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Increase the RWC to 24 teams

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 14:35

To me the number of stadiums is not about not being able to host a RWC in just 8 or 9, but:
- Pissing off football clubs as little as possible
- Not concentrating too many fans in cities with little hotel availability compared to the size of their stadium
- Guaranteeing a decent spread of the tournament throughout the country

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Thu, 30 Jul 2020, 15:09

Exactly. "My country has big stadiums" is not near an argument.

Another question is: rugby has many unappealing T2 vs T2 matches and you must host those matches in cities with larger rugby communities, because they provide a core number of fans. England 2015 had Exeter, Leicester and Gloucester for that. Japan used Kumagaya, Osaka, Kamaishi... France will use Toulouse, Bordeaux...

Having a packed stadium for All Blacks vs England is easy. The problem is Namibia vs Tonga, Uruguay vs Samoa, Canada vs Fiji....
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Rebus » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 07:07

This is where you need to have that domestic widespread interest in the game.
AN example was a game I was at during the 2003 Rugby World Cup , Georgia v Australia .
Australia did a great job marketing that world cup , selling tickits at an appropriate price and getting good crowds into the game. In this case it was a midweek match in a large stadium with two amateur international teams. The crowd was over 28,000 and it was a good atmosphere and game to go to.

I would hope for the sake of the global game of rugby that by 2035 , the game has developed globally where an country currently classed as an emerging T2 nation has the infrastructure and domestic interest to do something similar. I would hope there are more countries with professional domestic leagues and there are more countries with noteworthy travelling supports to necessitate an expanded world cup.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 07:50

Rebus wrote:This is where you need to have that domestic widespread interest in the game.
AN example was a game I was at during the 2003 Rugby World Cup , Georgia v Australia .
Australia did a great job marketing that world cup , selling tickits at an appropriate price and getting good crowds into the game. In this case it was a midweek match in a large stadium with two amateur international teams. The crowd was over 28,000 and it was a good atmosphere and game to go to.

I would hope for the sake of the global game of rugby that by 2035 , the game has developed globally where an country currently classed as an emerging T2 nation has the infrastructure and domestic interest to do something similar. I would hope there are more countries with professional domestic leagues and there are more countries with noteworthy travelling supports to necessitate an expanded world cup.


I hope that by 2035, USA and Russia are tier 1 nations, or are at the cusp of becoming tier 1, like Japan were in 2035. Because that is when rugby becomes mainstream in those countries and becomes global.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Figaro » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 08:13

victorsra wrote:Exactly. "My country has big stadiums" is not near an argument.

Another question is: rugby has many unappealing T2 vs T2 matches and you must host those matches in cities with larger rugby communities, because they provide a core number of fans. England 2015 had Exeter, Leicester and Gloucester for that. Japan used Kumagaya, Osaka, Kamaishi... France will use Toulouse, Bordeaux...

Having a packed stadium for All Blacks vs England is easy. The problem is Namibia vs Tonga, Uruguay vs Samoa, Canada vs Fiji....


I actually think this is not the problem people assume it is. In 2015 there were four T2/T2 matches that got roughly 30k capacity crowds in their stadia:

Fiji v Uruguay (Milton Keynes)
Japan v Samoa (Milton Keynes)
Samoa v USA (Brighton)
Canada v Romania (Leicester)

Leicester excepted these are not rugby areas and the tickets for the Japan game were sold long before they beat South Africa. Yes they're well connected to e.g. London, and the case would be completely different in a T2 country without England's love of rugby, but the point is that you don't *have* to play those games in smaller stadia. Kingsholm and Sandy park were sold out for most of their games. Playing in Exeter and Gloucester was more about recognition for Rugby areas than about selling out the games.

Conversely, people in T2 Nations might not have the prejudices some T1 fans might, and might be more open to attending a "minnows" match like Tonga/Namibia than a T1 fan would. A lot depends on prices - the 2015 WC was *absurdly* expensive. Charge £20 /ticket instead of £80 and you could have filled Twickenham for Tonga Namibia instead of getting 10k in Sandy Park.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 14:20

We can't compare England with Russia. UK has millions of rugby fans. If just a small part of them are open to T2 (and the party of a RWC plays a role) + tourists, they can pack a stadium. Russia and most T2s (Japan has never been realy T2) don't have enough public for theirselves in the first place... and that public will watch T1 because they can't watch everything. Just compare here the appeal of a Maori All Blacks visit to matches against any T2.

Ok, there is the RWC hype, but it is completely different when your starting point is people that barely know what rugby is.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 14:46

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Rebus wrote:This is where you need to have that domestic widespread interest in the game.
AN example was a game I was at during the 2003 Rugby World Cup , Georgia v Australia .
Australia did a great job marketing that world cup , selling tickits at an appropriate price and getting good crowds into the game. In this case it was a midweek match in a large stadium with two amateur international teams. The crowd was over 28,000 and it was a good atmosphere and game to go to.

I would hope for the sake of the global game of rugby that by 2035 , the game has developed globally where an country currently classed as an emerging T2 nation has the infrastructure and domestic interest to do something similar. I would hope there are more countries with professional domestic leagues and there are more countries with noteworthy travelling supports to necessitate an expanded world cup.


I hope that by 2035, USA and Russia are tier 1 nations, or are at the cusp of becoming tier 1, like Japan were in 2035. Because that is when rugby becomes mainstream in those countries and becomes global.


Yes, but the RWC is just the top of the pyramid. The path to make it global depends on anual competitions (6N/TRC or a future world league).

The world league without doubts the most logical path because you create a global competition that emerging countries can host matches, big matches, with value (appeal that mere tests don't have) that are crucial to develop local markets. The question is not if a world league is needed. It is which world league is positive (which model). The question of "is USA" or "is Russia able to host a RWC" can start to be answered if those countries are involved in such world league, for exemple.

Many people dismissed the world league just because of Pichot's format or because "oh, and what about the RWC?", without thinking properly about OTHER possible formats. It is absolutely possible to find a positive format. Unfortunatly some T1s don't want to share the cake properly and the proposed formats are all elitist... anyway, a more willing, creative and more conciliatory leadership could find a format that allies T1s interests with the need to expand T2s opportunities (and both Beaumont and Pichot fail here...).
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 15:44

victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Rebus wrote:This is where you need to have that domestic widespread interest in the game.
AN example was a game I was at during the 2003 Rugby World Cup , Georgia v Australia .
Australia did a great job marketing that world cup , selling tickits at an appropriate price and getting good crowds into the game. In this case it was a midweek match in a large stadium with two amateur international teams. The crowd was over 28,000 and it was a good atmosphere and game to go to.

I would hope for the sake of the global game of rugby that by 2035 , the game has developed globally where an country currently classed as an emerging T2 nation has the infrastructure and domestic interest to do something similar. I would hope there are more countries with professional domestic leagues and there are more countries with noteworthy travelling supports to necessitate an expanded world cup.


I hope that by 2035, USA and Russia are tier 1 nations, or are at the cusp of becoming tier 1, like Japan were in 2035. Because that is when rugby becomes mainstream in those countries and becomes global.


Yes, but the RWC is just the top of the pyramid. The path to make it global depends on anual competitions (6N/TRC or a future world league).

The world league without doubts the most logical path because you create a global competition that emerging countries can host matches, big matches, with value (appeal that mere tests don't have) that are crucial to develop local markets. The question is not if a world league is needed. It is which world league is positive (which model). The question of "is USA" or "is Russia able to host a RWC" can start to be answered if those countries are involved in such world league, for exemple.

Many people dismissed the world league just because of Pichot's format or because "oh, and what about the RWC?", without thinking properly about OTHER possible formats. It is absolutely possible to find a positive format. Unfortunatly some T1s don't want to share the cake properly and the proposed formats are all elitist... anyway, a more willing, creative and more conciliatory leadership could find a format that allies T1s interests with the need to expand T2s opportunities (and both Beaumont and Pichot fail here...).


The World League was premature. I am thinking mostly from a European perspective. The punishment for finishing bottom of the Six Nations is too severe. Bankrupted. Banished from polite society. It's not sharing a cake. It's having your slice of cake removed from your hand and being sent to Siberia on a train.

I think there are 4 layers to this pyramid shaped cake. The bottom layer is rugby in schools, universities, clubs.
The second layer is professional rugby. Russia and USA are doing a great thing for rugby by building this layer.
The third layer is international rugby competitions and tours.
The RWC is the top bit.

The second layer needs to be in place before any sane person is going to agree to step outside the safety of the Six Nations. Get that layer made then we can make a fairer third layer. But right now Italy is not looking at tier 2 rugby and thinking they would like a slice of that.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 17:48

The World League was premature. I am thinking mostly from a European perspective. The punishment for finishing bottom of the Six Nations is too severe. Bankrupted. Banished from polite society. It's not sharing a cake. It's having your slice of cake removed from your hand and being sent to Siberia on a train.

That's why I say the problem is the format, not the league.

Volleyball has a very interesting system. They have a world league with 16 teams, 12 core teams, that can't be relegated (T1), and 4 rotative sides (every year 1 is relegated). It is a compromise. In fact the same concept is used on club level by basketball Euroleague, that has 11 core clubs + 7 teams qualified from national/regional leagues. I obviously prefer the soccer model with everybody subject to relegation, but rugby is controled by countries that don't want this. So, a hybrid format is more lucid.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Chester-Donnelly » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 17:52

victorsra wrote:
The World League was premature. I am thinking mostly from a European perspective. The punishment for finishing bottom of the Six Nations is too severe. Bankrupted. Banished from polite society. It's not sharing a cake. It's having your slice of cake removed from your hand and being sent to Siberia on a train.

That's why I say the problem is the format, not the league.

Volleyball has a very interesting system. They have a world league with 16 teams, 12 core teams, that can't be relegated (T1), and 4 rotative sides (every year 1 is relegated). It is a compromise. In fact the same concept is used on club level by basketball Euroleague, that has 11 core clubs + 7 teams qualified from national/regional leagues. I obviously prefer the soccer model with everybody subject to relegation, but rugby is controled by countries that don't want this. So, a hybrid format is more lucid.


So, what are you suggesting, for Europe?

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 18:10

I'm suggesting this concept could be used in either the 6N or the World League - or both.

For exemple, the 6N could be 8N, with 6 core teams and 2 non-core teams, with non-core teams playing promotion-relegation playoffs against REC teams.

Or the World League could have 16 teams (proably with a a groups format, not the round robin Pichot suggested), with 11 core teams (T1s + Japan) and 5 rotative teams, for exemple.

In all cases, core teams should operate in a long-term licences basis. For exemple, 6 years and after that review based on objetive criterea like attendances, sponsorship, etc.

There are many options to discuss using such concept. Volleyball/Basketball useful invention.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 18:32

victorsra wrote:It is a compromise. In fact the same concept is used on club level by basketball Euroleague, that has 11 core clubs + 7 teams qualified from national/regional leagues.

You know I'm quite on your side but this is mot how Euroleague works. For the seven remaining spots they prioritise their second-fiddle competition (Eurocup, in direct competition with FIBA's Champions League that pays more but gives no access to main continental competition), then some wild cards reliant on commercial attractive and only gives few other tickets to some leagues

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby ficcp » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 19:42

victorsra wrote:I'm suggesting this concept could be used in either the 6N or the World League - or both.

For exemple, the 6N could be 8N, with 6 core teams and 2 non-core teams, with non-core teams playing promotion-relegation playoffs against REC teams.

Or the World League could have 16 teams (proably with a a groups format, not the round robin Pichot suggested), with 11 core teams (T1s + Japan) and 5 rotative teams, for exemple.

In all cases, core teams should operate in a long-term licences basis. For exemple, 6 years and after that review based on objetive criterea like attendances, sponsorship, etc.

There are many options to discuss using such concept. Volleyball/Basketball useful invention.


It is the second best to a permanent promotion/relegation system for 6N and REC. Rugby Union would gain a lot in image with a system of this type. Georgia will continue improving in order to be part of the 6 core teams while Italy would improve also to in order to avoid being part of the 2 non-core teams. For Romania, Spain. Portugal, Russia, Germany and Belgium would be an excellent incentive to be one of the non-core teams.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby NaBUru38 » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 21:16

The 6 nations gave little opportunities to Georgia, Romania and Russia.

The Sanzaar gave little opportunity to Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.

Argenting helped to launch the Americas Rugby Championship.

It seems like very few are interested in developing the world worlwide.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Fri, 31 Jul 2020, 21:37

Armchair Fan wrote:
victorsra wrote:It is a compromise. In fact the same concept is used on club level by basketball Euroleague, that has 11 core clubs + 7 teams qualified from national/regional leagues.

You know I'm quite on your side but this is mot how Euroleague works. For the seven remaining spots they prioritise their second-fiddle competition (Eurocup, in direct competition with FIBA's Champions League that pays more but gives no access to main continental competition), then some wild cards reliant on commercial attractive and only gives few other tickets to some leagues


Yes, that's it, more or less the same idea. 11 core and 7 others.

Just checked, in 2019-20 were

11 licensed clubs (core) +

1 from Russian league, 1 from Balkan league, 1 from German league, 1 from Spanish League, 1 from Euro Cup, 2 Wild Cards. As a Spanish club won the Euro Cup, they converted the Spanish spot into a 3rd Wild Card.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Sat, 01 Aug 2020, 00:19

No, Wikipedia misleads a bit as it doesn't explain properly that ALBA Berlin isn't qualified through Basketball Bundesliga but by being 2nd in Eurocup.

In the end it's this way:
- 11 core teams
- 2 spots for Eurocup (same business)
- 1 spot for ABA (Balkans)
- 1 spot for VTB United League (former Soviet countries)
- 1 spot for ACB (Spain) that is almost always erased because some Spanish clubs reach Eurocup final and Euroleague doesn't want more than 4/5 Spanish teams as other nations feel it's a bit too much for a competition based in Barcelona and whose CEO is Spanish although money usually comes from Russia and Turkey, so in the end it doesn't exist
- 2/3 Wild Cards that will end up being core spots in two, three years time because they absolutely want Paris, Lyon and Munich in the business

Believe me, it's becoming increasingly restrictive and pushes non-core clubs to engage with FIBA Champions League as it allows them to 1) sell they win a title 2) host final phase 3) earn money. It's not impossible to be Spanish champion, arguably the best national league outside NBA, and being barred access to Euroleague.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Sat, 01 Aug 2020, 01:45

Good to know. Yes, that's a problem.

Maybe the Volleyball Nations League is the more positive exemple https://www.volleyball.world/en/vnl/competition
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Working Class Rugger » Sat, 01 Aug 2020, 02:22

Chester-Donnelly wrote:
victorsra wrote:
Chester-Donnelly wrote:
Rebus wrote:This is where you need to have that domestic widespread interest in the game.
AN example was a game I was at during the 2003 Rugby World Cup , Georgia v Australia .
Australia did a great job marketing that world cup , selling tickits at an appropriate price and getting good crowds into the game. In this case it was a midweek match in a large stadium with two amateur international teams. The crowd was over 28,000 and it was a good atmosphere and game to go to.

I would hope for the sake of the global game of rugby that by 2035 , the game has developed globally where an country currently classed as an emerging T2 nation has the infrastructure and domestic interest to do something similar. I would hope there are more countries with professional domestic leagues and there are more countries with noteworthy travelling supports to necessitate an expanded world cup.


I hope that by 2035, USA and Russia are tier 1 nations, or are at the cusp of becoming tier 1, like Japan were in 2035. Because that is when rugby becomes mainstream in those countries and becomes global.


Yes, but the RWC is just the top of the pyramid. The path to make it global depends on anual competitions (6N/TRC or a future world league).

The world league without doubts the most logical path because you create a global competition that emerging countries can host matches, big matches, with value (appeal that mere tests don't have) that are crucial to develop local markets. The question is not if a world league is needed. It is which world league is positive (which model). The question of "is USA" or "is Russia able to host a RWC" can start to be answered if those countries are involved in such world league, for exemple.

Many people dismissed the world league just because of Pichot's format or because "oh, and what about the RWC?", without thinking properly about OTHER possible formats. It is absolutely possible to find a positive format. Unfortunatly some T1s don't want to share the cake properly and the proposed formats are all elitist... anyway, a more willing, creative and more conciliatory leadership could find a format that allies T1s interests with the need to expand T2s opportunities (and both Beaumont and Pichot fail here...).


The World League was premature. I am thinking mostly from a European perspective. The punishment for finishing bottom of the Six Nations is too severe. Bankrupted. Banished from polite society. It's not sharing a cake. It's having your slice of cake removed from your hand and being sent to Siberia on a train.

I think there are 4 layers to this pyramid shaped cake. The bottom layer is rugby in schools, universities, clubs.
The second layer is professional rugby. Russia and USA are doing a great thing for rugby by building this layer.
The third layer is international rugby competitions and tours.
The RWC is the top bit.

The second layer needs to be in place before any sane person is going to agree to step outside the safety of the Six Nations. Get that layer made then we can make a fairer third layer. But right now Italy is not looking at tier 2 rugby and thinking they would like a slice of that.


The biggest downfall was the architects lack of flexibility or willingness to pivot when those obstacles were emerged. A simple solution would have been to expand the top division to 16 and establish a number of core nations that would be safe from relegation based on their commercial strength. Which we all know at that point were the 6Ns and RC Unions. Leaving 6 places open to movement. Now that group has widened some what with Japan reaching T1 status and Fiji basically on the cusp.

The easiest pivot would have been two divisions of 8 teams split into 2 pools of 4. Playing everyone in your division once for 7 games and each team from a corresponding pool in the other division for a total of 11 games. This would have allowed them to use both the 6Ns and the RC (which would have needed to be expanded to 6 teams as well) to be integrated while not actually impeding either. While using both the June/July and November windows for both divisional and cross-divisional games while also allowing the final weekend of the November window to be the big finals weekend with teams playing off for not only the Championship but final placing and for survival from relegation at the very bottom.

The 2nd Div. should have been the regional championships with either the winner or even the top 2 from each go through to a mini-tournament run during the November window to determine the team that earns promotion.

This would feed well into the idea of the pyramid. The RWC at the top. World League of 40 odd team below. Professional Rugby including both full professional and semi-professional of well over 100 clubs and then amateur, schools, clubs etc into the thousands.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Sat, 01 Aug 2020, 16:14

Yes, I agree. A logical system. But if you have a group of 4 in Europe, for exemple, with 3 6N and 1 REC team (let's say Georgia), it means a schedule problem, because Georgia would have to play the 6Ns of their group also in July or November, making it a big sequence of tests that clubs would strongly oppose.

----

But knowing T1s would probably block 16 teams with relegation for everybody, an alternative compromise model could be: 14 teams, with 11 cores (T1s including Japan) and 3 challengers (1 European, 1 Asia-Oceania, 1 Americas-Africa).

2 groups of 7 (Europe and World), only inter-group matches (7 matches against the other group. 3/4 rounds in July, 3/4 in November). Round robin, no playoffs. Without a everybody against everybody system and without playoffs, there is no damage to the RWC status as the premier competition. But improves a lot the appeal of tests anyway.

In terms of Geography, the World group would have 4 Asia-Oceania teams, 3 Americas-Africa teams, which is a good balance. Each European would visit in July either all 4 Asia-Oceania or all 3 Americas-Africa teams. Yes, the REC wouldn't face 6N teams, this would still be possible only as warm-up tests. Could be somehow in the rules.

There must also be a 2nd divisiopn for other nations, affecting somehow promotion. Promotion can be a merge of regional championships results and the world 2nd division results.

---

Another question is the Lions year. If there is a cup for nations not involved in the Lions Tour, let's call it Gold Cup (random name), the previous World League (1st and 2nd division) could be used as Gold Cup's qualifiers and draw. And the World League (1st and 2nd divisions) following the Lions could be used as RWC qualifiers and draw too.

The calendar would be:
2024 - World League (Gold Cup Qualy/Draw)
2025 - Gold Cup and Lions
2026 - World League (RWC Cup Qualy/Draw)
2027 - RWC
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Pro(p) Kicker » Mon, 03 Aug 2020, 23:22

I always wanted Canada to host a world cup. And while we definitely have the stadiums to host one/the ability to expand smaller ones, the biggest problem holding us back besides money is turf. Due to the CFL most of our stadiums are artificial turf fields. While they are OK for one off events like Canada vs USA or the Canada Seven I doubt World Rugby or Rugby fans would ever want to play a world cup on turf. Also the tournament fall right at the end of the CFL season so it'd be almost impossible to have open stadiums even if they were converted to grass fields. Our best chance is probably to host a shared event with the USA but that would probably only end up with us getting our games and a couple others like the 2026 Fifa World Cup.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby victorsra » Tue, 04 Aug 2020, 01:06

It would be great if Canadian/American football stadiums changed to the artificial turf approved by WR/FIFA.
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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Tobar » Wed, 05 Aug 2020, 00:54

Travel is also pretty costly across the continent, no? I think a joint US-Canada bid makes sense especially because 3 major cities (Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto) are tight near other major markets for rugby in the country.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby thatrugbyguy » Wed, 05 Aug 2020, 09:10

You’re best bet in North America, whether it’s US, Canada or a joint bid, is to house the pools in regional clusters, same with Russia too. Same will happen with Australia if they win 2027.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby Armchair Fan » Wed, 05 Aug 2020, 09:17

Regional clusters are best option in basically any place bar Home Nations, France and New Zealand. It's a logistical nightmare and a risk not to have potential travelling fans nearby for every game.

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Re: Increase the RWC to 24 teams

Postby sk 88 » Wed, 05 Aug 2020, 10:36

Travelling across the US internally is easy and half the fun of a trip for many. With 24 teams you'd never have a shorter turnaround than 5 days, so for a fan its easy to follow cross USA in that timeframe.

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