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ARU moves to kill off club player payments: A 3rd tier, club rugby and the $60k persuader

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It is what it is

John Solomon (38)
So, the ARU are proposing that the Club competitions fall more into line with the Super Rugby season and the only way to do so would be to reduce competitiors to 10 teams.

The clubs are upset about being relegated to '4th Tier' status and Rugby in a competitive market where other codes are providing financial inducements to talent at similar levels isn't about money or TV presence.


.........snip.......

It's about tine we start to look beyond just preserving our patch. The interest groups need to get over themselves and think about what best for the game in this country and not what allows them to maintain their own little fiefdoms in a crumbling landscape.
You've made some good points WCR.
I guess what some others might say is that the Super Rugby Clubs around Australia have had a 'good feed' out of the patch that is Shute Shield rugby for a long time.
Before the baby is thrown out with the bathwater, how confident are the power brokers that these new proposed patch's will provide anyone with a feed, let alone a sustainable feed for Australian rugby.
For example, would Ben McCalman or Nick Cummins have been capable of stepping up from a local domestic comp in Perth club rugby to play for the Wallabies like they did this year from the Shute Shield?
It's OK making change but we've seen sooooo many of these proposals come and go and fall over in the past.
We're at that challenging junction where Business meets Sport, and it's a sport with a predominantly amateur base, loads of volunteers and a long and proud tradition.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
You've made some good points WCR.
I guess what some others might say is that the Super Rugby Clubs around Australia have had a 'good feed' out of the patch that is Shute Shield rugby for a long time.
Before the baby is thrown out with the bathwater, how confident are the power brokers that these new proposed patch's will provide anyone with a feed, let alone a sustainable feed for Australian rugby.
For example, would Ben McCalman or Nick Cummins have been capable of stepping up from a local domestic comp in Perth club rugby to play for the Wallabies like they did this year from the Shute Shield?
It's OK making change but we've seen sooooo many of these proposals come and go and fall over in the past.
We're at that challenging junction where Business meets Sport, and it's a sport with a predominantly amateur base, loads of volunteers and a long and proud tradition.


The way I see it is. That if the club seasons do fall into line with Super Rugby and a National Club Competition is established, the likelihood of these players returning is minimal to begin with. I doubt any Melbourne or Perth based club would have the ability to compete as standalone entities. So they'll likely be rep squads and a primary source of talent for those squads will be sourced via the Force and Rebels.

At present neither competition from Mel or Perth would be able to produce talent en mass but it is beginning to occur. Look at Kyle Godwin. Entirely developed in that system and the first of many more. I know Sydney and Brisbane are to main talent sources but surely if they are as strong as we are lead to believe they will be able to introduce new talent to fill the void while those signed up by the Force and Rebels help elevate the level of the local comps in the respective catchments. Surely everyone would agree that having 5 strong, talent producing competitions is better than two or three.

As for the amateur base. That's absolutely true for every level of the game outside Super Rugby and Wallabies and the SS which is a 'semi-pro' competition. It's a level of competition that serious footballers look toward in order to chase opportunity. If not, then why the bruhaha over the prospect of removing player payments.

Those at this level need to accept that if they want to form the 3rd Tier they need to look at what there 'business' is. They claim it is developing talent then they need to accept that they aren't amateur. If someone wants to play the game for the love it. I suggest they join the boys in the subbies who turn out every year for the love of game and (well, for most of them anyway) no financial gain or prospective contract.
 

I like to watch

David Codey (61)
Sorry mate, but this is horseshit.
You don't rip apart the SS today,on the basis that it's a great ideal to have similar competitions in WA,Vic etc SOME TIME IN THE DISTANT FUTURE.
How about for a start,the fucking ARU spends more time than the cab ride into work,to devise a system that might work both financially,culturally and practically.
The point that many SS clubs share their ovals with cricket was just one small example of the lack of thought the ARU has invested in this game changing development.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member

BeastieBoy

Herbert Moran (7)
This is Australia, not nz or sa. We are having this discussion because we realize it is long overdue and neglected. We are in a professional sport that needs money to attract talented sportsmen coaches and management. We are competing against other codes in this country and we have to make changes that work for us. Audiences are slipping for tier 1 and 2. This is despite the international flavor of the competition. How can a lesser quality competition overcome that? Fundamentally as a professional sport we need different playing rules that make it more attractive to watch and probably play. Pick and drives on the line where spectators can't see the outcome don't work. Some forward purists may like it but it won't get the competition any media. We need rules that will cut down the number of scrums and other stoppages. That will showcase skills and allow star players to shine for all to see. At times in our history we have had different rules and were the catalyst for change. We need that time again now.We should bring those rules into the SS to start and perfect them. Eg let's not have he ref tell the half when to feed the scrum. Let's require 2 passes from a ruck or maule to score a try etc. if we won't make these changes and many more, the competition will not pay for itself and will fail.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
Its my opinion that the reluctance of the Shute Shield clubs and its fans to allow change at their own expense is one of the major reasons we still don't have a viable alternative today...
 

Gavin

Frank Row (1)
Thanks Hugie, a very interesting article.
How could anyone from Sydney Uni ever again look down at the other 11 Shute Shield clubs and challenge them to rise up and meet Sydney Uni's offer to players?
As usual Nev Shooter doesn't let the facts get in the way of an emotional rant. All his stats and explanations about scholarships and inducements are pure speculation and he has no idea as to the little amount actually involved. Yes, there are enormous advantages in the facilities and physio/medical support that are available, however to not take advantage of them just to provide a level playing field would be the height of stupidity.

Yes, University had a team of super 15 players in the grand final, however all but one had come through the Uni colts programme and only 7 players in the starting 15 had played either 1st or 2nd NSW schoolboys before joining Uni. This is not a club full of ex. Australian or NSW schoolboys as everyone likes to bang on endlessly about.

Nev fails to appreciate that there is a club wide culture at Uni that is attractive to players who are motivated to go as far as they can in the game. A few (4 per year on average for the last ten years) have played NSW schoolboys rugby and the rest are a mixture of GPS/ISA/AS/CHS players. They are kids that haven't been identified by the various ARU.NSWRU talent spotters but at Uni have had the opportunity to develop their game.

If Nev still has difficulty with this as a fact, I suggest he have a look at the weekly team sheets for all three Uni. colts teams for the full season as see how far under the "Points Cap" they were.

As for level playing fields, the only one I know of is Billiards or Pool. Even in the NRL with salary caps in place to supposedly provide every club with an identical budget for players, some clubs perform consistently better than others. Over the last 9 seasons, only two clubs have consistently finished in the top 5; The Storm and Sea Eagles. All other clubs occasionally put a couple of seasons together near the top of the ladder but just as many closer to the bottom.

In the AFL, where there is a player draft to spread the talent around, there are still clubs who can't make it out of the bottom half of the ladder.

Finally, there are restaurant precincts where all restaurant owners and chefs have access to the same produce, pay similar rent and have similar overheads and yet some prosper and some close. I don't hear those closing calling for a "level playing field".

The fact is that rugby is now a professional code and irrespective of what perceived advantages one club has over another, it is up to each club to have a strategic plan that involves building a winning culture that motivated players are committed to.

I spent from October 2012 to February 2013 at Southern Districts assisting a former Uni. colts coach to set up an elite development programme. As it eventuated, work commitments forced him to withdraw from coaching their 1st colts in May, however I withdrew at the end of February after I had no support from the club in introducing goal setting and player development programmes.
 

It is what it is

John Solomon (38)
As usual Nev Shooter doesn't let the facts get in the way of an emotional rant. All his stats and explanations about scholarships and inducements are pure speculation and he has no idea as to the little amount actually involved. Yes, there are enormous advantages in the facilities and physio/medical support that are available, however to not take advantage of them just to provide a level playing field would be the height of stupidity.

Yes, University had a team of super 15 players in the grand final, however all but one had come through the Uni colts programme and only 7 players in the starting 15 had played either 1st or 2nd NSW schoolboys before joining Uni. This is not a club full of ex. Australian or NSW schoolboys as everyone likes to bang on endlessly about.

Nev fails to appreciate that there is a club wide culture at Uni that is attractive to players who are motivated to go as far as they can in the game. A few (4 per year on average for the last ten years) have played NSW schoolboys rugby and the rest are a mixture of GPS/ISA/AS/CHS players. They are kids that haven't been identified by the various ARU.NSWRU talent spotters but at Uni have had the opportunity to develop their game.

If Nev still has difficulty with this as a fact, I suggest he have a look at the weekly team sheets for all three Uni. colts teams for the full season as see how far under the "Points Cap" they were.

As for level playing fields, the only one I know of is Billiards or Pool. Even in the NRL with salary caps in place to supposedly provide every club with an identical budget for players, some clubs perform consistently better than others. Over the last 9 seasons, only two clubs have consistently finished in the top 5; The Storm and Sea Eagles. All other clubs occasionally put a couple of seasons together near the top of the ladder but just as many closer to the bottom.

In the AFL, where there is a player draft to spread the talent around, there are still clubs who can't make it out of the bottom half of the ladder.

Finally, there are restaurant precincts where all restaurant owners and chefs have access to the same produce, pay similar rent and have similar overheads and yet some prosper and some close. I don't hear those closing calling for a "level playing field".

The fact is that rugby is now a professional code and irrespective of what perceived advantages one club has over another, it is up to each club to have a strategic plan that involves building a winning culture that motivated players are committed to.

I spent from October 2012 to February 2013 at Southern Districts assisting a former Uni. colts coach to set up an elite development programme. As it eventuated, work commitments forced him to withdraw from coaching their 1st colts in May, however I withdrew at the end of February after I had no support from the club in introducing goal setting and player development programmes.
I don't think you answered the question at all.
Your benchmarks in AFL, hospitality??? and Rugby League are ludicrous.
Let's pick apart your Rugby League benchmark. Rugby League has no cap on how much clubs can spend on their coaching/support staff or facilities. West Tigers and Parramatta have amongst the the poorest training facilities and levels of support staff and where did they finish in 2013? The salary cap becomes irrelevant if you don't have the people and facilities to develop the players.
It is broadly agreed that the point system you refer to in your defence isn't doing its job correctly.
In 2013 you've got a 2012 Australian schoolboy playing 2nd grade colts and an Australian 2012 U20 player in 3rd grade. It's interesting how you make zero reference to your juniors when stating where your colts players come from - are you the only Shute Shield Club that can claim that distinction?Talk to these facts.
I don't think anyone is blaming you for taking advantage of your circumstances, it's just impossible to replicate or compete with by any means.
Ask any good coach the key to success and they'll tell you "start with good cattle" and the Uni recruitment 'offer' is clearly unique.
Still if all else fails, "Shoot the Shooter".
 

p.Tah

John Thornett (49)
We need rules that will cut down the number of scrums and other stoppages. That will showcase skills and allow star players to shine for all to see. At times in our history we have had different rules and were the catalyst for change. We need that time again now.We should bring those rules into the SS to start and perfect them. Eg let's not have he ref tell the half when to feed the scrum. Let's require 2 passes from a ruck or maule to score a try etc. if we won't make these changes and many more, the competition will not pay for itself and will fail.
If two passes from the ruck are required I'd expect we'd see more forwards standing at inside centre and they'd truck it up just further out.

I believe we have a game that can appeal to the wider sporting public. Sevens rugby is easy to understand. It's the same rules but there is less traffic in the rucks etc, and as a consequence it's easier to understand. Build an appreciation of the game through 7s and some of those will enjoy 15s.
 

I like to watch

David Codey (61)
Its my opinion that the reluctance of the Shute Shield clubs and its fans to allow change at their own expense is one of the major reasons we still don't have a viable alternative today.
I call bullshit.JON's first action upon his return was to axe the 3rd tier.The only discussions about a 3rd tier from then until his departure was it was a good idea but not affordable.
It wasn't the clubs stopping it, JON did that all on his own.
 

Inside Shoulder

Nathan Sharpe (72)
I call bullshit.JON's first action upon his return was to axe the 3rd tier.The only discussions about a 3rd tier from then until his departure was it was a good idea but not affordable.
It wasn't the clubs stopping it, JON did that all on his own.
Plus this current plan is just pulling it apart to take what they like the look of, providing no additional input, ignoring the pathway issues in particular between 18 and 20 and expecting pro clubs to play with completely amateur clubs.
There will be no gain without pain, it's true, but the ARU expect everyone but them to feel the pain.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
I call bullshit.JON's first action upon his return was to axe the 3rd tier.The only discussions about a 3rd tier from then until his departure was it was a good idea but not affordable.
It wasn't the clubs stopping it, JON did that all on his own.

Mate, the clubs were publicly pushing for JON to return to the helm of the ARU.. Simon Poidevin(Randwick) was a vocal opponent of the competition from the start, so too was Nick Far Jones(UNSW) both with strong links to clubs rugby and both supported JON's push for the board. Don't think there weren't political influences behind JON's reappointment, he had a strong relationship with the clubs giving them sizeable grants between 2000-2004...
 

Pfitzy

George Gregan (70)
Go back to the years when Uni rebuilt themselves, and you have an argument. When they got demoted and clawed their way back, getting the old boys more involved and putting systems in place, then that is something to be applauded.

Back then.
 

BeastieBoy

Herbert Moran (7)
I believe we have a game that can appeal to the wider sporting public. Sevens rugby is easy to understand. It's the same rules but there is less traffic in the rucks etc, and as a consequence it's easier to understand. Build an appreciation of the game through 7s and some of those will enjoy 15s.[/quote]
The last time we had good gates to our SS was at the start of WW1. Then the ARU decided to stop playing during the war and the League didn't then off they went. Unfortunately I don't think our SS games appeal to other than the Rugby purist. Audiences are dropping for super 15 and Wallabys. Rugby sevens is more like league than union 15s.
 

BeastieBoy

Herbert Moran (7)
Club Rugby has been run for a hundred years here and overseas as a amateur game to suit the wishes of the Old Chaps of the IRB. It went professional but it had a significant standing in UK SA and NZ. Not so in Australia. The club based systems of AFL and League had a hundred year professional start changing and modifying their rules to suit the needs of the spectator and media. We continue to ignore the impact our rules have on the ticket and foxtel paying customer in this country. It's a catch 22. We need to make changes to attract people who have not followed us before. If they liked the rules they'd be turning up now. The ARU know this. That's why they are paying lip service to this. They think we are on a fools errand. We are unless we modify our rules to attract patrons away from the other codes. Without patronage how do we pay for players. Are we truly a professional sport if hardly anyone watches?
 

Dave Beat

Paul McLean (56)
People say we shouldn't compare to NZ, or SA, who should we compare ourselves to;
France, Japan, UK, Tasmania.

What is the NRL's top tier?
What is it the NRL focus on?
@BeastieBoy I find league as boring as bat shit, they average just under 2 passes each play the ball - then why not put boot to leather and have a kick. Unfortunately that is about all that is on at the moment.
 
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