More women likely to have breast cancer screening after death of Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson died from breast cancer on Friday. Photo: Craig WilsonCancer does not discriminate but community awareness of it does.


The luminous trail left by sports journalist Rebecca Wilson, who died from breast cancer on Friday, will include a new march of women to screening clinics, jolted by the reminder of their mortality.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer affecting Australian women, with 300 cases per 100,000 women, but survival rates are high when it is detected early.

The latest report card on breast screening from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare showed the proportion of women aged 50 to 69 getting screened remained steady around 54 per cent between 2010 and 2015.

But after the death of a celebrity, clinics brace themselves for an influx of appointments.

They noted a spike in women seeking mammograms after Kylie Minogue announced that she had breast cancer in 2006, and the same phenomenon occurred after actress Christina Applegate’s diagnosis in 2008 and former first lady Nancy Reagan’s in 1987.

The biggest effect was felt by genetic screening centres after actress Angelina Jolie underwent a double mastectomy to protect herself against the illness that had carried away many of her family.

Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre clinical geneticist Paul James said younger women were often inspired to get genetic tests after a celebrity cancer case, but mammograms were not recommended for women under 40 because it was not as accurate as it was after age 50.

His study on the “Angelina Jolie effect” published in the Medical Journal of Australia found a threefold increase in genetic breast cancer testing comparing the 18 months before her mastectomy and the 18 months after.

Three years later, twice as many women are seeking the service than before.

“It had a peak, but we’re still seeing that residual effect,” Associate Professor James said.

“It’s quite remarkable that change, literally from one week to the next week the referral rate just shot through the roof.”

Familial cancer clinics had to become more targeted and narrow their tests to women who had a high risk of cancer, he said.

NSW Cancer Council director of cancer programs Kathy Chapman said breast cancer had a 90 per cent chance of survival five years after diagnosis, compared to 72 per cent 30 years ago.

But the breast screening rate needed to improve.

“We want to see that increase, and it’s particularly groups like Aboriginal women, and women in low socio-economic circumstances that are probably less likely to participate,” Ms Chapman said.

“Hopefully somebody like Rebecca Wilson who was a sports journalist and well known for her love of footy will be a reminder to women of all demographics and cultures to just be aware that breast cancer can take lives.”

Breast cancer is usually much more aggressive when it returns after a curative treatment, and Wilson would have known that her chances of survival were small when she chose not to publicise that it had returned.

Associate Professor James said women should be aware that her case was an outlier and nine out of 10 women survived if their cancer was detected early.

“Certainly there’s evidence that when you have these events more people consider these issues for the first time and come along to see people like our clinics and GPs and that’s a very positive thing.”

On Saturday, Wilson’s brother Jim Wilson paid tribute to his sister.

“On behalf of husband John, sons Will and Tom and the Wilson family we thank everyone for your kind words of support.

“We’ve been blown away by the messages of support and tributes to our beautiful Beck.

“Beck will forever be in our hearts and loved my big, fearless sister. She had a beautiful soft side and in times of need, Beck would be the first point of call.

“Beck was a trailblazer for women in sports journalism. She wasn’t afraid of taking on head office.

“We didn’t always agree professionally but at the end of the day we’d have a barney, then hug and go and have a vino.

“I love my big sister and Beck was a great mate – the best a brother could ever hope for and I’m a proud bro and yes Beck,at times, I’m a gibberer.”

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Forbes floodwaters ‘falling very slowly’, army provide support

An Australian Army Unimog truck from 5th Brigade moves through inundated roads during flood relief operations in Forbes. Photo: Kyle GennerAustralian Army soldiers have been providing support to regional NSW following major flooding caused by heavy rainfall last month.


Soldiers of the 5th Brigade include members form the engineer regiment and combat service support battalion have provided assistance to local services in Forbes, Condobolin and surrounding areas.

Hydrologist Wei Wang from the Bureau of Meteorology said: “The river levels at Forbes are falling very slowly and moderate floodings continue, but are easing.”

She said light rain is expected on Monday, but will not cause more flooding in the area.

The defence force has provided six high-ground-clearance Unimog trucks, which have assisted emergency services with route reconnaissance, transport of personal and sandbags, additional planning and the rescue of small animals.

The damage bill from floods across central west NSW is expected to top more than $500 million though Roads Minister Duncan Gay said the actual cost could not be tallied until waters recede.

High water levels in the area are expected to last for a number of weeks.

More than 200 landholders have filed damage reports and 20 local government areas were declared natural disaster zones as record rains decimated crops and flooded major catchments across the area.

Mr Gay said the sub-structure of roads were also completely water-logged and it would not be clear how much damage they had sustained until heavy vehicles finally return to the road network in the months ahead.

Parts of the state are expected to reach temperatures of at least 30 degrees on Monday. Sydney’s forecast on Monday is 30 degrees in the city and 32 in the west on Monday.

Duty forecaster Andrew Haigh said a cool change with a “sprinkle” of rain on Monday afternoon will bring relief to the state following the high temperatures.

“The morning will be quite warm and the afternoon will be cooling down with a few showers around,” he said.

Mr Haigh said strong wind warnings are in place along the coast on Sunday.

“We have some parts of the coast that have a gale warning,” he said. “We’ve had a cold front come through and some strong southerlies behind it on Sunday.”

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Peak discrimination body missing in plebiscite debate

Stepan Kerkyasharian, former president of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board. Photo: Domino Postiglione Chris Puplick, president of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board in the 1990s.


Two high-profile former presidents of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board have criticised the Baird government for abandoning what was once a leading voice for social harmony, at a time when discord over a marriage equality plebiscite and racial tension is at a peak.

It has been revealed the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board has had no board members for 10 months, and only an acting president, after the resignation of long-serving president Stepan Kerkyasharian in January.

The failure to replace four board members whose terms expired in December and recruit a permanent president has been criticised by Mr Kerkyasharian and former NSW Liberal senator Chris Puplick, who headed the board for a decade until 2002.

“Amid one of the most divisive and difficult debates, turning on questions of race, gender and ethnicity, they should be there leading the framework of the debate,” Mr Puplick said.

“I can’t think of a time when it was more important to have a balanced advocate in the community. An advocate who understands the appropriate balance between free speech and freedom of expression in a flourishing democratic debate on the one hand, and the limited rules about vilification and racial abuse and sexual harassment.”

Mr Puplick said political divisions over whether to hold a same-sex marriage plebiscite largely centred on whether the public could engage in a “decent discussion” without resorting to vilification.

The board’s absence is also causing concern among ethnic community groups as one community leader says privately it reflects poorly on the Baird government’s commitment to social cohesion at a time of increasing polarisation and fear.

Mr Kerkyasharian, a founder of multiculturalism in NSW, held the dual roles of chief executive of the Community Relations Commission and president of the board for a decade from 2003. “I consider it important that the board positions be filled and there be a president,” he said. “It is vital at this point in time. It should be there to provide advice and impartial and informed leadership in the community.”

The board’s administrative staff continue to process discrimination complaints and conciliate cases, but are unable to perform the wider role of reviewing government legislation, making policy recommendations and participating in legal action.

The board’s manager of inquiries and conciliation Elizabeth Wing has been acting in the president’s role since January. A NSW budget estimates hearing was told by the Department of Justice acting deputy secretary Amanda Torres that Ms Wing was “a temporarily appointed president”.

Mr Kerkyasharian said it was important to have a permanent president. “It provides greater comfort in terms of the person’s capacity to act impartially,” he said.

Mr Puplick said: “The Attorney-General’s Department has always hated statutory bodies that have independence from them.”

The NSW shadow attorney-general Paul Lynch linked the failure to reappoint the board with the Baird government’s inaction on a 2013 parliamentary inquiry recommendation to change the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act to make it easier for vilification charges to be laid.

Under section 20D, the president of the board must refer vilification complaints to the Attorney-General, but the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution has never prosecuted a case in NSW.

“Failing for 10 months to fill vacancies reflects the government’s disinterest in fighting discrimination,” Mr Lynch said. “They have known literally for years that these positions were becoming vacant. They are statutory positions. The government can’t pretend they don’t exist.

“This parallels the Attorney-General’s promise to introduce legislation to amend s20D of the act last year and her failure to do so.”

A spokeswoman for the NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton said the acting president was continuing to carry out the board’s functions: “We expect to fill the board positions soon.”

The board received 1058 formal complaints in 2014-15 and 3881 inquiries. Disability discrimination (22 per cent), race discrimination and vilification (15 per cent), sex discrimination (6 per cent) and age discrimination (5 per cent) were the top issues raised.

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Soccer: Blockbuster derby next up for Kevin Muscat’s men after Brisbane Roar snatch late point

Melbourne Victory boss  Kevin Muscat had the look of a man who had pulled off the perfect smash and grab only to be stopped at gunpoint at the end of the road and mugged of his prize by his victim.


And well he might after Brisbane Roar stole an equaliser with the last kick of the game in a 1-1 season opening draw at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night in which Muscat gave A-League debuts to new signings Alan Baro, James Donachie and Mitch Austin as well as a “welcome back” first appearance to James Troisi, beginning his second stint with the club.

Match officials had signalled five minutes of stoppage time, but the clock was just five seconds short of the six minute mark of added time when Luke De Vere got on the end of a goalmouth scramble to loop the ball over the defence and stranded goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas’s head to give the 10-man Roar a share of the points which, up to that second, looked destined to be heading south.

Victory appeared to have pulled off the perfect smash and grab raid when, with eight minutes remaining and Brisbane reduced to 10 men after the dismissal of skipper Matty McKay with 25 minutes to play,  Austin smashed home a shot from inside the area after the Roar failed to deal with a cross from Fahid Ben Khalfallah.

After Austin’s goal it looked to be double jeopardy for McKay, who should have been celebrating his 200th A-League appearance for the club, until De Vere’s last gasp leveller.

Muscat has stressed throughout the near three years that he has been in charge of Victory that his team will play the game on its own terms, take the match to their opponents and not bother whether they are at home or away.

He was as good as his word this time round as Victory blasted out of the blocks and made the early running although Brisbane pegged them back after that early start in a contest that bore the hallmarks of an opening day stoush: plenty of enthusiasm, commitment and desperation from two teams keen to make an early statement of intent.

Between them Brisbane and Victory have won six of the 11 A-League championships that have been decided and both clubs are expected to be there in the front line this season.

Muscat has strengthened his squad not just by signing Baro, Austin and Donachie, but regaining Troisi and another international, Kiwi Marco Rojas, who is also joining for a second period with the club. The tricky New Zealander was on international duty with the All Whites so missed the trip to Brisbane.

Muscat says Rojas will be back just 24 hours before next Saturday’s blockbuster derby clash with Melbourne City but will play some role in that game as long as he is fit.

The Victory coach said that while his players would undoubtedly be downcast after giving away such a late equaliser they had no reason to be.

“I thought we were very good value, not to concede too many chances, we dominated possession in the first half especially.

“The second half was an arm wrestle and with the amount of fouls it was only a matter of time before someone went.

“I thought James (Donachie) and Alan (Baro) were outstanding … they handled themselves very well. James Troisi brings a great deal of calmness in possession. Fahid had to play a different role for us tonight and he had a good appetite for the game, taking up selfless positions to create space for others.

“They will be downcast, but I won’t allow it. I am pleased with the performance.”

Muscat was particularly happy to have a fully fit and engaged Carl Valeri back in action.

“He brings a lot of calmness to us when we haven’t got the ball, he is obviously very tactically astute, he calms people around him. It’s like we have signed a new player this season.

For Brisbane Brett Holman, the former Socceroo midfielder who has joined the Queensland club this season, put in a good shift for his first 60 minutes and coach John Aloisi will be looking forward to the impact he can have when he gets fully into the Brisbane groove.

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A country that once built cars: A sad goodbye to a manufacturing industry

Moving on: Holden engineers are being offered new opportunities abroad, as well as outside the company. Sacked Ford workers leaving the Broadmeadows plant at the end of their last shift. Photo: Penny Stephens


Ford Australia’s Broadmeadows plant has stopped running. Photo: Supplied

To my mates and me, the acrid fumes from the automotive paint and subsequent baking booths merely provided enough cover for our most daring stunt yet – smoking cigarettes right under the nose of one of our most reviled and authoritarian teachers.

With those hydrocarbons swirling about, who knows how dangerous this really was?

This was the 1970s and, not for the first time, we were being led around the sprawling Chrysler-Mitsubishi factory by our technical studies teacher and a company guide.

As they shouted over a cacophony of noise and the occasional shower of sparks, explaining the various stages in the automotive production line, we took advantage, whenever they weren’t looking, to lug on the illicit fags held cupped and lit in our lumber-jacket pockets.

If memory serves, on the production line that day in the Tonsley plant on Adelaide’s southern industrial fringe, were the first of the jointly badged Japanese-Australian vehicles. They may have been the Valiant Gallants, or Colts and Sigmas, or perhaps the bigger Valiants in the ’70s – in sedan and station-wagon and utility format – and the racier Valiant Charger, a Dodge-derived, yet only half-successful, foil to the Falcon GTs and Holden Monaros.

As teenage boys, we were pretty well all car nuts, linking our aspiring vehicle ownership with the freedom and independence we naturally craved.

Among my crew, a number of mates fully expected to wind up in the plant as soon as they were old enough – assembling crankshafts, spot-welding panels, fitting exhausts or perhaps installing windscreens.

These were realistic, attainable, goals born of visible horizons.

As for our car plans, we coveted only Holdens, Fords, and Valiants.

The production line was just that. We’d seen most of it before anyway. After all, for me, this was (I think) my third school excursion to the giant car-making complex.

I guess it was a default choice for teachers – an easily arranged local sojourn from the two schools I attended, situated as both were, just kilometres either side of the factory.

Car making formed the axis point of much employment and interconnected economic activity in the city’s south. A nascent wine-making industry in the nearby Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale was talking off but that was largely a rural pursuit.

Towards Adelaide’s northern outskirts, lay Holden’s Elizabeth plant. These major employers, Holden and Chrysler-Mitsubishi, were the bridge pylons of the SA economy during the heyday of Australian manufacturing.

And they seemed every bit as permanent as the city itself.

It was a similar story across the border in Victoria where legendary manufacturing plants like Ford’s Geelong and Broadmeadows sites and GM Holden’s Fisherman’s Bend – where Ben Chifley had greeted the first “FX” Holden rolling off the production line in 1948 – were household names.

Not long after this however, Chrysler, which had long been the financially weaker of the three Australian-American big boys, folded and the Tonsley plant became a solely Mitsubishi affair turning out some pretty gormless marques like the front-wheel-drive Magna.

This trailed the rise of the Japanese car industry, noted for smaller, cheaper, more fuel-efficient cars. But even this was a mere way-station on the road to oblivion.

On Friday, the last Holden Cruze rolled off the production line in Holden’s Elizabeth plant and Ford ceased its manufacturing operations altogether at its Broadmeadows and Geelong sites.

The Falcon, a staple of Australian roads, winner of countless head-to-head races against Holden, and apple of many a young Australian’s eye, will also die.

Holden will continue making some vehicles, as will Toyota, but by this time next year Australia will be a country that once built cars.

Thousands of people will have been tossed out of work – 600 by Ford last week alone.

Some will have re-trained and started new careers already. Others will keep looking for months and perhaps pick up some hours.

Many will not work again, as was the case for about a third of the car-workers turfed out of Tonsley when Mitsubishi finally wound up in South Australia in 2008.

As Labor’s Kim Carr, a tireless defender of the Australian car industry, said on Friday, the two areas where Ford is shutting manufacturing are notable for joblessness rates well above the national average – as high as 22 per cent.

“Youth unemployment is harder to gauge, but on some estimates it is as high as 40 per cent in Melbourne’s north-west,” he wrote.

“Many of the Broadmeadows workers are also older and from non-English speaking backgrounds, which makes job hunting harder even at the best of times.”

Given that the entire sector had to be propped up by taxpayers to defy the allure of cheaper labour in China and Thailand, its demise has been coming for a decades.

That doesn’t make it less significant.

I guess the idea of taking kids to a local manufacturing plant seems pretty curious today. But then, like many people, I now drive a German car.

Mark Kenny is chief political correspondent.

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Phil Hughes coroner inquest: Cricket world prepares for a ‘very tough week’

Inquest: A dynamic batsman, Phil Hughes was struck on the head by a bouncer. Photo: Hamish BlairThe Australian cricket community is bracing for a “very tough week” when the painful memories of the death of former Test cricketer Phil Hughes are re-lived at a week-long coroner’s inquest in Sydney.


State coroner Michael Barnes will examine the death of Hughes, who was struck below the helmet to the left upper side of his neck when batting for South Australia against NSW in a Sheffield Shield match at the SCG in November 2014. The injury to his neck caused a haemorrhage in the brain and he died in hospital two days later.

The inquest, beginning on Monday, will focus on the factors surrounding Hughes’ death, including the number of bouncers delivered at him. Whether protective gear could have prevented his death or minimised injury and the response time of ambulances will also be examined.

Several witnesses are set to take to the stand, with fast bowler Sean Abbott, who was bowling when Hughes was struck, likely to be one.

Cricket Australia, the Hughes family, NSW Ambulance, Sydney Cricket Ground Trust and NSW Police have engaged legal representation. NSW Ambulance had failed to provide the coroner at a directions hearing in June with information as to how it had improved its procedures since Hughes’ death. When contacted by Fairfax Media, NSW Ambulance said it would leave its comments for the inquiry.

Hughes, 25, was given medical attention from CA’s chief medical officer Dr John Orchard and Dr Tim Stanley, an intensive care specialist who was at the match as a spectator, before an ambulance arrived 20 minutes after he was hit.

Great loss: Phil Hughes is honoured in his hometown in Macksville, NSW. Photo: Edwina Pickles

Mark Taylor, a Cricket Australia board director and former captain, spoke for the cricketing community when he said “next week is going to be a very tough week”.

“I think what we have learnt is, and what we have always tried to do, is keep players as safe as you possibly can,” he said.

“At the same time, we also realise that no matter what sport you play, there is a certain amount of risk involved in that sport. The whole Phil Hughes tragedy has certainly reinforced those thoughts, no doubt about that.

“It’s going to be a really tough week for the players involved, particularly those who are still playing because obviously their thoughts are on the various sides they are playing in, doing well, maybe getting picked to play for Australia, we don’t know, and, at the same time, a lot of these very tough memories are going to be rekindled, which is going to make it tough for them.”

The hearing will also examine whether there are more appropriate ways for the media to cover such tragedies, better balancing the public interest with the feelings of the family concerned. Major media outlets have provided submissions.

An independent, 62-page review of Hughes’ death by Melbourne barrister David Curtain QC and released in May found that had Hughes even been wearing a more modern helmet and a neck guard, it was unlikely the incident would have been avoided.

Hughes, who had played 26 Tests and 25 one-day internationals for Australia, had been wearing a Masuri brand helmet which was Australian Standard compliant but not compliant with the more recent British Standard.

Curtain also said he did not believe any lack of medical attention contributed to Hughes’ death. A mobile emergency MediCab arrived mid-pitch within three minutes of him being struck.

When the report was released, CA chief executive James Sutherland said he hoped the inquiry would not lead to more restrictions on short-pitched bowling.

“You’ll see in the brief terms of reference we gave David Curtain that we needed to draw a line about the laws of the game and to have some perspective around that,” Sutherland said. “You can make the game of cricket a lot safer by playing with a tennis ball, but that’s not how Test cricket has been played and it would obviously be a very different game.

“We’re not wanting to go there, but we do need to find the right balance in the circumstances to not compromise the way the game’s played and not compromise the way in which the players are best equipped to show their skills.”

CA has since strengthened its protocols around head knocks and concussion, even introducing concussion substitutes in the ongoing Matador one-day domestic series.

“We have tried to do everything we can to at least learn as many lessons as we can but, from a personal point, no matter what you do, there is always a certain amount of risk in everything you do,” Taylor said.

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Momentum for day-night cricket Tests continues to build

Test cricket’s foray into a day-night format will gather pace this week – despite players still having reservations.


The opening Test between Pakistan and the West Indies in Dubai will be played with the Kookaburra pink ball, albeit one that has been upgraded since last summer’s inaugural Test under lights between Australia and New Zealand in Adelaide.

This latest Test comes days after the England and Wales Cricket Board acknowledged the time had come to host a day-night Test, with this to happen against the West Indies at Edgbaston in August.

The English use the Dukes cricket ball, with that manufacturer working to have a pink ball ready for the Test. However, it’s understood Melbourne-based Kookaburra will consider making a pitch for its ball to be used.

Kookaburra has continued to upgrade its pink ball, with the latest version – a new black seam replacing a green and white seam – earning a favourable response from players when trialled in the Sheffield Shield last summer.

“We’ve been developing the pink ball for 10 years and feel we lead the way as evidenced by its use in the Australian day-night Tests, first-class matches in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka and this week’s Test in Dubai,” a Kookaburra spokesman said.

“If the opportunity came up to trial our current pink ball for first-class cricket in England we’d love the opportunity. It appears that only the original development pink ball has been trialled there and we’re all aware of how much the ball has developed since then through to its use in first-class and Test cricket.”

Australian players had complained they had trouble sighting the pink ball through twilight and at night but it’s hoped the black seam helps to rectify this.

The Kookaburra ball has also been trialled in India’s Duleep Trophy but fast bowlers there have complained about a lack of reverse swing – typically a key weapon on the sub-continent and something Mitchell Starc exploited magnificently in Sri Lanka this year.

Kookaburra responded by declaring its primary concern was making the ball retain its shine for as long as possible, and to do this required more lacquer on the ball. Reverse swing is generated when one side of the ball becomes scuffed.

Board of Control for Cricket president Anurag Thakur said more work was needed before his board would rubber-stamp a day-night Test.

“As far as trying it in Duleep Trophy under lights is concerned, it was a big success. But you need to look at the overall picture before you take the final call. I think we need to look into many areas before we take the final call. I would like to go into details in a scientific manner to take the final call,” he told Indian reporters.

Cricket Australia’s fondness for the concept – driven by the desire to ensure the game’s traditional format remains relevant, and can generate strong broadcast ratings in prime time, boosting advertising – will see two pink-ball Tests this summer. Adelaide will again play host to the pink ball, in the third Test against South Africa, while a pink ball will also be used in the opening Test against Pakistan at the Gabba.

Players’ concerns about the quality of the ball used in day-night Tests are set to be reaffirmed at this week’s annual meeting of the Federation of International Cricketers Association in Cape Town, South Africa.

In FICA’s 2016 structural review of world cricket, players also argued that “innovation with potential such as day-night Test cricket is individually pursued without collective vision or direction”.

While Test cricket is healthy in England, ECB chief executive Tom Harrison said day-night Tests could attract a wider audience. The ECB also felt it necessary to help their players adjust to the pink ball ahead of the 2017-18 Ashes series, as CA will schedule at least one day-night clash.

“It’s useful to have one before we go to Australia. Giving guys the chance to play with a pink ball under lights, before an Ashes Test in similar conditions,” Harrison said.

“It’s a good opportunity to stick a stake in the ground to say we are keen to innovate.”

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Bernard Foley warming to No.12 role for Wallabies

Relishing new role: Bernard Foley is preparing himself for a long stay at No. 12. Photo: Stuart Walmsley/ARU mediaLondon: When you ask Bernard Foley if deep down he wants to be back at five-eighth for the Wallabies, he pauses for a second.


“No.10 is all I’ve known, so it’s the position I played for many, many years and played with Cheik [coach Michael Cheika] for many years,” he says.

Foley pauses briefly again, thinks, then continues.

“But I’m actually enjoying this challenge at [number] 12 and learning through every game I play,” he says. “Whether it’s 10 or 12, it hasn’t changed too much what I want to do on the field.”

With Quade Cooper putting his name forward as a possible long-term five-eighth for Australia, Foley has revealed he would be prepared to make a permanent switch to inside centre for the Wallabies, and even the NSW Waratahs, if need be.

“Anything’s possible,” Foley says. “If they need someone to crash it up, they can use me. It’s probably a discussion I’ll have with Daryl [Gibson, Waratahs coach] now that Kurtley [Beale] is not there.”

Beale has left NSW for the supposedly greener pastures of English club Wasps leaving the Waratahs with a No.12 hole to fill in their roster.

However, the idea of shifting Foley one position wider in the back line raises another problem: finding a five-eighth of equal quality to fill his usual spot.

The irony in all this is Foley and Beale, despite having immense respect and nothing but praise for one another, could be battling it out for the Wallabies No.12 jersey once Beale returns from a knee injury later in the year.

“Speaking with him and having the odd conversation, he’s very diligent with his rehab,” Foley says. “He’s working hard just to get back on the field, so I don’t think you want to put the pressure on him to come back and play for the Wallabies. He’s just got to get his body right and whenever that is, he’s an asset to any team he plays in.”

Foley says, in some ways, he is developing his craft at No.12 with a focus on what Beale did so well: not being your prototype inside centre.

“Kurtley, I don’t think you could say, was a traditional 12, or a classic 12,” Foley says. “He was a second ball player that when he stood up into first receiver he took the line on and he played his way. For me, I’m not trying to play the traditional 12 or just because there’s a 12 on my back doesn’t mean I can’t move around or I’ve got to be set in a certain channel.

“KB was an optimist who just loved having the ball in his hand. He loved to attack and he loved to take on defensive line, whether it be with his running game or his short passing or his long passing. As a 12 you just want to bring a vision for the game and an ability that you can link the inside backs with the outside backs.”

Dynamic duo: Bernard Foley and Quade Cooper. Photo: Dan Mullan

Foley’s switch from five-eighth was not just a by-product of Australia’s shock series mauling by England in June, but had to do with Cheika’s steadfast belief that two playmakers is the best way to have a well-oiled back line.

“How did we lose that series?” is a common phrase uttered among Wallabies players and coaching staff in reference to the humiliation handed out by Eddie Jones’ men.

The series was a steep learning curve for then five-eighth Foley who, after some months of reflection, believes a shorter preparation is the most logical explanation as to why the Wallabies were off their game.

“Looking back on it there’s still a lot of question marks about it,” Foley says. “As a tournament where we went in with such great optimism. The short preparation told and it probably showed a little bit. In those games it was a sense that we played some really good attacking rugby. In two Test matches you score five tries – you shouldn’t be losing those Test matches.

“That’s probably the question of getting that balance right between Super Rugby and playing Test match rugby, which probably we didn’t adjust quick enough to.”

Modelling himself on Beale: Foley wants to replicate the non-traditional style of Kurtley Beale in the No. 12 jersey. Photo: Dan Mullan

Foley says he’s a better player for that series and the fact Australia has picked the same back line for four Tests in a row now can only help moving forward.

He and Cooper are tight and have regular coffee dates, while the back line brigade are quite into their cards at the moment (those in the know say things can get pretty competitive).

Asked whether he thought Cheika would continue to back he and Cooper as the side’s chief playmakers as they slowly become attuned to their own idiosyncrasies, Foley says: “I think so. Cheika’s a good man manager and a mentor. He has an ability to connect with players and get the best out of them.

“I think for the likes of Quade and I, or for anyone in this team, it’s just being the best player you can be. It’s not that you’re going to make magical leaps and bounds every day but it’s just being consistent in your preparation.”

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Racing: When a filly flowers she blooms – just ask Gai Waterhouse about her glamour girl

Kerrin McEvoy riding Global Glamour wins the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield Racecourse on Saturday. Photo: Vince Caligiuri Kerrin McEvoy, aboard Global Glamour, celebrates the win as he crosses the line. Photo: Vince Caligiuri


When fillies hit  form in the spring there is no predicting what heights they can reach – and there is no better authority than Gai Waterhouse for knowing when a three year old filly is poised to bloom and blossom.

She took the road less travelled with her lightly raced filly Global Glamour when she decided to chase two group 1 prizes in seven days, by backing her up in the Thousand Guineas at Caulfield just a week after she had taken out the Flight Stakes at Randwick.

But the bold strategy paid off when the daughter of Star Witness led from the start under Kerrin McEvoy to land the big prize at odds of $4.40, scoring by a length from outsider I Am A Star ($21), with the WA raider Whispering Brook ($8.50) shrugging off her disappointing effort at Caulfield last start to finish a half neck away in third place.

Global Glamour looked to have the world at her feet back in January when she won by more than six lengths in a Kembla Grange maiden at her first start. But she was sidelined for the rest of her two-year-old season and she only made her reappearance in September.

Two runs at group 2 level got her fully tuned up for the Flight Stakes last weekend, when she delivered on her potential, and she went on with the job on Saturday.

“Adrian (co-trainer Adrian Bott) and I would not have brought her down here unless we thought she would be very hard to beat,” Waterhouse said.

“We said to the owners this is what we want to do. I know it is a bit unorthodox but these fillies, when they peak they are a bit like a blooming flower.

“There were no other options for her. She hasn’t missed a beat all week so I thought why not give it a go.

“All I told Kerrin was to replicate what Tim Clark did last week – and she will do the rest.”

And she did in impressive style. McEvoy used the filly’s speed to get away quickly to cross and take the lead, and he measured his pace exactly, saving enough to repel the challengers down the straight.

“She’s classy. The last two runs she’s done it correctly, got out into a nice rhythm. She’s got a good turn of foot, she’s a classy filly for sure. Its a good buzz to be able to win on her today,” her jockey said.

“She was relaxed underneath me. I was pretty happy throughout,” added McEvoy.

Bott, who became Waterhouse’s assistant trainer this season, simply said: “She’s an absolute star. She’s proven herself to be a very special filly today. We thought that from a very young age. She won brilliantly on her debut by six lengths and we thought she was going to be one of our favourites going into the Golden Slipper.

“That didn’t work out, but she’s come back in such good order, having such a long time off the scene she was a little bit fresh in her first couple of races.

“We threw her in the deep end and with those couple of starts under her belt she is really seasoned. We saw her put it all together last start and today she took it to a new level again.”.

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Winx raises tempo after slow start to win Caulfield Stakes in a crescendo

The expectation with Winx is that she should win. She did that again in the Caulfield Stakes, which started as a Saturday stroll and worked to a crescendo, exactly what Hugh Bowman and Chris Waller had wanted.


The victory moved her record to 12 straight wins, eight of them group 1s, but her biggest test waits in two weeks in the Cox Plate and Bowman was mindful of that.

“I had no expectation about the race other than she would win,” he said.

Waller could only hope things were going to go to plan because by raceday, his work is done. When the pressure went on from the 1000m, Winx was in her element.

“I have Mr Cool, Hugh Bowman, out there with her and she actually handles everything better than I do,” Waller said.

“I feel the public expectation more than the pressure and the last 200 was a lot easier than the first 1800 in that race.

“I got everything I wanted to get out of the race. We go on to the Cox Plate now.

“I think everyone will build on it, that’s what we are here for, the sport. If you can’t build something off this … I think it’s going to be a really good spring carnival.”

So Winx is a $1.90 favourite to defend her Cox Plate crown while Hartnell, a $3 chance, awaits. It will be a serious contest for a serious mare.

“Everything she does is serious,” Waller said. “You will give her a couple of couple of pats and then it’s like: ‘enough of that.’

“She is a bit like that – all business. That’s why she is so good.”

The early part of the Caulfield Stakes was like a track gallop but Winx roared home, clocking 56.83 seconds for her final 1000m, which was as good as any sprinter for the afternoon.

Black Heart Bart, which had led until well into the straight, was left two lengths in Winx’s wake at the post. He Or She was another four lengths away. They were the support act for the champion, who drew applause as she crossed the line.

It was a relief for Waller because of the nature of the contest, which reminded him of a barrier trial.

“She had never won a barrier trial but this was a race,” Waller said. “She is just a superstar and when it comes to things like this – it is very serious. She gets her job done.”

Bowman had to earn his fee, repaying what Winx had done for him on other occasions.

“I wanted her to have a good gallop and that’s why I wanted the pressure to go before the turn,” he said.

“The race actually worked out how I wanted it when Brad [Rawiller on Black Heart Bart] started to build pressure from the 1200m.

“I did get worried for a couple of strides around the turn for about three strides.

“I had to help her there but she has helped me in races before and Chris has helped both of us.

“By the 200m the others were out of carrots and she was just getting going.”

Rawiller believes Black Heart Bart could challenge in the Cox Plate, if he can become the stalker rather than stalked.

“She didn’t trounce us, she was too good on the day but the Cox Plate will be a different race with a different level of pressure,” Rawiller said.

“No doubt my horse is better when he is chasing, so bring it on.

“[Winx] is what she is, the best horse in Australia and she was that today but in two weeks’ time, who knows and my horse is right in it.”

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