Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

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Who is the 10th best international team

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Total Votes : 9

Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Brendan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 12:03 pm

Who is the 10th best international team in Rugby Union

The Top 9 in no particular order.
England, France, Ireland, Scotland, Wales
Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa

Contenders
Fiji IRB No. 8
Top 9 wins - 2017 Fiji 27 - 22 Scotland, 2018 France 14 - 21 Fiji
Italy - 2017 Fiji 22 - 19 Italy, Italy 19 - 10 Fiji
Japan - 2016 Fiji 38 - 25 Japan,
Georgia - 2016 Fiji 3 - 14 Georgia, 2018 Fiji 37 - 15 Georgia
Positives - more players playing for top teams in top leagues mean they have a good team.  Possibly one of the most skilful teams with ball in hand.  Have a home based team playing in the NRC (level below Super Rugby in Australia) winning it this year.  It allows their players to stay at home and then get picked up by the bigger teams.
Negative - At international level they are not at the top tier nor has there been talk of them joining.  Population and finance are always going to be a problem.
Underage - dropped down to the second tier in 2014 and have only just qualified to the top table again in 2019
Outlook - it is hard to tell if they are Samoa of the 90s a great generation or is the team a sign of improving structures.  I think they are on a high but will drop back down in a few years

Italy IRB No. 15
Top 9 wins - 2016 Italy 20 - 18 South Africa
Fiji - 2017 Fiji 22 - 19 Italy, Italy 19 - 10 Fiji
Japan - 2018 Japan 34 - 17 Italy, Japan 22 - 25 Italy
Georgia - 2018 Italy 28 - 17 Georgia
Positive - They have two teams in a top league and also have access to the European top tournaments.  They have their second tier clubs also having access to the 3rd tier in Europe.  Their structures are more joined up and they are working more as a team.  Alot of the stand out players for them in the six nations were young players.  Their biggest positive is they are in the 6 Nations so the Union had more money than anyone outside the top 9.
Negatives - They have never pushed on in the last 18 years in bridging the gap and they always seem on the verge of being good but then fall off the next year. No one believes they are the next big thing.
Underage - Coming 11th out of 12 in 2014 when got promoted back up.  They finish same place the next two years but have been 8th the last two so improving.  This would also align with 6N tables for underage.  Their academies are also improving.
Outlook - the FIR only seem in the past to improve when they had to.  Now they look like they are improving because they want to.  With improvement at underage and also at Pro14 level things are looking up.  They look like Scotland of a 5-7 years ago but need to get Treviso to be a playoff team before Italy improve.  They have cash so that always helps.

Japan IRB No. 11
Top 9 wins - 2017 France 23 - 23 Japan
Fiji - 2016 Fiji 38 - 25 Japan
Italy - 2018 Japan 34 - 17 Italy, Japan 22 - 25 Italy
Georgia - 2016 Georgia 22 - 28 Japan, 2018 Japan 28 - 0 Georgia
Positives - they have a professional league and they have a team in the top league.  Japan has money and you need that to improve.  They are firmly in the chasing pack which 15 years ago seemed unlikely.  They are a darling of WR but need to continue to improve to remain so.
Negatives - They have to many non nationals in their national and Sunwolves teams to say that their structures are turning out good players. Until this happens they will drop back again.
Underage - yoyo team at under 20s so don't have the players coming through to replace the current team
Outlook - Depends on public buy in post the world cup, if the Sunwolves are kept in SR and if the Union can improve the structure of the Pro-league to fund a model that improves the National team.  I don't think they can as the teams in Japan have the money not the Union. I think there are two many questions unanswered.

Georgia IRB No. 13
Top 9 wins 0
Fiji - 2016 Fiji 3 - 14 Georgia, 2018 Fiji 37 - 15 Georgia
Italy - 2018 Italy 28 - 17 Georgia
Japan - 2016 Georgia 22 - 28 Japan, 2018 Japan 28 - 0 Georgia
Positives - Since 2000 Georgia have won the B6N 10 times, 7 of which came in the past 8 years. Last WC they finished 3rd in their group for the first time. They are now firmly ahead of Tonga, Samoa, the rest of Europe and the USA.  A growing number of players in professional contracts has increased over the past years
Negatives - They are the only team on this list who don't have a team in a professional league that is a high enough standard.  Their best club teams are about as good as the Italian tier 2 club teams (who Italy feel aren't good enough to prepare young players for the Pro14) so are well off the pace.  They can't access better games to the same level as the other three teams and are short on money. They have also never beaten a 6N or RC team.
Underage - Been in the top tier for the last 3 years so improving and maintaining.
Outlook - until they can have a professional team at home they will not win against top sides enough to warrant being added to the 6N.  If with the help of WR they could play a small league with the two Russian teams and a Rominian team they would improve, if not aren't going to progress.  If WR were serious about developing rugby they need to give unions like Georgia a professional squad. Until that happens they will not be ahead of these teams.

Teams on the up
USA - have professional league that will only improve them
Russia - with the winner of two teams that play in the Challange cup back in it the next year Russia look like they could have one team permantly in Europe.  That is 6 games against decent teams.  Add in the internationals and Russia are build a national team whose players are  playing to a high enough standard.  They also have a money man behind them which could turn out to be bad.

Teams on the down
Samoa & Tonga results getting worse each year and European teams matching and surpassing them.  It is possible that both will finish bottom of their pool at the WC if things carry on as they are
Nambia check out their AI results. If they were in Europe they might get relegated (Portugal are Tier 3 C6N)
Canada They are now fourth best in the Americas with no Pro team they are falling more


Last edited by Brendan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 6:11 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by tigertattie on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 1:00 pm

Sorry but isnt this a bonkers thread?

Considering Fiji are ranked 8th then doesnt that answer the question?
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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Brendan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 1:07 pm

tigertattie wrote:Sorry but isnt this a bonkers thread?

Considering Fiji are ranked 8th then doesnt that answer the question?

No.

The only reason they are 8th is 1-7 are so far ahead of them they lost nothing when they played. They also played alot of the teams 11-15 picking up easy points. If they played the same teams Italy had they would be on a similar standing. Look at the wins v top teams and each other.

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by TightHEAD on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 2:56 pm

British Lions.
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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Rugby Fan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 3:00 pm

Good question, and an interesting post.

In good conditions, I think Japan would beat Italy and Georgia more often than not but might be vulnerable to Fiji in the same circumstances.

The problem is that I haven't really seen enough of all the teams to understand who their key players are, and how different selections influence overall form.

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by miaow on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 3:07 pm

NZ Maori

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Pie on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 5:06 pm

Assessment of Canada is they are dire

Fiji definitely coming up - watch out Wales

Georgia likewise but to what end....no way there will be a 7 Nations and most people dont want to give up their weekend in Rome (though Italy should be relegated)

Samoa and Tonga you have to feel sorry for. Bled dry first by NZ and now all of us

Japan are always on the up and can produce sublime moments but they will always be limited in a game that now favors size over skill

USA, well yes the pro league will bring them up but they will never really get the game of rugby and since rugby will only ever be about 5th in the rankings of popularity in the U S of A I dont think we'll ever see it come on as soccer has. Most everybody rates rugby players as failed NFL players and dont like the fact they cant go and get a hotdog every 2 minutes because the game isn't full of ad breaks

I voted other because Wales wasn't an option

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Brendan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 6:14 pm

Pie wrote:Assessment of Canada is they are dire

Fiji definitely coming up - watch out Wales

Georgia likewise but to what end....no way there will be a 7 Nations and most people dont want to give up their weekend in Rome (though Italy should be relegated)

Samoa and Tonga you have to feel sorry for. Bled dry first by NZ and now all of us

Japan are always on the up and can produce sublime moments but they will always be limited in a game that now favors size over skill

USA, well yes the pro league will bring them up but they will never really get the game of rugby and since rugby will only ever be about 5th in the rankings of popularity in the U S of A I dont think we'll ever see it come on as soccer has. Most everybody rates rugby players as failed NFL players and dont like the fact they cant go and get a hotdog every 2 minutes because the game isn't full of ad breaks

I voted other because Wales wasn't an option

Read an article that kids are playing American football and rugby in high school and college so that they are good enough at rugby if NFL doesn't work out.

The biggest challange for USA is 7s

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Brendan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 6:16 pm

miaow wrote:NZ Maori

If they counted they could be top 5.

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Re: Who is the best teams outside the top 9 IRB international teams

Post by Brendan on Mon 17 Dec 2018, 6:30 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Good question, and an interesting post.

In good conditions, I think Japan would beat Italy and Georgia more often than not but might be vulnerable to Fiji in the same circumstances.

The problem is that I haven't really seen enough of all the teams to understand who their key players are, and how different selections influence overall form.

I think right now everyone loves Fiji because they beat France (who Japan drew with), Georgia probably got closest against Wales.

I am not convinced that Fiji are that far ahead but like most things in life we think about the last thing that happened. Japan, Italy and Fiji will be third in their group. It seems if you want to beat a top team play Scotland away from Scotland and play France in France if you want a win.

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