TOP News

Sport: New Wallabies captain's heartwarming revival

The Wrap: Dumb rugby sees Wallabies sacrifice too many points at Murrayfield

  The Wrap: Dumb rugby sees Wallabies sacrifice too many points at Murrayfield It’s been a feature of Dave Rennie’s time in charge of the Wallabies so far; a desire for players to express their physicality, to be nobody’s easy-beat, particularly in and around the breakdown. Test rugby differs from ‘normal’ rugby in a few important ways. The pace the game is played at, the skill level and attention to detail required, and the need to project and maintain a physical presence. To show that, individually and as a team, you belong with the toughest men in the toughest arena.

James Slipper will complete a heartwarming career transformation when he replaces Michael Hooper as Wallabies captain for Sunday's (4.30am AEDT) season-ending Test against Wales in Cardiff.

The popular prop's career appeared to be in tatters in 2018 when he was banned from rugby after twice testing positive for cocaine.

It later emerged that Slipper had been battling depression while his mother had received a devastating terminal cancer diagnosis.

Watch the Wales vs Australia rugby clash on Stan Sport - the home of the Wallabies, All Blacks and Springboks spring tours. Start your seven day free trial here!

England head coach Eddie Jones aims cheeky dig at the Wallabies

  England head coach Eddie Jones aims cheeky dig at the Wallabies Eddie Jones delved into his mind-games manual to heap the pressure on Australia by highlighting their 'inferiority complex' when it comes to facing England. The head coach named a team featuring a surprisingly revamped back line — with Manu Tuilagi on the wing and a 10-12 axis of Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell — and, in time-honoured tradition, had a dig at his compatriots.The tone was respectful and jocular but there was no doubting the ominous intent as Jones said: ‘We are ready to take on a very good Australian team and chase them down the street.

Dave Rennie, Michael Hooper and James Slipper talk at the Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club Rugby Field. © Getty Dave Rennie, Michael Hooper and James Slipper talk at the Sanctuary Cove Golf and Country Club Rugby Field.

But Slipper made the most of a Super Rugby move from the Reds to the Brumbies and became a mainstay under new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie.

The 113 cap prop has led Australia once before, against the United States in 2015.

Hooper is out with a foot sprain sustained in Sunday's 32-15 loss to England.

READ MORE: Star's passionate defence after Wallabies loss

READ MORE: Wallabies blown away by ruthless England

READ MORE: Wallabies player ratings from latest England flop

a group of people playing football on a field: James Slipper of the Wallabies and Sam Cane of the All Blacks scuffle. © Getty James Slipper of the Wallabies and Sam Cane of the All Blacks scuffle.

"It's obviously devastating losing our skipper Hoops but the boys are very excited, there was a big roar when we heard Slips would be captain," Wallabies five-eighth James O'Connor told reporters.

A 13-minute Wallabies career? This 120kg Dungeons and Dragons geek is OK with that

  A 13-minute Wallabies career? This 120kg Dungeons and Dragons geek is OK with that Prop Oliver Hoskins backs the focus on selecting local players for the Wallabies, even if it means his international career is over almost as soon as it began."I'm a massive fantasy nerd, I've been a nerd all my life, and I was actually at a friend's house," he recalled.

"He's one of our leaders in the leadership group. He's been there and done that and everyone can rely on him. He's got a very steady presence.


Video: Eels backflip on awkward contract stance (9News.com.au)

"It's credit to the hard work that he's put in and how much he leaves it all out there.

For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!

Dave Rennie that is standing in the grass: Wallabies coach Dave Rennie celebrates with veteran prop James Slipper. © Getty Wallabies coach Dave Rennie celebrates with veteran prop James Slipper.

"He's been on that journey and someone you get around. He's very authentic, he's very himself and a great bloke. We're excited for him to lead us out. He's a man of action, what he says, he'll do. He puts his body on the line and that's why we get around him.

"The job is normal for him. He's using the guys around him that would normally speak on detail and he comes in with a bit of emotion."

Slumping Wallabies get big boost for Wales Test

  Slumping Wallabies get big boost for Wales Test The Wallabies have received some much needed good news with Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa fit to tackle Wales.Australia's best tighthead props missed the loss to England in London with concussion last weekend and loosehead James Slipper was forced to switch sides at Twickenham.

Slipper, who filled in at tighthead against England, is likely to start on his preferred loosehead side against Wales.

Taniela Tupou is in doubt to play against England after this sickening head clash Taniela Tupou is in doubt to play against England after this sickening head clash

The Wallabies are hopeful that tightheads Taniela Tupou and Allan Alaalatoa will both be available after missing the England Test with concussions.

Wales have their own issues with concussion with prop WillGriff John and lock Will Rowlands unlikely to be available after taking head knocks in the win over Fiji last weekend.

Prop Tomas Francis (concussion), outside back Josh Adams (calf) and backrower Aaron Wainwright (shoulder) are also under selection clouds.

Wales' Alun Wyn Jones leaves the field with an injury. © PA Images via Getty Images Wales' Alun Wyn Jones leaves the field with an injury.

Talismanic captain Alun Wyn Jones is already out for the season with a shoulder injury.

"I think it's been brilliant for us in terms of finding out about people who can add to our depth," Wales forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys said.

"I don't see it as being frustrating at all. Those injuries that we've had have forced players to play who probably wouldn't have played much.

France brace for fury of wounded All Blacks

  France brace for fury of wounded All Blacks France must withstand the fury of a wounded New Zealand when they meet in their last rugby Test of the year.The showdown at Stade de France will either shake the self belief of Fabien Galthie's resurgent side or condemn the All Blacks to a rare second straight loss after last weekend's 29-20 defeat in Ireland.

Andrew Mehrtens reveals his on-field scrap tactics in Toulon Andrew Mehrtens reveals his on-field scrap tactics in Toulon

"If Alun Wyn had stayed fit all the way through, then Will Rowlands doesn't get as much time as he has and Will has been outstanding for us.

"So rather than look at the negatives of 'we're missing all these people,' and has it maybe stopped us winning against, particularly, South Africa, I think the bigger picture is telling us we've got a team that can fight toe to toe with all those injuries and that's a huge positive for us.

"The tanks right now are low, but I know that come the weekend we are going to be right and we are going to be ready for the fight."

Glimpses of greatness and lamentable let-downs: Wallabies 2021 player ratings .
The Wallabies rode a roller-coaster through 2021. The highs were heady, with a thrilling series win over France and twice toppling world champions South Africa. Unfortunately those results were balanced by the barely watchable lament against England at Twickenham, another pantsing from the All Blacks at Eden Park and the winless run in Europe.

See also