There have been a number of articles about welding together more or less
artificial teams from various regions, so I thought I'd have a turn too.
Another criterion that would be nice to aim for, would be getting together
a number of teams of more or less equal ability, especially considering
rugby's much wider range of abilities near the top, much wider than is usual
for international sports.
At the moment, it seems there are only three teams who are able to
compete on a fairly regular basis, with anything approaching equality;
though France and (to a lesser extent) England are not too far behind.
On the other hand, the Lions is an already existing amalgamation, which
is known to be able to compete with great credibility at the topmost level.
Putting all these ideas together, here is my idea for an international
competition of equals. As it turns out, it comes down to 8 teams,
which is also the *ideal* number for various types of competition!
That seems like too good an opportunity to pass up as mere coinicidence;
not that I seriously expect these ideas (or anything similar) ever to be
put into practice.
So here goes:-
2. New Zealand
3. South Africa
These 3, (named merely in alphabetical order), are those
international sides capable of standing alone as such.
4. Lions (E,I,S,W) or should that be W.I.S.E. the "wise teams",
already noted as being on a par with the above.
5. Europe This would be mostly France, augmented by a minority of
Italians, with the occasional Romanian or even Iberian.
6. Pacifica Samoa, Fiji and Tonga together, could probably come up
with a serious team, close to Lions standard.
7. Americas Argentina, Canada, USA; both alphabetically and in
that order of merit, should be capable of producing
a similar team, perhaps with the odd Uruguayan thrown in.
8. Afro-Asia The most mixed bag of all; and probably the clearly
weakest team. But with a base of Zimbabweans, Namibians
and Japanese, together with the odd Moroccan or Korean,
might be capable of giving the other teams a fright.
The more mixed the bag, the more time they'd need to train together,
of course. Still, it might be a lot of fun.
Anyone know Rupert M's phone number...?