Gareth Thomas makes an important step forward

So, Gareth Thomas is gay.

There's nothing wrong with that in my book.

Best of lucks to Gareth Thomas, because being gay and an important name in sport don't often get along very well.

New format for NPC: can it fool anyone?

Now, it seems the Air New Zealand Cup is going to have Canterbury, Wellington, Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Auckland, Otago and Southland in the "Premiership" and Manawatu, Counties Manukau, Tasman, North Harbour, Taranaki, Bay of Plenty and Northland in the "Championship".


Who's going to win the championship?
Who's going to have the Log'o Wood?
Who's going to have the crowds?
Who's going to be cut down when the money runs out?

Yeah, sure, keep thinking the NPC is still a 14-team competition.

The season is over

December is come and with December, the usual Barbarians games against a southern nation announces the end of the rugby season.

While northerners have just started the new campaign and are positioning themselves in the Top 14, Magners, Guinnes Premiership and Heineken Cup, the south takes a deep breath.

This season has shown the might of the South Africans. Forget about stupid arguments, this is not about who's the best, this is about strengths. South Africa have shown theirs and these and not any others you should expect from them in New Zealand in 2011.

The rest of the nations are more or less underdone, with the possible exceptions of Wales and Ireland. Wales, Ireland and South Africa are the closest ones to the final product, while England, France, Argentina, Australia and New Zealand are still looking for it.

If you think you know which situation is better, I will warn you, in 2006 the Springboks were put to the sword by the Wallabies by a record 49-0.

Fear the Wallabies, bet for a very strong kiwi side, expect the unexpectable from the French and be warned about the English, they will play better in two years time. About the Argentinians, I don' t really know.