I hope you don't find me patronising in any way for saying this, but do you think the level of interest in rugby is a reflection of the way the remnants of the british empire see each other? For instance, Australia and NZ were part of the british empire but are geographically far away and now feel left out. They don't get much attention and their way of getting it is to dominate the other 'British' nations at sport. Ireland, Wales and Scotland are geographically at the centre of things and get lots of attention, but often feel overshadowed by England and ill treated in the colonial past. That's why the bars are packed when the play England but are almost empty when they play the SH nations, despite the latter arguably being the more important games. When the celtic nations play each other it's more like a family get together. England on the other hand used to be a great colonial power which owned all the other countries, but in the last century has seen them all slip away. It wants to beat all the other nations to try to reassert its old colonial might. France had their own empire once and their rivalry with England is just an extension of that. Not quite sure where South Africa fits into all of this... any ideas?