Recently-appointed NSW Rugby Union boss Andrew Hore claims no country in the world has got the code’s transition to professionalism right yet, despite the amateur shackles being broken almost two decades ago.
New Zealander Hore has the job of trying to ensure the Waratahs remain successful despite losing coach Michael Cheika, who guided the franchise to their first Super Rugby title in 2014.
Hore was most recently CEO of Welsh club Ospreys and previously held posts at the Welsh ands NZ rugby unions.
Along with current Tahs coach Daryl Gibson, he was part of the massively successful Crusaders organisation, who dominated Super Rugby through its first decade.
Despite New Zealand enjoying success at Super Rugby and World Cup levels, Hore is convinced no country has got professional rugby right.
“Everywhere in the world has really struggled going from 120 years of amateurism to what we have now,” Hore told AAP.
“I don’t think any country has got it right and this will be part of our evolution.”
Hore regards off-field work as the key to on-field success.
“I think that’s going to come down to getting the boardrooms right and getting clarity of people’s roles within the system,” Hore said.
“I’m not saying what `Cheik’ did was lucky, he’s a bloody great coach and it’s given us a spark to take off.
“However for us to be able to do it year on year on year we’ve got to take what that regime put in play and build upon it.”
Hore acknowledged the NSWRU administration has not always got on with the Sydney clubs, but stressed the elite and community levels were mutually dependent.
“Without the community game professional rugby is buggered and without professional rugby community rugby is buggered because we’ve got to generate income,” Hore said.
“You look at the AFL, a lot of their success as a professional entity has come through growing from community roots.”
Some critics have suggested former All Blacks centre Gibson, who succeeded Cheika, is trying to get the Tahs to play like a New Zealand team.
Hore disputes that and insists that’s not the way the Tahs should go.
“No, the one thing I’ve learned is if you do that and I’ve seen people try to employ that, you are doomed,” Hore said.
“You can’t put a foreign system in another world, it just doesn’t work.”
“There’s enough here to make this a winning entity year after year, but the key thing everyone struggles with is how do we do it?”