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Inter-continental competitons

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 31 Aug 2020, 21:01

The B&I league is just a fantasy though. It is not likely to be a reality any time soon. What is much more likely is for the South African Super Rugby teams to join the Pro 14, and from what is being reported this would likely be at the expense of Cheetahs and Kings. Kings is understandable, but for Cheetahs to lose their place seems very unfair. Having 6 South African teams would actually work very well, with a 3 conference format.

South Africa conference: Stormers, Sharks, Lions, Bulls, Cheetahs, Kings/Pumas

Scottish/Irish conference: Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

Welsh/Italian conference: Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff, Dragons, Benetton Treviso, Zebre.

Teams play other teams in their conference twice and other teams once. 22 regular season games.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Mon, 31 Aug 2020, 21:53

I think PRO18 is MUCH better for South Africa than a PRO16.

The 3 conferences model means each South African would play 10 derbies and a total of 16 matches in South Africa and only 6 in Europe (now Cheetahs/Kings play 9 matches in Europe each season). All Europeans would play 3 matches in SA (now each European play 1 or 2).

A 4 groups of 4 model for a PRO16 would probably mean only 6 derbies and 12 matches in South Africa for each South African. However, for the Europeans I believe PRO16 is better, as the competition probably would have a regular season reduced to 18 rounds, which means less overlap with national teams.

We don't know if the Cheetahs are broken or not, but it seems for SA the major issue is basicaly financing the Kings. That could be an opportunity to Argentina, to have a % of the Kings, with a mixed squad of Argentines and South Africans.

But I still question if the intercontinental league is the way and PRO16/18 would mean no Super 8 - and would be a huge problem for TRC's calendar.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Mon, 31 Aug 2020, 23:46

victorsra in my opinion inter-continental competitions should be tournaments rather than leagues. Each continent should be able to support its own professional league, with tournaments like Super 8 being organised as a tournament in one country. A South African domestic provincial league should be able to get a good viewership in Europe if it is played during Europe's off-season.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 00:48

I remember reading about an agreement between South Africa and Georgia which would include a Georgian team in the Currie Cup. Maybe South Africa's sixth team could be a Georgian team. If Georgia wants to play in the Six Nations they could do with centrally contracting their best players and having a team in the Pro 14. With the current situation most of their players are required by their French club teams in February/March and I think their Georgia based players are on their winter break. A Georgian Pro 14 team could split home games between Port Elizabeth and Georgia and could be a mixture of South African and Georgian players, with mostly South Africans playing in South Africa and mostly Georgians playing in Europe.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 07:33

Chester-Donnelly wrote:The B&I league is just a fantasy though. It is not likely to be a reality any time soon. What is much more likely is for the South African Super Rugby teams to join the Pro 14, and from what is being reported this would likely be at the expense of Cheetahs and Kings. Kings is understandable, but for Cheetahs to lose their place seems very unfair. Having 6 South African teams would actually work very well, with a 3 conference format.

South Africa conference: Stormers, Sharks, Lions, Bulls, Cheetahs, Kings/Pumas

Scottish/Irish conference: Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

Welsh/Italian conference: Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff, Dragons, Benetton Treviso, Zebre.

Teams play other teams in their conference twice and other teams once. 22 regular season games.


This is the obvious way to do a Pro18. The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences (on this year's results Connacht would be the lowest team in Irish/Scottish but would have outperformed 4 teams in the other conference) or having to travel further.

I just don't see it happening though. All the noise seems to be that there will be no more than 4 SA teams.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 07:34

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I remember reading about an agreement between South Africa and Georgia which would include a Georgian team in the Currie Cup. Maybe South Africa's sixth team could be a Georgian team. If Georgia wants to play in the Six Nations they could do with centrally contracting their best players and having a team in the Pro 14. With the current situation most of their players are required by their French club teams in February/March and I think their Georgia based players are on their winter break. A Georgian Pro 14 team could split home games between Port Elizabeth and Georgia and could be a mixture of South African and Georgian players, with mostly South Africans playing in South Africa and mostly Georgians playing in Europe.


Two different teams basically competing as one? People would hate it, no matter how successful it was.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 08:44

[quote="Figaro"The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences.[/quote]

Good idea.

I do find it strange that Australia are insisting on increasing the number of their Super Rugby teams, and New Zealand are considering adding another one, but South Africa want to go down to 4.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Working Class Rugger » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 09:35

Chester-Donnelly wrote:[quote="Figaro"The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences.


Good idea.

I do find it strange that Australia are insisting on increasing the number of their Super Rugby teams, and New Zealand are considering adding another one, but South Africa want to go down to 4.[/quote]

We're not increasing our teams. We're bringing one back.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby CraigChalmers » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 09:50

Figaro wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:The B&I league is just a fantasy though. It is not likely to be a reality any time soon. What is much more likely is for the South African Super Rugby teams to join the Pro 14, and from what is being reported this would likely be at the expense of Cheetahs and Kings. Kings is understandable, but for Cheetahs to lose their place seems very unfair. Having 6 South African teams would actually work very well, with a 3 conference format.

South Africa conference: Stormers, Sharks, Lions, Bulls, Cheetahs, Kings/Pumas

Scottish/Irish conference: Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

Welsh/Italian conference: Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff, Dragons, Benetton Treviso, Zebre.

Teams play other teams in their conference twice and other teams once. 22 regular season games.


This is the obvious way to do a Pro18. The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences (on this year's results Connacht would be the lowest team in Irish/Scottish but would have outperformed 4 teams in the other conference) or having to travel further.

I just don't see it happening though. All the noise seems to be that there will be no more than 4 SA teams.


Why swap? If the aim is to keep the conferences balanced, then you can't put the Irish and Scottish sides together. Individual teams come and go in strength, but when was the last time the Irish sides collectively weren't stronger than the Welsh? And likewise the Scottish stronger than the Italians?

To be honest though, the only ProXX format I can say I actually want to see would be a return to the Pro12. The South African experiment hasn't worked, and the idea of playing in conferences never will IMO. How can you have a fair league when teams have played completely different fixtures? I would far rather play a home game against Leinster/Munster every year than play Edinburgh *again*. And that's before even commenting on the make up of the conferences (which saw Glasgow and Leinster placed in the same conference last summer when the evidence of the previous 2 seasons was they were clearly the 2 best teams)

Glasgow lost out on a semi-final spot this season to Ulster, having not actually played them but having played Edinburgh 4 times. That, quite simply, is ridiculous!

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 10:24

I think next season will be Pro 12. And I agree from a rugby perspective that is the best format. But commercially that doesn't compete very well with Premiership and Top 14 because the broadcasting rights are not as valuable due to Ireland, Scotland and Wales having quite small populations. If rugby can be a bit bigger in Italy that would even things out more.

South African teams in the Pro 14 is a marriage of convenience. Having to fly to South Africa to play rugby in 30 degrees is the price you have to pay to be able to afford to keep your best players from moving to England or France.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 14:10

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Figaro wrote:The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences.


Good idea.

I do find it strange that Australia are insisting on increasing the number of their Super Rugby teams, and New Zealand are considering adding another one, but South Africa want to go down to 4.


I think it's more a case of South Africa wanting to keep 6 (they were even talking about going up to 8 a couple of years ago) but recognising that they can't, if they want to compete in a competition with franchises from other countries.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 15:16

Figaro wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Figaro wrote:The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences.


Good idea.

I do find it strange that Australia are insisting on increasing the number of their Super Rugby teams, and New Zealand are considering adding another one, but South Africa want to go down to 4.


I think it's more a case of South Africa wanting to keep 6 (they were even talking about going up to 8 a couple of years ago) but recognising that they can't, if they want to compete in a competition with franchises from other countries.


Cheetahs are a pretty mid-table team so they can definitely manage 5 teams but maybe not 6. Having said that, Kings aren't even that bad if you watch them play, they're not as bad as Ospreys, but they always lose games they look like they could win. They they get hammered in the next game. It's more like they have some mental weakness rather than a lack of ability.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 16:53

PRO18 offers 10 derbies for South Africans, 16 matches in South Africa and only 6 in Europe.

Meanwhile a PRO16 would proabably mean a regular season of only 18 rounds, a welcome reduction from the current system. This probably means less or no matches clashing with national teams, something desirable for the Celtic nations in general.

But, why 18 rounds would be better than 22 for South Africans? Well, it creates space in the calendar for 2 things:

1) Find space in the calendar for the Super 8 (not sure how);
2) Allow TRC to go on in August. This is crucial. If there are no PRO14 matches during the 6N, that can be the off-season for Springbok players, allowing them to enter the field in August.

How? If their vacations are in February, they can train in March and return in April. Of course the 6N ends in mid-March and South Africans PRO16 matches of late March would need to be moved to Champions Cup dates (which means, they must be derbies). But this is doable. However, this is not that good for South Africans in one way: they would resume PRO14 in April in a different physical situation from their oponents. Anyway, that would be a way to not change TRC.

In the other hand, if TRC is moved to the 6N window, this means a Super 8 would be possible around September and October for the South Africans (moving PRO14 fixtures to Champions Cup dates).

In any case, the Currie Cup is seriously affected. A PRO16 would mean almost death for the Cheetahs, that have supporters, history, etc. Force-like situation.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby NaBUru38 » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 19:48

Chester-Donnelly wrote: Having 6 South African teams would actually work very well, with a 3 conference format.

South Africa conference: Stormers, Sharks, Lions, Bulls, Cheetahs, Kings/Pumas

Scottish/Irish conference: Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, Glasgow, Edinburgh.

Welsh/Italian conference: Scarlets, Ospreys, Cardiff, Dragons, Benetton Treviso, Zebre.

Teams play other teams in their conference twice and other teams once. 22 regular season games.


With that format, each South African team (and the Jaguares?) would play 6 matches in Europe, versus 9 matches in the current Pro14. Sounds like an improvement.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 20:00

SA Rugby have confirmed that they are intending to have 4 teams in a Pro16. They have no intention of having more than four.

https://www.news24.com/sport/rugby/pro1 ... 52bps3SIBo

They would consider having a fifth team playing in a different inter-continental competition. But there really isn't another suitable competition, except maybe for one that exists in the mind of a crazy Russian.

Maybe Cheetahs (let's assume it's Cheetahs) can survive by playing friendlies and serieses against other homeless teams and representative sides.

Some possible opponents:
Namibia
Jaguares
Fiji Warriors
South China Tigers
Amur Tigers
Saracens
Bucuresti Wolves
All Blacks XV
Georgia

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 20:56

Nobody will travel to not make money.

It is a serious situation for the Cheetahs, as the Currie Cup would lose completely its relevance. That can mean serious issues in the future for SA. Teams like Cheetahs or Griquas aren't fictions born yesterday. They are century-old provincial sides that represent regions and have rivalries. That's realy bad. Let's see which is the solution SAR will offer them. SA is basicaly changing its own pyramid.

I also don't understand what they mean by a qualification tournament for the Currie Cup. With PRO14 going on for 9 months, Currie Cup will become a minor league, in the American way, IMO. What looks clear from this report is the Kings are dead.

Maybe, if they find a model to have the best players playing the Currie Cup, in Champions Cup dates, and the Currie Cup qualifies for a Super 8, the competition regains relevance and it wouldn't be the end of the world for Cheetahs, Elephants, Griquas, Pumas, etc.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:18

victorsra wrote:Nobody will travel to not make money.

It is a serious situation for the Cheetahs, as the Currie Cup would lose completely its relevance. That can mean serious issues in the future for SA. Teams like Cheetahs or Griquas aren't fictions born yesterday. They are century-old provincial sides that represent regions and have rivalries. That's realy bad. Let's see which is the solution SAR will offer them. SA is basicaly changing its own pyramid.

I also don't understand what they mean by a qualification tournament for the Currie Cup. With PRO14 going on for 9 months, Currie Cup will become a minor league, in the American way, IMO. What looks clear from this report is the Kings are dead.


Currently the Vodacom Cup is on at the same time as Super Rugby, and involves South Africa's 14 provincial unions plus Namibia and Zimbabwe, divided into a North Division and a South Division.
The Curry Cup Premier Division has 7 teams, and the First Division has the other 7 plus an Argentina team. There is a promotion relegation playoff each year.
I think the suggestion is that the Vodacom Cup should be the qualifier tournament for the Currie Cup.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:27

Trying to conciliate SANZAAR with PRO14:

- PRO14: September to June. 18 rounds + 3 playoffs. No matches during Six Nations rounds;
- South African League: non-PRO14 teams. 10 teams? 18 rounds + playoffs? April to September/October? Probably
- Currie Cup (4 PRO14 teams + 4 South African League teams, like Cheetahs, Griquas, Pumas, etc): playoffs, 3 rounds, the same Champions Cup playoffs dates. Currie Cup qualifying 2 teams to Super 8;
- Super 8: August-September (4-5 dates*);
- TRC: September-October. Springboks players missing PRO14 rounds;
- Springboks tests: July and November;
- Offseason for Springbok/PRO14 players: February-March* ;

*PRO14 matches in this period rescheduled to Champions Cup groups dates;
Tough schedule, but with no more matches than any European clubs and with the same number of offseason weeks. It is doable.
Last edited by victorsra on Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:30, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:28

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:Nobody will travel to not make money.

It is a serious situation for the Cheetahs, as the Currie Cup would lose completely its relevance. That can mean serious issues in the future for SA. Teams like Cheetahs or Griquas aren't fictions born yesterday. They are century-old provincial sides that represent regions and have rivalries. That's realy bad. Let's see which is the solution SAR will offer them. SA is basicaly changing its own pyramid.

I also don't understand what they mean by a qualification tournament for the Currie Cup. With PRO14 going on for 9 months, Currie Cup will become a minor league, in the American way, IMO. What looks clear from this report is the Kings are dead.


Currently the Vodacom Cup is on at the same time as Super Rugby, and involves South Africa's 14 provincial unions plus Namibia and Zimbabwe, divided into a North Division and a South Division.
The Curry Cup Premier Division has 7 teams, and the First Division has the other 7 plus an Argentina team. There is a promotion relegation playoff each year.
I think the suggestion is that the Vodacom Cup should be the qualifier tournament for the Currie Cup.


Vodacom Cup is dead. They are playing the so called Super Challenge, that is a bit different.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:36

victorsra wrote:Trying to conciliate SANZAAR with PRO14:

- PRO14: September to June. 18 rounds + 3 playoffs. No matches during Six Nations rounds;
- South African League: non-PRO14 teams. 10 teams? 18 rounds + playoffs? April to September/October? Probably
- Currie Cup (4 PRO14 teams + 4 South African League teams, like Cheetahs, Griquas, Pumas, etc): playoffs, 3 rounds, the same Champions Cup playoffs dates. Currie Cup qualifying 2 teams to Super 8;
- Super 8: August-September (4-5 dates*);
- TRC: September-October. Springboks players missing PRO14 rounds;
- Springboks tests: July and November;
- Offseason for Springbok/PRO14 players: February-March* ;

*PRO14 matches in this period rescheduled to Champions Cup groups dates;
Tough schedule, but with no more matches than any European clubs and with the same number of offseason weeks. It is doable.


But if there is a global calendar TRC+6N in the same period, South African calendar could be:

- PRO14: September to June. 18 rounds + 3 playoffs. No matches during Six Nations rounds;
- South African League: non-PRO14 teams. 10 teams? 18 rounds + playoffs? April to September/October? Probably
- Currie Cup (4 PRO14 teams + 4 South African League teams, like Cheetahs, Griquas, Pumas, etc): playoffs, 3 rounds, the same Champions Cup playoffs dates. Currie Cup qualifying 2 teams to Super 8;
- Super 8: October*
- TRC: February-March;
- Springboks tests: July and November;
- Offseason: July-August for non-Boks players, August-September for Boks players;

*PRO14 matches between South Africans rescheduled to December's Champions Cup groups dates;

I think the first calendar with offeason in February-March for South African players is better.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:38

victorsra wrote:
victorsra wrote:Trying to conciliate SANZAAR with PRO14:

- PRO14: September to June. 18 rounds + 3 playoffs. No matches during Six Nations rounds;
- South African League: non-PRO14 teams. 10 teams? 18 rounds + playoffs? April to September/October? Probably
- Currie Cup (4 PRO14 teams + 4 South African League teams, like Cheetahs, Griquas, Pumas, etc): playoffs, 3 rounds, the same Champions Cup playoffs dates. Currie Cup qualifying 2 teams to Super 8;
- Super 8: August-September (4-5 dates*);
- TRC: September-October. Springboks players missing PRO14 rounds;
- Springboks tests: July and November;
- Offseason for Springbok/PRO14 players: February-March* ;

*PRO14 matches in this period rescheduled to Champions Cup groups dates;
Tough schedule, but with no more matches than any European clubs and with the same number of offseason weeks. It is doable.


But if there is a global calendar TRC+6N in the same period, South African calendar could be:

- PRO14: September to June. 18 rounds + 3 playoffs. No matches during Six Nations rounds;
- South African League: non-PRO14 teams. 10 teams? 18 rounds + playoffs? April to September/October? Probably
- Currie Cup (4 PRO14 teams + 4 South African League teams, like Cheetahs, Griquas, Pumas, etc): playoffs, 3 rounds, the same Champions Cup playoffs dates. Currie Cup qualifying 2 teams to Super 8;
- Super 8: October*
- TRC: February-March;
- Springboks tests: July and November;
- Offseason: July-August for non-Boks players, August-September for Boks players;

*PRO14 matches between South Africans rescheduled to December's Champions Cup groups dates;

I think the first calendar with offeason in February-March for South African players is better.


In both cases, if Bulls, Lions, Sharks or Stormers reach PRO14 final, Currie Cup final and Super 8 final, they would have played 29 matches. The minimum is 19 matches. In normal seasons, Top 14 clubs play a minimum of 32 matches in a season. If a French club reaches the Champions Cup and Top 14 finals = 38 matches.

Premiership clubs have 28 matches minimum (33 if a club reaches Champions Cup and Premiership finals) if you exclude the Premiership Cup, but if the leagues goes to 13 clubs it will be at least 30 matches.

In other words, considering South Africans travel more, 29 matches maximum is basicaly European normal schedule. Bulls, Lions, Sharks and Stormers will need larger squads, obviously.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 21:53

I think the need for larger squads is partly behind the decision to reduce the number of "Super" teams. Cheetahs and Kings players can be shared between the 4 remaining "Super" teams.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 22:05

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Figaro wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Figaro wrote:The Italians and Scots could swap conferences each year, so that the Irish and Welsh don't complain about the relative quality of the conferences.


Good idea.

I do find it strange that Australia are insisting on increasing the number of their Super Rugby teams, and New Zealand are considering adding another one, but South Africa want to go down to 4.


I think it's more a case of South Africa wanting to keep 6 (they were even talking about going up to 8 a couple of years ago) but recognising that they can't, if they want to compete in a competition with franchises from other countries.


Cheetahs are a pretty mid-table team so they can definitely manage 5 teams but maybe not 6. Having said that, Kings aren't even that bad if you watch them play, they're not as bad as Ospreys, but they always lose games they look like they could win. They they get hammered in the next game. It's more like they have some mental weakness rather than a lack of ability.


You must have been watching a different Kings. They are by a very long way the weakest team in the four top global leagues. The only reason they have won any games at all are a combination of the advantage gained in playing at home against European sides fresh off the jet, and the European sides sending youth players out against them because they're usually enough to do the job.

They are *significantly* worse than the Ospreys, who have had to contend this season with an insane injury list, rumours of being disbanded, a new coaching team and all sorts of other problems. Yes they somehow beat the Ospreys in Swansea but overall the Ospreys results have been much, much better, as indicated by the 17 table points they have accumulated this season to the Kings' 7.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Tue, 01 Sep 2020, 22:42

Chester-Donnelly wrote:I think the need for larger squads is partly behind the decision to reduce the number of "Super" teams. Cheetahs and Kings players can be shared between the 4 remaining "Super" teams.


Yes, they are definitly counting this.

I just counted the 2021-22 weeks. If you exclude the whole months of November, February and March, there are 31 weeks left. I suggested a calendar with 29, so, yep, doable.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby NaBUru38 » Fri, 04 Sep 2020, 15:41

So South Africa wants 4 teams in the Pro16. So even worse news for the Jaguares.

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