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Increase the RWC to 24 teams

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby qwerty » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 15:55

Neptune wrote:
qwerty wrote:I don't know if Barcelona is the best place to have the Spanish team play nowadays...


I is because of the issue with Catalonia?


Yes, same with playing in Bilbao or San Sebastián.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 15:57

Yes. And not strictly due to independance threat (not happening soon) or rejection of Spanish national team (it's a big enough city to gather support): Camp Nou is owned by FC Barcelona and won't lend it for that purpose, especially during the season. And even if you accept smaller venues you won't find financial support from local authorities.

Barcelona, Bilbao or San Sebastián are hungry for rugby but will only host test matches as neutral venues.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 16:17

Montjuic is empty... right? Perfect stadium in Barcelona.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 16:24

Armchair Fan wrote:Yes. And not strictly due to independance threat (not happening soon) or rejection of Spanish national team (it's a big enough city to gather support): Camp Nou is owned by FC Barcelona and won't lend it for that purpose, especially during the season. And even if you accept smaller venues you won't find financial support from local authorities.

Barcelona, Bilbao or San Sebastián are hungry for rugby but will only host test matches as neutral venues.


So then going off my post, just throw it anywhere else that would be open to it. Madrid? Weather is around 15-22 C in May so it's a good temp for some rugby.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby NaBUru38 » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 17:16

qwerty wrote:My proposal is for 6 groups of 4, but instead of a round of 16 with the messy "4 best third teams", I'd have the top 2 of each group divided into 4 groups of 3, out of which the top of each group would qualify for the semifinals.


Or have the 4 best teams advance to quarterfinals, and the other 8 teams advance to a preliminary round.

Anyway, I dislike having 6 groups.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 17:31

victorsra wrote:Montjuic is empty... right? Perfect stadium in Barcelona.

Municipally-owned, you won't see a Spanish national team there any time soon.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby BigG » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 18:25

6 groups with 4 teams each: I support that idea. However the 8 teams (the weakest ones) will play 3 games each. In my opinion it is senseless for any rugby union to invest huge amount of money for only 3 games at WC. I would suggest to have mini-tournament after group stage for 21st place (playoff system, i.e. 2 games for each team), as well as for 17th place. I also think it would be relevant to have few more games for teams loosing the 1/8 finals in order to determine the 9th place (frankly for the last case I don't have any idea about system/formula).
In general the top 4 teams will play 7 games each, others - 5. Now, I believe it makes sense.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 19:01

BigG wrote:6 groups with 4 teams each: I support that idea. However the 8 teams (the weakest ones) will play 3 games each. In my opinion it is senseless for any rugby union to invest huge amount of money for only 3 games at WC. I would suggest to have mini-tournament after group stage for 21st place (playoff system, i.e. 2 games for each team), as well as for 17th place. I also think it would be relevant to have few more games for teams loosing the 1/8 finals in order to determine the 9th place (frankly for the last case I don't have any idea about system/formula).
In general the top 4 teams will play 7 games each, others - 5. Now, I believe it makes sense.


Agree with having a loser's bracket - 8 teams that don't make it through the pool stages get to advance to a RWC plate competition, or something like that. It will allow teams that don't typically have the chance to do much at RWCs the opportunity to win something and it's an added bonus that it will be in front of a neutral crowd. The games won't be as popular as the knockout stages but the final will surely draw a crowd (and bring in at least a bit more cash).

I don't quite know how it will work though. In order to have 8 of the weakest teams play each other you have to have 16 advance to the next round. So you have the top 2 from each pool and then you need 4 out of 6 of the 3rd place teams. It almost defeats the purpose of the pool stage if most teams get to advance to the knockout rounds. The next best option is to have a 12 game plate tournament and give the top 4 teams a 1 game bye. The top 4 play up to 2 games and the bottom 8 play up to 3 games. It's possible but it's just a bit odd.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 20:42

Or we just keep it simple (yeah unknown to rugby) and just use the 1990 soccer world cup scheme.

It works and we keep all the catastrophy of creating another uneven group (group of 3 means a favourable schedule for one team) out of it.
Yes, some 4 out of 6 thirds will be lucky, so what? 3 games are great for tier3 teams and still 16 out of 24 teams will play the exact amounts of games like in a 20-team-RWC. 4 teams play one games less, but 4 more teams play three games more.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 21:24

I just looked up 1990 FIFA's setup. So you're basically advocating for what I said to make it a knockout round of 16?

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 21:28

I don't see WR doing a consolation bracket at all should they go to this format. They only did it with the WRWC because it was 12 teams and executed in under three weeks.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 22:18

In fact that consolation bracked is canned for next WRWC.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 23:31

Armchair Fan wrote:
victorsra wrote:Montjuic is empty... right? Perfect stadium in Barcelona.

Municipally-owned, you won't see a Spanish national team there any time soon.



OOOOO.... so the only chance is to see Catalan rugby there.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 23:34

Given the hard-on from some politicans after Dragons Catalans success at Challenge Cup (XIII), I wouldn't discard one of their games there. USAP was negotiating to play at Montilivi, in Girona.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 23:35

A knockout after a 6 groups format need to be open to any possibility. IMO it must avoid football's Euro 2016 scheme. The Eight-Finals must be: 1st vs 16th, 2nd vs 15th, etc, to make any groups phase match important. However, such free draw for the playoffs is bad to sell tickets...
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Coloradoan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 23:46

Tobar wrote:
BigG wrote:6 groups with 4 teams each: I support that idea. However the 8 teams (the weakest ones) will play 3 games each. In my opinion it is senseless for any rugby union to invest huge amount of money for only 3 games at WC. I would suggest to have mini-tournament after group stage for 21st place (playoff system, i.e. 2 games for each team), as well as for 17th place. I also think it would be relevant to have few more games for teams loosing the 1/8 finals in order to determine the 9th place (frankly for the last case I don't have any idea about system/formula).
In general the top 4 teams will play 7 games each, others - 5. Now, I believe it makes sense.


Agree with having a loser's bracket - 8 teams that don't make it through the pool stages get to advance to a RWC plate competition, or something like that. It will allow teams that don't typically have the chance to do much at RWCs the opportunity to win something and it's an added bonus that it will be in front of a neutral crowd. The games won't be as popular as the knockout stages but the final will surely draw a crowd (and bring in at least a bit more cash).

I don't quite know how it will work though. In order to have 8 of the weakest teams play each other you have to have 16 advance to the next round. So you have the top 2 from each pool and then you need 4 out of 6 of the 3rd place teams. It almost defeats the purpose of the pool stage if most teams get to advance to the knockout rounds. The next best option is to have a 12 game plate tournament and give the top 4 teams a 1 game bye. The top 4 play up to 2 games and the bottom 8 play up to 3 games. It's possible but it's just a bit odd.


There are plenty of opportunities for teams 17-24 to play each other outside of RWCs. All adding a loser's bracket would do is create hardship for the players involved. If they're amateurs, that's another couple weeks you're asking them to take off work on top of the time they are already taking. There have been players in past RWCs who decided not to go to RWCs because of the amount of time off work, including USA players, so this would only make that more likely. And if they're pros, that's more time away from clubs and/or time to recuperate in the offseason. Again, we've already seen players skip the RWC for lower nations, including the US, because of club duty. This would only further that.

Playing in the RWC is pretty much the pinnacle of any player's career. Adding a couple games after elimination against teams these players play against regularly outside of RWCs, likely in front of less than stellar crowds, doesn't add anything to that accomplishment or experience.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 11 Sep 2018, 23:52

There is a format inspired by basketball or handball tournaments that would please me. It's not perfect but it could work.

First phase, six pools of four. Three games played. Best two progress.

Second phase, three pools of four. Two games played and we keep the result between teams progressing. Top three teams and best second play semifinals like in U20 World Cup.

You've got the very same amount of games as today, not big imbalances in schedule, a big amount of clashes between top-teams...

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 02:57

I think it has to be simple. Pool matches -> Round of 16 -> Quarterfinals -> Semi-Final -> Final

Any other format just ends up being far more confusing in my opinion. The reason 6 Pools of 4 will work is because it means every game will mean something, it also gives us something that has been sorely lacking in RWC and that's unpredictability. Imagine you've got a pool of Wales, Fiji, Italy and Russia. Now imagine Wales loses to both Wales and Italy. Suddenly their place in the tournament is no longer secure leading into the last round of pool games. Even if they did survive and progress as one of the third placed teams they would probably get a team like New Zealand or Ireland in the first round of the knockout phase. You could easily get a Round of 16 looking like this:

France v South Africa
Ireland v Romania
Scotland v Tonga
Fiji v Georgia
New Zealand v Wales
Argentina v Italy
Australia v Japan
England v USA

You look at that type of line up and you could easily see a team like Fiji making a surprise run to the semi-finals.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 04:32

thatrugbyguy wrote:I think it has to be simple. Pool matches -> Round of 16 -> Quarterfinals -> Semi-Final -> Final

Any other format just ends up being far more confusing in my opinion. The reason 6 Pools of 4 will work is because it means every game will mean something, it also gives us something that has been sorely lacking in RWC and that's unpredictability. Imagine you've got a pool of Wales, Fiji, Italy and Russia. Now imagine Wales loses to both Wales and Italy. Suddenly their place in the tournament is no longer secure leading into the last round of pool games. Even if they did survive and progress as one of the third placed teams they would probably get a team like New Zealand or Ireland in the first round of the knockout phase. You could easily get a Round of 16 looking like this:

France v South Africa
Ireland v Romania
Scotland v Tonga
Fiji v Georgia
New Zealand v Wales
Argentina v Italy
Australia v Japan
England v USA

You look at that type of line up and you could easily see a team like Fiji making a surprise run to the semi-finals.


That's the format they should pursue. This way they could add another 4 games to the schedule in the same time frame as the current format runs. Win/win. Take the top 2 from each pool and then the four 'next best' based on points similar to what they did in the Olympics. There's your 16. Furthermore, I'd actually like to see a plate competition for the 8 that don't make the Cup Rnd of 16. This way everyone will have at least 4 games and it would give the bottom 8 something to play for. Hell, you could make it a Bowl and have the eliminated teams from the Rnd of 16 in the Cup playoff for a Plate. All this could run within the present time frame while adding as much as 18 extra games to the schedule.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby netrug1 » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 05:03

Run the Rugby World Cup just like the Rugby Sevens Series. It works with 16, 24 and even 32 teams. It gives all teams extra games and a 1-16, 1-24 or 1-32 ranking

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 05:36

Tough to run 7s and 15s the same. You can have 4 or so 7s matches in one day. You need at least a 3 day break (absolute minimum) for 15s.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 06:53

There is an argument to be made about the gap between each week of the knockout stage that a loser bracket could be used for, but that's only if there's something on the line like automatic qualification for the next world cup. At present in the current format as well as an expanded tournament the pools stages have matches virtually every day of the week, and then once the quarterfinals start there are 6 day gaps between matches. An automatic qualifying tournament could fill in the gaps every Thursday and Friday before the main draw matches on Saturday and Sunday. So using my above example you quarterfinal matches would be scheduled like this:

Qualifier Quarterfinals
Thu - France v Romania, Tonga v Georgia
Fri - Wales v Italy, Japan v USA

Cup Quarterfinals
Sat - Ireland v South Africa, Scotland v Fiji
Sun - New Zealand v Argentina, Australia v England

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 09:24

netrug1 wrote:Run the Rugby World Cup just like the Rugby Sevens Series. It works with 16, 24 and even 32 teams. It gives all teams extra games and a 1-16, 1-24 or 1-32 ranking


That's sort of what I've suggested. Essentially a three tiered format. With there being Cup, Plate and Bowl tiers. Everyone participates in the pool stage with the top 16 going onto the Rnd of 16 and the bottom 8 going into the Bowl competition. Bowl Quarter's, semi's and then final. The second tier will be a Plate competition for the losers of the Rnd of 16 games. Again, quarter's, semi's and final. And then we have the Cup quarter and beyond. This way everyone gets at least 4 games. And 2/3 of the team getting at least 5.

Could even look to run all the finals on the same day. One after another. A huge event in itself.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 12:40

I absolutely agree with thatrugbyguy about the format and more important the chance of surprises it produces.
I don't lile loser-rounds and I don't think this adds to anything.

A clean out after three games might also lead to additional job offers in better leagues for t2&3 players.
Also every team has one game they can win in the group stage. Nobody, and I mean nobody apart from absolutely die-hard fans like us, wants to see a loser-round. It is only played in 7s to avoid hours without a game.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 12 Sep 2018, 12:44

It would mean literally every match would be of importance, right up until the last day of pool games. I'm not fond of the loser rounds myself. The only value they have is to fill space between knockout weekends.

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