The Future for the PRO14 - Part 9 - who’s next?

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Post by maestegmafia on 01/03/19, 06:36 am

First topic message reminder :

South African media reports emerging around comments made at PRO14 launch by SA Rugby president Mark Alexander that South African players will be better off playing in the northern hemisphere.

Alexander hinted South African rugby could be heading north on a more permanent basis in the near future.

The Cheetahs and Kings joined the Pro14 last year and there is a strong possibility that two more local teams will be included in the competition next season.

‘It’s a long-term investment. We have options now and in future. At some point in time, in future, if we don’t want to stay in the south [in Super Rugby], we can move north,’ said Alexander.

He added that the involvement of local players and coaches in Europe is beneficial for South African rugby.

‘The Pro14 is a good competition for the players and coaches who’re playing against tier-one nations each weekend. When we become a full Pro14 member next season, we’ll be the only nation who plays in the north and the south, and the major benefit of playing in the northern hemisphere is the players are better off.

‘With the structure of the Pro14 competition the way it is, it’s easier for travelling, with distances between places less than in the south, and the time zones are also better. When you consider player welfare and what’s best for them, then the north is better.’

The rumors are that it will be the Griquas and Pumas who will be proposed by SARU next season as their two new teams.  How well that will be received by the other participating unions remains to be seen given the poor quality of the Kings thus far.    SARU plans to cut the number of professional players in their system from approx 900 to 400 odd using a draft system and to spread the talent across the 8 professional teams.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on 22/03/19, 05:24 pm

The Oracle wrote:I’m just providing a perspective. You see, these posts are a snapshot in time. Currently, some but not all Welsh rugby fans pine for the inter-welsh club games of old. So what?! But they do, so let’s just let them. Who knows, in the future the Pro14 might break up and a new league might form that the Irish fans do not enjoy so much and those fans might end up pining for the good auld days of the Pro14 where everything was rosey. And who would anyone be to tell them they were wrong to look back and pine for the old times?! They’d be told to get behind the new inter-Scandinavian league and they might not get as excited about it as they did for the games v Glasgow and Scarlets!
It's hilarious that people on here seem to think that the Irish have a love affair with the league, even though our attendances halve compared to what we get in Europe. All you see are the rugby nerds on internet forums who would watch their team no matter where they play. I know plenty of causal rugby fans who see the league as nothing more than a joke just like our welsh friends on here.

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Post by Eejit on 22/03/19, 10:14 pm

Tell you what, sounds like some great atmosphere in the Blues vs Scarlets game and it looks like the Arms Park was packed this evening.

I'm sure you'll all agree (especially the aforementioned Flower Pot Men) that its a great thing we have the wonderful Pro14 to showcase these two brilliant sides as well as the rest of Wales with the best from Scotland, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.

Group hug?

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Post by Brendan on 22/03/19, 10:25 pm

Would it help if they had one of the Regions was the Welsh Champions. I think it might help as it seems the Welsh pine to have a Welsh Champion. When they play other Welsh teams they could be introduced as the Welsh Champions for the season.

I do wonder why the Irish and Welsh don't do more to big up their top team. I know we had the inter-pros but I wish we still used them as bragging rights of being the Irish Champions. An IRFU table that only the Irish cared about. I am a bit jealous of the Scots and thier 1872 cup that the fans actually care about

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Post by Kingshu on 23/03/19, 01:20 am

That comment Brenden, ties in with exactly with what I hope the future of the Pro 14 is.

2 Top SA sides join to make Pro 16, two conferences of 8 teams play home and and away no cross conference games, so league is fair and balanced, top 3 in each plays for cup, 4-6 for a shield. Less games a season but top players on show more.

What about the derbies, you lose half of them I hear you cry, this is the important bit, each home union has its own cup. The games for it fall outside the PRO 16 and are the unions to sell.
For Example after derbies in the conference you would tally up who won over the 2 games. The top province/region in conference A would play the top in conference B and 2nd plays 2nd. This can be sold as a double header seperate to the league for the inter Pro/regional Cup. In this case Munster beat Connacht (we'll pretend they win Munster v Connacht as well) so are top Province in Conferenca A it would mean Ulster playConacht for 3rd and Munster play Leinster for the cup in a aviva double header sold by the IRFU and most likily on local TV. The WRU do the same, similar to Judgement day but for Welsh cup. The 2nd conference game in each hasnt been played but we'll guess the favouritea win this would mean Blues finished better head to head than ospreys and Scarlets over Dragons. Meaninf Dragons play Ospreys for 3rd spot in the warm up game and Scarlets play Blues for the Welsh Cup. Double header arranged and owned by WRU amd most likily on local TV.

Glasgow and Edinburgh wouldnt play each other in the PRO 16, which means the SRU are free to play market and sell the 1872 cup, home and away, or one off neutral venue each year. Same for Italians, the SA teams would play Currie cup games.

The PRO 16 remains fair and balanced, derbies are kept but turned into local cup games. With a Cup or Shield in Pro 16 to play for and a domestic Cup it would mean a team can pick up silverware and bragging rights easier. If an Irish or scottish team won the Pro 16, Scarlets fans may not be to dejected if they won the Welsh cup. Likewise Dragons fans could feel they may be able to improve and win the Pro 16 shield so have relastic silverware to aim for to build from. I think this year if Ospreys failed to make playoffs their fans would like a crack at a shield?

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Post by mikey_dragon on 23/03/19, 02:36 am

Eejit wrote:Tell you what, sounds like some great atmosphere in the Blues vs Scarlets game and it looks like the Arms Park was packed this evening.

I'm sure you'll all agree (especially the aforementioned Flower Pot Men) that its a great thing we have the wonderful Pro14 to showcase these two brilliant sides as well as the rest of Wales with the best from Scotland, Ireland, Italy and South Africa.

Group hug?

thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:19 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote: I know plenty of causal rugby fans who see the league as nothing more than a joke just like our welsh friends on here.

for once a level headed Irish rugby fan who is willing to admit the truth. At least I do on here, even though I get lambasted for it.

All these casual fans, they were there, they could be turned. Now that the league is hidden behind a PPV channel, that offers nothing else of interest, these casual fans are lost to the Pro14.

Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:20 am

I think it's pretty clear that most supporters in Wales want events as we saw this weekend - larger crowds that contain supporters of the opposition. That's our heritage and that's what is on offer from other professional sports within South Wales.

When we have the teams we want to play within spitting distance of our own grounds, without the need for two days off work and a flight, you can see why people are voting with their wallets.

That noted, of course, the average crowds across the four teams total about 27,000. That 27,000 is taken from a population base of 2 million people.

Ulster pull from the same base and get half of that figure. Leinster pull from the same base but get less than we see in Wales.

So crowds per population are still the highest in Wales for this awful league.
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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:21 am

Brendan wrote:Would it help if they had one of the Regions was the Welsh Champions. I think it might help as it seems the Welsh pine to have a Welsh Champion. When they play other Welsh teams they could be introduced as the Welsh Champions for the season.

I do wonder why the Irish and Welsh don't do more to big up their top team. I know we had the inter-pros but I wish we still used them as bragging rights of being the Irish Champions. An IRFU table that only the Irish cared about.  I am a bit jealous of the Scots and thier 1872 cup that the fans actually care about

Few gave a rat's arse when our teams won the bloody league.
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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 09:22 am

LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote: I know plenty of causal rugby fans who see the league as nothing more than a joke just like our welsh friends on here.

for once a level headed Irish rugby fan who is willing to admit the truth. At least I do on here, even though I get lambasted for it.

All these casual fans, they were there, they could be turned. Now that the league is hidden behind a PPV channel, that offers nothing else of interest, these casual fans are lost to the Pro14.

Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

picard

Except you claim it's proof the leagues dying, whereas it's just proof people aren't fans

That other person was wrong and doesn't grasp how marketing works

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:22 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

That was me.

All Welsh games were shown on S4C over the weekend, by the way.
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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:22 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

That was me.

All Welsh games were shown on S4C over the weekend, by the way.

Yes but not live and on a Welsh speaking channel that not a lot of people bother watching.


Last edited by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:23 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:23 am

marty2086 wrote:

That other person was wrong and doesn't grasp how marketing works

That's funny. As in "laughing at Martyn again" funny.
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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:23 am

LordDowlais wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

That was me.

All Welsh games were shown on S4C over the weekend, by the way.

Yes but not live.
Still there, if you wanted to watch them.
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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:24 am

Irish Londoner wrote:

Probably a fair point, but equally most people in Ireland aren't that interested when Dragons are on TV - apart from people like me who'll happily watch PRO14, Aviva, TOP14 and will even have a dabble into Welsh club rugby on S4C if there's nothing else on. I like rugby.

Few in Wales are interested in the Dragons.
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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:29 am

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote: I know plenty of causal rugby fans who see the league as nothing more than a joke just like our welsh friends on here.

for once a level headed Irish rugby fan who is willing to admit the truth. At least I do on here, even though I get lambasted for it.

All these casual fans, they were there, they could be turned. Now that the league is hidden behind a PPV channel, that offers nothing else of interest, these casual fans are lost to the Pro14.

Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

picard

Except you claim it's proof the leagues dying, whereas it's just proof people aren't fans

That other person was wrong and doesn't grasp how marketing works

It is in Wales.

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:35 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote: I know plenty of causal rugby fans who see the league as nothing more than a joke just like our welsh friends on here.

for once a level headed Irish rugby fan who is willing to admit the truth. At least I do on here, even though I get lambasted for it.

All these casual fans, they were there, they could be turned. Now that the league is hidden behind a PPV channel, that offers nothing else of interest, these casual fans are lost to the Pro14.

Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

picard

Except you claim it's proof the leagues dying, whereas it's just proof people aren't fans

That other person was wrong and doesn't grasp how marketing works

It is in Wales.

Attendances are up at CAP
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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:36 am

That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 09:37 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote: I know plenty of causal rugby fans who see the league as nothing more than a joke just like our welsh friends on here.

for once a level headed Irish rugby fan who is willing to admit the truth. At least I do on here, even though I get lambasted for it.

All these casual fans, they were there, they could be turned. Now that the league is hidden behind a PPV channel, that offers nothing else of interest, these casual fans are lost to the Pro14.

Somebody hit the nail on the head in an earlier post, apologies as I cannot rememebr who, but he quoted about advertising  to a potential 3M people, as to advertising to 300K people, that to me speaks wonders of how short sighted the Pro14 was when making the decision to go to a channel that nobody even knew existed before they used it for the rugby.

picard

Except you claim it's proof the leagues dying, whereas it's just proof people aren't fans

That other person was wrong and doesn't grasp how marketing works

It is in Wales.

Yet your claims are always anecdotal

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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 09:37 am

LordDowlais wrote:That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

Is that the Welsh Prem that the BBC have to pipe crowd noises into?

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:37 am

OK Marty. OK

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:37 am

LordDowlais wrote:That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

The crowd against Pontypridd was pathetic.
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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:38 am

LordDowlais wrote:OK Marty. OK

They did put fake crowd noise on a highlights reel, once.
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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:38 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

The crowd against Pontypridd was pathetic.

It was bigger than normal though. OK

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:39 am

LordDowlais wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

The crowd against Pontypridd was pathetic.

It was bigger than normal though. OK

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?
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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:44 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

The crowd against Pontypridd was pathetic.

It was bigger than normal though. OK

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

Go and find them for yourself if you want it that badly. I am not in the market of constantly having to prove everything to a nobody like you. OK

I go to the Wern most weeks, and I can see it with my own eyes, I am seeing new faces all the time. Especially this season.

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:48 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Go and find them for yourself if you want it that badly.

They don't exist. You're making it up.

You're doing your normal thing of extrapolating a personal anecdote to claim it as fact.
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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 09:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:OK Marty. OK

BBC added fake crowd noise to Principality Premiership rugby highlights

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-added-fake-crowd-noise-to-principality-premiership-rugby-highlights-vjbdrqv3n

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:55 am

Whatever Phil. Rolling Eyes

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 09:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:Whatever Phil. Rolling Eyes

If I'm wrong, you'd be able to point to a reference. You can't.

So I'm right.
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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:55 am

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:OK Marty. OK

BBC added fake crowd noise to Principality Premiership rugby highlights

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-added-fake-crowd-noise-to-principality-premiership-rugby-highlights-vjbdrqv3n

I Wasn't arguing with you. Rolling Eyes

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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 09:56 am

LordDowlais wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:That maybe so, but as a whole the Pro14 is not on anybody's radar outside the bases the teams in Wales are based.

Attendances are up at the Wern as well, does that mean the Welsh Prem is on the up ?

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

The crowd against Pontypridd was pathetic.

It was bigger than normal though. OK

Where's the evidence that attendances are up at The Wern, please?

Go and find them for yourself if you want it that badly. I am not in the market of constantly having to prove everything to a nobody like you. OK

I go to the Wern most weeks, and I can see it with my own eyes, I am seeing new faces all the time. Especially this season.

Why are you getting abusive towards those who are asking you to back up what you say?

You continually make claims and yet never EVER can provide facts and figures

FACT: The Pro14 still gets more viewers in Wales than the Premiership

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:56 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Whatever Phil. Rolling Eyes

If I'm wrong, you'd be able to point to a reference. You can't.

So I'm right.

Such is your constant craving to be always right. Rolling Eyes

You and marty are both cut from the same cloth.

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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 09:57 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:OK Marty. OK

BBC added fake crowd noise to Principality Premiership rugby highlights

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/bbc-added-fake-crowd-noise-to-principality-premiership-rugby-highlights-vjbdrqv3n

I Wasn't arguing with you. Rolling Eyes

I never said you were Rolling Eyes

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 09:57 am

marty2086 wrote:FACT: The Pro14 still gets more viewers in Wales than the Premiership

I am sure you can back that claim up, as you and Phil are always demanding.

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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 10:01 am

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:FACT: The Pro14 still gets more viewers in Wales than the Premiership

I am sure you can back that claim up, as you and Phil are always demanding.

I have but you'll be going and getting the figures like you are telling everyone else to do thumbsup

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 10:06 am

So using Phil's philosophy, you cant back it up. Which means your wrong, and I'm right. Laugh

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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 10:09 am

Except the figures are on back on the thread Rolling Eyes

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Post by Irish Londoner on 25/03/19, 10:30 am

To be honest,  can see why some of the Welsh posters would rather see a league competition featuring Welsh teams, the club rivalries run deep there and I've pointed out before everyone north of the M4 hates Cardiff Very Happy .

If there was sufficient funding and players of quality it would no doubt be a very exciting and competitive league, unfortunately there isn't and so Welsh club rugby fans are left in a cleft stick, either they go and watch the Regional teams, where the players and rugby are of higher quality, the opposition is better but they don't feel they have the connection with the team as a "club" unless they happened to be Scarlets, Cardiff etc. supporters when the regions were set up. On the other hand there is the Welsh Premiership where the old club rivalries live on, but the standard is a lot lower, some of the clubs are very badly managed, the stadia are a bit shonky but the connection with your town, valley, etc. is there in a way that it isn't at the regions.

In Ireland we were lucky in that the provincial set up meant that there was a process whereby you could support your local club as a feeder to the province and national teams so the professionalism didn't really change that - my local club as a lad - City of Derry - were never going to trouble the likes of Young Munster or Garryowen.

I don't know how the WRU gets this moved forward - even if at some point there is a GB and I or even an England and Wales league then it'll still be based around the regions as they are the only teams who could cope with it.

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Post by LondonTiger on 25/03/19, 10:38 am

marty2086 wrote:Except the figures are on back on the thread Rolling Eyes

I am struggling to find them.

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Post by RiscaGame on 25/03/19, 10:39 am

I am from north of the M4 and I don't hate Cardiff. I just mildly dislike them Wink

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Post by Brendan on 25/03/19, 12:31 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
marty2086 wrote:Except the figures are on back on the thread Rolling Eyes

I am struggling to find them.

It might be the 27k who watch the Regions each time at the stadiums (more than all the premiership clubs combined). Also SC4 was linked in (though not sure if the figures are given for it)

We can also see that Judgement day looks to be the biggest one yet showing that the appetite for Regional Rugby has not deminished

There has been no effort from the other side to show even one figure. I remember the biggest US presidential inaugation recently was the biggest ever according to anecdotal evidence

I will try post later the attendance figures for Welsh clubs later.  Either this or the previous thread I posted a WOL article that show each Region had at least doubled attendance since starting

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Post by LordDowlais on 25/03/19, 01:08 pm

I would be interested to see how many people in Wales are watching the Pro14 on PS, and how much people are watching the Welsh prem on BBC.

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 01:43 pm

LordDowlais wrote:

Such is your constant craving to be always right. Rolling Eyes

You and marty are both cut from the same cloth.

If you make a claim - calling it an absolute truth - that you then cannot support, all I'm doing is calling you out. It's not about me being right, it's about you being palpably wrong.

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Post by PhilBB on 25/03/19, 01:51 pm

Brendan wrote:Either this or the previous thread I posted a WOL article that show each Region had at least doubled attendance since starting

Dragons 2003-04: Total = 64,069 Average = 4,576 (no Judgement Day in this figure)
Dragons 2018-19: Total = 60,020 Average = 5,002 (with Judgement Day yet to go, so will get at least a 30k boost)
http://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/club_attendances.php?seasonID=24&clubID=20

Turks 2003-04: Total = 97,020 Average = 6,468
Turks 2018-19: Total = 99,360 Average = 8,280
http://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/club_attendances.php?clubID=26&seasonID=22

Budgies 2003-04: Total = 61,395 Average = 4,385
Budgies 2018-19: Total = 93,085 Average = 6,649
http://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/club_attendances.php?clubID=22&seasonID=22

Cardiff 2003-04: Total = 73,700 Average = 4,913 (with Judgement Day in this figure)
Cardiff 2018-19: Total = 94,038 Average = 7,837 (with Judgement Day yet to go, so will get at least a 30k boost)
http://www.cardiffrfcfans.com/analysis/club_attendances.php?clubID=1&seasonID=22

Nobody has doubled attendance
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Post by marty2086 on 25/03/19, 03:05 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I would be interested to see how many people in Wales are watching the Pro14 on PS, and how much people are watching the Welsh prem on BBC.

What good are people watching on BBC?

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Post by LordDowlais on 26/03/19, 02:54 pm

English regions could join the Pro14 ?????

Is this just threat, or do you think there is some weight behind this ?

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/radical-contingency-plan-english-rugby-16014524

The radical contingency plan English rugby bosses have to enter four new teams into PRO14
It’s understood the Rugby Football Union has been contemplating contingency measures if it fails to reach a deal with its top clubs

English rugby chiefs are considering a radical contingency plan to form four regional teams that would potentially join the Guinness PRO14.

It’s understood the Rugby Football Union has been contemplating the extreme measures in the event of it failing to reach a deal with the country’s Gallagher Premiership clubs over a number of issues, including the future of the Test calendar.


England and France’s biggest clubs have threatened to derail World Rugby’s plans for a new global Nations League.

They claim it is in breach of a deal brokered two years ago about a new global season and have reserved the right to take legal action.

The Premiership clubs have also threatened to potentially break away from the RFU and form their own independent league if the RFU refuse to scrap promotion and relegation.

Bosses at the RFU have responded by hatching plans to bring back a form of the old regional structure, which saw the stars of yesteryear appear for the South-West, Midlands, North, London and the South-East in a Divisional Championship.

The new sides would most likely be South, Midlands, North and West, with the RFU having to try and centrally contract players in competition with the clubs. English rugby bosses privately say they could be formed if talks with Premiership Rugby Limited, the umbrella organisation of England’s leading clubs, irretrievably break down.

Such a radical turn of events remains highly unlikely but the fact it has been mentioned shows how high the stakes are.

WRU chief executive Martyn Phillips, speaking broadly about the future of rugby, believes a British and Irish league “would be very valuable”.

“There are so many gates to go through to get there but if rugby is serious about driving value and interest, it’s a format that has legs,” he said.

England’s second tier clubs have also been exploring the possibility of joining the Guinness PRO14.


They are considering their options following those reports the Gallagher Premiership could become ring-fenced and a closed shop, with relegation and promotion scrapped.

That has prompted the likes of mega-rich Ealing Trailfinders, who are second in the table behind London Irish and hope to go up, examining the possibility of joining Welsh, Irish, Italian, Scottish and South African sides in the PRO14.

Guinness PRO14 chiefs have outlined proposals to expand their competition further, having already brought South African franchises Cheetahs and Southern Kings on board.

And Super Rugby big-hitters Bulls, who are three-time winners of the crack tournament, Sharks and Stormers have previously all emerged as potential additions to the PRO14 .

Two of those high-profile sides could join it for the 2020-21 season as part of an expanded competition.

But their introduction wouldn’t have the same spectator appeal as the RFU entering sides.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on 26/03/19, 03:10 pm

I'm confused as to what spectator appeal they think they'd get from an rfu side over Ealing.

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Post by mikey_dragon on 26/03/19, 10:15 pm

The Pro14 backing English sides in the championship makes about as much sense as the WRU backing London Welsh.

Bulls? Yes they would be a great addition, only if they manage to keep their top players. A move that would likely be the start of South Africa's exit from Super Rugby.

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Post by Brendan on 26/03/19, 10:34 pm

What are people's views on the Conferences.

I was thinking today about what kind of changes people would like to see in terms of swapping teams.  Not sure how much people would like to see.

Maybe Benetton and Kings swap with Cheetahs and Zebre

Blues are on the way up and could probably claim to be the Top Welsh Team.  If they had won those first three matches they lost when being the better team for most of the match they would be pushing for the top of the conference.  I would like to see the two West Wales teams in the same conference.

Problem is as we saw between this and last year is teams go up and down each year.  Connacht and Cheetahs have swapped places and Conference B is all jumbled from last year.

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Post by PhilBB on 27/03/19, 02:07 pm

Brendan wrote:What are people's views on the Conferences.

I doubt few will care.

What's your view on the proof that no Welsh team has doubled its attendance?
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