Scott Fardy not shocked or surprised by Super Rugby debacle


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    Brumbies flanker Scott Fardy says the disappointing handling of the Super Rugby competition has come as no surprise but hopes the “faceless men in suits” at SANZAAR learn from the debacle.

    The Super Rugby season has been marred by constant speculation over the future of one Australian franchise, as the governing body weighed up ways to fix the ailing competition.

    The result of months of talks was to reduce the number of teams from 18 to 15 with two South African teams and one from Australia to be kicked out.

    The Brumbies were spared the axe when the ARU announced last week it would be either the Western Force or Melbourne Rebels to be cut from the competition in 2018, but an initial 72-hour deadline on which club will be cut was thrown out the window when the two franchises threatened legal action.

    As round eight of Super Rugby approaches, the two under-threat Australian teams are yet to learn their fate.

    “It’s disappointing it’s taken this long but is anyone surprised? This is the game we’re in, it’s been like this for a long time,” Fardy said.

    “The officialdom in this game has always been like that.”

    While the ARU has come under fire for their handling of the process, the Test back-rower said Super Rugby’s governing body lacked a public face.

    “Obviously everyone looks at the ARU at the moment but you wouldn’t know who the head of SANZAAR is at any point – I wouldn’t know what he looks like,” Fardy said.

    “In other sports, especially in Australia, you have a head we can look at. In SANZAAR rugby we don’t know who is running it.

    “It’s faceless men in suits in board rooms.”

    Fardy, who is leaving the Brumbies at the end of the season to join Irish powerhouse Leinster, said he felt for Force and Rebels players, as well as others affected by a moratorium on contract talks for non-Wallabies.

    “It’s guys’ livelihoods,” Fardy said.

    “It’s incredibly tough for players to have go through that.”

    He said he supported the Rugby Union Players’ Association’s position of backing five Australian teams, but accepted Super Rugby needed structural change.

    “I’m hoping that with all that stuff we get change so we’re not having these conversations in five or ten years’ time,” Fardy said.

    “Hopefully we see changes for the benefit of rugby and this competition gets better from it.”

    © AAP 2018
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    The Crowd Says (27)

    • Roar Rookie

      April 18th 2017 @ 7:05pm
      Die hard said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:05pm | ! Report

      Except it is not the ‘faceless men in suits” at SANZAAR that are holding things up. Rather it is the stoush between the rebels the force and the ARU that is causing the delay from here.

      It is interesting that we are not hearing the same from South Africa who despite being in a far stronger position than Australia are getting on with the job of trimming to four teams. The SANZAAR discussion and resolution is well over already.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 7:27pm
        Bakkies said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

        The Cheetahs are also looking at court action

        • April 18th 2017 @ 7:32pm
          cuw said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

          AND it is most probable the saffer Government will get involved if the Kings are to be killed 🙂

        • Roar Guru

          April 18th 2017 @ 7:40pm
          sheek said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

          ANC may not let the Kings go quietly.

          If the Kings survive, then the Cheethas go & shock horror, Lions & Bulls must merge as I read as one possible alternative. Could either Sharks or Stormers be in danger?

          I doubt if the Saffie franchises are going to roll over any easier than the Aussie franchises.

          Ha, ha, this is such an almighty stuff-up by our rugby authorities, I’m really enjoying it. I’m no fan of SANZAAR.

          The simple solution to fix the problem was 3 pools x 6 teams with an easier to understand qualification for finals.

          In the meantime, work towards a better concept/structure from 2021 onwards.

          But what’s happening is unnecessary lunacy IMHO.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 18th 2017 @ 8:29pm
            BlouBul said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:29pm | ! Report

            The best thing that can happen is the demise of SARU and their merry men that run the unions into the ground and bend to the will of their political masters.
            The drive for ‘growth’ is to feed the continuous growing wage bill (more for less) and we all know how that is going to end up, just a matter of time. No industry can keep on growing and a crash (Correction) is the only thing that bring it back to reality. Wash, Rinse, Repeat.
            And the carrot the merry men hang out is our obsession (rightly or wrongly) with our national teams. Well, I’m at the point where I would rather watch a domestic comp amongst non SARU affiliated teams and let them(SARU/ARB) steam in their own fat and fund their own players.

          • Roar Rookie

            April 18th 2017 @ 10:47pm
            Die hard said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:47pm | ! Report

            That is also my belief Sheek. It seems the most likely outcome. I think the realisation has set on that there must be a greater and stronger quality and more concentrated wealth for the overall game to progress. It also makes more relevant and unique the currie cup distinct from super rugby.

            However for long term relationship building the kings must probably stay.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 8:34am
            Bakkies said | April 19th 2017 @ 8:34am | ! Report

            ‘Lions & Bulls must merge as I read as one possible alternative. ‘

            Which won’t as the two teams can’t stand each other.

            ‘The simple solution to fix the problem was 3 pools x 6 teams with an easier to understand qualification for finals’

            Agreed but the union that is not affect by this at all one iota the NZRU disagreed with it as they will play more derbies. Nonsense no one said they would.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 7:39pm
        BBA said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:39pm | ! Report

        I dont think the South African teams intend to take this easily, however they are not in the media as much. Or the media is not in there face about it so much.

        • April 18th 2017 @ 7:50pm
          cuw said | April 18th 2017 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

          probably becoz there are far more important things in that country than a few guys throwing a ball around …..

        • April 18th 2017 @ 8:15pm
          davSA said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:15pm | ! Report

          Not yet. Come June it will be a different story. Cheetahs will take legal action , no choice really . It will clearly be based on their sound financial management as opposed to the other teams. the Kings have a case constitutionally . Development and correcting historical imbalances is constitutionally enshrined . In their case they have been left in such a mess by the ANC’s lackey Cheeky Watson that the new CEO has admitted the team will have to start from absolutely scratch anyway . He ( Charl Crous) does however make it clear that superugby inclusion is a very important part of getting the team on track. The goings on of Cheeky Watson have made have made sponsorship procurement impossible . They simply don’t trust the franchise with their funds . Should they get their management in order and I strongly believe that Crous can do it and having lived in Port Elizabeth for 25 years , I don’t believe sponsorship will be a problem.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 8:38am
            Bakkies said | April 19th 2017 @ 8:38am | ! Report

            ‘The simple solution to fix the problem was 3 pools x 6 teams with an easier to understand qualification for finals.’

            And they have shown previously that they can attract strong cards. There is potential in the current squad but the problem as always with the Kings is to keep the squad together. Watson aside they have always had the threat of relegation or the axe hanging above their head.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 2:50pm
            Loftus said | April 19th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

            Eastern Province rugby has always been corrupt, and you think now they will get it sorted out?
            Cheecky Watson was elected president and hailed as the Messiah and now he’s found out as well.
            There shouldn’t be any sympathy for the Kings. They can’t organise a piss up in a brewery and they are the reason Super rugby is in this mess.

        • April 18th 2017 @ 8:40pm
          Sergey Lavrov - Minister for Foreign Affairs said | April 18th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

          From the time I spent over in South Africa, it struck me that it is very much a soccer nation. Union is only watched by the white folks which constitutes only about five odd million people. So technically the rugby following pocket of Australia is larger in population than both NZ and SA. Problem is, rugby league has the popularity because union is only for the wealthy classes. RL tries to make itself the working class game. Maybe union needs to increase its appeal to people outside the rich.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 5:14am
            mania said | April 19th 2017 @ 5:14am | ! Report

            agree sergey. kids in aus don’t see rugby as a game for all the people. its perceived as a private school game.
            RL has got it right. appeal to the public schools and you will strangle rugby out of existence.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 8:41am
            Bakkies said | April 19th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

            ‘From the time I spent over in South Africa, it struck me that it is very much a soccer nation. Rugby is only watched by the white folks which constitutes only about five odd million people. ‘

            That’s very generalist. The passion for Rugby over there showers over Austraila at a great height. They also have far more schools playing the game at a top level across the country. There is no closed shop like there is in Australia particularly in Sydney.

          • April 19th 2017 @ 2:53pm
            Loftus said | April 19th 2017 @ 2:53pm | ! Report

            Haha, funniest post of the day!

          • April 19th 2017 @ 4:36pm
            davSA said | April 19th 2017 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

            Your perception Sergey that rugby is a white sport is understandable but no longer correct . Its understandable because at face value it does appear that way . It is a damaging perception to SARU because it really does affect sponsorship procurement here . It also brings unnecessary government heat onto themselves. They have not done nearly enough to address it.

      • April 18th 2017 @ 9:15pm
        davSA said | April 18th 2017 @ 9:15pm | ! Report

        Don’t agree Die Hard . SA hasn’t even begun to indicate which teams must go/merge etc. Only reason you are not hearing from them is essentially SARU haven’t done anything yet . They haven’t even finalised the criteria for teams to decide whether or not they belong or not. It is truly a storm brewing . SANZAARs discussion/resolution may be over but the games haven’t even begun with those that actually matter. Should the SA courts decide in Favour of the Cheetahs and /or Kings assuming it gets to that SARU , SANZAAR , whoever will have no choice but to abide . In other words back to the drawing board or ……..

        • Roar Rookie

          April 18th 2017 @ 10:51pm
          Die hard said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:51pm | ! Report

          I admit to not knowing anything also. But I do believe the saru have a good handle on why and are greatly motivated. At least the displaced teams will still survive in a lower level at the currie cup.

          But it is ugly till it is resolved for certain

          • April 18th 2017 @ 11:00pm
            davSA said | April 18th 2017 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

            That it is

    • April 18th 2017 @ 10:34pm
      Jock Cornet said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

      You will see a mass exodus if sa and aus players next year or two to Europe. The players will get worse and worse until no one bothers watching NZ win it for the next 15 years.

      • Roar Rookie

        April 18th 2017 @ 10:56pm
        Die hard said | April 18th 2017 @ 10:56pm | ! Report

        With a hundred extra from super teams on top of normal migration there will probably not be too many spots available jock. There are not limitless squad options all round the world.

        Many will return to fringes for a few years perhaps and may develop better for that. Who knows. A problem here has often been too high too soon.

        • April 19th 2017 @ 12:43am
          davSA said | April 19th 2017 @ 12:43am | ! Report

          Most of the black players in SA teams have a background from the Eastern Cape (Kings territory) . The quality players are obviously in huge demand due to quotas having to be met . Those left at the Kings are the 2nd level of black African player as obviously the Kings cannot pay anything like the Salaries of the bigger Unions. It is very , very important for SA rugby for the Kings to succeed . But it must be done in a sustainable and sensible way with good business practices always the order of the day. There is ample support in P.E for a good rugby side . When the Kings first made their Superugby debut as the Spears they played to full stadiums. These supporters will return because they just want to see good rugby . The majority of SA,s major motor manufacturers are from the region but they will only sponsor excellence . Nothing else . So it is up to the Kings should they survive the cut to make it count .

    • April 19th 2017 @ 11:33am
      IKnowEverything said | April 19th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

      Australia can only support 3 Super Rugby teams, even 4 teams is one too many. Look at this year’s points table, the top Australian team the Brumbies have 17 points, the second lowest top team the Stormers have 26 points. In the NZ conference, the bottom dwellers the Blues have 17 points – equal to Australia’s top team.

      The bullet needs to be bitten, reduce Australian Super Rugby teams to 3, & let’s see one of them winning the competition on a regular basis (and we’ll see the crowds returning).

      • April 19th 2017 @ 12:06pm
        AndyS said | April 19th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

        They’d certainly need to, once the reduction in TV revenue kicks in. Pity crowd revenues don’t go to either the ARU or grassroots rugby…

      • April 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm
        Paul said | April 19th 2017 @ 12:36pm | ! Report

        2011 the Reds were coached by McKenzie
        During the Brumbies run including the 2013 final they narrowly lost they were coached by Jake White
        2014/15 the Waratahs were coached by Cheika

        Which Australian Franchise currently has a coach of that level of quality?

        The last 2 years we’ve had probably the least experienced and least quality coaches in all franchises and the results reflect that. The problem isn’t player depth. We have across the board some pretty average coaching stocks at present.

    • April 19th 2017 @ 12:09pm
      stainlesssteve said | April 19th 2017 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

      i’m in favour of reducing Australian teams to two, adding the Sunwolves and Three new Argentine teams into the RSA conference, and swapping the Rebels and The Force with each other, as a character-building exercise for their fans, especially the Melbournites. What are you Melbournites doing, supporting rugby union when you have AFL, anyway?

      The Warratahs, Reds and Brumbies can got to Scotland for five years, to make them appreciate what they used to have. But the NZ coaching and support staff is sacrosanct; we’re not swapping them with anybody.

      This fiasco has produced the best discussion for years. Tragically! Once again, i wish to express my deepest sympathy, with the West Island teams and fans. You need people in admin, who have the spine to stand up for the game, and the players, against the forces of Mammon

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