Scott Fardy is wrong to blame the “faceless men of SANZAR” for the state of Aussie rugby. Instead, he should be blaming the men now plying their trade in the Australian Super Rugby teams.
Nowhere within these teams is a player who could be termed a star – someone whose talents and skills bring spectators and their money to games.
Israel Folau once did, but he has faded as a drawcard and noone has taken his place.
Players still earn kudos in the local media, but only after playing teams from the same conference, which operates several layers beneath the New Zealanders.
When you lose all 12 games with New Zealand sides from the start of the season, the position is dire and somehow trending downwards from last year.
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Which leads to the Bledisloe Cup, not held by Australia since 2003. On the Super Rugby form thus far, the Wallabies will be at least 10 points a game down on last year’s matches. If so, future games will become irrelevant as a contest, eroding interest to the point where stadiums will be half empty.
To make it competitive, scrap the idea of involving the All Blacks. Instead, the Wallabies should play the top three New Zealand Super Rugby sides.
Each of these teams would have at least two players good enough to make a World XV (more than the Wallabies) and have tried and tested combinations. Should the series end up drawn, then a play-off with the fourth New Zealand side could decide the outcome.
This would revive interest both within New Zealand and Australia.
Why? Simple, New Zealanders with a misguided hatred for the Crusaders would support the Wallabies. And if the Blues were playing, everyone south of the Bombay Hills would join in with the Australians.