News in Brief
Reds give Mooney the boot
September 11, 2009
Lions star Riki Flutey is hoping that he will not require surgery on his shoulder
© Getty Images
- Queensland Reds coach Phil Mooney will not see out the final year of his contract after being dumped by the Queensland Rugby Union this morning.
Mooney, who took over from Eddie Jones at the beginning of the 2008 season, managed just six victories in 26 matches in charge of the embattled franchise. A meeting of the QRU Board accepted a recommendation from a consultative group including former Wallabies Tim Horan, Dan Crowley and Brett Robinson, not to persist with the 44-year-old next season.
Newly-appointed QRU chairman Rod McCall said, "There was no point delaying the inevitable. With the new Super 15 franchise coming on line soon - probably in Melbourne - competition for players and coaches will be intense and we didn't want to harm our prospects by being caught in the no-man's land of having to recruit a coach when the best prospects are already committed."
Mooney added, "I certainly think over my two years we've developed some really good young players (and) that was witnessed last week in the Test match (where Reds scrum-half Will Genia made his run-on debut)," Mooney said. "When it's all said and done I gave it my best shot."
Current ARU high performance manager David Nucifora and former Waratahs coach Ewen McKenzie, who was sacked by French club Stade Francais on Tuesday, are believed to be two of the contenders to take the reins in 2010.
- The Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has decided to hold back on endorsing a Super 15 side until September 25. The union has opted to base the 15th team in Melbourne, but a failure to agree on franchises has seen the final backing delayed.
"The ARU board and management will now continue its work with all interested parties, including the Victorian Government, on an appropriate ownership model," the ARU said. "However, a decision on the final ownership structure is not required before the Melbourne application is unveiled to the SANZAR executive committee in two weeks."
- Cardiff Blues coach Dai Young has dampened expectations that British & Irish Lions duo Martyn Williams and Gethin Jenkins may recover from shoulder surgery in time for Wales' November Tests. Wales kick off against the All Blacks on November 7, with Young believing that the middle of the month is a more realistic goal for the players.
"The middle to end of November is maybe more realistic," he told BBC Sport. "With these [injuries] you don't know, everyone reacts a bit differently to similar operations. It's early days in their rehab."
- Gloucester No.8 Luke Narraway could be out for up to three months after it was confirmed that he requires surgery for a bulging disc in his back.
- Northampton hooker Paul Shields has been forced to retire due to a neck injury. The 30-year-old joined the Saints from Ulster in 2007 and made 41 appearances for the club
- The International Rugby Board will today present Italian club L'Aquila with the IRB Spirit of Rugby Award 2009 following an extraordinary year which saw the Rugby club aid and support its local community.
In April 2009, an earthquake struck the Rugby dominated town of L'Aquila, killing 300 people and leaving thousands homeless. Amongst those killed was promising young prop Lorenzo Sebastiani who had represented Italy at the IRB Junior World Championship in Wales just 10 months before.
L'Aquila's Rugby players placed themselves in the front line, contributing significant strength to the rescue effort and constructing shelters across the pitch for the newly homeless.
IRB Chairman Bernard Lapasset added: "This is a very special award for a very special club. The global Rugby family were shocked and saddened by the events that unfolded in L'Aquila in April and share the grief at the loss of Lorenzo Sebastiani."