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Where to for Super Rugby?

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by Quick Hands, Mar 5, 2017.

  1. VassMan Fred Wood (13)

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    Keveri, Cooper and others that are back in Aus from Japan could bolster the Sunwolves until their Top League goes back. Just a pipe dream as I'm sure their companies wouldn't like it. Would make for a quality team!
  2. Tangawizi Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    They were but 15,000+ cases of Covid-19 in Japan vs 18 in Fiji probably makes a Japanese team less likely to be allowed into Australia than a Fijian squad. And Samoa & Tonga haven't had any confirmed cases yet.
  3. Adam84 Greg Davis (50)

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    There isn’t any money to pay our own players let alone a whole new team!
  4. waiopehu oldboy David Wilson (68)

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    From today's Hurld:

    "Can the professional game in the short term survive over there?" asked an NZR source. "Will they actually have enough money to pay for the Reds, Waratahs, Brumbies and Rebels? How are they going to pay the Wallabies?

    "Are they going to have to return to Manly versus Randwick club rugby and have their best players playing overseas?

    "It's really difficult to look at Australia with multi-million losses and figure out how they're going to get out of that hole.

    "I think we have to ignore Australia because it's too much of a variable."

    Last sentence in the context of a Trans Tasman comp. I have no idea how widely held that view is at NZR but the fact that anyone still on the payroll holds it should be of great concern to both the Australian rugby community & obviously RA.
  5. hoggy Alex Ross (28)

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  6. waiopehu oldboy David Wilson (68)

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  7. Rugbynutter39 Mark Ella (57)

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    For me a national club competition with teams from act, wa, nsw, qld, vic with promotion and relegation makes sense and would be interested in supporting / watching but who would fund it? Ie how do we get there In low risk way ie do we start with this as semi pro national club competition in parallel with a trans Tasman super rugby comp in parallel for 2 years and then review again in two years and decide whether to transition to model the sports consultancy Gemba group advocate?
  8. waiopehu oldboy David Wilson (68)

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    ^ see my post # 15024 above...
  9. Slim 293 George Gregan (70)

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    Oh boy...

    mst likes this.
  10. The_Brown_Hornet Nick Farr-Jones (63)

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    Yeah well add the Force back in and those numbers start to a look a little better. Still less than 50% but better all the same.
    dru likes this.
  11. KOB1987 Simon Poidevin (60)

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    Whilst he is no doubt correct right now, I bet this comes back to bite him on the arse.
  12. wamberal Michael Lynagh (62)

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    And yet there are still those who claim that Super Rugby was always a disaster, they always knew it was right from the start.

    I know my memory is not as good as it used to be, but I remember it being an absolute sensation. Big crowds, lots of media interest.

    If we honestly believe that rugby in this country can claw its way back to the good old days we are kidding ourselves: we can find a level that allows us to survive, but only if we harness the support of the whole rugby community, especially New Zealand expats. If we believe that we can just ignore our local New Zealander rugby population we will fail, and we will deserve to fail.
    eastman and Pfitzy like this.
  13. LeftWing Frank Row (1)

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    I've been a lurker on this forum for a while, but recent events have made me want to throw my hat in the ring.

    This article expresses a lot of the concerns I have with the Super Rugby model. Put simply, it doesn't produce much engaging content for Australian rugby union fans. There are a few reasons for this. (1) We only have four teams, so there can't be more than 4 matches featuring Australian teams. When you throw in local derbies, which (while often better quality) soak up two Australian teams, and byes you often end up with weekends with 1 or 2 matches featuring Australian teams. (2) Often these matches are in inconvenient time zones, or against meaningless teams. (3) The obvious and persistent FTA access problem. (4) Broader issues with the state of Rugby / the competition, particularly: rules / referees perceived to be annoying, styles of play perceived to be boring, absurd amounts of travel (and therefore higher costs for broadcasters and teams), and massive wealth disparities stripping the South of its best talent and depth (and therefore undermining quality of play).

    I genuinely can't understand how anyone thought this model could create a product that could engage or monetise the Australian public, especially when each weekend rivals like the NRL and AFL give Australian fans 8 games featuring Australian teams. I am always deeply envious of my friends who are into NRL or AFL—at almost any point after 12pm on a weekend during a (non-COVID-affected) winter they can turn on the TV and find a game that's relevant and interesting. They often have games on Thursday and Monday nights too, so they don't go as long between drinks.

    To be fair, the increasing investment in Women's Rugby and Sevens has created a bit more content, but the AFL and NRL have made corresponding, if not bigger, investments in their Women's and shorter formats, so the same ratio of disparity remains. We also have a lot of NZ, British, South African, and European migrants in Australia, so there are communities interested in International fixtures, no doubt. And no one's doubting that there's plenty of entertaining Rugby from around the world worth watching and admiring. But the proof is ultimately in the pudding: ratings, performance, media coverage, and general mainstream interest has never been lower. No one cares and has no reason to, not when there are competitions that attract big audiences (in-person or on TV) to anywhere between 2x and 4x the amount of Australian fixtures a week.

    What makes matters worse is that most of the other entertaining or interesting Rugby take place on a Saturday between 3 and 5.30pm. If you added up all the people who attend a Schools or Club (especially Premier Grade) game in Sydney or Brisbane in that time period, it'd be more than enough to fill the SFS or Lang Park, and even individual fixtures get crowds in excess of ten thousand. And the thing is, there are actually a lot of people who find themselves torn between attending school or local club fixtures, or even choosing between certain club fixtures. If they could, they'd go to both.

    I am totally supportive of a national club competition with relegation. I think a regional / provincial but shortened Super Rugby competition could follow it, perhaps with pools and a finals format, a la the European Champions Cup (in fact, I have no problem with expanding this into the World Club competition some are discussing and which I think would be better than a World Nations competition). The reality is, both competitions are a long way off the horizon at the moment, not only because of COVID-19, but also because of vested interest. SANZAAR, along with all the other nodes in the power network with noses in troughs (News Corp., Old Boys, media personalities, ex-players, current players, state / club faceless power brokers), continue to operate with the same short-termism that has defined the game here since it first went professional. A national club competition would be far less profitable and lead to smaller wages for people with a lot of bargaining leverage, in the short-term, even if it was coupled with a regional / provincial follow-up (which is unlikely). But the reality is, Super Rugby is also not profitable, and was already going to be less valuable to RA before COVID-19. And the fact is, it's never going to be profitable again, it has absolutely hit its ceiling of relevance, profitability, engagement, etc. The only option is to take a short-term hit, and concentrate the funds and attention we do have into getting a domestic competition off the ground that generates more content (by staggering game times) and has at least some FTA presence.

    As a final point, this is exactly what should have been done at the start of the professional era. Instead of taking the time to lay the ground work (e.g. by having smaller broadcast revenues but running on FTA, professionalising / supporting clubs, investing in school programs to be taught in public / non-traditional rugby schools during PE, connecting grassroots clubs to professionals, creating elite talent identification and juniors pathways, etc.) administrators and players rushed into the deal that could net them the most money then, superimposing a shoddy professional structure onto deeply partisan and non-meritocratic amateur bodies. They made Super Rugby and News Corp. one and the same, and initially got away with it because the quality of play was sensational (as it was always going to be as soon as players started to get paid) and the Wallabies were kicking ass. But it was, of course, a classic case of correlation, not causation, and once the exogenous variables were removed the rot immediately start to set in. Let's hope people can be guided by common sense, reason, and, as this latest SMH article shows, empirical fact.
  14. Slim 293 George Gregan (70)

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    No doubt..... it was a big hit in those early years - I still remember the 'razzle dazzle' ads that used to run all the time on FTA.

    I've been doing a clean out of VHS tapes and discovered some of semis and finals matches that aired on Prime back in 2000/2001.

    But I recall the Brumbies were still averaging good crowds in Canberra up until the late noughties.
  15. RugbyReg Rocky Elsom (76)

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    I'm writing an article about this at the moment basically saying club football will be the future. I am not convinced a national club comp all the way, perhaps a play off at the end, but let's make one thing clear about this. There's no money in it. Our top players will go overseas to earn their salary. And I mean all of them. Basically every single 120 of them. and then some. It won't be sustainable at that level. Perhaps an Ed Craig, Jack Hardy or James Ramm will get similar money to what they get now but only if someone with BIG BUCKs wants to fund a national club comp.

    It is unsustainable otherwise.

    So any form of club competition being the 'top tier' of the game will be basically amateur with basically the same players that are playing it now. I'm not saying that its a bad thing, but it's all important to take the reality check.
  16. WorkingClassRugger Steve Williams (59)

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    Only if it's administered in the manner we've traditionally gone about it. I've been pushing this for a little while now but if we were to go down this route it should be done as a separate single entity organisation. Where teams and organisations don't just play in the league. They actively invest and take ownership of the league. And thus receive a vote in it's operations and direction. And it wouldn't need to be strictly limited to just teams. RA or the State Unions could buy in alongside independent organisations or individuals. Criteria would be established around finance and such and licences and/or voting seats could be purchased as long as the criteria are met.

    This is the model used by Major League Rugby where last I heard the licence fee was $2m with a cash call prior to each season. Investors have to prove they can maintain operations for a minimum of 5 seasons. It may not see the same kind of caps involved. But if we could get something akin to the A-League's level ($3.2m) across say 12 organisations then we'd actually see a net uptick in the amounts of money spent on talent here. Enough to likely keep most in country.
    RebelYell likes this.
  17. Rugbynutter39 Mark Ella (57)

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    A pro competition maybe not - a semi pro competition like mlr maybe - but that is why I said run something like this in parallel with a trans Tasman super rugby comp - see if the semi pro competition could be something more. But realistically would take someone prepared to fund something with that would initially be loss making and not guaranteed to be successful. So while I like the idea of our own uk type premiership I agree that low chances of getting something like this funded probably makes it a pipe dream.
  18. Omar Comin' Chilla Wilson (44)

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    Promotion and relegation has some benefits, like making the bottom of the table as interesting as the top and providing a pathway for ambitious smaller clubs. But a lot of private investment would be required if the intention is for the national club competition to be the primary elite level of domestic rugby in this country (outside of a shorter state of origin series or other rep series).

    I think you'd need at least 8 professional clubs in a premier division, and a similar amount in a 2nd national division that would need to be at least semi-pro (and some of those teams would have to be closer to fully professional, or with the ability to become fully pro should they get promoted). State competitions would sit beneath the 2nd division.

    As Rugbynutter said it may be less risky to start the national competition off as entirely semi-pro, sitting below some rejigged Super Rugby tournament. Though this sort of national club comp would be a very different thing and you could argue you'll never give it a chance to be a big success if you don't try making it the top level.
    mst likes this.
  19. Drew Charlie Fox (21)

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    I, like virtually everyone else on here is pretty much over super rugby and it’s convoluted conference system and away games being played in the middle of the night. We can’t expect a top product out of teams travelling all over the Southern Hemisphere for games with jet lag, general fatigue, et al.
    The two models I can see working are: that we team up with NZ, our 4/5 super teams could compete with NZs NPC teams (their top 7 perhaps?). they have more depth than we do so the contests would probably be better.
    Personally I don’t mind the NRC, others don’t.
    So if we were to go the club route, they could play domestic comps and have them done by the time the international season starts. At this time we could have a champions league type thing with the top teams from around the country play. Players from teams not in this comps could be drafted to play if required. This way we have players who are ready to take the next step if required.
    Without a draft we would have the same system with club as we do now. Why would a player on the cusp of national selection go to a weak club if they won’t be playing when the internationals are on?
    Television rights and payments I’m not so sure about. I’d imagine a combined NZ/Aus thing would be easier to market than Shute Shield, etc. I’m not welded onto any of this, just ideas
  20. WorkingClassRugger Steve Williams (59)

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    It makes for interesting reading. Particularly the bit where it pretty much states that two thirds of what Fox has traditionally paid for has little to no relevance or real value to the Australian based audiences. Kind of what many have been saying for some time.

    Another interesting bit about the above graph is that there are apparently over 3m Rugby fanatics in Australia. Which suggests a market to grow into and build on. If the product was right. A professional club competition may be out of reach but I still think a TT league with one or more PI based team (Fiji and a combined Samoa/Tonga squad) would provide far more valuable content to audiences and potential value to broadcasters to make it worthwhile.
    eastman likes this.

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