Jake McIntyre’s departure sums up everything wrong with Australian Rugby recruitment

By Sam Ryan 23-year old Queensland Reds flyhalf Jake McIntyre will leave Australia in the coming weeks and join newly promoted French Top 14 club Agen for the upcoming season. While there is no denying McIntyre has had a tough time at Ballymore of late, there’s a hell of a lot more to this story and the underlying issue is one that is holding Australian rugby back significantly. Since the sport went professional, Australian rugby has been obsessed with the idea of the ‘schoolboy prodigy’. A 17 or 18 year old star who plays Australian Schoolboys and is signed by a Super Rugby club either straight out of school, or a year or two later. The problem is most 21-year-old kids aren’t ready to play Super Rugby and Jake McIntyre was no different. Yes, he was incredibly talented and a star at Schoolboy, U20s and NRC level, but he wasn’t ready to play against Beauden Barratt and there is nothing wrong with that. Not many players are. Instead of spending a few years
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