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Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament?

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Enforcer
Scrumpy
beshocked
Geordie
glamorganalun
sickofwendy
Artful_Dodger
DaveM
SecretFly
Scratch
HammerofThunor
Portnoy's Complaint
Knowsit17
Barney McGrew did it
Nematode
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Should a two-tier 6 Nations be introduced?

Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament? Vote_lcap25%Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament? Vote_rcap 25% 
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Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament? Vote_lcap75%Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament? Vote_rcap 75% 
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Total Votes : 28
 
 

Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament? Empty Should we split the 6 Nations into a 2 tier, relegation tournament?

Post by Nematode Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:13 am

After seeing England pumping Italy and Scotland whimpering to a resounding defeat, I'm wondering if two, 4 team competitions would be of benefit to NH rugby.

My proposal would be two 4 team championships similar to the structure of the Rugby Championship where the teams play twice home and away.

Tier 1

Ireland
Wales
France
England

Tier 2

Scotland
Italy
Georgia
Italy Romania - It's been a long week of work and a hard weekend...  picard 

The way I'd have the tournament work would be the bottom of the table team of T1 would swap with the top finisher of T2 yearly. In that way, each league would, at least for one year out of two, have a top T1 team to test themselves against but would equally be able to play against teams of equal ability and thus actually improve in a steady environment. Introduce try BPs and the tournament would be even more interesting.

As a Scottish fan, it's getting tiresome having no chance of beating the big 4. Instead of lagging behind I think it would do better to test ourselves against more appropriate opposition where we could actually gain confidence and try new things.

Also, it's time the NH recognised Eastern European rugby and emerging rugby nation.  

Anyone agree?


Last edited by Nematode on Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:58 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Silly old me)

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Post by Barney McGrew did it Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:16 am

Too much of an unfair advantage to Italy
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Post by Knowsit17 Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:22 am

Think 6 nations is a good number personally, wouldn't like to see the capacity of teams reduced whether or not a second tier was to be introduced.

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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:35 am

A proposal in line with my views apart from my preference to allow the IRB rankings within the European fold decide the promotion/relegation issue.

As it stands D2 would comprise currently Sco/Ita/Geo/Rom.

No glass ceilings on that greenhouse.

And what a seven weeks we would have had with home and away games to sort out the championship.


Last edited by Portnoy's Complaint on Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:48 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:40 am

There is already a European International competition below the 6 nations. It makes more sense to merge this with the 6 nations (all are 6 team comps) rather than create something new that doesn't fit.

First off, it's not going to happen. Because money money money.

But I'd simply change the 6 nations to a 2 year comp so everyone plays home and away and then have promotion/relegation.

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Post by Scratch Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:42 am

could work, i think 2 italian sides is probably unfair....how about Russia/Romania?

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Post by SecretFly Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:50 am

Scratch wrote:could work, i think 2 italian sides is probably unfair....how about Russia/Romania?

No to Russia. If they lost, they'd just send in the tanks and annex the 6N entirely.


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Post by DaveM Sun Mar 16, 2014 10:57 am

I wouldn't bother with promotion and relegation in the short term - maybe reassess things after 5 years. The 4 sides in each division would play each other home and away, so there would be no doubt who the best side is.

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Post by Artful_Dodger Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:11 am

In a word - no , if the decision is made to bring in Georgia or Romania the just increase the number of teams still playing each other once.

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Post by Guest Sun Mar 16, 2014 11:59 am

Nematode you have a typo in your OP which is why everyone is being funny about the Italy thing!

I'm Scottish and I don't mind the idea. With 4 in each table you could actually do home and away to each nation and have a fair promotion/relegation.

It won't happen regards Scotland leaving the top tier competition because of $$$ - Italy there's a small but still small chance, but I do like the idea. Imagine there would just be a secondary competition instead : Georgia Romania Russia Portugal Spain AN Other

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:18 pm

There already is a second competition.

The top tier has:

Georgia
Romania
Russia
Portugal
Spain
Belgium

There were some saying Belgium were in the up but they have perhaps reached their limit for now and only managed one draw and lost the rest. They will be replaced by Germany for the next competition.

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Post by sickofwendy Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:22 pm

Have a play-off between bottom ranked 6nations side and winner of the B tournament.They could play home and away,if Georgia beat Italy they take their place next year,if they don't they stay put.This way the promoted team have proven they deserve a chance and it doesn't devalue or dilute the 6 nations.

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Post by Guest Sun Mar 16, 2014 12:26 pm

Ok so there's no real problem then.

I would hazard that Scotland & Italy (or whoever comes 5th and 6th) need to be playing the top 1 & 2 of that competition more regularly in the AIs - I think Italy sometimes do already?

Even making it a compulsory AI match or pre-summer tour match, something like that, don't know the details, but it's kind of pathetic Scotland never play these teams between world cups. They did a Pacific Island tour and played Japan but I'm pretty sure it was because the other nations didn't want to be playing Scotland as it's too easy / banana skin for them ... so the chain of disowning continues ...

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Post by glamorganalun Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:54 am

It is a shame it is not the 7 nations then there will be 3 home and away fixtures.

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Post by Geordie Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:58 am

Think Scotland are getting unfair criticism here. They are poor because they have an utterly appalling manager who is clueless.

Once he is replaced they have some cracking players...they can be a dangerous side.

If anything is to be changed to incorporate the other nations like Georgia, Romania, Russia etc then maybe hold a Euro style competition every 2/3 years. Bring back the churchill cup etc.

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Post by beshocked Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:15 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Think Scotland are getting unfair criticism here. They are poor because they have an utterly appalling manager who is clueless.

Once he is replaced they have some cracking players...they can be a dangerous side.

If anything is to be changed to incorporate the other nations like Georgia, Romania, Russia etc then maybe hold a Euro style competition every 2/3 years. Bring back the churchill cup etc.

Geordiefalcon I know I will get a bit of criticism for this but I disagree. I don't think most of Scotland's players are as good as they think they or their fans think they are.

There's a reason why there were no Lions from Scotland in the starting 23 vs Australia. There's a reason why Glasgow and Edinburgh don't perform particularly well in the HC.

Coaching is part of it but it doesn't tell the whole story.

Hogg is arguably Scotland's best back but not many would pick him ahead of the likes of Brown,Kearney and Halfpenny for example.

Scotland do have some good players of course but compared to their home nations rivals they are lagging severely behind in my opinion. Especially as players from England for example have improved from 12 months ago.

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Post by Scrumpy Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:22 am

I think the best and easiest solution is that the bottom team of the 6 nations has a two leg play-off games (home and away) with the winner of the 2nd tier competition.

In theory the 6 nation’s team should win but at least it gives the up and coming teams a real goal and a real opportunity to improve the game globally, as well as giving the 6 nations teams a wake up call.
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Post by Enforcer Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:29 am

That is how I think it would work best. However, I would not have a 2 legged tie but host the game in the upper tiers nation.

If the 2nd tier winner can't beat the worst 6 Nation team away from home then they are very unlikely to be able to compete in any of the games if promoted.

It would probably be a while before a change occured, but it would give them something to aim for and increase the exposure of rugby in the new nations.

The weekend of the playoff match could even have the other teams pairing off for a round of friendlies to give the 6 Nations a chance to rotate the squad and give the tier 2 nations a match against a more experienced nation.

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Post by Brendan Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:48 am

With the IRB bringing in the summer cup for Georgia and Rominia it will help them step up and i think at least the winners of the B6N should get at least 1 if not 2 games against top teams as an added prize.

But lets not forget an italian B team beat Romiania over the summer.

If I were doing it I would do one of the following options

Play off match in the AIs between 6th and 1st (this year Italy and Georgia) held in the B6N home.

Or

Two groups of four seeded in four pots so from this year

Pot 1 Ire & Eng
Pot 2 Wal & Fra
Pot 3 Scot & Ita
Pot 4 Geo & Rom

Play home or away one game
Top two teams for each group go for the championship home or away
Bottom two teams go for sheild on same basis

8th place team drops down replaced by top team from below

Eg. Ireland get Wal, Ita & Geo. Get through and play Fra Eng & Wal.
If you wanted to keep it 5 games you don't play any team twice

It is stupid that Italy are so low in the rankings beacuse they play better teams while lower teams rise by beating even lower teams.

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Post by HammerofThunor Mon Mar 17, 2014 3:59 am

I think a lot of this has to depend on what THEY want as well as us. I don't know anyone involved in rugby in any of ENC countries. Does anyone? Does anyone know what they want to happen?

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Post by Scrumpy Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:00 am

Enforcer
I'd settle for one game in the upper tiers nation, no point in dragging it out.

But something like this needs to happen within the next two years, otherwise once again we will watch these teams take part in a RWC and show us all that they can play the game, why aren't we doing more to help these guys?
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:13 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:Think Scotland are getting unfair criticism here. They are poor because they have an utterly appalling manager who is clueless.

Once he is replaced they have some cracking players...they can be a dangerous side.


If anything is to be changed to incorporate the other nations like Georgia, Romania, Russia etc then maybe hold a Euro style competition every 2/3 years. Bring back the churchill cup etc.

Sadly, GF, This just isn't true.

Neither Scotland nor Italy have ever been approaching serious competition - based on final tables - in the 6Ns ever.

Let them climb the greasy pole of the IRB table to merit a place at the top table of the 4Ns.

This might seem an odd statement given last season's glitch in the 6Ns table when France barely ever turned up and Ireland exposed their lack of depth at the time.

But I'd rather have Georgia replace England if they merited it than the terabucks reality of professional sports these days.
I'm not stupid. I know my head is in the clouds on this and I type out of my arse according to many.

But I like sport as a fair contest played on a level field and the likes of the Picto-Italians act as a sea anchor on NH sides against the 'triad' forces of the South.

E/F/I/W home and away would have been an almost infinitely more enthralling contest than even the 2014 excellent version of the 6Ns imo.

A 4Ns which imho Ireland would have won clearly and truly decisively.

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Post by Geordie Mon Mar 17, 2014 4:57 am

Well i disagree with you all.

I believe once Scotland get a manger in who knows his stuff (playing players in their position would be a start)...they will improve quite dramatically.

And i will be proven right once again...  Wink Very Happy 

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:10 am

Well I think the arrival of Vern Cotter should settle the argument. We've seen the rapid improvement of Ireland under Schmidt, England under Lancaster and Wales under Gatland (remember the almighty mess he inherited). All were hugely underperforming prior to the arrival of competent coaching, and I certainly hope that Scotland will prove to be in the same boat.

I do take Beshocked's point though. It's hard to argue that our players are as good as we keep saying they are, or as good as the competition in other nations, unless they start proving it both at club level and at international level. For Scotland there's a wide gulf between what a player is capable of delivering, and what he delivers. When you see the vast improvements in players like Hartley, Robshaw, Farrell and Brown, hopefully Scotland can use that as a template for players like Ford, Gray (x2), Gilchrist, Rennie, Denton, Scott, Dunbar, Visser, Maitland and Hogg (all players with ample talent and yet haven't as yet delivered consistently).

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Post by HammerofThunor Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:22 am

funnyExiledScot wrote:Well I think the arrival of Vern Cotter should settle the argument. We've seen the rapid improvement of Ireland under Schmidt, England under Lancaster and Wales under Gatland (remember the almighty mess he inherited). All were hugely underperforming prior to the arrival of competent coaching, and I certainly hope that Scotland will prove to be in the same boat.

I do take Beshocked's point though. It's hard to argue that our players are as good as we keep saying they are, or as good as the competition in other nations, unless they start proving it both at club level and at international level. For Scotland there's a wide gulf between what a player is capable of delivering, and what he delivers. When you see the vast improvements in players like Hartley, Robshaw, Farrell and Brown, hopefully Scotland can use that as a template for players like Ford, Gray (x2), Gilchrist, Rennie, Denton, Scott, Dunbar, Visser, Maitland and Hogg (all players with ample talent and yet haven't as yet delivered consistently).

Under Lancaster England have gone from 1st to 2nd in the 6 Nations? How is this an improvement  angel 

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Post by beshocked Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:23 am

FES it could be simply be down to lack of confidence that is holding Scotland's players back. It's obvious that if you are playing in a side winning and playing with confidence it will help you perform better/ raise your game. Performing with better players also can help players raise their game too.

I see for example a player like Kelly Brown who seems to be completely short of confidence and I blame Johnson for that. I think it's made his club and international form suffer.

England and Ireland noticeably have confidence in their coaches and it shows in the performances on the pitch.

France look ragged and it's no surprise when you look at their coach.

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:42 am

This multiple tier proposal is a bit extreme. When Georgia, Romania et al can beat Scotland and or Italy regularly they will have earned the right to play at the 6N.

For the moment Scotland A, The Saxons, The wolfhounds should look to play games against the eastern European teams to help develop them and take it from there.

As for Scotland I hope Vern Cotter can take us forward. We have a potentially excellent team and still a lot of young guys. They need guidance and better tactics.
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Post by George Carlin Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:00 am

I would actually like to see two tournaments with relegation and promotion, but I think that six is a good number of teams because having an odd number of teams, meaning a 'bye' one week for each team, almost always results in unfairness. I am a fan of tradition, but also meritocracies.

I am assuming that only NH teams would be invited for jelly and ice cream, so at the moment that would be (using today's IRB rankings):

Six Nations - Top Tier

England (4)
Ireland (5)
Wales (6)
France (7)
Scotland (10)
Italy (14)

Six Nations - Developing Tier

Georgia (16)
Romania (17)
Russia (19)
Spain (21)
Portugal (24)
Germany (26)

The obvious thing to query is whether a team ranked 16th in the world could survive in the top tier, but I also fully accept that's really not the point and I'm sure they would like the chance to try.

Beshocked - there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a good coach, who selects well and implements a game plan that is based upon the strengths of the players and a knowledge of the current game will make the world of difference to this Scotland side. Comparing the quality of individuals players now to 5 years ago is like night and day.
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:43 am

George Carlin wrote:I would actually like to see two tournaments with relegation and promotion, but I think that six is a good number of teams because having an odd number of teams, meaning a 'bye' one week for each team, almost always results in unfairness. I am a fan of tradition, but also meritocracies.

I am assuming that only NH teams would be invited for jelly and ice cream, so at the moment that would be (using today's IRB rankings):

Six Nations - Top Tier

England (4)
Ireland (5)
Wales (6)
France (7)
Scotland (10)
Italy (14)

Six Nations - Developing Tier

Georgia (16)
Romania (17)
Russia (19)
Spain (21)
Portugal (24)
Germany (26)

The obvious thing to query is whether a team ranked 16th in the world could survive in the top tier, but I also fully accept that's really not the point and I'm sure they would like the chance to try.

Beshocked - there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a good coach, who selects well and implements a game plan that is based upon the strengths of the players and a knowledge of the current game will make the world of difference to this Scotland side. Comparing the quality of individuals players now to 5 years ago is like night and day.

There's a heck of a lot more associativity of sco/ita with geo/rom than eng/fra/ire/wal.

Scotland especially is a spent force which might possibly be regain some stature (this year/next year/sometime/never ad infinitum). Italy has had a huge opportunity and still gets relatively nowhere.
Why not give Georgia er al a chance to at least sniff the trough?

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:46 am

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I would actually like to see two tournaments with relegation and promotion, but I think that six is a good number of teams because having an odd number of teams, meaning a 'bye' one week for each team, almost always results in unfairness. I am a fan of tradition, but also meritocracies.

I am assuming that only NH teams would be invited for jelly and ice cream, so at the moment that would be (using today's IRB rankings):

Six Nations - Top Tier

England (4)
Ireland (5)
Wales (6)
France (7)
Scotland (10)
Italy (14)

Six Nations - Developing Tier

Georgia (16)
Romania (17)
Russia (19)
Spain (21)
Portugal (24)
Germany (26)

The obvious thing to query is whether a team ranked 16th in the world could survive in the top tier, but I also fully accept that's really not the point and I'm sure they would like the chance to try.

Beshocked - there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a good coach, who selects well and implements a game plan that is based upon the strengths of the players and a knowledge of the current game will make the world of difference to this Scotland side. Comparing the quality of individuals players now to 5 years ago is like night and day.

There's a heck of a lot more associativity of sco/ita with geo/rom than eng/fra/ire/wal.

Scotland especially is a spent force which might possibly be regain some stature (this year/next year/sometime/never ad infinitum). Italy has had a huge opportunity and still gets relatively nowhere.
Why not give Georgia er al a chance to at least sniff the trough?

When they can beat Scotland and or Italy regularly yes. Until then no.

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Post by George Carlin Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:55 am

Portnoy's Complaint wrote:
George Carlin wrote:I would actually like to see two tournaments with relegation and promotion, but I think that six is a good number of teams because having an odd number of teams, meaning a 'bye' one week for each team, almost always results in unfairness. I am a fan of tradition, but also meritocracies.

I am assuming that only NH teams would be invited for jelly and ice cream, so at the moment that would be (using today's IRB rankings):

Six Nations - Top Tier

England (4)
Ireland (5)
Wales (6)
France (7)
Scotland (10)
Italy (14)

Six Nations - Developing Tier

Georgia (16)
Romania (17)
Russia (19)
Spain (21)
Portugal (24)
Germany (26)

The obvious thing to query is whether a team ranked 16th in the world could survive in the top tier, but I also fully accept that's really not the point and I'm sure they would like the chance to try.

Beshocked - there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that a good coach, who selects well and implements a game plan that is based upon the strengths of the players and a knowledge of the current game will make the world of difference to this Scotland side. Comparing the quality of individuals players now to 5 years ago is like night and day.

There's a heck of a lot more associativity of sco/ita with geo/rom than eng/fra/ire/wal.

Scotland especially is a spent force which might possibly be regain some stature (this year/next year/sometime/never ad infinitum). Italy has had a huge opportunity and still gets relatively nowhere.
Why not give Georgia er al a chance to at least sniff the trough?
Was that a question for me? I make it clear above that I think that they should.

Portnoy - if you really are 63, then you will understand the cycles in which this sport operates. If you believe that the Scottish game is irretrievably fecked, then I don't understand on what basis. Have you forgotton what the 4 teams you mention were like only a few years ago under different coaches? Underinvestment in a sport cannot be changed overnight, but there are plenty of examples (like Argentina and Samoa for instance) of a few talented players making a big difference to the international set up pretty quickly.
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Post by Portnoy's Complaint Mon Mar 17, 2014 7:26 am

I don't believe in specific protectionism, George.

My point is that the glass ceiling of the 6Ns inherently inhibits others.

I can't think of (although I may be wrong) of any other team sport in Europe that has such an archaic device to artificially maintain a status quo.

It's comparable to the falsehood that the UK and France deserve permanent places on the UN Security Council.

[ed] p.s. Which verse of the Scottish anthem of Dark Horses are you referring to?

p.p.s. Samoa and Agentina (the team I'd have invited to the 6Ns party over Italy anyway at the time) are exactly the teams like Georgia who have demonstrated the ability to rise in the hierarchy. The SH also has its own closed shop Down Under.

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