The Roar
The Roar

Red*Star

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Joined October 2018

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From half a world away Scarlets have been able to identify and recruit excellent coaching talent:

https://rugby365.com/tournaments/pro14/news-pro14/scarlets-snag-a-kiwi-coach

RA have known for some time now that Cheika wouldn’t be renewing his agreement after the World Cup…..he said as much himself. So one can only hope they’ve been interviewing his replacement.

Only optimism for Wallabies fans lies with December decisions

The only decisions to be made next week that will offer any optimism to Wallaby supporters is not whether to retain the services of Cheila through the World Cup but rather on who the next Wallaby coach is going to be and the related coaching/selection structures that will be put in place. It would be grossly unfair to drop any coach into the current Wallaby environment and expect to get a decent result….culture change takes time and there is insufficient time between now and September for meaningful cultural changes to be implemented.

In my view, it would also be shortsighted to force changes in the hope of a winning the World Cup…..as many already know this team just don’t have what it takes to win 7 games consecutively over the course of 6 weeks against the best rugby teams in the world. RA need to play the hand they’ve been dealt with Cheika and whomever he selects to represent the Wallabies for the World Cup and instead focus their limited attention and resources in putting in place a longer-term plan that intelligently moves rugby union in Australian forward. Not building this plan or making the strategic decisions required until close to or after the World Cup would constitute professional negligence of the highest order…..long-term success can only be achieved by solid long-term planning.

Only optimism for Wallabies fans lies with December decisions

What many of the current crop of Wallaby players fail to realize is that once you get capped for your national team the hard work really begins. Many think in being capped they have reached the pinnacle and can now take their foot off the gas. This mindset is as a result of RA not making the required changes across their organization to adapt to the age of professionalism. Look at how the AFL and NRL have evolved in a highly competitive market, by comparison, RA is managed like an amateur old boys network. In the modern world where rugby players are salaried employees its hard to comprehend how, on average, the highest paid players are close to being the most underperforming. The players and coaches to a certain extent, whether they realize it or not, know there is very little competition for their jobs and the vast majority of them, without having to try too hard, could secure gainful employment at close to 80% of the RA salaries. As such they have become complacent knowing their jobs are secure as long as they wish to keep plying their trade in Australia. As a result, the balance of power in rugby in Australia rests with the players and they often times they exploit it to their advantage which in turn disadvantages RA. Case in point is Michael Hoopers new deal, which is shameful when one considers the reality of him not being the best number 7 in the country. Don’t get me wrong Hooper is an exceptional talent but he shouldn’t be starting for Australia, let alone be the caption as he clearly lacks the tactical nous and leadership capabilities the role demands. Moreover, he shrugs the hard stuff especially when the going gets tough. The money being spent on Hooper could have been used to fund developmental initiatives that would allow rugby to build for the future. The same could be said for Folau. Folau is highly paid put doesn’t play like he is….most games he appears to be in cruise mode and only injects himself when he sees the opportunity to improve his personal stats. The talent is there but the talent is complacent and refuses to work hard. What is even more painfully obvious is that it doesn’t appear, Pocock aside, that most members of the team are going close to emptying their tanks in games, which is inexcusable at this level of the sport. Until the power balance in RA is reversed through the hiring of competent professionals who can bring the right mentality to the organization and instill a winning mindset Australia will continue to underperform on the international stage. The Wallabies will be able to put in the odd good shift here or there due to their athletic capabilities but don’t expect consistently decent performances any time soon.

The echo chamber that is Wallaby rugby