Friday 15 November 2019

Selection farce is doing our games no good

Steve Hansen, head coach of the All Blacks. Photo: Getty Images
Steve Hansen, head coach of the All Blacks. Photo: Getty Images Sportsdesk

I wonder what Warren Gatland or Steve Hansen would make of it. They were happy to name their teams for all three Lions v New Zealand games a few days in advance and then they stuck by the selections.

Contrast that with GAA managers, many of whom don't name a starting 15 until just before the game, or announce it a few days earlier and then change it.

Of course, the latter group probably never had any intention of playing the published team.

What's all that about? Opposition cater for every eventuality so trying to entice them into some daft guessing game is a pointless exercise. It does, however, damage the promotional side of the game. And for no better reason than managers thinking that secrecy is a powerful weapon.

Between that, closed training sessions and media bans, the divide between players and public is widening all the time. It's not good for the GAA. It might be justified if it achieved anything but it doesn't.

Another small gripe. Why are incidents that might be classed as even mildly controversial blacked out on the big screens? If they happened, let's see them again. People watching TV see them so why block those who are at the game?

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