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A Pro12 Expansion

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 07:10

NaBUru38 wrote:To be fair, an Argentine team in Pro14 would not have a worse travel itinerary than they have now in Super Rugby.


Exactly. Now the precedent has been set by adding the South Africans, I don't see any reason at all why the Argentines couldn't join.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Thomas » Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 09:11

Figaro wrote:
NaBUru38 wrote:To be fair, an Argentine team in Pro14 would not have a worse travel itinerary than they have now in Super Rugby.


Exactly. Now the precedent has been set by adding the South Africans, I don't see any reason at all why the Argentines couldn't join.


On a short term solution I agree, it is doable. However a 10 year strategy (2 WRC Cycles and Olympics) eventually there should be professional leagues in several regions. Not just T1 so I am talking long term.

The argument that we most rely on T1 Countries for competition needs to be wean out. If Countries are serious in competing at the highest level irrespective of the continent is time to step up.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 14:22

Thomas wrote:
Figaro wrote:
NaBUru38 wrote:To be fair, an Argentine team in Pro14 would not have a worse travel itinerary than they have now in Super Rugby.


Exactly. Now the precedent has been set by adding the South Africans, I don't see any reason at all why the Argentines couldn't join.


On a short term solution I agree, it is doable. However a 10 year strategy (2 WRC Cycles and Olympics) eventually there should be professional leagues in several regions. Not just T1 so I am talking long term.

The argument that we most rely on T1 Countries for competition needs to be wean out. If Countries are serious in competing at the highest level irrespective of the continent is time to step up.


Russia has a pro league. Two teams qualify for an European Cup. Tier1-nations change the modus so just one can qualify the next year. There is no way to step up atm.
This is also still the case with national teams.
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: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Osmanperalta » Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 16:28

German russians spanish canada and argentinian teams!! Do you people really believe that a "world league" will be a successful?????

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby eal22 » Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 19:50

Osmanperalta wrote:German russians spanish canada and argentinian teams!! Do you people really believe that a "world league" will be a successful?????


Just wait, they will be suggesting a Bolivian franchise soon. No tournament is too bloated or could cover enough time zones for many on this forum.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Fri, 22 Sep 2017, 23:17

It was a good night for the league. Cheetahs beat Leinster with a try bonus point and Treviso make it 2 wins in a row with a win over Ospreys.

Cheetahs will be tough to beat at home and Treviso look like they might have stepped up a level from last season.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Osmanperalta » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 03:41

eal22 wrote:
Osmanperalta wrote:German russians spanish canada and argentinian teams!! Do you people really believe that a "world league" will be a successful?????


Just wait, they will be suggesting a Bolivian franchise soon. No tournament is too bloated or could cover enough time zones for many on this forum.


it's like sanzaar they can not sell rugby in a traditional market like australia but they think they can do it in singapore and north america.. duh!

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 05:49

There are 2 different things. One is to suggest based on an anlysis of what rugby administrators look close to do and try to give it some order, even if not all of us agree with them.

Another thing is to say what we believe should be done.

What is pretty clear is that rugby leagues are trying to find a short cut for business, instead of truly develop rugby. Austrália,Argentna, Italy are exemples of this. Intercontinental travel is never a way of development, it is just an agressive option to forge a market.

Rugby ia faking its development with this high performance approach. Brazil is an exemple of this. Club/community and junior rugby are an essential part of development that are not so sexy. And jump them is not sustainable in a long term.

When I say PRO14 will ad an American team it is because it is in the news. Do I think it should be done? No, I dont think SuperRugby-model is the best path for rugby to follow. But if they are going to do it anyway, how to make it more positive?
Brazilian Rugby News: www.portaldorugby.com.br

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 08:59

Not to downplay Treviso's achievement, but the Ospreys were absolutely dire; we already knew Treviso were capable of winning when their opponents play like that.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 10:24

Interesting that the Cheetahs game was described as good for the league. The attendance was shocking again, the upper bowl not even open and only really a crowd between the 10m lines. Doesn't help playing in massive stadiums but there is no way these crowds can be paying for the travel costs.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 10:37

The Cheetahs had a home Currie Cup game earlier in the day and despite a ticket offer tied to an upcoming international the crowd wasn't great. But a crowd in Bloemfontein (a relatively small and isolated city) was never going to pay for travel costs.

It is TV money that does that and the result was positive because:

- the Cheetahs third string flyhalf is able to keep them competitive while the top two are out injured.
- the Cheetahs are entertaining for the neutral
- by being competitive there is potential for Cheetahs and neutral SA fans to tune in on TV
- it undermines a lot of the false information that was circulating about the SA sides being rejects and uncompetitive.

Factor in back to back wins for Treviso (following a very competitive losing BP against Ulster) and an improving Dragons and Edinburgh and we have a level of unpredictability that can only be good for the league.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 15:33

Apparently Bloemfontein is a small enough city and most fans in the cheetahs territory have a long way to travel to get to games. Some have rounds trips of hundreds of miles but they have a big enough fanbase and many TV viewers.


The Kings' fans seem to be boycotting them at the minute due to numerous reasons but Port Elisabeth has a large population and there's good potential there. They're just waiting for some consistency and a team that doesn't change all the time.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby grande » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 19:31

Zebre with a bonus point win over the Kings!

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Sat, 23 Sep 2017, 22:40

I think that is a) the most points Zebre have scored in a competitive match (though not their biggest winning margin) b) their first away bonus point Victory ever, c) only their second ever bonus point Victory.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bolaroid » Sun, 24 Sep 2017, 07:12

Osmanperalta wrote:German russians spanish canada and argentinian teams!! Do you people really believe that a "world league" will be a successful?????

I don't think it would be a world league as such, but rather an umbrella for some variation of 2-3 geographical conferences as victorsa suggested on the previous page (now below). You'd be playing local teams much of the time, there would be a smattering of cross-conference matches in acceptable time-zones with the end-goal incentive of Pro 14 knockouts and in time reaching European Cup qualification for the following year. Would it succeed? well if the rugby is competitive, the main piece is in place. If new teams get easily beaten like the Kings however, then they won't last as no one would watch them (Kings will improve imo as they did in Super Rugby).

victorsra wrote:What I imagine, 3 conferences of 8 in the near future IF all South African migrate.

South: 6 South Africa + 2 South America
West: 2 North America + 4 Ireland + 2 Italy
East: 4 Wales + 2 Scotland + 2 Continental Europe

14 matches inside the Conference + 8 against other conferences (this means just 4 matches in the Northern Hemisphere for South Africans and Argentines) = 22 matches + 3 playoffs

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 24 Sep 2017, 07:47

Bolaroid wrote:
Osmanperalta wrote:German russians spanish canada and argentinian teams!! Do you people really believe that a "world league" will be a successful?????

I don't think it would be a world league as such, but rather an umbrella for some variation of 2-3 geographical conferences as victorsa suggested on the previous page (now below). You'd be playing local teams much of the time, there would be a smattering of cross-conference matches in acceptable time-zones with the end-goal incentive of Pro 14 knockouts and in time reaching European Cup qualification for the following year. Would it succeed? well if the rugby is competitive, the main piece is in place. If new teams get easily beaten like the Kings however, then they won't last as no one would watch them (Kings will improve imo as they did in Super Rugby).

victorsra wrote:What I imagine, 3 conferences of 8 in the near future IF all South African migrate.

South: 6 South Africa + 2 South America
West: 2 North America + 4 Ireland + 2 Italy
East: 4 Wales + 2 Scotland + 2 Continental Europe

14 matches inside the Conference + 8 against other conferences (this means just 4 matches in the Northern Hemisphere for South Africans and Argentines) = 22 matches + 3 playoffs


If the Pro14 is going to involve North America then they really should look to go the whole way and look to create an Americas conference. Look to have Argentina enter a second franchise and look to both the US and Canada to add two of their own. Instead of 3 x 8 team conferences go for 4 x 6. So it would be the Americas conference. The African conference featuring the current 6 SA franchises, Europe 1 and Europe two. One of the Europe 1 conference will contain all 4 Irish provinces plus an Italian and one Scottish. The other the 4 Welsh, 1 Italian and 1 Scottish. The competition would be then split into two 12 divisions.

Play each in conference twice for 10 games and each one of the team from the corresponding conference in your division (Europe and Atlantic) once for a total of 16 games. You have to take into account player welfare in just a league and 22 games in a season before finals is pushing it.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bolaroid » Sun, 01 Oct 2017, 04:03

So...the Cheetahs have already registered 3 wins, but arguably the greater surprise is that Italians appear to have really stepped up this season, the much maligned Zebre just beaten Ulster and now sit 4th in Conference A and Treviso have been improved too.

if these teams can all keep it up for the season you'd have to imagine further Pro 14 expansion next year is odds on.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 01 Oct 2017, 07:18

Bolaroid wrote:So...the Cheetahs have already registered 3 wins, but arguably the greater surprise is that Italians appear to have really stepped up this season, the much maligned Zebre just beaten Ulster and now sit 4th in Conference A and Treviso have been improved too.

if these teams can all keep it up for the season you'd have to imagine further Pro 14 expansion next year is odds on.


I hadn't thought of that but think you could be right. The Kings are expected to get new players in a month or so after the Currie Cup finishes, and should become more competitive. Already, they are not a disgrace. Existing Pro12 fans seem quite enthusiastic about big name sides from Ireland and Wales losing to Italians and South Africans, because each game is a lot less predictable this season.

The head of the Pro14 has insinuated that they would be less likely to expand if they had a larger number of sides failing on and off the pitch. The four weakest sides in recent years have all improved significantly this year and the expansion of this year is going fairly smoothly (albeit with still massive room for improvement in terms of fan participation).

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Sun, 01 Oct 2017, 14:09

Bolaroid wrote:So...the Cheetahs have already registered 3 wins, but arguably the greater surprise is that Italians appear to have really stepped up this season, the much maligned Zebre just beaten Ulster and now sit 4th in Conference A and Treviso have been improved too.

if these teams can all keep it up for the season you'd have to imagine further Pro 14 expansion next year is odds on.



They might want to wait a year to let things settle down a bit. But yeah, the Italian teams' progress certainly gives the league a better footing to further expand. If there is going to be another expansion for next season I'd say it'll be announced before the new year. It also depends on the country. Expanding to countries like Germany and Spain would need a long period to help them get set up. Expanding to SA was easy in the sense that they already had the resources (coaches, players, stadiums) needed.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Higgik » Sun, 01 Oct 2017, 19:17

I would still like to see the Italians move to Top 14 as a continental league of 28-32 teams, where there were franchise and no relegation, leaving SA to themselves and creating a British & Irish League of 28-32 franchises

Franchises would bid for a spot and have to fulfill certain criteria; players would be contracted to the league and there would be a strict salary cap.

The leagues would run from November to April for 22 weeks including any play offs, Euro Cup would become an end of season extra for successful teams, running for 9 weeks, with 5 weeks of group games, (groups of 5 play 4 in 5 weeks), followed a week off then play offs in one country, like the World Cup.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Mon, 02 Oct 2017, 07:25

Higgik wrote:I would still like to see the Italians move to Top 14 as a continental league of 28-32 teams, where there were franchise and no relegation, leaving SA to themselves and creating a British & Irish League of 28-32 franchises

Franchises would bid for a spot and have to fulfill certain criteria; players would be contracted to the league and there would be a strict salary cap.

The leagues would run from November to April for 22 weeks including any play offs, Euro Cup would become an end of season extra for successful teams, running for 9 weeks, with 5 weeks of group games, (groups of 5 play 4 in 5 weeks), followed a week off then play offs in one country, like the World Cup.


It may seem a bit premature to say this but whatever's changed with the Italians - and I don't think it's players as on-paper the squads don't look any better than they have in the past - it's worked and I only wish it had been done years ago. Even in the games they've lost they've looked a lot more competitive than in the past; Zebre put up a much better fight against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein than the Ospreys or Leinster managed.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Horsehead » Mon, 02 Oct 2017, 09:54

dropkick wrote:
Bolaroid wrote:So...the Cheetahs have already registered 3 wins, but arguably the greater surprise is that Italians appear to have really stepped up this season, the much maligned Zebre just beaten Ulster and now sit 4th in Conference A and Treviso have been improved too.

if these teams can all keep it up for the season you'd have to imagine further Pro 14 expansion next year is odds on.



They might want to wait a year to let things settle down a bit. But yeah, the Italian teams' progress certainly gives the league a better footing to further expand. If there is going to be another expansion for next season I'd say it'll be announced before the new year. It also depends on the country. Expanding to countries like Germany and Spain would need a long period to help them get set up. Expanding to SA was easy in the sense that they already had the resources (coaches, players, stadiums) needed.


I imagine they will be adding a US team next season regardless of how the SA and Italian teams perform, not sure about anyone else yet

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby sk 88 » Mon, 02 Oct 2017, 19:13

Let's not jump the gun. Treviso have finished 7th before and both sides have always won games. Clearly they're better than they have been at times but its early to say they've made any progress and both still have losing records.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Tue, 03 Oct 2017, 11:36

sk 88 wrote:Let's not jump the gun. Treviso have finished 7th before and both sides have always won games. Clearly they're better than they have been at times but its early to say they've made any progress and both still have losing records.


As I argued elsewhere it's about more than just the wins, the manner of their defeats has been a lot better than last year e.g. Zebre scoring 4 tries against the Cheetahs (I think only their second ever try bonus point). When you consider that most of the "winnable" fixtures are yet to be played (Treviso vs. Kings x2, Dragons x2, Connacht, Edinburgh Zebre x3; Zebre vs. Dragons, Edinburgh, Connacht x2, Treviso x3), both sides are on track to do as well as they ever have. Yes, Treviso came 7th but that was a one-off; I don't think anyone would be complaining about them being in the competition if they were consistently making mid-table.

But ultimately you are right, it is early days yet. It will be interesting to see what happens this weekend with Treviso facing the Kings and Zebre facing Edinburgh; both sides in with a good chance and Treviso definite favourites.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 03 Oct 2017, 12:57

Oh yes having seen Treviso in pre-season they were certainly better than I've seen them recently, the attack was as good as I can remember, though the defence and set piece were poor these have probably all come on a bit in the month of real rugby we've had since then.

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