For players and coaches at club level looking to take the next step with their rugby, being selected for representative honours can be a hard nut to crack.
Back in the day when men were men and life was perfect, an All Black Test victory guaranteed reselection for the next game. It was a bit like a salute; a slap on the back; a ‘well done’ chaps. A good victory and you were in the team next week. Along with the all night after-match-function, it was the bonus. Everything was OK in the world.
This may well be the golden period of 140 years of rugby played in NZ.
The Rugby Championship is clearly the best rugby competition in the world. Could England or Ireland handle this level of physicality, skilful continuity and speed from one end of the field to the other? No. They couldn’t.