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Changes to the six nations, Rugby Championship and maybe the RWC too?

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Changes to the six nations, Rugby Championship and maybe the RWC too? Empty Changes to the six nations, Rugby Championship and maybe the RWC too?

Post by maestegmafia Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:05 pm

Having watched some superb rugby played by teams like Georgia and Romania should the sixth spot in the six nations tournament become a relegation position? 

Similarly with the rugby championship. Chould a fifth team and a relegation position add to the tournament...? Bringing in Samoa, Tonga, Fiji or Japan...?

Could making qualification for the RWC tougher increase the likelihood of tier one teams playing lower ranked sides outside of the RWC more frequent...? 

What if automatic RWC qualification was only guaranteed for semi finalists...?


Last edited by maestegmafia on Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:41 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by eirebilly Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:07 pm

Personally I am all for promotion and relegation from the 6N. It would garner a larger audience and get some much needed experience for such countries. thumbsup
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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:12 pm

I'd simply expand it into the ENC as the top tier. Have it as a two year competition. But that's because I'm English and don't care about other people (apparently).

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Post by Notch Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:13 pm

What I would like to see is us move to an expanded European Championship every 4 years instead of the Lions tour. The Lions seems more and more like a money-spinning anachronism where our best players go around playing 6 or 7 meaningless, dull games before the test matches start. Ditching it would be a good opportunity to do something a little more progressive instead.

Aside from that, he first stage before we expand the full Six Nations is to ensure Romania and Georgia are getting at least two full test matches every season against the current Six Nations teams so we can gauge their competitiveness. These should include home AND away games. They have a formidable home support and only having them play away and judging them on that would not give a fair picture of what they might offer future iterations of the Six Nations.


Last edited by Notch on Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:14 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by majesticimperialman Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:13 pm

It is certainly some thing to think about.

Some of the teams Fiji, Romania, Namibia, have put in some strong performances.

It will simply come down to travel time, and what time it can be played for the TV audience.

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:16 pm

I like the idea of European championship every 4 years. But it'll never happen because the SH would lose money. It's all about the money and none of them will do anything if not for the money.

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Post by No9 Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:28 pm

Doh

Leave the oldest, BEST, rugby tournament alone.

It works, has great following, and the format means fans can save in order to give away support.

Add relegation, and you destroy the away tours that fans save years for, as you won't know if you will be in the tournament, or even the tour your saving for will be going ahead.

Any fan from the 6 Nation sides will know what I mean. It is especially the case for us Welsh fans who don't have the spare money to just go on a tour at whim. We have to save and plan for it.

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Post by LondonTiger Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:28 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:I'd simply expand it into the ENC as the top tier. Have it as a two year competition. But that's because I'm English and don't care about other people (apparently).

I agree. A two year competition playing the other 5 teams home and away, bottom team relegated. Same number of games - but a real kicker I guess for the relegated team.

Alternative would be two top divisions of 4 teams playing home and away annually, bottom team relegated. Would require one extra match per year though.


However, both propositions coudl be a hard sell for the organisers - and sadly money is king.

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Post by Prothero Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:33 pm

Perhaps a good place to start would be like the Japanese getting a franchise in the super ? (whatever number it is cant be bothered to google it) in the the SH. Maybe Romania and Georgia could get a partially subsidized pro team each in the Pro 12 / European championship?

The national side needs as many pro's as possible in the country to work toward being competitive enough for the 6 nation's and youngsters in those countries would then be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to become pro rugby players as there is a career path.

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Post by maestegmafia Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:34 pm

No9 wrote:Doh

Leave the oldest, BEST, rugby tournament alone.

It works, has great following, and the format means fans can save in order to give away support.

Add relegation, and you destroy the away tours that fans save years for, as you won't know if you will be in the tournament, or even the tour your saving for will be going ahead.

Any fan from the 6 Nation sides will know what I mean. It is especially the case for us Welsh fans who don't have the spare money to just go on a tour at whim. We have to save and plan for it.


But considering the support for Romania at the RWC this year they could well add to the crowd. A traditionally proud rugby nation, once drew with the all blacks, plus cheap flight and cheap accommodation down there.

Similarly Georgia...!

I agree that we are lucky to have such a magnificent tournament every year, but I also think Italy's inclusion has added to the spectacle. Maybe Romania or Georgia could do that too should they be able too.

What inclusion has done for rugby as a sport in Italy has been remarkable. The sport is now known, talked about, loved in many places, many that were not formally rugby hot beds.

Spreading the love of the game is part of the history and culture of the sport is my opinion. This could be the way?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:45 pm

Can you not have two groups of 5 or so...and a semi finals and finals?

Group 1
France
Ireland
Georgia
Scotland
Portugal / Russia / Spain / Germany or which ever is the highest seed

Group 2
England
Wales
Romania
Italy
Portugal / Russia / Spain / Germany or which ever is the highest seed

Top two through to Semi Finals
Then finals

That also then paves the way for a European Championship.

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Post by sportform Sun 11 Oct 2015, 4:51 pm

I was just thinking something similar. Possibly have a 8 Nations played over the autumn and spring?

At the very least, and I suggested this four years ago, was to introduce a European Championship every four years in between the World Cup.

I would also like to see only the hosts and winners qualify for the next tournament and there being proper qualifying.

The corruption apart, the IRB could do with someone like Sepp Blatter to spread the sport more globally. The fact that any sport has different tiers is pitiful.
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Post by Guest Sun 11 Oct 2015, 7:39 pm

Prothero wrote:Perhaps a good place to start would be like the Japanese getting a franchise in the super ? (whatever number it is cant be bothered to google it) in the the SH. Maybe Romania and Georgia could get a partially subsidized pro team each in the Pro 12 / European championship?

The national side needs as many pro's as possible in the country to work toward being competitive enough for the 6 nation's and youngsters in those countries would then be prepared to make the sacrifices needed to become pro rugby players as there is a career path.

Japan have got a team in Super Rugby from next year I believe. They're called Sunwolves.

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Post by kingraf Sun 11 Oct 2015, 7:57 pm

If nothing else they'll have an adequately threatening name
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Post by 2ndtimeround Sun 11 Oct 2015, 8:17 pm

Possibly a 2nd tier tournament running in conjunction with the 6 nations but utilising the A teams from England and Ireland to add a real challenge to the teams like Romania and Georgia, with the next 2 highest ranked European teams making up the 6.
Playing against the kind of quality players available to the Saxons and the Wolfhounds would have to be a big benefit to the emerging nations

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Post by InjuredYetAgain Sun 11 Oct 2015, 8:18 pm

Any threat of relegation from the 6N would spell doom for Scotland and, more so for Italy as they couldn't commit to certain expenditure unless they knew they had TV and ticket money coming in, sponsors would walk away without TV exposure etc
For those reasons, it won't happen.
The best we could all do is field B teams against the upcomers in an organised competition. The Churchill Cup was excellent although I am found out recently that the RFU, essentially, funded it.

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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 11 Oct 2015, 8:27 pm

The IRB don't want full v A games. They want full internationals.

Unfortunately we have got ourselves into a situation where teams are so dependent on the international game to fund their professional level that there is no way they could cope with that money being provided others (who need it to develop their own infrastructure).

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Post by Biltong Sun 11 Oct 2015, 8:34 pm

Six nations and RC every two years, then one year world dup and the fourth year of the cycle a SH and NH tournament, similar to the RWC hosted by one of thr nations in each tournament.

The regular teams plus a few tier two, make two pools, maybe noy more then 10 teams and semi and dinal.

So Six nations can accommodate an extra 4 trams, thr RC an extra 6 teams.

This based on thr four year world cup cycle.

SH tournament can include Thr pacific nations cup teams plus maybe on qualifier from Africa and one from South America
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Post by HammerofThunor Sun 11 Oct 2015, 8:39 pm

Well that could be:

England
Wales
France
Ireland
Scotland
Italy
Georgia
Romania
Spain
Russia

And

New Zealand
South Africa
Australia
Argentina
Samoa
Fiji
Tonga
Japan
USA
Canada

Again, the probably is the loss of home games and therefore revenue. Money money money.

But I'd low it.

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Post by jbeadlesbigrighthand Sun 11 Oct 2015, 9:06 pm

GeordieFalcon wrote:Can you not have two groups of 5 or so...and a semi finals and finals?

Group 1
France
Ireland
Georgia
Scotland
Portugal / Russia / Spain / Germany or which ever is the highest seed

Group 2
England
Wales
Romania
Italy
Portugal / Russia / Spain / Germany or which ever is the highest seed

Top two through to Semi Finals
Then finals

That also then paves the way for a European Championship.

I think a Conference system is a great idea. You could base the pools on rankings (either world or tournament specific). That way, you can incorporate other teams and promote rugby across Europe, while also keeping rugby strong in the current 6 nations.

However, alongside that, you would also need to improve the domestic game in the new nations. To be honest, I don't know that the English or French clubs would support any moves that wouldn't directly benefit them, and would almost certainly object to losing European competition places.

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Post by blackcanelion Mon 12 Oct 2015, 1:20 am

Hammer, Shouldn't you include the NH teams with Europe (i.e. Japan, Canada, USA) rather than the SH.

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Post by SecretFly Mon 12 Oct 2015, 1:41 am

Here we go again.  It always happens.  When International is top of the agenda and some exciting games are taking place, everyone wants to expand the competitions that International rugby takes place in.

But then International goes into hibernation for a while and Clubs/Leagues come to the fore again.  And sure enough, talk then swings to increasing the profile of Club rugby either through Europe or even stretching it into some kind of linked NH/SH circuit.

We already see how attritional top International rugby is when played at the intensity levels required to make it attractive and therefore profitable.  We also see how much preparation time with little actual rugby played that these International sides require in advance of putting on an International show worth the ticket price (minnows too have had valuable time together that they wouldn't necessarily get in an expanded '6N' event.)

Rugby is self-limiting by the very nature of its physicality.  If club wants it all from their players and International requires more and more from it's player, then it's players that will suffer most from shortened careers.  This isn't American football with players coming and going off the field - it's 80 minutes of full on brutality without helmets and full body armour

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Post by blackcanelion Mon 12 Oct 2015, 2:19 am

Secret. I don't think an increase in the numbers of teams involved necessarily increases the loss of players. For instance 2 pools of 4 could mean that 1/2 teams could be eliminated after 3 weekends, and other teams playing for 1-2 weeks depending on the knock out. At present players are lost for 5 weekends from 6 teams.

Secondly, I'm not sure that necessitates a loss of revenue. TV deals are increasingly dictated by global sales and their value.

Thirdly, it pressure on national unions to grow their own game. If Scotland is limited in it's ability to grow and be competitive they'll drop. A team like Georgia is likely to improve because it's captured the national consciousness. It's given a small country the ability to compete and beat it's neighbors, especially Russia. It can achieve something in Rugby that would struggle to with football (a bigger sport). Unlike Italy it's competitive isn't dependent on imported talent.

Clubs also have issues. They are dependent on their players, but they are also dependent on subsidies from national unions. They still relatively small fry interms of professional teams they (i.e French, Celtic and English clubs) earn less from TV revenue than NRL clubs in Australia. When it comes to the crunch they need coverage from the international game to grow.

Lastly the European club, national game is particularly prone to the threat of any new league that could grow up somewhere else. It may not happen tomorrow but it is a realistic threat. The game doesn't protect the likes of Toulon or France should say the NFL make a very minor (for them) foray into rugby (they are a multi, multi billion doller industry with excess cash, existing stadiums, facilities and plenty of spare time). Rugby is still a tiny sport financially.

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Post by Wi11 Mon 12 Oct 2015, 2:52 am

Notch wrote:What I would like to see is us move to an expanded European Championship every 4 years instead of the Lions tour. The Lions seems more and more like a money-spinning anachronism where our best players go around playing 6 or 7 meaningless, dull games before the test matches start. Ditching it would be a good opportunity to do something a little more progressive instead.

The Lions is never going to be cancelled, despite these criticisms many of which I agree with. However I don't see why we couldn't have a European Championship in the same summer. The home nations probably wouldn't play their strongest teams in such a competition anyway. Financially they would probably prefer some more home internationals over summer too.

In terms of the championships, I wouldn't want to change the formats of the 6N or RC. I think it is possible to have a secondary European competition that over time grows to become closer in stature to the 6N.

The PNC and Americas 6 nations should be supported in roughly their current format, that is all good.

The other big change I would make is enforcing test matches between Tier 1 and Tier 2, probably in the form of end-of-year tests, or adding games on to June tests. This could be easily mandated by World Rugby. For example in each four year period a Tier 1 team is required to play 10 tests versus Tier 2 teams - excluding RWC games, obviously. I doubt any team has managed that over the last 4 years. Possibly Scotland or Italy?

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Post by Wi11 Mon 12 Oct 2015, 3:10 am

Here is the wall of shame. 2011-2015 vs Tier 2.

Aus 1
SA 1
Eng 2
NZ 3
Fra 3
Ire 4
Wal 5
Arg 5 (and 6 vs Tier 3)
Ita 9
Sco 9

I'd suggest in addition to mandating a certain number of games, there should also be a certain number away from home, so the Tier 2 nations can build the game at home (or at least pick up a fair share of the gate receipts if they choose to play it in a big Tier 1 stadium).

Of course getting such a measure passed would likely require the support of two of the eight foundation members (5N + Tri-N). Hard to see which those would be Sad

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Post by HammerofThunor Mon 12 Oct 2015, 7:45 am

blackcanelion wrote:Hammer, Shouldn't you include the NH teams with Europe (i.e. Japan, Canada, USA) rather than the SH.

I was going off Biltong's suggestion that the teams from the PNC join the RC teams for the 'SH' competition.

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Post by maestegmafia Mon 12 Oct 2015, 7:59 am

Gwlad wrote:No doubt we need to change the RWC if England with all their many riches in layers and resources and a week between games can't even get out of their pool.

I think it is well noted that World rugby will look at when the seedlings and pools are drawn.

The aftermath of this RWC isn't going to be like European rugby's fallout of the last few years. I hope that if anything is learnt from this RWC it is that the tier two and tier three teams are doing well and they need to be encouraged more. Spreading the game to more countries and helping them become far more competitive is brilliant for the game.

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Post by aqualung Mon 12 Oct 2015, 8:53 am

I'll just have my say about it. I don't think at all that has been whatsoever evidence to change the 6N format. I simply realize that Georgia and Romania are not up to that level yet.
Even Italy, arguably the worst team of 6N, until had wish to play and had something similar to a first-choice team on the pitch, thrashed Romania, so did France and Ireland.
Let's postpone this topic until those teams will get actual results vs 6N teams as Italy had to do during the 90's.
My view

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 12 Oct 2015, 8:56 am

How about we impose a forum change where you can only post this same topic once a year to rehash the same tired old arguments?

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Post by SecretFly Mon 12 Oct 2015, 8:59 am

Gooseberry wrote:How about we impose a forum change where you can only post this same topic once a year to rehash the same tired old arguments?

You banning us from being repetitive asswholess, Goose??? That'll never work, the place would have to close down. Wink

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Post by Mr Fishpaste Mon 12 Oct 2015, 9:04 am

Back when it was the SUper 12 (the best format in my opinion) I thought that each of the three PNC's should be included in Super Rugby and a combined PNC team should be included in the RC....I'm not sure if it would work nor whether it would ever be considered.

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Post by maestegmafia Mon 12 Oct 2015, 9:15 am

aqualung wrote:I'll just have my say about it. I don't think at all that has been whatsoever evidence to change the 6N format. I simply realize that Georgia and Romania are not up to that level yet.
Even Italy, arguably the worst team of 6N, until had wish to play and had something similar to a first-choice team on the pitch, thrashed Romania, so did France and Ireland.
Let's postpone this topic until those teams will get actual results vs 6N teams as Italy had to do during the 90's.
My view

There definitely have to bew more games arranged against Romania, Georgia and the six nations teams.


This is why I think it would be a great idea if only semi finalists had automatic qualification for the next RWC.

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Post by whocares Mon 12 Oct 2015, 9:16 am

Biltong wrote:Six nations and RC every two years, then one year world dup and the fourth year of the cycle a SH and NH tournament, similar to the RWC hosted by one of thr nations in each tournament.

The regular teams plus a few tier two, make two pools, maybe noy more then 10 teams and semi and dinal.

So Six nations can accommodate an extra 4 trams, thr RC an extra 6 teams.

This based on thr four year world cup cycle.

SH tournament can include Thr pacific nations cup teams plus maybe on qualifier from Africa and one from South America

sounds good to me.

Alternatively, I would scrap the summer SH tour (or have it only every 2 years) at least as far as we are concerned and play eastern european countires instead. there is no learning point in sending tired players get thrashed by NZ and OZ while using georgia, russia and romania to blood a few players is positive for al lcountires involved.

people who get defensive when there is mention of "touching' the 6N are not serious about expanding rugby am afraid. dont get me wrong I really enjoy the atmosphere and it cheers my winter but it is a thing of the past that is preventing other european teams to move up.

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Post by maestegmafia Mon 12 Oct 2015, 9:43 am

whocares wrote:
Biltong wrote:Six nations and RC every two years, then one year world dup and the fourth year of the cycle a SH and NH tournament, similar to the RWC hosted by one of thr nations in each tournament.

The regular teams plus a few tier two, make two pools, maybe noy more then 10 teams and semi and dinal.

So Six nations can accommodate an extra 4 trams, thr RC an extra 6 teams.

This based on thr four year world cup cycle.

SH tournament can include Thr pacific nations cup teams plus maybe on qualifier from Africa and one from South America

sounds good to me.

Alternatively, I would scrap the summer SH tour (or have it only every 2 years) at least as far as we are concerned and play eastern european countires instead. there is no learning point in sending tired players get thrashed by NZ and OZ while using georgia, russia and romania to blood a few players is positive for al lcountires involved.

people who get defensive when there is mention of "touching' the 6N are not serious about expanding rugby am afraid. dont get me wrong I really enjoy the atmosphere and it cheers my winter but it is a thing of the past that is preventing other european teams to move up.


France would never have had a look in if the home nations had not of opened there doors to a wider audience. Now playing France in Paris is a highlight for every team.

Bucharest or Tblisi could be the new weekend away in Rome for six nations fans.

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Post by whocares Mon 12 Oct 2015, 9:50 am

yes MM I agree with your point (excpet the bit on Tbilissi being the new rome!) but I dont think you can just have a 8N every year, it's just getting too big so you would have to rethink the whole season.

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Post by fa0019 Mon 12 Oct 2015, 9:51 am

In terms of the RC, i'd say every 2 years but with no changes to team make up.

2016 - RC
2017 - SA tour of NZ (3 tests), AUS tour of ARG.
2018 - RC
2019 - AUS tour of SA, NZ tour of ARG.
2020 - RC
2021 - SA tour of ARG, AUS tour of NZ.
2022 - RC
2023 - NZ tour of SA, AUS tour of ARG.
2024 - RC
2025 - SA tour of AUS, ARG tour of NZ.
2026 - RC
2027 - ARG tour of SA, NZ tour of AUS.

In terms of growth. a) it has to be viable financially b) it has to have decent growth potential. Look at Samoa for instance. Its a poor small country and relies mainly on descendants now living in NZ. Even if you piled huge resources into them I doubt they would ever be competitive (as in challenging for titles etc).

If they could bring back the PI team with serious intentions then perhaps they could tour and even play in the RC but not without pooling their resources (and having their players based in the SH too.. not Europe).

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Post by maestegmafia Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:03 am

whocares wrote:yes MM I agree with your point (excpet the bit on Tbilissi being the new rome!) but I dont think you can just have a 8N every year, it's just getting too big so you would have to rethink the whole season.

I have not been to Tblissi yet, so I can't comment.

But I think it should stay as six teams with the last spot being a promotion relegation spot that the tier two six nations leader contests for.

I read above someone suggested that this should not be every year, which is a reasonable concept. But I would be good to encourage a wider spread of the game.

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Post by BamBam Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:06 am

Biltong wrote:Six nations and RC every two years, then one year world dup and the fourth year of the cycle a SH and NH tournament, similar to the RWC hosted by one of thr nations in each tournament.

The regular teams plus a few tier two, make two pools, maybe noy more then 10 teams and semi and dinal.

So Six nations can accommodate an extra 4 trams, thr RC an extra 6 teams.

This based on thr four year world cup cycle.

SH tournament can include Thr pacific nations cup teams plus maybe on qualifier from Africa and one from South America

If it is going to change, I like this idea

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Post by TightHEAD Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:10 am

Why do people want to change, The European Nations Cup is working well seeing as these teams have made a lot of progress.

Personally I'd like to see a playoff game between the winners of the ENC against the bottom team of the six nations as that could work but the euro cup idea every 4 years just wouldn't work, also I love the Lions tour and would be gutted to see that go.
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Post by maestegmafia Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:13 am

TightHEAD wrote:Why do people want to change, The European Nations Cup is working well seeing as these teams have made a lot of progress..

I guess people want to see progress...?


TightHEAD wrote:Personally I'd like to see a playoff game between the winners of the ENC against the bottom team of the six nations as that could work but the euro cup idea every 4 years just wouldn't work, also I love the Lions tour and would be gutted to see that go.

And you agree?

Why did you write that first bit?????

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Post by RuggerRadge2611 Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:14 am

No No No No.

Untill these teams can beat the six nations teams and rugby championship teams on a regular basis there is absolutely no point. The world cup always throws up shock results. However anyone seriously considering including Japan in the rugby championship before the likes of Fiji, Samoa or Tonga needs a reality check.

The best place to start is to force the Teir 1 teams to play the lower tier teams in the Autumn internationals.

Relegation in these tournaments is bad for all concerned.

The six nations is a special entity to me. Travelling to Tiblisi or Bucharest just wouldn't interest me at all as opposed to London, Cardiff or Paris. To pretend otherwise is pointless.

Leave the 6N and Rugby championship as they are but play more test matches against the teams that are banging on the door untill they merit inclusion in the top tournaments.
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Post by TightHEAD Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:17 am

maestegmafia wrote:
TightHEAD wrote:Why do people want to change, The European Nations Cup is working well seeing as these teams have made a lot of progress..

I guess people want to see progress...?


TightHEAD wrote:Personally I'd like to see a playoff game between the winners of the ENC against the bottom team of the six nations as that could work but the euro cup idea every 4 years just wouldn't work, also I love the Lions tour and would be gutted to see that go.

And you agree?

Why did you write that first bit?????

Just to wind you up Mae. thumbsup
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Post by dallym Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:17 am

any format that has "NZ tour of SA" and "SA tour of NZ" gets my vote


and why can't NZ/Aus/Arg/SA include a game against Romania/Georgia/Russia (or even one of the PIs in say Manchester or Newcastle) the week before their tests against the Home Unions begin? If player burnout is an issue then we could use the game as an opportunity to give some less established players a chance to prove themselve

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Post by fa0019 Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:25 am

whatever happens (which almost certainly it won't) it has to be a) economically viable and b) not increase the test schedule further as clubs will complain that they pay the wages only to not get the players.

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Post by Shifty Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:32 am

I've always said they cup run a football style European Cup during the Lions tour, using 6 nations A teams. similar to the first world cup format, 4 pools of 4 teams, 16 teams.
Or perhaps even 16 team comprised of 6 six nations A teams, the 6 nations b teams, and maybe the top 2 teams form the African championship, and the second and third teams from the Asian champions cup, bearing in mind Japan already play in the pacific nations cup.

Pool A
Wales A
Scotland A
Spain
Africa 1 - Namibia

Pool B
England A
Italy A
Russia
Asian 2 - Hong Kong

Pool C
Ireland A
Georgia
Portugal
Africa 2 - Zimbabwe

Pool D
France A
Romania
Germany
Asia 3 - South Korea
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Post by BamBam Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:35 am

There's only going to be 2 Scots on a Lions tour, so it'll just be "Scotland" Run

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Post by mr_stonelea Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:39 am

England have this pointless BaaBaa's fixture in June each year.  That should definitely be replaced with a Georgia/Romania fixture - that's easy to solve.

I would personally love a 2nd tier 6 Nations but played in the UK/Ireland.  No need for promotion/relegation yet - these teams just need their own competition, promoted alongside the 6 Nations and with the shared income that the larger crowds over here would bring.  Georgia vs Romania at Welford Road on a 6 Nations Friday night? Yes please...

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Post by Shifty Mon 12 Oct 2015, 10:57 am

Another way it could be done is maybe just the 4 Lions nations take 1 team from each georgraphic location and play an annual tournament, and take responsibility for helping rugby in that country.

Teams -
1 - host country A team - Wales, Ireland, England, Scotland
2 - eastern europe - Russia, Romania, Georgia, Moldova
3 western europe - Spain, Portgugal, Germany, Belgium
4 Africa - namibia, zimbabwe, Kenya, tunisia
5 Asia / pacific - Hong Kong, South Korea, Cook islands, Paupa new guinea
6 American - Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay

Also you could turn these games into mini tours so for example:
Russia:
tuesday game / saturday game
------ / Wales A
Swansea RFC / Spain
Llanelli RFC / Zimbabwe
Cardiff RFC / Hong Kong
Pontypridd RFC / Chile

Paupa New Guinea:
tuesday game / saturday game
----- / Scotland A
Melrose / Moldova
Heriots / Belgium
Ayr / Tunisia
Currie / Paraguy

Just examples but it might work, if the IRB would help fund it.
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Post by Shifty Mon 12 Oct 2015, 11:07 am

I think to be fair countries have made attmpts over the years to help Tier B nations, Wales took Romania under their wing at the turn of the century and gave them an annual game against them in Wrexham, sadly the results were not encouraging.  

2001: 81-9
2002: 40-3
2003: 54-8
2004: 66-7

England also agreed to help Romaina around the same time, and played Romania in 2001 but they won 134-0, so that didn't last long.

Uruguay showed promise after the 2003 world cup and the IRB appealed for countries to play them and help the game grow.  South Africa played them in 2005 and beat them 134-3 so it didnt really work.  

I think any improvement needs to come not form one off games but competitions that countries can build up to.
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Post by Biltong Mon 12 Oct 2015, 11:46 am

Shifty wrote:Another way it could be done is maybe just the 4 Lions nations take 1 team from each georgraphic location and play an annual tournament, and take responsibility for helping rugby in that country.

Teams -
1 - host country A team - Wales, Ireland, England, Scotland
2 - eastern europe - Russia, Romania, Georgia,  Moldova
3 western europe - Spain, Portgugal, Germany, Belgium
4 Africa - namibia, zimbabwe, Kenya, tunisia
5 Asia / pacific - Hong Kong, South Korea, Cook islands, Paupa new guinea
6 American - Uruguay, Chile, Brazil, Paraguay

Also you could turn these games into mini tours so for example:
Russia:
tuesday game / saturday game
------ / Wales A
Swansea RFC / Spain
Llanelli RFC / Zimbabwe
Cardiff RFC / Hong Kong
Pontypridd RFC / Chile

Paupa New Guinea:
tuesday game / saturday game
----- / Scotland A
Melrose / Moldova
Heriots / Belgium
Ayr / Tunisia
Currie / Paraguy

Just examples but it might work, if the IRB would help fund it.

South Africa has actually done a lot for Zimbabwe, Namibia and Kenya.

They periodically have participated in the Vodacom Cup, but finances means they don't participate every year, Namibia and Zimbabwe participates in our Craven rugby week for schools.

So at grass roots SARU does help as much as they can.

We even do the same for cricket, recently we had a number of African nations compete in a limited overs tournament against our cricket franchises
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