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Arbib calls for alignment between ARU, Super sides

Date

Georgina Robinson

Green light … former Wallaby Nick Farr-Jones supports the review.

Green light … former Wallaby Nick Farr-Jones supports the review. Photo: Anthony Johnson

A ''WORRYING divide'' between the priorities of Super Rugby teams and the Wallabies is killing the success of both and must be bridged if rugby is to survive in Australia, a review of the sport's corporate governance has found.

The review titled, Strengthening the Governance of Australian Rugby, conducted by former federal sports minister Mark Arbib found the ARU and the Super Rugby franchises lacked the alignment needed for rugby to compete against the other football codes in Australia.

''There is currently a worrying divide between the business models of Super Rugby teams and the ARU … As a result, the very structure of Australian rugby has become a factor inhibiting the success of both the national and the Super Rugby teams,'' the report noted. ''Developing mechanisms to overcome this … must become a priority … with all of rugby's stakeholders, if rugby is to succeed.''

ARU chairman Michael Hawker said the board did not necessarily agree with Arbib's comments but recognised it was a view held by a number of people involved in rugby.

''The [review's] recommendations are that the code needs to work more harmoniously and closely together and there's no doubt that the current board is very much looking to endeavour to do that,'' Hawker said.

The review makes 15 recommendations, including that the ARU board be composed entirely of independent directors and that members' voting rights be changed to level the voting power of each state union and to also give each Super Rugby club a vote, plus the players, via the Rugby Union Players Association.

Hawker said such reforms would help unify disparate interests in the sport but ruled out a move towards a centralised operations, similar to those in New Zealand.

Where recent contract wranglings between the ARU and top Wallabies Will Genia and Quade Cooper have exposed weak spots in Australia's player contracting system, the NZRU contracts its players directly, then gives them top-ups if they make national teams.

The Arbib review found Australia's federated structure had exacerbated the divide between the two levels, as well as the sport's rapid transition to professionalism.

Hawker said Australia's geographic challenges and a smaller rugby profile, compared with New Zealand, meant ''central organisation but local delivery'' was the best model.

The reforms will need the backing of the NSW Rugby Union when they are put to a vote, under the existing membership, in December. NSW has a power of veto over any major constitutional or organisational change, while Queensland is the next most powerful stakeholder.

Nick Farr-Jones gave the review a preliminary green light but said he hoped a dilution of the union's voting rights would not pave the way for the rule of minority interests.

He also hoped that financial benefits of the reforms would find their way back into NSW, as it was Australia's biggest rugby breeding ground.

''I trust Michael Hawker and the board that when [rugby does] have the financial capacity, that some of the funding we have lost over recent years returns, and we can start to spread a bit of that among juniors, country and premiership rugby,'' Farr-Jones said.

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Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 0vs FJI 0 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00Olym
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00Olym
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
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SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45Olym
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45Olym
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
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NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
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ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
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Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
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WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
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WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
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WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
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LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00Olym
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Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
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