The Otago Rugby Union have declared themselves bankrupt and withdrawn from the ITM Cup in an attempt to never let the Ranfurly Shield leave the province again. Coach Tony Brown made the announcement at this morning’s training run where, instead of training, the players set about burning couches and drinking copious amounts of their sponsor’s product, Speights.
“We can’t believe nobody has ever thought of this before,” Tony Brown said to assembled reporters. “If we’re not in the ITM Cup and we’re the current holders of the Shield, and you have to challenge the current holders to win it, then the Shield will be Otago’s forever.” Tony Brown then proceeded to make the evil pyramid of contemplation with his hands.
The New Zealand Rugby Union convened crisis talks on hearing the news with President John Sturgeon telling reporters before going into the meeting that, “It sounds like Otago may have found an unanticipated loophole and we won’t be seeing the Shield again.”
Social media has been abuzz of speculation as to what the NZRU may replace the Ranfurly Shield with should Otago’s plan to keep the Shield forever pay off. User @GoldieWilson73 suggested that teams play for a lock of Jeff Wilson’s hair, while the Wellington Rugby Football Union advocated a trophy that only Wellington could win, “seeing as we can’t seem to win anything else.”