Wallabies and Brumbies lock Darcy Swain re-signs until end of 2024

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Wallabies and Brumbies lock Darcy Swain is the latest international to give coach Dave Rennie a pre-World Cup boost by committing to Australia until the end of 2024.

The 24-year-old impressed in Super Rugby last year and was rewarded with his Test debut in the series against France, where he was instrumental with a key play in the first Test victory.

He went on to feature in 10 out of the Wallabies 14 matches last year.

“I’m really grateful to be given the opportunity to extend for another two years at the Brumbies and with Rugby Australia,” said the Queensland raised Swain. 

“I’ve loved Canberra since moving down with Vikings at the end of 2015, it’s where I call home now and I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.  

“I’m excited about what we can do this year and what we’re building at the Brumbies on and off the field with a great mix of blokes who I genuinely love being around.  

“Getting the opportunity to wear the Wallabies jersey was a huge testimony to the program at the Brumbies, and after getting that taste last year I’m extremely motivated to keep growing as a player and earning more opportunities to represent my country.”

Wallabies coach, Dave Rennie added:: “Darcy made a strong impression in his debut Wallabies season.

“His work ethic and diligence are a point of difference, highlighted by his desire to develop his game on both sides of the ball.

“For a Test newcomer his willingness to take on lineout responsibility saw him quickly become an important member of the mob.”

It was also well received by Brumbies coach Dan McKellar.

“It’s fantastic for the Brumbies to have Darcy locked in,” said McKellar. 

“We’ve watched him grow since he joined our academy out of school, and from early on it was clear that if he worked hard and was allowed time to develop that he had the potential to be a very good Super Rugby player and he’s certainly earned his spot in our environment and now at the Wallaby level. 

“What’s exciting is that he’s still got plenty of room to get better as a player and as a leader and he’ll continue to be an important player for the Brumbies for many years to come.” 

O’Keeffe’s critique of slow Kiwi teams

New Zealand referee Ben O’Keeffe has called out the ruck work of the New Zealand Super Rugby teams as slow compared to teams playing in the norther hemisphere.

O’Keeffe appeared on Sky Sport’s The Breakdown, and said he was not surprised the All Blacks were beaten by Ireland and France in November because their rivals were playing a faster game.

O’Keeffe was in charge of the Blues and Highlanders match on the weekend, having recently officiated in the Six Nations.

“I think you’ve seen in the first few rounds of Super Rugby this year, they are slow,” O’Keeffe said of ruck recycle speed in Super Rugby.

“The game is slow, we are not getting that quick ball we’ve had over the last few years.

“Six Nations, when I reffed it last year, it was slow, this year it is fast. I think it is no surprise that we saw Ireland and France play like they did in November.

“It’s our responsibility as referees to get that player rolling out, the players are trusting the referee that they will get that role, the clean is coming in high and getting quick ball out.

“There is that balance that the referee has got to do their job too, to get a fast game.”

O’Keeffe’s comments came after former All Black Jeff Wilson highlighted of instances in games from Kiwi teams in Super Rugby where support players had ended up on the ground.

O’Keeffe’s comments were made after former All Black Jeff Wilson highlighted examples from Kiwi teams in Super Rugby where support players had ended up on the ground.

Wilson said this was down to coaching approaches.

Referee Ben O'Keeffe (C) looks on

(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

“I think there has been a significant change, the Northern Hemisphere are not worried about sealing the possession, they are coming in upright and punching through and making the ball available,” said Wilson.

“With us, we’ve talked about these pod systems, we are protecting the ball, we are sealing it off first, and that puts three bodies on the ground.

“No one on the defence spends any players contesting. You can stay on your feet, and what have you got in attack, you’ve got 11 on 14 in the front line.

“That to me, is a recipe for disaster. And you are going to get turned over at the breakdown.

“It is a change we need to make. Our game, our best game surely is when we are standing up. The more players on their feet, the better we will be.”

More SRP fixture drama

New Zealand Rugby (NZR) has announced a game swap for two of their Super Rugby Pacific matches this weekend.

The Hurricanes v Chiefs match at Sky Stadium in Wellington will now be played on Sunday 20 March at 1:35pm AEDT. The match was initially scheduled for Saturday 19 March at 5.05pm AEDT.

The Crusaders v Blues match at Orangetheory Stadium will now be played on Saturday 19 March at 5:05pm AEDT.

The switch of dates is to allow the Hurricanes an extra day to prepare for their match as some of their players return from isolation periods due to COVID-19.

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