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Thread: Matt Hodgson confident ARU will back Indo Pacific Rugby Championship

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Matt Hodgson confident ARU will back Indo Pacific Rugby Championship

    Justin Chadwick,
    AAP, FOX SPORTS
    35 minutes ago

    FORMER Wallaby Matt Hodgson is confident the Australian Rugby Union will give the new Indo Pacific Rugby Championship its tick of approval, with a decision to be made as early as next week.
    The IPRC was launched by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest last month in the wake of the Western Force’s axing from the Super Rugby competition.
    Forrest and the ARU were involved in a bitter slanging match while the Force’s axing unfolded.
    But peace has now been restored, with the ARU establishing a working group to help Forrest’s team set up the new competition.
    However, the ARU are yet to officially endorse the IPRC — a looming decision that could either make or break the new competition.
    If the ARU don’t endorse it, the IPRC would effectively become a rebel competition, meaning players who want to remain eligible for Wallabies selection won’t be able to participate.
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    But Hodgson is confident the ARU will throw its support behind the IPRC, saying it’s in the best interests of Australian rugby.
    “Hopefully by next week we should have some things moving forward,” Hodgson said.
    “All the conversations we’re having with the ARU are positive.
    “We have to think what’s best for rugby, and this is the best opportunity Australia has been offered in years. It’s pretty exciting.”
    The new six-team competition has been dubbed the IPL of rugby.
    It’s set to be launched in August next year — after the Super Rugby season.
    The Force are the only confirmed participant so far.
    The remaining five teams could come out of countries like Japan, China, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and South Korea.
    Hodgson has had hundreds of players contact him expressing an interest in joining the competition.
    “I’ve had interest from internationals, and I’ve had interest from Australian players abroad wanting to come back,” Hodgson said.

    “And I’ve had interest from some players who were looking to go overseas next year, but now might stay in Australia to play in this.”
    Hodgson, who is the IPRC’s director of sports relations, retired from Super Rugby ranks at the end of last season.
    But the 36-year-old is so excited about this new competition, he is keen to pull on the boots again — as long as it doesn’t hinder the chances of a local product coming up through the ranks.
    Former Force coach Dave Wessels has been appointed the new head coach of the Melbourne Rebels.
    But as part of his contract, he will be allowed to return to Perth to coach the Force in the IPRC competition.

    http://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/rug...ca288cbf07b980

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    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    I sincerely hope it works but even Matt must realise that you can't trust a single word that comes out of the those gob shites in the FUARU!

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    May the FORCE be with you!

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    Saw this on The Roar

    "#SaveRugbyUnion proposes radical new international club competition

    Is Rugby Union in trouble? It’s a topic that has come up more than once on The Roar this year. Today Geoff Levy and David Shein have launched a #SaveRugbyUnion campaign calling for change.

    Levy and Shein say that SANZAAR’s strategy of managing the game is not working, and argue that club competition should be reorganised into a conference-based world championship featuring privately owned franchises.

    Chief concerns are the continued departure of players to the northern hemisphere in search of greater remuneration, and the damage that seeking to increase TV revenue has done to the equity of competitions.

    The state of the rule book, and whether it is simple and easy enough for fans and referees to understand and enjoy the game, is also at issue.

    Levy and Shein have launched a survey where Rugby fans are invited to voice their concers about the game.

    Have a read of their full statement below, and let us know what you think in the comments.




    Rugby requires change. Below international level, the rot has set in. Audiences are dwindling. The rule book is incomprehensible. Australian rugby is imploding. Pacific Island’s rugby is languishing. Great players leave for the Northern Hemisphere – the only place they can be paid their worth.

    Rugby requires change if it is to remain relevant to the fans. It requires change to rebuild the excitement we all feel for the game at its best. Above all, it requires change before the interest in the game we love evaporates completely.

    Fundamentally, rugby requires a new competition structure where teams play in conferences in the same time zone – regardless of Hemisphere.

    As players, interested parties and officials we know this is a radical shift for international and club rugby.

    But, SANZAAR’s strategy is not working.

    We are calling for a global competition of privately owned franchises divided into three or four conferences. Critically, the teams in each conference would play in the same time zones, irrespective of Hemisphere.

    Each conference has 10 teams playing each other home and away each season. The top four in each conference play off in their conference finals. The winner of each conference (and a wild card if there are only three conferences) play off for the World Championship.

    In other words, a simple-to-understand competition where every year each franchise team has an equal chance of becoming World Champion. We are sure fans will want to follow their team as they pursue the mantle of the world’s best. Compare this with the competition today, a competition literally cobbled together and one which is all over the place.

    A quality competition with strong fan equity has been sacrificed to TV revenues and the need to deliver a high volume of games for broadcasters no matter how poor or irrelevant the competition, or how inconvenient the time zone for players and fans alike.

    It’s time for a competition structure similar to that envisaged some 25 years ago. In 1995, the World Rugby Corporation (WRC), a consortium of international business people with rugby in their hearts, sought to transform the game by taking it professional and establishing a global competition structure.

    Much of what was proposed then is relevant today, including the new competition format and some other principles. These include:

    1. Rules that are simple and easy to understand for everybody, referees included

    2. A consistent, global quality standard of refereeing and a logical referee appointment process befitting a global competition

    3. A positive, fresh, dynamic culture and approach

    4. Use of event experts to help rather than only relying on traditional rugby people

    5. A differentiated and vastly better experience at the game – a vibrant competition needs full grounds. Fan equity is everything

    6. Pricing competitive to other entertainment options

    7. Superstars not lost to home fans but available to play for their country no matter where in the world they ply their trade

    The WRC sought to transform the game. Along with creating a new era of professionalism, the WRC vision also incorporated protecting Southern Hemisphere rugby as a major international football code and stimulating the longterm development of the game on the world stage.

    At the time the Rugby Unions labelled the WRC the enemy of the orthodoxy of the game. Yet its founders are widely acknowledged as the catalyst for necessary, well overdue and revolutionary changes. It was time for the game to pivot before it was disrupted.

    AND it is time again to #SaveRugbyUnion.

    Tinkering around the edges won’t cut it. Without fans the game cannot remain meaningful or relevant.

    So now, twenty years later, if rugby is going to get it right, it is time for SANZAAR (which was born as a result of the changes forced by the WRC) to revisit the principles and competition structure that the WRC proposed. What was true then is still highly relevant today and as new, bold people take over, hopefully things can be viewed with an open mind.

    But change can only be driven by the fans, players past and present, and officials.

    That is why today we are calling on them to have their say. Today, we have launched a new conversation to help stimulate discussion and debate around the changes required. Those who want to have their say can take our poll on our Facebook Page."


    Feels a bit copy/paste/rename of IPRC

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    ...But Hodgson is confident the ARU will throw its support behind the IPRC, saying it’s in the best interests of Australian rugby...
    Oh dear

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    Yeah I hope Hodgson is not being "played" and I hope for Force are not being "played" ...again.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    I know this isn't the right thread but I didn't want to start a new one, so can anyone tell me roughly what the membership figure was for the Force for 2017 and what the average attendance number was for our home games?

    Thanks

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    Couple of things, our programming was terrible, several fixtures at odd times, and almost two months between first home game and second. Also, given some figures sprouted by the usual suspects, and anecdotal evidence, I don't believe the figures anyway. - I'm talking about the Melbourne test, a couple of Rebels games, a Tahrd game etc. That said, the average was meant to be 9900 or thereabouts. I can only remember a single game where I thought "jeepers smallest crowd ever", and it was quoted at 7500 or so.

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Probably the home game vs the Reds which was on a Thursday night with a 6:30pm kick off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    I know this isn't the right thread but I didn't want to start a new one, so can anyone tell me roughly what the membership figure was for the Force for 2017 and what the average attendance number was for our home games?

    Thanks
    3) Force crowd grows. Everybody else shrinks.
    According to Wayne Smith of the Australian, the Force is the only Australian team to register an increase in crowds over last year. Not great crowds, but the others are relatively worse.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/spor...909755a7d08a02

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    NATIONAL AFFAIRS
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    Super Rugby: Australian freefall mirrored at the gate
    A dejected Waratahs outfit after their loss to the Jaguares before a dismal crowd at Allianz Stadium.
    A dejected Waratahs outfit after their loss to the Jaguares before a dismal crowd at Allianz Stadium.
    The Australian12:00AM July 11, 2017
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    WAYNE SMITH
    Senior sport writerBrisbane
    @WayneKeithSmith

    Crowd and television viewing figures for Australian Super Rugby have plummeted over the past two years though, ironically, the Western Force’s gate attendances have risen since the club was targeted for culling by the ARU.

    According to statistics provided to The Australian by Fox Sports, the number of people attending a Super Rugby match has fallen from 643,790 in 2015 (average crowd 15,702), to 536,807 in 2016 (average 13,764), to the current low of 399,066 for 2017 (average 11,402).

    Admittedly, the current season still has one round of fixtures to go next weekend, with the Force hosting the Waratahs and the Melbourne Rebels taking on the Jaguares of Argentina, both on Saturday night. The Brumbies’ quarter-final on July 21 in Canberra still is to be factored in as well.

    The gross season television audience on Fox Sports also has fallen off a cliff, dropping from 2.714 million in 2016 to 1.876 million this year, a decline of more than 800,000 viewers. The average pay-TV audience has fallen from 70,000 last year to just 54,000.

    Yet audiences clearly have a problem with the standard of football being provided by the Australian teams not with the code in general, which is hardly surprising given that the leading team, the Brumbies, are having a losing season, winning only six out of 14 matches. But it was not that long ago — 2011, in fact — that the Queensland Reds attracted a then pay-TV record audience of 500,000 viewers for their grand final victory over the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium.

    While the Super Rugby figures have been in sharp decline, the British and Irish Lions series with the All Blacks in New Zealand was a ratings bonanza for Fox Sports, with an audience of 188,000 watching the All Blacks win the first Test, 171,000 as the Lions unexpectedly claimed the second, while 213,000 tuned in for the decider, which ended dramatically in a 15-15 draw.

    In a way, the disparity is good news for the ARU. The Lions-All Blacks figures demonstrate that there is an audience ready to engage. All that is required is for Australian teams to become competitive again in Super Rugby, which is one of the primary reasons why the ARU is attempting to reduce its Super Rugby presence from five teams to four.

    GRAPHIC: The figures

    There is some comfort, too, in the fact that NZ gates are down by eight per cent — though TV audiences are up by 16 per cent — while South Africa has experienced the opposite effect, with crowds up by four per cent but TV viewership down by five per cent. Australia is the only country where attendances and TV audiences are both down, by 17 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.

    The figures, however, also are a damning indictment of the ARU and SANZAAR for carrying out the process of reducing the unwieldy 18-team competition down to 15 teams while the Super Rugby season was actually underway.

    The uncertainty has been nightmarish for both the Force and the Melbourne Rebels, the only Australian teams in danger of being culled, along with the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings of South Africa.

    Despite that, the Force’s crowds have actually been counterintuitively on the rise this year, with gates rising from 8601 last year to 9188. With 64,318 spectators already having been to nib Stadium this year and an expected crowd pushing 20,000 likely to be in attendance on Saturday night, the Perth club will finish the season behind only the traditional giants, Queensland (105,806) and the Waratahs (101,499) in terms of aggregate figures. That said, both the Force and the Rebels have enjoyed eight home games this season, compared to the seven hosted by the Brumbies, Reds and Tahs.

    The Rebels crowds have suffered badly from all the uncertainty, falling from 81,855 two years ago to just 58,321 this year — again with the Jaguares home match still to come.

    Small wonder Daryl Gibson’s position as head coach of the Waratahs has become a subject for debate with the crowds at Allianz Stadium in freefall. Just two years ago, the Tahs attracted 22,463 per match but after a modest fall of 2140 in 2016, the crowds this year have dropped to an average of 14,500 per match,

    Certainly the Tahs weren’t helped by a crowd figure of 10,992 hard-core fans who ventured to the game against the Jaguares on Saturday night. NSW fans are regarded as the most fickle in Australia but it is still a worrying sign when crowds have halved in just two years, from 202,169 in 2015 when 36,632 were on hand to watch them play the Highlanders in the semi-final — to just 101,499 this year.

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    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info guys - you are awesome :-)

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    Senior Player andrewg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    I know this isn't the right thread but I didn't want to start a new one, so can anyone tell me roughly what the membership figure was for the Force for 2017 and what the average attendance number was for our home games?

    Thanks
    Don't know the Membership number.

    Average attendance was 9,600.

    Crowds ranged from 7,010(Reds) up to 14,090 (Chiefs).

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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    Fox used to give the ground attendance figures for every game, and then they stopped. I wonder if it was because of the dwindling numbers??

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    Quote Originally Posted by hertryk View Post
    Fox used to give the ground attendance figures for every game, and then they stopped. I wonder if it was because of the dwindling numbers??
    The numbers have long been disputed. Some teams include season ticket holders in their attendance figures, other provide reduced numbers to reduce the amount of profit tax they have to pay

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    Champion sittingbison's Avatar
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    Some include kids, some don't. Some sell tickets at 50% discount etc

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