The NZRU has just announced they will play the British Barbarians at Twickenham at the start of their Northern Tour in November.
This match replaces the opportunity to play England at the same ground because the two Unions couldn’t agree on the gate split. It is a win, win, pass result! Win for the NZRU, because they take home more money; win for The Barbarians current account and a missed opportunity for The RFU.
I can just imagine the RFU committee meeting in their oval, glassed office, right in the middle of HQ surrounded by about 100 staff. It would go something like this:
“Who do these colonials think they are, wanting to dictate to us, their share of the gate? We would sell out irrespective of who we play.”
The NZRU have moved further into cashing in on the draw power of their flagship and will announce another fixture to be played midweek, following the clash with France. This game may well be against Toulon and will not feature any of the Test XV, but will sell out with tickets at a premium.
Like it or not, this is the future and rugby unions need to maximise their revenues during the good times to cushion the inevitable bad times.
To the victors, go the spoils. What’s new!
- Murray Mexted, IRANZ Managing Director