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Rugby Euros - why not?

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Post by Rowanbi Sat 04 Jun 2016, 9:14 pm

So the much-anticipated, expanded 24-team Euros will kick off next week with particular excitement over the inclusion of rank outsiders Iceland, Albania & Wales. The tournament began in 1960 and included only 4 teams right up to 1980, then just 8 until 1996. Now it is the second most-watched football competition in the world, drawing 300 million TV viewers for the last of its 16-team installments four years ago. This year it will be staged in France, and in 2020 there will be a pan-European tournament with matches staged across the continent, culminating in the semis and final in England.

Could rugby implement some kind of similar quadrennial tournament, perhaps beginning eight 8 teams? This would certainly help quell Eastern European frustrations at their continued exclusion from the annual 6 Nations tournament, despite Georgia being ranked ahead of Italy at present. A quadrennial rugby Euros could slot in between World Cups from 2021 onward, and include the 6 Nations and top 2 ENC division 1 teams. Alternatively, the bottom and perhaps 2nd-bottom 6 Nations could be forced to play qualifiers against the 3rd and 4th-placed ENC division 1 teams respectively.

This would at least ensure the likes of Georgia and Romania meaningful competition against tier 1 opposition on a biennial basis, given their regular involvement in the World Cup itself. & who knows? Give it 20 years and the rugby Euros, also, might be ready to double the number of teams - and by midway through the centuy it might even have grown to 24.


Last edited by Rowanbi on Tue 07 Jun 2016, 11:15 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Poorfour Sat 04 Jun 2016, 9:56 pm

Because we don't have an issue with an overcrowded season schedule or anything, obviously.

It would be great to give other European nations the opportunity to play more, but this isn't the answer unless we can sacrifice something else - which I am not sure the rugby powers that be can.

In any case, a prerequisite for more involvement for the lower ranked Euro nations is improving the quality of their play. One way to do that would be to promote a second tier 6 nations. Perhaps they could schedule it for the Friday evenings and keep the main event for the weekends. And perhaps there could be a play off between the top ranked team and the bottom ranked of the 6N... Initially only for ranking points, but perhaps in time it could become a promotion /relegation game.

Can't see it happening without the IRB's insistence, but Beaumont looks like a man with the determination to change things and a long term agenda. First, the global season, then...

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Post by ChequeredJersey Sat 04 Jun 2016, 11:03 pm

Season's already too long, most of the non-6N matches (except for a couple of countries who arguably should be getting involved in the 6N) would be horribly one-sided
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Post by TrailApe Sun 05 Jun 2016, 2:17 am

as mentioned above - very crowded season.

Football is a totally different game - the English Premiership plays 38 games in the same timespan is the rugby season - that's not possible with Rugby.


I'm not going to denigrate the footballers but it's just not such a physical game as rugby so its easy to fit in all of these competitions.

What are you going to lose of to allow this competition to happen?
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Post by Rowanbi Sun 05 Jun 2016, 7:28 am

Couldn't they just structure a Euros season the way they structure the a RWC season? What do they do in a RWC year? They can the Autumn tours. Couldn't they can all the Autumn tours in a Euros year? Or how about the Spring tours? In fact, that would balance out, wouldn't it?
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Post by No 7&1/2 Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:36 am

Money and no room.

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Post by Knowsit17 Sun 05 Jun 2016, 1:37 pm

Firstly what specifically does this grand Euro tournament replace? 6N? Lions? Summer tours?

Secondly what nations make up the numbers. To have a genuinely alternative comp you need more than the 6N sides merely accompanied by Georgia and Romania.

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Post by Rowanbi Sun 05 Jun 2016, 2:05 pm

Firstly what specifically does this grand Euro tournament replace? 6N? Lions? Summer tours?


Either the Spring or Autumn tours, as mentioned.

Secondly what nations make up the numbers.

6 Nations plus top 2 ENC sides (not necessarily Georgia & Romania), as mentioned.

Possibly bottom 2 6 Nations teams to meet 3rd & 4th-placed ENC teams in qualifying fixtures, as mentioned...
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Post by ChequeredJersey Sun 05 Jun 2016, 4:14 pm

I'd rather have the Tours please
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Post by whocares Sun 05 Jun 2016, 7:00 pm

I'd rather have nothing in summer (tours or euros)

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Post by Rowanbi Sun 05 Jun 2016, 7:15 pm

Well, I've been around so long the tours don't interest me at all. Seen it all before and 99 times out of 100 its same old same old. Nonetheless, there'd still be plenty of tours - just not every Autumn and Spring. Once every four years you'd give up one of them to hold a meaningful championship then might eventually develop into the second biggest event in the sport - as the football equivlanet has done.
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Post by ChequeredJersey Sun 05 Jun 2016, 10:46 pm

Has it? I don't really know much about Football, so I honestly don't know, but do people care very much about it? The impression I've got is that people care a lot more about the Champions League?

Guess the way to do this tournament would be to drop the Lions?
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Post by Rowanbi Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:16 pm

One day, yes. But I think the Lions will be with us for a while longer.

According to Wiki, Euros is the second most watched football tournament in the World after the World Cup.
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Post by whocares Sun 05 Jun 2016, 11:32 pm

European football championship used to be the best football competition in terms of quality. Only top teams really who went through qualification groups M. With the expansion to 24 teams the quality gets really dilluted to a point it will not get interesting before the later rounds and I doubts the stadiums will get filled up for games such as Iceland vs Hungary. Not a good example to follow, you already have the World Cup for that.

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Post by TG Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:59 am

ChequeredJersey wrote:Has it? I don't really know much about Football, so I honestly don't know, but do people care very much about it? The impression I've got is that people care a lot more about the Champions League?

Guess the way to do this tournament would be to drop the Lions?

By a lot of measures it ranks as the worlds 3rd biggest event, dwarfing RWC.

For competing nations, progress and success is viewed in a similar light to a WOrld Cup.

Put it this way, in Italia 90 and Euro 96 England got to the semis and the sense of excitement/buzz in 96 was greater.

I think one of the football journos put it best when he said that there is a massive appetite for big-time football, and the Euros are big-time.

The Champions League is huge too, but that's a club level, and seen as an elite competition.

A Euros for Rugby WOULD create excitement and in time would become a big-time Rugby competition. I agree it would mean sacrificing something. I have grown tired of the sameishness of 6N and AIs and tours. Take a look at football's international fixtures any given international weekend and you will see why it has such appeal - the big teams will play the smaller teams. Even in the big comps, it is actually something special to see the big teams play each other competitively because they do so comparatively less often - whereas in Rugby there is an infinite loop of repeat fixtures.

I think Rugby should sacrifice the tours and incorporate the 6N into a Euros.

Also worth noting the expansion from 8 to 16 in 96, now to 24 was to allow more teams to have their days in a big tournament. Despite this, big fish like Holland are not there. I look forward to the days when a Rugby tournament can have a big team not qualify but still remain undiminished as a competition.

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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:11 am

But currently wouldn't it basically be the 6N again with a few really really one sided matches?

Upsets are also rarer in rugby, I think, it's harder to hold out for a narrow win as massive underdogs.

I'm not sure what it would add to the 6N at all, except Georgia.

If you want to have more games from the lesser ranked European sides, they do already have a yearly European Cup. Georgia utterly dominate these days, so maybe the actual scope is just to televise those matches. But is it really all that entertaining to watch France or England crush Germany in a match with little drama? And would a step up against sides so much better actually benefit the smaller sides, rather than a graduation against slightly better sides?

I agree we need to find a way to give other countries more rugby exposure and experience but I just can't see this working, and then if we are to try to play different sides to expand the game, we ought to be helping out the Pacific Islands, US etc first (and Georgia/Romania)

Unless you think you would make the competition prestigious enough early enough to convince the other sides to invest in increasing quality and increasing national popularity, but I don't think that's very realistic at all
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Post by ChequeredJersey Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:13 am

Rowanbi wrote:Firstly what specifically does this grand Euro tournament replace? 6N? Lions? Summer tours?


Either the Spring or Autumn tours, as mentioned.

Secondly what nations make up the numbers.

6 Nations plus top 2 ENC sides (not necessarily Georgia & Romania), as mentioned.

Possibly bottom 2 6 Nations teams to meet 3rd & 4th-placed ENC teams in qualifying fixtures, as mentioned...

To be honest I really think that would be boringly one-sided
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:23 am

It would be better to dump the Lions tours which financially benefits just one of three SH unions every four years.

Instead have a World Club Championship.

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 9:14 am

A Euros for Rugby WOULD create excitement and in time would become a big-time Rugby competition. I agree it would mean sacrificing something. I have grown tired of the sameishness of 6N and AIs and tours. Take a look at football's international fixtures any given international weekend and you will see why it has such appeal - the big teams will play the smaller teams. Even in the big comps, it is actually something special to see the big teams play each other competitively because they do so comparatively less often - whereas in Rugby there is an infinite loop of repeat fixtures.

thumbsup Good comments...

If you want to have more games from the lesser ranked European sides, they do already have a yearly European Cup. Georgia utterly dominate these days, so maybe the actual scope is just to televise those matches. But is it really all that entertaining to watch France or England crush Germany in a match with little drama? And would a step up against sides so much better actually benefit the smaller sides, rather than a graduation against slightly better sides?

Firstly, all they'd need to do would be include a promotion-relegation system between the 6 Nations and the ENC and, voila! your instant, ready-made, good-to-go annual European rugby championships.

Failing that, this seems like the next best option. Germany would only be involved if it managed to qualify ahead of the likes of Georgia and Romania. That's extremely unlikely right now. & obviously you'd keep the tournament at 8 teams until there were enough competitive teams on the continent to warrant expansion.

I agree we need to find a way to give other countries more rugby exposure and experience but I just can't see this working, and then if we are to try to play different sides to expand the game, we ought to be helping out the Pacific Islands, US etc first (and Georgia/Romania)

Let the Kiwis & Aussies help out the Pacific Islands. That's their back yard. Argentina is helping out the US with the new 'Americas 6 Nations.' It's up to Europe help out developing rugby powers within its own environs.

To be honest I really think that would be boringly one-sided

Just one option. Alternatively, the 6 Nations could qualify automatically for the time being, or there could be a solitary qualifier between the bottom 6 Nations side and the 3rd-placed ENC team. Right now I think that would be Italy v Russia - and I'd personally be very interested in seeing that.

It would be better to dump the Lions tours which financially benefits just one of three SH unions every four years.

Instead have a World Club Championship.




I agree the Lions tours need to go eventually. Right now they're essential money-spinners for the major unions, but as the sport develops at the top level new international tournaments and innovations will eventually squeeze the Lions out, in my estimation, perhaps by the middle of the century.

I support the concept of the World Club Championship but not sure this is a logical replacement for Lions tours. Right now all they have to do is stage a proper fixture between the Super Rugby winner and its European counterpart, and, voila! your instant, ready-made, good-to-go World Club Championship! If any other competition wants in, ie Pro Rugby, it could become a mini-tournament, but right now I don't think anyone could seriously challenge Super Rugby or European club competition (and Japan already has a team in the former).

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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 9:37 am

Not enough teams who are competitive. The rugby Euros are really here already, its called the 6N. The next best Georgia & Romania for an 8 team tournament... but a KO tournament would mean the top sides won't all play each other.

In an 8 team KO tournament you get 7 games only, each side a maximum of 3 games and therefore head to heads are not gauranteed. Unlke the 6N when everyone plays everyone.
The 6N champs are the European champions, they don't need a title to know they are the best team in Europe.

I mean Georgia barely beat Namibia in the RWC. Romania are even worse. Maybe Georgia should challenge Italy in a KO for 6N entry as they're pretty woeful themselves but a 8 team 6N type tournament... too many matches and the title would forever be determined on who put the most points on Georgia, Romania & Italy and a KO tournament would be too few matches, too few head to heads.

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 9:49 am

I was thinking more along the lines of two groups of 4 leading to semis and a final. That's the way the Euros were held from 1980 until 1996 - with great success. In fact, that was the period when it underwent its transformation from an almost token collection of fixtures into the second biggest football tournament in the world.

Already mentioned the simpler option is to connect the 6 Nations to the ENC via promotion-relegation, thus creating an annual 'Euros.' But right now it's not a Euros. It's the Home Unions plus France & Italy (who are ranked below Georgia), nothing more.
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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 06 Jun 2016, 9:52 am

The Euro leagues (6n B, C, D etc etc) are increasing the competitiveness of the lower Euro nations. That just needs to continue for the moment.

I would like to see an increase in the number of games between these and the senior nations...shame the Churchill cup didn't continue.

But Ireland have played Georgia recently, and I think we may see more games.

I know number of games is an issue, but I still think theres an opening for more Saxons games...and that would be ideal for games v Georgia, Germany, Spain etc etc etc.

Also more club sides need to be integrated into European cups et.c


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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:04 am

Rowanbi wrote:I was thinking more along the lines of two groups of 4 leading to semis and a final. That's the way the Euros were held from 1980 until 1996 - with great success. In fact, that was the period when it underwent its transformation from an almost token collection of fixtures into the second biggest football tournament in the world.

Already mentioned the simpler option is to connect the 6 Nations to the ENC via promotion-relegation, thus creating an annual 'Euros.' But right now it's not a Euros. It's the Home Unions plus France & Italy (who are ranked below Georgia), nothing more.

Its not called the euros.. but they are the top 6 teams in European, by a wide wide margin. Its like saying South Africa isn't the best team in Africa because they don't play Namibia & Zimbabwe, or NZ aren't the best in Australasia because they don't play the cook islands. Rugby isn't strong enough cross Europe for a tournament similar to footballs Euros.... and if we adopt such a tournament it will lose the play all 6N which at the moment IMO is superior to one where England may play France, Scotland and Georgia but not Wales, Ireland and Italy each year.

I don't mind a 2 leg KO stage for the best of the ENC vs. the worst of the 6N but adding Georgia to it or even Romania too would make it a farcical tournament. In the end you need reasons from both a rugby and financial perspective and in both counts Georgia and Romania fall down.

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Post by Gooseberry Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:11 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:

Also more club sides need to be integrated into European cups et.c


Because the Italians (and Welsh) arent dragging them down enough?

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:42 am

You need strong club competition for players to experience higher levels.

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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:47 am

GeordieFalcon wrote:You need strong club competition for players to experience higher levels.

Doesn't really work for Wales or France mind... French have the best league in Europe and internationally are in the doldrums. Wales have a terrible club set up but remain very competitive in test rugby.

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Post by GeordieFalcon Mon 06 Jun 2016, 10:53 am

Yes because France have elected to go the sign every foreigner route and Wales have been in disarray since they went with regions.

Should have just kept it as the Welsh league with all the teams like Swansea, Pont, Neath etc.


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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 11:18 am

but they are the top 6 teams in European, by a wide wide margin

Probably, but not according to the rankings. Meanwhile, by your method of evaluation we might as well not have a World Cup at all.

The Rugby Championship settles it every year... Cool
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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 11:29 am

Rowanbi wrote:but they are the top 6 teams in European, by a wide wide margin

Probably, but not according to the rankings. Meanwhile, by your method of evaluation we might as well not have a World Cup at all.

The Rugby Championship settles it every year... Cool

The problem with the rankings is that Italy plays so many big teams and generate so many losses their ranking points takes a pounding compared to Georgia who barely plays anyone in tier 1. They beat Namibia by a single point in the RWC. But maybe a 2 leg KO for the 6N should occur between the ENC and the 6N... although if in the first say 5 years the ENC aren't even getting close we might as well close the robin. Georgia needs more games but how much its to do with a few french based Georgian ancestral players I'm not so sure... Italy too have problems in that they're relying on ancestral players to bolster their squads competitiveness and its not healthy in the long run.

18 months ago Ireland put 50 on them. I'd say they're probably not ready.

Its not exactly like a world cup without South Africa leaving question marks now is it.

The 6N occurs every year and plays the best teams in Europe against each other (or at least the best 5) every single year. A KO tournament would not provide that. There are no better bragging rights to say that you've beaten everyone in a given 2 month period... unlike in 2007 when SA won the RWC but most still believed they weren't the best team in the world because they didn't face NZ, AUS, FRA etc.

KO rugby is good but for an annual tournament I'm happy with the 6N and don't think a Euro tournament would offer anything different.

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 11:54 am

The problem with the rankings is that Italy plays so many big teams and generate so many losses their ranking points takes a pounding compared to Georgia who barely plays anyone in tier 1.

You missed the part of that sentence where I said you were probably right. But the Georgians can always argue the point on the basis of the rankings. & there's only one way to settle it for sure.

Its not exactly like a world cup without South Africa leaving question marks now is it.

A World Cup without 'Apartheid' South Africa didn't leave any questions at all. You get a red card, you don't play, even if you're arguably the best in the world. Same applies to nations.

The 6N occurs every year and plays the best teams in Europe against each other (or at least the best 5) every single year. A KO tournament would not provide that. There are no better bragging rights to say that you've beaten everyone in a given 2 month period... unlike in 2007 when SA won the RWC but most still believed they weren't the best team in the world because they didn't face NZ, AUS, FRA etc.

No offence, but you sound like a rugbyhead who was raised in a largely rugby-oriented environment. I relate more to the football model than the 6 Nations model, and for me part of the charm of tournaments is that you don't play every other team; it's an elimination process which provides for much greater excitement and unpredictability all the way through.

Anyway, I've already stated more than once that the simplest option would be promotion-relegation between the 6 Nations & the ENC, but that a Rugby Euros might be the next best option to determine the European champion. &, who knows, it might just develop into something very special in its own right a few decades or so down the track.
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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:17 pm

There is nothing wrong with the 6N format. 15 matches with near 70,000 average attendance and the best teams in Europe play each other plays everyone in a 8 week period.
You couldn't match those figures in any tournament, not even football can compete with those averages. We can watch one matches after another and it breeds a great togetherness regardless of say the RC being of higher quality (its barely a tournament given the matches are so far apart on a given day that only in the home country will the given match be watched with any enthusiasm).

I've been to a number of 3N/RC matches and they don't touch 6N days I'm afraid. Even the RWC struggles to compete with a final round 6N day... perhaps the QF weekend of the RWC if the fixtures are optimal only. The spirit in SH rugby only really comes around in touring i.e. a test team plays more than 1 test in a given 3-4 week period.

If a euro tournament would benefit then sure, why not. However it simply is not viable given we already have an annual tournament of the best rugby test teams in Europe.

Is it that the 6N does not truly solve who is the best side? If that was the case then fine, rethink but at the moment I think its difficult to suggest its not the right format or something else would be better. You can say, typical response from stuffy old rugby fan if you want but the numbers don't lie and I don't here many people complaining..... I mean how many fans think Ireland vs. Romania in rugby is a competitive match they want to see every year esp given they put 40 points on them without a sweat at the RWC15?

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:19 pm


If a euro tournament would benefit then sure, why not. However it simply is not viable given we already have an annual tournament of the best rugby test teams in Europe.


I think you're wrong.
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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:24 pm

Rowanbi wrote:
If a euro tournament would benefit then sure, why not. However it simply is not viable given we already have an annual tournament of the best rugby test teams in Europe.


I think you're wrong.

Well you agreed they were the best teams in Europe above regardless of Italy's ranking woes. So you think its a bad tournament then? Can you name another sporting tournament with higher attendances on average?

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:34 pm

No, I disagree with you that a Rugby Euros would not be viable if the 6 Nations refuses to implement promotion-relegation. The 6 Nations is a fine competiton, probably the best international rugby tournament outside the World Cup. But if it remains exclusive to the UK, Ireland, France & Italy (the latter ranked below Georgia at present), then it's simply not a genuine European Championships - any more than the Rugby Championship could be regarded as a genuine World Championships. So my point, once again, is that a Rugby Euros could well be a viable alternative to promotion-relegation between the 6 Nations and ENC, and that it might just develop into a major event in its own right - as the football Euros have done after very humble beginnings.

& let's not forget that there are two regular RWC-contenders in the ENC, and the won a combined three matches at the 2015 tournament in England. Three other European nations have also played at the RWC. So if it's good enough to face these teams on the biggest stage of all, doesn't it seem ironic to ignore them the rest of the time??
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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 12:58 pm

Rowanbi wrote:No, I disagree with you that a Rugby Euros would not be viable if the 6 Nations refuses to implement promotion-relegation. The 6 Nations is a fine competiton, probably the best international rugby tournament outside the World Cup. But if it remains exclusive to the UK, Ireland, France & Italy (the latter ranked below Georgia at present), then it's simply not a genuine European Championships - any more than the Rugby Championship could be regarded as a genuine World Championships. So my point, once again, is that a Rugby Euros could well be a viable alternative to promotion-relegation between the 6 Nations and ENC, and that it might just develop into a major event in its own right - as the football Euros have done after very humble beginnings.

& let's not forget that there are two regular RWC-contenders in the ENC, and the won a combined three matches at the 2015 tournament in England. Three other European nations have also played at the RWC. So if it's good enough to face these teams on the biggest stage of all, doesn't it seem ironic to ignore them the rest of the time??

You say they're good enough to face them... well Romania faced Ireland, France & Italy (and they weren't taking these games seriously as in, play my A team, with a primary competitor mindset). Well if you tie up the 3 matches the average points score was 38-14 and the average tries was 5 to 1.6.

In 20 years of pro rugby Romania have played 6N teams 33 times and they have a single win (vs. Italy in 2004). The average score is 50-13 against them.
Georgia have never beaten a 6N side, ever. Argentina put 50 points on them at the RWC, scoring 7 tries to 0. They beat Namibia by a single point which shows their class just as badly.

Italy on the other hand... well in the 4 years preceeding to their entry into the 5N they beat Ireland twice, Argentina, France and Scotland. They have managed 19 wins since 1996 vs. tier 1 sides inc. 3 vs. France. They have had a blip of late but the quality is there.

If Italy had to face say Georgia in a 2 leg KO I think they'd romp home. If they played the match like they had to Georgia simply wouldn't get close.

I reckon Romania & Georgia should get more games but until they're getting wins or coming close to such sides then should they get entry into a major tier 1 competition.... no. So they can say no one has beaten the best in the ENC so the 6N team cannot call themselves the European official champions... so what... Georgia have never beaten any team of note in their history and Romania have achieved only a single win vs. Italy in a summer tour match in 2004... and otherwise been even worse than Georgia.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:34 pm

Rowanbi wrote:A Euros for Rugby WOULD create excitement and in time would become a big-time Rugby competition. I agree it would mean sacrificing something. I have grown tired of the sameishness of 6N and AIs and tours. Take a look at football's international fixtures any given international weekend and you will see why it has such appeal - the big teams will play the smaller teams. Even in the big comps, it is actually something special to see the big teams play each other competitively because they do so comparatively less often - whereas in Rugby there is an infinite loop of repeat fixtures.

thumbsup Good comments...

If you want to have more games from the lesser ranked European sides, they do already have a yearly European Cup. Georgia utterly dominate these days, so maybe the actual scope is just to televise those matches. But is it really all that entertaining to watch France or England crush Germany in a match with little drama? And would a step up against sides so much better actually benefit the smaller sides, rather than a graduation against slightly better sides?

Firstly, all they'd need to do would be include a promotion-relegation system between the 6 Nations and the ENC and, voila! your instant, ready-made, good-to-go annual European rugby championships.

Failing that, this seems like the next best option. Germany would only be involved if it managed to qualify ahead of the likes of Georgia and Romania. That's extremely unlikely right now. & obviously you'd keep the tournament at 8 teams until there were enough competitive teams on the continent to warrant expansion.

I agree we need to find a way to give other countries more rugby exposure and experience but I just can't see this working, and then if we are to try to play different sides to expand the game, we ought to be helping out the Pacific Islands, US etc first (and Georgia/Romania)

Let the Kiwis & Aussies help out the Pacific Islands. That's their back yard. Argentina is helping out the US with the new 'Americas 6 Nations.' It's up to Europe help out developing rugby powers within its own environs.

To be honest I really think that would be boringly one-sided

Just one option. Alternatively, the 6 Nations could qualify automatically for the time being, or there could be a solitary qualifier between the bottom 6 Nations side and the 3rd-placed ENC team. Right now I think that would be Italy v Russia - and I'd personally be very interested in seeing that.

It would be better to dump the Lions tours which financially benefits just one of three SH unions every four years.

Instead have a World Club Championship.




I agree the Lions tours need to go eventually. Right now they're essential money-spinners for the major unions, but as the sport develops at the top level new international tournaments and innovations will eventually squeeze the Lions out, in my estimation, perhaps by the middle of the century.

I support the concept of the World Club Championship but not sure this is a logical replacement for Lions tours. Right now all they have to do is stage a proper fixture between the Super Rugby winner and its European counterpart, and, voila! your instant, ready-made, good-to-go World Club Championship! If any other competition wants in, ie Pro Rugby, it could become a mini-tournament, but right now I don't think anyone could seriously challenge Super Rugby or European club competition (and Japan already has a team in the former).


Actually you've previosuly said that playing B teams doesn't help the developing nations so no Argentina aren't helping. You can't even respect the comp by using it's actual name, but piggy back it on the 6Ns.

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:44 pm

Well if you tie up the 3 matches the average points score was 38-14 and the average tries was 5 to 1.6.

So what's the point in a 20-team World Cup then? Doh With thinking like yours, advocating continued exclusion, we can only expect that gap to widen.

Georgia have never beaten a 6N side,

How many chances do they get? How many 6 Nations sides have played a test in Georgia? & we all know they very nearly beat Ireland in 2007. As for Argentina putting 50 points on them, that would be the Argentina who also thrashed the 6 Nations champions on the way to the World Cup semi-finals, I believe. Georgia actually won two games and qualified directly for 2019. They're ranked ahead of Italy and deserve their place in any genuine 'European Championship.'
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Post by Gooseberry Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:48 pm

Rowanbi wrote:

So what's the point in a 20-team World Cup then?


Its a fair question.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:50 pm

Rather than the pipe dream of changing so much, as well as the actual plans WR have, it would be better for SA, Aus, NZ and the rest of the touring AI sides to start picking up games with them also. Need the one offs to show they deserve it.

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:53 pm

Rather than the pipe dream of changing so much

Reminiscent of the Home Union's steadfast opposition to a Rugby World Cup circa 1983, 84 Rolling Eyes
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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:54 pm

Rowanbi wrote:Well if you tie up the 3 matches the average points score was 38-14 and the average tries was 5 to 1.6.

So what's the point in a 20-team World Cup then? Doh With thinking like yours, advocating continued exclusion, we can only expect that gap to widen.

Georgia have never beaten a 6N side,

How many chances to they get? How many 6 Nations sides have played a test in Georgia? & well all know they very nearly beat Ireland in 2007. As for Argentina putting 50 points on them, that would be the Argentina who also thrashed Ireland on the way to the World Cup semi-finals, I believe. Georgia actually won two games and qualified directly for 2019. They're ranked ahead of Italy and deserve their place in any genuine 'European Championship.'


As I said before... Italy earnt their spot in the 6N. In the 4 years previous to their joining they beat Ireland twice, Scotland, Argentina and France. They've won 19 games since the pro era.

Romania and Georgia have played 42, lost 41 to 6N sides in the same period. Ranking is relative... you've even admitted Italy are a better side so you agree the top 6 sides in Europe are the 6N sides.

Agree they should get more games vs. the 6N but any genuine games would see them becoming the whipping boys of European rugby. We want competitive matches not cricket scores in tournments. Having a couple ancestral Georgians in French leagues doesn't mean Georgia possesses a viable long term source of quality rugby players. Canada got to the QFs of the RWC in 1991, they had some brilliant players too and van der Merwe is excellent... doesn't mean they deserve a spot either.

Why not Samoa, Fiji, Tonga in the RC? Fiji and Samoa would drive Argentina very close... closer than Georgia and Romania to Italy. So why not expand the RC?

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 1:58 pm

Why not Samoa, Fiji, Tonga in the RC?

I've always been in favour of their inclusion in the elite Southern Hemisphere competitions - for the very same reason I'm advocating a Rugby Euros, in fact.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 2:00 pm

Rowanbi wrote:Rather than the pipe dream of changing so much

Reminiscent of the Home Union's steadfast opposition to a Rugby World Cup circa 1983, 84 Rolling Eyes

Why do you ignore most of peoples quotes? It's unlikely to be rolled our any time soon, so what needs to happen is them picking up some one offs vs NZ etc.

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Post by propdavid_london Mon 06 Jun 2016, 2:00 pm

The biggest issue here is giving the lower tier teams a chance of playing top tier teams (outside of a WC setting).
I see no problem in allowing the winner of the 2nd tier European competition (European cup of nations - or whatever its called), give them the chance to play the wooden spooners from the previous 6N......and the chance to compete in the 6N as the reward for success.
Its essentially 1 more game for a 6N team......I'd still watch it out of interest... Its a 1 off game not a whole tournament.
What is the issue with that?

If any of the 6N teams object as they would be concerned of loosing out on revenue......Then I'd say if they were concerned about playing Georgia, Romania, Russia then they shouldn't be in the 6N anyway.

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Post by Rowanbi Mon 06 Jun 2016, 2:44 pm

Exactly why Italy doesn't travel to Georgia for a test match. They might well lose and the 6 Nations might no longer be regarded as Europe's elite competition. It was similarly shaken by the Oaks in the amateur era, when even the 5 Nations champions were beaten. The collapse of communism actually save their blushes there.

Anyway, the main attraction of a tournament, rather than a one-off friendly, is that it may develop into a major event and money-spinner for the code, just as the Euros has for football.
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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:30 pm

But won't any time soon so you need to build up interest and competitive matches, including those against the SH touring teams. Could invite Japan to the AIs as well.

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Post by TG Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:43 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:But won't any time soon so you need to build up interest and competitive matches, including those against the SH touring teams. Could invite Japan to the AIs as well.

I think a 12 team Rugby Euro tourny played in England or France would generate interest for sure. For one thing, plenty of old Rugby die-hards will lap up (yet another) big 6 clash, so no danger of empty seats in the knock outs, and I'm sure the other games played in mid-size grounds would sell a few tickets.


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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:47 pm

TG wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:But won't any time soon so you need to build up interest and competitive matches, including those against the SH touring teams. Could invite Japan to the AIs as well.

I think a 12 team Rugby Euro tourny played in England or France  would generate interest for sure. For one thing, plenty of old Rugby die-hards will lap up (yet another) big 6 clash, so no danger of empty seats in the knock outs, and I'm sure the other games played in mid-size grounds would sell a few  tickets.


Teams in Europe ranked 11 & 12 are Belgium and Germany. I wonder what the score to an England vs. Belgium/Germany match would be?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:51 pm

Yes, can't wait for that rather than England vs SA. In all seriousness were England to play them it would be a vastly reduced strength team. Would the 6Ns teams even send any first teamers to that given 6Ns already exists? I doubt it personally.

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Post by fa0019 Mon 06 Jun 2016, 3:53 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Yes, can't wait for that rather than England vs SA. In all seriousness were England to play them it would be a vastly reduced strength team. Would the 6Ns teams even send any first teamers to that given 6Ns already exists? I doubt it personally.

If you are beating a side by 50 in any game you should be playing your 2nd team really.

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