According to the reports Australia would like to see all of the five super rugby AU teams participating in a mooted trans-Tasman tournament. But for that to happen there has to be some changes in the rules even if there is no competition, and New Zealand has nothing to gain if they agree to what Australia wants.

The Super Rugby was suspended before that the Brumbies had played well to achieve second place in the points table. Meanwhile, teams outside the Australian conference including the Waratahs, the Reds, and the Rebels had just four wins amongst themselves. Just a single win was against the New Zealand team, along with the Brumbies’ win against the Chiefs.

The teams of Australia have had just three wins from 49 matches that were held in New Zealand. From the above stats, it is absolutely clear that the four Super Rugby teams from Australia are not as competitive as the teams from New Zealand. This is because of several factors, obviously, but for a few years, there is no real rivalry left between the two countries.  Add in the Western force, who will probably finish at the bottom of the table.  And the idea of all the five Australian teams joining the trans-Tasman competition feels like a joke.

Not very long ago the Kiwi scribe Dylan Cleaver precisely told, following a couple of weeks of fierce Super Rugby Aotearoa derbies, “Nobody watching this past fortnight said: ‘It would be great if the Waratahs were up next.’”

What are the possibilities for the NZR?

While it is very difficult to know what is true and what is not?  There are reports that the New Zealand rugby association will be coming up with 2 possibilities for the international club competition to be held in the future. The first option is that which Australia would like to see is that 5 New Zealand teams and 5 Australian teams compete against each other in a 10 team tournament.   The second option is that Australia would want to play only 2 sides, with 5 sides from New Zealand and a lone team from the Pacific Island. However, the second option is backed by several board members of the NZR. But reports suggest that Mark Robinson the chief executive of the NZR has not yet seen the options that are given to him. This would be a big set back to rugby in Australia.

But Australia would be thinking of participating alone rather than enter into an agreement with their neighboring teams which limits them to only two sides. If there is no change, however, then it is very difficult to explain Australia having any superior existence.

No one can match New Zealand, rugby teams.

At the moment the teams from NZ are more competitive than the other teams and, barring the odd upsets, there is hardly anything for the kiwi fans to cheer about when they take the field to play against Reds or the Rebels. Because of the parity across the playing field, the Super Rugby Aotearoa is a premium sport. The Chiefs, who defeated the Waratahs with a score of 51-14 in New South Wales at the beginning of the year, are placed in the last position of the point table. That is because they have lost four of their matches to date by just 1, 12, 5, and 7 points. Those kinds of limitations would be rare and distant if Australia were participating in the tournament.

It can’t be said that the trans-Tasman competition involving the 5 Australian teams is not a possibility. But not if they would only be playing against the 5 teams of New Zealand.  Perhaps if the New Zealand rugby association were deciding on the All Blacks as long as they are part of the new tournament, irrespective of what country they are based in. If this happens then we will get some of the top talented players to play in Australia to help build the teams.  

Impact the stronger player makes.

While it would be an insult to the coaches, support staff, and to all the players in the Blues camp to suggest that the presence of Beauden Barret will make them the contenders rather than pretenders. There is no doubt that a player of standards will only help the team to improve their performance. Imagine what the presence of somebody like David Havili or Ardie Savea can help the western Force if they succeed in attracting the All Blacks to Australia.

Obviously, that would happen only if there are huge amounts of investments from private investors into the club. Even without the injection of the funds, some of the young Kiwis having little experience could help the Australian teams to build, rather than holding the tackle pads in New Zealand during training.

That would at least bolster the Australian teams and whilst the players of the ability of Savea are clearly not instantly replaceable, the pool of talent in New Zealand will continue to churn out new players that can ultimately fill the gap, as it has happened in the past all the time.     




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