Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

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Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by LordDowlais on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 11:36 am

Why should Zebre qualify for the CC ? It is a joke, and it is a scourge on the league that a team that can ship 160 points in 4 away games can get to play in the top level European competition. 


[size=30]Peter Jackson column: Stripe me! How can this Zebre side be Champions?[/size]

Zebre have lost their last four away matches by scores that could double up as opening stands at the T20 World Cup – 52-0, 32-0, 47-0 and 29-0. It adds up to a cumulative score of 0-160.
Despite those results, Zebre are on course to take their place in what Europe’s clubs call the Champions’ Cup, a grandiose description for a tournament supposedly reserved for the crème de la crème.
Edinburgh stand to suffer more than their Welsh rivals, ironically so given that they duly followed Leinster, Ulster and Munster in taking maximum-point advantage of the depleted Italians at Murrayfield on Friday night.  Scotland’s capital team may have lost a few games too many but they stand alone as the only club to have done the double over the champions, Glasgow.
Ospreys, twice crowned Pro 12 champions with not one but two Grand Final victories over Leinster in Dublin to their credit, supplied the Lions with five players for their last tour and may well supply five more for the next one, to New Zealand next year.  Despite their proven quality and ever-presence on the starting grid for Europe’s premier competition over the last 13 seasons, the Swansea-based side will be disqualified from the Champions’ Cup even if they recover sufficiently to finish seventh.
Some will say serve them right for a season of under-achievement, that nobody gets a free ride into Europe because it’s a competitive world – except that argument doesn’t apply when it comes to rewarding one Italian team for avoiding bottom place.
The same fate awaiting Edinburgh or the Ospreys could also very easily apply to a third club, Cardiff Blues. They are in the same boat and therefore in much the same danger of running aground despite having scored the most tries and most points going into the weekend round of matches.
Although seven places are available to Pro 12 teams in the Champions’ Cup, seventh gets whoever finishes there nowhere.  Rules are rules and the multi-national dimension of the Pro 12 requires that all four countries must be represented, including Italy, irrespective of where their two teams finish.
Treviso qualified from second last place because they lost only 18 of their 22 matches against Zebre’s 19.  Both are still in the bottom two except that Zebre have reversed the roles on the strength of a Christmas double over their compatriots.
Connacht were sacrificed last season although their seventh place did earn them entry to an abortive play-off series involving Gloucester and Bordeaux.      The intrusion of the World Cup leaves no room this season for any play-offs. Whoever finishes seventh – Ospreys, Edinburgh or the Cardiff Blues – will go straight into the secondary European Challenge Cup along with all those stranded in the nether regions of the Premiership, Top 14 and Pro 12.
Altruism is a noble quality. Guaranteeing Italy a place at the top table of the club game gives some reason for using the word European in the context of the Champions’ Cup.
It seemed a good idea at the time, one agreed on the basis that the Italian teams would become more competitive. Instead they have become less competitive, jammed in the same reverse gear as the national team.
If the tournament organisers, European Professional Club Rugby, are not already under pressure to review the Italian arrangement, it can be but a matter of time before they are.
The rules, as agreed by the Pro 12 as well as everyone else, dictate that the first four Pro 12 places go to the highest ranked team from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. If, for argument’s sake, the top eight finish in the same positions as they were on Friday morning, Connacht (1st), Zebre (11th), Glasgow (6th) and Scarlets (3rd) would fill those four positions.
That leaves three more to be filled by the remainder of the top six – Leinster (2nd), Munster (4th) and Ulster (5th). Ireland, therefore, face the happy prospect of all four provinces making the Champions’ Cup for the first time. Wales face the grim one of their representation being halved to one.
For the chosen few, Europe’s supreme club event brings prestige and commercial clout.  In a true meritocracy nobody qualifies for losing four matches out of every five even if that means narrowing the horizon of the tournament and renaming it the FIB (French, Irish, British) Cup.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 11:54 am

Interesting that the validity of an Italian club making it into the Champions Cup seemed no issue when just one Welsh team missed out.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 12:02 pm

LondonTiger wrote:Interesting that the validity of an Italian club making it into the Champions Cup seemed no issue when just one Welsh team missed out.

laughing Pretty much hit the nail on the head with that

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Pot Hale on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 2:14 pm

The Win Draw Loss scorelines for Dragons and Zebre read the same:
W4, D0, L15.

Ospreys and Cardiff are on 9 wins apiece. 5 games more.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Fanster on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 5:05 pm

Its all well and good attacking Zebre, but ask yourselves why, this season they are as bad as they are!

Look at Treviso also, they were developing pretty well, getting more and more difficult to beat, then pow, PRL power grab and the 2 Italian teams lost 25+ professional players, and double figure internationals...

The Italians are the immediate victims of the power grab, complaining about them as the problem, when they are clearly the outcome of the grab itself!

'Guaranteeing Italy a place at the top table of the club game gives some reason for using the word European'

This sentence is key, and becoming less prevelant, it's only a matter of time before the Scottish, then Welsh clubs are turned on too!

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by yappysnap on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 6:50 pm

Who were the 25+ players and were did PRL put them? In English clubs? Other sports? In a pot somewhere?

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 7:36 pm

Fans tear, I think the uncertainty of Europe as a whole, and the Welsh civil war, and the Pro12 payments from the Italians were also part of the issue with Treviso losing heaps of players.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Kingshu on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 7:59 pm

I think Zebra getting in is fine, people have really been giving out about them, but if Glasgow were bottom, would people complain that Edinburgh got in?

It is difficult as there is the old argument to is it
1) For the best teams in Europe, or
2) For the best teams from each union in Europe.

Since they have a limit on the number of NIQ players I think its fine they get a spot, but if they didn't have this and could sign as many non Italian qualified players as they wanted then they shouldn't.
Having a team with only a handful of Italians in it, is not going to help develop Italian Rugby so the FIR should't get a spot, if they limit the number of non Italian players then they can use it to develop Italian Rugby and they should get it.

I think the major issue, is that they don't appear to be making the most of this chance they have been given, the Italian teams are always the weakest in Europe and have been mostly in the Pro 12.

I hope that they see that the FIR see that their position is under threat in the 6 nations and RCC (as it all starts with rumours like now and snowballs) they have to pull their thumbs out and stop this in its tracks.
If one of the Italians was up around 6th in the Pro 12 or look like getting out of a group people would not complain as much.


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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Fanster on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:01 pm

yappysnap wrote:Who were the 25+ players and were did PRL put them? In English clubs? Other sports? In a pot somewhere?

Ironically yes, most of them headed to English and French clubs...

The PRL power grab distabilised european rugby, and Italy have been the immediate casualties, not that anyone cares, most Pro12, and 6N fans want to sell them down the river.

Rugby is truly a differing sport to Football, football at least pretends to have the 'we look after our own' facade, clearly rugby fans couldn't give a t0ss about what one organisation has done to a developing nations hopes.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Munchkin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:04 pm

The Pro12 payments were an issue, but the European fall-out is what caused so many players to leave. The Italians sides were hit hardest, no doubt.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Fanster on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:06 pm

Kingshu wrote:I think Zebra getting in is fine, people have really been giving out about them, but if Glasgow were bottom, would people complain that Edinburgh got in?

It is difficult as there is the old argument to is it
1) For the best teams in Europe, or
2) For the best teams from each union in Europe.

Since they have a limit on the number of NIQ players I think its fine they get a spot, but if they didn't have this and could sign as many non Italian qualified players as they wanted then they shouldn't.
Having a team with only a handful of Italians in it, is not going to help develop Italian Rugby so the FIR should't get a spot, if they limit the number of non Italian players then they can use it to develop Italian Rugby and they should get it.

I think the major issue, is that they don't appear to be making the most of this chance they have been given, the Italian teams are always the weakest in Europe and have been mostly in the Pro 12.

I hope that they see that the FIR see that their position is under threat in the 6 nations and RCC (as it all starts with rumours like now and snowballs) they have to pull their thumbs out and stop this in its tracks.
If one of the Italians was up around 6th in the Pro 12 or look like getting out of a group people would not complain as much.


Like Toulon?

The chance they have been given is to buy their way into the Pro 12, of which they can't afford, then had their squads decimated when the PRL refused to enter into contract negotiations unless the euro tournament would be heavily skewed in their favour.

The treatment Italy and Italian clubs are getting in the press, and amongst other fans is disgraceful, theyve had a nightmare season because of national injuries, and their clubs are the immediate victims thanks to the PRL.


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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by ScarletSpiderman on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:09 pm

Munchkin wrote:The Pro12 payments were an issue, but the European fall-out is what caused so many players to leave. The Italians sides were hit hardest, no doubt.

If I remember correctly, didn't Treviso try to pull out of the pro12 (when the regions were trying to get an Anglo Welsh backup plan)? That kind of uncertainty is always going to lead to your better players, who are able to jump ship, leaving at the first change they get.

If we could have some consistency in the pro12 ( no dropping/creating teams, change of structure etc) and the RCC, then I think things will pick up for Both Treviso and Zebre with players stating, or returning.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Fanster on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:12 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
Munchkin wrote:The Pro12 payments were an issue, but the European fall-out is what caused so many players to leave. The Italians sides were hit hardest, no doubt.

If I remember correctly, didn't Treviso try to pull out of the pro12 (when the regions were trying to get an Anglo Welsh backup plan)?  That kind of uncertainty is always going to lead to your better players, who are able to jump ship, leaving at the first change they get.

If we could have some consistency in the pro12 ( no dropping/creating teams, change of structure etc) and the RCC, then I think things will pick up for Both Treviso and Zebre with players stating, or returning.

No Treviso were trying to manouvre themselves into a stronger position and mentioned joining the French league, similarly to what ro the Welsh regions did, however Treviso were the ones who advised their players to seek employment elsewhere, and were pretty up front with them, which is comendable considering they had the PRL penetrating them from behind, and the Pro 12 clubs down their throat!

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Munchkin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 8:37 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
Munchkin wrote:The Pro12 payments were an issue, but the European fall-out is what caused so many players to leave. The Italians sides were hit hardest, no doubt.

If I remember correctly, didn't Treviso try to pull out of the pro12 (when the regions were trying to get an Anglo Welsh backup plan)?  That kind of uncertainty is always going to lead to your better players, who are able to jump ship, leaving at the first change they get.

If we could have some consistency in the pro12 ( no dropping/creating teams, change of structure etc) and the RCC, then I think things will pick up for Both Treviso and Zebre with players stating, or returning.

It was reported at the time that Treviso were thinking about quitting Pro12, because of the uncertainty caused by the Euro fall-out, and stalemate, at the time.

The Pro12 needs consistency, but it's the Italian sides that need their roots to grow that bit deeper in the Pro12, and hopefully grow in confidence that they belong there, and are wanted there. It isn't all gloom and doom for the Italians. Moves are being made to improve, and grow, the game there, and hopefully we see signs of this in the next few seasons.
I enjoy watching their sides play, and they can play. They can give even the top sides a real challenge, but they can't do for 80 minutes.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:00 pm

Fanster wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I think Zebra getting in is fine, people have really been giving out about them, but if Glasgow were bottom, would people complain that Edinburgh got in?

It is difficult as there is the old argument to is it
1) For the best teams in Europe, or
2) For the best teams from each union in Europe.

Since they have a limit on the number of NIQ players I think its fine they get a spot, but if they didn't have this and could sign as many non Italian qualified players as they wanted then they shouldn't.
Having a team with only a handful of Italians in it, is not going to help develop Italian Rugby so the FIR should't get a spot, if they limit the number of non Italian players then they can use it to develop Italian Rugby and they should get it.

I think the major issue, is that they don't appear to be making the most of this chance they have been given, the Italian teams are always the weakest in Europe and have been mostly in the Pro 12.

I hope that they see that the FIR see that their position is under threat in the 6 nations and RCC (as it all starts with rumours like now and snowballs) they have to pull their thumbs out and stop this in its tracks.
If one of the Italians was up around 6th in the Pro 12 or look like getting out of a group people would not complain as much.


Like Toulon?

The chance they have been given is to buy their way into the Pro 12, of which they can't afford, then had their squads decimated when the PRL refused to enter into contract negotiations unless the euro tournament would be heavily skewed in their favour.

The treatment Italy and Italian clubs are getting in the press, and amongst other fans is disgraceful, theyve had a nightmare season because of national injuries, and their clubs are the immediate victims thanks to the PRL.


I'm presuming you believe that the comp is skewed in the PRLs favour now!?

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by LondonTiger on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:05 pm

FIR withdrew the licence from Treviso, effectively cancelling all player contracts in 2014, because they were seriously considering withdrawing from Pro12.

But hey blame PRL if you want.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Munchkin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:28 pm

Indeed, but as already discussed, it's why they were threatening to withdraw from Pro12 that matters. They were threatening to withdraw because of the uncertainty caused by the Euro battle. PRL certainly had their part to play in that, but it all depends on which side of the fence you sit in deciding who was to blame.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by nathan on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:34 pm

Munchkin wrote:Indeed, but as already discussed, it's why they were threatening to withdraw from Pro12 that matters. They were threatening to withdraw because of the uncertainty caused by the Euro battle. PRL certainly had their part to play in that, but it all depends on which side of the fence you sit in deciding who was to blame.
If in fact it was the fall out from the Euro battle, then both sides of the fence are as bad as each other, neither side painted themselves in glory.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Notch on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:36 pm

yappysnap wrote:Who were the 25+ players and were did PRL put them? In English clubs? Other sports? In a pot somewhere?

Not just the Euro argument that led to the player exodus. It was certainly one of the biggest factors and arguably the biggest, but the row over payments to the Pro12 and the amateurish running of the Italian game by their own administrators are also very important factors.

I think we'll see an improvement in the next few years as they have some really talented young players coming through.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Munchkin on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 9:55 pm

nathan wrote:
Munchkin wrote:Indeed, but as already discussed, it's why they were threatening to withdraw from Pro12 that matters. They were threatening to withdraw because of the uncertainty caused by the Euro battle. PRL certainly had their part to play in that, but it all depends on which side of the fence you sit in deciding who was to blame.
If in fact it was the fall out from the Euro battle, then both sides of the fence are as bad as each other, neither side painted themselves in glory.

Well, some PRL figures fighting their battle through the media didn't help. The same can be said of some of the LNR figures. It was nasty. A pretty vicious fight, and one that may live long in the memory, for some. As for how we got there, and who was to blame? That argument just goes around in circles, and will never be agreed.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by TJ on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 10:43 pm

Fanster wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Who were the 25+ players and were did PRL put them? In English clubs? Other sports? In a pot somewhere?

Ironically yes, most of them headed to English and French clubs...

The PRL power grab distabilised european rugby, and Italy have been the immediate casualties, not that anyone cares, most Pro12, and 6N fans want to sell them down the river.

Rugby is truly a differing sport to Football, football at least pretends to have the 'we look after our own' facade, clearly rugby fans couldn't give a t0ss about what one organisation has done to a developing nations hopes.

Utter nonsense - most pro 12 fans want to see the italians in it and hope they do well. football has no pretence about looking after the minnows - see the champions league - once the champions from every European country and only the champions played in it. Now the big leagues get multiple entries as of right and the minnows need to qualify to get one place- this is where the PRL want to take the rugby european cup - I for one hate this prospect

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by TJ on Wed 13 Apr 2016, 10:46 pm

Pro 12 reduced the pay to play for the italain clubs massively - in the early days it was needed as certainly the scots teams simply could not afford the away games in Italy. Now its less needed and I think inequitus - but its a much smaller sum than it was

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Fanster on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:23 am

TJ wrote:
Fanster wrote:
yappysnap wrote:Who were the 25+ players and were did PRL put them? In English clubs? Other sports? In a pot somewhere?

Ironically yes, most of them headed to English and French clubs...

The PRL power grab distabilised european rugby, and Italy have been the immediate casualties, not that anyone cares, most Pro12, and 6N fans want to sell them down the river.

Rugby is truly a differing sport to Football, football at least pretends to have the 'we look after our own' facade, clearly rugby fans couldn't give a t0ss about what one organisation has done to a developing nations hopes.

Utter nonsense - most pro 12 fans want to see the italians in it and hope they do well.  football has no pretence about looking after the minnows - see the champions league - once the champions from every European country and only the champions played in it.  Now the big leagues get multiple entries as of right and the minnows need to qualify to get one place- this is where the PRL want to take the rugby european cup - I for one hate this prospect

Most pro 12 fans want to see the Italians in it? Really? Show me proof, because I have more proof they don't!

Italy have been touted as moochers by the media this 6N, despite before this season their record being better than Scotland over 5/6 seasons, then their clubs, which have been developing, been vilified, despite the direct result being the PRL power grab.

Lets be honest, what the media wants, and what is right are 2 different things in this scenario, Italy more than deserve their place in the 6N AND pro12, wether they do in the current euro whatever its called, it doesn't matter, because I don't think it will last in it's current form, but hey, we'll see.

My point is, Italy are here to stay, like it or not!

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 12:29 am

LondonTiger wrote:Interesting that the validity of an Italian club making it into the Champions Cup seemed no issue when just one Welsh team missed out.

Treviso were a good team back then, and continued to improve whilst playing in the Pro12. And another thing dicktard, it's not just the Welsh questioning the Italians. There's been plenty of Pro12 threads discussing this as part of the restructure, I suggest you have a read and take the anti-Welsh chip off that shoulder.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by TJ on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 7:31 am

Mickey - stop with the "anti welsh" nonsense. when you forget about the chip on your shoulder you make good posts but these accusations are both baseless and ridiculous


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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Notch on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 11:49 am

I want the Italians to stay in the Pro12 for one, but i also want a restructure that reduces the number of games in international windows and probably the number of games played by each team. So we should probably be adding teams not taking them away.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Griff on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:24 pm

Notch wrote:I want the Italians to stay in the Pro12 for one, but i also want a restructure that reduces the number of games in international windows and probably the number of games played by each team. So we should probably be adding teams not taking them away.

How could we achieve that with more teams Notch? Are you suggesting a conference system? If we went down that route I'd prefer a system that changes each year so that we don't end up with one 'good' and 'one' bad conference. Maybe a random draw of teams each season into each conference. Or, dare I suggest it, seedings so that we have a good mix of teams in each?

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by True Raven on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:32 pm

Fanster wrote:Its all well and good attacking Zebre, but ask yourselves why, this season they are as bad as they are!

Zebre have finished last in the league table every season since they joined. Its not just this season they've been bad...


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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Notch on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:48 pm

Griff wrote:
Notch wrote:I want the Italians to stay in the Pro12 for one, but i also want a restructure that reduces the number of games in international windows and probably the number of games played by each team. So we should probably be adding teams not taking them away.

How could we achieve that with more teams Notch?  Are you suggesting a conference system?  If we went down that route I'd prefer a system that changes each year so that we don't end up with one 'good' and 'one' bad conference.  Maybe a random draw of teams each season into each conference.  Or, dare I suggest it, seedings so that we have a good mix of teams in each?

I am, yes.

You've hit the nail on the head as far as the big problem with that is. You see, I would naturally want to make sure there are as many derby games as possible. Those are the most appealing fixtures for everyone. But if we have all the Irish teams together and all the Welsh teams together, it just doesn't work. Assuming that ewe stick with the 12 teams we have now (a conference system opens up the possibility of adding more teams, perhaps London Welsh and Scottish) I would do it like this;

After the end of the regular season, we split into two conferences of 6 sorted by league placings.

Conference A

1st place
4th place
5th place
7th place
9th place
12th place

Conference B

2nd Place
3rd Place
6th Place
8th Place
10th Place
11th place

Each team plays each team in their own conference home and away (10 games) and plays 3 of the teams in the other conference at home and the other three away. 16 games basic season, no games in the international window and the top two teams in each conference go through to the playoffs.

Now, we can organise a secondary competition to run alongside that if teams are worried about falling gate revenues- a Cup, or some kind of internal championships to get derby games and that can run in off weeks including international windows. We can always have a secondary competition for younger players and squad rotation outside the main championship. But the main competition would definitely benefit from less games because we have a higher concentration of internationals per team and we have poor depth. The quality is very diluted as we are spreading our resources too thinly. The French/English system is very different to ours and the structure doesn't quite work. Cutting out 6 games per season would allow our biggest asset- those international players- to feature in a much higher proportion of matches and I think that is crucial to raise the overall standard. Also, all teams take their eye off the ball in certain games in this league. But with less games there are more consequences to slipping up and so teams will have to take every match seriously all year.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by 21st Century Schizoid Man on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 1:58 pm

Having just come back from our mini-tour in Northern Italy, can I just say having made lots of new Italain rugby supporting friends - esp from Treviso, that I want these teams to stay (I know it helps when we gave them both 2nd 40 skelpings).    There are real rugby people in and around these teams and their support is consistent - even given their poor results.    

If I could give you a perfect example :-

Sitting just in front of us in the main stand at Treviso were a family (Mum, Dad, Son and Daughter) all wearing Treviso scarves and hats.   We got talking to them and it transpired they were German Italians from a little village in the Dolomites (the nearest large town to them is Innsbruck, Austria).  They drove/drive for 3 hours (one way) to get to the match(es).    They do this every other week as they are season ticket holders.    Their dedication was amazing given our game is a winter one and  where they live is snow covered for 9 months of the year.    Needless to say we swapped scarves hats etc on FT.    Also in the bar after the Treviso game many other locals came over to me and our party to apologise for the idiotic pronouncements made by FIR heid-honcho Gavazzi(?)  re Simone Favaro, Leonardo Sarto and Glasgow.   They all said he was not a rugby person and was only interested in money.    These rugby supporters are the type of people we would be abandoning to rugby wasteland.  

BTW best rugby tour ever for me anyway.       Very Happy Cool Very Happy Cool

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 2:26 pm

21st Century Schizoid Man wrote:Having just come back from our mini-tour in Northern Italy, can I just say having made lots of new Italain rugby supporting friends - esp from Treviso, that I want these teams to stay (I know it helps when we gave them both 2nd 40 skelpings).    There are real rugby people in and around these teams and their support is consistent - even given their poor results.    

If I could give you a perfect example :-

Sitting just in front of us in the main stand at Treviso were a family (Mum, Dad, Son and Daughter) all wearing Treviso scarves and hats.   We got talking to them and it transpired they were German Italians from a little village in the Dolomites (the nearest large town to them is Innsbruck, Austria).  They drove/drive for 3 hours (one way) to get to the match(es).    They do this every other week as they are season ticket holders.    Their dedication was amazing given our game is a winter one and  where they live is snow covered for 9 months of the year.    Needless to say we swapped scarves hats etc on FT.    Also in the bar after the Treviso game many other locals came over to me and our party to apologise for the idiotic pronouncements made by FIR heid-honcho Gavazzi(?)  re Simone Favaro, Leonardo Sarto and Glasgow.   They all said he was not a rugby person and was only interested in money.    These rugby supporters are the type of people we would be abandoning to rugby wasteland.  

BTW best rugby tour ever for me anyway.       Very Happy Cool Very Happy Cool

That's great to hear.

I think most of us want the Italians on board - their union just needs a kick up the rear. If Arg can create a S15 team and have it be competitive in its first year then I'd like to think the Italians can have at least one good team. I hope their long-term strategy pays off.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 4:05 pm

The Italians should play in the French system.

GB & Ireland should play in their own conference system.

It's not rocket science.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Munchkin on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 4:31 pm

Do you think the Italians want to play in the 'French system'?, and even if they did, would the French want them?

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by TJ on Thu 14 Apr 2016, 8:07 pm

And why would english AP teams elect to not be in the top division any longer and to share their riches? simple nonsense turkeys don't vote for christmas. The RFU where invited to join a GB and ireland league but refused - hence the pro 12 was set up

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Sin é on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 12:20 am

True Raven wrote:
Fanster wrote:Its all well and good attacking Zebre, but ask yourselves why, this season they are as bad as they are!

Zebre have finished last in the league table every season since they joined.  Its not just this season they've been bad...


Their first season was the 12-13 one.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by Sin é on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 12:21 am

PhilBB wrote:The Italians should play in the French system.

GB & Ireland should play in their own conference system.

It's not rocket science.

They don't want to play in the French system. They want to play in the PRO12.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by munkian on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 8:06 am

I wish someone would hit Peter Jackson in the head with a nail.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 9:54 am

TJ wrote:And why would english AP teams elect to not be in the top division any longer and to share their riches?  simple nonsense  turkeys don't vote for christmas.  The RFU where invited to join a GB and ireland league but refused - hence the pro 12 was set up

Conferences.

Conferences.

Riches get richer.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 9:55 am

Loss of power and letting the rest catch up; if indeed there was more money for the AP which would be unlikely.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 9:55 am

Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:The Italians should play in the French system.

GB & Ireland should play in their own conference system.

It's not rocket science.

They don't want to play in the French system. They want to play in the PRO12.

So? The Welsh four want to play in the English system but can't.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:09 am

PhilBB wrote:
Sin é wrote:
PhilBB wrote:The Italians should play in the French system.

GB & Ireland should play in their own conference system.

It's not rocket science.

They don't want to play in the French system. They want to play in the PRO12.

So? The Welsh four want to play in the English system but can't.

Not quite can't more not wanted

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:18 am

carpet baboon wrote:
Not quite can't more not wanted

Yes, I can see why that's the Irish narrative.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:21 am

Why can't the Welsh play in the Aviva?

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by carpet baboon on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:22 am

Haha phill it's the PRL narrative. The welsh market is to small for them to care about

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:50 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Why can't the Welsh play in the Aviva?

Existing contracts to be honoured on both sides of the bridge.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:51 am

carpet baboon wrote:Haha phill it's the PRL narrative. The welsh market is to small for them to care about

Yeah, I guess you're right. It's a tiny market compared to what Newcastle bring to the table.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:56 am

PhilBB wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Why can't the Welsh play in the Aviva?

Existing contracts to be honoured on both sides of the bridge.

So that just leaves would the Aviva want them? Or if that contract was broken would they go for Munster, Leinster, Scarlets as a basis for more money than just the Welsh clubs?

Personally like I said I don't think the English would want to jump into that as they're getting fantastic money already for themselves which is unlikely to go up. Got to consider the weakening position of Europe comps and the money that goes with that as well.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 11:20 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:
So that just leaves would the Aviva want them? Or if that contract was broken would they go for Munster, Leinster, Scarlets as a basis for more money than just the Welsh clubs?

Personally like I said I don't think the English would want to jump into that as they're getting fantastic money already for themselves which is unlikely to go up. Got to consider the weakening position of Europe comps and the money that goes with that as well.

Nobody will do anything for less money but I'm always surprised by the Irish thought that PRL would want anything to do with them, especially after the ERC farce.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 11:37 am

I would be surprised if the PRL wanted anything to do with any of the Pro 12 as it would mean sharing power and money. But if it were they would surely want the best I don't necessarily mean the best on the picth at the moment but the bigger name.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 15 Apr 2016, 1:34 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:I would be surprised if the PRL wanted anything to do with any of the Pro 12 as it would mean sharing power and money. But if it were they would surely want the best I don't necessarily mean the best on the picth at the moment but the bigger name.

Funny that PRL were happy to share the ownership of ERCC with privately owned PrO'12 clubs, mind you.

PRL wouldn't deal with the North Korean set up of Irish rugby. We all know that.

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Re: Peter Jackson, hitting the nail on the head.

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