I am quietly excited, boys and gorillas.
I think RA is starting to get it right. During the week, I had some discussions with people high up in the stratosphere of rugby, but not necessarily in the inner circle and I detect an element of pessimism, but I have to say that I don’t always read the tea leaves the way they do.
At the outset, I want to declare myself as a “glass half full” person. As do a few informed Roarers. No names, no pack drill.
We have a new triumvirate this year – Hamish McLennan, Andy Marinos and Dave Rennie, ably assisted by others.
They do seem to be pulling together in one coordinated direction.
We Roarers, who all think we are the “keepers of the flame”, probably don’t have much to complain about.
McLennan and Marinos have pretty much left most of the PR to the coach who is handling it very well. He leaves us in no doubt which way he is going.
His explanations about selections are well reasoned and what we want to hear. He clearly cares about every player, whether they be a squaddie, or a fringe player or a developer who is back at their franchise doing work, in the off-season.
I would think that, with that kind of thoroughness, no player is in doubt as to what his program is, in the pre-season.
This is a coach who does not play favourites, gives everyone an opportunity, understands their particular situations and (as far as I can see) their family circumstances), and their needs.
He has taken the pressure off the back office and allowed them to get on with their job. Whether they are or not, remains to be seen, but you have to think that Raelene Castle would have loved to have that much space to work in, and not always been in the spotlight. Crappy timing and not surrounded by good people.
Are we, for once in our lives, getting it right?
I think that the recent Rugby Championship, like the two Covid affected seasons that preceded it, put a lot of things into sharp perspective, and have given us a new appreciation of our game.
With the shakeup in Super Rugby, the various re-alignments going on, the Pacific nations finally getting a guernsey, Japan’s resurgence, et al, things are looking up.
What does everyone think? Seems to me that the glass is fuller rather than emptier.