The thing about revolution is that you have to want change

Brett McKay Columnist

By Brett McKay, Brett McKay is a Roar Expert

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596 Have your say

    The future Super Rugby picture became a little clearer over the weekend, with South Africa confirming that the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings will be the two teams withdrawn from the competition for 2018.

    With the Cheetahs and Kings now free to “explore other international competition opportunities”, the South African Rugby Union is almost certainly playing a long-threatened card to head north.

    That the Celtic-Italian Pro12 league will accept the southerners now feels about as done as deals get prior to formal announcement. The talk has been heading this way for the last few weeks, and the sudden postponement over the weekend of season launches by existing Pro12 teams only strengthens the ‘worst kept secret’ status of the imminent expansion of that competition.

    Whether more teams from the Republic follow the lead of the Cheetahs and Kings remains to be seen, but it would certainly be fair to assume all four remaining Super Rugby sides will be keeping a very close eye on the transition of their compatriots. And the interest is evidently there, with suggestions over the weekend that both the Lions and Bulls could be interested in exiting Super Rugby if Australia can’t shed its one agreed team.

    To their great credit, the SARU have played a very clever game in holding up their end of the bargain. It’s hard to imagine that Cheetahs boss Harold Vorster just called up Pro12 CEO Martin Anayi one day last week and casually inquired about playing alongside teams from Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy. Clearly, the SARU and Pro12 decision makers have been contemplating this move for some time.

    Contrast SARU’s rational planning of their country’s professional rugby future with that of the ARU.

    The only certainty we have currently is that the Western Force and ARU will commence arbitration discussions on July 31. That’s still more than three weeks away, and by then both the Melbourne Rebels and the Force will have finished their 2017 campaign unsure of whether they have a 2018 pre-season to start planning for.

    The Rebels, for their part, steadfastly remain silent and with their hands over their ears.

    But assuming for the purposes of this column that the ARU get everything back under control and do dissolve one team for next year – it doesn’t matter which one – what is the way forward for Australian rugby beyond 2018?

    Once all the 2018 contracts are taken care of, how will the estimated savings from Australia’s share of the SANZAAR revenue be used to improve the game?

    It’s all fine and good to say that cutting a team will reduce costs, but what is the plan for those savings?

    Is it around strengthening participation numbers in the region that is about to lose its Super Rugby presence? Is it around boosting junior participation numbers nationally?

    Is it around the promotion of the game from the ground up? Will it be used to expand the TryRugby program nationally, with a firm view toward getting the program into more schools? Is it around improving infrastructure across the country at junior and senior level?

    Tony McGahan Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    It could be any of these; it could be none of them. The point in listing them is that something needs to be tabled and outlined, so that we can actually see some fruit of what has been the worst year for Australian rugby in recent memory.

    And my genuine fear if the ARU does manage to cull a side is that these savings won’t really be savings at all.

    If there’s been one element of consistency within Australian rugby circles since the game went professional, it’s that with even the slightest sniff of surplus money, hands fly out from everywhere.

    Super Rugby franchises, Wallabies expenses, state union bailouts, club rugby competitions, club rugby competitions who signed up for broadcast deals they couldn’t afford… the list is endless.

    But the question Australian rugby really needs to ask itself is this: do you really want to change?

    Arguably, this is the most important question the game faces currently. Get it right, and make the right plans, and the game can recover. Change nothing, and blow the money saved from axing the fifth Super side, and well… the game gets what it deserves.

    And this is what scares me the most about what the ARU is trying to achieve. I’m not sure any desire to change exists at any level.

    If it did, Waratahs coach Darryl Gibson wouldn’t have to be defending his position like pretty much every one of his doomed predecessors bar Michael Cheika had to do, and despite a horridly underperforming playing group.

    If it did, we’d recognise performance and ensure the pathways are not just lip-service, whereby the national schoolboy champions can go through a tournament undefeated but have just two players earn national selection.

    If it did, Super Rugby squads wouldn’t be all but finalised for the following season before the NRC even kicks off.

    What really worries me about the game in Australia right now is that dropping a Super Rugby team is seen as the panacea for all ills. The team will be dropped, boxes will be ticked, everything will be rosy. Crisis over.

    But if nothing changes within the administration of the game at all levels, in the coaching, the promotion, and in the pathways, what will have been achieved at all?

    If the game doesn’t want to change, the revolution will have been pointless.

    Brett McKay
    Brett McKay

    Brett McKay is one of The Roar's good news stories and has been a rugby and cricket expert for the site since July 2009. Brett is an international and Super Rugby commentator for ABC Grandstand radio, has commentated on the Australian Under-20s Championships and National Rugby Championship live stream coverage, and has written for magazines and websites in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and the UK. He tweets from @BMcSport.

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    The Crowd Says (596)

    • July 11th 2017 @ 5:57am
      Ad-0 said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:57am | ! Report

      I’ve said this before, but compare and contrast the way England grew the game in their country after their world cup success. Then look at the way players, management and vested interests squabble over the biggest slice of a diminishing pie in Oz. We dont have to wonder why we are where we are.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 9:05am
        Republican said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:05am | ! Report

        ………Rugby and indeed sport is a relevant metaphor for our Federation in my opinion.
        Federation doesn’t work, pure and simple. We are a nation divided and as such, held to ransom.
        Just think of the passion and energy Qld invest in the SOO and being Qlders compared with being ‘Australians’.
        The same parochialism is very much at play across our states in respect of sport, culture, socially and of course this is realised at its most dysfunctional, politically.
        The ground hog day i.e. Australia.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:08pm
          Daws said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

          The further people are away from power, the less power the people have. That is exactly the reason for having federalism. The problem is with the national body not administrating efficiently.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 4:28pm
          Redsfan1 said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:28pm | ! Report

          Queensland has always had a passion for the Wallabies. It’s the national team that John Eales is remembered for up here.

          • July 12th 2017 @ 12:23am
            Frank said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:23am | ! Report

            I think NSW has had more of a passion for the wallabies to be honest

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2017 @ 12:00pm
        John R said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        What did England do?

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 12:06pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

          Whatever they did it was probably easier considering their 2014 revenue was double what Australia’s is, and their total asset position was around $450M AUD.

          Comparing apples and sultanas.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm
            John R said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report


        • July 12th 2017 @ 12:23am
          Frank said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:23am | ! Report


        • July 12th 2017 @ 5:17am
          Ad-0 said | July 12th 2017 @ 5:17am | ! Report

          Your missing the point. The game has always been held back by its class baggage in the UK, as it has here. By winning in 2003 they were able to take it to a wider audience. I believe 10 of their RWC2015 squad did not go to a fee paying school. Most of these players also being from the north, where league has been traditionally more popular than Union.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 11:55pm
        Rebellion said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

        We need quality and competition with a focus on junior club and school rugby to invest.
        No more Mickey Mouse teams from Perth and Melbourne, no conference system and no expansion teams from South America or Asia. Bring back quality and genuine competition and it will bear fruit.
        There also needs to be laws set in place so the elite schools don’t just buy islands in at year 11 and 12 and no more chats with th elites of Jarryd Hayne

        • July 12th 2017 @ 8:43pm
          kaiviti said | July 12th 2017 @ 8:43pm | ! Report

          You may call the teams from Perth and Melbourne “micky mouse”, but at least they play rugby how it should be played, with passion.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:09am
      Jock Cornet said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:09am | ! Report

      It’s pointless if you don’t develop your lower level competition and schoolboy pathways. Dropping super teams is the lest of the problems until you develop your grass roots like NZ. We need decent players half of the plYers aren’t super standard that is obvious from the floggings by teams such as the jaguars. Next will be the sun wolves giving our teams a thrashing. The ARU will waste it on leaguies or huge remuneration for has beens such as qc, hooper or Pocock. Nothing will be achieved . We need a revolution in management. Get rid of the ARU , nothing will change.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 7:07am
        mania said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:07am | ! Report

        amen Jock. say it louder and prouder. i agree agree agree
        grassroots is key. your wasting your time otherwise.
        i dont really come on to this site anymore but as a parting rant i’d like to give you an insight into NZ grassroots.
        my son is 10 yrs old and has a lot of promise. he played friday night and an AllBlack who had the night free turns up to ref so (in his words) “the coaches can get on with what they need to do”
        couldnt believe he gave up his spare time just to help the u10’s.
        i’ve been helping out the local 1stXV and again 2 other ex ABs turn up. they hold tackle bags, help set out cones and only offer advice when approached. took us thru some awesome drills and stayed and helped clean up afters. when i asked what brought them by they said they were driving past their old alma mata and wanted to come help and have a run around. theyve been to 3 trainings since.
        its the school holidays now and another AB is running free fitness and skills sessions, 1.5 hours everyday for the first week of the holidays. he’ll review and decide whether he’l do it for the second week as well. free. no obligations or trials. any kid can turn up and join in. apparently there have also been some leagees attending.
        this is grassroots. this is the secret of NZ’s success. you cant buy this kind of support. this is just the icing on the cake tho. the real work is done by all those parents and volunteers who just give and give and give.
        long may the ABs and the next generation reign.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 10:43am
          Carlos the Argie said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:43am | ! Report

          This is absolutely priceless!


        • July 11th 2017 @ 5:34pm
          Jock Cornet said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

          That happened in the 90s and 80s the Ella’s and Farr Jonea and other greats use to help out our school teams and colt sides. I went to NZ for British lions and went to a couple of local games and the great community and volunteers and love of the game was fantastic and welcoming. Rugby was like that in Oz in the 90s but it has gone now.. NZ also focus on tv schoolboys and clubs that give these players a boost .

          • July 12th 2017 @ 11:51pm
            ScottD said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:51pm | ! Report

            I sometimes see a bit of that. spirit around Perth (not too many AB’s or WB’s of course) with Force players just appearing with no notice – just occasionally and a ways to to get where NZ is of course. We can only dream about reaching the NZ std that you outlined but one day……..

            • July 13th 2017 @ 5:06am
              mania said | July 13th 2017 @ 5:06am | ! Report

              scottD – dont be fooled by the ABs turning up, tho the force players appearing is just as valuable, more so for the goodwill of the Force.
              the real standard is getting the volunteers and parents out there to keep grassroots alive. they are the real secret to NZ success.
              ABs turning up is just the icing on the cake

      • July 11th 2017 @ 7:25am
        Gurudoright said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:25am | ! Report

        I know most people will comment on the SA teams going north but the main issue needs to be addressed, what will culling an Aussie team achieve for Rugby in Australia? Where will the extra money go to? Are the Wallabies players getting paid too much from the ARU? Will the ARU pump extra money into grassroots or Schools? Will the money go into extra advertising? Will the money go into coach development?
        As the article states, what is the point of culling a team if everything remains the same? The ARU need to deliver a plan to say yes there is short term pain but this is what we are planning to achieve out of it. Hopefully it won’t be them saying we are are saving X amount of dollars.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 7:52am
          Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:52am | ! Report

          They plan not to become insolvent.

          That’s what they plan to get out of it.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 8:26am
            Shop said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:26am | ! Report

            That’s the plan? Not become insolvent? I think this is exactly what the article is pointing out, that there needs to be more direction as to what the ARU are going to do to improve the game, where and what levels as opposed to just staving off going bust.

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 8:31am
              Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

              Funnily enough most organisations who are in threat of insolvency spend most of their time trying to stave off going bust…

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 8:47am
                Ralph said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:47am | ! Report

                Yes, I would not be so quick to demean the achievements of he who stops a ship from sinking. The scale of such achievement can only be the measure of disaster that was averted.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 8:31am
            Daveski said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

            What’s your life plan ? Keep living !
            Wow aim high ARU !

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 8:46am
              Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:46am | ! Report

              Well the alternative is die…

              • July 11th 2017 @ 12:06pm
                simmo said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:06pm | ! Report

                Whats their alternative to being in this position in 3 years again, what will they do different? This is what fans and stakeholders want to know not just slash to appear to be looking solvent but their management of the game is a slow sinking weight that needs to be cut loose.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 11th 2017 @ 12:16pm
                piru said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

                Cut another team, tell everyone it’s for the good of the game

                repeat in another 3 years

              • July 11th 2017 @ 4:49pm
                rebel said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

                Imagine the costs saved by having no teams. Or better yet have the Pacific Islands represent here instead at their cost.
                On a serious note I am all for them cutting waste and can’t criticize the ARU for that. But the game is becoming invisible and something needs to be done to change this.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 5:39pm
                Jock Cornet said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

                ThAts not managemt

              • July 11th 2017 @ 6:36pm
                dru said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

                What unmitigated nonsense. Straw man, TWAS.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 8:56pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:56pm | ! Report

                So we are in no risk of insolvency?

                I think you’ve spent a bit too much time in the GAGR echo chamber dru…

            • July 11th 2017 @ 9:27am
              kingcowboy said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

              But if you are about to die, your first priority should be to live.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm
            Crazy Horse said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:01pm | ! Report

            They should start with reviewing the absurdly high salaries they are paying themselves. The CEO gets a third as much again as the Prime Minister!

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 2:06pm
              John R said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

              Yet he’s only paid 2/3rds of what his predecessor was on.

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 2:16pm
              Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:16pm | ! Report

              Crazy Horse I’m still waiting for you to point me to the CV’s of all these adequately qualified people who will do the role for less.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 3:39pm
                Ralph said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:39pm | ! Report

                But I’m right here .. 😉

              • July 12th 2017 @ 8:35am
                concerned supporter said | July 12th 2017 @ 8:35am | ! Report

                TWAS,you said,

                “Crazy Horse I’m still waiting for you to point me to the CV’s of all these adequately qualified people who will do the role for less.”

                Another evasive and stupid comment from you.
                If you don’t work for the ARU, how do you find the time from your employer to spend most of the day on the Roar putting out the ARU fires.
                Bill Pulver receives AUD $ 750 K + perks and other benefits.Overpaid ????

              • July 12th 2017 @ 11:53pm
                ScottD said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

                I’ll do it for less just for the love of the game
                And yes TWAS I am qualified and experienced

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 3:40pm
              Ralph said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

              Shed loads of CEO’s are paid more than your Prime Minister and it’s the same in NZ.

              Is he paid more than other CEO’s of 100M dollar businesses is the real question.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 3:45pm
                John R said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:45pm | ! Report

                He’s paid more than the CEO of the company I work for.

                She’s on about 600, managing a 2bn ASX listed company.

                The key difference is (in my mind anyway), she doesn’t haven’t keyboard warriors, and stakeholders within her organisation attacking her on (literally) a daily basis.

                The public scrutiny has got to be worth something, otherwise, honestly, why the f–k would anyone ever do that job? It’s impossible to please everyone. So a bit of danger money thrown in, is all good for mine aye.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 7:21pm
                Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:21pm | ! Report

                They do it for the golden handshake. Why do you think that John O’Neill came back to the ARU. He never was asked to pay back his bonuses and pay out given how bad a job he did

              • July 12th 2017 @ 12:13am
                Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:13am | ! Report


          • July 11th 2017 @ 5:33pm
            RahRah said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

            And here comes the ARU cheer squad.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 11:59pm
            In Brief said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:59pm | ! Report

            Cutting teams is a recipe for death. Shrinking to grow doesn’t work. It never has. There will be no savings from cutting a team, long term. Less fans, less players, less revenue. Kiss your future goodbye.

            • Roar Guru

              July 12th 2017 @ 7:57am
              Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2017 @ 7:57am | ! Report

              There will be short term savings but otherwise I agree with what you say.

              But it’s not shrinking to success they are hoping for. Shrinking to survive.

              • July 12th 2017 @ 9:28am
                Blue said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

                Shrinking to survive will only delay and prolong the slow spiral downwards. Tier 2 Nations the Wallabies are about to join you.

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2017 @ 7:51am
        Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

        Another ill informed comment.

        The pathways are better developed than they have ever been.

        If you are a talented 20 year old, you will start the year playing in the Super 20s, you will then go back to club and play premier grade against men. That may be interrupted for Aus 20s, after which you will return to club. After this you will play a season of NRC against men.

        You’ll play 20-25 games against the best 20 year olds in the country and the world, against club players and against the best players in Australia in the NRC.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 9:55am
          Ouch said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

          “The pathways are better developed than they have ever been.”

          Tell that to Jake McIntyre.

          Maybe his pathway was overgrown.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 10:00am
            Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            Or maybe he is just not a good Super Rugby player?

            • July 11th 2017 @ 10:07am
              Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:07am | ! Report

              and we wonder why so many Union players at high school level switch to NRL. Simply the pathways are not there.

              Only a small percentage of players are able to get a contract. NOT because there is so much competition between young players. But because of the LACK OF OPPORTUNITIES.

              16 NRL clubs. 5 (soon to be 4) Super Rugby clubs.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 10:14am
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:14am | ! Report

                And there’s a lack of opportunities because there’s a lack of fans.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 6:38pm
                dru said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:38pm | ! Report

                And there’s a lack of fans because___

                (Fill in the blank TWAS)

              • July 11th 2017 @ 8:57pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:57pm | ! Report


                Poor management by state unions

                Decades of self interest trumping the greater good.

              • July 12th 2017 @ 12:13am
                Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:13am | ! Report


              • July 12th 2017 @ 7:42am
                dru said | July 12th 2017 @ 7:42am | ! Report

                Good – so the ARU need look to this? What would the current record of the ARU be?

                IMO they need to go. If changing the status quo means removing the self preservation society then the current NSWRU and QRU must also go.

                I also think you are undersellingbthe ability of rugby to fill those slots – albeit “independence” needs to be dropped. It has translated to dispassionate and unengaged.

              • Roar Guru

                July 12th 2017 @ 7:58am
                Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2017 @ 7:58am | ! Report

                And tell me how the ARU achieves that without agreement from the QRU and NSWRU?

                I’ll give you a hint.

                They can’t.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 10:17am
                Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

                I wonder why there are a lack of fans?

                Maybe its because no one gives a crap about Super Rugby.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 10:20am
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:20am | ! Report

                And what’s the excuse for before Super Rugby?

                If there were enough fans to support more teams, there would have been more teams from the start.

                Rugby Union has always been the 4th football code, at least since around the 80s.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 2:05pm
                Crazy Horse said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

                4th in NSW maybe but in WA it is 2nd or 3rd depending on which criteria you use. We have AFL a clear Ist but our only real competition for 2nd is soccer.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 2:12pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:12pm | ! Report

                And despite that it’s support and total players is less than Sydney.

              • Roar Pro

                July 12th 2017 @ 11:55am
                Crazy Horse said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

                Sydney has (at present) twice the population of Perth. So should be getting double the support.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 10:32am
                Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

                The problem was to make Super Rugby represented by states.

                So despite the many fans and players in NSW and QLD we only have two teams represented.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 5:49pm
                Jock Cornet said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

                We use to play club or school rugby watch the 1sts club play and then go and watch super. Now the clubs can’t give the rugby tickets away. There are always spares .

              • July 11th 2017 @ 10:34am
                Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:34am | ! Report

                By going down the route of NSW they killed off any chances of basing teams in Central Coast, western Sydney etc since it would be silly to have a state of NSW playing against a city of NSW

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 10:45am
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

                And in 1996 they were the only teams capable.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 11:18am
                Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

                The ARU had less money than the do now and the clubs killed off any chance of establishing a comp that had the potential to go national prior to that.

              • Roar Guru

                July 12th 2017 @ 12:00pm
                John R said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                Sydney does have double the population of Perth.

                It’s also got 8 NRL clubs, 2 AFL Clubs and 2 A-League Clubs.

                Perth has 2 AFL Clubs, and 1 A-League Club.

                So for double the the population they’ve got 3.25 the amount of profession football clubs.

                So I reckon you’re argument doesn’t hold up to much scrutiny there Crazy Horse.

              • Roar Pro

                July 12th 2017 @ 2:22pm
                Crazy Horse said | July 12th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

                Yes Sydney does have too many NRL clubs, just like Melbourne gas too many AFL clubs but that’s another story. In the other sports 2 to 1 is about right.

                Perth has two AFL sides but it also has 9 WAFL teams.

              • Roar Guru

                July 13th 2017 @ 8:01am
                John R said | July 13th 2017 @ 8:01am | ! Report

                Might as well start throwing Shute Shield etc into the Sydney argument as well, if you’re going to bring WAFL into it CH.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 3:28pm
              Ouch said | July 11th 2017 @ 3:28pm | ! Report

              Or maybe you didn’t read the article;

              “Yes, he was incredibly talented and a star at Schoolboy, U20s and NRC level, but he wasn’t ready to play against Beauden Barratt………………………..Instead of spending a few years in club rugby to develop his body and skillset, McIntyre was thrown in the deep end and expected to lead an understrength Reds team against some of the best provincial sides in the world.

              The same kid that was touted as Quade Cooper’s long term replacement has left Australian rugby before he was even given a chance to peak.

              Why? Because the Reds have signed 19-year old Hamish Stewart to replace him.

              And at the same time, there are a handful of brilliant 25 to 30-year old No.10s playing in Brisbane and Sydney waiting patiently by their phones to get a shot.”

              • July 11th 2017 @ 4:53pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:53pm | ! Report

                And after 4 years he never showed that he was able to step up from NRC to Super Rugby.

            • July 12th 2017 @ 8:39am
              concerned supporter said | July 12th 2017 @ 8:39am | ! Report

              You used to be in love with Jake McIntyre,almost as much as Quade.

              • July 12th 2017 @ 9:11pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:11pm | ! Report

                I doubt I’ve ever praised anything McIntyre has ever done…

              • July 12th 2017 @ 11:55pm
                ScottD said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:55pm | ! Report

                So it’s a secret love ?

        • July 11th 2017 @ 10:05am
          Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:05am | ! Report

          Haha yeah right. Maybe if you are a privileged private school boy who drives home in his Dad’s Mercedes and his Mum cooks all his meals at home.

          What if you are one of hundreds of talented rugby players in the western Sydney region or less privileged background? People don’t have that time running around in club rugby and a joke of comp called Super 20? What playing against four other clubs will help? Look at their website, it’s a complete joke and very poorly run.

          Do you have time to play amateur rugby in club rugby surrounded by other guys not seriously wanting a professional rugby contract?

          Or do you get scouted with NRL clubs who will put you in a professional environment, surrounded by professional players. The pathway is a lot better in rugby league.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 10:16am
            Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

            The pathways aren’t better in league.

            There are just more of the same pathways because there’s more teams.

            But that’s because there are more fans. And always has been.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:51pm
              ken said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

              Train Without A Terminus. @ You conveniently forgot that the NRL has MORE Money $$$$ than the ARU and therefore can poach kids at 15 and put them on a contract even whilst said kids are playing for rugby schools..

              Rugby Schools know this..They don’t care about the ARU as long as they win the premiership for the school that is all they care about..

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:55pm
              Perthstayer said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

              TWAS – I think NRL attendance can be used as a tool to SR’s advantage. Average NRL attendance up to and including Round 9 shows total number of regulars being 250k.

              Average SR attendance was 11,600 up to 3rd June, giving total 55,000 regulars.

              Union is 4th sport. But lets not be defeatist and strive to improve. How about set a target of >70,000 regulars within 5 years. How? More teams.

              Union needs mass across geographies. Fans spread across more teams.

              More teams means lower total of regulars in near term. But a well funded NRC with average 5-7,000 per game across 10 teams within 3-5 years means a 30% increase on current regular numbers. (This assumes abandoning SR, but I am not going to expand on that).

              You rightly point to good infrastructure that exists in union. But a 3rd party, led by a non rugby related organisation yet still working with rugby related entities, needs to be tasked with producing a 10 year plan for union in rugby. I gather this was tried before and failed, but that is not an excuse not to try again, as the alternative is failing as well!

            • Roar Rookie

              July 11th 2017 @ 1:00pm
              Don said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

              And it all changes significantly next year when the NRL no longer has an under 20s comp and 16 sides don’t need to have 26 youth comp lads signed up each season.

              The best young players will still get contracts. The next tier will be in the state comps.

              This makes it easier for Rugby to hold young guys.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm
          Jock Cornet said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

          That’s a pathetic pathwey

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 12:27pm
            Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

            Seems to work for NZ…

            • July 11th 2017 @ 1:39pm
              Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

              No AFL teams in NZ. One NRL team in NZ. One A-League team in NZ. Your point TWAS?

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 1:59pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                Not sure what that has to do with developing the talent that goes through it.

        • July 12th 2017 @ 12:00am
          In Brief said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:00am | ! Report

          I basically agree with this. The ARU has done a lot right over recent years, including pathway development which we never had before. However, cutting a team is dumb decision which threatens to overshadow any legacy they had created. The two issues get mixed up of course.

      • July 11th 2017 @ 9:26am
        Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

        SARU has exposed the lack of strategic thinking and leadership at the ARU at so many levels. When SANZAAR agreed to cut three Super teams in March, SARU already opened the door for a Plan B, while the ARU had no Plan B or even worst, as the article mention above, may not even have a Plan A! Through the mismangement of expectations, stakeholders and the culling process the ARU find itself today in a position where they alienated the government, players and supporters of two states as well as the players union and a lot of supporters and where they have to fight legal challenges by two franchises at great cost on their ability to even make a decision! Contrast this with the smooth process and management that SARU delivered for the far more challenging culling of two teams, one strongly backed by an ANC government whose support is required for the 2023 RWC bid. The senior ARU executive that were responsible for the culling process, was closely associated with the Rebels and Brumbies, and so conflicted that he resigned after he apparently provided assurances to the Brumbies and Rebels that they are not in the firing line. Is an ex Australian banking executive (Clyne) the right chairman to lead the ARU today? Is his background the reason that the ARU approach strategy as a business as usual cost cutting exercise with no plan to expand revenue? SARU has a similar problem at the ARU but instead of just cutting cost they found a way get a share in the most lucrative rugby market. The ARU leadership needs to lift their game quickly and realise that the rugby market is changing and that the ARU will be left behind, isolated and underfunded. A good first step is to sack Pulver and Clyne and stop the culling process immediately as it became an expensive distraction for little lon term benefit.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 9:28am
          Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          Apologies for the spelling mistakes!

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 9:32am
          Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

          Find me a senior ARU official that isn’t closely associated with any franchise…

          • July 11th 2017 @ 10:00am
            Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

            Pulver has not been associated with either the Force, Rebels nor Brumbies.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 9:36am
          Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:36am | ! Report

          And find us a relevant competition that we could ship the Force and Rebels off to join without any impact and it’s a relevant point.

          Otherwise convenience of the Pro12 to SA is not good management by the SARU. It’s luck and circumstance.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 10:11am
            Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:11am | ! Report

            SARU would not have accepted to cull two teams if they did not have an alternative in mind. They have been exploring this option for years. The ARU did however agree to cut a team without a Plan B. The ARU was rolled by their partners in SANZAAR and did not have the backbone to stand up for Australian rugby and veto the decision ao that other alternatives can be considerred. Again poor leadership. Why do you continue to defend the ARU when the evidence of their incompetence is so overwhelming? Are Bill and kie family?

            • July 11th 2017 @ 10:32am
              Council said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:32am | ! Report

              Actually the ARU offered to cull a team.

              Love your post just above too bro. Very well thought out.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 8:58pm
                Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

                Thanks glad you liked it as I am still learning. English is not my first language.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 1:10pm
            Cassandra said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:10pm | ! Report

            The ITM Cup.
            I know there would be all sorts of logistical problems with this and all sorts of reasons why it wouldn’t work, but was the question even asked?

            • Roar Guru

              July 11th 2017 @ 1:14pm
              Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

              Because that is not like going to the Pro12.

              That would be like SA teams joining the BT League Championship in Scotland.

              There is no revenue to gain by joining a competition that makes so little. And there is no saving on providing a team.

              Most importantly we have our own domestic equivalent.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 9:00pm
                Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:00pm | ! Report

                TWAS is correct. We need a competition that can generate significant revenue it is unfortunately part of the product we sell.

            • July 12th 2017 @ 12:14am
              Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:14am | ! Report

              Very well put

          • July 11th 2017 @ 11:56pm
            Sam said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:56pm | ! Report

            TWAS how about we ask the Japanese if they can play in their Top League? Or setup an invitational competition with the Rebels and the Force, and some teams from Japan. Keep it small to start may be just a challenge tournament, something triangular and expand it if it’s successful.

            • Roar Guru

              July 12th 2017 @ 8:00am
              Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2017 @ 8:00am | ! Report

              What TV revenue will we get by joining Top League?

              Keep in mind that if the Force went there we would have Cheika trying to get every Wallaby to leave Perth due to any unavailability during the Top League season.

              Then there’s the overlap with the NRC season.

              Then what do they do from February to September?

              • Roar Pro

                July 12th 2017 @ 11:57am
                Crazy Horse said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

                The [E] ARU has been trying to get every Wallaby to leave Perth for years.

              • July 12th 2017 @ 9:13pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:13pm | ! Report

                No they haven’t and you cannot provide anything to support that claim.

          • July 12th 2017 @ 11:57pm
            ScottD said | July 12th 2017 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

            Totally left field but the Force could join the Japanese comp….

          • July 13th 2017 @ 10:23am
            KCR said | July 13th 2017 @ 10:23am | ! Report

            Top league, and run a team in Singapore 10s if I’m thinking outside of the box.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 4:59pm
          John R said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:59pm | ! Report

          Where’d you hear that the Brumbies/Rebels were assured they were in no danger?

          The person you are referring to has been on these boards recently, so I’d want to get my facts straight before I went pointing the finger.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 7:51pm
            Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:51pm | ! Report

            The Rebels publicly stated that the relayed on these assurances and the fact that they are in the firing line was a shock – read news reports arounf 10 Apr. However they refused to mentioned the name of the senior executive.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 12th 2017 @ 12:08pm
              piru said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

              Cox stated this publicly, several times

            • July 12th 2017 @ 10:46pm
              Rugby Hope said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

              ARU made the initial mistake of having Western Force in Super Rugby when everyone with a brain said got to Melbourne while the interest was up.
              Now they surely cannot be thinking of reinforcing that error by ditching Melbourne for Perth. How do you spell idiot?

              • July 13th 2017 @ 12:01am
                ScottD said | July 13th 2017 @ 12:01am | ! Report

                Mmm well I don’t know about that mate the ARU has pumped $13.8 m into the Rebels to date and no result whereas they’ve pumped less than a 3rd of that into Force
                And WA has the largest player group outside NSW and QLd so looks like they got that decision right

      • July 12th 2017 @ 12:24am
        Frank said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:24am | ! Report

        Exactly right. It should be all about developing the grassroots to your point

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:10am
      DavSA said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:10am | ! Report

      I am somewhat confused at the position taken by SA Rugby. They have consistently taken the position that teams are to be reduced to maintain strength on the field , yet quietly negotiate to find a home for those 2 teams that are cut. …the fact that when it was announced that the Kings were to be one of those teams not a murmur came from the political establishment….this seems to indicate that they were briefed well before that alternatives were already in place.

      This all tells me that SA Rugby may well have further plans in place and may be using superugby rather than trying to rescue it.

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2017 @ 6:23am
        Shop said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:23am | ! Report

        I think the test run of the Kings and Cheetahs will be crucial for the future of Super rugby. If it goes well I don’t think any of the South African teams will want to continue traveling east/west for their games. Time slots are a massive part of bidding rights these days as is player welfare.

        I see migration north for SA confronting two major hurdles. Playing out of season and a desire to continue competing in the RC. If these are both overcome I can’t see SA involvement in Super rugby past 2020.

        The consequence would leave ANZAR to find a solution but it is likely ANZAR would shrink to ANZR or become JANZR as Argentina would likely see Europe as a better option also. Turbulent times ahead I see….

        • July 11th 2017 @ 12:05pm
          Unanimous said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:05pm | ! Report

          Ireland, Scotland and Wales can all play pretty much any time of the year. They play a 9 month season as it is. They’ve considered moving to a summer season to avoid the depths of winter.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 9:52pm
          Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:52pm | ! Report

          Just read this from Rudy v Rooyen #9 of the Kings:
          “Most of the South Africans want to earn their pounds or their euros and I think playing in Europe, playing against Munster or Ulster, the big teams from Ireland or Scotland or Wales can certainly put your foot in the door a bit.

          ‘The only way people in Europe can see you play is clips and games that you send them, but once you start playing against them week in, week out, they can know more about you as a person and how you play.

          ‘I’ve got only about four, five, six years left [in his career] – you have to make your pounds or your euros. Playing against the European teams week in, week out should hopefully make a way for us to get overseas just by playing against the teams there.'”

          In my view allowing South Africa to divert players to Pro 12 that will.compete with Superugby is a strategic mistake!

          • July 12th 2017 @ 12:14am
            Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:14am | ! Report


          • July 12th 2017 @ 10:49pm
            Rugby Hope said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:49pm | ! Report

            Was just over in that part of the world on a golfing trip and was surprised how much a following this Pro 12 had. Fills stadiums and pays good coin. RSA will move sooner or later.

            I laugh at this prospect at poor old NZ who will be stuck with us then. ?

      • July 11th 2017 @ 6:29am
        Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:29am | ! Report

        They probably realised that the Cheetahs were going to sue and the Government will go to bat for the Kings

      • July 11th 2017 @ 7:43am
        Rhys Bosley said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:43am | ! Report

        It would strengthen SA Rugby by allowing them to buy their existing European based players back into one of the SA Pro 12 teams.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 9:32am
          Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report


          Unless there is more money (Pro12 makes considerably less TV money) how does this occur?

        • July 11th 2017 @ 10:24am
          Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          It is still too early to tell…. However it is possible, maybe probable, that Pro 14 will become a more lucrative competition with the backing of Heynecken, Sky and Supersport.

          What is of bigger concern is that the ARU and NZRU helped their partner, SARU, to develop an alternative competition to Superugby that improves SARU’s negotiation position within SANZAAR, undermines and devalue the SANZAAR partnership and will compete directly for viewers, players, sponsors and spectators with SANZAAR’s main product Superugby. What a catastrophic strategic mistake!

      • July 11th 2017 @ 7:44am
        stainlesssteve said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:44am | ! Report

        good point Dav
        On one level, i find this behaviour admirable….on another, there’s a question of transparency, for sure. Hidden agenda behind every Red Bush

        • July 12th 2017 @ 12:24am
          Frank said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:24am | ! Report

          Admirable ? Really ?

      • Roar Guru

        July 11th 2017 @ 7:55am
        Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:55am | ! Report

        DavSA to me this whole thing right now seems like a greater disaster for SA.

        They apparently cannot afford their 6 Super Rugby teams.

        How is the solution to send 2 of them to a competition with less TV Revenue?

        To me that sounds like costs won’t be cut.

        But also what happens to the Cheetahs in September?

        They will have players unavailable for test duty with the Boks. But they will have Pro12 fixtures. And at they same time their depth is tested they will have a Currie Cup to support?

        It seems like an absolute disaster.

        • Roar Guru

          July 11th 2017 @ 8:50am
          Ralph said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:50am | ! Report

          I suspect you might be somewhere near the truth there TWAS. But in SA at the moment few decisions are made for commercial reasons it seems; the ideologies are at the helm.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 8:54am
            Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

            There is the possibility they will all go North.

            That makes sense. They could then organise the Currie Cup to occur at a window that suited the Pro12 season.

            Still means they now compete with cricket over summer which is odd, but makes more sense.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 9:06am
              Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

              They won’t compete against Cricket as the Pro 12 matches will have to be played in the evenings. Test Cricket apart from the England tours which are propped up by the Barmy Army don’t have big crowds

              ‘They will have players unavailable for test duty with the Boks. But they will have Pro12 fixtures. And at they same time their depth is tested they will have a Currie Cup to support?’

              The Cheetahs have very few players in the Boks and the Currie Cup will supply match ready players to the Pro 12 team.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 9:27am
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

                And where do you Currie Cup players come from if they are playing Pro12 at the same time?

              • July 11th 2017 @ 11:32am
                Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:32am | ! Report

                The same pathways that have been there for years. Cheetahs won the Currie Cup last year undefeated with a young squad. They have always had to pump out players as the Bulls and Sharks buy a lot of their talent. The likes of Morné Steyn, Bismarck du Plessis, Ruan Pienaar are examples of this. They all played Craven Week for Free State in the same squad while at school but never represented their province at Currie Cup and the Cheetahs at Super Rugby. They have had to replace players like these before they have even got started.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 11:33am
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:33am | ! Report

                So all these players aren’t going to get poached now?

              • July 12th 2017 @ 12:14am
                Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:14am | ! Report


            • Columnist

              July 11th 2017 @ 9:26am
              Geoff Parkes said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:26am | ! Report

              I believe this has a long long way to run before SA exits SANZAAR and heads north.

              – the relationship with NZ is very strong, NZ will have leverage in any discussion about SA taking their provinces north but still wanting to play test rugby in the Rugby championships

              – SA have no chance of being admitted into the 6Nations any time soon, if ever

              – the Pro 12 can’t accomodate 6 SA teams. They were and are looking at expansion into the USA. Down the track there is the prospect of adding Romania and Georgia. Now 2, 4 or 6 teams from SA… see where this is heading…? it looks like the kind of expansion model that hasn’t worked so far for Super Rugby

              – the Pro 12 has plenty of internal issues it needs to fix first. The Italian sides aren’t competitive, Wales is still struggling with their regional sides, the game there is bleeding money. I don’t see the progressive, top quality outfits like Leinster getting too excited about playing in a competition with matches like the Cheetahs v Zebres or Kings v Houston. That’s not going to help them win the European championship.

              This is more like an opportunity for all sides to test the water, see how things go for 2-3 years, let SANZAAR see what it can do to improve Super Rugby, and go from there

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 9:29am
                sheek said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:29am | ! Report


                As far a I’m concerned SANZAAR is a discredited organisation not worthy of a moment’s thought.

                The organisation should be disbanded forthwith & its employees sent packing.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 9:34am
                Ralph said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:34am | ! Report

                You would need more time than ‘forthwith” to honour all the existing broadcasting contracts.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 9:44am
                Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:44am | ! Report

                Haha what are the Pro12 getting themselves into. Super Rugby 2.0

              • July 11th 2017 @ 11:37am
                Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                ‘Down the track there is the prospect of adding Romania and Georgia.’
                Unlikely to happen

                ‘– the Pro 12 has plenty of internal issues it needs to fix first. The Italian sides aren’t competitive, Wales is still struggling with their regional sides, the game there is bleeding money. I don’t see the progressive, top quality outfits like Leinster getting too excited about playing in a competition with matches like the Cheetahs v Zebres or Kings v Houston. That’s not going to help them win the European championship.’

                Leinster have already won the Heineken Cup three times playing in the same league they are playing in now. They are happy to play games that will give them income to secure their large squad and renowned academy. They also attract an average of 13,000 season ticket holders in a 20,000 capacity venue. Leinster are the anti Waratahs (over a decade ago you could compare the two).

              • Columnist

                July 11th 2017 @ 2:02pm
                Geoff Parkes said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:02pm | ! Report

                You support my point then Bakkies. The competition works well for Leinster as it is.

                How does the addition of the Cheetahs and Kings, two of the bottom tier teams from SR, and the potential addition of two teams from the USA make the standard of that competition better? If there is a net improvement to finances then the expansion is understandable, but how does it improve the rugby?

                The Leinster guys I spoke with couldn’t understand why Super Rugby had got into a state where the competition was allowed to become so unwieldy. Yet here we are a few months later and the shoe is potentially on the other foot.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 7:52pm
                Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:52pm | ! Report

                The Cheetahs and Kings can’t do any worse than the likes of the Dragons and Edinburgh.

                The Italians had to pay €2 million a year per side for participation and had their sides gutted when the Welsh threatened to leave. They are slowly recovering now. There was a spike in results at the end of the season. Treviso beat the Ospreys and got close to rolling Leinster.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 1:58pm
              Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 1:58pm | ! Report

              Do not underestimate the player depth in South Africa. While studying at Pretoria University we had more than 20 rugby fields to cater for the University’s own in-house competition. On top of this there is club rugby, varsity cub, vodacom rugby, currie cup and superugby. At that time rugby was predominantly a sport played by a minority. A s young referee I could easily get 6-10 games a week to referee.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 2:00pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:00pm | ! Report

                If that’s the case why do SA Super Rugby teams seem to be struggling just as much as the Australian ones – Save for rarely playing NZ teams of course?

              • July 11th 2017 @ 2:09pm
                Al-Shazahd said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

                “”If that’s the case why do SA Super Rugby teams seem to be struggling just as much as the Australian ones – Save for rarely playing NZ teams of course?””

                Pathway invests in certain number of players in the country. System does not reap the benefits when these players become professional as they play a handful of Super Rugby or even Currie Cup games then head off to Europe and Japan.

                Plus I’m sure the South African sporting public aren’t stupid. They know Super Rugby is a mess as well.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 2:10pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:10pm | ! Report

                But they will continue to head off there as the money is better than Pro12.

                Nothing will change there.

              • July 11th 2017 @ 2:41pm
                Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:41pm | ! Report

                Why South African teams are struggling? There are many reasons, some are political others relate to coaching. player development and funding constraints. Also quantity is not the same as quality.

              • July 12th 2017 @ 12:15am
                Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:15am | ! Report

                They are struggling because there is not enough funding available. The coaching programs are a disgrace

        • July 11th 2017 @ 9:49am
          Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:49am | ! Report

          TWAS, how many Boks do the Cheeatahs have? Franco as Oupa signed to play for the Storrmers. The Free State Currie Cup team are playing without the Cheetahs players week in and week out so there will be no difference when they play Pro12 instead. Player depth in South Africa is so great that they can maintain multiple competitions without losing much in terms of quality.
          SARU are testing a different model to see if they can attract revenue from a different competition. With Heynecken and Sky and Supersport backing Pro14 it will create competition for Superugby. The jury is out on how popular the competion will become, however Supersport already broadcast European games and those where ex South Africans are playing is closely followed by the rugby public and in the media. The SA rugby public, with the exception of the Lions supporters, are losing interest in Superugby as the product lost its lustre in recent years with NZ dominance.
          While the ARU is distracted with the culling and cutting cost exercise, the world is changing around us. We are too dependent on revenue from SANZAAR and there is a real risk that this partnership will become less valuable or that we will be left isolated, stranded and underfunded. The elephant is now in the room.

          • Roar Guru

            July 11th 2017 @ 9:59am
            Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 9:59am | ! Report

            Look at the Cheetahs Super Rugby Squad and the 2016 Free State Cheetahs Currie Cup Squad.

            A lot of the same names.

            Why will Pro14 become competition for Super Rugby?

            It’s very similar to everything we have now. Why will suddenly huge increase in viewers to sustain TV rights contracts occur?

            • July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm
              Unanimous said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

              More matches. Possibly competitive teams. The two essentials to generating revenue.

            • July 11th 2017 @ 2:09pm
              Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

              Because the Cheetahs will not get smashed by a New Zealand side ever week, will win more games and may even win the title. No-one enjoy losing, especially the viewers and spectators.

              The exception is the Sea of Blue that are incredibly loyal despite poor onfield performances through years as we have no alternative for 7,000 km. For us it is about the survival of the game in our state and not about winning the competition.

              • Roar Guru

                July 11th 2017 @ 2:15pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:15pm | ! Report

                The exception is the Sea of Blue that are incredibly loyal despite poor onfield performances through years

                How are you an exception?

                You have some of the worst attendances in Super Rugby.

                You are the same as everybody else.

              • July 12th 2017 @ 12:16am
                Craig Dunsall said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:16am | ! Report

                Totally agree with this statement

              • July 11th 2017 @ 2:46pm
                Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:46pm | ! Report

                Visit us at nib stadium and I will introduce you to some of these supporters. The Force has an incredibly loyal core group of about 8,000 supporters that is there win or loose every game, every season. Read this morming that the Force support increased this year while elsewhere it decreased and that while we have an axe hanging over our heads!

              • Roar Rookie

                July 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm
                piru said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                Melbourne and Perth’s numbers are on average about the same this year – close enough to be meaningless in terms of using crowd numbers to justify why one should go and one shouldn’t.

                It’s worth remembering they are having an absolute awful year, while we’re having one of our better ones.

                Can’t find numbers from last year, but we used to average around the 16000 mark and get 17/18000 for big games

              • Roar Rookie

                July 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm
                piru said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:18pm | ! Report

                I would contend that we are the loudest though

              • July 11th 2017 @ 5:42pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:42pm | ! Report

                Certainly on the roar at least!

              • July 11th 2017 @ 6:18pm
                Hannes said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:18pm | ! Report

                During the initial years the Force attracted a lot of supporters while we played at Subiaco stadium. The Melbourne Revels are still in their forming years and their crowd figures have not yet stabilised. The Force’s season was also not that fantastic – we were never given a chance to make the finals with very little positive local press coverage – especially in the West. WA is also going through a deep recession while the rest of the country is growing. In this context the Forcehave done very well to attract crowds bigger than the Brumbies and the Rebels during 2017.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 4:38pm
          DavSA said | July 11th 2017 @ 4:38pm | ! Report

          I have no problem with change but also know that it is not always automatically for the better. ….I value friendships and loyalty. The SANZAAR relationship is a longstanding one . I Hope nothing is being done by SARU to undermine that connection. ….

        • July 11th 2017 @ 5:59pm
          Tuli Bull said | July 11th 2017 @ 5:59pm | ! Report

          At this stage SR funds are used for 16 teams. Saru claime that they will let some teams become semi pro and the majority of SR funds will go to the 4 SR teams meaning a big boost to there budgets this will help to keep a lot more players in the country. Increasing there depth and experience of players. The Pro12 money will only go to the cheetahs and kings and in our great country 1 pound is actually a lot of money this will also increase there budgets and if they do well in the pro 12 a increase in sponsorship as well. There is some logistics to sort out but the cheetahs and kings don’t have that many Springboks any way.

        • July 11th 2017 @ 7:32pm
          DavSA said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:32pm | ! Report

          That is a good summation TWAS . An interesting case study right now is that of the Kings flanker Cloete . He has been one of the best fetchers if not the best in SR this season and his turnover stats confirm this. Despite it being now quite clear that a path to European Rugby has been found for the Kings he has nonethelss signed a 3 year contract with Munster . The whole idea of culling sides certainly according to SARU was for these top players to make their way to other SA franchises to strengthen them .

          Having lived in a country of serious and ongoing political intrigue I find any double dealing ditsurbing and uneccessary . It simply breeds mistrust . I see that Bakkies may call it good strategy . I call it devious .

          If they always intended for the Kings and Cheetahs to find a home in Europe they could have been open about it .

          Because of SARUs track record of double dealing and dishonesty , top SA players now campaigning for European teams will think 2 or 3 times before trusting their future with a SARU controlled team , no matter what league that team plays in .

          • July 12th 2017 @ 9:25am
            Bakkies said | July 12th 2017 @ 9:25am | ! Report

            They can’t be open about it because the last two times that SA teams were going to compete in Europe and the failed London Tribe team that would eventually play in the AP didn’t happen.

            There also has to be a negotiation with the Pro 12 and Super Sport.

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:22am
      Daveski said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:22am | ! Report

      Brett, outstanding call for facts and reasons, one which I fear will fall on deaf ears at the ARU. You’ll cop some grief about the club rugby digs however.

      One small point that resonates with me is that the Super Rugby squads do almost get finalised before the NRC starts. Darryl Gibson said this week the Tahs only have three spots left and named specific positions. How can this be? It defies all logic ! They have such a poor year, are losing a number of senior players ( Horne, Skelton, Mumm) yet don’t even bother with the NRC ?

      Feel really sorry for the ACT schoolboys but then they came 6th last year and had triple the national reps so obviously there’s a history of selectors ignoring team performance more so than anti ACT bias but your point still stands I guess.

      But yep great article however for your heading you should have used the Tommy Lee Jones quote from Under Seige: “A revolution gets its name by always coming back around in your face. You tried to kill me you son of a b**ch… so welcome to the revolution.” I think the Western Force and Rebels would’ve preferred that one.

    • Roar Guru

      July 11th 2017 @ 6:28am
      biltongbek said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:28am | ! Report

      I am slightly, no completely confused by what I have been reading.

      It seems that each of the Pro 12 teams will get a boost in revenue from what sounds like revenue coming from SA tv rights.

      Which suggests we are there to give them more money, the same situation applies in Super Rugby.

      If this is indeed the case why is SARU going into deals that effectively take revenue sway from us?

      Why not drop it all and build a 14 team currie cup?

      • July 11th 2017 @ 6:31am
        Bakkies said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:31am | ! Report

        We will won’t know until the Pro 12 deal comes up for renewal. Sky have lost the not the Heineken Cup sponsored by Heineken so they may put more money in to the Pro 12 with the SA teams involved.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 11th 2017 @ 7:38am
          Alex James said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:38am | ! Report

          In other words, SKY (FOX) will get money from Pro 14 that it is losing in super Rugby. Then the Broadcast deal is running everything?

          • July 11th 2017 @ 8:43am
            Hugo au Gogo said | July 11th 2017 @ 8:43am | ! Report

            I believe it was the broadcast deal, and SA’s strength in that area, that gave them leverage to increase the number of teams. So yes, the broadcasters do run the sport.

          • July 12th 2017 @ 12:25am
            Frank said | July 12th 2017 @ 12:25am | ! Report

            Which Isn’t right by the way

      • July 11th 2017 @ 12:18pm
        Unanimous said | July 11th 2017 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

        Or 10 or 12 running a full length season. I’ve always been mystified by why SA has always looked overseas.

        I wouldn’t rule this out in 2020, with 2 Argentine teams in the Pro12, or in the Currie cup.

        • Columnist

          July 11th 2017 @ 2:05pm
          Geoff Parkes said | July 11th 2017 @ 2:05pm | ! Report

          You can’t keep piling teams into the Pro 12 and keep calling it the Pro 12.

          It becomes the Pro 16 or Pro 18 or whatever. And with that, a whole host of logistical and financial challenges that Super Rugby struggled with.

          • July 11th 2017 @ 7:50pm
            Unanimous said | July 11th 2017 @ 7:50pm | ! Report

            Super Rugby’s logistical challenges are bigger due to the spread of time zones. They have also done a poor job adressing them. The Pro12 will hopefully do better with the smaller challenges, although the only format mentioned so far is two groups of 7, so you never know.

            We can call the Pro12 by whatever name clearly identifies it for the purposes of the conversation. The comp itself will likely change its name at some point to better reflect the number of teams in it, but until then, as long as the comp is identified is all that matters.

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2017 @ 10:00am
            sheek said | July 12th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report


            Yeah, it must like S6, S10, S12, S14, S15, S18, S15, S14, S12, S10, S6……….

    • July 11th 2017 @ 6:57am
      Adsa said | July 11th 2017 @ 6:57am | ! Report

      So true Brett, sadly so true of the predicament Oz rugby is in and our ARU leadership.

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