Imagine telling one of the elite players of the NFL that after the season was concluded, he would fight for the right to put on a red, white and blue uniform and play rep gridiron agasint a team from Canada.
When that player was done laughing, he would advise the messenger of where to find a sufficiently dark place to stick the proposal.
A strained analogy perhaps, as gridiron football has zero appeal outside of North America.
A better example might be the recent FIBA World Cup Basketball tournament in China, where NBA stars were dropping out like flies on a pesticide stick.
The list of NBAS players who told their respective representative teams to do as best as possible without them was a long one.
Rugby is a different animal entirely. Players want nothing other than to don the kits of their countries and wave the flags.
So, you have one player claiming to be from Australia playing a teammate who claims to be from another country. Failure to make the national team for international competition is viewed as a disgrace.
While the Canterbury Bulldogs were outsiders to win the Telstra 2020 NRL Premiership competition, they are farther outside now that they know that they will in all probability be without Kieran Foran for the next 12 months.
Foran was injured playing rep footyagasint England for New Zealand. He required surgery on his shoulder that entailed reconstruction. During that procedure, further damage was discovered.
According to Canterbury’s statement, “Kieran Foran yesterday underwent re-constructive surgery on his injured shoulder. The surgery revealed that there was new and additional damage to the shoulder that will require Kieran to undergo further surgery later this month.”
The NRL will probably grant Canterbury some salary cap relief, but the maximum for that relief has a cap of its own, $350,000.
Given that Foran’s salary with the Dogs was in the $1 million per season range, finding a replacement is going to supply an unwanted challenge.
Admittedly, though, Foran sure looked good in that black jersey.