At the risk of sounding like the previous author of this column allow me to pose the following question. Autumn internationals. Why?
From a competitive point of view they serve very little discernible purpose, they lack relevance for supporters and, organisationally, three mid-November fixtures play merry hell with the structure of the domestic season.
It's a point Mike Blair, The Post's last rugby correspondent, has, for many years, made with great eloquence and one that, given my experience in recent days, necessitates restatement.
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I attended two matches over the weekend, Worcester's defeat at Sale on Friday night and Pertemps Bees' morale-sapping loss at home to Rotherham and both were compromised by the Rugby Football Union's insistence on dragging tens of thousands of walking wallets to an ill-suited corner of south-west London.
The absence of Pat Sanderson, away with England, and Chris Horsman, making his first start for Wales, meant John Brain's side was fatally emasculated without its two best players.
Worcester have made massive strides in the last 14 months but their squad, perhaps no squad, is deep enough to survive the withdrawal of the best openside and the No 1 tighthead operating in the top flight.
The director of rugby refused to use it as an excuse - he can't be heard doubting his replacements - but that doesn't mean it's not a valid point.
Sale were weakened too, he said. Indeed they were - with four players on England duty, probably even more so - but that argument misses the wider point.
Why is it acceptable for the world's best domestic competition to be shorn of its biggest names for a month? The Guinness Premiership is undoubtedly a poorer product for their absence. It is a classic case of the RFU selling something they don't own.
The impact on National One was much different but even more profound. Bees didn't lose their players, instead they were asked to sacrifice vital paying spectators on Twickenham's avaricious altar.
Those who didn't go to the England- Australia game would have looked at the options - a comfy afternoon availing themselves of Sky TV's hospitality or a 12.30pm start for one of the least attractive fixtures on the calendar.
Sharmans Cross Road is not the most populous of places at the best of times, but when the club decided to bring forward the kick-off by two hours against a team with a 90-mile journey to negotiate, they succeeded in making the Marie Celeste look like happy hour in Grafton Street.
We have all got degrees in hindsight, as Phil Maynard would say.
I accept that Bees had to do something; international weekends are always difficult, particularly for a club who can ill afford to send a contingent of members to watch England, but they were put in an invidious position.
And no doubt across the country there were clubs who failed to put out a third team because of a sweeping epidemic of Red Rose Fever - a nasty affliction that turns even the most active sportsman into a sloth-like cabbage.
So when the RFU proudly trumpet the fact that since England won the World Cup 50,000 more people are playing the sport, as they did last week, they do so with complete ignorance of the irony that their penchant for meaningless and untimely friendlies is actually preventing people from turning out in a variety of capacities for the clubs that need them more.