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A Pro12 Expansion

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A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Horsehead » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 11:47

If there was ever to be a Pro12 Expansion what do you think is most likely and what would you most like to see?

Scotland have tried and failed to run a professional Borders team twice now but there has been talk of resurrecting a Caledonian team for a couple of years now, possibly playing out of Aberdeen

Wales - didn't the Welsh rugby union plan to set up a development regional team in North Wales called Cymru 1404 (or something similar?). Does anyone know what happened to that and if they are ever going to play regional rugby or if there will ever be a regional representative club in North Wales again?

Italy - do Italy have plans to ever add to the 2 professional teams? I know originally there were plans to have a Rome franchaise which didn't take off and they were replaced by Treviso. Are Aironi ever likely to make a come back? I know they just incurred a large debt first time round.

Other Countries - Do you think other countries will ever join like Italy did? I know the Welsh clubs once put together a tournament including South African teams and Portugal - what are the chances of Portugal (or Spain) ever putting together a professional team and joining. The WRU also have close ties to Canada and Ireland have a lot of support the US, particularly in the East Coast cities like Boston and NY. Do you ever see our North American cousins putting together franchises and being allowed to join? Can you envisage any other countires that might join?

Most likely expansion - IMO would be a Caledonian team playing out of Aberdeen. I wonder if this happened if Italy would try and follow with a 3rd pro-team.

What I would like to see - I think this is incredibly unlikely and is something I have made up but I would love to see a professional Portuguese and Spanish team join as I am all for expansion of professional rugby in Europe

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby iul » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 12:01

I don't think they'll expand it any time soon. For starters the Welsh would have to give up the LV=Cup they have with the English clubs. Secondly, they still charge the Italians a bunch of money for the privilege of playing in the Pro12, so the likes of Spain/Portugal would have to have quite a bit of cash available in order to sustain the team out of their own resources. Italy plays in the 6N, which makes them loads of cash, they get plenty of cash from the European cups as well, and they also get good home tests they can make money off of, so they have the financial resources to sustain a couple of teams that are surely loosing a lot of money.

What I would like to see is expanding the British and Irish cup into the 3rd tier club competition we were promised. It has 20 clubs already, and if they'd add 12 more (3 Italian, 2 Romanian, 2 Georgian, 2 Russia, 1 Portuguese, 1 Spanish, 1 German) it would have a nice format with 8 groups made of 4 teams each, with the winner of the groups going forward to the knock out stage, and all of the ENC sides would have at least a club included, and they'd get to play against better pro clubs.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Horsehead » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 12:07

iul wrote:What I would like to see is expanding the British and Irish cup into the 3rd tier club competition we were promised. It has 20 clubs already, and if they'd add 12 more (3 Italian, 2 Romanian, 2 Georgian, 2 Russia, 1 Portuguese, 1 Spanish, 1 German) it would have a nice format with 8 groups made of 4 teams each, with the winner of the groups going forward to the knock out stage, and all of the ENC sides would have at least a club included, and they'd get to play against better pro clubs.


That would be nice but as it is the amount of teams in the competition keeps reducing as they can't afford it so I'm not sure they would be keen on adding more travel costs. I don't think it generates much money in the way of gate receipts, sponsorship or TV revenue

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby iul » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 12:11

Horsehead wrote:
iul wrote:What I would like to see is expanding the British and Irish cup into the 3rd tier club competition we were promised. It has 20 clubs already, and if they'd add 12 more (3 Italian, 2 Romanian, 2 Georgian, 2 Russia, 1 Portuguese, 1 Spanish, 1 German) it would have a nice format with 8 groups made of 4 teams each, with the winner of the groups going forward to the knock out stage, and all of the ENC sides would have at least a club included, and they'd get to play against better pro clubs.


That would be nice but as it is the amount of teams in the competition keeps reducing as they can't afford it so I'm not sure they would be keen on adding more travel costs. I don't think it generates much money in the way of gate receipts, sponsorship or TV revenue

They created it specifically because they wanted more games so they can make more money, however, I don't really know if they are making money or not.
Wiki tells me the average attendance last season was 1187 / match: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80 ... _Irish_Cup
As a comparison, the average RFU championship attendance was 2010 / match: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2013%E2%80 ... ampionship

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Buffalo » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 12:45

The Welsh side is RGC(Rygbi Gogledd Cymru) 1404 and I believe they are currently in the WRU Championship. Last I heard was that the WRU were still intent on breaking into North Wales and making RGC 1404 into a 5th Welsh Pro 12 team.

I've heard the Scottish Aberdeen rumour but I think that's just a dream right now. I'd like to see it happen. No idea if the Italians would be up for another expansion. They'd probably be better off investing in the Campionato Nazionale Eccellenza. Maybe a third team would make sense if Treviso and Zebre weren't expensive pits that don't appear to be greatly benefiting Italian rugby.

As for Canada and America, we won't ever have our own teams in the Pro 12. Especially not North American based. Maybe Canada could swing a deal with the WRU to try and get more players contracts, especially if a 5th Welsh team happens. We used to have something going on with RGC 1404 and it would be great to start something similar again. Especially since Canada is well acquainted with Colwyn Bay already. Not sure if the IRFU would want to play ball with USAR. The Yanks seem to do well getting attention in England so there's that.

Spanish, Portuguese and even German teams would be cool additions in countries with a lot of potential but I can't see it happening any time soon, if ever. Portugal and Spain always seem to be in some sort of financial distress and what support they do have seems to be more 7s based. I have doubts they could field a team in Fédérale 2 let alone Pro 12. As for Germany, I think they have the highest rugby potential out of these three but the country doesn't seem to really care outside a few places. Best pro shot for them would be Heidelberger RK reaching a deal with France to join their ranks and work their way up as far as they can go.

Ultimately I think the ten (12?) Celtic Pro 12 teams will merge with England to form a super British Isles league(s). Which unfortunately will leave Italy on the outside looking in but they should really be investing more in their current league. Maybe invite a Romanian side or two to join the mix. I know I've seen it suggested that France could take in Treviso and Zebre but I have my doubts they'd get out of ProD2 let alone compete in the Top 14.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby grande » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 13:22

This is getting a bit off track, but I'm always sad when I'm reminded of RGC 1404. We had about 8 guys over there, playing full time, at a fairly high grade of rugby (I don't think it'd be crazy to say a Welsh Championship side would beat most Canadian clubs, but who knows), and they were getting paid for it...

I don't really know why it was scrapped, probably a multitude of reasons, but it's just a shame it didn't work out.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 13:25

iul wrote:I don't think they'll expand it any time soon. For starters the Welsh would have to give up the LV=Cup they have with the English clubs. Secondly, they still charge the Italians a bunch of money for the privilege of playing in the Pro12, so the likes of Spain/Portugal would have to have quite a bit of cash available in order to sustain the team out of their own resources. Italy plays in the 6N, which makes them loads of cash, they get plenty of cash from the European cups as well, and they also get good home tests they can make money off of, so they have the financial resources to sustain a couple of teams that are surely loosing a lot of money.

What I would like to see is expanding the British and Irish cup into the 3rd tier club competition we were promised. It has 20 clubs already, and if they'd add 12 more (3 Italian, 2 Romanian, 2 Georgian, 2 Russia, 1 Portuguese, 1 Spanish, 1 German) it would have a nice format with 8 groups made of 4 teams each, with the winner of the groups going forward to the knock out stage, and all of the ENC sides would have at least a club included, and they'd get to play against better pro clubs.


That would be a good set up but the question is, is there the money present to fund it? Would it be attractive to broadcasters? etc. I would like to see it.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby josh » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 14:07

First off, its amazing how successful the Pro 12 has been so far, given that it was cobbled together with all sorts of challenges and compromises.

I'd put my money on a revival of a Scottish team, most likely Caledonian but a Borders team is still realistic. I'm no expert, but Scotland seem to be on the up right now. Attendance is up, Glasgow is in second (1 pt behind the leaders) and Edinburgh isn't doing bad, the national team has had some good results and they have some really talented youngsters emerging. Plus, it seems that if Ireland and Wales can both support four teams then Scotland should be able to support three, certainly more than Italy whose two teams seem only able to win when they play each other.

Ireland could support a fifth team. Their teams are all doing very well, and it looks like there is capacity for the sport to grow a bit there. So this would be appealing. But the current split into provinces is historical and cultural, so very hard to see how it would work and be accepted by the fans.

Another welsh team would be interesting but they've had all sorts of management and finance problems so I can't see it happening.

Italy - no way. At least not until the current two improve.

Other countries - Interesting, but unlikely. They'd need another that is relatively close, has some strong semipro rugby already, and a likelihood of strong attendance and financial backing. Heidelberg would be interesting.
' love to see a professional Portuguese and Spanish team ' - that would be great. But first, the Iberian league needs to succeed a bit.

What I would most like to see is the Italian sides improving. At the moment, they are embarrassing. I'd also like to see some promotion/relegation. Maybe that could work like the current Champions Cup, where each country is assured at least one team. But its very difficult to introduce promotion/relegation if its not there already- no team wants to introduce the possibility that they might be relegated when they have a guaranteed position now.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 15:18

josh wrote:First off, its amazing how successful the Pro 12 has been so far, given that it was cobbled together with all sorts of challenges and compromises.

I'd put my money on a revival of a Scottish team, most likely Caledonian but a Borders team is still realistic. I'm no expert, but Scotland seem to be on the up right now. Attendance is up, Glasgow is in second (1 pt behind the leaders) and Edinburgh isn't doing bad, the national team has had some good results and they have some really talented youngsters emerging. Plus, it seems that if Ireland and Wales can both support four teams then Scotland should be able to support three, certainly more than Italy whose two teams seem only able to win when they play each other.

Ireland could support a fifth team. Their teams are all doing very well, and it looks like there is capacity for the sport to grow a bit there. So this would be appealing. But the current split into provinces is historical and cultural, so very hard to see how it would work and be accepted by the fans.

Another welsh team would be interesting but they've had all sorts of management and finance problems so I can't see it happening.

Italy - no way. At least not until the current two improve.

Other countries - Interesting, but unlikely. They'd need another that is relatively close, has some strong semipro rugby already, and a likelihood of strong attendance and financial backing. Heidelberg would be interesting.
' love to see a professional Portuguese and Spanish team ' - that would be great. But first, the Iberian league needs to succeed a bit.

What I would most like to see is the Italian sides improving. At the moment, they are embarrassing. I'd also like to see some promotion/relegation. Maybe that could work like the current Champions Cup, where each country is assured at least one team. But its very difficult to introduce promotion/relegation if its not there already- no team wants to introduce the possibility that they might be relegated when they have a guaranteed position now.


I really cannot see any more teams coming from either Ireland or Wales anytime soon. The only country capable of adding a new team anytime in the medium term is Scotland. This would unbalance the league. I have an out of left field suggestion for a potential team. One that harks back to the old Celtic connection. Cornwall. Or most specifically the Cornish Pirates.

As for any continental teams. Sadly that seems unlikely in the future. Quite frankly they shouldn't enter into such a competition anyway. I would prefer to see a number look to develop their own leagues similar to that of the Pro 12. I'd like to see Spain and Portugal work something along those lines out and a restructuring of the North Sea Cup to a more regional set up.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby beardy reiver » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 20:51

There has been a bit of movement on the Caledonia Reds, http://caledoniareds.com/ they played a couple of friendlies last season and the odd 7's tourney coached by the evergreen Jason White, Aberdeen Asset have expressed an interest in sponsoring. London Welsh and London Scottish (pretty special cases as they are members of both the RFU and SRU/WRU respectively) have both been mooted as possible additional teams, with London Welsh especially interested when the English "fair competition" Premiership wasn't going to let them get promoted, I think that both of these are pretty dead in the water now.

In an ideal world we wouldn't need to expand as there would be fully fledged pro structures everywhere, but we aren't in that world. If the Pro12 were expanded I'd guess that Romania and Georgia wouldn't be interested, they've already got functioning pro leagues, do correct me if I'm wrong. The only benefit for them might be access to RCC.

In the short term, add 2 or 3 teams. My suggestion would be HRK, Cally Reds and perhaps an Iberian team. HRK totally outgrown the German League and sure they'd get hammered for a season at least but so would a development team in Aberdeen. The Pro12 had no problem with Borders and Connacht getting tonked every week. The Irish turned it around, we didn't unfortunately. Slightly longer term I'd be interested in seeing further European teams joining and developing a second league, with promotion and relegation. With that expansion I'd love to see the Iberians and the low Countries.
If they're good enough to play at world cups why aren't they good enough for the Sanzars in between?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Stephem » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 21:37

During the USA NZ match I was thinking about if/how they and Canada could join the pro 12. They could get 2 (eastern) teams each it split it into 4 conferences; home and away v teams in your countries (sco&ita, US&Can sharing) home or away v everyone else. Top of each pool gets a home quater v best other teams.

18 games + playoffs means no matches during internationals (One of my biggest hates in rugby), and if the schedule is sensible european teams can play their two american games back to back so only one trip across the pond (much harder to do 6 games the other way round though)

Also I doubt the US public would react well to seeing games at Treviso and Zebre's 'stadiums', nowhere should be able to make the sportsground look half decent.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby sk 88 » Wed, 07 Jan 2015, 22:08

I cannot see them expanding to a new country.

I could see the Italians withdrawing and making their own league the pinnacle of their game again.

I could also see Italy expanding to 4 teams with Rome & Milan gaining teams. Or Scotland adding Caledonia and Italy adding Rome.

What factors would prompt them to expand though? I can't see where the weekends come from and I can't see how any of these teams would draw a gate for the Irish/Welsh to cover extra travel expenses. Would TV really fund another 2 teams from an extra 4 rounds of fixtures?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Horsehead » Thu, 08 Jan 2015, 14:49

That is interesting to see that Caledonian Reds are already playing some friendlies - have they always been doing this or is it a recent thing to raise awareness ready to be a springboard towards a pro team? Do Borders still play?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby josh » Thu, 08 Jan 2015, 23:01

Stephem wrote:During the USA NZ match I was thinking about if/how they and Canada could join the pro 12...


Funny how new threads overlap. I can't see this working for Pro 12. Its just not the way European leagues work. Plus there's the distance and all the issues that you mentioned.

But it could fit Super Rugby. The Super Rugby franchise system is much closer to how all the major American sports leagues work. And Super Rugby is expanding into the Americas and into the Northern Hemisphere, so its a logical next step. Plus it avoids the issues that you mentioned. And Super Rugby has managed long distance travel issues since its inception. In some ways, it might actually make the travel a little less, since Argentinian and Japanese teams traveling to North America is a lot easier than traveling to South Africa.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Pockets » Fri, 09 Jan 2015, 13:36

I can't see the value in going to Super Rugby, the politics may align for it, but the finances don't - it's just so expensive and I don't see the benefit. For the price of two Super Rugby teams they could operate a whole 8 team North American league.

As to Pro 12, I can't see what they'd add other than an extra Scottish team. Not because HRK is a bad suggestion or anything (though I think they'd be better off trying to force the issue of a third european cup), but the power-structures of Pro12 aren't exactly the most forward-looking.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby germanbullsfan » Fri, 09 Jan 2015, 15:17

If i understand the article in totalrugby germany correctly , the HRK + the wild academy is focusing on short and middle terms with his money and manpower to keep the german XV in the 1A !

But will defenitly seek on a longer term a way into the international business!

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby josh » Fri, 09 Jan 2015, 16:37

Pockets wrote:I can't see the value in going to Super Rugby, the politics may align for it, but the finances don't - it's just so expensive and I don't see the benefit. For the price of two Super Rugby teams they could operate a whole 8 team North American league.


Why? What is the cost of a Super Rugby franchise? Are you referring to the cost that investors have to pay SR to buy a new franchise?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby DragonMike » Fri, 09 Jan 2015, 18:55

Not that is a sign of any intentions other than the planning for ENC, but Germany will play Connacht in a friendly match on January 24th, presumably their 2nd team or something similar as Connacht are in La ROchelle

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Pockets » Sat, 10 Jan 2015, 11:32

josh wrote:
Pockets wrote:I can't see the value in going to Super Rugby, the politics may align for it, but the finances don't - it's just so expensive and I don't see the benefit. For the price of two Super Rugby teams they could operate a whole 8 team North American league.


Why? What is the cost of a Super Rugby franchise? Are you referring to the cost that investors have to pay SR to buy a new franchise?


I wasn't referring to the franchise fee really but the running costs. I've seen several quotes that place the cost of running a team at between (AU)$10-20m a year. A North American pro league would be viable with teams running on budgets of about $4m - about (AU)$5m.

I just don't see how it being Super Rugby instead of Hypothetical Pro Rugby brings in any extra cash, it just means paying for long-haul flights instead of short-haul ones.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 10 Jan 2015, 13:59

josh wrote:
Pockets wrote:I can't see the value in going to Super Rugby, the politics may align for it, but the finances don't - it's just so expensive and I don't see the benefit. For the price of two Super Rugby teams they could operate a whole 8 team North American league.


Why? What is the cost of a Super Rugby franchise? Are you referring to the cost that investors have to pay SR to buy a new franchise?


Well, in the recent expansion bids they were requiring bidders to have the ability to fund the team to the tune of $100 million over 5 years. So, Pockets is right. It's fairly expansive. The travel is one of the main killers which will only get worse from next year on.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 11 Jan 2015, 07:32

I have been thinking about this subject over the past few days. First of all I thought about the teams that could be involved.

Caledonian Reds - Scotland
Border Reivers - Scotland
Celtic Warriors - Wales
RGB 1404 - Wales
* All Ireland team - Ireland
Aironi - Italy
Buchresti Wolves - Romania
Tbilisi Caucasians - Georgia
Lusitanos - Portugal
Olympus Madrid - Spain
* Moscow - Russia
Heidelberger RK - Germany

A promotion play off would be played against the bottom teams in Div 1. Every team I have named, unless marked with an asterisk exists or has existed in the past but even the 2 theoretical teams have been mentioned in other areas (The Russian team in Moscow was talked about when speculation about the Super Rugby expansion was being discussed.) This competition could replace the 3rd European Cup for now and eventually a third Div or a qualifying competition for Div 2 could be started. As per the normal rules for European qualification, the highest team from each country qualifies to the Challenge Cup so all the ENC club teams will play in the group stages of Europe but they will have had at least some high level competition to prepare and the big scores against them will reduce. If this did happen though I can only see it as a temporary step until the club competitions in each of the participant countries develops stronger teams.

The problems now; As usual, money. This would be a very expensive competition to be part of as the travel costs would be huge. Most of the teams do not exist at the moment and would take some serious work to get up and running again or to start up. Some teams may be totally outmatched and this would reduce attendances. With so many countries involved, the politics would be very complex and the governing body of Div 1 would maybe not make decisions in the interests of everyone.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 11 Jan 2015, 08:58

Sables4EVA wrote:I have been thinking about this subject over the past few days. First of all I thought about the teams that could be involved.

Caledonian Reds - Scotland
Border Reivers - Scotland
Celtic Warriors - Wales
RGB 1404 - Wales
* All Ireland team - Ireland
Aironi - Italy
Buchresti Wolves - Romania
Tbilisi Caucasians - Georgia
Lusitanos - Portugal
Olympus Madrid - Spain
* Moscow - Russia
Heidelberger RK - Germany

A promotion play off would be played against the bottom teams in Div 1. Every team I have named, unless marked with an asterisk exists or has existed in the past but even the 2 theoretical teams have been mentioned in other areas (The Russian team in Moscow was talked about when speculation about the Super Rugby expansion was being discussed.) This competition could replace the 3rd European Cup for now and eventually a third Div or a qualifying competition for Div 2 could be started. As per the normal rules for European qualification, the highest team from each country qualifies to the Challenge Cup so all the ENC club teams will play in the group stages of Europe but they will have had at least some high level competition to prepare and the big scores against them will reduce. If this did happen though I can only see it as a temporary step until the club competitions in each of the participant countries develops stronger teams.

The problems now; As usual, money. This would be a very expensive competition to be part of as the travel costs would be huge. Most of the teams do not exist at the moment and would take some serious work to get up and running again or to start up. Some teams may be totally outmatched and this would reduce attendances. With so many countries involved, the politics would be very complex and the governing body of Div 1 would maybe not make decisions in the interests of everyone.


It would be prohibitively expensive and has too many Celtic teams. The goal for the Pro12 in the medium term should be to see the Italian squads consolidate and improve. From there planning for the inclusion of a 3rd Scottish and Italian squad should be set in place. It should be part of a ten year plan that also include commercial growth plans and marketing.

I'm not against spreading the game in Europe. But I think it's more on the likes of World Rugby than the likes of the Pro12 etc. at least in the foreseeable future. I personally believe they should be looking to establish a Europa League with teams primarily being sourced from the currently ENC1A and some from 1B. The goal should be to develop a viable league with intent to grow its playing and commercial standards long term. As I see it, it will initially be either the top club team from each nation or effectively the national team playing under a city, region name.

The goal will for a 10 team structure. One from each of the current 1A teams and one from Belgium, Netherlands, Poland and Moldova.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby beardy reiver » Sun, 11 Jan 2015, 13:23

Hey horsehead: Caledonia Reds games are a bit of both, trying to keep the team in the public eye and as a springboard to a potential 3rd pro team. Borders don't have a similar regional set up at adult level but there are 4 u16 regional teams/academies.
germanbullsfan: Yeah that's how I read the recent article about HRK too, think the only difference is in what "short term" and "medium term" might mean. I don't see Cally Reds or the Pro12 being ready for the next 2 to 4 seasons.
If they're good enough to play at world cups why aren't they good enough for the Sanzars in between?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby beardy reiver » Sun, 11 Jan 2015, 14:02

Working Class Rugger wrote:
Sables4EVA wrote:I have been thinking about this subject over the past few days. First of all I thought about the teams that could be involved.

Caledonian Reds - Scotland
Border Reivers - Scotland
Celtic Warriors - Wales
RGB 1404 - Wales
* All Ireland team - Ireland
Aironi - Italy
Buchresti Wolves - Romania
Tbilisi Caucasians - Georgia
Lusitanos - Portugal
Olympus Madrid - Spain
* Moscow - Russia
Heidelberger RK - Germany

A promotion play off would be played against the bottom teams in Div 1. Every team I have named, unless marked with an asterisk exists or has existed in the past but even the 2 theoretical teams have been mentioned in other areas (The Russian team in Moscow was talked about when speculation about the Super Rugby expansion was being discussed.) This competition could replace the 3rd European Cup for now and eventually a third Div or a qualifying competition for Div 2 could be started. As per the normal rules for European qualification, the highest team from each country qualifies to the Challenge Cup so all the ENC club teams will play in the group stages of Europe but they will have had at least some high level competition to prepare and the big scores against them will reduce. If this did happen though I can only see it as a temporary step until the club competitions in each of the participant countries develops stronger teams.

The problems now; As usual, money. This would be a very expensive competition to be part of as the travel costs would be huge. Most of the teams do not exist at the moment and would take some serious work to get up and running again or to start up. Some teams may be totally outmatched and this would reduce attendances. With so many countries involved, the politics would be very complex and the governing body of Div 1 would maybe not make decisions in the interests of everyone.


It would be prohibitively expensive and has too many Celtic teams. The goal for the Pro12 in the medium term should be to see the Italian squads consolidate and improve. From there planning for the inclusion of a 3rd Scottish and Italian squad should be set in place. It should be part of a ten year plan that also include commercial growth plans and marketing.

I'm not against spreading the game in Europe. But I think it's more on the likes of World Rugby than the likes of the Pro12 etc. at least in the foreseeable future. I personally believe they should be looking to establish a Europa League with teams primarily being sourced from the currently ENC1A and some from 1B. The goal should be to develop a viable league with intent to grow its playing and commercial standards long term. As I see it, it will initially be either the top club team from each nation or effectively the national team playing under a city, region name.

The goal will for a 10 team structure. One from each of the current 1A teams and one from Belgium, Netherlands, Poland and Moldova.


Both potential leagues have merit but I prefer the idea of having a first and second division of the Guinness league. Think that the problems of cost and travel are similar to some of the reservations about the celtic league back when it started but flights of an hour or two are pretty much affordable and folks are now quite used to getting on a plane for a weekend a couple of times a year. This puts German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese teams and a team or two in Romania in the frame, eventually Belgian, Dutch and Polish teams but Georgia and Russia probably not.

Ideally we'd not have tons more Celtic teams but a good core of teams means that there's a chance the celtic unions will be interested in the league, as a chance to introduce development teams. Excluding the Georgians and Russians is simply about practicalities and nothing to do with rugby, a crap reasoning but one I think we probably need to live with. People are used to visiting Italy, Germany and Spain - Georgia and Russia are just further away and more expensive to get to.

Equally if there's the possibility of a Euro League rather than Pro12 developing into 2 divisions that'd be grand but I suspect because the pro12 already exists and has European wide sponsors expansion is more likely than a new Rugby Europe league.
If they're good enough to play at world cups why aren't they good enough for the Sanzars in between?

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 11 Jan 2015, 14:47

Working Class Rugger;- As I said in my original post the down side would be the cosst of the league so I agree with you concerning the financial side. The Celtic teams are necessary as the Pro 12's official name is the Celtic League, so therefore to make it interesting to the administrators of the league I made half the teams Celtic.

beardy reiver;- My proposal is basically a 2nd Division of the Guinness league.

I think the only thing that would make this feasible is if an airline became a major sponsor and provided the flights gratis.

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