So, the final few warm-up matches have been played, and judging by the results it is a case of “same as it ever was”. Ireland haven’t shown well, the British teams have been outplayed, does this mean that only the Southern Hemisphere teams are in with a real chance. With the addition of France I suppose.
And if the Northern Hemisphere’s big names can’t compete with the likes of South Africa what hope is there for some of the less well known countries. Will it be carnage? What real hope do the smaller rugby nations have, considering that the likes of the US Eagles only played one warm-up match, against Munster, and lost?
So should the competition try and reduce the numbers of “minnows” to prevent mis-matches, or is this the only way they can develop? Personally I think that the IRB needs to take action to support the developing teams. Argentina could be a huge force in the world game but aren’t given the chance to perform regularly. Look at how much Italy have come on since joining the Six Nations, isn’t it about time that some of the others were encouraged. Or are we happy to continue with New Zealand as constant favourites.