In 2011 I sat amongst 20,000 + people with pride, watching two rugby teams I wouldn't have got out of bed at 4am to watch on television. Twice, thousands of Northlanders did this during the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Those games were more than just rugby matches - they were occasions.

Before the 2011 RWC, I listened intently to RWC CEO Martin Snedden, a former Black Cap who ran in and delivered several line and length, straight down the middle sound bites at a newspaper conference.

This was our RWC he stressed, and he urged us to not only enjoy the prolonged moment ourselves, but share the love with our visitors.


Northland embraced this challenge. We Painted The Town Red, because red was the colour of the three teams playing in Whangarei. Canada, Japan and Tonga.

The RWC was a success. Lots of planning beforehand contributed to this.

So what happened after, to say thanks to the regional supporters? Initially not much.

And then the New Zealand Rugby Union organised the Great Rugby Road trip in February, four months later.

2015, and the ABs have done it again.

The cup is home, but unless you made the pilgrimage to Auckland this week, you are not going to see it, or the victorious players.

This time, given the historic nature of back to back wins, I wonder if we could strike while the victory iron is hot, rather than luke warm.

The trophy - nicknamed Bill after rugby 'inventor' William Webb Ellis - and the players may as well still be in England.


Twice in a row is historic. A tour sooner rather than later would be a nice acknowledgement of grass roots support.

After all, without us, the NZRU would have very little - we are the people that provide everything from future All Blacks to the oranges at halftime on our local rugby fields.

We've had Bring Back Buck. NZRU, please, Bring us Bill.