This is a really interesting development whereby Piri Weepu has been sanctioned by the NZRU as part of his pre-world cup training program to participate in pre-season training with the NRL's Newcastle Knights. As you know the All Blacks are being held out of the Super 14 to rest up and in order to maintain fitness levels this is one innovative scheme that has been devised. While I think this sounds emminently sensible and its pretty cool that the NZRU are sufficiently relaxed to let a 2008 NRL prospect train with the code he could switch to it also strikes me as very bizarre. I mean if Weepu needs fitness and rugby training why doesn't he train with a Super 14 franchise? I note the Super 14 season starts on 2 February 2007. The apparent rationalisation is that Weepu will be able to train alongside Joey Johns and thereby grow his ball and kicking skills. There may be something in this but it still seems odd that Johns and Weepu would be singled out to work together. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated - in particular if Nonu or Weepu do go to league in 2008 the Warriors better have their chequebooks out and their salary cap down to zero in anticipation.
Update : The lovefest continues in Newcastle - Joey and Piri are quite taken with each other