Clubs, players should embrace IPR: Mumm

by Sam Phillips

RUPA president Dean Mumm believes club players should embrace the opportunity to play in Indo Pacific Rugby (IPR) will provide, should the chance arise.

Both Shute Shield and Queensland Premier Rugby clubs are believed to have concerns over the state of their competitions, should Andrew Forrest's new competition get the nod from Rugby Australia in coming months.

Clubs are of the belief their rosters will be subject to crippling raids and there has been some suggestion Shute Shield clubs could block their players from playing in the competition and subsequently coming back to play the remainder of the club season.

That would leave the talent pool from which the IPR can draw particularly shallow and while RUPA has no public stance on the competition, Mumm said players and clubs should be open to new ideas.

"I think we want to embrace any innovation in Australia that can make rugby more attractive," Mumm said.The IPR will could play an integral role for Australian players moving forward. Photo: Getty Images"We sit in this Asia-Pacific region which has a huge portion of the world's population.

"So anything we can do to promote ourselves and promote our players, we should be embracing."

Mumm said no decisions should be made as to player availability until more information becomes available.

"I don't know enough about the structure and that sort of thing just yet but let's have a good look at it, see what works and make some calls from there," he said.

On the subject of embracing, Mumm threw his full support behind Australia's bid for the 2027 World Cup.

"It would be amazing," he said.

"Any opportunity to play in a World Cup is amazing but I think having spoken to people who have played one in their own country, there is an even greater significance placed on it.

"World Cups have this amazing ability to mobilise the Australian public to get behind the Wallabies.

"If you can do that in your own country and give people more access into that - that's great.

"I'm really, really pleased to see that we are going to have a crack at bringing it back home."

Mumm has very fond memories of the Wallabies' run to the World Cup final in 2003, a match the then 19-year-old was in the stands for.

"I remember as a young rugby fan, for me, I was just out of school and I have great memories of it and was lucky to be at the final in Sydney, sitting there and experiencing it.

"Having access to that in your own country and the Wallabies doing so well in that, it sets things up at the next level.

"It makes you think maybe you want to do this and that I want to give myself every opportunity at the World Cup to do this.

"Once you have been to a World Cup and been towards the pointy end of it, there is so much more emotion attached to the World Cup and playing well in it, even more so if you're doing it in your own country."

Mumm also said the new Super W competition, announced Wednesday, would play an important role in the future.

"It gives them the structure," he said.

"Speaking to a few Wallaroos girls, between the World Cup's there is a real uncertainty about what their program looks like and how they develop as an individual.

"If you're a young player and you have just played a World Cup, it's hard to find that motivation until you actually know what your Test schedule looks like.

"Now, this is even better.

"They know they have got a full XVs competition that goes beyond them playing for their states and for their club teams.

"It becomes more of a fostering of the talent that we have at the Wallaroos.

"A lot of the time it's not about the talent of others, it's about the organisation around it, which is why, perhaps, we don't reach our full potential when it comes to the Wallaroos."