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It has been reported in todays Daily Telegraph that the ARU are keen on signing Andrew Johns for next years Rugby World Cup. According to Jeff Miller of the ARU, age is no barrier with Johns already 28 and will be nudging 30 by the time the Rugby World Cup rolls around. Miller also said they would look to Johns being a part of the 2007 Rugby World Cup with Johns to be 33 at the time.
The ARU beleive Johns has achieved all he can in Rugby League with Johns certain to be appointed captain of the Kangaroos on Sunday night for the one off test against Great Britain next Friday night and he also captained the New South Wales Blues for the first time this year with a tied series the result, the second time in four years.
Andrew and Matthew Johns were both courted by the ARU two seasons ago but both neglected to take up the offer to join the other code and Andrew would be hard pressed to do so again one would feel.
Now, with the facts out of the way, I would like to say the desperation of the ARU certainly knows no bounds and it has come to a point where Miller and O'Neill are embarassing themselves on a daily basis with their flagrant disregard for the current crop of Wallabies, especially George Gregan and Stephen Larkham who are the two players within the ARU with the highest profile and both play the positions Johns would easily slot into. What must they be thinking?
The ARU have publicly stated they stand to lose a lot of experienced players to lucrative overseas clubs after the 2003 Rugby World Cup and with the current farcical moves by the inept administrators who govern the other code, the credibility of Union has reached an all time low.
Johns will not switch as he is a Novavcastrian at heart and would never abandon the people of Newcastle, the same people who made him a God in a working class town that live and breathe Rugby League, whereas Rugby Union whore themsleves off to any player with a minute amount of ability and are clearly out of touch with the people who realise that the game is much more than a paycheck.
Union would do well to remember that you can't buy spirit, although the message has clearly been lost along the way many times and seems ceratin to be ignored as Union continues to shun their own insearch of the superior Rugby League athlete.