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Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 16:38

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:The time zone change is not a problem from South Africa to Argentina. The player welfare problem is mostly related to those bizarre time zone changes from Oceania to Africa. If Jaguares don't play 8 home matches, also forget, doesn't worth. South Africans were complaining about Oceania, not Argentina, although there aren't direct flights (need conection in São Paulo).


Well South Africa are now talking about playing in the Pro league with no mention of Jaguares whatsoever. I didn't say anything about not playing 8 home games. I said swap some home games with away games, so for example play 2 home games against Stormers one year, and 2 away games against Sharks. Then the next year play 2 away games against Stormers and 2 home games against Sharks. It means the South African teams only have to travel to South America in alternate years. For the second home game against Jaguares, Stormers and Sharks could play that in Port Elizabeth to give them a game.


PRO14 and SA aren't talking about Jaguares in public, I said this. But in Argentina they talked about it. That's why I brought it. I don't think transcontinental leagues are a solution of anything, they will always have a deep problem of costs/welfare vs benefits.


I agree with you there. And once the environmentalists notice what's happening, they'll be condemning the unnecessary travel too. I think Pro league and South Africa have this all wrong. The Currie Cup played in the winter (Europe's summer) has commercial value because that's at a time we're not playing rugby. They should make more of that, and look at expanding within Africa.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 17:56

PRO16. Cheetahs will be out and they are talking about a bizarre "Super Series" tournament in SANZAAR. It looks like very different from the Super 8 Aussies proposed. https://www.sarugby.co.za/news-features ... re-future/

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Tobar » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 18:54

I'm fine with South Africa leaving Super Rugby to play in PRO14/16. Ratings were low and people haven't cared about SR outside of derbies in years. My only concern is making sure that The Rugby Championship can still happen - this is a good tradition to keep with the SH teams. If they don't then it may spell the end for SANZAAR and they will start desperately looking for more unions to join them and more ways to improve their revenue sources.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 18:59

Let's get real though, no one is interested in SARU teams in a PROWhatever either.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 19:25

Not sure. For the Irish it will mean better competition. It is too much predictable now with Leinster dominating.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 20:36

victorsra wrote:Not sure. For the Irish it will mean better competition. It is too much predictable now with Leinster dominating.


Fans aren't interested, and the travels costs will get old rapidly.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Figaro » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 21:01

TheStroBro wrote:
victorsra wrote:Not sure. For the Irish it will mean better competition. It is too much predictable now with Leinster dominating.


Fans aren't interested, and the travels costs will get old rapidly.


There are hardly any travelling fans in the Pro14, except for matches within the same country and Wales / Scotland matches.

I don't want the South African teams in the same competition as Welsh sides but if they have to be here I'd prefer them to be the top sides than the second choice Charlies that weren't wanted elsewhere. The Southern Kings in particular are an absolute joke. It just made the competition look even more stupid than it already does.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 21:35

I took him to mean travel costs for teams.

It can't be cheap to fly Africa and back two or three times a season. And obviously more for them.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Tue, 29 Sep 2020, 21:59

Why are you assuming fans are not interested? In fact, I wonder if Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian fans are realy interested in the PRO14 :lol: I don't see South Africans as less interesting than Italians or some of the Welsh teams...

Anyway, the PRO16 will probably have in the regular season:
- 6 matches inside the group;
- 12 matches against teams of the other groups (6 home, 6 away). This means probably only 2 matches in South Africa for each European team. 1 trip of around 10 days. Not hard.

And South Africans would play 6 matches in Europe. Possibly 2 trips of 3 matches (around 20 days each I presume). But no time zones issues.

Plus playoffs. And playoffs can be costly indeed, because they can mean Africa-Europe like 4 times.

We can see for the Europeans the regular season is not an issue. But it is for the South Africans. And the playoffs are the major challenge for everybody.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 30 Sep 2020, 00:46

Figaro wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:
victorsra wrote:Not sure. For the Irish it will mean better competition. It is too much predictable now with Leinster dominating.


Fans aren't interested, and the travels costs will get old rapidly.


There are hardly any travelling fans in the Pro14, except for matches within the same country and Wales / Scotland matches.

I don't want the South African teams in the same competition as Welsh sides but if they have to be here I'd prefer them to be the top sides than the second choice Charlies that weren't wanted elsewhere. The Southern Kings in particular are an absolute joke. It just made the competition look even more stupid than it already does.


I don't really want South African teams in the Pro 14 either, and I agree, Southern Kings were terrible and will not be missed. But I do quite like the Cheetahs. They are the right standard for Pro 14. They always give the Welsh teams a good game. They are a team with history and an identity. I like their kit. If we must have South African teams in the Pro 14, I would like Cheetahs to be one of those teams.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby ihateblazers » Wed, 30 Sep 2020, 06:26

It’s not going to end well with the Saffa’s in the Pro 16 if the stakeholders continue with their mindset. It’s just being used as a bandaid solution for the limited financial capability and market the Celtic nations have, as well as desperation from SARU. With salaries increasing and the international game driven top down model reaching saturation it’s unsustainable.

There is no appeal for South African teams in Europe, but like Victor said there isn’t any for Italian sides either. That’s mainly due to the perceived lack of prestige and quality of Italian rugby. If Toulouse, Clermont, Stade Paris, Racing were in the Pro 16 I can guarantee there would be far more interest than for the Italians or South African teams. What they (celts) really need to do is to get the Italians up to par by assisting and conceding as much as they possibly can. Far more than they do now. It’s in their own interest for their future survival and it is in Italy’s interest to improve their quality and grow their domestic market. The future for Celtic rugby is Europe or an Anglo-Celtic League.

Hopefully South African involvements can assist with Italy’s rise by increasing the financial pool, but with the short termist mindset and lack of imagination from the Celtic unions I doubt that. I don’t see South Africa having a long term future in European rugby.

South Africa should eventually revert to an expanded Currie Cup and aim to grow their domestic market further. Super Rugby has limited their potential and they need to have confidence. The SANZAR nations were able to build a rivalry and political bloc based on a centuries legacy of being the Non 5 nations and their shared commonwealth heritage. However, in the modern era this is no longer relevant. Super Rugby has failed to capture the minds of the public or grow the markets and it was doomed to fail. New young fans haven’t bought into it and the older fans complain about irrelevant things, harking back to the good old days of amateurism.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 30 Sep 2020, 11:28

None of this is all that surprising. I just don’t know what any if it means going forward.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby dropkick » Wed, 30 Sep 2020, 22:55

sk 88 wrote:I took him to mean travel costs for teams.

It can't be cheap to fly Africa and back two or three times a season. And obviously more for them.



The most logical format is to play every team once either home or away (15 games) but play your derby/conference games home and away (3 extra games). That is 18 games in total before playoffs. Conferences split into Irish, South African, Welsh and Italian/scots. There should also be one table to simplify things.


If the above is the case then teams would only need to visit South Africa once per year and play 2 games there. The South africans would have to play 7 or 8 away games. They could do it in 3 trips and 4 trips if they make the playoffs. Thats 8 flights between Europe and SA per season.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby dropkick » Wed, 30 Sep 2020, 22:56

victorsra wrote:Not sure. For the Irish it will mean better competition. It is too much predictable now with Leinster dominating.



True. The stronger the south africans are the better.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 01:52

ihateblazers wrote:It’s not going to end well with the Saffa’s in the Pro 16 if the stakeholders continue with their mindset. It’s just being used as a bandaid solution for the limited financial capability and market the Celtic nations have, as well as desperation from SARU. With salaries increasing and the international game driven top down model reaching saturation it’s unsustainable.

There is no appeal for South African teams in Europe, but like Victor said there isn’t any for Italian sides either. That’s mainly due to the perceived lack of prestige and quality of Italian rugby. If Toulouse, Clermont, Stade Paris, Racing were in the Pro 16 I can guarantee there would be far more interest than for the Italians or South African teams. What they (celts) really need to do is to get the Italians up to par by assisting and conceding as much as they possibly can. Far more than they do now. It’s in their own interest for their future survival and it is in Italy’s interest to improve their quality and grow their domestic market. The future for Celtic rugby is Europe or an Anglo-Celtic League.

Hopefully South African involvements can assist with Italy’s rise by increasing the financial pool, but with the short termist mindset and lack of imagination from the Celtic unions I doubt that. I don’t see South Africa having a long term future in European rugby.

South Africa should eventually revert to an expanded Currie Cup and aim to grow their domestic market further. Super Rugby has limited their potential and they need to have confidence. The SANZAR nations were able to build a rivalry and political bloc based on a centuries legacy of being the Non 5 nations and their shared commonwealth heritage. However, in the modern era this is no longer relevant. Super Rugby has failed to capture the minds of the public or grow the markets and it was doomed to fail. New young fans haven’t bought into it and the older fans complain about irrelevant things, harking back to the good old days of amateurism.


I like your analysis of band aid solution. Specialy if SAR fails to become right now a stakeowner. If the Saffas have to pay to be there, well, it is questionable.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Figaro » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 07:17

ihateblazers wrote:It’s not going to end well with the Saffa’s in the Pro 16 if the stakeholders continue with their mindset. It’s just being used as a bandaid solution for the limited financial capability and market the Celtic nations have, as well as desperation from SARU. With salaries increasing and the international game driven top down model reaching saturation it’s unsustainable.

There is no appeal for South African teams in Europe, but like Victor said there isn’t any for Italian sides either. That’s mainly due to the perceived lack of prestige and quality of Italian rugby. If Toulouse, Clermont, Stade Paris, Racing were in the Pro 16 I can guarantee there would be far more interest than for the Italians or South African teams. What they (celts) really need to do is to get the Italians up to par by assisting and conceding as much as they possibly can. Far more than they do now. It’s in their own interest for their future survival and it is in Italy’s interest to improve their quality and grow their domestic market. The future for Celtic rugby is Europe or an Anglo-Celtic League.

Hopefully South African involvements can assist with Italy’s rise by increasing the financial pool, but with the short termist mindset and lack of imagination from the Celtic unions I doubt that. I don’t see South Africa having a long term future in European rugby.

South Africa should eventually revert to an expanded Currie Cup and aim to grow their domestic market further. Super Rugby has limited their potential and they need to have confidence. The SANZAR nations were able to build a rivalry and political bloc based on a centuries legacy of being the Non 5 nations and their shared commonwealth heritage. However, in the modern era this is no longer relevant. Super Rugby has failed to capture the minds of the public or grow the markets and it was doomed to fail. New young fans haven’t bought into it and the older fans complain about irrelevant things, harking back to the good old days of amateurism.


Why is it the Celtic sides' responsibility to fix Italy, or anyone else? Treviso at least have a bigger budget than Connacht (and perform accordingly) or 3/4 Welsh teams. Italy are an equal partner in the league and in the 6N. What exactly are the other unions expected to do and why exactly is it their responsibility?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 15:54

I think - but might be wrong - that well Ireland, Wales and Scotland agreed to have Italy they were thinking "oh, that is a big market", but Italy basicaly opted for teams in small-medium cities and basicaly haven't made rugby more popular after entering PRO14. Which basicaly meant no real benefit for the Celts, IMO. But they know things might change, as, well, it is a big country that, let's face reality, is by now the only real success of a country leaving T2 reality to become T1 (Japan and Argentina were never realy T2 in terms of domestic rugby).

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Figaro » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 15:58

If Japan and Argentina were never really tier 2 then Italy was never really tier 2 either. I really don't think you can call them any kind of success story.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 17:16

Big difference. Argentina club rugby is absolutely huge. And for decades. Japan too, at school, university and companies level it is absolutely widespread in the country since the 1950s or something.

Italians can correct me, but Italian club rugby wasn't much different than other Rugby Europe countries in the amateur era. It made a revolution in the 1980-1990s. In Argentina and Japan rugby was always a major sport at amateur level on a national level. In Italy not exactly (maybe only regionally).

Amateur club rugby in Japan and Argentina wasn't behind T1s in the amateur times. The difference was basicaly politically as their national teams weren't IRB members, as IRB wasn't an international federation until the 1980s. It was just regulating rugby among 7 major British Empire nations and their partner France and safeguarding the Rugby Laws. You do know IRB only had 8 members until 1986? Even with FIRA existing and T1 nations visiting Canada, Japan, Argentina sometimes. Argentina beat T1s before being a member, BTW. As Romania, maybe the lost T1.

People mistake domestic rugby with national teams.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 17:24

Usa also has a big domestic rugby scene. Are they also tier 1? Madagascar and Sri Lanka get huge crowds, big club scene, etc. Are they also tier 1?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 17:47

Yes, that's a perfect question: how to define T1? Only number of clubs/players? Local structure as well? International scene counted too?

IMO, T1 is a political definition. At the moment, who has 3 votes in the Council. In the past, the 8 IRB members
. Now, Japan is a Tier 1.5 (2 votes, exceptional situation), while Argentina and Italy became T1 recently. But, domestic rugby in Argentina and Japan was never realy behind T1s during the history, which means the best definition for them is maybe dormant or standy-by-T1s, because what made them different was just political power. As well maybe national teams results (for Japan, not reaaaly for Argentina), but they were playing those T1s before becoming politicaly T1 anyway. And that's the big difference to Sri Lanka and Madagascar. As for Italy, in the amateur era they struggled some years against Portugal, Spain, Morocco, was regularly beaten by Romania and USSR...

To be fair, I'm right now looking at a 1981 book (Terry Godwin, Chris Rhys, The Guinness Book of Rugby Facts & Feats) that says this in terms of number of clubs/players, and maybe I'm realy wrong about Italy. They show these numbers:

- England - 1.700 clubs, 300.000 players
- South Africa - 1.000 clubs, 215.000 players (counting blacks and coloureds? not sure)
- Japan - 3.000 clubs, 180.000 players
- France - 1.700 clubs, 170.000 players
- New Zealand - 1.000 clubs, 170.000 players
- USA - 1.000 clubs, 45.000 players
- Soviet Union - 222 clubs, 45.000 players
- Wales - 578 clubs, 40.000 players
- Scotland - 250 clubs, 25.000 players
- Argentina - 197 clubs, 17.000 players (1984 official data, it is probably more than this: https://web.archive.org/web/20121101074 ... s/1984.pdf)
- Italy - 265 clubs (more than I thought!!!!), 15.000 players
- Romania - 197 clubs, 13.400 players
- Spain - 147 clubs, 11.100 players
- Australia - 250 clubs, 10.000 players
- Ireland - 210 clubs, 10.000 players
- Canada - 192 clubs, 9.800 players
...
- Madagascar - 10 clubs, 450 players
No numbers for Sri Lanka

Like nowadays, those numbers are definitly problematic, without proper criterea to who counts as a club or a player. But, interesting, right? Anyway, rugby has a census problem :lol:
Last edited by victorsra on Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 21:11, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby NaBUru38 » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 18:43

Scotland and Italy have two fully professional teams. Argentina had one. Not a big difference.

- o -

I think that the UAR could have moved the Jaguares to Spain as a last resort. They made it clear it's not an option for them.

But the Jaguares can't play South Africa. Nobody would attend the matches.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 18:55

What makes a Tier 1 Nation today is the size of their budget and how much revenue they generate in addition to not being reliant upon WRs HP Development grants.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby iul » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 20:00

If Japan's domestic rugby was never really behind the t1s how was the domestic US rugby behind? Thry always had a whole lot of clubs. Personally, I think for t1dom determination it's irrelevant the number of WR councilnvotes, the turnover, the size of the domestic scene, whether they have pro clubs or not and other stuff like that and to me it's all about the strength of the national team. If Georgia or Uruguay or Fiji or whoever else started winning against the t1s on a regular basis, say having a 30% win rate, would you really tell me they're not t1?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Thu, 01 Oct 2020, 20:04

TheStroBro wrote:What makes a Tier 1 Nation today is the size of their budget and how much revenue they generate in addition to not being reliant upon WRs HP Development grants.

Not sure if I agree. How much Japan has?

It is very much about power: votes in WR council, shares of major organizations (SANZAAR, 6N Ltd, EPCR...) and, therefore, this coincides with money.


If Japan's domestic rugby was never really behind the t1s how was the domestic US rugby behind? Thry always had a whole lot of clubs. Personally, I think for t1dom determination it's irrelevant the number of WR councilnvotes, the turnover, the size of the domestic scene, whether they have pro clubs or not and other stuff like that and to me it's all about the strength of the national team. If Georgia or Uruguay or Fiji or whoever else started winning against the t1s on a regular basis, say having a 30% win rate, would you really tell me they're not t1?

The position of smaller nations where rugby is their number 1 sport and that are very much inside international rugby scene is different. They can't rival T1 nations in numbers, because they are small!

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