Marika Koroibete

Barbarians, World XV make two changes each, Koroibete pulls out

The speedster, who last year won his second John Eales medal as Australia’s best rugby player, finished his second club season in Japan last Saturday with defeat in the final with Robbie Deans’ Saitama Wild Knights.

No exact reason was given as to why Koroibete had to withdraw following his left-wing start in the 15-17 loss to Malcolm Marx’ Kubota Spears in Tokyo, but his place in Hansen’s squad has gone to Kaminieli Rasaku of Bayonne and Fiji 7s. The other addition to the World XV is the retiring Ulster and Ireland back-rower Jordi Murphy.

Koroibete clinches second John Eales Medal as Wallabies' best player

Japan-based speedster Koroibete became the sixth Wallaby to win the award on multiple occasions, having first won it in 2019.

Voted by the players after each Test match, Koroibete polled 202 votes to edge out backrower Rob Valetini (170 votes) and prop Allan Alaalatoa (168 votes).

The 30-year-old, who switched from the NRL to rugby union in 2017, was the stand-out in Australia’s losing Test series against England before also impressing with his work-rate through the Rugby Championship.

Marika Koroibete, Lachlan Boshier and Vince Aso named for Wild Knights debuts

A number of positive Covid cases were reported in the Wild Knights’ camp ahead of the opening round, which saw the Robbie Deans-coached side handed default defeats against the Kubota Spears and Green Rockets. Last year, the Wild Knights scored a 62-5 win over the Green Rockets and would have been at short odds to record similar results against them and the Spears this year, had the games gone ahead.

Marika Koroibete ruled out of Wallabies’ spring tour

Koroibete did not play in the final test of The Rugby Championship, against Argentina, after being released to spend additional time with his family before the Wallabies’ tour of Japan and the UK.

But speaking to reporters on Sunday from Japan, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie revealed the superstar winger had played his last match for Australia - at least for the forseeable future.

Three Wallabies dropped over drinking session


Koroibete and strike forwards Isi Naisarani and Pone Fa’amausili have been ruled unavailable for selection after breaching team protocol by continuing to consume alcohol more than two hours after curfew following a bonding session in Auckland last Saturday.

Coach Dave Rennie said while “there were no issues around behaviour, damage or complaints or anything,” the trio had let the entire squad down as the Wallabies strive to break a 35-year Eden Park hoodoo.

Rennie lays out Rugby Australia's stance amid Koroibete rumours

The Melbourne Rebels flyer can command more than $1 million a year playing overseas and is expected to quit Australian rugby at the end of 2021 when his contract is up.

Rennie said he’d love to keep Koroibete, who had gone from strength to strength in the past 12 months and is now a global star.

“I agree, he’s been fantastic, phenomenal,” Rennie said.

“There’s been a couple of games he’s played this year where he’s been the best player on the field and you’ve only got to reflect back to the Bledisloe Cup game in Brisbane, he was sensational that day.

Marika Koroibete credits Michael Cheika after being awarded John Eales Medal

Koroibete paid a heartfelt tribute to Cheika after joining the modern-day greats of Australian rugby as the Wallabies’ 2019 player of the year.

In just his third season in the 15-man code after defecting from the NRL, the electric winger won the battle of the Fijian-born backs to see off Samu Kerevi and claim the Wallabies’ highest individual honour.

Storm have good cover for Koroibete

Koroibete's move to the Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby side has left a big hole in the Storm's young backline.

Storm football director Frank Ponissi said that Victorian product Young Tonumaipea, ex-Wests Tigers flyer Josh Addo-Carr and centre Curtis Scott were in the running to fill the vacancy.