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Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 18:36

The 6N is a cartel. Its practically the definition of a cartel. Now Romania have again won the second division they could bring a case through the European courts to try and open them up.

It doesn't matter that they "own" it. They aren't entitled to "own" it at the expense of everyone else's chance to grow and develop.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 19:01

It doesn't matter that they "own" it. They aren't entitled to "own" it at the expense of everyone else's chance to grow and develop.


Yes, but for that World Rugby would have to rule out the possibilty of national union own international competitions of something like that. Or at least to rule out closed national teams competitions. How? That affects TRC too. If WR makes a move to open the 6N, t has to do the same about TRC. And with an enormous risk of a breakaway.

A model more like the Premiership would work better. The Premiership is run by PRL (Premier Rugby Ltd), that currently has 14 wth a stake of the company, 12 Premiership teams + London Irish and Leeds/Yorkshire Carnegie. AFAIK that was one of London Welsh's problems, they coudn't fulfill all critea to own a part of it or something like that. If a relegated team keeps a stake of the 6N Ltd and the promoted team fulfills all minimum criterea to be promoted it should get a stake of the company too. World Rugby and Rugby Europe cold own a part of it too. It is up to make a good share of that, but turning it open.
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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 20:28

No, its fine in World Rugby rules. It is illegal in EU law. You can't run a cartel against the interests of someone inside the tent. Georgia is not in the EU so it can't be illegal to bar them. Romania is in the EU. They can't operate a cartel against them.

The Premiership structure is well dodgy and very open to challenge. It is nothing to emulate. Pro D2's structure of extra money for the relegated side or football's Premier League's 4 year parachute payment might be a better option.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 21:50

Well, but UK is leaving the EU... it won't be an EU-only competition anymore.
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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby amz » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 21:55

sk88, what's the legal ground from EU treaty or legislation?

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 22:06

amz wrote:sk88, what's the legal ground from EU treaty or legislation?


Sorry don't know the legal specifics but the basic principles are that you can't discriminate between nations and prevent freedom of goods, people, services or capital. Cartels that control industries are illegal in all sorts of spheres. 6N is clearly a cartel that openly admits it doesn't even try to help the wider continent and actively tries to hinder it.

If you were looking for a legal challenge the women's 6N with Spain's lock out is probably a better option, that would then get carried through to the men's.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 22:06

victorsra wrote:Well, but UK is leaving the EU... it won't be an EU-only competition anymore.


1) Its based in Dublin so is subject to EU law regardless

2) We don't know what that will mean or when that will happen.

UEFA is based in Switzerland and has non-EU members. It is bound by EU law.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 22:17

We probably need to know more about legislation regarding this aspect. I don't believe we are "discovering the America". But if that is the case Rugby Europe or World Rugby could enter a legal action, defending Georgia, Romania, Spain, whoelse wants to be inside. If that is possible and I am sure they know if it is or not, why they don't do it? That is the question. We go back to the poltical issues about World Rugby (not to mention that it is controlled by tier 1s). But Rugby Europe has nothing to loose.
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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby The Do » Fri, 14 Apr 2017, 23:18

So if the EU step in, what's to stop the 6 Nations corp stopping and the 6 individual unions organising their own 'friendliest' against each other?
With no official trophies like the triple crown or 6 nations trophy, It will no longer be a close tournament but the annual 'friendlies' against traditional rivals.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 00:40

I don't see how you guys think this could be broken up in court. 6N is a private entity, not a public entity. Each Union is responsible to their members, they're private organizations.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Seaton » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 05:26

It should be an easy thing to bring up the respective EU legislation that could be used to force change onto the Six Nations group that would categorise it as a cartel.

If you can't allude to it, then it likely does not exist.

I'll remember to take someone to court the next time someone punches me on a rugby pitch - I wonder how far I'll get. :roll:

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby amz » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 06:42

sk 88 wrote:
amz wrote:sk88, what's the legal ground from EU treaty or legislation?


Sorry don't know the legal specifics but the basic principles are that you can't discriminate between nations and prevent freedom of goods, people, services or capital. Cartels that control industries are illegal in all sorts of spheres. 6N is clearly a cartel that openly admits it doesn't even try to help the wider continent and actively tries to hinder it.

If you were looking for a legal challenge the women's 6N with Spain's lock out is probably a better option, that would then get carried through to the men's.


Thing is, this is the first question a judge will ask when you'll fill the claim.

I do agree that EU allows free movement of goods, services, people, capital but 6N does not restrain other nations from making their own competition. This is how the law will pe applied because 6N is a private venture. That's why I am saying the best way to develop rugby in Europe is to develop REC, at least for now. There are two huge markets there, Spain and Germany, Romanian one is respectable one even if not that big, we have Portugal, Belgium. Give it commercial significance and 6N will have a look.

From sport point of view, none of REC nations is even close of Italy.

Georgia's best result ever is two close wins at RWC and a direct qualification but their records vs T1 is non-existent. Even if they develop young players, they're dependent on other leagues and don't have control over these players. Last but not least, the depth is lacking especially in backs.

Romania is contradictory. While Super Liga does well, the junior system is in tatters. Talent doesn't lack but is so badly managed. Same as Georgia, in 6N would have depth issues.

Spain seems to produce very good junior generation but fail to use them properly at senior level, same for Portugal which have a smaller player base. Both countries would develop faster with a trans Iberian pro competition

Germany does show good signs but I think 7s will be a priority because they have potential to get closer to T1 faster and is also an Olympic sport.

Russia will be kept back by the fact that their main rugby base is not actually in Europe. Same as Germany, 7s will have priority for the same reason.

Italy probably doesn't perform too well in 6N but none of the above mentioned nations is even close. Try looking at the big picture and you'll realize that none of REC nations have the potential to close the gap with Italy in a medium term (10 years). Georgia or Romania may win one match vs Azzuri but this is hardly a benchmark for an extension. Try to see the big picture. REC's best case is Georgia but this team never won vs a T1, all their case is made by winning vs Romania, Tonga and Namibia.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby RugbyPUBtbilisi » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 07:00

amz wrote:Georgia but this team never won vs a T1, all their case is made by winning vs Romania, Tonga and Namibia.


Georgia began playing rugby in 90th, 20-25 years ago.

In last 5 years Georgia beat:
Samoa - 2013
Japan - 2014
Tonga - 2015
Fiji - 2016
Tonga - 2016
Samoa - 2016

Not only Romania or Namibia... Lelos were not playing as good in 2013. And winning Samoa back in 2013 November was sensation for Georgians.
In 2016 Georgians were expecting victory against Japan and Samoa and it was logical.

Anyways everything is yet to come. Relax you will see T1 side beaten by Lelos in few years.

Real thing is, that Lelos do not Naturalize any foreigners and they try to rise their own generations. French agents are living in Tbilisi and importing under age Georgian players in France.

As we all know France is the parent of Georgian Rugby and played crucial role in developing Georgia. Lelos are existing in such strength thanks to France. I think other T1 countries must do the same to other T2.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 07:01

Georgia's youth systems are way ahead of Italy's. You cannot underestimate the amount of investment in infrastructure there has been from the Georgian backer, whilst Italy wastes away half of their unions income on Pro 12 participation and can't even produce decent scrummagers anymore.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby amz » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 07:08

@Pub: all of them are T2 sides. Romania beat as well all those teams in last 25 years and even have a win vs Italy in 2004. As I said, defeating T2 sides is not a benchmark for T1. Only Japan have the basis right now to challenge T1 status after 2019. However, the more you want to develop, the more effort you have to put into it; Georgia plays rugby since Soviet times so not last 20-25 years, that's the time since your independence but a lot of rugby was played in Tbilisi and many Georgians played for Soviet Union.

LE: Fiji was an under strength team in summer, I think only Tonga was full strength. Nevertheless, good tour by Georgia.

@ihateblazers: Success at junior level doesn't guarantee success at senior level. Look at Spain, Portugal. Also, having one backer sugar daddy is excellent but not eternal, you can't rely on only one person. Finally,Georgian infrastructure is noway near Italian one and Germans or Spaniards can replicate the same level of infrastructure in one - two years without any fuss.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 07:22

With the relative costs in Georgia and the amount that has been put in i would beg to differ. Georgia's smallness and centralisation helps them too in that regard. Germany and Spain would need a f@#£ load of euros to have the equivalent investment and it would have to be centered in a few hotspots.

I agree with you that Georgia would probably not be more competitive than Italy with t1 in the short term at least, mid to long term i think they would give it a better shot than Italy with their organisation compared to Italy's conservatism and union ineptitude. They need an opportunity and your argument is pretty much made redundant there. They've only just been given regular test matches V t1 (1 per year is not really regular though is it) how can we make a judgement that they wouldn't be at least as competitive as Italy?

It is just so wrong that t1 nations do not participate in regional championships with meritocracy. I can't believe that it is allowed to go on like this. At least a four year qualification championship should be mandatory.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby RugbyPUBtbilisi » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 08:44

amz wrote:@Pub: all of them are T2 sides. Romania beat as well all those teams in last 25 years and even have a win vs Italy in 2004. As I said, defeating T2 sides is not a benchmark for T1. Only Japan have the basis right now to challenge T1 status after 2019. However, the more you want to develop, the more effort you have to put into it; Georgia plays rugby since Soviet times so not last 20-25 years, that's the time since your independence but a lot of rugby was played in Tbilisi and many Georgians played for Soviet Union.

LE: Fiji was an under strength team in summer, I think only Tonga was full strength. Nevertheless, good tour by Georgia.

@ihateblazers: Success at junior level doesn't guarantee success at senior level. Look at Spain, Portugal. Also, having one backer sugar daddy is excellent but not eternal, you can't rely on only one person. Finally,Georgian infrastructure is noway near Italian one and Germans or Spaniards can replicate the same level of infrastructure in one - two years without any fuss.


So i can remember times when Georgia was hardly beaten by Netherlands, Poland and Luxembourg some 15 years ago.
Japan is already T1 country they need only official announce on paper. They have huge amount of $ in their championship and Rugby Union.

Yeah in 2004 Georgia was loosing on regular basis to everyone but what about now?

Fact is neither you nor John Feehan can predict anything unless it is proved on the field.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 09:05

Seaton wrote:It should be an easy thing to bring up the respective EU legislation that could be used to force change onto the Six Nations group that would categorise it as a cartel.

If you can't allude to it, then it likely does not exist.

I'll remember to take someone to court the next time someone punches me on a rugby pitch - I wonder how far I'll get.
:roll:



That happens. Most famously: http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/forward-jailed-for-on-field-punch-1320625.html

Happened to someone I played with ten years ago too, punched someone on the pitch got done for ABH and had to wear a tag. Another one here from the first page of my google search results: http://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/amateur-rugby-player-jailed-unprovoked-punch/story-28064703-detail/story.html

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 09:15

http://ec.europa.eu/competition/cartels/overview/index_en.html

A cartel is a group of similar, independent companies which join together to fix prices, to limit production or to share markets or customers between them. Action against cartels is a specific type of antitrust enforcement.

Instead of competing with each other, cartel members rely on each others' agreed course of action, which reduces their incentives to provide new or better products and services at competitive prices. As a consequence, their clients (consumers or other businesses) end up paying more for less quality.


It could be argued that 6N does all of these things.

They all work together to stop other people (e.g. Romania) accessing their customers and markets (i.e. fans and the BBC or FR2). The lack of relegation massively reduces their incentives to produce a better product.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby armchair_expert » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 10:42

technically the Six Nations is not a highest division of European Rugby Championships - it's just a fun festival tournament same as Viking Tri Nations - the only diference is that VTN participants did not opt out of participation in the official Rugby Europe International Championships

so if someone wants to challenge Six Nations Rugby Ltd in court then Rugby Europe should change its regulations so that every RE member must participate in REIC

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby GeoRugby » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 12:48

Georgia achieved independence in the early 90`s and it is amazing for such young nation and a poor one as well to have achieved what they have achieved in such a short time. On Senior level as well as Junior one. Georgian rugby have gained respect on international level and that alone is worth a lot. They have beaten every tier2 nation and Georgia will start beating tier1 teams when they begin to arrive in Tbilisi in few years time. It is inevitable, specially with the up and coming talented players. I wonder what excuses will be used then to keep Georgia away from 6N.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 13:35

technically the Six Nations is not a highest division of European Rugby Championships - it's just a fun festival tournament same as Viking Tri Nations - the only diference is that VTN participants did not opt out of participation in the official Rugby Europe International Championships

so if someone wants to challenge Six Nations Rugby Ltd in court then Rugby Europe should change its regulations so that every RE member must participate in REIC


Well, someone can argue that since France, England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland and Italy DON'T play the RE Championships AND together share more market than all the rest of the continent it is a cartel indeed, as cartels never put a banner in front of them saying "welcome to our cartel". The question is who would afford the political onus of doing such a legal action?
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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby jservuk » Sat, 15 Apr 2017, 14:10

Not comfortable with EU getting involved in sports. EU laws have lead to an erosion of the "local lad" playing for his home team. Look at English and Scottish football. They tried to introduce a quota but it was shot down. In the long run the current situation will cause a massive talent drain from poorer countries, to the detriment of local talent.

I made my mind up about EU when they passed a law saying it was illegal to charge women drivers less for car insurance than men on the grounds of discrimination ... ignoring decades of empirical and actuarial evidence. The end result - everyone gets ripped off equally now. Take it to it's logical conclusion, they shouldn't be allowed to charge drivers with a poor record any more than those with a faultless history.

Beware the law of unintended consequences. Also, I can see whoever gets into the 6N will very quickly change their tune to protect their seat at the table, making it harder for the next one to come in.

Instead of trying to barge into the 6N, let's instead lobby for a Euros type tournament; as it grows the 6N will become defunct.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Bolaroid » Sun, 16 Apr 2017, 10:20

Just get behind the Rugby Europe Championship and it will grow.

Russia, Germany, Spain...these are major global nations, and Georgia & Romania are the best rugby nations in continental Europe.

For all Georgia's talk about joining the Six Nations, they couldn't even win it this year. :)

jservuk wrote:Instead of trying to barge into the 6N, let's instead lobby for a Euros type tournament; as it grows the 6N will become defunct.

This. Ask the EU to promote it with some of their funds. Call it the Rugby EU Championship.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby jservuk » Sun, 16 Apr 2017, 11:15

Bolaroid wrote:Just get behind the Rugby Europe Championship and it will grow.

Russia, Germany, Spain...these are major global nations, and Georgia & Romania are the best rugby nations in continental Europe.

For all Georgia's talk about joining the Six Nations, they couldn't even win it this year. :)

jservuk wrote:Instead of trying to barge into the 6N, let's instead lobby for a Euros type tournament; as it grows the 6N will become defunct.

This. Ask the EU to promote it with some of their funds. Call it the Rugby EU Championship.


Strongly disagree with public funds being used to promote a professional sport. If they did want to do this, why not push Basketball, Athletics and any other 2-3 sports that are way ahead of Rugby in terms of popularity? There is a tendency to think just because Rugby is a big sport in France (perhaps the biggest in some parts), that that gives Rugby a pan-european profile.

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