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Toulon chairman Mourad Boudjellal on building the champion club

Well the issue is when young promising players from countries like NZ (say the understudy for McCaw or Read) leave at 22 years old to play club ball in France and forget about Super 12, AB's, and NPC because they can make twice the money abroad they can make at home.

What happens to test rugby then?

7 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Toulon chairman Mourad Boudjellal on building the champion club

This is so interesting to me. Is Toulon the blueprint for things to come? In 10 years will players still ply their trade in their home/test country or will it just be an international market like football where the best players are the highest compensated?

I started playing two years before rugby went pro and I remember the guys arguing that mercenary style rugby would be the ultimate outcome of professonalism. It's taken 20 years but maybe they were right.

7 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Nigel Owens shows Anthony Allen the way to the football stadium

Definitely right about rugby refs talking the most.

EddieG mentions Ed Hochuli (the jacked up guy) in the nfl. Good point.

Still other than Tim Donaghy in the nba have you ever heard of an American sports ref writing and promoting an autobiography? Or have their own highlight clips? Refs should be anonymous.

7 Months, 3 Weeks ago

Nigel Owens shows Anthony Allen the way to the football stadium

I don't disagree with the sentiment but in no other sport do referees have fans.

I've noticed rugby refs are getting bigger and bigger egos and becoming a bigger part of the game. They (we, I ref youth games) are human beings that are doing a service to the game, but they shouldn't have an agenda or want to put their personal stamp on a match as they often now do. The best referee is one that you don't notice.

7 Months, 3 Weeks ago

The biggest punches and worst fights in French domestic rugby

Fascinating cultural observations. Thanks Frenchie!

8 Months, 3 Days ago

The biggest punches and worst fights in French domestic rugby

The frogs don't have the monopoly on this type of thing. It seems like it exists in Romania, Russia, and Georgia quite a bit too.

I played some in the USA and there are whole teams that are strictly polynesian. When they get down invariably the fists start flying.

Sorry to racially/culturally profile but that was my experience.

8 Months, 3 Days ago

The biggest punches and worst fights in French domestic rugby

I wonder how old you are? Nobody is calling you a pussy.

Rugby is not about fighting to be sure, but as a front rower what would you do if your opposite was striking one of your smaller teammates? Sometimes you have to look after your mates.

8 Months, 3 Days ago

Sam Egerton banned after being red carded for eye rake in Varsity Match

So don't watch it. Stick to threatening to bite people or complaining players aren't getting hefty enough bans.

Tradition is what rugby is all about.

9 Months, 16 Hours ago

Sam Egerton banned after being red carded for eye rake in Varsity Match

I love the Varsity Match and hope it never goes away. Highly intelligent amateur athletes competing for pride while taking part in a rich tradition that goes back to the 19th century is what sports are all about.

Money is changing rugby very rapidly. Events like the Varsity Match, Barbarians, and the Lions Tour are what sets us apart.

9 Months, 22 Hours ago

Sebastien Chabal knocks out Marc Giraud with big right hook

Eddie you should watch a game before 2000. Punching and stamping were most definitely tolerated and sometimes encouraged (headbutting never was) and somehow rugby survived, usually with 30 men on the field.

Since the beginning and up to roughly 2000 there has been a self-regulating aspect of rugby (lie on the ball->get raked-> roll away and play on). What is going on now is refs are a bigger part of the game than ever before and are trying to sanitize the game for television audiences, casual fans, and mothers.

The notion that a player punching another is some kind of grievous and horrible action is ABSOLUTELY new to our game. For about 175 years it was part and parcel. It happened, worked it's way out, and they shook hands when it was over. If somebody did something really bad, they got sent off. This was rare.

The unfair and inconsistent system of cards, retroactive citing commissions, and bans hasn't created a better game.

9 Months, 3 Days ago

 
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