammate this week.