Will rugby league pillage rugby again?
185 Have your say
Aces Andrew Walker runs with the ball. AAP Image/Tony Phillips
Remember the bad old days when rugby league pillaged the then defenceless amateur rugby code of its best players on a regular basis?
You had better, because there’s every chance rugby is in for a repeat dose with rugby league clubs about to be cashed up under the code’s new TV deal.
Not that too many current Wallabies will be targetted the way they are playing.
Most should be sacked.
But in many ways, those same Wallabies are playing for the 15-man code’s future.
What self-respecting teenager would want to be part of an easy-beat and frail Wallaby structure?
This must be an uppercut wake-up call to the ARU and all five Australian Super Rugby franchises to get off their respective butts and lock away talented schoolboys before the league swoops.
And league will; rugby can count on it.
And league’s potential plundering will be made easier with growing dissent within Wallaby ranks against Robbie Deans’ coaching methods and that of his support staff.
A weak cop-out when those at fault are the Wallabies themselves: their pride and passion for the jersey down the toilet.
Ignore all the media hype that this All Black side is one of the greatest in New Zealand’s illustrious rugby history. The image is bollocks.
There have been many great All Black sides over the years, that’s why the men-in-black have won 369 of their 489 internationals, or 76%.
Only the Wallabies, with 41 wins from 145 (28%), the Boks with 34 wins from 83 (41%), France with 12 from 51 (24%), the Lions with six from 38 (16%), England six from 34 (18%), and Wales three from 28 (11%), have ever beaten the All Blacks in history.
They are just far better than any other country at the moment and therefore not vulnerable to league raids.
Not so with the Wallabies.
To remind the older Roarers of those bad old days and tell the younger Roarers had bad it was:
Since World War 11: Trevor Allan, Ken Kearney, Rex Mossop, Arthur Summons, Mike Cleary, Jimmy Lisle, Dick Thornett, Kevin Ryan, Bob Honan, Phil Hawthorne, John Brass, Stephen Knight, Geoff Richardson, Ray Price, Michael O’Connor, Ricky Stuart, Scott Gourley, and Andrew Walker.
Other notable Wallabies to switch who didn’t become dual internationals like the above:
Wallaby captain Peter Sullivan, Tony Melrose, Brett Papworth, Russell Fairfax, Andrew Leeds, Mitchell Cox, Barry Stumbles, Tony D’Arcy, John Ryan, James Grant, and Darren Junee.
Since rugby turned pro in 1996 and could retaliate, just four Kangaroos won Wallaby selection: Wendell Sailor, Mat Rogers, Lote Tuqiri, and Timana Tahu.
So ARU, and the five Australian franchises, make sure that doesn’t happen again.
The ball is entirely in your respective courts for survival.
Wallabes vs Wales - Scott Allen's match highlights -