Who is the game for anyway?

February 12, 2012

Rugby is a winter sport, but its not an arctic one. The news that France v Ireland was called off was no great surprise, but the lateness of the announcement was. OK its not safe to play on a rock solid pitch, but why was there any question in the first place? I've been to two late night internationals at the French ground. On both occasions I have nearly frozen to death despite being fully equipped for winter walking conditions. Playing rugby at 2100 in the evening on a pitch without under ground heating is a criminal error by the Rugby authorities. For a start even if the match was played the conditions do not make for a memorable experience for either players or spectators. There is no pleasure in sitting in the upper tier wondering if your feet still exist at an hour when many people go to bed. Getting back to a hotel at midnight is not the way to end a rugby match.  

As I said yesterday the needs of television and commercial needs are overwhelming the needs of the loyal rugby follower. I fully expected to hear that the match would be played tomorrow, but there is no indication of that. So the French supporters who have travelled up from the south of France and the Irish fans who have flown or taken the ferry have had an expensive weekend ruined with little hope if any of recompense. I wonder why the French don't play internationals in the south, as that is where Rugby is based, then a late evening start in Marseille of Toulon would be reasonable.

We need a rebellion of rugby followers, those who make the atmosphere, who create the revenue streams. Enough, is enough.

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