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Thread: Melbourne makes Super 15 sense

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    Melbourne makes Super 15 sense

    John Connolly | May 31, 2009



    No matter where the new Super rugby franchise ends up in Australia, the big question is whether or not the Australian Rugby Union should in fact have a stake in it, as has been suggested.

    The four existing Australian Super rugby teams are run by their respective state or territory bodies, and supported financially to some extent by the ARU courtesy of the Fox Sports agreement.

    It's something that works well because it keeps rugby a community-run game and all teams on an equal footing, but a team funded by the national rugby authority would be perceived to have a far greater advantage in snaring high-profile and marquee players. It could create many conflicts of interest, with the ARU in control of one team yet the governing body for its four opponents.

    All Australian Super franchises control both the amateur and professional games in their respective backyards, making each responsible for its own player development. It's the system that works with great success in South Africa and New Zealand, Ireland and Wales, and now Scotland is looking to adopt the same concept in which the grassroots tier of rugby feeds into the professional realm.

    The challenges for rugby with the extra team is with more games there's a requirement for more players, and the responsibility to produce them will fall strongly on the people in clubland.

    By cutting them off at the knees with private ownership, breaking their bond with the top tier, those people, I would suggest, might not feel a part of a team that is privately owned or run by the ARU. And the rugby community needs to feel a part of the team because the game thrives on tribalism.

    Getting away from that type of structure, I think, is crazy.

    The advantage for the rugby people of each province is that they have ownership from the grassroots to the top.

    And having the ARU own half the 15th team means it will be competing for players with the other provinces. And just who approves third-party agreements for marquee players for the new club? I'm all for change but not just for the sake of it.

    For rugby to be successful, the game has to be built on a strong relationships between the ARU and its five provinces. And one thinks the relationship could become strained should the ARU also become a competitor with the teams. There's a huge onus on the ARU board here that it remains a level playing field. We know at the moment the states are talking behind closed doors of their concerns.


    Of the three possible Australian franchises - the Gold Coast, western Sydney and Melbourne - I believe Melbourne is the best fit. It enables us to keep the state versus state tribalism. Either way, it needs to be announced sooner rather than later.

    The QRU has already stated it doesn't want the new team on the Gold Coast because it believes it can't sustain it. And I understand the Waratahs aren't too comfortable with the idea of another team in Sydney - the Waratahs are the NSW Waratahs, a state team; where would that leave a Penrith team?

    So obviously Melbourne's the real option. It has the support of the Victorian Government, and even AFL commentator Brian Taylor last week pointed out the strong foothold of rugby in Melbourne.

    There's been talk that we can't afford another Western Force, but short of being one of many Australian sporting organisations conned by fraudulent sponsor Firepower, the Force had a remarkable first few seasons. They had to make do on a makeshift AFL field, had no gym yet averaged 28,000 fans a game, and this year supplied 10 players to the 29-man Wallabies squad.

    So with Melbourne already having the infrastructure and fan base in place, it can become as successful as any team in the competition.

    They'll have a new stadium courtesy of the Melbourne Storm's efforts in petitioning the State Government, and with that comes a world-class gym and training facilities - the perfect breeding ground for success. So they're already a lot further down the track than the Force were.

    The team needs to be named now to give officials enough time to scout players and build a successful organisation before a ball is even kicked. Let's not forget the ARU in 2006 promised Melbourne they'd be the next team in the competition.

    No matter what the outcome over the next few months, for the sake of the development of Australian rugby, let's hope common sense prevails.


    http://www.rugbyheaven.com.au/news/n...e#contentSwap1

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    Champion Contributor tragic's Avatar
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    "They'll have a new stadium courtesy of the Melbourne Storm's efforts in petitioning the State Government, and with that comes a world-class gym and training facilities - the perfect breeding ground for success. So they're already a lot further down the track than the Force were."

    ... should be "... further down the track than the Force ARE."

    I wonder if the Vics wouldn't mind us borrowing their State government for a year or two? Just so we can get something done around this joint, and get it done big enough.

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    Veteran Contributor normie's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Vics wouldn't mind us borrowing their State government for a year or two? Just so we can get something done around this joint, and get it done big enough.[/QUOTE]

    Interesting concept, tragic; we'd certainly end up with a superb stadium, and probably get daylight savings, 24/7 shopping, Melbourne cup day holiday and the F1 grand prix thrown in to boot!

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by travelling_gerry View Post
    J

    John Connolly | May 31, 2009


    .............There's been talk that we can't afford another Western Force, but short of being one of many Australian sporting organisations conned by fraudulent sponsor Firepower, the Force had a remarkable first few seasons. They had to make do on a makeshift AFL field, had no gym yet averaged 28,000 fans a game, and this year supplied 10 players to the 29-man Wallabies squad.............
    Well, well. Another balanced view of what has happened here. Sort of anyway. There's been a couple lately. Wonder if Knuckles read Ryle's book?

    Can't say I agree with his views about there being a level playing field, though. The playing field can only be level if all teams start from equal positions. Had the Sydney Swans or Brisbane Lions had such a "level" playing field there would probably be no Gold Coast AFL team coming on-stream and the Swannies and Lions would likely be in the football graveyard with the Western Reds and Adelaide Rams. Unfortunately this seems to be the prevailing mood in the powerbases on the eastern seaboard. The Mudskipper vision of how to grow Rugby into a true competitor with the NRL, AFL and FFA. Sheesh.

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    Yeah, I agree with Knuckles. WTF?

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    Quote Originally Posted by normie View Post
    I wonder if the Vics wouldn't mind us borrowing their State government for a year or two? Just so we can get something done around this joint, and get it done big enough.
    Interesting concept,
    tragic; we'd certainly end up with a superb stadium, and probably get daylight savings, 24/7 shopping, Melbourne cup day holiday and the F1 grand prix thrown in to boot!
    Sounds good to me! Let's do it

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    Last edited by travelling_gerry; 31-05-09 at 11:06.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beige View Post
    Yeah, I agree with Knuckles. WTF?
    never thought the day would come ay Beige?

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    C'mon the

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    Veteran beige's Avatar
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    I figured it could happen one day but I thought it would be something like, "I like warm days," or something...

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    Good to see they are off and running...unlike the Gold Coast and Western Sydney

    http://www.melbsuper15.com/

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    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    melbourne gets my vote....

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Man View Post
    Good to see they are off and running...unlike the Gold Coast and Western Sydney

    http://www.melbsuper15.com/
    http://www.melbournesuper14.com.au/ sort of fell by teh wayside - they should probably clear it of content and redirect to the new one ....

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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by normie View Post
    I wonder if the Vics wouldn't mind us borrowing their State government for a year or two? Just so we can get something done around this joint, and get it done big enough.
    Interesting concept, tragic; we'd certainly end up with a superb stadium, and probably get daylight savings, 24/7 shopping, Melbourne cup day holiday and the F1 grand prix thrown in to boot![/QUOTE]

    and swine flu...

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