There’s been much comment in the media, particularly from a certain knight of the realm, about the fielding of a weakened team by the Western Force against the Lions, a decision suitably punished by an emphatic cricket score (albeit an Australian cricket score :) ) by the Lions earlier today.I have to say that I agree with Sir Clive that the Lions are being treated with contempt by the Aussies, but you can hardly blame the Western Force who are also scheduled to play a Super 15 game at the weekend.
After all, what is in it for them? Likewise, what is the incentive for the Australian Rugby Union, who will reportedly be some 40 million quid richer by the end of the tour, to insist that its franchises provide proper opposition? In fact it absolutely suits the Australians for the Lions to be undercooked come Test time.
No, the blame lies squarely with the Lions administrators (whoever they may be). Lions Tours are huge cash cows for the host unions. It’s about time the Lions' negotiators woke up to this fact and grew a pair.