I’m not much of a Rugby Guru, but two things have really impressed me about the Rugby World Cup.
The way our rugby stadiums are selling out and everyone is getting out and supporting even the minor teams and games. Games like Canada vs Tonga and Tonga vs Japan selling out are great examples.
All the bells and whistles in the world won’t top the passion of a nation and the excitement it creates for players on and off the field. We promised the world a stadium of 4 million people and it looks like we are going to deliver. I was also stoked to hear last night that it looks like the event it-self is looking likely to run at a profit. That’s awesome.
The other thing that has really impressed me is the pride that has been shown by the island nations in particular Tonga and Samoa. Both teams have played out of their skin and now rank among the best of rugby nations in the world. I was really impressed by the performance of these two teams and in particular their staying ability.
It should may us all feel pretty proud that New Zealand has been involved with many of these players, whether they grew up here or played their professional rugby here. Even someone like Quade Cooper who wears the wrong jersey comes from good old Tokoroa.
And it goes both ways – A long long list of All Blacks, including such greats as Michael Jones, Jonah Lomu could have played for either country. The influence of pacific Island nations and the strength it provides to our rugby is unquestionable.
With the confidence they must have gained, I can’t wait to see Tonga and Samoa in the next World Cup, so long as they don’t beat us!