Wallabies

‘Big shoes to fill’: Marika Koroibete to miss Wallabies’ spring tour

Coach Dave Rennie said Koroibete needed precious family time before linking with Japan’s Panasonic Wild Knights next season on a lucrative multi-year contract.

“We’ve been discussing it for a while,” Rennie said. “We let him go home a week early during The Rugby Championship. Covid has thrown a lot of curve balls at all of us. Obviously, Marika has been away from home for a long time.

“[His wife] Emma’s pretty isolated down there. They’ve had a newborn baby, and a couple of other young boys. Based on those situations, Marika has chosen not to tour.”

Marika Koroibete ruled out of Wallabies’ spring tour

Koroibete did not play in the final test of The Rugby Championship, against Argentina, after being released to spend additional time with his family before the Wallabies’ tour of Japan and the UK.

But speaking to reporters on Sunday from Japan, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie revealed the superstar winger had played his last match for Australia - at least for the forseeable future.

Quade Cooper’s road to Wallabies redemption gets a lot harder

Quade Cooper’s performance in the Wallabies’ memorable win over South Africa was arguably one of the greatest comebacks in Australian rugby history – but that was the easy part.

In the international wilderness for three years Cooper was recalled by coach Dave Rennie in a calculated gamble. The 33-year-old calmly executed the Wallabies’ game-plan, which revolved around tactical kicking, and landed eight goals from eight attempts, including a match-winning penalty on full-time.

Skelton still on Wallabies' radar

Skelton has spent the last three seasons with English club Saracens but there was brief hope that he might be interested in returning to Australia when the club was embroiled in a salary cap scandal that saw them relegated from the top league.

Rugby Australia was interested in trying to bring Skelton home in the aftermath of that but the second rower's asking price was reportedly too steep.

Instead, Skelton is set to join French side La Rochelle until the end of the 2022 season, a timeline that could still put him in plans for the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Hansen targets areas to pressure Wallabies

New Zealand blew Australia away in the first half of each of the last two Bledisloe season openers and have held the coveted trophy since 2003.

But the hard work of his Australian counterpart Michael Cheika in endeavouring to close the gap between the trans-Tasman rivals hasn't gone unnoticed by Hansen.

"I think they are a good side, they've improved a heck of a lot," Hansen said.

"They've done a lot of hard work on their running lines and their core set piece roles.

"Their scrum has got better, looking at it against Ireland.

'Mind games' not fooling Wallabies

Barrett's starting spot has come into question, with calls for Crusaders star Richie Mo'unga to be handed the All Blacks No.10 jumper after guiding his side to back-to-back Super Rugby titles.

But Foley is having none of it, believing it's crazy to suggest New Zealand's 2016 and 2017 world player of the year won't be calling the shots once again.

"I can't see why there'd be any different. He's been a stalwart there for a few years," he said.

"He's world player of the year at the moment, isn't he? I think it's more internal mind games.

Paenga-Amosa's passion contagious for Wallabies: Kepu

The end of a whirlwind journey from being a garbage man playing club rugby, to becoming a Wallaby, and the beginning of a new chapter as a Test player.

His passion was certainly not missed by Wallabies tighthead Sekope Kepu, who stood next to the new hooker in the lineup.

“I've got my eyes closed so I can't really what he's going on but I could hear him next to me and we just both belting it out,” he said.

“As I say to the guys coming through, if you're lucky you sing it once, if you're blessed, you get to sing it twice - after the game as well.

Best yet to come for Wallabies attack: Beale

Beale was arguably the Wallabies' most dangerous player with ball in hand on Saturday, showing his class with a gliding run across field to set up the Israel Folau try which was eventually disallowed.

His combination with Bernard Foley made the Wallabies attack look far more potent than the Irish charge but Beale said the offensive output will only increase from here.

"I think across the park, combinations are key - especially when there is a short turnaround," he said.

Robertson replaces Alaalatoa

Alaalatoa was in the side to face Ireland at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane Saturday, however, the Brumbies prop succumbed to a knock to his ankle sustained during training Thursday.

Australia have now added Robertson to the bench in response to the 24-year-old's injury, it was announced Friday.

Waratahs prop Robertson has not featured for the Wallabies since last year's clash with England at Twickenham in November.

Timu, Paenga-Amosa handed Test debuts

The Reds pair have been named at hooker and No. 8, respectively, with Pete Samu also set to make his debut from the bench.

Timu's inclusion pushes David Pocock to blindside flanker, with captain Michael Hooper to start at openside.

Izack Rodda will pack down alongside Adam Coleman in the second row, with Sekope Kepu earning the nod over Taniela Tupou at tighthead prop.