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“Preparation has been compromised”: Bailey NRL all “tarred with the same brush,” says Bellamy ...continued from p16
international may be depleted further after Queensland batsman Joe Burns was called in on Monday as cover for Adam Voges (hamstring). As a result, the finale for Australia’s international summer of cricket resembles a fizzer. “It’s frustrating. No doubt Cricket Australia have prioritised the Test series - I don’t blame them for that,” Bailey said. “But we’ve got seven or eight games until the T20 World Cup (in Bangladesh in 2014). “It (preparation) does feel a little compromised.” And Bailey said if rumours of a change to the 2014 World Cup format were true, world No.7 Australia needed the best preparation available to get out of the “danger zone”. The number of teams have been expanded from 12 to 16 at the
2014 T20 World Cup but Bailey appeared anxious over how many automatically qualified. “I have heard they are going to change the format...there will be a certain amount who automatically qualify,” he said. “I have heard six and I have heard eight, and we are in that danger zone. “So every game as a group is important...in terms of trying to maintain some structure and continuity.” Ticket prices for Wednesday’s T20 international ranged from $45 to $105 but Bailey baulked when asked if fans would be short changed. “It is frustrating. I am sure they (fans) would like to see the best 11 available,” he said. “I don’t think they will be short changed...but will the best players be there? Not necessarily.” Burns is in line to make his international debut along with the likes of WA quick Nathan Coulter-
Nile and NSW batsman Ben Rohrer on Wednesday after being placed on standby for Voges. Voges twinged a hamstring during his match-winning 112 not out in Australia’s 17-run ODI win over the Windies on Sunday night, completing a five-game sweep. Bailey - who missed the ODI finale at the MCG - was confident he would overcome his own hamstring complaint. Meanwhile, quick Ben Cutting denied he had been given a “cheap cap” before running out on home ground the Gabba in national colours for the first time. “I have worked as hard as the other boys,” he said. “It’s part and parcel of being a fast bowler. It gives you opportunities but it can also take them away with injury and what not.” By Laine Clark
Brumbies coach appeals to ACT supporters to return ...continued from p16 a selection battle with incumbent wingers Joe Tomane and Henry Speight, both stars of their 2012 campaign, but has gained the starting nod for round one. White admitted he announced the former Wallaby’s return from a threeyear retirement, where he battled depression and weight gain, to hype up the clash with the 2012 Australian conference winners. Despite being a major success-story last season, the Brumbies struggled to win back fans as they attracted an average crowd of 14,500 - well off the 23,000 average of 2004 when they won the last of their two titles. Rathbone, a South African Under-21 captain under White, was in his first full season of Super Rugby then and went on to play the first of his 26 Tests that year. Three tries in two pre-season trials was enough for White to usher him straight back onto the wing for his 50th Brumbies cap - denying sentiment had any part to play. “I think he’s done enough to select himself ... one thing I’m looking for is an old player coming back hopefully to old ways in Canberra where there’s 20,000 supporters,” the coach said. “In a lot of ways we’re really getting the hype up and hoping that we can challenge the supporters in Canberra and see if we can get back to those old days.
BACK IN THE SADDLE: Clyde Rathbone will make his Brumbies Super Rugby return this Saturday. (AAP Image/NZPA, Wayne Drought) “A lot of people say if you win they’ll come ... that’s easy to say. “Hopefully (Rathbone’s return) will be an instigator to getting back the crowds.” White, to name the rest of his team later this week, also sent out a Twitter post after his press conference saying Rathbone’s selection should attract more than 20,000 to the game. Both nervous and excited about his return, the 31-year-old admitted it was hard to fathom two months ago during pre-season training. “Personally it’s going to be a big occasion, but I think for us as a group leading into the rest of the year this is a massive game,” Rathbone said.
“It’s important that we start well and make a statement.” White was South African under-21 coach when Rathbone captained his former nation to the Junior World Cup in 2002, and the former Springboks mentor said the three-quarter had proved he remained a “winner”. “I’m hoping the influence he has both off the field and on the field will be there this year in terms of making our team winners,” he said. The Reds may well be without captain James Horwill who failed to train on Monday afternoon due to an ankle injury.
...continued from p16 the widespread use of banned substances, organised crime and match-fixing. AAP contacted all 16 clubs for comment on Monday night, with Canterbury, Gold Coast, Melbourne, Brisbane, Parramatta, Wests Tigers and South Sydney all claiming they had not been contacted by the NRL. The NRL said it was not legally permitted to name the clubs, or specify just how many clubs were involved. “The information that has been passed on to the clubs is simply that they have been referred to within the report,” NRL chief executive Dave Smith said. “The NRL is working with the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) who will establish a more detailed briefing with the clubs regarding its investigation. “The NRL does not have authority to name the clubs or confirm the number referred to in the report. “Regardless of the outcome of any investigation, we are already committed to establishing the
strongest integrity and compliance unit of any code and we are determined to see rugby league stronger for having addressed these issues.” Earlier Monday, Melbourne coach Craig Bellamy backed calls for clubs and fans to be given some clarity. “I think a lot of people have said in our game and in other codes that we’d like them to name names, team or individuals,” Bellamy said during a press conference to announce his re-signing with the Storm. “I don’t know the legal ramifications of that. That would be ideal if that could happen because we’re all tarred with the same brush at the moment.” The establishment of a helpline to provide information in relation to anti-doping doesn’t seem to have gone down too well with players, with Tigers superstar saying he would not be inclined to dob in a peer. “First of all that’s not in my nature and secondly I don’t know anyone that does it (take banned substances,” Marshall said. “If I did, I definitely wouldn’t be involved in any sort of way to put them (in trouble) at all.”
RUGBY LEAGUE ON YOUR DOORSTEP
By Jim Morton
Henshaw forgoes surgery for bid at Olympics spot ...continued from p16 expected to be out of action for two months. Segal sustained the injury in qualifying at the Swiss World Cup event but went on to compete in the final where she finished third. In hindsight Segal, who has had ACL surgery on both knees, admitted it probably wasn’t the best move to continue competing. “I’m kind of kicking myself because it was a really stupid decision on my part,” she said. “It could have made it worse but I probably would have needed a scope (on the knee) anyway.” She will have surgery and rehabilitate back in Australia and hopes to see some ski time in the United States in April.
“It hasn’t been the best year for me because I was hoping for more and I was really looking forward to upping my game in competition,” she said. “... but it’s only a minor surgery and I think it will only put me six weeks out and that’s conservative.” Segal’s injury comes after fellow Australian ski slopestyle competitor Russ Henshaw hurt his knee at last month’s X Games. After reports he could be out of action for up to six months, Henshaw, another Games medal hopeful, said on his website he could be back on snow next month. It is understood he is forgoing allograft surgery for now in a bid to ensure he can compete at another World Cup event this season to lock in a qualifying spot for the 2014 Games. Slopestyle is one of a dozen new
he #Backt Anna Segal (AAP Image/Pierre Tostee) disciplines on the program at the Sochi Games and sees competitors perform a series of tricks off rails, jumps and boxes in a purpose-built terrain park.
v WAKEFIELD WILDCATS Sunday February 17th, kick-off 3:00pm at the Twickenham Stoop, TW2 7SX londonbroncosrl.com
By Glenn Cullen
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