It now appears that the NSW Country Cockatoos are a candidate for the fifth Super rugby franchise to be based in Australia.
Apparently, millionaire advertising guru and horse breeder John Singleton will help bankroll the new franchise if their nomination is successful. The Central Coast apparently boasts a population of about 300,000, while the NSW bush population is estimated overall at about 2.5 million.
So far, just from Australia, we’ve apparently had two separate bids from Melbourne, and one each from Gold Coast, Western Sydney and now NSW Country. That’s five bidding teams in all.
When I first heard the Gold Coast were opposing the first Melbourne bid, I thought things were getting out of control. I understood the push from Western Sydney, but the Gold Coast was a bit odd.
Then we had a second Melbourne franchise indicating their interest, and now the Country Cockatoos.
What is going on here?
It’s occurred to me that perhaps many rugby folk are fed up with the direction, or lack of, taken by the ARU on several fronts. And this mounting frustration is demonstrated in so many bids for the 15th Super franchise license.
I’ve been amazed at the avalanche of material on The Roar, firstly criticizing the Wallabies for their inept display that led to a loss against the All Blacks, and then slagging the referee for helping produce a dud spectacle.
I’ve can’t recall so many native Aussie rugby fans being so restless. More to the point, being passionate about both their national team and the way the game is played!
But I digress. What do other Roarers make of all these submissions? What does it all mean?
Is it simply different organisations looking for a cut of the pie? Obviously, the idea of private equity is an attractive motivation.
Or is there something else afoot, such as widespread disenchantment against the ARU, perhaps? Does our domestic game require a total re-structure?