Tafs was a nerd in Granville High School. Photo: wikiimages
Kamikaze hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau was a schoolboy academic who excelled in chess before becoming the Wallabies’ Mr Wreckless.
Now, after nine seasons and countless serious injuries, the Tongan powerhouse believes he can produce his best, and remain on the field, by finally allowing his head to rule his big heart.
Nathan Charles played a full 80 minutes in the first Test against New Zealand. Photo: SMH
One injured Wallabies rake has been replaced with another as the Wallabies struggle to cope with their growing hooker crisis.
Australian coach Ewen McKenzie will be forced to select between his fourth-string and sixth-string hookers to start against South Africa next week after losing Nathan Charles for the season.
Charles suffered a pectoral tear in last weekend’s 51-20 Eden Park thrashing by the All Blacks to join Stephen Moore (knee reconstruction) and Tolu Latu (broken arm) in rehab for the rest of 2014.
Sivivatu maybe out for three months. Photo: Planet Rugby
Top 14 runners-up Castres will be without their star recruit Sitiveni Sivivatu for the start of the season because of a shoulder injury.
The former All Black winger only joined Castres this off-season, having spent three seasons with Clermont Auvergne but now faces three to four months on the sidelines.
Sivivatu was injured in Castres’ final pre-season game with Brive, and having seen a specialist, he will need an operation on his shoulder.
Agony: An injury to Tatafu Polota-Nau could cause maximum pain for the Wallabies. Photo: Getty Images
The Wallabies’ plans for a Bledisloe Cup upset have taken a body blow with a major cloud over Test hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.
Polota-Nau will have scans on Monday on a suspected medial ligament injury to his right knee incurred in the Waratahs’ triumphant 33-32 title win over the Crusaders on Saturday night.
It happened just after half-time, when the 49-Test rake tackled Crusaders prop Wyatt Crockett in the 42nd minute.
Peter Betham will replace Henry Speight in the Wallabies squad. Photo: Skysports
Waratahs wing Peter Betham will join the Wallabies Rugby Championship squad, after Brumbies flyer Henry Speight was sidelined for a month with a hamstring injury.
Speight, who becomes eligible to represent Australia from September 11, suffered the injury in the second half of the Brumbies’ recent Super Rugby semi-final clash against the Waratahs in Sydney.
Betham replaces Speight in the Wallabies squad and will now push for further representative honours after earning his international debut for Australia in the third Bledisloe Cup Test against New Zealand in Dunedin last year.
Can data from GPS help influence the American football season? Photo: ESPN
International scouting recently drew an NFL general manager to Melbourne, Australia, for a few days of rugby. During a lull in the action one evening, his eyes drifted to the sideline. The head coach was walking to the end of the bench, where a team employee sat holding a laptop computer. The two conferred for a moment before the coach returned to his post and ordered a series of player substitutions.
The next morning, the telephone rang in the Arizona offices of Catapult Sports, one of several Australian-based companies that compile live data on athletic exertion. The general manager was brimming with questions for Gary McCoy, the company’s senior sports scientist.
“He wanted to know,” McCoy said, “what the hell had just happened.”
Tulagi set to return this weekend, says Cockerill. Photo: Planetrugby
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill revealed Manu Tuilagi is set for a return to Premiership action next week, following his side’s gritty victory over London Irish.
The Tigers chalked up a third straight Premiership win, coming through 20-15 thanks to tries from Ben Youngs, Lugovi’i Mulipola and Niki Goneva but while they moved into the top four as a result, again they failed to find top gear.
Tuilagi’s return would certainly add thrust however – the 22-year-old centre has not played for the Tigers since picking up a pectoral injury against Newcastle in September but Cockerill revealed he is set to return for his side’s run-in, coincidentally starting against the Falcons next weekend.