Rugby Australia in plumbing crisis - Green and Gold Rugby

Rugby Australia in plumbing crisis

Rugby Australia in plumbing crisis

RA has been rocked by a new crisis that threatens to cripple the organisation and derail any plans to get the game back on its feet post the COVID-19 pandemic. It seems the latest problems relate to extensive plumbing issues with RA’s new offices at Moore Park.

Sources close to the crisis have confided in OWC that if left unchecked, the plumbing problems could well be the final straw in RA’s fight for survival.

“It’s not pretty that’s for sure, but to be honest RA’s plumbing has been buggered for years” said a source familiar with the situation who did not want to be named.

“The whole place is leaking like a sieve. I’ve never seen it this bad. Honestly, we all thought St Leonard’s leaked badly but it’s got nothing on the new digs. You can’t go anywhere without another leak springing up.

“Poor Raelene was at her wits end trying to fix it. There’s something lodged deep that just won’t shift. It was first wedged deep during the O’Neill era, and the build up ever since has brought it to cataclysmic levels.”

It appears the leaks seem to emanating from RA’s 4 large drains in Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. Plumbers had previously assured RA that a drain in Perth was successfully blocked some years ago however it seems that tree roots from a large nearby forest may have compromised the fix adding to the overall problem.

A spokesman for RA confirmed the plumbing issues were a distraction and that the source of the leaks was still under investigation.

“Yes it’s not ideal but every organisation has its fair share of plumbing problems. We had a group of 11 consultants, or was it 10, give us some written advice on how to fix things but in all honestly it was largely unhelpful. It’s what you get from people who think their sewage doesn’t stink.”

“What we can say to the rugby public of Australia is that we are aware of the problems and are looking for an innovative solution. One thing we are investigating is to run one of those drain cameras through the plumbing to see where the leaks might be originating from. To this end we are well advanced with the plan but as yet we haven’t been able find a broadcast partner to undertake the work.”

OWC understands the RA has approached World Rugby (WR) to help with plumbing rectification works but that WR is dealing with its own leak from a drain situated in Argentina and was unwilling to divert resources to help identify the problem.

The plumbing problems could not have come at a worse time for RA as it deals with the COVID-19 fallout. Speaking on the guarantee of anonymity, an RA source said the organisation had formulated a plan to deal with COVID-19 but the plumbing issues were a bigger threat.

“We’re comfortable with the social distancing measures we have in place. The Tahs proved that it can be achieved quite easily even before the pandemic broke.”

Another potential fix is for the drains at RA headquarters to be stuffed with newspapers however it seems to be having little impact.

“We’re using both the SMH and the Australian to try and stop the leaks but it only seems to be making it worse” the source said.

“Fair dinkum, I’m glad the few staff that are left at RA are working from home because if they were in the office the leaks are that bad we’d have to get them all swimming lessons. We don’t know where to turn next, we’ve even asked the AOC for help but the turds are just mounting up faster than before.”

It is understood that RUPA (Rugby Union Plumbers Association) was approached to engineer a solution to the leaks however their quote was unrealistic.  




  • RedAnt

    Damn these leaks are hard to fix. I’ve just seen that another board member plumber has quit out of exasperation.

  • Reds Revival

    Peter Wiggs has wigged out.

    • Perth girl

      He saw what the real debt figure is and pulled the pin but never mind there are plenty more lackeys lining up to put their snouts in the trough!

      • Sven Galee

        Perth girl – though short, yours might be the most insightful comment on why Wiggs pulled out. I saw elsewhere he spent hours and his own money looking into RA books.

      • Xaviera

        According to @geerob, that’s a line his supporters are peddling to save face. The real reason is he didn’t get his own way and so threw all the toys out of the sandpit, which seems more likely. If that is his mindset, good riddance, and don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

        • Perth girl

          Australian reporting debt is at least 20 mill

        • Xaviera

          Could well be – we won’t know for another few weeks. However, I’d take anything coming out of Newscorp with a massive grain of salt as they have a HUGE vested interest in all this, as has been the case for months now. We know they have form on this front, whether in the UK, the US, or even here, such as during Super League. The survival of Foxtel depends on this deal, according to many in the business, so they’re not holding back.

  • Will

    Haha good read. What a mess our game is in. Really sad to see the in-fighting and good old boys organising the deck chairs on the sinking titanic. Is there still a chance to construct a deal with Twiggy, perhaps we can have our teams playing out of different cities in China? Holeeee sh!t what a mess.

    • Perth girl

      Bugger off we dont want you RA or your shady deals or your huge debt!

      • Moz

        Isn’t this Rob Clark the slime who featured in the Senate Hearing on the shafting of the Force? One of people who came out looking extremely untrustworthy, and obviously doing a dodgy to help the Rebels – which he then resigned from the ARU and went to work for?

        • Perth girl

          Sure is Moz, he was CEO of Rebels at one stage and returned to them after he had shafted us a clear conflict of interest! He was one of the two who came over to Perth to tell us we had been dropped the same night we had put 40 points on the Tahs! If RA think appointing him will help in mending fences with WA they are delusional people here are fuming!

        • Moz

          Thanks PG! Was he the man with the spreadsheet?

  • idiot savant

    Outstanding post Off White! We need men of real fibre. The game’s colon needs evacuating.

  • Sven Galee

    Wiggs has a lot of experience working with people – more than I can imagine. I find it hard to see that the impasse over Carroll was something he could not resolve, given time and effort. Makes me think the state of the books (credit to Perth girl’s comment below) was also a factor. He certainly doesn’t need the money from the job. It would really be a labour of love should he continue.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      It certainly came across in the media as him throwing his toys out because he didn’t get his own way. But maybe there’s more we don’t know about.

  • Reds Revival

    We can always rely on OWC to bring perspective in a crisis. Great article!
    It feels a bit like a soap opera in HQ at the moment…

    Cue intro music
    “Hold me in your scrum
    I want to stay forever
    Closer each day
    Home at RA”

    Alf: Stone the flamin’ crows, who are you?
    Rob: I’m Rob, the new CEO
    Alf: Aren’t you like the fourth one in 3 weeks?
    Rob: Something like that.
    Alf: What happened to that shiela?
    Rob: Raelene? She was pushed out by Peter and the Board.
    Alf: So what happened to Peter?
    Rob: He resigned because he couldn’t get his mate a job.
    Alf: So are you here for good?
    Rob: No, I’m only here for a little while. That way I don’t have to include it in my resume.
    Alf: You lot are a mob of galahs. So who is taking over from you?
    Rob: Foxtel are installing Hamish as the new CEO.
    Alf: You’re worse than galahs, you’re f#@king idiots!
    Rob: I don’t think you can say that in a family time zone on TV. Look what happened to Nick McArdle for less..
    Alf: Bite me.

    Roll end credits
    “Further away
    Home at RA”

    • Yowie

      Gold. Now I have the song in my head too you pr!ck. I haven’t even watched the show since Jodi Gordon/Anasta left.

      • Reds Revival

        You’re welcome. My work here is done.

    • Crescent

      Nearly pissed myself laughing, until it struck me that this is eerily close to reality, which just made me want to weep for rugby as a professional code. At this rate, all my footy fixes will come from watching the boys run around in subbies.

  • Xaviera

    Outstanding conclusion.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Hahahaha gold mate. That was a great read thanks I needed that with all the shit that’s going on


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