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New Japanese pro league

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby victorsra » Mon, 14 Oct 2019, 19:53

The South American League will probably happen, but we are doing zero work to not make the attendances a huge failure. When you talk to any Braziian rugby guy, 90% of chance that his reaction to the news of the league would be either angry (comparing the investment to the poor situation of club rugby and lack of interest from CBRu to club rugby) or total indifference. I am really afraid nobody will attend it, unless the message from the top is really positive in the next months. Near zero excitement.

But about Argentina a 2 franchises playing Currie Cup model would be interesting for the whole system, if South Africans want to go on with their own league. However, it doesn't seem to be on the table.
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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Edinburra » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 05:25

victorsra wrote:
Tiernster wrote:I think this could be good for Australian and New Zealand rugby.

Firstly would Australia and New Zealand having their own cross border league rather than Super Rugby be more sustainable and less costly for them. Probably .

Would this provide a massive ready made TV audience for whatever rugby competition their clubs compete in .
Again probably.

The idea of some sort of champions cup competition between these two leagues is well thought out too, and may be a way for NZRU and ARU to run their eye over players in Japan who they are considering for international selection.

The breakup of super rugby shouldn't be disastrous for anyone, South Africa with their own league competing in the champions cup would be a very good product .
Argentina beefing up the south American league more then they are proposing and then competing with MLR on a champions cup basis could also generate interest although you would suspect the standard of rugby wouldn't be good enough.


I agree with almost everything.

But Argentina must be in the South African League with 2 teams, as South American League won't be any sort of solution for them. Big chances of it being a big failure - and Brazilian rugby will make its best to make that league the biggest disappointment of 2020 for everybody that don't follow properly South America. It is a countdown to horrorshow. And i REALLY HOPE that next month my opinion change.


Would there be an appetite for both Argentina and South Africa to join the European leagues and 6N. It was proposed by Argentina around 10 years ago for them to join the 6N and have 2 teams in the Pro league with all teams based in Spain. Is this something that could be revisited , it would create the opportunity for Argentina to continue playing at a high level until the Americas caught up and have their clubs playing regular compettive rugby. It may , just may , stimulate growth in the Iberian countries with having these teams based in Spain , or even Portugal.
For South Africa , having the club teams leave Super Rugby and join the Pro14 makes more sense as would joining an expanded 6N.

Both these countries could still play Australia and NZ during summer tours.

Also , if you were adding these 2 extra teams to the 6N , it might encourage adding 2/3 European teams such as Spain , Romania and Georgia to bring in more tier 2 nations. Would the competiton be genuinely diluted with having the current 6 nations , Argentina , SA and Spain , Romania and Georgia. Not in my opinion. It would also be more commercially attractive in the long run.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby 4N » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 14:42

More news

All Blacks to be targeted by new Japan league in wake of Rugby World Cup success
Paul Cully
13:19, Oct 15 2019

All Blacks might have to choose between the black jersey and the riches available in Japan if the Rugby World Cup hosts press ahead with new plans to set up a professional domestic competition that runs from August to January.

Japan Rugby Football Union vice-president Katsuyuki Kiyomiya told Japanese financial newspaper Nikkei that he wanted to leverage the success of the Japanese team at the Rugby World Cup to launch the 12-team new competition in the second half of 2021.

Japanese rugby bosses want to set up a domestic competition that runs from August to January.
"This World Cup is a big event Japanese rugby has not experienced before and we are tested on how we take the excitement and enthusiasm created by this event to the next level," he said.

"Now is the chance to start a professional league, which enables Japanese spectators to see star players in the World Cup 2019 playing at first hand, right in front of their eyes."

Kiyomiya's plan is to recruit players from the southern hemisphere to give the competition star power and tee up a broadcasting deal with streaming giant DAZN, which already holds the rights to Japan's J-League football competition,

"We will turn the new union into the Pacific Rim union that can generate [annual revenue of] about 50 billion yen [$NZ730 million], to be on a par with the European market," he said.

The report will not surprise NZ Rugby, which has been keeping a close eye on the fluid Japanese situation for at least a year, but it does add another layer of uncertainty for in terms of player retention.

​Beauden Barrett's four-year deal with the Blues includes an option for the All Blacks star to take up a short-term contract in Japan beyond 2020, although when the deal was struck it was assumed Barrett would miss a Blues campaign at some point for the Japanese experience.

However, if the new Japanese competition replaces the existing Top League format in the Japan rugby calendar, Barrett would to sacrifice his All Blacks jersey for the majority of a test season to get a Japan 'sabbatical' in the August to January period.

That is something the playmaker might not be willing to do and NZ Rugby – armed with the security of a rich new deal with Sky – might also find this too much to accept.

Beauden Barrett has an option to play some rugby in Japan over the next four years.
All Blacks stars such as Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock have already announced deals with Japanese deals built into them.

Retallick is set to take up a deal in Japan in 2020 – the existing Top League competition clashes with Super Rugby next year – then take an extended break from rugby before another season in Japan in 2021.

However, that was based on the understanding that the 2021 Japanese season would also run in the first part of the year.

NZ Rugby will hope Retallick's deal will stay that way so they don't need to get involved in a tug-of-war for his services.

Whitelock's deal with Japanese side Panasonic is unaffected, as it is only locked in for the first half of 2020. After that he will return to New Zealand and Crusaders.

NZ Rugby has been in a 'wait and see' phase with Japanese rugby and its plans for a domestic competition and has had to adapt on the run to changes in the scheduling.

Brodie Retallick has signed a two-season deal with Kobe in Japan."When we started talking to Brodie the expectation was that he'd play two competitions for Kobe and they would fall in a 12-13 month period," Lendrum told Stuff in June.

NZ Rugby therefore had to show flexibility when Kobe's two-season deal ruled Retallick out of Super Rugby for the majority of 2021, with Lendrum admitting the deal took the star lock away from the Chiefs for a longer period they had hoped for.

It appears now that the Japanese want to avoid a clash with Super Rugby, which is excellent news for that competition, but means top All Blacks might have to skip some test rugby if they want to enjoy the financial benefits of playing in rugby's rising powerhouse.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/rug ... up-success

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Rugga » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 16:01

Bittersweet! Will the money be incomparably higher than the top 14? I can see that causing problems similar to the Indian ipl in cricket!

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 16:51

£360m annually.

If that's for 12 teams its £30m each. Or basically the biggest 12 clubs in the whole world.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby victorsra » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 18:40

Yes, IPL-like for rugby's dimension. The biggest loser would be Super Rugby. Because if Europeans loose players to Japan, they'll take more players from... Super Rugby
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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby 4N » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 19:00

The seasons don’t overlap. Players are already combining Top League and Super Rugby, this would just mean more money.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Rugga » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 19:11

Something has to give though. They can't play the Japanese league, super rugby and international rugby. Also if the Japanese league is that superior in budget, it could buy all the best leagues players.

The top 14s salary cap is 11 million euro.
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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 19:19

4N wrote:The seasons don’t overlap. Players are already combining Top League and Super Rugby, this would just mean more money.


Only thought on that, at the moment the corporate clubs don't seem to care about that. Who is to say the future Japanese clubs won't insist the players only keep one employer?

12 team league implies 22 game regular season plus play offs potentially, which ties with an August to January season (that is 26 weeks).

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby 4N » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 19:30

Yeah it’s not all rosy for SR by any means, just saying if the SH unions and new league work together it isn’t impossible to have players do both. The NPC and CC would obviously suffer quite a bit but they seemed to be on track for developmental status anyway.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 20:09

The problem though is that they wouldn 't be getting top flight players except for those taking a "sabbatical" as it's during the assembly window of The Rugby Championship and Autumn Internationals.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby 4N » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 20:27

That’s what the last paragraph in the Stuff article says. Probably looking at some lean test squads in the couple of years following World Cups.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Immenso » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 20:44

Running August to January means it doesn't clash with Top League.

So is a compliment to the Top League rather than a replacement/successor. Rather like how original Super 12 was scheduled in what was then considered SH pre-season (back in the day) to not clash with NPC and Currie Cup. Actually also how the IPL originally filled a time in the schedule that didn't clash with the state league (Ranji Trophy). Eventually money wins out though ....

Which would tend to suggest Top League players should be available for both competitions.

This would seem to complicate the permutations of the Japan national team joining The Rugby Championship.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby 4N » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 20:52

Top League runs Aug-Jan. I read that TL will become an amateur competition after this is launched.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Immenso » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 21:25

4N wrote:Top League runs Aug-Jan. I read that TL will become an amateur competition after this is launched.

Are you sure? This year it seems to be starting 12 Jan.
http://en.rugby-japan.jp/schedule/topleague/future/

My understanding, from feedback from NZ pros in japan, is that the current Japansese Top League teams spend a 'stupid' amount of months in pre-season training and pre-season friendlies.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby 4N » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 21:41

They had to tweak the schedule this year due to the RWC. It’s normally Aug-Jan.

The 2019/20 season has been pushed back from its usual starting slot in late August to make way for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that will take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. The upshot is that two Top League seasons will now be played in 2020 at opposite ends of the calendar year. This will coincide with the Sunwolves’ final season, meaning players who represent both the Sunwolves and a Top League side, face the potential of a very busy year.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Immenso » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 21:52

4N wrote:They had to tweak the schedule this year due to the RWC. It’s normally Aug-Jan.

The 2019/20 season has been pushed back from its usual starting slot in late August to make way for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that will take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. The upshot is that two Top League seasons will now be played in 2020 at opposite ends of the calendar year. This will coincide with the Sunwolves’ final season, meaning players who represent both the Sunwolves and a Top League side, face the potential of a very busy year.


Yes, you're correct.

Here is the schedule from previous unaffected year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018%E2%8 ... ue#Round_1

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 23:08

4N wrote:Top League runs Aug-Jan. I read that TL will become an amateur competition after this is launched.


Pretty much what I've read as well.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 15 Oct 2019, 23:18

4N wrote:The seasons don’t overlap. Players are already combining Top League and Super Rugby, this would just mean more money.


Well the Rebels have already signed a cooperation agreement with one of the TL clubs. Which I could see evolve into a partnership with a teams or teams in the new league. Wouldn't be surprised to see that happen more particularly among the Aus franchises as they weren't too happy about the Sunwolves being axed from SR.

With SR going to the 14 team single round robin I can see dual contracting being something very common here.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby ihateblazers » Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 03:56

Interesting that some of the reports keep mentioning a new "union". Could be a mistranslation or perhaps they want to overhaul the JRFU as well and include international tights?

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby jservuk » Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 09:37

One thing that has puzzled me about Japan is that given its history with Rugby, is it achievable for it to catch up with football, which I gather does not have the same history there as Rugby ?

Is the impact of the 2015 and 2019 wins for the Blossoms over shadowing with the more modest achievable of the Japan football team in recent World Cups?

Will we see Rugby take off now in Japan, and to what extent can it challenge football?

If Japan beat SA will it send the game to the stars in Japan.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 10:17

We'll need more info about the plans are before knowing what affect this will have for the Rugby Championship and Super Rugby. Good for TV though in the Aus/NZ region. You can play your Super Rugby matches, followed by Japanese game an hour later.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Tobar » Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 11:48

4N wrote:They had to tweak the schedule this year due to the RWC. It’s normally Aug-Jan.

The 2019/20 season has been pushed back from its usual starting slot in late August to make way for the 2019 Rugby World Cup that will take place in Japan from September 20 to November 2. The upshot is that two Top League seasons will now be played in 2020 at opposite ends of the calendar year. This will coincide with the Sunwolves’ final season, meaning players who represent both the Sunwolves and a Top League side, face the potential of a very busy year.


They are changing the timing so the new league is Aug to Jan and the TL is Feb to June.

What I don’t see anyone mentioning is the fact that this league provides a terrific opportunity for Fijian, Samoan and Tongan players to play in a league that isn’t the Top 14 and pays very well. The timing is odd because the entire season runs concurrent with the SH test window, however these players will not have the same pressure to miss out on test matches or world cups for a contract in France because there are now 12 more clubs in Japan likely willing to pay for their services as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Japan was their first choice for a contract anyway - shorter season and better time zone.

At the end of the day, this means more opportunities for more players.

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby Tiernster » Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 12:32

Are Japan looking at the Northern Hemisphere a little more for international rugby ? , blacking out 2/3 of the southern hemisphere international season with a relatively short club season seems odd.

For my money going head to head with super rugby would have been a more logical window, and would mirror MLR and the proposed south american league

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Re: New Japanese pro league

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 16 Oct 2019, 12:56

Tobar wrote:
They are changing the timing so the new league is Aug to Jan and the TL is Feb to June.

What I don’t see anyone mentioning is the fact that this league provides a terrific opportunity for Fijian, Samoan and Tongan players to play in a league that isn’t the Top 14 and pays very well. The timing is odd because the entire season runs concurrent with the SH test window, however these players will not have the same pressure to miss out on test matches or world cups for a contract in France because there are now 12 more clubs in Japan likely willing to pay for their services as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Japan was their first choice for a contract anyway - shorter season and better time zone.

At the end of the day, this means more opportunities for more players.


It's a big opportunity for the entire Asia/Pacific region. If Japanese clubs are willing to allow the players to be available for international duties then they are going to lure a lot of the Islander talent. This may very well force European clubs into release pressure on players to make themselves unavailable to the national teams because they'll be able to get a better deal closer to home. Not only will the pay be as good as in Europe, but they won't have to sacrifice commitment to the national teams either. Not to mention, as you say, they are only a short flight away from home. Closer to family and friends will be a big deal for a lot of players.

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