Abbott’s boulevard of broken promises

A post-election advertisement from the Coalition.Australian politics: full coverageMark Kenny: Pyne’s broken promise set to haunt AbbottBackdown means $2b less for NSW educationPyne pledges $230 as government goes into damage controlBetrayal angers school principals
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They promised before the election to be a “no-surprises” government.

But since winning power the Abbott government has lengthened its list of broken promises and policy surprises by more than one a week.

Just two days ago, the Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, performed a brazen policy back-flip on school funding, saying he would no longer accept Labor’s funding and overall model despite Tony Abbott making this pre-election promise: ”We will honour the agreements that Labor has entered into. We will match the offers that Labor has made. We will make sure that no school is worse off.”

A few weeks ago, the Coalition’s pre-election commitment to ”turn back the boats” was broken after Immigration Minister Scott Morrison ended a tense standoff with Jakarta – which was refusing to accept a boatload of asylum seekers – by ordering the boat to be taken to Christmas Island.

Last month, Treasurer Joe Hockey said he wanted to increase the debt ceiling from $300 billion to $500 billion. That was after the Coalition attacked the then Labor government’s decision in May last year to raise Australia’s debt ceiling from $250 billion to $300 billion, which Tony Abbott described at the time as ”really extraordinary”.

”What Joe Hockey is now doing on both the commission of cuts and on the issue of the debt ceiling is a million miles away from the expectations he gave the Australian people before the election,” Labor finance spokesman Tony Burke said about the Coalition’s recent decision to raise the debt limit.

Mr Abbott also promised before the election to have a government ”which is transparent and open”, saying ”the last thing we want to do is to hide anything from the Australian people”.

Since then, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has implemented a highly restrictive regime regarding information on border protection.

The Coalition has also surprised voters by abolishing the portfolio of minister for science, sending no minister to climate talks in Poland, and deciding to only have one female cabinet minister.

These things appear to fly in the face of Mr Abbott’s campaign launch pledge:

”We will be a no-surprises, no-excuses government, because you are sick of nasty surprises and lame excuses from people that you have trusted with your future.”

More chin music in Adelaide: Johnson

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson addresses the media at the WACA. Photo: Paul KaneIf England’s batsmen struggled with the short-pitched bowling in the First Ashes Test at the Gabba, then they’re going to hate batting in Adelaide.
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Resurrected fast bowler Mitchell Johnson warns that there is more of the same to come in the Second Test and believes that the “bouncer” is more difficult to play there.

And he also expects the verbal jousting that has become such a talking point since the end of the First Test to continue between the two sides throughout the series, despite captain Michael Clarke copping a fine for comments made to England tail-ender Jimmy Anderson during play on the fourth and final day in Brisbane.

Johnson said that while he had not heard that the English camp had voiced concerns that Australia’s bowling may have been dangerous during the home side’s dominant 381-run victory, he found the idea of it amusing.

“I didn’t hear that, it’s quite funny though,” he said on Wednesday in Perth.

“I was just playing the game and by the rules – you get two short balls an over – over the head, or shoulders and I definitely used them – used the wicket to its potential.

“The fast bouncy Gabba wicket is a perfect time to use it – I don’t think it was dangerous at all.

“We went really hard at their tail. That was a plan to use the wicket at the Gabba to go really hard at them.

“Look, I don’t like facing bouncers. No one does. When the ball’s coming past your nose on a fast wicket, it’s never nice. I’m not sure if it’s fear; it’s just part of the game.

“And I still come in [to Adelaide] with the short ball because it is up and down there – it makes it even harder I think – where at the Gabba it’s true bounce.

“I think that makes it a lot more difficult to play the short ball. But I’ll definitely continue to use it, because it definitely worked.”

Johnson starred in the Aussie win and was declared the Man of the Match with combined figures of 9-103 as the tourists were dismissed for 136 in their first innings and 179 in the second.

Several of his wickets came from deliveries that had bounced in his own half of the pitch.

Those who love numbers will be titillated by the fact that Johnson scored the same amount of runs with the bat that he gave away with the ball – 103 – while being dismissed only once.

His 64 in the first innings and 114-run partnership with Brad Haddin came at a particularly good time, as the Aussies were, seemingly, struggling at 6-132 when they came together.

And while centuries were scored and hauls of wickets taken, it’s the sledging controversy that has created headlines since Australia claimed victory to go 1-0 up in the series.

Not that it bothers Johnson, nor the Australian team; the fast bowler declaring that the players are ‘stoked’ with the victory and are concentrating on being able to go 2-0 up in Adelaide.

The verbal battle that occurred on the pitch that has been so widely covered seems to be continuing long after the bails and wickets have been removed from the middle of the Gabba though.

Johnson is the latest Australian player to suggest that England would be rattled after such a big first up loss.

“They’ll definitely be thinking about it. To be beaten in four days, and they would have probably been expecting to probably win at the Gabba after the last time they were there,” he said.

“They were obviously pretty confident. They’re going to fight hard, but we’ve definitely made an impact on them.

“Obviously with [England number-three] Jonathan Trott going home [because of a stress-related illness] as well is a huge impact.

“They’ll be thinking of a lot of things now.

“We’ve just got to keep focusing on our game, keep sticking to our plans and hopefully win in Adelaide and come here [to the WACA] and win here as well.”

He said that the bowling team of himself, Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and spinner Nathan Lyon were focussed on the team goal of being number-one in the world again.

And that it was easy to do with the knowledge that he had the full support of his captain, Clarke.

He made a point of recognising Clarke for standing up for his players and copping a fine of 20 per cent of his match fee from the First Test.

And while he didn’t believe the Channel 9 microphone picked up the worst of the sledging from the play, he didn’t think the verbal exchanges were anything out of the ordinary for an Ashes Test.

The West Australian, as he now classes himself, added that he would hate for the governing bodies to clamp down too hard on sledging to a point where it was taken out of the game.

“Definitely [want to see it remain in the game],” he said. “And I think it’s worked for us. I definitely think they’re rattled by it. They don’t like it at all.

“Obviously their coach has come out and wanted a truce from what I’ve heard. That’s not going to change from our end.

“We all know as professional players where that line is and you stick by it; always tread it, but like I said, it’s an Ashes series and it’s a back to back series as well, so there is definitely tension flying. But as long as it stays below that line.

“We know there is definitely tension there – there always has been.

“I thought it was really good what Michael did, as a captain. That’s what you want your captain to do – stand up for the players and that’s what he did.

“It was really exciting to see.

“It just happened to be that the stump mic was up at that time. There were obviously other things that were said and not heard. So it’s nothing unusual, but I was really happy with how he stood up for the team.”

The Second Test starts in Adelaide on December 5.

Mitchell Johnson’s fundraising ‘mo’ to stay for Second Ashes Test

Mitchell Johnson warns England to expect more pain in Adelaide
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Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson will keep his handlebar moustache for the Second Ashes Test.

But it’s nothing to do with any superstition he may have after he demolished England in the Gabba Test, taking nine wickets and making 103 runs, to earn Man of the Match honours.

He’s hoping to raise $50,000 for men’s health through the Movember initiative.

Men’s mental health became a talking point after the First Test, with England number-three batsman Jonathan Trott heading home because of stress-related issues.

Johnson got a good look at Trott in the First Test, taking his wicket in both innings (for a combined total of 19 runs) and said he had no idea that the Englishman was struggling with internal demons.

But he did empathise with him, admitting that the life of a Test cricketer does have its challenges.

The speedster has had to deal with form slumps, injury and a tough schedule and still keep a clear mind when he gets to the top of his bowling mark with the ball in his hand.

When he injured his toe and had to sit out of the game recently, he said the timing was perfect; and perhaps he wouldn’t have been in Brisbane last week if he had not had the chance to freshen up.

“It has been a huge booster for me; it was a great time for me to step away from the game – and freshen up, physically and moreso mentally as well,” he said.

“At the time I was playing three forms of the game and it’s flat out, the scheduling that we have; it was perfect timing as much as you don’t want to get injured.

“I had two and half months at homes through the last Ashes series, which was really good for me as well.

“I feel strong and I feel fit and bowling well at the moment.”

And he is aware now of how quickly it can turn if he doesn’t keep on top of it.

“The media conferences; if you read the papers and are copping it; the crowds when you play away from home and sometimes at home you cop a fair bit. It all comes into it. As a professional, you have to find a way to deal with all that,” he said.

“Each and every individual who plays the game has their way of managing how they deal with it. It can be tough at times when it’s not going so well; you start to think about everything. You think about every little thing that’s going on in your life when you should be focusing on one thing.

“It seems maybe a bit the way he’s [Trott] thinking at the moment, and needs to just get away from the game.”

Although Movember officially finishes a week before the first ball of the Adelaide Test is bowled, Mitchell has decided to keep the whiskers for a while longer in a bid to raise $50,000 for men’s health.

“I spoke to my wife [Jessica] about it actually and she made a suggestion that we try and raise some more money for charity and we’ll try to keep it for the whole series,” he said.

“So that’s what I’m going to try to do. I’m going to try to raise $50,000 before December 3. That’s the plan. I’ll keep the mo throughout the whole Ashes series if I get to the 50.

To donate, visit http://mobro爱上海同城论坛/mitchjohnson25

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Taylor Regan giving back to young fans

TAYLOR Regan thinks he was about seven when he posed for a photo flanked by heroes and then-Newcastle Breakers rising stars Troy Halpin, Clayton Zane and Shane Pryce.
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The picture is ‘‘somewhere’’ at his parents’ Dudley home, ‘‘most probably collecting dust’’.

A blond, starry-eyed kid, Regan was a ball boy for the Breakers and a Dudley-Redhead junior.

That was 18 years ago.

The Breakers are now the Jets and Regan is now the one with his arms around star-struck juniors posing for happy snaps.

It’s a point not lost on the 25-year-old defender, who along with a dozen of his teammates conducted a coaching clinic at Belmont Christian School this week.

‘‘The biggest thing for the community is that we give back,’’ Regan said.

‘‘Every year we ask for them to put bums on seats and make the atmosphere daunting for the opposition.

‘‘It’s only fitting that we return the favour.

‘‘I remember Dudley junior soccer club presentation days when we had players come out and hand out trophies.

‘‘I have a photo at home with myself, Troy Halpin, Clayton Zane and Shane Pryce. You remember those sort of things.’’

It’s the same sense of community that fuels Regan’s desire to remain a one-club player.

It’s also the reason he signed in September with the Jets until the end of next season when many, including some people close to him, believed Regan would be a regular starter at another A-League club.

‘‘I don’t really want to go anywhere else,’’ he said.

‘‘I would love to stay here and be a one-club person. The reality is that is very hard to do in football.

‘‘I signed a new deal thinking and hoping that I would push and be a regular starter.

‘‘I got my first game in round seven, which was a little frustrating, but I couldn’t complain because Kew [Jaliens] and Connor [Chapman] were doing a good job.’’

After a nervy start against the Heart, Regan and Josh Mitchell, who was also making his first appearance for the season, were more than effective.

‘‘I felt a little rusty the first 15minutes, to be honest,’’ he said. ‘‘As the game went on I felt more confident, second half especially.’’

Jaliens is back from suspension but Regan is expected to get the nod against Sydney FC on Saturday if Chapman (ankle) does not recover.

‘‘Hopefully, I get another chance this weekend and I can put my hand up to be a regular starter.’’

That Regan is not already a ‘‘starter’’ has been a point of conjecture for many fans.

After wearing the armband for the Jets youth team for two seasons, the home-grown stopper made his A-League debut alongside Ljubo Milicevic in a 1-1 draw with Brisbane Roar on October 16, 2010.

Solid but not spectacular, Regan made 10 appearances, all in the starting side, that season.

He was overlooked for the opening three rounds of the 2011-12 season but was near faultless through the middle of the campaign on the way to claiming the inaugural Ray Baartz Medal for the player of the year, voted on by the Men of Football organisation.

Again last season, he didn’t feature early on. Brazilian Tiago Calvano, Mitchell, Chapman and Dominik Ritter were preferred for the majority.

‘‘It can be very frustrating,’’ Regan said.

‘‘You have to keep the right mentality.

‘‘You don’t want to be a cancer within the team.

‘‘You don’t want to start getting on the wrong side.

‘‘You know eventually that you will get a chance to play.

‘‘When you do get that chance, if you are not in the right mindset, it can affect how you play.

‘‘This club is bigger than one player. It is about the town and not me.

‘‘As long as we are winning, that is the main thing.’’

Before Sunday’s win over the Heart, Regan’s last game was a 5-0 nightmare against Melbourne Victory in round 23 last season in which he gave away a penalty and was sent off.

‘‘I dwelled on it for a couple of weeks, there is no doubt about that,’’ Regan said.

‘‘But that is done and dusted now. There is nothing I can do about it. That was a long time ago. I consider myself a far better player now.’’

Regan and fiancee Jess Phillips recently bought a house in Whitebridge, the neighbouring suburb to where he grew up.

‘‘Jess works at Whitebridge pre-school and walks to work every morning,’’ he said.

‘‘She is a Merewether girl but I am slowly moving her into the 2290 [postcode] club.’’

Playing for your home-town club, although a dream come true, is not without pitfalls.

Everywhere Regan goes, people want to talk football – good and bad.

‘‘Every supporter has an opinion,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s great that they care but you can’t get lost in it.

‘‘I know when I have played well and I know when I have made mistakes.

‘‘The team knows that as well. We set goals at the start of the season.

‘‘A few things we talked about were trust, respect and loyalty. That is what we have at the moment, which I don’t think we had enough of in the past few years. We have that attitude where if you let a teammate down, you know it and the team knows it, and it is not acceptable.’’

Away from the team environment, Regan is his own man.

Winter weekends are spent watching his mates play rugby league or in the surf.

‘‘Apart from Jess, I hang with my brother Cameron more than anyone,’’ he said.

‘‘All my best mates play rugby league and love to surf.

‘‘Those people are important.

‘‘It is a good release away from football.’’

KING OF THE KIDS: Taylor Regan at Belmont Christian School on Monday. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

High fives as Hunter counts down to Cup

THE Hunter-based Men of Football organisation is planning a five-a-side tournament to mark the 12-month countdown to the Asian Cup in Newcastle.
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The 10 Northern NSW National Premier League clubs will be invited to enter teams in the tournament, dubbed the Festival of Football and to be played at Foreshore Park on January 18 and 19 next year – one year out from the start of the Asian Cup.

The tournament will include under-14 and over-40 ‘‘Old Boys’’ teams from the Premier League clubs as well as sides from the Herald Women’s Premier League.

Other events, such as a food and wine expo, will be held around the Festival of Football.

It is hoped the festival will be the precursor to a similar event during the Asian Cup that will be open to visiting supporters.

Hunter Stadium will host four matches of the Asian Cup comprising two group games, a semi-final and the third-place play-off, starting on January 12, 2015.

The five-a-side festival is driven by a partnership comprising Men of Football, Northern NSW Football, Newcastle City Council and the AFC Asian Cup Australia 2015 Local Organising Committee.

The goal is to highlight the Asian Cup a year out, unite the football fraternity and alert the business and general community to the tournament, which will feature nations which rank among the largest trading partners of Newcastle and Australia.

‘‘We want to create a legacy with this tournament,’’ Men of Football national secretary Brett Gemmell said.

‘‘We hope to raise awareness for the Asian Cup and promote the city of Newcastle to our Asian neighbours.’’

The tournament’s ethos will be to embrace the joy of the game, positive sporting values and football’s spirit of inclusion.

The theme for players, officials and fans will be fun, friendship and fair play.

Northern NSW Football community manager Peter Haynes said the federation backed the concept.

‘‘It’s a great initiative by the Men of Football, and Northern NSW Football are happy to support it where we can,’’ Haynes said.

Men of Football contacted NPL clubs on Monday about the tournament and a spokesman said the response had been positive.

Broadmeadow Magic club president Steven Foteff is looking forward to the five-a-side competition.

‘‘We are happy to be involved. It’s great for football in Newcastle, especially when we get to showcase our city to our Asian neighbours,’’ he said.

MOVERS: Northern NSW Football community manager Peter Haynes, Visitor Economy Hunter chairman Will Creedon, Men of Football national secretary Brett Gemmell, Asian Cup host city co-ordinator Mark Stratford and Broadmeadow Magic president Steven Foteff. Picture: Peter Stoop

Koori comp injury leaves Timana in limbo

UNCERTAINTY surrounds Timana Tahu’s footballing future as the Newcastle Knights veteran weighs up his options after a recent knee reconstruction.
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Tahu ruptured the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee playing for the Newcastle Yowies in the Koori Knockout at Raymond Terrace on October 7, nine days before his 33rd birthday.

Initially Tahu thought he had merely ‘‘jarred’’ his knee, only to learn he would need extensive surgery and a recovery of at least six months.

The question is whether Newcastle’s all-time leading tryscorer, with 91 four-pointers in 124 first-grade games, is willing to brave the pain barrier and launch a comeback at this late point in his career.

‘‘At this stage Timana is focused on recovering from his knee surgery before deciding on his future,’’ Knights chief executive Matt Gidley said yesterday.

Tahu has been a notable absentee at Newcastle’s pre-season training sessions and even in the best-case scenario would appear certain to miss the early rounds next season.

Then he would face an almighty battle to win an NRL recall, given that youngsters Dane Gagai and Joey Leilua now appear entrenched as Newcastle’s first-choice centres.

If Tahu decided to hang up the boots, it would be an anti-climactic end to an illustrious career.

At his peak, the 98-kilogram flyer was one of the most dynamic outside backs in the world and represented his country in two codes, playing five Tests for the Kangaroos and four Tests for the Wallabies.

But 2013 was a year he would perhaps prefer to forget.

An ankle injury sustained during the pre-season sidelined him for the first four rounds of the competition.

He returned to play five games, scoring two tries, but he was replaced after 48 unfortunate minutes in the 44-14 loss to Canberra in round nine.

He has not played in the NRL since after being unable to shift Leilua, whose 19 games on Newcastle’s left edge yielded 13 tries.

Tahu played out the year in Newcastle’s NSW Cup team and on September 6 the Knights announced they had signed him to a one-year, second-tier contract extension.

Days earlier he had revealed plans to make his cage-fighting debut in the off-season after signing a two-bout deal with

UNLUCKY: Timana Tahu celebrating the Newcastle Yowies’ victory last month with his knee strapped.

Myanmar democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi speaks to a packed Sydney Opera House

Amid a sea of brightly-coloured silks, tunics, academic gowns, and a smattering of headscarves, Myanmarese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi told a packed Sydney Opera House audience on Wednesday night of her ambition to become the country’s president in 2015.
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But she also spoke of the many constitutional road-blocks still barring the way to full democracy in Myanmar (Burma).

She was lauded as an “emblem of courage” by the heads of Sydney University and the University of Technology, Sydney, who bestowed honorary degrees on her.

But she said it was a mistake to think that her country had successfully completed the path to reform.

Myanmar’s military still had a stranglehold over the parliament and the commander-in-chief of the army appointed at least a quarter of the MPs, making it almost impossible to change the constitution under current rules, which also bar her path to the presidency.

She said her National League for Democracy wanted a rewritten “genuine democratic constitution that will help us to uphold democracy, human rights and national reconciliation”.

Earlier she had been warmly greeted by many of the 4000 Burmese living in New South Wales, with local community leader Dr Myint Cho saying: “There is a lot of excitement about her coming here for the first time.”

But local representatives of the Kachin ethnic group – one of the large minorities inside Myanmar – boycotted her visit claiming she had “whitewashed” military repression of the Kachin.

She’s also been criticised for failing to take a stronger stand against the persecution of the stateless Rohingya Muslims, who do not have citizenship and have been the victims of what Human Rights Watch calls “ethnic cleansing” inside the majority Buddhist nation.

Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel peace prize winner, responded vigorously to several probing questions on the plight of the Rohingya, saying her party was “totally dedicated to non-violence”.

But she rejected those who wanted her to mete out “condemnation” for the communal violence.

“They say why am I not condemning this group or why am I not condemning that group? … And why am I not condemning the military? I am not condemning because I have not found that condemnation brings good results. What I want to do is achieve national reconciliation.”

She said using labels like ethnic cleansing played “into the hands of extremists” on both sides.

Asked if she had ever regretted her decision to leave her husband and children in Britain and suffer nearly 20 years of house arrest in Myanmar, the 68-year-old said she had not.

“I find it embarrassing when people talk about the sacrifices that I have made … those were not sacrifices but choices.”

Aung San Suu Kyi said despite her long years of home detention, it was “difficult for me not to love the army” because it had been founded by her father, independence leader General Aung San, who was assassinated when she was two years old.

“The conviction that I was my father’s best-loved child was a great source of strength to me” she said.

In 1990 her National League for Democracy overwhelmingly won elections but the result was ignored by the military regime, resulting in her house arrest for most of the next two decades.

She was released in November 2010 and won a parliamentary seat in by-elections held in 2012, the first time her party had been able to contest a ballot since the 1990 coup.

Most Western countries, including Australia, have suspended economic sanctions against the Myanmar regime as it continues to free political prisoners and embarks on cautious reform.

However Dr Myint Cho said Myanmarese Australians wanted the Abbott government to “use all its diplomatic and economic clout to ensure that there is a more inclusive dialogue for national reconciliation and lasting peace” in Myanmar.

On Thursday Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the Lowy Institute in Sydney and meets Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Prime Minister Tony Abbott in Canberra before flying to Melbourne to open an international HIV/AIDS conference for World AIDS day on Sunday.

Myanmar has one of the highest transmission rates of the disease in Asia.

World Cup schedule does Wallabies no favours

Australia kick off their 2015 World Cup campaign with two games in four days before meeting England and Wales at Twickenham.
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In details of pool match fixtures just released by the International Rugby Board, the Wallabies will meet the winner of the Oceania Cup final – likely to be Fiji – at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, six days after the start of the tournament on September 23, before backing up to face the winners of the repechage play-off on September 27 in Birmingham, England.

The fixtures will serve as excellent preparation for the toughest two matches of the pool against two nations currently hunting them in the world rankings, at fourth and fifth behind third-ranked Australia.

The Wallabies will play England at Twickenham at 8pm on October 3 and then meet Wales at 5pm the next week, on October 10.

Only two countries advance to the knock-outs from each pool.

If Australia advance, they will meet either South Africa, Samoa or Scotland in the quarter finals at Millennium Stadium, with the winner and runner-up in pool A playing the runner-up and winner in pool B, respectively.

The opening match of the tournament, between hosts England and the Oceania Cup winner (either Fiji or Cook Islands), kicks off at 8pm on September 18 at Twickenham.

Reigning champions New Zealand start their title defence two days later with a game against Argentina at Wembley Stadium at 5pm on September 20.

The dream scenario for Australia – however difficult it will be to pull off – will be topping Pool A, which would mean the Wallabies avoid South Africa in the quarter-finals, assuming the Springboks beat Scotland and Samoa to top Pool B.

The Wallabies could then also potentially avoid meeting New Zealand in the semi-finals. If the All Blacks top Pool C (they play Argentina and Tonga), Australia would face either the runner up in that pool or the winner of Pool D, which could be France, Ireland or Italy.

Meanwhile, South Africa and New Zealand would be headed for a semi-final showdown if both teams top their pools and win their quarter-final clashes. However, the 2011 World Cup provided proof that permutations mean little once the tournament is under way, with the Wallabies’ shock pool loss to Ireland throwing everything into doubt.

Australia met South Africa in a controversial quarter-final, winning 11-9, before succumbing 20-6 to the All Blacks in their semi-final at Eden Park. New Zealand went on to win their first World Cup since 1987 in a nail-biting final clash with France, which was decided 8-7.

The World Cup final will be held at Twickenham at 5pm on October 31, which is 3am November 1 Sydney time.

Australia pool matches:

– Australia v Oceania 1 September 23 Millennium Stadium Cardiff 5pm local time [2am Thursday September 24 Sydney time]

– Australia v Playoff Winner September 27 Villa Park Birmingham 12pm UK time [9pm Sunday 27 September Sydney time]

– Australia v England October 3 Twickenham London 8pm UK time [6am Sunday 4 October Sydney time]

– Australia v Wales October 10 Twickenham London 5pm UK time [3am Sunday 11 October Sydney time]

Read the full draw here.

All the picks: pre-season, rookie drafts

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1 GWS Jed Lamb (Sydney)

2 Collingwood pass

3 Richmond pass

4 Carlton pass

5 Sydney pass

6 GWS pass

7 Richmond pass

8 Carlton pass

9 Sydney pass

10 GWS pass


1 GWS Sam Schulz (GWS)

2 Melbourne James Harmes (Dandenong Stingrays)

3 St Kilda Eli Templeton (Burnie Dockers)

4 Gold Coast Louis Herbert (North Ballarat)

5 West Coast Will Maginness (Oakleigh Chargers)

6 Brisbane Lions Isaac Conway (Aspley)

7 Adelaide Charlie Cameron (Swan Districts)

8 North Melbourne Joel Tippett (West Adelaide)

9 Essendon Fraser Thurlow (Labrador)

10 Collingwood Corey Gault (Collingwood)

11 Richmond Todd Banfield (Brisbane Lions)

12 Carlton Luke Reynolds (Port Adelaide)

13 Port Adelaide Sam Russell (Geelong Falcons)

14 Sydney Swans pass

15 Geelong James Toohey (Oakleigh Chargers)

16 Fremantle Michael Wood (Subiaco)

17 Hawthorn Dallas Willsmore (North Ballarat Rebels)

18 GWS pass

19 Melbourne Max King (Murray Bushrangers)

20 St Kilda Mav Weller (Gold Coast)

21 Gold Coast pass

22 West Coast Rohan Powell (Claremont)

23 Brisbane Lions Zac O’Brien (Essendon VFL)

24 Adelaide James Battersby (Sturt)

25 North Melbourne Kayne Turner (Murray Bushrangers)

26 Essendon Patrick Ambrose (Old Xaverians)

27 Richmond Anthony Miles (GWS)

28 Carlton Cameron Wood (Collingwood)

29 Port Adelaide Sam Gray (Port Adelaide SANFL)

30 Sydney pass

31 Geelong Nick Bourke (Geelong Falcons)

32 Fremantle Thomas Vandeleur (South Fremantle)

33 Hawthorn Derick Wanganeen (Hawthorn)

34 GWS pass

35 Melbourne Alexis Georgiou

36 St Kilda Jason Holmes (US)

37 Gold Coast pass

38 West Coast Murray Newman (West Coast)

39 Brisbane Lions pass

40 Adelaide Jake Kelly (Oakleigh Chargers)

41 Essendon Johnny Rayner

42 Richmond Matt Thomas (Port Adelaide)

43 Carlton Blaine Johnson (South Fremantle)

44 Port Adelaide Brent Renouf (Port Adelaide)

45 Sydney Patrick Mitchell (US)

46 Geelong Zachary Bates (West Adelaide)

47 Fremantle Jacob Ballard (Northern Blues)

48 Hawthorn Zac Webster (Glenorchy)

49 GWS pass

50 Melbourne Neville Jetta (Melbourne)

51 Gold Coast pass

52 Adelaide Alex Spina (North Adelaide)

53 Carlton Heath Scotland (Carlton)

54 Port Adelaide Daniel Flynn (Ireland)

55 Sydney Lloyd Perris (NSW ACT Rams)

56 Geelong Michael Luxford

57 Hawthorn Ben Ross (Werribee)

58 GWS pass

59 Gold Coast pass

60 Carlton Ciaran Sheehan (Ireland)

61 Hawthorn Kurt Heatherley (New Zealand)

62 GWS pass

63 Gold Coast Jarred Ellis (Broadbeach)

64 Carlton Ciaran Byrne (Ireland)

65 Hawthorn Shem Tatupu (Oakleigh)

66 GWS pass

67 GWS pass

68 GWS pass

69 Brisbane Lions Archie Smith (Mt Gravatt)

Buckley a coward: Jolly

Darren Jolly.Buckley refuses to retaliate
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A disillusioned Darren Jolly has conceded his AFL career is over after failing to be selected in Wednesday’s pre-season or rookie drafts, but not without some fierce parting shots at the manner in which it ended, and in particular towards Collingwood coach Nathan Buckley.

The 32-year-old dual premiership ruckman, delisted by Collingwood at the end of the season, had been courted by both St Kilda and Essendon for a ruck and mentoring role, but was overlooked by both for younger players.

After two months of dealings with the Saints, Jolly was told by St Kilda on Tuesday he would not be selected. The same day he met Essendon officials and underwent a medical examination on Wednesday morning, but the Dons also passed him over.

Jolly told Fairfax Media on Wednesday that the past three months, beginning with his axing from Collingwood, had been “a bloody nightmare”.

“There’s so much crap that’s happened in the last three months that I’m really just turned off footy to be honest,” he said. “I just need to get away from it and recharge the batteries and get my head right again, because it’s just been a bloody nightmare.”

But his strongest criticisms were reserved for how his 237-game AFL career with Melbourne, Sydney and Collingwood was ended by the Magpies, labelling Buckley a “coward” for the way the coach handled his delisting.

Jolly said former Magpies coach Mick Malthouse had embraced the elements of the Sydney “Bloods” culture he had brought to the club, but that once Buckley took over as coach, things changed dramatically.

“He [Buckley] probably found it a lot harder accepting that I had opinions about things and would give feedback on certain things that potentially he didn’t like,” Jolly told Fairfax Media.

”The day he told me I was no longer needed at the club and they weren’t going to renew my contract, the reasons he was giving me were all excuses, and that was probably the main disappointment; that he couldn’t man up and tell me face-to-face why I wasn’t going to be at the club.”

Jolly, who played only nine games in 2013 because of rib and knee injuries, said Buckley had told him: ”Your body’s no good.” But he says a personality clash between the pair was the main factor in the decision.

”Just the excuses he gave me in that meeting were all bullshit and that was the hardest thing to stomach, that he was a coward, really. We had a problem. He had an issue with me and I had an issue with him. And I’m not the only one. There’s a lot of players there that are in that same boat.

”I’m not stupid. I accept that everyone’s footy career comes to an end one day, but if ‘Bucks’ had just sat me down that day and said, ‘Look, ‘Jolls’, you’ve given us fantastic service, but unfortunately the direction we want to go in, you don’t fit into those plans’ … if he’d just treated me with a bit more respect, it would have been a lot easier to stomach.”

Jolly said he had remained silent about his exit from Collingwood until now, but didn’t want to leave AFL football as a player after 13 seasons, without giving his version of events.

”I’ve bitten my lip for a long time now, but I’m not one to not speak my mind and say how it really is. I could easily turn around and just say, ‘Yeah, that’s what happens’. Don’t get me wrong, there are some fantastic people at Collingwood, and I had a good time there. It’s just a select few that are a bit of a problem, and unfortunately, I’m not the only one in that boat.”

Jolly disputed the seriousness of his knee problems. His most recent injury came in a training mishap that occurred after he had played well in the round 12 clash against the Western Bulldogs. ”I was averaging career-best disposals and 27 hitouts per game,” he said. ”Up until I was injured at training, my knees had been fine for years, so that was an excuse.”

He remains bitterly disappointed at the lack of communication about his non-selection in Collingwood’s side for the elimination final against Port Adelaide, having recovered to play four games in the VFL, and the Pies also without the injured Quinten Lynch.

”I was right to go. ‘Bucks’ knew I would have been waiting for a call from him to see whether I was in the mix, but he didn’t call me at all during the week,” Jolly said. ”I found out I wasn’t in the team via the news and still after that at training he didn’t give me an explanation. It was a bit of kick in the mouth, really.

”We all know how that game turned out. I’m sure I could have made a difference.”

Collingwood declined to comment on Wednesday night.

Shane Watson ruled out of Sheffield Shield

Shane Watson won’t play in the Sheffield Shield between Tests, despite looking like a man in need of a long hit against a red ball during the first Ashes Test.
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Cricket Australia said no Test players were considered for the round of shield games starting on Friday because it wants them all to assemble in Adelaide on Sunday ahead of the second Test.

Coach Darren Lehmann wants Watson to build up his bowling in readiness for a substantial role with the ball at Adelaide Oval, where he will be needed to provide relief for the quicks on a more punishing surface than the Gabba pitch where England was rolled for less than 200 in both innings.

Watson is the only Test player who did not play a shield game before the first Test, and it showed in his batting in Brisbane, in particular in his top-edged pull shot to a half-tracker from Chris Tremlett in the second innings.

Instead, he came home from India after the one-day series with a hamstring strain and found himself in a familiar race against time to be fit for the Test series.

The original plan was for Watson to join Mitchell Johnson on the plane home from India before the last game. But when that game became a series decider, the decision was made for the all-rounder to stay while Johnson came home to play in the shield.

With Watson expected to be able to play the full all-rounder’s role on the new drop-in pitch in Adelaide after a short Test in Brisbane, there are no plans to rest Ryan Harris from the Adelaide Test with a view to breaking him out of bubble wrap for a full-throttle assault on the pacy WACA pitch afterwards.

Medical staff budget for the quicks to bowl 50 overs in a Test and Harris, Johnson and Peter Siddle got away with 34, 38 and 26 respectively in Brisbane, with 10 days to recover before Adelaide.

But if the fast bowlers are subjected to a punishing workload in Adelaide, they could struggle to back up for Perth. With that in mind, the selectors may withdraw several fast bowlers from the next round of the shield as potential reinforcements for the third Test at the WACA.

Lehmann has left open the possibility of adding a second spinner to the squad if the conditions demand it, but he won’t have a chance to inspect the pitch until he arrives in Adelaide on Saturday.

This time last summer against South Africa, the selectors’ plans were in chaos due to an injury to James Pattinson during the Adelaide Test, leaving Siddle and Ben Hilfenhaus to carry the load. Both were withdrawn from the series decider in Perth, where the subbed-in attack of Johnson, Mitchell Starc and John Hastings was plundered by Graeme Smith and Hashim Amla.

Johnson has no plans to stop bouncers

Mitchell Johnson has laughed off the suggestion his brutal short-pitched deliveries at England amounted to dangerous bowling and told the tourists not to expect any respite in Adelaide.
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Johnson said he and his posse of fast bowlers would continue the time-honoured tradition of targeting the England tail. Though Adelaide is not a favourite place for pacemen, it is the scene of Brett Lee’s ruthless bowling at South African bunny Nantie Hayward 12 years ago.

”I was just playing the game and by the rules – you get two short balls an over, over the head or shoulders and I definitely used them – used the wicket to its potential,” he said.

”The fast, bouncy Gabba wicket is a perfect time to use it – I don’t think it was dangerous at all. We went really hard at their tail. That was a plan to use the wicket at the Gabba to go really hard at them.

”Look, I don’t like facing bouncers. No one does. When the ball’s coming past your nose on a fast wicket, it’s never nice. I’m not sure if it’s fear, it’s just part of the game.

”And I still come in [to Adelaide] with the short ball because it [the pitch] is up and down there – it makes it even harder I think – whereas at the Gabba it’s true bounce. I think that makes it a lot more difficult to play the short ball. But I’ll definitely continue to use it, because it definitely worked.”

Most tailenders nowadays, England’s included, are more competent than Hayward, but the tourists reportedly made an informal approach to match officials about the dangerous bowling rules.

Johnson found this ”quite funny” and said the England batsmen were rattled by Australia’s aggression both verbally and with the ball.

”I think it’s worked for us. I definitely think they’re rattled by it,” said Johnson, who was man of the match for his nine wickets and 103 runs in the first Test.

”They don’t like it at all … their coach has come out and wanted a truce from what I’ve heard. That’s not going to change from our end. It was pretty quiet the whole match until closer to the end and we know there’s definitely tension there, there always has been. I thought it was really good what Michael [Clarke] did … that’s what you want your captain to do, to stand up for the players and that’s what he did.”

England antagonist Stuart Broad had no problem with the Australians’ on-field conduct, but alluded to anger that David Warner was not punished either by the International Cricket Council or Cricket Australia for his remarks, during a media conference, about Jonathan Trott who subsequently departed the tour with a stress-related illness.

”The on-the-field stuff has been fine. You’re playing in an Ashes Test match against Australia, you expect it to be tough,” Broad said. ”I grew up hearing all sorts of stories about sledging and on the field I don’t think a line’s been crossed. It’s been tough, we’re grown up, we train ourselves to expect that.

”Off the field there have been some mistakes made. As an England side we pride ourselves on how we conduct about the opposition because you never know what’s going on in the opposition changing rooms and lives. We just need to stay away from that, I think we have the balance OK at the moment.”

ICC boss David Richardson confirmed match referee Jeff Crowe would address both teams about their behaviour before the Adelaide Test. ”Generally our attitude towards abusive language is that it is immature and unnecessary and not supported,” he said.

”What we want to do is make sure it does not get out of hand with disrespectful, disparaging comments or abusive comments.”

Call for Heal for Life founder to move on

DEVELOPER and champion sailor Graham Oborn was once one of child sex abuse advocate Liz Mullinar’s most loyal supporters.
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Today he’s calling on her to stand down from the Heal for Life centre she founded.

‘‘Liz said in your newspaper if she was asked to leave in the interests of the centre she would do so immediately,’’ Mr Oborn said.

‘‘Well I’m calling on you to step aside, Liz. I think it’s time to go.’’

The former Heal for Life director who helped raise hundreds of thousands of dollars for the centre will make a submission to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in coming weeks.

He will argue the royal commission should investigate Heal for Life because of the consistency of complaints about it over the years, and the inability or failure of regulators to address them.

He takes no pleasure in asking Ms Mullinar to stand down or lodging the submission.

‘‘I don’t want to destroy the place,’’ Mr Oborn said.

‘‘It’s been my vision too, to have somewhere for people to go for healing, but clearly there are problems.

‘‘Despite many people over the years trying to have those problems addressed we’re still at this point.

‘‘No one wants to see it close, but I’m not going to stand by and see this continue.’’

Mr Oborn was one of a number of people who appeared in a highly critical ABC 7.30 report alleging inadequate training of volunteer carers and routine self-harm at the centre.

Ms Mullinar denied the allegations in an interview with the Newcastle Herald on Monday, but her claim that 10per cent of people at Heal for Life reported satanic ritual abuse alarmed even supporters.

Hunter woman Lee-Ann Wein, who said she ‘‘loved my healing week’’ at Heal for Life’s Mayumarri centre at Cessnock in 2010, but had difficult experiences as a volunteer carer, is also making a complaint to the royal commission.

This follows advice from the Health Care Complaints Commission in October and November that it could not investigate her complaints about Mayumarri because Ms Mullinar was ‘‘not a health service provider’’ and there was no evidence Ms Wein had ‘‘received a health service from Heal for Life’’.

Similar complaints to the Health Care Complaints Commission about Heal for Life and Mayumarri in 2003, four years after it opened, were also not investigated because the centre did not provide health services and was outside the commission’s jurisdiction.

‘‘I don’t want Heal For Life to close,’’ Ms Wein said. ‘‘I want it regulated by an independent government body. This charity, especially because of the nature of its work, should be regulated to allow accountability and transparency.

‘‘Survivors of childhood trauma deserve this protection. We’ve been through enough.’’

Craig Hughes-Cashmore of the Survivors and Mates Support Network attended a healing week in 2008 where he observed ‘‘odd behaviour from staff, some of whom I assumed were clients’’.

‘‘I also, for the first time in my life heard about ritual satanic abuse. I was very concerned about one young woman in particular who was self-harming and should really have been in hospital,’’ he said.

Mr Oborn said it ‘‘really gets to my heart’’ that ‘‘people have donated large sums of money to support the centre on the basis of my business and sporting friendships’’.

‘‘They’ve trusted my name to support the centre, so I’m not going to walk away.’’

Ms Mullinar did not respond to questions.

CONCERNED: Former Heal for Life centre director Graham Oborn at Soldiers Point yesterday. Picture: Marina Neil

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