15-year Challenge of the Australian Rugby Union to implement a new National Competition

Publish date:

Complex transformation success culminating in Capgemini’s ASE DesignShop®

“ This is an historic occasion for this sport. We have overcome ten years of adversity to reach this point and we really couldn’t have done it without this process or Capgemini. ”  CEO, Sport National Governing Body, Australian Rugby Union

The Situation

The Australian Rugby Union (ARU), the National Governing Body, needed to address several significant trends in its ecosystem so that the sport maintained a strong profile and continued success. These included bridging gaps at state and club levels facilitating clear paths from schoolboy to national rugby.

The national side (‘Wallabies’) had fallen from world-ranking leader in the mid-1990s to fourth. Other major Rugby-playing nations had taken significant steps to bolster national competitions and accelerate talent development programs.

Various initiatives over some 15 years had gone nowhere. The ARU was keen to find lasting solutions. It took a bold step to seek independent help from an organization with strong credentials of root-cause analysis, supported by methods to turn findings into winning solutions. It was time for Capgemini.

The Solution

Three months of comprehensive planning and research was undertaken with over 1,000 stakeholders. This culminated in a 3-day DesignShop® to bring together 70 of the most senior CEO/Chairmen (who rarely spoke or collaborated), senior administrators, current and past Wallaby Coaches and players, for the betterment of Australian Rugby. 

The leaders shared, discussed and resolved their business issues. The result was an amazing level of alignment and enthusiasm for a radical shake-up of the ecosystem across Australian rugby. 


“The information we have had access to in this DesignShop has been the most comprehensive work that we have done since we moved to being a professional sport”

CEO, Sport National Governing Body


The Result

Major achievements included designing a competition structure within the existing playing window, iterating and validating governance, and securing common understanding of risks and issues to address.

Key achievements included competition vision, structure, criteria, investment approach, player development and community involvement. Deliverables included a first draft of the plan to realise the vision in 13 months and a signed Commitment Statement to deliver the competition.


“This is the biggest change we have had since the game went professional – it was an excellent process.” 

Chairman, Sport State Governing Body 


File size: 1.48 MB File type: PDF