ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
Rugby Australia reached a confidential settlement with wayward star Israel Folau yesterday, bringing an end to what has been the worst-managed saga in Australian sporting history.
Instead of it costing the country’s other football code almost nothing, the manner in which Rugby Australia’s board managed the negotiation means it now is down a rumoured $5.5m.
Nevertheless, Rugby Australia’s board has broken their silence this morning in Sydney.
The code’s CEO Raelene Castle and Chairman, Old White Man Number 6, blamed the whole thing on our Commonwealth’s legal system, God, outgoing Wallabies coach Michael Cheika, Rugby Australia’s marketing pigeon and other non-descript parts of the organisation.
“Basically, it’s everyone’s fault but ours,” they said in unison.
“As a board, we work tirelessly to grow the game…”
The chairman’s eyes rolled back in his head and he stopped talking. He let out a fierce gutteral moan and started to shake.
“GRASSROOTS! GRASSROOTS!” he screamed.
Castle threw a jug of water over him.
He stopped and went limp. Silence fell over the room.
As he started to wake up, he cleared his throat.
“As a board, we work tirelessly to grow the game in Australia and each time we have a bit of good news, such as the signing of a new coach or a landmark TV deal, something like God, Israel Folau, Michael Cheika or the marketing pigeon come out of the woodwork and ruin it,” he said.
Castle added that rugby as a whole is looking forward to putting this whole thing behind them.
“Now we can fully focus on the road ahead. The next Bledisloe and the next World Cup. I can’t remember where it is but we’re going to win it.”
The four remaining journalists in the room just closed their folios and left.
More to come.