Exclusive: ARU Diversifying Into Global Recruitment - Green and Gold Rugby

Exclusive: ARU Diversifying Into Global Recruitment

Exclusive: ARU Diversifying Into Global Recruitment

With concerns about the financial stability of rugby in Australia growing, the ARU today announced it was diversifying into global executive recruitment as a way of generating alternate revenue sources.

The announcement comes hot on the heels of another successful world-wide candidate search by an Australian rugby franchise which saw interim Western Force coach, South African David Wessels, appointed to the role full-time of Head Coach.  

Early indications suggest the new HR venture is unlikely to have any impact on the cost base of the ARU, as the additional work in specialist recruitment services will covered by existing resources. ARU spokesman Crawforde Brighton-Welles explained.

“I guess we could conduct our own world-wide search for a crack bunch of HR specialists, but what’s the point?” said Brighton-Welles. “I’m sure between the St Leonards and the states we can get something cooked up. This HR thing seems like a pretty easy gig anyway.”

Although the ARU is moving into an already crowded market, Crawforde Brighton-Welles said the ARU was up for the challenge and planned an innovative approach to capture market share.

“From what we can tell this HR lark comes down to a few key things: one, to get a gig you need to be a ‘good rugby man’; two, you need to already be working in the job; and three, whatever the outcome of the appointment, you need to put the words ‘world-wide search’ in the press release announcing the appointment, then leak names like Heyneke Myer or Stuart Lancaster to the press to throw them off the scent.

ARU SEARCH PROTOCOL“Regardless, we’ve already got a fair few runs on the board. The appointments of Rich Graham, Daz Gibson, Stilesy, the new Reds’ CEO – whatever his name is – and now the Saffer bloke over in WA, whatever his name is also, are living, breathing proof the model works.”

When pressed about the effectiveness of the world-wide searches to date given the failure of former Reds’ coach, Richard Graham, to see out his contract, Brighton-Welles was upbeat.

“Look, of course in any game you’re going to run in and bowl the odd wide; and that’s what Rich Graham turned out to be. Anyway he was Rod McCall’s pick – say what you like about Slaughter, but he knows fuck all when it comes to world-wide searches.”

Crawforde Brighton-Welles

Crawforde Brighton-Welles wears his watch on his right wrist

While declining to comment specifically when contacted by Off-White Card, market leaders in the recruitment field said they were both “unware and unconcerned” by the ARU’s move into their traditional territory. 

Unperturbed by this the ARU is forecasting a rapid expansion its recruitment services arm the coming months with several appointments in the pipeline.

“Well, we’re starting to make our mark on the international stage. We consulted on the appointment of the 2017 British and Irish Lions coach and got our man (incumbent Warren Gatland) over the line so its full steam ahead.

“Looking domestically I’d reckon the Rebels are due for a world-wide search in the near future and even though Bernie just got extended at the Brumbies, there’ll be a couple of world-wide searches for Wallaby spots coming up. Encouragingly, we reckon we’ve already got a top-shelf pool of candidates for any of these roles so any subsequent world-wide searches shouldn’t take more than a few hours to complete.”

  • Owen McCaffrey

    This is one of the Key areas where I cannot understand the stampede of the elitist old-boys network to on the one-hand say Australia and South Africa should cut teams in Super Rugby. Yes cut cut cut. Then you have spots for 3 head coaches. On this point alone it is devastating.

    On a purely manpower and player and coaching numbers point of view Australia has easily enough players and coaches for 6 and maybe even 8 Super Rugby teams. As Sterling Mortlock recently said “The recruitment process reportedly came down to a two-man shortlist of Wessels and experience returning Australian coach Matt O’Connor, who was then also overlooked for the Reds job for the younger Nick Stiles and O’Connor would now be a wasted asset in Australian rugby”

    Imagine the clusterf^% if Australia reduced teams. You would see this rediculous process on steroids. Australia has a wealth of talented athletes both in Australia playing rugby, Rugby league and other sports and abroad and this amount will only grow as will the depth an experience of coaches.

    And Australians are seriously considering giving up a professional rugby franchise (when there is no long-term financial crisis anymore) because the South Africans want to sabotage their own Kings for political reasons? Let the South Africans implode on their own and grow Australian professional rugby. You need a minimum of five Super teams and the sooner the governance can become separated from the old-boys networks that are interfering and ruiing the game the better.

    For every experienced Matt O’Connor that is stuck in an assistant coaching role in Queensland there are 10 top level professional rugby players sitting in the reserves or in “academies in Canberra, Queensland or NSW because the old boys networks that run those franchises are hoparding them not allowing The Rebels or Force to get them.

    And wonder why NZ teams are performing better? NZR solved that hoarding problem 16 years ago with strict salary and squad caps and and now you have seen the dominance of the Blues and Crusaders disappear. Players AND coaches regularly shift around the country and it develops all teams and gives opportunities to all players.

    • ozrugbynut

      Nice post Owen. My observation is it is NZs centralized model that is their key competitive advantage apart from being a single code country etc. It resolves so many issues we appear to have in OZ rugby. No player hoarding, no players playing out of position etc. It is absolute alignment from top to bottom, the way it has to be for Aus rugby if it is to remain competitive and financially viable long term. This is clearly ‘too hard basket’ if you read the strategic plan on the ARU website.

      Maybe I missed it on GAGR during my self imposed exile following the England debacle, but perhaps there could be a bit of an examination of that doc at some point?

      • ozrugbynut

        As another observation, what other codes would ever have fans post process maps.. ;-)

      • AllyOz

        In fact in some ways it should be easier for Australian rugby to operate a centralised system than it is in NZ as our talent pool is more centralised. In terms of the Wallabies assistants I think we should have two or three full time assistants that, in addition to their work with the Wallabies, are responsible for skills development down through Super, NRC, Club and Schools (public and all independents as well as levels – developing new skills training systems and participating/consulting to all the levels – developing a coherent plan and structure right through from Walla rugby to the Wallabies

    • Happyman

      Nice Post Owen Except speaking a a Queenslander we seem to manage to let everyone have most of our better talent in there prime. For my two cents I like the appointment. Another recycled coach would only continue with the cycle of mediocrity. This is a bold choice and hopefully can bring about real change. I bet the Lions would have said the same thing a couple of years ago. My only concern is coming from within and being so young he may not be able to manage some of the older players and administer some home truths to those that need it.

  • MST

    I am glad the ARU are sticking to their Aussie only coaches mantra and hiring the right coaches to right the ship. The hiring of Gibbo to prove that the myth of Kiwi rugby being entertaining and almost unbeatable is absolute rubbish was pure genius; just look at the Tahs, And now they have Dave to steady the Force, get some control of the game, get the forwards focused and grind out some results. Its also a good financial move as its good cost saver as who wants to spend money on metro-glamour “I am a star” backs who dont really do much except runny – passy stuff. Crowds want scrums. line outs, hit ups and rucks. I really think the ARU have got this absolutely nailed! Who else on this planet other than a Saffer coach screams running rubgy!

  • Bay35Pablo

    This is satirically on the money.

  • Niggle

    All Black rugby presently is entertaining and unbeatable.It’s just fact the ABs results speak loud and clear.When will we learn that believing we can beat them isn’t the same as actually doing it.We can hire coaches,Hr people and a plethora of all types of team enhancement ideas,but it means nothing without results.Moaning about and decrying All Black success,Lions success or any other teams successes makes us look to the eyes of the world like if nobody does it our way their all wrong because we can only be right but our teams results just don’t reflect that,so let’s leave chat aside and quietly rebuild to become world beaters again then and only then can crow and project our philosophy.

    • It’s funny, you say “our”, but you’re writing this from Palmerston North, New Zealand


      • Niggle

        Born in bundy 1963 maybe some kiwi rubbed off on me but like I say results count not wishes.

  • Xaviera

    We’re gonna need a bigger car park.

  • RobC

    Thanks! ARU will rationalise the processes as part of cost savings – and remove the 3 triangles.

  • Continuous Improvement

    Executive recruitment is a cut-throat business and the ARFU HR team will not be able to afford to rest on its laurels even when providing the best quality of service in this area. There’s plenty of scope for further efficiencies and cost savings.

    Coincidentally I have received a copy of the strategic plan. It was sent in error to a mate of mine, he was phoned by a ARFU headhunter and got it as an email attachment instead of the Position Description that he was told would be sent to him. He coaches the Tuggeronong under-10’s and the talent spotters had him linked to a Super Rugby franchise.

    It’s one of those Plan on a Page things, with a steady program of cost savings and process efficiencies over three years.

    Year 1: as per flowchart
    Year 2: cut the crap and just ask Bernie
    year 3: cut out the middleman and go direct to source, talk direct to Bernie’s mirror.


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