Another tweak to Super Rugby is on the horizon. Just as we were getting used to things after the last tweak, which happened pretty soon after the previous tweak.
We were only just getting used to the misnomers of Conferences and Derbies, they are changing in nature. There will be fewer so called derby matches apparently, because not everyone liked them after all, despite being told for the last two years that those are the matches players and fans really wanted.
Just as well that there are 18 months until the changes take effect; that is plenty of time to re-programme people’s desires.
At this stage details are a bit vague but the message is that South Africa has all the money, we have to agree with what they want, and the season will be one match shorter. Those South Africans; a bit like the BCCI of world rugby.
The cunning devils have tweaked things so it will be easier for their teams to make the playoffs. This is before the play-off details have been announced, but let’s just put that one out there anyway.
It’s a carefully crafted narrative, and Steve Tew has been readily available during the week. We have got the best deal in the face of a powerful foreign power, all we wanted is games with ourselves and Australia anyway, and the best news is that the season will be one week shorter.
The other detail that hasn’t been revealed is where the 18th team will come from. We know that South Africa will get an extra one, and a new time zone is added to the mix with the addition of a team from Argentina. However the last spot remains open to speculation, with the candidates being from the rugby power-houses of Spain, Singapore, Hong Kong and California.
This all raises the obvious question that not one single person in the New Zealand media asked Tew during the week.
When will we ever give the Pacific Islands the respect they deserve?
Seriously, in the early 1990s the fore-runner to this competition had six teams, and one of those had a side from the Pacific Islands. Then there were ten, and one of those was from the Pacific Islands.
Now an 18 team tournament is being planned, and Spain and Singapore are being mooted, and once more the Pacific Islands are being ignored.
Not only are they being ignored by the men is suits around a negotiating table, but also being ignored by the New Zealand rugby media, who occasionally make platitudes on the subject, but at a time when it actually matters fall into line and sweep it under a large carpet.
It is a blight on all of us.