Results 1 to 5 of 5

Thread: Why Rugby Australia needs to get out of its own way

  1. #1
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    654
    vCash
    5114000

    Why Rugby Australia needs to get out of its own way

    Why Rugby Australia needs to get out of its own way

    By Paul Cully
    May 5, 2023 — 11.45am

    An extraordinary thing happened this week.

    Eddie Jones, the finest agent provocateur in world rugby, was flown down to the MCG, one of sport’s greatest temples, to promote the Bledisloe Cup, and it barely caused any ripples.

    Everyone was too busy asking if departing Rugby Australia chief Andy Marinos really was negotiating with several players when Joseph Suaalii’s budget-changing contract landed on his desk — or questions of a similar nature.

    The Melbourne types who are spending big in a bid to host the World Cup final can’t have been too pleased with the lack of bang for their buck with Jones’ visit, but that’s the nature of doing business with RA at the moment. It’s all a bit volatile, with best-laid plans hostage to the headlines of the day.

    Meanwhile, Super Rugby chiefs on both sides of the ditch are variously militant, on tenterhooks, or frustrated at the lack of progress on the independent body that their competition so desperately needs.

    Super Rugby fans really need to hear the following: the passionate, exasperated debates you are having about the competition in pubs and online forums are exactly the same ones being held by the 12 Super Rugby Pacific clubs.

    If a Wallabies coach heads to the MCG, and no one is around to hear him....CREDIT:GETTY

    Making the competition more even? They’re ready to talk (in fact, the concept has as many fans among the higher-achieving clubs as the stragglers). More marketing spend and staged events? Oh boy, they’re ready to talk.

    But they won’t because there is currently no functioning body for those discussions, and some are plain scared of antagonising RA chairman Hamish McLennan, a view that is probably supported by Marinos’ exit from RA amid reports of a strained relationship.

    This is no way for a business to run.

    The debate about Super Rugby stirred memories of a lunch meeting a few years back also attended by the late and much-missed Greg Growden and John O’Neill, during the former’s second spell as boss of Australian rugby.

    Some estimates point to Super Rugby being far from the junior partner in Rugby Australia’s broadcast deals.CREDIT:GETTY

    An O’Neill remark that day stayed in the mind because it was surprising. While everyone associates O’Neill with the big deals, the bold strategic plays and his willingness to go toe to toe with the Kiwis, he said that Super Rugby was Australian rugby’s shopfront.

    The years that followed emphasised how right he was. The Wallabies will always be OK — look at the crowds they drew last year.

    But Super Rugby is not OK. A shopfront? How much time does RA spend thinking about Super Rugby at the moment, as opposed to league raids, private equity, tilts at World Rugby posts, taunting Peter V’landys and sacking and replacing Wallabies coaches? “It’s probably about 5 per cent, and that’s being generous,” one chief executive told me.

    That is vastly disproportionate to what it brings in. It’s always been hard to pin down the broadcast revenue split between Super Rugby and Tests, but the conversations this column has had point to it being far from the junior partner in that relationship. In fact, it may be as high as 50 per cent.

    The Wallabies made it all the way to the Rugby World Cup final in 2015 ... just before the domestic ship began to sink.CREDIT:GETTY

    It certainly supplies the lion’s share of content for broadcasters, and if rugby is serious about growing in Australia it is not going to happen by internationals alone. If the ‘rising Wallabies lift all boats’ argument was true, why did Super Rugby start sinking in 2016 just months after the Wallabies made the Rugby World Cup final in England at the end of 2015?

    The theory from Super Rugby chiefs is that McLennan does not want to give up control of Super Rugby to an independent body while private equity is kicking the tyres, while New Zealand Rugby is reluctant to sign off a body that has effectively been handpicked by McLennan to do what he wants. Here we go again.

    Frankly, though, Super Rugby clubs couldn’t care less about the tedious game of apportioning blame for the hold-up – they just want a resolution.

    The bitter irony of the current impasse – again shared by fans and chief executives – is that no one stands to benefit more from an improved Super Rugby Pacific than RA and NZ Rugby themselves.

    But, that would mean giving up some control and getting out of the way – and the signs are hardly promising.

    Link: smh

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    Senior Player
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    WA
    Posts
    654
    vCash
    5114000
    RA has its problems although Cully has become New Zealand Rugby's mouthpiece these days.

    If McLennan getting out of the way means NZR types like Bart Campbell stepping in, the situation only gets worse. A real mess that was last year. Their "Super Round" has also been a complete failure. Only NZ teams got paid for for giving up their home games as well; am pretty sure the Force got paid no sum for it anyway.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Rockingham
    Posts
    20,533
    vCash
    1322000
    Cully being Cully again
    Stirring shit for clickbait.
    The biggest issue is the fact that the top end of rugby administration in this country keep gifting him material.
    Let's be clear, a commission is the only way to fix super rugby in anybody's lifetime, the composition of that commission should be taken out of the governing bodies hands, because they'll just be tainting it with the same self important crap that's been killing the competition all along

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    C'mon the

  4. #4
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Mandurah
    Posts
    15,774
    vCash
    5508000
    The strangest thing about Rugby and Rugby League ATM is that both have chairmen who just about every sports minded Aussie could name because of their disruptive management style. Conversely both have/had CEO's that probably nobody except rusted on supporters could even name. Seems to work OK at the NRL based on the evidence of the past few years. The outlook for RA is still being determined.

    I sometimes wonder if V'Landys is playing the outrage card with McLennan to sucker punch him into more wasteful spending on Mungos whose Rugby adaptability is questionable at the least. This despite CEO Marinos being so obviously opposed. The NRL have a production line similar to NZ Rugby so despite the hype, they'd hardly be missed as the next wunderkind arrive.

    I'm always interested to see how these players fare. But that doesn't mean I think it's a good strategy for RA. Quite the opposite.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "The main difference between playing League and Union is that now I get my hangovers on Monday instead of Sunday - Tom David


  5. #5
    Legend Contributor
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Perth
    Posts
    5,260
    vCash
    5104000
    You'd struggle to believe any of that reflects what is really going on, but then you look at the state of the game...

    The 'commission' should be the teams themselves, with the national bodies stepping back. IMO one of the biggest problems they have is that one organisation tries to run every aspect of the game, meaning it does nothing with any focus.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 24-08-22, 20:06
  2. Replies: 28
    Last Post: 05-10-21, 09:08
  3. Replies: 24
    Last Post: 25-11-19, 21:03
  4. Replies: 32
    Last Post: 07-05-18, 15:02
  5. Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-12-17, 18:43

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •