Phil Kearns (64)
One obvious problem with the survey is that there is no guarantee that only genuine rugby people will respond.
14. What is the most important part of the game to grow?
Please, everyone must vote in favor of the NRC. It should be clear that it's very important to the growth of the game
Annual game makes a lot of sense to me. Obviously beneficial financially. However Japan now brings something different to most teams, accuracy in everything they do. Will be a good sharpening up exercise when the Wallabies play well. A tough test match when we turn up and play sloppy football. The way they played against Wales and SA would have tested quite a few Wallaby teams of the last ten years.
More games for the teams not part of the 2 big competitions (RC and 6N) against these top 10 are essential to lift the global standard. In the long run this is what will secure the future health of the game.
Japan are being drawn into the Super Rugby and presumably eventually will become part of the RC. What about the other Pacific Cup nations? In my view the ARU owes it to the pacific nations to provide greater help. Their tours here in the 70s are considered by many to have enabled Australian Rugby to make ends meet.
I do not know what we do about Europe, it is hard to think that the 6N will be so broadminded to promote more challengers. Italy has not gone on with it, largely I suspect to the relief of the traditional powers. Would countries like Georgia and Romania still be bumbling along after 20 years at a rate of one win per year?
Winning (or highly competitive) Wallabies hide a lot of problems in the Aussie game. Cash is still the biggest issue and always is in a RWC year - Cheika has done a good job to have two teams that are capable of playing at the highest level so player burnout should be less an issue. I'd like to see it though as less a one off thing and more a relationship building process - annual home and away tests played against Japan to build some support there for the Wallabies come 2019, build some familiarity for the players and staff with the country which will be the most "foreign" of any RWC host, and hopefully build some improvement in the Japanese game a'la Argentina who have greatly benefited from regular rugby against the Big 3.
I can't see the game versus Japan been an annual one..
Especially when you have teams like Fiji, Tonga and Samoa also crying out for matches against the tier 1 nations.
I've suggested more involvement by Australia in playing matches against these three countries in the past. It's usually been dismissed by many of the naysayers on these threads because they see the PI nations as "impoverished 3rd world countries."
It doesn't need to be an either/or scenario.
I can't say i remember people making those posts, if they have i would suggest just dismissing their opinion in the future.
The issue about involving test matches against the PI or Japan is when they will fit in the calendar, i think this years All Black test against Samoa has laid the blueprint for how these need to occur. Mid-week test matches, resting the key stars but still providing players of test quality.
Edit: If the economics of the project are flawed then perhaps WorldRugby needs to throw in some financial support and use it as an investment in the code in the region.