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Post by Sin é on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 9:11 pm

Six Nations unchanged in international rugby calendar shake-up

Rugby administrators worldwide are nearing an agreement on a new rugby union calendar, which will come into effect after the World Cup in 2019.

The BBC has learned there will be fewer international matches, with summer tours set to be scrapped at least once per four-year cycle.

The Six Nations will not move from its traditional February to March slot.

The British and Irish Lions series and the World Cup will retain their places in the calendar.

The Lions are set to tour in July and August in 2021.

Changes at a glance

   - Summer tours set to be scrapped after World Cup years
   - Premiership and Pro12 to start later and finish later, at end of June
   - Super Rugby in southern hemisphere to finish at similar time
   - Six Nations and World Cup unaffected

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont and vice-chairman Agustin Pichot have been leading negotiations, with the changes expected to be ratified at the next council meeting at the end of November.

While a full-on global season is not feasible, there is confidence the new calendar will see a greater alignment between the two hemispheres.

Under the proposals, the Premiership and Pro12 leagues would start later and then would finish at the end of June, with the Super Rugby competition in the southern hemisphere ending at a similar time.

There is also a determination to have less overlap between international rugby and domestic tournaments, which is currently a point of consternation among clubs in Europe.

Meanwhile, sources have indicated that emerging nations such as Japan and USA will benefit from an increase in matches against tier-one teams.

With player welfare said to be central to the discussions, summer tours are likely to be scrapped the season after a Rugby World Cup to enable a longer rest and recovery period for international players.

http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/37354427
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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 9:35 pm

So that's PRO12's plans to have their league season end in March gone up in smoke.



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Post by miaow on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 9:38 pm

From a purely selfish spectator's point of view, it's great having the 6N when it is. There's very little of sporting interest during this period, and it's nice that it comes at such a drab and generally a bit shiote time of year. That, and the fact that it begins in the chill of early February and (typically) ends in the sunshine of March, there's something romantically enchanting about it. I'm glad the sense of tradition hasn't been bulldozed for the sake of neoliberal buzzwords like "progress" and "efficiency"; they have their place, but equally the 6Ns is great for the fans as it is.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 9:52 pm

I'd have been quite happy to see it shifted.

The supposed romanticism about the tournament being best held in February and March has bugger all to do with it, in my view. The union money men looked at it and said, nah, not worth the risk.

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Post by miaow on Tue 13 Sep 2016, 10:44 pm

That's fair enough, but where would you put it? In the early Summer, when the football season comes to a close? In the middle, when there are the likes of the Olympics, or football world cups, to contest with? I like that it's at such a unique point of the year that it's genuinely something look forward to just after Christmas. The only other time it could recapture this "uniqueness" is if it were during say October and November, and I'm not sure how feasible it is. I don't doubt that it hasn't been because of the romantic aspect to it, I'm just saying it's a happy result of the moneymen's decision.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:35 am

miaow wrote:That's fair enough, but where would you put it? In the early Summer, when the football season comes to a close? In the middle, when there are the likes of the Olympics, or football world cups, to contest with? I like that it's at such a unique point of the year that it's genuinely something look forward to just after Christmas. The only other time it could recapture this "uniqueness" is if it were during say October and November, and I'm not sure how feasible it is. I don't doubt that it hasn't been because of the romantic aspect to it, I'm just saying it's a happy result of the moneymen's decision.

In April/May, finishing mid May. Get leagues either finished or to play off stage. Four of the unionsclubs want to get league games finished - and ideally euro comp well. Club, euro and then test would be the logical ascension in comps and levels.

I suspect the July gap year following RWC is going to get filled by the clubs with a big-boys global club comp of some sort.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 4:40 am

Cutting summer tours after the World Cup is a big move.

On the current schedule, the following year is always the Lions slot, so the home nations generally don't have major touring plans. England have usually gone to Argentina, but the wisdom/viability of doing that with a team missing some top players may start to be called into question as Argentina will now be at full strength.

Teams also seem to have stopped touring in World Cup years. Woodward did it in 2003, and Ashton went to South Africa in 2007, albeit missing a whole host of players. Since then, it's been warm-up matches at home.

If that stays the same, then we'd end up with only one summer tour against major opposition every four years.


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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 7:34 am

Pot Hale wrote:In April/May, finishing mid May.  Get leagues either finished or to play off stage.  Four of the unionsclubs want to get league games finished - and ideally euro comp well.  Club, euro and then test would be the logical ascension in comps and levels.  

I suspect the July gap year following RWC is going to get filled by the clubs with a big-boys global club comp of some sort.  

You have already pointed out why your first point would not happen - there would be much less money available if the 6Ns was moved to April/May as much more competition for TV companies and advertisers.

As to the second point I doubt it, as the clubs still need to give their players the mandated rest between ending the season (Now in late June according top this release) and pre-season starting.



Have to say I hate the thought of the NH ruby season not starting until October, and I wonder if this new late start/finish will apply all the way down the Rugby chain to the smallest clubs/schools/colleges.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 8:21 am

Some interesting changes if they come off and I'd view them as a positive. You can see why NZ are speaking out on finances if summer tours are being cancelled so I expect we'll see some developments on that point.

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Post by Recwatcher16 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 8:33 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Cutting summer tours after the World Cup is a big move.

On the current schedule, the following year is always the Lions slot, so the home nations generally don't have major touring plans. England have usually gone to Argentina, but the wisdom/viability of doing that with a team missing some top players may start to be called into question as Argentina will now be at full strength.

Teams also seem to have stopped touring in World Cup years. Woodward did it in 2003, and Ashton went to South Africa in 2007, albeit missing a whole host of players. Since then, it's been warm-up matches at home.

If that stays the same, then we'd end up with only one summer tour against major opposition every four years.


That final observation from Rugby fan has significant financial implications for Unions and SH in particular. The north can still schedule these home based friendlies before RWCs. The SH only just finish their Championship comp before RWCs and miss out on another round of games.

Presumably there will be further financial details slipped out in the press.....

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:27 am

So the axing of summer tours! I presume that's the Southern Hems November tests as well as the Northern Hems June/July tests?
As stated above, why would the unions agree to this as the loss of revenue would quite a lot - For the RFU that would be 3-4 sell out Twickenham fixtures lost in November.

How does cancelling tours allow developing nations more tests against tier 1 nations.
And with the best of intentions - an England v Georgia or England v Romania wont sell out HQ.

I am pleased to see the Lions and 6N schedule unchanged though. And glad that player welfare is at the top of the agenda.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:29 am

So no change for the SH then ? Rolling Eyes

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:35 am

Autumn series unaffected? Are we going to be more under-cooked for that?

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:36 am

Recwatcher16 wrote:
Rugby Fan wrote:Cutting summer tours after the World Cup is a big move.

On the current schedule, the following year is always the Lions slot, so the home nations generally don't have major touring plans. England have usually gone to Argentina, but the wisdom/viability of doing that with a team missing some top players may start to be called into question as Argentina will now be at full strength.

Teams also seem to have stopped touring in World Cup years. Woodward did it in 2003, and Ashton went to South Africa in 2007, albeit missing a whole host of players. Since then, it's been warm-up matches at home.

If that stays the same, then we'd end up with only one summer tour against major opposition every four years.


That final observation from Rugby fan has significant financial  implications for Unions and SH in particular. The north can still schedule these home based friendlies before RWCs. The SH only just finish their Championship comp before RWCs and miss out on another round of games.

Presumably there will be further financial details slipped out in the press.....

Don't forget that the top ten unions argued for and got compensation from WR for missing out on tests in RWC year. The SH unions got around £7m each I think, the NH unions about half that.
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Post by fa0019 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:38 am

Rugby Fan wrote:Cutting summer tours after the World Cup is a big move.

On the current schedule, the following year is always the Lions slot, so the home nations generally don't have major touring plans. England have usually gone to Argentina, but the wisdom/viability of doing that with a team missing some top players may start to be called into question as Argentina will now be at full strength.

Teams also seem to have stopped touring in World Cup years. Woodward did it in 2003, and Ashton went to South Africa in 2007, albeit missing a whole host of players. Since then, it's been warm-up matches at home.

If that stays the same, then we'd end up with only one summer tour against major opposition every four years.


I think the issue is that its a very long season.

A world cup year for those in the north starts in what September and runs until June. They have 1 month off and then from August they're back into test match rugby mode. Teams probably won't risk high calibre players and in that circumstance they will be cricket scores for the SH as they face weak 6N sides.

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:41 am

I read it as 'Summer tour' - That's the June/July tests for Northern Hem and the Nov tests for Southern boys.

If you cut one you cant leave the other!
But as mentioned above, the Nov tours for NZ,OZ are their paydays and really prop up the unions revenues - there would need to be a viable alternative.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 9:57 am

LondonTiger wrote:Have to say I hate the thought of the NH ruby season not starting until October, and I wonder if this new late start/finish will apply all the way down the Rugby chain to the smallest clubs/schools/colleges.

I think don't think it would cause major issues for the lower clubs, under 18's rugby doesn't start competitive fixtures until October anyway as the clubs don't start until schools go back in September, might impact on the adult game but I think most clubs will still start pre-season in August and playing warm ups in September as usual. Problem might be for junior rugby is that extending the season to June will impact on player availability in the middle of school exams.

The Championship might benefit if they keep to a September start, firstly they'll be the only rugby available for TV broadcast, secondly a month's head start gives the promoted club more of a window to get themselves sorted.

Main drawback is that waiting until October for the season to start means that the November tests are going to seriously disrupt the momentum of the leagues.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 10:00 am

propdavid_london wrote:So the axing of summer tours! I presume that's the Southern Hems November tests as well as the Northern Hems June/July tests?
As stated above, why would the unions agree to this as the loss of revenue would quite a lot - For the RFU that would be 3-4 sell out Twickenham fixtures lost in November.  

How does cancelling tours allow developing nations more tests against tier 1 nations.  
And with the best of intentions - an England v Georgia or England v Romania wont sell out HQ.  

I am pleased to see the Lions and 6N schedule unchanged though.  And glad that player welfare is at the top of the agenda.  

Summer tours phrase is misleading. They mean the "mid-year internationals". The "end year internationals" are unchanged.

The SANZAAR lose out on the June tests as revenue earners in the mid-year following a RWC. The NH unions have their long season inc RWC reduced from 16/17 tests to 13/14 depending on progress in RWC.

SANZAAR are able to run Super Rugby without interruption from Feb to June. Then incoming tests, then Rugby Championship, then November tests.
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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 10:12 am

Of course....so the Nov tests are where the SANZAR nations make their money - that's protected.
And the Mid Year June/July tests are scrapped - Northern Hem teams will get little or no exposure to playing SANZAR nations on their turf.
Seems retrogradational for the Northern teams! We will see the divide in quality continue. Why would 'the collective' WE agree to that? The benefits seem to be a bit stacked in favour of the SANZAR group.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 11:44 am

So the Pro 12 and the Aviva are going to start later as well and the summer tours will start later with the domestic finals in June? I guess they are trying to get interest post football season for the finals when the only competition is the French Open and golf (I am making assumptions on golf. Seriously, who watches golf? Even baseball is more interesting to watch than golf)


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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 11:47 am

Hazel - Summer tours are scrapped.

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Post by emack2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 11:50 am

Home unions get all the revenue from Nov tests[less SH sides expenses]plus
home advantage.
From that NH get everything they want SH none so how is it advantageous to the SH?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 11:51 am

Only after world cup years.

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Post by doctor_grey on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:00 pm

Lots of points:
Start pro season in October: I like September because it is something to fight the end of summer blues.
Start of club and schools seasons: As I get older I am getting soft. Don't love playing in the 4 degree C rainy matches as much as I used to.
Move Six Nations: well said earlier about a bridge between the crap weather of Feb. and the slightly less crap weather of Match. As a fan, there is something about watching Rugby is real spring not dressed with lots of layers. Not big for me.
Nothing about rationalizing the club season up here? The back and forth of league then Europe I never liked (I know some do).
Reducing the total amount of matches: good.
Commonalising the SH and NH seasons: no need as long as the international seasons are clear.
Is this only one International season/window (excluding the 6 Nations)? If so, it makes sense matches back and forth in the same window.

What else?

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Post by propdavid_london on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:13 pm

emack2 - I am sure that I read somewhere that the SANZAR nations got a share of the revenues from the games as well as expenses and that their grand slam tours were incredibly lucrative compared to home based fixtures. Do SANZAR nations pay the tour expenses of Northern Hem teams when they tour south?

7 1/2 - If that's right and its only in relation to the year immediately after a WC then I don't really have as much of an issue with these changes. My interpretation was that post Japan WC these changes were permanent.

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Post by emack2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:30 pm

As far as I know travelling expenses plus accomadation ONLY host nations
getting all the revenue vice versa for June tests.
Hence the bleating when NZ said they would go it alone post2019.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:34 pm

Touring teams don't have the expenses of stadium costs (building and upkeep) though emack. There will surely be more detail on how new finances work though.

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Post by emack2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:46 pm

THAT is true of ALL countries isn`t it?
Hamilton was sold out Arg v NZ,nearly empty Suncorp SA v AUS
NZ revenues reinvested for grassroots up RFU pays for Twickenham for example.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 12:50 pm

Yes it is, and the larger discussion or agreement on finances has yet to be released by WR or any of the parties. I suspect that there will have to be some thought on that particularly if a set of summer tours is being closed off (or indeed if they're all off if propdavid is right in his reading of the situation). I doubt that will be a straight 50 50 split though as it does ignore the fact that NZ have not provided money to Argentina for the cost of building stadiums, grass, upkeep, electricity, staffing etc. I don't envy the negotiators.

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Post by The Great Aukster on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 2:01 pm

Very disappointing and predictable calendar from WR.

These changes look to be funded by the NH Unions to avoid reducing the revenue to the SH Unions and to minimise any affect on NH clubs. The very least that the NH Unions could demand in return was that their golden goose - the 6N not be killed.

Cancelling a three game summer tour after the RWC the previous year is supposedly chasing a crock of gold called 'player welfare' (despite the usual retirements and rebuilding), yet continuing to squeeze in a 10-game Lions tour is fine after a long season including AIs and 6N? Could that 'crock' actually be more to do with the hordes of cash rich Lion's fans who take their money on tour but don't travel to the common or garden summer tours of their own Test sides, and the locals have to spend to fill their own stadia?

It will be interesting to see how fewer international games equate to growing the game? That will surely only serve to encourage the elite sides to keep playing each other and divvy up the proceeds.

So basically the NH Unions (under pressure from their clubs regarding player release) cancel some games and the games that are left will be used to compensate their SH opponents. Perhaps World Rugby should consider a further change to their name and dispense with the word 'rugby' for the word 'money'?

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 2:35 pm

"Summer tours" is BBC language for June tests only.

It has nothing to do with November tours.

June tours make money for SANZAAR; and November tours make money for 6N.

Scrapping one of the June tours from the schedule (post-RWC) means less revenue for SANZAAR. And there is also a proposal that the Lions unions want a share of Lions revenues in the future.

All of that points to SANZAAR rightly seeking a share of November test revenues - inside or outside test windows.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 3:47 pm

In terms of "player welfare" which is supposedly driving this - are there measures in place to stop the clubs playing in post RWC the summer when there are no tests ? There's no payer welfare if instead there's some sort of club competition or tour taking place instead ? E.G. As happens in the Premier League when there's no World Cup/Euros.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 4:30 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:In terms of "player welfare" which is supposedly driving this - are there measures in place to stop the clubs playing in post RWC the summer when there are no tests ? There's no payer welfare if instead there's some sort of club competition or tour taking place instead ? E.G. As happens in the Premier League when there's no World Cup/Euros.

It's all headline stuff at the moment. But as I said earlier, if a gap appears in the test schedule, you can bet that PRL and LNR will be in like Flynn to drive a global club comp.
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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 4:40 pm

propdavid_london wrote:Hazel - Summer tours are scrapped.

Looking at the BBC that is only after the WC from what I can tell. Hence the late finish in June. July is a dead month in the Northern Hemisphere (except for cricket and rugby league) so allowing internationals in that window may make sense. Also allows a lead in to the rugby championship if they bring that more into August. Starts to make a little sense.

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Post by LondonTiger on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 5:12 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:Have to say I hate the thought of the NH ruby season not starting until October, and I wonder if this new late start/finish will apply all the way down the Rugby chain to the smallest clubs/schools/colleges.

I think don't think it would cause major issues for the lower clubs, under 18's rugby doesn't start competitive fixtures until October anyway as the clubs don't start until schools go back in September, might impact on the adult game but I think most clubs will still start pre-season in August and playing warm ups in September as usual. Problem might be for junior rugby is that extending the season to June will impact on player availability in the middle of school exams.

Many Schools only play rugby in the first term of the year, so a late start would cause issues. For Schhols that play after Christmas, I doubt they would be playing after the Easter holidays.

For amateur rugby the RFU still stipulates a season that runs from 1st September to 30th April - and it is only during this period that insurance cover is in place. I suspect that this will continue for all levels below the Championship, no matter what happens to the pro game.

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Post by Guest on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 6:35 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:In terms of "player welfare" which is supposedly driving this - are there measures in place to stop the clubs playing in post RWC the summer when there are no tests ? There's no payer welfare if instead there's some sort of club competition or tour taking place instead ? E.G. As happens in the Premier League when there's no World Cup/Euros.

I've been reading that some sort of rugby club world cup is a consideration, but think it's probably McCafferty that's pushing it. Hopefully nothing comes of it because it makes absolutely no sense with regards player welfare - a supposed reason for pushing the 6N's back a month.

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Post by robbo277 on Wed 14 Sep 2016, 6:47 pm

I still like the Southern Hemisphere model and I'd be very happy if Tier One England players were made available for 14-16 Continental games followed by 11/12 tests and 0 domestic games - which would run in line with the tests.

International players are going to play a 3 test series in July, rest August, preseason in September, play club in October and go back to international in November. It doesn't make sense, when you could put the Six Nations in that summer slot, pull forward the autumn games and rest for the winter.

All the stuff about the Six Nations being something to look forward to in Feb, we'd have the European rugby season starting up so you still have something to brighten up your miserable lives.

It also means the RWC would cause no disruption as you could play it in September/October and have August for warm ups and July for training camps. Wouldn't add to the test burden, wouldn't stretch outside the window and wouldn't move any club games.

I think that would be best for player welfare. 30 is the magic number imo, you don't want players to be playing more than that number. Well there are 28 regular season club games and 33 with playoffs, with 11 international weekends that only partially overlap. If we're serious about player welfare, I think top players have to reduce their club commitments.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 12:50 am

So it would appear that BBC may have had a bit of a premature 'outburst' in its report of agreement being reached.

Not everything is settled just yet - particularly amongst the Six Nations unions, and the privately-held clubs.

French club owners and FFR have been discussing changing the Top 14 to a 32 team competition and moving to a conference structure, similar to what PRO12 are considering.  This apparently would shave 7 weeks off their current season, and bring them broadly in line with a start October and finish in June club season.

Bill Beaumont has been pushing for moving the Six Nations forward by three weeks so that most test games would benefit from moving to Summer Time - most NH parties seem to be open to this proposal.

There are misgivings about a proposed NH season that would start in October and less than four weeks later, players would head into test matches.    Whilst some of the Six Nations unions are loath to move the November internationals, there is a proposal to shift all tours to July and August, and allow the club season to play through November, and potentially a short winter break could occur.  

With the proposed scrapping of mid-year tests after a RWC, SANZAAR will lose out on much needed revenue and there is still strong discussion from SANZAAR about revenue sharing from all tests to compensate for this reduction in their home tests.    In turn, this will present problems for the smaller unions in Ireland,Italy, Wales and Scotland, who depend heavily on test income to run the game in their countries, similar to Australia and New Zealand.   This would see sharing of revenue from Lions tours come into the equation.

If both PRO12 and Top 14 leagues were to move to shorter duration league competitions, this would give them a run of 22 weeks between start of October and end of February.   The Premiership, if it stays at 12 teams, could also fit into this slot.   (Alternatively, would this allow the possibility of a conference-style model being adopted to create a British/Irish/Italian league of 24-28 teams if some Championship teams were included?)

And what of the European Champions and Challenge Cups?  Already there are noises about changes being made to the less than hoped for successor to the Heineken Cup, and potentially make it shorter in duration.   In addition, should it be pushed to be played as a single block after the Six Nations with finals occurring in May/June, or would England and France in particular want to have the season end wth domestic leagues, and have the European competitions run as a block in Jan/Feb?

And, of course, the old chestnut of who is better at club level NH v SH is likely to be part of the picture, with eyes being cast on the vacant July spot after a RWC.

Lots of discussion, fun and consternation still to be had before the year is out.
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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 2:52 am

Hazel Sapling wrote:...July is a dead month in the Northern Hemisphere (except for cricket and rugby league)...
You also have Wimbledon and, on the current schedule, the year following a rugby World Cup is a Football European Championship year and an Olympic year.

The Euros usually start in June and finish in July (2016 ran from 10th June to 10th July). The 2020 Tokyo Olympics kicks off on the 24th July. Dates vary, but Barcelona, Atlanta and London all started in July. Atlanta was as early as July 19th.

Then you have the Tour de France all through July. TV audiences aren't that big in the UK but they have been growing. There's certainly more media coverage overall.

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Post by Not grey and not a ghost on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 4:01 am

It's going to be interesting. I heard media reports this morning that it's a consultation document (i.e. you have to start with something) and there are issues to be resolved. I think in the proposed format you'll see a reduction in the number of tests southern hemisphere nations play in Europe in November. I suspect that SANZAAR nations will end up playing 2 games against 6 nations teams in November. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of games by SANZAAR teams against teams in Scotland and Italy become almost non existent.

It looks like significant reduction in revenue to SANZAAR nations and pretty undermines any need to play in Britain as much as they currently do. They are already take a bigger hit due to the timing of the world cup (a shortened rugby championship and provincial competitions (Currie cup, ITM Cup etc), added to that the are now restricted to as little as 3 quality home games against 6 nations teams in a 4 year cycle (e.g. if you miss out on a Lions or French tour in mid world cup cycle). A non release period following a world cup pretty much excludes games against second tier nations at this time.

It's not necessarily a bad thing as all nations will have to play the likes of USA, Canada, Georgia, Romania, The Pacific Islands and Japan. However I suspect that economic necessity will drive SANZAAR into games against the wealthier 2nd tier nations when possible.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 1:18 pm

Not grey and not a ghost wrote:It's going to be interesting. I heard media reports this morning that it's a consultation document (i.e. you have to start with something) and there are issues to be resolved. I think in the proposed format you'll see a reduction in the number of tests southern hemisphere nations play in Europe in November. I suspect that SANZAAR nations will end up playing 2 games against 6 nations teams in November. I wouldn't be surprised if the number of games by SANZAAR teams against teams in Scotland and Italy become almost non existent.

It looks like significant reduction in revenue to SANZAAR nations and pretty undermines any need to play in Britain as much as they currently do. They are already take a bigger hit due to the timing of the world cup (a shortened rugby championship and provincial competitions (Currie cup, ITM Cup etc), added to that the are now restricted to as little as 3 quality home games against 6 nations teams in a 4 year cycle (e.g. if you miss out on a Lions or French tour in mid world cup cycle). A non release period following a world cup pretty much excludes games against second tier nations at this time.

It's not necessarily a bad thing as all nations will have to play the likes of USA, Canada, Georgia, Romania, The Pacific Islands and Japan. However I suspect that economic necessity will drive SANZAAR into games against the wealthier 2nd tier nations when possible.

Some details you may not have been aware of.

SANZAAR nations got additional revenue from World Rugby to top up any shortfalls from lost test revenue for RWC years e.g. NZ got £7.5m for last RWC.

The proposal is for mid-year tests between Tier 1 nations after a RWC be scrapped.  Thus, this would not prevent tests against Tier 2 nations such as USA, Canada, Japan, PI teams, etc.  

France and Italy and other teams are available to tour during Lions series e.g. in 2013, there was France v NZ, Argentina v England, and South Africa quad tournament featuring Samoa, Scotland and Italy.

SANZAAR don't want to play in November - they want these tours to be shifted to July/August so that they're back-to-back when they occur. A Lions tour would also occur in July/August.  And in a RWC year, with no tours occurring, they would be able to run a full RC in July/August, rather than the current shortened format.

They're not dumb, you know.

PS - when you say "pretty undermines any need to play in Britain as much as they currently do" - do you mean just Britain, or are you including the other three nations - France, Italy and Ireland - as well?
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Post by Rugby Fan on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 4:25 pm

Since all these ideas are preliminary proposals, It would be interesting to know what the New Zealand Rugby Union is proposing. So far, I've only heard a suggestion that the NZRU share overseas revenues. To understand their real priorities, we need to see their preferred calendar.

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Post by Pot Hale on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 7:20 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Since all these ideas are preliminary proposals, It would be interesting to know what the New Zealand Rugby Union is proposing. So far, I've only heard a suggestion that the NZRU share overseas revenues. To understand their real priorities, we need to see their preferred calendar.

It's SANZAAR's proposals, not NZRU. They want mid-year visiting tests shifted to July to allow super rugby run uninterrupted. Hence the need for NH to shift to an Oct-June season. This suits PRL/LNR as the 6N would impact less on the business end of the season and move more league matches into better weather, firmer pitches.

Equally, 6N unions want tests in RWC year reduced, hence they want no mid-year tests after RWC. Hence, SANZAAR will have visiting test income reduced so they're proposing revenue sharing scheme on touring test revenue - this would include Lions tours. SANZAAR also suggest moving November tests to July/Aug period.

Beaumont/Pichot suggest that Six Nations move its start date to end Feb to have most matches in Summer Time. General agreement on this apparently. If November tests are also moved, this would give a single uninterrupted block of 22 weeks from new start of season in Oct.

Some 6N unions want to reduce overall duration of European Comps from their current 9 weeks.
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Post by Sin é on Thu 15 Sep 2016, 10:19 pm

I don't think Beaumont / Pichot have suggested that the Six Nations move. Beaumont (who is leading the negotiations) said it could move.

John Feehan of 6Ns says its not moving.
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Post by Pot Hale on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 1:49 am

Sin é wrote:I don't think Beaumont / Pichot have suggested that the Six Nations move. Beaumont (who is leading the negotiations) said it could move.

John Feehan of 6Ns says its not moving.

Hmmm...certainly sounds like it to me, and Sky Sports, and the English RPA, and the London Times, daily Mail, Irish Times, etc, etc

http://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/10278656/six-nations-may-move-to-april-under-proposal-from-bill-beaumont

http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/36282273

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-may-have-to-switch-the-six-nations-to-april-warns-beaumont-p22dtz0t0

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Post by Exiledinborders on Fri 16 Sep 2016, 5:23 pm

robbo277 wrote:I think that would be best for player welfare. 30 is the magic number imo, you don't want players to be playing more than that number. Well there are 28 regular season club games and 33 with playoffs, with 11 international weekends that only partially overlap. If we're serious about player welfare, I think top players have to reduce their club commitments.
Or we go back to playing less internationals and they become special occasions again.


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Post by robbo277 on Mon 19 Sep 2016, 9:30 am

Exiledinborders wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I think that would be best for player welfare. 30 is the magic number imo, you don't want players to be playing more than that number. Well there are 28 regular season club games and 33 with playoffs, with 11 international weekends that only partially overlap. If we're serious about player welfare, I think top players have to reduce their club commitments.
Or we go back to playing less internationals and they become special occasions again.


The international game funds the unions and the grass roots of the game. Clubs and countries both rely on this for their future stock of players. Cut the quantity of international games, you will cut the quality of English player in the long-run.

Plus, it's not like International teams are struggling to fill grounds with clubs clocking bigger attendances (as we see in cricket with club T20s selling out and test attendances dropping).

The club game is bloated, it's trying to follow the football model but the physical demands are hugely different. The club season would be fine if there were no internationals, but it's too much if you have both.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 20 Sep 2016, 12:17 pm

robbo277 wrote:
Exiledinborders wrote:
robbo277 wrote:I think that would be best for player welfare. 30 is the magic number imo, you don't want players to be playing more than that number. Well there are 28 regular season club games and 33 with playoffs, with 11 international weekends that only partially overlap. If we're serious about player welfare, I think top players have to reduce their club commitments.
Or we go back to playing less internationals and they become special occasions again.


The international game funds the unions and the grass roots of the game. Clubs and countries both rely on this for their future stock of players. Cut the quantity of international games, you will cut the quality of English player in the long-run.

Plus, it's not like International teams are struggling to fill grounds with clubs clocking bigger attendances (as we see in cricket with club T20s selling out and test attendances dropping).

The club game is bloated, it's trying to follow the football model but the physical demands are hugely different. The club season would be fine if there were no internationals, but it's too much if you have both.

It's not like international teams are struggling to fill grounds???

Eh, they are struggling. Look at attendances in the Rugby Championship this year. And compare them over the past 5-6 years.
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Post by Sin é on Wed 21 Sep 2016, 11:26 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Sin é wrote:I don't think Beaumont / Pichot have suggested that the Six Nations move. Beaumont (who is leading the negotiations) said it could move.

John Feehan of 6Ns says its not moving.

Hmmm...certainly sounds like it to me, and Sky Sports, and the English RPA, and the London Times, daily Mail, Irish Times, etc, etc

http://www.skysports.com/rugby-union/news/12321/10278656/six-nations-may-move-to-april-under-proposal-from-bill-beaumont

http://www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/36282273

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/we-may-have-to-switch-the-six-nations-to-april-warns-beaumont-p22dtz0t0


This is what Beaumont actually said and this of course was having been nominated by NZ & Argentina to be chair of world rugby!

Bill Beaumont wrote:
"You have got to be prepared to look at it [moving by a month]. That could well be a solution. Everybody has to take a look at it. I know John will probably be quite reluctant to do so. It's a question of compromise."

Gareth Davies said: “Just moving three or four weeks is not going to help the northern hemisphere with player welfare, for example… So it is a bigger question than just the Six Nations. That is being looked at, at the moment.”

I think there are a few newspapers putting 2+2 together and getting 5.
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