Thursday, October 18, 2007

Another way ahead for rugby

Perhaps it is time to bite the bullet and go global with world rugby. Flag the world cup which in rugby is not working. Replace it with an annual or biannual competition.

There is the 6 nations in the north and the tri-nations in the south. Why not have one international competition each year? The heart of rugby is shifting north not so much in strength but in terms of where players are going. The truth is, in 10 years, most of the NZ best players will be playing in the European competitions. So why not extend the 6 nations to a 10 (or 12) nations competition. The All Blacks, Wallabies, South Africans and Argentineans go north every second year and play in it. It could be played either as a complete round robin which may take too long, or as two pools of 5 with semis and a final.

You could extend it to 6 in each pool and on the alternate years if biannual, have the remainder of the world's nations playing off to see who gets into it in a tournament of Romania, Georgia, Portugal, the PI nations, Japan and the North Americans.

If it was bi-annual on the alternate year these teams could stay at home and host tours like in the the good old days.

The other major competitions would be the Super 14 and Heinikein cup which would run at times other than the 12 nations competition.

This would also mark the time for the All Blacks who play in Europe to be available... more on this later.

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