SA teams in the RCC?

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SA teams in the RCC?

Post by Kingshu on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 2:34 pm

I think that the Pro 14 Unions, will have said they will support the SA sides in joining the RCC as part of joining the Pro 14, I can't see that they would have said they may oppose it when discussions were ongoing about SA joining the Pro 14. The SA Union would have requested it, as it opens up potentially more money for the teams joining the Pro 14. That would mean that 8 of the 12 votes would be in favour. They may lose one or two places in Europe but they do get more money domestically.

For the French and English, they will not lose out on teams entering the RCC by allowing them to enter, so will not lose out.
Since the teams that simply finish in the top seven places of the Guinness Pro12 next season will qualify for the 2018/19 Champions Cup, regardless of their country of origin. Which means you may be replacing a team like Cardiff Blues for Cheetahs.
They may not like that it will make it more competitive and harder to win, but I think that they will see that it also makes it more prestigious to win, the prize money will increase, and sponsors like Heineken will pay more to have they product shown in SA and will put pressure on to include them also. So with so many positives, they will vote n favour of it also.

The one cravat I can see is that the Pro 14 will push for the RCC to increase again from 20 teams back to 24, so 8 teams from each league join. It will balance out the SA sides taking up Pro 14 spots. Again I cannot see the French or English sides being against this, as in effect it means that they gain an extra place each, and since no union is guaranteed a place the groups will be more balanced than before.

If this is the case it will open up an additional 4 places in the European Rugby Challenge Cup to the likes teams in the European Rugby Continental Shield (Italy, Georgia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium) which will be better for the development of Rugby for all.

Do you think there will be any issues with SA sides joining the RCC?
Do you think the Pro 14 teams will push for a 24 team competition (to offset losing places to SA sides)?
If so will this cause issues?
Will the European Rugby Challenge Cup be able to support having an additional 4 teams from tier 2 countries?


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Re: SA teams in the RCC?

Post by Big on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 4:01 pm

This comes from a position of complete ignorance, but I doubt the English/French teams would protest too much. If it was still a 20 team tournament - just allowing for SA teams as well from the Pro 14 - then there is no difference for the English and French other than potentially having a long journey for a couple of matches, which would probably be more than offset by a larger audience and more TV money... a 24 team tournament might neutralise the benefit by sharing a larger pot among more teams. But if the playing standard was right and they thought it would have more appeal, who knows.

I'd have thought it's the fans that would probably be more upset (whether Pro 14, TOP 14 or premiership), as travelling to another European country for an away game is much easier and cheaper than travelling to South Africa.

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Re: SA teams in the RCC?

Post by Biltong on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 4:05 pm

I think that is well reasoned kinshu, I agree
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Re: SA teams in the RCC?

Post by Kingshu on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 4:29 pm

I'd add that I would also like to see, but do not think it will happen, is that the Italian sides are removed from the European Rugby Continental Shield.

Welsh Premiership, All-Ireland League (AIL), Scottish Premiership, English Championship or Pro D2 teams don't get in, so why do the National Championship of Excellence teams?

It would mean 6 teams from Georgia, Romania, Russia, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Belgium would have a chance of playing in the Challenge Cup.
Surely World rugby would assist them the same way that it does, Fijian Drua in the Aus National Rugby Championship.

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Re: SA teams in the RCC?

Post by Kingshu on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 4:47 pm

Big wrote:This comes from a position of complete ignorance, but I doubt the English/French teams would protest too much.  If it was still a 20 team tournament - just allowing for SA teams as well from the Pro 14 - then there is no difference for the English and French other than potentially having a long journey for a couple of matches, which would probably be more than offset by a larger audience and more TV money...    a 24 team tournament might neutralise the benefit by sharing a larger pot among more teams.  But if the playing standard was right and they thought it would have more appeal, who knows.

I'd have thought it's the fans that would probably be more upset (whether Pro 14, TOP 14 or premiership), as travelling to another European country for an away game is much easier and cheaper than travelling to South Africa.

I never though of the traveling being an objection. The fans may be upset at the travel for an away game, but I'm sure the likes of Tigers would love to get Cheetahs rather than Ulster or Munster again, so it may not be that hard of a sell.

Going from 20-24 teams may be an issue as it decreases the size of slice but it is a bigger pie. It will depend on how much the bigger pie would be, if it means more money after travel etc is taken out, they should be ok with it. However for negotiation purposes I think they will have issue with this, and have the Pro 14 Unions remove the clause that says they get a certain amount minimum paid, no matter how little the RCC generates as a compromise.

So English/French gain an extra place each, remove minimum payments to Pro 14 Unions, generate more money, make the competition more prestigious, please sponsors and are able to obtain more from them, overall, and each club as well (i.e I'm sure the likes of tigers would be able to get more from Caterpillar, if they are going to also be seen in SA TV), the negative being more travel, and a tougher competition. I think the positives will far outweigh the negatives on this.
Overall I can't see an issue with them allowing SA teams join the RCC.

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Re: SA teams in the RCC?

Post by Pot Hale on Fri 08 Sep 2017, 8:39 pm

I think there are three issues or principles here.  

The nationality of the additional teams and its impact on travel and logistics but also the additional value it brings
The size of the respective leagues and allocation of places
The split of monies dependent on size of league
.  

The inclusion of SA teams will bring more money and likely be the single biggest factor in potential increase in sponsorship and tv deals. That is a direct result of the PRO14 league and its increased contribution and available markets.  That should put the PRO14 in a much stronger negotiating position. Particularly since it is the PRO14 that is most likely to bring additional SA teams and/or the US market into view.

The previous Euro Cup arrangement was argued on a principle of three leagues and no longer 6 unions.  So if two leagues have 14 teams and one  has 12, the argument could centre on how much each league should receive as opposed to the current 33.3%.   Otherwise, the teams in PRO14 will receive less proportionately 1/14th than a Premiership team 1/12th.  At a meritocratic split of 2.5% for each of the 40 teams this would be 35/35/30 split.

If the comp size remained at 20 teams then the Top 14 and PRO14 would have 7 places each and the smaller Premiership either 6 or 5 places depending on whether challenge cup winner would be included.  If it expanded to 24 teams then it could be 8,8,7 + CC
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