University rugby to be Australia’s third tier?

Carl Unger Roar Rookie

By Carl Unger, Carl Unger is a Roar Rookie

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    One of the most discussed issues between Australian rugby fans is the lack of a third tier.

    Many ideas have been suggested, such as introducing another professional national club competition or expanding the Shute Shield competition, but the latest idea has been to create a sophisticated university rugby setup.

    The Rugby Union Player’s Association is pushing for an under 23s varsity competition.

    Apparently, Greg Harris, the president of RUPA, has been visiting different parties involved with Super Rugby and Premier Rugby to try and gain support for this model.

    Varsity rugby in this country hasn’t really gained any sort of notoriety outside of Sydney University; it has always taken the backseat to schoolboy and club rugby.

    Perhaps there is potential in a varsity system, just take a look at the huge support American football gets for its collegiate tournaments.

    Also, I don’t think it would be extreme of me to suggest that American rugby’s college level has more support than our university level with the USA Rugby Collegiate Seven’s Championship getting national television coverage on NBC.

    Granted, our universities don’t have the long complex sporting histories, traditions and rivalries like most American colleges, but why not start creating these now.

    There’s already a bit of petty rivalry between uni students, try building on it, you can have rivalry games such as Sydney Uni vs UNSW, ANU vs UC or Griffith vs UQ.

    New ARU chairman Bill Pulver has stated that a third tier for Australian rugby is on the agenda, so could university rugby be the next attempt to solve Australia’s depth issues?

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    The Crowd Says (173)

    • January 29th 2013 @ 4:17am
      Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 4:17am | ! Report

      3rd tier : options

      The proposed 3rd-tier “concept” by the RUPA cep, Greg Harris sounds good in theory, but in my view is a dud, and stop gap solution, that would send aussy rugby backwards , why ?

      Development And player welfare issues.
      -18-20 – 21-23 age range

      -The 18-20 is at a very different stage of development, emotionally,meanly,physically, too 21-23 age range.

      -All adults 18-23, but the maturity factor is very uneven.

      -By your 21st year, you have had 2 years as an adult, reached most of your physical growth levels, and have had some life experience as an adult in the adult world. 18-20 much less mature.

      -Big reservations player welfare issues- an 18-19 yr old hookers/props/locks/no 8’s ,packing down with hardened 22-23 yr olds with say 20 super-rugby games, even a few wallaby tests under there belt.

      -The physical mismatch could be big, guys who have had 4 years to build up there body as adults, as opposed to 1 or 1 and half years.

      -Backs it can work, but the forwards it is an issue, player welfare wise. And it’s a bundled solution , a quick fix.

      -Also the experience factor. Many 25-28, 28-30 yr olds offer so much hardened experience to the 18-23 yr old player.
      -In rugby league in the old day’s rookies who had big careerism used to say how they got there start in reserve grade and learned so much of the 25-20 yr old veteran who had played 50-100 first grade games, before.
      You miss that.

      -Now in cricket there are a lot of issues about state 2nd 11 cricket teams, and too many under age , under-23 spots being offered,.
      Many young cricketers are not learning from the senior pros 25-30, who have been on the scene along time, and just sticking to there own age group now, you miss out on that variety, and knowledge of the game.

      -Modern rugby is geared towards senior adult 20-35 , and under-20’s.

      The year you turn 21 , you need to be running around with adult men of all ages, not just 20-23.

      -To many flaws with under-23’s from a development point of view in the modern game.

      -In my opinion it needs to be an East coast senior ARC – and an under 20-comp too.

      If they can’t afford both, then have a senior- East coast ARC 10-12 teams: These are either new franchises, or the 5 best from Brisbane hospitals cup , 5 best shut shield from sydney, 1 from john dent cup canberra, and 1 Melb team eg Melb Rebels A team.

      -And each state run a strong state under-20 colt’s comp. Basically if in sydney just strengthen the under-20 comp, and give out a few wallaby pathways scholarships which they are doing, just increase that money , so they are not lost tot he NRL.

      -And increase the money for the state academies to train and mingle with the super rugby sides. And scrap the national academy program, just align players with each state’s super rugby team, and a club rugby side.

      -Another option is having a lucrative National champions league on top of your state comps:

      -Say 32 teams, in a knockout comp. All the shute shield teams, Brisbane hospitals cup, and 1 each form the other states, and 1 from canberra, and NSW and QLD country,.

      -And a big prize like $ 1 million in prize money to be shared by the winning team’s coaching and playing squad. So basically a $30,000 win bonus for each player, and say $500,000 for the runner up, and a $10-15,000 bonus for each runner up player .

      -Balmain rugby club were talking about a 3rd tier comp last year, haven’t heard much from them for a while.

      -But the under-23 model is flawed on so many levels.

      -And with the Uni facilltities thing. Well not all uni’s have good sports facilities just some. And the one’s that do , just align with them and closer sponsorship deals.

      -And in USA college varsity comps, have been a core foundation established along time ago, this aussy thing is starting from scratch, much harder to do in a tight medium sized market like 22 million OZ, when competing with AFL and NRL , who can offer full time under-20 style contracts.

      And the USA has 300 million people, so college basketball and football, make big money there for the networks, and rich benefactors too, mean college sport in USA can be a successful sustainable model.

      -So under-23 university model, being proposed is just a band-aid solution, stop gap model, will send aussy rugby backwards not forwards, for reasons given above.

      -Need a senior model comp, and an under-20 comp as rugby has moved to a senior world cup and an under-20 world cup.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 5:12am
      Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 5:12am | ! Report

      Uni’s are clubs and should play against nother clubs

    • January 29th 2013 @ 5:25am
      mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 5:25am | ! Report

      so what if u dont go to uni? isnt this an extension of the private school elitest mentality?
      american football isnt rugby. its not played like rugby and has a totally different culture. its much more professional and commercial.

      johnno – arent u over analysing and complicating rugby? no need to do a psyche profile on a players mental age, u just chuck them on the field and see how they play. some will sink some will swim.
      good players will always play above their weight/age grade, its how they become good.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 6:41am
        Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:41am | ! Report

        mania if they are good enough. Chuck them in. Especially in the backs , if they are 18 and good enough throw them in, but forwards at the elite level need, more specialist guidance needed at the elite level, especially the tight 5, for multiple reasons. And the rugby world cup’s are now set up based on a senior world cup, and an under 20 world cup, not and under-23 or 21 or 19 .

        Having 18 yr old props , play vs 23 yr old’s at an elite level, i don’t think is healthy . Backs far more flexible, but the tight 5, player welfare issues become more of an issue.

        And the issue of playing with older players. That’;s why i said have 2 comps, a senior’s and under-20’s.

        So after 20 the year you turn 21, your thrown into the deep end, no mucking around anymore.
        So you don’t need to extend the so called youth age group to under-23, cut the umbilical chord off at 20 .
        Then from then on they run with the big boys all adults of all ages.

        But backs I am very open to 18-20 running around with anybody, but the forwards the tight 5 especially, at the elite level now, more player welfare, and technique issues need refining. But the tight 5 can certainly train with older players, as i encouraged and said that in my long post, just not play against them.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 7:03am
          mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:03am | ! Report

          your concerns only really applies to the front row. agree that front row forwards take a lot longer to mature than any other position and some allowances should be made for them.
          anyway i’m kinda of partially in agreeance with u. the more lower age grade comps the better with a minimum being at 1stXV level (as long as public schools are also involved)
          i’m totally against u and kpm advocating another aus (of for that matter NZ or SA) super team

      • January 29th 2013 @ 8:03am
        Rough Conduct said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:03am | ! Report

        Since when is University elitist? University is more accessible than it has ever been, both in financial and acedemic terms. Have a look at some recent Education graduates and let me know how elite they are.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 8:07am
          mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:07am | ! Report

          Rough Conduct – i’m uni educated. i agree it is far more accessible now than ever, its how they allowed me in.
          but whats the ratio of people that go to uni compared to those that dont? arent you ruling out your blue collar workers, apprentices, labourers etc? they all have valid contributions to make to rugby. arent u casting your net in shallow waters?

          • January 29th 2013 @ 9:21am
            Rough Conduct said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:21am | ! Report

            This competition is based on attracting young talent leaving school, they have not become apprentices or labourers yet. Maybe Rugby will sway them into a profession rather than a trade, maybe Rugby will give help them complete some business subjects before they decide to complete a trade later, maybe some of the universities will be dual-sector universities that include vocational training? The point is that including university study as part of the Rugby program will not exclude as many people as you think.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 9:47am
            Working Class Rugger said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:47am | ! Report

            There are currently just over 1 million enrolled students Australia wide in our Universities.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 4:23pm
              AndyS said | January 29th 2013 @ 4:23pm | ! Report

              But I wonder how many first grade players and professionals are among them on a full time basis. Between the age restriction,the educational entrance requirement eliminating potential prospects and the course+study workload coming out of training time, I would expect the standard of a university student based team to be somewhere around third grade.

        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2013 @ 8:13am
          The Bush said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          How can it be more accessible, when it used to be free…

          • January 29th 2013 @ 8:18am
            Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:18am | ! Report

            more places, but also in saying that a bigger population, but i don’t know the stats if more percentage per aussy population are getting spots at Uni, than 20 years ago.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 11:13am
            Bakkies said | January 29th 2013 @ 11:13am | ! Report

            You can be eligible for a degree by getting a credit average in your advanced diploma at TAFE. Universities that have a TAFE section allow you to do that. More cost effective way of getting a university degree and you experience the two systems.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 6:22pm
              Lorry said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:22pm | ! Report

              The bush

              it is really unfortunate that uni is no longer free. a rich country like australia absolutely can and should provide free education of all levels….

              however, i think johnnos right about uni being more accessible now – i think alot of it comes down to a change in culture: there’s not so much of the “if …… trade was good enough for me, it’s good enough for my son” attitude anymore.

              and also ‘aspirational’ values…

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 6:30pm
                Jiggles said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:30pm | ! Report

                Realistically it’s the best loan you’ll ever get. You only pay it back above a certain amount and its just put on top of your pay. No time limit on repayment either. It’s hardly a hardship.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 7:15pm
        Harry said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:15pm | ! Report

        Mania you don’t need to attend these university’s to play for their footy side. Well at UQ you don’t, unsure elseware but I would think it would be the same

      • January 29th 2013 @ 8:09pm
        Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:09pm | ! Report

        Mania if you can’t go to uni then you work some low job like cleaning johnno’s boots and mowing his lawn

        • January 30th 2013 @ 12:23am
          Johnno said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:23am | ! Report

          sounds good Dadiggle, I need a new gardener, and someone to clean by boots and shine my shoes a new butler would be handy on my estate . LOL.

        • January 30th 2013 @ 4:46am
          mania said | January 30th 2013 @ 4:46am | ! Report

          Dadiggle – no thanks i already do a low job working at parliment. the stench of corruption here is worse than the abbatoirs

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2013 @ 5:40am
      biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 5:40am | ! Report

      University rugby is a good call, but not as the tier below super rugby.

      Look at the system SA has, between university and super rugby you still have the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 7:58am
        Rough Conduct said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:58am | ! Report

        Vodacom and Currie Cups are provincial competitions, in Australia our provinces play Super Rugby so in both cases the varsity competitions are development for provincial rugby.

        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2013 @ 8:06am
          biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:06am | ! Report

          Super rugby Frnachises are made up of two and in some cases three provinces.

          Whislt the top players are pooled into these franchises for super rugby, club players are pulled into the provinces to compete in the Vodacom, this effectively exposes amateur players to pro rugby for 4 months.

          Once the Currie Cup begin the professionally contracted players of each province competes in two tiers, premier currie cup division and 1st division.

          So you have
          Club rugby and Varsity rugby (amateur)
          Vodacom (semi pro)
          Currie cup 1st division (contracted pros)
          Currie cup premier division (contracted pros)
          Super rugby(pros)

          That means each step is small increments be it physically or less space and time to make decisions.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 8:14am
            Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:14am | ! Report

            Biltongbek, that is an amazing top-down model. Every level they have it covered it seems.
            Is there an under-20 youth comp in STH Africa, or a good provincial under-20’s comp in each province, or is varsity cup just the focus. You have a good schools set up too, craven week. To wrap it up STH Africa and NZ , are the envy of the rugby world it seems. Just right now STH African talent is being headhunted left , right,centre, at craven week, and all levels of rugby. But the set up is good.
            And on a side note , how much would a regular starter in Currie cup premier division make, like a regular no 8, or a a starting halfback, or prop.

            • Roar Guru

              January 29th 2013 @ 8:23am
              biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:23am | ! Report

              Hi johnno, yeah sorry, apart from the above there is an under 19 and under 21 currie cup, all these players are also contracted professionally. Some of them will be sent to the varsity cup or clubs in their provinces to get match practice if they aren’t getting enough match time at the age group levels.

            • Roar Guru

              January 29th 2013 @ 8:25am
              biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:25am | ! Report

              From reports, but I am not sure how accurate it is, Currie Cup players are categorised according to experience, the entry level is roughly 60 000 aus dollars.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 8:28am
                mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:28am | ! Report

                no sht biltongbek! thats more than ITM entry level which i think is around the NZ$30k mark . no wonder so many kiwi’s leave our shores

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 8:40am
                biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:40am | ! Report

                Well mania, it isn’t enough mate, our players still get offered way more overseas.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 8:51am
                mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:51am | ! Report

                yeah biltongbek hard to say no to all that money on offer. tbh i dont mind as a lot of these players are fringe and its giving them a chance to make good money for a short time before they have to retire. i know the national squad gets affected but a lot of individuals benefit

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 9:00am
                biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:00am | ! Report

                Mania, the pllayers leaving SA are getting younger and younger mate, there are now more youngsters overseas (by quite some margin) leaving before age 24 than players leaving at age 29

              • January 29th 2013 @ 9:09am
                mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:09am | ! Report

                yeah biltongbek same is happening here. euro clubs are trying to target kids before they make the AB’s. the lure of the black jersey keeps most but still more n more are leaving
                i have a 15 yr old cousing who went to play for the under 14’s Sydney Roosters league club. they scouted him and enticed him over.he got homesick after a year and is back now but lots of other kids get lured away

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 1:17pm
                jeznez said | January 29th 2013 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                bb that is huge – that is more than the junior guys in the Aussie Super Squads – EPS are getting.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 6:28pm
                biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

                Jeznez, lik I said mate, hiw accurate it is I don’t know. The guy that told me this is a coach at Pirates rugby club, and is involved in many discussions with the Lions rugby union. So the source isn’t completely unreliable.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 7:47pm
                Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:47pm | ! Report

                There by Nigel Springs? Hope your not on a farm mate. Been hectic for the farmers

            • January 29th 2013 @ 6:33pm
              Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:33pm | ! Report

              Biltong are you from Cape Town?

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 7:40pm
                biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

                No mate, Johannesburg, I live just south of Johannesburg.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 7:53pm
                biltongbek said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:53pm | ! Report

                Alberton, it is literally just south of johburg, it is in a nature estate, quite safe here. But yeah, my wife and I would love to move to the country, but it just isn’t safe to do so.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 8:01am
        mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:01am | ! Report

        Rough Conduct – isnt it your states that play super? dont u have smaller demarcations than state?

        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2013 @ 1:25pm
          jeznez said | January 29th 2013 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

          We are very concentrated mate – take NSW 7.3m people, 4.6m of them live in Sydney meaning only 2.7 live outside Sydney.

          In close proximity to Sydney are the other two major NSW population centres Newcastle with 550k and Wollongong with 290k.

          Take those three out and you have 1.9m people spread out over an area three times the area of New Zealand (NSW 810,000 square km and NZ 270,000 square km).

          The only real demarcation in NSW is Sydney vs Country but the same tyranny of distance that means it is a five hour flight for the Force for a match within their own conference means that NSW Country sides come from a huge area with a relatively small population pool.

          • Roar Guru

            January 29th 2013 @ 1:40pm
            Jiggles said | January 29th 2013 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

            And thats the same story all across Australia. 3 million of Queensland’s 4.5 Million live in the South East, no more than 2 and a half hours from Ballymore. 4 Million of 5 Million Victorians live in Melbourne and 1.8 million of West Australia’s 2.4 Million live in Perth. Australia is one of the most urbanised countries in the world.

            It makes no sense to put up random teams away from the core population centres in regional Australia for a boutique sport like Rugby.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 1:41pm
              kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 1:41pm | ! Report

              Who are these random teams far from the core population centres that are being put up?

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 2:03pm
                Jiggles said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:03pm | ! Report

                you have a history of talking about putting super teams in places like Central Queensland. Heck you even want to put teams in places like the gold coast which has a history of failing to support more popular sporting codes like Rugby League.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 2:17pm
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

                No I don’t.

                I would only in the concievable future put Super teams in one of the 8 biggest population centres.

                There would never be a candidate ever far away from a major population centre except possibly northern QLD anyway.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 2:25pm
                Jiggles said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                haha oh gosh now you’re just making up stuff.

                you really have no idea on the Australian situation. I suggest you keep your chatter to how big SBWs biceps are, or what ever else it is that gets you going.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 2:41pm
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                I suggest Jiggles you go and think why a presumably adult man like yourself can’t write a post in an online forum without some derogatory/abusive comment: you have written them to virtually everyone you have addressed today.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 2:48pm
                Jiggles said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

                I would happily do that if you stop polluting every thread with with 100 comments based on a straw-man argument.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 3:00pm
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

                Rubbish, you’re abusive to everyone and today you have sent forth unending bile to anyone you encounter, and in any case you seem to spend a lot of your time on these arguments given how worthless you think they are. Grow up.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 3:07pm
                Jiggles said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                You clearly have no understanding of the rugby landscape here in Australia, yet you make ridiculous comments.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 3:18pm
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

                Great, don’t talk to me then.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 2:19pm
            kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 2:19pm | ! Report

            jeznez interestingly I wonder what percentage of the population would have a team nearby if there were one in the 8 largest cities?

            • Roar Guru

              January 29th 2013 @ 3:01pm
              jeznez said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

              about 70% but all of those population centres are already serviced by a team in close proximity except Adelaide and they don’t have a sizeable rugby population calling out for a team.

              The top nine population centres/cities in Australia are Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast-Tweed, Newcastle, Canberra-Queenbeyan and Wollongong. Each of the regional centres/cities on that list are very close to a Super Rugby team’s base.

              Adelaide is the only area currently missing out and the standard of current Super Rugby sides in Oz does not warrant creating an artificial team there.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 3:04pm
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Well Adelaide’s a separate discussion, but what it should mean is that you can reach a lot with a little. Except being near a rugby centre doesn’t seem enough when there’s an NRL team in the town itself already.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2013 @ 3:13pm
                jeznez said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

                The discussion started based on demarcation underneath the provincial level in Oz.

                The key here is that that demarcation does not really exist – explains perfectly why in the attempt to create the ARC that teams needed to be ‘made up’ from scratch.

                It is why the other option when discussing third tier tends to consider hijacking existing entities – be it the NSW Country Cockatoos etc or promoting clubs to a higher level.

                I’m not sure I agree with this Uni idea, so much of the population does not go to Uni.

                I also don’t like age limiting the comp. What if you are the best prop in the Under 23’s but you don’t pick up a spot because Australia goes through a propping resurgence and all Super Squad spots are populated with 25-28 yr old’s who are stronger?

                Does this guy turn 24 and have to drop back to club level and then hope he can make it via the club ranks?

                It means the club comp will be weaker since the best under 23’s aren’t playing in it and that the under 23 comp is not as strong as it could be since 24 and up are missing. It is a unnecessary split and I don’t think it is the way to go.

              • January 29th 2013 @ 3:22pm
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

                Agree with all that jeznez, it doesn’t seem to give enough coverage of ages as a third tier would, nor to give spots to those who don’t go to university or are too young/old to and it fundamentally doesn’t seem to do much.

                I think the ARC was a fine model except I would have put the third NSW team in Sydney or Newcastle instead of the small Central Coast. The plan with the ARC was to add Adelaide and Newcastle after the opening years, and I think the 10 team format that would have resulted in with a third Sydney team instead of Central Coast would have been an excellent model, covering the largest population areas while dividing Sydney into three units.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 6:28am
      kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:28am | ! Report

      Johnno sums up the issue pretty well.

      A varsity competition might be fine and dandy AFTER a national competition AND an under-20s have been set up, in that order, which are far more urgent, as indeed and take the greatest priority are more Super teams.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 6:49am
        Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:49am | ! Report

        Exaclty KPM, Dandy is a good word to describe it. Under-23 is too much mucking around. Rugby is set up now, especially for forwards, to develop between 18-20, then chucked out in the deep end after that. You don’t need to extend the development age to 23. But 18-20 is a critical time where forwards especially are often just not ready to rumble with the big boys. 20 years and over.

        And the last thing you want is to destroy the confidence of 18-20 yr old’s getting physically outmuscled, or injuries, and jus giving up on rugby, thinking it’s too tough. At that age you don’t have a concept of time, and don’t even realise by the year your turning 21 you will be much stronger and competitive. Have an initiation first then, muck around with the big boys.
        And under-23 KPM the balance is wrong, it extends the breaking in period too long, and 21-23yr olds need ot be exposed to older players 25-35, not just 21-23.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 7:07am
          mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:07am | ! Report

          cmon guys. did u not see any of the aus derby of the last couple years? i was bored shtless and at full time i was really pssed off that i wasted that time. these aus derby’s are doing so much PR damage to super and australian rugby than NRL and AFL put together. what kind of aus kid would want to play rugby after watching one of those games?
          grassroots first then the additional teams. no point having extra aus sides when u have no australians to populate them. grow your player depth first then the flow on will improve the wallaby’s

          • January 29th 2013 @ 7:20am
            Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:20am | ! Report

            mania. The derbies are misleading, at least i think they are mate. The western force, have never been helped that well by the ARU, and still are not in my view. The rebels were allowed more imports, and still are allowed more imports. is that unfair or what. Also no away from home allowance, like in AFL with brisbane and sydney, to cover costs for moving away from home, and enticing players to move.

            So the force have never really had a good environment to flourish. Plus they were stuffed around in the early seasons, by 3rd party sponsors like firepower,.

            And it takes time, a few initial years may be tough, but after that if you set up junior systems, things start to happen.
            Sydney Swans and GWS, are examples and Brisbane lions in AFL. All 3 struggled GWS have only had 1 season ad struggled. But sydney swans, and brisbane lions have all since won titles. A bit of patience is needed.

            And if the people who ran aussy rugby, had a better national plan, at grass roots that NZ have, things would be better.
            So the short term pain of a few weak seasons, is massively overturned by long term development.

            And pro teams in areas, is what drives the grassroots even if the team is losing, as it makes people aware of the sport.
            Far more people in sydney and brisbane are aware of AFL since it came here 30 years ago, and about 25 years ago in Brisbane. Both teams had lean years, but hung in there. Look at the A-league, it has taken 7 years to mature, and sort out it’s teething problems, but is having it’s break out year. The short term pain is worth it, long term development wise.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 6:41pm
              Dadiggle said | January 29th 2013 @ 6:41pm | ! Report

              You mean lure Island talent with $$$$

          • January 29th 2013 @ 7:38am
            mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:38am | ! Report

            johnno – allowance to move from home? they get paid to play rugby that should be enough.
            agree its unfair for the rebels to be allowed more imports because they’ve proven they dont know how to build a rugby team. THP first, then front row then the rest of the forwards, in that priority. not wasting money on a couple of backs, beale and joc .
            any new teams are going to go thru all these issues you espouse only itll be worse because the player pool will be that much more deleted. so it’ll be fringe kiwi’s , saffa’s and almost retired players populating aus sides.
            much much more important that youve touched on is “if you set up junior systems, things start to happen” that is 1st and foremost and what aus lacks. its criminal that the ARU doesnt have something in place to compete with the AFL and NRL youth systems.
            we agree on some things here johnno, but please no more aus teams. i’d start following AFL if i had to watch another aus derby of last years quality.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 7:47am
              Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:47am | ! Report

              agreed mania the ARU have been awful in there neglecting youth systems in OZ. And all these years our next door neighbours in NZ, we haven’t bothered to look at, and only now are starting to look at them, and still could look at the kiwi set up even more. Centralization is one, which the ARU are now talking about, but they could really look at the kiwis more too with there youth set ups. Agreed mania, the Aust local derbies last year were awful. I don’t think will follow Aust rugby if we have another year, as bleak as 2012 in 2013, i will give up completely on the game in OZ.

            • January 29th 2013 @ 7:56am
              mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:56am | ! Report

              johnno – i’m pretty disgusted with how the ARU thru 100+ years of aus rugby, 17 years of super have done nothing for grassroots. all the stories i hear of coaches and volunteers advancing rugby in their areas always seems to be independent of the ARU. someone is lining their pockets with all these profits and not giving back to aus rugby. i ahve cousings in NSW who are playing league because they percieve rugby as a rich private school game.
              i agree with centralising contracts but doesnt that go against your wish to have privatised ownership?
              i agree look to nz as a model of how to get youth development right but keep in mind that it works in NZ because we’re so small. the collective rugby conciousness has a lot less in fighting cos less people means less ego’s to fight thru

          • January 29th 2013 @ 8:39am
            Darwin Stubbie said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:39am | ! Report

            It’s just a circular argument mate … These guys can’t comprehend SR isn’t there solely to prop up Aust rugby …. If they want multiple new teams they should be advocating Aust move out from under the SR umbrella and set up their own pro comp …. NZ and SA could run a decent enough SR comp and Aust could get a franchise in every major city and region and play amongst themselves

            • January 29th 2013 @ 8:46am
              mania said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:46am | ! Report

              dont get me started darwin. i agree fully and spent many a times arguing this with kpm. good arguments tho

              • January 29th 2013 @ 9:16am
                kingplaymaker said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:16am | ! Report

                DS but I also think it’s better for both NZ and SA as I have outlined in the past, rather than just propping up Australia. I think something like a 9-team per country model would be best in terms of covering markets/maximising player exposure/generating revenue from TV markets.

                However here I was arguing for a national competition ahead of a university competition which is a separate question.

    • January 29th 2013 @ 7:54am
      Rough Conduct said | January 29th 2013 @ 7:54am | ! Report

      The University based competition has the potential to become a brilliant solution to one of Australian Rugby’s most pressing and complex issues.

      Firstly, evolving club Rugby cannot be done, it is simply too complicated and would undoubtedly result in a divisive, political mess as there will inevitably be clubs that ‘win’ and clubs that ‘lose’. The franchise model has already failed, the ARC was a complete dog turd of a competition, you cannot slap teams together that represent nothing and no one, give it a silly name and expect rugby punters to eat it up – Rugby is not T20 cricket. So, Rugby administrators are in a bit of a bind – we are maxed out at the elite level with no semi-professional level underpinning it through talent attraction and player/coach development. Universities can provide the solution, it provides an attraction for talented school-levers, an even distribution of teams nationally, teams with identities and the ability to develop good supporter bases, it can provide the environment to nurture kids into professionals.

      Rugby is one of only a few sports that can implement such a competition, it promotes the Rugby ethos of Rugby being one part of a balanced life, it will differentiate the sport from all other football codes. I hope this concept gets a genuine opportunity to prosper.

      • January 29th 2013 @ 8:06am
        Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 8:06am | ! Report

        Rough conduct. The ARC was only given 1 year, hardly a chance to get market share. And the ARC was never set up to be a money maker ,just like this uni comp will not be a money maker most likely. And the ARC was only given 1 year,. And it got expensive as there was some issues down in Melbourne apparently.

        But on a rugby side, the quality of rugby was good, and a lot of talented players were exposed to a higher level of rugby than shute shield. So if the ARC was given more time, it would of sorted out some teething issues that go with it, but the rugby produced was of good quality , and exposed younger players, looking for there big break , a chance to develop and shine.
        Jared Hargraves one example. He went to the NRL, after getting spotted in the ARC. And has gone onto better things, and a few other players too developed there games. But it was only given 1 year.

        And in many way’s I also see the Uni concept not working in OZ, for another reason. Ability to appeal to a broader audience. The ARC you could support your team, as it was run on geographic lines, covering more territory, just like the Currie Cup/ITM cup.

        People who like rugby but have never been to university , may feel left out , . And also as it’s run on individual University lines, that’s a very small audience fan/supporter base it’s tapping into, hardly attractive for tv . USA works as it’s a 300 million plus population, they make a fortune from tv rights, it has close ties with the NFL, and it’s been around for a long long time. OZ you only have 22 million.

        Schoolboy rugby attracts a broader audience, because everyone in OZ, at some point did some high school of some sort, so it has appeal if it was on tv here, shame its not, as it rates well in NZ/STH Africa.

        • January 29th 2013 @ 9:02am
          Rough Conduct said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:02am | ! Report

          The ARC teams represented no one, they had no support, the ‘geographical lines’ were complete BS – where exactlly is “East Coast”?

          University teams, although may not appeal to all, will still be able to attract more support than either made-up franchises or suburban club sides.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 9:08am
            Johnno said | January 29th 2013 @ 9:08am | ! Report

            Well re-format the ARC, then i agree the names were stupid, but i still think a re-formatted ARC would appeal to more than a University comp overall.

          • January 29th 2013 @ 3:47pm
            sledgeandhammer said | January 29th 2013 @ 3:47pm | ! Report

            The ARC had my support, and a lot of others. The excitement of seeing large crowds snaking around North Sydney oval was awesome, and the games were exciting, and fast paced. More importantly a lot of talent was unearthed. The giant turd in the ARC saga was the act of JON kneecapping the competition for political reasons and everyone buying his lame excuse about blowing the budget.

      • Roar Guru

        January 29th 2013 @ 1:29pm
        jeznez said | January 29th 2013 @ 1:29pm | ! Report

        RC – I thought the ARC was brilliant, sure the teams didn’t have any history and had some weird names but the rugby played was excellent. Given time I had high hopes for that comp.

        • Roar Guru

          January 30th 2013 @ 12:47am
          peeeko said | January 30th 2013 @ 12:47am | ! Report

          exactly jez, like the al eague, teams came from nowhere, not existing nsl clubs

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