The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

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The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pot Hale on Thu 10 Aug 2017, 11:44 am

First topic message reminder :

Following the Union Balldance of the last 12 months, another union has finally joined the party - SARU. The PRO12 league is gone with Martin Anayi's announcement of a global club championship involving conferences of teams from five unions with the potential for more to be included.

At first glance, it looks like a smart play - albeit somewhat fortuitous with SARU having to shed two teams from the Super Rugby competition. It brings together a lot more viewers that are attractive to media companies and business sponsors. Celtic Rugby Ltd still owns the competition with just its three founding shareholders - IRFU, SRU and WRU. No club or franchise owners involved. FIR failed to meet the required performance that would have made them shareholders at the beginning of July. And SARU weren't persuasive enough to get their seat at the table just yet. Rumours of a new company being set up failed to materialise. But they still signed up to a six-year agreement with £6m in funding each year.

It's not clear if this money is coming from SARU or directly from SuperSport, their broadcast partner. It is SARU who have signed the agreement to provide two teams so presumably the financial buck stops with them. It's more likely the £6m is a participation fee paid by SARU, similar to what FIR was charged when it joined in 2010. Media reports have said that the monies will be split equally amongst the 12 teams with travel and logistics costs for SA trips met centrally by Celtic Rugby Ltd since these will vary for clubs depending on whether they play one or both teams in SA.

Next on Anayi's agenda is the negotiation of a new media deal involving PPV and terrestrial TV, and online platforms. SuperSport may have already got their slice - all 20-22 home games involving Cheetahs and Kings plus some/all of the finals stages. Or perhaps not. Sky and possibly other PPV broadcasters such as Eir Sport may be willing to bid more to be the primary broadcaster for a higher profile, expanded Championship. But Anayi will want to keep a slice for terrestrial TV since they have a much better viewership reach. The current deal is for four years. Would a six-year deal be a better strategic move to guarantee increased revenues for a longer period? It would link in with the duration of the SARU agreement. And it would outlast the current participation agreement for the European Cup run by EPCR.

Further expansion is obviously the other key consideration with possibly other teams from SA, US and Europe coming on board. The danger is that Celtic Rugby goes too far and repeats the mistakes of Super Rugby. Better to build slowly to see if they will still come.

The coming season will be a fascinating one to see how the new structure and Championship beds in. Will attendances increase? Will there be more surprise results and potentially another new team to lift the cup next May?

Roll on 1 September.



Further info on PRO14 can be found here:
http://www.pro14rugby.org/2017/08/01/guinness-pro14-championship-qa/
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Recwatcher16 on Sun 13 Aug 2017, 7:30 pm

Griffiths was clearly asked what would make greatest commercial sense for the SARU and aligning to the French & English clubs is hardly rocket science but he immediately concedes the unacceptable implications elsewhere.

As stated above, the PRL & RFU have spent the last twenty years building up a credible domestic open league - they won't countenance ripping that up for a closed shop league - no matter how beneficial that may be for a priority in developing elite players for the Test side.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Biltong on Sun 13 Aug 2017, 7:31 pm

VinceWLB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Edit:   Well, it didn't take long for the Premiership clubs to have a pop at the development of the PRO14 and look down their noses. Unsurprising that it's Saracens leading the way with the rotten fruit...
(Removed this comment as it's inaccurate as pointed out by Recwatcher.)

Interview with SA sports administrator, Edward Griffiths in The Rugby Paper:

"Super Rugby’s fading appeal is likely to provoke South Africa’s major provinces to follow the lead of the Cheetahs and Kings by beating a path North, according to former Saracens chief executive Edward Griffiths.

Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Griffiths, a leading figure in South African sport before revolutionising Saracens from 2008 to 2015, revealed extensive talks between Premiership Rugby and South Africa officials have taken place and reckons a new North-South axis could follow.

“In South Africa there has been a growing urge to play North-South instead of East-West. Firstly, it means easier travel and time differences, not only for teams but for viewers; and secondly, the growing riches in the Northern Hemisphere compared to the Southern Hemisphere mean their leagues are far stronger.

“Before the last round of television deals, when Premiership Rugby renewed with BT and the Southern Hemisphere renewed with SANZAAR in 2015, there were some pretty serious discussions between Premiership Rugby and the South African Union around South African provinces playing North-South competitions with English or French clubs.

“There wasn’t the required incentive to make the jump before, but now the jump has been made by two South Africa teams into the PRO12 that might provide the impetus for the North-South concept to be expanded.

“I think South Africa should have done it years ago but now it might actually be happening.”

Griffiths fears the Cheetahs and Kings may not bring as much to the party as the existing PRO12 teams would like, but insists a consolidation of top English, French and South African sides into one competition would be a sure-fire commercial winner.

He explained: “There’s an element in the PRO12 situation of it being a marriage of the desperate and the desperate: the Cheetahs and Kings are desperate to keep existing; the PRO12 is desperate to do something that increases its profile and television rights.

“It’s not the top teams in South Africa playing North-South, it’s frankly two unwanted teams – teams that have effectively failed in Super Rugby – going into a PRO12 league which is falling further and further behind its English and French counterparts.

“The concept of South African teams playing North-South might not be shown in the best light, as it might have been if the Sharks, Stormers, Lions and Bulls were playing in an expanded English Premiership or European competition. But I hope it’s successful because it could unlock the door to some exciting opportunities.”

Griffiths added: “What would the top South African teams bring to European competition? For starters, they would bring a substantial increase in television revenue because South Africa generates 75 per cent of TV rights in the Southern Hemisphere.

“There’s no doubt that, commercially, the strongest competition in world rugby would be a Super 18 comprising six English clubs, six French and six South African, because England, France and South Africa are the strongest markets. Whether that makes sense for rugby as a whole is an entirely different discussion.”

Conveniently forgot to say that Bloemfontein is the heartbeat of RU in South Africa, and once Cheetahs can keep their talents (which Pro 14 may or may not achieve), they will be a force to be reckoned with.
Kings can only get better with financial backing up (Connacht style) and stability.

So i will say that this guy is talking rubbish in how he is talking down those 2 sides.

He is talking them down because he has an agenda.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by VinceWLB on Sun 13 Aug 2017, 7:41 pm

Biltong wrote:
He is talking them down because he has an agenda.

Yes, clear as water.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by marty2086 on Sun 13 Aug 2017, 9:00 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:Griffiths was clearly asked what would make greatest commercial sense for the SARU and aligning to the French & English clubs is hardly rocket science but he immediately concedes the unacceptable implications elsewhere.

As stated above, the PRL & RFU have spent the last twenty years building up a credible domestic open league - they won't countenance ripping that up for a closed shop league - no matter how beneficial that may be for a priority in developing elite players for the Test side.

Calling the AP an open league is a bit of a stretch

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by geoff999rugby on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 10:04 am

The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by VinceWLB on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 10:48 am

geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Yes, i would have swapped Kings and Cheetahs around. Also, there is a good argument to be made that Edinburgh and Dragons shouldn't have been in the same conference..

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by marty2086 on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 11:03 am

Hopefully Cockerill can sort out Edinburgh, with the forwards they have they could be dangerous and that's one of his strengths

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by VinceWLB on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 11:09 am

marty2086 wrote:Hopefully Cockerill can sort out Edinburgh, with the forwards they have they could be dangerous and that's one of his strengths

Yes, they have massively under-performed in recent years given their resources.. Sadly, i'm not as hopeful for the Dragons to improve.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by marty2086 on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 11:16 am

VinceWLB wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Hopefully Cockerill can sort out Edinburgh, with the forwards they have they could be dangerous and that's one of his strengths

Yes, they have massively under-performed in recent years given their resources.. Sadly, i'm not as hopeful for the Dragons to improve.

I wouldn't be so sure, I don't think they'll be world beaters but Dragons first XV are dangerous for 50/60 mins. If Jackman improves fitness levels there and lifts the levels for the replacements then I can see then causing a few more problems and picking up a few more wins. That'll hopefully be a platform to build on over the following seasons

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by munkian on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 1:49 pm

marty2086 wrote:
VinceWLB wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Hopefully Cockerill can sort out Edinburgh, with the forwards they have they could be dangerous and that's one of his strengths

Yes, they have massively under-performed in recent years given their resources.. Sadly, i'm not as hopeful for the Dragons to improve.

I wouldn't be so sure, I don't think they'll be world beaters but Dragons first XV are dangerous for 50/60 mins. If Jackman improves fitness levels there and lifts the levels for the replacements then I can see then causing a few more problems and picking up a few more wins. That'll hopefully be a platform to build on over the following seasons

I'm getting the impression from the constant put downs that Vinny isn't a Dragons fan....
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by VinceWLB on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 5:04 pm

munkian wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
VinceWLB wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Hopefully Cockerill can sort out Edinburgh, with the forwards they have they could be dangerous and that's one of his strengths

Yes, they have massively under-performed in recent years given their resources.. Sadly, i'm not as hopeful for the Dragons to improve.

I wouldn't be so sure, I don't think they'll be world beaters but Dragons first XV are dangerous for 50/60 mins. If Jackman improves fitness levels there and lifts the levels for the replacements then I can see then causing a few more problems and picking up a few more wins. That'll hopefully be a platform to build on over the following seasons

I'm getting the impression from the constant put downs that Vinny isn't a Dragons fan....

Well.. I have always liked the Dragons actually but the decline has been so obvious for the last 3-4 seasons. Can't remember the last time they had a decent win, probably a few seasons ago against Ulster when Amos had that huge hand off on Pienaar.. I hope the new pitch will allow them to play an attractive and hopefully winning brand of rugby.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by St John The Enforcer on Tue 15 Aug 2017, 5:45 pm

The Dragons were the last team to beat Leinster in the RDS in a regular season league game.

A mere 2.5 years ago.

They beat Leinster back to back that season. Not many teams do that. Munster managed it the same year. Not sure when it last happened before that. It hasn't happened since.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by RiscaGame on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 3:41 am

geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Least some of those have no scandal attached to them. Guess it depends whether you want a rugby team, or a reprobate team representing your club/region/province?

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by munkian on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 7:47 am

Dragons also did reasonably well in back to back European cups (albeit in the lower tier competition) beating Stade at home and away, beating Cardiff and Glos away in the knock out stages.


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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by marty2086 on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 8:55 am

RiscaGame wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Least some of those have no scandal attached to them. Guess it depends whether you want a rugby team, or a reprobate team representing your club/region/province?

Headscratch

Didn't Dragons sign Gavin Henson?

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by geoff999rugby on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 8:58 am

RiscaGame wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Least some of those have no scandal attached to them. Guess it depends whether you want a rugby team, or a reprobate team representing your club/region/province?


Go away WUM.

Two individuals will play no part at the province until a court case has been completed.
Innocent until proven guilty.

If guilty they will never play for Ulster again, if innocent they will return with their names cleared.

Also totally irrelevant to the point made

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pete330v2 on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 9:12 am

[quote="geoff999rugby"]
RiscaGame wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Least some of those have no scandal attached to them. Guess it depends whether you want a rugby team, or a reprobate team representing your club/region/province?


* At least, not 'Least'.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 9:19 am

VinceWLB wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Yes, i would have swapped Kings and Cheetahs around. Also, there is a good argument to be made that Edinburgh and Dragons shouldn't have been in the same conference..

Oh so you're finally coming around to accepting common sense then? I think it's impossible for Edinburgh not to improve. They have a good pack, a good coach coming in and some former Crusader coming in.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Kingshu on Wed 16 Aug 2017, 3:03 pm

VinceWLB wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The way the Kings are imploding squad wise we could be in for 2 very uneven conferences

A case could easily be made that one conference has 4 of the 5 weakest teams - Dragons, Treviso, Edinburgh and Kings

Yes, i would have swapped Kings and Cheetahs around. Also, there is a good argument to be made that Edinburgh and Dragons shouldn't have been in the same conference..

I do think that mistakes have been made in assigning the conferences
First by using Irish 1st and 4th with Welsh 2 and 3rd and vice versa, this assumes that the Provinces and regions are of equal quality, but this isn't an assumption that should be made, there should be no assumptions, it should be Irish 1st and 3rd, 2nd and 4th and Welsh 1st and 3rd, 2nd and 4th teams on placing on merit and 3rd and 4th are tied to the strong teams in order they finished.

The conferences should have been arranged
Conference 1                                   Conference 2
Irish/Welsh (1 and 3)                       Irish/Welsh (2 and 4)
Irish/Welsh (2 and 4)                       Irish/Welsh (1 and 3)
Scottish  1                                      Scottish 2
Italian 2                                         Italian 1
SA 1                                              SA 2

It creates a stronger team weaker team stronger team weaker team pattern in each conference.

The team that gets position 1 in pool 1 is the Irish or Welsh team that finishes highest up the table. IE for this year Munster (which ties in Ulster) meaning Scarlets are in Pool 2 (which ties in Blues), and the others fall in place.

For this year it would mean
Conference 1                                   Conference 2
Irish (1 and 3)                                 Irish (2 and 4)
Welsh (2 and 4)                               Welsh (1 and 3)
Scottish  1                                       Scottish 2
Italian 2                                          Italian 1
SA 1                                               SA 2

If a welsh team finished top it would start,
Welsh (1 and 3)                    Welsh (2 and 4)
Irish (2 and 4)                      Irish (1 and 3)

for this years example
Munster and Ulster are grouped together as a 1, Leinster and Connacht are a 2
Scarlets and Blues are a 1 therefore Ospreys and Dragons are a 2

Glasgow are Scottish 1 Edinburgh are Scottish 2
Terviso are Italian 1 Zebra are italian 2
SK finished higher so are a 1 meaning Cheetahs are SA 2

That would leave make
Conference 1
Munster
Ulster
Ospreys
Dragons
Glasgow
Zebre
Southern Kings

and Conference 2
Leinster
Connacht
Scarlets
Blues
Edinburgh
Terviso
Cheetahs

which appears to be fairer, and would be fairer year on year.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by VinceWLB on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 9:50 am

Kingshu wrote:
That would leave make
Conference 1
Munster
Ulster
Ospreys
Dragons
Glasgow
Zebre
Southern Kings

and Conference 2
Leinster
Connacht
Scarlets
Blues
Edinburgh
Terviso
Cheetahs

which appears to be fairer, and would be fairer year on year.

Well that might just be me but Conference 1 looks significantly stronger than conference 2, even more so than this season conference.

The thing is that any conference with Glasgow in it is going to look stronger than the other one. I still think that Welsh and Irish conferences would have made more sense and possibly closer in terms of strength..

Something like:

Conference 1:

Leinster
Munster
Ulster
Connacht
Edinburgh
Kings
Zebre

Conference 2:

Scarlets
Ospreys
Blues
Dragons
Glasgow
Cheetahs
Treviso

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 4:56 pm

The Kings getting new players on loan

4 from the Bulls
http://www.planetrugby.com/news/blue-bulls-loan-program-with-kings-extended/

Also 4 from the Sharks but I cant find the link for that

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Kingshu on Thu 17 Aug 2017, 6:18 pm

Vince that system still relays on the regions being and always being on par with the provinces and vice versa something that cant be asumed. There shouldnt be any assumptions

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Guest on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 8:55 am

Head of regional rugby (so not a WRU bod) keen for more expansion of the Pro14:

"The head of Welsh regional rugby says the new Pro14 could expand further after two South African sides were added to the tournament.

Southern Kings and Cheetahs have joined teams from Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales in the revamped Pro14.

Pro Rugby Wales chief Mark Davies believes the league must improve to match English and French tournaments.

"We can contemplate further geographical expansion, why wouldn't we?" said Davies.

"It's not on the back-burner. We can't afford to take our foot off the gas.

"Even when we're getting to the point of matching our first ambition of doubling our revenues, we're still behind our competition.

"We don't have the opportunity to coast, we have to keep pushing."

Davies is head of the Pro Rugby Wales organisation which represents the four Welsh regions - Dragons, Scarlets, Ospreys and Cardiff Blues - and sits on the Celtic Rugby board that runs the Pro14 tournament.

The new 14-team league which starts in September is split into two conferences of seven and there have been reports linking teams from USA, Spain and Germany joining the tournament.

"One of the benefits of going to a conference structure is we can continue to grow the competition," said Davies.

"It's not a domestic league. We've always had four nations every weekend with different styles of rugby, different philosophies.

"So if we've got five nations every weekend, why can't we have six?"

There are still four South African sides playing in Super Rugby with Davies not ruling out more sides from the country joining the Kings and Cheetahs.

"From a South African point of view, it would be sensible if they can continue to play New Zealand and Australia," said Davies.

"They'll want to retain both. They're now in a position where they have a choice.

"Would they seek to have more teams playing in the northern hemisphere? I believe so.

"It doesn't necessarily mean they'll have less playing in the southern hemisphere."

Davies believes the new competition, which will include 21 regular matches and play-offs, will be exciting.

"We've now got five of the top ten tier nations playing in one competition," said Davies

"It's pretty profound, the first time there's been any club competition that's transcended hemispheres."

Davies has been at the heart of delivering the radical expansion in the last few months but admits there will be doubters.

"It arrived late, it's been delivered in about a 12-week period," said Davies.

"It's been hard work from a very small group of people but absolutely worthwhile because of the scale of the change. It's not the end game, it's the end of the beginning.

"South African supporters can now watch rugby in their summer which they're excited about. Perhaps there's a lesson there for us.

"In any change there will be dissenting voices. The alternative is we stay the same and that isn't an option because if you stay the same in any form of life, you go backwards. We are not going backwards.

"I've met with various supporters and the overriding impression is excitement, a belief this is something new. Our aim was to have more big games and that's what we've got."

Davies believes the expanded Pro14 competition has ensured the tournament will be noticed by France's Top 14 and English Aviva Premiership bosses.

"I would like to think they're recognising the fact we woke up and something's happening," said Davies.

"The Aviva and Top 14 are strong, well-run, domestic competitions in big markets and we have to compete on different terms.

"I'd like to think the English and French clubs are looking at us and feeling it is worthwhile watching what we're doing.

"Instead of then looking at each other now, perhaps they have someone else in the room. If there's three in the race, we all go forward."

The Welsh regions will benefit from an additional £500,000 per region, although Davies would not be drawn on exact figures.

Davies stated that extra money would not be spent on travel costs to South Africa with additional revenue provided for the trips.

"We've got broadcast agreements in place in South Africa which are significant," said Davies.

"That's the first stage of the contribution to our clubs.

"It wouldn't be sensible to then dilute that with additional travel costs." "

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 2:36 pm

Interesting article for its snippets of info on the additional monies coming in as a result.

The initial figure reported for SARU participation and the SA TV rights was £12m. I think this was more or less accurate. Given Davies from RRW comments that the travel costs would be covered separately, and given that the Cheetahs and Kings need to receive monies too, then I suspect that Celtic Rugby has reached the point of doubling its revenues with this deal - from £12m to £24m and with negotiation with title sponsor, Guinness, and the PPV/Terrestrial Tv rights also up for negotiation this season, revenues are looking more solid for the competition.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Biltong on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 6:06 pm

The Cheetahs and Kings players were i terviewed at the launch of the Pro 14 in Capetown, and they seem genuinely excited about how big this could be
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Guest on Fri 18 Aug 2017, 9:07 pm

I have been travelling a lot recently, so a wee bit out of the loop.

I had heard, can't remember where, that the travel costs would be covered, so it's encouraging to see that more or less confirmed.

It's hugely encouraging to see the head of PRW genuinely excited about the future of what was once PRO12. Griff, thanks for the info ...

I might be reaching for the stars, but I envisage a two tier league in the future, and think it's possible that is the aim. I do hope so as this is what I have always wanted for PRO12.

I am excited about this new world, but realise it's going to be a bumpy road, especially at the beginning. I don't expect too much from the SA teams in the first season, and it might take two or three seasons for them to settle, but fully expect them to really challenge for top places in the future. Doing so will push all sides on and enhance the league.

As for Ulster, I'm not expecting too much this year. Tough times, but still excited to see what Gibbes brings to the table.

Also want to see the SA sides playing in the thingy cup. No real reason they shouldn't.

And just to add (my forth add o0), I love the fact that it's SA sides joining us. Serious respect for those guys, the nations love of rugby, and just .... love em.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Biltong on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 10:49 am

Munchkin wrote:I have been travelling a lot recently, so a wee bit out of the loop.

I had heard, can't remember where, that the travel costs would be covered, so it's encouraging to see that more or less confirmed.

It's hugely encouraging to see the head of PRW genuinely excited about the future of what was once PRO12. Griff, thanks for the info ...

I might be reaching for the stars, but I envisage a two tier league in the future, and think it's possible that is the aim. I do hope so as this is what I have always wanted for PRO12.

I am excited about this new world, but realise it's going to be a bumpy road, especially at the beginning. I don't expect too much from the SA teams in the first season, and it might take two or three seasons for them to settle, but fully expect them to really challenge for top places in the future. Doing so will push all sides on and enhance the league.

As for Ulster, I'm not expecting too much this year. Tough times, but still excited to see what Gibbes brings to the table.

Also want to see the SA sides playing in the thingy cup. No real reason they shouldn't.

And just to add (my forth add o0), I love the fact that it's SA sides joining us. Serious respect for those guys, the nations love of rugby, and just .... love em.

Cheers munchkin Hug
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Kingshu on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 1:03 pm

Munchkin wrote:I have been travelling a lot recently, so a wee bit out of the loop.

I had heard, can't remember where, that the travel costs would be covered, so it's encouraging to see that more or less confirmed.

It's hugely encouraging to see the head of PRW genuinely excited about the future of what was once PRO12. Griff, thanks for the info ...

I might be reaching for the stars, but I envisage a two tier league in the future, and think it's possible that is the aim. I do hope so as this is what I have always wanted for PRO12.

I am excited about this new world, but realise it's going to be a bumpy road, especially at the beginning. I don't expect too much from the SA teams in the first season, and it might take two or three seasons for them to settle, but fully expect them to really challenge for top places in the future. Doing so will push all sides on and enhance the league.

As for Ulster, I'm not expecting too much this year. Tough times, but still excited to see what Gibbes brings to the table.

Also want to see the SA sides playing in the thingy cup. No real reason they shouldn't.

And just to add (my forth add o0), I love the fact that it's SA sides joining us. Serious respect for those guys, the nations love of rugby, and just .... love em.

I don't ever see there being a two tier League, the likes of Connacht, Dragons, Edinburgh, Zebre would never agree to it. The IRFU, WRU, SRU, FIR, and now SARU
would never risk a team not laying at the top level. Conferences mean all can play at the top level.

SA can support 8 top teams, if they can keep players in SA. US and CAD to join hopefully with World Rugby help.

While Germany and Spain are being mentioned, I can see it for a long time, as the markets do not bring enough, and the teams wouldn't be quality enough.

If it was 8 SA, 4 IRFU, 4WRU, 2 SRU,2 Italians, 1 US and 1 CAD

Would people prefer 2 Conferences of 11, straight home and away, no cross conference games, top 3 play for cup, next 3 for shield, and next 3 for plate in each?

Would mean losing derbies, but would keep it simple, and I think make league games more meaningfull even without US/CAD this may be best.

The other option if it expand this much is to have 3 conference but then it gets like Super Rugbys issues.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 2:11 pm

It won't be 8 teams from SA. At most, it will be 4 according to Jurie Roux, head of SARU. They will want to keep playing NZ, Aus, Arg, etc.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Kingshu on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 2:30 pm

Pot Hale wrote:It won't be 8 teams from SA.   At most, it will be 4 according to Jurie Roux, head of SARU.  They will want to keep playing NZ, Aus, Arg, etc.  

sorry I knew that meant 4 in super rugby and 4 in Pro 14, don't know why I ran with 8 in Pro 14

18 0verall, 2 conferences of 9

does leave room for two more teams in future, maybe Germany and Spain could come in at a later date.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 4:25 pm

The maximum or ideal number of teams needs to take into account what the optimum number of games per season should be bearing in mind that Celtic Rugby want to take all Championship games out of the test windows, and the current necessity to maintain derby games which boost attendances and maintain fan interest.

During the initial planning discussions, the optimum number of games was 18 to avoid test windows altogether. This would be offset in part by boosting attendances elsewhere through better league promotion, and test players appearing more often. In turn this would help to Boosting TV and sponsorship revenues along with a conference structure to helps to reduce the number of games and include new markets. In short, a lot of moving parts to tweak to get the best outcome.

Keeping same country teams together in a conference avoids the need for additional derby games, but leaves the Championship open to the perception of 'well x team didn't have to play any of the Irish or Welsh teams' as happens in Super Rugby.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Kingshu on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 5:58 pm

Pot Hale wrote:The maximum or ideal number of teams needs to take into account what the optimum number of games per season should be bearing in mind that Celtic Rugby want to take all Championship games out of the test windows, and the current necessity to maintain derby games which boost attendances and maintain fan interest.  

During the initial planning discussions, the optimum number of games was 18 to avoid test windows altogether.   This would be offset in part by boosting attendances elsewhere through better league promotion, and test players appearing more often.  In turn this would help to Boosting TV and sponsorship revenues  along with a conference structure to helps to reduce the number of games and include new markets. In short, a lot of moving parts to tweak to get the best outcome.  

Keeping same country teams together in a conference avoids the need for additional derby games, but leaves the Championship open to the perception of 'well x team didn't have to play any of the Irish or Welsh teams'  as happens in Super Rugby.  

Personally I think Derby games are overvalued, its games against other top teams that are important.

Munster Leinster is good as it two top local teams, but most derbies are not against other top teams. You can argue that Munster V Ospreys/Glasgow, is more important this year than Munster V Connacht.
Same for Scarlets, the games against Ulster and Leinster, are going to be more important to them than V Dragons
Glasgow V Munster/Osprey should more important than v Edinburgh (except they play them twice).

Derby games are great if its against another top team/same level, but if the other team isn't as good the games against the other top teams mean more. I think we will see a move away from derbies and more towards playing against each other as a league regardless of nationality.

If the Aviva Prem was split into conferences, Leicester Tigers vs. Northampton Saints or Harlequins vs. Saracens, Gloucester vs. Bath etc wouldn't be protected.

The derbies would be nice to have, but its about the league as a whole, its nice to have them but they would not be protected. The same should apply to the Pro 14 in future.

If the Welsh teams had joined the Prem, and it was decided to spilt into two conferences of 8, I don't think they would insist on the derbies between the regions being kept. Maybe thats would be because Bath, Gloucester, Worcester Warriors, now Wasps, and in past Bristol are all fairly close by.

Rivalries will form regardless of nationality.
You could argue Munster v Glasgow has more spice than V Connacht, and now maybe V Scarlets as well.
Glasgow V Ulster is better than V Edinburgh or Connacht
Leinster V Ospreys.

Overall, I think that derbies don't need protection, we should be playing each other as individual members of a League, not groups of Unions in a League. I would keep the separate nations for setting up conferences, so travel and diversity is kept, but forget it after that.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Sin é on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 6:38 pm

As a Munster fan, the only team I'd always want to play is Leinster. The rest I couldn't be arsed about. I was pretty sick of playing Glasgow for instance last year, 4 times was too many.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Blueschief on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 7:17 pm

Hopefully the Saffers will provide a couple of refs to the Pro14, that can only improve refereeing standards - fingers crossed.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Kingshu on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 7:57 pm

Blueschief wrote:Hopefully the Saffers will provide a couple of refs to the Pro14, that can only improve refereeing standards - fingers crossed.

You may be intrested in
http://www.irishrugby.ie/provincial/40362.php#.WZiJ2ZMrKi4

The GUINNESS PRO14 confirmed today that Greg Garner has been appointed as Elite Referee Manager for the newly-expanded Championship.

The recruitment of Greg Garner marks another step forward for the Championship after the introduction of neutral appointments for assistant referee 1s and television match officials in the 2016/17 season.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pot Hale on Sat 19 Aug 2017, 9:33 pm

Kingshu wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:The maximum or ideal number of teams needs to take into account what the optimum number of games per season should be bearing in mind that Celtic Rugby want to take all Championship games out of the test windows, and the current necessity to maintain derby games which boost attendances and maintain fan interest.  

During the initial planning discussions, the optimum number of games was 18 to avoid test windows altogether.   This would be offset in part by boosting attendances elsewhere through better league promotion, and test players appearing more often.  In turn this would help to Boosting TV and sponsorship revenues  along with a conference structure to helps to reduce the number of games and include new markets. In short, a lot of moving parts to tweak to get the best outcome.  

Keeping same country teams together in a conference avoids the need for additional derby games, but leaves the Championship open to the perception of 'well x team didn't have to play any of the Irish or Welsh teams'  as happens in Super Rugby.  

Personally I think Derby games are overvalued, its games against other top teams that are important.

Glasgow V Munster/Osprey should more important than v Edinburgh (except they play them twice).

Derby games are great if its against another top team/same level, but if the other team isn't as good the games against the other top teams mean more. I think we will see a move away from derbies and more towards playing against each other as a league regardless of nationality.

If tc arriors, now Wasps, and in past Bristol are all fairly close by.

Rivalries will form regardless of nationality.
You could argue Munster v Glasgow has more spice than V Connacht, and now maybe V Scarlets as well.
Glasgow V Ulster is better than V Edinburgh or Connacht
Leinster V Ospreys.

Overall, I think that derbies don't need protection, we should be playing each other as individual members of a League, not groups of Unions in a League. I would keep the separate nations for setting up conferences, so travel and diversity is kept, but forget it after that.

The PRO14 is no longer a league.  It's a Championship based on conferences.
I'm not sure what you mean by over-valued but from a financial perspective all of the clubs want them maintained.  Irish clubs generated over 50% of PRO12 home gates in the last couple of seasons.  That generates a lot of money and the derbies are a big part of that.  The data is in the sticky thread on PRO12.

As PRO14 expands, it will need to take account of financial factors such as this in deciding how the Championship is structured.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Biltong on Sun 20 Aug 2017, 9:33 am

Courtesy of Sport24.

Johannesburg - Free State Cheetahs managing director Harold Verster has never had it this busy – or good.

As one of the two South African teams, the Southern Kings being the other, preparing for their maiden season in the Pro 14 after their axing from Super Rugby, the logistics of juggling the new competition and the Currie Cup led to some out-of-the-box thinking.

With the Currie Cup running until the end of October and the Pro 14 starting on September 1, the overlap before the beginning of November means Verster and company are wrestling with split coaching teams, split squads and travel plans to such far-flung places as Kimberley and Ulster.

But one gets the impression Verster wouldn’t have it any other way:

“It’s a huge challenge but it’s exciting, too. In two weeks we play in our first Pro 14 game [against Ulster on September 1] and over the same days we’re playing against Western Province and the Sharks.

“We can’t complain because we’ve got something special going on here.”

The Cheetahs’ next five fixtures read: Lions on August 26 (Bloemfontein); Ulster on September 1 (Ireland); Sharks on September 2 (Durban); Western Province on September 9 (Cape Town); and Munster in Ireland later on the same day.

Verster says the planning for that is that former Cheetahs captain Rory Duncan, who has traded his suit for his tracksuit to coach again, will take the team to Ireland while former Springbok prop and forwards coach Daan Human will be caretaker coach at Currie Cup level.

Thanks to SA Rugby’s “financial parachute” to help the Cheetahs and the Kings settle in for their first season in the Pro 14, Verster said they had managed to recruit coaches and increase their squad to 55 players, two of whom (Sergeal Petersen and Raymond Rhule) will move on to WP next season.

The big issue at the moment, he said, was the fact that injury has run right through their flyhalf stocks: “Neil Marais has just had a shoulder operation, Fred Zeilinga’s just had one on his hip, Clinton Swart’s injured his knee and (scrumhalf) Tian Meyer, who also plays flyhalf, has had a shoulder op.

“That means we’re just left with Ryno Eksteen, who played his first game after injury in a long time last week. We’re also thinking of using [Springbok Sevens player and fullback] Cecil Afrika at flyhalf.”

Verster said things would look a bit better once the Currie Cup finished and the overlapping between competitions stopped.

“From November 1 until May there’ll be no overlapping.

"By January our Boks and injured players will be back. We should be a lot stronger then, but we must hang in there for now.”

Being kicked out of Super Rugby has come with a surprising windfall for the Cheetahs:

“We get extra TV rights income because of Pro 14 and we’ve signed a new South Africa- and Europe-based sponsor, who wants exposure in the UK, and we’re hoping to sign one or two more.”

With said new sponsor rumoured to be paying in pounds sterling, being kicked out of Super Rugby is proving to be good business.

The Kings’ issues are a bit more complex in that they lost the core of their players, who included Ross Geldenhuys, Irné Herbst, Tyler Paul, Thembelani Bholi, captain Lionel Cronjé, Louis Schreuder and Makazole Mapimpi, to mention a few.

While they managed to announce the retention of their miracle worker coach Deon Davids (his assistant Vuyo Zangqa has moved on to Germany, of all places), they have had to scramble to put together a squad.

The personnel coming in, which was 23 at the last count, are a combination of players with no contracts or loanees.

They are also said to be on the verge of announcing former Stormers, Griquas and Border wing Chumani Booi, currently assistant coach with the Bulldogs, as Davids’ assistant coach
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by LordDowlais on Sun 20 Aug 2017, 10:20 am

Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Biltong on Sun 20 Aug 2017, 11:43 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

If you read between the lines when listening to Jurie Roux CEO of SARu, it suggests 4 in pro14 and 4 in super rugby
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Exiledinborders on Sun 20 Aug 2017, 2:37 pm

Biltong wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

If you read between the lines when listening to Jurie Roux CEO of SARu, it suggests 4 in pro14 and 4 in super rugby
From a business point of view it would make more sense for the better South African teams to join the AP or even Top 14.

I agree about SH rugby outside of SA though. Although New Zealand rugby is very strong in some ways from a purely business perspective it is on shaky foundations.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by marty2086 on Sun 20 Aug 2017, 4:33 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

No you haven't

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by LordDowlais on Mon 21 Aug 2017, 12:01 pm

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

No you haven't

Again, you must be a nightmare to live with. Rolling Eyes

Why is it always argument after argument with you ? Anyway check this link:-

http://www.606v2.com/t66041p200-the-future-for-the-pro12-part-3-the-union-balldance

That is me mentioning it a month ago. I was talking about it before that as well, i just can't remember which thread it was on. Anyway that link should be enough to prove you wrong, again.

Now please can we just leave it there ? OK

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Pot Hale on Mon 21 Aug 2017, 1:13 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

No you haven't

Again, you must be a nightmare to live with. Rolling Eyes

Why is it always argument after argument with you ? Anyway check this link:-

http://www.606v2.com/t66041p200-the-future-for-the-pro12-part-3-the-union-balldance

That is me mentioning it a month ago. I was talking about it before that as well, i just can't remember which thread it was on. Anyway that link should be enough to prove you wrong, again.

Now please can we just leave it there ? OK

Your link points to a comment by you about your father having the thought about more SA sides joining European comps. So it was your father, not you. Secondly, the notion of SA sides joining European comps has been around for a number of years. Your father or you are not unique in this thought. It's been mentioned on 606v2 a number of times by different posters. I don't see any comments that laugh you out of town on it either since your father's comments reflect what other people have said.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by Guest on Mon 21 Aug 2017, 7:34 pm

Biltong wrote:
Munchkin wrote:I have been travelling a lot recently, so a wee bit out of the loop.

I had heard, can't remember where, that the travel costs would be covered, so it's encouraging to see that more or less confirmed.

It's hugely encouraging to see the head of PRW genuinely excited about the future of what was once PRO12. Griff, thanks for the info ...

I might be reaching for the stars, but I envisage a two tier league in the future, and think it's possible that is the aim. I do hope so as this is what I have always wanted for PRO12.

I am excited about this new world, but realise it's going to be a bumpy road, especially at the beginning. I don't expect too much from the SA teams in the first season, and it might take two or three seasons for them to settle, but fully expect them to really challenge for top places in the future. Doing so will push all sides on and enhance the league.

As for Ulster, I'm not expecting too much this year. Tough times, but still excited to see what Gibbes brings to the table.

Also want to see the SA sides playing in the thingy cup. No real reason they shouldn't.

And just to add (my forth add o0), I love the fact that it's SA sides joining us. Serious respect for those guys, the nations love of rugby, and just .... love em.

Cheers munchkin Hug

You're more than welcome, Biltong Hug

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 10:28 am

Pot Hale wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Griffiths believes the inclusion of the Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth-based sides in a new look PRO14 could pave the way for South Africa’s four remaining Super Rugby franchises to break away from the SANZAAR-run competition when TV deals expire in 2020.

Well,well.

I have been saying this for ages, since the talk of South African sides joining the Pro12. I was laughed out if town on here. Rolling Eyes

The South African franchises will be a big part of European rugby within the next decade. The next step will be South Africa joining the 6N. Why ? Because the NH is where the money is, and money talks. The SA TV deals are propping up SH rugby as it is.

South African teams will be joining the the Pro14 lock stock and barrel within the next decade, probably at the cost of the Italians. Then SA will join the 6N at the cost of Italy, because money talks. This will be the death knell for SH rugby.

No you haven't

Again, you must be a nightmare to live with. Rolling Eyes

Why is it always argument after argument with you ? Anyway check this link:-

http://www.606v2.com/t66041p200-the-future-for-the-pro12-part-3-the-union-balldance

That is me mentioning it a month ago. I was talking about it before that as well, i just can't remember which thread it was on. Anyway that link should be enough to prove you wrong, again.

Now please can we just leave it there ? OK

Your link points to a comment by you about your father having the thought about more SA sides joining European comps.  So it was your father, not you.   Secondly, the notion of SA sides joining European comps has been around for a number of years.  Your father or you are not unique in this thought.  It's been mentioned on 606v2 a number of times by different posters.   I don't see any comments that laugh you out of town on it either since your father's comments reflect what other people have said.  

Yep. I imagine he's just looking for attention again Rolling Eyes

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by munkian on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 11:30 am

PrO'14 final in Dublin O'shocker, Jesus tapdancing Christ...
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by St John The Enforcer on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:06 pm

munkian wrote:PrO'14 final in Dublin O'shocker, Jesus tapdancing Christ...

If only the Millinneum Stadium would bid for it... Surely they would be a lock in for the gig at this stage.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:12 pm

Did anyone apart from the Aviva bid for it?

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by PhilBB on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:34 pm

Kingshu wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:The maximum or ideal number of teams needs to take into account what the optimum number of games per season should be bearing in mind that Celtic Rugby want to take all Championship games out of the test windows, and the current necessity to maintain derby games which boost attendances and maintain fan interest.  

During the initial planning discussions, the optimum number of games was 18 to avoid test windows altogether.   This would be offset in part by boosting attendances elsewhere through better league promotion, and test players appearing more often.  In turn this would help to Boosting TV and sponsorship revenues  along with a conference structure to helps to reduce the number of games and include new markets. In short, a lot of moving parts to tweak to get the best outcome.  

Keeping same country teams together in a conference avoids the need for additional derby games, but leaves the Championship open to the perception of 'well x team didn't have to play any of the Irish or Welsh teams'  as happens in Super Rugby.  

Personally I think Derby games are overvalued, its games against other top teams that are important.

Munster Leinster is good as it two top local teams, but most derbies are not against other top teams. You can argue that Munster V Ospreys/Glasgow, is more important this year than Munster V Connacht.
Same for Scarlets, the games against Ulster and Leinster, are going to be more important to them than V Dragons
Glasgow V Munster/Osprey should more important than v Edinburgh (except they play them twice).

Derby games are great if its against another top team/same level, but if the other team isn't as good the games against the other top teams mean more. I think we will see a move away from derbies and more towards playing against each other as a league regardless of nationality.

If the Aviva Prem was split into conferences,  Leicester Tigers vs. Northampton Saints or Harlequins vs. Saracens, Gloucester vs. Bath etc wouldn't be protected.

The derbies would be nice to have, but its about the league as a whole, its nice to have them but they would not be protected. The same should apply to the Pro 14 in future.

If the Welsh teams had joined the Prem, and it was decided to spilt into two conferences of 8, I don't think they would insist on the derbies between the regions being kept. Maybe thats would be because Bath, Gloucester, Worcester Warriors, now Wasps, and in past Bristol are all fairly close by.

Rivalries will form regardless of nationality.
You could argue Munster v Glasgow has more spice than V Connacht, and now maybe V Scarlets as well.
Glasgow V Ulster is better than V Edinburgh or Connacht
Leinster V Ospreys.

Overall, I think that derbies don't need protection, we should be playing each other as individual members of a League, not groups of Unions in a League. I would keep the separate nations for setting up conferences, so travel and diversity is kept, but forget it after that.

From a financial point of view, the derbies in Wales are paramount. A derby for a Welsh fan is a game they can drive to, so your point about an AW league is moot because they very reason many of us want that is to increase the number of derbies played.

Remember, South Wales is tiny. We have four teams in a tiny area with a population similar to that of Leinster or Ulster. Munster is physically bigger than the whole of Wales. So, for us, derbies are different from what they are to non-Welsh folk. Hence, to us, they are vital.
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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

Post by RDW_Scotland on Tue 22 Aug 2017, 12:39 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Did anyone apart from the Aviva bid for it?

BBC sport wrote:Cardiff's Principality Stadium was also considered before Dublin was selected to host the match on 26 May.

BBC Sport understands the Principality Stadium pitch will have been taken up before the final, in preparation for hosting music events in the summer.

I'm not sure how it could have been considered if there was going to be no pitch.

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Re: The Future for the PRO14 - Part 4 - A Global Club Championship

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