We have seen some sensational club rugby in recent weeks. The Heineken Cup continues to thrill and it would appear that Sky have signed a contract with the Guinness Premiership clubs that every game they feature must be decided in the last minute or feature at the very least a losing bonus point.
This all comes hot on the heels of the autumn internationals, perhaps only one of which (Wales v Australia) will live for very long in the memory. It was not helped for England fans that their team was abject and it is amazing to see how many fair-weather supporters have jumped off the bandwagon which was gaining such momentum just a few short years ago. But there is little doubt that those games were short on drama and thrills.
So which game would you rather watch: Leinster vs Wasps, or Ireland vs Scotland? Harlequins vs Stade Francais, or England vs Italy? The increasing thrill-factor of club rugby is continuing to be matched by the ever-growing turgidity of its international counterpart. In terms of speed, skill-level and excitement, the Heineken Cup has been gaining on the 6 Nations for some years and at some stage the balance will change.
It used to be the case that the passion of international rugby could not be matched but that is no longer true. Just look at the fanatical fans at Thomond Park, the bellowing masses at Perpignan and the 80,000 people on the very edge of their seats at the Stade Francais. It’s been a while since many of us were on the edge of our seats for a 6 Nations international, unless you’re Welsh. International rugby has been short on drama but more importantly it has been very short on quality.
Which extends the question from which would you rather watch to simply which is better? We’d be interested to hear your views.