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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at Jack Maddocks at 15, Matt Giteau doing a Farnham, the Rebels temporary move to Canberra, and Twiggy stumping up for Grassroots Rugby.


Maddocks doesn’t give a jack about the money

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Jack Maddocks is ready to play according to GeeRob over at SMH. It’s taken the early departure of Kurtley Beale for Maddocks to get a crack at the fullback spot for the Waratahs but, he’s keen as mustard to have a crack.

“From my point of view, personally, I’m finally in a position that I’ve wanted to be in for a long time and I’m really excited to play some footy,” he said.

“I know I can’t speak for everyone – there are guys in our team with three or four kids and people relying on them – but I’m confident that everyone will come to a resolution we’re happy with.”

The situation looked headed for resolution early this week, with sources suggesting RUPA had secured RA’s agreement to sign an interim three-month deal, with cuts easing from 60 per cent on average to between 30 and 40 per cent until the end of September.

The parties will have to negotiate a third variation before the end of the third quarter but by then RA should have a broadcast deal locked in for 2021 and will at least know what Rugby Championship Tests the Wallabies will play in October and November.

I vaguely remember being unencumbered and living the rugby life. Thankfully the internet wasn’t a thing and my talent was limited. A small part of me is envious of a young man finally getting a shot at his dream. But I’m pretty certain I wouldn’t give up the wife and kids for a chance to go back… Yep pretty certain.

Matt Giteau might not be retired!

matt giteau drew mitchell ashely-cooper aac trc cup wallabies all blacks anz

Yep, rumour has it Matt is joining AAC at the weirdly named LA Giltinis while his best mate Drew Mitchell has decided to jog out for Rugby United New York.

The trio aren’t the only Aussies involved in Major league rugby.

Warringah coaches Sam Harris and Mark Gerrard have been announced as Austin’s coaches, while fellow Australians Darren Coleman and Stephen Hoiles are in charge of LA. Both clubs are owned by Australian rugby investment group Loyals Rugby, headed by Adam Gilchrist of the F45 workout chain (not, for the record, the legendary cricketer).

The names of the Australia-owned franchises – Giltinis and Gilgronis – are derived from cocktails trademarked by Gilchrist’s group last year. The group’s other trademarks include “Gil Tai”, “Gilacolada”, “Giljito”, “Gilgarita” and “Gilmopolitan”. None of the drinks has yet been released.

The only dark cloud on the horizon for the Aussies involved besides their advanced age is the Pandemic sweeping through the USA and the idiotic behaviour of its citizens.

It’s test, test, test for the Rebels.

Those pesky Victorians have let all their COVIDS out of the bag and the rest of Super Rugby AU is getting nervous. The Rebels have rocked up in the capital for Saturday’s game against the Brumbies but it looks like they might be planning to stay.

Personally, and I’ll admit I’m pretty soft when it comes to cold weather, I’d be looking for a better option than Canberra in July. Just saying. I mean we’re surfing on the Goldy guys.

Anyway, the Rebels have sounded out the health boffins in the ACT about hanging around instead of heading back home and the locals seem to be okay with it. With some precautions.

The Melbourne Rebels have been told to limit interactions with the Canberra community to minimise the risk of spreading coronavirus, with the players to be subjected to asymptomatic testing twice this week.

“… It’s understood asymptomatic testing was conducted on all players and staff on June 22 and all results were negative. The Rebels plan to continue asymptomatic testing on all players and staff, at their discretion, twice weekly through the coming weeks.”

Rugby Australia is hoping the Rebels relocation is the only hiccup for the new competition.

Twiggy Backing Grassroots Rugby

Twiggy Forest has committed $5 million over five years to Western Australias RugbyRoos program.

The funding will go towards a major expansion of the RugbyRoos program for children aged five to 12, increasing participation in schools and investing in local players who could make a career in the sport.

Pocock, who retired from Test rugby last year, is an unpaid ambassador for the program and will spend time offering his wisdom in schools and clubs in Western Australia when it begins next year.

 Former Wallabies captains Michael Lynagh and Simon Poidevin have also given a big thumbs up to the plan.

Pocock played in 69 Super Rugby games for the Force between 2006 and 2012. He is ecstatic that Forrest is digging deep to help rugby thrive.

“When I heard about what they were doing, I wanted to give back a bit and volunteer a bit of time,” Pocock told the Herald. “It’s great vision from the Forrests, wanting to really invest in the grassroots and getting young boys and girls going. They obviously have an interest in developing the professional pathway as well in WA.

A lot of the [rugby] headlines you read, there is a lot of doom and gloom, but when you look at some of the stuff happening at the grassroots level … there’s a lot of boys and girls excited about rugby. They’re the stories we’ve got to be telling and working to get more people involved.

  • Crescent

    I have to tip the lid to Twiggy Forrest – not afraid to commit good sums of cash consistently in the right areas to show the Insular Old School how to improve and develop the game to greater strength. Following on from that – great to see that Pocock is happy to volunteer his time and energy at the same time. I just hope the nay sayers will recognise these initiatives are not about getting a result next quarter, but over the next decade…..

    Also find it interesting that the investment group would prefer to sink cash into the American market with ridiculous names and off a very low participation base (relative to American Football/Football in the US), than trying to unpick the knotted stupidity of Australian club rugby and the largely destructive short sighted self interest that has held the game back.

    But enough of that – will be exciting to see what Maddocks can bring this weekend in Super AU – hopefully Penney has had some time to get the forwards in some kind of shape to provide a platform for some decent ball to be available for the backs to use! Have been enjoying watching the Kiwi matches – hoping to get the same enjoyment and thrill as our competition resumes.

  • Yowie

    The names of the Australia-owned franchises – Giltinis and Gilgronis – are derived from cocktails trademarked by Gilchrist’s group last year. The group’s other trademarks include “Gil Tai”, “Gilacolada”, “Giljito”, “Gilgarita” and “Gilmopolitan”. None of the drinks has yet been released.

    The intended cocktail names “Toss-pot” and “Wayne Kerr” must have been taken.

    • ATrain

      Is this Adam Gilchrist the cricketer?

      “Bartender, I will have a tosspot and a F&ckknuckle when you’re ready”

      • Yowie

        That doesn’t even sound worse than a typical trendy cocktail name.

        Just what we need. More time wasted in a bar queue, thirsty for beer, while a gaggle of trendys ask for “a round of bell-ends with extra goji berries”

        • ATrain

          organic gojis?

        • Yowie

          They would send the bartender out back to check if they are organic. At happy hour. With a long queue behind them.

      • ATrain

        Answering it not the cricketer….I googled it and he is described “serial entrepeneur”.

  • Perth girl

    Shane for more grassroots good news stories coming out from the West check out Fraser Griggs who runs P2S Rugbyworks which works with psychologically damaged children due to bullying etc. It is based on the Lawrence Dellalgio system in England. Also Tom Gorman who runs clinics and organises rugby tournaments for children in the Midwest of WA. He is currently organising a tournament at Mullewa on August 4th
    What can I say about Andrew Forrest, we are so lucky to have him to help out WA rugby. Dave Pocock is a legend in the Force history and is married to a WA girl so he has strong ties to the West. Thanks to them both for their support

    • JJ

      PG, I loved this bit in Twiggy’s vision statement:

      “This is about building and supporting our passionate rugby community, the young players, the mums and dads, the schools, the clubs, the volunteers, and making Western Australia a true rugby heartland.”

  • ATrain

    A day after Forrest announces an additional $5 million for junior development, this from NSWRU

    “On Tuesday, NSW Rugby announced it would make 15 roles or 27 per cent of its workforce redundant, while the remainder of the business remains on significant pay cuts for the time being. Of that 15, 12 are community rugby development officers and three are general managers in the commercial side of the business.” (on rugby.com.au)

    Maybe it’s unavoidable for NSWRU but it may indicate priorities – a real East – West divide in terms of development. At least these 12 blokes/sheilas might have opportunities out West.

    • Yowie

      At least these 12 blokes/sheilas might have opportunities out West.

      “It says here on your CV that you were instrumental in the program of cutting a team from Super Rugby. Please tell us about that.”

      • Perth girl

        That was all down to Pulver, Clyne, Clarke and North

        • Yowie

          I’m working on the basis of the Qld (and other States?) biased viewpoint that the Waratahs and Rugby Australia are “all pretty much the same thing”. The joke doesn’t stand up as well to actual facts :p

    • Perth girl

      Making community rugby development officers redundant, way to go NSWRU. That’s going to improve the standard of rugby down the track!

    • Sack the community development officers, keep a load of managers and admin staff. I’m sure that makes sense financially… community development officers are always really highly paid senior officers that dent the finances in a big way after all.

  • Hoss

    Good morning all,

    How refreshing from Jack Maddocks – puts a smile on even this withered old leathery dial.

    Sanity from RUPA and RA regarding pay deals. Three months is a sensible period given the state of flux we all endure.

    American Rugby, id like to see Yank refs enact their second amendment rights and carry small sidearms on the field in lieu of yellow and red cards. It would open up the game, ball in play longer and maybe, just maybe keep those sneaky cheating fuckers born in NZ onside at the ruck and get poms to pack straight – otherwise……..

    #makerugbygladiatorialagain

    • Yowie

      Might need to pack something bigger if the props are going to take that threat seriously.

      What do Alaskans carry around in case of grisly bears?

      • Hoss

        I note the orange one has been selling cans of hope at his rallies – I believe they use those.

        • ATrain

          tear gas in the cans?

        • Hoss

          #law&orderpotus

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        A nice 0,50 Cal pistol would stop them easily. It’d leave a big hole and spread most of them all over the field. Good for the grass growth

    • Damo

      I’d like to see a prop take the pass from the half and yell “cover me” as he trucks it up. I’m sure you had to do that for Little Joe a few times over the years at the Ponderosa.

    • laurence king

      We all know you’re only joking, but let’s hope no Yank referees see the post

      • Yowie

        …and hope no current or former Yank coppers are referees under these “armed on the field” arrangements. If we thought “too quick to blow the whistle” was bad we aint seen nothin’ yet.

        • laurence king

          Brilliant. Three guns for every man woman and child. I can just imagine the ref penalizing a player in a terminal kind of way and seconds later comes the crowd response. The area where the ref stood ceases to exist in the known universe.

        • Yowie

          I think we have some footage of an American crowd responding unfavourably to such a referee decision:-

          https://youtu.be/XZ-EOg38t1o?t=22

      • Hoss

        Surely you jest! An American reading at a second grade level…..you’re just taking the piss now.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Sully, Be good to see Maddocks get some serious game time and to see if he gets better or worse under the Tahs umbrella. It’s always been an issue for me that guys like Folau, Hannigan, Foley, Hooper etc never developed their skills more and reduced their obvious deficiencies, especially basic skills like passing accurately both ways, kicking with both feet, body position when hitting the ruck/maul, positioning themselves on the field etc. I’m hoping Penney can rectify that. It’s interesting that an Australian investment group is investing in the USA and not Australian rugby market. Maybe they are yet to see any improvement in the governance of the game here to be comfortable with investing in it. A bit of a kick in the guts for RA and to be fair pretty damning on the continual issues created by the muppets in QLD and NSW rugby hierarchy who seem to think they are the saviours without realising they are actually the problem.

    Hopefully COVID doesn’t cause too many ssues for the competition here and good luck for the Rebels and their protracted time away from families. It can get pretty hard and I hope they manage it well. Way to go Twiggy and good luck Perth. The real issue is going to be how rugby develops there with the lack of international travel and will there be a compromise between twiggy and RA. GRR isn’t going to be able to start anytime soon and so maybe that’ll be the incentive for Perth to look back toweards the East. Hopefully twiggey can help put things in place so that they don’t get shafted again in the future once things open up again.

    • Keith Butler

      Jack Maddocks. Yet another example of poor recruitment and player management by the Rebels. Stacked the squad with backs and then wonder why they leave because they were either played out of position or didn’t get game time. JM did put in a decent shift on the wing though. Now that KB has departed hopefully he’ll get the game time he needs in the position he wants to play.

    • Perth girl

      GRR is on hold until next year, we will see what the situation is then

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah COVID has really been a pain for this.I know I’m not a fan of GRR but I do admit it’s been fantastic for Perth. I just wonder if they come back into the RA fold will GRR go ahead? In some ways I hope it does just like I hope that Perth comes back and with something in place to stop them being fucked over again in the future

        • Perth girl

          Why do people think we want to come back into the RA fold? RA are broke and are now spending money given in advance by WR for the next WC and the Victorian gov. As payment for the next 5 years of Bled Cup games plus a bank loan. There maybe no RA in the future and no competition. There is already talk of cutting back to 3 teams. I was part of a group of fans who attended the Senate enquiry meetings in Perth, Twiggy attended the second. RA lied to our faces and we will never forget that. Yes there might be some new faces on the Board but they are all cut from the same cloth. Clarke the interim CEO actually came over to WA, in his capacity as COO to tell us we had been dropped and talked about a spreadsheet that we still have not seen to this day. That was the night we thrashed the Tahs. People here dont trust RA anymore. We know RA are only interested in the force so that they can get access to Twiggys money.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I just think Australian rugby would be better off with Perth being part of it. GRR is a great initiative but I don’t think it’ll get tons of support from World Rugby and I’d rather see players grow in a game and situation that provides a pathway to the Wallabies. I’m not sure that GRR will do that

        • Perth girl

          GRR already has support from WR, they are happy that someone is bringing rugby to a heavily populated area of the world and growing the game

  • laurence king

    Bravo Twiggy, probably dont need a crystal ball to see that WA a going to be a very strong rugby community in a few years.

    • Yowie

      Devil’s Advocate: If this burst of growth relies on the whims of a mining billionaire, is it sustainable long-term?
      Assuming the financial support ends on schedule (not earlier), one would hope that whatever is in-place can re-group under a tighter and more self-reliant revenue model.

      • Perth girl

        You don’t know Twiggy!

        • Yowie

          Being a Queenslander, I’m used to our mining billionaires* being pretty flaky.

          (*according to them, notwithstanding a series of liquidated companies)

        • Perth girl

          Twiggy’s no Palmer anyway we would rather trust Twiggy than the millionaire businessmen who have been running RA for the past 10 years who have taken money out of the organisation and certainly haven’t contributed anything out of their own pocket!

        • Yowie

          Twiggy’s no Palmer

          One Palmer is more than enough.

        • ATrain

          I know a Mrs Palmer….

        • ATrain

          That’s a bit unfair Yowie…he did wonders for soccer on the Gold Coast – a lasting legacy

        • Who?

          The sort of legacy for soccer that makes me smile. :-)

      • There’s a model called bootstrapping. Someone like Twiggy does something like this because they want to, and can, it is seen to work and others leap on board to carry it on.

        Whether that’s every registered player in WA paying an extra dollar in subs, clubs having fundraisers, corporate sponsorship deals or whatever, once people have seen it works, they tend to keep going and backing it.

        • ATrain

          I think it is a reasonable question to ask. I don’t think he will abandon the game but there will be a time when he may not be controlling the company or the iron ore price doesn’t allow him to be as generous as he has been….whatever.

          However, I think with these things there is a critical mass where it does get self supporting. He is getting them to that quicker than they would otherwise be the case. Its a poor analogy for WA but its a bit of a snowball effect.

        • I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask, I was just pointing out that there are answers, even after you get a gift horse, to turn it into a self-sustaining model.

        • Perth girl

          If you look into Twiggy’s business interests there is alot more than just iron ore, of course that is his main business

        • ATrain

          Yes true. My main point was, even if he doesn’t have the capacity or interest at some stage (don’t think he will), that once the game reaches a certain level it will be more self-sustaining and can eventually survive without requiring the huge individual contribution he is making

      • laurence king

        Mate, it clearly needs more than Twiggy in the long term, but they all seem to be heading in the right direction and starting with the grass roots is certainly good to see. Cheers

  • ATrain

    As a subscriber to The Australian (there goes 90% of the audience), I get The Times from the UK.

    “I do not fear the Dark Side as you do”, Darth Vader. (I do fear AJ a little bit actually…)

    Anyway, great article in there by Owen Slot about the English Rugby system. He is calling for a return to an amateur system. If I have understood it correctly, they have The Premiership, then The Championship and then several (5 – 6? divisions/leagues under that plus some community based rugby – maybe equivalent to our subbies). Player in those divisions below the Championship – if I have the gist of the article correct player payments to these “amateur” levels total 250 million pounds – so close enough to $500 million AUD annually.

    One club that stopped paying its players an average of 100 pounds a game saw the entire first team leave – the following season they lost every game by an average of 100 points and the nadir was a loss of 240 – 0. They dropped down to the community rugby level, started putting the money back into the club and the grounds and say they haven’t looked back.

    I include this because I was astounded by the amounts at this level of rugby – I imagine much of it is at a much lower standard than Premier Rugby/Shute Shield/Dent/WA etc. But this is what we are competing against in terms of funds.

    I think we have to come up with our own model for developing the game in Australia and I really love the community focus of Forrest and Minderoo – I hope it is very successful and can provide a template to grow the game here in Australia.

    • Hoss

      It’s fascinating isn’t it A-Train. Its the old adage of building a house – get the foundations right and the roof will only ever need basic maintenance. Same for RA, get grass roots right and the top tiers nearly take care of themselves.

    • Keith Butler

      It does not surprise me in the least. I am in frequent contact with my old teammates of a club that played 1st class rugby In the UK ( that is reported in the big Sunday papers) back in the 70s, 80s and 90s but are now in National Div 1, just below the Championship. It is astounding how much players are being paid at that level and is clearly not sustainable. I’m all for the ‘amateur’ game below Championship. My club used to run 6 teams now it runs just 3, with the 3rd being on a ad how basis. What I find even more disturbing is that a player 2 divisions below Nat 1 was banned for 4 years for steroid abuse. What is the game coming to if ‘winning’ means that much.

Melbourne Rebels
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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