I would say over the past few week, but it's been much longer than that in which I have been writing about the constant flow of rugby players from Aotearoa to Europe. Recent events have led me to this fork in the road, a point where I'm going to put my kahunas on the line and make a call. Now obviously such a call could go either way so I won't really care if I'm wrong, fence sitting is for lames.
The Australian Rugby Union shifted their rules around a wee bit this week by declaring that they'll select players who aren't playing in Australia if they have served plenty of time playing in and for Australia. Fair enough, I quite like it as it allows players, well those good enough to consistently play for Australia the opportunity to go and earn what someone is willing to pay them; 'if you give us service, we'll play nicely with you' type of thing.
This is on the back of Bernard Foley signing a new contract with the ARU which will allow him to play both in Australia and Japan. Two prime examples of the ARU showing some creativity and imagination which, I reckon will end positively.
It's the sort of compromise that the New Zealand Rugby Union simply wasn't willing to make. Hence, I've come to the opinion that this is all going to smack them in the face in a few years like a moist fishy. The NZRU are still banking on players placing the All Black jersey on a bit of a shrine in their wardrobe, thus ignoring the life and financial opportunities that await them overseas.
Granted, Stevie Tewie and the NZRU believe that they can be somewhat flexible, but let's be honest, they still think their shit don't stank. It was interesting to read that Tew believes that Aotearoa's 'superior' lifestyle will play a key part and then when you throw in a new TV deal, it should end out ok. Living in the south of France isn't too bad, while living and playing in England, Scotland or Ireland is pretty cool as well given that Europe is on your doorstep ... oh and that you're getting much more money.
Will the NZRU and whichever sponsors they have, be able to compete with the dosh on offer in Europe? No, but they think players will still stick around because of the weather and a jersey. I'm not saying there'll be a dramatic increase in players leaving Aotearoa, but I reckon that over time, we'll see more players take that route as they learn more about how much fun you can have in Europe.
I read something interesting from The Guardian from the homie Ali Williams. There's a perfectl grabbed snippet below, ya know, the out-of-context shit that media dummies do, but Williams does raise a few points. Anyway, only time will tell but remember where and when you read this in a few years time ;)
For some reason we're still talking about the America's Cup. Not sure why. Do you know? I don't, it's confusing. Oh wait, because the silly buggers running the country decided to help fund the 'enemy'. May this serve as example 29,872 as to why the America's Cup is so fucking stupid.
Colin Munro has been called into Mumbai Indians squad, shout out to him and hopefully he can make more of an impact than most of the other kiwis have. This does however signal one of the negatives of the IPL, well depending how you look at it and given differing circumstance; you can get injured in the IPL and ruin any upcoming tours you have/you can get injured and leave the IPL and still get paid whatever that agreed amount is which would be great if you don't have any cricket coming up.
Munro's got the call up as the Indians have lost fellow kiwi Corey Anderson and Aaron Finch while Josh Hazlewood pulled out after the World Cup. Not ideal.
But hey, Kane Williamson's not really playing either at the moment so he can surf more and it looks like he's the fines masters, on ya! ........... look, David Warner's even having a giggle!
Sticking with cricketing kiwis, it's been a rough few days for the lads in County Cricket with Martin Guptill scoring 0 and 32 in Derbyshire's recent loss. Craig Cachopa hit 8 and 0 in a win for Sussex but at least Jeetan Patel's kind of holding it down with a nice 30 and a 2 wicket haul in his recent outing for Warwickshire.
Big up, big up to Haidee Tiffen who is the new White Ferns coach. Tiffen has been a trooper for ladies cricket in Aotearoa and served her apprenticeship so her promotion is thoroughly deserved.
Lastly, a salute for Kirisome Auva'a who spoke to the Daily Telegraph in Australia regarding his assault charges. Auva'a was one of the best players all season, rather surprisingly, for the Rabbitohs last year but was involved in a tricky and messy court case situation. In the interview he said all the right things, which is the first step.
Pulse vs Swift
Fever vs Magic
Vixens vs Tactix
Mystics vs Firebirds
Steel vs Thunderbirds
Chiefs vs Force
Brumbies vs Highlanders
Crusaders vs Blues
Waratahs vs Rebels
Lions vs Cheetahs
Stormers vs Bulls
Reds vs Hurricanes
Brisbane Roar vs Newcastle Jets
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Perth Glory
Adelaide United vs Melbourne City
Wellington Phoenix vs Sydney FC
Melbourne Victory vs Central Coast Mariners