Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
Global Global
NZ NZ

The Super Round players who have caught the eye of Joe Schmidt

By Liam Heagney
Waratahs' Tane Edmed carries versus Crusaders (Photo by Asanka Ratnayake/Getty Images)

New Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt has shared some thoughts on what he has so far seen in Super Round this weekend in Melbourne.

ADVERTISEMENT

The New Zealander officially began work this weekend in a job he is contracted to do through to the completion of the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour in Australia.

All five Australian franchises are in action in Melbourne this weekend in round two of Super Rugby Pacific.

Video Spacer

Simon Raiwalui on what his new role with World Rugby entails

Former Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui chats about his new role as High Performance Pathways and Player Development Manager at World Rugby.

Video Spacer

Simon Raiwalui on what his new role with World Rugby entails

Former Fiji coach Simon Raiwalui chats about his new role as High Performance Pathways and Player Development Manager at World Rugby.

This has allowed Schmidt the perfect opportunity to run his eye across prospective Wallaby players ahead of next July’s opening Test matches – the two-game series versus Wales in Sydney and Melbourne and then the one-off fixture against Georgia back in Sydney before the start of the 2024 Rugby Championship.

The Rebels beat the Force in an all-Aussie clash on Friday and at half-time on Saturday with the Waratahs leading the Crusaders 23-10 in the match they would win 37-24, Schmidt gave an interview to Stan Sport where he revealed who had so far caught his eye in the Super Round which concludes on Sunday with the Brumbies taking on the Chiefs and the Reds playing the Hurricanes.

Asked about the first-half performance of Tane Edmed, Schmidt said: “I thought he was a really good balance of efficiency and enterprise. I thought his clearing kicks were nice and long and accurate.

“Yeah, he got that nice offload to Max (Jorgensen) and they had space just in behind that they didn’t quite finish. Yeah, he had been a really good influence around the game.”

ADVERTISEMENT

When Eddie Jones, the previous Wallabies coach, attended the Super Round last year, he was pictured pencilling down a list of names for his Test team.

Schmidt, though, doesn’t operate as openly like Jones, who has since taken up the Test team job in Japan following Australia’s first-ever pool stage elimination at a Rugby World Cup.

“I struggle to know what I am thinking at the best of times,” quipped Schmidt. “I’m not pencilling names in, but I’m certainly taking notice.

“There are some guys who have gone really well. We talked about Tane briefly, but there are guys like (Hugh) Sinclair and others who are unsung guys who have done really well tonight as well, and we saw both sides of the ball in the Force-Rebels game last night so it’s been good games so far.”

ADVERTISEMENT

What is Schmidt’s ambition in the opening weeks of his new role? “To get a few other eyes on, just to get a team around me. I know it’s never a one-man job when you are trying to lead a group and the group themselves have to give a fair bit of that as well.

“It’s one of the reasons why I caught up with the Super Rugby captains and that was profitable just to get some ideas from them around what the programme looked like and then once we get that, obviously try to make sure we get the right balance come July.

“One of the good things is building relationships with the Super Rugby coaches. I have caught up with all of them so far this weekend except Steve (Larkham), we’re catching up tomorrow morning (Sunday) at 7:15.

“I have known him for a while, so it will be good to catch up with him. I have worked with Les (Kiss), so it’s easy with him. Darren Coleman has been great to chat with around these (Waratahs) guys. That has been a really positive part of it so far, how open the Super Rugby coaches are, what they are doing and what they are trying to do.”

Was there anything for Schmidt to inherit from the Wallabies’ disastrous spell under Jones which culminated in their early exit at France 2023, the tournament where the New Zealander was assisting Ian Foster’s All Blacks in their run to the final?

“It [the canvas] is nice and blank and it’s a little bit dauntingly blank because you like to have a little bit of continuity and I’m sure there will be some continuity but at the same time, we have got to take a big step from where things finished up at the World Cup. Some of what I have seen this weekend is part of that.”

Related

ADVERTISEMENT

Join free

LIVE

{{item.title}}

Trending on RugbyPass

Comments

2 Comments
U
Utiku Old Boy 112 days ago

Good to have the EJ era in the rearview. Plenty of individuals have an opportunity in this new era but forming them into a team is the challenge. Schmidt badly needs some competent help as it is a big reno job.

Load More Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Sign up for free
ADVERTISEMENT

Latest Features

Comments on RugbyPass

FEATURE
FEATURE Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it Brumbies the best team in Australia but still nothing to show for it
Search