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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, 14 Jul 2020, 01:06

Tobar wrote:
victorsra wrote:
The other thing that frustrates me about Namibia is rugby is by far their strongest sport. They are not likely to be at world cups in any other sport, but the nation and the government doesn't really embrace the rugby team as their national team. Even Namibian rugby fans don't have much respect for their National team because they are so far behind their neighbours the Springboks.

Which is unbelivable.


Do you think that apartheid thing has something to do with it?

This isn’t sarcasm, it’s a genuine question. I don’t know much about Namibian political culture but if rugby was seen as a white minority sport then I imagine it’s also seen as that in Namibia.


The Springboks are a kind of embodiment of South Africa and a lot has gone into transformation. There has been such a political push to get black players into the Springboks, and I am sure this political interference has had a negative impact on rugby players, black and white, for decades. But in 2019 they finally got it right, winning the world cup with a truly diverse team, and every player in that team deserved to be there.

If politics had been kept out of rugby the Springboks may have won the world cup, but the team would have likely looked like the Namibia team; a mixture of white and brown guys with maybe one black guy. That is because rugby is predominantly an Afrikaans sport in both countries, and Afrikaans speaking people are mostly white or brown. The most popular sport for black people in those countries is soccer. The Namibia national soccer team is all black. The South Africa national soccer team is 10 black guys and one brown guy.

Socially the Afrikaans community and the black African community don't mix that much. And without politicians demanding that blacks need to play rugby and whites must play soccer nothing is going to change. It would take a special kind of person to go over to the other community and play their sport.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Tobar » Tue, 14 Jul 2020, 02:24

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Tobar wrote:
victorsra wrote:
The other thing that frustrates me about Namibia is rugby is by far their strongest sport. They are not likely to be at world cups in any other sport, but the nation and the government doesn't really embrace the rugby team as their national team. Even Namibian rugby fans don't have much respect for their National team because they are so far behind their neighbours the Springboks.

Which is unbelivable.


Do you think that apartheid thing has something to do with it?

This isn’t sarcasm, it’s a genuine question. I don’t know much about Namibian political culture but if rugby was seen as a white minority sport then I imagine it’s also seen as that in Namibia.


The Springboks are a kind of embodiment of South Africa and a lot has gone into transformation. There has been such a political push to get black players into the Springboks, and I am sure this political interference has had a negative impact on rugby players, black and white, for decades. But in 2019 they finally got it right, winning the world cup with a truly diverse team, and every player in that team deserved to be there.

If politics had been kept out of rugby the Springboks may have won the world cup, but the team would have likely looked like the Namibia team; a mixture of white and brown guys with maybe one black guy. That is because rugby is predominantly an Afrikaans sport in both countries, and Afrikaans speaking people are mostly white or brown. The most popular sport for black people in those countries is soccer. The Namibia national soccer team is all black. The South Africa national soccer team is 10 black guys and one brown guy.

Socially the Afrikaans community and the black African community don't mix that much. And without politicians demanding that blacks need to play rugby and whites must play soccer nothing is going to change. It would take a special kind of person to go over to the other community and play their sport.


What is the difference between a black person and a brown person in this situation? I haven’t heard the term used separately like this when referring to South Africa before.

In the US, brown typically refers to Hispanic/Latino or Middle Eastern/North African. But often times it also refers to Black people.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Tue, 14 Jul 2020, 02:48

He meant coloureds.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 14 Jul 2020, 08:17

Tobar wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Tobar wrote:
victorsra wrote:
The other thing that frustrates me about Namibia is rugby is by far their strongest sport. They are not likely to be at world cups in any other sport, but the nation and the government doesn't really embrace the rugby team as their national team. Even Namibian rugby fans don't have much respect for their National team because they are so far behind their neighbours the Springboks.

Which is unbelivable.


Do you think that apartheid thing has something to do with it?

This isn’t sarcasm, it’s a genuine question. I don’t know much about Namibian political culture but if rugby was seen as a white minority sport then I imagine it’s also seen as that in Namibia.


The Springboks are a kind of embodiment of South Africa and a lot has gone into transformation. There has been such a political push to get black players into the Springboks, and I am sure this political interference has had a negative impact on rugby players, black and white, for decades. But in 2019 they finally got it right, winning the world cup with a truly diverse team, and every player in that team deserved to be there.

If politics had been kept out of rugby the Springboks may have won the world cup, but the team would have likely looked like the Namibia team; a mixture of white and brown guys with maybe one black guy. That is because rugby is predominantly an Afrikaans sport in both countries, and Afrikaans speaking people are mostly white or brown. The most popular sport for black people in those countries is soccer. The Namibia national soccer team is all black. The South Africa national soccer team is 10 black guys and one brown guy.

Socially the Afrikaans community and the black African community don't mix that much. And without politicians demanding that blacks need to play rugby and whites must play soccer nothing is going to change. It would take a special kind of person to go over to the other community and play their sport.


What is the difference between a black person and a brown person in this situation? I haven’t heard the term used separately like this when referring to South Africa before.

In the US, brown typically refers to Hispanic/Latino or Middle Eastern/North African. But often times it also refers to Black people.


In a South African context:
Black person: has an African name or at least an African surname, speaks an African language, is part of or descends from one of South Africa's tribes (Zulu, Xhosa, Tswana etc.), and are usually quite dark skinned.

Coloured person: has a surname that is European or Asian in origin and a European or Asian first name or a made up first name (coloured people were inventing new names for their children long before British mothers started doing that). Speaks Afrikaans and/or English. Descendants from a mixture of peoples and is not closely linked to any of South Africa's tribes. Can be any colour from looking white to looking black, but are mostly brown, i.e lighter than black people but darker than white people.

Of course there are exceptions but I am trying to give a general overview.

In Namibia the white Afrikaans people and the brown/coloured/baster people both originate from South Africa and share a similar culture but each has a strong cultural identity of their own. They are both conservative Christians and love rugby.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 14 Jul 2020, 22:15

Yorkshire Carnegie Rugby Academy will be disbanded.

https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/latest- ... g-support/

This completes the victory of rugby league over rugby union in West Yorkshire.
The dominant code in South Yorkshire is yet to be settled, with Doncaster Knights being in the RFU Championship and Sheffield Eagles being in the RFL Championship. Both sports are behind soccer and ice hockey in the county.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 02:54

How are Ice Hockey attendances?

Because in South Yorkshire's average attendances in 2018-19 were:

Rugby League
Sheffield Eagles (2nd div): 943
Doncaster RLFC (3rd div): 601

Rugby Union

Doncaster Knights (2nd div): 1160
Rotherham Titans (3rd div): 598

Almost the same and basicaly poor anyway.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 03:02

Found it https://hockey.sigmagfx.com/compseason/eihl/1819

Sheffield Steelers: 6128

Indeed much more.

The best Sheffield rugby union club is Sheffield Tigers, in National League 2 (4th div), averaging 139 in 2018-19.
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 06:38

victorsra wrote:Found it https://hockey.sigmagfx.com/compseason/eihl/1819

Sheffield Steelers: 6128

Indeed much more.

The best Sheffield rugby union club is Sheffield Tigers, in National League 2 (4th div), averaging 139 in 2018-19.


Much more than all of those rugby clubs added together.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Thomas » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 16:51


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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby jservuk » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 17:31

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Found it https://hockey.sigmagfx.com/compseason/eihl/1819

Sheffield Steelers: 6128

Indeed much more.

The best Sheffield rugby union club is Sheffield Tigers, in National League 2 (4th div), averaging 139 in 2018-19.


Much more than all of those rugby clubs added together.


There is a tendency to view all of Yorkshire and Lancashire as a RL stronghold, but the truth is football/soccer holds sway in much of these counties as much as it does elsewhere in England.

South Yorkshire encompassing Sheffield, Doncaster, Rothertham, Barnsley, Lincoln have strong football fan bases. RL tried for years to establish the Sheffield Eagles.

Towards the north of Yorkshire in places like York, nudging into Middlesborough as well it's football.

The fabled M62 corridor running through Hull, Leeds, Wakefield, Halifax, Huddersfield, Rochdale, Oldham, then curving up towards Wigan is where you find the RL heartland, but even here football is bigger. Note also how Manchester and Liverpool are far bigger on football than RL, as is Blackburn, Preston, Blackpool.

I'm not trying to belittle Rugby in these parts, but if you want to see how far behind soccer/football Rugby (RU + RL) really is in a T1 powerhouse country take a look at Yorkshire and Lancashire.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 17:39

I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 17:52

victorsra wrote:I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?


Rugby isn't popular in Manchester or Liverpool. Rugby league is popular in certain towns. Sports shops are mostly chains like Soccer Sports. Rugby clubs have their own club shops. The main sports shops will sell England shirts, Wales shirts etc but not rugby club shirts.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 17:58

victorsra wrote:I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?


Yes York is an equal split. Average attendances. York City FC 2,443. York City Knights 2,125.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Wed, 15 Jul 2020, 19:17

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?


Rugby isn't popular in Manchester or Liverpool. Rugby league is popular in certain towns. Sports shops are mostly chains like Soccer Sports. Rugby clubs have their own club shops. The main sports shops will sell England shirts, Wales shirts etc but not rugby club shirts.

Yes, I saw this. But he didn't know what Super League is.... The Brazilian tourist had to explain :lol:
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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby victorsra » Fri, 17 Jul 2020, 07:20

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby theDarky » Fri, 17 Jul 2020, 16:00

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?


Rugby isn't popular in Manchester or Liverpool. Rugby league is popular in certain towns. Sports shops are mostly chains like Soccer Sports. Rugby clubs have their own club shops. The main sports shops will sell England shirts, Wales shirts etc but not rugby club shirts.

Yes, I saw this. But he didn't know what Super League is.... The Brazilian tourist had to explain :lol:


the best way to buy rugby shirts is internet. Amazon have a lot

https://www.amazon.fr/s?k=rugby+maillots

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 18 Jul 2020, 20:13

victorsra wrote:I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?


Well, they're the Sale Sharks not the Manchester Sharks. But they also play in Salford and not Sale.

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Rugby isn't popular in Manchester or Liverpool. Rugby league is popular in certain towns. Sports shops are mostly chains like Soccer Sports. Rugby clubs have their own club shops. The main sports shops will sell England shirts, Wales shirts etc but not rugby club shirts.


Greater Manchester has quite a few clubs. But soccer does dominate.

Greater Manchester Union Clubs:

Sale Sharks
Sale Football Club
Manchester Rugby Club
North Manchester Rugby Club
Manchester Village
Eccles RFC
Broughton Park FC
Old Bedians
Aldwinians RUFC
Burnage
Altrincham
Oldham
Didsbury
Trafford
Heaton Moor
Stockport

There's even more, but you get the point.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Tobar » Sat, 18 Jul 2020, 20:58



Wonder if South Africa will indeed send all of their clubs northward and how many the Pro14 would be willing to accept. They’d certainly have to can the Kings and Cheetahs to add the better clubs.

If they add a net 3 clubs from South Africa then we have the Pro17. How likely is it that we start to see conference play come into effect? Surely they will have to limit the number of times a club has to travel north/south for matches. The Saffas may not care because it’s a better travel deal than Super Rugby but the rest of the unions surely would.

Then this begs the question - is it still possible to host the rugby championship? Does South Africa join the six nations instead? Can they manage a much longer season, both for player welfare and weather in South Africa? How does the Champions Cup get reformatted?

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby TheStroBro » Sat, 18 Jul 2020, 21:04

I don't think the Pro14 actually wants them to join. The Pro14 Stakeholder Unions (Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) don't want to add a stakeholder. And the player welfare issues would only increase.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 18 Jul 2020, 21:25

TheStroBro wrote:
victorsra wrote:I believe you. When I visited Manchester (April 2018) I couldn't find Super League shirts to buy in sports stores and one salesman basicaly didn't know what Super League was... I also couldn't find Sale Sharks shirts. But TBH I just searched for it one day. I was busy in the rest of the time.

Isn't York more or less equaly split RL-Soccer?


Well, they're the Sale Sharks not the Manchester Sharks. But they also play in Salford and not Sale.

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Rugby isn't popular in Manchester or Liverpool. Rugby league is popular in certain towns. Sports shops are mostly chains like Soccer Sports. Rugby clubs have their own club shops. The main sports shops will sell England shirts, Wales shirts etc but not rugby club shirts.


Greater Manchester has quite a few clubs. But soccer does dominate.

Greater Manchester Union Clubs:

Sale Sharks
Sale Football Club
Manchester Rugby Club
North Manchester Rugby Club
Manchester Village
Eccles RFC
Broughton Park FC
Old Bedians
Aldwinians RUFC
Burnage
Altrincham
Oldham
Didsbury
Trafford
Heaton Moor
Stockport

There's even more, but you get the point.


I was talking about Manchester not Greater Manchester. And I meant rugby isn't popular as a spectator sport in Manchester. Rugby is popular as a participation sport all over England. England has 1809 rugby clubs apparently, so wherever you are in England you're never far from a rugby club. But those players don't necessarily support a professional rugby team. If you go into a rugby club in Liverpool and ask people what club they support, they'll say Everton or Liverpool. Some people might support St Helens. I don't know about Manchester. Those players might say they're Sale Sharks supporters because it's a Greater Manchester club.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 18 Jul 2020, 21:42

TheStroBro wrote:I don't think the Pro14 actually wants them to join. The Pro14 Stakeholder Unions (Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) don't want to add a stakeholder. And the player welfare issues would only increase.


I believe the Pro 14 does want the South African Super Rugby teams to join. That will put them on a more even financial basis with the English Premiership and the French Top 14. A Pro18 with 3 conferences could mean 10 games within your conference and 12 games against other conferences. For European teams that would mean one 3 match tour to South Africa each year. For South African teams that would mean two 3 match tours to Europe each year. That's not worse than what they were doing for Super Rugby and they won't be crossing time zones so it's actually better for player welfare.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Rebus » Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 07:34

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:I don't think the Pro14 actually wants them to join. The Pro14 Stakeholder Unions (Italy, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales) don't want to add a stakeholder. And the player welfare issues would only increase.


I believe the Pro 14 does want the South African Super Rugby teams to join. That will put them on a more even financial basis with the English Premiership and the French Top 14. A Pro18 with 3 conferences could mean 10 games within your conference and 12 games against other conferences. For European teams that would mean one 3 match tour to South Africa each year. For South African teams that would mean two 3 match tours to Europe each year. That's not worse than what they were doing for Super Rugby and they won't be crossing time zones so it's actually better for player welfare.


I agree with Chester-Donnelly , the CEO of the PRO14 has alwys been consistent with stating that they are keeping an open mind about looking to add more teams from South Africa , so I think its a case of when and how many teams would be added and not if more teams will join.

https://www.thesouthafrican.com/sport/r ... th-africa/

It is worth noting that there are 8 professional teams to choose from and apart from the SA wanting to join a league they would have a strong presence in , there may be scope to add more teams than just those 4 Super Rugby teams which would be attractive to cash strapped Unions like Scotland. I can see having the SA teams in the European competitions being a shot in the arm those competitions need. The problem being is that how do you manage it logistically

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Rebus » Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 08:04

As a separate question , where do countries like Scotland go in the future ?

My opinon is that they will cling on for dear mercy at the top table for as long as possible and then slide down the rankings periodically to sit around that 12th to 15th in the world where Italy currently sit , Italy possibly a few places below. Probably still having two pro club teams , possibly a third , but essentially being a nation where we are no longer competitive either at club level of national level.

I would be interested in the opinions of others about where they see Scottish rugby in 10 to 20 years time .

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 09:08

Rebus wrote:As a separate question , where do countries like Scotland go in the future ?

My opinon is that they will cling on for dear mercy at the top table for as long as possible and then slide down the rankings periodically to sit around that 12th to 15th in the world where Italy currently sit , Italy possibly a few places below. Probably still having two pro club teams , possibly a third , but essentially being a nation where we are no longer competitive either at club level of national level.

I would be interested in the opinions of others about where they see Scottish rugby in 10 to 20 years time .


I think Scotland will remain just as competitive at club and international level as they are now. The only difference is there will be more lower tier 1 level teams. I think Georgia and Russia will rise to the level of Scotland. Italy might actually improve to the level of Scotland too. Fiji should be at that level more consistently. USA and Uruguay will rise to that level. It's difficult to predict what will happen with Argentina but I think they will stay around that level. Tonga and Samoa will continue to have cycles of being good and not so good.

In 10-20 years time a RWC quarter final spot will be a success for Scotland, same as now. And to beat England and not finish bottom in the Six Nations, or whatever we have instead, will be a successful championship.

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Re: Growing rugby in Tier 1 nations

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 19 Jul 2020, 09:24

Rebus wrote:As a separate question , where do countries like Scotland go in the future ?

My opinon is that they will cling on for dear mercy at the top table for as long as possible and then slide down the rankings periodically to sit around that 12th to 15th in the world where Italy currently sit , Italy possibly a few places below. Probably still having two pro club teams , possibly a third , but essentially being a nation where we are no longer competitive either at club level of national level.

I would be interested in the opinions of others about where they see Scottish rugby in 10 to 20 years time .

As long as you fill Murrayfield, receive 6 Nations funding and keep a good scouting of non-Scottish born eligible players I'd be confident about you staying in the Top Ten.

The financial gap is way too big to fall below 12th. You will be embarrassed by the odd defeat like in USA recently or by underage results such as U20 being relegated to Trophy given the lack of players, but other than that you should be safe...

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