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Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 01:41

Thomas wrote:
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.


Silly names aside, there are a lot of really good rugby clubs in the south west. I use that as my example because that is my region. Clubs like Taunton, Redruth and Clifton competing to be West of England champions is something local communities could get behind and local media could cover. It could also be something other rugby clubs could aspire to. The standard would be similar to Welsh Premiership. Above that level, professional clubs like Cornish Pirates and Plymouth can compete in an expanded RFU Championship, with some aspiring to be in the Premiership. But I think there needs to be a divide between regional league amateur regional clubs, and national league professional clubs.
Each year the regional champions could compete for a national title at Twickenham. If teams want to become professional and move up to the Championship there should be a way they can do that, but winning at the final at Twickenham should not oblige a club to move into the Championship and become professional.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 08:43

I think the other thing is that the leagues need to get much more local much quicker, even if that means more mismatches. Midlands 4 for instance goes from Chesterfield to Skegness, that's a round trip of well over 4 hours and means leaving around 10am for an away game and not getting back until 7pm at the absolute earliest (presuming a 2.30 KO). At level 9 I think!

I also think they should get rid of level transfers at level 5 and just keep teams in their areas at that level. Level 5, if not level 4 as discussed, is the split point between really serious rugby with high standards and travel demands and less serious rugby where travel is the bigger problem. Commercially as well a "Northampton District" Premiership may attract a sponsorship, only a handful of Cornwall & Devon leagues have a sponsor at the moment. A little sponsorship can help pay or groundsman or referees and keep things moving.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 09:11

sk 88 wrote:I think the other thing is that the leagues need to get much more local much quicker, even if that means more mismatches. Midlands 4 for instance goes from Chesterfield to Skegness, that's a round trip of well over 4 hours and means leaving around 10am for an away game and not getting back until 7pm at the absolute earliest (presuming a 2.30 KO). At level 9 I think!

I also think they should get rid of level transfers at level 5 and just keep teams in their areas at that level. Level 5, if not level 4 as discussed, is the split point between really serious rugby with high standards and travel demands and less serious rugby where travel is the bigger problem. Commercially as well a "Northampton District" Premiership may attract a sponsorship, only a handful of Cornwall & Devon leagues have a sponsor at the moment. A little sponsorship can help pay or groundsman or referees and keep things moving.


I totally agree with you. Especially in the Midlands the leagues don't have any kind of geographic identity in terms of their names or how they get moved between regions to balance out the numbers.

This is how I think the leagues should be organised

Level 1: Premiership 12 or 14 clubs
Level 2: Championship 14 clubs, fully professional
Level 3: Three or Four regional Premierships. This is the top level of rugby for non-professional community rugby. It would be the equivalent of the Welsh Premiership. Games would be broadcast by the BBC. England's most talented amateur rugby players would all play at this level.
Level 4 and below: this is your local rugby club level. Totally amateur. Social. No spectators.

There would be a very big step up between each level and there would be very little movement between the levels because players would play for the team at the level that's right for them.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 12:56

Honestly, looking at the struggle of Championship sides to be professional clubs, there's at the moment no room for a 14-teams structure there. IMO, you need a smaller but firmer step. I'd like to see a Premiership 2, fully administered by PRL, with a maximum of 6 to 8 o clubs. It doesn't matter if they need to play 4 times each other. There's a huge gap now between those levels and you need an intermediate level to start closing it and under PRL responsbility. But, as sk88 said, they don't want to slice ever more a small cake. Maybe that's why they could have a new product, separate one, to help develop.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 13:54

victorsra wrote:Honestly, looking at the struggle of Championship sides to be professional clubs, there's at the moment no room for a 14-teams structure there. IMO, you need a smaller but firmer step. I'd like to see a Premiership 2, fully administered by PRL, with a maximum of 6 to 8 o clubs. It doesn't matter if they need to play 4 times each other. There's a huge gap now between those levels and you need an intermediate level to start closing it and under PRL responsbility. But, as sk88 said, they don't want to slice ever more a small cake. Maybe that's why they could have a new product, separate one, to help develop.


Having the 2nd Div come under the PRL is a solid idea and one I've pondered in the past. Two divisions of 10 teams.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 14:56

Working Class Rugger wrote:
victorsra wrote:Honestly, looking at the struggle of Championship sides to be professional clubs, there's at the moment no room for a 14-teams structure there. IMO, you need a smaller but firmer step. I'd like to see a Premiership 2, fully administered by PRL, with a maximum of 6 to 8 o clubs. It doesn't matter if they need to play 4 times each other. There's a huge gap now between those levels and you need an intermediate level to start closing it and under PRL responsbility. But, as sk88 said, they don't want to slice ever more a small cake. Maybe that's why they could have a new product, separate one, to help develop.


Having the 2nd Div come under the PRL is a solid idea and one I've pondered in the past. Two divisions of 10 teams.


I do actually agree with this idea. My vision of a 14 team Championship with regional Premierships below is the structure I would like to see eventually. But in order to get there a smaller Championship might be what's required.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 15:22

A 14-teams (or even 16-teams) semi pro Championship fits in this structure. But below a full pro "Premiership 2" with 6 or max 8 is needed.

I don't believe they'll reduce it to 10, as the 13 clubs (the 12 + Falcons) are the stakeholders who decide. They won't risk themselves, specialy in a so even league.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 17:35

victorsra wrote:A 14-teams (or even 16-teams) semi pro Championship fits in this structure. But below a full pro "Premiership 2" with 6 or max 8 is needed.

I don't believe they'll reduce it to 10, as the 13 clubs (the 12 + Falcons) are the stakeholders who decide. They won't risk themselves, specialy in a so even league.


The problem with that is there are not any clubs outside the Premiership 13 that are anywhere near Premiership level in any sense. The only way I could see that happening would be to have an English and Welsh Premiership.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby thatrugbyguy » Sat, 21 Mar 2020, 23:12

10 teams would be ideal IMO. Rugby has to get out of it's head that it's football. There isn't the quality or the talent in the second division.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 00:28

Maybe. But, if I'm not misrerading anything, the number of teams in a private league (as the Premiership is not run by the RFU) is a political/economic question between the stakeholders. Only that. It is different from Super Rugby or PRO14 that have direct influence of the Unions on this matter.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby sk 88 » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 11:17

Depending on you view there is also a thought that the RFU do not want more professional teams as they find it hard enough to control 13, and do not want any more.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 13:32

sk 88 wrote:Depending on you view there is also a thought that the RFU do not want more professional teams as they find it hard enough to control 13, and do not want any more.


That could be true, but if they did want more than 13 teams where would they come from? Outside the Premiership 13 only 7 clubs have an average attendance of over 1,000. They are Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster, Nottingham, Plymouth and Jersey.

I actually would like a 2 division Premiership with these clubs, 2 divisions of 10. Something like the Mitre10 Cup format would be good, with some interdivisional games.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 14:41

You dont need a weird format. Interdivision matches are possible using the Premiership Cup.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Higgik » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 19:16

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
sk 88 wrote:Depending on you view there is also a thought that the RFU do not want more professional teams as they find it hard enough to control 13, and do not want any more.


That could be true, but if they did want more than 13 teams where would they come from? Outside the Premiership 13 only 7 clubs have an average attendance of over 1,000. They are Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster, Nottingham, Plymouth and Jersey.

I actually would like a 2 division Premiership with these clubs, 2 divisions of 10. Something like the Mitre10 Cup format would be good, with some interdivisional games.

Actually would prefer a 16 team Premiership, with ring fencing. Below that have the regional leagues, with play offs and final at Twickenham.
The Premiership should be limited to 18 games max plus play offs.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 20:28

When I think about a Top 16 in France, in IMO, the best format would be:

- 1st phase: 16 rounds - everybody against everybody once + one derby played twice (clubs with that much rivalry like we see in France wouldn't accept not hosting their main rival... so, this is a soilution).

- 2nd phase: 8 best teams in a Championship group (big matches for TV secured) / 8 worst teams in a Relegation/Champions Cup group = 7 rounds, 1st phase point retained.

- Championship Playoff: SF + F
- Champions Cup Playoff: 6th and 7th teams of the Championship group + 1st and 2nd teams of the Relegation/Champions Cup group - SF + F

+

French Cup, during international dates - 16 teams, only playoffs. Round of 16 = home and away; QF, SF and F = singles matches;


Total: 25 Top 14 rounds + 5 French Cup rounds (minimum of 25 matches per club) - 2 titles at stake, more chances of a winning season / Note: now in France Top 14 has 29 rounds one team plays a minimum of 26 matches, but only one title
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 20:41

Higgik wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
sk 88 wrote:Depending on you view there is also a thought that the RFU do not want more professional teams as they find it hard enough to control 13, and do not want any more.


That could be true, but if they did want more than 13 teams where would they come from? Outside the Premiership 13 only 7 clubs have an average attendance of over 1,000. They are Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster, Nottingham, Plymouth and Jersey.

I actually would like a 2 division Premiership with these clubs, 2 divisions of 10. Something like the Mitre10 Cup format would be good, with some interdivisional games.

Actually would prefer a 16 team Premiership, with ring fencing. Below that have the regional leagues, with play offs and final at Twickenham.
The Premiership should be limited to 18 games max plus play offs.


What teams would you like in that Premiership? 13 plus Cornish Pirates, Doncaster and Coventry?
Cornish Pirates - Cornwall is a rugby heartland and used to get the biggest support in the County Championship. It is also like a separate nation to the English. They are building a new stadium.
Doncaster - the number 1 Yorkshire club. Yorkshire is a region of England, currently without a Premiership team. Yorkshire also used to get big County Championship crowds. They have a good stadium.
Coventry - used to be one of the best teams in England. Still have quite a good base of supporters. Could have a rivalry with Wasps, making Coventry a real rugby city. Their ground is quite good with potential for further development.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 21:05

Bedford is pretty traditional, right? English Cup champions of 1975.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 21:52

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
victorsra wrote:Honestly, looking at the struggle of Championship sides to be professional clubs, there's at the moment no room for a 14-teams structure there. IMO, you need a smaller but firmer step. I'd like to see a Premiership 2, fully administered by PRL, with a maximum of 6 to 8 o clubs. It doesn't matter if they need to play 4 times each other. There's a huge gap now between those levels and you need an intermediate level to start closing it and under PRL responsbility. But, as sk88 said, they don't want to slice ever more a small cake. Maybe that's why they could have a new product, separate one, to help develop.


Having the 2nd Div come under the PRL is a solid idea and one I've pondered in the past. Two divisions of 10 teams.


I do actually agree with this idea. My vision of a 14 team Championship with regional Premierships below is the structure I would like to see eventually. But in order to get there a smaller Championship might be what's required.


This is the LNR model. Ligue Nationale de Rugby governs Top 14 and ProD2.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby gambass » Sun, 22 Mar 2020, 22:30

victorsra wrote:When I think about a Top 16 in France, in IMO, the best format would be


At the moment, the 'large' clubs (8-10 depending on which ones you are counting) outnumber the 'small' ones (4-6). I believe, this is a right balance for a league, and approaching half/half will make the 'small' clubs plays too many games between each others and thus will devaluate the whole league.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 01:52

victorsra wrote:Bedford is pretty traditional, right? English Cup champions of 1975.


I don't think Bedford Blues want to be in the Premiership. They want to continue in the Championship. According to this article from a year ago, there are 5 Championship clubs with Premiership ambitions:

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.thegua ... -promotion

Ealing, Yorkshire Carnegie, Cornish Pirates, Coventry and Doncaster.
Yorkshire Carnegie will be relegated from the Championship this season. Ealing (London) is the most ambitious club. They are the strongest team and they have a very rich owner. I'm not sure we need another London club, but as they are rich and keen I expect they will be one of the teams in an expanded Premiership.
That would mean two from Cornish Pirates, Coventry and Doncaster.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Higgik » Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 01:57

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Higgik wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
sk 88 wrote:Depending on you view there is also a thought that the RFU do not want more professional teams as they find it hard enough to control 13, and do not want any more.


That could be true, but if they did want more than 13 teams where would they come from? Outside the Premiership 13 only 7 clubs have an average attendance of over 1,000. They are Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster, Nottingham, Plymouth and Jersey.

I actually would like a 2 division Premiership with these clubs, 2 divisions of 10. Something like the Mitre10 Cup format would be good, with some interdivisional games.

Actually would prefer a 16 team Premiership, with ring fencing. Below that have the regional leagues, with play offs and final at Twickenham.
The Premiership should be limited to 18 games max plus play offs.


What teams would you like in that Premiership? 13 plus Cornish Pirates, Doncaster and Coventry?
Cornish Pirates - Cornwall is a rugby heartland and used to get the biggest support in the County Championship. It is also like a separate nation to the English. They are building a new stadium.
Doncaster - the number 1 Yorkshire club. Yorkshire is a region of England, currently without a Premiership team. Yorkshire also used to get big County Championship crowds. They have a good stadium.
Coventry - used to be one of the best teams in England. Still have quite a good base of supporters. Could have a rivalry with Wasps, making Coventry a real rugby city. Their ground is quite good with potential for further development.

Yes definitely Pirates, maybe a combined South Yorkshire team of Donny and Rotherham, but not sure of Coventry, but needs to be another North or Midland side.
I would have 4 groups of 4 with home and away in groups and then home or away v other 12. 18 match regular season, followed by group winners and then next best 4 teams into an extended play offs.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 02:44

Higgik wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Higgik wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
sk 88 wrote:Depending on you view there is also a thought that the RFU do not want more professional teams as they find it hard enough to control 13, and do not want any more.


That could be true, but if they did want more than 13 teams where would they come from? Outside the Premiership 13 only 7 clubs have an average attendance of over 1,000. They are Coventry, Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Doncaster, Nottingham, Plymouth and Jersey.

I actually would like a 2 division Premiership with these clubs, 2 divisions of 10. Something like the Mitre10 Cup format would be good, with some interdivisional games.

Actually would prefer a 16 team Premiership, with ring fencing. Below that have the regional leagues, with play offs and final at Twickenham.
The Premiership should be limited to 18 games max plus play offs.


What teams would you like in that Premiership? 13 plus Cornish Pirates, Doncaster and Coventry?
Cornish Pirates - Cornwall is a rugby heartland and used to get the biggest support in the County Championship. It is also like a separate nation to the English. They are building a new stadium.
Doncaster - the number 1 Yorkshire club. Yorkshire is a region of England, currently without a Premiership team. Yorkshire also used to get big County Championship crowds. They have a good stadium.
Coventry - used to be one of the best teams in England. Still have quite a good base of supporters. Could have a rivalry with Wasps, making Coventry a real rugby city. Their ground is quite good with potential for further development.

Yes definitely Pirates, maybe a combined South Yorkshire team of Donny and Rotherham, but not sure of Coventry, but needs to be another North or Midland side.
I would have 4 groups of 4 with home and away in groups and then home or away v other 12. 18 match regular season, followed by group winners and then next best 4 teams into an extended play offs.


South West conference: Cornish Pirates, Exeter, Bristol, Bath.
London conference: London Irish, Harlequins, Ealing, Saracens.
Midlands conference: Gloucester, Worcester, Wasps, Northampton.
Northern conference: Leicester, Doncaster, Sale, Newcastle.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 03:16

gambass wrote:
victorsra wrote:When I think about a Top 16 in France, in IMO, the best format would be


At the moment, the 'large' clubs (8-10 depending on which ones you are counting) outnumber the 'small' ones (4-6). I believe, this is a right balance for a league, and approaching half/half will make the 'small' clubs plays too many games between each others and thus will devaluate the whole league.


Why? If it worths the chance to qualify for the Champions Cup, it doesn't devalue. Plus there would be a 1st phase with 16 rounds everybody against everybody.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Higgik » Mon, 23 Mar 2020, 22:15

Very much in agreement. Would make some great match ups locally and also make e.g. Bristol v Gloucester 1 per year so increase the intensity.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Higgik » Tue, 24 Mar 2020, 08:34

I also think with the 4 divisions, they could each have 'farm' teams in their region and also be responsible for supporting this regions.
This whole pandemic will enable rugby to have a full overhaul of how the domestic game is organise. Unfortunately they won't.

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