We’ve all had a bitch about the unnecessary expansion of SuperRugby, a move so blatantly flawed that even your most simple of rugby fan could have predicted the shortcomings. New Zealand, South Africa and Australia are all very different countries with Rugby Union being a different game to all three. Yes New Zealand and South Africa prioritize the game to therefore ensure ample player stocks, but when it comes to the Aussies, sports like; AFL, Rugby League, Football and telling dirty jokes while farting in front of your wife all come before the game of Rugby Union as a ‘winter sport’.
They have subsequently struggled with having five teams in SuperRugby (and boring us shitless with their derbies), with even their national team battling last year at times as they simply didn’t have players to step up when injuries occurred. They are stretched beyond belief and now a prestigious Lions tour is coming to them, and the chances of them doing it justice by offering decent competition in all the games is slim to bugger all.
The British and Irish Lions Tour.
For those who don’t know, every four years the best players from the England island and the others around it plan a tour to take on one of the Southern Hemisphere super powers of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. With a touring party of around 37 898 when you include the management and coaching staff, just as many fans go along for the trip too meaning a sea of red jerseys engulfs one of these countries during a six week tour.
During this tour the tourists play pretty much the best the host country can throw at them with games against invitational sides, territory sides, franchise sides and of course the all important three Tests versus the national side. It makes for a tremendous spectacle whenever they run out and historically the Lions scalp has been one of the most sought after things to all teams that have the opportunity to secure it.
In the past provincial teams used to field all their national team players meaning these matches became Tests of their own. Now though, the national players are generally rested for the official Tests only, meaning the Lions have a relatively easy run until they reach those all important three games.
However in the case of this particular Australian tour, the tour matches are going to be a joke. They play the Waratahs, Rebels, Reds, Force and Brumbies who will field no Wallaby players, and due to Super Rugby commitments, you will probably find an absence of other decent players too.
The British and Irish Lions 2013 Tour fixtures
Saturday June 1st – The Barbarians
Wednesday June 5th – Western Force
Saturday June 8th – Queensland Reds
Wednesday June 12th – New South Wales/Queensland Country Invitational team
Saturday June 15th – Waratahs
Tuesday June 18th – Brumbies
Saturday June 22nd – Australia – First Test – Brisbane
Tuesday June 25th – Rebels
Saturday June 29th – Australia – Second Test – Melbourne
Saturday July 6th – Australia – Third Test – Sydney
An average Bulls team gave a less than full strength Reds side 60 points last year. Such a result could be replayed again all too often in this tour making it very disappointing. The Lions tours are to rugby what the Olympics is to world sport. They happen every four years, draw a massive audience, and in a sporting world where cheap thrills get way too much TV time – it is a sporting occasion of much substance and tradition.
So again, well done SANZAR, not only are you cocking up Super Rugby and the overflows of it, you are now well on your way to cocking up Lions tours for ever and ever.
The Aussies simply won’t be able to cope with all this rugby. The suits will say the opposite and that the extra high profile fixtures will take the game to new heights in the country. Bullshit, can you imagine how much shitter they will be in SuperRugby this year as Wallaby camps take the best players out of the tournament pre-tour!
This is the start of their implosion, good luck with picking up the pieces.
The Aussies start the Super Rugby season a week earlier than SA and NZ on the 15th of February.
For more on this topic and strained Aussie player resources – give this article from down under a read.