NEW Rugby Australia boss Andy Marinos fears the 15-a-side code’s “prominent” position in Australia’s sporting landscape is being damaged by the Wallabies’ lack of success.
Marinos, who started as RA CEO on Monday, said there was plenty of work ahead, on and off the field, if rugby was to thrive in Australia.
“I see it (rugby) sitting in a very prominent position (in Australia) because it’s one of the few (sports) in a very congested sporting landscape … that’s got a real global appeal,” Marinos said.
“(But) it’s clear that it\s not where it should be, and that’s directly linked to our performance and the performance of our team, and the attractiveness of the product that we’re putting out on the park week in, week out, which is something that we\ve really got to address.”
Marinos said Australian rugby’s “biggest challenge” was improving in the area of high performance and turning the Wallabies into “a more competitive and winning team”.
“You can’t be successful off the field if you’re not successful on the field,” he said.
“That makes the rest of the business a lot easier to manage and drive commercial value.”
👋 Welcome, Andy! pic.twitter.com/nynLk8xilt
But that doesn’t mean Zimbabwe-born Marinos, a former centre who played eight Tests for Wales, will interfere in Wallabies’ coach Dave Rennie’s running of the national team.
“That’s certainly not my role or not my style to go and stick my nose in and tell him what to do,” 48-year-old Marinos said.
“I fully respect that he’s got a role and a job to do.
“I’m going to performance manage him against that to make sure that he delivers against the standards that we’ve set.
“If he wins on the field, we win off the field.”
Marinos was also hopeful Western Force would not have to base themselves outside of Perth for this year’s Super Rugby AU competition, which starts in less than three weeks’ time.
Western Australian is in lockdown due to COVID-19 until at least Friday night.
“Let’s see how they come out of this lockdown and whether there is any increase in community transmission,” he said.
“We’re two, three weeks from the start of the (Super Rugby AU) competition … I don’t think we need to make a decision today.”
“One thing that I have learnt over the last 12 months is to be dynamic and that things can change very quickly so we’ll deal with it closer to the time if we have to move them to Sydney.”
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