Sport

Problems mount for ARU

Robbie Deans
Robbie Deans Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocat

ROBBIE Dean's position as coach of the Wallabies is under considerable pressure because of his poor winning percentage, but there is a range of equally pressing issues facing the Australian Rugby Union.

One of those is player payments, which might be costing the game more than it can afford at the expense of junior development.

That's the view of former national coach John Connelly, who said yesterday that while it would be unusual for the union to sack a coach mid-season, comments by another former coach Alan Jones and former Test players Andrew Slack and Nick Farr-Jones after Australia's pathetic loss to the All Blacks on Saturday night indicated that pressure was mounting.

Following the latest loss to the All Blacks the Australian Rugby Union was quick to pledge its continued support for Deans, who is contracted until the end of next year's tour by the British and Irish Lions.

Connelly said the game between Australia and South Africa in Perth on September 8 would be a watershed moment for the beleaguered coach.

He said Australia had scored only five tries in its past six games, it was held scoreless on Saturday by the All Blacks for the first time in 50 years and Dean's success record was not good enough for fans.

Deans, a New Zealander, has managed only three victories from 17 clashes with the All Blacks since he took control of the Australian team. But Connolly said a looming review of the game here would need to look at more than the coach's performance.

"There was no lack of effort on Saturday night," he said.

"But how we played the game needs to be questioned."

Connolly said Australian Rugby Union lacked a national competition, and an under-20 development division like the NRL's national under-20 competition.

He said it also lacked the successful development programs run by the AFL and NRL.

He said Australian rugby was exposed for depth in the Super Rugby competition but had always been able to cobble together a great Test 15.

That was no longer the case. And with New Zealand and South Africa both running wonderful under-20 academy structures to develop talent, Australia's weaknesses would continue to be exposed until it addressed its depth issues.

"Our top players are arguably paid too much,'' Connolly said yesterday.

In comparison, New Zealand balanced its player payments against the need to fund and maintain the layers of structure that kept delivering quality players.

"They don't compromise their junior programs to retain top players,'' he said.

"They back their junior programs to develop new players.''

Connolly said any review by Australian Rugby, as well as a review of the coach's performance, must include player payments, selection, development structures, the fact Deans did not get the assistant coaches he wanted and the need for a national youth competition.

Topics:  coach, robbie deans, wallabies




Join the Community.

Get your local news, your way.

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Keeping the dream alive

GIDDY UP: Rural Weekly Series leader Cody Heffernan in action at Toowoomba.

Cody Heffernan has had a dream run in the PBR this season

Grafton’s golden girls going strong a decade on

THE McCLYMONTS: Mollie, Sam and Brooke are coming home to play at the Saraton Theatre on Friday, August 5.

The McClymonts announce Saraton Theatre show

Seniors deserve a fair go

Clarence Valley's population is home to some of the poorest seniors

Latest deals and offers

The McClymonts - Blood Is Thicker Than Water

THE McCLYMONTS: Mollie, Sam and Brooke are coming home to play at the Saraton Theatre in August.

The McClymonts dropped into The Daily Examiner and played Blood Is Thicker Than...

Grafton City SES Training

Grafton SES unit controller Adam Jarrett explains the process involved in being an...

British family bashed in Thailand

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

Family beaten and kicked unconscious by gang in Thailand.

How a sacked real estate agent made $725k in four months

Agent is now under investigation by the industry watchdog

VIDEO: Art Deco fan pays $835,000 for Imperial Hotel

No Caption

Iconic "Impy" sold at a bargan price to bidder who loves Art Deco.

RBA warns of future apartment oversupply

Toowoomba: Crest Apartments and Burke & Wills, Ruthven Street ( view from Neil Street) Photo Bev Lacey / The Chronicle

RBA says oversupply of apartments poses risk to household finances