In the second part of our series looking at the state of rugby in New Zealand, Scotty Stevenson and a panel of insiders look to the future of the sport, and ask what can be done to make that future more secure.
Find the other episodes in the series here.
Rugby used to be a simple game. Then it turned professional, and as we all know, money changes everything. To the uninitiated, it sometimes feels like you need a double degree in business studies and advanced geopolitics just to follow the conversation about the world rugby landscape and the influence New Zealand holds in it these days.
That’s not the case here. The second instalment of Rugby Unwrapped offers an illuminating and wide-ranging discussion that looks to the future of the game and asks how New Zealand can thrive in it. In this episode, host Scotty Stevenson is joined by a trio of rugby insiders: Halo Sport CEO Simon Porter, NZR board member and representative to World Rugby’s executive committee Bart Campbell, and former Black Fern and current TVNZ general manager for sport and events Melodie Robinson.
Through a crystal ball clouded by the uncertainty of Covid-19, the panel discuss the ongoing effectiveness of Sanzaar as a governing body and what it can do to help other Southern Hemisphere rugby nations. They ask what lessons rugby can learn from other codes – from the hype machine of the NRL to the tribal loyalty inspired by the AFL – and other ways clubs can convince people to leave the house for a game-day experience (because face painting, pies and chips no longer cut it). And then there’s the perennial issue of a global calendar to kick around…