OPINION: Tanaka blossoming down south

One of the beauties of sport is the ability to unite as a team and secure victory regardless of a number of obstacles.

For a number of players in New Zealand, they overcome significant socio-economic barriers, of succeeding against the odds to inspire his fellow countrymen.

For the Highlanders, their diamond in the rough barely speaks English.

Fumiaki Tanaka turned heads in New Zealand and Japan when the Highlanders announced they had signed the No.9 for the 2013 Super Rugby season following a strong showing for Otago in 2012. He was the first Japanese player signed to a Super Rugby team.

Eyebrows were raised by New Zealand’s rugby academics. Could the Panasonic Wild Knights halfback make the step up from Otago, the province he signed up with in 2012? Would he even be able to compete for a spot in the matchday squad given his adopted country’s penchant for producing top-class halfbacks?

Tanaka needn’t have worried.

The 1.66m No.9 was sublime in the Highlanders’ 38-28 upset win over the Blues on Saturday. Despite a couple of wayward passes at the breakdown, Tanaka combined superbly with All Black Colin Slade to steer the backline superbly.

Such was the hosts’ dominance in the first 60 minutes that even a 10-point margin didn’t do the side justice.

The win would’ve left Highlanders fans feeling bittersweet – after all, this was supposed to be a where the Super Rugby could have a distinct blue, gold and maroon tint to it.

Regardless, Tanaka’s performances of late have shown how much he has come on since donning the Otago jersey in 2012. The speedy No.9 has added a crisper pass and greater vision to his game, something that will prove invaluable for Japan coach Eddie Jones and the speed-oriented Brave Blossoms.

Tanaka has subsequently been selected for Japan in the Pacific Nations Cup and for the two-Test series against Wales starting on Saturday.

Having fended off the challenge from New Zealand’s No.1 halfback in 2012, Aaron Smith, Tanaka is playing with a freedom oft not seen in Japanese rugby. It’s a transformation that should see him evolve from a Brave Blossom to a bold one for the rest of the Super Rugby season.

Article source: http://www.sportal.co.nz/rugby-union-news-display/opinion-tanaka-blossoming-down-south-237913

Hand injury could nobble Carter

A cracked bone in his right hand has left All Blacks first five-eighths Dan Carter in possible doubt for the opening Test of the three-Test series against France.

Carter sustained the injury during the Crusaders Super Rugby match with the Waratahs in Christchurch on Friday night.

While he has been working out with the All Blacks after their assembly in Auckland for the first Test at Eden Park on Saturday, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said they were waiting to see the full extent of the damage once the swelling has died down. They would make a decision on his availability when the team for the Test is announced on Thursday.

The problem with the swelling was that it was difficult to grip the ball, Hansen said, so if the swelling came down, Carter might be well enough to play.

“We’re very fortunate that we’ve got people like ‘Crudes’ [Aaron Cruden] and Barrett [Beauden] available. They’ve all had the same time together so it won’t be disrupting anything [at training],” Hansen said.

“It’s a game where you are going to get injuries, we’ve just got to accept that and plan for it, and trust the people who come in and do the job.”

Hansen said Carter was in good shape and had never been far from his best in the Super Rugby competition.

“Mentally I don’t think I’ve seen him as sharp and keen for a long time. He’s itching to go, we’ve just got to make sure we let him go at the right time,” he said.

Concerns are also held for the front row with several players suffering niggles to the point where Crusaders prop Joe Moody has been called in as scrummaging cover for the All Blacks during training.

The propping issues were related to hamstrings while Tony Woodcock had an abscess in his nose.

“We’ll make decisions about how those guys are when we get them on the [training] track,” he said.

The injuries weren’t that bad that there would be wholesale changes in the front row and he picked that most of the props would be available for selection.

While there were no other injuries there were some sore players which was to be expected after the players having come out of a hectic Super Rugby competition.

Article source: http://www.sportal.co.nz/rugby-union-news-display/hand-injury-could-nobble-carter-237947

London rugby union 2012/13 season review

The rugby union season is officially over after Newcastle Falcons took London Welsh’s place in the Premiership, beating Bedford to win the Champions Play-Offs.

While the capital’s premier outfits Saracens and Harlequins were beaten in the semi-finals of the top flight’s equivalent and Wasps and London Irish finished in mid-table, it’s been a mixed bag below the first tier.

In the division below, London Scottish finished eighth, failing to trouble the Falcons but ending comfortably clear of relegated Doncaster.

They will be joined in rugby’s second tier by Ealing Trailfinders, who romped their way to the National League One title, winning by over 20 points.

Phil Chesters was one again their leading try scorer, going over 29 times in a 30-game season, with Thomas Wheatcroft adding 315 points of his own.

Director of rugby Mike Cudmore was naturally ecstatic with his side’s monumental progression through the divisions.

He said: “We’ve risen up from London North Three and to see this is fantastic. It’s all about the players – some are leaving, some are staying and some are retiring and it’s their day to enjoy.

“We’ll start thinking about the Championship after we’ve enjoyed the celebrating. For the moment that’s all we’re thinking about.”

Elsewhere in that division, Esher finished as runners up but they were unable to keep pace with Trailfinders and must go through it all again next year.

Rosslyn Park finished in fourth spot and broke the 100 points barrier in what was a tight battle for second.

Richmond were some way off the pace, finishing on 75 points themselves but ahead of Blackheath in a close mid-table fight, while Cambridge were relegated with 28 points.

It was a nightmare season for Barking as they finished bottom of National League Two South and will now take part in a London division next season.

Off the field, the east London outfit has forged a relationship with German outfit Bochum-Witten Rugby Club from the town’s sister city.

A Barking spokesman said: “It was great to host our twinned city in Bochum-Witten.

“The day was a success and we’re hopeful this is a start of a lasting relationship between the club and Bochum-Witten.”

Article source: http://www.london24.com/sport/rugby/london_rugby_union_2012_13_season_review_1_2219622

Glasgow Warrior Alex Dunbar’s Scotland aim

Supporters will wish that a Scottish contingent of Stuart Hogg, Sean Maitland and Richie Gray build on their earnest initial appearances in a red jersey of 4 nations, and lapse after this summer to spin cornerstones of a Scotland patrol as it builds towards a RBS Six Nations Championship and a 2015 World Cup in England.

But who will join them? Scott Johnson has taken 9 uncapped players in a celebration of 30 to South Africa for a singular quadrangular contest featuring a hosts and Samoa and Italy alongside Scotland. Throughout a debate we will spin a spotlight on any of a new faces and consider how critical they could be to Scotland’s destiny plans, and we flog off with Glasgow centre Alex Dunbar, who incited 23 on 23 April.

A year ago, he was fretting about either he still had a veteran destiny as Glasgow conduct manager Sean Lineen debated either he had room to keep him on. Injury to Graeme Morrison handed Dunbar an opportunity, and a youngster grabbed it. Not usually did he finish a deteriorate strongly for a Warriors and secure a new agreement though he was called adult as a late deputy on a summer debate to Australia, Fiji and Samoa. No Test top came his way, though he was gay nonetheless.

“It was utterly an finish to a deteriorate for me,” he said, “but also a outrageous step 
forward in my career.

“In my initial integrate of years during Glasgow we had paltry injuries and couldn’t fibre a run of games together but, towards a finish of final season, we was training well, entrance into a bit of form and then, when Graeme got injured, we was propitious adequate to get 6 or 7 games and was only grateful that my performances hold up.

“It was ideal timing given it was entrance to a finish of my initial agreement and we never know what’s going to occur when you’ve not had a possibility to play much. we knew we could play during pro level, we only indispensable a run of games.

“I got that, took my possibility and then, when Max Evans was behind personification in France, we was called adult for a tour. we had left on holiday to revisit my parents, who run a plantation in Tasmania now, and so we theory it was handy.”

Dunbar’s story is another instance of how tighten some gifted players can come to being cut due to a miss of pro group opportunities in Scotland. But he showed when given his possibility that he combines energy with gait to offer a genuine aggressive threat, and defensive solidity, in a midfield.

He is still training a diversion though has used that duration a year ago as a springboard, going on to make 20 appearances for a Warriors this season, and only one off a bench.

So he is a opposite impression on this tour, a genuine challenger for a Scotland 
jersey.

“I don’t see it as many opposite to final year to be honest,” pronounced Dunbar. “It’s all about training from a knowledge and a guys around you.

“It was a good Scotland debate final year. we was only concerned in a training sessions though we stayed with them to a finish of a debate and it was a good experience, going from dual years during under-20s championship into a veteran 
set-up and dual years after into a Test 
environment.

“Those practice have helped my diversion a lot and this deteriorate my aim has been only to flog on. With such a rival patrol during Glasgow that’s not easy, though we was advantageous adequate to get concerned in a initial integrate of games and afterwards hung onto it.

“This has been a initial year that I’ve unequivocally stayed comparatively injury-free and managed to fibre games together, and it’s been hugely enjoyable.”

The 6ft 2in, nearby 16-stone centre has shaped a good partnership with a really different-shaped youngster training his qualification – impressively – in Peter Horne and both offer strengths during 12 and 13.

“I don’t mind where we play though I’ve enjoyed personification alongside Pete and perplexing to work off him,” pronounced Dunbar. “We move opposite skills to what we’re doing, though a ability turn of a whole patrol has risen with Gregor [Townsend] and Matt [Taylor] entrance in.

“I work tough on my flitting diversion 
because it’s an area we have to urge on, though you’ll find many of a boys out for half an hour during slightest after training operative on passing, catching, tackling, kicking.”

He might not nonetheless be famous widely opposite a diversion though Dunbar has not 
appeared suddenly. He has been tracked and nurtured for a past decade.

He grew adult on a family plantation nearby Lockerbie and attended Johnstonebridge Primary School and Lockerbie Academy before study agriculture, during a Scottish Agriculture College during Auchencruive in Ayrshire.

His rugby took him into Glasgow colours during under-14 turn and into a Annan 1st XV during 16. His talent was so apparent that he enjoyed dual years with a inhabitant under-20s, personification in a Junior World Championships in Japan and Argentina. Coaches urged him to find a Premiership club, and former Scotland event John Rutherford and manager Kevin Barrie welcomed him to newly-promoted Selkirk, where a teen enjoyed dual seasons slicing his teeth in Premier One rugby.

Then Glasgow came calling. Two years of rapacious a final of pro rugby, full-time training and injuries ensued and now there is a feeling that, with Graeme Morrison and Joe Ansbro retired, Ben Cairns injured, Alex Grove faded from a stage and Max Evans and Nick De Luca into their 30th year, a new midfield hazard is rising during an ideal time for Scotland. Dunbar only shrugs. “I’m only looking brazen to 
getting going here,” he said, settling into a team’s bottom during Umhlanga Rocks 
outside Durban, temperatures touching 30 degrees and blues skies stretching as distant as he can see.

“We enjoyed a training in a north of Scotland final week though a South Africa continue is a small different.

“There has been no word from a coaches nonetheless on either they devise to give everybody a possibility in a games, or not, so it’s only about gripping a conduct down and operative tough we think, and learning.

“Hopefully, we can have another successful summer debate opposite tough antithesis like final year. It is a outrageous payoff to be here, to be comparison for a inhabitant patrol though a idea has to be to take that subsequent step and lift on a jersey. It’s been a childhood dream, ever given we played for Annan, to play for Scotland and, if it happens here, it will be a outrageous feat for me.”

Dunbar skeleton to conduct to Tasmania after a debate for another holiday with his relatives and says he is looking 
forward to rolling adult his sleeves again and assisting out with a dairy herd.

Work has never been a problem for a Dumfriesshire youngster and that ethic is something Johnson and destiny manager Vern Cotter are unfortunate to favour in their rising charges as they demeanour to build new success in 2014-15.

Article source: http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby/top-rugby-stories/glasgow-warrior-alex-dunbar-s-scotland-aim-1-2952403

Rugby – CORRECTED-England measure 7 tries in South American debate opener

England began their debate with 7 tries in a 41-21 dispersion of an outclassed South America XV during a Charrua track in Montevideo on Sunday.

The compare served as a warm-up for a furloughed side’s distant worse exam matches opposite a Pumas in Argentina over a subsequent dual Saturdays.

Number 8 Billy Vunipola scored a hat-trick and fullback Ben Foden and went over twice though not before a South Americans, who had never played as a section before, non-stop a scoring with a chastisement try mid by a initial half.

South America, especially done adult of Argentines with some Uruguayans and a Chilean in their starting XV, altered ends 31-7 down though strike behind with dual some-more tries in a second half.

Flyhalf Benjamin Madero missed dual early penalties as South America forced England into errors though converted all a home side’s tries, while Stephen Myler converted 3 of England’s.

In credentials for a Pumas tests, England approaching and got a clever brazen diversion from their opponents and had dual group sent to a impiety bin to one for a South Americans.

Winger Jonny May was shown a yellow label in a 17th notation for a counsel knock-on that resulted in a chastisement try, and deputy column Alex Corbisiero was impiety binned nearby a end.

Article source: http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/news/rugby-corrected-england-score-seven-tries-south-american-014955210.html

Rugby League Ireland successfully finish RLEF Technical Strategy

rleague.com

Ireland have turn a latest republic to connoisseur from a European Commission-backed RLEF Technical Strategy, following European Federation Coaching Manager Martin Crick’s five-day revisit to Dublin where he conducted Phase 3 of a two-year project.

Coach mentor possibilities Brendan Guilfoyle and Gordon Matthews spent dual days with Crick receiving additional training before a twin ran a two-day Level 1 Course during Dublin City University, where they competent 7 new coaches and picked adult their certificates. The intrigue is partial saved by a Leonardo da Vinci project, that specialises in vocational-educational training in Europe.

The new Irish coaches embody former general actor Wayne Kerr (Curragh RLFC) as good as Brian Curtis (Tallaght Tigers), Tony Dale (Athboy Longhorns), Cathal O’Reilly (Treaty City Titans), Peter Carr (Barnhall Butchers), Richard Willson and Conor Kelly (Ballyfermot Bears).

Brendan Guilfoyle said: “It was good to be partial of a perfection of 3 years’ work between Rugby League Ireland and a RLEF that saw a initial rugby joining coaches competent on Irish soil. All a possibilities left a march prepared to widespread a diversion and to partisan new coaches for a future.”

PHIL CAPLAN
RLEF MEDIA OFFICER

Your thoughts?

Article source: http://rleague.com/news/Rugby-League-Ireland-successfully-complete-RLEF-Technical-Strategy_119841/

Lawson combined to Scotland squad

SKY_MOBILE Scott Lawson London Irish

Late call: Scott Lawson


Scott Lawson will join a Scotland patrol that departs for South Africa on Friday after Ross Ford was ruled out by injury.

Ford suffered a calf damage on training on Wednesday and as a outcome a Edinburgh male will not take partial in a Dark Blues’ Tests opposite Italy, Samoa and their hosts a Springboks.

“Ross Ford pulled adult in training in Aviemore on Wednesday,” pronounced Scotland halt trainer Scott Johnson.

“He was scanned during Spire Murrayfield Hospital and a calf rip was diagnosed, liberation from that takes, on average, some-more than 6 weeks.

“It’s hapless for Ross but, looking on a splendid side, it will give him a possibility to have an off-season, that can do him good.

“It also gives an event to consider other players, that is one of a pivotal things this debate is about.

“It’s a time afterwards for Scott and a dual hookers already named in a debate celebration Pat MacArthur and Stevie Lawrie to contest for places.”

Lawson, who will join Newcastle from London Irish subsequent season, final incited out for Scotland in their degrading detriment to Tonga final November.

Article source: http://www.planet-rugby.co.za/story/0,25883,3551_8744527,00.html

Deans dismisses Lions scalp

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has labelled the British and Irish Lions’ tour-opening win over the Barbarians ‘a junket’, saying it has little relevance ahead of the upcoming series against Australia.

The tourists belted the invitational Baa Baas 59-8 in steamy conditions in Hong Kong on Saturday night, scoring eight tries to one.

But Deans is refusing to read too much into the performance, preferring to run a closer eye over the Lions when they take on the Western Force in Perth on Wednesday night.

“I wouldn’t take too much out of last night’s fixture. It was a junket, to be fair, for the Baa Baas,” he said on Sunday.

“(But) there was ample evidence there that they (the Lions) are coming here with a purpose.

“They’re going to be formidable. They’re experienced on and off the field and they’ll really dot their I’s and cross their T’s and give it a fair crack.

“We’re pretty clear on how they’ll approach it (but) hopefully they’ll get a bit of attitude coming the other way (on Wednesday night).”

Deans also revealed:

*Kurtley Beale would re-enter the Wallabies camp on Tuesday after a successful return to club rugby;

*Israel Folau has not, to his knowledge, signed a contract with NRL club Canterbury;

*Quade Cooper remains in the mix for a Wallaby call-up

*Injuries have forced Scott Higginbotham, Sitaleki Timani out of the Wallabies’ preliminary 25-man squad

*Melbourne halfback Nick Phipps, Waratahs lock Kane Douglas and Western Force forward Ben McCalman have been drafted into the squad.

Deans still has six players to add to his 25-man squad and X-factor players Beale and Cooper still loom large in his thinking.

Beale played for Randwick on Saturday in his first outing since taking time away from the game to deal with a number of off-field issues.

“It’s good to see Kurtley back out on the ground. He’s had a pretty hectic month so it’s good to see him back out there doing what he enjoys,” Deans said.

“The reports have been pretty positive. We’ll get to see him move this week and that will give us a good indication of where he is at.

“He’s coming in to work with our staff. He needs some topping up. He’ll get some hands on work.

“It’s about what’s in his best interest right now.”

On Cooper’s performance for the Reds against the Rebels on Saturday night, Deans said: “He did some very good things and things he wouldn’t have been so pleased about.

“We know Quade well.”

And Deans remains unconcerned over fresh reports Folau is returning to league with the Bulldogs next year, preferring to concentrate on the present.

“He is here now and committed to the game and is playing it well enough to warrant inclusion,” the Wallabies boss said.

“That’s the only thing that concerns us. What happens in the future, who knows?

“Any of us could be anywhere.

“If he enjoys what he does here with us now (and) succeeds, then we’ve got a better chance of him wanting to repeat that experience.

“The game offers a lot but they’re his choices to make and he’ll make them in due course.”

Article source: http://www.sportal.com.au/rugby-union-news-display/deans-dismisses-lions-scalp-237850

Deans dismisses Lions scalp

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans has labelled the British and Irish Lions’ tour-opening win over the Barbarians ‘a junket’, saying it has little relevance ahead of the upcoming series against Australia.

The tourists belted the invitational Baa Baas 59-8 in steamy conditions in Hong Kong on Saturday night, scoring eight tries to one.

But Deans is refusing to read too much into the performance, preferring to run a closer eye over the Lions when they take on the Western Force in Perth on Wednesday night.

“I wouldn’t take too much out of last night’s fixture. It was a junket, to be fair, for the Baa Baas,” he said on Sunday.

“(But) there was ample evidence there that they (the Lions) are coming here with a purpose.

“They’re going to be formidable. They’re experienced on and off the field and they’ll really dot their I’s and cross their T’s and give it a fair crack.

“We’re pretty clear on how they’ll approach it (but) hopefully they’ll get a bit of attitude coming the other way (on Wednesday night).”

Deans also revealed:

*Kurtley Beale would re-enter the Wallabies camp on Tuesday after a successful return to club rugby;

*Israel Folau has not, to his knowledge, signed a contract with NRL club Canterbury;

*Quade Cooper remains in the mix for a Wallaby call-up

*Injuries have forced Scott Higginbotham, Sitaleki Timani out of the Wallabies’ preliminary 25-man squad

*Melbourne halfback Nick Phipps, Waratahs lock Kane Douglas and Western Force forward Ben McCalman have been drafted into the squad.

Deans still has six players to add to his 25-man squad and X-factor players Beale and Cooper still loom large in his thinking.

Beale played for Randwick on Saturday in his first outing since taking time away from the game to deal with a number of off-field issues.

“It’s good to see Kurtley back out on the ground. He’s had a pretty hectic month so it’s good to see him back out there doing what he enjoys,” Deans said.

“The reports have been pretty positive. We’ll get to see him move this week and that will give us a good indication of where he is at.

“He’s coming in to work with our staff. He needs some topping up. He’ll get some hands on work.

“It’s about what’s in his best interest right now.”

On Cooper’s performance for the Reds against the Rebels on Saturday night, Deans said: “He did some very good things and things he wouldn’t have been so pleased about.

“We know Quade well.”

And Deans remains unconcerned over fresh reports Folau is returning to league with the Bulldogs next year, preferring to concentrate on the present.

“He is here now and committed to the game and is playing it well enough to warrant inclusion,” the Wallabies boss said.

“That’s the only thing that concerns us. What happens in the future, who knows?

“Any of us could be anywhere.

“If he enjoys what he does here with us now (and) succeeds, then we’ve got a better chance of him wanting to repeat that experience.

“The game offers a lot but they’re his choices to make and he’ll make them in due course.”

Article source: http://www.sportal.com.au/rugby-union-news-display/deans-dismisses-lions-scalp-237850

The British & Irish Lions Folau – the Wallabies’ Billy Whizz?

Israel Folau

Catch him, if you can: Israel Folau


It’s a wonder Izzy isn’t dizzy, considering all the shuffling around he’s done from sport to sport and the highs he has hit in rival rugby codes on either side of his failed adventure in Australia’s unique football game.

Israel Folau’s path to a once-in-a-dozen years series against the British and Irish Lions has been … perhaps best described simply as different.

Better known as Izzy, Folau played rugby league for Australia and was a star for Queensland in the State-of-Origin series against New South Wales, one of the fiercest and most rugged annual rivalries in any sport.

His ascent in rugby league was so rapid that it seemed to him to be almost too easy, so he sought another challenge. With his size and ability to leap high for catches in crowded areas, he figured a stint as a marquee signing for a new Western Sydney club in the nationwide Aussie rules competition couldn’t do him any harm.

That left-field move backfired. He never properly picked up the nuances of the predominantly kicking-oriented game, and so he searched elsewhere for another challenge and found the Super Rugby clubs only too happy to welcome him to a third professional sport.

He has been an almost instant hit with the Waratahs, where his powerful running game, his strength and his rugby league-style tackling have converted even the most rusted-on rugby union aficionados who doubted he’d adapt to the 15-a-side game.

At 24, and without any guarantee that he’ll play rugby union beyond 2013, Folau was picked by coach Robbie Deans in his initial 25-man Wallabies squad for the Lions series with potential to cover full-back, wing or center.

“I haven’t seen much of the previous series … and, personally, I don’t know too many of their players,” Folau said at the time, reflecting on his knowledge of the Lions.

“I guess I’m still new to knowing all the faces of the game but that might be a thing that could work in my favor.”

He didn’t even need to watch the tape to know the impact of Jason Robinson, who celebrated his run-on Test debut with a try in the first three minutes for the British and Irish Lions to start the 2001 series. Robinson’s speed and step earned him representative honors for Britain in rugby league, and also made him a star in the more global rugby union.

“You’ve probably seen when Jason Robinson made the transition from league, he did a great job,” Folau noted in a TV interview when asked about his rapid elevation to the national squad.

After a distinguished rugby league career, Robinson earned 51 caps for England in rugby union before retiring after the 2007 Rugby World Cup.

Folau’s potential to play full-back, center or wing could make him even more dangerous to an opposition. But he’s not getting ahead of himself.

“I’m very confident in my own ability but I’m not guaranteed to get a starting spot,” he said.

“I’m just happy to be named in the 25-man squad.”

Folau made his National Rugby League debut at 17 and his international rugby league debut at 18, so he’s hardly likely to be overawed by the occasion after making the transition to union.

After 300 rugby league games for Wigan, Robinson said he played his first game of rugby union in November 2000, played three Tests as a substitute for England in February and then earned his first run-on test cap for the Lions in Brisbane in June 2001. It took seconds for him to make his impact on the wing, sprinting down the left touchline, then wrong-footing experienced Australian full-back Chris Latham to open the scoring in the series.

“You know something? At the time, I didn’t know who Chris Latham was,” Robinson told Sydney’s Daily Telegraph earlier in the week.

“Later I found out he was one of the best full-backs to ever play the game, and is a very intelligent player.

“My strength, being a bit of a midget, was my feet and I managed to just get on the outside of him. It was just on the day, everything went well for us. But after that, it didn’t.”

Robinson also scored an important try in the third test, but the Australians countered to produce a series-clinching win in Sydney.

He thinks Folau can make an impact on the series, if given the chance. There were criticis of Folau’s inclusion in selection calculations, including Brumbies Super Rugby coach Jake White – South Africa’s Word Cup winning coach – who thought it would devalue the Wallabies jersey to pick him before he’d committed to a longer rugby union contract.

But Robinson is clearly a fan.

“It’s amazing. I was able to play two different sports in league and union. You look at Israel, he’s got three to his name,” Robinson said. “That in itself suggests he’s something special.”

“Australia have got some exceptional outside backs already, let’s be honest, but he has so many different qualities, he’s an exceptional talent,” added Robinson.

“Every time a Lions tour comes up, there’s always one or two players who … pops up and seems to stand out. He is one of those players. He could cause the Lions problems.”

Article source: http://www.planet-rugby.co.za/lions/story/0,25883,3819_8753539,00.html