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Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

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Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby welshdragon2000 » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 22:11

I will start off with a couple of basic predictions:
Georgia, USA, Uruguay will all push on. Georgia and USA will be knocking on the door of the top 10 while Uruguay will rise above one or two PI nations into the top 15.

The country that will improve its ranking the most from now through till the end of the 2020s will be Colombia.

Germany will finish top 3 in the REC regularly.

Kenya will surpass Namibia as the second best African side.

Fiji will be a top 8 side.

Canada will return from the dead with several MLR franchises.

Romania and Russia will drop off in the early 2020s but will regain ground in the latter years of the decade,

Brazil will be ranked around 19-22.

Netherlands and Portugal will make ground on the REC sides and surpass some of them.

Just a couple to start off with...

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby victorsra » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 22:15

Not sure Kenya will pass Namibia. Look at the U20s great form of the Namibians...
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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby 4N » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 22:22

Brazil and Poland will step up.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby qwerty » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 22:54

4N wrote:Brazil and Poland will step up.


I have been keenly following Poland for a while now. I see it as a country with more potential than Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby qwerty » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 22:54

Madagascar might start making a push into tier 2.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Coloradoan » Mon, 01 Oct 2018, 23:55

victorsra wrote:Not sure Kenya will pass Namibia. Look at the U20s great form of the Namibians...


U20 results aren't a perfect predictor of the future (some countries are consistently stronger or weaker than their results let on, typically for structural reasons) but I think people should look at some of the young talent being produced, or not produced, by various countries. Georgia is a clear cut example of a team that should only continue to get stronger as their youth sides are now putting out some quality backs to go with their pack. On the other hand, is a team like Madagascar really ready to push on? They're fun to root for and have great passion, but I don't see much in the way of progress at youth level. Likely they're going to need substantial economic growth in order to improve.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby qwerty » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 00:04

Coloradoan wrote:
victorsra wrote:Not sure Kenya will pass Namibia. Look at the U20s great form of the Namibians...


U20 results aren't a perfect predictor of the future (some countries are consistently stronger or weaker than their results let on, typically for structural reasons) but I think people should look at some of the young talent being produced, or not produced, by various countries. Georgia is a clear cut example of a team that should only continue to get stronger as their youth sides are now putting out some quality backs to go with their pack. On the other hand, is a team like Madagascar really ready to push on? They're fun to root for and have great passion, but I don't see much in the way of progress at youth level. Likely they're going to need substantial economic growth in order to improve.


I see Madagascar primarily improving from World Rugby investment, should they continue to help T2 countries.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby victorsra » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 01:07

I must disagree, Coloradoan. One year means nothing, but a sequence of years means a lot and Namibia is consistently performing better.

However the second factor is how professional and developed the senior high performance program is. Well, Namibia is clearly not behind Kenya and they have a (semi pro?) team in the South African competitions... so those young players have a clear path in Namibia, even if not really professional. Kenya needs serious efforts to pass Namibia.

I see Madagascar primarily improving from World Rugby investment, should they continue to help T2 countries.

Was Madagascar anounced as a country to receive investment?
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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby qwerty » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 01:14

victorsra wrote:
I see Madagascar primarily improving from World Rugby investment, should they continue to help T2 countries.

Was Madagascar anounced as a country to receive investment?



No, but I think they are a potential receiver, since it is one of the only countries in the world where rugby is the national sport.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Coloradoan » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 01:35

victorsra wrote:I must disagree, Coloradoan. One year means nothing, but a sequence of years means a lot and Namibia is consistently performing better.

However the second factor is how professional and developed the senior high performance program is. Well, Namibia is clearly not behind Kenya and they have a (semi pro?) team in the South African competitions... so those young players have a clear path in Namibia, even if not really professional. Kenya needs serious efforts to pass Namibia.

I see Madagascar primarily improving from World Rugby investment, should they continue to help T2 countries.

Was Madagascar anounced as a country to receive investment?


Sorry if there was confusion. I wasn't disputing that U20 results matter. A sequence of years does mean a lot, although I'd argue that results relative to past results matter just as much. For example, Portugal has been fairly good at U20 level for a long time now, with little impact on senior results. Continued results at that level won't mean much unless they improve their high performance environment and elite athlete retention.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby ihateblazers » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 03:01

Japan is a bit of an enigma. Obviously they have shown they can compete at the top level since 2014/15, whether or not they have been exceeding their trur ability and it's just been a blip I'm not sure. But they do have structural and organisational issues which will probably hold them back from reaching true t1 status any time soon. They have to get a annual competition with t1 or other top t2 nations to progress further, they are simply too good for the Asian championship are l by themselves, unlike say the Pacific, the Americas, Europe or even Africa which have multiple competitors at that level.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby victorsra » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 03:16

No, but I think they are a potential receiver, since it is one of the only countries in the world where rugby is the national sport.

I'd love to see them growing, but WR invests in markets that can ad value for RWC sponsors... and it is not Madagascar's case, sadly...
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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 06:57

qwerty wrote:
4N wrote:Brazil and Poland will step up.


I have been keenly following Poland for a while now. I see it as a country with more potential than Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands.


Out of curiosity: why?

Portugal and Netherlands are small countries but with 10 million (Portugal) and 17 million people (Netherlands) quite crowded. They are bigger than a lot of tier1 and tier2 teams and have good centralized programs.
The real potential of Poland imho is especially because they will be able to rely on a lot of French and British players who will be eligible to play for them. But I don't think this even stills helps to stay in the REC. But that's the case also with Portugal.

But I'm really curious to hear why you would bet on on Poland.
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: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 07:05

welshdragon2000 wrote:I will start off with a couple of basic predictions:
Georgia, USA, Uruguay will all push on. Georgia and USA will be knocking on the door of the top 10 while Uruguay will rise above one or two PI nations into the top 15.

The country that will improve its ranking the most from now through till the end of the 2020s will be Colombia.

Germany will finish top 3 in the REC regularly.

Kenya will surpass Namibia as the second best African side.

Fiji will be a top 8 side.

Canada will return from the dead with several MLR franchises.

Romania and Russia will drop off in the early 2020s but will regain ground in the latter years of the decade,

Brazil will be ranked around 19-22.

Netherlands and Portugal will make ground on the REC sides and surpass some of them.

Just a couple to start off with...


Great idea, my predictions:

One of Samoa, Tonga and Fiji will not qualify for one world cup (if it stays at 20 teams that is)

Spain will qualify for another RWC

The USA will rank in the top10 at least for a short time until the 2029.

We will see no other African tier 2+3 side than Namibia at the RWC 19,23,27 und 30 (if 20 teams that is).

If it stays at 20 team RWC, we will see no new teams at the RWC until 2030.

Canada to make the top 15

Argentina making the top5

Georgia will beat a home nation
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: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby welshdragon2000 » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 10:19

These are some selected sides that have gained and lost rankings since the 2015 RWC: (+ for gained since 2015, - for lost since 2015, current ranking in brackets)
Chile -7 (30)
Zimbabwe -12 (39)
Netherlands +6 (27)
Brazil +13 (26)
Colombia +11 (36)
Poland +3 (33)
Madagascar -9 (50)
Zambia +16 (62)

Biggest jumps from Brazil, Zambia and Colombia. As I am a year or two new to tier 2 rugby, victors could you explain how brazil has gained so much in the space of three years.

I just had a look at 2011 also and Colombia have gained 37 in the rankings since then, crazy!

These rankings don't necessarily mean a lot but they show what teams are on an upward trajectory so give an idea of how to predict for the future.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Gorbeh » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 10:27

welshdragon2000 wrote:These are some selected sides that have gained and lost rankings since the 2015 RWC: (+ for gained since 2015, - for lost since 2015, current ranking in brackets)
Chile -7 (30)
Zimbabwe -12 (39)
Netherlands +6 (27)
Brazil +13 (26)
Colombia +11 (36)
Poland +3 (33)
Madagascar -9 (50)
Zambia +16 (62)

Biggest jumps from Brazil, Zambia and Colombia. As I am a year or two new to tier 2 rugby, victors could you explain how brazil has gained so much in the space of three years.

I just had a look at 2011 also and Colombia have gained 37 in the rankings since then, crazy!


Just look at the points, not only the rank. It is "just" a 7 point difference between rank 26 and 39. Two good seasons inside the continental tournament and you can easily gain the necessary ranking points, or lose them in just one (e.g. Germany in 2018). The rankings are way closer in this range than inside the top 20. Therefore it is easier to jump and/or to fall.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby 4N » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 10:35

RugbyLiebe wrote:But I'm really curious to hear why you would bet on on Poland.


Fan interest in domestic & club rugby + improving domestic player pool and large population with relatively little competition for athletes (eg sports like ice hockey, handball not that popular) + large diaspora pool + union not resistant to professionalism.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby bolleje » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 11:33

My predictions 'long-term':

- Not the most popular prediction probably, but I think Georgia is close to its top. There are probably other European countries with bigger budgets and options like Spain, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Poland that might surpass them in the future. I hope I'm wrong though as I think it is a good thing for rugby to have some specific countries participating in the World Cup that don't necessarily are involved in other big sports as well. Georgia, Samoa, Fiji, Romania make the World Cup Rugby feel special while Spain, USA and Germany make it look like any other sports world cup.

- The African countries will continue to suffer internationally, mainly because there is no real goal for a lot of good players to play for their country. How many decent players that could feature for Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Burkina Faso, etc... are playing in French competition and are not playing for their country (probably hoping to be called up for France one of these days)? Kenya will hopefully be an exception but the real underachievers currently are big African countries like Nigeria, Congo, Uganda, Ghana, Ivory Coast, ... The Northern African countries (Tunesia, Morocco, Algeria) might make some strides the coming years however.

- South America is the continent on the rise internationally and their involvement in professional leagues (also MLR) might also help here. I can see Brazil, Colombia, Chile all giving Uruguay decent competition in the coming years. For them and Europe, a 24-team world cup is absolutely necessary.

- I hope (and predict) the eligibilty rules for international involvement will continue to be more strict so that players from smaller countries have to choose the smaller country and not join one of the big ones. Take Tim Visser as example, Holland could've used him more then Scotland did.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Figaro » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 11:42

- Fiji, Samoa and Tonga will stay at more or less the level they are now, but because of the development of other nations, will slip down in the rankings. Fiji has the best chance of bucking this. Unless the WC expands, one of Samoa or Tonga will miss out on a WC by 2030.
- The T1 sides will remain as they are in 2018. Italy will improve but the overall average gap between T1 and T2 will be smaller.
- The USA and Japan will overtake / surpass Georgia and Fiji as the best T2 sides. All four will gain some T1 scalps.
- Romania will decline relatively in Europe and end up behind at least some of Spain, Russia, and Germany by 2030. Most likely one or both of Spain or Germany will qualify for the WC by 2030, virtually guaranteed if the WC expands.
- Canada will overtake Uruguay to be the 3rd best Americas team once again, but Uruguay will consistently qualify for the WC by winning the repechage (even if the WC does not expand).
- Namibia will remain the best African side.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Blurandski » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 12:13

Since Jan 1 2015 to June 2018 the biggest point gainers (excluding nations that were on 30 at the start & T1):

Switzerland (+6.03)
Brazil (+5.50)
Hong Kong (+4.67)
Uganda (+4.59)
Netherlands (+4.27)
Malaysia (+4.04)
Fiji (+3.94)
Lithuania (+3.93)
USA (+3.78)

Biggest Losers:

China (-8.75)
Zimbabwe (-8.40)
Moldova (-8.26)
Samoa (-8.26)
Kazakhstan (-6.77)
Canada (-6.63)

Other selected nations:

Korea (-3.63)
Tonga (-2.24)
Poland (-0.87)
Chile (-0.18)
Russia (+0.77)
Romania (+0.87)
Uruguay (+1.79)
Spain (+2.44)

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Tobar » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 12:24

welshdragon2000 wrote:These are some selected sides that have gained and lost rankings since the 2015 RWC: (+ for gained since 2015, - for lost since 2015, current ranking in brackets)
Chile -7 (30)
Zimbabwe -12 (39)
Netherlands +6 (27)
Brazil +13 (26)
Colombia +11 (36)
Poland +3 (33)
Madagascar -9 (50)
Zambia +16 (62)

Biggest jumps from Brazil, Zambia and Colombia. As I am a year or two new to tier 2 rugby, victors could you explain how brazil has gained so much in the space of three years.

I just had a look at 2011 also and Colombia have gained 37 in the rankings since then, crazy!

These rankings don't necessarily mean a lot but they show what teams are on an upward trajectory so give an idea of how to predict for the future.


A lot of this is also due to having more test opportunities. Colombia had 5 test matches this year, more than they’ve ever had before. Though this is isn’t to take away from the youth efforts they’ve made since 2011 as well, otherwise the current crop of players wouldn’t have been developed as well as they have been to win those games.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby victorsra » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 12:38

welshdragon2000 wrote:These are some selected sides that have gained and lost rankings since the 2015 RWC: (+ for gained since 2015, - for lost since 2015, current ranking in brackets)
Chile -7 (30)
Zimbabwe -12 (39)
Netherlands +6 (27)
Brazil +13 (26)
Colombia +11 (36)
Poland +3 (33)
Madagascar -9 (50)
Zambia +16 (62)

Biggest jumps from Brazil, Zambia and Colombia. As I am a year or two new to tier 2 rugby, victors could you explain how brazil has gained so much in the space of three years.

I just had a look at 2011 also and Colombia have gained 37 in the rankings since then, crazy!

These rankings don't necessarily mean a lot but they show what teams are on an upward trajectory so give an idea of how to predict for the future.


Brazil jumped because we had more tests oportunities and created a professional squad with very good high performance academies. Both things since 2014.
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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby Sick » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 12:46

Figaro wrote:- Romania will decline relatively in Europe and end up behind at least some of Spain, Russia, and Germany by 2030. Most likely one or both of Spain or Germany will qualify for the WC by 2030, virtually guaranteed if the WC expands.


What is this predictions base?
You do realise we were 19th in the world in 2011, right?

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby amz » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 13:04

Figaro wrote:- Romania will decline relatively in Europe and end up behind at least some of Spain, Russia, and Germany by 2030. Most likely one or both of Spain or Germany


The never ending death of Romanian rugby comment. To be noted that best German players play for a Romanian club.

Well, my two cents:

It is unlikely to see dramatic changes except the case when a big country decide to officially support rugby (e.g. Russia, Spain) with big amounts or a big economical crash of the sport's infrastructure or economical support (e.g. SA policies of selection, exodus of white people due to laws etc.).

Tonga or Samoa will miss an RWC unless it will be expanded.
USA, Fiji, Japan and Georgia will be close of Italy's level.
Brazil, Poland and Zimbabwe most likely to establish themselves at the bottom of T2.
Nothing will change significantly in REC unless it will be more professionalized with WR involvement and this will be for every continental competition. However if MLR kicks off seriously and raise the number of teams and will become a magnet for players in Americas, the countries involved in ARC will likely develop faster.
Argentina will reach top 5 only if will be able to diversify the selection of players and will have bigger depth.

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Re: Predictions for tier 2/3 sides in 2020s

Postby welshdragon2000 » Tue, 02 Oct 2018, 13:22

Sick wrote:
Figaro wrote:- Romania will decline relatively in Europe and end up behind at least some of Spain, Russia, and Germany by 2030. Most likely one or both of Spain or Germany will qualify for the WC by 2030, virtually guaranteed if the WC expands.


What is this predictions base?
You do realise we were 19th in the world in 2011, right?


http://tier2rugby.blogspot.com/2018/08/ ... s-and.html

You will be entering a phase of rebuilding hence my prediction that you will dip in the early 2020s and then begin to recover later on. You have a very old core to your squad right now. I think its very sad that Romania has been neglected by WR in their lack of tier 1 tests outside of a RWC especially given that the current squad had at one time.

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