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Geoff Parkes

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Joined October 2012

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Geoff is a Melbourne based sports fanatic and writer, who started contributing to The Roar in 2012, originally under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Conflict; the Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy was released in Dec 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com 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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Excellent post, LBJ.

The USA rugby administration is a shambles. They would be light years behind Japan with respect to having the infrastructure and personnel required to deliver a WC. It would essentially have to be World Rugby’s event, with a large cohort of people dropped into the USA to deliver it. Kind of what they did to help Japan, but on a much bigger scale.

Their own application also hints at this. 2027, or the 2029 Women’s event, or 2031. In other words, ‘just give us something to help us build the profile of the game around – anything’. Which is fine, and by all means make something happen, but that’s not a basis for entrusting them with the game’s showpiece in 6 years time, with an uncompetitive national side.

Rugby Australia faces rival bid from USA to host 2027 World Cup

Somehow robbo, I can’t get my head around Sione McTuipulotu…

The Thursday rugby two-up: Spring Tour hopes and dreams

With a record like that, I agree. Carlos, by all means enjoy your holiday but please find a bar to watch the game in.

The Thursday rugby two-up: Spring Tour hopes and dreams

To be clear ID, I’m not putting forward an opinion, I’m stating what is going to happen.

It happened in the NFL, there is a large group of ex-AFL players who are preparing a class action lawsuit, ditto rugby union in the UK, and it will eventually happen one day in rugby league as well.

Predatory lawyers are one thing. As is assumed risk. But sports governing bodies failing to act on known concerns is another. It’s complex but don’t assume this is all about the opportunism of the lawyers.

Tigers 'appalled' by 'inflammatory allegations' at AFL club's medical staff

Disagree all you like, mate.
I’ve seen what the Franchise CEO’s and RA senior execs have had to deal with, and I’m happy to cut them some slack, plus acknowledge the good job done to bring us the rugby we’ve had.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

We can be assured Richie, that the action(s) that will eventually be bought by this large group of players, will be way more sophisticated and precise than the sentence you’ve just quoted.

Tigers 'appalled' by 'inflammatory allegations' at AFL club's medical staff

Really, Brendon? So when parents sign kids up for Auskick, and those kids go on to play through school and as adults, they all do so absolving coaches, clubs, medical personnel, other players and administrators of all responsibility for causing or exacerbating brain injury?

Of course there is an element of assumed responsibility. To a degree, contact sports are inherently dangerous. But nobody should play any code of football automatically accepting that if you die as a result, that it’s ok, it’s part of the deal.

Tigers 'appalled' by 'inflammatory allegations' at AFL club's medical staff

Of course. I asked because he’d hinted earlier that he’d look at giving him a break at some point.

But the end of the RC has provided that break anyway, they’re not treating Japan as an easy game, and we all know that Hooper isn’t the type of guy to sit out of anything.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Even before McMahon returned to Japan Brett, I asked Dave Rennie if he was expecting to start Hooper in all of the matches and he said yes.

'A chance to change perception': Successful spring tour would mean more than usual for Wallabies

Prima facie Jacko, anything short of a significant suspension would shock me. And it would be troublesome for rugby.

But there are expensive, sharp lawyers involved so the matter has been complicated (as borne out by Harry in this piece) and the stakes have been raised. So, whatever happens, we’re in for a few interesting weeks ahead.

The case for and against Erasmus, and the men charged with protecting rugby’s reputation

Thanks Harry, some real enlightenment offered there in terms of how the legal process works and how it might apply to this case.

One outcome from this matter is that WR must clarify its process for communication with and about match officials pre and post match. Coaches everywhere are frustrated about this, and Andy Marinos was right when he talked to me about how this aspect of the game hasn’t kept pace with some of the other high performance aspects.

And while they’re at it, even though they shouldn’t have to, WR must immediately strengthen protocols around team officials and support staff keeping out of the game, and providing for clear sanctions for breaches.

What also needs to happen is that people in rugby must dispense with this notion that perfection and absolutism are possible, when it comes to refereeing. It never was and never will be. That is the game we play. That’s not an ‘out’ for professional match officials – they must certainly face consequences for errors in indisputable matters of law – but as for the rest of it, that’s just the reality of the way the laws are written and the inherent subjectivity that comes with interpreting them in the heat of a game.

Attached to that understanding is a contract that every participant and fan makes that, for better or worse, the referee’s decision is accepted. Coaches can have their input through defined channels and the rest of us can sulk about our bad fortune for a couple of days, then accept the good fortune that will come our way the next time.

If people can’t handle that (there are still South African fans posting and complaining now in various platforms now about Willie le Roux not being allowed a 50:22, even though the ruling was correct, and it was a game South Africa won, so imagine what will happen if/when Erasmus is sanctioned?) then let the rest of the game simply ignore them and move on.

The case for and against Erasmus, and the men charged with protecting rugby’s reputation

There is too much of that happening, Peter.
It’s also where cancel culture comes from.

What’s frustrating is that a lot of the intent comes from a good place, but it’s like over-earnestness and projection kicks in, and overrides reason and a level-headed approach.

A minority of it is systematic and ideological, and that’s a concern, but of course those extremes exist on both sides.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Not at all, CWM, in fact it is seen as an advantage.

NZ and Australia are in competition on the field, but off the the field they are partners and are stronger together. They need to leverage this so that they remain competitive and relevant globally.

We’ve seen this play out whenever one or both of them has got antsy and impulsively wanted to do their own thing – they very quickly make up and come back together, because that’s the reality. They are independent, but if they truly go it alone, they are too small commercially (especially Australia) and would sink.

Silver Lake will work independently with each nation, as they should. But having the same investor clearly provides all parties with a head start when they look at ways they can strengthen their position.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Some good questions JC. Just on the bigger point, he’ll be able to be held accountable for those sorts of things soon enough, but it’s far too soon for him to have addressed some of those. And he’s far too savvy to allow himself to be backed into any corner on hypotheticals.

Re PE investment, RA is talking about a stake of around 12.5%, something like that. With no seat on the board. That’s not going to drive Cadbury being turfed out for Betfair.

I can also answer the one about the Lions. Both NZ and Australia’s financial model is extremely dependent on recurring Lions tours. One one hand that’s very risky. On the other hand, that’s actually the game – those are real events so why shouldn’t they validly make up part of the budget?

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Good call Monorchid. Based on previous history, the skepticism shown by a lot of posters and other fans towards RA is understandable, but Marinos, just like any new person should be afforded respect and a fair crack at the position.

So far he’s only been there 8 months, in the midst of a Covid crisis, so we’re really a long way from fairly seeing how things play out with him.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Thanks Colvin.
Which is basically what happened with the previous expansion of Super Rugby.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

I guess my point Hen is that globalism is not a choice RA makes. It’s decided for them already.

The sport is global, competition for players is global. We compete against other nations who invest in their own success and we either have to measure up to that, or turn away from that and be happy being a domestic sport.

The thing is though, if we are happy with club sides filling North Sydney oval and rejoicing in the tribalism of domestic club rugby, that’s great, but then in the same breath, 35,000 Australians can’t fly to Japan for a World Cup expecting the Wallabies to be competitive. Isolation will lead to huge differences in high performance capability at the elite level.

Somehow we need to figure out a way, if we can, to achieve both.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

That’s a good point too Andy, the quantum is too low.

RA has the cover of Covid for now, but once things settle, and PE money is available, it is critical that a decent chunk of this gets leveraged into better outcomes for grass roots rugby.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Were you on the Masked Crusader, Fin? Terrific finish, very nearly got the job done!

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Good discussion guys, and Benn, I understand your point about you making your choice to right past wrongs as you see fit.

Where I’m uncomfortable is when that virtue (and I don’t use that word in a sarcastic or cheap way) is projected by some onto others. As in, ‘if you don’t feel and do the same, then you are by definition, a bad person’.

It’s perfectly valid imo not to feel responsibility for things that happened before your time or that you have no control or influence over. Which isn’t the same thing as showing arrogance or disregard for others less well off.

Of course that type of generalising and projecting happens the other way as well, so we get rational thought and debate being diminished by polarisation and politicisation.

What I’m also uncomfortable about is projection onto children. I picked up my 5 year old niece from school, she was unusually quiet and sullen, I asked her what was wrong, and she said that she was upset because of “what we did to the aborigines”.

Very happy to have that conversation with her once she gets to high school, but is that really what five year olds should be being taught?

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Agree with this, Andy. Delivery has to come through the states.

Rhys, you’re right in that RA must ensure that grassroots rugby is supported and run effectively, but this must be indirect. The change in emphasis Marinos is implying, is that RA is trying to foster more encouraging and transparent relationships with the states that will facilitate this, as opposed to them being directive and finger-pointing.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

That’s the biggest change, Don.

While there was regular and co-operative contact between Cheika and the SR coaches, it was still very much a matter of Cheika doing his own thing when it came to the Wallabies.

Currently, there is a strong desire to lock in a cohesive ‘Australian way’ process right through the professional, high-performance program. Scott Johnson is the glue in the middle of that, and it obviously helps having Dan McKellar playing a central coaching role as well.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Quietly optimistic is a very good way to describe it TB!

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Cheers for the reply cookie, and best wishes to your son for his rugby.

I think most of us understand that grassroots rugby refers to juniors, golden oldies and amateur club rugby. Volunteers doing committee roles, clubs being family social environments and so on.

I’m not here to defend Bill Pulver, but his comments were not an attack on any of what we’re talking about. He simply wanted to avoid handing money over to certain clubs with aspirations of being professional or semi-professional, simply for them to spend on attracting players to their clubs.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

Yes, fair comment jez, and I’m hopeful that will be forthcoming once a deal gets closer to being finalised.

To be fair, we don’t know exactly where things are in the process so it’s a little bit unrealistic to hear exactly how they’re going to spend money that they don’t actually have yet.

But it’s also a fair expectation that there be a broad strategic outline communicated that takes this investment into account.

The Wrap: With the bushfires now out, can Andy Marinos regenerate Australian rugby?

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