Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

'It came as a bit of a shock': Michael Rhodes' reaction after he learned he was cited this week

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Michael Rhodes has admitted he was shocked to learn that he had been cited following his man of the match performance for Saracens in their Champions Cup quarter-final win away at Leinster last Saturday. 

ADVERTISEMENT

The energy provided by the 32-year-old South African around the Aviva Stadium pitch was one of the prime reasons why the defending champions repeated their May 2019 final success against the Irish province.

When it came to potential foul play, Rhodes was involved in the second-half incident where he tackled Johnny Sexton after the Leinster player had released the ball. That resulted in a penalty against Saracens and no more. 

Video Spacer

Will clubs in England be able to survive another six months without fans at matches

Video Spacer

Will clubs in England be able to survive another six months without fans at matches

However, it emerged on Monday that the back row was being cited for a very different incident, a second-minute breakdown meeting with Robbie Henshaw in which he was accused of striking with his head.   

It was Tuesday evening when his disciplinary hearing concluded that although he had committed foul play, the incident didn’t warrant a red card which freed Rhodes to play for Saracens against Racing in this Saturday’s semi-final in Paris.  

Speaking on The Rugby Pod before the verdict emerged, Rhodes said: “It [the citing] came as a bit of a shock to me… there is a clash of heads at a breakdown. You know I can’t really say anything when it comes to that side of things until I am retiring and sitting on the couch and then I can say what I like. We’ll see what happens. Of course, from our point of view, I don’t think there was anything in it. We’ll see how it pans out and hopefully I can still play in the semi-final.”

There was talk some years ago that the South African’s form with Saracens could see him called up by England. Nothing came of that speculation but he would still love to play Test rugby at some stage even though he is committed to sticking with Saracens for their 2020/21 season in the Championship. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“There hasn’t been any more chat from anyone with England. Of course, I was disappointed when I didn’t get a chance to play. Like anyone, I was looking forward to testing myself in the international arena. Unfortunately for me, it’s pretty quiet on that front but if the opportunity ever came up I would jump at the chance to play international rugby. We’ll see. Maybe I need a couple of more man of the matches to get there. 

“I’m still here (with Saracens) for next season so we’ll be going to all sorts of weird and wonderful places I have never been before and looking forward to it. It will be something different, a chance for the younger players to come in and get experience. 

“Old boys like myself can get 20 minutes on the bench and then go for pints in the changing room. It will be a good chance for the team to build for hopefully going back into the Premiership for the following season.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

S
Shaylen 1 hours ago
Jack Willis' Champions Cup masterclass proves English eligibility rules need a rethink

If France, Wales, England, Scotland and Ireland got together and all changed their eligibility laws in the same way SA has it would be absolutely bonkers. All players from all nations involved in Europe would be fair game as would their coaches. The investment in rugby would be supercharged as teams would rush to create dream teams. Transfer markets would be super charged, salary caps may change, private investment would grow as rich backers first buy clubs and then put money into their clubs in an effort to land the best players. The richest clubs and franchises would benefit most but money and players would move across borders at a steady flow. Suddenly countries like Wales and Scotland would have a much larger pool of players to select from who would be developed and improved in systems belonging to their rivals within superstar squads while their clubs receive large sums in the transfer market. The Six Nations would experience a big boost as the best players become available all the time. The Champions cup would become even more fiercely contested as the dream teams clash. Fan engagement would grow as fans would follow their favourite players creating interest in the game across the continent. Transfer markets and windows would become interesting events in themselves, speculation would drive it and rumours of big transfers and interest in players would spread. All of this is speculation and much of it would not eventuate straight away but just like in football the spread of players and talent would create these conditions over time. The transfer markets in European football is proof of this. Football had the same club vs country debate eons ago and favoured an open system. This has made it the largest game in the world with global interest and big money. Rugby needs to embrace this approach in the long run as well

12 Go to comments
J
Jon 7 hours ago
Waratahs 'counter-culture' limits Wallaby options for Joe Schmidt

This is a bit dramatic for me, I think the Rebels and Force cultures would be very strong, and if a player is chosen from either, you can be confident they are in a good head space and ready. Whether they quite have the technical or tactical foundations of the other two states is where one would way their risk of selection. I see no need for Schmidt to worry about that risk in this squad. The main reason I could see a predominance of players from Brumbies and Reds, is simple cohesion. What might the coaching group make of what’s lacking in the Tahs, and to a lesser extent Rebels and Force’s, franchise? Certainly sides (players) that are running irish plays like we saw from that lovely McDermott long ball with have a head start. I hope the players can continue it at International level. Really liked what I saw of Wright (don’t know player focus and just hadn’t seen a lot of him anyway) in that game, can see him being a glue in a Wallaby side too. A with the similar worry of selecting players like Ryan, I think it unfounded to worry so much about forward balance at the moment. Including both Wright and Skelton in the same lineout is not going to lose you games gainst Wales. Nor will any unknown weakenss Wales might find in Ryan be exploited to any great extent. It is the perfect time to introduce such a young player. What other shortcuts might Schmidt want to make now, just a year out from hosting BIL? When Gamble came on the scene I thought he had a Pocock ability to break game apart along with performing the role of a openside well. I would be very keen to drop Leota/Hooper for Gamble, and in your squad make up, include Uru as a lock. Did you forget to remove Vunivalu from your team? Would you have Meafou in your squad if you could?

114 Go to comments
TRENDING
TRENDING Ian Jones commends the 'sheer physicality' of returning Crusaders star Returning Crusaders star named player of round 14
Search