Poll: The Super 14 Contracting Process should be-

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Thread: Super 14 Contracting Process

  1. #1
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    Super 14 Contracting Process

    We have other threads about Tuqiri and his worth, for this one I am more interested in your thoughts on the Super 14 contracting process and the timing of it.
    Is it too much of a distraction for all parties or should they be able to seperate business from playing?
    Fair enough maybe for the big announcement that your star player is staying as a boost for the team mid season, but what if the announcement is that your star player will be wearing a different jersey next season (eg Gits)?
    Vote and comment your thoughts:

    McKenzie demands Tuqiri's full focus

    Rupert Guinness in Kimberley
    Thursday, February 15, 2007


    Lote Tuqiri has been told to get his mind back on the job of playing for the Waratahs and cast aside the distractions of the bidding war for his services.

    In the build-up to NSW's Super 14 match here against the Cheetahs, coach Ewen McKenzie admitted his concerns about Tuqiri's below-par form and said he expected him to play a leading role on Saturday (1.30am Sunday, Sydney time).

    McKenzie is demanding a lift in performance from Tuqiri, who admitted his contact with business adviser Les Ross during this tour to discuss contractual offers had affected his game.

    McKenzie's words came as Cronulla coach Ricky Stuart increased the pressure on the in-demand star, revealing he had contacted Tuqiri's manager to find out exactly how much it would take to lure him back to the NRL.

    "I've asked his manager to give us a figure on what would make him a Shark, and that's obviously got to be Lote keen [on] wanting to come and play at Cronulla," Stuart told Channel 9 last night. "From my chats with Lote, I think he's going to go to rugby league."

    Stuart's inquiry only adds to the distractions McKenzie believes are affecting Tuqiri on the field. Asked what he was looking for from Tuqiri in Saturday's game after two below-average showings, a jovial McKenzie said: "five tries … four will do."

    But then the coach dropped his smile and said in a serious tone: "We are looking for him, being one of the more experienced players, to lead on the field."

    McKenzie admitted he always knew the courting of his star winger would impede his performance, saying: "There is no surprise there. He and I discussed that back in August. We always knew that there would be somewhere where it would weigh on his mind.

    "History has proven that every time he has had a big decision to make, it has always had some sort of impact on his footy. He is aware of that more than anyone. This might be the last big contract he signs, depending the length of it. So he has to get it right."

    McKenzie has got used to the sharks circling Tuqiri and recalled the circus that surrounded his most recent signing, at the end of 2004, for the three-year contract that expires after this season. More recently, McKenzie has not forgotten the mid-season bid by the Force to sign him in 2005, before the Perth franchise debuted in last year's Super 14.

    "A couple of years ago ,when the Force came on board and they did their raping and pillaging in the middle of the season, it was all a bit of a surprise to us," McKenzie said. "Now we are used to the fact there are ongoing contract negotiations almost 12 months of the year. I am used to the fact I can come to training, then go back to my room and talk turkey about succession plans and who is going to be here and that, and come back and train again.

    "The reality is that at any point, in your squad there might be players that could be looking to go anywhere else. And in teams you are playing, there are probably a couple of players who might want to come and join you. That's life."

    Tuqiri is well aware of McKenzie's mixed feelings about his form and has pledged to improve on his recent below-par performances on the paddock against the Lions and the Sharks.

    In the long term, McKenzie hopes Tuqiri accepts a $3.5 million four-year deal to be offered to him by the ARU next week and stays with NSW. But in the short term, he hopes Tuqiri will be able to convert the flurry of ball touches he had against the Sharks last week into points-scoring runs.

    Tuqiri is seemingly happy to take up the challenge, judging by his bold declaration this week that the Waratahs - with himself heavily involved - should set out to win the game with a four-try haul that would also secure them a bonus point.

    "We wanted to win all three games [in South Africa]. It obviously can't happen now," Tuqiri said. "But a win would be a great way to end the tour, and hopefully get some bonus points to go with it. Tries are pretty hard to come by at the moment. We are hitting the line, but not finishing it. Our skill level is not up to where we want it. We have to improve to make a dent in this competition … to make a dent on the ladder."

    The Waratahs must win this game at the diamond mining capital of Kimberley, in South Africa's Northern Cape Province, to ensure they return to Australia with a 2-1 win-loss record from their tour. A record of one win and two losses would be a huge disappointment for the Super 14 contenders - and they know it as much as anyone.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    I believe as professional athletes, with thier own management teams, well, they should be able to manage contractual issues whenever they arise without any knock-on effects...It isn't like team loyalty means as much anymore as in the past,now money talks and if you want to keep talent you need to pay the big bucks, and be prepared for someone who has more to offer to come along and up the ante...The player in this case should concentrate on proving his worth where he is, as if he shows he is easily distracted by issues outside of the game it shows weakness on thier part, or as in lotes case, a lack of commitment to one code or the other...These athletes should be able to perform at thier peak without being concerned with outside issues, and if they can't then what are they really thinking about then???

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    The majority of the time we don't even know when the contracts come up and get signed or not, it's only when a player or there agent is looking for leverage that we really get to hear about it and the media thrashes up a frenzy.

    The leagues do it all the time, it doesn't really matter when the negotiations actually take place if the player is on fire and want's to move there agent will talk it up even if they cant change clubs/codes until a year later there is so much froth and bubble.

    If the player is focussed and happy with the club then they will stay, if they are unhappy at the club, or getting no opportunity then moving will be on thier minds no matter what - others are just happy to pull on the jersy for the team they love.

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    Rookie littleleck's Avatar
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    I reckon that it should be restricted to the off season because firstly, i think that it would cause player loyalty issues, because once a player has signed with another team they surely would be less committed to their original team...unless of course they are vying for Wallaby selection.
    I also think that it can cause a coach to be biased against a player if they are leaving the club. This shouldn't happen but more often than not it probably does.
    Leave it till after the season is done and no damage will be done to the team/team-mates during the regular season.

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    Just an addendum, I believe that the NRL has a closed drafting period until (I think) post June so that the period is confined.

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    Veteran Contributor frontrow's Avatar
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    Nicks right once again, if the player isn't happy with the situation then they will be looking for other options, but if they are content where they are then they aren't going to be looking elsewhere, however that doesn't mean that other clubs/codes aren't interested in poaching them, offer a big carrot for example, then that is a different story...

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    Yeah to true front row money talks, I just dont see restricting the negotiation period will actually stop rumor or speculation by the media or stop players agents / club recruiters from sounding out options which at the end of the day is what does most of the distracting.

    Im mean he's not talking about leaving until the end of the seson and I imagine that the tooing and froing will continue right up till then.

    Restrict the official negotiation period and you really wont change a thing, it just wont stop anyone and with the risk of sounding rude it's just naive to think that it will.

    Lets say it was in place and Lote couldn't start negotiations until his contract expired (whenever that window of non rugby is these days) but it got out inadvertantly or through the mechanations of his agent that he was thinking of changing codes or clubs at the end of his contract. Do you really think all those clubs and codes would just sit on there hands and do and say nothing? They just couldn't risk it!

    But lets say the ARU did impose this and no Union club could approach him in anyway and officially he couldn't do anything either do you relly think leauge would care that the ARu didn't want them talking to him or for that matter off shore interests.

    They are profesional players playing in a professional scenario they will negotiate no matter what for there best intrests.

    His form in the mean time however is a completely different issue - he is a professional he is paid to deliver if he doesn't then it's down to the coach to do what he see fit.

    An example is this Aron Mauger is leaving NZ after the World cup do you think he will play anyless hard to get on the field for the AB's despite his negotiations? I dont think so and neither should Lote. Its a problem with the player not the system.

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