The Roar
The Roar

JC

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Joined March 2021

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The 6N is so prized there, prob not much chance of changing unless they decide to admit Georgia. Like the idea of regional champs and also not doing the same thing every year, eg an expanded RC with Japan and Fuji could be every second year perhaps.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Rennie can select two players under 60 caps — the amendment was introduced last year in response to the dire shortage of locks, and the possible need to call in Arnold. But in the end Arnold got injured, Philip (re)emerged strongly, Salakaia-Loto and Simmons were mostly solid, and Hosea was showing promise so Rennie didn’t need to use the amended rule. He’s since basically said that he prefers players to be playing Super Rugby in Australia — quite right, too, in my opinion.

Why Japan is a threat to Australian rugby

Spot on, Jez. The guys who are just interested in money will go anyway. For the others, great development programs, competitive/successful teams, health and welfare, prep for life after rugby etc are all important.

Why Japan is a threat to Australian rugby

Odd for an experienced rugby journo to reference the loss of Hooper, Genia, Cooper and Foley as a big worry when Hooper was always going to return and the others were at the end of their Test careers anyway. The bigger concern is perhaps the exit of the likes of McMahon and Kerevi in their mid-20s. But if it’s more important to them to earn an extra half a million and have a nice lifestyle than play for their country, with all the sacrifice that entails, then good luck to them. However, transfer fees are something we should look at to ensure compensation for the investment in players’ development.

Why Japan is a threat to Australian rugby

Nice piece, MN. Thanks. Feels like the force is with the Force — they have the momentum, whereas the Rebels have misplaced their early-season form. But I just can’t see the Force getting over the red-hot Reds although it could be a close one. BTW, this weekend is very consequential for the Tahs — a win would mean a huge confidence boost going into SRTT!

Cutting the pack: Force vs Reds

Plenty of reasons to be positive. Will Harris is really making his mark (Jack Dempsey won’t find it easy to get his spot back once he’s fit), Jake Gordon of course, Perese, Tizzano, Douglas, Maddocks all doing good things, and Donaldson was very impressive. Expecting good things from the Tahs this weekend.

Super Rugby AU Round 10 teams: Force get major boost for must-win match

Will be interesting to see how Super Rugby is structured next year with the 12 teams, TF. A round robin of 11 weeks plus semis and a final may be a bit short. But home and away would take about 6 months!

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Can understand that, JN. My proposal was to reduce the total no of Tests to around 10, but replace meaningless one-offs with a traditional tour in Nov. That would support player welfare and also make the tour more enticing. Ideally the season wouldn’t start till March in the south, given the summer heat. That would provide for a decent break.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

All good ideas for discussion, Kevin. Combining the Test windows was being discussed in connection with the global season but now seems to be in the too-hard basket. I’m a bit wary of tournaments that might cannibalise the World Cup.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

It would be a shame if Japan didn’t want to kick on after coming such a long way. Teams obviously need to be able to prepare for elite rugby, but ultimately they have to compete. You can’t rest on your laurels for ever!

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

A hub could really make for a festival atmosphere although it would prob be impossible for Fiji to host.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

I think the lack of support for the Sunwolves was more because Japan is so invested in the Top League. Hopefully, they would view joining an expanded RC down the track positively.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Australia could have a real influence in developing tier 2 teams in our region too, thinking Samoa and Tonga.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Thanks, Carlin. Just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. I just think the guiding principle should be whatever makes it the best experience.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Even with Covid, RA was able to bring in Argentina for the RC last year.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Adsa, you can’t be a rugby nut and not get up at 2am. 😛

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Those very words were actually in the piece at one point, Waxy! I’m all for lots of rugby but I think the bulk of it should be Super and club, with Tests being ‘less and more’, and RWC, Grand Slams and Lions tours being relatively rare and prized events.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

That’s the point, Jacko. In the rush for short-term cash, we risk Test rugby’s long-term value. I’d much prefer to see NZ organising a three-Test series with Wales or England, for example. Wouldn’t that excite you more than a string of one-offs?

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Hopefully, the involvement of the Drua in Super Rugby from next year will take Fiji a step closer to a spot in an expanded RC.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

With the trans-Tasman comp from 2022, your wish is certain to be granted. An Anzac Day clash between the Reds and Crusaders would be huge!

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

There’s plenty of opportunity to do exciting things with the rugby calendar, mj. I like the idea of involving the second-tier countries in some way.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Too true, JN. It’s easy to identify potential improvements but often difficult to actually implement change. But, for all that we’ve complained about RA over the years, they are far more responsive than other unions and have had to be very adaptive in the last year. I’d be hopeful that they can see the opportunity here and initiate discussions at least.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Thanks Kane. It’s good that we’ve largely been spared one-off winter Tests. I’d really like to see RA push back against one-offs in November, too. It’s not simple because any change to the structure affects multiple teams, which is why they need to start looking at it now.

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Tournament rugby can be great in some contexts, such as the RWC, where it’s very intense. But, like you, I struggle with the RC where there are just a few games spread out over weeks and locations (2020 excepted). But then again, our northern cousins seem to love their Six Nations!

Less is more for Test rugby in a post-pandemic world

Jacko, have just seen that the Rainbow Cup (Pro16) will also be trialling things like red card replacements and goal-line dropout where attacking team held up on the line. Also trialling the captain’s challenge.

Rugby union needs to simplify the rule book