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Thread: Marinos wants new version of NRC

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    Marinos wants new version of NRC

    From Doran in The Australian...

    Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos hopes to establish a new second-tier competition

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    Andy Marinos believes Australia is falling behind since the demise of the NRC

    By CHRISTY DORAN
    5:41PM JUNE 9, 2021

    Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos believes the country is falling behind its traditional rivals New Zealand and South Africa because of the absence of a strong second-tier competition and is hoping to get one up and running for 2022.

    “New Zealand has done it well with the ITM Cup and South Africa’s done it really well with the Currie Cup and there’s no surprise that there’s always a factory of players coming through the system,” Marinos said.

    The National Rugby Championship was cut, in large part, because of cost-cutting measures following the COVID pandemic. But its demise denied emerging players – and coaches – an opportunity to bridge the gap between club and Super Rugby.

    The Waratahs were always likely to be lambs to the slaughter in 2021 because, having lost 800 caps of Test experience over the past two years, they desperately need their next generation to spend more time on the field, learning their craft and building combinations.

    While the Reds and Brumbies are benefiting from prioritising the NRC, they are anxious about the future now that it is gone.

    It’s why Reds coach Brad Thorn put the governing body on notice last week by issuing a passionate plea to bring the NRC back.

    “We had (Queensland) Country and (Brisbane) City and if you look at all our players who have come through that middle ground between club and Super; so not having that (NRC), to me, it’s a tough one,” he said. “Something has to be done.

    “You’ve got the Currie Cup (South Africa), you’ve got the Bunnings Cup (New Zealand), you’ve got the Championship in England, everyone’s got (a second tier). Your Test players go away (after Super Rugby) and that’s awesome, but you’ve got to have that middle ground for guys to cut their teeth, even coaches as well.”

    Marinos, who has been in the role since February, agrees and says getting a second-tier competition under way is paramount for Rugby Australia’s strategy of building the game up.

    “He’s (Thorn) not wrong, he’s not wrong,” Marinos told foxsports.com.au. “If you look at any great structure in the world, there are those competitions and it’s a part of what I’ve been saying since I’ve come in. We’ve got to have a bottom-up approach, not a top-down approach to the game in this country if we’re going to be sustainable.

    “As we start embarking on a new strategic plan and a new strategic direction, the competition structure of having a second-tier competition – for want of a better word – that underpins what’s happening at Super Rugby level is going to become even more important because we have a group of players who play Super Rugby and can drop back into the Shute Shield and Hospital Cup but then after those competitions finish there’s very little rugby for them.

    There are a multitude of reasons why the NRC failed to ever get serious buy-in from all five Super Rugby clubs and the populace at large.

    But in essence, it struggled because as the fed-up public abandoned the professional arm of the game, they instead cast their interests towards club rugby, which has since had a major resurgence.

    Additionally, unlike the ITM Cup and Currie Cup, the NRC lacked history and the public struggled to feel a connection to the made-up teams to go along with meaningless Super Rugby names across multiple continents.

    Marinos said it was too early to determine what structure the competition would take.

    “At this point in time, we’re busy working on what that structure is going to look like,” he said.

    “To start pre-empting what it’s going to look like is a little bit premature. But what it will be is a holistic program that will underpin the high-performance and provide opportunity for the next generation of players to come through and hopefully through that earn selection for the Wallabies.

    Marinos added he hoped a competition will be up and running by 2022 but admitted it could take until 2023.

    “I’d like to look at getting a second-tier structure underway in 2022 at least, so we can start building momentum.

    “It’s also going to tie back to where we position ourselves from a World Cup perspective and the beginning of that sustainability plan and legacy plan around the World Cup. If we can have that by the time we have the World Cup in 2027 and we have a flourishing first, second and third-tier domestic rugby competition structure, I think that would be a really big statement for the game.”

    Firewalled link: https://amp.theaustralian.com.au/spo...fc05ed9202cd92

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    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
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    Rugby Australia will start another version of the NRC, Sydney and Brisbane Rugby clubs will have a cry and snipe at it until Rugby Australia cans it 2 years later.

    Rinse and Repeat.

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    Wonder which magic tree he’s going to shake to fund this ‘new’ tier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jargan83 View Post
    Rugby Australia will start another version of the NRC, Sydney and Brisbane Rugby clubs will have a cry and snipe at it until Rugby Australia cans it 2 years later.

    Rinse and Repeat.
    Tbf, I think it's more Sydney than the other. QRU backed NRC.

    Marinos seemed careful not to mention this as a "return" of NRC and for some reason I don't think it will be.

    A different dynamic. Who knows, it might have an echo of WSR/Rapid as well?

    And the other thing is, should McLennan's constitutional reforms occur, the old Sydney grip on rugby power will be loosened.

    If everyone else except them wants such a competition, well ... SRU don't necessarily have to enter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alison View Post
    Wonder which magic tree he’s going to shake to fund this ‘new’ tier.
    They probably hope it's a whole Forrest of magic trees

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ham105 View Post
    Tbf, I think it's more Sydney than the other. QRU backed NRC.

    Marinos seemed careful not to mention this as a "return" of NRC and for some reason I don't think it will be.

    A different dynamic. Who knows, it might have an echo of WSR/Rapid as well?

    And the other thing is, should McLennan's constitutional reforms occur, the old Sydney grip on rugby power will be loosened.

    If everyone else except them wants such a competition, well ... SRU don't necessarily have to enter.
    It would be a whole lot more comforting if he'd been clear about the fact that all his stated reasons for the demise of the NRC were wholly contained in NSW, rather than suggesting that the rest of the country suffered from the same myopic views.

    "lacked history' didn't seem to be a problem in Queensland, ACT, Melbourne or Perth
    "no connection to made up teams" seemed to me to be a Sydney thing, even NSW country seemed to have a following
    "Abandoned the professional arm of the game" had nothing to do with NRC, it was all about whether teams were winning, when the NSW teams had virtually no support from NSWRU, they didn't do well and the public essentially ignored them

    Brisbane City and Qld Country seemed to be able to draw a crown when they were playing well, as did the Vikings (not sure that Melbourne ever consistenly played well.

    I mean, I get he needs to sell this to NSW because they're the ones that have killed every other possible iteration of this level of competition, but to suggest that their isolated problems were widespread is only justifying their bullshit

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    He was indeed very careful to not call it an NRC. I'd be pretty cautious assuming that is what he is talking about when he says "second tier structure".

    Interesting this is pretty much all that has come out of RA since the top SS clubs decided to shoot the stragglers.

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    We aren't going to get a domestic comp going that would look any different to the NRC.
    We already have a lot of talent locked up in Super Rugby squads that aren't getting game time and building those so called combinations.

    With a few extra players (from Acadamies, Local clubs) in the squad each Super Rugby team could have an A team, add in some of the GRR teams that had support from "professional" teams i.e. Valkyre, Tigers and maybe even a Barbarians team from the other states and you could have an 8 team comp.
    Run it concurrently with Super Rugby, if there is a Super match on the A game is the curtain raiser, more excuse to get to the game early for an extra beer or three. If there isn't take it to a surburban ground (i.e. UWA) or align it to happen at a local club after the first grade match.

    Funding is always going to be an issue but hitting up the likes of Twiggy or Malayasian\Hong Kong interests and making it a commercial affair could be an answer.

    Worst case just have the Super Rugby A teams play each other and you have your second tier, that could be expanded as time goes on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DazloT View Post
    We aren't going to get a domestic comp going that would look any different to the NRC.
    We already have a lot of talent locked up in Super Rugby squads that aren't getting game time and building those so called combinations.

    With a few extra players (from Acadamies, Local clubs) in the squad each Super Rugby team could have an A team, add in some of the GRR teams that had support from "professional" teams i.e. Valkyre, Tigers and maybe even a Barbarians team from the other states and you could have an 8 team comp.
    Run it concurrently with Super Rugby, if there is a Super match on the A game is the curtain raiser, more excuse to get to the game early for an extra beer or three. If there isn't take it to a surburban ground (i.e. UWA) or align it to happen at a local club after the first grade match.

    Funding is always going to be an issue but hitting up the likes of Twiggy or Malayasian\Hong Kong interests and making it a commercial affair could be an answer.

    Worst case just have the Super Rugby A teams play each other and you have your second tier, that could be expanded as time goes on.
    Queensland has shown that the ideal structure is two "A" teams feeding into one Super Rugby team

    I get that there would be a shortage of money and players to field 10 professional feeder teams in Australia (at 30-odd players per team) but that would be the target to grow into.

    I suspect Marinos is playing to his Sydney masters whilst spinning the news to the rest of the nation, making it seem as though whatever will be announced (which will undoubtedly include the Shute Shield clubs) is a replacement for the NRC, rather than a return to the early 90s

    There was a bit of banter on one of the ES sites (I think G&G) that Hospital Cup is doing a better job of producing Super quality players citing some recent examples, but it just doesn't seem to affect the Shute Shield apologists.

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    Veteran BLR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Queensland has shown that the ideal structure is two "A" teams feeding into one Super Rugby team
    I want two WA teams, make it nice and easy. North of the River v South of the River.

    I already feel the need to see the damn Southies get wooped by the Kings in the North.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BLR View Post
    I want two WA teams, make it nice and easy. North of the River v South of the River.

    I already feel the need to see the damn Southies get wooped by the Kings in the North.
    I too think it makes sense to do something like that. I would caution that we don't want to become too "Perth Centric" but in reality it's a struggle for country teams in WA anyway. Dungbeetles would go into WA south, Geraldton into WA North, it remains to be discussed which side Kalgoorlie would fit into

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    Queensland has shown that the ideal structure is two "A" teams feeding into one Super Rugby team.
    Quote Originally Posted by BLR View Post
    I want two WA teams, make it nice and easy. North of the River v South of the River.

    I already feel the need to see the damn Southies get wooped by the Kings in the North.
    I'd prefer that if the Force provide 2 teams we do it with the Spirit/Force in Perth and a team in Adelaide based on mixing WA/SA/NT players. The Rebels can do similar with Tassie. We need rugby in all states to try and identify all the young talent coming through and not lose it to other codes (if possible)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheikh View Post
    I'd prefer that if the Force provide 2 teams we do it with the Spirit/Force in Perth and a team in Adelaide based on mixing WA/SA/NT players. The Rebels can do similar with Tassie. We need rugby in all states to try and identify all the young talent coming through and not lose it to other codes (if possible)
    That is also a great idea

    Guaranteed to be deep sixed by the powers that control rugby of course, just like the 2 teams per franchise model

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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    That is also a great idea

    Guaranteed to be deep sixed by the powers that control rugby of course, just like the 2 teams per franchise model
    In an ideal world RA would have the balls to leave NSW out of it until NSW get's their own backyard in order. Let them join after they promise to play nicely with themselves.

    In another imaginary world the 4 super rugby teams (except for NSW until they play nice with themselves) would stop complaining, get together and work out a model that works for them (GIGS and Sheikhs two teams model is great), have an idea of what it would cost them, present it to RA and say help us set this up, get funding/broadcast deal etc, this makes sense for our teams.

    In the real world, RA will bend over to Shute Shield and watch between their legs as the Wallabies get trampled by Namibia at the next World Cup.

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