I have been ever so slightly reassured by Lima Sopoaga this week.

He's the All Black who left for the money in Britain. He articulates what most of us who follow the game know. And what Steve Hansen tried the other day to raise by way of a discussion, the All Black jersey is not doing it the way it used to for players who are increasingly making what Sopoaga calls "business decisions".

I thought Hansen's idea to the Prime Minister in the sheds after the test was brilliant.

The All Blacks are our biggest brand. Why the Government doesn't want to leverage that more I don't know.


But it doesn't.

And not just the Government, but it would appear those of us who thought it was a good proactive, productive, if not lucrative idea, got shouted down by those who see the All Blacks as rich and commercial.

And they made the classic mistake of thinking that all that governments should be doing is handing out money to the troubled, downtrodden, and desperate.

Well fact one, the All Blacks aren't rich, rugby isn't rich, and player loss is a real and increasingly serious issue.

Now that doesn't mean we feel sorry for them, but the idea Hansen was spruiking was a commercial one. One that works for both sides, a win-win.

And I was genuinely surprised at how negative so many people were about it, especially given the weight we place on the All Blacks and their success

As far as us on the global stage goes, it's the Olympics, it's the All Blacks, and it's the America's Cup.

And of those three, the Olympics is rare and any success is seen as remarkable. The America's Cup is sporadic, and success is rare.

So the All Blacks stand alone as the provider of ongoing and consistent success. Patriotism that goes with it, and pride, or bragging rights if you like.

And this is why poo-pooing the idea is short-sighted.

The day we start to struggle, the day we lose, the day we look out-recruited, is the day all hell will break loose and the same people who bagged the idea of a government link will be moaning till you get a headache.

The idea of a government link is preventative, it's the ambulance at the top of the cliff, it's the well thought through solution to a looming issue.

It stops it being a disaster we missed and then need to scramble to fix.

How many Lima Sopoaga's do you want to let go?

And then hear from, as to why the jersey doesn't put food on the table, before we wake up and realise Hansen is onto something?