The Rogues Rant #284

August 31 2021

Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

By Ron Wood

Some clarity has now emerged going forward with the Rugby Championships. The third Bledisloe Cup match which is also Round 2 of the Championships will now go ahead this Sunday in Perth at 4.00PM our time. The Queensland government has agreed to host the remaining Championship matches at various Queensland venue’s as double headers over the next five weeks. The Wallabies play South Africa on the Gold Coast, Sunday 12th Sept at 8.05PM, and again a week later in Brisbane on Saturday 18th Sept at 5.05PM. Their final two matches are against Argentina in Townsville on Saturday 25th September at 8.05PM and on the Gold Coast on Saturday 2nd October at 5.05 PM. The Wallabies will then be traveling to the Northern Hemisphere for matches against Scotland on 8th November, England on the 14th November and Wales on 21st November, Covid permitting of course.  

It was also announced this week that we will be having a 12 team Super Rugby Pacific tournament in 2022. The five Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, along with Fiji Drua and the Moana Pasifica organization will make up the 14 week tournament. The Drua will play home games in Fiji while the Moana Pasifica will be based in New Zealand. Moana Pasifica will be made up of players who identify as Fijian, Samoan or Tongan. This should be a more interesting and condensed tournament which should create plenty of interest. All teams will play each other once and then three more a second time, leading into an eight team three round knock-out final series.

With the new Super Rugby series from next year let’s hope that the powers that be at Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby get their acts together and create an appropriate development and competition program to feed players through to the new tournament. It could perhaps be  something like the original concept of the Junior Gold Cup from 2014, but totally within and across all NSW regions. Make it for Under 15, Under 17, Under 19 & Senior Grades making sure that players of talent have the opportunity to progress no matter where they are born or what school they go to.  

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.