Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News sees Skelton likely to remain in Europe, possible changes to the ‘Giteau Law’, Dan McKellar linked to Wallabies coaching role, and former Wallabies shortlisted for Rugby Australia’s board.

 


Skelton likely to remain in Europe

Will Skelton grabs one from the rafters.

Will Skelton grabs one from the rafters.

Will Skelton’s asking price of $800,000 per season has dashed Rugby Australia’s hopes of bringing the big second-rower home, according to Tom Decent.

Skelton, who currently plays for UK club Saracens, is likely to continue his career in Europe with a move to French side La Rechelle for the next two years.

Rugby Australia attempted to lure Skelton back to Australia prior to the World Cup, but he was happy to stay. With Saracens salary cap scandal Rugby Australia came calling again, but with little luck.

It is believed Skelton is on a $640,000 per year contract at Saracens, and RA offered him around $650,000 per year.

Australia’s Director of Rugby Scott Johnson confirmed last month he was in discussions with Skelton.

“We want him back if we can but we want people wanting to play for Australia,” Johnson said.

The signing of Skelton was deemed an important one for Rugby Australia after the departure of lock forwards, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold, and Sam Carter in the post-World Cup exodus.


Possible changes to ‘Giteau Law’

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

Rugby Australia is set to review the current eligibility laws in order to ensure the Wallabies remain competitive.

Under the current rules, a player must be playing Super Rugby or have played 60 or more Tests and given seven years of service playing in Australia to be eligible for the Wallabies.

However, Rugby Australia will be looking at whether those rules should be changed to only 30 caps for the Wallabies and five years of service within Australian Rugby,

Although this may lead to a mass exodus, as seen in South Africa, this also contributed greatly to the Springboks World Cup-winning campaign with eight members, including star performers Faf de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe, all plying their trade in foreign competitions.

Another proposal for the eligibility rules is to reduce the test-cap marker but keep the seven years of service rule.

This allows for players who have experienced a high number of injuries or have been sitting behind a quality player to still have a chance to play for the Wallabies while earning an income overseas after giving seven years to Super Rugby.

Regardless of what changes are made, Rugby Australia is still intent on rewarding players who want to play for the right reasons, and if they wish to chase the cash then they should follow it.


Dan McKellar linked to Wallabies role

Dan McKellar

Dan McKellar

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has been scouted out by Wallabies coach Dave Rennie to join his coaching ranks as an assistant.

Despite McKellar being two years into a three-year deal, he said when the Wallabies call, you answer.

“The Wallabies need an assistant coach and they raised it a few weeks back and it would be an honour to be involved in the Australian setup,” McKellar said.

“Coaches are no different to players in they want to coach at the highest level and I have aspirations to do that and I’m sure it would be a great environment to work in.”

“I’m really flattered to be involved in those conversations but right now I’m focused on the Brumbies,” he said.

It is most likely that McKellar would coach both the Brumbies and the Wallabies, in a similar fashion to how his predecessor Stephen Larkham did.


Former Wallabies shortlisted for RA board

Tim-Horan-1999-Rugby-World-Cup

World Cup-winning Wallabies Daniel Herbert, Joe Roff, and Richard Harry are vying for the one board member position, with a decision to be made on Monday.

Herbert is believed to be the most qualified for the role, due to his roles as chief executive of strata management company SSKB and his five-year tenure as a rugby administrator during his role as Queensland Rugby Union chief commercial officer and executive general manager.

However, ACT Rugby is concerned it will be left without a friendly face on the board with deputy chairman and former Brumby Brett Robinson stepping down.

Canberra has put its support behind Joe Roff but believe he will be overlooked for either Herbett or Richard Harry.

Canberra could pull its support of David Mortimer, the lead candidate for the role of chairman-elect, if they do not see a friendly face put on the board.


  • AllyOz

    I read a story on the Fox Sports website similar to the article here on changes to the Giteau Law.
    Now I know that RA is on the nose with Fox but I found the following line interesting.

    “While he could still play for the Wallabies, Rugby Australia wouldn’t be able to reek the benefits despite putting a lot of investment in the exciting back.”

    I think that should be reap the benefits Christy.

    • Yowie

      That malapropism is nearly as bad as when the shoving-match broke out at Waratahs training after Izzy misheard the expression “skeletons in the closet”.

      • Geoffro

        Hehheh.ironic for HWSNBM to wind up in Perpignan.Can imagine the banter in a French dressing room

      • Keith Butler

        Sorry Yowie but I will not have anybody besmirching Big Willy.

        • Nutta

          Whose Big Willy?

        • Keith Butler

          To paraphrase Del Boy from Only Fools and Horses “ you must be pulling my plonked” . Big Will (y) Skelton.

      • juswal

        Speaking of malapropisms and the closet, the above-mentioned Tom Decent uncorked a beauty last year when he told a story about Gareth Thomas being in the changing room “balling his eyes out”.

      • AllyOz

        very funny says I ….. as I go running for a dictionary

      • Nutta

        And leave props alone.

    • John Tynan

      I saw that, too!

  • Geoffro

    Forget about Skelton Scotty,just keep Thorn working hard on his young proteges.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Just have an ‘exceptional circumstances’ clause like England. At the same time, make clear to players that ‘exceptional circumstances’ really means exceptional, rather than a good player simply playing abroad.

    • Who?

      Or, make it 60 caps OR 7 years. That way, guys like Fardy would still be eligible, in spite of not debuting young enough (and staying in Cheik’s good books long enough) to get their 60 caps. Not that I think Fardy would be that interested in playing in Gold right now.

      • Geoffro

        Hes pushing 36 so think his days of Int. rugger are done.Hear Drew Mitchell has just signed on to return playing for a New York team so there is life after 35 for rugby players but probably not at test level so much these days

        • Who?

          Agreed. But it would’ve meant that we could’ve kept Mowen in 2014, when the ARU refused him a top up.

        • Geoffro

          Sure. I dont mind the concept myself.Imagine a FIFA world cup if overseas based payers were ineligible for their countries

        • Who?

          I’d rather imagine FIFA not existing at all. :-P
          I’m absolutely in favour of the Giteau clause, I’m just conscious that it doesn’t recognise those who’ve served a long time and just not been the coach’s preferred option, perhaps matured late, etc. Because for a bloke like Mowen, it’s not about whether or not he’d served his time, and there’s no question he was worth the money offered overseas (which was much more than the $230k he was reportedly offered as a Brumbies-only, no top-up contract, in spite of being the Australian captain), there’s no question he was the clear first choice #8 for the Wallabies.
          And, for me, if you’re a David Croft or similar who’s served their club with distinction for years, the fact you never won a cap before heading off to make some quick cash (because not making the national squad doesn’t mean there’s no cash on offer) shouldn’t mean you can’t be honoured to receive a cap, and shouldn’t mean we can’t access you if we need an experienced campaigner.

        • Geoffro

          Sure.also considering the game is a spectator sport and I would have been more than happy to see a Morahan,Fardy,Mogg,Skelton,Mcmahon, Nayaravoro et al lace up for the Wallabies at the last word cup

        • Who?

          But I do think we need to have a reasonable bar. Because the ideal situation is still for all Wallabies to be playing Super Rugby (though I think they should be able to be selected from any team from any RA-sanctioned tournament – so, they should be able to be picked from the South China Tigers just as easily as from the Tahs), providing value to the broadcast deal, strength to the competition, mentorship to younger players, and being easily accessible for team camps through the season.
          .
          So I don’t want the removal of all impediment – there should be a level of commitment shown in order to be selected. But it shouldn’t have to be more Test caps than many of the greats of the amateur era received.
          .
          In terms of the players you listed, I’d have loved to have seen Fardy there. The others……. I’m not so sure. I’d have had Banks over Mogg. Similar players. I don’t see where another short flanker would’ve helped (McMahon). Morahan never really produced at the top level – even at Super level, he was too easily benched. Naiyaravoro, he was finally the player he should’ve been. But it took a trip to Europe to get him there. Which was also true of Skelton. Both of them were Tahs under Cheika, and Gibson – what does that say about culture..? Further, I’m not sure either of those guys ever got to 7 seasons as contracted players in teams in RA-sanctioned tournaments.
          I should note, I’m fully aware that my preferred retention of 7 years may well continue to exclude Kerevi from selection.

        • Geoffro

          I spose there lies the conundrum though.Rennie has stated his preference for s.rugby players and I spose in the interests of governence it makes sense.Those guys Mogg,Morahan and Naya (and Skelton) have played better rugby overseas than they ever played here so what conclusion ? It used to be that the Euro comps are weaker than our SR but that doesnt hold water really.Dunno mate,we have been striving to make Rugby truly global so may be the time to lift a few restrictions and its a shame the tyranny of distance leaves us a wee bit isolated from the big bucks driving the game forward.

        • Who?

          I think Mogg may have improved further with the Brums. But I think he felt he’d been pigeon-holed.
          Morahan, I’m still yet to be convinced, regardless of improving overseas.
          Skelton was only a Tah, and the Tahs have underperformed. He was a kid in 2014, you make some allowances for kids, but you expect them to jump into the culture and become professionals. It’s pretty clear – given it’s not a single person with the same fitness experience there – that the Tahs don’t have that culture. That’s a major issue.
          .
          I don’t know that RA or the ARU before them ever tried to globalise the game?
          .
          I agree that the Euro comps are at least equal standard – on average – now. But I don’t see any value in giving control of our players to a club-dominated foreign competition, where they can restrict access, they decide what suits them in terms of player welfare (i.e. we always hope that the player’s welfare is the primary concern, but do they rush back a player for a finals series which then risks Tests? Or do they declare someone unfit to safeguard them for the club season? Remember, JOC played with a dodgy knee for months with the Reds, undiagnosed by his French club doctor, only picked up here after months in 2015 – not diagnosed sooner because the club doctor had said he was fine)..?
          Then there’s the question of sustainability. Most of the clubs in the UK are in major debt, and there’s limits on how many players are permitted to play. Same in France. It’s even tighter in Ireland. It may be that the NH clubs aren’t as flush as we think they are, we may be setting up to allow for something that may not be a continuing situation (i.e. opportunities for many foreign players to earn bulk cash in the NH).

        • Patrick

          There’s certainly something to be said for a life ban from Australian rugby for everyone who has been involved in running anything more complicated than studs at the Tahs in the last 5 years …

          No wait everyone at all who ever entered the building in fact except if they are 1) a player and 2) have been there less than three years.

          They’ve been unbelievably toxic. A couple of the forward (Kepu) might be exceptions to this, and Hooper might be an exception now but he certainly contributed to general shitness of Wallabies for a few years there with utterly directionless captaincy.

        • AllyOz

          I agree. 7 years in an RA sanctioned tournament. I think we should be able to select a Samu-type, for instance, without needing to bring him back to the Brumbies. And another example would be Tim Horan’s young bloke. He is playing for the Sunwolves, I guess because none of the other Australian teams wanted to sign him. That contrasts with players like Skelton who, on the basis of the reputation they have developed in SR, go overseas for substantially higher dollars.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Maybe just an age – e.g. over 28 or something. Some players start very early and others a bit later.

        • Who?

          But then that would be unfair to the JOC’s and Pocock’s of the game, who had contracts at 17, were playing Super at 18, and could easily have had serious injuries take their toll and finish their careers at 26…
          7 years of contracts isn’t unfair.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Whatever rules you have will produce examples that someone will see as unfair.

          If you define 7 years as fair, then anything else is unfair, but that’s just the definition at work, not actual unfairness.

          Why is an early career start different to a late career end? Are there stats that show career’s tend to the average length – i.e. early starters finish early, and late starters finish late so that it is useful to measure things from the start of the career rather than age?

        • Who?

          Why is an early career start different to a late career end? Because, if you set an age, rather than a duration of service, then you could have a player hit 100 Tests before they can go overseas (i.e. Hooper), and then you could have another guy who only made his debut at 27 go overseas the next year. But after 100 Tests, it’s very arguable that the Hooper type player’s got less earning opportunities left than the other bloke.
          Let’s call that other bloke ‘Scott’. Now, Scott was picked late, but because he wanted to be a Wallaby, he was still plying his trade in Australia when he finally got picked. Because he was picked late, when he gets to 35, he tells Nick Bishop, “I’ve not got that many miles on the clock, I still feel young.”
          Can you imagine that, in spite of his incredible work ethic, Hooper will feel young, and as though he doesn’t have too many miles on his body, by the time he’s 30? In comparison to Scott’s statement at 35?
          .
          That’s why I think the 7 years of contracts is a valid requirement. It doesn’t matter whether you get them by 24 (JOC, Pocock) or by 30, it rewards serving the game and country that developed you to the point that you’re valuable to others.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          So you seem to think that an early start tends to be followed by an early end. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the other way around or there was no correlation at all.

          In percentage of career terms, why should one player have to spend 100% of their career in Aus because some coaches overlooked them for some years or they had an ijury just before their professional contract rather than during it, while others get to earn big for 50% because they were “golden boys”, or lucky with i juries early on. Seems unfair.

          Unfairness is in the eye of the beholder. It should be about what works best for Australian rugby. I’m not sure why 7 years is going to work better than an age i.e. the amount of players incentivised to serve Aussie rugby will be more, or it will result in more player years of good service than setting an age would.

          A blanket ban on overseas players might end up in players going early, and then less service from them. 7 years might increase overall years of service compared to a blanket ban, but why won’t setting an age of 28 work a bit better?

        • Who?

          I’m working on the expectation that if you’re not a professional sportsman by about 24, you’re not going to be one. Because no one (well, no one I know) can afford to sit on their hands earning little to no money on the pipe dream of going pro forever.
          .
          If they’re not getting picked in an RA-Sanctioned comp, but they’re getting picked overseas, well done to them. But it doesn’t mean they’ve paid their ‘local’ dues.
          .
          In terms of early career/early retirement, I figure there’s only so much the average player can cop. That a body can sustain. If you start young, before your body hardens, the odds are it’s going to get broken sooner than someone who starts older. There’s exceptions to that – McCaw and Smith, etc – but if you debut young, you’re (arguably) more likely to be in the backs, where pace is an advantage, and pace leaves with contact. If you start older, there’s a good chance, you’re in the pack, where strength is important, and where players can end up reaching the top level a bit older, and play until they’re a bit older. Put it this way – Squeaky and Taf played into their early, almost mid 30’s, whereas Genia and Cooper are gone at 30. All of them played just over 10 years at Test level, despite the significantly different quantity of contact that each received.
          .
          If you’re picking a blanket age of 28, then it means Genia and Cooper play only 2 years overseas, having debuted young, held contracts from a young age. Whereas Squeaky and Taf play 5 or 6 years overseas, maybe only 6 years locally (compared to 10 years). It means Squeaky and Taf disappear before they’ve really started mentoring the next generation, where Genia and Cooper are arguably stifling the next generation. By setting 7 years playing in an RA-Sanctioned competition, you’re setting a consistent time-cost for the value added to them by RA.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Favourable examples again. It should be based on the whole body of players, not just a few examples picked to support your case.

        • Who?

          It shouldn’t be based on a singular age because to have a singular age would assume a singular type of player. Rugby’s a game for all shapes and sizes, and it impacts on everyone differently. To say that a singular age works for power players (who need years to develop muscle) and for speed players (who lose pace rapidly) is a far less flexible approach than working off a ‘time served’ model. You’ve complained that some might play their whole career getting the 7 years up, given a late start. You’re ignoring the fact that some might be forced into retirement after 9 years, at 27.
          .
          If you’re unhappy with me asking for a single time served model, you must hate Hoss’ system, which would see players leave from as young as 22 (if they’re the ‘golden child’), and see many 30 year olds (especially late bloomers) ineligible for selection if they left.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I’m not ignoring anything other than your cherry picked examples. I’m just saying that an age MIGHT work better overall, and also that the only way to tell is to look across as broad a range of players as practical, and that it is Australian rugby that matters most, not your sense of fairness.

          I’m not convinced by your points, but you could be right. I don’t know.

        • Yowie

          I’m working on the expectation that if you’re not a professional sportsman by about 24, you’re not going to be one.

          Mid-life crisis triggered.

          FFS thanks for that Who. I can’t even afford an open-top Porsche, a fake tan and teeth-whitening at the moment.

        • Who?

          Join the club mate. :-(

        • Yowie

          “….I would have been more than happy to see a Morahan,Fardy,Mogg,Skelton,Mcmahon,Nayaravoro et al lace up for the Wallabies at the last word cup.”

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a20d922eb05560a829141954564007b393c2e1b280efaba4f6cb73ed85c1bc49.jpg

        • Geoffro

          Creepy….But , it does though.eg the interest garnered by having Walker run out for Randwick last year which is probably the only reason I watched the match.The G.Gs got flogged and he played for about five minutes and cant remember if he actually touched the ball but I still got excited about the whole thing (at the moment) which is what counts

        • Yowie

          My Aliens meme was more of a crack at Cheika – eg. it wouldn’t matter what players he took to the World Cup – we would still be out in the quarter finals due to limited tactics/strategy.

        • Geoffro

          Thanks for explaining.Having a liquid lunch doesnt really up my powers of comprehension Im afraid.Must be siesta time.

        • Nutta

          I’m still cross about that.

        • Who?

          It could be argued that, along with the Dublin 6, it was the beginning of the undermining of Link. People always say he got everything he wanted – given he lost his national captain because the ARU wouldn’t give the Wallaby Captain a national contract, I don’t see how anyone could ever believe that rubbish.
          .
          Still waiting for the book… Guessing it won’t come out until all the players he selected are retired.

  • Jason

    I can’t see Rugby Australia changing the Giteau Law, but I personally think the only change they should make to it is removing it. New Zealand are starting to come unstuck for too long they were too mortgaging the farm to keep the player pipeline wide open, but also retain those players, now those payments have come due and the NZRU are going to struggle to do both.

    Australia reacted by keeping spending under-control and not competing with New Zealand in the arms race. It’ll be interesting to see how the NZRU recover from their financial difficulties. But I think the days of New Zealand players seldom going overseas are coming to an end, and this pipeline of players where the guys coming off the Super Rugby bench are test quality players will quickly dry up.

  • Keith Butler

    Much as I like the fact that Skelton has trimmed down and improved his game in a few areas, I haven’t seem much evidence of him being a line out option which to me, as an ex lock, is an essential criteria. Liked Hoss’s pairing of Rodda and Philip and as Geoffro has said below, develop the young guns.

  • Andy

    I wouldn’t overpay for Skelton especially when we are skint. Develop the you g guys coming through who actually want to play for this country.

    He screwed Australian rugby over with his and his agents conduct a few years ago and to be honest he never lived up to the hype here. You really have to question a guy who gets paid leave to play in a foreign team, clearly puts in the effort for the few months he is there then completely let’s go on his return in terms of attitude and fitness.

    • Patrick

      My thoughts exactly about Skelton who got the royal treatment and then some, and as a result never actually trained enough to learn to scrum or to get to a line out.

  • Wonky Donkey

    Nar fak ‘em leave them on their eurotrip up north. I dont want to watch reluctant players disappoint my expectations because they got hyped up north. I get hurt feelings.
    Whatever theyre doing up their good on them.

    Id rather watch new players emerge form the rainforrests of queensland or the mountains in nsw saying things like “where I come from we use rocks to play rugby”.
    Our teams will become financially successful each with a room full of gold doubloons that players can roll around in when the coaching staff go to the rugby shop to buy more rugby balls.

    Thatll keep them here.

  • Joeleee

    This “for the right reasons” stuff is crap. Wanting to actually make your value on the market does not mean that you are someone who is not “…wanting to play for Australia”.

    To be honest I’m shocked that people on one hand can be “I don’t trust Rugby Australia with my hobby”, but expect players to say “I absolutely trust Rugby Australia with my short, uncertain career”. Earning a lot of money overseas doesn’t make you not care about playing for your country – just ask Tim Cahill, Matt Giteau or the multiple other players in all sorts of sports who pour their hearts out playing for their country of origin, no matter where they live.

    I just want rugby in Australia to be great again, and I don’t give a damn whether the players drink VB, do sake bombs or sip champagne during the months they’re not wearing the green and gold.

    • Yowie

      and I don’t give a damn whether the players… sip champagne.

      I don’t mind wingers and No 10s either.

    • McWarren

      The problem is Australian rugby is more than just the Wallabies. I want Australian Rugby to be great again as well and that means all four Super teams and the Force doing well. If those five teams are constantly churning out talent for the north then Australian rugby will never recover. Personally I’d tighten the Giteau Law, unless you are playing in Oz or for another super or GRR team you aren’t eligible for Wallabies.

      • Reds Revival

        I agree McW. I was actually excited to hear Dave Rennie say that he much prefers Wallabies to be plying their trade in SR, as it gives him greater control over conditioning, skill sets etc.

        I also enjoy watching SR, so I don’t want it to become a Mickey Mouse competition, or purely for the newbies and never will bes.

      • Joeleee

        Sure, but it’s really hard to grow a group of professional players when there are only 4-5 x 30 spots on a professional team in Australia. You consider that there are maybe 150 professional spots to play rugby in Australia. Compared to 3-4x as many for sports like AFL and League. Giving the potential for a big pay off and more professional opportunities, opening up would actually be a good thing for rugby in Australia. Not to mention the money freed up from not paying players like Skelton 650k (not that he actually signed in the end).

        You can make the NRC/club rugby argument, but I think we’ve proven that the ARU/the clubs are not capable of making a real thriving competition there.

  • Hoss

    Ladies, Gents & Members of the jury,

    The answer to retention etc is a bit of all suggestions already on here. There is no one-fit for all sizes, but all sizes can be shaped for a national fit – A World exclusive

    ‘Hoss’ Credit Point’s’

    Each aspect of an Australian Rugby Career would carry ‘credit points’

    – Play one year in Australian Sanctioned competition = XX Credit Points. Be that Shute Shield, NRC or that World Series Rugby by that mining guy in far Western NSW
    – NRC or its equivalent would be increased credit points
    – SR would equal more credit points again points
    – Tests would equal even more credit points

    The selection criteria for Wallabies would equal a minimum of XXX points. So a stalwart of several years service, who did the graft, perhaps a sprinkling of rep games and then topped up their pension fund in the France hemisphere would still be eligible based on XXX points earned through longevity and rep honours, whilst still allowing them to earn an income perhaps unavailable here. Also perfect tonic for some like Fard’s – a late-ish bloomer

    Perhaps it looks something like this – with Wallaby Selection available from 1000 Credit Points onward:

    Level 1 – Length of Service 200 / year in RA approved comp
    Level 2 – NRC or equivalent comp (perhaps Junior Wallaby type selections or Australian Schoolboys) = 40 points / game (that you were in Match day 23)
    Level 3 SR Comp 60 points per match that you were in match day 23
    Level 4 Test Match 75 points per match you were in match day 23

    The minutia can be discussed and massaged, minimum points moved as required, but as a concept………

    I like it for 2 reason:

    1. It’s mine, so therefore quality is assured
    2. It sets a mark for Kaizen (Continuous improvement). So Freddy makes the Tah’s squad – that’s great, but the points are for making the 23, so Freddy trains harder, gets fitter and applies upward pressure to the incumbent who in turn trains harder, gets fitter and voila – all of a sudden Aussie Rugby is better

    You’re welcome Australia.

    • Who?

      It’s not bad, Hoss, but it would release some guys really young (remember, JOC had 44 Tests before he was out of nappies!), and it doesn’t allow for injuries (what happens if you cop a Pocock – back to back knee reconstructions?). How would you account for that..?

      • Hoss

        Ye of little faith.

        I would have caveats / safe guards for those injured during the season who were signed to approved comp.

        Something like a weighted average – for example.

        Harry snaps a knee 7 rounds into SR season – at that point he had made match day 23, 5 times

        = 5 x 60 points for SR Match day 23 appearances = 300 points
        = 300 points / 7 actual SR games means he averaged 43 points per game.
        = Say 7 regular season rounds remaining
        = perhaps a ‘weighted average’ could be 50% of average points awarded / game
        = 7 (Sr games remaining) x ‘weighted average’ of 21.50 (average of his credit points / game = 43 x ‘weighted’ average 50% = 21.50%) = 150.50

        The player still accrues longevity points, the actual points they got for playing and a pro-rata injury allowance) as well

        I hadn’t considered you may also appoint a ‘bonus’ credit point criteria for SR Finals appearances as well. And remember credit points would only matter come into it should the player be considered for selection whilst off-shore (like Skelton)

        It’s the gift that keeps on giving

        • Who?

          That would be fair for injury, mostly. But doesn’t account for form. What happens if that bloke who started 5 of the 7 games, what if he were actually falling out of favour, and was dropped for the last two games?
          What happens to a Jordan Petaia – he played 1.25 Super games last year, do you assume he’s first picked the full season? Then the same this year – plays 2 Super games, to assign him the full 17*60 = 1020 points for this year is arguably very generous.
          .
          Plus, it still means you could have a kid like JOC disappearing at 22 because he’s accrued enough points to pass the average 28 year old.
          .
          It’s not a terrible system, but I do prefer the ‘blunt’ approach of being required to play a set time. Because you could have a David Croft sort of situation – first picked for his team forever, but behind two all time greats. So if he goes overseas, and we need him, he’s out of our grasp.

        • Hoss

          Yep.

          I take a more holistic approach though – Exhibit A.

          Young bucks like JOC accrue their points at a relatively young age. He buggers off to Saviour World annual Xmas Party and stays there a few years.

          – it frees up capital to develop next JOC
          – The #3 JOC who couldn’t see a path forward (Croft) now gets some free air around form and opportunity and pushes harder
          – #1 JOC saves the world, walks on water and has enough of Savior World wants back in for next Kill Bill but finds that in his absence #3 JOC has upped the anti forcing a higher standard from #1JOC and so it goes

          Certainly there is more to heaven and earth than dreamt of in my philosophy Whoratio, but its a conversation starter and a blue print and i know the Pirate is a big follower of my blog, so.

        • Who?

          But if JOC2.0 manages to accrue a heap of points early and disappears, he keeps getting picked. Because that’s the point of accruing all those points by playing those Tests – it allows you to leave and continue to accrue the points.
          .
          So Croft2.0 still doesn’t necessarily get capped, and in spite of his continued local service – which is arguably of greater value to RA than a FIFO Wallaby, given he can help develop those at the next level down and helps to promote local comps – his capacity to move overseas and earn money whilst retaining Wallabies eligibility is impaired relative to the bloke who’s got the caps. Which may just be a case of who the coach liked better.
          And, if we’re worrying about having options for Wallaby selection (because that should be the primary goal – to use Wallaby selection to incentivise players to stay locally, and to ensure that quality, experienced players are available to the Wallabies – regardless of whether or not we want to pick them, just having the option), it seems a bit unfair that we may see some guys able to go chase the big bucks young, while others are lost to us, or not rewarded for similar efforts.

        • Hoss

          Don’t necessarily disagree. But i would counter that if you’re the best player, you’re the best player. Whether you be playing in Singleton or Scotland to me is irrelevant. If your form warrants selection and you have met the criteria, then so be it. BUT, if you also want to risk playing OS, out of the selectors ‘eye’ so to speak, create an opening for another player to shine than that’s the risk that player must weigh up.

          Currently a player like Croft takes off overseas as they are third in the ranking, at least with a credit point type scenario there is incentive to achieve the minimum criteria first before looking OS. Then (like Fardy) they mature, grow and warrant selection they are not lost to the system for playing OS.

          Credit Points wont solve all and good players will be lost, so be it. As others have said here, players have a short shelf-life (like toilet paper at Woolies apparently) so i am all for them making money while they can. They wont all end up as commentators, analysts or tv celebs. I simply put forward a system that rewards longevity, tenacity and talent, but also provides an income stream and pathways for those on the fringes – like Croft.

        • Who?

          I agree the Croft player disappears at present. I’m thinking Gill and Fardy right now. If we removed the Test cap requirement, and just stayed with years of contract in an RA-sanctioned comp (which would mean they could go play in NZ, SA, Japan, China…), we retain access to those services.
          .
          So… I reckon we just drop the cap requirement, and leave it at years contracted. JOC would’ve been eligible to leave at 24 (signed at 17!), Pocock about the same. Kepu and Fardy would’ve been older. But Fardy would still be eligible (he’s not, he doesn’t meet the cap limit, because Cheika picked other blokes), and Gill would, too (left after 2016, he’d debuted I think in 2010..? Well short of the cap limit). But with a points system, JOC may have been able to leave at 22….. And Petaia, given he was injured after selection in 2018, would’ve been credited for a number of Tests by now along with two full Super seasons when he’s barely played, which would accelerate him out the door at 22. Where if it’s just 7 years at least we’ve got him until he’s 25-ish. Who knows – maybe his luck will change and we’ll get a full season or two of Super Rugby (or whatever happens in the contract negotiations) by then! :-P
          .
          I’ve heard about toilet paper at Woolies. Apparently it also disappeared at Costco – so they’ve set a limit of two packs per customer. I’ve got a family of five (three kids). My wife tells me we use a lot of bog roll. Two packs from Costco would still set us up for six months. But people were buying enough packs in a single transaction that they needed a limit of two packs. Who needs to buy more than two packs?!?!

        • Yowie

          In times of bogroll shortage people might need to wipe with both sides of the paper.

        • Hoss

          Greeny.

        • Who?

          Maybe you should produce a video explaining how to do this..? You might go viral.
          .
          .
          :-P

        • Yowie

          Nobody needs to see that.

          Obviously Murdoch Press consumers wouldn’t notice the difference between my arse-wiping video and their usual media consumption, but still…

        • Keith Butler

          Or pandemic.

        • AllyOz

          ok you have a Whore – ratio. Now I am starting to understand the XXX benchmark

        • Who?

          I think Hoss was implying that I’m a red head who wears black glasses and likes to stand around in the sun whilst hearing Roger Daltrey’s scream from ‘Baba O’Reilly’. :-P

    • Brisneyland Local

      Works for me! The tiered approach has its benefits.

      • Hoss

        Welcome back !!

    • Keith Butler

      This is all very well Hossman but what do you do with the credit points? Given the current situation, a years supply of toilet paper and tinned beans, free subscription to the next tv provider of rugby in Oz? ?

      • Hoss

        Is almost funny isn’t it. World pandemic, people dying, so there are fights for toilet paper…………….while the canned food sits there……..maybe its a reckoning we deserve after all.

        • Yowie

          During the Obama years, American gun enthusiasts used to regularly clause shortages of retail ammunition through panic-buying because of this or that conspiracy about “the gummint” being about to take away all their bullets.

          At the time I thought Aussies would never be that stupid….

        • Gun

          I’m reading a book about WW2 and buying TP to thwart the lurgy makes us Aussies look smart.
          Anyway the Hoss credit scores or HOCS looks good. Put it in a box and send it to Raelene mate.

        • Yowie

          Trouble is, shortages and hoarding become self-perpetuating after a while. Even a level-headed person might buy the last two packets of bogroll (or whatever) in the shop when one will do because faaark, if there is a shortage on I might not get another chance

        • Geoffro

          Read a piece where a master plumber warned against the use of innapropriate TP aternatives like baby wipes which may cause ‘fatbergs’ in the sewage system..Sent a shiver up my spine

        • Yowie

          Those news articles come out from time to time about XYZ City Council having to deal with some dinosaur-sized fatberg from the sewer because people are too ignorant/lazy to exclude bad items from their sinks/loos.
          There is probably worse manual labour work available in 1st world countries, but I can’t think of what that might be.

        • Geoffro

          Theres always a Kenny out there to save the day

        • laurence king

          Wipe bum with left hand, and eat with right. Dislexic schizophrenics often will have trouble with this

        • Yowie
        • laurence king

          We may look older, but I think our psychy is stuck around 14yo

        • Yowie

          The comments on today’s news seem to be good evidence of that.

        • Geoffro

          Nah,we’re just talkin’ shit

        • AllyOz

          very important to get the punctuation correct in that sentence

        • laurence king

          As a child eating my dinner in front of the tele with the light of I discovered half a cockroach in my mince. My mother’s instruction was to eat around it, which I duly did because I assumed that the crunchy bits that I had previously eaten were the over half.

        • laurence king

          My wife tells me all the time that I’m both an arsehole and stupid. Therefore, I’m a prime candidate to see the need to stock up on tp

        • Keith Butler

          This Covid-19 thing is literally giving me the shits.

        • Hoss

          I miss the bushfires coverage already.

        • Keith Butler

          I don’t know why I bother following the ‘news’ because I switch off as soon as I see the headlines. Covid- 19 will soon be yesterday’s new. Next big headline Trump declares WW 3. As long as it’s after the Bledisloe in October.

        • AllyOz

          I would like to see the 7s at the Olympics and the end of season tour before the nuclear armageddon gets underway but I guess he is likely to do it before the election to get a boost from the more military hawkish among his constituency. Still I hope he is considerate of others (my) requirements.

        • laurence king

          In the supermarket in Hobart today and wouldn’t you know it. Little tp and no porridge. Are they connected?

        • Yowie

          Is the Annual Convention for Scottish Expats with IBS on at the Hobart Convention Centre?

        • Geoffro

          Cancelled due tp shortage.At least through this crisis I get the satisfaction of restricting the missus to max 1 roll per day

        • laurence king

          Funny that you mention it

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          I personally have never seen the value or purpose of toilet paper. Think about it, how is wiping your arse with paper making it clean?

          When you finished wiping, you wash your hands with soap and water, you don’t go wipe them paper and say hands cleaned, but for the hole it comes from, paper is good enough.

          If you don’t have a bidet, you should go from the toilet, to the shower without wiping and wash it clean with soap and water.

          When I was younger, I tried to skip the step of going to toilet first and went straight to the shower…….Lordy Mick,the arse whooping I got made my arse so sore, I had sympathy for a catholic choir boy!

        • Yowie

          Different standard of cleanliness we expect from our hands versus our date?

          Having said that, as an ex-Army bloke you would have cleaned plenty of things to a shine for the sake of it only to have them get dirty again through normal use, so I respect your insights on this topic.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          I guess the date suffers from out of sight out of mind!

          So very true. I can say this, whilst serving overseas on two different deployments, I volunteered to deal with the shit of a 1000 men. We had no plumbing, just a dozen wooden toilets with 1/2 a 44 gallon drum below each.

          The rest of my platoon couldn’t understand why I volunteered…..however I never had shitty gun pickets, never had to do any other work parties and never received the curry infused breakfast, lunch and teas.

          And I got to play with a quad bike, diesel, petrol and fire!

        • Yowie

          Reminds me of those stories where the base sewer ditch is the best available cover at that moment under mortar attack. Better than being wounded or killed I suppose.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Yep, been there done that.

        • laurence king

          Bums away

        • Geoffro

          Dont worry mate its an honourable profession youve been following.Ive been happier to hand over my hard earned to the people that have dealt with my shit than I ever had to any doctor , lawyer etc

        • Hoss

          Got first Australian in my lineage mate and am happy I can tell difference between umbrella tree leaves and a prickly pear. Could be a skill that comes In handy

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Hopefully you also learnt to tell the difference between the umbrella tree and stinging tree. If not, you won’t reach for the stringing tree twice!

        • Yowie
    • Brumby Runner

      As you say, detail would need to be worked out, but significantly better than a sytem that allows selection based on a future contract.

      • Hoss

        Its a conversation starter. I like to attack problems by looking at the desired outcome and working backwards from there.

        We will never retain all our talent on our shores and nor do we want to – it suffocates growth and ambition under that top level. I look at the great Aussie cricket sides of mid 90’s- early 00’s and when that generation retired we were well and truly caught short as the gen under them (Maher, Law, Hodge, Macgill – to an extent) had also retired and those under them given up the ghost as their were simply no pathways to advance.

        No model will be perfect but if there’s a product that rewards across all formats ( longevity, Grade, NRC, GRR, SR & Tests) It acknowledges those at all levels, allows for a balance of seeking higher income OS v chasing a dream in Gold here then that’s a fair place to start. And my rates are fairly reasonable….

    • laurence king

      What about the selectors simply being able to pick, say three o’seas players if we’re short of quality in those positions. Which means no promises to any players plying their trade in the richer leagues.

      • Patrick

        No because then we are even more at the mercy of a Chieka whose idea of quality is completely arbitrary.

        • laurence king

          Still three selectors, and it’s adaptable

        • Patrick

          Good point, and am I ever glad we put in place selectors even if two years too late. I just think that it will work better with clear and objective conditions so that everyone can plan ahead on the same basis.

      • Hoss

        You and your simple ideas. Commie.

        • laurence king

          Don’t be cheeky, or its off to the gulags with you

      • Wales more or less have this model, and are (probably, I haven’t heard the news on Biggar’s knee today) going to use it because of an injury plague to first choice 10’s sweeping the Principality at the moment.

        It’s not quite that simple. The coach asks for a waiver for a player and the WRU committee votes on it for exceptional circumstances rather than their being a quota he can select automatically. Wales’ version of Giteau’s Law is also a bit different, fewer caps and you can extend contracts but not sign new ones and some weird things.

        This is the first time the waiver is likely to be tested but no one doubts it’s going to work because there’s just a dearth of uninjured 10’s with experience. The clubs are putting out 3rd and 4th choice players with 10 minutes playing time at senior rugby, but there are people playing in England with a season or two of top flight rugby that can be called in for the emergency.

        It helps address the “short of quality” issue at a layer above the selectors which I think personally is better.

    • Geoffro

      Crikey,youre doing my head in mate.I prefer the simpler approach ala Gitaeu law of when you need something you just create a new rule to get it.My uncle taught me that one when paying monopoly as a kid

      • Hoss

        I can’t charge plenty for it if it makes sense. It’s a riddle wrapped in side a puzzle – wrapped in a sigma,
        Or something.

    • Happyman

      Hard one mate. We are just a net exporter of talent.

      Even good young players who don’t get looked at early go off shore for either fun or money.
      I know one in Japan on scholarship.
      Two in France at pro clubs
      One in Great Britain and that is from one small sample size from one age group in one club.

    • AllyOz

      XXX points benchmark….Johnny Holmes will be an automatic Wallabies selection….except I think he died, which may count against him

  • Brisneyland Local

    GDay GAGR’s! Happy Hump day.
    BL’s crazy points with no regards for facts reality or anything else:
    – Pay Skelton $850K? What the actual fuck? We are paying Hooper shit loads, whilst he is a good player he aint worth what we are paying him. Hence the name Lee Majors. If he doesnt want to come back for whats on offer that is ok. We have some good stock coming through.
    – The Giteau law thing is a bit ho hum. I like Hoss’s plan. But the reality is, we lost a lot of good cattle overseas in the last 5 years under the Ass Clown. Whether they come back or not is up to them. But after the way they were treated by Cheika, and RA I would stay in europe / Japan and take the $$$$$.
    – Dont know much about McKellar but he seems pretty good. And is supported well by the likes of Laurie Fischer. Let him concentrate on the Brumbies and bring him up later on in the season for the tests. But let him concentrate on his core job.
    – Do not let Daniel Herbert anywhere near the Board of RA. The appalling way he treated players at Queensland demonstrates that his man has no character, no integrity, no brains, and is a complete See you next Tuesday! On that basis alone he will be selected.

    Over to you GAGR;s

    • Happyman

      Hi BL
      Could. Not agreed more strongly what a douchbag.

      Didn’t he appoint Richard Graham also.

      • Brisneyland Local

        NOt sure if he was there for the initial appointment was definitely involved in the World wide search that only went as far as the Ballymore carpark, and then re-appointed RG.

    • Patrick

      Agree with all of it especially Skelton. NFW.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Dont get me wrong, from what I have seen of Skelton he has improved from his Waratahs and Wallabies days. In fact improved considerably. He was lazy when he played here.
        But not worth $850k. Considering some of the junior Reds and I am sure other clubs too have their little ones on contracts of $40-50k only. Appalling.

        • Patrick

          Fair enough but good to see that we agree that no Australian club should bre paying him 850k

        • Brisneyland Local

          Hell Yeah! I wouldnt have even paid that in todays dollars for Nobody!

        • Patrick

          Ok now you have gone too far I totally would have especially after that Bledisloe!

          Still my favourite game of rugby I think.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah perhaps I went to far there.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hey mate. No way is Skelton worth that. Over rated and still cant jump. While I can sort of understand the desire to bring guys back, especially after it worked so well for the Boks, i think a bigger bang for bucks is actually developing talent locally. If there really is no one then sure look but 1st look should always be local.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. Invest in the youth. We know we are in a redevelopment phase so invest in the kids, bring them up. Gee if only we had a decent coaching pathway to expose these kids too.

    • AllyOz

      I actually know Dan Herbert and the Herbert family. Whatever you thought of his decisions with regards his job or his performance in that job at the Reds, I can’t personally reconcile with your comments with regards character, integrity and brains. He was, in the time I knew him, one of the nicest blokes I was associated with at the club.

      • Brisneyland Local

        AO a family member of mine was in the Reds squad and the treatment of him and some of the other younger players he played with was appalling. The abusive and appalling phone messages he (DH) left them was disgusting. I have heard them. So we have contrasting views. If I treated an employee of any of my companies that way I would expect legal action against me.

  • Chipkick

    Rugby in Oz cant afford all the professionals athletes wanting to play the game that’s why they go to league. Let Japan, France and England pay their wage as well as super rugby. If it is to survive in the southern hemisphere we need to operate in the free market.Oz can pay for the up and coming athletes the others take a risk on playing overseas (not all will).We got to look at it as an opportunity to get more professional players developing for future years. Dropped the eligibility laws, SA proved they don’t work. Revise super rugby and allow all registered players to play for any team. Imagine having BB playing for the Reds or Tahs. Beale playing for the crusaders. Lets mix the talent up so they can get better or different style of coaching. I think this have proven successful for the the likes of skeleton and white who have developed better games playing outside of Oz. It’s definitely helped the SA players improve their rugby acumen.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    We should not use Wallaby selection to prop-up Superugby sides. Pick the best players regardless of where they play, if others are prepared to pay top dollars for our players and exposed then to top quality rugby that is a win for Australia. Also NH clubs will think twice about contracting Wallabies that may be required for international duty. This will also provide more opportunities for younger players to get exposure through Superugby and more competition for Test spots so that we can improve on our #7 ranking.

    The Superugby tail has been wagging the Wallaby dog for too long. We don’t have the players in Superugby to be competitive again the best and we should realise that we cannot afford our best players either. Those playing at home will always have the advantage of greater visibility, more frequent interactions with the Wallaby coaching staff and we also have a greater appreciation of their form than those playing elsewhere. However with only 4 Superugby sides with Some players that’s not eligible to play for the Wallabies the pool of players to pick from is too shallow.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, I’m not sure Skelton demonstrated anything last time he was back to justify going after him myself. Still cant jump and very over rated. I’d like some changes to the Giteau law because all it does currently is bring back over the hill players who cant step up. I mean have any of the players brought back ever really been as good as expected? I certainly haven’t seen it. I’m not sure even Giteau himself was that good when he came back.

    I’d like to see McKellar get some wins on the board before saying he’s the next Wallaby coach. Sure he’s done ok but still hasn’t actually won anything. I know it’s a real issue balancing bringing him on and leaving it too long but not sure he’s ready yet

Rugby

Aspiring sports journalist with a passion for all things rugby. Currently studying journalism at the University of Wollongong.

More in Rugby