Forrest fires up at ARU over Force future


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107 Have your say

    Billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest has issued a blunt warning to the ARU: if you want to cut the Force, you are going to have to defeat me first.

    The findings from last week’s arbitration hearing between RugbyWA and the ARU is set to be handed down within days.

    If the Force win, they will survive the axe until at least 2020.

    But if they lose, the ARU is set to cull them from the Super Rugby competition.

    Under that scenario, the Force are almost certain to appeal to the Supreme Court if they win a right of appeal.

    Forrest has pledged to do whatever it takes to save the Force, and he let the ARU know he means business.

    “I want to be very clear to the ARU. You try to cut the Western Force, you have to go through me first, and then all of our players, and then our supporters, and then all of the parents of young players and, indeed, all proud Western Australians,” Forrest said.

    “This is bigger than just a rugby game. I stand behind all of these amazing people who believe in a fair go and the right for Australians to support rugby union as a national sport, not just one reduced to the eastern seaboard.

    “The Western Force has heart. It is punching way above its weight.

    “It is producing a crop of Wallabies. It is growing its junior player base. It has the backing of its community.

    “How on earth can the ARU even consider causing harm to such a team and indeed to this rugby community?”

    Forrest is offering people interest-free loans to put money into the ‘Own the Force’ campaign.

    Instead of people paying the money back to Forrest, they pay it back to RugbyWA – effectively giving the Force $2000 for every share sold.

    The Force will use the money to buy back their licence from the ARU.

    If the Force win the arbitration, the ARU faces a tough task to cut the Melbourne Rebels.

    The Victorian Rugby Union confirmed last weekend it had taken control of the struggling Rebels.

    Andrew Cox’s Imperium Sports Group sold the 11,625,000 shares for just $1.

    The ARU were miffed the transfer went ahead without their knowledge, and they haven’t ruled out challenging the change of ownership.

    Former Wallaby and Western Force lock John Welborn believes the change of ownership now gives the ARU legal scope to axe the Rebels.

    “Cox’s decision to bail is confirmation to the ARU that the private ownership model has failed,” Welborn said.

    “It is the closing chapter in a disastrous experiment that has resulted in more than $30 million poured into a private franchise that has come dead last on the field and is struggling for commercial traction.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (107)

    • August 8th 2017 @ 8:54am
      Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:54am | ! Report

      The ARU needs to be reminded that there is something worst than not being able to make a decision and that is to make the wrong decision, especially if you know it is the wrong decision.

      The ARU has created the problem with the opaque, blatantly unfair and bodged culling process. They made it clear that the team that are able to avoid the axe will survive. It has been clear that have never been a merit based decision.

      Welborn’s point that the ARU has pumped $30 million into the Rebels as the private ownership model failed twice needs careful consideration. Is there a sustainable funding model at the Rebels to replace the private ownership failure? If private owners are not prepared to take the risk, and do not see enough upside to offset the risk, should the ARU accept this risk? It appears that this is what the VRU propose, with the Vic government promising to host a couple of games at the MCG in return.

      The situation at the Force is different as the franchise are moving towards a fan owned business model. There is sufficient funding to repay the ARU’s “loan” of 2016 and sufficient financial backing to secure the franchise until 2020. All this money will be lost if the Force is axed.

      If cost is the main consideration, can the ARU step away from the Force and continue to finance the Rebels. A merit based decision will say NO, however merit does not matter.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 9:12am
        Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:12am | ! Report

        What I struggle to understand is how the ARU Board can allow this to go on unchallenged. After Pulver follow Clark and Day to find greener pastures the ARU Board will be left with the mess and an almost bankrupt organisation that wasted their money on legal fees.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 5:44pm
        carnivean said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:44pm | ! Report

        “The ARU needs to be reminded that there is something worst than not being able to make a decision and that is to make the wrong decision, especially if you know it is the wrong decision.”

        You have that exactly the wrong way around. The quote runs along the lines of “the only thing worse than the wrong decision is to make no decision at all”.

        If the ARU had cut a team, any team, then there would be less of a problem. The wound could be cauterised and the remainder could move forward and enjoy rugby again.

        • August 8th 2017 @ 8:53pm
          In brief said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:53pm | ! Report

          Wrong – poor decisions last forever, a non decision in this case is far preferable, though still a poor outcome.

          • Roar Guru

            August 8th 2017 @ 9:53pm
            sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

            In Brief,

            Your comment above makes no sense.

            A poor decision does not last forever, providing it is changed.

            A non decision is just that – a non decision. How can a non decision be the basis of any kind of decision???

            • August 10th 2017 @ 5:20pm
              In brief said | August 10th 2017 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

              I’ll leave you to ponder the current North Korean question..would you prefer a quick, wrong decision if the outcome is apocalyptic? Sounds extreme but to test the validity of any idea it’s always good to take it to the ‘nth’ degree. In this case the no decision option makes a lot of sense.

              • August 10th 2017 @ 5:34pm
                Hannes said | August 10th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

                Spot on! It is this we need to do something rather than nothing mentality that backfired with the fight against terrorism. The we need to cut a team, without thinking the implications through with the stakeholder that that got the ARU in this dilemma.

          • August 8th 2017 @ 10:34pm
            Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

            A small free lesson in decision making under uncertainty for any ARU Executive of Board member that may read this:

            The latin roots for the word decision is dicidi which means literary “to cut off”. As once you cut something off it is final, you cannot press undo or restart to try again. You cannot axe the Force and upset the WA rugby community and think they will welcome you back a couple of years later. Once you burned your bridges there is no going back.

            Napoleon said that nothing is more precious than to be able to decide. The ability to make good decisions set people and organisations apart. To make good decisions is a skill that can be learned. Not all decisions require careful consideration, but those that do should not be approach in the cavelier or undisciplined way. A good decision starts from understanding the context and framing the problem, the setting of clear value based decision criteria, the development of good alternatives, the use of factual information to ensure that you understand the underlying assumptions, risks and how you can control the risks and the development of a recommendation with a shared commitment to this action from all stakeholders. If you find no compelling alternatives, consider to reframe the problem. For example instead of asking how we can cut cost, ask how we can we fund the organisation in a different way. It is not rocket science…

            If you think any decision is better than no decision, good luck with your interesting life, especially the selection of your wifes/partners, careers and investments.

      • August 9th 2017 @ 8:37am
        Slowly dying said | August 9th 2017 @ 8:37am | ! Report

        Some points:

        # Melbourne is safe until 2020
        # Why not merge Waratahs with the Brumbies then play a few home games in Canberra. The two towns are only 4 odd hours apart.
        # Reduce squad sizes to bring down the running costs, cut coaches(what exactly are they doing anyhow).

    • Roar Guru

      August 8th 2017 @ 9:06am
      PeterK said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      I hope this means no team will be cut.

      I have read that if no team is cut then the ARU will be bankrupt over the next 2 years.

      Well the ARU has options of cutting costs, not subsidising the franchises as much, let Forrest make up the missing money for the Force.

      However I suspect it will take the easier road and since it can’t cut Force (assuming they win court case) or Rebels, then the brumbies will be cut.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 9:14am
        Fionn said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:14am | ! Report

        Peter, this is the fear I have had ever since the 48-72 hours comment was made and the time period lapsed.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 9:22am
        Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        This ARU revenue increased more than 20% with the new SANZAAR broadcasting deal. They delivered a strong surplus (approx $16 million) in 2016. The problem year is 2019 when the ARU revenue reduces due to the RWC. So no they will not be bankrupt and there are other options to reduce cost and increasing financing. What they cannot do is to continue to bailout franchises. This is where the business model is important and what the purpose of the Own the Force fund is for. There is however no equivalent backup fund at any of the other franchises.

        • August 8th 2017 @ 10:18am
          hog said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          They cannot continue to bail out franchises, but at some stage you have to ask the question why do these franchises need constant bailing out of extra monies. The inability of them to create a bigger market share of the available audience and support.

          And that has a lot to do with Super rugby itself. The only long term solution is to address that matter

          • August 8th 2017 @ 11:08am
            Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:08am | ! Report

            It is because they loose to many games. With better coaching and more equitable distribution of funding surely there is enough money in Australia to maintain five franchises. If NZ with their smaller economy and population can, there is no reason why the richer Australia cannot.

            • August 8th 2017 @ 12:55pm
              hog said | August 8th 2017 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

              No doubt winning helps, but ultimately Super rugby has to limited an appeal in Australia especially when the code is not dominant in the market place.

              Maintaining 4 or 5 franchises is just moving the deckchairs, and at some stage we have to look at the funding model, right now we are essentially borrowing money to sustain Super rugby.

              We’ve had 20 years of Super rugby and the game is on life support, We are killing the game trying to afford a system that simply is not returning anything.

          • August 8th 2017 @ 11:25am
            Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:25am | ! Report

            The long term solution is to allow franchises to fail and not underwrite them financially. If they do others made fill the void and the community including state governments will take stronger ownership of their team. This has been illustrated with the Force and Rebels to lesser extend. The latter I still believe that the ARU should bail them out.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 9:23am
        Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        ‘then the brumbies will be cut.’

        You think that the Brumbies and the ACT Government (who fund and own the crown leases the Brumbies play on) will bend over and take it up the date?

        Do you also believe that axing the best side in favour of keeping the worst will be accepted overseas?

        • August 8th 2017 @ 9:28am
          Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:28am | ! Report

          Bakkies I think overseas will care as much for axing the best side as they domfor axing the second best side. They think all Aussie teams are poor.

          • August 8th 2017 @ 10:04am
            Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:04am | ! Report

            The Brumbies have a reputation overseas and I doubt the NZRU would be impressed if the ARU got rid of their top side. That would certainly improve the competition……………..

            • August 8th 2017 @ 11:10am
              Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

              Bakkies, only NSW and QLD are really safe as the ARU is desperate for an outcome – even the wrong outcome will do.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 12:00pm
                ScottD said | August 8th 2017 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

                I can’t see anyone seriously considering axing the Brumbie.
                It has to be the Rebels purely on financial factors. They have never been financially viable and there is no indication they ever will be.
                However it is clear that the ARU took over the Force license last year with axing of the team in mind even though Pulver made several statements to the contrary.
                They obviously were hoping Force wouldn’t have a successful 2017 and that the Force fans wouldn’t step up. They certainly also didn’t realise Twiggy was a Force member.
                All up the ARU has been too clever for itself and has created this total screw up

              • August 8th 2017 @ 10:54pm
                Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:54pm | ! Report

                I agree with you ScottD that no one is seriously considering to axe the Brumbies. I hope that the Rebels can come up with a funding model that will make far less dependent on the ARU and that no team will be sacked.

                There is a scenario, fairly unlikely at the moment, where due to commercial agreements that the ARU signed that they may not be able to axe either the Force nor the Rebels. In this scenario the ARU may be desperate enough to axe the Brumbies just to deliver to SANZAAR what the promised to do.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:14pm
                Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:14pm | ! Report

                ‘I agree with you ScottD that no one is seriously considering to axe the Brumbies’

                Then why do people continuously entertain the thought?

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:20pm
                Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:20pm | ! Report

                It is an expression of likelihood. At his moment it is possible. However if the Force win the arbitration and find they cannot axe the Rebels it may become probable. Then IMO, it becomes a serious consideration.

        • Roar Guru

          August 8th 2017 @ 10:15am
          PeterK said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:15am | ! Report

          I don’t see what legal grounds the brumbies have unlike the agreements force and rebels have.

          The ACT govt won’t subsidize the brumbies , they are in enough financial trouble as it is, they will squaake and whinge and point fingers. Won’t change the aru’s mind.

          At best they will call it a merger and melbourne rebels becomes melbourne brumbies but only a token game played in canberra.

          • August 8th 2017 @ 10:35am
            Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:35am | ! Report

            ‘The ACT govt won’t subsidize the brumbies , they are in enough financial trouble as it is, they will squaake and whinge and point fingers’

            What are you on about?

            The ACT Government fund the Brumbies including the training venue they now train on ACT Crown Land. The Brumbies will be the only team to make a profit this year so stop reading the rubbish written in the SMH.

            ‘At best they will call it a merger and melbourne rebels becomes melbourne brumbies but only a token game played in canberra.’

            Like hell the ACT clubs will vote to kill themselves and that doesn’t answer the question I asked the other day about the Rebels debt.

          • August 8th 2017 @ 10:38am
            Republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

            ………spot on Peter………

            • August 8th 2017 @ 5:22pm
              Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

              where is Peter spot on? He has only posted misinformation that is rehashed in the SMH who have been gunning for the Brumbies since 1998

              • August 8th 2017 @ 5:53pm
                Republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:53pm | ! Report

                ……..they are and will always be expedient because this is Canberra we are dealing with, the whipping boys for the rest of the nation.
                Its about the ARU saving face so the Brumbies are the obvious solution. the Rebels and powerful Melbourne commercial factor will ensure either subsuming them or giving them the complete heave ho is their ticket to salvation.
                The ACT and Canberra have diddly power commercially, which is ALL that matters at this tier, compared to WA and Vic……….

              • August 8th 2017 @ 7:10pm
                Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 7:10pm | ! Report

                The Rebels have no money and the businesses in Melbourne aren’t interested in them

              • August 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm
                hog said | August 8th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

                The businesses in Melbourne are more than interested in the Rebels, They are not interested in Super Rugby.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 5:55pm
                Republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:55pm | ! Report

                ……the fact that the SMH et el have been gunning for them since their inception is also cause for great concern and why this will ultimately transpire.
                It is also why i do not support elite sport of any code anymore and I suggest, as does sheek, that a revolution of the disaffected is long over due……….

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:16pm
                Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:16pm | ! Report

                ‘The businesses in Melbourne are more than interested in the Rebels, They are not interested in Super Rugby.’

                If they were interested in the Rebels they wouldn’t have gone without a major sponsor after RaboDirect departed and stumped up more cash to ensure that the team was financially secure and less dependent on the ARU.

              • August 9th 2017 @ 7:04am
                hog said | August 9th 2017 @ 7:04am | ! Report

                Let me put it this way, Super rugby is more the reason why they are not interested in the Rebels. We are talking of a city of 5.5 Million people.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 10th 2017 @ 5:30pm
                piru said | August 10th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                The businesses in Melbourne are more than interested in the Rebels, They are not interested in Super Rugby.

                good thing the Rebs play AFL then

        • Roar Guru

          August 8th 2017 @ 8:24pm
          Cadfael said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:24pm | ! Report

          Maybe merging the Brumbies and Rebels playing games in both cities.

          • August 8th 2017 @ 11:18pm
            Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:18pm | ! Report

            Rubbish idea and the Brumbies have an agreement to play all home games at Bruce Stadium.

            If anything that would put the Brumbies in danger would be to inherit the Rebels and allocate costs to the overheads created by the Melbourne market.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 9:27am
        AndyS said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:27am | ! Report

        Interesting to see them falling back on the “bankruptcy” argument. If that were true, they would have cut a team regardless of what Sanzaar did. But they openly stated that the only reason they were doing it was that they thought they could cut a team and keep the revenue. They would have stuck with the status quo otherwise, but now they are saying they would have done that (i.e nothing) knowing they wouldn’t see the next broadcast deal?

        Well, either that or they are suggesting it was them that came up with and planned the whole reduction in teams as their only viable solution…?

        • Roar Guru

          August 8th 2017 @ 9:54am
          PeterK said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:54am | ! Report

          here is the article

          it will cost the aru 6 million per year if they don’t cut a team.

          IMO it is ridiculous that this is the driving force to cut a team.

          That tells me they have enough to pay 4 teams 6 million each, so why not cut that so 5 teams gets 5 million each and thus you don’t need to cut a team. Sure each team needs to adjust to being down 1 million.

          Pretty simple solution.

          • Roar Guru

            August 8th 2017 @ 10:13am
            Train Without A Station said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:13am | ! Report

            That tells me they have enough to pay 4 teams 6 million each, so why not cut that so 5 teams gets 5 million each and thus you don’t need to cut a team. Sure each team needs to adjust to being down 1 million.

            Pretty simple solution.

            No it’s not.

            The Reds lost over $700k in 2016.

            The Waratahs posted a lost of over $200k in 2016.

            The Western Force finished 2016 over $1M in debt.

            The Brumbies details aren’t included on their annual report and the Rebels aren’t published as they are privately owned.

            But I think it’s a fair assumption that all teams lost money.

            How can we afford to reduce all their grants? We will then just have 5 teams that are broke.

            Then there’s the fact that we actually need to increase the salary caps to help keep quality Super Rugby players in Australia to keep our teams competitive so reducing salaries is not an option unless we want to ensure that our 2017 season is the norm.

            • Roar Guru

              August 8th 2017 @ 10:46am
              sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

              There’s this obsession with keeping so called quality players in Australia. Pffffft.

              Last Saturday I went to see my old school’s 1st XV smash the despised (only joking) regular heathens from the north shore.

              The quality of rugby put on by 30 amateur 17-18 year old boys made a mockery of the so called high quality professional rugby players in Australia.

              Waverley led 26-5 at halftime, & ran out eventual 47-17 winners. But the scoreline was deceptive. For about 20 minutes of the second half, Knox threw everything, then some more at Waverley, to get back in the game. The Waves were pinned in their own quarter without possession & Knox pulled closer to 26-17.

              But having weathered the storm, the Waves finished with three more excellent tries. It was a game of the highest quality intensity & skills.

              We could fill the five Australian provinces with talented 18-22 old players on match payments only & they would have fans flocking back to the game. No need to pay under-performing professionals a small fortune.

              Part of the problem is that players, coaches & administrators have all become too full of their own self-importance.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 11:47am
                HarryT said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                Sheek, Waverley College used to be a rugby dominated school that was a factory for Randwick, NSW and Australia.

                In 2010, there was concern as the number of soccer and rugby teams was the same, but now I notice that soccer has almost 30% more teams and that AFL has infiltrated the school with four teams.

                For me this is a worrying depletion of grass roots rugby.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 1:09pm
                Jock Cornet said | August 8th 2017 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

                I was there too and had a drunk at the Charo before and after. Great attacking rugby. The problem with super rugby their is no tribalism. 5000 at that game. Their is hope if the Ru connected with the grassroots .

              • August 8th 2017 @ 1:15pm
                jameswm said | August 8th 2017 @ 1:15pm | ! Report

                Sheek, if only it was that easy.

                Do you understand how far ahead the ABs are? Going back to amateurs on match payments will make the gap bigger.

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm
                sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:29pm | ! Report


                My comments were a bit tongue-in-cheek.

                Of course, i could have added, the NZ super rugby teams play the same way as the schoolboy match I witnessed on the weekend.

                Except that they’ve become bigger, stronger, faster, better skilled & tactical more savvy since leaving school.

                There is a disconnect in Australia between schoolboy rugby & senior rugby. Kids get the “play it as you see it” taken out of them & forced to play percentage rugby, or whatever rugby is going to help the coach keep his job.

                I say forced because if you want a professional contract you have to do what the coach says, even if you think he’s lost his marbles.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 3:04pm
                Wallace footrot said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:04pm | ! Report

                Sheek I believe you are on to something here. The crowds at Qld school boy rugby were the same over the weekend. The Nudgee vs Gregory Terrace game has pulled in crowds of 5000 + , as estimated by the Courier Mail. These people dont just lose interest. They all love rugby and the wallabies or other national teams. The skills on show from the kids are incredible. Great atmosphere and a great day out! Additionally it was great to see Stephen Moore at the tiny kids rugby training. Offered his whole night just talking to the kids and being there. Fantastic effort Steve. Bloody legend.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 5:24pm
                Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:24pm | ! Report

                It is the same in SA 20,000 at Paarl Gym v Paarl Boys High year in, year out at a separate venue as it holds more spectators than the respective schools.

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 8:31pm
                Cadfael said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:31pm | ! Report

                I wouldn’t say it was just schoolboy rugby.Some great attacking rugby in the Shute Shield andin my local country region. It is frustrating watching these three areas of rugby and then watching our Super rugby treams.

            • August 8th 2017 @ 10:50am
              Fionn said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              From what I heard the Brumbies might actually have turned a profit, or close to it.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 12:03pm
                ScottD said | August 8th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

                And the Force have made a profit this year I have heard also

              • August 8th 2017 @ 5:25pm
                Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:25pm | ! Report

                It’s been reported for the past two weeks that the Brumbies will post a profit. The only thing that prevented the Brumbies from doing so in recent years was the costs associated with the previous CEO Michael Jones. The current CEO seems pretty switched on.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 7:27pm
                Republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 7:27pm | ! Report

                …..I really don’t believe ‘profit’ is a criteria in this process anymore Fionn. this whole debacle has gone way beyond that.
                One entity must go and while the WA & Vic assume all the power in respect of dragging this out, the Brumbies do not and will be easy for the ARU to both appease and scapegoat – just you wait and see.
                The ACT government have very little influence in this respect while the code that the capital has the most affinity with and which the assembly are investing in for the future, Australian Footy, will be the big winner in all of this………

            • Roar Guru

              August 8th 2017 @ 11:05am
              PeterK said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:05am | ! Report

              Make the franchise responsible, make it cut expenses or let market forces dictate which franchise folds.

              IMO pay the players less , ARU tops up the best ones to keep, pay your admin and management less , etc.

              VIC Rugby can’t afford rebels and most likely they will be froced to shutdown UNLESS VIC Govt subsidises them , Forrest might keep Force afloat and so on.

            • August 8th 2017 @ 11:20am
              Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:20am | ! Report

              As the quality players do not produce a quality performances that is in line with their quality pay, they are not worth it!

              The Tahs and Reds are stacked with quality players that gets a quality pay while the Brumbies and Force are stacked with average players on average pay.

              Let the quality players (prima donnas) play elsewhere and invest in more average players and you will discover real quality for a bargain in someone like an Adam Coleman. For this you need to create opportunities and that is why Australia rugby will be stronger with 5 teams.

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 11:44am
                Train Without A Station said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:44am | ! Report

                Those average players were not able to defeat a single NZ team. So it’s really a moot point.

                Making NSW worse would not make the Force compete with teams outside Australia.

                And the increase in the salary cap would actually benefit the teams filled with average players more anywa, as it’s non-Wallabies that are lost to overseas.

              • Roar Rookie

                August 8th 2017 @ 11:47am
                JPR said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:47am | ! Report

                Agree with your comment entirely.
                The ARU has to stop this out of date,blinkered view that by putting money,saved by culling a franchise into the private schools of NSW & QLD it will make everything OK, total rubbish,that was 20 years ago,rugby has changed so much and is still growing look, at what World Rugby is focused on achieving in the future.

                If the ARU are genuinely serious about saving our game they must start making everything equal between all 5 super teams across Australia.

                Equal voting,equal power sharing, equal division of funds and invest in players that are not in it only for the dollars. There are only so many foreign spots up for grabs.

                And finally plan a new competition which has Asia & the Pacific Islands included to replace SA, as they will all go up North at the end of the current agreement.NZ can rethink their future, so does it include local competition or not ?.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm
                Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:56pm | ! Report

                TWAS, the “quality” players also did not win a game against New Zealand? They did not make the finals even when we stacked the Tahs with current Wallabies. They did not do any better than the average players, the actually did worst and are therefore not worth the extra $2 million they are paid. It is not a mute point, it is an insight that you can get more for your money.

              • Roar Pro

                August 8th 2017 @ 3:09pm
                Crazy Horse said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

                It was the Tahs who couldn’t beat any overseas teams.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 5:27pm
                Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

                ‘VIC Rugby can’t afford rebels and most likely they will be froced to shutdown UNLESS VIC Govt subsidises them ‘

                and what will they do if the Vic Government gets voted out at the upcoming state election and the incoming Government pulls the ‘funding?’

          • August 9th 2017 @ 11:18am
            Bakkies said | August 9th 2017 @ 11:18am | ! Report

            Here is the latest Paarl Gym v Paarl Boys High match that is up on YouTube

      • Roar Guru

        August 8th 2017 @ 10:38am
        sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:38am | ! Report

        Yes PeterK,

        The Brumbies will be the fall guys.

        How ridiculous though, is this entire saga.

        Sport needs to be run with similar principles to a business but when you try to turn sport into business then you are sounding its death knell.

        For all the business acumen, experience & diversity on the ARU board, they have absolutely butchered this entire process.

        • Roar Rookie

          August 8th 2017 @ 10:55am
          piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          If the answer to the question is ‘cut your most successful team’

          They’re asking the wrong question

          • Roar Guru

            August 8th 2017 @ 11:53am
            John R said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:53am | ! Report

            Well put mate.

          • Roar Guru

            August 8th 2017 @ 2:34pm
            sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

            The problem of course for the ARU now, is ego, it’s about saving face.

            What further disastrous decisions lay in wait for unsuspecting Aussie provinces remain to be seen as the ARU desperately scrambles to save face.

            But it’s not only the ARU that is desperate to save face, but SANZAAR also, who have promised the broadcasters a structure that neither the ARU, or themselves, now seem capable of delivering.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              Someone either needs to bite the bullet, put on their big boy pants and say ‘we were wrong’, or resign.

            • Roar Rookie

              August 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm
              piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

              Someone either needs to bite the bullet, put on their big boy pants and say ‘we were wrong’, or resign.

            • August 8th 2017 @ 3:16pm
              Darwin Stubbie said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

              Why can’t SANZAAR deliver it … they’ve got 4 spots for Aust teams in their revamped competition based on the commitment provided by the ARU. .. its a 15 team comp next year amd at end of the day the ball is completely in the ARUs court

              • August 8th 2017 @ 3:41pm
                Fionn said | August 8th 2017 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

                I somehow doubt you’ve privy to the contractual agreements (if there were any) between the ARU and SANZAAR.

                It all depends on what exactly was phrased, and why.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 5:40pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:40pm | ! Report

                Well what do we know … we know there was a meeting in London where all the unions discussed changes to SR and formats … we know that a 15 team competition was discussed and to achieve that Aust and SA had to cut teams … we know that there was consensus on that format and those unions would go back and consult and then return to confirm whether they would agree to do that … we know that both SA and Aust did that and returned and agreed to cut teams … we know SANZAAR then went armed with that and have renegotiated their TV deals … it defies logic to think that SANZAAR have the capacity to flip flop formats and not expect some blow back …. throw in Pulvers rather defiance last week when he stated that they will be supplying 4 teams next year and it adds up to the same thing … S15

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 5:46pm
                sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 5:46pm | ! Report


                You don’t think SANZAAR is just a tad nervous about how things will pan out?

                Even if, somehow, we get S15 next year, it’s a disgraced structure. Disgraced because of the way the people who orchestrated it have handled it.

                And SANZAAR have been right in the middle of the process.

                You Kiwis are living on another planet, I think sometimes.

                You have the best players & teams, but you might struggle to find anyone to play against.

                Unless of course, the five Kiwi SR teams are happy to play in Europe every year…..

              • August 8th 2017 @ 6:12pm
                Darwin Stubbie said | August 8th 2017 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

                Don’t get why kiwis are on another planet and at the end of the day SANZAAR are only an extension of the parent unions …. this was consulted and agreed on – the ARU agreed to the format but needed sign off – from the reports I’ve read they achieved that by an 8/1 vote at an ARU meeting with their member unions … They then returned and signed up for the change which would see them achieve the same revenue share ..

                all that we read about is how stuffed the format is and clearly SANZAAR felt the same and they consulted and met to arrive at a new structure – just because you don’t agree with it doesn’t mean this isn’t a step in the right direction to get back to a better structure – 5 teams in SR isn’t an ARU birthright and the evidence is reasonably solid that 5 teams is also sending the game in Aust broke – it may a bitter pill to swallow but the competition is moving forward in a new format and Aust rugby agreed to comply with that

              • August 8th 2017 @ 8:03pm
                hog said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:03pm | ! Report

                The only thing sending the game broke in Australia is Super rugby itself.

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 8:03pm
                sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:03pm | ! Report


                As you know I don’t give a stuff about SR. I certainly have no preconceived notion of what the Aussie birthright is for their number of teams in SR, because I just don’t care.

                What I do care about is that whenever Australian rugby gets around to establishing its own national comp, say by 2417, then these five provinces will underpin that comp.

                That’s all I care about right now.

                The reason why I wonder if Kiwis are on a different planet is that their fate is tied up with where SR goes next. Yet they have been surprisingly quiet other than to say they don’t want to lose contact with SA.

                The Kiwis have the best players, teams & domestic systems, but a very small market. They desperately need the bigger markets of Australia & SA to survive & thrive.

                I just thought they would be working harder to achieve a satisfactory outcome. Of course, they may well be doing this behind the scenes. But it’s not obvious from a public viewpoint.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 8:40pm
                robert said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:40pm | ! Report

                sheek i heard an interview with steve tew on sunday sports in nz, he said he prefers to play s.a teams but if they decided to leave super rugby we would still need a comp over here, thats why they want to build up a team in japan and argentina, he also said there has been work behind the scenes to see how a much a team from the islands would cost and if its workable, so the first choice for the nzru is super rugby with sa, but if they decided to ever leave the competion the nzru have a plan b in place which includes teams from australia japan argentina and the islands

              • August 8th 2017 @ 9:11pm
                Rich said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:11pm | ! Report

                Agreed Sheek..NZRU have been quiet on this entire issue but rest assured they will be working feverishly behind the scenes to make sure the All Blacks stay at the top of world rugby.
                NZ need rugby in their country to dominate all who oppose them as I believe it is vital to their survival as a nation.
                So yes they will be working towards a satisfactory outcome, but not for SA or AUST. A very interesting time descending on all Southern Hemisphere rugby and I feel strongly that Aust rugby will come out the other side of this mess much stronger.

              • Roar Guru

                August 8th 2017 @ 9:56pm
                sheek said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:56pm | ! Report

                Thanks Robert,

                I would have thought the Kiwis are too smart not to have a plan B ready, or even a plan C.

              • August 8th 2017 @ 10:13pm
                Fionn said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:13pm | ! Report

                Darwin Stubbie, I’m going to presume that you didn’t study law and aren’t particularly knowledgeable about the nuances of contracts and will just say that unless you know both the exact SANZAAR decision making process AND the internal conversations and possible contractual agreements made between the ARU and SANZAAR you really have no idea what you’re talking about, none of us do.

              • August 9th 2017 @ 7:17am
                Darwin Stubbie said | August 9th 2017 @ 7:17am | ! Report

                Interesting take … do you hold yourself to those same standards when you pontificate on the Beale / ARU / MacKenzie saga

              • August 9th 2017 @ 8:41am
                Fionn said | August 9th 2017 @ 8:41am | ! Report

                Up to your usual nonsense, DS.

                We’re not discussing our ‘opinions’ or ‘interpretation’ of events, we’re discussing sensitive and complex possible legal contractual obligations. You clearly don’t understand how
                a contract forms as we would need to know the specifics about exactly what was decided, and what the agreement was (not just a general idea) in order to determine whether a contract has formed, and what the contract was exactly.

                If the ARU does have prior contractual agreements with all the SR teams not to cut them then that makes it even more complicated.

        • August 8th 2017 @ 12:40pm
          Next year! said | August 8th 2017 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

          ‘Butchered’ is not even close you’re being kind with this descriptor …the ARU move from crisis to oversight and now the embarrassing situation where they failed to foresee the possibility of the Rebels transferring their license to the VRU …this is just amateur hour …a ragtime show…..and these are supposed to be well paid professionals with corporate experience ? Where is the risk management in all this …..and what’s next ? The public reputation in the ARU’s administrative ability is must be close to all time low and I would argue is turning towards suspicion …..this surely will be a case study in poor management in years to come……

          • August 8th 2017 @ 11:08pm
            Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:08pm | ! Report

            Next year, this will surely make a great risk and decision analysis study. I think I will write a paper on it, thanks for the idea.

      • Roar Rookie

        August 8th 2017 @ 6:47pm
        ChrisG said | August 8th 2017 @ 6:47pm | ! Report

        I’m amazed that the ARU hasn’t looked at the same option as SARU – find another competition for the 5th team to play in! I’m pretty sure that this would cost less than the legal fees they face. For the sake of Super Rugby something needs to be done, and sooner rather than later.

      • August 8th 2017 @ 9:12pm
        RahRah said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:12pm | ! Report

        I’m not sure about a cut Pete but I think a merger will most certainly be revisited.
        What really needs to happen is for the ARU to stop with its purposely vague, grimy and dishonest bulldust re the criteria they have used to determine who gets cut, and give a thoroughly open and honest expose of the books.
        Make no mistake, this whole saga has been bought about by the NSW/QLD cartel and their own self interest. They have never been able to make a decision in the best interests of rugby, rather they continue to care for nothing more than their own parochial self interest. Well, that very same self serving ideology has now culminated in what could perhaps be the collapse of the entire two ringed circus.

    • August 8th 2017 @ 9:45am
      republican said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

      …….i think this will reinvigorate the Rebels campaign to subsume the Brumbies – or cut them altogether……….

      • August 8th 2017 @ 10:36am
        Bakkies said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:36am | ! Report

        They can’t afford to do that financially and constitutionally.

    • Roar Rookie

      August 8th 2017 @ 10:45am
      piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:45am | ! Report

      RugbyWA and VicRugby to seccede from the ARU and run their own comp?

    • Roar Rookie

      August 8th 2017 @ 10:46am
      piru said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:46am | ! Report

      Also “Forrest fires” haha I see what you did

    • August 8th 2017 @ 11:30am
      Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:30am | ! Report

      Here is the letter from the head of Rugby WA,, WA premier and Andrew Forrest on why the Force should not be axed:

      • August 8th 2017 @ 8:14pm
        Fair Weather said | August 8th 2017 @ 8:14pm | ! Report

        Am sure the Victorian government would have a similar letter. Big difference is the little matter of the couple of 100 million spent on building that stadium to play rugby in.

        • August 8th 2017 @ 9:53pm
          Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 9:53pm | ! Report

          The WA government also spend a bit of money on stadiums. Next year’s Bleddisloe cup AB-WB test will be played in such a stadium. More than $1 billion was spend on this stadium. Then there are the Rugby WA facilities and nib upgrade etc…. The WA government also spend a significant amount based on ARU representations. We are on the same side here, a lot of money was spend to establish these rugby franchises and then the ARU just decide to cut one to save peanuts.

          • Roar Pro

            August 8th 2017 @ 10:08pm
            Crazy Horse said | August 8th 2017 @ 10:08pm | ! Report

            The WA Government has spent about $150 million to establish the Force. Plus many millions over and above the cost of a pure AFL Stadium to make the new stadium opening in March configurable for Rugby.

        • August 8th 2017 @ 11:14pm
          Hannes said | August 8th 2017 @ 11:14pm | ! Report

          I would love to see the Rebels version. Can you please direct me to the link?

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