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New-look rugby series excites — just a shame about the name

The Rugby Championship? Has a bit of a ‘‘World Cup’’ ring to it, don’t you think?

In fact, of course, it’s the grand/bland name SANZAR officials were somehow allowed to run with when they invited Argentina to join South Africa, New Zealand and Australia in an expanded Tri-Nations tournament.

Surely Four-Nations was the most logical and appropriate. Or was it, as seems likely, a case of SANZAR wanting to distance itself from the Northern Hemisphere’s Six Nations Championship (and, yes, rugby league’s Four Nations)?

OK, so why not SANZAR Cup? (Perhaps, to be totally fair and accurate, throwing in an extra “A” for Argentina.) Any name, surely, that better reflects its standing as a genuine Southern Hemisphere Rugby Championship – and avoids any perceptions that could, over time, undermine the code’s four-yearly World Cup showpiece.

Branding issues aside, SANZAR officials have been smart to bite the bullet at a time when the Tri-Nations format – not, I hasten to add, the Bledisloe Cup element —  was starting to look a tad tired.

A bit of Argie bargie may be just what it needs.

*                                 *                              *

Usain Bolt, Mo Farah, David Rudisha … John Lennon. Yes, as a Beatles tragic (see earlier blog), I’ve got to say Lennon’s belated, haunting contribution was right up there with some of the more indelible London Olympics highlights.

Having bemoaned his non-appearance at the Opening Ceremony (where Paul McCartney strutted his stuff), I’m obviously prepared to accept that Lennon’s ethereal role in the closing spectacular was planned all along. But I can’t quite shake the thought that it was Yoko reading my McCartney blog that spurred her into having that re-mastered Imagine video squeezed into the program.

— Peter Thomson

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3 Responses to New-look rugby series excites — just a shame about the name

  • Leo says:

    This “Rugby Championship” is failing to excite me, I’m afraid, Pete. The Tri-Nations was bad enough, achieving not much other than to provide funding for its own costs while devaluing the very currency itself.
    I thought that the addition of Argentina would bring a name change to Quad-Nations, but I guess, however many sides participate, it really will always be about Dough-Nations.

    Leo, Auckland

    • Admin says:

      You’re a hard man to please, Leo. “Excited” or not, I bet you’ll be riveted to the box all the same.

      • Leo says:

        I didn’t watch either match last weekend, Pete.
        And I understand that I didn’t miss much.
        I’d rather rugby went back to “tours” every so many years; it was great when sides like Taranaki could match up against the Lions, for example.

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