I don’t know why the autumn rugby test internationals are exciting, but they are. Perhaps it’s the welcome break from football, or the feeling that winter is approaching, which makes me long for the pub and the feel of a barber jacket, although I have never owned one. Or the smell of leaves. (Stop it).<br />
There is something pointless yet meaningfull about it all. I yearn for the All Blacks to win the grand slam, walk away with the tag of best team in the world, safe in the knowledge that when it comes to the World cup, they’ll balls it up.<br />
I love the new faces in the England team, the desperate scramble for places. I really enjoy the fact that the matches mean nothing, yet one bad performance can somehow be almost career-ending. Both style and results are equally important.<br />
It’s also a hemisphere battle, always South v North. The double header of England vs Australia and Ireland vs New Zealand this Saturday is very tasty. It gives the imagination free flow. (So if Wales are 40 points worse than the All Blacks, and Ireland lose by just 10, does that mean… etc etc)<br />
Which leads me to think every year: each autumn all three major Southern Hemisphere countries come over. Why not do a North v South match? Include France, forget the lions for a while. It might just be silly idea, but it could be something special.
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