Sunday, April 16, 2006

Is the Australian Super 14 teams glorified Australian trial team

A few years in the Rugby Usenet site I stated that the Australia Super 12 teams are only glorified trial teams for the Australian Rugby team. My point was that because only eligible players for Australia are able to play for Super 12 teams.

Now there are four Australian teams in the Super 14 and they still have the same policy of only allowing eligible players for Australia. This is in contrast to New Zealand and South African teams that that include players from other countries in their super 14 squads eg Nacewa in the Blues and Trevor Loata for the cheetahs.

Australia’s policy has really diluted/concentrated the Australian talent where now you have two strong teams in ACT Brumbies and NSW Waratahs compared to the Queensland Reds and the Western Force.

If you look at the major sporting competitions in the world Premier League, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB none of those competitions have teams with a policy of only including players from a specific country. In fact some of the teams have more foreign players then local eg Chelsea, San Antonio Spurs and a large number of baseball and hockey teams.

Even if Australia is not interested in promoting the quality of the Super 14 and rugby but is more interested Australia’s performance. My argument for including the best available players for Australian Super 14 teams are:

  • Improving performance of potential Australian players not only means playing against better competition but playing with better players
  • Improving the results for Australian Super 14 teams means better perception of rugby in Australia so more people interested in playing rugby so a better chance of getting players who might end up playing Rugby Leagues, Basketball or Australian Rules
  • Improve competition should mean better financial position so a better position to contract Rugby League players
  • Assist developing rugby nations like Fiji/Samoa/Tonga in terms of giving Islanders more experience in a quality competition.

Of course I am biased in this argument as firstly I think Rugby is one of the best sports in the world and I think the eligibility rules for the Australian Super 14 teams mean’s Fijians are not allowed to play in 50% of teams in the main Rugby competition in our region.


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