Mitchell in hot water over ref rant brings you the latest from Australia’s Super 14 franchises.

Mitchell in hot water over ref rant

Force coach John Mitchell may face disciplinary action after slamming referee Marius Jonker in the media following his side’s defeat to the Stormers over the weekend.

Mitchell expressed his unhappiness about the Stormers’ winning try at Newlands in an interview with The Australian, claiming Stormers centre Dylan des Fountain had obstructed one of his players in the build up to Joe Pietersen’s second try.

‘That person [Jonker] shouldn’t referee another Super14 game or he should be disciplined or suffer some consequence,’ Mitchell said.

‘That is not acceptable at this level of football. It really needs to be looked into. It shouldn’t just be swept under the carpet.’

Sanzar tournament director Johan Botes told Afrikaans newspaper Die Burger that the matter is under investigation. Botes has reportedly written to Australia’s regional tournament director to get clarity over Mitchell’s remarks.

Reds welcome back key trio

The Reds have received a major boost for their final Super 14 clash against the Hurricanes with Berrick Barnes, James Horwill and Mark McLinden all cleared to return from injury.

Reds coach Phil Mooney named the trio to line up for Saturday’s game against the third-placed Hurricanes.

Skipper Horwill, playmaker Barnes and fullback McLinden were missing from the injury-riddled side who were comprehensively beaten 32-12 by the Crusaders in Christchurch.

In other good news for the Reds Ezra Taylor was selected after overcoming a knee injury while flanker Tasi Luafutu has been bracketed with Andrew Shaw.

Reds – 15 Mark McLinden, 14 Brando Va’aulu, 13 Charlie Fetoai, 12 Quade Cooper, 11 Rod Davies, 10 Berrick Barnes, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Tasi Luafutu/Andrew Shaw, 6 Ezra Taylor, 5 James Horwill (capt), 4 Van Humphries, 3 Laurie Weeks, 2 Sean Hardman, 1 Ben Daley.
Subs: 16 Saia Faingaa, 17 Greg Holmes, 18 Adam Byrnes, 19 Scott Higginbotham, 20 Richard Kingi, 21 Anthony Faingaa, 22 Anthony Sauer.

Rathbone given lifeline

Clyde Rathbone has a good reason to smile after being handed named in the starting line up fro the Brumbies crucial clash against the Chiefs.

A week ago Rathbone was contemplating the likelihood he had played his last match for the Brumbies after not receiving a contract offer for next year.

But the recovery of his injured quadriceps and a hamstring injury to Brumbies inside centre Gene Fairbanks has now opened up a starting position on the wing in a match on which the his side’s season hangs.

With Rathbone on the right wing, Stirling Mortlock shifts to outside centre and Tyrone Smith moves inside of Motlock to replace Fairbanks.

Brumbies – 15 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 14 Clyde Rathbone, 13 Stirling Mortlock, 12 Tyrone Smith, 11 Francis Fainifo, 10 Matt Toomua, 9 Patrick Phibbs, 8 Stephen Hoiles (c), 7 George Smith, 6 Julian Salvi, 5 Peter Kimlin, 4 Ben Hand, 3 Guy Shepherdson, 2 Stephen Moore/Huia Edmonds, 1 Ben Alexander.
Sub: 16 Huia Edmonds/John Ulugia, 17 Salesi Ma’afu, 18 Sitaleki Timani, 19 Henry Vanderglas, 20 Joshua Holmes, 21 Afusipa Taumoepeau, 22 Sanualio Afeaki.