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Thread: Australian rugby labelled 'dysfunctional' ahead of World Cup....

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    Legend Contributor blueandblack's Avatar
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    Australian rugby labelled 'dysfunctional' ahead of World Cup....

    "Australian rugby labelled 'dysfunctional' ahead of World Cup, critics call for grassroots strategy

    Current and former senior administrators have accused Rugby Australia (RA) of lacking a long-term strategy less than 12 months out from the Wallabies taking part in the World Cup in Japan. Critics say the problems at the top of the game with the Wallabies can be traced back to a lack of junior development and a coherent strategy to support ruby union's grassroots.

    Retired Australia international and current president of Sydney club Eastwood, Brett Papworth, is among the most outspoken critics of RA. Mr Papworth said the organisation was spending more money than ever at the top level at the expense of the grassroots.

    "They have a head office you can't jump over, they have corporate costs and admin costs and 150 professional players," he said. "That is all and that's all they spend money on."

    Papworth's comments come as the board of RA, formerly the Australian Rugby Union, prepares to meet on Monday and finalise a review into the performances of the Wallabies this season.

    Wallabies coach Michael Cheika will make a presentation to the board on the team's worst season since 1958, in which they won only four of 13 Tests played.

    Mr Papworth said a review of the Wallabies was masking the real problem in the game ó a lack of junior development and a long-term grassroots strategy.

    "The Wallabies at the moment are symptomatic of the game in general," he said.

    That is a claim disputed by RA chief executive Raelene Castle.

    "There absolutely is a strategy to develop," Ms Castle said.

    "Rugby Australia is delivering products that are capable of making rugby a sport that's attractive to young people.

    "We've got Foxtel Touch Sevens, we've got a sevens product and we've got 15s. What we've also got is a product called Get Into Rugby, which enables school-age children to try rugby for the first time."

    Ms Castle said the latter initiative had seen "70,000 new boys and girls" take up the sport.

    Aussie rugby at its lowest point for 'many, many years'

    Ross Ryan is the chairman of Canterbury Rugby Union Club, which plays in Sydney's sub-districts competition.

    He has been involved in junior rugby for 42 years and does not believe he has seen the code in such a poor state in Australia for some time.

    "Since I've been involved in rugby in Australia, this is the lowest it's been for many, many years," he said.

    "I don't see the leadership being provided. I want to see a direction we can all head in.

    "I want to see development officers. I want to see them using the AFL model [Auskick], what they use.

    "I want to see them getting out there and getting into the public schools. Because, with the national team being in such a terrible state, we can't attract the people and that from the local schools."

    Ms Castle acknowledged she would like to see more development officers in junior rugby but said the sport could not compete with the might of the AFL.

    "We'd love to be doing more," she said.

    "My aspiration is to make sure we do generate more revenue so we can invest it in things like development officers.

    "But it's also the responsibility of Rugby Australia to work with the states and territories and make sure they're actually delivering the development officers and the support that is required in the rugby community."

    Ms Castle said she had the support of Australia's four Super Rugby franchises, despite the criticism levelled at RA.

    "They would give you feedback to say there's been significant improvement in the engagement with Rugby Australia and those states and territories," she said.

    "And the consultative way with which I lead has shown real benefits to those people. I'm very comfortable with the way things are going."

    But former Waratahs and Rugby Union Players' Association chief executive Greg Harris said the past and present leadership of RA had made poor strategic decisions.

    Mr Harris said this had led to a decline in the fortunes of the Wallabies, the quality of Super Rugby and the club game.

    "I think the game is dysfunctional because at the end of the day, you need to have the leadership to be able to engage people," Mr Harris said.

    "It does matter to a lot of people and it would be a be a shame to lose an icon of competitiveness that we do have in that sport. But it really needs to be rethought."

    Former Wallabies coaches call for change

    Mr Papworth has established an alliance with a group of high-profile rugby names, including former Wallabies coaches Bob Dwyer and Alan Jones, to establish an Australian Rugby Clubs Association.

    The group is advocating for change at RA, while Jones has specifically called for the removal of Ms Castle and chairman Cameron Clyne.

    Mr Papworth cited his local district Eastwood as emblematic of the decline.

    "Last year at under-nine level we had five teams. That's a very poor state of affairs," he said.

    "If we extrapolate those under nine-year-olds to 20 years' time, they're your Wallabies and the number are frightening.

    "We've got to pick a World Cup team for 2039 and I promise you, unless something is done long term strategically we are going to struggle to be there in any meaningful way."

    the rest at : https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-12-...d-cup/10593520

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I like pappys last little bit about his 5 junior teams being the wallabies in 20 years, it sounds reasonable until you realise that he means the entire wallabies team will be from there

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Eastwood and Gordon have the biggest junior catchment in the country. He has a point.

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    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

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    What a disaster, what is it going to take for Clyne and Raelene to resign...

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    Senior Player jombi's Avatar
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    What's Raelene done? She's a figurehead with no power.

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jombi View Post
    What's Raelene done? She's a figurehead with no power.
    Sign Hooper on a big fat contract.

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    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

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    And as usual, Sydney is taken to mean all Australian rugby, or at least the only bit that matters. They may have some points, but the source is renowned as solely self-interested and Papworth particularly make it sound like entitled tears falling. The ARU was their creation more than most and reflects it's parentage.

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    Castle's claim that 70,000 school kids have taken up rugby because of the Get into Rugby initiative is stupid. How many of them have actually joined a club after trying rugby for a hour or two at school?

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    The disconnect is clear . Castle is full of jargon and spin while on the ground the warnings are there for all to see . Iím not really sure why Cheika is reviewing the season with these clowns. Nothing will come out except verbal garbage . What else is there to talk about ..... anyway?

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perth Girl View Post
    Castle's claim that 70,000 school kids have taken up rugby because of the Get into Rugby is stupid.
    You're being kind there. It's an outright lie. Papworth's point about the bloated admin is on the mark. It soaks up way too much of the available funds. The NRL run a much bigger sport with way less admin staff - who travel cattle class

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    Last edited by shasta; 08-12-18 at 12:37.

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    Veteran Bakkies's Avatar
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    Nothing to see here move along.

    Two highly credible organisations RUPA and the RA have conducted an strategic integrity and welfare review in to another highly credible organisation the Rabble. FMD.

    https://melbournerebels.com/2018/11/...ity-benchmark/

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    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

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    Player cedric rainwater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Nothing to see here move along.

    Two highly credible organisations RUPA and the RA have conducted an strategic integrity and welfare review in to another highly credible organisation the Rabble. FMD.

    https://melbournerebels.com/2018/11/...ity-benchmark/
    arf at the 3 x boxes at the bottom of that page ('play', 'learn' & 'elite pathways')
    very apt, there isn't a working link

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    cider my arse

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Nothing to see here move along.

    Two highly credible organisations RUPA and the RA have conducted an strategic integrity and welfare review in to another highly credible organisation the Rabble. FMD.

    https://melbournerebels.com/2018/11/...ity-benchmark/
    This is straight out of the ARU/RA playbook: focus on the internals and stuff the punters outside.

    The Rebels' primary concerns are the same as the ARU/RA's, i.e. anything but the key issues, which are
    1. bums on seats,
    2. revenue and
    3. growth of the game.

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    Jeebus that's a load of gobbledygook. Are they talking about a rugby club? Any kind of sporting club? Sheesh, not even a club, with juniors, grades etc. It's a franchise of 30 professional players and a handful of reserves FFS. Oops my bad, make that 67 professional players, 15 reserves and a dozen wannabes, plus Joel who will never make it. You know, who are paid to play 15 games a season, and winning enough to make the finals. No mention of professional standards, training regimens, dietary strictures, establishing a winning mentality, the membership, other fans etc. What fingertips said. Just some esoteric mumbo jumbo.

    Oh, and they actually had the word "integrity" in an article about the Rabble. How quaint

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    No wonder Dave Wessels went for the Scarlets interview.

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