Wallabies on a losing streak, but at least their post natal depression is under control

If you’re a truly committed, dyed in the wool rugby fan, you might (or might not) be pleased to know that the team is enjoying so much psychological support while they’re looking for their next win, writes Michael Blucher

Mar 15, 2024, updated Mar 15, 2024
Wallabies coach Eddie Jones speaks to media during a press conference as the team depart for the Rugby World Cup 2023. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

Wallabies coach Eddie Jones speaks to media during a press conference as the team depart for the Rugby World Cup 2023. (AAP Image/Dan Himbrechts)

What a relief for rugby fans – the horror of last year’s Wallaby World Cup campaign is now finally and officially behind us.

Review conducted, tabled and digested, the findings (hopefully) committed to memory – a permanent reminder never to go down the same path of extravagance and self indulgence.

Without wanting to widen already gaping wounds, there’s one aspect of the team’s $2.6 million RWC campaign over-spend that warrants specific scrutiny.

“Psychological services” – the presence of not just one, not two but three dedicated resources to help the 33 players process the pressure and expectation that comes with performing on the game’s biggest stage.

Three – one per 11 players. High performance masterminds, including a “head psychologist”, apparently with precious little previous exposure to rugby, who listed among her specialities “postnatal depression”. Handy.

If the rumours are correct, she, with or without the endorsement of her peers – talked Eddie out of including former skipper Michael Hooper in the squad. Just didn’t feel his attitude was right, not a good influence on the team.

Had she watched him play? Witnessed his tenacity, his commitment? Well no, but she’d had numerous conversations with him.

Dear oh dear.

This is not to belittle in any way the role well qualified sports psyches play in getting the best out of highly competitive, highly focused, highly strung professional athletes. The environment of elite sport has never been so exposed to public pressure. With the right advice at the right time, sports psyches can convert dirt into diamonds. Many of the world’s most successful athletes swear by them.

But what does Will Skelton need to know about postnatal depression? I’m not even sure he and his wife Kate have kids.

I’ll put it to you that with the right coach, with the right interpersonal skills, and you wouldn’t need three psychologists to be constantly patching up bleeding brains.

Instead, find somebody who understands their players, talks with them honestly, openly, firmly, cares for them as human beings, and you’re half way there.

The good news, we know all that now. Time to look forward not back.

The Reds’ strong start to the season, under a new coach who understands his players, talks with them honestly, openly etc etc… has demonstrated just how quickly the sporting tide can turn.

Last week’s crowd for the Chiefs game at Suncorp was the largest in more than two seasons.
String a few more strong performances together and I’ll bet the diehards start to re-engaged and reappear.


They didn’t like that dodgy royal photo, did they? The angry people had plenty to say about that.

For mine, it wasn’t so much that the photo has been so poorly “tweaked”, more staggering was that on one website alone, some 59,000 people had commented on how poorly it had been tweaked.

Almost 60,000 people with the time and energy and generosity of spirit to tell us what they thought about a photo – provide their insight into the latest bout of Royal family dysfunction.

What is wrong with people? Do they not have enough to do?

As the ever sage Ben Ikin observed last week, while addressing a large group of Westpac Bank leaders about high performance, “increasingly, there’s the doing, and there’s the talking about the doing – and I promise you, one’s real, the other one’s not.”

Correct. And a worthy modern day extension of the famous quote from American first lady and political activist Elenor Roosevelt – “Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people”.

BTW, that’s just my opinion. As we know, there’s at least 59,000 other views, probably many far better informed.


A new level of absurd from the wilds of our suburban primary school playgrounds.

On the south side, a grade six student has been “suspended” for carrying on his person a “dangerous weapon”.

The said “dangerous weapon” – a paddle pop stick that he’d sharpened on a rock to open his fruit popper, an emergency prompted by the plastic straw having detached itself from the popper proper.

He needed a makeshift tool to pierce the container, so he could quench his pre-school handball thirst.

How the boy’s heinous crime came to the attention of the authorities remains a subject of conjecture – either an eagle-eyed teacher spotted the danger, or another student reported him for having SDW (Said Dangerous Weapon) in his pocket.

Regardless, the offender has been treated to a couple of days off school, while the matter is more thoroughly investigated.


No doubt there’ll now be a raft of different security measures put in place, to safeguard students from a recurrence of such potentially dangerous criminal activity.

I suggest that starts with the kid’s parents only allowing him to buy Maxibons and Drumsticks at the school tuck shop.


An update on Michael Wright, Queensland’s journeyman golf pro who late last year qualified – in miracle circumstances – for the lucrative US Seniors tour.

Wright has played two events to date, both resulting in respectable midfield finishes, the US$30K he has banked equating to about six seasons of the pro-am slog he’d be subjecting himself to back home.

His most recent round last Sunday included “an up down” on the par three 17th hole that his Irish caddy rated the best he’d seen in any of the 300 professional tournaments he’d carried a bag. An Irishman? Wonder how many pints of Guinness he’d swamped down before he came up with that?

What’s surprised Wright most is how friendly and accommodating the big name American pros have been, welcoming him onto the tour. No rides on Ernie Els’ private jet just yet, but the courtesy cars and dining halls and fitness trailers sure beat being billeted in Mt Isa.

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