Alan Jones has put an almighty boot into the state of rugby, calling for Super Rugby to be slashed to save the game in Australia.

Speaking to Fox Sports, the coach who played a huge part in reviving Wallaby fortunes in the 1980s said "we're in big trouble".

"It's terrible, absolutely terrible," said Jones, a dominant Sydney radio broadcaster, claiming people were "pretending it isn't happening".

Rugby was being over-run by Aussie Rules and football, and the game was dying through a lack of investment at school, club and provincial level. Problems included people with no coaching experience appointing the wrong coaches, he said.

Advertisement

"When you are in financial trouble...the Super Rugby thing...the plane fares and hotel bills are enough to break the Bank of England," he said.

"No one should kid themselves. Rugby in this country is in big trouble. Pick up your paper today, and you'll have to turn 15 pages in to find any mention of rugby.

"The ARU (Australian Rugby Union) is not up to it. I hate saying that but they have presided over the stupid Super Rugby thing, which seems to want to include every country in the world. It's too big, too unmanageable and people can't identify with any of this."

Jones said Australian rugby was strong when the Wallabies were picked out of two state teams - Queensland and New South Wales - who were the strongest provinces in the world in his day. He was even flabbergasted that they were now called the Waratahs and Reds, saying they should revert to being New South Wales and Queensland.

"(the game) is boring...you have an 80 minute game and get 20 minutes of rugby," he said.

"I go to schools and there are AFL posts up and soccer kids playing everywhere. We are not promoting the game."

While he was not specific about how the game should be re-organised, Jones suggested Australia and New Zealand unite in a strong competition.