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A Pro12 Expansion

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Tue, 12 Sep 2017, 15:30

It is not a reliable source and there is no direct quote from Anayi. Firm rumours previously of US with a quote from Anayi that he has a destination agreed but it requires consent of the American union. Expectation this will be for next season once US "exclusivity" issues are resolved. Strongest rumour is Washington DC.

Germany is far more speculative at this stage with no quote from Anayi to indicate he has an agreement with anyone yet.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bolaroid » Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 10:45

eal22 wrote:I love this forum. Every tournament must expand to 32 teams with bizarre conference schedules and involve at least 12 countries in 7 time zones. The Pro14 risks going the way of Super Rugby if they aren't careful, chasing broadcast dollars above all else will inevitably fail.

Well from the watching the first 2 weeks, I don't get that impression. For rugby fans in Scotland, Ireland, Wales (and presumably Italy), it's still the only game in town. They don't shun it for the Premiership or Top 14, it's still their teams playing that they want to watch. So far, if anything it feels like the competition has been somewhat reinvigorated, that's just me speaking as a rugby fan and of course it's early days. The international flavour has definitely added something imo, perhaps the novelty will wear off but I haven't seen anyone turned off by the addition of two new teams yet. It actually feels more than a bit like the Top 14 now to me in terms of the spread over top and bottom of the league. That said, I'm not sure how it is being received in South Africa. I'm sure they would have hoped for better from the Cheetahs v Munster but the home games are another chance.

Time-zones are important and I think that's one of the main areas the Super Rugby competition fell down but SA is not an issue the East Coast of the US time-zone is hardly problematic. We could watch those games on Saturday night here or even Sunday evening. As long as they're not too uncompetitive a team.

These are just my impressions thus far, I'd be interested to hear what other Pro 14 fans think on here so far, negative? positive?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Wed, 13 Sep 2017, 11:14

There's a fair degree of excitement in Wales at the moment, out West at least with the Scarlets being champions and their masterstroke of signing Leigh Halfpenny (who is probably Wales' most recognised active player). Their home attendance for their opening game VS the Southern Kings was some 50% higher than their opening home game last season (vs Munster), though I wouldn't say that that had anything to do with who their opponents were. There is also some new enthusiasm in Gwent with the Dragons' takeover by the Union; their gate vs. Leinster was a lot higher (6000) than they were often getting last year (4000), though this may well dissipate quickly if good results aren't forthcoming - if the Dragons don't beat Connacht on the weekend they will be on a record losing streak for a Welsh region. Some concern for the Ospreys and Blues however who are looking very weak at the moment. The 'Spreys are worried about their form and some big players leaving or likely to leave (Biggar is confirmed and it's widely expected that Rhys Webb will also be off). Blues are worried about finances - they cancelled a big signing last minute and are looking very vulnerable on the pitch.

Lots of people have a negative attitude towards the league already because of the inclusion of the Italians, so adding in the RSA sides doesn't seem to have affected that. People are a bit confused by the format and there was a lot of misinformation (I remember overhearing someone confidently proclaim that the extra derby games would just be friendlies).

As for the South Africans themselves, I think this weekend will be very important. Beating Leinster will be a tough ask for the Cheetahs but people will expect them to be competitive at home, and as for the Kings, if they can't beat Zebre - preferably well - at home, they will look like ending the season winless as on paper at least this will be their easiest fixture.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 12:29

Irish journalist on twitter reckons crowd of 500 for Southern Kings game v Leinster

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby grande » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 12:32

I was just about to post that. Look at these crowds.

https://twitter.com/RuaidhriOC/status/9 ... 6688074753

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 17:01

Image


That's got to be a massive worry when Leinster are one of the big glamour teams in the league. What's it going to be like when they play Treviso or Edinburgh?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby 4N » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 17:05

Everyone told them this was going to be a disaster, they didn't want to listen. Same goes for the talk of North America.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 20:38

Anyone know how many were at the Cheetahs game?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bolaroid » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 20:46

I read Cheetahs-Zebre crowd was much better, they had a Toyota day promotion with free tickets got a good crowd in. Not sure what went wrong with the Kings crowd, but they're going to need to address it sharpish.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby armchair_expert » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 21:07

all they wanted is 6 million Euros from Supersport; quality of rugby, equal competition, attendances and supporters did not really matter

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Sat, 16 Sep 2017, 23:23

Over 20,000 and 13 tries at the cheetahs game. Treviso win their first game outside Italy for a few years. Dragons break their losing streak. Some other close matches. A good weekend in the pro14.


Disappointing attendance from the kings but I don't know why people are blaming the pro14 for it. All I would say that in hindsight they could have stayed the games in SA first.


As for the standard of the kings and cheetahs. South Africans thought the league was Currie cup level or lower. The southern hemisphere doesn't rate northern hemisphere rugby very highly so I presume they have been taken a bit by surprise but they will improve, depending on how much of a financial increase they're going to get.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 07:25

dropkick wrote:Over 20,000 and 13 tries at the cheetahs game. Treviso win their first game outside Italy for a few years. Dragons break their losing streak. Some other close matches. A good weekend in the pro14.


Disappointing attendance from the kings but I don't know why people are blaming the pro14 for it. All I would say that in hindsight they could have stayed the games in SA first.


As for the standard of the kings and cheetahs. South Africans thought the league was Currie cup level or lower. The southern hemisphere doesn't rate northern hemisphere rugby very highly so I presume they have been taken a bit by surprise but they will improve, depending on how much of a financial increase they're going to get.


That's excellent attendance and from the look of the scoreline it seems like they got a great game! They were giving tickets away for free though. They won't be able to keep doing that.

Re: Kings I think you're right, thei'r Super Rugby support has always been fickle and they're clearly not in a good place on the pitch right now.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 10:38

Figaro wrote:
dropkick wrote:Over 20,000 and 13 tries at the cheetahs game. Treviso win their first game outside Italy for a few years. Dragons break their losing streak. Some other close matches. A good weekend in the pro14.


Disappointing attendance from the kings but I don't know why people are blaming the pro14 for it. All I would say that in hindsight they could have stayed the games in SA first.


As for the standard of the kings and cheetahs. South Africans thought the league was Currie cup level or lower. The southern hemisphere doesn't rate northern hemisphere rugby very highly so I presume they have been taken a bit by surprise but they will improve, depending on how much of a financial increase they're going to get.


That's excellent attendance and from the look of the scoreline it seems like they got a great game! They were giving tickets away for free though. They won't be able to keep doing that.

Re: Kings I think you're right, thei'r Super Rugby support has always been fickle and they're clearly not in a good place on the pitch right now.


The Kings are a waste of a fixture in my opinion. Shoehorned into existence for the sake of politics. The best thing for the Pro14 to do would be to bring the other 4 SA franchises into the fold and push the Kings out replacing them with the Jaguares.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 17:00

I agree that the Kings are a political construct and not really a team at the level needed for any top grade professional competition. Their provincial sides are both bottom of the 2nd division of the Currie cup so there is no depth. I think they would have done better looking at the Griquas or the Pumas or even a 2nd Argentine side.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Thomas » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 17:17

Why bring an Argentinian side? Sorry is not logical. Geographically and logistically would be impossible. Sorry a South American Side for Pro 14 is not doable.

Expand the sport by all means, bring Kenya or Uganda or bring a team from T2 in Europe.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby 4N » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 17:35

Thomas wrote:Expand the sport by all means, bring Kenya or Uganda or bring a team from T2 in Europe.


:thumbup:

A pro academy in Uganda would produce some athletes I think. Wokorach from the 7s side is pretty explosive.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 17:36

Why bring an Argentinian side? Sorry is not logical. Geographically and logistically would be impossible. Sorry a South American Side for Pro 14 is not doable.

Do you know Argentina is playing Super Rugby in Oceania, Asia and Africa? If the South Africans leave Super Rugby it would be a suicide the Jaguares staying in a Oceania-based competition. Of course there are only two solutions: die or move to PRO14.
However if you mean the Jaguares shoudn't exist because it is madness to cross the continents it is a fair point.
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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby iul » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 17:40

victorsra wrote:Do you know Argentina is playing Super Rugby in Oceania, Asia and Africa? If the South Africans leave Super Rugby it would be a suicide the Jaguares staying in a Oceania-based competition. Of course there are only two solution: die or move to Europe.

With the advent of MLR in the US, the professionalization of Uruguay's national team and the rise of Brasil it might be feasible to do some sort of Americas club championship. Create a South American conference with 6 teams or so, play home and away against each other + 6-8 games against North American clubs.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Thomas » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 19:54

victorsra wrote:Do you know Argentina is playing Super Rugby in Oceania, Asia and Africa? If the South Africans leave Super Rugby it would be a suicide the Jaguares staying in a Oceania-based competition. Of course there are only two solutions: die or move to PRO14.
However if you mean the Jaguares shoudn't exist because it is madness to cross the continents it is a fair point.


I am very well aware the Jaguares are playing in Super Rugby but crossing continents and playing in Europe is madness.. either you setup a professional team based in Europe or you make your bed with Oceania or the UAR get off their fat asses and make a professional league.

This argument they want to stay amateur in some of the clubs predominantly in Buenos Aires in the long run is self inflicting. South American conference is the route to go

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby carbonero » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 20:31

Thomas wrote:This argument they want to stay amateur in some of the clubs predominantly in Buenos Aires in the long run is self inflicting. South American conference is the route to go

For the thousand time, no club wants to go pro. Not in Buenos Aires. Not in Cordoba. Not in Mendoza. Not in Tucuman. And no club is stoping professionalism either. URBA just don't want full professional players (payed by the UAR) playing in their amateur competitions. Even if I don't agree with them, they have every right to do so. They are social clubs. High performance should be the last of their priorities

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Thomas » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 20:41

carbonero wrote:For the thousand time, no club wants to go pro. Not in Buenos Aires. Not in Cordoba. Not in Mendoza. Not in Tucuman. And no club is stoping professionalism either. URBA just don't want full professional players (payed by the UAR) playing in their amateur competitions. Even if I don't agree with them, they have every right to do so. They are social clubs. High performance should be the last of their priorities


They have every right like many clubs in Europe and Australia but if they want to compete on the world stage they need to adjust their strategy or create a new club system independently of the social clubs. I fundamentally disagree that High Performance should be the last of their priorities where will the next generation of players will come from if there is no proper performance or building skills? every clubs at every level of the sport has an obligation to always improve performance, abilities which will improve the quality of the game and most importantly game safety.

Something in the end has to give. Argentina as the highest ranked country in the region; If they want to be on the top table making decisions about the sport is time the UAR put the stamp on URBA.

Argentina cannot have their cake and eat it and that goes to other South American Countries as well. PRO 14 and Super Rugby may evolve and yet again Argentina will become Isolated.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby carbonero » Sun, 17 Sep 2017, 22:31

Thomas wrote: They have every right like many clubs in Europe and Australia but if they want to compete on the world stage they need to adjust their strategy or create a new club system independently of the social clubs.

Create an independent club system? Do you know how hard is to pull that off? How do you market that? Who the fuck goes to those games? How do you pay competitive salaries? England, France or Australia are first world economies. That comparison is irrelevant. Any professional project in the region will be immediately semi-pro, like the Italian, Spanish or Russian league. And that serves no benefit to our players.

Thomas wrote:I fundamentally disagree that High Performance should be the last of their priorities where will the next generation of players will come from if there is no proper performance or building skills? every clubs at every level of the sport has an obligation to always improve performance, abilities which will improve the quality of the game and most importantly game safety.

I wasn’t talking about training or player safety. High performance meaning the Pumas and the SR franchise. Why should an amateur club care about the top of the pyramid? Why should they care about international rugby? Why should they care about competing in the world stage? Sure they are proud when one of their players gets called up but that’s about it. They are entirely two different worlds.

Thomas wrote:Something in the end has to give. Argentina as the highest ranked country in the region; If they want to be on the top table making decisions about the sport is time the UAR put the stamp on URBA. Argentina cannot have their cake and eat it and that goes to other South American Countries as well.

I don't know what you mean. Argentina won its part of the cake on the field. We should do with it whatever we think is best for our rugby.

Thomas wrote:PRO 14 and Super Rugby may evolve and yet again Argentina will become Isolated.

We are already isolated by geography. Any venture with Pro14 or Super Rugby is unsustainable because of this. The only solution available for now is to export players like we used to do.
Last edited by carbonero on Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 03:09, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 02:39

The flight distance from Buenos Aires to USA or to UK is almost the same, there isn't much advantage of playing MLR instead of PRO14.

The future of Argentina's professionalism is a great discussion. It is a must to have a South American League, starting as a semi-professional thing. Perhaps it worths more in a long term than having the Jaguares, while allowing the best players to play abroad. The major problem about relying on exported players is that Los Pumas play The Rugby Championship, a competition played outside the months when European clubs have to liberated their players and also during their resting months. That is why the Jaguares exist.
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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby carbonero » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 04:13

victorsra wrote:The major problem about relying on exported players is that Los Pumas play The Rugby Championship, a competition played outside the months when European clubs have to liberated their players and also during their resting months. That is why the Jaguares exist.

There wasn’t any issue from 2012 to 2015. The agreement with the clubs was to rest the players in June. Every one of them was available for the TRC. I wouldn’t mind punting the June window again.

The franchise probably won’t survive the 2020 cut. Let’s see what Mario Ledesma can do. I don’t particularly rate him but he is definitely an upgrade from Hourcade’s lackeys. Hard to know what the squad would look like next season. Some key players haven’t renewed their contracts. And others might break them early like Isa. The new SR format really fucked them. Now they’ll have a hellish schedule every season.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby thatrugbyguy » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 06:37

I think Argentina needs to have the goal of starting a domestic professional league that's independent from the amateur structure the clubs want to retain. Try and find some investors a build a sustainable domestic league, maybe along with some of the other South American countries. If Super Rugby collapses after 2020 then they are going to need a fall back option.

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