Loose Pass

Date published: August 5 2015

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This week we will mostly be concerning ourselves with your chance to run SANZAR, the Hooper hoo-ha and England's anti-social guidelines.

Dust off your CV

We've all had our say about how to run the game while enjoying a beer or two down the pub but could we do it for real? Well, now is your chance.

With SANZAR chief executive Greg Peters having left the umbrella body representing South Africa, New Zealand and Australia to join the Argentinian Rugby Union, a significant void needs to be filled and one of the most important and influential jobs in the game could be yours.

The job description calls for an individual who can 'lead SANZAR through an exciting phase with the expansion of its core competitions' with Super Rugby set to expand into an 18-team tournament next year and Argentina still finding their feet in the Rugby Championship.

The task facing any potential candidate is also a little daunting with SANZAR's stated vision 'to own, develop and manage the best and most commercially successful Rugby Competition(s) in the world'. No pressure then.

Perhaps the most telling requirements are found among the desired skills that remind us that, whether we like it or not, professional rugby is first and foremost an entertainment business.

Such is SANZAR's determination to attract more fans and viewers with a compelling end product that 'previous experience within the entertainment and media industry would be highly regarded' while they only ask for 'knowledge or a strong empathy for the game' itself.

If you are still interested, be warned that you must also have the ability to 'deal with a high level of public scrutiny' as most weeks of the season will attest – including this one.

Hooper hoo-ha hard to stomach

Many job applications may have been torn up this week as the embarrassing Michael Hooper saga played out.

The Wallabies flanker picked up a citing for an ill-advised shove to the face of Argentina's Nicolas Sanchez during their recent Rugby Championship clash.

The in-form and influential Hooper was initially handed a two-week suspension that was then reduced by seven days due to his previous good record.

The ban still looked set to rule him out of the title-decider against New Zealand this coming weekend until it emerged that Hooper was apparently scheduled for a club outing with Manly last Saturday.

His ban sadly ruled him out of that encounter, however, following a painfully slow and ultimately fruitless appeal process during which SANZAR were convinced Hooper would play for his club if available, he was cleared to face the All Blacks.

The Australian Rugby Union cannot be blamed for working the system however unlikely it would seem that one of their key players would be allowed to jeopardise his World Cup hopes with an outing for his club.

They cannot be accused of breaking the rules either, just maybe bending them a little, but they are not the first and will not be the last as a result of some ridiculous regulations.

The fault lies with World Rugby and their rules that allow unions to skirt around such suspensions and bring the game into disrepute.

There is clearly a case for suspensions handed down for misconduct during a Test match to be served within the same arena.

By all means let a player maintain their match fitness with a club game or two but should we not deny them the chance to return to international colours until they have paid for their crime?

Hooper should pay for his reckless act with a meaningful suspension, not one that just makes the game look amateurish and its officials foolish.

And while they are looking at the disciplinary laws they may want to give simulation some thought following Sanchez's rather theatrical collapse.

England's anti-social guidelines

As feared, the social media crackdown has begun ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Rugby Football Union has issued all the members of their World Cup training squad with a list of strict guidelines for use of social media.

Among the rules reportedly laid down include some that would appear painfully obvious to most regular users of social media and the readers of the sports pages that have detailed no end of stories about rugby or football stars landing themselves in trouble with a careless tweet or two.

Players are urged not to 'post when you are in a bad mood', warned not to 'criticise team management' or make 'offensive comments about the opposition, match officials, sponsors or governing bodies'.

Believe it or not, Chris Robshaw and co must also not 'post pictures of drinking, smoking, nudity or while driving – that is illegal'. Now, the modern rugby player is a frighteningly focused individual but so much so that they will inadvertently break the law?

The RFU's determination to avoid embarrassment also extends to any perceived illiteracy among Stuart Lancaster's squad with players also urged to proofread any post.

You can perhaps understand the concern about possible criminal activity given the embarrassment that would cause the tournament hosts but is English rugby's profile going to suffer as the result of the odd typo?

What is not clear is if the use of social media is compulsory for all players given the importance of engaging with existing and new fans throughout what is set to be the biggest World Cup ever and greatest possible chance to market the sport.

Loose Pass is compiled by former scrum.com editor Graham Jenkins

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