The future of NZ Rugby



  • @Kirwan NZ Rugby chose to discard its history and consumer passion. Astoundingly stupid and arrogant.



  • @Tim said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Kirwan NZ Rugby chose to discard its history and consumer passion. Astoundingly stupid and arrogant.

    Provinces wanted to reduce the strength of Auckland. Be careful what you wish for.



  • @Higgins said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @nzzp Auckland may have one third of the country's population but about one third of that is either of Asian (mostly Chinses) or Indian origin/ethnicity neither of which are all that interested in rugby (the Japanese aside)

    just be careful of sweeping generalisations. The lads who drew me into Eden Park (and are 25 year+ sesaon ticket holders) are indians; no reason the Rugby Religion can't sweep up folks from any ethnicity. Rugby's problem is more that it's hard to get into for damn near anyone, regardless of where you're from.



  • @Tim said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    Does it mention asian people? They make up a lot of the school age population.

    Does it honestly deal with the challenge of losing two major sponsors in a year? With no replacements announced ...

    Feels like getting your ducks lined up to be bought by a large investment firm....



  • @Kirwan said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Nepia said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    TBH, and apologies in advance at @Tim but I highly doubt that a Super team based in Harbour from the start would have made any difference to how things are going now. Auckland can't even run one competent team at the moment let alone two.

    It would have made a big difference, for rugby as a whole (investing in by far the biggest market) and it would avoided some of the issues that caused probems in the Blues.

    A Super Rugby battle of the bridge would have retained a lot of interest that has now been lost over the past 25 years. Remember North Harbour was pretty strong back then too.

    Factor in all the Auckland/North Harbour/Counties players playing around the country and it's even a stupider decision.

    If you'd have asked anyone in the 90s if the Blues would be a struggling franchise you'd get laughed at, I don't think there's a guarantee of success of a Harbour team in Super rugby (or if there would have been other knock on effects from basing it there).

    I'm not saying it couldn't have been a success, but not the fait accompli you guys are making it out to be.

    @nzzp said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Higgins said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @nzzp Auckland may have one third of the country's population but about one third of that is either of Asian (mostly Chinses) or Indian origin/ethnicity neither of which are all that interested in rugby (the Japanese aside)

    just be careful of sweeping generalisations. The lads who drew me into Eden Park (and are 25 year+ sesaon ticket holders) are indians; no reason the Rugby Religion can't sweep up folks from any ethnicity. Rugby's problem is more that it's hard to get into for damn near anyone, regardless of where you're from.

    Yeah, I always remember seeing lots of Indians at rugby matches in NZ.



  • Has Mark Robinson ever had a job outside of NZ rugby? Other than working for the NZRU, it seems that he was CEO of Taranaki Rugby. Pretty impressive ...



  • @Nepia Some of the problems of the Blues has been infighting between Northland, Harbour and Auckland.

    On the Shore and Northland, they see the Blues as Auckland dominated, so you lose fan engagement there.

    So two problems solved straight away.

    Then you factor in the marketing advantages of local rivalries now being on the field, and being able to retain their talent and you have a better product.

    Or you could prop up dwindling populations in Southland and Dunedin...



  • @nzzp said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Higgins said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @nzzp Auckland may have one third of the country's population but about one third of that is either of Asian (mostly Chinses) or Indian origin/ethnicity neither of which are all that interested in rugby (the Japanese aside)

    just be careful of sweeping generalisations. The lads who drew me into Eden Park (and are 25 year+ sesaon ticket holders) are indians; no reason the Rugby Religion can't sweep up folks from any ethnicity. Rugby's problem is more that it's hard to get into for damn near anyone, regardless of where you're from.

    Do their kids play?



  • @antipodean

    As professional rugby supporters, I'm not sure that matters. My friend goes to heaps of Cowboys games, but his kids play tennis and golf.



  • @gt12 said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @antipodean

    As professional rugby supporters, I'm not sure that matters. My friend goes to heaps of Cowboys games, but his kids play tennis and golf.

    I thought there was dwindling player numbers. I appreciate that you don't have to play to be a supporter, but surely the strike rate for a sport that has season ticket holders is some of their offspring take up the game.



  • A real eye opener for me was listening to a rugby contract lawyer on a podcast a couple of years ago. He basically suggested that NZ Rugby should axe payments to NPC players in order to fund a professional women's competition, "because we just have to". That is the calibre of person who works in NZ rugby.

    Of course Scotty Stevenson loved it.



  • @antipodean

    yep, but splitting the professional game and putting teams in client rich areas versus encouraging players (some of whom could become pros) should be separated IMO.

    So, at the pro level, that probably means academies picking up brown kids from South Auckland before they get snatched by league (plus high school routes currently used). Many of them are natural Warriors supporters or will go where the money is, so I don't see how/why focusing on rich customers kids - as players - is necessarily important.

    That's not to say we don't want more players, but most of the casual players are also likely to be outside the major 'rich' population areas (i.e., not Rems) such as South Auckland, rural NZ, regional cities etc.

    Rich markets etc etc.



  • @antipodean said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @nzzp said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Higgins said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @nzzp Auckland may have one third of the country's population but about one third of that is either of Asian (mostly Chinses) or Indian origin/ethnicity neither of which are all that interested in rugby (the Japanese aside)

    just be careful of sweeping generalisations. The lads who drew me into Eden Park (and are 25 year+ sesaon ticket holders) are indians; no reason the Rugby Religion can't sweep up folks from any ethnicity. Rugby's problem is more that it's hard to get into for damn near anyone, regardless of where you're from.

    Do their kids play?

    all the boys did, some to late teens.



  • 5 Super teams, 1 in each major centre at the time - seems a sensible decision simply based on that alone. We've never just considered commercial factors - grass roots and regional rugby is an important part of the mix.

    There also the point that our main commercial product is the All Blacks, and we've done well in keeping them dominant.

    Ultimately though, this is the joy of professional sport run by a non-profit member-driven incorporated society. Sometimes, they make decisions based on non-commercial factors because at their heart, they are not a commercial organisation.



  • @Nepia NPC is the competition that matters. It is the competition that has made NZ rugby great. Take that away and in 20 years we will be like Scotland. We can’t compete with those that have more money.



  • @kev said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Nepia NPC is the competition that matters. It is the competition that has made NZ rugby great. Take that away and in 20 years we will be like Scotland. We can’t compete with those that have more money.

    In the past yes. NZ has changed significantly in the past 20years and rugby needs to change with it.

    NPC has only been around since the 70s so there was a different structure of the game before that.

    Evolution basically.

    If we just keep spinning the wheels it certainly will be dead before long.



  • @Tim said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    A real eye opener for me was listening to a rugby contract lawyer on a podcast a couple of years ago. He basically suggested that NZ Rugby should axe payments to NPC players in order to fund a professional women's competition, "because we just have to". That is the calibre of person who works in NZ rugby.

    Of course Scotty Stevenson loved it.

    Oh ffs.



  • @Kirwan said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Nepia Some of the problems of the Blues has been infighting between Northland, Harbour and Auckland.

    On the Shore and Northland, they see the Blues as Auckland dominated, so you lose fan engagement there.

    So two problems solved straight away.

    Then you factor in the marketing advantages of local rivalries now being on the field, and being able to retain their talent and you have a better product.

    Or you could prop up dwindling populations in Southland and Dunedin...

    We don't have the server space to list the rest.



  • It’s interesting that NZ Rugby is confronting the big issues now that there is a new CEO...



  • @Kirwan couldn’t disagree more. You keep pushing all the money and resources to the elite of the game and you will be left with nothing. If provincial rugby dies, so does club rugby then all you will be left with is elite school boys, academies and Super 15 rugby for large cities.



  • @kev I wish I could like this post more than once. Couldn't agree more!



  • @kev said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Kirwan couldn’t disagree more. You keep pushing all the money and resources to the elite of the game and you will be left with nothing. If provincial rugby dies, so does club rugby then all you will be left with is elite school boys, academies and Super 15 rugby for large cities.

    It all depends on what you want the NPC for. There's a solid argument for a semi-pro comp, played in smallish stadia in front of local fans. I've always been really skeptical about Super players in it; they are fulltime pros, and unbalance the comp. To compete, you push the players to basically go pro without being paid. Not sure that's the right answer.

    NZR have devalued Super, treated fans like they're irrelevant, and completely devalued the NPC. Let's not even talk about Club rugby - anyone but hardcore fanatics still even following it? No surprises they wound up here, it's sad but inevitable. It's taken 25 years of professionalsim to largely kill the sport, and it's goddamn sad



  • @Donsteppa said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    It’s interesting that NZ Rugby is confronting the big issues now that there is a new CEO...

    Tew tried early in his term to make smilar moves and rationalize the NPC but several unions put themselves ahead of the national interest. Hopefully Robinson has greater success.



  • @rotated keep banging that drum...there was manipulation of criteria designed to keep one team in and drop 2 others...granted one team has done nothing with the opportunity, while one has made every post a winner, and the team they were trying to save has done little too...

    If it had been a fair process then while gutting you could eventually stomach it, but it wasnt so fighting it was the right thing to do.



  • @taniwharugby you and I had some good arguments back then, you blinkered fuck...

    I think it has been proven that Northland, Southland, Hawkes Bay, and the abomination from the top of the South island should have been cut free a decade ago.



  • @mariner4life you call it arguing, I call it educating 😎



  • @taniwharugby said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @mariner4life you call it arguing, I call it educating 😎

    TR will again today be running with the blinkers on...



  • @mariner4life speaking of blinkers...any good tops?



  • @taniwharugby said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @mariner4life speaking of blinkers...any good tops?

    I do my best work late. Doing the form is overrated



  • Some people have such unrealistic expectations. Many people criticising the NZRU would have bankrupt the game in 5 years had they been in charge.

    NZRU have been criticised for devaluing Mitre Ten Cup by having Super Rugby. We would never be able to retain our top players without Super Rugby. No one in this thread has actually come up with one good solution.

    Internationally speaking, it is not true at all that the NZRU does not value the grass roots. You can just compare rugby here to the EPL or the NFL. There revenues are just kept by wealthy owners. In New Zealand all revenues flow back to the NZRU.



  • @hydro11 said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    Some people have such unrealistic expectations. Many people criticising the NZRU would have bankrupt the game in 5 years had they been in charge.

    NZRU have been criticised for devaluing Mitre Ten Cup by having Super Rugby. We would never be able to retain our top players without Super Rugby. No one in this thread has actually come up with one good solution.

    Internationally speaking, it is not true at all that the NZRU does not value the grass roots. You can just compare rugby here to the EPL or the NFL. There revenues are just kept by wealthy owners. In New Zealand all revenues flow back to the NZRU.

    Absolutely

    There isn't enough credit given to the NZRU over the past 15 years. They have managed the game in NZ very well indeed.



  • @taniwharugby said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @rotated keep banging that drum...there was manipulation of criteria designed to keep one team in and drop 2 others...granted one team has done nothing with the opportunity, while one has made every post a winner, and the team they were trying to save has done little too...

    If it had been a fair process then while gutting you could eventually stomach it, but it wasnt so fighting it was the right thing to do.

    I'm not really sure what you are on about. The consensus was (and would argue has always been) that there are too many teams in the top flight and too many players paid professional salaries for our limited resources. Without moving the competition to a sevens format teams either need to be demoted or amalgamated.

    You can argue the toss over who those teams should be and why (and for what it's worth teams that seem intent of producing no All Blacks and Heartland quality performances year on year should be given the opportunity to do that where it is the norm) - but I would hope all unions are on board with a cull at the top level if it means preserving a second tier professional competition instead of dragging things down to a semi-pro facade with top tier all unions in tact.

    Hopefully the NZRU board - including those who would with interests in provincial unions in the firing line - can put country before province and make the move and see the lawsuits out this time around.

    @Kirwan makes a good point. The NPC was only around since the 70s. These 14 unions have no divine right to top flight rugby. It is not entirely clear why Manawatu should be here and not North Otago, Wanganui or even King Country who were a staple not that long ago when I started watching D1 NPC rugby.

    All I ask is that the NZRU be given the chance to rationalize the Mitre 10 Cup before disbanding or amaterusing it completely. There should absolutely be a pathway to promotion/relegation (where there isn't now, and the same unions in the firing line would lobby against it) so those unions who are relegated due to a "manipulation of criteria" can rise to the top immediately as their crowd, finances, talent and on field performance carry them there.



  • There has always been politics involved in NZ rugby. When the NPC was formed in 1976 the 11 teams that were part of Div 1 was based on their results over the previous 5 seasons. The problems started with the rules around promotion-relegation for those initial years. The bottom North Island team in Div 1 was automatically relegated for the winner of Div 2 North while the bottom South Island team in Div 1 played a promotion-relegation game against the winner of Div 2 South. It was an artificial way of keeping the traditional SI provinces in Div 1 as the rule of the time stated there must be 4 SI provinces in Div 1. That was best highlighted in 1979 when Taranaki was relegated despite finishing above Southland, South Canterbury and Otago. Otago survived by beating Marlborough by 1 pt in the promotion-relegation game. This system was finally changed for the 1980 season.



  • @rotated said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @taniwharugby said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @rotated keep banging that drum...there was manipulation of criteria designed to keep one team in and drop 2 others...granted one team has done nothing with the opportunity, while one has made every post a winner, and the team they were trying to save has done little too...

    If it had been a fair process then while gutting you could eventually stomach it, but it wasnt so fighting it was the right thing to do.

    I'm not really sure what you are on about. The consensus was (and would argue has always been) that there are too many teams in the top flight and too many players paid professional salaries for our limited resources. Without moving the competition to a sevens format teams either need to be demoted or amalgamated.

    You can argue the toss over who those teams should be and why (and for what it's worth teams that seem intent of producing no All Blacks and Heartland quality performances year on year should be given the opportunity to do that where it is the norm) - but I would hope all unions are on board with a cull at the top level if it means preserving a second tier professional competition instead of dragging things down to a semi-pro facade with top tier all unions in tact.

    Hopefully the NZRU board - including those who would with interests in provincial unions in the firing line - can put country before province and make the move and see the lawsuits out this time around.

    @Kirwan makes a good point. The NPC was only around since the 70s. These 14 unions have no divine right to top flight rugby. It is not entirely clear why Manawatu should be here and not North Otago, Wanganui or even King Country who were a staple not that long ago when I started watching D1 NPC rugby.

    All I ask is that the NZRU be given the chance to rationalize the Mitre 10 Cup before disbanding or amaterusing it completely. There should absolutely be a pathway to promotion/relegation (where there isn't now, and the same unions in the firing line would lobby against it) so those unions who are relegated due to a "manipulation of criteria" can rise to the top immediately as their crowd, finances, talent and on field performance carry them there.

    I supported the rationalisation at the time but I think they missed their chance. The NPC just isn't a competition which can exist on its own any more. The money it generates can't be worth much. The teams in the big cities get bugger all crowds. I think some of that could have been avoided if there was some rationalisation and the competition was treated more seriously. Unfortunately, that didn't happen and we have what we are left with.

    I agree that the teams we have are a bit arbitrary but they do provide a good geographic spread. I don't think moving back to promotion/relegation and giving North Otago the chance to be in the first division is going to lead to anything. Plus NZRU won't want to see Waikato or Wellington in division 2 (which isn't completely unrealistic).

    I think the Mitre 10 Cup probably has to stay as it is. Taking Super Rugby players out would be pointless. Super Rugby is only going to be 13 games isn't it? You can't be a professional and only play 13 games. I don't think it can be disbanded as we do need a bridge between 1st XV rugby and Super Rugby.



  • @kev said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @Nepia NPC is the competition that matters. It is the competition that has made NZ rugby great. Take that away and in 20 years we will be like Scotland. We can’t compete with those that have more money.

    You do realise that the NPC only started in like the late 1970s. For much of the tile between then and the start of Super Rugby, the ABs were shit, being regularly beaten by the Aussies. Since the advent of Super Rugby, our overall winning % has increased, we’ve won like 3 Grand Slams, won 2 world cups and had many other significant achievements (such as blanking the Lions and winning in RSA for the first time)



  • @junior NPC was only one form of provincial based rugby that together with club rugby that has provided a wide base for success at the top over a very long period of time. More importantly Rugby In NZ because of its high participation rates has enjoyed a very privileged position in NZ society. You remove support for that wide base and the layers in between and you will (have been) ruin the long term future of the sport. Any short term success will be overtaken by impacts of reduced participation.

    The problem Rugby has is it is paying its professional players too much. You have Clubs all around the world living beyond their means and inflating salaries for players. It’s just like the housing market. The fundamentals aren’t there and World Rugby needs to manage the game.



  • @kev Agree Kev, but World Rugby has no chance of managing competitions like the French, English and Pro 14 because they are separate legal entities from their national unions and not affiliated to World Rugby.



  • @kev said in The future of NZ Super Rugby teams & the NPC:

    @junior NPC was only one form of provincial based rugby that together with club rugby that has provided a wide base for success at the top over a very long period of time. More importantly Rugby In NZ because of its high participation rates has enjoyed a very privileged position in NZ society. You remove support for that wide base and the layers in between and you will (have been) ruin the long term future of the sport. Any short term success will be overtaken by impacts of reduced participation.

    The problem Rugby has is it is paying its professional players too much. You have Clubs all around the world living beyond their means and inflating salaries for players. It’s just like the housing market. The fundamentals aren’t there and World Rugby needs to manage the game.

    Would love to see stats on this versus other sports. I imagine cricketers would take a greater % for themselves than rugby players but could be wrong. Even if you are right, it's hard to know what to do about it.



  • Also, NZR are an incorporated society, which means they can't operate for the pecuniary gain of members, which are the provincial unions in their case. In English, that means NZR can't just run at a profit and distribute cash to the unions, they have to pay the unions for services rendered, like junior coaching, staff, players, equipment etc. That will also shape the outcome of any review.



  • @Number-10 individually maybe but the competitions are run by the governing bodies. Doesn’t matter what the sport is, the bidding war for top players never serves the sport well.


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