Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.
A big get together of some of Australia’s big names in the Rugby Coaching business will take place at Australia Rugby HQ next week. Incumbent Wallaby Coach Michael Cheika and his skills coach Mick Byrne will be meeting with past coaching luminaries Bob Dwyer and Dick Marks among others to have a look at the current parlous state of Australian Rugby. Anyone who thinks these guys can come up with a quick fix to Rugby’s current woes needs serious help. As many rugby commentators have been saying for quite some time the current state of Aussie rugby has been developing for something like ten years, and we can expect that it will probably take just as long to turn things around. The whole Australian Coaching and Development structure is just not working. We don’t have the competition structure in Australia to allow players to grow and develop through to international standard as that which exists across the ditch. Until a progressive competition and coaching structure is developed in Australia which will allow talented young footballers to be identified and then developed, nothing will change. The ARU should get someone across the Tasman and check out how it’s done over there, it’s obviously working for the Kiwis.
Super Rugby is looking even sicker as each round goes by. The uneven convoluted draw is really going to be shown up for what it is by the time the finals come around. “A Mess”. Surely it must be changed from the conference system in 2018 when the team numbers are reduced or the chance of a similar debacle will still exist. It must get back to every team playing each other once, finishing with a four or six team final series. Have a look at this year’s points table at this stage based on overall competition points. The five Kiwi sides are inside the top seven positions. The Australian sides are all in the bottom half of the table. It’s likely on current form that this situation will only get worse by seasons end. Despite the obvious anomalies, under the current competition structure, an Australian side will make the finals, at least three teams from the African pools are guaranteed a finals spot, but one or more of the Kiwi sides will miss out on the finals. TV money has too much influence on the competition but for the sake of Rugby as a whole the integrity of the competition must take precedence over the TV content.