A policy change in rugby rules might harm the All Blacks. For instance, Beauden Barrett could be easily lured to other countries by being offered big money if the eligibility rules change. The decision that is coming as a disadvantage to the All Blacks team is the decision to provide the status of All Blacks to other national teams as well. This would inflict much damage to the great sporting brand that All Blacks has obtained of late.

The next change that the Rugby Union of New Zealand is planning on is to change the stance that they had on eligibility criteria. They would pick players who are based offshore. However, this decision would also harm the brand and advantage that the All Blacks enjoy. The brand hauls in about $250 million in a year and that would be halved or even more. Hence, in a time tenure of 10 to 15 years other country teams like Argentina, Georgia and Scotland would have equal or more brand value than the All Blacks.

The policy change would be bad and unforgivably so. The consequences would also be catastrophic for New Zealand rugby. At the moment the New Zealand Rugby association has much power as the selection committee of All Blacks who determine whether they can come in and pick up players from the team. NZR, in case it changes its stance on the eligibility criteria, they would be showing a white flag and letting the European clubs know that the exclusivity of the All Blacks brand is being sacrificed.

Success of the All Blacks is mainly because of the restrictive selection policy it has followed, which has made them mysterious and unique. The brand’s power and prestige for 100 years has been built on this but a change in the selection policy is bound to come and it remains to be seen how NZR tackles it.