Wallabies playmaker Stephen Larkham said yesterday he had decided there was more to be gained touring Europe with the Australian team than spending time at home in the gym.
Larkham, 32, who has 91 Tests under his belt, had toyed with the idea of following scrum-half and skipper George Gregan's lead and withdrawing from the November tour to freshen up for next year's World Cup in France.
The senior fly-half spoke with Wallabies coach John Connolly and attack coach Scott Johnson before deciding to commit himself to the Wallabies' last major overseas tour before the World Cup.
"There were pros and cons both ways," Larkham said. "But they said the tour wouldn't be all that physically taxing for me, that I wouldn't play in every Test and would be able to get in some work in the gym."
Larkham has admitted problems in adapting to a new style after eight years of rugby under previous coaches Eddie Jones and Rod Macqueen, but believes that with more game time he will be able to adapt better to what Johnson wants.
"I'm happy to play the midweek games," he said. "To me, it doesn't really matter what the quality of the opposition is."
After the Wallabies' 24-16 Tri-Nations loss to South Africa in Johannesburg this month, Larkham recommended that Mat Rogers be given more time at No. 10 on tour.
The Wallabies will play four internationals, three midweek matches and end with a game against the Barbarians on their European tour.
Olivier Giroud’s bicycle-kick on Tuesday broke Atletico Madrid’s resistance and earned Chelsea a crucial away goal, a 1-0 victory giving Thomas Tuchel’s side a slender advantage in the UEFA Champions League last 16. Giroud’s acrobatic strike was initially ruled out for offside, but stood after the video assistant referee showed that Mario Hermoso had the final touch, delivering a huge blow to Atletico’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals. Diego Simeone’s side had put on a typically disciplined defensive performance until that point, but Giroud’s moment of genius means that they must score in London on March 17 if they are to avoid
Tiger Woods has had surgery for multiple fractures of his right leg after a car accident that a Los Angeles police officer said he was “very fortunate” to have survived. The golfer was “awake and responsive” after the operation to insert a rod into his tibia and stabilize his ankle with pins, his TGR foundation said on Tuesday night. Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Carlos Gonzalez, the first to respond after Woods’ car went off the road in a single-vehicle accident, said that the sports star was “calm and lucid,” despite being trapped inside his vehicle. Woods was removed from the crash by
‘INTIMIDATING’: Andy Murray said that players on the ATP Tour face a difficult challenge going from semi-finals to facing 17-time Grand Slam winners in a final Naomi Osaka’s Australian Open championship moved her up one spot to No. 2 in the WTA rankings on Monday, while men’s finalist Daniil Medvedev rose to a career-best No. 3 behind winner Novak Djokovic on the ATP list as Andy Murray said that the “young guns” on the men’s tour have not closed the gap on the “Big Three.” Jennifer Brady, the 25-year-old American who was the runner-up to Osaka, jumped 11 spots to No. 13, her first time inside the top 20. Aslan Karatsev’s historic run from qualifying to the final four before losing to nine-time Australian Open champion Djokovic allowed
‘ESCAPE FROM JUSTICE’: A US gymnast who trained under Geddert for more than 10 years and was assaulted by Larry Nassar called his suicide ‘an admission of guilt’ A former US Olympics gymnastics coach with ties to disgraced sports doctor Larry Nassar on Thursday killed himself, hours after being charged with turning his Michigan gym into a hub of human trafficking by coercing girls to train and then abusing them. John Geddert faced 24 charges that could have carried years in prison had he been convicted. He was supposed to appear in an Eaton County court, near Lansing, Michigan, but his body was found at a rest area along Interstate 96, state police said. “This is a tragic end to a tragic story for everyone involved,” Michigan Attorney General Dana