Ben Mowen quits Australia Rugby

Quade Copper could be handed the task of taking one of the most remarkable transformations in sports history in recent years following the decision of Ben Mowen to quit Australia Rugby at the end of this season.

Mowen, the Wallabies skipper stunned the local community of rugby by announcing that he will quit playing in the country when his contract at the end of this season and move to a French club, taking a decision that will benefit his family. This move for Mowen also takes away his opportunity to be the leader of the Australian national team in the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Mowen made his debut as a test player for the Australia Rugby team just last June and was promoted to the role of skipper in November with head coach Ewen McKenzie promoting him to the role after overlooking James Horwill.

McKenzie stated that he understands the situation of the player and admitted he still might look at picking the player for the tests this season but he is almost certain to install a new skipper with the Rugby World Cup looming large on the horizon in 2015.

He, however, didn’t want to mention who the candidates for the role are. He stated that there are a lot of players at his disposal, adding that they don’t have to pick a team for the next six months and he will worry about the decision closer to that time.

Mowen had been in negotiations with the Australia Rugby authorities over a contract upgrade after earning a lot less than his teammates having played every test for the team. But the cash strapped Wallabies kept pushing back negotiations and it might seem that his decision to move to France was enforced more that decided by the financial constraints of the ARU.

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Cuthbert up for Australia Rugby Team’s challenge

Alex Cuthbert has declared that he cannot wait to get into the fold once again and renew his acquaintance with the Australia Rugby Team this Saturday at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The 23 year old player has been recalled to the Wales team after he recovered from a hairline fracture on his ankle that had ruled him out of action for the last few matches of the national team. Cuthbert saw his name on the score sheet for the British and Irish Lions against the Wallabies during their summer tour of Australia and is relishing the chance to return to the international fold once against after missing out on his country’s last few internationals this autumn against Tonga, South Africa and Argentina.

According to the winger for the Cardiff Blues, he has not been thinking about anything else apart from playing in that stadium in front of the screaming home fans once again and added that the adrenaline was pumping in his heart and he cannot wait to get back on the pitch against the Australia Rugby Team.

He stated that he is looking forward to going out and putting up a show against one of the best teams in international rugby at the moment for his friends, family and the fans of Welsh rugby.

And although Cuthbert got a taste of victory against the Wallabies for the British and Irish Lions, his national team has lost all eight of their last fixtures against the green and gold and he will be hoping to turn the tide in their favor this time around.

And according to Warren Gatland, the Welsh manager, the Australia Rugby Team are a completely different outfit to the one the Lions faced in the summer and they are in for quite a challenge when they take them on.

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Australia Rugby Scene

The scene of Australia rugby is governed by the Australian National Rugby Union Team, nicknamed the Wallabies is known to compete with the rugby teams from Argentina, New Zealand and South Africa in the Rugby Championship since 1996. They have won the Tri Nations championship thrice in past 18 years. The years 200, 2001 and 2011 brought them victory.

They have contested against the All Blacks for the Bledisloe Cup since 1932. The wallabies have competed in all the seven Rugby World cups till date and have been victorious in 1991 against England and in 1999 against France.

Since 2010 the team of Australia rugby has been working in removing the minor glitches and has shown improved results in the “Tri-Nation Series”. In 2010 they almost miraculously won the Mandela plate by defeating South Africa and managed to keep their second position secure.

Also in 2010, Australia defeated the All Black after a consecutive 10th defeat, thus making a record in Australia rugby. Following this victory were two more defeats against England and Munster during the European tour. They also won the tri-nations series, now known as the rugby championship during 2011. However were defeated in their next attempt in 2012. For the first time the Wallabies defeated Italy in the 2011 Rugby World Cup, however lost against Ireland by 6-15. The injuries of Digby Loane and Stephen Moore took a heavy toll that year, on their performance. Eventually Australia won against the United States in their Pool-C match the same year.

They won with a lineup of Rob Home, Rocky Elsom, Drew Mitchell, Radike Same, Pat McCabe, Kurtley Bealy with each one of them scoring a try. The last pool match they won was against Russia by a 68-22. They defeated the Springboks to pave their ways to semi-finals. However they were thrown out of the 201 world cup after being defeated by the All Blacks, 6-20.

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PULVER ISSUES WARNING

The Australia rugby team might be hungry for success and fame, but Australian Rugby Union Chief Bill Pulver has warned them that it is not so easy, and that they must be realistic in their goals.

Pulver has really taken over the rugby scene in Australia, and he plans to bring about many changes in the Australia rugby circuit. His first initiative is to come up with a third tier, which will have all the elite players, and will provide a better chance of success for the national team.

And after Ewen McKenzie was appointed the head coach of the Australia rugby team, Pulver was really thrilled. But even he knows, and has even stated that coming out on top in the upcoming championship will be quite a bit of a challenge for the team.

They will be facing off against South Africa and New Zealand, and both of these teams are big guns in the rugby world, and taking them down will be a gargantuan task indeed. And not only these two teams, the Australia rugby team will have to lock horns even with the Argentineans, and they are a team who keep on improving at their game without any stoppage.

But Pulver is very excited with the prospect of all these teams head to head against each other in the championship, and he said in an interview that he obviously wants to win the Rugby Championship and the Bledisloe Cup. But both of these games will be quite tough, and just because they want to win does not mean that they easily will be able to. The coach is a brilliant one, the team looks promising, so hopes are raised, and there is every chance that the Australia rugby team will come out on top with a win in both games.

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McKenzie announced as new coach of Australia Rugby team

Ewen McKenzie, the new coach of the Australia Rugby Union team has a mere five weeks in front of him to turn around the faltering fortunes of The Wallabies before the team faces the toughest task possible: a two test series against the reigning Rugby World Cup champions, The All Blacks of New Zealand.

The Australian was announced as the new coach of the team just hours after the Australian Rugby Union announced that the first foreign coach in the history of the sport in the country Robbie Deans stepped down following the team’s disastrous defeat at the hands of the British and Irish Lions with just six months left on his contract with the country. The 48 year old McKenzie will see out his contract with the Queensland Reds Super Rugby team as their Director of Rugby before taking up the reigns of the Australia Rugby team from August.

McKenzie, who has previously served as the assistant coach of the national team between 2000 and 2003 stated that earlier in the year, he had put up his hand and said that this is what he wanted and this is what he would love to do. McKenzie has also had stints as a coach of the New South Wales Waratahs and the French powerhouse Stade Francais before returning to Australia to take up the reigns of The Reds.

He further added that it has been a very long and arduous journey, adding that he had been offered the role once before in 2005 but had turned it down because he didn’t think he was ready. But now, McKenzie believes that he is more than ready to step into the role of the coach of the Australia Rugby team and is hoping to take the team forward ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

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Sergio Parisse hails Leinster display

Italian international player Sergio Parisse has become all too familiar with disappointment in the European competitions and he experienced another dose of it as his French club Stade Francais suffered defeat to Leinster 34-13 at the RDS and the skipper of the French outfit paid handsome tribute to the Irish club on their win.

It was just two years back when the club lost by a single point at the hands of English club Harlequins FC and this defeat is their fourth in a European final.

The inspirational number 8 and captain of the Italian national team stated that this is the second time in three years that they have suffered a defeat in the final of the same competition, adding that he is hopeful his young team can learn from this and grows from the experience. Sergio Parisse also added that Leinster won the match simply because they were the better of the two sides and it is quite natural that they are disappointed with the result.

Parisse mentioned that the Irish club scored three tries in the first half from things that they had been working in the practice sessions and they played very well and were smart enough. He mentioned that their opposition took the early lead and no matter how good a side the French outfit is, it was always difficult to come back from that. The coach of the French side also echoed his captain’s sentiments adding that they were absolutely smacked in the first half.

However, Sergio Parisse is a person who knows how to bounce back from defeats and he has plenty of experience leading his young Italian side and he is hopeful that he will be able to inspire the young French side bounce back from this defeat and move on to greater things.

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Australia Rugby Team players already thinking about Lions

Steve Hansen, the head coach of the world champions New Zealand Rugby Team has suggested that the established players of the Australia Rugby Team who were scratching around to discover their best form in the preliminary rounds of the Super Rugby series might already have started looking forward to the tour of the British and Irish Lions of the country, which is affecting their performances.

Speaking about the arrival of the Lions in the summer, Hansen raised various points that might make the officials of the Australian team wake up and take notice.

He stated that whenever there is a big event or the Lions come down for a tour, the senior players of the national team start focusing on that event from a long time ahead and as a result, their focus on winning the Super 15 is not as concrete as it should be. Speaking to a radio station in his native in New Zealand, Hansen also stated that it might just turn out to be a good thing for the Australia Rugby Team because they will come together to produce an extremely competitive side.

Both the Reds as well as the Waratahs, the two teams which had the most number of players called up to a training camp earlier in the season with an eye on the tour of the Lions have been underperforming in the opening rounds of the tournament with the New South Wales side already dropping several big name players due to the lack of performance.

However, Hansen has also seen a similarity in the slow start of the Reds as that in 2012 when most of the players for the Australia Rugby Team gradually paced themselves into the thick of things and slowly and surely, their performance began to improve with each game.

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England Confident about World Cup

The England team seems to be in really good shape after beating New Zealand by a record 38-21 at Twickenham last December and won two opening matches at the six nations.

Joe Marler, the England prop forward is confident that if the World cup started tomorrow, it would be their cake walk. The rugby world cup named Webb Ellis Cup is due to begin in 2015 in England which is a long way from now on but the team looks confident and is eyeing that from now on.

He said “That’s our main goal. But we’ll be focusing on the process in between then and now because it’s still two-and-a-half years away, so we’ve got lots to do before then.”

There are some very good reasons for England to back them for the rugby world cup. The fly-half of England, Owen Farrell has delivered a brilliant performance till date and the sports critics have started to see him as the next Jonny Wilkinson of England rugby team and he has been put at the starting No. 10 for the match against British and Irish Lions to be held in Australia later this year.

The team hopes to test and improve their skills in loads of rugby matches that will be coming their way before the rugby world cup. August 15 would be the beginning of their warm up sessions when the team will be playing three test matches ahead of the world cup. Two of them will be held at Twickenham Stadium against France and Ireland. With these matches in hand they would be able to brush up their performances even more. The fixtures of these matches areas follows-

Fixtures for the 2015 RWC warm up matches:
August 15 – England v France
August 22 – France v England
September 5- England v Ireland

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Australia an Easy Fish to Fry

Given that the Australia rugby team is their opponent, England seems to be at peace like never before. According to the coach of the British Rugby team (Lions), Warren Gatland, Australia can be defeated any time if compared with New Zealand and South Africa.

The reason why it is so easy for them to declare the team as weak is that the previous month the Wallabies had to kiss the field goodbye too soon against France who smashed them by a 33-6, and then there were the English rugby team, the Italian rugby team and the Wales rugby team that almost outshined them though the team came out victorious against them in a few matches.

Although the Australia rugby team managed to win against England in their last match, Gatland is optimistic about vanquishing the wallabies any time because he feels that his team has a reputation that is not made up. Lately, Australian team has been suffering with their performance. However, they have brought in two new players recently with whom they think the things are going to change for the better.

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Australia Rugby Team Beat South Africa 26-19

The Australia Rugby Team beat their South African counterparts 26-19 in a fascinating match at Perth to secure their first victory in the inaugural edition of the Rugby Championship. Going into the break at half time trailing The Springboks 13-6, The Wallabies came back strongly in the second half and took the game to the South Africans. And two tries from Ben Alexander and Scott Higginbotham in the second half ensured The Wallabies ran out worth winners against the South Africans, recording their fifth consecutive victory against the African country.

Having lost two consecutive matches against The All Blacks of New Zealand, the match against South Africa was a must win encounter for Robbie Deans and his Australia Rugby Team. However, that didn’t seem to make any difference to the performance of the side as they gave a poor account of themselves, eventually falling behind to a try scored by Bryan Habana. Having drawn with the Argentina Rugby Team in their last encounter, the South African team was high on confidence and held the edge over The Wallabies in the set pieces and put together some powerful runs as well.

However, The Springboks suffered for the lack of a creative spark in their back line and failed to convert all the pressure they had into scores on the board. However, The Wallabies managed to pull things together in the second half and the tries from Alexander and Higginbotham as well as the perfect kicking of Barnes led the team to a successful comeback victory over their rivals.

The next assignment for the Australia Rugby Team comes against a massively improved Argentina squad next week at Gold Coast and if The Wallabies can manage a similar performance like they did in the second half against The Springboks, there is nothing to worry about.

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