The Taylors Wines Top 5, brought to you by RUPA’s Official Wine Partner Taylors Wines, brings to you five of the best Australian Rugby interviews in the media this week.
This week in Super Rugby, the Brumbies host the red-hot Lions in Canberra on Friday night (7:45pm, all times AEST), before the Melbourne Rebels look to give their finals chances a vital boost when they take on the Queensland Reds in Melbourne on Saturday (7:45pm).
Finally, a Sunday morning Rugby game will be on the cards as the Western Force travel to beautiful Buenos Aires to take on the Jaguares (7:40am), with the Waratahs having a bye this week; all games shown live on FOX Sports 501.
The Australian Men’s Rugby Sevens team currently sit sixth in the World Rugby Sevens Series standings, heading into this weekend’s penultimate round in Paris. Australia is in Pool D and plays Russia (Saturday 6:22pm), Samoa (Saturday 9:48pm) and Fiji (Sunday 1:14am), with coverage live on FOX Sports 503. Coverage of Day Two switches to FOX Sports 501, and runs from 4:45pm until the Cup Final at 1:33am on Monday.
1. Fijian fireworks on the field
One of the most exciting prospects of the upcoming derby clash between the Rebels and the Reds is the contest between opposite wingers, and former Fijian Rugby League internationals, Eto Nabuli and Marika Koroibete.
“We played [a test together] at the Gold Coast against Papua New Guinea [in 2015]. We hung around after training. I’ve known him from when we were in Sydney, both playing Rugby league. He was at the Tigers and I was at Penrith,” Nabuli told Paul Malone of The Courier Mail.
“We used to sometimes go and attend a church meeting together, but we will both want to win this week with our team.”
2. Gold always a part of us
All of the Australian Women’s Rugby Sevens Gold Medallists received Order of Australia Medals at Government House last Friday, as recognition for their outstanding performance in Rio de Janeiro.
In an interview with The Daily Telegraph's Fiona Bollen, Co-Captain Sharni Williams said their victory in Rio will always be part of the team.
“I don’t think that chapter will ever close. It’s always going to be there, it’s always going to be a part of me. I don’t ever want to close that chapter of that book,” Williams said.
“I’ve always said that the gold medal is bigger than the team, it’s bigger than me ... I’ve seen that, I’ve been part of that. I’m Sharni Williams, OAM, that’s just incredible, that’s insane to think that’s where the gold medal got us.”
3. Battered and bruised
With fifteen of the Rebels top-line players out through injury, Welsh International Dominic Day told Rugby.com.au’s Beth Newman at Rugby.com.au that he has never seen an injury toll like what the Rebels are currently experiencing.
“It’s been a perfect storm of injuries, which has been really frustrating. On the plus side, you’ve got a lot of guys getting an opportunity… guys come in like Hugh (Sinclair) and Will (Miller) who’ve been awesome. They’ve really stepped up in training and they’ve been pushing everyone,” Day said.
Day also addressed the continued Super Rugby uncertainty in Melbourne, and said it would be a ‘tragedy’ to see the Club left out of the Super Rugby competition in 2018 and beyond.
“The fact that not just an Aussie team but a couple of South African teams might not be there either it’s hard to take,” he said. “I see so much talent in this team and for it not to be here in a couple of months is tragic I think. The ARU need to have a look at it, at the talent.
“(It’s) not just in this team but the Force as well, they're in the same predicament and we need to fight for it.”
4. Super-chill Speight
Henry Speight addressed the string of losses suffered by Australian teams over the weekend in an interview with the Canberra Times’ Caden Helmers.
"Obviously, there's a lot being said, especially over the weekend, [after] a few losses (for) the other franchises and the under 20s as well.
"(At the Brumbies) our main focus is us and trying to improve our performance week in, week out. Try and stay on top of our conference, put us in a good spot for playoffs. There's a lot of outside noise about Australian Rugby at the moment, but in house our main focus is just preparing for this week."
5. Eager Enever
Staying in Canberra, Blake Enever is as keen as ever to get back into Super Rugby following the bye.
Speaking to his team’s website he said the squad feels refreshed and ready to play, and will be pushing to consolidate their position for the playoffs, after being given some time off during the week.
“We trained last Tuesday and then we were told to get away from it. We had a good day on Sunday as well, coming back. It is important to get your head away from Rugby, it freshens you up and makes you even more keen to get on with the job when you come back,” Enever said.
Enever didn’t shy away from the challenge the Lions present on Friday night.
“You have to match them with aggression, they’re a big, big team that love running the ball so we have to get up in defence and try to slow them down. We just have to keep backing ourselves and try and cut off their options.”
And finally, for this week's Taylors Wines bonus tip...
While you hopefully know by now, many red wines get better with age when cellared properly, but did you know a selection of white varieties do well with a bit of extra time in bottle?
White wines like Riesling and Chardonnay, when cellared properly, take on some incredible aroma and flavour characteristics.
Riesling while young is a schmorgasbord of bright lemon and lime citrus, but with careful cellaring, takes on unique aromas of honey, nuts and what some say a hint of petrol. The flavours become more textural as the acidity opens up to bright and complex fruit flavours. For a riesling destined to age, try our St Andrews Riesling 2016.