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World Rugby politics

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby ihateblazers » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 11:57

England, Ireland, Scotland, Australia, Argentina have private schools as the main pathway or background of players, so that probably plays a big part in elitist stigma and this does have a negative effect on public perception, though there are those who don’t care about such things and good on them. Compared to New Zealand, France, Italy, Wales who don’t rely on private schools and where the game is seen as classless. In South Africa there is elitism for an obvious historical reason which is not comparable to the others. The former group also happen to have some of the most elitist and conservative unions in word rugby.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby ThreePears » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 12:18

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ThreePears wrote:
ThreePears wrote:For me the main aim of the next person in the job has to be to make world cup 2027 a 24 team tournament and to help rid rugby of the posh/white/elitist/private school stigma it has attached to it. Only then will the sport properly start to grow.

This thing about elitist stigma always surprises me a bit, because here in Italy there's not at all that stigma. At the opposite, I think that at least until some years ago the young players came not rarely from the lowest classes: you are at the margin of the society, why don't you play in an hard and dirty sport at the margin of the sports panorama? Now things must have been quite changed, but still I can't see an elitist approach at all


That is interesting (and refreshing) to hear. The game in Scotland, England and Ireland definitely has those connotations, as it does in South Africa and as we are currently seeing in Argentina too. I would hazard a guess that it is a similar picture in Uruguay too although as I understand it not so much in Chile and Colombia. The stigma needs ridding in the above countries for sure. I’m not what it is like in France but I get the feeling it isn’t as bad as here in England.


Maybe in London and the north there is an elitist stigma to rugby. But that is definitely not the case in the South West or in Wales. In fact I have only ever lived in areas where rugby is definitely not elitist; just a popular sport that people like to play. Maybe it's elite at the elite level but at club level it definitely is not, in my experience.

There are also sports in England that struggle from not being seen as elite at all, e.g. basketball. That sport would benefit from being seen as more elite. Be careful what you wish for. Most people are middle class and aspirational and rugby appeals to those people.[/quote]

You are of course right that in the south west and Wales the sport does not have elite roots (i’d deliberately left Wales out of my list for this reason). The South West in England is an interesting example. Where there is little stigma or classism attached to the game, it has thrived with a load of pro and grassroots clubs and good attendances for clubs. It is interesting as to why rugby, in England at least, has absolutely failed to crack most of the big citys. Even in London it has barely made a dent out of it’s wealthy west london strongholds. It has been on the cusp of cracking Leeds, Birmingham and even Manchester and Liverpool yet all of the clubs in these cities have, or are in the process of, falling away.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby vino_93 » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 13:06

ThreePears wrote:
ThreePears wrote:
For me the main aim of the next person in the job has to be to make world cup 2027 a 24 team tournament and to help rid rugby of the posh/white/elitist/private school stigma it has attached to it. Only then will the sport properly start to grow.

This thing about elitist stigma always surprises me a bit, because here in Italy there's not at all that stigma. At the opposite, I think that at least until some years ago the young players came not rarely from the lowest classes: you are at the margin of the society, why don't you play in an hard and dirty sport at the margin of the sports panorama? Now things must have been quite changed, but still I can't see an elitist approach at all


That is interesting (and refreshing) to hear. The game in Scotland, England and Ireland definitely has those connotations, as it does in South Africa and as we are currently seeing in Argentina too. I would hazard a guess that it is a similar picture in Uruguay too although as I understand it not so much in Chile and Colombia. The stigma needs ridding in the above countries for sure. I’m not what it is like in France but I get the feeling it isn’t as bad as here in England.


Definitly in France rugby isn't seen as elitist. Especially in Southern France, where it's a popular sport. Even more than popular, cultural would be the right word. Everyone is playing it. It's part of the local identity.
In Northern France, I would be a bit more uncertain about it ... when I played, there were people from all classes. But rugby might be more a upper / middle class sport there than lower class, which are more focused on football or boxing. Anyway, that's not the case everywhere, you have some strong clubs in poorer Paris suburbs.


But if rugby is an all access sport, pro players become more & more elitists. A lot of money is put in rugby now, sharing some "values" which perfectly fits the upper class standards. Many retired players adopt upper class codes anyway (especially those who are in Paris - both Stade Français and Racing playing on that image, but not only them). After party game in many Top 14 clubs really looks like a stiff party now. So ... an all access sport, which received to enter the upper class and erase that "peasant from the southwest" picture. Even if, in its heart, it remains closely linked to that, and to acceptance of everyone.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby jservuk » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 14:12

The RFU (proudly) boasts that 70% of the England squad currently come from state (i.e not private) schools, and I see more and more Black players in the game in England, all of which suggests perhaps Rugby Union is more open than many people think.

Now that could be because there are a disproportionate number of more talented kids in the state sector, or that for the posh toffs Rugby used to be an amateur pursuit that allowed them to get on with running banks, countries, surgeries etc, but now it's a profession in itself. Also perhaps easier for lower income talented kids to get into rugby and earn a living compared to say football where the chances of success are very small.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby TheStroBro » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 15:03

jservuk wrote:The RFU (proudly) boasts that 70% of the England squad currently come from state (i.e not private) schools, and I see more and more Black players in the game in England, all of which suggests perhaps Rugby Union is more open than many people think.

Now that could be because there are a disproportionate number of more talented kids in the state sector, or that for the posh toffs Rugby used to be an amateur pursuit that allowed them to get on with running banks, countries, surgeries etc, but now it's a profession in itself. Also perhaps easier for lower income talented kids to get into rugby and earn a living compared to say football where the chances of success are very small.


They say that, but most of those players came from "fee paying" schools. In the US you would consider those private schools. Here you have state funded schools which are the vast majority and funded by tax dollars. Then you have the private schools which are based mostly on parochial/religious ownership which are tuition based.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby ihateblazers » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 15:07

The problem is the pathway in England for players. The elite pathway is mostly filtered through the public schools (private/fee paying) system. The very talented players can make it through but a lot of guys give up because they don’t see a way to the top.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby ThreePears » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 16:56

Yep, the pathway scews it massively in favour of private school players and im staggered to learn that the RFU are pushing a 70/30 split as I just can’t imagine that that is true. It is the perception too. Until you have a team that are really a Team of Ellis Genges (in terms of where they have come from) it will be difficult to change the perception. One thing that is really noticeable when you compare rugby and football is the accents on TV. Many (although not all) of the football pundits (Jermaine Jenas, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Alan Shearer, Ian Wright) have very thick regional accents. Nearly all English rugby pundits and indeed players, speak “RP” English something that is only really spoken if you are of a certain class in England.

It is interesting to learn about France and it confirms what I thought may be the case, especially in the south west

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 19:17

ihateblazers wrote:The problem is the pathway in England for players. The elite pathway is mostly filtered through the public schools (private/fee paying) system. The very talented players can make it through but a lot of guys give up because they don’t see a way to the top.


That isn't really true. The Elite pathway is to join your local "Elite Player Development Group" at 13 (these are generally very local, generally cover areas of about 45 mins travel time by car), nominated by your local club or school. You then get filtered between wider groups and "gold" groups. At 16 they have a selection for the Wellington Festival and from there join the junior academy that trains together regularly at the home club. At 18 they get offered pro contracts.
People regularly confuse the private schools scouting the EPDGs and attracting the best players at 13-16 with the academies only looking at those schools. The private schools have been doing this for 20 years. Harry Ellis was at my state school in my brother's year, he got a full scholarship to go to Leicester Grammer at 15. He was already in Tigers academy and was in trials for England U-16 at that point. But if you just go to Wikipedia and look up school you go "oh another private school boy".

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 03 Dec 2020, 19:28

ThreePears wrote:Yep, the pathway scews it massively in favour of private school players and im staggered to learn that the RFU are pushing a 70/30 split as I just can’t imagine that that is true. It is the perception too. Until you have a team that are really a Team of Ellis Genges (in terms of where they have come from) it will be difficult to change the perception. One thing that is really noticeable when you compare rugby and football is the accents on TV. Many (although not all) of the football pundits (Jermaine Jenas, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Alan Shearer, Ian Wright) have very thick regional accents. Nearly all English rugby pundits and indeed players, speak “RP” English something that is only really spoken if you are of a certain class in England.

It is interesting to learn about France and it confirms what I thought may be the case, especially in the south west


Agree on the TV coverage, think about the 2003 RWC pack. Woodman, Thompson, Vickery, Johnson, Back are all from normal back grounds, Back & Thompson from council estates with Thompson's actually very rough indeed. But who is it on TV? Kay and Dallaglio the two that went to public school, Kay's father was on the UK equivalent of the supreme court (and is now called that). Dallaglio does his mockney accent but he went to a very posh bording school in Yorkshire.

How we present ourselves is how others see us. If we keep presenting Kay rather than, for instance, Gareth Chillcot that's what will people will continue to think!

We do better on the BBC though with Guscott & Johnson, they are both normal people with normal backgrounds who were world class players.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 04 Dec 2020, 16:37

So the World League Concept is back.

https://twitter.com/EarfulOfDirt/status ... 1019830272

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 04 Dec 2020, 18:15

I'm still not convinced, but this proposal is way better from Tier 2 perspective given the number of guaranteed T1 v T2 games.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby Rebus » Sat, 05 Dec 2020, 02:37

TheStroBro wrote:So the World League Concept is back.

https://twitter.com/EarfulOfDirt/status ... 1019830272


Who is actually trying to raise this ? I couldnt see who was proposing this

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 05 Dec 2020, 02:47

Armchair Fan wrote:I'm still not convinced, but this proposal is way better from Tier 2 perspective given the number of guaranteed T1 v T2 games.


How so? Genuinely asking. I still think emulating the 7s World Series would be the best way forward. Four pools of 4 to determine rankings and which Championship division you fall into held in June/July and the Cup, Plate, Shield and Bowl finals held in November though in stead of the latter it be focused purely around overall world rankings. Which would reset every year. With the 16th ranked team playing against the winner of a theoretical 2nd Div winner structured in the same way.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 05 Dec 2020, 09:46

Instead of giving two T2 sides all the Tier 1 Games, under this new proposal we would have six T2 with access to them.

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby victorsra » Sun, 06 Dec 2020, 19:09

It can become something very good for T2 rugby, but if there is a proper T2s qualy competition instead of Ranking. Beaumont's administration promised a T2 competition, remember? https://www.asoif.com/news/world-rugby- ... ompetition

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby TheStroBro » Mon, 07 Dec 2020, 04:24

Rebus wrote:
TheStroBro wrote:So the World League Concept is back.

https://twitter.com/EarfulOfDirt/status ... 1019830272


Who is actually trying to raise this ? I couldnt see who was proposing this


This was a survey sent by World Rugby. During the World Cup apparently they solicited contact information from interested fans (although I didn't see it then).

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Re: World Rugby politics

Postby NaBUru38 » Thu, 10 Dec 2020, 22:23

It's not a bad idea, as long as there's promotion, relegation, and extra divisions.

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