Kellock wary of Six Nations US move

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Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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World rugby chiefs must not abandon “history and tradition” in favour of staging Six Nations matches in the USA, according to former Scotland captain Alastair Kellock.

Glasgow lock Kellock captained the Barbarians to a thrilling 40-36 Twickenham defeat to Australia on Saturday, showing his Test class despite being overlooked for Scotland’s autumn campaign.

International Rugby Board chief executive Brett Gosper said he would welcome Six Nations action being staged in America, following the sell-out Chicago clash between New Zealand and the USA.

After upholding long-standing rugby values as the Barbarians pushed Australia to the limit in London, Kellock warned against the sport making too many changes too soon owing to its growing financial benefits.

“The game is changing; it’s becoming more commercial, which is a good thing,” Kellock told Press Association Sport.

“It’s getting more viewers in from all over the world.

“The history and the tradition of playing Six Nations matches at the Millennium Stadium or playing at Murrayfield, to give just two examples, is also very strong.

“So whatever happens I’m lucky enough not to have to make those decisions!

“But we need to remember the history and tradition of our game, and that’s what we showed at the weekend against Australia.

“I believe you’ve got to wait and see how the game with the All Blacks goes over there, the pick-up and the noise after it.

“And then it’s important to drip-feed it.

“Let’s not try and run and talk about Six Nations games over there until we’ve taken a few steps forward and talked about some more exhibition and friendly matches.”

New Zealand dispatched the USA 74-6 at Chicago’s Soldier Field on Saturday, the All Blacks stopping off en route to their northern hemisphere tour.

The Kiwis took on the Eagles in America for the first time since 1980, underlining rugby’s growth in the US, leading IRB boss Gosper to call for Six Nations chiefs to consider staging a match stateside.

“I know Premiership Rugby are talking about bringing some big club games to the States and why not some internationals like the Six Nations?” Gosper told the Daily Telegraph.

“If that fits in with the Six Nations’ vision of their tournament that would be certainly interesting from a developmental point of view in the United States.

“It is up to the Six Nations as to where they want to play their games but again I think that would be a terrific thing for the game.”

Kellock, meanwhile, hailed the All Blacks for helping the global game’s growth, but reiterated his desire for caution on radical changes to tradition.

“It’s brilliant the All Blacks went to America,” said Kellock.

“You want this great game to be seen by as many people as possible.

“If we can take the game to places where it’s not strong, and grow it, that’s brilliant.

“But we still can’t get ahead of ourselves with any of this.”

Scotland’s first Barbarians captain for 21 years said he was proud head coach John Kirwan’s side did not fold under extreme Australia pressure on Saturday.

“I thought Australia were outstanding from 45 to 65 minutes,” he said.

“They claimed an 18-point lead but we whittled it back down to four and were in control at the end.

“Even though we lost we were over the moon with the performance and the attitude shown.

“To be asked to play was a huge honour, but to lead the team out was extremely special.”

Published: Sunday 2nd November 2014 by The News Editor

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