The Roar
The Roar

W Evans

Roar Rookie

Joined February 2023

124k

Views

19

Published

486

Comments

Published

Comments

Think it’s important to recognise that all state unions are struggling and were for a long time before Covid.

– Waratahs are/were reportedly in over $10million worth of debt
– Brumbies financial woes are said to be ‘substantial’.
– Twiggy pumped an exceptional amount of money into the Force.
– QLD has its head just above water almost solely due to the redevelopment of ballymore.

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

It’s an interesting point.

Rugby Australia emphasise winning at Wallaby level driving grass roots engagement. But winning at Super Rugby level is key too.

The other thing, the game has shot itself in the foot repeatedly with the TMO, overuse of red cards, too much whistling wrecking what was once a free flowing spectacle.

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

It’s one option. But who would QLD play if they went down that route and in what competition.

One idea that has been proposed is the formation of a division/ pool system that feeds into an 8 side QFs.

1. NZ Division
2. Australian Division (+ Drua & Moana)
3. Japanese Division
4. Americas Division (Arg, Chile, Uruguay, US, Canada club sides)

Top 2 sides from each of the 4 divisions play in QF’s.

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

Baseless assertions? Three of our 5 state unions are on the brink of going under, the nstional newspaper is warning that Rugby Australia is at risk of trading while insolvent?

I’m also not into ‘whataboutism’. Even if I was, Irish, English and French rugby are thriving by comparison.

And no thrill. I guess what I’m trying to do is sound every alarm bell possible in the hope public opinion will swing behind full centralisation and the states will fall under a single umbrella with Nucifora, Schmidt and Waugh.

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

No conflation…

England, Ireland and France were all significantly affected by Covid, arguably more so than Australia and NZ. The difference is that after very bad years, they are turning it around, partly because they were in a better position before Covid and partly because they have more TV revenue/ higher ground attendances/ sponsors with deep pockets:

1. Ireland: a deficit of just under €1m for the year ending 31 July 2023, considerably less than the €7.4m deficit that had been forecast 12 months ago.

2. England: The Rugby Football Union has paid off all its debts from the Covid-impacted years and reported an operating profit of £4m for 2022/23. Revenues for the year were £221.4m, up from £189.1m, although the operating profit figure of £4m is down from £15m.

3. France: there is a problem in France as the Rugby World Cup contributed less than 50% of what was projected leading to that 40million deficit over 2 years. The difference is France has CVC partners backing it and has huge revenue from the 6 Nations

In any case, while we can compare Australia’s plight to others, it doesn’t necessarily achieve anything. There are global issues with the Rugby product, no doubt, but Australia is on the brink of not having a professional competition anymore and falling out of Tier 1…

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

Let’s say that the Sua’ali’i contract was cancelled and even more Rugby Australia used 30-40 mil of its remaining loan to wipe all the state debts.

Firstly, QLD and WA would say why are Victoria, ACT, NSW getting 10 mil each. That’s not fair. So it would become 50 mil.

Secondly, most gets spent on debt, there is little to no return, interest keeps ticking away at 12-15% and Rugby Australia goes broke or best case stays just afloat off the back of 2027.

Then we hit repeat. The states scrape by, another black swan event occurs like Covid (Taiwan/ Covid II/ Stan backs out) and then what?

The fact is the states were in huge trouble before Covid- some of that was their fault, some of it was Rugby Australia. But there’s good, competent people trying to save the game now, the states need to jump onboard or they will get picked off one by one.

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

Hi Dan
Think it’s relatively uncontroversial that 3 of the states are broke or close to it and a 4th is supported heavily by a private investor.
At a time when that is the case, it’s about saving Australian Rugby – the only way to do that is for them all to centralise. A single strategy, with no duplication of costs which makes them a more attractive investment for the money needed to reach peak performance on and off field.
Not sure where you get your Irish/ French figures from? The IRFU reported a stronger than expected financial position with the release of its annual accounts in 2023: a deficit of just under €1m for the year ending 31 July 2023, considerably less than the €7.4m deficit that had been forecast 12 months ago… Munster, Leinster, Ulster…. generally have huge crowds, plenty of TV money swilling around etc.
The English issue is worth another article as regards Wasps, Irish and Worcester. All 3 clubs had significant off field issues before Covid and couldn’t survive it. The main difference is the English have 10, 15, 20 clubs in great financial health to take their place, no AFL to compete with a barely any league.

Parochialism and denial runs rampant as Australia's rugby states are hunted by debt, one by one

Said it before and I’ll say it again, there is no money in Australian rugby. 3 of the 5 franchises were struggling to make ends meet long before Covid and the withdrawal of the 1.7million grant – that figure and how crucial it seems to be tells you all you need to know.

Long thought Australia needed to fight to keep 5 teams. Unfortunately, Covid finished that dream and it may just be that the Brumbies and Rebels need to merge rather than risk losing both of them.

As a side, people say ‘let’s hold on until the Lions series money’ but it’s largely been spent or will be repaying loans…

Rebels told they will play Super Rugby in 2024 but future on shaky ground as voluntary administration looms

It’s an interesting question… I spent a lot of time watching Ealing, Bedford etc in the championship between 2010–2020 and there was no doubt it my mind they’d have beaten 90% of Shute Shield or Hospital Cup sides.

Let’s say Sydney Uni or Brothers are Top of National 1 or bottom of the Championship level…. That’s still 15-20 English sides ahead of them.

The depth in SA, England and France in particular is miles ahead of Australia.

'Not a hit and run': Schmidt explains short-term deal and why he 'surprised' himself by taking Wallabies job

That’s a fairly sweeping statement.

Yes, we have the athletes and at the elite level we have some exceptionally good backs in particular. But even there how often do you see certain players drop balls, fail to pass, miss tackles, not draw their man etc etc.

The English, French and Saffa’s have 10 very good tight 5 forwards who have legitimate international aspirations for every 1 or 2 we have.

But let’s not forget that there are 2 full professional levels of rugby in both France and England with 15-20 sides. Our second tier comp (the club comp in Brisbane or Sydney) is the equivalent of the 3rd tier in both those countries.

'Not a hit and run': Schmidt explains short-term deal and why he 'surprised' himself by taking Wallabies job

Park Eddie so people don’t flip out… Deans, McKenzie, Cheika, Rennie all good coaches. Thorn, Coleman, McKellar good coaches. But we haven’t won a Bledisloe since before iPhones were launched and we have two super rugby titles in the past 15 years…
My feeling is that we are lacking the talent. Unpopular opinion but our state unions are poorly run, our best footballers go to league and we are stuck in the mindset that “we were kings in the 90s so we should keep doing what we did then.”
Will be very interesting to see what the new team including Nucifora can do with the states. No excuses for Ballymore to mess about, we’ve got almost the dream team.
I have my fingers crossed for Schmidt. Decent man, great coach but jeez he has his work cut out.

'Not a hit and run': Schmidt explains short-term deal and why he 'surprised' himself by taking Wallabies job

JPR, Blanco, Cullen …. Every greatest ever discussion starts with those 3.

But JPR in many ways paved the way and created the blue print for modern full backs with the exception of size. He was a much snaller man than many today and a joy to watch.

Wales, British and Irish Lions fullback JPR Williams passes away, aged 74

Longest serving coach in the professional era (extended twice), loved by players, worshipped by the Rugby community in Galway, highest win rate of any coach.

All while having the smallest player pool, smallest ticket revenue and least resources by a long way compared to Ulster, Leinster, Munster. And in a province with the least rugby tradition (vastly overshadowed by the GAA).

Rugby News: 'Doesn't seem right' - Mack urges RA to avoid Kiwi coach, Clive tells Poms to ditch 'ridiculous' ban

Interesting how people are so defensive and vitriolic here – Hansen is one of the very few people in the world who can speak to all the different candidates’ abilities, traits and pros v cons.

Personally I’d like to see Andy Friend named as Head Coach with Schmidt DOR and Nucifora consulting- the link between the High Performance director and the Wallabies.

Friend, Schmidt and Nucifora know each other very well. Friend worked wonders at Connaught, a province traditionally with a smaller budget, player pool and following (like Australian Rugby).

Rugby News: 'Doesn't seem right' - Mack urges RA to avoid Kiwi coach, Clive tells Poms to ditch 'ridiculous' ban

There is one comment that jumps out at me:
“There’s a huge piece, I think, around just the engagement with our key stakeholders, our member unions. We talk about centralisation or alignment. What are the principles? What do we want to do? What do we want to achieve? How do we engage?
“Get them really clear from the inception so that we can create that aligned structure from super, or NOT ONLY JUST THAT, from community to Super to the top end of our game and to the elite sports so that we can be successful.”
…………
He’s effectively saying that if you wait to align on high performance until the professional level or if you think that is what alignment is, there is a problem.
Member unions, especially QLD need to acknowledge that guys like Nucifora need to be involved at school boy and community rugby, creating pathways before the best are nicked by league or drift off to every day life.
Those pathways won’t always be at the Reds or a home state. Talent will be spread around. That will cost money and to be effective, it will mean duplication needs to be reduced (both to have lower cost and clearer strategy).
Will the state unions allow that and if so where will the money come from and on what terms?

RA's new HP director 'totally open' to foreign coach as RA sets timeline, CEO reacts to player dismay over Eddie

Totally agree regarding keeping 5 teams – we need the pathways.
The problem is that there is no money.
The crowds are dismal, there are decreasing tv numbers, sponsors are nowhere to be found and when they are the money on offer is relatively poor.
Add to that the inflationary pressures and the fact any private equity / venture capital loans are well over 10% there’s a big problem.
It’s why I’ve advocated commercial centralization. Yes, Rugby Australia needs to set out an adult plan but even if it did, I doubt states would pay attention. People don’t want it but the fact is the states will be picked off one by one unless they pool their resources, streamline and get organized.
There’s no time to get it right or wait and see either. Once the Lions leave town, it’s another 12 years.

Fears for Rebels' future as debt threatens their Super Rugby existence - but CEO says 'we will be fine'

Reading comprehension 101 ‘champ’.

There was no ‘defence’ let alone ‘defence to the death’. There was however, a plea to all supporters to look beyond Eddie’s failings. To consider the wider context of the game’s failure in Australia before it becomes a rump amateur sport.

I can see you’re a ‘guru’ with a fancy pseudonym. Is that because you’ve spent a decade hiding behind it and being triggered by other people’s articles?

You should try writing some of your own sometime instead of spending hours criticizing those who do.

'An experiment gone wrong': Wallabies star opens up on 'chaotic' year - and why Aussie rugby can be turned around

Well in 2023 it was AAA, Tupou, Skelton and Ikitau all injured…
Let go of Eddie mate, he’s gone never to return. Focus on the future and as long as the players are in denial it’s a bleak one.

'An experiment gone wrong': Wallabies star opens up on 'chaotic' year - and why Aussie rugby can be turned around

It is total denial.

The fall back to the 2022 tour that so many talk about is flawed. Take the Irish test for example: Sexton was ruled out 30 minutes before the game started. The Scotland game which the Wallabies won by a point with a last minute penalty: it was Scotland’s first test of the season, the Wallabies’ 7th.

Players like White are part of the problem. Whoever takes over, I very much hope 3 scrum halves are picked ahead of him.

'An experiment gone wrong': Wallabies star opens up on 'chaotic' year - and why Aussie rugby can be turned around

Pushing half stories?

“We got battered in quarter finals in 2007 too.” We were beaten 12 v 10 by England in 2007. In the 2019 QF it was 40 v 16. A side packed full of experience and captained by Michael Hooper.

“To sell the agenda Eddie wasn’t the biggest failure the wallabies have had as the coach in the professional era”

I think Eddie’s second stint was equal biggest failure, (comparable with Greg Smith). Nowhere have I said he was a success.

What I have repeatedly done is cautioned against focussing on Eddie or pretending that everything was even above mediocre before he came along.

I think certain people have s real hard on for him because it gives them a warm fuzzy feeling of comfort. Reinforces ideas that now he’s gone (with McLennan) the game will be ok.

I think that is simple minds stuff and it’s a recipe for disaster- one the Lions and RWC pass us by, that’s a generational opportunity to fix things. Come 2035-2040 the professional game won’t exist here unless it’s fixed now.

Eddie Jones set to be appointed Japan coach six weeks after walking out on Wallabies

Suddenly worse under Eddie?

– no Bledisloe in 23 years.
– battered in the 2019 QF
– lost home seriesvEngland 22
– ranked 6th December 2022
– most penalised Tier 1 2022
– most carded Tier 1 2022
– no super title since 2015
– 3 super titles this century
– 5% super win rate v NZ

Numerous good coaches have been crucified on the alter of Aussie Rugby at both provincial and national level because administrators and fans find that easy to do.

It was the same on these pages when McKenzie, Deans and Cheika were roasted. Except people are just enjoying roasting Eddie a bit more because he is unlikeable.

Eddie Jones set to be appointed Japan coach six weeks after walking out on Wallabies

Hallelujah.

A very big difference between ‘defending Eddie’ and pointing out that really nothing is solved even after he’s gone.

Eddie Jones set to be appointed Japan coach six weeks after walking out on Wallabies

There’s a difference between ‘defending Eddie’ and pointing out that him leaving solves nothing. As someone said above, it’s just a short term kick for simple minds.

Eddie Jones set to be appointed Japan coach six weeks after walking out on Wallabies

Agree with you on all of that. My point is that I don’t think Eddie Jones’ role was as crucial as people want to believe.
Australian Rugby is the 5th (maybe 6th) sport in the nation. The world has blown past us. The closest comparison market to us is Ireland where ironically the best Australian rugby minds have been running the show yet very few want to come home. Why?

Eddie Jones set to be appointed Japan coach six weeks after walking out on Wallabies

Italy being a very significant moment is definitely a fair call.
Ironically, it was Donaldson who Jones rated so highly who Rennie threw to the wolves that day. But there were a lot of monumental blunders by Rennie on that tour – subbing Foley when he was on fire against the French for one.
We also had severe discipline issues under Rennie- there was the Raynalt fiasco against NZ, Swain’s brain snaps against both England and NZ, the card against Ireland that may well have crossed the game. Wallabies were the most penalised Tier 1 Nation in 2022.

Rennie was a good man, just like Deans and McKenzie. Eddie is a shit of a bloke. None of them are bad coaches, Australian rugby is miles behind the 8 ball in terms of streamlining and becoming lean and mean.

Eddie Jones set to be appointed Japan coach six weeks after walking out on Wallabies

close