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Mr Pulver, hit the accelerator on the NRC

Fear not rugby fans, the NRC is back to quench your thirst. (Image by Johan Schmidt Photography)
Roar Guru
28th April, 2016
21

Something has happened that requires urgent attention: today the NRC is the single most important part of Australian Rugby.

The sports Minster in South Africa has refused to allow Rugby and Cricket tours of South Africa because both codes have not met government requirements for the percentage of black players in the teams. The document is called the Transformation Charter.

Here is a link to the government’s cancellation of the Sevens rugby tournament along with an explanation of how the South African government sees this issue.

I don’t wish to comment on this decision. Suffice to say if – and I assume it will – the SA government gets its way, it flows to the Super Rugby clubs and the national 15s side.

My assumption and sometimes sadly but I have found with Rugby folk even at a local Park level, ability determines who plays. A poor player does not get much game time whereas a very good player only comes off if injured or tied.

If the SA government follow the Transformation policy to the 15-a-side game, to Super Rugby, the national team, many talented current rugby players will be looking for a new employer. Europe is an obvious place for them to start, with players like Rory Kockett and Brad Barritt already going thay way.

Again it’s an assumption on my part, but I can’t see the current quality being maintained across both the Super Rugby sides and National teams if this takes place.

If there is a player exodus and new less ready – for now anyway – are forced on SA Rugby then it’s difficult to see both SA ratings as high and keeping the European revenue SANZAAR currently enjoys.

The share of SA ratings coming to Australia when added to European value of Super Rugby makes up a reasonably substantial part of our SANZAAR revenue.

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My assumption is if it is perceived and or actually happens if the Transformation policy results in a significant fall in quality the revenue will also fall.

This could have a considerable impact on Australian Rugby’s revenue.

I will copy a little from a post on a thread talking about this issue, it says we don’t care if Rugby in SA falls over they have never done anything for us.

“If you are so concerned about the money you need not, because Black and Coloured South Africans got hardly any of that money anyway from major sports until the government got involved and started to have them included. They have far less to lose than you might think with this policy.”

The poster seems to be saying that the 84% of the Black and Coloured South Africans never saw any SANZAAR money anyway, so if it goes who cares.

It also may never happen and all will be well with only minor changes.

The issue is can the ARU take the risk that the status quo will remain largely the same?

The alternative is revenue will take a hit, and if that is the case the ARU need to urgently get the NRC in a much more advanced state.

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If it is a massive revenue hit, then it won’t happen in isolation – rugby league is establishing itself in Oceania for a Test series, and if media reports are correct the A-League will be on a commercial broadcaster and looking to expand to 12 teams.

Rugby needs to ensure as best it can its revenue and that it has a meaningful competition. The Transformation policy if enforced has the potential to effect revenue and the ARU either need to hope it all goes away or as I see get the NRC ready to take over and maybe within five years.