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Servette Genf Rugby

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 09:01

Higgik wrote:But is this the start of a Continental league based around the French system. The Top 14 is already a separate entity from the union and maybe could push for a wider remit.
Personally would love to see a 32 team league including the 2 Italian teams, a Spanish and Romanian team to start with then introduce German, Belgian as the league progressed.


The French would never introduce ring-fencing and closed shops so your idea will never happen. The top14 is too successful on many levels to change a thing and if they would allow other nations in, it would definitely only be with promotion and relegation. Good on them.
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: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 09:43

If they can solidify in Fed 1, possibly even push to Pro D2 I think it could be a model that someone in Francophone Belgium tries to copy, possibly around Liege. Lille did get very good attendances before they got DNACG'd (/went pop depending on how you view French financial regulations!)

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby theDarky » Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 15:29

Higgik wrote:But is this the start of a Continental league based around the French system. The Top 14 is already a separate entity from the union and maybe could push for a wider remit.
Personally would love to see a 32 team league including the 2 Italian teams, a Spanish and Romanian team to start with then introduce German, Belgian as the league progressed.


Let's be clear ... with the coronavirus crisis 16 pro clubs are in a mess both in Top 14 and ProD2

The goal of the FFR and the LNR is to save them first ... not to develop an pan-european league

That's the job of the EPCR but they are enough stupid to drop the only pro german club which could qualify for their competitions.

For the amateur federal leagues (from 3rd to 5fifth level in the pyramid) Servette is still the welcome until it doesnt shadow the biggest local semipro/pro clubs like theses closed ones: Bourgoin (135km from geneve) Oyonnax (85km) Chambery (90km) and Rumilly (70km).

And I dont talk about the historic clubs like Narbonne, Tarbes or Dax

They wont accept a foreign club with foreign players to access to the pro leagues.

I hope (and I think) the managers of Geneve Servette are aware about it because if they're not , they would be very surprised soon.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Duke of Earl » Wed, 15 Apr 2020, 17:44

To be honest , how many more countries could copy this approach. If Servette get to a good level , top of Federale 1 or indeed promotion to D2, I would not expect them to be supported by the French authorities , but if they showed ambition , they could move to the Pro14 league instead.
Unless you had the resources and intend to go straight to the Pro level , countries like Belgium , Luxembourg and Germany could all copy this approach , use it as a proof of concept and gain interest , and if it can be justified as a viable professional option ,leave the French leagues and go to a cross border league.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Working Class Rugger » Thu, 16 Apr 2020, 06:38

Duke of Earl wrote:To be honest , how many more countries could copy this approach. If Servette get to a good level , top of Federale 1 or indeed promotion to D2, I would not expect them to be supported by the French authorities , but if they showed ambition , they could move to the Pro14 league instead.
Unless you had the resources and intend to go straight to the Pro level , countries like Belgium , Luxembourg and Germany could all copy this approach , use it as a proof of concept and gain interest , and if it can be justified as a viable professional option ,leave the French leagues and go to a cross border league.


Would the Pro14 Unions be all that interested in including them? Certainly not from the ProD2 level. It's doubtful they'd be happy to set up a 2nd division as much like SR the Pro14 also feeds the respective national teams of each participant Union.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Thu, 16 Apr 2020, 10:02

Working Class Rugger wrote:
Duke of Earl wrote:To be honest , how many more countries could copy this approach. If Servette get to a good level , top of Federale 1 or indeed promotion to D2, I would not expect them to be supported by the French authorities , but if they showed ambition , they could move to the Pro14 league instead.
Unless you had the resources and intend to go straight to the Pro level , countries like Belgium , Luxembourg and Germany could all copy this approach , use it as a proof of concept and gain interest , and if it can be justified as a viable professional option ,leave the French leagues and go to a cross border league.


Would the Pro14 Unions be all that interested in including them? Certainly not from the ProD2 level. It's doubtful they'd be happy to set up a 2nd division as much like SR the Pro14 also feeds the respective national teams of each participant Union.


The Pro14 has a tiny tv market consisting of 4 countries, of which in two countries it is actually offering a minor product to a bigger league in that country's tv market (Uk, Premiership, SA Super Rugby maybe even Currie Cup) and one country which can't sell their tv rights (Italy) and the only country (Ireland) where even the setup of the product is good, could be great has only 5 million people.

Off course everybody in their right mind from the Pro14 should be interested to open bigger tv markets. But this is rugby, and British admins will always be British admins, so probably not.
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: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Raven » Sat, 18 Apr 2020, 08:00

I know the subject in the thread changed a bit, but going back to what has been said before, having more countries doing the same would make no sense. Servette opened and closed a door, as some mentioned above no French team in Honneur, or Fed3 wants to play a side playing with Fed1 players, and why would they want to go through that again?

On the other hand as level increases I would like to see what´s Servette approach, will they aim to feed the National team? as a romantic way of seeing things, or will it inevitably be a "businness" and continue to try and make it to another level with whatever players they can hire? I would imagine overseas players living in the French border to lower costs, so even those who play for Servette might not be eligible to play for the Swiss team anyway.
Hopefully this venture will bring some more exposure to the game in Switzerland tho. I personally think it´s a win-win situation on all fronts. Fed 2 is quite respecable, if they manage to make one final push and make it to Fed 1 and still keep a Swiss player Quota, then it´ll be massive.

As for going for Pro14, we are waaaaay ahead of ourselves, and starting a new league with neighbouring countries with the same rugby tradition and exposure Switzerland won´t be a game changer.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Mon, 20 Apr 2020, 05:32

Raven wrote:I would imagine overseas players living in the French border to lower costs, so even those who play for Servette might not be eligible to play for the Swiss team anyway.


This indeed is a very valid point.
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: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby 4N » Thu, 20 Aug 2020, 16:45

Servette have signed a few T2/3 players for their upcoming season in Federale 2. In addition to Mario Sagario they have added one Dutch, one Polish and two Swiss internationals.

https://actu.fr/sports/rugby/amateurs/f ... 88583.html

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 08:00

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Working Class Rugger wrote:
Duke of Earl wrote:To be honest , how many more countries could copy this approach. If Servette get to a good level , top of Federale 1 or indeed promotion to D2, I would not expect them to be supported by the French authorities , but if they showed ambition , they could move to the Pro14 league instead.
Unless you had the resources and intend to go straight to the Pro level , countries like Belgium , Luxembourg and Germany could all copy this approach , use it as a proof of concept and gain interest , and if it can be justified as a viable professional option ,leave the French leagues and go to a cross border league.


Would the Pro14 Unions be all that interested in including them? Certainly not from the ProD2 level. It's doubtful they'd be happy to set up a 2nd division as much like SR the Pro14 also feeds the respective national teams of each participant Union.


The Pro14 has a tiny tv market consisting of 4 countries, of which in two countries it is actually offering a minor product to a bigger league in that country's tv market (Uk, Premiership, SA Super Rugby maybe even Currie Cup) and one country which can't sell their tv rights (Italy) and the only country (Ireland) where even the setup of the product is good, could be great has only 5 million people.

Off course everybody in their right mind from the Pro14 should be interested to open bigger tv markets. But this is rugby, and British admins will always be British admins, so probably not.


Trouble is I don't think anyone in any of the Pro14 countries is interested in games that don't involve their own nations' respective sides. I know a reasonable number of people who watch Pro14 rugby in Wales but have literally never met anyone who has tuned into even the big clashes in the other countries like Leinster vs Munster, unless in the knockout rounds of the European cup naybe. Needless to say the interest here in games between the South African and Italian sides is zilch. If they watch any foreign rugby at all it will be the English premiership. So it's not simply a case of play rugby somewhere and you'll sell it there.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 08:57

Figaro wrote:Trouble is I don't think anyone in any of the Pro14 countries is interested in games that don't involve their own nations' respective sides. I know a reasonable number of people who watch Pro14 rugby in Wales but have literally never met anyone who has tuned into even the big clashes in the other countries like Leinster vs Munster, unless in the knockout rounds of the European cup naybe. Needless to say the interest here in games between the South African and Italian sides is zilch. If they watch any foreign rugby at all it will be the English premiership. So it's not simply a case of play rugby somewhere and you'll sell it there.


I am not sure, that Wales with 3,3 million people is even that relevant in marketing terms. The real deal of Pro14-tv-money is probably the whole of the UK market and there it seems significant as an outsider: how many English fans actually turn in. What are tv-figures in Wales like, are they even measured?
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: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 09:36

RugbyLiebe wrote:
Figaro wrote:Trouble is I don't think anyone in any of the Pro14 countries is interested in games that don't involve their own nations' respective sides. I know a reasonable number of people who watch Pro14 rugby in Wales but have literally never met anyone who has tuned into even the big clashes in the other countries like Leinster vs Munster, unless in the knockout rounds of the European cup naybe. Needless to say the interest here in games between the South African and Italian sides is zilch. If they watch any foreign rugby at all it will be the English premiership. So it's not simply a case of play rugby somewhere and you'll sell it there.


I am not sure, that Wales with 3,3 million people is even that relevant in marketing terms. The real deal of Pro14-tv-money is probably the whole of the UK market and there it seems significant as an outsider: how many English fans actually turn in. What are tv-figures in Wales like, are they even measured?


Figaro, I think you're absolutely right. Marketing and broadcasting of rugby in Wales needs to include National team, Welsh Pro 14 teams and Welsh Premiership. Anything that doesn't involve Welsh teams is of no interest. The same would be true in Scotland etc. There are a lot of Welsh and Scottish people in England, so things like scrum v I think are quite popular. Being BBC we can watch scrum v in England. I watch it myself.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 09:41

Not really up-to-date on free tv in Britain: are there any dedicated tv shows for the highlights of the league or rugby at all? Are there for soccer?
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: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 10:02

It's really hard to compare. I know I read at one point that the Welsh Pro12 games actually had the highest live TV audience of any televised domestic games in the UK *but* that comes with the massive proviso that they were on free to air TV back then. Even now it's all pay to view it's difficult to compare because while the English Premiership is on Sky and BT that might get them casual viewers who have packages for football etc. Pro14 is on premier sports which probably you would only have a subscription for to watch the Pro14.

I think the total TV audience for domestic rugby in Wales is at least competitive with the other 6N, maybe even better, as Chester points out there are a lot of Welsh people in England who tube in. I know S4C used to get audiences around the 200k mark for Pro12 matches which is outstanding when you consider that only 550k speak Welsh!

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 10:08

Every Welsh rugby fan I know wants a British and Irish League. It's nothing to do with disliking the others or servile obsession with England, just a real practical question of where the games happen and how easily fans can travel. Pretty much every English Rugby club except maybe Newcastle is easily doable from South Wales in a weekend trip, and when we play places like Bristol/Bath/Gloucester thousands of fans travel each way.

Failing that I think people would favour a Welsh conference in a Pro16 or whatever that had a domestic champion and as much, or more, Derby matches. Basically something that could let people pretend the rest of the competition didn't exist.
Last edited by Figaro on Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 10:12, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 10:10

RugbyLiebe wrote:Not really up-to-date on free tv in Britain: are there any dedicated tv shows for the highlights of the league or rugby at all? Are there for soccer?


Not sure about England or Scotland but there's a highlights program for the Welsh regions (not European games). One Welsh Prem match gets shown per week. S4C show one Pro14 game live per week and one on delay (involving Welsh teams), but no longer with English dub commentary as an option like they used to. Freesports (the free channel for Premier Sports) also show one Pro14 game per week but it's usually a South African or Italian game. I checked in the first season and less than half the Freesports games involved a UK team and only two all year had a Welsh team.

Football has loads of programs.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby honestly_united » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 12:08

In Scotland the TV audience for Glasgow games is quite big now, driven by the fact they have been once of the best teams (and also probably the most exciting to watch) over the last 5 years. The majority of Glasgow games were on BBC Alba prior to the Premier sports deal. BBC Alba is the gaelic language channel in Scotland for the 15 or so people that actually speak it (I think just those involved in the shows and family). In the last year or so of the deal all their highest viewing figures were for the Glasgow games as their following has increased hugely. It probably helps that the majority of their games are sold out, so people get used to watching on TV now.

I know there is now a BBC highlights program that I dont watch as I have premier sports so not sure how good or it is, but I know there are a good few Scots in England who tune in to Premier sports each week.
For the Pro14 Italy and SA are big markets with each having much bigger populations than Wales / Ireland / Scotland combined, but the best and biggest supported teams are the Welsh, Scots and Irish. If they could get the rest of the SA teams involved I think that would be a game changer in terms of a TV deal now, but long term tapping into the Spanish / German / Russian may be a better bet.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby RugbyLiebe » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 12:14

honestly_united wrote:In Scotland the TV audience for Glasgow games is quite big now


Do you have an estimation about how big, big is?
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: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 13:01

The size of the market is not the same as the size of a country. Wales might have the smallest population but a much bigger proportion are interested in rugby. At the other end of the scale Italy is the biggest country (just) in the Pro14 but I'm sure it is the smallest market. I'd be willing to bet there are more people in England viewing the Pro14 than in Italy. All those extra people are only theoretical viewers, and in all honesty someone from say Sicily is not much more likely to be tuning into Benetton v Zebre than they are Dragons v Connacht.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby honestly_united » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 15:37

RugbyLiebe wrote:
honestly_united wrote:In Scotland the TV audience for Glasgow games is quite big now


Do you have an estimation about how big, big is?


Its compartive, as I can remember a time when Glasgow would struggle to give away tickets, so anyone watching is an improvment, but I dont think it is above 100,000. Most of my friends will be watching the games on a Friday night, not so much on a Saturday unless its a late kick off, and most games are 10k sell outs at Scotstoun. As I said above this is down to firstly the fantastic open style of Glasgow, and being succesful over a number of years where they have been in the Pro 14 final for a number of years, so it probably seems in my bubble everyone is watching, when in reality its not that many

I think you get a different impression from the Welsh fans to that of Scots / Irish to the Pro 14 as apart from the blip of Scarlets a few years back, the regions are pretty much an irrelevance in the Pro 14 as they are not troubling the top half of the table. In comparison the national team has done fantastically well over the last 5-10 years, while the clubs seem to be regressing so you can see why the average rugby fan has lost interest in the Pro14, but i dont think that is a problem with the competition, more how the Welsh clubs are run. If Cardiff or Scarlets were up challenging Glasgow / Leinster / Ulster / Munster every year they would probably have a different take on the competition.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 19:56

RugbyLiebe wrote:Not really up-to-date on free tv in Britain: are there any dedicated tv shows for the highlights of the league or rugby at all? Are there for soccer?


Yes. Channel 5 on Monday night show an hour (well 45 mins + ads!) of Premiership Rugby highlights at 7pm. They also show 5 live games on Saturdays during the season.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 20:07

It's difficult as a fan to discuss it completely objectively, but I honestly don't think you're right. Yes, there is always more interest when the regions are doing well - the same goes for everywhere else (conversely back when the Scottish sides were the whipping boys not many people were interested in them either) and it's probably fair to say that the current malaise amongst the Welsh teams isn't doing anyone any favours. But whinging about the league has been going on forever. It's nothing new. Even back when the Ospreys were consistently challenging (let's remember they are still the second most successful team in the league) there was still a sense that Europe was the real deal, that Leinster were always resting their best players, that the Italians were pointless etc.

Don't get me wrong, I like Italian Rugby and I want them to do well. But I also recognise that the pro-growth mindset that is the orthodoxy on this forum isnt necessarily reflected in the average rugby fan. People in general don't care about developing Italian rugby, they just want to see their teams doing well in exciting and meaningful competitions and the Italians have long been seen as something that just adds games for the sake of it. They can't complain about then being rubbish now that Benetton at least have developed into a decent side, but they still don't bring crowds nor enthuse the locals. And when the South Africans joined that just made it worse.

Nobody here blames the other teams for ours being crap. That certainly doesn't help, but it isn't the root of the problem.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby sk 88 » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 20:12

Figaro wrote:Every Welsh rugby fan I know wants a British and Irish League. It's nothing to do with disliking the others or servile obsession with England, just a real practical question of where the games happen and how easily fans can travel. Pretty much every English Rugby club except maybe Newcastle is easily doable from South Wales in a weekend trip, and when we play places like Bristol/Bath/Gloucester thousands of fans travel each way.

Failing that I think people would favour a Welsh conference in a Pro16 or whatever that had a domestic champion and as much, or more, Derby matches. Basically something that could let people pretend the rest of the competition didn't exist.


It's a function of 1) history and 2) geography.

1) History; Bristol, Bath, Gloucester, Leicester, Coventry (sort of now Wasps) played the 4 top Welsh sides who have become the regions every year, usually home and away. I bet Saints did too and Quins will have played them often too. There was a seriously proposed Anglo-Welsh league in 1969 that bubbled as a proposition along until 1975 when they forced the issue and the RFU introduced merit tables and threatened to kick the clubs out if they played it.

2) Geography. Cardiff to Gloucester is an hour. Cardiff to Leicester is about 2 and a half, a bit under that. There are no material borders between us. Dublin to Limerick is similarly over 2 hours. Leicester to Manchester is similar to Cardiff. I saw something with a 75 mile radius of Cardiff and it included all the Welsh clubs and 5 English ones (Bath, Bris, Gloucester, Exeter and Worcester).

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Figaro » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 20:25

Yes - not so much the history I wouldn't say, but definitely just the realistic fact that if the Dragons play Bristol or vice versa a few thousand fans will make the trip and not just swell the crowd but also give it an adversarial edge, add some fun and make it an event. When we play the Cheetahs it's effectively almost like watching on television. Even if this is just on a subconscious level. And all of these factors are interrelated feedback loops of course - less fun equals less fans equals less income equals less success equals less fans and so on.

With the proximity also comes a natural familiarity. Everyone in South Wales has visited Bristol, Bath, and London and most of us will have visited places like Gloucester as well. Lots of people commute between the two, especially Newport to Bristol, and lots of people will know people from the other side of the border. Edinburgh and Dublin are holiday destinations much like Paris or Italy, and any sense of a "Celtic" commonality I can assure you is basically totally invented. Even us Welsh speakers relate more to Catalonia or the Basque country than Scotland, because we have our language here, like them, whereas the Scots and Irish can barely hide their contempt for Gaelic.

We also eye enviously the big football teams, out playing in the English system, doing exactly what we want to do in Rugby.

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Re: Servette Genf Rugby

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 21 Aug 2020, 20:45

I think the Pro 14 is good for rugby overall, but a British and Irish league would really raise the profile of professional club rugby in Britain. And if rugby was just one sport, not split between union and league, a British and Irish league would be huge; comparable to the French professional leagues.

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