Players’ Association backs push for ARU special meeting

By Vince Rugari, Vince Rugari is a Roar Guru

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234 Have your say

    The rugby union Players’ Association (RUPA) has backed the Victorian rugby union’s request for a special general meeting of the Australian rugby union’s board, which could bring the Super Rugby saga to a head.

    RUPA on Wednesday said its board had voted unanimously for a meeting to be held as soon as practicable to seek a “transparent, comprehensive update” on the ARU’s plans to kill off one Australian Super Rugby franchise.

    Those 13 RUPA board members include chairman Bruce Hodgkinson SC, president and Waratahs lock Dean Mumm, his NSW teammate Wallaby Bernard Foley and former Test skipper Stephen Moore.

    Under the ARU’s constitution, a general meeting must be held if it is requested by two voting members.

    The Rebels on Tuesday demanded that RUPA step up and do more for its players, with this resolution coming after the two groups met in Melbourne late in the day.

    RUPA’s support of the VRU comes after months of speculation following the ARU’s announcement that either the Melbourne Rebels or Western Force would be cut from the Super Rugby competition ahead of the rationalised 2018 format.

    “The ARU’s intent to axe an Australian Super Rugby team has lacked transparency and consultation with key stakeholders,” RUPA chief executive Ross Xenos said in at statement.

    “The ongoing uncertainty and secrecy of this process continues to do unprecedented damage to the reputation of the game and has placed unacceptable distress on players and their families.”

    RUPA said the ARU needed to focus on fighting its real enemies if there was no justifiable cost-saving in cutting a team.

    “It’s about time we stopped uppercutting ourselves, backed the retention of five Super Rugby teams and got on with fighting our common enemies outside the tent,” Xenos said.

    Xenos questioned the financial management of the ARU’s rumoured plan to buy back the Rebels’ licence from owner Andrew Cox, with those millions better spent on grass-roots rugby.

    “Why are we cutting a team at all and limiting Australian Rugby’s future if there are such discretionary funds within the game that the ARU can afford to buy a licence, only to scrunch it up and throw it away?” Xenos asked.

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (234)

    • May 17th 2017 @ 5:26pm
      Bamboo said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

      Who is the CEO of RUPA? Ross Xenos or Morgan Turinui?

      Anything in the name of progress, but I’d put RUPAs handling of this in the same basket as the ARU.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 7:09pm
        Rebellion said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:09pm | ! Report

        Why the hell is Dean Mumm a member of the RUPA let alone an Australia Test Rugby player.
        Oh yeah…Michael Chieka

        • May 18th 2017 @ 11:58am
          Phil said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:58am | ! Report

          Typical Rebellion comment.Why bring your personal dislike of Mumm into it?Of course there are going to be players on RUPA and maybe the other players have more respect for Mumm as a representative than you have for him as a player.I am also not a fan of his playing,but I hate these constant personal attacks on any player.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 18th 2017 @ 5:45pm
            Kirky said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:45pm | ! Report

            Phil! Ignore the clown mate!! He’s a vindictive nitwit who thinks he knows it all, but at the end of the day he wouldn’t even notice if he was up himself!

            Never has anything constructive or nice to say, a no hoper mate!

            Rebellion ~ you brilliant ray of sunshine, why don’t you just get lost Tulip? ~ Everyone is on to your acidic type smart remarks, keep them to your self-contained self mate!

            • May 18th 2017 @ 6:57pm
              Rebellion said | May 18th 2017 @ 6:57pm | ! Report

              Sorry to get up your nose Kirky but you’re obviously pretty selective on the comments I post.

              I’m certainly not going to be howled down by personal insults – and certainly not by a blue collar kiwi expat who never gives any consideration to anyone else’s opinions on this site.

              As if you could care less about the Wallaby coach selecting favourites when you are an All Blacks supporter.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 6:59pm
                Jibba Jabba said | May 18th 2017 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

                Good point Reb, carry on Mr Cheika, you are doing a great job….)

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2017 @ 7:02pm
                piru said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:02pm | ! Report

                certainly not by a blue collar kiwi expat

                jeez could you be MORE condescending?

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 7:11pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

                Pretty rude thing to say, Rebellion. One thing I’ve always preferred about Australia to Europe is the fact that Australia is (comparatively) a classless society.

                To attack someone because you perceive them to be of a lower class is a really unpleasant thing to do.

                Besides, tradies currently earn more money than white collar workers on average in Aus, and have better employment rates. Perhaps they’re the smart ones and the white collar workers are the silly ones?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2017 @ 11:30pm
                Kirky said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:30pm | ! Report

                Reb. old son!! I’m not going to give you the pleasure of an exercise in slagging! I’ve got more pleasurable things to do on here than filling you in on your quality as a sour acidic type blogger!

                Sorry to disappoint you Buttercup but I never ever did make the Blue Collar or White Collar brigade either and because of my job of work my collar could be more likened to a delicate shade of black or thereabouts!

                Your Blue Collar remark pretty much shows your qualities though mate and it’s obviously not much!

                Also, I’ve lived in Aussie for 28 years in Perth and am of course a ”true blue” now, I’ve got a piece of paper and a Passport that says so, ~ you see I love it here!

                All Blacks forever mate, you’re bang on there, Wallabies if they’re not playing the All Blacks, the Force if they’re not playing the Crusaders, cool preferences I say!

                In fact I back any Team at all that’s playing rugby as to me it’s a passion and have made it a Hobby since I first saw the All Blacks in a Test in 1949 as an 11 year old at Athletic Park in Wellington, ~ I’ve seen a bit over the years.

                I, and seemingly a host of others on this site get more than a tad annoyed with your acerbic remarks regarding the Force, there’s no need for it mate, they’re here and hopefully will be for a long time yet, and they are above or around the Reds, Tahs’ and Rebs’ on the current Ladder anyway aren’t they?

                Anyway thanks for your reply Buttercup nice of you, but it was like “Being savaged by a wet sheep”

    • May 17th 2017 @ 5:59pm
      Jimbo81 said | May 17th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

      Could this jeopardise Foley, Moore and Mum’s automatic Wallaby selection???

      • May 18th 2017 @ 7:40am
        Samoan_aussie91 said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:40am | ! Report

        I hope so…

        Not for Foley.. we need him..

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2017 @ 1:11pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:11pm | ! Report

        You forgot Hooper, Folau, Phipps, Skelton and Horne

    • May 17th 2017 @ 6:01pm
      Perthstayer said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

      This is gilt edged chance for ARU to retake control of the mess they initiated. In the real world (yours and mine) failure to do so at this point would see heads roll.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 6:15pm
        Perthstayer said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:15pm | ! Report


        The groups and individuals must not put a gun to the ARU’s head. Mad as it sounds this issue has to be negotiated out of.

        The groups opposing ARU need to offer face saving alternatives to the issues the ARU are seeking to address.

        Saying lets stick with the status quo will mean one team gets wiped. Pride comes before a fall.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 6:32pm
          Old Bugger said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:32pm | ! Report


          Too late mate….it seems to me that there’s already a couple of guns, aimed at the ARU’s head and this latest effort, will be the third gun.

          The question as always, is will these guns ever be fired or does Aust’s SR franchises, have to wait until the end of the competition, for an answer??

          • May 17th 2017 @ 7:11pm
            Rebellion said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:11pm | ! Report

            Just sack the Force and save the money which will be wasted on buying out the Rebels’ kiwi owner to invest into grass roots.
            For the good of the game the Force has to go !

            • May 17th 2017 @ 9:32pm
              In Brief said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:32pm | ! Report

              Sorry, a bad decision remains a bad decision whether it is executed quickly or slowly. The only way to turn a bad decision into a good one is to reverse it – for the good of the game the Force has to stay.

            • May 17th 2017 @ 11:44pm
              sittingbison said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

              Back under your bridge

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2017 @ 1:18pm
              Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:18pm | ! Report

              How Come I am a force Fan and can see the great value in both the Rebels and the Force and don’t want to see either of them cut.
              Yet you spew your venom and uneducated hatred for the Force with poor knowledge and no valid argument.
              Are you a toothless, illiterate, one eyed Collingwood supporter as well? There is a stereotype.

              Why does the answer have to be black and white? What about an amicable solution where both franchises players have a soft landing and both state’s Rugby programs survive instead of lancing one of them like an infected boil.

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2017 @ 11:45pm
                Kirky said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:45pm | ! Report

                Hey Rebellion! Get up this horrid Force Fan name of Timbo as you tried elsewhere!

                Everyone is wide awake to your junk Tulip!!

          • Roar Rookie

            May 18th 2017 @ 6:01pm
            Kirky said | May 18th 2017 @ 6:01pm | ! Report

            OB/ I doubt some will last the night, and neither they should!

            Everybody is past hearing about the utter bad mess as sanctioned by these high paid individuals – No one person has any true indication as to the demise or otherwise of any Super team whatever, ~ All appears to be a true basket case, and can’t, or don’t want to, divulge anything that probably may incriminate them as an elected body and may put them any more in the dung that they’re in already!

        • May 18th 2017 @ 8:20am
          Browny said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:20am | ! Report

          The ARU has had a gun to the Force and Rebels heads…. why would they not want to turn the tables?

          • May 18th 2017 @ 10:35am
            Rebellion said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

            Good point – I agree but realistically the ARU would be wielding very little power in SANZAAR and Sth Africa have already agreed to cut 2 x teams

            Would love to see the Jaguars & Sunwolves cut but I also can’t see any recovery (at least until it would be too late) unless at least one Aus franchise was cut

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2017 @ 11:23am
              Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report


              Why wouldn’t the ARU yield much power?

              There’s no reason why NZ or SA would wield any more power. All our individual competitions are worth peanuts overseas and it’s only collectively that we command decent TV money.

              It’s irrelevant whether NZ have the 5 best or 5 worst performing teams in that really. Without us and SA they are merely worth something similar to the $6M a year they get for the Mitre 10 Cup.

              Likewise us and our NRC.

              To quote Ben Lee. We’re all in this together.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 12:00pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                Dont know where you get your figures from as NZRU dont report numbers . .. but from whats been released via ARU that $6m appears light

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 12:50pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

                My main point is that based on the reported average wage of $30k, the Mitre 10 Cup has a wage bill around $14M with income of around $9M.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 12:43pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:43pm | ! Report

                I tell a lie.

                It’s about $9M.

                Aus gets $57M AUD for SR and Tests. NZ gets $70M NZD.

                So the Aus share is $61M NZD, leaving $9M for Mitre 10 Cup.


                My point is these numbers are rather insignificant in comparison to our SR and TRC money.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 2:00pm
                mania said | May 18th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                Super could survive without aus. It’s losing SA that wouldn’t be viable.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 3:03pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:03pm | ! Report

                Based on what?

                SA doesn’t offer the financial power it once did.

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2017 @ 1:26pm
              Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

              My understanding is that SA viewers account for the Lion’s share of the Fox Profits.

              This is why they have a larger sword to wield.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 1:48pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:48pm | ! Report

                I think that may be outdated.

                It was once the case. But increasingly less so.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 3:11pm
                Timbo (L) said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                I could only find 2012 numbers:
                SuperSport 36 831 694 – 67% (175 389 per game)
                Sky Sports 12 093 989 – 22% (57 590 per game)
                Fox Sports 6 046 995 – 11% (28 795 per game)

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 3:17pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 3:17pm | ! Report

                SA numbers have gone down dramatically.

                Some of their teams are pulling lower crowds than ours too.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 6:47pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2017 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

                Why are SA crowds down?

              • May 18th 2017 @ 8:25pm
                Rebellion said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:25pm | ! Report

                TWAS my understanding mirrors Timbo’s and you’d have to think any decline in viewers from SAF would not be too far from the mark on a pro rata basis with Aus.
                People just don’t talk about rugby in the corporate world as much as they did just a few short years ago and a lot of my peers who have been rusted on fans since participating in U/7’s junior club rugby now don’t even bother getting Foxtel.
                Super Rugby and Wallabies Tests along with some O/S Test cricket used to be an easy sell but especially now that there is competition from Netflix and Stan – time is too precious to waste on poor quality diluted & non-competitive rugby. For people with young families it’s almost a no-brainer.

              • Roar Guru

                May 19th 2017 @ 8:54am
                Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

                SA has greater loss of talent issues and economic issues which are affecting them much more.

                We are struggling because our teams are (for example around the Reds success we actually saw improvements briefly).

                Having the two biggest bases (QLD and NSW) struggling is diabolical for Aus Rugby in that regard.

              • Roar Guru

                May 19th 2017 @ 9:38am
                Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

                Yet WA and Victorian Markets are growing…
                There has to be a better way!

              • Roar Guru

                May 19th 2017 @ 9:43am
                Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

                But that doesn’t mean they will grow to the critical mass needed.

                You know what can help you achieve big % growth? Having a small based to grow from.

                If we think it is sustainable then great. But there’s a chance it may also stay ACT size.

                I’m all for the concept of 5 teams because the more Australian rugby the better. But not the claim that cutting one is cutting a future powerhouse based on their growth rates now.

    • May 17th 2017 @ 6:34pm
      UK Oz-pat said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:34pm | ! Report

      Sales of popcorn in the NH have gone through the roof as everyone sits back to watch the latest episode of this comical farce!

    • May 17th 2017 @ 6:40pm
      Jay-c said | May 17th 2017 @ 6:40pm | ! Report

      That’s all well and good, however it doesn’t address the simple fact of the matter that Australia does not have enough good players to support 5 teams.
      There are probably 6 players at the rebels good enough to start in a super rugby team, maybe one more… asking the remainder who are at best squad players to perform consistently every every week is asking too much.
      The force don’t fare much better and across the 5 teams there’s probably 10-15% who simply aren’t good enough for super rugby.
      This is the reason all 5 suck at the moment, stronger as five? Pffft we can’t afford to have 5 at the bottom for 5 years while we hope they can improve

      • May 17th 2017 @ 7:01pm
        Bamboo said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:01pm | ! Report

        Agreed. Is having 5 teams in the best interests of Australian Rugby, or in the best interests of RUPAs budget?

        They will be losing 20ish% of their income when a team is cut.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2017 @ 8:03am
          sheek said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:03am | ! Report


          I don’t think that is a relevant point. Five teams is the line in the sand, whatever the pros & cons.

          You don’t shrink your way to success.

          In any case, there are other ways to do this, which I have suggested elsewhere.

          Sadly, there is a total lack of innovative thinking from the ARU board.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 8:47am
            Wallace footrot said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

            Completely agree Sheek. There are ways out of this mess but it requires dumping of politics and a clean out at the ARU. I like blokes like John Eales etc but for an ex Australian rugby legend he is not selling what the ARU board are actually doing. What actually have they done? Tell us what you are actually doing in basic terms?
            I get back to grass roots stuff. We are about 4 weeks into our kids under 9s comp here in western brissy and the parents keep making note that we have never seen anyone from the ARU or QRU down at the ovals…not even a tent for sun shelter or a volunteer doing promotions….can the collective heads of the board members and staff of the ARU and QRU not come up with anything better than this…..there is nothing on free to air, there is no inspired thinking or too much finger pointing and not looking at big picture. What do they actually do? Apart from jetting around for SAANZAR and pay tv broadcaster meetings… are they actually out there connecting with the general mums and dads who are the most powerful voices for this code?
            It requires creative thinking and and change of tact. I am not inspired and nor are any of my hardened rugby fanatic friends… any of this lot and there in lies the problem repeated many times over throughout the country. If you dont have us on board, we wont pay your Foxtel subscription and pretty soon after that our kids will just switch to another code they can watch freely or do feel supported by. It really is not hard stuff but you and your organisational members are making it seem impossible!

            • May 18th 2017 @ 8:56am
              Wallace footrot said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:56am | ! Report

              Not only that but the way this has all been played out is just shocking……in the day and age of looking after the mental health of your members and players this is a total disgrace. There has to have been a better way.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 9:17am
            Bamboo said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:17am | ! Report

            Mate take your points, but I think shrinking is the way to success. Can appreciate your feedback about my RUPA comment, but I hold them in the same light as the ARU.

            Its all been downhill since the pursuit of a national footprint was put before grassroots rugby. Whether it be international rugby, world cups, or the performance of all Australian teams as a whole in Super Rugby, it has all gone downhill since 2005. I’m not saying cut it to three, but I believe five is too many. Thats a real long winded way of saying I think four is correct.

            As the saying goes from ancient China – don’t break your rice bowl.

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2017 @ 10:16am
              sheek said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

              Shrinking is certainly not the way to go, when there are other options.

              I’ve said it before, even if I’m being cynical, & I’ll say it again & again while there’s time, but give SANZAAR 3-4 artificial, manufactured teams & preserve the five provinces for a domestic national comp.

              You don’t see the leading NZ & SA provinces in super rugby so they can be thrashed by SANZAAR. So why should ARU expose our provinces to this crap organisation?

              • May 18th 2017 @ 10:56am
                Wallace footrot said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

                Agreed Sheek. It’s like watching a slow moving locomotion steaming off a bridge with no one looking out the window to pull the hand brake. This whole way super rugby was set up, the competition is just crazy stuff. The time zones, the travel times, the cost, how can anyone realistic follow it…..its not accessible to watch, let alone see live. It’s a disaster. It just will never connect with our wide audience in its current format. Combine that with complete disconnection with its grass roots in the majority of schools, suburbs and parents and what are they actually selling? Morale must be very low amongst Aussie players. We need to feel connected to the game again, passion needs to return, the fans need more say, get back to some basic stuff. The amateur era seemed to work much better….perhaps part of the solution in moving forward is to go back to the past. But FFS will someone just make a decision!

              • May 18th 2017 @ 11:13am
                Katipo said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:13am | ! Report

                @WallaceFootrot. Exactly. And reducing from 18 teams to 15 does not solve the fundamental structural problems of Super Rugby. It only reduces the size of the problem.

                I have no confidence that Sanzaar has the decision making brains to fix things. Does the ARU?

              • May 18th 2017 @ 10:58am
                Rugby Tragic said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

                Owwwee … strong words sheek but I’m in agreement, particularly in not shrinking the footprints of the code…

              • May 18th 2017 @ 11:05am
                hog said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

                Hi Sheek,

                Just heard that the ARU sold the Rebels to Cox for $1, and have just offered him $9million to buy the team back.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 11:39am
                Browny said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                Hog, that’s sort of true. In the same way that Pocock is being payed $750k this year to not play for the Wallabies.

                So Cox bought the Rebels licence for $6M, an upfront payment that went to the ARU who needed the cash. The deal included a front loaded payment program over the next 5 years, starting high and tapering off to $100k a year. Comparatively the other clubs receive annual payments in the ballpark of $1.7M if I’m not mistaken. So the Cox deal has $6M go to the ARU who continue to pay a decreasing annual amount to the club until after 5 years when they are effectively off the ARU books. It’s actually not a bad deal for the ARU when you consider that they more or less got a $6M loan they needed at the time for which they were able to pay back over the course of 5 years all while removing 20% of their annual SR club payments.

                Now they want to cut the Rebels to save money, which shouldn’t be an issue after a couple of years when they are off the books, but cutting the Rebels will cost them more than 5 years of another club’s annual payments. Where is all this supposed saved money that they’re going to put into grassroots after all of this is over?

              • May 18th 2017 @ 12:26pm
                hog said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

                I heard that on NZ Radio sports from Greg Martin(who stated that he had dinner with Cox the night before), who said that Cox paid $1 to the ARU for the license, but did not delve into the ongoing details of payments, but Martin stated that the ARU have offered $9million as a buy back.

                I agree with you after all the dust has settled where is the so called cash going to come for the so called grassroots. And at what cost to the code here.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 1:06pm
                AndyS said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:06pm | ! Report

                Hi Browny, would it be possible to get a reference for that purchase arrangement? That is certainly different from what has been reported, which was a $1 sale and then additional funding.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 9:39pm
        In Brief said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:39pm | ! Report

        Disagree, we have more than enough good players for five franchises. We have a large number (is it around 100?) professionals plying their trade overseas including a few playing for the NZ franchises. The five franchises has actually increased the depth of Australian rugby with guys like Coleman getting an opportunity. Under the five franchise model we won the super rugby comp in 2014 and 2011 and we came second in the world cup in 2015.

        Five franchises has worked pretty well, this year being an exceptionally bad one. The three franchise model was terrible – I used to hate watching the QLD vs NSW slug fests. The Force and Rebels are two teams I like to watch as they play very distinctive styles – one hard and gritty, the other full of expansive flair. Over time the performances will improve and the player resources will too. Cut a team and we cut our growth and lose the opportunity to develop talent in new markets in years to come. Backward step.

        Australian rugby cannot afford to shrink its resources and growth potential.

        • May 17th 2017 @ 10:16pm
          jay-c said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:16pm | ! Report

          The problem is they get paid three times as much overseas and thats why we cant afford those 100 players plying their trade overseas.
          There’s no guarantee they will get better, at least not immediately, the best indicator of future performance is past performance and our recent past performance is the bottom of the comp for all five teams.
          I dont want to see a team cut either but union is a sinking ship, gotta jettison some weight.
          Of course we’ve got enough for five teams, but for reasons we cant control, we cant afford it now.
          Rugby wont survive if its struggling to keep afloat 5 teams.

          • May 17th 2017 @ 11:16pm
            Bman said | May 17th 2017 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

            We did win 2 x super rugby championships with 5 teams…. so yes, we should be looking at past performances.

            • May 18th 2017 @ 6:00am
              Kane said | May 18th 2017 @ 6:00am | ! Report

              You also won 2 titles with three teams. Should have won a couple more.

              It’s not just this year that’s been particularly bad for Aussie super teams. Last year was not quite as bad. But still very bad

            • May 18th 2017 @ 7:45am
              Jay-c said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:45am | ! Report

              The problem with this arguement is that while the Reds won in 2011- 3 of our other teams were in the bottom 4.
              And when the tahs won in 2014, 2 of our teams were in the bottom 3.
              Even now, if you look across all the teams, realistically, the Reds are the only team with enough quality to really threaten the comp.
              we just don’t have the players.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 12:51pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                The problem is that every year 4 teams will be in the bottom 4 no matter what.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2017 @ 7:57am
          sheek said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

          I don’t always agree with John O’Neill, but he wrote an excellent article in last Saturday’s Weekend Australian.

          He reminded readers that the Reds won super rugby in 2011 & Waratahs won super rugby in 2014 when Australia had five teams.

          He said, among many things, that a way must be found to keep players in Australia for longer, making the Wallaby jersey a prized possession.

          He also mentioned we should adopt the NZ centralised model, with all the resources going to making a strong national team, whose success would have a flow-on effect to other parts of the game.

          I have always agreed with this strategy, but he presents a compelling argument of how the Wallabies successful world cup campaign in 2003 & Reds super rugby win in 2011 reinvigorated Australian & Queensland rugby respectively.

          Unfortunately all this good sense is being wasted on dim-witted rationalists in the ARU pandering to SANZAAR.

          Well, maybe the ARU board is far from being terminally dim-witted, but they are displaying a complete lack of innovative thinking right now.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 9:18am
            puff said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:18am | ! Report

            Sheek, Why do the ARU continue to undersell their product, it contravenes all the principals of smart management. My wife has a few alpaca’s that would make a better contribution. They never allow the grass to grow under their feet. Having additional meetings didn’t necessarily provide direction and conclusion. We had Cheika mumbling about the SR fiasco and he also appears to be a part of the problem not the solution. The ARU can continue having meetings with interested groups because the next bunch of meeting will be with lawyers, class action groups, pissed-off public and professional players disgruntled and considering alternatives. What a hell of a way to encourage the youth of this nation to become engaged in rugby and inarticulate Bill & friends believe they have the wisdom and insight to strengthen and grow the game of rugby. Am I missing something.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 11:00am
            Rugby Tragic said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

            Read the article sheek but the main thrust of it while pointing out the facts you mentioned was that O’Neill was ‘defending’ the criticism of his performance….

            • May 18th 2017 @ 11:24am
              Jacko said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:24am | ! Report

              Also having 1 team win a comp does not reflect the results from the other 4 teams as someone above has pointed out that when Aus teams won the other Aus teams were down the bottom of the ladder…….Do you want 1 team to win and 4 others at the bottom of the pile or 5 teams in the top 8 but no win…That seems to be the current choice

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2017 @ 11:36am
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:36am | ! Report

                In fairness when we last won we had 1 team outright 1st, 1 1st wildcard, and 1 in 8th that won more games than the 2nd and 3rd wildcards with the last 2 in the bottom 5.

                2011 we had 3 teams in the bottom 5.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 12:44pm
            Bakkies said | May 18th 2017 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

            ‘I don’t always agree with John O’Neill, but he wrote an excellent article in last Saturday’s Weekend Australian.’

            O’Neill shouldn’t be given air time in regards to this. Alan Jones has more credibility than him which says a lot. Would love to see Jones unload on O’Neill like he did to Clyne.

            O’Neill’s idea of centralising was to focus on Sydney and Brisbane. Said enough on that over the past two days.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2017 @ 5:25pm
            Oliver Matthews said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

            I happen to agree with you Sheek about the value of a centralised approach. Among many benefits, I believe it will bring success and that success will bring funding, positive attention and more engagement at all levels.

            Beyond that though, one of the biggest problems I have with the current ARU is that not only are they not adopting this centralised strategy, they don’t seem to have any clear strategy at all.

            The leaders seem totally unaware of how to do their jobs. I choose to believe they are well meaning as I don’t know them personally and I choose to give me people the benefit of the doubt. But they are so clearly incapable of running this organisation.

            The latest example is not the terrible fact that they have shown no ability to make the culling decision, it’s the lack of communication while the decision is being made.

            As I’ve written before I personally believe the ARU should have been in a position to make the decision within hours of the SANZAAR ruling thanks to thorough and professional management and tracking of the game in Australia. But as soon as it started taking more time they should have got in front of the story and communicated regularly with the rugby world and fans. Yes they would get tough questions but hey, guess what? That’s part of your job! And if you can’t handle tough questions what on earth are you doing leading a major sporting organisation?

            This vacuum over the past 5 weeks has not put the fire out. It’s created space for rumour, frustration, threats and anger to grow which is even worse for the game.

            The ARU leadership must resign and apologise for the way they have handled this latest situation.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 18th 2017 @ 11:00am
        piru said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

        And the way to develop more players in Aus is to cut the number of professional rugby jobs?


      • May 18th 2017 @ 2:24pm
        markie362 said | May 18th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

        Theres only about 4 players in the waratahs squad good enough for super rugby and they have a dozen wallabies on their books ffs.whats that saying about our rugby

    • May 17th 2017 @ 7:17pm
      Rugger said | May 17th 2017 @ 7:17pm | ! Report

      Jat and Bamb if AFL’s strategic intent was simialr to yours it will today still be VFL.

      We have talent but our focus at junior level compared to say NRL is lacking.

      And as for skills coaching is the biggest issue.

      Improve junior development, retention and coaching and tide will turn.

      ARU is simply arogant and focused on Wallabies only rather than growing whole-of-the-game.

      To you both and ARU take close look at what AFL is doing with bottom-up approach.

      FYI – ARU cannot even market our Olympic champion, gold medal winning 7s Rugby team. AFLW which is no more than hit and giggle has sucked all the oxygen out of womens sports. What does that tell you.

      • May 17th 2017 @ 9:41pm
        In Brief said | May 17th 2017 @ 9:41pm | ! Report

        One question regarding juniors, if the NRL has such good structures in place, then why are they poaching so many players from the NZ rugby system?

        • May 17th 2017 @ 10:01pm
          Bamboo said | May 17th 2017 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

          Because genetically Pacific Islanders superior athletes to us white folk. 44% of the NRL are Maori of Pacific Island.

          Given the free entry to NZ, Auckland is the largest Polynesian community in the world. Adding to that, these players are coming from a system which produces one of the most dominant international sporting teams ever, with that system starting at grassroots, and I have a complete understanding of why they do.

          Coincidence pretty much every 100m finals is made up of non whites? Genetics.

        • May 18th 2017 @ 7:11am
          soapit said | May 18th 2017 @ 7:11am | ! Report

          because nz rugby’s definition of so many good players is only a small proportion of spots in their 16 teams x 2 squads and because they are open minded to understand that the best of nz rugby will quite often be good enough to mix it with club level league players.

          • May 18th 2017 @ 9:59am
            In brief said | May 18th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            If they were open minded they would acknowledge these players’ provenance which they never do. I would call it opportunistic.

            • May 18th 2017 @ 1:02pm
              soapit said | May 18th 2017 @ 1:02pm | ! Report

              whats not being acknowledged again? examples?

              • May 18th 2017 @ 5:26pm
                In brief said | May 18th 2017 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

                Rugby league does not acknowledge the fact that some players have a background in rugby union, period. This feeds the public perception that rugby is only played by fat amateur private school boys. Too many examples to bother mentioning. Just start with tuivesa shek and work backwards.

              • May 18th 2017 @ 10:01pm
                soapit said | May 18th 2017 @ 10:01pm | ! Report

                thats not true. they discuss it as much as they discuss what any other player was doing before they joined nrl. that just happens to not be much. what they did before nrl toyota cup rarely rates

                its pretty well known rts had some union time (indeed its kind of assumed for most kiwi’s surely?) but he also played league as a junior. they dont really mention that either (as in ive never heard them ever discuss his junior time in either code). what players did in their schoolboy days just isnt that relevant or interesting.

                rapana is an exception as he actually played rugby as a senior and ive heard them discuss at least a few different times on footy shows how he couldnt get a start in rugby before coming back and tearing it up.

                not really a case to back up your viewpoint so far there.

      • May 18th 2017 @ 8:31am
        Browny said | May 18th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

        There are probably more AFLW supporters than there are SR supporters….

        Collingwood FC probably had more members last year than the 5 Australian SR franchises combined.

        The womens 7s team are fantastic but it’s never going to compete with AFLW in terms of public interest. It’s sporadic games played at obscure times across the year. AFLW is a concise season, weekly games and it’s in the lead up to the regular AFL season so there’s plenty of hype and excitement about the game in general. Even though only half the clubs have a team there’s still a level of tribalism and involvement from the general public as it’s not just about supporting your own team, its also about wanting to see traditional rivals (or the clubs you just hate… like Collingwood) lose! It’s hard to compete with that, having such a ready-made market to step into.

        AFLW hasn’t sucked the life out of women’s sports, it’s given it the boost it so desperately needed.

        • May 18th 2017 @ 11:27am
          Jacko said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:27am | ! Report

          Are you referring to the new Novelty in Aus sport? How long will the interest last tho?

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2017 @ 11:39am
            Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2017 @ 11:39am | ! Report

            I tend to think it’s somewhat fleeting.

            It’s played out of season so it fills a bit of a void but ultimately it’s not the top tier and 2nd tier sport struggles for support in Australia.

            Look at VFL. Look at Shute Shield. We aren’t like Europe where we follow teams at lower level because they are our local team and ultimately AFLW will always be 2nd tier to AFL, much in the same way the Women’s Aus Open Final is a lesser drawcard than the men’s for whatever reason.

            • Roar Pro

              May 18th 2017 @ 2:12pm
              Crazy Horse said | May 18th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

              Shute Shield is third tier. Just one of several premier grade suburban competitions in this country.

            • May 18th 2017 @ 4:21pm
              Jock Cornet said | May 18th 2017 @ 4:21pm | ! Report

              It’s a joke that AFWL is a now a bigger viewing sport than Oz rugby. How far can rugby fall. ARU wake up get off your arse and do something. The game is in the nose. Don’t listen to TWAS ffs

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