Ask any ageing former athlete how many finals they played in and you will find that many will have never played in one.
It therefore seems strange that Rugby WA would be putting restrictions on players that they have released back to the Pindan Premier league, whose teams were involved in finals rugby last weekend.
Some would say it is understandable that the club would want to hold back its fringe players and keep them fresh for the National Rugby Championship which starts in two weeks time when Perth Spirit host Melbourne Rising.
Currently the squad are training hard for the start of the NRC, but as any coach knows there is no better substitute for games. So why would the Western Force want to restrict players to playing only an hour for their clubs in key end of season games?
Some of the players in question have formed very strong bonds with the clubs they play for in the Pindan Premier League and some feel quite rightly a loyalty to that club, so if they want to play, and are not carrying any sort of injury they should be allowed to play.
Not only does it help raise the standard and the profile of the game at this level by having these players on the park in the semi finals and final, but it also goes some way to mending some bridges between the local competition and the Western Force.
As important as the NRC is to player’s development it is not the be-all-and-end-all. No rugby fans in Perth are going to go into mourning if the Spirit fail to bring home the title. So why not let the players who have had an influence in the tier below continue to exert that influence? That influence could in turn will help make the pool of talent pushing for Spirit selection bigger, and benefit all in the long term.
Sadly too much sport is self-inward looking, and short-term, as key personnel look to protect their positions. If key people lifted their heads and they opened up their view they would see the bigger picture and the opportunities that exist.
This weekend Nedlands will take on Wests Scarborough at McGillivray Oval in the Pindan Premier League final at 3.20pm