Professional Rugby Board (PRB) ? / Project Reset

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Which Region should be merged/disbanded.

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Total Votes : 20

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Post by No9 on Mon 25 Feb 2019, 1:59 pm

First topic message reminder :

So is the newly formed Professional Rugby Board (PRB) going to create stability in the Welsh Professional game or just be a stay of execution before the 4 regions get cut to 3 or even 2.

We don't have the funds in Wales to maintain the existing professional sides, but the problem is, cut one and that wont mean the remaining 3 get more revenue, as supporters and fans of a region will not simply support another is theirs are disbanded, as proved when they disbanded the Celtic Warriors.

I hate the fact, but we don't have the funds to keep professional rugby in Wales, and I foresee the demise of it looming.. Sad

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47348518?isBumped=0&postFreq=0&isEmpty=0&isProfane=0&tooLong=0&charCount=0&isAwaitingProcessPreMod=0&isSubmitted=1&filter=none&initial_page_size=10&postId=133850859#comment_133850859

I love the comment "He admitted an Ospreys merger with Cardiff Blues had been among the options explored in high-level Welsh rugby talks"... what Muppet thought that was going to work Erm

Thoughts....

Its all off again... https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47461662

Lets hope thats the last we hear of this rubbish until the 6 Nations is over at least...


Last edited by No9 on Wed 06 Mar 2019, 2:16 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 4:37 pm

They were when they won the league and as far as Im aware still not factored into the IRFUs limit on NIQ players like the other 3 provinces

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 5:43 pm

marty2086 wrote:They were when they won the league and as far as Im aware still not factored into the IRFUs limit on NIQ players like the other 3 provinces


AS far as the rest of us are aware they weren't, and only improved a couple years prior to that due to more investment from the IRFU. Team improves with investment, hmm coincidence?

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 9:06 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
marty2086 wrote:They were when they won the league and as far as Im aware still not factored into the IRFUs limit on NIQ players like the other 3 provinces


AS far as the rest of us are aware they weren't, and only improved a couple years prior to that due to more investment from the IRFU. Team improves with investment, hmm coincidence?

You mean like Ulster who have improved this season when investment has been cut?

Tell me though, how much extra funding Connacht got to improve?

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 9:37 pm

I'm not sure maybe ask Connacht fans as I tend to take you with a pinch of salt? You don't exactly buy Lam, Aki and that Fox-Matamua (?) on hopes and dreams, do you? Connacht haven't been a development team since 2011 or there abouts as far as I know.

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Post by marty2086 on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 10:01 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not sure maybe ask Connacht fans as I tend to take you with a pinch of salt? You don't exactly buy Lam, Aki and that Fox-Matamua (?) on hopes and dreams, do you? Connacht haven't been a development team since 2011 or there abouts as far as I know.

You take what I say with a pinch of salt yet you are arguing against me based on assumptions? As I pointed out Ulster saw a fall in investment this season yet have improved, you fail to address that. I mean it's not like Toulon have invested heavily this season and went backwards, how much extra investment have Treviso received this season or could the answer lie in 2008 when Connact were put under review due to poor performance and that while many expected them to be shut down the review found that Nigel Carolan had created an academy system that looked set to reap rewards and that to get the best out of Connacht the structures within the province needed to change the organisation was revamped.

I mean maybe, just maybe, it comes down to a number of factors and while investment is a nice thing there is no point spending a load of money on fancy new things if you don't have a clue how to use them or the right environment to make them work effectively but hey what do I know it's just what the experts say Rolling Eyes

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Post by miaow on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 10:42 pm

Not having two players going through high profile court cases over r*** isn't really somethng you can factor into the balance sheet...

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Post by Brendan on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 10:46 pm

When the IRFU looked to close down Connacht in 2003 it did two things. It galvanised the fans to want the Provience and to appreciate it.  It also forced the IRFU to put more effort into making Connacht work by moving players to them.  It resulted in young players getting sent there.  This resulted in some good runs in Europe in the challenge cup.

In 2014 they got an extra 1m for strenght and conditioning which really helped as their standards went up.

Lam was an easy manager to hire at the time as he had been abysmal with the NZ Blues.  At Connacht he used his contacts to bring over players that Connacht could not have got otherwise. This include Aki who was young and not an AB so cheap as chips. You must bear in mind that an average wage in the Pro14 is a really good wage for all but ABs in NZ

With Dragons becoming a development side all the young players will be moved there for 2-3years to become a sufficient standard.  This will mean they will play without fear and will try anything (almost the opposite to what Dragons have now).  If done right Dragon would become a difficult team to predict and every game would be an adventure. Each year the players finished with u20s should be moved there unless starting at another Region.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 11:01 pm

miaow wrote:Not having two players going through high profile court cases over r*** isn't really somethng you can factor into the balance sheet...
Classy. Real classy 

Real colours come out so easily

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Post by miaow on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 11:33 pm

What is your problem? Genuinely, go away.

If you don't think the case had a big impact on Ulster you're naive/clueless. If you're trying to insinuate I'm somehow bringing this unfairly/to point score/some other cheap and nasty accusation, you're an idiot.

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Post by BamBam on Thu 07 Mar 2019, 11:42 pm

So bringing up r*** cases and the balance sheet is meant to be a fair appraisal of Ulsters performance?

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Post by Brendan on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 6:52 am

Ulster's and Connacht's performances have improved mainly down to one thing. They changed their coaches who seem much better than the old ones.

Same is true for the upturn in Edinburgh, Benneton and Blues.

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 9:18 am

miaow wrote:What is your problem? Genuinely, go away.

If you don't think the case had a big impact on Ulster you're naive/clueless.  If you're trying to insinuate I'm somehow bringing this unfairly/to point score/some other cheap and nasty accusation, you're an idiot.

So Ulster underperforming for years prior to that is down to what exactly? Rolling Eyes

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 9:18 am

Brendan wrote:

With Dragons becoming a development side all the young players will be moved there for 2-3years to become a sufficient standard.  This will mean they will play without fear and will try anything (almost the opposite to what Dragons have now).  If done right Dragon would become a difficult team to predict and every game would be an adventure. Each year the players finished with u20s should be moved there unless starting at another Region.

Pretty much as you were then, with the Dragons beaten by any serious team.
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Post by exile jack on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 9:44 am

Here's a question for the WRU.A 60+ cap Welsh Rugby international based in S.Wales finds out the WRU is inviting him to join the N.Wales Gogs Region through the dissolution or merging of his current region.On the same day he receives the invite one or more of six leading English and French clubs offers him 50% more money and a serious coaching opportunity.What should he do? His agent represents 5 other Welsh Rugby internationals? What will his advice be.Answers short and pithy to the WRU Chairman.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 9:52 am

Lets clear a few things up re Irish teams

Connaught received no extra funding till 2014, there funding is still below the other provinces
Did help yes but the more significant change was Pat Lam taking over as coach

As for Ulster did the trial affect them, of course it did, but they were not close to winning anything anyway as
they were both poorly managed on and off the field and had been for a number of years
They have improved this year for two reason, even though funding has been cut
They now are well run both on and and off the field
Secondly the right people are now in charge of the Academy and quality players are now starting to come through

Funding helps, sometimes a lot, but it has to be in the right hands
Look at how Cockers has transformed Edinburgh
Crowley is in his third year as Benetton coach and they have improved year on year as a result
Townsend transformed Glasgow
Even Leinster had a slump, by their standards, when O'Connor was in charge
Scarlets have come to the fore under Pivac
Ospreys and Dragons have been poor - guess what their coaches have been poor (2 Irishmen)
You need adequate funding but you also need quality coaching - there have been far too many duds in Wales during the
professional era

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 10:05 am

As for 4 teams in Wales the reality of population levels, and density, has to kick in at some point

That logic says Cardiff, Swansea and Newport should have teams.
The next level we have Wrexham and Merthyr.

Now rugby tradition must be taken into account
I would suggest a team in Newport and Cardiff should definitely be retained
Swansea posses a problem because of the outstanding rugby tradition in Llanelli
That circle needs to be squared somehow
To me that leaves a straight choice between a team in the North or a valleys team based in Merthyr
They are currently the most successful valleys team, have the best crowds in the Premiership and the largest population.
Will fans from the various valleys support them, probably not, but if a team away from the coast and in the valleys area is going to succeed that is it

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 10:49 am

The Valleys is still very south coast-centric though. Through all of the squabbles in here it's made to sound like the Valleys is miles away from the towns. Bu in reality they're very close, so I'm not sure that a valleys team is needed in addition to others.
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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:03 am

I am suggesting it as the only viable 4th team as opposed to a team in North Wales.
I am certainly am not convinced it would work.
I also think going 2+2 is not a good idea.
Personally I would go for three fully funded teams
Cardiff, Newport and Swansea/Llanelli - how you square the Swansea/Llanelli issue god knows

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:24 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
Personally I would go for three fully funded teams

Found a quote from Morgan Buckley, the guy that audited Connacht in 2009.

So if you have only got 100 players, which effectively is three squads of 30, your Irish team base comes down to 50 fit players from which to run your international programme. Add another few people that aren’t on form and then you are heading into Scotland territory, of trying to run a game with two teams. Very simply, if you go from four to three, at any given time, you are going to have in the order of 50 to 60 players that your national coach can select from. There is very little room for error to have a squad. That assumes those 50 players are on form, and it also assumes that we have got depth with those players and the right players are available.

When you do the maths, Ireland needed four squads of 30 in the professional game, because that gives you the wriggle room to play at the level.

With Welsh players also playing abroad it may be a different scenario but it's an issue that is important to the whole picture especially when the hope is to have more test players playing in Wales

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:38 am

Wales has a population less than half of Ireland and for other reasons I suspect the funds simply aren't there

You cant make a rugby nation bigger than it actually is

Realistically a country of 3 million people probably has to accept some players in its national squad will be playing outside their boundaries

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Post by Kingshu on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:43 am

Cant see how a union can be allowed to enter 2 development teams. One is poor for the league, 2 says the union cannot support the number of teams it has and there will be pressure to drop one, and let SA/Georgia/Spain enter a team instead. Personnaly I think if Wales adopt 2+2 its a pathway to 2+1 in the long term. So should just go 2+1 now if thats the plan.

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 11:55 am

geoff999rugby wrote:Wales has a population less than half of Ireland and for other reasons I suspect the funds simply aren't there

You cant make a rugby nation bigger than it actually is

Realistically a country of 3 million people probably has to accept some players in its national squad will be playing outside their boundaries

Checking the playing numbers from 2017, Ireland had just over 103k registered players to Wales 94k. The 2017 Figures don't give percentages but going by the 2011 figures which do, assuming they were similar, would mean senior males registered in Ireland were just over 17k while in Wales it was over 41k.

Would a new region in the right area with the right identity be able to tap into the English rugby fan too?

Does everything that is going on raise doubts about the CVC deal going through if that possible cash injection can't be a catalyst?

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Post by maestegmafia on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 12:33 pm

The Oracle wrote:The Valleys is still very south coast-centric though.  Through all of the squabbles in here it's made to sound like the Valleys is miles away from the towns.  Bu in reality they're very close, so I'm not sure that a valleys team is needed in addition to others.

The area covered by the four regions is the larger part of wales population, almost two thirds of the country surround the current four regions. But that area is fifty miles north to south and fifty miles east to west.

That’s a land mass the size of Sussex or Kent in England with roughly the same population around 1.8M people.

Purely on attracting sponsors for the regions you are going to have problems as there aren’t enough companies available who want to be associated with one area as opposed to the others in such a small space.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 12:49 pm

Under the IRFU plan of 3+1 It was really 2.5 + 1.5 with Ulster better than Connacht but not equal with the other two.  There was always the talk of Paddy Wallace being the token Ulsterman so as to imply we had three teams with internationals.

Wales would be the same.  Numbers of pro14 standard players currently at the three top Regions will result in the Dragons first team improving.  Add in the best of the youngsters and you have a better team than there now.  Dragon's poorer players will go North along with other young players.  The talk of Osprey Players going to North Wales is rubbish as they will be given to Dragons and maybe a few to the Blues so it will be 2.5 + 1.5 not 2+2.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 1:34 pm

Brendan wrote:Under the IRFU plan of 3+1 It was really 2.5 + 1.5 with Ulster better than Connacht but not equal with the other two.  .


With respect to Ulster that is utter nonsense.
Some suspicions of bias but we were not discriminated against with respect to funding

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 1:38 pm

marty2086 wrote: [Checking the playing numbers from 2017, Ireland had just over 103k registered players to Wales 94k. The 2017 Figures don't give percentages but going by the 2011 figures which do, assuming they were similar, would mean senior males registered in Ireland were just over 17k while in Wales it was over 41k.

The figures for players is so full of holes to be worthless - contains people my age who maintain their player status out of nostalgia/pride.
When it comes to trying to join Academies I am convinced Ireland taps into a far greater pool of potential players than Wales.
At the grassroots level rugby is in trouble in Wales, that is not the case in Ireland

marty2086 wrote: Would a new region in the right area with the right identity be able to tap into the English rugby fan too?

Not a chance.
The English west country fans will stay loyal to their own - Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester

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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 1:54 pm

exile jack wrote:Here's a question for the WRU.A 60+ cap Welsh Rugby international based in S.Wales finds out the WRU is inviting him to join the N.Wales Gogs Region through the dissolution or merging of his current region.On the same day he receives the invite one or more of six leading English and French clubs offers him 50% more money and a serious coaching opportunity.What should he do? His agent represents 5 other Welsh Rugby internationals? What will his advice be.Answers short and pithy to the WRU Chairman.
What if he's not being invited, it's his existing club no longer having the hundreds of thousands of shillings needed to pay him his worth? Answers not so short and pithy to Mssrs James and Davies, Ospreylia/Monaco.
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Post by Stone Motif on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 1:58 pm

Kingshu wrote:Cant see how a union can be allowed to enter 2 development teams. One is poor for the league, 2 says the union cannot support the number of teams it has and there will be pressure to drop one, and let SA/Georgia/Spain enter a team instead. Personnaly I think if Wales adopt 2+2 its a pathway to 2+1 in the long term. So should just go 2+1 now if thats the plan.
It also says the core competition income is insufficient at least in the context of Wales before this descends into the usual Hiberno-Brythonic hilarity.
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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 2:30 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:Under the IRFU plan of 3+1 It was really 2.5 + 1.5 with Ulster better than Connacht but not equal with the other two.  .


With respect to Ulster that is utter nonsense.
Some suspicions of bias but we were not discriminated against with respect to funding

That's true, Ulster were probably allowed too much funding and tried to run before they could walk hence the changes in the last year. Loans in 2009 for redevelopment of the stand plus the money to sign Pienaar, Wannenberg, Muller and Afoa. In hindsight some of that would have been better spent on developing the structures and academy to sustain the club going forward which is the point I've made previously. Throwing cash at big names has a life span but having a flow of quality into your team is a better use of resources

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 2:34 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote:  Would a new region in the right area with the right identity be able to tap into the English rugby fan too?  

Not a chance.
The English west country fans will stay loyal to their own - Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester  

It's not as much about getting them to support them and commit to them but giving them a second team, someone they can go watch on occasions when heir team isn't playing or they can bring their business clients to or their mates for a pi$$ up. Even a link up with one of those English clubs could be beneficial for a them to tap into that and develop a few English players while adding something to their own club

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Post by Brendan on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 2:48 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:Under the IRFU plan of 3+1 It was really 2.5 + 1.5 with Ulster better than Connacht but not equal with the other two.  .


With respect to Ulster that is utter nonsense.
Some suspicions of bias but we were not discriminated against with respect to funding

It wasn't a slight against Ulster. All I am saying was in the 2000s Leinster and Munster had 95% of the internationals between them and so most of the central contracts. Ulster while still receiving the same funding were not on a par with the other two in terms of star players or squad depth. They were better and more supported than Connacht by the IRFU.

In the Welsh context I can see Dragons being in a simillar position to Ulster of the 2000s. Not many internationals with 95% being at West Wales and Blues but not really a development side such as Connacht were and North Wales will be.

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Post by The Oracle on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 2:49 pm

A quote I just read on Twitter:

"Two types of people support a valleys region 1 - people from RCT (Rhondda Cynon Taff county borough - home to Pontypridd), because that's what 'valleys' means to them; 2 - people who've never lived in a valley. Those of us from a valley outside RCT know that there is no such thing as "the valleys". There is my valley and other valleys."

So true!
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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 2:54 pm

Brendan wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
Brendan wrote:Under the IRFU plan of 3+1 It was really 2.5 + 1.5 with Ulster better than Connacht but not equal with the other two.  .


With respect to Ulster that is utter nonsense.
Some suspicions of bias but we were not discriminated against with respect to funding

It wasn't a slight against Ulster.  All I am saying was in the 2000s Leinster and Munster had 95% of the internationals between them and so most of the central contracts.  Ulster while still receiving the same funding were not on a par with the other two in terms of star players or squad depth.  They were better and more supported than Connacht by the IRFU.

In the Welsh context I can see Dragons being in a simillar position to Ulster of the 2000s. Not many internationals with 95% being at West Wales and Blues but not really a development side such as Connacht were and North Wales will be.

Sorry Brendan that's just wrong, there were plenty of occasions throughout the mid part of 2000s were Ulster had more players in Ireland squads than Leinster

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Post by Brendan on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 3:01 pm

Ok, must have remembered it wrong. I thought i remembered talks of Paddy Wallace being to token Ulsterman when squads use to be announced .

I checked and Trimble would have been there too so must be old age setting in

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Post by marty2086 on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 3:08 pm

Distinctly remember Leinster fans complaining at the number of Ulster players who made the squad over Leinster players. It might have been the 2007 RWC when Ulster had 8 players to Leinsters 6 but it was around them when Ulster were inconsistent at times

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 3:48 pm

marty2086 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not sure maybe ask Connacht fans as I tend to take you with a pinch of salt? You don't exactly buy Lam, Aki and that Fox-Matamua (?) on hopes and dreams, do you? Connacht haven't been a development team since 2011 or there abouts as far as I know.

You take what I say with a pinch of salt yet you are arguing against me based on assumptions? As I pointed out Ulster saw a fall in investment this season yet have improved, you fail to address that. I mean it's not like Toulon have invested heavily this season and went backwards, how much extra investment have Treviso received this season or could the answer lie in 2008 when Connact were put under review due to poor performance and that while many expected them to be shut down the review found that Nigel Carolan had created an academy system that looked set to reap rewards and that to get the best out of Connacht the structures within the province needed to change the organisation was revamped.

I mean maybe, just maybe, it comes down to a number of factors and while investment is a nice thing there is no point spending a load of money on fancy new things if you don't have a clue how to use them or the right environment to make them work effectively but hey what do I know it's just what the experts say Rolling Eyes


Oh dear do you just like arguing with people on the internet for the sake of it? Nobody said finance was the only factor, but probably the most important one as without it you will not get a decent player or coach. Seeing as you used Ulster as an example, well we know they did have more investment before which allowed them to bring in good coaches and players, and I would assume some cash went into the academy as a few good players have come through since then. Also they had some former Leinstermen sent their way (Moore, Murphy), with possibly another on the way Very Happy - kinda negates your point about Ulster being hard done by.

I've also been saying for months that we here in Wales need to bring in better coaches, but with no other incentive for them all we can do is offer more money - which we can't.

Connacht aren't a development team, I can't find anything to suggest that they are. They did improve with more investment as I said, which led to the introduction of new coaches and players; I thought that was pretty obvious though. Any Connacht-men here that can confirm?

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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 4:24 pm

You can't beat club rugby.
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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 5:27 pm

Ulster didn't bring in good coaches that was the problem
Thankfully McFarland is an exception
Nobody sent Moore our way - he left Wasps because he wasn't happy there
Connacht were a development team in all but name up until 2014

It is simple enough.
You need both good funding and good coaching.
The problem in Wales is trying to support 4 teams they have failed to fund any, a short time at Ospreys apart, adequately.
This has been compounded by a serious number of duff coaching appointments, like Clarke and Jackman.
Pivac is an exception and in a way what he has achieved in the last couple of years has masked the problem in Wales as a whole

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Post by miaow on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 5:57 pm

Kingshu wrote:Cant see how a union can be allowed to enter 2 development teams. One is poor for the league, 2 says the union cannot support the number of teams it has and there will be pressure to drop one, and let SA/Georgia/Spain enter a team instead. Personnaly I think if Wales adopt 2+2 its a pathway to 2+1 in the long term. So should just go 2+1 now if thats the plan.

2 development teams would be crazy, agreed.

A lot of the logic here is coming from a position of trying to 'fix' the current situation as it is. It's not looking close enough to the minute details, nor is it looking broadly enough at the wider issues with rugby in Wales - many of which geoff points out. It's somewhere in the middle and so it's trying to 'fix' the fact the Ospreys are mismanaged top to bottom and financially broke, and then trying to create a concept around that.

The conceptual approach the Welsh rugby should include finances, but it's a hamstrung approach to try and create anything positive from the Ospreys' financial problems. If private ownership of the regions isn't viable - due to lack of benefactors as England have, although even they have to cheat the system en masse to survive and thrive - then there is a much wider issue here than simply 2+2, or how to merge the West, or whatever. The issue is the money isn't there - the pyramid structure of club rugby wasn't supporting quality test rugby 20 years ago as the game turned professional. Welsh players were hit by the League money in a way other nations weren't to the same extent. The reality is, the pro game - and Team Wales - exists almost apart from the semi-pro and amateur grassroots level. It even operates apart from the regions, funding the game through the MS and Wales internationals. It basically has to top up the game from the regions to the amateur clubs because there isn't enough money among the people who play/support/run them. That isn't fixed by merging/restarting regional rugby. That is a far, far deeper and more complex issue than the WRU are able to fix.

The thing is, Ospreys have some quality players. George North, AWJ, Tipuric, Scott Williams. And then a decent number of solid league players who have done well in the past. There's no way they should, or need, to become a development region. It would be better for any league to have 3 good quality regions: but because it's better/necessary for Wales to have 4, the WRU is trying to shove through something that is a messy compromise...and as pointed out above, 4 regions is essential to the Welsh national team. Even with a few players being picked from English clubs, a good number of Ospreys and Dragons are in the Welsh squad.

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Post by miaow on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 6:01 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote:  [Checking the playing numbers from 2017, Ireland had just over 103k registered players to Wales 94k. The 2017 Figures don't give percentages but going by the 2011 figures which do, assuming they were similar, would mean senior males registered in Ireland were just over 17k while in Wales it was over 41k.    

The figures for players is so full of holes to be worthless - contains people my age who maintain their player status out of nostalgia/pride.
When it comes to trying to join Academies I am convinced Ireland taps into a far greater pool of potential players than Wales.
At the grassroots level rugby is in trouble in Wales, that is not the case in Ireland

marty2086 wrote:  Would a new region in the right area with the right identity be able to tap into the English rugby fan too?  

Not a chance.
The English west country fans will stay loyal to their own - Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester  

I get the sense that Irish rugby has boomed among the younger generation as well. marty's stats would support that - Wales smaller playing numbers, but far higher senior player numbers. It also seems to have been taken up in the schools in a way Wales/the UK state school system doesn't really do very well. Not sure how accurate that is, but I think the grassroots and age grade game in Ireland is looking far better in a wider sense than Wales does.

I think the point about a new region would be in the north, surely? So Welsh heritage English people from Chester, Liverpool perhaps. Not out of the question but, again, a bit mental to pin your hopes on it. As everyone agrees, success will breed success for any north wales region - identity plays a part but, ultimately, the vast majority of (let's just pick them) Wasps fans probably weren't from Wycombe. Identity is only really important when it's important - if that makes sense...

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Post by Brendan on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 6:52 pm

miaow wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
marty2086 wrote:  [Checking the playing numbers from 2017, Ireland had just over 103k registered players to Wales 94k. The 2017 Figures don't give percentages but going by the 2011 figures which do, assuming they were similar, would mean senior males registered in Ireland were just over 17k while in Wales it was over 41k.    

The figures for players is so full of holes to be worthless - contains people my age who maintain their player status out of nostalgia/pride.
When it comes to trying to join Academies I am convinced Ireland taps into a far greater pool of potential players than Wales.
At the grassroots level rugby is in trouble in Wales, that is not the case in Ireland

marty2086 wrote:  Would a new region in the right area with the right identity be able to tap into the English rugby fan too?  

Not a chance.
The English west country fans will stay loyal to their own - Bath, Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester  

I get the sense that Irish rugby has boomed among the younger generation as well. marty's stats would support that - Wales smaller playing numbers, but far higher senior player numbers. It also seems to have been taken up in the schools in a way Wales/the UK state school system doesn't really do very well. Not sure how accurate that is, but I think the grassroots and age grade game in Ireland is looking far better in a wider sense than Wales does.

I think the point about a new region would be in the north, surely? So Welsh heritage English people from Chester, Liverpool perhaps. Not out of the question but, again, a bit mental to pin your hopes on it. As everyone agrees, success will breed success for any north wales region - identity plays a part but, ultimately, the vast majority of (let's just pick them) Wasps fans probably weren't from Wycombe. Identity is only really important when it's important - if that makes sense...

I know since Connacht started have success on the field their Schools cup has grown and rugby is expanding in Connacht. I don't see why North Wales can't be the same. The problem is the WRU might not have the funds for the long project it would be. I also don't think the disenfranchised would be quiet long enough to let it grow. Connacht is everyone's second team in Ireland, I have the feeling the North Wales team might be seen as the step brother who your parents love more.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 7:26 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Ulster didn't bring in good coaches that was the problem
Thankfully McFarland is an exception
Nobody sent Moore our way - he left Wasps because he wasn't happy there
Connacht were a development team in all but name up until 2014

It is simple enough.
You need both good funding and good coaching.
The problem in Wales is trying to support 4 teams they have failed to fund any, a short time at Ospreys apart, adequately.
This has been compounded by a serious number of duff coaching appointments, like Clarke and Jackman.
Pivac is an exception and in a way what he has achieved in the last couple of years has masked the problem in Wales as a whole


Anscombe was good though, and perhaps a little under-appreciated. There is no doubt that he improved Ulster which enabled them to play at a higher level ever since. I know the regions weren't in a good place at the time, but Ulster were thrashing welsh teams home and away when he came in. Also what year did you reach HEC final? Ulster have some off days for sure, but whenever I see them play they can play it at that level of intensity which makes them one of the better teams around Europe; that's a lot done in 2 years.

Leinster would have had first pick with Moore though surely? Did the IRFU have a hand in influencing that? Then Murphy was also sent your way; McGrath rumoured to be coming up too right?

It seems fairly simple doesn't it? I guess the WRU are more focused on paying off stadium debts. I'm not sure where else the money will come from but hopefully some investors emerge and are willing to pump money into the team and have a good time on the weekend, as that's the only return they will get. What they've done at grassroots level is beggars belief, not only do we have a lack of junior teams but it's the senior teams who play for the love of the game that are suffering. The issues seem to iron themselves out when we have players in an academy but I think we'd help ourselves a lot if we targeted the lower levels.
I can't explain the duff coaches we keep bringing in but we have a history of it. Pivac has done well, perhaps overachieved a little, so the WRU did pretty well snapping him up early. Since the Scarlets have done well it seems they've increased their revenue through gaining more sponsors and it's plastered all over their jersey. The massive injury list aside they've still managed to field two decent teams this season and most of those are staying put for as long as the Scarlets exist! Question marks over their next coaching appointment, but the assumption is that he's good.

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Post by geoff999rugby on Fri 08 Mar 2019, 9:12 pm

Anscombe was an ok coach but had some serious failing
Awful with the youngsters and serious off the field issues
If anything we went backwards under him, albeit from a decent height.
He did well on the back of others

Our peak was under McLoughlin who was an excellent technical coach but no man management skills
It worked because we had Humphreys as DofR and Muller as captain.
We got to that final because our 5 NIQ players were Muller, Pienaer, Wannenberg, Afoa and Payne and Ferris was at his peak

Moore chose Ulster - no IRFU influence
Sure Murphy came our way but one players does not a trend make
McGrath remains to be seen, not a done deal yet.
Even if he does it is a move being pushed by him as a player, not by the IRFU and against the wishes of Leinster
Obviously Ulster are not going to say no

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Post by LondonTiger on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 6:22 pm

"The Ospreys are adequately funded for the foreseeable future and will continue to seek a more equitable distribution model which, at the moment, is weighted towards subjective criteria capable of improper manipulation, rather than an objective formula based on impartially quantifiable metrics and success."

What the flying wombat does that statement from Ospreys mean?

The worst kind of management jargon.

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Post by The Oracle on Mon 11 Mar 2019, 6:55 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
"The Ospreys are adequately funded for the foreseeable future and will continue to seek a more equitable distribution model which, at the moment, is weighted towards subjective criteria capable of improper manipulation, rather than an objective formula based on impartially quantifiable metrics and success."

What the flying wombat does that statement from Ospreys mean?

The worst kind of management jargon.

It means they disagree with the way the WRU are proposing funding the regions!
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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 12 Mar 2019, 9:34 am

To be fair that is consultant bull shot of the highest quality, I'll bet gobbledegook of that quality doesn't come cheap!

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Post by marty2086 on Tue 12 Mar 2019, 10:06 am

mikey_dragon wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not sure maybe ask Connacht fans as I tend to take you with a pinch of salt? You don't exactly buy Lam, Aki and that Fox-Matamua (?) on hopes and dreams, do you? Connacht haven't been a development team since 2011 or there abouts as far as I know.

You take what I say with a pinch of salt yet you are arguing against me based on assumptions? As I pointed out Ulster saw a fall in investment this season yet have improved, you fail to address that. I mean it's not like Toulon have invested heavily this season and went backwards, how much extra investment have Treviso received this season or could the answer lie in 2008 when Connact were put under review due to poor performance and that while many expected them to be shut down the review found that Nigel Carolan had created an academy system that looked set to reap rewards and that to get the best out of Connacht the structures within the province needed to change the organisation was revamped.

I mean maybe, just maybe, it comes down to a number of factors and while investment is a nice thing there is no point spending a load of money on fancy new things if you don't have a clue how to use them or the right environment to make them work effectively but hey what do I know it's just what the experts say Rolling Eyes


Oh dear do you just like arguing with people on the internet for the sake of it? Nobody said finance was the only factor, but probably the most important one as without it you will not get a decent player or coach. Seeing as you used Ulster as an example, well we know they did have more investment before which allowed them to bring in good coaches and players, and I would assume some cash went into the academy as a few good players have come through since then. Also they had some former Leinstermen sent their way (Moore, Murphy), with possibly another on the way Very Happy - kinda negates your point about Ulster being hard done by.

I've also been saying for months that we here in Wales need to bring in better coaches, but with no other incentive for them all we can do is offer more money - which we can't.

Connacht aren't a development team, I can't find anything to suggest that they are. They did improve with more investment as I said, which led to the introduction of new coaches and players; I thought that was pretty obvious though. Any Connacht-men here that can confirm?

Not one for self awareness or spotting irony are you considering half your posts are quips about me or just straight attacks Rolling Eyes

If you are going to make comments about Ulster it might be a good idea to have a clue what you're talking about, as Geoff rightly points out no one was sent Ulsters way from Leinster which negates your whole argument. The only player who might be considered as being sent Ulsters way is Cooney and that was by the IRFU forcing Pienaar out.

Ulster spent money on Jono Gibbes, remind me what a roaring success that was?

As for the academy, it improved when Ulster brought in Kieran Campbell and Willie Anderson who changed the culture of recruitment for the system and how players were developed. This is added by Ulsters budget being cut and opportunity being created for the young players to prove themselves, something that big expensive signings hindered in the past.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/sport/rugby/irfu-to-limit-foreign-players-177998.html

(Connacht are exempt because they recently commenced a new development agreement with the IRFU

Feel free to tell me when that agreement ended or when the investment increased for Connacht

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Post by Kingshu on Tue 12 Mar 2019, 10:31 am

Sure it doesn't matter, when the 2 big SA sides join to make the Pro 16, we will finally have a league and rugby viewing population, that will bring in around equal money to the Aviva, and the Welsh will no longer look across with wanting eyes at their English neighbours as they will be generating the same income.

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Post by Cardiff Dave on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 12:47 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
"The Ospreys are adequately funded for the foreseeable future and will continue to seek a more equitable distribution model which, at the moment, is weighted towards subjective criteria capable of improper manipulation, rather than an objective formula based on impartially quantifiable metrics and success."

What the flying wombat does that statement from Ospreys mean?

The worst kind of management jargon.

Just need to transmogrify. Mun.

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Post by marty2086 on Wed 13 Mar 2019, 1:15 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
"The Ospreys are adequately funded for the foreseeable future and will continue to seek a more equitable distribution model which, at the moment, is weighted towards subjective criteria capable of improper manipulation, rather than an objective formula based on impartially quantifiable metrics and success."

What the flying wombat does that statement from Ospreys mean?

The worst kind of management jargon.

It means some got a thesaurus for Christmas and can finally make use of it

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