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

First topic message reminder :

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 TJ on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:14 pm

LD - how mny games do you want players to play? 11 or more internationals a year means international players cannot play every club game - and preferably only about half the club games to avoid burnout

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

Post by broadlandboy on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:22 pm

IIRC (& unless World Rugby has changed it) each Union has control over an area, not just teams. Also thought the London Exile teams had to relinquish duel registration when the game went Pro.

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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, 3:32 pm

TJ wrote:LD - how mny games do you want players to play?  11 or more internationals a year means international players cannot play every club game - and preferably only about half the club games to avoid burnout


Honestly, I would like to see the best players on parade as often as possible, more so in the league. But as for us Celts and Italians, the international games are a must. But, what I would prefer is, for us to stick two fingers up to the scraps from the table that the Franglos have thrown us and put out 2nd string sides in the both CC's and keep our best players for the league. We would get the same money for playing in Europe either way, but at least we can showcase our bread and butter a lot better.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:36 pm

Scraps? More money wasn't it?

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

Post by Fanster on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:39 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
TJ wrote:LD - how mny games do you want players to play?  11 or more internationals a year means international players cannot play every club game - and preferably only about half the club games to avoid burnout


Honestly, I would like to see the best players on parade as often as possible, more so in the league. But as for us Celts and Italians, the international games are a must. But, what I would prefer is, for us to stick two fingers up to the scraps from the table that the Franglos have thrown us and put out 2nd string sides in the both CC's and keep our best players for the league. We would get the same money for playing in Europe either way, but at least we can showcase our bread and butter a lot better.

TBH thats not a million miles from whats happening now, not through an actual decision but just through running squads at barebones, neither the league nor Franglo euro comp get a decent hit out from the regions do they?

I'd possibly agree with you, the tables would be fiercely turned if the pro 12 teams focus'd on the league, and used the CCC to develop fringe players, which if we're being honest is where all the incentive is right now.

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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, 3:39 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Scraps? 

Yes, scraps.

No 7&1/2 wrote:More money wasn't it?

Depends on who you ask. The Italians and the Scots are getting a lot less.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:41 pm

Why is it scraps and why is it the fault or the French and English? I look on it as the Pro 12 seeing as we're not playing an international comp but are you saying the Irish and Welsh are ripping off the others?

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

Post by Fanster on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:42 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Scraps? 

Yes, scraps.

No 7&1/2 wrote:More money wasn't it?

Depends on who you ask. The Italians and the Scots are getting a lot less.

The Italians needed to receive 7 times what they got from the old comp, for 3 years to repair the damage the original power grb did to them in the first place! This Euro reshuffle has all but ended Italian rugby.

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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, 3:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why is it scraps and why is it the fault or the French and English? I look on it as the Pro 12 seeing as we're not playing an international comp but are you saying the Irish and Welsh are ripping off the others?


No, the power is now with the PRL/LNR. As Fanster says, they have ruined Italian rugby, to the point where they are now a burden to the Pro12.

Anyway, this is not about the Euro comps, it's about the Pro12, so I am not going down that road with you.

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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, 3:48 pm

Surely you have answered your own question TJ - that it is test games that should be dropped and the time and players invested into the league.The welsh Union are playing 14 'Tests this year, which apart from devaluing Tests means players are playing as much for their country as their club - ridiculous.

Plenty on here justify this as the only way to fund the game but the game belongs to all fans not just those with deep pockets, contacts or debentures at the National stadiums.

The success of the club game appears to measured by European success but that patently can never be the case - there are plenty of other measures that denote enjoyment of the game of rugby. This is being forgotten.
Just to labour the point - club success does not necessarily lead to national success and vice versa - there are plenty of examples.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:49 pm

So the scraps is the power, ok. Maybe you should have helped the bottom clubs and kept them strong. You brought up the Euro league as way of saying it's others fault, just intrigued to know why this time.

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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, 3:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So the scraps is the power, ok. Maybe you should have helped the bottom clubs and kept them strong. You brought up the Euro league as way of saying it's others fault, just intrigued to know why this time.


I just think it would be more beneficial for the Pro12 teams to concentrate more on the Pro12 rather than Europe. If you have a problem with this then that's your weekend. OK

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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, 3:55 pm

Not put your best team out in internationals? Drop internationals games? Headscratch

Weird idea.

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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, 3:55 pm

Certainly no point in the minnows cup - ruined Edinburghs season last year.

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

Post by Fanster on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:55 pm

For the record, I like the idea of a 2nd tier, I'd like to see possibly Ponty, RGC and LW involved, even if they are only on semi pro basis to start.

It could also be a chance for the likes of Georgia, and Romania to enter clubs

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

Post by Kingshu on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:56 pm

Think this has merits, its not about promotion and relegation as this wouldn't solve any issue, its about reducing the number of games played by clubs, so that more games feature international players.

It is a bit more complicated though, as the CEO says crowds and TV viewers are down 45% durning this period, however the Clubs do make money durning these games even if attendance is lower, and just cutting down on teams and games in the League would mean they lose out on this revenue.
So it needs to be done in a way that will reduce the number of games but increase revenue by at least enough to off set this.

Adding teams back like boarders or 3rd Italy team isn't going to do this, adding English or French teams would be blocked by the RFU, FRU.

It means either two groups of 6 the current 12 teams, or we look at viable options?

Ireland
4 provinces, have recently gotten Connacht competitive, don't think we can or would want a fifth team.

Wales
Lot of talk recently about Ponty getting good crowds could the Celtic Warriors be viable?
RCG1404 who appear to have been planned to built into a 5th team at some point in the future
but could Wales really afford 5/6 teams, there are questions about being able to support 4.

Scotland
Red and Reivers both had to close could one be resurrected?
There has been talk of basing one in Aberdeen for a while?

Italy
Two teams is has are struggling, adding a 3rd or 4th would just spread these rescources thinner.

European other
Are any of them able to make a finically viable plan to be included?
remember when the Italians joined they were asked to pay to cover other teams travel expenses, this has been removed but would a team from Georgia etc not be asked to pay these as well the start?

I think that while it sounds good to expand, the realistic options are not there.

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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, 3:58 pm

Before any changes are made to the Pro12, we need to sort out our basics, whats the point of re-hashing the whole structure of the Pro12 but still carrying on with all the same old problems we have now ?

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 3:59 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So the scraps is the power, ok. Maybe you should have helped the bottom clubs and kept them strong. You brought up the Euro league as way of saying it's others fault, just intrigued to know why this time.


I just think it would be more beneficial for the Pro12 teams to concentrate more on the Pro12 rather than Europe. If you have a problem with this then that's your weekend. OK

You're probably right as a few teams need some rebuilding and transition.

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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, 4:05 pm

If fans on here think keeping the current number of international tests is unquestionable, then the Pro12 will always suffer from the perception that Pro12 teams do not put out their first team on enough occasions to suggest the league is truly competitive throughout the season. As the CEO has identified that has commercial implication.

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

Post by Fanster on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:07 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So the scraps is the power, ok. Maybe you should have helped the bottom clubs and kept them strong. You brought up the Euro league as way of saying it's others fault, just intrigued to know why this time.


I just think it would be more beneficial for the Pro12 teams to concentrate more on the Pro12 rather than Europe. If you have a problem with this then that's your weekend. OK

You're probably right as a few teams need some rebuilding and transition.

Wonder why lol




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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, 4:08 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote: As the CEO has identified that has commercial implication.

Which is why we should do the opposite and put out squad players for Europe, and keep all our best players for the league. That way the international players would get about 6-8 weeks rest per season OK

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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, 4:18 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:If fans on here think keeping the current number of international tests is unquestionable, then the Pro12 will always suffer from the perception that Pro12 teams do not put out their first team on enough occasions to suggest the league is truly competitive throughout the season. As the CEO has identified that has  commercial implication.
As has been proved time and time again - the aP is no different. Its a rugby issue not a pro 12 issue

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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, 4:22 pm

You have to laugh when the English on here criticise the Celts for the amount of international rugby they play and how they prioritise it, then the RFU then go and schedule an international at the end of the season to play one of us..... Rolling Eyes


I reckon if we just use the Euro comps for squad and fringe players, and play our best players in the league, we will be able to market the Pro12 on a whole new level.

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

Post by carpet baboon on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:24 pm

I think you have a point LD some of the French have already started putting out the reserves in Europe, even tho they promised they would take it seriously this time round

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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, 4:25 pm

carpet baboon wrote:I think you have a point  LD some of the French have already started putting out the reserves in Europe, even tho they promised they would take it seriously this time round


Exactly, they treat the second tier with contempt, they do not even put out second string, they use third and fourth choice players, and as soon as one of their teams have no chance of getting out of their group in the top tier, they just send out reserves in that too.

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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, 4:50 pm

LordDowlais wrote:You have to laugh when the English on here criticise the Celts for the amount of international rugby they play and how they prioritise it, then the RFU then go and schedule an international at the end of the season to play one of us..... Rolling Eyes


I reckon if we just use the Euro comps for squad and fringe players, and play our best players in the league, we will be able to market the Pro12 on a whole new level.

It would make no difference at all apart from devaluing further the european cup

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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, 4:50 pm

I think there is a point being missed here in that the AP sides still put out 'perceived' competitive team lists and even if you are currently Saracens and losing a significant number of players to internationals their squad quality - many of whom are not internationals, is the envy of many AP sides. The AP has fiercely protected it's commercial proposition and simply doesn't stand for the RFU or the Pro12 getting access to their players, either to employ or play against, on the cheap.

The Pro12 sides do not have the same depth when losing even more players to internationls which generates less interest and so less funds to address the issue. Pro12 fans appear to believe the Union backing is the only option.

If Pro12 fans can't see the vicious circle then the current perception will continue and fans vote with their feet and pockets.

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

Post by No 7&1/2 on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 4:52 pm

Fanster wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So the scraps is the power, ok. Maybe you should have helped the bottom clubs and kept them strong. You brought up the Euro league as way of saying it's others fault, just intrigued to know why this time.


I just think it would be more beneficial for the Pro12 teams to concentrate more on the Pro12 rather than Europe. If you have a problem with this then that's your weekend. OK

You're probably right as a few teams need some rebuilding and transition.

Wonder why lol




Key losses for the Irish sides andGlasgow not really progressing.

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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, 4:53 pm

For the record - there are far too many internationals played every season.

I follow Edinburgh as my Pro12 side as I have family in that part of the world.

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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, 4:55 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:I think there is a point being missed here in that the AP sides still put out 'perceived' competitive team lists and even if you are currently Saracens and losing a significant number of players to internationals their squad quality - many of whom are not internationals, is the envy of many AP sides. The AP has fiercely protected it's commercial proposition and simply doesn't stand for the RFU or the Pro12 getting access to their players, either to employ or play against, on the cheap.

The Pro12 sides do not have the same depth when losing even more players to internationls which generates less interest and so less funds to address the issue. Pro12 fans appear to believe the Union backing is the only option.

If Pro12 fans can't see the vicious circle then the current perception will continue and fans vote with their feet and pockets.

simple nonsesne. Glasgow have 31 internationalists on their books We know the prl call the shots in England and we know its detrimental to the wider game - but to suggest teams such as Leinster or Glasgow do not have squads to match the ap teams is simple nonsense. The ap teams when rotated are only perceived to be more competative as the English dominated rugby press know the players wheras they don't know the pro 12 players

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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, 5:00 pm

I am referring to AP sides playing AP sides during international windows which is what the OP was about on the Pro12 CEO comments.

If Glasgow have such a strong squad the PRO12 and Euro comps should be a breeze to win.....

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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, 5:22 pm

I understood that recwatcher. Pro 12 teams tend to have greater international callups which is the main difference - not the depth of the squad. During the WC Glasgow were missing those 31 players

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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, 6:08 pm

Fair enough if you say so.
There should be less tests - which is the only way teams can put first team out in the Pro12 -per the OP.
Clubs that have 31 (current first pick?) internationals should be able to compete with Toulon's ex-internationals then shouldn't they ?

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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 Mon 04 Apr 2016, 6:21 pm

Recwatcher - talking sense to TJ is like giving a monkey a crossword. It just won't understand and resorts to throwing it's own sh5t around the place

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

Post by Kingshu on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:03 pm

Wonder is this is a possibility

IRFU/SRU/WRU all contribute to the running of two addition teams in Europe, with other Unions also assisting, with the aim of temporarily moving academy players there or players not getting game time with their own province?

Set up something like this

IRFU and SRU, and central/West European Unions (Romania, Germany, Spain, Portugal etc) run a team made of of the best players from these Unions and Players from Ireland/Scotland needing game time, Home games Mostly in Spain (big market potential Top 14 final in Camp Nou, sold out 90,000 approx!), but moves around, if they could be half decent they could get good support.

WRU and FIR with eastern Europe Unions do same thing.

Or even just have the other Unions set them up, but I think they would be light on quality players at the start hence why the bigger Unions need to help.

Basically would the Eastern and western European Unions clubbing together, be able to field a team, more encomically viable than RGC1404, Reds etc?

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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 Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:20 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Scraps? More money wasn't it?

IIRC, at a minimum, a commitment/guarantee to keep it the same as before for Pro12 teams as under previous arrangement.

Since nothing has been said about any of the finances since, no one knows what has been the actual outcome. My presumption is that if incomes had ended up being lower, someone would have said something. And, if they had been a lot more, someone would have said something.

Since none of the PRo12 clubs are in the knockout stages this year, then no incomes from these stages will be gained either. I think it will take another one or two seasons to see what long-term effects the changes in finances - from all sources - will have.

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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 Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:30 pm

It's probably worthwhile quoting some of the actual interview with Anayi to put some of the discussion in perspective:

".....It’s a good competition, it’s getting better, but it could be great. We need to do some big things over the next 12 months to ensure we are making those leaps and bounds. We need to create more flash-points in the season. We have got a great end to the season, the middle of the season is fantastic with the Christmas games, but I don’t see that so much in September-October time.

We need a fan-first philosophy. People like big events. They like to go to them. If you give them big events to go to, then attendances go up dramatically and so does the TV audience. We have a nine month long competition. We need to take a less is more approach, with quality over quantity. We want to have more big events and to fill our stadiums more often.

Q: So how do you achieve that in practical terms?
A: We have more international players than any other competition, but we play games in the international window. That is self-defeating. In that period of the season, crowds and TV audience are down by 45 per cent. That is where we need to tweak things. They play league games inside the window in England and France as well, but the impact is less there because of the number of teams. They lose less players per club. We lose three times as many players and the concentration is higher. What should be our big strength is our biggest weakness.

With the star players missing, it creates the perception that it’s a development competition. We recognise that perception and we need to address it. We need to give people more reason to watch our teams more often and that means the international players. It’s not a maybe, it’s a must.

We are going through a consultation process at the moment, but the overwhelming consensus of the chief executives is lets make positive changes that are good for the tournament. You have to be creative. If you going to play all your games outside of the international window, then you either have to look at a reduction in the number of teams or look at a different structure to the season with conferences, which allows you to expand.

Q: You mention a reduction in teams as one option. You will be aware there have been calls in some quarters to ditch the two Italian teams. What’s your reaction to that?

A: I have been out in Italy this week to understand the strategy of the teams and the Federation. They have got a great new coach coming in at national level in Conor O’Shea, which is a big plus. You have one team in Treviso with a proud history that needs to be able to invest more and a new team in Zebre which we need to understand a little bit more about.

The critical thing for me is give a team the best possible chance of playing the best possible rugby. If they can bring their internationals home and not play games in the Test window, that will make a big difference. So let’s give Italy a really good crack at it to see how much potential there is there. It is a 60 million market, with big commercial and broadcasting potential. We are a way off saying Italy is a lost cause. My personal vision would be the expansion option.

Q: That will inevitably get people thinking about London Welsh and London Scottish, who have both been linked with the competition. Is that on the agenda?
A: London is, of course, a market that is of interest. It is for any competition. It’s potentially a huge market. But it comes with its own challenges and difficulties, both political and regulatory. There are a lot of other things going on in London as well and a lot of other attractions. You can lose yourself in a big market and sometimes it’s better to be a big fish in a slightly smaller pond. We aren’t saying London isn’t an option though, just that it can be challenging. What I like about London Welsh is they are doing everything they can. It would clearly need to be a completely different London Welsh if they were to join the Pro12.

Q: There were reports at the weekend about the Celtic teams possibly linking up with Super Rugby sides. Do you see that as a viable expansion option?

A: In the short term it couldn’t work because of TV contracts, not to mention the logistics. You would have to have the right commercial base as well. What might sound good in theory doesn’t necessarily work in practice.

I’m not sure fans are crying out for a world club competition. Nobody is saying to me why aren’t we playing ACT Brumbies? What they want is better refereeing and more meaningful games. What they are saying is, can we see our internationals play more often, please?

With that in mind, expansion and a conference system is one option. But you can’t just expand for expansion’s sake. We have got to expand with the right financial base. What we want is to create more value to allow us to expand the competition. We won’t just be expanding on a whim, not just on a hope. It will be expansion when we know it will create more money. We would need to have it underwritten commercially. And we also have to make sure what we do is relevant and exciting for the fan. It’s about getting the structure right first. But there are people that want to join our competition.

Q: You touched on the standard of refereeing there. That’s a continuing concern, so what plans do you have to address the situation?

A: We are currently looking at what investment needs to be made internally and from a Union perspective. How best do we go about delivering more referees of sufficient quality? Again, playing matches in the international window has an impact on the situation. It means you lose your best refs for quite a long period of time and that inevitably dilutes the quality of the officials in the league during that period.

Q: The absence of neutral officials for a number of games is one of the main issues which gets raised. Do you accept that’s an issue?
A: You get criticism of officials in the Aviva Premiership as well, but there it is purely based on performance. You don’t get people claiming there is bias or cheating. That is a different level of problem which comes from the nationality issue. Ideally you would have neutrality for every game because it gets round the perception issue. I don’t think it solves everything because you still need refs performance at a very high level. You don’t necessarily get that by neutrality.

What teams have asked us for is do not replace quality with neutrality, but they want neutrality as well. That isn’t addressed easily because of the officials at our disposal, but we have got to have a look at all the options. I would rather bring through Italian and Scottish refs, but there is obviously a time line involved in terms of them being ready. One potential way of dealing with the immediate problem is to work with other Unions and see what refs they have they got available. These things cost money, but, in general terms, refereeing hasn’t had the money spent on it that other areas of the game have.

Q: Another issue which gets raised a lot is the current TV deal, both in terms of how much less it is than the deals for the Aviva and the Top 14, but also the scheduling of games.
A: We do have a gap to make up. You do that by proving the product is better and that means internationals playing in meaningful games. As for the scheduling, the fan hasn’t been listened to enough. Sunday games don’t seem to be working in Wales, for example. We have to create a platform that is more fan-centric. Fans want games at regular times. We have seen how that works in Ireland. We have to work with the broadcasters to try and come up with a schedule that is more fan-friendly.

Q: Overall, how optimistic are you about the future of the Pro12?
A: People keep on bashing this competition, but let’s be proud of some of the great things we are doing and build on those things. Let’s kick on from here. People are working tirelessly to get this competition firing. The overwhelming principle is let’s play to our strengths. Let’s avoid the international window and get our star players in more meaningful games, more often. Let’s have a fan-first philosophy and really take the competition forward.

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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, 7:31 pm

I'm a little bemused - either they have a strong squad over international windows or they dont, but I do have a genuine concern for the Pro12 business model which isn't sustainable over the long term. The next round of TV deals for English and French clubs will increase the financial power gap and increase the pressure on player recruitment. The bigger audience/markets is just a fact of professional life but that is not regardless of the quality of the product and that has to be the Pro12 approach - which the CEO is alluding to.

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

Post by profitius on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 7:47 pm

It makes sense what they're talking about.


They have to try to improve the product. That means less games so the internationals won't play more but they'll still be involved in a high percentage of games.


Other euro teams invited will open up new markets. This is a long term investment. Don't expect short term miracles. They can't compete in the short term so they need to start the long term planning NOW. It could be the start of a euro league.

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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 Mon 04 Apr 2016, 8:15 pm

profitius wrote:It makes sense what they're talking about.
They have to try to improve the product. That means less games so the internationals won't play more but they'll still be involved in a high percentage of games.
Other euro teams invited will open up new markets. This is a long term investment. Don't expect short term miracles. They can't compete in the short term so they need to start the long term planning NOW. It could be the start of a euro league.

Agreed. A two by 7-team conference model would radically reduce the number of games to be played in the season. I think the max number of games currently allowed for test players is 10-12 league games - out of 22 plus 2 for finals. A 7-team conference would mean 12 games plus say quarters/semis and final. The scope that would provide around having test players more fresh for internationals in November, Feb/March and June would be interesting. Have the Pro 12 finals at beginning of May and season finale with the European Cup final. Then into preparation for June internationals.

The European comp pool stages need re-structuring as well ideally since they break up the league season. Think the Premiership clubs would be in favour of this too IIRC. Four weekends back-to-back in January?

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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, 8:25 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:I'm a little bemused - either they have a strong squad over international windows or they dont, but I do have a genuine concern for the Pro12 business model which isn't sustainable over the long term.  The next round of TV deals for English and French clubs will increase the financial power gap and increase the pressure on player recruitment. The bigger audience/markets is just a fact of professional life but that is not regardless of the quality of the product and that has to be the Pro12 approach - which the CEO is alluding to.

Slight misunderstanding perhaps over glasgow - they have around 15 scots internationalist who would usually be ina 30 man squad - so those are the players they loses during the 6N - and I agree playing league games during the 6N simply does not work for the pro 12. The others are internationals for other smaller countries who usually would be playing for glasgow during the 6N - players like Nakawara, Yanyantowa, DTH etc. Not all are first team coices in either group but they did lose 31 players to WC duty


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

Post by Sin é on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 11:47 pm

If the standard of the league is to be improved, it would be better to reduce the size of the league to 8/10 teams rather than bring in some more poor teams. Teams like London Welsh/Scottish are not going to add anything to the league. They would in fact devalue it as they are not good enough to play in 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 doctor_grey on Mon 04 Apr 2016, 11:59 pm

The reality is no one is going to willingly cut games and lose revenue. As you know I believe all our players play too much Rugby, but I can't foresee the powers that be would ever reduce games/revenue.

I think the only way to get something rational done whilst protecting revenue is either a Euro league or Home Nations league, thereby putting all of our fortunes in the same basket. And yes, we know the management of each team and union seem allergic to the transparency which is the enabler for this to happen. But I don't see another way.

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

Post by Sin é on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:02 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:I'm a little bemused - either they have a strong squad over international windows or they dont, but I do have a genuine concern for the Pro12 business model which isn't sustainable over the long term.  The next round of TV deals for English and French clubs will increase the financial power gap and increase the pressure on player recruitment. The bigger audience/markets is just a fact of professional life but that is not regardless of the quality of the product and that has to be the Pro12 approach - which the CEO is alluding to.

Its not all down to market size: Interview in World Rugby with Pro12 MD (Feehan, not Anayi is CEO)

What is the current state with Sky Sports after a four-year deal was signed in May 2013?


MA: The deal is an interesting one. Our primary broadcaster is Sky but we also have some regional deals with BBC Alba in Scotland and Northern Ireland, BBC Wales and S4C, TG4 (Ireland) and RAI in Italy. It gives you a network of broadcasters. Whilst it’s not the same cash as the Aviva is getting from BT Sport, or the Top 14 with Canal+, our viewership figures are higher. Our job is to progress the sports in those countries while giving them the funds to make them competitive in Europe.

What sort of viewing figures do you pull in?

MA: A Pro12 round pulls in about 500,000 viewers. For the Pro12 final, it was 379,000 – if Sky get over 200,000 viewers, they are delighted. We have a strong relationship with Sky and they’re happy with what we’re giving them but in the future maybe we need more quality, less quantity. We’re showing 130 games live and while we don’t want to reduce value, we want to improve the production qualities and make sure every time you watch the game you know it’s Pro12 product. At the moment, you probably don’t. We want the media to cover the great stories. We need to shout about it more. We sit down with our broadcasters and we ask ‘how can we make this more appealing’. It is a good position to be in.

Read more at http://www.rugbyworld.com/countries/italy/the-big-pro12-interview-can-it-keep-pace-with-the-premiership-and-top-14-53103#oL2xOPOooCaLG6ou.99

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

Post by Sin é on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:10 am

doctor_grey wrote:The reality is no one is going to willingly cut games and lose revenue.  As you know I believe all our players play too much Rugby, but I can't foresee the powers that be would ever reduce games/revenue.  

I think the only way to get something rational done whilst protecting revenue is either a Euro league or Home Nations league, thereby putting all of our fortunes in the same basket.  And yes, we know the management of each team and union seem allergic to the transparency which is the enabler for this to happen.  But I don't see another way.

With fewer games, you wouldn't need such a big squad. It would also cost money to open the ground for some teams. And you can charge more if the teams are better (for example, most clubs charge more for Champs Cup tickets than they do for League).


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

Post by LeinsterFan4life on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 12:48 am

I don't think anyone can take the financial hit of having fewer games. What if we just started the season around the same time as the Top14, which would allow us to have less games during the 6 nations especially.

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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 Tue 05 Apr 2016, 1:27 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:I don't think anyone can take the financial hit of having fewer games. What if we just started the season around the same time as the Top14, which would allow us to have less games during the 6 nations especially.
I do think a Euro or Home Nations league would offer more revenue per game. Could a full season of, let's say 24 league games, with breaks around some of the International windows, offset the tv revenue loss from the Euro Rugby competition? It doesn't seem likely, but would be interesting to see .

I don't think it would be easy, or even fair to the players, to shorten the off season which, to me, is too short already.

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

Post by Kingshu on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 5:50 pm

The more I think about it a team based in Spain makes more and more sense if it can be done right.
Remember there were discussions about Argentina joining the 5/6 nations but playing their home games in Spain.
The Top 14 final in Nou camp is going to sell out.
The Anoeta Stadium has been used a number of time for H-cup games.


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

Post by Shifty on Tue 05 Apr 2016, 8:07 pm

Kingshu wrote:The more I think about it a team based in Spain makes more and more sense if it can be done right.
Remember there were discussions about Argentina joining the 5/6 nations but playing their home games in Spain.
The Top 14 final in Nou camp is going to sell out.
The Anoeta Stadium has been used a number of time for H-cup games.

I did read that the next country expected to push through after Italy was Spain, due to the infrastructure in the country.

Looking at attendances for Spain's games in the 6 Nations B since 2015:

Spain V Romania : 7000
Spain V Germany : 2000
Spain V Georgia: 9000
Spain V Russia: 6500

Not too bad really.

Though Georgia did pull 53,400 for their game against Romania at the end of last month.


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

Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 06 Apr 2016, 2:15 pm

The Pro12 need more countries involved to increase the potential market size so in that frame a two conference system is good.

However they don't need fewer games as that would only reduce strength in depth even further.

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

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