• Welcome to the Green and Gold Rugby forums. As you can see we've upgraded the forums to new software. Your old logon details should work, just click the 'Login' button in the top right.

Declining participation and ARU plans for the future

wamberal

Phil Kearns (64)
I just don't see how the concept of '10 years of pain' is even a viable answer.

How do you fund a large national competition? Please provide some detail about what you think could be done for rugby in Australia now.


We are not going to outshine our main competitors at the domestic level no matter what we do. We would not even come close.


We have to be smart in packaging, promoting, and exploiting the relatively few products we have they do have some audience appeal. Pulver's area of expertise, or one of them, is in the use of the internet as a competitive tool. I hope he has got some tricks up his sleeve.


I know this is a bit vague. We cannot be the big fat (prosperous) tortoise, so we have to become the clever, nimble, hare. With a lot of help from Whirled Rugby, the NZRU, and the rugby nations of the Pacific. Including maybe the West Coast of the US of A.
 

half

Alan Cameron (40)
I just don't see how the concept of '10 years of pain' is even a viable answer.

How do you fund a large national competition? Please provide some detail about what you think could be done for rugby in Australia now.


Well if I knew the answer I would be worth a lot more.

However I will have a go.

The Tri nations does not need Super Rugby.

Keep the Tri nations and other international matches, this would provide a base income stream. Have these matches broadcast on a commercial FTA broadcaster.

From heaven has come 7's rugby, I would start up something akin to the Big Bash again I see some base income.

I would also hold a SOO Tahs v Reds series maybe 5 games and sell this.

I would set about creating in the ACT, NSW & QLD a 12 to 14 team competition played out of small inexpensive stadiums and get it on either SBS or the ABC and hopefully Fox as well.

Income would fall how far I am not sure, the national matches and the 7's would produce income, as would the Tahs V Reds.

The advantage as I see it would be existing club structure would be in place to develop from the park to the national team.

Expand to other states in time.

Ten years of pain. But a 60 million dollar media deal and the increase coming if media reports are correct from Europe not from Australia. Cannot believe people are content to have our game stall and rely on SA and European revenue just to keep pace with other codes.

Yes 10 or more years of pain but at least we will be charge.
 

Highlander35

Andrew Slack (58)
Watch that kill off the game at a rate of knots with the vast majority of Test players heading overseas for contracts which go from much bigger to ridiculously bigger, and kill off any interest in the game from the non rugby states for at least a generation.
 

Rugrat

Darby Loudon (17)
I just don't see how the concept of '10 years of pain' is even a viable answer.

How do you fund a large national competition? Please provide some detail about what you think could be done for rugby in Australia now.
You don't fund a national competition. Those days are past unfortunately. You have a ten team ANZ comp existing Aussie and NZ super rugby team. You take a smaller cut for the tv rights but you pass all the money thru to the clubs competing. No top up for wallabies. Small ARU. Pick the best Aussie players for the Wallabies and treat it as a a rep team not a glorified club team. There is no interest in private teams because the ARU doesn't want to give up control and stupid rules enforced that actually Li its development eg foreign player recruitment restrictions etc, Mitchell quit the Rebels because he quit fighting with the ARU.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
You don't fund a national competition. Those days are past unfortunately. You have a ten team ANZ comp existing Aussie and NZ super rugby team. You take a smaller cut for the tv rights but you pass all the money thru to the clubs competing. No top up for wallabies. Small ARU. Pick the best Aussie players for the Wallabies and treat it as a a rep team not a glorified club team. There is no interest in private teams because the ARU doesn't want to give up control and stupid rules enforced that actually Li its development eg foreign player recruitment restrictions etc, Mitchell quit the Rebels because he quit fighting with the ARU.


This whole idea relies on the involvement of the NZ teams which they have absolutely no interest in. They want to continue playing in a competition with South African teams. They have made this very clear.

If you cut the salaries of our best players you will lose them overseas. Look at the players that are currently the hardest to retain in Australia. They are the test quality players that don't play regular test matches so they don't earn a top and the differential between what they earn here and what they can earn in the UK or France is greatest. If you get rid of the top ups from our best players, they will leave in droves.

If the standard of the Wallabies drops substantially and with it follows their results, what do you think happens to the ARU's revenue?

This really isn't something you can rebuild from the ground up because you don't have a captive market over the players. It is a global game and you have to be competitive financially to retain the players.

The ARU is providing more per season to the Super Rugby teams than they receive on an annual basis for the TV rights. Maybe if the private equity owners were happy to get less money from the ARU restrictions would be limited. The Rebels were allowed more foreign players throughout Mitchell's ownership. Can you cite anything specific that caused him to exit the Rebels that were due to the ARU or was it just the fact that he was done with hemorrhaging money?
 

half

Alan Cameron (40)
As I said I see 10 to 12 Australian teams no NZ teams where we each play each other twice and have a finals series.

Its both a revenue and cost equation, if we play out of existing Shute teams grounds before say 5, 000. Thats say six games per round * 22 rounds which is 660,000 people throught the gate with much less stadium cost. Plus shirt sales etc. After the finals we could be talking of over 700,000 throught the gate at $ 20.00 per ticket thats 14 million in revenue plus shirt sales.

This competition would be our national domestic competition and we play in the Tri Nations and play against other national sides.

Play out of ACT,NSW,QLD keeping travel and accommodation cost down as well.

Have our 12 team competition on the ABC and build it until it is ready for a commercial FTA broadcaster.

Also as I said have a Big Bash thing with 7's.

Revenue would fall but so would costs and once again we would be in control of our game and were it is going.

My guess is I am an out-flyer with my ideas but I am sick to death of Rugby in Australia going backwards and the traditions I grew up with fading away. Twould not be so bad except the replacements I am told will work I cannot see doing what those who say this is the answer working.

But there was a few years back a Swiss science type fellow his name was Albert Einstein and he said something like this to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result is foolish and we can keep doing what we are doing and in 15 years were will we be.
 

dru

Tim Horan (67)
All these conversations do is define just how challenging it is to build a 10 year plan for Australian rugby. Just leads me to respect the ARU more.

@half your 12 teams based on the Shute Shield but also covering other states does not compute. Its an issue I have had with many discussions that are Shute Shield centric. There is obviously more thinking here. Can you give an example of who these teams might be?
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
The Big Bash style 7s idea was raised in another thread and there was some discussion between RugbyReg, myself and a couple of others.

Clearly Big Bash cricket is a phenomenal success and a big part of that success is being able to have a game every night during a period where not much else is happening (either sports wise or on TV) and it is mostly or all during school holidays.

Let's say that your plan with a 7s series was to run consecutive days or evenings in one city (probably on a weekend) and you were going to have both mens and womens teams.

To keep in the Big Bash style format let's say you want each session to last under 4 hours which means a maximum of 10 matches each day based on how a World Series event runs time wise. In the World Series, teams get at least three hours between matches. You could probably truncate that slightly but there would need to be some research into the practicalities of that. If you only left teams with two hours or less between matches and injuries increased substantially as a result that wouldn't be a good outcome.

Do you try and turn each two day event into a mini tournament which would mean less teams or do you not have every team involved each weekend (which would reduce costs) and have it progress towards an overall title?

If you ran it with 6 mens and 6 womens teams competing at each event over two 3 and a half hour sessions (similar time for a Big Bash game and hopefully suitable for TV), you could have each team playing 3 games (9 games on each day). The shortest turnaround you'd be forced to have would be about an hour and a half which is probably too short.

That still means having 12 teams of 12 players in one location for each event to take place. That's 144 players which makes it pretty bloody expensive to stage.

If you increased it to 16 teams at each weekend playing 3 games over 2 days you'd remove your turnaround issues between matches but you'd also need to fit in 24 games for everyone to play three games each which would increase each session to about 4 and a half hours and the total number of players involved to 192 players.

However you slice it, it is hard to achieve because there are so many players needed compared to a single Big Bash game.
 

Strewthcobber

Mark Ella (57)
Let's be very conservative with some expenses

12 teams * 23 players * 22 rounds * $1000(say) match payment = $6m
12 teams * 30 players * $100,000 ave salary = $36m
12 teams * $1m for coaching/development etc etc = $12m

Total so far is >$50m and you won't be keeping many players of quality in Australia with the salary I've assumed. Make it an ave of $250k per year and you're spending just about the entire current ARU budget
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
As I said I see 10 to 12 Australian teams no NZ teams where we each play each other twice and have a finals series.

Its both a revenue and cost equation, if we play out of existing Shute teams grounds before say 5, 000. Thats say six games per round * 22 rounds which is 660,000 people throught the gate with much less stadium cost. Plus shirt sales etc. After the finals we could be talking of over 700,000 throught the gate at $ 20.00 per ticket thats 14 million in revenue plus shirt sales.

This competition would be our national domestic competition and we play in the Tri Nations and play against other national sides.

Play out of ACT,NSW,QLD keeping travel and accommodation cost down as well.

Have our 12 team competition on the ABC and build it until it is ready for a commercial FTA broadcaster.

Also as I said have a Big Bash thing with 7's.

Revenue would fall but so would costs and once again we would be in control of our game and were it is going.

My guess is I am an out-flyer with my ideas but I am sick to death of Rugby in Australia going backwards and the traditions I grew up with fading away. Twould not be so bad except the replacements I am told will work I cannot see doing what those who say this is the answer working.

But there was a few years back a Swiss science type fellow his name was Albert Einstein and he said something like this to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result is foolish and we can keep doing what we are doing and in 15 years were will we be.


What happens to the standard of the Wallabies when we dilute the regular competition to being half the quality of Super Rugby (because you are doubling or more the number of Australian teams)?

How do you afford to keep the best players in the country if the revenue drops massively?

Why would the ABC or SBS broadcast this at more than maybe a game or two a week?

We are currently in a situation where Super Rugby doesn't rate nearly high enough to be shown at prime time on a FTA channel. Australia v Argentina barely rates highly enough to be shown on FTA.

What happens if you drastically change what you're doing, half your best players go overseas, the standard of the Wallabies drops substantially because you no longer have your best players available and those that are available are playing in a far lower standard of competition compared to Super Rugby?

How does the market for rugby look in Australia if we are suddenly the 6th or 8th best team in the world rather than the 2nd or 3rd?
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
The Big Bash style 7s idea was raised in another thread and there was some discussion between RugbyReg, myself and a couple of others.

Clearly Big Bash cricket is a phenomenal success and a big part of that success is being able to have a game every night during a period where not much else is happening (either sports wise or on TV) and it is mostly or all during school holidays.

Let's say that your plan with a 7s series was to run consecutive days or evenings in one city (probably on a weekend) and you were going to have both mens and womens teams.

To keep in the Big Bash style format let's say you want each session to last under 4 hours which means a maximum of 10 matches each day based on how a World Series event runs time wise. In the World Series, teams get at least three hours between matches. You could probably truncate that slightly but there would need to be some research into the practicalities of that. If you only left teams with two hours or less between matches and injuries increased substantially as a result that wouldn't be a good outcome.

Do you try and turn each two day event into a mini tournament which would mean less teams or do you not have every team involved each weekend (which would reduce costs) and have it progress towards an overall title?

If you ran it with 6 mens and 6 womens teams competing at each event over two 3 and a half hour sessions (similar time for a Big Bash game and hopefully suitable for TV), you could have each team playing 3 games (9 games on each day). The shortest turnaround you'd be forced to have would be about an hour and a half which is probably too short.

That still means having 12 teams of 12 players in one location for each event to take place. That's 144 players which makes it pretty bloody expensive to stage.

If you increased it to 16 teams at each weekend playing 3 games over 2 days you'd remove your turnaround issues between matches but you'd also need to fit in 24 games for everyone to play three games each which would increase each session to about 4 and a half hours and the total number of players involved to 192 players.

However you slice it, it is hard to achieve because there are so many players needed compared to a single Big Bash game.


If I were looking to launch a Rugby BBL equivalent I'd look toward more making it a league structure more so than a tournament. I've mentioned this a few times before but look up Ultra 7s. That's the format I'd use but instead of 7s I'd use 10s.

This way you could run two games both mens and womens occupying a tight two to two and a half hour schedule three nights a week. Run it for 5 weeks with a 6th week as the effective finals.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
If I were looking to launch a Rugby BBL equivalent I'd look toward more making it a league structure more so than a tournament. I've mentioned this a few times before but look up Ultra 7s. That's the format I'd use but instead of 7s I'd use 10s.

This way you could run two games both mens and womens occupying a tight two to two and a half hour schedule three nights a week. Run it for 5 weeks with a 6th week as the effective finals.


Under my example you'd have more than 6 men's and women's teams they just wouldn't all be playing each weekend. It wouldn't be stand alone tournaments rather just two days in each city so that you get some cost saving from moving all the players around.

I would have thought that the whole idea was to leverage off the growing popularity of 7s rather than trying to come up with a whole new game.

An hour long 7s or 10s game could result in some horrifically one sided scorelines.

If your main aim is to come up with a product that is more favourable for TV and live audiences who aren't die hard rugby fans hour long 7s or 10s games doesn't seem like the answer to me.
 

half

Alan Cameron (40)
Braveheart81

Your thinking or people with like minds run the game today and have done so for many years.

Every year I hear we can't break from the revenue stream and the good that being in at first a three nation and now a five nation tournament is the saviour and every year I see what we call our third level today slowly fade I see sides like Penrith raided by Sydney Uni and Penrith blamed for being raided.

I am told I am not loyal or a true Rugby fan if I don't get on board with the NRC.

I have friends who teach in private schools and while not necessarily in trouble massive gains are being made by AFL and soccer.

I see the Shute teams the only Rugby on a free to air broadcaster treated like the poor cousin when it is our best way of showcasing Rugby to the broader public.

I am not having a go at you but in 5 then 10 then 20 years from now if we stay on this path were are we headed.

At some stage in my very humble opinion we need to build the game by taking back control from essentially as I see it suits who run broadcasting companies telling our admin's what they have to work with.

AS I said not without pain but still possible whereas in ten years it may not be possible.
 

Highlander35

Andrew Slack (58)
Basic problem is that I see the current trajectory as potentially unsustainable, and has a 60ish% cause the death of the professional game in Australia in 25-30 years.

Dramatic changes, particularly sweeping ones like some are advocating, has about a 70-80% chance of killing the game in 5 years.

I love competing in a League where we get games the quality of the Hurricanes v Chiefs. I'd much much prefer that to watching Inner North West Sydney side take on South of the river Brisbane Side when neither of those teams wouldn't be near the level of the current Force team.

More than happy to just go back to watching Pro12, Vic Rugby and attending the occasional test.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
Braveheart81

Your thinking or people with like minds run the game today and have done so for many years.

Every year I hear we can't break from the revenue stream and the good that being in at first a three nation and now a five nation tournament is the saviour and every year I see what we call our third level today slowly fade I see sides like Penrith raided by Sydney Uni and Penrith blamed for being raided.

I am told I am not loyal or a true Rugby fan if I don't get on board with the NRC.

I have friends who teach in private schools and while not necessarily in trouble massive gains are being made by AFL and soccer.

I see the Shute teams the only Rugby on a free to air broadcaster treated like the poor cousin when it is our best way of showcasing Rugby to the broader public.

I am not having a go at you but in 5 then 10 then 20 years from now if we stay on this path were are we headed.

At some stage in my very humble opinion we need to build the game by taking back control from essentially as I see it suits who run broadcasting companies telling our admin's what they have to work with.

AS I said not without pain but still possible whereas in ten years it may not be possible.


Maybe it's the combination of being an accountant and business owner but this sort of thinking has disaster written all over it in my opinion.

You can't run your business without employees and in this case your employees are your players. You are always going to have to pay a market rate for them and largely that is set by the global market. The Wallaby jersey is something of a carrot but it would become decreasingly so if the team's results dropped substantially.

The way rugby rates on TV right now, it is an absolute fantasy to think that a lower level competition is somehow going to grow the rugby audience in Australia. The Bledisloe Cup used to be a must watch event and if we managed to win it once or twice it could become that again. I know you hate the concept of the top down model but that is the reality.

There was a buzz around rugby again with the Wallabies progression at the RWC. We need that to continue and improve. People get interested because they get drawn into watching a much hyped event, not because they randomly watch some lower level game and discover that it is amazing and want to start following that sport.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
As much as some might like to have done things differently back in the mid-nineties, it's not going to happen. We're part of super rugby and I can't see any benefit in leaving it for Australian rugby.

I like the concept of an NRC, but to me the current model is flawed - mainly because it has no clear purpose or indeed conflicting purposes.

Is it to provide a level of rugby above club rugby to prepare players for super rugby/tests? If so, then it needs to be played under the same laws as super rugby and test rugby. By all means experiment with laws, but those experimental laws aren't adopted by WR (World Rugby), then don't persevere with them.

Is is to increase the exposure of rugby? If so, it seems to be failing. It's watched by a tiny audience of rusted-on rugby nuts on pay TV and the crowds are the same people who go to club rugby (in some cases less). We were told that one of the purpose of the alternate laws was to bring non-traditional rugby people to the game, but I see no evidence of this at all.

The mulititude of overlapping and dupicating junior rep programmes is also an issue. We get boys picked in rep teams at 10 years of age, when half of them can barely execute the basic skills and by and large it's quite difficult for anyone to force their way in to this closed shop after that. Rep coaches are often parents who have two main goals (1) to ensure that their offspring are in the team and (2) to win a trophy - all in 6 weeks of training. From 14, another layer of zone representation is added - same broad issues. At 16 we get a Sydney side, which is in direct competition with the schools who also pick a 16s side - broadly speaking the same kids are eligible for both teams. So instead of spending their junior years at their junior club learning the skills of the game, the best kids are vying for selection in the next team up the greasy pole. And the other kids who weren't identified at 10 or 11 or are just ordinary kids are left for dead and go and play other sports. It's all short term thinking - and we wonder why many of our super players lack some basic skills when compared to their NZ and SA counterparts. I watched the NZ derby at 5.30pm today and the Aussie derby at 7.30pm - chalk and cheese in terms of basic skill exceution.

EDIT: I forgot to mention JGC at 15s and 17s which overlays all of the above.
 

half

Alan Cameron (40)
Forum

I through I would be the odd one out.

Dru first ask to merge then if that does not work set up a points table allocating points to a number of key factors and go with the highest.

Highlander you may be right but I doubt it I see small losses.

Strew yes some players would be lost to overseas leagues and we would have to become like soccer and call our best players back to play in test matches.

What can I say the logic of all your arguments is sound there is no denying that.

I guess we are at different ends of the same issue and I am on a tangent most on the forum may have through about but then applied some business logic too and you are looking at all the good Super Rugby brings and say this is good when one considers a question of balance says stay with what we have.

Breavheart we share something I too am a been counter in public practice and my experience tells me if a business is slipping a little each year and the competition is starting to ramp up, and I am relying on others for my upkeep, then I should consider change.

Lets consider with its warchest RL is now going after Oceania countries for test matches and thinking of putting a second side in NZ. Plus there partnership with Touch could add to their ratings.

The A-League from what I read will be with a commercial FTA broadcaster and when they expand to 12 teams will have over 250 matches to offer between the league itself, the FFA Cup, their Asian Champions League and International matches both male and female.

AFL the money they bare throwing around is scary and they see Rugby as a soft target and are going in hard in Rugby areas.

We on the other hand have reduced matches in Australia.

I essentially want a park to local District to Regional Australia Club to National team supported by a local domestic league.

Every single point you all made is correct. Except one and that is Rugby would have a base it controls and the pain for a few years is better than dying a death by a thousand cuts.

Sorry rant over maybe an old man looking through and missing his Rugby traditions. But what is currently being done IMO simply pays the wages of a number of select players and supports the office salaries and broad expenses.
 

kiap

Steve Williams (59)
I like the concept of an NRC, but to me the current model is flawed - mainly because it has no clear purpose or indeed conflicting purposes.

Is it to provide a level of rugby above club rugby to prepare players for super rugby/tests? If so, then it needs to be played under the same laws as super rugby and test rugby. By all means experiment with laws, but those experimental laws aren't adopted by WR (World Rugby), then don't persevere with them.

Is is to increase the exposure of rugby? If so, it seems to be failing. It's watched by a tiny audience of rusted-on rugby nuts on pay TV and the crowds are the same people who go to club rugby (in some cases less). We were told that one of the purpose of the alternate laws was to bring non-traditional rugby people to the game, but I see no evidence of this at all.

Two fair questions.

Take the audience exposure one first. If creating an instant money-spinning national comp was easy it would've been done in 1996 or 2007. Getting the NRC started meant navigating around rugby politics. It's had to run with the centralised costs heavily curtailed. Risks have been pushed out to the licencees. The decision to go Fox Sports was similarly driven; to get a few bucks to float the comp and not to spook the existing broadcast relationships.

But we have a third season and are still alive. It's longer than last time and bones of contention are being played out. The Sydney rationalisation was driven by the broadcaster, for example, and it had to happen. But, with a few more seasons, the competition and clubs get onto a better footing. Last year's NRC was also overshadowed by the RWC.

And even though Monsieur Half, as posting above, is no fan of NRC, perhaps his free-to-air "pain to get some gain" might be applicable to the NRC in 4 years time (while leaving Super Rugby on a mostly pay TV path). If the ARU want to get something on FTA TV, then the NRC might be the go.
 

kiap

Steve Williams (59)
As far as the Experimental Laws are concerned, for mine, I'm not that concerned.

It should be noted that NZ are adopting many of these experimental measures for this year's NPC (Mitre 10 Cup).

The speed-up initiatives are compressing more rugby into each 80 minutes. More scrums, more lineouts, more phase play. With the mix of pro and semi pro players, it's still a good preparation for pro rugby. It's a furphy that only exactly the same rules (laws and interpretations) can do the job. With normal laws, it will be a slower game with less rugby action and, in any case, won't be Super standard either.

One concern, though, is defences not keeping up due to fatigue, which results in some blowout score lines (exacerbated by the 3 point conversion). Improved physical preparation by the teams will help. And I wouldn't be surprised to see some law tweaks in those kind of areas (point values) reverted.
 

Quick Hands

David Wilson (68)
As far as the Experimental Laws are concerned, for mine, I'm not that concerned.

It should be noted that NZ are adopting many of these experimental measures for this year's NPC (Mitre 10 Cup).

The speed-up initiatives are compressing more rugby into each 80 minutes. More scrums, more lineouts, more phase play. With the mix of pro and semi pro players, it's still a good preparation for pro rugby. It's a furphy that only exactly the same rules (laws and interpretations) can do the job. With normal laws, it will be a slower game with less rugby action and, in any case, won't be Super standard either.

One concern, though, is defences not keeping up due to fatigue, which results in some blowout score lines (exacerbated by the 3 point conversion). Improved physical preparation by the teams will help. And I wouldn't be surprised to see some law tweaks in those kind of areas (point values) reverted.

They key difference to the law variations is that in Australia, we have decided to adopt special laws for the NRC and have sought and gained WR (World Rugby) approval for such. They aren't being trialled with a view to being adopted by WR (World Rugby) worldwide. In NZ, the laws are being trialed at the request of WR (World Rugby), with a view to some or all of the laws being adopted worldwide. Other changes proposed by WR (World Rugby) are bing trialled in other countries.
 

Attachments

  • RLC-2016-Summary-Document-PUBLISHED01.pdf
    458.5 KB · Views: 263
Top