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Continental Club Rugby League

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Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 16:37

The successor of Continental Shield is here:
https://rugger.info/news/30036

Image

Entrants:
- Russia: Enisei-STM, Krasny Yar, Slava Moscow, VVA-Podmoskovye
- Romania: Baia Mare and Steaua
- Germany: 1880 Frankfurt
- Belgium (?) or Dinamo Bucuresti

Schedule:
- Quarterfinals in April
- Semifinals in June
- Finals in September/October

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Raven » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 16:45

Well... that is strange, but hopefully it takes off and keeps going stronger.

I didn´t see anything about any promotion / relegation with the Challenge Cup, so then I suppose is not a direct successor of the Shield, but more of a new "League"... Too early to start analysing in depth IMHO.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Canalina » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 16:46

It sounds interesting. Google translation of the article above

The first matches of the debut season, which will be attended by representatives of Russia, Romania, Germany and, possibly, Belgium, will be held in April 2020.
At the meeting of the founders of the Continental League, held on November 30 in Paris, a governing body was created - the Board of Directors. Representatives of the participating clubs elected Kirill Yashenkov as its chairman. In addition, the format of the first season was approved.
In an interview with the FRR press service, Kirill Yashenkov revealed the details of the creation and spoke about the prospects for the development of a new competition.

How and when was the tournament organized?
Work on the creation of a new club European tournament lasted a year and a half. We thought a lot about the format and the participants of the tournament. We held a large number of meetings of an international nature with the leadership of World Rugby and Rugby Europe, the heads of European rugby federations, and the leaders of clubs that occupy leading positions in their championships. As a result of this work, on November 30, the first meeting of the participants of the Continental Club Rugby League took place in Paris [during the Rugby Europe meeting?]. The meeting was also attended by the leaders of the federations of Russia, Romania, Germany and Belgium, whose clubs will be represented in the tournament. I am very pleased that representatives of the Rugby Federations of Spain, the Netherlands and Italy were with us that day. We all know that the Italian team is a member of the Six Nations Cup. It is very important that Italians show interest in our tournament.

Who will play in the first season?
“There will be eight teams participating in the first Continental Club Rugby League tournament,” said Kirill Yashenkov. - Russia in 2020 will be represented by the four best teams of the Russian Championship in 2019 - Yenisei-STM (Krasnoyarsk), Krasny Yar (Krasnoyarsk), Slava (Moscow) and VVA-Moscow Region (Monino). There are two clubs from Romania so far - Baia Mare and Steaua, who won the Romanian Cup three weeks ago. Germany will play the current leader of the domestic championship and the base club of the national team “1880 Frankfurt”. The eighth team will be known before the end of this year. The last, eighth participant will be either a team created on the basis of one of the leaders of the Belgian championship, or the Dynamo Bucharest. I want to emphasize that the agreement was signed not only by the leaders of the clubs, but also of the federations whose countries are represented in the tournament.

According to what scheme will the first season be played?
We settled on the playoff option. That is, the teams will start their performance from the quarter finals. At each stage, in addition to the final, which will take place on a neutral field, two games are planned (at home and away). We are interested in the teams, of course, to conduct matches in their home stadiums, but they will have to comply with all the norms and standards that will be presented to them. The most difficult issue was the discussion of the calendar for 2020, because we will have to take into account the timing of three championships at once - Russia, Germany and Romania. Matches of the quarter finals will be held in April, the semi-finals are tentatively in June, and the final game will be held in September-October.

How and when will the tournament expand?
There must be certain principles that we will be guided by when expanding the league. Clubs that are clearly inferior in class to other teams will not be allowed to participate in the tournament. Of course, we will look at the results of clubs in their domestic championships in recent years.

The rules of the tournament will be approved in January, at a scheduled meeting of the Board of Directors of the Continental Club Rugby League. The ¼ final draw will also take place there. A preliminary decision was made that in the first round clubs from one country would not meet each other.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Tobar » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 16:59

Cue everyone freaking out because it has the word "League" in it.

Is this that Gazprom backed league that some of the Russians here were mentioning?

I assume that these clubs will play in addition to their current club setups and that this doesn't replace it, similar to what the Continental Shield was in the past. If so, what exactly is the point of changing up the setup? Is it trying to be like a Tier 2 Pro14? The only real difference I see is that the teams are different and that there doesn't seem to be promotion yet for the Challenge Cup.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Canalina » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 17:36

The logo seems a potato peel :)
Tobar wrote:...
If so, what exactly is the point of changing up the setup? Is it trying to be like a Tier 2 Pro14? The only real difference I see is that the teams are different and that there doesn't seem to be promotion yet for the Challenge Cup.

It's a new tournament, without EPCR at its back; maybe they will have some help from Rugby Europe, if that 30 november meeting was held during the Rugby Europe congress.
Fact is that the Continental Shield, managed mostly by the Italian Federation, failed on its aims and was abandoned.
The russians took up the idea and purposed a more eastern-oriented tournament, with a summer calendar.
I wish this League all the success but I'm not very optimistic; I've seen in the past many transnational tournament for clubs from tier II nations and no one of them ever had a real success.
If the maintain a summer calendar I suppose no one Italian will never take part, unfortunately

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 18:55

Tobar wrote:Cue everyone freaking out because it has the word "League" in it.

Is this that Gazprom backed league that some of the Russians here were mentioning?

I assume that these clubs will play in addition to their current club setups and that this doesn't replace it, similar to what the Continental Shield was in the past. If so, what exactly is the point of changing up the setup? Is it trying to be like a Tier 2 Pro14? The only real difference I see is that the teams are different and that there doesn't seem to be promotion yet for the Challenge Cup.


Well it is a cup not a league!

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 19:31

From what we've been following of this project, they want it to be a league but in order to launch it as soon as possible it will start as a knockout tournament.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Canalina » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 20:16

The calendar could be the major knot, I think.
If they are planning to maintain a summer calendar also in the future editions, this could cut off all the italian, spanish and portoguese clubs.

I've read the translation of an other article where they say that all the costs of this first edition will be covered by the general sponsor, that there are some options about which this general sponsor will be and that they're still deciding between the various options. Not bad!

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 21:38

Italy, Spain and Portugal should launch their own Superliga, e.g. four from Italy, two from Spain, one from Portugal. Single round robin, 3 home games and 3 away, followed by semi final and final. The whole thing would take 9 weeks.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 21:40

We already have an Iberian Cup, but unfortunately clubs from each side of the border have never trusted each other to build anything going beyond a straight final or semis and final.

Even if on field level is similar, thing off field are very different.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 21:48

Tier 2 countries need to work together. The eastern countries are doing it. The western countries should do the same. The best players in the Division de Honor, both Spanish and foreign, could be drafted into two teams, one in Madrid and one in Barcelona, for this competition.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 22:01

I wonder why Timisoara Saracens are not included. I remember they got a big fine for cancelling a European Challenge Cup home game a few years back, because their pitch was frozen. It actually makes sense for the eastern European countries to work together, they have a proper winter when everything is frozen for 3 months. They can't really play rugby December to March. That's their ice hockey season. They can agree a Continental League season which works for them.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Edinburra » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 23:20

Extremely encouraged by this. I thought that the Challenge Cup could have been easily expanded to accomodate more countries , but pleased to see the T2 countries taking the initiative.
Some of these clubs have multi Euro budgets and this gives them the stepping stone to competitive cross border competitions at a competitive level. It should hopefully encourage other countries to put forward teams as the budget levels will be at a significantly lower level than the Pro league and get more T2 countries playing a higher level which will benefit their respective national teams

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby dans » Thu, 12 Dec 2019, 23:24

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I wonder why Timisoara Saracens are not included. I remember they got a big fine for cancelling a European Challenge Cup home game a few years back, because their pitch was frozen. It actually makes sense for the eastern European countries to work together, they have a proper winter when everything is frozen for 3 months. They can't really play rugby December to March. That's their ice hockey season. They can agree a Continental League season which works for them.


I wouldn't be surprised if they declined for now. Timisoara Saracens don't have the best of relations with the Romanian Union representatives that were part of the arrangement (if there is one!) especially the FRR president Alin Petrache and his friend Octavian Morariu the Rugby Europe president.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 00:25

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 2 countries need to work together. The eastern countries are doing it. The western countries should do the same. The best players in the Division de Honor, both Spanish and foreign, could be drafted into two teams, one in Madrid and one in Barcelona, for this competition.

Spain already has an experience with regional franchises and failed. Our development will either come from a strong club league or a single franchise in an international competition, but there is too many people spooked by regional franchises.

--

Hey, I'm a rugby fan, a Tier 2 fan, I'd love to see my rugby fight at an international stage and clubs from my country represented in this new competition, as I wished they had the courage to participate in Continental Shield during its last few years. But it has to make sense for every shareholder and I fail to see all the theoretical benefits this Continental Club Rugby League will offer.

First of all, from a rumoured European Tier 2 franchise league we're down to a club knockout competition. I get it's the way to make this happen more quickly. But privately-owned clubs don't always go in the same direction as unions and national teams. I'm not sure six, eight, ten matches of a club that might be filled with foreigners or players fallen out of touch with their national teams for different reasons against other REC-level clubs will make a big difference to raise the overall REC level. This is not MLR or SLAR, it's just a pastime for now. Which I'll love to watch because I'm sick, but still not something that can be considered at the core of each of our nations' rugby strategy.

Apart from that, some of the reasons stated by Spanish clubs not to take part in Continental Shield remain. It is claimed that travelling expenses would be covered, which is an improvement, but playing in June implies extending contracts for a couple of weeks, so the expenditure will be more or less the same. We've got a crowded schedule, national competitions who are found attractive by local sponsors, audiences and fans. Not like a football league, for sure, but it's growing and probably in a better shape than in most of the countries who are pushing for this Continental Club Rugby League: we've got streamings, media exposure, big playing numbers... Hosting a Baia Mare or making a trip to Krasnoyarsk (with a big risk of being heavily defeated, to be honest) won't do much for rugby becoming more relevant, people won't give a damn. I mean, they haven't given a damn about today's announcement. There is a pretty active rugby forum in Spanish and no one reacted to the news. They love their Valladolid derby, a Cup final in a football stadium with decent crowds, the chance to fight for four different titles every season and the odd encounter against a Portuguese club once a year. I'm not sure where taking part in CCRL fits.

In the end it will be a decision to be taken by Spanish rugby clubs association, as FER told them plans to launch this league back in October, but I wouldn't bet for it. It sounds horrible as a Tier 2 fan, because I'd love to see us involved, but currently I'm not sure we need this. And I can see this reasoning being in Italian minds as well as Georgians, who would need more a franchise than clubs playing in Europe.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 06:47

Raven wrote:Well... that is strange, but hopefully it takes off and keeps going stronger.

I didn´t see anything about any promotion / relegation with the Challenge Cup, so then I suppose is not a direct successor of the Shield, but more of a new "League"... Too early to start analysing in depth IMHO.


Is it a League? Looks more like a knockout comp to me. Would have preferred an actual league structure but perhaps things could evolve as time goes on.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby novac » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 08:38

dans wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:I wonder why Timisoara Saracens are not included. I remember they got a big fine for cancelling a European Challenge Cup home game a few years back, because their pitch was frozen. It actually makes sense for the eastern European countries to work together, they have a proper winter when everything is frozen for 3 months. They can't really play rugby December to March. That's their ice hockey season. They can agree a Continental League season which works for them.


I wouldn't be surprised if they declined for now. Timisoara Saracens don't have the best of relations with the Romanian Union representatives that were part of the arrangement (if there is one!) especially the FRR president Alin Petrache and his friend Octavian Morariu the Rugby Europe president.


If Timisoara refused they should have tried with U Cluj, not Dinamo.
Interesting that no Georgian team has been invited.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Vova12 » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 09:09

Negotiations are underway with Georgians.
Image

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby vino_93 » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 09:23

Armchair Fan wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 2 countries need to work together. The eastern countries are doing it. The western countries should do the same. The best players in the Division de Honor, both Spanish and foreign, could be drafted into two teams, one in Madrid and one in Barcelona, for this competition.

Spain already has an experience with regional franchises and failed. Our development will either come from a strong club league or a single franchise in an international competition, but there is too many people spooked by regional franchises.

--

Hey, I'm a rugby fan, a Tier 2 fan, I'd love to see my rugby fight at an international stage and clubs from my country represented in this new competition, as I wished they had the courage to participate in Continental Shield during its last few years. But it has to make sense for every shareholder and I fail to see all the theoretical benefits this Continental Club Rugby League will offer.

First of all, from a rumoured European Tier 2 franchise league we're down to a club knockout competition. I get it's the way to make this happen more quickly. But privately-owned clubs don't always go in the same direction as unions and national teams. I'm not sure six, eight, ten matches of a club that might be filled with foreigners or players fallen out of touch with their national teams for different reasons against other REC-level clubs will make a big difference to raise the overall REC level. This is not MLR or SLAR, it's just a pastime for now. Which I'll love to watch because I'm sick, but still not something that can be considered at the core of each of our nations' rugby strategy.

Apart from that, some of the reasons stated by Spanish clubs not to take part in Continental Shield remain. It is claimed that travelling expenses would be covered, which is an improvement, but playing in June implies extending contracts for a couple of weeks, so the expenditure will be more or less the same. We've got a crowded schedule, national competitions who are found attractive by local sponsors, audiences and fans. Not like a football league, for sure, but it's growing and probably in a better shape than in most of the countries who are pushing for this Continental Club Rugby League: we've got streamings, media exposure, big playing numbers... Hosting a Baia Mare or making a trip to Krasnoyarsk (with a big risk of being heavily defeated, to be honest) won't do much for rugby becoming more relevant, people won't give a damn. I mean, they haven't given a damn about today's announcement. There is a pretty active rugby forum in Spanish and no one reacted to the news. They love their Valladolid derby, a Cup final in a football stadium with decent crowds, the chance to fight for four different titles every season and the odd encounter against a Portuguese club once a year. I'm not sure where taking part in CCRL fits.

In the end it will be a decision to be taken by Spanish rugby clubs association, as FER told them plans to launch this league back in October, but I wouldn't bet for it. It sounds horrible as a Tier 2 fan, because I'd love to see us involved, but currently I'm not sure we need this. And I can see this reasoning being in Italian minds as well as Georgians, who would need more a franchise than clubs playing in Europe.


I might be wrong, but I think Spain will be back with Challenge Cup. EPCR doesn't want anymore east-europeans clubs. Travel distances, winter season, so many problems for them. Italy will have one spot for sure. A guy from EPCR said it in an itw a few weeks ago. He doesn't tell anything about second spot, expect that they won't go to Russia anymore. I'm pretty sure they are targetting Spain. Good location, rugby economy growing, same season as every other contenders... and a big market. I'm not saying it will happen (I'm not sure it's interesting for Spanish champion), but I'm sure EPCR is targeting them.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby FLIDTA RISXVA » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 09:24

NEW-est, more informative article about possible expansion

https://rugger.info/news/30046

:::

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Canalina » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 11:22

FLIDTA RISXVA wrote:NEW-est, more informative article about possible expansion

https://rugger.info/news/30046

:::

They seem very confident about the project, they are already trying to "steal" clubs from the Challenge Cup : )

I'm not sure it would be a good move for Calvisano to switch to that russian backed league. Calendar apart, in this Challenge Cup season Calvisano played in front of 2000 spectators (home), 4200 (Pau), 15000 (Leicester).
I very doubt the new league could offer the same amount of crowd, even if of course I would be glad to be wrong

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby io.porcorosso » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 13:36

I do really think that we are loosing the focus.

Is there any gaining for clubs to play such a league?

From an Italian point of view, no, from a Spanish, no.

This is not a "snobbish" point of view, it is just reality.

I'm a fan of Petrarca and I also follow Barça and Bilbao that are currently in the DH and DHa but I doubt that I will be interested to see Petrarca Vs Barça if not just for curiosity, because the match itself does not mean anything in term of challenge.

So first reason to attract people and sponsors is to give a meaning to it.

This thesis connect me with a second face of our rugby, we [Italy and Spain surely] live in wide countries with multi sentiment toward the our heritage. I'm really connected to my territory and to the challenge we face with our neighborhood teams. In this moment there's not any other competition prevailing this sentiment, even the PRO14, where, off course I prefer Treviso win, but it is not my first interest. My main goal, as a fan, is to challenge with Rovigo, with Treviso to win over them.

So, the best option for a normal audience used to compare rugby with the normal challenging life is to have a good, strong domestic championship.

Then, when I will have it and when I will see a strong Spanish championship, where, hopefully, Barça plays good games with good players, I will open my interest to see Petrarca VS Barça.

Then things could be different in Russia, Romania, Georgia. I don't have the knowledge to say it yes or no, but in my corner of country it is like that, and if it is the same at the stadium, it is the same in the club managements.

So, I don't see any other way to well develop rugby in our countries but to care about our domestic.

Cheers PR-WSM

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Rumpelstilzchen » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 17:31

FLIDTA RISXVA wrote:NEW-est, more informative article about possible expansion

https://rugger.info/news/30046

:::

Translation with DeepL.com

The Deputy Chairman of the Supreme Council of the RDF spoke about the plans to expand the newly created championship.

"The first direction: inviting clubs from countries whose representatives are already participating in the league. For example, now I am negotiating with the president of the famous Romanian Timisoara.

Second: Georgian clubs. We are negotiating, and I am sure that we will reach a consensus early next year. The participation of teams from Georgia will give the tournament a special status.

Third: other rugby countries. I have agreements on negotiations with clubs in Spain and Portugal. We will also continue the dialogue with the Belgians and Dutch.

The fourth and completely separate direction is Italy. It is very important for us that the teams from the country representing the first rugby echelon participate. For example, after three rounds in the Challenge Cup, Calvizano is in last place in the group with a difference of points "minus 125". I would like to ask my Italian colleagues if they are interested in playing in such a tournament. Or it's better to meet the teams, equal in status, for matches of which the stadiums will gather.

As for the Russian championship, it is impossible to cancel it either actually or legally. We are obliged to hold it. But it will be clear in which direction the league will develop after the first season. To date, we have eight teams playing in our league.

If the tournament develops along the path I have outlined, we will reduce the Russian league. It's better to have more matches with equal opponents than to play games where everything is clear in advance. But this is not a question of today.

In the opening season of the Continental Rugby League, teams from Russia, Romania, Germany and possibly Belgium will play.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Tobar » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 18:29

io.porcorosso wrote:I do really think that we are loosing the focus.

Is there any gaining for clubs to play such a league?

From an Italian point of view, no, from a Spanish, no.

This is not a "snobbish" point of view, it is just reality.

I'm a fan of Petrarca and I also follow Barça and Bilbao that are currently in the DH and DHa but I doubt that I will be interested to see Petrarca Vs Barça if not just for curiosity, because the match itself does not mean anything in term of challenge.

So first reason to attract people and sponsors is to give a meaning to it.

This thesis connect me with a second face of our rugby, we [Italy and Spain surely] live in wide countries with multi sentiment toward the our heritage. I'm really connected to my territory and to the challenge we face with our neighborhood teams. In this moment there's not any other competition prevailing this sentiment, even the PRO14, where, off course I prefer Treviso win, but it is not my first interest. My main goal, as a fan, is to challenge with Rovigo, with Treviso to win over them.

So, the best option for a normal audience used to compare rugby with the normal challenging life is to have a good, strong domestic championship.

Then, when I will have it and when I will see a strong Spanish championship, where, hopefully, Barça plays good games with good players, I will open my interest to see Petrarca VS Barça.

Then things could be different in Russia, Romania, Georgia. I don't have the knowledge to say it yes or no, but in my corner of country it is like that, and if it is the same at the stadium, it is the same in the club managements.

So, I don't see any other way to well develop rugby in our countries but to care about our domestic.

Cheers PR-WSM


This is really important to consider when making a new league. Will the league actually take off in the country or will it be ignored by most of the potential fans? Is it a sustainable structure or just the easiest way to professionalize?

This is why I went from supporting Pro12/Super Rugby in the US to being against it entirely. Short term it would've been great - our national team would've improved quickly with lots of investment and better competition. But if we had just 1 or 2 teams in NYC, DC, Houston, wherever then that would've alienated the entire country and no one would care about it. A rugby fan in Boston would support a team in NYC if they really cared about rugby but they'd have a hard time doing so. A non-rugby fan would never support them.

Spain and Italy seem to be similar to this - it'd be best to fight off of regional and city rivalries/allegiances to build up clubs. I find Italy to be pretty fascinating in how loyal they are to their small towns/villages. Maybe fans in Russia don't care as much about this - the Russians here mentioned that the games that are most interesting to fans are the ones with foreign teams. So maybe this setup is perfect for them.

Point is, as much as we all would like to think that if we create a Pro14 for Tier 2 countries that it would be a huge hit, this may not be the case at all. Most of the Pro14 countries have a shared heritage whereas Italy, Georgia, Spain and Russia don't.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby dans » Fri, 13 Dec 2019, 19:56

novac wrote:
dans wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:I wonder why Timisoara Saracens are not included. I remember they got a big fine for cancelling a European Challenge Cup home game a few years back, because their pitch was frozen. It actually makes sense for the eastern European countries to work together, they have a proper winter when everything is frozen for 3 months. They can't really play rugby December to March. That's their ice hockey season. They can agree a Continental League season which works for them.


I wouldn't be surprised if they declined for now. Timisoara Saracens don't have the best of relations with the Romanian Union representatives that were part of the arrangement (if there is one!) especially the FRR president Alin Petrache and his friend Octavian Morariu the Rugby Europe president.


If Timisoara refused they should have tried with U Cluj, not Dinamo.
Interesting that no Georgian team has been invited.


Personally I am not sure of this competition (early days)...I still think the path to development should be through strengthening Superliga and the second tier DNS in addition to junior grade rugby.
This competition would mean clubs needing bigger squads, internal costs, insurance costs, lost focus on internal development ...participating clubs chasing the quick 'buck'...

But if the upside is positive direct club funding + 100% development in the local leagues...and not going into Union coffers, maybe it's worth giving it a try. They'll need Georgians, Spanish and Italian clubs if they are to create any sort of noise...

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