What is going on? Sure it is World Cup year, but here we are in the heat of summers that are getting ever warmer with the beaches at their best, and NZ, SA and Australian young men are hitting the fields to smash each other to smithereens on hard grounds and in searing heat! One has to question the wisdom of contemporary rugby administration that we are in this situation.
I do not get the NZ rugby approach. It seems to me that we should restructure the season. Begin with club rugby; move to NPC; select the best for a Super series; and then the best go onto the international season climaxing with a European tour. There can be some overlap for sure, but the graduated nature of the season beginning in March would give the year a great escalating sense.
Mid Feb-May: Club
April-Mid June: NPC
Mid June-Aug: Super Rugby
Sept-Nov: Test Rugby
Whatever system they use, surely they can start the big stuff later. Let cricket, softball and tennis have their days in the sun! Why compete with one another for the same crowds, same fields and same sun?
Oh well, as much as I tell myself I don't care, I do! I will be watching as much as I can and monitoring the results with interest. And of course only one result will make it all worthwhile; Richie holding up the cup in Paris!