By pure guess work I pondered nearly two months ago that Carl Hayman might think about returning home to New Zealand after Northern Rock – the bank that sponsors his UK club Newscastle – had to be bailed out by the UK government during these last few turbulent months of the credit crisis. Now it looks like my speculation might actually turn into reality.
Although Hayman’s return isn’t confirmed – the speculative news gets unbelievably better for rugby supporters in Taranaki. It looks like the big man might be planning on signing up with his home province and returning back to Taranaki – with a super 14 contract extended to the Hurricanes.
Great news indeed, although it’s all still up in the air at the moment so we can’t completely count our chickens. Unlike Richard Reid - Otago chief poobah - who was quoted as saying on Hayman’s possible return to Taranaki:
"I don't think it is accurate, Carl may be interested in returning to New Zealand but I think it is drawing a long bow to say that he would settle in a place like New Plymouth." Erm note to Richard – sometimes blood turns out to be thicker than water. We’ll just see eh?
Meanwhile up North, apparently Hayman has not exactly had the most successful time of it. Plagued by injury and not with the same calibre of players and coaches that surrounded him in the back shirt; it would be easy to understand why his form has probably dipped.
However, a quick skim of the BBC message boards and you would think that the strength of the Northern hemisphere forward packs have been too much for him. Here’s a delightful little quote from ‘Jagdiver’ who writes of Hayman’s ability:
“I've never seen him do anything special - best TH in the world - cobblers!! Done nothing for Falcons but trouser his pay. Hopefully the first of many overpaid under abilitied (sic) foreigners to clear off and allow some of the excellent British & Irish players in the lower leagues to step up.”
It seems people of Jagdiver’s ilk have short term memories indeed. Wasn’t it only a couple of weeks ago that the English rugby team got beaten soundly, again, by all top three sides in the Southern Hemisphere?
Two weeks fly by and all of sudden everyone up north gets a case of amnesia and starts hammering on again about how they’re just so superior in strength, forward play and not to mention – an oh so superior club competition. Same story – different year. Yawn.
And sorry – but the real greed? It’s not players like Hayman. Of course you’re going to take the money if it’s offered to you. You’d be a fool not too! The real greed comes from the European clubs that are not only killing the game at national level for their own countries, but also managing to make it grossly unfair when they drain players from countries that don’t have the financial prowess to keep up with them.
Could it be that this global credit crisis might actually do the world of rugby some good in the long run? I hope so.