Update: Jarryd Hayne

Former NRL fullback, Jarryd Hayne, is set to join an NFL franchise in the New Year.

Hayne has returned to Australia whilst he has his visa sorted. In an interview with News Corp, Hayne said that he had interest from 14 franchises but he is very close to signing with one.

The former Eel will likely join a “futures” squad at the end of the current NFL season when all NFL rosters are increased from 53 players to 90 players.

This will allow Hayne to train full time in the off season with an NFL side, rather than go through the draft.

A futures contract doesn’t lock Hayne into making the NFL though, as 37 players will be cut before the start of the 2015/16 season.

Rumoured to be leading the charge for Hayne’s signature are the Detroit Lions, San Francisco 49ers and San Diego Chargers.

He will spend Christmas and New Years in Australia before heading back to the States in January. Should he sign with a team, he’ll join the squad in February.


Aussies in Action – Week 4

With plenty of Australians in action around the world this past week, it’s time to take a not so serious look at their achievements.

1. The Western Sydney Wanderers lost their Club World Cup match against Cruz Azul at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Morocco. The ground also doubles as Morocco’s national swimming stadium. It’s a pity nobody told FIFA that they hadn’t drained the ground for the football match.

Photo: Cruz Azul players make use of the swimming lane on the football pitch.

2. The First cricket Test at Adelaide concluded with an Australian win and an Indian collapse. The Indians looked set to reel in the 363 run target late on Day 5 before captain, Virat Kohli was dismissed by Nathan Lyon. The remaining Indian batsmen then quickly followed their stand-in captain’s lead by falling in a heap.

Photo: Ryan Harris contemplates stealing Virat Kohli’s knees.

3. Still on the cricket, and Steven Smith has gone from being dropped for not being Shane Warne, to fidgeting his way to the Test captaincy. Shaun Marsh has also been recalled to the side, with the Australian selectors deciding that averaging 37 in First Class cricket now qualifies to be a Test batsman. Josh Hazlewood has been handed his Test debut, selected in place of Peter Siddle  with the banana man having poor returns from his tours of both South Africa and the UAE.

Photo: Shaun Marsh celebrates receiving another Test cap whilst averaging less then Shane Watson

4. In world sport news, Rome has announced that they will tender for the 2024 Olympics. The IOC has informed them that the use of wild animals and slaves in the arena is now frowned upon throughout the world. Although don’t be surprised if Russell Crowe appears in the opening ceremony.

5. And in local A-League news, the ever young Archie Thompson netted a hat-trick as his Melbourne Victory drew with Sydney FC, 3-3 in the Big Blue. The *cough* quality *cough* of the A-League was on show with the 36 year old further establishing himself as the best goal scorer in A-League history.

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Aussies in Action- Week 3

With plenty of Australians in action around the world this past week, it’s time to take a not so serious look at their achievements.

1. The weekend saw the conclusion of the V8 Supercars season with Jamie Whincup doing, ahhh, what his last name says… winning cups. The Red Bull driver took out his sixth V8 Championship after the final race was washed out. Organisers at the Sydney Olympic Park say that they’ll be reviewing the course for next year and making use of the Aquatic Centre in order to include a swim lane.

Photo: Whincup puts the “Red Bull gives you wings” slogan to the test.

2. Continuing with motor racing and Toyota announced that they’d be joining the V8 Supercars series next year after organisers granted use of hybrid engines. Toyota have said they can’t wait to unveil their new look Prius in it’s race kit. Along with the use of hybrid engines, the V8 Supercars will also look to include drive-thru cafes along the circuit to allow the Prius drivers to stop in and buy their rainforest alliance, soy, decaf lattes.

3. To boxing/rugby league and Paul Gallen and Willie Mason won their respective bouts. Gallen’s opponent, former Cowboy Anthony Watts decided he’d rather pop out his own shoulder than face a fired up Gallen who seemed to be taking out all his frustrations in the ring. Robbie Farah has said he’d look forward to fighting Watts in his next bout. Mason, on the other hand, mistakenly took the rotund Ben Tameifuna for George Rose. The Sea Eagles prop expected Tameifuna to come out swinging in the first two rounds before sitting against the ropes, waiting to get subbed. The former All Black though seemed to get the better of Mason, even if the judges awarded the former Novocastrian the win. The benefits of playing for Manly already seem to be paying off for Mason.

Photo: Gallen introduces Watts to his famous jab. Better known as the Myles left hand.

4. The Australian Olympic Committee announced that they would accept the late night scheduling of the swimming finals for the 2016 Rio Olympics. A spokesman for the swim team announced that they would simply have to change the swimmers’ supplements program, swapping out Stilnox for No-Doze.

Photo: James Magnussen is all smiles hearing that he’ll be given No-Doze at the next Olympics.

5. Former Parramatta Eels fullback, Jarryd Hayne has reportedly met with members of the San Francisco 49ers coaching staff. Whilst discussions would only be preliminary, it’s a further step in the right direction for Hayne. With quarterback, Colin Kaepernick in a terrible form slump, if they see Hayne throw a ball anywhere near accurately, he could find himself in the middle of the huddle, calling the plays.

Photo: Jarryd Kaepernick?

6. In the first cricket test of the summer, Australia are well on top at 7/517 following Day 2. Before the match, Indian captain Virat Kohli said he’d be aggressive and look for wickets. David Warner saw that as a challenge and proceeded to despatch Kohli’s aggressive fast bowlers for more than 30 runs in the first three overs. Kohli then went to the tried and tested regulation field settings and hoped for the Australian batsmen to get themselves out. Rogers obliged followed by the customary wicket of Shane Watson who forgot he was no longer playing ODI cricket and nicked to the slips. Warner blazed his way to a century before Steve Smith fidgeted his way to three figures. Michael Clarke then limped his way to a ton sans a lower back and hamstrings.

Photo: Clarke celebrates his ton as Australia shows the Indians that just saying you’re going to be aggressive doesn’t cut it.

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Cricket: Adelaide First Test Preview

The summer of Test cricket begins tomorrow with the clash between Australia and India at the Adelaide Oval.

The first Test was originally slated to start last Thursday at the Gabba but was postponed following the death of Australian batsman, Phillip Hughes.

The atmosphere both on and off the pitch will be unlike any other, with a number of tributes to the late Hughes planned.

The temporary memorial to Hughes outside the Adelaide Oval will be maintained throughout the Test match.

A tribute, narrated by cricket great Richie Benaud, will be shown on the big screen with 63 seconds of applause to follow.

Hughes’ former Australian teammates will carry his Test number, 408, on their shirts for the Test match.

Fast bowler, Mitchell Johnson has said that he is ready to go for the match and that he feels that getting out and playing cricket is something that will help put him at ease.

In team news, Michael Clarke has been declared fit, with the Australian captain saying that he is determined to play the Test to honour his good mate.

Shaun Marsh, who was on stand-by for the captain, has returned to Western Australia.

Brad Haddin has also passed fitness tests on his shoulder while Glenn Maxwell has been dropped following the return of Shane Watson.

Mitchell Starc makes way for Ryan Harris with Josh Hazlewood named as 12th man.

Phillip Hughes has been named 13th man.

For India they have only made the one change from the squad that faced England.

M.S. Dhoni has failed to overcome a finger injury with Virat Kohli taking over the captaincy and Wriddhiman Saha will take the gloves.

The Australians come into the series having lost just three of their last 10 Tests. Two of those losses though came via shellackings at the hands of Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.

However, back at home and on the faster, bouncier pitches, Australia has the clear advantage.

The major weakness for the hosts is their number three position with no batsman being able to lay claim to the position since the retirement of Ricky Ponting.

Indian opener, Shikhar Dhawan, has said that he intends to fight fire with fire and go head to head with paceman, Mitchell Johnson.

Dhawan, whilst a dashing opener when in India, struggled when on tour in England this year, averaging just 20.33.

He has only ever faced Johnson in India, where the pitches carry nowhere near the bounce they do in Australia and nor has he faced Johnson in the form he has displayed these past 12 months.

Graeme Smith said he would do the same when Australia toured South Africa earlier in the year, and Smith promptly retired during the series following a barrage from Johnson.

Adelaide is very often a Test that reaches five days with the pitch containing variable bounce and occasional differing pace.

But once a batsman is in he is difficult to dismiss and can score freely.

As at all Australian grounds though, it requires sustained pressure from the fast bowlers and a dependable spinner to take wickets.

Australia’s pace trio of Siddle, Harris and Johnson will be ably supported by Mitchell Marsh and, if needed, Shane Watson.

India’s pace attack of Ishant Sharma, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshawar Khumar, whilst all with different skillsets, have played very little cricket in Australia and only Varun Aaron bowls with genuine pace.

Harris, Johnson and Siddle are all capable of 140km/h plus with both Johnson and Harris capable of swinging the ball both ways, whilst Siddle keeps his almost metronome-like line and length.

On paper, Australia appears far too strong. The largest factor is clearly how each player copes emotionally in what will be a real test of their resolve.

David Warner is in good touch, as is Steve Smith. Chris Rogers will do an admirable job at the top with Shane Watson likely to contribute along the line.

Michael Clarke has struggled for runs since his brave stand in South Africa so expect the Australian captain to make a statement at one of his happiest hunting grounds.

This Test will be so much more than a cricket match, so tune in as Australia and India clash and both sides remember a kid from the bush who just wanted to play cricket.

Aussies in Action Week 2

Here’s the weekly round up of nonsense for Australians involved across the world of sport.

1. Stephanie Gilmour claimed her sixth Womens’ World Surfing Title on the weekend, moving her just one behind Layne Beachley’s record. But the real story occurred a little further back in the pack. Sally Fitzgibbons ensured that at least one half of the Fitzgibbons/Merrin relationship finished in the Top 4, when she finished the surfing year in fourth position. In related Merrin news, he has been offered a record contract to remain with St George and outside the Top 8 for the foreseeable future.

Photo: Merrin contemplates taking up a career in surfing so he no longer has to put up with Josh Dugan.

2. Mile Jedinak continued his dead ball heroics, securing a 1-1 draw with mid-table Swansea. The bearded wonder was also awarded the AFC International Player of the Year. Computers at the AFC are being checked to ensure that the result was correct and not a computer glitch.

Photo: Jedinak celebrates having successfully completed more than 50% of his passes.

3. Still with football and Tim Cahill broke from his usual goal scoring routine to score with his left foot. His New York Red Bulls netted a 1-0 win but it wasn’t enough to overcome a Tom Brady-less New England on aggregate. Wait a second; oh right, this is the football where you kick the ball with your foot, not the football that you throw and catch the ball. Forget about Brady, he lost to the Packers anyway.

Photo: Tom Brady ponders why throwing an egg-shaped ball is called “football”.

4. In the A-League, home grown players continued to show why the Socceroos are outside the top 100 in the world rankings. Games demonstrated the Australians’ key abilities to surrender possession, play themselves into corners and present next to no threat when in front of goal unless they are under no pressure whatsoever. Melbourne Victory coach, Kevin Muscat was also out of form. The former Socceroo failed to get involved in a single sideline altercation, only managing a brief war of words with Adelaide United coach, Josep Gombau. He has said that he intends to improve next week and vows to at least insult one opposition player.

Photo: Muscat halts training after one of his defenders fails to complete a two-footed, studs up challenge.

5. Mark Webber walked away unharmed from a crash during the World Endurance Racing Championship. The crash, at close to 300km/h, was a wake up call to Webber who was convinced that Red Bull gave him wings. In a sense of de ja vu for the Australian, he crashed on the same corner in 2003 when he was driving for Williams BMW in the Formula 1.

Photo: Webber stands alongside teammate Timo Bernhard as they reveal the car that would not finish the season in one piece.

6. The Wallabies continued their rich vein of form, going down to England 26-17. The English crashed through the Wallabies’ forward pack in completing their comprehensive win. Coach, Michael Cheika is looking forward to working with an actual forward pack when he resumes coaching his New South Wales Waratahs in Super Rugby.

Photo: Michael Cheika contemplates coaching the English Cricket team to lighten his workload