The Rogues Rant #239

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

Finally some good news for Rugby fans. Foxtel have announced that Super Rugby will return to our TV screens as of Saturday June 13 with the New Zealand Super Rugby Aotearoa match between the Highlanders and the Chiefs at Dunedin. With New Zealand lifting crowd restrictions, huge crowds are expected for this match and the already sold out Blues V Hurricanes match at Eden Park, Auckland on Sunday 14th. The games are the first of the Kiwi tournament involving all five of the NZ Super Rugby franchises. With a deal being reached between Rugby Australia and Foxtel for TV coverage the Super Rugby AU tournament will kick off on Friday 3rd July. Queensland Reds will host the Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night with the Brumbies and Rebels to meet the next night in Canberra. While the New Zealanders will be cheered on by their loyal fans, the Aussie matches will be played without spectators with Coronavirus restrictions still in place at this stage. Bring it on!

On the international front the England Rugby Premiership will resume on August 15 with nine rounds remaining to complete their interrupted season. World Rugby has also been working on a new format for the 2021 International Season. At present it looks likely that a new approach will be taken which will impact on all levels of senior Rugby. The likely format will see the Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship Tests played during February and March next year followed by Super Rugby AU and Club Rugby at all levels to be played from April through to September. The Australian home Test series against Northern Hemisphere sides will be played during October followed by the Wallabies Northern Hemisphere tours in November. It’s a new format which is needed as it appears that the old Super Rugby format is well and truly buried with South Africa clearly heading towards a European involvement. There is still a lot of work needed to come up with a workable and efficient structure for Club and Super Rugby in Australia. If we are to see the Wallabies performances improve and Australian Rugby climb back up the International ratings, then a new and progressive development program has to be implemented by Rugby Australia, and soon.

Some sad news this week with the passing of Terry Troy recently. Terry was heavily involved with the development of the Tech Waratahs Junior Club in the late 1990’s which laid the foundation for the success of the Tech Tahs Senior club throughout the “Naughties”. Terry also contributed strongly to the administration of the successful Illawarrior Senior and Colts squads of 2005. After moving to the Southern Highlands, Terry also contributed to Bowral Rugby Club over the years and was a regular at Eridge Park recently enjoying the resurgence of the famous club. Rest in Peace Terry Troy.

A very important IDRU Board meeting is sitting down as this column goes to air. We are pretty much at crunch time now if we are going to see any local rugby played in 2020. With there still so much indecision surrounding the whole Coronavirus situation I can only see one decision eventually being made, but when?  See you in 2021.            

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