A key issue New Zealand Rugby got right when the game turned professional, was deciding you could only be an All Black if you played in New Zealand.
Without that rule not only the All Blacks would suffer, but our Super Rugby teams would be a mix of rookies waiting to get a start in a test so their overseas contract would be more valuable, and men in the twilight of their careers.
Our best players would all be in Europe and Japan.
And if you think Super Rugby is struggling now, try selling the competition if fans couldn't see the biggest stars here, but could only watch them on television, playing for Racing 92 in Paris, or the Wasps in Coventry.
The harsh reality is that if New Zealand can find a million dollars to pay a Kieran Read, an egomaniacal club owner in France or England can pay a lot more.
On money alone, New Zealand can't compete.
Times have moved attitudes on a bit since 1987 World Cup-winning fullback John Gallagher switched to league in 1990, saying, with honesty way too naked for some at the time, "I guess everyone has his price".
Herald rugby guru Terry McLean thundered: "Could there be a more damning thing for a man to say of himself?"
Well, as much as I admired McLean, yes, lots of things, actually.
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I didn't see "being paid to play sport" on that pretty lengthy list that landed disgraced Wallabies star Israel Folau in strife.
The fact is that, like all contact sport, rugby players usually have a relatively short career, and if, as they say, boys do what they want to do, and men do what they have to do, then ensuring a future for yourself and your family by taking up a lucrative contract has always felt to me to just be common sense.
In 1995, when Kerry Packer was dangling million-dollar deals in front of the All Blacks, Wallabies and Springboks, that screeching sound you heard was made by the soles of the shoes of the vast majority of Southern Hemisphere test players, still officially amateurs, as they raced to sign on the dotted lines.
New Zealand administrators in 1995, when control of the professional game was wrested back by the rugby unions, were smart enough to know that if the money here was pretty good, then, as an extra tweak, an All Black jersey as well might be enough to hold most of the players they wanted in New Zealand.
Why was it so important for the success of the All Blacks to keep them here?
Because the other NZR masterstroke was central contracting, which meant the All Black coaching staff could not only watch how test candidates were playing, but also get every bit of information they needed on a player's aerobic fitness, strength training and character from the Super Rugby franchises.
Sure that can be a slightly awkward balancing act, and actually toppled into near chaos in the 2007 World Cup season, when 24 of the best All Blacks missed the first two months of Super Rugby.
That almost wrecked the competition for good, and, sorry to bring up a painful memory, didn't help the All Blacks either, as they tumbled out of the competition in the quarter-finals.
On the other hand, the benefits now far outweigh the downsides.
As All Black assistant coach Ian Foster said a fortnight ago - Chiefs coach Colin Cooper had mentioned to the national selectors the promise he saw in raw prop Karl Tu'inukuafe before the 2018 season had even begun.
Do we really think for one second that a coach in Dublin, Toulon or Tsukuba would have rung up Foster, or Steve Hansen, and said, "Mate, we've got this big guy here. He's not very fit but, boy, can he scrum! Would you like me to send a video so you can have a look?"
As for established All Blacks, why would an overseas club paying someone a fortune be keen to have that player peak, not for a French championship, but for the All Black test season during the northern hemisphere summer, or for a World Cup at the start of the club season in Europe?
Almost 20 years ago Robbie Deans, then coaching the Crusaders, in a discussion we were having about professionalism, was unequivocal about offshore All Blacks, "If we want to wreck the game here, start picking All Blacks who aren't living in New Zealand."
The task of keeping the best and brightest here gets harder every year. But in the two decades since that conversation, I've never had a moment when I thought Deans was wrong.