Wynne Gray is a Herald columnist

Rugby karma as Chiefs look at Aussie youngsters

The Chiefs are playing the Reds in Brisbane tonight and staff used the trip to hold a recruitment training session for two dozen eligible youngsters. Photo / Getty
The Chiefs are playing the Reds in Brisbane tonight and staff used the trip to hold a recruitment training session for two dozen eligible youngsters. Photo / Getty

What a tasty bit of rugby karma hit the Aussies this week.

They've been brazen about recruiting New Zealand players to fill up their Super Rugby rosters but when the roles are reversed they've raised the squealing volume.

The Chiefs are playing the Reds in Brisbane tonight and staff used the trip to hold a recruitment training session for two dozen eligible youngsters keen to link up with the New Zealand franchise.

Smart thinking? Clever planning, the type of innovation which has kept the Chiefs at the forefront of the competition?

Not according to the bleating Ockers who fill their squads with New Zealand-born, raised or rugby educated players.

The bleating is amusing and a bit rich from a nation which has Alby Mathewson and Albert Nikoro playing for the Force, Scott Fuglistaller, Mike Harris, Culum Retallick, Toby Smith, Adam Thomson and Toby Smith at the Rebels and Zac Guildford, Sam Louisi and Angus Ta'avao on the Waratahs payroll.

It's a bit of payback and the Aussies don't like it up 'em.

Two years ago Rennie objected publicly about Australian teams targeting players across this side of the Tasman. There were no consoling moves or conciliatory tones from across the water.

"There are so many Kiwis playing in the Australian competition," Rennie said then. "All over the world they're targeting our players and locking them in for three years. That's only going to get worse.

"We need to look at it [selecting All Blacks from Australia] very carefully. This may give us the opportunity to get a few back from a national point of view. It gives New Zealand a chance to select those players who have gone over there and become residents. "

When the Chiefs reversed the move this week, the Daily Telegraph's rugby writers ramped up the jingoism and described it as "one of the most brazen trans-Tasman recruitment ploys in history."

Descriptions of "poaching" and "secret" added another layer of xenophobia to the story before the final kicker that "the ARU and Australian franchises will be fuming about the prospect of some of their best talent being poached from right under their noses."

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

SIGN UP NOW
Stats provided by

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 20 Jan 2017 02:27:46 Processing Time: 458ms