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Where to for Super Rugby?

ACT Crusader

Jim Lenehan (48)
I would love to see both a Sydney and Brisbane side in WSR. Those matches played at home when Tahs and Reds away.

Making a regular rugby product each week (or at least most weeks) in the 2 big markets. Align that with Regular TV slot. Interest in rugby may start to return.



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Do you think the fans will actually come out? What would be their affiliation with these teams. There might be a novelty/interest factor to start out but what will sustain it? Are they feeder teams to the Tahs and Reds? If so their purpose will be very different to the other sides in WSR. That’s not a sustainable model for a comp in my humble opinion.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
Do you think the fans will actually come out? What would be their affiliation with these teams. There might be a novelty/interest factor to start out but what will sustain it? Are they feeder teams to the Tahs and Reds? If so their purpose will be very different to the other sides in WSR. That’s not a sustainable model for a comp in my humble opinion.


Yeah, I'm not sold on a second team in each Sydney and Brisbane running in a different competition sharing it fan base with another on a week by week basis. From a Sydney perspective say if it were a Western Sydney based team may be if it had its own distinct fan base but not one that see's fan alternate week by week depending on who's currently in town.

I've suggested this before but if WSR wants more Australian teams then perhaps looking at moving the likes of the Rebels across and then perhaps looking to launch a team in say Adelaide to bring the number teams to 3 each in both SR and WSR. Both could then play their respective seasons then after that they can then play a Super 6 to determine which Australian team(s) are the best (and by proxy the respective competition).
 

joeyjohnz

Sydney Middleton (9)
Considering the amount of disillusioned and dormant rugby supporters in both NSW & QLD, I'd be surprised if there isn't a massive protest vote against Super Rugby/ARU which translates to bums on seats for WSR.

Hell, all the 2nd QLD team has to do is sign up Hunt & QC and they're almost guaranteed a crowd better than the Reds.
 

The Honey Badger

Jim Lenehan (48)
Yeah, I'm not sold on a second team in each Sydney and Brisbane running in a different competition sharing it fan base with another on a week by week basis. From a Sydney perspective say if it were a Western Sydney based team may be if it had its own distinct fan base but not one that see's fan alternate week by week depending on who's currently in town.

I've suggested this before but if WSR wants more Australian teams then perhaps looking at moving the likes of the Rebels across and then perhaps looking to launch a team in say Adelaide to bring the number teams to 3 each in both SR and WSR.

That works on paper, and seems logical enough. But in reality, I don't think it would work.

Pitting the 3 strongest provinces against the 3 smallest /weakest. Can't see Adelaide anything other than a basket case.

Surely Sydney with a population of 5 mill + could support an additional team.


The SRU could run this team as a representative team of the Shute Shield. It would be semi professional with minimal player payments.

The team would be very competitive and cost little to run. I would suggest playing at Concord. Start with that model and see how it grows. Rinse and repeat for Brisvegus playing at Ballymore.

Got to build anything new around the heartland.

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Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
Good post RN.



I think the administrators struggling as well. Perhaps this is why RA dragged their feet so much in relation to the WSR comp.



They loose the Force from a post 2020 comp and maybe they had thoughts of a new comp minus SA had room for the Force.



To me, the 2 comps have to work together, and if they do would be a really positive thing for Rugby in AUS.



I would love to see both a Sydney and Brisbane side in WSR. Those matches played at home when Tahs and Reds away.



Making a regular rugby product each week (or at least most weeks) in the 2 big markets. Align that with Regular TV slot. Interest in rugby may start to return.







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I still hope there is ongoing dialogue between RA and Twiggy's team. For me positive that Cheika bringing over some Force players to the probable vs possibles trial match this Friday as baby steps but first steps to recognising and aligning Force and WSR and bringing them back into the fold for consideration for Wallabies selection (where there form warrants such selection).

I would like to see both Force/WSR and RA equally commit to - and invest in NRC as equally key pathway for both below their professional sides.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
Considering the amount of disillusioned and dormant rugby supporters in both NSW & QLD, I'd be surprised if there isn't a massive protest vote against Super Rugby/ARU which translates to bums on seats for WSR.
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I would be. There might be a spike for game one with a lot of new curious fans, but there is so much more to the current situation than 'the fans are angry at RA/Super Rugby'.

Rugby fans won't show up to a game without meaning, or tradition or any sort of community link.

There has been healthy crowds for the Shute Shield final for exactly that reason, people feel a connection with the history and tradition of the comp, and want to support their local club.

The fanfare of WSR might help in the early days, but once that fades away you end up with an artificial team playing in an artificial competition for a trophy that doesn't have any real meaning. It's an uphill battle to keep people interested.

Im pro-WSR FWIW, and it's succeeded in the West so far because the Force are the main event - a team with that history and link to the community. New teams in NSW/QLD would lose that advantage, and it would be a really hard thing to build artificially.
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Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
I don't know if you've nailed the problem or are just miles off track Barbarian. Your description of teams with no tradition failing to generate a following would seem to be off given the history of the Brumbies in SR (and for that matter, the Force in Super Rugby as well). They had fantastic crowds in their very early days despite having no history or tradition at all. But then the diminishing crowds in recent years in SR might indeed be an indication of an artificial competition failing to keep the crowds interested.
 

Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
I don't know if you've nailed the problem or are just miles off track Barbarian. Your description of teams with no tradition failing to generate a following would seem to be off given the history of the Brumbies in SR (and for that matter, the Force in Super Rugby as well). They had fantastic crowds in their very early days despite having no history or tradition at all. But then the diminishing crowds in recent years in SR might indeed be an indication of an artificial competition failing to keep the crowds interested.


The competition was new and provided a chance to watch professional rugby that hadn't existed before. It was also a time when rugby was far more in the zeitgeist due to the success of the Wallabies.

Expecting Sydney and Brisbane people to sign up out to support a new team largely out of spite doesn't seem like a good business plan.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
I don't know if you've nailed the problem or are just miles off track Barbarian.


60% of the time I get it right EVERY time.

But really it's what BH said. I don't think you are comparing apples with apples. Brumbies and Force were new teams in areas that previously had nothing. Putting new teams in Sydney and Brisbane (already saturated) is a huge risk and I'm not sure it would work.
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Brumby Runner

Tim Horan (67)
60% of the time I get it right EVERY time.

But really it's what BH said. I don't think you are comparing apples with apples. Brumbies and Force were new teams in areas that previously had nothing. Putting new teams in Sydney and Brisbane (already saturated) is a huge risk and I'm not sure it would work.
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All true, but I do wonder if a team located in Western Sydney might not be successful in a competition involving Pacific nations teams as well. There must be a potential supporter base out west (in Sydney) which will get into an Asia/Pacific competition with WSR backing and importantly marketing. By all reports, they seem to feel disenfranchised at the moment, and in a region of a couple of million residents surely there would be a following worth developing. Remember too, that WSR is wanting to enhance all of its teams with returning Wallabies, so wouldn't necessarily be just a selection from the Shute Shield.
 

joeyjohnz

Sydney Middleton (9)
It wasn't long ago that many a poster here were advocating the formation of a Western Sydney based pacific Islander team for Super Rugby.

Surely having a team in a competition full of pacific islanders is a sure fire way to get bums on seats.

It may even have the unintended consequence of getting more players playing Union in Western Sydney.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
60% of the time I get it right EVERY time.

But really it's what BH said. I don't think you are comparing apples with apples. Brumbies and Force were new teams in areas that previously had nothing. Putting new teams in Sydney and Brisbane (already saturated) is a huge risk and I'm not sure it would work.
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I agree. Which is why if the WSR team wants more Australian teams then a moving the Rebels across and permitting them to start up another team in somewhere like Adelaide (without RA financial support) and then have a post season Cup competition between tall the Australian teams (leading into Test selection) under the caveat that it can only feature local talent and a mix of imported and Australian players recruited from abroad as the stated purpose of WSR when announced.

I think having the Cup competition after both competitions would be attractive for all concerned. It would provide the team with more games to generate revenue particularly if SR goes to a straight round with 14 teams the schedule could be set so that teams that only get 6 homes games could have 3 and those with 7 get 2 for a total of 9 home games a season. We also get more derbies.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
It wasn't long ago that many a poster here were advocating the formation of a Western Sydney based pacific Islander team for Super Rugby.

Surely having a team in a competition full of pacific islanders is a sure fire way to get bums on seats.

It may even have the unintended consequence of getting more players playing Union in Western Sydney.


And I actually think that would still work in either competition but not because it would necessarily hold mass appeal (not saying it wouldn't) but because it would be highly targeted toward a select demographic with significant populations in the region.
 

dru

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
barbarian and Braveheart81

I have to say thanks. You both have this ability to galvanize a response from me, things that truly help pull together my thoughts. You know those discussions when you are talking with a logical thinker, you both agree on the facts, and somehow walk away with one going "white" and the other "black".

It's perplexing. One thing for sure, we can't both be right.

there is so much more to the current situation than 'the fans are angry at RA/Super Rugby'.


Yes true, obviously true, but the comment skews the discussion. We really do, I think, underestimate the level of distrust and annoyance in RA and Super. Any alternate is going to have a bounce. And before we start talking about "dead cat bounce" surely RA and Super need to answer the questions themselves. Dwindling fan support, dwindling enthusiasm in the media, dead crowds, diving broadcast ratings, constantly commercially failing RUs, intentionally reduced professional opportunity.

The question should be whether the RA can manage any kind of bounce - dead cat or other. Hell just a flattening of the trend would be useful. We can only dream of "bounce".

Rugby fans won't show up to a game without meaning, or tradition or any sort of community link.

Again, before we throw darts at an alternative, what is RA doing here? NRC? (Intended) Removal of the WA rugby community? Honest question here, after the real fail between Pulver and SRU, Castle has been on the job over 6 months now, how frequently has she met with the SRU? The growing disfunction between Shute Shield clubs and RA is surely a fact in support of ANY alternative comp, hardly a pillar of strength for the status quo.

Expecting Sydney and Brisbane people to sign up out to support a new team largely out of spite doesn't seem like a good business plan.

This is misrepresentation. Though let's play with the wholly unnecessary polemic. ,The FIRST question to be answered is how good is the current business plan? No, actually, the first question is WHAT IS THE ACTUAL current plan? And when you say the alternate isnt a good business plan, it should not be"is it good?", let's try "is it better?"

IF we put new teams teams in Brisbane and Sydney, arranged to play when Waratahs and Reds were away, I humbly suggest that there is indeed more than enough "anger" to match the success of those two teams (not a high bar btw) - in the absence of any other addition to the business plan. ofc you wouldn't proceed just on that business plan, but in my view, right now, it would actually be enough. We'll gain back some of the rusted out rugger fans, and match enough of the not-yet-rusted-off fans (like yourselves) to match the RA success. I think. But no, you wouldn't proceed on that basis.

Im pro-WSR FWIW

Possibly ask yourself if you are in danger of protesting too much on this. It's like me saying "FWIW I'm pro-Reds" which is true, but it's not at all a complete or accurate picture.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
All true, but I do wonder if a team located in Western Sydney might not be successful in a competition involving Pacific nations teams as well. There must be a potential supporter base out west (in Sydney) which will get into an Asia/Pacific competition with WSR backing and importantly marketing. By all reports, they seem to feel disenfranchised at the moment, and in a region of a couple of million residents surely there would be a following worth developing. Remember too, that WSR is wanting to enhance all of its teams with returning Wallabies, so wouldn't necessarily be just a selection from the Shute Shield.


This is a good point, one I hadn't considered. With the usual caveats (if it's funded/promoted properly etc) then a new W Syd team in a new stadium could be a viable proposition, for sure.
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Braveheart81

James Horwill (77)
Staff member
That is a lot of words to not really say much.

Who is protesting? They were comments in relation to someone suggesting that there were a huge number of fans on the east coast who would turn up just because they are angry at RA.

I agree that if you did this they should play when the Waratahs and Reds were away. I think you are going to be hoping that you get a lot of crossover in fans though.

It just seems like a wildly optimistic premise to think that a lot of fans are just going turn up because they want to say fuck you to RA. That sentiment is understandably very strong in WA but I think people heavily overestimate how many people actually care that much in NSW and Qld certainly to commit time and money to make that point.
 

barbarian

Phil Kearns (64)
Staff member
Again, before we throw darts at an alternative, what is RA doing here? NRC? (Intended) Removal of the WA rugby community? Honest question here, after the real fail between Pulver and SRU, Castle has been on the job over 6 months now, how frequently has she met with the SRU? The growing disfunction between Shute Shield clubs and RA is surely a fact in support of ANY alternative comp, hardly a pillar of strength for the status quo.

Possibly ask yourself if you are in danger of protesting too much on this. It's like me saying "FWIW I'm pro-Reds" which is true, but it's not at all a complete or accurate picture.


I don't really know what RA is doing, nobody does. I wouldn't assume they are doing nothing, nor would I assume they are way down the road on a master plan to solve all our issues.

I'd suggest the dysfunction between SS Clubs and RA you mention is in fact subsiding. My only metric for this is the number of angry Brett Papworth rants has fallen to zero in the past six months. Now it's not the best metric, of course, but I think it might indicate a thawing of the relationship.

I wouldn't assume that SS Clubs would throw their support behind WSR just because they hate RA. As the NRC has shown us, these clubs act in pure self interest. They don't base their decisions around the greater health of the game. If there is something in it for them then they will sign up, I'm sure.

As for your last sentence, I only say that because certain posters on here see any criticism of WSR as a declaration of war on all that it stands for. Not yourself, of course, but I'm tired of being branded a 'non believer' just because I want to pick apart the details of the concept and it's development.
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WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
This is a good point, one I hadn't considered. With the usual caveats (if it's funded/promoted properly etc) then a new W Syd team in a new stadium could be a viable proposition, for sure.
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I'll be honest. If they did do a WS team properly I would in all likelihood support it. I guess it would all come down to execution. And you could still have some kind of Cup competition between the two. Say if WSR were to do that they could have one in WS (they could call it Sydney for all I care) and one on say the Gold Coast (I know it has it's history but it's the next largest city in Queensland). Would present some interesting derby prospects.
 

dru

Nick Farr-Jones (63)
I'd suggest the dysfunction between SS Clubs and RA you mention is in fact subsiding. My only metric for this is the number of angry Brett Papworth rants has fallen to zero in the past six months. Now it's not the best metric, of course, but I think it might indicate a thawing of the relationship.

I actually buy this.

The Shute Shield thing is tricky. My main gripe, once my rose coloured ARU glasses were removed, is that the specious discussion around tradition and grass roots has not yet been followed by any obviously cohesive thoughts on what to do with it.

I don't have a problem with critical thinking, talking Twiggy is what a place like this is surely all about. For me though he has been close to 100% perfect - for WA. It's when we propose using it to help the rest of Australia where it ends up with hairs all over it.

I have lost all faith and expectations in RA. To the point that any alternate would capture my interest. What is that thing about doing the same thing expecting different outcomes? Wraps up Super Rugby and RA nicely.

I'll keep watching the Reds because I just will. And the Wallabies probably. I can't do mungo and have no interest in AFL or football in Australia, but friends and family (rugby diehards all) have suggested we take a more than passing interest in the NFL. It is an intriguing thought that at the moment I don't have an answer for.
 
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