This is more about promoting the All Blacks "Brand". We don't
need Sonny Bill to strengthen the squad but he will put bums
on seats at stadiums round the world. He may possibly
increase our chances of getting the rugby gold at Rio, but
won t improve our 2015 world cup chances much.
I find it a little strange that no mention is made here of
Dane Coles. I can only presume you are searching for
depth in this position beyond Coles? I agree that
sadly, Mealamu no longer has the stamina or body for top
flight rugby, however Coles has come on in leaps and bounds
and had an extremely impressive performance in the latest
Bledisloe Cup destruction of the Wallabies. But we do
need another quality option should injury strike leading into
the World Cup.
I seem to remember a certain kiwi league player suffering at
the hands of SBW when SBW suddenly deicded he wanted to
go to the rugby league world cup after not having been
available or selected in the origonal team
Seems like another athlete will be omitted from the All
Blacks because the Sonny Bill sideshow changes direction
Maybe he should go back to boxing - oops, can't do that, no
free rides in the boxing ring.
Just another hypocritical decision by Tew and company in my
view. No wonder rugby is losing support in its grass
roots when they see this going on. If you havent got
the instestinal fortitude to enforce the rules you make don't
make them at all.
Steve Tew has been in the job too long. He appear to
have a Canterbury bias. I was happy to move from NZ to Aussie
because I was tired of the Canterbury dictatorship of NZ
rugby, both regarding players and officials. Canterbury has
already registered two huge wins against traditionally strong
oppisition this season, as has their B side, Tasman. People
have commented on Tamati Ellison's situation compared to
Sonny Bill, also Andy Ellis is going to Japan then returning
to play for thre Crusaders. Is that fair?. Dan Carter was
allowed to play in the Super 15 finals after having played 3
games - everyone else had to have played four. Again an
exemption for a Canterbury player.
The NZRFU and Steve Tew need to take a good hard look at
Take last season when Highlander Tamati Ellison went and
played in Japan in the off season and was banned from
returning to the Highlanders by the NZRFU and ended
up playing in Australia for the Rebels.
Seems they change the rules if you're a superstar crowd
Not sure that the Press Cup format will solve the
problem. Fact is, Otago Boys High is simply a
juggernaut in this competition that is far stronger than the
rest of the teams (Southland BHS aside) and probably always
One solution could be for Otago BHS to field two (if not
three) teams of similar strength e.g. 1st XV Black and
1st XV White. That should make the competition much
more of a contest. In its current format, one can see
other schools simply dropping out.
For purposes of inter-schools and the National Top Four,
a genuine 1st XV can be selected.
This article once again fails to acknowledge the fact that
the best team from the Highlanders competition has the
opportunity to be the top team in New Zealand.
I applaud Otago Boy's efforts to aim that high. If the local
competition goes out of step with the National rules and
imposes stricter criteria, then how is our top team possibly
going to compete on the national stage? We should be
championing their efforts instead of constantly bleating
The competition format as it was established was fine. Over
the years regional, almost tribal whinging has led to a
series of changes that have not worked. Example: why hold a
promotion/relegation at the end of a season? Last year Taieri
played St Peters for a place and were soundly thrashed by
over 70. However, which is the best team now?
As for "questions whether the importing of these players was
benefiting the game in the South." I can unequivocably
answer. Yes, they have enormously. They bring
professionalism, passion, ambition and a wider view
of what's possible in the Rugby world. Example: Charlie
Beckett Captained England U18 v South Africa in the
weekend. Played for John McGlashan in 2013. Do you
think his influence was positive...it's not rocket science!