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Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 02:56

A 6 teams "Premiership 2" would fit perfectly looking at the current situation.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 02:58

victorsra wrote:Image

Oh, so LATAM flight is in partnership with SAA.... OMG, maybe Argentines are screwed now.


It looks like LATAM will operate its own flights to SA... but not how many... anyway, dangerous situation... other options have connections in EUROPE or Ethiopia and are travels with more than 24h...
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 04:20

victorsra wrote:LNR (the French league) organizes both, Top 14 and Pro D2. But the Premiership doesn't. I'm pretty sure they could afford to build a transitional professional 2nd division with like 6 clubs, to prepare them properly for the Premiership while providing better opposition for the relegated club... but they don't want. And that's not cleaver, as they are killing the possibility of proper future geographical expansion.


Does anyone know if the FFR has ever funded the Pro D2 or Top 14? A lot of the comments by English fans is critical of the RFU but I don't think that's really fair.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby theDarky » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 06:59

ihateblazers wrote:
victorsra wrote:LNR (the French league) organizes both, Top 14 and Pro D2. But the Premiership doesn't. I'm pretty sure they could afford to build a transitional professional 2nd division with like 6 clubs, to prepare them properly for the Premiership while providing better opposition for the relegated club... but they don't want. And that's not cleaver, as they are killing the possibility of proper future geographical expansion.


Does anyone know if the FFR has ever funded the Pro D2 or Top 14? A lot of the comments by English fans is critical of the RFU but I don't think that's really fair.


No they dont ... that's the job of the LNR ... when a sport become professionnal in France you have to create a league which manages the professional sides.

Clubs can receive money from the FFR only for their amateur teams (underage ones or 2nd/3rd sides)

You have all the accounting details here:
https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/ ... l_2019.pdf

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 07:11

theDarky wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
victorsra wrote:LNR (the French league) organizes both, Top 14 and Pro D2. But the Premiership doesn't. I'm pretty sure they could afford to build a transitional professional 2nd division with like 6 clubs, to prepare them properly for the Premiership while providing better opposition for the relegated club... but they don't want. And that's not cleaver, as they are killing the possibility of proper future geographical expansion.


Does anyone know if the FFR has ever funded the Pro D2 or Top 14? A lot of the comments by English fans is critical of the RFU but I don't think that's really fair.


No they dont ... that's the job of the LNR ... when a sport become professionnal in France you have to create a league which manages the professional sides.

Clubs can receive money from the FFR only for their amateur teams (underage ones or 2nd/3rd sides)

You have all the accounting details here:
https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/ ... l_2019.pdf


Just as I thought. So criticism towards the RFU is completely unfounded then. Why should the RFU help fund semi/fully pro teams when it doesn't benefit the country.

The RFU has to pay off the premiership so they can gain access to the national team players for international success which drives investment in the rest of the game.

Maybe the premiership should take the championship under it's wing but club support in France is far higher than in England due to historical reasons so it is a completely different environment.

The RFU should focus on investing in the grassroots as they already do instead of funding the hopeless cause which is the championship.

Edit:
There are far more efficient and productive ways that the RFU could invest in pathways for developing high performance players than the championship. The premiership could also self funded their own expanded A league or espoirs type program to develop academy players.

If the championship clubs want to chase the Premiership dream the they should find their own funding. The premiership clubs should be doing a better job of growing the sport in the whole of England as that would only benefit them but they are only interested in the short term.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 07:49

carbonero wrote:
The union model is moribund. It was a quick fix to delay the inevitable. The rich countries will always get the best players. I don’t know what comes next but one thing is certain: every version of the Currie Cup, NRC, Mitre 10, Trans-Tasman, Rapid Rugby, SLAR, etc. can’t retain players in their respective nations.

The problem is that rugby ain’t football. There are limited amount of professional slots at an elite level. If the British league happens, those opportunities might be even thiner. Now imagine a massive exodus from the south to the north: how are Tier 2 players going to get professional exposure? Fijians will be fine. So do Georgian props. But why would a French club sign Spanish, Romanian or Canadian espoirs when they can pick the best from varsity rugby in South Africa, Australia or New Zealand?


Well in soccer the best players go to the wealthiest leagues. It's simple economics. But football has a free market whilst rugby is a clusterfuck of epic proportions with a mix of central contracts and international game subsidies. So you have the situation where national unions are trying to compete with clubs to keep the primacy of international rugby subsequently screwing over both club growth and global growth in the process. It's a zero sum strategy and is not a long term solution.

I guess that all we can hope for is continued global growth and more professional leagues being established. Get Italian and Spanish professional leagues up and running and that would open pro opportunities for T2 players.

Maybe a successful B&I league would help drive some global popularity. I think club rugby has always been downplayed and has not been utilised to grow the game. The MLR is taking an interesting approach by using the club game to grow the game and their investors are the primary drivers of that philosophy. Clubs in other countries don't seem to understand that and just focus on short-termism.

We actually need a flip of the switch with clubs driving the growth of the game for their own interests. The current situation where national teams control the game in the name of their own interests means the game will never grow. The English, French and Japanese clubs growing more could actually be a good thing for the game as the national unions will have to rethink their ways and look globally. It's inevitable.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 08:48

What would a British and Irish League look like? I can picture the 4 Irish provinces easily and the 2 Scottish teams but I don't know how many teams from England and Wales would be involved.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 08:55

thatrugbyguy wrote:What would a British and Irish League look like? I can picture the 4 Irish provinces easily and the 2 Scottish teams but I don't know how many teams from England and Wales would be involved.


It would be 12 or 13 English teams, depending on what's happening with Saracens. I have no idea how many Welsh teams, but I can't see all 4 being included.

I personally really hope that the B&I league never happens. I see it as just another way for the big clubs and unions to block the growth and development of the smaller ones. A big cartel if you like.

It also reminds me a lot of expanding the Super 12, and expanding the Rugby Championship. Just more of the same, so the whole thing is devalued.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 09:22

thatrugbyguy wrote:What would a British and Irish League look like? I can picture the 4 Irish provinces easily and the 2 Scottish teams but I don't know how many teams from England and Wales would be involved.


2 Scottish, 4 Irish, 4 Welsh, 14 English would be the way to please everyone and create an easy to follow format.

But maybe 24 teams wouldn't be attractive for financial reasons so Connacht, Dragons and a 14th English team might not be necessary. Ulster, Munster and Leinster would be vital. If there were only 2 Welsh teams I couldn't see the Ospreys being left out since they play in Swansea the second biggest city, maybe Scarlets and Ospreys could be merged I suppose but I couldn't see them ever agreeing with that. Cardiff is a necessity.

England could just keep 12 teams as they wouldn't be losing much by leaving out Saracens and then you'd have 20 teams for an easy format.

I think there's a few different format options but they would all have to involve conferences and maybe sub divisions like the NFL.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 09:50

ihateblazers wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:What would a British and Irish League look like? I can picture the 4 Irish provinces easily and the 2 Scottish teams but I don't know how many teams from England and Wales would be involved.


2 Scottish, 4 Irish, 4 Welsh, 14 English would be the way to please everyone and create an easy to follow format.

But maybe 24 teams wouldn't be attractive for financial reasons so Connacht, Dragons and a 14th English team might not be necessary. Ulster, Munster and Leinster would be vital. If there were only 2 Welsh teams I couldn't see the Ospreys being left out since they play in Swansea the second biggest city, maybe Scarlets and Ospreys could be merged I suppose but I couldn't see them ever agreeing with that. Cardiff is a necessity.

England could just keep 12 teams as they wouldn't be losing much by leaving out Saracens and then you'd have 20 teams for an easy format.

I think there's a few different format options but they would all have to involve conferences and maybe sub divisions like the NFL.


I'm not a fan of the concept, but if it does happen 2 Welsh teams and 12 English teams will be fine (along with 4 Irish, 2 Scottish).
I do think Wales needs a third professional team. I think Dragons playing in the English Championship with a reduced number of English teams would be a good way of keeping them going and would also be a boost to that league. I feel like Ospreys is failed experiment that has run its course and now just needs to be disbanded.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 14:01

ihateblazers wrote:
theDarky wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
victorsra wrote:LNR (the French league) organizes both, Top 14 and Pro D2. But the Premiership doesn't. I'm pretty sure they could afford to build a transitional professional 2nd division with like 6 clubs, to prepare them properly for the Premiership while providing better opposition for the relegated club... but they don't want. And that's not cleaver, as they are killing the possibility of proper future geographical expansion.


Does anyone know if the FFR has ever funded the Pro D2 or Top 14? A lot of the comments by English fans is critical of the RFU but I don't think that's really fair.


No they dont ... that's the job of the LNR ... when a sport become professionnal in France you have to create a league which manages the professional sides.

Clubs can receive money from the FFR only for their amateur teams (underage ones or 2nd/3rd sides)

You have all the accounting details here:
https://www.lnr.fr/sites/default/files/ ... l_2019.pdf


Just as I thought. So criticism towards the RFU is completely unfounded then. Why should the RFU help fund semi/fully pro teams when it doesn't benefit the country.

The RFU has to pay off the premiership so they can gain access to the national team players for international success which drives investment in the rest of the game.

Maybe the premiership should take the championship under it's wing but club support in France is far higher than in England due to historical reasons so it is a completely different environment.

The RFU should focus on investing in the grassroots as they already do instead of funding the hopeless cause which is the championship.

Edit:
There are far more efficient and productive ways that the RFU could invest in pathways for developing high performance players than the championship. The premiership could also self funded their own expanded A league or espoirs type program to develop academy players.

If the championship clubs want to chase the Premiership dream the they should find their own funding. The premiership clubs should be doing a better job of growing the sport in the whole of England as that would only benefit them but they are only interested in the short term.

FFR supports the Federale 1 (French 3rd division) Afaik. And Federale 1 is much bigger than the Championship and probably some of its clubs are as professional as the Championship or more.

In other words, the transition from amateur to.professional is on the hands of the Union. Fully professionalism on the hands of the league.

So it would be important to know how much money FFR puts on the Federale 1 to draw conclusions if criticism over RFU is right or not.

But major criticism should be on the Premiership that never did what LNR does.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby iul » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 14:12

Prod2 is much more competitive than RFU champ because they get a big share of the Top 14 TV money. 37.5% IIRC.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 14:39

iul wrote:Prod2 is much more competitive than RFU champ because they get a big share of the Top 14 TV money. 37.5% IIRC.


They add value though. The Pro D2 is obviously attractive to broadcasters and spectators with the tribalism. French club rugby has had organised competitions for a long time and is a huge part of communities in the south of France. I think that the history of club rugby union in England plays a big part in the Championship's unpopularity and is not all down to the Premiership or RFU.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 14:50

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:What would a British and Irish League look like? I can picture the 4 Irish provinces easily and the 2 Scottish teams but I don't know how many teams from England and Wales would be involved.


2 Scottish, 4 Irish, 4 Welsh, 14 English would be the way to please everyone and create an easy to follow format.

But maybe 24 teams wouldn't be attractive for financial reasons so Connacht, Dragons and a 14th English team might not be necessary. Ulster, Munster and Leinster would be vital. If there were only 2 Welsh teams I couldn't see the Ospreys being left out since they play in Swansea the second biggest city, maybe Scarlets and Ospreys could be merged I suppose but I couldn't see them ever agreeing with that. Cardiff is a necessity.

England could just keep 12 teams as they wouldn't be losing much by leaving out Saracens and then you'd have 20 teams for an easy format.

I think there's a few different format options but they would all have to involve conferences and maybe sub divisions like the NFL.


I'm not a fan of the concept, but if it does happen 2 Welsh teams and 12 English teams will be fine (along with 4 Irish, 2 Scottish).
I do think Wales needs a third professional team. I think Dragons playing in the English Championship with a reduced number of English teams would be a good way of keeping them going and would also be a boost to that league. I feel like Ospreys is failed experiment that has run its course and now just needs to be disbanded.


I can understand your reservations and I'm sure most English fans feel the same. But I do believe that a unified B&I league would be good for the game in the nation's involved and raise it's profile.

As I said in my other post on this thread competing with private investment by using international game revenue to top up player salaries and subsidising the club game is not a long term solution. So any opportunity to get that off their backs should be seen as a positive. This could be a good opportunity for the Celts to have private ownership in their teams.

The Scots have wanted to sell their teams for a while now but I guess that the Pro 14 is seen as a pretty low value competition, a B&I league could change this perception The Welsh Regions are all privately owned except for the Dragons but the WRU want to fully own all the regions so they can legitimatise funding them further, this wouldn't be necessary if there was a funding increase thanks to a lucrative competition. The Irish are all owned by the Union but i think they should be forced to sell the professional arm of the provinces as franchises or set up as private entities if they want to join. If the Scots and Welsh joined then the Irish would have no choice but to follow.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 14:56

ihateblazers wrote: I think that the history of club rugby union in England plays a big part in the Championship's unpopularity and it is all down to the RFU.


Fixed that for you. It is 100% the RFU's fault to think until the 80ies, that rugby doesn't need leagues for teams to compete. This is biting them now, that their clubs don't have the supporter's bases like the French clubs. You are spot on about the tribalism of the French clubs. Regular competition created that.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 15:05

RugbyLiebe wrote: It is 100% the RFU's fault to think until the 80ies, that rugby doesn't need leagues for teams to compete. This is biting them now, that their clubs don't have the supporter's bases like the French clubs. You are spot on about the tribalism of the French clubs. Regular competition created that.

:lol: undeniable truth.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 15:42

ihateblazers wrote:
iul wrote:Prod2 is much more competitive than RFU champ because they get a big share of the Top 14 TV money. 37.5% IIRC.


They add value though. The Pro D2 is obviously attractive to broadcasters and spectators with the tribalism. French club rugby has had organised competitions for a long time and is a huge part of communities in the south of France. I think that the history of club rugby union in England plays a big part in the Championship's unpopularity and is not all down to the Premiership or RFU.


There must be enough popular clubs in England and Wales for a sustainable tier 2. How about Pontypridd? Although I do think they have been unrealistic and irresponsible in the past. The most popular Championship clubs in England are Coventry, Bedford and Cornish Pirates. How about an English and Welsh Super Six with Pontypridd, Dragons and Ospreys?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby sk 88 » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 19:30

thatrugbyguy wrote:I've never understood why a British and Irish League was never established when the game went pro.


So taking 1995 as the starting point:

We all had our own individual amateur leagues of clubs. The English league was already on Sky TV prior to 1995 (the earliest recording I have is from 1993), with the cup live on the BBC, and the Welsh league had TV coverage (I think BBC Wales showed their cup which got very good attendances, particularly the final). I do not think there was TV coverage at this stage in Scotland or Ireland of club rugby. Munster, Leinster, Glasgow, Edinburgh played a handful of matches while sides like Cork Constitution, Dolphin, Boroughmuir, or Watsonians played full schedules of 35 or 40 matches a season (similar to Queensland or New South Wales as opposed to Shute Shield/Hospital Cup clubs I would imagine).

This is, really, the key to remember. The Premiership (with the less "sexy" name First Division) was already basically the as it is, double round robin structure on TV, undisputed top of English game. The European Cup was formed between the 6N club sides and Romania. The English did not like the foundations of the tournament (Irish/Scottish regions rather than clubs and the revenue share, unsurprisingly this kept rearing its head until solved) and did not compete in the first year.

In 1997 they switched to the Premiership. In 1998/99 we again boycotted Europe for the same issue basically. At this time Cardiff and Swansea (Swansea RFC NOT the Ospreys) played as guests in the English Premiership, at this time the second division was still attached to the Premiership as "Premiership 2", similar to LNR's set up today.

At the end of this season Wales were offered 4 places in the English league structure (thought to be Llanelli, Swansea, Cardiff and Newport) the next season. They wanted 5, then rejected the offer. So the short answer to your question is here. The Welsh were offered the chance and their union turned it down.

With the European Cup ramping up the Scottish districts were very poor and convinced the Welsh sides to effectively let their sides into the Welsh League to help them get regular games. The Celtic League started as a add on to this with the same sides + the 4 Irish provinces (who also needed more games to help them become better in the European Cup).

Prior to the last couple of years I have never heard anyone talk of the Irish or Scots joining the English league. It wasn't really on the table. Ireland is a totally separate country from England, I don't see the desire in England to play anyone further away than the Welsh (which culturally on many levels is a totally different kettle of fish). I don't really think the Irish want a combined league either. For a combined league to work they would have to change their model significantly for it to work, and why would they want to change at the moment?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby 4N » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 19:42

From the outside it does seem like a combined English/Welsh second tier is the way to go. Could it help some of the Welsh clubs like Pontypridd and Bridgend that have been left behind? I believe they had pretty strong support throughout the years.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby sk 88 » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 19:45

ihateblazers wrote:
victorsra wrote:LNR (the French league) organizes both, Top 14 and Pro D2. But the Premiership doesn't. I'm pretty sure they could afford to build a transitional professional 2nd division with like 6 clubs, to prepare them properly for the Premiership while providing better opposition for the relegated club... but they don't want. And that's not cleaver, as they are killing the possibility of proper future geographical expansion.


Does anyone know if the FFR has ever funded the Pro D2 or Top 14? A lot of the comments by English fans is critical of the RFU but I don't think that's really fair.


The RFU control the Championship broadcasting and commercial rights. They won't let the clubs manage it themselves and sell it off as a virtually worthless bauble in combined with the other rights they sell.

That's why it is the RFU's responsibility. If they didn't want the responsibility I know the Championship clubs would have been happy to try and generate their own money. But they are barred from doing it.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby sk 88 » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 19:51

ihateblazers wrote:
iul wrote:Prod2 is much more competitive than RFU champ because they get a big share of the Top 14 TV money. 37.5% IIRC.


They add value though. The Pro D2 is obviously attractive to broadcasters and spectators with the tribalism. French club rugby has had organised competitions for a long time and is a huge part of communities in the south of France. I think that the history of club rugby union in England plays a big part in the Championship's unpopularity and is not all down to the Premiership or RFU.


They drew comparable attendances in the 90s, LNR has created this passion and tribalism by building on it for 25 years, sharing revenue and having a fundamentally fair and equitable set up. In England the Premiership has had a deliberate policy of suppression for 20 years since we re-entered Europe in 2000.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 19:58

In 1997 [...] at this time the second division was still attached to the Premiership as "Premiership 2", similar to LNR's set up today.


What happend? Why this changed?

The minimum Premiership should do is to expend the Shield to like 16 teams, the 12 "A" sides plus 4 independent teams. They won't do any of this because their project is ring fence and f*off.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 20:12

As an Englishman this is all very disheartening.

I don't believe there are any serious plans for a British and Irish league. It seems to be a rumour started by the Ospreys chairman. The irony is that if the Welsh teams did move to a British league there is probably a good chance that the Ospreys would be disbanded as part of the reorganization.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 20:14

How would be fans response for a ring fenced Premiership? The majority would agree of the credibility would be damaged?
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 21:00

I don't think many fans are in favour of ringfencing. Sport is about winning and losing.

Why shouldn't Cornwall have the opportunity to have a Premiership team? They are building a national stadium and have a proud rugby history.

How will clubs be held to account? If there is another Saracens once the Premiership is ring fenced, how will they be punished if finishing bottom doesn't result in relegation?

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