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Pro12 expansion into North America

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Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 09:16

There is a news item emanating from Scotland on this matter indicating:

- 1x Canadian and 1x American team to join for season 2018/19
- a potential connection to or alignment with a new US league (presumably the Major rugby tournament).
- Pro12 broken into two conferences
- requires sanction of US and Canadian unions
- New York and Toronto speculated as possible locations

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-uni ... -1-4370290

From a personal perspective I find this news does nothing to remove my sense that the Canadian and US unions are wilfully undermining PRO Rugby and feeding negative stories about it as they have a vested interest in it failing because they have had their heads turned last year by Pro12.

Still, Pro12 franchises would be better than nothing assuming they have the sense to not play in freezing New York. The disappointment for me is this effectively rules out the far more sensible expansion into new continental European markets for the time being.
Last edited by Bruce_ma_goose on Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 10:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 09:38

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:There is a news item emanating from Scotland on this matter indicating:

- 1x Canadian and 1x American team to join for season 2018/19
- a potential connection to or alignment with a new US league (presumably the Major rugby tournament).
- Pro12 broken into two conferences
- requires sanction of US and Canadian unions
- New York and Vancouver speculated as possible locations

http://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-uni ... -1-4370290

From a personal perspective I find this news does nothing to remove my sense that the Canadian and US unions are wilfully undermining PRO Rugby and feeding negative stories about it as they have a vested interest in it failing because they have had their heads turned last year by Pro12.

Still, Pro12 franchises would be better than nothing assuming they have the sense to not play in freezing New York. The disappointment for me is this effectively rules out the far more sensible expansion into new continental European markets for the time being.


Article mentions Toronto. Which makes more sense in terms of travel. You would have to think that the Pro12 would need to move their season back to accomodate this move which isn't a bad thing to be honest. In a perfect world. The June Test window would be moved back to July and the Pro12 would align its season with SR. Then we could have the SR champions play the Pro12 champions at the end.

Additionally, I actually don't mind this in terms of split. I expect SR to eventually make tge jump into the US market and the Western half probably fits better for them. So the Eastern half of Nth Am. could go to Pro 12.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 10:15

Corrected to Toronto,thanks.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 10:31

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:Corrected to Toronto,thanks.


If they are opening the door they should ask for EOI's and test the interest level. Never know. When this first came up I heard that their were 6 or so groups interested. If they all have the backing and are in different locations. An Nth American conference would make sense.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 10:40

They've got an entire continent to themselves to establish new franchises but instead choose to chase a foolish North American dream.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 13:14

I'm guessing Washington DC would be the US base, there's a new soccer stadium opening there soon and rugby will have access to it thanks to Will Chang. Sources have also teased a major (or should that be 'MAJOR') announcement due this summer. My assumption is that Pro 12 CEO Martin Anayi shows up at the USA-Ireland match in June and this all gets announced.

No idea where a Canadian team would play through the winters though.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 13:20

4N wrote:I'm guessing Washington DC would be the US base, there's a new soccer stadium opening there soon and rugby will have access to it thanks to Will Chang. Sources have also teased a major (or should that be 'MAJOR') announcement due this summer. My assumption is that Pro 12 CEO Martin Anayi shows up at the USA-Ireland match in June and this all gets announced.

No idea where a Canadian team would play through the winters though.


Article mentions something about BMO getting a roof.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 13:31

Did they mean this by the roof? A dome it's not.

Image

And Vancouver as a backup seems a bit, well, absurd.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 13:46

4N wrote:Did they mean this by the roof? A dome it's not.

Image

And Vancouver as a backup seems a bit, well, absurd.


I don't think they've looked into those plans thoroughly enough. When does it thaw in the East? The only possibility I can think of is if they shoft their season to align more with Spring/Summer.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 13:52

Toronto doesn't really thaw out until mid March or so. Brutal climate.

Season shift could be interesting but then they start clashing with MLS schedule potentially.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby LittleGuy » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 15:40

Weather in Southern Ontario is weird, usually mid March is when you could safely play, but like this weekend it's been 14C yesterday, and 10C today. Next week it drops back to 3C.

Mid-December to the end of February is usually a write off though. Also this is the 2nd best winter climate in Canada, only parts of BC are better. Which would leave Vancouver which has winters more like the UK cool and wet.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby dropkick » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 15:50

thatrugbyguy wrote:They've got an entire continent to themselves to establish new franchises but instead choose to chase a foolish North American dream.



They are talking to European nations as well. I presume the North Americans are the only ones who can afford it. Simple as that. If its a success I will encourage other investors in Europe to invest in it.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Buffalo » Sun, 19 Feb 2017, 16:32

BMO is already shared between TFC and the Toronto Argonauts during the summer and fall, a fact that TFC and their supporters hate. I think they would fight tooth and nail to keep out a rugby side, especially one that would need to play a portion of their season during late-winter/early-spring when the grass is just starting to recover after being dormant for months.

If Pro12 is serious about Toronto and the East Coast USA they would need to move their season to match Super Rugby, as was said higher up, and have the team work out a deal with the city to share Lamport Stadium with the Wolfpack. Which faces its own issues as it's the current home of Canadian Rugby League.

Don't see how this is ever going to happen. USAR and Rugby Canada are both pretty hardup for cash. I mean we can't even afford to pay our 7s players a real wage. Unless there are some multi-millionaires or billionaires in North America with a thing for rugby and are willing to splash the money and fund this venture. The Pro12 is probably better off working out a deal with Georgia's sugar daddy to fund a team there. I mean he'd probably also have to pay all travel expenses for teams out to Tbilisi and line some Pro12 executive pockets because there's no money to be made in the Georgia market itself but that's a different matter. Or Pro12 should just hold off until Spain and Germany are stable and strong enough to form a team each, though that's probably a decade or more away.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 19:25

Does anyone know this to be true?

http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2017 ... ed-to.html
The Canadian team would be located in Toronto. It snows a lot there in the winter but a dome is being planned for BMO Field. Vancouver is also mentioned as a possible location for the depths of winter but that is a very long flight from Italy.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby SDyeti » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 20:11

Drop the Italians, add the Americas, same format. Switch one longish flight for a slightly longer flight. Switch out two week teams for two other (possibly) weak teams.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby The Captain's Run » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 20:24

Buffalo wrote:Don't see how this is ever going to happen. USAR and Rugby Canada are both pretty hardup for cash. I mean we can't even afford to pay our 7s players a real wage. Unless there are some multi-millionaires or billionaires in North America with a thing for rugby and are willing to splash the money and fund this venture.


Right, North American union-funded Pro12 teams are never going to happen but I don't believe they were planning on anything other than independently owned franchises. Maybe the most concrete thing I've seen on that front, and it really is just a rumor, is that Swansea City's American owners Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan are interested in the Pro12. Levien is also a co-owner of D.C. United, so another connection there (along with Chang). Washington's winter weather certainly isn't as bad as the Northeast, and is a much closer option than Houston.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 20:29

Spot on TCR.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby grande » Mon, 20 Feb 2017, 21:47

4N wrote:Does anyone know this to be true?

http://www.thisisamericanrugby.com/2017 ... ed-to.html
The Canadian team would be located in Toronto. It snows a lot there in the winter but a dome is being planned for BMO Field. Vancouver is also mentioned as a possible location for the depths of winter but that is a very long flight from Italy.


Haven't heard of a dome being planned for BMO. There were several renovations done in the past couple years (expanding, adding a roof).

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby ihateblazers » Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 05:51

Would be better if they turned it into a Forsythe barr style roof probably cheaper than a rectrable roof or dome as well.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 23:07

"Queuing up to join the Pro 12. Germany, USA, Canada now Georgia say they've held talks"

https://twitter.com/robindavey01

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Canadian_Rugger » Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 23:45

The retractable roof rumour is complete BS

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Tue, 21 Feb 2017, 23:59

Canadian_Rugger wrote:The retractable roof rumour is complete BS


Thought so. Wonder why This Is American Rugby haven't corrected?

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby dropkick » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 14:43

Another article today about it.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyu ... Pro12.html


I thought this sentence was interesting: Officials in North America are playing hardball, but knocking on the door, desperate to be allowed in, are Georgia and Germany, as revealed by Sportsmail earlier this week.

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby Figaro » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 15:04

I'm tacitly in favour of expansion to Georgia and Germany, but worry a bit about the standard. When Tblisi Caucasians tried to qualify for the Challenge cup, they lost against Rovigo twice; and HRK lost most of their games heavily - against Calvisano, Krasny Yar and Petrarca - in the Challenge Cup qualifying comp this year.

Whilst Pro12 teams would presumably be a lot better than those sides, and presumably would have the budget to strengthen their squads with some quality imports, I can't see them being much stronger than Treviso and Zebre are at the moment. What would a Georgian or German team have that Treviso and Zebre don't?

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Re: Pro12 expansion into North America

Postby 4N » Wed, 22 Feb 2017, 15:13

A Georgian team would have their good youth generations of recent years and 10000+ hardcore fans at every match. I doubt they would struggle like Italy's revolving door franchises have. Milton Haig himself said if Georgia were still losing heavily in a 6/7N tournament after a few seasons to boot them out. That's the level of confidence there.

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