The Roar
The Roar

wre01

Roar Guru

Joined August 2011

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I think you’ve answered your own question though…?

The NRC has zero tv audience. It is profit neutral at best. So the question most seem concerned about is how do you create pathways. The pinnacle must be in this order:

Wallabies
State of Union
5 Super Sides
Rep/ Merit Sides (Country, City, PM XV etc)
Club 1st XV

Among that list there is a clear pathway for players to aspire. Rep Jumpers used to mean something to guys playing club- some got to that ‘merit level’ and realised they’d never be pros. Others took the next step.

Again, don’t understand how you can ask players, let alone the public to aspire to or emotionally invest in a NRC side with no tradition that’s been created in the abstract to ‘fill a hole’. As a young bloke, I tried my guts out to play for QLD country even though I knew I had no chance of the Reds. We need to foster that desire and pathway at both school and club level.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

But that’s not the point Brett.

Of course the Lions won’t play Waringah, although funnily enough Randwick played one of the greatest games of Rugby played in Australia against the All Blacks just 3 years before we won a World Cup…

Anyway, my point is that the Club Comp should be a feeder into City/ Country selection as well as touring sides like PMs XVs or even ANZAC XVs that go and play Natal or Western Province or Auckland or North Harbour etc.

Said it before and I’ll say it again, the NRC has no appeal to TV money or audiences.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

The NRC was meant to be a Curry Cup/ NPC equivalent but both of those comps have huge history and tradition. They are also of a much higher standard than the NRC (could you imagine the Lions for example playing Perth Spirit?)
We need to base a strategy on traditional clubs and rivalries. I’d also love to see more use of possible v probable games as well as tours where say the Reds Healers’ or PMs XV went to NZ or Argentina or similar- curtain raisers for tests! Get the grass roots community coming back into these empty stadiums. That won’t happen with NRC

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

The problem is the NRC costs a lot more than it makes. It’s also arguable it’s only really been utilised by QLD to bring anyone through and even then, most of the players who were signed from it would have been anyway.

I think a huge misconception is that by having a club comp there will be nothing between that and Super Rugby (or whatever it’s called).

There will be schoolboys and u/20 rep rugby but there will also be QLD or NSW reserve or country tours of NZ etc. All that won’t just disappear.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

To me the development pathways are absolutely key but can only come from existing comps.
I’m a Sunny Coast boy, I have no particular allegiance to GPS schools or premier clubs. But I do think that you start with the clubs that are viable, that have history and take it from there.
Norths in Brisbane should be a feeder club for QLD country for example. Brothers already has a huge connection with Nudgee etc.
But I can’t see how having sides in the Shute Shield who routinely are thrashed helps them, their opposition or rugby in general.

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

I tried!
My view is that half the Shute Shield First XVs should be playing in Reserve Grade- the comp is unbalanced and has been for a long time. Scores of 50 nil etc happen on a weekly basis.
That said, it looks like the new board is avoiding that battle, keeping all clubs happy and I like the proposal which should see the finalists in Sydney playing Brothers, Tuggeranong etc.

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

This was my point last week when I wrote an article about a club comp.
The NRC is a Frankenstein comp made up of teams created in the last 5-10 years with no history or tradition. Hard core rugby folk watch it but nobody else does.
In my opinion, this tv offering takes the best concepts from AFL, soccer and league and commits to growing them.
Was very happy when I saw it.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

Tried to tell you last week Jez…
No broadcaster wants the NRC. There’s no tradition or following behind it, it’s only watched by hard core rugby people.
I think the proposal is an excellent one!

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

That’s true.

The other thing to say is the Rand has been weakening steadily for years even since before Covid.

How is SA going to keep any of its Boks playing provincial rugby when they can make 5 to 10 times as much in France, England or even Japan but stay eligible to play for their country?

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby

Nobody watches the Kings or Cheetahs on TV in Europe.
My comment was about TV audiences.
Sorry trying to keep a straight face but this article… goodness me.

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby

Wow. Wind up if ever I’ve seen one.
Firstly, SA needs to worry itself with getting on top of Covid or it will fail to host the Lions next year at huge financial cost.
Secondly, New Zealand is effectively cut off from touring sides until a vaccine is found for Covid (whenever that may be).
Thirdly, SA sits in a time zone which is aligned with Europe.
Fourthly, whether it’s in Australia or the UK, matches involving SA provinces are usually the worst performing TV audience wise.
So good luck with all that.
In addition, if memory serves me correctly only the Bulls have won a Super Rugby Crown? All 3 of the Brumbies, Reds and Waratahs have won relatively recently. I don’t think there is a huge difference in quality between Aus and SA super sides especially with many Boks playing overseas.

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby

Totally agree regarding Harrison… I suspect if he was playing for the Force or Rebels we’d hear nothing about him…
To be fair though he is a very young man and together with Lolesio he is worthy of a wider squad role.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Thanks BT
I’m not as high on Valentini as many seem to be.
Prefer Wright, Swinton, Wilson, Naisarani and Samu for 6/8.
As always, an embarrassment of riches in the back row!

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Great side! Although I think I’d still like Wilson starting and Naisarani coming off the bench.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Totally agree about Ready! Don’t understand what happened to him but Thorn obviously wasn’t a fan (attitude).

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Have to agree with Train here…
Samu is an enigma- we all know the talent is there but no way I could pick him ahead of Wright at 6 or Wilson and Naisarani at 8.

In a dream world I’d love to see Thor, Skelton, Samu and Naisarani all on the bench and coming on for the last 30 minutes. What a handful.

Big X factor is Rennie. Will he be able to get out of Samu what Cheika couldn’t? And how will he see the perfect back row balance.

I very much hope he sees Wright, McReight and Wilson as the long term solution.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Nelson
Big fan of Tate McDermott but don’t forget he was dropped to the bench for the Brumbies game.
I quite like McDermott as a 2nd half replacement in tests.. running game will catch a few tired legs out

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Morsie
I hear you! As I said in the article they aren’t ready to meet Eben Etzebeth in a dark alley!
But who else is there right now?
Rodda, Arnold, Skelton are all MIA.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Shed, fair comments except with Wright at 6 😉
Personally I think he is the 6 we’ve been missing since RWC 2015. Reminds me so much of Fardy in that he does a lot of work nobody notices and can get over the ball too. Is also proficient in the line out, can carry and solid defensively. Exactly how I like my 6’s.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Really fair point Kevin- my mongrel was the Force lock… a lot of people have missed him.
Philip for me is definitely in the discussion and to be honest, any of the 4 locks mentioned could start.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

He’s a different player after 3 years with Saracens- a little lighter, higher work rate and much more professional.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Maddocks is an interesting one- maybe a better winger than full back? I just think Banks has gone off the boil which is a pity. DHP would be a great bench player perhaps.

Feel like with the addition of Kerevi, Rodda, Arnold and Skelton this young group would be a great chance.

Imagine Thor, Skelton and Naisarani all coming off the bench…

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Thanks Bobby, it was a fun article to write…!
Really wish Kerevi, Rodda and Skelton were about… I think you are right that Rennie will probably stick with Hooper this year in the absence of so much experience.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Thanks Big Baz
I didn’t deliberately time this article to follow yesterday but it’s good timing!
My only real worry for the Wallabies is lock where men v boys is especially amplified- hard to figure out how to avoid blooding young locks early with Skelton, Arnold, Rodda all off shore.

The Wallabies: Picking a side on Super Rugby AU form

Lots to be said for (a) combinations and (b) bench impact.

Like Sio, Fainga’a, AAA starting and then Thor and Paenga finishing perhaps with Slipper (plenty of experience in both combinations).

Any which way you can: Australia’s intriguing choice at tighthead prop