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The Roar

Brendan NH Fan

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Joined July 2022

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Not really, In the 2 years that Rennie brought the team North the only games they won were outside the test window. They lost on England in 2016, Ireland in 2018 and England in 2022 at home. While NZ may still have a good record against most NH sides SA, OZ and Arg do not.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Does playing the NZ sides help Oz teams. It seems to me that the more their top players play each other the worse Oz seems to do. One of the benefits SA now has is they play URC teams who are heavy focus on the breakdown but then also play Prem set piece focus and T14 brute strength. What does OZ players gain from NZ that they don’t get from playing by themselves. Yes standards might be higher in NZ but how do players learn to get better and other aspects of the game. The Oz teams from the 90s early 00s were as much brutish as they were skillful, now they aren’t brutish.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

People in Europe watched it because it was sold as the best club teams in the world and they had the best players of the 3 best teams. Once it was nolonger the best players marketing didn’t adjust. What is Super Rugby selling itself as now.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Or since J1 went to the same time SR OZ players have to pick one or the other and are choosing J1. More players leave and standards go down.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

read his other ideas and you might not think he is so bright.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

And currently SANZAAR is having the debate of moving it. People want a global window and RC is the only thing standing in the way of a Global Season. How many nations affiliated with WR play during the Feb-March window and how many play in the Aug-Sept window. How long before SARU through their toys out of the pram because their players are getting no off season.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Jacko is it NH comps or certain teams. 6Ns is still the biggest financial generator in the Union and earns more money for its member of 4 years than the WR over the same period. EPCR are signing bigger commercial deals than ever before as are the URC and LNR (T14 & ProD2). The Prem does have issues but it is more certain clubs than the league. Prem teams earns about $350m between the 10 clubs, Compare that to the total income of NZR and RA who are having issues funding SRP. That is excluding the $365m the RFU earn each year. Yes the RFU may need to step in but if they put $100m into the 10 teams they would still have about the total income of NZR to spend of grassroots. Recently someone talked about how Saints had $27m in debts but overlooked how much they had in cash and assets, they aren’t like the Rebels with $20m in debt and $17k in assets. How bad in NZR and the other RA funded teams doing and who will bail them out or replace them if they go bust. Lets see what happens when the Rebels and MP go to the wall and others teams can’t be found. As SA money starts to kick into European Rugby England will get itself right. What about Wellington who is taking over their SRP share if they have to walk away.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

SRP is not bringing in fans and Saders took their team to Europe in part so that the players could experience crowds they will face in the final as they don’t get that the rest of the season. Also that European teams are able to get alot of fans for games but SRP teams can’t says NPC teams could do just as good as job and SRP teams at drawing crowds.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Imagine Brumbies playing Minster and getting the same number of fans show up. It is great that Munster are able to get that many fans for exhibition games regardless of who they play. Munster Rugby are planning to play one game a season in Cork at that stadium and will fill it regardless of who comes. Beating the Saders with their 8 playing 5 and missing 8 players with Ireland and 20 players out injuried and giving first starts or games to 2 of the starting 15 while Saders were able to put out a B&I lion at 15 and a player at 8 most think should be an AB. Fact remains that SRP not being able to get that crowed of over 26k last season means less money while the Munster game v Saders is paying the wages of 3 players at Munster who were in the SRP final.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Maybe, The big problem that those teams outside of Europe face is bring on teams financially and quality and to do it without breaking the bank. In the late 90s England tried to flex its muscles saying it should get more money because it brought in so much but was almost kicked out because with playing the weaker nations it had nothing to sell. It is why games against Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy (who were at the same level as the 3 PIs as the time) was worth alot of money and with that money those teams got better. Teams like Canada, the PIs and Namibia who were once at the same level as the 4 weak 6N sides got worse as no money and not enough good games. Bringing in Japan does not help Fiji who are better than Japan and if given an extra $10m a year from the RC would have even more quality and possibly be able to send two teams to SRP. Currently T2 Europe has expanded from 6 to 8 teams and that will bring on more teams, this year Portugal lost to Belgium and Spain just beat the Netherlands and we are seeing them all improve as they have a competition that can grow in quality and money of T2 in Europe. On the other hand WR are finally going back to the mid 2010s format of the pacific Cup but for how long we don’t know, it does nothing for Namibia and Hong Kong who are going backwards. in 10-15 years time we will have 14 European teams at the current Georgia/Italy each with a professional club side playing against T1 clubs sides or they will be higher.. These teams will give T1 nations a good game and will make a European Championship a commercial option instead of the Lions. We will see Japan and Fiji in the same group but its unclear if any other nation will make it as they have not over the last 10 years. Uruguay have improved but we are seeing more and more T2 players getting in the 3 T1 leagues in Europe which is want will really push their teams forwards. I am yet to be convinced that MP will bring on Island players but like Aumua will pick NZers who will just pick ABs if good enough. T2 European nations are getting more and more ancestry players to especial teams like Poland and Romania whose had parents move to 6N countries about 20 years ago as part of EU expansion. When T14 and FFR earn more than all the Rc nation combined it shows why RC needs to expand and grow other counties because if the Lions get scraped because other things are financially better for 6Ns what does the RC do then. Currently Argentina has no money, RA may exit 2029 just about covering its debt, NZ are struggling to make more money with Silver Lake and SA have economic issues meaning no RC expansion means contraction of its commerical footprint compared to 6Ns.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Agree which is why in the last accounts NZR were spending 139m on competitions. According to Stuff the average NPC player gets $21k and that is excluding an SRP money. 30 players a squad for 14 teams is $8.8m. SRP has $25m wage cap between the 5 teams so that is nearly $34m already being paid on wages outside of the NZR top ups. Blues are paying a professional coach and backroom staff to run the Blues for half a year, North Harbour and Auckland are also paying for the same things. IF the money spent by the Blues, Auckland and NH were shared between 2 teams it would work, same with Crusaders’ and their NPC teams. IF NZR were to continue to give the top 30-50 AB players their top ups and had a 7 team domestic league that played home and away and then had the top 5 play in SRP with MP, Drua and 5 OZ teams in 2 pools of 6 or 3 pools of 4 like u20s. The bottom 2 teams could play the 5 in NPC 2 to get the two team to get promoted and bottom to play heartland teams. SRP could be two groups of 6 and play 10 games with top two going into Semi and final and do Championship, Shield and Trophy.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

No distain for league just saying that since 2003 which was probably the height of professional rugby union in OZ, RA have done little to say how great it is. All RA has done is push how Union is not as fast as League and what they are doing to make it more like league. If you tell would be fans that union is not as good as league why would new and existing fans hang around. Celtic League/Pro12 did a similar thing with running the league down and apologies for what it was not. Imagine if NRL did the same thing in relation to AFL and kept saying that it is trying to be more like AFL and they are doing everything they can to make if more like AFL, NRL would lose fans quickly. Who are the stars of Australian Rugby and why are they chosen. Why aren’t more stars all shapes and sizes. Also there is a mental thing about making giants stars as any time they are in the media they look massive and are the closest to superheroes in terms of size, picking skinny people just doesn’t have the same selling points. RA getting rid of their best know player for religious views drove away lots of his fans and lots of religious people. NRL have players who refuse to take part in pride stuff so it keeps more fans. If the NRL was to kill SRP in NZ and OZ they would add maybe $50m to their income. They aren’t going to take away international union matches because of the other T1 and T2 nations who will play the sport and most union fans are grassroots people who love the national side and couldn’t care about Professional Club rugby esp in Oz and NZ. Unless the NRL is going to partner up with Super League and invest $100m a year for 10 years League test matches are never going to get alot of attention. RA and NZR to a less extend seem to think the same way you do that the NRL is this massive thing that will eat them unless they join them rather that actually sell Union for what it is like England did. if Oz and NZ had created professional teams to match the number of players NZR would have about 8-10 teams so less players going to league. 31% of the NRL players are people born in NZ. You take out 100 of those players to fill 3 more professional Union teams in NZ and NRL drops in standards. IF NSW and Queensland had 2 professional teams each since 1995 then that is more kids also going to Union. When people like Moffett Combined North Harbour and Auckland into the Blues then alot of kids in Auckland choose league because there are to many player and only one team to play for for Union, yes they could go to other SRP teams but its not like the other teams are short of kids either. In Australia there are about 160k league players and about 100k union players. In the heartland there are two professional union teams and 14 NRL teams. League does not have 7 times the support of Union in those two states. RA decided that it was better to have two big teams and save on wages rather than make 4-6 professional teams in the two states and then add in the Brumbies, Rebels, Force and a 10th (maybe Adelaide) to have a domestic league, instead they wanted to make loads of money by only paying three professional teams but meant that NRL had 14 teams working away to get the best players wile Reds and Tahs did nothing as they had more that enough to pick from. For every 4-5 players that pick up a professional contract in Union there are 16 who get a league contract, of those Union only has 2 in the heartland while League has 14. Poor management and bad future planning are why Union has failed since professionalism in RA. European teams have much smaller populations they have built professional teams on and were happy to have 5-10k show up to a game but RA wanted 25k for the tahs rather than 3 teams getting 7-10k each, they now have one team only getting about 12-15k.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

All depends if you want the RC to have 6 teams and if you want home and away.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

The challange is that wages aren’t where they were 20 years ago. Back then between SR and NPC NZ was spending as much on wages for their full league as the Prem or T14 per player and more than the URC. Now to turn the NPC fully professional each team must have the same wage cap as the current SRP teams which for a 10 team league is $50m just on wages. The simple fact is the cost to make meaningful change is going to be expensive.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

If Jordon is missing the Summer test he will hardly throw Jordon in against SA in SA who will find out very quickly if he is back to his best or not. Catching balls with a sore shoulder with PSDT and friends coming at him would not be ideal. How is his kicking game, I haven’t seen enough to know if it is test standard, its one thing to play 15 as SRP but at test level he will need a wider range of skills. When the new coaches came in with Forster Jordon didn’t move from the wing which says they have some concerns about him, its not like they needed him on the wing.

All Blacks star hit for six months as Crusaders ace goes under the knife to fix shoulder injury

I wonder how that will effect the back three now as they are looking light on the ground now. Hopefully Reece is back up and running but if he were to get hurt again then they will be short.

All Blacks star hit for six months as Crusaders ace goes under the knife to fix shoulder injury

To be honest I don’t understand why a load of players didn’t go under the knife after the WC to fix the issues they have carried. They were probably trying to avoid it as you say but its nearly 5 months off and he would have been back for the business end.

All Blacks star hit for six months as Crusaders ace goes under the knife to fix shoulder injury

Feel sorry for him but this highlights the problem with SRP. He is injured so he is now going to have no club rugby for 2024. Having such a short season means any serious injuryin the warmups and the season is over. While he is luck he should get test matches if he wasn’t a test player he would be sitting at home in Oz or only getting NPC in NZ. That would mean not top club rugby training and development for the year.

All Blacks star hit for six months as Crusaders ace goes under the knife to fix shoulder injury

Either you don’t know how much a WC in Union makes or you are only taking about what RA gets v what the NRL gets. From WR From its humble beginnings, the men’s Rugby World Cup is now regarded as the third biggest sporting event behind the FIFA World Cup and Olympic Games. RWC 2019 was the most economically successful Rugby World Cup ever with nearly £4.3 billion generated in economic impact according to a report by EY. . NRL thinks its big standing next to RA but it forgets that RA has about 10 brothers bigger and stronger to help it. When NRL stands next to AFL its nothing. RA gets bigger because Union is growing, NRL must get bigger by itself, super league and international rugby wont be helping. Stack NRL up against the T14.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

How is the French Union in Trouble, They just averaged 50k per game at the WC including big turnouts for T2 v T2 games. They have no desire to go after private equity. The T14 has more income that all Rugby income in SANZAAR. French TV deals at test and club level are the biggest in the World. I would love to hear how they are in trouble. Wales is but you have to take some things into account. They have the same income as the IRFU but are having a war with the private clubs which is costing alot of money. Private clubs like Scarlets, Wasps, Worcester and Irish are all to do with the owners of the clubs. The other 1000 clubs in Wales and England seem to fine. Not sure what SRU challenges there are, yes the Super 6 did not work out but they didn’t go into debt to fund it and have just funded to professional women’s teams as have IRFU and WRU. From the SRU accounts Scottish Rugby Limited generated record revenues of £68.3m in 2022/23, offset by deficit of £10m as recent external investment programme – which generated circa £52m – is re-invested for growth. Cash reserves are £20m, they made a £10m loss after making a £29m profit the year before. Its not the NZR or RA. I don’t buy the less competition maybe you should look at how many professional leagues there are in Europe.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

I would say that is true but you only need to go back to the early 90s and wales had loads of players over in league and teams like Wigan and St Helens were getting much bigger crowds than anything Union could do. Once Union became professional Union grew quickly and was soon out earning League in terms of commercial deals. The Super League in England has had so many changes in the last 20 years trying to save it including bringing in people like Tony Adams. Union and the Vichy government in WW2 is nearly 80 years ago do you think that is the reason why Union figures have been going up as have the national viewing figures in France, we know how much they love all things German. Professional Rugby Union turned Union from an international game to a club and international game. In the SH it is still trying to be an international test match game. Over Christmas Edinburgh got 37k against Glasgow in the 1872 and was even a bigger turnout than Stormers v Bulls so not sure how that doesn’t show growth that is possible and shows growth in rugby up North. Bordeaux were second division 10 years ago and now are the best supports club team in the world getting 25k per game at home. La Rochelle have a 2 year waiting list to get season tickets and have been sold out every home game for 2 years, 10 years back in ProD2 getting about 8k. How many play league outside the South Pacific. Italy has seen a 300% increase in Union numbers since joining 6Ns going form about 20k to 80k, you don’t see that happening anywhere in league, its mainly powered by Oz nationals who are heritage players of other nations. Over the last 3 weeks T2 European rugby has been good figures and teams like Belgium got a record attendance, same in South America, yes Union played dirty 100-50 years ago but from about the 70s to 90s League had the upper hand in Europe and South Pacific and forced Professionalism on Union. Ironically it was the Unions driving professionalism that have been hurt the most by it.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

GAA games in Ireland for Country games get 20k to them. If ProD2 teams can get about 5k and can the Welsh URC teams why can’t NPC and SS get them if part of a national competition. I think that most professional teams would get 3-5k and wages will need to reflect that.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

As the Saders said them themselves they have probably already played infront of their biggest crowd of the season. Munster nor any European side of Saders standing can say that. That is the problem is fans pay for professional rugby not players and focusing on test will not work so its club or nothing sadly.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

7 home games does not get fans into a habit of coming. if you get your come to all 11 home games each team would get about 7k as a minimum. Paying a wage and receiving no income for 6 months is not better than small crowds giving over cash, I am sure it would have helped the Rebels with cashflow if they had income between July and Jan.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

Problem already is that an OZ player can be a professional at a professional team and coaches for 10 months in Europe or he can have 4 months holiday in OZ. Telling them they don’t get the holiday but will be overseen by people who are doing training 3 times a week and the plan is you are stronger run hard will not sit well and more players will g OS even just for development of their career.

'Destroyed the soul of rugby': Ex-NZR boss delivers damning verdict of Super direction - and his plan to fix it

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