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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News has Rennie, Penney, banned substances, BPA, CFS, Hegarty, Stewart, Fouaika and Dempsey news.


Rennie vs Penney

The SMH is reporting what has been rumoured and murmured around the halls of the GAGR Towers for quite some time now, that Dave Rennie will become Wallabies coach post-RWC and Rob Penney will become Tahs coach next year.

Together with Brad Thorn, that’ll mean there’ll be three New Zealanders in charge of the three most important rugby teams in Australia.

Rennie, currently in Scotland with the Glasgow Chiefs, has turned that side into title contenders, reaching the semi-final and final in each of his seasons there. Both times he has won the Pro 14 conference with his team. Rennie is also known as the guy who won two titles with the Chefs.

Penney is coach of the NTT Communication Shining Arcs, having previously also been coach of Munster and Canterbury.

According to venerable GeeRob, the Waratahs were keen on appointing “an Australian with Super Rugby head coaching experience or above”, but, uh, couldn’t really find one.

Scott Wisemantel, attack coach of England, was first choice on the Waratahs list but after he knocked them back, the next option was Damien Hill. Hill, a former Sydney Uni coach who won three premierships in a row between 2007 and 2009, is coaching the Ricoh Black Rams in Japan.

Hill is potentially still in the top 3 candidates – along with Penney and former Warringah Rats coach Darren Coleman, who did very well in making them a competitive side – but it is the SMH says Penney is believed to be the front runner.

aphiwe dyantyi

No Cheat

Springbok speedster Aphiwe Dyantyi says he ain’t never done no drugs, after he tested positive on Saturday for some sort of banned substance.

Dyantyi was told by South Africa’s anti-doping agency that a urine sample he gave at camp early in July tested positive for the unnamed substance.

“[I have n]ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently, to enhance my performance on the field,” Dyantyi said in a statement (via Fox Sports).

“I believe in hard work and fair play. I have never cheated and never will.”

Fox Sports adds that the winger has requested his ‘B’ sample be tested, and that he also claims his test in mid June did not come up positive.

25-year-old Dyantyi has scored six tries in 13 tests, including two in the All Blacks win in New Zealand last year.

Last year he was voted as 2018’s rugby newcomer of the year.

Chris Feauai-Sautia in his 50th game

Reds Sign Five

The Reds are edging ever closer to their title in 2026 Super Rugby title, with the news that they’ve re-signed five players for at least next season.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Feao Fotuaika, Bryce Hegarty, Hamish Stewart and Chris Feauai-Sautia are all locked in for 2020.

“There’s a good mix of talent and experience between them, they’re a hard-working group of men,” Thorn told rugby.com.au.

“Most of them have come through the system with Queensland at Schoolboys and U20s level, or through the NRC.

“The longer we can keep this same group of men here together, the better it will be for Queensland.”

Joining these five is Alex Mafi, whose contract extension to 2022 was announced last week. He’ll be competing with BPA for the #2 shirt.

Hegarty and Stewart are expected to occupy the same areas, with the 26-year-old Hegarty expected to act as the wise head to the 21-year-old Stewart’s youth.

Fotauika, despite being a goldie oldie at the Reds at 26 years old, only made his debut last year after making the step up from Brisbane City.

Finally, CFS is now the most senior Red after being around for seven years straight. He will line up in the midfield with James O’Connor and Jordan Petaia.

Jack Dempsey picked up the MOTM seiko

Dempsey Dope

Jack Dempsey has revealed to the SMH that he almost screwed it all up, after he played through a ligament injury with his club side Gordon – in a game he was playing with the intention to stay match fit for Wallabies selection.

After not being picked for the Pumas game in Brisbane, Dempsey asked if he could make a cameo for Gordon, so he could also help their finals push.

However, 10 minutes in he did his shoulder ligament.

“I knew something was going on because I couldn’t lift my arm, but it was a big game for the club and for myself. We strapped it up at half-time,” Dempsey said, according to the SMH.

“I guess it comes down to the individual. For myself, with the tough two years I’ve had, all I’ve wanted to do throughout this rehab time is just get out on to the footy pitch. If I’m on there I’ll only be taken off if I can’t physically perform at all.

“A lot of things go through your head but I thought if it is significant this could be my last game of the year and I just wanted to help Gordon get into the finals. We lost after the buzzer. It was a bit of a double hit, but it’s where I come from, it’s where I started my career, I always love going back and playing for them.”

The silly billy has been out of action but scans say that he should be good for Samoa on 7 September, unless a fridge falls on him when he goes to get some Vegemite or something.

“There were definitely some dark moments there and some iffy moments, especially with how this year has gone for me personally, in terms of putting myself in a position to get picked,” Dempsey said, referring also to the fact that he’s been injured more or less for the past year.

“I was definitely sweating but I’ve always had confidence in what I have been able to control and that’s the performances I have had in the gold jersey.”

  • LBJ

    If the Rennie – Penney story is true, it is an utter disgrace.

    The hostile takeover will be complete – the top three coaching positions (by size) are taken by Kiwis, with new appointments made by the top two CEO’s – who are Kiwis. What an extraordinary, sad situation.

    Yet Hore, Castle, Thorne, Gibson – all are failing miserably. Wessels too – with an extraordinary team has a terrible record. All good people I’m sure – not a personal attack – but there is literally zero evidence to support this trajectory. Deans was mediocre to be generous. White had some success on the field. But he destroyed the brumbies reputation for running rugby – the community left in droves and they have never recovered (I’m sure that was only one factor).

    Is there a single person who will buy into rugby more because these people are appointed? Obviously not. What does it tell aspiring coaches? Players? Once again it tells our people that they are simply inferior – why would you bother to aspire.

    But is there any way to voice the opinion? Nope. Only the kiwi voices matter apparently.

    • Fatflanker

      I, for one, welcome our kiwi overlords! Nothing wrong with foreign coaches in principle, LBJ, especially when no local is putting a hand up. They’ll want to beat the ABs and win the RWC just as much. Look at Eddie Jones.

      We missed a big trick not going after Stu Lancaster IMO.

      Anyway, at least we’re not being softened up for the premature return of Bernie Larkham!

      • onlinesideline

        Stu Lancaster ? – tell me Im a bit slow and your using sarcasmo font.

        As Hoss says, Id rather Lindy Chamberlain babysit my child than let this guy anywhere near the Wallabies.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Lancaster is a great coach. Has done wonderful things in Ireland.

        • onlinesideline

          nothing will ever excuse the lack of preparation of that England team while hosting the Cup. It was disgraceful coaching. Everything he does after that moment is just proof of what he could have , should have done. If I was CEO of RA I want winners.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Think you’re drinking the kool aid if you believe that. I know that is the line of argument the RFU tried to push in order to absolve themselves of all responsibility, but in reality, there was far more going on than that.

        • onlinesideline

          there are always the hidden agendas, the squabbles, the politics, the hidden powerplays. ….excuses.

          They weren’t fit mate, they lacked any cohenrency in play…the list is long. How could it be that the essentially same players formed such a better team under Eddie only 9 months later. You saying Stu L is not largely to blame. The buck stops with him. He was in charge. If he was too timid to put his foot down and squashh internal obstacles the thats another reason I would never want him. There is no kool aid. I saw what I saw. And lets face it we werent much chop either and we pantsed them.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Less than two years later, Eddie’s England came second last in the 6 Nations. Think you’re massively simplifying the issues England faced in 2015. The squabbling of the clubs, the politics, the fact that the players struggled to deal with the pressure, and the fact that the team was very young, with some really key injuries.

          Lancaster had enjoyed an extended period of success until that World Cup. Think there’s little evidence they were unfit. Certainly, his team was more consistent than Eddie’s.

          And certainly, he’s improved in Ireland. Everyone I know who is connected with Leinster raves about him.

        • adastra32

          Whatever the 20/20 history, I don’t think it is going to repeat itself this year for England. Were I a WB fan, I would be much more worried closer to home.

        • Keith Butler

          True. England had a dearth of centres at the time, Andy Farrell looked at Sam Burgess and thought he was the answer, a man in his own mould and sold the idea to the RFU. Two years to late mind you. Lancaster was an RFU back room boy more of a player developer and probably not ready to take such a high profile role. All conspired to turn a team that under formed and didn’t make it to the knockout stages.

        • Who?

          What’s the old saying… You’ve got to lose one to win one?
          Why didn’t Wiedeking get the VW CEO role? Ferdinand Piech’s philosophy that he wouldn’t hire someone who’d never messed up in business – he didn’t want their first mistake to be in his company. Wiedeking then went and tried to take over VW, which saw VW end up owning Porsche…
          Eddie Jones was Wallabies coach, had some success, some failures. I’d argue that he’s a significantly better coach now than he was then.
          .
          Past failings can be advantageous, provided you learn from them. And it seems that the still rather young Stuart Lancaster’s still learning.

        • Max Graham

          So you think the NZRU made a mistake in 2008 by sticking with Graham Henry and Steve Hanson? Vern Cotter and Joe Schmidt are no good? Lancaster is proven to be excellent and has likely learnt things from his failures. I think he would be a great choice.

        • Max Graham

          I’d take Lancaster! Reckon he has a lot to offer – Reds missed a trick a few years ago when they elected to stick with Nick Styles when apparently Lancaster was in the mix.

        • Fatflanker

          Exactamundo!

        • Fatflanker

          Hah! Not a ‘dingo’ Deans supporter then!? Mate,
          Lancaster had his RWC derailed but lessons are learnt the hard way sometimes – his coaching pedigree is there to be seen.

      • juswal

        I can’t see how we could have replaced Cheika with Lancaster. Why would we want a rejected Pom coach whose downfall we helped deliver?

        • Fatflanker

          Meant to suggest we missed a trick not bringing him on to Australian rugby (at Super coach level). Yes, he bombed out the last RWC but his coaching pedigree is actually pretty damn good.

    • Max Graham

      Australian coaches are pants! I can’t name anyone ready to step up. Oz rugby shouldn’t be a sheltered workshop that rewards mediocrity.

      • Custard Taht

        The problem is, I like pants. I would need to know what clothing item Kiwi coaches are before deciding.

      • laurence king

        ‘Pearl clutching’, ‘pants’, something or other about ‘the shark’. Where do you get these things mate. No one on here knows what they mean. And please don’t explain, I’m getting on a bit and I don’t want to know. lol

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Rather than blame the Kiwis for this why don’t you lay the blame where it belongs? The continual mismanagement of rugby here along with the continual influence of the losers at NSW and QLD who continue to push their own agendas over what is good for Australia. There is no national framework for the development of coaches, or players, referees and administrators, so how the hell are you meant to develop any. These dickheads still think that the jump from Shute Shield to the Wallabies is achievable because that’s how it was in their day.
      Until these idiots move on and RA can be established to actually look after rugby in Australia instead of just two states you’ll never develop the people you need.
      Sure blame the Kiwis if it makes you feel better but that’s up there with flat earth, anti vaccination, pyramids being built by aliens and Allen Jones being from another planet. Actually that last one might be true

      • Keith Butler

        Read the second para of Hartman’s piece and nearly threw up. Last time I looked the Brumbies were the top super rugby side here. Your comments, as usual, spot on. Born to rule NSW and QLD, the rest of the rugby fraternity in the country can get fucked as far as they are concerned. All our rugby sides are important right down to grass roots level in every state.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Since professionalism, the greatest contribution of New South Wales and Queensland has actually been to produce players for the Brumbies to take and turn into world class players for the Wallabies.

          I’m being tongue in cheek somewhat. But the Reds have mostly been disappointments since the early 2000s, aside from the brief period with Link, and aside from that period under Link (again) and Cheika in 2014-15 the Tahs have generally disappointed also. To argue they’re inherently more important than the Brumbies is to be ignorant of the history of professional rugby in this country.

          Edit:

          “Australia’s three most important rugby sides could all be coached by Kiwis by the end of the year.”

          I’m not sure I’ve ever read a more condescending opening line to an article. It is so Georgina Robinson I almost laughed. I’m still not sure what she brings to Australian rugby journalism.

        • Keith Butler

          Being a relatively new arrival (2006) and a SD to boot, I have only experienced Aussie rugby in the professional era. However, I readily acknowledge and take my hat off to NSW and QLD who produced the 1984 magicians that toured the UK and the RWC winners in 91 and 99. I just found that bit of the article too condescending for words and it put my back up.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          A lot of Brumbies in that ’99 team, and the coach.

          But I think your comment demonstrates that we need a national (or whole system) based approach. Focusing on only a few states will continue to have a terribly negative impact on rugby in this country.

          Georgina’s articles are often poisonous for rugby in this country, in my opinion. Whether she intends to or not, she constantly reinforces the view that rugby in this country is only private schoolers from Eastern Sydney and Brisbane.

        • Who?

          That 99 team had an ex-Tahs coach, and the 91 RWC team had a lot of players heavily influenced by that same Tahs coach (he was coaching the Tahs in 91-92, I believe they were undefeated at home in that time?).
          :-P
          .
          Perhaps the foundations of the Brumbies should be considered as taking the lost coaching staff from the Tahs, too… ;-)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The Brumbies’ success has always been based on the horrendous talent identification of the Waratahs.

        • IIPA

          I don’t know if that’s really true. Most of Brumbies best players were local: Roff, Gregan, Larkham come to mind.

          Sure NSW shouldn’t have let Mortlock slip away. With Smith they had to choose one of him or Waugh. Waugh had a pretty damn good career just not as good as Smith’s.

          A lot of the other guys it’s not that NSW backed the wrong horse they just didn’t have as good a stable…

        • LBJ

          Those three teams produce literally ALL of the games revenue. The Brumbies and Rebels are completely broke and rely on the revenue from the others. That’s what it means.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Pretty sure the Brumbies were the only side to turn a profit recently. Also, the Brumbies have a decent following overseas in Europe compared to other Aussie teams.

          The Wallabies generate the revenue for Australia. The super rugby teams produce the players to make the wallabies successful.

        • LBJ

          Broadcast revenue & Subscription numbers are king – and no-one is paying to reach the ACT audience.

          There is a very real possibility that the super rugby teams will get cut back to three at the next deal.

          In that scenario, it is the Brumbies that will get cut from super rugby in favour of the Rebels. They would get pushed down to the NRC like the Force.

          I don’t agree with this (as i didn’t for the Force) – but it is what is happening in Rugby in Australia.

        • From NooZealand

          Her looks?

        • Patrick

          Especially NSW. I have long said that the ARU should have a minority NSWelshmen on its boards a rule.

        • juswal

          I suspect Nick enjoyed packing that grenade into his summary, but it was Robinson who offered the ‘three most important sides’.

        • Keith Butler

          I suspect you’re right. He must have read Sambo6’s comment yesterday about it being quiet on the newsfront for the next 2 weeks. Lit the blue touch paper and stood well back with the desired result.

      • Custard Taht

        Blaming NZ is to Australia, what blaming Mexico is to the USA.

        • juswal

          But without the tasty food.

      • LBJ

        The CEO of any sports organisation has one primary job – to appoint the coach.

        You are suggesting that the CEOs should not be accountable for their performance.

        The CEO of NSW and of Australia are Kiwis. They have both been in their respective jobs for a number of years and have not identified a single Australian candidate – inside or outside Australia. Instead they have gone completely outside and hired their mates from NZ.

        Of course this provides further evidence of the diabolical waste that is the NRC. These people have had the NRC at their disposal for their entire tenure – yet it has produced literally nothing – no players and no coaches.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but unless they change the structure of how coaches are developed rather than rely on the “old boy” network it doesn’t matter what they do. It’s not the CEO that’s the problem it’s the lack of decent processes and structure for them to work through.
          The NRC has actually produced dome good players and coaches where it has been followed by the state organisation. It’s done nothing in NSW because the people running the show there have had their heads up their arse over it while they’ve wasted more and more years promoting the Shute Shield. Always cracks me up as the top team in this competition would lose to the top teams in NZ by 50 points

        • LBJ

          If the the NRC has a single job – its to identify coaches and players.

          Here are the facts:

          The NRC has been in place for five years.

          There are now two coaching jobs available in Australia.

          Zero candidates have been identified from the NRC. NSW had 6-8 teams to select from.

          Two identified from Shute Shield.

          All of these ignored and chosen from overseas.

        • idiot savant

          You are only quoting the NSW experience with the NRC (although I think one good half from Hanigan led to a 20 test career!).

          Thorn rose to prominence coaching the NRC. Many top club coaches have improved their coaching by being exposed to it. A raft of players have won super rugby contracts out of it including Brendan Paenga Amosa, Daugunu, Campbell, and many others. Of course top players are usually identified through the school and under age pathways and so players like Petaia or Harrison are selected for Super Rugby without going through the NRC but that doesn’t apply to all players.

          The fact is that the gap between SS, BPR etc and super rugby has grown so something in between will benefit development. The NRC in its current form may not be the answer but if you have a better idea please share it.

        • LBJ

          You are correct – I am only talking about my experience in NSW – because that’s my experience, I’m not here to tell other people whats good for them, and i don’t think I’ve done that.

          I suspect the answer lies in a structure like the Europeans have. where teams have the ability to play in multiple competitions.
          In Aust. it could be that the super clubs play domestically, with the finalists playing offshore teams – NZ and SA.

          Same structure in club land. States are obliged to develop talent through their clubs with finalists playing off against each other nationally.

          The biggest challenge is that the ARU is addicted to the revenue coming from the current structure – even as its failing.

        • Who?

          Two identified from Shute Shield.

          The article’s wording is inaccurate.
          .
          Coleman’s been identified for his progress from Shute Shield and his work in NRC.
          .
          Damien Hill might’ve won three titles with Uni, but he was also an assistant under Rod Macqueen and then took the head coaching role at the Rebels, and was recently head of the Brumbies academy. He hasn’t coached Shute Shield in a decade.
          .
          So, you’ve got two blokes with Shute Shield history, who have further experience beyond that level, one of them being a former Super coach. And one being a current NRC coach (as well as Shute Shield – neither appointment is a full time role). Which effectively sees him (with the overdue but increasing NSWRU involvement) as a Tahs development coach (as was Cron, who was closer to a SS recruit, but he also had national rep coaching experience).
          .
          In terms of them being ignored, well, that’s the Tahs’ prerogative…

        • Who?

          The NRC’s produced no players? Seriously… Shute Shield delusion at its finest.
          Didn’t you read the part of the article where Thorn clearly identified that his players largely came from the NRC? BPA’s a Red because he was great for NSW Country. Large parts of the current Reds squad have come through the NRC pathway – a good number of them when Thorn was coach of Country, and others through Stiles with City.
          Oh, and Thorn was Qld Country Coach.
          .
          Many are complaining that Banks didn’t make the RWC squad. He first found attention playing fullback for Qld Country (with Thorn as coach).
          .
          The issues with coaching in this country are long term and systemic. As someone who was inside the QRU system, I can tell you that coaching resources improved under Link, and fell away when he left. It suddenly wasn’t as high a priority, and the IP at the top was nowhere near the same quality. Meanwhile, we’ve not seen any development at a national level. Who’s stood up at Super Level?
          Now, I know you’ll immediately claim Coleman (understandably) as a Shute Shield success, but his time at NRC level has exposed him to more than he could’ve done at Shute Shield level, and will help him to make the transition between Shute Shield and (eventually) Super Rugby. It’s a notable part of the reason why he’s ahead of whoever it is that coached the other Shute Shield finalist. Because the difference between coaching an amateur team and a professional team is HUGE – to the extent that it was quoted by Colin Cooper only a couple of months ago as to why he’s quitting as head coach of the Chiefs. The job description is massively different compared to only a few years ago at the top level, whereas the role at amateur level hasn’t really shifted that much.
          .
          The reality is you can never have too much experience in these areas, and the NRC’s done more for the game nationally in the past five years than the Shute Shield. And that’s only right – the Shute Shield exists for a part of one city. It shouldn’t be expected to deliver everything for the whole nation. Especially when it can’t even energise the breadth of its home city.
          .
          But it’s ok – we know that the entire world revolves around the Shute Shield, and your small part of Eastern Sydney (even though you’ll claim you’re ‘west’). Don’t worry about Western Sydney, west of the Blue Mountains, the Hunter, the Illawarra, the ACT, etc….. Shute Shield developed players alone is all that’s required to beat the ABs.

        • LBJ

          You seem to be oddly offended by me pointing out the simple fact that the NRC is a failure. All of those players were developed by their respective clubs. And I’m not sure Thorne is a good example of ‘success’.
          As a selection tool – the NRC helps, no debate there. But its played no part in their development. And my point is that its detrimental to growing the actual game of rugby – more kids, stronger clubs and rugby communities.
          My view is that the NRC leads the sport down an elitist NFL style model – if you aren’t good enough to be selected – then there is nothing more than park footy for you.
          The Dempsy piece is a perfect example – he played on for his mates, his team, his community. Right now there are thousands of Gordon clubbies (and other clubbies) smiling from ear to ear to read that – and it will inspire and delight them from First grade to Fourth Grade colts.

        • Who?

          I’m sure we’ve debated this before. The NRC’s not a failure. The NSWRU is a failure, and its implementation of the NRC was an abject failure. But the fact that the incompetence of the NSWRU makes the NRC less relevant to one province doesn’t make it a failure when it’s loved and well utilised everywhere else.
          .
          You can’t see past the club at the end of your street. You seem to think that the amateur Shute Shield is going to be the pathway for everyone, when the reality is that the vast majority of Australia (geographically) doesn’t care at all for the Shute Shield, won’t ever care for the Shute Shield, and the Shute Shield can’t even maintain a presence across the full breadth of its domain (i.e. Sydney).
          .
          We need more kids playing the game, but the Shute Shield won’t help that. It’s entrenched in the existing system, which has a strong history of protecting its patch of turf rather than expanding. In the same way that it’s more important to have the right school tie than almost anything else.
          .
          The NRC should be a rep team arrangement, where you’re picked out of club (and drop back from Super) to develop and find opportunities. This is how it works everywhere but NSW, where the lack of financial investment from the NSWRU (and the ongoing feudal nature of the overall governance system, including the SRU) sees club players selected for the NRC choosing not to play, as there’s no financial benefit (barely even financial assistance) for them playing.
          .
          It took until the fifth season of the NRC for any Sydney-based team to revive the old anchor insignia. The tradition of a Sydney rep team has been lost for years. It didn’t threaten the Shute Shield years ago, why is it an issue now? Because that’s what the Sydney-based NRC team should be, along with NSW Country (though obviously Country-origin players should be prioritised into NSW Country (both from the Tahs and Shute Shield), as happens for Qld Country. I’m confident it’d be a factor in Simmons being a NSW Country player last year). A pathway from Shute Shield (where you’ve got what, 10, 12 teams?) to funnel into the singular Tahs team. To go from 12 to 1 is a tight pathway, to ease it down from 12 to 2 to 1 reduces the step (ideally, NSW would have at least 3 NRC teams, but… Incompetence).
          .
          Qld Country takes along the players they select, but they also look to select extra players from teams like the Qld Country Heelers (the rep team from whence they claim heritage), to help develop those prospective talents and also to spread knowledge and inspiration to all the regions.
          .
          If anything is making the sport more elitist, it’s not the open selection NRC. It’s squad-based systems, where you go from the GPS First XV to the Junior-*insert-province-here*-team, to the *insert-province-here*-academy, and then to Super Rugby. NRC provides a pathway for club players – especially players who mature a bit later – to gain wider experience, broader knowledge and wider exposure.
          .
          Dempsey? I think it’s fantastic he went and played club. Especially given he struggled to get back into the Tahs after his injury this year (i.e. he needed form). It’s the right move. But to believe the NRC has failed (didn’t even Dempsey – along with Hanigan, Staniforth, and a couple of other Tahs – first find prominence in the NRC reporting on here?) and should be scrapped, with the solution being more rugby at a lower level, that’s stretching a good puff piece into a dissertation on budget reform.

        • LBJ

          Yes perhaps we’ve discussed it before – but with respect, i still don’t care for whiteboard warriors. They are for consultants – I’m sure EY could come up with a very pretty inverted pyramid that describes your vision and is equally irrelevant in reality.

          My belief is that we need strong rugby clubs and strong rugby communities. I will actively work against anything that is detrimental to that goal. And the NRC is the most damaging piece of rugby infrastructure I’ve ever seen – it seeks to take, and give nothing back. I originally supported it, then i was indifferent, but now that i’ve watched the damage its doing to clubs, I’m convinced it needs to disappear from our landscape altogether (I’m only talking about Sydney – other regions can do what they want). Its likely that the NRC helps professional selectors to do their job. That is all, and it is something i don’t care about – at all.

          Let me be clear – there is zero support from NSWRU and ARU for the Shute Shield. In fact their influence is completely negative – We pay them. And if they get the chance to kick us in the face, they take great pride in doing so. See if you can find reference to the SS on their websites? Promote the finals? Nothing. Important notes: that contrasts with the players – who love to come back to their clubs.

          Any success the SS has is due solely to the communities support and passion. But does the ARU and NSWRU support skip over SS and become present at the minis and juniors? No. Note this tiny story from the end of season BBQ at my sons minis game last weekend – the club chairman said to me (as close as i can paraphrase) “if the ARU didn’t exist tomorrow, we honestly wouldn’t notice…Thank god we’ve got the Marlins helping out”

          The Marlins are the aspiration and focus point for ~8 Junior Clubs, from U6 to U12. from 1 – 4 teams per age per club + girls teams. Then a ‘vikings’ Beaches team from U13-U16 + Girls. Then they have 4 Colts and 4 Grade + Womens. The Rats have a similar setup. Eastwood, also similar (these are the three teams i know intimately – with the exception of Uni, the other clubs are on the same line). These teams all require coaches managers and $. These are the people building rugby in this community. These are the people Dempsey was representing when he played injured for Gordon.

          The Green and Gold Groupthink loves to rant about Western Sydney – But where was the ranting when Papworth was lobbying to set up a Western Sydney Super Rugby team?! Crickets! ‘He couldn’t possibly do something positive because hes from the Shute Shield – But Twiggy! wow he’s amazing’… (i love Twiggy and what he’s doing generally BTW – but the contrast is obvious and revealing).

          I’m not telling anyone else what to do – but i’m sick to death of being told that we are not allowed to be successful because you want to take the players developed in this system, put them in a different competition, pretend you ‘developed’ them – and then of course tell us what an awful bunch of dickheads we all are and we can all F.Off!. I’m completely over it.

          SS is the third tier in Sydney – and I couldn’t care less where it sits in your whiteboard, we demand the clean air to simply do the best we are able. I certainly don’t pretend that SS is perfect – it must develop, that’s what growth looks like. And you’re welcome to joins us on that journey, you’re welcome to be indifferent. But if you want to keep trying to stop us, be prepared for a proper fight.

        • Who?

          I will actively work against anything that is detrimental to that goal. And the NRC is the most damaging piece of rugby infrastructure I’ve ever seen – it seeks to take, and give nothing back.

          And this is the problem. You see your tiny patch of the world, and like so many affiliated with the Shute Shield, you go straight on the defensive.

          I’m convinced it needs to disappear from our landscape altogether (I’m only talking about Sydney – other regions can do what they want).

          The NRC costs RA nothing. The costs of running it are borne by Fox (TV rights cover transport and refs) and the franchises (through gate takings, merch, sponsorships, etc).
          Where the NSWRU made a major mistake was by allowing clubs (Shute Shield clubs) to purchase the franchises, putting themselves at financial risk. Most other regions (the ACT being the exception) took on that risk at state level, keeping their clubs financially independent and more secure.
          If the NRC is taking money in NSW, it’s not the fault of the NRC, it’s the fault of the NSWRU for allowing clubs to own the franchises, and the fault of the clubs for buying them rather than lobbying the NSWRU to do the right thing. Or using the SRU to buy them collectively.
          There was clear reason to buy a franchise – it would get your club more game time, there’s financial opportunity there (however, it requires a lot of investment to gain the reward), and having a direct path to NRC games against more elite players would attract players to your club, if the entire process were handled well. But it’s a huge undertaking for volunteer clubs, and I’m rather confident that the clubs bit off far more than they were ever able to chew. No sleight on the clubs for that – we want clubs to dream big. But it’s a black mark against the NSWRU (and RA) that they didn’t show a greater duty of care to the clubs (and the NRC as a competition).

          Let me be clear – there is zero support from NSWRU and ARU for the Shute Shield. In fact their influence is completely negative – We pay them.

          How’s that different to any other region? As someone who was heavily involved when RA’s new fee structures came in a few years ago (not from their end), I should point out that NSW was the LAST region to have to pay RA. Everyone else was paying – and continued paying higher rates – before NSW clubs had to pay. I’m not just talking Qld and the ACT. I’m talking SA and Tasmania! What do they get back?! At club level?!

          Note this tiny story from the end of season BBQ at my sons minis game last weekend – the club chairman said to me (as close as i can paraphrase) “if the ARU didn’t exist tomorrow, we honestly wouldn’t notice…Thank god we’ve got the Marlins helping out

          .”
          And my club didn’t even have a club at a higher level like that helping out. So it’s nothing unusual.

          The Marlins are the aspiration and focus point

          And if Rugby admin in NSW had any clue, they’d take the same perspective with NRC teams. That they’re an aspiration – part of the pathway. Club, to Shute, to NRC, to Super, to Wallabies.

          But where was the ranting when Papworth was lobbying to set up a Western Sydney Super Rugby team?! Crickets!

          Pappie comes from the grassroots, so it’d be more believable if there were runs on the board in terms of running grassroots clubs out there. Or if it were affiliated with a larger body (i.e. a money source like Twiggy, or the governing body like RA). The Giants are only successful because the AFL spent a boatload of money on juniors out there – Pappie doesn’t have that resource (where Twiggy does).

          i’m sick to death of being told that we are not allowed to be successful because you want to take the players developed in this system, put them in a different competition, pretend you ‘developed’ them

          NO one’s saying they don’t want the Shute Shield to be successful, all that is being said is that the Shute Shield’s level of success isn’t producing Wallabies, or even Waratahs. It’s to be a strong, vibrant comp, and to feed players to NRC clubs.
          .
          I hate going to games and reading how this player went to that school, and that player went to another school. When I know those players started at least 6 years beforehand in a club. Perfect example is Harry Hoopert – all anyone ever talks about is that he went to TGS, without any reference to the fact that he played for years for the Dalby Wheatmen before he went there (I’m not a Wheatman).
          .
          So I’m absolutely about crediting clubs – especially clubs where players got their start. But I’m not so naïve as to think he wouldn’t be the same player without going to TGS (regardless of my thoughts on the negative impacts of those schools on the game), without playing club in Brisbane, without being part of Thorn’s NRC Qld Country teams. Every step deserves credit.
          .

          SS is the third tier in Sydney – and I couldn’t care less where it sits in your whiteboard, we demand the clean air to simply do the best we are able.

          But it’s not. Even back in the 70’s, it wasn’t. It was the fourth level, behind the Wallabies, Tahs and playing for Sydney. Or the fifth level – behind the district rep teams! The only difference back then was that all the higher teams played far less frequently.

          I certainly don’t pretend that SS is perfect – it must develop, that’s what growth looks like.

          And the most recent form of growth has been the same as RA’s version of growth. Shrinking clubs.
          .
          Let’s be honest – there’s no incentive for clubs – in any competition – to look to create rivals for themselves. The AFL and NRL are perfect examples of that. So how does a competition run by clubs – who are geographically based – look to expand..? Whilst maintaining a happy supporter base, and not overstretching volunteers? It’s not easy. But letting clubs drop out – or actively removing them – is hardly a path to success.
          In the meantime, giving kids something else to look at that’s aspirational is a good thing. A kid in Fairfield might not feel an affinity with the Two Blues, and they’re definitely not going to care about Randwick. But they might be interested in a Sydney NRC team. Which is a whole lot more achievable (financially) than a Western Sydney Super team (especially after we’ve already lost the Force).
          Oh, and mentioning the Force, they weren’t demoted to NRC, they were removed from Super Rugby. The RWA then chose to rebrand the Western Spirit then to the Force, to retain some form of momentum for a name that had been around for a decade, choosing to sacrifice the Spirit name and the years they’d put into building that brand. They were two different teams.

          And you’re welcome to joins us on that journey, you’re welcome to be indifferent. But if you want to keep trying to stop us, be prepared for a proper fight.

          No one wants Shute Shield to shrink. The only calls for removals that I see are calls from Sydney people for the removal of something that more actively engages many other areas of the country. Something that actively engages those areas because it’s run far more competently in those areas than NRC is run in Sydney.
          So rather than think we’re coming after you, perhaps you could reconsider what you’re saying, which is, effectively, because our area can’t run something well (your NRC teams), we demand that the entire system be removed, regardless of the negative impacts for everyone else. The better option is to see attitudes towards those teams change, see them run well (which requires input from the NSWRU at a higher level than they’ve ever done before – we all agree that they’re incompetent), and make them a unifying, aspirational force in Shute Shield. “We’ve won the Shield this year, let’s dominate the NRC selections!” With fair compensation to help with the demands of that.

        • LBJ

          I appreciate your thoughts, really – but they’re inconsistent.
          You’ve said on one hand the NRC doesn’t impact SS clubs, and then pointed out how clubs, NRL and AFL shouldn’t create rivals for themselves – and that’s how I see it.

        • Who?

          I’m not inconsistent. Your viewpoint is wrong. Shute Shield and NRC are not rivals. They don’t compete for players, they don’t play at the same time. Unless you also consider the Tahs and Shute Shield to be rivals (they fight for players and share the same section of the calendar).
          The Tahs, NRC and Shute Shield are three separate levels that should be interwoven, not fighting against each other.
          Which is why I blame the NSWRU. Because they didn’t manage it even remotely well. And now we have people who should have a club and then an NRC team (based on their club allegiance), who have their club but hate the NRC.

        • LBJ

          Sorry about the delay, I just thought I’d close this out – because i think this is FUNDAMENTAL to the game’s prosperity. Although I respectfully recognise there is no chance of us agreeing.

          The problem here for mine, is that you are making promises on other peoples behalf that have no direct impact on you if you are wrong, but there is upside in making those assumptions by getting your theory over the line – so you do it anyway (what i would describe as taking a ‘free option’ based on having no ‘skin in the game’).

          In particular, your assertion that dropping the SS to fourth level of rugby will have no impact on that competition (I’ve read some NRC idiots say its good for the SS) and that the community will simply add another team to their list of ‘favorites’…as if its a facebook page…This assumption is completely incorrect and is disingenuous – in that there is no basis for making it, there is only evidence to the contrary, and it is insulting and disrespectful to the impacted rugby communities. If you don’t believe me, consider the communities response – it is utterly emphatic.

          From a business perspective, consider the extraordinary wastefulness of not utilising the heritage and goodwill built up over a century of the brands that in the SS – Randwick remains one of the most recognisable Rugby brands on he planet. Argentina certainly isn’t coming to play the Rays…! They actually passed over Fiji to play them… and there will be a bigger crowd than at every NRC game combined (outside of Fiji). There is Far, Far, Far more likelihood that this is a brand that can grow to become a rugby force. and it is not alone.

          The NRC in its current form is damaging to the SS, is damaging to Sydney rugby, to NSW rugby, and is damaging to Australian Rugby. It is a soulless, manufactured, distracting waste of money and it deserves its upcoming fate – to be cut. First by News, and then by NSWRU.

          Instead, the SS should have every spare resource thrown at it to become the best it can be. If there is a way to work with other states, terrific. But the current model is appalling.

          A couple of side-notes:
          SS’s historical standard: I’ve played for Sydney, there has never been an confusion as to the place of trial matches. They exist, they are useful for selection for NSW etc. you should be proud to be selected to represent, and they should never get in the way of the true competition – so please don’t lecture me (or anyone) or make juts more random stuff up just to make your square peg fit a round hole.
          The aspiration point is key – its about heritage and community – not instruction form a bureaucrat in Canberra (equivalent).
          ‘No-ones saying they don’t want the SS to be successful': When words contradict actions, its the actions that speak louder – I watched with no surprise, the Wallabies RWC launch in Sydney, the day before the SS GF – if in Sydney anyway, it could have been done before the game, at half time, along side the SS finals launch? A thousand ways this could have worked together, and supported each other – but chosen to do it in the most soulless way, and making sure there was no oxygen for SS on its biggest day of the year – and the source of 100% of SRU revenue.

          There is no illusion of co-operation here, the ARU and NSWRU are out to kill the SS off. The hiring of more Kiwis is designed to ensure the strategy is not questioned – ‘lets do what the kiwis do’… and it is seriously and permanently damaging the game.

        • Who?

          I just thought I’d close this out – because i think this is FUNDAMENTAL to the game’s prosperity. Although I respectfully recognise there is no chance of us agreeing.

          I agree that there’s practically no chance of us agreeing. :-(

          (what i would describe as taking a ‘free option’ based on having no ‘skin in the game’).

          SO I’ve got no skin in the game because my club’s not associated with the Shute Shield..? Or a similar ‘high level’ metropolitan competition?

          In particular, your assertion that dropping the SS to fourth level of rugby will have no impact on that competition ……..
          and that the community will simply add another team to their list of ‘favorites’…as if its a facebook page…
          there is only evidence to the contrary, and it is insulting and disrespectful to the impacted rugby communities. If you don’t believe me, consider the communities response – it is utterly emphatic.

          The Shute Shield has often been relegated to lower status, often by the very clubs who now staunchly defend it. In the 80’s, the NSW Championship subverted it. When that didn’t work, the clubs went back to the Shute Shield and, in the 90’s, the clubs gave control back to the NSWRU. In the 2000’s, they tried again, with the Tooheys New Cup, with the Shute Shield being a mere pre-season for that.
          .
          It’s impressive you played for Sydney. But that being the case, why are you happy for others not to have that opportunity? Because that’s what NRC should be. The fact that you don’t see it that way is a failing of the NSWRU and SRU (as is the case for the vast majority of all failings of the NRC).
          .
          That said, it’s also a failing from your club’s leadership, too. Because, as I found out on many occasions running my small club, leadership is key. If your leadership is strong, the club will follow. If your leadership allows negative perceptions to spread – on any topic – then whatever sees that negative perception will be poisoned. It’s not an easy position running a club – I had times where I had the club pulling me one way, and the sub-union pulling me the other (complicated, because I also held positions in the Sub-Union at the same time). So I had to represent the opposing view to the opposing parties. Your club’s president should be representing what he hears all through his club to the SRU (or Subbies, wherever your club is affiliated), advocating for better connection to all higher teams, but to the club your president should be talking up whatever (meagre) good things are happening that are tied to the authorities over (I can say meagre because I’m not your club president, and I know that there’s significant failings there).
          .
          The fact that the club communities in Sydney are opposed to the NRC is not unrelated to the fact that there was always self-interest and rivalry involved in the establishment of the franchises, and ever since then the clubs (i.e. the leadership) have looked to protect their patch rather than trying to use every and any resource available (from the Wallabies, to the Tahs and yes, even the NRC) to promote Rugby in their communities.
          .
          Anything that happens can be used in a positive or negative way, even terrible things. It’s a matter of perspective, attitude and choice as to what happens. We had four neck injuries in a month in Brisbane private school rugby. That’s a terrible thing. What’s the approach? Do we abandon Rugby, or do we use it to improve ourselves, upskill our coaches and improve our systems? The positive approach is the latter. It doesn’t mean we’re happy with the driver of that change, but everything is an opportunity, it’s a matter of choosing perspective. Which is an issue of leadership.

          From a business perspective, consider the extraordinary wastefulness of not utilising the heritage and goodwill built up over a century of the brands that in the SS

          It would be even more wasteful to have a competition where only 3 Shute Shield teams were able to compete. Wouldn’t that waste the heritage of the other teams? It’s not like Shute clubs would be anywhere near competitive against the Force, Vikings, Rising, Drua… Even the NSW NRC teams struggle with that (thanks to the disorganisation off field). Wouldn’t it make it harder to recruit for the clubs who missed out on being part of that higher comp? After all, anyone moving to Sydney to play professional Rugby needs to select a team – why go to a club that won’t be in the higher level comp? Not every elite player still has ties to their junior club (especially if they don’t live near there).
          .
          Beyond that, commercial value… Randwick might be a well known name, for people our age and higher. But my kids have no idea who they are. That may be because he’s from Qld. But he’s also got no idea about Sunnybank, or UQ, or any other Brisbane clubs.
          The Pumas were given the option of playing the Force, they chose not to take it. I don’t know that they were given the option of the Rays. But the point of the trial isn’t necessarily to have a high quality opponent, it’s to have an opposed training run. If they wanted a high quality opponent, they’d have gone to Fiji.
          .
          And crowd size? Of course there’ll be a decent crowd. It’s one of only two games this year with Test teams playing in Sydney, and the only one being played on the ‘right’ side of Anzac Parade (to quote Nutta).
          .
          And if Randwick was going to be a commercial force, haven’t they had enough time..? They’re geographically constrained!

          Instead, the SS should have every spare resource thrown at it to become the best it can be. If there is a way to work with other states, terrific. But the current model is appalling.

          How about you give it all the funding that’s given to the NRC? As in, nothing..? Why should the Shute Shield be given resources? How does that benefit Brisbane? Or Melbourne? Or grow the game in Adelaide? The Shute Shield is doing fine. No one’s trying to kill it, but no one’s trying to grow it into something it can never be. Which is bigger than the area it encompasses. Which isn’t even half of Sydney.
          The NRC costs nothing, it’s fully funded by the franchisees and the broadcasting deal (which I will admit may be cut – which would be terrible, because if Super Rugby dies, it’s not enough to have only 4 teams scratching to find some form of viable competition, and amateur clubs aren’t big enough to step into the breach), it’s developing players (yes, those players developed before hitting the NRC, but they’ve further developed once there, just as players develop further when they go pro for a Super province), it’s finding a fan base, and it’s increasing Rugby’s visibility.
          Let me tell you, if the Shute Shield extended to October, it would do nothing to help Rugby’s visibility. I didn’t hear anything about it in 2011, 2012, 2013… And that’s someone who was very involved in my sub-union. But the NRC gives kids – and kids in diverse regions – an opportunity to see high level rugby. Kids in Sydney, kids in Brisbane, kids in the bush, kids in other states.

          its the actions that speak louder – I watched with no surprise, the Wallabies RWC launch in Sydney, the day before the SS GF – if in Sydney anyway, it could have been done before the game, at half time, along side the SS finals launch? A thousand ways this could have worked together, and supported each other – but chosen to do it in the most soulless way, and making sure there was no oxygen for SS on its biggest day of the year – and the source of 100% of SRU revenue.

          So now you’re complaining that RA has done exactly what they did 4 years ago, and what the ARU did 4 years before that (remember that one? The one where JOC was hungover?) by holding their announcement in their major sponsor’s premises, trying to ensure maximum publicity for a sponsor who doesn’t find it easy to take their product to the game?
          .
          Beyond that, why are you complaining that Sydney didn’t get a hand up? You’re not complaining that it didn’t tie to the Brisbane comp. It’s ALWAYS about Sydney… Now, I love Sydney (spent some of my childhood in what was then the West – arguably not the west anymore! Though it’s still west of all SS clubs bar Parramatta), and it’s clearly our biggest city, the logical place to base our national coach, etc. But whilst it might seem like the centre of the Australian Rugby Union universe, it’s not the entirety of Australian Rugby, and those who live there should remember that.

          the ARU and NSWRU are out to kill the SS off. The hiring of more Kiwis is designed to ensure the strategy is not questioned – ‘lets do what the kiwis do’… and it is seriously and permanently damaging the game.

          RA (the ARU hasn’t existed since 2014) and the NSWRU aren’t trying to kill the SS. They make too much money from subs to even consider that. They just aren’t doing anything to help, when they’re just trying to keep things afloat at their end (and doing a typically ordinary job of that).
          Hiring Kiwis? RA (Deans) and then the NSWRU (Gibson, Hore) are the ones pioneering that. The QRU’s done it once, but Thorn played for the Maroons in origin and grew up in Qld, so it’s not the same as wholesale importing Cantabrians like the NSWRU and RA. And the people running those bodies (RA and the NSWRU) are predominantly Sydney-based, with ties to the SS, SRU, and the schools. Those of us out in the sticks have far less input than you. I tried to get RA to approve use of the SJRU’s weight/age proposal in my region, they said no. I asked the SJRU how they received permission, the response was, “We’re the biggest comp in the country, we do what we want.”
          .
          So it’s fair to say that Sydney’s already privileged, to say that you’re not getting enough attention when all the heavyweights of the game are based there is myopic. It’s the equivalent of white privilege. Not every white person has a great start in life (some of us lived in caravan parks), but that doesn’t mean we have no advantages compared to others (considering things like subconscious bias in employment, service, etc). I’m not saying it’s always easy, but perspective is a big deal.
          Just remember, my subs helped bail out the NSWRU, while you weren’t paying any national levies. And we get even less than your club.
          .
          But that won’t help with the paranoid delusions that exist about the attitude of ‘outsiders’ towards what is clearly the most important part of the game in the country… Which apparently everyone else (i.e. those outsiders) wants to see fail.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          And the shute shield isn’t that good when compared to club teams in other countries anyway

        • juswal

          Here he goes again.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      This is one of the worst comments I’ve read on this site. We have had an Australian coach in charge of the Wallabies since 2014, and he has been the least successful Wallabies coach for almost 60 years (if not ever).

      I, for one, will buy into Aussie rugby more as a result of having a competent coach in charge of the team. I don’t give it a damn if he is Aussie, Kiwi or Lithuanian at this stage.

    • Patrick

      Renewing Cheika’s contract was a bloody disgrace as was sacking Link.

      Not appointing a team psychologist/mental preparer is also a bloody disgrace and not sacking Cheika last year takes the cake.

      But appointing Dave Rennie?

      Bring. It. On.

      Tomorrow if possible.

      • onlinesideline

        sacking Link ?

        • Patrick

          Or not sacking Beale, AAC and mates, which amounted to much of the same.

          But in fairness I don’t really know what happened.

        • Max Graham

          My understanding is that Link was a good coach who made a huge error in judgement.

        • Patrick

          Yes but my impression was that Beale and AAC should have been sacked.

        • Max Graham

          Maybe. There are good reasons why a boss shouldn’t have a relationship with an employee as it destroys organizational culture. It’s clear that certain players were not respectful to their team manager; however it isn’t very surprising that a manager lost the respect of a group that believed she’d been promoted, not from skills or experience, but due to a romantic relationship with the boss. Rugby players often aren’t much more than kids – sometimes they’ll do stupid things. Poor behaviour is often a sign of poor culture, and that was certainly the case here. Who should be held responsible? I certainly don’t hold the players blameless, but Patson and McKenzie caused the mess. Still, I think it was a shame and a great loss to all involved. Destroyed careers, but likely had an even greater cost to the people involved. Really sad.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      I think “the sky is falling” was Henny Penny, not Rennie – Penney.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick,

    TBH I’m not sure any coach will be great for the Wallabies or Waratahs until the sense of entitlement that seems to permeate through the team goes and I don’t think that will happen anytime soon regardless of who they pick. I also wonder how the coach will manage the conflict between who he wants and who RA and the SR teams have contracted. I see a shitfight coming as all this is sorted. I also wonder who will make up the rest of both coaching teams. Not completely sure how it is done here but in NZ the head coach has a big say in the coaching team as the job can’t be done with one person. I think there’s a lot of interesting times to come.

    Reds are starting to look very good and I hope this turns into some good on field results. While the fans have been pretty upset with the past 3 or 4 years, or longer, a good showing on the field will see people return.

    I hope Dyanti is proved to not have taken anything wrong. I think if he has been cheating it’ll have some much bigger repercussions for SA rugby and they don’t need that.

    Dempsey, love the loyalty but don’t be a mug. Look after your body, Australia rugby needs you fit and playing well.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      ‘TBH I’m not sure any coach will be great for the Wallabies or Waratahs until the sense of entitlement that seems to permeate through the team goes and I don’t think that will happen anytime soon regardless of who they pick.’

      To be honest, I’m not sure there is much of a sense of entitlement, aside from a few of the old guard, who also happen to be Cheika favourites. Certainly, anyone who has listened to anything JOC has said over the last 12 months would be hard pressed to make an argument that he is entitled in any sense.

      The stupidity of the team will be harder to overcome. Cheika has managed to coach the intelligence out of our players. They often look like robots on the field. They’ve also lost the combative competitive edge that we were known for, even when our team was at its nadir from 04-08, when our tenacity in defence, along with our intelligence, kept us as one of the top teams in the world.

      Cheika has created a culture where looking mean, being big and putting on getting on the highlight reels is what it takes to make the team. The problem is, there’s nothing beyond that. I had a discussion with someone on these forums last week who assured me Beale is one of our best players, and was a world class fullback.

      I mean, are we talking about the same guy? The bloke who plays 10m behind the advantage line, constantly cramps moves into 10 and cramps his 10, often chooses not to tackle (not that he can’t tackle, chooses not to) and who is the Mascot Towers of high ball takers. He does some cool stuff on a highlight reel, but the fundamentals aren’t there.

      Meanwhile, any intelligent blue collar type players have mostly found themselves sidelined, or even ejected (eg, Fardy).

      Assuming Rennie is the next coach, it’ll be a big job for him (and whoever his assistants are) to rebuild the team from here. The team has just been degraded so much in recent years.

      The big positive, shining light for Aus is how South Africa have turned around under Erasmus. Coetzee’s Boks were the worst South African team I have ever seen. I was honestly worried that the Boks may have been permanently destroyed in 2017 when they lost to Italy. But now, after only 15 months with Erasmus (maybe the smartest international coach in the world) South Africa are probably the best team in the world at the very moment.

      I think a lot will turn on who Rennie’s assistants are. New Zealand’s downward trajectory has coincided with losing Wayne Smith. If Rennie can grab someone like McKay as backs coach, Fisher as forwards coach and get a quality defence coach, then I think we would have the players and coaching staff to turn things around.

      • Parker

        Bring back Muggleton as defence coach.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’d be concerned the game has moved on too much. It is a very different sport. We saw even Rod Macqueen struggle when he returned to coaching the Rebels. Happy to be proven wrong.

          Wayne Smith would be ideal, but… fat chance.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        It’s definitely the old guard and Cheika favourites that I am referring to mate. JOC does seem to have changed and I hope it’s permanent.
        Yeah Erasmus has shown what can be done with a smart coach and the backing of the organisation. I’m not sure that Deans got total backing and that contributed to some of his issues.
        Be interesting to see how all this turns out

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Most (arguably all) of those guys don’t deserve to be in the team team on form. When a new coach comes in who doesn’t have have personal biases towards those players I doubt they will make the team. Maybe not even the squad.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Lets hope so

        • Dud Roodt

          It will be interesting, because if they are picked I wonder what the people on this forum will be able to level at Rennie (or whoever the new coach is). “Old boys club” will probably get a run out even though he’s not from here. “RA have tied his hands” is sure to be a favourite. “Cheika’s influence still dogging this team even though he stopped coaching 14 years ago” I’ll look forward to.

          And if the new coach doesn’t have much success – who do we blame then?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Most of those guys are already gone. Selection panel has convinced Cheika to eject most of them. Kurtley is the main guy left. And AAC of course.

        • Dud Roodt

          But what if the next coach has a record similar to Cheika’s? Will it be Cheika’s fault?
          Or will the new coach cop the same level of shit and maybe we look at the system in place that the Wallabies coach has to select their players from.

          And if Rennie (assuming he’s coach) picks Beale next year – what then? Will he become one of “Rennie’s Old Guard”?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not sure what you’re trying to achieve? The criticism of the coach is based on the resources the coach has at his disposal + his record + the direction he has the team going.

          If Rennie picks Beale and either coaches and improves him or then drops him if he doesn’t improve, that’s fine.

          If he keeps picking guys with known weaknesses and changes nothing (like Cheika) and has results as abysmal as Cheika and doesn’t have the team improving ovet 4-5 years then – then I hope he gets the same criticism.

        • Dud Roodt

          Just pointing out that your long held anti-Cheika bias doesn’t seem to apply in any way to other coaches.

          Do you remember that Beale was picked by Deans and Link regularly? Now from what I gather from most of your anti-Beale comments – you don’t think he’s suddenly become worse under Cheika – rather than he has always been an incredibly flawed player. So were you throwing out the same accusations (which appears to accuse Cheika of bias towards Waratah players) when Beale was picked by Deans? What about by Link?

          Some people on here criticise Cheika like he’s corrupt for picking players that were regularly picked by coaches before him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It’s interesting to me that you describe it as ‘bias’. Rather a loaded term, and one which implies that my criticisms of Cheika are based on a prejudice rather than analysing his coaching. Have you got any evidence for this? I would be surprised, as I don’t have a bias against him. I quite liked him as a bloke when I met him.

          Why would my criticisms of Cheika as Wallabies coach apply to any other coaches? That’s the most straw man point I think I’ve ever read on here. It’s so illogical I don’t know what to say to it.

          I actually think Beale was a world class fullback in 2010. He was pretty good in 2011. Back then he was quick, instinctual, had the feet to beat defenders one and one and had a pretty decent boot. He was also young and had plenty of time to improve. He also had a coach in Deans who was often able to get the best out of him. His weaknesses under the high ball had not become as obvious, and so he wasn’t tested as much there.

          Once 2012-13 rolled around, he lost a lot of form, put on weight and whether due to injuries or what he slowed down and lost a lot of the footwork he often showed in 2010-11. His kicking lost power. To coincide with this, teams became aware of his defensive and high ball frailties. They peppered us with high balls and matches upfield as he dropped them.

          Unfortunately, Deans was out of ideas after the 2011 World Cup and the team declined. Once Link returned he immediately demoted Beale to a bench player (where he should have been for a few seasons). Beale was according to all rumours furious about this and began looking overseas (if the media is to be believed this impacted in his decision to go abroad under Cheika).

          I doubt Beale would ever have started another test if Link has remained coach. Certainly, he would have been told to work on his fullback skills, not moved to 12. Beale’s weaknesses are worse than ever at fullback after his 4 year stint at 12, while he has lost a lot of what made him great.

          For years, his best performances have been in the last 20 mins when defences tire and holes open up. Coming off the bench like he did at the World Cup is all he should have done for years.

          Yet, with no form and huge weaknesses that are easily targeted he seems destined to be our first choice fullback? Pfft.

        • Dud Roodt

          It’s bias when you criticise one person and not another for the same thing.

          Why would my criticisms of Cheika as Wallabies coach apply to any other coaches?

          – as above.

          Once Link returned he immediately demoted Beale to a bench player

          No he didn’t – he picked him to start both Bledisloe Cup matches at 10. He then dropped him to the bench and then the Di Patston thing happened.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          ‘It’s bias when you criticise one person and not another for the same thing.’

          No one else is currently Wallabies coach, so it’d be pretty hard for me to criticise anyone else for their coaching of the Wallabies. I’m not trying to be smart here, but I’ve got no idea what the point as to what the you’re trying to make is.

          No, actually, Toomua started at 10 in 2013, then Quade. I think Beale got a single start at 10 in 2014 when Link decided he couldn’t trust Foley against the All Blacks.

          He certainly didn’t select Beale at fullback, where his weaknesses are perhaps greatest.

          You’re looking to have an argument where none exists. I’d be such as critical of Link or Wayne Smith or Rod Macqueen if they were Cheika, having the results of Cheika, and selecting Beale at fullback with his recent form.

        • Dud Roodt

          Link told Beale to have surgery on his shoulder when he took over which took Beale out for 8 months.
          First 2 tests of 2014 (against the ABs) he started Beale at 10.

          I always thought everyone thought Beale’s weakest position was 10 – it’s certainly the last position in the backline I’d start him in. And he gets mailed on here for his play at 10 where his flaws like crabbing are exacerbated.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I certainly don’t approve of Beale at 10, but that’s perhaps reflective of where Foley was at on 2014. Even if one accepts that was the wrong call, I’m not sure what you’re looking for? As I would criticise Link were he coach today and were he picking Beale at 10 or 15.

          However, he isn’t and he’s not So, what’s your point?

        • Dud Roodt

          A draw and a walloping?
          This year we flogged them then got walloped.

        • Who?

          I actually thought Beale played 10 ok under Link. I thought he was horrible at 10 under Deans (but, ultimately, every 10 failed under Deans), I thought he hasn’t worked there under Cheika. But he was ok under Link in 2014, and almost won a title for him playing 10 in his debut Super season in 2008.
          Link knew how to structure the backline to take advantage of Beale’s strengths and minimise his weaknesses. He was the same with Cooper. I don’t think Link was alone in that respect – I’m sure there were other coaches who could’ve done the same – but it’s a reason why I rated him. That he created structures to best advantage the players he had.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Some good points mate. I think the issues are so much deeper than just the coach and I haven’t seen anything to address those yet.

        • Dud Roodt

          I agree.

          I think we would all accept that from amateur to professional the game is weak in this country. So what expectations do we have for the coach at the top of that pile?
          That they magic 23 amazing players out of a broken system?

          I don’t think you can say that on one hand rugby is fucked from top to bottom, then on the other blame the coach of the top team for all our woes.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          You know we will though

        • Dud Roodt

          Ha ha yes I do.

        • UTG

          Who are the ‘old guard’ with a sense of entitlement out of curiosity?

        • I think Diamond’s influence on JOC should not be underestimated. I hope it continues.

          Diamond has a habit of picking up “bad boys” and metaphorically slapping the shit out of them and knocking them into shape. He builds teams out of misfits and he does turn them into teams where they play for each other.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sounds like he could get a job here with some of the others

        • Not sure he’ll leave Sale though. He’s from that part of the world and has strong links up there. He basically lifted Sale up through his own efforts and has kept it there, not alone but it’s very much through driven by him, centred around him.

      • idiot savant

        McKay was underwhelming as Reds backs coach this year. The backlines of all the other Australian franchises appeared to offer so much more in variety of attack. Next year will be the test for whether or not McKay is any good, as the Reds should have a forward pack capable of delivering quality ball and 2 of the quickest halfbacks in the country. Personally I think Peter Hewatt had the most impressive impact of all the backs coaches in Australia this year.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, that’s a fair criticism. I have assumed that was the ‘Thorn factor’, based on how good McKay’s previous results were.

        • Who?

          You’re both right on it. The Reds weren’t great in attack this year. But there were promising signs.
          It ultimately takes time to change a mindset and impose new structures. Which is why the second year is always a better indicator of future progress than the first year. Provided you don’t go and change the entire coaching structure around the head coach (which is what the Reds did between Thorn’s first and second seasons), and provided you don’t lose a heap of old heads (which the Reds are continuing to do, losing DPA, Kerevi, etc).

        • Damo

          Without the “give it to Kerevi” default play, the Reds backs may actually become a bit more innovative next year. I would look forward to JOC linking with McDermott as a running 9- as he did quite a bit with Faf de K at Sale this year. Add to that combination a one year more mature (and maybe RWC match hardened) Jordan P. Interesting.

      • While I agree that it will take more than just Rennie, his assistants matter too, I think until this year, and into this year, there is a sense of entitlement – you picked on Beale. I’d add Foley, Phipps, Hanigan, AAC, to the shouts of many Folau and Hooper to that list. If I’d had my coffee this morning, I might add more. This year, I’d add LSL being picked after the match against Argentina.

        I should say that I think Folau had his strengths, but he also had numerous weaknesses and playing him at 15 constantly didn’t, IMO, maximise his strengths and minimise his weaknesses. When he was “on” he was great, but for the rest of the match he was poor. Hooper has demonstrated he can play a traditional 7’s role but I’d still pick Pocock over him in the role when fit and you only need one 7.

        There’s going to be a bit of a clearing of the guard with players retiring, going to Japan etc. But hopefully there will be a clearing of the guard with Rennie and his team coming in. Picking players to play their positions, and developing plans for attack and defence that are actually designed to counter the opposition rather than some quaint notion that “we trained well, the opposition doesn’t matter.”

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          In almost complete agreement, Elois. But I will note that most of those guys didn’t make the World Cup squad. I don’t get any sense that LSL is entitled. I just think the coaches are picking him out of position again and again, setting him up to fail.

          Can’t agree Hooper is entitled. I think he is a poor captain, but few work harder than he.

        • I think I probably agree about LSL, but that kind of “I’m going to pick you regardless” is the kind of thing that leads to entitlement.

          And my continuing problem with Hooper is that he runs around very hard, but until this year I wasn’t sure what he was doing… rugby is not a game you win solely by running hard, you have to run hard with a purpose and he didn’t seem to have one. Now he’s clearly been shouted at and told to play like a proper 7 he looks a chunk better. But a fit Pocock is still better at it…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not sure we can accuse LSL of being entitled when it isn’t his fault Cheika picks him. I’ve not heard him say anything to indicate he’s entitled.

          Hooper consistently had one of the highest work rates, especially in defence. This was particularly the case in terms of covering tackles, and, let’s face it, to cover for guys like Beale, Folau and Foley, he had to make a lot.

          I certainly agree Pocock is better, but that’s a different topic.

        • Mea Culpa. Should have had a coffee before posting, or as I was posting. I did certainly suggest LSL was one of the entitled crowd and I really didn’t mean to.

          I meant to say I thought we were saying the pattern of behaviour from Cheika that creates that sense of entitlement. Because he’s been selected, kept on being selected, doubtless had glowing reviews in places that puff up Cheika’s wonderful selections (can you hear my eyes rolling, because you should be able to) that kind of behaviour has tended to lead to a sense of entitlement. We saw it over the last 3 years or so and I’m pleased most, but not all of the beneficiaries didn’t make the 31. I bet they’re lurking next to their phones if there are injuries though.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Certainly agree there.

        • Max Graham

          Agree. Anyone that doubts Hooper’s commitment is kidding themselves.

  • Hitcho

    Maaate, don’t care who coaches the Wallabies as long as it’s not the clown. They could be a Siberian for all I care as long as we learn from them and they turn the Wallabies around!

    The attitude that the QLD and NSW are 2 of the 3 most important rugby teams in Australia is exactly what (amongst other things) has gotten us into the shitfight that is Rugby in Australia.

  • Crescent

    It’s high time to drop the jingoistic approach – we collectively have argued for some time a key problem for the Wallabies has been the unwillingness to pick the team entirely on merit. Well, the change needs to start from the top. We need to appoint the head coach wholly and solely on merit, not nationality.

    I don’t care if they are Kiwi, Brit or Callathumpian – if they are the best available coach, they should be appointed.

    Then again, in my fantasy world, each state would have equal voting rights in RA to break the self interested power base, which might actually see us create a national framework where the interest of Australian Rugby takes precedence over regional preferences and biases. A simple focus on improving junior participation, merit based talent identification and development regardless of where in Australia they play, allowing us to blood and develop players so they are ready for the rigors of representative rugby – not thrown in the deep end too young and raw, to emerge broken and bloodied as a cautionary tale we don’t want to hear. As on old coach of mine would say – all sport is a pyramid. The broader the base, the higher the tip.

    That might actually create an environment that supports a merit appointed coach in creating a winning team where the results outweigh the sum of the parts. And then I woke up…..

    • LBJ

      Why don’t we just go the whole hog and not worry about where the players come from?

      • Crescent

        With respect, that is simply a trite deflection of the point being made. Particularly given the space given to making the case for strengthening Australian rugby by actually developing our talent nationally. I suspect we are actually closer in our desire to see rugby thrive locally, even though we might have divergent views on what it takes to get there. I guess the high point is that we care enough to have the conversation.

        • LBJ

          Fair enough – so lets have democracy.

          One vote for every registered player, coach, volunteer. But to be clear, that would lead to almost complete control by NSW and Qld. by sheer weight of numbers and $.

          One vote per state is not democracy (hence it not being the way that any democracy works anywhere in the world).

          Sounds like you are looking for some kind of Authoritarian rule – as long as the authoritarian doesn’t come from one of the powerful states…which is not how it would go down.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Individuals voting would be different from state bodies. Most voters might be from NSW and QLD, but the lack of state boards with a legal obligation to represent the interest of state bodies would make administration quite different.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Well said mate. Can’t see it happening anytime soon with the attitude of some on here let alone in the board rooms of some of these clubs

    • joy

      “each state would have equal voting rights” – That’s the Senate. Mendicant states. Imagine what the pseudo submarine builders would demand? Who will become the Bob Brown of rugby? Doesn’t work.

    • Nutta

      I hate Callithumpians. Bastards.

  • Nutta

    Coaching. Firstly, who would want to do it anyway? Secondly, going Aussie-First is great but if there ain’t no Aussies of sufficient gravitas to do it then what else do we do other than hire a foreigner? Thirdly, unless you’re allowed to give a Welcome to Country, then you are a foreigner as well. However beyond all that, fourthly, the coach as a one-off isolated entity will make fk-all difference to either NSW and/or the Wobblies if the basics of accessing and engagement of grass-roots cattle so as to seriously drive accelerated identification of worthy talent for higher honours based in actual ability rather than on post-code and daddy’s 3rd XV mates from school isn’t squared away into a broad-based sustainable model. That’s admin and HO stuff. That’s our biggest impediment. And until we address that and lift the myopia of the powers that be out of their pastel, cashmere pull-overs and Landrovers world it will forever remain so until the law of diminishing returns finally snuffs us out.

    • LBJ

      Awesome!

      You’ve just described the Shute Shield. Glad you agree!

      The SS is the embodiment of what is great about this game in Sydney. And that’s is why it is so popular and loved – eg the Dempsey piece. Players bleed for their SS clubs. That’s what we want!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha you legend mate. Don’t hold back though, tell us what you really think

      • Nutta

        You should of read what I wrote the first time…

    • idiot savant

      I agree with your premise that Australia should pick the best coach available regardless of where he comes from. Don’t we, as a nation, deserve the best? Im buggered if I support giving the job to the second best candidate just because he’s Australian.

      Personally I think we should all enter a covenant. Firstly there shall be no Queenslander appointed to any position on the coaching or selection staff. Secondly there shall be no New South Welshman appointed to Head Coach. Thirdly, New South Welsmen will be allowed assistant coaching positions and one of the selector roles. Fourth and last, the head coach shall be a foreigner. This covenant is the only way to end the tiresome interstate bias that has held us back for so long. You know it makes sense….

      • Keith Butler

        For a moment I thought you wrote ‘ must enter a convent’. Specsavers appointment for me.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Thought or hoped?

        • From NooZealand

          And I would have followed you with no hesitation.

    • Gun

      Nutta I broadly agree with your sentiments, would love a Goats victory, don’t give a rats arse who coaches the Wobblies (as long as it’s the best they can find/pay for and we do seem to be accumulating sheep shaggers) and Twiggy should just set up a team in western Sydney but I beg to disagree on being labelled foreign unless your DNA stretches back millenia. I was born here, have lived here as long as any person my age (no matter their DNA) and am happy to celebrate anyone as a fellow citizen no matter their background. Also happy to celebrate the great history of the families of our indigenous citizens.

      • Nutta

        Generally I agree. If you’re born here you’re born here. All good.

        My issue is that when we consider that over 28% of Australian citizens alive today were born overseas, it’s a bit bloody rough to draw a negative-distinction on someone as a ‘foreigner’. We are the biggest mongrel nation on the face of the earth (even the US has only 14% born off-shore) and I’m completely ok with that because we actually prove that despite the fact we still have some REALLY serious stuff to deal with, and despite the wailing and promises of hell & damnation from seemingly every small-L liberal-demo I come across, we prove you really can do better than just ‘get along’.

        Despite the best efforts of Allan Jones, A Current Affair, Pauline Hansen and other such red-ragging aspirationalists, the overwhelming majority of ‘foreigners’ I have met who have settled in Oz came here to get away from shite ‘back home’ and are clearly both trying to start life anew and add to the place that has taken them in. The only things I ask of them are exactly that; remember to leave the shite that drove you to leave home back there and be sure to add to here.

        So I really struggle in finding a point when I hear others banging on about ‘foreigners’ (be they coaches or bar-tenders) as every bloody ethnicity that showed up in the last 220 odd years is foreign. By comparison, anyone’s mob has either been here a bloody long time or they showed up 10min ago but either way it’s not really a legitimate source for concocted indignation. So every now and again I like to remind folk that to be fair, nearly all of us are either directly bloody immigrants of one sort or another or the sons of.

        • Hoss

          Beautifully put.

        • Nutta

          Put where?

        • Hoss

          The GAGR Hansard.

        • Nutta

          Yeh. It will be read about as often as the other Hansard to!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nope definitely more. THis Hansard is amusing!

        • Gun

          Agree on concocted indignation about foreigners. I like to think of myself as being of somewhere so this will have to do.

        • Nutta

          Yep. It will do I reckon.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well said mate.

        • From NooZealand

          All Hail Nuta. And I am serious about this. You would motivate the Wallabies better than the great motivator currently in charge.

        • Nutta

          Aww shucks…

        • Who?

          What’s really crazy is when your permanent resident (i.e. not citizen) father goes on about ‘foreigners’…
          And your mother (separately – they’ve seen each other once since I was an infant!) similarly talks about immigrants (even though her son is one!).

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I’m joining you. Got my citizenship test in a few weeks and hopefully Australian passport early next year.
        The rugby loyalty is going to be a bit of a challenge, especially with such poor performances in the last 4 years

        • Gun

          Good on you KRL. Much as it pains me I understand your loyalty. I’ve been a Wobs guy since I was a boy but even though I say it myself there’s something in the suffering that makes it worth it. We’ve had a couple of moments of glory but a lot of hard times but that’s the way it is.

        • Nutta

          You’ll do alright. Just don’t mention Canary yellow. That’s Australian gold my friend and don’t you fkn forget it!

        • Keith Butler

          Easy for me. SDland first,irrespective of performance, Aus second.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah mine has always been ABs first and after 32 years in the Army working with Australians every year to some degree the ANZAC spirit is strong so G&G second. Gets messy after that.

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte I have been an Aussie citizen my whole life and even I struggle to support them most of the time.

  • The Jackal

    What is going on with Eben Etzebeth? Allegedly assaulted some homeless people at the weekend and was pointing a gun. Makes Tolu Latu look like a Saint.

    • Dud Roodt

      That’s just called “saying hello” in South Africa

    • Frosty morning

      Maybe it was Etzebeth who stole Thor’s phone last month.

    • Ulrich

      Has not been proven guilty. Police have come out in support of him. Seems a rumour blown out of proportion.

  • juswal

    Deans: fail. Gibson: fail. Keep them coming, there will be a good one eventually.

    Part of our top-level coaching problem is that we can’t build on Super success. McKenzie and the Reds won, what did we do? Elevate him to the Wallabies, replace him with a second-rater and let the champion squad disperse. Cheika and the Tahs won . . . I think he was already Wallabies coach by then; the Tahs appointed a second-rate coach and let the champion squad disperse.

    Anywhere else, those Super championships would have provided the base for a long campaign and the coaches would have been locked in for five years. They would only be proved ready for the Wallabies after consistently getting their teams to the Super semi-finals.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      How did Deans ‘fail’? He took us to number two in the world for most of his tenure, and had something like a 70% winning percentage against the field other than the All Blacks. I think Cheika is the only coach who can be said to have ‘failed’ since professionalism.

      • I think he was deemed to have failed for losing against the BIL? I’m dredging back in the memory a bit but he was basically renewed for 2 years instead of 4 (not usually a good thing in this day and age) to beat the BIL and failed.

        I don’t really remember what the politics of the era was and if there was a move to just oust him – the 2 year renewal suggests there might have been.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          RA made the decision to remove him prior to the Lions series. He was prematurely re-signed before the World Cup by JON. Pulver never seemed as keen on him.

          I agree it was time for him to go in 2013. But by no means would I consider him a failure.

        • Thanks for the history lesson. I couldn’t remember the order of things back then.

          But I agree, it’s hard to justify labelling him as a failure. There have been coaches with better success rates but Deans was not a failure. Just unpopular.

    • Dud Roodt

      It was something I said on here a few years ago – it seems like in Oz rugby our hand is forced at an inopportune time.
      As you say, Link had just had success with the Reds and he was thrust into the role, leaving a gaping hole at the Reds where another 2-3 years of Link there would have been great.
      Then the cluster fuck with Link leaving happens and Cheika who’s just turned the Tahs around gets put in the role and leaves the same situation at the Tahs.

      If they could have kept Deans around for another year or two (although I do think it was time to move on after 7 years), then perhaps those two provinces build on their success a bit more and have time to implement replacement coaches up to the task.

      • Who?

        I think we probably need to be a bit more fair to Pulver (think he was in the role by then) about Link. The QRU were pushing him out. They’d already appointed Graham as head coach, with Link in an oversight ‘Director of Rugby’ role, which was pretty nebulous.
        .
        I agree it would’ve been great to have more of his influence in setting up the QRU for more long term success, and for him to have been able to continue with the Wallabies. But I think the QRU influenced his departure more than is widely believed.
        .
        And I agree, Deans was overdue to go… He’d run out of all ideas. He couldn’t take onboard external ideas. He burned his 10’s, he failed to adapt to the differences in the role of coach between Super Rugby and a national team, continuing to play talent spotter, and not recognising that it’s really hard to mentor young blokes when you don’t see them for much of the year. Combine the difficulties in mentoring with playing talent-spotter, and you get the Amigo situation (prestige without accountability).

        • Dud Roodt

          I’m very happy to be corrected but my memory of that time was that Link was making not-so-opaque overtures for the Wallabies gig prior to Deans being given the ass?
          Remember it came out that RA had already made their mind up about Deans even before the Lions?

        • Who?

          He definitely wanted the Wallabies job, but there later came whispers about how the QRU were very keen to get a Qlder in to replace him. That he perhaps wasn’t necessarily aware of their approach to Graham. Remember, that happened well before the end of the 2012 season, whilst the Reds were still reigning premiers. The DoR job was an odd thing to have, whilst Link wanted the Wallabies job (and this is late 2012, before anything about Deans was clear), there was no indication of timing. It felt like means of moving him out of his role without dishonouring him by sacking him, when he’d been there only three seasons for 5th, 1st and 6th, and the 6th happening well after the hiring of his replacement.
          .
          I’m not making any definitive claims – I’d love to read Link’s book, which he promised all those years ago. But I suspect there’s more to it than we know, perhaps more than we’ll ever know?
          .
          EDIT – About all I do know is that, if there’s a way for RA, the NSWRU or QRU to shoot themselves in the foot, those organisations will find it. :-(

        • Dud Roodt

          Very interesting. I had heard that Graham’s role was given to him after Link met him at a dinner one night.

          As you say – it sure would be an interesting book.

        • HK Red

          He was DoR during that time but was still very much the Head Coach. Graham was a passenger on that bus and clearly not up to the task. He was godfather to one of Carmichael’s kids, wasn’t he?

        • Who?

          I heard a rumour along those lines? But it might not have been Carmichael – wasn’t Carmichael an AFL guy? Either way, I don’t know the full story.
          I agree that Graham was a passenger, but it was also said the game that Link really focused on in 2013 was the Lions game, given he considered it an audition. Which made it tough to have so very many Wallabies ripped out of the squad, but left it equally incredible as a game to watch. Such an incredible demonstration of possession rugby played at pace and with width!

        • From NooZealand

          Mr White’s Brumbies came victorious vs the Lions.

        • Who?

          They did, with THAT fending try from TK. The Brums were lucky enough to be closer to full strength (Deans always seemed to take about a year after good results to change his focus and pick from the new form local team), and they did a great job with a top quality coaching team at the helm.
          But that first five minutes of the Reds game, that was incredible. Not sure I’ve seen such relentless running against a team that clearly had a massive advantage in experience and class in the majority of positions. Remember, this was a team without Genia, Frisby was 10, and they played fast, flat and wide. The only times I’ve ever seen that sort of pace at the beginning of a game, it’s tended to have been followed by points within 2 minutes (and usually without the gulf in experience and class).

        • From NooZealand

          I sort of like Link, but I found interesting that for whatever reason the Waratahs did the same thing to him. (Remove Link from the head coach position).

        • Who?

          I thought he resigned..? I thought at the time he felt pushed and decided to jump, after five seasons (with mostly good results). But then when I looked back (and this was a couple of years ago), I could only find reference to him resigning, nothing about him being pushed.

        • From NooZealand

          Here in NZ, we learned (or learnt) that the Tahs were not going to renew his contract. Of course, I could be wrong. Greetings.

        • juswal

          Pulver’s announcement after the Lions series was that Deans had known his KPIs and had just missed a big one. He handed over his resignation when the board asked for it.

        • Max Graham

          Exactly!! Link found another coach to join the Reds just so he had an exit strategy to step up to the Wallabies.

        • From NooZealand

          Correct.

  • laurence king

    I think everybody is gettng ahead of themselves a bit discussing a new coach of the Wallabies. Bumchieks Assclown is going to win the World Cup and will be the Australian coach for another four years.

    • Max Graham

      This place would melt down if Australia won the RWC and we were stuck with Cheika.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Fair enough though. Would a World Cup win be worth another four years of shite? Personally, I’d rather the moderate success we enjoyed under guys like Deans. A WC win + moderate success would be preferable though.

  • Hoss

    Well good morning fellow NSWelshmen and those others who simply don’t matter,

    Few angry ants on here today. Don’t blame you. If i woke up in a state that doesn’t have a postcode beginning with a ‘2’ i would question the meaning of life as well.

    Always happens in the quiet times. fear, loathing, disdain, trepidation and longing.

    I for one think Segall’s contract should be extended. His ability to get 25 Tah’s into the match day 23 of the Wallabies is unsurpassed. Our National side is lead by a Tah’s and there is some talk that the national strip should change to blue to lower costs and make things easier for us Tah’s fans.

    As for the perilous issues of a Kiwi (cough, cough) taking charge of our own National Side. I am appalled. How have they been allowed off Naru so quickly ? Our country faces invasion from this Poxy little island, sorry – islands. Its cultural identity loss by proxy. There is more at stake than the control of the life-blood of the sport we in NSW and whatever those other States Australia has, identifies with. It’s the very fabric of what it means to be Australian. Its the right to have had our forefathers come from everywhere to invade, sorry – ‘settle’ in a foreign land and then take it as our home and call it ours. Where do these uppity, weird talking hobbits get off implying the same right ? How dare they feel they can move and resettle and create a life for themselves and in return perhaps promote our national team to something above mediocre thus bringing a modicum of joy to our lives ? The sheer bloody audacity is gob-smacking.

    I put forward the idea we reintroduce conscription and raise a mighty fist to those who would challenge the life and freedoms we enjoy. Freedom to hang absolute shit on everything. Free to practise lethargy and apathy on a global scale. Free to invoke the motto and spirit of our forebearer’s – ‘hey, you, this is my land now – fuck off’.

    Its time folks, rise with me brothers and sisters. Lets meet this challenge, lets rid ourselves of culture creep and lets make Australia Great Again – just as soon as we can be bothered, maybe later this week, or next – check your calendars for after Chrissy Holidays – anyway let me know.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bahahahwahaha Thanks. I almost snorted my coffee and my boss is looking at me strangely wondering why my sudden fit of laughter/coughing occurred.
      1 reason actually – your guys would like to win more than occasionally!

    • Keith Butler

      Hoss to the rescue. Your words are wordsmithery par excellence.

      • Hoss

        The worlds a stage mate, but the play is poorly cast. Mr Wilde.

    • From NooZealand

      Hoss! Hoss! Hoss! – I will rise with your sisters, you can have your brothers. Hoss! Hoss! Hoss!

      • Nutta

        We have come to rape the horses and pillage the women… wait…

        • From NooZealand

          LOL- I enjoy more these kind of comments than those regarding rugby.

  • Greg

    “the top three coaching positions re taken by Kiwis”

    Waratahs “A”
    Waratahs “B”

    …. what is the third team?

    :-)

    • Custard Taht

      The Western Waratah’s (Previously known as the Western Force)?

  • Never know, Michael Cheka has a way of winning enough to keep the top job. If he fails to win the World Cup, he may be a good chance of returning to the Warathas.

  • joy

    On a no news day how did GAGR reporters miss this:
    Headline News.com:

    Up to 44 wallabies have been found dead in the last week on a sporting field in Queensland, in “suspicious circumstances”.

    • Nutta

      Someone been poisoning the poor buggers? Suzie the waitress strikes again?

Rugby

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

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