Peter Bills: IRB foolish to keep playing loyalty card
The international game is booming; the style produced by New Zealand in particular in recent months, the finest advertisement possible for the old game.
In Europe, a new season begins this weekend and hopes are high. With a World Cup now just 12 months away, immense challenges face both players and coaches. Even in these financially stressed times, sponsors continue to beat a path to rugby's door. It is a wonder to behold.
And yet trouble looms in the field of player availability. The International Rugby Board's desire to sanction more and more international matches, sometimes regardless of hitherto agreed 'windows' in the year's playing calendar, threatens to cause huge trouble.