The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

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The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 09 Jan 2017, 4:28 pm

First topic message reminder :

I stepped out and she stepped in again
I stepped out and she stepped in again
learning to dance for Lanigan's Ball


In thinking about recent goings-on at union level within the PRO12, I was reminded of the lyrics of this old song as unions, corporate interests, private investors, Welsh benefactors, and sundry money-makers make their various moves on the PRO12 dance floor.  Scotland and Ireland seem to be bashfully eyeing up the investor lads on one side of the hall, fluttering their eyelashes, whilst on the other side, the Welsh bennys (as they're affectionately known Wink ) are making tapes and throwing shapes, whilst secretly hoping eagerly that they might get a chance to sign the WRU's card for a dance or two.  Meanwhile, the Italians dither in the middle wondering where they should be but won't tell anyone that they don't know even the music.  

But for now the band has taken a break whilst the visiting Europeans and Anglo heavies make their way onto the floor to start their version of French/Anglo hopscotch involving a number of bulky partners, foreign tap dancers, celtic coaches, and comic millionaires.

It's a good a time as any for a quick cuppa and a chance to talk about where the PRO12 is going with all the plans for expansion to US and Europe suddenly gone quiet, some league quality improvements, big weekend derbies, more neutral officials, and what else is on the horizon for upcoming changes within the PRO12.

The looming spectre of dwindling money and funding ever more expensive teams for the future seems to be the next big issue and where that is all going to come from.   Hopes of improved TV deals, better sponsors and business supporters of the league remain a distant aspiration - although the recent appointment of a commercial director to work alongside Martin Anayi on securing the best deals possible seems to be a step in the right direction.  Some are holding their whisth on that one.

Ownership and financing of the teams themselves is the most urgent and vexing issue facing the four unions operating in the PRO12.  Over the last number of months, the SRU have been making a lot of noise and some news headlines with their plans to bring in private investment to its two Scottish clubs to help meet some of the ongoing costs involved.   The SRU says it can't continue to finance the two teams at current levels of revenue and costs, and they need to bring in private investors/business to meet a substantial portion of the costs in return for a stake in one or both of the two clubs.  How much that stake would be is not clear as the SRU would want to keep their hand in the two clubs responsible for generating its line of test players, but whether that would be a 51% stake or less remains to be seen.   A voting process in late 2016 saw members give the green light to the Scottish Union to pursue this path of identifying and securing potential investment but only time will tell if it will draw in any worthwhile investors.

Italian rugby seems to lurch from one crisis to the next with the FIR having to bail out both Treviso and Zebre in recent times with substantial commitments of money.  After the last crisis, which saw a number of players leave the two clubs, it is Treviso who have fared better with the backing of Bennetton, and it is Zebre who are staring down the barrel of closure at season end once again.  A new franchise, based in Rome, is being rumoured to be on the cards with the FIR willing to put financial support into its development.   For many within the PRO12, and without, the Italian project seems to be a wasted exercise and just amounts to weekly humiliation as opposition teams pile up the points, regularly taking home try bonus points in their victories. For others, the Italian involvement is a long game and one that has to be persevered with.    Yet, the FIR is still not a shareholder in Celtic Rugby, the company which manages the PRO12 - the latest filings with the Companies Registration Office in Dublin shows that the three Celtic unions remain the founding shareholders, and critically, the beneficiaries of any financial dealing that flow through it - particularly in relation to TV broadcasting deals such as Sky Sports.  This current season, it took until Round 6 before an Italian broadcaster could be secured for covering the home matches of Treviso and Zebre, and with crowds often hovering around 1,500-2,000, this didn't raise many eyebrows.  for the foreseeable future, Italian rugby will stay within the PRO12, and the FIR will continue to be a major stakeholder/financier in the teams.

Irish rugby has been dabbling with business support for a number of years now with the provincial teams drawing in sponsorships, player salary top-ups, and increasing financial support for the various provinces through different types of schemes devised by the individual branches.   Jamie Heaslip recently re-signed with Leinster on what's likely to be his final playing contract before retirement (at age 37).  One of Ireland’s most consistent and durable players, he’s also been one of the most consistently highest paid through his IRFU central contract, and a salary top-up through his Leinster club with a business sponsorship deal with Bank of Ireland.  

But these adhoc business supports and extended sponsorships/player promotions and brand ambassadors do not fill the coffers of the branches sufficiently to grow and expand, it's sufficient only to pay the salaries of 2-3 players to keep them in place against ever higher competing offers from the TV-deal-enriched clubs in England and France.  As the IRFU pointed at the launch of its annual report last June, the IRFU cannot continue to be "the bank of last resort" for the provinces - following a €1 million plus bailout of Munster, and a €250k additional budget for each province to help them compete on player salaries.   A number of the provinces have sought quietly to persuade the IRFU to consider opening up the provinces’ branch company structures to allow private investors to take a stake in each of the provinces in return for continued investment over a period of time.  Until the last year, those overtures have been largely rebuffed with the occasional odd positive murmur about the need to keep control if such a development were to be envisaged.   It is rumoured that alongside the SRU’s current moves, the IRFU is also investigating how the branches’ structures could be altered to allow such investment in the future.  A variant of the NZRU model whereby they allowed private investors to take a stake in each of the five Super Rugby franchises is being considered, but the IRFU would want to maintain a controlling stake that gives them oversight and control in line with the current player management policy and protocols they have in place.  

As the IRFU have stated time and again, the revenues from the test game is what keeps the whole of Irish rugby afloat - interfering with or disabling that in some way is not something they would countenance.  Equally, the union recognises that costs will continue to rise in the PRO12 and wider club game with player salaries being biggest driver.   Their investment policy has switched from paying out large salaries to high-profile capped foreign players to investing in the domestic pathway development (€10m over the last 3 years) - with the emergence of some fine academy players across the provinces proving testament to this approach led by David Nucifora on behalf of the IRFU.

Nonetheless, the club game is getting bigger and more financially competitive so if a methodology can be developed to allow private investment takes its place at the table, it’s likely to happen over the next few years.  

But as two unions move across the dance floor looking for wealthy partners, the Welsh benefactors are being drawn (protestingly for some) from the other side by the WRU who have recently announced that they see the future of the Welsh game involving a marriage of both union and private investment funds.  As two unions prepare to step out, the Welsh union is preparing to step in again.   The Dragons region has been languishing in the shop window for the past year, gathering dust as various investor-type people amble up, take a poke and move off again without buying.   Martin Phillps was pushed recently in an interview to say that the WRU couldn't allow the region to fold, but he wasn't too specific in public as to what kind of support they might bring.  Equally, he was encouraged enough to say that increased union funding for the four regions seemed to be inevitable - but he didn't say what price they might extract for such investment.  Would the benefactors/shareholders be asked to move on, or move around the table to make more room for union faces to sit down?  

Whilst there are those who pine for a future whereby pure private investment and ownership rules the roost like their counterparts in England and France, the likelihood of that model being created and surviving does not seem to be on anyone's dance cards.   More likely, a marriage of convenience may be arrived at, wherein true love may never be expressed, but at least the two parties will be able to pay the mortgage together, and maybe afford a new extension or two in the near future to mix a few metaphors.

But for now, let the European hopscotch begin, and then the merry four-nation dance can begin again.

All together now:

Sixteen long years we spent in Dub-i-lin
Sixteen long years doin' nothing at all
Sixteen long years we spent in Dub-i-lin
Learning to dance at the PRO12 ball.

They stepped out, and they stepped in again......
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Sin é on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:35 pm

It wouldn't surprise me if the former Irish international was Woody. Fits in with Harlequins being interested as well in being part of the consortium. Ireland has good connections with the Rugby Canada as well - a recent President (and still on the board) is from Cork and played for Munster.

I don't think the logistics are that difficult, bearing in mind that it would mean possibly 1 trip across the Atlantic for the existing PRO12 teams if they managed that the teams remained there and played one after the other. They are used to travelling huge distances in the US, so I don't think they will have a problem with it.

If they were to break up into two conferences - I can see the Irish teams & US/Canadian teams being in the same conference with perhaps one of the Italian teams. The Welsh & Scots + 1 italian team.

Norwegian Airlines could sponsor it - they have just secured a low fare licence to fly Cork/US for about 70euro.




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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:39 pm

I haven't decided if I like the concept, or not. That's mainly because the cons outweigh the pros, for me, but then that's only theory inside my noggin.

What I find most interesting is that PRO12 are still pursuing the North American market. I thought the efforts to set up professional club rugby had died in the US, and that those struggling to set up a professional league were against setting up sides in the PRO12, anyway.

The criteria for any side to enter PRO12 might prove a huge obstacle for any US/Canadian venture, as will funding sides travelling to European destinations. Finding enough players to fill 40 man squads will be a big challenge, unless semi-professional, but then they wouldn't be close to being competitive, as well as being at higher risk of injury.

I can't see it happening without strong enough backing from US/Canadian broadcasters, and don't believe the PRO12 are wealthy enough to develop and support these fledgling sides.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:42 pm

carpet baboon wrote:It's very intresting and I quite like the concept of the two conference system, but I.just can't see it working logistically.


Logistically its nothing compared to super rugby. The Pro 12 has to expand if it wants to compete with the other leagues.


Last edited by profitius on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by carpet baboon on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:42 pm

I was more thinking the logistics of the USA / Canada team and fans. Do they play all the away games in one block ? Bit hard on the fans to spend a couple of month's in europe. Or the team to spend it all travelling. What training facilities will they use while over for extended periods?

I think it could work but would be counting on a lot of goodwill.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by carpet baboon on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:45 pm

profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:It's very intresting and I quite like the concept of the two conference system, but I.just can't see it working logistically.


Logistically its nothing compared to super rugby.

And what are the attendance figures for that?

Genuine question by the way I only occasionally watch the odd game of super rugby and the stadiums seem half empty

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:46 pm

One thing thats being overlooked though is how would it affect the ERCC?

Would the North Americans be allowed to enter a European competition?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by carpet baboon on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:53 pm

marty2086 wrote:One thing thats being overlooked though is how would it affect the ERCC?

Would the North Americans be allowed to enter a European competition?

Good point.

If the expansion could lead to 6 quality teams in North America I could see a viable trans Atlantic conference that could lead to a very entertaining "world club comp"

But it's a while off right now

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 5:57 pm

Munchkin, one way of supporting these new sides is to support the USA and Canadian unions. Playing Ireland, Wales, Italy and Scotland more regularly would generate a lot of money for them.


carpet baboon wrote:
profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:It's very intresting and I quite like the concept of the two conference system, but I.just can't see it working logistically.


Logistically its nothing compared to super rugby.

And what are the attendance figures for that?

Genuine question by the way I only occasionally watch the odd game of super rugby and the stadiums seem half empty


I'd say about 20,000 for super rugby but thats a guess.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 6:07 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
marty2086 wrote:One thing thats being overlooked though is how would it affect the ERCC?

Would the North Americans be allowed to enter a European competition?

Good point.

If the expansion could lead to 6 quality teams in North America I could see a viable trans Atlantic conference that could lead to a very entertaining "world club comp"

But it's a while off right now

Im thinking more short term, if they aren't in the ERCC then it makes it harder for them to sign players compared to the established teams. It's also a source of revenue that they would be denied and put them at another disadvantage.

Personally wouldnt have minded seeing Pro12 maybe spend a bit of money trying to acquire ProRugby to try and grow the game over the next few years and maybe create a feeder for the North American teams

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 6:14 pm

[quote="profitius"]Munchkin, one way of supporting these new sides is to support the USA and Canadian unions. Playing Ireland, Wales, Italy and Scotland more regularly would generate a lot of money for them.


carpet baboon wrote:
profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:It's very intresting and I quite like the concept of the two conference system, but I.just can't see it working logistically.


Logistically its nothing compared to super rugby.

And what are the attendance figures for that?

Genuine question by the way I only occasionally watch the odd game of super rugby and the stadiums seem half empty



So they would be Union owned teams?

I'm not sure playing the US/Canada more regularly would raise enough revenue for each to run a professional club side, although it would be a good incentive for each Union to support North American sides joining PRO12. It would certainly go some way to ease the financial burden.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Sun 19 Feb 2017, 11:01 pm

On the topic of home attendance, the latest round of fixtures with 3 or 4 home games to go in the season, shows the top three attendance teams and their stadium capacities are:

Team
Home Att
Games
Avg.
home cap
% cap
Leinster
134,746
8
 16,843 
18,200
 75 
Ulster
109,697
7
 15,671 
18,000
 87 
Munster
86,380
7
 12,340 
25,600
 48 
The Leinster figure is inflated by the annual derby against Munster in Lansdowne Road (40k approx), but it's what they hit every season so it's a regular part of their attendance figures.  The average attendance at RDS is 74% of capacity, and they got 78% for the Munster derby at Lansdowne.  Leinster are up about 2,000 on their average home attendance in the league, Ulster are up about 300 to date, and Munster are slightly down on their average this season, but their last four home games may give them an extra boost.

I've compiled more data on attendance for all the PRO 12 teams here, and will be adding in more in the next 24 hours or so.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 1:31 am

profitius wrote:Munchkin, one way of supporting these new sides is to support the USA and Canadian unions. Playing Ireland, Wales, Italy and Scotland more regularly would generate a lot of money for them.


carpet baboon wrote:
profitius wrote:
carpet baboon wrote:It's very intresting and I quite like the concept of the two conference system, but I.just can't see it working logistically.


Logistically its nothing compared to super rugby.

And what are the attendance figures for that?

Genuine question by the way I only occasionally watch the odd game of super rugby and the stadiums seem half empty


I'd say about 20,000 for super rugby but thats a guess.
Just picking up on your comment which I realise was an average guesstimate for the whole tournament.

Last season, across the 17 rounds of regular Super Rugby season, Australian Super Rugby home attendances averaged 14,494 in a range of 35 games with 8,027 lowest - 25319 highest.   3 or 4 games did not have attendances recorded.  Total 463,815 for the season.  By way of comparison, Irish provinces total last season for 44 home games was 529,987.  This season after 30 games, they've totalled 380,977 - up 56,000 on same time last season.  I would estimate they will hit 560,000 approx for this season, excluding playoffs, giving them an average of 12,700 per game.

The average attendance in South Africa fell steeply last season.  Up to the break for the June tours, SANZAAR would only provide stadium averages across the six stadia used in the tournament ranging from 6,914 to 26,992.  It's notable that many of the SA rugby matches don't have attendances recorded - 22 out of 45 are not recorded.   

A report in local SA media said that SARU reported 419,336 (down 145,000 from 2012) went through SA turnstiles up to June break in tournament after 36 games - that left 9 games remaining which likely averaged 10,000 max, putting SA total attendance at about 510k for the regular season of 45 home matches for the 6 SA Super Rugby teams.  That would be an average of only 11,333 per SA Super Rugby match - if figures are accurate that would be a shocking collapse and might explain why attendances are not being reported publicly.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:21 am

Where do the 18 fixtures come from in this new proposal? I'm confused.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:24 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:Where do the 18 fixtures come from in this new proposal? I'm confused.

Play everyone in your conference home and away and then play different teams from the other conference once every year

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:26 am

marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Where do the 18 fixtures come from in this new proposal? I'm confused.

Play everyone in your conference home and away and then play different teams from the other conference once every year

Who decides on those teams? That's all very arbitary isn't it? Hardly a level playing field if teams are playing different teams.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:29 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Where do the 18 fixtures come from in this new proposal? I'm confused.

Play everyone in your conference home and away and then play different teams from the other conference once every year

Who decides on those teams? That's all very arbitary isn't it? Hardly a level playing field if teams are playing different teams.

I've explained it in very basic terms, its the same way Super Rugby do it

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:34 am

marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Where do the 18 fixtures come from in this new proposal? I'm confused.

Play everyone in your conference home and away and then play different teams from the other conference once every year

Who decides on those teams? That's all very arbitary isn't it? Hardly a level playing field if teams are playing different teams.

I've explained it in very basic terms, its the same way Super Rugby do it

It's not the same as super rugby though is it. Because there are only 2 conferences. that means 1 team misses out.

Does that happen in super rugby

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:43 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:Where do the 18 fixtures come from in this new proposal? I'm confused.

Play everyone in your conference home and away and then play different teams from the other conference once every year

Who decides on those teams? That's all very arbitary isn't it? Hardly a level playing field if teams are playing different teams.

I've explained it in very basic terms, its the same way Super Rugby do it

It's not the same as super rugby though is it. Because there are only 2 conferences. that means 1 team misses out.

Does that happen in super rugby

Cant remember under the current setup, it takes a maths degree to figure it all out.

There are 2 groups, Australasian and African, which are further divided into conferences

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:47 am

marty2086 wrote:

Cant remember under the current setup, it takes a maths degree to figure it all out.

There are 2 groups, Australasian and African, which are further divided into conferences

So that suggests it's not going to be the same then doesn't it.

With the system described in the article, it seems to suggest that each team will play every single other team except 1. Which is a bit muddled.

Do all the teams in conference a face the same opposition in conference b? Or do they play different teams?

Who gets Glasgow in their group? Who gets Edinburgh?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:50 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
marty2086 wrote:

Cant remember under the current setup, it takes a maths degree to figure it all out.

There are 2 groups, Australasian and African, which are further divided into conferences

So that suggests it's not going to be the same then doesn't it.

With the system described in the article, it seems to suggest that each team will play every single other team except 1. Which is a bit muddled.

Do all the teams in conference a face the same opposition in conference b?  Or do they play different teams?

Who gets Glasgow in their group? Who gets Edinburgh?

Of course its not exactly the same but the idea and principle will be the same

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:51 am

Thanks for your help

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by geoff999rugby on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 10:54 am

http://cdn.greenandgoldrugby.com/804F73/gagr/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ave-attend-by-conference-600x332.png

Not up to date but gives you an idea re Super 15 crowds

From what I have read elsewhere crowds have declined since

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 11:14 am

geoff999rugby wrote:http://cdn.greenandgoldrugby.com/804F73/gagr/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ave-attend-by-conference-600x332.png

Not up to date but gives you an idea re Super 15 crowds

From what I have read elsewhere crowds have declined since

Hi Geoff.  I looked at that article yesterday.  2012 is indeed out of date.  Australian matches averaged 14,500 last season and it would appear that SA fell steeply to 11,300 average.  See my posts about 11 or 12 above this one.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Kingshu on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 11:51 am

I really don't like conferences, they create an inbalance that double round robin avoids.

Imagine it was Wales Italians and Canadian team in one conference, and Ireland, Scotland and US in another, getting to play the Italians twice compared to once is a huge advantage. One team facing Ulster at Ravenhill and another facing them at home is also imbalanced. But overall I think it will work out.

I believe that we do need to shake up the Pro 12 and the money north American team could add to the league as a whole is massive. I do think we have to try this or we will simply become like Scottish football. Its a risk, but one I feel we have to take.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 12:27 pm

Kingshu wrote:I really don't like conferences, they create an inbalance that double round robin avoids.

Imagine it was Wales Italians and Canadian team in one conference, and Ireland, Scotland and US in another, getting to play the Italians twice compared to once is a huge advantage. One team facing Ulster at Ravenhill and another facing them at home is also imbalanced. But overall I think it will work out.

I believe that we do need to shake up the Pro 12 and the money north American team could add to the league as a whole is massive. I do think we have to try this or we will simply become like Scottish football. Its a risk, but one I feel we have to take.


That's how I see it too. I've read a lot of comments about it and most have been negative but I see any expansion as an investment. It won't bring riches now but in 5 or 10 years time it definitely could.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 12:28 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:http://cdn.greenandgoldrugby.com/804F73/gagr/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/ave-attend-by-conference-600x332.png

Not up to date but gives you an idea re Super 15 crowds

From what I have read elsewhere crowds have declined since

Hi Geoff.  I looked at that article yesterday.  2012 is indeed out of date.  Australian matches averaged 14,500 last season and it would appear that SA fell steeply to 11,300 average.  See my posts about 11 or 12  above this one.

I'm surprised by those figures. They're much lower than I thought.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 12:56 pm

Given the Kiwis love of the game you'd think they'd be selling out some games but even against the other New Zealand franchises they struggle to break 20k

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Kingshu on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 12:56 pm

Will we start hearing noises about SA teams joining the Pro 12 again?
Its normally just a ploy to get a better deal with SANZAR, wouldn't be surprised if we did hear noises again, and nothing comes of it.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 1:02 pm

Kingshu wrote:Will we start hearing noises about SA teams joining the Pro 12 again?
Its normally just a ploy to get a better deal with SANZAR, wouldn't be surprised if we did hear noises again, and nothing comes of it.

The Germans are today's pop up pro12 rugby flavour.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Kingshu on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 2:47 pm

I've been keeping an eye on Germany for a few years, and they have been moving towards this, for quite some time.

There is the Wild Rugby Academy set up in 2007, the aim then was to have Germany in the 2015 world cup, as well as to establish a German team in the European Challenge Cup, it did fail in these and I haven't heard what its been up to in years.

The Germany league (Rugby-Bundesliga) split into 4 regions, North, South, East West. Which has changed to two now Northeast, Southwest. Which could pave the way for two representative teams.

it is interesting that the likes of Germany, and Georgia are wanting to enter the Pro 12.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 2:58 pm

Read this yesterday on Pundit Arena from a NZ born Polish international talking about the problems weather causes

There are ways around it, if you have enough funding. In the south-west of Germany is a university town called Heidelberg which has established itself as the centre of rugby in the emerging rugby nation. Because Heidelberg now has a decent rugby culture, they also have decent funding and sponsorship which has allowed them to build a full sized heated pitch, as well as a smaller pitch complete with a roof.

These new facilities have allowed the German national team to now train year round, something that I always took for granted growing up. The increased training is surely at least part of the reason for the recent success the German team has experienced after wins over Portugal and Romania.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 20 Feb 2017, 3:12 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Will we start hearing noises about SA teams joining the Pro 12 again?
Its normally just a ploy to get a better deal with SANZAR, wouldn't be surprised if we did hear noises again, and nothing comes of it.

The Germans are today's pop up pro12 rugby flavour.

I'm curious - you wouldn't be related to one of the following:

John Inverdale
Chunky Norwich
Sam Underhill
Eddie Jones?
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by demosthenes on Tue 21 Feb 2017, 9:10 pm

With all the comments about Pro12 expansion to North America, I thought this BBC article was interesting :

Toronto Wolfpack: Meet the first transatlantic sports team - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/39019432

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 9:23 am

demosthenes wrote:With all the comments about Pro12 expansion to North America, I thought this BBC article was interesting :

Toronto Wolfpack: Meet the first transatlantic sports team - http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-league/39019432

The tie in with the airline is great but is it sustainable?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 4:41 pm

Another article/blog about a possible PRO12/North American competition > GrowingInterest?

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by profitius on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 5:52 pm

Munchkin wrote:Another article/blog about a possible PRO12/North American competition > GrowingInterest?

The pro12 have been talking to different countries about entry for nearly a year now so its gathering momentum alright. Looks like different countries are working behind the scenes to make it happen.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Munchkin on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 9:09 pm

profitius wrote:
Munchkin wrote:Another article/blog about a possible PRO12/North American competition > GrowingInterest?

The pro12 have been talking to different countries about entry for nearly a year now so its gathering momentum alright. Looks like different countries are working behind the scenes to make it happen.

Logistically it would make more sense to bring in some European sides, but the US is were the money is.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Cyril on Wed 22 Feb 2017, 11:17 pm

I can see why the Pro12 is chasing money, but it's a bit harsh on Italy and their clubs. Mind you, their international side will be out of the 6 Nations (soon to back to 5 Nations) anyway. Tie it in with Parisse's retirement.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by SecretFly on Thu 23 Feb 2017, 11:37 am

Parisse retiring will be a blessing. He's been holding them back for years. "Gimme the ball"............. sure the guys in the team are afraid to touch it lest Parisse gets mad that he isn't given sufficient time with it to do the heroics. "Gimme the ball!!!!!!!!!!!!!" "Yes, sir"

They won't miss him - its their next step to growth.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:34 am

PRO12 Home Attendance League by Stadium Capacity Use after Round 16.

Someone asked me to calculate this at some point.   

I've taken in account where clubs have used other larger stadia - clearly this impacted on Edinburgh negatively where I've used the total capacity of 67,000.  With their move to Myerside (5,500), they have moved to 85% of available capacity based on the two games played so far there.  If I've got stadia capacity wrong, let me know.




Stadia UsedTeamHome AttendanceGamesAvg CrowdTotal Capacity AvailableSeason %
18000Ulster109,6977 15,671  126,00087%
8100Connacht50,1508 6,269  64,80077%
18,200/51,000 Leinster134,7468 16,843  178,40076%
9708Glasgow50,7217 7,246  67,95675%
25600/8200Munster103,1228 12,340  152,60068%
12125Cardiff58,2198 7,277  97,00060%
8800Dragons36,3998 4,620  70,40052%
14800Scarlets52,8558 6,483  118,40045%
22000Ospreys83,0219 9,485  198,00042%
6700Treviso22,1008 2,871  53,60041%
5000Zebre13,0017 2,000  35,00037%
67,000/5500Edinburgh 48,1788 6,314  413,00012%

And for those who want average attendance ranking, it looks like this:

   
StadiaTeamHome AttGamesAvg.Capacity AvailableSeason %
18,200/51,000 Leinster134,7468 16,843 178,40076%
18000Ulster109,6977 15,671 126,00087%
25600/8200Munster103,1228 12,340 152,60068%
22000Ospreys83,0219 9,485 198,00042%
12125Cardiff58,2198 7,277 97,00060%
9708Glasgow50,7217 7,246 67,95675%
14800Scarlets52,8558 6,483 118,40045%
67,000/5500Edinburgh 48,1788 6,314 413,00012%
8100Connacht 50,1508 6,269 64,80077%
8800Dragons36,3998 4,620 70,40052%
6700Treviso22,1008 2,871 53,60041%
5000Zebre13,0017 2,000 35,00037%
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 27 Feb 2017, 12:57 am

In the fan popularity stakes, here's how the teams rank on away attendance gained:



 Team  Away Att.  Games  Avg. 
 Munster  97,562 8  12,195
 Dragons  68,884 8  8,611
 Connacht  58,935 7  8,419
 Ospreys  58,289 7  8,327
 Glasgow  74,908 9  8,323
 Scarlets  74,611 9  8,290
 Edinburgh  64,059 8  8,007
 Leinster  59,047 8  7,381
 Treviso  56,078 8  7,010
 Ulster  53,645 8  6,706
 Zebre  46,215 7  6,602
 Cardiff  49,976 8  6,247
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 06 Mar 2017, 1:05 am

Update on the PRO12 Popularity League


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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 4:32 pm

After all the blethering about the Pro 12 being unsustainable, particularly the Union run model it's two French teams with all their wealth that have to 'merge' to preserve their long term future and it looks like Cardiff will require a temporary Union takeover to stay afloat

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by SecretFly on Mon 13 Mar 2017, 5:09 pm

marty2086 wrote:After all the blethering about the Pro 12 being unsustainable, particularly the Union run model it's two French teams with all their wealth that have to 'merge' to preserve their long term future and it looks like Cardiff will require a temporary Union takeover to stay afloat

.... and when that period is over, Cardiff will then sue the WRU for interfering interference in the running of a Privately owned Region - and they'll seek a whoppingly large amount of compensation.

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Tue 14 Mar 2017, 10:53 am

SecretFly wrote:
marty2086 wrote:After all the blethering about the Pro 12 being unsustainable, particularly the Union run model it's two French teams with all their wealth that have to 'merge' to preserve their long term future and it looks like Cardiff will require a temporary Union takeover to stay afloat

.... and when that period is over, Cardiff will then sue the WRU for interfering interference in the running of a Privately owned Region - and they'll seek a whoppingly large amount of compensation.

While still holding out the begging bowl



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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 1:03 am

Cardiff, along with Leinster and Ulster, are not high in the popularity stakes with opposition fans as the latest Away Fans Attraction League shows:






More details on attendances are in the PRO 12 sticky in the Club Rugby menu here
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 1:10 am

One other graphic on attendances - the home attendance so far with comparison on % of available stadia capacities.  

Ulster (87%), Glasgow (75%) and Connacht (74%) are the top three in reaching their available capacity for the season so far.



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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by marty2086 on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 11:28 am

Pot Hale wrote:Cardiff, along with Leinster and Ulster, are not high in the popularity stakes with opposition fans as the latest Away Fans Attraction League shows:






More details on attendances are in the PRO 12 sticky in the Club Rugby menu here

I always assumed that was the attendances for away games involving those teams?

PS good work on the graphs Pot, all very colourful and purdy

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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 28 Mar 2017, 2:38 pm

marty2086 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Cardiff, along with Leinster and Ulster, are not high in the popularity stakes with opposition fans as the latest Away Fans Attraction League shows:






More details on attendances are in the PRO 12 sticky in the Club Rugby menu here

I always assumed that was the attendances for away games involving those teams?

PS good work on the graphs Pot, all very colourful and purdy

Yes Marty - you're correct. Those are the attendances for teams for their away games e.g Leinster v Munster, Scarlets v Munster, Treviso v Munster, etc.
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Re: The Future for the PRO12 - Part 3 - The Union Balldance

Post by Pot Hale on Tue 09 May 2017, 12:38 am

End of season figures on attendances for the PRO!2 - up 26,000 net overall on last season.





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