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Thread: Shrinking to Greatness

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    Shrinking to Greatness

    Franchises fear shrinking seasons

    [COLOR=var(--emphasis-color)]
    APRIL 02, 2019[/COLOR]

    The four Australian Super Rugby chief executives have been workshopping ideas with Rugby Australia, desperately attempting to find ways of bolstering their match schedules once SANZAAR reverts to a 13-game regular season in 2021.

    One of the main drivers of the move to dump the Sunwolves of Japan was to restore some integrity to the competition by ensuring that each franchise will now play every other team. But while it means that the dreaded conference system will be abandoned, it also means that Super Rugby will shrink from the current regular season of 16 games (eight home, eight away) to just 13 fixtures. If the franchises are struggling to stay afloat with eight home matches, there is real fear when their allocation will be cut to just six games every second year.
    “I know the Super Rugby provinces are a little bit nervous around the new broadcasting agreement and the competition that’s coming into play,” QRU chairman Jeff Miller told [COLOR=var(--emphasis-color)]The Australian[/COLOR]. “With each of the Super Rugby provinces having to look at a seven and six-game alternate season, there is a fair bit of nervousness around that. We’re all trying to boost crowds but that doesn’t seem to be happening and if we lose another game, it just makes it much harder for us.”
    The issue is expected to be the hot topic of debate at the Rugby Australia annual general meeting next Monday, especially if Friday brings the bad news that many in the rugby world are anticipating — that the northern hemisphere nations have vetoed the Nations Championship. The anticipated money that the proposed Nations Championship is expected to generate would more than compensate each franchise for the cutback from 16 regular season games to just 13. But the most regularly asked question in Australian rugby at present is: “What will happen when we are cut to just six home games a season every second year if the Nations Championship does fall over?”
    The answer that Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has been giving the franchises is that the broadcasters will be prepared to increase their deal in exchange for a more legitimate competition.
    Certainly the fact that the broadcasters played a role in having Super Rugby trimmed from an almost-unworkable 15 teams to 14 sides from 2021 suggests this might be a realistic expectation. Still, the flip-side of that argument is why the broadcasters would pay more for less content.
    Asked what would happen if the northern hemisphere does sink the Nations Championship when the deadline for a decision is reached on Friday, Miller replied: “Well, I would think we would all get together with Rugby Australia and we would be looking for alternatives. SANZAAR comes into play as well. It’s a bit hard for us because we’re one removed from negotiations.”
    Miller said the franchise chief executives had already workshopped a range of money-generating ideas in the event of the Nations Championship happening and not happening.
    “There was even something being floated that, if the Nations Championship gets up and some of the international sides are coming over here and they’re playing a single Test, maybe there is an opportunity to extend their squad and then they play a midweek game against the provinces, like we used to do. You’re without your Wallabies at the time but it might add an extra game to the overall schedule.”
    No idea is too wild or exotic to have been rejected out of hand. One suggestion was that one or maybe the two leading Australian teams might stage a mid-year tournament with the leading NZ sides and the leading club teams in Europe in Dubai. The plan would be that any proceeds coming to Australia would be still be split four ways, although it was thought a slightly larger share should go to the sides that qualify for the tournament.
    Castle has proposed that the franchises also look at exploiting the likely later start to Super Rugby and organise a pre-season competition. But experience has been that pre-season matches, while they attract rugby-starved diehards, have limited mass appeal. Besides, with the Wallabies only returning to training at the start of January following their end-of-season spring tour, there is little likelihood of star players taking part. Of course, that too is the case for a post-season tournament, with the Wallabies being taken away for July Tests against the three incoming northern hemisphere teams.
    “It is a concern for us,” said Miller. “My big push is that we really need to look at the game and where we are going to be in three to five years’ time. Particularly from a provincial perspective, we have to look at getting financial stability and sustainability. That’s the bigger issue … how do we actually guarantee that’s going to occur?”
    Wayne Smith The Australian

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    Lower the salary cap...problem solvered.

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    Raelene ... GRR it’s easy ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Lower the salary cap...problem solvered.
    They'd actually need to enforce the salary cap to begin with. Or least take Wallabies top up's out of the equation.

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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Franchises fear shrinking seasons

    [COLOR=var(--emphasis-color)]
    APRIL 02, 2019[/COLOR]

    The four Australian Super Rugby chief executives have been workshopping ideas with Rugby Australia, desperately attempting to find ways of bolstering their match schedules once SANZAAR reverts to a 13-game regular season in 2021.

    One of the main drivers of the move to dump the Sunwolves of Japan was to restore some integrity to the competition by ensuring that each franchise will now play every other team. But while it means that the dreaded conference system will be abandoned, it also means that Super Rugby will shrink from the current regular season of 16 games (eight home, eight away) to just 13 fixtures. If the franchises are struggling to stay afloat with eight home matches, there is real fear when their allocation will be cut to just six games every second year.
    “I know the Super Rugby provinces are a little bit nervous around the new broadcasting agreement and the competition that’s coming into play,” QRU chairman Jeff Miller told [COLOR=var(--emphasis-color)]The Australian[/COLOR]. “With each of the Super Rugby provinces having to look at a seven and six-game alternate season, there is a fair bit of nervousness around that. We’re all trying to boost crowds but that doesn’t seem to be happening and if we lose another game, it just makes it much harder for us.”
    The issue is expected to be the hot topic of debate at the Rugby Australia annual general meeting next Monday, especially if Friday brings the bad news that many in the rugby world are anticipating — that the northern hemisphere nations have vetoed the Nations Championship. The anticipated money that the proposed Nations Championship is expected to generate would more than compensate each franchise for the cutback from 16 regular season games to just 13. But the most regularly asked question in Australian rugby at present is: “What will happen when we are cut to just six home games a season every second year if the Nations Championship does fall over?”
    The answer that Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle has been giving the franchises is that the broadcasters will be prepared to increase their deal in exchange for a more legitimate competition.
    Certainly the fact that the broadcasters played a role in having Super Rugby trimmed from an almost-unworkable 15 teams to 14 sides from 2021 suggests this might be a realistic expectation. Still, the flip-side of that argument is why the broadcasters would pay more for less content.
    Asked what would happen if the northern hemisphere does sink the Nations Championship when the deadline for a decision is reached on Friday, Miller replied: “Well, I would think we would all get together with Rugby Australia and we would be looking for alternatives. SANZAAR comes into play as well. It’s a bit hard for us because we’re one removed from negotiations.”
    Miller said the franchise chief executives had already workshopped a range of money-generating ideas in the event of the Nations Championship happening and not happening.
    “There was even something being floated that, if the Nations Championship gets up and some of the international sides are coming over here and they’re playing a single Test, maybe there is an opportunity to extend their squad and then they play a midweek game against the provinces, like we used to do. You’re without your Wallabies at the time but it might add an extra game to the overall schedule.”
    No idea is too wild or exotic to have been rejected out of hand. One suggestion was that one or maybe the two leading Australian teams might stage a mid-year tournament with the leading NZ sides and the leading club teams in Europe in Dubai. The plan would be that any proceeds coming to Australia would be still be split four ways, although it was thought a slightly larger share should go to the sides that qualify for the tournament.
    Castle has proposed that the franchises also look at exploiting the likely later start to Super Rugby and organise a pre-season competition. But experience has been that pre-season matches, while they attract rugby-starved diehards, have limited mass appeal. Besides, with the Wallabies only returning to training at the start of January following their end-of-season spring tour, there is little likelihood of star players taking part. Of course, that too is the case for a post-season tournament, with the Wallabies being taken away for July Tests against the three incoming northern hemisphere teams.
    “It is a concern for us,” said Miller. “My big push is that we really need to look at the game and where we are going to be in three to five years’ time. Particularly from a provincial perspective, we have to look at getting financial stability and sustainability. That’s the bigger issue … how do we actually guarantee that’s going to occur?”
    Wayne Smith The Australian
    There really is some stupid in the options in the article. A series in Dubai. FFS. A big part of the games issues is that teams disappear for 3 weeks at a time mid season to tour Sth Africa. How would having a mini-tournament in Dubai be any different. The only one that has any appeal is the 'pre-season' competition which I hate the thought of such a thing being called. Though they mention the lack of appeal of the trial games. Which is fair enough as they are fucking trial games.

    If they want to do something pre/post SR then they already have the basis of it in the NRC which involves the Force and Fiji. Scrap the likes of Sydney, NSW Country etc and just use the SR brands. If GRR gets a 2nd Aus team up and running include them and Samoa.

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    Champion valzc's Avatar
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    Open Letter to Cheika

    WOW, Enriques has really put the boot in! I believe this is in response to the SMH article on Cheiks interview on Nother podcast about how he trained Leinster in Dublin.

    Michael, in my not-so-modest opinion, you have no idea of physiology, anatomy, physical preparation, psychology, etc. etc. etc. You just continue flogging athletes as if you were in First World War or running your horses in the Melbourne Cup! - Your Wallabies are 'morally' bankrupt because your inability to deal with people and their issues, individually and collectively!

    In this era of professionalism you think you know everything? How wrong could you be? - You are the sole responsible for the last 4 years debacle. Your team just got used to lose, and you have no idea of how to get them 'fired-up'. Let me tell you, I won a few test-matches, this is not a Provincial Competition! - Your predecessor Robbie Deans had the same problem: Did not make the transition from Super Rugby to test-match rugby. How could you possibly know more than Stephen Larkham? When you have played 'zilch' tests?

    Your ego and stubbornness are beyond comprehension and completely unacceptable. Except that you are accompanied by a substandard administration which amongst many other incongruences, it has allowed you to display your inadequacy at its worst.

    What does Raylene Castle or Cameron Clyne or Ann Sherry or Josephine Sukkar know about selection of coaches and players?

    Ms Castle left Canterbury Bulldogs with dubious accomplishments and a litany of question marks. rugby union welcomed what rugby league was very keen to dispose of. The decision of John Eales of abstaining to voting in the CEO selection process (leaving Phil Kearns out to dry) will soon be known as the 'mate's blunder of the decade and complete lack of sensitivity. Mr Eales a fantastic rugby player has learnt very little 'Values' on the field (for one LOYALTY, and lack of foresight to follow).

    The "hiring and firing" of Coaches and players needs to be left to ex-Representative Coaches, Not Administrators with No Credentials whatsoever and with a demonstrated 'ignorance' of what goes on during 80 minutes of high pressure rugby.

    The infamous ARBIB REPORT was never implemented fully. 12 months after those findings, the ARU went back to their 'old tricks'. Like an old dog who has no desire to obey the law or the orders of its owner.

    Rugby Australia (ARU to me), needs to make The Wallabies an independent 'cost centre' run at profit ($1.50 per year will suffice to keep a positive ledger). And then dedicate ALL other resources to look after the Australian Rugby Community at large; Get-it? A Human Resources Specialist must be appointed to deal with all the issues raised daily, by 'prima donnas' like players misbehaving, all a by-product of being over-paid and over-fed! - By the way, Agents and Managers need to be rained down, because they could not care less, and only have loyalty towards their bank manager (sometimes).

    How much more do I have to spell this 'cancer' out for you to understand, you have been an utter failure at your 'profession'. You have no guts or balls to step aside. It takes areal man with brains to accept full responsibility for the underperformance on the field.

    How many more players are you going to burn by psychological, emotional or physical injury? I know well the things you are doing and also the ones you are not doing. Your knowledge of sciences is appalling, those injuries from January camp are all product of your 'flogging' of the players. If you get into a Formula 1 car, you will destroy the engine and all engineering just because you ignore the limits of just about anything.

    I herewith predict, you and the Wallabies (the way you are going about business) will not make the top 8 teams! - I really hope to be wrong. However, athletes' preparation and performance is pretty similar to 'horse racing' - To win or have a decent performance you need FORM, which it is acquired over a period of time and it is a by-product of 'regularity' and consistency. I give you 0 out of 10 in those two departments.

    I'll be waiting for your response but I don't hold my breath because you have demonstrated to be voided of 'self-critic' and 'respect' for a sport of 150 years and its followers. Back in 2013/2014 you run a PR campaign telling the world that you didn't need the money because you made a lot of money in the rag-trade with Collette Dinigan? - If you don't need the money you should then return your payments of all the test matches lost! - I dare you...

    Enrique TOPO Rodriguez

    Triple Rugby Union International - (1971-1992)

    (42 test caps Argentina, Tahiti, Australia)

    Wallaby Captain (1987) / Barbarian FC Captain (1991) / Cordoba Province Captain (1982-1983). Argentine Provinces Selection Captain (1982).

    Multi-Award Winning Author and Publisher (The ART of Scrummaging, 2012 and 2015)

    Written by Enrique Topo Rodriguez

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    It has been all quiet from Topo lately but wow. If he really wanted to nail Cheika he should mention the amount of grassroots money he has wasted on junkets, payouts and failed projects. Still no word on about what loss loss the RA will make at next week’s AGM and whether the boofhead in the Chairman’s seat will step down. I suppose we will have to wait for Growden’s column.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Still no word on about what loss loss the RA will make at next week’s AGM
    Can't RA just use the Rebel's accountant?
    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    and whether the boofhead in the Chairman’s seat will step down.
    Oh come on, Bakkies; be serious!

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    Really enjoyed reading that one from Topo, good on him for firing back. It is good to see some real rugby journalism in this country.. lets hope he pumps out a few more masterpieces .

    Georgina you dirty little liar, take note.

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    The best thing that can happen to Rugby in Australia will be to see the end of Clynes tenure. Doubt it will happen because everyone on that board is too gutless to do whats right for the sport and are all in it to save their skin which means backing their dear leader. The whole sport has become a laughing joke. With our current leadership we will only ever compete with the Aleague and never get anywhere close to competing with the NRL and dare I say it, AFL. Twiggy is our true leader, f$%k Raelene and Clyne!

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    Player chiraag's Avatar
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    Where did you find that letter valzc - can't seem to find it myself online?

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    I can see Wales & Fiji beating Australia in the group D stage of the WC and knocking them out unfortunately. Fortunately this should then lead to mass sackings and resignations throughout the coaching staff, Rugby Australia and the Wallabies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper1 View Post
    I can see Wales & Fiji beating Australia in the group D stage of the WC and knocking them out unfortunately. Fortunately this should then lead to mass sackings and resignations throughout the coaching staff, Rugby Australia and the Wallabies.
    But Cheik has a plan??? and Rat's Arse are "across it"?????

    What's the bet that the Wobblies screw the pooch at the World Cup and Cheika uses it as an opportunity to suggest that he has "unfinished business" and extend his contract of overpaid absolute power without any performance indicators at all?

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    C'mon the

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chopper1 View Post
    I can see Wales & Fiji beating Australia in the group D stage of the WC and knocking them out unfortunately. Fortunately this should then lead to mass sackings and resignations throughout the coaching staff, Rugby Australia and the Wallabies.
    Cheika's going after the RWC anyway, and whoever is brought in (Larkham?) will want his own coaches; so we know they'll be major changes to the coaching staff.

    I can't see Larkham sticking with the Cheika boys side (I think a fair few will be heading to Europe); so there's likely to be major changes in the Wallaby side, too.

    And the RA board have appointed Johnson to oversee rugby after the RWC, so there's no need for them to resign, even if we fail badly; they've put a re-building plan in action and it'll take 2-3 years to see if that works, so there's no need for them to go!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    Can't RA just use the Rebel's accountant?

    Oh come on, Bakkies; be serious!
    They do use the same accountant!!

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