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Australian Rugby / RA

noscrumnolife

Jimmy Flynn (14)
Just in case there was any doubt:

That's the Reds head of communication with a pretty strong statement. And fair enough too, one of the unspoken parts of centralisation is that there will be people made redundant at the super sides. If they have been delivering in their roles and have a good argument to support that now is the time to be getting out there with it.
Good looking tweet...but 26500 spectators across 105 games comes out to 252 people watching each match. Taking into account lots of those tournaments are junior games with free entry ,don't think we should be kidded into thinking Ballymore is a money printing machine.

Still, QRU have done a much better job than most re their commercial operations and are well set for future success if other pieces fall into place.
 

Derpus

Jason Little (69)
Just in case there was any doubt:

That's the Reds head of communication with a pretty strong statement. And fair enough too, one of the unspoken parts of centralisation is that there will be people made redundant at the super sides. If they have been delivering in their roles and have a good argument to support that now is the time to be getting out there with it.
Thats basically parents/girlfriends and some change.
 

wamberal99

Billy Sheehan (19)
And that’s the key difference between the two games. League loaded up on poker machines when they became legal in the 50s union didn’t
League was always professional. That is actually the key difference. There were no poker machines in Queensland until very recently, but league was far more popular. Actually league was very popular in NSW even before poker machines became widespread. Our neighbour was a well known city solicitor and he and his wife went to the match of the day at the Sydney Cricket Ground every Saturday, without fail. They were members, of course. Rugby union was the poor cousin.
 
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Wilson

Simon Poidevin (60)
and in the end they are buying food and drink which is where the real money comes from. Not ticket sales (as many events would be free).

Not to mention they're expecting the Saitama game to be a sell out and the women's roar side have sold over 3000 season passes so far, which has them looking pretty good for the rest of the year.
 

Wallaby Man

Trevor Allan (34)
I don't think anyone sees the states as particularly good in this situation, there's just no trust for rugby Australia, at least with no detail around what their plan actually is. I think everyone believes we need big change and that some form of centralisation is the answer, but no one is to keen to take Rugby Australia on faith right now, not when executing this with same degree of competence they've displayed in the past would probably be the killing blow for the game.

If they were putting that information out there I think they'd immediately have a lot more support, assuming it's not a terrible plan that is. Even if there wasn't opposition in the state setups to this I'm of the belief they should be a lot more open and transparent with this - more than anything right now they need to bring the fans on the journey with them, or else they may not get the chance to see out their vision.
The execution in the past largely hasn’t happened because everything is half baked as RA don’t have the power to fully execute change without the states or things are done to accommodate one party that isn’t playing for anything other than their own immediate needs. It’s a revolving circle of incompetence. RA can’t be competent because the states are incompetent and the states can’t be competent because RA is incompetent.
 

Adam84

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
Thats basically parents/girlfriends and some change.
Ballymore is being pushed as a grass roots ‘community facility’ for funding sake. It’s exactly the picture they want paint to justify the existing government funding for upgrades and seek additional funding for rugby owned facilities.

The ulterior motive is obviously to improve the commercial viability; however pitching Ballymore as Brisbanes second rectangular stadium is politically a poor move, hence the pivot to the seek funding as a community facility and high performance centre for women.
 

Wallaby Man

Trevor Allan (34)
and in the end they are buying food and drink which is where the real money comes from. Not ticket sales (as many events would be free).
Yep. My only complaint with a post like this from the QRU is words used such as thriving. Having returned home to the GC after a decade away, the words thriving isn’t something I’d associate the sport with here. There is half the amount of senior teams as a decade ago, some junior age grades are combined to create enough numbers and the amount of school teams is dropping. A lot outside QRU control and I’m sure like in all places the people that work there are doing their best but thriving it is not
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
I'm happy with your vision, but to me the attitude you have outlined is NSW-centric. More-so Sydney SRU-centric. For whatever reason, SRU clubs have never gotten behind the Waratahs. It isn't the case in Qld. And of course in Vic and WA the state Union franchise basically is the game pathway, to what extent the grass roots are naturally aligned to the franchise. In ACT you have a single club, the Vikings, who have (in the eyes of many) arrogated (assumed, taken control of) the Bumbies with only poorly formed resentment through traditional supporters of the other clubs.

Personally I'd prefer a model that was club based in NSW, but what happens elsewhere is far from clear and NSW would deserve everything if it followed that elsewhere had the shits with what NSW want and lampoon it from underneath. The rest of the rugby world would not deserve this, just the Sydney club element that has been rugby-xenophobic.

NSW clubs are as responsible for this mess as much as anyone.

QRU can respond positively to a revised structure that requires multiple teams from Qld but it is far from clear that this would be directly club based. Just think about the NRC. If the Brumbies are offered primacy, and ACT Rugby is offered funding for an alternate team, and the local development structures are held for those, maybe, maybe... perhaps not.

Force and Rebels I think could adjust to the change but IF what you want is forcing Force and Rebels to develop fundamentally locally, immediately, to protect NSW (and of course Qld) talent, and to see a plethora of clubs elevated from Sydney, well there will be more issues.

I'm not saying it shouldn't happen. Far from it I'm very likely to be enthusiastic about it. However if this leads to a "National" comp dominated by numbers from Sydney Clubs, and probably dominated in quality by the Brumbies - well the thinking is incomplete from the outset.

A solid point of agreement: Anything is better than Super.
I understand that there are many in Australian rugby who have a beef against the Sydney clubs - some justified and some perhaps not.

In trying to look rationally at things without emotion can be difficult so I like to use other examples from world and Australian sport to illustrate certain points. I'll use English Premier Rugby, French Top 14 Rugby, plus NRL and AFL from Australia. Each in their own way have been able to run national competitions, but because the relevant sport in each case isn't spread equally or universally across each respective country this doesn't mean that the teams are spread equally across the country. Teams are concentrated in the areas which produce the most rugby players and thus have the most clubs and can support professional teams with a decent supporter base.

Premiership Rugby (England) - out of the 10 teams currently playing - 4 (Bath, Bristol, Exeter and Gloucester) come from the South-West which has the lowest population density in England, but is the part of the country where rugby is strongest, 2 come from the midlands (Leicester and Northampton), 1 from Manchester (Sale), 1 from the North East (Newcastle) and only 2 (Saracens and Harlequins) from London.

Top 14 (France) - out of the 14 teams currently playing - 12 are located in the south of France and 8 of these are located in the South West, some in small towns such as Pau and Bayonne and 2 are located in Paris. Outside of Paris there are no clubs in the northern half of the country.

NRL - 9 teams in Sydney, 1 in Newcastle, 1 in Canberra, 2 teams in Brisbane, 1 in Melbourne, 1 on the Gold Coast, 1 in Townsville and 1 in New Zealand.

AFL - 9 teams in Melbourne, 1 in Geelong, 2 in Perth, 2 in Adelaide, 2 in Sydney, 1 in Brisbane and 1 on the Gold Coast.

What I'm suggesting is that all of these competitions have a degree of being something centric. How exactly that is managed is something that Australian rugby seems incapable of coming to any sort of sensible arrangement, with many taking a anything but Sydney clubs approach and others wanting anything to be centred in Sydney and Brisbane.

What I'm suggesting is that it is perfectly rational and sensible to have more clubs in Sydney and Brisbane than anywhere else, simply on the basis of mathematics - more rugby people, more existing rugby clubs, greater likelihood of attracting tribal support for clubs in a professional competition. But that doesn't mean that other areas should be ignored or excluded, it just means that people need to be realistic about how the professional sporting universe works.

As a simple start - Western Force become the Perth Force and with the Melbourne Rebels are part of it. Local development is part of the solution, but pro (or semi-pro) leagues everywhere have a mixture of locally produced players and those recruited from elsewhere.

Canberra - you make a good point above re the Vikings. I have no problem with a Tuggeranong Vikings and Canberra Brumbies - but I'm not sure to what extent that there is enough money there to support two teams.

Brisbane - I would be interested in seeing how many existing clubs think they could participate (either individually or jointly) - again my knowledge of Brisbane rugby clubs isn't from any first hand experience. Brisbane is crucial to the game - just as important as Sydney because it is a heartland of the game.

Sydney - the largest rugby market in the country. No national competition can succeed in Australia unless it succeeds in either Sydney or Melbourne. Melbourne is out of the question so if it doesn't capture a portion of the Sydney market then any national competition in rugby will fail. (See ARC and NRC). There's strong, well-supported rugby clubs in Sydney with strong junior programs - I've always thought that it's been nuts to deliberately try to exclude them from the conversation as ARU/RA have done (and then complain that they aren't co-operating). You need to have a significant number of clubs in Sydney involved - how that looks I'm not completely sure. What I do know is that there are parts of Sydney which have brand recognition inside and outside the game. Casual sports followers in Sydney associate Randwick with the glory days of Australian rugby, people identify with names such as Parramatta, Manly-Warringah and associate them with sporting success. Rugby people know that Eastwood is a very strong and successful club with financial resources to compete. Newcastle is a large regional city in its own right.(These are just examples and not meant to be proscriptive)

As you allude to, and as Wayne Bennett observed a few years back (after he came to Sydney to coach) - Sydney and NSW are different. Parochialism in NSW (including Sydney) is regional. It's why league state of origin took much longer to capture the imagination of people in NSW than in Qld. People's identity is what part of Sydney or NSW they come from before they identify as being from NSW as a whole.

What is the optimum number of teams? Is it better to start with more teams in the first year and then split into 2 division with promotion and relegation from Year 2? How do we reconcile the desire to maintain a national spread and keep the heartland strong?

No easy answers to any of these and sadly I have very strong doubts that our current group of administrators are up to it. McL strikes me as being JON on steroids, and the whole organisation is awash with GPS old boy group think. Let just reflect on Phil Waugh's idea to run an old boys day at Alliance Stadium and play a full day of GPS fixtures as a way of regenerating rugby.

A few things we do know

- Super Rugby was a great way to start the professional rugby era, but its time has come. The big mistake in Australian rugby was not to build this club competition 10-15 years ago so that we could have seamlessly moved from Super Rugby to a domestic competition when Super Rugby began to wobble about 2010.

- Anything from here is going to be a long build. The days of Super Rugby being able to support full time professional athletes is approaching the end. Anything we start is going to be semi-pro (unless we can find 14-16 billionaires who want to fund it). We've been driving in the wrong direction for at least a decade so the first decade of any competition is merely going to get us back to where we should have been about 2015.

Tough times ahead, and what is required is solid, strategic management for a long, hard slog. What I suggest we don't need is a CEO getting involved in childish spats with the CEOs of other sports, or making decisions on sacking/hiring coaches or signing players, or grandstanding as the game sinks around him.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
How do we have the interest to sustain a national comp that would supplement our needs for high quality rugby? We will cement our spot as a Tier 2 nation if we forgo Super Rugby.
Except that we've been in Super Rugby since 1996 and are very close to Tier 2 status after 25 years IN super rugby (and rapidly heading to Tier 2).


Lost to Fiji
Hardly convincing wins over Georgia and Portugal

Super rugby 1996-2006 probably did fulfil our need for high quality rugby, but those days are long gone.
 

HooperPocockSmith

Jimmy Flynn (14)
Except that we've been in Super Rugby since 1996 and are very close to Tier 2 status after 25 years IN super rugby (and rapidly heading to Tier 2).


Lost to Fiji
Hardly convincing wins over Georgia and Portugal

Super rugby 1996-2006 probably did fulfil our need for high quality rugby, but those days are long gone.
My position has changed since this comment. I’m pro national comp now! Talk about a 180…
 

hoggy

Trevor Allan (34)
The Game here will slowly die, as it has done while it remains in Super Rugby, sadly self interest & Money will prevent change from happening.

The game is living on a Credit Card, and always looking for the next quick fix, now its centralization, and the Lions Tour, then it will be the World Cup, and then the Female World Cup. and after that it will be the arising of the sleeping giant USA in 2032.
 

KOB1987

Rod McCall (65)
Is there a foreseeable future where all teams except Brums commit to, at the least, high-performance alignment? Would be interesting to see how that works out for them.

View attachment 17657
I was thinking about this as well - in terms of the high performance alignment that the centralised model is designed to bring, from a geographical perspective RA don’t need both NSW and ACT on board, but it does need one of them. If one of the two abstains and the other 3 franchises are on board then RA has all it needs to put the plan into action and the HP ‘academy’ in NSW/ACT would cover both territories.

Note that I mention this is purely from a geographical perspective only, the Brumbies‘ current HP system is clearly the best in the country and RA need them included in the model.
 

PhilClinton

John Hipwell (52)
The Game here will slowly die, as it has done while it remains in Super Rugby, sadly self interest & Money will prevent change from happening.

The game is living on a Credit Card, and always looking for the next quick fix, now its centralization, and the Lions Tour, then it will be the World Cup, and then the Female World Cup. and after that it will be the arising of the sleeping giant USA in 2032.

I’d be interested to know how many rugby supporters genuinely believe our professional game as Super Rugby would be viable over the next say 5-10 years if we didn’t have a home RWC in 2027 as some gold at the end of the rainbow (well in theory).

I’m keen for the BIL but I’m not sure even the younger fans give a shit about it as much as the older generations.
 

Merrow

Arch Winning (36)
I was thinking about this as well - in terms of the high performance alignment that the centralised model is designed to bring, from a geographical perspective Rugby Australia don’t need both NSW and ACT on board, but it does need one of them. If one of the two abstains and the other 3 franchises are on board then Rugby Australia has all it needs to put the plan into action and the HP ‘academy’ in NSW/ACT would cover both territories.

Note that I mention this is purely from a geographical perspective only, the Brumbies‘ current HP system is clearly the best in the country and Rugby Australia need them included in the model.
Brumbies are happy to work with RA in regard to HP. They don’t want to lose branding, etc.
1696732733898.png
 

Rebel man

Peter Johnson (47)
Just in case there was any doubt:

That's the Reds head of communication with a pretty strong statement. And fair enough too, one of the unspoken parts of centralisation is that there will be people made redundant at the super sides. If they have been delivering in their roles and have a good argument to support that now is the time to be getting out there with it.
If the people in Queensland administration have been delivering and say the rebels or Tahs admin not. Then isn’t the idea of centralisation to get the best people in the roles?
 
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