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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika, offered to coach the Wallabies

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika confirmed on Monday he has been offered the Wallabies coaching job left vacant by the resignation of Ewen McKenzie, saying it was “humbling”.

A smiling Cheika, dressed in a Waratahs tracksuit top and black jeans, confirmed the offer when he spoke to the media out the front of Waratahs headquarters at Moore Park. “It’s a pretty humbling experience to be asked to be involved in something like that, but we’ll see what happens,” Cheika said.

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Kurtley Beale

Kurtley Beale

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper has said on Sunday Kurtley Beale should not be sacked and has called for a squad honesty session to dispel talk of team disunity under coach Ewen McKenzie.

Hooper insisted the “team is tight” and backed the besieged McKenzie, who has become embroiled in the fallout of Beale’s messy spat with former team business manager Di Patston.

Beale was suspended from last week’s Argentina game in Mendoza over a mid-flight argument with Patston, and was later barred from selection indefinitely after the emergence of “deeply offensive text messages” about Patston.

The Australian Rugby Union said Patston had resigned from her position late on Friday, citing stress relating to the recent events.

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Kurtley Beale

Kurtley Beale in MORE Trouble

Troubled Wallaby Kurtley Beale faces new allegations of having breached the players’ code of conduct.

It is almost certain the latest revelations will result in Beale not being offered a new contract by the Australian Rugby Union.

It was revealed by ARU the  that a new disciplinary allegation involving the utility back, Beale, will be referred to a tribunal.

Beale was dropped for the last Rugby Championship Test against Argentina last Saturday, after an ugly in-flight public spat with members of the team management.

ARU Chief Executive Bill Pulver said Thursday that while investigating the incident, during the flight from Johannesburg to Sao Paulo, officials were made aware of another matter involving Beale and text messages he sent in June.

The ARU said Beale will not be considered for Australian selection until the tribunal concludes.

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Scott Fardy  Michael Hooper

Scott Fardy conforts Michael Hooper following the loss

Australian Rugby Union boss Bill Pulver recently called for a rotation of Rugby Championship games because he believed playing the All Blacks twice at the start of the tournament had killed off local interest.

After the Wallabies deflated in the final ten minutes in Cape Town, Pulver’s latest brainwave could be pleading to SANZAR that Australia does not play any important Rugby Championship matches away from home, and that the Springboks are barred from using their reserves bench.

These are kooky times, and as the frazzled ARU brain’s trust has made it quite clear, the Wallabies need every bit of help they can get.

Still it is all too late to stop the Mandela Plate, like the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship silverware from remaining for another year thousands of kilometres away from the ARU’s bare trophy cabinet.

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Bill PulverAustralian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver has revealed that Super Rugby in Australia will lose money in 2014, but they are putting together plans to address the problem.

The 2014 Super Rugby season starts later this week and Pulver has revealed that the tournament will run at a loss this year.

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Super RugbySANZAR are hoping to finalise their plans for the restructuring of Super Rugby early in the new year, with local derbies shaping up as a bone of contention.

With the current broadcast deal expiring at the end of next season, speculation is rife about the form that Super Rugby will take in 2016 and beyond.

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AustraliaAustralia’s top rugby players have accepted a 23 percent cut in their test match fee from A$13 100 ($12 700) per game to A$10 000 over the next four years, the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) said on Wednesday.

The ARU, whose coffers were only partially replenished by this year’s British and Irish Lions tour, have engaged in a raft of cost-cutting measures since new chief executive Bill Pulver took over earlier this year.

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James O'ConnorAustraliaThe Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has reached a mutual agreement to grant James O’Connor an early release from his national contract for 2013 and will not offer him a national contract for 2014.

The decision to grant O’Connor an early release from his national contract follows an ARU integrity investigation into an alleged incident at Perth Airport involving the 23-year-old in the early hours of Sunday, September 15.

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Israel FolauExciting outside back Israel Folau has rebuffed a return to the National Rugby League by signing a two-year deal with the Australian Rugby Union.

The ARU said Thursday that Folau, 24, had committed to the code after a stellar first season with the Waratahs that led to his outstanding Test debut for the Wallabies against the British and Irish Lions.

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MoneyThe Wallabies may have lost the series but Australia did very well financially out of the recent rugby tour by the British and Irish Lions, a tourism industry body said Friday.

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the five-week tour generated an estimated Aus$150 million ($134 million) for the economy.

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Super RugbySome thoughts for you to chew on…

I was asked yesterday by someone at Sky what my feeling was on the future of SuperRugby and I said, all three Unions of SANZAR have recently released their year end figures and none of them made any real profit. They are all close to borderline break even.

The current number Super Rugby matches per annum is 125, so any reduction of matches would no doubt mean a reduction in broadcast money.

The talk is about South Africa splitting from SANZAR in terms of Super Rugby only. However the South African time zone goes a long way to pushing up the money that is earned from the broadcast deal.

If SA leave, more matches will be played in New Zealand and Australian time zones (according to the reports). This has no global appeal.

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Australian Rugby Union has ushered in historic Constitutional changes at a General Meeting in Sydney today.

Members voted to adopt a new Governance model following recommendations from the Strengthening the Governance of Australian Rugby (the Arbib Review), which was released in October this year.

Twenty-one-year-old James O’Connor will start his maiden Test as a fly-half after today being named in the number 10 jersey for the Wallabies for Saturday’s game against Wales in Cardiff.

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