The ARU had every right to make the decision to rule Israel Folau out of Saturday night’s clash against the Force.
Yes that’s right, I said they had every right to make the decision.
Whether you like it or not, the ARU have bankrolled Folau’s switch to Australian Rugby and they have every right to protect their investment.
Now I know that there will be a lot of supporters, Tah’s supporters especially, who will vehemently disagree with me, but hear me out.
Australian Rugby is in a bad place, a place where the brand is tarnished, where no-one believes in the Wallabies and where our neighbours across the ditch and in South Africa don’t believe we have the depth needed to compete at all levels.
As an avid supporter of Australian Rugby, it hurts me that we are in such a bad place. We have the players, we have the talent and we have the diehard supporters so why can’t we get it right?
Put simply, we have too many fractions within the Australian rugby community. Unlike in New Zealand where the All Blacks are the number one priority, in Australia there is a mismatch of priorities and loyalties. Until we get this right, the controversy around the Folau decision will continue to drive a further wedge within the game when we can’t afford it.
We need to unite and support the Wallabies as the number one priority with Super Rugby franchises relegated to second on the list.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m a massive Reds supporter and I want them to do well but when it boils down to the basics, the Wallabies are where my number one loyalties lie.
- I want the Wallabies to be the best
- I want them to beat the All Blacks and win the Bledisloe Cup
- I want them win the next Rugby World Cup
- I want kids to look up to the Wallabies and want to be like them
Ultimately I want rugby to grow in this country and the Wallabies are the only team that have the power to do that. If that means that along the way some players need to miss out on a few Super Rugby matches, then so be it.
Too many people have lost faith in the Wallabies brand and this is where the ARU need to start making the Wallabies the number one priority.
There is a long way to go to make this happen, but the decision they made regarding Folau is a good step to ensuring this happens.