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Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

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Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 17 May 2020, 11:59

World Rugby has announced that Japan will be awarded tier 1 status, which means they will have two representatives and three votes at the World Rugby Council.

But which will be the next tier 1 nation? Fiji, USA, Russia or another team? Are what criteria does a union need to meet to achieve tier 1 status?

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 17 May 2020, 13:43

Considering there is a clause promising an additional vote to those spending in rugby enough money for some years in a row, Russia is a good candidate to be given a seat at the Council. But from there to Tier 1 status there is a long path...

USA is better positioned as sooner or later one of the two camps will try to lure them.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby victorsra » Sun, 17 May 2020, 13:58

It is bye-law 9: https://www.world.rugby/handbook/bye-laws/bye-law-9

9.1 Composition of Council

The Council shall consist of:

(a) two Representatives from each of the Foundation Unions, Unión Argentina de Rugby and the Federazione Italiana Rugby, who must be or have been a member of or hold an official position within the governing body of that Member Union;

(b) one Representative from each of the following Member Associations: Asia Rugby, Rugby Africa, Rugby Europe, Oceania Rugby, Sudamericana Rugby (Rugby Americas South) and Rugby Americas North, who must be or have been a member of or hold an official position within the governing body of that Member Association;

(c) the Chair as a non-voting member of Council save for when given a casting vote in accordance with these Bye-Laws;

(d) the Chief Executive Officer as a non-voting member of Council;

(e) one additional Representative from:

(i) each of the Member Associations set out in Bye-Law 9.1(b); and

(ii) each of the Member Unions entitled to an additional vote in accordance with Bye-Law 9.4(d),
in both cases, provided such additional Representative is female (who is not required to be or have been a member of the governing body of that Member Association or Member Union); and

(f) any Representative appointed in accordance with Bye-Law 9.2.

The Representatives set out above shall be elected by their Member Unions or Member Associations (as the case may be).

9.2 Applying to join Council

(a) All Member Unions other than those set out in Bye-Law 9.1(a) wishing to appoint a representative to Council may apply to the Nominations Committee at any time.

(b) Such Member Unions will be subject to review and recommendation by the Nominations Committee and must comply with the criteria required for Eligibility for Consideration of Membership to Council (the “Criteria”).

(c) The Criteria (which must for the avoidance of doubt be complied with by all Member Unions who are already in membership of Council and/or applying to become members of Council) may be reviewed from time to time but include the requirement for the relevant Member Union to demonstrate compliance with the provisions below:

(i) for applicant Unions who have never been in membership of Council: it has qualified for the two most recent Rugby World Cup Finals prior to the date of application to the Nominations Committee (note that the criteria which apply to a Member Union maintaining membership of Council in relation to qualification for the Rugby World Cup Finals is a different test as set out in Bye-Law 9.3(c));

(ii) for applicant Unions who were once in membership of Council: it has qualified for the Rugby World Cup Finals prior to the date of the application to the Nominations Committee;

(iii) it fully complies with World Rugby Membership Criteria as applicable at the time of application;

(iv) it is in good standing with World Rugby (and in particular it has filed and continues to file all appropriate paperwork/reports required by World Rugby and has paid all fees which are due for its membership or the renewal thereof);

(v) it is a member of a Member Association;

(vi) it is in good standing with its National Olympic Committee and/or National Sports Ministry

(vii) it is able to demonstrate that good governance practice is in operation including but not limited to the following areas:
• Constitution, Bye-Laws and Regulations are fully applied;
• Three years of unqualified audited accounts or, where such accounts are qualified, such qualification(s) is not material to the Member Union’s compliance with the Criteria, as determined by the Nominations Committee;
• Three years of AGM Minutes provided;
• Transparent links with membership evident;
• Satisfactory confirmation that the Member Union has jurisdiction and control over players and the professional game in their Member Union territory; and
• Comply with any national or regional legislation, regulations or codes in the area of good governance for sporting bodies.

(d) EXCO and Council shall be given notice of the Nominations Committee’s recommendations in accordance with Bye-Law 9.12 and Council shall make any final decision(s) in relation to Council membership which shall take effect from the first day of January following Council’s decision (unless Council implements its decision to take effect from a different date).

9.3 Ceasing to fulfil Council Membership Criteria

(a) Ordinarily by the end of January following each Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament, each Member Union in membership of Council shall be reviewed by a nominee of the Nominations Committee (which, for the avoidance of doubt, may be a World Rugby staff member) to confirm each Member Union’s continued compliance with the applicable Criteria. For the avoidance of doubt such review could take place outside of the ordinary review cycle if it is believed that a Member Union may no longer comply with the Criteria.

(b) The Nominations Committee shall consider a compliance report with respect to each Member Union ordinarily at its meeting in or about March of the year following each Rugby World Cup Finals Tournament. Ordinarily at that meeting the Nominations Committee shall make recommendation(s) with respect to the membership of Council in consideration of the Criteria set out in Bye-Law 9.2(c). EXCO and Council shall be given notice of the Nominations Committee’s recommendations in accordance with Bye-Law 9.12 and Council shall make any final decision(s) in relation to Council membership which shall take effect immediately following Council’s decision (unless Council implements its decision to take effect from a different date).

(c) In the event that a Member Union already a member of Council fails to qualify for the Rugby World Cup Finals, that Member Union shall, subject to a review in accordance with Bye-Law 9.3(a), continue to be entitled to appoint a representative to Council and have the opportunity to qualify for the next edition of the Rugby World Cup Finals. If such Member Union fails to qualify for the next Rugby World Cup Finals (i.e. two Rugby World Cup Finals in succession), that Member Union shall automatically lose its right to appoint a representative to Council and shall leave Council on the last day of December following the (second) Rugby World Cup Finals for which the relevant Member Union has failed to qualify.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 17 May 2020, 14:27

Armchair Fan wrote:Considering there is a clause promising an additional vote to those spending in rugby enough money for some years in a row, Russia is a good candidate to be given a seat at the Council. But from there to Tier 1 status there is a long path...

USA is better positioned as sooner or later one of the two camps will try to lure them.


I see what you mean. Russia is likely to be the next team to get a seat/vote on the council. USA already has a seat and could be set to be awarded another vote.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby thatrugbyguy » Tue, 19 May 2020, 06:00

No clear winner at the moment.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby welshdragon2000 » Tue, 19 May 2020, 15:16

How about Spain? Surely they have some good potential to become tier 1.
USA defiantly seems most likely to be next. Do people really think that Russia could make tier 1? They have so few youth players coming through for the next generation.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby RugbyLiebe » Tue, 19 May 2020, 15:42

In every other sport Portugal and Spain would already be playing on elite level due to their excellent and consistent youth systems. What lacks is the perspective for them and a chance to play against the continental top nations on a regular basis.
Due to this my money is on the USA, but not in the next 10 years.
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: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby victorsra » Tue, 19 May 2020, 15:56

I think USA can reach Japan/Italy level in this decade, maybe sooner than we imagine. It depends on how much attractive is MLR as a career for athletes and coaches.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby 4N » Tue, 19 May 2020, 16:14

Fiji. Cotter is a top class international coach and I think they will achieve some good results under him. Drua will help them develop depth and skills in certain areas (especially front row) and Laporte has plans for them to use France as a base which will help economically.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 19 May 2020, 16:33

welshdragon2000 wrote:How about Spain? Surely they have some good potential to become tier 1.

It's pretty clear we are decades away if that ever happens. There isn't the financial muscle to do it.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 19 May 2020, 17:17

How about Georgia? There is a growing opinion that Southern Kings in the Pro 14 is not working out and they would be better suited to playing in the Currie Cup for the next few seasons. This could open up a space for a team to replace them. Why not a Georgia team?

There is also a strong argument for expanding the Six Nations to Seven so that every team gets three home games every championship.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby erik2 » Tue, 19 May 2020, 18:10

The only way Spain can maybe manage to get to Tier1, would be first qualifying to the wc. Doing a decent tournament (similar to Uruguay). And if that happens, apart from the sport gaining popularity inside the country, It could bring tier1 teams to play in November against Spain. I mean if Spain had done what Uruguay did, I bet you many tier1 teams would be craving to play against them, mainly because of the massive potential the country has opposed to Georgia and Uruguay unfortunately (based in economy and population). Also in years of Lions tours countries like Scotland or Wales could do a tour in the country, like Scotland are going to do next year in Romania and Georgia.
Of course this could take years, but I do not see it as something crazy

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 19 May 2020, 18:25

To believe that managing to qualify for a RWC will change anything on its own is extremely naive. Spain did in 1999, Portugal did in 2007, Russia did in 2011. Nothing changed. On the contrary, they declined after that. Their golden generations thought it was the pinnacle of their careers and unions didn't make the most out of it.

You mention Uruguay, but Uruguayan path implies a number of changes (some possible, some impossible given the size and density of the country, union and clubs aspirations, etc...) that honestly a majority of people in Spain doesn't want to face. That's the truth. We spend a lot of time talking about models that cannot be implemented because they don't fit most people's expectations and aspirations.

We should find our own way and actually I think we did but current FER management is unable to guarantee its sustainability (because they are amateurs) both from administrative/political and financial POV. And those with the skills to guarantee it seem to kill almost everything because, you know, they are smarter and can do it on their own. Sure...

I'd rather be pessimistic. We may qualify for 2023 RWC but find it's just peak Spain and then go downhill again.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby erik2 » Tue, 19 May 2020, 18:41

First thing: I did not say only qualifying. I said doing also a decent tournament, putting the example of Uruguay. When Spain qualified in 1999 no one gave a damn.
Also Russia have never been even close to winning a RWC match (apart from USA and maybe Samoa if it was not for the refereeing). And 2019 should not even count. Portugal unfortunately were not able to compete in 2007 (and also based on population and economy are not as attractive)
When Spain played the qualifiers against Romania, Germany and Belgium. The national team where in the cover page of the biggest newspaper in Spain (el Marca). So it shows that the potential is there. As well as the cancelled match against Classic all Blacks which would have brought 50k plus to Wanda.

Of course if Spain where slaughtered in the RWC they would not be taken seriously, and we would be back (at least on the international stage back in square one)

I still think that in 10 years if the right decisions are made, Spain could be in the international stage, and be taken seriously.

Because lets be honest if Spain was Georgia, the Six Nations would be craving for having at least a promotion relegation playoff

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Armchair Fan » Tue, 19 May 2020, 19:16

Before Uruguay did a decent tournament they had 9 years of good and painful work at home, including a previous RWC being spanked because they fell in the pool of death (and they did great, but scoreboards looked awful).

The potential has always been there and was never fulfilled. What makes you think this is going to change anytime soon? I don't believe in potential, I believe in work. And work in the long run. Ten years would only be enough to be a leading Tier 2 that stops being scared by Belgiums and Chiles and only if we pushed all the right buttons, which takes a lot of daydreaming to think of. If I have learnt anything about rugby after following it seriously for almost a decade is that this is a sport where change happens slowly and work takes years to bear fruit. If we did everything right, the guys to become a Tier 1 aren't even born right now. It's almost a joke that not having achieved almost anything at all in men's XV we're talking about becoming Tier 1. Or anything meaningful in just ten years. Can we? Yes, maybe. But if you are Spanish you know our rugby scene. Do you really think we are able to unite and push forward a single plan? HA.

About your last sentence, ask our women about that. Maintaining statu quo is number one priority for Six Nations. That will not change.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby victorsra » Tue, 19 May 2020, 20:46

In my opinion, the question about being T1 is a bit empty, because what is T1? Are we discussing who can play at the same level of the T1s? Ok, Fiji, yes, and if Italy is T1, Fji is already T1-level...

Or we are talking about being T1 in the whole sense: to control a major competition, being a stakeowner, and having the maximum number of votes in the Council? To play the TRC/6N is different from being a stakeowner of them. With the future world league, we might see teams playing TRC without being stakeowners.. this means they won't be leveled with T1s outside the field... So, for the second concept, USA maybe is the nearest, because of its market.

Once more, "rugby nation" and "national teams" are different things...


PS: BTW, I can only understand Japan as a T1 when they get 3 votes and become stakeowners of one of the major competitions (and when it is said they would take part in major negociation tables of major competitions, I understand as almost equivalent, but not exactly).... otherwise, it would be absolutely meaningless do call them "T1"....

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 19 May 2020, 21:26

victorsra wrote:In my opinion, the question about being T1 is a bit empty, because what is T1? Are we discussing who can play at the same level of the T1s? Ok, Fiji, yes, and if Italy is T1, Fji is already T1-level...

Or we are talking about being T1 in the whole sense: to control a major competition, being a stakeowner, and having the maximum number of votes in the Council? To play the TRC/6N is different from being a stakeowner of them. With the future world league, we might see teams playing TRC without being stakeowners.. this means they won't be leveled with T1s outside the field... So, for the second concept, USA maybe is the nearest, because of its market.

Once more, "rugby" and "national teams" are different things...


PS: BTW, I can only understand Japan as a T1 when they get 3 votes and become stakeowners of one of the major competitions (and when it is said they would take part in major negociation tables of major competitions, I understand as almost equivalent, but not exactly).... otherwise, it would be absolutely meaningless do call them "T1"....


I asked the question, and I define tier 1 as having the maximum number of votes in the World Rugby council, and to be declared tier 1 by Bill Beaumont. But you do make a good point. My understanding of what a tier 1 nation is has changed since this announcement from World Rugby. I did understand tier 1 nations as having a stake in the Six Nations or TRC.
I also think there ought to be a criteria to meet before one can be considered tier 1. For example in my opinion a tier 1 nation should have at least 2 professional rugby teams playing in professional leagues, and those teams must be separate entities to the national team.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby victorsra » Tue, 19 May 2020, 21:32

Sorry, I'm not criticising your thread, no! I'm just saying every discussion and opinion about this topic should take these points in account.

For example in my opinion a tier 1 nation should have at least 2 professional rugby teams playing in professional leagues, and those teams must be separate entities to the national team.

So, Argentina only became T1 in 2020?

And about USA, I said they are probably the neareast, but I forgot abotu USAR bankrupcy...

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 19 May 2020, 22:08

victorsra wrote:Sorry, I'm not criticising your thread, no! I'm just saying every discussion and opinion about this topic should take these points in account.

For example in my opinion a tier 1 nation should have at least 2 professional rugby teams playing in professional leagues, and those teams must be separate entities to the national team.

So, Argentina only became T1 in 2020?

And about USA, I said they are probably the neareast, but I forgot abotu USAR bankrupcy...


I would argue that prior to 2020 Argentina was tier 1 under the definition at the time. From 2020 I would like the criteria to be clearly defined by World Rugby, and for each country to be measured against that criteria. That way each union would know what it needs to improve. Things like bankruptcy would disqualify a union from tier 1 status.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby jesusg9 » Wed, 20 May 2020, 11:11

A must read in Spain

Armchair Fan wrote:
welshdragon2000 wrote:How about Spain? Surely they have some good potential to become tier 1.

It's pretty clear we are decades away if that ever happens. There isn't the financial muscle to do it.

The only way Spain can maybe manage to get to Tier1, would be first qualifying to the wc. Doing a decent tournament (similar to Uruguay). And if that happens, apart from the sport gaining popularity inside the country, It could bring tier1 teams to play in November against Spain. I mean if Spain had done what Uruguay did, I bet you many tier1 teams would be craving to play against them, mainly because of the massive potential the country has opposed to Georgia and Uruguay unfortunately (based in economy and population). Also in years of Lions tours countries like Scotland or Wales could do a tour in the country, like Scotland are going to do next year in Romania and Georgia.
Of course this could take years, but I do not see it as something crazy

To believe that managing to qualify for a RWC will change anything on its own is extremely naive. Spain did in 1999, Portugal did in 2007, Russia did in 2011. Nothing changed. On the contrary, they declined after that. Their golden generations thought it was the pinnacle of their careers and unions didn't make the most out of it.

You mention Uruguay, but Uruguayan path implies a number of changes (some possible, some impossible given the size and density of the country, union and clubs aspirations, etc...) that honestly a majority of people in Spain doesn't want to face. That's the truth. We spend a lot of time talking about models that cannot be implemented because they don't fit most people's expectations and aspirations.

We should find our own way and actually I think we did but current FER management is unable to guarantee its sustainability (because they are amateurs) both from administrative/political and financial POV. And those with the skills to guarantee it seem to kill almost everything because, you know, they are smarter and can do it on their own. Sure...

I'd rather be pessimistic. We may qualify for 2023 RWC but find it's just peak Spain and then go downhill again.

First thing: I did not say only qualifying. I said doing also a decent tournament, putting the example of Uruguay. When Spain qualified in 1999 no one gave a damn.
Also Russia have never been even close to winning a RWC match (apart from USA and maybe Samoa if it was not for the refereeing). And 2019 should not even count. Portugal unfortunately were not able to compete in 2007 (and also based on population and economy are not as attractive)
When Spain played the qualifiers against Romania, Germany and Belgium. The national team where in the cover page of the biggest newspaper in Spain (el Marca). So it shows that the potential is there. As well as the cancelled match against Classic all Blacks which would have brought 50k plus to Wanda.

Of course if Spain where slaughtered in the RWC they would not be taken seriously, and we would be back (at least on the international stage back in square one)

I still think that in 10 years if the right decisions are made, Spain could be in the international stage, and be taken seriously.

Because lets be honest if Spain was Georgia, the Six Nations would be craving for having at least a promotion relegation playoff

Before Uruguay did a decent tournament they had 9 years of good and painful work at home, including a previous RWC being spanked because they fell in the pool of death (and they did great, but scoreboards looked awful).

The potential has always been there and was never fulfilled. What makes you think this is going to change anytime soon? I don't believe in potential, I believe in work. And work in the long run. Ten years would only be enough to be a leading Tier 2 that stops being scared by Belgiums and Chiles and only if we pushed all the right buttons, which takes a lot of daydreaming to think of. If I have learnt anything about rugby after following it seriously for almost a decade is that this is a sport where change happens slowly and work takes years to bear fruit. If we did everything right, the guys to become a Tier 1 aren't even born right now. It's almost a joke that not having achieved almost anything at all in men's XV we're talking about becoming Tier 1. Or anything meaningful in just ten years. Can we? Yes, maybe. But if you are Spanish you know our rugby scene. Do you really think we are able to unite and push forward a single plan? HA.

About your last sentence, ask our women about that. Maintaining statu quo is number one priority for Six Nations. That will not change.


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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby erik2 » Wed, 20 May 2020, 17:32

What do you think Jesusg9

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby lerugby » Thu, 21 May 2020, 04:23

victorsra wrote:I think USA can reach Japan/Italy level in this decade, maybe sooner than we imagine. It depends on how much attractive is MLR as a career for athletes and coaches.


I totally agree to this opinion,
MLR had quite good start, and if this COVID thing did not collapse everything
American Rugby seems to grow rapidly...

:roll:

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 21 May 2020, 04:57

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Sorry, I'm not criticising your thread, no! I'm just saying every discussion and opinion about this topic should take these points in account.

For example in my opinion a tier 1 nation should have at least 2 professional rugby teams playing in professional leagues, and those teams must be separate entities to the national team.

So, Argentina only became T1 in 2020?

And about USA, I said they are probably the neareast, but I forgot abotu USAR bankrupcy...


I would argue that prior to 2020 Argentina was tier 1 under the definition at the time. From 2020 I would like the criteria to be clearly defined by World Rugby, and for each country to be measured against that criteria. That way each union would know what it needs to improve. Things like bankruptcy would disqualify a union from tier 1 status.


I've mentioned this several times on what is required to be Tier 1. You have to have a year on year budget of 20M pounds or greater, not receive any development or high performance grants from World Rugby. Aka, Self-Sustaining. I wonder if Georgia is next as they are governed well. We are very far away.
Last edited by TheStroBro on Thu, 21 May 2020, 22:37, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 21 May 2020, 07:09

TheStroBro wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Sorry, I'm not criticising your thread, no! I'm just saying every discussion and opinion about this topic should take these points in account.

For example in my opinion a tier 1 nation should have at least 2 professional rugby teams playing in professional leagues, and those teams must be separate entities to the national team.

So, Argentina only became T1 in 2020?

And about USA, I said they are probably the neareast, but I forgot abotu USAR bankrupcy...


I would argue that prior to 2020 Argentina was tier 1 under the definition at the time. From 2020 I would like the criteria to be clearly defined by World Rugby, and for each country to be measured against that criteria. That way each union would know what it needs to improve. Things like bankruptcy would disqualify a union from tier 1 status.


I've mentioned this several times on what is required to be Tier 1. You have to have a year on year budget of 20M pounds or greater, not receive any development of high performance grants from World Rugby. Aka, Self-Sustaining. I wonder if Georgia is next as they are governed well. We are very far away.


Very good point. You couldn't have a nation meeting all the other requirements to be tier 1, but all financed by external funding, to be promoted to tier 1 status. If the Pacific Islands can reach and maintain tier 1 performance levels, that is great news for the sport, but until they can fund that themselves they cannot be tier 1 nations no matter how good they are.

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Re: Which will be the next tier 1 nation?

Postby jesusg9 » Thu, 21 May 2020, 15:12

erik2 wrote:What do you think Jesusg9


Armchair fan has described the milestones to achive better goals for Spanish Rugby.

I'm not sure all the spanish actors do have so clear this roadmap. I'm seeing many of them are lost in little and aside steps.

We, Spain, have the green sprouts to became a principal role player, as in many other sports. Long, hard and uncertaly trip, but is in our hands.

Anyway, for me, a humble "rugbero", and many others the very trip does worth it.

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