Wallabies flanker Lukhan Tui announces he is quitting rugby after ugly altercation

Alex Broun 15/09/2018
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Lukhan Tui confronting the fan

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika probably thought things could not get worse after his side slumped to their first home loss to Argentina in 35 years.

But that was not the case as flanker Lukhan Tui announced he was immediately stepping away from rugby after an ugly post match altercation with a fan.

Cheika said the incident occurred when Tui’s young sister was pushed by the supporter, enraged by the Wallabies sock 23-19 loss on Saturday night, near the tunnel at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

Tui had already suffered emotional turmoil during the week after his stepfather died suddenly on Wednesday. The Wallabies were wearing black armbands in his honour.

The Wallabies boss said the 21-year-old told the playing group after the match, that he needed to take time away from rugby and would cut his 2018 season short.

“So I hope the fan’s happy,” Cheika said.

“That’s a pretty heavy thing to happen, he’s just said it in the dressing room to the players now… he’s not going to be playing anymore because of that incident.

“It’s one thing being upset with a team… (but) what went down there was the supporter pushed Lukhan’s sister.

“Lukhan didn’t like that, and that’s fair enough.

“Obviously that family’s had a very big week and I don’t think that’s appropriate that that happened.

“I know the guy probably doesn’t know it’s Lukhan’s sister but still, you shouldn’t be pushing a kid in the crowd anyway.”

Rugby Australia have begun investigating the incident and are seeking CCTV vision from inside the stadium.

They will await reports from venue security before determining what course of action to take.

Broadcast footage showed the fan hurling abuse at players before the push and shove with Tui unfolded.

The fan was later led away and detained by security guards, along with another offending fan.

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David Pocock and Beauden Barrett headline our Rugby Championship players to watch

Alex Broun 14/09/2018
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David Pocock will captain the Wallabies against Argentina

Round Four of the Rugby Championship on Saturday sees the All Blacks host the stumbling Springboks in windy Wellington (11.35 UAE time) while the Pumas are on the Gold Coast to face the Wallabies.

We pick out a player to watch from all four teams:

David Pocock (Wallabies)

The turnover king returns to the Wallabies starting line-up this weekend after being left out against South Africa due to a troubling neck injury. With Michael Hooper being ruled out Pocock has also been elevated to captain as well as being moved to his favoured No7 jersey. Pete Samu comes in at No8, with Lukhan Tui at blindside and how this new-look trio combines will play a big part in deciding who comes out on top against the impressive Pumas.

Nicolas Sanchez was in superb form against the All Blacks

Nicolas Sanchez was in superb form against the All Blacks

Nicolas Sanchez (Pumas)

The fly-half was superb in Nelson against the All Blacks putting in one of his best-ever Test performances, fitting as during the match he overtook Felipe Contepomi’s points record of 651 as Argentina’s all-time top point scorer. Sanchez has recently signed a big-money contract for Stade Francais and the Paris team look like they have a bargain on this form. He scored a try as part of a 14-point haul to go with 74 metres run including three linebreaks, seven tackle busts, one try assist and three offloads.

Siya Kolisi led the Springboks to victory over England in his first Test

Siya Kolisi led the Springboks to victory over England in his first Test

Siya Kolisi (Springboks)

The Stormers flanker must being started to feel like he has been handed a poisoned chalice. Everything looked rosy when he started his tenure with a series victory over England but the Boks have now lost three of their last four and were woeful against an under-strength Wallabies in Brisbane last Saturday. Kolisi was among South Africa’s best that night with eight carries for 68 metres and he’ll need to be again if the Boks are to avoid a heavy loss.

Beauden Barrett races over for one of his four tries against the Wallabies in Auckland.

Beauden Barrett races over for one of his four tries against the Wallabies in Auckland.

Beauden Barrett (All Blacks)

The Hurricanes maestro sat out last weekend as his would be usurper, Richie Mo’unga, put in a patchy performance against the plucky Pumas. Rumours have surfaced this week of Lyon plotting a 1.5m raid for the No10 after RWC 2019 which would make him the world’s best-paid player. It is nothing less than BB deserves after his record 30-point four-try haul against the Wallabies and he is set for a similar haul against the Boks on his home ground on Saturday.

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Rassie Erasmus throws racial quota out the window as Springboks face All Blacks

Alex Broun 14/09/2018
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Rassie Erasmus. with Springbok captain Siya Kolisi

The honeymoon is well and truly over for Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus.

The former flanker was hailed as a hero in May when he appointed South Africa’s first-ever black captain Siya Kolisi, who then led South Africa to a thrilling series victory over England.

But after back-to-back losses to Argentina and Australia, Erasmus’ head is already on the chopping block.

A bemused Erasmus fielded media queries in Wellington this week over whether he was about to be sacked.

The chairman of the SA Rugby, Mark Alexander, was even forced to come out in support of his embattled coach.

Short of a miracle, a third straight loss is awaiting Erasmus and his team when they take on the All Blacks on Saturday, but even worse than the impending result is attacks suggesting that Erasmus is winding back on his stated desire to transform the team.

South African rugby is committed to working towards a 50/50 balance between white and non-white players at the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Erasmus had previously embraced the transformation agenda, but as the results have started to go against his team, he has begun to wind back the number of non-white players.

He started with no less than six non-white players in each of his first five Tests, going as high as seven for the Wales Test in Washington DC and the third match against England.

That became five for both Rugby Championship matches played so far and now it has dropped to just four to face the All Blacks.

Not surprisingly the attacks have already started with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) suggesting that he is giving preferential treatment to white players.

It’s a major mistake from Erasmus, who seems to already be cracking under the pressure.

Even with his very best team, South Africa were still going to lose this Test by 20+ points.

Much smarter for Erasmus would have been to pick a side with eight or more non-white players who would only have lost by a similar margin.

This way he loses the match and the campaign for transformation – setting himself up for a battle on two fronts.

Sadly Erasmus’ early gains have evaporated as the clock has begun ticking on his troubled tenure.

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