'A concern for everyone': Why Rugby Australia's Chief is unhappy with the flailing Waratahs
Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos admits the NSW Waratahs’ struggles have soured the new-look Super Rugby product, labelling them a “concern for everyone” in the country’s biggest market.
Speaking at the launch of this weekend’s Aon Uni 7s domestic women’s tournament, Marinos was asked for his thoughts after five rounds of the Super Rugby AU season after it’s move to free-to-air and streaming platform Stan Sport.
Unprompted, he singled out the Waratahs, who suffered record defeats to the Queensland Reds and Brumbies to open their season before allowing the Western Force their first victory since returning to the Australian ranks last year.
The Waratahs lost to 33-14 on Friday night to the Melbourne Rebels to complete a clean sweep of defeats and will welcome the unbeaten Reds on Saturday without injured Wallabies trio Jake Gordon, Lachlan Swinton and Jack Dempsey.
Marinos said broadcast numbers had trebled since the start of the season but they couldn’t gloss over the Waratahs’ struggles.
“There have been some unfortunate performances and that’s been well documented,” Marinos said.
“The Waratahs have been struggling this year and that’s obviously a concern for everyone.
“A big market like this when they’ve not been performing, it will have an impact.”
Wallabies coach Dave Rennie was in camp with the Waratahs this week as part of his whistlestop club tour, while they have also benefited from time with RA mind coach Dave Diggle.
“We’ll continue to share and help where we can, to make sure that they get back to where they need to get back to,” Marinos said.
“At the same time, the Brumbies, Force, Rebels and Reds have all put in some really good displays and the games have been really compelling.”
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