Instead of a closed shop, World Rugby needs an open mind

World rugby chiefs must think bigger and attempt to grow the game in countries like 12th-ranked Georgia and 28th-ranked Germany whose players are seen here during this week’s Europe International Championship game. Picture: Levan Verdzeuli

As key stakeholders in rugby convene in Dublin tomorrow about a ‘world’ league that seems more concerned with concentrating and increasing the wealth for its bluebloods than spreading the word to the unconverted and the cash to the marginalised, it has probably escaped rather than focused their minds that the deciding game in Europe’s biggest international competition is once again between one nation with a population of just 6.6 million and another with just 3.1 million.

Just like 10 years ago, and indeed 14 years ago, the outcome of the Six Nations championship and a possible Grand Slam and Triple Crown hinges on a game between Ireland and Wales in Cardiff.

That climax to the 2009 championship –“Grand Slam at stake! HE’S GOT IT!– combined with Bernard Dunne getting up off the canvas to lay Ricardo Cordoba out on it later that evening, still remains one of the greatest Irish sporting days of this century. And we’d all be more partial in these parts to either an Ireland or Wales winning the championship than England or France. But you’d wonder if the sport ever dreams of, or plans, for a day that it could be Germany or Spain.

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