Horan backs Noah for RWC, shares hilarious story of Gordon Bray, Sampson to Rebels, Ellia Green’s transition


Wallabies legend Tim Horan says he doesn’t understand why Wallabies coach Dave Rennie dismissed Noah Lolesio and says Reece Hodge would be his first safe choice for the controversial full-back position ahead of the two tests against the Springboks.

The No.10 and No.15 positions are causing headaches due to injuries to Quade Cooper and a succession of suitors at the back, while Tom Wright’s difficult night against Los Pumas this weekend means that failed to convince fans that he is a long-term full-back option.

Two-time World Cup winner Horan joined The Roar Rugby podcast on Wednesday and said the decision to ignore Lolesio when Quade Cooper was injured came as a surprise to him and he would look to develop him for the Cup of the world during the remaining test this year,

“I just can’t understand it,” Horan said. “I think he’s played really well against England – I think he’s really grown – and I think he’s also grown with the Brumbies this year and there must be a reason why they don’t. didn’t choose against Argentina,” said Horan.

“Maybe they wanted to give Quade and James O’Connor that opportunity. For Noah, you have to choose and stick with it.

“I love James O’Connor as a player on and off the pitch. Noah is your future, he’s the 10 for the Rugby World Cup.

“Quade, with his Achille, he will come back, but he will come back two months or maybe, if you are lucky, three months before the World Cup without having played football.

“We are very short of dozens in this country. Noah is our man and I think we’re going to have to pick and stick with someone like Noah and Nic White and find the right central duo.

Horan said he thought Wright could become a good fullback. It was a sentiment raised by Will Genia earlier this week in his column for The Roar.

But with South Africa certain to target the Aussies with questionable kicks – the tactic that worked so well for Argentina – Horan said Hodge could be a good option.

“If you want a guy who’s solid under the high ball and won’t lose you a Test match – and probably won’t win you a Test match, but you can put your house on him… Reece Hodge,” said Horan.

“He’s hitting penalty goals from 50-55 yards in those really close Test games and is really good under the high ball.”

Horan said he had “a terrible first six or seven weeks of Super Rugby. I’ve never seen him play so badly. I texted him and was like, “Man, keep your head up and keep going. You will get there’.

“He went to Australia A and then arrived. It is a safe bet. Tom Wright can become a really good fullback and I like the attacking atmosphere he brings to the game. There’s just that balance and everyone has a game or two. This happens in Test footy.

Horan said he liked Jock Campbell and the specialist attributes he brings to the position, but at Test level, “you have to have some size on you.”

In a wide-ranging chat, the Stan Sport pundit spoke about his transition from acting to commentary, including a belt stitching of commentary legend Gordon Bray, whom he worked alongside Dan Crowley at Channel Seven .

I started this thing where I used to bring a drink that would relate to this national team,” explained Horan.

“So if the Wallabies were playing Ireland I would smuggle three big cans of Guinness into the stadium and Dan Crowley myself and Gordon Bray would have a Guinness skull before we called.

“We played in Fiji one day and I didn’t know what to bring. I couldn’t find any kava. I bought some shots that you could buy of these th— sucking cowboys.

“So you can imagine – Gordon having two of those shots just before he was about to call the Wallabies missing. I think he misspoke his words and said I won’t more.

Listen to Tim Horan on the Road Rugby podcast here or on your podcast player of choice

New recruits for Rebels and Tahs

Former Western Force head coach Tim Sampson has joined the Rebels as offensive coach for next season.

He replaces Ryan Martin, who is heading to Toyota Verblitz in Japan as an assistant to former Otago coach Ben Herring. Herring fills the role left by Simon Cron, the man brought in to replace Sampson at the Force.

“I cannot speak highly enough of the experience, intellectual property and expertise that these three individuals will bring to these roles,” Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said in a statement.

“I know Tim will come in to complete the core group of coaches returning from the 2022 season.

The NSW Waratahs have signed loose prop Tom Lambert to a two-year deal, bolstering the team’s top-tier stocks ahead of their Super Rugby Pacific 2023 campaign.

Coming from NSW backgrounds, born in Sydney and educated at Trinity Grammar School, Lambert represented Australian schools and was part of Waratahs Academy before heading to Scotland in 2020.

Lambert represented the Scotland Under-20 side at the 2020 Six Nations and signed an academy contract with Glasgow Warriors before graduating from the main team in 2021.

Lambert spent two seasons with the Warriors and brings invaluable first-tier European experience to the Waratahs ahead of their 2023 campaign.

Lambert was thrilled to return home and have the opportunity to represent the Waratahs.

Tim Samson. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

“It’s a bit surreal for me to come back and sign for the Waratahs,” Lambert said.

“I was at the Academy here when I left school, but moved to Glasgow to gain experience overseas and play for the Scottish U20 team and with the Warriors in the United Rugby Championship.

“The move to Scotland has been great for my development in rugby, especially my set piece, and hopefully something can benefit the team.

“Being born in New South Wales, I have always had aspirations to come back and play for the Waratahs, so I’m hugely grateful for the opportunity and can’t wait to get on it.”

Waratahs head coach Darren Coleman said: “Tom is a fine young accessory who has followed the ways of New South Wales and continued his development of rugby overseas.

“He has had two good years in a strong professional program at Glasgow and will add valuable depth to our front row stock, particularly on the loose side where Angus Bell carried much of the load last year.

“We have been impressed with the impact Lambert has had on Sydney Uni in the Shute Shield since his return and we look forward to his further development in our programme.”

Green transitions to becoming a man

Australian Sevens star Ellia Green has gone male and condemned the “shameful” ban on transgender people playing sports.

Green was a professional player for Australia’s women’s team for 10 years and was a key member of the gold medal-winning team at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He came out publicly as a transgender man in his keynote address at the Bingham Cup International Summit on Ending Transphobia and Homophobia in Sport on Tuesday in Ottawa, Canada.

The Bingham Cup is the biennial world championship for the gay and inclusive rugby community.

Green said the transition was “really stressful” but wanted to share her story to help those facing a similar situation.

“I think some people take it almost like you’re saying you’re an alien, just because you don’t fit the social norm of being male or female,” he said.

“The thing is, even without changing gender, appearance, identity, people will still have something to say, whether it’s positive or negative.

“I learned that in 10 years of professional rugby. So why not just live the rest of your life exactly how you want to be because life is just too short to live it as anything else, and you are beautiful.

To learn more about Green’s story, The Associated Press interviewed him for this article.




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