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'What A Load Of Nonsense. Do Not Change It, Please!'

'What A Load Of Nonsense. Do Not Change It, Please!'
By Maurice Brosnan Updated

World Rugby's drastic plan to shake up the test calendar and introduce a "rugby nations league" competition has not been well received in the Southern hemisphere.

Gregor Paul of the New Zealand Herald and Sean Maloney of Fox Rugby Sports appeared on Balls.ie's new rugby show, World In Union, to give the outside perspective on the sport and Irish game. When asked about this newly touted competition featuring the sport’s top 12 national teams, Paul was adamant it was a bad idea.

 

"That game at Twickenham last weekend, forty years in the making. All be it, England have maybe tailed off a wee bit since the hype originally began. You didn't need that to be connected into some pseudo-World Cup/World League whatever the hell world rugby are talking about. Don't need any of that.

"This idea that 'oh we don't want to have friendlies, too many friendlies' what a load of nonsense! There was nothing friendly about that game. That was 82,000 people. You couldn't buy a ticket for months on end. The atmosphere was electric; the game was outstanding. The drama was brilliant."

The countdown is on for the All Blacks visit to a sold-out Aviva Stadium this weekend, and as far as the New Zealand sports writer is concerned this will once again prove the value of November internationals.

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It will be the same this week in Ireland. You tell me that game needs anything else riding on it? That is New Zealand v Ireland, you do not need any kind of contrived element around that for it to be absolutely brilliant on the weekend. We love coming up here, when the All Blacks play against teams that challenge you in different ways.

The Bledisloe Cup is brilliant but it is also time for a change, time for different rugby. Bigger stadiums, bigger crowds. Love the Irish, even the English are fantastic. Do not change it, please!

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Sean Maloney echoed those sentiments, although he did declare a notion of caution with concern for the number of games facing modern-day pros. "I know rugby is their job, I know all that. But man, they are out for a long time. They come back off this tour with two or four weeks off and then straight back to Super Rugby training in the boiling heat down here in Sydney and Brisbane. They get fried early on in the year."

You can listen to the full episode, which includes our team of the November Internationals so far and New Zealand's issue with Ireland poaching players, on podcast here or watch it on Facebook/Periscope.

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SEE ALSO: New Zealand Journalist Takes Issue With Ireland Poaching Potential All-Blacks

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