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Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

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Pot Noodle Miner
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Post by Irish Curry Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:27 pm

There has been a bit of discussion on the future on club rugby in Europe in the club section and one of the things that came out of it and was a point that I raised was that with the expanding leagues in European rugby, Georgia is most likely going to get left behind as for political reasons as the nearest and most viable league, the Russia league, is not possible because of the war between the two. This leaves them which no choice on that front.

This made me think that the only way for them to go forward is to join the 6 Nations and make it 7. This would cause them to go down the Argentina road and have their main players playing in France mainly and some in England until they can sustain their own clubs or/and a league. Georgia are clearly the strongest of the second tier of European rugby and are well ahead of Russia for example in terms of their national team, giving Scotland a very close match in the World Cup. Their backs aren't the best but are Italy's or Scotland's that much better? They have the ability to compete in the forwards which is the key for me as Russia could not compete in the scrums to any degree at all, Georgia can, in fact they have one of the better scrums in the world.

They could compete in the Six Nations and are now in a better state then Italy were after their golden generation retired. At home in Tbilisi they could beat Italy or Scotland or even a lazy performance by one of the other teams, albeit at a stretch. The country is rugby mad with rugby as its national sport. The Six Nations would be better with them and would help them become a major rugby force.

I'm not sure what kind of response this will get on here but I believe this should happen, not sure how many will argee though. Please give you're thoughts.
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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:30 pm

what about we have georgia,romaina,portugal spain and russia,plus whoever- shouldnt they get there own and perhaps we could have two running concurent each year.

and each year the losing team in the 6n's drops into the lower ranked comp, and the top of the lower ranked comp gets to play in the 6n's

personally i think that would be a top idea

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Post by Nos na Gaoithe Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:33 pm

I figure you're gonna get enough people bollicking you out pretty quickly as regards the great tradition of the 6 nations and it all being thrown away for a pie in the sky idea of developing 2nd tier countries... and the rugby schedule already being overbooked, etc, etc...

So I'll just offer one positive aspect: Georgia participating would offer a few more competitive games for those at the bottom. I reckon the annual meeting of the Georgia-Italy packs would be a cracker... and bring a new dimension to the lower half of the table.

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Post by Irish Curry Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:36 pm

I think the problem with that is Russia, the second placed team in the last Six Nations 'B', were hammered by the Ireland B team at the World Cup. They dont have the forwards to compete or the backs to unlock defences conisancetly at this level. Romaina possible could compete but I'm not sure.

Nos- I know I will but I want to see what people think about, its only one more game/weekend as well.
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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:36 pm

nos i cant see his idea working mainly beacuse if we add 7 where do we stop(to be fair we would have to keep adding teams) , we havent got enough time to play all tehse games anyway, but i think we need a solution to develop the tier 2 countries and my idea could work.

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Post by Nos na Gaoithe Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:44 pm

mystiroakey wrote:nos i cant see his idea working mainly beacuse if we add 7 where do we stop(to be fair we would have to keep adding teams) , we havent got enough time to play all tehse games anyway, but i think we need a solution to develop the tier 2 countries and my idea could work.

I think that's a fair point Mystiroakey. It would be difficult to see how you could validly exclude Romania and particularly Russia (if they continue to develop the structure of the game in their country over the next decade.)

But in IC's defense, I do think that a 2nd tier competition doesn't exactly solve the problem for Georgia or for example Italy or Scotland should they be relegated. And I believe he is also arguing that Georgia appear to be in a position to compete right now. And that the level of support and specialization in such a small country deserves special reward and encouragement from the IRFU.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:48 pm

well how about 3 plus leages then - teams play home and away (4 teams in each group so 6 in total) relegation and promotion in all.

i am all for growing the game- and unless we say goodbye to certain aspects of rugbys history , we have no chance growing the game

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:49 pm

or just a euro cup every 2 years, keep the 6n's if we must every off year

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:54 pm

i will add- if rugby doesnt grow around the world it could face getting to a point where it cant grow. If american football keeps promoting the game to a point that is bigger and better than what rugby does(granted bit of a big if)- we could be in the $£"% , and all the countries that could have been rugby union nations could end up converting to the yankie game(which in all fairness i am actually starting to like myself)

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Post by Nos na Gaoithe Fri 28 Oct 2011, 5:57 pm

mystiroakey wrote:well how about 3 plus leages then - teams play home and away (4 teams in each group so 6 in total) relegation and promotion in all.

i am all for growing the game- and unless we say goodbye to certain aspects of rugbys history , we have no chance growing the game

Well I prefer the 2 tier suggestion to this one... I'm sympathetic to the argument about bringing deserving teams into the 6Ns. But to be honest I don't think it should come at the expense of not playing against England, Scotland, France or Wales, etc. Judging on the results of the last few years, a three league system would mean that France, Wales, England and Ireland would only play each other and then one of them would be relegated to only playing Scotland, Italy, Georgia and Russia/Romania. And if it was a play-off system between leagues for promotion that might mean that those in the Second league almost never play the other top teams.

Nope, I prefer your first idea or IC's idea of somehow sneaking Georgia in.

Mind you I dont really believe te IRFU are going to do anything about this for as long as possible.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:01 pm

"Mind you I dont really believe te IRFU are going to do anything about this for as long as possible."

isnt there a european rugby union- and if not shouldnt one be created

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Post by Nos na Gaoithe Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:02 pm

mystiroakey wrote:or just a euro cup every 2 years, keep the 6n's if we must every off year

Again... while it seems like a sensible suggestion, I believe someone was posting earlier today on a separate thread about how the WC lost bucket loads of money and that the 6Ns is the bread and butter for the home unions. So I really don't see anyone agreeing to dumping it every other year for the sake of an admirable idea.

But don't mind me... let's hear what others suggest. I really would like to see Georgia brought in there somehow... just because, like IC, I've really enjoyed their WC performances over the last 4 years.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:05 pm

short term thinking tho nous- if we could succecsfully grow the game to even a quarter of footballs turnmovers, then all unions would make loads more money

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Post by Nos na Gaoithe Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:14 pm

mystiroakey wrote:short term thinking tho nous- if we could succecsfully grow the game to even a quarter of footballs turnmovers, then all unions would make loads more money

Not if the new system that's put in place turns out to be a complete flop competitively and commercially it won't. If Scotland got demoted to a secondary league you might see a complete implosion for rugby there. Similarly the steady development of Italy over the last few years might be set-back. If Georgia prove to be unable to sustain their WC form and compete in a 7Ns... you might end up with farcical events played in freezing conditions and perhaps unsuitable empty surroundings. None of that would help the game compete. So it's not gonna be a simple decision.


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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:21 pm

well i cant see how it would be fair to allow georgia in but not romania(or penty of others)

a euro cup for me is the best idea for growing the game.

its also the best way of giving match practise to the lesser nations.

we will still see the big games which will make bags of money for the irb and the home unions.

we can still have the 6n's on the off years.

its the lowest risk, high reward option, its also a fair option for the romanias and georgias out there.(not just for georgia)

if it didnt work out it will not kill the game as we know it. If we only add georgia when do we stop adding, the only option from that point is a euro cup surely

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Post by Nos na Gaoithe Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:34 pm

How about a Euro every 4 years... 2 years out from the WC (just like in soccer)? That way the Romanias and the Georgias have a big event to focus their preparations on every two years. But at the same time it would allow the 6Ns to stay in place for 3 of 4 years (or even all 4 years - but this would inevitably demean any Euro competition).

Anyways gotta go. Will leave others to rip all these half-thought-out plans of ours to shreds! Run

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:37 pm

mystiroakey wrote:i will add- if rugby doesnt grow around the world it could face getting to a point where it cant grow. If american football keeps promoting the game to a point that is bigger and better than what rugby does(granted bit of a big if)- we could be in the $£"% , and all the countries that could have been rugby union nations could end up converting to the yankie game(which in all fairness i am actually starting to like myself)
I don't think we have to worry about American Football. But we had better learn from them. Before I go further, I want to admit to being a big NFL fan since I lived in the US for a long time and are there now, albeit until New Year when I can go home. The NFL in my opinion is the best marketed sport in the world. Rugby need this knowledge, this skill, this ability to bring people in. In 20 years the NFL went from a nice, slightly niche sport to having their Super Bowl being the seminal sports event in the entire American calendar, perhaps the seminal event, whether sport or no.

Regarding the 6 Nations and countries like Georgia, but also Spain, Portugal, Romania, Russia, I simply do not think they could survive on the pitch with any 6N team. At least for now. But I do agree a parallel competition at the same time is a fantastic idea. Then we would have massive 6N Rugby weekends, which could be promoted as such. The question is where the matches should take place and the kind of TV money and coverage it could draw. But I think this is a great idea.

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Post by TycroesOsprey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:48 pm

If we had a global season structured so that all internationals were played in a block (later on for the 6 nations earlier for the Quad nations ) preceeded by domestic competitions there would be less of a problem with creating a more european competition.

It would mean competitions would have more continuity. If for instance domestic leagues were played from January to march, HEC/s14/Amlin from April to mid june and then an international block of three and a half months where international warmups six nations, lions tours world cups tri nations can all be organised. Then there is space for a euro competition.

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 6:49 pm

nos i am up for anything that includes more nations- a euro ever 4 years is fine

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Post by Irish Curry Fri 28 Oct 2011, 8:48 pm

A Euro Cuo ever 4 years is a good idea however it is not the prefect solution to the problem. If no reglar competion is made for them then the sport will just go backwards. The Romainian team of the 80s and 70s beat 5 Nations teams but were not let in, Italy were only left in after a golden generation and even then it was at the end of it, the Georgian team is fairly young and is only going to get better, more teams can join based on merit in the next few years if they are up to it. A promotion/religation system will only bring up a team for a year or two at best while a tier 1 team rots playing Spain and the Ukraine for a year, killing rugby there.
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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 9:12 pm

irish how would get around the amount of teams that could possibly end up being worthy of adding to the 6 nations.

we cant just keep adding teams and keep it as a round robin

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Post by Irish Curry Fri 28 Oct 2011, 9:17 pm

Well at that point a format change would be needed. Possibly split into two groups with play-offs or something else. This point will be reached if we want to grow the game whichever way you go about it. We cannot just leave countries to rot when they can compete just because it doesn't suit us.
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Post by wales606 Fri 28 Oct 2011, 9:18 pm

How about the 6th placed team in the 6Ns having to have a playoff with the winner of the 2nd 6Ns.

With the winner going into next years 6Ns

Though, I cant see Italy or Scotland being happy with the idea.
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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 9:19 pm

exactly so lets just start the process know. lets get lots of teams playing competitive stuff - a euro every 2 years i think could be very beneficial.

for the mean time keep the 6n's as they are - purely for revenue purposes

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Post by Scot Abroad Fri 28 Oct 2011, 9:39 pm

Of all the teams to join the 6N I would have preferred Argentina. I always thought them joining the tri-nations was a mistake. I understand that they want to take part in a competition in the southern hemisphere and promote rugby in their country, but it will be a huge toll on the players. It’s over 6000 miles from Wellington, and over 7000 miles from Sydney. Not to mention that NZ are 16 hours ahead of them. That sort of travelling isn’t easy. Couple that with all but 5 of the Argentina RWC squad playing in Europe. I think it would have been much better to have them playing in Spain and being part of the 6N. Of the remaining European teams, while Georgia made us work for it in terrible conditions in NZ, I don’t think they have the ability to do that on a weekly basis against the remaining 6N teams. We could see some very embarrassing scores which wouldn’t be good for Georgian rugby.

The idea of a second tier competition is good but having promotion and relegation wouldn’t work because the Scottish and Italian Unions wouldn’t agree to that. Something that could probably be done in a shorter timeframe would be to have the 6N A squads take part in tours or a competition during the summer at the same time that the regular squads are abroad. Not only would that help the tier 2 nations by giving them more regular games, but it would allow us to further enhance the development of youth players. A Euro cup is also an option but it would have to come with the approval of the IRB, who would have to spend more money organizing it, choosing the host, establishing world ranking points. Would all the extra games spoil us, would international games become non events? Would we end up getting rid of the summer tours and autumn tests?

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Post by Smirnoffpriest Fri 28 Oct 2011, 10:25 pm

You make some good points Scot Abroad, and it is a very tricky subject, and I can't propose to have the answer to all the problems, but I do favour the European Cup every 4 years and believe that we MUST expand the game globally otherwise the game will slowly diminish.

I feel also that a competition should be set up with the PI Island teams, Japan and some of the Tri Nations A sides, to give them regular competition. They need to play regular competitive rugby.

Imagine a WC where Tonga, Samoa & Fiji are better than the level Argentina are now, Japan not far behind, and in the NH we've brought on Georgia, Russia and Romania to the level of Italy now. That would make a great world cup - the only problem is neglecting USA and Canada (and some of the African nations)

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Post by mystiroakey Fri 28 Oct 2011, 10:32 pm

america isnt a place rugby can really penetrate at the moment, and it seems abit of a waste of resources to try, they are a competant nation, if they want it they will do it on there own accord. The most popular team game in the world cant penetrate it- what chance has rugby lets get real on that one.,

i think the starting point is to have european and aisian/south ameroican regulators that push to develop these other nations, these need to get hold of part of the 6n's and 4n's pots that would otherwoise go to the IRB- then others in africa and america can be brought in.

now offcourse this this may sound all pie in the sky but it needs to be done if we going to have continental cups

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Post by PJHolybloke Fri 28 Oct 2011, 11:08 pm

Bring in South Africa first, TV timing is neither here nor there, South Africa currently share their TV dollar with NZ & Oz and they would at least retain the lion's share of their own revenue for competing in the 6N.

SA would not have to spend a month on Antipodean tour every year as they could fly in and out of Europe in a few days with no jet lag, the presence of a genuine rugby giant would up the interest in the NH, bring in more grass roots participation and help bridge the gap between the current NH v SH mentality we have in our world game.

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Post by belovedfrosties Sat 29 Oct 2011, 1:35 am

I thought about the idea of having a playoff aswell wales but it wouldn't really solve the issue of regular competition against tier 1 nations. They would get 1 game a year and that would be all.

Now that the Churchill is gone could we not send our Saxons, A teams etc to each country we want to help grow for a similar tournament? Surely Georgia would love to host this kind of event and it would definitely promote the game and give these nations the chance to play tougher opposition? Then the following year be played in spain or russia or whatever. We develop our youths whilst helping these nations out on the pitch and in generating some money for them.

We could even perhaps do what england did for argentina a while ago and host it but donate the money to the other nations. Around that time of year there should be plenty of empty stadiums and i would pay to go see georgia take on the saxons, or watch them battle it out with russia.

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Post by bedfordwelsh Sat 29 Oct 2011, 9:15 am

Give the European Cup/6 Nations B comp more air time then people will realise its out there and going on.

I still think there is scope to play some games as a curtain raiser to the main 6 Nations games.
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Post by Peter Seabiscuit Wheeler Sat 29 Oct 2011, 11:36 am

No

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Post by nganboy Sat 29 Oct 2011, 1:35 pm

I don't see any need for Georgia to join the 6 Ns. Just use them for warm up matches before the 6Ns. Give then 2 games a year against the big teams and spend more time on developing the 2nd tier tournament until it is no longer 2nd tier simply another tournament.
So for example England plays Georgia and Wales play Russia to prepare for the 6Ns one year and the next year play Spain and Romania and the 3rd year Portugal and Fiji or some thing like that. Each 2nd tier country play the 1st tier team about once every 4 years but gets 2 game every year.
I would love to see a NZ A team tour those countries as well every 3/4 year just not sure if we can afford it / make any money from it.
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Post by Glas a du Sat 29 Oct 2011, 1:59 pm

You're not going to get masses of fans travelling to or from Georgia. So for me it's a no. The 6N has developed organically. Find another way to develop Georgia.
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Post by Shifty Sat 29 Oct 2011, 2:27 pm

I love these topics though sadly few "rugby" fans have any interest in them.

I don't think we can realistically expand the 6 Nations any further, every week we have an extra international, it is an extra club game that the club can;t have access to their players. We have already seen in recent years that clubs are unwilling to invest in young players from their academies simply because the national team would plunder them, so they bring in cheap imports from the Islands and New Zealand.

If you want to promote European rugby then we would need to make more places available in the Amlin Cup for club sides from other countries.
Russia already have a professional league set up with operating budgets for the better ones at about 2.5-2.5 million Euros. Several have also built or are building new stadiums.

If you want to promote international competition then having a European Cup during the Lions tour would be a better idea, the 6 Nations A teams, and the 6 Nations B and C teams.
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Post by nganboy Sun 30 Oct 2011, 7:22 pm

Are the imports from NZ and the islands really cheap Alyn. I would have thought they would have been about average.
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Post by Guest Sun 30 Oct 2011, 7:30 pm

Here's an idea: how about Georgia does a UK and Ireland tour during the Autumn Internationals. All nations seem to play a few of the big guns plus a 'lesser' nation. Why not make it Georgia, for example, so that they then get a sort of mini 6N in the Autumn against 3 or 4 of our sides.

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Post by Guest Sun 30 Oct 2011, 8:17 pm

no georgia defntiely shouldnt join the 6 nations! they are worse than italy, and italy never win a game!

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Post by Guest Sun 30 Oct 2011, 8:29 pm

cricketfan90 wrote:no georgia defntiely shouldnt join the 6 nations! they are worse than italy, and italy never win a game!
Italy have turned over Wales and Scotland a few times and beat France this year. They do seem to have gone backwards overall though. They really don't travel well at all.

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Post by Guest Sun 30 Oct 2011, 8:31 pm

shame because Italy did start to make progress, and then something must have just clicked, and gone wrong for them.

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Post by Gibson Sun 30 Oct 2011, 8:36 pm

Italy beat unlucky RWC Finalists - France, in the 6-N last year. Just sayin...
With the advent of Treviso and Aironi growing a strong home-base, they will be beating the rest in the next few years too.

Its how France started in the 5-N. Doing ok now.
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Post by Glas a du Sun 30 Oct 2011, 8:48 pm

Griff wrote:Here's an idea: how about Georgia does a UK and Ireland tour during the Autumn Internationals. All nations seem to play a few of the big guns plus a 'lesser' nation. Why not make it Georgia, for example, so that they then get a sort of mini 6N in the Autumn against 3 or 4 of our sides.
clap
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Post by Irish Londoner Sun 30 Oct 2011, 10:27 pm

I think it's more important for 6N teams to visit the developing nations rather than bringing them straight into full competition, maybe an end of season tour or "A" team visits. Also visits by top teams would be great for encouraging local players and fans.
I doubt if it would be possible to squeeze in even more internationals during the club season, other solution is to have international windows with no club games but I can't see the clubs buying it.

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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by The Great Aukster Sun 30 Oct 2011, 10:31 pm

Should Georgia be asked to join - NO!

Why not? There is ample evidence to show that it won't improve their rugby nor grow the game. Rugby has to have a broad base to provide a successful Test side, Romanian rugby collapsed because they didn't have a grassroots base. Italian rugby hasn't done anything since joining the 6N and it is only now that they have pro teams that they stand a chance of finally getting better.

These countries need to have far more professional players to pick from and that doesn't come from an handful of pros in the Top12 and a low grade amateur league.

If the IRB are serious about growing the game they would do well to avoid tinkering with their cash cows and rather redirect some funds to the grassroots.

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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by Glas a du Sun 30 Oct 2011, 11:02 pm

But wouldn't the cash cows eat the grassroots?
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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by Guest Mon 31 Oct 2011, 10:16 am

The Great Aukster wrote:Should Georgia be asked to join - NO!

Why not? There is ample evidence to show that it won't improve their rugby nor grow the game. Rugby has to have a broad base to provide a successful Test side, Romanian rugby collapsed because they didn't have a grassroots base. Italian rugby hasn't done anything since joining the 6N and it is only now that they have pro teams that they stand a chance of finally getting better.

These countries need to have far more professional players to pick from and that doesn't come from an handful of pros in the Top12 and a low grade amateur league.

If the IRB are serious about growing the game they would do well to avoid tinkering with their cash cows and rather redirect some funds to the grassroots.

I agree with this actually. Italy have only started to look a lot stronger lately now that they have 2 professional sides playing week in week out against 6N opposition in the Magners/Pro12. I'm sure it's no coincidence.


Last edited by Griff on Mon 31 Oct 2011, 11:35 am; edited 2 times in total

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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by Pot Noodle Miner Mon 31 Oct 2011, 10:43 am


the likes of Georgia and the other teams in the 6 nations B competition are not quite up to the standard of the 6 nations teams IMO.

Possibly in the near future if they keep improving then they should have the chance to compete against the 6 nations teams on a regular basis, however we cant just keep expanding the 6 Nations because of the clubs/regions so the best thing to do is to have a relegation/promotion system in place with the team that finishes bottom of the 6 nations having a play-off with the team that finishes top of the 6 nations B to determine the promotion, however its early days yet and abit to soon to be doing this as these teams rarely push the 6N teams close let alone beat any of them
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Post by Smirnoffpriest Mon 31 Oct 2011, 10:57 am

Problem is that the only way for teams to improve is to regularly play better teams (look at Wales playing the SH teams), so if they don't get added to a European Comp then I think the home nations need to tour these countries, or even better the IRB give them funding to travel around Britain (and France) and play a mix of the best club sides, the A sides and the national sides. Only problem with this is that it doesn't grow the popularity of the game in those countries.

It's a good point about having pro sides, but not sure how you'd offer more games than the HC currently offers.

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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by the-goon Mon 31 Oct 2011, 2:03 pm

My suggestion would be to leave all the competitions as they are but add a European championship when the Lions tours are on and include all the teams in the top division of the nations (+ one or 2 others perhaps), the home nations (- minus their lions stars) and France (- minus their simmer tour player and Italy of course.

Hold it in one country over 4/5 weeks and bam there you have a competitve 4 yearly championship as the stronger 6 nations teams will field weaker sides but still full of international class and it allows the smaller teams to go toe to toe with them. It doesn't affect the club season as its over the summer nor does it eat into the established international tournaments already in place (bar the summer tours of the home nations but they are already diminished from the lions anyway).

Example

Layout to be the same as 7s tournaments so each team will play 6 games and be placed 1 to 16.

Seedings

1st

France
England
Wales
Ireland

2nd

Scotland
Italy
Georgia
Russia

3rd

Spain
Portugal
Romania
Ukraine

4th

Belguim
Germany
Czech Rep
Poland

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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by Smirnoffpriest Mon 31 Oct 2011, 2:43 pm

I quite like that idea - sounds good. and As it's happening regularly in the seasons in between it may encourage tier 1 European nations to tour these tier 2 nations or vice versa.

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Should Georgia join the 6 nations? Empty Re: Should Georgia join the 6 nations?

Post by ultra Mon 31 Oct 2011, 2:52 pm

Am I the only one who thinks we're doing scotland a bit of a dis-service here?

To group them with Georgia, russia etc's just silly and for that reason alone, no - Georgia shouldn't be anywhere near the 6Ns...

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