• Hey First XV Leave Them Kids Alone

    The journos who bleed Aussie, even without being cut, have been on the Demise of the All Blacks for a while now, but the bookies ain’t buyin’ it.

    No siree, not by a longshot.

    The futures market for World Cup 2019 are open and New Zealand is the top line bet. Ladbrokes has them at $2, half the price of Ireland. Multiply Ireland’s $4 price by two and you find England. It will take more sophisticated math to calculate the odds for Australia, so we will simply eliminate that calculation and report that Australia is fifth in line at $11.

    Long-shot lovers might fancy a plunge on the US at $1001. Those odds would shorten considerably if the US would institute a common-sense immigration policy and stop barring Kiwis from entering via the southern border. Now might be an opportune time for All Blacks caps to sneak in, however, as the US’s southern border is wide open due to the government shutdown.

    Come to think of it, the best strategy open to the Wallabies is to have the entire New Zealand squad spend the days between now and November 2019 living in the US and coming back with a profound case of obesity and smart-phone induced lassitude.

    For the immediate future, the All Blacks look entirely secure. There may be an ominous cloud on the place where ominous clouds prefer to lurk, however, as some of the secondary schools that feed the NZ rugby machine are not happy with the current state of affairs.

    New Zealand Rugby recently announced findings from an independent review of NZ secondary school rugby and found 10 schools in Auckland alone were refusing to play St. Kentigern in First XV grade rugby because of the recruiting practices of the school, which apparently have a few strong rugby schools siphoning off regional talent, as well as talent from other provinces and countries.