Glad Hewat's got gig
SOMETIMES you just want good things to happen to good blokes. And so it is with 34-year-old former Tah, Peter Hewat, inking a deal with the Brumbies.
Easily one of the best Australian Super Rugby players not to play for Australia, Hewat, who is contracted to Japan champions (formally coached by Eddie Jones) Suntory Sungoliath, has secured both the Goliath's and the ARU's blessing to take up the five-eighth role opened up when Christian Lealiifano broke his leg in the Brumbies' last fixture.
Hewat is a genuine nice bloke and as a Manly (Sydney) Marlin fellow clubman and Twitter exponent, we have developed a solid friendship over the last few years. So, I'm stoked for him on a personal level. And with the five-eighth cupboard decimated by injuries, I think he's also a possibility to play for the Wallabies in 2012, especially the upcoming Tests v Scotland and Wales, an honour he would not look out of place fulfilling. With his involvement in the Suntory rugby program, as professional-a-rugby program as there is, he'll certainly be physically and mentally in shape and "shovel ready".
Keep the faith
WE'VE heard about this since Super Rugby was in the incubator, and still it continues. But I don't agree: the Aussie conference is not the easiest of the three.
The parochial nature of most, but not all, of the criticism of having five Aussie teams in its conference, is self-serving. The South Africans want to make the creation of their additional Super team, the Southern Kings, as easy and painless as possible for them.
Those attacking the strength of the Aussie conference, for the most part, cite the weakness of the Rebels as ammunition. Granted, the Rebels are not the strongest of teams, but I'd counter with the fact the Auckland Blues and the Lions are equally as ordinary. (I won't be opportunistic and label the Rebels' win by them on Saturday as anything more than it was ...a wonderful aberration).
And, ok, Australia's aggregate of talent is not anywhere as robust as that of the two other countries where rugby is the national game. But at the end of the day, you only need enough. Ok, my point here is not that strong, but the creation of the fifth team in the Aussie conference is all about the future. It's about developing a broader and stronger pool of talent within Australian rugby. Irrespective of its current strength in 2012, it'll be that much stronger in 2014, 2016, and 2018 etc. And that's its primary objective. Have faith, it's not that bad at present, and our potential for talent pool growth is considerable.
Follow Slatts on Twitter @pjslatts