CHRIS KIRWAN SAYS: Benefits of an Australian win
9:20am Thursday 1st November 2012 in Sport
IT would be painful to watch Wales suffer another agonising loss to Australia in December – but worth it in order to hammer home a point to the Welsh Rugby Union.
When the Wallabies head to Cardiff they will be taking on a side having to cope without the likes of Gethin Jenkins, Mike Phillips and James Hook.
The money-making Test falls outside of the IRB window, meaning it’s French club action rather than Dove Men Series for a sizeable chunk of Team Wales.
It’s Toulouse versus Clermont, Perpignan against Agen, Toulon taking on Grenoble on December 1.
But the owners of Top 14 clubs may not be focusing on domestic action that weekend – they may instead be watching the cattle market that is taking place at the Millennium Stadium.
The verbal jousting about the state of Welsh rugby continues while Frenchmen with deep pockets are poised with the fountain pens, ready to sign tempting cheques to wave under the noses of Jamie Roberts, Dan Lydiate and Alex Cuthbert.
The cycle will continue year on year; it’ll soon be Leigh Halfpenny, Sam Warburton, Jon Davies, Toby Faletau and Justin Tipuric.
The player drain won’t stop while the benefits of moving are bumper pay deals and the only cons are missing mum’s shepherd’s pie and the ability to watch Ffermio on S4C.
Ex-Newport owner Tony Brown copped some flak from WRU chief Roger Lewis for saying that he believes the Union is allowing the regions to “bleed to death”, but his comments led to plenty of nods of agreement.
International success shouldn’t be taken for granted and it must not be presumed that the young talent will keep being churned out.
The level below Test rugby needs to be thriving and at the moment it is suffering from a great depression with awful results and terrible attendances. It seems that the Union is happy as long as the Millennium Stadium is full and the debt is reduced. But they need to support the regions in their time of need and work towards a relationship that is more balanced.
So, those who like their rugby all year round rather than just autumn, February, March and June should be able to raise a smile if retiring Aussie great Nathan Sharpe signs off with a win in Cardiff.
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