Rugby Australia

Hypothetical teams show how Fiji, Tonga and Samoa could be world class

Many of the Pacific Islands‘ brightest stars have been hoovered up by the likes of Australia and New Zealand for many years, while even the northern hemisphere nations have done the same in recent years.

Independent not-for-profit players association Pacific Rugby Welfare posted hypothetical teams for the three Pacific Island nations, which are made up of players who could have represented Fiji, Tonga and Samoa.

Travel bubble benefits Super Rugby Trans-Tasman

Planning for the mooted six-week competition had continued between New Zealand Rugby, Rugby Australia and Sanzaar with hopes that a trans-Tasman travel bubble would open in time.

"Today's news gives us even greater confidence to push forward with our plans and provides certainty to our teams, fans and stakeholders," New Zealand Rugby said in a statement.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman would follow on from the conclusion of the Super Rugby Aotearoa and Super Rugby AU competitions.

Rebels open to hubs for trans-Tasman rugby

New Zealand Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern is expected to announce at 4pm on Tuesday a potential date for the opening of a travel bubble with Australia.

Currently, there is only quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia and not the other way round.

The five-week Super Rugby trans-Tasman competition is scheduled to kick off on May 14 in Dunedin when the Highlanders host Queensland, with the five teams from each country squaring off each week.

Dave Rennie confirms first Wallabies squad of 2021 ahead of camp next month

There are 14 uncapped players in the squad, including Australian Sevens representative Tim Anstee, former Junior Wallabies hooker Lachlan Lonergan and veteran David Porecki.

Reds off-season signing Suliasi Vunivalu has also earned selection in the Wallabies camp squad, following an impressive return to the 15-man game in Harvey Norman Super Rugby AU.

Western Force recruit Sitaleki Timani is set to return to the national fold after an eight year absence, with the 34-year-old named in a Wallabies squad for the first time since the 2013 Spring Tour.

Rennie lays out Rugby Australia's stance amid Koroibete rumours

The Melbourne Rebels flyer can command more than $1 million a year playing overseas and is expected to quit Australian rugby at the end of 2021 when his contract is up.

Rennie said he’d love to keep Koroibete, who had gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months and is now a global star.

“I agree, he’s been fantastic, phenomenal,” Rennie said.

“There’s been a couple of games he’s played this year where he’s been the best player on the field and you’ve only got to reflect back to the Bledisloe Cup game in Brisbane, he was sensational that day.

Robbie Deans reveals he is 'anxious' about rugby's direction in NZ, Australia

All Blacks Beauden Barrett and Brodie Retallick, Springbok Malcolm Marx and Wallaby Samu Kerevi, among many others, will ply their trade in Japan's domestic competition this year, before it turns fully professional in 2022.

Foreign coaches such as Robbie Deans (ex Crusaders), Todd Blackadder (ex Crusaders) and Frans Ludeke (ex Bulls) are also passing on their intellectual property, but even as they forge ahead in Japan they keep an eye on rugby's direction in their own countries – and there are concerns.

Super Rugby AU introduces its own rule changes for more 'action and less dead time'

A host of law changes were introduced in last year's domestic tournament after Covid-19 forced the suspension of traditional Super Rugby.

They will remain in 2021, but with some tweaks, when the season begins next Friday under a new broadcast deal that includes games on free-to-air television for the first time.

Red-carded players can be replaced by a substitute after 20 minutes, while a five-second time limit to use the ball once available will also be policed to eradicate tedious "caterpillar" rucking.

Israel Folau linked with return to rugby union

Folau, a Mormon, split with Australian Rugby in 2019 after he repeatedly posted what were perceived as homophobic religious memes to social media platforms. He was fired and then took Rugby Australia to court and won a multi-million dollar pay out.

Now French rugby publication Midi Olympique are reporting that the former Wallaby superstar, who was rumoured to have declined an approach by Montpellier Herault last year, is coming to the end of his Catalan Dragons contract, sparking fresh interest in French rugby union circles.

Rugby Australia appoints SANZAAR's Marinos as chief executive

The Zimbabwean-born former Wales international replaces Rob Clarke, who took over on an interim basis after the resignation of New Zealander Raelene Castle in April.

"Despite there being a lot of hard work ahead, I believe that Rugby Australia is uniquely placed for success both domestically and on the global stage," Marinos said in a Rugby Australia news release.

"The game has endured substantial change over the last six to eight months and I'm optimistic and excited to be involved with Rugby Australia as it heads off in a new, positive strategic direction."

Sanzaar boss Andy Marinos tipped to succeed Raelene Castle as Rugby Australia CEO

Multiple industry sources familiar with the recruitment process said Marinos, who has led Sanzaar since 2015, was the leading candidate for the top job, which was left vacant when Castle departed after a falling-out with the board in April. Rob Clarke has filled the CEO’s role on an interim basis since then.

RA chairman Hamish McLennan is nearing a decision on a permanent replacement. He is expected to seek approval from the board to sign off on the new chief executive before the end of the year.