The Roar
The Roar


Roar Pro

Joined December 2018









This is one of the things I don’t fully understand about the “grassroots” structure of Aus rugby. Coming from a English (British) model, little Jimmy can come through a club’s age grade system from U7s all the way to senior rugby, play for the 3rd XV, 2nd XV and then 1st XV, which can, in turn, ostensibly go from Level 10 up to Level 1.

In Aus, it seems (and please correct me if I’m wrong, I simply want to understand it better), that little Jimmy would play for his subbies club through age grade, then could play senior rugby at the same club, or if really wanting to have a crack at higher level play would need to join one of the “elite” grassroots clubs and work their way through a different senior system which has its own age grade section from which players filter. Why, in the Shute Shield anyway, can only 12 clubs compete for an elite trophy? And why do those same clubs have to have 4 grades? What happened if Sydney Old Pisspoorians had a great 1st XV but little else? Is it possible for them to climb the ladder?

The point is, is there a problem that the Shute Shield doesn’t actually aid the pathway through to the ‘Tahs?

Do any young New South Welshmen actually want to play for the Waratahs?

Yes and no, the game needs to appear more competitive to stave off the threat that is increasingly coming from RL in the Pacific, particularly with the rise of the Tonga national RL team.

The region is an “easier” solution to work out given rugby’s popularity and the evidenced success that the Fijians are presenting, but I agree there will need to be compromise across the board. SH unions need to accept that they can’t currently compete financially with NH clubs, specifically France, but that isn’t a reason to simply point the finger.

A more competitive World Cup should bring more revenue with it which should be distributed better by World Rugby. Rather than simply giving everyone equal share, why not weight in towards areas for growth, or to support ailing unions? I appreciate “should” is doing quite a lot of heavy lifting here…

How to consolidate on the success of Pacific island nations at the World Cup

The “smaller slice from a larger cake” part is about reducing % share of a product, with a view that the value of the overall product will increase, thus the value of the smaller % would be worth more than a larger % of a small cake.

I appreciate the cherry picking comment can be seen as old trope, but there remains merit in this. The example of Levi Aumua being the most recent example of the PI via Moana Pasifika giving a player a genuine high level chance, committing to his development and then having him picked off by the NZRU. This is by no means solely a tactic by NZRU and other National unions and clubs in the NH use similar tactics. The point was to promote the idea that those players who play for Moana Pasifika should/could also be contracted by the Tongan/Samoa/Fijian/etc unions providing these countries with increased chances to retain larger numbers of increased talent.

How to consolidate on the success of Pacific island nations at the World Cup

You’re right Christy. RA has lurched from crisis to crisis by standing still denying that the water is rising all around them.

Tough decisions need to be made with a long term view. The classic line of civilisations thrive when men plant trees the shade of which they’ll never sit in rings true for what RA need to do. Legacy is for other people to judge and 9 times out 10 it is usually once an individual has gone

Eddie was right about one thing in epic spray - the Wallabies must stop being reactive and accepting of mediocrity

That’s pretty much it. But……it would’ve been a pretty short article

The Junior Wallabies offer RA a way forward – just don't call them a 'golden generation'

That’s the point. If the RFU called the U20s the Little Roses, or Rose Buds. The WRU could call the Wales U20s the Baby Dragons. Scotland the little thorns, etc

The Junior Wallabies offer RA a way forward – just don't call them a 'golden generation'

I agree with this Sam. The players shouldn’t be rushed, but in the same breath, keeping them out of frontline action in the stands will not be good for development. These boys need to learn what it feels like to take and make hits in top level senior rugby. They need to know the agony and Ecstasy of result and the implications that these can have on teammates, fans, families and themselves.
The point of RA and SR franchises working together to figure out positions is key. If RA see Maddocks as a future 10, as has been touted, then why doesn’t he get some minutes there? If Banks is a full back, which is definitely is, then get him playing there consistently. There is the argument about generalists ultimately succeeding over specialists; but Australian rugby for so long has had a lot of generalists with too few specialists. This has worked for players individually, they have been able to travel the world and always find a contract, but few have become the best player in a single position.

The Junior Wallabies offer RA a way forward – just don't call them a 'golden generation'

What I was trying to say is that it is arguably too soon to link the two. If the systems work and is continually modified and evolves then this kind of success won’t be a one off. I feel that this group has effectively been the subject of the tail end of the new pathway, with a greater emphasis on U20 championships, providing players with actual, competitive game time, rather than making up the number in SR.

Yes, I am aware that the Reds have been providing opportunities for young players but I feel that SR teams collectively need to do this. How else does Australian Rugby as a whole prevent the situation that will occur by the end of the WC this year happening again in future years.

The Junior Wallabies offer RA a way forward – just don't call them a 'golden generation'

Apologies for any offence. I wasn’t trying to put down the concept or prestige of representing any country at either U20 or senior level. I was merely raising a point that I find it strange that countries, particularly in the Southern hemisphere have to give their teams’ nicknames that the World then feels the need to also call them. My issue isn’t with nicknames themselves, but rather with the insistence that people from the other side of the world must call those teams by those names.
Calling Argentina “Los Pumas” and subsequently the Argentina U20s (Los Pumitas) is fine if you’re from Argentina, but for the rest of the world Argentina should be Argentina. New Zealand should be New Zealand (not the All Blacks, or Baby Blacks, etc). South Africa should be South Africa. England should be England etc.
Again, nicknames for countries are fine. A alternative names for second teams are fine, a move away from “A” teams or “select XVs” is also good, as it can bring more prestige than otherwise would be given. But I don’t see why the rest of the world should have to apply these nicknames to teams that aren’t theirs

The Junior Wallabies offer RA a way forward – just don't call them a 'golden generation'

I would add Hooper in to that list. Personally I think that he would be better coming off the bench to up the pace against tiring opposition; however, he is a Cheika favorite and will inevitably be the starting 7.

The point about playing against Tier 2 nations is particularly relatable to the fact that Aus have only played Samoa 5 time! (I had read this, hopefully it is incorrect). Also, I was keen last year with the Possibles vs Probables match. it was a great opportunity to see a lot of talent and could be used by RA and the Wallabies to capture/sustain interest in the areas that don’t normally have the chance to view top level rugby.

Is one generation blocking the next?

I agree that the Wallabies should be the best of the current players; but to sustain long term quality/success there needs to be some identification and planning. Cheika has done some of this (although minimal) with introducing players in to wider training/touring squads; but these guys seem to be discarded as quickly as they are welcomed in to the fold. Years like this one in the build up to the WC the Wallabies coaching team should be applying pressure down the pyramid to the Super Rugby teams to rest established stars and give meaningful gametime to younger, less experienced players who can then take on the mantle once the inevitable post-WC exodus occurs.

Is one generation blocking the next?

I included Nick Jooste given the discussions around him a few years ago, particularly when the Brumbies signed him. Hopefully he can continue to develop and get another opportunity at top level club rugby again.

Is one generation blocking the next?

Hodge is not a fly-half. The guy needs to work on basic catching and passing before he can think about leading a backline at international level. At best you could play him at full back for his kicking, but then that would be a waste of other talents.

He needs to be coached to find a position and play naturally. Get himself to Ireland, England or Wales where he can learn a position out of the desperate Aus spotlight and then comeback in 2022 ready for a crack at the 2023 WC.

Where to next for the Wallabies?

Good article and a great point. There are too many automatic selections in the Wallabies squad, let alone the match day 23! Foley, Hooper, TPN, Beale, Folau & Genia should all be rested for a period prior to the WC. These guys have played a lot of rugby and from the international game, spending Saturdays at their junior club grounds may help them re-engage with their enjoyment for the sport.

The likes of Hanigan, Phipps, Simmons and Latu should also be rested until they wither find some form; or improve to a level where they are no longer simply “safe” options. They should either make a real difference or not be selected.

Young players like Stewart, Petaia, Paia’aua, Maddocks, Banks, Gordon, Wright, Scott-Young, BPM, Fainga’a, Powell, Valentini, Jackson-Hope, Muirhead, Mason, Tuipulotu, Uelese, McGregor and Cottrell should all be given chances at Super Rugby level and International level to show what they can do.

Obviously not all will be of the quality required for the latter but it won’t be known until they are given an extended opportunity at Super Rugby, in their best positions to prove their worth. The whole system of Rugby in Australia at Elite level needs re-configuring, allowing players to be relocated to alternative teams increasing their chances of first team rugby.

Also RA needs to be able to halt some of the more experienced players from being run into the ground at Super Rugby Level. If Foley and Beale had been rested more often then surely Mason would have developed further. If clubs looked to the Force or their local clubs for additional players midway through the season, rather than rushing guys back then that may have opened up opportunists to a greater player pool.

The mind boggles as to how some many individual agendas could be allowed to continue unchecked or unchallenged.

Cheika should rest players. Here's why