Podcast 321 - Open Slather - Green and Gold Rugby

Podcast 321 – Open Slather

Podcast 321 – Open Slather

Head to our Twitter page if you need to consult the GAGR hotline after this episode.

Where the hell to begin? Rugby Reg, Matt and Hugh finally sit down to chat about the last month of Australian rugby and, no holes barred, try to pick through where our game goes from here, if anywhere.

The Three Brutally Honest Questions:

1. What’s been the single craziest thing to happen in Australian rugby in the last month?
2. Is this how it ends?
3. How can we come back?

Check out Reg’s article referenced in this podcast here. 

  • Pfitzy

    Gotta pick Hugh up on the point about educated, influential persons in the game (23:39): why then is it constantly running in poor state?

    I think it is a double edged sword – they’re educated and experienced, but they suffer from Dunning-Kruger Syndrome heavily. Smoke blown up their arse their whole life, they think they’re always right, and don’t understand the wider game. And there you go – Rowley picks it up.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Yeah. I suppose my point wasn’t that these people should be leading our game, but they conceivably could. If the NRL Board faced a similar situation to RA, anyone arguing that Darren Lockyer take over as CEO would be laughed out of the room. But suggesting Phil Kearns isn’t ridiculous given his business background.

      • Pfitzy


      • ATrain

        They have actually argued that Phil Gould take over the running of the game though….

        • Yowie

          Haha, today’s lesson:

          Never bet against any particular type of stupid sh!t having happened in League at some point.

  • Wonky Donkey

    We’re farked

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    So where are all these vacant positions that will be filled by Australian, NZ or SA players? I’m not so sure they exist in the numbers to see a mass exodus of players. I think the players are just going to have to accept less money and that will have a huge impact here

    • RugbyReg

      France, USA, Japan, Rugby League, England

      • ATrain

        I think Rugby League is the biggest immediate threat. They will take the players before we see them at senior level and they will be able to offer young men a beginning in professional sport that we might not be able to – and that will mean they will never be in consideration as potential Wallabies and it will shrink the game here. The Jordan Petaia’s, Angus Bell’s and Taniela Tupous (though not sure what position he would play to start) will be more easily picked off straight out of schoolboys.

        The other areas I think want name players – experienced players who have at least played regular Super Rugby and ideally have made a name for themselves at Wallabies level – though that might change – they might take kids straight into club academies from schoolboys. And, if the Guiteau Law changes, they aren’t necessarily lost to the game until they have played OS for 5 years.

        There are also restrictions on some of those comps:

        “The rule on foreign players has been amended to come into line with the regulations in European competitions. A maximum of two foreign players can now be on the pitch at any one time, at all periods during the season.

        The level of English Qualified Players (EQP) in the Premiership has been fairly consistent since the inception of the league, at around 61-63%. This means on average there is something like 165 English players playing every weekend in the Premiership.”

        Japan has restrictions on foreigns, french players make up 60% of the Top 14 squads (though not restricted and they have a second tier as well). Major League Rugby….I wonder if it is a bit early yet to predict what might happen there. They players that they have taken to date like Drew Mitchell and Basteraud were coming out of retirement – certainly not major losses to their national squads or domestic comps.

        I think its very difficult to make a prediction at the moment. I think the market will adjust and player contract prices may adjust, at least temporarily, to the new circumstances. It might make it cheaper to run a domestic or Trans-Tasman team though it will be a relativity thing and the NH will, I imagine, always have the capacity to offer more for the same talent level. I get a Times subscription and their is a lot of talk their about difficulties of maintaining a high cost comp like the Premiership – Stuart Barnes and others talk about a major adjustment in payment structures.

        Racing has just signed Kurtley Beale on very good money. I would be more worried for Australian Rugby if they had shelled out that sort of cash for Will Harrison… that would be the real canary in the coal mine for me.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m not sure there are as many positions available for SH players as some people think there are. I also see most of these alternatives having their own financial issues that will reduce the wages that are available. Going to be interesting seeing how this pans out

  • Howard

    Great podcast. Really well balanced discussion:)

  • Reds Revival

    In the absence of being able to talk about games, I am really enjoying these types of discussions. The ideas that are being generated about how we can improve our game from a viewing and governance perspective are invaluable, and strangely, wouldn’t have been possible without this COVID thingy.
    Let’s hope that many of these ideas get implemented, rather than caught up in committee discussions that go nowhere. I think the old saying “A camel is a racehorse designed by a committee” is quite apt here.

  • John Williams

    To restart the competition I believe we need to use private money either through membership or a single investor via a franchise system. The first season would need to be run on light with a very low salary cap. Investors in a franchise should be structured to get there money back in 7 years.
    The clincher is that the player pool should be mixed with participating countries and players recruited via a IPL style system. Players recruited by a different out of country franchise are still eligible for recruitment.
    If Fiji / Hong Kong / Sunwolves can raise the funds then they can get a team and get access to the players, which over time they can sprinkle in their home grown talent.

    Having patrons or membership based franchises is the only way I see teams and a competition getting up early on. Having games in time zone will be great. The interest of having a mix of Aus / Fiji / NZ / Japanese players running around in a IPL style competition will help grow interest in Asian towns and help pay for the players. Australia could probably afford 3 teams and maybe a 4th if Twiggy is happy to pay for the Force. NZ could support 3 franchises but would want the input of 5 frachises worth of players.
    NZ has the cattle but not the economy to pay for these players. We need to use the player base and take it to the market, that can pay for it.


Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician, second rower. Still trying to make sense of the 21st century. Dropped a debut novel last year...

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