Cannon: No sign of boss in time of crisis
I AM Wallaby 769.
It was the greatest honour of my sporting life to wear my country's colours in the international rugby arena.
I write this column as a concerned former player, rugby supporter and rugby parent.
I cannot sit back and be silent anymore, unlike those who run the game.
Rugby Australia seems to think it's acceptable to remain invisible while the drowning noise of disenchantment and frustration among our rugby family grows by the day.
I am staggered by the anonymity of chairman Cameron Clyne.
The code is facing its greatest crisis and he is nowhere to be seen or heard.
Clyne was front and centre last year.
Where are you now Cameron?
Your voice, your influence and your presence matters, to help lift rugby up as it falters.
Your platform and capacity to promote the game in a multitude of ways is without limitation. You made the highly contentious and emotionally-charged decision to axe the Western Force last year.
You fronted up then, beside Bill Pulver, to stand as one on the decision.
Why then in the year that has followed and the game is being challenged on multiple levels do you disappear?
I am constantly approached on the street by people asking me, 'What is going on with rugby?' I have no answers for them.
I don't know what Rugby Australia plans to do about rapidly diminishing crowd figures, television audiences, and growing lack of interest in the game. Because they haven't told us.
I don't know what their vision is for the future of Super Rugby, The Rugby Championship, and how the next broadcast agreement will work for Australia's interests. Because they haven't told us.
I don't know why the Wallabies structure hasn't undergone a significant review when the team is at an all-time low seventh in the world rankings. Because they won't tell us.
Other codes share a united front.
The AFL and the ARL chairmen promote their games and proactively engage in its direction and provide public influence.
AFL commission chairman Richard Goyder and chief executive Gillion McLachan jointly work towards the game's constitution that proclaims they are a "keeper of the code".
NRL chief Todd Greenberg and ARL commission chairman Peter Beattie have joint responsibilities for fostering, developing and funding the game from the junior to the elite levels.
Clyne and RA chief Raelene Castle are missing in action.
On April 12, 2016, the Australian Rugby Union announced the Australian Rugby Strategic Plan for 2016-2020, with a vision "to inspire all Australians to enjoy our great global game".
The four pillars are:
1. Make rugby a game for all - our community
2. Ignite Australia's passion for the game - our fans
3. Build sustainable success in the professional game - our elite teams
4. Create excellence in how the game is run - our administration.
We're two years in.
I've read those four mission statements over and over again, and I don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Get ready for cricket like never before. FREE Sport HD + Entertainment until the first 4K cricket ball as part of 2 months free on a 12 month plan. SIGN UP TODAY. T&Cs apply.