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Midas touch merger tees up golden future for the game

Discussion in 'Rugby League Forum' started by WESTIE, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. WESTIE

    WESTIE Well-Known Member

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    http://www.theage.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/midas-touch-merger-tees-up-golden-future-for-the-game-20130808-2rkor.html



    A groundbreaking alliance between rugby league and touch football is set to skyrocket the game's participation numbers beyond a million players.
    Fairfax Media can reveal a merger between the NRL and Touch Football Australia will be announced early next week - making it the largest strategic alliance between two sports in Australia.
    It comes after two years of negotiations, which have intensified in the past six months since the appointment of Dave Smith as NRL chief executive, and brings together the sports after they effectively split 40 years ago.
    ''It's a family that should be together,'' a senior NRL official said on Thursday. ''It allows us to bring the game to so many people, in so many different ways, from touch to tag to tackle. It's a phenomenal move for us strategically.''
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    Touch has been responsible for unearthing some of the game's biggest names.
    Wests Tigers superstar Benji Marshall, who represented Australia in the sport, is the most notable. Shaun Johnson and Matt Moylan are also products, while Darren Lockyer and Johnathan Thurston represented Queensland at touch football on their way to their rugby league careers.
    The alliance is a strategic masterstroke in the NRL's battle with the AFL because it provides a non-contact version of the sport under its own banner.
    Touch has more than 500,000 participants, across 324 local competitions, and is played by age groups from five to 70 years - all year round.
    Rugby league has more than 536,000 players, making the combined total of the two codes more than a million.
    ''This allows us the ability to come in touch with a more diverse group of people who participate in league or a non-contact version of rugby league,'' one league official said. ''It allows people to be involved from a contact or non-contact perspective, all year round from ages of five to 70. We want more people to be involved in our game, and this is actions speaking louder than words.''
    There is a small hitch to the new relationship, though, with the popular OzTag - which has more than 130,000 participants - failing to reach an agreement with the NRL.
    It is understood the NRL refused to pay the asking price OzTag operators wanted to take over the commercial rights to their sport. The NRL version of tag football is the lesser-known version of the code called ''league tag''.
    Nevertheless, the benefit for touch football is enormous, especially for a sport with such a strong presence at the grassroots level.
    ''We're very happy with the alliance,'' one senior TFA official said. ''Joining the NRL means we can broaden our appeal, profile and reach as part of a bigger business. It gives us more opportunities than ever before for our sport. It's been a long process to get this far, but a worthwhile one. Touch grew out of rugby league in the mid-1960s and the sports have been separate since then. But this will allow us to take touch into new markets.''


    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/rugby-league/league-news/midas-touch-merger-tees-up-golden-future-for-the-game-20130808-2rkor.html#ixzz2bQXNHxMS


    I'd like to see an off season summer comp with NRL players..played maybe over a couple of weekends, just to be able to keep the NRL in the minds of fans over the summer months.....could be a great way of promoting both games in the off season.
     
  2. bob dylan

    bob dylan Well-Known Member Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    I can hear the season ending hamstrings snapping now.
     
  3. manlyfan76

    manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    your it.
    [hr]
    I see a lot more ankles hurt than Hammys go at touch.
     
  4. bones

    bones Bones Knows Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Parramatta have been playing touch all year.
     
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  5. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    The operating costs for licensees of Oz Tag are pretty high. Basically out of a team of 11, 7 players season fees go directly to Oz Tag up here. meaning the local franchisee gets 4 players per team per season to run the rest of the comp, this includes prizes, ground fees ($200 per night) etc.

    It's a hard graft for the normal comp in a small place, particular when there are 3 seasons a year costing a player $95 per season + playing shorts etc.

    They could probably make the game more acceptable by reducing the licensing fees and reducing the cost of a season by doing so
     
  6. MissKate

    MissKate Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    The refs must have known about this ages ago and have been coaching certain teams as preparation. Matai being high on their list of players to be groomed into a touch footie player as we all know he is not allowed to tackle anyone. It is all a lot clearer now.
     
  7. Shoe1

    Shoe1 Well-Known Member

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    Also the cost of the velcro must be quite high
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    This is a great move I reckon. Funnily enough Rex Mossop reckons he invented touch footy in Australia. In "the Moose that roared" he tells the tale of how one of his coaches in the UK in the 50s used touch at training to sharpen the forwards' ball skills. When Moose came back to Australia with a serious back injury, he organised touch games with local mates prior to signing with the sea eagles. It grew from there into a comp.
     
  8. Chip and Chase

    Chip and Chase True Supporter Staff Member Administrator Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Doesn't Perry Haddock own the rights to Oztag ??
     
  9. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Bill Harrigan used to own them, or at least QLD Oz tag. Scotty Parke owns QLD Oz Tag now and runs it out of Caloundra
     
  10. Rex

    Rex Well-Known Member

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    OzTag can be easily blown out of the water by the NRL. OzTags' hard line stance may prove quite foolish.

    Great strategic thinking by the NRL. If anything, will be seen by mums as a much safer alternative than putting young kids into AFL, union and even soccer.

    The type of progressive thinking we would never have seen from the Murdoch empire.
     
  11. manlyfan76

    manlyfan76 Parra Trolls are the best. Premium Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    My local bottle shop attendant played touch footy with Ron Willey back in the 70's and some of the Manly boys, was talking about this just the other day.
     
  12. Dan

    Dan Administrator Staff Member Administrator 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    It's foolish, but a lot of people have spent a lot of money and time building Oz tag and in recent years have done a lot of things with juniors throughout Queensland, where the work will start to pay off in the next few years, current value is not showing the reward yet, so I can see their point of view, though I think it will be fairly easy for the NRL to get League Tag off the ground, just introduce more contact to make the punters happy
     
  13. Shoe1

    Shoe1 Well-Known Member

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    It would be awesome if the NRL aligned leaguetag threw down the challenge to the rival "superleague" oztag, and started secretly signing their players on ridiculous money. Then there could be two parallel comps for a couple of years before an acrimonious merger that plays out over the next 15 years, and never quite gets resolved.
     
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  14. Masked Eagle

    Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

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    They have been working on this for quite some time. Pity from a touch perspective that Benji is leaving the NRL now as he could have been heavily used in the promotion of touch in the summer and the new relationship with the NRL.
     
  15. Shoe1

    Shoe1 Well-Known Member

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    I believe tooves' daughter is a rep touch player.
     
  16. Brissie Kid

    Brissie Kid Well-Known Member

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    Lol! The NRL boffs have today used Shaun Johnson as the face of the merger. All the highlights are from NZ. You're not merging with NZ Touch you brainiacs!

     
  17. Frank

    Frank Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    It was mentioned on the weekend that Shaun Johnson came from a Touch footy background. Maybe that's why they're using him.

    Last time I played touch was about 30 years ago. Never really liked it - probably because I didn't have the fitness for it at the time. Last game I played had Ricky Stuart in the opposing side. What a tool he was.

    Nothing much has changed since then.
     
  18. Masked Eagle

    Masked Eagle Well-Known Member

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    Not really sure that's a big issue. Touch will be the real big winner out of this because they will be able to use household names to promote the sport when they couldn't before. Shaun Johnson is as good as any player to promote the relationship between the 2 sports now.
     

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