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Thread: Ex Wallabies Captains Speak

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    Ex Wallabies Captains Speak

    Wallabies skippers demand leadership change at Rugby Australia

    George Gregan and Phil Kearns are among the captains who signed the letter







    Eleven former Wallabies captains have co-signed a letter calling for the current Rugby Australia leadership to “stand aside” to allow the ailing game to be transformed.

    Rugby Australia interim chair Paul McLean has seen the letter.
    In an unprecedented move, some of Australia’s most decorated captains — including Nick Farr-Jones, George Gregan and Michael Lynagh — have co-signed the letter calling for financial transparency and leadership change.
    READ NEXT




    The extraordinary letter obtained exclusively by The Australian is signed by Farr-Jones, Gregan, Lynagh, Simon Poidevin, Phil Kearns, Rod McCall, Jason Little, Nathan Sharpe, Stirling Mortlock, George Smith and Stephen Moore
    The Wallabies skippers were moved by the dire state of the game, which is facing insolvency.
    The letter reads:
    READ MORE:Rugby’s reset could bring an end to Hooper’s reign|Keys to the code in young hands|RA crisis is yet to scare off Rennie|The sport that is guilty of all seven deadly sins|Rugby community must storm the Bastille and take control of their game“As Wallaby Captains we feel privileged to have represented our country and led our respective teams into battle, facing difficult situations together.
    “We lost some but we won many. Win or lose, every time we pulled on the gold jersey we were driven by the desire to earn the respect of Australian supporters across the country and around the world. We wanted them to be proud of Australian rugby and what Australian rugby stood for.
    “In recent times, the Australian game has lost its way. It is a defeat inflicted not by COVID-19, or an on-field foe, but rather by poor administration and leadership over a number of years.
    “Our rural clubs, junior clubs, subdistricts and community clubs have been let down and we firmly believe transformation is needed across the game in this country. There’s no time to waste.
    “We speak as one voice when we say Australian rugby needs new vision, leadership and a plan for the future. That plan must involve, as a priority, urgent steps to create a much-needed sustainable, commercial rugby business.
    “No doubt there are now good people with good ideas and we must include them in the renewal. There has also been considerable work done in the background to quickly establish a list of urgent initiatives and action items.
    “A number of highly experienced rugby and business leaders are standing by to mentor and lead.”
    The captains say the game deserves a brighter future.
    “Our schools and clubs are populated with an army of amazing mums and dads and volunteers, and players of all shapes and sizes, who must have a game run for them.
    “Our youth deserve to be inspired. They need to see a pathway and to feel a connection with the Wallaby jersey.
    “It is with this in mind we ask the current administration to heed our call and stand aside to allow the game to be transformed so we emerge from this pandemic with a renewed sense of unity and purpose.
    “There is only one question that needs to be answered at club level, at state level and at national level: Is this decision in the best interests of Australian rugby?
    “Only when we can answer that question openly, honestly and transparently at all levels can we restore Australian Rugby to greatness.”
    The captains’ letter comes just weeks after Rugby Australia recorded a $9.4 million loss in their “unaudited” 2019 report, while giving themselves a 72 per cent on an “internal scorecard’” and with CEO Raelene Castle in line to receive a $114,000 performance bonus.
    The letter also calls for:
    “ • The release of the numerous reviews into Australian Rugby and the establishment of a cabinet to implement the best recommendations from those reviews.”
    “ • The convening of a Special General Meeting, no later than April 30, 2020, to table the 2019 annual accounts and any other business put before that meeting.”
    RA has failed to secure a new broadcast deal and it has left the code in Australia facing insolvency.
    As revealed by The Australian last weekend, the game owes more than just $9.4m than disclosed by RA. It is understood debts have increased to around $16m with bills yet to be paid in full.
    Law firm Herbert Smith Freehills, who acted for Rugby Australia in their long-running battle with Folau, is awaiting payment of more than $1m for their services.
    RA also does not have a broadcast deal.
    It is hoping for a rescue package from World Rugby in the order of $16m. The COVID-19 pandemic sees RA facing a $120m financial black hole.
    RA are required to submit audited accounts to the Australian Securities Investments Commission (ASIC) by the end of the month.
    Pre-COVID-19 the Wallabies were seventh in the world with declining TV ratings and crowds.
    While former players have voiced their concerns, the current playing group have also called for “transformation” in the game.
    After agreeing to a 60 per cent pay cut on Monday, Rugby Union Players’ Association boss Justin Harrison called for “immediate attention”” to be turned to the long-term sustainability of the game and said there was a “need for “transformation”.





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    Seems an extensive list, doesn't it. But another way of looking at it is that of all the Wallaby captains since Paul Mclean, and excluding those still playing, less than half have signed. Presuming they were asked, this is just further proof of how divided the game is at present.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Seems an extensive list, doesn't it. But another way of looking at it is that of all the Wallaby captains since Paul Mclean, and excluding those still playing, less than half have signed. Presuming they were asked, this is just further proof of how divided the game is at present.
    Severe lack of Eales and Pocock.

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    Where were all these “concerned“ ex-players a few years ago when this train wreck first started to pick up speed? Where were they when the Senate inquiry reported? Where were they when J O’Neill sucked $millions out of the game for himself? Where were they when it was obvious to those with even the emptiest of brains that Pulver - an IT salesman - was in way over his head and a total incompetent fool?

    All Johnny-come-latelys.

    It’s too late to save the game now. It’s insolvent everywhere except in WA and they all stood by and let it go to hell in a hand basket.

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    They really need to stop including Phill Kearns in these reports. Its only turning people off the alternative. I have no idea how newscorp havent figured out that the whole country despises Kearns and Marto, especially Kearns, yet here we are, reading another report where they claim to be the saviours of the sport. I remember the days when Kearns used to turn up drunk for the old inside rugby shows back in the day...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Where were all these “concerned“ ex-players a few years ago when this train wreck first started to pick up speed? Where were they when the Senate inquiry reported? Where were they when J O’Neill sucked $millions out of the game for himself? Where were they when it was obvious to those with even the emptiest of brains that Pulver - an IT salesman - was in way over his head and a total incompetent fool?

    All Johnny-come-latelys.

    It’s too late to save the game now. It’s insolvent everywhere except in WA and they all stood by and let it go to hell in a hand basket.
    For those that have worked for Fox read the recent interview with Nick McArdle who was stood down for calling out the tripe Cheika’s boys served up in Argentina. Sydney Uni, uncle Cam and Cheika ran the RA. The likes of Pulver and Castle are sock puppets.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Where were all these “concerned“ ex-players a few years ago when this train wreck first started to pick up speed? Where were they when the Senate inquiry reported? Where were they when J O’Neill sucked $millions out of the game for himself? Where were they when it was obvious to those with even the emptiest of brains that Pulver - an IT salesman - was in way over his head and a total incompetent fool?

    All Johnny-come-latelys.

    It’s too late to save the game now. It’s insolvent everywhere except in WA and they all stood by and let it go to hell in a hand basket.
    That's not true or fair. A handful of those captains were very supportive of the Force and spoke out. I think many of them have expressed concerns for quite some time, but how do you draw the line between demanding transformation and encouraging it through more diplomatic means. Coming in heavy handed tends to cause people to dig their heels in.

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    There’s also the reference to things being organised in the background, although I shudder to think of Papworth being involved no doubt. A lot doesn’t add up-if Papworth is indeed involved, I thought he was delighted at his precious SS being cut as part of the ‘new’ broadcast deal. It all still smacks of the good ol boys again. And Sharpie was involved in doing the last ‘review’ regarding the World Cup stuff up. So unless these guys have genuinely got some working solutions to the chaos now, it’s just maintaining the status quo. I wonder who the interested businessmen are, Twiggy? Wouldn’t think he’d be interested in taking on the baggage. I’m grateful WA are out of this, but I would love to see the real Wallabies team return. And no mention of Hooper?

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    I see the apologists for Raelene and the no solutions brigade are out in force on Twitter. Had they read the article they are pushing for transparency much like V’Landys has done at the NRL to expose wastage. The RA has done about 15 reviews in 7 years some haven’t been completed, cut our stakeholders (which the haters don’t admit that Fox is one of them), compiled by allies such as Alloway and not been made public.

    People think that Fox has an agenda that is not true. Their commentators like McArdle were muzzled to speak out against the wastage and like Nine they are losing money wondering the funds they have dished out in hundreds of millions has been spent.

    Jessica Halloran in that article has said the RA have till the end of the month to table those books to ASIC. Wayne Smith and Castle’s apologists have not mentioned that recently. The captains want an EGM to discuss that and throw out complicit board members.

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    But can they actually throw out members? I still can’t see how effective the ex Wallabies would be here to get a result. The RA apologists have been in overdrive all week, Castle will be canonised next. But I can’t completely blame Castle, Clyne’s dodged the bullet again & slunk back to his sewer-just wish someone could nail the little f##r for once & give him the kneecap job he deserves.

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    Ann Sherry has done a runner with uncle Cam. She also resigned as CEO of Carnival Australia. Uncle Spam hasn’t dodged a bullet if those Folau bills aren’t paid and the books aren’t audited by the 30th.

    If they can for an EGM and come up with some money possibly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    I see the apologists for Raelene and the no solutions brigade are out in force on Twitter. Had they read the article they are pushing for transparency much like V’Landys has done at the NRL to expose wastage. The RA has done about 15 reviews in 7 years some haven’t been completed, cut our stakeholders (which the haters don’t admit that Fox is one of them), compiled by allies such as Alloway and not been made public.

    People think that Fox has an agenda that is not true. Their commentators like McArdle were muzzled to speak out against the wastage and like Nine they are losing money wondering the funds they have dished out in hundreds of millions has been spent.

    Jessica Halloran in that article has said the RA have till the end of the month to table those books to ASIC. Wayne Smith and Castle’s apologists have not mentioned that recently. The captains want an EGM to discuss that and throw out complicit board members.

    News corp doesn't have an agenda!Really?

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRugger View Post
    News corp doesn't have an agenda!Really?
    Only if you believe in conspiracy theories put out by apologists. The game is in an appalling state. McArdle speaks out and gets stood down for months due to Cheika getting upset. Hoiles exposes it in a open mic. Cannon loses air time. They couldn’t speak their minds without getting muzzled even though they pay the bills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Only if you believe in conspiracy theories put out by apologists. The game is in an appalling state. McArdle speaks out and gets stood down for months due to Cheika getting upset. Hoiles exposes it in a open mic. Cannon loses air time. They couldn’t speak their minds without getting muzzled even though they pay the bills.
    Only Helen Keller would think Fox doesn't have an agenda. News corps has been using all its media to attack Castle from pillar to post after she went to market for the tv rights. There conduct has been disgusting.

    I note a few fox employees in that list of ex captains.

    Kearns isn't even smart enough to not include himself, the guy who was beaten to CEO by Castle and is a fox employee. How conflicted does the whole thing look!

    Poidiven! The guy is banned for 5 years from giving financial advice and they get him to sign it.

    A few others have had a ngo at administration roles in rugby and failed.

    Its just more old boys club who want their piece of the pie.

    There was finally some positivity returning to rugby pre Covid with some great young players coming through, Brumbies results good, Reds playing good rugby but not winning, Dave Rennie set to take charge, rapid rugby first proper season.

    Covid comes along that no one could predict and they use it as a trojan horse to reignite their agenda.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WCRugger View Post
    News corp doesn't have an agenda!Really?
    Newscorp clearly has an agenda. That agenda is in conflict with the clear agenda of the power brokers currently in charge of RA. Neither agenda has been constructed with the best interests of rugby in mind. It only remains to be seen which cadre of assholes will do the most damage to the sport during the blood-letting. I don't believe Castle and McLean's "pure as the driven snow" act either. Both sides of this fight are as ruthless as each other. The best thing for Aussie rugby would be for the lot of them to kill each other off and a third player with no agenda and suspicious allegiances to fill the power vacuum. In line with the likelihood of that happening, I'm pushing for the lock NESS monster backed up by sasquatch

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    C'mon the

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