Well no sooner had we solved that current Super Rugby season in my previous article, New Zealand rugby have decided they want to make plans for next year and so have gone and come up with one.
It has provoked a fair amount of thought and a smaller amount of tension to rugby fans on both sides of the Tasman’s waters.
New Zealand have made it very clear that they want a maximum of four Aussie teams and one Pasifika team. Looking at it objectively Australia realistically does have about four teams’ worth of competitive talent. Given some of the play this year from one or two of our teams in particular, realistically I can see where the men who stand astride the long white cloud are coming from on that one.
The second item on their list is the Pasifika team. On hearing this you immediately think of the obvious problem that a new team will require considerably juicy financial steaks, to both get it up and running and keep it going. There is also the problem that there may not really be a full squad’s worth of players up to the standard of any of the Australian Super teams that are under question.
It’s hard to see how they see it will really be a better comp if the teams are worse.
There is an obvious solution to the problem and it goes like this. New Zealand and Australia agree to allow Pasifika players to play and provide the cream on top of the crumble for the Australian Super Rugby teams. Lock in a certain amount that must be taken.
I would suggest 15 across the country and then see where they were needed. As support for Pasifika rugby all of the players would be designated not to be considered for Wallaby selection.
There is definitely more than one Australian Super Rugby team that would benefit from the selection of Pasifika players, and many Pasifika players who would no doubt appreciate being eligible for their country while getting paid to play closer to home. You would have to think it would only strengthen the Pasifika unions.
Super Rugby AU has shown that Australia is capable of putting on some very good rugby games and we can have for ourselves the nuts on the sundae solution that can be made to work perfectly for everyone involved.