Mad World

The autumn internationals have taken on a greater significance this year as the results will affect the rankings. Normally this would simply be a question of bragging rights for the fans, however World Rugby, in their infinite wisdom, have announced that the draw for the pools of the World Cup in 2019 will take place on May 10th 2017 – a date that is closer to the 2015 World Cup than the one which the pools will be playing in.

That’s 2 years and 4 months out and only 16 months after the final in 2015.

In 2015 the World Cup was blighted (for English fans anyway) by the pool of death which included teams ranked 3rd, 4th and 6th plus 10th placed Fiji

The rankings had changed dramatically from when the draw took place (December 2012) – which was actually even further out than the one planned for 2019.

Frankly, if you’re going to do this so far ahead you might just as well have the draw based on ‘the least offensive haircuts’, ‘the ugliest props’ or ‘the most nancy coloured boots’. You’d also get a higher ranking if you can combine 2 or preferably all three of the above!

Of course that is patently stupid – but as Basil said “Me? You started it!”

There is no point in having seeding if they are pretty certain not to reflect the standings of teams when the tournament starts.

After the debacle (again for England last year) World Rugby said that they were concerned about the problem and –

Gosper confirmed that such a change was currently “under discussion”, although it appears unlikely World Rugby will go as far as adopting the Fifa model of waiting until six months before a World Cup until conducting proceedings.

Brilliant – they reduced the gap from 34 months to 28 months – big fucking help!

Currently we are almost definitely going to have another ‘Pool of Death’ – who knows maybe that is what World Rugby want? Perhaps they imagine the idea of a ‘Hunger Games’ type spectacle will help sell tickets?

There is a football world cup in 2018 – bigger in terms of countries involved and arguably a more important competition – certainly in terms of worldwide audiences and revenues.

Know when they make their draw based on existing seeding?

At the end of 2017 – less than a year before the competition starts!

The argument being bandied about is that delaying the draw for RWC 2019 will affect sales of Olympic tickets for Japan. Possibly – but so fucking what?

I’m prepared to put quite a lot of money on betting that the plaque outside World Rugby’s HQ has the words ‘World Rugby’ on – even if it’s in small letters. I’d also shove more on odds that it doesn’t say ‘Olympic Committee’ anywhere.

That ought to be a fucking clue shouldn’t it?

The Olympics have other bigger problems than ticket sales I think

My view is that WR insist on this moronic plan then they should add in a clause that states that any team involved in a ‘Pool of Death’ in the previous tournament should be exempt from being drawn in one this time. Thus giving Australia, Wales and England the option to choose a re-draw if they end up with South Africa and Ireland.

Complete bollocks I know – but as me and Basil say “You fucking started it!” (Obviously the BBC cut out the expletive when he said it)


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