An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

View previous topic View next topic Go down

An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by A Simply Mesmeric Try on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 2:22 am

I had this idea a few years ago in the pub, while in an enlightened state, and recently I heard Matt Dawson and a few others actually talking about the same thing, so hear it is...

Two pools of four teams. Each team still only plays five games, so not every team will play each other in a season.

Example Pools (The French probably won't like this, and yes they are imbalanced)

Pool Round

British & Irish - Pool 1
England
Ireland
Scotland
Wales

European - Pool 2
France
Italy
Georgia
Romania/Russia/Germany

Each team play 3 pool games, playing each other once in a league table with bonus points. With the example pools shown, it keeps alive the Triple Crown and the various other trophies associated with the home nations.

Only Russia and Germany are showing any real development in XVs, however, Spain and Belgium have next to no rugby resources except in 7s. Those four teams would play in a reduced Rugby Europe Championship.

PlayOff

Cup
Semi-final 1
1st Place Pool 1 v 1st Place Pool 2
2nd Place Pool 1 v 2nd Place Pool 2
Semi-final 2
1st Place Pool 1 v 2nd Place Pool 2
2nd Place Pool 1 v 1st Place Pool 2

Cup Final
Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

Shield
Semi-final 1
3rd Place Pool 1 v 3rd Place Pool 2
4th Place Pool 1 v 4th Place Pool 2
Semi-final 2
3rd Place Pool 1 v 4th Place Pool 2
4th Place Pool 1 v 3rd Place Pool 2

Shield Final
Winner SF 1 v Winner SF 2

8 Nations or is it a European Cup? It's hard to imagine anyone other that the current 6 Nations teams winning anything. But at least the regular exposure to top level rugby can elevate the lower ranked teams. Georgia show more than Italy in terms of development (helps having a billionaire backer). Germany beat Romania this year in the inaugural Rugby Europe Championship, but the weaker teams are pathetic when they play away from home. Much like Italy currently in the 6N.

Anyway.
Discuss.
avatar
A Simply Mesmeric Try

Posts : 515
Join date : 2011-06-15
Location : Edinburgh/Borders

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Poorfour on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 7:19 am

It would work if Italy, Georgia and Russia were anywhere near France's level, but as things stand it would give France a pretty much guaranteed home semi final every year.

Likewise, the last couple of rounds would contain only a couple of games that most people would want to watch.

It might work better if placings from each year determined the pools for the next year, but you'd lose the Triple Crown and you'd still want closer competition.

Poorfour

Posts : 3642
Join date : 2011-10-01

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Hammersmith harrier on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 7:55 am

England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland and France have to be playing each other every year, beyond that I don't have a clue and even now the Italy game is one I would be willing to miss.

Hammersmith harrier

Posts : 12060
Join date : 2013-09-26

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by A Simply Mesmeric Try on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 8:30 am

Agreed about the annual bash between the original 5 nations. (Italy can only beat off-colour teams and rarely compete in 17 years!). Nobody else is at the 6N level yet, but exposure for these lower ranked teams helps them progress. Maybe this tournament concept could happen every 2 years?

Georgia are already better than Italy on the international stage, however both teams lack any kind of edge or steel. They need to challenge the top 10 teams regularly for this pools concept to work, otherwise France will walk their pool every time.

Georgia could possibly match France at home in Tblisi, much like Italy in Rome, but in Paris you'd imagine France putting 40-50 points past them.

Russia have their own Pro League, believe it or not! It's a popular sport in Siberia. They could progress fast if exposed to regular high-level rugby.

Surprisingly, Germany have ploughed a load of money into rugby recently, with an apparent 10 year plan, so watch this space. They beat Romania in a try-fest thriller in this year's Rugby Euro Championship. The comeback was real - they won from 20-38 down. However, they got thumped 50-6 by Georgia in Tblisi last weekend.

It's shame we don't have a country of Japan's level nearby. I'd love to see Japan in the 6N.
avatar
A Simply Mesmeric Try

Posts : 515
Join date : 2011-06-15
Location : Edinburgh/Borders

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by cascough on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 8:41 am

If you must change it (and I wish people would stop dicking around with it) I would personally like to see the 6N changed to 2 divisions of 4 teams. Teams play each other home and away (which is inherently fairer anyway) and there's a 1 up, 1 down prom/rel every year (no playoff).

Only problem is, you absolutely obliterate the european cup of nations, thus making the pathway for any other european clubs to grow even harder.

For me, the focus on the 6N to "grow the game" is misplaced. These fledgling rugby nations already have a tournament, and it's that that needs to be strengthened. World Rugby need to look at that, but they won't, 'cos they're not arsed. That's the problem.

cascough

Posts : 760
Join date : 2016-11-10

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Tattie Scones RRN on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 9:03 am

As I've said before.

Bring back the 'A' teams and have Georgia/Romania or whoever play in that. They would still get d!cked mind but they would be playing a much higher level of rugby than they are now.

Also, Georgia are NOT better than Italy, regardless of what the rankings state.

If Italy and Georgia played seriously in the 6N, Georgia would get beaten quite comprehensively.

Tattie Scones RRN

Posts : 1660
Join date : 2011-05-24
Age : 41
Location : Scottish Rugby Purgatory

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Scottrf on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 9:06 am

Georgia only lost 43-10 to NZ in the World Cup. Italy woild love to lose 43-10 on Sunday.

Scottrf

Posts : 13020
Join date : 2011-01-26

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by cascough on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 9:09 am

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:As I've said before.

Bring back the 'A' teams and have Georgia/Romania or whoever play in that. They would still get d!cked mind but they would be playing a much higher level of rugby than they are now.

Also, Georgia are NOT better than Italy, regardless of what the rankings state.

If Italy and Georgia played seriously in the 6N, Georgia would get beaten quite comprehensively.

I agree with this.

cascough

Posts : 760
Join date : 2016-11-10

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by robbo277 on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 9:11 am

It's not a bad idea in theory, until you start picking apart the detail.

Teams will have be guaranteed 3 home games over 2 years, rather than the current 5. Depending on how you arranged the ground for the final, you would only be expected to get 4 matches at home. Teams are also financially incentivised to finish third over second if it offers them an extra home gate.

I think protecting the Triple Crown is fine for now (unless you are France who get the raw end of the deal), but it causes trouble down the line. Do you have promotion and relegation for the 8th place team to your Div 2? You can only have teams swap in Pool B or you lose the triple crown anyway, and it's inherently unfair if only half the teams are playing for relegation.

robbo277

Posts : 2932
Join date : 2011-06-06
Age : 29
Location : Brighton, England

https://twitter.com/#!/robbo277

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by robbo277 on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 9:19 am

cascough wrote:If you must change it (and I wish people would stop dicking around with it) I would personally like to see the 6N changed to 2 divisions of 4 teams. Teams play each other home and away (which is inherently fairer anyway) and there's a 1 up, 1 down prom/rel every year (no playoff).

Only problem is, you absolutely obliterate the european cup of nations, thus making the pathway for any other european clubs to grow even harder.

For me, the focus on the 6N to "grow the game" is misplaced. These fledgling rugby nations already have a tournament, and it's that that needs to be strengthened. World Rugby need to look at that, but they won't, 'cos they're not arsed. That's the problem.

I still think the last weekend of May should host a 6 Nations Champions vs European Nations Cup Champions for a community shield style cup. Both teams have already won their big one, so this is more of an exhibition game inline with the England vs Wales game last year or the occasional Barbarians fixtures. A pre-tour tune up that can take more and more significance as the standards of the two competitions converge.

It would give the European Nations Cup team and competition a bit of exposure would be a good measuring stick for them. I think as soon as we stop thinking of Six Nations as Division 1 and ENC as Division 2 and think of them as comparable tournaments, then the change in perception will really allow that tournament to kick on.

robbo277

Posts : 2932
Join date : 2011-06-06
Age : 29
Location : Brighton, England

https://twitter.com/#!/robbo277

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by A Simply Mesmeric Try on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 5:28 pm

Italy are the weak link in the 6N. Look at the last round. They got pumped at home by Ireland in front of a half-empty stadium. How is this good for the competition? It's hard to see Georgia shipping points like that at home (away maybe, but not at home).

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Georgia are NOT better than Italy, regardless of what the rankings state.

Georgian rugby has been just above Italy for some time now, not just recently. Although, I didn't say Georgia would do any better than Italy if they were to join 6N. Italy can only beat off-colour teams. They've never beaten an on-form team in their life.

They need to earn their prizes. Italian Rugby is given so much in an attempt to grow the sport there.
The two biggies being:
ECC qualification regardless of league placing, and automatic qualification for World Cups.
Is there a Mafioso paying off someone at World Rugby?
avatar
A Simply Mesmeric Try

Posts : 515
Join date : 2011-06-15
Location : Edinburgh/Borders

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by international198 on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 5:40 pm

I think the 6 Nations should be reduced to the 5 Nations (relegate whoever finishes last this year) and then introduce relegation/promotion.

international198

Posts : 310
Join date : 2016-04-21

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Shifty on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 7:12 pm

A Simply Mesmeric Try wrote:Italy are the weak link in the 6N. Look at the last round. They got pumped at home by Ireland in front of a half-empty stadium. How is this good for the competition? It's hard to see Georgia shipping points like that at home (away maybe, but not at home).

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Georgia are NOT better than Italy, regardless of what the rankings state.

Georgian rugby has been just above Italy for some time now, not just recently. Although, I didn't say Georgia would do any better than Italy if they were to join 6N. Italy can only beat off-colour teams. They've never beaten an on-form team in their life.

They need to earn their prizes. Italian Rugby is given so much in an attempt to grow the sport there.
The two biggies being:
ECC qualification regardless of league placing, and automatic qualification for World Cups.
Is there a Mafioso paying off someone at World Rugby?

I don't agree with this.  Georgia have no rugby infrastructure, all their players play in France.  They have a load of professional front row players and not much else.  People talk about 30,000 odd thousand attending international games but they basically let everyone in for pennies.  

Italy have professional teams, and Semi pro teams.  They have a huge player base, and proper sponsorship.  Personally I think the Italians need to leave the Pro12 and start their own 6-8 team professional league.  Travelling to the Uk every other week can't be much fun.  While their players always lose so their used to losing as a habit, in the 6 Nations, in the Pro 12, in Europe Cups. Imagine regardless of whatever team your playing you nearly always lose?  How to improve when you never experience winning?  When I see Italian teams these days, I see them go two scores behind and realise it's going to be another hammering for them, then they throw in the towel.  
If they had their own league at least some of their players would experience winning and gain confidence.  The argument I would make is Italy were actually better off in terms of results and success before they joined the Pro12.

One idea might be to copy the New Zealand interprovincial system, Italy has 20 regions, so if every region created one province in 2 divisions of 10. Then that might work.
avatar
Shifty

Posts : 7293
Join date : 2011-04-26
Age : 38
Location : Kenfig Hill, Bridgend

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by robbo277 on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 8:02 pm

Shifty wrote:
A Simply Mesmeric Try wrote:Italy are the weak link in the 6N. Look at the last round. They got pumped at home by Ireland in front of a half-empty stadium. How is this good for the competition? It's hard to see Georgia shipping points like that at home (away maybe, but not at home).

Tattie Scones RRN wrote:Georgia are NOT better than Italy, regardless of what the rankings state.

Georgian rugby has been just above Italy for some time now, not just recently. Although, I didn't say Georgia would do any better than Italy if they were to join 6N. Italy can only beat off-colour teams. They've never beaten an on-form team in their life.

They need to earn their prizes. Italian Rugby is given so much in an attempt to grow the sport there.
The two biggies being:
ECC qualification regardless of league placing, and automatic qualification for World Cups.
Is there a Mafioso paying off someone at World Rugby?

I don't agree with this.  Georgia have no rugby infrastructure, all their players play in France.  They have a load of professional front row players and not much else.  People talk about 30,000 odd thousand attending international games but they basically let everyone in for pennies.  

Italy have professional teams, and Semi pro teams.  They have a huge player base, and proper sponsorship.  Personally I think the Italians need to leave the Pro12 and start their own 6-8 team professional league.  Travelling to the Uk every other week can't be much fun.  While their players always lose so their used to losing as a habit, in the 6 Nations, in the Pro 12, in Europe Cups. Imagine regardless of whatever team your playing you nearly always lose?  How to improve when you never experience winning?  When I see Italian teams these days, I see them go two scores behind and realise it's going to be another hammering for them, then they throw in the towel.  
If they had their own league at least some of their players would experience winning and gain confidence.  The argument I would make is Italy were actually better off in terms of results and success before they joined the Pro12.

One idea might be to copy the New Zealand interprovincial system, Italy has 20 regions, so if every region created one province in 2 divisions of 10.  Then that might work.  

Who's going to play in these teams? 30 man squads and you're asking for 600 players, the quality of the league will be so dilute, they can't support that number of pro-teams. They can barely put out two worthwhile teams.

I'd say they'd be better off dropping to one team and possibly doing a hybrid of the Argentinian and Australian model. Make it a de facto National team - only pick Italian players in their superclub and tell their players they can only play for Italy if they play for the superclub or have done 3 years in the International team and 30 caps before leaving, or something like that. That will create room for new players to come through.

Take that team, put it in the Pro-12 (or 11), put it in the Champions Cup, and get your team playing together each week. They should then have a small pro/semi-pro league below that, dual register all the top players in the league to the superclub and put your league champion and possibly runner up in the Challenge Cup.

Then invest in youth development to drive up the strength of the domestic league and the superclub with it. Possibly one day down the line go back to 2 teams.

robbo277

Posts : 2932
Join date : 2011-06-06
Age : 29
Location : Brighton, England

https://twitter.com/#!/robbo277

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by SecretFly on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 8:46 pm

Look, all Italy have had to this point is really coaches that wanted to make a little money and move on.  To them it was the team they got that was all that interested them.  I'm not criticising that attitude. These are professional coaches, they can give the pleasant sounding words about helping development of the sport as a whole in Italy, but few of them seriously think much of their work is meant to be rooted beyond the International side itself.

I think O'Shea might be different.  I think he has a feeling for organisation that will direct him to do the best he can with what he has with the side, but more so, I think he has the personality to really attack the attitudes and structures in the background (constructively).  I think he knows his best bet of coming out of it with a reputation is to do more work on the foundations behind the scenes.

I could be completely wrong but I think O'Shea knows how much progress he's going to make with the team and balances that with the thoughts of at least giving them a better more focused foundation to build on.

SecretFly

Posts : 26278
Join date : 2011-12-12

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by A Simply Mesmeric Try on Fri 24 Feb 2017, 11:57 pm

Shifty wrote:I don't agree with this.  Georgia have no rugby infrastructure, all their players play in France.  They have a load of professional front row players and not much else.  People talk about 30,000 odd thousand attending international games but they basically let everyone in for pennies.  

You would have been right a decade ago.

All this noise about Georgia isn't just because of their ranking. Since their solid showing at the 2011 RWC, rugby has become their national sport. They certainly have the fans (especially when Russia come to town when they have to play in Georgia's biggest stadium). They'd love to host any of the 6N teams.

Thanks to billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, they now have some world class training facilities and their player development is growing at a rapid rate. They have even been building the infrastructure to accommodate one or two fully professional teams, with a budget of around £8.5m each, in the idea of joining the Pro12. There are a number of smaller clubs in Tblisi alone that could merge into a regional outfit. The trouble is the Pro12 can't decide how to expand yet, so no new teams have been created, also as there is no space in the playing calendar.

Georgia have that billionaire owner every club dreams of having. Let's see if throwing money at it can work, like beating a tier 1 team for starters, however, you can count how many times Georgia have faced tier 1 opposition on one hand.

Regarding Italy, their current Pro12 teams need to buck up their act before people take the idea of dropping them seriously. They can't be allowed to go backwards. Connor O'Shea has his work cut out.
avatar
A Simply Mesmeric Try

Posts : 515
Join date : 2011-06-15
Location : Edinburgh/Borders

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Shifty on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 5:12 pm

robbo277 wrote:Who's going to play in these teams? 30 man squads and you're asking for 600 players, the quality of the league will be so dilute, they can't support that number of pro-teams. They can barely put out two worthwhile teams.

I'd say they'd be better off dropping to one team and possibly doing a hybrid of the Argentinian and Australian model. Make it a de facto National team - only pick Italian players in their superclub and tell their players they can only play for Italy if they play for the superclub or have done 3 years in the International team and 30 caps before leaving, or something like that. That will create room for new players to come through.

Take that team, put it in the Pro-12 (or 11), put it in the Champions Cup, and get your team playing together each week. They should then have a small pro/semi-pro league below that, dual register all the top players in the league to the superclub and put your league champion and possibly runner up in the Challenge Cup.

Then invest in youth development to drive up the strength of the domestic league and the superclub with it. Possibly one day down the line go back to 2 teams.

Italian semi pro teams have in recent years have been competing in the European Challenge Cup, I have often seem them playing the Dragons and frankly their only about 10 points worse than the Professional teams. I personally think Italy produces a lot of average players with not much between them. I honestly the drop would be that much based on the hammerings their 2 main professional teams get.
avatar
Shifty

Posts : 7293
Join date : 2011-04-26
Age : 38
Location : Kenfig Hill, Bridgend

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Shifty on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 5:22 pm

A Simply Mesmeric Try wrote:You would have been right a decade ago.

All this noise about Georgia isn't just because of their ranking.  Since their solid showing at the 2011 RWC, rugby has become their national sport.  They certainly have the fans (especially when Russia come to town when they have to play in Georgia's biggest stadium).  They'd love to host any of the 6N teams.

Thanks to billionaire Bidzina Ivanishvili, they now have some world class training facilities and their player development is growing at a rapid rate.  They have even been building the infrastructure to accommodate one or two fully professional teams, with a budget of around £8.5m each, in the idea of joining the Pro12.  There are a number of smaller clubs in Tblisi alone that could merge into a regional outfit.  The trouble is the Pro12 can't decide how to expand yet, so no new teams have been created, also as there is no space in the playing calendar.

Georgia have that billionaire owner every club dreams of having.  Let's see if throwing money at it can work, like beating a tier 1 team for starters, however, you can count how many times Georgia have faced tier 1 opposition on one hand.


Regarding Italy, their current Pro12 teams need to buck up their act before people take the idea of dropping them seriously.  They can't be allowed to go backwards.  Connor O'Shea has his work cut out.

So they have a sugar Daddy. Whats plan B if he gets bored of rugby and pulls his funding?
Now look at reality:
6 professional front row rugby players, 5 props and a hooker in france. Another Hooker at Worcester. 2 professional locks one at Bristol another in France. They have another 3 flankers and a number 8 playing professional rugby in France. And their scrum half plays in France also. That's it.

My view is scrap the Lions and have a European Cup, and give Georgia games in November instead. Teach them to walk before they can fly.
avatar
Shifty

Posts : 7293
Join date : 2011-04-26
Age : 38
Location : Kenfig Hill, Bridgend

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Gwlad on Sat 25 Feb 2017, 6:09 pm

Sack Howley

Gwlad

Posts : 4165
Join date : 2014-12-04

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Shifty on Sun 26 Feb 2017, 5:05 pm

Sneaking back up to the initial posters idea, this might work for a European Cup to replace or go alongside the Lions.

Have 4 pools of 4 (16 teams), With one team in each region hosting a pool based on rotation:

Pool 1 - British Conference, (hosted by England):
1 England
2 Scotland
3 Ireland
4 Wales

Pool 2 - Mediterranean Conference, (hosted by France):
1 France
2 Italy
3 Spain
4 Portugal

Pool 3 - Central Conference, (hosted by Germany):
1 Germany
2 Poland
3 Holland
4 Belgium

Pool 4 - Eastern Conference, (hosted by Georgia):
1 Georgia
2 Romania
3 Russia
4 Moldova

After the pool stages have taken place, all the teams go to the Uk, and get moved into new pools based on their final standings. Lets assume the above way the teams are listed above, is how the teams finished after playing 3 games against each other.  Now it would look like this, and everyone would play 6 games in total.  Three games in the regional section, and 3 more when you qualify for Phase 2.

Cup:
1 England, (hosted by England):
2 France
3 Germany
4 Georgia

Shield:
1 Scotland, (hosted by Scotland):
2 Italy
3 Poland
4 Romania

Plate:
1 Ireland, (hosted by Ireland):
2 Spain
3 Holland
4 Russia

Bowl:
1 Wales, (hosted by Wales):
2 Portugal
3 Belgium
4 Moldova
avatar
Shifty

Posts : 7293
Join date : 2011-04-26
Age : 38
Location : Kenfig Hill, Bridgend

Back to top Go down

Re: An interesting brain fart of an 8 Nations idea.

Post by Sponsored content


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum