Former Wigan coach Graham Lowe believes that the Australian international team is entering a period of decline.
His simple explanation for it is that the NRL has focused on developing Polynesian players, who, because of their links to Pacific Island nations and New Zealand, are boosting the fortunes of countries other than Australia.
New Zealand managed their third consecutive win over the Kangaroos last weekend in the trans-Tasman Test, and Lowe thinks that the men in black will dominate for years to come.
“The Kangaroos aren’t being left behind — they have already been left behind. They have missed the boat all because of the greed of NRL clubs.
“The NRL clubs continue to develop Polynesian players because of their explosive power. This though at the cost of developing their own Australian players.
“And it is the Australian Test team that will pay the cost.”
“I’m the first to agree the NRL is a dynamic competition featuring the best players in the world, but it’s also too big for its boots.
“The best players popping out the end of junior competitions aren’t Aussies.”
Lowe is also backing the Kiwis to remain at the pinnacle of the international game for decades, rather than just a couple of years.
“I reckon the Kiwis can win 10 of the next 15 Tests.
What happened last Sunday was the tip of the iceberg. This all comes back to fragility of Australia’s development systems.
“Look at the under 16s and under 18s in Sydney. About 50 per cent of those kids have Polynesian heritage and that means direct links back to New Zealand.
“When those kids become NRL players they are eligible to play for New Zealand, Samoa or Tonga. Australia’s best offer is to try and lure the Kiwi players into State or Origin. That is the only way for Australia to stop the talent flowing going to overseas.”