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A Pro12 Expansion

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby 4N » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 10:34

Horsehead wrote:I think in many ways this could be good for world rugby if SARU aligns with Europe. I'm hoping this would finally open up the 6Ns, I'm also hoping that it would force Australia and NZ into looking into more lucrative markets in Asia and potentially the Americas. I think this will lead to a big battle, one that has been simmering for a while as to who the US will align with competition wise. I just hope that in all this potential restructuring that the pacific islands don't get overlooked again


Has been brewing for a while, I agree. RSA playing in two competitions simultaneously sort of opens the door for USA to test the waters in two comps at once as well. Could you see the east coast in Pro12 and the west coast in SR in the next 5 years? It's possible I guess.

I'm more cynical on the Springboks forcing 6N expansion. I would think more likely they will be used as a threat against Italy - shape up or you're getting swapped out type of thing.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Figaro » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 10:41

iul wrote:Bring the SA teams in Pro12, let NZ and Australia have a competition with a Japanese and a Fiji team and as for Argentina ....uhmmm....


If the trend is for alignment along timezones, the Pro12 might be their ultimate destination as well. It would make sense for the different Americas teams playing together.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby ihateblazers » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 12:07

I wonder if this could start the ball rolling in terms of a true global season from Sept to May. Early days but if the South Africans do eventually end up leaving Super rugby completely where would that leave the Rugby Championship? Which is where most of SANZAR unions income comes from. I think that could potentially act as a catalyst towards a summer season in Australia at least which could be what they need and NZ being dragged along. Obviously it fits Japan and it might benefit Argentina to avoid football and ease player release with European clubs. Pro 12 and Super would merge with the Rugby Championship shifting to March/April.

All hypothetical of course. But interesting to ponder...

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 12:48

You're never going to see a summer season in Australia because the heat is too intense for rugby. We are talking days that can reach 40 degrees in early January.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 13:26

The source was indeed the Statsbunker. I did not know they are incomplete. But how much incomplete? Anyway, I remember to have complete ones from other years that were more or less the same thing, with SAs always on top, not just the Stormers. That is my point.

So after today we can assume that SARU is allowing the Kings and the Cheetahs to test the scenario for a Sanzaar beakaway?

I would love to see reports related to what their supporters think of all this.
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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby victorsra » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 13:30

thatrugbyguy wrote:You're never going to see a summer season in Australia because the heat is too intense for rugby. We are talking days that can reach 40 degrees in early January.

And how is Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth? In guess not that hot, as one is in the mountains and the other in the southern coast?
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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby thatrugbyguy » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 13:54

Bloemfontein apparently averages higher temps than Sydney in summer, but it's not uncommon for Sydney to reach 40-45 temps. Even night time can reach 30 degrees.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby olivier » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 13:57

The fight between Europe and Super Rugby has started. I know who will win by KO.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 15:46

The suggestion is that late evening kickoffs in Bloemfontein would fit in with European TV times and be less oppressively hot. Apparently the pitch would be so dry it would be like concrete but that shouldn't be insurmountable.

I doubt it was the first choice of Cheetahs and Kings fans and players, but the alternative was only playing the Currie Cup and doing nothing else.

I also think it is vital for Tier2 in the NH for the Pro12 to remain afloat and profitable. This expansion will help keep it financially viable and remain a possible avenue for Tier2 nations if they choose to professionalise and prefer it to a domestic league.

An alternative of the Pro12 going in a downward financial spiral would probably remove that option from the table.

I've been quite impressed by the SARU in the past 12 months and their response to a possible crisis in their game. Hopefully they can bring some business acumen to the Pro12, as I don't rate the management of the Pro12 at all.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 16:19

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:
I've been quite impressed by the SARU in the past 12 months and their response to a possible crisis in their game. Hopefully they can bring some business acumen to the Pro12, as I don't rate the management of the Pro12 at all.



Why not? They've been racking up the air miles for the last year or more trying to get this expansion off the ground.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Fri, 07 Jul 2017, 16:59

dropkick wrote:
Bruce_ma_goose wrote:
I've been quite impressed by the SARU in the past 12 months and their response to a possible crisis in their game. Hopefully they can bring some business acumen to the Pro12, as I don't rate the management of the Pro12 at all.



Why not? They've been racking up the air miles for the last year or more trying to get this expansion off the ground.


I just think the potential with Italy has been squandered by making the weakest sides pay the most and the failure to secure decent TV contracts is a big negative. It's not all their fault obviously; UK-wide broadcasters will understandably focus on England due their population. And the Italian union is pretty poor.

But yes, Pro12 deserve some credit for this even if it is a fortuitous set of circumstances rather than their own hard work.

If they did have any hand in the demise of the professional league in the US then I guess they deserve a sort of credit for that too, even if I don't like it.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 08 Jul 2017, 04:10

thatrugbyguy wrote:You're never going to see a summer season in Australia because the heat is too intense for rugby. We are talking days that can reach 40 degrees in early January.


I get that but Aussie rugby is kind of staring into the abyss and needs some radical thinking imo. It would be difficult for training in particular but the Aussie sides mostly play after 5pm anyway, in "cooler" zones like Canberra and Melbourne you might get away with a few afternoon kick offs as well? I think the sun would be the killer, you can work around heat

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 08 Jul 2017, 04:54

ihateblazers wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:You're never going to see a summer season in Australia because the heat is too intense for rugby. We are talking days that can reach 40 degrees in early January.


I get that but Aussie rugby is kind of staring into the abyss and needs some radical thinking imo. It would be difficult for training in particular but the Aussie sides mostly play after 5pm anyway, in "cooler" zones like Canberra and Melbourne you might get away with a few afternoon kick offs as well? I think the sun would be the killer, you can work around heat


Common misconception is that Canberra and Melbourne are generally cooler year round. Not so I'm afraid. Summer in Canberra can be quite oppressive.

Anyway, I'm not opposed a shift in season. The game needs some clear air relative to what it finds itself in at present. A season scheduled around the same time as the A-League here may work but it would need to be very carefully devised.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 08 Jul 2017, 05:21

ihateblazers wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:You're never going to see a summer season in Australia because the heat is too intense for rugby. We are talking days that can reach 40 degrees in early January.


I get that but Aussie rugby is kind of staring into the abyss and needs some radical thinking imo. It would be difficult for training in particular but the Aussie sides mostly play after 5pm anyway, in "cooler" zones like Canberra and Melbourne you might get away with a few afternoon kick offs as well? I think the sun would be the killer, you can work around heat


Canberra and Melbourne are no cooler I'm afraid. Their really isnt much difference between the cities nation wide, all are capable of extreme heat during summer.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 08 Jul 2017, 05:28

Working Class Rugger wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:You're never going to see a summer season in Australia because the heat is too intense for rugby. We are talking days that can reach 40 degrees in early January.


I get that but Aussie rugby is kind of staring into the abyss and needs some radical thinking imo. It would be difficult for training in particular but the Aussie sides mostly play after 5pm anyway, in "cooler" zones like Canberra and Melbourne you might get away with a few afternoon kick offs as well? I think the sun would be the killer, you can work around heat


Common misconception is that Canberra and Melbourne are generally cooler year round. Not so I'm afraid. Summer in Canberra can be quite oppressive.

Anyway, I'm not opposed a shift in season. The game needs some clear air relative to what it finds itself in at present. A season scheduled around the same time as the A-League here may work but it would need to be very carefully devised.


Interesting about Melbourne and Canberra, didn't know that.

If you look currently the Sunwolves are playing in the sweltering Japanese summer which can be brutal, not to mention Singapore (albeit in a domed stadium). A move to a sept start season could help facilitate to maximise the Asian market, you could take more games to Hong Kong and Singapore then. You could potentially see a link up with the Japan corporation top league as well. In Asian countries during June/July they are hosting the European football clubs as well. Could offer an alternative during the "winter" months.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby iul » Sat, 08 Jul 2017, 05:36

https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/ ... um=twitter

“This is all about primary markets,” said Martin Anayi, Pro 12 chief executive last year. “We can’t be in England, we can’t be in France, so where are the other big primary markets? There is a big continent called North America that everyone is looking at. Our unions believe in the same thing: that the best way for USA Rugby to become a tier-one nation is through our tournament.”

They seem very keen to get into the US

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Sables4EVA » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 12:01

The possibility of the2 SA sides joining Europe could become the start of the flood, I don't see why the Pumas and Griquas will also be looking at how those 2 super franchises fare in the Pro 12 and decide to go that route.

At the end of the day it will be the money that will decide the fate of any venture into the European market and especially if they allow the teams to play in the European Cups, which is possible as they would add to that competition too, they could end up being financially better off than the SANZAAR aligned teams.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby cardiffrcm » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 12:49

iul wrote:https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/pro12/pro12-will-be-expanded-to-include-two-south-african-teams-1.3147116?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

“This is all about primary markets,” said Martin Anayi, Pro 12 chief executive last year. “We can’t be in England, we can’t be in France, so where are the other big primary markets? There is a big continent called North America that everyone is looking at. Our unions believe in the same thing: that the best way for USA Rugby to become a tier-one nation is through our tournament.”

They seem very keen to get into the US


They are very keen to get into the US TV Money. In the long term it is the only way the league will be able to compete with the Aviva and Top 14.

In a decade there may well be a 4 conference league; Celtic, RSA, European and N.American.

In the short term they will have to put up with the logistical inconvenience and a possible dip in playing standards to reach this goal.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Bruce_ma_goose » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 12:58

cardiffrcm wrote: They are very keen to get into the US TV Money
. In the long term it is the only way the league will be able to compete with the Aviva and Top 14.

In a decade there may well be a 4 conference league; Celtic, RSA, European and N.American.

In the short term they will have to put up with the logistical inconvenience and a possible dip in playing standards to reach this goal.


Yes. The challenge is can Pro12 retain fan interest better than Super Rugby during expansion and upheaval? The fact the Cheetahs and Kings are much stronger than the Sunwolves helps, but if they expand into Tier2 nations I think they have to invest in coaching and player assistance to help sides in new markets become more competitive. 70+ point victories in Super Rugby in the last two years undermine the product greatly.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby Suiram » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 14:12

Don't know why everyone just assumes a US squad will be all American. Unless they really do pay to get the top guys out of their contracts I doubt it would be more than 30-50%

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby dropkick » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 14:35

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:
cardiffrcm wrote: They are very keen to get into the US TV Money
. In the long term it is the only way the league will be able to compete with the Aviva and Top 14.

In a decade there may well be a 4 conference league; Celtic, RSA, European and N.American.

In the short term they will have to put up with the logistical inconvenience and a possible dip in playing standards to reach this goal.


Yes. The challenge is can Pro12 retain fan interest better than Super Rugby during expansion and upheaval? The fact the Cheetahs and Kings are much stronger than the Sunwolves helps, but if they expand into Tier2 nations I think they have to invest in coaching and player assistance to help sides in new markets become more competitive. 70+ point victories in Super Rugby in the last two years undermine the product greatly.



That's the plan. The Italian expansion wasn't planned by Celtic rugby but it looks like they've learned from it. In that regard they're ahead of super rugby in learning the lessons of having weak teams dragging the overall league down.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby TheStroBro » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 15:08

There's always weak teams, that's accepted. The difference with US based sports is a draft structure that allows the bottom feeder to get better.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby cardiffrcm » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 15:16

Suiram wrote:Don't know why everyone just assumes a US squad will be all American. Unless they really do pay to get the top guys out of their contracts I doubt it would be more than 30-50%


It's money, not nationality that dictates the quality of the squad.

Therefore, it depends who is investing in the US franchise and what type of commercial contracts they can negotiate prior to their entry into the league.

The Italian teams have had plenty of non-italian players in their squad but due to their budget they have been little better than their indigenous players.

The Celtic Teams have playing budgets of between £5m-£8m. This is heavily subsidised by revenue that their respective International teams generate. The US International team is loss making not profit generating so the US franchise will be at immediate disadvantage.

Therefore, unless the US Franchise has a benefactor(s) who to start off with are willing to lose $7m+ a season the US franchise squad will be mainly American. Very few of the US players playing in Europe are blue riband players and therefore are usually on 1-2 year contracts, so many would be available. Furthermore, most European clubs to accede to a request from an overseas player to return home. I think probably Titi & Manoa would be the only "unobtainables".

Until we know how the Washington Franchise is going to be funded we are not in a very strong position to guess at the likely makeup of the squad.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby cardiffrcm » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 15:24

Bruce_ma_goose wrote:
cardiffrcm wrote: They are very keen to get into the US TV Money
. In the long term it is the only way the league will be able to compete with the Aviva and Top 14.

In a decade there may well be a 4 conference league; Celtic, RSA, European and N.American.

In the short term they will have to put up with the logistical inconvenience and a possible dip in playing standards to reach this goal.


Yes. The challenge is can Pro12 retain fan interest better than Super Rugby during expansion and upheaval? The fact the Cheetahs and Kings are much stronger than the Sunwolves helps, but if they expand into Tier2 nations I think they have to invest in coaching and player assistance to help sides in new markets become more competitive. 70+ point victories in Super Rugby in the last two years undermine the product greatly.


I think that the Irish & Welsh fan bases are pretty solid.

The Cheetahs and the Kings would probably be lower mid table to start off with. It will be interesting to see if they lose to, or attract from other RSA franchises. The gulf in standard between teams in Super Rugby is exaggerated by the supremacy of the NZ teams; something unlikely in the PRO 12 and given a longer season.

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Re: A Pro12 Expansion

Postby 4N » Sun, 09 Jul 2017, 15:40

cardiffrcm wrote:In a decade there may well be a 4 conference league; Celtic, RSA, European and N.American.

In the short term they will have to put up with the logistical inconvenience and a possible dip in playing standards to reach this goal.


Sounds nice but fanciful. Where are additional teams on the European continent coming from? Wild is surely tied up with Stade for a few years and it's been said repeatedly that Spain have no money for this. So you have a 10 team (maybe 9 if Dragons don't make it) 'Celtic' conference, let's assume for these purposes that all 6 SA teams join. That's 15/16 plus another 2/3 in US and Canada, and Italy if they're still involved. So you're at 20+ teams. And adding more from continental Europe? Can't see it.

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