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Continental Club Rugby League

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby ihateblazers » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 09:34

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:Deportes COPE Valladolid (minute 26) conducted a small investigation among people that must take decisions on whether to bid for Challenge Cup spots or not in Spain.

After talking to FER, LNR, VRAC, El Salvador and Alcobendas representatives these were their conclusions:
- Neither EPCR, nor FER are offering any money (worse conditions than for Continental Shield). Spanish union claims their 2020 budget is already closed but they would support any club willing to take part in Challenge Cup (scheduling).
- Alcobendas doesn't see this viable, claiming they aren't ready, would need to sign 5-8 additional players to be any competitive and financially it doesn't work
- Valladolid clubs remain open to this possibility, which will be discussed this week. VRAC even considers a merged team/franchise with El Salvador as they see sporting interest in the competition and fulfill most EPCR requests but financials are a big obstacle
- LNR/Clubs association claims FER should endorse any Spanish entrant as if it was a national team, but their speech sounded a bit off, just trying to talk about their business and not Challenge Cup
- Potential bids have until this Friday to submit any doubt to EPCR and until January 27th to present their dossiers. A decision will be taken by EPCR in February
- The feeling is we haven't got enough time to put a good bid in place but fear EPCR won't offer anything next year if we let this one go

Unless Valladolid launch themselves in an unreasonable and suicidal mission just for the love of rugby I don't see how playing Challenge Cup makes any sense for us.


Sometimes, and this is one of those not that rare moments, where I ask myself if soccer is probably also that successful, because soccer admins are less smart and don't overthink everything, but don't hesitate to take opportunities.


Have to question what the benefit is for the Spanish clubs or any other T2 clubs from playing 6 games spread in 3 different blocks and most of the T1 challenge cup teams being small time names. If they can't afford it and the EPCR are so useless they can't provide funding then it's probably a pointless endeavor, i'd say the same thing for Italian, Russian or any other T2 clubs.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 09:42

ihateblazers wrote:
iul wrote: Soccer created meritocratic systems. Apart from Australia and USA (with token teams from Canada and NZ) all countries have domestic leagues with promotion and relegation, except for the micro states maybe. All countries, both at international or club level can rise to the top. In rugby everything is closed off, and the cartel admins have the difficult task of growing the revenues of rugby without growing rugby, because some of them might find themselves no longer sitting at the top of the game, which is why we keep seeing short term and stupid solutions, such as selling percentages of competitions tovinvestment funds, constant rule changes and all sort of improvised irrational competitions.


To expand on your point about the cartel admins. The whole of T1 outside of France and England are reliant on the international game due to the central contract system and trying to compete with private owned clubs with funds raised by the international game, this is the root cause of all of rugby's problems and has led to the closed off competitions.


You make a good point. Wales might actually be better off allowing their best players to play in the English Premiership ideally in the West Country teams, so long as they have access to them, and the number of games they play is restricted. England need the same conditions for their players. That might be better than the WRU having to fund its 4 professional teams which are probably commercially unviable.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 09:50

ihateblazers wrote:
iul wrote: Soccer created meritocratic systems. Apart from Australia and USA (with token teams from Canada and NZ) all countries have domestic leagues with promotion and relegation, except for the micro states maybe. All countries, both at international or club level can rise to the top. In rugby everything is closed off, and the cartel admins have the difficult task of growing the revenues of rugby without growing rugby, because some of them might find themselves no longer sitting at the top of the game, which is why we keep seeing short term and stupid solutions, such as selling percentages of competitions tovinvestment funds, constant rule changes and all sort of improvised irrational competitions.


To expand on your point about the cartel admins. The whole of T1 outside of France and England are reliant on the international game due to the central contract system and trying to compete with private owned clubs with funds raised by the international game, this is the root cause of all of rugby's problems and has led to the closed off competitions.


The root case is British administration (see cricket, see Soccer Home Nations instead of playing in a soccer World Cup) and the elitist approach that sport is not to find the best, but to make relations between likewise people. This has accumulated to the problems we have now.
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: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 09:51

ihateblazers wrote:
Have to question what the benefit is for the Spanish clubs or any other T2 clubs from playing 6 games spread in 3 different blocks and most of the T1 challenge cup teams being small time names. If they can't afford it and the EPCR are so useless they can't provide funding then it's probably a pointless endeavor, i'd say the same thing for Italian, Russian or any other T2 clubs.


And here is where my theory of overthinking kicks in. In soccer "try to beat the best" would be a good enough reason to go for it.
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: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 14:34

Enisei-STM and Calvisano are actually doing ok. They are good enough and deserve to be in the European Challenge Cup. They lose on average by about 30 points, which is a comfortable win for the other team, but it's not an humiliation. If they were losing by 80 points I would argue that the gulf is too wide and they shouldn't be in the competition. But they are good enough to learn from the games, and there is a chance of a win. It's not impossible.
I suspect a Spanish team would be totally outmuscled and outclassed. If they do enter a Valladolid combined team I hope they strengthen the team, maybe with some Argentinians and South Africans in the pack, or they'll just get destroyed and it'll be demoralising.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 16:27

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I suspect a Spanish team would be totally outmuscled and outclassed. If they do enter a Valladolid combined team I hope they strengthen the team, maybe with some Argentinians and South Africans in the pack, or they'll just get destroyed and it'll be demoralising.

EVEN MORE!? :D

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 15 Jan 2020, 18:29

Armchair Fan wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:I suspect a Spanish team would be totally outmuscled and outclassed. If they do enter a Valladolid combined team I hope they strengthen the team, maybe with some Argentinians and South Africans in the pack, or they'll just get destroyed and it'll be demoralising.

EVEN MORE!? :D


I mean with players that are good enough to be playing professionally in Europe's big 3 leagues. They could even be Super Rugby players because they'll be finished mid January.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 07:40

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:I suspect a Spanish team would be totally outmuscled and outclassed. If they do enter a Valladolid combined team I hope they strengthen the team, maybe with some Argentinians and South Africans in the pack, or they'll just get destroyed and it'll be demoralising.

EVEN MORE!? :D


I mean with players that are good enough to be playing professionally in Europe's big 3 leagues. They could even be Super Rugby players because they'll be finished mid January.


What exactly makes you think they would be outclassed in the pack? I think that's the area, no matter where in today's rugby, where smaller teams are outclassed the least. And the Spanish also get their masterclass once every year against Georgia.

See for yourself: https://youtu.be/bqz-AFjO0PQ?t=1878
Spain gaining a penalty from a Georgian scrum and then mauling in for a try.
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: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 08:32

It's fair to say 3/8 players from that forward pack don't play in Spain, but VRAC and national team share forwards coach. A VRAC+El Salvador team could field a national team calibre pack with some interesting additions from abroad.

There are two things I disagree with Chester-Donnelly: I'm not sure you we can bring that many additional Saffas and Argentinians as we are already close to the limit of non-European players accepted under EPCR rules and to me the main concern would be open defense, not forwards. Spanish league is a try fest where teams struggle to sacrifice themselves to avoid tries, quite the opposite compared to national team.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby ihateblazers » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 08:34

RugbyLiebe wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
Have to question what the benefit is for the Spanish clubs or any other T2 clubs from playing 6 games spread in 3 different blocks and most of the T1 challenge cup teams being small time names. If they can't afford it and the EPCR are so useless they can't provide funding then it's probably a pointless endeavor, i'd say the same thing for Italian, Russian or any other T2 clubs.


And here is where my theory of overthinking kicks in. In soccer "try to beat the best" would be a good enough reason to go for it.


I see your point, there is more of a go for it mentality and self confidence in soccer. Got to respect Russian rugby in that respect who have never shied away from taking an opportunity and that's what this Continental Club League is all about.

I'm more despondent about the whole European Cup situation since there is such an uneven playing field and i don't see long term potential. It is a worthwhile ambition to beat the best though and that's what sport is all about. I wouldn't worry about the competitiveness of a Spanish team, that's a non issue.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 08:44

Armchair Fan wrote:to me the main concern would be open defense, not forwards


I think it is fair to say that this is the biggest and most important difference between cartel nations and the rest. Would be worth to listen to some experts why this is such an issue. My theory would be the classical "you need to play the best as much as possible" to improve there, but there might be other reasons.
Last edited by RugbyLiebe on Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 12:07, 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: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby iul » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 10:42

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:to me the main concern would be open defense, not forwards


I think it is fair to say that this is the biggest and most important difference between tier1+2. Would be worth to listen to some experts why this is such an issue. My theory would be the classical "you need to play the best as much as possible" to improve there, but there might be other reasons.

Lower levels of strength and conditioning is a huge factor. Then there's the issue of poor attacking skills. If you can't attack well you will lose the ball a lot which means cartel nations get more opportunities to attack

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Tiernster » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 11:11

To me it is clear Spain is more suited to the EPCR then the continental rugby league. I can see the issue that it is probably too vast a country for one team pulling the best club players from all. If the solution thats being discussed is a regional team from the winners of Division of Honor compete then I think that would be a good intermediate solution.

The Challenge Cup can be a real opportunity when the lack of interest to it in some quarters is taken into account. Of course the Spanish schedule would need to seriously align to not disadvantage the clubs involved (maybe they could skip a cup or a few rounds of a cup) and the EPCR would need to give fair compensation.

The rest being on TV in Tier 1 nations, and hosting tier 1 teams are on balance beneficial things.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 12:10

iul wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:to me the main concern would be open defense, not forwards


I think it is fair to say that this is the biggest and most important difference between Cartel nations and the Rest. Would be worth to listen to some experts why this is such an issue. My theory would be the classical "you need to play the best as much as possible" to improve there, but there might be other reasons.

Lower levels of strength and conditioning is a huge factor. Then there's the issue of poor attacking skills. If you can't attack well you will lose the ball a lot which means cartel nations get more opportunities to attack


Not sure about the strength, but yeah the conditioning is sometimes shocking. That's a thing one would guess could be tackled directly. Well if those guys are not amateurs only semipros. Why do you think Romania doesn't catch up?
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: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby iul » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 13:52

RugbyLiebe wrote:
iul wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:to me the main concern would be open defense, not forwards


I think it is fair to say that this is the biggest and most important difference between Cartel nations and the Rest. Would be worth to listen to some experts why this is such an issue. My theory would be the classical "you need to play the best as much as possible" to improve there, but there might be other reasons.

Lower levels of strength and conditioning is a huge factor. Then there's the issue of poor attacking skills. If you can't attack well you will lose the ball a lot which means cartel nations get more opportunities to attack


Not sure about the strength, but yeah the conditioning is sometimes shocking. That's a thing one would guess could be tackled directly. Well if those guys are not amateurs only semipros. Why do you think Romania doesn't catch up?

-poor strength and conditioning, even if they're pros. At the big cartel clubs they have modern technology, methods and well trained people. Our clubs don't even have the GPS system for players to track how much they're training.
-poor attacking skills. We play a fairly slow and predictable game which works against Spain&co but not against cartel nations because they're fitter and stronger than us. This means we lose the ball a lot and when we don't lose it we kick it away because we kept going backward even with the ball in our possesion, which leads to the opponents getting to run at our disorganized defence because everyone tried to chase the kick but not everyone ran at the same speed
- most of our players play at a low level. It's difficult to hone your defence skills when you don't face the best attacks every week. What works against Cluj and Constanta may not work against England.
- We have a small selection base. Only 2-3k registered players. Some people are more naturally gifted to do some tasks, like tackling or positioning in defence. With a small selection base the chances of finding some freaks is small.
-poor coaching. If you look at the coaching staffs of pro clubs from England for example, you can see they have 15-16-even close to 20 coaches, which means they have more time to focus of working with individual players and teaching them. There's also the fact that those clubs can afford better coaches.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 14:25

iul wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
iul wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Armchair Fan wrote:to me the main concern would be open defense, not forwards


I think it is fair to say that this is the biggest and most important difference between Cartel nations and the Rest. Would be worth to listen to some experts why this is such an issue. My theory would be the classical "you need to play the best as much as possible" to improve there, but there might be other reasons.

Lower levels of strength and conditioning is a huge factor. Then there's the issue of poor attacking skills. If you can't attack well you will lose the ball a lot which means cartel nations get more opportunities to attack


Not sure about the strength, but yeah the conditioning is sometimes shocking. That's a thing one would guess could be tackled directly. Well if those guys are not amateurs only semipros. Why do you think Romania doesn't catch up?

-poor strength and conditioning, even if they're pros. At the big cartel clubs they have modern technology, methods and well trained people. Our clubs don't even have the GPS system for players to track how much they're training.
-poor attacking skills. We play a fairly slow and predictable game which works against Spain&co but not against cartel nations because they're fitter and stronger than us. This means we lose the ball a lot and when we don't lose it we kick it away because we kept going backward even with the ball in our possesion, which leads to the opponents getting to run at our disorganized defence because everyone tried to chase the kick but not everyone ran at the same speed
- most of our players play at a low level. It's difficult to hone your defence skills when you don't face the best attacks every week. What works against Cluj and Constanta may not work against England.
- We have a small selection base. Only 2-3k registered players. Some people are more naturally gifted to do some tasks, like tackling or positioning in defence. With a small selection base the chances of finding some freaks is small.
-poor coaching. If you look at the coaching staffs of pro clubs from England for example, you can see they have 15-16-even close to 20 coaches, which means they have more time to focus of working with individual players and teaching them. There's also the fact that those clubs can afford better coaches.


So then, what is the solution? How can the standard of the Superliga, and therefore the Romania national team be improved? Will the Continental League help? Surely they need to play games against tier 1 teams?

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby iul » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 14:36

- create academies for each club, or at least one central academy run by FRR or the clubs themselves via some new governing body. Bring in good coaches for the academy.

- establish some sort of coach coaching relationship with some cartel clubs or unions to improve the quality of our coaches

- bring in more technology for player training

Alternatively, FRR could look to buy some club abroad. Perhaps one of the Welsh Pro14 regions. They keep talking about reducing their numbers, perhaps if FRR spent 500k GBP/ yer to cover their losses it eould be beneficial for both sides. We'd be able to send, say, 15 players to that club and they'd get better training and play against better opponents.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby dans » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 14:58

:)....In the business world Renault comes in Romania, buys Dacia and makes the brand ok-ish in Europe rather than selling all their output into East Asia.
In rugby terms we cannot see Dragons moving to Bucharest :)...but yes maybe move a Romanian franchise in Newport by share ownershipand and start producing a reduced number of players and coaches...I think the cost would be easy double that...+ the politics that go with it on both sides!

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Adamstown 7's » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 15:10

iul wrote:-

Alternatively, FRR could look to buy some club abroad. Perhaps one of the Welsh Pro14 regions. They keep talking about reducing their numbers, perhaps if FRR spent 500k GBP/ yer to cover their losses it eould be beneficial for both sides. We'd be able to send, say, 15 players to that club and they'd get better training and play against better opponents.



I really can't see that working out well for Welsh Rugby. The Ospreys are struggling anyway, they probably won't win a game if they had 15 Romanians in the squad. A working relationship will be helpful, but Romania needs to create it's own Rugby climate imo.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 15:55

I agree with the academies and coaching. Romania's strength is that it has a professional league, but there needs to be investment in creating a big pool of professional players. In England it is very difficult to become a professional rugby player because the standard is so high. It should be the same in Romania. For professional players it is very difficult to be selected for England. It should be the same for Romania. If an England player loses form or fitness he will lose his place to someone else. That's how it should be in Romania.

The other thing I have noticed with Romanian rugby is a team can be really good one year, then lose its sponsorship the next year and lose a load of its players, or even fold altogether. The clubs need to build more of a fan base and get a wider base of sponsors and benefactors so they're not so reliant on one source of funding.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby iul » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 17:10

dans wrote::)....In the business world Renault comes in Romania, buys Dacia and makes the brand ok-ish in Europe rather than selling all their output into East Asia.
In rugby terms we cannot see Dragons moving to Bucharest :)...but yes maybe move a Romanian franchise in Newport by share ownershipand and start producing a reduced number of players and coaches...I think the cost would be easy double that...+ the politics that go with it on both sides!

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thegua ... ugby-union
Dragons were losing 800k a few years ago. Surely that could be reduced by a bit.
It would make sense IMO to do something like this. Maybe they could get Dacia to sponsor the team. They already do sponsor league in England.

Adamstown 7's wrote:
I really can't see that working out well for Welsh Rugby. The Ospreys are struggling anyway, they probably won't win a game if they had 15 Romanians in the squad. A working relationship will be helpful, but Romania needs to create it's own Rugby climate imo.

15 players in a 45 man squad wouldn't be that disastruous for them IMO.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 20:48

It looks like at least one Spanish club will bid. At least they have sent some questions to EPCR regarding the process.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 21:04

Armchair Fan wrote:It looks like at least one Spanish club will bid. At least they have sent some questions to EPCR regarding the process.


Which team?

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 16 Jan 2020, 22:08

The guy is from Valladolid so I'm pretty sure it's a 50/50 guess.

Anyway, nothing guarantees the bid would be attractive to EPCR.

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Re: Continental Club Rugby League

Postby Tiernster » Fri, 17 Jan 2020, 08:29

How strong could a Valladolid team be?
Are there many internationals or overseas internationals between them ?
What sort of attendances do the 2 teams attract ?
What are their facilities like?
Do they have coaching experience they could easily call on to improve strength and conditioning ?

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