23.09.2022
Wallabies great Tim Horan tells Nic White how to deal with being the most hated man in rugby

As Wallaby halfback Nic White prepares for Saturday night’s Bledisloe Cup match at Auckland’s Eden Park, he’ll need to pack the essentials – boots, mouthguard, jockstrap and, most importantly, ear plugs.

White has become arguably the most unpopular player in world rugby over the past month and the Kiwi supporters will let him know it in no uncertain terms when he takes the field.

It won’t be the systematic, orchestrated bullying they gave White’s former teammate Quade Cooper during the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand, but ex-Wallaby Berrick Barnes says it will be in the same ballpark.

Barnes, who played alongside Cooper during that World Cup, says he puts sporting intimidation into three categories.

‘There’s the Hawaiians threatening to kill Rabbit Bartholomew and the other Aussie surfers in the 1970s; there’s what happened to Quade in 2011, and then there’s what Nic is going to cop,’ he said. ‘It won’t be as bad as the top two, but the Kiwis will give it to him, that’s for sure.’

It’s a fair analogy.

Bartholomew incurred the genuine wrath of the Hawaiians when he said the Australians would teach them how to surf prior to his first trip to the islands in 1977. Many believe it was only the intervention of respected local leader Eddie Aikau that saved his life.

Cooper committed the cardinal sin, in Kiwi eyes, of shoving and mouthing off at All Blacks captain and New Zealand’s favourite son Richie McCaw, in two Test matches leading up to the 2011 World Cup.

In comparison, White is guilty only of taking an obvious dive which saw his Springboks opposite number Faf de Klerk dispatched to the sin-bin in Adelaide last month. He followed that by furiously remonstrating with referee Mathieu Raynal after the Frenchman had controversially denied Australia victory in last week’s Bledisloe opener in Melbourne.

It’s hardly worth the newspaper front page declaring Quade Cooper ‘Public Enemy Number 1’ that greeted the Wallabies when they touched down in Auckland in 2011, but it has stirred the internet into a frenzy nonetheless.

Following the Springboks incident, in which White slumped to the ground theatrically after de Klerk had slapped his cheek while trying to dislodge the ball, Nic White memes took on a life of their own.

There was the picture of a man lying in a hospital bed, with White’s face superimposed and the caption, ‘Surgery to re-attach Nic White’s displaced moustache hairs has been successful. He will be back in training in 4-6 weeks.’

One meme had a photo of a mass candlelit vigil and the words, ‘Rugby fans from around the world gather around Adelaide General Hospital to pray that Nic White pulls through.’ Others had him dressed in a pink ballet tutu or accepting an Oscar and was portrayed as Chris Rock by Will Smith.

The online reaction to last weekend’s confrontation with referee Raynal was far less humorous and more spiteful.

‘Let’s be honest. Nic White deserves it.’

‘Few things give me as much joy as Nic White tears.’

‘Makes me so happy to see Nic White get served a nice full plate of F**K YOU.’

‘Nic White is a pathetic little cretin.’

With White and the Wallabies not having won at Eden Park since 1986, he can no doubt expect more of the same on Saturday night.

As Quade Cooper found so painfully in 2011, the Wallabies don’t just take on 15 All Blacks when they play in New Zealand, they take on five million Kiwis.

The New Zealand-born five-eighth was booed, belittled and battered from the time he arrived in the country to the time he departed, his leg in a cast, seven weeks later.

Everywhere he went he was subjected to a concentrated national campaign of what former Australian captain Steve Waugh would describe as ‘mental disintegration’.

The newspaper that printed the ‘Public Enemy Number 1’ poster claimed to have held a survey that rated Cooper top of the list ahead of the French perpetrators of the Rainbow Warrior bombing. There were radio phone-ins, T-shirts and an ‘I Hate Quade Cooper’ Facebook page. A TV panel show asked the question ‘What is a boofhead, and is Quade Cooper one?’ Even then-New Zealand prime minister John Key joined the anti-Cooper movement.

White won’t have to endure that level of animosity – he won’t be in the country long enough, for starters – but rest assured if the Kiwis in the stands, or even on the streets – think they can unsettle him by bringing up last week’s meltdown, they will.

No-one has a longer memory than a Kiwi rugby supporter.

When the Wallabies eliminated the All Blacks from the 2003 Rugby World Cup in Sydney, Australian captain George Gregan delivered the famous sledge, ‘Four more years, boys’ to the devastated New Zealanders.

Eight years later in the World Cup semi-final at Eden Park, after a mentally shot Quade Cooper had put the kick-off out on the full and the clock was ticking down to a 20-6 All Blacks victory, the Kiwi supporters had their revenge.

‘All I remember is 60,000 voices chanting, “Four more years, four more years”,’ Berrick Barnes recalled.

What the Kiwis have in store for Nic White is anyone’s guess, but Wallaby great Tim Horan believes he’ll be up for the challenge.

‘Nic is a strong character,’ he said. ‘He’s a typical chirpy halfback who takes playing for Australia very seriously, but he’s pretty cool as well.

‘I saw him in the street with his parents before the first Bledisloe game and he was very relaxed, just enjoying the experience.’

Horan, now a respected TV commentator who ended his career with Saracens in the UK, believes the three-season stint White had with English club Exeter Chiefs steeled him to cope with the abuse he is receiving at present.

‘They play three times a week over there and the crowds are very close to the field,’ he said. ‘They can be pretty vocal but you get used to shutting out all the noise.

‘Besides, it’s not what is happening in the stands that you have to worry about at Eden Park, it is what happens on the field. It’s not a particularly intimidating stadium because the stands are a long way from the field.

‘What makes it difficult is the layout of the field, with a cricket pitch in the middle. It just doesn’t feel right, and it always seems to be slippery with drizzling rain.

‘We’ve just never worked out how to play there, but most all it is such a fortress for the All Blacks. It means so much to them to win there. It’s the pride factor. They don’t want to be the first team to lose to Australia there after so many years.

‘They throw everything at you from start to finish. The pace and intensity of the game is like nothing else you’ll come up against. That’s what Nic and the other Wallabies have to be prepared for, not anything that is going to be yelled out from the stands.’

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  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Phil Foden MUST start for England at the World Cup, says Gary Neville

    Gary Neville has suggested there will be a ‘real problem’ if England can’t find a place for Phil Foden in their starting XI at the World Cup.

    With the tournament now fewer than seven weeks away, fans and pundits alike are debating what England’s starting team should be for their first game, and who should be in the 26-man squad.

    One place up for debate seems to be in the right forward position, with many torn between Phil Foden and Bukayo Saka for the starting spot. Neville, speaking on Sky Sports, was adamant it had to be Foden.

    ‘I feel really strongly on the forward options,’ said the former England full-back.

    ‘I love a lot of those players but if we can’t find a starting position for Phil Foden in our national team I think that’s a real problem.

    ‘He is a generational talent. He is a different level in that sense. That feels more wrong to me than Trent Alexander-Arnold.’

    Foden has been a regular for England since breaking onto the scene at Manchester City, but has struggled to put a run of performances together for his country despite his good form at club level.

    That’s one reason why Jamie Carragher, also speaking on Sky, suggested Saka should start in his place, as well as the fact the Arsenal man would give the Three Lions ‘more balance’.

    ‘A lot of clamour for the change of system is for individual players,’ Carragher said.

    ‘Foden you could argue is the most talented player. He is a better player than Saka, but he’s not done it for England. Saka has done it for England, and the balance is better.

    ‘We have a centre-forward that likes to come deep and Saka makes more penetrating runs. I’m just thinking what will suit Harry Kane.’

    England boss Gareth Southgate is set to name his squad for the tournament later this month, with England’s first game, against Iran, set for November 21.

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  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Brother of Garang Kuol secured contract for him with Premier League Newcastle while on the RUN

    The brother of rising Australian soccer sensation Garang Kuol helped broker a half-a-million dollar Premier League deal for him while on the run from Australian authorities.

    Kuol Mawien Kuol remains at large after skipping bail on July 22 in Victoria and heading to New South Wales to manage his little brother.

    Just days after making his international debut for the Socceroos, Garang Kuol last week secured a lucrative transfer to Newcastle United.

    International football sources have told Daily Mail Australia that Garang’s brother was instrumental in brokering the deal with the help of a Nigerian agent doing the leg work for him in the United Kingdom.

    Kuol is believed to have escaped the cold Melbourne winter for the coastal delights of Terrigal – about 86kms north of Sydney – but is yet to have been arrested.

    The English Premier League club announced on Saturday it had fended off interest from ‘a number of high-profile clubs’ to sign his 18-year-old brother Garang on a deal commencing in January.

    A day later, Garang became the youngest Australian since Harry Kewell to debut for the Socceroos, coming off the bench in the side’s 2-nil win over New Zealand in Auckland.

    The Newcastle deal could not have happened without the co-operation of his current A-League side the Central Coast Mariners, which will pocket a tidy transfer fee on the back of the deal brokered by its star’s fugitive brother.

    The club has not responded to Daily Mail Australia’s repeated requests for comment.

    Kuol had an arrest warrant issued after he skipped bail on charges of ripping off elderly Australians in a $121,000 bank scam.

    Victoria Police issued it after he failed to turn up at court on August 22 over a series of fraud charges.

    The 23-year old has been on the run since July 22 when he failed to answer bail in Victoria.

    He was arrested in Sydney two days later after troublesome behaviour at the casino.

    Police sources have confirmed the Footscray man, from Melbourne’s west, appeared at NSW’s Downing Centre Local Court on July 28 where he was found guilty of four charges, including resisting arrest and handling stolen goods.

    In a bungle, Kuol was released in NSW and has not been seen by authorities since.

    Kuol has firmly hitched himself to his talented younger brother, professing to manage the ‘football affairs’ of both Garang and Alou Kuol, who last year signed a 5-year contract with German side VfB Stuttgart.

    Garang is considered one of the hottest young talents in Australia, being rewarded for his spectacular campaign with the Central Coast Mariners where he only made his professional debut in December.

    Last weekend, Garang made no mention of his criminal brother/player agent when he bragged about scoring his latest contract.

    ‘It’s unreal,” Kuol told Newcastle United.

    ‘As a young boy in Australia, the Premier League is the main thing that everyone watches but nobody actually thinks they’ll reach those heights. To be one of those people, to be in the position I am, it’s amazing.

    ‘Now that I’ve signed for Newcastle, I want to train hard, play hard, hopefully go to the World Cup and come back here.’

    And further deals are likely to secure his runaway brother agent millions of dollars.

    Kuol had been released back into the community on a $20,000 surety despite police objections.

    He had faced Shepparton Magistrates’ Court in June after police charged him with eight bail offences and applied to revoke his bail.

    The former bank employee had previously fronted court accused of stealing more than $121,000 from National Australia Bank customers where he was employed in country Victoria.

    The Shepparton News reported the majority of the customers affected by Kuol’s alleged thefts were elderly and included a 95-year-old and a 76-year-old.

    Police Gang Crime Squad’s Echo Taskforce Detective Senior Constable Daniel Chapman told the court Kuol was on bail with a $20,000 surety when he allegedly got another man to sign in for him at the police station on seven occasions.

    Kuol also allegedly tried to sell 13 grams of cocaine to an undercover cop and used counterfeit notes to buy a PlayStation 5 off a Melbourne man who advertised online.

    The alleged fraudster was also accused of using the driver’s licence of his soccer star brother Alou Kuol when pulled over by police while he was unlicensed himself.

    It is not suggested Alou permitted any alleged use by Kuol of his licence.

    Alou set the nation on fire in June when he scored an amazing ‘scorpion goal’ for Australia’s under-23 side at the Asian Cup in Uzbekistan.

    Police further allege Kuol used another person’s credit card to buy return plane tickets to the United States.

    Magistrate David Faram granted Kuol bail despite his atrocious history of failing to obey court orders.

    Mr Faram also varied Kuol’s bail conditions from daily reporting to just three days a week – a requirement he quickly ignored.

    While wanted by police, Kuol continues to spruik his younger brother’s talents on social media, where he also takes digs at supposedly ‘bogus’ reporting on Garang.

    ‘Speculations, deadline days done. Only the family really knows the true answer,’ Kuol spouted in one rant against media reports.

    ‘Never refer to ‘third’ parties, they’ve done nothing besides piggy backing the work another does on the park and in life, manipulation is at an all time high in this current era.’

    Anyone with information on Kuol’s whereabouts ought contact police or Crime Stoppers.

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  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Carragher blasts ‘idiots’ scrutinising Southgate and insists he shouldbe judged on tournaments

    Jamie Carragher has blasted the people scrutinising England manager Gareth Southgate and has insisted that he should be judged on his results at tournaments.

    Southgate has come under fire recently due to England’s poor performance in the Nations League, which saw the Three Lions relegated from the top level after they finished bottom of their group.

    England failed to win a single game in the Nations League campaign as they lost games to Italy, Hungary and Germany.

    In terms of tournaments, however, Southgate has yielded much better results, as he has led the team to a World Cup semi-final and a final in the Euros.

    Carragher defended the England manager, suggesting that people talking about replacing him are ‘idiots’ and that he is not holding back the team. However the former Liverpool defender did say that if England don’t reach the semi-finals, then Southgate could walk away from the job.

    He said on Sky Sports: ‘Scrutinising him is a joke. There were a lot of idiots talking about it. What Southgate has done… an England manager should only be judged on tournaments. I don’t care about friendlies, I don’t care about the Nations League, what he’s done in tournaments is close to match Alf Ramsey.

    ‘The idea he is holding the squad back is absolute rubbish. This is a very good England squad but it is not as good as we’ve had.

    ‘In terms of Qatar, I’d be looking at the way the feeling has been and if England don’t get to a semi-final now it’ll be Gareth Southgate and if I was him I’d walk away. It’s boredom.

    ‘Like when you have a club manager for six years. If I was Gareth Southgate I would leave after Qatar.’

    Carragher’s co-pundit Gary Neville, however, believes that Southgate’s time is coming to an end, but was happy to praise the manager for what he has achieved during his time with England.

    He said: ‘I’d only say it’s the end of an era if it feels like it naturally. He deserves to go further. It’s unbelievable what he’s achieved.

    ‘It’s not enough for some people but I think it’s unbelievable and what these players have achieved is remarkable. I’m proud of every single one of them.

    ‘Beating Germany at Wembley was amazing, I’m not saying he can choose when he goes, but he is smart enough to know when the time is coming because it can be time up when it turns but I wouldn’t say that’s the case at all.’

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  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    Fikayo Tomori returns to Stamford Bridge a more rounded defender

    Fikayo Tomori believes he will return to Chelsea new and improved, a little nastier and cleverer than the defender who left.

    His ability to predict what is coming next is not bad either.

    ‘I kind of knew we would draw Chelsea before the draw came out so the fact it has happened now is really exciting,’ AC Milan defender Tomori smiled.

    ‘It was a suspicion. I just thought it would be Chelsea because I felt it would happen. When it came out I remember my friends were all saying “you knew it, you knew it!”

    ‘Coming from Chelsea, being English there is probably added motivation.

    ‘Going back to Stamford Bridge, where it all started is a chance to show myself again.’

    Thanks to his prediction coming true Tomori, 24, is looking forward to seeing some familiar faces again such as good mates from his Chelsea academy days Mason Mount, Reece James and Trevoh Chalobah.

    They might well spot the difference in Tomori quicker than most as he has immersed himself in Milan and Italy’s renowned culture of defending, as well as that of the wider city and country, since leaving them behind to join Milan in 2021 initially on loan.

    ‘In Italy they are notorious for being good defenders, tough to beat, being nasty, stuff like that. It’s definitely something I’ve picked up,’ said Tomori, who has one of the game’s very best defenders Paolo Maldini close by as Milan’s technical director.

    Training with wily forwards like Zlatan Ibrahimovic is added education.

    ‘I think I’m cleverer,’ explained Tomori who feels he is also more confident and comfortable in himself. ‘Little fouls or positioning yourself in a way that makes the striker think, those kind of things. Training with Zlatan you can’t really be too timid. You have to be a bit tougher, nasty in a sense. He has played against the world’s best so it’s going to make me better as a defender.’

    Tomori’s integral role in Milan’s first title win in 11 years last season underlines how that has happened and fuelled the clamour for his greater England involvement.

    However he did not play in England’s final pre-World Cup games against Italy – at his San Siro home – and Germany last month.

    To his credit, Tomori was honest enough to admit he has not reached the level he would want yet this season and he has work to do to suit Southgate’s style.

    He said: ‘It’s always an honour to be called up. When I am there I try to give my best and if I don’t play I have got to keep on trying to stay in the manager’s mind, whether that is in England training or in Milan on the pitch. I just have to carry on going.’

    AC Milan will host a special ‘From Milan to Many’ fan event at BOXPARK Wembley in London with Rossoneri legends Alessandro Nesta and Daniele Massaro on 4 Oct from 7pm. The event is part of the AC Milan Trophy Tour in partnership with Emirates, an initiative that sees the Club take the 2021/22 Scudetto Trophy on the road to meet Rossoneri fans around the world

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  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    House owned by NRL bad boy Paul Vaughan that hosted infamous Dragons Covid barbeque up for lease

    The infamous Covid pandemic party house that saw St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan land in hot water has hit the property market.

    The NRL star was forced to issue a public apology and copped a $50,000 fine and eight-game ban after hosting a party at his house in Shellharbour, on the New South Wales South Coast during the height of Covid and stay at home orders issued by NSW Police.

    Now, with the Bulldogs prop heading to the English Super League, his home has briefly appeared on the property market for lease and has since been snapped up in the tight rental market.

    The highly-renovated 1960s home was described as ‘one of Shellharbour Village’s most sought after locations’ and was listed for $1395 a week with six month to two year leases on offer. It is unclear who the new tenants will be, with the Vaughan family to move out in November to head to the UK.

    One thing is for sure, it is the perfect place to host a party now that Covid restrictions have been relaxed. The back patio and pool area was described as ‘encouraging year round entertaining for any sized gathering and weather conditions’.

    The home is located just a street back from the Wollongong beach and includes five bedrooms, central family room, dining and kitchen area that opens up to an alfresco overlooking the pool area. A cabana and spa complete the opulence.

    Vaughan purchased the home in 2019 for $1.382million and the property is now valued between $1.8m and $2m.

    The NRL was in a biosecurity bubble at the time of the party and the Dragons had been given five days off training, but ordered to comply with both NRL and State Government Covid protocols.

    Instead, Vaughan sent out a text message inviting his teammates around for a barbeque, resulting in 13 other players being fined $1000 and suspended by the NRL for one game. NRL fines exceeding $300,000 were also handed out.

    Forward Jack de Bellin was infamously found hiding under a bed at the property when authorities arrived to break up the party.

    NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys had described the players actions as ‘arrogant’ at the time.

    ‘It is crazy that they think, one, that they can do it, and two, that they can get away with it,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

    ‘I think there is a touch of arrogance about it.

    ‘To their credit, they were cooperative with police when police finally went to the home and made those inquiries the next day.’

    Vaughan issued a public apology on social media and also appeared on NRL 360 to say sorry for his actions as well.

    ‘Firstly I am sorry,’ he wrote in his statement.

    ‘My actions were stupid, unexplainable and irresponsible.

    ‘The events that took place on the weekend were thoughtless and disrespectful to not only the game that I love, but to all of the sponsors, members and fans as well as the broader community.

    ‘The reality is, I should have known better and I am truly sorry.

    ‘I have let a lot of people down through my actions, and I hope that this sincere apology shows how deeply sorry I am and that I realise the enormity and stupidity of what I have done.

    ‘To say that I have learnt a lesson from this is an understatement. I hope one day in the future, I can get the opportunity to showcase my remorse through better actions on and off the field.

    ‘Again, I apologise to my teammates, the NRL, the Club, its members, sponsors and fans along with all stakeholders in the game and community.’

    Former Dragons cult hero Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell was also roped into the drama as he lived opposite the infamous Vaughan party house at the time.

    It had been reported that Riddell played down the party and was abusive toward media in the street. He then took to Twitter to claim those allegations were incorrect and has since deleted his Twitter account.

    0
  • 1 час, 9 минут назад 04.10.2022Sport
    House owned by NRL bad boy Paul Vaughan that hosted infamous Dragons Covid barbeque up for lease

    The infamous Covid pandemic party house that saw St George Illawarra prop Paul Vaughan land in hot water has hit the property market.

    The NRL star was forced to issue a public apology and copped a $50,000 fine and eight-game ban after hosting a party at his house in Shellharbour, on the New South Wales South Coast during the height of Covid and stay at home orders issued by NSW Police.

    Now, with the Bulldogs prop heading to the English Super League, his home has briefly appeared on the property market for lease and has since been snapped up in the tight rental market.

    The highly-renovated 1960s home was described as ‘one of Shellharbour Village’s most sought after locations’ and was listed for $1395 a week with six month to two year leases on offer. It is unclear who the new tenants will be, with the Vaughan family to move out in November to head to the UK.

    One thing is for sure, it is the perfect place to host a party now that Covid restrictions have been relaxed. The back patio and pool area was described as ‘encouraging year round entertaining for any sized gathering and weather conditions’.

    The home is located just a street back from the Wollongong beach and includes five bedrooms, central family room, dining and kitchen area that opens up to an alfresco overlooking the pool area. A cabana and spa complete the opulence.

    Vaughan purchased the home in 2019 for $1.382million and the property is now valued between $1.8m and $2m.

    The NRL was in a biosecurity bubble at the time of the party and the Dragons had been given five days off training, but ordered to comply with both NRL and State Government Covid protocols.

    Instead, Vaughan sent out a text message inviting his teammates around for a barbeque, resulting in 13 other players being fined $1000 and suspended by the NRL for one game. NRL fines exceeding $300,000 were also handed out.

    Forward Jack de Bellin was infamously found hiding under a bed at the property when authorities arrived to break up the party.

    NSW Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys had described the players actions as ‘arrogant’ at the time.

    ‘It is crazy that they think, one, that they can do it, and two, that they can get away with it,’ Deputy Commissioner Worboys said.

    ‘I think there is a touch of arrogance about it.

    ‘To their credit, they were cooperative with police when police finally went to the home and made those inquiries the next day.’

    Vaughan issued a public apology on social media and also appeared on NRL 360 to say sorry for his actions as well.

    ‘Firstly I am sorry,’ he wrote in his statement.

    ‘My actions were stupid, unexplainable and irresponsible.

    ‘The events that took place on the weekend were thoughtless and disrespectful to not only the game that I love, but to all of the sponsors, members and fans as well as the broader community.

    ‘The reality is, I should have known better and I am truly sorry.

    ‘I have let a lot of people down through my actions, and I hope that this sincere apology shows how deeply sorry I am and that I realise the enormity and stupidity of what I have done.

    ‘To say that I have learnt a lesson from this is an understatement. I hope one day in the future, I can get the opportunity to showcase my remorse through better actions on and off the field.

    ‘Again, I apologise to my teammates, the NRL, the Club, its members, sponsors and fans along with all stakeholders in the game and community.’

    Former Dragons cult hero Mark ‘Piggy’ Riddell was also roped into the drama as he lived opposite the infamous Vaughan party house at the time.

    It had been reported that Riddell played down the party and was abusive toward media in the street. He then took to Twitter to claim those allegations were incorrect and has since deleted his Twitter account.

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Sport Wallabies great Tim Horan tells Nic White how to deal with being the most hated man in rugby