England Home Match Locations

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 2:04 pm

Curiosity from another discussion about split of revenue that NZ are after, are England tied to playing at Twickenham through debenture or debt levels?

For a large country with large stadiums available in several cities, why do England perpetually (unlike the SH nations) play games at Twickenham? I understand 6 nations and the big 3 SH teams but why not the Fiji, Samoa and Georgia's of the world not get taken to, for example, Welford Road, Ashton Gate or Sandy Park where they would sell out in a fresh corner of the country?

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Post by Poorfour on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 3:10 pm

England play at Twickenham because the RFU owns Twickenham.

If they played anywhere else, they'd have to hire that stadium and Twickenham itself would be standing empty... so it only makes (financial) sense to play elsewhere during a home tournament.

Twickenham is also the second largest sports stadium in England, and the RFU sell it out 6-7 times per year for international games. Selling out Sandy Park is a drop in the ocean in comparison
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Post by SecretFly on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 3:34 pm

Kinda legitimises Hazel's point though.
If the RFU own Twickenham, and it's big and they can hire it out 6-7 times a year, then you'd assume they have income streams sufficient to take a game or two away from Twickenham each year, bring Internationals to other areas and still not 'lose out' too much in potential yearly profits?

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Post by BamBam on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 3:41 pm

I guess the argument is whether Twickenham sells out for games against Fiji etc all.. and as far as I can remember it pretty much does

Taking the game to any of the mentioned stadiums means 50k less fans can attend the game, losing all revenue they contribute

If Twickenham was 30% empty for games against smaller teams there'd be much more of an argument to say the games should be taken elsewhere

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Post by Welly on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 4:00 pm

England a Large country????

Have I missed something?

Unlike the day NZ, SA, Aus or France you can get to one end of the country to the other without needing to stay the night.

Hence why playing in London isn't much of a issue.

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 4:27 pm

Was looking at population more so than distance. Clearly Aus and SA are far bigger.

It is less of a problem in comparison to others. There are other benefits. Spreading the game is talked about a lot and there have been few inroads in the north. Also Bristol, Exeter and the Cornish Pirates are doing good work in the SW. It seemed to be a natural progression for England vs a Tier 2 nation at an out ground once a season. If they wanted a tune up leading into the summer tours again like what they did with Wales would be a good example.

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Post by Cyril on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 4:55 pm

When England played Fiji in the 2012 AIs the attendance was 82,000 ie full. Same story against Samoa in 2014. I'm sure this is true of other recent games against Tier 2 nations at HQ. Pre-WC warm-ups and even that silly pre-Summer Tour game against Wales sell out.

I'm not sure that moving to a smaller (club) ground where less than a quarter of the fans can attend would 'spread the game'.

In purely professional terms you want your players to get used to a stadium, pitch and atmosphere so they feel comfortable in that environment. That's why you often hear of a wish to make (insert stadium) a fortress. HQ is special because it represents England rugby.

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 04 Oct 2016, 5:37 pm

The benefits of playing out in the wider community need to be weighed up against the money it would cost to do so. Also you can be pretty sure that the monies put into elite rugby would not be affected, but rather the sums diverted to grass roots rugby. So everything gained in exposure to different people could be immediately lost.


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Post by yappysnap on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 9:20 am

I guess the easiest way to build exposure would be mid week games with the Saxons/EPS squad players playing Tier 2 nations.

That way we're not losing money, but other parts get to see an England team at least

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Post by Cyril on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 10:25 am

yappysnap wrote:I guess the easiest way to build exposure would be mid week games with the Saxons/EPS squad players playing Tier 2 nations.

That way we're not losing money, but other parts get to see an England team at least
Agreed. It would be nice to see the Saxons get more games rather than just one a year against the Wolfhounds (plus the odd tour to the SH).

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Post by BamBam on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 10:39 am

Yeah its a shame that the other 6N sides don't put out A sides anymore

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Post by Hazel Sapling on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 11:50 am

Scotland A have played several times over the past few years. It is the Welsh and the French that don't do it. Could run the reverse of locations in the 6 nations (i.e. if Scotland have 2 home matches, Scotland A have 3). Add in the rule you can't play at the nominated national stadium to force home nations to move games around.

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Post by TrailApe on Wed 05 Oct 2016, 12:06 pm

why do England perpetually (unlike the SH nations) play games at Twickenham

Probably exactly the same reason that Wales, Ireland and Scotland play the majority of their home games in their own stadium.

England have played their home games outside Twickenham, its just not a common occurrence.

For us 'provincials' we used to get to see the Saxons (an abomination of a name) but as already mentioned they don't get the opportunity to play that much just lately.
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