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Thread: Rapid Rugby CEO warns against Giteau Law change

  1. #1
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    Rapid Rugby CEO warns against Giteau Law change

    Like it says on the tin...

    Rugby boss warns against Giteau Law change

    By Georgina Robinson
    January 15, 2020

    The former chief executive of the Melbourne Storm and rugby powerhouse Saracens has warned Australian rugby will end up in the same position as football if administrators water down the Giteau Law.

    Mark Evans, the new boss of Andrew 'Twiggy' Forrest's Global Rapid Rugby competition, said scrapping the 60-Test, seven-season rule would be disastrous for the domestic game, and even modifying it substantially could spell trouble.

    "Just getting rid of it would be very, very dangerous," Evans said. "Amend it, perhaps, but don't scrap it and rely on [World Rugby's] Regulation Nine. If you let market forces just work unfettered and it's a free for all, we will end up like soccer and every single elite rugby player will play in Europe

    "I don't think the sport is big enough to go down that route and prosper. It could go that way and you would have everyone playing in the three European leagues, but is that good for the game? I donít think it is."

    Rugby Australia's director of rugby Scott Johnson is undertaking a review of the Giteau Law, which was introduced by then-Wallabies coach Michael Cheika before the 2015 World Cup.

    Previously, only Australia-based players were eligible for Test selection, but Cheika was able to select France-based Wallabies Matt Giteau and Drew Mitchell under a policy that set the threshold at 60 Tests for Australia and seven seasons of Super Rugby, or a Super Rugby contract signed for the following season.

    Mitchell and others, including England's Australian coach Eddie Jones, have been vocal proponents of lowering the threshold again. Calls reached a crescendo last year when Cheika tried to lure back towering second-rower Will Skelton before the World Cup in Japan.

    The policy review is high on the 2020 agenda for Johnson, with new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie due to touch down in Australia for two weeks while his club Glasgow is on a break. Johnson will have to present a paper to the Rugby Australia board in coming months before the organisation signs off on a decision.

    A Rugby Australia spokesman said it was not on the agenda for a January 31 meeting, which means the next opportunity to discuss it would be the annual general meeting on March 30.

    The options are many, including a policy under which a player must meet just one of the thresholds (60 Tests or seven seasons), or a model that allows greater flexibility in a World Cup year.

    Skelton is one of a handful of high-quality Australians off limits to Rennie. Samu Kerevi (33 Tests, six seasons), Sean McMahon (26 Tests, four seasons), Adam Coleman (38 Tests, seven seasons) and Rory Arnold (26 Tests, five seasons) all fall short of the Giteau Law threshold.

    In his last public commentary on the issue, Johnson acknowledged World Cup winners South Africa showed a country could do away with restrictions and still succeed.

    But Australia's domestic winter sport landscape looks radically different to South Africa's, with two large and rich competing codes, making rugby bosses here more inclined to take a protective approach towards Super Rugby.

    Johnson also said the organisation's priority would be to sign up the next generation of players and keep them here, a point picked up on by Evans.

    The Global Rapid Rugby boss, who was CEO of Saracens and Harlequins before taking over at the Storm in 2013, is about to launch the competition's first full season, featuring six teams and 10 rounds of home and away games, with clubs based in Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, Fiji, Samoa and Perth.

    "Even England have a policy that if you leave, they are unlikely to pick you. If England think they need that, I would suggest Australia need something as well," Evans said.

    "I donít blame players for wanting to maximise their earnings but I donít want all the resources going into elite rugby either, because that way the grassroots will wither and over 20 years you will have lost your audience."

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  2. #2
    Legend Contributor Alison's Avatar
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    That last para from Mark is precisely where RA has gone so wrong this past decade or so. The grassroots have certainly withered and the audience is now so sparse that no broadcaster wants to spend much money buying the TV rights.

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    Proudly Western Australian; Proudly supporting Western Australian rugby

  3. #3
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    It isn't that they have done it, it is that it is all they have done. The elite level is always where most of the money is going to flow, but there needs to be a balance. At the moment there is none.

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  4. #4
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    It isn't that they have done it, it is that it is all they have done. The elite level is always where most of the money is going to flow, but there needs to be a balance. At the moment there is none.
    There are some unions where profit generated by the elite level is used to support the foundation

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    C'mon the

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