There were tired attempts yesterday to boil up some outrage about a new video promotion for the Rugby World Cup 2015. All Blacks snubbed in World Cup advert was typical.
Really? I mean, really?
The video is called Team Talk, features Charles Dance (who is apparently an actor in a popular television show) and is meant to promote ticket sales to the locals on the theme “Too Big To Miss”. Not surprisingly, therefore, it also includes some actual rugby people that might appeal to said locals, such as Dylan Hartley, Joe Launchbury, George North and Alun Wyn Jones, Martin Johnson, Scott Quinnell, Lawrence Dallaglio, Serge Betsen and Sir Ian McGeechan.
The organisers of the tournament have a mountain to climb to meet, let alone exceed, the on the ground experience of the 2011 Cup. Ours was a very big deal in a small country, whereas they’re a big place where rugby is not the biggest game in town. I would have thought that using the All Blacks to promote the tournament would have scared people into their shells, rather than got them excited.
And do we really want to look like a bunch of super-sensitive popinjays over something so trivial? Our target is winning back to back Cups, and a key part of that is to have big helpings of humility for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The Pongo media is going to be ravenous for any evidence of kiwi arrogance or complacency: let’s not give it to them on a plate.
Assistant Coach Ian Foster got the official response to this nonsense bang on:
I’m pretty sure that we have qualified for the World Cup so we’ll probably be there.
For the record, here’s the video itself.