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2023 (expanded) Rugby World Cup for South Africa

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Post by Rowanbi Sat 30 Jan 2016, 9:36 am

First topic message reminder :



The Rugby World Cup should return to South Africa in 2023, and the tournament should be expanded to 24 teams.

The other three candidates are Ireland, France and Italy. Were any of these successful, that would mean a third straight World Cup in the Northern Hemisphere, even though it is the Southern Hemisphere which overwhelmingly dominates.

It would also entail a return to the Six Nations for the fifth time in just ten tournaments, which is a little ridiculous for a sport with over one hundred affiliated member nations and self-professed global pretentions.

Should it go to Ireland, that would also mean, technically-speaking, that the United Kingdom were involved to some degree in hosting the event for the fifth time, given at least a few of the games would be staged north of the border.

France, meanwhile, hosted the World Cup as recently as eight years ago, and was also a co-host in 1991 and 1999.

That leaves Italy, to my mind the most attractive of the European bids, as it is a newcomer to the heavyweight ranks with a large number of registered players. However, World Rugby might want to go with a more established rugby playing nation for its 10th World Cup. Japan is already facing problems as it prepares to stage the 2019 event, with its new Olympic Stadium having now been removed from the venue list.

As for South Africa, it has the biggest and best rugby-purpose stadia in the world - with the possible exception of England, which has just hosted the event for the second time. It has the second largest number of registered players (also behind England), and it is the second most successful rugby playing nation after New Zealand.

By the time 2023 rolls around, an entire generation will have grown up since the last time the tournament was held in South Africa. This, even though the 1995 installment was one of the most successful and spectacular World Cups to date.

So if New Zealand, Austrlalia and England can all host it twice, and France can be involved as either host or co-host on three occasions, why on earth shouldn't it return to South Africa in 2023? Why does World Rugby appear to have lost faith in the republic, having overlooked it for both 2011 and 2019?

It's time to break the cycle. The World Cup can not continue to return to Western Europe on every second occasion. That is a myopic approach and anathema to the globalization cause.

But it does need to return to the Southern Hemisphere in 2023 for what will be the first time in 12 years. Moreover, it needs to return to the African continent, one of the hotbeds of international rugby development in recent decades.

This leads me to my final point in South Africa's favour. World Rugby officials have raised the possibility of an expanded tournament, and this is undoubtedly overdue. Again, with its vast array of rugby-purpose stadia, South Africa's credentials are unsurpassed as a potential host nation for a 24-team World Cup.

The last - and only - increase in teams was from 16 to 20 in 1999. This appears to have been successful, judging by the improved performances of the fringe teams in New Zealand and England.

In fact, no centuries have been recorded since 2003, while Japan's stunning victory over the Springboks this year suggests the days of foregone conclusions is World Cup rugby may be drawing to a close.

That said, a lot of work needs to be done in the interim if the additional teams are going to be genuinely competitive. One of the biggest obstacles to the game's global development is the stratification of its international competitions.

Not only are the elite championships closed-shop, but there is little interaction between the top teams and the emerging nations in between World Cups. How on earth are the up-and-comers supposed to be competitive in the big exam if they have been denied the lessons to prepare in between?

New Zealand and Australia should be playing annual tests with the Pacific Islands and Japan, as should the Six Nations with their Eastern European neighbours. South Africa ought to engage Namibia in a 'Bledisloe Cup'-style annual trophy match, and Hong Kong and Korea should be playing in the Pacific Challenge tournament, alongside the Pacific Islands B teams and Argentina's 'Pampas,' with a possible view to future inclusion in the Pacific Nations Championship.

In addition to this, would it not be a fairly straightforward exercise for Six Nations teams to stop in for tests against Namibia and Uruguay enroute to South Africa and Argentina, respectively - as well as the Pacific Islands while touring New Zealand or Australia?

By the same token, how about the Southern Hemisphere teams playing Georgia, Romania or Russia on their Autumn tours to Europe? Argentina might even take on Spain or Portugal.

If rugby is to more forward, it needs to expand its World Cup, and this can only be successful with a more integrated international rugby calendar.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:22 pm

Lied, checked, it was Wales. Sorry to the Scottish out there.

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Post by beshocked Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:26 pm

Even if they are counted Ireland,Scotland or Wales they still managed to get to the quarter finals in 1999.

I honestly don't know how you come to some conclusions - Lancaster being a decent coach who didn't underperform, Ireland being a team who has never hosted RWC matches.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:29 pm

Ok. I don't really count them as the host like I said. I see England as being the first hosts out in the group. You know exactly what I mean by newbies; the stand alone hosts. I'm not that bothered, I can take it back and say Ireland have hosted before and agree with you and we'll both then agree that England aren't the first hosts to go out in the groups. No big deal.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:29 pm

87 - hosts NZ and AUS. Both reached KO stages
91 - 5 nations - Wales failed to qualify. IRE, SCO, ENG & FRA all did.
95 - SA host. reached KO stages
99 - Wales host technically although matches all over 5 nations again. The match breakdown after just checking is as follows

England 9 matches
Scotland 8 matches
Ireland 7 matches
Wales 9 matches
France 8 matches

so in reality it was a home nations tournament. Ireland didn't qualify for KO stages.

03 - AUS. Qualified for KO stages
07 - FRA. Qualified for KO stages
11 - NZ. Qualified for KO stages
15 - ENG. Failed to qualify for KO stages.

So technically England are if you say that Wales didn't host in 91 and Ireland didn't host in 99 but Wales did play all their pool games at home in 91 likewise Ireland in 99, but is a QF playoff a KO stage... arguably yes which would pull them out.

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Post by sad_gimp Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:34 pm

Personally I'd be happy with SA or Italy....but it does seem a bit unfair that Ireland should miss out because their neighbours have hosted recently.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:38 pm

mid_gen wrote:Personally I'd be happy with SA or Italy....but it does seem a bit unfair that Ireland should miss out because their neighbours have hosted recently.

If its a case of all tier 1 nations getting a go then the UK and Ireland would host 4 out of every 10 tournaments. Not exactly fair now either is it.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:43 pm

Well they are separate so yes it would be fair if we were pulling lots and taking it in turns but it's doubtful each would be able to/want to host. Ireland is not and should not be counted in that really. Like saying France is the same as Belgium.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:45 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Well they are separate so yes it would be fair if we were pulling lots and taking it in turns but it's doubtful each would be able to/want to host. Ireland is not and should not be counted in that really. Like saying France is the same as Belgium.

France and Belgium are two separate countries.

Wales, Scotland, England and NI are not. Well they say they are (4 in 1 right) but under charter of nations, passports etc they're not.

For instance The free state, Transvaal and the cape colony were actually different countries right up to the 20th century unlike England, Scotland, Wales and NI. Does that mean that SA should separate as Free state, Transvaal (bulls and lions), Cape Colony (Stormers, Kings  & Sharks) so they too get 3  voting rights and 3 test teams.

To be fair I don't think those teams would be half bad. Transvaal and Cape Colony would be ridiculously strong, near just as good as any bok side.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 2:52 pm

They kind of are all at the same time as well though fa. If South Africa want to break away into different countries I'm sure no one would stop them. Rowanbi would love it if they could play some games against the Tier 2 nations while they're at it.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:05 pm

the home nations didn't even tour the SH as themselves until the 1960s. prior to that all touring of the SH was done solely by the Lions and even then up until 1992 when touring became more commonplace England had only played 15 matches, Scotland 11, Wales 11 and Ireland 8 in SH tours.

Sort of suggest that even in rugby up until the early 90s playing for the lions (albeit complicated with the Lions and Ireland) was seen as actually playing for your country test honours wise. They still sang GSTQ at the 93 BL tour.
Right changed to British and Irish Lions thereafter or was it the 01 tour... I have a feeling only after the 97 tour.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:11 pm

It's a great honour to play for the Lions still. All those nations coming together.

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Post by Sin é Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:12 pm

fa0019 wrote:
Sin é wrote:The SA FIFA world cup is repeatedly given as an example of SA's ability to stage a successful world cup. I'm only keeping you honest when the size of the stadia and the attendance is brought up.

I'm sure SA, like Ireland will be able to host and attract large attendances. The big difference is though that Ireland, because of its proximity to wealthy countries like the UK, France & Italy will be able to charge more for the tickets.

As I understand World Rugby does not make a proportional take on a tournament. They have a set fee. After that the money is taken by the home union. Whether or not a bid can charge £50 or £70 a ticket does not really matter. Costs will be lower in SA for example, no stadium updates required. Cheaper labour, cheaper costs for administrative issues such as policing so that in part will factor for lower ticket prices.

In the end, World rugby takes the first slice, the rest isn't really a matter for them to worry about.

I already made the point earlier that it is a set fee. The stadium updates in Ireland have been costed at 34m which would likely be done anyway, so they are not regarded as an issue. Ireland can easily charge what England charged.
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Post by Sin é Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:13 pm

fa0019 wrote:the home nations didn't even tour the SH as themselves until the 1960s. prior to that all touring of the SH was done solely by the Lions and even then up until 1992 when touring became more commonplace England had only played 15 matches, Scotland 11, Wales 11 and Ireland 8 in SH tours.

Sort of suggest that even in rugby up until the early 90s playing for the lions (albeit complicated with the Lions and Ireland) was seen as actually playing for your country test honours wise. They still sang GSTQ at the 93 BL tour.
Right changed to British and Irish Lions thereafter or was it the 01 tour... I have a feeling only after the 97 tour.

It only became the British & Irish Lions for the 2001 tour. Keith Wood objected.
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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:14 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:It's a great honour to play for the Lions still. All those nations coming together.

In the past for different reasons I think. In the past part of representing their country... today I think its more a) the history and b) being elite amongst the elite.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:18 pm

Yeah, it's at this moment I think you must be pulling my leg. Ireland isn't the same country. The Lions present a few.

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Post by sad_gimp Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:33 pm

fa0019 wrote:
mid_gen wrote:Personally I'd be happy with SA or Italy....but it does seem a bit unfair that Ireland should miss out because their neighbours have hosted recently.

If its a case of all tier 1 nations getting a go then the UK and Ireland would host 4 out of every 10 tournaments. Not exactly fair now either is it.

I agree with England, Scotland and Wales not all hosting in quick succession.....but Ireland is a separate country (inclusion of NI for rugby matter notwithstanding), not fair they lose it, they'd put on a great tournament too I'm sure.

From a purely selfish point of view I'd like an Italian one, great holiday Cool

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:33 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yeah, it's at this moment I think you must be pulling my leg. Ireland isn't the same country. The Lions present a few.

But it was until the middle of the 20th century right or was it 1922? The lions by both were well established hence why selection for the lions continued in that manner. Strange that they would sing GSTQ on every tour until and including 1993 especially from 69 onwards.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:36 pm

Just to go back to the fact we're in 2016, where we're all separate countries. Ireland is not England. Scotland is not England etc despite the fact that well into the last century England did cover it all. There is no decent argument to say because England hosted something their neighbours can't.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:53 pm

mid_gen wrote:
fa0019 wrote:
mid_gen wrote:Personally I'd be happy with SA or Italy....but it does seem a bit unfair that Ireland should miss out because their neighbours have hosted recently.

If its a case of all tier 1 nations getting a go then the UK and Ireland would host 4 out of every 10 tournaments. Not exactly fair now either is it.

I agree with England, Scotland and Wales not all hosting in quick succession.....but Ireland is a separate country (inclusion of NI for rugby matter notwithstanding), not fair they lose it, they'd put on a great tournament too I'm sure.

From a purely selfish point of view I'd like an Italian one, great holiday Cool

Eire is a separate country, but Ireland inc. NI right as will any rugby bid assuming that as IRFU is for both NI and EIRE then both will be included. But saying it should go round all tier 1 nations is not right... given that would mean UK & IRE would host 4 out of every 10 RWC's whilst countries such as SA will only host 1.

If Ireland win the RWC it would have been in Europe 5 times in 9 tournaments. 3 times in ANZAC, 1 in Africa and 1 in Asia. Just because SA plays in a tournament with AUS and NZ doesn't mean they are one and the same.

SA is 11,000km from Sydney, further to Auckland. In fact its closer to the UK than it is to AUS.

Ireland, Scotland and Wales have only near half as many players as South Africa, and less then a 1/3 of its population yet they should have 3 hosts to SA's as well as being in close proximity to each other and Scotland and Wales actually being part of the same country? Its ridiculous to suggest so.

Given the weight of the sport I'm not saying SA as one of the 4 main regions of the sport... i.e. Europe, Argentina, South Africa and ANZAC should received 1 in 4 tournaments but I think its a lot closer to 1 in 10 which is frankly ridiculous.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 3:55 pm

There's only country in Africa who's been bidding isn't there?

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 4:01 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Just to go back to the fact we're in 2016, where we're all separate countries. Ireland is not England. Scotland is not England etc despite the fact that well into the last century England did cover it all. There is no decent argument to say because England hosted something their neighbours can't.

You can argue that the 4 within the UK are separate countries all you want but you're wrong. There is only 1 sovereign state amongst England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland... and its called the UK. The last time those 4 weren't together was over 200 years ago. 2016 or not there is 1 sovereign state and just because there are separate football, rugby teams doesn't make a hill of beans difference. Wales didn't even see it fit to have a capital until the 1950s, hell counties have capitals.
I'm not slagging the four nations. I'm British born and bred and maybe we say I'm Scottish, I'm English, I'm Welsh, I'm from Northern Ireland but never in 200 years have they then and now been anything bar 1 sovereign state. The rest is just immaterial.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 4:02 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:There's only country in Africa who's been bidding isn't there?

Well given SA both as a population and player wise has more than double the number of players, 3 times the number in population than three "nations" in European rugby I think it can be called a region in itself when we speak about rugby.

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 4:59 pm

There are official hosts and there are co--hosts, quite clearly. Ireland has been a co-host twice, staging a total of 12 games including a quarter-final. So to say they are a new host is misleading. They simply haven't been the main host.

I think that in the modern era the Celtic nations need to content themselves with co-host status. They are far too small to host the world's third biggest sporting event on their own. Even back in 1999 Wales had to share the games around. What's more, they already know this. Claiming England is hosting it this time, Wales last time and Ireland next time is simply a way of ensuring the Home Unions are collectively staging it on every second occasion - only under a different banner. It wouldn't be a lot different to, say, Western Province hosting the 2023 event, Transvaal following in 2031, and then Eastern Province in 2039, for example.
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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:12 pm

Rowanbi wrote:There are official hosts and there are co--hosts, quite clearly. Ireland has been a co-host twice, staging a total of 12 games including a quarter-final. So to say they are a new host is misleading. They simply haven't been the main host.

I think that in the modern era the Celtic nations need to content themselves with co-host status. They are far too small to host the world's third biggest sporting event on their own. Even back in 1999 Wales had to share the games around. What's more, they already know this. Claiming England is hosting it this time, Wales last time and Ireland next time is simply a way of ensuring the Home Unions are collectively staging it on every second occasion - only under a different banner. It wouldn't be a lot different to, say, Western Province hosting the 2023 event, Transvaal following in 2031, and then Eastern Province in 2039, for example.

Ireland also hosted a semi-final too... and would have played in that Semi final had they beat AUS in 1991.

In 2 world cups they have played all their pool games in Ireland.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:14 pm

In the 1999 tournament the number of games were thus

Wales 9 games inc. final.
England 9 games inc. 2 semi finals
France 8 games
Scotland 8 games
Ireland 7 games

All of the 5N teams played all of their pool games at home.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:16 pm

fa0019 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's only country in Africa who's been bidding isn't there?

Well given SA both as a population and player wise has more than double the number of players, 3 times the number in population than three "nations" in European rugby I think it can be called a region in itself when we speak about rugby.

No, same as your country, Scotland.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:17 pm

Rowanbi wrote:There are official hosts and there are co--hosts, quite clearly. Ireland has been a co-host twice, staging a total of 12 games including a quarter-final. So to say they are a new host is misleading. They simply haven't been the main host.

I think that in the modern era the Celtic nations need to content themselves with co-host status. They are far too small to host the world's third biggest sporting event on their own. Even back in 1999 Wales had to share the games around. What's more, they already know this. Claiming England is hosting it this time, Wales last time and Ireland next time is simply a way of ensuring the Home Unions are collectively staging it on every second occasion - only under a different banner. It wouldn't be a lot different to, say, Western Province hosting the 2023 event, Transvaal following in 2031, and then Eastern Province in 2039, for example.

Not too small as NZ proved.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:17 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:
fa0019 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:There's only country in Africa who's been bidding isn't there?

Well given SA both as a population and player wise has more than double the number of players, 3 times the number in population than three "nations" in European rugby I think it can be called a region in itself when we speak about rugby.

No, same as your country, Scotland.

So you're suggesting then that the UK and Ireland should have hosting rights 4 times out of every 10 tournaments then?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:20 pm

No. I don't think there should be turns, it should be on merit.

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Post by fa0019 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:22 pm

there has to be some form of rotation though... it would be ridiculous to say have 3 world cups in a row in say Italy, France and England.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:27 pm

Why if they deserved them through the criteria. As long as its transparent ie not like Russia and Qatar I have no issue.

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:39 pm

Not too small as NZ proved.

NZ is bigger than the Home Unions combined. You need to consider geography as well as population.

Nevertheless, I don't think NZ proved your point at all. On the contrary, it was a bit of a damp squib and pretty good argument for never staging the event in a small nation again.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Fri 15 Apr 2016, 5:51 pm

No, it was a great wc. Looking forward to Japan though already.

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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 15 Apr 2016, 8:22 pm

Rowanbi wrote:Not too small as NZ proved.

NZ is bigger than the Home Unions combined. You need to consider geography as well as population.

Nevertheless, I don't think NZ proved your point at all. On the contrary, it was a bit of a damp squib and pretty good argument for never staging the event in a small nation again.


Then again I thought it was a fantastic tournament, I went to about 7 or 8 tests in a month, it was brilliant Rugby played on excellant grounds, many visitors from all around the globe and great to view tests as a neutral.
Probably one of those situations where if you go into it with a negative frame of mind you will end up coming out of it with a negative opinion.

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 8:38 pm

No, just being realistic. The stats don't lie. 2011 had the lowest total attendance at a World Cup since expansion in the pro era, it also had the smallest stadia capacity, and it had the lowest average attendance since the INAUGURAL tournament - also staged in New Zealand - THREE DECADES ago picard - with a whopping 35% drop on 2007.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 15 Apr 2016, 8:56 pm


So you are saying the Rugby is of a poorer quality because the games were played in smaller stadia?

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 9:34 pm

Can you explain on what basis you have described the rugby as brilliant and great to view?
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 15 Apr 2016, 9:54 pm

Rowanbi wrote:Can you explain on what basis you have described the rugby as brilliant and great to view?


Everything was there to provide the right environment for the players to perform at a high level of accuracy, with pace, purpose, and skill. watching a contest being played at the highest possible standard makes for great viewing. I went to games at Eden Park, Albany Stadium and the Tron.

So are you saying that the rugby is of a poorer standard when the grandstands are smaller?

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 9:58 pm

Everything was there to provide the right environment for the players to perform at a high level of accuracy, with pace purpose, and skill. watching a contest being played at the highest possible standard makes for great viewing.

Has this not been the case at every World Cup? Why was 2011 in any different in this respect? The attendance figures were certainly well down, as the stats show.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:07 pm

Rowanbi wrote:Everything was there to provide the right environment for the players to perform at a high level of accuracy, with pace purpose, and skill. watching a contest being played at the highest possible standard makes for great viewing.

Has this not been the case at every World Cup? Why was 2011 in any different in this respect? The attendance figures were certainly well down, as the stats show.

Just because the ticketsales were lower than other tournaments doesnt mean that the Standard of Rugby is any less. the provinces provided the ideal supports for all the visiting teams, and assisted them with their preparation. In turn the players responded by playing Rugby of a high standard. Did you have some bad experience at the New Zealand tournament?

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:13 pm

Everyone has an opinion, of course, but a lot of people were unimpressed with 2011 and suggested it ought to mark the end of small nation Rugby World Cups. Personally I watched some of the games on TV and wasn't too impressed either, to be honest. I thought South Africa were robbed against Australia, as were Wales against France, and the refereeing spoiled the final as well. The opening game, meanwhile, was probably the worst I've seen, pretty much a fait accompli by the half hour mark.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:22 pm

Rowanbi wrote:Everyone has an opinion, of course, but a lot of people were unimpressed with 2011 and suggested it ought to mark the end of small nation Rugby World Cups. Personally I watched some of the games on TV and wasn't too impressed either, to be honest. I thought South Africa were robbed against Australia, as were Wales against France, and the refereeing spoiled the final as well. The opening game, meanwhile, was probably the worst I've seen, pretty much a fait accompli by the half hour mark.

Did you actually attend any games?

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Post by Rowanbi Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:25 pm

I have attended two World Cups - 1987 & 1999. That's all. I watched all the others on TV. That's the best seat in the house, of course.
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Post by aucklandlaurie Fri 15 Apr 2016, 10:33 pm

Rowanbi wrote:I have attended two World Cups - 1987 & 1999. That's all. I watched all the others on TV. That's the best seat in the house, of course.

Im sure that if you had attended the 2011 tournament you wouldnt be criticisng it, we would not be able to shut you up about going on about how it was the best World cup tournament ever.

I must say one of the best things about watching test match rugby live, is going to a game as a neutral spectator, very rewarding and without the stress.

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Post by Rowanbi Sat 16 Apr 2016, 12:06 am

Still, your comments would equally apply to any of the World Cups. You've presented an opinion, but it's not the same as the opinion of many others I know. I can only judge by what I saw on TV, and for me it was the perhaps the most disappointing World Cup since 1991. But that's just my opinion.

Which leaves us with those pesky stats . . . Rolling Eyes
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Post by aucklandlaurie Sat 16 Apr 2016, 1:14 am

Rowanbi wrote:Still, your comments would equally apply to any of the World Cups. You've presented an opinion, but it's not the same as the opinion of many others I know. I can only judge by what I saw on TV, and for me it was the perhaps the most disappointing World Cup since 1991. But that's just my opinion.

Which leaves us with those pesky stats . . . Rolling Eyes


Theres more to life and Rugby than stats, Sometimes stats just dont capture the spectacle or the chemistry of the event, opinions good, so long as its informed opinion.

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Post by Rowanbi Sat 16 Apr 2016, 8:10 am

We can all trade personal anecdotes, and for me 1995 was certainly the best World Cup with the spectacular performance of Jonah Lomu, the presence of Nelson Mandela, and the uniqueness of a predominantly non-white populace celebrating a Rugby World Cup. But that was still in the amateur era, the tournament only involved 16 teams, and so the stats aren't too flattering here either.

On the other hand, as has been pointed out by others, economic profitability is paramount. So when the stats tell us that the 2011 World Cup had the lowest overall attendance since the amateur era, and the lowest average since the inaugural event nearly 30 years ago - with a massive 35% drop on the previous installment - we have to wonder just how successful it really was, naturally
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 16 Apr 2016, 8:50 am

Really successful is the answer. Again if you want attendance and money just start swapping between England and France.

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Post by Rowanbi Sat 16 Apr 2016, 9:18 am

I see, so now the goal-posts have switched again. When we're discussing small nation tournaments, money is not the defining factor, but when we're discussing repetitive World Cups in France/UK, suddenly it is.

Of course, repetitive tournaments in those two countries would eventually become tiresome, especially as it would further stifle the game's international development, and rugby union's showpiece event would become as pitiful as its rugby league counterpart; which is precisely why World Rugby rotates it.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sat 16 Apr 2016, 12:48 pm

No switching, if those are your goals theres a fair few places to take it,France would be the best choice for this 1.

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