I’m going to make a big call and say the best rugby news of 2019 was revealed today. News that cannot be surpassed by a Waratah Super Rugby Championship, a Wallabies World Cup victory or even Israel Folau signing a 145 year deal with Rugby Australia. No, in what is possibly the greatest news since sliced bread is (drumroll);
NICK PHIPPS IS MOVING TO EUROPE!!!!
Having signed with London Irish, 2019 will be his last in Australia.
Whilst many admire Nick for his work rate, persistence and positive attitude, I cannot stand him as a rugby player. He is the epitome of what is wrong with rugby in this country.
He is a competent player, who has the rugby IQ to play well. He has consistently been surrounded by quality players, good coaching and has been contracted in order to focus on rugby.
Yet he has never lived up to his potential. Never consistently fired at the level he is clearly capable of. It cuts me to the core to consistently see a player of his calibre fail, time and time again. He should be a great, but he is mediocre at best.
In what has become an all too familiar story, the Waratahs (or Wallabies for that matter) have got the ball, we are losing by less than a converted try as time expires. As we maintain possession in the relentless push toward potential glory one of two things happen. Either:
1) Nick Phipps knocks on/ doesn’t clear the ball quick enough. (Unforced error)
2) Nick Phipps throws a forward pass/pass into touch. (Bad pass)
You watch a replay of any loss from these two teams over the last 5 years and I’d love to see the stats on who made the final error. Yes, I know. He’s the halfback, so statistically he is the most likely player on the field to touch the ball, hence increasing the chances of him being the culprit. He is, and should be better than that.
It goes without saying the selectors have seen something in him. They have clearly seen the potential. Otherwise he wouldn’t have 71 test caps for the Wallabies and (frustratingly) be eligible for Wallabies selection from over seas (thanks Giteau’s law).
But nothing is more frustrating that unrealised potential. In the right place, with the right information, good support and a desire to do good, yet still falling short.
It’s with great sadness that I observe many struggling with the ‘Nick Phipps’ disorder within the church. Men and women, who have met Jesus, living lives well below their potential.
The good news of Jesus sets us free from the oppression of living lives as slaves to idols of all kinds (money, family, relationships, work, over indulgences, etc.).
Yet there are churches everywhere with members who fail to be transformed. In the right place, hearing the right information, with good support and wanting to do good, but falling short of even their own expectations.
You are not saved by the stuff you do, but saved people do stuff…
Jesus says you judge a tree by it’s fruit. Good trees bear good fruit. And bad trees, bad. (– Matthew 7:16-17 Paraphrase)
You can’t be a good rugby player, without ever playing good rugby.
You can’t be a good follower of Jesus, without ever following Jesus…
Nick Phipps is gone without living up to his potential,
Are you living up to yours?