Nick Farr-Jones talks to The Roar: “We need someone to be a messiah”

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By , Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor

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    Ask anyone to put together a list of the greatest captains to have led the Wallabies, and the odds are Nick Farr-Jones will feature in most of them. The same goes or any list of halfbacks.

    Farr-Jones’ resume is as impressive as you’ll find – he was a member of the side that captured the 1984 Grand Slam, helped Australia capture the 1986 Bledisloe Cup in a series played entirely in New Zealand, and of course was the first Wallabies captain to lift the Rugby World Cup in 1991.

    Add in a four-year stint as chairman of NSW Rugby, and you’ve got one of the most respected voices in Australian rugby.

    We sat down with the 1991 World Cup-winning skipper to talk about a range of issues facing rugby in Australia at the moment, starting with Michael Hooper’s appointment as Wallabies captain before the start of this year’s Rugby Championship.

    “I love his commitment, his passion… I don’t know him well enough to know if he’s got some of the attributes I’ve spoken about. I hope he does. I know Cheika knows him well and I trust Cheika’s judgement to be able to single him out as someone who can be a long-term leader.”

    We also touched on the state of club rugby and what Bill Pulver’s successor will have to do as the next ARU chief executive.

    “What we need now is someone to galvanise, particularly community rugby,” Farr-Jones said.

    “Community rugby survives largely on volunteers. Volunteers, a bit like me, are pretty down on the state of the game; the loss of participation, the increased cost of juniors to participate in the game, the competition we have against the other codes…

    “We need someone who can be out there and be somewhat of a messiah.”

    And, because it’s been way too long since we’ve had a Bledisloe Cup series win to cheer about, we turned back the clock to the successful 1986 tour of New Zealand to talk about the controversial second-Test loss and the subsequent victory in the third and final Test – a match that remains the last time Australia defeated the All Blacks at Eden Park.

    So, sit back and enjoy our interview with Nick in the player above, and keep an eye out for the shorter segments which will be appearing on The Roar in the coming weeks.

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.