The ARU last year certainly made things interesting for themselves and fans with one situation after another that required yet another press conference, or the refusal to front a press conference. This culminated in the appointment of Michael Cheika as Wallabies coach while remaining coach of the Waratahs.
At the time of his appointment Cheika indicated he wanted to engage other Super Rugby coaches to possibly be part of his coaching team – Michael Foley, who has worked wonders at the Force to build some real momentum for perhaps the first time since inception, and Steve Larkham, who stepped up at the Brumbies after a dummy spit by Jake White.
Both Larkham and Foley at the time said that they wanted to focus on their provinces, and many people around the country cheered because we thought it was nuts for even one coach to wear two hats let alone three.
Roll on three months and it seems Cheika has successfully wooed one of his sweethearts with Larkham rumored to be signing up for a Wobbs role and it looks like Foley will become another committed paramour. Where does this leave the Tahs, Force and Brumbies?
As a Reds supporter I would like to think that this could play beautifully into our hands for the Super season. No distractions for Richard Graham, no thinking on two levels at once – how do we beat these guys AND which of these guys should get on a plane to the UK?
This thought process conveniently ignores the elephant in the room that RG hasn’t managed to pull anything together so far and finishing 13th was an incredible smack in the face for fans last year – I still have the finger marks.
How does it play out for the Rebels? Is this the year that McGahan can put together a team with consistency and deliver wins because he has only one focus against coaches with two? (You would hope so considering that the Rebels played as the Rising last year in the NRC only losing one match, albeit the one that counted).
Or is this Cheika beautifully psyching out his opponents because he figures the Reds and Rebels are no threat and he needs to divert the attention of his competition in the Brumbies and Force?
And how are the ARU convincing the state unions to part with coaches this super season? It may not be a physical parting but it will certainly be a mental parting. And all this at the same time Pulver has come out and said three Australian franchises will make the finals series. How does he figure that will work?
How do YOU figure this will work? Will it benefit any of our franchises or just the Kiwis and Saffas?
In the Pool Of Death (POD) is this the right strategy?
If we don’t make it out of the POD we can kiss goodbye to the revenue we so desperately need and the ARU will tighten the purse string even more affecting everything from Grass Roots insurance to the player drain.
Can we afford this strategy – are our pride and our finances too much to put at stake?