Will Skelton - just another Wallaby loser. Or put it another way, thank you, thank you, thank you for Richie McCaw.

Skelton is a lump and a chump. He has so much potential, not only for his own career, but to help re-shape the Wallabies who are always desperate for forward power. But he was 140g worth of uselessness a lot of the time.

When the going got tough Big Will got going, to English club Saracens as has been announced, putting him out of Wallaby calculations.

Why should this matter to us? Well it does. Some people love the procession of All Black victories, and fair enough. Others - count me in - prefer the knife edge. And if Aussie rugby falls over, it would be a disaster. So I'm going to pick on Skelton here.


To steal the famous John F. Kennedy line, Skelton always looked like a bloke who asked what his team could do for him, rather than the other way around. Now we've got proof.

Big Will is off for the big money, before he's even played properly for the Waratahs or the Wallabies. He spewed out the usual guff about a tough decision being made for his family, and thanking people who should actually tell him to shove it, although they won't of course.

Watching what is happening in Australia, not a day goes by when we shouldn't give thanks to one R. McCaw.

McCaw was well paid here, no doubt, but he could have taken all sorts of money overseas. He would have turned any decent team in Europe into champions, on his attitude alone.

But he stayed, and imbued New Zealand rugby with the sort of professionalism and dedication which has launched the All Blacks into the stratosphere and taken the Super Rugby teams with them.

This may be overstating the case, and there's no way of measuring it, but I credit McCaw for holding New Zealand rugby together through the tough World Cup times and almost single-handedly laying foundations for the amazing dominance which has followed.

Others will spread the credit around more evenly, and maybe they are right. For me though, so much can be traced back to the amazing McCaw. Importantly, a lot of blokes followed his example.

For starters, McCaw had to play on a busted foot to save the day in the 2011 World Cup final. That alone was worth his admission to a special corner in any rugby hall of fame. McCaw didn't say a lot, or not a lot worth writing down much to the media's chagrin. He just led by example and wacko, the promised land turned up. His spirit lives on.


Australian rugby is falling apart, largely through the big-headed foolishness of the Australian Rugby Union who went searching for new territories at the expense of the existing ones. This isn't hindsight, because plenty of people tried to tell them that a fifth team would stretch resources beyond breaking point.

They could fix a lot of their issues with the swing of an axe through both the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force. Cram all that talent into three teams, in places which care about union, and Aussie rugby could start humming again. Guarantee it.

It's people who change the course of history though, not policies. Australian rugby relies heavily on the Wallabies having international success, and they need to find enough players to achieve that, ones with pride, determination, commitment and maybe some sacrifice.

There are a few, led by the warrior-like Stephen Moore. But Skelton's example is a disaster and there is a lack of spirit and belief in that camp.

It's a free world, and money is the mantra, but Skelton was potentially a key weapon who is turning his back on those who tried to give him a chance before he has given anything halfway decent back. A headline called him a star. Don't make us laugh.

The idea that the strength of domestic teams automatically determines the success of the national team is nonsense. But it takes special people to rise above the problems. The Wallabies need to find more of those.