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Under-20 Competitions including Oceania & World U20s

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New to the platform. (So might repeat a lot that has been said)

Saddened about what I witnessed on Sunday. Was actually relieved when some pulled the STAN plug as it was embarrassing to say the least.

I think it is time that we start calling a spade a spade.

We where nowhere. We were outplayed, out coached, out classed, out everything!

Can not believe that this is the best Australia has to offer. What further amaze me is that most of these boys are contracted players, so they are getting paid to play the game. It is their full time job. They are training in a professional environment week in and week out and this is what they have to offer? Then to put the cherrie on the top, according to a post above, Thomas and Grealy, after dismal performances, gets rewarded with a call up to join Australia A. We are sending the wrong message by rewarding poor performance in any way or form. If I was a player that was called up after a under 20’s comp I would think I must have done a great job, no wonder the players are starting to develop attitudes and get delusional with regards to their abilities and where they fit in. Do you want to tell me there is no one in club land that deserves a call up? (9’s Cooper-Jones/Wests, Christian/Brothers, Pilz/East, Jeans/Bond, McNamara/Sunny Bank, Albert/East Sydney. 15’s Oats/UQ, Whiteside/Wests, Samuela/Bond….) I will back any of them to play all over the two that got the call up.

We need to accept the fact that not all school boy 1st XV stars, regardless of how much their coaches, dads and uncles rates them and how good their highlight reels are, will become tomorrows super stars or even be able to handle themselves at the next level up. We also need to accept the fact that your surname is not a guarantee of your future success and stop signing 17 year olds from highlight reels. That only creates and enable the next generation of delusional, over rated, incompetent PAID players. No matter how good your highlight reel and how good a school boy player your were, if you have not earned your colours in Club land for at least a couple of years contracts should not even be an consideration.

The whole system needs a revamp or Australia will never play World Cup Semi Finals again, let a lone lift the Webb Ellis Cup ever again.

Time to wake up Rugby Australia!
after speaking with a few of the lads in the camps and oceania program I am certain they were glad it was over. Not a happy place in the Nathan Grey operation apparently.
 

The Ghost of Raelene

Trevor Allan (34)
We need to accept the fact that not all school boy 1st XV stars, regardless of how much their coaches, dads and uncles rates them and how good their highlight reels are, will become tomorrows super stars or even be able to handle themselves at the next level up. We also need to accept the fact that your surname is not a guarantee of your future success and stop signing 17 year olds from highlight reels. That only creates and enable the next generation of delusional, over rated, incompetent PAID players. No matter how good your highlight reel and how good a school boy player your were, if you have not earned your colours in Club land for at least a couple of years contracts should not even be an consideration.

The whole system needs a revamp or Australia will never play World Cup Semi Finals again, let a lone lift the Webb Ellis Cup ever again.

Time to wake up Rugby Australia!

Good write up.

I don't think it's all doom and gloom with recent performances of Pathways teams having been very good over the last 5 years. This thread is talking about the current cohort which may be a weaker one leading to younger players being out there who shouldn't be yet.

I do think the 'Pathways' have become so convoluted now in the interest of committees and plans that the young player suffers. I don't know if you follow the School Boy stuff but if you are in the NSW Schools 1st XV you are somehow in the 3rd best XV for the state because of Gen Blue and the need to include U18s in Club footy (which I support) but it has just added another layer to the pile.

Rugby players need to play to get better at their job. This is the same for any profession. I'm sick of seeing 20 young men sitting in team polos at super rugby games who aren't playing and didn't play Club or in a Super rugby A/U20s comp that day. The League did a smart thing with the Toyota and Holden Cup as bad a standard as it was. They got them in all the same team gear which seems to be half the initial battle then had them play. A lot of Boys would rather have the Eels backpack than a Warringha one.

Rae Rae
 

Eyes and Ears

Dick Tooth (41)
Is it actually the case that these players haven't played much this year? Does it differ by contract type? Wilson and Bowen seemed to have played pretty regularly at Easts so far this year.
 

The Ghost of Raelene

Trevor Allan (34)
Is it actually the case that these players haven't played much this year? Does it differ by contract type? Wilson and Bowen seemed to have played pretty regularly at Easts so far this year.
They have been consistently playing first grade for Easts which is fantastic.

I think it has been a noted thing over many years that a lot of players who go from School to Academy barely play a game. Through no fault of their own at times. I think there is a disconnect between Super Rugby franchises and Clubs that needs to change. I hope with coaches like Coleman and Cron in charge of super rugby teams this may change with their long ties to Club Rugby.

Rae Rae
 

The Nomad

Dick Tooth (41)
Is it actually the case that these players haven't played much this year? Does it differ by contract type? Wilson and Bowen seemed to have played pretty regularly at Easts so far this year.
Grealy and Thomas have hardly had any footy this year , same for Ripley. The QPR started late this year, round 1 was after the Easter long weekend. Since the start of QPR the Reds have had issues with injuries and a lot of squad players were held back from playing club footy as injury cover.

Having watched a lot of Grealy , Thomas and to a lesser extent Ripley playing for UQ over the past two seasons , I’ll say both Grealy and Thomas were in better form last year when they were getting plenty of game time in QPR, in fact Grealy was probably better again in 2020.

They look shy of a run and are shy of a run , don’t think any amount of training will make up for game time.
 

Confucius Say

Jim Clark (26)
If you were to pick that under 20 squad again you would ignore who has been in an academy because they are just a place of training, ignore who has a developmental contract with a super rugby franchise because they are just a place of aspiration, ignore the performance of schoolboy rugby because they are just a place of memory, ignore the name hype because it is just that - hype, ignore the reputation because it can be lost in one game, ignore the talent scout and agent because they have conflict of interest, and ignore the club coach because they have vested interest.

Go back to basic selection criteria

1. If you cannot tackle, you don’t get in. There are two side to our game and saving try is as important as scoring.

2. If you cannot clean out, you don’t get in. This is a basic skill that you should have by the age of 15.

The place to pass these 2 test is in a game. Not on tackling bag and not on your academy mate. Watching how many in the Australia A team cannot pass these basic test is embarrassing, let alone the Junior W.

3. If you are not a team player, this is not the team for you. We can assess from your body language and what you say to team mate under pressure in a game, not from the positivity in a 3 day training camp. Go and lose the ego.

4. If you are a leader, this will be natural for all to see. It won’t be a vote of peer and coach, because there won’t be a question. Leadership is inherent in some and forced into other. But show us in a game. The leader will unite and ignite.

5. Basic match fitness. If you haven’t played 8-10 rugby game in the last 12 week, you are either injured, mothballed, neglected, disinterested or the system has failed. Your 30 x training session don’t count - see 1 and 2.

6. Finally, in a game where scoring more point than the opposition is the primary goal, you need possession to do that. Therefore, showing no faith in your 14 team mate ability to get you out of trouble by kicking the ball straight back to the opponent when under pressure is a black mark. You have just disconnected and turned attack into defence. And from what I saw in the JW and Australia A game, that (ie: defence) is a weakness!
 
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If you were to pick that under 20 squad again you would ignore who has been in an academy because they are just a place of training, ignore who has a developmental contract with a super rugby franchise because they are just a place of aspiration, ignore the performance of schoolboy rugby because they are just a place of memory, ignore the name hype because it is just that - hype, ignore the reputation because it can be lost in one game, ignore the talent scout and agent because they have conflict of interest, and ignore the club coach because they have vested interest.

Go back to basic selection criteria

1. If you cannot tackle, you don’t get in. There are two side to our game and saving try is as important as scoring.

2. If you cannot clean out, you don’t get in. This is a basic skill that you should have by the age of 15.

The place to pass these 2 test is in a game. Not on tackling bag and not on your academy mate. Watching how many in the Australia A team cannot pass these basic test is embarrassing, let alone the Junior W.

3. If you are not a team player, this is not the team for you. We can assess from your body language and what you say to team mate under pressure in a game, not from the positivity in a 3 day training camp. Go and lose the ego.

4. If you are a leader, this will be natural for all to see. It won’t be a vote of peer and coach, because there won’t be a question. Leadership is inherent in some and forced into other. But show us in a game. The leader will unite and ignite.

5. Basic match fitness. If you haven’t played 8-10 rugby game in the last 12 week, you are either injured, mothballed, neglected, disinterested or the system has failed. Your 30 x training session don’t count - see 1 and 2.

6. Finally, in a game where scoring more point than the opposition is the primary goal, you need possession to do that. Therefore, showing no faith in your 14 team mate ability to get you out of trouble by kicking the ball straight back to the opponent when under pressure is a black mark. You have just disconnected and turned attack into defence. And from what I saw in the JW and Australia A game, that (ie: defence) is a weakness!

Reckon the Junior All Black camp must have written this and you stole it from them. (So glad you did)

Your first paragraph is why I have always advocated for a U20 Super rugby program (either a home/away competition or a carnival). Would give the selectors an opportunity to compare apples to apples in a game situation
 

Sir Charles

Allen Oxlade (6)
Grealy and Thomas have hardly had any footy this year , same for Ripley. The QPR started late this year, round 1 was after the Easter long weekend. Since the start of QPR the Reds have had issues with injuries and a lot of squad players were held back from playing club footy as injury cover.

Having watched a lot of Grealy , Thomas and to a lesser extent Ripley playing for UQ over the past two seasons , I’ll say both Grealy and Thomas were in better form last year when they were getting plenty of game time in QPR, in fact Grealy was probably better again in 2020.

They look shy of a run and are shy of a run , don’t think any amount of training will make up for game time.

Thomas played terribly in QPR last year, played well in the last two games but that was it....have to agree about Grealy he has looked under par since the break out 2020 season....Ripley on the other hand, he is playing his best footy at the moment. Had a shakey Super Debut but finished on a high. He was their best chance of scoring tries against NZ but they had no ball and when they finally got it, Thomas and Gordon kicked it.

Thank you to the Stan sport Gods for turning the game off lol.
 

liquor box

John Thornett (49)
If you were to pick that under 20 squad again you would ignore who has been in an academy because they are just a place of training, ignore who has a developmental contract with a super rugby franchise because they are just a place of aspiration, ignore the performance of schoolboy rugby because they are just a place of memory, ignore the name hype because it is just that - hype, ignore the reputation because it can be lost in one game, ignore the talent scout and agent because they have conflict of interest, and ignore the club coach because they have vested interest.

Go back to basic selection criteria

1. If you cannot tackle, you don’t get in. There are two side to our game and saving try is as important as scoring.

2. If you cannot clean out, you don’t get in. This is a basic skill that you should have by the age of 15.

The place to pass these 2 test is in a game. Not on tackling bag and not on your academy mate. Watching how many in the Australia A team cannot pass these basic test is embarrassing, let alone the Junior W.

3. If you are not a team player, this is not the team for you. We can assess from your body language and what you say to team mate under pressure in a game, not from the positivity in a 3 day training camp. Go and lose the ego.

4. If you are a leader, this will be natural for all to see. It won’t be a vote of peer and coach, because there won’t be a question. Leadership is inherent in some and forced into other. But show us in a game. The leader will unite and ignite.

5. Basic match fitness. If you haven’t played 8-10 rugby game in the last 12 week, you are either injured, mothballed, neglected, disinterested or the system has failed. Your 30 x training session don’t count - see 1 and 2.

6. Finally, in a game where scoring more point than the opposition is the primary goal, you need possession to do that. Therefore, showing no faith in your 14 team mate ability to get you out of trouble by kicking the ball straight back to the opponent when under pressure is a black mark. You have just disconnected and turned attack into defence. And from what I saw in the JW and Australia A game, that (ie: defence) is a weakness!
I would add being able to pass both ways competently as a pre requisite to represent your country.

If you want to play 9,10,11,14 or 15 then you also need to be able to kick accurately and long distance.
 

Confucius Say

Jim Clark (26)
Yes both very good basic skill addition. And again need to be demonstrated in game condition not at training. Practise at training. Demonstrate in game.
 
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The Nomad

Dick Tooth (41)
I would add being able to pass both ways competently as a pre requisite to represent your country.

If you want to play 9,10,11,14 or 15 then you also need to be able to kick accurately and long distance.
Using those criteria you would unfortunately struggle to fill a Wallabies’ backline, but I agree with the intent. We struggle to find even a 10 that can kick long…..
 

liquor box

John Thornett (49)
Using those criteria you would unfortunately struggle to fill a Wallabies’ backline, but I agree with the intent. We struggle to find even a 10 that can kick long…..
That has been my biggest gripe for many years, I think Australians are happy to overlook deficiencies if every now and again the player does something exciting or scores plenty of tries (and ignoring their defence liabilities).

I like to call these players "x factor" players.
 

qwerty51

Nathan Sharpe (72)
I feel like everyone's getting carried away here. 3 years ago we were a point away from having the best u20s side in the world. Then covid happened and we were affected the most with zero matches.

I think everyone's points regarding pathways, talent ID, development etc. are valid but could it not just be this was just a very bad cohort of players, it happens. The absence of an NRC I'd say it's probably the biggest blame here. Also didn't we lose our captain just before the first match? I imagine whilst being an actual physical loss (and I assume he was our best player), that really hurt the boys psychologically.

But yes Nathan Grey might just be a worse coach than Nucifora.
 

The Nomad

Dick Tooth (41)
I feel like everyone's getting carried away here. 3 years ago we were a point away from having the best u20s side in the world. Then covid happened and we were affected the most with zero matches.

I think everyone's points regarding pathways, talent ID, development etc. are valid but could it not just be this was just a very bad cohort of players, it happens. The absence of an NRC I'd say it's probably the biggest blame here. Also didn't we lose our captain just before the first match? I imagine whilst being an actual physical loss (and I assume he was our best player), that really hurt the boys psychologically.

But yes Nathan Grey might just be a worse coach than Nucifora.
Don’t think NZ had many games during Covid , if anything their lockdowns were harsher than ours.

In 2019 the Junior Wallabies won the Oceania U20’s comp and but for some inaccurate goal kicking in the final should have won the U20’s RWC. Also that year our U18’s beat the NZ U18’s for the first time in about 10 years in NZ. Gilmore was the HC of the U20’s and Hewitt the HC of the U18’s with Gilmore as AC.

No doubt our pathways were better placed then. Scott Johnson made a big deal about getting Academies and pathways aligned and even flew over to Hamilton from the RWC in Japan to watch the U18’s play. It seemed to be a new dawn on how development would happen into the future and of course a copy of what was already going on in Europe and NZ, academies feeding into National teams under the control and funding of the National Governing body.

So take out of it what you will. It’s either a poor age group , a poor reflection on Rugby Australia and the pathways or a poor reflection on the HC. Possibly a case of “ all of the above “ ?

Regardless, we’ve gone from being in what appeared to be a very good place regarding development in 2019 to a depressing situation come 2022. Every nation has had its battles with Covid, it shouldn’t be a convenient excuse for poor results.
 

Adam84

Simon Poidevin (60)
Don’t think NZ had many games during Covid , if anything their lockdowns were harsher than ours.

no, they weren’t.

And it’s not just the lockdowns it was the ongoing interstate-border restrictions which have impacted national programs.
 

Adam84

Simon Poidevin (60)
Every nation has had its battles with Covid, it shouldn’t be a convenient excuse for poor results.

i think people need to accept the game is broke.. You can say every country had its battle with Covid, but very few came as close to bankruptcy as Australia did, there aren’t many who are in such a poor position financially as Australia is either.

That’s not an excuse, nor am I happy with the performance. But shit what do people really expect to happen, most of these good ideas for improving results cost money.

This isn’t unique to U20s, the same results are going to occur for the womens national team at the World Cup as well sadly. They’re amateurs playing against professionals. And as I’ve banged on about in other threads, it’s an early indicator for future of super rugby results if the funding inequality remains as is.
 
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i think people need to accept the game is broke.. You can say every country had its battle with Covid, but very few came as close to bankruptcy as Australia did, there aren’t many who are in such a poor position financially as Australia is either.

That’s not an excuse, nor am I happy with the performance. But shit what do people really expect to happen, most of these good ideas for improving results cost money.

This isn’t unique to U20s, the same results are going to occur for the womens national team at the World Cup as well sadly. They’re amateurs playing against professionals. And as I’ve banged on about in other threads, it’s an early indicator for future of super rugby results if the funding inequality remains as is.
If you want cash then you have to have a product to sell.

Chicken and egg a bit I know but until there is a change in business attitude at Rugby Australia we will continue getting the same old shite.

We will flog the wallabies like a dead horse and fail to expand the player base nothing is surer.
 
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Don’t think NZ had many games during Covid , if anything their lockdowns were harsher than ours.

In 2019 the Junior Wallabies won the Oceania U20’s comp and but for some inaccurate goal kicking in the final should have won the U20’s RWC. Also that year our U18’s beat the NZ U18’s for the first time in about 10 years in NZ. Gilmore was the HC of the U20’s and Hewitt the HC of the U18’s with Gilmore as AC.

No doubt our pathways were better placed then. Scott Johnson made a big deal about getting Academies and pathways aligned and even flew over to Hamilton from the RWC in Japan to watch the U18’s play. It seemed to be a new dawn on how development would happen into the future and of course a copy of what was already going on in Europe and NZ, academies feeding into National teams under the control and funding of the National Governing body.

So take out of it what you will. It’s either a poor age group , a poor reflection on Rugby Australia and the pathways or a poor reflection on the HC. Possibly a case of “ all of the above “ ?

Regardless, we’ve gone from being in what appeared to be a very good place regarding development in 2019 to a depressing situation come 2022. Every nation has had its battles with Covid, it shouldn’t be a convenient excuse for poor results.
It is definitely not a poor cohort.
I have said this elsewhere but to be clear the Junior wallaby selectors focussed on 18/19 year olds with a view to next year which means some very talented 19/20 year old were cast aside.

the current 20 year old cohort from QLD as an age group since Under 14/15 have flogged NSW yearly through Junior Gold Cup, U16 Pathways and U18 carnivals yet NSW academy dominated the numbers in the Junior Wallabies camps?
 

Wallaby Man

Alfred Walker (16)
i think people need to accept the game is broke.. You can say every country had its battle with Covid, but very few came as close to bankruptcy as Australia did, there aren’t many who are in such a poor position financially as Australia is either.

That’s not an excuse, nor am I happy with the performance. But shit what do people really expect to happen, most of these good ideas for improving results cost money.

This isn’t unique to U20s, the same results are going to occur for the womens national team at the World Cup as well sadly. They’re amateurs playing against professionals. And as I’ve banged on about in other threads, it’s an early indicator for future of super rugby results if the funding inequality remains as is.
100%

I have read many mentioning these guys need to be playing club footy etc. the sad truth is our crop is playing more club footy than the NZ group.

The NZ group has spent the majority of their seasons in NPC junior age grade teams, into Super Rugby academy sides, then played a Super Rugby u20s comp and also played a lead up match against Argentina. The real good ones are already in NPC and Super Rugby senior squads. We have some at this level as well.

They are just in a more professional set up, primarily because the union can afford it. Our players are forever playing catch up once they transition from amateur/semi pro to pro, add to that we aren’t generally getting the pick of athletic talent in the country.
 

Adam84

Simon Poidevin (60)
If you want cash then you have to have a product to sell.

Chicken and egg a bit I know but until there is a change in business attitude at Rugby Australia we will continue getting the same old shite.

We will flog the wallabies like a dead horse and fail to expand the player base nothing is surer.
The issues are clear, the solution not so much
 
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