Dick Tooth (41)
I understand your point. Part of your argument is that players should be picked on strong performances against adults rather than their potential based on schoolboy rugby. I would argue that Neville was originally picked for Super Rugby on potential as his performances in the Shute Shield for Manly in the early years were not that great. However this was to be expected from someone who had made a late transition to rugby from rowing. Professional rugby coaches could see that potential and took the risk. It took some time to pay off and neither the Rebels nor Reds really got the long term benefit of his development. I don't see Neville and Kellaway's journeys as being that different. I agree that Porecki could have been picked up on the basis of his Shute Shield form and I don't recall how his overseas journey played out but I assume you feel that he was overlooked.E&E both spent time in the SS and also abroad to learn their craft - learning craft - is more the point I was trying to make rather than sign schoolboy superstars.
D that's the other point do players improve by playing offshore in a global game - a number of players have returned from the NH comp improved players, and more recently returning from Japan improved surprisingly.
I believe rugby has a choice - risk losing players to league, or risk losing them offshore - our professional comp is limited to 4 / 5 teams, whereas league in Aus has how many clubs now?