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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News has Izzy walking the line, the Waratahs embracing the underdog, Castle having a plan, and more on Quade Cooper.


Ya pushin’ me over the line

Raelene Castle and Cameron Clyne

Raelene Castle and Cameron Clyne

It was an interesting night when Raelene Castle sat down for Kick & Chase on Fox Sports.

It comes after the latest controversy involving Israel Folau, one that I really didn’t want to talk about yesterday. Izzy has recently got into hot water again for sharing a video from the late evangelist christian David Wilkerson. The video is intercut with the “need to get right with god”, with images of rainbow flags and burning clocks.

With one tweet, the whole debate kicks off again.

But Raelene’s response to the whole thing was an interesting one, and one that we probably should talk about.

You can check out the video of her responding to the controversy here, one she admitted that “In my career, this is the singularly most difficult thing I’ve ever had to deal with.”

“And that’s because there is no black and white answer.

“On the one hand you’re dealing with a human rights issue and on the other hand you’re dealing with a freedom of speech (issue). There’s someone’s right to express their views, whether it be religious or otherwise, and I think the test is whether it’s done in a respectful way. So that’s the measure we’ll continue to apply.

“It’s not just about the player but it’s about inclusion that includes everybody in our sport.

“There’s the gay community, of which we’re very respectful and want to make sure we’ve got a very inclusive environment that people feel comfortable and want to be part of rugby.

“But at the same time, we’ve got a large group of people that may share Israel’s views. So we need to think of not being seen to exclude those people.”

Castle said that she had not yet spoken to Izzy on the latest tweet, but there was always a planned dialogue that was continuing on with him afterwards.

“By sanctioning Izzy there is a chance that we lose a different part of the community, so as I said at the top this is a very difficult subject that balances those two things.

“There’s no doubt we’ve had conversations with Izzy about continuing to present his views in a respectful way. He is walking the line, we’ll continue the dialogue with him.

“That continues to be a conversation that both ourselves and the Waratahs continue to have with him … so it’s a very delicate issue and I really wish I could sit here and say: ‘This is black and white and by sanctioning him we’ll fix it or by going down this path we’ll actually finish it as well’.”

It also comes at a time when Izzy’s contract issues are up in the air, and Castle stressed that the issues need to be kept separate.

“We’ve worked really hard during this process to make sure we separated that conversation and actually made sure we made it about the issue at hand and made it about the inclusion piece and respectful piece,” Castle said.

“And that’s the dialogue and the focus that we’ve continued to have and we haven’t entered into the renegotiations or contract extension conversations in relation to this matter.

“It’s a very hot topic in the Australian landscape at the moment. The freedom of speech movement is looking for a conversation to be had and that’s why I said — and I keep repeating myself — it’s very delicate and we’re trying to manage both sides to make sure everyone feels included because it’s tremendously important.”

We got a plan!

castle

The Castle isn’t burning yet

Still on Raelene Castle, she apparently has a plan.

With many in the media and fans calling for something to be done about the drain of players overseas and to other codes, Castle admitted that Rugby Australia is coming up with a plan to stop the poaching of talent from rugby.

Talking from her perspective at the Bulldogs, Castle said there is an “organised plan to steal rugby talent” within rugby league, which is something she has seen first hand. This apparently has contributed to the decline of the code.

However, when she spoke on Kick & Chase, she admitted that there was a plan being created at HQ to encourage youngsters to stay in rugby.

“[This is] something I’m particularly passionate about, having understood from [my] previous role how there might be an organised plan to steal rugby talent, we need to make sure we lock it up and capture it,” Castle said.

“[We need to] ensure that we back ourselves to secure that talent to contract it and grow and develop it.

“Call it a junior Wallabies scholarship, call it an early contracting thing, that’s what we’re looking to try and implement.

“If we can pick our four best rugby stars every year and that becomes eight and becomes 12 and becomes 16, suddenly very quickly you’re actually seeding that best talent and securing it and selling the dream.

“Being a Wallaby, playing internationally, going to a World Cup; those are things perhaps the other codes can’t discuss.

“[We are] looking to see if it’s something we can implement next year.”

The plan is as yet unclear, but for all the crap we give Castle, it is a positive that she has come over from League and seen what they are doing.

On a side note, Castle also commented on the rise of World Series Rugby over in WA over the weekend, which she admitted to really enjoying after finding Australian performances in Super Rugby “incredibly difficult to watch.”

“It was great to see it finally hit the airwaves. It was a great success, they had a really good crowd there.

“It was interesting to see the Fijian team there. We are absolutely supportive of anything that continues to promote rugby in the west and we’ll continue to work closely with Andrew [Forrest] and Minderoo.”

What was a really interesting comment that she mentioned was the potential link-up that Twiggy may have with the NRC.

“The NRC will stay as a competition because we believe that is a really important part of our pathway to make sure there is a step from club rugby into the NRC into Super Rugby.

“We would like to see Andrew get involved in helping to supercharge the NRC and that’s certainly some of the conversations that we’ve had with him. That’s a way where the Western Force players can have a way to be in that pathway.”

Always the Underdog

Hands on hips for the Waratahs

Hands on hips for the Waratahs

Another day, another piece about how we’re coming up against a Kiwi side.

The Waratahs are faced with a tough task this weekend, heading to Christchurch to face a Crusaders side that mauled the Rebels in Melbourne last week.

The Tahs haven’t won there since 2004, and the Crusaders haven’t lost at home in over thirteen matches.

Oh yeah, and we’re on a 38 match losing streak to the Kiwis. Just in case you forgot.

Ned Hanigan however said that the team, after losing to the Blues weekend in a match that, even now, still makes all of our collective blood boil, is happy to embrace being heavy underdogs for this match.

“It’s motivation in itself,” he said to rugby.com.au. 

“We’re probably going over there with (long) odds, so knowing we’re coming into an arena that no one thinks you’re going to win’s almost working to our advantage.

“We’re making sure we get our roles right and then going over there and whatever’s happening over there’s got nothing to do with us.

“We’re there to put a very good performance together, which I think we’ll do.

“Defence is an important part of the game, but so is attack.

“We had a performance a couple of weeks ago, where we didn’t score any tries and it wouldn’t matter if you defended the house down, you’re still not going to win that game.

“So, scoring points is obviously still important and stopping them’s bloody important as well.”

However, I really hope Hanigan doesn’t forget that the Tahs cover defence let them down at Brookvale last weekend. With the numbers of possession and territory stacked heavily their way, they still let the Blues score more points than them.

Their next four matches will be crucial, with three games against Kiwi sides and then a derby against the Reds.

“If we win the next four, that’ll make Cheika‘s decision probably a bit easier because we’ve put our own performance on the paddock that will have to be good to beat these sides,” Hanigan added.

“I haven’t put a lot of thought into it to be really honest with you, we’re coming off a loss and we’re going over to Christchurch to prove a point.”

Not the way Quade

Quade Cooper is still reportedly on the radar of the Wallabies. 

However, Stephen Larkham added that if they are to pick Quade, they want to pick him when he is playing for a Super Rugby team, not from club rugby.

Brad Thorn officially confirmed yesterday that Cooper’s chances of playing at the Reds are effectively over, saying that if another team came knocking he would let them take him.

Aside from Cooper, Bernard Foley and maybe Kurtley Beale are the only players who can really slot into the flyhalf role, which means we are stretched pretty thin in that position.

But Bernie added that he wasn’t out of the mix, but not playing Super Rugby will hurt his chances.

“I wouldn’t say it’s out of the picture, but at the moment, no, we’re looking at Super Rugby players,” he said to rugby.com.au.

“There’s three guys who were in the squad last year (as possible flyhalves) – Bernard (Foley, Reece Hodge and Kurtley Beale were our three five-eighths and the other two (Hodge and Beale) were outside, playing different positions.

“You look at his (Cooper’s) contribution to the team on the field, there’s no doubt he’s good enough to play for Australia and make an impact at that level.

“I guess it’s up to him.

“I would love to see him playing Super Rugby, there’s no doubt about that.

“I’ve always enjoyed my time with Quade, I think he’s a magnificent player and I certainly want to see him playing at that next level, which will hopefully then we’ll be able to play for Australia again.”

  • metalisticpain

    After watching kick and chase, Raelene can go stuff it.

    She talks about any involvement with Twiggy needing to benefit all of Aussie rugby, and any decision must be taken with the view of helping all of Aussie rugby. All I’m heading is we need to prop up eastern states again. Decisions made certainly weren’t made in a way that WA benefited last year. FYI all of Aus includes WA, SA, NT and Tassie Raelene!

    I also find it highly doubtful that Twiggy’s WSR/IPRC had not mentioned the comp going forth next year with Asia to RA. She said they hadn’t mentioned it in over 6 months. I’m calling BS. More of the same from RA it seems.

    • nmpcart

      Not sure when WA was propping up the Eastern states previously – remember the Force relied on players from the east. I think what Twiggy is doing is great and I hope that it is a long term success but let’s not turn it into an us vs them thing. Yes all Aus does mean Tas, SA and NT as well, but those are smaller rugby populations and we need to develop them long term. I would like to see rugby follow the AFL model and take games to those smaller states on a regular basis to help build the interest – it just comes down to costs in the end. If Minderoo, who have lots of money, want to develop the game in those locations then maybe they can take WSR to those places or have RA take NRC games (not trials) to the likes of Adelaide and Hobart.

      • Habitual offender

        Pro Rugby in Tas would be great.
        We could play right through summer.

      • Perth girl

        The Force was cut to prop up the Rebels. I’ll say it again Andrew Forrest offered 70 mill to benefit grassroots in ALL of Australia and was turned down by RA

        • Dud Roodt

          I thought it was $50m?

        • Perth girl

          Do you think that made the difference to RA?

        • Dud Roodt

          Well it certainly helps your argument to not inflate figures if it’s the truth you’re attempting to get across

        • Perth girl

          Only the people at the Adelaide meeting know exactly what was offered. It has been quoted as being between 50 and 70 mill

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Good on Raelene. Really seems like she is doing the best that she can under difficult circumstances.

    Lastly, Izzy needs to shut the hell up. Raelene is clearly unhappy, and even Gregan came out and told him to shut up. Time to shut up or get the hell out. Can you imagine the sort of impact playing with that prima donna would have on team moral at the Waratahs and the Wallabies at present? Putting himself before his teammates and coach, and the loud whispers of his whinging about being played on the wing. Get over yourself mate, and if you want to play fullback perhaps you should learn how to kick and cover tackle like a fullback should be able to do.

    • Dud Roodt

      I genuinely think she is doing a really good job currently and making all the right noises.
      She seems very proactive in making good policy changes and is reconnecting with clubs, WA etc. Of course there will be people (cough cough Alan Jones) who will slam her no matter what she does.

      • onlinesideline

        Im not 100% sure but I think he was bashing the selection process and on what basis she was actually selected as opposed to any cock ups she has made – I hope so as that would be pretty low.

        • paul

          At least he is stirring the pot, not just letting them sweep things under the carpet like the last 20 years.

          And Jones has a good point exactly who is appointing these people and what agendas are in play.

          Like his point about Kafer.

          Its also like the consultant they have employed about the future of Super rugby, are we going to see that report, or will it be all hush, hush.

          what criteria is the consultant working under. will it be just another claytons report.

        • onlinesideline

          agree – his outbursts are needed, not complaiing there.

      • Huw Tindall

        Making the right noises but I wouldn’t mind a bit more detail about ‘supercharged’ NRC and pathways/grass roots. Wallabies fine they’ll bumble through OK but we just aren’t getting the talent through.

      • Perth girl

        Dud How has she reconnected with WA. She says that RA has worked closely with Andrew Forrest but in that time nothing has been done except for players like Pek Cowan taking up a Japanese contract because he could not wait any longer for RA to make decisions. That is why Andrew Forrest is working with World Rugby

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Up-vote for using Dud’d first name only.

        • Dud Roodt

          All I can go by is what I see in the press (as I’m not heavily ingrained in the fabric of WA rugby), and she is at least talking the right way about it. She seems far more open to both club rugby and working with WA rugby than he predecessor or anyone on the board

        • Perth girl

          All I can say is talk is cheap! Andrew Forrest has done more for WA Rugby in 6 months than RA has done in the last 12 years!

        • Dud Roodt

          Yeah you’re right, she should have come in on day one of her job and reinstated the Force and everything would have been fixed and right in the world.

        • Perth girl

          I think we are in a better position where we are now. Its not about reinstating the Force its about how RA treated one of its Unions and what it has done with a shedload of money

      • Who?

        I agree with much of what Alan’s said, but I also agree with you that she’s barely into the job, she’s hamstrung by many of the same issues that Pulver had to face (i.e. Clyne and the board)… She deserves much more space than she’s getting, and for the most part, she’s working fairly deftly with the fraction of space she has.

      • Valzc

        RA have done nothing but put blockades against WSR & keep trying to sabotage the comp. Refusing to sign the rolling subs for the game on the weekend was the latest one! They’ve dragged their heels on everything despite World Rugby sanctioning Twiggys comp. And now trying to spin it like they’re providing assistance – pack of lying hypocrites! Why not interview Twiggy on Kick & Chase with Raelene and THEN get the real story on what RA have been doing – nah.. that won’t happen cos they’d shit themselves at being ‘transparent’.

    • Missing Link

      yeah willing to give Raelene a go, she has my full support

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      Absolutely agree with everything here. Just writing this, it is pretty clear to me that Raelene, as much as she wants to respect Izzy’s views, is getting frustrated with the whole situation. I don’t blame her. Frankly, it’s a tough place to be in. She carried herself very well.

      What was Izzy thinking?! Honestly? I watched that video he shared and it is pretty clear which part of our society the Christian teaching and talk of repenting sins is being aimed at.

      Izzy talks about how he thought he would only be judged by his actions on the field. I don’t think he realises how many people look to him as a Rugby role model, and that carries into what he does both on and off the field. The man is absolutely entitled to his views and Christian beliefs, and we don’t have to agree with him. But this video, from watching it, really is pushing it.

      I agree D. Braithwaite. With both his Christian views and his issues with the Tahs, he should just keep his trap shut for the next little while.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I agree with everything you say, except I think Folau DOES realise how many people look up to him as a role model. That is why he has taken on the role of preacher and, in his view, attempted saviour of all of our sins.

        • Nicholas Wasiliev

          But, surely he would have realised though that some people would have been hurt by his previous comments, and maybe putting this particular video would have created the same response, as it has.

          If that was the case, then going ahead and posting this anyway was a really stupid move on his part. But then again, like you say, maybe seeing himself as a preacher has clouded his judgement somewhat.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think he does realise, he either (a) doesn’t care or (b) as a committed Christian he thinks that even if he is upsetting them then it is overall to their benefit as he is trying to save their souls for eternity.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          It’s (b).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, he’s a typical preaching religous nut. If people get offended then keep at them harder with shit written 2000 years ago because that’ll change their minds.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. I love listening to religious arguments! Many of my staff are from many diferent faiths who debate each other (respectfully). I refrain from saying it, but my thoughts are along the lines of, your imaginary friend and their imaginary friend disagree. What a novelty!

        • Habitual offender

          We have faeries at the bottom of our garden.
          Some of them play at #10

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well draft them into the Squad. We dont have any depth at 10.

        • Habitual offender

          Cant catch them
          Maybe a .7mill$ offer to sit on the bench as an enticement?

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think my little daughter taught me you just have to say:
          “I believe in fairies!”
          But as usual as it was about make believe things, I might not have been giving it my full attention!

        • Nutta

          Faeries respect diversity. They wear 9 thru 15…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m interested in learning more about Buddhism. Apparently many Buddhists don’t think of the Buddha as divine, but just as a wise man who taught a philosophy for how to live a kind and meaningful life through compassion for others.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Correctamundo. Unfortunately I dont have any Bhuddist’s working for me. I have Taoists. Muslims, Hindu’s, Mormons, Jehovah’s and one that claims he is a Jedi. The Jedi is eccentric, but by god he is a brilliant IT dude so regardless of his delusional views, he is staying!

        • Huw Tindall

          Aren’t Jedis essentially bhuddist? Believe in an invisible force that connect all the universe i.e. karma.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pretty similar in my layman (or Padawan Learner) terms. But I dont believe that Bhuddists belive in midichlorians!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep religion is about who’s gotr the best imaginary friend and control of the masses.

        • Brisneyland Local

          yep!
          To quote the Bhudda:
          “It is what it is! And we are where we are!”

        • Who?

          To misquote 1.5 aliens…
          What is the Buddha?
          Who is the Buddha?
          Why is the Buddha?

        • Who?

          One of the great failings of the ‘left’ or progressive side of politics in the last 20 years is that they have adopted that same dogmatic approach. Where, if someone doesn’t instantly agree with a new position (even when it’s empirically proven (and not all are)), then the solution is either go harder, or write them off as unintelligent Luddites. Which has happened across much of the media regarding Folau (i.e. both sides of the debate are as deaf as each other, and no one’s showing tolerance). It’s something the progressive side used to do much better than they do now. It’s a shame. :-(

        • Joe King

          Yep I agree. And I don’t think mocking his religious beliefs, associating it with belief in fairies, or assuming that it is illogical or unintelligent to believe what he does about Jesus, is very helpful at all! I know quite a few highly intelligent people (and a couple of history professors) who believe similar things to Izzy. They may not word things in exactly the same way as his tweet, or be as evangelistic, but they are certainly not naive or uninformed.

        • Habitual offender

          I think the key to that Joe is – “They may not word things in exactly the same way as his tweet, or be as evangelistic”
          I would have no problem with them.
          As far as comparing Christianity with Fairies – http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/ffcc/ffcc002.htm
          Theres a difference?
          Or do you have an issue with Celtic religion?

        • Joe King

          Sorry for a slow reply. I haven’t accessed my email for a while. I guess I just don’t see the fairy religion as being as open to historical investigation as the claims for Jesus. Cheers

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          absolutely mate. I ignore most of that shit.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          He removed his hell remark, and apologised for the tone of it, so he knew it had hurt people, and expressed sorrow for the way it had been interpreted by many. I doubt he thought this video would be problematic at all. It’s been around for 7 years and made no big stir. It has no capital letters., or rude words, or anything much.

        • Keith Butler

          Time for Folau to give up rugby and take up the cloth. Won’t pay his bills though.

        • Nutta

          Dunno about that. Ever seen a poor tv evangelist? And those Hillsong folk don’t lack for a coin or 6

        • Keith Butler

          Very true. Off you go Izzy the good ol US of A needs you.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        I watched the video too. It most definitely isn’t clear. 11 minutes of vague say-nothing language, and the vision is snippets of all sorts of stuff mixed up. Different people will see implications in very different ways, and almost anything you see in there is implied, not explicit. If you are sensitive to certain things, then you’ll see it one way, sensitive to others and you’ll see it another. I’ve got no doubt that Izzy saw it mostly as a plea to turn towards god, which is about the only thing in there which is explicit. Possibly he saw the 15 or so seconds with rainbow flags as showing his views on gay people are part of a broader plea to “turn from sin”, or something.

        • Joe King

          Yep, my thoughts too.

  • Dud Roodt

    Could not be more over talking about Israel and Jeebus and gay people. I am now at a place where if he got the sack, I actually wouldn’t give a shit. He knows exactly what he’s doing. Most sensible people who don’t think they’re more powerful than the code would have shut up a long time ago.
    Maybe Benny Hinn can start up a rugby team Izzy can play for while getting people to walk out of wheelchairs. He should look into that.

    Everyone of course knows that league takes the best of rugby’s talent (and who could blame them given there are schoolboy competitions with league scouts there and not a single scout from an Australian Super Rugby team), so I think this is a good initiative. Although I don’t think 4-12 contracts a year is going to cut it. It should be based around building the NRC as a platform straight out of school for these kids with tangible financial benefit like league has with the Tooheys New Cup or whatever it’s called.

    • onlinesideline

      how about we have scouts that go on the offensive in schoolbooy league territory ? Thats what we should be doing. Its such a weak sounding effort. This is sporting war. We look so limp wristed. It feels like they are driving around in their range rovers with A/C on doing everything from their cellphones.

      • Dud Roodt

        I wouldn’t put it past them.

        I think we should definitely do that. It will be tough, given that league has always treated the battle between the codes as war (compare league commentators not referring to rugby as “rugby” or “union”, they say “that other code”, and when the Tahs were giving away tickets to the Roosters if you bought a Tahs ticket a few years ago!), so a lot of young league kids wouldn’t even dream of stopping and moving to rugby.

        I think what has to happen is RA supporting schools in giving scholarships to star league players at top rugby schools, effectively signing them to a contract as a kid – much like the league clubs do (e.g. Dan Conn went to Kings on the $$ of the Bulldogs or Tigers)

        • nmpcart

          The young league players do get scholarships to rugby schools as the schools want to stack their teams to win – but these kids are often already signed to a league club anyway. However, some of those kids go into the NRL youth program/u20s etc and then don’t make the cut – if rugby had identified them as being a potentially good rugby player and kept in touch with them while they are in the league environment then if it is not working out for them or they don’t like the environment there are lines of communication open for them to come to rugby. A lot of kids do play both codes, so we need to stay with them and let league do some of that physical development of them, then get them back when they might be of an age that they are ready to play top level. We struggle to compete with contracts as NRL has so many teams so can sign up lots of young guys but plenty of them don’t suit it and can prove to be more suited to our game so identifying who they are and staying close to them, inviting them to games etc might provide the catalyst for some to make that switch.

      • paul

        That’s because we have no money, Super rugby pretty much ensures that. And all this will do is use up any remaining money.

        The only way we are going to increase player development and skill levels is to increase the popularity of the game which will ensure more young people are attracted to it.

        That however means concentrating on a proper domestic league a model that 99% of Australians prefer.

        But that will never happen while we persist with Super rugby.

        So all Raelene is doing is moving a chair on the deck.

        • Huw Tindall

          Agree. People like club rugby because they care and it’s competitive (mostly) despite being of relatively low quality. NRC is competitive and great quality…promote it and people will start to care. Super Rugby is none of the above. Kill it.

        • onlinesideline

          very to the point Huuw – lol – agree. The way I see this is we have to make a choice. To think we can have a nation wide NRC full of super rugby players that mirrors the NRL (which is what I want) and then have a super rugby like state v state comp on an international basis and then have a 4 nations comp and then have an EOYT is beyond retarded. We will end up getting flogged by the Scots every November from shear exhaustion. Way too much footty.

          I say we shaft state v state (internaionally) completely.

          I say we have:

          have a 20 – 24 week domestic comp mirroring everything NRL, times played, small local venues, regions represented. (start a FULL offensive to knick their talent at schoolboy level and above)

          have a domestic state v state small comp as a tool to select wallabies basically like old days

          have the 4 nations test series (thats the only place to play other countres)

          EOYT

          Thats it, thats enough footy. If the NRC grows into something decent, coupled with domesic state v state, we will have a very aussie season, we will know all the players better, see them more often, and new superstars will emerge.It should be domestic all the way through to the first test and then let the best country win.

          I say totally sacrifice international state v state ie super rugby

        • paul

          I agree, except with State v State, why bother, Just stick to a domestic league at whatever level we can achieve, select your test players from that league or overseas.

        • onlinesideline

          Im not against that either TBH – thats basically what league does. That would make the NRC the premier comp of the season which I really think is whats needed. Too many shite products (comps) instead of one doozy nationwide comp. It would also mean more action at club as that would be seen as closer to wallaby selection if you get what I mean. Only 2 levels away.

        • paul

          That’s it so much content with no meaning, one national comp and tests.
          It doesn’t have to be perfect from day one, build it, get private equity into it.

        • Ed

          Your proposal will have our first chance to assess where we are at is in the Four Nations, where the Wallabies will get flogged by the ABs.

          Compare the NRC v ITM Cup. There is daylight in the quality between the top sides in both leagues, where they are both missing their test players.

          There is not a market in Australia for such a comp to pay the salaries for our top players.

        • onlinesideline

          It will be their first chance to assess u too !!

          Thats what made test matches in the past actually fun – ya know that knot in the pit of ur stomach about the great unknowns. “who are these blokes, shit I wonder if they are gonna smash us, wonder how fast their backs are” – that is what was taken away from us becuase of SR.

          Yeah some good players will go, but new great players will emerge.
          This is about creating a nationwide comp that people WATCH – do that first – the comp will grow, the play will get better.

          It wont be a totally painless switch over.

          Re getting flogged:

          1 – how do you know ?
          2 – we already get flogged – the ABs step it up at will

        • paul

          You just don’t get it, were getting flogged now. There is a market there you have to build it.

          Stop comparing the comps who cares it is our comp,

          The Wallabies get paid match fees.

          The alternative is to carry on with Super rugby and kill the game off completely.
          If you haven’t got money to pay for something, you either earn it or borrow it, we’ve been borrowing for 20 years now.

        • Ed

          The proposal would be like the A-League – there would be a core group of fans who would watch their team, but there would be many fans of the code knowing there is superior competitions to watch on their TV.
          A-League v EPL/Serie A/La Liga etc.
          Our NRC v ITM/Aviva/Pro XX.

          Some recent viewing figures on Fox to gauge the interest of the codes.
          The Tahs v Reds match had 58,000 viewers while the NRL matches had 243/231/194k and the AFL 221/134/111k that day. I assume the AFL games had extra viewers with some of them being shown on FTA.

          The Saturday where the Tahs played in Japan and the Brums played the Reds, neither match had an audience that was above the 20th most watch show on pay – 52k. In contrast, the NRL games had 278/243/177k that day.

          The Brums/Tahs match had 77k viewers against 249/229k on NRL and 226/162k for AFL matches.

          If we have a local competition following an end to Super Rugby, there will be a drop in the funds TV broadcasters will pay for our comp. Considering the performance of our sides since 2016, RA would not be a real strong position to bargain with offers for their product.

          Maybe we have to go local. That would cause some pain for a few years, with the likelihood that the Wallabies would fall outside the top five nations, which would mean less TV money for their matches. They are our broadcasting cash cow.

        • paul

          Agree Test rugby is the cash cow, but it has come at what cost.

        • Gun

          It’s arguable that they’re fifth now without looking at the official ratings. Half of all people here who go to test footy are barracking for the opposition. As long as they buy tickets I guess but we become the whipping boys for whoever is visiting this year and that isn’t sustainable: fans need to believe a win is possible.
          I’m not sure a local league would leave us worse off. I think you are correct in stating that it would be similar to A league but it would differ from Super Rugby in that it would be a lot more tribal. We would lose players to Europe but others would replace them. The standard would be lower but the entertainment better.
          NRL/AFL didn’t exist in a vacuum, they grew their markets and continue to fight for market share. Rugby has vacated that ground.
          It’s only rusted on types and expats watching now in any case

      • Sevenwithasixonmyback

        Each of the SR franchises only have to employ 2-3 scouts 2-3 days per week. 1 or 2 days of watching and scouting and another for the paperwork and presentations back in the office. It’s not much of a cost commitment, but the benefit to the game would be immense. Dragging along sidelined players to schoolboy and junior matches would also add to eyeballs on the sideline and pique interest from the junior players in having famous players at their game and they’d surely want to impress, regardless it being the other code. Word would get ’round grounds like wildfire if rugby scouts were attending junior RL games. The top young players would be showing off like nobody’s business to grab the attention of a pro-scout. Imagine if Chris Malone showed up to a Westfields Sports High or Patrician Brother match with Tolly Latu or Jake Gordon – just to watch… The place would go mad.
        Get that word around that scouts might be about and you’d have kids falling over themselves to impress that other code. It’s just gotta start being a thing.

        • onlinesideline

          agree 100%

      • Who?

        It already happens. When my kid was U12’s, at the regional schools Rugby trials (kids could nominate into the four sub-regional teams, from which the regional team was picked), one kid played his 2nd and 3rd games of Rugby (ever), then received a full scholarship to a GPS school…

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Sorry for my lack of contributions yesterday! Was up to my armpits in alligators! But alas have some capacity today so can engagfe on things that I really love! rugby! BL’s points for the day:
    – I wish the Izzy thing would go and die. I am over it. It is now fundamentally detracting about whether he is a winger or a full back. that and fact that he cant kick to save himself even after 2 years in AFL. WTF.
    – Ralene’s tenure isnt going to end well me thinks!
    – The QC issue just wont go away. If I were Quade I would stand my ground. You have a contract, make them honour it. The more BT beats on the issue, the more it sounds like he has apersonal grudge than anything else. Whethr that is true or not I dont care. But a good coach, one with a strong EQ would have already worked out the way to harness QC’s skills, refine his weaknesses, and eliminate the cultural issues. Obviouly BT doesnt have that high EQ to do that. Dissapointing. Anyway QC stay in club rugby, get fit, look after your body, and collect your paycheck. You are only one injury away from RA coming begging.
    – Larkham’s comment is pure shit though. QC has an RA contract, he doesnt have to be laying Super Rugby to get the call up! It may be your preference, but to say it cant happen is bullshit. Also Larkham to say you are only looking at Suer rugby players is half the problem. Club rugby has some great players, and with our lack of depth across the paddock, that is exactly where they should be looking for the next batch of talent.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • onlinesideline

      clearlyyyy was a nudge nudge by RA to Larkham to say soemthing. I agree QC should do WTF he wants and saying hes a no go if he doesnt play super is low. This is basic bullying and TBH pretty damn low. Hes a 70 test veteran and its RA’s (former) cock up – and a veteran with a f..king good win rate, regardless of what you think of him in 2018. Re BT – I agree – Its personal.It has to be. QC has been round long enough to know that if he bides his time, injuries happen. Hes just sitting back like a wise old owl – I would too on 600k, bikini model girlfriend and just finished renovating his house. TBH is pretty hilarious if it wasnt so sad.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Agree . On top of that QC meets the giteau law as well. So there is no way of saying he is ineligible! It is really is sad and points to the ineptitude of our games administrators. Fuck if I ran any of my companies this way I wouldnt be in business!

        • Braveheart81

          He’s didn’t say he’s ineligible. He said he wouldn’t be picked if he’s just playing club rugby because it is no place to prove that you are in the right form for test rugby. If Cooper decides to play out his entire contract in club rugby I think he’s pretty much drawing the curtains on his elite professional career. On that basis it will be interesting to see what he does next season.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Probably a wording issue. But if he said we aint picking you from clb rugby, it means the same thing to me. I.E. what they are attempting to do is force his hand to either the Rebs or the Ponies. Again, our stocks at this position are so low, one injury to Foley, or to any of the other tens out there, and we are in deep shite. to be honest we are in deep shite anyway, because our current Wallaby ten is shite.

        • Braveheart81

          I don’t know if you can really call it forcing his hand. Cooper is not required to do anything. Larkham is merely suggesting that if Cooper does want to be reasonably considered he can’t expect that he happen whilst he is playing club rugby. If Cooper does want to play for the Wallabies again maybe he does need a bit of a reality check that it isn’t going to happen if he stays in Brisbane unless something dramatic happens.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I suppose so. But I think you are ruight about the something dramatic happening! As I think it is likely to happen. And knowing our mate Murphy it will happen the week before the Irish tests!

        • idiot savant

          Larkham said that Australia’s 2nd and 3rd flyhallf choices are Hodge and Beale. Neither of them play flyhallf in any form of rugby except Wallabies practice. I would have thought playing flyhallf at club level was ahead of practice so Larkham’s comments are weird. (Not that I want Cooper back btw).

        • Huw Tindall

          At what point is QC being stubborn to the extent he is cutting off his nose to spite his mug? If I said screw you I’m never giving you a job, and you kept applying to my company, even though other employers wanted you, at what point is that self defeating? Prove me wrong. Rub my face in it.

          Another question I’ve got is literally what is stopping QC playing for the Brums or Rebels etc? Does his contract prevent him? He is getting paid to play club rugby so why not some other team? To extend that – is there anything stopping me running out for the Tahs if needed? I’ll sign a waiver so that when I get poleaxed in the first hit up I won’t sue but other than that legal sh!te?

        • Brisneyland Local

          The only thing stopping him competing with the other teams is the commercial arrangements that would have be put in place.
          I.E. The Brumbies may only be prepared or can afford $50k. The Reds would have to continue paying the rest of his contract and would only get that $50k back. That might not be acceptable to them.
          In the early days of this saga the Brumbies and Reds both engaged in dicussions and the Reds said they wouldnt release him on the numbers offered. Now Quade is returning the favour and saying I am staying put. either way the Reds have to keep paying him til the end of next year til his contract runs out. So commercially speaking, if I were him I would stand my ground.

        • Huw Tindall

          Couldn’t the Brums pay him nothing and he still play? Reds/RA have to keep paying him regardless. Maybe Brums stump up some match day fees and player insurance etc but they’d have to do that for anyone who plays.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes correct but the Reds have to agree to it! Whilst BT said he wont stand in the way of QC playing at another club, it has to be on agreed commercial terms. So it is quite disengenuous to say go and ply your trade at another club.

      • My thoughts on Thorn is that it’s either a personal grudge, or that being a Kiwi, he’d be too busy booing QC every time he touches the ball in training and in a match that he wouldn’t be able to do any actual coaching.

    • Happyman

      Morning BL
      Agree on all points RA are clearly trying to pressure QC into moving to another State for less money. He has a contract and is supposedly doing everything properly in club rugby.
      I just don’t think Larkham is a good coach. He has not served a real apprenticeship so I just don’t think he has enough experience. HE did not take the Ponies anywhere and he will be the next Wallaby coach god help us

      • Brisneyland Local

        Morning Happyman! Agree. Larkham was a great instinctual player. But you cant coach on instinct. There is to much graft, hard work and long term strategy, plus all of the back room administration etc etc. Larkham evidently doesnt get this, has struggled at the Ponies and will further destroy the already fractured Wallabies if he takes over the scorched earth that the Lebanese silk trader is going to leave him.

        • Who?

          Exactly – Larkham was a great natural talent. The more natural talent you have, the less you have to analyse and less work you have to do to reach a given level. Which is why many of the greatest coaches weren’t great players. Macqueen made the Sydney team as an openside. Jones never made the national team. Link was a prop (i.e. his body didn’t allow him to operate at the speed of his mind, so he just worked hard). Henry didn’t play top level, neither did Hansen, or Schmidt.
          That doesn’t mean that great players can’t be great coaches, but there’s definitely a lot more work to do for a great player to understand how to extract the best from an average player than there is for an average player to coach other average players to their potential.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The Wallabies’ attack was actually very good for most of last year. It was just defence, set-piece, discipline, selection and game-plan (i.e., not Larkham’s areas) that let the team down.

          The Brumbies attacked well in 2014 and 15. People forget how many players were lost for 2016 (White, Mogg, Speight, Tomane (for half the season), Toomua (for like half the season it felt like), Vaea.

          Pocock additionally lost in 2017.

          Larkham was nowhere near experienced enough when promoted to head coach, but I would hate to see a talented man’s coaching career destroyed due to being prematurely promoted. As I said, the Wallabies’ attack was very good last year, and I don’t rate Foley as an international 10.

        • Who?

          I agree that Larkham’s Wallabies jurisdiction was, generally, much better organized in 2017 than previously. But I’m still not convinced he did a good job as head coach at the Brums (remember, he was there for 6 years, and we didn’t see huge progress, and players he coached didn’t progress), regardless of claims of player shortages (because it was still a strong roster).
          I completely agree that Larkham wasn’t anywhere near experienced enough, and I would very much prefer to see him step back and find some success at lower levels than continue to be pushed through to the next level without having proven anything (and the same thing goes for Brad Thorn).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Head coach from 2014-17 and made the finals every time. It’s true that we didn’t see a huge progression, but he was following a World Cup winning coach and one of the most successful coaches in the world with virtually no top level coaching experience.

          After a couple of years when you’d think his coaching would have improved we saw the loss of most of his top stars.

          Also, I would argue that Toomua maintained from 2013 and that Tomane was his best in 2016 prior to his injury.

          I’m not going to judge prematurely, but the attack is virtually the only thing about the Wallabies last year that I wouldn’t criticise. The Brumbies had a strong scrum, line out and defence under Larkham – if he can get the attack firing with the Wallabies again this year then he will have gone a long way towards answering the questions and concerns I have of him.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well written that man!
          Absolutely.And like our playing stocks, our coaching stocks are about as deep as our tens!

      • onlinesideline

        he wont be the next coach.

      • Huw Tindall

        I’m not so cynical about RA – what is stopping QC playing Super Rugby for any other team? He is getting payed to play club rugby so if the Brums said do you want a shot at #10 and we won’t pay you (bar match fees etc) QC and RA aren’t any worse off. Sure, QC may not want to play for Queensland but if he isn’t going to get a gig there what’s the point in him keeping applying for a job there each week?

    • Fed

      Not sure you want QC playing local footy then go into a test match? It can happen but club rugby is not a breeding ground for tests and too much of a jump – at the elite level it’s about time and space – ball-players creating it and defenders taking it – the jump in that factor alone is too big.

      • Brisneyland Local

        True, but if you bring him into the training squad, and start drilling him now, he will step up quickly enough. He knows the game and knows the form required. The reality is he will be coming in as a bench player anyway for NArd “I cant kick the ball further than 10m” Foley. But in the training squad, and off the bench for Nard he will cover the role for 10/12/15 well enough. You also bring in another kicker who can actually kick!

        • Fed

          I want QC in there – I just think he needs to play Super and so he shouldn’t say no to other clubs such as the Brumbies/Rebels etc. Something must be up though because Cheika didn’t want him and now Thorn doesn’t either. I’m a little more miffed at Thorn’s decision because Cheika’s was straight blue-bias LOL.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well we know why BT doesnt want him!

    • Parker

      Spot on about QC. Bernie’s comments, if they are in fact presented in context, are either some clumsy attempt to pressure QC to play for the Brumbies, or another tiresome example of Australian rugby imposing some rule to spite itself.What a load of BS it is to say ‘You need to play SR before we can pick you for the Wallabies’. Just pick the best Aussie players and go win some games. End of story

      • Brisneyland Local

        You da man!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Indirectly a compliment of Quade if Larkham wants him at the Brumbies though. In a way…

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think they give with one hand and take away with the other!

    • McWarren

      Wrong side of the bed today my friend.

      • Brisneyland Local

        McW. Not sure if you are referring to you or me?
        But if me, no. Am actually having a good day today. No one is shooting at me, my kids told me they loved me, my wife told me she is tolerating me (small blessings) and the dogs always love me.
        Rugby is frustrating me, but I sitll love it. Just wish we had more on field things to discuss.
        Cant wait for the June test squad announcement so we have manythings to debate in a contructive maner.

    • Who?

      QC doesn’t even have to have an RA contract to get a call up – he’s Giteau Law eligible.

      • Brisneyland Local

        So no excuses then. This just sounds like they are trying to pressure him!

      • Braveheart81

        He is eligible under Giteau’s law. Larkham is saying he won’t be selected if the only rugby he is playing is club rugby.

        • Who?

          It’s a rather odd situation, though, and not one you face everyday. How many times do you see a 100+ cap Super player, a 60+ cap Test player benched by an incoming coach, whilst the player remains loyal to his one club? Most don’t have the option to play club as Quade is doing – most aren’t lucky enough to be on a long term contract and face coaching turnstiles. And, in this day and age of constant turnover, a bit of loyalty to one club from a player who’s been the face of the franchise, it’s refreshing. I give him the same respect for that which I have for Waugh and Baxter in 2010/11. Except they got more respect from their coaches (remember, Beau Robinson was an up and coming player who moved to Qld because Waugh blocked his path, and Hooper moved to the Brumbies. Quade wasn’t exactly blocking anyone – they had to draft Lance and Lucas back into the state, and I’m sure that the U20’s would love to have Hamish Stewart with them for the U20’s WC).

          That being the case, with the complete absence of any form of depth at 10, exceptions need to be made. After all, Larkham’s eventual understudy was selected out of club rugby for his Wallabies debut (the one who’s named in the eligibility law, Giteau).

        • Braveheart81

          It is an odd situation but I don’t think it is unreasonable for the coaching staff to suggest to the player that if they are serious about gaining test selection again they need to be playing a higher level than club rugby. Cooper is free to play out his contact in Brisbane playing club rugby. He’s not going to play for the Wallabies again if he does that and I’d wonder whether he’d ever sign a big professional contract again either (in 2020 when he is 32). It will be interesting to see what he decides to do next season.

        • Who?

          It’s an odd situation because we’re talking about a player who’s got a track record of playing at the top level. A player who’s attempting to prove himself to a coach who’s clearly chosen (for whatever reasons) that he’s going to ignore those performances. So if his performances are good enough to get him selected in pretty well any other Super squad in the country, isn’t that effectively all but the same as playing at that level?
          That said, I don’t think that Cheika was ever intending to pick Cooper again after the June tests last year. His excuses last year were extraordinarily feeble. And his statements this year, they’re a false effort to talk up his constant philosophy of internal competition in the squad, that no one’s undroppable (in spite of Foley, Hooper, Beale and Folau being exactly that), and an attempt to say that Cooper’s RA contract (one he was involved in framing, given it was signed after Link left) isn’t a massive waste of money. Like all the money wasted on bringing back Kane Douglas…
          Cooper’s 2020 contract? You’re right, it’ll be fascinating. Will he continue locally without a contract, will he move, will he go overseas, will he retire? I think it’s all open at this stage, and probably also tied to Thorn’s future with the Reds, which, given it’s the Reds, isn’t assured. The only reason Thorn’s future hasn’t been discussed this week is that it was a bye last weekend, and a shock win the week before. Every other weekend, people have been calling for Cooper’s recall, and the drums for Thorn are beating in the distance…

        • Huw Tindall

          Agree. Assuming there is nothing stopping him from playing for the Brums or whoever, why not do it? Thorn won’t pick him so move on and then rub Thorn’s face in it when you kill it at the Brums.

    • Tomthusiasm

      You’d think him currently not playing for an Aussie Super side would play in his favour

      • Brisneyland Local

        Well every 10 we currently have playing in SR are shite.

        • Huw Tindall

          Even our Kiwi 10 is shit…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold Huw!

  • idiot savant

    DONT DO IT BRAD! Do not pick up Folau for the Reds. It will make a mockery of the root and branch rebuilding process and cultural change you have started if you import a star. You have preached the virtue of doing things the hard way and not taking the easy way out. To pick a player like Folau would be making the same mistake the Reds have made before – importing an individual to make a difference rather than COACHING talented players with a plan.

    Pick up a brilliant attack coach instead because you have the talent on your books already (Well OK you could do with a class half back). They just need to be selected in the right positions and coached to play attacking rugby. You are developing a forward pack capable of delivering front foot ball.

    Picking Folau would undermine your own moral high ground and principles. You would be picking a player who wants to be treated differently to others, picked in his favourite position, allowed to run his own social media moral crusade (I’ll bet you are not a fan of Cooper’s tweets) with disregard for the impact on the team and the code. One rule for him and one rule for the rest of the team. Which is precisely the problem the Reds had last year. Listen to our own sermon Brad and don’t undo your own good work. In this case there is no ‘I’ in team.

    • Brisneyland Local

      But at least then Thorn would have another Happy clapper to go and clap happily with! And although there is no “I” in team. there is a “ME”.

      • idiot savant

        Hallelujah Brother!

        • Brisneyland Local

          PTL! ;-)

      • nmpcart

        He has plenty of them anyway – most of the PI boys will be religious – Chris FS teaches Sunday school but does it quietly as it is his own separate thing as it should be.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true, but now he would have an “influencer”! A recruiter!

        • nmpcart

          That might encourage some families to steer their young players towards different SR teams.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Definitely!

        • Adrian

          And away from others

      • Adrian

        Exactly

        Someone who knows someone who knows the inside goss told me yesterday that Izzy and BT are ultra similar, and that BT’s decisions are motivated by “the hand of God”

        I now understand a lot more about a few things including QC, why Folau may head north, and why some guys are in and others out.

        Say no more

        • nmpcart

          Don’t teams have a selection panel of some sort or is it just down to the HC? That’s dangerous because we all have our inherent biases that sometimes need someone else with a different perspective to point out why x player maybe should be considered instead.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! Your insiders are correct. This is well known up here! It was one of the Reasons BT left the Broncos. The league behaviour back in those days was so bad, BT had many cultural differences with the player group! Including the infamous physical altercation with Big Dell.
          Favourites are definitely being played.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Would you be willing to elucidate on QC anymore? All good if not, privacy concerns and all. Just thought I would ask.

        • Adrian

          All I meant in this post re QC is that IMO now (not necessarily previously), BTs decisions on QC are not so much about football, but about “character”, and potentially beliefs. ie BT doesn’t like QC and anything about him.

          My friend who knows someone who knows someone thinks the things they (BT and Izzy) share apart from a particular type of religion, are stubbornness, a God given belief they are right (and others wrong), and very little understanding of society…..or much else except football. To such people (if they are such people), if you don’t believe what they believe, your an infadel. You could be a non-believer, an “old school” Christian, or a Moslem. All infadels. Little things like QCs mate SBW being Moslem might count against QC…but it’s probably just that QC shits him

        • Huw Tindall

          So are all the Qld Country and Reds squads being stacked with Bible bashers? Higgers and Smith certainly aren’t holier than though characters but BT picks them. BT may have other views on QC’s characters but are they based on any sort of religious angle or just because he doesn’t like the cut of his jib e.g. shit haircust and instagram?

        • Adrian

          I got a bit carried away.

          I should redefine it as prefers certain types of chaps, and certain styles of players

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Absolutely agree mate.

    • McWarren

      Couldn’t agree more. If he takes Izzy I’m out. Not cause of his comments but for pure hypocrisy of it.

  • Brendan Hume

    It’s important that we don’t stand for anything so we don’t exclude anyone…

    • Andrew Luscombe

      RA stands for rugby.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Gold! and it’s getting to the stage where rugby is one thing it is excluding :-)

  • idiot savant

    With apologies to Willie Nelson….

    It was a time of the preacher
    When the story began
    Of the choice of the gay
    And the love of a straight man
    How he loved them so dearly
    He went out of his mind
    When their float passed by
    All he could see was their behind
    And he cried like a baby
    And he screamed like a panther
    In the middle of the night
    So he got out his iphone
    To set things right
    It was a time of the preacher
    In the year of Raelene
    Now the preachin’ wont stop
    And its a helluva scene

    Hoss what have you started.

  • Adrian

    Re today:
    Raelene is doing ok in a VERY difficult job.
    The noose Izzy put around his own neck might be slightly tightening.
    Language used, and used consistently by QC is caeeful and legally inspired
    Homophobia, whether justified by religion or justified by “mateship” is disgusting, and cowardly…..IMO of course

    • idiot savant

      Prejudice is also a sin (James 2, 1-14). Izzy is in for a fun time in Hell with his new team mates!

      • Adrian

        Yes, I haven’t read that book (yet), but totally you idiot.

        My friend who knows a friend who knows someone told me that the jist of your quote is catching on amongst NSW players, who are “over it”

        By my calculations, the only place accepting homophobia as ok that play any form of Rugby (and pay for it) is Romania,….. and it seems Australia,… maybe via Reds

        • Huw Tindall

          And Russia…some serious government back macho sh!t over there

    • onlinesideline
      • Adrian

        Spot on online

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yes Raelene’s got a very difficult job. But Again I think you are being positive. She is barely coping. She is one more disaster away from things imploding!

      • Adrian

        Yes, true.
        One more provocative outburst may be the turning point.
        IMO it is tied up with $$s, and has a momentum of its own. Now it’s preplanned, and quasi-political as well.
        I think that at Tahs he was tolerated for ages as being a bit of a novelty.
        Now I understand that only 1 or 2 support him for having extreme religious views, but even they, don’t share those views.
        There are Christians and there are Chri$tian$.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah you are probably right. I think they tolerate him because they know without him, the Tarts slim chance of winning, becomes bugger all chance of winning. And whilst I dont agree with his views, the Wallabies look better with him in it, then without.

        • idiot savant

          The Tahs dismantled the Reds without him.

        • Adrian

          Perhaps they would have lost with him…. Trojan horse senario

        • Brisneyland Local

          true, but the Reds are shite!

        • idiot savant

          Avarice. Thats another sin. (Hebrews 13:5) I hope Izzy hasn’t been encouraging his manager to sin in contract negotiations.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Maybe mate. But to be honest I don’t think anything leading to this imploding disaster is actually her fault. I think she is trying but the issues at RA and with the states are so deeply entrenched and complex that they aren’t going to be solved any time soon. It’s a bit like expecting the Reds to go from cellar dwellars to top of the table in one season. Maybe we’re asking too much.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate I dont blame her for this mess, but she cant keep sitting on the fence. All that does is give you a sore ass and make you a target! She either has to lead, follow or shut up! It doesnt matter what she does she will get pillored by someone, but for heaven sake do something!Belive in something, and majke what ever values you have known, so everyone knows where you stand!

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          Great that you suggest she could “follow”.
          It’s an all-too-common Australian flaw that we always believe we should have our own model of our own discovery.
          More should follow. There’s some good stuff out there and just ‘cos we/she/they didn’t think of it doesn’t make it invalid.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Cocnur. A brilliant old General that I worked for once told me:
          “It is only pagurism when you are under assessment at university. In the rest of the world it is effective staff work!”

        • Hoss

          Yep, there will be a funeral for Izzy’s rugby career soon and whilst i wont be attending i will send a nice letter saying i approve of it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! Concur!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I wonder if how much of the sitting on the fence though is due to the power brokers noit letting her state what she actually wants to state.

        • Brisneyland Local

          True. And that is the part we will never know. But she is the CEO!

        • Huw Tindall

          Question: would you take on Castle’s role if you were going to get paid the same as you do now? Objectively speaking do you think you could do better? Not you in particular KRL! I wouldn’t take the job. It’s a poisoned chalice with all the entrenched shit mention. Jesus himself (!) couldn’t fix RA. I’d consider doing the job if I could sack the board but that’d be turkey’s voting for Christmas.

          I view RA as a company who’s board (RA board and HQ) is appointed without any recourse to shareholder (fans) views. If we were shareholders there would have been a massive revolt ages ago. A shareholder activist (Twiggy!) would have bought a controlling stake and sacked the lot them. As it is, it’s an amateur hour boys club who tell us (a) they have our best interests and heart and (b) know what they are doing. I don’t believe either anymore.

          How bad does this shit have to get before some other rugby body can be endorsed by World Rugby to run ‘offical’ rugby in Australia?

    • Missing Link

      I don’t understand Folau’s motive. I mean sure “religion”, but he’s hardly new on the scene, he’s been around since 2013 (remember that debut against the Lions) but all of a sudden now, he’s openly a religious nutter. Also loosely coincides with his marriage. So putting my Western Force Official Conspiracy Hat™ ….
      1. I’ve always been a religious nutter but let’s see how far I can push my employer before they fire me so I can play with the Blues/NRL/other sport.
      2. Ever since meeting Maria, I’ve discovered the importance of Jesus in our lives.
      3. Saw a “free stress test” station down at circular quay and decided to give it a try.
      4. Hopped on a bus to Mona Vale, next minute I’m at a rock concert church type thing.
      5. Got a knock at the front door on Sunday morning, seemed like 2 nice blokes so I invited them in for a chat.

      So which scenario is it?

      • onlinesideline

        6. Im bored

      • Andrew Luscombe

        He told us what it is. When he was at GWS, and performing badly he got depressed. He then found God, and his life started to work better. He has been quoting the bible and similar ever since. He is still only quoting the bible and similar. It just didn’t get the media coverage it did before.

        • Dud Roodt

          Fuck, I’ve performed poorly my entire life and I still can’t fucking find God! I think he’s hiding from me

        • Habitual offender

          Patience Dud – He’s not hiding from you.
          Apparently Hes just a bit busy atm with idolatrers, murderers, masturbaters, RA, gays and Shorks supporters

        • Dud Roodt

          In the words of the famous philosopher Shannon Noll: What About Meeeeeeee

        • Huw Tindall

          Well up until a month ago I would have thanked the priest type person who said God wanted Izzy to sign a contract with the ARU (at the time)!!! Probably some old school rugby fan at the church who thought fuck this…I reckon I can get Izzy to code hop. Boom!

      • Adrian

        One

        • Who?

          The Folau (and now you’re linking in Thorn) situation is the first time I’ve ever seen you cynical, Adrian… This in spite of the rubbish we’ve seen shovelled at us from Cheika, Clyne, Pulver, RA and all the provinces over the past few years.
          It’s interesting that Folau’s at least equally misguided statements leading up to the Bledisloe a year or two ago (can’t remember if it was 16 or 17) saying that God was going to have him lead us to victory didn’t cop the same sort of ridicule (it’s arguable that they were more open to ridicule, given he was playing prophet).

      • Huw Tindall

        Are those hats available for sale? Do I need to have a WA driver’s licence to get one?

    • Andrew Luscombe

      There is no homophobia on Izzy’s part. He’s happy to play with gay people, and he’d be very happy for them to repent and join his church. Saying some behaviour is sinful is not any type of phobia and is not the same as prejudice. Ejecting or punishing someone because they say something is a sin is illegal in most states, and also under federal workplace legislation.

      • Dud Roodt

        Well I would be very happy for Izzy to play for my Waratahs if he repents for his stupidity!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Hanigan! WTF! Just shut up or think a bit about what you’re saying. At the moment he’s so much more of a Hanican’t. Can’t tackle, can’t dominate with the ball and can’t win. I know he has to respond but a bit of humility about the challenge and the work needed to improve would read a lot better.
    I think RA are responding well in some regards to Izzy’s preaching. I bet they’d wish he just shut the fuck up but Raelean’s comments are showing some maturity i think.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Morning KRL.
      Re Hannigan:
      Never get drawn into an argument with an idiot! The will drag you down to their level and flog you with exeprience everytime!
      Here endeth the lesson! ;-)

    • joy

      Some people think it’s OK to shove Izzie into the same closet the gays just vacated.

  • Johnno

    To me RA has shown double standards “Again”.. If the stuff Izzy posted last month, if an average “disposal player” eg rob simmons/paddy ryan/ben alexander posted it, they would have had there contract torn up and sacked and condemned. But no coz it’s there marquee player Izzy folau, someone who brings in you guessed it “MONEY” and interest in rugby he’s allowed to get away with this stuff and get 2nd chances. Im not saying i agree or disagree with izzy stuff he said, it’s more if an average player said stuff that RA doesn’t cultrally align with eg what izzy has said, the average player would have had there contract torn up and been condemned, none of this human rights spin stuff/free speech stuff that Raylene Castle was spinning on TV last night… Like joey johns at newscastle with the recrational drug stuff in his playing days, coz he was a star player it got swept under the carpet..

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Not sure about that, mate. Publicly firing an employee over airing their religious views would be both leaving yourself open to very costly potential legal challenges and would also have the capacity to alienate a significant portion of the population who are concerned about free speech.

      • fatman

        Australia does not have a right to free speech unlike America

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not an explicit statutory right, but the High Court found there was an implied right to free speech (link below).

          We also do have freedom of religion and religious expression in Australia.

          https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2017/09/australia-does-not-have-freedom-of-speech/

        • fatman

          Yes, implied. That doesn’t mean Izzy can go on & preach like a lutanic, it borders more on hate speech than religious rhetoric so he could hardly use that as a defence for a dismissal case.

        • hasto

          the bit that annoys me, is that he is quite clearly trying to push his religious agenda on to his followers, and convert others to his way of thinking, you don’t see the gays trying to convert us heteros to their way of life! I don’t care if you love jesus or the same sex, I don’t need to know about it either way.

        • Adrian

          Spot on

        • joy

          Gay Mardi Gras!!!

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Religious behaviour, including the expression thereof, is protected behaviour under a number of acts, including employment legislation. This is generally the same legislation that protects people from discrimination on racial, ethnic, disability, and sexual orientation grounds.

        • fatman

          Read the comment, I said it borders more on hate speech. Having said that, how isn’t saying they will burn in hell not hate speech?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I just read it again, and I understood it the first time. You said what he said couldn’t be used as a defence because it was more towards hate speech than religious speech. My answer was directed exactly at that, and I wanted to add and be clear that what he said isn’t hate speech, not even close. It is religious speech. I wasn’t saying you said anything you didn’t. And now you’ve asked, with an extra negative it seems, and maybe rhetorically, so it seems clarification was useful. And here’s some more clarification.

          He was predicting what would happen if they do not repent – you did read past the word “hell” and notice the word repent? This is not a child wishing someone to “burn in hell”, it is a religious person warning someone what awaits them in the afterlife if they do not change their behaviour. It is expressed with a hope that people will change their behaviour, repent, and even maybe join with Izzy in his church. It is intended as helpful, and is inclusive. It is “fire and brimstone” language used sometimes in some religious communities. They find this language effective for reinforcing key points and making them memorable. They apply it to themselves more than anyone else, and mostly not about homosexual behaviour, but about all sorts of sins.

          Izzy said it on his semi-religious Instagram page, which is full of bible quotes, in response to a question related to a cartoon he posted about the trickiness of god’s plans. He did not force it upon someone who was unwelcoming of the message, but told it to someone who expressed an interest. It was reasonable for him to assume that someone looking at his page would be familiar with the language used and would not miss-understand his meaning. As soon as he realised people were misinterpreting it, he removed it. He later replaced it with a further statement clarifying his meaning, once RA approved the further statement.

          For most of history, most of Christianity has taught that sex for non-reproductive purposes is a sin, even within a traditional marriage. Homosexual sex falls into that category. Everyone is seen as being created by god with challenges to behave “correctly”. Everyone is created with temptation to sin in various ways, and life is about overcoming those temptations. There is nothing special about homosexuality, it is just seen as another temptation that god created people with. That’s the mainstream Christian view, and the logic is not discriminatory or hateful, but I can see how it is often interpreted in more negative ways. I don’t know if Izzy shares that view exactly or if he has some deviation from it, but it’s probably something close to where he is coming from. There clearly is no hate, or discrimination, or “uninclusiveness” there, and he is clearly speaking religiously.

          Some people are understandably sensitive about this issue, and due to lack of familiarity with fundamentalist Christianity are interpreting statements in ways in which they were not intended. The media loves this stuff, plays up the unintended meanings, and creates controversy. The whole thing is a media generated mess really, but I find it interesting to see how people interpret things.

        • fatman

          I may have misrepresented what I am trying to say. What he has said does not offend me in the slightest but it could most likely be perceived as hate speech by many, remember we live in an age where people are easily offended.

        • Who?

          The accusations of homophobia and hate speech are taking the conversation towards hyperbole. He’s never once said he’s afraid of LGBTI people/activities/etc, and he’s never called for anything to be done to/at/against them. He’s appealed to them to change, which may be misdirected (may, because I’m allowing for divergence of opinions here, not pandering to any one opinion). But never called for anything negative to happen to them.
          I really do wish we’d change from using homophobia to describe bias against gay people, though. It’s a misnomer, in the same way that saying it’s racist to have a bias against muslim people is a misnomer. Being afraid of gay people doesn’t mean you have a bias against them. I’ve got a natural fear of sharks, but I don’t have a bias against them (I think they’re awesome – just don’t put me in a tank with one). Surely there’s better terms than ‘homophobe’ and ‘racist’ to describe bias (and I don’t think going straight to ‘bigot’ is going to help, it’s barely a step away from dragging in the Nazis and conceding the argument).
          Oh, and it’s lunatic, not lutanic.

        • fatman

          That’s a typo, good of you to point that out at the end of your pointless rant

        • Who?

          Pointless rant? It wasn’t a rant, it was fairly considered.
          Typo? When it’s consistent, it’s not clear that it’s a typo.
          I could’ve posted that below about a dozen other posts in here, but yours was as blunt as Folau’s original 44 character tweet which started this whole debacle. It’s hard to show any tolerance in so few characters, and your post read rather angrily. I don’t recall anyone else accusing him of hate speech.
          How is homophobia – fear – an accurate description of hate speech? Fear isn’t illegal. Fear is an emotion. Fear is something that we need to overcome. If I were on the field in Christchurch this weekend, I’d have a major dose of fear whenever a bloke in black and red ran at me. That would be natural. Fear doesn’t guarantee a course of action. So to blame an emotion for choices that lead to actions is misleading.
          To accuse someone of hate speech when they haven’t attempted to incite violence, they’ve only requested that people hear an appeal that they change, is a complete failure of comprehension. That doesn’t mean that Folau’s actions are intelligent, or to his own or his agenda’s advantage. But to call it hate speech is to inflame the situation, which benefits no one.
          Oh, and to answer your question to Andrew Luscombe below, saying you think something will happen to someone is different to saying you want it to happen them, and different to saying it should happen. Especially when you’re talking about something in a hypothetical, unprovable future. Saying, “I think you’ll burn in hell after you die,” is very different to saying, “You should be physically harmed (in a time that I can control).” There’s a massive difference in intent and capacity for delivery.

      • Johnno

        Um I disagree. If it was an average player, no one the masses and the media would bother go into bat about the free speech stuff, not enough would care about there rights… But becoz it’s izzy he has a voice and free speech rights coz he’s a star and has bargaining power, so his free speech rights get respected unlike the average player where it doesn’t… The same way with Joey Johns and drugs, if it was average player doing recreational drugs he would of been sacked on the spot…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          There would still be the legal issue about whether an employer can fire an employee for expressing their religion on a theological topic.

        • Who?

          Exactly. The people who wanted to change 18c (anti-discrimination act) the other year would jump at ANY opportunity to back anything they see as free speech, especially if it comes from something they see as the traditional, conservative ‘silent majority’ position (because I’m sure they’d argue something like the plebiscite said people didn’t care about SSM, they just wanted government out of that area of regulation (because these people also supposedly hate regulation and red tape), as opposed to people actively supporting it).

    • Huw Tindall

      Don’t think Paddy Ryan has much of a Twitter following though so would have swept itself under the carpet

  • onlinesideline

    Bring back ROGER GOULD !

    Good night all – greetings from Budapest.

  • McWarren

    So ignoring all the other shit about Izzy, Raelene and the make up of future comps what do the Tahs have to do this weekend to beat the Saders?

    1. Tackle everything that moves.
    2. To avoid missed tackles, hold the ball.
    3. Be patient, don’t think you’ll win it in the first 30 minutes.
    4. Adapt during the game, if passes aren’t sticking, then don’t throw them.
    5. Play to their strengths. Fast fit pack, so take quick taps, use high balls for Izzy, rush defence.
    6. Don’t run it from inside the 22.
    7. If a clearing kick is needed, sacrifice distance downfield for distance into the stands.
    8. Don’t just throw it to the big winger.

    I don’t think they’ll come within a bulls roar of winning, but if they can play to the best of their ability, be smart and not panick that will show improvement. Patience should be the buzz word in Aussie rugby right now. Patience within teams trying to develop tactics, culture and skills. Patience from fans wanting instant success from teams, coaches and the ceo. Patience from the administrators trying to repair the games image, skills deficit and bottom line. Our lack of patience over the last 20 years has brought us to this point. Administrators want the quick buck from Fox, coaches wanting instant championship teams by buying stars from league and players not willing to sit and wait and learn and develop.

    Go the Tahs!! As a Reds fan that felt strange, but I honestly hope they put on a great display this weekend. And a tiny optimistic part of me thinks they might.

    • hasto

      if they do win it’d be about right though, can’t end the aussie/kiwi losing streak against the lowest ranked NZ team, but beat the best

    • Gun

      Geez Macca, 20 years isn’t patience!

      • McWarren

        For 20 years we’ve been at each other’s throats. If 20 years ago we’d developed a national plan, any plan and patiently stuck to our guns we would rule the world at rugby. But we’ve been patiently infighting and patiently relying on good luck to get us by.

        • Huw Tindall

          100%. RA is like run by an extremely dysfunctional and lopsided family (in terms of power). What fucking hope do we have of all moving in the same direction. Do ‘provinces’ have more power in any other rugby nation compared to Australia?

    • RedAnt

      That sounds just like what Ned said… ahhmm, should have said.

      You can rest assured the Tahs will be ‘sticking to our processes’ and ‘just believe in ourselves’.

    • idiot savant

      Im with you Mac. The Tahs played with supreme confidence against the Reds and won easily. Because they were confident they didnt push the passes as much and passed when the moment was right. So if they can conjure up the confidence and play without fear they are a chance. Its always hard in NZ though. They will get nothing in the rucks from the ref or the touch judges.

      You make a great point about patience. I thought BT was showing it till he wanted to bring Folau into his flock.

    • Richard Patterson

      I think the Waratahs will positively surprise this weekend. I’m not saying they win — but I predict they give the Crusaders a real battle in Christchurch. This will turn their Super Rugby campaign around leading into the June test window. It is Bledisloe Cup II in Dunedin last year all over. They have everything to gain and nothing to lose.

    • Brumby Runner

      Hey McW. Why would the Tahs play to the Crusades’ strengths. No, really, I understand what you say, but in reality there is more chance they will play to the Crusaders’strengths rather than their own, which to be truthful are relatively few compared with their opponents.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Not a shit show in hell mate. They haven’t got the fire power in the pack to dominate the Crusaders and while they have a couple of good players in the backline I think Todd and his fellow loosies will nullify them easily. Crusaders by 16 at least.

  • Hoss

    Hey Izzy – words to live by

    It is by the goodness of God that in our country we have those three unspeakably precious things: freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, and the prudence never to practice either of them.

    • idiot savant

      Im not sure God is responsible for those freedoms but you’re damn right about the prudence!

  • Adrian

    Let’s get this in perspective….re religion

    The Spanish Inquisition and Taliban utterances are examples of Religious expression leading to pain and suffering for millions.

    Izzy’s comments may lead to pain and suffering for some

    The Christian “love one another” or most things attributed to JC, generally don’t lead to any suffering

  • Who?

    Maybe cynical, but always overarchingly positive. It’s weird to see you so negative on people, let alone one of them being a Tah!
    The ‘God will lead us to victory thing’, that was a clear opportunity for bashing on solely religious terms, and as such it was weird seeing it not pursued.
    Encouraging homophobia, I don’t think fear of LGBTI people/communities is encouraged by people talking in a manner they see as being directed to the LGBTI community (though I don’t think that many/any in the LGBTI community would be paying any attention to Folau) in what they think is a caring manner. Homophobia is often an internal thing. Hatred of LGBTI people/communities is another thing, but I’ve heard in the workplace far worse things said that have greater potential to incite hatred, which don’t. People using Folau’s statements to foment or incite hatred have pretty clearly read into his statements way more than is actually there, and I think it’d be unfair on Folau to blame him for that. In the same way that I consistently disparage soccer, I wish it were banned, yet it would be wrong for anyone to go and do damage to people at a game based on my statements of hatred for the game (which have been stronger than Israel’s statements against homosexuality, and his statements have been about homosexuality, not homosexuals. Just as my statements are against soccer, not the poor, misguided players and supporters). And it would be wrong to blame me for their actions.

    • Adrian

      Points all taken Who, and I must say I find this all exhausting, and wish I’d never bought into it….sort of.

      I certainly hope Folau plays well for the Tahs this week, for the Wallabies this year (hopefully next), and the Tahs, or Reds, or Warriors, or whoever next year. He is always a pleasure to watch.

      PS I have been cynical now and again about the number on Izzy’s back.

      Given he plays and had mostly played 50/50 full back and wing, I have occasionally said that Cheika gave him 15 because it was a “cooler” number, and not the number worn by the last picked kids who played on the wing…yuk

      • Huw Tindall

        Fuck just had a terrible thought…….is Cheika religious too?

        • Adrian

          Na

  • Brisneyland Local

    Afternoon GAGR’s. Well Fox says that Nick Phipps is starting in the 9 role role for the tarts this weekend.
    This will be a pisser!

    • McWarren

      I love an element of surprise when waiting for a pass, it takes the mind of the score board.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Well if he sprays his wee everywhere like he does his passes, it is going to be a very wet afternoon!

  • Miss Rugby

    You know how sometimes a radio station plays the same song over and over, every day, sometimes twice a day? And even though it might be a song that you used to really love, by the time you’ve heard it for the 6th time in a week you’re getting a little sick of it, and by about the 13th time you kinda hope you never hear it again?
    Well I’m like that with Israel Folau. Rugby related, religion related – I don’t care. I am sick of seeing his name, I am sick of hearing his name,I am sick of news about him. The more I read about him the more I dislike him.
    Just like that Red Hot Chilli Peppers song that the radio station played many years ago at least twice a day as part of some comp. I still can’t listen to more than 15 seconds of it before I turn it off.

    • Habitual offender

      Doesn’t bother me as much Miss.
      All under the bridge…

      • Who?

        Clearly Miss Rugby has some scar tissue… :-

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    I’d just like to say that this has been a CRACKING days discussion.
    Praise for the Parrot. Hope for the Tahs in NZ. Willie Nelson. God. Buddha. Fairies. Faeries. Nazis. Even Jedis…
    I’m just hoping Izzy drops another one out there in the Twitterverse real soon.
    Third times a charm.

    • Missing Link

      Izzy’s next tweet “I’m leaving rugby, I just found out Pocock has a “cock” in his name and everyone calls him and Hooper “the Pooper”. I’m done”

  • Perth girl

    Western Force coach just announced that Jeremy Thrush will join the Force in time for game 4 against the Crusaders. Has played over 100 games for the Hurricanes and has 11 All Black caps. I believe he has been playing in the UK.

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    Perth girl’s Thrush announcement on top of Cock and Pooper has me retire to bed a very happy clappy chappy.
    See ya, Izzy. Thanks for the preachin’. Learned heaps.
    Thanks to all you very clever and very funny Guys And Girls (of) Rugby (GAGR) for a top (best ever) days talkin’.
    6 out.

  • Jack

    Bernie Larkham on QC playing for the Wallabies – “I guess it’s up to him.” Come again..?? How exactly, is it up to him..?? He’s working his arse off in club land trying to get a run for his SR team under a coach who simply doesn’t want him. Saying it’s up to him is a complete slap in the face as far as I’m concerned. It’s actually up to you Bernie, you and your fashionista boss.

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@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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