OPINION: Drum roll and mood music, cue the World Cup draw for
Who cares? Probably some tour operators and those fans who
want to know exactly where they will be heading for some pool
games. After that it's a lottery as France showed in 2007 and
But really, what is the hurry? What is the rationale behind
this flurry which has the bulk of the 2015 draw decided early
Some of the sting is taken out of the tournament because the
draw is made on the basis of nations' rankings almost three
years out from the next tournament in England.
Rankings this year sort out which pool teams will be in for
At the moment New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and France
are on the top line with England, Argentina, Ireland and
Wales next and on the third line of automatic qualifiers come
Samoa, Scotland , Italy and Tonga.
All very fine and dandy and lather inducing for World Cup
But just say in two years time, with almost a season to run
before the eighth global tournament, England and the Pumas
are in the top line and Samoa have nudged in the second level
You've got to think that England, especially as hosts, would
far rather be in a pool where they avoid the All Blacks and
Samoa until at least the playoffs.
Making ratings much nearer the tournament is a far better
representation of the global order and rewards teams for
working towards the World Cup.
Then the tournament is likely to have a better balance in the
quarter-finals. Form now should not be as important as it is
leading into the event.
Organisers want to get on with 'arranging' matches so those
with greater drawing power will be allocated larger venues.
Travelling fans, they argue, want to know where their sides
will be playing.
Of course they do but they would also like their teams to get
a fair shake of the seedings dice a bit closer to the
It won't matter if they have to go to St Mary's Stadium in
Brighton, St James Park in Newcastle or points in between.
If they support their side and have the ability to travel to
the UK for the World Cup, they will go where their side is
Even if the World Cup organisers waited until this time next
year to make the draw, it would be preferable. Maybe new IRB
boss Brett Gosper could send the results out on Twitter.
- By Wynne Gray of the New Zealand Herald