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Thread: The Great Australian Rugby Furphy

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    The Great Australian Rugby Furphy

    One of the great furphies that is put around the Australian Rugby scene, mainly by the ARU, is that Australia has a Player Depth Problem (PDP). As I hope to demonstrate here, Australia's development of players is fine, it isn't a PDP it is a Player Retention Problem (PRP). To illustrate the point, I have simply gone to trusty Wikipedia and trusted the player country designations on Pro Club pages. There will definitely be more, there may be some no longer playing, however, with the wonders of Excel I can at least state there are no double ups.
    Over a few nights I managed to come up with a grand total of 104 Professional Australian Rugby Players plying their trade in countries other than Australia. Allowing for some veterans, that is at least two more Super Rugby Squads of Pro Australian Players. Yes, not all are stars, but they are good enough to be paid for their services somewhere.
    Those who know me from when I was more regularly contributing will recall I love putting up a XV. Well brace yourself, here is three of them for different reasons:

    The first is my selection of the best (or there abouts) players available. I think it has the capacity to beat any of the current five Australian SR outfits. Please remember this is to illustrate a point rather than worrying about the specific merits of individuals.

    Australian Furphy 1st XV

    1 Guy Millar SR Highlanders
    2 John Ulugia TOP14 Clermont
    3 Ollie Hoskins RFUC London Irish
    4 Luke Jones TOP14 Bordeaux
    5 Hugh Pyle TOP14 Stade Francais
    6 Curtis Browning TOP14 Lyon
    7 David Pocock JTL Wild Knights
    8 Lachlan McCaffrey EP Leicester

    9 Will Genia TOP14 Stade Francais
    10 Matt Toomua EP Leicester
    11 Peter Betham EP Leicester
    12 Matt Giteau TOP14 Toulon
    13 Junior Rasolea PRO12 Edinburgh
    14 Joe Tomane TOP14 Montpellier
    15 Kurtley Beale EP Wasps

    16 Albert Anae JTL Mitsubishi Dynaboars
    17 Salesi Manu JTL Honda Heat
    18 Paul Alo-Emile TOP14 Stade Francais
    19 Sitaleki Timani TOP14 Clermont
    20 Ben Mowen TOP14 Pau
    21 Nic White TOP14 Montpellier
    22 Mike Harris TOP14 Lyon
    23 James O'Connor TOP14 Toulon

    The second is to illustrate the depth of playing experience missing from within our shores, the players that can be called on as injury cover, playing assistant coaches, mentors and general Rugby community. To be honest, if their bodies all held up I don't think they would come last in the Australian Conference either... (Our lack of depth in the Front Row does start to show here, in that there aren't as many playing overseas)

    Australian Furphy Veterans XV

    1 Greg Holmes EP Exeter
    2 Huia Edmonds PROD2 Narbonne
    3 Salesi Ma'afu EP Gloucester
    4 James Horwill EP Harlequins
    5 Mark Chisholm PRO12 Munster
    6 Hugh McMeniman JTL Honda Heat
    7 Julian Salvi EP Exeter
    8 Wycliff Palu JTL Toyota Verblitz

    9 Josh Valentine PROD2 Beziers
    10 Brock James TOP14 La Rochelle
    11 Digby Ioane SR Crusaders
    12 Berrick Barnes JTL Wild Knights
    13 Adam Ashley-Cooper TOP14 Bordeaux
    14 Drew Mitchell TOP14 Toulon
    15 Mark Gerrard JTL TI Shuttles

    16 Kieran Longbottom EP Sale
    17 Lotu Taukeiaho PROD2 Aurillac
    18 Dylan Evans PRO12 Scarlets
    19 Peter Kimlin TOP14 Grenoble
    20 Lei Tomiki PROD2 Narbonne
    21 Brendan McKibbin RFUC London Irish
    22 Myles Dorrian RFUC Bedford Blues
    23 Clint Eadie PROD2 Narbonne

    And finally, the youth that is leaving our shores before they have even finished developing, either kicked to the curb by the ongoing pursuit of perfection by recruiters, or disillusioned and heading to bigger money or eligibility for other countries with their pathway to the Wallabies over.
    These are the players that should be littered throughout our Conference, coming through the ranks in the U20 comp, not bolstering the development and competition of foreign competitions. (Again, Front Row stocks a bit stretched)

    Australian Furphy Future XV

    1 David Feao TOP14 La Rochelle
    2 David Porecki RFUC London Irish
    3 Cameron Orr EP Gloucester
    4 Thomas Boidin PROD2 Narbonne
    5 Phoenix Battye PROD2 Beziers
    6 Corey Thomas JTL Canon Eagles
    7 Liam Gill TOP14 Toulon
    8 Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco SR Sunwolves

    9 Richard Kingi ITMC Tasman Makos
    10 Zack Holmes TOP14 La Rochelle
    11 Alex Northam PRO12 Edinburgh
    12 Malieto Hingano JTL Honda Heat
    13 Sasa Tofilau PRO12 Edinburgh
    14 Henry Clunies-Ross TOP14 Lyon
    15 UJ Seuteni PROD2 Oyonnax (Academy)

    16 VACANT VACANT
    17 Michael Alaalatoa SR Crusaders
    18 Christopher Seuteni PROD2 Albi
    19 BJ Edwards EP Bristol (Academy)
    20 Harrison Orr EP Newcastle
    21 Michael Dowsett EP Worcester
    22 Sam Greene JTL TI Shuttles
    23 Sam Johnson PRO12 Glasgow

    In principle, the players from these "Squads" (and the 38 so far unlisted, see below) should have a future in Australian Rugby. The rubbish being trotted out about not being able to support five teams is just that, rubbish. The ARU needs to extract the digit and rather than whinging about a perceived PDP, actually get on to addressing the core root issues behind our ever growing PRP.

    The other players?
    Feel free to make your own XV Selections, they are in descending age order here:

    Daniel Heenan JTL Wild Knights
    Ben Hand TOP14 Grenoble
    Ben White EP Exeter
    Junior Taavili PROD2 CS Bourgoin-Jallieu
    Leon Power PROD2 Oyonnax
    Henry Vanderglas TOP14 Grenoble
    Dave Dennis EP Exeter
    Beau Robinson RFUC Doncaster Knights
    Jono Jenkins PROD2 Narbonne
    Chris Tuatara-Morrison TOP14 Brive
    Poutasi Luafutu TOP14 Brive
    Ben Lucas JTL Toyota Verblitz
    Nathan Daly PROD2 Albi
    Anthony Fainga'a JTL Kintetsu Liners
    Michael Bond SR Sunwolves
    Lachie Turner EP Exeter
    Sam Wykes SR Sunwolves
    Brackin Karauria-Henry JTL Shining Arcs
    Blair Connor TOP14 Bordeaux
    Alfie Mafi TOP14 Brive
    Dave McKern RFUC Jersey Reds
    Tom Murday PROD2 Agen
    Rory Walton PROD2 Carcassonne
    Ben Tapuai EP Bath
    Ben Barba TOP14 Toulon
    Jesse Mogg TOP14 Montpellier
    Rodney Davies JTL Mitsubishi Dynaboars
    Nick Haining RFUC Jersey Reds
    Afa Amosa TOP14 La Rochelle
    Tala Gray TOP14 Toulous
    Tom Matthews PROD2 Carcassonne
    Afusipa Taumoepeau TOP14 Castres
    Ed Quirk SR Sunwolves
    Peter Samu SR Crusaders
    Ben Adams RFUC Bedford Blues
    Nicholas Price PROD2 CS Bourgoin-Jallieu
    Kimami Sitauti PROD2 Colomiers
    Ratu Tagive PRO12 Glasgow

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    Last edited by Burgs; 26-04-17 at 12:29.
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    Excellent detail and research. Plenty of spin from the ARU, doubt they would have this intel!

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    Champion chibi's Avatar
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    I wonder if there will ever be a way to magically create the funds that can keep all of these players here?

    Anyway, I reckon players like Guy Millar, Digby Ioane, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco, Michael Bond, Sam Wykes, Ed Quirk and Peter Samu should all still be eligible for Wallaby contention, seeing as they are still playing in Super Rugby. If they put in good performances in against Super Rugby opposition, what does it matter if they don't play for an Aussie franchise?

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    Last edited by chibi; 23-04-17 at 11:46.


    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    Well researched Burgs and very interesting! You should send that to FOXTEL not to see what comments they come out with but to get it out into the open! I assume you will put it onto the Roar?
    Good point Chibi I agree if your playing SR it shouldn't mater for whom your playing.

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    May the FORCE be with you!

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    Love the write up burgs one to help fill out those props is michael Alaalatoa

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    Great work burgs Yes some have been away a long time now but just shows that this has been a problem for a while now.. ARU are just so short sighted.. We need 5 teams to stop this and as RUPA have said.. Make teams equal and give everyone a chance.. Agin agree with all comments above.. Thanks Burgs great eye opener

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    Well done, Burgs. Maybe Hansie and/or General can use this.

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    Thanks all.
    A couple of things I noted in compiling is that a seemingly high number (I didn't count) were associated with the Force at some stage and the really young fellas that really hadn't been given a chance at all.
    What the flow on from this scenario (having more depth) does is also attract the duel eligible players to reconsider a move to Europe etc or in the case of modern South Africa (an argument I haven't heard made for the Force yet) keeps Australia on the radar to follow in the footsteps of Rathbone, Vickerman et al.

    Also, pre-Force I did a similar thing to get an idea of who we might see in the inaugural Squad and came up with about 30 names overseas, some of whom are also in this list. So clearly expansion has created more Professional players from Australia, we just aren't using them!

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    Last edited by Burgs; 23-04-17 at 07:19.
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    Eligibility- Yeah, I dunno. Under the current system it is the only carrot the ARU have to retain the top players for our Super Rugby teams. Drop that and the PRP floodgates will open to higher earning comps. If we had roughly equivalent wages and they still chose to see the Rugby World then I think perhaps those players are considered, but that is a long way off.
    You can either say those who chose to go overseas forfeit the right to represent their nation or, those who remain in Australia are rewarded for sticking by the country that developed them. Two sides to the argument, those who go and those who stay.
    As it stands, I believe they should retract the Giteau Law and reward those who have stuck it out in Australia with the shoulder to the wheel.
    Who deserves another Cap more, Giteau or Hodgo?
    Hodgo could have brought amazing money in Japan for the last five years and not be buckled up like a pocket knife the morning after every match, but he has stayed in Australia and helped develop another generation of players.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chibi View Post
    I wonder if there will ever be a way to magically creates the funds that can keep all of these players here?
    The powers that be need to stop worrying about this and just let a free market rule. We are in the state we are because the ARU do worry about this.

    Did it matter that Great Dane went and ate stinky cheese for a few years?

    If someone want's to become a star overseas? Well done sir.. Penalising them for it is Super Hitler.
    Play were you want, do your best, if you're good enough have this gold and green jersey.
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    cheers auss...
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    Firstly, nice piece Burgs. Good to see you still have a little spare time. I have come around to the Giteau Law. From completely opposed to reluctantly accepting the 60 Test cap as compromise.

    Second;
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonkar View Post
    as RUPA have said.. Make teams equal and give everyone a chance..
    RUPA have only come to this view now that their numbers are threatened. Had they been proactive in working towards a level playing field we might not be facing this catastrophy They have been stridently opposed all along and share a large slice of blame. I'll believe they are genuine when they propose constructive solutions rather than general whiny statements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    ...Good to see you still have a little spare time...
    Clearly not as much as I once enjoyed mate

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    Burgs - is back - and on fire.

    great to see you on point mate.

    I believe that the only way that this situation can be fixed is with an edict from the IRB;

    each club can only have x amount of imported players in their team.

    Surely with the amount of Aussies and Kiwis and Saffas and Islanders is having a detrimental impact on local players in France, England and Japan?

    Personally I think the reason Aussie teams aren't successful at the moment is because of poor coaching, poor preparation, poor skill levels.

    I honestly believe that the Force has the best Coaching team in Australian Rugby.

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    With no disrespect to the blokes who scrapped bravely last night, when you have more than half your best starting side in rehab you are going to see more skill errors. We pressured the Chiefs but they gave it back and then some. It's testament to the coaches and the belief they"ve instilled that the boys still mostly followed the plan and fought it out to the end. Depth is less of a problem this year for a change.

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