In a tangentially related post (from the one above) it was rumoured this week that Aaron Cruden is being chased by Montpellier who have offered a very lucrative contract –
There are two aspects to this story – the obvious one is that the financial clout in the Northern Hemisphere will continue to chase (often successfully) the huge talent that exists in particular in New Zealand.
The second point is that it is the very strength in depth that will enable NH teams to manage to entice players to the north.
You may be a seriously talented player – but if you are 6th or 7th ranked in your position the chances of you getting to wear the black shirt are pretty limited.
Just as Viscount Severn (ironically 10th in line) probably doesn’t expect to get the keys to Buckingham Palace – well not unless there is a rather extraordinary set of unfortunate circumstances anyway.
Obviously this doesn’t apply to Cruden – who is already an All Black – and at absolute worst likely to be on the bench for the foreseeable future.
However there is undoubtedly a serious depth of talent that may well feel that their financial well-being and possible international opportunities lie abroad – especially prior to any changes in World Rugby residency rules.
I think these three video clips from a match between Wellington and Southland underline this suggestion –
One of them features Hurricanes player Jason Woodward, who has just signed for Bristol!