Tier 2 & 3 Rugby Forum

Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

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

Postby thatrugbyguy » Mon, 13 Mar 2017, 21:16

The problem is Western Sydney has been more Rugby League territory since the games split 100 years ago, there would never be any real rivalry with the Waratahs if a Super Rugby team were set up out this way.

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

Postby Figaro » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 09:19

sk 88 wrote:
The Top14 has been sustained for 100 years, the individual clubs will come and go but the league will always be there. Its a massive structural strength of the club game, you don't particularly rely on any one club or owner.


Actually I think it's another indicator of how this is increasingly *not* the case in Rugby. Can you imagine that if Manchester City went bust, Manchester United would buy them - even assuming they could?

The English and French leagues might be nominally club-based but more and more they seem like de facto franchises. Consider the following developments in England:

- Wasps losing "London" their name and moving to Coventry
- Leeds Carnegie changing to Yorkshire Carnegie
- London Irish moving to Reading
- London Welsh moving to Oxford
- London Welsh going bust
- Bedford announcing they do not wish to play in the Premiership if they earn promotion
- Richmond refusing to go professional
- The general malaise in the 2nd tier of English Rugby
- The fact that more often than not over the past few years, the team relegated from the premiership has been immediately promoted back to the premiership.

All of these indicate an increased segregation between the genuinely professional game - the Premiership and the top few Championship teams - and the club system below. I think some kind of ring-fencing is only a matter of time.

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

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 09:22

Osmanperalta wrote:The metropolitan area of Paris counts 12 million people. That says a lot how irrelevant rugby is in Paris.


Its no just rugby before of qatar psg average crowd was only 20.000
The fall of stade francais average is due to his last 2 disastrous season and thanks by a stingy president who has allowed almost all players to leave[/quote]

sk 88 wrote:The Top14 has been sustained for 100 years, the individual clubs will come and go but the league will always be there. Its a massive structural strength of the club game, you don't particularly rely on any one club or owner.


But still those two teams are the champions of 2015 and 2016. They were also the founding members who played against each other 1892 in the first ever match staged as a French final. Those two clubs were the "always be there"-teams.

victorsra wrote:- London will be the only city in professional top rugby with a derby, with Saracens vs Harlequins (I am not counting Japanese Top League, Auckland's Battle of the Bridge). But London too have just seen Wasps going away... When I look at poor crowds in Auckland or Sydney that is the first thing I start to question: wouldn't a true derby soccer-like (but non-violent) culture make wonders for rugby in big cities? Australian soccer and cricket saw that and are growing in Sydney and Melbourne. MLS in NY saw that too.


That's a really interesting thought. Is there to much harmony on the stands to create something like a derby atmosphere? And why does it work in smaller cities against other cities but not in big cities? To be honest: I don't know. Any theories?
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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 10:29

Rugby is not a sport that developed that tribalism in major cities. It's too young a professional sport. The kinds of people who help build the culture in the stands are not interested in rugby and probably never will be, too many prawn sandwich middle class folk. Rugby needs to focus on becoming an entertainment product rather than like footballs super tribalistic culture in my opinion.

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

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 11:27

Figaro wrote:
Actually I think it's another indicator of how this is increasingly *not* the case in Rugby. Can you imagine that if Manchester City went bust, Manchester United would buy them - even assuming they could?

The English and French leagues might be nominally club-based but more and more they seem like de facto franchises. Consider the following developments in England:

- Wasps losing "London" their name and moving to Coventry
- Leeds Carnegie changing to Yorkshire Carnegie
- London Irish moving to Reading
- London Welsh moving to Oxford
- London Welsh going bust
- Bedford announcing they do not wish to play in the Premiership if they earn promotion
- Richmond refusing to go professional
- The general malaise in the 2nd tier of English Rugby
- The fact that more often than not over the past few years, the team relegated from the premiership has been immediately promoted back to the premiership.

All of these indicate an increased segregation between the genuinely professional game - the Premiership and the top few Championship teams - and the club system below. I think some kind of ring-fencing is only a matter of time.


Do you think Rugby in the Aviva and Top 14 could change into a purely closed shop franchise model like in Super Rugby?

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

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 12:04

Figaro wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
The Top14 has been sustained for 100 years, the individual clubs will come and go but the league will always be there. Its a massive structural strength of the club game, you don't particularly rely on any one club or owner.


Actually I think it's another indicator of how this is increasingly *not* the case in Rugby. Can you imagine that if Manchester City went bust, Manchester United would buy them - even assuming they could?

The English and French leagues might be nominally club-based but more and more they seem like de facto franchises. Consider the following developments in England:

- Wasps losing "London" their name and moving to Coventry
- Leeds Carnegie changing to Yorkshire Carnegie
- London Irish moving to Reading
- London Welsh moving to Oxford
- London Welsh going bust
- Bedford announcing they do not wish to play in the Premiership if they earn promotion
- Richmond refusing to go professional
- The general malaise in the 2nd tier of English Rugby
- The fact that more often than not over the past few years, the team relegated from the premiership has been immediately promoted back to the premiership.

All of these indicate an increased segregation between the genuinely professional game - the Premiership and the top few Championship teams - and the club system below. I think some kind of ring-fencing is only a matter of time.


1) That is not to do with what I said. The strength of the model is that some one else steps up and the division overall ploughs on, in Super Rugby for instance they are talking about cutting teams because they are going bust, in the Top 14 another side slots in albeit with a smaller budget and perhaps a weakening of the division.

I didn't say "its just like football", as you correctly describe its very much not like that at all. English rugby definitely has grown features of franchising as the Premiership rugby cartel continue to dominate the others. For the worse in my opinion.

2) Bedford have never announced that, it is one of the more baffling myths in English rugby.

Richmond are as professional as Bedford, they pay their players and have a decent overall budget. They just chose to train in the evening so that most of their players have it as a second job rather than the Bedford/Rotherham model of training during the day and rugby being the main job with a second one attached.

Given we only have 1 up 1 down how often would a different team being promoted be acceptable to you? The favourite will always be the relegated team but in the last seven years we have seen Bristol, Welsh and Exeter break that mold, 3/7 is not really a bad ratio.

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

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 12:08

thatrugbyguy wrote:
Figaro wrote:
Actually I think it's another indicator of how this is increasingly *not* the case in Rugby. Can you imagine that if Manchester City went bust, Manchester United would buy them - even assuming they could?

The English and French leagues might be nominally club-based but more and more they seem like de facto franchises. Consider the following developments in England:

- Wasps losing "London" their name and moving to Coventry
- Leeds Carnegie changing to Yorkshire Carnegie
- London Irish moving to Reading
- London Welsh moving to Oxford
- London Welsh going bust
- Bedford announcing they do not wish to play in the Premiership if they earn promotion
- Richmond refusing to go professional
- The general malaise in the 2nd tier of English Rugby
- The fact that more often than not over the past few years, the team relegated from the premiership has been immediately promoted back to the premiership.

All of these indicate an increased segregation between the genuinely professional game - the Premiership and the top few Championship teams - and the club system below. I think some kind of ring-fencing is only a matter of time.


Do you think Rugby in the Aviva and Top 14 could change into a purely closed shop franchise model like in Super Rugby?



Not while there are more ambitious clubs than places in the top tier. England is close in that you could have a 16 team league and scoop up all the sides with realistic 5 year plans. Does England want a 16 team league though? France not a chance without a catastrophic rugby recession. Much more likely to push on for a third pro tier.

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

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 12:10

{quote}
sk 88 wrote:The Top14 has been sustained for 100 years, the individual clubs will come and go but the league will always be there. Its a massive structural strength of the club game, you don't particularly rely on any one club or owner.


But still those two teams are the champions of 2015 and 2016. They were also the founding members who played against each other 1892 in the first ever match staged as a French final. Those two clubs were the "always be there"-teams.[/quote]

Not really, Racing 92 were only promoted in the last 6 or so years. Stade Francais have been there for 19 or so years. Both have spent large periods of time in the doldrums of the second, or even third in SF's case, division.

They were in the first finals and have a grand history, which is why I doubt this will actually happen, but have not even been close to ever presents in the top flight.

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

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 12:21

sk 88 wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:
Figaro wrote:
Actually I think it's another indicator of how this is increasingly *not* the case in Rugby. Can you imagine that if Manchester City went bust, Manchester United would buy them - even assuming they could?

The English and French leagues might be nominally club-based but more and more they seem like de facto franchises. Consider the following developments in England:

- Wasps losing "London" their name and moving to Coventry
- Leeds Carnegie changing to Yorkshire Carnegie
- London Irish moving to Reading
- London Welsh moving to Oxford
- London Welsh going bust
- Bedford announcing they do not wish to play in the Premiership if they earn promotion
- Richmond refusing to go professional
- The general malaise in the 2nd tier of English Rugby
- The fact that more often than not over the past few years, the team relegated from the premiership has been immediately promoted back to the premiership.

All of these indicate an increased segregation between the genuinely professional game - the Premiership and the top few Championship teams - and the club system below. I think some kind of ring-fencing is only a matter of time.


Do you think Rugby in the Aviva and Top 14 could change into a purely closed shop franchise model like in Super Rugby?



Not while there are more ambitious clubs than places in the top tier. England is close in that you could have a 16 team league and scoop up all the sides with realistic 5 year plans. Does England want a 16 team league though? France not a chance without a catastrophic rugby recession. Much more likely to push on for a third pro tier.


A 16 team league is workable and it's not something I have a hard time believing could happen. Question is, outside of Irish and Yorkshire who are the next likely candidates?

As for the French. Haven't they set aside funds to achieve just that? A third pro tier.

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

Postby Horsehead » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 13:02

thatrugbyguy wrote:
Figaro wrote:
Actually I think it's another indicator of how this is increasingly *not* the case in Rugby. Can you imagine that if Manchester City went bust, Manchester United would buy them - even assuming they could?

The English and French leagues might be nominally club-based but more and more they seem like de facto franchises. Consider the following developments in England:

- Wasps losing "London" their name and moving to Coventry
- Leeds Carnegie changing to Yorkshire Carnegie
- London Irish moving to Reading
- London Welsh moving to Oxford
- London Welsh going bust
- Bedford announcing they do not wish to play in the Premiership if they earn promotion
- Richmond refusing to go professional
- The general malaise in the 2nd tier of English Rugby
- The fact that more often than not over the past few years, the team relegated from the premiership has been immediately promoted back to the premiership.

All of these indicate an increased segregation between the genuinely professional game - the Premiership and the top few Championship teams - and the club system below. I think some kind of ring-fencing is only a matter of time.


Do you think Rugby in the Aviva and Top 14 could change into a purely closed shop franchise model like in Super Rugby?


With the Aviva no. You just need to look at rising attendances and great games like the recent Worcester vs Bristol match to show what relegation brings. If there was no relegation then in a 12 team round robin you would end up with so many meaningless matches and poor attendances like you get in the Pro12. It will hopefully never happen

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

Postby NaBUru38 » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 15:37

victorsra wrote: - It looks like the French simply can't deal with the derby concept. Paris is perhaps the biggest city in Western World with just one top football club (well, I would love to see Red Star back to Ligue 1, but it is difficult)... rugby had the opportunity to develop the derby culture... have they really failed or it was a matter of time and good work on that?

Due to poor management and short vision Paris is throwing away a huge opportunity of develop a great mass culture of professional rugby rivalries that just needed time (after all, professional rugby is young) and good work.


In France, rivalries are Paris vs everyone else.
In Australia, rivalries are Sydney vs everyone else.
In Argentina, rivalries are Buenos Aires vs everyone else.

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

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 16:03

A 16 team league is workable and it's not something I have a hard time believing could happen. Question is, outside of Irish and Yorkshire who are the next likely candidates?

As for the French. Haven't they set aside funds to achieve just that? A third pro tier.


Bedford and Cornish Pirates both have stadium plans, Pirates have I think broken ground whilst Bedford is still very early in planning. Doncaster are pushing for promotion with a small but modern stadium with room for improvement/expansion. If they won promotion they would take it and with planned improvements passed minimum standards audit last summer. Arguably Doncaster have a better set up than Leeds and if the RFU funded academy moved they really would have the whole set up. Ealing are an unknown, they look like Welsh 2.0 to me as they have no ground that could host Prem games and spend a lot on their squad but a successful ground share and an RFU funded academy is all that separates them from London Irish if you look at it another way.

Darlington are in the third tier and play in a modern 25,000 capacity ground they bought off a bust football club, they are more in the 5-10+ years category but have spoken about stepping up and trying to run themselves properly. Plymouth Albion are also in the third tier and always aim high. They have the ground and catchment area to do it but have a history of funny financials on various levels and poor leadership.

But then no one was really talking about Worcester or Exeter until they did it, the whole fun of the system is that anyone could run themselves properly or find a backer and rise through the leagues.

RE:France, yes this is what I was alluding to. They have plans for a third pro tier, so retrenchment to a single franchise league is incredibly unlikely.

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

Postby victorsra » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 22:45

In France, rivalries are Paris vs everyone else.
In Australia, rivalries are Sydney vs everyone else.
In Argentina, rivalries are Buenos Aires vs everyone else.


Of course. This kind of rivalry is just one kind of rivalry and it exists all over the world. Always the biggest city or the centre of power is the enemy of the rest of the country. Here in Brazil too, nobody likes São Paulo. And São Paulo has a strong rivalry with Rio.

But there are the rivalries INSIDE the cities, that are different and coexist with national rivalries. We are talking about different things.

BTW, yes, in Argentina everybody vs Buenos Aires. But go to Rosario and ask if Rosario Central vs Newell's Old Boys is not important. Or go to Australia and try to find in NRL if a South Sydney Rabbitohs fan prefers to beat Brisbane Broncos of the Manly Sea Eagles. Both things matter. They are different.

Using football's references, what if Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid merged? Of course the most important rival for Real Madrid is Barcelona, but Atletico has a meaning. Go to Lisboa, Benfica and Sporting. Porto might be today the most important rival for Benfica: Yes, but Sporting matters. And so on.

Rugby could make nice friendly city rivalries that would make more for the sport than ridiculous merges.
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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 14 Mar 2017, 23:18

sk 88 wrote:
A 16 team league is workable and it's not something I have a hard time believing could happen. Question is, outside of Irish and Yorkshire who are the next likely candidates?

As for the French. Haven't they set aside funds to achieve just that? A third pro tier.


Bedford and Cornish Pirates both have stadium plans, Pirates have I think broken ground whilst Bedford is still very early in planning. Doncaster are pushing for promotion with a small but modern stadium with room for improvement/expansion. If they won promotion they would take it and with planned improvements passed minimum standards audit last summer. Arguably Doncaster have a better set up than Leeds and if the RFU funded academy moved they really would have the whole set up. Ealing are an unknown, they look like Welsh 2.0 to me as they have no ground that could host Prem games and spend a lot on their squad but a successful ground share and an RFU funded academy is all that separates them from London Irish if you look at it another way.

Darlington are in the third tier and play in a modern 25,000 capacity ground they bought off a bust football club, they are more in the 5-10+ years category but have spoken about stepping up and trying to run themselves properly. Plymouth Albion are also in the third tier and always aim high. They have the ground and catchment area to do it but have a history of funny financials on various levels and poor leadership.

But then no one was really talking about Worcester or Exeter until they did it, the whole fun of the system is that anyone could run themselves properly or find a backer and rise through the leagues.

RE:France, yes this is what I was alluding to. They have plans for a third pro tier, so retrenchment to a single franchise league is incredibly unlikely.


Then perhaps the Championship should be reorganised to only include those with the ambition and/or ability to make the jump. There has been rather well covered issues regarding the move to professionalism in the Championship with a number of clubs struggling. Perhaps the RFU and PRL should look to allow those who are struggling to move down while promoting those who can. Then only allow new clubs if they can demonstrate their ability to compete and have long term plans to grow.

This would also require an all round business plan for that level to attract sponsorship and TV interest.

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

Postby Figaro » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 08:46

thatrugbyguy wrote:Do you think Rugby in the Aviva and Top 14 could change into a purely closed shop franchise model like in Super Rugby?


I don't really know enough about the Top14 to comment there.

As for the English premiership though - and bearing in mind that my perspective is that of an outsider - whilst I think they will always nominally be club sides, I think there's a lot to argue that they are already de facto franchises. The RFU academies are organized on a regional basis centered around the Premiership clubs (so Exeter has responsibility for Devon/Cornwall, Sale for the North West, etc.), the clubs market themselves well beyond the boundaries of the towns whose names they take, and the list I gave above provides examples of different ways in the successful ones have behaved in a franchise-like manner whilst the others fail to thrive (although point taken about Bedford sk88; sorry about that one).

The obvious exception is that they do still have promotion and relegation, but the idea of ringfencing - usually with expansion to include the best Championship sides - has been mooted several times. I imagine the fans would be against it and I agree that it provides excitement, but on the other hand, for the Bristols/Worcesters of this world, financially ringfencing might make the more attractive option than remaining under the risk of the sword of Damocles that is relegation.

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

Postby Thomas » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 10:02

We would have to wait and see what happens in England I understand from what clubs have been told there is a big re-alignment in the offing.

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

Postby BertSolomon » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 11:11

sk 88 wrote:no one was really talking about Worcester or Exeter until they did it, the whole fun of the system is that anyone could run themselves properly or find a backer and rise through the leagues.


Spot on. Rob Andrew said a couple of years ago - looking back on 20 years of professionalism - that ringfencing the top division would have been a mistake as it would have discouraged the entrepreneurs. In 1995, nobody would have imagined rugby been as popular as it is today in places Worcester or Exeter or even London. That club rugby gets the big crowds it does today is down to the vision and investment of people like Cecil Duckworth and Tony Rowe and Nigel Wray.

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

Postby ihateblazers » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 11:42

Just to touch on the argument that we cannot tinker with the 6 nations because of the need for breaks inbetween interational matches. I think it's a bit of a myth to be frank. Especially when it comes to the 6 nations, it's a bit of self flagellation about how 'intense' the 6 nations is reallu. It's almost a subconscious scaremongering tactic used against change. We see the interational sides play up to 4 games in a row in November annualy, the tier 2 match excuse of less intensity can be used for Italy as well. I think it is more of a legacy from the amateur era just like many other quirks of the game.

The bigger problem is burnout in the Northern hemisphere and the fact that rugby in general as a professional sport hasn't really come to grips with optimum playing vs rest time, as well as the make up of the game. The whole professional game is a bit of a mess in that regard.

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

Postby Figaro » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 11:58

Thomas wrote:We would have to wait and see what happens in England I understand from what clubs have been told there is a big re-alignment in the offing.


Source/link?

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

Postby Thomas » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 14:12

Figaro wrote:
Thomas wrote:We would have to wait and see what happens in England I understand from what clubs have been told there is a big re-alignment in the offing.


Source/link?


I don't have an official link but this is from the RFU.

A survey was sent to all clubs about possible changes at the lower levels (LEVEL 4 and below that is my understanding) reducing the amount of teams in the leagues and moving teams to a geographical area more appropriate to reduce travel costs which is considerable for many clubs i.e. a sideways move to another leagues.

The survey came out in 2015/2016 but results have not been released. Originally the changes were intended for the end of the current season but nothing has been released to the clubs just that it will happen. so at present waiting for the RFU (England Rugby) to release and how will affect all the leagues.

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

Postby sk 88 » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 17:57

Working Class Rugger wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
A 16 team league is workable and it's not something I have a hard time believing could happen. Question is, outside of Irish and Yorkshire who are the next likely candidates?

As for the French. Haven't they set aside funds to achieve just that? A third pro tier.


Bedford and Cornish Pirates both have stadium plans, Pirates have I think broken ground whilst Bedford is still very early in planning. Doncaster are pushing for promotion with a small but modern stadium with room for improvement/expansion. If they won promotion they would take it and with planned improvements passed minimum standards audit last summer. Arguably Doncaster have a better set up than Leeds and if the RFU funded academy moved they really would have the whole set up. Ealing are an unknown, they look like Welsh 2.0 to me as they have no ground that could host Prem games and spend a lot on their squad but a successful ground share and an RFU funded academy is all that separates them from London Irish if you look at it another way.

Darlington are in the third tier and play in a modern 25,000 capacity ground they bought off a bust football club, they are more in the 5-10+ years category but have spoken about stepping up and trying to run themselves properly. Plymouth Albion are also in the third tier and always aim high. They have the ground and catchment area to do it but have a history of funny financials on various levels and poor leadership.

But then no one was really talking about Worcester or Exeter until they did it, the whole fun of the system is that anyone could run themselves properly or find a backer and rise through the leagues.

RE:France, yes this is what I was alluding to. They have plans for a third pro tier, so retrenchment to a single franchise league is incredibly unlikely.


Then perhaps the Championship should be reorganised to only include those with the ambition and/or ability to make the jump. There has been rather well covered issues regarding the move to professionalism in the Championship with a number of clubs struggling. Perhaps the RFU and PRL should look to allow those who are struggling to move down while promoting those who can. Then only allow new clubs if they can demonstrate their ability to compete and have long term plans to grow.

This would also require an all round business plan for that level to attract sponsorship and TV interest.


I agree a system of realistic, clear and transparent minimum standards could drive improvements at many levels and in particular Championship. They also need to cut the apron strings from the RFU and stop relying on them to fix their issues. Level 2 will never be an RFU priority so will never get good commercial deals from RFU.

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

Postby sk 88 » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 17:59

Thomas wrote:
Figaro wrote:
Thomas wrote:We would have to wait and see what happens in England I understand from what clubs have been told there is a big re-alignment in the offing.


Source/link?


I don't have an official link but this is from the RFU.

A survey was sent to all clubs about possible changes at the lower levels (LEVEL 4 and below that is my understanding) reducing the amount of teams in the leagues and moving teams to a geographical area more appropriate to reduce travel costs which is considerable for many clubs i.e. a sideways move to another leagues.

The survey came out in 2015/2016 but results have not been released. Originally the changes were intended for the end of the current season but nothing has been released to the clubs just that it will happen. so at present waiting for the RFU (England Rugby) to release and how will affect all the leagues.



I think that was largely scrapped because the clubs at those levels didn't want the reduction in league sizes that was proposed. It was called the "Adult Competition Review" from memory, rolling-maul forum savaged the ideas from it for months.

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

Postby dropkick » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 20:07

One thing they could easily do is scrap the U20 6 nations and have an U20 European championship. The U20 6 nations is a good tournament but I don't think there would be too many tears if it was scrapped.

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

Postby jservuk » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 20:13

sk 88 wrote:
thatrugbyguy wrote:Not quite related to this thread but in amazing news Racing Metro and Stade Francais have agreed to merge for next season. Wonder if there's trouble with sustainability of the Top 14.



More is emerging and it seems this more like a take over of SF by Racing than a genuine merger. The players are uniformly against it on social media and it turns out that for the merger to happen the amateur sections need to agree as they hold the pro licences and that is far from certain.

It does look like Stade are going bust either way though as unless Stade can find someone else to plug the financial hole they will be relegated under financial rules. The chairman certainly won't be putting his own money in anymore, the "merger" makes that abundantly clear.

The Top14 has been sustained for 100 years, the individual clubs will come and go but the league will always be there. Its a massive structural strength of the club game, you don't particularly rely on any one club or owner.


Is this the same guy who took SF to Stade de France and brought in a record 80,000 to watch a club game? The media magnate who enlisted Madonna and some other A-list celeb as mascots? I honestly thought at the time that SF were on course to usurp PSG as the biggest game in town. What has gone wrong?

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

Postby 4N » Wed, 15 Mar 2017, 20:15

dropkick wrote:One thing they could easily do is scrap the U20 6 nations and have an U20 European championship. The U20 6 nations is a good tournament but I don't think there would be too many tears if it was scrapped.


Best solution in the short term IMHO.

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