The Brisbane 10s was played over the weekend as a forerunner to the start of the 2017 Super Rugby competition.
This was in addition to the trial and ‘friendly’ games that have been organised.
At a time when everyone is supposed to be concerned about player welfare it strikes me as being an unnecessary addition to the calendar.
Injuries can happen in training and in trial games as well as full competition but why add in an extra, highly competitive tournament before the beginning of the season?
New Zealand in particular may be regretting taking part with three serious injuries –
Chiefs halfback Brad Weber and prop Mitchell Graham both suffered nasty injuries in their side’s victory in Sunday’s final against the Crusaders, while Hurricanes loose forward Vaea Fifita was stretched off in the semi-final – also against the Crusaders.
The competition is confirmed in Queensland for the next four years and the organisers are trying to widen the international appeal.
It is described as a global event but outside NZ, Australia and Samoa only Toulon and South Africa’s Blue Bulls were there – both probably at some considerable expense to the organisers.
They want to widen the global nature –
Difficult and costly as it was to lure the likes of French club Toulon and South Africa’s Blue Bulls to Australia, the company already has feelers out for new teams to fill the four invitational slots to give a different mix of international flavours every year.
“We’ve had overwhelming feedback saying we’d love to see Fiji in this tournament and let’s look at the UK as well,”
Until a global calendar is sorted I really can’t see any Premiership or Pro12 side being keen on sending teams to play in the middle of the league season – if at all!
We will see I guess – as in all things these days – money talks.