David Rudisha, Masai warrior, tamed the world and saved the lion

David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas
Shanghai night field

David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas

David Rudisha Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. Photo: Matthew Thomas

In 2010 David Rudisha went to Berlin and broke the world record. A week later in the small Italian hilltop city of Rieti the tall angular 21-year-old from central Africa broke his own world 800 metres record.

At the same time in his Masai tribe in the Rift Valley of Kenya the boys of Rudisha’s generation were going through their rite of passage. The Masai boys went out to hunt and kill a lion and so become warriors. Were he not in Europe Rudisha would have been hunting with them.

To hunt the lion the Masai nominate one of their hunters as a sacrifice to lure out the lion. The hunter rings a bell loudly and constantly until an irritated lion attacks. The hunting party then moves in and kills the lion. If the bell-ringer survives he is venerated as a brave and lucky warrior.

“In 2010 it was almost the same time that I was breaking the world record that my age group were going through the rite of passage to become the morran [warrior],” Rudisha said.

“When I came back they said ‘I think you did something special, even more than killing a lion’. They made me a leader. I didn’t have to kill a lion. They say breaking two world records was more significant and was just like killing the lion. I think that is really cool because we are also trying nowadays to educate them to discourage the killing of wild animals because now in Kenya we have more statues of lions than lions themselves.”

In modern Kenya there is a grinding disconnect among the Masai between earnestly defending their culture and traditions and knowing that by doing so they are robbing their heritage. By killing so many lions and wild animals the Masai are killing an essential element of who they are.

“I am proud to be a Masai. We are one of the unique tribes who live alongside wild animals including the big five [the lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard]. We are proud of the wild animals because this is part of our heritage and environment. Without the wild animal I think the Masai are different,” he said.

“We want to maintain and be ecosystem friendly. The Masai are known to be very courageous and that is why we live with the wild animals but sometimes people get attacked and this has been a big issue between the Masai and the wild animals. If they come and kill then we go and hunt for them. Now we educate them and say we don’t just go attack them unless they attack us.”

Rudisha is patron of the new “Masai Olympics” which was conceived as a means of challenging warriors and adapting Masai skills without killing wild animals.

“We do unique sports. We throw the spears and Masais are well known for jumping and dancing, so we also have high jump whereby you jump as high as you can to hit the rope with your head,” he said. “It’s a kind of unique high jump. We are trying to encourage them not to continue killing the wild animals.”

Rudisha is emblematic of the modern Masai. He grew up nomadically in the traditional way but now lives in an urban area to train and be able to travel the world as an elite athlete. He is modern yet traditional – when he married six years ago he paid his wife’s family in cows.

“Cows are the most valuable things to Masai, the number of cows you have signify how rich you are … we do all we can to protect them. We fight with other communities because of cows. Before you get married you have to give cows for the family of the bride. I paid 12 cows for my wife,” he said.

“I don’t keep a lot of cows now, just a few at home. Nowadays I live around town in the city and some places now are starting to change because of the modernisation.”

This pride of his heritage informs who Rudisha is as an athlete. The Masai reputation for courage made him change the way he ran in 2009 after failing to make the final of the world championships in Berlin.

“That was when I decided to change my tactics and run from the front which it took me a lot of courage to do,” he said. “I am a Masai and we are very courageous and brave people. Even if you watch most of my races I always run courageously, even sometimes when I am not at my top I always like to lead from the front and do my best. Many people like that.

“I have been pushing and training hard to be fit because running from the front you have to be in good form as well as you have to be smart because you’re calculating and doing out there without following somebody’s pace.”

There was no more courageous run than Rudisha at the London Olympics. Rudisha jockeyed to the front in the first 100, accelerated at the 200, and floated away from the pack by the 300. He was like the Masai bell-ringer the lions could not catch.

He ran the first lap in 49.28 and kept accelerating, confident that no one could touch him. He looked like a man racing himself as much as the field. He had not lost all year, he felt assured of winning, it was another record he was chasing.

While he likes to lead, ordinarily Rudisha uses his pacemaker, Sammy Tangui, to take him around the first lap. Tangui travels the world with him training and pacing him over the first lap. Tangui is not a Masai but he is a tall man with a long stride like Rudisha’s. He was a 400m runner who competed at the African championships and world youth games and now takes Rudisha around the track for the first lap in a predetermined time.

“Tangui is always I would say almost perfect. Most of the races and most of the pacing he gets there minus or plus 30 hundreds of a second,” Rudisha said.

Rudisha was world champion in 2011. In 2013 he missed the worlds through injury. He has broken the world record three times. He is the Olympic gold medallist. He is one of the greatest-ever middle-distance runners. But his name is not really Rudisha.

His name is only Rudisha because his dad’s name was Rudisha. But his dad’s name was not really Rudisha, that was just a nickname.

Rudisha is a Swahili word for return. When David’s father was born in 1945 German soldiers came into their village in Tanganyika, in what had been German East Africa, to take some of the Masai’s bulls.

The German commander kicked in the door of the hut and was startled to see David’s grandmother giving birth. He turned around called out to his men “Rudisha, Rudisha” telling them to return the bulls and leave the village.

And so the young boy, Daniel, was considered the harbinger of good fortune and forever known to the village as Rudisha. He later went on to win silver in the 400m relay for Kenya at the 1968 Olympics as Daniel Rudisha. When he had a son called him David Rudisha.

“Rudisha was just a nickname for my dad. People know my dad more by Rudisha than his official name. I kind of like the name. It’s a good luck name because the bulls got returned,” Rudisha said.

He acknowledges the name now fits. It is a name of luck, of cows, of the Masai and of winning.

Rudisha runs on Saturday night at the IAAF Melbourne World Challenge at Lakeside Stadium, Albert Park. Events begin 3pm. Rudisha runs at 6.50pm.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Bob Carr opens cabinet door at Newcastle Writers Festival

Newcastle writer Philip Ashley-Brown, left, and Bob Carr tread the festival boards. Picture: Ryan OslandIT was political, but not partisan, as Bob Carr took centre stage at the Newcastle Writers Festival on Friday.
Shanghai night field

The former NSW Labor premier who became the country’s foreign minister spoke about the rough and tumble of public office and the highlights of a political career spanning four decades.

And the author of Diary of a Foreign Minister had kind words, not only for the late Malcolm Fraser but for another Liberal prime minister, Tony Abbott.

Mr Carr surprised the City Hall crowd with praise for Mr Abbott, saying reports Australia would join the China-led $US100-billion ($130-billion) Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank were positive.

“I was very heartened when I heard the Abbott government took the decision that Australia should join the bank,” he said.

“I thought it was a very bad look for Australia that we were staying out of the bank, only because [US President] Barack Obama had phoned Tony Abbott and said, ‘We don’t want you to join it.’

“That wasn’t a good enough reason. There’s a strong case for us being a part of this bank, shaping the rules, shaping the governments.

“Americans are so anxious about what is an inevitable phenomenon – the rise of China. This sends a very important signal … we’re capable of thinking for ourselves.”

Mr Carr also paid tribute to Mr Fraser, who died on Friday.

“I think we’ve got to give him credit for being a thoughtful political leader whose view evolved,” he said.

“He took a very considered position in his last book in warning Australians about the dangers of our treaty relationship with America.”

Mr Carr also weighed in on recent events at ICAC, after one Hunter resident declared he was fed up with state politics and had thought about casting an informal vote.

“I think the shocks out of the ICAC revelations for both sides of politics have been enormous,” Mr Carr said.

“But you’ve got leaders on both sides resolved to get their parties beyond a very unfortunate period.’’

The three-day Newcastle Writers Festival will continue over the weekend.


■ Wesley Enoch talks about his life, career and Black Diggers. 10am-11am, City Hall Hunter Room. Tickets $22.

■ Blanche d’Alpuget talks about her colourful writing career. 11.30am-12.30pm, City Hall’s Hunter Room. Tickets $22.

■ Bob Brown, Claire Dunn and Favel Parrett talk about the significance of connecting with wild places. 4.30pm-5.30pm, City Hall Concert Hall. Tickets $22.


■ Les Murray reads from his new volume of poems. 10am-11am, City Hall Concert Hall. Tickets $22.

■ Erik Jensen and David Leser set out to write about key figures, but found themselves entwined in the story. 1.30pm-2.30pm. Tickets $22.

Best of the rest Barbarians out to cause upsets at under-20s championships

Jordan Fulivai scored the match-winning try for the Australian Barbarians on Thursday. Photo: Jay CronanThey’re the group thrown together as “the best of the rest” in a bid to end the dominance of NSW and Queensland, and Australian Barbarians coach Russell Ingram believes his side can cause havoc at the national under-20s championship.
Shanghai night field

The Barbarians side is made up of the best players from Canberra, Victoria, Western Australia and country zones, combining their talent to take on the might of traditional powerhouses NSW and Queensland.

They passed their first test against Tonga on Thursday, with Gungahlin Eagles star Jordan Fulivai scoring a try after the siren to lift the Barbarians to a 40-36 triumph at Viking Park.

But their next challenge is against Queensland on Saturday before clashing with NSW on Monday and finishing the titles with a match against Fiji in Canberra on Wednesday.

“The boys are excited to be a part of it … it’s really set up for the Australian selectors so they can pick the best players,” Ingram said.

“By combining all of these guys, picking the eyes out of the best kids, we’ve got a pretty good side. We just lost to NSW and beat Queensland last year.

“Through Schoolboys Queensland and NSW dominate, but we put the best of the rest together and we’ve got a fairly good unit. The challenge is just pulling them together.”

Fulivai, the son of former Canberra Raiders cult hero “Prince” Albert, was called into the Barbarians squad only on Wednesday.

But the 18-year-old arrived at the perfect time to lift the Barbarians to a thrilling win against Tonga, finishing off an almost length-of-the-field build up to score the match winner.

The Barbarians team boasts 11 ACT representatives, including front-row trio Lloyd Harrison, Connal McInerney and Tyrell Lomax, who are rated as future Wallabies.

Wests junior Brode Leber will start at No.7 against Queensland, despite being just 17 years old.

“Jordan only came in when Jonah Placid was called into the Melbourne Rebels squad [to play Super Rugby] … We were a bit scrappy in game one.

“Leber’s come through the Wests juniors since he was seven years old. He’s not even 18 yet, we’ve got a support system around him so that hopefully he can develop through.

“In most of the systems, these boys are getting little opportunities to train with the elite team. It’s fantastic for their development.”


Saturday: Australian Barbarians v Queensland at 1pm, NSW v Tonga at 3.15pm.

Monday: Australian Barbarians v NSW at 1pm, Queensland v Fiji at 3.15pm.

Wednesday: Australian Barbarians v Fiji at 1pm, NSW v Queensland at 3.15pm.

All games at Viking Park.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Friends pay tribute to Malcolm Fraser, also dubbed king of the camellias

It is a small and close community on the Mornington Peninsula which Malcolm and Tamie Fraser have called home for close to two decades.
Shanghai night field

A community of families and friends.

The local wineries and restaurants are popular meeting places and the golf course a social hub.

Local resident and former managing director of The Age, Ranald Macdonald, often met the Frasers for dinner, a swing of the sticks and to chew over meaty conversation on topics such as foreign policy.

Mr Macdonald is effusive in his respect for Malcolm Fraser, who spent almost three decades in federal parliament, his sharp intellect and his willingness to make a point or open a discussion.

“He encouraged lively debate with really intelligent and thought-provoking opinions,” Mr Macdonald said on Friday.

“He was good company, a challenging man and someone who contributed right to the end, unlike a lot of other people who left politics.”

Mr Macdonald described Mr Fraser as “a very remarkable Australian” who challenged us all.

Malcolm Fraser was the youngest member of federal parliament when elected at the age of 25 after growing up on Nareen Station near Hamilton in the Western District.

The Melbourne Grammar and Oxford-educated Mr Fraser was a brave and sharp conversationalist.

Mr Macdonald said the enthusiasm, fascination and intellect of Mr Fraser’s argument on important national and international policy issues remained to his last days.

“We spent quite a lot of time with him … lively chatter over good food and good wine,” he said.

The flags flew at half mast at the Flinders Golf Club on Friday where the Frasers are members.

Malcolm Fraser came to golf late and enjoyed the sport, Mr Macdonald said.

“But being a tall man perhaps didn’t have the ball under control,” he said.

Mrs Fraser, also a keen golfer, helped organise an annual charity golf day at the club to raise money for the National Stroke Foundation.

It’s rumoured Tamie Fraser is a little more successful with the clubs.

“We would see Malcolm and Tamie play together fairly regularly in the afternoons,” a Flinders Golf Club regular said.

He said the couple were well liked at the club.

Mr Macdonald talks of the remarkable support Tamie provided to Malcolm and the warmth of their relationship.

“A genuine full-time love affair for over 50 years – it was a love affair right to the end,” he said.

Another of their joint loves was gardening on their 1.6-hectare Red Hill South property, Thurulgoona.

In a 2003 article Mrs Fraser described Malcolm as “king of the camellias”.

Mr Fraser even accidentally bred a new variety that was named Camellia japonica.

The former prime minister was also a car enthusiast and a keen fly fisherman, stocking trout on the Red Hill South property.

He discovered the cathartic allure of casting a fly during the pressure-filled days of federal parliament.

Today’s politicians remembered a great Victorian.

“Malcolm Fraser was a Victorian of purpose and principle – an architect of our diversity and a giant of stature, intellect and legacy,” Premier Daniel Andrews said.

“For decades, he served the people of Western Victoria. For a lifetime, he served the contest of Australian ideas. We’re all better for it.”

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Bookmakers cursing top two as Vancouver, Exosphere well backed in Golden Slipper

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber
Shanghai night field

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Popular pick: Money keeps flooding in for Golden Slipper hopeful Exosphere. Photo: Sylvia Liber

Bookmakers are dreading chart toppers Vancouver and Exosphere dominating the world’s richest two-year-old race as money continues to tumble in for the top two in betting ahead of the $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

Exosphere – the top pick of John O’Shea’s four-strong Golden Slipper hand – firmed into $4 with Ladbrokes on Friday evening as he edged ever closer to laying down the challenge to Gai Waterhouse’s unbeaten colt for favouritism.

But Vancouver has maintained his iron-clad grip as the market leader despite having to launch from the outside barrier in 16.

“The market has solidified at the moment, but Exosphere is still our worst way,” Ladbrokes’ Paul Di Cioccio said. “The favourite Vancouver hasn’t flown the way we thought it would and the Slipper is a funny race, and a few of the winners have come from way back.”

The rest of the Godolphin army – Furnaces ($14), Haptic ($16) and Ottoman ($31) – also met with support on race eve as O’Shea seeks to notch up his second and perhaps career-defining group 1 win for the operation.

Di Cioccio said Ladbrokes was bracing for Furnaces to be one of the best backed runners in the hours before the Slipper. Vancouver was only slightly easy as the $3.10 top pick.

He was a little firmer at $2.80 with the country’s largest bookmaker, Tab上海龙凤419m.au, with Exosphere ($4.20) the only other runner under double figures.

“The most popular runner [on Friday] has been the favourite [Vancouver], then Exosphere,” Tab上海龙凤419m.au’s Glenn Munsie said. “Since Tuesday’s barrier draw the punters still want to back Vancouver and they haven’t been worried about the gate.”

Waterhouse’s task of preserving Vancouver’s impeccable record was made just that tad harder after the scratching of outsider Look To The Stars with a foot abscess. Only one horse has won the Golden Slipper when starting from barrier 16.

But it didn’t matter at the call of the card at Randwick with Vancouver, shopped at $3.30, well supported alongside Waterhouse’s other runners English and Speak Fondly.

Mike Moroney’s Serenade takes her spot in the field after Look To The Stars’ scratching.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Golden Slipper preview

Vancouver: “He’s probably more like Sebring in that he’s a similar type being a very loose horse. From out there he can do what he likes – he can go forward or back. He can do anything.” – trainer Gai Waterhouse
Shanghai night field

Headwater: “John [Hawkes] couldn’t understand why he ran like he did the other day [in the Todman Stakes] but he must have really liked what he saw on Tuesday because he rang me straight away to say I’ve got the ride. It was a confident call.” – jockey Glen Boss

Furnaces: “He has run solid placings in two key Slipper lead-ups and we have elected to add winkers to his gear. He gives the impression he is coming to a peak and has an ideal inside draw.” – trainer John O’Shea

Haptic: “An unassuming colt that has done everything asked of him and won well at both starts. He has freshened up well and a lovely soft draw should give him his chance to settle right on speed.” – trainer John O’Shea

Exosphere: “On exposed form looks our most likely candidate, he is a big imposing colt with a great attitude and from an ideal middle barrier he should get his chance to finish the race off strongly.” – trainer John O’Shea

Ready For Victory: “She’s as good a two-year-old as I’ve ridden this season. I wasn’t surprised at all when Mick [Price] wanted to go straight to the Golden Slipper and I was ready for it.” – jockey Nick Hall

Odyssey Moon: “Obviously it’s worth a lot for a colt – even if he doesn’t win, but runs well in a Slipper. We’re not going to let him hit the front too soon as we’d prefer him chasing down other horses.” – trainer Rod Northam

English: “I was very impressed with her Reisling [Stakes] win and she has a sense of timing about her. We have got a good draw and I should get the right run and as we saw at Randwick she has a great sprint.” – jockey Blake Shinn

Reemah: “She is a Blue Diamond runner-up and we are going to ride her the same in the Slipper. From the bad gate we will take our time and the harder and faster they go the better it will be for her. She will be charging late.” – trainer David Hayes

Speak Fondly: “You can’t forget about this filly. She will put herself on the speed and be in this race for a long way and shouldn’t be underestimated.” – trainer Gai Waterhouse

Fireworks: “She is a Widden Stakes winner coming with a late charge and that’s how I’ll be riding her again. I’ll let her find her feet out of the barriers and if they overdo it up front look out.” – jockey Brenton Avdulla

Haybah: “She has drawn perfectly for her in two. She will race on pace and if they go slow she will lead. She is capable of giving a good kick and at some time in the straight she will be front. I think the market has got her wrong at $61.” – trainer David Hayes

Ottoman: “This filly has shown obvious talent at her race starts to date and the team feel she has made nice improvement. She has drawn ideally to get good cover in the early stages.” – trainer John O’Shea

Lake Geneva: “She’s drawn to get a gun run and it’s hard to win a Slipper at your third [start] – I think Forensics did it – but she’s ready to go. She’ll be behind the speed and as long as she gets out cleanly that’s all that matters.” – co-trainer Michael Hawkes

Single Gaze: “She has been so honest and tough this filly and never run a bad race. I rode Chance Bye in a Golden Slipper and I honestly think she is just as good a chance as she was. We just need a bit of luck from the draw.” – jockey Kathy O’Hara

Look to the Stars: 

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Taking out the trash but too clever by half

Prime Minister Tony Abbott. Photo: Dominic LorrimerFull Moss Review reportRapes, sexual assault, drugs for favours: review findsSomeone owes someone an apology
Shanghai night field

Is there no limit to the cynical manipulation of public information to minimise political pain?

Sadly, the late Friday release of the Abbott government’s Moss Review into sexual and other abuse issues in Australia’s outsourced immigration detention centre on Nauru suggests such conniving may have been pushed to a new low.

In political circles, the practice of dropping out unpopular or embarrassing announcements is called “taking out the trash”. The orthodoxy is that with early weekend deadlines, such releases are left off the front pages.

Obviously, this was not just any Friday either but one dominated by the death of a former prime minister. Was this a conspiracy or a stuff-up?

The review in this case is embarrassing because it has failed to validate incendiary government claims from last October that Save the Children employees had been involved in coaching detainees to manufacture sexual abuse allegations as part of a wider discrediting of government asylum-seeker policies.

The government had commissioned the report after it ordered 10 Save the Children case-workers off the island, citing intelligence that they had been involved in either fabricating stories of abuse of children and women or had otherwise engendered behaviour to bring government policy into disrepute.

Critically however, the review could not substantiate these claims, finding no conclusive evidence on which to rely.

Coming on the heels of the tawdry character assassination of the president of the Human Rights Commission, Gillian Triggs, the timing of this report reveals Canberra’s extreme sensitivity to any criticism of its questionable human rights treatment of detainees.

It should be noted that the government strenuously denies altering the release timing to take advantage of the focus on Malcolm Fraser’s sudden death, arguing it had always planned the release for mid-afternoon on Friday.

This is hardly the most robust defence, given it would be a cynical time in any week. Besides, why not postpone given it had been sitting on the report for more than a month?

The risk of being seen to hide the review in the media maelstrom of Mr Fraser’s death should have rung alarm bells anyway, given the former Liberal’s well-known contempt for the harsh treatment of asylum seekers.

Follow us on Twitter

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Queensland researchers search for the beer that soothes your hangover

Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers. Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers.
Shanghai night field

Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers.

Griffith University researchers want to survey the nation’s beer lovers.

Queensland researchers have embarked on the most noble of quests – to develop a beer that allows you to drink more while minimising your hangover. And they want to talk to Australia’s ale aficionados.

Previous research has established the importance of electrolytes in aiding hydration, but in the context of alcoholic beverages, scientific knowledge was less clear.

But Ben Desbrow, an associate professor at Griffith University who is leading the studies, said his researchers have shown that adding sodium (an electrolyte) to low- or mid-strength beer improves fluid retention, meaning the body stays better hydrated.

Improved hydration would potentially improve cognitive function after drinking, and could even reduce an imbiber’s suffering the next day, he said. Beer might be a liquid but that does not mean it keeps the body well-supplied with water.

“Beer itself is not what I would call a dehydrater, but it’s a very poor rehydrater,” Associate Professor Desbrow said.

“You lose the majority of the fluid that you bring in. It doesn’t cause you to lose further fluid, but you just don’t get any benefit from the drinks that you’re having.”

Maintaining hydration while imbibing is important, especially for those who may have exerted themselves before or during their night out, perhaps on the dancefloor.

The team’s earlier studies, in which sodium (an electrolyte) was added to participants’ alcoholic drinks, showed electrolytes assisted hydration in low-alcohol beer, but had no significant effect in full-strength beer.

But at low strengths, the effect of adding sodium was more pronounced than reducing alcohol concentration by a small amount, the study showed.

The 12 male participants were made to exercise before drinking various strengths of beer. The light beers contained two different doses of sodium – those with the higher dose had “significantly lower” urine output following the drinking session, and their “significantly higher” net body mass showed they had retained more liquid.

The study used a “repeated measures design”; each volunteer participated in four separate trials. The results were published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism.

Now, in order to get the balance right between function and taste, the researchers want to survey regular beer drinkers to better understand how and why people consume the amber ale.

“As a scientist I’ve got a very good idea of what to do in a lab, but I don’t understand consumer behaviour,” Associate Professor Desbrow said.

Any resulting product would not be a miracle-product, but might provide a safer alternative for drinkers.

“We’re on a bit of a harm-minimisation strategy,” he said. “We’re not saying this will ever be the ideal rehydration solution.”

The Griffith University survey is available here.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

Bowlers brace for tough Hobart pitch in Sheffield Shield final

There are some fine fast bowlers, most notably James Pattinson, Peter Siddle, and Nathan Coulter-Nile, who will feature in the Sheffield Shield final. And they will need to be at their best to prosper, with the captains of Victoria and Western Australia both predicting tough conditions for them at Hobart’s Blundstone Arena for the match starting on Saturday.
Shanghai night field

“I just had my first look at the wicket and I don’t think the bowlers from either team are going to be happy with what they see,” said WA captain Adam Voges. “It means it’s probably going to be a fight and a grind for five days. That isn’t a bad thing for us.

“I think we’ve shown throughout this season our fighting qualities at different times when things get tough, so hopefully we can get into a scrap with them over the next five days.”

Victoria captain Matthew Wade said the pitch, which was used during the recent stint of World Cup matches at the venue, was “drier than what we’re used to”.

The Bushrangers are confident veteran Chris Rogers, who is highly likely to retire from the shield after this season, would play despite the grade-one glute strain he suffered last Saturday while batting.

“He got put through his paces today. He’s pulled up really well. We’ll probably just sleep on it and wait and see how he goes overnight, but it’s all looking good for him,” Wade said.

The Bushrangers captain credited the role of his bowlers in the Bushrangers’ progressing from last to first this season. After collectively claiming 118 wickets at an average of 42.39 last season they have this season taken 160 at 28.32.

Wade also highlighted the impact of the three young players who have earned first-choice status this season: Peter Handscomb, Marcus Stoinis and Scott Boland.

“I think our younger players have stood up. Stoinis, Handscomb and Boland have had terrific years. Petey Handscomb and Marcus Stoinis would have to be close to Australia A selection, if not pushing for Australian selection, after this World Cup,” he said.

“Going from last to first, those younger players have made a huge difference, and our experienced players have definitely played a lot better.”

In addition to the pitch conditions, Wade said the quality of WA’s batting line-up, led by shield player of the season Voges, would provide the Bushrangers’ bowlers with a stiff challenge.

“Three or four of their players are averaging above 60 so we’ve got to bowl well enough to dismiss them twice,” he said.

Wade said the imminent departure of coach Greg Shipperd, disclosed to the players earlier this month and then publicly on Friday, would motivate Victoria.

“‘Shippy’ has been with me since the start of my career … he’s going to be sorely missed, but I think he understands where the organisation are coming from,” he said.

“We’d just love to win a shield final for him and get him the respect he deserves.”

VICTORIA (from): Matthew Wade (c), Fawad Ahmed, Scott Boland, Daniel Christian, Peter Handscomb, John Hastings, Jon Holland, David Hussey, Rob Quiney, James Pattinson, Chris Rogers, Marcus Stoinis, Peter Siddle.WA (from): Adam Voges (c), Ashton Agar, Cameron Bancroft, Tom Beaton, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Marcus Harris, Michael Klinger, Simon Mackin, Shaun Marsh, David Moody, Nate Rimmington, Andrew Tye, Sam Whiteman.

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.

ARU ignites push to re-schedule in-bound Tests

The Australian Rugby Union has called for a rescheduling of the in-bound Test series in the non-World Cup years to allow Super Rugby to run without a break.
Shanghai night field

The request has been canvassed by previous ARU regimes, but current ARU chief executive Bill Pulver tabled the request at a World Rugby meeting of national chief executives in Dublin two weeks ago.

Pulver said the ARU is “frustrated” that in non-World Cup years Super Rugby must stop for the in-bound Tests in June, only to resume in late June for the three last rounds and then the finals series that ends two weeks before the Rugby Championship kicks off in mid-August.

He said the ARU would like to see the Super Rugby played in full without a break and then followed with the international season made up of the in-bound Tests and Rugby Championship.

Pulver recognises, however, that  he faces a challenge convincing his northern hemisphere peers who would be wary of such a rescheduling impacting on their national interests, and those of clubs in the Aviva Premiership and Top 14 competitions.

Nevertheless, Pulver,  said he is determined to push ahead with his request, hoping that some proposed “options” he submitted at the Dublin meeting might prove convincing.

“From a southern hemisphere perspective, we are frustrated that the June in-bounds, force this big break in Super Rugby. We would love to change that,” Pulver said.

“In an ideal world you would have a Super Rugby season that starts in February and ends in the end of June, and then you would roll into your internationals …

“That is an item on the agenda. [But] change on the international match calendar is bloody hard.

“We have put a couple of options to them that we think could work – some that are quite exciting.

“I don’t want to talk about them just yet, but we have thrown a couple of options at them that we really think are worth looking at.”

Pulver said when Super Rugby is made to break, interest in the competition falls.

“There are two or three Super Rugby teams that are out of the ‘comp’ as soon as you get to that break, “Pulver said.

“Then you come back for two or three games after [the break and] their fans are gone.

“It’s a brutal impact on their season.”

Meanwhile, Pulver understands why the Australian Super Rugby teams would be reluctant to release any of their players who are keen to be selected for the Olympic Sevens team.

“The Super Rugby clubs are not going to have you in their team unless you play right through the finals [into early August],” Pulver said.

“And the Sevens coach won’t allow you to walk in two weeks before the event.”

Pulver says contractual negotiation between Super Rugby players who do want to be considered for selection in the Sevens squad and their clubs will be needed.

“I don’t think there will be many players involved,” Pulver said.

“[But] if Australian rugby was taking them to the Sevens event, I wouldn’t be expecting the Super rugby club to keep paying for them.”  

The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Wuxi Plastic Surgery Hospital.