I think it's a fair representation of the situation.
Look at what was said when Marco Mama moved to Worcester, or even this season when Eadie and JFR opted for Saints for next season.
Luatua is a talent, and rightly so those in NZ that recognise it are disappointed he is going abroad.
However he seems a man of principle, and an unselfish man, so I hope that a season in the Championship doesn't ruin him, and that we can get back to the Premiership, and he can build his talent.
Offers in sport are never once in a lifetime? And say he then suffers a career ending injury in his first game for us or his last one in NZ. That's what I call a once in a lifetime offer. Sporting careers can be cut short through injury at the drop of a hat so does he take half a million now or hope that he's still on the international radar in a couple of years time in order to get more then? Tough choice, but I'd take the money now and gamble on Bristol going straight back up and then staying in the AP (or having another AP side pick me up on similar money). Seems the sensible option to me.
The question they should be asking is whether there isn't something a bit wrong with NZ rugby when average European club teams can offer so much more.
Asking people to earn significantly less than their worth for an indeterminate length of time in return for having the chance of playing for the ABs at some point in the future isn't going to be attractive to everyone.
You could also question whether (world cup, 6 nations and lions tours aside) international rugby is all that. The rugby championship, November internationals and summer tours, rarely sell out now. You get an occasional memorable game, like in Chicago, but the majority are forgotten as soon as they are over.
The reality is that, in he professional game, the priorities have changed...as much people may not like it.
Club rugby is their job, as simple as that.....and just as with jobs in IT, property, sales, etc, people will take the job that provides them the best balance of fulfillment and financial security. It's what pays the mortgage, puts food in the kid's mouths, and puts money in the retirement fund. While it does come with financial compensation, International rugby is effectively a hobby for players, to satisfy their own personal ambitions.
People need to stop viewing player decisions through their own lens, which is that of fans who have limited financial stake in the game, and instead view it through the lens of their own careers and aspirations
The Championship is no place for a player of Luatua's quality but provided Irish go up, and Bristol start the season well, there is no reason for it to slow down the guy's development or blunt his edge. Here's a suggestion which some people won't like, but IMO it makes perfect sense for both the club and the player:
- As the super rugby season ends in early August, Bristol will probably delay Luatua's debut until October in the interests of player welfare.
- Luatua plays for Bristol from October - Jan, giving him an opportunity to gel with the squad and contribute to the season.
- He can then spend 6-8 weeks on loan with a Premiership club during the six nations. Teams would queue up for the deal, especially Sarries and Saints who will lose world class number 8s.
- He returns to Bristol in late March, every inch the player he would have been if he remained in NZ and with experience of Premiership Rugby.
Timothy you previously mention the idea about loaning Luatua to a Prem. team on another thread, are you representing another club? Why on earth would we wish to let one of our best players go before they even arrive here. A loan of this type could well lead to a permanent move, are you thinking of Bath by any chance? Pat Lam could be one of the reasons why Luatua is coming here and then we immediately give him the impression he is not really required/welcombed.
I agree with a number of others who post on here and feel we should be playing our best team when ever possible, anything less will mean yet again we will not be ready for the Prem. should promotion be achieved! Quality should never disappear from true star players if they have real ability and especially when they are younger.
I think the premiership is quite a step up from the championship, if we are not in a dogfight to win the championship league then it would make sense to loan players out during the six nations to get them used to the increase in intensity, I'm still wincing from those first few games (quins aside)
Toby, I'm talking about a month during the six nations. In my opinion, so long as we are not involved in a fight for promotion, there is virtually no benefit from taking the risk of spoiling Luatua with a fully season in the championship. Also, Super Rugby is very different to the Premiership, and if Luatua can gain experience of the league before September 2018, I think this is entirely to our benefit.
I'd suggested loaning some of our stars player to the Prem a while ago, certainly something we should offer Woody in an attempt to keep him. Anybody who saw us over the previous 7 years has seen how many star/Prem/Pro12 signings quickly adapted/dropped to the lower standards of the Champ and struggled to get back up to the level when required. Very few have made the step back successfully. If managed correctly it would also allows us to developed some of the youngsters, the fly half position next season is a casing point where we have two fantastic prospects (both now proved at Prem or Champ) with a big money signing who when signed wasn't getting much game time in France blocking their way.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.
We record all IP addresses on the Sportnetwork message boards which may be required by the authorities in case of defamatory or abusive comment.
We seek to monitor the Message Boards at regular intervals.
We do not associate Sportnetwork with any of the comments and do not take responsibility for any statements or opinions expressed on the Message Boards.
If you have any cause for concern over any material posted here please let us know as soon as possible by e-mailing