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"Nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come." Victor Hugo
But there is also an opposite statement of an idea whose time has NOT come. And that pertains to World Rugby's calamitous decision to promote an annual World League competition among twelve nations, which would upset the existing November Test landscape, and, most damaging, diminish the importance of the highly profitable, quadrennial World Cup.
The players worldwide are also in revolt at this ill thought out proposal, which seems not to have considered player welfare at all. There is even some talk of players boycotting the Rugby World Cup in 2019 in Japan. Oy! Double oy!
To understand how this ill-advised idea has been universally criticized - by rugby nations and the sports media - is to study the leadership objectives of World Rugby Chairman and Vice Chairman Brett Gosper and Agustin Pichot. Basically, World Rugby, in an unprecedented grab for power and profit, seeks to control all global rugby, wresting control from unions and private entities that operate rugby events (e.g.; the HSBC sevens circuit).
Part of the strategy was to organize this new World League competition under the aegis of World Rugby with the following twelve nations: New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Argentina, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Italy, Japan, and the USA. The salient finding of the field indicates the absence of the three Pacific Island nations (Fiji, Tonga, Samoa) and the inclusion of the USA. Recently, the Pacific Island countries (which account for twenty-percent of the world's professional players) have protested the exclusion. The reason is commercialism, which has become the main goal of World Rugby, amassing money at the expense of tradition.
World Rugby is enamored with the USA as a potential gold mine, blind to the reality of what this niche sport can generate here in income. It sees the two All Black Chicago events as proof of rugby's appeal; but these one-off events featured the marquee top fifteen and not lesser known nations. Further, World Rugby boasts of the packed stadium in San Francisco for the past Sevens World Cup, conveniently omitting that the event produced a loss of between $2.4 million and $4.0 million. Finally, how did the USA vault over the three Pacific Island fifteens and Georgia to land on the preferred list?
From Kiwi rugby columnist Duncan Johnstone in "Stuff": "And that's the fear for this World League concept. It will quickly become just another tournament, just another opportunity to see the same players in the same teams play the same opposition year after year, albeit with a trophy up for grabs."