Frowns all around: Are the Aussies heading for a crisis?
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Peter Bills airs his concerns for Australian rugby, not only on the pitch but off it, in The Irish Independent.
"Without wishing to put too fine a point on it – something the Aussies never like doing – a brutal fact has to be recorded: Australian rugby is in the soup.
"It has nothing to do with last weekend’s defeat for the Wallabies at the hands of the all-conquering All Blacks. Fact is, they are likely to get another belting when they meet again in the Tri Nations/Bledisloe Cup match in Christchurch on Saturday.
"If the Wallabies lose this weekend, it will be a ninth successive loss to the All Blacks, their fiercest rivals. Yet not even that stark, sorry statistic represents the depth of Australian rugby’s travails.
"A marketing survey recently released in Sydney revealed that Australian Rugby Union’s (ARU) share of the sporting market has nearly halved in six years despite spending an alarming AUS$23m on the game. It has slipped to a perilous 13.7pc of the sporting interest market and is only the fourth most watched sport in the country."