The Rogues Rant #238

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

The IDRU Board has made the inevitable decision to abandon the Builders Club Premiership for 2020. With Coronavirus restrictions still causing major obstacles for all sports to get underway, time has run out to be able achieve a restart as planned for June 27. It is incumbent on the Board to endeavor to provide the opportunity for people to play Rugby in our area and the Board has worked tirelessly to try and bring a viable competition to life. The only way a full on competition could possibly go ahead would be if there was no restriction on crowd numbers at matches in order for clubs to raise the sort of revenue required to remain viable. With public gathering numbers still very much under question and likely to be for some time yet the decision to abandon had to come. The Board is proposing a Ten a Side competition to take place from August 15, to be known as the 2020 Covid Cup. It is suggested that depending on the number of clubs interested, it will be a 2 grade 10 Club competition with clubs playing two 40 minute games a day over five weeks with a finals round in week six. All clubs will have the opportunity to host matches on a Gala Day style basis. I hear that support from the clubs is roughly divided on a 50/50 basis, so there is still plenty of soul searching to be done before we will see such a tournament take place. Perhaps the time to start planning for 2021 has arrived!  

The Rugby Australia 2019 Annual Resort has finally been submitted to ASIC after approval from Auditors KPMG.  The full report will be made public later this week. RA has started to make changes to its structure advising that one third of their staff is to be made redundant over the next few months. Contracted players have accepted a 60% pay cut with the Executive Staff also accepting a 30% pay cut. Moves are underway for discussion with the State Bodies to make further adjustments to Administration and service delivery across the board with a view to getting things back on track as soon as possible before it is too late. Hopefully all groups will pull together to get the right things happening at the Community Rugby level. Have the lessons been learnt, Let’s hope so!

In some good positive news, plans are advancing to have Super Rugby Australia up and running from July 3rd. The four Aussie Super Rugby Franchises and the Western Force will compete. It was hoped that the Sunwolves would be able to be a part of the tournament but with the travel restrictions still a big issue the decision has been made to go ahead without the Japanese side. With a TV deal still to be done over the next few weeks hopefully we will be seeing Rugby back on the box come July. Talks are also progressing on the chances of a Bledisloe Cup series for later in the year as well.

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