To tour or not to tour?
I don't understand tours undertaken by countries any more.
England are going to Australia and New Zealand. Ah, the beauty of being beaten up there after a long season. Ireland are touring Australia and New Zealand too, Wales play South Africa at home and also go to New Zealand, while Scotland are off to Argentina.
As an accountant (yup, passed the exams as a Chartered Accountant and loved the job), my instinct tells me that this is really to do with money.
It allows rugby unions to profit by filling their stadia outside the usual Six or Tri Nations window.
We head for the southern hemisphere so that New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia come and play us in November. We all make money.
The IRB want to bring back the longer tour, the tour with midweek games.
It takes me back to my young days of trekking around New Zealand and South Africa on Lions tours, turning up at pitches with crowds packed around them, the smell of burnt pig wafting across the pitch carried on a light breeze direct from myriad barbecues. Everyone hated you. But it was paradise.
In the era before I played, men left Wales, Ireland, Scotland or England on boat and didn't come back for six months. Some never came back.
But times have changed. As some of you replying to this blog over the weeks have shown, the Heineken Cup and the Premiership are big events. If the ash cloud plays ball travel is more straightforward.
There isn't a battle to see whether a country or a Heineken Cup team, Scotland or Toulouse for example, is a bigger proposition, but you can national coaches wanting to tour their teams and examine combinations for future events when, actually, there might not be a pressing need for it.
I am writing this because I am just back from the Mull Sevens. A host of young blokes and women camped out under the stars, some slept on boats, and they played sevens for a weekend.
I understand that tour. I understand World Cups and I love the Lions.
But summer tours? I need that concept explained to me nowadays.