There has never been much love lost between the New Zealanders and Aussies when it comes to rugby and the schadenfreude across the Tasman at the problems that the ARU and Aussie Super franchises are having has been predictably gleeful.
The animosity is pretty much the same between England rugby and – well just about everybody to be honest.
But at least the RFU are as rich as Croesus and have the biggest playing numbers on the planet. Financially it also helps us to recruit players for the white shirt following the (current) 3 year residency rule.
Australia aren’t in the same ‘fail safe’ position – funds are scarce, other sports get more recognition and fan support, player numbers are falling and the financial opportunities from the NH are removing top players from the Wallaby ranks. Will Skelton being the most recent example – I don’t blame the players – rugby careers are short and can be shortened further by injuries that are becoming all too common.
The most recent media vitriol from a NZ writer came, predictably from Chris Rattue –
Will Skelton – just another Wallaby loser. Or put it another way, thank you, thank you, thank you for Richie McCaw.
Skelton is a lump and a chump. He has so much potential, not only for his own career, but to help re-shape the Wallabies who are always desperate for forward power. But he was 140g worth of uselessness a lot of the time.
Rattue tries to hide his vitriol behind the suggestion that he is disappointed that Australian rugby is in a mess. This is hardly credible if you have ever read any of his other poisonous writing – not just about the Wallabies and England but against anything or anyone who doesn’t wear or support a black shirt with a fern on it. Rattue can barely hide his delight at the current situation the Wallabies find themselves in.
I admit I am biased – with Australian grandchildren, daughter in law and naturalised son (he’s kept dual nationality thank goodness) – the Wallabies are my second favourite team. I cheer for the Gold shirts against anyone except England – and especially the Welsh!
Fortunately there are more rationale views coming out of New Zealand –
Dwindling numbers of players and fans are finally taking their toll on professional rugby in Australia, with the result nothing but bad news for the global game as a whole.
A weak Australia means a weak Rugby Championship, and a weak Rugby Championship means a weaker All Blacks side at a time when European rugby is threatening to climb to the top of the pile.
We’ve already seen South Africa begin to slip down the world rankings after a poor 2016, for the Southern Hemisphere competition’s sakes the same thing can’t be allowed to happen to Australia.
No hiding behind crocodile tears for Alex Powell – he sums up the real danger for the world game. I have no doubt that the Wallabies and Springboks will again become major forces on the world stage – but they will need time.
Let’s not forget that Australia and the Springboks came second and third in the 2015 WC
Sanzaar can start the process by sorting out the car crash that is Super 18 For the sake of everyone they should forget the unobtainable ‘holy grail’ of a multi hemisphere tournament and bring back Super 12
We’ll know tomorrow what the future holds as Sanzaar have said that a statement will be issued after the completion of Round 7.