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6 Nations Expansion

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 01:49

In all honesty the performance of the 6 Nations at this years World Cup is probably going to further exclude the ENC teams from the chance to play in that tournament, if they want to change their mindset about how to compete with the SH teams the last thing they are going to want to do is add in teams who play the same style of rugby. The 6 Nations is at a crossroads after this world cup, they're going to have to decide whether the 6 Nations Championship is more important from a competitive perspective than the World Cup. At present many in Europe consider the 6N to be a superior tournament due to its history and the focus in the rugby community is about winning that first and foremost every year. In the South the RC isn't held in that high a regard, emphasis is always on the World Cup. Unless that mentality changes up north whereby teams are willing to forfeit winning the championship for the sake of development and experimentation the teams won't evolve. There's a very good chance though that nothing will change up north after this World Cup debacle because there's too much at risk financially for the 6 Nations to become a series of trial matches. This is why I'm saying Romania and Georgia need to look South more and more to develop a game style which can circumvent the 6 Nations, they have the freedom to be able to develop a new competitive game style because they are not bound by the same burden those west are under. They have to look at Japan as the example of what can be done in such a short period of time. They have the talent, all is needed is the desire from the administrators and players, as well as the coaching staff to do it. It would big just as big a shock if in 4 years time Georgia or Romania were to topple France or England in a pool match playing an expansive style of play. Once that happens then the 6 Nations can no longer lay claim to being the best in Europe, and that's when the door is likely to be open. The key, in my opinion, is to circumvent the status quo quietly, because asking them to change has not worked and is not going to work.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby fullbackace » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 02:25

thatrugbyguy wrote:In all honesty the performance of the 6 Nations at this years World Cup is probably going to further exclude the ENC teams from the chance to play in that tournament, if they want to change their mindset about how to compete with the SH teams the last thing they are going to want to do is add in teams who play the same style of rugby. The 6 Nations is at a crossroads after this world cup, they're going to have to decide whether the 6 Nations Championship is more important from a competitive perspective than the World Cup. At present many in Europe consider the 6N to be a superior tournament due to its history and the focus in the rugby community is about winning that first and foremost every year. In the South the RC isn't held in that high a regard, emphasis is always on the World Cup. Unless that mentality changes up north whereby teams are willing to forfeit winning the championship for the sake of development and experimentation the teams won't evolve. There's a very good chance though that nothing will change up north after this World Cup debacle because there's too much at risk financially for the 6 Nations to become a series of trial matches. This is why I'm saying Romania and Georgia need to look South more and more to develop a game style which can circumvent the 6 Nations, they have the freedom to be able to develop a new competitive game style because they are not bound by the same burden those west are under. They have to look at Japan as the example of what can be done in such a short period of time. They have the talent, all is needed is the desire from the administrators and players, as well as the coaching staff to do it. It would big just as big a shock if in 4 years time Georgia or Romania were to topple France or England in a pool match playing an expansive style of play. Once that happens then the 6 Nations can no longer lay claim to being the best in Europe, and that's when the door is likely to be open. The key, in my opinion, is to circumvent the status quo quietly, because asking them to change has not worked and is not going to work.



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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 02:48

If their plan is exactly how I laid it out then I applauded them.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Bolaroid » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 03:46

thatrugbyguy wrote:In all honesty the performance of the 6 Nations at this years World Cup is probably going to further exclude the ENC teams from the chance to play in that tournament, if they want to change their mindset about how to compete with the SH teams the last thing they are going to want to do is add in teams who play the same style of rugby. The 6 Nations is at a crossroads after this world cup, they're going to have to decide whether the 6 Nations Championship is more important from a competitive perspective than the World Cup. At present many in Europe consider the 6N to be a superior tournament due to its history and the focus in the rugby community is about winning that first and foremost every year. In the South the RC isn't held in that high a regard, emphasis is always on the World Cup. Unless that mentality changes up north whereby teams are willing to forfeit winning the championship for the sake of development and experimentation the teams won't evolve. There's a very good chance though that nothing will change up north after this World Cup debacle because there's too much at risk financially for the 6 Nations to become a series of trial matches. This is why I'm saying Romania and Georgia need to look South more and more to develop a game style which can circumvent the 6 Nations, they have the freedom to be able to develop a new competitive game style because they are not bound by the same burden those west are under. They have to look at Japan as the example of what can be done in such a short period of time. They have the talent, all is needed is the desire from the administrators and players, as well as the coaching staff to do it. It would big just as big a shock if in 4 years time Georgia or Romania were to topple France or England in a pool match playing an expansive style of play. Once that happens then the 6 Nations can no longer lay claim to being the best in Europe, and that's when the door is likely to be open. The key, in my opinion, is to circumvent the status quo quietly, because asking them to change has not worked and is not going to work.

The Six Nations is really not about the level of competition but rather a mini tribal war between England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and to a lesser extent France.

To help Georgians understand it, it's like Georgia playing Russia. It runs much deeper than just rugby.

Italy are a little bit on the outside but Rome's a nice place to visit so they got a pass. Some are still uneasy with their presence in the competition and would happily see it scaled back to 5N again. Their rugby is seen as dull, and since they rarely win games interest in their games is the lowest. I often see it said that they're stinking the tournament up.

Georgia have virtually no connection to the 6N countries at all and most people in those countries couldn't point Georgia out on a map. Being 6 hours away Georgia would really have to offer something special to gain entry to the 6N.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 04:45

And it's that mentality which is going to prevent any of the 6 Nation teams from developing into genuine World Cup contenders in the near future. If they wish to remain a closed shop where the focus is on winning that tournament first and foremost they shouldn't be surprised if one day the other parts of Europe start to surpass them at the World Cup.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Rowan » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 09:59

thatrugbyguy wrote:And it's that mentality which is going to prevent any of the 6 Nation teams from developing into genuine World Cup contenders in the near future. If they wish to remain a closed shop where the focus is on winning that tournament first and foremost they shouldn't be surprised if one day the other parts of Europe start to surpass them at the World Cup.


I got the impression France have been using the 6 Nations to prepare for World Cups for some time now, perhaps even going back to the 5 Nations era, while Stuart Lancaster apparently adopted a similar approach during his tenure, and has now been roundly vilified for it.
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, then why not in between?

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Figaro » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 12:23

Rowan wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:And it's that mentality which is going to prevent any of the 6 Nation teams from developing into genuine World Cup contenders in the near future. If they wish to remain a closed shop where the focus is on winning that tournament first and foremost they shouldn't be surprised if one day the other parts of Europe start to surpass them at the World Cup.


I got the impression France have been using the 6 Nations to prepare for World Cups for some time now, perhaps even going back to the 5 Nations era, while Stuart Lancaster apparently adopted a similar approach during his tenure, and has now been roundly vilified for it.


Yep. Warren Gatland (Wales coach) - in response to criticism at Wales' failure to win the 6N in 2014 and 2015 - has repeatedly said how "it's all about building for the WC" and that everything should be judged on our performance there. I don't think there's any Wales fans I've ever met who wouldn't trade 4 straight years of Grand Slams (or more) for a WC win.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby sk 88 » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 12:31

6N is great preparation for the pressure of a Rugby World Cup. A grandslam game is massive pressure, let alone a grandslam decider that happens sometimes.

Its not often great preparation for the style of rugby played. I think all coaches will move to a more expansive style as it is clearly where the game is going.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Bolaroid » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 15:14

thatrugbyguy wrote:And it's that mentality which is going to prevent any of the 6 Nation teams from developing into genuine World Cup contenders in the near future. If they wish to remain a closed shop where the focus is on winning that tournament first and foremost they shouldn't be surprised if one day the other parts of Europe start to surpass them at the World Cup.

One major roadblock I didn't mention about 6N expansion is the clubs, they'd be loathe to see any further cut into the club season.

On Georgia, what they should do is get a step ahead by centrally contracting their players to the GRU then enter the Pro 12 Celtic League as a club team and qualify for the European Cup.

This would provide high quality rugby for their players on a weekly basis instead of having their players play in the French 2nd division or in a weak Georgian league.

Argentina are playing catch-up now trying to centrally contract their players after the horse has bolted, Georgia can get ahead of the curve.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Buffalo » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 15:40

The Celtics would never let a Georgian team into the Pro 12 and I doubt Georgia could afford it. The Celtics already have issues with the Italian sides including on field competition and the travel/travel costs.

Maybe if they asked nicely they could get a couple teams into the Romanian league. Something like a Black Sea Cup that maybe also includes the Ukrainian Odessa team(s) which I think I heard are "pro" but may be mistaken. That would also be a fair bit of travel costs for everyone but maybe a bit more manageable than crossing Europe regularly.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Bolaroid » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 15:50

Buffalo wrote:The Celtics would never let a Georgian team into the Pro 12 and I doubt Georgia could afford it. The Celtics already have issues with the Italian sides including on field competition and the travel/travel costs.

Maybe if they asked nicely they could get a couple teams into the Romanian league. Something like a Black Sea Cup that maybe also includes the Ukrainian Odessa team(s) which I think I heard are "pro" but may be mistaken. That would also be a fair bit of travel costs for everyone but maybe a bit more manageable than crossing Europe regularly.

Well the Italians effectively bought their way into the league, the celtic tongue is always hanging out for money.

Georgia rugby actually has an oligarch backer, a billionaire by the name of Ivanishvili. Who knows if he would invest, but it surely wouldn't hurt to enquire.

You make a good point about the travel, it wouldn't really hurt the Pro 12 teams who would only have to do it twice per season, but it would be a lot of travel for any potential Georgian club team (although would it compare with a South African Super rugby team for example?).

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 23 Oct 2015, 20:24

I'd like to see some Super Rugby style league in continental Europe but that's unlikely to happen.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby NedRugby » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 13:26

Bolaroid wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Italy are a little bit on the outside but Rome's a nice place to visit so they got a pass. Some are still uneasy with their presence in the competition and would happily see it scaled back to 5N again. Their rugby is seen as dull, and since they rarely win games interest in their games is the lowest. I often see it said that they're stinking the tournament up.


If this is true then I can see a good case for promotion-relegation between 6N and ENC. Or at least a playoff match. Tblisi is more exotic than Rome, and if you are going to get on a plane to see a 6N match why not 5 hours rather than 2?

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby GeoRugby » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 15:53

Tblisi is more exotic than Rome, and if you are going to get on a plane to see a 6N match why not 5 hours rather than 2?


Of all the excuses not to allow Georgia in, this whole "Tbilisi is not Rome" is the most laughable one. Scottish and Irish football fans have been flying to Tbilisi for years in their thousands for qualifying games and they always seem to enjoy themselves in the city. Are rugby fans more delicate or something? This pathetic sorry of an excuse needs to be thrown out as simply childish.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Hansgrohe » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 17:43

I think that was sarcastic.

But seriously, European soccer teams travel distances quite a lot. If the funding is there (which it should) then travel is just a lazy excuse.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby welpom » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 17:56

The issue here is that as I understand the 6N is a self-contained, self-funded competition. WR can't reasonably impose conditions on the competition because it is entirely independent from them. Most fans of rugby in the 6N like the format and enjoy the familiarity of the opposition - the sad truth is that they would be upsetting many more people than they would be pleasing by making changes to the competition. And however unfair it may seem, that is a reasonable excuse for them to stick to what they have - it is their tournament, not everyone else's.

What WR could do is mandate more friendlies between Tier 1 teams and their local Tier 2 rivals, and I also love the suggestion of a 10 or 12 team European Cup in Lions years. Another thing that would make a lot of sense would be dropping the automatic qualifying for RWC, and forcing all teams to play a qualifying group in the November internationals slot. I think all of these are better ways to get other European teams involved than unpopular meddling with a good tournament.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Hansgrohe » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 18:05

A common complaint around here seems to be the potential mismatches. I say we have preliminary rounds so that the best teams play.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby NedRugby » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 20:00

GeoRugby wrote:
Tblisi is more exotic than Rome, and if you are going to get on a plane to see a 6N match why not 5 hours rather than 2?


Of all the excuses not to allow Georgia in, this whole "Tbilisi is not Rome" is the most laughable one.


That's the point I was trying to make, obviously not very clearly.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby GeoRugby » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 22:35

NedRugby wrote:
GeoRugby wrote:
Tblisi is more exotic than Rome, and if you are going to get on a plane to see a 6N match why not 5 hours rather than 2?


Of all the excuses not to allow Georgia in, this whole "Tbilisi is not Rome" is the most laughable one.


That's the point I was trying to make, obviously not very clearly.


I got that. I was referring to people who are actually making these silly excuses.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 24 Oct 2015, 23:07

I've never been to Tbilisi and in all honesty probably never will have the chance to go, but if one of the reasons some are using to deny Georgian entry is 'it's not Rome, London or Paris' then that's really gasping at straws, and in all honesty insulting.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Bolaroid » Sun, 25 Oct 2015, 05:45

GeoRugby wrote:Of all the excuses not to allow Georgia in, this whole "Tbilisi is not Rome" is the most laughable one.

For my part I didn't even mention Tbilisi. I have never been to either city.

NedRugby wrote:If this is true then I can see a good case for promotion-relegation between 6N and ENC. Or at least a playoff match. Tblisi is more exotic than Rome, and if you are going to get on a plane to see a 6N match why not 5 hours rather than 2?

It's actually 6 hours+ though from the UK, at that flight time you can make as good a case for the North American teams joining the 6N given their historical ties to the UK and common language. Given the part away fans play in the competition, distance is surely a consideration for the 6N committee.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Rowan » Sun, 25 Oct 2015, 07:59

It's actually 6 hours+ though from the UK, at that flight time you can make as good a case for the North American teams joining the 6N given their historical ties to the UK and common language. Given the part away fans play in the competition, distance is surely a consideration for the 6N committee.




Six hours? It's only about four from Istanbul, and an hour from Istanbul to Georgia. I'd have thought London-Tbilisi direct would be less than five. Are you sure you haven't factored in a stop-off there ??
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, then why not in between?

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby amz » Sun, 25 Oct 2015, 08:32

Rowan wrote:
It's actually 6 hours+ though from the UK, at that flight time you can make as good a case for the North American teams joining the 6N given their historical ties to the UK and common language. Given the part away fans play in the competition, distance is surely a consideration for the 6N committee.




Six hours? It's only about four from Istanbul, and an hour from Istanbul to Georgia. I'd have thought London-Tbilisi direct would be less than five. Are you sure you haven't factored in a stop-off there ??

yeah, with direct flight I calculated something like 4:20 max because you don't need to go further south to Instanbul but fly over Romania trough the international route and over Black Sea.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby iul » Sun, 25 Oct 2015, 08:35

There's no direct flight from London to Tbilisi though. The home nations would have to go through Paris, Amsterdam or Istanbul.

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Re: 6 Nations Expansion

Unread postby Bolaroid » Sun, 25 Oct 2015, 22:35

Rowan wrote:Six hours? It's only about four from Istanbul, and an hour from Istanbul to Georgia. I'd have thought London-Tbilisi direct would be less than five. Are you sure you haven't factored in a stop-off there ??

You're right, I had searched the flight times without realising that there were no direct flights. The one-stop is 6hr 25mins.

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