Podcast 233 with Jeremy Paul - Green and Gold Rugby

Podcast 233 with Jeremy Paul

Podcast 233 with Jeremy Paul

This week Reg, Matt and Hugh are joined by former Wallaby and now Western Sydney Rams coach Jeremy Paul as they wrap up this week’s burning questions:

  1. What are the biggest challenges for the NRC moving forward?
  2. The Rams have only just one their first game, but they have really competed well all weekend, can rugby thrive in western Sydney?
  3. There were a lot of high scoring games on the weekend, as seems to be the norm in the NRC, is there actually any defence in the NRC?
  4. The Super Rugby draw for 2017 has been released and there’s talk for further expansions in the future – so has SANZAR lost the plot?
  5. The Wallabies have never won in Pretoria, which performance will be key for a win there this weekend?
  • ForceFan

    Excellent broad-coverage discussion G&GR team.
    Informative interview with Jeremy Paul.
    Will be interesting as to see what unfolds re Super Rugby over the next few months.

  • Juan Barn

    Re Super Rugby. Its not Super anymore, its average. Its also not provincial its basically Super Club Rugby. The NSW, QLD and other brands have been cheapened as they are no longer a truly aspirational representative brand. Anyone from any state or any country can play for any team. Its lost its emotional/tribal ties which is what supporting a team is all about.

    Always a great listen guys.

  • Pedro

    Now each country (aus/nz/SA)has their own professional national comp the necessity of super rugby has disappeared.

    I reckon we could expand the NRC/NPC/CurrieC season then have a champions league or perhaps all-star games with two coming from each comp. I know it won’t happen, but it would work well I think.

    Great podcast as always.

    • Kiap

      Super Rugby will be gone by 2020. I think it’s almost inevitable.

      These sort of competitions evolve regardless. In most seasons it is only incrementally but every now and then a big step is thrown in. The last big step was twenty years ago in 1996. We’re just about due another.

      The Super name might continue by being morphed onto a champions league – the Soup is dead, long live the Soup ;) The 2 am games as part of an 18 round league are just nowhere. However, the odd few in post-season playoffs (on the way to the big title) might be do-able.

    • Rebels3

      The problem is that not one of these competitions are self sustaining. The nrc doesn’t promote any level of professionalism, the itm cup wages are very low when compared to super rugby/Europe, interest levels are even lower than super rugby and the exact same goes for the Currie cup. If all three countries were to be without super rugby there would be no professional level in any of the 3 within 5years. Steve tew (nzru) chairman has very recently acknowledged this.

      • Pedro

        What I’m suggesting is fortifying the super level by reducing the number of teams and expanding the provincial level by increasing the number of games.

        When you look at the development of some players that have played three seasons of NRC without a super rugby contract I find it hard to accept that it doesn’t promote professionalism.

        • Rebels3

          Fair enough, definitely has some merit. You actually have me looking at things from a potentially different view. Cheers

  • Mart

    Great rant from Jeremy Paul.
    Who knows, with the introduction of the NRC rugby, may become fully professional in Australia.
    P.s there’s loads of players in the South and West of Sydney who would play Rugby if they got a bit of cash. At the moment they all go over to league.

    Another great podcast guys. I think everyone’s unanimous on the direction that Super Rugby is going and how it’s loosing the fans.

    The thing is it creates more interest in the NRC

  • Nicholas

    What I would want to see from the Wallabies is just better defence. You look at the results over the last few years and for the most part you see 20-30 points against while in the early 2000’s its more 15-20 range (yes there some they are lest and some that are more) How do they expect to win when they need to score more than 4 trys and convert most of them a game is beyond me.

    I also think that we need to just simplify the mind set of the players and coaches too. The game is very simple and really the teams only need to do a handful of thing. 1. Control of the ball (i.e. no drop balls, lost in rack, forward pass, etc). 2 Your Feed (Scrum and Line-out must win your own feed). 3. Don’t let them Score!!! If we can do that and have a good EoYT (above 50% win rate) I think we are going in the right direction.

    Good Podcast as always Boys keep it up.

  • Jack Mallick

    All jokes aside, it would be a god damned disgrace if the ARU allow themselves to be bullied into letting the Force go. If they are seriously contemplating it themselves then god help rugby in this country, because no other higher power will

  • Tim

    1)He raises a good point. Wallabies should focus more on NRC, even trying to set up weaker teams such as the Force with new talent rookies. Setting up a draft system would be good for Australian Rugby team just look at the AFL Western Sydney made the semi finals when there last few seasons they got smashed. ARU should force NRC spreading the talent around to all the clubs which would make a better system, but in saying that we don’t even do that at Super Rugby level :(

    • Kevino

      Look at Connacht in Ireland, have always been the development team for the other provinces. Last year they went on and won the pro 12. Have had massive wins in European competition as well. With time and the right coaching a young side can win if they have belief.

  • firs time long time

    If they want to keep the Force and increase its competitiveness, why not make it a Barbarians team with no restriction on who they sign.
    Not great for developing aussie talent but would make them a genuine threat and a likely a viable option.
    They can always increase restrictions on foreign signings down the track.

  • Nick

    With 18 teams in Super Rugby and 3 main countries, why are there not 3 conferences of 6? I understand it was South Africa that was pushing to have a 6th team, but surely you put the Sunwolves in the Australian conference and Los Jaguares in the NZ conference. Maybe top two teams in each conference make the finals plus 2 wildcards from any conference

  • first time long time

    There might be enough who would rather live in Oz though which might be attractive.
    It just looks like they are going to have to do something different and whether its fair or not, I can’t see the Force staying a viable option if they don’t become more competitive.

  • Kiap

    Yeah, your view would have been mine until relatively recently. And, of course, what you’re saying may still be right.

    The plug won’t necessarily be pulled by design when everyone feels ready, though. It might be when confirmation sinks in that the goose is cooked.

    I think Super Rugby will keep losing viewers and attendance for the remainder of the current deal. Will the SANZAAR members ink another until 2025, playing on until a further nine seasons from now? Colour me skeptical.

    It’s done well to last twenty years plus, but the concept of club teams flying 10,000 km for regular season games is, frankly, ridiculous.

    If the , brand, was to evolve into a champions league “Super Rugby Cup” (and perhaps also a “Super Rugby Trophy” below) then I could see more of a future. On that basis, I’d even cut the under-seige Marinos some slack and maybe a team or two from new locations could conceivably be invited.

    But this Supe as the regular season competition spanning February to August ? … the clock is already ticking down IMO.

  • paul

    But as highlighted in the podcast, any cash reserves from the new broadcast deal look like being eaten up keeping the franchises afloat.
    2025 is a long time away, if the code is forever struggling.

  • Kiap

    Money from Europe is great. The more the merrier.

    It won’t be enough to sustain the entire competition, though if it trends towards comatose in the home markets.

  • Kiap

    Lemme see here, TWAS. You’ve got money coming from Fox Sports, owned by News Corp Australia, and Sky Sports, owned by sky plc.

    It’s all coming from Uncle Rupe.

    But you’d be hard-pressed to find beakdowns of its worth to subscribers in the UK versus subscibers in Aus/NZ.

    If the Supe is tank rolling in the SH, does Rupe keep bankrolling from the NH?

    I’m not sure.

  • Pedro

    Yep I agree.

  • paul

    Well maybe we need to be looking at our structure.
    Currently the season starts in Feb and runs till late Nov.
    We are producing content, but a hotch potch of competitions that fans are turning off, we have fan fatigue.
    Compare that to the simplicity of AFL/NRL

  • paul

    Maybe, but the current set up is simply not working, why would you not copy something that is proven to work.
    So its a cheap imitation, well at least its our own cheap imitation.
    The unique international element will always be there.


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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