PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

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Is it a good idea for PRO 12 to bring in a US rugby franchise?

23% 23% 
[ 3 ]
46% 46% 
[ 6 ]
31% 31% 
[ 4 ]
 
Total Votes : 13

PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:44 pm

The head of USA Rugby has admitted his organisation would be “very interested” in getting an American franchise into the Guinness Pro12.

The cross-border league currently includes teams from Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Italy but Irish RFU chief Philip Browne said last week that expanding into the American market could be part of a radical plan to increase revenues in the bid to compete with the English and French leagues.

Now the chairman of USA Rugby Bob Latham, also a World Rugby council member, has admitted discussions have begun, although he accepts it would be a complex process.

“We’re certainly very interested but we need to take a realistic look at the feasibility of it and we haven’t crossed that fundamental step yet,” Latham said in an interview with ESPN. “Those discussions are at a very early stage but we would certainly look at that and see if it makes sense.

“When we receive interest of that kind it is somewhat flattering that people want to enter the market here and we are interested in taking a look at anything that grows and encourages interest in the sport.

“I’m not sure if we have any preconceived notions over how best to make it happen. There will be travel issues so the East Coast makes sense but if you look at the timing of the Pro12 competition, it can be difficult to play in the north-east part of the USA at that time of year. We have to balance the factor of where fans will turn out, where the weather will be conducive.”

The logistics of having a US team in the league, which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh, would be challenging to say the least but it is the latest development in rugby’s traditional heartlands looking to exploit the country where the sport is growing the fastest. Saracens and London Irish played an Aviva Premiership fixture in New York earlier in the year and Ireland will play New Zealand in Chicago this November.

The idea of harnessing the large Irish-heritage population on the American eastern seaboard to join a league which includes the provinces of Connacht, Ulster, Munster and Leinster is key to the idea and Browne told Irish media last week: “We can do what is needed to get a franchise up and running pretty quickly.”

The Pro12 TV deal is worth around a quarter of the one enjoyed by the English Premiership and Browne added: “Such an increase in values will require some radical change to the tournament… the expansion into new territories is probably a prerequisite and the first steps are being taken in relation to a new strategic plan.”

Alongside this news, comes the news of a recent Wales Online poll recently on whether Welsh fans thought the US move would be a good idea or waste of time.

56% thought it would be a brilliant idea, with a further 34% saying it had complications but was worth exploring.  Just 10% thought it would be a waste of time.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 1:52 pm; edited 3 times in total

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 2:50 pm

It's a fast moving world.

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by Stone Motif on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 5:52 pm

Just for context, Lord Dowlais is a Fail-reading Welsh fan.

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 29 Jul 2016, 6:10 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Just for context, Lord Dowlais is a Fail-reading Welsh fan.

So is Phil BB. And Chunky Norwich. And Dai Llewod. How about yourself?

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by mikey_dragon on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 11:17 am

If it brings us lots of money then why not... And it would also be great to grow the game in USA. For it to work then perhaps we need a conference system and each Pro12 team ends up spending a couple weeks on one continent training and playing matches? Like the S15...

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by LordDowlais on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 12:15 pm

Stone Motif wrote:Just for context, Lord Dowlais is a Fail-reading Welsh fan.

trolling again I see. Rolling Eyes

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by LordDowlais on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 12:17 pm

The Irish obsession with getting the Pro12 into the USA is almost as bad as Phil's obsession with joining the English. Laugh

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 1:48 pm

LordDowlais wrote:The Irish obsession with getting the Pro12 into the USA is almost as bad as Phil's obsession with joining the English. Laugh

Obsession, LD?   The news about the possibility of it happening is only three weeks old.   Which way would you vote as per the Wales Online poll

A) brilliant idea
B) complicated but worthwhile pursuing
C) waste of time?

I've added in a poll at the top of the thread.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added poll)

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by profitius on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 2:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:The Irish obsession with getting the Pro12 into the USA is almost as bad as Phil's obsession with joining the English. Laugh


Its the only bit of rugby news of the last month and could have a massive impact on the future IF it does happen.

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by doctor_grey on Sat 30 Jul 2016, 4:02 pm

Anyone who has lived through a winter in the northeast knows this is problematic. To play in January and February would be like that Connacht match against Siberia last season. Unprofessional and dangerous. Plus fans won't show up.

Maybe they play part of the season in the northeast (same stadium as the Sarries-LI match is my personal preference), the winter down south in Charlotte, NC (another Rugby hot spot), and finish back up here? Seems a bit goofy, but likely the only way to do it.

One benefit of playing in the New York area which has not been discussed is that Saturday matches in the autumn in NYC area have no major sporting conflicts. There are no major American College Football teams in the immediate New York area. It could even work well that after the Rugby clubs play their Saturday matches, they converge at the stadium for a Saturday evening of pro Rugby. Could even tie in a local club match as a precursor to the main event. That is, if we can still walk. No problems for you young lads, but for a grizzled veteran like me, more of a challenge.

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by profitius on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 11:30 am

While USA rugby confirms they're in talks with the pro12, you can bet that sanzaar will also be contacting US rugby. They've been talking about the US market for years.

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

Post by doctor_grey on Sun 31 Jul 2016, 6:32 pm

profitius wrote:While USA rugby confirms they're in talks with the pro12, you can bet that sanzaar will also be contacting US rugby. They've been talking about the US market for years.
That would be doubly good for Rugby in the USA. SANZAAR can set-up shop in Southern California on the US west coast and the Pro12 can set up in the north east. 3000 miles apart. No conflict at all.

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Re: PRO 12 - USA Rugby very interested and 90% of Welsh fans up for it in poll

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