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European rugby competitions 5 years on - New revamp plans revealed

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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 19 Nov 2019, 11:29 am

First topic message reminder :

So here we are 2019, going back 5 years the PRL and the LNR  planned to form an alternative Rugby Champions Cup. Promises were made, rules were changed, the amount of teams from the respective leagues were altered.

More money would come from it we were told, we need to make the second tier more competitive we were told, there would be sponsors lining up to be a part of it we were told.

So, now we are half a decade into this new world order of the European competitions, does anybody think it is a success ? Does anybody think that the clubs are making a better fist of it than the unions were ?

Do people think that all the promises have been fulfilled ?

Personally, I think that the European competitions are a shadow of what they were when they were controlled by the unions and we all knew it as the Heineken Cup, and the Amlin cup. The magic has gone.

Also, where is the third tier competition we were promised ?

Here is a beginner guide to the new world order that was published 5 years ago:-

What is different about the new European Cup?

There will be three tournaments rather than two, with developing unions having a competition that will involve up to 12 sides. The European Rugby Champions Cup will involve 20 teams, rather than the Heineken Cup's 24, and so will the Challenge Cup, which will contain five teams from the RaboDirect Pro12 next season compared to this campaign's one. The governing body will be based in Switzerland rather than Dublin.

Is that all?

No. The proceeds will be split equally between the three leagues – the Premiership, France's Top 14 and the RaboDirect Pro12 – with a portion reserved for teams who make the latter stages: the current system sees the Pro12 unions (Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Italy) receive 48%. Safeguards have been put in place to ensure the Rabo does not suffer a drop in income, but the England and French clubs will be significantly better off. The qualification process will largely be based on merit: the top six in the English and French leagues will take part and there will be seven from the Rabo, with at least one team from each of the four countries that take part in it. There will be a play-off for the final place which, from next season, will involve four sides, one from England and France and two from the Rabo. The winners of the European Cup and the Challenge Cup will not automatically qualify.


Who will run the competitions?

European Rugby Cup Ltd, which has been organised the Heineken Cup since its inception in 1995, will be wound up: its chief executive, Derek McGrath, will remain in position until October to ensure a smooth handover. European Professional Club Rugby will take over: the nine stakeholders – the six unions together with the club organisations in England and France and Regional Rugby Wales – will be represented on the board of directors but commercial decisions will be made by a five-strong executive committee, which will be made up of representatives of the three leagues, who will hold the voting power, together with an independent chairman and EPCR's director-general. Advertisements are being drawn up for the two posts.

What happens to Heineken and Amlin?

The idea is that there will be no title sponsor of the competitions and that it makes more sense financially to have an array of commercial partners, like the Uefa Champions League in football. When the English and French clubs launched their plans for a Rugby Champions Cup last autumn, they talked about being able to achieve turnover of some £100m within five years, more than double what it is now.

Will the same trophies be used?

No. The Heineken and Challenge Cups will be presented for the final time next month; whether the winners retain them is up to ERC. Commissions have already been issued for two new trophies, which will be the property of EPCR.

Will the format change?

Yes. There will be five, rather than six, groups of four teams, who will continue to play each other home and away. The five group winners and the three best runners-up will qualify for the last eight, with home advantage enjoyed by the four pool winners with the best records. The pool phase will continue to be played in three blocks of two weekends, completed in January, but the final will be moved to the beginning of May rather than a week before the domestic finals at the end of the month. The Challenge Cup will be made up of 18 teams from the three main leagues and, from next year, two sides from the third tournament, currently called the Qualifying Competition.


How long does the agreement last for? And will there be another dispute when it nears its end?

Previous agreements had a specified shelf-life. This one is different in that it is evergreen. It will carry on unless someone serves two years' notice to pull out, something no one can do for six years. If no one does, it will carry on. It means that if there are issues – and it may be that in time there is pressure for the Champions Cup winners to automatically qualify – they can be dealt with on the hoof. The aim is for the governing body to be reactive rather than regarding everything as set in stone.


Television was a big sticking point. Has it been resolved?

The biggest obstacle for the unions and the clubs to clear was the conflicting television deals agreed by ERC and Premiership Rugby in 2012 with Sky and BT Sport respectively. The two companies, brought together by the RFU chief executive, Ian Ritchie, have reached agreement in principle about arrangements to televise the competitions for the next four years, sharing the rights equally with both showing matches involving English clubs. France is currently negotiating its television deal.

What will happen to those who work for ERC?

Derek McGrath has said he will not apply for a position in the new governing body. EPCR said in its statement that the stakeholders took their obligation to the staff of ERC seriously and would ensure an orderly and proper transition to the new association. ERC has enough money in reserves to meet its legal obligations, and while it is envisaged some staff will be asked to stay on, it would mean moving from Ireland to Switzerland.

So there we are, how do you all see the European competitions now ? Better or worse ?


Last edited by LordDowlais on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 10:07 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : To make things clearer)

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Post by Brendan on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:09 pm

For me here would be my thoughts

Good
Pro14 qualification - teams have improved and resulted in a better league
Semi Final hosts
Host cities (though I think Italy should be looked at)

Bad
Poor funding
Lack of any coverage of group games in challange cup - surely they could sell it on free to air just to get people interested
Lack or finacial growth - it is possible that with the minimum promised to the Pro14 unions that the other teams are taking in less than before
Seeding - While I like league form affecting seeding the French seem to ruin it by having rubbish teams.

Changes i would like to see
Challange on Free to Air
Both Competitions being 24 teams (6 group), Pro12, England 13, France 14, B6N representive and 3 teams from Pro14 unions (could be two SA plus winner of S6 v A League v Italian league or winner of Italian league and Super 6 plus winner of irish/Welsh A league)
Seeding - winners seed 1, Winners of league 2-4, second in league 5-7 etc. Then based on Euro points you rank them. This year would have seen Sarries 1, Leinster 2 Toulouse 3, Clearmount 4, Glasgow 5 etc

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:14 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:As someone who doesnt support an english club and being pretty critical on the prl for a few years regarding salary caps not sure I fit into the category of I'll defend them to the hilt. Serious question is the coverage of rugby in wales diminishing rather than the tournaments? Has there been a a high profile change in sports editors etc

You have been on the threads, you have debated it to death. For people in Wales to watch all their regions games, they have to pay for two channels, or travel the length and breadth of Europe.


Length and breadth of Europe...I don't think you realise how cheap it is to fly around Europe, do you? Or does length and breadth of Europe translate as valleys to one of Newport, Cardiff, Swansea or Llanelli? Which is a long way away for people who don't often leave their hill. #valleyspeople

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Post by Gooseberry on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:19 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Gooseberry wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:I'm not complaining but is it more competitive? Doesn't seem like anyone outside of Saracens, Leinster, Toulouse, Racing, (when they're up) Clermont can win it. It's been this way for years.

Is it any different to when it was only won by Tigers Wasps and Toulouse, or when  the period when it was only won by Munster or Toulouse or Wasps, or the period when it was only won by Toloun and Leinster?

Pretty sure we've seen the end of the period of Saracens dominating it.

True. Now it'll probably go back to Leinster, Toulouse or Clermont.

So yeah I think we agree that the title has always had periods of dominance by a handful of clubs, but what has changed now is far less gimme blow outs in the group stages. It used to be annual high/low light watching Tigers take 10 points with spare change off the hapless Italian bottom feeder of their group. Now theres rarely a team that is way out of its depth there simply to make up the allocation numbers..teams qualify on merit, can beat anyone on their day etc. 
The Welsh regions havent become anymore competitive in terms of the knock out stages, but that trend started well before the changes and in some ways justifies them by not allow a team that struggles in the Pro14 groups access to the elite euro cup simply because of the Union they fall under. This isnt meant as an attack on the Welsh btw, Ive long argued that strong equitable Unions and international and club level across Europe is to the benefit of everyone in driving audiences. 
The way TV rights have gone for Wales though is a problem, and arguably a failure of the new system which has driven up overall revenues but as others pointed out has potentially alienated a section of the Welsh public form rugby. To the money men its probably a pretty insignificant number of viewers turned off, but what that potentially means for the future of welsh rugby and the consequent knock to competitiveness across Europe should be a worry for everyone. 


The ECC was a joke in its old form. There were seasons where French and English clubs won every game they played (except those against each other obviously) and some absolute whippings of the tier 2 clubs. The new cup hasnt changed much, aside from improving the spread of semi finalists beyond the french and english, although that trend possibly predates the change. 

Overall I dont see a great deal of direct impact from the changes aside from less cricket score fixtures. Im sure someone has made a tidy profit on them though.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:20 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:As someone who doesnt support an english club and being pretty critical on the prl for a few years regarding salary caps not sure I fit into the category of I'll defend them to the hilt. Serious question is the coverage of rugby in wales diminishing rather than the tournaments? Has there been a a high profile change in sports editors etc

You have been on the threads, you have debated it to death. For people in Wales to watch all their regions games, they have to pay for two channels, or travel the length and breadth of Europe.


Length and breadth of Europe...I don't think you realise how cheap it is to fly around Europe, do you? Or does length and breadth of Europe translate as valleys to one of Newport, Cardiff, Swansea or Llanelli? Which is a long way away for people who don't often leave their hill. #valleyspeople

Rolling Eyes

If you want to follow your region, you have to travel all around GB, Ireland and Italy for the Pro14 which is not cheap, and France or further afield if they are in the second tier of Europe, to watch them on the box, you need to have access to both Premier Sports and BT sports. It does not come cheap.

Flying anywhere is not cheap either. OK

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:32 pm

Travel hasn't really changed between tournaments has it?
I am intrigued to see what happens in terms of the south African teams.

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 2:54 pm

Oh yes, I forgot about South Africa as well, how much does it cost to fly there ?

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Post by RiscaGame on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 3:02 pm

Flying in Europe is cheap when you book in advance, but not especially when you don't get the fixtures for a while. Then as soon as there is interest, obviously the prices go up. Then getting to places like Krasnador or Castres without a direct flight isn't easy either.

To watch Dragons, you need Premier and that's it. Challenge Cup games are at least screened online for free, they just don't have the cameras for TMO etc.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 3:07 pm

If it is travel costs then european rugby ain't for you LD!

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Post by LordDowlais on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 3:10 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:If it is travel costs then european rugby ain't for you LD!

Why not ?

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Post by Irish Londoner on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 4:11 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:As someone who doesnt support an english club and being pretty critical on the prl for a few years regarding salary caps not sure I fit into the category of I'll defend them to the hilt. Serious question is the coverage of rugby in wales diminishing rather than the tournaments? Has there been a a high profile change in sports editors etc

You have been on the threads, you have debated it to death. For people in Wales to watch all their regions games, they have to pay for two channels, or travel the length and breadth of Europe.


Length and breadth of Europe...I don't think you realise how cheap it is to fly around Europe, do you? Or does length and breadth of Europe translate as valleys to one of Newport, Cardiff, Swansea or Llanelli? Which is a long way away for people who don't often leave their hill. #valleyspeople

Rolling Eyes

If you want to follow your region, you have to travel all around GB, Ireland and Italy for the Pro14 which is not cheap, and France or further afield if they are in the second tier of Europe, to watch them on the box, you need to have access to both Premier Sports and BT sports. It does not come cheap.

Flying anywhere is not cheap either. OK

The good news is that there is one game a week on Freesports, the BBC have just announced that they are going to show PRO14 highlights, if you have BT Sport then at least you're not paying for Sky and you can go and watch your teams home games live at the ground if you wish.

If you were a football fan you'd only have live FA cup football on the BBC, have to pay out for Sky, BT and Amazon to watch live games, and if your team is in Europe you'll have to travel all over England and Europe to watch them and pay through the nose to watch them at their home ground if you support one of the "big teams".


Last edited by Irish Londoner on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 8:22 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 4:33 pm

Because european competition generally means travelling outside of your country LD!

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 7:01 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Oh yes, I forgot about South Africa as well, how much does it cost to fly there ?

Leinster trip to South Africa 19-29th March 2020

Return International flights from Dublin to Johannesburg.
Four domestic flights.
Executive coach transfers throughout.
Eight nights accommodation on a B&B basis across Bloemfontein, Cape Town & Port Elizabeth.
Pre-match food and complimentary bar before both matches.
Official Category 1 Match Tickets to Cheetahs v Leinster Rugby & Southern Kings v Leinster Rugby.
Winelands tour of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek with lunch included.
Robben Island Tour
Visit Table Mountain by Cable Car
Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein.
Local guide and RTI staff member on tour throughout.

Only €2,495 pps - cheap at the price.
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Post by The Oracle on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 8:00 pm

I still don’t get what has changed (for Welsh teams) since the Heineken Cup days? Before the Champions Cup when it was the Heineken the regions were still in the Pro whatever (12/14) or the Celtic League. And also in the Heineken/Amlin. So travel was the same - all over Europe. The Euro games were still on pay tv so inaccessible to those without Sky. So again what has changed? The only change is that the Welsh regions are not as competitive and are not guaranteed places in the top comp anymore. Now that might have led to a drop in interest by fans. Just like Wales being rubbish at international level led to a drop in interest in the 6 nations for a number of years (I remember the empty seats at the AP/MS in the 90s and early 2000s and the ease of getting international tickets!). But as mentioned previously and by others, that isn’t the fault of the Champions Cup or the move away from the Heineken. We’ve lost pace with the rest due to poor management and funding, or use of funds, and internal bickering. The challenge is to get back (or ideally surpass where we were previously) because, just as Wales managed to improve and this led to the return of bumper crowds and a scarcity of tickets, so too will the interest in the Euro comp return if the regions improve.
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Post by SecretFly on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 9:10 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Oh yes, I forgot about South Africa as well, how much does it cost to fly there ?

Leinster trip to South Africa 19-29th March 2020

Return International flights from Dublin to Johannesburg.
Four domestic flights.
Executive coach transfers throughout.
Eight nights accommodation on a B&B basis across Bloemfontein, Cape Town & Port Elizabeth.
Pre-match food and complimentary bar before both matches.
Official Category 1 Match Tickets to Cheetahs v Leinster Rugby & Southern Kings v Leinster Rugby.
Winelands tour of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek with lunch included.
Robben Island Tour
Visit Table Mountain by Cable Car
Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein.
Local guide and RTI staff member on tour throughout.

Only €2,495 pps - cheap at the price.

D4 cheap, yaw.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 20 Nov 2019, 10:20 pm

SecretFly wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Oh yes, I forgot about South Africa as well, how much does it cost to fly there ?

Leinster trip to South Africa 19-29th March 2020

Return International flights from Dublin to Johannesburg.
Four domestic flights.
Executive coach transfers throughout.
Eight nights accommodation on a B&B basis across Bloemfontein, Cape Town & Port Elizabeth.
Pre-match food and complimentary bar before both matches.
Official Category 1 Match Tickets to Cheetahs v Leinster Rugby & Southern Kings v Leinster Rugby.
Winelands tour of Stellenbosch & Franschhoek with lunch included.
Robben Island Tour
Visit Table Mountain by Cable Car
Cheetah Experience in Bloemfontein.
Local guide and RTI staff member on tour throughout.

Only €2,495 pps - cheap at the price.

D4 cheap, yaw.

I thought it was yah.

You learn something new every day.
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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 8:41 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Because european competition generally means travelling outside of your country LD!

Why have you come to the conclusion that it's a problem for me though ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 9:15 am

Because it was an issue you raised. Here.

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 9:27 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Because it was an issue you raised. Here.

I raised the issue that if you wanted to follow your team, it's not cheap. I did not say that it was a problem for me though.

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 9:31 am

Over 10 years now since this:



Biggest home attendance for a Region?

Leicester's last winning semi in Europe.

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 9:37 am

Its better now, just need to sort the refereeing out, Pro14 and French refs are truly awful, do they know they can refer stuff to the TMO, for example neck rolls, forward passes etc.
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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 9:43 am

How could people miss an easy kick like that?
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Post by SecretFly on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 11:37 am

TightHEAD wrote:Its better now, just need to sort the refereeing out, Pro14 and French refs are truly awful, do they know they can refer stuff to the TMO, for example neck rolls, forward passes etc.  

Forward passes? laughing

There were an ocean of them at the World Cup....with slick sides gaining many advantages from them.

They're allowed now. Haven't you heard that? Along with crooked feed ins to a scrum and crooked throwing in line outs. It's all allowed now...... to *ahem* ... speed up the game or some such excuse.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 3:47 pm

So it's not an issue that's changed at all really then LD.

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Post by LordDowlais on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 3:52 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:So it's not an issue that's changed at all really then LD.

How have you managed to twist a lack of coverage of the competition in Wales, to me having an issue with traveling around Europe ?

Christ, I know you like to twist thing to suit your agenda, but this one is a beauty, even for you. Shocked

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 4:06 pm

Staggering. I was earlier asking if coverage was mainly a wales thing myself. Forgive me that I misunderstood your point about cost being linked to whether the new format is worse.

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Post by The Oracle on Thu 21 Nov 2019, 6:47 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:So it's not an issue that's changed at all really then LD.

How have you managed to twist a lack of coverage of the competition in Wales, to me having an issue with traveling around Europe ?

Christ, I know you like to twist thing to suit your agenda, but this one is a beauty, even for you. Shocked


It did come across that way in your posts in fairness.
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Post by LordDowlais on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 10:09 am

The new plans to re-vamp the Champions cup have been revealed.

Champions Cup revamp plans revealed The European Champions Cup could be trimmed to 18 teams under new proposals led by key stakeholders. According to The Guardian , organisers are pushing for a final decision within the next few weeks in order to guarantee the future to the tournament beyond 2022, which is when existing commercial and broadcasting rights expire. The current format involves 20 teams across five pools of four, but under the latest proposals being discussed, the competition could now switch to six pools of three, including the top six sides from the Premiership, Pro 14 and Top 14. There are even proposals for two-legged semi-finals as is the case in football's Champions League. wrote:

No agreement is yet in place over the plans, but they are reportedly attracting more support than a rival proposal to cut the competition further to 16 teams. European Professional Club Rugby's director general, Vincent Gaillard said: "We need to have some certainty for the direction of the tournament "We have received a very clear mandate from the board for the process to be concluded shortly. We are discussing whether there might be potential for change or improvement but if the desire is to stay with a 20-team Champions Cup that’s what we’ll do. We’re not in a bad place, we just need to project ourselves into the future." wrote:


So what do you all think ?


https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/rugby-morning-headlines-champions-cup-17431743

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Post by The Oracle on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 10:28 am

I remember a few years back we predicted that they would keep trimming and trimming, making it more and more 'elite' and more and more of a meritocracy, and I remember the jokes that it would eventually just be 4 teams playing each other 8 times!

Personally, pools of 3 doesn't sit well with me. Just seems like an odd number (literally!). I guess it would reduce the number of games being played, especially for the weaker teams in it, so good for player welfare. But for me the pools are the best bit! Wouldn't want to see them reduced.
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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 10:33 am

What do I think? Bloody Stupid - 6 pools of 3? Reduces the number of games by 2 - good but does not remove the number of weeks needed as with 1 team always missing a weekend you would still need weekend. 6 is still a dumb number of pools.

I prefer cutting to 16 teams but if that cannot happen then increase it to 8 pools of 3 with only the group winners making 1/4 finals.

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Post by RiscaGame on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 10:59 am

Decreasing the competition seems a little unnecessary, especially with that potential pool split. Though I suppose if there are more or better teams in the Challenge Cup, it might make them care about that a bit more and try to resolve the coverage issues (and therefore the lack of TMO issues).

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 12:30 pm

Reducing the number of weekends needed for the competition will be the goal.... take 2 weekends out..... for player welfare..... of course that's the reason...... nothing to do with putting extra teams into PRL league, PrO or Top14.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 12:33 pm

Whatever changes they want to make will get through, LNR, PRL and Regions combined will be too strong a voting block when their respective Unions will have to support their own when it boils down to the votes.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 12:54 pm

If it goes down to 16 from twenty who loses out, assuming that each league loses one place where does the additional place come from? Does the CC winner miss out on a place or the holders not automatically get in or (most likely) the PRO14 get the "we've got more viewers than you" argument so it's two places from your league?

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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 1:00 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:If it goes down to 16 from twenty who loses out, assuming that each league loses one place where does the additional place come from? Does the CC winner miss out on a place or the holders not automatically get in or (most likely) the PRO14 get the "we've got more viewers than you" argument so it's two places from your league?

My 16 would be the finalists from the previous years Champions and Challenge Cup, and the 4 highest place eligible teams from each league not already qualified.

I think that means we would have lost Bath, Sale, Ospreys and the loser of a playoff between Connacht and Benetton from this year's competition.


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Post by LondonTiger on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 1:01 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Reducing the number of weekends needed for the competition will be the goal.... take 2 weekends out..... for player welfare..... of course that's the reason...... nothing to do with putting extra teams into PRL league, PrO or Top14.

6 groups of 3 would still need the same number of weekends for pool stages as now, but each weekend would see one team rested.

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Post by Kingshu on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 2:39 pm

I can't see the Pro 14 teams wanting a reduction in teams but would in fact be pushing for the opposite and would prefer it increased to 24 again, and SA teams being allowed in, if they qualify on merit. 8 teams from each league.

For Pro 14 it would mean that SA are more likely to enter 2 teams from Super Rugby into the Pro 14 with Griquas and Pumas joining super rugby, giving SA the 8 top teams they appear to be aiing for. 2 big SA team joining the Pro 16 would certainly be a commercial bonus.

Of course there is the possibility of a British and Irish League as well, all a bit up in the air.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 2:42 pm

Can anyone remember the old set-up? I'm sure we had more teams?

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 3:20 pm

thebandwagonsociety wrote:Whatever changes they want to make will get through, LNR, PRL and Regions combined will be too strong a voting block when their respective Unions will have to support their own when it boils down to the votes.

Changing the current structure requires a unanimous vote apparently. It's a Guardian exclusive but one newspaper (Telegraph) additionally reported that they understand that the Irish provinces are happy with the current structure of 20 teams.

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Post by carpet baboon on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 3:27 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Whatever changes they want to make will get through, LNR, PRL and Regions combined will be too strong a voting block when their respective Unions will have to support their own when it boils down to the votes.

Changing the current structure requires a unanimous vote apparently.   It's a Guardian exclusive but one newspaper (Telegraph) additionally reported that they understand that the Irish provinces are happy with the current structure of 20 teams.


So is it going to be all our fault again?

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 3:32 pm

carpet baboon wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
thebandwagonsociety wrote:Whatever changes they want to make will get through, LNR, PRL and Regions combined will be too strong a voting block when their respective Unions will have to support their own when it boils down to the votes.

Changing the current structure requires a unanimous vote apparently.   It's a Guardian exclusive but one newspaper (Telegraph) additionally reported that they understand that the Irish provinces are happy with the current structure of 20 teams.


So is it going to be all our fault again?

Probably. Very Happy Very Happy Yahoo Yahoo
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Post by Recwatcher16 on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 4:01 pm

There have only been three winners since 2010, one side Toulon who bought in Test experience, one side Leinster who are a Test squad pretending to be a club, owned by a Union that controls three more and one side Saracens who are now victims of their own success in trying to keep hold of their players and have broken the domestic league rules.

Virtually no side wins this competition in its history, without a (preferably) current Test experienced flyhalf, so whether it is 16, 18 or 20 teams is pretty irrelevant.

There is no consistency with the referees with a huge number of poor choices made by refs - everyone can see it but it appears to be tolerated, with the consequence that test players are given far more latitude.

Previously there has been a lot of comment on the French teams not taking itthis cup competition seriously in preference for their league. It might be because of a world cup year, but the English clubs look like following suit.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 7:20 pm

The 3 team group seems to be all about we don't want to play fellow league teams.

This does not seem to be an issue for Pro 14 teams.

I would rather it go to 16 teams than 18.  Problem is you have certain teams that after 2/3 weeks have decieded to send second string teams.  That is what I want to see fixed.


Last edited by Brendan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 7:40 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Brendan on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 7:40 pm

One of the main issues with the new format is seeding is all on league and none on Europe.

It meant that  Racing, Munster and Sarries possibly 3 of the top 8 teams in the competition in one group.  If Lyon win the T 14 they would be on the same standing as Leinster and Exeter.

I think 50-75% of the seeding points should be on Euro Cup performances.  Means that teams will actually have something to play for.  It also fixes the problem of finishing second in you league can see you as a top seed with a 4th place team as second seed or be a second seed in the same group as a league champion.  How is that fair.

All leagues have place qualification so seeding is not affected (which was the old problem)

As an example
Seed 1 - Sarries, Leinster, Clermount, Racing, Munster (winners finalists, semi finalists last few years regularly)
Seed 2 - Exeter, Glasgow, Toulouse, Ulster, Montpellier/Northhampton
Seed 3 - North/Monty Ospreys Quinn's, Glaws, La Rochelle
Seed 4 - Lyon, Benetton, Connacht, Sale, Bath

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Post by quinsforever on Tue 17 Dec 2019, 9:55 pm

5 groups of 4 is a bit of an odd one really. an obvious compromise from where we were before...

i like 6 groups of 3 with 1 team from each league

and i like 4 groups of 4. but they had better get the seedings spot on including domestic and european results of there could be some tricky groups.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 11:44 am

quinsforever wrote:5 groups of 4 is a bit of an odd one really. an obvious compromise from where we were before...

i like 6 groups of 3 with 1 team from each league

and i like 4 groups of 4. but they had better get the seedings spot on including domestic and  european results of there could be some tricky groups.

One of the problems with groups of 3 is that group leaders will be more dominate not less.  Race for the two remaining quarter final spots would be determined by when teams got their rest weeks and if they got a 5th or 6th place team in their pool

This year would have seen the following seeds as the proposal is all about the league

Seed 1 Pro14 Leinster & Glasgow, Prem Sarries & Exeter, T14 Toulouse & Clermont
Seed 2 Pro14 Munster & Ulster,  Prem Glaws & Saints T14 Lyon & La Rochelle
Seed 3 Pro14 Connacht & Benneton Prem Quinns & Bath T14 Racing & Montpelier
Miss out Sale and Ospreys

Possible draws
A Sarries, Munster, Racing (winners would be ranked 6th for Quarters)
B Glasgow, Glaws, Montpellier

Seed 2 has 3 strong teams in Munster, Ulster and Saints and 3 weak teams (though saints might not be that strong)
Seed 3 has one strong team Racing and one good team in Connacht.  Not sure how the third seed teams outside those two wouldn't just throw all their games as they would have no hope of finishing in the top 2 second place spots and have other issues like getting back in next year.

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Post by lostinwales on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 12:14 pm

The thing about Rugby is that its very hard to generate genuine upsets. Matchups between teams on the same level are always interesting, but the prospects for teams from a lower tier beating a higher tier opponent are always remote.

Take the RWC and Japan's run was exceptional but very unusual. Generally its only individual upset games with little impact on who is going to win. Its the same for the European cup.

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Post by Pot Hale on Wed 18 Dec 2019, 3:35 pm

I’d have 24 teams in 8 pools of three.  

With cross pool games so there’s no rest week.  12 matches per week.  

The pool you’re paired with is done by a draw. Need some random element.

Winners of each pool go through.
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