“We are trying to strike a balance between quality of play and ticket sales, and emmigration. If we let in Argentina or Tonga, the risk of a domestic team losing a match is simply too high right now. New Zealanders will not spend $200 to watch these amateurs defeat what’s left of our national side players. On the other hand, if we send our teams to the US, most of them will probably score lucrative contracts and not return. Samoa strikes the balance: the rugby is good, but not great, and who wants to move to Samoa? Have you been to Samoa?”
The more I read about rugby in South Africa, the more I feel like I'm reading some trashy diva piece in the Enquirer or some other bottom-feeding, pop-culture rag. What's got my knickers in a knot this time? If you have not heard, there is currently a row over the use of the Springbok, an antelope indigenous to South Africa, on the national team jersey.
Yes, that's right. The most serious issue in South African rugby is apparently what mascot to use on the damn shirts. Oh ... my ... God!
Australian rugby officials are in an uproar over a recent decision by the Springboks to rest their top 21 players for the Tri-Nations test match in Sydney on July 7, 2007. Australia have gone so far as to suggest cancelling the match, though contractual obligations make that unlikely. New Zealand, the other member of SANZAR [...]