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Thread: Trans-Tasman speculation

  1. #106
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    I was thinking until I read that, that Clarke may have been ill-advised to offer the broadcasters the option of picking and choosing which content they want to pay for, but maybe that's his cunning plan. He knows some of the drivel he's thrown up will be a disastrous waste of money that no broadcaster in their right minds would back, so he's basically waiting for them to offer nothing for those bits in order to cover his ass in not bothering to build a national club championship etc.

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    An article from Malcolm Knox outlining some facts similar to lots of posts here. I don't much like his conclusion - bowing to Rugby NZ. But his alternatives seem pretty unworkable too.

    union is battling to attract 50,000 TV viewers to provincial games. The Shute Shield, meanwhile, is beloved in every way except in commercially viable numbers. School games, women’s games, sevens games, subbies games all enjoy an enthusiastic but non-economic following. It’s no good pointing out that these games are fast-flowing and competitive and entertaining: the paying public has stopped listening.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...14-p55lqr.html

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  3. #108
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    Nobody outside of Sydney's northern suburbs gives two shits about the Shute Shield

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    Waratahs to slash player wage bill by up to $1m to stay afloat

    By Tom Decent
    August 15, 2020 — 7.50pm

    The NSW Waratahs are preparing to slash their player wage bill by as much as $1 million next year and operate well under the salary cap in a stark reality chairman Roger Davis said "everyone will have to come to grips with".

    As the Waratahs rocked back into Super Rugby AU contention following a clinical 28-8 win over the Western Force on Friday night, the elephant in the room is what will happen next year with uncertainty surrounding not only the structure of the competition, but what kind of broadcast income Rugby Australia can generate.

    Sources at the Waratahs have told The Sun-Herald the organisation is considering wiping $1 million off the player budget next year. The Super Rugby salary cap is $5.5 million for Australian teams, so it would be a significant blow to the franchise's ability to retain and sign playing talent.

    There are also internal concerns NSW could be disadvantaged compared to other Australian sides and that the club could suffer a player exodus, with the Melbourne Rebels understood to be pushing towards spending the majority of their salary cap.

    Contract negotiations for deals beginning next year have stalled because NSW Rugby general manager Tim Rapp and head coach Rob Penney are in the dark as to how much less they will have to spend.

    For Penney, who has been at NSW for less than a year, it wouldn't be any easy pill to swallow given he all but inherited his roster when taking over from Daryl Gibson.

    Davis confirmed the NSW board was in talks with high-performance staff about what parameters they could work in financially, but made it clear the glory days were over. He said a dollar figure was still to be worked through.

    "Until we get certainty of income, we've got to be conservative in the way we spend the resources we've got," Davis said. "Hopefully there will be rivers of gold and more money so we can contract departing players at more competitive rates, but this whole landscape has changed. The game can no longer afford the high levels of player payments that were traditionally part of the rugby environment.

    "If you're on a million bucks, we just don't have that money any more. We're all going to have to come to grips with that.

    "It's balancing act … we don't want to find we've contracted all our players and find the club goes broke in January but, by the same token, we want to make sure we're competitive and we've got the best team available to put on the paddock.

    "It's tension between economics and a competitive team that's front and centre of our decision making at the moment. There's no easy answer. It's an environment where we don't know where the money is coming from going forward.

    "We're going through the list of who we want to retain. It's about working out how we allocate those scarce dollars. It's not going to be as it was. You'd normally run yourself up to the salary cap and Bob's your uncle and everyone gets a pay increase."

    RA is yet to a secure a broadcast deal for next year, while the Rugby Union Players Association will sit down shortly to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement. Players took a 60 per cent pay cut when COVID-19 brought an end to Super Rugby and then agreed to a 30 per cent reduction of their initial salaries from July 1 until September 30.

    Davis suggested a solution to the game's financial woes was to reduce the number of Super Rugby contracted players. "That's good for those who make the cut, not for those who don't," he said.

    Regardless of contract delays, NSW players have started to click on the field and will relish an extra day's preparation ahead of next weekend's blockbuster clash with the Brumbies.

    A win in the nation's capital would all but secure a finals spot for the Waratahs, who lost three of their first four games in the new competition.

    Their 20-point victory over the Force could've been even bigger had a couple of tries not been disallowed but back-to-back wins for the first time in 17 months has NSW primed to exact revenge over the Brumbies after a one-point loss in Sydney in round three.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-u...15-p55m0y.html

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    Michael Lynagh: ‘There is a great rivalry there but, because of the geography of the two countries it’s important that they work together and I think they both realise that.’

    Australia-NZ need to sort out their problems, says Michael Lynagh

    WAYNE SMITH, SENIOR SPORT WRITER
    6:48PM AUGUST 14, 2020

    London-based former Wallabies captain Michael Lynagh can understand both sides of the Tasman conflict but believes Australia and New Zealand need to sort out their current rugby problems because they need each other.

    NZ Rugby certainly put noses out of joint – and not just in Australia – when they announced details of their proposed trans-Tasman competition, limiting Australia to between two and four franchises. Suddenly, the Australian teams were being asked to respond to “expressions of interest” if they wanted a place in the planned 2021 series.

    Rugby Australia responded by insisting that five Australian teams would take part in the competition or none of them would. And just to ratchet up tension even more, they effectively imposed a deadline of September 4 for NZ to respond to its ultimatum.

    “I do understand both sides,” Lynagh told The Weekend Australian on Friday. “I understand the Kiwis want strong competition et cetera, but we’ve been down that road before with the (culling of) the Western Force and we don’t necessarily want to go that way again.

    “So hopefully negotiations can sort themselves out and we can get a decent competition between the two countries. I think both of them need each other. There is a great rivalry there but, because of the geography of the two countries it’s important that they work together and I think they both realise that.

    “Also, going up into Asia is an important time-zone area for both New Zealand and Australia and I think they both want to do that and they are better off doing it together. Hopefully it will work out.”

    Lynagh believes that building on the impressive legacy of the first Asian nation to host a World Cup, Japan in 2019, should become an important plank of Australia’s campaign for the 2027 tournament.

    “That’s something that is reasonably important to Australia’s bid, with Japan, the market there that was actually exposed to rugby and how well it did (with $7.852 billion attributed to the World Cup). Maybe World Rugby would want to capitalise on that and keep it going.”

    Lynagh initially was one of the 10 Wallabies captains who signed the letter that was critical of the Raelene Castle-led Rugby Australia but quickly withdrew his support.

    He does, however, believe that under Hamish McLennan, the game is coming through the crisis.

    “I think he has been going very well,” Lynagh said. “He hasn’t let the grass grow under his feet. He is a serious person, when you look at what he has done in his career and he has a lot of experience in areas that are important to rugby. He has pointed the ship in the right direction.

    “And when you look at the 2025 British and Irish Lions tour and the RWC of 2027, they are two very bankable events. It is going to be getting through the next two to three years that will be the tough bit.

    “Rugby is going through a tough stage at the moment, a really tough stage. But there are some good young players coming through. There is optimism around those young guys and hopefully Dave Rennie and his coaching team will do a good job this year.

    “Hopefully the Waratahs’ victory against the Reds last weekend is not a one-off and they start to rebuild from there and the young players do come through and start to be competitive again.”

    Wayne Smith
    Senior Sport Writer

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/spo...c125f21fc74eb2

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  6. #111
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Nobody outside of Sydney's northern suburbs gives two shits about the Shute Shield
    Anyone else think that SMH is giving quite a bit more coverage of the Shite Shield than in the past? I wonder whether it's due to a lack of content or if Ch 9 is looking to pick up something for close to bugger all on Saturday afternoon FTA. It used to be pretty popular in the bush when ABC had it Jargs.

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  7. #112
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    NZR 'totally comfortable' with a second Super Rugby Aotearoa season

    10:36 am on 15 August 2020

    New Zealand Rugby concedes another domestic competition is a very real possibility in 2021, with Super Rugby Aotearoa proving "it's very much viable".

    Name:  2020-06-20 Blues v Canes eight_col_EdenPark.jpg
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    Eden Park was sold out for the Blues' opening Super Rugby Aotearoa match against the Hurricanes Photo: Photosport Ltd 2020

    The competition will conclude in Dunedin this afternoon (Saturday), when the Highlanders play host to the Hurricanes in an empty Forsyth Barr Stadium due to Covid-19 level two restrictions.

    The Highlanders are preparing for another Super Rugby Aotearoa season and the coronavirus outbreak in Auckland is making NZR lean the same way.

    "We've been in a border restriction place now for nigh on five months so another five months takes you through to deep pre-season next year [so] you have to start looking at possibilities," NZR general manager professional rugby & performance Chris Lendrum said.

    "Our strong desire is to have some form of cross-border regional competition operating in 2021, but Covid as always is a hurdle. The last 72 hours have just demonstrated again what a challenge that is for everybody here, with no end in sight. Is there a possibility that we have to domestic only alternative next year? Yea it's a possibility."

    And Lendrum has "no doubt that this competition is viable".

    "What we've seen over the last 10 weeks shows it's very much viable. The crowd and broadcast interest and engagement through media and social media it's been enormous. It's been a huge boost for rugby.

    "I'm totally comfortable if we end up playing that again, it's just not out preference. But if we have to stand it up again, it'll be fantastic again."

    Of more pressing concern for New Zealand Rugby is the Farah Palmer Cup, which is due to start next weekend, when Auckland may still be under Covid-19 level three restrictions.

    "We're just taking breath at the moment," Lendrum said. "We've got FPC northern zone due to kick-off next weekend and we'll just work our way through that over the weekend and we'll update you as soon as we can."

    Pushing the competition back a week is an option. "That's one possibility we'll consider. We'll be doing what we can to make that competition work."

    NZR will also assess whether the North-South match can still go ahead at Eden Park on August 29. "There's clearly some uncertainty there. We just have to start looking at possibilities."

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/sport/423...otearoa-season

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  8. #113
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Anyone else think that SMH is giving quite a bit more coverage of the Shite Shield than in the past? I wonder whether it's due to a lack of content or if Ch 9 is looking to pick up something for close to bugger all on Saturday afternoon FTA. It used to be pretty popular in the bush when ABC had it Jargs.
    I'll have to take your word for that.

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  9. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    I'll have to take your word for that.
    Down to all those farm boys sent down to Joeys, St Ignats. Newington etc.

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  10. #115
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    Quote Originally Posted by shasta View Post
    Down to all those farm boys sent down to Joeys, St Ignats. Newington etc.
    That would make sense

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  11. #116
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    "Is Australian rugby union destined for a Super League war of its own?
    The code is treading a path familiar to 1990s rugby league but a similar dispute could yet end in peace with New Zealand

    Bret Harris

    Tue 18 Aug 2020 03.30 AESTLast modified on Tue 18 Aug 2020 03.31 AEST


    The Western Force
    New Zealand just needs one Australian franchise to break ranks and Australia’s united front will crumble. Photograph: Darren England/AAP
    With no resolution to the current standoff between Australia and New Zealand, the neighbouring nations may be heading towards a Super League-style war to resolve the dispute over the proposed trans-Tasman competition.

    The Super League war was waged over the control of the dominant rugby league competition in Australia and New Zealand in the mid-1990s. The rebel Super League was backed by News Corporation, while the establishment Australian Rugby League was supported by Kerry Packer and Optus.

    At the heart of the conflict was a move to rationalise the number of elite rugby league teams, particularly in Sydney. It echoes the contemporary argument over the number of teams to play in a proposed eight to 10 team trans-Tasman rugby competition.


    Perhaps the Kiwis could learn something from the Super League experience which, when it was established, lured several disenchanted ARL clubs and introduced two new clubs. While New Zealand sought expressions of interest from Australian rugby to participate in the trans-Tasman competition, the Kiwis never specified where those sides had to come from, although most assumed they would be established Australian Super Rugby franchises.

    Wittingly or unwittingly, it is possible New Zealand is already following the Super League blueprint.

    There was speculation in the Sydney press last week that New Zealand had approached the Western Force about playing in the Kiwi domestic competition. Rugby Australia axed the Force in 2017 because it did not believe Australia could support five Super Rugby teams, but brought them back into the fold to play in the Australian domestic competition after Super Rugby was shut down in March by the coronavirus pandemic.

    While RA’s new chairman Hamish McLennan has moved to heal the wounds with the Force, it would be understandable if the Perth-based franchise did not feel quite as loyal to the national governing body as the other four Australian teams after having been culled just a few years ago.

    New Zealand just needs one Australian franchise to break ranks and Australia’s united front will crumble.


    The Force may also appeal to New Zealand because it is now financially supported by the mining magnate, Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, and has the potential to become a self-funding franchise, which is presumably why RA seems so keen to keep them involved.


    In an attempt to allay New Zealand concerns about Australia’s lack of playing depth, McLennan recently suggested the Kiwis send over their leftover players to bolster Australia’s teams. But why would the Kiwis want to do that when they could follow the Super League strategy of introducing their own new clubs in Australia?

    Super League set up teams in AFL-dominated Adelaide and Perth, but they were doomed to failure because they had little grass-roots support to provide a solid foundation. Significantly, New Zealand would have the potential to establish franchises in two Australian rugby markets that are not currently catered to by Super Rugby – Western Sydney and the Gold Coast – which have both nominated for Super Rugby licences in the past, but overlooked.

    With a population of more than two million, Western Sydney is one of the fastest-growing regions in Australia. The Waratahs draw most of their support from the affluent eastern suburbs and north shore of Sydney, leaving the western suburbs feeling neglected and unrepresented.

    The Gold Coast has hosted numerous professional sporting franchises over the years, including the NRL club the Titans and the AFL’s Suns, while Bond University plays in the Brisbane club rugby competition. The sixth largest city in Australia, the Gold Coast also has a strong New Zealand population.

    New Zealand would have enough playing depth to populate two Australian-based franchises, while the large ex-pat Kiwi populations in Western Sydney and the Gold Coast would flock to Super Rugby games involving high-profile teams such as the Crusaders, Blues and Hurricanes.

    New Zealand’s strong arm tactics evoke memories of 2003 Rugby World Cup debacle
    The beauty of establishing its own Super Rugby teams in Australia is that New Zealand would be able to instil its own coaching and philosophies of the game into the franchises, which would help to prepare players for the All Blacks.


    Maybe New Zealand has not even thought about establishing teams in Australia, but the possibility is certainly intriguing.

    As part of its pitch to New Zealand to include all five Australian teams in a trans-Tasman competition, RA has pointed out the commercial benefits to Kiwi rugby of having access to Australia’s market of 25 million people. But having two Kiwi-controlled teams in Australia would achieve that financial objective for New Zealand rugby.

    Super League only ran one season parallel to the ARL’s competition in 1997 before a peace deal was brokered and the two sides united to form the NRL, which still runs today. Perhaps union needs its own version of the Super League war to bring Australia and New Zealand together again."

    Is it feasible for the Force to join NZ in having the travel requirements again? At the same time, we see how the Force are again being treated with disdain by RA & were handed shit fixtures in this comp. At least the benchmark would be higher playing NZ. I think I would prefer the Force in a NZ comp rather than the dross they're being dished up by RA.

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    Is it feasible for the Force to join NZ in having the travel requirements again? At the same time, we see how the Force are again being treated with disdain by RA & were handed shit fixtures in this comp. At least the benchmark would be higher playing NZ. I think I would prefer the Force in a NZ comp rather than the dross they're being dished up by RA.

    Nice for the Force/Twiggy to be apparently wanted by both NZ and Aus sides of this little stand-off.

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  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Is it feasible for the Force to join NZ in having the travel requirements again?
    Might be feasible for the Force. Well, I have my view on that but others can have theirs.

    May not prove so feasible for NZR.

    League is a very different animal to union. The choke points to grab hold of aren't in Australia (or NZ).

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  14. #119
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    Bret has done a nice little fantasy piece there which will scare the living shit out of some, but contains nothing of substance.

    Firstly, like everything Bret writes, its pure speculation and supposition without a shred of evidence.
    Secondly, New Zealand Rugby wouldn't be even remotely interested in spending the millions of dollars it would take to set up rugby teams in a hostile environment like Australia, they'd much rather set them up in a welcoming and politically valuable environment like PI.
    Thirdly, speaking as somebody who has closely watched the development of "rebel" teams in Australia, there's no way in hell, World Rugby will back New Zealand running a rugby comp in Australia without the approval of Rugby Australia.

    play on

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    I just can't see the Force ever getting a 'fair' go from RA - nothing much has changed in this comp, same ol' same ol' & I would prefer Twiggy concentrates on GRR.

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