Martin Devlin: A message to England Rugby - bugger off!

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Apr 2020, 1:46PM

Martin Devlin: A message to England Rugby - bugger off!

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 8 Apr 2020, 1:46PM

Alright England you can bugger off then, who's next?

When RFU CEO Bill Sweeney reaffirmed last week "there will be no revenue sharing' with visiting test nations the door should've also slammed shut on any chance the All Blacks do go up there to play England once international rugby does resume. 

That selfish pompous attitude reminds us of everything wrong with the upper echelons of the sport. Out-dated inconsequential old farts stuck in an administrative quicksand they need to be left to drown in. 

Memo to Mr Sweeney: If the All Blacks aren't getting paid then we don't come to play. It's that simple. 

Forget all previous rules and regulations because none of them now count for diddly. When this brave new sporting world of ours does return to some  degree of normality, what used to happen no longer applies. World Rugby, as an entity, is becoming more irrelevant with each passing day.

The world of rugby, as every fan knows, is in one helluva fug and only the bravest and boldest  of people and ideas will ensure it even survives this Covid19 calamity. The old competitions and the old calendar are just that - old.

Who even knows when or if  international travel gets back to what it once was?

Who also knows whether the  freedom of international contact and border crossing without significant isolation or  quarantine periods will ever be relaxed? The idea of the All Blacks reconvening a Northern Hemisphere tour playing three or four tests without cash recompense is naive at best and idiotic at worst. Hey Bill, aka Silly Billy, it's not going to happen.

This will be the perfect time for NZR to rid itself of all this boring old fart bollocks and forge our own path. We have the most marketable, most-watched, must-watch brand in the sport. If you think the Yankees are popular in baseball, the AB's are the NYY of world rugby. We are the one team EVERY team wants to play and EVERY fan wants to watch.

When the Covid19 crisis does eventually settle we'll have a golden chance to both reinvent the international game and reinvigorate our financial coffers. 

The easy answer being to bring back longer tours. Imagine the All Blacks heading to South Africa on a 10 match tour later this year culminating in 3 tests against the world champions?

Who in the world of rugby isn't going to want to watch that? And how easy would that be to sell to a hungry international audience? So goodbye Billy Boy and you selfish insistence on keeping all the cash for yourselves. Read my lips.

The All Blacks want to play. The All Blacks need to play. But just as big a want is the need to be paid.