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Youngster Maddocks Leaves Rebels

Australian back Jack Maddocks has left the Melbourne Rebels and joined one of their Super Rugby rivals ahead of the new season

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(Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Australian youngster Jack Maddocks has left the Melbourne Rebels and joined the NSW Waratahs ahead of the 2020 Super Rugby season.

The 22-year-old has been keen on a return to Sydney and the Waratahs were delighted to get the six-cap Wallaby on board, the Rebels were hoping to get a player in return, but they had to settle for a financial deal. 

Speaking ahead of the move Maddocks admitted he is excited to be coming home and thanked both the teams for making the move possible. 

“New South Wales is home for me, my family are here, it’s where I started playing rugby and it’s where I want to continue my career – being involved with both the Waratahs and Eastern Suburbs. From all reports, it’s a great environment that Rob (Penney) and the staff have created over the pre-season and one I’m excited to be a part of. I’d like to thank everyone at the Waratahs and the Rebels for making this move possible,” he said. 

Maddocks is also a Rugby Sevens star and has been involved with the program recently, meaning he could have to divide his time between the Australian Sevens side and the Waratahs with the Tokyo Olympics looming. 

Waratahs head coach Rob Penny heaped praise on his new arrival and is looking forward to seeing him in action. 

“First and foremost, Jack is a wonderfully talented player. When the opportunity arose to bring him back it was one I was really keen on for a number of reasons. Jack can play right across the backline, he’s got speed, skill and creativity with the ball in hand. Bringing him back gives us a range of options in the way we’d like to set up. I’m looking forward to seeing him on the training pitch over the next few weeks as he starts to embed himself into the combinations we’ve established over pre-season,” he said. 

Maddocks will be hoping to hit the ground running when the new Super Rugby season gets under way in the coming weeks as he will hope to impress the Sevens coaches and incoming Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie as he tries to earn a starting spot in both sides.

Super Rugby

Kolisi Hoping for Menality Shift in SA’s Super Rugby Sides

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is predicting a better season for the South African based Super Rugby sides following the country’s recent Rugby World Cup win

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(Photo by Shaun Roy/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Springboks captain Siya Kolisi is hoping that South Africa’s Rugby World Cup win last year will have a positive effect on the country’s Super Rugby teams this season.

South Africa have four representatives in the competition in Kolisi’s Stormers side, the Lions, Sharks and Bulls, but they have failed to claim a title between them in 10 years and they have failed to produce results against the New Zealand-based sides. 

However, on the international stage things seem to have changed and Kolisi believes the mental effect of winning the World Cup could change things at club-level. 

“All these games are about mentality. You want to go there and say you’re going to win all the games, I think that should be the attitude. Us winning that game in Wellington gave us that mentality. When we go on tour, we want to win every game. We don’t want to aim for this one or that one. In most of the teams I’ve played for in the past, you already lose before you get off the plane because you’re choosing which games you’re going to win,” he said while speaking to Sport24. 

South Africa’s World Cup glory saw them match the All Blacks on three Webb Ellis Cups overall, despite playing in a tournament less. 

That win came on the back of the Boks winning 36-34 in Wellington in 2018, which clearly had a positive effect on the side as they came back to snatch a 16-16 draw a year on with only seconds remaining away to them again. 

The draw last year helped them claim a Rugby Championship title, but it showed how much the win the previous year has changed the squad’s attitude towards facing their New Zealand counterparts away from home

Although the 28-year-old has always put his all into every game, but he thinks that now others may have further motivation when against the New Zealand sides. 

“I have played against New Zealand teams many times and they have always pitched up and I don’t think much is going to change there. I think what will motivate the guys to play is that some have left so there are open spaces, and everyone will want to perform,” he added. 

Kolisi and his Stormers side are currently getting ready to take on the Hurricanes in the opening round of this year’s competition on February 1st, with the Stormers at home, but it will be interesting to see if there is a change in attitude when they head to New Zealand throughout the season.

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Super Rugby

O’Connor Poised for Reds Start

James O’Connor could be ready to make his first appearance for the Queensland Reds in five years over the weekend

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(Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)

Wallabies star James O’Connor looks set to make his first appearance for the Queensland Reds in five years against the Melbourne Rebels on Friday.

The two teams are set to play a preseason game ahead of the upcoming Super Rugby season and following time spent in both France and England O’Connor has been included in the Reds squad. 

O’Connor was re-signed by the Reds last summer from Sale Sharks, which allowed him the chance to be selected for the Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad. 

He managed to be picked by former head coach Michael Cheika and played his part in their journey to the quarter-finals. 

However, despite his role with the national side the utility-back has a point to prove back in his homeland at club-level and is being tasked with helping the Reds reach the knock–out stages of the competition for the first time in seven seasons. 

As well as that he has to impress incoming Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie, who takes over in the summer, handing O’Connor another clean slate. 

Elsewhere in the Reds squad he is joined by fellow Wallabies Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Taniela Tupou and Liam Wright, while star duo Izack Rodda and Jordan Petaia have been rested along with new signing Henry Speight. 

Despite a number of high-profile names on either side of the pitch on Friday there is no doubt that all eyes will be on O’Connor, who will need to produce if he wants to feature in the team’s opening Super Rugby game against the Brumbies in a couple of week’s time.

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Rugby Transfer Rumours

Welsh Ace Set for Super Rugby Move

One of Wales’ longest serving players is on the verge of heading to Super Rugby according to reports

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(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Welsh centre Jamie Roberts is set for a move to Super Rugby outfit the Stormers according to reports.

In a report by news outlet Rapport, Roberts has been keen on a move for over a year now, having wanted to head to the Stormers last season, but it appears as though his wish might come true this time around. 

Roberts hopes to be given more playing time in South Africa and has the ambition of playing for the British and Irish Lions for a third tour when they head to South Africa next year. 

The 97-cap Welsh international has found minutes hard to come by in Bath’s midfield and feels and with Stormers head coach John Dobson hinting at a possible new arrival last week it seems like Roberts could be the man. 

It would make sense for the Stormers to sign player of Roberts quality in midfield as they are currently looking light in the centre due to injuries and departures. 

Springbok centre and Rugby World Cup winner Damien de Allende tops the list of players to have left the franchise, moving to Japan to play for the Panasonic Wild Knights, while JJ Engelbrecht has also headed to Japan to play for the Sunwolves in their final Super Rugby season. While Dan Kriel left for rivals the Lions. 

Of the current bunch Daniel du Plessis is injured and there is a chance that Ruhan Nel may be absent come the latter stages of the season as he prepares for the Tokyo Olympics with the Blitzboks. 

All and all Roberts would be a welcome addition, and could come up against another former Lions player in Ben Te’o, who joined the Sunwolves in the summer as the southern hemisphere teams look to Europe for top talent.

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