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Increase the RWC to 24 teams

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 08:33

Ok, so I tested my revamped qualifying format from a few pages back across all regions. This concept is for a 24 team world cup but can also work for the current 20 team format. This obviously isn't likely to happen but it's a concept I feel solves a lot of issues for qualifying (and yes I understand some nations would not take part in this system, this is just a hypothetical proposal)

The objective was:
1. To simplify the qualifying structure
2. To give teams the chance to play higher ranked teams on a more regular basis
3. To introduce a pyramid system. The higher a team sits in the pyramid the better the odds of qualifying are (would require the 6N to introduce promotion and relegation.)
4. Create a system that can easily adapt for future expansion.

Key Dates (using 2023 as an example)
2020 and 2021 - Home and Away fixtures (no relegation in the first two years)
Jun 2022 - Regional Qualifiers
Nov 2022 - 8 Team Repechage Tournament
Oct/Sep 2023 - World Cup

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby RugbyLiebe » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 10:35

Congrats, great work, trg!

Only problem is, that this doesn't really give us additional t1vs.t2 games (in Europe). But definitely a better system than the one used today.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 11:51

The Nations League will just replace friendlies. It is football's move to solve the problem that people cound't care less for football friendlies in major nations. Noboby wants to see meaningless friendlies (specially young people). At least in Brazil people give a shit for friendlies and even TV doesnt want them more. I bet European TVs dont want to waste money with friendlies too. That is why Nations Cup was born.
Last edited by victorsra on Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 11:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 11:54

RugbyLiebe wrote:Congrats, great work, trg!

Only problem is, that this doesn't really give us additional t1vs.t2 games (in Europe). But definitely a better system than the one used today.


Pyramid system would allow for more T1 v T2 games.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 11:57

Trg, when? That is the next challenge. When T1s play in this system and what is needed for that.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 12:01

victorsra wrote:Trg, when? That is the next challenge. When T1s play in this system and what is needed for that.


Dates would have to be figured out for each region. Ideally you'd want each regions games to be held over the same weekend for all nations, however for somewhere like Europe where the climate varies so much there may have to be other arrangements.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Sat, 03 Mar 2018, 12:05

That is not the issue. The issue are the major club leagues. They pay players and wont released them easily for more matches. Oceania depend on Euope for exemple because of the PIs diaspora.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 04 Mar 2018, 03:09

It's something World Rugby would have to enforce. There needs to be some a level playing field for all teams.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Sun, 04 Mar 2018, 16:35

RugbyLiebe wrote:Does anybody know a b-world-cup which is accepted or really of interest in any sport? End of the discussion.

Nobody needs games against other t2 or t3 games this already happening. What's needed is regular games against t1. This is the only reason the gap isn't closed. And as long as this problem isn't solved, the "high enough standard" whatever this means, will never be reached. Other excuses will be found.

The UEFA league of nations is the biggest single bullshit ever thought about in soccer. And it won't last long and hopefully it will lose them a lot of supporters.


So having 3-5 matches against similarly ranked teams would be useless? How many games a year do the countries in this list get against other countries? Sure, the Europeans get the REC and the South Americans get the ARC but a competition against similarly ranked countries would be good for them -- and the opportunity to win one does wonders. You think being able to say that the US is back to back ARC champs doesn't do anything for them? All of the teams are ranked below them except Argentina XV (which would probably be slightly above them in rankings if they were ranked) and we are very happy we won. If any team won this it would likely be the first real rugby competition they've won and that's something that helps build the game back home.

So if we're looking at expanding the RWC to 24 teams, do you really think the extra 1 or 2 matches against Tier 1 countries every 4 years is regular? If the issue is playing every year against a Tier 1 (or Tier 2, if it's a good one) then this has nothing to do with the RWC or developing nations RWC which I proposed.

BTW, the likely teams for a DRWC (it's a shit name, whatever) would be Romania/Samoa (assuming Spain is in), Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. Even though Romania/Samoa would ver likely dominate this time around it will still be an entertaining tournament with representation across the globe. You'd also imagine that the rankings would be more accurate around 20-30 since some of these teams never play against each other.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 08:02

Tobar wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:Does anybody know a b-world-cup which is accepted or really of interest in any sport? End of the discussion.

Nobody needs games against other t2 or t3 games this already happening. What's needed is regular games against t1. This is the only reason the gap isn't closed. And as long as this problem isn't solved, the "high enough standard" whatever this means, will never be reached. Other excuses will be found.

The UEFA league of nations is the biggest single bullshit ever thought about in soccer. And it won't last long and hopefully it will lose them a lot of supporters.


So having 3-5 matches against similarly ranked teams would be useless? How many games a year do the countries in this list get against other countries? Sure, the Europeans get the REC and the South Americans get the ARC but a competition against similarly ranked countries would be good for them -- and the opportunity to win one does wonders. You think being able to say that the US is back to back ARC champs doesn't do anything for them? All of the teams are ranked below them except Argentina XV (which would probably be slightly above them in rankings if they were ranked) and we are very happy we won. If any team won this it would likely be the first real rugby competition they've won and that's something that helps build the game back home.

So if we're looking at expanding the RWC to 24 teams, do you really think the extra 1 or 2 matches against Tier 1 countries every 4 years is regular? If the issue is playing every year against a Tier 1 (or Tier 2, if it's a good one) then this has nothing to do with the RWC or developing nations RWC which I proposed.

BTW, the likely teams for a DRWC (it's a shit name, whatever) would be Romania/Samoa (assuming Spain is in), Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. Even though Romania/Samoa would ver likely dominate this time around it will still be an entertaining tournament with representation across the globe. You'd also imagine that the rankings would be more accurate around 20-30 since some of these teams never play against each other.


The cup of nations in HK is also a competition. It is a small B-WC - and I don't have the feeling that this created any buzz anywhere. But I might be wrong.
I am not sure why you bring up the USA. The USA is a regular at a RWC and naturally must aim for games against t1, which they do get.

About how many games those nations get: for Germany pre-civil-war 2017: 5 REC, 1 Kenya, 3 November, 9 games, not too bad.

You made a small mistake about the B-RWC: Both Romania & Samoa will qualify. If not them its Canada. So you named 9 teams, with 5 out of Europe. For those 5 it is a waste of ressources to play their continental opponents again in a tournament most likely not many people care about (that's basically my point: I don't know any sports where a B-WC is a thing, look at ice-hockey).
I prefer the November test apporach which actually changed a lot of things greatly. It is also more realistic for nations like, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Belgium and the Netherlands to have 3 tests in November.
The most important question for me is: what do you really excpect a B-RWC to do? Just create a cup opportunity to nations who can't win another cup (like the Europeans)?

About the RWC. Taking part in a RWC is not only about the games against t1, it is foremost the massive funding you get from RWC. This makes sure the participating teams practice together for 2-3 months before the RWC. Money is one of the most important things missing in tier3. Also it has a chance of a buzz and creates legends. Who scored the first ever RWC try, who scored this penalty against the All Blacks etc. Can't see this happening at a B-RWC.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 12:12, edited 1 time in total.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 11:55

thatrugbyguy wrote:It's something World Rugby would have to enforce. There needs to be some a level playing field for all teams.

Not easy. Clubs pay salaries and the leagues have salary caps. Even if the Unions/World Cup pays the clubs to use players, clubs will remember this affects their salary caps maths.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 15:52

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Tobar wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:Does anybody know a b-world-cup which is accepted or really of interest in any sport? End of the discussion.

Nobody needs games against other t2 or t3 games this already happening. What's needed is regular games against t1. This is the only reason the gap isn't closed. And as long as this problem isn't solved, the "high enough standard" whatever this means, will never be reached. Other excuses will be found.

The UEFA league of nations is the biggest single bullshit ever thought about in soccer. And it won't last long and hopefully it will lose them a lot of supporters.


So having 3-5 matches against similarly ranked teams would be useless? How many games a year do the countries in this list get against other countries? Sure, the Europeans get the REC and the South Americans get the ARC but a competition against similarly ranked countries would be good for them -- and the opportunity to win one does wonders. You think being able to say that the US is back to back ARC champs doesn't do anything for them? All of the teams are ranked below them except Argentina XV (which would probably be slightly above them in rankings if they were ranked) and we are very happy we won. If any team won this it would likely be the first real rugby competition they've won and that's something that helps build the game back home.

So if we're looking at expanding the RWC to 24 teams, do you really think the extra 1 or 2 matches against Tier 1 countries every 4 years is regular? If the issue is playing every year against a Tier 1 (or Tier 2, if it's a good one) then this has nothing to do with the RWC or developing nations RWC which I proposed.

BTW, the likely teams for a DRWC (it's a shit name, whatever) would be Romania/Samoa (assuming Spain is in), Russia, Canada, Hong Kong, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Brazil, Belgium and the Netherlands. Even though Romania/Samoa would ver likely dominate this time around it will still be an entertaining tournament with representation across the globe. You'd also imagine that the rankings would be more accurate around 20-30 since some of these teams never play against each other.


The cup of nations in HK is also a competition. It is a small B-WC - and I don't have the feeling that this created any buzz anywhere. But I might be wrong.
I am not sure why you bring up the USA. The USA is a regular at a RWC and naturally must aim for games against t1, which they do get.

About how many games those nations get: for Germany pre-civil-war 2017: 5 REC, 1 Kenya, 3 November, 9 games, not too bad.

You made a small mistake about the B-RWC: Both Romania & Samoa will qualify. If not them its Canada. So you named 9 teams, with 5 out of Europe. For those 5 it is a waste of ressources to play their continental opponents again in a tournament most likely not many people care about (that's basically my point: I don't know any sports where a B-WC is a thing, look at ice-hockey).
I prefer the November test apporach which actually changed a lot of things greatly. It is also more realistic for nations like, Portugal, Germany, Chile, Belgium and the Netherlands to have 3 tests in November.
The most important question for me is: what do you really excpect a B-RWC to do? Just create a cup opportunity to nations who can't win another cup (like the Europeans)?

About the RWC. Taking part in a RWC is not only about the games against t1, it is foremost the massive funding you get from RWC. This makes sure the participating teams practice together for 2-3 months before the RWC. Money is one of the most important things missing in tier3. Also it has a chance of a buzz and creates legends. Who scored the first ever RWC try, who scored this penalty against the All Blacks etc. Can't see this happening at a B-RWC.


I only mentioned the US as an example of how a tournament like this is beneficial. If it's this good for a RWC regular then imagine what a tournament of this nature could do for a lower tier 2 country.

The teams are not set in stone. I based this off of rankings because 1. I didn't feel like doing lots of work from the offset and 2. Didn't want to figure out a whole new set of qualification requirements. There are ways to make a run off from the repechage and other tournaments to have a Europe 3 or Asia 2 added in to create some diversity.

Ultimately though, this is a tournament once every 4 years. World Rugby should 100% give extra funding to these teams but who knows if that would actually happen. This isn't a huge move to really shake things up but just adds extra attention to the countries who would never be able to make the RWC. I understand that it isn't enough for Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries but I don't see any reason to be against the idea.

Edit: Can you expand on the November test approach? Is this just adding more test matches in November?

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby NaBUru38 » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 15:58

The Nations Cup has always had at least one A side.

That's why I have proposed that this year's Nations Cup should have three South American teams (Uruguay, Chile and Brazil) versus three international teams (Europe 2, Europe 4 and Namibia).

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 16:19

Tobar wrote:I only mentioned the US as an example of how a tournament like this is beneficial. If it's this good for a RWC regular then imagine what a tournament of this nature could do for a lower tier 2 country.

The teams are not set in stone. I based this off of rankings because 1. I didn't feel like doing lots of work from the offset and 2. Didn't want to figure out a whole new set of qualification requirements. There are ways to make a run off from the repechage and other tournaments to have a Europe 3 or Asia 2 added in to create some diversity.

Ultimately though, this is a tournament once every 4 years. World Rugby should 100% give extra funding to these teams but who knows if that would actually happen. This isn't a huge move to really shake things up but just adds extra attention to the countries who would never be able to make the RWC. I understand that it isn't enough for Tier 2 and Tier 3 countries but I don't see any reason to be against the idea.

Edit: Can you expand on the November test approach? Is this just adding more test matches in November?


The Americas 6 Nations is great, but not the ultimate solution as we see in Europe. 4 teams (4,5 if no civil-war in German rugby) quite competitive and capable of beating every other t3 nation on any day, two of the best t2 nations and 2 other teams able to create upsets on good days.
I simply fail to see what this kind of tournament could do better than normal November tests, apart from costing more money AND maybe even no games at home for anyone. Match day at home are important for the rare sponsors in t3 nations. And we had a really good development with now a lot of t3 teams taking part in the November tests (something unimaginable just a couple of years ago!).

I think a 24-team-RWC makes way more sense than a B-RWC. But I would think it was great if the ranked teams 25-30 would play against at least one other team from another continent around that time or in the November tests afterwards. And as there was a lot of inter-continental games (at least Europe vs. Americas) this is a really realistic approach.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Mon, 05 Mar 2018, 17:18

I doubt WR will ever consider a proper B-WC. RWC is the money factory of the WR. The competition that finances all other competitiond + tests tours in the 4-years cycle. They will want to expand it if they know more teams will be = better broadcast contracts and considerable more audience. A B-WC won't generate money and will cost money from the RWC proft.

Maybe what they could come up with is a larger world repechage tournament in the RWC Qualy. A 8-teams tournament more or less in the U18 World Trophy format. I can't see more than this happening.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby rey200 » Tue, 06 Mar 2018, 13:36

thatrugbyguy wrote:Ok, so I tested my revamped qualifying format from a few pages back across all regions. This concept is for a 24 team world cup but can also work for the current 20 team format. This obviously isn't likely to happen but it's a concept I feel solves a lot of issues for qualifying (and yes I understand some nations would not take part in this system, this is just a hypothetical proposal)

The objective was:
1. To simplify the qualifying structure
2. To give teams the chance to play higher ranked teams on a more regular basis
3. To introduce a pyramid system. The higher a team sits in the pyramid the better the odds of qualifying are (would require the 6N to introduce promotion and relegation.)
4. Create a system that can easily adapt for future expansion.

Key Dates (using 2023 as an example)
2020 and 2021 - Home and Away fixtures (no relegation in the first two years)
Jun 2022 - Regional Qualifiers
Nov 2022 - 8 Team Repechage Tournament
Oct/Sep 2023 - World Cup


Great posting, great effort! My thoughts on some things:

1. Asia and Oceania should merge for this system.
2. The Repechage should be played by 8 teams, each "system" should send 2 participants
3. What I don't like about your schedule is the point that the worst Oceania team is almost sure to qualify through repachage. I would suggest to make it 3 qualifying teams through repachage. Why? Basically every game counts. You have 4 finals (the real final, the semis and the 3rd place playoff)

The two remaining places should go to America and Europe. Although I would like to see 1-2 places to switch based on merits.

Here's the comparison of your and my repachage:

Code: Select all
Russia             Romania                     
Germany*        Russia
Chile               Brazil
Paraguay         Chile
Kenya*           Kenya*
Uganda*         Uganda*
South Korea*   Hong Kong*
Samoa            Samoa



*final qualifying round to be played. Belgium has to get at least 1 BP against Rom or Esp to get past the german team.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Sables4EVA » Tue, 03 Apr 2018, 13:48


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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 03 Apr 2018, 14:33

Sables4EVA wrote:http://the1014.com/why-the-rugby-world-cup-needs-to-expand/


Ah, isn't that someone who got banned in this forum, after stating his very own opinion over and over and over and over and over again ;-)

Doesn't matter, I agree 100% with everything he wrote there apart from the South Africa 2023 thing ( which he also repeated in our beloved forum over and over and over and over and over and over and over again ;-) ), but the 20-year-host-standdown-period is indeed a good idea.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Thomas » Tue, 03 Apr 2018, 15:16

This is great work TRG, but when?? I would only add that all countries including the defending champions except the hosts should qualify for the RWC. Not sure if that is what you were implying but it should be clear for T1 Countries no more automatic qualifiers.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Tue, 03 Apr 2018, 17:08

There’s not really anything new in that article except the 20 year grace period. Well, maybe the entire concept is new to T1 Nations or people who don’t patrol a T2 rugby forum...

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby YamahaKiwi » Wed, 04 Apr 2018, 08:07

Tobar wrote:There’s not really anything new in that article except the 20 year grace period. Well, maybe the entire concept is new to T1 Nations or people who don’t patrol a T2 rugby forum...


Exactly, I wrote an incredibly similar article with every single point he made and more (except RSA hosting) on ARN's Paul Tait's old ARG2023 blog, and copied it in an early 24 team RWC thread on here a few years ago. Mmmm, I guess at least good to see him spreading the same idea.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Wed, 04 Apr 2018, 17:43

Plenty of people have similar thoughts on expanding it to 24 teams

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Neptune » Thu, 17 May 2018, 18:53

If WR had sorted it's house in order a long time ago, and had adjusted the RWC teams to 24, we wouldn't be in this mess with the REC right now. The limited chances of qualification teams, and with only 8 teams guaranteed a spot, makes it a matter of life and death for tier 2 and 3 nations to qualify.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby rey200 » Thu, 17 May 2018, 19:11

Well let's hope that Russia performs next year.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Thu, 17 May 2018, 19:21

RWC makes so much money for WR, it's a shame they don't give more to teams that don't make the WC.

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