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Papworth : Australia should get out of Super Rugby

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Former Wallabies centre Brett Papworth says that Australia should get out of Super Rugby to fix the game in Australia.

Papworth says that if Australia pulled out of Super Rugby money could be saved and spent on grassroots rugby which would revive the game.

The former Australia centre has been spurred into action after the Wallabies 8-42 loss to New Zealand and a poor Super Rugby season.

Papworth has lashed the Australian Rugby Union (ARU) with a damning assessment of the game’s administration.

Papworth has labelled the ARU’s approach to funding the game as being “from-the-roof-down”.

“How can we be spending more than ever on the growing professional arm of the game, but getting worse?” he questioned..

“I have gone back as far as I can into the ARU annual report archives, and can tell you that since 2007, the ARU has spent $777,000,000 on the game (in nine years). Almost all of it on the growing empires that are supposed to make us a rugby superpower.

“In that time, investment in rugby’s grassroots has fallen to pretty much zero,” Papworth told AAP.

Papwoth also pointed the weak model used by Australia’s Super Rugby franchises who could only muster three wins from 25 matches against New Zealand opposition.

“Tell SANZAR that it’s over,” said Papworth in a column on Rugby News.

“And if it costs us money to get out, then who cares, because it is currently being wasted on the wrong things anyway.”

Papworth slammed Sanzaar’s 18 team format saying that it has led to apathy in the game.

“The simple fact is that we, the rugby public, don’t care anymore.”

“It has become meaningless, and if you ever want to win again you had better start creating real meaning at every level.”

Papworth added that the solution for Australia would be to have a stronger interstate series which would would increase interest in the sport as well as players at a representative level.

“Money will still flow from matches that people actually care about, and it shouldn’t be too hard to create an annual interstate series that matters,” he said.

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