Competition is the key to expanding international rugby

That's the point, this should now be taken up by the SH Unions who have a stable platform and opportunity to think of the bigger picture. Best example, the Pumas. Not just Marquee players, makes sense to me anyway. Maybe the next Contemponi et. al. will do a two tear stint with Canterbury... All Super franchises should be in the mix imho.

29 Jun 2014
Competition is the key to expanding international rugby

But, I suspect, not with a view to assist promoting the player's home union but more likely just getting cannon fodder (as it were) which is the unhelpful intent. Identifying, promoting 'minnow' players whose promise needs time with a more professional environment to flourish when that would not happen within their existing structures. Giving them opportunities within the pro franchises can only help the bigger picture.

29 Jun 2014
Competition is the key to expanding international rugby

In the progression from initial kick-off to having a competitive national team there are many strategies and opportunities. The IRB permanently offers itself into the mix supporting each step up. Clubs will always be the grassroots and the idea of always wearing your club's socks no matter what level the game appeals to the romantic in me. Refs may have another opinion! Provincial sides should be in the mix proactively, offering spots to promising players from the minnow nations, not just potential game changers like Michalak, Cipriani, but interest-generating players like Shota, and Tanaka will help to promote the home game's profile. I know some are not in favour of it but at its core our game is an inclusive one, at the forefront of ridding the world of racism and the importance of nationalism. There it has a proven track record whether it is intentional or not.

28 Jun 2014
More Comments >