Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson can see the bright side of reducing Australia’s professional Super Rugby sides to four, and reiterated his support for greater national collaboration.
NSW and Queensland have the most to gain when it comes to cutting a Super Rugby team, still producing the bulk of the junior talent. and have been the only two franchises seemingly completely out of the firing line through the months-long saga.
Gibson said returning to four teams would intensify the competition for spots, to the benefit of the surviving teams.
“I think it’s something we’ve all identified, the fact that we’re missing that gap that used to be there which was club rugby,” he said on FOX SPORTS’ Kick and Chase.
“At the moment it is too easy for our young boys, I’m talking between 18 and 21, to make it and by making that that is getting a Super Rugby contract through one of the five franchises.
“One of the benefits of going to four teams is it’s going to be a lot harder.
“You’re going to have to struggle, there’s going to be a lot more adversity to get a contract.”
The Australian Schools Championship is being held in Sydney this week and Gibson said the talent program were heading in the right direction, but there was still ground to make up.
"For the ARU and us (the Waratahs) that’s one of our main priorities is (rediscovering) our national and state talent identificaiton," he said.
"We know that our schools carnival on at the moment and they are just the stat of us getting it all back up and running.
"The disappointing thing is that’s going to take four or five ears for those boys to come through that system and so those lost years that lost and New Zealand have been running their system well, those are the years we’re going to overcome."
Gibson also advocated for the introduction of a U19s competition, instead of the current U20s structure, though he endorsed the talent in this year’s rookie crop.
“There’s a lot of discussion around going to 19s,” he said.
“It’s something I certainly support.
“I think it’s a much better transition from out of school, so we don’t lose those kids necessarily who are aspirational.”
Former All Black Gibson has long been an advocate of a more co-operative approach akin to the Kiwi take, and reiterated that stance on Tuesday night.
“This country’s been too divided, too tribal,” he said.
“We’ve got to put the Wallabies at the top of our pointy triangle.
“At the moment we’re five state teams and then we’ve got our national team.
“I think we could raise a number of issues that aren’t great into our game and for the Wallabies, they need to be winning and there needs to be a win-win with the state and national teams."
The Waratahs take on the Jaguares on Saturday night, kicking off at 7:45pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS and via RUGBY.com.au RADIO. Catch FOX SPORTS" Kick and Chase LIVE on FOX SPORTS 2 502 each Tuesday night at 6:30pm AEST.