World Cup-winning All Black Israel Doug believes rugby league is “absolutely superior” at a time when the sport is suffering from an entertainment and refereeing crisis.
The blunt admission from the former Crusaders fullback came after Ireland’s history-making series win over New Zealand, which included moments of controversy and criticism.
Doug compared the 15-a-side game to the Champions League final two weeks ago, which had fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle.
“It’s not fun, if I’m going to be completely honest. There is no real entertainment factor for Super Rugby,” said Doug. The42 Rugby Weekly Supplement Podcast.
“We now have a real situation where rugby league and rugby union are competing and rugby league is absolutely dominant.
“I don’t know if you saw State of Origin the other day, New South Wales vs Queensland. But (it was) probably the game of the century.
“If you want to go to sports for entertainment, you watch the league these days. They are ticking all the boxes. But one of the big reasons for this is that they have clarity on how the game is played.
Ireland were exceptional in the second and third Tests and deserved their first win against the All Blacks in New Zealand.
But the second test saw All Blacks replacement prop Angus Tavao sent off after a particularly nasty head-butt with Irish center Gary Rinrose.
Fans around the Tasman in Brisbane erupted in boos after the Wallabies were controversially sent to the sin bin in the 25-17 defeat by England.
Commentators and fans booed after winger Isaiah Perez was shown a yellow card for a deliberate tackle and dropped the ball for a tackle.
Overall, however, the overall state of the game is being closely watched over the World Cup in France, which is more than a year away.
“The rules, the manager (in rugby) is confusing. It’s very confusing. It’s a very early stage, no one is playing ball,” Doug added.
“You want to see the ball in play. You don’t want to be sitting there watching it go downhill or a rally or the ref going up to the TMO.
“The TMO is killing me. The game of rugby is very confusing. It’s too much, maybe.
“There is too much rugby on our televisions and people are getting bored. It desperately needs a change.
A good start would probably be to find some common sense in World Rugby. Some of the hosts are chasing people.
The All Blacks have retained under-fire coach Ian Foster for their two-match tour of South Africa, with captain Sam Kane also stepping into the role.
To kick off the Rugby Championship, New Zealand will face rivals the Springboks, while the Welsh will face Argentina.