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Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Thomas » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 21:24

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Meanwhile... https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/ ... sh-funding

"The Rugby Football Union is to cut its funding of the Championship by 50%, throwing England’s second tier into turmoil and handing “ring-fencing to the Premiership on a plate”.


This is devastating. The RFU has completely given up on England's second tier. Professional rugby as a career option in England has just been withdrawn for everyone other than the elite. Plenty of rugby players will now retire early. This will kill their dream. Some younger players might now seek to continue their careers in MLR or the Russian Premier League. Others will give up.

I have always believed in the English Championship. I thought they could add some Welsh teams, get some more games on TV, and build something sustainable. There are some fantastic clubs; Coventry, Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates, with decent local support. The RFU could half their budget by halving the number of teams. There are clubs in the English Championship that shouldn't really be in England's second tier. Hartbury and Ampthill for example.

If the RFU are going to half funding they should follow the SRU's lead and set up a Super Six. Saracens, Ealing, Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, and one other. The rest will have to go back to amateurism, if they manage to survive at all.


Basically we been shafted, the ability of the RFU to shoot itself in both feet is staggering. How is rugby going to develop if investment is slashed? Absolute contempt for grassroots. The Blazers have sold their soul to PRL and CVC have done a great disservice.

Now Championship is talking breakaway, it is possible and many would support it.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/12/furious-championship-rugby-clubs-considering-breakaway-league

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Wed, 12 Feb 2020, 21:49

The premiership is kind of ringfenced already.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thegua ... remiership
When London Welsh were in the premiership they got less than half of the money other clubs got. That is some serious bullshit.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 03:11

Thomas wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Meanwhile... https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/ ... sh-funding

"The Rugby Football Union is to cut its funding of the Championship by 50%, throwing England’s second tier into turmoil and handing “ring-fencing to the Premiership on a plate”.


This is devastating. The RFU has completely given up on England's second tier. Professional rugby as a career option in England has just been withdrawn for everyone other than the elite. Plenty of rugby players will now retire early. This will kill their dream. Some younger players might now seek to continue their careers in MLR or the Russian Premier League. Others will give up.

I have always believed in the English Championship. I thought they could add some Welsh teams, get some more games on TV, and build something sustainable. There are some fantastic clubs; Coventry, Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates, with decent local support. The RFU could half their budget by halving the number of teams. There are clubs in the English Championship that shouldn't really be in England's second tier. Hartbury and Ampthill for example.

If the RFU are going to half funding they should follow the SRU's lead and set up a Super Six. Saracens, Ealing, Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, and one other. The rest will have to go back to amateurism, if they manage to survive at all.


Basically we been shafted, the ability of the RFU to shoot itself in both feet is staggering. How is rugby going to develop if investment is slashed? Absolute contempt for grassroots. The Blazers have sold their soul to PRL and CVC have done a great disservice.

Now Championship is talking breakaway, it is possible and many would support it.

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/12/furious-championship-rugby-clubs-considering-breakaway-league


Maybe they should break away. They have tried the current model for 10 years and it hasn't been successful. Attendances haven't grown. They have actually decreased slightly. I think they should also reach out to the larger Welsh clubs. I'm not sure the Welsh Premiership is working particularly well for the bigger Welsh Premiership clubs.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Higgik » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 07:40

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Meanwhile... https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/ ... sh-funding

"The Rugby Football Union is to cut its funding of the Championship by 50%, throwing England’s second tier into turmoil and handing “ring-fencing to the Premiership on a plate”.


This is devastating. The RFU has completely given up on England's second tier. Professional rugby as a career option in England has just been withdrawn for everyone other than the elite. Plenty of rugby players will now retire early. This will kill their dream. Some younger players might now seek to continue their careers in MLR or the Russian Premier League. Others will give up.

I have always believed in the English Championship. I thought they could add some Welsh teams, get some more games on TV, and build something sustainable. There are some fantastic clubs; Coventry, Bedford Blues, Cornish Pirates, with decent local support. The RFU could half their budget by halving the number of teams. There are clubs in the English Championship that shouldn't really be in England's second tier. Hartbury and Ampthill for example.

If the RFU are going to half funding they should follow the SRU's lead and set up a Super Six. Saracens, Ealing, Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, and one other. The rest will have to go back to amateurism, if they manage to survive at all.

Or add them to an expanded Premiership. Maybe have 16 rather than 18 and play 18 match season.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Higgik » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 07:49

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.

24 with conferences would be good. 6 groups of 4 play home and away in group (Irish group for example) home and away v 2 other groups. Yes that would only be 14 matches but the crowds would be far bigger and create more revenue. Or go 4 groups of 6 with 16 matches. Obviously both need play offs for title, but that makes it interesting to the end.
Also would look to getting a development league going like the NBA does with the GLeague

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 09:44

I never understand the argument that of clubs played fewer games those games would have far bigger crowds. Why would that be? Would non fans start going because there are fewer games?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 10:04

iul wrote:I never understand the argument that of clubs played fewer games those games would have far bigger crowds. Why would that be? Would non fans start going because there are fewer games?


Me neither. Once more I think of Douglas Adam's Kakapo piece.
I am getting more and more the feeling, that global rugby can only be saved in the long-run by a radical change. And that includes opening up everything asap. This will lead to massive problems short to mid-term, but it will save rugby. All the old guard are basically sailing into disaster and continue to do what they always did. On the other hand, wouldn't be the first time, that the USA saved the Brits :lol: Maybe MLR (and a better Top League) will be the two most important things to keep pro rugby alive.


Are there any restrictions on the Championships how many non-British can play there? More international players would definitely cut costs and as we all know there is a massive gap between the number of involved foreigners in France and Britain and it is not only the weather and the food.
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: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Thomas » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 11:06

Until the Brexit shenanigans rule 13.4.3 states that no more than 2 foreign players in any match.

What happens after the end of this year is anyone's guess.

This did no apply to EU players. I am talking Level 1 to 4 Rugby.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 12:22

Thomas wrote:Until the Brexit shenanigans rule 13.4.3 states that no more than 2 foreign players in any match.

What happens after the end of this year is anyone's guess.

This did no apply to EU players. I am talking Level 1 to 4 Rugby.


What would be your guess how many Non-British EU nationals are playing in that competition? An interesting one in the future: how many of those are Irish passport holders?
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: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby ihateblazers » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 12:57

iul wrote:I never understand the argument that of clubs played fewer games those games would have far bigger crowds. Why would that be? Would non fans start going because there are fewer games?


It would create more demand in the market. Just look at the NFL, International Rugby. Around half of the premiership clubs have crowds near capacity and need to expand their stadiums. If they expanded the stadiums and reduced the amount of games it would create more demand and you could keep the prices the same. If you expand the stadiums but keep the same amount of games you need to decrease the season ticket prices. With less games it could increase the attendances of the other half of the premiership which doesn't sell out their stadiums. I also think it would improve the product on the field, address player welfare concerns and with a shorter season keep interest throughout the season.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:22

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Thomas wrote:Until the Brexit shenanigans rule 13.4.3 states that no more than 2 foreign players in any match.

What happens after the end of this year is anyone's guess.

This did no apply to EU players. I am talking Level 1 to 4 Rugby.


What would be your guess how many Non-British EU nationals are playing in that competition? An interesting one in the future: how many of those are Irish passport holders?


There is a German player who plays for Yorkshire Carnegie called Jarrid Els. I don't know if he is British or an EU citizen. If he's an EU citizen he is the only one in the RFU Championship. Irish players would not be affected by Brexit. There was already free movement between Britain and Ireland before the EU existed and I expect it will continue afterwards.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:36

victorsra wrote:
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.


After we decided to re-enter Europe (/were allowed back in) in 1999 the league had to trim down from 14. There was not an obviously acceptable way to do this so it opened something of a power struggle.

Tom Walkinshaw ran the Arrows F1 team and also owned Gloucester at this time. The current vision of a franchised top league with nothing below it was essentially his and he sold the idea to the rest of the league, who liked it. Richmond's owner pulled out as he didn't want to cover the losses any more, this unblocked the system as Premiership Rugby kicked them out rather than help in anyway keep them going. London Scottish were on the verge of entering administration (this is a formal thing in the UK where you re-structure your debts), again rather than help in anyway Premiership Rugby saw the oppurtunity to kick them out and did so. This caused them to be liquidated (formally cease to exist) rather than go into administration. Both clubs re-formed at the very lowest level.

They then stopped selling the combined rights to sponsorship and slowly worked on cutting all their ties. The current set up with complicated "P" shares, "A" shares, "B" shares to allocate funding and voting rights came about in c.2004. This was when the process was basically complete and why other than when we had the play offs the promoted team has been the previously relegated team each season.

The play offs for promotion came in 2009 and were really exciting, but the wrong teams kept winning, Exeter managed to convince the club later on they were in fact a "right team" but that was all after the fact. When they came up they were discriminated against with reduced funding like London Welsh were, they just rode the storm better.

Your last paragraph is 100% correct.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:39

victorsra wrote:How would be fans response for a ring fenced Premiership? The majority would agree of the credibility would be damaged?


Mild disaproval, reduced attendances over the long term (more due to inevitable problems with boring league), nothing cataclysmic. Most people don't follow it that closely or do but are not upset enough to protest or anything. A few seem to have genuinely drunk the kool aid and think this will help the game in someway rather than just help the millionaire owners reduce expenditure and increase asset value.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:41

Higgik 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.

24 with conferences would be good. 6 groups of 4 play home and away in group (Irish group for example) home and away v 2 other groups. Yes that would only be 14 matches but the crowds would be far bigger and create more revenue. Or go 4 groups of 6 with 16 matches. Obviously both need play offs for title, but that makes it interesting to the end.
Also would look to getting a development league going like the NBA does with the GLeague



Evidence please? European game currently get lower attendances and lower TV viewing figures.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:44

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Thomas wrote:Until the Brexit shenanigans rule 13.4.3 states that no more than 2 foreign players in any match.

What happens after the end of this year is anyone's guess.

This did no apply to EU players. I am talking Level 1 to 4 Rugby.


What would be your guess how many Non-British EU nationals are playing in that competition? An interesting one in the future: how many of those are Irish passport holders?


There is a German player who plays for Yorkshire Carnegie called Jarrid Els. I don't know if he is British or an EU citizen. If he's an EU citizen he is the only one in the RFU Championship. Irish players would not be affected by Brexit. There was already free movement between Britain and Ireland before the EU existed and I expect it will continue afterwards.


Jarrid Els is South African. He played for Heidelberger RK and became German.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:44

RugbyLiebe wrote:
iul wrote:I never understand the argument that of clubs played fewer games those games would have far bigger crowds. Why would that be? Would non fans start going because there are fewer games?


Me neither. Once more I think of Douglas Adam's Kakapo piece.
I am getting more and more the feeling, that global rugby can only be saved in the long-run by a radical change. And that includes opening up everything asap. This will lead to massive problems short to mid-term, but it will save rugby. All the old guard are basically sailing into disaster and continue to do what they always did. On the other hand, wouldn't be the first time, that the USA saved the Brits :lol: Maybe MLR (and a better Top League) will be the two most important things to keep pro rugby alive.


Are there any restrictions on the Championships how many non-British can play there? More international players would definitely cut costs and as we all know there is a massive gap between the number of involved foreigners in France and Britain and it is not only the weather and the food.


Yes there are two/three.

1) There are the same "English Qualified Player" quotas in the Championship. These are higher at I think 17 players rather than 14 players in the Prem.
2) The average wage in the Championship is below the immigration threshold. Average wage is £20k per player per year, the threshold for non-EU immigration is set to be c.£30k p.a.

Sort of 3) we also have a restriction of 2 "foreign players" as a hangover from the old amateur days that has never been removed. With the EU & Kolpack it has become meaningless but it is still there in the regulations.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:49

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
There is a German player who plays for Yorkshire Carnegie called Jarrid Els. I don't know if he is British or an EU citizen. If he's an EU citizen he is the only one in the RFU Championship. Irish players would not be affected by Brexit. There was already free movement between Britain and Ireland before the EU existed and I expect it will continue afterwards.


Jarrid Els is South Africa born and only qualified through residency for Germany. I doubt he holds a German passport. The CTA might stay in place, but only between NI and I. Not sure about work. But maybe the Irish guys in our forum know more. I have my doubts, that Ireland can give EU citizens of Ireland an advantage over EU citizens from other countries. It is most probably all or none.
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: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:50

ihateblazers wrote:
iul wrote:I never understand the argument that of clubs played fewer games those games would have far bigger crowds. Why would that be? Would non fans start going because there are fewer games?


It would create more demand in the market. Just look at the NFL, International Rugby. Around half of the premiership clubs have crowds near capacity and need to expand their stadiums. If they expanded the stadiums and reduced the amount of games it would create more demand and you could keep the prices the same. If you expand the stadiums but keep the same amount of games you need to decrease the season ticket prices. With less games it could increase the attendances of the other half of the premiership which doesn't sell out their stadiums. I also think it would improve the product on the field, address player welfare concerns and with a shorter season keep interest throughout the season.


Alternatively look at Premier League football where they play more games and have better attendances.

I don't think the number of fixtures is really a particular issue it is the bitty on and off structure to the season. A better solution to this problem would be blocking international rugby into one part of the year (April-May-June maybe?) so that clubs can have a steady product to sell to people and develop a habit.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:55

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
There is a German player who plays for Yorkshire Carnegie called Jarrid Els. I don't know if he is British or an EU citizen. If he's an EU citizen he is the only one in the RFU Championship. Irish players would not be affected by Brexit. There was already free movement between Britain and Ireland before the EU existed and I expect it will continue afterwards.


Jarrid Els is South Africa born and only qualified through residency for Germany. I doubt he holds a German passport. The CTA might stay in place, but only between NI and I. Not sure about work. But maybe the Irish guys in our forum know more. I have my doubts, that Ireland can give EU citizens of Ireland an advantage over EU citizens from other countries. It is most probably all or none.


Irish people have never had any restrictions on working in the UK though, it was part of the settlement of the Irish war of independence. Irish people have full voting rights in the UK that no one else does, they can sit in parliament and the house of lords, there is loads of special arrangements between the countries that I can't see changing really. Cypriot and Maltese people can vote in the UK if they have been granted leave to remain too. A weird legacy of having a European empire!

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 13:58

Another thing I never understood, which is going to bite them in the long-term, is the interference between national team games and the league.

If World Rugby wasn't run by amateurs they would have managed to create destinated worldwide international weeks, were no league games are allowed. This would a) create a higher attendance in the leagues b) make sure that global rugby grows, when those internationals are available for their countries.

FIFA can do it, and they need to arrange more than the just 8 (?) pro leagues worldwide rugby has to. But you need to have the bloody ability to plan years ahead to do that. Another thing World Rugby lacks (see 7s Challenger Series). Maybe victor knows more how this is actually done (another thing I never bothered to ask before, but a very interesting point).
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: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 14:00

sk 88 wrote:Irish people have never had any restrictions on working in the UK though, it was part of the settlement of the Irish war of independence. Irish people have full voting rights in the UK that no one else does, they can sit in parliament and the house of lords, there is loads of special arrangements between the countries that I can't see changing really. Cypriot and Maltese people can vote in the UK if they have been granted leave to remain too. A weird legacy of having a European empire!


Makes a lot of sense. I think you are right. If anything GB gives rights to anyone they want. The other way round would be a different thing.
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: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 14:36

RugbyLiebe wrote:Another thing I never understood, which is going to bite them in the long-term, is the interference between national team games and the league.

If World Rugby wasn't run by amateurs they would have managed to create destinated worldwide international weeks, were no league games are allowed. This would a) create a higher attendance in the leagues b) make sure that global rugby grows, when those internationals are available for their countries.

FIFA can do it, and they need to arrange more than the just 8 (?) pro leagues worldwide rugby has to. But you need to have the bloody ability to plan years ahead to do that. Another thing World Rugby lacks (see 7s Challenger Series). Maybe victor knows more how this is actually done (another thing I never bothered to ask before, but a very interesting point).


How FIFA does it, you mean?

Let's try to calculate. If I'm not wrong, FIFA has 5 windows, and I believe each one has around 10 days (from the date clubs must release players). We are talking around 50 days? Maybe 60 , as June has more matches?

Only the 6N is more than a month and a half (remember players are released 2 weeks before kickoff, as there are no national team players in the last weekend of January club matches).

And rugby clubs play only 1 match/week (while soccer clubs many times play twice a week).

I'd say the main problem in indeed the number of matches Top14-Premiership clubs want to play in a season. Top 14 clubs can play 38 matches in a season! (29 in the Top 14 + 9 in the Champions Cup). In fact, Premiership clubs can play up to 39 (but I believe nobody realy cares about the national cup...). If 6N national teams play a minimum of 11 matches (5 in the 6N, plus 3 in July and 3 in November), we are talking about 50 weeks? You can't have this in a year. That's why national teams and clubs clash dates.

Clubs could play midweek rounds? IMO yes, but this would mean the need of a limit of matches per players (in the league rules), which means larger squads and, therefore, the need to have bigger salary caps and bigger budgets.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby ihateblazers » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 14:44

I'd say reduce the amount of matches for club and country by 20%. So club plays 18 domestic (+2/3 knockout) + 4 europe (+ 3 knockout) and internationals 9. Regional tournaments with 5 games + 4 inter-regional games played over a 5 week block with 1 week in-between for travel/rest. A 39/40 week calendar with no clashes and a guaranteed 3 month off season.
Last edited by ihateblazers on Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 14:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 14:47

RugbyLiebe wrote:Another thing I never understood, which is going to bite them in the long-term, is the interference between national team games and the league.

If World Rugby wasn't run by amateurs they would have managed to create destinated worldwide international weeks, were no league games are allowed. This would a) create a higher attendance in the leagues b) make sure that global rugby grows, when those internationals are available for their countries.

FIFA can do it, and they need to arrange more than the just 8 (?) pro leagues worldwide rugby has to. But you need to have the bloody ability to plan years ahead to do that. Another thing World Rugby lacks (see 7s Challenger Series). Maybe victor knows more how this is actually done (another thing I never bothered to ask before, but a very interesting point).

AFAIK there is no large reduction in the crowd sizes for club games played during tests. Also, there are 52 weeks in a year. The Top 14 is 29 weeks + 9 weeks for the euro cups + 11 tests is a total of 49 weeks out of 52 weeks in a year. That would be ridiculous. Rugby can't have midweek games either because it's a much more brutal game than soccer

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Thu, 13 Feb 2020, 14:49

ihateblazers wrote:I'd say reduce the amount of matches for club and country by 20%. So club plays 18 domestic (+2/3 knockout) + 4 europe (+ 3 knockout) and internationals 9. Regional tournaments with 5 games + 4 inter-regional games played over a 5 week block with 1 week in-between for travel/rest. A 39/40 week calendar with no clashes and a guaranteed 3 month off season.

Why is there a need for no club/international clashes though? The clubs are happy to play durig tests and they don't affect the test crowds anyway because they usually sell out. So why force the clubs to have fewer games? Makes no sense to me.

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