Is this about rugby or about revenue? How many New Zealanders will travel to Hong Kong to watch the game? How many Australians will travel to Australia to watch the game? Whose interest is it in to play the game there?
The Rugby Union stands to make millions out of this encounter, so from my cynical perspective it’s all about money. And I can’t believe how sports writers in New Zealand have not questioned the decision.
Stuff says it’s “the first time the two teams have played each other at a neutral venue, outside of at Rugby World Cup”. There’s a reason for that – it’s an Australian vs New Zealand game. It’s played in either Australia or New Zealand because we’re all patriotic and like to watch our teams live in person.
The greed of the Rugby Union is remarkable. Season ticket sales at Westpac Stadium in Wellington are way down on what they used to be. I and a lot of my friends have given up on our tickets. Moving one of the most highly awaited games in the sporting year away from its loyal fan base is not going to help matters.