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Thread: Andrew Forrest's World Series Rugby dream starts Friday, but can it work?

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Is it true also that Cox is still being paid monies by the RA? Cox’s very own Santa Claus!
    No idea due to lies in confidence.

    On the topic of Green and Gold all their news articles for Friday are dedicated to the Force. I don't know if that would be the case had Sanzaar not been dumb enough to schedule byes for most of the Australian teams and the Sunwolves.

    Penrith collapse is rugby’s latest disaster: Raelene Castle has questions to answer
    Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
    Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle.
    The Australian12:00AM May 4, 2018
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    ALAN JONES
    Radio broadcaster

    For weeks now, I have written about the crisis that is Australian Rugby.

    Not one syllable or statement has emerged from Rugby Australia which would suggest they even understand the problems, let alone have any answers to them.

    People such as Mark Ella are most probably forgotten by the hierarchy of Australian rugby. But Mark Ella is one of the greatest rugby players ever to wear green and gold.

    He wrote in this newspaper last Saturday about the plight of Australian rugby and in particular Super Rugby and he said, “the situation is making Australia the laughing stock of world rugby, but for some stupid reason we all live in hope that the status quo will change … Australian Rugby may have had a difficult year in 2017 with the axing of the Western Force but it doesn’t look too rosy in 2018 with their on-field efforts in no way justifying the cut that divided the rugby nation…”

    Mark refers to “what is happening now”. Well, what is happening?

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    Waratahs trainingThis is still my game: FolauWAYNE SMITH
    This is the week in which only Queensland saved face in Super Rugby but the most alarming development was the removal from the Sydney grade competition of the Penrith Rugby Union Football Club. Penrith is a massive catchment area at the bottom of the Blue Mountains.

    Having wiped the Western Force out of Super Rugby, Rugby Australia argued this would result in stronger Super Rugby performances by the remaining four franchises. That, of course, hasn’t happened.

    And we were also told that there would be more money for the “grassroots”.

    Well struggling Penrith haven’t received a cent from Sydney Rugby Union, NSW Rugby Union or Rugby Australia. And now, rugby has no face and no presence in one of the most densely populated football areas of the country.

    I alerted you last week to the situation with the NSW Waratahs. There is apparently no money and no resources to keep Penrith afloat, but we can appoint an “executive coach” within NSW whose job is “to facilitate change to their development”. Well, we got the “change” this week. Penrith have been booted out.

    We are told they can’t compete; they were getting thrashed on the scoreboard so badly that the rugby environment was “unsafe”.

    Yet, this “executive coach” is supposedly changing the culture of the Waratahs to “one that learns from loss — I call it learning how to lose”. And they apparently didn’t understand how to do that properly, losing, that is. Well this bloke must be the success story of rugby.

    NSW lost to the Lions, 29-0. And the Sydney rugby competition has just lost a whole club. I call that losing on a grand scale.

    But it’s a metaphor of where the money is being wasted. I’ve said many times that in this simple rugby home, which is meant to house all members of the rugby family, if you spend too much money on the roof and nothing on the floor, the house will collapse.

    We’ve seen that collapse continue this week.

    So Raelene Castle, you’ve been there nearly 100 days. I understand that no due diligence was done for your appointment, on your role as CEO with the Canterbury rugby league club. So I’m not too sure what expertise in rugby you bring to the task.

    Many are hoping that the expensive failures at Canterbury aren’t about to be revisited on Australian rugby.

    Raelene, perhaps you could answer one or two questions and I’d be more than happy to follow up next week with what I would think would be the appropriate answers — a sort of blueprint for Rugby Australia. Surely after 100 days, the rugby family should know what your policies are.

    I’m wondering if you can answer some of the following:

    After Penrith, what is your vision for the grassroots of the game? How can we get more kids playing rugby union as opposed to AFL, soccer and rugby league.

    What will you do immediately for the Australian Schoolboys concept to make them competitive with England and New Zealand? Do you understand that if these players can win at this level, they will be imbued early in their rugby life with the belief that they can win when they become Super Rugby players and Wallabies.

    How are you going to keep our best schoolboys in the game instead of letting them defect to the NRL? If we don’t offer these players a fulltime rugby option, they’ll continue to vote with their feet and leave our game as they are doing now.

    What are your plans for the NRC? Surely a waste of time and money. It takes away from the clubs, one of our breeding grounds, playing a longer season and that makes it difficult for them to survive. Yet by surviving they can provide better facilities for the juniors. The multiplier effects are obvious, or do you continue to waste money on the Titanic of rugby competitions.

    How do you ensure that we never again have rookie head coaches in charge of all four Super Rugby franchises? Surely we need world-class coaches for NSW and Queensland. And if we are going to blood a rookie coach, perhaps that can be done with the Melbourne Rebels and the Brumbies. And how do you cultivate Australian coaches? I could suggest you start by not ignoring outstanding proven Australian coaches who keep offering and being rejected by the unknowns who make the decisions to appoint coaches.

    What are you going to do with this infamous Giteau Law brought in for the 2015 Rugby World Cup so that European-based Australian players would be available for Test selection? Surely we need the 60-cap players to be leaders in our national and provisional rugby competitions at home. We should expect them to want to play for the Wallabies. Don’t you think if our culture was sound, they’d be happy here?

    Raelene, when are you going to get our game on free-to-air TV? Of course, to do that you would have to have a product worth showing. And on current standards, we wouldn’t be able to match, for appeal, repeats of Days of Our Lives. How can our game grow, for example in Western Sydney, if the cost of cable TV is over $1000 a year and families can’t afford it? Don’t you think if we are ever going to challenge the other codes we need more free-to-air coverage? And if we want a competition to rival the NRL, wouldn’t it make sense to make Super Rugby a trans-Tasman competition so we can watch the bloody stuff? Raelene, do you sit up and watch the South African games at 2am in the morning? Forgive me for asking, do you watch any games and do you understand what you’re watching?

    Will you engage with key people of influence such as successful former administrators, coaches and players who may have something to offer in terms of energy and ideas?

    Raelene, please believe me, I’m not seeking a job, I have enough on my plate. But do you plan on getting people like Andrew Forrest inside the tent to channel his passion for the game and considerable resources? Or do you do what your chairman did last year and bid him an impolite farewell? There are a lot of big-hitters out there keen to help. Do you know who they are?

    Do you plan to get fresh blood into an underperforming high-performance unit? Has Steven Larkham, a brilliant player, but an as yet unproven coach been anointed as the next Australian coach? How has Rod Kafer become the guru of Australian coaches, appointed by your organisation when he was himself a failed coach. How does this make our high performance unit world-class?

    Do you intend addressing the disturbing perception that a certain clique is running the game? It’s a closed shop. How do people sit on the board of Rugby Australia and still be paid commentators on the game for a contracted broadcaster? Do you accept that that looks as though you are desperate to control the message?

    Put bluntly, Raelene, is there a message and are you trying to control it? Do you think the rugby public is so stupid that they don’t understand this?

    Raelene, I ask these questions because in case you’re not aware, our game is at the bottom of the birdcage and those running it are seen as being totally disconnected from the average rugby fan.

    Believe me Raelene, there is an overwhelming feeling in rugby land that our game is in need of an “Arab Spring”.

    To be perfectly blunt, the rugby dictators on the board sitting in leather chairs and occupying the very best seats at international games appear to be more concerned with hanging onto what they’ve got than growing what is rightly owned by others.

    The ivory tower at Moore Park might look impressive, but those who inhabit it are anything but.

    Raelene, I hope you can answer these questions. If you can’t, don’t you think the job should be given to someone who can?

    Western Force rise from the ashes to open Twiggy’s World Series Rugby
    Western Force supporters will be out in big numbers for the club’s return to rugby in the opening game of World Series Rugby. Picture: AAP
    Western Force supporters will be out in big numbers for the club’s return to rugby in the opening game of World Series Rugby. Picture: AAP
    The Australian12:00AM May 4, 2018
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    WAYNE SMITH
    Senior Sport WriterBrisbane
    @WayneKeithSmith

    Some 293 days have elapsed since Matt Hodgson kicked the conversion which was both the first and the last he would ever land in Super Rugby. It was, most people agreed, a fitting finale for the Western Force as a professional rugby team.

    Thereafter, the only expectation of the club was that it would go away and die, as quietly and inconspicuously as possible. The Australian Rugby Union didn’t need to be reminded of what it had done.

    But Rugby Australia had not counted on the people of Western Australia being so darned obstreperous, or on Andrew Forrest being so stubborn. Twiggy by nickname, unbending by nature.

    Forrest wasn’t prepared to accept the death of the Force and so he didn’t.

    And while he has made himself a constant thorn in the side of Rugby Australia, his campaign to restore the Force to life has succeeded, as 18,500 people will attest tonight when his World Series Rugby is unveiled in Perth against a Fijian side.

    Four thousand of those tickets are giveaways: every WA junior rugby player has been given one — isn’t that the object of growing the game, for goodness’ sake — but the crowd will still be the largest to attend a rugby match in Australia this year.

    Who knows how deeply Forrest has had to dig into his own pocket to make this match and the other six “friendlies” possible. But just do a quick estimate of how much it might cost to fly and accommodate Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Crusaders, the Melbourne Rebels, Hong Kong and a Japanese side to Perth and you get some idea of the expense.

    And that’s just for starters. The intent is to then play the Force in the National Rugby Championship and, then, next year, launch WSR Asia-wide. Then and you have some inkling of the cost.

    “Forrest’s Folly”, some are calling it.

    But there is no question that had it been left to RA, there is no way WA would have been treated so royally with rugby content this year. And while some of his new rules — the nine-point try for those touchdowns that originate in the attacking side’s 22, for example — border on gimmickry, some of them will be closely watched by World Rugby.

    Putting a time limit on scrums and lineouts is an idea whose time has come.

    The Force’s new coach Tim Sampson wonders whether they have gone far enough.

    If a scrum results in two resets before the referee is forced to give a penalty, why should one of the options be to pack another scrum?

    “I’d like to move on from there and restart with a tap penalty or a kick to the line … it’s one to have a look at,” Sampson told The Australian.

    That’s the beauty of rising from the grave. Suddenly all those old laws that used to bind you no longer become relevant.

    You have a new way of looking at everything. And if something doesn’t work, heck, you get to act like the AFL and just change it.

    OK, that might not be quite how it works but one does get the feeling that World Rugby is indulging Forrest for the time being, just to see where his idea might lead.

    Whether it even leads to a home town win tonight is debatable. Fijian coach John McKee has assembled a menacing team, including three Test regulars in halfback Seru Vularika, flanker Mosese Voka and prop Joeli Veitayaki and supplemented them with half a dozen players he is trialling for next year’s World Cup, including four taken out of New Zealand.

    And it would have to be said that the law changes act in Fiji’s favour, forcing the match to be played almost at sevens pace. They are the Olympic champions in that form of the game.

    For the eight Western Force players in the matchday squad, this must all have a surreal feel. The last time they lined up with the Force against an international side was June 5, 2013, the day they took on the British & Irish Lions on the opening match of their Australian tour.

    Think back to the opening round of Super Rugby and how long it took the Australian sides to settle down — and they had had months of training together during the pre-season.

    Sampson has had his side together barely a month and has had to limit how adventurous they will be tonight.

    So much is unknown about tonight, but one thing is certain: The Force won’t die wondering.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

  2. #62
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    Well Wayne Smith pretending to be positive but sounding very negative at the same time!! Alan jones on the money again..

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    Alan Jones is spot in again. His big push this time.....100 days as CEO of RA and exactly what has Raelene Castle done?

    He even questions the interview, reference checks in her selection process.

    I doubt Cox is still being paid.

    Yes, ASIC up to their armpits investigating both MRRU and RA. It’s ongoing. Believe me!!

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  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jules View Post
    Well Wayne Smith pretending to be positive but sounding very negative at the same time!! Alan jones on the money again..

    Wayne Smith has lost me too Jules.

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    Meanwhile the Rats Arse propaganda site is still bogged down in what Folau said ....

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    1hr and 12min into this morning's 2GB breakfast with Alan Jones, worth a listen.

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    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...15-p4zlsz.html

    This was an interesting article. World Series Rugby Americas league????

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