The ITM Cup is a great competition, but in 2015 it will clash with the Rugby World Cup 2015 in September in England. Is there space in a congested rugby calendar for fans to follow both rugby competitions?
The Rugby World Cup tends to dominate the media coverage and there is plenty of hype surrounding such a massive global event, I wonder if it is worth the ITM Cup taking a break. Surely fans will be too busy following the progress of the All Blacks to have enough time to follow their ITM Cup team, right? The other problem is that while All Blacks usually don't play in the ITM Cup any more, there are some quality players from ITM Cup teams who will be at the Rugby World Cup for overseas teams like Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and potentially even Japan instead of playing in the ITM Cup. This will weaken an already diluted competition!
While the other side of the coin suggests that we should continue to have ITM Cups in the same year as Rugby World Cups. Only a handful of All Blacks ever play in the ITM Cup and that is mainly if they are returning from injury or are squad members needing to stretch their legs. The All Blacks only play once a week anyway and with the time of games in England, New Zealand rugby fans will at least have matches to watch during normal hours. There won't be any time clashes either! The fanatics need something to cheer about and the more games of rugby, the better! It would also give over 300 players the opportunity to push for Super Rugby contracts in 2016.
Should the ITM Cup take a break for the Rugby World Cup?