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Reds 2014

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Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
You can't tell me the loss of Kepu/Slipper, Simmons, Dennis and Phipps, would impact australian rugby in the same way the loss of Gill would. The props you could make an argument for since we are pretty weak in the front row, but in the grand scheme of things they aren't great players and wouldn't make the 30 man in any other top 5 rugby nation.

I realise the above is a little off topic, but I just think it is somewhat dumb to risk losing Gill in order to give Phipps or Simmons or Dennis a contract.

You are correct that man for man, those players aren't as talented as Gill, but the reality of the situation is that he is third in line in his position at this stage behind a Wallaby captain who has been one of our best players for several years and another young star who was close to the best player in the Wallabies last year.

I don't for an instant think that a 20 year old who has played 8 tests off the bench is in the position to be demanding a fixed ARU top up.

If you want to boil it down further, he has played 122 minutes of test rugby. That isn't even two full matches.

Many people complain about the sense of entitlement in some of our young players and whilst Gill might not be an avid twitter user with a trendy (read: terrible) haircut, if he actually is expecting a fixed Wallaby contract at this stage he well and truly falls into the same boat.

I am a massive fan of him as a player, but for someone of his age in his situation to be thinking that not getting a fixed contract with the ARU is reason to be looking offshore is patently ridiculous.

If he plays six tests for the Wallabies this year he'll be bumped up from match payments to a guaranteed contract for the current year and will be remunerated very well.
 

No4918

John Hipwell (52)
Whole contracting system leaves plenty to be desired. Only contracting 25 or so players for 2 years at a time is a gamble at best. 2 years ago Beau Robinson was widely considered the number two 7, Davies debuted for the Wobs, & McCalman played every week. None of those guys can get a run-on spot for their Super Rugby sides.

Calling Gill out for having a sense of entitlement or being petulant because he has said he wants a top up is over the top. Of course he is going to say that if a journalist asks. If he didn't people would be crying that he disrespects the gold jersey and doesn't want it enough. Can't win.
 

emuarse

Desmond Connor (43)
If they select Smith for the Wallabies against the Lions at Gill's squad spot's expense then that is a very big punt! I wouldn't hang around after that.

Why does everyone think Smith will play for the Wallabies against the Lions.
I'm sure Smith's Japanese club doesn't, as apparently he's their best player hands down.
So why would they release him, he's playing here during their off season, and goes back in June.
End of story! Just a media beat up along with a Jake White wish.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
Whole contracting system leaves plenty to be desired. Only contracting 25 or so players for 2 years at a time is a gamble at best. 2 years ago Beau Robinson was widely considered the number two 7, Davies debuted for the Wobs, & McCalman played every week. None of those guys can get a run-on spot for their Super Rugby sides.

I personally think that guaranteed Wallaby top-ups should be based on the previous season and last for one year only.

In my opinion, Horwill should have and would have got paid for not playing in 2012 based on 2011 but should have no guaranteed top up for 2013.

Likewise, Pocock should have a guaranteed ARU paycheck for this year based on 2012 but will start 2014 with no guaranteed top up.

That way you're rewarding your key players each year but not committing to spending lots of money on someone who ends up completely out of contention.

I think it would be a good balance between giving people secured incomes and not paying people who are unlikely to make the team for too long.
 

suckerforred

Chilla Wilson (44)
The ARU and rugby community can complain all they like about the circus that goes on every time a star players contract is up for renewal, but the ARU bring the problem on themselves with the way they contract players.

My understanding of the process is that the contracts are tri-party however the franchise & player are expected to come to an agreement before the ARU will become involved. This means that the player & franchise have to take a guess at what the ARU may or may not offer. To means this means that the ARU can manipulate where players play. How many players have we seen either agree to terms with one franchise & then end up playing for another, or agree to terms with a franchise only to have those terms change when the ARU become involved? More than we realise I feel. Yes I know my conspiracy theory is kicking in.

The faingaas are not on top ups, but folau is - which rounds off the 25 players.

How I'd pick my 25 is to pick the best 22 we could put out, deduct those leaving, and then add the 3 next most crucial players. The ARU are obviously taking a punt on the fact that Gill will stick around on less money out of a desire to play for the wallabies. They are then offering the money to the fringe players in order to keep them around. The down side to this is you lose guys who are expected to hang round on the cheap out of pure desire like Timani, Kimlin and Palmer. Whilst not starting wallabies, these blokes still have value to the wallabies and aus rugby.

I like this idea. I also think that ARU contracts should be 1 year & based on form or selection/playing for the wallabies. This way a player can agree to remain with a franchise for 2/3/4 years, however many they like, and then they have to perform to retain their ARU payments. This will then provide encouragement for the younger guys coming through that they can see that if they play well they have just as much chance of getting an ARU contract as the current incumbant. Another idea is to only have the ARU pay match payments and what they pay currently in contracts to to be given back to the franchises via an increase in the salary cap. This way then the players that the franchises need, theoretically the best players, will know what their base salary will be when negotiating with the franchises. International games become the cream.

Yes I am sure there will be finer details that do not work but I am starting to think that anything is better than the current BS that goes on every time someone is off contract. I love Liam to death and in some aspects of his game think that he is better than Hooper, but I can see both sides of the arguement in this incidence.

One thing that I don't want to see is the selection rules changed to suit the current situation re George Smith. Yes, he is a brillant player. Yes, if he met the criteria & was eligible for selection he should be selected. But he knew the rules when he left a few years ago & it is not like we are short on decent opensides. If the ARU wanted to retain him then they should have done something about it then. If he wants to be eligible then he needs to sort out his contracts & play under the same rules as everyone else. The reason that we keep the younger guys in the country a lot of the time is the possibility of playing for the Wallabies if they stay. If they see someone who is currently playing overseas get selected then the precident has been set & there is no incentive for them to stay in Australia. And if you think our conference is weak now.......

On the other hand I don't have an issue if some of them feel that they need/want to go overseas for a season or short term. In some cases they can and will come back better players. But they will not be eligible and that is a factor they need to take into account.

Just my 4 cents.[/quote]
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
My understanding of the process is that the contracts are tri-party however the franchise & player are expected to come to an agreement before the ARU will become involved. This means that the player & franchise have to take a guess at what the ARU may or may not offer. To means this means that the ARU can manipulate where players play. How many players have we seen either agree to terms with one franchise & then end up playing for another, or agree to terms with a franchise only to have those terms change when the ARU become involved? More than we realise I feel. Yes I know my conspiracy theory is kicking in.

I disagree with this.

It distorts the playing field (particularly against the Force and Rebels) if Wallabies can accept lower Super Rugby contracts to all stay at a particular franchise because their income is boosted by their Wallaby contract.

The two should be mutually exclusive. This year, Wallabies are going to miss one Super Rugby game because of Wallaby duties but in most seasons they will be technically available for every game.

If Wallabies are forced to become less reliant on guaranteed top ups, they will have to make more serious choices about who they play for in Super Rugby to ensure they are earning the living their ability entitles them to.

The more that Wallaby top ups are done on merit on a year to year basis, the more players will be force to realise that their Super Rugby contract is their main deal and they need to ensure they are being remunerated fairly. This will help level the playing field between each Super Rugby side.

Having a lot of Wallabies in your side shouldn't make it easier to buy better non-Wallabies because all your Wallabies can accept lower Super Rugby contracts because they're being paid very well by the ARU as well.
 
T

tranquility

Guest
I am assuming what Harris wrote is true. Sure there is no direct quote of him saying that, but I feel pretty confident that Harris didn't just pick a place at random- otherwise he would have just said overseas and chosen his words more carefully. It sounds like he is having a whinge because, as a 21 year old who is 3rd in line for his position, he expects more than what he is being offered. If he didn't expect more, would he be looking at options in Japan? You just get a bit cynical and a bit fed up with both the ARU and with players when the contracting media circus starts. You can blame the ARU all you like but it is the players choice to buy into it and there are plenty of players with the strength of character not to. Maybe it is a rough call. I guess we will have to wait and see what happens next.

You feel confident that Harris, a journalist, wrote something that is based purely on fact despite their being no quote or insinuation from Gill that he is unhappy?
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
You feel confident that Harris, a journalist, wrote something that is based purely on fact despite their being no quote or insinuation from Gill that he is unhappy?

What could possibly make someone think that something printed in The Australian was a complete falsification?

Sorry in advance if the sarcasm dripping from this post gets on anyone.
 

suckerforred

Chilla Wilson (44)
I disagree with this.

It distorts the playing field (particularly against the Force and Rebels) if Wallabies can accept lower Super Rugby contracts to all stay at a particular franchise because their income is boosted by their Wallaby contract.

The two should be mutually exclusive. This year, Wallabies are going to miss one Super Rugby game because of Wallaby duties but in most seasons they will be technically available for every game.

If Wallabies are forced to become less reliant on guaranteed top ups, they will have to make more serious choices about who they play for in Super Rugby to ensure they are earning the living their ability entitles them to.

The more that Wallaby top ups are done on merit on a year to year basis, the more players will be force to realise that their Super Rugby contract is their main deal and they need to ensure they are being remunerated fairly. This will help level the playing field between each Super Rugby side.

Having a lot of Wallabies in your side shouldn't make it easier to buy better non-Wallabies because all your Wallabies can accept lower Super Rugby contracts because they're being paid very well by the ARU as well.

Yes but it also means that the ARU can then offer less if a Wallaby is staying at/ going to a particular franchise and therefore force the player to look else where if the top-up figure was not what was expected.

I agree that they should be mutually exclusive. (See the second part of my post). With the proviso that you must have A franchise contract to get an ARU contract, so that they do not end up in the situation where there are players contracted to the ARU but not to a Super Rugby franchise.
 

Hell West & Crooked

Alex Ross (28)
On Rod's one test cap, lets not forget also how that came to be. He was named on the wing, at late notice in the Aus side to take on Samoa.

The player originally named to play on the wing was James O'Connor. When the Samoa team was named and it was revealed that JOC (James O'Connor) would be marking Alesana Tuilagi, JOC (James O'Connor) pulled out of the game with 'muscle soreness'. Rocket was thrown in to the suicide mission that it was and was comprehensively dealt with by Tuilagi and then tossed onto the Wallabies scrap heap. Not even two days later JOC (James O'Connor) declared himself fit for selection for the first Bled I think it was. This from a guy who is well known for managing his "brand"; Rocket was only ever cannon fodder.

You are probably 100 per cent right... It's consistent with my recollection of that time - But I would accept a Test Jersey under those circumstances without one second of Shame, if it were offered... (and I would gladly have moved from Lock to the Wing in order to get it)! I do get your point though - and he has probably never been in the first-team contention, but I like the player, and see some potential.... Personally, I was delighted to see him given his chance - 2014 will likely be a make or break Year for him...

(By the way, if you tallied up the number of games where Eddie Jones put players on in the last few minutes of a Test in order to boost their tally, there would be a few Players lucky to have ALOT of their caps... Personally, I think that if you are not in the starting XV, or else, not on the field for at least 30 or 40 minutes (take your pick) it should not even count as a Cap.
 

USARugger

John Thornett (49)
If Wallabies are forced to become less reliant on guaranteed top ups, they will have to make more serious choices about who they play for in Super Rugby to ensure they are earning the living their ability entitles them to.

While I actually do agree with you that the entire system of guaranteed top ups needs a good looking at I do want to play a little devil's advocate here. We do have to remember that in this day and age Super Rugby isn't the only domestic market trying to snatch up these players. I do believe the ARU top ups play a big role in retaining talent here at a minimal cost to the ARU. The fact is, Super Rugby literally can't compete salary-wise with Japan or France right now. In France especially the opportunity to be exposed to that market and the possibility of European sponsorship deals that could come with it is something we cannot touch. These are also professional athletes we're talking about now. This is their job, and they know their career is going to be 10-15 years long at a maximum so they are absolutely entitled to cash in on this while they can, so we do need to be conscious of this fact when installing or considering new match payment systems. It's unsavory, but it is reality. For the record, I don't believe a player going overseas to make money is an accurate indication of their level of nationalism or national pride. Sometimes it is just a practical financial decision to make. Dan Carter doesn't love New Zealand any less because of his time spent in France.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
USARugger - good post. I agree with what you've said.

The main point I was making where the ARU top ups distort the system is for the very top players who are certain of an ARU top up and have the most bargaining power. Should it be the case that someone like Will Genia can get the highest amount of ARU top up money (well in excess of most other players) and then say to the Reds that he'll stay on a modest Super Rugby contract (modest by the standard of him being one of the best players in the country)?

This is why I think all ARU top ups should be based on the amount of games players played for the Wallabies in the previous year and would thus be a lot flatter across the board. The fringe Wallabies who play a bunch of tests but aren't in our top 25 would still be rewarded well rather than the bulk of the money ending up with a handful of players.

I think the current contract system is too top heavy and our best few players reap most of the spoils. These are the guys that should take a modest pay cut so players 20-30 can make a bit more money. I think they are the ones at most risk of going overseas.

If one of the key Wallabies who is earning between $600k - $1m per year is considering going overseas for more money then I don't think that is an arms race that the ARU is in a position to win.
 

Jets

Paul McLean (56)
Staff member
The other thing that should also be introduced is a base salary for guys at the bottom end. If a guy is in a Super squad he should be guaranteed a certain amount, say $60K. Same with the EPS, say around $30K. These guys are required to train full time and should be compensated as they are unable to find jobs in most cases.
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
The other thing that should also be introduced is a base salary for guys at the bottom end. If a guy is in a Super squad he should be guaranteed a certain amount, say $60K. Same with the EPS, say around $30K. These guys are required to train full time and should be compensated as they are unable to find jobs in most cases.

I believe there are already base salaries and they are higher than this. I think the EPS was originally $25k but was raised this year from memory because they are basically just an extension of the main squad. Their training requirements are identical.
 

expert123

Stan Wickham (3)
What about starting lineups for the Reds in 2014?
I've been impressed by a few players this year coming of the bench.

1. James Slipper
2. James Hanson - Reds need to start him. Saia is a great player but James has been playing far better and I can see James being in the Wallabies in the near future.
3. Albert Anae - Good ball runner and also fairly young. Holmes is getting older and I think Albert has played very well compared to the lack of game time he gets.
4. Rob Simmons
5. James Horwill
6. Eddie Quirke
7. Liam Gill
8. Jake Schatz
9. Will Genia
10. Quade Cooper - Last few games he has been great.
11. Digby Ioane
12. Ben Tapuia
13. Chris Sautia - Honestly think if Reds played him every game this year he'd start for Wallabies. Anthony Fainga'a has no attacking game, just defense. Where as Chris has defense and attack. I've seen at least 3 times this year when Chris has saved a try by either making a good tackle or by smashing the guy and the guy has knocked it on. Chris also is such a good attacking threat, get him to run onto the ball full speed and I guarantee you'll see a few tries.
14. Dom Shipperly
15. Luke Morahan - If Quade keeps his good goal kicking up then there is no need for Mike.

Overall Reds have to get rid of their precious Fainga'a twins. Who cares if the fans love them. Don't get me wrong, their good players just Hanson and Sautia in my own opinion are better. Love Holmes just think Albert deserves it more, but I can't really say that because I have no information to support it so if I was Reds I'd start him in a few games.
 

tigerland12

John Thornett (49)
I'd be taking Ant Fainga'a at 13 over F'Sautia any day.

Some people seem blind to how much Ant actually offers to the team as a whole. He organizes all the defense and keeps the structures in place. Not to mention he defends like a 7 on acid. His ball running has been pretty good this year I've thought. You don't need him to do anything more then be a powerful crash ball runner when you have Tapuai, Ioane and Shipperely as the key attacking threats.
 

expert123

Stan Wickham (3)
You'd swap Anae and Slipper. Also a bit harsh on the Twins and I think Lance has been a great foil to Quade at 15. Pretty sure Mozz will be gone.
Wait what? Are you implying that I swapped Anae for Slipper or are you implying that it should be Anae swapped for Slipper instead of Holmes.
 
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