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Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 12:34

ihateblazers wrote:
Edgar wrote:Abandoning tradition for the sake of progress is one thing, but that would not be the case with South Africa, who would simply wreck the European identity of the championship, and perhaps reduce one or two more teams to the status of perennial also-rans alongside Italy.


I'm not sure if it really has a European identity. Apart from the addition of Italy, the tournament has usually been seen as the British + France by the British market and not necessarily a European tournament. A nod to history and the empire.

I guess if they are focusing on the British market, South Africa is a "palatable" addition with their commonwealth history.

Wouldn't be surprised if they kicked out Italy so they wouldn't have to share revenue with them anymore.


I pretty much agree. Britain probably has more shared identity with South Africa than it does with Europe, especially when it comes to rugby. Also South Africa has more shared identity with Britain than it does with Africa.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby theDarky » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 16:28

Personally I don't think that we have to include teams outside of Europe.

For a simple match against the Springboks, we need a 10 hours flight ....

And if we analyze it on an economic point of view, South-Africa is still a poor country and a market like Spain is largely wealthy ...

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 17:00

theDarky wrote:And if we analyze it on an economic point of view, South-Africa is still a poor country and a market like Spain is largely wealthy ...

But South African TV channels are ready to pay way more than Spanish ones.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 17:06

I woudn't be surprised if South Africa enters the 6N and also keeps playing TRC. Why not? If they have more money, they can pay Springboks to stay in the Lions, Bulls, Stormers and Sharks, that would have Boks players in April, May and June. It is pretty much likely they want to benefit from their geographical position and play in both systems, as they are doing right now this with PRO14-SR.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 17:39

victorsra wrote:I woudn't be surprised if South Africa enters the 6N and also keeps playing TRC. Why not? If they have more money, they can pay Springboks to stay in the Lions, Bulls, Stormers and Sharks, that would have Boks players in April, May and June. It is pretty much likely they want to benefit from their geographical position and play in both systems, as they are doing right now this with PRO14-SR.


I don't see any reason for them to not do that. They can be in Six Nations, Super Rugby, TRC, Currie Cup and Pro 14. They can have their cake and eat it.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 17:39

victorsra wrote:I woudn't be surprised if South Africa enters the 6N and also keeps playing TRC. Why not? If they have more money, they can pay Springboks to stay in the Lions, Bulls, Stormers and Sharks, that would have Boks players in April, May and June. It is pretty much likely they want to benefit from their geographical position and play in both systems, as they are doing right now this with PRO14-SR.


I don't see any reason for them to not do that. They can be in Six Nations, Super Rugby, TRC, Currie Cup and Pro 14. They can have their cake and eat it.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 17:51

It is very likely to see South Africa everywhere, not choosing a sole allegiance. They made this very clear when Cheetahs and Kings entered PRO14.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Thesjhughes » Sat, 08 Feb 2020, 23:06

South Africa will have to play the rugby championship on 2025 that’s the current broadcaster deal for legal reasons. https://www.sky.co.nz/-/mk_pressrelease_141019. PS I could see them playing both competitions I’ll be a big stretch.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 07:59

Working Class Rugger wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:I think Chester was just spit-balling the idea for A teams with some of the concerns in mind. However, it would be a non starter commercially and you might as well make it a Nations Cup or Churchill cup high performance tournament instead and Rugby Europe establishes their own Euro for REC and RET teams. Maybe the crowds could be ok with 6 Nations A teams, but you wouldn't get the backing of broadcasters and sponsors. The whole point of a Euro with 6 Nations involvement would be for it to eventually be a commercial product to grow the game in Europe.


You are right. I'm just trying to think of ways the Six Nations countries could be involved. A Euros would hold no appeal for those countries. Their main teams will have plans during the July and November test windows, playing tier 1 teams, and there is no desire to replace the Six Nations, even for 1 year. The only way these countries will be involved will be with another representative team. I believe that is just reality at the moment.
I think, for now, the REC / RET countries should focus on raising the standard and profile of rugby in those countries. Russia and Romania launching the Kontinental Liga is a great example of that, also Russia expanding its Premier League. I think the REC / RET countries could do more to work together but mostly they need to work towards professional rugby in their own country. If the REC was attracting 50k crowds and the standard was closer Top 14 standard then the Six Nations teams would start to become interested in the concept of a Euros for rugby.


There was an article on rugby.com.au about the remergence of Aus A in order to play against T2 opponents. Not a fan. Perhaps against the lower echeleon of them but not against the likes of Georgia etc.

I actually agree with you on the whole professional league(s) angle. And it's something I think WR should be looking to directly invest capital in. Targeting T2 nations and helping with things like establishing professional structures, promoting said structures and presenting a polished product to the market. I actually think it would have greater long term benefits than a T2 Nations Championship structure. The goal should be to eventually reach a point where Rugby has 9-10 properly professional leagues around the world.

I think the Super 6 in Scotland provides a solid foundational model to start from and then look to grow from there.


Yeah, I think that professionalism is key. Either by developing good enough players who get picked up overseas or domestic professionalism. But considering that Romania and Russia have professionalism and Georgia sends many players overseas, and yet all have struggled to kick on says to me that it's a bit tricky due to the small rugby markets in Europe.

In comparison, I think that with the MLR there is enough incentive for development and investment due to the huge American market, which should lead to improvement in standards annually. The same with Japan I guess.

Can we achieve the same in Europe domestically at club level? I don't think so. Pan-European comps or professionalising international programmes might be the best way to go until we have the market in European rugby.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Canalina » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 11:25

Have you read the Morariu counter-purpose?

An "Eight Nations", with two pools, semifinals and finals, including one team from REC

"Funding from one of these competitions would give us the money we need to develop"

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby ... ition.html

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 11:45

Canalina wrote:Have you read the Morariu counter-purpose?

An "Eight Nations", with two pools, semifinals and finals, including one team from REC

"Funding from one of these competitions would give us the money we need to develop"

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugby ... ition.html


I think this could work. The article is very thin on detail. How about moving REC out of the winter, and using it as a qualifier for the eighth Six (Eight) Nations spot.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 12:24

Interesting that he says money from the competition would help with development of Rugby Europe.

Maybe he means that the Rugby Europe organisation could become the 8th partner and use the revenue share to invest in the Rugby Europe competitions.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 12:57

France and South Africa should put pressure on the rest of the 6 nation's, and perhaps CVC would look at it as interesting proposal. I had a feeling that South Africa's agreement with Georgia might have had something to do with plans for Europe.

Just me dreaming but if the 8 nation's and an expanded REC ran simultaneously, both the finals could be hosted in a single venue like the Champions Cup and Challenge Cup. Somewhere like the Nou Camp, Bernabeau, Berlin Olimpico Stadion, Munich Allianz Arena or Ajax Arena. Package both championships as one product.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 13:35

If this did go ahead, the Rugby Championship could be reduced to a single round robin tournament, and a new Asia Pacific 4 Nations could be added (New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Fiji).

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 14:01

Chester-Donnelly wrote:If this did go ahead, the Rugby Championship could be reduced to a single round robin tournament, and a new Asia Pacific 4 Nations could be added (New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Fiji).


That would probably work but you might as well make it a double round robin to keep it at 6 games or introduce a final series with playoffs for relegation. However, I can't see Australia and New Zealand leaving out Argentina due to the potential of future expansion into Canada and the US especially. They tend to look more long term than the 6 Nations unions.

I don't think that Argentina would be a welcomed addition to the 6 Nations either. They don't have the ready made tv market of South Africa willing to pay big bucks and it is another long journey for the 6 Nations. I suppose they could play their games in Spain, but that would not be good for the growth of the game in Argentina.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby victorsra » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 14:22

ihateblazers wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:I think Chester was just spit-balling the idea for A teams with some of the concerns in mind. However, it would be a non starter commercially and you might as well make it a Nations Cup or Churchill cup high performance tournament instead and Rugby Europe establishes their own Euro for REC and RET teams. Maybe the crowds could be ok with 6 Nations A teams, but you wouldn't get the backing of broadcasters and sponsors. The whole point of a Euro with 6 Nations involvement would be for it to eventually be a commercial product to grow the game in Europe.


You are right. I'm just trying to think of ways the Six Nations countries could be involved. A Euros would hold no appeal for those countries. Their main teams will have plans during the July and November test windows, playing tier 1 teams, and there is no desire to replace the Six Nations, even for 1 year. The only way these countries will be involved will be with another representative team. I believe that is just reality at the moment.
I think, for now, the REC / RET countries should focus on raising the standard and profile of rugby in those countries. Russia and Romania launching the Kontinental Liga is a great example of that, also Russia expanding its Premier League. I think the REC / RET countries could do more to work together but mostly they need to work towards professional rugby in their own country. If the REC was attracting 50k crowds and the standard was closer Top 14 standard then the Six Nations teams would start to become interested in the concept of a Euros for rugby.


There was an article on rugby.com.au about the remergence of Aus A in order to play against T2 opponents. Not a fan. Perhaps against the lower echeleon of them but not against the likes of Georgia etc.

I actually agree with you on the whole professional league(s) angle. And it's something I think WR should be looking to directly invest capital in. Targeting T2 nations and helping with things like establishing professional structures, promoting said structures and presenting a polished product to the market. I actually think it would have greater long term benefits than a T2 Nations Championship structure. The goal should be to eventually reach a point where Rugby has 9-10 properly professional leagues around the world.

I think the Super 6 in Scotland provides a solid foundational model to start from and then look to grow from there.


Yeah, I think that professionalism is key. Either by developing good enough players who get picked up overseas or domestic professionalism. But considering that Romania and Russia have professionalism and Georgia sends many players overseas, and yet all have struggled to kick on says to me that it's a bit tricky due to the small rugby markets in Europe.

In comparison, I think that with the MLR there is enough incentive for development and investment due to the huge American market, which should lead to improvement in standards annually. The same with Japan I guess.

Can we achieve the same in Europe domestically at club level? I don't think so. Pan-European comps or professionalising international programmes might be the best way to go until we have the market in European rugby.

Professionalism is only the key if you have junior rugby. That's the difference between Georgia and Romania. Countries that go after professionalism without junior rugby are fooling themselves.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 14:44

ihateblazers wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:If this did go ahead, the Rugby Championship could be reduced to a single round robin tournament, and a new Asia Pacific 4 Nations could be added (New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Fiji).


That would probably work but you might as well make it a double round robin to keep it at 6 games or introduce a final series with playoffs for relegation. However, I can't see Australia and New Zealand leaving out Argentina due to the potential of future expansion into Canada and the US especially. They tend to look more long term than the 6 Nations unions.

I don't think that Argentina would be a welcomed addition to the 6 Nations either. They don't have the ready made tv market of South Africa willing to pay big bucks and it is another long journey for the 6 Nations. I suppose they could play their games in Spain, but that would not be good for the growth of the game in Argentina.


I think Argentina are only suitable for an Americas tournament and a southern hemisphere tournament. They are not suitable for an Asia Pacific tournament because the distance from Japan is ridiculous. It would be like having Australia in the Six Nations.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby ihateblazers » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 16:45

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:If this did go ahead, the Rugby Championship could be reduced to a single round robin tournament, and a new Asia Pacific 4 Nations could be added (New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Fiji).


That would probably work but you might as well make it a double round robin to keep it at 6 games or introduce a final series with playoffs for relegation. However, I can't see Australia and New Zealand leaving out Argentina due to the potential of future expansion into Canada and the US especially. They tend to look more long term than the 6 Nations unions.

I don't think that Argentina would be a welcomed addition to the 6 Nations either. They don't have the ready made tv market of South Africa willing to pay big bucks and it is another long journey for the 6 Nations. I suppose they could play their games in Spain, but that would not be good for the growth of the game in Argentina.


I think Argentina are only suitable for an Americas tournament and a southern hemisphere tournament. They are not suitable for an Asia Pacific tournament because the distance from Japan is ridiculous. It would be like having Australia in the Six Nations.


To be fair the flights from New Zealand to South Africa and Australia to Buenos Aires are also pretty long but they made it work.

If Australia and New Zealand wanted to be ballsy they could have an Asia-Pacific championship as you suggest with a 4 team round robin and play offs against a 4 team America's Championship with the finals hosted in Japan/US. With the Allblacks pretty much guaranteed to make the final every year you could sell out the stadiums in advance easily.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 17:52

ihateblazers wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
ihateblazers wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:If this did go ahead, the Rugby Championship could be reduced to a single round robin tournament, and a new Asia Pacific 4 Nations could be added (New Zealand, Australia, Japan, Fiji).


That would probably work but you might as well make it a double round robin to keep it at 6 games or introduce a final series with playoffs for relegation. However, I can't see Australia and New Zealand leaving out Argentina due to the potential of future expansion into Canada and the US especially. They tend to look more long term than the 6 Nations unions.

I don't think that Argentina would be a welcomed addition to the 6 Nations either. They don't have the ready made tv market of South Africa willing to pay big bucks and it is another long journey for the 6 Nations. I suppose they could play their games in Spain, but that would not be good for the growth of the game in Argentina.


I think Argentina are only suitable for an Americas tournament and a southern hemisphere tournament. They are not suitable for an Asia Pacific tournament because the distance from Japan is ridiculous. It would be like having Australia in the Six Nations.


To be fair the flights from New Zealand to South Africa and Australia to Buenos Aires are also pretty long but they made it work.

If Australia and New Zealand wanted to be ballsy they could have an Asia-Pacific championship as you suggest with a 4 team round robin and play offs against a 4 team America's Championship with the finals hosted in Japan/US. With the Allblacks pretty much guaranteed to make the final every year you could sell out the stadiums in advance easily.


You're not wrong. Australia to Argentina takes 19 hours. Japan to Argentina takes 24 hours. These are ridiculously long journeys but the former is considered worth it.

I think if the Rugby Championship was halved, and an Asia Pacific Four Nations was added for NZ, Aus, Japan and Fiji; Argentina would need another test. I would suggest a South Atlantic version of the Bledisloe Cup to be played home and away between South Africa and Argentina every year.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Canalina » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 20:45

A simple and maybe banal explanation about the interest of the home unions for South Africa: last sunday in Paris for France-England there were 78,000 spectators, today for France-Italy they were 52,000. If a ticket at Stade de France has an average cost of 100 €, it's a 2.6 million € gap per match

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby theDarky » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 21:02

same number of spectators between France and South Africa in 2018 and poor tv ratings ...

Source in French:
https://www.lerugbynistere.fr/news/audi ... 181111.php


And in 2017 only 55000 spectators:

https://www.ffr.fr/equipe-de-france/rug ... 017-210000

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Armchair Fan » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 21:03

Well, it wasn't in the Six Nations.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 21:10

Canalina wrote:A simple and maybe banal explanation about the interest of the home unions for South Africa: last sunday in Paris for France-England there were 78,000 spectators, today for France-Italy they were 52,000. If a ticket at Stade de France has an average cost of 100 €, it's a 2.6 million € gap per match


I don't accept the argument (from the article) that a seven team tournament is complex. A seven team tournament means everyone gets 3 home games every year.
Two pools of 4 means some teams only get one home game. As much as I would like an REC team involved, I don't see how an 8 team 2 pool format can be worth more than a seven team single round robin tournament.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby Thomas » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 21:15

Everything about expansion is a mute point until the new TV rights are negotiated, If and I mean if any new partners are allowed in they surely must provide a source of income to increase the exposure of the competitions and what else will they bring to the table to be accepted as equal partners.

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Re: Are the stars aligning for a 6N expansion?

Postby theDarky » Sun, 09 Feb 2020, 21:25

Armchair Fan wrote:Well, it wasn't in the Six Nations.


I don't think it would change anything... for french people, you have the Crunch, the all blacks and the rest ...

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