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Thread: Twiggy goes nuclear

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    Twiggy goes nuclear

    Threat of Wallabies without WA: Andrew Forrest warns of state breakaway

    EXCLUSIVE
    By PAUL GARVEY and STEVE JACKSON
    2 HOURS AGO NOVEMBER 20, 20191
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    Mining billionaire Andrew Forrest has called for Rugby Australia to put the game’s best interests ahead of “arrogance and ego” as he flagged a potential radical breakaway West Australian side to compete on the international stage.

    Four seats on the RA board will be up for grabs in March when chairman Cameron Clyne steps down, sparking an opportunity for renewal in the game following the Israel Folau crisis, the axing of Western Force and a disappointing World Cup.

    Mr Forrest has been bankrolling the Global Rapid Rugby competition since Perth-based Western Force were axed from the Super Rugby competition in 2017.

    “As the board is renewed, I can only hope that this change in leadership will bring a much-needed change to rugby in our country, where good judgment and selflessness promote the best interests of the game and prevail over arrogance and ego,” Mr Forrest said.

    “It is critical that the next board aims for a truly national footprint for the game. We cannot allow history to repeat itself. Western Australia is not a poor cousin, with rugby thriving in the state thanks to grassroots investment, elite talent development and strong community engagement.”

    The Fortescue Metals Group chairman flagged the creation of a breakaway national rugby side if the restructured board of RA continues to treat Western Australia as a “poor cousin”.

    Mr Forrest’s comments came as former Nine and Seven boss David Leckie called for a clean-out at RA, describing chief executive Raelene Castle as a “complete disaster” and urging her to follow Mr Clyne out the door “before she does any more damage”.

    Mr Leckie said it was also *incumbent on Mr Clyne to step aside immediately and stop making decisions that impact the *future of the game.

    RA on Wednesday announced New Zealander Dave Rennie as the new Wallabies head coach. It’s a key appointment that will be inherited by Mr Clyne’s successor.

    “Clyne has fallen on his sword — and rightly so — but he should be gone tomorrow, not hanging around for the next few months and having any involvement in any decisions moving forward,” Mr Leckie, who is a director at Easts rugby club in Sydney, told The Australian. “We have to get rid of the entire board and start again.”

    Mr Clyne has vowed to negotiate a new broadcast rights deal before he steps down.

    In what would be one of the biggest upheavals to Australian sport since rugby league’s split in the 1990s and the World Series Cricket breakaway of the 1970s, Mr Forrest told The Australian WA would consider extreme *options — including fielding a stand-alone West Australian team at international level — if RA did not properly engage with WA. “It would be devastating if the states began to explore other options, such as the creation of an alternative union, but if pushed into a corner I believe this is something the rugby community and the state would get behind,” he said.

    Fielding a West Australian side at international level would echo the structures in place in Great Britain, where England, Wales and Scotland each field their own international teams. The bold plan would appear to face major, if not insurmountable, hurdles — first and foremost being endorsement by RA and World Rugby governing bodies — but Mr Forrest has deep pockets and a long track record of defying sceptics.

    Rugby WA chairman John *Edwards confirmed he had discussed the plan with Mr Forrest and was determined to see the state represented both in top-flight rugby competitions and on the RA board.



    Why don’t you act as a selector. We want our readers to propose who should replace Cameron Clyne as chairman of Rugby Australia and fill the other three impending vacancies on the board. We believe this is the time for a renewal in Australian rugby after a disastrous few years and Rugby Australia needs to make some bold decisions and cast its net wide in the search for new directors. That’s why suggestions from readers are important. Several names have already been thrown up. Brett Papworth, an advocate for club rugby, former Wallaby Phil Kearns and television executive Jarrod Frykberg have all been mentioned. Others have urged RA to target big names such as David Gallop and Andrew Demetriou. Mining tycoon Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest has a lot of support and Sydney Olympic bid CEO Rod McGeoch, former Virgin boss John Borghetti, former NSW premier Mike Baird and former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott have been suggested. Tell us what you think.

    – Wally Mason, Sports editor

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Hmmmm. Those guys used to be scribes at The Oz. When did they start at The Betoota Advocate?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Hmmmm. Those guys used to be scribes at The Oz. When did they start at The Betoota Advocate?
    The article is in the Oz.

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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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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    I was trying to take the piss. A WA team competing internationally? Betoota Ad stuff. Just when things were starting to look rational. Wayne Smith's take seems to suggest Geoff Stooke might be aiming at the chairmanship. But its a paywalled story.

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    WAYNE SMITH
    SENIOR SPORT WRITER
    @WayneKeithSmith

    8:55PM NOVEMBER 20, 2019


    Geoff Stooke, the man who resigned as a Rugby Australia director in 2017 in protest at the Western Force’s culling from Super Rugby, is seeking to return to the board — potentially as its new chairman.

    In an exclusive interview with The Australian, Stooke confirmed that he is seeking to be elected to the board at RA’s annual general meeting in April.

    Under normal circumstances, that might pose real problems for Stooke, with RA having a tortured process of deciding on new directors, generally leaving it to its own nominations committee, which preselects the precise number of board members to fill any vacancies.

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    Once decided upon, these names are put to the AGM for effective rubberstamping. Given that the nominations committee is actually headed by the outgoing RA chairman, Cameron Clyne — the chief architect of the Force’s dismissal — it would have been highly unlikely that Stooke’s name would ever have surfaced on the directors’ ballot paper.

    But this time things will be different.

    “What they have done — and full credit to (RA chief executive) Raelene Castle here — they have changed the process slightly (though) not forcefully enough,” Stooke said. “But on this occasion voting members (which means the states and territories) are invited to put forward nominations (over and above those being considered by RA’s own nominations committee.)

    “They will be reviewed by the nominations committee plus an independent consulting firm that specialises in the appointment of non-executive directors. The next step is whom do they put forward to the general meeting for voting by the members.

    “I have suggested to RA that the process up to there is correct. The nominations committee can put forward their preferred nominations but the other nominations should also be put to the meeting as well.”

    The role of Clyne also is being reviewed and while sources within RA were reluctant to provide details, it may well be that he will have been removed from the chair of the nominations committee before the AGM. Again, that may be only window-dressing, as Clyne only just stopped short of telling a meeting of state delegates last week who the nominations committee had chosen to fill the four board vacancies.

    So while the RA chairman technically might be removed from the process of deciding who will replace him and three other directors — Ann Sherry, Brett Robinson and Paul McLean — there will be a strong suspicion that all the names eventually put forward by the nominations committee will bear his imprimatur.

    Theoretically, if the system works as Stooke is hoping it does, the hand-picked would-be directors chosen by the nominations committee could be outvoted by the members. That could turn out to be wishful thinking, given that the states and territories are represented by rugby insiders, but even they cannot have missed the gro*wing tsunami of discontent with the closed shop of the RA board.

    Indeed, faced with the alternative of former national coaching director Dick Marks’ call for the entire board to be sacked and replaced with a “war cabinet”, a loosening of the voting process might almost seem a desirable alternative.

    With Clyne having announced he will not seek re-election as chairman at the AGM, the RA board will have to decide on who will replace him. Clearly the intention was that one of the four replacement directors chosen by the nominations committee would be parachuted in as the new chairman but Stooke would not rule out the prospect of standing for the position if he joins the board.

    “The chairman is elected by the board,” Stooke said.

    “The chairman is not selected by the nominations committee nor the outgoing chairman. So you elect the board and then they elect the chair. As far as any aspirations I might have to be chairman, I don’t discount the idea. But I would want to see who else was a contender.”

    Stooke, who is expected to be nominated by his home state of Western Australia — which also will nominate a second candidate — has indicated that he is prepared to speak to the boards of all the states to outline the reforms he believes are necessary, particularly at the community and governance levels.

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    All hell is going to break loose if this happens:

    "Clyne only just stopped short of telling a meeting of state delegates last week who the nominations committee had chosen to fill the four board vacancies."

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    Thanks for that. Interesting times. One thing all these articles are getting wrong IIRC, is why Geoff Stooke resigned his directorship. Wasn't it actually because he couldn't accept the corrupt process of how the decision was reached, rather than a protest at the outcome?

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    I was trying to take the piss. A WA team competing internationally? Betoota Ad stuff. Just when things were starting to look rational. Wayne Smith's take seems to suggest Geoff Stooke might be aiming at the chairmanship. But its a paywalled story.
    Hansie said that the Force were looking at doing that before he left his position and nothing has changed in regards to support from the RA and selecting WA based players for the test side.

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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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    I'll become the CEO of Fortescue before this happens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    I was trying to take the piss. A WA team competing internationally? Betoota Ad stuff. Just when things were starting to look rational. Wayne Smith's take seems to suggest Geoff Stooke might be aiming at the chairmanship. But its a paywalled story.
    I was hoping for a link to the feedback section where readers were suggesting candidates so I could throw stookies hat in the ring. IMHO he is the only Australian who has had a foot in the camp and managed to act with any integrity.

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    C'mon the

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    RugbyWA going international - isnt this the reason why we started the Spayed debate?

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    I don't remember what brought it on but Burgs started it. And as usual, he was correct. They're Sporks.

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    And, whilst I would love to see a WA team competing internationally it's fantasy, and lunacy.

    Even if we were able to select any of the non WA born players through residential eligibility etc, I think we'd still be quite heavily tier two. We simply don't have a large enough community player pool to compete internationally.

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    Agree in terms of becoming a pseudo "country" like Scotland or England, but it would be fun doing the whole RWC qualification process. Lots of interesting tours and visitors in that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Agree in terms of becoming a pseudo "country" like Scotland or England, but it would be fun doing the whole RWC qualification process. Lots of interesting tours and visitors in that!
    The best Force team in 2019 would have already been a good bet to qualify for the World Cup. If you consider our team against Tonga, Georgia, USA etc.

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