Saturday, June 21, 2008

Why Rotation is Wrong

The latest AB selection illustrates why the AB's struggle when the heat is on. The switch of Smith and Kahui, the addition of Thompson for Kaino and the addition of Wolf are all mistakes to me. Here we had the opportunity to cement a combination. Nonu and Smith have been in and out over the years and the chance was there to have a third match in a row to continue to develop confidence and combinations. Yet, Henry makes the change again. I think this is wrong. They should have stuck to the A team. Why:
1. It disrupts combinations at a time when these people are all growing in confidence and getting into the rhythm of playing.
2. There is no need for rotation. Injuries are certain to come to players and rotation will come around naturally and there is no need to do this.
3. The interchange rules mean that players can be rotated during games when games are won while retaining combinations.
4. Rotation means that people get caps too easily. This cheapens the AB jersey and enhances the public's disatisfaction and disinterest in test rugby which is now 'friendlies' between the real games which come around every four years. AB jersey's should be the hardest things to get in the world.
5. The Super 14 is a good enough competition to discern whether a person is good enough for test rugby. Test jersey's should be so hard to get, that when they are won, the person will die for the jersey. They are too easy!
6. The giving out of the jersey to people on a rotation basis bumps up their value on the world market and adds to the player drain. A player who realises that they are only ever going to be a fringe player can take the money and run, their one or two caps meaning their asking value is increased. Henry is helping drive players values up and thus increasing the drain.
7. Form comes and goes and if we drop players on the basis of form and not the whim of a rotation system, players will fight harder for their places. Nothing is more certain than losses will come and these players will need replacing.

All in all, Henry is making errors. These changes are unnecessary and I am not going to back off saying so.

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