WATCH: Nick Farr-Jones sees the need for a messiah

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    We sat down with former Wallabies captain Nick Farr-Jones to discuss the need for a new voice to save a sinking ship and take control of community rugby.

    Farr-Jones expressed his concern and frustration about the state of funding for the game.

    “What I’ve seen in the last five years of reduced and zero funding of premiership rugby…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve beaten my head against the wall about the importance of funding that,” he said.

    He lamented the fact that Premiership teams are not getting the money they deserve.

    “They used to just get a meagre 1.3 million dollars to support all the Shute Shield teams. Those premiership teams supported the ARU in going to the third tier of paid product,” he said.

    “He [Bill Pulver] came back with double the money for the broadcasting deal. We’re all there thinking that’s great, there’ll be something paid back to the Premiership clubs…hole in the doughnut. Hole in the doughnut. That’s when I was getting close to just…exit stage left.”

    Farr-Jones believes that there is a growing need for someone to step in to help take community rugby in the right direction.

    “What we need now is someone to galvanise particularly community rugby. Community rugby survives largely on volunteers. Volunteers, a bit like me, are pretty down on the state of the game. The loss of participation, the increased cost of juniors to participate,” he said.

    He is confident that someone with a history in rugby and a strong team can begin to take the proper action needed to rescue community rugby.

    “We need someone who can go out there and be somewhat of a messiah. That person has to be someone who is deeply respected and has a background in rugby…and that person has to surround himself with really good people,” he said.

    Check out the segment in the viewer above, or watch the interview in full here.

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    The Crowd Says (38)

    • Roar Guru

      October 17th 2017 @ 8:36am
      Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

      Why didn’t the NSWRU fund the Shute Shield more when Nick Far-Jones was Chairman then?

      Seems to love to pot others for problems that were there under his own watch.

      • Columnist

        October 17th 2017 @ 10:16am
        Brett McKay said | October 17th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

        It never continues to astound me how effective the NSWRU have been at avoiding criticism. They’ve made it into an art form…

        • Roar Guru

          October 17th 2017 @ 10:18am
          Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

          It just goes to show how the entire narrative has been driven by Papworth and co that Farr-Jones can make these statements despite what I have said, and somehow be supported by the people who were let down by the NSWRU during his tenure.

        • October 17th 2017 @ 10:52am
          Bakkies said | October 17th 2017 @ 10:52am | ! Report

          Did you get to read the NSWRU submission to the Senate Inquiry Brett? Now that was a piece of work.

          • October 17th 2017 @ 11:12am
            concerned supporter said | October 17th 2017 @ 11:12am | ! Report

            Do you have a link to the NSWRU submission?

          • Columnist

            October 17th 2017 @ 11:31am
            Brett McKay said | October 17th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report

            I did, Bakkies. Quite incredible, but entirely unsurprising. This part nearly made me spray coffee over my keyboard:

            “With the exclusion of the powers specifically conferred upon the ARU, State Members should otherwise have the autonomy and independence to determine the allocation of funds to districts, clubs, community endeavours and grass roots development within their respective jurisdictions. State Members are also best placed to determine their own governance models to suit their individual needs (however could be required to submit standardised strategic plans and key performance indicators to the ARU to continuously measure efficiency).”

            I didn’t realise NSW had lost this ability!


            • October 17th 2017 @ 4:16pm
              Bakkies said | October 17th 2017 @ 4:16pm | ! Report

              Yeah extraordinary. Another Rugby governing body that has been neglecting its duties.

              On the topic of dodgy financial activity and poor governance it’s good to see the Saffies are finally issuing out criminal charges. Watson got away with it for so long at the Kings and it drove fans away.


              Former EPRFU President Cheeky Watson (Luke’s father). The ‘people’ running WP Rugby are in the cross-hairs too.

              Rugby folk have had pops at Soccer and Olympic corruption over the years. The boot is on the other foot now.

        • October 17th 2017 @ 1:31pm
          Ray said | October 17th 2017 @ 1:31pm | ! Report

          After watching the Sydney Stars, you could easily say that they are not up to NRC standard. Their scrummaging, offensive and defensive mauling was very poor. Sydney is headed for 2 NRC teams and the blame must lie in Sydney and the Waratahs, not the ARU, who are meant to be governing rugby for the whole of Australia, rather than just Sydney.

          Any potential borderline rugby player would be well advised to come to Canberra, where the Brumbies will give them professional coaching and all the opportunity. This appeared to be also true of the Force, but they have been blown up because Sydney rugby is failing. Melbourne Spirit maybe have been affected by the mess caused by the Super Rugby ado this year, but hopefully they will get their supporting players organised.

          • Roar Guru

            October 17th 2017 @ 3:22pm
            Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 3:22pm | ! Report

            In defence of the poorly managed Sydney NRC teams, they did miss out on a lot of Waratahs Super Rugby players this season through a combination of injuries, departures and unlikely (some would say undeserved) test selection.

            The Eagles showed on the weekend it’s a bit closer, when they narrowly beat the Spirit. It’s no surprise that this was the best/strongest team they’d had all year for this game.

    • October 17th 2017 @ 9:16am
      rock86 said | October 17th 2017 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      Yeah more money to premiership clubs, but let’s just forget about the west. Typical self serving attitude that has brought Australian to the predicament it is in now.

      No, premier grade clubs do not need more money. More money needs to be poured into junior participation, that is the only way you’ll grow rugby and then eventually this flows through to premier club level.

      Anything else is a mere band-aid patch and being completely selfish with Aus rugby money distribution.

      • October 17th 2017 @ 10:29am
        mania said | October 17th 2017 @ 10:29am | ! Report

        rock86 – i agree wholeheartedly. juniors is the key. screw the clubs, thats closing the gate after the horse has bolted. u gotta get the lowest level of the pyramid right else everything else collapses.
        however every time i voice this i get aussies saying “nah thats not the fix, we’re in a competitive sports market so it must be something else” and nothing goes to grass roots
        look at the AFL grassroots. even better look at how league does it. their grassroots reach over to NZ where they recruit kids still in highschool and nurture them. SBW and 100’s of others have been thru NRL systems.
        and please u gotta stop throwing money at leagees. whilst folau is an awesome player is he worth all the money theyre paying him? keeping in mind that the then aus captain benMowen couldnt get a top up that was freely given to folau so he left.

    • October 17th 2017 @ 9:21am
      mitch said | October 17th 2017 @ 9:21am | ! Report

      NFJ for prime minister (or at least ARU director)

    • Roar Guru

      October 17th 2017 @ 9:24am
      PeterK said | October 17th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

      NFJ’s and his ilk are the one that loved the idea of the force being scrapped (i.e reducing super rugby) and the now want the fund steered towards shute shield (premier clubs) and use the euphemism of grassroots when they mean shute shield.

      If they have their way NRC and super rugby would be abolished and other states besides QLD and NSW be pushed back into their rightful place.

      • Roar Guru

        October 17th 2017 @ 9:43am
        Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 9:43am | ! Report

        Farr-Jones is just looking to blame others now he’s out any role that has responsibility.

        When he was NSWRU Chairman from 2013 to 2016 the grants disappeared. He could have worked to maintain them through the NSWRU.

        He chose note to.

      • October 17th 2017 @ 10:54am
        Bakkies said | October 17th 2017 @ 10:54am | ! Report

        ‘If they have their way NRC and super rugby would be abolished and other states besides QLD and NSW be pushed back into their rightful place.’

        Just like de Clyne said when he was lying in front of the Senate Committee yesterday

        • Roar Guru

          October 17th 2017 @ 12:48pm
          Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

          Yes. If you don’t like what he’s saying he must be lying.

          • October 17th 2017 @ 4:20pm
            Bakkies said | October 17th 2017 @ 4:20pm | ! Report

            TWAS get your head out of it. He couldn’t even tell a straight story about the ARU’s financial reports and he is the Chairman and former NAB CEO.

            • Roar Guru

              October 17th 2017 @ 4:26pm
              Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 4:26pm | ! Report

              Anything said that you disagree with you just claim as a lie.

              • October 17th 2017 @ 5:20pm
                Bakkies said | October 17th 2017 @ 5:20pm | ! Report

                Go and check the reports if you want to back up your mate. They’re publicly available on ASIC.

          • October 17th 2017 @ 5:49pm
            In Brief said | October 17th 2017 @ 5:49pm | ! Report

            TWAS, based on everything you have written on these pages, you yourself don’t like what he is saying. There is no differentiation between the petty factionalism of Sydney club rugby and the ARU’s decision to scrap the Force. They were both driven by the same agenda – take money from WA to give more money to NSW club rugby (grassroots). Wedge politics at its worst. And as you argued many times the loss of the Force equals loss of potential player depth and player development. It seems to me the only argument you have for supporting the appalling decision to cut the Force is your staunch support of the ARU. However, I believe the decision was in fact driven by outside influences and went against the ARU’s own strategic plans. So if you support the ARU you should not support cutting the Force as it wasn’t really an ARU decision – it was a decision the ARU was pressured into making.

            • October 17th 2017 @ 6:08pm
              Train Without A Station said | October 17th 2017 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

              Or that I prefer 4 teams to bankruptcy…

              • October 20th 2017 @ 7:28am
                Ex force fan said | October 20th 2017 @ 7:28am | ! Report

                The bankruptcy argument is nonsense. If money was the overriding factor the most expensive franchise would be cut. It was not.

    • October 17th 2017 @ 9:31am
      bluffboy said | October 17th 2017 @ 9:31am | ! Report

      I don’t think premiership rugby or Shute Shield more likely is community rugby though.
      To me community rugby is the local club level. Here is where money is the true investment.
      Coaching, facilities and equipment and not inflated player payments to substandard participants.
      But with all that, if ARU cannot formalise a national coaching and training strategy there is always
      Race 5, number 3 on the nose………….which would be a wiser investment.

      • Roar Guru

        October 17th 2017 @ 11:19am
        John R said | October 17th 2017 @ 11:19am | ! Report

        I don’t want to see the ARU doling out cash to clubs that aren’t even affiliates of theirs, that should be the NSWRU’s job, but all the Shute Shield teams do run their own junior feeder comps, so they do play an important role in their community.

    • October 17th 2017 @ 10:16am
      Nigel said | October 17th 2017 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      Nick Farr-Jones is cut from the same cloth as Pulver, where indeed was the funding and all the reforms when he was part of the elite!! The whole game is top heavy, too much emphasis on the Wallabies, too much money spent on blokes who don’t perform, too much money on coaches that are counterproductive for the brand!! What happened to the smart rugby we use to play??? All we do now is subsidise the retirement of has been rugby players in coaching roles they don’t deserve!! They all know who they are!!

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