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RA's new pathway model

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by RugbyReg, Sep 21, 2018.

  1. RugbyReg Phil Waugh (73)

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    Rugby Australia has today announced initial changes to its national talent management model and pathways for men's Rugby aimed at retaining and developing the best young talent in the game.

    The changes come following a review by Rugby Australia in conjunction with the state unions and representatives of schools and junior club Rugby on the effectiveness of the current system in exposing, identifying and managing talent.

    The review acknowledged the significant role performed by schools and junior club Rugby and the need for the game to provide continued support, while recognising a more effective balance is required to manage the development of talented players between individual school and club Rugby programs and representative and academy programs.

    Under the new structure, all state-based academy programs will be split into stages, with the first stage being for school-aged 15 and 16-year-olds, the second stage for 17 and 18-year-olds, and stage three capturing school-leavers in the 18 to 20+ age group.

    Player identification and development in stage one of the model will be supported by the Junior Gold Cup (U15) and the Junior Rugby Championship (U16). These national competitions provide a national level representative opportunity for the country’s best young players and enable state and regional selection. Importantly, players from outside these national competitions can still be selected for any state academy program via school and club programs.

    The second stage of the model provides opportunity for players Under 17 to 18 to compete for their state academy teams in a series of matches in 2019, scheduled to work in with the various school and junior club competitions across Australia.

    As players exit school they will enter stage three of the academy model working closely with senior clubs and competitions. Players in these programs will play representative matches in the new Under 19 Rugby Championship (URC), the National Rugby Championship (NRC) and battle for selection in the Junior Wallabies and onto Super Rugby selection.

    As part of the changes, Rugby Australia will redirect a portion of its current $450,000 investment in the National Schoolboy Championships and National Schoolboy teams to implement the National Schools Strategy - specifically safety programs, coach development and creating greater opportunities for school students to access Rugby.

    Rugby Australia will also continue its investment in a National Under 18 team program, incorporating school and non-school Under 18 players to play international fixtures on an annual basis and access development programs; state Under 18 teams and match programs; and an enhanced school and non-school Under 18 level coach development program.

    Rugby Australia General Manager High Performance, Ben Whitaker said: “We have worked closely with the state unions and stakeholders at school and junior club levels to understand how we can work more effectively together to manage talent from 14 to 20-plus years-of-age.

    “We have honestly assessed the gaps in our current system that needed to be addressed. It’s never easy to land on a model that every single stakeholder is completely happy with, however, we have taken a consultative approach that acknowledges the needs and tremendous value that schools and clubs deliver through these age groups.

    “Players will be provided access and opportunities to be involved in quality development programs and competitions through this model, whilst also being able to compete for their respective schools and clubs. Additionally, the national and state talent management system will be inclusive of coach and match official development.

    “Importantly, there is no reduction in investment via this model – but more a redirecting of investment to support growth in schools and club Rugby through key National Schools Strategy areas such as safety, coaching development and competitions.”
  2. RugbyReg Phil Waugh (73)

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  3. Rugrat Larry Dwyer (12)

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    So easy to criticise rugby in australia these days but at least this seems a positive step on first review. I have concerns though particularly at under 15 level, such as how are the kids selected and by whom. Based on what I have seen at BJRU selection trials I am not convinced that process or organisation is transparent or effective when it comes to selections. Also with GPS rugby not kicking off till term 3 and many lads in under 15 only playing a reduced season 1 at club if at all who, when and how is selection determined. Is selection around picking a team or a squad with multiple selections for positions to broaden the base. Many lads not currently attending GPS schools but identified are receiving scholarship offers around this age by schools. Will they be “released” by schools to participate and frankly the kids in most AB squads at GPS have more than enough quality training and coaching support. Do they need more? It seems to me that in Brisbane ( Even less in regional areas) if kid has a desire to actially play rugby but aren’t at a GPS school thier options to play the game are none existent. Many of them at this age go to league. Not sure this program changes that unfortunately.
    RugbyReg likes this.
  4. Dismal Pillock Jim Lenehan (48)

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  5. Wilson Dick Tooth (41)

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    Good to see them making changes, hopefully there's much more to come on this.

    I'd like to see a major shift in the thinking around under 20's and the world cup. As I see it this is a huge development step for these players which is too often overlooked or missed by the best of them. Going forward I'd like to see all u20s players released from super rugby for the world cup and the Oceania cup lead up games. We need to start building a winning culture from the beginning and the best way to do that is by having the best players available. The guys who are missing out each year because of super rugby commitments are the ones who could most use the experience. We're not developing on field leaders in part because the really talented 19/20 year olds are riding the pine for super rugby sides when they should be making up the core leadership group at the U20s world cup. The global calendar realignment should hopefully help with this, but it needs to be a set policy as we move to more centralised models, not just an ad hoc agreement that gets thrown out the second a super side decides they want someone to carry tackle bags.

    I think we also need to rethink the way we choose coaches here too. Currently the u20's coach is very much a development coach - someone who's not yet at the super rugby head coach level. Instead this should be the second most important coaching position after the wallabies job. Ideally I'd love to see former wallabies coaches placed in this role to really help develop these kids, but the way we've burnt coaches at the end of their time that's not really an option (and some probably aren't suited to coaching 20's). Failing that we should be looking at very experienced coaches, who understand the professional game and can prepare these kids for it.
  6. lou75 Ron Walden (29)

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    a national talent management model for mens only? where is the women's model? why aren't they run concurrently - is not the population about half n half? is not the fan base half n half? how come the national Rugby organisation only caters for half of the population? Umm Raelene, what say you?
  7. WorkingClassRugger Mark Ella (57)

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    I think we'll have to take what we can get at present regarding the women's game. We need to develop it more to create more depth and then an overall expansion of the Super W competition.
  8. half Arch Winning (36)

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    Credit were credit is due and its at least a start and money is tight as. Saying that much more needs to be done.

    Me personally I would make my next move at local park team level, try and get parents to fire up and get rugby introduced at state schools.

    We are well represented at non catholic private schools but in small numbers at state schools and catholic schools. This does effect both player numbers and player quality.
    Rugbynutter39 and dru like this.
  9. liquor box Ken Catchpole (46)

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    I hope the selections are based on skill set and not size.

    Sometimes it appears if you are a huge man size teenager with no football skills apart from running over opponents then you get the glory of selection.

    I hope they look at skills required and score each skill and use the total to try and recruit complete players.

    An example may be a rank our of 5 for passing to the left, to the right, front on tackling ability, kicking, pilfering, line out jumping, line out throwing, running over opponents, ability to listen to coaching etc.

    If you are good at most skills but deficient in one then this should be identified at the 15 year division and coaching and advice provided so you can improve. If you are committed then you will get a chance next year, no improvement then no selection.

    By the time they are adults they should have a complete skill set and be productive.

    This is what the Wallabies need to do to compete in the future. We are lacking this completeness in the Wallabies and Super Rugby teams.
    Rugrat likes this.
  10. Brumby Runner Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Add to the skills requirements an ability to make or create a line break. The vision to be able to take advantage of a gap, use of footwork to create a gap and/or to see where a support player is in a better position and to be able to use that advantage. Attacking skills are just, maybe more, as important as some of the other specific skills.
    Rugrat likes this.
  11. Harv Allen Oxlade (6)

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    Oh, ok.
    What does this mean?
    Reads like they are telling us they have divised an improved model of talent ID and have strengthened structures to ensure when talented players leave to play other sports, they'll notice.
    Doesn't seem to be any sort of initiative to get more people to play the game. Doesn't seem to be a plan to get kids exposed to the game, especially those not in the private school system. Doesn't seem to be a vision to be inclusive.
    Watching the slow death of the game is excruciating.
  12. hoggy Bill Watson (15)

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    And that is exactly the crux of the issue, without the game becoming more popular within Australia, this is all well and good but you are just moving deckchairs.
    It is the the Wallabies & Super rugby that are killing the game here, a reliance on the national team to drive all your growth. Well it ain't working.
    But those at the top are the ones all doing fine, so they are in no hurry for change.
  13. wamberal Steve Williams (59)

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    The ones at the top that you should be aiming at are the ones at the very top. World Rugby, in other words. Wayne Smith hits the nail right on the head in an article in The Weekend Oz. Worth a read.

    Yes, there is more that RA could do. But the game is unpopular here compared to others for a huge number of reasons, and, as I have pointed out many times, the majority of those are totally outside the sphere of influence of RA. Like them or loathe them, even if they were twice as effective as they are, we would still be heading downwards.

    World Rugby, on the other hand, could do a lot to help the game here, and, by extension, in other markets where it is under pressure.
  14. barbarian Michael Lynagh (62)

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    It's about talent ID, for sure. Just because this particular media release is about that it doesn't mean they are doing nothing to expand the game.

    Can someone who actually has some involvement with juniors/schoolboys tell us what this actually means?

    Does this give us more junior rep squads, or less? Does it narrow the pathway, or expand it?

    From reading that release I can't really work out what is new, and what is not.

    Someone tell me what to think before Alan Jones does.
  15. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    I think their program for 15's is flawed.
    Most of the kids involved are there because they have been nominated by their school coaches from Schools with strong Rugby programs.
    these kids are already exposed to good coaching,good competitions and from 16's on,a rep program. The only benefit to these kids is some gear and kudos for being recognised.
    Meanwhile talented kids at Schools without good programs are generally invisible.
    A program that includes everyone who is keen,for at least a month before any culling would be more transparent, and more inclusive,and more beneficial in identifying and nurturing young talent.
    If its unaffordable, then don't include kids that are in good programs with their schools(which is currently the majority of these squads).
    If they need to change the branding from elite to development,to ensure a broader base,then do that.
  16. Up the Guts Peter Johnson (47)

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    I don't think the aim of the programme is to develop u15s players, I think it's aimed at trying to keep schoolboy sensations (the select few you can already tell will have a professional future) in Union. It seems more a response to losing a player like Crichton and his comments that he was never given a clear pathway to Super Rugby and the Wallabies whereas South Sydney were able to show him a very clear pathway to first grade.

    Given that for the large part we can't supply juniors with the same sort of contracts as League, the idea appears at the very least to try and make young stars feel as though they have a big future in Union by giving them exposure to professional setups, joining elite squads etc. Their first target seems to be Joseph Suaalii, the King's year 9 boy who is pretty much Israel Folau's clone, to whom RA sent Cheika and Folau to talk to and tell him all sorts of flattering things like he's on track to be the youngest professional Wallabies debutant ever.

    I agree it's not great in terms of developing talent but a step in the right direction in terms of retaining the cream of the crop which we have lost to League in the past few years.
  17. hoggy Bill Watson (15)

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    Your right, the game is unpopular for a huge number of reasons, but I dis-agree about the article, I like Wayne Smith but on this one it is just a big whinge, exactly what are his solutions, that world rugby ban the neck roll and protect Izzy in the air, wow that will change things. Or simply put restrictions in place to stop players from earning higher wages overseas, protectionism, yep that works.

    Yes Australia is the canary in the coal mine, well stop bloody well flying straight smack bang into the mine everyday.

    There are no quick fixes, but expecting to be spoon fed a nice little rugby market that props up the Wallabies is just plain madness.
    Until the game concentrates on a domestic product that grows the game at whatever pace it takes, then Wayne Smith can trot these articles out every year.
  18. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Crichton went to Souths because they were willing to pay him real money from day 1. Same as the kid at Newcastle.
    If the intent is to keep these kids,then don't spend $450k on this pathway,select 2 schoolboy rockstars every 2 years and allocate them this cash.
    I'd prefer they spent it on more kids (and from a different playing pool)than they currently do.
  19. Up the Guts Peter Johnson (47)

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    Crichton went to Souths because the Waratahs said he wouldn’t be able to play for five years:


    Ponga was always a League player who we borrowed for a short time. The problem if we pay two schoolboys big money rather than setting up a pathway is that League would be more than likely to match and exceed whatever we pay and it’s also a massive gamble to spend 450k directly on a couple of schoolboys.
  20. I like to watch Simon Poidevin (60)

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    I don't want to make this about Chrichton, but the article you reference states that the Tahs couldn't offer him a full time contract,but he was offered a f/t 7's contract.
    You're right that we can't compete with !eague for those that are ready to go straight away, and having them in a program from 15 or 16 won't change that.
    That's why I advocate spending the ARU money on those that aren't in good school programs.
    It's a waste of resources for RA to duplicate what 90% of their squad already experience in their School programs.

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