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Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby RugbyLiebe » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 13:07

thatrugbyguy wrote:I think if your a nation that makes the quarterfinals at Rugby World Cup you should be given more votes than a nation who doesn't over a 4 year period.


Why? To make sure that those quarter-finalists can implement everything possible that they stay those quarter-finalists? Why give more votes to those with no interest that there are more competitive teams?
Makes no sense imho.
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: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby RugbyLiebe » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 13:19

Canalina wrote:Now the new up-to-date word is "Cartel"?
There's a political party in my country, a very populist one: they made electoral fortune with the word "Caste", thus suggesting the existence of a little but strong group of powerful people willing to preserve their dominance in spite of the common people. This "Cartel" seems to me more or less the same thing


Calling nations tier1 or tier2 is for me exactly what I would call a caste system. I personally am not willing to act anymore in this kind of way. In sport nobody should be degraded. What counts is on the pitch. And if somebody thinks they are better than others and therefore don't play somebody, they are a**holes. But A**hole nations is too strong.

Cartel nations is exactly what it is. Companies forming closed shops and hindering free competition at all levels and where possible.
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: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby victorsra » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 13:25

Canalina wrote:
victorsra wrote:
Canalina wrote:But "cartel" suggests that they are making an alliance to defend themselves from the T2 and T3 nations and I hardly agree with this thesis


You can argue there is a difference between 6N and Sanzaar and probably we should see them as different blocs. But inside 6N maybe only France is not realy alligned. The other 5 act as a cartel. The same old Home Nations cartel that Italy joined. You can also argue Italy helped in the Continental Shield, but almost all the time it is alligned with the Home Nations - and due to its own vulnerability. We can also see some willingness in Wales or England to be more open, but it is clearly not a dominant thought. After all, cartel partners are never homogenous. But share most of the wishes.

So, Cartel Rugby is a pretty close concept - and a provocative one, which is the most important thing.

To share the wishes, the targets, is an alliance. A "cartel", as the term is commonly intended, is to share the targets and to defend them in a unfair way, taking unjust advantage by the cooperation between the cartel members. I can't see this in rugby. You may say the 6N sometime act as a closed club (like when they play by their own in the U18 Festival) and that it's shortminded, but I don't remember them damaging the rest of the nations. If not indirectly, by not co-operating with them


How you don't see that in rugby? That is exactly how the WR Council operates: 10 nations that hold the majority of the votes and dictating how all major competitions (that worth the vast majority of rugby's economy) work and how money is invested in the game. "To share the targets and to defend them in a unfair way, taking unjust advantage by the cooperation between the cartel members" is exactly what happens.
Last edited by victorsra on Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 13:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 13:32

The problem with the protectionism mentality from the T1’s is that it’s coming back to bite them. Australia and New Zealand more than anyone else.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 16:03

Canalina wrote:Now the new up-to-date word is "Cartel"?
There's a political party in my country, a very populist one: they made electoral fortune with the word "Caste", thus suggesting the existence of a little but strong group of powerful people willing to preserve their dominance in spite of the common people. This "Cartel" seems to me more or less the same thing

TheStroBro wrote:The Vice Chair is not an independent director like the Chairman is. So he could totally favor the Americas if he desired

Not easy to understand this point. A vice-chairman could totally favor his own continent and that is ok?

TheStroBro wrote:The problem remains is that WR governance gives total power to the Cartel Nations. FIFA- one country one vote. WR? Well est plus complique.

But the WR council is becoming slowly more and more open to all the world. I count now 22 people not being part of the "Cartel" in the council, even considering Italy part of the Cartel (and many italian fans would laugh at it, they consider Italy the main victim of World Rugby)
https://www.world.rugby/organisation/structure/council
(note: Pichot is the only one with the sneakers because he is not aligned, he is a rebel, you can't bend him to the bourgeois values!)


No, because if you fail to qualify for a World Cup the World Council can remove your vote.

T1 Nationes each get three votes. So as a block, and they will always move together as one, have the largest amount of votes of any constituency.

I'm not sure why you think it's bad for him to have favored his hemisphere (North and South America are not the same continent unless we're going to say Europe and Asia are the same).

If the structure doesn't have the vice chair as an independent director than he's more than allowed to favor his country. This will totally happen with a Beaumon and LaPorte ticket.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Canalina » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 17:01

I answer to Victorsra and TheStroBro

We have discussed several times about this matter: you think World Rugby is selfish, short-minded and snubbing, I think they are just prudent and they want to change the things slowly to not ruin the status quo.
But things are really changed, even if maybe too slowly; they are not frozen as you seem to think. Let's confront 1985 and 2020.
Now there are a World Cup, a Women World Cup, an U20 World Cup and an U20 World Trophy, a 7s World Cup (men and women), a 7s World Series (men and women) and now a 7s World Series Challenger. And the Olympics! Every nation may compete in every of these tournaments, through qualifying path. They are not closed.
Two of the biggest events have recently been assigned to Usa (RWC 7s) and Japan (RWC), technically not T1 nations.
Plus, there are the continental championships, also them open to all.
How the "Cartel" is precluding the development of the other nations? Because they don't play test matches with them? I don't know if Wales v Spain or Wales v Brazil could have a meaning, considering that Wales have just beaten Italy 42-0. But would it help so much? Argentina played with the rest of the South America for many years, South Africa fielded a select in Africa Cup for some years, Japan played for many years in Asia Cup, but this doesn't seem to have boosted blatantly the rest of their continents. I'm sure too that some T1 vs T2 games would help the progresso of the second ones, but I think you overestimate the positive consequences of these games. And anyway we had NZ Maori and Barbarians in Brazil, NZ Maori in Spain (I think), Scotland in Georgia... Something is changing, but it's also up to the T2 nations to deserve that kind of fixtures.

And a question, maybe a bit rhetorical: Russia have recently played with Poland? Or with Hungary, or Bulgaria? Or Kazakhstan, of Finland? Spain have recently played with Morocco, or Algeria, or Malta? Reading the list of the most recent 50 spanish games I see only games versus other T2 nations, no one versus T3 nations. Why the T1 must play with the minor nations but the minor nations must not play with the even minor nations?

And about the council: there are 51 votes now, if Argentina and Italy voted contra, the count would be 25 votes for the T1 and 26 for the rest. It doesn't seem a so solid majority. And every time they accept new members in the council (it happened again few months ago), that supposed granitic majority becomes more and more tight. At the next member inclusion, or at the one after that, the T1 could have no more the majority. It's not a perfectly democratic council like the FIFA one, ok, but it's a meritocratic one and is seems good to me

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby victorsra » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 17:50

Canalina wrote:I answer to Victorsra and TheStroBro

We have discussed several times about this matter: you think World Rugby is selfish, short-minded and snubbing, I think they are just prudent and they want to change the things slowly to not ruin the status quo.
But things are really changed, even if maybe too slowly; they are not frozen as you seem to think. Let's confront 1985 and 2020.
Now there are a World Cup, a Women World Cup, an U20 World Cup and an U20 World Trophy, a 7s World Cup (men and women), a 7s World Series (men and women) and now a 7s World Series Challenger. And the Olympics! Every nation may compete in every of these tournaments, through qualifying path. They are not closed.
Two of the biggest events have recently been assigned to Usa (RWC 7s) and Japan (RWC), technically not T1 nations.
Plus, there are the continental championships, also them open to all.
How the "Cartel" is precluding the development of the other nations? Because they don't play test matches with them? I don't know if Wales v Spain or Wales v Brazil could have a meaning, considering that Wales have just beaten Italy 42-0. But would it help so much? Argentina played with the rest of the South America for many years, South Africa fielded a select in Africa Cup for some years, Japan played for many years in Asia Cup, but this doesn't seem to have boosted blatantly the rest of their continents. I'm sure too that some T1 vs T2 games would help the progresso of the second ones, but I think you overestimate the positive consequences of these games. And anyway we had NZ Maori and Barbarians in Brazil, NZ Maori in Spain (I think), Scotland in Georgia... Something is changing, but it's also up to the T2 nations to deserve that kind of fixtures.

And a question, maybe a bit rhetorical: Russia have recently played with Poland? Or with Hungary, or Bulgaria? Or Kazakhstan, of Finland? Spain have recently played with Morocco, or Algeria, or Malta? Reading the list of the most recent 50 spanish games I see only games versus other T2 nations, no one versus T3 nations. Why the T1 must play with the minor nations but the minor nations must not play with the even minor nations?

And about the council: there are 51 votes now, if Argentina and Italy voted contra, the count would be 25 votes for the T1 and 26 for the rest. It doesn't seem a so solid majority. And every time they accept new members in the council (it happened again few months ago), that supposed granitic majority becomes more and more tight. At the next member inclusion, or at the one after that, the T1 could have no more the majority. It's not a perfectly democratic council like the FIFA one, ok, but it's a meritocratic one and is seems good to me


Canalina, there's a big difference. Russia is not playing Poland, but Poland can be promoted, Russia can be relegated (and both could play each other). Brazil isn't playing Wales because we haven't qualified for a RWC, but we could. There is a huge difference between a closed and an open system. And look, the system is not totaly closed exactly because there is the RWC, and only that.

And about the Council, again, the power lies within those 10, because you need the bless of some (more than one) of those 10 to change anything. You can't change nothing without breaking their unity and create dissidence. If they are together, nothing changes. It is the power of a cartel. It is open for small things, like paying inter-continental tests for T2s or sevens.

When I say 10, Argentina and Italy arrived later, so they haven't created anything of this structure. And France created FIRA. But the others truly built it.

To be honest, WR wants rugby to grow, but only if those 10 don't lose power/money. Since IRB was born, it has never been an international federation. It is a board owned by 10 nations (4 when it was born, then 7, then 8, then 10) to promote rugby among them and expand their interests - that can be global expansion and new partners (hello, Japan). But it isn't an international federation. It is a businness group for its owners. A cartel, in a provocative way.
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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Hernan14 » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 17:59

Canalina wrote:It's not a perfectly democratic council like the FIFA one, ok, but it's a meritocratic one and is seems good to me


If it were meritocratic, Canada should have more council members than Ireland...based on the historical performances of the teams in the global competitions (RWC, WRWC, Sevens Series & Olympic games) :D

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby victorsra » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 18:09

BTW, an interesting thought. Do you want to compare with football? Let's do it properly.

IRB was born together with IFB. International Rugby Board and International Football Board were both created by Wales, Scotland, Ireland and England (well, England did not found IRB, but enter soon after it) to create a neutral entity to rule over the two issues that mattered: the rules of both games and the amateurism vs professionalism issues (that could affect them mutualy). None of them (IRB and IFB) was meant to be an international federation to develop the game worldwide. That's why FIFA was born (without the Home Nations) in 1904.

Rugby, in the other hand, delayed to create such organization. In parts because France, the real early power outside the British Empire, was invited in 1910 to be part of the Five Nations. England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland also had a Home Nations Championship of football but never did such expansion. Even with France being part of the club, they became IRB members only in the 1970s! And NZ, Australia and South Africa only in 1949.

The only international federation ever born failed: FIRA, born in 1934, when IRB had only 4 members (the Home Nations)! People forget it because FIRA is Rugby Europe now. Like FIFA, FIRA was born with French internationalist influence. It is how FIRA failed as international that realy matters. It is no surprise to be saved it had to become Rugby Europe and was never able to draw British support or held real power in European rugby like UEFA does in football.

IRB only had 8 members until it changed with the RWC creation. It was never a federation. It is a small group of interests that slowly expanded to do the work of a federation.
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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 18:17

Canalina wrote:And anyway we had NZ Maori and Barbarians in Brazil, NZ Maori in Spain (I think), Scotland in Georgia... Something is changing, but it's also up to the T2 nations to deserve that kind of fixtures.

And a question, maybe a bit rhetorical: Russia have recently played with Poland? Or with Hungary, or Bulgaria? Or Kazakhstan, of Finland? Spain have recently played with Morocco, or Algeria, or Malta? Reading the list of the most recent 50 spanish games I see only games versus other T2 nations, no one versus T3 nations. Why the T1 must play with the minor nations but the minor nations must not play with the even minor nations?

Spain v Classic All Blacks, an unofficial team only happening because somebody decided to pay for it.

Regarding the other comment, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I understand you consider Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Belgium or Germany Tier 2... I would even have doubts about Spain being Tier 2...

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby victorsra » Sat, 01 Feb 2020, 18:24

Armchair Fan wrote:
Canalina wrote:And anyway we had NZ Maori and Barbarians in Brazil, NZ Maori in Spain (I think), Scotland in Georgia... Something is changing, but it's also up to the T2 nations to deserve that kind of fixtures.

And a question, maybe a bit rhetorical: Russia have recently played with Poland? Or with Hungary, or Bulgaria? Or Kazakhstan, of Finland? Spain have recently played with Morocco, or Algeria, or Malta? Reading the list of the most recent 50 spanish games I see only games versus other T2 nations, no one versus T3 nations. Why the T1 must play with the minor nations but the minor nations must not play with the even minor nations?

Spain v Classic All Blacks, an unofficial team only happening because somebody decided to pay for it.

Regarding the other comment, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I understand you consider Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Belgium or Germany Tier 2... I would even have doubts about Spain being Tier 2...

Spain is a very interesting exemple. It is easy to discuss senior men's rugby. But Spain was kicked out of the Women's 6N when it was as good as others involved! And maybe had more players than others involved. Of course women's rugby worths very little for them, so only Spain cried. But only shows the mentality. They aren't only blocking new members (Romania in the Cold War times, Georgia now). They did excluded one in the past (Spain in the women's version). And by principle, not with any "on field" argument.
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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 11:09

World Rugby's problem is that they are trying to do two things which contradict each other. You cannot try and grow the sport whilst protecting what already exists. At some point one (or more) of the T1 nations will end up suffering if big countries like USA or Germany or whoever were to ever become as strong as they are. Japan as far as I'm concerned are going to be the test case as to what happens in the future, because they have somehow managed to break the T1 stranglehold and have now placed themselves high enough in the world order where they can no longer be ignored, and have done it largely on their own as well. What do we think would happen if nations like USA, Canada, Germany, Russia, Spain, Brazil, China, etc all suddenly got to where Japan currently are? The power would shift at WR and nations like New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Italy and probably even Australia would start to be affected. Only England, France, South Africa would probably be ok. So that's the problem they face and I would say they are more than aware of it. Japan suddenly becoming successful and starting a new professional league on the back of the success of RWC 2019 is something that no doubt concern both the ARU and NZRU because the league will offer money they simply cannot match. Not to mention we are seeing players head to the other up and coming leagues now, we're already seeing more and more players heading to MLR, and not doubt we'll start seeing them go to SLAR in the coming years also.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 12:34

thatrugbyguy wrote:World Rugby's problem is that they are trying to do two things which contradict each other. You cannot try and grow the sport whilst protecting what already exists. At some point one (or more) of the T1 nations will end up suffering if big countries like USA or Germany or whoever were to ever become as strong as they are. Japan as far as I'm concerned are going to be the test case as to what happens in the future, because they have somehow managed to break the T1 stranglehold and have now placed themselves high enough in the world order where they can no longer be ignored, and have done it largely on their own as well. What do we think would happen if nations like USA, Canada, Germany, Russia, Spain, Brazil, China, etc all suddenly got to where Japan currently are? The power would shift at WR and nations like New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Italy and probably even Australia would start to be affected. Only England, France, South Africa would probably be ok. So that's the problem they face and I would say they are more than aware of it. Japan suddenly becoming successful and starting a new professional league on the back of the success of RWC 2019 is something that no doubt concern both the ARU and NZRU because the league will offer money they simply cannot match. Not to mention we are seeing players head to the other up and coming leagues now, we're already seeing more and more players heading to MLR, and not doubt we'll start seeing them go to SLAR in the coming years also.


I don't see how any of this is a threat to Italy or Scotland. They only have 2 professional teams to fund each, and most of their players are not exactly targets for other professional teams. Wales are already stretched because they want to keep their 4 professional teams, which they can't really afford, and they have a lot of really talented players that teams in other countries want.
Wales should scrap the Ospreys, and move the Dragons into the English Championship. The Wales international players should be transferred into Scarlets and Cardiff. Wales would therefore have 2 top class professional teams, and a third development team.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Canalina » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 13:07

victorsra wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:
Canalina wrote:And anyway we had NZ Maori and Barbarians in Brazil, NZ Maori in Spain (I think), Scotland in Georgia... Something is changing, but it's also up to the T2 nations to deserve that kind of fixtures.

And a question, maybe a bit rhetorical: Russia have recently played with Poland? Or with Hungary, or Bulgaria? Or Kazakhstan, of Finland? Spain have recently played with Morocco, or Algeria, or Malta? Reading the list of the most recent 50 spanish games I see only games versus other T2 nations, no one versus T3 nations. Why the T1 must play with the minor nations but the minor nations must not play with the even minor nations?

Spain v Classic All Blacks, an unofficial team only happening because somebody decided to pay for it.

Regarding the other comment, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I understand you consider Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Belgium or Germany Tier 2... I would even have doubts about Spain being Tier 2...

Spain is a very interesting exemple. It is easy to discuss senior men's rugby. But Spain was kicked out of the Women's 6N when it was as good as others involved! And maybe had more players than others involved. Of course women's rugby worths very little for them, so only Spain cried. But only shows the mentality. They aren't only blocking new members (Romania in the Cold War times, Georgia now). They did excluded one in the past (Spain in the women's version). And by principle, not with any "on field" argument.

They have excluded Spain from their own tournament, they have not excluded Spain from the World Cup. The Six Nations is a propriety of those six federations, it's a particular tournament, it's not an european championship. A true European Championship exists since many decades, and every european nation is free to take part. Once also France and Italy used to play in it, then they withdrew because the Six Nations was more promising under every aspect. It's like I accused Spain to never invite an italian team in the Iberian Cup; it's their cup, if they want to invite us, ok; if they don't want, they are free to don't do it

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 13:14

Well, let me remember that the 2017 WRWC gave two tickets for Six Nations without Spain having any kind of chance to take them... A closed shop should never be taken into account to qualify for a worldwide tournament and that's why I'm also glad that North American RWC play-off isn't played anymore.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Pockets » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 13:38

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
I don't see how any of this is a threat to Italy or Scotland. They only have 2 professional teams to fund each, and most of their players are not exactly targets for other professional teams. Wales are already stretched because they want to keep their 4 professional teams, which they can't really afford, and they have a lot of really talented players that teams in other countries want.
Wales should scrap the Ospreys, and move the Dragons into the English Championship. The Wales international players should be transferred into Scarlets and Cardiff. Wales would therefore have 2 top class professional teams, and a third development team.


Because 2-4 teams drawing from a population of 3-5 million just isn't deep enough if you're comparing it to entire well-resourced professional leagues in larger countries.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 13:56

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:World Rugby's problem is that they are trying to do two things which contradict each other. You cannot try and grow the sport whilst protecting what already exists. At some point one (or more) of the T1 nations will end up suffering if big countries like USA or Germany or whoever were to ever become as strong as they are. Japan as far as I'm concerned are going to be the test case as to what happens in the future, because they have somehow managed to break the T1 stranglehold and have now placed themselves high enough in the world order where they can no longer be ignored, and have done it largely on their own as well. What do we think would happen if nations like USA, Canada, Germany, Russia, Spain, Brazil, China, etc all suddenly got to where Japan currently are? The power would shift at WR and nations like New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Italy and probably even Australia would start to be affected. Only England, France, South Africa would probably be ok. So that's the problem they face and I would say they are more than aware of it. Japan suddenly becoming successful and starting a new professional league on the back of the success of RWC 2019 is something that no doubt concern both the ARU and NZRU because the league will offer money they simply cannot match. Not to mention we are seeing players head to the other up and coming leagues now, we're already seeing more and more players heading to MLR, and not doubt we'll start seeing them go to SLAR in the coming years also.


I don't see how any of this is a threat to Italy or Scotland. They only have 2 professional teams to fund each, and most of their players are not exactly targets for other professional teams. Wales are already stretched because they want to keep their 4 professional teams, which they can't really afford, and they have a lot of really talented players that teams in other countries want.
Wales should scrap the Ospreys, and move the Dragons into the English Championship. The Wales international players should be transferred into Scarlets and Cardiff. Wales would therefore have 2 top class professional teams, and a third development team.


The way I see it is that the union's therugbyguy has mentioned are all reliant on the international game to fund their professional programmes, either through central contracts or top up payments. If the power shifts and international rugby becomes more meritocratic, which it would have to with more big markets involved, it will have major consequences for that source of funding and subsequently performance.

Some time in the future they will either have to change their funding models through private ownership and risk losing control or succumb to the market. The top league and MLR are private organisations who's markets are not corrupted by international player payments and will compete for players. Global wages will continue to rise and it will be harder to keep players thought the central contract model as we are already seeing.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 14:11

Exactly right. The international game funds the sport in Australia. When the Wallabies are ranked in the top 3 and our Super Rugby teams leading the competition the game is healthy. But the Wallabies have been consistently mediocre for the past 10 years and our Super Rugby teams have more or less sucked, and the game is suffering domestically for it. Now what do we think would happen if the Wallabies were to start slipping further down the rankings? If all of a sudden the US, Canada, Spain, Germany, Russia, China, Brazil, India etc were to overtake us things would get worse. New Zealand, as strong as they are, also would feel the pain if those big nations were to rise. They might have the All Black name as a selling point still, but at a certain point they too would start to crumble under the weight, because both countries don’t have the resources to counter these bigger nations. So that’s why rugby is slow to change, because they can’t do it without the T1 nations sacrificing something big.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Edgar » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 15:52

thatrugbyguy wrote:World Rugby's problem is that they are trying to do two things which contradict each other. You cannot try and grow the sport whilst protecting what already exists. At some point one (or more) of the T1 nations will end up suffering if big countries like USA or Germany or whoever were to ever become as strong as they are. Japan as far as I'm concerned are going to be the test case as to what happens in the future, because they have somehow managed to break the T1 stranglehold and have now placed themselves high enough in the world order where they can no longer be ignored, and have done it largely on their own as well. What do we think would happen if nations like USA, Canada, Germany, Russia, Spain, Brazil, China, etc all suddenly got to where Japan currently are? The power would shift at WR and nations like New Zealand, Wales, Scotland, Italy and probably even Australia would start to be affected. Only England, France, South Africa would probably be ok. So that's the problem they face and I would say they are more than aware of it. Japan suddenly becoming successful and starting a new professional league on the back of the success of RWC 2019 is something that no doubt concern both the ARU and NZRU because the league will offer money they simply cannot match. Not to mention we are seeing players head to the other up and coming leagues now, we're already seeing more and more players heading to MLR, and not doubt we'll start seeing them go to SLAR in the coming years also.


Agree with much of this, except the part about Japan getting to where they are on their own. Japan's squad at last year's World Cup included 16 foreign-born players, and their own coach (also a foreigner) has said they provided the physicality the Japanese players themselves lack.

In the run-up to the 2019 World Cup, Japan played an increasing number of tests against tier 1 opposition (4 in 2016 alone), the PNC was revived and the Sunwolves were basically forced upon Super Rugby for this reason (and to the competition's obvious detriment).

Japan was perhaps the solitary beneficiary of PNC, in fact, as initially they were the weakest link and playing stronger teams like Fiji and Samoa helped them improve. They are also competing with the islands at age-grade level.

Personally I think that's where their future lies; not with SANZAAR or the 6 Nations; but with the Pacific Islands. Regular tests against tier 1 opponents must continue, but Japan should head its own regional competition - an Asia-Pacific 6 Nations with the Asian Top 3 being joined by Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

Rapid Rugby lends itself to this, as it will provide a professional competition to run alongside such a tournament, while Japan has its own league and is apparently developing another. & if SANZAR itself ever falls apart, the All Blacks & Wallabies might find another home. I suspect that's where the long term future lies.

Rugby has a long history in Japan, dating back to 1866, apparently, and the Brave Blossoms have been playing test rugby since the 1930s, although their solitary win over a tier 1 nation in the amateur era did not come until 1989, over an understrength Scotland during a Lions tour.

They were also the least successful second tier nation at the World Cup until 2015, having registered a solitary win over Zimbabwe at the second edition. This despite one of the largest player communities in international rugby.

What Japan have done successfully, and entirely on their own, is set up a professional league. They were one of the first nations to do so, in fact. Nonetheless, this has been around for decades and was clearly not the basis of their achievements at the last two World Cups.

It is to be hoped the US will be announced as 2031 hosts next year and receive similar preferential treatment from the international governing body. With MLR taking off, this could really see the US arrive in the big time by the end of the decade. But as for the rest of the second tier, the future is not looking so bright.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 18:57

Edgar, I agree with your analysis. The Six Nations and the Rugby Championship have been presuming that Japan will want to join one of their tournaments, but Japan can have their own tournament. Japan can have a symbiotic relationship with the Pacific Islands, enabling Pacific Islands players to play professional rugby in the region, thus providing a high level of competition for Japan.

My preference for rugby world cups would be
2023 France
2027 South Africa
2031 USA.

I am more hopeful than you about the other tier 2 teams. Romania, Russia and Georgia have a lot of potential which they now seem they want to realise.
Rugby in Spain is growing in popularity, and I can see Spain becoming integrated in Europe's professional rugby competitions in the near future. In South America there's SLAR so now every continent has professional rugby. These are exciting times for tier 2 rugby.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby victorsra » Sun, 02 Feb 2020, 20:17

Canalina wrote:
victorsra wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:
Canalina wrote:And anyway we had NZ Maori and Barbarians in Brazil, NZ Maori in Spain (I think), Scotland in Georgia... Something is changing, but it's also up to the T2 nations to deserve that kind of fixtures.

And a question, maybe a bit rhetorical: Russia have recently played with Poland? Or with Hungary, or Bulgaria? Or Kazakhstan, of Finland? Spain have recently played with Morocco, or Algeria, or Malta? Reading the list of the most recent 50 spanish games I see only games versus other T2 nations, no one versus T3 nations. Why the T1 must play with the minor nations but the minor nations must not play with the even minor nations?

Spain v Classic All Blacks, an unofficial team only happening because somebody decided to pay for it.

Regarding the other comment, I'm not necessarily disagreeing with you, but I understand you consider Brazil, Chile, Hong Kong, Belgium or Germany Tier 2... I would even have doubts about Spain being Tier 2...

Spain is a very interesting exemple. It is easy to discuss senior men's rugby. But Spain was kicked out of the Women's 6N when it was as good as others involved! And maybe had more players than others involved. Of course women's rugby worths very little for them, so only Spain cried. But only shows the mentality. They aren't only blocking new members (Romania in the Cold War times, Georgia now). They did excluded one in the past (Spain in the women's version). And by principle, not with any "on field" argument.

They have excluded Spain from their own tournament, they have not excluded Spain from the World Cup. The Six Nations is a propriety of those six federations, it's a particular tournament, it's not an european championship. A true European Championship exists since many decades, and every european nation is free to take part. Once also France and Italy used to play in it, then they withdrew because the Six Nations was more promising under every aspect. It's like I accused Spain to never invite an italian team in the Iberian Cup; it's their cup, if they want to invite us, ok; if they don't want, they are free to don't do it


Canalina, read my other two posts before this one. I explain why I talk about a cartel. This post about Spain is almost irrelevant.
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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby thatrugbyguy » Mon, 03 Feb 2020, 00:56

Edgar wrote:
Agree with much of this, except the part about Japan getting to where they are on their own. Japan's squad at last year's World Cup included 16 foreign-born players, and their own coach (also a foreigner) has said they provided the physicality the Japanese players themselves lack.

In the run-up to the 2019 World Cup, Japan played an increasing number of tests against tier 1 opposition (4 in 2016 alone), the PNC was revived and the Sunwolves were basically forced upon Super Rugby for this reason (and to the competition's obvious detriment).

Japan was perhaps the solitary beneficiary of PNC, in fact, as initially they were the weakest link and playing stronger teams like Fiji and Samoa helped them improve. They are also competing with the islands at age-grade level.

Personally I think that's where their future lies; not with SANZAAR or the 6 Nations; but with the Pacific Islands. Regular tests against tier 1 opponents must continue, but Japan should head its own regional competition - an Asia-Pacific 6 Nations with the Asian Top 3 being joined by Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

Rapid Rugby lends itself to this, as it will provide a professional competition to run alongside such a tournament, while Japan has its own league and is apparently developing another. & if SANZAR itself ever falls apart, the All Blacks & Wallabies might find another home. I suspect that's where the long term future lies.

Rugby has a long history in Japan, dating back to 1866, apparently, and the Brave Blossoms have been playing test rugby since the 1930s, although their solitary win over a tier 1 nation in the amateur era did not come until 1989, over an understrength Scotland during a Lions tour.

They were also the least successful second tier nation at the World Cup until 2015, having registered a solitary win over Zimbabwe at the second edition. This despite one of the largest player communities in international rugby.

What Japan have done successfully, and entirely on their own, is set up a professional league. They were one of the first nations to do so, in fact. Nonetheless, this has been around for decades and was clearly not the basis of their achievements at the last two World Cups.

It is to be hoped the US will be announced as 2031 hosts next year and receive similar preferential treatment from the international governing body. With MLR taking off, this could really see the US arrive in the big time by the end of the decade. But as for the rest of the second tier, the future is not looking so bright.


Japan has always had foreigners playing for them, that wasn't what changed. What changed was the method for their development. Eddie Jones identified where Japanese team were going wrong and fixed the problem. And he did it largely in spite of not only the JRU but WR also. One man more or less changed how Japan trained and play, which Jaime Joseph subsequently inherited and built on top of successfully. And nobody saw it coming. That's the incredible thing about Japan's rise. Those of us here saw their improvement over the years, how they become more and more competitive, but everyone was blind sided by what happened against South Africa in 2015. You only have to see how South Africa played them in the Quarterfinals last year compared to 2015 to see they are now taken seriously. What is needed for the game globally is this type of situation happening more and more. We need to find people who can identify the problems in these T2 nations and provide solutions.

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Edgar » Tue, 04 Feb 2020, 08:33

Well, looking like Japan will get to play the All Blacks again this year during the AIs. I really do think the best way to increase fixtures between first and second tier is by including stop-off tests like these on traditional tours - Namibia en route to SA, Uruguay en route to Argentina, Georgia and Romania en route to the 6 Nations, and the Pacific Islands on tours Down Under, for example. That and a return to a more extensive World Cup qualifying system seem like the most logical steps forward.

The All Blacks will have mixed memories of their time at the World Cup in Japan and now they appear to be set to confront them on a return to play the Brave Blossoms on their way to the United Kingdom in late October.
Steve Hansen's men enjoyed an incredible amount of support and played superbly on their way to a horror performance in their semifinal defeat to an inspired England and the test against a Japan side which took the tournament by storm in October last year should fire the imagination of at least two nations if not the rugby world.
Reports in Japan suggest the All Blacks will stop over in Japan to play a test on October 31 before they continue to the UK, where tests against England and Scotland are already confirmed. At least one more assignment there is likely.
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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 04 Feb 2020, 09:36

Just a slight detour

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Re: Rugby World Cup 2023 Qualifying

Postby Edgar » Tue, 04 Feb 2020, 16:40

Just take this year's tours:

Summer

France to Argentina (add a test with Uruguay)
Ireland to Australia (add a test with Fiji in Suva or Brisbane)
Wales to NZ (add a test with Samoa in Auckland)
Scotland to SA (add a test with Namibia)
Georgia to SA (add a test with Zimbabwe)
Italy to the Americas (add a test with Brazil)

Autumn

NZ to Japan & Europe (add a test with Georgia)
SA to Europe (add a test with Romania)
Australia to Europe (add tests with USA & Russia)
Argentina to Europe (add a test with Spain)
Japan to Europe (add a test with Portugal)
Fiji to Wales (add a test with Belgium)

Meanwhile, Australia A could be revived to provide more international fixtures for ‘tier two’ nations in the Pacific Islands:

Rugby Australia boss Raelene Castle discussed the possible return of the “A” team - after a 12-year absence - as she also confirmed Townsville was a leading contender to host a Test between the Wallabies and Fiji in July.

A report in Queensland's Courier Mail newspaper on Sunday indicated Townsville’s new $250 million North Queensland Stadium could play host to the Wallabies in their scheduled clash with Fiji on July 18.

Other regional centres like Newcastle and Wollongong have also been considered.

"When we look at our Test match schedule every year, we have to balance trying to maximise our revenue out of those Test matches, because that’s how we make our money to invest back into the game, and at the same time we also have a desire to want to take the Wallabies to places we don’t traditionally play,” Castle said.

"There are a couple of new venues and Townsville has just built a new, world-class stadium and that’s a part of Australia that we haven’t played in a long period of time.

"So it’s certainly an area that we have considered very carefully, and we will look to announce more about that Test in the near future.”

With the Nations Cup proposal having been killed off by northern hemisphere nations last year, World Rugby has sharpened its focus on ways to help ‘tier two’ nations build more consistent Test schedules, and to get exposure to major Test nations as well.

Castle said Rugby Australia worked “really closely with our Pacific Island neighbours” and the topic of playing more games in the region was one of the topics discussed with World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont during his visit to Sydney last week.

"We have a responsibility to deliver to our tier one Test schedule, but tier one nations also have a responsibility to deliver to tier two - and tier two is not the greatest language - to make sure they’re growing and developing, and getting regular Test schedules,” Castle said.

While finding space in a existing international calendars to send the Wallabies can be tricky, Castle said the prospect of Australia A playing meaningful matches in the Pacific Islands as early as 2021 was an option.

"There is no doubt the option of Australia A playing a fixture in Fiji or Samoa or Tonga is something that is achievable and doesn’t mess with the straight Wallabies schedule,” Castle said.

"So we are working with World Rugby, as are New Zealand with the New Zealand Maori team, and as are South Africa, around seeing how we can build the wider scope to make sure we grow all of that big international content.”

Story continues here: rugby.com.au/news/2020/02/04/rugby-australia-a

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