ROAR TV EXCLUSIVE: Bill Pulver answers your rugby questions

Bill Pulver Columnist

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    ARU CEO, Bill Pulver, sat down with The Roar to answer questions on the big issues facing Australian rugby at all levels.

    Starting with the Wallabies being the number one sporting brand in Australia, as outlined in the Australian Rugby Union’s five-year strategic plan, and moving all the way down to funding for grassroots rugby, we put your questions to the number one man the game in this country.

    In a 20-minute interview, we wanted to get an insight into the custodian of the game’s approach to the following broad topics.

    » Wallabies
    » Super Rugby
    » NRC and grassroots
    » Governance

    We crowdsourced a majority of the questions, and while we couldn’t ask them all, the spirit of all the questions Bill answered came from your suggestions. A big thanks should go to all of you who put their two cents in – we read every question and made sure each was considered before the interview.

    A big thanks should also go to Bill Pulver for volunteering his time to speak to us, and ARU Communications manager Michael Earsman, who works tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure that these things are set up, followed through on and happen on the day without a hitch.

    The only thing left to say is watch the video above, and let us know what you think in the comments section below.

    Bill’s video interview is part of The Roar‘s CEO series, where we bring you the word directly from those in charge of all the major codes in Australia. You can view the rest of the articles in that series here.

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    The Crowd Says (56)

    • June 9th 2016 @ 7:20am
      Rugger said | June 9th 2016 @ 7:20am | ! Report

      Excited to hear about Local 7s series in 2017-2018.

      It could be best thing ARU does for Rugby.

      Can’t wait.

      • Roar Guru

        June 9th 2016 @ 11:48am
        Joey Johns said | June 9th 2016 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Invite the NZ, Aus & Fiji national 7’s teams.

        Invite every Super Franchise to field a team.

        3 Week Series in Sydney, Brisbane, Auckland.

        It could literally be the ARU’s Big Bash. I’ve been shocked they didnt try something this year, considering it would have been an excellent way of identifying 7’s talent stuck in Soop Squads.

        • Roar Guru

          June 9th 2016 @ 11:58am
          Joey Johns said | June 9th 2016 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Every ANZ Super Franchise that is in our timezone**

          • June 9th 2016 @ 4:12pm
            Working Class Rugger said | June 9th 2016 @ 4:12pm | ! Report

            I’d just be happy if they had a team from the five current SR bases plus say a Western Sydney side to start. Six teams, two pools. Three games each.

        • June 10th 2016 @ 7:29pm
          Garmos said | June 10th 2016 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

          This should be looked at for sure by the Super Rugby Franchises. Would wouldn’t want to see the Tah 7s or Brumbies 7s. Each Super side to hold a tournament

          • June 11th 2016 @ 12:56pm
            NaBUru38 said | June 11th 2016 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

            I’ve been thinking that Tasman Sevens Series is a better idea than a Super Sevens Series.

            With one team per franchise, you could have a men’s and women’s tournament simultaneously over two days.

            If African and Americas teams were in, you would need to add a third day or split the men’s and women’s tournsments.

    • June 9th 2016 @ 7:33am
      Rebel said | June 9th 2016 @ 7:33am | ! Report

      Thanks for this all those involved at the Roar as well as those Roarers that contributed to the questions. Also well done to Billy P for his time adressing the fans.

    • June 9th 2016 @ 7:34am
      Lostintokyo said | June 9th 2016 @ 7:34am | ! Report

      I think the ARU is steering rugby in Australia in the right direction. Problem is the “which comes first, the chicken or the egg”? We need success to make money and money to make success. So the journey will be one of small steps and it will take time, a long time perhaps. Pulver is heading in the right direction. That is all he can do I guess. ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day.’

    • June 9th 2016 @ 7:57am
      Bakkies said | June 9th 2016 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      Sorry Bill but those ‘law changes’ are too far removed from real Rugby that these are preparing themselves for.

      • Columnist

        June 9th 2016 @ 10:25am
        Brett McKay said | June 9th 2016 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        In what way Bakkies? What NRC Law variations are so far removed from ‘real Rugby’?

        Is it the time required the set scrums? (About to come in globally from July 1)
        Is it that uncontested lineout throws don’t have to be gun-barrel straight? (How many crooked contested throws have been pulled up recently?)
        Is it that the defending scrumhalf can’t enter the ‘pocket’ between the attacking flanker and the no.8 at the scrum? (In place in Super Rugby now)
        Is it that you can still play the lineout from a penalty after the HT or FT siren? (also now in Super Rugby)

        • June 9th 2016 @ 5:00pm
          Bakkies said | June 9th 2016 @ 5:00pm | ! Report

          The points system mainly. It doesn’t help improve goalkickers who have to nail those pressure clutch kicks that occur at every other level including Shut Shield and as evidenced in the under 20s dunderhead captaincy where captains don’t take the points. Basic Rugby that wins games. The NRC doesn’t address that.

          • June 9th 2016 @ 9:55pm
            AndyS said | June 9th 2016 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

            I’ll cheerfully swap one player’s individual skill for teaching the rest of our players how to use pace, passing, mauling and scrumming as weapons rather than just ways to draw penalties. That player can pick up the difference with a little specialist training; the Australian game has been lacking the others for a long time now.

            • June 10th 2016 @ 1:39am
              Bakkies said | June 10th 2016 @ 1:39am | ! Report

              Like it or lump it penalties/taking the points are a part of the game whether you are playing for them or not.

              Decision making of when to take them is very poor. Captains are going for the corners 99% of the time in the NRC. That’s not proper game management in a real game.

              There are very few good goalkickers coming through the system. The NRC is not helping with that development.

              • June 10th 2016 @ 9:48am
                AndyS said | June 10th 2016 @ 9:48am | ! Report

                I agree, but there is a very big difference between penalties existing and it becoming a whole game plan just to rely on them. IMO Australian rugby has for some time fallen too far toward the latter, as have paid for it in the skill base of all the players moving through the system. That above all should be what they are learning as they make their way up to contention for a SR contract.

                Decision making does not matter much…no-one is likely to graduate straight from NRC into a leadership role at SR so there is plenty of time to understand the tactical differences. And while I agree about the state of our kickers, they’ve got like that without the NRC. Much easier to teach one or two players a specific skill, than all players the basic skills sets and competences that so many seem to progress without under our current systems.

              • June 11th 2016 @ 1:00pm
                NaBUru38 said | June 11th 2016 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                I really like tries over penalty kicks. I love penalty kicks reduced from 3 to 2 points.

                But the proposed reform increases the probability of draws, as all scoring is even. I think that tries should remain at 5 points.

    • June 9th 2016 @ 8:01am
      Ozrugbynut said | June 9th 2016 @ 8:01am | ! Report

      Good update Pulver, if a little disappointing to hear that back office centralisation still some time away but it is a complex change. Hopefully the forces use of the high performance unit will provide a good test case. Would be great to hear how clubs are being developed outside of Sydney and Brisbane to build grass roots in emerging markets. Are the state unions also engaging closely with the clubs to talk about strategic directions at a local level?

    • Columnist

      June 9th 2016 @ 8:07am
      Geoff Parkes said | June 9th 2016 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      So Paddy goes to all the effort of arranging an interview with the CEO of Australian rugby, makes a great job of it, looks forward this morning to a stimulating discussion about the rugby issues and….

      …it’s gone all 60 Minutes, where the interviewer becomes more important than the subject!

      Just shows what can happen when you let people loose with a beard, pointy shoes, craft beer, Mumford and Sons and avocado smash.

      • Editor

        June 9th 2016 @ 10:13am
        Patrick Effeney said | June 9th 2016 @ 10:13am | ! Report

        I still hold onto hope we can dissect the issues in the interview!

        • Columnist

          June 9th 2016 @ 10:22am
          Geoff Parkes said | June 9th 2016 @ 10:22am | ! Report

          I’ll help you out mate.

          I agree with Bakkies that having a total of two penalty goals kicked over a whole competition, does not necessarily equate to better rugby.

          But is it ok if it is a means to an end, ie is something radical like this required to attract NEW interest in rugby, from people who may have had a passing interest previously, but were turned off by the game stopping all the time for shots at goal?

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