Ballina assistant coach Andrew Fraser has invited ARU chief executive Bill Pulver to the clubs next home game.
Ballina assistant coach Andrew Fraser has invited ARU chief executive Bill Pulver to the clubs next home game. DEAN LEWINS

Ballina invite for rugby boss

Dear Mr Pulver*,

My name is Andrew Fraser. I am a men's coach at Ballina Rugby Club in northern New South Wales.

I have been a rugby man since I was six - and hope that my last 36 years to the code might offer some insight.

I have coached, played and been part of administration in both rural and city areas.

I have been attached to a Super Rugby Franchise as a board member for two years as a player representative. I have been lucky to travel the country and world through rugby.

My letter to you is an invitation to attend Ballina Rugby Club on April 22.

It is a Saturday - we play Lennox Head in the local derby.

Second grade starts at 1.50pm and the main fixture is at 3.15pm.

You can fly direct to Ballina from Sydney. There is Jetstar or Virgin to choose from.

I am happy to pick you up. Perhaps after the game you could hang about for speeches and maybe you could provide us with your insights to the state of the game?

We are scheduled to have a theme night but we can put things back to accommodate you. Feel free to stick around for our Olympics night.

If this date or venue is an issue I am happy to fly to Sydney at my expense and visit you in chambers at the ARU.

Given the recent developments of the possible axe to a super rugby franchise, the alleged drop in player participation numbers and I guess the worrying performances of Australia and our super rugby franchises, people out here would be fascinated to hear your comments.

You may not know but our zone is currently struggling to provide a senior men's team to play at the New South Wales Country Championships this month.

I am asking you to attend and maybe inject some hope and desire into the code here.

My son - 10 years of age - looks at me and wonders why I get so frustrated by all the recent events around rugby.

Mr Pulver, the concern is this: The code that I love so very much appears to wilting - right in front of me. In my own country.

I recently spent five weeks in the United States and coached some college kids. Their love and passion for the game was astounding.

I then return home and see what I have previously mentioned - poor figures and sad faces.

I am more than happy to attend Sydney, but if you can make the local grudge match in two weeks time it would be great.

Some 30 years ago I watched the Rugby World Cup on television, and the emotions and love I experienced still resonates with me deeply today.

I just hope that my young bloke and the many others across the land can feel that love and passion, too.

I feel that your leadership is to play that part of bringing that passion forward to this generation.

Please let me know if you can make it.


Andrew Fraser.

  • Bill Pulver is CEO of the Australian Rugby Union.

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