The Roar
The Roar


Monstrous IRB maim the minnows

Roar Guru
20th September, 2011
3078 Reads

Imagine you’re a less than top notch rugby nation such as Scotland or Wales. You can beat one of the top five teams once in a blue moon, but more often you discover yourself quivering at the prospect of defeat at the rough hands of a rugby minnow.

What can you do to avoid the preposterous fate of being defeated and eliminated from a World Cup by one of these poor, vulgar countries?

No problem. You are richer by far than these little guys. You have board members on the IRB. So you can undertake the following easy project to save the day. No one will oppose you, no one will whisper the faintest word of criticism.

1. Exclude them from major tournaments and regular international competition.

Is it really the case that Georgia or Romania are so much weaker than Scotland and Wales and do not merit inclusion in the Six Nations? Wouldn’t it speed forward the development of the game in those countries? Precisely!

They are dangerously close to becoming good teams who could knock Wales or Scotland out of the World Cup or defeat them in the Six Nations.

Deprive them of the opportunity to play regularly and they will never be in shape to amount to much and the game will never grow where they live. Thankfully, with places on the IRB board, it is possible to make certain they never see the light of high end competition.

2. Keep their playing squads weak.


It’s noticeable that the major teams voting against a player changing the country they represent are the those most threatened by the prospect of defeat on the pitch – Wales, Scotland, Ireland (don’t think because the Irish beat Australia that they are not very likely to lose to a minnow normally).

So we see a drastically weakened Samoa, which could have beaten Wales with full access to players who are dragged off by the promise of greater riches to the four corners of the rugby world – Australia, New Zealand, England, Wales. Having taken the best years away from these players, the IRB makes sure they won’t even allow these poor countries the cast-off remains.

3. Fail to expand the game.

There has been almost no improvement in the state of rugby in the minnow countries as a result of the IRB’s intervention. Samoa and Fiji look weaker than they were at the last cup, Georgia no stronger, and it should be noted that there has not been a single upset yet involving a minnow. Not one.

They may threaten through enthusiasm and unfamiliarity (to their opponents) for some time, but the result is always the same.

4. Give them impossible turnover time.

How on earth can, for example, Samoa defeat Wales three days after their previous match?


The malicioulsy planned short turnover for Tier two nations effectively removes the smallest lingering hope of a minnow qualifying from a pool and just as well: it would be at the expense of a Wales or a Scotland.

An extra week added to the world cup could easily solve this. For what it’s worth, it also makes the world cup far less interesting, as there is no point in watching the minnow play when it is certain they will lose.

One thing is clear: the IRB intentionally keeps the weak weak so as not to threaten the strong.

Samoa have been brave in spelling out the horrendous truth, the Prime Minister observing how unfair it is to intentionally rob a team of its players by denying them the right to change nation.

But it took a profoundly honest and courageous twitter post from Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu to make plain reality:

“IRB, Stop exploiting my people. Please, all we ask, is fairness. If they get a week, give us a week. Simple. Equity, justice.”

“Give Wales 3 days off, and give Samoa a week! We would kill them!!!”


The truest line, summing up in a breath the shocking manipulation of these poor countries is the first:

“Stop exploiting my people.”

These poor countries are undermined, underfunded, cleverly weakened, robbed at every stage and are then asked to make up the numbers in the World Cup so that rugby can masquerade as a global game.

It is not. A coterie of ex-players rather than a professional body form the IRB, who conspire to keep power to themselves and prevent the lesser teams from being a threat while abusing them to parade the lie that they have a genuinely widespread international sport.

So when you see Wales or Scotland in a World Cup quarter final, don’t think for a moment they played any rugby to deserve it. The victories won were off the pitch, and they were uncontested.