In Australia, the annual State of Origin is a very big deal. Though it only deals with players from NSW and Queensland, it nevertheless divides the country into two camps out loud folks and probably does more to raise the profile of Rugby League in non-Rugby states than anything else.
Perhaps Rugby Union could learn from this. How bout an international series, played annually, called Sphere of Origin? Players born in the Northern hemisphere versus those in the Southern?
OK, so it might be a bit unfair that South Africa, Australia and New Zealand fall into the latter camp, but the Northern Hemisphere does get the use of the whole of European Rugby to choose from.
It could raise Rugby’s profile all over the world.