Reds trio part ways with team as manager slams QRU handling of dispute

Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas have officially parted ways with the Queensland Reds and the group is adamant the Super Rugby franchise had no legal grounds to stand them down after they refused a short-term pay cut.

On Monday the Queensland Rugby Union issued a statement saying that Rodda, Hockings and Lucas were stood down until further notice for refusing to take a pay cut and not signing the JobKeeper forms like 189 of their peers across the country.

However, it has since emerged Rodda, wanted to move to another Super Rugby side, while the other younger players wanted to get out of their Reds deals to explore possible options in Japan.

A statement issued on behalf of the three to media outlets explained the decision.

“Following the Qld Rugby Union’s repudiatory conduct, Izack Rodda, Harry Hockings and Isaac Lucas have terminated their contracts with QRU and Rugby Australia (RA),” the statement said.

“The QRU had no legal basis to issue the stand down notice. The QRU was given considerable opportunity to withdraw the notice. The QRU failed to do so.”

Anthony Picone, who manages all three players, hit out at the QRU.

The latest news means Rodda, who has played 25 Tests for the Wallabies, has apparently turned his back on the national set-up.

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Clichy was playing that day and he believes the game perfectly

Former Arsenal star Gael Clichy says the Gunners side he played in failed to win a Premier League title under Arsene Wenger because they lacked ‘character’ and were prone to ‘crumbling’. Wenger’s title-winning team of 2004 was broken up in the following years and the club’s move to the Emirates Stadium meant the Frenchman was forced to sell some of his biggest players and recruit bargain replacements.

Nevertheless, Wenger developed a promising side in 2011 with Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Jack Wilshere and Laurent Koscielny. By the February of the 10/11 season Arsenal trailed leaders Manchester United by just five points and they could have got the gap to two points with a win against Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Arsenal raced into a 4-0 lead at half-time but the Magpies scored four after the break in one of the most memorable comebacks in Premier League history. Clichy was playing that day and he believes the game perfectly summed up the reasons Arsenal couldn’t win the title under Wenger, claiming it was ‘typical Arsenal’. Speaking to Premier League Productions about the game, Clichy said: ‘Yeah but this was typical Arsenal. ‘We could go anywhere and play anyone off the park then all of a sudden we could crumble in just a few minutes.

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Man Utd make transfer decision on Diogo Dalot

Manchester United are determined to keep hold of full-back Diogo Dalot despite strong interest from Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain, according to reports. The 21-year-old has struggled to nail down a starting place in United’s first team since his £19 million move from FC Porto in 2018. Dalot has suffered multiple injuries, making just 10 appearances across all competitions so far this season. But according to ESPN, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will ignore interest from top European clubs and instead keep the defender at Old Trafford.

The Norwegian boss has favoured Luke Shaw and £50m summer signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who may prove difficult to displace in the full-back positions.

However, Dalot’s ability to play on either side of the pitch could help his chances of earning more regular game time if he can stay fit. If the Premier League returns next month, the Portuguese defender should be available for United’s nine remaining fixtures.

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Arsenal must give Mikel Arteta time, warns Ian Wright

Arsenal legend Ian Wright believes the club have appointed the right man in Mikel Arteta but says the board must give the Spaniard the time he needs to succeed at the Emirates. The Spaniard replaced Unai Emery at the club last December after the former Paris Saint-Germain was sacked due to an awful run of form. Arsenal’s results have picked up under Arteta but not so considerably that the Spaniard’s start could be deemed a success. However, Wright believes improvements have been made in a number of areas that will eventually lead to the club getting better results.

If we’re looking at somebody as a coach with ambition and drive and determination then, without a shadow of a doubt, we’ve got the right person,’ Wright told SPORF.

‘I think you can see that with the intensity, the energy and the passion that the players have got. ‘I did an interview with David Luiz the other day and when you listen to him speak about Mikel Arteta and what he wants and what he expects and the fitness and the drive that the players now have and you can see that there was a change at Arsenal.

‘People are saying we’ve drawn a lot of games but there was a change in the output of the players, the intensity, the determination to try and execute the manager’s philosophy.

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