Teams on the road.

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Teams on the road.

Post by carpet baboon on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 4:55 pm

This is a question mainly for the Irish Scots and Welsh, but feel free to play along if your English.

Having been reading the dragons thread about taking a few home games to different parts of the region, I got to thinking could the province's do it?
If Ulster decided to take a home game away from ravenspan where would you like to see it go? Could it be done?
Same goes for the other provinces where would/could/should they go?
Just a bit of fun, let's keep the chat light and breezy

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by The Oracle on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 5:06 pm

I think it would work perfectly well if you have a very big province/region and two or more big population centres within that region (plus a good stadium at each of the locations). I’m thinking of somewhere like Munster with Limerick and Cork which, from memory, has held games at both locales, but even there they have started to focus more on one stadium in recent years haven’t they?
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by Pete330v2 on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 5:09 pm

Ulster already tried it by playing a home game in Dublin. It went badly.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by propdavid_london on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 5:22 pm

I'm not a fan of taking home games on the road. Normally because its not included in my season ticket!
Happy to travel and go to away games. But home is home.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by Brendan on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 5:35 pm

Leinster play in the RDS and Aviva stadiums spreading it nicely around the Provience of Dublin 4
Due to a politically divided province for 100 years Ulster are helping unite the community by having it in a neutral venue.
Connacht tried to hold a match a few years ago in Craggy island but due to the protest of three local priests saying down with that sort of thing they haven't gone back.
Due to Cork wanting any team representing them to wear red and be called Cork. Munster had to limit games when local stations started saying Cork Rugby was in the Pro12. Though they decided to keep the red jersey which cost them 4 pro14 games a season being hosted in Cork.

On a serious note the u23 league would be great for this and I would like to see teams play at some of the university/colleges/ITs around the province.  Helps build the fan base and the players would have friends & family attending.

Connacht v Leinster in Athlone
Munster v Leinster in Waterford etc

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 5:53 pm

propdavid_london wrote:I'm not a fan of taking home games on the road.  Normally because its not included in my season ticket!
Happy to travel and go to away games.  But home is home.  

That surprises me
I would have thought you ST guarantees you a set number of games
My ST contract states 10 Pro14, 3 European Cup, 1 Friendly

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by The Oracle on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 6:10 pm

So for arguments sake, could any Leinster fans see a Pro14 game go to, say, Kilkenny? If not I’d be interested to hear why not?
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by Brendan on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 6:17 pm

With the new u23 league between Ireland and Wales I don't see why they can be spread around the regions/provinces. Especially if you have a few players from there.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by geoff999rugby on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 7:11 pm

The biggest issue in Ireland is ground size.
It would have to be GAA grounds because nothing else is fit for purpose.

Here in Ulster all we have is Windsor Park and what is the point moving to a soccer ground you can walk to from Ravenhill.
Also Clones. Personally Id love to see a game there but not likely for the foreseeable features.
As a one off it would be a novelty after that it almost certainly would not attract the same crowds
As mentioned on the Dragons forum grounds are where they are because of the population density

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 7:31 pm

Tigers played a couple of games at the Leicester City ground. They still hold the record attendance (no need for losing seats to segregation). There were issues with the football bars not being prepared for rugby and running out of beer before half time. They had to transport some across from Welford Road.

Tigers also played a game in Nottingham. They've not repeated that.

Falcons and Sarries played a game in the US last season. It was pretty much a disaster. Falcons did play at St James Park to great success though.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by The Oracle on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 8:28 pm

I think staying within the big city is not too much bother for fans e.g. Newcastle Falcons playing at another ground in Newcastle city. It’s when you try to go from Cardiff to Merthyr (same ‘region’ for rugby purposes), or Newport to Ebbw Vale (Dragons region), or Leinster to Wexford (I.e. out of the capital). It either seems a token gesture or leaves fans asking ‘what’s the point’?. Fine if you’re going to a bigger ground because you’re expecting a bumper crowd (like English Prem using Twickers) but down sizing and going to a town with a population 1/10th of the usual stadium venue in a much harder to reach place makes no commercial sense, for me.
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by Pot Hale on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 8:46 pm

I’d be up for this.

Munster already play a number of games each season at Independent Park in Cork, but a European game in Semple Stadium in Thurles or Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork would be a cracker.

Leinster to play in Cusack Park, Mullingar, or Nowlan Park, Kilkenny or Wexford Park in Wexford Town.  

Ulster to play at St Tiernach’s in Clones, or Brewster Park in Enniskillen, Celtic Park in Derry, Esler Park in Newry, or McCool Park in Ballybofey, Donegal would a great reachout as a once off over a few seasons.  And a real possibility would be Breffni Park in Cavan which is sponsored by Kingspan and who have their group headquarters in the county.  

Connacht at McHale Park in Castlebar, Pearse Park Longford, or Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by Brendan on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 9:31 pm

Pot Hale wrote:I’d be up for this.

Munster already play a number of games each season at Independent Park in Cork, but a European game in Semple Stadium in Thurles or Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork would be a cracker.

Leinster to play in Cusack Park, Mullingar, or Nowlan Park, Kilkenny or Wexford Park in Wexford Town.  

Ulster to play at St Tiernach’s in Clones, or Brewster Park in Enniskillen, Celtic Park in Derry, Esler Park in Newry, or McCool Park in Ballybofey, Donegal would a great reachout as a once off over a few seasons.  And a real possibility would be Breffni Park in Cavan which is sponsored by Kingspan and who have their group headquarters in the county.  

Connacht at McHale Park in Castlebar, Pearse Park Longford, or Dr Hyde Park in Roscommon.

While in theory yes it could it is unlikely to.
Currently Páirc Uí Chaoimh in Cork which has to be available for charity events as per it's planning permission is refusing to host a game of soccer in aid of the young family Liam Miller left behind due to dying of cancer at 36.  He was a local lad who played GAA underage before playing soccer for Man U and Celtic and Ireland and Cork.  If they won't open for that there is no hope for Rugby games just to be nice.


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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by formerly known as Sam on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 9:31 pm

The Oracle wrote:I think staying within the big city is not too much bother for fans e.g. Newcastle Falcons playing at another ground in Newcastle city. It’s when you try to go from Cardiff to Merthyr (same ‘region’ for rugby purposes), or Newport to Ebbw Vale (Dragons region), or Leinster to Wexford (I.e. out of the capital). It either seems a token gesture or leaves fans asking ‘what’s the point’?. Fine if you’re going to a bigger ground because you’re expecting a bumper crowd (like English Prem using Twickers) but down sizing and going to a town with a population 1/10th of the usual stadium venue in a much harder to reach place makes no commercial sense, for me.

It makes commercial sense if new fans are attracted to the sport, particularly if it encourages kids to take up the sport and have a life long affinity with that club.

I met several Tigers players as a child because their outreach programme packed players off to rugby tournaments, village shows, family events etc at any given opportunity so that they were seen as our club.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by Kingshu on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 9:50 pm

Remember for GAA grounds rule 42 was only repealed for Croke Park. There was talk it would be repealed if hosting RWC. At the minute there is the travesty that a request for charity football game to raise funds for Liam Millars family was turned down by the GAA be played in Pairc Ui Chaoimh as they needed congress to approve it and the next meeting isnt untill Feb, it appears there is movement on it now but shows that GAA grounds are not really open to other sports but there is hope this opens up more.
I would love to see Ulster move a European game to Casement (when its finished) once a season and maybe a inter pro like Leinster use the Aviva, even home european semi final if it ever happened, 40000 seater same city, just bigger and could potentionally unlock a bigger fanbase.
Think more likily would be Kingspan Breffni Park I think Kingspan could if wished put pressure on for it to be open to a game, but in Cavan would even an Ulster v Leinster game sell out (32000)? Would be a nice experiment and I wouldnt mind travelling for one home game a year, be nice to get a few pints in Cavan its been a while.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by The Oracle on Thu 26 Jul 2018, 10:03 pm

formerly known as Sam wrote:
The Oracle wrote:I think staying within the big city is not too much bother for fans e.g. Newcastle Falcons playing at another ground in Newcastle city. It’s when you try to go from Cardiff to Merthyr (same ‘region’ for rugby purposes), or Newport to Ebbw Vale (Dragons region), or Leinster to Wexford (I.e. out of the capital). It either seems a token gesture or leaves fans asking ‘what’s the point’?. Fine if you’re going to a bigger ground because you’re expecting a bumper crowd (like English Prem using Twickers) but down sizing and going to a town with a population 1/10th of the usual stadium venue in a much harder to reach place makes no commercial sense, for me.

It makes commercial sense if new fans are attracted to the sport, particularly if it encourages kids to take up the sport and have a life long affinity with that club.

I met several Tigers players as a child because their outreach programme packed players off to rugby tournaments, village shows, family events etc at any given opportunity so that they were seen as our club.

I know what you’re saying. It’s definitely got it’s benefits. But Dragons already do outreach programmes. All the usual stuff takes place in schools, in the community, at clubs in the region, coaching clinics, kids from around he region doing guard of honour on match days, health and well-being workshops, community outreach, etc. Been going on since inception. I’ve been involved a little myself in a previous role. Just saying the odd game on the road seems a bit of a token gesture (for the fans of the one-off venue. And I recall Ebbw Vale fans have voiced this in the past), and more than the odd game will hit income.

It all depends on the club and location though I suppose. Leicester is pretty well connected in terms of transport links. So going on the road probably isn’t a huge deal. But imagine Glasgow taking a game to Shetland. Might not make sense commercially, even if does attract new fans from Shetland. I’m not saying Ebbw Vale is as remote as Shetland, but it’s much much less connected than somewhere like Leicester!
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 8:57 am

The Oracle wrote:I think staying within the big city is not too much bother for fans e.g. Newcastle Falcons playing at another ground in Newcastle city. It’s when you try to go from Cardiff to Merthyr (same ‘region’ for rugby purposes), or Newport to Ebbw Vale (Dragons region), or Leinster to Wexford (I.e. out of the capital). It either seems a token gesture or leaves fans asking ‘what’s the point’?. Fine if you’re going to a bigger ground because you’re expecting a bumper crowd (like English Prem using Twickers) but down sizing and going to a town with a population 1/10th of the usual stadium venue in a much harder to reach place makes no commercial sense, for me.

Remember - English clubs have exactly the same set up as we have in Wales. They all have geographical academy areas, which is exactly the set up we have in Wales.
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 9:06 am

Ditto Ireland and, I believe, Scotland

We all have hinterlands for player recruitment

In England leads to some strange connections.
A friends son has had trials at Leicester and he lives in Lichfield

Is there a map of the English areas anywhere ?

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by PhilBB on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 9:45 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Ditto Ireland and, I believe, Scotland

We all have hinterlands for player recruitment

In England leads to some strange connections.
A friends son has had trials at Leicester and he lives in Lichfield

Is there a map of the English areas anywhere ?



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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by St John The Enforcer on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 10:39 am

The Oracle wrote:So for arguments sake, could any Leinster fans see a Pro14 game go to, say, Kilkenny? If not I’d be interested to hear why not?
Leinster Are committed to a certain number of games at the RDS every season.

When the Italians joined the league in 2010 Leinster were able to move 2 games per year to the newly refurbished Lansdowne rd Venue. (Munster and Christmas HC pool game) They also moved the Schools Senior Cup final from Donnybrook to the RDS.

Recently (About March or April I think) They signed a naming rights deal with Energia for Donnybrook stadium. (The pre-RDS home of Leinster Rugby) There have been a few music gigs there since and obviously the schools cup games. Leinster normally play their Pre season friendlies there. And their A games. U20 games and Women’s games are also played here.

While these have moved about the province in the past I reckon the Energia deal probably sees an end to this practice.

PS. All 3 grounds are within a mile or so of each other

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by The Oracle on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 10:58 am

St John The Enforcer wrote:
The Oracle wrote:So for arguments sake, could any Leinster fans see a Pro14 game go to, say, Kilkenny? If not I’d be interested to hear why not?
Leinster Are committed to a certain number of games at the RDS every season.

When the Italians joined the league in 2010 Leinster were able to move 2 games per year to the newly refurbished Lansdowne rd Venue. (Munster and Christmas HC pool game) They also moved the Schools Senior Cup final from Donnybrook to the RDS.

Recently (About March or April I think) They signed a naming rights deal with Energia for Donnybrook stadium. (The pre-RDS home of Leinster Rugby) There have been a few music gigs there since and obviously the schools cup games. Leinster normally play their Pre season friendlies there. And their A games. U20 games and Women’s games are also played here.

While these have moved about the province in the past I reckon the Energia deal probably sees an end to this practice.

PS. All 3 grounds are within a mile or so of each other

Yeah, I’ve been to Donnybrook. 2001 I think. But it’s in Dublin itself so serves the population already served by the RDS, I would imagine?

The only reason I mentioned Kilkenny was because I looked on a map and it seemed suitably far away for my comparison with the Dragons taking games from Newport to the other end of the regional territory! I have no idea what is in Kilkenny.

A few people have mentioned taking games on the road (e.g. Pot Hale’s examples). Often these are to bigger grounds. That’s great if you can fill them. And I guess Judgement Day in Wales is an example of that where the crowds generated are bigger than what the regional grounds can hold. But for Dragons to go to another ground in the region it is to a smaller ground (albeit only a couple of thousand smaller in the case of Eugene Cross Park, Ebbw Vale), it is to a more deprived area with some real financial hardships (and Newport itself isn’t exactly an affluent area, apart from some pockets), and its to an area with vastly inferior local population levels (Ebbw Vale = 18,000; Newport city population= 145,000 and urban population of 306,000). So from our point of view while it’s ‘nice’ to take a game to small areas, any more than occasionally and you’re surely hitting yourself in the goolies, financially speaking.


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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by St John The Enforcer on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 12:02 pm

I was just pointing out that while A games, Women's games and U20 games have been played in places like Athlone, Ashbourne, Navan and even Tallaght stadium in recent years. This is less likely to happen now that the deal with Energia in Donnybrook has been signed and that all games will probably be played in the leafy suburbs of Dublin 4 now.

PS Leinster played Newport in the H cup in Oct 2001. Could have been then.

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by The Oracle on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 12:15 pm

Yeah it was definitely that game. Had a great weekend! Tough ferry crossing on the way home though, after a weekend on the booze Sad
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by St John The Enforcer on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 12:25 pm

On size and population. The area of Leinster is slightly smaller than the whole of wales. The population is about the same as the whole of South Wales.

Lots more Rugby clubs in South Wales though. Smile

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by RDW_Scotland on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 12:30 pm

Edinburgh and Glasgow play pre-season games at Scottish club grounds (Glasgow at Stirling County, Edinburgh at Boroughmuir this coming season) but none are big enough for a proper league game. The only option would be to use a football ground which obviously has its negatives. Glasgow could use Kilmarnock's ground in Ayreshire (as Scotland have done in the past) but there's no obvious option for Edinburgh other than those in the city centre (Hearts and Hibs).

Ultimately Scottish Rugby have had trouble finding suitable venues for the club teams for years, I can't see them changing this now that they finally have found some (given Edinburgh's new stadium next season).

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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by tigertattie on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 1:47 pm

RDW_Scotland wrote:Edinburgh and Glasgow play pre-season games at Scottish club grounds (Glasgow at Stirling County, Edinburgh at Boroughmuir this coming season) but none are big enough for a proper league game. The only option would be to use a football ground which obviously has its negatives. Glasgow could use Kilmarnock's ground in Ayreshire (as Scotland have done in the past) but there's no obvious option for Edinburgh other than those in the city centre (Hearts and Hibs).

Ultimately Scottish Rugby have had trouble finding suitable venues for the club teams for years, I can't see them changing this now that they finally have found some (given Edinburgh's new stadium next season).

We've (Edinburgh) have played warm up games in the Borders just to give the locals some decent rugby to watch.

We could try have a game in Perth or Aberdeen but we'f not get the crowds there as there wouldn't be a big support up there and the core Edinburgh fans wouldn't want to travel that far for a home game (I mean who wants to voluntarily go to Aberdeen for crying out loud!!!)
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Re: Teams on the road.

Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 27 Jul 2018, 6:44 pm

Thanks for the map PhilBB

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