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Rugby News: ‘Phenomenal’ Quade tipped to rise again, how Hoops reacted to win, Tahs sign powerful Fijian, Bok banned

Wallabies No.9 Nic White has backed Quade Cooper to fight back after his latest injury set back to challenge for a recall ahead of the World Cup next year and revealed Michael Hooper’s reaction to their Rugby Championship opener.

Cooper went down early in the second half of Sunday’s win over Argentina with an Achilles tendon rupture that will rule him out of rugby for at least six months.

“He’s a pretty measured guy. He’s seen it all throughout his career. He’s one of the most professional guys I have come across where he’s at the moment,” White told reporters on Tuesday.

“The lows don’t get him too low and the highs, he certainly doesn’t ride them.

“He’s a very consistent guy with his emotions and he was in pretty good spirits considering the injury that he just had, already talking about the path hat he’s happy to take on.

“I’ve got no doubt that he’ll, he’s the right type of guy that will probably come back sooner than expected and be in some phenomenal shape when he comes back. You know, you can see it in the way he does everything.”

Quade Cooper of Australia is tackled by Santiago Carreras of Argentina (Photo by Daniel Jayo/Getty Images)

The injury has left the door open for someone else to grab the front running for RWC 2023.

White wouldn’t be drawn on who the favourite might be when asked if this was an opportunity for his Brumbies teammate Noah Lolesio to seize the No.10 and not let go.

Dave Rennie also has James O’Connor and Reece Hodge as options on the ground for Sunday’s second Test in Argentina.

“We’ve got great depth in all positions from one to 15 and 10 is no different,” said White.

“There’s a real opportunity there for whoever grabs it. It’s next man up. Noah’s taken these opportunities when he’s got them. So has James. And we’re just very lucky.

“We’ve had guys coming in and out, we’ve had plenty of injuries but with any sort of injury there becomes an opportunity and it’s pretty much how most of our careers start, through the misfortune of somebody else.

“Whoever grabs it, though, they’ll be ready to go.”

Meanwhile, White said Hooper checked in after returning to Australia from the tour.

“He’s spoken to a few of us,” said White. ” spoke to him after the game once he touched down. Obviously he was stoked with the result.

“We’ll stay in contact with him. He’s got a lot of support around him. He’s not on his own now. So the staff put a good plan in place for him. He’ll be well looked after back there and we’ll make sure we stay in touch.”

White said he was unaware of any timeline for Hooper’s return. While James Slipper took the reins as skipper following Hooper’s departure, White has been touted as a potential skipper if Hooper doesn’t return.

“If it comes … but I’m pretty happy with my role,” White said. “I’m sitting there behind Slips and I chew the boys’ ears off plenty so I’ve got already got a role within the team, I’ve got plenty of voice and whatnot.

“I don’t need a title there and I’m not sure the referees would be stoked with it,” he joked.

White said the Australians needed further work on their discipline after 30 penalties were blown up by Scottish referee Mike Adamson in the first Test. The ref’s constant whistling saw Australia caned in the first half and made it tough for them to establish a foothold.

The Roar experts Brett McKay, Harry Jones and Jim Tucker review Australia’s win in Mendoza

It led to another slow start, something that has become a worrying habit under Rennie.

“We lost the territory battle. A lot of that was through ill-discipline through that first half, with [Santiago] Carreras hitting kicks for line, 50-60 metres.

“You give up a penalty and they’re in your half and that is the tale of the first half. We made some adjustments at halftime. 19-10 wasn’t disastrous after what felt like a pretty disappointing half for us.

“We turned that around in the second half and it’s going to be a big point for us this week, sorting out that discipline side because there’s a number of penalties that we don’t need to give away and we need to force teams to exit rather than giving them piggybacks up the field.”

White added: “There’s just so much in that game that we can be so much better at.

“Pretty shaky start, discipline was a big one for us. This weekend we’re going have to go another level because they’ll be disappointed with how they played on the weekend and Cheik will have them fired up.”

Tahs sign a Fijian Tiger

Fijian powerhouse Nemani Nadolo will return to the Waratahs next season as coach Daren Coleman looks to add “size and power” to his wide areas.

Nadolo, 34, played a leading role for Leicester as they won the English Premiership this year and made his Test debut for Fiji in 2010 when Coleman was an assistant coach for the team.

Nadolo was on the Tahs books in 2008 but limited opportunities saw him leave with contracts in France, England, and Japan before he returned to Super Rugby with the Crusaders, and he was the competition’s joint top try scorer in 2014 with 12, including one in the loss to the Tahs in that year’s final.

Nadolo scored 10 tries from 21 matches in the latest Premiership season.

“Who would’ve thought after leaving these doors 12 years ago I’d get another opportunity to be part of the club again,” Nadolo said in a statement.

““I’m grateful to Darren and the board for having faith in me and giving me another opportunity.

“NSW are heading in the right direction and I’m glad I can be a part of their journey.”

Coleman, who brought in Jamie Roberts to add experience, said he opted for Nadolo after reviewing the recent campaign.

“We’ve all seen what Nemani has done in world rugby in the last ten years and it’s incredibly exciting to have him in a sky-blue jersey,” Coleman said.

“One of the things we identified from our season review was the need to add some size and power to our roster, and Nemani brings a lot of size and physicality which will add an extra dimension to our team.

“He’s motivated to get back to Sydney have another crack at Super Rugby and push his claims to get in the Fijian Test team for their 2023 Rugby World Cup campaign.”

Boks defend fearless Arendse

Springboks winger Kurt-Lee Arendse has been banned for four games after his horror aerial hit on Beauden Barrett, while All Blacks coach Ian Foster was livid at the South African team’s tactics.

The Boks piled misery on Foster’s team, sending them to an all-time low of fifth on the WR rankings.

The Boks’ win came despite the red card to Arendse who hit Barrett while the New Zealander was jumping to catch a high ball. He landed on his head and neck and suffered a concussion.

”[I’ve got] massive concerns,” said Foster of the Arendse incident. “It’s probably the worst I’ve seen. It was pretty disappointing because it happened in the 10th minute as well and they deemed it was fair.

“Part of the problem in the game is in the lineout if you throw a jumper over to their side with an arm up, it’s considered obstruction, whereas it’s becoming a free-for-all for jumpers just to be able to jump and stick a hand out and say they’re competing. It needs to be addressed.”

Foster’s mood is unlikely to be eased by South Africa’s perspective on his comments.

In response, Boks assistant coach Deon Davids praised Arendse’s performance.

“It is interesting,” he said. “I think we know that the aerial contest is a very important part of our game and I must commend our players for the fearlessness they showed when they competed for the ball in the air.

“Looking back at the previous games there was a step up in execution from us in that area and because we kick contestable kicks there will always be a contest in the air.

“Players like Kurt-Lee [Arendse] and [Makazole] Mapimpi were outstanding in terms of going up for the high ball.

“I think there might be one or two cases where the judgement was maybe wrong, but nothing was done intentionally to put us or the opponents in a difficult position.”

 

Rugby – The Roar 

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