The Rogues Rant #236

Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby

Just what is the future of Rugby in Australia? The impact of the coronavirus has been wide spread and forced everyone to step back and take a good long look at where they stand in this world. For most sports it has brought about a lot of soul searching especially when it comes to finances with Rugby Australia right up there as one with much to consider. With all that has happened there is plenty of talk now as to what the structure of competitive rugby should be in Australia. I think it’s definitely time for RA to go it alone. Super Rugby is dead after years of faltering along achieving nothing but providing content for the Television networks at the expense of the good of the game as a whole. Now is the time for change and for the sake of the game in Australia it must happen. Local district Club competitions should start the season with the top players feeding into some form of Provincial or State structure eventually feeding to Wallaby selection. As far as the competition structure in NSW is concerned it can’t just be as per the current Shute Shield competition. The structure must represent the population base of the state with the top club competition including teams from the major population areas including Western Sydney, the Illawarra, Central Coast, the Hunter Valley and even possibly Central Western NSW. It’s going to take some progressive visionary minds to come together to get Rugby back on track.

Raelene Castle has gone. While I don’t think she was the right fit for the job, she should not been seen as responsible for the poor state of Rugby in this country. The dye was well and truly cast long before Castle became CEO with Rugby losing its way fifteen odd years ago. Unfortunately the people making all the noise at the moment are coming from the same crowd that set Rugby on its destructive path over the last twenty years or more. For Rugby to grow and prosper in this country there needs to be a much more all-inclusive administration and Strategic Plan put in place and not one that primarily considers the wants and needs of the eastern suburbs of Sydney.

The Illawarra Board is forging ahead with their plans to get Rugby on again at both senior and junior level by June or July. There has been no feedback from RA over the last few weeks but the Board is still planning for a 27th June start for senior Rugby in the Illawarra. Of course that all depends on how the Coronavirus situation develops and what Government policy decisions are made. The Board will thrash out the competition format for both Seniors and Juniors at their 6th May meeting with the final Yes/No call to be made at the June meeting. There is still a very real possibility that the 2020 season could be abandoned.  

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.