Live Q&A with ARU CEO Bill Pulver – from 1pm AEDT

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    The ARU needs your help to plan for the future of the game. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

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    Australian Rugby Union CEO Bill Pulver joined us on The Roar for an hour today to answer all your questions on the game in Australia.

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    Following Brett McKay’s article last week on the state of rugby union in Australia, we provided Bill with some questions, which he answered in his article on The Roar yesterday.

    Here are just a couple of Bill’s responses from today to get you started. Scroll through the comments for the rest!

    TembaVJ:
    Will there be a cap on the ticket prices clubs my charge for the NRC, are there plans to keep it low and get people to the games?

    BP: The decision on ticket prices for NRC games will be the responsibility of the teams involved. However, the organiser’s are eager to promote attendance to these games and therefore we expect pricing to be very affordable.

    Nicholas Wilson
    Hi Bill, are you able to tell us anything about plans to explore online streaming/subscription options in future broadcasting deals?

    BP: “The current broadcast agreement with Fox Sports, gives them exclusive rights over all media platforms, including digital.

    The next SANZAR broadcast agreement will be for the period 2016-2020 and while we do expect the digital component of this to be far more significant, in our negotiations, it’s premature to predict the final outcome.

    Suffice to say, that from the perspective of the ARU, we’ll be looking for a far greater influence from digital media during this next contract period.”

    Eddard:
    Hi Bill, thanks for doing this. I’d like to ask what is the long term vision for super rugby (or the 2nd tier)? What do you think the competition will look like in 10 years (in terms of number of teams, new markets, conference structure etc)?

    BP: “For the period of 2016-2020, we do envisage in the expansion of the number of teams from 15 to 18, with the involvement of Argentina, a sixth South African team and one other to be determined by SANZAR.

    While this is not been resolved at a SANZAR level at this stage, further expansion would be up for consideration over the next ten years or so.

    In short, we would like Super Rugby to remain the most pre-eminent provincial Rugby competition in the world.”

    Tom
    Being a country boy recently moving to Canberra to study and joining a Premier Div team this year, I’ve noticed a massive shift in talent within my club and the opposition. It highlighted to me the poor development opportunities back hom. Do you intend to spend any time or money on improving the development pathways for country players and will the NRC help improve the quality of club players in the country, whether they are junior or senior? Proof of a lack of ‘standard’ comes in the number of players in junior age groups from NSW country that are then selected for NSW.

    BP: Tom, good question, thank you.

    There is a great Rugby community in our country areas that are currently feeling a little dis-engaged with the game.

    The player development pathway we are putting in place is attempting to address this problem.

    It starts with the Junior Gold Cup program for under 15s and under 17s, that caters for 48 teams from around the country to participate in this competition from February until April.

    It then goes to the Schoolboys level and under 20s level, which provides for participation by country teams.

    And now with the launch of the National Rugby Championship, I’m delighted to say that we’ll have a NSW Country team and a Queensland Country team as part of our efforts to re-engage with the country community.

    We will also have some exciting news soon about the Wallabies engaging with country communities in the lead-up to the first Bledisloe Test.

    READ MORE:
    » The Roar’s burning questions for ARU CEO Bill Pulver

    » Bill Pulver answers your burning rugby questions

    » SPIRO: The ARU Gospel according to Bill Pulver

    Bill Pulver was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Australian Rugby Union (ARU) in February 2013. Throughout his career, he has lived and worked in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia across a diverse range of industries including media, research, internet, sports marketing and linguistics.
    Mr Pulver holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of New South Wales.

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