Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


Expert asks if All Blacks are ruining rugby in New Zealand

UC sociology expert asks if All Blacks are ruining rugby in New Zealand

August 15, 2013

A University of Canterbury sociology expert is questioning whether the All Blacks are ruining rugby in New Zealand.

Professor Mike Grimshaw says Super 15 rugby produces under-performing contracted All Blacks.

``Many long-term contracted All Blacks appear to play with a focus on the international calendar to the detriment of their super rugby team.  Yet can one really blame them?

``They play in the expectation that they will most probably get picked for the All Black squad and continue to receive their All Black contract as the New Zealand rugby Football Union (NZRFU) has too much invested in the branding opportunities of a totem pole of signature players. So they play wary of injuries and the fabled burn-out.

``They play looking first and foremost to peak for the internationals. Yet this means the fans who go each week to watch them play for their franchises get an under-performing product. It means the teammates of these players play with deliberately self-limiting players.’’

The issue is not one that is going to go away when there is a dual tier professional rugby system whereby the All Blacks are on a contract system to keep them playing in the country and operating as the brand-focus of the NZRFU, Professor Grimshaw says.

The All Blacks make their 2013 Rugby Championship debut against the Wallabies in Sydney on Saturday.

``We need a truly professional system that allows the free exchange of location of players. You could argue that the NZRFU is merely protecting its product investment by requiring All Blacks to stay and play within New Zealand. The long-term contracts are a way to ensure that players do stay here.

``Yet perhaps we play too many internationals against the same teams. The tri-nations was dreadfully stale and, while the addition of Argentina has brightened it considerably, we get an overdose of relentless hyperbolic nationalism that is really just product marketing. These are not really teams chosen on who has been playing the best in the competition of super rugby, they are instead teams chosen in the main even before the Super 15 rugby season starts.

``If the All Blacks really are ruining New Zealand rugby - a different thing from the brand of New Zealand rugby - then perhaps we need to rethink what the All Blacks really mean and represent,’’ Professor Grimshaw says.

Professor Mike Grimshaw


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news