How Wasps Might Benefit from Rugby's Global Season
As a rugby fan it is impossible to escape the talk about the potential benefits of a global season.
The heavyweight All Blacks want it, from a rugby fan perspective it makes a fair bit of sense and from a Wasps perspective perhaps even more so. With current international windows for Autumn matches and the Six Nations falling in the middle of the season, then a lung-busting Southern Hemisphere tour in the summer, teams packed full of international stars can only suffer in the long term.
As Wasps continue to build, evolve and, we all hope, improve, it seems likely that more of our stars will turn out for their country. With that, comes the inevitable weakening of the squad during the international periods, as is evident at the moment. With Elliot Daly, Joe Launchbury, Nathan Hughes and Tommy Taylor being part of England's squad last weekend, I guess we should be grateful it was "only" the Anglo-Welsh Cup and a chance to blood some youngsters.
The signings of Willie Le Roux (who had an up-and-down game for the Springboks on Saturday, but certainly showed what he is capable of) and Kurtley Beale are massive statements of intent from the Wasps hierarchy. But should they be called into action for their country during any of their international periods, it could have a very limiting effect on their time with Wasps.
This isn't just to the extent they'll miss games, but also the tiredness in the legs from the extra game time and the effect multi-continental travel has on the body.
So as Wasps try to put more bums on seats, the lure of watching the game's global stars - in their prime – is key. A global calendar, which ensures club games don't clash with internationals, can surely only help clubs achieve this. For now though, let's all hope we get to see as much of our stars as possible in an extended and successful season.
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Posted on September 6th, 2016
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