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2023 World Cup Predictions

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby dropkick » Thu, 14 Nov 2019, 20:16

snapper37 wrote:
dropkick wrote:The main thing will be the draw. That's the main thing along with squad management. SA got a lucky draw and managed their players very well to keep them fresh.


Blurandski wrote:England to win. Ridiculously young squad this year that will come back stronger. France's good youth system will bear fruits and they'll go deep. Ireland and Scotland to be nowhere.

USA, Fiji, Japan, Uruguay to be the standout T2 sides, with a couple making the quarters.

Spain will qualify, Romania or Russia as well in place of Canada.



The Welsh have peaked while Scotland and Ireland are still on an upward curve.



Sorry Ireland peaked a year too early.



2019 and the world cup was poor but over the last 4 years we beat NZ twice, beat SA 38-3, got to number one on the rankings, grand slam too. Not bad.


The players are there now to strengthen the side further over the next 4 years. I think Gatland had Wales artificially high and they'll miss him. I expect Italy to improve, slowly but gradually.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby snapper37 » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 03:14

dropkick wrote:
snapper37 wrote:
dropkick wrote:The main thing will be the draw. That's the main thing along with squad management. SA got a lucky draw and managed their players very well to keep them fresh.


Blurandski wrote:England to win. Ridiculously young squad this year that will come back stronger. France's good youth system will bear fruits and they'll go deep. Ireland and Scotland to be nowhere.

USA, Fiji, Japan, Uruguay to be the standout T2 sides, with a couple making the quarters.

Spain will qualify, Romania or Russia as well in place of Canada.



The Welsh have peaked while Scotland and Ireland are still on an upward curve.



Sorry Ireland peaked a year too early.



2019 and the world cup was poor but over the last 4 years we beat NZ twice, beat SA 38-3, got to number one on the rankings, grand slam too. Not bad.


The players are there now to strengthen the side further over the next 4 years. I think Gatland had Wales artificially high and they'll miss him. I expect Italy to improve, slowly but gradually.


Your wrong again. Ireland had a great record over the last 4 years, but i believe they like Wales will falter over the next cylce. Italy has been constantly inconsistent.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 04:25

It's hard for me to see Ireland staying where they are. They've come off a good couple of years where they were clearly the best team in the world. But yeah, I think they peaked a year too early. What I'm going to be curious to see is the follow:

• Where New Zealand go from here - The All Blacks have come off a golden generation of talent, maybe their best ever, and a new coach is going to be coming in. You can never doubt the AB's but there have been chinks in their amour that have become increasingly apparent in the last 18 months, so whilst I don't expect them to drop in rankings any time soon, I think they are going to go through a rebuilding period that's going to produce some mixed results.

• Japan's growth - Japan are in a place now where no former T2 nation has been before, and they've gotten there largely on their own. If they can capitalise on the good will and support from the world cup, develop a proper Professional League for young players to play as soon as possible instead of having them wait, then I think the future is bright. After the South Africa match I was of the opinion they have to create ways for scoring when coming up against such strong defence because they don't have the size to match, but given South Africa's defence is what one them games against Wales and England I'm starting to think I was wrong in that assessment.

• The Wallabies - We are at real risk of dropping below the top 10 in the next 4 years if we can't sort out our shit at home. We are too inconsistent, we struggled against both Fiji and Georgia, and got mauled by England. Australian rugby is hanging on by it's fingernails for relevance unless changes are made at every level of the game.

• Canada's fall - There's no more troubling a development in the last 4 years than seeing Canada's fall from grace. They are now at real risk of failing to qualify for 2023 and that would be a massive blow for the sport.

• Uruguay's Rise - One the flip side in the Americas, Uruguay's rise has put them in the drivers seat for 2023. I can easily see them winning the Americas qualifiers quite comfortably based off their performance this year. A few more MLR seasons and hopefully a Pro League in South America is going to do wonders for them.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby NedRugby » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 07:03

RugbyLiebe wrote:After Georgia auto-qualified that second direct place got taken away from Europe and given to Oceania.

novac wrote:once Europe gets its place taken away after 2015 back

OK, I see this kind of thing so often on here I'm going to start calling it. WR have never taken a place away from Europe. Since the RWC went to 20 teams there has always been 8 spots for European teams, plus a potential spot from the repechage. Every single year. WR has never pretended that if a team auto qualifies then its region gets an extra spot. This is true also for Asia - HK didn't get rewarded for Japan's efforts. It would be true for Oceania - if all three of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga automatically qualified (not unthinkable) you wouldn't suddenly find Cook Islands or PNG parachuted into the RWC.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby novac » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 07:51

First, I didn't say that Europe should get a RWC place back after 2015.
I just want to understand how the qualification will be planned for Europe and Oceania, seing the last RWC Tournament results. In 2019 we had Georgia directly qualified and another Qualifying place from the REIC got first by Romania and then by Rusia. The third team from REIC went to a Play Off against Oceania 3 (Samoa) and after that to the Repechage tournament.
Now, Georgia has to fight for the direct qualification. What will happen to the other teams from REIC? Will Europe 2 directly qualify or go to the Play Off and Repechage? Probably yes, they will be directly qualified and Europe 3 will fight again in the Play off.
In Oceania, if Fiji is already qualified to RWC 2023 what will happen to the other Oceania teams? Will Oceania 2 (Tonga) directly qualifiy and Oceania 3 (Samoa) play again a Play Off or will both Oceania 2 and Oceania 3 directly qualify? In 2019 we had Oceania 1 and Oceania 2 both directly qualified. Probably Oceania 2 will qualify directly and Oceania 3 will go to Play off.
This is what I understand: what happened to Oceania Qualifying for RWC 2019 will happen in Europe Qualifying for RWC2023 and vice-versa.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 08:12

NedRugby wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:After Georgia auto-qualified that second direct place got taken away from Europe and given to Oceania.

novac wrote:once Europe gets its place taken away after 2015 back

OK, I see this kind of thing so often on here I'm going to start calling it. WR have never taken a place away from Europe. Since the RWC went to 20 teams there has always been 8 spots for European teams, plus a potential spot from the repechage. Every single year. WR has never pretended that if a team auto qualifies then its region gets an extra spot. This is true also for Asia - HK didn't get rewarded for Japan's efforts. It would be true for Oceania - if all three of Samoa, Fiji and Tonga automatically qualified (not unthinkable) you wouldn't suddenly find Cook Islands or PNG parachuted into the RWC.


Probably exactly the same way World Rugby has seen it for the last years. A different interpretation of how to call it. Fair enough.
So my point in this thread stands: if you predict groups you need to adjust and already calculate Europe1 + Europe2 in your predictions as that's what we get if World Rugby sticks to their previous way of handling things.
I repeat this only for one reason. World Rugby admins are on record for suddenly forgetting about former regulations, when it fits them (almost always a better option for a Cartel or Commonwealth nation) more. See the European 7s champions Germany apparently being denied their well deserved two World Series stints.
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: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby novac » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 08:27

Well, this thread is actually about predictions and not qualifications (I think there is a separate thread on this). But, I thought this forum is focused mainly on Tier 2 and 3 nations and you are speaking about Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
Let's focus on the teams from REIC, South/North America, Oceania, Africa and Asia who don't play in 6 Nations or RC and are not directly qualified at RWC2023.
For REIC I think Portugal will do a big improvement and they will fight again for a qualification place. Georgia for sure will be on top. Let's see how Romania and Spain will perform after last Qualification fiasco. I don't know if Germany will come back to the REIC. They seam to fight for the promotion with Netherlands and after that they will need to win the play off with the last one from REIC. Since, the 2021 and 2022 seasons are important for RWC qualification they still have time to improve if they will not promote in 2020. Prediction: Georgia will still make a good image at next RWC. For the others REIC teams I am not so sure.
For South/North America I didn't understand how the qualification is exactly working, but I see USA and Uruguay still favorite to qualify. If they will do good matches at RWC we will see. Uruguay got a good one with Fiji this year, but can they keep the same level? USA should improve more if they want to win matches against big teams in RWC.
For Africa and Asia I can't predict if a new team will qualify to the RWC. Probably, not. Maybe Namibia can improve a little and make some surprises at next RWC.
In Oceania, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa will qualify for sure. I am not sure if one of them will get again a direct place for RWC2027. I mean getting a third place in the groups at RWC2023. Maybe Fiji still have a chance. Qualification to QF I can't imagine. Fiji seemed to give their best at RWC2019.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby snapper37 » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 17:13

thatrugbyguy wrote:It's hard for me to see Ireland staying where they are. They've come off a good couple of years where they were clearly the best team in the world. But yeah, I think they peaked a year too early. What I'm going to be curious to see is the follow:

• Where New Zealand go from here - The All Blacks have come off a golden generation of talent, maybe their best ever, and a new coach is going to be coming in. You can never doubt the AB's but there have been chinks in their amour that have become increasingly apparent in the last 18 months, so whilst I don't expect them to drop in rankings any time soon, I think they are going to go through a rebuilding period that's going to produce some mixed results.

• Japan's growth - Japan are in a place now where no former T2 nation has been before, and they've gotten there largely on their own. If they can capitalise on the good will and support from the world cup, develop a proper Professional League for young players to play as soon as possible instead of having them wait, then I think the future is bright. After the South Africa match I was of the opinion they have to create ways for scoring when coming up against such strong defence because they don't have the size to match, but given South Africa's defence is what one them games against Wales and England I'm starting to think I was wrong in that assessment.

• The Wallabies - We are at real risk of dropping below the top 10 in the next 4 years if we can't sort out our shit at home. We are too inconsistent, we struggled against both Fiji and Georgia, and got mauled by England. Australian rugby is hanging on by it's fingernails for relevance unless changes are made at every level of the game.

• Canada's fall - There's no more troubling a development in the last 4 years than seeing Canada's fall from grace. They are now at real risk of failing to qualify for 2023 and that would be a massive blow for the sport.

• Uruguay's Rise - One the flip side in the Americas, Uruguay's rise has put them in the drivers seat for 2023. I can easily see them winning the Americas qualifiers quite comfortably based off their performance this year. A few more MLR seasons and hopefully a Pro League in South America is going to do wonders for them.



I agree with you on Canada. expect our fall from grace has been a happening for over a decade. No one should be fooled, Canada would not have made the world cup this year if Romania and Spain didn't get caught cheating.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 17:25

novac wrote:Well, this thread is actually about predictions and not qualifications (I think there is a separate thread on this). But, I thought this forum is focused mainly on Tier 2 and 3 nations and you are speaking about Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Italy.
Let's focus on the teams from REIC, South/North America, Oceania, Africa and Asia who don't play in 6 Nations or RC and are not directly qualified at RWC2023.
For REIC I think Portugal will do a big improvement and they will fight again for a qualification place. Georgia for sure will be on top. Let's see how Romania and Spain will perform after last Qualification fiasco. I don't know if Germany will come back to the REIC. They seam to fight for the promotion with Netherlands and after that they will need to win the play off with the last one from REIC. Since, the 2021 and 2022 seasons are important for RWC qualification they still have time to improve if they will not promote in 2020. Prediction: Georgia will still make a good image at next RWC. For the others REIC teams I am not so sure.
For South/North America I didn't understand how the qualification is exactly working, but I see USA and Uruguay still favorite to qualify. If they will do good matches at RWC we will see. Uruguay got a good one with Fiji this year, but can they keep the same level? USA should improve more if they want to win matches against big teams in RWC.
For Africa and Asia I can't predict if a new team will qualify to the RWC. Probably, not. Maybe Namibia can improve a little and make some surprises at next RWC.
In Oceania, Fiji, Tonga and Samoa will qualify for sure. I am not sure if one of them will get again a direct place for RWC2027. I mean getting a third place in the groups at RWC2023. Maybe Fiji still have a chance. Qualification to QF I can't imagine. Fiji seemed to give their best at RWC2019.


The Americas have an unified competion since 2016 called Americas Rugby Championship. It is exactly like Rugby Europe Championship, with 6 teams: Argentina XV, USA, Canada, Uruguay, Brazil and Chile. From 2020 a promotion-relegation system will be introduced (TBA) with Americas Rugby Challenge (the second division, that has Colombia, Mexico, Paraguay and the Caribbean champions, but might be expanded to other South American teams, like Peru in the near future).

It was anounced ARC will be the qualification path for the whole Americas, which means we'll see (probably) the 2 best teams (no matter if they are from the North or from the South... Argentina excluded) of 2021+2022 qualifiying to the RWC 2023.
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 17:38

I really would like to see the Asia-Oceania qualy merged like the Americas did. An Asia-Pacific Championship (APC) with Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hong Kong and Korea would be a very important step for the development of the region. Fiji and Japan woudn't play for the RWC and if they access TRC id would be reasonable to see them playing as Japan XV and Fiji XV, which is ok, like Argentina XV in the ARC.

And an Asia-Pacific Challenge, with PNG, Malaysia, Philippines and Cooks (or Niue, taking 2019 results), for exemple.
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby 4N » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 17:53

victorsra wrote:I really would like to see the Asia-Oceania qualy merged like the Americas did. An Asia-Pacific Championship (APC) with Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hong Kong and Korea would be a very important step for the development of the region. Fiji and Japan woudn't play for the RWC and if they access TRC id would be reasonable to see them playing as Japan XV and Fiji XV, which is ok, like Argentina XV in the ARC.

And an Asia-Pacific Challenge, with PNG, Malaysia, Philippines and Cooks (or Niue, taking 2019 results), for exemple.


Agree :thumbup:

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Edgar » Fri, 15 Nov 2019, 20:25

victorsra wrote:I really would like to see the Asia-Oceania qualy merged like the Americas did. An Asia-Pacific Championship (APC) with Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hong Kong and Korea would be a very important step for the development of the region. Fiji and Japan woudn't play for the RWC and if they access TRC id would be reasonable to see them playing as Japan XV and Fiji XV, which is ok, like Argentina XV in the ARC.


:thumbup:

Yes, like the Pan-European World Cup proposal you mentioned the other day, this is something I've written about here before and also in my articles for the Roar: https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/06/07/c ... tions-cup/

The idea here was to revive the African Gold Cup, and take the winners of this, the ENC 1st division, the ARC and a hypothetical Asia-Pacific 6 Nations (Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, Fiji, Samoa and Tonga) and involve them in an annual Confederations Cup that could perhaps replace the Nations Cup - which drew very poor attendances in Montevideo this year.

The Confederations Cup would be a more meaningful competition, basically a mini-World Cup of second and third tier nations, and promotion-relegation in the regional competitions should be a prerequisite. The Argentina XV would not be eligible, and in the event of their winning ARC, the second-placed side would compete.

The benefits of an Asia-Pacific 6 Nations is that the level of competition would help raise standards in Asia, while providing the Pacific Nations with much-needed competition of a meaningful nature. Let them field their domestic 'A' teams if they like. It wouldn't really matter.

It seems only natural that, with Rapid Rugby set to kick off in 2020, the club series should be complimented by some kind of international championship - albeit excluding Australia for obvious reasons. Korea would be involved to begin with, but Malaysia and likely 6th Rapid Rugby host Singapore would have their chance to earn promotion - as would every other team in Asia (& the Pacific Islands).

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 16 Nov 2019, 01:51

victorsra wrote:I really would like to see the Asia-Oceania qualy merged like the Americas did. An Asia-Pacific Championship (APC) with Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hong Kong and Korea would be a very important step for the development of the region. Fiji and Japan woudn't play for the RWC and if they access TRC id would be reasonable to see them playing as Japan XV and Fiji XV, which is ok, like Argentina XV in the ARC.

And an Asia-Pacific Challenge, with PNG, Malaysia, Philippines and Cooks (or Niue, taking 2019 results), for exemple.


I also think this should be done. It makes no sense to me to continuously have Japan qualify easily from Asia, and for the same 3 teams in the Pacific essentially just jockeying for position. In fact the fact that Japan and Fiji are at the level they are means there would be far more weight to such a tournament.

Division 1 (Top 3 to RWC + 1 to Repechage)
Japan
Fiji
Tonga
Samoa
Hong Kong
Korea

Division 2 (Winner to Repechage)
Sri Lanka
Malaysia
PNG
Cook Islands
Philippines
Singapore

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Edgar » Sat, 16 Nov 2019, 20:31

thatrugbyguy wrote:
Division 1 (Top 3 to RWC + 1 to Repechage)
Japan
Fiji
Tonga
Samoa
Hong Kong
Korea

Division 2 (Winner to Repechage)
Sri Lanka
Malaysia
PNG
Cook Islands
Philippines
Singapore


I'd say top 3 from the first division to the World Cup, 4th to an inter-continental play-off and fifth to the repechage. Wooden spooner misses out and plays a promotion-relegation match instead.

If a second division is feasible, so be it, but I think what they may need to do below first division level is create regions to enable six team leagues rather than 3-team mini-tournaments.

So you might have Middle East, South-Central Asia, Far East and Oceania regions. & let's face it, the Middle East is an awful long way from French Polynesia! The 4 winners could then meet in a mini-tournament at a single venue for the championship and right to play in the promotion-relegation fixture.

This would be far more conducive to developing rugby across the continent than week-long mini-tournaments. It would also ensure home-games for all teams, of course, and in this manner generate local interest and raise the profile of the game in all participating nations.

The four losers would play in their own regional promotion-relegation matches.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Sat, 16 Nov 2019, 21:27

Thinking that Asia Rugby and Oceania Rugby dont have much money, the Second Division would probably be more like the Americas Challenge, with 4 teams.

And they should qualify using regional groups.

Bottom team of the APC: Korea
East Asia best: Malaysia
West Asia best: Sri Lanka
Oceania best: PNG

This makes all the structure more economic and logic.

Below that all 3 groups should be played before the Challenge. 3 teams each with 1 home and 1 away match for everybody (the host match is precious for any marketing project).

East Asia: Malaysia, Phillippines and Singapore
West Asia: Sri Lanka, UAE and Kazakhstan
Oceania: PNG, Niue, Solomon Islands

And 3rd divisions:
East Asia: Taiwan, China and Thailand
West Asia: Uzbekistan, India, Pakistan
Oceania: Nauru, Cooks, Tahiti

And so on...
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Sat, 16 Nov 2019, 21:44

In fact I do believe it would be a better format for the Americas Challenge. If it is played in November, it shoud have:

Bottom team of the ARC: Chile
South 1: Colombia
North 1: Mexico
South/North 2 (the continent with better results): Paraguay

And before, by July:
South: Colombia, Paraguay and Peru
North: Mexico, Caymans and Bermuda

And so on...

This merges the relegation/promotion playoff into the nd division and promotes matches between all levels of the pyramid, while giving at least 1 home match every year for everybody.
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Sat, 16 Nov 2019, 21:53

And Africa.

South Africa XV (or U20s, as they lack regional tournament)
Namibia
Kenya
Uganda
Zimbabwe
Tunisia

Challenge:
Last bottom: Tunisia
North: Morocco
South: Madagascar
West: Ivory Coast

Regionals:
North: Morocco, Algeria, Senegal
East: Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria
South: Madagascar, Zambia, Botswana
Last edited by victorsra on Sun, 17 Nov 2019, 12:47, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Natal » Sun, 17 Nov 2019, 09:28

This looks excellent, victorsra. Add similar intermediary tournaments between TRC and 6N and we’ve got a pathway to the top for all.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Edgar » Sun, 17 Nov 2019, 14:45

victorsra wrote:And they should qualify using regional groups.

Bottom team of the APC: Korea
East Asia best: Malaysia
West Asia best: Sri Lanka
Oceania best: PNG



This looks good, Victorsra. I concede it would be a little ambitious to have a Middle East region at this particular juncture. Combining them with the South-Central Asia region makes more sense. Distances are not vast, and there are numerous flights between the Gulf and Indian sub-continent. Also, involving the bottom-placed first division team and making the tournament a promotion-relegation series itself is a stroke of genius.

Incidentally, Bougainville's independence (from PNG) referendum begins next week and press reports seem confident they will succeed. The island has a population of around 250,000, and while league appears more popular there, union certainly has a vibrant schools and sevens scene.

As for your subsequent post, I agree with the regionalization of competition, but not the three-team format. For me the entire purpose of regionalization would be to create actual leagues with a few more teams (6 seems the magic number). As mentioned, this would provide home-games for all teams and thereby develop local interest. Otherwise, there just doesn't seem much point in changing the current format.

Returning to the combined first division, a concept I've been championing for some years, my main concern would be the feasibility of playing matches in Apia and Nuku'alofa. Possibly Samoa and Tonga could be based in Malaysia and Singapore for the series. Again, this would tie in nicely with Rapid Rugby, and undoubtedly many Pacific Islanders will soon be based in South East Asia for the purpose. That will also help offset the absence of Malaysia and Singers from the first division themselves, to begin with.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Sun, 17 Nov 2019, 17:47

is there Rugby Union in Bougainville or just League? I don't know if Union in PNG is basically Port Moresby or if it is played nationwide.

However, there aren't clubs from Bougainville in the PNGRL: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2019_PNGNRL_season

EDIT: it looks like they have Union indeed: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Bougainville-Rugby-Union
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Edgar » Sun, 17 Nov 2019, 20:33

I believe Bougainville rugby operates autonomously. There are nine clubs spread all over the island and both senior and Under 19 competitions have apparently grown in recent years. Bougainville hosts its own Black Orchids Sevens tournament. The "national" men's sevens team, also named the Black Orchids, has been playing in events staged by PNG and the Solomons, though financial restraints have apparently forced their withdrawal from the former. Interestingly, league and union have a mutual agreement on Bougainville to work toward the development of both codes. So not a lot will change with independence, except that we will have one new rugby nation.

Speaking of autonomy, it's often overlooked in rugby terms that Hong Kong is part of China again and that their involvement in a World Cup would technically involve the world's most populous nation. Obviously we'd like to see China itself arrive on the scene in the not-too-distant future, but Hong Kong is certainly a more realistic prospect for the next decade or so - as demonstrated by their comfortable win in Belgium at the weekend. Not sure how much that would excite the mainland press, especially with names like McNeish, Axten-Burrett, Phillips, Andrews, Bristow, Sullivan, Sawyer, Lodge and De Thierry dominating the lineup. But it couldn't do any harm.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby victorsra » Sun, 17 Nov 2019, 22:42

Edgar wrote:
victorsra wrote:And they should qualify using regional groups.

Bottom team of the APC: Korea
East Asia best: Malaysia
West Asia best: Sri Lanka
Oceania best: PNG



This looks good, Victorsra. I concede it would be a little ambitious to have a Middle East region at this particular juncture. Combining them with the South-Central Asia region makes more sense. Distances are not vast, and there are numerous flights between the Gulf and Indian sub-continent. Also, involving the bottom-placed first division team and making the tournament a promotion-relegation series itself is a stroke of genius.

Incidentally, Bougainville's independence (from PNG) referendum begins next week and press reports seem confident they will succeed. The island has a population of around 250,000, and while league appears more popular there, union certainly has a vibrant schools and sevens scene.

As for your subsequent post, I agree with the regionalization of competition, but not the three-team format. For me the entire purpose of regionalization would be to create actual leagues with a few more teams (6 seems the magic number). As mentioned, this would provide home-games for all teams and thereby develop local interest. Otherwise, there just doesn't seem much point in changing the current format.

Returning to the combined first division, a concept I've been championing for some years, my main concern would be the feasibility of playing matches in Apia and Nuku'alofa. Possibly Samoa and Tonga could be based in Malaysia and Singapore for the series. Again, this would tie in nicely with Rapid Rugby, and undoubtedly many Pacific Islanders will soon be based in South East Asia for the purpose. That will also help offset the absence of Malaysia and Singers from the first division themselves, to begin with.


Forget this idea of relocating national teams. This offers no good for the game. Offers nothing for the development of Malaysia or Singapura and takes off oportunities for Samoans and Tongans to play at home.
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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Edgar » Mon, 18 Nov 2019, 14:50

Relax. Just another probing curveball from the arm of hypotheses. 8-) In point of fact, if the Asian contingent comprised Japan, Hong Kong and Korea, Shanghai and Guangzhou would make a lot more sense from a geographical perspective. Of course, Apia and Nuku'alofa would be the ideal if feasible. & if Rapid Rugby can do it, so surely can PARC (Pacific-Asia Rugby Championships). Hope you like the acronym. :D

I've also contemplated separate Asian and Pacific promotion-relegation fixtures in order to maintain the balance. So even if the islands finished 1, 2 & 3, the latter would still be required to defend their spot. Similarly, the bottom-placed of the three Asian teams would be required to defend theirs regardless whether they finished 6th on the table or not. That would add another dimension to PARC and create further interest.

It would apply even during World Cup qualifying years, so that a team might finish third in PARC, go directly to the RWC, but still have to play a promotion-relegation fixture if the lowest ranked Asian or Pacific team in PARC. In non-World Cup years, PARC, ARC, ENC and CAR (Africa) winners would play for the RCC (Rugby Confederations Cup). :D

PARC

Hong Kong v Tonga, Hong Kong
Fiji v Samoa, Suva
Japan v Korea, Tokyo

Fiji v Hong Kong, Suva
Samoa v Japan, Apia/Shanghai/Singapore/Auckland
Korea v Tonga, Seoul

Tonga v Samoa, Nuku'alofa
Hong Kong v Korea, Hong Kong
Japan v Fiji, Tokyo

Fiji v Tonga, Suva
Japan v Hong Kong, Tokyo
Samoa v Korea, Apia/Shanghai/Singapore/Auckland

Hong Kong v Samoa, Hong Kong
Tonga v Japan, Nuku'alofa/Guangzhou/Kuala Lumpur/Auckland
Korea v Fiji, Seoul

RWC qualifying - top 3 progress, 4th to inter-continental playoff, 5th to repechage

Annual winner joins ARC, ENC & CAR champs at RCC
Bottom Asian team plays promotion-relegation fixture against Asian opponent
Bottom Pacific team plays promotion-relegation fixture against Oceania opponent

NB: Asia is partitioned into East and West zones below PARC level, allowing for 6-team divisions leading to a final, while Oceania competition runs separately.

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby Edgar » Wed, 20 Nov 2019, 15:16

I'd still like to see an annual pre-season 6 Nations tournament involving NZ, Aussie, Japan and the Islands in two groups of three leading to a final, 3rd and 5th place matches as well. 3 games each, single venue, done and dusted in 2 weeks.

Edgar wrote:I believe Bougainville rugby operates autonomously. There are nine clubs spread all over the island and both senior and Under 19 competitions have apparently grown in recent years. Bougainville hosts its own Black Orchids Sevens tournament. The "national" men's sevens team, also named the Black Orchids, has been playing in events staged by PNG and the Solomons, though financial restraints have apparently forced their withdrawal from the former. Interestingly, league and union have a mutual agreement on Bougainville to work toward the development of both codes. So not a lot will change with independence, except that we will have one new rugby nation.



Meanwhile, Sidama province of southern Ethiopia is set to vote on autonomy following violence in September which resulted in fatalities. The Sidama are one of the largest ethnic groups in the region and the province has a population of over 3 million, with the capital at Hawassa. Not that there appears to be any rugby in Sidama. In fact, Ethiopia ranked 2nd behind Bangladesh in a list of largest nations never to have played test rugby I put together earlier this year. https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/07/20/l ... est-rugby/

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Re: 2023 World Cup Predictions

Postby snapper37 » Sat, 23 Nov 2019, 04:02

thatrugbyguy wrote:
victorsra wrote:I really would like to see the Asia-Oceania qualy merged like the Americas did. An Asia-Pacific Championship (APC) with Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Hong Kong and Korea would be a very important step for the development of the region. Fiji and Japan woudn't play for the RWC and if they access TRC id would be reasonable to see them playing as Japan XV and Fiji XV, which is ok, like Argentina XV in the ARC.

And an Asia-Pacific Challenge, with PNG, Malaysia, Philippines and Cooks (or Niue, taking 2019 results), for exemple.


I also think this should be done. It makes no sense to me to continuously have Japan qualify easily from Asia, and for the same 3 teams in the Pacific essentially just jockeying for position. In fact the fact that Japan and Fiji are at the level they are means there would be far more weight to such a tournament.

Division 1 (Top 3 to RWC + 1 to Repechage)
Japan
Fiji
Tonga
Samoa
Hong Kong
Korea

Division 2 (Winner to Repechage)
Sri Lanka
Malaysia
PNG
Cook Islands
Philippines
Singapore



So you're saying that Hong Kong would miss out on the repechage to Sri Lanka just because they are in a harder pool? Don't devalue the teams, Top 3 qualify for the RWC, with the 4th being placed in repechage 5th in global playoff. Other than that a simple promotion playoff keeps it clean and simple


Division 1 (Top 3 to RWC + 1 to Repechage)
Japan
Fiji
Tonga
Samoa
Hong Kong
Korea

Division 2
Sri Lanka
Malaysia
PNG
Cook Islands
Philippines
Singapore[/quote]

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