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Australian Schoolboys & National Championships 2018

Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by Jets, Mar 2, 2018.

  1. Jets Geoff Shaw (53)

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  2. Garry Owens Arch Winning (36)

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    I guess here is as good a place as any ...but I'm wondering why Rugby doesn't do "Combine Testing" ahead of Opens Schoolboy Trials

    AFL run their version of Combine Testing ahead of their Draft , and , in the absence of a Draft in Rugby - Schoolboys is a major pathway to Franchise U20's , from which , some spring board into Senior Ranks directly - or through NRC via Club

    So why not 2 x levels of Combine ( Athletic ) Testing ?

    1. Schoolboy / U18's and Under

    2. Open Mens ( 19 Upwards )

    You could compare strength , speed , endurance and agility across all players in set positions and rank them ( as athletes ) that may aid progression / selection better across pathways

    I note that a couple of years ago the ARU did run some mild version of this through JGC but not last year through JGC or U16's

    Interesting that such Combine Testing and ranking of athletes tends to happen more in Sports where there is a Draft System in place - and such results have some bearing on where a prospect gets drafted.
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  3. Lute Allen Oxlade (6)

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  4. Lute Allen Oxlade (6)

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    We are looking for Rugby Players ,not the next Olympians!
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  5. Come on ref Allen Oxlade (6)

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    rugby is a Olympic sport
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  6. Inside Shoulder Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    Hate promoting Alan Jones and particularly when he’s far from neutral (and may be wrong about funding from what I recall) but there are some good points in this rant:
    “Anyone who believes that rugby in this country isn’t in a mess and not in need of drastic overhaul is either ignorant or delusional.

    There was a time when Schoolboy rugby was the breeding ground for Wallaby success. My own teams were full of young men who had first distinguished themselves as Australian Schoolboys. Making a Schoolboy side was a badge worn with honour.

    I mentioned last week that you’d need a highly trained battalion of SAS fighters to penetrate the “mates club” that rugby clearly has become.

    Nowhere is this more apparent, sadly, than in the highest levels of Australian Schoolboy rugby.

    St Edmund’s College in Canberra has been a significant breeding ground for Schoolboy rugby talent. That doesn’t mean that those associated with St Edmund’s are entitled to treat Schoolboy rugby as a private fiefdom.

    It’s often said that it’s invidious to mention names. Well, I’m sorry, that rule must go out the door because the facts speak for themselves.

    Bob Wallace, from St Edmund’s, is the president of the Australian Schools Rugby Union.

    Pat Langtry is an executive member of the Australian Schools Rugby Union Committee and also a teacher at St Edmund’s. Langtry was coach of Australian Schoolboys from 1999 to 2017. To take just the last three encounters against the New Zealand Schoolboys, we lost 32-8 in 2015; 32-22 and 2016; 34-11 in 2017.

    With a 20 per cent win rate against New Zealand Schoolboys, it’s as if Langtry has been allowed to vote for himself as coach for the last 20 years.

    Andrew Maloney is also part of what I see to be the St Edmund’s “club”. He played for Langtry at St Edmund’s, then taught at St Edmund’s. He was brought into the Australian Schoolboys coaching team that in the past three years has been hammered by New Zealand.

    Until Rugby Australia — who fund the Australian Schools Rugby Union, but have no control over these appointments or selections — unapologetically proclaim and practice a commitment to merit and results, then we are going to lose the best young talent to rugby league.

    At NSW and Australian level, the coaching and selection don’t appear to be up to it. And just about every year, though it might be unpalatable to chronicle, there’s a major blow-up by parents and the media about selections.

    Last year, the Australian Schoolboys coach, Langtry, was the sole selector. Not good enough when you are not getting results. There’s only one way out of this dilemma. Our best young players should be picked on merit and they should be coached by the best.

    If Rugby Australia wants to move forward, to use the Donald Trump expression, they are going to have to clean the swamp.

    I guess I should declare my hand here. I picked Brian Smith on the 1986 Wallabies tour of New Zealand at 19 years of age. He was an outstanding success, a member of the Wallabies team that won the Bledisloe Cup in New Zealand against the All Blacks.

    He was in the 1987 Rugby World Cup team. He played rugby for Queensland and for New South Wales — very successfully. He was the coaching co-ordinator at the Brumbies when they were Super Rugby finalists in 2001. He was the head coach of London Irish for six years, making the semi-finals of the Heineken Cup and the English Rugby Premiership.

    He was the attack coach for the England national side when they won the Calcutta Cup for two years in a row, the Cook Cup and were quarter-finalists in the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He then came back to Australia to be the head coach and director of rugby at the Scots College in Sydney.

    Under his coaching, Scots won the GPS Premiership, no easy task, in 2015, 2016 and were undefeated premiers in 2017.

    The great Jonny Wilkinson once wrote of Smith, who coached Wilkinson with the England team, “Tactically, he has a very sharp view of the game. And for me, he possesses the unique ability to combine his vision as a ‘big picture’ experienced coach who can advise and inform with an on-the-field ‘smaller picture’ players’ view. This combination allows him to drive the team as well as clearly relate to and communicate the role of the individual within any pattern or analysis.”

    Wrote Wilkinson, “Brian is a superb mentor, strong valued, a good listener, very hard working and concerned only with making sure that he, his fellow coaches and his squad of players, both individually and collectively, were doing their job to the best of their ability and always getting better.”

    Smith is one of many young coaches whom I have encouraged to continue in the game to produce players with the values and standards that have been part and parcel of his personal success. Of some significance, Smith also has a BA from Oxford and a master’s degree in political science.

    Why am I saying this? Well, he was an applicant for the coaching of the 2018 Australian Schoolboys. He was unsuccessful.

    The appointment went to Maloney — part of the coaching “team” that has been hammered by New Zealand in the past three years. It looks to me like he is part of the St Edmund’s “club”.

    Rugby can’t succeed while it appears to reward members of “the club” and lacks objectivity and knowledge in the making of decisions.

    The fact that I have known and coached Smith since 1986 is irrelevant. What is relevant is that for such a prestigious job, formative in the development of Australian rugby, there should be external, independent and knowledgeable people reviewing all applicants on the basis of merit and proven success.

    If I was running Rugby Australia and funding the Schoolboys Rugby Union, I’d want better value for my money than we’re getting.

    It’s hard to believe that disillusioned rugby followers, parents and players, would not feel the same way. And disillusioned applicants at all levels no doubt will decide they have better things to do with their time.”
  7. cyclopath Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    Valid argument, but I have to laugh at Jones blowing Smith's trumpet again / still.
    And as far as coaching Scots to win premierships, well, he's had some damn good players at his disposal (one way or another) and if you look at the broader picture of rugby at the school under his directorship, it isn't so rosy.
    Jones, as ever, works his own "genius" into any argument. It's hard to take him seriously, despite the obvious merit in his critique.
  8. WLF Ron Walden (29)

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    I concur, it must be results driven.

    Last year we moved key play makers out of their position, which everyone noticed, and got well beaten.

    When you say funded by rugby Australia I can inform you that our school received a request to take a table/s at the upcoming school boys lunch to raise much needed funds for the European tour.

    So my understanding of that is that the ARU/Rugby Australia are not covering the cost,can you believe it.

    If this is correct, then it supports the article you have posted in that the powers that be do not adequately nuture the breeding ground of the future, but i guess that's no surprise to anyone.

    Or am I wrong?
  9. The Honey Badger Desmond Connor (43)

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  10. Up and under Bob McCowan (2)

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    WLF - I attended last year's fundraising lunch which supposedly was to raise funds to send last year's Aussie Schoolboys to Europe.I'm assuming they raised many thousands of dollars.

    Sadly,the ARU announced that they couldn't afford to send the team to Europe,the first time in the history of Australian Schools that this has happened.For the boys who were selected last year,a trip overseas and an experience of a lifetime was taken from them.Perhaps if the ARU didn't pay David Pocock so much for his one year sabbatical,they would have had sufficient funds to send the team to Europe.

    How does such a wonderful tradition of sending our national schoolboys team overseas every 4 years get pushed aside for assumedly more important matters.Was there no planning or funds put aside in the years leading up to the tour,knowing in advance that the tour was on the horizon ?

    I read some "political spin" from the ARU after that it was disappointing that the tour didn't proceed but the "good news" is that there will be a tour to Europe in 2018.Probably good news for some but trying telling the 2017 Schoolboys that.So much for developing and nurturing the breeding ground of the future.Shameful..
    Breaks_Away, WLF and formerflanker like this.
  11. formerflanker Nev Cottrell (35)

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    If I read these posts correctly, we have a new Australian Schoolboys Coach in Maloney. He has a good rugby background, teaching experience, and solid experience in coaching schoolboys, if not too successfully.
    He beat for the position a man with international and State playing experience, a former England coach, three GPS premierships, and teaching experience.
    It seems Smith has all the cards for selection bar numbers on the selection committee.
    Jones raises a very good point.
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  12. sidelineview Dick Tooth (41)

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    Jones makes some good points and exposes the existing ''Club'' as he calls it. A favours for the boys club.
    It seems Australian rugby has been plagued by this mentality and it's put up plenty of speed humps.

    He's convincing in pushing Smith's barrow. He'd probably do a good job but as pointed out Smith has had some pretty handy players at his disposal (one way or another). And its well documented that Smith was one of Jones' favourites which doesn't mean he wouldn't do a good job, but he's not in the ''club''.

    But what he neglects to mention is the glaring disparity between the efficiency of NZ rugby and Australian rugby in general in relation to promotion and development and starting at the grassroots level.

    I'm not an expert on the set up of NZ rugby but I believe they have less competition and only in the form of soccer and RL, so more little kids are signing up to play rugby and stay in the game. It helps that the All Blacks players are seen as Gods as well.
    They're doing a lot of things right.

    In NSW at least, more and more Mums and Dads are signing their kids up to play soccer or AFL and then they're gonski. Forget about them playing rugby. RL players can be ''converted'' after they attend a rugby school if they enjoy it and meet with some success. There's examples of that happening while Australian rugby has been asleep at the wheel.

    There have been some recent improvements which is encouraging but more little kids are needed each year to sign up.

    All those responsible for allowing AFL to be played in traditionally strong rugby schools should be tried for treason and deported to Victoria. We could even get some of Trump's people to build a wall so they don't get back in.

    Rugby used to be played in more public schools. I've mentioned before that Matraville High was once so strong they would have challenged any private school in Australia. Now they play league.

    The upshot is if you aint got the cattle you cant win. No coach can perform miracles, and that's no reflection on the Aussie schoolboy players. NZ have just been too good.
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  13. Inside Shoulder Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    I thought I remembered that Schools was not part of the AU funding model.
    The difficulty is that Jones' opinion is therefore half baked - what is going on in oz schools rugby is not a reflection of ARU/RA influence.
    All that means is that its a different club.
    I don't know but Id bet London to a brick that NZ Schools are well within the NZRU tent - ffs the whole country is!
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  14. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    half baked is a most generous assessment IS.
    I'd normally be outraged that a candidate with that resume is unsuccessful.
    However Gloria's treatment of the facts around it,as usual poison my view, so I'm pretty much against anything he proposes.

    Jones is very much a proponent of the view that it's only a rort if you're not involved :)
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  15. Inside Shoulder Nathan Sharpe (72)

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    Thats his motto.
  16. Garry Owens Arch Winning (36)

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    Thought this was worthwhile posting here

    Make your own assessments as to how the best of CAS, AAGPS , or GPS would compete with these guys

    I don't know whether the "tag" of how this game has been labelled - is accurate , in that , it is unclear that Christchurch Boys High and Hamilton Boys High are the best U15 Teams in NZ Schools . Having said that - they are both storied Schools in their contributions over time to NZ Schools Rugby and NZ Rugby at higher levels .

    On my eye test , in terms of skill , size and athleticism they look pretty comparable to the U15 Melbourne , WA , and Sydney Rays Junior Gold Cup Teams in last September's tournament .

    But how would last year's U15 teams from Waverley and Knox go against them ? Kings and Joey's ? BBC , Nudgee and BSHS ? On results and regard these were considered the best Schoolboy Teams in their age groups last year .

    If you are from these Schools , or others , that you reckon should be in the conversation as being amongst the better teams in that age group - then you be the judge

    Changing direction a little ..

    1. 4 years ago a so so Brisbane U12 Club Team went and did the IRANZ Clinic at Palmerston North and played a rep Manawatu team and then travelled to Auckland and played a junior rep North Harbour team . The results were competitive with a win and a loss

    2. 3 years ago , a privately arranged U13 team out of Sydney ( made up of Junior Reps from that season ) went and played a couple of games against Christchurch Boys High and Christ's College on ANZAC weekend ( 100th anniversary of ANZAC ) The Sydney boys had average winning margins of 50 +

    I'm not suggesting that these examples / references mean anything , other than , Australian Junior Rugby players are born with two legs and two arms just the same as NZ Junior Rugby players and are more than capable of being as good as or better than the best of their NZ counterparts at the same ages as they are all coming along the development pathway

    Somewhere between 15 to 18 though the New Zealanders seem to switch gears and gain comparative advantage that flows upstream into Senior Ranks , and it would seem , that this gets driven by an administrative - operational structural advantage.

    This leads to better Coaching delivery , that in turn , leads to better focus and engagement from players as they transition from boys into young men.

    Until we break the Fiefdoms that dot the landscape of Australian Rugby we will continue to handicap ourselves
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  17. DaSchmooze Allen Oxlade (6)

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    There may be more to it than this, but I struggle with the idea that RA is responsible for funding the tour if they don't have any skin in the game. If they're blocked from making coaching appointments (or any other input for that matter) then why should they foot the bill?

    The relevance of the school performance pathway across all sports is diminishing every year as schools finally come to the realisation that they are not mini high performance units. It would serve everyone's benefit if schools stayed firmly in the development space (which they do extremely well and much better than clubs) and leave the pathway stuff to people who's job it is to provide pathways.

    The days of the school-only produced superstar are long gone in every sport - with Rugby being the last bastion. Even then, I'd wager all the recent school boy stars have had external inputs into their success - junior club rugby, league on Sundays, alternate but similar club sports. Would love to see some statistics on this.
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  18. WLF Ron Walden (29)

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    A very astute observation re external inputs.

    I assume you are right re RA not having any skin in the game and therefore why would they fund.
    It's probably logical to say that they should as there appears to be a disconnect between the senior rugby organisation and the juniors, eg schools.

    I have heard that in NZ the connection is fluid, if so, as I clearly think it should be, here is the failure in the system.

    If this is right, then the results between our 2 countries back this up.
  19. sidelineview Dick Tooth (41)

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    It's obviously disappointing that the tour wasn't funded by someone.

    I have to disagree with your assessment of the pathways provided by school rugby. In private schools at least.
    Students have the opportunity to represent their Associations, then State teams and then to be selected in one of two National squads.
    The U16s were included several years ago so they have the chance to represent their Associations and then their State.
    In NSW, all of these players are candidates for being approached by GenBlue personnel.

    At the annual Schoolboys Championships the players are on show and the talent scouts are out in force. It's a wonderful experience and opportunity for them regarding their post school rugby (or league).

    I dont think there's been too many school rugby players who havent played either Club rugby or Club league. I would have thought the school-only players, or at least the more serious ones, were exceptions to the rule rather the norm.
    The best players have benefited from being developed at both school and club levels.
    Its not uncommon for the well performed school rugby players to play either rep Club rugby or rep league.
  20. Jets Geoff Shaw (53)

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    RA must have some say in the goings on of Schoolboy rugby. Quite a few players miss out on selection if they have signed with a league club for the following year. We'd be better off letting them play in the schoolboys teams and enjoying it so they feel that coming back to rugby is an option and they don't leave with a bitter taste in their mouths.

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