Yet, years later, 16 years later, do our Super teams in NZ really reflect or draw from the areas they supposedly represent? A few months back, a twitter post by Sam (@Scorz_) about his perception that maybe the 2012 Chiefs could be doing more for the provincial unions in their zone got me thinking too.
We all know the Crusaders pull heavily from Canterbury, and Auckland have so many players they should really win the bloody thing every season ... but what about the others: the poached Chiefs, the struggling Highlanders, the non-performing Hurricanes. Where do these kids come from each year?
So, that's what I have got here. A graphic that shows what percentage of the squads’ players come from within ‘the Zone’ versus that which does not. Then the squad is listed in order of its composition, based on NZ provincial unions (and a few dodgy imports ... I’m looking at you, Haskell!)
Why the hell are there no Manawatu players at the Hurricanes? Have they just followed Dave Rennie to the Chiefs? Hell, all four Whitelocks are from Feilding FFS, yet they left for Canterbury the day school broke up. Even the best Hawke’s Bay players – Guildford and Dagg – left the Hurricanes zone muy rapido.
What's going on? Is it politics? Is it economics. Is it All Black jerseys? Is this just a Kiwi problem? We’d would love to hear from any South African fans on how players move about the Republic between Currie Cup and Super.
All feedback welcome. Once again, Ferdy and I are putting this out for discussion rather than stating any conclusions.