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Alternatives to the Nations Championship

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 08:43

Superhans wrote:
Edinburra wrote:Why not make it on time zones , I have mentioned in other forums something similar and it would apply to club rugby as well for both commercial reasons as well as making it competitive.
You would run 3 regions , Americas , Euro/Africa and Asia/Pacific


I think this makes the most sense. You could combine Asia/Pacific and the Americas for the time being (until both regions are stronger), at least at the top level or for a Cup tournament between world cups.

It'd be pretty cool to have 2 major Cup tournaments between World Cups:

EuroAfrica Cup, 16 teams: Current 6 Nations + Rugby Europe Championship + South Africa and top 3 teams from the Africa Cup

Pacific Cup, 12 teams: Rugby Championship teams (minus SA) + Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, USA, Canada, Uruguay + 2 of Chile, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea etc. Expand to 16 teams when it makes sense.


The biggest problem is to somehow get the 6N-cartel-nations to commit to a Euro. Do you really think that adding some African nations to the single continent where this actually would instantly work with a simple 8 nation Euro is an argument that helps? I doubt it. (on the other hand I have to admit, that a 16-team-Euroafrica actually sounds quite interesting, but in reality the cartel nations will spin it to 6N+SA+1other Euro team).
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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 11:19

So the Lions tour doesn't make significant money for the home unions, a profit of only about £2m each was returned to them last time I think.

What it does is make mega revenues for the host countries, but only once every 12 years.

So really its not the great economic factor its often thought. A regular four yearly tournament for each continent *could* drive greater revenues.

A Euro-Africa is an interesting idea, getting SA involved certainly makes it interesting at the top and Namibia are competitive at the bottom. Personally I think the other Africans would up their game considerably if they were exposed to the wider world, they are large proud nations and Kenya or Uganda in particular would be decent if they had competent packs. My worry would be that commercially gong outside "Europe" weakens the brand and the idea substantially. "European Champion" is a meaningful title across the continent and not currently occupied by any tournament. "Euro-African Champion" does not have the same meaning.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby Armchair Fan » Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 11:34

Greenwich Trophy :D

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby Edgar » Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 15:17

Just start small the way football did. UEFA Euros was a 4-team event right up until the 1980s, and did not expand to 16 until 1996. Now it's a 24-team tournament, among the biggest in sports, and scheduled to be held across the length and breadth of Europe next year.

But my question is, does rugby really need this when it already has an annual championships in place? As I wrote before, all it needs is a promotion-relegation fixture between the 6 Nations and ENC division 1 and you have an annual, all-inclusive Rugby Euros which should be the envy of every other team sport on the continent - including football.

Combining Asia-Pacific makes a lot of sense. Combining Asia-Pacific with the Americas makes no sense at all. It’s already been pointed out Japan is the antipodes of Argentina and requires a 27 hour flight. The Americas is one step ahead, already with its own continental championships up and running. Asia-Pacific needs to do something similar.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby NaBUru38 » Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 16:55

I disagree with excluding South Africa and Argentina from annual tournaments.

Edgar wrote: But my question is, does rugby really need this when it already has an annual championships in place?

My proposal is not to drop the Rugby Championship, but to expand it to 8 teams.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby The Do » Mon, 28 Oct 2019, 23:23

Superhans wrote:
Edinburra wrote:Why not make it on time zones , I have mentioned in other forums something similar and it would apply to club rugby as well for both commercial reasons as well as making it competitive.
You would run 3 regions , Americas , Euro/Africa and Asia/Pacific


I think this makes the most sense. You could combine Asia/Pacific and the Americas for the time being (until both regions are stronger), at least at the top level or for a Cup tournament between world cups.

It'd be pretty cool to have 2 major Cup tourism naments between World Cups:

EuroAfrica Cup, 16 teams: Current 6 Nations + Rugby Europe Championship + South Africa and top 3 teams from the Africa Cup

Pacific Cup, 12 teams: Rugby Championship teams (minus SA) + Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, USA, Canada, Uruguay + 2 of Chile, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea etc. Expand to 16 teams when it makes sense.


I would love to see something like this in the years that the Lions tour occur. The home nations usually send a depleted squad to some far off land. Why not have them play in a proper comp instead

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 00:03

South Africa and Australia have experimented with 4 team mini-tournament during Lions years. Something like that is an option, a series of mini-tournament in different locations.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby ihateblazers » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 03:18

I think it's best to keep it simple with 6N+REC+Top 2 of RET (i.e Germany and Netherlands for commercial purposes), ARC+Mexico+next best south american (i.e Paraguay/Colombia), Africa cup + south africa, AUS+NZ+PNC+Japan+Asia champion+Pacific champion. There will certainly be competitive imbalances, however, it is better not to devalue other regions and this is more about growing and celebrating the game.

Edit:
I would maybe add USA and Canada to the Asia-Pacific championship and remove the asian champ and Pacific champ as I think it would work commercially and they would be more competitive. That leaves a south/Central American championship. South Africa and Argentina would just have to bite the bullet and send their reserves for the good of the game every 4 years, not too bad.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby The Do » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 04:32

thatrugbyguy wrote:South Africa and Australia have experimented with 4 team mini-tournament during Lions years. Something like that is an option, a series of mini-tournament in different locations.


Exactly. The Lions tour South Africa in 2021, why couldn’t Australia and New Zealand host a pool each in a Pacific 8 tournament( Australia, NZ, Japan, USA, Samoa, Fiji and two other qualifiers or invitees like Tonga, Canada, Hong Kong or even Argentina or Uruguay despite not being a Pacific nation). Played in a round robin on consecutive weekends with the winners of the pools to play off in a final. All done in 4 weekends. Perfect.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 04:52

Answer: because average fans and sponsors value more a 3 matches series against France.

Rugby is a poor sport and T1 Unions have many other problems (starting with French/English wanting players). Those administrators are not willing to take risks. They need quick and safe money. T2 nations don't bring sponsors or audiences enough to persuade them - at least now. It is easier to put Japan inside the cartel and that's it. Vicious cycle.

The easiest thing to do in the Lions years are competitions combining T1s (full strenght, not the Home Nations without top players) and T2s. Less than 2 matches against T1s for each T1 would probably be not enough to capture their attention for such projects.

Nobody in those countries are thinking about regional tournaments. 6Ns believe the 6N IS the European title. Nobody cares about a new one. Only a RWC Qualy would work - and with that I agree.

If the RWC Qualy is unwanted, maybe the best project would be a 12 or 16-teams world competition without Home Nations and the Southern nation hosting the Lions. Like a smaller WC, within the Lions period (probably with maximum 4 rounds). That would be an opportunity to explore markets not strong enough to host a full RWC.
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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 05:54

The thing about Japan is after the success of the World Cup they are going to have a lot of leverage and they are not simply going to bend to the whims of the other T1 nations. So, perhaps we are looking at things from the wrong perspective. Japan are clearly a mid-level T1 nation now, and are only going to get better once their new pro league starts as they acquire the best talent in the Pacific and expose their domestic players to them. We've been so bogged down with the traditional structures it's possible we are overlooking how Japan could be utilised as the real area for change for the game. They managed to overcome the obstacles other T2 nations have come across and fought their way to where they are now, and are now on the verge of having the wealthiest domestic league in the world. They more or less did everything themselves to achieve what they have over the last 10 years, so perhaps it's time to start turning our attention to what Japan could help kickstart as opposed to waiting for the old guard to change their ways.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby NedRugby » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 06:47

Or they they might just settle themselves in as part of the elite and enjoy the new status quo. Italy didn't suddenly champion the cause of T2 countries once they entered the 6N.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 07:29

victorsra wrote:Answer: because average fans and sponsors value more a 3 matches series against France.

Rugby is a poor sport and T1 Unions have many other problems (starting with French/English wanting players). Those administrators are not willing to take risks. They need quick and safe money. T2 nations don't bring sponsors or audiences enough to persuade them - at least now. It is easier to put Japan inside the cartel and that's it. Vicious cycle.

The easiest thing to do in the Lions years are competitions combining T1s (full strenght, not the Home Nations without top players) and T2s. Less than 2 matches against T1s for each T1 would probably be not enough to capture their attention for such projects.

Nobody in those countries are thinking about regional tournaments. 6Ns believe the 6N IS the European title. Nobody cares about a new one. Only a RWC Qualy would work - and with that I agree.

If the RWC Qualy is unwanted, maybe the best project would be a 12 or 16-teams world competition without Home Nations and the Southern nation hosting the Lions. Like a smaller WC, within the Lions period (probably with maximum 4 rounds). That would be an opportunity to explore markets not strong enough to host a full RWC.



We have the format in place at the u20s level in the JWC. Split it into Europe and RoTW. They could even call it the Nations Championship. Host it in one location. Or at least individual pools in a single location. So the European would feature the 6Ns teams and the 6 ENC nations and the RoTW would feature the nations not hosting the Lions (let's say this happens in 2021 so that will be Sth Africa) so it would have Aus, NZ, Japan, Argentina, the 3 PI's, the 2 NA nations, Uruguay, Africa 1 and Asia 1. Look to run them over the same time frame as the JWC with the same pool and finals arrangements.

In time, look to expand the numbers to 16 each.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 07:30

NedRugby wrote:Or they they might just settle themselves in as part of the elite and enjoy the new status quo. Italy didn't suddenly champion the cause of T2 countries once they entered the 6N.


Yup, that's the most likely scenario. Japan is also not really known to have the most vocal and outspeaking culture as well. I still think, that the only chance we've got is Pichot. If he is elected as the World rugby president there is hope.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 08:46, edited 1 time in total.
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: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 08:33

NedRugby wrote:Or they they might just settle themselves in as part of the elite and enjoy the new status quo. Italy didn't suddenly champion the cause of T2 countries once they entered the 6N.


Italy had absolutely no clout in the world order when they joined the 6N. Japan are going to have every T1 nation begging to play them because of the potential financial windfall there. You think Australia and New Zealand are going to simply ignore a potentially wealthy partner in their region now that they are competitive? Not happening. Japan is the first nation from the T2 level to not only make their way to the top division, they come in with a significant carrot to dangle. Italy was never in the same situation Japan currently is, not even close. So, if we shift our thinking, what we've got is a new opportunity on the horizon that falls outside the established order. And that's a good thing, because all of a sudden matches against Fiji, USA, Canada, etc, traditional T2 rivals of Japan, are capable of generating greater revenue and audiences than they would of 10 years ago. So, yes, to ignore this new development for that game is foolish. If you want change you have to put all your options on the table, and Japan have now presented the game with an alternative to the established order. Our thinking up until a few weeks ago was how to fix the existing structures, now we have an alternate perspective to look through.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 08:49

thatrugbyguy wrote:You think Australia and New Zealand are going to simply ignore a potentially wealthy partner in their region now that they are competitive? Not happening. .


No idea why someone would think that. :lol:

March 22nd 2019:
Super Rugby: Sanzaar axes Sunwolves as competition reduced to 14 teams
https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/sup ... o-14-teams
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: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 08:57

Japan are the ones who pulled the plug on that.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby Higgik » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 09:49

Lots of great ideas, much better than nations cup.
I am going to add in my ideas.
Firstly, I would have a global international calendar of August-October only.

All internationals would be played in these months, including the 6N.
6 weeks for 6N and TRC, (expanded to include Japan and be single round matches)

Calendar would be

Weeks 1-6 6N and TRC
Week 7 rest week
Week 8-14 RWC etc

Dome rugby would be after or before thieve dates, so for Europe start week 1 November and go to end of May.

Secondly, I would scrap automatic qualification for RWC, as finishing 3rd in a group should not get you a free ticket to the finals.

I would also run a 4 yr cycle
Y1 Champions Trophy, (sets of matches for champions of regional champs)
Y2 Lions and other comps
Y3 Regional Champs
Y4 RWC


Regional Champs would be like most people have suggested
Euro/Africa, Asia/Pacific and Americas and also serve as qualifiers for the RWC

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 12:42

thatrugbyguy wrote:Japan are the ones who pulled the plug on that.


Do you also say that, if the bouncer wants a ridiculous high sum of you to enter a bar, but not from the other guys, that it was your free will to not join the party in the bar?

"In a report by Kyodo News, the JRFU were asked to provide a $5m participation fee, pay $2m in travel expenses and forego certain broadcast revenue rights in a harsh move intended to strong-arm them financially. The conditions imposed weren’t applicable to any other team in the competition and were almost certain to result in Sunwolves being pulled."
https://www.rugbypass.com/news/sunwolve ... ith-japan/

As, thanks to the excellent work of Armchair, we've just seen the Unions budgets. The Japanese Union's budget is 59,7 Mio € - so they asked for at least a 11% increase of their budget. Then the Japanese Union pulled the plug. They were bloody bullied out by short-sighted idiots.
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: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 13:48

They managed to overcome the obstacles other T2 nations have come across and fought their way to where they are now, and are now on the verge of having the wealthiest domestic league in the world.


Japanese has never been T2. That's the point. Their domestic reality is not alike T2s'. Like Argentina, their problem was only the national team. It is completely different from the rest of the T2s. We need to stop mistaking national teams with the state of the nations. That's why Tiers concept has always been not good enough to show the reality.
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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby welshdragon2000 » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 13:57

victorsra wrote:
They managed to overcome the obstacles other T2 nations have come across and fought their way to where they are now, and are now on the verge of having the wealthiest domestic league in the world.


Japanese has never been T2. That's the point. Their domestic reality is not alike T2s'. Like Argentina, their problem was only the national team. It is completely different from the rest of the T2s. We need to stop mistaking national teams with the state of the nations. That's why Tiers concept has always been not good enough to show the reality.


Which other teams then are T1 in your view? I have never seen you say before the world cup that Japan was T1, perhaps I simply hadn't seen your posts.

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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 14:07

Working Class Rugger wrote:
victorsra wrote:Answer: because average fans and sponsors value more a 3 matches series against France.

Rugby is a poor sport and T1 Unions have many other problems (starting with French/English wanting players). Those administrators are not willing to take risks. They need quick and safe money. T2 nations don't bring sponsors or audiences enough to persuade them - at least now. It is easier to put Japan inside the cartel and that's it. Vicious cycle.

The easiest thing to do in the Lions years are competitions combining T1s (full strenght, not the Home Nations without top players) and T2s. Less than 2 matches against T1s for each T1 would probably be not enough to capture their attention for such projects.

Nobody in those countries are thinking about regional tournaments. 6Ns believe the 6N IS the European title. Nobody cares about a new one. Only a RWC Qualy would work - and with that I agree.

If the RWC Qualy is unwanted, maybe the best project would be a 12 or 16-teams world competition without Home Nations and the Southern nation hosting the Lions. Like a smaller WC, within the Lions period (probably with maximum 4 rounds). That would be an opportunity to explore markets not strong enough to host a full RWC.



We have the format in place at the u20s level in the JWC. Split it into Europe and RoTW. They could even call it the Nations Championship. Host it in one location. Or at least individual pools in a single location. So the European would feature the 6Ns teams and the 6 ENC nations and the RoTW would feature the nations not hosting the Lions (let's say this happens in 2021 so that will be Sth Africa) so it would have Aus, NZ, Japan, Argentina, the 3 PI's, the 2 NA nations, Uruguay, Africa 1 and Asia 1. Look to run them over the same time frame as the JWC with the same pool and finals arrangements.

In time, look to expand the numbers to 16 each.


If you start with a 12-teams experimental competition, it would be like this.
Exemple for 2025 (Lions in Australia year):

A: NZ (core), ITA (core), FIJ (Asia-Oceania 1), NAM (Africa 1)
B: SA (core), JAP (core), GEO (Europe 1), URU (Americas 1)
C: ARG (core), FRA (core), USA (hosts), SAM (best ranked or Playoff Europe 2 vs Asia-Oceania 2)

If Japan is confirmed in a 5-teams TRC, it could have 6 core teams, 1 host, 1 team from each continent and a best ranked of a team qualified from a playoff (difficult to find a date)
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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 14:15

welshdragon2000 wrote:
victorsra wrote:
They managed to overcome the obstacles other T2 nations have come across and fought their way to where they are now, and are now on the verge of having the wealthiest domestic league in the world.


Japanese has never been T2. That's the point. Their domestic reality is not alike T2s'. Like Argentina, their problem was only the national team. It is completely different from the rest of the T2s. We need to stop mistaking national teams with the state of the nations. That's why Tiers concept has always been not good enough to show the reality.


Which other teams then are T1 in your view? I have never seen you say before the world cup that Japan was T1, perhaps I simply hadn't seen your posts.


Me?! I said this several times before. For instance, in 2018: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=1442&p=74248&hilit=japan+tier+1#p74248
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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 14:32

Depends on what you believe a T1 must be. In countries like Fiji, Samoa, Tonga or even Georgia now rugby is a major dominant sport. But it lacks what? Professional structures (Fiji and Goergia have it)? Simply money? Political power, definitly. Their cases maybe are only a problem of size of economy - therefore, power. Could we call them what? Minor T1s? Don't know, I don't like the tiers concept. And probably we could call Romania a Lost T1. One that was basically a T1, but never accepted as such, losing its conditions.

T1s for me is only about power: those 10 countries with 3 votes in the council and the cartel tournaments. Japan is the only nation with 2 votes and the only one playing an anual competition with T1s (Super Rugby). They are 1.5 if we look at a power balance now. You can't consider Japan like any other T2 as they have a huge amount of clubs, company teams, universities and schools. Their problem was the amateur ethos - strong there, like in Argentina. Those 2 countries were not part of the old 8 T1s club, they weren't part of the professional projects that emerged in 1995, hence professionalism delayed there.

Now, if you look at T2-T3s. Take Brazil. It is an ilusion to place Brazil together with Uruguay when you compare clubs environment. Again, the national teams results create a false concept of growth - and the general state of the country's rugby. Brazil is way behind Uruguay. Way behind Portugal, BTW. I'm pretty sure there are other cases alike.
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Re: Alternatives to the Nations Championship

Postby welshdragon2000 » Tue, 29 Oct 2019, 15:05

victorsra wrote:Depends on what you believe a T1 must be. In countries like Fiji, Samoa, Tonga or even Georgia now rugby is a major dominant sport. But it lacks what? Professional structures (Fiji and Goergia have it)? Simply money? Political power, definitly. Their cases maybe are only a problem of size of economy - therefore, power. Could we call them what? Minor T1s? Don't know, I don't like the tiers concept. And probably we could call Romania a Lost T1. One that was basically a T1, but never accepted as such, losing its conditions.

T1s for me is only about power: those 10 countries with 3 votes in the council and the cartel tournaments. Japan is the only nation with 2 votes and the only one playing an anual competition with T1s (Super Rugby). They are 1.5 if we look at a power balance now. You can't consider Japan like any other T2 as they have a huge amount of clubs, company teams, universities and schools. Their problem was the amateur ethos - strong there, like in Argentina. Those 2 countries were not part of the old 8 T1s club, they weren't part of the professional projects that emerged in 1995, hence professionalism delayed there.

Now, if you look at T2-T3s. Take Brazil. It is an ilusion to place Brazil together with Uruguay when you compare clubs environment. Again, the national teams results create a false concept of growth - and the general state of the country's rugby. Brazil is way behind Uruguay. Way behind Portugal, BTW. I'm pretty sure there are other cases alike.


I see what you're saying now, thanks. I guess we could roll out the 'tier 1.5' title for some of those nations. I feel like the USA is a tier 1.75 if you like in that they don't have the structures of Japan perhaps but they have more than your typical T2 nation. The tier system really is outdated though, it's always going to be used I feel but we can surely classify nations in a better way.

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