Pro 14 2019/2020 Season

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Post by Welshmushroom on Thu 04 Jul 2019, 2:15 pm

First topic message reminder :

From a Dragons fan perspective looking ahead into the new season and which sides I would like to catch early in the Pro14 due to players having gone to the World Cup.

Obviously Hill, Dee & Moriarty will be big misses for us during this period. I think we may have Wainwright available (if they end up picking Shingler to cover Lock/Blindside). Think Brown probably wont make the cut either.

So hopefully our starter lineup will look like this:
1. Bevington 2. Hibbard 3. Brown/Fairbrother 4. Nansen 5. Screech 6. Wainwright 7. Griffiths 8. Evans
9. Williams 10. Davies 11. Rosser 12. Dixon 13. Morgan 14. Howells 15. Williams

Now looking at the other sides in the competition it would be great if we could catch some of the league powerhouses early. My Breakdown of the other teams:-

1. Scarlets - Look weak in the front 3. Possibly a weakness at outside centre as well. Would imagine they will be playing Asquith at 12 during this period. McNicholl will probably be the star man on this team opening rounds.

2. Blues - On paper even without the internationals they look a seasoned well rounded team. Probably dangerous for any team in the league during the opening rounds. Halaholo is my star man pick but the entire Blues 8 are extremely experienced (although I don't rate Gill much). Also unclear if Ellis will recover from injury or if he will end up parachuted into Wales WC Squad. If not he will just add to that fairly experienced pack.

3. Ospreys - Will have a fairly competitive pack assuming Bradley doesn't make the cut for the World Cup. The real weakness for them is in the backline. At 9 currently they will be playing rookies and 13 potentially as well unless they opt to play Hook at 12 and move Allen to 13. Giles will probably end up on the wing as well and while he has potential - defensively they may struggle against experienced backlines. That said they probably have enough upfront to power over most teams in the league. Star Man will be Bradley Davies if he doesn't make the world cup.

4. Munster - Probably going to missing around 11 players on World Cup duty. To me Tighthead and at 8 they look particularly weak. To me the backline also looks a little short on quality although granted they do have some potential in the backline.Personally I would like to catch them at Rodney Parade early. I'm still not sure away would be a banker for us. Reckon their key man will be Bleyendaal in the opening part of the season for his experience.

5. Leinster - Now I don't know if they still have the rule of not being able to select 2 non irish players in their starting 15's or if they are allowed exceptions in the early part of this season. Even taking into consideration that they can start Fardy, Gibson-Park, Lowe and Tomane the real problem for them is in the pack. They look seriously underpowered and inexperienced. They probably are hoping Smidt doesn't take Ruddock to the WC. Personally getting these in R2 or R3 away would be perfect. I think we can take them early doors before the return of their internationals. Star Man: Lowe

6. Ulster - For me probably the biggest Irish threat early. Only place they might be a little short on experience will be at 5 and 14. Pack on paper looks extremely strong and along with Cardiff both these sides should be fairly confident into the early rounds. Star Man: McCloskey
Would like to avoid these early doors altogether.

7. Connacht - Not really disrupted to much for internationals like us. Good experienced team. Always going to be dangerous at home. Star Man: Roux Another side I would like to see us avoid early doors but if we have to a home draw that wouldn't be the worst fixture start for us.

8. Edinburgh - Cockerill has done a amazing job with them. Surely even he can't cover 14 players at the world cup. Still managed to assemble a big pack for this period though so it's clear they wont be beaten upfront easily. 9, 10 and 15 look like the real problem area for him. Getting them at home would suit me fine. Star Man: Socino

9. Glasgow - Probably losing at least 13 players if not more. They still have a lot of experience in that squad. On paper probably have to much for us home or away. If we have to though a home draw would be better. Star Man: Lee Jones

10. Treviso - Backline looks very experienced for the league. Upfront a different story altogether. Can see them taking a bit of a battering upfront early doors. Star Man: Ioane
Don't mind if we get them early home or away

11. Zebre - Same story with them. Losing key personnel to the WC. Upfront looks very inexperienced. Backline will also be inexperienced. Can they get Boni back in time for the start of the season. The Centre was a powerhouse before his long term injury and would also have made the Italian squad if he wasn't out of action. Star Man: Walker (reckon he's going to surprise a few in the Pro14)

12. Kings - Not going to be missing any internationals. But they still lack quality for compete at this level. No signings of note in the off season. Could be a long season for them again? Personally I expect us to beat them home and away. Would be a waste to draw them during the World Cup period. Star Man: Catrakilis

13. Cheetahs - Same story as the Kings. To many lost star after their first season in the Pro14. They do have a better record than the kings and at home they will win games. Prefer to not draw them either in the opening rounds. Star Man: Nche

How do you fancy your teams chances and what teams would you like to draw early or avoid during the World Cup?



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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:24 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:This deal that the Pro14 have agreed with CVC is another step in the direction of a B&I league.

I'd hope it would be but it'll be hard for the English teams - you'd presume it would have to end the prospect of promotion from the Championship which would cause all sorts of problems with the RFU and on the PRO14 side what happens to the Italians and Saffer teams?

Maybe a three division league of ten teams with the more ambitious Championship sides and the Italian and SA sides added?

Or perhaps some sort of playoff system ?

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:25 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:This deal that the Pro14 have agreed with CVC is another step in the direction of a B&I league.

It can't come too soon. This Pro14 muck is killing the game in Wales.  The WRU are sharing their CVC money with the club game and women's game! Unbelievable.

This is what happens when Unions have their disgusting fingers in the pro domestic game.

TBH, I would be vary wary of throwing more money at the regions, not until they are run properly. If I was in charge of the WRU, I would not be throwing good money at bad money. The regions are in a mess, because they are badly run.Until this is sorted out, I would be vary wary if I was investing.

How exactly are they badly run? They're getting record levels of sponsorship.

Have you seen their performances lately ? Shocked

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Post by Brendan on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:26 am

LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:This deal that the Pro14 have agreed with CVC is another step in the direction of a B&I league.

It can't come too soon. This Pro14 muck is killing the game in Wales.  The WRU are sharing their CVC money with the club game and women's game! Unbelievable.

This is what happens when Unions have their disgusting fingers in the pro domestic game.

TBH, I would be vary wary of throwing more money at the regions, not until they are run properly. If I was in charge of the WRU, I would not be throwing good money at bad money. The regions are in a mess, because they are badly run.Until this is sorted out, I would be vary wary if I was investing.

The other problem for the Regions is if they are struggling to fight it out with Connacht, Ulster, Edinburgh, Bennetton and Cheathahs just to make playoffs never mind finals what hope do they have if there are even more better teams coming in. Teams like Glaws, Bath, Sale and Wasps will only make it harder not easier to win games. Poor performance means poor attendance so not sure how a B&I league helps get Welsh regional rugby off the floor.

It might be pointed out that Welsh players will come home because of all the money but I can't see how as the English will still have bigger budgets so can still take players.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:28 am

LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:This deal that the Pro14 have agreed with CVC is another step in the direction of a B&I league.

It can't come too soon. This Pro14 muck is killing the game in Wales.  The WRU are sharing their CVC money with the club game and women's game! Unbelievable.

This is what happens when Unions have their disgusting fingers in the pro domestic game.

TBH, I would be vary wary of throwing more money at the regions, not until they are run properly. If I was in charge of the WRU, I would not be throwing good money at bad money. The regions are in a mess, because they are badly run.Until this is sorted out, I would be vary wary if I was investing.

How exactly are they badly run? They're getting record levels of sponsorship.

Have you seen their performances lately ? Shocked

So because they are underfunded and the WRU treats them like dirt, they are badly run?

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:36 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:This deal that the Pro14 have agreed with CVC is another step in the direction of a B&I league.

It can't come too soon. This Pro14 muck is killing the game in Wales.  The WRU are sharing their CVC money with the club game and women's game! Unbelievable.

This is what happens when Unions have their disgusting fingers in the pro domestic game.

TBH, I would be vary wary of throwing more money at the regions, not until they are run properly. If I was in charge of the WRU, I would not be throwing good money at bad money. The regions are in a mess, because they are badly run.Until this is sorted out, I would be vary wary if I was investing.

How exactly are they badly run? They're getting record levels of sponsorship.

Have you seen their performances lately ? Shocked

So because they are underfunded and the WRU treats them like dirt, they are badly run?

It not the fault of the WRU that the regions cannot put a decent performance for a whole 80 minutes each weekend. Come on, what were Ospreys thinking when they employed Allen Clark ?

The whole Ulster fanbase on here warned us that he was toxic. Yet here we are, and that is just one example.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:42 am

miaow wrote:
Brendan wrote:
miaow wrote:After the first round? In a RWC year where Scotland and Ireland bowed out 'early'? When the leagues demand completely different 'schedules' in terms of opposition (i.e. far more 'gimmes' in Celtic league v Prem).

Let's hang back on that one, shall we...

France left the same time as Ireland and the PIs and Georgia left the same time as Scotland

Of teams to lose 9+ players or the WC (original squads) Prem had one, T14 3 and Pro 14 8.
By league Pro 14 118, T14 78, Prem 74

After the battles for playoff places for the last few years (and number of Pro14 teams in European knockout) how an you say the league is poor in match ups.  With Dragons and Kings improving playing any team away in the Pro 14 is hard

Teams like Scarlets and Edinburgh going from HC playing well to not even in it.  It's a dog eat dog world as much as the other two leagues

The French league is regressive, though, playing a backwards kind of rugby. I don't think anyone would argue that. It relies on imports from SANZAR and the South Pacific to give it the bulk and flair that, apparently, keeps the paying public entertained. As entities, they're not overly competitive, and have lost the dominance the likes of Clermont and Toulon had a few years ago as well. Either way, the French teams are probably less impacted by their national team than any of the other 4 nations, and Italy, if you want to make it 5. Their national side is an afterthought, still (I wrote this having skimmed your numbers - interesting to see the Prem lost fewer players to the RWC, but in many ways not surprising.) I think rather than gross figures, it would be more interesting to see which nations the players at the RWC came from - there's going to be absolutely loads of Islanders in France, quite a few in England etc. For the most part, there will be a higher concentration of homegrown players in the Pro14. Lots more work would need to be done on those stats to make any sort of analysis, really.

Either way, the 'best' Irish and Scottish teams are packed full of their test stars. So too for Sarries in England, but the likes of Exeter and Bath will have been hurt by call ups as well. The Ospreys are clearly a great example of how not having RWC players back does to a team's competitiveness, which is clearly truer in the Pro14 than Eng/Fra.

We've had one round of rugby. I fail to see how it discounts anything I've said about league structures, player freshness/representation, and how stupid it is to use one round of rugby to draw conclusions.

The French league may have a regressive style (though that style did just win a WC) they have probably had the biggest change in relation to what teams make up the top league compared to 20 years ago. England have Exeter swapping with Leeds. In France there has been a much bigger movement.

In regards players
Bennetton & Glasgow 16
Leinster 14
Scarlets 13
Munster 12
Edinburgh 11
Zebre 10
Ospreys 9
Total 101

Remaining 6 teams had 17
Connacht & Ulster had 5 between them

The last WC cycle showed the people outside the Pro14 teams main 23 were not up to standard. This year had shown that Ireland and Scotland have addressed this.
Connacht won yesterday missing both main wings and both locks because their squad had beefed up

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:49 am

LordDowlais wrote:

It not the fault of the WRU that the regions cannot put a decent performance for a whole 80 minutes each weekend. Come on, what were Ospreys thinking when they employed Allen Clark ?

The whole Ulster fanbase on here warned us that he was toxic. Yet here we are, and that is just one example.

That's all they can afford for goodness sake. Look at the coaches in Ireland compared to Wales. They are all more or less household rugby names.

Easterby, McBryde, Lancaster, Larkham, Rowntree, Farrell etc etc etc. They are being paid large amounts of money by the IRFU.

Tell me the equivalent situation in Wales.

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Post by LordDowlais on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:55 am

So its inept coaches that's the problems at the regions is it ?

You have just named a pile of ex players come coaches. McBryde was never lauded when he was Wales fowards coach, infact him and Howley were tarred and feathered here in Wales at times.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:56 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:

It not the fault of the WRU that the regions cannot put a decent performance for a whole 80 minutes each weekend. Come on, what were Ospreys thinking when they employed Allen Clark ?

The whole Ulster fanbase on here warned us that he was toxic. Yet here we are, and that is just one example.

That's all they can afford for  goodness sake. Look at the coaches in Ireland compared to Wales. They are all more or less household rugby names.

Easterby, McBryde, Lancaster, Larkham, Rowntree, Farrell etc etc etc. They are being paid large amounts of money by the IRFU.

Tell me the equivalent situation in Wales.

So how do Ireland manage it and Wales who are on a broadly similar income level don't?

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:57 am

LordDowlais wrote:So its inept coaches that's the problems at the regions is it ?

You literally just typed these words:

what were Ospreys thinking when they employed Allen Clark

You have just named a pile of ex players come coaches. McBryde was never lauded when he was Wales fowards coach, infact him and Howley were tarred and feathered here in Wales at times.

The point is, no Welsh region can afford to employ him, so he has now been lost to Welsh rugby. Same as Shaun Edwards.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 11:59 am

Irish Londoner wrote:

So how do Ireland manage it and Wales who are on a broadly similar income level don't?

2 reasons:

WRU give more to the community game than Ireland (200 clubs in Ireland, 300 clubs in Wales)
WRU still have stadium debt to pay instead of spending it on rugby.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 1:06 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:So its inept coaches that's the problems at the regions is it ?

You literally just typed these words:

what were Ospreys thinking when they employed Allen Clark

You have just named a pile of ex players come coaches. McBryde was never lauded when he was Wales fowards coach, infact him and Howley were tarred and feathered here in Wales at times.

The point is, no Welsh region can afford to employ him, so he has now been lost to Welsh rugby. Same as Shaun Edwards.

So the supporters should settle for dross served by Ospreys (for example) because they could only afford an out of his depth coach who was kicked out of Ulster? Sorry it doesn't quite work like that. Now I did say that I hope the extra money goes straight to the regions, but it remains to be seen.

What record levels of sponsorship are you talking about for the Welsh regions? The only one I can think of who gets good sponsorship is Scarlets, after they won the Pro 14.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 1:14 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:

So the supporters should settle for dross served by Ospreys (for example) because they could only afford an out of his depth coach who was kicked out of Ulster? Sorry it doesn't quite work like that. Now I did say that I hope the extra money goes straight to the regions, but it remains to be seen.

No, the supporters shouldn't settle for it. They should be on the verge of protesting against the WRU again. Because this is an absolute disgrace, and this is what you get when Unions own a domestic competition. Money being p155ed up the wall to the amateur game when it's been earned by the pro game.

What record levels of sponsorship are you talking about for the Welsh regions? The only one I can think of who gets good sponsorship is Scarlets, after they won the Pro 14.

Yes. That. ^ Which apparently equates to the regions being run badly.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 1:31 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

So the supporters should settle for dross served by Ospreys (for example) because they could only afford an out of his depth coach who was kicked out of Ulster? Sorry it doesn't quite work like that. Now I did say that I hope the extra money goes straight to the regions, but it remains to be seen.

No, the supporters shouldn't settle for it. They should be on the verge of protesting against the WRU again. Because this is an absolute disgrace, and this is what you get when Unions own a domestic competition. Money being p155ed up the wall to the amateur game when it's been earned by the pro game.

What record levels of sponsorship are you talking about for the Welsh regions? The only one I can think of who gets good sponsorship is Scarlets, after they won the Pro 14.

Yes. That. ^ Which apparently equates to the regions being run badly.

The Ospreys and Blues have had years where there was a lot of money floating around, and they still didn't use it well. The board at Ospreys seems to be running it into the ground which is probably why they were looking to sell/merge. Both have had good enough squads in this time.

Well the regions are being run badly. I don't think the Scarlets are, but they seem to have difficulty getting a good gate.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 1:43 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:

So the supporters should settle for dross served by Ospreys (for example) because they could only afford an out of his depth coach who was kicked out of Ulster? Sorry it doesn't quite work like that. Now I did say that I hope the extra money goes straight to the regions, but it remains to be seen.

No, the supporters shouldn't settle for it. They should be on the verge of protesting against the WRU again. Because this is an absolute disgrace, and this is what you get when Unions own a domestic competition. Money being p155ed up the wall to the amateur game when it's been earned by the pro game.

What record levels of sponsorship are you talking about for the Welsh regions? The only one I can think of who gets good sponsorship is Scarlets, after they won the Pro 14.

Yes. That. ^ Which apparently equates to the regions being run badly.

The Ospreys and Blues have had years where there was a lot of money floating around, and they still didn't use it well. The board at Ospreys seems to be running it into the ground which is probably why they were looking to sell/merge. Both have had good enough squads in this time.

Well the regions are being run badly. I don't think the Scarlets are, but they seem to have difficulty getting a good gate.

Where to start with that absolute nonsense.

1) The Blues have never had "alot of money floating around". The Ospreys did about 10 years ago but field to win a knockout game in Europe. That's their failure.
2) The Ospreys have never been looking to sell/merge. You're talking out of your hole.
3) They're failures on the pitch are directly linked to poor coaching appointments and lack of squad depth. Which is directly related to the WRU not funding them as well as other nations.

Scotland spends £29m on pro rugby per year. They have 2 teams
Wales spends £32m on the regions per year. They have 4 teams.

Do the Maths.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 1:47 pm

But my point was is that you seem to think the regions are fine if they were left alone. The thing is, Ospreys and Blues have proved just the opposite. The regions are and have mostly been badly run since their inception.

Ospreys wanted to merge with Scarlets, one of their board members later stepped down over it. I'm sure I didn't imagine that.

I would agree with you on point 3, but if even if the WRU removed some restrictions then the regions themselves would have to entice some investors to come on board, rich ones who can put in money and not get much back...

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 1:56 pm

Here we go:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47461662

Scarlets claim Ospreys approached them over a potential merger in December 2018 and that the proposal was set to come into force, until Ospreys withdrew at a meeting of the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) on 5 March.

"The merger is off the table."

Ospreys chairman Mike James announced his resignation on Tuesday, with the region calling for a complete rethink of the process.


Now who's talking out of their hole?

Also Blues and Ospreys had millions via the Jones' and Cuddy thumbsup.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 2:40 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:But my point was is that you seem to think the regions are fine if they were left alone. The thing is, Ospreys and Blues have proved just the opposite. The regions are and have mostly been badly run since their inception.

Ospreys wanted to merge with Scarlets, one of their board members later stepped down over it. I'm sure I didn't imagine that.

The Ospreys refuted any suggestion that they wanted to merge. So I guess you are calling them liars.

Mike James resigned at the way Project Reset and the PRB was set up, calling it chaotic and reckless.


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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 2:43 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Here we go:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47461662

Scarlets claim Ospreys approached them over a potential merger in December 2018 and that the proposal was set to come into force, until Ospreys withdrew at a meeting of the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) on 5 March.

"The merger is off the table."

Ospreys chairman Mike James announced his resignation on Tuesday, with the region calling for a complete rethink of the process.


Now who's talking out of their hole?

The Ospreys claim they never agreed or wanted any merger.

Also Blues and Ospreys had millions via the Jones' and Cuddy thumbsup.

Who are the Jones' ?

Also, if you know anything about Welsh rugby, you'll know that Mike Cuddy has never been the Ospreys principal benefactor.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 2:49 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

So how do Ireland manage it and Wales who are on a broadly similar income level don't?

2 reasons:

WRU give more to the community game than Ireland (200 clubs in Ireland, 300 clubs in Wales)
WRU still have stadium debt to pay instead of spending it on rugby.

But doesn't a 100 more clubs than Ireland equate to an extra 100 clubs paying in subs to the WRU and giving Wales a much larger player base to pick from?

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 2:55 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

So how do Ireland manage it and Wales who are on a broadly similar income level don't?

2 reasons:

WRU give more to the community game than Ireland (200 clubs in Ireland, 300 clubs in Wales)
WRU still have stadium debt to pay instead of spending it on rugby.

But doesn't a 100 more clubs than Ireland equate to an extra 100 clubs paying in subs to the WRU and giving Wales a much larger player base to pick from?

Player numbers according to World rugby:

Total senior males:
Wales: 22,408
Ireland: 25,440


Total players:
Wales: 50,557
Ireland: 153,080


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Post by Brendan on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:20 pm

Have the Dragons not improved due to getting in a better coach. I know we are only 6 games into the league but they seem in much better shape.

Ireland seems to pick up good coaches when they are down. Lam had just come off a bad Blues experience. Also seems the IRFU hold coaches to account.

Scarlets improved drastically under Pivac being good in both league and Europe.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:21 pm

Brendan wrote:
Scarlets improved drastically under Pivac being good in both league and Europe.

He was still a punt though. Nobody had really heard of him over here. It's the same with their current head coach, who I don't think has ever even been a first team coach before.


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Post by Brendan on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:27 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Brendan wrote:
Scarlets improved drastically under Pivac being good in both league and Europe.

He was still a punt though. Nobody had really heard of him over here. It's the same with their current head coach, who I don't think has ever even been a first team coach before.


A punt verus a failed coach at Ulster who poisoned the wells there are two very different things.
Mallinder would have be a good punt as he has produced in the past just stayed to long

Pivac was a punt but he had been successful at the level he was at.

The Regions need coaches who have a vision for the region rather than just the team

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Post by miaow on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:32 pm

Brendan wrote:The French league may have a regressive style (though that style did just win a WC) they have probably had the biggest change in relation to what teams make up the top league compared to 20 years ago.  England have Exeter swapping with Leeds.  In France there has been a much bigger movement.

In regards players
Bennetton & Glasgow 16
Leinster 14
Scarlets 13
Munster 12
Edinburgh 11
Zebre 10
Ospreys 9
Total 101

Remaining 6 teams had 17
Connacht & Ulster had 5 between them

The last WC cycle showed the people outside the Pro14 teams main 23 were not up to standard.  This year had shown that Ireland and Scotland have addressed this.
Connacht won yesterday missing both main wings and both locks because their squad had beefed up

You think the French clubs play like Rassie coaches? Jeez...you must hate him!? The French play unstructured - didn't see that from this SA team in the slightest. Quite the opposite. Regressive doesn't mean 'negative' or controlling - quite the opposite. It means backward, and in the case of France, that means ill disciplined and aloof.

Again, I'm not going to draw conclusions about Pro14 v anyone else on the basis of one round of rugby.

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Post by miaow on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:39 pm

The Scarlets are run fantastically well. The 'one true region' talk over in Swansea is looking pretty feeble now. The outreach is excellent, the 'product' i.e. the team has been good even during the rough years, and the brilliant decision to leave Stradey and actually build a stadium the club owns has been the separating point between solvency and begging to the WRU in 2019. It's still tough, but the utter shambles over stadium issues and the inability to bring any sort of income in through non-rugby events is killing the other regions. Cardiff have made an absolute mess of leaving the Arms Park, coming back, laying a health hazard as a pitch, and have almost nothing to show for it.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:45 pm

miaow wrote:The Scarlets are run fantastically well. The 'one true region' talk over in Swansea is looking pretty feeble now. The outreach is excellent, the 'product' i.e. the team has been good even during the rough years, and the brilliant decision to leave Stradey and actually build a stadium the club owns has been the separating point between solvency and begging to the WRU in 2019. It's still tough, but the utter shambles over stadium issues and the inability to bring any sort of income in through non-rugby events is killing the other regions. Cardiff have made an absolute mess of leaving the Arms Park, coming back, laying a health hazard as a pitch, and have almost nothing to show for it.

Cardiff have made some bad decisions, but ultimately they now have a WRU stooge as a Director and the Dragons are being run by the WRU. The WRU just care about 2 things..............money, and the Wales team.

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Post by miaow on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:46 pm

I wholeheartedly agree that the state of Welsh coaching isn't good. Allen Clarke, Jackman etc. should not be in charge of the regions. Lyn and Kingsley and Phil Davies are coaching national teams, and doing a decent job of it for the most part. I'd still rather see any of the 3 in charge over Jackman or Clarke. But it's a combo of good coaches - Dai Young - not settling for the bullsh1t restrictions coaching a region brings with it, or the one decent, solvent, competitive region - the Scarlets - recognising the lack of Welsh coaching talent to coach the style of running rugby they need to both bring the fans in, but more importantly compete against Glasgow, Leinster, and in Europe. There's only one 'good' coaching job in Wales below the national side, and it's been an Anglo-Irish former player, who did a decent job and got a call up to a better job as a result, followed by two Kiwis. Every other job is firefighting. Where are Baber etc.? With the 7s and representative teams now, aren't they?

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 3:51 pm

The last thing regional rugby should do is ensure that one or more coaches are Welsh. That was the big mistake in the mid 2000s.

Ireland have shown us that getting quality Southern Hemisphere coaching fingerprints over their rugby culture can lead to great things.

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Post by miaow on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 4:00 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
miaow wrote:The Scarlets are run fantastically well. The 'one true region' talk over in Swansea is looking pretty feeble now. The outreach is excellent, the 'product' i.e. the team has been good even during the rough years, and the brilliant decision to leave Stradey and actually build a stadium the club owns has been the separating point between solvency and begging to the WRU in 2019. It's still tough, but the utter shambles over stadium issues and the inability to bring any sort of income in through non-rugby events is killing the other regions. Cardiff have made an absolute mess of leaving the Arms Park, coming back, laying a health hazard as a pitch, and have almost nothing to show for it.

Cardiff have made some bad decisions, but ultimately they now have a WRU stooge as a Director and the Dragons are being run by the WRU. The WRU just care about 2 things..............money, and the Wales team.

But what's wrong with that? And whose fault is that? Mikey is right, Cardiff and the Ospreys had lots of money 10 years ago and chose not to make hay while the sun was shining. The Scarlets did, during some really rough years, and the foresight to have their own stadium has proved the fundamental difference. The stadium swapping in Cardiff just sums up the mess, as does returning to an old stadium they don't own. Too many egos, not enough acumen, too concerned about legacies and dinners and marquee players until things started going pearshaped.

When Gatland took over, three of the Welsh regions were better than Leinster. Or at least on par. Ulster won the Celtic League in 2006, I think, but by and large the provinces, bar Munster, weren't up to much. Look at how different the landscape is for Pivac. There are all sort of factors for the Irish rise and the Welsh decline, but one region hasn't declined where the others have. You can blame the WRU but, honestly, the Dragons being a pity fund, the Blues being a mess, and the Ospreys being on the brink of collapse is a consequence of a long string of bad decisions at lots of levels.


Last edited by miaow on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 4:02 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by miaow on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 4:02 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:The last thing regional rugby should do is ensure that one or more coaches are Welsh. That was the big mistake in the mid 2000s.

Ireland have shown us that getting quality Southern Hemisphere coaching fingerprints over their rugby culture can lead to great things.

Yes, but Allen Clarke, Bernard Jackman et al aren't exactly your top class SH coaching talent, are they...I'm not arguing for Welsh quotas. But I do struggle to see how a 2 month advanced coaching course to someone like Mark Jones or even Dale McIntosh would fail to produce anything worse than Jackman.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 8:24 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:But my point was is that you seem to think the regions are fine if they were left alone. The thing is, Ospreys and Blues have proved just the opposite. The regions are and have mostly been badly run since their inception.

Ospreys wanted to merge with Scarlets, one of their board members later stepped down over it. I'm sure I didn't imagine that.

The Ospreys refuted any suggestion that they wanted to merge. So I guess you are calling them liars.

Mike James resigned at the way Project Reset and the PRB was set up, calling it chaotic and reckless.


RugbyFan100 wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Here we go:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/47461662

Scarlets claim Ospreys approached them over a potential merger in December 2018 and that the proposal was set to come into force, until Ospreys withdrew at a meeting of the Professional Rugby Board (PRB) on 5 March.

"The merger is off the table."

Ospreys chairman Mike James announced his resignation on Tuesday, with the region calling for a complete rethink of the process.


Now who's talking out of their hole?

The Ospreys claim they never agreed or wanted any merger.

Also Blues and Ospreys had millions via the Jones' and Cuddy thumbsup.

Who are the Jones' ?

Also, if you know anything about Welsh rugby, you'll know that Mike Cuddy has never been the Ospreys principal benefactor.

No simpleton, I'm not calling anyone a liar - but if you think that then would you be calling Scarlets' liars? Let's see; numerous media outlets were reporting it, current and ex players were talking about, Scarlets claim Ospreys approached them over a merger, and after it all falls through the Ospreys chairman resigns. I'm not sure what you're trying to prove now, but if anything this goes to show that they are poorly run as they have been for years - and only you seem to think they're fine and rosy. Did you used to post as PhilBB?

"...Ospreys claim...…" - Well we have numerous reports stating otherwise.

I was actually referring to the Thomas brothers who set up Peter's Pies, I'm not sure where I got the Jones' from.

Yeah so Cuddy was a benefactor but that's besides the point. Stop trying to change tack, you keep doing it as if you're trying to be right all the time. I thought we were discussing how and why most of the Regions are inept.

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Post by BigGee on Mon 18 Nov 2019, 8:37 pm

Can I ask for the level of antagonism on this thread to be toned down a lot, or else it will end up going the way of virtually every other thread discussing the Pro 14. It is possible to have this discussion without throwing personal accusations at each other!

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 2:10 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

So how do Ireland manage it and Wales who are on a broadly similar income level don't?

2 reasons:

WRU give more to the community game than Ireland (200 clubs in Ireland, 300 clubs in Wales)
WRU still have stadium debt to pay instead of spending it on rugby.


I'm curious as to the source and evidence for these two statements.  

How much stadium debt remains for the WRU to pay annually over remaining period given the income from naming rights deal they put in place with Principality?

The stated income turnover for the WRU in its latest Annual Report 2019 is £90.5m
The IRFU Annual Report 2019 is €87.5m (£74.91m) - using todays exchange rate that's a difference between the two unions in income turnover of £15.1m.

The number of registered clubs with the IRFU is 224 - https://www.irishrugby.ie/playing-the-game/club/club-map/
The number of registered clubs with WRU is 239 according to WR (it is difficult to find a more authoritative list as Wiki pages are out of date)

Domestic & Community Rugby Expenditure for IRFU is stated as €11.225m (£9.61m)
Semi-pro clubs, (1.7), Community clubs (4.5), Community Op Costs (4.9) in WRU Report total £11.1m - a difference of £1.49m

I would have thought that the IRFU allocates a lot more money overall to the costs of its four provinces than the WRU does, however, looking at the most recent annual reports.  

If I've read the WRU report correctly, it allocated £25.4m to the three private Regions (i.e. excluding Dragons) - this includes stated competition income from PRO14 & EPCR for the three regions of £8.9m.  

The IRFU contribution figure is more difficult to determine as they have a combined figure of €40.58m (£34.74m) for Player & Management Costs which includes the costs of the National Coach and Coaching Team plus test match fees and bonuses for players (est €3m) and the 14 central player contracts it holds (Total est:€10m/£8.56m).  

€13.37m (£11.44m) of it is stated as Competition Income, therefore leaving an estimate of €17.21m (£14.73m) contributed directly by IRFU to the four provinces - or £26.18m excluding costs of central contracts.  If we assume €500k average for a central contract - 14 players is €7m (£6m).  So a round total of £32.17m.

That equals £8.04m per four Irish provinces compared to £8.46m per three Welsh private regions.  The WRU states its operational costs for WRU Gwent as £7.6m.

It may be in academy development and its operating costs that a real difference may be more apparent.
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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:50 am

Pot Hale wrote:

How much stadium debt remains for the WRU to pay annually over remaining period given the income from naming rights deal they put in place with Principality?

£6.2m

The stated income turnover for the WRU in its latest Annual Report 2019 is £90.5m
The IRFU Annual Report 2019 is €87.5m (£74.91m) - using todays exchange rate that's a difference between the two unions in income turnover of £15.1m.

And the WRU will make a loss of £5m this year.

The number of registered clubs with the IRFU is 224 - https://www.irishrugby.ie/playing-the-game/club/club-map/
The number of registered clubs with WRU is 239 according to WR (it is difficult to find a more authoritative list as Wiki pages are out of date)

5 years ago there were 314 clubs in Wales. I'd be surprised if that number has declined to 229

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/revealed-how-wru-allocated-27m-2505508

Domestic & Community Rugby Expenditure for IRFU is stated as €11.225m (£9.61m)
Semi-pro clubs, (1.7), Community clubs (4.5), Community Op Costs (4.9) in WRU Report total £11.1m - a difference of £1.49m

I would have thought that the IRFU allocates a lot more money overall to the costs of its four provinces than the WRU does, however, looking at the most recent annual reports.  

So as I said, the WRU does idneed spend more on it's community game than in Ireland.
 

The IRFU contribution figure is more difficult to determine as they have a combined figure of €40.58m (£34.74m) for Player & Management Costs which includes the costs of the National Coach and Coaching Team plus test match fees and bonuses for players (est €3m) and the 14 central player contracts it holds (Total est:€10m/£8.56m).  

Really?

Why then have the IRFU, in addition to that €40.58m, listed in their annual report:

National tours, camps and squads €1.4m
National match costs €3.6m

?

If that €3.6m is not test match fees and bonuses, please tell me what it is? Did they spend €3.6m on bibs and balls?

That renders all your figures below absolute nonsense.

The IRFU also spend an additional €11m on sevens and age grade rugby. That is a total of €52m on the playign game in Ireland, excluding the community game.

€13.37m (£11.44m) of it is stated as Competition Income, therefore leaving an estimate of €17.21m (£14.73m) contributed directly by IRFU to the four provinces - or £26.18m excluding costs of central contracts.  If we assume €500k average for a central contract - 14 players is €7m (£6m).  So a round total of £32.17m.

That equals £8.04m per four Irish provinces compared to £8.46m per three Welsh private regions.  The WRU states its operational costs for WRU Gwent as £7.6m.

It may be in academy development and its operating costs that a real difference may be more apparent.

Utter nonsense, as I've just highlighted. You'd do well to read this article:

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/exactly-how-much-each-welsh-16514855

Wales spends £31.7m on it's 4 regions, IRFU spends €40m on pro domestic rugby plus another €5m on the test game (which will include player payments)

In addition to the £20m of direct WRU funding, there’s a further £11.7m of TV and competition money which the regions generate themselves.

At the end of the day - you can see exactly where every penny goes to in Welsh rugby from the WRU as it is covered here:

https://community.wru.wales/the-wru/reports/

The same unfortunately can't be said for Irish rugby.

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Post by TJ on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:58 am

U&sual utter bil;ge from the usual suspects complaining that " its not fair" in their hatred of the pro 14

Lets just challenge one false assertion above - that the WRU put 30 million into the regions but the SRUI put 29 million into the 2 scots teams

Utter bilge comparing apples with oranges. SRU state each pro team costs around 7.5 million - ie the same as the welsh per team. the rest of that 29 million goes on age group, womens, sevens etc

Ie what you are comparing is the spend on the welsh regions with the total pspending on the pro game in scotland. Not the same

Or look to the playing budgets. Welsh teams get 4.5 million plus some of their players are part paid from other pots. Scots teams get around 5 million for players

Find some other excuse lads. Its not finances that are holding the welsh back and remember that the pro 14 is the only game in town for you


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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 10:10 am

TJ wrote:

Utter bilge comparing apples with oranges.  SRU state each pro team costs around 7.5 million - ie the same as the welsh per team.  the rest of that 29 million goes on age group, womens, sevens etc



So, lets have a look at that then.......

You are saying that SRU spent €17.5m in womens and sevens? and €15m on it's professional teams?

To compare - Ireland spent €11m on sevens, womens, acadmies and u20s combined.

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Post by TJ on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 10:50 am

NOpe - the rest of the pro game ie support to levels below the top teir, age grade, development coaches, liaison officers, costs involved in the national team ie coaches etc etc etc

Yes the SRU spent well under 20 million in total on the two pro teams - the other 10 Million plus went into the rest of the pro game in Scotland

Its a simple fact that while the welsh teams are not the richest they are NOT unfairly disdvataged finacially

The idea that the reason =for the welsh doing so badly in the pro 14 is down to money is simply not borne out by the facts.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 11:18 am

TJ wrote:

The idea that the reason =for the welsh doing so badly in the pro 14 is down to money is simply not borne out by the facts.

How can you even say that when the Cardiff Blues officially have a player budget of £5.9m and Dragons £4.8m?

Those are literally, facts - that dispute your terrible, dishonest claim.

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Post by TJ on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 11:28 am

Glasgow and Edinburgh have player budgets of around 5 - 6 million.  ( total budget around 7 - 8 million) The richest is leinster with around 7 million or so maybe a bit more.  The Italians are funded much lower than the welsh



Its the truth.  Unfortunatly for the welsh whiners who whine " its so unfair" the truth of the matter is the welsh clubs are funded to similar levels to most in the pro 14.  Its how they spend the money that is the issue

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 11:34 am

TJ wrote:Glasgow and Edinburgh have player budgets of around 5 - 6 million.  ( total budget around 7 - 8 million) The richest is leinster with around 7 million or so maybe a bit more.  The Italians are funded much lower than the welsh



Its the truth.  Unfortunatly for the welsh whiners who whine " its so unfair" the truth of the matter is the welsh clubs are funded to similar levels to most in the pro 14.  Its how they spend the money that is the issue

Absolute nonsense. Glasgow are close to £7m according to the press, and the Scottish £35m CVC windfall to be spent on just 2 teams will make them on a par with Leinster if the SRU want to - while the Welsh CVC money will be partly spent on the women's game in Wales!! You are talking absolute rubbish. Other than the Scarlets currently, all the other 3 are funded less than the Scottish and Irish - especially Cardiff and Dragons, this has huge repercussions on squad depth, especially when Wales insist on playing disgraceful friendlies outside the windows against the Barbarians.

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Post by TJ on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:05 pm

As I knew would happen - I get slagged off for providing the real info. ~Every time this is actually looked at the result is the same - the welsh regions have similar amounts of money to spend on players as the scots, most of the irish and more than the italians

Until you stop pretending that all wales woes are down to getting less money - something which is totally proven to be wrong then you will continue to refuse to address the real reasons why the welsh do poorly in the pro 14

Its simple facts - the Welsh teams have very similar funding for players as the Scottish, as most of the irish and more than the italians

But continue with refusing to aknowledge this fact. Continue with your head in the sands, continue to claims " its so unfair" and continue to refuse to address the real issues

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Post by BigGee on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:22 pm

Why don't you both just agree to disagree on this one, neither of you is going to convince the other that you are right!

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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:25 pm

It's a constant cry of blaming WRU for the fact (or otherwise) that Welsh Regions can't make enough money from competing in Pro14.

Okay.....blame WRU then.  

But the 'evidence' is always then directed at external sources.  Now even 2 team Scotland is joined to the list of Nations whose funding structures and habits are gone through with a fine tooth comb to prove how much more funding comes to their Clubs than to the Regions.

It seems that because Regions suffer in performances because of presumed bad practice WRU methodology in funding philosophy, other external independent entities that are joined to this thing called Pro14 are asked to constantly accept that maybe the playing field isn't level.

Blame WRU.  Why quote IRFU records and SRU records at threads designed to question the competitiveness of Welsh Regions?

Blame the WRU if the playing field isn't level.  Should Scotland or maybe even Ireland be forced to contribute some of their CVC windfall to Regions?

We won't.  We're selfish.  We have no obligations to Welsh Regional rugby other than playing them in this thing called Pro14.

I see the WRU mentioned often on these Pro14 threads but the anger and bitterness is always directed at those exterior entities that are deemed to have too much of a good thing rather than too less.  The hint is always that 'you folks should maybe be forced to spend less so that we don't have to spend more.'?

Come down to our level, damn yous!

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:26 pm

Deleting messages and refusing right of reply is very poor form.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:27 pm

SecretFly wrote:It's a constant cry of blaming WRU for the fact (or otherwise) that Welsh Regions can't make enough money from competing in Pro14.

Okay.....blame WRU then.  

But the 'evidence' is always then directed at external sources.  Now even 2 team Scotland is joined to the list of Nations whose funding structures and habits are gone through with a fine tooth comb to prove how much more funding comes to their Clubs than to the Regions.

It seems that because Regions suffer in performances because of presumed bad practice WRU methodology in funding philosophy, other external independent entities that are joined to this thing called Pro14 are asked to constantly accept that maybe the playing field isn't level.

Blame WRU.  Why quote IRFU records and SRU records at threads designed to question the competitiveness of Welsh Regions?

Blame the WRU if the playing field isn't level.  Should Scotland or maybe even Ireland be forced to contribute some of their CVC windfall to Regions?

We won't.  We're selfish.  We have no obligations to Welsh Regional rugby other than playing them in this thing called Pro14.

I see the WRU mentioned often on these Pro14 threads but the anger and bitterness is always directed at those exterior entities that are deemed to have too much of a good thing rather than too less.  The hint is always that 'you folks should maybe be forced to spend less so that we don't have to spend more.'?

Come down to our level, damn yous!

Believe me, the blame is planted firmly at the WRU's door.

And edit: None of this is a slight on how Ireland or Scotland manage their teams. It's a compliment. I just wish the two sets of fans would acknowledge how much money it takes.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:29 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Deleting messages and refusing right of reply is very poor form.

If you are just having a pointless bickering match, then it is a worthwhile excercise. You have both made your points several times and neither is listening to the other.

Move on!

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:31 pm

Then it just becomes a facist forum if only one side of the arguments posts are deleted.

Pathetic behaviour.

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Post by BigGee on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:35 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Then it just becomes a facist forum if only one side of the arguments posts are deleted.

Pathetic behaviour.

I don't think any of us appreciate being called facists, please take that as a warning

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 12:44 pm

Antifa Wink.

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