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Armchair Halfback

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Joined December 2019

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Armchair Halfback is the musings of a long time rugby tragic Brian Judge, a devotee and thinker about all things pertaining to the running game.

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Thanks Tony, I’m not an accountant, so thanks for clarifying

Why the Waratahs and the Reds should be axed from Super Rugby

Thanks Jaeger. I’ve been a business owner in the past, so ironically I probably know more about business economics than some of my detractors. In reality companies measure the health of the business on P&L, not cash reserves, indeed many big companies don’t keep large cash reserves. The issue as well with cash reserves its that they are usually quickly ploughed back in the to business for various reasons (capital improvements, depreciation etc). So let’s say for the sake of the argument that NZRU loses $10m per year but has $90m in the bank – but they’ve already committed $50m to upgrade rugby pitches in community rugby in the following year, then they have another $10m loss that bank balance is quickly reduced down to $30 million. Capisce?

Why the Waratahs and the Reds should be axed from Super Rugby

Ouch! ‘Twas – it was an oversight not a capital crime…….

Why the Waratahs and the Reds should be axed from Super Rugby

Thanks JD. I should have referenced last years financial loss not their overall financial position.

Why the Waratahs and the Reds should be axed from Super Rugby

Bring back the Border Rievers!!

Australian rugby: A blueprint for the future

I think your point:” Yet despite being a far larger marketplace, since 1996, Australian teams have claimed the Super Rugby title on just four occasions. Little brother has won the title 17″ is based on a fallacy. Rugby is the #1 sport in NZ, all the elite talent in NZ is available and can be channeled into rugby. Rugby in Australia runs a long way behind NRL, AFL, soccer and cricket in the battle for talent. In addition NZ has world class coaching systems, competent administrators and an adoring media! So not quite the playing field you claim. I sorta like your idea in a way of having a divisional system – but that overlooks the deep history of the Reds and the Tahs and the political nature of Sydney club rugby…… A better division set up might be some sort of NRC/ITM cup amalgamation, but all that assumes there’s money to bankroll it and AU Rugby and NZRU are in a heap of debt…..

Why the Waratahs and the Reds should be axed from Super Rugby

Thanks KCOL – I think some of the commentary may flow from a RWC with too many red cards. Maybe referees need to use red cards for unconscionable conduct and use the yellow card more liberally? Red cards can kill off a game as a spectacle, especially when punters have paid $100+ of their hard earned money for a ticket, plus travel and accommodation if its an away game.

How to fix another red card ruining rugby

Dan Parks – maybe the best Shute Player never to play at SR???

Aussie abroad: Nathan Hines

Thanks James, another great article!

Aussie abroad: Nathan Hines

sorry read the Mortlock amendment after my comment!

The greatest All Blacks XV to not win the World Cup

Good team Davos – I would pick Mortlock or Kuridrani ahead JOC. I’d pick Diggers before Dell and Rory Arnold ahead of Simmons. Front row might need some remedial attention too!

The greatest All Blacks XV to not win the World Cup

Thanks Peter – I was trying to remember who was Pulver’s predecessor, but it eluded me for days. Flower, was he Gary, Grant or Graham? I’ve no idea…. I can readily recall Brock, Tempo, even Joe French, but not Flower!!

Why new wine must shun the old bottles in Rugby Australia’s new era

A halfback is never far from controversy!

The Wrap: Unravelling Australian rugby’s unholy war

Thanks Geoff, excellent article….

The Wrap: Unravelling Australian rugby’s unholy war

Elbow patch brigade – must be the biggest sledge since Will Carling’s “57 old farts” 😉

Rugby's elbow-patch brigade wasn't ready for Castle

Love it Rhys: maybe Paul Carozza (famously poleaxed by Loe after having the temerity to score against the AB’s) could have this as a tattoo: “It is all very well to talk about turning the other cheek, but people who say that obviously haven’t played the All Blacks when Richard Loe was on the team”

Australian rugby successfully self-quarantines against the Kiwi success virus

Thanks James, excellent article!

Super Rugby retrospectives: Ipolito Fenukitau

Thanks Mug, excellent stuff!

The future of rugby union in Australia

Thanks Nick, appreciate your insights.

The ten best union to league converts

Pappy got injured a lot, including (in his own words) a “smashed jaw” – not an uncommon injury in NRL!

The ten best union to league converts

Thanks Nick! I wonder if, after the Wallabies, did Wales have the largest player leakage to RL?

The ten best union to league converts

Thanks Larry. Maybe I’m harsh? I don’t know, I may be overgeneralising. The current crop of Syd/Melb players in SR are too often poor passers of the ball and I think the NRL influence is a factor in that. Don’t forget Wally Lewis was in the great Australian schools team with the Ella brothers – perhaps that’s where he learn to pass so well! I think the breakdown is better refereed nowadays – it’s the the age it takes to set and reset of scrums, that’s my bugbear!

The ten best league-to-union converts

Thanks for that Jez, had to google the dad!

The ten best league-to-union converts

I have much sympathy for the players who needed to put a roof over their heads and food on the table. Rugby administrators in the amateur era (not that they are much better now mind you) were particularly recalcitrant and insensitive to the difficult reality of players lives and no doubt made the fat cheque from the RL scouts much more appealing.

The ten best union to league converts

Tony D’Arcy was the only other test prop (that I can think of) who went to RL. Unfortunately for D’Arcy, who was an excellent scrummager, his skills were of no use and he languished in the lower grades of the Penrith NRL team before being delisted…..

The ten best union to league converts