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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 honestly_united » Thu, 06 Feb 2020, 14:19

As a rugby fan that wants to see rugby grow outwith the traditional nations then a Euro Championship would be a great idea, but at the moment I dont see how it fits in the current schedule.

I think as has been said earlier running it during the Lions year is probably the best option to kick off the tournament. The obstacles being the SH teams missing out on a tour (except whoever the lions are playing), France & Italy are full strength, Scotland 90%, and Ireland, Wales and England at 25-50% full strength. Im sure Italy would be happy to join a tournament on that basis, but would France?

Additionally Im sure the British teams would be happier with 3 or 4 weeks camp in Europe playing a good standard of games while hte lions is on, but the SH, American and PI teams would be missing out on another summer tour - that would leave them only getting 1 every other year as the WC wipes out 1. The NH teams its probably better than long flights - for example i think it was during the last lions tour that Scotland played, Canada, the US then Argentina, then SA. A couple of hours flight over to Europe would probably be much preferable.

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

Postby ihateblazers » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 07:11

I don't know why the 6 Nations unions have play more test matches vs T2 nations than SANZAAR are required to. If it was evenly spread between the two hemispheres that would open some space, even if it were still the same amount of T1vT2 nation tests in total.

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

Postby Edgar » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 08:56

Good point, HU. If they had a European Cup during the Lions tour, they wouldn't be making those other tours and nations like Japan would miss out. Also, as mentioned, half the games in a European Cup would likely involve 6 Nations team vs 6 Nations team, which is the last thing we need to see.

Fact is, we already have a European championship, so a tournament version once every 4 years would basically be redundant. I think we have the right format already in place for rugby, a complex team sport requiring regular match practice. All that's missing is promotion-relegation between the 6 Nations and ENC.

The Southern Hemisphere should also come to the party, of course. If they continue with SANZAAR, then certainly they should expand the Rugby Championship to 5 with the Pacific champion included. If it breaks up as rumored, NZ & Australia could join Japan and the Pacific Islands in an annual 6 Nations (including promotion-relegation within the Asia-Pacific region).




Meanwhile, Fijian RU now denying they have had any discussions about joining the 6 Nations: https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/sports/rugby ... x-nations/

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

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 10:10

Edgar wrote:Good point, HU. If they had a European Cup during the Lions tour, they wouldn't be making those other tours and nations like Japan would miss out. Also, as mentioned, half the games in a European Cup would likely involve 6 Nations team vs 6 Nations team, which is the last thing we need to see.

Fact is, we already have a European championship, so a tournament version once every 4 years would basically be redundant. I think we have the right format already in place for rugby, a complex team sport requiring regular match practice. All that's missing is promotion-relegation between the 6 Nations and ENC.

The Southern Hemisphere should also come to the party, of course. If they continue with SANZAAR, then certainly they should expand the Rugby Championship to 5 with the Pacific champion included. If it breaks up as rumored, NZ & Australia could join Japan and the Pacific Islands in an annual 6 Nations (including promotion-relegation within the Asia-Pacific region).




Meanwhile, Fijian RU now denying they have had any discussions about joining the 6 Nations: https://www.fbcnews.com.fj/sports/rugby ... x-nations/


It's more speculation than rumour. Happens pretty much every rights cycle.

Regarding the SH teams they could in theory form their own regional-esque Championship. In it's simplest form that would be the Pacific Nations Cup involving Aus, NZ, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, Japan, the USA and Canada. But that could be expanded somewhat to bring in Argentina, Uruguay and South Africa. Depending on which team is hosting the Lions they can be cut from that edition. Two pools of 5. Winner of each pool plays in the final.

In the case of the European Championships considering the UK has now left the EU you could argue that perhaps they might not be included in the concept. This way. May be Scotland could be included if they have a 2nd referendum and vote to leave the union. This way you'd likely have a pretty much full strength Scotland and a pretty strong Ireland alongside France and Italy.

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

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 10:40

Edgar wrote:I think we have the right format already in place for rugby, a complex team sport requiring regular match practice. All that's missing is promotion-relegation between the 6 Nations and ENC.


No, we don't have the right format in place, otherwise it wouldn't be limited to a such small number of nations who play it seriously. Only other world sport taken less serious in average in Europe is cricket.

No, the "complex team sport requiring regular match practice" is BS. Every team sport is complex, all other world team sports have more games played.

Yes, we do have a European Championship. But this is overshadowed by a closed shop private tournament, which has for historical reasons the support of the world federation. This private tournament massively hinders growth, as sanctions of any kind always do.

This is only based on the implemented and traditional elitist thinking in rugby, which is now reinforced by the need to create money and has no other base whatsoever.

Is promotion/relegation the reason. Short-term maybe.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 10:42

Working Class Rugger wrote:
In the case of the European Championships considering the UK has now left the EU you could argue that perhaps they might not be included in the concept. This way. May be Scotland could be included if they have a 2nd referendum and vote to leave the union. This way you'd likely have a pretty much full strength Scotland and a pretty strong Ireland alongside France and Italy.


I tend to believe, that Britain is still located in Europe though, but I haven't checked since Brexit happened. Anyone got a friend in Calais, to see if they are still there? :lol:
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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

Postby Working Class Rugger » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 10:45

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
In the case of the European Championships considering the UK has now left the EU you could argue that perhaps they might not be included in the concept. This way. May be Scotland could be included if they have a 2nd referendum and vote to leave the union. This way you'd likely have a pretty much full strength Scotland and a pretty strong Ireland alongside France and Italy.


I tend to believe, that Britain is still located in Europe though, but I haven't checked since Brexit happened. Anyone got a friend in Calais, to see if they are still there? :lol:


Not according to Brexiteers its not. That was the whole point of the vote. It was just a though more than anything.

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

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 10:53

Working Class Rugger wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
In the case of the European Championships considering the UK has now left the EU you could argue that perhaps they might not be included in the concept. This way. May be Scotland could be included if they have a 2nd referendum and vote to leave the union. This way you'd likely have a pretty much full strength Scotland and a pretty strong Ireland alongside France and Italy.


I tend to believe, that Britain is still located in Europe though, but I haven't checked since Brexit happened. Anyone got a friend in Calais, to see if they are still there? :lol:


Not according to Brexiteers its not. That was the whole point of the vote. It was just a though more than anything.


You mix up EU and Europe. 2 out of 6 REC teams are not in the EU and will most likely never be. There is no such thing as a EU-Championship. The only still existing championship created to only celebrate a political bound are the Commonwealth games. Different mindset.

Nobody would ever want a European championship without England. That's the central and Western European way of thinking. If not everyone has an equal chance to take part, it is an inferior championship.
How to grow rugby worldwide?
Look at the world ranking in July. Teams ranked 1-10 have to play one team from 11-20 (they don't play in a regular competition) away the next year. 11-20 play 21-30 away and so on. Yes, it really is that simple.

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

Postby Edgar » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 16:44

Rugby Liege, ENC is open to every team in Europe, even those where the game is hardly played, and includes the vast majority of European nations in its annual championships. That's a major accomplishment. The reason rugby remains "limited to a such small number of nations who play it seriously" is because the pathway to the top is being blocked by the 6 Nations - the very matter we are discussing here.

Like Romania in the amateur era, Georgia in the pro era has found that it can go no further, being restricted to a second tier competition as it is. Italy may be struggling in the 6 Nations, but they are certainly a better side today than the one which conceded a century to the All Blacks at the 99 World Cup and also lost to Tonga.

Yes, rugby is a complex sport requiring regular match practice. That's a basic truism. Why do you think the Springboks struggled when they came out of isolation? Why do you think the Pacific Islands are complaining about lack of regular fixtures? & their grievances are certainly recognized by the wider rugby community. The idea that rugby is not a complex sport requiring regular match practice is astonishingly naive - and a good definition of BS.

In fact, your next two paragraphs - about a closed shop tournament hindering the game's growth - repeat precisely what I've been saying, so I'm not sure how this was intended to reinforce your point of view. But we can certainly agree on that much, regardless. It's closed shop, yes, which hinders the game's growth, yes, and the simplest key to unlocking it is a promotion-relegation fixture.

Finally, without explaining why, you describe promotion-relegation as a short-term solution only. Personally I see it as more of a long-term solution. I have no doubt the incumbent would win such a fixture for at least the next decade or two, but with the ultimate prize to aim for, the ENC 1 teams are suddenly going to have a much greater incentive to raise their game, and who knows where that may lead?

I am also wondering what your own solutions are. No promotion-relegation, because you view it as a short term solution only (despite your own "closed shop" comments). No regular tests, because you don't see rugby as a complex sport requiring regular match practice (despite all evidence to the contrary). Perhaps you have some magical formula in mind that nobody in the rugby fraternity has ever dreamed of before . . . :roll:

Meanwhile, league 9s set to bid for Olympic status. I'm not sure their Sydney Lebanese and Melbourne Greek teams will meet the stricter eligibility laws, however :? https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/rugby-leag ... cial-NRLFS

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

Postby NaBUru38 » Fri, 07 Feb 2020, 23:35

I think that the proper way should be to expand to 8 teams, with 2 groups of 4 teams and a final phase.

But as much as I love discussing tournament formats, it doesn't matter. The problem is that the 6 Nations don't want to include the rest of Europe. Until that changes, nothing else matters for Georgia, Russia, Romania and Spain.

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

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 03:28

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby ... d-Cup.html

It seems that Six Nations expansion will happen through South Africa joining the tournament.

This would surely break up Super Rugby would it not?

To me it seems logical for Argentina to also join the Six Nations, and for South Africa and Argentina to be replaced by Japan and Fiji in the Rugby Championship.

A new provincial tournament for South Africa and Argentina could replace Super Rugby. In the East, teams from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Pacific Islands, Hong Kong etc could compete in a new competition to replace Super Rugby and GRR.

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

Postby Bolaroid » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 04:31

Chester-Donnelly wrote:To me it seems logical for Argentina to also join the Six Nations, and for South Africa and Argentina to be replaced by Japan and Fiji in the Rugby Championship.

If it came to it, I agree that would be the natural progression. Still, I'm not convinced the story about SA joining the 6N is true.

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

Postby Canalina » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 05:44

I doubt that they are really thinking about that and I hope it will not happen. To involve South Africa and/or Argentina would transform the Six Nations in something different from its historic soul; it would become just a super-tournament like the Championship. And with no warranties that, after ten years or so, someone could not have the idea to invite also Usa and Japan in place of Italy and Scotland, so transforming definitively the tournament in something totally different from its history.
I would even prefer the idea of the world league (that I don't love) to this scenario of two macro-tournaments in the northern and in the southern hemisphere

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

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 07:26

Bolaroid and Canalina I agree with both of you. I shared the story because I found it, but I don't think I believe it and I don't want it to be true. The article also talks about selling TV rights to the highest bidder. If the Six Nations was bought by pay-to-view TV, that would absolutely kill the Six Nations and would really set back rugby. Personally, I wouldn't pay to watch Six Nations on TV, and it would no longer be the thing everyone in work chats about during February and March.

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

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 07:42

I guess the one good thing is that Japan will definitely join the RC if that happens. Fiji would probably join up as well. It makes a lot of sense for the Rugby Championship. It would also mean that Australia and New Zealand will have work together more. Integrate Asia and the Pacific immediately with relegation play offs to regions and look to integrate the America's in the near future as well.

I'd be in favour of South Africa joining the 6N if there were future plans for Rugby Europe and Rugby Africa integration. Although it's highly unlikely since the 6 nation's prefers short term solutions. But maybe that's why South Africa has their agreement in place with Georgia.

Have a Europe/Africa nation's league type running every year and a proper European championship and African Cup every 4 years

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

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 07:56

ihateblazers wrote:I guess the one good thing is that Japan will definitely join the RC if that happens. Fiji would probably join up as well. It makes a lot of sense for the Rugby Championship. It would also mean that Australia and New Zealand will have work together more. Integrate Asia and the Pacific immediately and look to integrate the America's in the near future.

I'd be in favour of South Africa joining the 6N if there were future plans for Rugby Europe and Rugby Africa integration. Although it's highly unlikely since the 6 nation's prefers short term solutions. But maybe that's why South Africa has their agreement in place with Georgia.

Have a Europe/Africa nation's league type running every year and a proper European championship and African Cup every 4 years


I do think it would make sense for Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia to be integrated into the REIC if they want to play more international rugby matches and improve.
West Africa have started holding an annual rugby tournament, and East and Southern Africa have the Victoria Cup. Namibia can play in South Africa's provincial competitions.

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

Postby Edgar » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 08:57

I guess money talks, but adding South Africa to the 6 Nations just seems like another step in the wrong direction to me. How on earth are the second tier supposed to be competitive at the World Cup? The only silver lining is that it may, as suggested, push NZ & Australia in the direction of Asia and the Pacific.

Abandoning tradition for the sake of progress is one thing, but that would not be the case with South Africa, who would simply wreck the European identity of the championship, and perhaps reduce one or two more teams to the status of perennial also-rans alongside Italy.

Moreover, it would take them away from their own region, and while South Africa may not actually be involved in African competition, a scenario whereby SANZAAR collapsed and the 6 Nations rejected them might just see the Boks turn to the likes of Namibia, while also maintaining ties with Argentina, of course. Initially they might look at a 4 Nations with the Welwitschias and Los Teros involved.

As for the North Africans, Tunisia and Morocco were involved in the old FIRA competition and did quite well, playing mostly in the top division. This served them well as most of their players were based in France anyway. They were forced to join Africa when ENC replaced the FIRA at the turn of the century and appear to have gone downhill since then. But in the interests of developing regional competition, that is where they belong.

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

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 09:44

Edgar wrote:I guess money talks, but adding South Africa to the 6 Nations just seems like another step in the wrong direction to me. How on earth are the second tier supposed to be competitive at the World Cup? The only silver lining is that it may, as suggested, push NZ & Australia in the direction of Asia and the Pacific.

Abandoning tradition for the sake of progress is one thing, but that would not be the case with South Africa, who would simply wreck the European identity of the championship, and perhaps reduce one or two more teams to the status of perennial also-rans alongside Italy.

Moreover, it would take them away from their own region, and while South Africa may not actually be involved in African competition, a scenario whereby SANZAAR collapsed and the 6 Nations rejected them might just see the Boks turn to the likes of Namibia, while also maintaining ties with Argentina, of course. Initially they might look at a 4 Nations with the Welwitschias and Los Teros involved.

As for the North Africans, Tunisia and Morocco were involved in the old FIRA competition and did quite well, playing mostly in the top division. This served them well as most of their players were based in France anyway. They were forced to join Africa when ENC replaced the FIRA at the turn of the century and appear to have gone downhill since then. But in the interests of developing regional competition, that is where they belong.


I do agree with you Edgar, but from a business and marketing point of view the Six Nations and South Africa are both within the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. The world could be divided into 3 regions (Americas, EMEA, Asia Pacific). This has already been done with the ARC and the Americas Rugby Challenge in the Americas, and there are also many proponents of the Asia Pacific region being organised along the same lines. EMEA tournaments is a logical continuation of this with rugby being organised along timezones. But any competitions do need to be practicable for amateur unions with small budgets. Namibia should be improving by playing South African teams, whilst North African teams would benefit from playing teams from Southern Europe. There should still be an African Nations Cup, but more regular games can be played without excessive travel.

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

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 10:43

This idea seems to get brought up every couple of years and eventually gets watered down. That said, if this time were different, the 6N will be exposed for the hypocrites they are, and will be rightly called out for it.

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

Postby Canalina » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 11:07

I don't know the liability of the various english newspapers but some fans in Italy are saying that the Daily Mail is a junk newspaper and that its "news" has no value at all

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

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 11:19

The problem is it isn't only the Daily Mail. L'Équipe published a very similar article last weekend. They are clearly considering this possibility.

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

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 11:30

Canalina wrote:I don't know the liability of the various english newspapers but some fans in Italy are saying that the Daily Mail is a junk newspaper and that its "news" has no value at all


The Daily Mail has a bad reputation for it's news and tabloid tendencies but their rugby section usually is on point and they have a pretty good network of sources to be fair.

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

Postby ihateblazers » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 11:46

Edgar wrote:Abandoning tradition for the sake of progress is one thing, but that would not be the case with South Africa, who would simply wreck the European identity of the championship, and perhaps reduce one or two more teams to the status of perennial also-rans alongside Italy.


I'm not sure if it really has a European identity. Apart from the addition of Italy, the tournament has usually been seen as the British + France by the British market and not necessarily a European tournament. A nod to history and the empire.

I guess if they are focusing on the British market, South Africa is a "palatable" addition with their commonwealth history.

Wouldn't be surprised if they kicked out Italy so they wouldn't have to share revenue with them anymore.

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

Postby rey200 » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 11:49

possible. But what about South Africa? Will they still take part in the RC? I can't believe SA is going to ditch their All Blacks fixtures
Ceterum censeo Sex Nationes esse augendas.

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

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 12:31

rey200 wrote:possible. But what about South Africa? Will they still take part in the RC? I can't believe SA is going to ditch their All Blacks fixtures


There's no fixture clash so I guess they could play in both. The only fixture clash would be between the Six Nations and Super Rugby. South Africa could start their own Premier League played April to June.

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