World Series Rugby is “for Rugby Australia to lose,” says ‘Twiggy’ Forrest

Spiro Zavos Columnist

By Spiro Zavos, Spiro Zavos is a Roar Expert

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    Andrew Forrest's new rugby competition is a gift to Rugby AU. But will they take it? (Photo by Daniel Carson/Getty Images)

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    So Rugby Australia is faced with a billionaire rugby fanatic who wants to set up a rugby competition that involves a West Australian franchise and a number of Pacific and Asian franchises with his own money.

    A dream come true for Rugby Australia, you would think.

    Silly you. It seems that the cash-strapped, embattled Rugby Australia is reluctant to embrace the vision of Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest.

    I don’t get the reluctance of Rugby Australia to embrace this Forrest gift. It has the potential, it seems to me, to do more for the finances and player resources of the rugby game here than anything since the 2003 Rugby World Cup tournament.

    The Sun-Herald – ‘Branching Out: Why mining magnate ‘Twiggy’ Forrest is out to save the Force‘ has published an informative (and worrying) interview by Tom Decent with Forrest about his plans, aspirations and specifics regarding the World Series Rugby tournament he is putting together for 2018 and into 2019.

    Towards the end of the interview, Decent asks this question: “There will be obvious parallels drawn with Kerry Packer with a name like World Series Rugby?”

    And here is the answer that Forrest offers: “I don’t see any comparisons between us and Kerry Packer and cricket. We’ve been highly collegiate from day one with Rugby Australia. This is something for Rugby Australia to lose. It’s an open door for them.”

    Let me highlight that key sentence: “This is something for Rugby Australia to lose.”

    The way the Force was given the order of the boot from Super Rugby by Rugby Australia was a disaster for the game in Western Australia. It was like one of those botched executions in the Middle Ages when a beheading required about four blows of the axe to be completed.

    Given this, you would think that any board that had botched a beheading so totally would be ecstatic when the victim suddenly revives and proceeds to offer a massive bounty to the erstwhile executioners.

    Forrest, on the other hand, is suggesting that Rugby Australia is somehow holding back on its acceptance of the World Series concept. This reluctance, in turn, creates the possibility that Forrest might have to go rogue, as Packer did with the Australian Cricket Board.

    But Forrest maintains he is not trying to do a Packer. He is trying to work with Rugby Australia and not against it.

    So what is Rugby Australia’s problem with working with Forrest?

    Andrew Forrest with Western Force players

    (AAP Image/Justin Chadwick)

    Earlier in the interview, after Forrest explained the innovations that World Series Rugby will introduce (scrums less than a minute, immediate lineouts, ten points for tries scored from inside the attacking side’s 22), he made the point that working with Rugby Australia was a slow-motion process as far as he was concerned. “I just had someone say to me: ‘Andrew, this has come together so fast.’ I said: ‘Mate, for what we do, this is glacial, this is like watching the grass grow.'”

    It is remarkable, in fact, that Forrest and his staff have put together so quickly an initial WSR schedule of seven matches at Perth starting on May 4 against sides from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Rebels, the Crusaders and a Japanese side.

    He and his staff are clearly not familiar with the traditional do-nothing approach of most rugby administrations.

    Moreover, there are negotiations going on suggesting that these matches will be on free-to-air television.

    The fact that World Series Rugby has snared the Crusaders is very significant.

    First, it shows that the greatest provincial franchise of the professional era is prepared to endorse the Forrest vision. What an endorsement and what an indication that Forrest has the support of heavyweight rugby promoters outside of Australia.

    Second, this endorsement brings to WSR and to the rugby game in West Australian numerous positive rugby outcomes that flow from being involved with the smartest rugby franchise, on and off the field, in world rugby.

    When Queensland Rugby was in the doldrums in the 1960s, Bob Templeton struck up a superb rugby-playing connection with the Canterbury Rugby Union. This connection led to a period of dominance by Queensland over its great rivals, NSW.

    ‘Twiggy’ Forrest seems to be reviving the Templeton Plan to help develop Western Australia as a rugby power.

    Compare, though, the Crusaders’ enthusiasm for playing in WSR with the reluctance of the Australian Super Rugby franchise, the Rebels.

    According to Wayne Smith in the Australian, “The Rebels have not agreed to play such a (WSR) match, even though half their Super Rugby side is ex-Force.”

    “We are still considering the idea,” the CEO of the Rebels, Baden Stephenson, told Smith.

    This is madness. What can they possibly be considering?

    Surely the Rebels know that this match should be a money-spinner for WSR and, therefore, a good thing for rugby in Western Australia?

    Given the fact that a number of players from the Force are carrying the Rebels to an explosive, winning start in Super Rugby 2018, shouldn’t the Rebels be prepared to pay back to the West Australian rugby public for this gift of personnel?

    If the WSR is a good enough competition for the Crusaders to fly the long journey from Christchurch to Perth to play, why is it not good enough for the Rebels?

    I sometimes think the worst enemies of rugby in Australia are the administrators and board members from Rugby Australia and their counterparts in all the Super Rugby franchises.

    And just a final thought about all of this. There are two vacancies on the board of Rugby Australia. One of the vacancies is to fill the place of Geoff Stokes, a long-time West Australian rugby identity.

    Why wouldn’t Rugby Australia offer the Stokes vacancy to Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest?

    The main truth to come out of the 2018 Super Rugby tournament so far for the Australian sides is that Western Australia has the sort of potential to be a breeding ground for a new generation of rugby players that Queensland was when Templeton created the Queensland–Canterbury nexus in the 1960s.

    The Melbourne Rebels, with a significant inclusion of players from the Force and its coach of last season, Dave Wessels, have won all three of their matches this year with bonus points. This is a first for the franchise.

    Sefa Naivalu

    (Photo by Atsushi Tomura/Getty Images)

    On Friday night, the Rebels monstered the Brumbies 33–10 in a way that suggests the latter will not be a finals team this year. Melbourne, on the other hand, could go deep.

    The Reds showed true grit and one terrific breakout try when newcomer winger Filipo Daugunu fielded a long kick and raced past a heavy-footed Bulls defender, before unloading to the flying fullback Aidan Toua. Toua scorched away for a sensational and match-winning try.

    The bookmakers reckon that a lot of money was placed on the Rebels earlier last week to win their first Super Rugby tournament. After the team’s strong victory over the hapless Brumbies, the odds on the Rebels doing this must surely have shortened.

    Before the round, the bookmakers had the Brumbies and the Waratahs as the two most likely Australian sides to make the finals. The Rebels and the Reds were considered to be well out of contention.

    A week in rugby, as it is in politics, is a long time. The Waratahs more than matched the Brumbies in their lacklustre display, except for the last couple of minutes when they scored two tries, against the Jaguares. They look to have much less hope of making the finals than the battling Reds.

    If I were part of the management of the Waratahs, I would tell ‘Twiggy’ Forrest that the Waratahs will happily send a team to Perth for the WSR match to replace the Rebels.

    And, in addition, that the Waratahs should make it clear that they are totally prepared to replace the Rebels as the franchise of choice for West Australian players coming out of the WSR program.

    The name of the game for the failing Waratahs should be, ‘Go with the Force!’

    Spiro Zavos
    Spiro Zavos

    Spiro Zavos, a founding writer on The Roar, was long time editorial writer on the Sydney Morning Herald, where he started a rugby column that has run for nearly 30 years. Spiro has written 12 books: fiction, biography, politics and histories of Australian, New Zealand, British and South African rugby. He is regarded as one of the foremost writers on rugby throughout the world.

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    The Crowd Says (271)

    • March 12th 2018 @ 7:01am
      i miss the force said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:01am | ! Report

      Twiggy’ Forrest seems to be reviving the Templeton Plan to help develop Western Australia as a rugby power.

      Compare, though, the Crusaders’ enthusiasm for playing in WSR with the reluctance of the Australian Super Rugby franchise, the Rebels

      its only one game and it fits in with a gap and invovles payment. i wouldnt call the crusaders enthusiastic and to draw a templteon plan conclusion is laughable

      • March 12th 2018 @ 9:23am
        Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

        The Crusaders are playing because its good for the Crusader b or c team – it is during the test window so no All Blacks and Twiggy footing the bill.
        There is no long term plan for Crusaders they have brought into a team in the US plus have a deal with one of the UK teams.
        A billionaire with his nose out of joint is never good for the game but there own interests Murdoch, Packer – where was his money when needed in last 10 years.
        As for working with RA what rubbish he is trying to force his will – pun intended.

        • Roar Guru

          March 12th 2018 @ 10:06am
          rebel said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

          Frank Lowy seemed to do alright with the FFA.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 10:14am
          Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

          ‘A billionaire with his nose out of joint is never good for the game but there own interests Murdoch, Packer – where was his money when needed in last 10 years.’

          Peter I told you last week and I will tell you again. Stop believing the RA’s nonsense.

          Twiggy has been sponsoring the Force since day one, funded their academy after John O’Neill took it away and put his company’s name on the jersey.

          Far more than the RA have done for Rugby in WA.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 11:11am
            concerned supporter said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

            Hi Bakkies &Spiro,
            1/ Any idea when the ASIC report will be released.
            2/I think that Elizabeth Broderick,a former partner at Ashurst, {:Blake Dawson},a large international law firm, has resigned from the RA Board of Directors.
            According to RA the current directors are, C.Clyne,B.Robinson,P.McLean,A. Sherry,J.Eales & P. Marlowe.6 only,Ref:
            http://www.rugbyaustralia.com.au/RugbyAUAdmin/BoardofDirectors.aspx
            No R.Castle,E. Broderick and of course no G.Stooke.
            Is being a Director of RA, to hot to handle? No mention of any connection to RA in the following.
            “http://elizabethbroderick.com.au/
            Do you have any further information?

            • March 12th 2018 @ 11:52am
              Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

              Don’t have any information apart from the fact that Broderick has resigned. So there are two spots to fill.

              Ann Sherry is also on the board of Infrastructure Victoria.

              We don’t even know if the RA has replaced the CFO, COO and legal counsel. If they haven’t it is going to cost more money advertising and paying headhunting firms to conduct worldwide searches in Sydney car parks.

            • Roar Pro

              March 12th 2018 @ 12:54pm
              Crazy Horse said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

              Let’s hope her replacement is a female who has actually played rugby, not just another token woman. It’s not as if there are any shortage of female players, coaches and match officials these days.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 12:59pm
                Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:59pm | ! Report

                How many female Rugby players are connected to Sydney Uni, Buildcorp and the nominations committee?

              • Roar Pro

                March 12th 2018 @ 11:09pm
                Crazy Horse said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:09pm | ! Report

                Don’t know but we’ve got plenty in WA to choose from.

            • March 13th 2018 @ 12:34pm
              Bakkies said | March 13th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              None of them will get on the board based on from where they are from and their club connections.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 1:44pm
            Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 1:44pm | ! Report

            Accept im wrong but still dont like breakaway competitions
            Didnt say Brumbies were bad just Canberra – would be just as happy for Brumbies to becomes rebels
            I’m just like most parochial fans i dont want to lose my team and i certainly cant complain with whats happen
            Dont follow RA follow NZR and we dont seem to have these issues, even my provincial Union Soithland doing ok at moment.

            • Roar Guru

              March 12th 2018 @ 2:21pm
              rebel said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

              It’s not a break away comp. No team has left another comp. It is filling a void created by others.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 6:51pm
                Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 6:51pm | ! Report

                Without official sanction from RA its a break away comp – although it would seem he is trying to get them involved.
                RA dont seem to get much support in these forums, thats probably there own doing with cutting a popular team – they would seem to have handled the situation badly but as said before i dont follow RA.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 9:20pm
                rebel said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:20pm | ! Report

                Ok its a breakaway comp without anyone actually breaking away.

            • March 12th 2018 @ 5:17pm
              Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 5:17pm | ! Report

              ‘would be just as happy for Brumbies to becomes rebels’

              Of course you would. Not going to happen.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 6:59pm
                Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 6:59pm | ! Report

                Yes very happy to still have a team in Melbourne and finally a winning one – I should probably be quiet on this subject as I really have no idea why Rebels survived, its usually last on first off and i actually expected that the Rebels were going to be the ones gone.
                I have been luckly Melbourne, Elthan RC good for my sons and grandsons and all are Rebels fans.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 8:42pm
                Ex force fan said | March 12th 2018 @ 8:42pm | ! Report

                I also have no clue why the Rebels will survive ask the Victorian Chair.

        • March 13th 2018 @ 3:29pm
          scottd said | March 13th 2018 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

          Peter
          The Crusaders are playing because it is consistent with their strategy of expanding the Crusaders “Brand”. They see this as an opportunity. This is no different to their strategic moves into USA and UK – they see an opportunity and they take it.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 10:46pm
        KFar said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

        Crusaders will give their Knights squad players a go. 5 or 6 of last year’s Knights squad are in the SR squad this year.
        Who knows, maybe they might be looking for another potential comp to run their Knights team in and a small comp like the IPRC would probably be perfect. They only play a few games a year so I’m sure the CRFU would snap up the chance. They are after all buying into clubs all around the world and a Crusaders team in a big Asian market/comp might bring in some good merchandise and exposure dollars.

      • March 13th 2018 @ 12:54pm
        woodart said | March 13th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

        if the crusaders wernt enthusiastic they wouldnt be doing it. hamish riach(crusaders ceo) is a smart guy, and obviously sees the benefit of being involved with this new series. if the aus rugby union cant, or dont wont to(sulking?) thats to bad for them. there arent that many billionaires who wont to throw big bucks at rugby, so when one does ,it would seem bloody minded to ignore him. I can see other Kiwi teams wanting to have a piece of this, if you guys dont want to help forest spend his bucks ,we will…..

    • March 12th 2018 @ 7:04am
      hog said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:04am | ! Report

      You wonder, Super rugby has never been about developing the game in Australia.

      It has always been about maintaining the status quo.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 10:15am
        Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        and being a trial for the cash cow test Rugby. Sanzar and the RA have failed to build it up in to a money spinning competition that is needed to keep players and fans engaged on a week to week basis.

        • Roar Guru

          March 12th 2018 @ 6:05pm
          pformagg said | March 12th 2018 @ 6:05pm | ! Report

          This year has been good so far. I think it will become a powerhouse comp once again.

          • Roar Guru

            March 12th 2018 @ 8:05pm
            Timbo (L) said | March 12th 2018 @ 8:05pm | ! Report

            Winner of the Australian Conference is like being head of the kiddies table at Christmas lunch.

            Without wins against Kiwi sides on their resumes this is all just stuff and nonsense.

            The Tahs have had a difficult start, no domestic games yet. It could be that they beat the Reds, Rebs and Brumbies who in turn go down to Bokke opposition.
            It could be Tahs on top…

            I can’t see this happening, but it isn’t beyond the realms of statistical probability.

            I think the Rebels have a team that can beat some of the Kiwis.
            An injury riddled crusaders side is ripe for the picking.
            A rebuilding Chiefs can be beaten
            The Blues know how to lose.

            Or not. I guess we will have to wait and see and reserve judgement for a while.
            The best we can say is it is looking promising for the Rebels and the Reds are on the rise.

    • March 12th 2018 @ 7:14am
      sheek said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      Hi Spiro,

      The problem for the ARU (they don’t deserve to hide behind a new moniker RA) is that every time they face Forrest or see the Force running around, they are faced with their duplicity & receipt in indecently disposing of WA in haste.

      They deserve no sympathy. I hope Forrest & the Force continue to make ARU very, very, very, very uncomfortable.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 9:13am
        Onside said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:13am | ! Report

        Hi Sheek, I looked up RA on Urban Dictionary . Perhaps RA is more relevant.

        the RA RA’s
        the point of intoxication where words are slurring and everything coming out of
        the mouth sounds the same……like ra ra ra ra ra

        • March 12th 2018 @ 11:53am
          Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          Onside the RA is also the nick name for the Irish Republican Army.

      • Roar Guru

        March 12th 2018 @ 10:08am
        PeterK said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:08am | ! Report

        It does seem like Clyne and Co want WA rugby / Forrest to just be swept under the carpet, and inconvenient truth.

        Mainly it about about saving face IMO.

        If Forrest is successful then it really humiliates RA on multiple fronts. On developing WA rugby, on showing how floawed dumping the Force was, on getting rugby on FTA, basically shows them up as very mediocre, the emperor wears no clothes.

        It is also about control as it normally is.

        The last thing on their mind is the true good of aust rugby since they confuse that with what is good for their power is good for aust rugby.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 10:26am
          sheek said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          PK,

          Yes, precisely. I meant to use the phrase “saving face” above but the words came out a bit differently.

          A case of saving face due acute embarrassment. And indeed control, as you also mention.

      • Roar Pro

        March 12th 2018 @ 12:55pm
        Crazy Horse said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

        Rugby (East Coast) Australia aka R(EC)A

    • March 12th 2018 @ 7:14am
      Michael said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      Hi Spiro

      I don’t understand your enthusiasm for Twiggy. It will be his way or the highway, be certain of that. Reminds me of WRC with Turnbull and Levy. As FitzSimons so naively wrote in Rugby Wars, “they always wanted to work with the ARU.” Yeah, yeah. As the US general said in Vietnam, when you’ve got ’em by the balls, their hearts and minds will follow.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 8:47am
        JohnR said | March 12th 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        That quote in fact comes from Charles Colson, Richard Nixon’s Chief Counsel.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 12:37pm
          BigAl said | March 12th 2018 @ 12:37pm | ! Report

          he also went to prison . . . and found Jesus !

      • March 12th 2018 @ 3:24pm
        GIGS20 said | March 12th 2018 @ 3:24pm | ! Report

        Because it’s sop open and equitable under the leadership of Cameron (let’s kill the Force before they become more successful than the Tahs) Clyne isn’t it?

    • March 12th 2018 @ 7:14am
      Jamie said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:14am | ! Report

      10 point tries?! No thanks

      • March 12th 2018 @ 11:13am
        Babababoon said | March 12th 2018 @ 11:13am | ! Report

        Yeah.
        That’s going to lead to more professional fouls.

        • Roar Rookie

          March 12th 2018 @ 1:09pm
          piru said | March 12th 2018 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

          Only if they’re scored from within your own 22 – I don’t see more fouls as a result as a tackle and ensuing ruck will cancel it out.

          All it does is encourage pushing the pass or offload

          • March 12th 2018 @ 2:21pm
            Jamie said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:21pm | ! Report

            I am sorry but if you are going to have 10 point tries jut invent a new game! People that want to follow it will and others will stay with Rugby

            • Roar Rookie

              March 12th 2018 @ 2:23pm
              piru said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:23pm | ! Report

              No need to be sorry, I don’t begrudge you your opinion.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 2:13pm
          Ex force fan said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:13pm | ! Report

          Worked well in the Varsity cup in South Africa.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 4:29pm
            Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 4:29pm | ! Report

            Until recently. There was controversy over it two weeks ago.

            • March 13th 2018 @ 10:23am
              Ex force fan said | March 13th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

              Varsity cup has improved the brans of rugby played in South Africa…will the competition stars graduating to Superugby and taking their attacking mindset with them. It works but remains controversial but one of the reasons why the competition works.

              • March 13th 2018 @ 11:39am
                Bakkies said | March 13th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

                It is a privately run competition with SARU match officials so they are basically playing to laws that are no use elsewhere.

    • March 12th 2018 @ 7:39am
      Drongo said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:39am | ! Report

      He is a false God. The wide-eyed followers are mesmerised by the big talking man with all the money. He is only interested in the interests of Western Australian rugby. A tiny market of extremely limited potential. We are already seeing the benefit of cutting the Force in the strength of the Rebels in 2018. In Melbourne, a centrally located market with huge potential for rugby.
      ‘World Series Rugby’. Geese’s, Lord, please save us from this crass pretender.

      • Roar Guru

        March 12th 2018 @ 8:55am
        rebel said | March 12th 2018 @ 8:55am | ! Report

        Western Australian rugby are glad that someone is interested in helping them.
        Speaking of false Gods, Melbourne having huge potential for rugby. Lord save us indeed.

        • March 12th 2018 @ 9:16am
          Ex force fan said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

          Drongo, Melvourne’s potential as a rugby heartland: 85-13…there is nothing more to. If Twiggy goes rogue the ARU will have zero control. Scared, no my idea pathetic, not in my backyard thinking….

        • March 12th 2018 @ 9:30am
          Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

          As a Kiwi with 2 grandsons playing rugby in Melbourne i have been really surprised how good the club scene is in Melbourne and the clubs have cash.
          If Rebels keep winning they will be the next Storm – Melbourne people support all sports even the diehard AFL supporters i have taken to games admit they enjoyed the game and a couple have come again without my prompting.

          • Roar Guru

            March 12th 2018 @ 9:53am
            rebel said | March 12th 2018 @ 9:53am | ! Report

            Hi Peter, that is good news and I’m all for more people supporting rugby. However I just found it amusing that someone wrote off WA whilst proclaiming Melbourne to be the true area of growth.
            Perth has approximately half the population with only two AFL sides and an A league team.
            Melbourne has 8 AFL teams, two A league teams and a rugby league team already vying for their attention.

            If you talk to the likes of Piru, you will see Perth also has something similar going, but without Twiggy, it is more difficult for them to make it to the next level or for the fans to experience a higher level than club rugby. Why any true rugby lover would thinkwhat Twiggy is doing is a bad thing beggars belief, but being a Roar regular, the negativity is not unexpected.

            Also I think the Rebels are already in front of the Storm when it comes to producing home grown talent.

            • March 12th 2018 @ 10:12am
              Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:12am | ! Report

              Hi Rebel
              It was really sad to lose the Force in this im with you and if i lived in Perth i would be (cant use the words i want) gutted.
              I would have dropped Brumbies – Canberra not much good for anything.
              But I not a fan of a rich guy coming to the rescue late and thinking he can create a rebel competition – onfire with my puns this morning.
              If he truely wanted to work wit ARU/RA he should have bankrolled Force in SR.
              The biggest problem for all rugby fan in Australia is the disfunctional ARU/RA – lets start a campaign to clean out the board – I would love to see Aus rugby as strong as possible which inturn good for NZ rugby
              Make Bledisloe a competition again.
              dont forget the good times they will come again – The Force works in mysterious ways.

              • Roar Guru

                March 12th 2018 @ 10:23am
                rebel said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:23am | ! Report

                He has been a long term Force sponsor, he hasn’t come in at the last minute.
                When the ARU and Force were in negotiations for selling the IP, if the ARU had of said no, you need to settle your own debts or else you are kicked out, maybe Twiggy would have put his hand up then. We will never know.
                However he is doing what he can for rugby fans in WA now that he has been forced into it (see I can pun too). I can’t see why that is such a bad thing.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 10:53am
                Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:53am | ! Report

                ‘I would have dropped Brumbies – Canberra not much good for anything.’

                Apart from being the most successful team and developing the most Wallabies since 1996.

              • Roar Rookie

                March 12th 2018 @ 2:26pm
                piru said | March 12th 2018 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

                There was no need to drop anyone if the issue had been approached with any kind of imagination.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 3:01pm
                Akari said | March 12th 2018 @ 3:01pm | ! Report

                “I would have dropped Brumbies – Canberra not much good for anything.”

                Only an uninformed fool would say that, Peter Kelly. You could do better if click-bait was your intent.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 7:44pm
                Peter Kelly said | March 12th 2018 @ 7:44pm | ! Report

                Again i didnt say brumbies were bad – i said Canberra is and i go there way to often for business.
                I would drop any team to keep one in melbourne.
                Would of even been happy to share just did not want to go back to the professional rugby wilderness that was melbourne when i first moved here – the storm are good but its not rugby – yes badly parochial i know and i wasnt looking for the good of all Aus rugby but even when we were losing i was still enjoying rugby – i dont like the conference system would rather have round robin type comp of early SR – and im no fool either, just because you dont like my comment doesn’t require an insult but thanks for your reply anyway.

              • March 12th 2018 @ 8:58pm
                Akari said | March 12th 2018 @ 8:58pm | ! Report

                Peter Kelly – It doesn’t make sense as to why you’d “often” travel to Cbr for business if it’s “bad” or “not much good for anything.” I can only guess that those business trips you make to our beautiful bush capital are good for you and your business/employer. You are ofc most welcome as those trips contribute to the growth of our economy. Could you encourage your grandsons to continue with the family tradition when they come of age and to bring a slice of the Victorian economy with them.

                I have no problems with the retention of the Rebels in super rugby. I did suggest in previous posts that the better option might have been to keep the Force and to merge the Rebels with the Brumbies (we both agree on this). It didn’t happen. I wish no team was cut at all.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 10:22am
            Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:22am | ! Report

            ‘As a Kiwi with 2 grandsons playing rugby in Melbourne i have been really surprised how good the club scene is in Melbourne and the clubs have cash.’

            That’s all well and good however the Rabble and the VRU have no cash so they are taking the money that is to go to the game as a whole in Australia.

            Are they still receiving the incremental payments that were part of Cóxhead’s deal of the century.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 10:26am
            Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

            Without Twiggy the state union in WA will still be in Voluntary Administration and heading towards bankruptcy as de Clyne and co wound down their operations leaving them without the revenue stream to pay their debts.

            Clubs are already struggling for numbers as I couldn’t blame the players for refusing to pay a part of their subs to the RA.

            ‘If Rebels keep winning they will be the next Storm’

            The same Storm that breached the salary cap (no different to what the Rabble are doing this year), relied on News Limited to pay their heavy debts and are still relying on Qld and NZ to fill their side?

      • Roar Guru

        March 12th 2018 @ 10:10am
        PeterK said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:10am | ! Report

        Drongo – well if you cut broth rebels and brumbies the 2 remaining teams will also perform a lot better for a couple of years….

        • March 12th 2018 @ 3:12pm
          Drongo said | March 12th 2018 @ 3:12pm | ! Report

          Yes, true but the key is getting the right balance. 4 teams may be it.

          • March 12th 2018 @ 3:40pm
            Ex force fan said | March 12th 2018 @ 3:40pm | ! Report

            But if the 4 teams loose against Kiwi sides like they did last year – 4 teams may not be it….should be go to 2? This shrinking the game to insignificance is dumb…

            Focus on more not less pathways, better coaching and spread the talent and money among the available franchises better and you do what was successful in NZ and maybe get the results that NZ is getting.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 10:19am
        Bakkies said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

        ‘In Melbourne, a centrally located market with huge potential for rugby.’

        Melbourne a market that is driving the game broke. If you are going to have private ownership cough up not drain the governing body’s swamp.

      • March 12th 2018 @ 10:33am
        andrewM said | March 12th 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

        Yet still with no sponsor?
        Good to see that relocating the Force to Melbourne has paid massive dividends for all of the remaining four Super teams

      • Roar Guru

        March 12th 2018 @ 3:18pm
        jeznez said | March 12th 2018 @ 3:18pm | ! Report

        He is only interested in the interests of Western Australian rugby.

        And thank goodness that someone is looking out for the interests of the state with the third largest pool of registered players. Someone needs to and it certainly isn’t RA!

        • March 12th 2018 @ 3:42pm
          Ex force fan said | March 12th 2018 @ 3:42pm | ! Report

          I think there is a lot of common ground between what is in the interest of WA and in the interest of the rest of Australia. Leadership at the ARU is the problem. We need a new Board.

          • Roar Guru

            March 12th 2018 @ 5:38pm
            jeznez said | March 12th 2018 @ 5:38pm | ! Report

            Yep, the option created if IPRC is succesful and makes it on to free to air will give Oz a massive negotiating edge in future SANZAR discussions.

            I wonder how much pressure is being put on RA from SANZAAR to refuse to endorse it.

            • March 13th 2018 @ 3:32pm
              scottd said | March 13th 2018 @ 3:32pm | ! Report

              Great point

      • Roar Guru

        March 12th 2018 @ 8:26pm
        Timbo (L) said | March 12th 2018 @ 8:26pm | ! Report

        I think you have it backwards.
        God doesn’t exist and Rugby has been living under the jackboot of Torquemada and the Catholic church for too long.

        Fox and the ARU tell us the earth is flat and the sun revolves around the ARU, us peasants are stuck digging peat from the bog to heat our houses, begging for rugby scraps on social media.

        Twiggy is ushering us into the age of enlightenment.
        He is medicine for ulcerate Pulveritis and chemo for a Clynecer riddled body.

        Are you living in fear of success?
        Because this is good for rugby, no matter where you are.

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