Well that was an interesting week in the world of rugby I have taken a different tack for this weeks offering enjoy
This weeks thoughts
Eddie Jones Carousel of Coaching
Eddie jones has done it again this time losing another analyst Joe Lewis after he decided to re-join Welsh region Scarlets rather than stay on longer than a four-year stint with England. It was late July, amid reports that the England boss had been sounding out Richard Cockerill as a potential new coaching assistant, that speculation emerged that Lewis was leaving the Test team set-up he had joined in 2017.
For mine this shows two things how driven Eddie is and how much his management style burns people out. His high turnover would not be tolerated in a corporate sense but with the accelerated life cycle of coaching it does make sense in the same way that the New Zealand way also makes sense using the continuity model.
The weird and wonderful world of Sports Administration
Over the last week or so much has been made of the back room deals and such of Rugby. It is the dirty underbelly of all major sports. The issue that always worries me is the conflicts of interest that are inevitably at play some are just a case of point of view some are a little more worrying than others.
Peoples opinions are always clouded by their point of view. Part 1
Here is some context. I had a conversation with a couple of guys this week about where Rugby’s limited funding should be going with respect to comments made on Stan by Justin Harrison about how we need to scrap the Giteau Law and introduce more paid Rugby players and by extension an NRC. I really like Justin Harrison and hie brings a depth of knowledge and intelligence to his commentary that is not normally associated with second rowers. But Justin is involved in RUPA an entity that has in its mission is as follows
RUPA’s purpose is to support our members to be better people, better players and to live better lives
We do this by:
1. Protecting the workplace standards of professional players – allowing them to have a secure and stable foundation for their Rugby careers and to allow them to thrive on and off the field
2. Preparing players for their lives outside of Rugby – encouraging education and post-Rugby career planning whilst supporting their wellbeing at all times
3. Promoting the interests of the players and the game – raising the profile of all players and Rugby in Australia through effective thought leadership
Naturally Justin wants more professional Rugby players and I do not have an issue with that but as someone who supports community Rugby I want to see a bottom up approach not top down.
Everyone Hates NZ Rugby Part 2
From spinoff.co.nz named Everyone Hates NZ Rugby
Questions around NZ Rugby director Bart Campbell’s business interests. Apparently Bart has a stake in a company called Left Field Live Agency and TEG which may have been the beneficiary of a deal to move the RC to Europe. TEG has since been sold to “Silver Lake”.
In 2019 Campbell’s company secured the rights to send an All Blacks XV into emerging markets such as the US and Japan. It was a commercial initiative with a high-performance element, expanding the pool of players exposed to international rugby. “The terms were agreed by commercial negotiation that was underpinned by a guaranteed return to NZ Rugby. That contract has not been able to take effect due to Covid,” NZR CEO Mark Robinson said.
Robinson said TEG was involved in the proposed relocation of the Rugby Championship to Europe, but it was not an NZ Rugby deal. “We are not working with TEG ourselves,“ he said. “They have come to the table to work directly with Sanzaar on the potential for a European section of the Rugby Championship.”
Robinson said he was happy to clarify Campbell’s position, and rejected out of hand any claims that scenarios were being cooked up to benefit Left Field Live and, by extension, NZ Rugby at the expense of Rugby Australia.
“We are working with him in DC, we are not working with him in the UK,” Robinson said of Campbell, who joined the NZ Rugby board last year. “To date, Bart and his associated companies have worked on two matches in the USA (2014 versus the USA and 2016 versus Ireland) and the 2017 match against the Barbarians in the UK.”
As a Former Qld Racing Minister once said “it is not a conflict of interests more of a convergence”
Hospitals Challenge Cup (Brisbane Club Rugby Finals)
For those who want a fix of Rugby on the weekend the only televised games will be the Brisbane Club Rugby Finals. Due to Covid the last two rounds of the season were cancelled and the finals were reduced from three weeks to two weeks of sudden death in a 1 v 4, 2 v 3 format. So each team is coming off 4 weeks of not playing straight into a finals series.
With the spiritual home of Qld Rugby Ballymore undergoing a much needed if misconceived renovation this weekends fixtures will be played at the the GPS home round at Yoku Rd Ashgrove.
Game one UQ v Brothers
University of Queensland finished the season with only one loss to second placed GPS and were dominant all season they play and exciting all court game with some fast running rugby. This year they have added some starch up from and will be favourites to win. Players to watch are the back three Grealy and the Oates brothers
Brothers Finished the season in 4th with a strong finish after starting slowly aided by the return of their Reds players. On form having only won 8 games for the year you would suspect that they would be easy fodder for the UQ team however the Brothers team boasts approx 8 reds squad members do could spring the upset. Players to watch are everyone if the Australian Reps come back.
UQ by 10
Game two GPS V Wests
GPS finished the season having lost only two games for the seasons and being the only team to beat UQ this year. They re a team that loves the forward battle using a system similar toh e South Africans of bringing a new front row on at half time. They should have enough firepower to get the job done. Player to watch Mat Gicquel who is a Super Rugby quality back rower IMHO.
Wests Finished the season in second. The biggest question is which team will turn up the Wests (Rebels) or the Wests Bulldogs. Depending on availability due to QPR rules Wests will wither have a pack capable of mixing it with GPS or not. The Wests backline is electric but the entertainment factor is watching the Skelton brothers who love laying out the pain.
GPS by ten at home
Enjoy the weekend and over to Hoss of the long run tomorrow.