The inter-school rugby season is in full swing back in the land of the lions. Unlike in previous years, this time we get to watch all the matches live as they happen thanks to Yes, in the past we had a similar website – – but while Papare continues to broadcast only selected matches, theScore is broadcasting all of the div1 matches and does a much better job overall.

All right, that’s a sufficiently long plug. Now, to the point of this article. During, before and after the matches, a comment that is brought up too often is that a particular school consists of a ‘combined schools’ outfit. This ‘combined schools’ comment is bugging me a bit. No, it’s actually bugging me a lot – well at least enough for me to blog about it. Comments such as ‘playing with foreign (or imported) players’, ‘team members cannot even sing school song’, ‘Colombo united’ etc all stem from the fact that there are players in some teams who used to go to other schools. For some reason or other they have opted to switch schools and so now play for a different team. I for one think that such comments are lame – very lame. Why? I’ll tell (write ) you why…

First of all, players (schoolboys) should be allowed to go to whichever school they want to. Sometimes kids want to switch schools ‘cos their current school doesn’t offer some subject combinations for Advanced Level. Sometimes they want to switch ‘cos they want to play for a better team. Regardless of the reason switching should be allowed and the fans should just deal with it. It allows better players to practise more at a level that fits them. I mean come on, you don’t think that Daniel Carter would have gotten to where he is if he played for a team like Mid Canterbury?

The other and maybe more important point is that even if you select the 15 best rugby players out there and put them on the same team, it doesn’t mean they are going to win. The consistency with which the Baa-baas get beaten is testament enough.

We all like to see the our school succeed, but it’s important to take a step back and see the big picture. So, please get over it and away with the lame excuses.