Rugby Australia

No room for David Pocock and Michael Hooper in Australian lineup says Wallabies legend

The veteran loose forward returned from a calf injury to play his first test of the year in Australia’s final pre-World Cup hit out against Samoa in Sydney last weekend, an encouraging sign as Pocock embarks on a third World Cup campaign.

He also led the side in place of fellow openside flanker Michael Hooper, who was rested.

Wallabies spots still up for grabs following Samoan scare

Australia wrapped up their pre-World Cup Test campaign with a 34-15 win over Samoa in Sydney on Saturday.

A good first-half display, which was rewarded with a 22-3 halftime lead, was offset by an unconvincing second-half performance, with Samoa scoring the first 12 points, before two late tries pushed the home side clear.

Cheika said the game had been a really good hit out for the Wallabies, who now have a 3-2 record this year.

Rugby Australia committed to promoting from within

Brad Thorn will coach Queensland for a third straight Super Rugbycampaign, media speculation suggests fellow Dave Rennie and Rob Penney are favoured to take over at Wallabies and Waratahsrespectively.

Daryl Gibson, a former All Black, resigned after four years as the Waratahs coach to open up a vacancy while Wallabies incumbent Michael Cheika has already indicated he will leave if Australia don’t win the World Cup in Japan.

Wallabies name Petaia and Ashley-Cooper in squad

It comes as 19-year-old young gun Jordan Petaia became the youngest player to be named in a Wallabies World Cup squad, while Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Banks, Joe Powell, Nick Phipps, Luke Jones, Tom Robertson, Pete Samu and Jack Maddocks were all left out by the three-man selection panel.

Will Skelton's name also does not feature on the final list, with negotiations and a late bid to get him to a second World Cup never getting out of first gear.

Israel Folau wants RA apology

Folau, a devout Christian, had his contract terminated by RA and the Waratahs for a "high-level breach" after he posted "hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" on Instagram.

RA and Folau failed to reach a settlement in June over the full-back's sacking and an unfair dismissal case began in court on Tuesday.

Solicitor George Haros, representing Folau, said his client is "extremely strong" and is keen for an apology as he addressed the media outside court.

Intrigue and legal strategy on eve of Israel Folau's court case with Rugby Australia

On the same day that the former Wallaby's Instagram and Twitter pagesdisappeared for up to four hours, Folau's former employer filed an application in the Federal Circuit Court to have the high profile case moved.

The organisation was not immediately available for comment, but the development could be interpreted as a legal strategy to slow proceedings.

As the "little sister" to the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court has a track record of moving cases through quicker than its federally-based siblings and at a lower cost.

Wallabies hungrier than ever to take Cup

Veterans Nic White, Christian Lealiifano and James O'Connor will suit up against the All Blacks in Perth tonight after long absences, and Hooper says it's stoked the fire to break the 17-year trophy drought.

Inspirational five-eighth Lealiifano hasn't played in a trans-Tasman duel since 2013, and has subsequently battled leukaemia.

Hooper said the Brumbies playmaker would bring a cool head to the cauldron of the clash.

Israel Folau's cousin let go from teaching job at prestigious Sydney Catholic school

Mr Folau worked as a tutor and boarding house supervisor at St Gregory's College at Campbelltown. He was also an alumnus of the school, who finished eighth in the state in religious studies in the 2016 Higher School Certificate.

A staff member confirmed the decision on Thursday. The school's decision came after the Sydney Morning Herald revealed Josiah's involvement in the 30-member Jesus Christ Church founded by his uncle, Israel Folau's father, Pastor Eni.

The church preaches that any Christian who is not "born again" will go to hell.

Israel Folau takes Rugby Australia to court over dismissal

The decision comes after the former Wallaby and RA failed to reach an agreement at a mediation hearing at the Fair Work Commission on June 28.

"Unfortunately, our conciliation before the Fair Work Commission did not resolve the matters between us and I have been left with no choice but to commence court action," Folau said in a statement on Thursday.

RA hits back at Israel Folau claims

The former Wallabies full-back had his contract terminated following an investigation into an offensive social media post in April.

Folau, a devout Christian, uploaded an image to Instagram that said "hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators".

The 30-year-old had been warned for similar comments last year and was this time found guilty of a "high-level breach" of the governing body's code of conduct.