The question that needs asking, however, is whether rugby's strength in the private system has taken away what impetus there otherwise would have been to expand the game to a wider base and hence stunted its overall expansion here.
there certainly needs to be a move away from the reliance on schools. But only if the opportunity presents itself, no point taking the war to the schools early.
The big rugby schools of the two main rugby states have been attracting good young players through scholarships more and more each decade. You can't fault families for allowing their boys go to schools where, odds are, they will get a better education.
But let's not talk about that aspect in this thread as there is one in Grassroots that has already discussed most of the points - and often with some heat:
Such a topic has virtually destroyed some forums but by containing the virus in one thread ward, and not countenancing it in others, seems to be working.
But I digress. This scholarship practice is not going to go away whatever we write on this forum and whatever any rugby union organisation does. The challenges are to grow the sport in state schools and in junior village rugby, and if some lads are consequently taken into GPS etc schools, so be it.
But private schools are not for all lads. Some want to stay with their mates and/or are never going to be interested in academic achievement. For example, I have know a few lads over the years who were friends of my sons and various nephews at Joeys and, even dislike of boarding aside, wished they could have stayed in their local high school.We have to cater for these kids in a rugby way.
Talking of NSW now: there was a recent initiative by NSW rugby with Hills Sports High School (unfortunately I didn't bookmark the link) which appeared to be a good step as it seemed to be interested in setting up a district outpost at a school that is a powerhouse in CHS rugby, though also has league teams. Several such outposts dotted around Sydney in sports high schools and places like Prairiewood would be a tremendous initiative, at least in theory, and more importantly, something different.