Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News has Sean McMahon possibly doing one, Matt Giteau to Japan, the ARU’s coaching summit not a summit, the Vikings bought out, and the results from the Paris Sevens.

McMahon Doing One?

Sean McMahon might be doing one at the end of the season, reports The Australian.

McMahon, who has 15 caps at only 22 years of age, is considering offers from Japan, as well as Europe. He is reportedly unimpressed so far by contract offers from the Australian Rugby Union, and this news story might actually be a sneaky way of his agent drumming up interest.

“A spokesman for the ARU said Cheika did not believe that McMahon had yet signed any overseas contracts but was aware of the Japanese interest,” says the report.

“With the Japanese season partially overlapping the Australian season, McMahon might choose to make himself unavailable for selection from October. Theoretically, he still would have scope to return to Australia in time to win World Cup selection in 2019.

“McMahon’s intent to move offshore to continue his rugby is not believed to be tied to the current speculation about the ARU’s plans to cut one of its five teams, but there is a sense that his departure could be part of a stampede for the exit. Indeed, even if the Rebels somehow do survive to play on in Super Rugby next year, the belief is that the club is effectively as good as doomed.

“Although there is a moratorium on contracting players, the belief in the Melbourne club is that the Waratahs, Brumbies and Reds have been able to secure about 25 or 26 players for their 2018 roster and will now wait to top up their squads from whichever club the ARU chooses to axe.

“With so many Rebels players coming off contract, and with so many off-field staff fearing for their own jobs, the club is haemorrhaging personnel beyond the capacity of head coach Tony McGahan or general manager of football operations Baden Stephenson to stop it.”

Oh, and Matt Giteau, who is leaving Toulon, will sign for Japanese team Suntory Sungoliath next year.

Not A Summit

Photo by Keith McInnes

Ben Whitaker, the ARU’s Head of Performance, has played down talk of a coaching “summit’, saying that it’s more of a coaching apogee than a summit. No, wait that’s not it.

“In my diary it’s a meeting. It just happens to have more than two people in it,” Whitaker told AAP (via Fox Sports). “One of the things that we do regularly, and we certainly don’t put it out publicly, is use various people internally and externally to test and guide strategy.

“This is not abnormal. It’s topical, clearly it’s timely, but it’s been blown out a bit. Timing around other things going on probably led it to being talked up a bit.

“They’ll sit in a room with myself, Michael Cheika and Mick Byrne and give us some experiences. It’ll be a great couple of hours. I’ll need to keep the stop watch on a few of them because it could through to middle of the night.”

Whitaker said the likes of Cheika, Byrne, Bob Dwyer and Dick Marks will be picking each other’s brains.

“We’ve chopped and changed in the last five years, eight years etc and I think everybody acknowledges the need to come together and look at a targeted approach over a time frame and you don’t deviate from it,”

“We run a coaching development program nationally, which I don’t oversee, nor does Michael Cheika. We have an involvement, but we don’t oversee it. That’s nationalised so every state union picks up that plan and model and they deliver it in their regions in their states.

“So this is more to say if we were to shift some of the focus and these sort of things, how did we do it previously in the national coaching plan, which was constructed a little differently to how we have it today?”

Whitaker is confident there’ll be change for the better.

“I see better than hope. I see belief,” he said. “We’ve been there before. We’ve got an outstanding head coach, outstanding staff both here and at the Super teams.

“If we had to be super critical, we’d say (a lack of) alignment would be an issue and there is strong belief that we have the potential to get back and win.”

Vikings 100%

The Vikings Group, who learnt their name to the Canberra Vikings, have bought a full stake in the NRC team, the Canberra Times reports.

The Canberra Vikings were originally set up as a rugby-a-trois between the ACT Brumbies, Vikings Group and the University of Canberra. Now, the Vikings Group have struck a deal with the Brumbies and the ARU to take over the NRC side.

The Vikings Group, who have pumped into $1 million into the side over the past four years, will now take over all responsibility for the side, including the financials. That’ll be a big relief for the Brumbies and the ARU, who has been pushing for more private ownership.

The new ownership will also take away some of the angst in the capital’s rugby circles with regards to the name and the colours of the Canberra side, a far departure from the blue-white-gold of the ACT Kookaburras. The Vikings name and red-white-black colours will remain, but they will pay homage to the Kookaburras sometime this season.

The NRC draw has been finalised, and will be announced today sometime.

South Africa Win Sevens

South Africa have won the 2016-17 World Sevens Series, after taking the gold in Paris. It’s South Africa’s first title since 2008-09, which is a surprise given they’ve finished 2nd in 5 of the 7 seasons since.

The Blitzboks beat Scotland (!) 15-5 in the final, which is doubly weird because Scotland beat South Africa 19-12 in the group stages.

The Darkness beat “The Soap Dodgers” 12-5 in the bronze medal match.

Anyway, to the main show. After playing really well in Singapore, the Aussies have slumped to 10th place in Paris, losing to Argentina in the Trophy Final.

Drawn with Fiji, Samoa and Russia as first seeds, Andy Friend’s charges beat Russia 19-12, and lost to Samoa 14-21 and Fiji 14-31.

In the Trophy quarters, they beat Japan (28-19) and in the semis, Wales (14-12), before getting smashed by the Argies (33-12).

We were totally outplayed by Argentina. We weren’t cohesive and we paid the penalty,” Friend told rugby.com.au.

“At the end of the day we need to look at how we prepared and came into the tournament.

“[Next week] in London, we’re going to have to fight hard because we want to get out of the bottom eight and back into the top eight, and win quarters, semis and then get into the final which we haven’t done all year.”

  • StewedP

    When Cheika accepted the Wallaby Coaching role I am sure he said he wanted an alignment of coaching strategies across the Super Rugby franchises and then …. his Wallaby playing squad became very Waratah-centric.

    • Twoilms

      No it didn’t.

  • Kokonutcreme

    McMahon’s potential contract in Japan will rule him out of 2019 World Cup as it will run through to 2020. He needs to play 2019 Super rugby in Australia to be eligible for selection.

    The Australian also reported today that McMahon is disenchanted with coach Michael Cheika.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I for one certainly view this kid as a part of solution going forward. Lets hope the ARU dont let him go. But knowing their regular stupidity we can chalk this one up to a definite! Will be sad to see him go!

    • Braveheart81

      This paragraph from the article seems like a load of crap: “It is understood McMahon had been disenchanted with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, who handed him his Test debut against Wales on the 2014 spring tour. Although Cheika raves about McMahon’s ferocity in training, hailing him as a model for the physicality he wants in the Wallabies, he has started McMahon in only 10 of the 31 Tests of which he has been in charge of the Australian team”

      He’s been unavailable through injury for some of those 31 tests and whenever Pocock has been available it is very hard to slot him into the side. He’s played pretty much every game where one of Hooper or Pocock has missed.

      • AllyOz

        and we can only pick 22/23 players and generally 3 of those have to be front rowers, you have to have sufficient coverage to cover specialist positions like halfback and cover a couple of backs and a extra lineout jumper. You also have to win scrums and lineouts so picking 3 relatively short, relatively light backrowers in one 22 has its drawbacks – drawbacks which other teams have begun to exploit when playing Wallabies sides with the two opensides formations. However, i do agree with one of the comments above that suggested whilst McMahon might not be in the top two at the moment by the time 2019 roles around he may very well be.

  • Funk

    Never fear GAGRs if McMahon leaves we still have Dean Mumm…ahh fuck it, I may as well move to Japan as well…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Tip of the Hat, Funk! Tip of the hat!

    • Bobas
      • Missing Link

        Call me a conspiracy theorist but Fox Sports is like rugby’s version of CNN

        • Pclifto

          or Fox News, ha!

      • first time long time

        What! Did the kiwis steal Aaron Cruden from us?

        • Bobas

          careful, kiwi monkey trolls who are unable to infer sarcasm monitor these pages

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I picked up on it :-)

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I read that. Personally I’d put Skelton at about number 5 in the pecking order at best. I’d say he’s behind Arnold, Coleman, Tui and Simmonds and maybe even Douglas. Tons of potential but never really stood up when it counted

        • Braveheart81

          Realistically that’s why he is going overseas. He was just outside the bigger top up contracts offered by the ARU.

        • AllyOz

          what he does well he does really well but picking him also means you have to alter what happens in the lineout etc and when you are playing to opensides and already limiting your lineout and scrum options and you then pick a second rower who isn’t the best lineout jumper or scrummager than you are really restricting what you can do.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Just gonna say, good to see that the NRC is a lot more organised this year! Now, if only we can get more of the teams to be run privately!

    • BigNickHartman

      GAGR should buy a team

      • Bobas

        GAGREBC or Green and Gold Rugby Elitist Boys Club.

        I reckon Reg deserves another shot at tackling Quade.

        • AllyOz

          Will they play out of Perth?

  • Rebels3

    Just going to say it and might get some backlash, but is there a chance this kid is actually out best forward?????? Hooper and Pocock included.

    What a depressing summary for Tuesdays news.

    • Braveheart81

      Maybe he could be in time, but there also hasn’t been a situation where he demanded selection ahead of two of our consistently best performers over a long period of time.

    • Missing Link

      He plays with a heart the size of the rest of the team put together

      • Waz_dog

        Can you imagine him and hunt on the field together? Lads that have attitudes like theirs rub off on everyone around them.

        • McWarren

          That would mean Hooper and Folau not starting. I’m not even going to tease myself with such imaginations.

        • Funk

          No, that would mean McMahon playing 6/8 and Hunt to wing/inside centre

        • McWarren

          sorry you’re correct, we’d have to play our in form guys out of position. I forgot myself for a second there.

        • Funk

          i’m using my Cheika logic there… i’,m starting to understand team selections from Cheiks, but it requires a few beers, 2 glasses of red, wearing 2 different size shoes, putting on my grandad’s glasses, putting on jocks 2 sizes too small and then three sharp bangs of my head against a brick wall…only then i can sort of see where he is coming from. .

      • juswal

        Deep in the second half of a Test match last year, the Boks raided our 22. McMahon made two dominant tackles in a row and won a penalty at the next breakdown. On determination alone he would be my first pick in any team (and Hunt would be second at the moment).

  • Christopher

    I do sympathise for Wessels/McGahan. How the hell is the surviving side going to regroup next year. given this the staff and players jobs – none have any security so will all be jumping ship. Then everyone will be giving the surviving team shit for being crap next year, despite having to take a leaf out of Mighty Ducks 2’s recruitment strategy (for staff and coaches)….

    • Missing Link

      That’s how the Waratahs, Reds and Brumbies want it to be. They get all the good players and there’s a guaranteed 5 point walkover when you play against the FoRebels. Long live Australian Rugby.

    • Sam

      Love the Might Ducks reference but I’m more of a replacements fan myself – sometimes I wonder how a team of replacements would go. Probably pretty good if they were from NZ…..

      • Christopher

        it was a toss-up – went Emelio over Keanu. Was a tough call though. Figured D2 would cover a wider audience as well.

  • Missing Link

    Why would McMahon go overseas? The only thing I can think of is money, but given the following, it doesn’t make sense unless he’s been tapped on the shoulder and told he wont be in the frame for wallaby selection. Even with uncertainty at the Rebels, he’d be one of the first snapped up by another team.

    – he is in the prime of his career
    – he is a beast
    – he is the type of player that gets Cheika all excited

    you’d be stupid not the keep him around, then again this is the ARU we are talking about. it would be another ARU faux pas

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Maybe he’s lost faith with the ARU and doesn’t believe that they will look after his interests as they haven’t exactly shown a lot of leadership with this mess so far. Cheika may get all excited about him but he hasn’t exactly shown him anything that says he’s part of the future and when he keeps putting losers like Mumm and Skelton on the field ahead of him then why would he show any faith in Cheika either.
      I think that McMahon is like so many and just getting pissed with the lack of leadership, decision making and open dialogue from the ARU about the future. He is probably thinking that if he doesn’t look after himself no one else will and to be fair who can blame him.

      • HK Red

        Liam.F.Gill certainly wouldn’t blame him!

      • Bakkies

        ‘Maybe he’s lost faith with the ARU and doesn’t believe that they will look after his interests as they haven’t exactly shown a lot of leadership with this mess so far. ‘

        Maybe he doesn’t have faith in a union that is looking to cut a team (with a possibility of it being the Rebels) and due to mis-management (along with favouritism) has pushed players out at the ARU contract negotiations table.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely and if he read the crap that Whitaker is saying then hell have even less faith in them. Honestly what a load of drivel

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Did anyone else hear on the news that South Africa are reporting that Australia should be the one losing 2 teams not them. They are basing this claim on current results and the ladder, conveniently forgetting that their teams doing well haven’t played NZ much this year.
    This is an issue and may cause even more disruption and concerns for those players like McMahon who are already a bit disillusioned, let alone how the support and admin people are feeling. I think things will get worse before they get better

    • Missing Link

      I just read it on the Australian website. Not sure there is any substance to it or if it’s merely an opinion piece. All I can say is if the comp ends up with 5 Kiwi and 5 SA teams plus the Sunwolves, Jags and 3 of our teams, I will be switching off permanently, both Super Rugby and the Wallabies – the whole thing is a train wreck.

      It’s bad enough losing one of our teams, but two? no doubt the 2 teams would be the Rebels and the Force, that’s as clear as day, but the real travesty would be how badly the ARU have been bullied into submission by NZRU and SARU.

  • Bernie Chan

    Can’t blame McMahon for looking overseas…big money on offer and he another player who is caught up in Cheika’s selection policy…it appears that if a player is not a “favourite son” then he has but a remote chance of Test selection, while certain players are selected despite a lack of form (every fan knows many of the names…). Liam Gill went overseas, Luke Morahan (can handle centre, wing fullback with aplomb…couldn’t even get a bench spot!) is leaving and now McMahon. Cheika had to pick Pocock at #8 to accommodate Hooper at #7, but there were instances where McMahon’s aggression and physicality would have been an asset, yet he failed to get a start. When the ARU cut a Super Rugby team the exodus will accelerate.

    • Braveheart81

      Pocock and Hooper have been two of the Wallabies consistently best players for years. Cheika has selected McMahon in just about every test he has been fit for when one of them hasn’t been playing.

      Accommodate Hooper at 7? He’s finished 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 1st in the last four John Eales Medal voting and you’re saying Cheika is playing favourites by selecting him instead of giving McMahon more games?

      Clearly McMahon is in the crop of players that have the biggest incentive to go overseas because they aren’t on the biggest ARU contracts but are world class and can demand a big contract overseas.

      Gill was in a similar position.

      It’s a reality of the system rather whereby the first choice players earn a substantial amount more than those just outside that but it’s hard to see that there’s a reasonable solution.

      • McWarren

        Put them all on the same base salary and let them earn a performance bonus’ from wins.

        BH your defence of Michael Hooper is admirable and possibly justified but doesn’t avoid the fact he is a constant in underperforming teams and should not be immune from criticism or dropping, especially when we have at least 3 alternative world class 7’s. maybe what we needed was a 7 who won turnovers or ran the hard yards instead of a very identifiable energiser bunny.

        • Braveheart81

          He’s been a constant in the teams that have won as well (for both the Wallabies and Waratahs). That’s what happens when you’ve played the majority of the games.

          He certainly isn’t immune from criticism but he’s also been one of the consistently best performed players.

          The weakest part of McMahon’s game is also his work over the ball at the breakdown.

          It’s a reality in test teams forever that some amazingly good players have played a lot less tests than they would have if another player’s career hadn’t overlapped with their own. I can’t think of any examples where a consistent rotation policy was used so they both got equal goes.

          The ARU pays their key players the most to keep them in the country. Most other unions do the same thing. It isn’t going to entice the best players to stay in Australia if suddenly the ARU makes a substantial part of their salary non-guaranteed.

        • McWarren

          BH I’m not interested in given guys ‘equal go’s’. I’m interested in changing players around to try and get the best for the team. Hooper has been consistently in the teams over the last few years and apart from the amazing run to the RWC final I don’t think you can say the Wallabies or the Tahs have been a consistent force. So my point is more than just given guys a go because it is there turn, I’d never succumb to that thinking, its about identifying constants in poorly performing teams and maybe trying something else. And I don’t consider a few games as injury cover at 6 or 8 as a trial for the replacement of Hooper. This isn’t a G Smith v Waugh scenario, when those two were vying for the spot the Wallabies were successful.

        • Braveheart81

          I don’t know any coach in the world who looks at the best performed players and decides they’re the ones that need to be switched out for an extended period of time. There are a lot of players who have played the overwhelming majority of matches during Cheika’s tenure such as:

          Sio (25), Moore (25), Slipper (27), Kepu (29), Simmons (25), Phipps (28), Foley (28), Kuridrani (28), Folau (27). It’s not like Hooper is the only player who keeps getting selected. Like every coach, Cheika has picked who he thinks is his best team and tinkered around the edges. It is not like Hooper has been the constant whilst all the other players have been switched in and out.

          The only player we have who empirically wins us more test matches is David Pocock. He’s our most important player and has the highest win rate of any current Wallaby (and higher than George Smith’s winning %).

          You could look at McMahon’s test record and consider his winning percentage is 46.66% and decide that the team performs worse when he’s in it. That would be silly to do however as I don’t think you can blame him for the team losing when he’s in it. You could probably correlate the fact that he’s been selected most often when Pocock has been unavailable which causes us to lose more often.

        • McWarren

          You are right Hooper isn’t the only player consistently picked. I would argue the same for the others. But this thread is about McMahon possibly spitting the dummy and going is, which has led to this topic of McMahon v Hooper.

          I’d argue that Hooper hasn’t been our form player and I’d welcome the coach chopping him for a different option. I like others think Hooper is amazingly committed and highly visible in games but is not as effective individually as a 7 or as a back row partner.

        • Braveheart81

          McMahon played 9 tests last year and was unavailable for at least 3 more due to injury. The concept of a player spitting the dummy over that is pretty absurd.

          McMahon is a somewhat similar player who makes bullocking runs and big tackles and also isn’t overly strong at the breakdown. I can’t see any situation where the coach decides to ditch Hooper in that situation where he is constantly rated amongst the best performing players in the side by media and his teammates.

          McMahon wasn’t around for McKenzie and Deans but both of them rated Hooper as the best 7 option too (excluding Pocock where either both were selected or mostly, Pocock was missing through injury) so it isn’t just some Cheika conspiracy.

        • McWarren

          BH i’m not claiming conspiracy or that McMahon has actually spat the dummy. Out of those 9 matches last year how many involved him playing at 8 with Hooper at 7? What I’m saying is Hooper is a constant through the bad run we’ve had and deserves to have his impact and contribution more closely scrutinised. And the coach needs to be open to the idea that Hooper has negatives which just might be part of the reason we keep getting beaten, be that his style of leadership, his size which means he keeps getting picked up and driven backwards or lack of ball scavenging?

        • Braveheart81

          Of course he should be under scrutiny. Most of that scrutiny last year would have involved his teammates rating him as one of the best players in each match (and often the best) resulting in him winning the JEM by a huge margin, and winning multiple MOTM awards.

          For all those things that I agree are negatives, you’d also review those games and highlight the overwhelming positives.

          I don’t see why people are surprised that the coaching staff aren’t viewing Hooper as the person who should be dropped from a losing side. The matches that were lost were often the ones where he stood out as performing the best (did he win the Aussie MOTM award in all three England tests in June?).

          No reasonable analysis of last season on a match by match basis would pinpoint Hooper as the weak point of the side. There’s a pretty clear reason why he keeps getting selected.

          The overwhelming majority of people who don’t think Hooper is the best option favour a pilfering 7 but there’s no evidence that produces better results at any level these days (aside from when we can pick Pocock who is undoubtedly our best player).

        • Bernie Chan

          And yet…Pocock was moved from his best position (he was probably the best #7 in rugby at the time…?) to accommodate Hooper…?

        • Braveheart81

          With Pocock and Hooper in the same XV we beat the All Blacks for the first time since 2011 and we got to a RWC final which was significantly ahead of expectations. In several of the games they started together they were both amongst our best few players. Did the way Pocock played change much between 7 and 8? His greatest strength of attacking the ball at the breakdown was still the hallmark of his game.

          It also happened at a time when there was no strong option to play number 8. McCalman was our next choice number 8 at that time.

        • NSWelsham in London

          Chris Whittaker comes to mind here when it comes to great players overlapping others ….

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate, I’m not sure that the John Eales medal voting is a true test of worth, it’s more a test of who the players like and I think it’s right to query Hooper’s part in the team as with any player.
        Personally I don’t think he’s actually that good a No 7 as he lacks physical presence going forward in the tight and he doesn’t play a pilfering game. While he brought some good skills to the Wallabies like his speed and ability to turn up all over the place, I always felt that the loose forward combination lacked balance and certainly didn’t have the presence that other teams loose forwards do. Maybe with Pocock out of the picture he can revert back to a pure 7 role, but if he does he’ll need to do it better than he has in Super rugby to be effective.
        I feel for him a bit as he keeps getting put into these roles by the coaches. He gives 100% every game which is more than some others do and certainly seems to need a spot in the team, it’s just the role of that spot that is questionable at times.

        • Braveheart81

          It’s a piece of external evidence and definitely a better test of someone’s worth than a few punters on the internet.

          There really haven’t been many arguments that McMahon should be the starting 7 instead of Hooper over the last couple of years (and he also lacks a strong pilfering game) but now that it’s rumoured that McMahon is going to take a contract offer in Japan it’s suddenly the coach’s fault that he continued to select Hooper instead of dropping him for McMahon?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I dont think McMahon should replace Hooper. I think McMahon is and 8 or 6 not a 7. I actually would like to see Hooper play ad a 7. Forget all this swanning around on the wing and get into the rucks and mauls to either disrupt play or win turnovers.

        • Braveheart81

          Our 7 plays in the right channel when we’re on attack. It doesn’t matter if it is Hooper. The forwards operate in pods of 1-3-3-1 across the field. He certainly doesn’t stand out on the wing in defence. Ideally you probably want him making less tackles so he can attack the ball more after the tackle.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely. It’s one part of his game that needs to improve. He’s great when he gets in space but I haven’t seen him dominate in either attack or defence. Yes he makes tackles but he very rarely sends players back in the tackle and he’s often sent back when he just up. I think he’s got some great skills and love his speed when he gets space, I just don’t see him as a world class 7 the way he currently plays

        • first time long time

          By the results our set up/patterns of play aren’t working though.
          Not to speak for others but I think the point is we haven’t had a chance to see how other back row options would go except in French game last tour when it looked more balanced than it has in a couple of years.
          I think Hooper would still go close to winning the JE’s medal from the bench which is where I think he would be most effective.

        • Braveheart81

          The team structure is a coaching direction though. You can’t blame Hooper for playing out in the right channel on attack when that is what the coach is telling him to do. His replacement would do exactly the same.

        • first time long time

          I think that style with Hooper coming on fresh in the last 30min would work better after someone who plays tighter had softened up and sucked them in close for the first 50.
          He would be a genuine “finisher”. It’s no insult to be on the bench, it’s a 23 man game.

      • Pclifto

        I agree. I don’t think there’s any evidence to suggest that McMahon is out of favour with Cheika.

        Blind freddie can see he’s quality – and I expect him to feature heavily this year in Wallaby gold

      • Twoilms

        BH, why bother getting sucked into the Hooper bashing parade?

        • first time long time

          Try reading and comprehending what people are saying. Very little bashing going on, just not unadulterated adoration for your man Hooper

  • Andrew Luscombe

    So it seems the ARU has two key methods of undermining teams outside of traditional states – a moratorium on contracting players that doesn’t mean much to teams not facing the chop, and a salary cap that doesn’t mean much to teams with lots of Wallabies top up players.

    It’s clear that the ARU has the means to destroy the competitiveness of teams if not to legally expel them, and that they will continue to do this given that they believe it is a way to protect “the heartland”.

    The goings on in the last few months have probably reduced rugby’s popularity by another 25% after it reduced by 35% in the last 5 or so years. Any business case for cutting a team is probably way out of date, and if they did the numbers again by the same method they used a few months back, the ARU would probably decide to cut two teams.

    It’s not hard to imagine a future where the Rebels, Force, then Brumbies are effectively destroyed then dumped at two or three year intervals. Just a raw extrapolation of the last 5 years and ARU behaviour so far makes it look likely.

    Once it is widely understood how the ARU and SANZAAR are likely to respond negatively to future reductions in income through reduced crowds, sponsors, and in three years a new broadcasting deal, and that many of these reductions are already becoming locked in, I don’t see how anyone marginal, or close to marginal will want anything to do with the ARU or SANZAAR or any body under their control.

    The trouble is, unless there is a credible belief that all will be cooperated with and met with a positive attitude, there is always someone who sees themselves as next. Even once the current marginal people are chopped or leave, it just causes new people to realise they are marginal. Once people look ahead a little bit, it won’t take much to tip things from here into a rats leaving the sinking ship situation.

    It is always important for an organisation to have credible positive plans. It is currently essential to ARU survival to have credible positive plans right now about how and why any other teams or groups will not be “chopped”. I don’t see the slightest signs of any positive plans.

    • Missing Link

      These are the consequences of the regressive mindset employed by the ARU.

      Somewhere in a parallel universe, Deans is still the Wallabies coach, Link still at the Reds, Cheika at the Tahs. The ARC is proving to be a great feeder for the next generation of Super Rugby and Wallaby players, we won back the Bledisloe Cup in 2013 and beat New Zealand in the final of RWC2015.


Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

More in Rugby