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jeznez

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Joined April 2011

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National unions have been battling the clubs for greater access to players since the inception of professionalism.

The sticking point is the clubs that want their game to be of primacy, are paying the lion’s share of salaries and want to protect their investment.

There is a further spanner thrown by player work load complaints coming out primarily from the NH. The clubs having invested heavily want the maximum playing content they can get.

The major clubs have no interest in paying less for less playing time. The players in fact are getting closer to unionising to negotiate less matches – they won’t then turn around and go an play extras back at home.

We are already seeing the likes of Sam Warburton retiring at 29 because the grind got too much. Here is a four year old article complaining about workloads, the issues are still there today:

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2016/may/05/england-rugby-union-squad-workload-players-welfare

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 4: Fixing the calendar

Your third option ignores what is happening in every single country that doesn’t have a Giteau rule.

Sure, scrap the rule. Why will suddenly Australia be able to bring players back outside of test windows when no other country in the world can do that now?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 4: Fixing the calendar

The number of guys forgoing the opportunity to play for the Wallabies right now indicates the answer is no.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 4: Fixing the calendar

I think you’ll find many will struggle due to family and work commitments.

Not sure if it’s the majority or not but am sure it would be a significant number.

Do you use all your annual leave, plus a week of unpaid?

What about that trip to Byron?

Isn’t just family’s but employers need to be understanding as well.

Of course you can have five weeks off mate, don’t worry about that big contract, we’ll be right and you’ll still have a job when you get back. Is it League or Union that you play?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

30 times the production cost, But that isn’t even the biggest issue.

60+ commentators.

I hesitate to think what ‘tator number 60 is like if Kearns is ranked in the top echelon.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

Jez, I’m with Soap. Your call for an 11 week regular season for park rugby players stopped me cold.

Will come back and try read the rest a bit later but you aren’t tweaking the amateur’s here. You are halving their game time.

To the last part of your comment here, how would the trade-off work on overseas players work? Players and their agents negotiate with off-shore clubs, not RA.

What mechanism is there for RA to suggest to the clubs in Britain, Ireland, France, Japan and potentially the US to say, we’ll let more players go off-shore but they have to come back more often?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 4: Fixing the calendar

And I’m sure it’s frustrating for you having us asking questions you intend to answer later.

I’ll try to keep my posts more succint to give you a better chance of answering questions as we go.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

He was very up front that it was a 9 part series, agree a summary of the chapter headings would be useful.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

😂 I’m most definitely a nitpicker, give me details!

I still want to know if the only time the pro players get in a professional environment is for internationals.

It reads that they are playing local club rugby, then a largely amateur provincial comp (which somehow overseas players are being released for) and then joining OS players at the Wallabies.

So is Dave Rennie going to have his local 50 plus any OS players for a 60-80 strong group, with the majority having this as their only time in a pro-set up all year.

Are the professional development and preparation of a Test match 23 going to take place together?

I’m trying to reserve judgement but the bits we’ve seen aren’t looking like a solution to me, so far.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

Sorry, Jez. Is that at me or Don?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

ps. You think the European clubs are going to release players outside the mandatory test windows to play a 5 week mostly amateur comp?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

World Cups set a 31 player squad limit and look at how utilities get needed to cover the short fall. 35 is really base minimum if you aren’t going to compromise and have to say play Ben McCalman as an openside.

I think you’ll still struggle to get the 100 odd best amateurs to take time off when they have no guarantee they’ll be involved in future years and have very limited opportunity to progress into the professional system.

Also sounds like your 50 contracted players only wind up in a professional system come the internationals?

Professionalism isn’t just being paid, it’s also being in a full time training and playing environment competing against similarly high quality, highly trained players.

So now you have players either playing off-shore or spending the majority of the year in amateur set up’s and then having a much bigger group than you plan to use for the Wallabies providing the pro development?

I’m definitely not sold.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

So 6 teams, selected from the local premier comps, with an overflow team?

You need 210 players for your comp, you’ve got your 50 pro/U-23’s. The other 160 are guys with full time jobs that need to take time off work?

Not sure why if you are going to have 6 teams you don’t just stick with the 7 NRC sides?

Should balance the comp a bit better with NSW and Qld split between City/Country to match the production of the smaller rugby states/territory.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

I have no idea what medium is – perhaps if you aren’t holding things back in a drip feed you could answer my question above as to which states are in your proposed 15 interstate match series?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

Jez, I get that you are trying to hold back for your remaining articles but you really need to give a bit more info here.

You’ve offered an article entitled “Protecting and Growing Revenue”

In the broadcast section you say there will be major events such as Sydney 7s and 6 home Internationals as well as offering ANZAC Day and a 15 game interstate series with no information on the second two.

In lock step you tout the Shute Shield with Wallabies back in the mix.

What are your ANZAC Day and Interstate proposals? I’m just not seeing the funding proposition given the lack of detail.

I see revenue falling and (with incomplete information) our professional players slipping backwards by playing amateur comps.

Also think you missed the OS player payments yesterday, you’ll have to factor in about 12,000 per test per OS player that you select with your relaxing of the Giteau law – that is just salaries, I assume business class long haul flights will need to be factored in as well.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

I completely agree that our five full time (or four) sides is costly and not working.

Just can’t see how having 70% of a pro squad and 70% of a U-23 squad getting paid to play in largely amateur competitions is going to grow revenue.

And revenue growth was the point of this article, I can’t see how the comps work or how they generate revenue.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

I think the 62,000 attendees for the Tahs Super Rugby final in 2014 and the 52,000 for Reds final in 2011 gives us an idea of the rusted on support we can count on from those cities.

Not sure pinning our national broadcast hopes on club competitions in largely those two locations is really going to give us the basis to maintain 50 pros spread around the country.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

If you are concentrating the 50 pros back in the Sydney and Brisbane club comps then I guessed your interstate matches were largely NSW v Qld.

Going to be very unbalanced when they play anyone else.

Sounds great that you want to increase participation, does retreating to Sydney and Brisbane boost playing numbers in Canberra, Melbourne and Perth?

What my numbers also indicate is that we now have 50 pro’s from outside of NSW/Qld when previously we used to be lucky to have one or two rep players from those regions.

How confident are you that we would have found Gregan, Larkham, Kafer and Roff if there hadn’t been a Brumbies?

They may all have just run around dominating John I Dent. Or should they have had to move to Sydney in order to make it?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

That’s my immediate model. NRC representing the local Premier comps with a rep level above comprising three teams being NSW, Qld and Rest of Oz.

The RoO team should not just be based in Canberra though but play there, Melbourne and Perth so locals can see their players at the next level up.

As a State produces more quality players then they could have a stand alone rep team as well but only if it is a truly organic expansion. NRC being the vehicle for that growth and exposure.

The Wrap: Rugby Australia must resist being drawn into New Zealand’s spider web

I’d heard his name but that’s the first time I’d seen him.

He’s certainly raw but an awesome base to build from.

Could easily imagine an NRL team taking him but he’d need to make an incredible shift in fitness.

Hopefully we can hang on to him in rugby.

The Wrap: Rugby Australia must resist being drawn into New Zealand’s spider web

You are massively losing me. Seems like you could have just said,

Let’s kill Super Rugby and focus on Sydney and Brisbane club comps and NSW v Qld matches.

Not sure why we need a 9 part series to suggest that.

Yes, the 51 Premier clubs include Shute, Qld Premier, Dewar Shield, John I Dent and Fortescue Premier.

The players in these clubs do not largely come from Sydney and Brisbane, they are generally locals playing the game. Once you get to NRC then yes, players move around.

Still you appear to be harking back to the days when we were lucky to see one or two players from outside of NSW/Qld making the national side.

A hark back to Campese, McKenzie or Welborn leaving their home to make it in Sydney (generally tended to be Sydney rather than Brisbane).

If you look at the Super Au with 175 contracted players. We have roughly 10 from ACT, 20 from Vic, 20 from WA, 50 for Qld and 75 from NSW.

Those numbers will only skew further from the near 100% from NSW and Qld if we keep working to support rugby around the country.

I’m from Sydney but reverting to the model that failed to spread the game around the country is not a future I’m at all keen on.

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

G’day Geoff, nice article mate.

I agree we can’t be wholly domestic and that if we only have three pro teams we’ll wither as well.

I’ve been banging on about and evolving my thinking for a while of NRC followed by a limited Super, leading into internationals being the basis that delivers what Australia needs. My limited Super only has three teams in it so would fit the NZ requirement for quality. Corne has been advocating a very similar model.

I really don’t know if it would work but it feels like the best fit to the needs of rugby in this country so the challenge would be coming up with the financials to support it.

p.s. as much as I was not overly a fan of the Rebels v Reds offering the other night, I was certainly enthused by the emergence of Pone Fa’amausili.

He was a lot of fun to watch and has such potential.

The Wrap: Rugby Australia must resist being drawn into New Zealand’s spider web

Will Uni still be allowed to supplement with millions from Student Union fees, University grants and awarding 50+ scholarships per annum to attract talent on top of that money?

Can’t see them going for it if they can’t maintain their recruiting edge. 😛

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

It’s massively lower quality both in the pure rugby and in the interest to the broader Aussie audience.

Very exciting for people from Manly and Randwick, you can probably even add in Balgowlah, Fairlight, Kensington, Coogee and surrounding areas but it’s got very limited appeal in other areas of Sydney let alone around the country.

With 51 Premier clubs around the Wallabies are hopefully all spread out so there won’t be too many playing at anyone club. In your 50 contracted players model there will be only 1 with someone missing out if there is an even spread.

Can’t quite picture your 15 interstate games with only 50 contracted players and half of those being juniors. Are these matches largely made up of amateurs? Who are the interstate matches between? Which states make the cut?

How to fix Australian rugby, Part 3: Protecting and growing revenue

Agree, never thought draws were a problem that needed fixing

Super tiebreaker given thumbs up