A journey that explores the rise and fall of Australian rugby union
At the turn of the 21st century, Australian rugby union was at its zenith. Record crowds would flock to see the world champion Wallabies who had conquered the mighty All Blacks and the British and Irish Lions. And with a world cup to be hosted in 2003, the governing body was due to receive a massive financial windfall that would set the game up for future generations. However in a few short years, that money would be all gone, the Wallabies would become easy beats and the sport would be on the cusp of irrelevance across Australia.
Matt Durrant, a long time Wallaby supporter, decides that enough is enough. Tired of seeing his beloved team fall over to the rest of the rugby world and witnessing a code in crisis, he sets out to find exactly why the Wallabies have fallen so far and just why the game is on the precipice of a financial crisis. Was Australia just blessed with a golden generation of players? Has Australian rugby been sorely mismanaged?
Through his eyes, we seek answers to these questions, ultimately trying to solve the biggest question of all; can Australian rugby union resurrect itself and become the global power house it once was? Like a crime investigation, the history of Australia’s rise in the 1980s and 1990s are plotted out, with critical events and turning points charted as we hear from an ensemble of witnesses in the form of famous Wallabies, coaches and administrators such as John Eales, Rod McQueen, Michael Lynagh, John O’Neill, Rod Kafer and Adam Freier.
From the board room to the stadiums, the clubhouses and locals parks, this is an inward journey into the current body of Australian rugby union. Via the testimony of some of the game’s best known personalities we get a first hand account of where things went wrong but also where possible solutions lie. As Matt finds new information that might present one possible solution, a global pandemic takes hold on the world, sending the game further into chaos.
With Matt’s new found knowledge, the stage is set for a gripping conclusion in which he sets out to present his findings to the administrators at Rugby Australia.