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May 29, 2014

Rugby-Cystic fibrosis no barrier to Wallabies for inspiring Charles

MELBOURNE, May 29 (Reuters) – If sheer bloody-minded determination is the key to a Wallabies jersey, cystic fibrosis sufferer Nathan Charles would be picked first by coach Ewen McKenzie for Australia’s three-test series against France.

The 25-year-old Western Force hooker is among the four uncapped hopefuls in McKenzie’s preliminary 32-man squad, having stubbornly refused to let the debilitating genetic disease stall his inspirational rise to the top flight of a full contact sport demanding unflinching courage, skill and stamina.

May 29, 2014

Jedinak best man to lead Socceroos in Brazil – Aloisi

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Cutting long-serving Australia captain Lucas Neill adrift before the World Cup was the right call and his replacement Mile Jedinak is the best man to lead the team into a harrowing draw in Brazil, according to former Socceroos striker John Aloisi.

Crystal Palace skipper Jedinak’s appointment last week was heavily backed after he was handed the captain’s armband for a warmup against Ecuador in March but some local pundits complained that the country’s most prolific scorer Tim Cahill was hard done by.

May 29, 2014

Soccer-Jedinak best man to lead Socceroos in Brazil – Aloisi

MELBOURNE, May 29 (Reuters) – Cutting long-serving Australia captain Lucas Neill adrift before the World Cup was the right call and his replacement Mile Jedinak is the best man to lead the team into a harrowing draw in Brazil, according to former Socceroos striker John Aloisi.

Crystal Palace skipper Jedinak’s appointment last week was heavily backed after he was handed the captain’s armband for a warmup against Ecuador in March but some local pundits complained that the country’s most prolific scorer Tim Cahill was hard done by.

May 13, 2014

Australia won’t park buses in Brazil: Aloisi

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – The Socceroos face an almighty challenge getting through their World Cup ‘group of death’ but it is not the Australian way to park the bus in the hope of scoring cheeky goals on the counter-attack, according to former Australia striker John Aloisi.

Australia, ranked 59th in the world, have been drawn with reigning champions Spain, Netherlands and Chile in one of the toughest pools at the Brazil finals and few expect the Socceroos to be anything other than group stage cannon fodder.

May 13, 2014

Soccer-Australia won’t park buses in Brazil – Aloisi

MELBOURNE, May 13 (Reuters) – The Socceroos face an almighty challenge getting through their World Cup ‘group of death’ but it is not the Australian way to park the bus in the hope of scoring cheeky goals on the counter-attack, according to former Australia striker John Aloisi.

Australia, ranked 59th in the world, have been drawn with reigning champions Spain, Netherlands and Chile in one of the toughest pools at the Brazil finals and few expect the Socceroos to be anything other than group stage cannon fodder.

May 7, 2014

Neill dismissal continues rout of Australia’s old guard

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Any lingering doubt about Ange Postecoglou’s resolve to send a new-look Australia to Brazil was blown out of the water with the axing of Lucas Neill, but the Socceroos coach has plenty to ponder in the absence of his long-serving captain.

Postecoglou confirmed on Tuesday Neill would not be in his World Cup squad, a fate the 36-year-old had battled hard to avoid but one widely expected after he was left out of the Socceroos’ friendly against Ecuador in March.

Apr 12, 2014

Frustrated Folau fumes after wings clipped by ARU

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Israel Folau was left a “frustrated” spectator during the New South Wales Waratahs’ 28-16 defeat by Western Force on Saturday after the Australian Rugby Union controversially pulled the fullback from the Super Rugby match out of fears for his safety.

Having missed two games with a throat injury, the 15-cap Wallaby had been reinstated into Michael Cheika’s side for the Perth clash after being cleared to play by the Waratahs’ team doctor and a specialist.

Apr 12, 2014

Rugby-Waratahs coach Cheika slams ARU for pulling Folau

MELBOURNE, April 12 (Reuters) – New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has slammed the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) for its extraordinary 11th hour decision to pull fullback Israel Folau out of Saturday’s Super Rugby match against Western Force due to player safety concerns.

Sidelined for two weeks with a throat injury, Folau had been picked for the Perth clash after being deemed fit to play by Waratahs medical staff.

Apr 8, 2014

Rugby-Olympic call might fire Wallaby Genia for Rio bid

MELBOURNE, April 8 (Reuters) – A tap on the shoulder might be all Will Genia needs to fire himself up for a bid to represent Australia in rugby sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Wallabies scrumhalf said.

Rugby makes its Olympic debut at Rio in the sevens format and places on the Games squad are likely to be fiercely contested among regular team members and hopefuls in the 15-man game.

Apr 3, 2014

Experts want lifting tackle ban after neck break

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Australia’s National Rugby League is under huge pressure to place a blanket ban on lifting tackles after Newcastle Knight Alex McKinnon suffered a broken neck in a match in Melbourne last week.

McKinnon was slammed into the turf as part of a heavy three-man tackle that saw Melbourne Storm prop Jordan McLean suspended for seven matches at a judicial hearing in Sydney on Wednesday.

    • About Ian

      "Based in home-town of Melbourne covering sports in Australia and New Zealand and a member of the Asia Sports desk. Previously covered general news and politics in Beijing with a special focus on the Beijing 2008 Olympics."
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