The thing that looks "weird" to me is that, at least on paper, RSA/AUS/NZ have to play against what is technically a combined team of the NH's very best (minus France, sure). Why not face the SH equivalent then. From an audience point of view, it's hard to sell a game like Lions vs Australia if Australia lost the last 6 games to England, Wales, and Ireland (say 2 each in the 2 previous years to the Lions tour). The issue i have with the barbarians idea is that those are not games where all players take it 100%. There are exceptions (baba's vs Argentina come to mind) but those are games where you take chances, try weird stuff, etc. If the SH were to take this seriously i'd like to watch that Lions vs SH game. Take Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and even Arg from the equation to level up for France. Make it the best of 3, no silly games prior or in between. I'm not talking about replacing the tour. Just pick a non wc and non lions tour year and schedule around it. Although if that were the case it'd make more sense to take France, Samoa, Fiji, Tonga and Arg in instead of excluding them. Won't make much difference tho. Basically you give two coaches the freedom to pick whatever team they want from half the planet and then face each other.