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Phil Waugh on the sad state of Australian Rugby

The Australian sporting landscape hasn’t experienced a more challenging period than the one its pushing through at the moment — our cricketers were caught cheating and our Rugby Union team is struggling to win a game

On the Macquarie Sports Breakfast show this morning, host Mark Levy let fly at Rugby Australia for “Sitting on their hands, while the sporting public turns on the Wallabies who are self destructing.”
Levy was reacting to the Wallabies loss to Wales on the weekend, the first in 10 years as well as Rugby’s steep decline in general in Australia, “So, what’s being done by the CEO and the board to fix it and turn around this car-crash that we’re enduring at the moment — well given what I’ve read and heard at Rugby Australia — the answer is nothing.”

Many Rugby pundits have been calling for coach Michael Cheika’s head on the back of an unprecedented run of bad performances. Levy placed the blame elsewhere, “I disagree with the blame being levelled at the head-coach — for mine, the big problem started when those in charge stuffed around with the Super Rugby Competition — we’ve also allowed our best players to sign overseas. Instead, poor old Cheika is the man being held responsible for the poor performances of the Wallabies — well, what about the players who are dropping the ball, the players throwing forward passes — we haven’t got the cattle.”

He continued, “I found it puzzling that the coach was forced to present to the Rugby Australia Board recently — it should be the other way around — Ms Castle, Mr Clyne and the rest of the suits at Headquarters should be explaining to the coach why they’ve ruined the game.”

After essentially blaming the board of Rugby Australia for the current state of the game, Phil Waugh, recently appointed Rugby Australia board member, joined the show for a chat.

“There’s been a massive disconnect between the professional game and the amateur game. Obviously club rugby is going particularly well right across the country, not just in Sydney and Brisbane.” Waugh said.

“But how do we bring the professional game closer to the amateur game? Certainly Super Rugby has lost its relevance over the last few years and the conference system is a little bit confusing and people just lose touch when they lose clarity.” Waugh continued

The former Waratahs and Wallabies flanker then spoke about the lack of clarity around pathways for junior players to play for Australia, “There was a very clear pathway to be a Wallaby (when I was a kid). So you come through, you play Narrabeen, you play Warringah, you get picked for NSW and then you play for the Wallabies and I think over a period of time we’ve lost that really clear path way for young kids to become Wallabies.”

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Listen to ‘Levy Let’s Fly’ at Rugby Australia below:

Listen to the full interview with Phil Waugh below: