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Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 17:10

Very nice. Tier 1 Premier I agree with.

Tier 1 Second Leagues could include Currie Cup First Division, probably ranked seventh IMO.

Argentina's URBA Top 12 could be in a separate category along with Shute Sheild for tier 1 state/province top division. I believe there are no other leagues in that category as the other tier 1 countries have long established national leagues.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby victorsra » Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 19:12

5) Currie Cup Premier Division
6) Mitre10 Cup
7) National Rugby Championship

Sorry, but this is incorrect in conceptual terms. Those competitions are below Super Rugby in Southern Hemisphere's competitions pyramid.

There are only 4 major leagues (Tier 1): Super Rugby, Top 14, Premiership and PRO14. These are the Level 1 leagues in the Tier 1 nations' pyramids, like it or not.

But the tiers concept is the best one to rank leagues indeed.
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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 19:34

Tier 1 Major leagues
1) Super Rugby
2) Top 14
3) English Premiership
4) Pro 14

Tier 1 level 2 leagues - national
1) Pro D2
2) Currie Cup Premier Division
3) Mitre10
4) English Championship
5) Italian Top 12
6) National Rugby Championship
7) Welsh Premiership
8) Scottish Super Six
9) All Ireland League

Tier 1 state/province top leagues
1) Shute Sheild
2) URBA Top 12

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby victorsra » Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 20:36

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 1 Major leagues
1) Super Rugby
2) Top 14
3) English Premiership
4) Pro 14

Tier 1 level 2 leagues - national
1) Pro D2
2) Currie Cup Premier Division
3) Mitre10
4) English Championship
5) Italian Top 12
6) National Rugby Championship
7) Welsh Premiership
8) Scottish Super Six
9) All Ireland League

Tier 1 state/province top leagues
1) Shute Sheild
2) URBA Top 12


Top League should be in level 2 as until now the Sunwolves are in Super Rugby (although for 2020 they lost Brave Blossoms players). But probably the new Japonese league will be strong enough to be a "Major League". Japan is in a transitional moment.

GRR is a problem to rank, but it has 2 of NRC's best teams (Force and Latui/Drua), 1 NPC (BoP) and one CC (Valke) teams, so, same tier. Also a league with transitional status.

SLAR is level 2 because it is the 2nd level for Argentina (a T1 nation) below Jaguares. One of the reasons itnwas born is to play the role that Currie Cup/NPC/NRC play in the other Sanzaar nations. However it is in the first semestre to allow Argentina to be in the Currie Cup and to be paralel to MLR, thinking about the ARC. I believe Jaguares XV will be basicaly Los Ceibos, while ARC's Argentina XV will have Pumitas and the rest of SLAR's Argentine's. Or the opposite. There will be differences in the squads because maybe some Jaguares won't be Pumas, to open space for Europe-based players, but in general terms this is a likely scenario.

I'd rank MLR in level 2 as well because USA/Canada are T2 nations and as much North Americans here are saying people are overating it, MLR has former T1 national teams players. Russian and Romanian leagues don't have such kind of players.

I wouldn't mix Irish and Welsh club rugby there because it isn't professional, right? I dont think they are stronger than Argentina's URBA or Interior competitions (you forgot Interior).
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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 21:06

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 1 Major leagues
1) Super Rugby
2) Top 14
3) English Premiership
4) Pro 14

Tier 1 level 2 leagues - national
1) Pro D2
2) Currie Cup Premier Division
3) Mitre10
4) English Championship
5) Italian Top 12
6) National Rugby Championship
7) Welsh Premiership
8) Scottish Super Six
9) All Ireland League

Tier 1 state/province top leagues
1) Shute Sheild
2) URBA Top 12


Top League should be in level 2 as until now the Sunwolves are in Super Rugby (although for 2020 they lost Brave Blossoms players). But probably the new Japonese league will be strong enough to be a "Major League". Japan is in a transitional moment.

SLAR is level 2 because it is the 2nd level for Argentina (a T1 nation) below Jaguares. One of the reasons itnwas born is to play the role that Currie Cup/NPC/NRC play in the other Sanzaar nations. However it is in the first semestre to allow Argentina to be in the Currie Cup and to be paralel to MLR, thinking about the ARC.

I'd rank MLR in level 2 as well because USA/Canada are T2 nations and as much North Americans here are saying people are overating it, MLR has former T1 national teams players. Russian and Romanian leagues don't have such kind of players.


Japan is still classed as tier 2, and like you say they're in transition at the moment. But they certainly have the opportunity to have the World's fifth "Major League". They could also become tier 1.

SLAR teams are from tiers 1, 2 and 3, as are GRR teams, but they are not majority tier 1 so I won't include them in tier 1 level 2. For SLAR that could change if Argentina adds more teams.

USA and Canada are also tier 2. I am happy with erginclass's Tier 2 Premiers rankings. MLR is fully professional, has 12 teams and has several tier 1 stars, so it deserves to be ranked as the top tier 2 league. GRR and SLAR are brand new and have only just enough teams for a league, but they do have tier 1 teams so deserve to be ranked below MLR but above the Russian Premier League. I'm not sure where to rank Top League because the same team includes one of the best players in the world alongside non-professionals.

Welsh Premiership and All Ireland League are good to have there for completeness, so we have all tier 1 top level domestic leagues. I am looking forward to the competition between the Scottish Super Six teams and the top 6 Welsh Premiership teams. I will then know how to rank those two leagues.

I don't know how the Argentine Nacional de Clubes rugby compares to the URBA Top 12. I thought the URBA Top 12 was the higher of the two.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby TuMachNach » Mon, 09 Mar 2020, 23:10

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 1 Major leagues
1) Super Rugby
2) Top 14
3) English Premiership
4) Pro 14

Tier 1 level 2 leagues - national
1) Pro D2
2) Currie Cup Premier Division
3) Mitre10
4) English Championship
5) Italian Top 12
6) National Rugby Championship
7) Welsh Premiership
8) Scottish Super Six
9) All Ireland League

Tier 1 state/province top leagues
1) Shute Sheild
2) URBA Top 12


Top League should be in level 2 as until now the Sunwolves are in Super Rugby (although for 2020 they lost Brave Blossoms players). But probably the new Japonese league will be strong enough to be a "Major League". Japan is in a transitional moment.

SLAR is level 2 because it is the 2nd level for Argentina (a T1 nation) below Jaguares. One of the reasons itnwas born is to play the role that Currie Cup/NPC/NRC play in the other Sanzaar nations. However it is in the first semestre to allow Argentina to be in the Currie Cup and to be paralel to MLR, thinking about the ARC.

I'd rank MLR in level 2 as well because USA/Canada are T2 nations and as much North Americans here are saying people are overating it, MLR has former T1 national teams players. Russian and Romanian leagues don't have such kind of players.


Japan is still classed as tier 2, and like you say they're in transition at the moment. But they certainly have the opportunity to have the World's fifth "Major League". They could also become tier 1.

SLAR teams are from tiers 1, 2 and 3, as are GRR teams, but they are not majority tier 1 so I won't include them in tier 1 level 2. For SLAR that could change if Argentina adds more teams.

USA and Canada are also tier 2. I am happy with erginclass's Tier 2 Premiers rankings. MLR is fully professional, has 12 teams and has several tier 1 stars, so it deserves to be ranked as the top tier 2 league. GRR and SLAR are brand new and have only just enough teams for a league, but they do have tier 1 teams so deserve to be ranked below MLR but above the Russian Premier League. I'm not sure where to rank Top League because the same team includes one of the best players in the world alongside non-professionals.

Welsh Premiership and All Ireland League are good to have there for completeness, so we have all tier 1 top level domestic leagues. I am looking forward to the competition between the Scottish Super Six teams and the top 6 Welsh Premiership teams. I will then know how to rank those two leagues.

I don't know how the Argentine Nacional de Clubes rugby compares to the URBA Top 12. I thought the URBA Top 12 was the higher of the two.


URBA Top 12 has a similar level to some (nor all) Argentine Regional Championships like NOA, Centro, Litoral and, maybe, Oeste. Best teams of Regional Championships (not URBA) compete in Torneo del Interior. Finally the best 2 clubs of Torneo del Interior play against the best 2 URBA Top 12 clubs.

Some years ago UAR tried a Nacional de Clubes (A and B) without Torneo del Interior step and with a fixture including 4 groups of 4 clubs in each tier. The results weren't inclined to only one regional side clubs and it was a very entertaining competition. This was discontinued because some clubs pleaded that traveling along the country was exhausting their players and the level of the competition wasn't better than their regional. So the new format is a Nacional de Clubes of only 2 matches. Meanwhile Regional Championships and Torneo del Interior are longer than before.

EDIT Addition: Following the last paragraph, in the last years, many Regional Championships has gone to a short format and had to reduce the clubs involved like NOA (16 clubs to 10 clubs). The only one that is growing in number is Torneo del Interior.

I forgot to mention that Nacional de Clubes B in their long format and the competition below included some Uruguayan clubs.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 10 Mar 2020, 01:47

TuMachNach wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 1 Major leagues
1) Super Rugby
2) Top 14
3) English Premiership
4) Pro 14

Tier 1 level 2 leagues - national
1) Pro D2
2) Currie Cup Premier Division
3) Mitre10
4) English Championship
5) Italian Top 12
6) National Rugby Championship
7) Welsh Premiership
8) Scottish Super Six
9) All Ireland League

Tier 1 state/province top leagues
1) Shute Sheild
2) URBA Top 12


Top League should be in level 2 as until now the Sunwolves are in Super Rugby (although for 2020 they lost Brave Blossoms players). But probably the new Japonese league will be strong enough to be a "Major League". Japan is in a transitional moment.

SLAR is level 2 because it is the 2nd level for Argentina (a T1 nation) below Jaguares. One of the reasons itnwas born is to play the role that Currie Cup/NPC/NRC play in the other Sanzaar nations. However it is in the first semestre to allow Argentina to be in the Currie Cup and to be paralel to MLR, thinking about the ARC.

I'd rank MLR in level 2 as well because USA/Canada are T2 nations and as much North Americans here are saying people are overating it, MLR has former T1 national teams players. Russian and Romanian leagues don't have such kind of players.


Japan is still classed as tier 2, and like you say they're in transition at the moment. But they certainly have the opportunity to have the World's fifth "Major League". They could also become tier 1.

SLAR teams are from tiers 1, 2 and 3, as are GRR teams, but they are not majority tier 1 so I won't include them in tier 1 level 2. For SLAR that could change if Argentina adds more teams.

USA and Canada are also tier 2. I am happy with erginclass's Tier 2 Premiers rankings. MLR is fully professional, has 12 teams and has several tier 1 stars, so it deserves to be ranked as the top tier 2 league. GRR and SLAR are brand new and have only just enough teams for a league, but they do have tier 1 teams so deserve to be ranked below MLR but above the Russian Premier League. I'm not sure where to rank Top League because the same team includes one of the best players in the world alongside non-professionals.

Welsh Premiership and All Ireland League are good to have there for completeness, so we have all tier 1 top level domestic leagues. I am looking forward to the competition between the Scottish Super Six teams and the top 6 Welsh Premiership teams. I will then know how to rank those two leagues.

I don't know how the Argentine Nacional de Clubes rugby compares to the URBA Top 12. I thought the URBA Top 12 was the higher of the two.


URBA Top 12 has a similar level to some (nor all) Argentine Regional Championships like NOA, Centro, Litoral and, maybe, Oeste. Best teams of Regional Championships (not URBA) compete in Torneo del Interior. Finally the best 2 clubs of Torneo del Interior play against the best 2 URBA Top 12 clubs.

Some years ago UAR tried a Nacional de Clubes (A and B) without Torneo del Interior step and with a fixture including 4 groups of 4 clubs in each tier. The results weren't inclined to only one regional side clubs and it was a very entertaining competition. This was discontinued because some clubs pleaded that traveling along the country was exhausting their players and the level of the competition wasn't better than their regional. So the new format is a Nacional de Clubes of only 2 matches. Meanwhile Regional Championships and Torneo del Interior are longer than before.

EDIT Addition: Following the last paragraph, in the last years, many Regional Championships has gone to a short format and had to reduce the clubs involved like NOA (16 clubs to 10 clubs). The only one that is growing in number is Torneo del Interior.

I forgot to mention that Nacional de Clubes B in their long format and the competition below included some Uruguayan clubs.


Thank you very much. Very interesting and insightful. That's quite an unusual league system. Add to that SLAR, Super Rugby and Currie Cup First Division, and that is a very complicated system. Not easy for me to categorise and rank.
Is the URBA Top 12 amateur or semi professional? Are there any semi professional clubs in Torneo del Interior? Is the competition between the top URBA Top 12 and the Torneo del Interior still called the Nacional de Clubes? Is there still a Nacional de Clubes B? Do you think the clubs will always want to compete in a Nacional de Clubes? Or will an expanded SLAR change that?

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby TuMachNach » Tue, 10 Mar 2020, 03:33

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
TuMachNach wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Tier 1 Major leagues
1) Super Rugby
2) Top 14
3) English Premiership
4) Pro 14

Tier 1 level 2 leagues - national
1) Pro D2
2) Currie Cup Premier Division
3) Mitre10
4) English Championship
5) Italian Top 12
6) National Rugby Championship
7) Welsh Premiership
8) Scottish Super Six
9) All Ireland League

Tier 1 state/province top leagues
1) Shute Sheild
2) URBA Top 12


Top League should be in level 2 as until now the Sunwolves are in Super Rugby (although for 2020 they lost Brave Blossoms players). But probably the new Japonese league will be strong enough to be a "Major League". Japan is in a transitional moment.

SLAR is level 2 because it is the 2nd level for Argentina (a T1 nation) below Jaguares. One of the reasons itnwas born is to play the role that Currie Cup/NPC/NRC play in the other Sanzaar nations. However it is in the first semestre to allow Argentina to be in the Currie Cup and to be paralel to MLR, thinking about the ARC.

I'd rank MLR in level 2 as well because USA/Canada are T2 nations and as much North Americans here are saying people are overating it, MLR has former T1 national teams players. Russian and Romanian leagues don't have such kind of players.


Japan is still classed as tier 2, and like you say they're in transition at the moment. But they certainly have the opportunity to have the World's fifth "Major League". They could also become tier 1.

SLAR teams are from tiers 1, 2 and 3, as are GRR teams, but they are not majority tier 1 so I won't include them in tier 1 level 2. For SLAR that could change if Argentina adds more teams.

USA and Canada are also tier 2. I am happy with erginclass's Tier 2 Premiers rankings. MLR is fully professional, has 12 teams and has several tier 1 stars, so it deserves to be ranked as the top tier 2 league. GRR and SLAR are brand new and have only just enough teams for a league, but they do have tier 1 teams so deserve to be ranked below MLR but above the Russian Premier League. I'm not sure where to rank Top League because the same team includes one of the best players in the world alongside non-professionals.

Welsh Premiership and All Ireland League are good to have there for completeness, so we have all tier 1 top level domestic leagues. I am looking forward to the competition between the Scottish Super Six teams and the top 6 Welsh Premiership teams. I will then know how to rank those two leagues.

I don't know how the Argentine Nacional de Clubes rugby compares to the URBA Top 12. I thought the URBA Top 12 was the higher of the two.


URBA Top 12 has a similar level to some (nor all) Argentine Regional Championships like NOA, Centro, Litoral and, maybe, Oeste. Best teams of Regional Championships (not URBA) compete in Torneo del Interior. Finally the best 2 clubs of Torneo del Interior play against the best 2 URBA Top 12 clubs.

Some years ago UAR tried a Nacional de Clubes (A and B) without Torneo del Interior step and with a fixture including 4 groups of 4 clubs in each tier. The results weren't inclined to only one regional side clubs and it was a very entertaining competition. This was discontinued because some clubs pleaded that traveling along the country was exhausting their players and the level of the competition wasn't better than their regional. So the new format is a Nacional de Clubes of only 2 matches. Meanwhile Regional Championships and Torneo del Interior are longer than before.

EDIT Addition: Following the last paragraph, in the last years, many Regional Championships has gone to a short format and had to reduce the clubs involved like NOA (16 clubs to 10 clubs). The only one that is growing in number is Torneo del Interior.

I forgot to mention that Nacional de Clubes B in their long format and the competition below included some Uruguayan clubs.


Thank you very much. Very interesting and insightful. That's quite an unusual league system. Add to that SLAR, Super Rugby and Currie Cup First Division, and that is a very complicated system. Not easy for me to categorise and rank.
Is the URBA Top 12 amateur or semi professional? Are there any semi professional clubs in Torneo del Interior? Is the competition between the top URBA Top 12 and the Torneo del Interior still called the Nacional de Clubes? Is there still a Nacional de Clubes B? Do you think the clubs will always want to compete in a Nacional de Clubes? Or will an expanded SLAR change that?


URBA Top 12 and all Regional tournaments are amateur. The only pro/semi-pro teams in Argentina are Jaguares, Ceibos, Los Pumas 7's and the Women National Sevens side.

This year, Nacional de Clubes will have only 2 SF and one Final. The teams in the SF will be the top URBA Top 12 vs top Torneo del Interior teams. Sadly, Nacional de clubes has been reduced to only these 3 matches and there is no more Nacional de Clubes' low tiers.

IMHO, clubs will always want to compete all the year against other that could oppose a real challenge. If that means traveling more than 1500km because of this National Tournament, some will make it with no hesitation. However some clubs/players would prefer to compete against other which aren't so far because we need to remember that they are all amateur and they have to work or study. In that case it is better to play a side 50km far from your home (you could be there in the night) than get tired of a long trip. On the other hand in some Regional Competitions teams are used to 400km or a little more travels. I think that Argentina is not prepared for a Nacional de Clubes in long format yet because there's a big disparity of rugby players/clubs distribution across the whole country. Rugby could and should grow more in some other cities/towns/provinces before we could see a truly Nacional de Clubes with clubs of many parts of the country. Here I would add that many Provincial Unions are willing to retake Campeonato Argentino de Mayores where Provincial sides competed. This competition was discontinued in 2018 by UAR and the excuse of making so was the prioritization of clubs competitions during the whole year.

I think that in Argentina, clubs are totally separated from what a franchise could be and attract. More SLAR or another SR franchise won't kill the will of a club to compete in a national competition because playing a match it is not the same as watching a match. Torneo del Interior, Regional competitions or Nacional de Clubes have the plus of you playing with your friends in a place 200km/2000km away from your home city and that feeling is really difficult to replace.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby victorsra » Tue, 10 Mar 2020, 03:40

URBA forbids profissionalism - and the whole Argentina club rugby system is amateur, ideology. That's its essence and the main thing you must know about Argentine rugby. If you watch their competitions you'll see matches with more supporters and more passion that some professional matches in other countries.

But it isn't unusual. It is just a regionalized system like all amateur club rugby in most Southern Hemisphere. The difference is they created a level for those amateur clubs to compete for the national title. But this is not strange for USA or Brazil. We have the same concept, but not that good and more dependent on the national level (as we have less clubs).
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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 12 Mar 2020, 20:01

This next ranking of leagues is on total attendance. I have used the most recent season of each league, except for Super Rugby, for which the figures are from 2018; I haven't been able for find 2019's figures, which I find surprising and disappointing. Perhaps southern hemisphere doesn't find attendance figures very interesting. There are also no figures for Currie Cup and Mitre10 Cup. I would like to include more tier 2 leagues, and even tier 3 if the data can be found.

Ranking/ Competition/ Total attendance/ number of games/ Average
1) Top 14 2,734,738 / 187 = 14,624
2) English Premiership 1,958,402 / 135 = 14,507
3) Super Rugby. 1,674,331 / 127 = 13,184
4) Pro D2 1,357,695 / 245 = 5,542
5) Pro 14 1,252,435 /152 = 8,240

6) Top League. 465,556 / 80 = 5,819
7) RFU Championship 226,061 / 132 = 1,713
8) MLR. 159,941 / 75 = 2,133
9) English National 1. 131,144 / 240 = 546
10) NRC. 57, 800 / 31 = 1,865

In total that is 10 million people attending a rugby union club match, of which 4 million are in France and more than 2 million are in England.
The rest are across South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, Argentina, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Italy, USA and Canada.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 13 Mar 2020, 02:48

Total attendance by league

1) Top 14 2.7m
2) English Premiership 2.0m.
3) Super Rugby 1.7m
4) Pro D2. 1.4m
5) Pro 14. 1.3m
6) Top League 0.5m
7) English Championship 0.2m
8) MLR. 0.2m

Average attendance by league

1) Top 14 14.6k
2) English Premiership 14.5k
3) Super Rugby 13.2k
4) Pro 14 8.2k
5) Top League 5.9k
6) Pro D2 5.5k
7) MLR 2.1k
8) NRC 1.9k
9) English Championship 1.7k

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby gambass » Sat, 14 Mar 2020, 14:02

Total attendance for Fédérale 1 is about 700K (48 clubs, average attendance ~1200) and 550K in Fédérale 2 (96 clubs, average attendance ~500)

Not really sure about Fédérale 3 (168 clubs), but that's at least 1.5 million people watching Fédérales leagues in France.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 14 Mar 2020, 15:02

Thank you gambass

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 14 Mar 2020, 15:23

English and French leagues only

1. Top 14 2.7m
2. English Premiership 2.0m
3. Pro D2 1.4m
4. Federale 1. 0.7m
5. Federale 2. 0.6m
6. English Championship 0.2m
7. English National 2. 0.2m
8. English National 1. 0.1m

Average attendance
1. Top 14 (14) 14.6k
2. English Premiership (12) 14.5k
3. Pro D2 (16) 5.5k
4. English Championship (12) 1.7k
5. Federale 1. (48) 1.2k
6. English National 1. (16) 0.5k
7. Federale 2. (96) 0.5k
8. English National 2. (32) 0.3k

At each level France has more clubs and a higher average attendance.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Edgar » Tue, 17 Mar 2020, 11:10

Super Rugby would be by far the strongest, obviously, with the top teams at roughly 6 Nations level. The Crusaders are easily the most powerful non-international rugby side in the world and would certainly beat the vast majority of test teams. Currie Cup and Mitre 10 would be comparable perhaps to the upper echelons of European club rugby in England and France. Having seen a few games of Rapid Rugby now I would rate them close behind, around the same standard as Pro 14, Aussie NRC and Japan's Top League. MLR is gaining quickly too but probably needs a few more seasons to reach that level.

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Re: Rank the top rugby union club/provincial leagues

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 17 Mar 2020, 17:18

Edgar wrote:Super Rugby would be by far the strongest, obviously, with the top teams at roughly 6 Nations level. The Crusaders are easily the most powerful non-international rugby side in the world and would certainly beat the vast majority of test teams. Currie Cup and Mitre 10 would be comparable perhaps to the upper echelons of European club rugby in England and France. Having seen a few games of Rapid Rugby now I would rate them close behind, around the same standard as Pro 14, Aussie NRC and Japan's Top League. MLR is gaining quickly too but probably needs a few more seasons to reach that level.


For Currie Cup and European rugby we are lucky to have a team that plays in both, which we can use as a comparison. Cheetahs are Currie Cup champions, and mid table in the Pro 14. However, the Currie Cup is very competitive, with every team capable of beating every other team. There is more of a range of standard in the Pro 14. Leinster would beat any Currie Cup team, and every Currie Cup team would beat Southern Kings. So I guess Pro 14 and Currie Cup are similar standard, on average. "Upper echelons of European club rugby" is probably pushing it. Probably middle echelons.

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