Nic Stirzaker finds himself a new (temporary) home

Daniel Jeffrey Editor

By Daniel Jeffrey, Daniel Jeffrey is a Roar Editor

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    Melbourne Rebels scrumhalf Nic Stirzaker will miss the start of the Super Rugby season after signing a short-term deal with English club Saracens.

    Stirzaker’s injury-cover contract will see him play for the Premiership club until March, meaning he’ll miss the Rebels’ season opener against the Reds on February 23.

    However, he is still under contract with the Melbourne side, and Australian rugby, for the 2018 season.

    The experienced scrumhalf, who has captained the Melbourne side for the past two years, has linked up with Saracens for the past few weeks.

    “I’ve settled in really well, St Albans is a cool place; the club’s been really great and it’s a cool bunch of guys,” Stirzaker said.

    “The last couple of games have been two good wins so it’s a good place to be around.

    “I’m looking forward to learning from some really quality players here as well as learning from the way the team plays; the game is based around a kick-chase and accurate kicking which is something I’m really keen to develop.”

    Despite being the side’s captain for the past two years, Stirzaker is unlikely to feature in Melbourne’s starting side in the 2018 season after the club signed Wallabies scrumhalf Will Genia. The Rebels also added Michael Ruru to their squad following the Western Force’s Super Rugby axing.

    Despite falling down the pecking order in Melbourne, Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall said Stirzaker would be a valuable addition to the English club.

    “Nick’s an experienced player, he’s got 60 Super Rugby caps which is a lot for a young man,” he said.

    “He’s a very exciting scrum-half with great passing ability, great running ability and with Henry Taylor out for the rest of the season and with Richard Wigglesworth’s recent injury we felt a little bit vulnerable in that area, so it’s great to be able to bring Nick’s quality across.”

    Daniel Jeffrey
    Daniel Jeffrey

    Daniel is Editor of The Roar. You can catch him on Twitter @_d_jeffrey.

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    The Crowd Says (67)

    • Roar Rookie

      January 4th 2018 @ 11:40am
      piru said | January 4th 2018 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      It’s a bit disappointing if he’s being ‘encouraged’ to look at other options isn’t it?

      • January 4th 2018 @ 7:56pm
        Train Without A Station said | January 4th 2018 @ 7:56pm | ! Report


        Especially considering the circumstances around it (turned down a French offer in 2017).

        But hey, Wessels wanted Ruru…

        • January 5th 2018 @ 10:01am
          jameswm said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:01am | ! Report

          Ruru is clearly better. Of course Wessels wanted him.

          • January 6th 2018 @ 10:59pm
            Train Without A Station said | January 6th 2018 @ 10:59pm | ! Report

            He’s come in.

            He’s been aware that previously the Rebels told Nic he was firmly in their plans so he turned down a French offer.

            He’s then looked to bring Ruru in, and push Stirzacker out.

            I doubt any coach wouldn’t want another player over at least one player in their squad.

            Personally I think it’s a bit rude to do that in this case of Ruru/Stirzacker given the knowledge of what happened in 2017.

      • January 4th 2018 @ 10:15pm
        Rhys Bosley said | January 4th 2018 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

        Yeah, cutting the Force was supposed to consolidate all our best players, but instead our best hooker (Taf) is homeless, our second best (Hanson) has gone to England. And now we are losing a scrum half who many have said has been worthy of a gold jersey well before now. Awesome.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 4:22am
          Train Without A Station said | January 5th 2018 @ 4:22am | ! Report

          Taf was always going.

          He signed a contract in 2016. He only played for the Force because he failed a medical and the opportunity at the Force came up.

          Hanson is going because he’s considered the 2nd best hooker at the Rebels behind a current Wallaby.

          It’s got nothing to do with less teams and everything to do with not being in Wallaby contention as far as Cheika is concerned.

          Stop trying to create narratives where they don’t exist.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 10:03am
          jameswm said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:03am | ! Report

          Hanson is our 2nd best hooker? Might want to tell Latu and Uelese that.

          Stirzaker would be behind Genia, Ruru, Louwrens, Powell, Phipps and Gordon. Note – 2 of those in front of him play for the rebels.

    • Roar Guru

      January 4th 2018 @ 11:48am
      PeterK said | January 4th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

      IMO Stirzaker is better than Ruru in most aspects of scrumhalf play.

      • January 4th 2018 @ 1:27pm
        Fionn said | January 4th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

        I’m not so sure. I watched him a lot this year, and while the Rebels were collectively dire Stirzaker definitely didn’t cover himself in glory. Ruru was far more impressive in 2017.

        • Roar Guru

          January 4th 2018 @ 4:31pm
          PeterK said | January 4th 2018 @ 4:31pm | ! Report

          he was not recovered properly from all his injuries yet

          • January 4th 2018 @ 5:30pm
            Fionn said | January 4th 2018 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

            Perhaps. But I definitely don’t think Stirzaker has shown enough over recent years to indicate he is the better player. We will see.

            • January 4th 2018 @ 9:40pm
              cuw said | January 4th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

              he MUST be fit now – else it will be a joke of a “medical joker ” 😛

            • Roar Pro

              January 6th 2018 @ 2:21pm
              PapanuiPirate said | January 6th 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

              There’s a few problems with Stirzaker which I think are somewhat environmental and less about his quality as a player.

              The shoulder injury seems impacted his passing motion and he hasn;t regained his natural motion yet. Shoulder injuries are relatively rare for halfbacks but for example wrist injuries can have serious impacts on wrist motion halfbacks for a couple years. Stirzaker is a cross body passer so I expect there’s a similar style of issue.

              The ankle problems he’s had for the last little while also seem to have stunted his running game. As a pass and run halfback that’s both of his main weapons stunted by injuries.

              This is all compounded by his place within the rebels set up up until this year. He was far and away the first choice halfback, a leader on the field and then the captain. I don’t think his injuries have been managed well, he’d been rushed back only to break down again a game or two later. Combined with the extra pressure of not having a strong willed 1st five I think his speed of thought has been badly affected, being responsible for driving the team around the park and leading in general.

              Ruru by contrast has only had hamstring injuries which most players come back from, and came only as a back up halfback with no leadership role, so much less pressure. He is in a much better position to just play his natural game and has certainly been more fluent than Stirzaker for the last couple of years.

              If Nic goes to the Saracens and gets to just settle into his role, performing a stand in job with much less pressure, it could be good for him. He’s got a lot of upside and I think is probably the classiest of the non-test halfbacks in the country. Sure he isn’t as zippy as Powell or Gordon, but his decision making is quality, support play generally excellent and he is good at driving a pack around the field. He just has to get his personal game back up to where it was a few years ago.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 12:38pm
          Akari said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

          The Brumbies bought Matt Lucas when Stirzy would have been a better recruit IMO as the Rebels might have been happy to offload him a year early. I would be happy to be proven wrong but I haven’t seen anything that points to Lucas being a super rugby HB.

          • January 5th 2018 @ 1:54pm
            Markus said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:54pm | ! Report

            And while they may not have known Stirzaker would become available (or Frisby for that matter), they knew full well that the Force’s three scrumhalves had their futures up in the air, all of which are more experienced and I would say stronger options.

            Until they bagged Naisarani then Peni, some of the Brumbies off-season recruitment was a head scratcher for me.

            • January 6th 2018 @ 9:18am
              Fionn said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:18am | ! Report

              I think the recruitment

            • January 6th 2018 @ 9:19am
              Fionn said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

              I think the recruitment other than at halfback has been brilliant.

              As it is Powell will have to play a lot of minutes. Hopefully Ryan Lonergan can push himself ahead of Lucas.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 10:30am
                Markus said | January 8th 2018 @ 10:30am | ! Report

                Now that their recruitment has finalised I agree that they have largely done very well.
                Earlier on it did seem like they were going very heavy on unproven wingers and that some of the players signed were not quite filling the gap left by a departing player.

                Other than scrumhalf, hooker is a bit light on but promising, as are fullback (Banks to kick on, hopefully Mack Hansen comes along well) and flyhalf (about as much as any other Australian squad).

      • January 4th 2018 @ 7:56pm
        Train Without A Station said | January 4th 2018 @ 7:56pm | ! Report

        I wouldn’t agree with that personally.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 10:04am
          jameswm said | January 5th 2018 @ 10:04am | ! Report

          I wouldn’t either. I think Ruru is class. Stirzaker is ok only.

    • January 4th 2018 @ 1:05pm
      Mmmmm..k said | January 4th 2018 @ 1:05pm | ! Report

      I think Nick will end up in the NH leagues for good soon.
      The game has kicked on there at all levels and has become the world’s rugby melting pot.

      I’m really excited by England, Ireland and Scotland’s rise and Wales may be close behind.

      It’s entirely possible that both Australia and SA could find themselves struggling to make the top 5 teams in the world.

      Anyway…if W.Skelton, N.White, J.O’Conner, TPN, L.Turner, J.Horwill, J.Hanson, N.Charles R.Horne, K.Longbottom, J.Schatz, S.Finger, B.Tapuai, and G.Holmes are already in England he will be able to over to their place and have a BBQ.

    • January 4th 2018 @ 1:14pm
      AndyS said | January 4th 2018 @ 1:14pm | ! Report

      So, not staying around to apply pressure on the likely incumbents then…

      • January 4th 2018 @ 1:59pm
        Crash Ball2 said | January 4th 2018 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

        Genia is an automatic first choice when fit and Ruru was possibly the form halfback of the conference in the latter part of last season (Louwrens in the early part). Unlikely Stirzaker was going to shift hearts and minds in the 2018 pre-season – regardless of how he performed at training – so good opportunity for a talented young half to gain some Northern Hemisphere rugby exposure, add to his incumbent skill set, get some real time match fitness and come back to make a run at re-asserting his value back in Melbourne. If he is unable to get back in the Rebels rotation, a few European / UK / Irish clubs will have gotten a few weeks look at him in their own backyard.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 4th 2018 @ 2:23pm
          piru said | January 4th 2018 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

          If only there was a way to keep players like this in Australia, like another Super team or something

          • January 4th 2018 @ 3:40pm
            cuw said | January 4th 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

            usually these short term things end up being long term – particularity if they fare well.

            most of these clubs are looking for cover when 6N starts , + injuries to regulars.

            there is talk Nizam Carr may stay at Wasps – with HUghes injured and then wanted by England.

            TPN is already airing views – and he has plated like 2 -3 club games in UK 🙂

          • January 4th 2018 @ 3:41pm
            Realist said | January 4th 2018 @ 3:41pm | ! Report

            Keep dreaming Piru ?

            The Rebels is your team now

            • Roar Rookie

              January 4th 2018 @ 3:57pm
              piru said | January 4th 2018 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

              More accurately, The Force are now the Rebels

              You live a sad little life don’t you fella?

              • January 4th 2018 @ 11:57pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 4th 2018 @ 11:57pm | ! Report

                If only 5 teams was sustainable.
                It’s just a shame that they found out that it’s definately not sustainable.

                I guess we just have to be glad they acknowledge that and have done the best thing for Australian rugby.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 5th 2018 @ 12:52pm
                piru said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

                They most definitely did not do the best thing for Australian rugby

                at all

              • January 5th 2018 @ 6:46pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

                So financially struggling teams that can’t compete in the comp they’re in doesn’t ring alarm bells?
                Collapse follows quickly afterwards and Australia needs to work with others to keep Super Rugby strong.

                It’s all good and well to say it creates jobs for more players but it doesn’t work that way. More teams is not always good if they are not sustainable.
                If you spread resources too thin the whole thing collapsed and there is no jobs in Super Rugby for thousands of people.

              • January 5th 2018 @ 1:22pm
                Ex force fan said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:22pm | ! Report

                You still believe the five teams were not sustainable BS? Mmmm…..

              • January 5th 2018 @ 6:36pm
                Mmmmm..k said | January 5th 2018 @ 6:36pm | ! Report

                I don’t think, I know.

                That’s why they dropped one.

                Did you think there was another reason?
                I would be interested to hear it and how you know more than the people who run the ‘day to day’ in Aus rugby.

                Look, it’s a simple fact that they dropped a team because they had good reason to think it was to Australia’s benifit.
                You may disagree and that’s your right but you are just a fan who wants something to be real. You don’t understand fully the whole picture like the people who run the game do.

                Let’s put it this way.
                Australia had it’s resources spread thinner.
                Australia’s Super Teams were poor as result.
                Australia’s Super Teams were struggling to attract or keep fans as a result.
                Australia’s Super Teams were struggling financially as a result. Australian rugby was struggling as a result.
                Australia’s Wallabies were struggling as a result.

                So yeah, I think that the people who know, knew and did what was very difficult but what was in the best interest of Aus rugby.

                I don’t think you know better. Why would I? Seriously, with all the obvious evidence and those in Aus rugby admin suggesting one thing, why would I pretend otherwise?

                So please don’t get angry at me and please try to understand why something had to be done and why they did it.

                The choice was made for them by circumstance.
                They did what they had to for Australian rugby.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 3:29am
                AndyS said | January 8th 2018 @ 3:29am | ! Report

                Assuming you accept that one root cause as true. An alternate view could be that:
                Australia has a development structure different from every other Tier 1 country, requiring their SR teams to recruit amateurs and then have a third of their team filled by developing players.
                Australia’s Super Teams were poor as result.
                Australia’s Super Teams were struggling to attract or keep fans as a result.
                Australia’s Super Teams were struggling financially as a result. Australian rugby was struggling as a result.
                Australia’s Wallabies were struggling as a result.

                And those in Aus rugby admin might well refuse to acknowledge that because a) the situation is one of their own making, and b) it is a situation they are heavily invested in due to their own backgrounds and the constituencies they represent.

                In which case the choice was made for them by their own incompetence and that of those that went before them, and they in fact did what was politically palatable rather than address any fundamental issues.
                Four development programs feeding four teams may well prove to be no improvement over five development programs feeding five teams; what is thin is the development path itself, not the resource pool. In which case all they’ve actually done is make it narrower still.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 1:11am
                Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:11am | ! Report

                Mmm. The other reason was incompetence! When they figured out that the Force is sustainable with a better business model than the Rebels they already decided to cut it! ARU did not do their homework and refused to speak to Twiggy before they made a decision! The whole selection of the team to axe was BS. SARU is an organization that is not the benchmark for competence but look how much better they handled a far more difficult situation than the ARU. The solution was obvious: you should not have agreed to cut a team and if you do a merger made more sense than alienate a state that have 20% of your players. The ARU is a disgusting organization and the people that where in charge during this fiasco shouls go now. Clyne, Eales and kie Time to go!

            • January 5th 2018 @ 12:44pm
              Akari said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

              TBH, the Rebels should rightly have been merged with the Brumbies with some home games being played in Melb and I am a Brumbies supporter.

              • January 5th 2018 @ 12:48pm
                Fionn said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                Akari, if it had come to that I would actually have preferred them cut the Brumbies if it had gotten to that point.

                I fear a merger would have killed two teams rather than one. Maybe I am wrong in saying that, however.

              • January 5th 2018 @ 11:52pm
                Realist said | January 5th 2018 @ 11:52pm | ! Report

                Personally I am relieved the ARU cut the Force over the Brumbies and Rebels

                The Rebels have had 3 out of 7 promising seasons to the Force’s 2 out of 12. The Brumbies are a successful nursery of rugby talent and are now an important fabric of the national code.

                When it came down to Rugby it was alsway s going to be Melbourne against Perth and Melbourne have historically produced more born and bred Wallabies. I also admire the Rebels’ fans for resisting the need to spread false information, massively overrate their local talent and ignore anything other the last seasons results as justification for why their team should stay.

                This sounds harsh but I was embarrassed by the Force as a franchise. They looted the heartland for talent and lacked any meaningful brand recognition or cultural ethos. They also never made any obvious progress before last season, apart from an anomaly a few years back and they still couldn’t limp into the finals.

                The ARU made a gutsy decision removing them from Super Rugby and it was the correct one.

              • January 6th 2018 @ 9:56am
                waxhead said | January 6th 2018 @ 9:56am | ! Report

                @ Realist
                Not harsh at all imo – the Force were the architects of their own ruin for 12 years.
                A totally failed franchise.

                And the few fans they have left are still on here refusing to accept they are dead and buried. Calling the Rebels the new Force (or some such) is a terrible insult to the Rebels imo. Who’d want to be labelled or connected with those losers.

                Ex Force fans can go be fan boys for Twiggy’s fantasy and watch new Force play Legian B in Denpasar 🙂

              • January 6th 2018 @ 11:00pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 6th 2018 @ 11:00pm | ! Report

                Why rightly?

                Especially when they couldn’t compel either team to agree to this.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 12:15pm
                piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:15pm | ! Report

                Blah blah blah

                yes it’s all a very easy decision when your own team isn’t on the line.

                Spare us your revisionist logic and made up “facts”.

                Enjoy the players and coaches you have “looted” (as you put it) and the one season of success they may afford you

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 6:55pm
                piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 6:55pm | ! Report

                BTW – Melbourne is so mad about their rugby that they didn’t even include it in their paid advertisment specifically advocating how great their sport is – it’s apparently behind boat racing in importance


              • January 9th 2018 @ 7:35am
                Realist said | January 9th 2018 @ 7:35am | ! Report

                It doesn’t say a helluva lot about how the rest of the country viewed the Force.

                The Western Force are a cautionary tale about a professional sporting team which didn’t place enough emphasis on success nor desire to be respected through effort or style.

                Stop sooking and ‘GET BEHIND THE REBELS !!’

              • Roar Rookie

                January 10th 2018 @ 1:00pm
                piru said | January 10th 2018 @ 1:00pm | ! Report

                Sounding a little desperate there Realist and rightly so

                What will you say when the Force refugees have elevated your side to a reasonable table position and you still aren’t pulling crowds?

                How will you justify the killing of a more established team to throw more money at your side, while Melbournians flock to one off boat races and camel wrestling, but won’t show up regularly for the Rebels?

    • Roar Rookie

      January 4th 2018 @ 6:08pm
      Shane D said | January 4th 2018 @ 6:08pm | ! Report

      Am I right in thinking Stirzaker is eligible for England?

      • January 4th 2018 @ 6:42pm
        Mmmmm..k said | January 4th 2018 @ 6:42pm | ! Report

        Am I right in thinking that he has no chance at all of playing for England?

        • Roar Rookie

          January 5th 2018 @ 12:48pm
          Shane D said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

          Probably not but it means he is not an overseas player & that makes him more attractive to English clubs

      • Roar Guru

        January 4th 2018 @ 7:00pm
        PeterK said | January 4th 2018 @ 7:00pm | ! Report

        in fact eligible for 3 countries, Australia, England and South Africa.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 12:24am
          Dontcallmeshirley said | January 5th 2018 @ 12:24am | ! Report

          I don’t see this guy playing international rugby

      • January 5th 2018 @ 2:56am
        Samuel Honywill said | January 5th 2018 @ 2:56am | ! Report

        Yes, through birth – he was born in London. Given that Jones doesn’t seem to like scrum halves not called Youngs or Care though I’m not sure he’d have any more opportunity here than in Australia however.

        • January 5th 2018 @ 3:24am
          AndyS said | January 5th 2018 @ 3:24am | ! Report

          Only if they play fast and loose with the eligibility criteria for someone born after 1983. Probably not unheard of though…

    • January 5th 2018 @ 1:53pm
      Ex force fan said | January 5th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

      The issue is not losing players, it is losing the wrong players and as South Africa found out once players find out that they can play International rugby and make more money they are less inclined to stay for less money and play Superugby and for the Wallabies(Boks). South Africa also thought that they players that left were covered by better players and then they turn out to become a CJ Stander, Barrit, Francois Louw etc and then it was more difficult to lure them back. South Africa has been losing control in since 2015 and lost the wrong players (experience as well as young upcoming players and therefore lost their player depth they once had.

      You could have picked a South African born international side that played for other countries in the 2015 RWC with Kockott (France), Spedding (France), le Roux (France), Josh Strauss (Scotland), WP Nel (Scotland), Baritt (England), Richardt Strauss (Ireland), CJ Stander (Ireland), Matsushima (Japan), Chistolini (Italy), Geldenhuys (lock), Kruger (USA), van der Merwe (Canada), van Heerden (Romania), Bothma (Namibia), Smit (Namibia)

      Despite cutting two Superugby sides, South Africa in my view have not improved the quality of their 2018 Superugby sides through “consolidation”. Neither did the Tahs, Reds or Brumbies make any significantly improvement in their player depth. The only team that looks significantly better (on the face of it) is the Rebels as they merged (by stealth) with the Force in an Rugby Australia “masterstroke” to alienate WA rugby supporters while the same could have been achieved with much less damage. For example as an ex force supporter I will never ever support the Wallabies nor any Australia Superugby side until the Force is reinstated.

      Australia needs a well funded and managed competition lead by someone with real leadership like Twiggy that can pay players what they can earn in Europe and still be able to play for the Wallabies. That is the only way you will compete in the long term!

      The Rugby Australia Board is captive to narrow interest of NSW and QLD. A clean up of the whole Board and restructure of the composition of the Board is required so that rugby can be governed for the interest of the nation and to allow the new CEO to set a sustainable direction. Clyne, Eales and Robertson must go, they continue to overstay their welcome!

      • January 5th 2018 @ 4:27pm
        PC said | January 5th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

        Agree with you totally Ex force fan, whats the update with the IPRC, Have you heard anything?

        • January 8th 2018 @ 1:03am
          Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:03am | ! Report

          Heard the ARU do their best to delay or kill it!

      • January 6th 2018 @ 12:21am
        Mmmmm..k said | January 6th 2018 @ 12:21am | ! Report

        Well I disagree and I find it sad you would turn your back on the national side through spite.

        All countries would like a well funded comp. They don’t grow on trees.

        And yes, The Rebels look much stronger and in the future the idea is that so will the other sides as the talent is better funded and consolidated across 4 teams rather than 5, which proved to be too much, too soon.

        The decision was not an easy decision and it was not made to alienate WA fans. They didn’t want to do that but they felt, for very good reasons, that a team must go and WA made the most sense for valid reasons.

        Try to understand and don’t turn your back on your national side. That is just crazy and won’t help you, The Wallabies or The Force.

        • January 6th 2018 @ 7:51pm
          PC said | January 6th 2018 @ 7:51pm | ! Report


          “And yes, The Rebels look much stronger “. They look stronger with the Force coaching team and most of the playing group.

          “The decision was not an easy decision and it was not made to alienate WA fans. They didn’t want to do that but they felt, for very good reasons, that a team must go and WA made the most sense for valid reasons.”

          How would you know? what valid reasons?

          The Rebels is the financial basket case and the Force have been pillaged & Rugby cut off at the knees in WA.
          What valid reasons?

          • January 7th 2018 @ 7:29pm
            Train Without A Station said | January 7th 2018 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

            All teams have been financial basket cases for years basically relying on Wallabies subsidising them and pre-2010 cash reserves.

            WA is the least lucrative Wallaby market based on attendances on TV ratings, the Force the least rated team of ours and the Force the only team who didn’t own their licence.

            You have to look past Force vs Rebels because it’s really Perth vs Melbourne.

            There’s some metrics where Perth/WA is ahead, but seemingly wholistically, keeping Melbourne was easier to manage going forward than cutting Melbourne and keeping Perth instead.

            • January 8th 2018 @ 1:02am
              Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:02am | ! Report

              What metrics is The Rebels better than the Force in 2017? The ARU helped them to own their license, while the ARU tricked the Force to give up theirs! Disrespectful disgusting organisation lead by dishonorable people!

              • January 8th 2018 @ 1:29am
                Train Without A Station said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:29am | ! Report

                Perhaps read the comment again.

              • January 8th 2018 @ 1:34am
                Train Without A Station said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:34am | ! Report

                Did they really help?

                There’s supposedly an email, that has never been published in full that has Pulver discussing the terms of the VRU acquiring the licence off Cox. But it’s never shared.


                Probably because the terms of the deal were Rebels benefactors, coveting Rebels debts to facilitate the transfer.

                Did the ARU really need to facilitate a a transfer between Rebels benefactors and the current owner? That is totally illogical. These parties would have had a stronger relationship with each other, than with the ARU.

                More likely it was Pulver reiterating the terms transfer that was going to occur.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 8th 2018 @ 12:18pm
                piru said | January 8th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

                True enough TWAS

                The point of the email in question wasn’t (imo) whether they facilitated the deal or not, but simply were they aware it was taking place.

                The ARU plead ignorance and claimed they were blindsided by the decision – this is obviously not the case if the email is legit (which it would seem to be).

                Regardless, it’s done now – you can all get prepared for the upcoming super season.

                I guess we’ll beg at the ARU table to be thrown an IPRC bone and be grateful like good little Helots

        • January 8th 2018 @ 1:00am
          Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:00am | ! Report

          Mmmmm…you have no idea with what disrespect and lies Pulver, Clyne and the ARU treated the force and their fans. They dropped us not us them. I have turned my bck on the Wallabies until the ARU has a management that can be respected and act in the national interest and reinstate Western Australia – the state with the 3 rd most players in Australia and the with queensland the most female player. It was a shortsighted and dumb decisions to drop the Force as rugby was securing a second spot to AFL in WA. In No other state has rugby the ability to get to second. The could have merged the Rebels and Force and maintained WA supporters however they was deadset to alienate WA. Why? It was not done on purpose, it was done through incompetence! Mmmm…. we need a new ARU Board! Clyne, Eales and mates must go so that rugby can move forward.

        • January 8th 2018 @ 1:19am
          Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:19am | ! Report

          The Rebels financial model is based on the ARU selling tests cheaply tothe Victorian government with the Rebels keeping a 25% share of the money…compared to a Force fan owned club model with a billionaire’s backing. The Rebels is the franchise that created the problem and that continued to suck the ARU dry – however the ARU did everything in their power to keep them at the cost of the Force. Clyne, Eales and mates needs to follow Pulver out of the door….. The Rebels will continue to do what it does best, bankrupt the ARU …. And you deserve it. WA needs to go alone, there is no future for us in Australian rugby!

          • January 8th 2018 @ 1:29am
            Train Without A Station said | January 8th 2018 @ 1:29am | ! Report

            Nothing suggests the tests have been sold cheaply.

            Other than your opinion, which you have not backed up with any sort of support to justify it.

            • January 8th 2018 @ 4:15pm
              Ex force fan said | January 8th 2018 @ 4:15pm | ! Report

              It is the norm today that the state government needs to come up with some investment to secure a top international test. For example the WA government paid $5 million to host an All Black vs. Wallaby test at their new stadium as these test attracts visitors, raise the profile of the system and add value to the local economy.

              The ARU has secured a secretive deal with the VRU and the Rebels that helped “swing the decision the Rebels way” with early media reports mentioning a $20 million figure (that has since severely downgraded with some reports mentioning $14 million) to host 6 tests in Melbourne that include Bledisloe Cup and British and Irish Lions Tests – the crown jewels and big money spinners of Australian rugby! The ARU has not denied any of these media reports by reputable journalist such as SMH’s Roy Masters and Australian’s Wayne Smith. With Melbourne much bigger than Perth the rugby public should expect that a Bledisloe test in Melbourne attract more state funding than in Perth – and even more money for the a lucrative Bledisloe and Lions test that can showcase Melbourne to the international tourism market!

              The reports state $14 million for 6 tests over and 8-10 year period of which one-quarter of the funding will go directly to the Rebels. That means that the ARU secure a deal to pay a meagre $1.75 million per test to prop up the Rebels! It is impossible to confirm this figures as all parties including the ARU is hiding behind commercial confidence, however the Australia public should demand answers as the ARU has form to prop up the Rebels with dud deals as the senate enquiry pointed out with the initial Cox deal!

              Over to a Rugby Australia apologist, TWAS to confuse the issue…

              Here are two of the articles to read for those that are interested:



              • January 8th 2018 @ 11:44pm
                In brief said | January 8th 2018 @ 11:44pm | ! Report

                You nailed it – game, set, match. Fudge those facts apologists- Clyne is so bent he could hide behind a corkscrew.

              • January 10th 2018 @ 12:10am
                Train Without A Station said | January 10th 2018 @ 12:10am | ! Report

                Game set and match unless you consider that it doesn’t state one quarter of that money is going to the Rebels.

                Secondly if you also fail to consider that all tests are not equal.

                A Bledisloe Cup or BIL Test is worth around $5M it would seem. Of which there are only 2.

                The other 4 tests are not premium tests.

                How much did the ACT and WA governments pay to host the 2017 tests? Did they even pay anything?

                It’s very likely that $14M could be a good deal given it’s for 2 premium tests and the. 4 lower drawing tests.

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