Simon Kelner

Simon Kelner sports editor of the Independent on Sunday, is at work on a book about the proletarian past and Murdochised future of Rugby League.

Diary: Murdoch strikes again

Simon Kelner, 6 July 1995

On a rugby tour of New Zealand some years ago, a friend of mine returned to his hotel room in Auckland to find two chambermaids making his bed. From the bathroom, he could overhear their conversation. There was none of the customary exchange of minutiae, no talk of boyfriends, pop music or soap operas. Instead, they were engaged in an animated discussion about the relative merits of the two scrum-halves vying for a place in the All Blacks side. One had a better pass, but the other was more mobile. It was a tough call, they agreed, before fluffing the pillows and departing, leaving no doubt that this was a country where the game was somewhat more than a game.

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