Super Rugby enters the unknown in 2016

Australia’s five Super Rugby teams represented at last week’s season launch, at Wet ‘n’ Wild in Sydney’s west. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Guardian Australia: It was a nice surprise to be contacted by The Guardian’s sports editor again this week, with my last appearance on their pages coming in late 2013.

For my rugby debut (I’d written about cricket for them previously), I’ve looked at the Super Rugby season ahead as it presents: more teams, more conferences, more countries involved, and more broadcasters around the world paying more money into the biggest broadcast deal the competition has ever seen..

Calling rugby in what was a cow paddock

Good times on the weekend, when I got back to Wagga Wagga to commentate the Brumbies-Waratahs Super Rugby trial game.

Since finishing up at ol’ Chucky Sturt-Riverina twenty years ago, I have been back to Wagga a few times. But this was the first time I’d seen the relatively new McDonald’s Park and the surrounding sporting complex. When I knew my way around Wagga back in the day (and I still do; not much has changed), this whole complex on the edge of the industrial estate was farm paddocks.

Anyway, it was an enjoyable experience calling for Wagga Wagga.tv with former press corp colleague, Corey Hammond, now with WIN TV over in Wagga. You can check out the full replay of the game here..

Mid-intro with Corey Hammond before the Brumbies-Waratahs trial in Wagga last Saturday..

Mid-intro with Corey Hammond before the Brumbies-Waratahs trial in Wagga last Saturday. No, the jacket did not last long – it was still 31°C at 7pm..

So here’s a little something I’ve been working on…

In the 666 studio, hosting Canberra Grandstand last weekend. A really enjoyable experience after plenty of nerves and training stuff-ups along the way.

In the 666 studio, hosting Canberra Grandstand last weekend. A really enjoyable experience after plenty of nerves and training stuff-ups along the way.

For the last couple of weeks, I’ve been cramming and practising and buggering up and re-learning how to be a radio presenter, for 666 ABC Canberra.

Culminating in me hosting Canberra Grandstand in the sizable radio shoes of Tim Gavel on Saturday 16 and 23 of January, it was an unbelievable experience that I’m thrilled to have a). jumped at in the first place, and b). pulled off in a somewhat professional manner!

I do hope to have a clip or clips in the coming weeks, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I must express my sincere thanks to Chris Coleman for his patience and expert button-pressing tutelage along the way, and to 666 Station Manager Andrea Ho for her encouragement and support. It was nerve-wracking as hell to begin with, but amazingly satisfying once I’d done it..

Normal service to resume…

It’s been a busy end to the rugby season, and it was nice to have a few days off after the NRC and Rugby World Cup wrapped up last weekend.

I’ll be posting all the wrap-ups from last week over the next little bit, but in the meantime, here’s me getting the way of the professionals at Ballymore last weekend, and how my pic shows it probably wasn’t worth it. Also, it might be time for a haircut…

my NRC pic