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The Wrap: While we were all sleeping…

Geoff Parkes Columnist

By Geoff Parkes, Geoff Parkes is a Roar Expert

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184 Have your say

    With rugby’s global calendar chock full of what the broadcasters like to call ‘content’, what was previously considered the ‘off-season’ is now a nebulous concept for many rugby fans and players.

    But for readers who managed a week or two at a remote holiday location sans internet, or who were busy counting then un-counting Bitcoin, or fixated on the Ashes series, waiting in vain for a Moeen Ali off-spinner to turn, here is an update on what you missed over the holiday period.

    French centre Mathieu Bastareaud curiously ruled himself out of contention for the renaming of Margaret Court Arena in Melbourne, while George Smith staged an 18-day sit-in at a Tokyo lock-up, in protest at the lack of a local Uber service.

    Neither incident, it must be said, was as perplexing as the criticism of new Rugby AU CEO Raelene Castle for failing to make headway on Australian rugby’s pressing issues – all before she’d even started in the position on January 15th.

    At the risk of appearing quaintly old-fashioned, this column supports the idea of allowing Ms Castle a few days at least to settle her feet under her desk before passing any judgment.

    To the playing pitch where there has been much excitement about the emergence of two young backs, Marcus Smith (18) of Harlequins and Leinster’s Jordan Larmour (20).

    Based on their performances this season, both have been included in their respective Six Nations squads, although with Eddie Jones under pressure not to expose Smith too early, it is possible that the electric Larmour will see more game time.

    Both exhibit the fearlessness associated with all of the best talents who emerge at an early age. Importantly, Smith also has the ability to receive and distribute the ball with square shoulders, the benefits of which seems to have escaped Australian and South African fly-halves of recent times. How Nick Evans, now backs coach at Quins, must be enjoying his retirement!

    For those wondering what the fuss is about, consider that if Smith and Larmour were playing in Super Rugby they would be generating Richie Mo’unga and Damien McKenzie-like commentary in these pages. Exciting times!

    Elsewhere, rugby website published their 2017 World Club Rankings, an attempt at applying a form of quantitative analysis to compare club teams from all of the four leading world competitions.

    Talking points abounded – the Hurricanes topped the list, despite the Crusaders (second) conclusively winning Super Rugby in 2017, away from home in the final. Three Pro 14 sides – Leinster, Glasgow and Munster – were ranked above the highest placed English Premiership and French Top 14 sides.

    At the bottom end, the Melbourne Rebels were ranked 56th. Judging by the depth of their 2018 squad and the intensity and smarts new coach Dave Wessels is bringing to their preparation, put your house on them being ranked far higher this time next year.

    As a bit of fun over the holidays, the list provides great value. But it also demonstrates the folly of trying to definitively account for different competitions, hemispheres and timing of seasons. At the end of the day, your guess is as good as the next mans.

    If that frustration leads fans to support for a world club challenge to determine things on the field instead of by algorithm, they might care to think again. International rugby has enough challenges as it is, without it having to fight even more battles against ambitious clubs determined to wrest primacy away from national bodies.

    French rugby head Bernard Laporte continued his crusade to better develop home-grown talent by announcing new limits to the number of foreign players able to be fielded by French clubs. While any measure in this respect is to be applauded, don’t assume this to be the savior of both French and international rugby just yet.

    For a start, French clubs don’t have a history of acceding to their national body, and there is every chance that overseas player contracts will increasingly include a wink and a French passport. Also, the police raid last week on Laporte’s office will be considered by many to be less than a coincidence – the squirrel grip remains alive and well in the top echelons of French rugby.

    Don’t also assume that, even if successful, this move will solve the problem of player drain to the north. With over 1,000 players from the southern hemisphere playing in the northern leagues it is logical that the rate of player loss will slow – after all there is a finite number of places available.

    But what will happen instead is that – without any commensurate reduction in total salary payments – the type (quality) of player will change. Clubs allowed fewer imports will simply shift their focus, targeting and increasing their offers to the best players, not unlike Montpellier has already done with Aaron Cruden, Bismarck du Plessis and Nemani Nadolo.

    Fiji rugby player Nemani Nadolo

    (Photo: AFP)

    Money previously divided between lesser imports will instead find its way into the pockets of the elite players, mirroring the EPL, where salaries of the stars at the top end of the scale have galloped away from the run of the mill players who make up the bulk of the league.

    Nevertheless, it is no small matter that Laporte recognises the importance of protecting the primacy of Test rugby over club rugby, speaking to the warnings of Sir Clive Woodward who, over the break, expressed fears that Test rugby is in decline, and that only three nations can win the next World Cup.

    South Africa showed that they are determined to remain one of those three nations, edging Rassie Erasmus into Allister Coetzee’s head coaching seat, in a manner that proved Australian rugby isn’t on its own when it comes to bitter, messy transitions.

    In Australia, the announcement of a new CBA between Rugby AU and the players was met with equal measures approval and disapproval. One of the criticisms centered on how an increase in Super Rugby squad numbers is seemingly at odds with the culling of the Force, for cost-saving reasons.

    Consider however that last year the Force used 38 players on the field, and the Rebels 39. Add in some development players expected to come through and play Super Rugby in the following year or two, and it is obvious that squads in excess of 40 players, including full and development contracted players, are required.

    During 2017 the Rebels were forced to draft players from Sydney club rugby and local club rugby from outside of their training group. How are sides operating on that kind of pick-up basis supposed to be truly competitive against sides like the Hurricanes and Crusaders?

    I recently asked new Rebels coach Dave Wessels what he thought was the toughest aspect of Super Rugby, and he unhesitatingly replied, “the relentlessness of it, and the attrition on the players.”

    Conspiracy theorists paint an increase in the number of contracted players as further evidence of Rugby AU mismanagement and betrayal of the west. Others look at the physicality and intensity of the modern game and understand it as necessary.

    Rugby AU’s announcement also trumpeted salary increases for the players, although rugby’s place in the world of moneyed sport was interestingly contrasted by the actions of a number of tennis players competing at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

    What was stunning about Bernard Tomic’s reaction to failing to qualify for the main draw wasn’t his mocking, churlish comments to reporters, “I’ll count my millions” but the revelation that he ‘earned’ $30,000 in so-called ‘prize-money’ just for losing a qualifying match.

    First round loser Coco Vandeweghe refused to play on until a banana was delivered courtside, arguing that the absence of bananas constituted improper court preparation. The notion that she might herself slip one into her own kit bag pre-game, obviously had never occurred to her.

    Novak Djokovic too stepped forward, threatening to lead a player revolt over a paltry $4m winner’s purse and the measly $60,000 paid to first-round losers, some of whom spent less than one hour on court.

    I doubt that any rugby fan begrudges elite rugby players the opportunity to earn multi-millions of dollars from the game if they are good enough. But unlike in tennis, let us hope that this is never at the expense of humility, good grace and perspective.

    Finally, it is my long-held view that there is nothing more tedious than a celebrity flogging their latest book. That statement can now be qualified… perhaps the only thing more tedious is a non-celebrity with a book to flog!

    A World In (Union) Conflict: The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy has been critically acclaimed by a number of leading rugby writers, Fairfax Media’s Paul Cully last week describing the book as “fascinating” and “superb”.

    Anyone with an interest in how rugby works – the commercial and political factors driving rugby forward, and a concern or curiosity for what that might mean in the future for fans, players and rugby nations, particularly in Australia and New Zealand – should find it an interesting and thought provoking read.

    The book is available worldwide in both paperback and digital form through Amazon, iBooks, Google Books, Kobo,, and Search by author name.

    For New Zealand please support Unity Books ( stores in Auckland and Wellington)

    Otherwise, you’re welcome to source directly (paperback only) from which, for Australia, is the fastest option.

    Here’s to a cracking 2018!

    Geoff Parkes
    Geoff Parkes

    Geoff is a Melbourne-based sports fanatic and writer who started contributing to The Roar in 2012 under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Union Conflict; The Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy, was released in December 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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    The Crowd Says (184)

    • Columnist

      January 29th 2018 @ 7:11am
      Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:11am | ! Report

      Congratulations too to the Australian mens and womens Sevens teams who achieved a remarkable double over the weekend in Sydney.

      While it would be wrong to draw a direct line to the performances of Super Rugby franchises and the Wallabies, these victories provide a highly visible, much needed confidence boost for Australian rugby at the beginning of the season – including wins against New Zealand.

      What was most notable was the manner of the play from both teams – full of pace, athleticism, defensive organisation and commitment. It is these attributes that other Australian players can draw on as they continue to prepare for their seasons.

      • January 29th 2018 @ 9:19am
        Internal Fixation said | January 29th 2018 @ 9:19am | ! Report

        Women’s 7s shows what the absence of rugby league would potentially mean for men’s 15 a side. On a pure population basis Australia can regularly beat NZ in Women’s 7s – the athletes are no more talented from over the ditch (surprise, surprise). Women’s 7s has a pick of some of the best athletes in Australia and has done an amazing job in terms of organisation and recruitment. If only 15s had the same but of course it will never be.

        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2018 @ 10:23am
          Diggercane said | January 29th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

          The woman’s side was very impressive indeed, defence was outstanding, very slick and organised and what an outstanding achievement to go through with a point conceded!

        • January 29th 2018 @ 11:42am
          Muzzo said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

          Hi Internal,
          I would disagree, with your assessment of Australia regularly beat NZ, as head to head, NZ is ahead by at least couple of games, in this women Sevens. Australian women have only won one World Series, with the Kiwi women winning the rest. Even the Seven World Cup, was won by the Kiwi girls.
          Apart from that congrats, to Australia for taking out the Sydney Sevens tournaments, a fantastic achievement.

          • January 29th 2018 @ 4:39pm
            Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:39pm | ! Report

            i think its about recollections.

            auzzy have beaten NZ in major events.

            say Olympics for eg.

            and this series the auzzy also won in DBX , so 🙂

            • January 30th 2018 @ 1:30pm
              Muzzo said | January 30th 2018 @ 1:30pm | ! Report

              Yeh, well I’m saying about the World Series, for both men & women, & run by World Rugby, where NZ do have the wood on all competitors.In fact the 16 or so years that the Australian men have been competing, in the World Series, they have never won a title, only the odd tournament, here an there.

              • January 30th 2018 @ 3:46pm
                Cuw said | January 30th 2018 @ 3:46pm | ! Report

                been different in womens’ 7S . NZ women have lost a bit more than the men.

                the men have been losing since 2015. before that they won i think 10 series.

                but the women play only 4 legs , as far as i know – so its not much to go with unlike men who play 10 legs.

            • January 30th 2018 @ 5:34pm
              Muzzo said | January 30th 2018 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

              No not really, as the NZ men have still been picking up the odd tournament, & their series competition has been going a lot longer than what the women have, so it really would be unfair to make a comparison between them.
              If you want to compare, the womens side of the event, in which, i think NZ is ahead, on the head to head basis, by something like 10 – 8. The Australian women have won one World Series title, NZ the rest, along with the Rugby Sevens World Cup, for women.
              From memory, the NZ men have won 11 titles, with Fiji, Samoa, & South Africa, disputing the rest.
              As far as legs of the series for women, they play 5 ATM, soon to be increased, from what World Rugby, has suggested.
              It has been suggested, that maybe the womens event, may go to HK, thus increasing the tournament from 3 days to 4. Interesting times, as HK is without doubt the premier event in Sevens rugby.

        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2018 @ 4:54pm
          rebel said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

          Yes congrats to the Aussie girls, but IFs comments a bit off considering they lost their previous 5 outings against the kiwi girls.

          • Roar Guru

            January 29th 2018 @ 4:55pm
            Train Without A Station said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

            And to my knowledge I think we struggle in womens 15s.

            • January 30th 2018 @ 3:48pm
              Cuw said | January 30th 2018 @ 3:48pm | ! Report

              never been good at world cups . i dont know if the women play series outside the world cup , like men?

              world cups have always been about NZ and Eng women 😀

      • January 29th 2018 @ 4:13pm
        Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:13pm | ! Report

        @Geoff Parkes

        maybe u can research this.

        i think the auzzy women nilled all their opponents.

        surely that is a record in world 7S and in rugby in general 🙂

        • Columnist

          January 29th 2018 @ 4:56pm
          Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:56pm | ! Report

          Yes cuw the Aust women “nilled” all their opponents.

          No I won’t be researching if that’s a record. But feel free…

          I did however do some research on the word “nilled” and, according to most sources it means “to be unwilling” not “to keep an opponent scoreless’

          Although I guess you could say that the Pearls’ opponents, including NZ, did at times appear unwilling 🙂

          • January 29th 2018 @ 5:06pm
            Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

            proper word may be “blanked” ….

            i doubt “duck” comes in rugger terminology 😀

            • Columnist

              January 29th 2018 @ 6:00pm
              Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 6:00pm | ! Report


              • January 29th 2018 @ 7:38pm
                Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:38pm | ! Report

                Australian Sevens teams: Australian rugby has needed a fillip and the Sevens provided it over the weekend. Both the men’s and women’s sides were outstanding in securing the title in Sydney as they dominated the competition. In total, they scored 60 points without reply against South Africa and New Zealand in the respective finals, with the women going through the tournament without conceding – a truly remarkable defensive effort. It was also an historic triumph for the men after they sealed their first Cup final win since 2012 in Japan.

                HISTORY! @Aussie7s women’s are the 1st team in seven’s history to win a tournament without conceding a point. ? PRESSURE D ? [Footage sped up]

                — World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) January 28, 2018

              • Columnist

                January 30th 2018 @ 11:37am
                Geoff Parkes said | January 30th 2018 @ 11:37am | ! Report

                Great research cuw!!!

                Well done and thanks for sharing 🙂

      • Roar Guru

        January 30th 2018 @ 10:03am
        RobC said | January 30th 2018 @ 10:03am | ! Report

        Thanks GP. Good start to the year

        Dunno about the club rankings, mostly because NH and SH teams don’t play each other

        About Wessels, I have a feeling the Rebs will do a Storm this year. But will get bashed by BT and the Reds (though not necessarily win)

    • January 29th 2018 @ 7:44am
      Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:44am | ! Report

      Novak Djokovic wanted more money for the lower ranked players, not for himself. I’m uncertain if you’re aware, Geoff, but it is only really the top 20 or so players that become super rich, whereas those 21-70 might make money they aren’t getting rich. Those outside the top 70, and especially those outside the top 100, struggle to break even due to all the travel and coaching costs. Many/most don’t break even.

      Apparently the players only earn about 7% of all revenue generated by the slams. He wants more money distributed to the lower ranked players, and from what I read it was more about there being more money being redistributed from Grand Slams to the lower level tournaments (ATP 500s, 250s and Challengers).

      Whether he is right or wrong, to paint Djokovic as someone trying to get more money for himself is wrong.

      • January 29th 2018 @ 8:11am
        Highlander said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:11am | ! Report

        Saw a study a few years ago so numbers are out of date and from memory but gives a good ballpark.

        Tennis number 100 makes $160k a year – the Golf number 100 was making a mill.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 8:13am
          Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          That’s really fascinating. Is that before or after tax, Highlander? I would assume it is before tax.

          Then you add on the cost of travel, accommodation, coaches (if you can afford one…) and is extremely hard for most professionals to even break even, let alone make a profit.

          • January 29th 2018 @ 12:48pm
            Phil said | January 29th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

            I agree with what you say about the lower ranked players struggling to make big bucks,but then a useless bloke like Tomic comes out and makes a statement about counting his millions!Hard to have much sympathy.

            • January 29th 2018 @ 1:33pm
              Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:33pm | ! Report

              Tomic had a successful career regardless of what we think about him as a bloke.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 4:44pm
                Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:44pm | ! Report

                i think its not a good comparison between team games and individual games.

                it is far easier to get more mover if the pool is like 200 , compared tp a team game where there are 40 strong squads into say 20 teams.

                even with all that footy players earn a lot even when at lower levels.

                the top players earn insane amounts. it has gotten out of hand now.

                people in England for eg are still talking about Alexi Sanchez earning GBP 600k per week !!!

                and that is even after the 2nd highest transfer fee ever for Coutinho 🙂

              • January 29th 2018 @ 7:19pm
                Phil said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:19pm | ! Report

                I notice you said “had”.I am not denying the guy had talent,but what did he ever achieve to earn millions?

              • January 29th 2018 @ 7:40pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:40pm | ! Report

                I’ll bite.

                He made the fourth round of the Aussie Open 4 times, a Wimbledon QF, US Open third round, won the Sydney international and the Bogota ATP tournament twice, was a runner up in Sydney again and made the final of an ATP 500.

                He had plenty of top 10 wins and made masters QFs and the like.

                He had a career that would have been celebrated in Australia if he hadn’t been so hyped and if he hadn’t had the attitude that he has. He had a successful career.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 11:33pm
                Bakkies said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:33pm | ! Report

                John Millman’s recent story about sleeping on floors so he could get home from a tournament is worth a read.

                Pat Rafter who a lot of young Tennis wasters in Australia can’t relate to grew up in Mt Isa with a huge family and had to sleep at train stations to save money to kick start his career. He didn’t have grant money thrown at him for his development and early career costs so he could afford to eat and travel to play. These current players take the money then tell the Australian public in the media that they don’t like the sport, don’t want to play

                See how long they last in the real world when the money from Tennis Australia, prize revenue and their various sponsors dry up while to trying to make their payments for their properties. That’s what happens when you make bad decisions, tank matches, show disrespect to the people supporting you and the cheques stop coming in.

                I see this week Boris Becker has declared himself bankrupt in a London court and is looking to sell his trophies to generate some income.

              • Roar Guru

                January 30th 2018 @ 11:19am
                Wal said | January 30th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

                Bernard Tomic Career Earnings are $5.3 Million not including sponsorship.

                As for more money for lower ranked players, Sam Groth is perhaps a good reference point.
                Recently retired after an 11-year career with the highest ranking of 53. His career earnings totalled $1.95 mill. Sounds like a lot until you work out it is $177,000 per year before tax, and I am sure some not insubstantial costs.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 9:17am
          Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 9:17am | ! Report

          Comparing sports is fraught with danger.

          I think golf is about the closest it gets to actual merit based pay. Miss the cut and go home empty handed.

          There is a PGA tour event just about every week. I’m not fammiliar really with the tennis circuit (or the golf one that much TBH) but how many Pro Golfers are there in comparison to Pro tennis players? How many events per year?

          I remember seeing the prizemoney listing for a PGA event and of the 70 who made the cut, last place was worth $19k (first was $1.3M). Whats the player pool at the Aus Open for example?

          • January 29th 2018 @ 11:36pm
            Bakkies said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:36pm | ! Report

            ‘I think golf is about the closest it gets to actual merit based pay. Miss the cut and go home empty handed.’

            Golfers get appearance fees (which is why Australia often struggled to get Tiger Woods in his prime to tournaments) so that would make up for the money lost. On the topic of Tiger Woods he has lost money (sponsors and lawyers), his ranking and has made the cut for the first time in three years will still bank in his appearance fees.

            Their tour cards don’t last long so if you don’t perform you end up on the secondary tour to get your tour card back which is very difficult to do.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 30th 2018 @ 11:26am
              Paul D said | January 30th 2018 @ 11:26am | ! Report

              You can count the golfers paid appearance fees on one hand that’s short a couple of fingers. I’d be surprised of Woods still can ask for them.

              • January 30th 2018 @ 5:28pm
                Bakkies said | January 30th 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

                Due to his past performances in majors he has basically locked in to those tournaments for life regardless of his ranking and current form. Then you have big tournaments like the Farmers, Tour Championships, etc.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 29th 2018 @ 10:47am
          Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 10:47am | ! Report

          Further to my point about Pro Golfers, I knew it was brutal on tour for those on the fringe, but even I didn’t know how brutal. There is an article in Forbes Mag from 2012 which recounts the experiences of a struggling player trying to keep his tour card. Below is a small snippet

          “It costs a minimum of $110,000 to compete for a year on the PGA Tour—$75,000 on the Nationwide—and there are no guaranteed paydays. Each week the worst-scoring half of the field is eliminated after the second day of the four-day tournament and earns nothing. But players who fail to make the cut are still responsible for their travel expenses and must pay their caddies. (Golfers strike individual deals with caddies, but in general caddies make $1,200 a week, plus a percentage of any winnings: 5% for making the cut, 7% for a top-ten finish and 10% for a victory. Nationwide caddies get the same percentages but are paid $300 less a week.)”

          On the PGA, if you are not in the top 125 (and there is something like 250 PGA professionals), you don’t get a tour card and you have to grind through the lesser tournaments where the prize money is about 10% of the main tour. It’s not televised, so there is very little sponsorship money either.

          Any golfer starting out doesn’t even get onto the lower level tournaments either. You have to work up through private events where prize money is paid out of entry fees which can be significant ( circa $1500 to join the mini tour, and $1200 per comp). Many aspiring golfers if not from a wealthy family go into debt to try make the tour.

        • Roar Rookie

          January 29th 2018 @ 12:26pm
          Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

          Replying again, but I’m home sick and with nothing better to do than sit on the internet, and I’m interested by the comparison between professional golf and professional tennis. I was pretty good as a youngster at the former, worse than hopeless at the latter.

          From what I can see, the 100 ranked Tennis player for 2017 was Rogerio Dutra Silva who earned $550k in prize money from 21 events. 12 times exited in the first round in singles. Quaterfinals in ATP Konzum Croatia Open. Second round exit every other singles match. Played some doubles and made q- finals at french open.

          100 ranked golfer Byeong Hun An earned about $1.2M from 28 events. Of which he missed the cut and got nothing on 7 occasions

          So the $1M seems pretty accurate for golf, but the $160k for tennis is well off the mark.

          • Roar Rookie

            January 29th 2018 @ 3:11pm
            tsuru said | January 29th 2018 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

            I don’t think that your figures about Dutra Silver can be right Paul. The ATP website reports his career earnings as $US1,556,672 and he’s been on the tour since 2003. That averages to about $100,000 a year. And he’d presumably have some clothing and racquet sponsorship.

            But as an interesting sidelight, I was talking to a friend who knows a couple of players on the Challenger and Futures circuit, who told me that at that level players can make a living from representing big European clubs in their local competitions. He quoted the outstanding example as that of Martin Verkerk. He had been “supported” by one of these clubs for some years before he totally unexpectedly made the final of the French open in 2003. He was then awarded a wild card into a subsequent big event, but declined as he had already committed to play for the club who had supported him for so long.

            • Roar Rookie

              January 29th 2018 @ 3:26pm
              Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 3:26pm | ! Report

              The numbers I have are prize money for each comparison. None of it considers sponsorship.

              I can’t find the website that I got that off now, but

              has career earnings of $1,379,590. With the YTD total of $427,405 ($348,093 for singles, $79,312 for doubles) as of 21 Aug 2017. So probably got that up to the $550k by years end.

              Edit: Found it

            • January 29th 2018 @ 6:53pm
              Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 6:53pm | ! Report

              Tsuru, clothing and racquet sponsorships (if the players have them) are virtually all only for free gear and racquets, aside from the top players (eg top 10, if that) and guys like Chung who is huge in Asia and up and comers like Kyrgios and bonds, no one really gets paid to use racquets anymore so far as I am aware.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 30th 2018 @ 1:53am
                tsuru said | January 30th 2018 @ 1:53am | ! Report

                Paul, thanks for the website link. You are right. I looked at the players ranked 91-100 and all bar one ($160,000) earned between 350 & 650 thousand in prize money for the year. That is still no fortune because, as Fionn mentions, the cost of travel, accommodation, coach, maybe trainer, takes a big chunk out of that. And of course they have all had to make their way for some time to get to that ranking. As I said, Dutra Silver has been on the tour for 15 years and in the previous 14 his earnings totalled about a million. But that does not negate the question, which was how much the 100th ranked player earns in a year.

                And Fionn, yes your statement about the value of sponsorships to these guys is right. I was actually trying to imply that. It’s just a fraction more. I guess you would count it as an expense they avoid.

      • Columnist

        January 29th 2018 @ 8:22am
        Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:22am | ! Report

        Hi Fionn

        There are plenty of reports which aren’t as charitable as your assessment. Regardless, I’m not on an anti Novak crusade, just noting how the sense of entitlement in sportspeople often seems to increase in line with the amount of money available in the sport.

        As for feeling sorry for the lower ranked tennis players who don’t earn much money, there are 4 grand slams for a start, $60k here for losing in round 1, there’s money around, the obvious solution for them would seem to be ‘get better or get out’.

        It’s the nature of professional sport, nobody is entitled to a living just because they decide they want to be a pro. Tennis players are no different from golfers, rugby players, actors and musicians. The rewards for the elite are potentially huge, but mere mortals are faced with the same life choices any of us are. Is that fair, given the amount of money in the game? Probably not, but that’s life.

        BTW watch out for the same thing thing happen to rugby over the next few years, where it is likely (as in football) the gap between what the best players and the run of the mill players earn widens.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 8:26am
          Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:26am | ! Report

          Most of the reports I’ve read are pretty ill-informed given that Novak told all the reporters and officials to get out and only spoke to the players, and the players have been very tight lipped. A lot seems to come from speculation from journalists, of which your barb (although meant in jest I assume) seems to be.

          I think it is pretty fair for players to want their salaries to increase while the amount of money generated by the slams increases hugely, as has happened over the last decade.

          It isn’t easy to make a grand slam main draw. ‘Get better or get out’ is a poor piece of advice too, given that the hiring of a full time coach is often required to improve, but is often unaffordable for professionals who are trying to improve.

          No one is entitled to a living, no, but given the players are the ones who generate the revenue (not the administrators), I think the players are entitled to a fair chunk of the revenue they generate.

          It isn’t life though, as Novak is showing the players can try to negotiate better salaries.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 9:08am
          aussikiwi said | January 29th 2018 @ 9:08am | ! Report

          One of the few posts of yours i have strongly disagreed with, Geoff.

          Yes professional sport is brutal, careers are short, injuries are common, so why criticise the players who put their bodies on the line for trying to get a slightly bigger piece of the pie?

          The idea that rather than trying to geta larger share of the revenue they should get ‘better’ (and earn more solely at the expense of their fellow players who will consequently earn less) makes no sense.

          As the Aussie cricketers showed, collective action is often necessary to protect and improve pay and conditions.

          As for the $60,000 figure, overheads are massive in tennis. As in any business, turnover means nothing without factoring in outputs.

          • Columnist

            January 29th 2018 @ 9:46am
            Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 9:46am | ! Report

            All fair points ak.

            Yet my point to Fionn remains, these are all choices these individuals make.
            There are many amateur sports and Olympic sports where individuals sacrifice as much or more as what tennis players do for little or no financial reward.

            In a highly monetised professional sports I think getting better makes plenty of sense ak.

            • January 29th 2018 @ 10:24am
              Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

              Geoff, I don’t see you the point you’re trying to make, unfortunately. Tennis players are professional sportspeople and have the right to try and negotiate a larger share of the profits the professional tennis circuit makes.

              I also can’t think of many other individual sports where the costs are on the individuals to travel for 10-11 months of the year (with all costs associated), and who have to pay for individual coaches.

              Also, people go into tennis knowing it is a professional sport.

              • Columnist

                January 29th 2018 @ 12:08pm
                Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                How about looking at it this way Fionn…

                They have a right to have bananas courtside, and have a right to walk off to “count their millions”, but they risk looking like spoiled prats if they go about it the wrong way.

                Lets not overlook the real point I’m trying to make here – do you want rugby players to be like that? And have the game accept that type of behaviour?

                As for collective bargaining, I expect that it will take a concerted effort by the players to eventually bring about changes to reduce the amount of rugby played. I’m certainly not against that.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 1:24pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                But you’ve tried to create a narrative of Djokovic trying to get more money for himself. This wasn’t the case.

                He was primarily concerned with increasing the profit share for those lower ranked players rather than those at the top of pyramids.

                A secondary concern was attempting to ensure the top players’ salaries went up.

                Djokovic is in charge of the players association. It is his job to lead the collective bargaining of the players. I don’t see how you can be against what he did given you say you’re not against collective bargaining by rugby players.

                Do I want rugby players to try and ensure that they get looked after also, rather than just the league itself? Yes, and if I was an English player I’d be trying to reduce the number of minutes I have to play per season.

              • Columnist

                January 29th 2018 @ 1:53pm
                Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:53pm | ! Report

                That narrative is your interpretation Fionn. I said that Novak wants to increase prize money, and listed the AO winner’s purse and first round losers purse. Many people (not you) would consider those amounts more than fair recompense – without even considering that, player action or not, the AO has publicly stated that it is expecting to double prize money over the next few years.

                I didn’t comment on his motives – you’ve extrapolated that.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 2:04pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 2:04pm | ! Report

                As someone with a fair few mates who are either currently on or were previously on the professional tennis circuit, I think you’ve demonstrated almost no understanding of the costs involved with being a professional tennis player, or the struggle to break even, let alone make a profit.

                Most full time tennis professionals lose money year on year. The same cannot be said of professional rugby players, who make a living even when they don’t make huge sums of money. They don’t lose money through the costs associated with being a professional so far as I am aware.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 1:59pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:59pm | ! Report

                No, it’s the narrative that is established by what has been said by the few words let out by players. Your barb and implied narrative that Djokovic is primarily focused on increasing his own prize money and pampering already rich early round losers is based on I’m not sure, and if you are basing it on other articles you should have fact checked them.

                I never said that the AOs first round losing prize money wasn’t enough in itself. But it isn’t enough to pay for the tour when you consider that the slams are basically the only opportunity for lower players to make money through early exists, so they either need to massively increase first round losses or they need to spread some of the profits from the grand slams through to the lower level tournaments (which is what the quotes from players currently indicate is the most likely desire of Djokovic).

                ‘Novak Djokovic too stepped forward, threatening to lead a player revolt over a paltry $4m winner’s purse and the measly $60,000 paid to first-round losers, some of whom spent less than one hour on court.’

                Also, fact check, those players who turned up and just pulled out through injury (most of those who spent less than an hour on court) can and do receive fines equal to their prize money (google Mischa Zverev if you’re interested).

              • January 29th 2018 @ 4:55pm
                Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:55pm | ! Report

                Federer tho the highest earning player is making like 90% from promotions.

                it is the footy players who get more pay than sponsorship.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 7:29pm
                Phil said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:29pm | ! Report

                Fionn,correct me if I am wrong,but don’t Tennis Australia cover expenses for a select bunch of players?I guess the same would happen in other countries.
                Not saying that pro tennis is an easy gig,but most people would love to have the ability to have a crack at it,just like pro golfers.Only the elite will make a fortune,naturally.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 8:04pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:04pm | ! Report

                Phil, Tennis Australia covers the expenses of a select few players. The Tomics, Kyrgioses, etc.

                Current relative Aussie players like Ebden and I believe Millman and Groth had no expenses covered.

                Very few players get expenses covered in Aus. Most of my professional friends got no or very limited funds. Funds also often dry up if players do not ‘make it’ immediately. I’m not saying Tennis Australia is necessarily doing the wrong thing, but it is what it is.

                And the fact is that Aus has faaaaar more money than almost all other national tennis governing bodies as a result of us having a Grand Slam.

            • January 29th 2018 @ 2:17pm
              Cynical Play said | January 29th 2018 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

              can’t stand to hear winging about pay from those that earn 50 x your average front line worker

              playing sport beats digging ditches… regardless of the pay

              • January 29th 2018 @ 6:56pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 6:56pm | ! Report

                Cynical Play, most professional tennis players do not earn more than the median Australian wage.

                Most tennis professionals earn less than the Aussie median.

                Even for those who do earn more – most of them lose money every year due to the costs associated with playing (this applies to players ranked as highly as 100 in some cases, as often the players from 60-200 are changing a lot).

                Aside from the guys and women you read about on news headlines, no tennis player earns 50x that of the averag Aussie worker. You’re either producing a red herring or unaware of the realities of being a professional tennis player. If the latter, it is understandable given the constant headlines about the earnings of the Federer’s give a distorted view, but maybe read up on the subject.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2018 @ 9:40pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 29th 2018 @ 9:40pm | ! Report

                You’d be surprised the amount of talented athletes who end up quitting sport early and working manual labour jobs because, playing sport doesn’t always beat digging ditches.

                There’s a lot less pressure on you digging ditches.

              • January 30th 2018 @ 11:43am
                aussikiwi said | January 30th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

                If you were talking bankers or lawyers on up to $10,000 a day i would agree with you CP.

                But professional sports people -unless they are playing tiddleywinks – put their bodies on the line in a manner almost guaranteed to cause permanent damage. Was just reading about swimmers causing permanent heart damage due to pushing too hard in training.

                Add to that the risks of a contact sport in the case of rugby – including permanent brain damage. These risks only increase as the players get faster and stronger.

                Even tennis – three hours plus of maximum exertion at 45 degree heat? I reckon they warn their money, at least compared to most high earners!

          • Roar Rookie

            January 29th 2018 @ 11:19am
            Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

            When a half ar$ed also ran like Tomic (what has he actually won?) can live a Lamborghini lifestyle it doesn’t do the financially struggling tennis player argument much of a service.

            • Roar Guru

              January 29th 2018 @ 12:14pm
              Train Without A Station said | January 29th 2018 @ 12:14pm | ! Report

              But remember Bernard has been ranked as high as 17 and won 3 ATP titles.

              It probably just shows where his natural skill level lies that he can perform so well despite what you’ve noted about his effort.

              Back to your discussion about Golf, what would a golfer who had peaked in the Top 20 and won 3 PGA tournaments have earned in their career?

              Bryson DeChambeau at 24 has earned half of what Tomic has, despite only winning a sole tournament and being a professional for around 2 years compared to a decade for Tomic.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 29th 2018 @ 1:37pm
                Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                Would you consider a PGA title comparable to an ATP250 series title? I’m not big on tennis but wiki has ATP250 listed as 5th tier. I don’t think that compares to PGA events all that well.

                It’s hard to make a comparison. If I look at a the last player to win at the approx 5th tier in golf event in Perth (Asian Tour). Brett Rumford has been a professional golfer for nearly 20 years, with 9 professional wins (6 on the European Tour, the tier below the PGA) he has career earnings of just $1.6M

                Rod Pampling has 3 PGA wins over his 24 year career for total earnings of about $7M

                Mark Leishman. Professional for 13 years, 3 PGA victories, highest rank of 17. Career Earnings of $20M. On top of the 3 PGA wins are 8 other professional wins though.

              • January 29th 2018 @ 1:45pm
                Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:45pm | ! Report

                I don’t know much about golf but an ATP 250 is a lower level professional tournament relative to slams, but it is still a “top tier” tournament. It just has less ranking points and prize money on offer than the Slams, Masters of ATP 500s (you get 250 ranking points for winning a 250 and 500 for a 500). The Challenger Circuit is the second tier and the Futures Circuit is the lowest tour (basically for those looking to build their rankings).

                Federer and Rafa don’t play so many 250s anymore, but still play some (Fed played Stuttgart last year). The majority of ATP 250s are won by players in the top 10 or 20.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 29th 2018 @ 2:18pm
                Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 2:18pm | ! Report

                That’s why making comparisons are difficult. I guess there are the 4 major Grand Slams in Tennis as there are the 4 Majors in Golf. But the next level down (in prize money anyway) for Tennis as I see it is the ATP1000 where there are about 10 per year? Whereas the US PGA is virtually every week.

                A golfer could play hundreds of tour events for their 1 or 2 wins, if they are good enough to keep a card that is. The PGA Tour can be relentless if you’re not one of the top players

                And if you can’t keep your card its down to the tour where prize pools are 1/10th that of the US PGA. There you grind away on chicken feed hoping to get 3 wins to be promoted back up to the PGA where you again grind away to keep your card.

                Yes, the elite do very well out of golf. But 95% of Pro golfers make ends meet teaching lessons.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2018 @ 2:25pm
                Train Without A Station said | January 29th 2018 @ 2:25pm | ! Report

                But isn’t that because a golf event goes for 3 days, where as a tennis even can go for weeks, so you cannot compete in as many events?

              • January 29th 2018 @ 4:58pm
                Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

                dont know about the golfers but i thik the professional tennis association demands that the top players commit to a certain number of tournaments per year.

                i remember FEderere was one who was against this and even said it on a court side interview.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 29th 2018 @ 5:29pm
                Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 5:29pm | ! Report

                Possibly, but I don’t know how many PGA tour events each player participates in on average. The must play a minimum of 15 events to keep their membership. The top guys don’t play every round, the grinders probably as much as humanly possible in hope of a payday. But the grinders are also the guys who are missing the cut and getting nothing for their efforts more often than others.

                From the example above wrt players ranked 100, the tennis player played 21 events to the golfers 28 events. The tennis player never made it past Rd2 (in singles), while the golfer had 3 top 10 finishes. The golfer also missed the cut and got nothing on 7 occasions.

              • Roar Rookie

                January 29th 2018 @ 6:07pm
                Paul D said | January 29th 2018 @ 6:07pm | ! Report

                It is also worth noting that the tennis players efforts for the year helped them maintain their ranking (they started the year in the 90’s). The Golfer who finished top 10 3 times saw his rank slide to 100 from 46 at the start of the year. Another year like that could cost him his card.

              • January 30th 2018 @ 12:02am
                Bakkies said | January 30th 2018 @ 12:02am | ! Report

                There is a Wikipedia article that has good outlay of which tournaments are Masters events, ATP500, ATP 250, etc. Tournaments that ended up as Masters events are usually the former Italian Open for example. Wimbledon and the Australian Open are the only majors that don’t have Masters events in the lead up on the relevant surface that they will play in the tournament.

                Most tournaments go for one week and majors for two.

                There is going to be a big shake up with the majors going back to 16 seeds which will be a positive and a wake up call for players like Krygios. No longer will you get away with resting on a seeding between 17 and 32 to avoid the top players to a certain round.

            • January 29th 2018 @ 1:25pm
              Fionn said | January 29th 2018 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

              Tomic has made Grand Slam quarterfinals and won ATP titles.

              He also had sponsors willing to pay him (at least at the start of his career) when he was meant to be the next big thing.

              The fact that Tomic never lived up to the ridiculous level of hype from some Australian papers doesn’t change the fact that he had a pretty successful career.

              • Roar Guru

                January 29th 2018 @ 7:59pm
                Harry Jones said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:59pm | ! Report

                Rugby and Tennis should combine.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 11:49pm
          Bakkies said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:49pm | ! Report

          ‘As for feeling sorry for the lower ranked tennis players who don’t earn much money, there are 4 grand slams for a start, $60k here for losing in round 1, there’s money around, the obvious solution for them would seem to be ‘get better or get out’.’

          First of all Geoff you have to qualify for the majors and you can’t do that if you haven’t got the money to go from tournament to tournament to get your ranking up. The LTA have a different attitude to Tennis Australia they still support players who are starting off on the senior tour and trying to qualify for tournaments. They only cut you off if you don’t get results consistently for a number of years or misbehave (they have punished young players who have done that).

          • January 30th 2018 @ 5:02am
            Ken Catchpole's Other Leg said | January 30th 2018 @ 5:02am | ! Report

            Yes, Harry, but you left out golf.
            Man I watched the whole tournament last weekend, women’s and men’s, but I must have missed the tennis and golf bits when I when to the kitchen for a drink.

      • Roar Rookie

        January 29th 2018 @ 2:39pm
        tsuru said | January 29th 2018 @ 2:39pm | ! Report

        On the point of the percentage of revenue generated by the slams going to players – apparently here in New York the US open tennis brings in more money to the city each year in the 2 weeks (or so) than all other sporting events in New York for the rest of the year. That includes baseball, basketball, football, hockey. It’s hard to believe I know, and of course nothing like all of it goes to the USTA – it includes money spent by tourists on accommodation, food, etc – but it does illustrate what a big financial deal the major events are.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 4:27pm
          Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:27pm | ! Report

          that is why those 4 are called majors.

          u may find simillar figures for golf’s masters or the Ryder cup.

          both golf and tennis have hundreds of events every year.

          i forget the girl-player who went to top of rankings by playing in many events but not winning any major. i remember that pissed off the Williams sisters 🙂

          the money may not be big but thee are opportunities.

          • January 30th 2018 @ 12:05am
            Bakkies said | January 30th 2018 @ 12:05am | ! Report

            ‘i forget the girl-player who went to top of rankings by playing in many events but not winning any major. i remember that pissed off the Williams sisters’

            That would be the current Australian Open champion who was number one for around 69 days.

          • Roar Rookie

            January 30th 2018 @ 2:02am
            tsuru said | January 30th 2018 @ 2:02am | ! Report

            There have been a number of women players who have reached number 1 without winning a major – Wozniacki, Halep, Pliskova, Jankovic, but the one you’re probably referring to was Dinara Safina.

            • January 30th 2018 @ 6:28pm
              Cuw said | January 30th 2018 @ 6:28pm | ! Report

              think ur right.

              i think Serena was 1 and then becoz of the system lost it to Safina for like one or twoo weeks and then went back upto one.

              i remember reading lot of trash talk – not from Serena but other ‘concerned” americans how unfair it was that a grand slam winning player is unseated by a rusky who hardly made a challenge for a grand slam 😀

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2018 @ 7:47am
      Machooka said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

      Morning G… nice to have you back!

      Excellent start to the year with both the Men’s and Women’s Aussie 7s team getting the chocolates. And, as you state, the way in which they went about getting the wins.

      I had real reservations that NZ would ruin the party in the Women’s final, likewise the Blitz Bok in the Men’s final, but that was not to be the case.

      Big shout out to Kwagga Smith… man what a machine!

      How many sleeps to the second round of SR 2018? 😉

      • Columnist

        January 29th 2018 @ 8:25am
        Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:25am | ! Report

        Not too many sleeps now Chook. And time will go faster if you get into what promises to be a cracking 6 Nations.

        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2018 @ 8:46am
          Machooka said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:46am | ! Report

          Yep… the 6 Nations should be a cracker 🙂

          • January 29th 2018 @ 10:39am
            Highlander said | January 29th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

            If there are any fit footballers left to play in it that is Chook

            • January 29th 2018 @ 4:29pm
              Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

              a lot are there in England n Ireland 🙂

              the Italy coach has laughed at the tought England will put a weak team due to injuries …

      • January 29th 2018 @ 10:11am
        taylorman said | January 29th 2018 @ 10:11am | ! Report

        NZ ruin the party Chook, looks like they didnt even get to the party! 🙁

      • January 29th 2018 @ 11:18am
        Muzzo said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:18am | ! Report

        Huya Chook,
        How’s things kicking over in the Inner West, mate?
        Yep an absolutely fantastic effort by the Aussie Seven’s teams. Congrats buddy. Now lets keep our fingers crossed that the mens team can develop some consistencies, in the rest of the series. Like the World Series has been going for well over fifteen years now, & they still, have yet to win a title. As it is ATM, South Africa, New Zealand, & now Australia, have won tournaments, so far this series, but IMO, I do think, that the classy Blitzbokke, side will be the one to take it out. Even now they are at the top of the table, with NZ second, & Australia,third. I really don’t think NZ can take it out, as they appear be having problems, with their new Scot’s coach Laidlaw. They are very inconsistent ATM.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 11:19am
          Muzzo said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report


        • Roar Guru

          January 29th 2018 @ 5:01pm
          Machooka said | January 29th 2018 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

          Hiya Muzzo… thanks for that buddy.

          Might be bias but I thoroughly enjoyed the 7s… especially the ending bits. Both bits 🙂

          Geez… even Yorkshire enjoyed the show.

          Although, gotta say, I’m presently off avocados!

          • January 29th 2018 @ 6:24pm
            Muzzo said | January 29th 2018 @ 6:24pm | ! Report

            Hey Chook, try looking at HK, as I personally recommend it. Without doubt, the best Seven’s Series on the planet. Along with the place, outside of the stadium, having some of the best in night life. I haven’t been there four times, whilst enjoying the benefits of the place..I really have a habit of making a pig of myself on that Carlsberg, on tap. Great beer. Cheers.

            • January 30th 2018 @ 6:29pm
              Cuw said | January 30th 2018 @ 6:29pm | ! Report

              obviosly u have not been to Dubai 7S :p

    • Roar Guru

      January 29th 2018 @ 8:40am
      Diggercane said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:40am | ! Report

      Thanks Geoff, countdown is certainly on, really looking forward to the new Super season.

      • Columnist

        January 29th 2018 @ 4:58pm
        Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

        Yes mate, I think the Canes are in for a good one.

        • January 29th 2018 @ 7:08pm
          Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:08pm | ! Report

          save this – am sure they will be talked about a lot in the coming months :)\

          2018 Super Rugby referee panel:

          Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Nic Berry (Australia), Nick Briant (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Angus Gardner (Australia), Will Houston (Australia), AJ Jacobs (South Africa) Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Shuhei Kubo (Japan), Jamie Nutbrown (New Zealand), Ben O’Keeffe (New Zealand), Jaco Peyper (South Africa), Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa), Egon Seconds (South Africa), Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Paul Williams (New Zealand)

    • January 29th 2018 @ 8:47am
      Rugby Tragic said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

      Thanks Geoff, … yep its all about to start again.

      Interesting that Sir Ted has joined Auckland (not the Blues) to attempt to restore the province after a disastrous year in 2017, It would be a bit embarrassing to see the province with the ‘largest population’ drop to a lower division.

      The ‘World Rankings’ of course are subjective, how long have they been producing such a rating?

      • January 29th 2018 @ 11:22am
        Muzzo said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:22am | ! Report

        Hi RT,
        So chuffed for you fella’s in having Ted, standing up for you. I think he will make a big difference, as he didn’t have the top job for nothing. He might be a school teacher, but IMO, he teaches rugby far better. Cheers.

      • Columnist

        January 29th 2018 @ 12:10pm
        Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        Hi RT

        Don’t know about the history of that ranking table, but it certainly provides for a good talking point doesn’t it?
        Let’s hope the Blues are a few notches higher next year!!

        • January 29th 2018 @ 7:55pm
          Rugby Tragic said | January 29th 2018 @ 7:55pm | ! Report

          Next year, what about 2018???

          Auckland rather than the Blues are a bigger worry mate. Since Feeney left they have. Even drifting a bit. Let’s see if Ted can be of any positive influence. Blues and Super Rugby have higher profiles but less representative of their province.

          • January 30th 2018 @ 12:25am
            Taylorman said | January 30th 2018 @ 12:25am | ! Report

            Hi RT, I hope GH spends a bit of his time with the clubs, and how they can best support Auckland rugby, and how we can keep them there.

            Trouble is there are Auckland players in just about every pro comp and team going and many of them will be in touch with those back home to try overseas. And with guys like Pat Lam recruiting it’s a tough tide to turn.

      • January 29th 2018 @ 5:01pm
        Cuw said | January 29th 2018 @ 5:01pm | ! Report

        why do they announce such things right now? i mean it is like easily 7 months away, where as the current focus shud be on super rugger.

      • January 30th 2018 @ 2:54pm
        ThugbyFan said | January 30th 2018 @ 2:54pm | ! Report

        G’day RT, how all is well in Sunny Auckland.

        World Rankings my a$$e! How can it be top 60 without the mighty Waratahs on the list? I bet some soap dodger or NH lackey made up that list!

    • January 29th 2018 @ 8:57am
      sheek said | January 29th 2018 @ 8:57am | ! Report

      Thanks Geoff,

      Especially love the self-deprecating humour!

      Can’t wait for my copy of ‘World in Conflict’ to arrive on my doorstep…..

      • January 29th 2018 @ 11:11am
        Ailanthus said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

      • Columnist

        January 29th 2018 @ 11:12am
        Geoff Parkes said | January 29th 2018 @ 11:12am | ! Report

        It’s now in the hands of Australia Post Sheek…

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