Brumbies set for stellar match with Smith and Pocock to play
IT'S not the news the Tahs would be welcoming, but George Smith iiiiis baaaaack!
News coming out of Brumby town is that coach White will 'unleash' Smith on the Super Rugby competition this weekend.
That alone is worth jumping on plane to the nation's capital, even if he is likely to come off the bench.
White has also indicated he may play both Pocock and Smith for a period of the game.
And that my friends is mouth-wateringly exciting. Having these two on the field at the same time for the same team is not to be missed.
How will this eventuality influence both teams' approach to the game? Well, possibly significantly.
If you were the opposing coach, NSW in this case, would you run the ball with those two working in tandem? Not me, baby. And certainly not in our own twenty-two or half!
On the other hand, as Brumby coach, I'd be encouraging the boys to play a very expansive game.
The attacking zone would commence at their own dead-ball line and end, well, over the opposition's try line!
Nonetheless (and getting back to reality!), can't wait for the Brumby v Tah fixture and witnessing Pocock and Smith.
Reds-finally have a contemporary 'home'
I was down at the Queensland Rugby Union during the week for work and by chance caught up with my old school, Reds and Wallaby mate, Paul Carozza, now head of the National Academy which is based at the Ballymore, home of the QRU.
As we were reminiscing about various things, Carozza wondered if I had seen the changes at Ballymore.
As I had not, he took me on a tour of the 'new' Ballymore.
And I must say knowing how important getting the foundations right are to winning rugby, I was surprised and if, I can put my Reds' hat on, pleasantly encouraged.
After some lean times, the Reds have rebounded over the last few years to once again be a powerhouse of Southern Hemisphere rugby, in spite of having a disjointed training facility and 'home'. Not any more.
From what I could see, it's all about refreshing the old to suit the needs of the 'new' professional player, coach and team. And it works.
The boys train on Ballymore number one, which is now bowling-green flat and gymnastic-matting soft.
Their gym is inside the Murrayfield room, situated deep inside the 'old' McLean stand.
That's quite a transformation as the Murrayfield room had previously been the site of many old-school post match functions.
Next to this is the physio room. This room used to be the offices for QRU CEOs, from Terry Doyle to Jeff Miller.
The coaching staff, team and meeting rooms are located on the top floor of the McLean stand.
This floor used to hold the QRU club, bar and restaurant, which fortuitously (if you can call it that!) went belly-up a year or two ago.
The coaching staff are all located at one end, in what only can be described as the quintessential office space, partitions and all.
It struck me as very corporate-functional. The rest of the floor is taken up by the players' needs.
Video (possibly a Play Station?) area, and meeting space.
All-in-all, the new Ballymore is perfectly set up for the needs, wants and requirements of a contemporary, professional sporting team.
Taking over the world, or at least the Southern Hemisphere rugby world, starts with the foundations.
And his is a place from where the next generation of Reds' professionals can take over the rugby world. A place they can call home.