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For even the most avid rugby fan, there must be two sporting stories this week which have overtaken our favourite code.

The Shane Warne memorial service at the MCG must surely rank as the finest choreographed production of its kind in a long, long time.

So much could be said about the music and the speeches; but one sentiment expressed by two of the children summed up the kind of person who was the real Shane Warne.

I knew Shane well. We talked a lot.

He was always more than the media portrayed him to be.

Two of the children said that their father always told them that courtesy was free. Always say please and thank you.

That, surely, should be a text for a nation.

The other story is that Tiger Woods has until the end of this week to indicate whether he will play in the Masters at Augusta next week.

He has said he will attend the Champions’ dinner next Tuesday, but will he play two days later? For the great Tiger Woods, anything is possible.

As one of his friends said, “There is something in his DNA that is different from everyone else.”

What a sporting frenzy awaits us if the 46-year-old makes another comeback after 17 months out of competetive golf.

But to rugby , last weekend’s Queensland Reds verse NSW Waratahs, in Brisbane, was compelling viewing.

There he was again, Taniela Tupou.

To win a scrum penalty for his team whilst the Reds’ forward pack were a man down was absolutely phenomenal.

The game was ruined by the flurry of yellow and red cards fished out by the referee, Nic Berry.

Indeed, at one stage, the Reds played with 13 men.

Yet, even then, the Reds could not score.

But surely our game should adopt the “on report” system used by the NRL and AFL.

The Waratahs must be concerned about their attack.

The big clash this weekend will be the Reds hosting the Brumbies in the return fixture.

You will remember Queensland had a wonderful opportunity to turn the Brumbies over in Canberra, just two weeks ago.

On that occasion, Queensland were without their young “pocket-rocket” halfback, Tate McDermott.

I don’t think your money is at risk if you back Queensland at home in this contest which sees both teams at the top of the Super Rugby table.

Let’s get fair dinkum here.

There are two reasons why our best two provincial teams lead the Super Rugby Pacific table.

First, we play more games than the Kiwi teams because they had some fixtures rescheduled due to the pandemic; and, secondly, the Australian-based teams have not yet to played a New Zealand side.

The Super Rugby Pacific competition favours the top Australian teams because they only play the New Zealand teams once, yet they play their weaker Australian opponents twice.

Simply, the structure of the Super Rugby Pacific, as it stands, is rigged in favour of Queensland and the Brumbies.

I can only assume the intention is to ensure that Australian teams feature in the play-offs.

That might be great for the broadcasters of Australian rugby but it is not a fair competition.

Australian rugby should leave Super Rugby and develop its own competition.

Clearly the game’s administrators are afraid to take on the NRL and the AFL.

How can we grow our game, in this country, unless we do just that.

And, I might add, make it easier for fans to see the games.

Or do we want to remain a niche sport forever?

An interesting development on the Rugby World Cup.

There was some strange reporting that, on Budget night, the Australian Government came to the table to back Rugby Australia’s World Cup bid.

That, I have to say, is a bit of a stretch. There were no figures given.

One report said “It is understood the figure is in the vicinity of $150 million.”

World Rugby is set to vote on the bid winner in May this year.

As is widely known, we have been named the “preferred candidate” to host the World Cup in 2027.

We are not home and hosed.

World Rugby is seeking a guarantee of $300 million and Rugby Australia, Budget or no Budget, have not been able to ensure that.

There is no doubt that the Federal Government is Rugby Australia’s only hope of securing the funds to keep World Rugby happy.

Without the $300 million, World Rugby may vote to give the 2027 World Cup to someone else.

Will the Federal Government commit $300 million to secure Rugby Australia’s bid?

Which Government, in this climate, is prepared to say they will donate $300 million to World Rugby?

The Federal Government’s commitment is to “operational support”.

That will mean nothing to World Rugby.

Our World Cup bid will be decided by money. We knew that going into the race.

The simple truth is this.

World Rugby will vote for the bid that guarantees the financial demands of World Rugby.