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Inter-continental competitons

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Wed, 30 Dec 2020, 20:57

sk 88 wrote:
victorsra wrote:Well, to keep international rugby the way it is, Super Rugby was the model of maximum number of club matches for players. If European club rugby copies football models, it will obviously clash. But clubs asked for Unions help during the pandemic, right? Unions need money generated by national teams matches. If clubs want Unions to pay for players, Unions will need more matches and so on and on. Endless problem unless one side deeply changes (either clubs reducing calendar, or national teams using 100% central contracted players, which means operating like clubs...).


As ever this totally misunderstands and mischaracterises the situation. The clubs have not copied or moved anything, they evolved from literally the same sport with the same calendar.


I'm NOT talking about the months of the season.

There is nothing misunderstood here about the model. England didn't have a league until 1987. Wasn't the need of a club league inspired on football? The game was amateur and, ok, we can say the merit table were an unofficial league, but, different from football, rugby also had the Counties model. England could have moved on with the Counties competition as the top of the pyramid, just like Ireland and Scotland opted to move on with provincial/regional sides instead of clubs. Of course it was an evolution of rugby , inside rugby, motivated by rugby issues, but that was a choice. And a model that already existed and was deeply rooted in football, rugby league, etc. A choice made before professionalism, yes, but there were different possible paths. The choice has influences.

France, in the other hand, had a national league with dozens of clubs split in many group. Only with professionalism they decided to use round robin model.

In both cases, England and France opted for the model that was successful in football. Clubs playing a 10 months season with round robin competition + European Cup, which means a big load matches. The reason, obviously, is money, and it will conflict with national teams, as rugby (different from soccer) doesn't have midweek matches.

The unions play more because they regard themselves as the game, the sole purpose of the game, and everyone else as shit on their shoe who should be grateful for the internationals existence.


It might sound true about England or France, but it is definitly false when we talk about everybody else. Rugby needs the international rugby because club rugby in most countries wouldn't be able to pay itself, specialy because rugby wasted a century forbidding professionalism, which meant it modeled a certain type of community. Rugby was for long time a game much more of players than fans.

The right move is exactly cooperation. Rugby still needs national teams. The Premiership or the Top 14 won't ever be the NBAs of rugby, they won't create new fans outiside their own countries. We can discuss national teams should play less but more meaningfuly, but the European club season is pure mad nonsense. Too many matches for a game tougher than ever but not big enough.

There is no way to have a rational equilibrium with clubs playing 33-39 matches seasons.
33 matches is already more than what a professional player should play these days. You can put a limit on the numbers of matches each player can play, but the problem is already there. Best players can't play all the matches.

European club rugby shouldn't be a home and away round robin. It wasn't before professionalism and now there is player welfare issues. You can limit the matches numbers for each player, but they will need bigger squads. And bigger squads mean more money needed.

And if English and French clubs need players, where would they look for them? In those countries that need their Unions' money to keep those players in their countries. Why would NZ or Wales want tro reduce their national team seasons? Just to have less money and lose even more key players to Premiership and Top 14?. If Wales and NZ are playing more, why would FFR and RFU accept to play less? The cycle of this problem goes on and on.

They have always, literally for ever, played from September to last week of April. The only extensions have come AFTER the extension of the international calendar. They asked for money AFTER the union took their players.

The clubs have not asked the union for help. The union have given them even less money than usual but taken the players for the same amount of time, as is their right under the deal signed in 2016. It has been the central government that has had to bail both of them out. The union has not helped at all, and it is very aggravating to me that people think that. It is totally untrue to the point I cannot even think of the crossed wires to generate it, they have not even helped junior clubs with money.


Ok about Premiership clubs, I might have misunderstood the whole process. But for the other levels, RFU $ is still needed. And the more Premiership-centric English rugby is, the worst for its own future.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 12:16

victorsra wrote:
sk 88 wrote:
victorsra wrote:Well, to keep international rugby the way it is, Super Rugby was the model of maximum number of club matches for players. If European club rugby copies football models, it will obviously clash. But clubs asked for Unions help during the pandemic, right? Unions need money generated by national teams matches. If clubs want Unions to pay for players, Unions will need more matches and so on and on. Endless problem unless one side deeply changes (either clubs reducing calendar, or national teams using 100% central contracted players, which means operating like clubs...).


As ever this totally misunderstands and mischaracterises the situation. The clubs have not copied or moved anything, they evolved from literally the same sport with the same calendar.


I'm NOT talking about the months of the season.

There is nothing misunderstood here about the model. England didn't have a league until 1987. Wasn't the need of a club league inspired on football? The game was amateur and, ok, we can say the merit table were an unofficial league, but, different from football, rugby also had the Counties model. England could have moved on with the Counties competition as the top of the pyramid, just like Ireland and Scotland opted to move on with provincial/regional sides instead of clubs. Of course it was an evolution of rugby , inside rugby, motivated by rugby issues, but that was a choice. And a model that already existed and was deeply rooted in football, rugby league, etc. A choice made before professionalism, yes, but there were different possible paths. The choice has influences.

France, in the other hand, had a national league with dozens of clubs split in many group. Only with professionalism they decided to use round robin model.

In both cases, England and France opted for the model that was successful in football. Clubs playing a 10 months season with round robin competition + European Cup, which means a big load matches. The reason, obviously, is money, and it will conflict with national teams, as rugby (different from soccer) doesn't have midweek matches.

The unions play more because they regard themselves as the game, the sole purpose of the game, and everyone else as shit on their shoe who should be grateful for the internationals existence.


It might sound true about England or France, but it is definitly false when we talk about everybody else. Rugby needs the international rugby because club rugby in most countries wouldn't be able to pay itself, specialy because rugby wasted a century forbidding professionalism, which meant it modeled a certain type of community. Rugby was for long time a game much more of players than fans.

The right move is exactly cooperation. Rugby still needs national teams. The Premiership or the Top 14 won't ever be the NBAs of rugby, they won't create new fans outiside their own countries. We can discuss national teams should play less but more meaningfuly, but the European club season is pure mad nonsense. Too many matches for a game tougher than ever but not big enough.

There is no way to have a rational equilibrium with clubs playing 33-39 matches seasons.
33 matches is already more than what a professional player should play these days. You can put a limit on the numbers of matches each player can play, but the problem is already there. Best players can't play all the matches.

European club rugby shouldn't be a home and away round robin. It wasn't before professionalism and now there is player welfare issues. You can limit the matches numbers for each player, but they will need bigger squads. And bigger squads mean more money needed.

And if English and French clubs need players, where would they look for them? In those countries that need their Unions' money to keep those players in their countries. Why would NZ or Wales want tro reduce their national team seasons? Just to have less money and lose even more key players to Premiership and Top 14?. If Wales and NZ are playing more, why would FFR and RFU accept to play less? The cycle of this problem goes on and on.

They have always, literally for ever, played from September to last week of April. The only extensions have come AFTER the extension of the international calendar. They asked for money AFTER the union took their players.

The clubs have not asked the union for help. The union have given them even less money than usual but taken the players for the same amount of time, as is their right under the deal signed in 2016. It has been the central government that has had to bail both of them out. The union has not helped at all, and it is very aggravating to me that people think that. It is totally untrue to the point I cannot even think of the crossed wires to generate it, they have not even helped junior clubs with money.


Ok about Premiership clubs, I might have misunderstood the whole process. But for the other levels, RFU $ is still needed. And the more Premiership-centric English rugby is, the worst for its own future.


Again this just shows how little you understand the history of the game or what I am getting at.

Within in England the junior clubs get little to no direct money from the RFU, there is no central direct grant. Everything is tied to specific applications, or provided as services (for instance a Rugby Development Officer will help a club design training sessions, and even hold some of them). I think it is a very big mischaracterisation to say they rely on the RFU money, and at no point is it considered why what services they do provide require 11 games a season, sometimes as many as 13.

The league followed on from the merit tables which followed on from the tables the papers printed which followed on from the fixtures clubs already played. There was no reference to football after the attempts in the 1920s, you can read these discussions in old newspapers. Please don't drink the kool aid and buy the untruths put about by people who wish England had a different history. The county championship was never considered the "top level", and only survived when the committee men deliberately prevented clubs from developing their own competitions. The league was argued for variously, pre-split with north (i.e. that was one of the secondary causes of it in the first place), around 1905, around 1920, around 1950, then continuously from the early 1960s until the RFU relented and got the ball rolling with merit tables which inevitably became leagues.

So don't come at me with this total bull shit that the history the league begins in 1987. It is simply not true.

The right move is exactly cooperation. Rugby still needs national teams. The Premiership or the Top 14 won't ever be the NBAs of rugby, they won't create new fans outiside their own countries. We can discuss national teams should play less but more meaningfuly, but the European club season is pure mad nonsense. Too many matches for a game tougher than ever but not big enough.

There is no way to have a rational equilibrium with clubs playing 33-39 matches seasons.
33 matches is already more than what a professional player should play these days. You can put a limit on the numbers of matches each player can play, but the problem is already there. Best players can't play all the matches.


I have absolutely no beef with this at all. The ONLY way rugby will move forward is with co-operation. Imposing things on the clubs and pretending their existence was a choice by the union for which we should be grateful is not co-operation, that's arrogance that closes people off from co-operation. A system of 25 main club games and 9 internationals is very close to: 1) what the players can reasonably play, 2) what might actually be achievable. Any reasonable system is impossible with 13 international matches. Until people accept that nothing will change. That would reduce club games by 25% and internationals by 20%. Asking for more than that is not good faith co-operation and why things don't change.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 14:23

Within in England the junior clubs get little to no direct money from the RFU, there is no central direct grant. Everything is tied to specific applications, or provided as services (for instance a Rugby Development Officer will help a club design training sessions, and even hold some of them). I think it is a very big mischaracterisation to say they rely on the RFU money, and at no point is it considered why what services they do provide require 11 games a season, sometimes as many as 13.


So, about RFU's money, you are basicaly saying they have a lot of money that is not well used? You are basicaly saying they are inefficient? That's fine. I'd love to see Premiership in charge of the Championship anyway, that's a good argument for that.

But you don't get the most important point. If Wales or New Zealand or everybody else need 11-13 matches, because they need money for their systems, RFU won't simply accept/want like only 8 matches. England is not in a bubble.

And remember, it is not only about the matches per se, but the number of matches would probably affect sponsorship. For exemple, O2 pays RFU now £7.5m a year, but if you reduce the number of matches by 25% you can't expect the deal to be the same (ok, there is women's, U20s etc, plus all possible marketing events non related to matchdays, but still the deal would probably be different).

Again this just shows how little you understand the history of the game or what I am getting at.

The league followed on from the merit tables which followed on from the tables the papers printed which followed on from the fixtures clubs already played. There was no reference to football after the attempts in the 1920s, you can read these discussions in old newspapers. Please don't drink the kool aid and buy the untruths put about by people who wish England had a different history. The county championship was never considered the "top level", and only survived when the committee men deliberately prevented clubs from developing their own competitions. The league was argued for variously, pre-split with north (i.e. that was one of the secondary causes of it in the first place), around 1905, around 1920, around 1950, then continuously from the early 1960s until the RFU relented and got the ball rolling with merit tables which inevitably became leagues.

So don't come at me with this total bull shit that the history the league begins in 1987. It is simply not true.

"How little". You don't get what I'm saying, it is easier to make this conclusion, obviously. You don't need to reference football. What I'm talking is about the concept consacrated by football (that's why I said "inspired by football"). The round robin league for clubs formula, used in football on a national level since 1888. You are not denying what I'm saying at all. If it bothers you, you can scrap the word "football" and just focus on the formula.

The Merit Tables from 1984 were effectively a league, I know that, but still officialy it started on 1987. It realy doesn't matter for this discussion when in the 1980s it properly started. I know pretty well the struggle of the clubs to have a league, how the national cup only started in the 1970s (although proposed before), and etc. But again, you have two models for the top of the pyramid: the representative teams model (like Ireland or the SH) and the club model. The fact England had (still has, but it doesn't matter now) a Counties Championship shows there were paths to choose from. You say the Counties were never important. Ok, it doesn't change the fact they existed and the chosen path was the "round robin league for clubs". To say it is a choice, obviously, doesn't mean it wasn't a long process. I'm not claiming it was decided from day to night, I said it was a process, with negociations, disputes, etc etc. Many forces in play until the 1987 scenario.

I have absolutely no beef with this at all. The ONLY way rugby will move forward is with co-operation. Imposing things on the clubs and pretending their existence was a choice by the union for which we should be grateful is not co-operation, that's arrogance that closes people off from co-operation. A system of 25 main club games and 9 internationals is very close to: 1) what the players can reasonably play, 2) what might actually be achievable. Any reasonable system is impossible with 13 international matches. Until people accept that nothing will change. That would reduce club games by 25% and internationals by 20%. Asking for more than that is not good faith co-operation and why things don't change.


It is interesting you first needed to say I know nothing basicaly to agree with me in the end that club rugby in Europe had more matches than needed as well.

However, with 9 internationals, there won't be a single T1 vs T2 match, because T1s will want to make the maximum money possible with their smaller number of matches. Unless you create a proper promotion-relegation system for national teams, that won't happen. And don't say WR has to force them to play T2s even with only 9 matches calendar, because you know they are the main force inside WR. In the end, your claim that 9 matches is enough is basicaly the formula that would hurt T2 rugby even more.

The best model is the one created by the SH. Half of the year it is clubs/franchises in the centre, and in the other half the national teams (with domestic rugby going too, but without national team players). It is a perfect equilibrium for rugby. SH has failed in many ways, national teams were wrongly put above franchises and Super Rugby is not the best marketing/management model, but that doesn't mean the model is wrong. It only needs to be perfected. What is obvious here, thinking about Europe, is that the premier club competition can't be seen as a path to the national teams (I agree with you in that matter). Of course, it is only fair if the money the Union makes returns to the clubs and players.
Last edited by victorsra on Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 16:08, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby iul » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 16:03

I really don't see what the problem is with club games going on while internationals are being played.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 16:12

The idea is that if best players are not playing for their clubs, fans are less interested. Also, teams with more international players are basicaly being punished, which isn't good for a sense of fairness in the competition.

But I'd love to see vierweship numbers of Premiership matches during the 6N/November compared with matches, let's say, played in October. Obviously, it would be misleading to compare matches in November with matches in May, as those in May have a decision taste, being the final matches of the season. October vs November viewership might prove the point - or put a doubt over it.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby iul » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 16:54

Even if the interest is less, as long as it's high enough (and it is) it's worth it.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby sk 88 » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 17:02

That isn't the argument I've heard made usually, the argument usually used is that it costs everyone more, the unions have to pay the clubs for the player because otherwise they'd revolt, the clubs have to employ extra players, the T2 unions can't afford to buy off the clubs so it exacerbates the T1 v T2 divide as T1 "perfect model" employs next to zero active T2 test players. The argument on revenue is more complex, and surrounds the idea (which I do agree with to an extent) that the chopping and changing makes it harder for teams to develop to a high level which lowers the income available as people pay for good rugby not bad rugby. Its tricky to weigh weather v time together but it is noticeable I feel that most teams play better in October and May when they have had the longest spells together. That could potentially be me seeing what I want to see.

I haven't gathered the data for years because it showed so little when I did, there is next to no impact on attendances or TV. TV and attendance data was so noisy week to week there is little rhyme or reason why some went up and some went down. Time and day (Sat 3pm best for both, Friday night better than Sunday for TV but not attendance) did make noticeable impacts, clubs involved minor impacts that only showed in aggregates (Saracens most viewed, Tigers and Saints next, at the bottom Newcastle, Wasps and Exeter were half, this was 2015-16 i'd guess its changed a lot in terms of clubs since). That doesn't really answer the question either way though, as the argument is that the season structure stops people engaging at all rather than that they only engage at certain times.

So, about RFU's money, you are basicaly saying they have a lot of money that is not well used?


No I am saying that the RFU money is given as a grant for specific investments not given as general income, therefore no one can rely on them. It's not getting your wages cut, it's not receiving a laptop as a gift from your Dad. Less money for the RFU would only mean less investment for some clubs, RDOs being spread thinner, most would see little difference. (And that is before getting into whether fewer games would actually mean less money, after all the whole argument is that a better structure would lead to more revenue for everyone)

Its also important to remember that ALL PRL clubs employ their own RDOs and Community coaches too, I've never actually seen a comparison between the two in terms of number or cost so genuinely cannot comment on who does more, but it would be a question of degree as effectively "both do both".

basicaly to agree with me in the end that club rugby in Europe had more matches than needed as well.


That was not what I said. I said we need a compromise with co-operation, that will involve give and take on both sides. As I understand the need to compromise I understand that for a sustainable structure there will have to be fewer games in the main competitions I prefer. Europe has fewer matches than I'd like. My preference as a fan would be a 16 team league home and away, with a European cup too that runs the whole season. But because I understand and value that other people's views are different and that making the imposition of my preference the prerequisite for any discussion will lead no where.

The rugby season and calendar is like a Rubik's cube, or like Europe pre-WW1. Its all moving pieces with no one willing to give an inch because as soon as you do that is the new normal and the starting place for the next treaty/discussion/agreement, but eventually it will all slot into place because there is a sensible structure there.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 31 Dec 2020, 17:57

Yes, it does cost more. If you don't have some players in most matches, you need to hire more players.

Europe has fewer matches than I'd like. My preference as a fan would be a 16 team league home and away, with a European cup too that runs the whole season.


16 teams home and away = 30 matches. Plus playoffs? Plus European Cup? We are going to 40 matches.

You basicaly want no national teams, only clubs.

Some things are not a matter of POV. An year has 52 weeks. Players need to rest, need an off-season. The number of teams, matches, all need to fit a very real number of weeks that isn't a POV. Unless you are satisfied with contradiction.

This cube is much less complicated when you actualy use a calendar in front of you to see the options. It is a discussion about how to manage around 40 dates, whilst repecting player welfare.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 01 Jan 2021, 00:49

victorsra wrote:Well, to keep international rugby the way it is, Super Rugby was the model of maximum number of club matches for players. If European club rugby copies football models, it will obviously clash. But clubs asked for Unions help during the pandemic, right? Unions need money generated by national teams matches. If clubs want Unions to pay for players, Unions will need more matches and so on and on. Endless problem unless one side deeply changes (either clubs reducing calendar, or national teams using 100% central contracted players, which means operating like clubs...).


Huh? No clubs asked for Union help. None.

The Pro Whatever and Super Rugby are Union owned competitions.

victorsra wrote:
It might sound true about England or France, but it is definitly false when we talk about everybody else. Rugby needs the international rugby because club rugby in most countries wouldn't be able to pay itself, specialy because rugby wasted a century forbidding professionalism, which meant it modeled a certain type of community. Rugby was for long time a game much more of players than fans.



I can count on one hand how many Tests the US or Canada has made a profit on in the last decade.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Fri, 01 Jan 2021, 17:27

Huh? No clubs asked for Union help. None.


Ok, they asked the government, yes https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rug ... 49063.html . But there is a deal between RFU and Premiership anyway. It would be interesting to make the proper calculations about what this money means in practical terms https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/feature ... hip-clubs/ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/36884250 But honestly, this discussion is important for the relationship between RFU and Premiership clubs (if RFU should pay more), but nothing else.

The Pro Whatever and Super Rugby are Union owned competitions.

I'm obviously talking about this fact.

I can count on one hand how many Tests the US or Canada has made a profit on in the last decade.

Obviously, T2s don't make money :roll:

The solution is not having LESS matches, it is more meaningful matches. Once you have a meaningful system, it doesn't mean suddenly profit will come. It takes times. And, more importantly, it is not about just the tickets or broadcast deals. Active national teams are directly linked to sponsorship. Events to PR, to media attention, to relationship with your sponsors and partners, etc etc. It is silly to resume tests to how much many you made selling tickets or broadcast deals.

In USA's case, the Eagles already have a SH-like system with MLR. You are supposed to have one half (ish) of the year with MLR, the other half with the Eagles. It has nothing to do with European rugby, apart from your Europe-based players. USA already follows what IMO is the ideal split of the season (although MLR and Eagles until 2019 atl least overlaped, because ARC was in Feb-Mar... I understand there won't be overlap anymore, right?).

Both, club/franchise rugby and national teams have different roles and a positive system finds an equilibrium between both things. The equilibrium must fit in a calendar with a max of 40-ish weeks that considers players welfare as well. T2s interests depends on T1s paying a reasonable number of matches, otherwise T1s will keep their cartel system, while they dominate WR. It is unrealistic to believe a solution that is positive for T2 rugby can be found with a smaller tests calendar.

Unless you believe national teams and the RWC are useless for T2 rugby... one can try to defend this point, maybe with MLR or Top League "proving" this. If this is the case, almost all discussions in this forum are useless, because international relations in rugby would be totaly pointless. So, why we complain about anything at all? :lol: Just focus on your own league and period. I disagree, but I'd respect such position, if not followed by contradiction.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby TheStroBro » Fri, 01 Jan 2021, 19:29

victorsra wrote:
Ok, they asked the government, yes https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/rug ... 49063.html . But there is a deal between RFU and Premiership anyway. It would be interesting to make the proper calculations about what this money means in practical terms https://www.therugbypaper.co.uk/feature ... hip-clubs/ https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/36884250 But honestly, this discussion is important for the relationship between RFU and Premiership clubs (if RFU should pay more), but nothing else.



Yes, they asked the government for help like every other business. Professional Rugby Clubs in the UK are small businesses. There's only one real MAJOR league in the UK and that is the Premier League. Compared to the US where we have the Big 4. However, teams in the MLS are quite profitable, not in the same way as the Big 4, but very good business units.

The contractual agreement between the RFU and the PRL isn't about the PRL seeking help, it's about being compensated adequately for player release. On the RFU's side it grants them access to the EPS players almost whenever they want. But that investment as others stated funds a lot of grassroots development line items that the RFU would have to pay for anyway. But the clubs are more proficient at Game Development because they're the boots on the ground. So invest in the clubs, make more fans, more people buy tickets to Twickers, more people watch England on TV. 2016 was not the first time an agreement of that kind was negotiated between the PRL and the RFU.

In regards to meaningful matches to the casual fan that could capture their hearts and bring them into the big tent long term. It really depends. As much as playing Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay were important for the development of players and building the 2019 World Cup Squad. The matches weren't "Meaningful" to the general public. The most important home match if we went based on ticket sales were the two matches we hosted against ARG XV. Canada should be meaningful, but the CANAM Series has been squandered by both Unions for many years.

What puts bums in seats? If we took care of the regional rivalry with Canada, we could do well with that. But the reality is, the casual fan, past the 3-5k nutjobs that will go anywhere (I'm one of them). It's gonna be a Tier 1 Opponent. But every Tier 1 Opponent basically demands an NFL Stadium. But only two countries, maybe a third could sell out an NFL Stadium. All Blacks, England, and maybe France. Every other Tier 1 Opponent needs to be at an MLS venue. The New Zealand Maori can sell out an MLS Venue.

But I'll tell you, any other Union to send a second side here in hopes of development opportunities? Saxons, Wolfhounds etc will just cost the US money. The general US Rugby fan and the casual fans are sophisticated enough to know those aren't Test matches and people won't buy tickets or watch.

So for the ARC to truly mean something to the casual American fan. Mexico would need to be a part of it or Argentina, not Argentina XV would need to be a part of it. And for the rivalries to be built with Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay to be built. I always looked at the ARC as a 10 year project before all of our nations would see the full commercial potential. But it required sophisticated marketing and hard work. But at the same time we got the ARC the US squandered the opportunity and launched things like RIM, flushed money down the toilet like the RSA-Wales Match. (Which wasn't all bad, we proved that we could have two major events on the same weekend 100 miles away from each other and still have 20k go to each)

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Sat, 02 Jan 2021, 22:55

What puts bums in seats? If we took care of the regional rivalry with Canada, we could do well with that. But the reality is, the casual fan, past the 3-5k nutjobs that will go anywhere (I'm one of them). It's gonna be a Tier 1 Opponent. But every Tier 1 Opponent basically demands an NFL Stadium. But only two countries, maybe a third could sell out an NFL Stadium. All Blacks, England, and maybe France. Every other Tier 1 Opponent needs to be at an MLS venue. The New Zealand Maori can sell out an MLS Venue.

But I'll tell you, any other Union to send a second side here in hopes of development opportunities? Saxons, Wolfhounds etc will just cost the US money. The general US Rugby fan and the casual fans are sophisticated enough to know those aren't Test matches and people won't buy tickets or watch.

So for the ARC to truly mean something to the casual American fan. Mexico would need to be a part of it or Argentina, not Argentina XV would need to be a part of it. And for the rivalries to be built with Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay to be built. I always looked at the ARC as a 10 year project before all of our nations would see the full commercial potential. But it required sophisticated marketing and hard work. But at the same time we got the ARC the US squandered the opportunity and launched things like RIM, flushed money down the toilet like the RSA-Wales Match. (Which wasn't all bad, we proved that we could have two major events on the same weekend 100 miles away from each other and still have 20k go to each)


We are in the same page ;)

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Rebus » Sun, 03 Jan 2021, 06:10

Its arguable that the US and Canada should follow Argentinas lead and place a second team in the ARC. If you want the game to grow in North America , they should pitch to join the 6 Nations as it is a win win for both sides.
The prospect of playing 6 of the leading nations in the world on an annual basis home and away will improve the playing standards for both US and Canada and will raise the profile of the game domestically by having these games on a constant basis. For the 6 Nations they need to expand to grow the game and their inclination is that they need to follow the money rather than the quality of rugby. As the South Africans arent going to leave the SH competitions , then you need long term to secure more revenue stream and this is an easy way to gain a foothold into the lucrative North American market.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Mon, 04 Jan 2021, 13:13

A Welsh perspective:

Fewer games is *definitely* the way to go.

It's extremely hard to attract casual international fans to regional games if the star players aren't playing. If you tell them it's Scarlets versus Leinster, but the fan turns up and there's no Leigh Halfpenny, no Liam Williams, no Samson Lee, no Johnny Sexton, Henshaw etc. you're taking away a major point of reference for the fan. It's almost worse than if those players aren't there at all.

Because the players are only available for a limited number of games, that means that sides pick and choose which games to target. So you get situations like the Dragons sending their U23s off to get slaughtered by Munster to give the first XV a break. Also clubs pick and choose which competitions to prioritise, with Europe often falling by the wayside (especially the Challenge Cup) when it should be the pinnacle of the club game.

All this damages the image and validity of the competitions.

And richer clubs are better able to field good sides more often, so the league becomes predictable with poorer sides like Zebre and the Dragons really just there to make up the numbers. Those weaker teams pull off the occasional scalps at home, but the league as a whole is never in doubt. This also hinders expansion as it makes it that much more expensive to field a competitive team.

I know very few Welsh fans that really like the Pro X, but the issue isn't so much the teams that they play against but rather issues like the above, and also refering quality (which also goes down with more games).

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Higgik » Mon, 04 Jan 2021, 13:35

Figaro wrote:A Welsh perspective:

Fewer games is *definitely* the way to go.

It's extremely hard to attract casual international fans to regional games if the star players aren't playing. If you tell them it's Scarlets versus Leinster, but the fan turns up and there's no Leigh Halfpenny, no Liam Williams, no Samson Lee, no Johnny Sexton, Henshaw etc. you're taking away a major point of reference for the fan. It's almost worse than if those players aren't there at all.

Because the players are only available for a limited number of games, that means that sides pick and choose which games to target. So you get situations like the Dragons sending their U23s off to get slaughtered by Munster to give the first XV a break. Also clubs pick and choose which competitions to prioritise, with Europe often falling by the wayside (especially the Challenge Cup) when it should be the pinnacle of the club game.

All this damages the image and validity of the competitions.

And richer clubs are better able to field good sides more often, so the league becomes predictable with poorer sides like Zebre and the Dragons really just there to make up the numbers. Those weaker teams pull off the occasional scalps at home, but the league as a whole is never in doubt. This also hinders expansion as it makes it that much more expensive to field a competitive team.

I know very few Welsh fans that really like the Pro X, but the issue isn't so much the teams that they play against but rather issues like the above, and also refering quality (which also goes down with more games).

Exactly, we need to make every game more of an event, that includes the star players.
Just look at the IPL cricket, short window limited matches where every match is vital to the overall league, no sending the U23 as there is no hope of winning.

Will be suggesting my own calendar and competitions, starting in 2023/24 season.

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