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Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby carbonero » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 04:14

carbonero wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:Under the revamp it would be four games. Two against one nation. Aus/ NZ X2 and SA/Arg X2 and then one against the other two either home or away. That's 4 games.

Sorry. I think you are right. Here ESPN reported that one of NZ and Australia would play twice in South Africa and the other one twice in Argentina. That would save them one transoceanic flight but doesn’t make any sense after that.

La Nación is reporting the same. Do you have access to the Herald report?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Edgar » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 07:49

carbonero wrote:The tournament won't be reduced. It stays at six games.


The standard format is currently 12 games and that will be the case again this season. It is only reduced to a single round in World Cup years. But indeed the format being discussed entails reducing it to a single round every season.

It's all very simple but has been presented in an unnecessarily opaque manner as organizers attempt to package it up as something innovative and forward-looking and the press seeks to sell a story that gets readers beyond the opening line.

In saying that, I'm all for it. & while putting a trophy at stake between SA and Argentina is a reasonable idea, I don't see the need for any of the teams to meet more than once a year so long as the Championship continues. This is a formula for overkill.

There may have been some enthralling contests in days of yore, when three-test Bledisloe Cup series' were held biennially, but the rugby world was a much smaller place back then with commitments few and far between.

What I'm especially not a fan of is the home & away format, which only requires the holder to win one of the two games to keep the silverware. That's a real damp squib.

The Pacific 6 Nations I have in mind would entail 2 groups of 3 leading directly to a final, 3rd and 5th playoffs. That could be played at a single venue over a 2 week period, preferably as an early season warm-up.

New Zealand and Australia would obviously be seeded and drawn in separate pools, and while they would be likely to meet in the final, the Bledisloe Cup would certainly not be at stake.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 11:56

Edgar wrote:
carbonero wrote:The tournament won't be reduced. It stays at six games.


The standard format is currently 12 games and that will be the case again this season. It is only reduced to a single round in World Cup years. But indeed the format being discussed entails reducing it to a single round every season.

It's all very simple but has been presented in an unnecessarily opaque manner as organizers attempt to package it up as something innovative and forward-looking and the press seeks to sell a story that gets readers beyond the opening line.

In saying that, I'm all for it. & while putting a trophy at stake between SA and Argentina is a reasonable idea, I don't see the need for any of the teams to meet more than once a year so long as the Championship continues. This is a formula for overkill.

There may have been some enthralling contests in days of yore, when three-test Bledisloe Cup series' were held biennially, but the rugby world was a much smaller place back then with commitments few and far between.

What I'm especially not a fan of is the home & away format, which only requires the holder to win one of the two games to keep the silverware. That's a real damp squib.

The Pacific 6 Nations I have in mind would entail 2 groups of 3 leading directly to a final, 3rd and 5th playoffs. That could be played at a single venue over a 2 week period, preferably as an early season warm-up.

New Zealand and Australia would obviously be seeded and drawn in separate pools, and while they would be likely to meet in the final, the Bledisloe Cup would certainly not be at stake.


Each tier 1 team plays about 12 games per year, 6 home games. Under this new format the Rugby Championship teams lose 2 games, 1 home game. With a single round robin format they would lose another game. This is not such a problem for Australia and New Zealand because I am sure they will replace those games with matches against Japan and possibly Fiji, and each other. But for South Africa and Argentina, it would leave them seriously out of pocket. I believe that is why they are not going right down to the single round robin format.
With this format South Africa and Argentina each have 10 games per year from July internationals (3), The Rugby Championship (4) and year end internationals (3).

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 14:17

The economic solution would be soooo simple: ad Japan. 5 teams. 4 matches each.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 14:31

victorsra wrote:The economic solution would be soooo simple: ad Japan. 5 teams. 4 matches each.

Where would Japan vs Argentina be played? They are at opposite corners of the earth. 24 hours travel time plus jetlag is not sustainable.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Edgar » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 15:12

Chester has some good ideas and the best intentions, but once again it appears his focus is more on accommodating the established powers than creating new pathways for emerging nations to make their way to the top.

While a second SA-Argentina test may be advantageous for both nations in the short term, long term it would be better if they made use of that window of opportunity to take on some of the developing nations within their own spheres of influence.

I'd rather see the Boks play an annual test in Windhoek than take on the Pumas again, for instance. Call it the Ellis Cup after the great Springbok loosie Jan Ellis, who also played for Namibia. Sure, there might be a blow-out now and again, but if you're prepared to play them at the World Cup, you are really obliged to play them in between.

Regrettably I have read a few negative comments on South African Facebook pages about the proposed change. & that simply boils down to the kind of colonial era arrogance we have discussed here before. The Boks need to be engaging Africa more, while the Pumas' priority is obviously South America. Playing the Kiwis and Aussies ad infinitum isn't helping anyone.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 15:44

Edgar wrote:Chester has some good ideas and the best intentions, but once again it appears his focus is more on accommodating the established powers than creating new pathways for emerging nations to make their way to the top.

While a second SA-Argentina test may be advantageous for both nations in the short term, long term it would be better if they made use of that window of opportunity to take on some of the developing nations within their own spheres of influence.

I'd rather see the Boks play an annual test in Windhoek than take on the Pumas again, for instance. Call it the Ellis Cup after the great Springbok loosie Jan Ellis, who also played for Namibia. Sure, there might be a blow-out now and again, but if you're prepared to play them at the World Cup, you are really obliged to play them in between.

Regrettably I have read a few negative comments on South African Facebook pages about the proposed change. & that simply boils down to the kind of colonial era arrogance we have discussed here before. The Boks need to be engaging Africa more, while the Pumas' priority is obviously South America. Playing the Kiwis and Aussies ad infinitum isn't helping anyone.


I do fear a blow out. Junior Springboks or Classic Springboks vs Namibia invitational XV might be a more equal contest.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 16:35

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:The economic solution would be soooo simple: ad Japan. 5 teams. 4 matches each.

Where would Japan vs Argentina be played? They are at opposite corners of the earth. 24 hours travel time plus jetlag is not sustainable.


The same way Jaguares play the Sunwolves now.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 16:40

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:The economic solution would be soooo simple: ad Japan. 5 teams. 4 matches each.

Where would Japan vs Argentina be played? They are at opposite corners of the earth. 24 hours travel time plus jetlag is not sustainable.


The same way Jaguares play the Sunwolves now.


They won't be playing each other again. Travelling that far for one rugby game is ridiculous. What would Gretta Thumberg have to say about it? She would be pretty angry. It would be fine for a 2 or 3 match tour. No one suggesting putting New Zealand in the Six Nations, so why do people think Japan and Argentina both being in the Rugby Championship is viable?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 04 Mar 2020, 17:29

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Edgar wrote:Chester has some good ideas and the best intentions, but once again it appears his focus is more on accommodating the established powers than creating new pathways for emerging nations to make their way to the top.

While a second SA-Argentina test may be advantageous for both nations in the short term, long term it would be better if they made use of that window of opportunity to take on some of the developing nations within their own spheres of influence.

I'd rather see the Boks play an annual test in Windhoek than take on the Pumas again, for instance. Call it the Ellis Cup after the great Springbok loosie Jan Ellis, who also played for Namibia. Sure, there might be a blow-out now and again, but if you're prepared to play them at the World Cup, you are really obliged to play them in between.

Regrettably I have read a few negative comments on South African Facebook pages about the proposed change. & that simply boils down to the kind of colonial era arrogance we have discussed here before. The Boks need to be engaging Africa more, while the Pumas' priority is obviously South America. Playing the Kiwis and Aussies ad infinitum isn't helping anyone.


I do fear a blow out. Junior Springboks or Classic Springboks vs Namibia invitational XV might be a more equal contest.


I actually think the people of Windhoek would really appreciate a Namibia vs Classic Springboks match.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Raven » Thu, 05 Mar 2020, 18:14

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:The economic solution would be soooo simple: ad Japan. 5 teams. 4 matches each.

Where would Japan vs Argentina be played? They are at opposite corners of the earth. 24 hours travel time plus jetlag is not sustainable.


IF Japan entered the Rugby Championship (it is a BIG IF) They would probably try and make it a 2 home / 2 away games in streak.

Argentina would probably have to travel to Australasia / Oceania once, so would play Japan and New Zealand or Australia on the same Tour, or worse case, add a stop in South Africa either before or after their Asian / Oceanic visit.
For New Zealand and Australia would mean the same, with South Africa / ARG.

They do this in Super Rugby already.

Japan has been consistent with their Rugby for the last 7/8 years, perhaps they would be cutting some paths short that other nations had to walk (i.e Italy to enter the Six Nations or Argentina to be in the Rugby Championship) because of their evergrowing economy, but lets face it, whats the point of keeping them in the dark if they have a team now and the structure to back their insertion almost immediately? It kills me to say it cause I remember the cases I mentioned before and how hard it was for them to finally make it into one of these tournaments, Los Pumas tried almost every door - I remember when for them playing the 6 Nations in Switzerland or Spain was even an option!
I say, have the Braveblossoms as a "guest" team if you want, from here until the running SANZAAR contract expires, and then get them in. Maybe teams might want to travel with an even more extended squad, we´ll see more players in an international stage as others will be given a rest, Japan gets more games in preparation for what the R.Ch will be...

South Africa right now cannot do more than what they are doing with their neighbors. They have the Namibians in their provincial tournaments and these get thrashed every weekend, they have done this with Zimbabwe (are doing it again for a second year), and Kenya in the past too but none of them have shown any signs of improvement playing with their local talent. Compare it with how the Pampas XV or Jaguares XV have done in these same competitions. SA has done that much that they are now even going to get a Georgian side in their domestic league.

I even remember the Boks playing Uruguay with half a test team back in 2005 that thrashed the Teros 134 - 3... why would we want to regress 15 years to see this again at the international stage? How does that help? I´m not buying the b*llsh*t of play them 10 times and lose by 100pts, that on the 11th they´ll lose by 90... Time to step up, it´s a professional sport now, your country is still amateur, man up. Either find funding and use it wisely - bringing your best players for the tests you have (cause Namibia has also lost to Madagascar before), invest in a domestic HPC , or, get a group of committed amateur players and have them evolve as a team, like Uruguay did...

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 05 Mar 2020, 19:24

Raven, I think you have come up with a sensible Rugby Championship solution to include Japan.

Japan: Argentina 2 away, SA 2 home, NZ 1 home, Aus 1 away
Argentina: Japan 2 home, SA 2 home & away, NZ 1 away, Aus 1 home
SA: Argentina 2 home & away, Japan 2 away, NZ 1 home, Aus 1 home
NZ: Argentina 1 home, Japan 1 away, SA 1 away, Aus 2 home & 1 away
Aus: Argentina 1 home, Japan 1 home, SA 1 away, NZ 1 home & 2 away.

Following year reverse home and away fixtures.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Raven » Thu, 05 Mar 2020, 20:27

I don´t think I ever said I envisioned Argentina playing SA and Japan twice in one tournament or even one of them twice for that matter, but whatever, it´s all assumptions anyway.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Edgar » Fri, 06 Mar 2020, 07:51

Tis indeed a Eurocentric notion that everything beyond one's own boundaries can be reduced to a single entity without due consideration for vast distances, distinctive cultures, opposing seasons and a multitude of time zones!

Creating a mirror-image of the 6 Nations for the Rest of the World would be a myopic, regressive measure designed to stifle the game's international development in the same manner. Fortunately the Europeans are not running the show in the Southern Hemisphere.

Comparisons between Japan and the Sunwolves overlook the obvious fact that the latter was a disastrous experiment, which only a mad scientist of the horror-film genre would now seek to replicate by applying the same formula to the Rugby Championship.

Namibians might well enjoy a match against the Oldbokke but it's not the Oldbokke their team will be facing at Rugby World Cups. Thus they will be hopelessly underprepared for such a fixture, as ever. Perhaps NZ could just field their Classics in the Bledisloe Cup as well, since they've become so dominant.

Neither does the Namibian national team compete in South African provincial competition, but the Welwitschias as a representative side. While little more than a technicality, it is an important distinction. We have seen that Namibia has become more competitive on the big stage.

& If we are to restrict elite competition to the top 10 to 12 playing nations, this too should be the maximum number of teams at the World Cup itself. So long as the rest are deprived of regular opportunities against the best, the lopsided and predictable nature of the tournament will continue.

Moreover, it will never be a level playing field and the same teams will continue to dominate. So forget about expansion in 2027 and just replace the World Cup with a one-off fixture between the Rugby Championship and 6 Nations winners, because no one else has a sporting chance.

Update in reply to below responses: 1/ If South Africa can field an experimental side against Namibia at the World Cup, they can certainly do the same in an annual clash at Windhoek. 2/ If NZ & Australia are so desperate for Yen, they should engage Japan in a separate Pacific competition - as I've suggested countless times before.
Last edited by Edgar on Fri, 06 Mar 2020, 08:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 06 Mar 2020, 08:14

It won't be Springboks 1st XV facing Namibia in a World Cup either. It would be their 2nd XV with a few first XV players. And Namibia will still lose by 50 points, as they did last year. And that was with a very well prepared Namibia team. Namibia don't even have a coach at the moment. If they played the Springboks this year they would probably lose by 100 points. What does anyone gain from that? Springboks don't play Namibia except for in a world cup because it is pointless and embarrassing. For some reason, during the euphoria of a world cup we are able to overlook that.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 06 Mar 2020, 08:19

Edgar wrote:Tis indeed a Eurocentric notion that everything beyond one's own boundaries can be reduced to a single entity without due consideration for vast distances, distinctive cultures, opposing seasons and a multitude of time zones!

Creating a mirror-image of the 6 Nations for the Rest of the World would be a myopic, regressive measure designed to stifle the game's international development in the same manner. Fortunately the Europeans are not running the show in the Southern Hemisphere.


NZ simply needs money from outside to stay at their above-all-world-class-level and as you haven't believed me when I wrote that years ago in this forum, you should check last weeks news. They only rose to that level of the best team in the world, because they created enough interest from outside as well as their brilliant intern support. Where the actual f*** should they, a small nation in the middle of nowhere by not only Euro-standards, get fresh money from if not Japan?

The 6N are a closed shop which hinders development globally. But this doesn't mean, that NZ and Oz need to find new money.
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: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 07 Mar 2020, 00:44

Several of the T1 Unions (including RA and NZ) are currently meeting CVC in London to see their pitch for investing in not only SANZAAR but reviving/reworking the Nations Championship concept. So they are definitely looking at 'new' sources of money.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby ihateblazers » Sat, 07 Mar 2020, 06:32

Although I do think that the stupid bastards at 6 Nations Ltd. have shot themselves in the foot with CVC investment in the 6 Nations, it could be a blessing in disguise for SANZAAR. They (CVC) could theoretically act as a third party mediator to stop the bullshit with the 3 unions pulling in different directions. They might actually be able to market SANZAAR rugby to the world. Involving Japan is a must, to grow television revenue, and creating a pathway for eventual American involvement would also be looked at IMO. I can't see them reducing it to a Asia-Pacific competition, the South African's bring in too much money and CVC would lose out. The New Zealand, Australian and South African television markets are already saturated for Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship, so unless they completely change the competition formats they must look at expansion and global reach.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 07 Mar 2020, 07:55

ihateblazers wrote:Although I do think that the stupid bastards at 6 Nations Ltd. have shot themselves in the foot with CVC investment in the 6 Nations, it could be a blessing in disguise for SANZAAR. They (CVC) could theoretically act as a third party mediator to stop the bullshit with the 3 unions pulling in different directions. They might actually be able to market SANZAAR rugby to the world. Involving Japan is a must, to grow television revenue, and creating a pathway for eventual American involvement would also be looked at IMO. I can't see them reducing it to a Asia-Pacific competition, the South African's bring in too much money and CVC would lose out. The New Zealand, Australian and South African television markets are already saturated for Super Rugby and the Rugby Championship, so unless they completely change the competition formats they must look at expansion and global reach.


The issue of being paywalled really isn't an issue in the SANZAAR nations. We're kind of used to it and they really cannot move Tests behind a paywall in Australia. What interests me about their proposal from a SANZAAR perspective they could potentially revolutionize how the org. operates. It's never been treated as a commercial enterprises by the alliance. If CVC invest they are going to want to see a return and that means they'll want to see it run as a proper business. Could do wonders for the structures involved.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Thomas » Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 15:34

Rugby season is finished in England at least:

Coronavirus: RFU ends rugby season below Premiership level
https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/51974684

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby victorsra » Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 16:38

Maybe they'll use this moment for that Premiership expansion?
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 18:23

victorsra wrote:Maybe they'll use this moment for that Premiership expansion?


I was thinking that, but it is confirmed that Saracens are relegated. Without Saracens there's not much point in expanding the Premiership. What I would like to see is the RFU Championship expanded to 14 teams. Those clubs don't get enough home games.
Below the Championship rugby should be amateur and regional. There should be a South West Premiership, a South East Premiership, a Midlands Premiership and a North Premiership. But I like the tradition in rugby of using the names of ancient tribes and kingdoms, so the South West Premiership should be the Wessex and Cornwall Premiership, the Midlands Premiership should be the Mercia Premiership, and the North Premiership should be the Northumbria Premiership. I don't have a name for the South East Premiership. That region was made up of lots of kingdoms before England was established.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby sk 88 » Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 21:19

victorsra wrote:Maybe they'll use this moment for that Premiership expansion?


No chance, the Premiership has just announced 25% pay cuts for next few months. They aren't about to start splitting the pie another 2 ways.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby sk 88 » Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 21:21

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Maybe they'll use this moment for that Premiership expansion?


I was thinking that, but it is confirmed that Saracens are relegated. Without Saracens there's not much point in expanding the Premiership. What I would like to see is the RFU Championship expanded to 14 teams. Those clubs don't get enough home games.
Below the Championship rugby should be amateur and regional. There should be a South West Premiership, a South East Premiership, a Midlands Premiership and a North Premiership. But I like the tradition in rugby of using the names of ancient tribes and kingdoms, so the South West Premiership should be the Wessex and Cornwall Premiership, the Midlands Premiership should be the Mercia Premiership, and the North Premiership should be the Northumbria Premiership. I don't have a name for the South East Premiership. That region was made up of lots of kingdoms before England was established.



No need to use silly names of ancient bodies that have no relevance to modern society.

I think they may go to 3 divisions of North, Midlands &SW, and SE at National 2 level though.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Unread postby Thomas » Fri, 20 Mar 2020, 21:39

sk 88 wrote:
I think they may go to 3 divisions of North, Midlands &SW, and SE at National 2 level though.


it would bring down the travels costs and the travelling is a real pain at the best of times. I would like to see National 2 similarly to the Competition below.

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