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Should there be a quota imposed on how many games top teams should play vs the lower ranked teams

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Post by maestegmafia Mon Jul 13, 2015 2:18 am

After a successful landmark game played by Samoa and the All Blacks in Apia last week it is a shame, in my opinion, that Steve Tew sees it impossible for the All Blacks to play more matches vs their neighbouring lower ranked teams due to the loss in revenue it may cause.

The top European teams all play one or two lower ranked touring teams in their November internationals, should the Southern Hemisphere SANZAR teams be forced to do the same for the good of spreading the wealth of the game?

The All Blacks have played less than fifty games against non Five Nations and non rugby championship teams in their entire history. Scotland, for example have played double that, so have England.

To me the disparity in this stat of the most iconic team in the game compared to other top nations is very disappointing.

This week the All Blacks fielded a decent but not full strength side, they won more comfortable than the result showed. I really think these fixtures need to be encouraged far more, outside of Rugby World Cup games.




http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_61847,00.html

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Post by LondonTiger Mon Jul 13, 2015 4:23 am

Should there be a quota imposed on how many games top teams should play vs the lower ranked teams?


No

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Post by maestegmafia Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:45 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Should there be a quota imposed on how many games top teams should play vs the lower ranked teams?


No

Why not... The difference between the earnings of the major teams and minor ones is mammoth and never going to aid less successful nations progress in the sport.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:08 pm

We already play Scotland, Italy and Wales at least once a year.

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Post by ebop Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:13 pm

Badoomdish, burn.

It's a nice idea in theory but a woeful one in practice. I'm sure the NZRU for example are glad to get the Samoa monkey off their back for $5 million and that they don't feel obliged to do it again in the foreseeable future. It's a shame, I wish it was financially viable to go there more often but it isn't, that's just the reality.
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Post by George Carlin Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:51 pm

There is an argument for quotas, though.

Do the higher profile (and by nature, more solvent) international sides have a responsibility to bring exposure and some television and gate revenues to smaller nations who are dying to receive it? There has to be an argument that they do. With a very few exceptions, no international rugby union is awash with cash and the younger generation of places in each country should see the best teams first hand from time to time.

It certainly seems whiffy that All Blacks are more than happy to put on an exhibition match where they hammer a USA side 6-74. I didn't hear any complaints about fitting that match in. The USA are ranked 4 IRB places lower than Tonga, 5 lower than Fiji and 7 lower than Samoa.

With my Cynical Hat firmly on, I would say that match was probably less of a hardship because the All Blacks got to (a) stay in luxury, first world hotels, (b) play in front of a crowd of 61,500, (c) receive a chunk of NBC Sports revenue and (d) get treated like rock stars.

Did USA Rugby need the increased profile more than Samoa needed the money? No, it didn't.
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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:18 pm

Gooseberry does pose an interesting point though - what counts as a lower ranking team.


Argentina are ranked 8th in the world. Samoa 9th

It's not as if NZ are being massively bold - playing 9th in the world. It's a sad statement of international rugby affairs when playing 9th in the world is a huge step.



In contrast Scotland are 10th and Italy are 15th.

We play these lower ranked sides every 6 nations as already said by Gooseberry.

England Saxons used to play Canada and USA 2003-11 in the Churchill Cup till disbanded with other invitational sides.

Shame they got rid of it.

Yes I think the likes of NZ,SA and Australia should play more games against lower ranked sides.

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Post by Jimpy Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:24 pm

maestegmafia wrote:After a successful landmark game played by Samoa and the All Blacks in Apia last week it is a shame, in my opinion, that Steve Tew sees it impossible for the All Blacks to play more matches vs their neighbouring lower ranked teams due to the loss in revenue it may cause.

The top European teams all play one or two lower ranked touring teams in their November internationals, should the Southern Hemisphere SANZAR teams be forced to do the same for the good of spreading the wealth of the game?

The All Blacks have played less than fifty games against non Five Nations and non rugby championship teams in their entire history. Scotland, for example have played double that, so have England.

To me the disparity in this stat of the most iconic team in the game compared to other top nations is very disappointing.

This week the All Blacks fielded a decent but not full strength side, they won more comfortable than the result showed. I really think these fixtures need to be encouraged far more, outside of Rugby World Cup games.




http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_61847,00.html

Unless you're England, when 3 straight tests against the AB, or combinations of Australia, NZ and SA seem to be the norm.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:29 pm

beshocked wrote:
England Saxons used to play Canada and USA 2003-11 in the Churchill Cup till disbanded with other invitational sides.

Shame they got rid of it.

It is a shame it was stopped. Sadly it was down to money, RFU decided they could not afford to pay for the entire competition including giving money to the Tier 1 countries/Maoris that were invited.

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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 13, 2015 7:41 pm

Jimpy wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:After a successful landmark game played by Samoa and the All Blacks in Apia last week it is a shame, in my opinion, that Steve Tew sees it impossible for the All Blacks to play more matches vs their neighbouring lower ranked teams due to the loss in revenue it may cause.

The top European teams all play one or two lower ranked touring teams in their November internationals, should the Southern Hemisphere SANZAR teams be forced to do the same for the good of spreading the wealth of the game?

The All Blacks have played less than fifty games against non Five Nations and non rugby championship teams in their entire history. Scotland, for example have played double that, so have England.

To me the disparity in this stat of the most iconic team in the game compared to other top nations is very disappointing.

This week the All Blacks fielded a decent but not full strength side, they won more comfortable than the result showed. I really think these fixtures need to be encouraged far more, outside of Rugby World Cup games.




http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_61847,00.html

Unless you're England, when 3 straight tests against the AB, or combinations of Australia, NZ and SA seem to be the norm.

Jimpy it works both ways. SA,NZ and Australia are desperate to play England. I wonder why......

Londontiger that's a shame. If the RFU can't fund a competition....

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Post by Fanster Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:01 pm

Of course there should be more done by top nations to help the game develop, however in NZ case it'd be like the turkey helping to put up the Xmas tree!!

The last thing NZ and T14 clubs want is financially stable and organised PI unions, stemming the one way flow of PI talent to the highest bidder!

Every block of friendliest should be linked, for example if the NZ team want thenbignpayday of a full twickers, they need to include mainland euro stop off to help develop rugby in emerging nations like georgia or Romania.

Vice versa if England go to NZ they need a PI stop off of some sort, if all tier 1 nations adhered to this the depth of competitive international teams would rise massively, and maybe the RWC would be an actual spectacle instead of a 3/4 team also ran

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Post by LondonTiger Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:05 pm

beshocked wrote:

Londontiger that's a shame. If the RFU can't fund a competition....

My understanding was they were happy to fund the costs in States and cover lower tier teams, but unwilling to pay for the Tier 1 countries. The financial demands from NZRFU and IRFU for involvement of Maoris and wolfhounds were rather large - ie around half the total spend.

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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:10 pm

LondonTiger wrote:
beshocked wrote:

Londontiger that's a shame. If the RFU can't fund a competition....

My understanding was they were happy to fund the costs in States and cover lower tier teams, but unwilling to pay for the Tier 1 countries. The financial demands from NZRFU and IRFU for involvement of Maoris and wolfhounds were rather large - ie around half the total spend.

Londontiger that's ridiculous and a shame. RFU shouldn't pay for the Maoris and Wolfhounds. Should have just got some lower tier teams to take their place instead.

Agree Fanster.

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Post by LondonTiger Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:32 pm

I agree more should be done.

I disagree with quotas being applied, which was the original question (unless the post had nothing to do with the title)

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Post by Geordie Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:41 pm

How far do you go though.

Games v Georgia, Russia etc.

Or further - games v the next level - Germany, Spain, Portugal etc...?

Ive said before....turn the Euro Nations into a big European Championships every two years...and have the big teams send something like an U23 representative side...or even the Saxsons level...


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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 13, 2015 8:53 pm

Londontiger you do point to the most important aspect though - it's all about money.

Greed is at the heart of it.

All sides want to make as much money as possible.

Playing a lower ranked side is quite clearly not going to generate as much money.

It's a shame that Churchill Cup wasn't kept though as it could have grown in size and in time might have been more commercially viable.

The 6 nations works because even though there are low ranked teams like Italy and Scotland there's the history and the commercial value is there.

It's rivalries that generally generate interest IMO.

England have a strong rivalry with many countries which increases their attraction as opposition.

A game just doesn't have the same interest if there's no precedent. England tried the Canada/USA route which should have been a natural fit but it didn't work.

You would think that with USA having a fondness for their European ties with Ireland and Italy that a match could work.

I guess each tier 1 team could pick a tier 2/3 team to work with -

E.g.
SA and Namibia,
Argentina and Uruguay,
England and Canada,
Ireland and USA,
Italy and Romania.
NZ and Tonga,
Australia and Fiji,
France and Spain
Scotland and Belgium


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Post by Geordie Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:24 pm

beshocked wrote:Londontiger you do point to the most important aspect though - it's all about money.

Greed is at the heart of it.

All sides want to make as much money as possible.

Playing a lower ranked side is quite clearly not going to generate as much money.

It's a shame that Churchill Cup wasn't kept though as it could have grown in size and in time might have been more commercially viable.

The 6 nations works because even though there are low ranked teams like Italy and Scotland there's the history and the commercial value is there.

It's rivalries that generally generate interest IMO.

England have a strong rivalry with many countries which increases their attraction as opposition.

A game just doesn't have the same interest if there's no precedent. England tried the Canada/USA route which should have been a natural fit but it didn't work.

You would think that with USA having a fondness for their European ties with Ireland and Italy that a match could work.

I guess each tier 1 team could pick a tier 2/3 team to work with -

E.g.
SA and Namibia,
Argentina and Uruguay,
England and Canada,
Ireland and USA,
Italy and Romania.
NZ and Tonga,
Australia and Fiji,
France and Spain
Scotland and Belgium



Poor Samoa...forgotten again Wink

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Post by George Carlin Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:56 pm

beshocked wrote:

I guess each tier 1 team could pick a tier 2/3 team to work with -

E.g.
SA and Namibia,
Argentina and Uruguay,
England and Canada,
Ireland and USA,
Italy and Romania.
NZ and Tonga,
Australia and Fiji,
France and Spain
Scotland and Belgium
A bunch of alcoholics with the producer of the finest beer in the world?

It's a match made in heaven. Very Happy

We'd never get anything done mind you. The lunchtime strategy meetings in a West Flanders beerhalle would take 8 hours and we'd all have to be carried home singing a song about Audrey Hepburn.
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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:00 pm

George Carlin that's why it works.

Geordiefalcon Samoa vs Japan I guess?

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:40 pm

beshocked wrote:I guess each tier 1 team could pick a tier 2/3 team to work with -

E.g.
SA and Namibia,
Argentina and Uruguay,
England and Canada,
Ireland and USA,
Italy and Romania.
NZ and Tonga,
Australia and Fiji,
France and Spain
Scotland and Belgium

Wales are not tier one then, oh well, never mind, we can just carry on as normal.

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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:46 pm

Lorddowlais I couldn't think of who Wales would be best paired with.

Most of my other selections have some logic to them.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Jul 13, 2015 10:56 pm

beshocked wrote:Lorddowlais I couldn't think of who Wales would be best paired with.

Most of my other selections have some logic to them.

I was only joking mun.

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Post by Geordie Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:01 pm

beshocked wrote:Lorddowlais I couldn't think of who Wales would be best paired with.

Most of my other selections have some logic to them.

Surely Samoa...they might work out how to beat them.... Wink

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Post by nganboy Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:40 pm

maestegmafia wrote:After a successful landmark game played by Samoa and the All Blacks in Apia last week it is a shame, in my opinion, that Steve Tew sees it impossible for the All Blacks to play more matches vs their neighbouring lower ranked teams due to the loss in revenue it may cause.

The top European teams all play one or two lower ranked touring teams in their November internationals, should the Southern Hemisphere SANZAR teams be forced to do the same for the good of spreading the wealth of the game?

The All Blacks have played less than fifty games against non Five Nations and non rugby championship teams in their entire history. Scotland, for example have played double that, so have England.

To me the disparity in this stat of the most iconic team in the game compared to other top nations is very disappointing.

This week the All Blacks fielded a decent but not full strength side, they won more comfortable than the result showed. I really think these fixtures need to be encouraged far more, outside of Rugby World Cup games.




http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_61847,00.html

First the idea of a quota seems like a crazy idea to me. It also seems to me that you're going a bit over the top with those stats. Are you saying Scotland and England have played over 100 tests against the 2nd tier countries? are you including Argentina and Italy in those stats? Surely about 80% of England's games have been against Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France. All these games are just a stones throw away from home.

Why don't we encourage countries to spread the word in their own country. How about we have a quota of tests in different cities at home. We use 3/4 venues every year spread the game around the country. Let's not worry about $$ lets reward the fans by forcing the national team to have tests in smaller cities.
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Post by Geordie Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:47 pm

The pro's for getting teams playing is that with so few teams at the top at the moment it gets boring. Every team playing each other constantly.

I look forward to seeing England play Germany , or Ireland play Sweden etc in a European game.

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Post by Irish Londoner Thu Jul 16, 2015 2:36 am

It sounds like a good idea, but there are two issues that would make it very difficult - the obvious first one is money, all the RFUs like the cash coming in that a visit from another Tier One side (or Wales drumroll sorry LD kiss) that the other nations - despite their rankings don't attract, there is an ongoing contradiction between the desire to grow the game and the reluctance to lose the income from keeping the internationals strictly among the top teams.
The second issue is quality, we all like watching the PI nations but given the, shall we say, "intense" playing style I'm not sure the clubs would want their players exposed to injury during the AIs.
Similarly whilst it would be good to see the top sides play more against lower level opposition maybe a compromise could be that the rules for the Junior RWC could be relaxed slightly so that the top tier nations could still send junior side but the developing nations could send a full side. Would make for closer games and showcase some of the better players in the smaller nations.

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Post by blackcanelion Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:21 am

maestegmafia wrote:After a successful landmark game played by Samoa and the All Blacks in Apia last week it is a shame, in my opinion, that Steve Tew sees it impossible for the All Blacks to play more matches vs their neighbouring lower ranked teams due to the loss in revenue it may cause.

The top European teams all play one or two lower ranked touring teams in their November internationals, should the Southern Hemisphere SANZAR teams be forced to do the same for the good of spreading the wealth of the game?

The All Blacks have played less than fifty games against non Five Nations and non rugby championship teams in their entire history. Scotland, for example have played double that, so have England.

To me the disparity in this stat of the most iconic team in the game compared to other top nations is very disappointing.

This week the All Blacks fielded a decent but not full strength side, they won more comfortable than the result showed. I really think these fixtures need to be encouraged far more, outside of Rugby World Cup games.

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_61847,00.html

A bit of a wild goose chase I think. It's not apples vs apples. I'll give a few examples.

There are 4 teams in the RC and 6 in the six nations. This has meant, in the 21st century, 2nd tier nations have to be bought into the November series to ensure that European nations get 3 tests in this period and the associated revenue.

Similarly on even years only Wales, Ireland, England and France make full tours down south. Italy and Scotland now have to play in the Pacific or North America in June.

On Lions years the only powerful teams touring down south are the Lions and France. Hence we saw the boks organise a tournament in 2013. Weakened British and Irish teams play elsewhere such as Japan, Canada, USA etc.

That's not to say all nations shouldn't do more. It's just a bit of perspective. None of the "tier 1" nations are doing much for the "tier 2". It's really financial. If we were talking results then you could argue based on the difference in ranking points.


  • NZ playing Wales in Cardiff is less of gap than Wales Playing Samoa in Apia
  • NZ playing France in Paris is less of gap than France playing Canada in Vancouver
  • NZ playing Scotland in Edinburgh is less of gap than Scotland playing Portugal in Lisbon

You could say it's a matter of perspective.

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Post by rainbow-warrior Sun Jul 19, 2015 4:56 pm

Fact is the IRB ratings table is for the majority programmed not to change that much and as a result the tiers remain the same. If the lower nations are not allowed to play the bigger teams then they have no chance of improving. The only time they do is during the world cup. There is not fairness in the Union world for the lower teams. Compared to Wendyball where there seem to be many many more friendlies and where the bigger teams play the minnows. If wendyball can do it then there must be a way union can. I would love to see some kind of European Champions every 4 years. Sure something would have to give possibly the Lions tour which seems to get lesser and lesser each 4 years. Argument has always been a 2nd 6 nations league with promotion / relegation which would also give the lower rated a fighting chance.

It's all about bum's on seats and many many of the emerging euro nations need the games against the bigger teams. That will generate finances.
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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 20, 2015 8:46 pm

rainbow warrior international football is mostly a joke though bar the Euro and World championships.

We call matches against other nations tests, they call them friendlies.

England are not a particularly good footballing nation, yet still England can stroll through qualification for the Euros and World Cup without breaking a sweat. There's no excitement because the teams England play are not interesting. There's no spice in a England vs Estonia game for example.

The 6 nations in comparison is an annual international competition which is popular.

It's matches against teams with history that hold the most interest.

The pairings I mention at least have some logic behind them.

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Post by rainbow-warrior Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:06 pm

beshocked wrote:rainbow warrior international football is mostly a joke though bar the Euro and World championships.

We call matches against other nations tests, they call them friendlies.

England are not a particularly good footballing nation, yet still England can stroll through qualification for the Euros and World Cup without breaking a sweat. There's no excitement because the teams England play are not interesting. There's no spice in a England vs Estonia game for example.

The 6 nations in comparison is an annual international competition which is popular.

It's matches against teams with history that hold the most interest.

The pairings I mention at least have some logic behind them.

Never mentioned england once, but your reply tends to dwell on them in a post of meaningless pap.
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Post by beshocked Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:19 pm

clap Meaningless pap - you just described yourself! If you have nothing constructive to say then.......

England football team are just an example. Does it rankle you that I mention them?

You talk about fairness. How does one share the load? Is it the ones with the broadest backs who should do all the heavy lifting?

Londontiger and I have already chatted about the Churchill Cup which was funded by the RFU - some greedy tier one nations contributed to it's downfall by not sharing the load.

The rugby world is not united. Still far too much greed and self interest.

RFU are no exception - current fleecing rugby fans with high RWC ticket prices and ridiculous shirts for example.

Countries need an incentive and logical reason to help. There needs to be an united purpose.

I think the best way to do that is building links with specific nations.

Each tier one takes a lower tier country under their wing is how I would go about it. What the tier one countries would get out of this though would need to be addressed.

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Post by funnyExiledScot Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:28 pm

As a supporter of a team which is continously falling down the rankings, I would answer a hearty "yes" to the original question!!

In truth, the SH sides tend to duck us for summer tours these days. It's either because we have been consistenty rubbish for over a decade and provide little in the way of competition or revenue, or it's because they are scared of us. You can make your own minds up.....

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Post by ebop Mon Jul 20, 2015 10:38 pm

I'm curious. Who were the 'greedy' tier 1 teams that contributed to the demise of the Churchill Cup?
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Post by Rugby Fan Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:06 pm

ebop wrote:I'm curious. Who were the 'greedy' tier 1 teams that contributed to the demise of the Churchill Cup?

As far as I understand it...

The RFU funded the Churchill Cup as a way to help Canada and USA, while also providing decent competition for the Saxons squad.

In order to spice up the competition, other top tier countries were invited to send their A teams, or similar representative side. NZ sent the Maoris, while Ireland, Argentina, Scotland and France sent their designated teams (not all at the same time)

In the end, two things did for the Cup: World Rugby arranged for USA and Canada to be included in the Pacific Nations trophy, which they are playing in right now. Also, the RFU grew weary of meeting the increased financial demands of the other Tier 1 sides. Certainly, it cost money to put a team out, but it was evident that teams also wanted appearance money from the RFU.

I don't actually think that was an unreasonable demand in a professional sport, but it does grate a little when you still see and hear fans of some of these other teams claiming credit for supporting USA and Canada in the cup, oblivious to the fact that the RFU footed the whole bill. To be fair to the unions themselves, they have never claimed philanthropy as a motive.

By the way, Tom Croft was fast:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFHu6JCzrRM

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Post by Geordie Mon Jul 20, 2015 11:57 pm

By the way, Tom Croft was fast:

He might have been better to stay out on the wing then....might not be broken all the time....

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Post by Geordie Tue Jul 21, 2015 12:05 am

IN all fairness....most teams are getting lots of games these days.

And im sure over the next few seasons, they will get more and more. LIkes of Georgia, Romania, Russia etc.

Its a nice steady approach...not rapid warp speed.

By the way theres a very good forum all about Tier 2 teams
http://t2rugby.com/viewforum.php?f=3

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Post by broadlandboy Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:16 am

Perhaps adjust the tier 2 autumn window so that it over laps tier 1 but allows tier 2 nations to play SH tier 1 teams out of the November window.

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Post by Sin é Tue Jul 21, 2015 3:52 am

Rugby Fan wrote:
ebop wrote:I'm curious. Who were the 'greedy' tier 1 teams that contributed to the demise of the Churchill Cup?

As far as I understand it...

The RFU funded the Churchill Cup as a way to help Canada and USA, while also providing decent competition for the Saxons squad.

In order to spice up the competition, other top tier countries were invited to send their A teams, or similar representative side. NZ sent the Maoris, while Ireland, Argentina, Scotland and France sent their designated teams (not all at the same time)

In the end, two things did for the Cup: World Rugby arranged for USA and Canada to be included in the Pacific Nations trophy, which they are playing in right now. Also, the RFU grew weary of meeting the increased financial demands of the other Tier 1 sides. Certainly, it cost money to put a team out, but it was evident that teams also wanted appearance money from the RFU.

I don't actually think that was an unreasonable demand in a professional sport, but it does grate a little when you still see and hear fans of some of these other teams claiming credit for supporting USA and Canada in the cup, oblivious to the fact that the RFU footed the whole bill. To be fair to the unions themselves, they have never claimed philanthropy as a motive.

Ireland (and I think Wales) have been touring Canada & USA regularly over the last number of years in fact in 2009, Ireland toured Canada and then went to the last Churchill Cup (which they won). Munster went to the USA in their preseason to play against the Eagles as well. Oh, and Ireland have supplied two coaches to the Eagles (George Hook and Eddie O'Sullivan x 2 stints).

The new tournament on the block instead of the Churchill Cup is the Tiblisi Cup (which Ireland have sent a team - Emerging Ireland which is 3rd choice internationals and which Ireland have won twice. SA have sent a President's XV as have Italy sent their A team. The standard is probably below Pro12 standard.

Weakening the financial position of the Tier 1 countries isn't going to help develop rugby (Top Tier countries are what attract people to watch the world cup and media companies to pay lots of money to world rugby which is what these nations need - money for coaching, travelling etc).

What would be more beneficial to these countries if rather than touring them (where they won't make a huge amount of cash), give these countries a game in the Top Tier country and give them the gate receipts (after expenses).



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Post by ebop Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:07 am

Thanks RugbyFan, good synopsis  thumbsup

So kudos to the RFU for organising it for USA and Canada and it no doubt helped get them into a a tournament like the Pacific Nations trophy after WR pulled their socks up. After all, it should be WR that should be helping to fund rugby in these countries using the RWC loot and not individual Tier 1 unions being constantly out of pocket. Agree, it is a professional sport, so Tier 1 subsidising Tier 2 nations should not be expected as rugby is not a welfare exercise. That's the reality. We can all 'help' out for sure, but I wouldn't expect any Tier 1 country to be out of pocket for millions of dollars in the process in providing that help. That is WR's role imo and I'm sure they have plenty of spare cash to do so. Anyway, a good outcome resulted for USA and Canada out of it all I guess.
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Post by Rugby Fan Tue Jul 21, 2015 5:45 pm

One of the only opportunities weaker sides have to face top opposition is during pool matches at the World Cup.

Unfortunately, scheduling often let's them down. Here's an old blog post on Japan's dilemma.

http://tier2rugby.blogspot.jp/2014/07/debate-whats-best-approach-to-japans.html

In short, their opening match is against South Africa, which they will lose. Four days later, they face Scotland, which is still a challenge, but not so steep.

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Post by Geordie Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:27 pm

Ireland played Georgia in the Autumn didn't they.

NZ just played USA

NZ just played Samoa in Samoa

Only a few of the games, but I think we will start to see changes and tier 2 sides will get their games against the tier 1 sides.

And the current Pacfic nations cup...USa v Samoa. etc
They are competitive games.

Is there really a major issue?

And don't forget...Wales and Scotland get plenty of games against Tier 1 sides....

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Post by aucklandlaurie Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:49 pm


I think its ridiculous the number of the games that the All Blacks play against lower ranked teams.

What I would like to see is more countries tour New Zealand.

Wales has toured New Zealand 4 times since 1905 whereas The ABs have been to Wales 18 times since 1905.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Jul 21, 2015 6:59 pm

Need a global season.

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Post by Gooseberry Tue Jul 21, 2015 7:15 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:
I think its ridiculous the number of the games that the All Blacks play against lower ranked teams.

What I would like to see is more countries tour New Zealand.

Wales has toured New Zealand 4 times since 1905 whereas The ABs have been to Wales 18 times since 1905.

To be fair every game New Zealand have played for about 8 years now has been against lower ranked opposition.

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Post by nganboy Tue Jul 21, 2015 9:43 pm

See how nice we are?
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Post by maestegmafia Mon Aug 10, 2015 7:28 pm

blackcanelion wrote:
maestegmafia wrote:After a successful landmark game played by Samoa and the All Blacks in Apia last week it is a shame, in my opinion, that Steve Tew sees it impossible for the All Blacks to play more matches vs their neighbouring lower ranked teams due to the loss in revenue it may cause.

The top European teams all play one or two lower ranked touring teams in their November internationals, should the Southern Hemisphere SANZAR teams be forced to do the same for the good of spreading the wealth of the game?

The All Blacks have played less than fifty games against non Five Nations and non rugby championship teams in their entire history. Scotland, for example have played double that, so have England.

To me the disparity in this stat of the most iconic team in the game compared to other top nations is very disappointing.

This week the All Blacks fielded a decent but not full strength side, they won more comfortable than the result showed. I really think these fixtures need to be encouraged far more, outside of Rugby World Cup games.

http://www.planetrugby.com/story/0,25883,3551_61847,00.html

A bit of a wild goose chase I think. It's not apples vs apples. I'll give a few examples.

There are 4 teams in the RC and 6 in the six nations. This has meant, in the 21st century, 2nd tier nations have to be bought into the November series to ensure that European nations get 3 tests in this period and the associated revenue.

Similarly on even years only Wales, Ireland, England and France make full tours down south. Italy and Scotland now have to play in the Pacific or North America in June.

On Lions years the only powerful teams touring down south are the Lions and France. Hence we saw the boks organise a tournament in 2013. Weakened British and Irish teams play elsewhere such as Japan, Canada, USA etc.

That's not to say all nations shouldn't do more. It's just a bit of perspective. None of the "tier 1" nations are doing much for the "tier 2". It's really financial. If we were talking results then you could argue based on the difference in ranking points.


  • NZ playing Wales in Cardiff is less of gap than Wales Playing Samoa in Apia
  • NZ playing France in Paris is less of gap than France playing Canada in Vancouver
  • NZ playing Scotland in Edinburgh is less of gap than Scotland playing Portugal in Lisbon

You could say it's a matter of perspective.

Consider the financial gap rather than the ranking gap. Not just that but the fact that somehow Samoa lost millions of dollars in histing the ABs in Apia rather than making a good profit.

The rugby world needs to look at reducing the gap between the highest earners and those on the perifery of the those teams that are running their unions at a loss.


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Post by Shifty Wed Aug 19, 2015 7:18 pm

From a European stand point I'd say no, personally I'd prefer if during the Lions tour the 6 nations played in a European Cup of 4 pools of 4 teams.  Then go into a Hong Kong sevens style pot with the pool winners going into semi finals, for a Cup, the second placed group teams going into semifinals for the plate, the 3rd placed group teams going into semifinals for the shield, then the fourth placed teams going into a bowl competition.  The winners of the semifinals go into the final and the losers go into a 3/4 place play off.
Every country would get ranked from 1 to 16, and 4 teams would be winning something.

Having said that European teams do actually have to tour on rota now, everyone has to tour either the American or the pacific islands during a touring cycle.
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Post by fa0019 Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:07 pm

aucklandlaurie wrote:
I think its ridiculous the number of the games that the All Blacks play against lower ranked teams.

What I would like to see is more countries tour New Zealand.

Wales has toured New Zealand 4 times since 1905 whereas The ABs have been to Wales 18 times since 1905.

When would you fit it in?

NZ have hosted a 3 match tour vs IRE in 2012, FRA in 2013 and ENG in 2014. Then you have WAL in 2016, Lions in 2017.

Would be nice to somehow bring back traditional touring of the SH giants. Put the RC to once every 2 years and inbetween have 6 matches say SA plays 3 tests at home vs. AUS and 3 tests away in NZ etc.

so

2016 - SA home series vs. AUS, away series vs. NZ
2017 - RC
2018 - SA home series vs. ARG, away series vs. AUS
2019 - RC & RWC
2020 - SA home series vs. NZ, away series vs. ARG
2021 - RC
2022 - SA home series vs. AUS, away series vs. NZ
2023 - RC & RWC
2024 - SA home series vs. ARG, away series vs. AUS
2025 - RC
2026 - SA home series vs. NZ, away series vs. ARG
2023 - RC & RWC

Given the tours can be hosted by SANZAR they won't lose money and if anything the tour build up will increase competition and fanbase support... i.e  kiwi's may think twice about going to SA for 1 match but may like the idea of touring SA for a month especially if its only happening once every 6 years.

For the players it won't mean any increase in number of matches and should probably increase conditioning as players would have to travel less longhaul flights as games will be based in one country.

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Post by nganboy Wed Aug 19, 2015 11:14 pm

I've suggested more tours and fewer tournaments before fa with a game against a smaller country and a tour by a NH team every year and a tour of a NH team each year so something like
2015 NZ vs Samoa, short RC and RWC
2016 NZ vs Fiji, NZ vs Aus for Bledisloe Cup (2 in Aus and 1 in NZ), Lions tour NZ and then NZ tour France
2017 NZ vs Tonga, Arg tour NZ, Scotland tour NZ and then NZ tour Ireland
2018 NZ vs Japan, NZ tour SA, Wales tour NZ, and then NZ tour England
2019 NZ vs Canada, short RC and RWC
2020 Aus vs NZ Bledisloe cup (2 in NZ and 1 in Aus), Italy tour NZ and then NZ play mini tournament against, Japan, Canada, USA
2021 etc
Still about 10 tests per year which less than now (about 12 per year) but we could chuck in extra one off tests against Aus and SA on alternating years if we want more $ and I can imagine the tours would be about 4 weeks with 3 tests and 3 mid week games against super teams. Anyway something like that
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