Shock, horror! Pingvin players refuse to play against Denmark on 23 September as it is six days before the first Swedish Championship final.
A few comments:
1.I think it is up to Pingvin to decide what they want to do. They had a bit of a battering against Exiles a couple of weeks ago, another tough game against Enköping last week and a second semi against Enköping tomorrow. They have beaten Enköping only narrowly three times this season and will probably need a break before the finals. Then of course it is presumptious of them to assume automatically that they will get to the finals, as Kjellis has pointed out. If Enköping win by more than nine points, by no means impossible, then Pingvin´s finals worries will be over.
2.Sweden´s international dates are decided at the RE annual meeting early in July, in essence by the chairperson of the SRF. She has of course little interest in Men´s rugby and has year after year arranged internationals at completely unsuitable times both with respect to the finals and to the Swedish season. To be fair, this year is by no means her worst choices.
3.It is ten weeks since the dates of these internationals were known. To my knowledge it is only now that players have been contacted with respect to a training camp and possible selection. Nothing was done for two months, which of course reflects the interest and competence of the SRF.
4.The question of money always rears its ugly head. It seems clear that the SRF is not prepared to provide money for training camps for men´s international training camps. Very few are therefore held and this is one of the reasons Sweden has lost 19 of its last 20 internationals. Players have said no to playing for the Swedish XV for a number of reasons, but this is obviously one of them. For obvious reasons, the SRF is extremely secretive about its finances. This of course increases opportunities for manipulation. They have over 4 million SEK each year to administer Swedish rugby. Where this money goes is a mystery. Only 95 league games are played each year and when it comes to youth activities there are almost no activities for U16 or U18 without scraping together district teams.
5.Pasi Niemelä is responsible for Landslag (National teams) in the SRF. In some respects he has done a good job. Could Pasi let us know how much money has been assigned to this training camp and how much has to be contributed by participants and others? Failure to do so on the SRF website will be a sign that he accepts the secretive manipulations of you-know-who.