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Pichot's Tilt at Power - Rugby's Future

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Post by 123456789. on Mon 13 Apr 2020, 8:32 pm

First topic message reminder :

Agustin Pichot has announced he's running for World Rugby Chairman. Unfortunately the only in-depth article I could find with relative ease was in the Mail, so apologies for that. With the lull in rugby now, it seems a sensible time to discuss what Pichot's bid means and rugby's future generally.

Daily Mail wrote:Pichot's six-point plan includes:

Addressing the challenges of COVID-19 as part of a wider alignment of the global playing calendar, creating a 'compelling narrative' for men and women in XVs and Sevens. Clubs, unions and private equity firms will be consulted about an annual tournament featuring 12 to 14 Tests per nation per year.
A democratic governance structure. A long-term goal of scrapping the weighted vote system that gives more power to wealthy nations, as well as revenue sharing.
A growing grassroots and youth game, including focus on developing emerging nations such as Brazil and Tunisia.
A safe and entertaining game, featuring a dedicated World Rugby Innovation Department to look at projects such as Hawkeye technology and a flagship rugby computer game.
Mandatory athletes' commissions to put players at the heart of decision making – with discussions about reducing wages to create sustainability.
A World Rugby management 'fit for purpose' – reviewing all internal structures to 'restore trust' in the governing body.
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-8211135/Argentinian-great-Agustin-Pichot-promises-revolution-challenges-World-Rugbys-job.html


Look like he's pretty set on the Nations Cup idea and breaking up the traditional rugby structures. I think one of the things people outside the Six Nations don't understand is that we don't want to change it because we actually quite like it. Equally running to scrap the voting rights of the old rugby nations doesn't work when the old rugby nations collectively hold 27 out of 50 votes. Nonetheless it is time for things to change. For rugby's commercial stability it's important to expand into new economies, it's interesting that Pichot has earmarked Brazil and Tunisia for this. Personally I am of the opinion that several nations give far more to our game than they get in return; primarily the Pacific Islanders, and that rugby will be a far more exciting sport if we can harness some of the world's bigger economies to create genuine rugby powers but that should not come at the expense of what we already love about our game. I love the Six Nations, not just because of the rugby but what it constitutes beyond rugby. As a Scotland fan I know that in a good year we could win the tournament, as a realist I know that we will never win a 12 team Nations league. Rugby needs to learn the lesson that bigger does not always constitute better.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 22 Apr 2020, 10:39 pm

During the six nations the smaller nations (I assume you mean the B 6 Nations or do you mean level 6 of European Rugby which are Slovakia, Estonia, Belarus and Montenegro ranked 39-42 in Europe) play in the Rugby European International Championship which has been around since 1936.  There are 2 divisions of 6, then there are 2 divisions of 10 divided into North and South and then finally the Development division which is the 4 teams listed.  There is also good movement between divisions.  Fans from those nations often give out that the competitions should be better run and developed more (but then that's most of Rugby)

During the AIs these nations also play their home tests against other T2 nations and in the Summer they tour the rest of the world T2 nations.  Should they give up home games to play T1 nations as Georgia had to do in the last WC cycle because i assume the only nations that would play them were european nations.  For some reason the USA, Samoa and Tonga deserve T1 games (again to european nations) but Georgia doesn't not even against Argentina

For the European Club cups the Russian teams would have received the same fee as everyone else.  European Club rugby run the semi and final of both competitions and give the participating teams a fee or free tickets to sell I would assume.  The third teir of European Rugby is used as a development pan European tournament to get into the challange cup.  Some countries choose not to paricipate

If you mean the small nations of the 6 Nations I assume a base equal share.  Home teams keep the gate receipts as far as I know

When half the teams in the top 10, 20 and 30 are European why must the 6 Nations take care of them plus T2 nations from the rest of the world.  Every summer and autumn the 6 Nations are off playing the PIs, USA, Canada, Japan and whoever else WR feel they should help out.  The RC not so much when it comes to tests unless it's WC warm ups.  That doesn't seem fair. Even teams like Fiji play more European T1 nations than T2 European nations.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 22 Apr 2020, 10:52 pm

Part of the problem is up until about 5 years ago New Zealand Austrilia and South Africa viewed Ireland Scotland Wales and Italy as T2 nations so playing them was viewed as helping out the weaker nations.  Now that all 4 of them are in much better financial health due to restructuring and making hard choices over the professional game they are now seen as equals in terms of money.

We all know that the big 3 SH nations wouldn't agree to playing any of the European T2 countries during the AIs even though those nations are as good as the other T2s that the 6N must play in the summer and AIs

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Post by Old Man on Wed 22 Apr 2020, 11:31 pm

I am not suggesting anything.

I am certainly not suggesting the Six Nations teams must subsidise the B6 nations.

I am trying to establish whether Scotland, Ireland, Wales and Italy are being subsidized by England and France (mainly tv revenue) as they bring in the big bucks.

Suggesting the SH until recently (five years you mention) saw Ireland, Wales and Scotland as tier 2 nations is simply just wrong.

For the sake of this debate I am not concerning myself with those teams outside the top ten as that is a totally different conversation alltogether.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 12:09 am

I am not sure if the likes of England and France subsidise Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Italy directly. It is a fact that the combined population of Scotland, Wales and Ireland is about a sixth of that of England and France individually. However, because Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland all come under one political unit I expect their TV rights come under one umbrella of which England makes up the majority in terms of population. France and Ireland are different stories. However the Six Nations is so solidly one entity that its worth in terms of sponsorship and TV rights is hard to boil down to individual figures. The relationships between the nations within the tournament are so deep rooted and hard boiled that individual nations worth is probably approximately equal. For example, when England play Wales there's a population ratio of 19:1. Obviously in terms of contribution from fans English fans pay far more in however they do so because of the rivalry and history with Wales. In order to get maximum yield from their own countries the large countries need the small countries. The Six Nations does well in the terms of less is more. England and Scotland play for the Calcutta Cup, Australia and New Zealand play for the Bledisloe. In Scotland we know that England are almost always going to be the favourites but we also know that in a one off game at Murrayfield there is always a chance, the stakes are high because it's just one game. It does not look likely that Australia will overturn New Zealand in a series anytime soon. If the Bledisloe Cup is a one off game played in Australia within a wider context, I'd be surprised if it didn't take on added importance.
It seems that in rugby currently there is Europe and there is South Africa that have the money and the product. The thing is that, in actuality, Japan may offer the solution to the Southern Hemisphere problem. Include Fiji and you have a Six team Championship. It would dilute the quality on show to an extent, but it would bring in the Japanese market. Including Fiji would bring their brand in and provide a game in which Japan could always compete. In terms of big games it would perhaps bring an added intensity to the matches by making them less common. In terms of a big money, high quality match. You could add in a grand-final between the top two each year. Almost guaranteeing a winner takes all between two of South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. It would mean six rounds per year but more matches in total to sell and a big finale to go with it.

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Post by tigertattie on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 12:26 pm

Couple of things to point out

1. Scotland, wales and Ireland were in the 6/5/4 nations tournament before tv rights were a thing.

2. England has the bigger population but England fans wouldn’t tune in to watch England playing England. They tune in to watch England playing Scotland or wales or Ireland. Without the other team, England don’t have a game to play.

This is where England got it horribly wrong when they pulled their games from the beeb and went to sky for a couple of years. They wanted the bigger slice of the pie as they were the bigger nation. The lesser populated nations then said to get that nonsense sorted or we’re off and then there’s no tv viewers.
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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 12:28 pm

tigertattie wrote:Couple of things to point out

1. Scotland, wales and Ireland were in the 6/5/4 nations tournament before tv rights were a thing.

2. England has the bigger population but England fans wouldn’t tune in to watch England playing England. They tune in to watch England playing Scotland or wales or Ireland. Without the other team, England don’t have a game to play.

This is where England got it horribly wrong when they pulled their games from the beeb and went to sky for a couple of years. They wanted the bigger slice of the pie as they were the bigger nation. The lesser populated nations then said to get that nonsense sorted or we’re off and then there’s no tv viewers.

So the matter of the fact is there is always some form of cross subsidization, regardless of the tournament.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 1:36 pm

I'm struggling with what you mean by "cross subsidisation" ? It takes two to have a game whether that's a rugby international or a kick about in the park.
If you're implying that England because they are "Bigger" than Ireland, Wales or Scotland, generate more TV revenue, then I'm afraid you're wrong - the 6Ns is covered by the BBC and ITV who are UK national broadcasters, meaning that they are just as obliged to show the other three "home" nations therefore the deal and the money reflect that coverage.
The 6 nations as a whole could probably make more money from selling the rights to SKY or BT but the consencus at present is that the wider profile for the game - it's a really big deal for TV in the UK and gets lots of otherwise "non rugby" viewers to tune in and that's worth more than the extra TV revenue.
Of course as/if/when it does go behind a paywall and more money comes in we can expect Pichot to try and extract some of that as well !
The short answer to this whole thing is "what is World Rugby for?"
It's remit should be to look after the laws, run the RWC, ensure good governance at every level in the game and to distribute the funding it has to the developing nations.
It's remit is not to make up additional competitions that no one apart from them want, to bring it more money and influence and become a "poor man's FIFA".

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 1:47 pm

Old Man wrote:England and France need to reduce salaries and numbers of games played during the Top 14 and Gallagher Premiership.

This isn’t soccer, rugby players are at higher risk for muscle fatigue due to hard hits and recovery time.

I can see an argument for this happening with regard to games played...to a point. But I think I addressed the fundamental issue why salaries are only going one way - and that's up, rapidly. There's no way you can do anymore than the present system does: which is to impose salary caps within leagues, imposed on clubs and owners, that guarantees some sort of equity between the lowest paid players in a squad and the highest, and the poorest clubs in a competition and the wealthiest. Of course Saracens flouting these rules doesn't help, nor does the French clubs' insistence on so many caveats and exceptions which allows them to outprice anyone else in the world, but it's a pretty major step in curtailing the desire to 'grow' the game by a few individuals: namely wealthy owners, sponsors etc. Players like Itoje, Farrell and the like aren't going to be arguing for their pay to be capped in order for the Kiwis to stop losing players (or the South Africans).

At the heart of it, this is what the SH countries pushed for. You wanted professionalism...well, this is it. This is the stark reality of neoliberal market economics - which were very much around in the 80s and 90s when you pushed for the game to go pro - dictating the game.

And that circles right back to the problem of playing fewer games - the Premiership and its stakeholders aren't going to argue for that in any shape or form. Their allegiance is to the Premiership and the Premiership alone (unless you're McCafferty, hence my worries over CVC's hand pulling the strings of the game) - not to tier 2, and certainly not to SANZAAR. Why would they agree to a change that exponentially punished their competition, its importance, the money it could attract etc? That's just not going to happen.

Again, it comes back to the two choices - do you cut the head off the most successful parts of the game and share the spoils out, with necessarily mixed results (I'd imagine serious invest in the Pacific Islands would show minimal returns, for instance - the issue there isn't just monetary, it goes far deeper than that, and arguably the system as it is now, with money going to individuals and back to their families, is better than giving money to fundamentally corrupt organisations.)? Or do you allow the game to grow - let it compete in the world of sport, as well as the world of entertainment, and let it push out through the Olympics, the 7s, and the World Cup in to territories like the US, Asia, Africa etc. where it isn't well known, with the trickle down approach ensuring that those who want to compete (by stumping up the money) will do so, while WR helps those small, emerging nations.

Your solution seems to be designed to protect SA - and I get that, obviously that's where your heart and concern lies. But it's speaking for all of rugby: 'make' the English and French pay players less. I just can't see that happening, nor would I want them to. Wales, for instance, has bent over backwards just to survive and compete as an international team in the last 20-30 years. From the shamateurism era, through to the regions - we've seen our club game decimated, our regions were once some of the best in the UK (the Scarlets and Ospreys in the 2000s) and now in the 2010s, bar a brief 2-3 years for the Scarlets, are second rate because the French and English and Irish have simply outspent us. So we consolidated, focused on what mattered - the international game - and put money in to getting a coach like Gatland, ensuring the national stadium was a world leading venue for both rugby and other sport (boxing, football) and entertainment (music concerts). That's helped fund the game and keep the rest of it alive in a balance that no-one is delighted about - you'll find many posters on these boards, perhaps less so these days, who still pine for the era where village and town rugby was the pinnacle of the sport, and misunderstanding how times have well and truly moved on and there is no going back.

I would say there's no going back to national tournaments, either, as the pinnacle of the sport in each country. The world is increasingly multinational. Money will decide how the game is governed and structured, that much is for certain: the players will play where they can earn the most money. Why settle for £120k a year (a good wage in most people's book) in a short career, when you can earn £600k a year? The difference that money brings - to your village back home if you're Fijian, or your family and future if you're in a urbanised country in the NH or SH - is massive. The pull of national tournaments, and what they mean to players but more importantly fans, aren't strong enough to outcompete the pull of sponsorship money, which will push the game towards the biggest viewing (and spending) market possible. Keep national tournaments, of course, they're the lifeblood of the game. But separating the sport in to 'professional national leagues' and 'semi-pro or amateur national leagues' you miss the point. For the most part, the nations with national leagues are behind the development curve - not ahead of it. There's no scalability in Georgia or Argentina, just as there wasn't in Ireland or Wales, hence the latter joining in not just a cross-border competition, but a cross-club competition: we went regional just to survive.

It's tough, but SA have still managed to win a RWC within the current system, which shows how Rassie's openness to the outside world and European rugby - where NZ stuck their head in the sand - was a key point of difference for them, and has showed you can still be successful even in this imperfect system.

What I would do is look to tighten the qualification rules. Let's see how 5 years go, but I'd rather see an end to the likes of CJ Stander and Brad Barritt turning out for European teams. They're born, raised, but more importantly trained in SA. There's ambiguity over players like Manu Tuilagi or Dylan Hartley, but when they're clearly 'of' a nation, you don't want to see them playing for another country. If the qualification laws are tight, then SA and the rest of SANZAAR will always be competitive - because it means, even if their domestic rugby, or even their regional, cross-border rugby is weak, their international teams will be strong. Because you produce the best players. Same goes for Fiji and why it's of vital importance WR doesn't stay blind to the reality of Frenh poaching of the PIs.

It's about balance, after all. If SA want to compete at regional/Super rugby level, their best option is probably to join Europe for good, get the sweet, sweet sponsorship money, and ensure they don't lose all their best coaches/players to other clubs, while allowing them to gain other experiences overseas. SA are well placed in all of this due to its longitude, be thankful for that - I'd be much less happy (and much more worried, hence the noises coming from those countries) if I were in NZ or Oz, where the time difference means they're going to have to go it alone, probably teaming up with Japan. We could end up with 3 major longitudinal comps - East with Asia and Australasia; Central with Europe and Africa; and West with the Americas.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 1:49 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:I'm struggling with what you mean by "cross subsidisation" ? It takes two to have a game whether that's a rugby international or a kick about in the park.
If you're implying that England because they are "Bigger" than Ireland, Wales or Scotland, generate more TV revenue, then I'm afraid you're wrong - the 6Ns is covered by the BBC and ITV who are UK national broadcasters, meaning that they are just as obliged to show the other three "home" nations therefore the deal and the money reflect that coverage.
The 6 nations as a whole could probably make more money from selling the rights to SKY or BT but the consencus at present is that the wider profile for the game - it's a really big deal for TV in the UK and gets lots of otherwise "non rugby" viewers to tune in and that's worth more than the extra TV revenue.
Of course as/if/when it does go behind a paywall and more money comes in we can expect Pichot to try and extract some of that as well !
The short answer to this whole thing is "what is World Rugby for?"
It's remit should be to look after the laws, run the RWC, ensure good governance at every level in the game and to distribute the funding it has to the developing nations.
It's remit is not to make up additional competitions that no one apart from them want, to bring it more money and influence and become a "poor man's FIFA".

Cross subsidisation is when the revenue is shared equally regardless of who brings in the most tv revenue. That is how SANZAAR works. SA subsidises the rest

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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 1:52 pm

At the heart of it, this is what the SH countries pushed for. You wanted professionalism...well, this is it

That is such a nonsense comment.

Not even worth debating, everyone benefitted from professional rugby, it is the way of modern sport.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 1:58 pm

'make' the English and French pay players less. I just can't see that happening, nor would I want them to.

Reducing player salaries speaks to the sustainability of the leagues, Clubs are stretched to the limit financially

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:00 pm

You've conveniently picked the most throwaway - comment to justify 'ignoring' the rest.

You must know what I've said makes sense. There's no future in retro-nationalism.

The 3 longitudinal competitions - Asia/Oceania; Europe/Africa; Americas - also opens the door for a truly global regional-club style competition that could surpass Super Rugby and the Champions Cup by the simple virtue of pitting the best SH and NH players against each other in a way we've never really seen. I for one would love to see it, and the sponsorship money would also see some trickle down to the Americas (if it were a group stage comp, initially only the Jaguares would be competitive) and the other constitutent nations, like the PIs, if the funding model was correct. Of course the Champions Cup would fight it to the death, but I can see that being the future.

But yeah, if you want to just focus on a throwaway comment, feel free.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:01 pm

Old Man wrote:'make' the English and French pay players less. I just can't see that happening, nor would I want them to.

Reducing player salaries speaks to the sustainability of the leagues, Clubs are stretched to the limit financially

Yep, but that's the world we live in. Countries operate on far less 'sustainable' economic systems, which will no doubt reach a head in the next 30-60 years when the fuel:environment:population:living standard issue reaches a crucial point. But rugby is a baby in professional sporting terms. It has absolutely massive growth potential. You're arguing for Communism, really, which is quite surprising Biltong - never really thought you'd be down for that sort of thing?

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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:04 pm

Not focusing on a throw away comment, it has come up before, almost like a well you made your bed no lie in it.

Anyway, you are covering a whole lot in that post, I am trying to “focus” on the important bits.

I did not say everyone must go domestic.

If you read my comments you will see the only change I suggested was the Pro 14 must kick SA out, other than that Europe to remain as it is.

My suggestions were to the SH where Super rugby is not working.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:06 pm

le_chat wrote:
Old Man wrote:'make' the English and French pay players less. I just can't see that happening, nor would I want them to.

Reducing player salaries speaks to the sustainability of the leagues, Clubs are stretched to the limit financially

Yep, but that's the world we live in. Countries operate on far less 'sustainable' economic systems, which will no doubt reach a head in the next 30-60 years when the fuel:environment:population:living standard issue reaches a crucial point. But rugby is a baby in professional sporting terms. It has absolutely massive growth potential. You're arguing for Communism, really, which is quite surprising Biltong - never really thought you'd be down for that sort of thing?

Not communism, but sustainability within your financial boundaries. If a club only has three million pounds revenue, it should not spend more than they earn. That is the simplest form of sustaining a business.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:06 pm

I saw on twitter that apparently Pichot and Beaumont had 23 votes each, with only 5 unions left to vote. Obviously those unions could include 4 of the home nations, or they could be fringe unions who could be swayed by a bit of...ahem...persuasion. But it does seem Pichot has his support within the rugby community. He hasn't simply been dismissed out of hand. He's clearly done a good ambassadorial job over the last 5-10 years, shaking the correct hands, promising the right things to the right people.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:17 pm

...having some good ideas.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:32 pm

Old Man wrote:Not focusing on a throw away comment, it has come up before, almost like a well you made your bed no lie in it.

Anyway, you are covering a whole lot in that post, I am trying to “focus” on the important bits.

I did not say everyone must go domestic.

If you read my comments you will see the only change I suggested was the Pro 14 must kick SA out, other than that Europe to remain as it is.

My suggestions were to the SH where Super rugby is not working.

I do think there's a lack of self-awareness among the big SH 3 which, yes, does deserve the 'you made your bed' response from time to time. Obviously the media in your countries (particularly NZ, awful) spin out some absolutely woeful 'death to America' - errrr - 'down with the 6 Nations' nonsense which paints us as uniquely bad, and you as uniquely punished. Because you produce the most talented players, for the most part, there's a real sense of grievance that the only thing stopping you from ruling the world is the voting habits and money of the 6Ns...when really, it's just the French, English, and sort-of the Irish who have the money to influence the SH game in any sort of way. Those are the nations' clubs who've weakened SH rugby. As for the the 6Ns countries, they votes for what benefits them...surprise, surprise. Honestly, more fool the SH for taking so long to get Argentina on side where the 5Ns enfranchised Italy.

The issue is NZ and Oz, less so SA, are wealthy, developed nations. Of course you're not going to get much sympathy. Rugby is weak in Australia because two other rugby-football codes are bigger than it, and they've done a horrible job in running Union, particularly in the last few years. Now Fiji, Samoa, Kenya etc? Yep, we're going to care about those countries because they're miles away from competing, have a clear talent, dedication, and desire to improve, and would show big gains with well-targeted money and resources that won't be a huge drain on the pinnacle of the sport. It is clear what, how, and why you'd support emerging tier 2 and tier 3 nations: to support the tier 1 nations...just...it doesn't make any sort of sense, yet the narrative you'll hear in NZ is based on the marrying together of NZ's and Samoa/Fiji/Tonga's futures and power, based on a mutual suppression and exploitation by the NH. And, by consequence, the solution is also a mutually beneficial one: which is nonsense. What NZ needs to become the biggest/wealthiest/most competitive nation across the board, is vastly different to will make the PIs more competitive. It's fundamentally dishonest and borderline exploitative by NZ, both its media and its stakeholders, to co-opt the goodwill and cultural and familial links of the PIs in this way: they're being told the solution to their problems is cutting the head off the evil Yankee snake 6 Nations' countries, when it's just not true. As I said above, I can see it being more beneficial to those countries - economically and in terms of the sport - by paying them excellent wages in the club game rather than demanding they earn 20% of that wage due to an arbitrary anti-competition law designed to keep NZ players in NZ. The counterbalance to this is stopping the French setting up 'systems' and contacts down there to pull talent from the Islands, up to club academies in France, solely to discard them after treating them like meat: which is why it's important to protect them, ensure French sort their merde out with regulation, and bolster the 5 year residency law if necessary. However, I see Kiwi poaching from the Islands in a similar sort of light - not as bad, but not exactly night and day difference. So yeah, I have very little time for this whining because it's based on fundamentally incorrect assessments right across the board, and ignores/justifies some exploitative and unfair practise of its own.

I know less of the situation - media or on the ground - in SA, so forgive me for using NZ as an example, but I'd gladly learn/love to hear from you what precisely the problems are.

The SANZAR whining - and it does get in to that territory after a while, it has become political in that way having lost all sense of perspective, as a way for the press (particularly NZ) to 'sell' a narrative to their viewers/buyers - is hard to put up with because it's a bit like that person in a fight who, once they're pinned down, cries foul, only to start swinging the moment the other person shows them a helping hand.

The SH and NH are in competition with each other. It's that simple. In rugby terms, we're really not miles away from one another - much less so than, say, Kenya or Georgia or Uruguay or Tonga is to Wales, Scotland, France, or Italy. Why *should* we do more than we're currently doing? There's no financial imperative other than to continue growing the game, and to ensure everyone stays afloat. That's happening. SA and NZ have shared the last 4 WCs between them. Australia, despite their game seemingly collapsing, have finished QFs, 3rd, 2nd, QFs since 2003. That's better than any NH team in that same time - only England are on par, with two 2nds and one group stage finish.

SA needs to find a sustainable model, I agree, and seemingly that's what the Pro14 venture is looking at: can SA make the leap to European rugby as/when Super Rugby dies? For the time being, NH rugby is content to fund the pinnacle of the sport from monetary terms by driving revenue through the vast personal wealth of a few commited individuals, but more importantly by seeking out and constructing a viable business around the sport (journalism/boradcasting, digital analytics, sports science, sports ground as community hubs i.e. venues/spas/hotels, links to research and academic/school structures, big brand sportswear companies finding rugby 'stars' akin to LeBron James, Messi, Federer etc.), and also through sponsorship from the multinational businesses who wish to be associated with the game: just look at the RWC and Lions sponsors to see where rugby is, and where it can grow. Just look how the Japanese economy - massive compared to any European nation on its own, let's not forget, with far more Japan-based capital in the form of manufacturing - has grown the game in the last decade with Canon, Mitsubishi, Taisho and the rest putting their money behind the 2019 RWC. DHL is big in SA in this manner, no? Not SA'n, but that's obviously a start for you - but you cannot beat Europe, or Japan or the USA, in terms of funding, which is why you can't return to a solely national club rugby comp without shooting yourself in the foot. You can't just 'ask' the wealthier countries in the world to stop spending money. That's just...I don't even know. I'd call it a pipe dream, but it's worse than that. It's just illogical.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:52 pm

Brendan wrote:Problem with the world league is it would basically ringfence T1 forever.

I think you've nailed this in one sentence. Pichot is dangerous because he purports to argue for the little guy, but - much like NZ with the Islands - is quite clearly exploiting their goodwill, hopes, and even desperation for the sake of cutting down Europe (for poaching players, which I can understand the grievance with, I/many others don't want to see this) for the sake of Argentina, his own country with its uber-nationalist culture, and NZ have always happily stood alongside him because domination of rugby means so much to them (again, national/cultural reasons) and they don't want to see Europe beating them off the field eventually become beating them on the field.

I think the shock many Kiwis felt after getting thumped by England was a wake up call given there was so much chat about a 'threepeat' - both to start panicking and really throwing their lot behind someone like Pichot, but for the more sensible out there, seeing what SA did with Rassie and all their European-based players. that you can't remain insular and hope to win the world cup without branching out. Taking NH coaches and players, particularly with regard to things like set piece, defence, conditioning, analysis etc. would make NZ much better. I mean the sole try they conceded against England was a result of just not doing any analysis work on England - they allowed England to do almost exactly what they had been doing for the last 2 years, score a 'set piece try' from the kick off. They gave them almost exactly the position they scored from against Ireland earlier that year. As ever, the biggest culprit when it comes to mistakes is often ourselves, and the reason NZ lost the RWC in Japan - when they were the best of probably only 3 serious contenders who could manage the demands of the tournament - was themselves and Steve Hansen's approach to coaching. Similar thing happened 2 years earlier with the Lions. I think accepting that the NH has surpassed the SH in some ways - often off the field, because we're not talking about talent and competitiveness in the grassroots, the SH is clearly the best there - is what helped SA win the RWC. Rassie's openness to travel, what he learned in Munster, made a difference. This is the future of the sport.

Anyway, getting off track, but yeah, that is exactly my fear as well, that tier 2 will simply be cut off - again, back to 2 solutions, trickle down economics or communism. Neither is perfect, but I'd choose growing the game over the latter form of Pichot's approach, with its pretty clear motives. Some of what he says is spot on though. From the commercial side, a computer game is absolutely crucial to breaking in to the American market, and perhaps expanding the game in Japan once its support starts to plateau.

The Nations League basically sounds like Super Rugby but for international teams. The exact failings of Super Rugby will likely be replicated by the Nations League if it ever went ahead. I am hoping, as mentioned over the page, that Beaumont's adoption of it as a manifesto point is simply tactical - he knows the 6Ns won't back it, which would kill it. You can't just keep adding to the Nations League if, say, there are 4-5 tier 2 nations who are just as good as the bottom of the tier 1 teams. It just makes no sense. It's a short term 'solution' to trying to curtail European growth and the game's expansion, in order to save other tier 1 nations by using tier 2 support.


Last edited by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:56 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Old Man on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 2:54 pm

Firstly I don’t see how South African franchises will fit into the Pro14, if the Pro14 expands to Pro 18 to accommodate South African teams then we have exactly the same convoluted mess we now have with Super Rugby, with a bit more money.

Hence why I say we must rebuild our Currie Cup. Currently we have something like 900 professionally paid rugby players, when you consider that then the redistribution of revenue is necessary to focus it in the right areas.

I know SARU is reducing the number of contracted professionals accross the board, even with the Springboks there are now only around 20 contracted Springboks.

If SARU rebuild the Currie Cup and pay the players what they can afford accross 14 provinces then it might not be close to competitive with Europe, but for now I think it is more important to establish a base liine that can develop than just continuing on the same road to nowhere.

If SA is involved in Europe I can only see it work as part of the European Cup.

Have Five teams qualify , one addition, to each pool.

We will only know the potential revenue of our own 14 team currie cup if we give it a chance to show its potential.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:04 pm

Its Beaumont who wants the nations league as well miaow.

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Post by TightHEAD on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:12 pm

Yahoo Bill all the way Yahoo
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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:15 pm

Thought you were against the nations league tight. Why the change of heart?

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:15 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Its Beaumont who wants the nations league as well miaow.

"I am hoping, as mentioned over the page, that Beaumont's adoption of it as a manifesto point is simply tactical - he knows the 6Ns won't back it, which would kill it. "

I did edit it in, in all fairness, but that's what I said above ^^.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:25 pm

Cheers. It's when you complain of Pichot being 'dangerous' due to it. The balance being both must be dangerous.

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Post by Irish Londoner on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:29 pm

Old Man wrote:At the heart of it, this is what the SH countries pushed for. You wanted professionalism...well, this is it

That is such a nonsense comment.

Not even worth debating, everyone benefitted from professional rugby, it is the way of modern sport.

It's anything but, the NH sides were bushwhacked into professionalism by the SH teams/unions and for a good few years the twists and turns caused a lot of heartache in NH rugby - the demeaning of the club game in Ireland, Wales and Scotland - Ireland is lucky that through an accident of history it was fairly easy to transpose club loyalty to the provincial sides, but if you look at the problems Wales and to some extent Scotland has had - think of the whole "regions" issue in Wales - and it's a wonder Welsh rugby survived professionalism at all. Similarly the (partially self induced) failure of the RFU to grasp what professionalism meant sowed the seeds of the still ongoing "club v country" issues that go on to this day.

Of course the game was eventually going to go professional but you underestimate the resentment it caused for a lot of "rugby people" and there is (rightly or wrongly) a strong sense in the NH home countries that any complaints from the SH T1 countries at this point are just whinges that the SH wanted professionalism but are now unhappy that the NH have made a better fist of it so want bailing out.

As posted by Brendan, no one in World Rugby or the SH unions seemed hugely bothered that Scottish Rugby nearly went to the wall paying for the redevelopment of Murrayfield or that Wales and Scotland both had to reduce the number of professional teams as they couldn't afford them, or the ownership shenanigans in England that brought a club like Richmond to its knees.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 3:54 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:Cheers. It's when you complain of Pichot being 'dangerous' due to it. The balance being both must be dangerous.

He is dangerous.

The NH brings far more money to the tier 2 nations via a. being more commercially successful, therefore expanding rugby's finances far better than the SH, and b. by actually playing against them in profit-making AIs (that probably should see more % go to some of the smaller nations, but is still more than the SANZAAR nations are giving them, because they don't play them). The Maori All Blacks played Samoa last year, in Samoa. When was the last time they did that despite being on their relative doorstep, but more importantly, having pandered to the Islanders as if they have their best interests at heart for years? Genuinely, I'm not sure: and I have little doubt the MABs game was arranged solely so they could hold it up as evidence they care about Samoa i.e. to get Union support for the NZRU when it comes to votes like this. Wales, by contrast, toured there in 2017 - yes, in part due to the Lions, but they still actually toured there, and of course host them fairly regularly at the Millennium Stadium. The rest of the NH is in a similar position: Scotland went to Georgia, Ireland have been to the US (less altruistic than most, but still).

Pichot is dangerous because, in spite of the NH being clearly better for tier 2 countries if you compare SH to NH, he - and his supporters, like NZ - are promising these countries a fantasy above and beyond what the NH giants are producing as a means of getting them onside, in order to chop down the 6Ns, with the desired outcome being maintaining the SANZAAR dominance of the game. But it is pure fantasy, it cannot happen, and it is designed to either cause a rupture in the game that could destroy it - labelling the NH as money grabbing and solely self-interested, which is the epitome of irony - or to kill its growth in order to maintain SH control and power, which threatens killing it anyway as other sports outcompete rugby on a global scale.

I would assume, but have no way of proving this, that Beaumont has adopted the Nations League idea to try and keep himself in power at the last minute, having realised Pichot stood a genuine chance having entered at the last minute when the Argentinian realised he had a genuine chance of winning. It appears that the unions haven't really bought Beaumont's stance, because the voting is - or was - so tight, with 23 votes apiece. Who knows, but I would think Beaumont is sensible enough to realise that growing the game cannot be solved by Pichot's pipe dream, yet changes do need to occur, and it's far better than he is in charge and puts some pressure on the 6Ns to change, instead of remaining rigid and allowing an ideological firebrand like Pichot in at the helm who would be a total liability, if only because we know about the antipathy he feels for the 6Ns and its growth.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:00 pm

Well beaumont himself has been a big supporter of the nations league onviously:more likely hes telling the truth that the cv outbreak gives him another chance at getting it passed?

I find this bit interesting 'Pichot is dangerous because, in spite of the NH being clearly better for tier 2 countries if you compare SH to NH, he - and his supporters, like NZ - are promising these countries a fantasy above and beyond what the NH giants are producing as a means of getting them onside, in order to chop down the 6Ns, with the desired outcome being maintaining the SANZAAR dominance of the game. But it is pure fantasy, it cannot happen, and it is designed to either cause a rupture in the game that could destroy it - labelling the NH as money grabbing and solely self-interested, which is the epitome of irony - or to kill its growth in order to maintain SH control and power, which threatens killing it anyway as other sports outcompete rugby on a global scale.'
What's Pichot said or promised whoch leads you down that route?

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:02 pm

I would also guess that Pichot is backed by money and power in the big 3 countries, particularly NZ - it's a lot easier to sell the idea of change coming from an Argentinian, than it would be coming from a Kiwi, Saffer, or Aussie. In the long term I would imagine the net outcome would be the same, but from a purely political and PR point of view, Pichot is far better than anything the 3 big SANZAR countries could produce. He's just about able to dupe the European press in to believing him, because Argentina are an also-ran in tier 1 terms. It would be a lot, lot easier to kill the political ambitions of a similar firebrand were he a Kiwi.

I think I've more than explained how and why I think Pichot is dangerous above in my posts, but the most obvious point is leaving the 'redistribution of 6Ns funding' deliberately vague is a dangerous signal, allied to his longstanding grievance with these nations, that he intends to simply curtail our financial and rugby success first and foremost for the sake of Argentina, NZ, and then some ill-spent, short-lived funding getting thrown to the tier 2 as a thank you. Dangerous ideologue.

It seems you have 'drunk the Kool Aid', 7.5, in not realising from where and why Pichot is standing for election.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:16 pm

tigertattie wrote:This is where England got it horribly wrong when they pulled their games from the beeb and went to sky for a couple of years. They wanted the bigger slice of the pie as they were the bigger nation. The lesser populated nations then said to get that nonsense sorted or we’re off and then there’s no tv viewers.

Something we're about to be tested again, as apparently the Six Nations is off to Sky Sports.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:22 pm

So not really anything hes said he wants miaow and more a fear that we in the 6 nations may not get everything our own way. Fair enough.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:33 pm

No, I mean what I said, not what you've said I've said. It's quite simple.

It seems deciphering political intentions from utterances and actions isn't really your forte so maybe not the best thread for you?

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:36 pm

I do think it's best to not read too readily between the lines as youre obviously coming from a position of give beaumont a pass for the same things you describe pichot as dangerous for.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:53 pm

It's based on evidence of past behaviour, voiced intentions, and past experience. Beaumont has done the job in a fitting, not-overly-intrusive manner. He gets the 'incumbent privilege' of being judged on his actions in the job, which we cannot offer to Pichot. Either way, Beaumont's absorption of the Nations League sounds like classic political maneuvering which hasn't been all that effective given the voting is so tight.

https://twitter.com/FoyChris/status/1252709636349865984

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 4:57 pm

So there's a strong likelihood we'll end up with a nations league.

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Post by le_chat on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 5:04 pm

Pichot's Tilt at Power - Rugby's Future - Page 3 Tenor

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 5:11 pm

Both guys want it. You'll imagine they'll get it through now.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 6:54 pm

Ultimately it doesn't really matter whether the President wants a Nations league or not. If the Six Nations don't want it then it will not happen. It really is that simple. If they want the European Nations to be the cash cow of a rugby revolution they have little recourse if the European Nations said no. They can't expel six of the top 12 Nations. In fact if they did I think it would be the NH that endured better.

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Post by 123456789. on Thu 23 Apr 2020, 7:25 pm

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/provincial/108123499/sir-john-kirwans-big-idea-for-nz-rugby-bring-back-the-tribalism

Came across this article - John Kirwan basically arguing that New Zealand and Australia should go to a 20 team joint league with their traditional provinces. 14 New Zealanders and 6 Australian, with the South Africans returning to the Currie Cup and the Japanese maintaining their current league. I am not sure where the Argies fit in with all of this, they'd probably be lumped in with the South Africans. I think he wanted two Islander teams in there too. With a cross border Heineken Cup style competition. If they were smart the big three would operate on the basis that you are eligible for selection as long as you play in the SH comp. That way the standard of the Japanese teams would rise to make the competition more competitive.

The wider point I am making is that World Rugby's modus operandi seems to be that whenever things get sticky to bring things further from the grass roots and the fans. The thing is that each time they take it a step away from the fans before they probably cut off 10% of the support. I think Rugby should return to closer leagues with proper rivalries. Let's have the cross border games as genuinely special occasions.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 12:09 am

One of the main flaws of Super Rugby is it ties countries domestic rugby together.  It means none of the three nations can really adjust their domestic situations because it would affect others.

The reason for the axing of the Cheetahs and Kings was not because South Africa wanted to (as they made sure not only they but potentially two more teams would have a place to play in the Pro14) but because Australia wanted to cut a team and wanted to blame SANZAR rather than RA.  I think part of the deal was the Sunwolves getting axed as RA wanted them but the SA teams didn't.

New Zealand can't cut a team (which they need to because they can't afford 5 teams) when 4 of the 5 teams are making the playoffs and that 5th team is compeditive it's hard to justify.

I also don't get the issue with France "raiding" the PIs for players.  If it wasn't them either it would be SR, Japan or worse yet no one.  These people want to play rugby and have no hope of doing that in the PIs.  Yes there needs to be rules but why disregard players from there.  WR might be better setting up their own academies and presenting future stars to the rich leagues to sign up.

It is a pipe dream that someone is going to pay WR more for each nation in the nation's league than the amount currently earned by either England or France from international tests which is what they were offering (everyone would make money)  The 6 Nations know this which is why they don't want it.  The length of time a relegated team would be outside the top teir was also an issue.  They wouldn't do a straight last team drops out incase it went the way the current u20 has gone with 7 teams from europe being in the top tier for the last 4 years.  Georgia would top T2 unless Fiji was there, but would Japan playing away from home in wet and cold conditions finish ahead of Italy. If the USA were in T1 they would definitely be last.

If each union got the same lump sum at the end of the year you are still left with issues.  NZ would have to fund 5 provincial teams on the same money that Australia, Ireland and Wales would support four, Italy and Scotland two and Argentina one.  Because they produce better players who would be in higher demand they would need to pay more to keep them than say Italy would to keep their players in Italy.  What would stop Italy importing a full squad of NZ player and split them between 3 Italian teams improving Italian rugby with higher standards.

So with that in mind is the World Club Tournament just another way of evening out the money. European Champions and Challange Cups Generate more money for European Clubs than Super Rugby does for the SH.  Lions CEO said if SA clubs had access to those cups there is nothing Super Rugby could do to come close to matching it.  If the World Club happens they want to get rid of the Euro Cups and thus it's money.  It has been the main driver in European improvements as NH players are tested by different teams and styles each year while SR is the same teams.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 12:28 am

Pinchot comes across as wanting to be a man for change.  That's fine if you are making good changes. Such as forming the American 6 Nations as it ties Argentina to the wealth of the USA and Canada and having a rivalry to help bulk up South America competitions.  Also creating a South American league for regional teams to help bridge the gap between domestic and the Jags.  It helps the Americas and helps secure Argentina in the coming event of SR folding and them not being part of anyone's plans (which they never seem to be)

If his plan was to create a league for B6Ns where each nation would have two teams each. If then he demanded that European Rugby had to give that league access to the Euro Cups I would agree with him.

He gave out about residency rules and had them changed but seemed to focus alot on European Nations. He was very public in his comments about Devon Toner pre-WC which was not what WR people should be saying. Yet at the same time he was part of WR which turned a blind eye to residency rules that were being broken by T2 sides such as Romania and Spain. Which only were resolved when a Rominian ref may have cost Spain WC quailification

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Post by 123456789. on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 1:15 am

I think it’s a perception point, Pichot sticks it to European countries that pick New Zealanders and South Africans nowhere near their national sides. On the other hand we all applaud Japan for their progress with a team stacked with Tongans who would be playing for Tonga. I wouldn’t say Pichot is a man for change rather he is a man driven by grievance.

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Post by TightHEAD on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 7:34 am

thumbsup Come on Bill Hug

Right man for the job at the right time. Global rugby needs the safety of good old Bill.
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Post by Irish Londoner on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 8:31 am

Shots fired.....

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/apr/23/european-clubs-collision-course-world-rugby-unacceptable-fixture-plans

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 9:30 am

Beaumonts campaign has certainly hit rocky ground in the last couple of weeks.

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Post by le_chat on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 12:09 pm

Brendan wrote:I also don't get the issue with France "raiding" the PIs for players.  If it wasn't them either it would be SR, Japan or worse yet no one.  These people want to play rugby and have no hope of doing that in the PIs.  Yes there needs to be rules but why disregard players from there.  WR might be better setting up their own academies and presenting future stars to the rich leagues to sign up.

I assume you simply don't know, which is fair enough, but listening to Ben Ryan on this issue will hopefully clarify why it's not a case of 'someone else would do it' or 'where's the harm?'. There are genuine human rights issues being violated according to Ryan, who obviously isn't going to underestimate the severity of the situation given his character and views to society, but he's also unlikely to be wildly off the mark. The Fijians who make it as pros and in to the national teams - of France or Fiji - obscure a much darker underbelly to the poaching/"academy" process.

After a quick search this is what I can find:

" The Telegraph has been provided with several case studies by the IRPA that highlight this growing trend. In one case, a player did not receive 11 months’ salary, leaving him with no money to buy food, toiletries or even a blanket to sleep under. In another, a former international faced the prospect of a criminal conviction for unpaid taxes for which his previous club were liable; only the intervention of the IRPA saved him. Others have their contracts torn up on the flimsiest of pretexts, often leaving individuals penniless in a foreign country. "

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/international/fiji/11854929/Rugby-uncovered-Despicable-abuse-of-young-Pacific-talent-is-huge-stain-on-game.html

"Then there is the issue of player exploitation. Pacific Rugby Welfare – an organisation set up by ex-players to support Pacific Islanders – has branded the French academies in Fiji ‘illegal’. World Rugby regulations state that you are not allowed to have any academies outside of the physical boundaries of your nation, and yet Clermont Auvergne do just that."

https://www.varsity.co.uk/sport/13864

One of these will be where Ryan discusses it:





It is a uniquely French problem, with Pacific Islanders very much uniquely exploited. It's fine to ask the question, which you've done, if you weren't aware of the situation, but regulation and protection of the Islanders is absolutely paramount. As is supporting teams like the Fiji Drua who play in NZ. What is definitely not going to help is a. doing nothing, or b. promising Fiji the world with an unrealistic scenario Pichot can never deliver.


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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 12:34 pm

You appear to be much more up on Pichots promises than myself and a few others miaow: what exactly do you believe that Pichot has promised Fiji which is fantasy?

The only thing I can find is he wanted and will want Fiji as part of the nations cup and he wants better representation for them and others at the top table with more equitable voting systems in place. Not sure that's fantasy, it shouldn't be.

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Post by le_chat on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 1:01 pm

Also inadvertently that article actually mentions Pichot:

"World Rugby vice-chairman, Agustín Pichot has backed calls for reform, and has advocated a system like Argentina’s where, to be selected internationally, you must play for their Super Rugby side, Los Jaguares.

“The Argentinian system is the way forward,” said Pichot. “Our guys are living in Argentina and making good money relative to our economy. Yes, they can make more money in Europe but at least they have the option to stay at home. There is no revenue share there.”


What has the Jaguares project achieved? Let's look at it really critically.

The Pumas were a top international team beneath the SANZAR 3 in the 2000s. 3rd in the 2007 WC, a decent showing in 2011 to get to the QFs, and this led to them being included in the Tri Nations tournament in, I think, 2012. With the help of Graham Henry they changed their style of rugby to compete, which in turn led to a stunning performance at the RWC 2015 which led to a 4th place finish, brushing aside a much fancied Ireland team, marrying flair and inventive back play to their typical set-piece-centric pack.

Surely the only way was up for Los Pumas?

Nope. Pichot plays his part in convincing Argentina that they need own top professional rugby team, and so with the help of WR money - not sustainable, not even funded solely by national private capital and sponsorship - the Jaguares are born after the 2015 RWC. Pichot isn't solely to blame for this, but is absolutely at the heart of this, is part of and a driver of the culture that defends this, and, as he says, sees the Jaguares and Argentinian rugby as 'the future' for all of rugby.

And what has their legacy been? It's not been too bad in Super Rugby - admittedly during a period where SR's competitiveness and quality has dropped off a cliff, with South Africa experiencing a massive player drain, and Australia going to the dogs. Only the Kiwis have remained competitive, and they have won the tournament for the last 5 years, mainly the Crusaders, although the Jaguares did make the final recently.

However, although the Jaguares have had that modicum of "success" on the field within a dying competition, they have played their part in absolutely killing the Argentinian national team. They have ensured that Los Pumas players now earn less than they otherwise would without the 'home based players only' rule. No European-based players in the national team has resulted in Argentina's competitiveness against either the Rugby Championship sides and, more worryingly, the Six Nations teams decline at a rapid rate. Argentina clearly cannot compete on two fronts: the Jaguares players, even when they were bolstered by European players, could not and did not translate their form in to the test arena, because of course Super Rugby is a few steps down from international test rugby. So, what worked for the Jags, did not work for the Pumas, and without looking it up their winning record since 2015 has been abysmal.

Quite clearly, Argentina are not good enough of a rugby nation to copy New Zealand - a key point that I keep coming back to, but Pichot (and Arg) and NZ's links are worrying - by having a home-players-only rule while maintaining a sole Super Rugby team. There are more top Argentinian players than can play for the Jaguares or in Argentina even if everyone wanted to suffer the monetary loss (I imagine plenty do not), and yet Argentina cannot sustain a second team for monetary reasons; they can barely maintain one without specific financial support from WR.

Add to that the Union's loss of focus on the national team, hiring Ledesma who - by all accounts - is absolutely not up to the job and is a coach in the model of the French style of coaching: shout and scream and abuse until it works, which it clearly hasn't done for the Pumas since 2015. In Japan 2019, they looked like an amateur side. They blew a game against the flakiest of flaky French teams after leading; they 'gave up' against England by getting a man sent off, a bit like a boxer biting and headbutting instead of trying to win fairly; they looked laborious against the minnows. This was the worst Argentinian national side for nearly 2 decades - at a time when, apparently, Pichot thinks they have taken great steps towards the future of rugby. Their record against the 6Ns teams, however, is obviously the most galling aspect - Wales took a second choice side to tour there in 2018 and wiped the floor with them. I may be wrong, but I don't think any of the big 5 of the 6Ns have lost to them since 2015. That, more than anything, must be a wake up call for Pichot: why his antipathy for the 6Ns is so strong because, yes, when he was playing, they were on the verge of parity or even bettering the likes of Ireland, Wales, and perhaps even France for a time. But not anymore, and he has played a key part in that decline.

This is why he's dangerous. There is a vast amount of short term pain caused by his 'visionary' policies and the medium to long term gains which are leveraged against that are far from guaranteed.

All you have to do is hold up Argentina as an example of why we should all be very, very afraid of Pichot getting hold of WR's reigns.

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Post by No 7&1/2 on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 1:07 pm

And englands.

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Post by Old Man on Fri 24 Apr 2020, 1:18 pm

I cannot see how Pichot will be able to force Unions to only select home players.

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