Playing hybrid rugby in a perfect world

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By Wall-Nut, Wall-Nut is a Roar Rookie

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    What if we lived in a perfect rugby world, where both codes joined in harmony, no friction, no code war and everything to gain.

    Let’s just say for argument sake, Union and League joined and took the hybrid version with assault.

    How would this change the sporting landscape in Australia and New Zealand, also managing to keep fans from both sides and unite as one? Would we out-muscle AFL?

    Could we have a 24-team national/international competition?

    Would Super Rugby have seven teams in the Australian conference?

    Would we have power to wheel and deal more than a $1.25 billion television deal?

    Would ‘State of Origin’ be Australia’s biggest sporting event, with a possible Victorian team added in years to come?

    I like to believe the answer is, you bet!

    This maybe a pie-in-the-sky article for most, but I’ve been considering the benefits, in particular in Australia, and in my opinion, this sounds very compelling.

    As hard as this would be to achieve in Australia, for the rest of the world it would be a titanic effort.

    Initially, I thought this hybrid version was bogus, however after streaming the Keebra Park v St Augustines college game, I found myself being entertained.

    With great reviews from ex-players and coaches of both codes, this could be something taken seriously.

    Sport evolves constantly and this hybrid version would be a massive leap forward for any loyal League/Union fan. The pros, in my opinion, outweigh the cons but I just don’t think our society is liberal enough for such change.

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    The Crowd Says (58)

    • May 13th 2011 @ 4:51am
      Toa said | May 13th 2011 @ 4:51am | ! Report

      The hybrid game is called Aussie Rules.

      • May 13th 2011 @ 6:01am
        mitzter said | May 13th 2011 @ 6:01am | ! Report

        hybrid of volleyball and ballet 😛

      • May 13th 2011 @ 6:12am
        Damo said | May 13th 2011 @ 6:12am | ! Report

        Toa, how so? Is Aussie Rules what was played at Brookvale Oval the other night?

    • May 13th 2011 @ 5:36am
      Ross said | May 13th 2011 @ 5:36am | ! Report

      Unfortunately I think a hybrid code would become a 3rd code rather than a unifying sport.

      Still it’s nice to dream.

      From a Union fans persective, I’d guess that Southern Hemisphere unified club ugby would be the NRL plus the NZ & SA Super Rugby sides.

      In the Northern Hemisphere the English top division of a unified code would have a lot of seriously big clubs- Leicester, Wigan, Leeds, Northampton, Bradford, Gloucester etc – and would probably leave the French and Celtic leagues behind.

      Internationally Australia and NZ would pull ahead of the rest for a few years.

      • May 13th 2011 @ 9:24am
        Working Class Rugger said | May 13th 2011 @ 9:24am | ! Report


        Ever heard of Stade Francais, Toulouse, Toulon, Racing Metro, Perpignan etc. All very large clubs with budgets well beyond anything these ‘super’ clubs would be able to muster even in a unified code. Celtic League would be different with probably only Leionster and Munster able to claim that status.

        • May 13th 2011 @ 4:37pm
          Ross said | May 13th 2011 @ 4:37pm | ! Report

          The big English sides in both Union and League operate under a salary cap, if the smaller clubs weren’t competing they wouldn’t need one and would be spending a lot more. Leicester’s turnover for example is around £18 million, they could outspend all the leading french sides except Toulouse and Stade Francais if they didn’t have to adhere to the salary cap.

    • May 13th 2011 @ 6:27am
      Damo said | May 13th 2011 @ 6:27am | ! Report

      There is a strOng argument for a hybrid administration of both games. The fields are the same the posts are the same the tackles are almost the same, the passing is the same and the kicking is the same. The only real differences are in the body types, the culture and the rules.
      Whilst I did not see that game the other night I know from playing and coaching both codes that there would be a lot to be gained from joining forces at whatever level possible.
      I would love to see a Wallabies/Kangaroos test match. With a rugby coach like McKenzie coaching the Kangaroos and Gus Gould coaching the Wallabies.
      This type of game could also be a way of selecting teams under a hybrid administration. The tall lanky kid from a league background might find that the RU stream has an offer for him in he 2nd row and the small RU speedster might find that a league career suits him better. Two sets of rules – one rugby. Here could even be two games on match day at each clubs ground (or alternate days)
      I believe that there are already versions of this idea in England.

      • May 13th 2011 @ 12:11pm
        thurl said | May 13th 2011 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

        There is no arguement for a hybrid administration at all. NZ SA or any of the NH countries wouldn’t be interested.This is just an Aussie indulgence and it would be interesting to see from which of the two codes it is being driven.
        League doen’t exist in SA. Its strongish in NZ but only because the Warriors are part of the NRL. Outside of northern England it doesn’t feature
        It would be the birth of another Aussie rules. An orphan in the world of international sport

        • May 13th 2011 @ 2:56pm
          Damo said | May 13th 2011 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

          Thurl, it, doesn’t matter what SA and NZ do. This is just about OZ which has it’s rugby player talent seriously divided and working at cross purposes. I don’t think you have followed my point. We may or may not have a hybrid comp.(We probably won’t) bit that does not mean that we can’t combine resources to share talent , expense , culture and marketing . This would increase both codes market power against AFL and soccer. As well as increase opportunity for players and fans.
          Apart from a hybrid ‘friendly’ between Roos and Wallabies there would be no hybrid comp. This is not altogether new In England I believe some clubs play both codes. Why could not penrith Stadium play host to panthers. Emus and even WaratAhs?

    • May 13th 2011 @ 6:48am
      Ian Whitchurch said | May 13th 2011 @ 6:48am | ! Report

      It would have helped if the author had have explained what the key rules compromises in the Keebra Park v St Augustines college game were.

      • May 13th 2011 @ 7:16am
        Damo said | May 13th 2011 @ 7:16am | ! Report

        Ian , rugby heaven has a review of the game . There were no significant rule compromises as I understand it. The rules just changed depending on who has possession in whose half of the field. League rules in attacking teams half, union rules in defending team’s half.
        So the game switches between league and union depending on who has possession and which half of the field play is in.
        Rule blending was confined to 13 players (no breakaways) and there was real pushing in the scrum. I am not sure what happened with lineouts or kicks out on the full?

        • May 13th 2011 @ 9:53am
          Mals said | May 13th 2011 @ 9:53am | ! Report

          Damo – it was the other way around. League rules for the team in possesion coming out of their own half then Union rules for the team in possession attacking the try line. This would have been an advantage for St Augustines college.

    • May 13th 2011 @ 8:32am
      oikee said | May 13th 2011 @ 8:32am | ! Report

      What i have found is a game that continually flows is harder to channel surf than a game with stoppages.
      Scrums in rugby league have evolved to keep play constant.
      To be honest, i dont like the man with the whistle.
      Another thing i dont want to see is players diving into a guy on the ground. Less injuries for the players and fans. It’s hard enough now having to follow your team with gun players out because of injuries.

      The market place in Australia is good for both codes, why mess with that anyhow. Rugby union has a 5 city one team market place which will keep growing. And lets be honest, not all players are suited to Rugby union, as not all league players could play Union.

      I think the 2 codes are a nice balance to shore up the most support, the last thing rugby needs, of both codes, is fans losing interest because of one aspect or another.

      The push i would like to see is the rugby codes moving under the one umbrella. This might be the better option, i would be happy to see players cross-coding and whatever, as long as we both had one goal, and not at loggerheads.

      The Hybrid part i dont like, i think it divides more than unites.

      • May 13th 2011 @ 9:58am
        kovana said | May 13th 2011 @ 9:58am | ! Report

        “The push i would like to see is the rugby codes moving under the one umbrella. ”

        Exactly. Thats also what i was hoping for.. Since there will be no unification of the codes.

        IRB would be a perfect Umbrella… Home for all Rugby Codes… 15s, 13s and 7s.

        • May 16th 2011 @ 8:18am
          Fez's are cool said | May 16th 2011 @ 8:18am | ! Report

          And RL 9s, with a 4 year rep calendar:

          RU WC
          Commonwealth Games RL 9s
          RL WC
          Olympics 7s

      • May 13th 2011 @ 3:03pm
        Damo said | May 13th 2011 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

        we agree on the umbrella.
        It would control ‘pouching’ too and the Hunt Folau type farce could be thwarted.
        But surely a hybrid friendly between the best of both wouldn’t hurt and be a lot of fun

      • May 13th 2011 @ 11:10pm
        simon said | May 13th 2011 @ 11:10pm | ! Report

        oikee. I think that’s one of your best and well-rounded comments I have read. Well said!

    • Roar Guru

      May 13th 2011 @ 8:40am
      Jiggles said | May 13th 2011 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      What many Australian fans of both codes do not understand is that Rugby League only big in Australia, even in Northern England (where I have lived for a number of years) it is a blip compared to Soccer and Rugby Union.

      I know many South Africans, arguably the most rugby mad population in the world, who have no understanding of the existence of League. In short the IRB would scoff at this, as would most of the rugby playing world.

      Just appreciate both games for what they are.

      • May 13th 2011 @ 10:32pm
        johno said | May 13th 2011 @ 10:32pm | ! Report

        please your full of shit

        Northern England are league mad.

        • May 15th 2011 @ 11:06pm
          Denby said | May 15th 2011 @ 11:06pm | ! Report

          That video does not show northern england are league mad. it shows PNG are league mad, well to fair it shows they like mob violence and can pack out a stadium that looks to hold around 10K to 15K for a game that occurs once every couple of years or less.

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