Nev Cottrell (35)
Yes, although I'm not looking at it really as a Rugby issue. Primarily it's a safety issue: one day soon, a skinny winger who wants to study commerce next year is going to collide with a 110kg forward with an NRL contract, and there'll be serious consequences. Secondarily, it's about "the role sport plays in educating young men". Are you preparing them for a career in professional sport? Division 1 for you. Or do you want a scholar who rounds out his life by playing sport for fun and fitness? Off you go to division 3.Your applying reason and logic here Snort!
Seriously though, whenever discussions come up about this, we all tend to look at it as a Rugby problem, but to the bosses and sportsmasters its not. History, tradition, the role that sport plays in educating young men and a rough equivalence of teams far outweigh any issues of uncompetitive sides or mismatches. It's just not an issue for them. What IS an issue would be the potential loss of GPS/CAS/ISA status.
Its the same issue at play with Italy and to a lesser extent Scotland in the 6 Nations and why they will never vote for a promotion/relegation style tournament. They know that their heads will be on the chopping block first and there are real financial consequences for demotion.
Tradition is the main blockage. And Rugby is unique because it's the only collision sport the schools play (except perhaps AFL). It's also the only sport where the professional recruiting begins to occur at the end of school. So there are sound reasons for treating it differently to, say, tennis.