Senior Wallaby Matt Burke says he hasn'tgiven up on his international rugby career after being overlooked for theWallabies training squad on Thursday. National coach Eddie Jones said it was far from a death-knell forplayers left out of a 22-man squad of New South Wales and Queensland playersselected for a skills session here next week. The 76-Test veteran was the most notable omission with former Testcentres Steve Kefu and Nathan Grey also overlooked for the preliminary squad. Burke, 31, who had a mixed Super 12 season with theunder-achieving NSW Waratahs, said he felt his form warranted selection. "It's disheartening not to be chosen in the squad, knowingwhom they've picked ... you want to put yourself in contention to be picked andshow some form and I thought I was accomplishing that but it's contrary to whatother people thought," Burke said on Thursday. "The shoulder injury wasn't the greatest timing but when Igot a chance to play I thought I was playing reasonably well." Burke and Waratahs teammate Grey will leave on Monday to play forthe Barbarians against Scotland, Wales and England later this month. The Barbarians, coached by former Wallabies and NSW coach BobDwyer, play Scotland at Murrayfield on May 22, Wales at Bristol on May 26 andEngland at Twickenham on May 30. Burke, Australia's most capped fullback, is contracted to theAustralian Rugby Union until the end of the year, but he is now under pressureto have it renewed for 2005 if an option is not taken up by the ARU and NSW
Rugby. "Like everyone playing in the Super 12 I still aspire to playfor my country," Burke said. "I'm waiting for them to come back to me in terms of whetherthey want me, if I'm in NSW's plans for next year. "I think there's still life in the legs and I have somethingto offer. "If that's not the case I suppose I'll have to canvass stuffoverseas." Jones said the Wallabies squad, to be announced on May 25, was farfrom cut and dried and pointed to Burke's early omission from the Test lineuplast year. "Burkie was also not in the squad at the start of last yearand ended up playing the first Test of the Tri-nations against South Africa so anyplayer who's outside the squad there's still very much the ability for themto get into back into it," Jones said on Thursday. "This is just a squad for one day of training and thendepending on what happens with the Brumbies, we'll will name another squad and then itcontinues onwards, it's just one selection." Australia train-on squad (minus ACT players still in Super 12): AlBaxter, Brendan Cannon, Matt Dunning, Justin Harrison, David Lyons, MorganTurinui, Lote Tuqiri, Cameron Shepherd, Dan Vickerman, Phil Waugh, ChrisWhitaker (New South Wales); Sean Hardman, Nathan Sharpe, John Roe, David Croft,Luke Doherty, Josh Valentine, Elton Flately, Wendell Sailor, Peter Hynes,Drew Mitchell, Chris Latham (Queensland).
The Ireland Women's team played their first ever November Test match at the Twickenham Stoop last Saturday. We take a look back at the journey as Ireland capped nine new players in a rain-swept London.
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney said that despite an 8-3 loss to England in their autumn international, the team put in an 'outstanding' effort and to get nine new caps on the pitch is 'a massive boost'.
Head coach Tom Tierney spoke to Irish Rugby TV about the Ireland Women's historic November international clash with England on Saturday. Ireland have eleven new caps in the squad as they build towards the Six Nations.
Ireland Women's second row Sophie Spence talks to Irish Rugby TV about being nominated for the World Rugby Women's Player of the Year honour. The winner will be announced at the World Rugby Awards at Battersea Evolution in London on Sunday.
There are three enforced changes to the Ireland team to play Argentina, with Iain Henderson, Jordi Murphy and Chris Henry all coming in up front. Watch as head coach Joe Schmidt announces the side for the quarter-final and flanker Henry talks about his inclusion.
Previewing Ireland's quarter-final clash with Argentina, hooker Rory Best said: "We've trained well and prepared well. It's a massive game. For us, it's going to need another step up from where we were last week against France. I think that's exciting. As a player, you want to be pushed to the end of your ability and there's no doubt Argentina will do that."
Ireland Women's head coach Tom Tierney, scrum coach Derek Dowling and captain Niamh Briggs talk about their open training session at Kingspan Stadium and preparations for next month's clash with England and the 2016 Women's Six Nations.
'It's a quiet presence that takes up a lot of space' - Joe Schmidt spoke today about the impact of losing Paul O'Connell and his inspirational role in the Ireland squad. The head coach also commented on the incredible contribution of Jared Payne and Peter O'Mahony.
Robbie Henshaw, who starred in the centre against France, talks about Paul O'Connell's influence on him, calling the Limerick man a 'true inspirational leader' and 'a massive loss' to the Ireland squad following his tournament-ending hamstring injury.
Ireland team manager Michael Kearney issues an update on the injuries suffered by Peter O'Mahony, Paul O'Connell and Jonathan Sexton, while full-back Rob Kearney reflects on the 24-9 pool win over France.