Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

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Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Shifty on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 6:23 pm

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/shock-plans-expand-guinness-pro12-11126193

http://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/pro12-ceo-reveals-plans-to-add-more-teams-and-split-league-into-conferences-34591303.html

Typical bloody Walesonline article without much information in it, as to what might be happening.

But London Scottish and Welsh might seem to be an option, RGC1404 might be another, or maybe even London Irish now their bottom of the Aviva Premiership.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 6:31 pm

Also says less game during the international windows, which is actually the main point of the article.

I like what the new CEO is trying to do by addressing obvious problems which previous CEO failed to do.

I will try to come up with a conference system later but it would most likely have one Italian team and one of the London exiles team in each.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Notch on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 6:39 pm

Don't know why they would break this news on the 1st April. Seems like a serious story alright but why not just wait a day for the avoidance of all doubt?Anyway this is a very good idea, something I've been hoping for for a while OK

Vince, why would you do away with the chance to get an Italian derby and a London derby? Local rivalries are necessary to get in fans and tv audiences... one of the Italians, Scots or London teams would have to be broken up mind you.

Would go with;

Conference A;

Ulster
Munster
Connacht
Leinster
London Scottish
Glasgow
Edinburgh

Conference B;

Cardiff
Scarlets
Dragons
Ospreys
London Welsh
Treviso
Zebre

One conference is probably easier than the other, but thats a double-edged sword in terms of excitement too- not sure its an advantage commercially despite the easier path to a Grand Final but it does allow for the maximum number of derbies which are always the most passionately contested games. The London sides are split up but they still get derby games against their 'adopted' nations.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Stone Motif on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 6:50 pm

Notch wrote:Don't know why they would break this news on the 1st April. Seems like a serious story alright but why not just wait a day for the avoidance of all doubt?Anyway this is a very good idea, something I've been hoping for for a while OK

Vince, why would you do away with the chance to get an Italian derby and a London derby? Local rivalries are necessary to get in fans and tv audiences... one of the Italians, Scots or London teams would have to be broken up mind you.

Would go with;

Conference A;

Ulster
Munster
Connacht
Leinster
London Scottish
Glasgow
Edinburgh

Conference B;

Cardiff
Scarlets
Dragons
Ospreys
London Welsh
Treviso
Zebre

One conference is probably easier than the other, but thats a double-edged sword in terms of excitement too- not sure its an advantage commercially despite the easier path to a Grand Final but it does allow for the maximum number of derbies which are always the most passionately contested games. The London sides are split up but they still get derby games against their 'adopted' nations.

Wouldn't surprise me if the algO'rithm threw up this little gem, so we Welsh can carry on flushing money down the toilet travelling to bloody Italy twice a season.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Shifty on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 7:00 pm

I was wondering why Wales got lumped with the Italians, but to be fair we could probably swap the Italians and the Scottish round each season to make it fair, and reduce travelling costs.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 7:06 pm

Ireland conference:

Munster
Leinster
Ulster
Connacht
Edinburgh
Treviso
London Scottish

Wales conference:

Scarlets
Blues
Ospreys
Dragons
Glasgow
Zebre
London Welsh

So each team play everyone of the same conference twice and every team of the other conference at least once. Scottish sides must play each other twice, ditto for the Italians and Exiles. That way we would keep locals rivalries.

So that means 20 games a season compared to 22 currently. To avoid any clash with the international windows i would start earlier in August, allowing for more summer rugby which can only be a good thing.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Shifty on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 8:30 pm

Yeah nice idea, but you can't really separate the Scottish and Italian teams they need derbies too!

I had the idea of a genuine Celtic league the other day, comprising of Celtic teams.

Wales
Dragons
Ospreys
Blues
Scarlets

England
London Welsh
London Scottish
London Irish
Cornish Pirates

Scotland
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Scottish Borders
Douglas RFC (Isle of Man)

Ireland
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Connacht

Brittany (France)
Rennes
Guingamp
Nantes
Lorient

Regionals play home and away first up, then top 2, and bottom 2 go into separate divisions, but you don't double up on games from the first phase.
Phase 1 = 6 games (local)
Phase 2 = 16 games (national)

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by VinceWLB on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 9:02 pm

Shifty wrote:Yeah nice idea, but you can't really separate the Scottish and Italian teams they need derbies too!

In my proposal, Scottish and Italian teams aren't in the same conference but they play each other twice, allowing for the festive derbies.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 9:30 pm

Shifty wrote:Yeah nice idea, but you can't really separate the Scottish and Italian teams they need derbies too!

I had the idea of a genuine Celtic league the other day, comprising of Celtic teams.

Wales
Dragons
Ospreys
Blues
Scarlets

England
London Welsh
London Scottish
London Irish
Cornish Pirates

Scotland
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Scottish Borders
Douglas RFC (Isle of Man)

Ireland
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Connacht

Brittany (France)
Rennes
Guingamp
Nantes
Lorient

Regionals play home and away first up, then top 2, and bottom 2 go into separate divisions, but you don't double up on games from the first phase.  
Phase 1 = 6 games (local)
Phase 2 = 16 games (national)
This is a pretty cool concept.  Almost logical.  Consequently would never fly.  
Never heard of Guingamp.  Had to look them up.  They do have a major league looking web site...............

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 11:09 pm

Irish/Italian Conference

Connacht
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Meath - the fifth province finally returns after 600 years
London Irish
Zebre
Treviso

GB Conference

Glasgow
Edinburgh
London Scottish
London Welsh
Ospreys
Scarlets
Cardiff
Bristol

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Shifty on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 11:23 pm

doctor_grey wrote:This is a pretty cool concept.  Almost logical.  Consequently would never fly.  
Never heard of Guingamp.  Had to look them up.  They do have a major league looking web site...............

The four teams I have listed all play in the top 2-3 divisions of the French league and are far as I can tell are professional.  Brittany also has 4.5 million people and is 13k square miles, compared to Wales which has a population of 3 million, and is 8k square miles.  Breton is pretty close to Welsh and there is a legend about a guy called Conan who was from Wales and basically founded Brittany which has Welsh links.  Strangely the story was recorded in both Wales and Brittany's folk lore so there must be some sort of truth in it.  It's odd that Welsh is apparently closer to Breton than The ancient Scottish and Irish dialects.

I thought it was all a bit strange as a few French blokes were on the BBC during a Six Nations game, when Wales were playing and they were supporting Wales, they explained they were Bretons and that's why they supported Wales, I was totally baffled so looked into it a bit.  

Oddly Breton wanted to create a football Celtic Nations Cup with the other Celtic Nations but Scotland didn't want to be in it. Sad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittany_national_football_team

You should hear their national anthem as well, it's a bit familiar.  It's called Bro gozh ma zadoù, or Land of my fathers.  Whistle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT34lBdVgls

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sat 02 Apr 2016, 11:46 pm

Shifty wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:This is a pretty cool concept.  Almost logical.  Consequently would never fly.  
Never heard of Guingamp.  Had to look them up.  They do have a major league looking web site...............

The four teams I have listed all play in the top 2-3 divisions of the French league and are far as I can tell are professional.  Brittany also has 4.5 million people and is 13k square miles, compared to Wales which has a population of 3 million, and is 8k square miles.  Breton is pretty close to Welsh and there is a legend about a guy called Conan who was from Wales and basically founded Brittany which has Welsh links.  Strangely the story was recorded in both Wales and Brittany's folk lore so there must be some sort of truth in it.  It's odd that Welsh is apparently closer to Breton than The ancient Scottish and Irish dialects.

I thought it was all a bit strange as a few French blokes were on the BBC during a Six Nations game, when Wales were playing and they were supporting Wales, they explained they were Bretons and that's why they supported Wales, I was totally baffled so looked into it a bit.  

Oddly Breton wanted to create a football Celtic Nations Cup with the other Celtic Nations but Scotland didn't want to be in it. Sad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittany_national_football_team

You should hear their national anthem as well, it's a bit familiar.  It's called Bro gozh ma zadoù, or Land of my fathers.  Whistle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT34lBdVgls
There is a guy from Brittany on the MunsterFans forum and he supports Munster, so I'm sure there is a decent amount of interest over there in the Pro 12. This is actually a really good idea to get a team like this involved in the comp.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Shifty on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 3:18 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:There is a guy from Brittany on the MunsterFans forum and he supports Munster, so I'm sure there is a decent amount of interest over there in the Pro 12. This is actually a really good idea to get a team like this involved in the comp.

Well at least it's a nice discussion for the fans to have. Having English and French (Brittany), based clubs in the Pro 12 would probably be a good thing for u all.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 4:11 pm

I don't want any part of a league that has sub-standard teams from England (London Welsh/Scottish) and France which then has us fund their teams. What a joke league that would be. I like the idea of a tier 2 with promotion and relegation. It will require more investment into Italian teams from the rugby federation in Italy so they can improve their pro12 teams and also have another ready to be promoted from tier 2. It could also include teams from Georgia and Romania, it would certainly help grow the game there.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Stone Motif on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 4:11 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Shifty wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:This is a pretty cool concept.  Almost logical.  Consequently would never fly.  
Never heard of Guingamp.  Had to look them up.  They do have a major league looking web site...............

The four teams I have listed all play in the top 2-3 divisions of the French league and are far as I can tell are professional.  Brittany also has 4.5 million people and is 13k square miles, compared to Wales which has a population of 3 million, and is 8k square miles.  Breton is pretty close to Welsh and there is a legend about a guy called Conan who was from Wales and basically founded Brittany which has Welsh links.  Strangely the story was recorded in both Wales and Brittany's folk lore so there must be some sort of truth in it.  It's odd that Welsh is apparently closer to Breton than The ancient Scottish and Irish dialects.

I thought it was all a bit strange as a few French blokes were on the BBC during a Six Nations game, when Wales were playing and they were supporting Wales, they explained they were Bretons and that's why they supported Wales, I was totally baffled so looked into it a bit.  

Oddly Breton wanted to create a football Celtic Nations Cup with the other Celtic Nations but Scotland didn't want to be in it. Sad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittany_national_football_team

You should hear their national anthem as well, it's a bit familiar.  It's called Bro gozh ma zadoù, or Land of my fathers.  Whistle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT34lBdVgls
There is a guy from Brittany on the MunsterFans forum and he supports Munster, so I'm sure there is a decent amount of interest over there in the Pro 12. This is actually a really good idea to get a team like this involved in the comp.

Based on a sample of one?

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Shifty on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 4:33 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Based on a sample of one?

The Bretons have been trying to do sport tie ups with Celtic countries for years. They want to play us in football national teams vs each other etc. I'm sure they'd all be pretty keen to join the Pro 12 given the chance. As I said above they have 4m people and are 1/3 bigger than Wales geographically speaking.
In football for example Brittany has been trying to arrange games and the French keep trying to stop them because they don't want to lose the area of Brittany from their national team. Basically losing Nantes, would be like losing Liverpool, not ideal really!

They are about the same size as the rest of the Celtic countries and have the stadia, professional teams etc already.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 5:37 pm

Stone Motif wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Shifty wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:This is a pretty cool concept.  Almost logical.  Consequently would never fly.  
Never heard of Guingamp.  Had to look them up.  They do have a major league looking web site...............

The four teams I have listed all play in the top 2-3 divisions of the French league and are far as I can tell are professional.  Brittany also has 4.5 million people and is 13k square miles, compared to Wales which has a population of 3 million, and is 8k square miles.  Breton is pretty close to Welsh and there is a legend about a guy called Conan who was from Wales and basically founded Brittany which has Welsh links.  Strangely the story was recorded in both Wales and Brittany's folk lore so there must be some sort of truth in it.  It's odd that Welsh is apparently closer to Breton than The ancient Scottish and Irish dialects.

I thought it was all a bit strange as a few French blokes were on the BBC during a Six Nations game, when Wales were playing and they were supporting Wales, they explained they were Bretons and that's why they supported Wales, I was totally baffled so looked into it a bit.  

Oddly Breton wanted to create a football Celtic Nations Cup with the other Celtic Nations but Scotland didn't want to be in it. Sad
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brittany_national_football_team

You should hear their national anthem as well, it's a bit familiar.  It's called Bro gozh ma zadoù, or Land of my fathers.  Whistle

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cT34lBdVgls
There is a guy from Brittany on the MunsterFans forum and he supports Munster, so I'm sure there is a decent amount of interest over there in the Pro 12. This is actually a really good idea to get a team like this involved in the comp.

Based on a sample of one?
This may come as a complete shock to you but there are people from outside of Wales who have an interest in the Pro 12. The guy from Brittany isn't a loner and travels to Munster games with his mates so it's safe to assume there is an interest amongst the rugby nerds over there. Leinster actually have a small fan base in Canada although that could now evaporate with the new NA league.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by 123456789 on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 6:29 pm

I like the Idea of going to 20 teams with two leagues and promotion and relegation. You'd have the current Pro12 with the bottom two dropping down, the Italians would moan but if the Dragons dropped out instead of Treviso it would take one year to be reversed. The top division would be the traditional Celtic League with 4 Welsh, 4 Irish and 2 Scottish the second division could have the Caledonia Reds, the Borders, RGC1404, and maybe the Celtic Warriors could be brought back, Zebre, Treviso and perhaps a rebirth of Aironi and another Italian side. And then maybe factor in London Welsh and London Scottish (although the degree to which they'd want to join that second league and start travelling all over the place would be limited and dropping existing Scottish/ Welsh sides to accommodate them may not go down well) so maybe they'd have to find more teams from the existing countries.

Then it could easily be rebranded the Pro20 as an entire concept, the new top division would be much easier to market to TV companies without the Italian input and the games that have been lost could easily be replaced by a knockout competition played during International windows so squad players still get exposure.


So basically:

Division 1:
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, Dragons, Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets

Division 2:
Caledonia Reds, Border Reivers, Treviso, Aironi, Zebre, New Italian side, RGC 1404, Celtic Warriors, London Welsh, London Scottish

Knockout competition: 4 groups of 5 teams drawn randomly which play during the Autumn Internationals. The Quarters, Semis and Final played during six nations



Obviously funding would be an issue, the Italians are struggling to sustain themselves in the existing competition although increased inter-Italian games would perhaps increase interest and definitely reduce travelling costs.
I'm not arguing that this idea is perfect, but just that if we are looking to reduce the game time during International Windows then this is the way to go, especially now more Welsh players are staying in Wales you could easily end up 10 teams packed with internationals week in week out. Over time the London sides and hopefully at least one Italian would start to progress towards competing regularly in the top division which would add the enormous marketing potential of London, and in theory Italy.



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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Munchkin on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 6:53 pm

123456789 wrote:I like the Idea of going to 20 teams with two leagues and promotion and relegation. You'd have the current Pro12 with the bottom two dropping down, the Italians would moan but if the Dragons dropped out instead of Treviso it would take one year to be reversed. The top division would be the traditional Celtic League with 4 Welsh, 4 Irish and 2 Scottish the second division could have the Caledonia Reds, the Borders, RGC1404, and maybe the Celtic Warriors could be brought back, Zebre, Treviso and perhaps a rebirth of Aironi and another Italian side. And then maybe factor in London Welsh and London Scottish (although the degree to which they'd want to join that second league and start travelling all over the place would be limited and dropping existing Scottish/ Welsh sides to accommodate them may not go down well) so maybe they'd have to find more teams from the existing countries.

Then it could easily be rebranded the Pro20 as an entire concept, the new top division would be much easier to market to TV companies without the Italian input and the games that have been lost could easily be replaced by a knockout competition played during International windows so squad players still get exposure.


So basically:

Division 1:
Glasgow, Edinburgh, Leinster, Munster, Ulster, Connacht, Dragons, Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets

Division 2:
Caledonia Reds, Border Reivers, Treviso, Aironi, Zebre, New Italian side, RGC 1404, Celtic Warriors, London Welsh, London Scottish

Knockout competition: 4 groups of 5 teams drawn randomly which play during the Autumn Internationals. The Quarters, Semis and Final played during six nations



Obviously funding would be an issue, the Italians are struggling to sustain themselves in the existing competition although increased inter-Italian games would perhaps increase interest and definitely reduce travelling costs.
I'm not arguing that this idea is perfect, but just that if we are looking to reduce the game time during International Windows then this is the way to go, especially now more Welsh players are staying in Wales you could easily end up 10 teams packed with internationals week in week out. Over time the London sides and hopefully at least one Italian would start to progress towards competing regularly in the top division which would add the enormous marketing potential of London, and in theory Italy.



Prefer that to the conference system. The knock out competition is a good idea as well. Would give the lower teams a chance of winning something.

Not happy about English/French teams being involved though. Nothing against them, but they have their own leagues.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by BigGee on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:06 pm

I don't see any way that Italy would sign up for playing in a Celtic second division. They would still have all the travel costs and disadvantages of that and very little in the way of benefit. They would be much better trying to progress their own league, which is maybe what they should have done in the first place.

As for resurrecting all the ghost teams of the past, well you need to remember the reasons why they became extinct in the first place. None of those reason have really gone away yet and as far as Scotland is concerned, it is hard to see them ever changing.

Having watched both Italian sides over the weekend, I am a bit more encouraged than I was. They reminded me a bit of watching Scotland play for many years, competitive for 50=60 mins then falling away badly. That can surely be improved with better coaching and conditioning, they did look like they had a few decent players.

I see Glasgow are doing a joint training session with Treviso this week while they are out there. That is the sort of initiative that should be encouraged, the league will only get better if the Italian sides improve.

I expect it will ultimately be the Italians who want to continue the experiment in the long term. They will either improve or throw in the towel at some point, hopefully the former.

For all its faults, you have to ay as well that this is the closest and best Pro 12 season so far, with more sides in contention and some of the giants of the league in danger of not qualifying for Europe. That will make them sit up and think should that happen!

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:08 pm

I like the conference system with the potential of adding a Georgian team in it based in Tiblisi; if they are willing to pay their way obviously (which they are according to Haig).

I'm not sure if people are being serious with the second division or just having a bit of fun but how could a second division sustain itself with all the travel and poorly supported teams and why would Wales want another poor performing and supported team? the Pro12 struggles to attract sponsorship and tv as it is, imagine the second division Shocked

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by BigGee on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:14 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:I like the conference system with the potential of adding a Georgian team in it based in Tiblisi; if they are willing to pay their way obviously (which they are according to Haig).

I'm not sure if people are being serious with the second division or just having a bit of fun but how could a second division sustain itself with all the travel and poorly supported teams and why would Wales want another poor performing and supported team? the Pro12 struggles to attract sponsorship and tv as it is, imagine the second division  Shocked

That was exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it a lot better. It is pie in the sky!

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:17 pm

I really don't understand why we would involve those French and English teams, or why their unions would fund them to play in a foreign league.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:24 pm

BigGee wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:I like the conference system with the potential of adding a Georgian team in it based in Tiblisi; if they are willing to pay their way obviously (which they are according to Haig).

I'm not sure if people are being serious with the second division or just having a bit of fun but how could a second division sustain itself with all the travel and poorly supported teams and why would Wales want another poor performing and supported team? the Pro12 struggles to attract sponsorship and tv as it is, imagine the second division  Shocked

That was exactly what I was trying to say, but you said it a lot better. It is pie in the sky!

The welsh wouldn't have a team in there. If Georgia were to have a team in there then perhaps they should see it as somewhat a team designed to support the international team (if that wasn't obvious), kind of like Argentina have a team in Super Rugby right now. If they can get half of what they had in that game against Romania then it could be a success. Not sure where sponsorship would come from, but the English ND seems to do alright.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:28 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I really don't understand why we would involve those French and English teams, or why their unions would fund them to play in a foreign league.
Money... like Shifty said Brittany has a population of 4.5m and could be privately funded, so wouldn't need union support. I would agree regarding the two english teams being mentioned however, don't feel they would add anything. Don't get me wrong I know it would never happen for numerous reasons but one can dream.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:35 pm

How does that benefit the Pro12 teams though?

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Munchkin on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:35 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:I like the conference system with the potential of adding a Georgian team in it based in Tiblisi; if they are willing to pay their way obviously (which they are according to Haig).

I'm not sure if people are being serious with the second division or just having a bit of fun but how could a second division sustain itself with all the travel and poorly supported teams and why would Wales want another poor performing and supported team? the Pro12 struggles to attract sponsorship and tv as it is, imagine the second division  Shocked

I was being serious. I didn't say I think it's realistic, right now, just that it would be my ideal.

A conference system would allow the league to add just a few teams, but we would still be adding teams no better, probably worse, than the Italian sides, with the possible exception of Tbilisi. A second division would allow to add much weaker teams without damaging the quality of Pro12, as is.

I still wouldn't be happy taking on English or French sides though.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:40 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:How does that benefit the Pro12 teams though?
A new market, more sponsorship perhaps a deal with French television to show games etc etc. 4.5m people is a huge new market. Not to mention fans being able to travel to France to watch their team play.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:47 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:How does that benefit the Pro12 teams though?
A new market, more sponsorship perhaps a deal with French television to show games etc etc. 4.5m people is a huge new market. Not to mention fans being able to travel to France to watch their team play.

And with the self imposed salary caps does the extra sponsorship actually benefit anyone?

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 7:50 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:How does that benefit the Pro12 teams though?
A new market, more sponsorship perhaps a deal with French television to show games etc etc. 4.5m people is a huge new market. Not to mention fans being able to travel to France to watch their team play.

And with the self imposed salary caps does the extra sponsorship actually benefit anyone?
The self imposed salary caps are there because that is what they can afford at this moment in time. More money will the see the caps raised.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Recwatcher16 on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:03 pm

Surely the most interesting comment from the CEO was wanting to change the perception of the Pro12 being a development league ?

Good news for fans wanting to see more of the internationals in the league but surely that will lead to more injuries and burnout of internationals, similar to the English and French leagues - as some irish fans are keen to point out.

Does that not lead to a conclusion that concentrating players into a few elite teams controlled by central bodies simply does not create enough consistent depth to create an exciting / commercially attractive league?

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Munchkin on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:40 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Surely the most interesting comment from the CEO was wanting to change the perception of the Pro12 being a development league ?

Good news for fans wanting to see more of the internationals in the league but surely that will lead to more injuries and burnout of internationals, similar to the English and French leagues - as some irish fans are keen to point out.

Does that not lead to a conclusion that concentrating players into a few elite teams controlled by central bodies simply does not create enough consistent depth to create an exciting / commercially attractive league?

Elite teams, like:

Quins: Clifford, Marler, Robshaw, Brown, Care

Sarries: Itoje, kruis, Vunipola, Vunipola, Farrell

Bath: Ford, Joseph, Youngs, Watson

Wasps: launchbury, Daly, Haskell

That's 4 teams accounting for 17 of the starting 23 facing Wales. The AP has 12 teams, but only 7 represented in the England 23.


Last edited by Munchkin on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:45 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by VinceWLB on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:41 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
Does that not lead to a conclusion that concentrating players into a few elite teams controlled by central bodies simply does not create enough consistent depth to create an exciting / commercially attractive league?

Super Rugby says otherwise. NH calendar is killing the Pro 12.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Recwatcher16 on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:49 pm

The 6N has been unusual this year with England suffering relatively few injuries before and during the competition unlike other teams like Ireland and Italy.

The successful teams always supply more players but not sure that means that other teams do not supply top grade individuals. Northampton, Leicester and Bath forwards being a recent example that have subsequently fallen out of favour.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Recwatcher16 on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:51 pm

Super rugby is now how many teams ? I have lost count.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Munchkin on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 9:52 pm

18, I think...

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by BigGee on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 10:00 pm

I don't buy these arguments about having to have the internationals play in more club games, in all honesty they already play in plenty, how many games do they expect them to play! We are just going to knock the stuffing out of them and shorten their careers even more.

Glasgow are more effected than any other club in the Pro 12 by international call ups, but they have got on with it, given squad players a chance and blooded a few youngsters, some of whom look like they may very good, but would not otherwise have got their opportunities. Glasgow also practice the rotation of players a lot more dilligently than other teams (Edinburgh in particular) so the whole squad is kept keen and are ready to step up when required. Some of our best games this season have been when we have had a very shaky looking team out and they have then excelled themselves. It is not effecting the crowds they are pulling in as well, which have been good all season, no matter what team gets put out.

You could say as well that taking players away from the richer and more powerful clubs for internaitonal periods acts as a bit of a leveller and gives the less well off (Connacht stand out here, or Exeter in England) the chance to really come on.

I don't think that the season does particularly need to be changed. Rugby has always been a winter game, what on earth would we do through the cold months otherwise, hibernate.

The weather can play an effect on the quality of the product I agree, but the answer to that, at professional level at any rate, is better pitches, artificial if necessery. I can see them becomming more and more the norm in the wetter sections of the country and why not!

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by TJ on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 10:51 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I really don't understand why we would involve those French and English teams, or why their unions would fund them to play in a foreign league.

correct - it will not happen. Not a chance.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Recwatcher16 on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:34 pm

Including international players in more games cannot be the whole answer but if the Pro12 CEO says crowds and TV audiences are down 45% when they are not playing then pretty inevitable the CEO is going to want to address that statistic.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:43 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Including international players in more games cannot be the whole answer but if the Pro12 CEO says crowds and TV audiences are down 45% when they are not  playing then pretty inevitable the CEO is going to want to address that statistic.
Speaking from a Leinster pov, we certainly don't get to see our internationals enough in the Pro12. This is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed imo.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by mikey_dragon on Sun 03 Apr 2016, 11:50 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Surely the most interesting comment from the CEO was wanting to change the perception of the Pro12 being a development league ?

Good news for fans wanting to see more of the internationals in the league but surely that will lead to more injuries and burnout of internationals, similar to the English and French leagues - as some irish fans are keen to point out.

Does that not lead to a conclusion that concentrating players into a few elite teams controlled by central bodies simply does not create enough consistent depth to create an exciting / commercially attractive league?

It sounds promising, but how exactly is he meant to do that without control of the unions? Looking at the Welsh and Italians in particular here, as both of whom have really had their house out of order in recent years.

Maybe it means creating larger squads, or bringing in more SH players?

No, super rugby says otherwise. However they do have a better season structure, and each team seems to be operating to benefit the union, rather than fill pockets.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 9:05 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Speaking from a Leinster pov, we certainly don't get to see our internationals enough in the Pro12. This is certainly an issue that needs to be addressed imo.

That's a refreshing change to hear from an Irishman on this forum. For years I have been saying the fact that the stars are not on show in the Pro12 is to it's detriment, yet your brethren on here have always defended the Irish centrally contracted players not on show.

At last people are starting to see the wood for the trees.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by TJ on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 10:17 am

How many games per season do you want the guys to play? 30 seems to be the max and I would prefer 25 to stop player burnout. 5x 6N games, 3 ( or 4) autumn internationals, 3 summer tour games. That is 11 internationals a year. So an absolute max of 19 or so club games - IMO preferably only 14 club games. Miss a couple due to injury?

Its simply not practical for the international players to play all the club games - 22 club games in the pro 12

I don't want it to end up like cricket where the international players never play for their clubs bar the odd game but its simply impossible for the international players to play more than around half the club games

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by beshocked on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 10:25 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:How does that benefit the Pro12 teams though?
A new market, more sponsorship perhaps a deal with French television to show games etc etc. 4.5m people is a huge new market. Not to mention fans being able to travel to France to watch their team play.

Personally I think you'll have a tough job if you want to turn Brittany into a Celtic League partner.

Don't think there's the interest in rugby there. Doesn't help that there's a lack of any top class team.

Need to focus on turning the Celtic League into a commercial powerhouse before looking to Brittany IMO.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by RuggerRadge2611 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 10:38 am

Shifty wrote:Yeah nice idea, but you can't really separate the Scottish and Italian teams they need derbies too!

I had the idea of a genuine Celtic league the other day, comprising of Celtic teams.

Wales
Dragons
Ospreys
Blues
Scarlets

England
London Welsh
London Scottish
London Irish
Cornish Pirates

Scotland
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Scottish Borders
Douglas RFC (Isle of Man)

Ireland
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Connacht

Brittany (France)
Rennes
Guingamp
Nantes
Lorient

Regionals play home and away first up, then top 2, and bottom 2 go into separate divisions, but you don't double up on games from the first phase.  
Phase 1 = 6 games (local)
Phase 2 = 16 games (national)

It's a nice thought, but a Scottish borders team simply doesn't work. Too many tribal loyalties to the towns, Gala, Melrose, Kelso, Jed etc. That's why the border reavers are no more.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Recwatcher16 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 12:32 pm

TJ wrote:How many games per season do you want the guys to play?  30 seems to be the max and I would prefer 25 to stop player burnout.  5x 6N games, 3 ( or 4) autumn internationals, 3 summer tour games.  That is 11 internationals a year.  So an absolute max of 19 or so club games - IMO preferably only 14 club games.  Miss a couple due to injury?

Its simply not practical for the international players to play all the club games - 22 club games in the pro 12

I don't want it to end up like cricket where the international players never play for their clubs bar the odd game but its simply impossible for the international players to play more than around half the club games

Both the Pro12 and Super rugby have got themselves locked into a development which was originally about consolidating players into elite teams for the national interest but the economic model in a professional world was/is not generating comparable returns and hence 'evolves' into a quantity over quality.
It would take a brave Union linked to these leagues to break ranks but dropping tests in both the summer and autumn (the 6N is cyrrently sacrosanct) and placing focus on putting the best players into all league games to improve the commerciality would be the option to rebalance the finances of the game by increasing interest and access to better games.

The alternative is where players like Read play more for the All Black's than for the Crusaders and consequently there is less interest and less money coming through the gates or from tv for the core structure of the league. The subsequent response is then restricted to having more teams to generate interest/open 'new markets' A pretty weak strategy thus far.

It is a strange world when it is believed that clubs/regions need a national side to survive financially when the reality is that a national side is nothing without the junior teams and leagues throughout a country producing players.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by Hazel Sapling on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 12:36 pm

RuggerRadge2611 wrote:
Shifty wrote:Yeah nice idea, but you can't really separate the Scottish and Italian teams they need derbies too!

I had the idea of a genuine Celtic league the other day, comprising of Celtic teams.

Wales
Dragons
Ospreys
Blues
Scarlets

England
London Welsh
London Scottish
London Irish
Cornish Pirates

Scotland
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Scottish Borders
Douglas RFC (Isle of Man)

Ireland
Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Connacht

Brittany (France)
Rennes
Guingamp
Nantes
Lorient

Regionals play home and away first up, then top 2, and bottom 2 go into separate divisions, but you don't double up on games from the first phase.  
Phase 1 = 6 games (local)
Phase 2 = 16 games (national)

It's a nice thought, but a Scottish borders team simply doesn't work. Too many tribal loyalties to the towns, Gala, Melrose, Kelso, Jed etc. That's why the border reavers are no more.

Swap the Borders for Caledonia (based in Aberdeen with a game a year in Perth).

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by GeordieFalcon on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 2:13 pm

Would the RFU allow London Scottish & Welsh to participate in that league though.

Im not sure they would. Though I guess London Welsh will just take it to court again.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by BigGee on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 2:48 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Would the RFU allow London Scottish & Welsh to participate in that league though.

Im not sure they would. Though I guess London Welsh will just take it to court again.

LS certainly are duel affiliated, I was under the impression that LW would be as well, so I am not sure that would stop them, they would just have to come out of the English Championship. The amateur sides would be able to keep on playing in their respective leagues.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:11 pm

For my liking the Pro12 does need sorting out, but again the blazers are going about it in all the wrong way with this announcement, where as this would be a nice change, we still have a league built on sand. We need to sort out the fundamentals of our league first. Firstly the situation with the referees, we need an independent body in charge of the referees, namely, the league itself.

We cannot run a league where the unions have controls over the players, teams, coaches and referees. This is what needs changing before anything else. Then we need to look at things like salary caps and funding. 

If we are to ever get an even keel in the Pro12 all the above needs to be addressed before we think about re-hashing the structures of it.

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Re: Shock plans to expand Guinness Pro12 and split the competition into two conferences are revealed

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