BACK OFF! Nick Phipps says ‘it’s easy to kick Rugby while it’s down’
Wallaby star Nick Phipps believes fans and critics like to hammer the sport of Rugby Union all at once when it goes through its tough periods.
The last 12 months has seen the Wallabies slammed for their performances, the Israel Folau saga which divided the sport and an average Super Rugby season from three of the four Australian teams.
Add that to a battle for the sport to continue to maintain its television rights and the poultry crowds in attendance for its domestic competition, and the pressure is on the sport to turn things around.
Phipps told Macquarie Sports Radio Halftime it’s time for the critics to lay off the sport.
“It sort of seems to be the easy thing to do at the moment, kick rugby while it’s down,” Phipps said.
“I’m a realist, I know that some things aren’t going very well, the performances of the Super Rugby teams aren’t as good as they need to be.
“The senior leaders of Rugby Australia and the Waratahs have got a big fight on their hands, but they’re not looking at the level I’m playing at, at the moment Shute Shield and junior rugby seeing all those kids there.
“The memberships are through the roof, Shute Shield just keep going strength to strength.
“I know the taste is there people want to watch good rugby which is fantastic to see, and if they’re not getting that in the Wallabies and not in the Waratahs, then they’re going to go somewhere to get it.
“I have a lot of faith it’s not going anywhere, it’s only going to get better from here.”
Phipps has 70 caps for the Wallabies since first debuting in 2011 and has been a key part of the national set-up in recent years.
The Wallabies host New Zealand in their final Rugby Championship match on Saturday evening at a sold out Optus Stadium in Perth.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.