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Thread: Relax rules to aid Force, says Mitchell

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    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
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    Relax rules to aid Force, says Mitchell

    Nick Taylor, The West AustralianMay 23, 2012, 6:44am

    Former Western Force coach John Mitchell has questioned the viability and sustainability of five Australian Super Rugby clubs under the current model.

    He believes they need to be privately owned and that Australian Rugby Union rules restricting all teams except the Melbourne Rebels to just two overseas players should be relaxed.

    Mitchell, preparing the Lions for Saturday's Super clash with the Force, is back in Perth for the first time since leaving the club and joining the Johannesburg side two years ago.

    "It's a hard market. Five teams drawing from the same talent pool and most of it five hours away across the Nullarbor," he said.

    "Privatisation and changing the rules to where you can play for any side is a lifeline for the Force."

    The Rebels are the only privately-owned team in Australia and were given dispensation to sign 10 overseas players when they joined the Super competition. When Mitchell was in charge as the Force foundation coach he was not allowed to recruit from overseas.

    A salary cap has been placed on the Australian sides by the ARU but a new collective bargaining agreement will not apply to the Rebels.

    "It's a tough assignment for the Force," Mitchell said. "Clearly there is a reason for involving the Rebels. But can Australia sustain five teams going forward?

    "The ARU clearly will have done the financials but I don't think it's actually that feasible right now."

    Stripping the Force of its State-based academy and forcing young players to join the ARU systems in Sydney and Brisbane was another problem, he said.

    "Australia does extremely well in terms of developing its talent based on its talent pool," Mitchell said.

    "The ARU put a lot of time into coaching and education development but it does not help if players have to come from an independent academy. They are not even involved in your pre-season."

    The Lions, bottom of the Super table but just five points behind the Force, are under plenty of pressure. The South African Rugby Union is scrambling to avoid sacrificing one of its Super Rugby teams after promising the Port Elizabeth-based Southern Kings a place in the competition next year.

    The SARU could relegate the lowest-placed South African team or get two teams to merge, with the Lions and Cheetahs, from Bloemfontein, the likely candidates. The pair competed in Super Rugby from 1998-2006 as the Cats.

    "It is on the minds of individuals but it's outside of our control," Mitchell said. "We're in a union that's 120-years-old, we are Currie Cup champions and we provide a lot of the talent in the country.
    "There's a lot more to be played out yet."

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Agree wholeheartedly!!!
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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    just goes to show all the bleating on the roar about how the Force are crap and not developing players etc yawn is completely ill informed, they have no idea and think we get concessions like the rebels. How we even compete as we do is astounding.

    We are not even hamstrung, we are hung drawn and quartered!!

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    just goes to show all the bleating on the roar is completely ill informed!
    that's better
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    Veteran Contributor hertryk's Avatar
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    Always said he was good for us...the interview has certainly not changed my view....well done Mitch..wish you were here and still on our side. Which is what I said during "my interview" and it was cut out...

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    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    What's stopping WA from starting up the acadamy again - don't know reasons why its been shutdown? How hard is it to get up running again? Why can't some rich WA company/business takeover WesternForce due to lack of confidence in the management - doesn't seem to be working so far. So many questions - so little time - so much fukn round!

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    What's stopping WA from starting up the acadamy again - don't know reasons why its been shutdown? How hard is it to get up running again? Why can't some rich WA company/business takeover WesternForce due to lack of confidence in the management - doesn't seem to be working so far. So many questions - so little time - so much fukn round!
    All good questions. With one simple answer. MONEY.

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    Immortal Contributor jono's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    All good questions. With one simple answer. MONEY.

    the ARU would probably shut it down within 6 months anyway

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    Veteran sittingbison's Avatar
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    I thought the ARU forced us to close the academy
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    Champion andrewM's Avatar
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    I agree about having a local acadamy
    I agree to a point about increasing the number of foreign players allowed to play for an Aus franchise
    but I don't agree about private ownership, the teams should be 'owned' by the unions, for the benefit of the unions . Haven't been convinced that private equity can delivery on that.

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    Veteran TOCC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andrewM View Post
    I agree about having a local acadamy
    I agree to a point about increasing the number of foreign players allowed to play for an Aus franchise
    but I don't agree about private ownership, the teams should be 'owned' by the unions, for the benefit of the unions . Haven't been convinced that private equity can delivery on that.
    Precisely, private ownership is a double edged sword, the ARU has been very lucky with Harold Mitchell, he is an unassuming type character who hasn't purchased a sporting team to purely inflate his own ego.

    On the other hand, have a look at the likes of Nathan Tinkler and Clive Palmer who have damaged football through their actions.

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