STEWART ISLAND, NZ – Each Monday, we recap the rugby weekend with the nuggets that catch our eye in Monday Morning Flyhalf. Here are a few:
England Grabs League Player: In an outside the box move, England has reached into the Rugby League coiffures and added Wigan Warriors fullback Sam Tomkins to the Barbarians’ 22-man squad for Saturday’s match at Twickenham against Australia. This comes just days after Australia beat up on England, 30-8, in the Four Nations rugby league tournament final.
Pocock Sure: That pun is for you, not for Wallabie #7, and our RWC MVP David Pocock, as he and his mates prep for the aforementioned Barbarians and then Wales. Pocock feels the team is ready for two strong showings after the disappointment of not winning the Webb-Ellis. Australia are favored to beat the the Baa-Baas at Twickenham – and should – but know that winning in Wales the following week won’t be as easy.
“Wales will be right up for it. It’s Shane Williams’ last test at the Millennium Stadium and you couldn’t get a better place to send off a player who’s been magnificent over his career and has been one of the most entertaining players in the world.” – Pocock on PlanetRugby.com
Graham Henry & Sonny Bill: Is it just us or do Graham Henry and Sonny Bill Williams have a problem? Henry will be coaching the Barbarians, but SBW has withdrawn. Something is up and we’re itching to find out what it is. Meanwhile, here’s Henry’s Final Roster: Sam Tomkins (England Rugby League), Bryan Habana (South Africa), Isaia Toeava (New Zealand), Robbie Fruean (Crusaders), Stirling Mortlock (Australia), Richard Kahui (New Zealand), Seru Rabeni (Fiji), Danny Cipriani (England), Peter Stringer (Ireland), Nemia Kenatale (Fiji), Keven Mealamu (New Zealand), Adriaan Strauss (South Africa), Salvatore Perugini (Italy), Sylvain Marconnet (France), Eusebio Guinazu (Argentina), Victor Matfield (South Africa), Simon Shaw (England), Marco Bortolami (Italy), Jason White (Scotland), Jerome Kaino (New Zealand), Adam Thomson (New Zealand), Mauro Bergamasco (Italy).
Heineken Cup Picks Recap: If it weren’t for the Northampton Saints and Ospreys laying eggs, we’d have had a perfect 12-0 record picking winners. Instead, we’re a more humble 10-1-1, with Benetton tying the Ospreys. The latter should have won, regardless of playing away at Treviso.
Most Exciting Match: This was easily Edinburgh’s comeback win over Racing Metro. 11 trys in all were scored as the home team erased – get this – a 44-20 deficit. French fans are still scratching their heads over this one. Tim Visser opened and closed the scoring in this one, scoring in the game’s first minute and capping the mad comeback with the final score, which was converted, sending the Murrayfield crowd into a cider-induced frenzy.
That should whet your whistle for now…
Tomorrow, England star Mathew Drew Turner, Thanksgiving will be handled by Matt Hawkins of the Eagles and Fridays with Phaidra Knight rounds out the work week as we head for the NYRC 7s Tournament on Saturday in New York City. Join us!