Message to ARU: Hold the Back Page

(With thanks to Still Last)

John O'Neill is spot on.

John O'Neill has hit the nail on the head that Rugby needs a shake up to become more interesting or risk shifting from the back page to the insode back page and eventually to the small print sports listings next to the grade cricket results.

And what it needs is more publicity. Despite the best efforts of the Rolling Maul, Rugby is drifting further away from the headlines each year. Sure Matt Henjak is doing his best to stem the tide but he can't do it alone.

Time to take a page out of the National Rugby League and AFL media managers' guides, get on the front foot, put out those media releases early and create some headlines.

Take the traditional NRL approach - With four weeks to go before the season it's time to start the ball rolling with your traditional "Bulldogs star arrested on drink driving charge" headline. Two weeks before kick off and it's an incident at a country resort where the team was staying after their trial match. The steady stream of carefully crafted 'news' will ensure Rugby's proper place front and centre on the back page of every newspaper (except the Age - that would be ridiculous and Wayne Carey has a mortgage on that).

Now I don't want to tell those people at ARU HQ how to do their jobs but here are a few media releases that should make the back pages well before the local hacks start enquiring deeper into those notoriously misleading police charge sheets;

1) Western Force Boxing Clinic a Huge Success - Numerous players at the Western Force felt intimidated last year by the size and aggression of the big South African teams, so in a novel approach to fighting fire with petrol Western Force coach John Mitchell turned to the experts. Mike Tyson has been employed as a special training coach.....

2) Skills Coaches Clinic held on Rottnest Island - Poor positional kicking is now a thing of the past at the Western Force courtesy of their latest kicking training on Rottnest Island. Local marsupials have agreed to lend a hand...

3) NSW Player seen beating panels in local smash repairers....

4) Ben Cousins to Lecture ARU. Ben Cousins has agreed to speak to John O'Neill and other ARU bosses on securing overseas contracts, maintaining a corporate image, and performing under third party induced pressure...

Lets face it there is a general lack of investigative journalism these days with reporters simply reprinting press release and putting their name at the top. If we were on the front foot most of these would generate valuable press and thereby create revenue without the need for John O'Neill to put the remaining 2003 world cup operating surplus on 36 black at the casino.


Journeyman said…
I almost completely disagree. Rugby should not change just to get on the back pages of the paper.

If more people understood rugby then there would be greater interest. People would be able to see the brilliance of a ruck or maul, not just look for the fast flowing back play.