Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Ian Ritchie: "We're all right Jack"

Comments from RFU chief executive Ian Ritchie that the Six Nations is likely to remain in its current February/March slot are a tad disappointing to say the least.

Bill Beaumont, head honcho of World Rugby (aka the artist formerly known as the IRB) had previously suggested that starting the tournament later to accommodate a global rugby calendar "could be a solution".

Ritchie, however, has adopted the "if it ain't broke" approach to the issue, commenting:

"Why would you want to change something that works really well?"

In other words, we're all right Jack, the rest of you can bugger off.

The point is not whether the Six Nations currently works or not (it does). The point is whether the moving of the Six Nations would help contribute to the overall goal of achieving a workable and sensible global professional rugby calendar, where player welfare is properly addressed, thus securing the future of professional rugby worldwide.

Ritchie's comments demonstrate the inherent self-interest that those seeking reform are up against. The last major reform in the game came with professionalism in the mid 90s but, given how long it look for rugby to be dragged kicking and screaming into the professional era, I won't be holding my breath for a solution to the question of a global calendar anytime soon.

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