Getting a smile or two following the guesses about my background/nationality. ;)
I could tell everyone but I think it's more fun this way!
But I do find great comfort in that Australians, New Zealanders and the NH have all, at times, accused me of favouritism! Do try and provide a balanced argument. But if you really want a few more hints you can check out my Twitter bio @whiskeycully. ;)
...another question....wouuld the 1999 world champions beat the 2011 ones?
1 Tony Daly v Tony Woodock
2 Phil Kearns v Keven Mealamu
3 Ewen McKenzie v Owen Franks
4 Rod McCall v Brad Thorn
5 John Eales v Sam Whitelock
6 Simon Poidevin v Jerome Kaino
7 Willie Ofahengaue v Richie MCCaw
8 Troy Coker v Kieran Read
9 Nick Farr-Jones (c) v Piri Weepu
10 Michael Lynagh v Dan Carter (I cheated here)
11 Rob Egerton v Richard Kahui
12 Tim Horan v Ma'a Nonu
13 Jason Little v Conrad Smith
14 David Campese v Cory Jane
15 Marty Roebuck v Isarael Dagg
"Its history now the Reds won however in 16 years of competition never has there been such debate over the credentials of the winner."
Great point - and that is the idea of the column. Personally, I rate the Reds. I think they could well make the finals again, although the past two weeks have shaken that confidence. They deserved their title.
But in a new conference system, in its first year, it is only natural that the equity of the competition should be discussed. Does it give every side an even chance of winning? Does it need to be tinkered with?
There were some very interesting comments by Nathan Sharpe on the G+G show this week. Sharpe, who should know about these things, said that there wasn't enough talent for 5 Aus teams at present, and expansion had diluted the sides.
When you have a respected, experienced figure like that coming to those conclusions (it must be stressed, however, they weren't made in the context of the Reds argument) they inevitably you will have people who believe that Australian sides that win the title still might have to work that little bit harder to quieten the doubters. And that's what it comes down to - the Reds control their own destiny and what others think of them. And it starts again with the Brumbies at Suncorp. Cannot wait!