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Inter-continental competitons

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 19:43

victorsra wrote:I understand your point, but the fact no club NOW is not near the level doesn't mean an investor won't appear and create a nice project somewhere. Cornish Pirates, Jersey Reds, Ealing, they all can step up and the closed shop basicaly will kill it.

The promotion-relegation playoff is bad if there is no investment in the second division. However, if the idea is to invest in the Championship, there is no reason to opt for a closed shop instead of a promotion-relegation playoff. The closed shop basicaly kills dreams, the playoffs allows ambition. If Premiership clubs are so much better, what they have to fear about a playoff? I don't see a reason why closing completely is better than a playoff.


The RFU is actually slashing their funding for the championship because they don't see the benefit to them. And who can blame them? The Championship isn't doing much to develop English international players, so what do the RFU get out of funding the second tier? If the second tier isn't making enough money to fund itself (which it doesn't) then it isn't clear why the RFU should fund it. Promotion and relegation works in football because all layers of the pyramid make the money that sustains them. You can say what you like about the potential for teams to get promoted from the championship but the reality is that it just doesn't happen.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby iul » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 19:56

The championship isn't doing much to develop internationals because they're not allowed to have academies. The cartellian 13 + Leeds are the ones allowed to have academies and they're funded by the RFU and they have over 150 academies between them

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 20:00

Well, you can blame RFU. They wasted money because their investment was realy bad managed. Championship clubs always complained about how RFU was inefficient commercializing the competition and that's true. In France it works because the league is in charge. RFU did a pretty shit job with the Championship and now searches for someone to blame (the clubs). I'm not saying the clubs don't have any guilt, because I'm not pretending to know deeply what I don't realy know. But reading articles about the Championship in the press for a long time it only suggests me there are many more questions than simply "it didn't worked".

Anyway, if England wants a franchise model, so do it in a not-Cartellian way, follow SANZAAR's model of alligning the provinces (in England's case, the Counties) to the franchises, making a proper regional structure. You can have those Premiership clubs as the major stakeholders of the franchises, but learning from Wales mistakes in this area. England is different because the Counties do exist, although not being that popular.

But I don't think it would work, so, I don't see any reason to block the Championship clubs from a home and away playoff. Not a single one. And let them create a proper second division league managed by them.

The championship isn't doing much to develop internationals because they're not allowed to have academies. The cartellian 13 + Leeds are the ones allowed to have academies and they're funded by the RFU and they have over 150 academies between them

This too.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 20:12

The question about stadium size is pretty important. Why 10.000? PRO14 has a stadium with 5.000, Top 14 had stadiums with less than 10.000 as well in the recent past. Was that a realy good policy to have London Irish playing in front of a sea of empty stadiums or Sale Sharks drawing like 5.000 supporters in a place "far" from their traditional supporters base? It is defintily much better to watch a game in a packed stadium in a small Southern French city (or, let's saying, a passionate Cornish Pirates crowd) than London Irish in Reading with echos in the stadium.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 20:52

victorsra wrote:The question about stadium size is pretty important. Why 10.000? PRO14 has a stadium with 5.000, Top 14 had stadiums with less than 10.000 as well in the recent past. Was that a realy good policy to have London Irish playing in front of a sea of empty stadiums or Sale Sharks drawing like 5.000 supporters in a place "far" from their traditional supporters base? It is defintily much better to watch a game in a packed stadium in a small Southern French city (or, let's saying, a passionate Cornish Pirates crowd) than London Irish in Reading with echos in the stadium.


Yes that's a silly rule; an arbitrary number. I really don't understand that rule.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 22:26

My malicious guess is that this number is there to prevent new clubs appearing. The 13 clubs don't want competition from anybody else. It is Cartellianism affecting English rugby itself, IMO.

That never happened in France because there were dozens and dozens of clubs with equal status. Different from the Premiership, the French national championship was created in the 19th century. Look at the 1994-95 season, the first before professionalism. The French top division had 32 clubs! 4 groups of 8. http://rugbyarchive.net/compseasons/31? ... =1995%2F96

Of course we can't simply compare French and English club rugby because there are too clear differences in mentality through history, but the fact France opens space for everybody, Top 14 creates a positive image as a proper national league. I struggle to see how will be Premiership's image with the English rugby community. It is easy to give a damn for a bunch of clubs that stated clearly they don't want anybody else. If the vast majority of amateur English rugby players don't watch the Premiership, I don't see how this helps engaging new fans. In the end, the ultimate product is the league.

If amateur players won't support professional clubs because they only identify with their own clubs, ok, but it doesn't matter if the cheer for an specific club, what matters is if they will have the curiosity to watch the most important matches, for exemple. The image of the league is very important for that. It might be true some people won't care the if league is closed, only if the matches are good, but it definitly can create a bad image among others. Doesn't help at all.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Wed, 26 Aug 2020, 23:20

I don't think there is any feeling in England that any team is being excluded from the Premiership. There have been other Premiership clubs but not enough people supported them. The 13 Premiership clubs have come about quite organically. Lancashire and Yorkshire have rejected rugby union and have chosen to stick with rugby league. Now that has happened I see no problem in switching to a franchise model.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 01:49

May I ask a Cornish Pirates fan when the Premiership closes? Or the Ealing chairman?
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 07:36

victorsra wrote:May I ask a Cornish Pirates fan when the Premiership closes? Or the Ealing chairman?


Both will be able to apply for a B&I Premiership franchise. Their applications will be considered. They will be told on what grounds they were unsuccessful (Ealing might be successful; they are the fourth strongest London club). There will be another opportunity to apply for a franchise in the near future.

Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Higgik » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 07:57

victorsra wrote:I understand your point, but the fact no club NOW is not near the level doesn't mean an investor won't appear and create a nice project somewhere. Cornish Pirates, Jersey Reds, Ealing, they all can step up and the closed shop basicaly will kill it.

The promotion-relegation playoff is bad if there is no investment in the second division. However, if the idea is to invest in the Championship, there is no reason to opt for a closed shop instead of a promotion-relegation playoff. The closed shop basicaly kills dreams, the playoffs allows ambition. If Premiership clubs are so much better, what they have to fear about a playoff? I don't see a reason why closing completely is better than a playoff.

But there is nothing to stop the league expanding if a club meets the same demands as the current teams. There could even be a draft to allow the new team to get league experienced players.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Higgik » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 08:00

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:May I ask a Cornish Pirates fan when the Premiership closes? Or the Ealing chairman?


Both will be able to apply for a B&I Premiership franchise. Their applications will be considered. They will be told on what grounds they were unsuccessful (Ealing might be successful; they are the fourth strongest London club). There will be another opportunity to apply for a franchise in the near future.

Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.

Exactly

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 08:03

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.


But if you ringfence a league there might never be a stadium. It simply creates bigger hurdles and we see it with the 6N. England is underperforming in what numbers they could reach with clubs compared to France. Only thing holding them back is the toxic climate of "just being a sport for the middle class upwards" in English rugby.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 08:07

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.


But if you ringfence a league there might never be a stadium. It simply creates bigger hurdles and we see it with the 6N. England is underperforming in what numbers they could reach with clubs compared to France. Only thing holding them back is the toxic climate of "just being a sport for the middle class upwards" in English rugby.


They are excluded due to a lack of stadium anyway. And I not convinced there will ever be a stadium. The thing holding them back is not English rugby. The thing holding them back is Cornwall.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 08:13

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.


But if you ringfence a league there might never be a stadium. It simply creates bigger hurdles and we see it with the 6N. England is underperforming in what numbers they could reach with clubs compared to France. Only thing holding them back is the toxic climate of "just being a sport for the middle class upwards" in English rugby.


They are excluded due to a lack of stadium anyway. And I not convinced there will ever be a stadium. The thing holding them back is not English rugby. The thing holding them back is Cornwall.


That's the case now. Ringfencing will create additional hurdles and in sport there should be as few hurdles as possible.
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: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 08:31

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.


But if you ringfence a league there might never be a stadium. It simply creates bigger hurdles and we see it with the 6N. England is underperforming in what numbers they could reach with clubs compared to France. Only thing holding them back is the toxic climate of "just being a sport for the middle class upwards" in English rugby.


They are excluded due to a lack of stadium anyway. And I not convinced there will ever be a stadium. The thing holding them back is not English rugby. The thing holding them back is Cornwall.


That's the case now. Ringfencing will create additional hurdles and in sport there should be as few hurdles as possible.


Their biggest hurdle is themselves. Theirs is a poor and remote country. It's a wonder they have a professional sports team at all.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 09:44

But I don't think it would work, so, I don't see any reason to block the Championship clubs from a home and away playoff. Not a single one. And let them create a proper second division league managed by them.


Actually the playoff was scrapped in 2017 becuase of how it made promotion and relegation difficult. Becuase promotion depended on winning one specific game at the end of the season, it made it very difficult to plan for the next season. Nobody expected London Welsh to beat Bristol in the playoff final in 2014. This was bad for Bristol who had to spend another year in the championship with a premiership level squad, but even worse for London Welsh who then got notoriously slaughtered in the 2014-15 premiership, losing every single game, having not known they were going to be playing in the premiership until long after most clubs had finalised their recruitment was done. Welsh thus had to throw together a premiership team at short notice, with predictable results. And its easy to say that they should have prepared for that eventuality but the reality is the difference in income streams between the two leagues is enormous so it simply isn't practical (unless you're Bristol with their wealthy benefactor and Premiership stakeholder parachute payments) to recruit based on the idea that you *might* be promoted.

This is from a playoff between championship teams of course but the principle would stand for a playoff between the championship and premiership - you couldn't be sure where you were playing until very late in the season. Still a possible scenario without a playoff of course, because of the potential for the season to go down to the wire, but this is much less likely.

Their biggest hurdle is themselves. Theirs is a poor and remote country. It's a wonder they have a professional sports team at all.


Actually I think they are going about it the right way, branding themselves as a "regional" side in an area where rugby is popular and where there isn't any real compeition from other sports. It's no coincidence that so many top level English rugby clubs are either based in cities without significant football presence (Gloucester, Bath, Worcester, Exeter) or in connurbations large enough to carry both sports (West Midlands or London). There are exceptions of course, but it certainly doesn't do any harm to pitch up away from big football teams.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 10:10

This is actually an area where, with hindsight, Wales could really have helped England out. If the two countries had agreed to merge their league systems you'd have had a solid second tier with historic clubs like Bridgend, Neath, Pontypridd, Ebbw Vale, etc. who were realistically not going to be able to compete at the top level of British rugby but would have made a solid, competitive second tier, so that relegation wouldn't be the one sided disaster it currently is (a similar sort of concept as inviting the USA, Canada and Fiji etc. to join the ENC to make relegation from the six nations less of a problem). Whilst only a handful of Welsh clubs would have been fixtures at the top, they would have really added depth to the lower tier. As it was those clubs have largely withered on the vine, starved of media and fan attention from being locked out of elite rugby. Welsh clubs were offered the chance to do this, but only five places were offered (two in the premiership and three in the championship) and that was seen at the time as something that would piss everyone off. Retrospectively I think everyone in Wales regrets that it wasn't taken up. But that ship has sailed.

The potential remains for a B&I league to fix the English second tier, though. Lots of people here say that nobody would want to play in a second tier but as a Dragons fan I can assured you if you offered us a 2nd division place in a B&I league alongside the likes of Worcester, Connacht, Newcastle etc., with the prospect of promotion to the top tier if it were earned, we would bite your hand off. I can't see the WRU accepting it though as they'd want as many seats as possible at the top table.

You could even go all out and make it a three tier system, and ringfence it at that level. Division three would be the likes of London Scottish, Bedford, and you could open it to new franchises from Wales and Scotland like RGC or Borders / Caledonia, or Ireland if they ever decided they wanted more teams.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 10:27

Figaro I meant to say it is the county holding Cornish Pirates back, not being able to get the go ahead for the stadium. I think the club is doing very well.

I like your idea of a 3 tier B&I Premiership but I think it will never happen because of rugby politics. Everyone will want to be at the top level. I have often thought that clubs like Pontypridd would really help to strengthen the English Championship.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 12:12

Figaro, do you think there are any other clubs that dream of playing at a higher level, or is it just Pontypridd? They don't really consider themselves part of the Blues region do they? If they played in the English Championship that would make a space in the Welsh Premiership for Pontypool who are desperate to be promoted.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Figaro » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 13:16

Chester-Donnelly wrote:Figaro, do you think there are any other clubs that dream of playing at a higher level, or is it just Pontypridd? They don't really consider themselves part of the Blues region do they? If they played in the English Championship that would make a space in the Welsh Premiership for Pontypool who are desperate to be promoted.


It's difficult to compare really because there is considerable overlap between the clubs and the professional regions. They are not all completely distinct entities. Although Pontypridd RFC is legally distinct from the Cardiff Blues, the latter's academy players and fringe squad players often show up for Pontypridd matches. In the case of Cardiff RFC there is a complex relationship between whether or not they are the same entity as the Blues; similarly they also field blues academy players. In the same season the same player might play for Cardiff Blues, Cardiff RFC, Pontypridd AND Merthyr RFC without ever invalidating the original contract they have signed (one of the reasons why the Welsh premiership in its current guise is such a joke). I think cardiff RFC is the only prem side still formally part of the same organisation as their region though - the Ospreys and Dragons have definitely divulged themselves of the clubs they were originally formed from.

The other thing is that two of the four regions (Ospreys and Dragons) have explicitly tried to separate themselves from the clubs they were formed from (Neath & Swansea and Newport & Ebbw Vale respectively). The other two regions, Scarlets especially, very explicitly consider themselves continuations of the clubs they were founded from. So the side called Llanelli RFC really is just a strange zombie entity which nobody follows any more. So you had a mix of superclubs and more genuine attempts at creating regional identities. There was also the fifth region, the Celtic Warriors, which never made sense and had zero identity (their crest and kit were a literal mismash of the Bridgend and Pontypridd logos).

To make it even more complicated, also playing in the Premiership you have an actual regional side in RGC1404. They have feeder clubs (Wrexham, Llangefni, Colwyn Bay etc.) in the lower divisions.

Is there an appetite for top level rugby elsewhere in Wales? Absolutely. Do the Ponty fans want to follow Cardiff? Not generally, but you'd have difficulty finding a consensus among those people for exactly what they do want. There are Pontypridd Ultras (minority) who would accept nothing less than a "Ponty" region playing in black and white, a continuation of the semi pro club exactly as it is. There are Pontypridd fans who would probably support a new region for the Valleys (there was even a campaign for this in the past that got as far as a club crest and kit, in a rather attractive green) as long as it played in Pontypridd. There are also probably some fans who would support any new Valleys entity.

There are also people in the valleys who have accepted their fate and follow Cardiff. There are also others who refuse to follow Cardiff but still want to follow a pro rugby team, so support the ospreys instead.

And of course, there is RGC. Who everyone accepts really should be a pro level club, but there just isn't the money to support a fifth club.

Almost nobody was happy with the regions as they have ended up but we have to make do with what there is, not what might have been. So on that basis the only two ways I can see a different pro team emerging in Wales would be some kind of Valleys Rugby (ideally NOT based in Pontypridd, but that's where the only vaguely decent stadium is so that's probably where you'd have to put it), or a North Wales region either as branded as RGC or something different, with RGC continuing as a premiership feeder.

Neither prospect seems remotely close, but a British and Irish league with lower divisions would make it much cheaper to sustain a team in the same system.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 14:08

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
RugbyLiebe wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:Cornish Pirates's problem is Cornwall's ongoing delays in getting a Stadium for Cornwall which has been dragging on for more than 15 years. I'll believe it when I see it but I won't hold my breath. Until then the Championship is the right level for the Pirates.


But if you ringfence a league there might never be a stadium. It simply creates bigger hurdles and we see it with the 6N. England is underperforming in what numbers they could reach with clubs compared to France. Only thing holding them back is the toxic climate of "just being a sport for the middle class upwards" in English rugby.


They are excluded due to a lack of stadium anyway. And I not convinced there will ever be a stadium. The thing holding them back is not English rugby. The thing holding them back is Cornwall.


That's the case now. Ringfencing will create additional hurdles and in sport there should be as few hurdles as possible.


Their biggest hurdle is themselves. Theirs is a poor and remote country. It's a wonder they have a professional sports team at all.

This is the definition of Cartellianism...

Aplication is not a thing for fans. It only kills passions created for more than a century. You basically admitted you can sacrifice some in order to keep the 13. Which still doesn't answer the first question "why not a playoff"? We walked in rounds to not properly answer that.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 14:15

victorsra wrote: This is the definition of Cartellianism...

Aplication is not a thing for fans. It only kills passions created for more than a century. You basically admitted you can sacrifice some in order to keep the 13. Which still doesn't answer the first question "why not a playoff"? We walked in rounds to not properly answer that.


So Cornwall's dream dies. How sad :cry: They should have built their stadium. Poor little Celts. Never mind.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 14:24

Thank you Figaro. Excellent explanation. So basically, where we are now, the 4 pro teams are here to stay and the Welsh Premiership clubs will never be more than that, whatever their history. If there was a fifth pro team it would either be a brand new Valleys team or a North Wales team. But unless oil is discovered under the Brecon Beacons that is just never going to happen. 4 is the right number of pro teams for Wales.

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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 14:28

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote: This is the definition of Cartellianism...

Aplication is not a thing for fans. It only kills passions created for more than a century. You basically admitted you can sacrifice some in order to keep the 13. Which still doesn't answer the first question "why not a playoff"? We walked in rounds to not properly answer that.


So Cornwall's dream dies. How sad :cry: They should have built their stadium. Poor little Celts. Never mind.

Yes, poor T2s that only complain, it is their fault. Lets go back to the rugby's world of only 8 nations too.
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Re: Inter-continental competitons

Postby victorsra » Thu, 27 Aug 2020, 14:29

And again, why not a playoff? :lol: What are the Cartellians afraid of? If a club folds after being relegated, it is their own fault (according to you), right? So why not playing them? Fear of losing to poor guys? Cartellians don't like to risk shame.
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