Dear Friends and Readers (not mutually exclusive),Soon I will expand on my views about “The Robbie Deans Saga” as part of a historical revision of where Australian Rugby lost its campus. Where “entitled” men guided the Rugby Caravan through unchartered waters? What was done? And what was not done at that time?
So this rugby trilogy will read as: “The Robbie Deans Saga (2008-2013) + The Ewen McKenzie Saga (2013-2014)+ The Michael Cheika Saga (22/10/2014 to date, 24 months)”. A merely (9) years for three coaches to undo the success of 15 years from 1984 to 1999 (Alan Jones, Bob Dwyer, Greg Smith, Rod Macqueen) when we used to dominate the opposition including the invincible All Blacks, need I remind you of Eden Park 1986? or the mesmerising victory of the 1999 semi-final at Twickenham (the unbelievable Campo’s over-the-head-memory-pass to Tim Horan???
Now, you may draw your conclusions because I’ve drawn mine already. I’d like to conclude that Australian Rugby Administration has been The Sleepy Smurf @ the management wheel.
“The Topo Rodriguez Saga”
I’ve been asking the “hard questions for the last 21 years, but I get no answers? Is it because a lot of high profile people were and are still involved as Directors of ARU? Or is it that my manners are uncouth? Or is it that migrants are not supposed to investigate wrong doings? Either way, I have a lot of friends that do not dare ask these questions because that inefficiency mantel of Australian rugby seem to be so far reaching that is not funny and doesn’t make JAN happy!
I was the guest of the ARU a couple of times when Argentina played here; I enjoyed the well-earned hospitality dispensed to friends and me. Nonetheless, I do not have to relinquish my principles or park my values at the parking lot and become a blind acolyte to all and sundry because dinner and wine are served with silverware to my and my guest? I have paid for it in advance in the name of 100.000 scrums packed with Tom Lawton and Andy McIntyre and the other five amigos…
I said a couple, which is exactly (2)! Because many other times when I’ve taken my son Ignacio to watch test-rugby I’ve paid the exact nominal price of the ticket (3 months in advance on my credit card) no favours here as a Classic Wallaby (all other Classics had to pay too, me no exception, and quite often the seat location is either on Level 6 at Homebush Olympic Stadium or behind the goal posts!) So, what sort of game are we playing? HIDE AND SEEK OR FAVOUR THE CORPORATE DOLLAR?
In 1997 I applied to the ARU to participate in the very exclusive and selective Level III Coaching Course? The ARU manager at the time reply to me was: “NO – Sorry, you can’t because you must be a Coach in a Club set up and you are not”! (I’m well aware that other ex-Wallabies and Senior Coaches were refused too (you’d say completely short-minded they were). Australia is one of the small countries in rugby that can not afford to turn people back.
Dead set, for the next 19 years I had to channel my energies and interest in rugby coaching through the writing of not one but (2) a couple of Scrum thesis already self-published without any endorsement or support from Australian Rugby.
However, in January 2016, thanks to the personal support of Nick Farr-Jones who interceded making some representations on my behalf with Bill Pulver and Neil Whittaker, I was finally accepted to complete this course this 2016 year. I am about 2/3 of it done! – At the end of October, we (a group of 30 applicants/students) are completing a four-day very very comprehensive and professionally run live-in-course.
Enrique Edgardo Rodriguez Basi. TOPO