Grey defends Aussie Super Rugby teams
Sydney - Australia's struggles will not be fixed by reducing the
number of teams they have in Super Rugby, says assistant coach Nathan Grey.
The Wallabies managed to win only six Tests in 2016, while
the Brumbies were the only Aussie team to reach the Super Rugby play-offs.
A debate about the structure and number of teams in Super
Rugby have been going on for a while, but Grey believes the current number of
five teams should be maintained.
"Super Rugby with the five franchises that Australia
has exposes a lot more players to that next level," Grey told AAP at
Sydney Airport on Tuesday after returning from the Wallabies November tour.
"The more you can expose those players to those
step-ups in intensity and performance it's only going to hold Australian rugby
in good stead. You look at the makeup of a Wallaby squad - there's a good
spread of players across all those franchises.
"If you only had the three (teams) there's going to be
a number of guys who are not going to be exposed to that level - and it's not
going to help the game."
Grey dismissed the suggestion that head coach Michael Cheika
got caught up in mind games with England coach Eddie Jones.
"The reality of the matter is when you cross the line
there 's 23 players in your squad who go out and do the job, the coaches are a
little bit insignificant from that perspective," Grey said.
He lamented Australia's inability to string together
"We showed throughout the year that for long periods of
time we can play some exceptional football. But it's got to be a complete
80-minute performance, and we weren't able to string too many of those together
this year which was really disappointing."