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Where to for Twiggy Rugby?

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kiap

Steve Williams (59)
that's not the relevant example though.
Plenty of examples of players playing or touring for Australia without playing Super Rugby

Well, that's precisely what I'm saying. — it's been the norm to be eligible for selection if you're Australian in Australia.

It's also likely untenable to be excluding some registered players in Australia while allowing others.

In other words, there's been NO actual "compromise" to arrive at this position.

The more relevant example is if Liam Gill plays for the Hong Kong Fooeys in Twiggy Rugby, would he be eligible for Australian selection. I say now and believe this is what RA had the issue with.

No shit, Sherlock. I would've thought that was stating the bleedin' obvious. :)

And there's NO change on that either. So what's the big news from old mate Robbo in HQ?

Ribbing aside, Reg, you're right – it comes down to a question of whether it's better to be seeing the likes of LF Gill (or Dan Carter, if you prefer) playing:

• at Australasian-friendly times,

• in a competition that will strengthen rugby in our own region,

• against more of their fellow Australian players,

• with at least some games on Australian soil.

… OR … in lieu of other options, continue to lose these types of players to Europe (in prime career age at an increasing rate).

Dunno about you, but I know my answer. ARU/RA can agree with Twiggy to poach players back from Europe instead of Soup … and that's fair enough. Personally, I don't think that will matter much. Super Rugby will be dead anyway.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
I think the concern would be, not those players that he intends to sign from Europe, but signing wallabies from some of the Super Rugby teams and then having them play in a substandard competition. Even the greatest optimist would have to concede that the standard of play in any new competition will be well below Super Rugby, and theres a subsequent risk there that if some pre-exsisting Wallabies were to play in that comp, that they would be caught out when he returns to the Wallaby fold.
 

kiap

Steve Williams (59)
I think the concern would be, not those players that he intends to sign from Europe, but signing wallabies from some of the Super Rugby teams and then having them play in a substandard competition.

The Wallabies are all locked up for the next couple of years so that's not an immediate thing.

But watch how many head for the Super Rugby exits after 2019.

Even the greatest optimist would have to concede that the standard of play in any new competition will be well below Super Rugby,

Of course it will be below Super standard (and in particular, NZ Super standard). A fair way below in the first few years.

and theres a subsequent risk there that if some pre-exsisting Wallabies were to play in that comp, that they would be caught out when he returns to the Wallaby fold.

I think they're more concerned with trying to corral enough talent and interest to keep the Soup going.

I think their progress in that endeavour will continue to slide, as will the standard of the Super competition.
 

amirite

Chilla Wilson (44)
Well, that's precisely what I'm saying. — it's been the norm to be eligible for selection if you're Australian in Australia.

It's also likely untenable to be excluding some registered players in Australia while allowing others.

In other words, there's been NO actual "compromise" to arrive at this position.



No shit, Sherlock. I would've thought that was stating the bleedin' obvious. :)

And there's NO change on that either. So what's the big news from old mate Robbo in HQ?

Ribbing aside, Reg, you're right – it comes down to a question of whether it's better to be seeing the likes of LF Gill (or Dan Carter, if you prefer) playing:

• at Australasian-friendly times,

• in a competition that will strengthen rugby in our own region,

• against more of their fellow Australian players,

• with at least some games on Australian soil.

… OR … in lieu of other options, continue to lose these types of players to Europe (in prime career age at an increasing rate).

Dunno about you, but I know my answer. ARU/RA can agree with Twiggy to poach players back from Europe instead of Soup … and that's fair enough. Personally, I don't think that will matter much. Super Rugby will be dead anyway.

Okay, so here is what I'm getting from you....... RA are saying we must stick to the existing standard that all Australians play in Australia to be eligible for the Wallabies (unless they reach a threshold of games or whatever else). You think is is fair.

The IPRC wanted more than this and this was a key sticking point holding negotiations up. But you also say RA held up this competition because they didn't compromise? Interesting.

What does this compromise look like? Is this compromise fair and consistent with producing a good Wallabies team? Is it fair to pick a player playing in Bangladesh because Twiggy says it is, but not in Toulon?

I get RA have burnt people, but it's idiocy to start at the baseline that everything RA does is evil and bad, then work backwards from there to come up with a rationale. Take individual things on their face value and it's a lot cleaner.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
I get RA have burnt people, but it's idiocy to start at the baseline that everything RA does is evil and bad, then work backwards from there to come up with a rationale. Take individual things on their face value and it's a lot cleaner.

RA have done enough to demonstrate they are inept, nepotistic and incapable of understanding market demand . As fans, people have every right to be critical and question their intent.
 

kiap

Steve Williams (59)
What does this compromise look like? Is this compromise fair and consistent with producing a good Wallabies team?

The compromise needs to enable players returning from European contracts to play closer to home and be Test eligible.

Simple as that.

By this I mean within the IPRC. There are impediments to attracting and retaining top-level players into Super Rugby as well, but those are to do with money more than national selection policy.

Perhaps a clause whereby any player that had a contract outside of SANZAAR in the previous season paying over, say, $4k a week (whatever the number and time frame that's suitable) could be signed to IPRC and made eligible for national selection. Maybe they need to sign here for a minimum of two seasons. It may be possible to frame the clause in other terms without mentioning salaries.

The intention being to target high-value players already lost to the Australian pool and bring them back more into our orbit. But at the same time, it's not applicable to IPRC teams poaching players out of Super Rugby.

I dunno. But something along those lines is what I'd see as an actual compromise.
 
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kiap

Steve Williams (59)
Okay, so here is what I'm getting from you... RA are saying we must stick to the existing standard that all Australians play in Australia to be eligible for the Wallabies (unless they reach a threshold of games or whatever else). You think is is fair.

The IPRC wanted more than this and this was a key sticking point holding negotiations up. But you also say RA held up this competition because they didn't compromise? Interesting.

You tell me. What did they compromise?

Nothing they genuinely had or were likely to be able to uphold.

Is it fair to pick a player playing in Bangladesh because Twiggy says it is, but not in Toulon?.

I get RA have burnt people, but it's idiocy to start at the baseline that everything RA does is evil and bad, then work backwards from there to come up with a rationale.

Hyperbole is the greatest rhetorical device ever used since the dawn of time.

Take individual things on their face value and it's a lot cleaner.

I take them on their record.
 

dru

Tim Horan (67)
The Twiigy concept, on this issue, as I understood it, was to target internationals from Australia returning to an Australian run comp with Australian content. Being able to play for the WBs was an interesting innovation and would have some legs. ARU dont understand innovation. They can understand consistency (and also drop it like a hot potato should this suit) and that has happened here. Great they recognise players in the Force. (The alternative would not be innovative nor consistent.)
 

ForceFan

Chilla Wilson (44)
The reality is that this should NEVER have been a big deal as the ARU said from the onset that the pathway would be kept open for WA players.
The assurances were provided as early as the press conference where the axing of the Western Force was announced.

The chain of events has been something like this:
+ When the license was IP was handed back to the WF, RugbyWA was informed that the WF could play anywhere they liked (except in the IPRC) and their players would be available for Wallabies selection.
+ During subsequent discussions, and as part of an extensive list of conditions, RA informed Minderoo that WF players could APPLY to be considered for Wallabies selection (if the player thought that they were good enough).

I don't understand why RUPA hasn't been all over this in protection of their professional player group.
How can this NOT be a restrictive practice?

In the meantime Brett Robinson plays his little game of getting his captive journo to write articles (including direct quotes) at key times:
+The night before a key meeting between RA and Minderoo in Sydney prior to Christmas; and
+This week when both Twiggy and Matt Hodgson (Brisbane 10s) are on the East Coast and trying to progress matters.
Obviously Brett doesn't believe in formal announcements.

The track record of this history of procrastination by RA is one of agreeing to matters only to withdraw same and expanding conditions by the next meeting. By the pre-Christmas meeting the demands from RA had grown to 4 pages.
Any pretense of co-operation is only a smokescreen of BS that the Minderoo team have had to endure.

dru's viewpoint is entirely correct - Twiggy was working hard to get OS based Australian into a competition that was run out of Australia rather than playing in Europe/UK/Nth America. Cheika was evidently supportive of such a move as it would increase his options for RWC2019.

Can't wait to see the IPRC dream become reality and establish the base of what could happen beyond Super Rugby.

The Western Force WILL be playing high level rugby from May 2018.
HOPEFULLY the IPRC will be playing good rugby in the region in early 2019.
 

lou75

Ron Walden (29)
This is probably not the right thread, but it follows in this conversation, so my opinion, which probably no one will agree with is that the Wallabies should be selected on performance only and I don't give a rats arse if they have played Super Rugby or IPRC or if they are playing in Europe, if they are Australian and want to represent Aust and are good enough, then I say they should be eligible for selection. I know there are lots of arguments against that, but please, we have a player drain right now - good players are playing in Japan despite taking breaks from Aust Super Rugby rugby and can stil be selected for Wallabies because of some stupid rule, good players are drifting to the UK and some people would say that they become better players for the experience. If we want the best team, why do we shoot ourself in the foot and make stupid eligibility rules?
 

Rugbynutter39

Michael Lynagh (62)
I don't understand mate, if RugbyWA (or more accurately, the IPRC) wanted Aussies to be international eligible from all teams (a big and unprecedented ask, as you've agreed) and RA said this was too much (justifiably) how is this solely RA's fault?

Maybe this was a negotiation tactic and Twiggy got what he wanted by having the Western Force players Aussie eligible, who knows. Still, you can't enter a negotiation asking for a lot then get shitty when your demands aren't instantly met.

There's no precedent for a modern, 'start-up' style, privately owned comp in Aus, so of course there was going to be friction. The fact it's moved this quickly have been a surprising. It's not the travesty some are pitching it as. Fuck, the similar private comps in the US took years to get together and I don't think they even managed to negotiate even implicit approval from the National set-up.

Yes I tend to agree we are talking about setting up a private competition which would include Australian team and players so in fairness I think the timeframes to reach / negotiate this appear reasonable. I also agree that naturally Twiggy's team would enter negotiations with bigger demands to get best outcome for their comp whilst RA would equally do so from Australian rugby position. This is what negotiations are all about on complex matters. I believe RA is genuinely on board to support Twiggy's comp as they know you don't get many opportunities like Twiggy's of the world prepared to make big investment in rugby which would benefit oz and the surrounding asia pacific region, neither of which are mutually exclusive. I think ensuring Force eligibility is sensible and equally for those oz players who play for teams outside of Australia (with less than 60 caps) being eligible sensible as would otherwise be a dangerous precedent and rabbit hole we could head down. I get the frustration but I think they are working at reasonable pace to get this sorted if we talk about time taken for starting up comp's like what seen in the US. I am positive on the progress and yes Twiggy will have a lot more power at the table of Rugby in this country I see going forward but I see that as a good thing like Frank Lowry has had with football in this country. I would not mind seeing Twiggy or one of his key senior people given a position on the board of RA to reflect this personally.
 
T

TOCC

Guest
RA should close the 60cap rule to any player who hasn't already announced they are heading to Europe, and only make those who play in Twiggy League eligible for it. Long-term I don't think players in Europe should represent Australia with the potential for an exception in a RWC year, I don't think it works, it doesn't encourage players to remain in Australia and it doesn't reward those players who do choose to remain in Australia.
 
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TOCC

Guest
If we want the best team, why do we shoot ourself in the foot and make stupid eligibility rules?

If anything the lack of centralisation and oversight over the past 24months has shown why the rules are the way they are, even with all players in Australian the coaches struggled to have them all on the same page about fitness, skillsets and mindset, yet that does seem to be shifting.

New Zealand are obviously the benchmark in this area, but a centralised model where the All Blacks coaching staff have the ability to reach down into the Super Rugby teams, even to the extent that their will be some All Blacks training camps during the Super Rugby season.

If we encourage further decentralisation by promoting selections of players based Europe and Japan, then the coaching staff are going to lose all oversight and training camps with the whole squad will be irregular, lead-up time to tournaments and test matches will be slender with clubs refusing to release players outside of the test window. You're going to be throwing teams together 7 days before Bledisloe Cups, which simply won't work. Wallabies may have a collective group which is marginally better, but the team cohesion will be all but gone.

It would also signal the death knell of any domestic/super rugby tournament going forward, without the stars it won't be marketable and the Aussie teams will be even less competitive then they are now.
 

Rugbynutter39

Michael Lynagh (62)
RA should close the 60cap rule to any player who hasn't already announced they are heading to Europe, and only make those who play in Twiggy League eligible for it. Long-term I don't think players in Europe should represent Australia with the potential for an exception in a RWC year, I don't think it works, it doesn't encourage players to remain in Australia and it doesn't reward those players who do choose to remain in Australia.

Now I do like this idea TOCC in principle - better to support Oz players with 60 cap playing for a closer to home comp oz involved in like Twiggy Ball than in Europe. But might also get into messy restraint of trade considerations which again might open up a legal rabbit hole and hence harder to implement. But in principle very supportive of this idea in supporting rugby within the Asia Pacific region and supporting Twiggyball.
 

lou75

Ron Walden (29)
Because all of our best players will head overseas for the bigger pay cheque...

Once the game became professional it became about the pay cheque and lots of players go over seas now rather than bide their time on the chance of being selected for the Wallabies. Sure it would be an honour to play for one's country, but no other profession (no sporting) expects workers to stick it out here in low paying Aust on the off chance they will get a promotion. Any way, I'm not trying to have an argument, just stating my (lowly) opinon
 

Slim 293

Phil Waugh (73)
Well, TOCC’s response was better and more detailed than mine...........

So aside from losing our best players, the strength of the test team would likely diminish and our national competitions would crumble.........

You described it as shooting ourselves in the foot, yet can you name any tier one nations without some form of eligibility criteria that are doing well?
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Yes I tend to agree we are talking about setting up a private competition which would include Australian team and players so in fairness I think the timeframes to reach / negotiate this appear reasonable. I also agree that naturally Twiggy's team would enter negotiations with bigger demands to get best outcome for their comp whilst RA would equally do so from Australian rugby position. This is what negotiations are all about on complex matters. I believe RA is genuinely on board to support Twiggy's comp as they know you don't get many opportunities like Twiggy's of the world prepared to make big investment in rugby which would benefit oz and the surrounding asia pacific region, neither of which are mutually exclusive. I think ensuring Force eligibility is sensible and equally for those oz players who play for teams outside of Australia (with less than 60 caps) being eligible sensible as would otherwise be a dangerous precedent and rabbit hole we could head down. I get the frustration but I think they are working at reasonable pace to get this sorted if we talk about time taken for starting up comp's like what seen in the US. I am positive on the progress and yes Twiggy will have a lot more power at the table of Rugby in this country I see going forward but I see that as a good thing like Frank Lowry has had with football in this country. I would not mind seeing Twiggy or one of his key senior people given a position on the board of RA to reflect this personally.

I would much prefer to see the 60 cap allowance scrapped in favour of playing in the IPRC.
 

Strewthcobber

Mark Ella (57)
Are there even any 60 cappers playing in Europe at the moment that would be selected for the Wobs?

Seems like much more of a theoretical problem rather than one in practice.
 

lou75

Ron Walden (29)
Well, TOCC’s response was better and more detailed than mine.....

So aside from losing our best players, the strength of the test team would likely diminish and our national competitions would crumble...

You described it as shooting ourselves in the foot, yet can you name any tier one nations without some form of eligibility criteria that are doing well?

you are not wrong, at all, but if its a professional sport, then professional players will chase the money and good luck to them - why can't they also come back and play for Australia when called? I don't see the strength of the test team diminishing. National competition - is this NRC? -cos it already includes Fiji now, or Super Rugby - cos that was up shit creek last year any way - or is it just the state comps? not sure where you are going with that one. any way again, not trying to argue, just explore ideas.
 
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