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A Pro12 Expansion

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 08:29

A good weekend for the Pro14. The Dragons broke their losing streak, Treviso won away, lots of close games (all three Welsh sides besides the dragons got a losing bonus point and the Blues-Glasgow game came down to a single kick), excellent attendance for the Cheetahs game and Zebre hardly disgraced themselves in winning a try bonus out in South Africa (I think that may actually be the most points they've scored in a game before!). Shame about the Southern Kings game but I think there's a lot more going on there than just the Pro14.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby austroweegie » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 12:28

The Kings & to a lesser extent the Cheetahs are a very good indication of why the Pro14 can't just expand on a whim like it did this summer. The league has rushed into this the teams have been thrown together and it shows - defence has been terrible. Should we have waited one more year, put things out to tender and looked at further expansion on a well planned basis? IMO almost certainly, yes. If there is to be further expansion "next season"...there needs to be a call on it soon so teams have time to recruit, train and market themselves.

On that note - looking at where a possible team could be, what I'd love to see would be a team based in Spain (sold out domestic final with 24k people right?) which is made up of top Spanish players & supported financially by Argentine & Uruguayan unions who use it to develop players too. Throw in a couple of big signings there and they could be both competitive and well supported. Germany - considering RGH and HRK just played for a crowd of ....400 people for a 97-3 result, I think it's unlikely that there is enough interest here to have a pro team develop. As always, Georgian team the most interesting, but no money.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 13:12

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.

Unsustainable to ask to have a whole 23 players squad coming from European clubs. It worked from 2012 to 2015 and nothing says it would keep working, as the pression from Top14/Premiership over players is only increasing. The new calendar from 2020 will have the rest moved from July to August and the season will have one extra month, f*ing players welfare policies. This story is just beginning.
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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 13:14

austroweegie wrote:The Kings & to a lesser extent the Cheetahs are a very good indication of why the Pro14 can't just expand on a whim like it did this summer. The league has rushed into this the teams have been thrown together and it shows - defence has been terrible. Should we have waited one more year, put things out to tender and looked at further expansion on a well planned basis? IMO almost certainly, yes. If there is to be further expansion "next season"...there needs to be a call on it soon so teams have time to recruit, train and market themselves.

On that note - looking at where a possible team could be, what I'd love to see would be a team based in Spain (sold out domestic final with 24k people right?) which is made up of top Spanish players & supported financially by Argentine & Uruguayan unions who use it to develop players too. Throw in a couple of big signings there and they could be both competitive and well supported. Germany - considering RGH and HRK just played for a crowd of ....400 people for a 97-3 result, I think it's unlikely that there is enough interest here to have a pro team develop. As always, Georgian team the most interesting, but no money.


If they had waited another season before joining, the situation would have been far worse - a full year without a competition to play in would have done the teams no good at all, their remaining players would have disappeared and they would have been haemorrhaging money in the meantime. The Cheetahs have been competitive, based on their first three games they're clearly at least as good as lower-mid level teams like the Blues or Edinburgh, which is better than any brand new expansion franchise could have hoped for. The Kings are weak, yes, but as they assembled their current squad in about 4 weeks they weren't going to be anything else. Both sides are going to get better. It's a bit early in the season to write off the expansion altogether. The only disappointment so far has been the King's awful crowd vs. Leinster (and even that, at 3,000, was better than the Italian sides get).

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 13:28

The Kings' official attendance was actually higher than in their opening home game of the 2017 Super Rugby season, though some seem to be claiming that the actual number present was lower than the official attendance of 3k.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby austroweegie » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 15:27

Figaro wrote:The Kings' official attendance was actually higher than in their opening home game of the 2017 Super Rugby season, though some seem to be claiming that the actual number present was lower than the official attendance of 3k.


The pics on Twitter don't like - there was never 3k there - lucky if it was more than 1k.

Yes & No. I mean, it's not the fault of the Pro12 clubs that SA and Super rugby can't get it's shit together, don't see why our league then has to lose quality because of poor teams. I think taking the extra time would have resulted in a more sustainable outcome. What I fear is that the same thing will happen once again now with other teams joining and being whipping boys - it will turn sponsors, players and fans off big time.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 16:38

austroweegie wrote:
Figaro wrote:The Kings' official attendance was actually higher than in their opening home game of the 2017 Super Rugby season, though some seem to be claiming that the actual number present was lower than the official attendance of 3k.


The pics on Twitter don't like - there was never 3k there - lucky if it was more than 1k.

Yes & No. I mean, it's not the fault of the Pro12 clubs that SA and Super rugby can't get it's shit together, don't see why our league then has to lose quality because of poor teams. I think taking the extra time would have resulted in a more sustainable outcome. What I fear is that the same thing will happen once again now with other teams joining and being whipping boys - it will turn sponsors, players and fans off big time.


Maybe, just maybe it could be time to think more radical. There already isn't relegation. Why not go into full franchise mode and have a draft like the US-systems. I am quite sure in the long run everybody could benefit from it. The Unions with the best youth system would still benefit heavily from it, maybe even more. You could bring in talented players from smaller countries without a problem and maybe they would even make more money in the long run.
I know it is tough to implement, but every other system seems to stop at the usual boarders.
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 austroweegie » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 20:07

RugbyLiebe wrote:Maybe, just maybe it could be time to think more radical. There already isn't relegation. Why not go into full franchise mode and have a draft like the US-systems. I am quite sure in the long run everybody could benefit from it. The Unions with the best youth system would still benefit heavily from it, maybe even more. You could bring in talented players from smaller countries without a problem and maybe they would even make more money in the long run.
I know it is tough to implement, but every other system seems to stop at the usual boarders.


Look at the financial problems in Wales. It just wouldn't work like that. Honestly, I'm totally for the expansion, just not carried out the way it has been. It needed better planning.

Sehe dass du aus DE kommst...hast du einen Vorschlag welcher verein in Heidelberg am geselligsten ist? Muss mir was aussuchen zum spielen aber erfahrungsgemäß (also, Samstag HRK vs RGH) kamm mir keiner besonderes "geselig" vor...

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 20:49

RugbyLiebe wrote:Maybe, just maybe it could be time to think more radical. There already isn't relegation. Why not go into full franchise mode and have a draft like the US-systems. I am quite sure in the long run everybody could benefit from it. The Unions with the best youth system would still benefit heavily from it, maybe even more. You could bring in talented players from smaller countries without a problem and maybe they would even make more money in the long run.
I know it is tough to implement, but every other system seems to stop at the usual boarders.



You'll never see a draft in the pro14. For instance there's fierce opposition to having a draft system between the Irish provinces.


There has been talk of the unions planning to help out new tier 2 teams with players, coaching etc, should they join the league.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Higgik » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 21:28

Something needs to be done about creating more equal teams.

In the meantime, they should add the Griquas and the Pumas, as this would create more interest in SA.

I WOULD HAVE 4 conference of 4, Welsh, Irish, SA and Scot/Ita.

Play home and away in conference (6 matches) creating local interest, followed by all other team home or away, (12 matches)

Play offs would be conference winners and best 2 runners up.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Mon, 18 Sep 2017, 22:04

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

or

South: 6 South Africa + 2 South America
West: 2 North America + 4 Wales + 2 Scotland
East: 4 Ireland + 1 Italy + 3 Continental Europe

or any other combination of this idea.

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 RugbyLiebe » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 06:18

dropkick wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:Maybe, just maybe it could be time to think more radical. There already isn't relegation. Why not go into full franchise mode and have a draft like the US-systems. I am quite sure in the long run everybody could benefit from it. The Unions with the best youth system would still benefit heavily from it, maybe even more. You could bring in talented players from smaller countries without a problem and maybe they would even make more money in the long run.
I know it is tough to implement, but every other system seems to stop at the usual boarders.



You'll never see a draft in the pro14. For instance there's fierce opposition to having a draft system between the Irish provinces.
There has been talk of the unions planning to help out new tier 2 teams with players, coaching etc, should they join the league.


Yep, Ireland is the Achilles' heel there. As I reckon NZ is for Super Rugby. The provinces are in good shape so they would never change a thing. But this very system has a limit and I fear we've reached it.

It is a good sign, that the Unions are adressing the problem, but I fear this won't simply be enough. One day they have to decide if it is about having the players under your control or about making enough money for the game to expand further.
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 Figaro » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 07:48

I don't think many supporters of the Welsh sides would be hugely in favour of a draft either - most of the players in a given region are from within it's geographical area; the exceptions are generally those released by a region - though there might be a little more positivity towards the idea, and it's proposed in the press occasionally.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 08:42

Figaro wrote:I don't think many supporters of the Welsh sides would be hugely in favour of a draft either - most of the players in a given region are from within it's geographical area; the exceptions are generally those released by a region - though there might be a little more positivity towards the idea, and it's proposed in the press occasionally.


You could add some extra draft rules like, the teams get to "block for selection" 1,2 young players from their area. I know there are some heavy obstacles like who will run the youth academies etc., but I have heavy doubts how you can bring the need of expansion to generate more money together with the extrem cry for balanced teams in all of the tier1 nations.
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 Figaro » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 09:56

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Figaro wrote:I don't think many supporters of the Welsh sides would be hugely in favour of a draft either - most of the players in a given region are from within it's geographical area; the exceptions are generally those released by a region - though there might be a little more positivity towards the idea, and it's proposed in the press occasionally.


You could add some extra draft rules like, the teams get to "block for selection" 1,2 young players from their area. I know there are some heavy obstacles like who will run the youth academies etc., but I have heavy doubts how you can bring the need of expansion to generate more money together with the extrem cry for balanced teams in all of the tier1 nations.


The biggest problem isn't the disparity within countries but between countries (specifically, between the Italians and everyone else). The only drafts I've seen proposed - and the only ones that would be remotely palatable to the fans - have been drafts within individual countries, so whilst they might make the Dragons, Connacht and Edinburgh a little bit better, they won't change the relative strength of say Leinster vs Treviso.

The big issue about the league's competitiveness is the Italians. The Leinster/Munster/Ospreys triumvirate has well and truly been broken, 3 different other teams have won the last three seasons. Yes, some of the other teams are weaker than others, but even the Dragons did the double over Leinster a couple of seasons ago and they made a couple of Challenge Cup semi finals too. The WRU takeover will only make them stronger. The Italians are showing some encouraging signs this season, but have often shown encouraging signs only to mess up again. The Italians also provide a buffer to teams like the Dragons and Edinburgh and make them look better than they are, and reduce the incentive to improve them. If Edinburgh kept finishing bottom the SRU would have to do something to fix them.

Fix the Italians - whether by booting them out, combining them into one stronger team, or (my preference) keeping both and fixing their on and off-field problems - and you fix the league, or at least, that issue about it.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 11:21

Figaro wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Figaro wrote:I don't think many supporters of the Welsh sides would be hugely in favour of a draft either - most of the players in a given region are from within it's geographical area; the exceptions are generally those released by a region - though there might be a little more positivity towards the idea, and it's proposed in the press occasionally.


You could add some extra draft rules like, the teams get to "block for selection" 1,2 young players from their area. I know there are some heavy obstacles like who will run the youth academies etc., but I have heavy doubts how you can bring the need of expansion to generate more money together with the extrem cry for balanced teams in all of the tier1 nations.


The biggest problem isn't the disparity within countries but between countries (specifically, between the Italians and everyone else). The only drafts I've seen proposed - and the only ones that would be remotely palatable to the fans - have been drafts within individual countries, so whilst they might make the Dragons, Connacht and Edinburgh a little bit better, they won't change the relative strength of say Leinster vs Treviso.

The big issue about the league's competitiveness is the Italians. The Leinster/Munster/Ospreys triumvirate has well and truly been broken, 3 different other teams have won the last three seasons. Yes, some of the other teams are weaker than others, but even the Dragons did the double over Leinster a couple of seasons ago and they made a couple of Challenge Cup semi finals too. The WRU takeover will only make them stronger. The Italians are showing some encouraging signs this season, but have often shown encouraging signs only to mess up again. The Italians also provide a buffer to teams like the Dragons and Edinburgh and make them look better than they are, and reduce the incentive to improve them. If Edinburgh kept finishing bottom the SRU would have to do something to fix them.

Fix the Italians - whether by booting them out, combining them into one stronger team, or (my preference) keeping both and fixing their on and off-field problems - and you fix the league, or at least, that issue about it.


So apart from the small picture - where do you see growth long-time in a bigger picture? The Celts are divided in one country and three minor markets in an "über"-country and just have 15 mio. people between them. All of them will never generate serious tv money, in NI+Sc+W there are not even "own" competitive private tv-stations and we are not even talking about pay-tv. Lets face it, if they don't do something about it (which they do atm), pro-rugby in the Celts will be in danger. In this picture it doesn't matter if one or the other Welsh team doesn't win or both Italian teams finish last most of the years.
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 TheStroBro » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 16:01

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Yep, Ireland is the Achilles' heel there. As I reckon NZ is for Super Rugby. The provinces are in good shape so they would never change a thing. But this very system has a limit and I fear we've reached it.

It is a good sign, that the Unions are adressing the problem, but I fear this won't simply be enough. One day they have to decide if it is about having the players under your control or about making enough money for the game to expand further.


The provinces aren't in good shape. The IRFU ran it's first deficit in a very long time this year because it had to bail them out.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby honestly_united » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 16:51

Financially the Pro12/14 are doing ok, and always have done, when compared to the SH or any other league. The problem they have (which is the same, but not as bad as the SH), is that they cant compete financially with the Top14 and Aviva who are now dishing out wages at a different level.

The SRU are having to pick and choose who they want to keep in Scotland, Strauss went this year, next year it will probably be one (or more) of Russell, Hogg, Nel and Gray. I think the players realise that the SRU are paying as much as they can to keep them, hence why the majority stayed, and are the highest paid rugby players in Scotland ever, but when Montpellier, or Tolouse, or Toloun can offer to double your wages its going to be hard to keep turning it down.

However the SRU are still able to get players from NZ, SA and Australia as we are able to pay more than the Super Rugby clubs are able to.

The reasons for the expansion have always been stated as needing more investment and TV deals to compete with England and France before there is even more of a drain in players. In Scotland its seen as a good thing when players move down south or to France as with only 2 teams we sometimes stiffle the development of youngsters as they dont get game time, but I can imagine in Ireland and Wales its a different story.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 19 Sep 2017, 21:46

TheStroBro wrote:
The provinces aren't in good shape. The IRFU ran it's first deficit in a very long time this year because it had to bail them out.


Good shape doesn't mean that you can't have a deficit every now and then. The IRFU made no deficit afaik. Rugby is growing in Ireland. The national team is ranked 4th and was ranked 2nd in 2015 (the highest ever) and finally beat the All Blacks. Also their provinces have the highest average rankings in the Pro12 for years.

Overall and from a worldwide perspective this is indeed good shape. BUT and that's actually a valid point. The IRFU does recognizw that the Pro14 needs to find additonal markets. Something the NZRU would probably not see.
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 Figaro » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 07:42

Actually WalesOnline did a feature on this recently and actually revealed that the top players in each position are actually generally paid slightly more in the PRO14. The likes of Sexton, Biggar, Warburton etc. are probably earning about as much as they would in the Aviva/Top14. Where the difference counts is the overall budget of the sides allows the Franglais to A) compete better for above-average NZ/SA/PI imports, and to therefore afford better squad depth and better overall quality to the squad. The Welsh players really benefitting from the Aviva are probably your Sam Lewis/Rhodri Williams/Aled Brews, decent quality players who are first choice at their sides and therefore earning much more than they would in the PRO14 where they'd just be warming the bench for Tipuric/Gareth Davies etc.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby NaBUru38 » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 15:28

Thomas wrote: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.


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

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby NaBUru38 » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 15:30

Thomas wrote: setup a professional team based in Europe

That would make a lot of sense from a competitive and economic point of view... except that it's too far from UAR bosses.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby NaBUru38 » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 15:32

Thomas wrote: 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.


URBA clubs don't care the slightest about the Pumas or Jaguares. They are comfortable playing some 30 matches per year, getting TV money and not paying players.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Wed, 20 Sep 2017, 15:39

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Thu, 21 Sep 2017, 18:37

Really disappointing with the Kings whatever way you look at it. They got over 21,000 for a Super Rugby match this season, but of course that was with a fairly competitive squad. Not bad for a "political construct" :p

https://www.iol.co.za/sport/rugby/super ... ks-9108820

Loads of potential with them in a city of almost a million people, so well worth persevering with.

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