Cue up Men at Work and the lyrics “I come from a land down under,” as we welcome Working Class Rugger to the RWU family. WCR is part of that special group of international Rugby Rain Men – a group that know way too much rugby. In addition, he often has articles up on TheRoar.com.au.
A large part of that expense was consumed by the travel and accommodation needs of the 8 participating Greenfield entities. The US much like the Australia is a vast nation and due to this it required teams in the ARC much like it would in the States, to fly more often than not in order to compete and be accommodated when traveling to certain destinations. In any US based competition along similar lines, this would be a significant burden on team budgets. Additionally, there was a need to assist the relocation of talent to teams situated outside of the three major club competitions that up until recently developed 100% of our professional talent. These costs attributed to a large percentage of the $8.7 million lost.
The final element was the need to pay players. An incentive to encourage participation and supplement the potential loss of income for participants. It’s all well and good to say that it would be aspirational and that player’s should be willing to sacrifice for the sake of opportunity but in reality and particularly for a player based in the US, this just isn’t practical. It may appear bleak when referencing the ARC from an American perspective but it’s one that should be looked upon as a “what not to do” for anyone looking to establish a similar format in the States, a precautionary tale, but not one that should be seen as a reason not to embark on a similar journey.
At present, there are a number of prospective Pro Leagues running about in several formats and organisations in the States. Something that’s non-existent in Australia at present. You have the World Arena Rugby and Grand Prix Entertainment concepts for 7s,The American Professional Rugby Championship (a group actually based out of Sydney and Denver), and RugbyLaw and their National Rugby Football League concept for the 15-man game. It’s enough for you to develop Pro League fatigue. But at least there are groups interested. In the end, in Australia our answer will likely be club based. A mixture of clubs from more than likely the three major club competitions. We’ll have to wait and see how that turns out.
There are a number of obstacles to be overcome for both nations in the quest to establish a viable domestic competition, but if you take into account that a strong national domestic competition is the foundation of the continuing success of the likes of the All Blacks – who have the ITM Cup and the Springboks with the Currie Cup – they are obstacles that need to be addressed sooner rather than later…
As an Australian, like many of my fellow countrymen, we often take great amusement every time we see an American or Brit try Vegemite. If we were to identify our true national food stuff, Vegemite would top that list. So when we see someone from the States pile it on a cracker or slice of toast, we cannot help but have a chuckle. It’s not because we find the reaction funny (because we do), but because we cannot believe you’re going to eat that much of it at once. It’s a spread that we use sparingly with a goodly amount of butter to accompany it.
So, if you find yourself facing down the barrel of a slice of toast plastered with Vegemite, do yourself a favour; remove most of it before trying our national treasure. Because if it you do, you’ll discover it’s not actually that bad.
That about covers it – pun intended… Feel free to comment below, look for and “Like” our Facebook Rugby Wrap Up Page and follow us on Twitter @: RugbyWrapUp, Junoir Blaber, DJ Eberle, Nick Hall, James Harrington, Cody Kuxmann and Declan Yeats, respectively.