As recently discussed in Spiro Zavos’ recent article on The Roar, one of the pillars of Bill Pulver’s strategic plan is not directly funding Sydney Shute Shield clubs.
It’s Pulver’s attempt to fund the game of rugby properly; to direct the funds away from 12 of the 770 Clubs in Australia and into other areas that grow the game.
Seriously, Bob Dwyer talking about a disagreement where he has a clear interest in one side (Randwick, where he is club president) is hardly news. What would we expect him to say?
The clubs have never been the majority of the players and, as a result, the fans. Now they no longer produce the bulk of the contracted talent. Pathways like schoolboy rugby and representative teams and Junior Gold Cup have replaced the clubs in that capacity.
In 2015 over 50 per cent of Super Rugby players came through the representative pathways that are run by the state unions and ARU. The number of players who had spent a great deal of time in the club system was almost equal to the number of players who came from NRL and other countries.
As Junior Gold Cup players graduate to senior levels, this will only reduce.
Take for example a player from my club, Melbourne University. Jordan Uluese is from our club. I’m not even sure if he has started a single senior game. He though has already played Rebels Under 20s, NRC and was on the bench for the Melbourne Rebels last week in their first trial. I believe he finished school in 2014.
In years gone by players like this would play schoolboys, then colts and grade for a few years.
Now they are in full-time professional systems within a year of leaving school, which is why Pulver’s plan actually helps distribute the funds to where they need to go.