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Global Rapid Rugby

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by ForceFan, Sep 4, 2018.

  1. Aurelius Ted Thorn (20)

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    "Agreed to move to the next step of discussions."

    Just about sums this country up, doesn't it? Our neighbours in the Asia Pacific see this wonderful opportunity to grow rugby via WSR and are ready and raring to go, while Australian rugby, offered the same opportunity to grow the game in an apparently underutilised market, responds with bureaucratic inertia and internal power plays which means the competition as a whole gets held up, all because they're only prepared to "move to the next step of discussions."

    It's a bit like the South African farmer situation all over again. Our government decides we want to support them, then it gets tangled up over the best way to support them, then noisy malcontents raise objections and by the end of the whole thing it's unclear whether the government still wants to support them at all. Meanwhile, the Russians just go, "You know what? We need farmers. 15,000, come on over" and Australia misses out on a potentially massive benefit because no one in a position of authority is prepared to make a decision.

    That's not to suggest that I want a Putin to run Australian rugby. I'd settle for someone who can show a little initiative, vision and decision-making ability (a Twiggy-like figure, if you will).

    Of course, this rant of mine assumes that Rugby Australia actually wants WSR to go ahead and isn't just stalling. That may be a heroic assumption on my part.
    The Snout, ForceFan and chibimatty like this.
  2. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    Same as Super Rugby is largely a non-Australian competition. I think they'd be missing an opportunity if they don't look to get the Drua involved as a stand alone team. Fiji has the players, the fans and can even find its own sponsorship deals. Look to Samoa and Tonga to find talent for the WS team mixed with returning Australians.
    ForceFan and Rugbynutter39 like this.
  3. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    I'm hoping more rational heads are prevailing and see WSR as complimentary as opposed to as a competitor. Interesting thought on this news. Considering the Force are also playing in the NRC. Does that means so will this WS team? I for one hope so.
    Rugbynutter39, chibimatty and dru like this.
  4. Dan54 Paul McLean (56)

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    Um it doesn't say it AR decision to move to next level of discussions, it maybe Twiggy's crew!
  5. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    I was more referring to the conditional approval. Which is a positive.

    Edit: Just re-reading it and it says that in a meeting between Castle and officials from both the SRU and NSWRU they came to the agreement to engage in higher level discussions with Forrest.
    dru and Dan54 like this.
  6. dru Andrew Slack (58)

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    Absolutely a positive. RA aren’t capable of matching Mindaroo’s speed and change, nor the drive. But so far, at a crazy pace for RA (glacially slow for Mindaroo), generally the decisions have been, well on the whole, good decisions.

    It’s painful watching the RA, but a tick of approval so far.
  7. ForceFan Arch Winning (36)

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    Dear Georgina
    1. World Series Rugby is NOT a "rebel" league it is only going to move ahead with approval of ALL of the rugby unions which have teams in the 8 team competition.
    2. WSR does not intend to provide "16 marquee players for each team" but 16 marquee players distributed between the teams. This is being done in a effort to assist/develop/help even the playing field for the competition. That means that some teams may get none, some only 1, some 2, and some even more.
    3. The Indo Pacific Rugby Championship, now World Series Rugby, was ALWAYS going to be largely a non-Australian competition - from Andrew Forrest's very first announcement.
    4. No part of the headline supports the headline that "Castle approves" the West Sydney Team or, for that matter that the Western Force can play in such a competition. " We are in a deep dialogue with Minderoo into how we can work together to support the competition." That's "how we can support" NOT "we support". RA is being as belligerent, obstructive and uncooperative as it has from day 1.
    5. It's a shame that Rugby Australia wasn't just as concerned about protecting WA's player pathways.
    What ever happened to investigative journalism??
  8. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    What's your source for these statements? Though I do agree the use of 'Rebel League' is unnecessary.
  9. ForceFan Arch Winning (36)

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    I suggest you read all of the same press and announcements as I do.
    At some stage this information has already been supplied.
    The comments "RA is being as belligerent, obstructive and uncooperative as it has from day 1" are my own observations from watching all developments about WSR & RA very closely.
    Forceright likes this.
  10. WorkingClassRugger Andrew Slack (58)

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    So it's your opinion. The provisional approval is a positive step forward. I'm not entirely sure how it demonstrate continued belligerence but sure, OK, whatever. Personally, Castle appears to be more receptive toward engaging with WSR than her predecessor. It might not be moving as quickly as we might like but it does appear progress is occurring.
    Rugbynutter39 likes this.
  11. ForceFan Arch Winning (36)

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    RA despite the reported "deep discussions" still taking time to consider this possibility represents the story so far.

    If it's not belligerence ('aggressive or warlike behaviour') then let's add procrastination ('the action of delaying or postponing something; dithering; stalling; shilly-shallying') to my opinion re how RA has responded to WSR's initiatives.

    IPRC/WSR was initially going to go head-to-head against the NRC in 2018 but at the request of World Rugby, and reportedly RA, the timing was set to be head-to-head against SR in 2019. That was 12 months ago.
    That's why 2018 was an invitational series for the Western Force.

    As others have already pointed out - it's already September and WSR is hoping to get going in February 2019.
    They were expecting to make an announcement in August - around the time of the Panasonic game.

    Mid-Sep to mid-Feb is only 5 months - not much time to get a new 8-team competition going.
    But WSR has shown that it can MIH (make it happen).
    I'm confident that it WILL happen.

    I assume that the $4 million funding boost for Western Sydney is coming from private interests in Sydney or Minderoo (Andrew Forrest) or a combination of both, as it's not clear from Georgina's article. If that's the case them I'm really interested to hear how RA, or for that matter NSWRU or anybody else, can step up and say that this isn't good for rugby.

    You may have noticed that the NRC still has no major, naming rights sponsor for the 2018 season.
    I assume that RA is paying for teams' travel out of the savings from axing the Western Force
    Or have those $$s savings from this year already been spent elsewhere?

    Just step out of the way RA and let something constructive happen.
    You axed the Force and did your best to kill the professional team in WA.
    You've done nothing to boost the great game in Western Sydney (but it seems there's some people who will).
    Let's get WSR going in 2019.

    I can't imagine that Singapore will be one of the initial 8 teams in 2019 (as they just don't seem good enough) so it raises the question as to the make-up.

    Western Force
    Western Sydney
    Probably Panasonic (from all of the positive press around their game in Perth)
    Probably Hong Kong (ditto)
    Possibly another Japanese team (as there has been mention of 2)
    So that leaves 3 more.

    I have no clues re the final three - there's sure to be some surprises as none of the known possibilities are standouts - but we can see that RA is NOT making things easy.

    In WA, Minderoo is providing $$ support to RugbyWA, funding the the Western Force and the Force Foundation (for developing players with high potential) and the kid's RugbyRoos program.
    All players are expected to put in at least 350 hours per year into rugby community activities.
    Is this a hint of the type of support expected from all teams in WSR?

    If that's the case then it means rapid growth in at least 8 areas within our region.
    In addition, Fortescue (Metals Group) is sponsoring the local Club Competition.

    It's going to be interesting to see what quickly unfolds once WSR is free to get things going and make its long-awaited announcements.
    Forceright and kiap like this.
  12. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    FF, bear in mind that RA has to consider the interests of a lot of different stakeholders around the country, as much as people like to paint them as being an Eastern suburbs of Sydney cartel. While Minderoo are doing some good things for WA rugby, and I certainly want rugby to thrive everywhere, they also have to look carefully at who they are dealing with. Fortescue and its related interests, according to media reports, have a history of being a challenging organisation. Now their rugby involvement may totally be only in the interests of WA rugby but you can't blame RA for being careful with how they approach things and looking at the bigger overall picture, after all WA rugby has jumped in fast with colourful saviours in the past - remember Firepower?
    Rugbynutter39 likes this.
  13. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    Are you suggesting FMG's business is akin to Tim Johnston's fuel pill company?
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  14. ForceFan Arch Winning (36)

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    Thanks neilc.All good points.

    However, it's been 12 months since Forrest initially announced the Indo Pacific Rugby Championship (now WSR) concept.
    WSR personnel have had discussions with RA ever since.
    The change in the initial timing was at RA's request.

    I don't think that there is any comparison between Firepower and Minderoo.
    Firepower was just one of the sponsors of the Western Force.
    Firepower wasn't even a front-of-jersey sponsor but they'd promised a lot.
    The Western Force wasn't the only entity which was impacted by the Firepower debacle.

    Forrest has a net worth of >$4 Billion.
    Minderoo is offering $150M over 3 years to get a new competition in the region up and going.
    (Forrest's personal annual dividends are generally >$400 Million).

    RA has shown no interest in promoting Rugby Union in Western Sydney.
    I'd be interested if the $4 Million, mentioned by Castle, was freely offered by Minderoo and/or others or if it was a conditional request by RA to get their approval? Georgina's article was lacking any detail around that aspect.

    Forrest/Minderoo doesn't appear to be having any issues with Asia Rugby and all of its associated Unions nor with World Rugby. That certainly tells me something.
    When the other 3 teams get announced we'll know who else they've been talking to (without any hassles).
    I reckon that the other teams are waiting for the approval or go-ahead before stating their involvement.
    I reckon too that the main stumbling block is that any Australian "rugby" team needs RA's approval to play.
    I also reckon that WSR will be based outside of OZ as no professional organisation can afford to suffer such procrastination and move at this snail's pace.
    Agility and innovation is part of the modern mantra and so far Minderoo has shown plenty of that without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

    It's also pleasing to me that Minderoo doesn't appear to be fighting the battle in the press.
    ALL of the cleverly leaked articles have come from RA officials chatting to a captive journalist (Wayne Smith or Georgina Robinson).
    Georgina Robinson had direct quotes from Raelene Castle in much the same way as Brett Robinson was given direct quotes by Wayne Smith the night before Brett's meeting with Minderoo personnel back in December last year.

    The paper trail is a good one.
    I wouldn't be surprised if we see a book out of this.
    Perhaps the big spreadsheet will be uncovered this time.
    Forceright and kiap like this.
  15. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    I like what the Fijian Drua are about and agree that, of the three PI nations, a team from there would come closest to being viable in a pro comp. Ideally you'd prefer to be basing that on a team running its own show at a semi-pro level with backing to spare. Dunno.

    If World Rugby fund Fiji for more than one comp, they would certainly add to the mix.

    Either in a future WSR - or some sort of Supe, if it gets rebuilt.
    neilc and ForceFan like this.
  16. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    Not at all, one is a real business (mining) and one (FP) was a scam. Probably not the best comparison I agree, but the point I was attempting (not very well) to make was that sporting organisations need to be careful about who they align with.
    ForceFan and kiap like this.
  17. kiap Mark Ella (57)

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    Yeah. You might say, by the same token, businesses should careful about the sort of sporting organisations they align with.

    For going bust, various rugby unions in this country (not to say RA itself as they're run to a higher standard of course) would be closer to a Firepower scenario. And the events surrounding one sporting organisation's property dealings in Canberra could well be described as colourful.

    Elsewhere in rugby union organisations around the country, you don't need to go back far to find actual conviction for fraud.
    Forceright likes this.
  18. neilc Bob Loudon (25)

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    Agreed, some of the businesses who have aligned themselves with sporting clubs that end up having player scandals have to try to extricate their brand from the club.

    It must be hard for a sporting organisation or a player who is offered money by a company as a sponsor to turn it down if they are not being inundated by offers. The Reds have the issue of a sponsor who I believe is now subject to fraud charges and I'm sure there are other cases in rugby and other sports.

    At the end of the day we all want rugby to go well in Australia and I hope that World Series Rugby does manage to get a team in areas that are neglected like Western Sydney (a situation that baffles me from my understanding of the size of the area and the talent there). At times it seems like there is too much short term thinking and hopefully a new entrant to the market (WSR) might really make a positive impact.
    kiap likes this.
  19. andrewM Herbert Moran (7)

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    I have no qualms about RA needing to consult with other constituent unions about WSR, but after 12 months on what have they announced?

    1. We agree that Western Force players will be eligible for Wallabies selection
    2. We support the concept of a WSR team in Western Sydney
    3. We remain in consultation with Mindaroo

    To me, point 2 is a real win-win situation for them. If it fails to excite the Western Sydney masses, it's no skin off their back as it won't be their money and if it does, they can take cred for all of the wonderful teamwork that RA and the NSWRU committed to with WSR to make it happen. No wonder they are happy to agree to it.

    Apart from that, I call BS on RA's approach. 3-6 months to complete their consultation with their member unions (which I may point out, includes RugbyWA, SA, Tas and NT unions as well) would have been more than sufficient time to establish a policy position. IMO RA's position is to stall for as long as they can to sabotage a 2019 season as much as possible. I have no doubt that Twiggy has their measure in that regards though
    Forceright, ForceFan and lou75 like this.
  20. Wilson Bob Davidson (42)

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