The Bright Future of Australian Rugby: Insights from a World Cup Winner, Analysis, School Programs, and Talent Identification

The health of Australian rugby has seen better days, as the team, coach, and sponsors have all undergone significant changes. Andrew Blades, a former player and coach of 30 years, offers hope that the sport can regain its former glory. Though some celebrated Eddie Jones’ latest return to Australian rugby, Blades feels that Jones’ plans and team selection did not work out. As Australian rugby continued to decline, Blades believes that the sport had become too complacent and had been hidden behind a paywall, limiting its engagement with younger fans. Blades acknowledges that talented players are emerging, but RA has failed to retain them due to financial constraints. According to Blades, prioritizing resources and funding youth retention programs would help sustain competitive teams. In reopening funding for Super Rugby franchises, the sport may witness a resurgence. Ultimately, Blades contends that Australian rugby is far from a lost cause.