August 31, 2022
Rugby system breaks under pressure
A Māori sports commentator believes New Zealand’s current rugby system has created a generation of prima donnas.
Jury Teniteni -Smeaton says today’s All Blacks are the first to have come through from school rugby to professional ranks without having to make an impact on the amateur game.
While they can produce the kind of free-flowing rugby that is being demanded, if they can’t get the clean ball they don’t seem to have a plan B.
“They’re patted up at high school, they’re treated like gods, they’re given a professional contract at the age of 18 and then they fade into a Lions or a Hurricanes squad and they never really have to experience playing big bopper rugby until they’re playing South Africa at Ellis Park in front of 70,000 people,” he says.
Jury Teniteni -Smeaton says he doesn’t believe embattled All Blacks coach Ian Foster can get the team out of the slump it seems to be in.