Cannon gives ARU a dressing down, but the Force is not felt

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    Of all the absurdities aired during the Western Force’s Super Rugby axing saga, Brendan Cannon’s dig at Australian Rugby Union chairman Cameron Clyne for not wearing a coat and tie at the announcement tops the list.

    “The perception, Cameron, is that you were disrespectfully underdressed for what was the most significant announcement in Australian rugby history,” Cannon wrote in a column for News Limited a few weeks ago.

    On Wednesday night on Fox Sports’ Kick & Chase, the former Wallabies hooker was all too willing to again bring up the sartorial subject – the kind of ridiculously fringe comment in complex and emotional times that gets the eyes rolling.

    “I do note that Cameron Clyne wore a tie today,” Cannon said of Clyne’s most recent media appearance.
    It was stated with the resentment of someone who would like to believe Clyne donned a pair of Okanuis and a Bintang singlet instead of a perfectly acceptable white collared shirt.

    “It’s all about perception,” Cannon continued.

    Cannon, I assume, has been Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s head of wardrobe over the past week, given how much he’s gone into bat for the Force. Twiggy looked splendid in a dark suit, white tie and yellow and black tie on Tuesday as he revealed how the Force may not be with you, in Australia. At least not with the ARU.

    My perception is that Force supporters seem willing to push the line that the game is thriving in the west, taking on the might of the AFL and making inroads.

    Rugby isn’t thriving in Western Australia. The Indian Premier League is thriving. The NBA is thriving. The English Premier League is thriving. Fans are rushing for more of those leagues, sponsors are pleading for a piece of the action and broadcasters are keen to throw millions at governing bodies.

    When the Force was established in 2006, the average crowd for Force home games in Perth was about 28,000. This season, they dropped below 10,000. Even as the Force were crying out to prove they were worth investing in, there was only a minor increase from 2016.

    The Force’s overall win rate is 32 per cent. They were bailed out less than two years ago. Twiggy walked in ready to buy everyone drinks and pay for the band at 11.58pm when the nightclub was set to close at midnight.

    Even though I believe the Melbourne Rebels should’ve been booted, my perception is that rugby isn’t the charging bull in Western Australia that some would have us believe. There’s no doubt been some growth and rugby has gotten some traction, but that hasn’t translated into a financially stable professional club.

    The cost savings can help address the imbalance between the money heading to the professional tier in Australia and the cash shortfall in grassroots investment.

    If we cast our minds forward to the post-2020 Super Rugby world, what’s to say the Force won’t return to the elite level? There’s a strong case that the South African teams will head to Europe and Australia will join New Zealand – and perhaps a few Asian and Pacific teams – in setting up a new competition, one that is less convoluted and fan-friendly.

    Pekahou Cowan Western Force Super Rugby Union 2017

    (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

    Moving to perceptions of the Wallabies as they prepare to take on the Springboks in Perth, some think the gutting loss in Dunedin was a turning point following the struggles since the 2015 World Cup. But I feel that it was a false dawn and the Wallabies are going to really struggle against the Boks. There were too many frailties that the Boks, steered around by a hard-edged forward pack, will be eager to exploit.

    The first is the scrum. It’s tough to envisage how the Wallabies, who got hammered in that area in Dunedin, will compete with the Boks. Sean McMahon did extremely well to shovel back a fair bit of ball from No.8 as the scrum was back-pedalling, but it’s difficult to see him being as effective again.

    South Africa might therefore be happy to roll the dice in attack with plenty of off-loads and risky passes, comfortable in the knowledge they can push the Wallabies off the ball even against the feed. The front five of Tendai Mtawarira, Malcolm Marx, Coenie Oosthuizen, Francois Mostert and Eben Etzebeth are set to go into bully mode.

    Australia missed 37 tackles in Dunedin. The Boks, with coach Allister Coetzee finally picking more Lions players, are a whole lot more potent in attack. The Boks have scored more tries already this year (21) than they scored in 12 Tests last year (20).

    Unfortunately, I think the Boks will grab their first win in Australia since 2013. They’ve got too much muscle that will give them the advantage, even though Will Genia, Kurtley Beale and Israel Folau have lit up the Wallabies’ backline.

    There will be plenty of Springboks in the Perth crowd. Western Force fans have been told to consider wearing blue in support of the club or black for mourning.

    There may even be some Wallabies jerseys in the crowd. Dress appropriately. Brendan Cannon will be watching. At least turn up. Are we all united for the Wallabies? It’s all about perception.

    Will Knight
    Will Knight

    An AAP writer for more than a decade, Will Knight does his best to make sense of all things cricket, rugby union and rugby league, all while trying to have a laugh along the way. You can find him on Twitter @WKnightrider.

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    The Crowd Says (185)

    • September 8th 2017 @ 7:41am
      Rugbyfan said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:41am | ! Report

      The Force’s crowds this year were on par with the Brumbies and Rebels, very close to the Waratahs, and also close to where Reds crowds ended.

      Let’s be honest here… Canberra Melb and Perth are ever only going to be marginal propositions from a supporter point of view.

      But it’s the so called Heartlands that are truly crook. As a Reds fan I’m embarrassed by the administration of my home union during the professional era (bar a few outbreaks of competence).

      The professional game is sick. The status quo won’t help it regain its health. Cutting the Force is just another wound, not a surgical removal that might save the larger organisation.

      • September 8th 2017 @ 7:50am
        Matt Dustby said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:50am | ! Report

        Id check your stats – their crowds were nearly 60% lower than waratahs

        • September 8th 2017 @ 10:00am
          Rugbyfan said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

          Like the Reds I was thinking of where they finished the season – last game v Jags 10,900. But yes both Waratahs and Reds started the year with higher crowds.
          But let’s not think that for ‘heartlands’ the crowd numbers are worth celebrating

        • Roar Pro

          September 8th 2017 @ 11:46am
          Crazy Horse said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:46am | ! Report

          Perth (although growing rapidly) is half the size of Sydney, a supposed heartland state. Any reasonable person would expect Sydney crowds to be consistently at least double those of Perth.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm
            not so super said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:46pm | ! Report

            but he is still right

      • September 8th 2017 @ 3:48pm
        mark sargeant said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

        Personally getting rid of an Australian team is never going to be answer to the dismal Australian results 2017.
        I am sorry for you guys in West.
        Am I the only one who is considering where Australian Rugby goes if this years record is repeated next year.
        What would be considered to have justified the death of WA rugby , 1 win, 2 ,5.
        Or will it be smoothed over like the second Bledisloe as close enough is now good enough.

    • Roar Guru

      September 8th 2017 @ 7:43am
      Sam Taulelei said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

      Hi Will

      Crowd numbers is not the most scientific gauge of the depth of support for a team, but it did surprise that there wasn’t a late surge in attendance figures for the remaining Force home games.

      Regarding tomorrow nights test, when the Wallabies are expected to perform well, they often disappoint. Dunedin was unexpected to fans and experts and that tends to elevate the positives inaccurately and gloss over the negatives.

      The Boks have been consistent, just look at the similarities in scorelines of all their victories this year, the Wallabies have not and that adds the element of the unknown and unpredictability when assessing their chances.

      I just want to see a good game of rugby like Dunedin.

      • September 8th 2017 @ 7:54am
        Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:54am | ! Report

        yeah crowd sizes aren’t the whole picture, and on them all 5 teams should be in the discussion.

        From what I’ve been told though TV numbers are the lowest in WA for both Super Rugby and Wallabies games.

        Part of that is time zones means you get overlapping support for the other 4 teams.

        But that doesn’t change the contribution to TV rights and advertising revenue.

        But from what I’ve looked at Melbourne outrates Perth in test viewers so that clouds the discussion.

        If you are going to cut a team, surely the one that’s going to drag down the next TV rights contract value has to be a consideration too.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 10:33am
          Red Menace said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          “From what I’ve been told though TV numbers are the lowest in WA for both Super Rugby and Wallabies games.”

          Please supply the facts….you could very well be right but making a statement like that without backing it up with figures from an actual network is a bit, may I say, loose.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 11:02am
          Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:02am | ! Report

          It should be a consideration among many others, unfortunately it was not important as you know very well.

          As you stated before, it all came down to at the time when the ARU offered to cut a team that they knew that there is only one team they can lawfully cut. This ability to cut a team stems from use a cunning clause in the “Alliance/Support” agreement to turns the agreement into a “Betray/Destroy” agreement. A clause that the Rugby WA did not resist as the rational for the clause was to provide the ARU with the ability to centralise Australian rugby similar to emulate the success of the NZRU.

          The ARU did not aggressively pursue the Rebels license when Cox was prepared to sell, but waiting until the Force pursued a legal defence. That is when they needed a Plan B in case the Force’s legal defence was successful. However Cox was then not prepared to sell the license to them. There was from before the ARU offered to axe a team only one feasible alternative and that was to cut the Force.

          What Australian rugby supporters and the senate enquiry would like to understand from the ARU is why they acted in such an insensitive and dishonourable way. For example:
          – why the ARU only consulted with the WA stakeholders AFTER they already made the decision to cut the Force and not before they made the decision
          – why the ARU handled such a sensitive issues in such an insensitive way and alienated the WA government as well as the WA rugby supporters
          – why the ARU dressed this decision up in a selection process that at best was a farce
          – why the ARU, a national governing body still have no Plan B to soften the blow on the WA rugby public
          – why the ARU is not prepared to revisit their decision when the assumptions that they thought were true at the time they made the decision are not true anymore
          – what alternative strategies the ARU came up to axe the Force for in case they loose the appeal
          – and why the Chairman and ARU Board continue to lie to rugby supporters and public when the truth is obvious to even and ARU apologists like TWAS. For example to tell us Forrest came late and should have been supporting the Force in April is nonsense as the ARU offered to axe a team in March.

          The damage to rugby by the incompetent way this was handled is immense, not only did the ARU loose their Executive team, their succession planning is in ruins, and the organisation lost their license to operate in the sate with the 3rd most registered rugby players. Lying Cameron cannot be part of the future of rugby as this all happened under his leadership.

          • Roar Guru

            September 8th 2017 @ 3:34pm
            Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:34pm | ! Report

            why the ARU only consulted with the WA stakeholders AFTER they already made the decision to cut the Force and not before they made the decision

            Clyne claimed when the Force took legal action that they were actually consulted and the majority agreed one had to go.

            –why the ARU handled such a sensitive issues in such an insensitive way and alienated the WA government as well as the WA rugby supporters

            What exactly is the sensitive way to cut a team?

            – why the ARU dressed this decision up in a selection process that at best was a farce

            How can you state all these factors weren’t considered? It’s not a pros and cons list. There’s a number of factors and variables.

            why the ARU, a national governing body still have no Plan B to soften the blow on the WA rugby public

            It’s to avoid insolvency. That’s all the priority is. If administrators were called in this would seem like the good times.

            why the ARU is not prepared to revisit their decision when the assumptions that they thought were true at the time they made the decision are not true anymore

            What assumptions are known to be not true now?

            what alternative strategies the ARU came up to axe the Force for in case they loose the appeal

            Why do they need one? If they did their legal due diligence why do they need to have contingencies in place in order to act? Remember the claim is bankruptcy risk. Failing to act would have greater consequences.

            – and why the Chairman and ARU Board continue to lie to rugby supporters and public when the truth is obvious to even and ARU apologists like TWAS. For example to tell us Forrest came late and should have been supporting the Force in April is nonsense as the ARU offered to axe a team in March.

            Just because you don’t like a comment it doesn’t make it a lie.

            The longer it went on, the closer it got to needing the be finalized. There is an end date on this. Where did they say April? Why didn’t Forrest get involved in 2016 instead of leaving the Force to sell their control to the ARU?

            • September 8th 2017 @ 5:49pm
              Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

              TWAS, I do not buy the bankruptcy claim at all. You do, this is a major difference in opinion.

              The ARU committed millions to change their headquarters to Moore Park and are overspending on individual “star” players and trying to compete with the ridiculous pay packages players get in in France e.g. the $800k per year for Genia when he could not even get his French contract renewed. The average player gets about $135k which means you can cover 5 players for the pay Genia is getting.

              There is enough money to retain 5 franchises provided you are prepared to loose some “star” players. This will be consistent with what NZ and SA is doing to allow the stars to play in Europe if they want but to base their national side on players that is playing in country.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 6:12pm
                Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

                What did the ARU commit move offfices?

                This is a UTS building and it yields a rental saving also.

                Will Genia couldn’t not get his French contract removed.

                He had to get a release.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 6:39pm
                Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:39pm | ! Report

                TWAS, I am sure you know the facts around Genia and is using half truths to create confusion. For the others readers here is the history:

                – Genia initially signed with the UK Premiership club, Bath in 2015
                – Stade Francais negotiated the rights to Genia’s contract from Bath
                – At the time of the controversial merger between Stade and Racing Metro a large number of players were told that they will be cut, including Genia
                – If Stade cut Genia, Bath still had a right of first refusal for Genia’s services
                – So the release of Genia’s contract means that neither Stade or Bath wanted Genia’s

                The ARU that claim that they are in trouble, could have secured Genia services for a much lower price and should be prepared to let him go. Genia’s $800k is worth 5 Louwrens’s or Rurus and he is not that good.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 6:49pm
                Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

                Genia could not be “cut”. He had a contract for 2017/2018.

                All the release means is that they agreed to release him.

                Perhaps there may be more but that’s pure opinion from you.

                Much like happens to many players. Kepu is a prime example.

              • September 9th 2017 @ 10:13am
                Bakkies said | September 9th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

                Don’t know much about what the ARU contributed to moving next door the Rorters (a highly appropriate neighbour), what I do know is that the Feds kicked in funding.

            • September 8th 2017 @ 6:10pm
              Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:10pm | ! Report

              – Lack of consultation:
              The decision to axe the Force was made when the ARU offered to cut a team in March – the consultation should have taken place in February and should especially involved individuals like Mr Forrest – a done deal presented to the Force in April is not consultation and too late anyway.

              – What exactly is the sensitive way to cut a team?
              You get on a plane, and do it face to face providing opportunities for players and administrators to ask questions and get clarification. You do not do it in a media release!

              How can you state all these factors weren’t considered?
              As the decision was made when the ARU offered to axe a team the pros and cons list and spreadsheet did not matter. Only one factor lead to the decision to axe the Force and that is that it is the only team they can legally cut

              Lack of Plan B:
              Avoid insolvency? As I said above this is bs.

              What assumptions are known to be not true now?
              – The financial position (Own the Force, Twiggy, etc) and performance outcomes (highest win percentage in Aus) of the Force improved significant and so also the support from their community and stakeholders

              Why I need to know what alternative strategies the ARU came up to axe the Force?
              – To understand how low the ARU was is prepared to go and if the dragged SANZAAR with them

              When you made a decision to axe the Force in March and tell that the Force should have engaged with Mr Forrest in April when it still would have made a difference (Clyne’s words), when you already know that you can only axe one team legally, you are not making a comment – you tell a lie.

              Why didn’t Forrest get involved in 2016 instead of leaving the Force to sell their control to the ARU?
              – Because the Force first point of call was the governing body that told them that they like to help as they want to centralise all the licenses like in NZ that will be to the benefit of the Force. All the other franchises also went to the ARU as their first port of call – this is business as usual. It would be extra-ordinary of the Force went to someone outside the sport with a different agenda instead of the ARU! The only mistake the Force management made was to trust the ARU! This cannot be laid at the floor of the Force management but the floor of the ARU management.

              Can you please stop your half truths, I am getting tired of repeating myself.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 6:06pm
            RebelsFan said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:06pm | ! Report

            How about asking why the legal team at Rugby WA was incompetent in missing the term which was has now been twice legally thrown out? How about asking how a team with a 32% wining ratio is sustainable as a long term business? No wonder the Sea of Bubble jumped off the bandwagon.

            • September 8th 2017 @ 11:56pm
              Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

              Your question should be directed at the ARU. Why sign a support agreement to support an organization that you intend to destroy? It is a cunning clause that was added by the ARU under false pretenses. The only mistake that the Force made was to trust the ARU Board and Executives. No-one will make that mistake as the ARU has shown their true colours.

        • Roar Pro

          September 8th 2017 @ 11:50am
          Crazy Horse said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

          What would be interesting is the overall figure of Foxtel Subscribers, not just for Rugby. WA has just been through a few very tough years. Although things are improving now for some time a lot of people had to reign in their discretionary spending. Pay TV is one of the first things to go when household finances get tight.

    • September 8th 2017 @ 7:51am
      Matt Dustby said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

      Thank you Will
      The first writer on the roar that speaks the truth
      If you read the comments on here you think the force were a credible organisation with fans, money and decent players

      • September 8th 2017 @ 11:35am
        Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:35am | ! Report

        What is sad is that after a decade of struggling the Force has turned themselves around, connected to the grassroots and is getting financial backing (long term sponsorship, Own the Force campaign and Twiggy’s support), is well supported with crowd numbers higher than the Rebels and growing and we have a decent young team with the highest win percentage in Australia this year and a future where the media are contemplating that the Force may win Superugby in the next 3 years. The Force was been demonstrating the values that makes rugby the special sport for players, spectators and fans this year.

        The tragedy is that the people like yourself and the ARU just do not get that you took this away from the supporters that hanged on for more than a decade consistent with Rugby values and that you also did it in the cruellest and most unprofessional way. If you forgot what rugby is about, I list the values from the World Rugby website below:

        INTEGRITY: Integrity is central to the fabric of the game and is generated through honesty and fair play. (ARU: Using a Support and Alliance agreement to axe a team you agreed to support is not fair play neither is the farce of a selection process with no decision criteria not the deception, underhanded deals and lies…)

        PASSION : Rugby people have a passionate enthusiasm for the game. Rugby generates excitement, emotional attachment and a sense of belonging to the global rugby family. (ARU: WA rugby fans are clearly told that you are not welcome in the Australian rugby family, we were pushed off the “lifeboat” and now must fend for ourselves, there is no Plan B to soften the blow of losing professional rugby in this state…all financial and organisational support will be pulled)

        SOLIDARITY : Rugby provides a unifying spirit that leads to life-long friendships, camaraderie, teamwork and loyalty which transcends cultural, geographic, political and religious differences. (ARU: WA is just too far for the ARU to care, they refuse to fly to Perth and see for themselves, refuse to engage with stakeholders before they make decision about WA Rugby, ….)

        DISCIPLINE : Discipline is an integral part of the game both on and off the field and is reflected through adherence to the laws, the regulations and rugby’s core values. (ARU: We bend the rules for fit our agenda, use clauses in agreements to do the opposite of what we agreed, set no clear and transparent selection criteria, do not engage with stakeholders before we make decisions etc. We make the rules and wing it as we go approach…)

        The damage the ARU caused to rugby in Australia this year will be felt for years to come. The Chairman of the Board clearly does not have the credibility not does he support World Rugby’s values and should resign so that we can get back to rugby basics. This is no way to lead an organisation and he is unable to function in his role.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 12:08pm
          Red Menace said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          Thank you.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm
          not so super said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

          its nice that you believe that

          • September 8th 2017 @ 6:11pm
            Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

            It is terrible that you don’t.

            • September 8th 2017 @ 8:22pm
              andrewM said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:22pm | ! Report

              perfect comeback Force fan! 🙂

        • September 8th 2017 @ 6:42pm
          Rod said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

          The Force made a huge mistake in bending over for the Wallaby players in the squad early on. At first, all players were sent to the various local clubs. I support Kalamunda (played juniors there years ago), and we got Drew Mitchell. How cool it was to see Drew on the wing for Kala! Yet the Force changed it and sent players back to their original states to play in Shute etc for their old clubs. It was a kick in the face for the local clubs.

          • September 9th 2017 @ 1:40am
            Bakkies said | September 9th 2017 @ 1:40am | ! Report

            Wasn’t it the Sydney and Brisbane clubs pressuring the players. Certain players like Tim Davidson and Gavin de Bartolo left the Force because they couldn’t get the permission to play club Rugby in Sydney rather than having to play in Perth.

        • September 9th 2017 @ 8:16am
          Worlds Biggest said | September 9th 2017 @ 8:16am | ! Report

          Well put mate, I agree with Cannon regarding Clynes poor dress attire at the presser. This was a hugely impactful announcement and he couldn’t be @rsed to wear a suit, what a joke.

          • September 9th 2017 @ 10:16am
            Bakkies said | September 9th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

            He would have been better off wearing a clown suit. An attire very much suited to fit his character.

      • September 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm
        Phil said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

        Matt Dustby are you inferring the Western Force are not a credible Organisation with no fans and no decent players?

        Credible like the ARU do you mean? decent players like the Waratahs? and fans ..

        The ARU said the had an extensive spreadsheet to work out who would go, now it turns out $80,000,000.00 was all it was going to take and Andrew Forrest’s offer of $50,000,000.00 couldn’t have been late otherwise why did the ARU ask for it at that very same meeting?

        Lets face it, the publicity nightmare this has and will keep costing Australian Rugby has been brought on by a very poor performing governing body in Australia. There are no excuses that can justify what the ARU have done to Australian rugby. The Australian Rugby Unions that voted to drop a team had been fed no truthful information, as the ARU blamed poor SR & the Wallabies performances instead of their own poor management of funds and support for grassroots. The unions need to band together as one to stop the rot. Removing the Force is not going to help other than speed up the inevitable. The senate inquiry hopefully will stop all the speculation and Cameron Clyne is the last person to talk about wasting taxpayers money.

        • Roar Guru

          September 8th 2017 @ 3:00pm
          Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

          You know it’s possible for an offer to be both too late, and not high enough, right?

          • September 8th 2017 @ 11:58pm
            Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:58pm | ! Report

            Or not considered.

    • Roar Pro

      September 8th 2017 @ 8:36am
      robel said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      There have been no obvious advertisements for the game this Saturday in Perth. It’s like the ERU want to deliberately keep it quite, I’ve seen nothing on the TV, no advertising around the city nothing.
      As for the assertion the game isn’t growing here is rubbish, there was a steady increase in participation, greater than the other states. By killing the Force this year all momentum will be gone by 2020, the team and coach will be gone, the knowledge from the WARU will have dissipated and not be upto date. 2020 will be like starting all over again in WA, even if you could convince the WA rugby community that you won’t gut us again when it becomes convenient down the track.
      This sort of rubbish about 11th hour sickens me, the ERU wouldn’t meet with the WARU in the months after the first announcement until the meeting in Adelaide, despite many requests.

      • September 8th 2017 @ 8:44am
        Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:44am | ! Report

        Will doesn’t say it, but all his comments point to professional rugby not growing or thriving which is hard to dispute.

        The ARU haven’t removed grassroots rugby, they’ve removed professional rugby.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 10:04am
          In Brief said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          The article cherry picks information to support an poorly thought out argument. There has been growth in rugby in W.A. they have the third highest participation numbers in country. Grassroots do matter and do influence the success and sustainability of the professional game. In fact funding grass roots was ironically one of the reasons given for cutting The Force. You also cannot ignore the number of Western Australian players in the super rugby and Wallaby set ups. The players being developed in WA are not just overweight pub players looking for a weekend piss up. They are developing players which are contributing to the professional game in Australia.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm
            not so super said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

            talk about cherry picking – 3rd highest in the country – congrats on beating tasmania, south australia and victoria bastions of rugby

            • Roar Rookie

              September 8th 2017 @ 12:56pm
              piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

              You forgot the NT, but thanks

            • September 8th 2017 @ 2:12pm
              Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

              And ACT

              • Roar Rookie

                September 8th 2017 @ 2:17pm
                piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                Christmas Island?

        • Roar Pro

          September 8th 2017 @ 10:13am
          robel said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

          Hard to have professional growth when you cut the only professional team. Twice as many senior players in wa as vic. Your responses are always 1/2 truths and red herrings.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 11:37am
            Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

            Another half truth TWAS. You know that amateur rugby and professional rugby is intrinsically linked. One cannot thrive without the other.

            • September 8th 2017 @ 11:50am
              Slane said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:50am | ! Report

              Amateur rugby survived for well over a hundred years without professional rugby. It’s nice to have professional teams but not necessary.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 12:35pm
                Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:35pm | ! Report

                The key world in my sentence is “thrive” not “survive”…

              • September 8th 2017 @ 12:38pm
                Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                Apparently the peak was before professionalism according to the original ARU haters.

          • Roar Guru

            September 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm
            Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:35pm | ! Report

            Why does their need to be professional growth?

            Should all sports without a professional franchise cease to exist?

        • September 8th 2017 @ 10:23am
          AndyS said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          But they have removed the means by which funding for grassroots was created (‘cos they certainly don’t provide anything meaningful). You used the house analogy yesterday – a bit like saying that being sacked from the only employer in town doesn’t stop you from continuing to live in your large mortgaged house.

          Compare the RugbyWA annual reports for 2004 and 2016…

          • September 8th 2017 @ 10:34am
            Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            That’s a fair point but not much funded has trickled down from the professional franchises.

            The QRU for example disgustingly used fees (which are in addition to ARU fees) to prop up their bottom line.

            The Reds don’t prop up the QRU grassroots spend. The other way around if anything.

      • Roar Rookie

        September 8th 2017 @ 8:59am
        Paul D said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:59am | ! Report

        “There have been no obvious advertisements for the game this Saturday in Perth”

        That’s normal everywhere, even in Sydney for the Bledisloe. The standard of promotion by the ARU for games is abysmal.

        • Roar Rookie

          September 8th 2017 @ 11:45am
          piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:45am | ! Report

          The Wallabies have been out and about at schools and clubs according to their facebook, but by all accounts TV and radio advertising doesn’t really happen anymore

          • September 8th 2017 @ 2:46pm
            Ed said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

            I have not seen any promotional on TV/newspaper/online/banners for the Argies test here in Canberra. Maybe Brett McKay or Fionn have seen some around town.
            I read rugby articles off my Facebook feed yet there have been no advertisements through that media either.
            Could the ARU be relying on word of mouth…

            • September 8th 2017 @ 10:24pm
              Fionn said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:24pm | ! Report

              I haven’t said anything either, Ed. It’s a bit sad as the stadium is bound to be half empty unless they start advertising asap.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 7:44pm
          Paul D said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

          If you had been around longer than the last 5 minutes you might know TWAS and I rarely agree.

    • September 8th 2017 @ 8:50am
      RUSerious said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      If you believe that the Force will be back by 2020, how is this move going to save the ARU any money?

      All the players contracts will be honoured until then, the ARU are facing more legal challenges, and shutting down a franchise and reopening it must come with administrative costs.

      Where are the savings?

      • Roar Rookie

        September 8th 2017 @ 11:51am
        piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:51am | ! Report

        It’s not about saving money any more, just saving face

      • September 8th 2017 @ 11:55am
        Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

        They aren’t contracting an entire squad to 2020.

        Any Force players who are contracted beyond 2017 will have that honoured if they play for another team.

        Not all Force players are contracted past 2017. I doubt any are past 2018.

        They will replace some off contract players at other franchises.

        The ARU were awarded costs after the appeal also.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 1:27pm
          Ruckin Oaf said | September 8th 2017 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

          “They aren’t contracting an entire squad to 2020.”

          Which means if the Force does make a 2020 comeback then there will be the costs of establishing a new playing roster.

          “The ARU were awarded costs after the appeal also.”

          Unless the costs were awarded on an indemnity basis they’d be a fraction of what the ARU spent defending the action.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 1:43pm
            Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 1:43pm | ! Report

            Only the contract values though.

            Thankfully we have the NRC now which with 8 teams will develop a core of double the players in Super Rugby pool.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 2:19pm
            Drongo said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            A sizeable fraction, 50 or 60%. That means that Ziggy or WA rugby, or someone, paid all of their own legal costs, in full, and at least half of the ARUs costs. That would be a pretty massive bill, even for money bags. The ARU are big winners from this. And their opponents are big losers.

            • Roar Rookie

              September 8th 2017 @ 2:23pm
              piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

              Must be a nice change for them

            • September 9th 2017 @ 8:48am
              Ruckin Oaf said | September 9th 2017 @ 8:48am | ! Report

              “For he can afford to lose a host better than we to lose a company” LOTR

              I reckon Twiggy might be better placed to take a hit to the hip pocket than the ARU right now.

    • September 8th 2017 @ 8:56am
      Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      Will, you still don’t get it! The way the ARU axes the Force, and the continuous lies from Clyne have not only left a bad taste and WA will get over it, the ARU burned their bridges and there is no coming back especially not as soon as 2020. It is not only Clyne that is the problem it is the selfish attitude of the Australian rugby establishment in NSW and QLD that undermined the Force from the start. Even if Clyne is sacked tomorrow and a new management team elected, WA will not trust you again. WA should by 2020 forged ties with other rugby nations and supporters in our time zone where our players and supporters are valued and supported. You will see at tomorrow’s test the message from WA supporters to the ARU – take your superugby and Wallabies and stick it where the sun don’t shine.

      • September 8th 2017 @ 10:41am
        AndyS said | September 8th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

        There is no way they would return to WA again anyway…it would suggest error. The only expansion likely from here is they pour another fortune into Western Sydney, so that NSW can get another shareholders vote and can argue they also need a big bag of additional funding.

        That, and Melbourne either cut or relocated if they continue to be incapable of break-even operation. They’ll be fine while the current ARU egos need to be protected, but the moment that changes the acid will come on. Outside the aquarium though, the drums are likely to start immediately.

      • September 8th 2017 @ 12:24pm
        Bib said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

        QLD undermining the for force from the start?

        You mean like when the Force offered big fat contracts with huge third party components (which never eventuated) to lure key Reds player and substantial junior talent? Yeah that’s some undermining…

        • Roar Rookie

          September 8th 2017 @ 12:36pm
          piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

          They offered players money to play!?

          Egad!

          • September 8th 2017 @ 12:52pm
            not so super said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            because they had none of their own

            • Roar Rookie

              September 8th 2017 @ 12:56pm
              piru said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

              You’re a genius

              • September 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm
                AndyS said | September 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report

                Seems he might have almost got his head around the link between the existance of professional teams and the availability of professional players. Wouldn’t be sure though…

              • September 8th 2017 @ 7:00pm
                Bill said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

                Have you got your head around the impact of that player drain on quality?

              • September 8th 2017 @ 7:19pm
                AndyS said | September 8th 2017 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

                Clearly more than you have on the concept that, if you do absolutely nothing to creating professional players ahead of inventing a new team, there won’t be any professional players to fill that team with…

      • September 8th 2017 @ 12:51pm
        not so super said | September 8th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

        ex force – good luck. such a huge rugby stronghold , you will dominate. GO WA!

      • September 8th 2017 @ 3:28pm
        Clyde said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

        You (ex Force) don’t support the Wallabies! That’s not very patriotic given that those players had nothing to do with your team getting the chop. You have been boycotting their matches for years.. with empty stadiums.

        I guess it’s fair-weather people like you who did not support your teams (Force, Wallabies etc.) at stadiums, and are to blame for the financial crisis your teams and the ARU got into.

        • September 8th 2017 @ 3:50pm
          Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

          You are making some very inaccurate assumptions about my support for the Force and Wallabies. I have not missed a Force game in Perth from the first game against the Brumbies on Subiaco to Hodgo’s penalty kick in the last game. I attended every single international test played in Perth since 2002 including games like the Australia A vs. Maori’s and the minor World Cup games such as Uruguay vs Georgia in 2003, my wife and I have been diamond members of the Force for the past 5 years and ordinary members before that . My family and I also bought shares in the Own the Force campaign. So you are knocking on the wrong door.

          The Wallabies (Stinkers) is the most important brand of the ARU and as the ARU does not represent WA I will not give them financial or even vocal support. I have nothing against the players in the ARU’s Wallabies, however they represent the ARU. It was the ARU that dropped WA rugby supporters in the most disgusting, cruel, disrespectful and insensitive way possible.

          • September 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm
            Steve said | September 8th 2017 @ 3:56pm | ! Report

            You left out dishonest and deceptive. The Alliance agreement was the ARU’s idea. The Force had other options at the time but wanted to work with the ARU. The commitments given at the time by the ARU were not honoured, the ARU did not act in good faith and the ARU sought to use the agreement not to strengthen rugby in WA but to destroy it.

            It will only take one person to talk under oath to the senate and the whole charade will be exposed. Then we can start talking about criminality, including unconscionable conduct and deceptive and dishonest conduct by directors towards a shareholder,

            Rugby is about fairness, integrity, respect. None of those attributes have been shown by the ARU in this process. Is this what you shills for the ARU are proud of?

            • Roar Guru

              September 8th 2017 @ 4:04pm
              Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

              If the Force had other options at the time we did they agree to give up control of their licence then?

              The ARU’s commitment was honoured. A court has found that.

              What’s going to be exposed?

              Unless it was proven at the time of the signing in June 2016, that the ARU knew they could cut a team and keep the income, then there is no wrongdoing.

              That can’t be proven. People are talking about the ARU getting legal advice in February 2017 as proof of wrongdoing. But that only supports the view that at the time of signing in 2016, they didn’t intend to cut them, Hence no wrongdoing.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 4:55pm
                Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

                TWAS, I know you see no problem that a clause in the Alliance and Support agreement is use to Destroy the franchise that the Alliance and Support agreement was suppose to support. All the courts said that it is legal for the ARU to do so and that they only had to support the Force for a year as that was the length of the support agreement.

                The rugby public is not stupid, they know that the ARU used an underhanded tactic to cut the Force and that the ARU cannot be trusted. What a terrible reputation for a governing body – your members cannot trust you and will scrutinised every single contract. That is not the way to govern a sport.

              • Roar Guru

                September 8th 2017 @ 4:58pm
                Train Without A Station said | September 8th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

                It’s not underhanded to rely on a scenario that your contract clearly contemplated.

              • September 8th 2017 @ 6:14pm
                Ex force fan said | September 8th 2017 @ 6:14pm | ! Report

                It is underhanded to use a clause in an agreement designed to ensure the continuity of an operation to discontinue the operations when there is not reason to do so.

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