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The decline of Australian rugby. Is there a way out?

Superalexmarket

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First, sorry for my english . This is what I want to talk about:
As the years go by we are witnessing the collapse of one of the great powers of this sport: Australia.
For me, who grew up watching the great teams of that country and admiring their players (David Campese is my hero), it is very sad to witness this present of Aussie rugby. In the Rugby Championship they no longer even aspire to win the ***le just to avoid finishing in 4th place behind Argentina, and I wonder if the Lions will consider at some point continuing to carry out their tour when they play in that country if Australia loses competitiveness. Now comes the question... do you think there is a way out? The Australian rugby has a chance of returning to what it was? I listen to your opinion
 
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Brumbies doing good. Waratahs, Reds and u20s all doing okayish. A different coach and a coherent squad selection and they would probably be in the semifinals with the crazy draw. Those are the positives.

Their days of challenging the top 4 positions in the world have been gone for a long time and probably won't be coming back any time soon.

Solutions:
i) Stop being elitist domestically (which helps drive young athletes towards other sports)
ii) Cut a Super Rugby side (not something I would propose as it is incredibly short termist)
OR
iii) (my preference) build more squad strength in Super Rugby with affordable imports from South America, Fiji and Georgia (all places with comparatively low costs of living).
 
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some thing that i dont think gets talked about too much....historically....aussie isn't a rugby super power, only grew in the 80's and 90's really and the 2000's saw the tail of that short lived popularity, we just have this impression because it coincides with RWC's and the rise of the professional game

Aussie doesn't have the structure below the international game to breed players, super rugby isn;t long enough and doesn't have the inherent connection to historic rugby areas
 
Interesting, thanks for sharing. Made me think which I enjoy, but not sure i agree with most of it thou.
The main argument is something along the lines of: 'Aus used to pick players from 2/3 teams, that increased cohesion which meant a better national side'. He also uses some changes in Wales and Ireland as examples. The first problem i have is causality. Correlation doesn't imply causation. The fact that one thing changed doesn't necessarily mean that that one thing is the sole cause of a change in outcome.
The second problem I have is the following: the video argues that Aus went to shite when they started picking up players from more than 2/3 teams. The problem i have with that is that NZ had 5 SR teams in 2011 and 2015 and that didn't really appear to have impacted the results in the way the video suggests. Maybe it's not a factor or maybe it is a factor, but one of many.

The third problem I have is Jaguares. Arg reached semi's in 2015 after which we got a SR franchise which was basically +80% of pumas playing in ONE team. Not three, not two, ONE. Week after week. Many thought at the time, myself included, that we were something along the lines of an unfair advantage. 'we might have created a monster' was the phrase I recall. We were allowed to concentrate all of our resources on one team and compete against teams that could not.

The results were not as straightforward as the video suggests. Jaguares did manage to get to one SR final in those years but that never really translated to the national team. And the first years were pretty bad too (in SR).
Pumas got themselves eliminated in the group stages in 2019. You could argue that might have been a one-off but if you look at our performances at TRC during those years there is no clear improvement vs pre or post-Jaguares in SR.
Kinda tricky for me to make this counterargument because on paper, i agree(d) with the video. It just makes sense. But when i look at the evidence the results appear to be mixed at best and i see quite a few counterexamples that the video conveniently forgets to mention.
 
Interesting, thanks for sharing. Made me think which I enjoy, but not sure i agree with most of it thou.
The main argument is something along the lines of: 'Aus used to pick players from 2/3 teams, that increased cohesion which meant a better national side'. He also uses some changes in Wales and Ireland as examples. The first problem i have is causality. Correlation doesn't imply causation. The fact that one thing changed doesn't necessarily mean that that one thing is the sole cause of a change in outcome.
The second problem I have is the following: the video argues that Aus went to shite when they started picking up players from more than 2/3 teams. The problem i have with that is that NZ had 5 SR teams in 2011 and 2015 and that didn't really appear to have impacted the results in the way the video suggests. Maybe it's not a factor or maybe it is a factor, but one of many.

The third problem I have is Jaguares. Arg reached semi's in 2015 after which we got a SR franchise which was basically +80% of pumas playing in ONE team. Not three, not two, ONE. Week after week. Many thought at the time, myself included, that we were something along the lines of an unfair advantage. 'we might have created a monster' was the phrase I recall. We were allowed to concentrate all of our resources on one team and compete against teams that could not.

The results were not as straightforward as the video suggests. Jaguares did manage to get to one SR final in those years but that never really translated to the national team. And the first years were pretty bad too (in SR).
Pumas got themselves eliminated in the group stages in 2019. You could argue that might have been a one-off but if you look at our performances at TRC during those years there is no clear improvement vs pre or post-Jaguares in SR.
Kinda tricky for me to make this counterargument because on paper, i agree(d) with the video. It just makes sense. But when i look at the evidence the results appear to be mixed at best and i see quite a few counterexamples that the video conveniently forgets to mention.
I don't know if the comparison between Jaguares and Wallabies works tho

The key factor would be that the wallabies were comprised of two teams, and they competed against one another, something that Jaguares never had. One of the unsaid points at the beginning of the video is that the performance from the wallabies was directly related to the increasing competition between reds and brumbies; the same is said between ireland, welsh clubs and scotland

Argentina never implemented a system to play, like in ancient times (at a more folkloric era of argie rugby) the traditional Tucumán-Córdoba-CABA and etc that were so intense (too intense in my opinion) a couple of decades ago.

What I think the video says is that increased competition between well established regions able to produce players will increase the level of said players: AUS rugby lost momentum when Perth (unable to produce as many good players) joined and the quality of the players got diluted.

ARG should study the case so we can copy the competitive 80's and 90's AUS rugby or at least try to change things when we get Jaguardo again

well defined regions + competition + healthy player production

I always had a soft spot for tucumán, they have given so much to argie rugby and they've been traditionally looked down on from some people from our caba clubs, time to make a SR franchise only for them hahahaha
 
The key factor would be that the wallabies were comprised of two teams, and they competed against one another, something that Jaguares never had.
I get that, in fact I could even agree or at least see the argument, but that is not what (i understand) the video says.

The vid points out three factors:
1- Long-term repetition of selection
2- extreme consistency of selection
3- high levels of lower cohesion

regarding 3 it states: 'an international team achieves cohesion from a high level of low cohesion in the provincial and club teams that transfers upwards'. That is Jaguares. In fact, it's the ideal case: they were 99% cohesive (Cubelli could be selected while playing for the brumbies) while still having a to face challenging competition.

And i am not saying he doesn't have a point. What I'm saying is that the evidence presented isnt enough to prove that point.


The interesting exercise (imo) becomes: how to structure your competition in order to achieve better results at a national team level?
If you have 15 teams you guarantee all the best will play against each other (not really but you get the point) and if you have one team you get perfect cohesion but you would need to find competition outside your borders. The answer obviously lies somewhere in between and depends on quite a few variables, some of which you don't always control (you can have fewer teams if you can play internationally but that depends on your neighbours, at least partially).

It's basically a resource allocation problem. Some variables are clear but you've got.
 
I get that, in fact I could even agree or at least see the argument, but that is not what (i understand) the video says.

The vid points out three factors:
1- Long-term repetition of selection
2- extreme consistency of selection
3- high levels of lower cohesion

regarding 3 it states: 'an international team achieves cohesion from a high level of low cohesion in the provincial and club teams that transfers upwards'. That is Jaguares. In fact, it's the ideal case: they were 99% cohesive (Cubelli could be selected while playing for the brumbies) while still having a to face challenging competition.

And i am not saying he doesn't have a point. What I'm saying is that the evidence presented isnt enough to prove that point.


The interesting exercise (imo) becomes: how to structure your competition in order to achieve better results at a national team level?
If you have 15 teams you guarantee all the best will play against each other (not really but you get the point) and if you have one team you get perfect cohesion but you would need to find competition outside your borders. The answer obviously lies somewhere in between and depends on quite a few variables, some of which you don't always control (you can have fewer teams if you can play internationally but that depends on your neighbours, at least partially).

It's basically a resource allocation problem. Some variables are clear but you've got.
the message i got from the video is two is the fewest to achieve excellence as you have the cohesion but also the competitive drive for selection
 
the message i got from the video is two is the fewest to achieve excellence as you have the cohesion but also the competitive drive for selection
Could you do me a favour and tell me, exactly, in which part of the video is such a concept or idea stated, suggested or implied?
Specifically the competitive drive for selection.

Not taking the **** nor trolling. I sincerely cannot recall that concept being presented in the video. At all.
Even in that case my reply would be that i see no evidence presented to assert that such a competitive drive for selection couldn't be done internally.
When and if that evidence is presented, i'll have a look and stand corrected if i find it convincing enough.

I quite enjoy changing my mind. Generally means I've learnt something new. I just dont like doing it for the sake of it.
 
Could you do me a favour and tell me, exactly, in which part of the video is such a concept or idea stated, suggested or implied?
Specifically the competitive drive for selection.

Not taking the **** nor trolling. I sincerely cannot recall that concept being presented in the video. At all.
Even in that case my reply would be that i see no evidence presented to assert that such a competitive drive for selection couldn't be done internally.
When and if that evidence is presented, i'll have a look and stand corrected if i find it convincing enough.

I quite enjoy changing my mind. Generally means I've learnt something new. I just dont like doing it for the sake of it.
im not sure it was, i think its just natural conclusion to me that you need more than one team and the video suggests a diminishing returns if you keep diluting without growing the overall pool

as for the second part, i had always kind of felt it was just a known thing you can never match what is learnt in a game with internal training...that's why saying like "match fit" are a thing and why teams arrange warm up games

I guess i wasn't viewing the video in isolation but comparing it to what i see in the real world and it does make some sense
 
I get that, in fact I could even agree or at least see the argument, but that is not what (i understand) the video says.

The vid points out three factors:
1- Long-term repetition of selection
2- extreme consistency of selection
3- high levels of lower cohesion

regarding 3 it states: 'an international team achieves cohesion from a high level of low cohesion in the provincial and club teams that transfers upwards'. That is Jaguares. In fact, it's the ideal case: they were 99% cohesive (Cubelli could be selected while playing for the brumbies) while still having a to face challenging competition.

And i am not saying he doesn't have a point. What I'm saying is that the evidence presented isnt enough to prove that point.


The interesting exercise (imo) becomes: how to structure your competition in order to achieve better results at a national team level?
If you have 15 teams you guarantee all the best will play against each other (not really but you get the point) and if you have one team you get perfect cohesion but you would need to find competition outside your borders. The answer obviously lies somewhere in between and depends on quite a few variables, some of which you don't always control (you can have fewer teams if you can play internationally but that depends on your neighbours, at least partially).

It's basically a resource allocation problem. Some variables are clear but you've got.
Yeah, the video states those three aspects, those are the only three concepts or core ideas explicitly mentioned, but they alone they cannot hold the case from a logic point of view; they need some unstated premises, one of them I think would be the fact that competition is a key factor in developing the areas with a strong production of players

I don't really know if Jaguares fits the description of (3), mostly because mostly because cases like that of Gómez Kodela, a player who wasn't able to play for a considerable number of years during his career due to the policy selection by Argentina. In fact, I reckon that selection policy played a large part in the decline of argie rugby in 2019. It was a reasonable policy during its time (it allowed to keep some really important players) but it also shortened the pool to choose from quite dramatically. So I would put a hold into how much cohesion you can achieve in this case, based simply on the fact that the players selected didn't face any competition for their position, almost none in the case of Sánchez por instance, and how that could have impacted their performance in 2019. Not many of our boys can go to NZ, SA or AUS like Cubo

I think the answer is NZ. You have a number of franchises from a limited amount of regions, they get to SR and then to ABs
in argentina's case, Córdoba, CABA, Rosario and Tucumán

sorry aussie fans, didn't mean to steal your thread
 
Australia peaked in 1999 when they won their second world cup and apart from beating a depleted Lions team in 2001 have done nothing really of note but then you could say that about most teams apart from NZ and South Africa and I suppose Ireland. Much of that success was built on their at the time very modern Rugby League style defence that would suffocate teams. After that their smaller player pool particularly in the front row always put them at a disadvantage.

From memory Australia were always pushing for rule changes in the 00s, mainly around the scrum and breakdown to make the game as they put it "more attractive with more tries" which was ironic given their success was built on a very defensive game with lots of kicking.

The reason they pushed for this was because Australia is a small place in terms of population and Aussie Rules and Rugby League were always more popular. So the solution at the time was "let's change all the rules to make it more like league so people from league will watch it" It was deeply flawed and they absolutely didn't get buy in from anyone else.

At some point you have to accept where you are in life and with the exception of New Zealand and maybe South Africa, Rugby Union in a minority sport and in Australia it's even further down the pecking order. Had the ARFU put more into marketing than rule changing back in the 00s things might have been different but it is what it is.
 

Somewhat unrelated, but the one thing I noticed in this video was the graphic of the 1991 England team and the team jerseys of the centres being the wrong way around... Carling (Harlequins) was the IC and Guscott (Bath) the outside.

I have subsequently found out today that in 1919, Clifford Walwyn, the Bath 13, died after being injured in a match and that number was retired. So for Bath, Guscott wore 14 and for England he wore 12, maintaining the Bath tradition, with Carling wearing 13. Which mean when making this video they very probably just looked at the numbers on the team sheet.

This may be old news to some people but I've never really thought about it before and thought it was an interesting coincidence.
 
Somewhat unrelated, but the one thing I noticed in this video was the graphic of the 1991 England team and the team jerseys of the centres being the wrong way around... Carling (Harlequins) was the IC and Guscott (Bath) the outside.

I have subsequently found out today that in 1919, Clifford Walwyn, the Bath 13, died after being injured in a match and that number was retired. So for Bath, Guscott wore 14 and for England he wore 12, maintaining the Bath tradition, with Carling wearing 13. Which mean when making this video they very probably just looked at the numbers on the team sheet.

This may be old news to some people but I've never really thought about it before and thought it was an interesting coincidence.
Tindall kept the same tradition whilst he was at Bath.
And yes, people looking back at old team sheets and being absolutely determined that Guscott or Tindall MUST have played IC not OC has always been a little frustrating.
 
When did it stop? And why?
I suspect that commercial concerns (making the game marginally easier to understand by having everyone wearing the "right" number) overtook tradition. I always used to find it a bit confusing watching Leicester, as my brain didn't compute the letter quickly enough outside the ABC club and their friends in the second row. Bristol were even worse - the full back was the only player I could reliably identify. I wouldn't be surprised if numbers were standardised at the same time that letters were done away with.
 
Australia peaked in 1999 when they won their second world cup and apart from beating a depleted Lions team in 2001 have done nothing really of note but then you could say that about most teams apart from NZ and South Africa and I suppose Ireland. Much of that success was built on their at the time very modern Rugby League style defence that would suffocate teams. After that their smaller player pool particularly in the front row always put them at a disadvantage.

From memory Australia were always pushing for rule changes in the 00s, mainly around the scrum and breakdown to make the game as they put it "more attractive with more tries" which was ironic given their success was built on a very defensive game with lots of kicking.

The reason they pushed for this was because Australia is a small place in terms of population and Aussie Rules and Rugby League were always more popular. So the solution at the time was "let's change all the rules to make it more like league so people from league will watch it" It was deeply flawed and they absolutely didn't get buy in from anyone else.

At some point you have to accept where you are in life and with the exception of New Zealand and maybe South Africa, Rugby Union in a minority sport and in Australia it's even further down the pecking order. Had the ARFU put more into marketing than rule changing back in the 00s things might have been different but it is what it is.
Pointing Yes GIF by Maraboli Media
 
I suspect that commercial concerns (making the game marginally easier to understand by having everyone wearing the "right" number) overtook tradition. I always used to find it a bit confusing watching Leicester, as my brain didn't compute the letter quickly enough outside the ABC club and their friends in the second row. Bristol were even worse - the full back was the only player I could reliably identify. I wouldn't be surprised if numbers were standardised at the same time that letters were done away with.
Correct.
Changed at the advent of professionalism, as a result of professionalism
 
Somewhat unrelated, but the one thing I noticed in this video was the graphic of the 1991 England team and the team jerseys of the centres being the wrong way around... Carling (Harlequins) was the IC and Guscott (Bath) the outside.

I have subsequently found out today that in 1919, Clifford Walwyn, the Bath 13, died after being injured in a match and that number was retired. So for Bath, Guscott wore 14 and for England he wore 12, maintaining the Bath tradition, with Carling wearing 13. Which mean when making this video they very probably just looked at the numbers on the team sheet.

This may be old news to some people but I've never really thought about it before and thought it was an interesting coincidence.
thats really interesting, never knew that
 
so, lots of chat in the last couple of days, with the Rebels very much on the ropes there are reports NZR have been in discussions with the Jaguares about coming back in

most people seem happy with the idea, the Jags were really becoming competitive in their last season (obviously made the final) so hope to see them again at that level
 

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