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Waratahs Aiming High Ahead of New Campaign

The Waratahs have had their challenges over the past few months, but they have high hopes ahead of the upcoming Super Rugby campaign

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(Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Waratahs veteran Jed Holloway believes that the Australian outfit have benefitted from the arrival of young players and they are aiming to challenge for the title this season.

The franchise have suffered several blows over the past few months with experienced players such as Sekope Kepu, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Bernard Foley, Nick Phipps, Curtis Rona and Tolu Latu all heading for the exit door.

Despite their Wallabies exodus the team still contains several internationals including Michael Hooper, Kurtley Beale, Jack Dempsey and Rob Simmons and Holloway thinks that players are trying to put themselves forward to fill the holes of the departed. 

“I think all the senior, more capped guys have really found themselves stepping up like Ned, Jake, Lalakai (Foketi) Tom (Staniforth). If we don’t continue the legacy of Keps, and all those guys that have left, then we won’t be much of a team. We need to continue to do that and continue to drive those standards and drive new standards as well and create our own path,” he said. 

Holloway, who has recently returned from a short stint in Ireland with Munster, has confirmed that the current crop of players believe that they can win the title come the end of the season and wants the team to show they are capable. 

“Internally our vision is to win a Super Rugby title every year, so we feel like we’re doing the right thing at training. Hopefully we get to show that to the crowd and the public come round one,” he added. 

With all of the players leaving the Tahs received a massive boost last week when they signed exciting young back Jack Maddocks, who is a sevens star as well as carving a growing reputation in union. 

Holloway is confident and according to him the rest of the camp are too, but if they are to become contenders for the title they will have to hit the ground running with a trip to defending three-time champions, Crusaders, up first on February 1st. 

With games against the Highlanders and Queensland Reds to follow in what is a tough start, but we will have to see how things unfold.

Super Rugby

New Zealand Rugby Sides Facing Pay Cuts

New Zealand Rugby are preparing for the possibility of having to cut wages following the outbreak of the coronavirus

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(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)

New Zealand Rugby Players’ Association chief executive Rob Nichol has admitted that there is a possibility of pay cuts among Super Rugby sides with the league in lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Over the weekend it was confirmed that Super Rugby would be suspended due to the coronavirus and there is a fear that the competition may not be completed this year. 

Speaking on the situation, Nichol told Stuff that New Zealand’s five Super Rugby side are preparing for the worst. 

“As it stands right now, things are kind of status quo. But we are not naive. We know there is going to be a commercial impact, we know we will have to sit around the table and work with the other stakeholders and be a part of the solution. And get things on an even keel once we understand what we are really dealing with,” he said. 

There are a number of options over the remainder of the season being put forward, with only “derby matches” being played one of the possibilities. 

That would mean a number of matches not being played and a loss in matchday revenue for the respective teams, but Nichol is ready for whatever happens as long as the people are looked after. 

“Whatever we decide to do, it will be that kind of team approach. We know there is going to be commercial ramifications but first of all we will be doing what is right for the people,” he added. 

There is no certainty over what is going to happen in the coming weeks and months, but the ramifications could be huge and Nichol finished by stating that however this ends all sides will work their hardest to make the most of a bad situation with clubs heading into the unknown at this moment in time.

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Wallabies Ace Set for Stint on Sidelines

One of the Wallabies star players is set to be out of action for the next while due to an injury he picked up playing for the Brumbies last weekend

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(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Wallabies prop Allan Alaalatoa is set to be out of action for the next few weeks after breaking his arm playing for the Brumbies last weekend the Super Rugby franchise have confirmed.

The 26-year-old Brumbies captain left the field of play before half-time in the Brumbies 47-13 win over the Waratahs and returned to the sidelines with his arm in a sling. 

It has now been announced that he broke his arm during the game and is expected to miss around six weeks due to the injury with the club hoping to see their star man out on the pitch again soon. 

“The Brumbies can confirm that captain Allan Alaalatoa suffered a broken arm in the match against the Waratahs. Get well soon skip!,” the Brumbies tweeted. 

However, despite the injury it is unknown how many matches Alaalatoa will actually miss, if any at all with Super Rugby currently suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak meaning no matches are being played for the foreseeable future. 

It could mean that he will be back in action along with his teammates whenever they return to play, whatever happens the hope is that the 37-cap Wallaby will be back to play as soon as possible.

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Super Rugby

Second South African Team in Isolation

Following the news yesterday that the Bulls would go into self-isolation a second South African team has announced it will do the same

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(Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Super Rugby side the Lions have confirmed that their squad will go into self-isolation following their return from New Zealand.

The team played the Blues over the weekend, losing out 43-10 and after arriving home they have confirmed that they will self-isolate in order to try and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. 

Speaking on the decision CEO of the side Rudolf Straeuli admitted that it is hard to do, but that health comes before all else in a situation like this. 

“It is difficult circumstances, but people’s health come first. SANZAAR is in ongoing discussions with broadcasters and have been keeping everyone informed of the decisions. The situation will be reviewed on an on-going basis,” he said. 

The Lions become the second South African side to self-isolate after the Bulls confirmed that their squad would be doing the same when they arrive back on home soil today. 

Both franchise’s decisions follow the news that this year’s Super Rugby season will be suspended for the foreseeable future due to the coronavirus, which is causing major issues for all sporting calendars as it continues to spread worldwide.

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