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The future of Italian Rugby

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Tobar » Thu, 02 Jan 2020, 18:47

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Everyone is saying a Romanian-Italian competition won't work and won't be interesting, but currently Romania has 7 professional teams (2 of which are really not good). They play each other in the league, then in the cup, then in another cup. How is that interesting? So to make it more interesting they have joined the Continental League and will have to fly to Siberia! There are similar standard teams in Italy which is much much closer.

In Romania rugby is less popular than football (obviously), basketball, volleyball, handball and ice hockey. There has to be something more than playing the same 6 teams 6 times every year to make it more appealing.


It sounds like this is a solution for Romania, not Italy.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 02 Jan 2020, 20:10

Tobar wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Everyone is saying a Romanian-Italian competition won't work and won't be interesting, but currently Romania has 7 professional teams (2 of which are really not good). They play each other in the league, then in the cup, then in another cup. How is that interesting? So to make it more interesting they have joined the Continental League and will have to fly to Siberia! There are similar standard teams in Italy which is much much closer.

In Romania rugby is less popular than football (obviously), basketball, volleyball, handball and ice hockey. There has to be something more than playing the same 6 teams 6 times every year to make it more appealing.


It sounds like this is a solution for Romania, not Italy.


It is a solution for professional rugby in continental Europe. France needs no one. Englands needs no one. Ireland, Scotland and Wales are small countries and have decided to work together. The only other countries in Europe with professional rugby teams are Italy, Romania and Russia. Russia is far away, but Romania and Italy are near to each other.
Now ideally both Romania and Italy would each have their own professional leagues of 10 to 14 teams, but at the moment they don't have that many strong teams.
My solution gives them more games against similar level opposition without having to travel far. Professional rugby players spend too much time sitting on planes.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 04:47

A pair of images

The disposition of the next days stages of the various national teams (men, women, men U20, men 7s). Nice to see Naples, in the south, hosting two national teams. Few months ago they inaugurated a "Rugby citadel" in Naples (in the area of a former NATO base) and it seems the Federation want to use it as regular venue for national teams stages. In winter Naples offers 5 or 6 Celsius degrees more than Milan. In the map, the dates imply that the month is january

Image

The club where the national teams players come from. In this incoming stage the new men's coach, Franco Smith, called just players from Benetton and Zebre, not from abroad clubs. About the women column, the clubs where they come from referred to men's categories (I mean: there's one only women category in Italy, but if a player comes from CUS Milano she is marked as "Serie A" because in men's championship CUS Milano plays in Serie A)

Image

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 05:37

Canalina,

What do you think the appeal of a Super 6 like competition based around regions would be like?

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Canalina » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 09:22

I don't think it would have a great appeal.
To not appearing just pessimistic I try to prove it with two examples.

1) several years ago (probably I already mentioned this) I went to see in my city' stadium a match Emilia v Provence, for the short-lived Tournament of the Regions. "Wow, a tournament for regions! And a match against the french Provence!", I thought. I was sure it was the peak of the season for the rugby of my city. At the stadium we were around fifty people, or just a bit more... Next year the tournament of course was already abandoned.

2) My region is called Emilia (from ancient roman commander Marco Emilio Lepido). My city is Reggio Emilia (so called because there's another Reggio, in the south, Reggio Calabria). From the past season the munificent sponsor of Reggio's rugby team changed the name of the club from Rugby Reggio to Valorugby Emilia, in the attempt to make it a sort of regional realty. The answer of local fans to the name changing was generally bad, and outside our province no one feels the team like his team; despite the name for everyone the team is just the Reggio's team, not the team of Emilia

In summa, we (italians) are not used to think in term of regions and we feel just weakly the pride to be part of a region, this is because I think a national championship with regional team wouldn't work

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 11:08

I believe regional identity in Europe is quite rare. Ireland have it with their four provinces. Wales and Scotland don't have it (within the UK Scotland and Wales are themselves classed as regions). England doesn't have regional identity with the exception of Cornwall. English people identify with their town or city, and with their nation. And I think that is the norm in most countries. One country I think that could make a better use of regional identity is Spain. Catalonia and Basque country have regional identities.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby io.porcorosso » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 12:14

Actually, also in Italy there're strong regional/National feeling.

For instance in Veneto there's pretty a strong connection with our territory, me and several other define ourself as Venetian as a Scottish will do with himself.

The same belong to Sud Tirol or Sardinia, or Naples and Sicily too.

And off course if a Match between DOGI [a Veneto and Friuli selection] would match a serious team as Barbarians or similar, the crowd [where a bit of marketing off course] will be a good one.

But this option do not belong to our set for a long term league.

I don't want to see DOGI each week, against Munster or Toulouse. I want to see Petrarca against them, because this perfectly fit my needs.

The Italian rugby clubs have a long way to build a good league, but the first step is to look at their potential fans and see what they need.

This is not an option which just soccer can achieve. There're several example of other sports where teams had the ability to construct their grassroots within the territory where that belong and then built their structure. Off course flourish and crisis situations are normal, but in Italy at the moment there's no other way but to improve the clubs, which ever format of league we may choose.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby victorsra » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 14:09

io.porcorosso wrote:Actually, also in Italy there're strong regional/National feeling.

For instance in Veneto there's pretty a strong connection with our territory, me and several other define ourself as Venetian as a Scottish will do with himself.

The same belong to Sud Tirol or Sardinia, or Naples and Sicily too.

And off course if a Match between DOGI [a Veneto and Friuli selection] would match a serious team as Barbarians or similar, the crowd [where a bit of marketing off course] will be a good one.

But this option do not belong to our set for a long term league.

I don't want to see DOGI each week, against Munster or Toulouse. I want to see Petrarca against them, because this perfectly fit my needs.

The Italian rugby clubs have a long way to build a good league, but the first step is to look at their potential fans and see what they need.

This is not an option which just soccer can achieve. There're several example of other sports where teams had the ability to construct their grassroots within the territory where that belong and then built their structure. Off course flourish and crisis situations are normal, but in Italy at the moment there's no other way but to improve the clubs, which ever format of league we may choose.

Cheers PR-WSM


That's very interesting. So in Veneto the desire of each of the big clubs to play the Pro14 by their own is strong enough to make a Dogi project impossible. That solves my previous question.

In other words you dont mind stop playing Rovigo if you could play in a higher level.
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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 17:00

victorsra wrote:
io.porcorosso wrote:Actually, also in Italy there're strong regional/National feeling.

For instance in Veneto there's pretty a strong connection with our territory, me and several other define ourself as Venetian as a Scottish will do with himself.

The same belong to Sud Tirol or Sardinia, or Naples and Sicily too.

And off course if a Match between DOGI [a Veneto and Friuli selection] would match a serious team as Barbarians or similar, the crowd [where a bit of marketing off course] will be a good one.

But this option do not belong to our set for a long term league.

I don't want to see DOGI each week, against Munster or Toulouse. I want to see Petrarca against them, because this perfectly fit my needs.

The Italian rugby clubs have a long way to build a good league, but the first step is to look at their potential fans and see what they need.

This is not an option which just soccer can achieve. There're several example of other sports where teams had the ability to construct their grassroots within the territory where that belong and then built their structure. Off course flourish and crisis situations are normal, but in Italy at the moment there's no other way but to improve the clubs, which ever format of league we may choose.

Cheers PR-WSM


That's very interesting. So in Veneto the desire of each of the big clubs to play the Pro14 by their own is strong enough to make a Dogi project impossible. That solves my previous question.

In other words you dont mind stop playing Rovigo if you could play in a higher level.


In that case probably the best thing for Italian rugby would to have 4 teams in the Pro 14. The two they have plus Calvisano (who are proving to be more competitive in Europe than I expected) and another Veneto team.

A rebalanced Pro 14 could have 4 conferences of 4:
Ireland conference; Britain conference (2 Scottish, 2 Welsh); Italian conference; and South Africa conference.

The Welsh teams would probably be Scarlets and Cardiff. Ospreys and Dragons could move to the English leagues. They are both probably about English Championship standard. Their addition would be a big boost to the English Championship.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby 4N » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 17:03

The training base in Napoli is good news. Overall I’d like to see more focus on the south. There seems to be less competition from other sports there and as it has fewer rugby clubs than other regions maybe more room for growth.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Figaro » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 21:59

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I believe regional identity in Europe is quite rare. Ireland have it with their four provinces. Wales and Scotland don't have it (within the UK Scotland and Wales are themselves classed as regions). England doesn't have regional identity with the exception of Cornwall. English people identify with their town or city, and with their nation. And I think that is the norm in most countries. One country I think that could make a better use of regional identity is Spain. Catalonia and Basque country have regional identities.


Actually there are strong regional identities in Wales, just not everywhere, and unfortunately not that align with the rugby teams.

There is a strong West Wales identity. People in the West have always supported Llanelli which helps explain why the Scarlets are the most successful regional side, despite being basically a continuation of the Llanelli club side (who played in red and were always nicknamed the Scarlets).

There is a strong North Wales identity. However the area never had strong rugby clubs, so they don't have a pro side even though pretty much everyone agrees this would be a good thing.

There is also a strong regional identity in the Valleys. They did have a regional side, of sorts, in the first season of Regional rugby. But it was terribly managed and marketed, went bust after just a year. So they have no team now and are divided between the Blues and Ospreys' areas (part of the valleys are in the Dragons' region as well).

There is no historic identity at all based on the Ospreys' area. Gwent (the Dragons' area) was a medieval kingdom but there's no Gwent identity today.

If you were starting from scratch and you wanted 4 regional sides in Wales you'd have West, North, and Valleys, plus put a side in the capital. The sides we ended up with were a compromise that didn't really please anyone.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Figaro » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 22:03

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I believe regional identity in Europe is quite rare. Ireland have it with their four provinces. Wales and Scotland don't have it (within the UK Scotland and Wales are themselves classed as regions). England doesn't have regional identity with the exception of Cornwall. English people identify with their town or city, and with their nation. And I think that is the norm in most countries. One country I think that could make a better use of regional identity is Spain. Catalonia and Basque country have regional identities.


Actually there are strong regional identities in Wales, just not everywhere, and unfortunately not that align with the rugby teams.

There is a strong West Wales identity. People in the West have always supported Llanelli which helps explain why the Scarlets are the most successful regional side, despite being basically a continuation of the Llanelli club side (who played in red and were always nicknamed the Scarlets).

There is a strong North Wales identity. However the area never had strong rugby clubs, so they don't have a pro side even though pretty much everyone agrees this would be a good thing.

There is also a strong regional identity in the Valleys. They did have a regional side, of sorts, in the first season of Regional rugby. But it was terribly managed and marketed, went bust after just a year. So they have no team now and are divided between the Blues and Ospreys' areas (part of the valleys are in the Dragons' region as well).

There is no historic identity at all based on the Ospreys' area. Gwent (the Dragons' area) was a medieval kingdom but there's no Gwent identity today.

If you were starting from scratch and you wanted 4 regional sides in Wales you'd have West, North, and Valleys, plus put a side in the capital. The sides we ended up with were a compromise that didn't really please anyone.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 04 Jan 2020, 22:44

Figaro wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:I believe regional identity in Europe is quite rare. Ireland have it with their four provinces. Wales and Scotland don't have it (within the UK Scotland and Wales are themselves classed as regions). England doesn't have regional identity with the exception of Cornwall. English people identify with their town or city, and with their nation. And I think that is the norm in most countries. One country I think that could make a better use of regional identity is Spain. Catalonia and Basque country have regional identities.


Actually there are strong regional identities in Wales, just not everywhere, and unfortunately not that align with the rugby teams.

There is a strong West Wales identity. People in the West have always supported Llanelli which helps explain why the Scarlets are the most successful regional side, despite being basically a continuation of the Llanelli club side (who played in red and were always nicknamed the Scarlets).

There is a strong North Wales identity. However the area never had strong rugby clubs, so they don't have a pro side even though pretty much everyone agrees this would be a good thing.

There is also a strong regional identity in the Valleys. They did have a regional side, of sorts, in the first season of Regional rugby. But it was terribly managed and marketed, went bust after just a year. So they have no team now and are divided between the Blues and Ospreys' areas (part of the valleys are in the Dragons' region as well).

There is no historic identity at all based on the Ospreys' area. Gwent (the Dragons' area) was a medieval kingdom but there's no Gwent identity today.

If you were starting from scratch and you wanted 4 regional sides in Wales you'd have West, North, and Valleys, plus put a side in the capital. The sides we ended up with were a compromise that didn't really please anyone.


I'm sorry but I don't agree that north Wales has a strong regional identity and I don't agree that north Wales is a suitable place for a professional sports team. I grew up near to north Wales and have spent quite a lot of time there and have family who have lived there. My opinion of North Welsh is that they lack confidence and identity. They mostly look to Liverpool and Manchester and support football teams in those cities. I am a well-wisher of RGC as it gives the young people of north Wales something to aspire to and something to be proud of, which is something they didn't have when I was growing up.
I agree with you about Llanelli. That was always a regional team. Not so sure about the Valleys though. I think most identify with their own town or village. I know a lot of Welshman who took a beating as a young man for no other reason than for being in the wrong village.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 04:04

Chester-Donnelly wrote:In that case probably the best thing for Italian rugby would to have 4 teams in the Pro 14. The two they have plus Calvisano (who are proving to be more competitive in Europe than I expected) and another Veneto team.

A rebalanced Pro 14 could have 4 conferences of 4:
Ireland conference; Britain conference (2 Scottish, 2 Welsh); Italian conference; and South Africa conference.

The Welsh teams would probably be Scarlets and Cardiff. Ospreys and Dragons could move to the English leagues. They are both probably about English Championship standard. Their addition would be a big boost to the English Championship.


I think that would be the best option moving forward if Italy are going to stay in the Pro 14. That idea hadn't crossed my mind. I don't think a single team would be beneficial as you would still have the issue of lack of derby matches for Italians.

Centrally contract/top up the national team player contracts to spread the talent and look to sign players from Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as other foreigners to supplement the squads but incentive Italian player contracts. The Pro 14 mustn't just be seen as a national team breeding ground, Italian involvement should be seen as an opportunity to grow the Italian market and grow revenue for the rest of the league.

With 4 teams from Italy you'd have more derbies and more games to sell to broadcaster's and sponsors in Italy. You could look for further expansion from Italy in the future.

Maybe restructure the Top 12 as a second division for the pro 14 in Europe with some other European countries involved such as Germany (SC Frankfurt), Netherlands (national team playing out of the NRCA). I think Spain is happy with their own league for the time being, whilst the KRL could work for the Eastern Europeans. Portugal and Belgium maybe but Portuguese players are more interested in their careers and Belgians are getting contracts in France.

Italy would still have it's domestic league but it would only be for clubs who don't have the ambition of playing in the pro 14.
Last edited by ihateblazers on Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 04:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 04:14

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
io.porcorosso wrote:Actually, also in Italy there're strong regional/National feeling.

For instance in Veneto there's pretty a strong connection with our territory, me and several other define ourself as Venetian as a Scottish will do with himself.

The same belong to Sud Tirol or Sardinia, or Naples and Sicily too.

And off course if a Match between DOGI [a Veneto and Friuli selection] would match a serious team as Barbarians or similar, the crowd [where a bit of marketing off course] will be a good one.

But this option do not belong to our set for a long term league.

I don't want to see DOGI each week, against Munster or Toulouse. I want to see Petrarca against them, because this perfectly fit my needs.

The Italian rugby clubs have a long way to build a good league, but the first step is to look at their potential fans and see what they need.

This is not an option which just soccer can achieve. There're several example of other sports where teams had the ability to construct their grassroots within the territory where that belong and then built their structure. Off course flourish and crisis situations are normal, but in Italy at the moment there's no other way but to improve the clubs, which ever format of league we may choose.

Cheers PR-WSM


That's very interesting. So in Veneto the desire of each of the big clubs to play the Pro14 by their own is strong enough to make a Dogi project impossible. That solves my previous question.

In other words you dont mind stop playing Rovigo if you could play in a higher level.


In that case probably the best thing for Italian rugby would to have 4 teams in the Pro 14. The two they have plus Calvisano (who are proving to be more competitive in Europe than I expected) and another Veneto team.

A rebalanced Pro 14 could have 4 conferences of 4:
Ireland conference; Britain conference (2 Scottish, 2 Welsh); Italian conference; and South Africa conference.

The Welsh teams would probably be Scarlets and Cardiff. Ospreys and Dragons could move to the English leagues. They are both probably about English Championship standard. Their addition would be a big boost to the English Championship.


That's a fairly compelling model to be honest. Question is. How open would the WRU and Welsh Rugby fans be to essentially relegating/killing off two pro clubs?

Pretty simple schedule. Home and away in you pool plus a game against each team in the other pool for a total of 18 games.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 04:39

Working Class Rugger wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
io.porcorosso wrote:Actually, also in Italy there're strong regional/National feeling.

For instance in Veneto there's pretty a strong connection with our territory, me and several other define ourself as Venetian as a Scottish will do with himself.

The same belong to Sud Tirol or Sardinia, or Naples and Sicily too.

And off course if a Match between DOGI [a Veneto and Friuli selection] would match a serious team as Barbarians or similar, the crowd [where a bit of marketing off course] will be a good one.

But this option do not belong to our set for a long term league.

I don't want to see DOGI each week, against Munster or Toulouse. I want to see Petrarca against them, because this perfectly fit my needs.

The Italian rugby clubs have a long way to build a good league, but the first step is to look at their potential fans and see what they need.

This is not an option which just soccer can achieve. There're several example of other sports where teams had the ability to construct their grassroots within the territory where that belong and then built their structure. Off course flourish and crisis situations are normal, but in Italy at the moment there's no other way but to improve the clubs, which ever format of league we may choose.

Cheers PR-WSM


That's very interesting. So in Veneto the desire of each of the big clubs to play the Pro14 by their own is strong enough to make a Dogi project impossible. That solves my previous question.

In other words you dont mind stop playing Rovigo if you could play in a higher level.


In that case probably the best thing for Italian rugby would to have 4 teams in the Pro 14. The two they have plus Calvisano (who are proving to be more competitive in Europe than I expected) and another Veneto team.

A rebalanced Pro 14 could have 4 conferences of 4:
Ireland conference; Britain conference (2 Scottish, 2 Welsh); Italian conference; and South Africa conference.

The Welsh teams would probably be Scarlets and Cardiff. Ospreys and Dragons could move to the English leagues. They are both probably about English Championship standard. Their addition would be a big boost to the English Championship.


That's a fairly compelling model to be honest. Question is. How open would the WRU and Welsh Rugby fans be to essentially relegating/killing off two pro clubs?

Pretty simple schedule. Home and away in you pool plus a game against each team in the other pool for a total of 18 games.


That's the main obstacle. But they must be more open to it now after the terrible season the Welsh teams are having. Also, I'm not sure if I'm comparing like for like, but the funding the English Championship clubs receive is a fraction of the budget the Welsh regions get. I think to put Dragons in the English Championship would save the WRU millions. And I don't think the Dragons fans would mind much. They have a very loyal and resilient fan base. I think they just like to watch their team play rugby.
The Ospreys, I'm not so sure about. They are more of a manufactured team. I can see them folding altogether.
I think it's important for Wales to keep a third professional team, but not necessarily four. The Dragons in the English Championship would be a good place for young Welsh players to get some game time. The Welsh national players would all be in the Scarlets and Cardiff, giving Wales two very strong teams.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 06:00

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
io.porcorosso wrote:Actually, also in Italy there're strong regional/National feeling.

For instance in Veneto there's pretty a strong connection with our territory, me and several other define ourself as Venetian as a Scottish will do with himself.

The same belong to Sud Tirol or Sardinia, or Naples and Sicily too.

And off course if a Match between DOGI [a Veneto and Friuli selection] would match a serious team as Barbarians or similar, the crowd [where a bit of marketing off course] will be a good one.

But this option do not belong to our set for a long term league.

I don't want to see DOGI each week, against Munster or Toulouse. I want to see Petrarca against them, because this perfectly fit my needs.

The Italian rugby clubs have a long way to build a good league, but the first step is to look at their potential fans and see what they need.

This is not an option which just soccer can achieve. There're several example of other sports where teams had the ability to construct their grassroots within the territory where that belong and then built their structure. Off course flourish and crisis situations are normal, but in Italy at the moment there's no other way but to improve the clubs, which ever format of league we may choose.

Cheers PR-WSM


That's very interesting. So in Veneto the desire of each of the big clubs to play the Pro14 by their own is strong enough to make a Dogi project impossible. That solves my previous question.

In other words you dont mind stop playing Rovigo if you could play in a higher level.


In that case probably the best thing for Italian rugby would to have 4 teams in the Pro 14. The two they have plus Calvisano (who are proving to be more competitive in Europe than I expected) and another Veneto team.

A rebalanced Pro 14 could have 4 conferences of 4:
Ireland conference; Britain conference (2 Scottish, 2 Welsh); Italian conference; and South Africa conference.

The Welsh teams would probably be Scarlets and Cardiff. Ospreys and Dragons could move to the English leagues. They are both probably about English Championship standard. Their addition would be a big boost to the English Championship.


That's a fairly compelling model to be honest. Question is. How open would the WRU and Welsh Rugby fans be to essentially relegating/killing off two pro clubs?

Pretty simple schedule. Home and away in you pool plus a game against each team in the other pool for a total of 18 games.


That's the main obstacle. But they must be more open to it now after the terrible season the Welsh teams are having. Also, I'm not sure if I'm comparing like for like, but the funding the English Championship clubs receive is a fraction of the budget the Welsh regions get. I think to put Dragons in the English Championship would save the WRU millions. And I don't think the Dragons fans would mind much. They have a very loyal and resilient fan base. I think they just like to watch their team play rugby.
The Ospreys, I'm not so sure about. They are more of a manufactured team. I can see them folding altogether.
I think it's important for Wales to keep a third professional team, but not necessarily four. The Dragons in the English Championship would be a good place for young Welsh players to get some game time. The Welsh national players would all be in the Scarlets and Cardiff, giving Wales two very strong teams.


The only other obstacle is the English system being willing to accept them. What might be cool as another option is for Wales to do something akin to Scotland with their own Super 6 set up. Move the Scarlets and Ospreys down to that level with smaller budgets and put other calls for EOI's for another 4 teams. Join up with the Scots. Play home and away for 10 games plus 6 against Scottish teams. If you could convince the Irish to do the same and you'd have a pretty good semi-pro league going.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 07:16

ihateblazers wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:In that case probably the best thing for Italian rugby would to have 4 teams in the Pro 14. The two they have plus Calvisano (who are proving to be more competitive in Europe than I expected) and another Veneto team.

A rebalanced Pro 14 could have 4 conferences of 4:
Ireland conference; Britain conference (2 Scottish, 2 Welsh); Italian conference; and South Africa conference.

The Welsh teams would probably be Scarlets and Cardiff. Ospreys and Dragons could move to the English leagues. They are both probably about English Championship standard. Their addition would be a big boost to the English Championship.


I think that would be the best option moving forward if Italy are going to stay in the Pro 14. That idea hadn't crossed my mind. I don't think a single team would be beneficial as you would still have the issue of lack of derby matches for Italians.

Centrally contract/top up the national team player contracts to spread the talent and look to sign players from Ireland, Scotland and Wales as well as other foreigners to supplement the squads but incentive Italian player contracts. The Pro 14 mustn't just be seen as a national team breeding ground, Italian involvement should be seen as an opportunity to grow the Italian market and grow revenue for the rest of the league.

With 4 teams from Italy you'd have more derbies and more games to sell to broadcaster's and sponsors in Italy. You could look for further expansion from Italy in the future.

Maybe restructure the Top 12 as a second division for the pro 14 in Europe with some other European countries involved such as Germany (SC Frankfurt), Netherlands (national team playing out of the NRCA). I think Spain is happy with their own league for the time being, whilst the KRL could work for the Eastern Europeans. Portugal and Belgium maybe but Portuguese players are more interested in their careers and Belgians are getting contracts in France.

Italy would still have it's domestic league but it would only be for clubs who don't have the ambition of playing in the pro 14.


It would actually be a pretty model for a European League in my opinion. Particularly the CRL. 4x4 geographic based pools.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Figaro » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 08:57

I can assure you that joining the English system would be considered vastly preferable by the average Welsh fan to being in a League with more Italian teams.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 09:08

Well yes, but if that or a B&I league is not an option, the pro 14 must look to the future.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Figaro » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 10:39

My point is, why would and should the Welsh consent to reduced representation to let more Italians in? The new Italian teams wouldn't be better than the Welsh teams removed. And if you say the removed Welsh teams could join the English system then in that case I'm sure all four would rather be there, even in the second division (and with a chance at going up).

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 11:59

Maybe so. But the WRU wouldn't want the Wales players torn between club and country. And they wouldn't want to lose their European cup places. And with 2 teams, which is basically the Wales squad, they could be real contenders.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 05 Jan 2020, 12:08

Figaro wrote:My point is, why would and should the Welsh consent to reduced representation to let more Italians in? The new Italian teams wouldn't be better than the Welsh teams removed. And if you say the removed Welsh teams could join the English system then in that case I'm sure all four would rather be there, even in the second division (and with a chance at going up).


Ahh. To clarify I'm not in favour of cutting any teams teams from the pro 14. Only expansion in Italy.

I don't think we need to go all super rugby up in here.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby ihateblazers » Mon, 06 Jan 2020, 03:33

A British and Irish League is more likely than Welsh regions joining the Premiership or even championship. It will be more of a case of what CVC as the commerical rights holder can get for a combined competition rather than what the Celts can add to the Premiership.

If a B&I league is more lucrative for everyone, the Welsh and Scots will be on board and I think the English too. The Irish would be the only ones against it but a competition with only the Italians and South Africans wouldn't make sense. It will be very interesting to see what is proposed this year.

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Re: The future of Italian Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Mon, 06 Jan 2020, 04:38

ihateblazers wrote:A British and Irish League is more likely than Welsh regions joining the Premiership or even championship. It will be more of a case of what CVC as the commerical rights holder can get for a combined competition rather than what the Celts can add to the Premiership.

If a B&I league is more lucrative for everyone, the Welsh and Scots will be on board and I think the English too. The Irish would be the only ones against it but a competition with only the Italians and South Africans wouldn't make sense. It will be very interesting to see what is proposed this year.


I agree. That's probably far more likely.

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