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Superb article on the Pro12 and Europe

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Superb article on the Pro12 and Europe - Page 5 Empty Superb article on the Pro12 and Europe

Post by Chunky Norwich Sun 22 Nov 2015, 11:59 am

First topic message reminder :

https://theblitzdefence.wordpress.com/2015/11/22/the-declining-power-of-pro12-in-europe/

We are only a few games in to the new European Champions Cup tournament but already we have seen the best the Pro12 can offer being humbled by their French and English counterparts.

The reigning Pro12 champions Glasgow Warriors lost at home to Northampton Saints, Ulster were humbled at the Kingspan to Saracens while down in Llanelli not even a farcical red card awarded to a Racing Metro player could even up the tie as the Scarlets were defeated to effectively end their hopes in this year’s competition.



The decline in the Pro12

Things are not looking good on the Pro12 front. Last year the Pro12 provided just one team for the quarter finals but we could potentially find ourselves in the situation towards the end of the season where we have an all Anglo-French quarter final line up. This isn’t good for the game in the northern hemisphere.

As the graph below shows, the Pro12 has consistently contributed at least two of the tournament’s quarter finalists – usually Irish teams, with the dominance of Leinster and Munster being augmented by a recently resurgent Ulster.

The other noticeable trend is the drop off in Welsh representation post the 2009/10 season, save for Cardiff Blues’ appearance in the 2011/12 quarter final.

Heineken quarters



To be a strong and popular tournament the European Champions Cup needs as many teams and nations to be competitive as it can. The way the club and regional rugby scene is evolving in Europe we are in serious danger of having the Pro12 teams from the 4 nations being uncompetitive at the top level in Europe.

We will now look at each Pro12 nation and their historical success and future prospects.



Ireland

Ireland has consistently provided strong teams that have had great success in Europe; in fact they have dominated the tournament in certain phases of its history.

Between the 2005/06 season and the 2011/12 season Ireland had 5 of the 7 winners of what was called the Heineken Cup – Munster winning it twice and Leinster 3 times. Ulster joined in on the act in 2012 when an all-Ireland affair in Twickenham saw Leinster take away the trophy for the third time.

But since that day in south west London the Euro bubble seems to have burst for the Irish teams. They have still contributed teams to the knock out stages but the last 3 finals have not contained a single Irish team; just Leinster made it to the quarter finals last year.

This year’s tournament hasn’t started particularly well either. Dai Young’s Wasps defeated Leinster convincingly in their own back yard last week and they followed that up with an away defeat at Bath while Ulster suffered a home defeat to Saracens.

Munster seem to be in a fairly rapid state of decline so they won’t relish having to come out of a group which contains Leicester Tigers and Stade Francais. If there is one team that raises its performances in European competition it is Munster but their form this season to date doesn’t bode well for progression out of the group.

It is conceivable there will be no Irish team in the quarter finals come April next year.



Italy

Since their introduction to the top tier of European rugby, Italian teams have always struggled to be competitive against Europe’s elite.

Benetton Treviso have made the best fist of the Italian clubs but even their record is fairly modest; in 18 full seasons of European rugby they have won just 19 games. A more depressing statistic is that in the last 10 full seasons they have only recorded 5 victories – Ospreys (H 14/15), Ospreys (H 12/13), Biarritz (H 11/12), Perpignan (H 9/10) and NG Dragons (A 7/8).

This season they have again found the going tough with heavy defeats away at Munster (32-7) and at home to Leicester (3-36).

Just a couple of seasons ago there were glimmers of hope that Treviso were starting to put together a team that could be more competitive. In the 2012/13 Pro12 season they finished a commendable 7th out of 12 teams – far above their traditional position in the bottom couple of spots.

Although they only notched up a single win, they came 2 minutes away from beating Leicester at home and put in two commendable performances against Toulouse.

Treviso rugby seemed on the up but a number of factors have conspired to put Treviso back to the bottom of the European pile.



Scotland

Scotland’s European representatives have also found it hard to make a lasting mark in  European rugby.

Glasgow Warriors’ recent improvements at the Pro12 level haven’t translated to success at European level and the reigning Pro12 champions already looking unlikely to progress beyond this year’s group stage following  a home defeat to Northampton Saints.

Since a solitary quarter final appearance in the early days of the Heineken Cup, Glasgow have failed to get out of their group in the top European competition.

Edinburgh have been slightly more successful with the highlight being a semi-final appearance in the 2011/12 season. This was an exceptional season for the team and represents the only time they have got out of the pool in the last 10 seasons.

They now play in the second tier European Challenge Cup.



Wales

It is a sad reality that the Welsh regions have not been troubling the latter stages of the top European competition since the 2011/12 season when the Cardiff Blues made it out of their pool before being thumped by Leinster 34-3 in the quarter final in Dublin.

Since then, the civil war within the Welsh game has conspired to reduce the strength of the regions to the point where they cannot compete against the powerhouse teams from France, England and Ireland.

It wasn’t that long ago that Cardiff Blues were ranked in the top seeds group for the Heineken Cup (the 2012/13 season) and just losing to Leicester in a penalty goal decided semi-final (2008/09),  but with the team now playing in the second tier Challenge Cup (and losing to Sale’s second team at home) a brighter future seems a long way off.

The Ospreys’ zenith came between 2007 and 2010 when they played 3 quarter finals but couldn’t quite make the leap to achieve a semi final spot. Since then their stock has fallen to the point where they finished last season with a comprehensive home defeat to Northampton Saints and followed this up with a humbling defeat to Treviso.

With the French giants Clermont in the Ospreys’ pool this year, progressing to the quarter finals will be a very difficult task.

Llanelli Scarlets have arguably been the best performing Welsh team in Europe over the years with a semi-final spot in the 2006/07 season their highlight. The Scarlets recent performances though have mirrored the pattern in the other Welsh teams – a gradual decline to the point where they are not expected to make the knock out stages of the top European competition.



With two teams in the second tier competition and the Ospreys and Scarlets struggling in the Champions Cup, having a Welsh region get to the quarter finals of the Champions Cup looks unlikely for the foreseeable future.



Can the decline be halted?

There are probably two main factors at play which is driving the changes we are seeing.

The first is that the Pro12 teams have large numbers of players that have been away on international duty and therefore it will take longer for them to integrate back in to the domestic set up. This is particularly true for the likes of Glasgow, Leinster and the Ospreys who effectively contribute their first team squad to international duty.

A constant theme on theblitzdefence articles is the balance between a strong domestic league and ensuring a competitive national team. It is no coincidence that over the past few years the Welsh and Irish national teams have been strong because they have been given prominence over the regional teams, while the opposite is true in England and France.

The second factor, which is more structural, is we are seeing the impact of the asymmetrical distribution of money and resources across the European leagues filtering through to the performances on the field.

The obvious examples are the huge playing squads and resources of the French teams which means they can mop up some of the best players in the world and have benches that are as strong as some teams first XV. It is not surprising that these teams are beating those with much smaller budgets.

Those teams with the money and the ability to generate more income will be in the big markets of France and England. They have the benefit of wealthy investors, large domestic markets and with that comes TV deals and more money.

It is difficult to see the Pro12 teams competing with the growing financial muscle of France and England given their respective populations and wealth, in fact we would go as far to say it will be impossible to compete if the current trends continue.

The only possible means of keeping up with the big nations’ financial clout is the emergence of a UK-Irish league which would include the Pro12 nations and allow them to share in the wealth that comes from the larger market.

Until that time comes (if it ever does) expect to see the continued gradual decline in the competitiveness of the Pro12 teams at the top European table. The ladder is being pulled up and the Pro12 needs to find a way to quickly grab hold before they are left too far behind.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 2:00 pm

Pete330v2 wrote:Oh this made my day, the usual suspect comes onto this thread, causes a row

Who Pot Hale ? He posted a totally irrelevant article on drugs on this topic. Have a go at him not me.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 2:11 pm

HammerofThunor wrote:
Poorfour wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The reality is the top French sides and the English salary cheats are spending more than the Irish sides and that has started to have an impact in the last 2/3 years.

Also to a certain extent these things go in cycles - we have years when England and France have done badly and this is what is happening now.

Let's be very clear: as far as the legal fog surrounding the situation goes, only two or possibly three AP clubs were involved in the salary cap settlement. While I'm sure it's fun to brand them all as cheats, it oversimplifies the situation.

Poorfour, I think what Geoff meant (please correct) is that the English salary cap cheats spend more than the Provinces, but the Provinces spend up to the cap so those at or below don't.  So he wasn't calling all English clubs cheats, just pointing out those are the ones spending more than the Irish.

Thanks that is exactly what I was saying

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 2:33 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Ok lets be positive what do you think that salary cap should be - the same as the stated aim of the 3 senior Irish provinces which is matching the top English sides or do thing it should be higher or lower ?

I think it should be the same as the English, but if certain media outlets can be believed, that is still less than what the Provinces spend, so I do not know how we could work it.

geoff999rugby wrote:I think one of the grips Irish people have is the claim the league is run for the Irish without ant evidence to back it up.
Allied to the fact they are 1 of only 4 Unions who have input into the league and as such cannot impose their decisions on the others.

I have been guilty of saying this in the past, it was at the time when the Pro12 final was moved to Ireland and the fact that we always had the crap Irish refs reffing us. I admit, again, that I may have said it in the heat of the moment, but it was how I felt at the time.

geoff999rugby wrote:Also Irish sides may well have equated success in Europe as the ultimate success but that does not mean that they consider the Pro12 unimportant - that is a long long way from being the truth

I think the Irish do not see the Pro12 as their main competition. Secretfly even admitted he only cared about the Irish provinces and could not give two figs about the league, munchkin more or less agreed with him. Also, when I see all the centrally contracted players being paraded in the CC and not so much in the league, what are you to think ?

I think it should be the same as the English as well and in Ireland it is.
Just because some journo says otherwise doesn't make it so.
Don't believe everything you read - according to your countryman Ulster are up their with Toulon inspite of the fact we have only 3 players on more than £200,000 and they have a teams worth , and more.
We had Wilson and Diack covering our backrow this weekend they had Vermulen and Gorgozde - no difference there  Rolling Eyes

The Pro12 final was only moved to Ireland because of the change in timetable forced on the Pro12 by the European competition timetable changes.
It needed to be arranged in advanced of knowing the finalist as a result.
Only 2 teams put in bids - the country that lost out last year has the final this year - their is no conspiracy here don't make out there is.
You put up with crap Irish referees we have to put up with crap Welsh referees what is the point you are making?
The reason being simple the Scottish and Italians do not have the referees to ensure a neutral referee at all matches.
Again no bias to any country in this situation.

So the teams focus on the most prestigious competition shock so what.
That does not mean they don't care about the Pro12 far from it.
The Irish have a rather impressive in a competiton they, supposedly, don't care about.

French teams concentrate on home games, English teams rotate players but Ireland rest players.
No difference.
The only difference being the Irish are behaving unacceptable but the others are doing nothing wrong - go figure.

Just because a poster states his countries teams come first doesn't mean they don't care about others.
I want the Pro12 to be stronger and the best way that will come about is for the competition to have more than 5 competitive clubs 3 of whom are Irish.

At the same time to say I'll cheer any Irish team against any other team is not to conclude that the wider rugby environment doesn't matter - it is merely supporting your own.

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Post by SecretFly Tue 24 Nov 2015, 3:16 pm

Just on the drugs thing.  

Cycling - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be banned - proven - well, yeah, so maybe you were right... but you're still a bastarde for damaging the sport by exposing it.

Athletics - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be banned - proven - well, yeah, so maybe you were right... but you're still a bastarde for damaging the sport by exposing it.

Rugby - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be..............

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Post by Marshes Tue 24 Nov 2015, 3:22 pm

I think LD it is also disingenuous to characterise SecretFly as having being anti Pro12, when I read it as he roots for his club first, then the other Irish teams, then whoever tickles his fancy. I thought Welsh poster would be much the same, with other healthy regions leading to better players for the national squad. Would you not be of the same persuasion?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 3:46 pm

I want a strong competitive Pro12, I do not want to see a league monopolised by one country because they can spend more. Be that Welsh, Irish, Scottish or Italian.

I want the Pro12 ,OUR LEAGUE, to be all singing and dancing. I want the situation with the officials sorted out, is this too much to ask ?

Or am I being a troll for even suggesting this ?

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 24 Nov 2015, 3:49 pm

SecretFly wrote:Just on the drugs thing.  

Cycling - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be banned - proven - well, yeah, so maybe you were right... but you're still a bastarde for damaging the sport by exposing it.

Athletics - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be banned - proven - well, yeah, so maybe you were right... but you're still a bastarde for damaging the sport by exposing it.

Rugby - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be..............

Indeed. And it ain't confined to Welsh rugby either.

Put in the context of a league that is attempting to promote itself and do better financially and successfully on the pitch, it doesn't help at all. I think the grassroots problem is a pointer to what's really going on at professional level.

Drugs being in used in Irish rugby and elsewhere has been a bugbear of Irish sport writers/commentators like Tony Ward and Neil Francis for nearly two decades. I suspect, personally, that the problem has got worse, not better, amongst professional players.

The narrow focus on gym training and bulking up has exacerbated the problem, and the fans/wannabes are following suit. No one really wants to talk about it.
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Post by TJ Tue 24 Nov 2015, 3:50 pm

Lord - I really do not think there is that much disparity in the funding. After all all the pro 12 teams have the same revenue source. I think some things seen as the irish clubs spending is seen as union spending in Wales

As for officials - I simply do not see where these better refs are coming from. Of course that does not mean there should not be efforts made to improve standards as indeed there are. Personally I think the "who pays them" argument is irrelevant

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 3:57 pm

TJ wrote:Lord - I really do not think there is that much disparity in the funding.  After all all the pro 12 teams have the same revenue source.  I think some things seen as the irish clubs spending is seen as union spending in Wales

As for officials - I simply do not see where these better refs are coming from.  Of course that does not mean there should not be efforts made to improve standards as indeed there are.  Personally I think the "who pays them" argument is irrelevant

I think there should be some sort of salary cap TJ. What who knows ? For a start, and this is not an attack, we do not know what the provinces spend on wages, the Irish members on here claim it is the same as the English, other outlets tell us it's the same as the French, so I would suggest we have a cap at the same level as the English.

There is a lot we can do about our officials, we can get them employed by the league, not the unions and get them all fully pro. that would be an instant improvement.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:02 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I want a strong competitive Pro12, I do not want to see a league monopolised by one country because they can spend more. Be that Welsh, Irish, Scottish or Italian.

I want the Pro12 ,OUR LEAGUE, to be all singing and dancing. I want the situation with the officials sorted out, is this too much to ask ?

Or am I being a troll for even suggesting this ?

That's very straight commentary, LD.

Do you think the league is monopolised by one country currently? I presume you're referring to Ireland as a whole as opposed to individual clubs?
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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:04 pm

It is the same as the English as I have been told, along with others, by the Ulster CEO.
Also, as I also mentioned only 3 Ulster players are on more than £200,000 and none are on more than £400,000.

Who, other Chunky, seriously thinks Ulster spend as much on salaries as Toulon?

You yourself say you want a salary cap the equal of the English - great as it would require no change to how the Irish operate.
The issue here though is can the other countries in the Pro12 afford it.

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Post by Poorfour Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:05 pm

SecretFly wrote:Just on the drugs thing.  

Cycling - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be banned - proven - well, yeah, so maybe you were right... but you're still a bastarde for damaging the sport by exposing it.

Athletics - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be banned - proven - well, yeah, so maybe you were right... but you're still a bastarde for damaging the sport by exposing it.

Rugby - never - prove it or shut up - talking about it should be..............

Seems to me that the difference in rugby is that there's little evidence of widespread drug taking in the professional game. The drug tests referred to in the articles covered pro and amateur levels, and from memory the positive rate was less than 2% with none from the pro game.

Unless you believe there's a massive and successful cover up at the top level (and it seems to me there isn't enough money or harmony in the game to do that), the problem seems to be very much in the semi-pro and serious amateur space. Which is a sad thing and a social problem that needs to be addressed,  but it's a very different thing from an endemically dirty pro sport (as cycling and athletics appear to be).

It frustrates me that the media continually play down this distinction, because it gets in the way of a serious debate about causes and solutions.
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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:07 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I want a strong competitive Pro12, I do not want to see a league monopolised by one country because they can spend more. Be that Welsh, Irish, Scottish or Italian.

I want the Pro12 ,OUR LEAGUE, to be all singing and dancing. I want the situation with the officials sorted out, is this too much to ask ?

Or am I being a troll for even suggesting this ?

That is exactly what virtually every Irish poster wants - however the answer re spending is not to drag the Irish down but to raise the others.
Making Ireland uncompetitive, as well, is a no win situation.
As above lets all match the English and take it from there


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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:07 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Do you think the league is monopolised by one country currently? I presume you're referring to Ireland as a whole as opposed to individual clubs?

I do not think any country is monopolising at the moment Pot Hale, but with the Irish spending set to go up, and the outsider investments into players like Johnny Sexton, I think it will only be a matter of time before the top four spots in the league will be decided by the 4 Irish provinces. that is why I would like to see a salary cap in our league. The Irish teams are already the strongest outfits, with Ospreys and Glasgow inbetween, and Scarlets the best of the rest. Unless changes are made, every year will see an Irish 1234 finish. Our league will be like the Scottish premier league where Celtic are always top.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:10 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:That is exactly what virtually every Irish poster wants

Thats not the feeling I get from some Irish members on here, infact most Irish members think that the level of officiating in our league is good.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:12 pm

The Irish spending only goes up to match the English, something you yourself say will be a good idea !!

Stop moaning about the Irish doing their best to stay competitive, in a tough market, and do what it takes to make Wales the same

That would be good for Wales, good for the Pro12 as a whole.


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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:13 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:That is exactly what virtually every Irish poster wants

Thats not the feeling I get from some Irish members on here, infact most Irish members think that the level of officiating in our league is good.

Really !!!!!

please provide quotes to back up this dubious claim and even if you can I am certain most Irish posters disagree

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Post by TJ Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:15 pm

Remember Glasgow won the league last year. Its not the Irish are unfairly advantaged - its that the welsh regions underperform - as do the italians. The Irish can be matched.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:16 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Stop moaning about the Irish doing their best to stay competitive

I am not moaning, I am raising a concern. Look if you do not like peoples opinions then maybe an internet forum is not the place for you. OK

Personally I think the provinces are spending more than the English salary cap, what with all the outsider investment you get. But hey ho thats just my opinion.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:19 pm

TJ wrote:Remember Glasgow won the league last year.  Its not the Irish are unfairly advantaged - its that the welsh regions underperform - as do the italians.  The Irish can be matched.

Yes I agree, they can, at the moment. But with their spending going up, and people paying for players like Johnny Sexton it will be an Irish 1234 in our league for a long time, the only uncertainty, is what order they will all finish in. It will be like the premier league, where who can spend the most, occupies the top places.

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:21 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Stop moaning about the Irish doing their best to stay competitive

I am not moaning, I am raising a concern. Look if you do not like peoples opinions then maybe an internet forum is not the place for you. OK

Personally I think the provinces are spending more than the English salary cap, what with all the outsider investment you get. But hey ho thats just my opinion.

One player getting a commercial deal hardly constitutes 'all the outsider investment'

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:23 pm

marty2086 wrote:One player getting a commercial deal hardly constitutes 'all the outsider investment'

It's happening though isn't it ? That already gives Leinster a "leg up". Look there no rules being broken so don't worry. It does not affect the four Irish teams, just the rest of us scratching away and trying to compete.

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:24 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:One player getting a commercial deal hardly constitutes 'all the outsider investment'

It's happening though isn't it ? That already gives Leinster a "leg up". Look there no rules being broken so don't worry. It does not affect the four Irish teams, just the rest of us scratching away and trying to compete.

Sure isn't an outside investor funding the NDCs? So would it not be the regions getting the leg up?

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Post by EWT Spoons Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:25 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:If Sin is right and the sponsors are trawling these pages to see if they should invest then these post below are really going to pull them in.....

TJ wrote:perhaps the welsh should go and play in the english second division and the rest of us can get on with the vibrant growing Pro 12 inviting a few more european teams to join us.  It seems to only be the Welsh who have issues with the pro 12 although I completely fail to understand the attraction to playing in the english second division

Let the Welsh leave and play in the English Second Division, as they are not good enough to cope in the top tier.  That is really good advertising for the Pro 12, seeing as the Ospreys and Scarlets have won almost half of the Celtic League titles to date.

Sin é wrote:Wales on Line have been fairly criticial of the Pro12, not to mention the high profile wrangling of the Welsh Regions to leave the Pro12 and join the Aviva Premiership.

Good to see that if these sponsors have failed to notice some old issues, that you want to bring their attention to them.  Also, in the interest of fairness, why have you not mentioned all the heat towards the regions regarding them being closed down etc?

Sin é wrote:No sponsors wants to be associated with a competition that is held in such low esteem by fans and clubs and which is reflected in the attendances in Wales. At least in Scotland they seem to be building attendances.

AS has been said, and proven, on numerous occations on these boards this is just not true at all.  However from a viewing figures (which the TV companies actually care about), how do Wales compare.  Do they not pull in the bigger TV deal (from national broadcasters).

Sin é wrote:It would be some laugh over salary caps if the Welsh teams joined up with the English 2nd Division, bearing in mind that Bristol apparently have offered Ian Madigan 500K per annum to join them.

Again, very positive and supportive.  Comments like that are surely pulling in all of these sponsors eh Sin?

geoff999rugby wrote:The reality is a B & I premiership division will be the big crowd pulling English (the current Aviva minus Sale, London Irish and Newcastle) plus the 3 Irish Provinces plus a token sides from Wales and Scotland (Ospreys and Glasgow)

Token sides from Wales and Scotland now?  So none of the other Pro 12 sides are even in the quality bracket as the Aviva.  That seems to be a constant view on here.  I can see people throwing huge money at the league now, seeing how highly rated the teams in it are (especially by a few Irish and Scottish fans).

And those are quotes from just this last page of the thread.


Sorry Scarlet, just wanted to pick up on a couple of things on your post;

The bit where TJ suggests Wales should go play in the English 2nd tier (not something I'm suggesting incidentally) I read that to mean because it would be impossible/unfair for them to go straight into the top flight ahead of other English teams.  Rather than the Welsh teams not being good enough.

The post about attendances is partly true, I have no idea what the crowd numbers are in Wales and I have no doubt they are higher than the Scottish teams, but it is true from the perspective of increasing attendances in Scotland.  Glasgow for example are selling out their ground regularly now, and are increasing capacity to meet demand.  Edinburgh sadly is fairly consistent.  Anyway, the part about Scottish crowds increasing is true.

Not having a pop at you mate, just wanted to try and possibly clear a couple of things up.

Also as an aside, say what you like about Chunky (and many have) he does create a debate, not always helpful or respectful, but debate none the less, which I suppose you want from an internet forum, if we all agreed this place would be empty.

Last thing, there is next to no chance of a B&I league coming into existence, at least not from the top tier of English rugby.  If they scrap relegation and promotion then there could be a possibility of setting something up with the Championship, but the teams in the top league, wouldn't benefit.  They already make a killing from their existing setup, adding in some Pro12 teams would only water it down, or would result in relegating some existing English sides, which wouldn't be popular.  There is nothing in it for them, or closer to the truth there is not significant enough benefits to them to make it happen.

The Pro12 isn't perfect, but it's improving.  Sure we need to resolve the officials issues, but this isn't something that's worth throwing the whole league away over, also we all (all pro12 teams) suffer from poor officiating at times so it's hardly the end of the world that one week a team gets a duff ref, as chances are someone else will have them next week.  Sure it's not ideal, but can be worked on.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:26 pm

marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:One player getting a commercial deal hardly constitutes 'all the outsider investment'

It's happening though isn't it ? That already gives Leinster a "leg up". Look there no rules being broken so don't worry. It does not affect the four Irish teams, just the rest of us scratching away and trying to compete.

Sure isn't an outside investor funding the NDCs? So would it not be the regions getting the leg up?

I am not going over this fight with you again sorry.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:30 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:One player getting a commercial deal hardly constitutes 'all the outsider investment'

It's happening though isn't it ? That already gives Leinster a "leg up". Look there no rules being broken so don't worry. It does not affect the four Irish teams, just the rest of us scratching away and trying to compete.

Okay so, right now, there isn't a problem in your view. You want to put salary spending rules in place to prevent a problem arising in the future around inequity of spending?

And you think the cap should match the current PRL levels and their various rules about players incentives, sponsorships, non-salary components, etc, etc - is that right?

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:32 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:Stop moaning about the Irish doing their best to stay competitive

I am not moaning, I am raising a concern. Look if you do not like peoples opinions then maybe an internet forum is not the place for you. OK

Personally I think the provinces are spending more than the English salary cap, what with all the outsider investment you get. But hey ho thats just my opinion.

Actually for such forums to be useful places of debate it helps people stop peddling lies to suit their argument - like claiming the Irish spend more than the English without any evidence
As opposed to the evidence of an Irish provincial CEO stating in a public forum that the Irish spending is the same as the English cap.
Are you honestly claiming he would lie in such and environment.

Likewise such forums became tedious when certain posters bang on about non existent issues - like Chunky going on about Ulster playing on a Friday is unfair on the Welsh teams and means they have to play
more games on a Sunday as a result. As has been pointed out repeatedly this is utter nonsense - can I suggest contacting the Pro12 organization to confirm.

So thanks for your concern but this forum is perfectly ok for me - not so sure about those, repeatedly, peddling lies without any substantiation. Wink

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:32 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:One player getting a commercial deal hardly constitutes 'all the outsider investment'

It's happening though isn't it ? That already gives Leinster a "leg up". Look there no rules being broken so don't worry. It does not affect the four Irish teams, just the rest of us scratching away and trying to compete.

Sure isn't an outside investor funding the NDCs? So would it not be the regions getting the leg up?

I am not going over this fight with you again sorry.

What? Your saying one player getting a top is disadvantaging others Im just pointing out that theres a host of Welsh players in a similar position so your argument is deeply flawed

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:36 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:That is exactly what virtually every Irish poster wants

Thats not the feeling I get from some Irish members on here, infact most Irish members think that the level of officiating in our league is good.

Really !!!!!

please provide quotes to back up this dubious claim and even if you can I am certain most Irish posters disagree
For some reason LD seems to think, if you point out that the standard of refs is a world wide problem, not a Pro 12 problem that somehow constitutes to you saying the standard in the Pro 12 is good.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:38 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Okay so, right now, there isn't a problem in your view. You want to put salary spending rules in place to prevent a problem arising in the future around inequity of spending?

Yes that is exactly one of my concerns, at the moment our league is at least unpredictable, we do not know who is going to be where before the season starts.

Pot Hale wrote:And you think the cap should match the current PRL levels and their various rules about players incentives, sponsorships, non-salary components, etc, etc - is that right?

I cannot comment on that because I do not know what the rules are in England about non-salary components, do the Irish provinces spend the same as the English including these little extra's ? So that would be the 5.5 million plus extra's. I do not know. I think it should be one amount, 5.5 million and thats it if you ask me. No grey area's.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:40 pm

marty2086 wrote:What? Your saying one player getting a top is disadvantaging others Im just pointing out that theres a host of Welsh players in a similar position so your argument is deeply flawed

Keep trying Marty, I am not doing this with you though.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:40 pm

ScarletSpiderman wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:The reality is a B & I premiership division will be the big crowd pulling English (the current Aviva minus Sale, London Irish and Newcastle) plus the 3 Irish Provinces plus a token sides from Wales and Scotland (Ospreys and Glasgow)

Token sides from Wales and Scotland now?  So none of the other Pro 12 sides are even in the quality bracket as the Aviva.  That seems to be a constant view on here.  I can see people throwing huge money at the league now, seeing how highly rated the teams in it are (especially by a few Irish and Scottish fans).


You misunderstand my post that is not how I view it but it is how the chairmen of Bath, Saracens etc will view it.
It will be a hard nosed decision about commercialism and the bottom line in £££££ and on that bases the structure I suggest is the most likely outcome of a very unlikely event

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:41 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:For some reason LD seems to think, if you point out that the standard of refs is a world wide problem, not a Pro 12 problem that somehow constitutes to you saying the standard in the Pro 12 is good.

The refereeing in our league is the worst in the professional world, I do not care what you try to peddle. If it suits you, I am happy to say that we are the worst of a bad bunch.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:43 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:What? Your saying one player getting a top is disadvantaging others Im just pointing out that theres a host of Welsh players in a similar position so your argument is deeply flawed

Keep trying Marty, I am not doing this with you though.

You two have obviously gone over this before but any evaluation of salaries has to take into account Irish central contracts, English marquee signings, Welsh NDC's and many other differences in order to be a true comparison

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:43 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:What? Your saying one player getting a top is disadvantaging others Im just pointing out that theres a host of Welsh players in a similar position so your argument is deeply flawed

Keep trying Marty, I am not doing this with you though.

You mean holding all parties to the same standards? We're used to that with you

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:44 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:For some reason LD seems to think, if you point out that the standard of refs is a world wide problem, not a Pro 12 problem that somehow constitutes to you saying the standard in the Pro 12 is good.

The refereeing in our league is the worst in the professional world, I do not care what you try to peddle. If it suits you, I am happy to say that we are the worst of a bad bunch.

That may or may not be true but you still haven't quoted an Irish poster saying the refereeing in the Pro12 is good which was your original claim

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:44 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:What? Your saying one player getting a top is disadvantaging others Im just pointing out that theres a host of Welsh players in a similar position so your argument is deeply flawed

Keep trying Marty, I am not doing this with you though.

You two have obviously gone over this before but any evaluation of salaries has to take into account Irish central contracts, English marquee signings, Welsh NDC's and many other differences in order to be a true comparison

Yes I agree.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:46 pm

In your opinion it's the worst. In my opinion the Top14 has the worst. You see how subjective something like this is?

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:46 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:For some reason LD seems to think, if you point out that the standard of refs is a world wide problem, not a Pro 12 problem that somehow constitutes to you saying the standard in the Pro 12 is good.

The refereeing in our league is the worst in the professional world, I do not care what you try to peddle. If it suits you, I am happy to say that we are the worst of a bad bunch.

That may or may not be true but you still haven't quoted an Irish poster saying the refereeing in the Pro12 is good which was your original claim

I have been told lots of times on here that we are the best because Nigel Owens got the WC final and John Lacey had the runners up game. I am not searching all through the post to find them though. OK

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Post by Guest Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:47 pm

LD's telling porkies Very Happy

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:49 pm

Cant you two just leave me alone ? FFS munchkin and marty the double act of V2.

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Post by Guest Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:50 pm

No Very Happy

Sure put me on your foes list.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:51 pm

What do you exactly you make claims then fail to back them up.

Claiming Nigel Owens is a top referee is hardly the same as saying the Pro12 has the best referees

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:51 pm

I was enjoying my debate with Pot Hale and geoff until you pair decided to join in and try and cause an argument. FFS why don't you two just grow up ?

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:52 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
geoff999rugby wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
marty2086 wrote:What? Your saying one player getting a top is disadvantaging others Im just pointing out that theres a host of Welsh players in a similar position so your argument is deeply flawed

Keep trying Marty, I am not doing this with you though.

You two have obviously gone over this before but any evaluation of salaries has to take into account Irish central contracts, English marquee signings, Welsh NDC's and many other differences in order to be a true comparison

Yes I agree.

Yet that contradicts your, I'm not doing this again comment

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:53 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I was enjoying my debate with Pot Hale and geoff until you pair decided to join in and try and cause an argument. FFS why don't you two just grow up ?

Hold on a minute, you were the one complaining and when a flaw in your argument is pointed out you throw the toys out of the pram

Firstly maybe you should be less sensitive
Secondly maybe you should assess your complaints a bit better before making them if they don't hold up to scrutiny

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:54 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:What do you exactly you make claims then fail to back them up.

No, I just cant be bothered to trawl through endless threads to show you.

geoff999rugby wrote:Claiming Nigel Owens is a top referee is hardly the same as saying the Pro12 has the best referees

It's a claim not shared by many in Wales. For me Wayne Barnes is one of the best refs in the world, along with JP Doyle and Roman Poite.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:54 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
TJ wrote:Remember Glasgow won the league last year.  Its not the Irish are unfairly advantaged - its that the welsh regions underperform - as do the italians.  The Irish can be matched.

Yes I agree, they can, at the moment. But with their spending going up, and people paying for players like Johnny Sexton it will be an Irish 1234 in our league for a long time, the only uncertainty, is what order they will all finish in. It will be like the premier league, where who can spend the most, occupies the top places.

Since 2002 The Aviva has had 6 different champions and of those only 3 have won it more than once
Since 2003 the Pro12 has had 6 different champions and of those only 3 have won it more than once

No difference that league is dominate by a few clubs as much as the Pro12

Sorry if this seems people are hounding you but if you continue to peddle unsustainable opinions as facts, and you continue to post, at best dubious quotes, by other posters, honestly what do you expect.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:57 pm

Look, I have given some of my ideas on how I think we could improve our league, yet none of you lot have, why not ? Is it easier to wait for me to tell you my ideas then you try to rubbish them ? Is this what this is all about, winning the internet or something ? Not once have any of you offered anything constructive, and I am the one accused of being a troll. Go figure.

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Post by marty2086 Tue 24 Nov 2015, 4:58 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
TJ wrote:Remember Glasgow won the league last year.  Its not the Irish are unfairly advantaged - its that the welsh regions underperform - as do the italians.  The Irish can be matched.

Yes I agree, they can, at the moment. But with their spending going up, and people paying for players like Johnny Sexton it will be an Irish 1234 in our league for a long time, the only uncertainty, is what order they will all finish in. It will be like the premier league, where who can spend the most, occupies the top places.

Since 2002 The Aviva has had 6 different champions and of those only 3 have won it more than once
Since 2003 the Pro12 has had 6 different champions and of those only 3 have won it more than once

No difference that league is dominate by a few clubs as much as the Pro12

Sorry if this seems people are hounding you but if you continue to peddle unsustainable opinions as facts, and you continue to post, at best dubious quotes, by other posters, honestly what do you expect.

Geoff I went through that with him and Chunky before so you can't go mentioning it again

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