RUPA slam "deeply disappointing" ARU - Green and Gold Rugby

RUPA slam “deeply disappointing” ARU

RUPA slam “deeply disappointing” ARU

The Australian Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) have slammed the Australian Rugby Union for their role in the pending demise of an Australian Super Rugby Franchise.

Chief Executive Officer Ross Xenos penned a letter to media voicing the concerns of RUPA and the players they represent.

“Australia’s professional Rugby players are incredibly frustrated and deeply disappointed by today’s confirmation that the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) has voted to axe an Australian team from Super Rugby in 2018 and beyond,” Xenos said.

“Having signed Australian Rugby up to a competition which reduced local content, diluted tribalism and disrespected fans with its lack of integrity, ARU have now agreed to a new model which has protected the expansion teams in Argentina and Japan at the cost of one of our own.

“Despite receiving $30 million of additional annual broadcast revenue from 2016, the financial challenges of Australian Rugby will likely be used to justify today’s short-sighted and ill-conceived decision which will limit the growth of Rugby in Australia for generations to come.

“It is tomorrow’s players, coaches and fans who will now pay the price for this strategic mismanagement. This decision will be the catalyst for an irresponsible human cost without any genuine remedies to the real strategic issues that the game faces.”

The ARU will tomorrow front the media to discuss SANZAAR’s announcement, but  will not announce which Australian team will face the axe until an undisclosed later date.

FoxSports will cover the press conference live on FoxSports 500 at 9:30am AEST.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Time for the current ARU board to go. First out the door should be Billy Pulver!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Preferable with a size 10 up his arse

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate I am 6’8′, mine are size 15! Am personally volunteering here!

        • Bobas

          only size 15? can we make a go fund me page so Ian Thorpe or Shack can do it?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah but I reckon I have a few more kilos packed on then Thorpey. He was always a bit of a light weight.

  • Greg

    so….. will the boys go on strike?

    I am in favour of and ANZ comp. At least I know who the teams are and everyone could play home and away. What am I missing.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Not enough money in that to keep the players in the comp mate. This has been looked at a few times and there just isn’t enough money available to retain that as a decent funded competition.

      • Rebels3

        It’d require a decent commitment from fox to get it up and running. If figures were better than they are in key time slots they’d jump at it, unfortunately it’d be looked at as being too risky atm. Although I will say, if this restructure doesn’t work by 2020, that’d be it for super rugby

      • onlinesideline

        so basically every freakin decison about rugby ALL GETS DOWN TO A F..KIN CABLE STATION. Is this really the state of play in rugby today, where we are at the mercy of freakin fox. Its just insane. There should be a number of stations fighting over themselves to get the nod. If we had an ANZ comp it would do well with 1-2 years if not straight off the bat…we are soooo scared of losing fox we are drowning out of our own insecurity and fear. Its a delusion …. media will always come a sniffin if a new sucessful comp is started. This smells like guys at ARU protecting their 300k a year by talking up these big deals with FOX scaring us all into the belief that health of game is so built around these big RIGHTS deals …. Players need to strike and we need a breakaway comp or “talk” of one – the ARU would fold like a cheap suit. The problem is that they have never had anyyyy competition and we wonder why they dont give a crap.

        PS …. Matt Hodgson presser was bloody disgraceful that a good bloke like this is brought to emotional state – rugby needs to be nurtured in OZ – we punch above our weight and then ARU do this – grrrrhhhh.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          They haven’t managed it for TV ratings, and that’s the problem. If they had, we would have seen it run like the AFL with strong equalisation measures, assistance given to start-up teams, and a reasonably sensible format.

          What we’ve seen is exactly the opposite – expansion teams have been prevented from becoming competitive and their strange attempts to manage travel and jet lag impacts on players have resulted in promotion of poor teams up the ladder and the damaging of the credibility of the comp.

          You’d imagine that there must have been some evil intent, perhaps to profit in some way, but no, it’s just an ordinary stuff up.

        • Ageing Prop

          Totally agree. It was the ARU that missed the golden opportunity after the 2003 RWC to grow the game in Australia, but sold out to FOX as the golden goose to replace mismanaged funds. It was the ARU that wanted to grow the competition and the game of rugby by bringing in Japan and Argie teams. Now that has turned out to be financially poor decision, so other teams must go. I do not understand their decision making processes and it seems that all decisions are based on Foxtel contracts as a funding solution. It is great that the ARU has provided some $28 million to clubs to remain financial, but what else, other than, throw money at the problem has the ARU done to grow the game and make the competition they wanted viable?

    • Ulrich
  • MCOD

    Yeah this is fucked – was just at the game with my kids – more than a bit annoyed that the force is going to be dumped for the Sunwolves – Not sure why they are even in the Aus comp – Way to grow the game – Wankers!

  • jay-c

    Players haven’t got anyone but themselves to blame for this mess.
    The performances of the Australian teams the last two years have been woeful and have left sanzar with no other reasonable conclusion to come to other than that Australia doesn’t have enough good players to field 5 competitive teams.
    No one wants to see a team get cut, the ONLY solution to salvage SOME of the teams’ supporters is a merger.
    It comes down to, if 4 of the 5 franchises had successful teams, which four would prosper.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The only problem with that argument is that I’m not so sure the players and supporters will jump to another club. The players are more likely to, although there’ll be a lot who’ll be looking off shore as there won’t be room for them all. It’ll also cause some of the fringe players in the other four to go as they’ll not see a future as well. I think most of the supporters of the team that goes will start supporting another code rather than another team in a different state. I also think that a lot of the people in other states that support the team of the state they grew up in will not change their allegiance to where they live but will also go to another code.

      • jay-c

        tbh the five teams all need the cut their fringe ‘dead weight’ anyway. Too many players across all teams just not up to standard, that’s why we’re having to cut/merge a team.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That’s actually a good point. I just feel for those now looking for a job in all 5 teams

        • Rebels3

          The ones I worry about being lost to overseas rugby at the 25-30yr olds that aren’t a main fixture in the wallabies. If it were the force to go, no doubt the DHP and jonno lances will be offered incentive to stay financially. But it’s the ben mccalmans I fear we will lose. The same with the rebels, the Reece Hodges’s, naivalu’ and mcmahons will get incentive enough to stay but what about the Toby smith and Hansens, all players that aren’t key to the wallabies but key to strong domestic squads. No doubt hardwicks (force) and maddocks (rebels) will stay around

        • RugbyReg

          how does cutting dead weight develop players? Surely we need to upskill players?

    • Andrew Luscombe

      No. Super Rugby and the Pro12 are the only professional leagues in the world where teams have access only to players from particular regions, and in the case of Super Rugby not even equal access in their region.

      Having most teams being competitve most of the time is the most basic thing to a regular weekly competition. Every other sport can do it without depending on player production happening to match the audience. Should Manchester United be cut from the EPL because they don’t produce hardly any of their own players, or because England doesn’t produce most of their players?

      Super Rugby is just run badly. It could be fixed within a year with any particular number of teams.

  • Wallaby Legion

    National sport administration is an interesting beast. A requisite monopoly on the administration of the game in this country leaves players, clubs, fans, and overall lovers of the game bitterly frustrated when things like this happen.

    As a born and bred Balmain Tigers fan (now West Tigers​ fan..Please don’t hate me) I’ve seen my fair share of ups and downs with my club and that code.

    Since seeing the light and discovering this magnificent game later in my youth I watched the late ninties and very early 2000 Wallabies become world beaters.

    I’ve since been on board for the great descent, starting with the RWC2003 loss to those fucksticks from up north, to the dismal 2007 loss to those same fuck sticks, to the poor showing against the Darkness in 2011, to the outlier of sterling work on the 2015 cup.

    Last year was a shocker. The showing this year from teams across the Aussie conference only seems to promise more hardship ahead.

    My beloved Wallabies and old flames, the Tigers, are proving true the old adage, “teams don’t win premierships; clubs win premierships”. Despite the obvious shortcomings in performances that are easy to level at the players, the picture and problem is bigger.

    The ARU is the captain of this ship and it’s been way off course for some years now. We can’t hope for the rest of our rugby system to produce success on the pitch if the administration is failing to produce results.

    The presser tomorrow better be an announcement of numerous resignations. Otherwise I say it’s a mutiny we need.

    P.S. Get fucked Billy P.

  • Johnno

    I never wanted Argentina in the RC and still don’t, there not in our future they are to blame as well for this mess, go back to french rugby and stay in south america. RUPA are rightly annoyed at Argentina and Japan being put ahead of the Rebels or Force. Stone the crows I say. I’d prefer we went back to a tri-nations. A lot of Argentina’s best are still in Europe anyway. If Argentina must be part of RC, have an Argentina rule, allow 3-4 Argies per side to be signed.

  • What is the mission of the ARU? Should be in the articles of incorporation. Has Pulver and the ARU violated those by advancing Japan/Argentina and not Australian rugby? If so, they should go.

  • onlinesideline

    wheres Simon Poidevan and John Eales when you need them – are they on the payroll ?

  • Pclifto

    Can someone explain to me the commercial benefit to SANZAAR to have the Sunwolves involved? The broadcasters certainly don’t care about having a Japanese team, especially one that gets pummelled most games.

    Including a Japanese team is pie-in-the-sky naiveté at the expense of solidifying and optimising a top class competition in SANZAAR’s core markets


Nic is a freelance journalist who first tried his hand writing for Green & Gold Rugby as a schoolboy. Five years on, Nic is our resident expert on Brisbane’s local rugby scene not named RugbyReg. In April 2018 Nic releases his first book, the official biography of Waisale Serevi entitled 'Waisale Serevi: The King of Sevens'.

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