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Pro 14 expanding?

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Post by Kingshu on Mon 01 Jun 2020, 7:32 pm

Appears thst there are a lot of reports of the SA super Rugby teams leaving super rugby and joining the Pro 14.
https://www.ultimaterugby.com/news/south-african-teams-to-leave-super-rugby-for-the-pro14---report/627556

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Post by Old Man on Mon 01 Jun 2020, 8:05 pm

I just don’t understand why SARU would leave the malarky of Super 18 tojoin a Pro 18.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 01 Jun 2020, 10:14 pm

Money maybe.  Maybe jumping a sinking ship for a tournament that would be the third biggest in the World.

Also looks like the Jags are being cut in their current form. Reports coming out that all the players have been told they can leave.

An 18 team team tournament would work and could be done a couple of different ways.

Three Conferences of 6. Each Conference would have 3 strong teams, 2 ok teams and one weak team.  10 games in the group and play every other team once. 22 games top team from each Conference plus best runners up into semis (or top 2 for the current 6 team knockout)
A - 6 SA, B 4 Irish & 2 Italians, C 4 Welsh & 2 Scottish

Could also carry on with 2 Conference of 9 teams but have the Conferences only play themselves.  Teams can run a domestic tournament to make up the remaining games. And would allow there to be no Pro games on during the international window.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 01 Jun 2020, 11:02 pm

Super Rugby was built on a week foundation that once removed had nothing to stand on and has not been able to re-brand itself.

In the early days of Super Rugby it branded itself as the best none international tournament in the world.  When it had the three strongest nations in the world in it, it's hard to disagree with it.  Add in that it might also of had the best coaches aswell.  When poor/old players came North and were stars it was hard to disagree.

Fast forward 20 years and none of that is true anymore.  There is very little between the top 3 in the 6N and top 2 in the RC. While SA won the WC they just got past Wales (Ireland carried on their WC form of not beating a host and not getting past a QF).  Australia are only the equal of France and Scotland.  South Africa's success was a rubber stamping of SR not having the best players anymore. Add in that NZ and Oz would have been stronger if they had included their NH players and you can see it's decline.

Europeans use to tune in to watch SR even if it was on really early but those numbers have dropped off due to it no longer being better than European Rugby.

The Stars of the Champions Cup are no longer SH cast offs and it could be argued that the biggest SH stars are actually Fijian.  All the best coaches outside of the international game (with the exception of Robertson) are all in Europe.  It seems that a SR title is now more of a job interview for European jobs.

The Pro 14 has never styled itself with any of that so fan interest is in their team rather than the league.  The Pro14 if it has any view of itself is the underdog league putting it up to its two bigger brothers.  It's foundations are alot stronger because it is open about being a tool to develop the best players the union can with the resources they have.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 11:13 am

Well I am not interested in any format that entertains conferences. This we play everyone twicein our pool and the rest once is simply not credible.

Either have a single round robin where everyone plays everyone once or I am notinterested.

Only way to have a credible tournament is without this mishmash of matches.

Even Super Rugby is going back to single round robin next season.

Super rugby can still be a top comp if the reduce the teams. True lots of our best players are in Europe, but not all of them.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 11:35 am

I am not sure that Super Rugby can get back to where it was as the landscape has changed alot over the last 20 years.  NZ are holding onto most of their stars but the level below them is getting smaller and smaller.  When players know they aren't going to be an AB they seem to leave.  It means the squads in NZ are not what they use to be.

Add in that more and more internationals in NZ & Oz are getting to take sabbatical leave between WCs and are being wrapped in cotton wool WC years that weakens the teams/products more than before.

Rassie appears to be a big fan of the Pro14 and I think he sees it as a great opportunity for South Africa.  I think he might even sit on the Pro14 board. The 3 Celtic Nations are on the up due to finally having the structures the SH had. Australia seems to be crumbling under SR and look to be heading to 90s Ireland and Wales where the structure was a mess and produced nothing. I do agree that having the SA take part in Champions Cup and have their own league is best for them but maybe the money is not as big as being in the Pro14

SA will still play in the RC as both SA and NZ fans will demand it. So they would still be challenging themselves against the SH running rugby.  NH would also improve SA phyisical game which I don't think SR has.

The change of moving the RC to the same time as the 6N also makes it easier for SA to have a foot in both camps as they would have internationals away the same time as the NH Teams.

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Post by RugbyFan100 on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 11:57 am

How the Pro 14 is seen in South Africa:


The considerable snag with PRO14, as I see it, is that it is in many ways only "the best of the rest" in a UK/European context, given that English clubs continue to campaign in the almost certainly still more blue-chip, England-specific Premiership.

Traditionally, remember, England have won the Six Nations title (since its establishment in that format in 2000) more times than anyone else, were the runners-up to the Springboks at the last World Cup in 2019, and are still the only team from the north to have ever hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup, in 2003.

There are some extremely prestigious Irish and Welsh clubs and players, for example, active in the PRO14; don't get me wrong on that.

But without the cream of English (and French) teams, PRO14 is just another tournament, if you like, which can't ever be described as the premier barometer - unlike Super Rugby in the south - of northern-hemisphere bragging rights.

That's my major marketing concern (the Cheetahs and particularly Kings haven't exactly set it alight to this point, either) in the event that the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and Lions also trek in a completely different direction ...

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/PRO14/mass-sa-shift-toward-pro14-why-im-lukewarm-20200601-2

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 12:29 pm

Kingshu wrote:Appears thst there are a lot of reports of the SA super Rugby teams leaving super rugby and joining the Pro 14.
https://www.ultimaterugby.com/news/south-african-teams-to-leave-super-rugby-for-the-pro14---report/627556

One report in a publication called Rapport has been reproduced/re-written for a few other outlets. These rumblings and rumours have been going on for ever.
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Post by Kingshu on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 12:32 pm

I think thats true, the pro 14 isnt as blue chip as the prem or Top 14 currently. But it has been keeping up.
With big SA teams joining I think it could finicialally become an equal to them.
Would encrease value and competitiveness of the HCup also.

Personally I think part of the undoing of super rugby was the unbalanced cross conference games, and now one team guarenteed from each conference,
The PRO 14 are already doing it to a lesser extent to keep derbies, but its unbalanced and favours some teams.

Personally i have said in past and was also mentioned above that I think its best to keep it fair and balanced. With the break and season realignment this may now become possible.

The only way to do this with conferences is to have no cross conference games. Start the season with each union running a domestic compitation. Each Union can decide on whats best like an inter pro league, or cup double header, open draw knock out cup. Scottish team play the Italians? (2-6 games)

After domestic comp, the cinferences are assigned pretty much like they are now, and its straight double round roblin home and away (16 games).
Top 3 in each conferce go into Cup, middle 3 for a shield and bottom 3 for a plate. (1-3 games)

That gives a regular season of 17-19 games, less than 24 games currently. With domestic comp it goes to 18-24 games depending on format.

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Post by Pot Hale on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 12:41 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:How the Pro 14 is seen in South Africa:


The considerable snag with PRO14, as I see it, is that it is in many ways only "the best of the rest" in a UK/European context, given that English clubs continue to campaign in the almost certainly still more blue-chip, England-specific Premiership.

Traditionally, remember, England have won the Six Nations title (since its establishment in that format in 2000) more times than anyone else, were the runners-up to the Springboks at the last World Cup in 2019, and are still the only team from the north to have ever hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup, in 2003.

There are some extremely prestigious Irish and Welsh clubs and players, for example, active in the PRO14; don't get me wrong on that.

But without the cream of English (and French) teams, PRO14 is just another tournament, if you like, which can't ever be described as the premier barometer - unlike Super Rugby in the south - of northern-hemisphere bragging rights.

That's my major marketing concern (the Cheetahs and particularly Kings haven't exactly set it alight to this point, either) in the event that the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and Lions also trek in a completely different direction ...

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/PRO14/mass-sa-shift-toward-pro14-why-im-lukewarm-20200601-2

That's how one reporter sees it. The point he's making that the PRO14 is just another tournament is accurate. It's not claiming to be the premier barometer in Europe. Nor is the English or French ones either. Super Rugby has invariably been compared to the Heineken Cup as it involves teams from all the different countries. He seems to have forgotten this - for some reason.
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Post by Kingshu on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 12:47 pm

Yeah I noticed that it appeared to just be one source and repeated elsewhere.
What i did find strange is SA would only be allowed to enter 5 sides?
Is that just a way of saying Sountern kings need dropped?
With 5 sides it would create unbalanced conferences, unless there is a plan to enter another team from somewhere else as well?
Could a Spain based Jaguares team be joining, its been suggested before and apoears to be getting raised again "An additional suggestion that has been leaked is for Los Jaguares to be based in Madrid, Spain and join the Pro 14. Thus possibility has been suggested as part of additional teams from the South African Super Rugby conference following the Cheetahs and Kings to the league." http://www.americasrugbynews.com/2020/06/01/solutions-needed-as-jaguares-are-out-of-super-rugby/

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Post by Brendan on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 1:59 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:How the Pro 14 is seen in South Africa:


The considerable snag with PRO14, as I see it, is that it is in many ways only "the best of the rest" in a UK/European context, given that English clubs continue to campaign in the almost certainly still more blue-chip, England-specific Premiership.

Traditionally, remember, England have won the Six Nations title (since its establishment in that format in 2000) more times than anyone else, were the runners-up to the Springboks at the last World Cup in 2019, and are still the only team from the north to have ever hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup, in 2003.

There are some extremely prestigious Irish and Welsh clubs and players, for example, active in the PRO14; don't get me wrong on that.

But without the cream of English (and French) teams, PRO14 is just another tournament, if you like, which can't ever be described as the premier barometer - unlike Super Rugby in the south - of northern-hemisphere bragging rights.

That's my major marketing concern (the Cheetahs and particularly Kings haven't exactly set it alight to this point, either) in the event that the Sharks, Stormers, Bulls and Lions also trek in a completely different direction ...

https://www.sport24.co.za/Rugby/PRO14/mass-sa-shift-toward-pro14-why-im-lukewarm-20200601-2

That's how one reporter sees it.   The point he's making that the PRO14 is just another tournament is accurate.    It's not claiming to be the premier barometer in Europe.  Nor is the English or French ones either.    Super Rugby has invariably been compared to the Heineken Cup as it involves teams from all the different countries.  He seems to have forgotten this - for some reason.  

He also overlooks that there are more grand slams and 6 Nations championships held by Pro14 Nations then by England.

While the Premiership and Top 14 are good stand alone competitions they aren't head and shoulders better than the Pro14.  If anything the Premiership's European exploits over the last 4 years would have been deemed a failure if it wasn't for Sarries.  It is hard to say how different teams would do in different leagues but the Pro14 since the restructure to qualification has more than held their own.  Add in that all but Zebre and Dragons have qualified on merit (this year could have been the dragons year) in the last 3 years. The league is plenty compeditive and the view of the Pro14 is often from 10 - 15 ears ago.

Last 4 quarter finals
2019 - Exeter 2, Saints 7, Sarries 8 v Leinster 1, Ulster 6
2018 - Sarries 1, v Leinster 3, Edinburgh 4, Munster 5, Ulster 6, Glasgow 8
2017 - Sarries 8, v Leinster 1, Munster 3, Scarlets 4
2016 - Sarries 3, Wasps 5 v Munster 2, Leinster 4, Glasgow 6

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Post by Old Man on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 2:32 pm

Kingshu wrote: The only way to do this with conferences is to have no cross conference games. Start the season with each union running a domestic compitation. Each Union can decide on whats best like an inter pro league, or cup double header, open draw knock out cup. Scottish team play the Italians? (2-6 games)

After domestic comp, the cinferences are assigned pretty much like they are now, and its straight double round roblin home and away (16 games).
Top 3 in each conferce go into Cup, middle 3 for a shield and bottom 3 for a plate. (1-3 games)

That gives a regular season of 17-19 games, less than 24 games currently. With domestic comp it goes to 18-24 games depending on format.

Yes agree with a domestic pool for each.

you idea of the second part is too long. Can’t be more than 8 weeks, you still have to fit European Champions Cup in, plus test windows.

My preference is Currie Cup, 6 teams, double round robin, then semi and final.

Not sure how you will fit a pro 14 and European ChampionsCup in plus test rugby. And if it becomes pro 18 even worse.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 3:06 pm

Old Man wrote:
Kingshu wrote: The only way to do this with conferences is to have no cross conference games. Start the season with each union running a domestic compitation. Each Union can decide on whats best like an inter pro league, or cup double header, open draw knock out cup. Scottish team play the Italians? (2-6 games)

After domestic comp, the cinferences are assigned pretty much like they are now, and its straight double round roblin home and away (16 games).
Top 3 in each conferce go into Cup, middle 3 for a shield and bottom 3 for a plate. (1-3 games)

That gives a regular season of 17-19 games, less than 24 games currently. With domestic comp it goes to 18-24 games depending on format.

Yes agree with a domestic pool for each.

you idea of the second part is too long. Can’t be more than 8 weeks, you still have to fit European Champions Cup in, plus test windows.

My preference is Currie Cup, 6 teams, double round robin, then semi and final.

Not sure how you will fit a pro 14 and European ChampionsCup in plus test rugby. And if it becomes pro 18 even worse.

European season would be 30+ club games or there abouts for the top teams. Its why playees can get paid more. Minimum is Pro14 21+6, Prem 22+6, T14 26 +6 compared to SR which wants to only do 14 games. I don't understand how SR is ever going to be financially viable with only 7 home games. The minimum number of home games a Pro14 team gets is 13. Either the players need a second competition or they settle for less pay which is why Japan and Europe pick up short term player contracts.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 3:28 pm

Brendan wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Kingshu wrote: The only way to do this with conferences is to have no cross conference games. Start the season with each union running a domestic compitation. Each Union can decide on whats best like an inter pro league, or cup double header, open draw knock out cup. Scottish team play the Italians? (2-6 games)

After domestic comp, the cinferences are assigned pretty much like they are now, and its straight double round roblin home and away (16 games).
Top 3 in each conferce go into Cup, middle 3 for a shield and bottom 3 for a plate. (1-3 games)

That gives a regular season of 17-19 games, less than 24 games currently. With domestic comp it goes to 18-24 games depending on format.

Yes agree with a domestic pool for each.

you idea of the second part is too long. Can’t be more than 8 weeks, you still have to fit European Champions Cup in, plus test windows.

My preference is Currie Cup, 6 teams, double round robin, then semi and final.

Not sure how you will fit a pro 14 and European ChampionsCup in plus test rugby. And if it becomes pro 18 even worse.

European season would be 30+ club games or there abouts for the top teams.  Its why playees can get paid more. Minimum is Pro14 21+6, Prem 22+6, T14 26 +6 compared to SR which wants to only do 14 games.  I don't understand how SR is ever going to be financially viable with only 7 home games.  The minimum number of home games a Pro14 team gets is 13. Either the players need a second competition or they settle for less pay which is why Japan  and Europe pick up short term player contracts.

You need to consider even though it has been watered down significantly there is still a Currie Cup and Mitre 10, then there is a boatload of travel in Super Rugby.

Also Super Rugby until this year would have been 18 rounds, plus three rounds of play offs and finals.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 8:14 pm

SA have wanted out of Super Rugby for years. They put in more cash and take less. I think their teams would dominate the league, just look how well Cheetahs have done without any internationals.


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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 8:19 pm

Old Man, pretty sure almost all of the top players in SA and NZ don’t play in the Mitre 10 and Currie Cup. This year might be an exception due to the current climate.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 8:24 pm

Yes, correct, our top players are busy with the RC during the Currie Cup.

Has been a bug bear of mine for years.

Super Rugby has become a stumbling block rather than a step towards elite rugby.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 9:25 pm

Entering 6 Currie Cup teams would work if we ditched the Italians, I figure we’d do that in a heartbeat if it came down to it. Enter Super Rugby teams and I don’t see many apart from Leinster coming close to the South Africans.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 9:26 pm

SA teams have lost a lot of players, doubt our teams will be as strong as you expect

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Post by mikey_dragon on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 10:14 pm

Perhaps but they always seem to have good players coming through, SA have the most depth in world rugby IMO. Our teams seem to struggle when going down to Bloemfontein to play the Cheetahs as well.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 02 Jun 2020, 10:32 pm

If only the Cheetahs were able to hold onto their players. I was reading an article about Jimmy Stonehouse the coach of the Pumas who have threatened to break into Currie Cup premier for many a year.

His take is he is disappointed if his players aren’t poached by Super Rugby franchises as it means he didn’t recruit star players, which is all good in theory, but in practice you are always building a team, and never have a settled squad of players.

Something the Cheetahs are all to familiar with.

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Post by Cyril on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 12:25 am

Expanding? Are these guys not in touch with the world? I doubt that domestic rugby has a chance at this stage, never mind cross-nation.

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Post by Kingshu on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 9:21 am

I can't see the Italians being ditched, not now they are partners and shareholders in Celtic Rugby. Any Pro 14 expansion or with CVC onboard the talked about BandI league will have to include them.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 2:48 pm

Why would you scrape the Italians when they are in a much better place.

Bennetton now are treated like a good team and when they win it's not against a weakened side.  They finished 3rd last year in the Conference and don't have any of the financial issues that any of the other privately owned clubs have in the league.

Zebre while not amazing were not last this year and have been improving some bit.

Why would we dump the Italians when their seems on a better finacial footing than the Welsh and have alot of young players coming through and are improving their squad.  Over the last two years thrir teams have even been winning during the 6 nations.

The reason the Italian teams fell off a cliff post 2014/15 was because it looked like they would get kicked out of the league and all their players left.

18 teams of 3 Conferences would be fine with me.

And one final point is that the mighty Zebre were the closest anyone came to beating Leinster last season. They kept them tryless and also stopped them scoring in one of the halfs.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 7:48 pm

Brendan wrote:Why would you scrape the Italians when they are in a much better place.

Bennetton now are treated like a good team and when they win it's not against a weakened side.  They finished 3rd last year in the Conference and don't have any of the financial issues that any of the other privately owned clubs have in the league.

Zebre while not amazing were not last this year and have been improving some bit.

Why would we dump the Italians when their seems on a better finacial footing than the Welsh and have alot of young players coming through and are improving their squad.  Over the last two years thrir teams have even been winning during the 6 nations.

The reason the Italian teams fell off a cliff post 2014/15 was because it looked like they would get kicked out of the league and all their players left.

18 teams of 3 Conferences would be fine with me.

And one final point is that the mighty Zebre were the closest anyone came to beating Leinster last season. They kept them tryless and also stopped them scoring in one of the halfs.

Crap wum snowflake, was there really any need to get triggered over your own misunderstanding. I never said I’d scrap the Italians, I said if it come down to it then it is likely we would, and then they’d be out of the 6N (wouldn’t be a bad idea). South Africa bring more money and better teams; furthermore they bring their players to your doorstep so the provinces can buy them up. You must be daft if you don’t think there is an element of reality in thinking this. Given the climate i would say its already been considered. 

Bennetton are a decent team. Not sure about Zebre, I’m sure they’re happy with their golden cup they earned from that 3-all draw with Leinster though. 

What do you mean by better financial footing? The Welsh bring more revenue, more players, and have a history of success in the competition. They are also a founding member of the 5N and are one of the most successful - so good luck getting shot of the Welsh laughing

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 9:03 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Brendan wrote:Why would you scrape the Italians when they are in a much better place.

Bennetton now are treated like a good team and when they win it's not against a weakened side.  They finished 3rd last year in the Conference and don't have any of the financial issues that any of the other privately owned clubs have in the league.

Zebre while not amazing were not last this year and have been improving some bit.

Why would we dump the Italians when their seems on a better finacial footing than the Welsh and have alot of young players coming through and are improving their squad.  Over the last two years thrir teams have even been winning during the 6 nations.

The reason the Italian teams fell off a cliff post 2014/15 was because it looked like they would get kicked out of the league and all their players left.

18 teams of 3 Conferences would be fine with me.

And one final point is that the mighty Zebre were the closest anyone came to beating Leinster last season. They kept them tryless and also stopped them scoring in one of the halfs.

Crap wum snowflake, was there really any need to get triggered over your own misunderstanding. I never said I’d scrap the Italians, I said if it come down to it then it is likely we would, and then they’d be out of the 6N (wouldn’t be a bad idea). South Africa bring more money and better teams; furthermore they bring their players to your doorstep so the provinces can buy them up. You must be daft if you don’t think there is an element of reality in thinking this. Given the climate i would say its already been considered. 

Bennetton are a decent team. Not sure about Zebre, I’m sure they’re happy with their golden cup they earned from that 3-all draw with Leinster though. 

What do you mean by better financial footing? The Welsh bring more revenue, more players, and have a history of success in the competition. They are also a founding member of the 5N and are one of the most successful - so good luck getting shot of the Welsh laughing
To be fair this would be awful. We need to expanding rugby, not contracting. As long as games against Italy still sell out, there is absolutely no reason to get rid of them. With Japan becoming a tier 1 nation and being promised more games against the big boys, the chances for tier 2 teams to play tier 1 nations in the other international windows will become even scarcer. Get rid of Italy and the opportunities for tier 2 v tier 1 games become scarcer again.

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Post by Old Man on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 9:41 pm

Yeah, I don’t think it will be a good look for SA if Italy is dropped on their behalf.

Personally I wouldn’t want our teams in the pro 14. I still believe now is the time for SARU to back a strong domestic Currie Cup, and then have the teams either join the European Champions Cup or a shortened version of Super Rugby.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 10:29 pm

I would prefer if Italy improved too, but their international team has struggled quite badly for a while now. Bennetton improved a lot last season and that was great for the league. I’m not sure what the best option Pro14 expansion is either tbh.

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Post by Brendan on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 10:58 pm

Mike Benetton are bankrolled by Bennetton. The Welsh teams have all had their financial problems and one had to taken over by the WRU. The WRU might be fine financially but privately owned clubs don't have Union backing (just union subs).

You had said you would be happy to see them dumped in order to accomadate the South Africans, why would you dump Benetton instead of Ospreys who may or may not be there when the league starts up as I can't see their financial situation being any better.

It's not like we can't have both, it's gets annoying when to many people's attitudes are we don't want the Italians who can replace them with.

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Post by Old Man on Wed 03 Jun 2020, 11:01 pm

The success of the Premiership and Top 14 lies in the fact that there are no conferences. Thus everyone plays everyone else.

The result is that those qualifying for the play offs have deserved their spots undoubtedly, There is no question about that.

When a competition expands beyond a reasonable number of teams administrators for some reason abandon the round robin system due to a couple of reasons.

Some countries may demand a minimum number of derby matches
Too many teams makes a double round robin impractical as the season would be too long.

So they fall back too a conference type set up, which invariably means teams do not play the same opponents to qualify for play offs, that immediately takes away credibility of qualification, for some odd reason they avoid pools, which by nature is a fairer way to go as you then have to qualify from your pool thus creating a fairer system.

The reason I believe they refrain from pools is because you could then just as well have each country have their own domestic comp and have your best teams then qualify, but that takes away the i ternational club competition flavour which I assume broadcasters don’t want to pay more money for as viewership numbers would be down.

How many Welsh as an example will follow the Currie Cup religiously just to see which SA teams will qualify for the pro 14 play offs.

The answer to me is simple, go back to a pro 14 the way it was, let SA have their Currie Cup.

Whether SA then goes to european champions cup or super rugby is up to the bean counters. my preference is super rugby, but a short version with only the top teams

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Post by LondonTiger on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:02 am

Old Man wrote:
Personally I wouldn’t want our teams in the pro 14. I still believe now is the time for SARU to back a strong domestic Currie Cup, and then have the teams either join the European Champions Cup or a shortened version of Super Rugby.

South Africa (and NZ) can support a strong domestic competition, with an elite cross-border competition layered on top. In a lot of ways SA teams entering the Champions Cup in Europe makes much more sense than entering a Super Rugby competition, not least logistically.

There is a lot of sense in the various discussions to rationalise the global seasons - but it has to be a rationalisation, as complete alignment just would not work as Summer Rugby is pretty much a no go in any country.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:14 am

LondonTiger wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Personally I wouldn’t want our teams in the pro 14. I still believe now is the time for SARU to back a strong domestic Currie Cup, and then have the teams either join the European Champions Cup or a shortened version of Super Rugby.

South Africa (and NZ) can support a strong domestic competition, with an elite cross-border competition layered on top. In a lot of ways SA teams entering the Champions Cup in Europe makes much more sense than entering a Super Rugby competition, not least logistically.

There is a lot of sense in the various discussions to rationalise the global seasons - but it has to be a rationalisation, as complete alignment just would not work as Summer Rugby is pretty much a no go in any country.
That is the challenge, how do you take two opposing cycles of seasons, then work two international windows per year, yet leaving enough time for club rugby in between those seasons.


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Post by Brendan on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:30 am

The Conference system can work fine.

NFL which is the biggest sports competition where it has two conferences which then sub-divide into 4 more in each conference.  If you want to talk about complicated systems for working out what teams each team will play take a look at how they work them out.  Yet it is the biggest game in the US and probably the biggest sports league in the world.

The Pro14 hasn't had any issue with Conferences and I think it has been embraced by the vast majority of the fans.  This is because the two Conferences are not affected by the results of teams outside their Conference.  If you are 2nd in your conference you will have a home quarterfinal you are not worried what points the other Conference/Union teams have.

The only issue Super Rugby had was two fold in my opinion.  First was that under the S15 system they brought in the idiotic idea that you got points for not playing.  If you had a bye week (each team had two) you got 4 points so effectively if you didn't play you did as good as a team that won,  Made as you got closer to the end teams that still had a bye effectively were higher up the league than their position showed because they were guaranteed 4pts regardless of form.  It made a complicated run in more complex so alot of fans just gave up trying to work it out.

The Second was while having a conference system they still insisted having a combined league table which usually ended up with the 3rd team having less points than the 4th or 5th team.  People then looked only at the combined league table to work out position.  People obviously wanted to know why the 3rd team was not 5th or 6th.   Imagine if the Champions Cup had the league table with all 20 teams in it where the first 8 teams were the group leders.  It would be so stupid but basically that is what they did.

Super 18 added even more complications where they had two conferences of 4 and two conferences of 5.

If Super Rugby had just had three Conference tables where your Conference place determined your knockout place like Pro14 or a seeding system like the European cups it would have been fine.  The Combined Logged messed it all up.

The problem was that NZ would only agree to a system where they could get more eams into the playoffs and Australia would only agree if they could be guaranteed one team.  We had a civil war in Europe to get rid of that system for the Champions Cup for just getting teams into it. Imagine if the rule had been that the Quarters had to have at least one team from each league in the Quarters.

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Post by Brendan on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:36 am

Old Man wrote:
LondonTiger wrote:
Old Man wrote:
Personally I wouldn’t want our teams in the pro 14. I still believe now is the time for SARU to back a strong domestic Currie Cup, and then have the teams either join the European Champions Cup or a shortened version of Super Rugby.

South Africa (and NZ) can support a strong domestic competition, with an elite cross-border competition layered on top. In a lot of ways SA teams entering the Champions Cup in Europe makes much more sense than entering a Super Rugby competition, not least logistically.

There is a lot of sense in the various discussions to rationalise the global seasons - but it has to be a rationalisation, as complete alignment just would not work as Summer Rugby is pretty much a no go in any country.
That is the challenge, how do you take two opposing cycles of seasons, then work two international windows per year, yet leaving enough time for club rugby in between those seasons.


In European Soccer some countries such as Sweden, Russia and Ireland play March to November while others play September to May. They are able to all compete in the European competitions.

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Post by Old Man on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:59 am

Conference systems by nature is a mess.

When you have to play matches outside your conference that counts for log points then in my view that is wrong.

Either there is a single or double round robin where everyone plays everyone elde, or there are pools where you only play who is in your pool and you qualify out of your pool for play offs.

The European Champions Cup has it correct.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 8:38 pm

Brendan wrote:Mike Benetton are bankrolled by Bennetton.  The Welsh teams have all had their financial problems and one had to taken over by the WRU.  The WRU might be fine financially but privately owned clubs don't have Union backing (just union subs).

You had said you would be happy to see them dumped in order to accomadate the South Africans, why would you dump Benetton instead of Ospreys who may or may not be there when the league starts up as I can't see their financial situation being any better.

It's not like we can't have both, it's gets annoying when to many people's attitudes are we don't want the Italians who can replace them with.

Still not sure what your point is? Literally lost? The Irish teams are ‘taken over’ by the IRFU. One welsh team are 50% owned. Yes the WRU was good last year after turning a profit. 

No I didn’t say I was happy - do you want to try reading everything I said again? I’ve already addressed why SA would be better. 
Still not sure what your point is with the financial situation. Ospreys will probably be better off than Bennetton for a few reasons; 1 They have more internationals so they get more funding. 2 They now have a big financial backer. 3 This was the their worst season to date but I imagine it’s just a blip as they have better players. 

Again brendan, it would be my personal preference to keep the Italians and hope that they drastically improve. They may as well not have turned up to the last few 6N but if a promotion and relegation system came in, they would just be swapping around with say, Georgia, every season. Due to the Italian performances and financial situation Many people have been questioning their inclusion in the top level competitions - quite rightly so. People are entitled to discuss it Brendan and I’m sure they’d like to continue doing so without you throwing your toys.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 9:33 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Brendan wrote:Mike Benetton are bankrolled by Bennetton.  The Welsh teams have all had their financial problems and one had to taken over by the WRU.  The WRU might be fine financially but privately owned clubs don't have Union backing (just union subs).

You had said you would be happy to see them dumped in order to accomadate the South Africans, why would you dump Benetton instead of Ospreys who may or may not be there when the league starts up as I can't see their financial situation being any better.

It's not like we can't have both, it's gets annoying when to many people's attitudes are we don't want the Italians who can replace them with.

Still not sure what your point is? Literally lost? The Irish teams are ‘taken over’ by the IRFU. One welsh team are 50% owned. Yes the WRU was good last year after turning a profit. 

No I didn’t say I was happy - do you want to try reading everything I said again? I’ve already addressed why SA would be better. 
Still not sure what your point is with the financial situation. Ospreys will probably be better off than Bennetton for a few reasons; 1 They have more internationals so they get more funding. 2 They now have a big financial backer. 3 This was the their worst season to date but I imagine it’s just a blip as they have better players. 

Again brendan, it would be my personal preference to keep the Italians and hope that they drastically improve. They may as well not have turned up to the last few 6N but if a promotion and relegation system came in, they would just be swapping around with say, Georgia, every season. Due to the Italian performances and financial situation Many people have been questioning their inclusion in the top level competitions - quite rightly so. People are entitled to discuss it Brendan and I’m sure they’d like to continue doing so without you throwing your toys.
That wouldn't happen for a while, Italy beat Georgia quite convincingly in 2018 and Georgia are as bad as I've ever seen them, they haven't replaced the likes of Gorgodze and Davit Zirakashvili. In fact in their latest REC results they only beat Portugal 24-39 and Spain 10-32. We forget that their squad still consists of many semi pro players playing in the likes of the Russian league. Until they get their domestic league in order they should be nowhere near the 6 nations imo.

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Post by mikey_dragon on Thu 04 Jun 2020, 11:39 pm

Singled out Georgia as they’re better than the other candidates, and they can compete with anyone with those forwards. I cant see it happening for a long time either.

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Post by tigertattie on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 9:47 am

It's a complete urban myth that Georgia have "forwards who can complete" these days.

5 years ago they did but these days they have gone backwards.

They are regularly beaten by Italy and Scotland. They dont play many games against higher ranked teams which is why they dont lose many ranking points. They struggle against teams like Romania, Canada, USA, Spain, and they are ranked reletivley highly due to regular games/wins against teams like Belgium and Germany.

If the 6Ns had promotion/relegation then to start with at least, there should be a playoff between the two sides moving and Italy are a good big ahead of Georgia right now.
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Post by mikey_dragon on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 12:50 pm

You must not have seen georgia at the World Cup.

The play-off idea makes sense if we’re to ever have a promotion/relegation in place.

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Post by Brendan on Fri 05 Jun 2020, 10:16 pm

Georgia are better than nearly all the T2 sides (excluding Fiji and Japan) but are still a fair bit behind Italy. While we love to be hard on italy they are men against boys when they play Georgia.

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Post by St John The Enforcer on Sat 06 Jun 2020, 9:42 pm

Even if Georgia were trouncing Italy on a regular basis they are 4 hours away rather that 1.5. They have 3.5 million people rather than 60 million and no cash.


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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Sun 07 Jun 2020, 9:54 am

St John The Enforcer wrote:Even if Georgia were trouncing Italy on a regular basis they are 4 hours away rather that 1.5. They have 3.5 million people rather than 60 million and no cash.

They also have no professional domestic league, unlike Italy who have 2 fully pro teams along with a semi pro domestic comp. Georgia relies solely on French clubs taking their best players.

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Post by Brendan on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 12:10 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:Even if Georgia were trouncing Italy on a regular basis they are 4 hours away rather that 1.5. They have 3.5 million people rather than 60 million and no cash.

They also have no professional domestic league, unlike Italy who have 2 fully pro teams along with a semi pro domestic comp. Georgia relies solely on French clubs taking their best players.

They do have a domestic league but best players move to Russia or 6N.  In the third teir of European Rugby their teams were unable to beat the Italian 2nd teir clubs so not a great standard.

If SA want to add their 4 SR teams it creates 3 6 team conferences and by playing everyone in your conference twice and everyone else once you get 22 games.
A conference of the two Scottish and 4 Welsh would be by far the most fluid and interesting conference.

The Italians playing the Irish teams I think would bring them on aswell.  Might even see a few more Irish players go there if they were in the same conference  (be seen regularly by Irish team bosses) following the demise of the Championship as a professional league it would be a good option.

I would be happy to run an 8 team Currie Cup and only count the games played by the 6 teams for their Conference.  Playing Puma and Griquas would be treated like a bye week.

Conference A winners get the "We dislike England More" Cup
Conference B winner gets the "We are better at magic ecconomics"
Conference C winners get the Currie Cup.  You could even do it where the top 6 teams from the previous year Currie Cup are in the Pro18

Everyone is a winner

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Post by tigertattie on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 12:18 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:Even if Georgia were trouncing Italy on a regular basis they are 4 hours away rather that 1.5. They have 3.5 million people rather than 60 million and no cash.

They also have no professional domestic league, unlike Italy who have 2 fully pro teams along with a semi pro domestic comp. Georgia relies solely on French clubs taking their best players.

Like I said, it's a myth that Georgia are good enough to even think about joining the 6Ns ahead of italy.

It's also known that economics around sponsorship etc are a massive influence on professional sport and really you'd be looking at someone like Spain or Germany joining in before Gerogia get a look it (as wrong as this may be)
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Post by LeinsterFan4life on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 12:49 pm

tigertattie wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:Even if Georgia were trouncing Italy on a regular basis they are 4 hours away rather that 1.5. They have 3.5 million people rather than 60 million and no cash.

They also have no professional domestic league, unlike Italy who have 2 fully pro teams along with a semi pro domestic comp. Georgia relies solely on French clubs taking their best players.

Like I said, it's a myth that Georgia are good enough to even think about joining the 6Ns ahead of italy.

It's also known that economics around sponsorship etc are a massive influence on professional sport and really you'd be looking at someone like Spain or Germany joining in before Gerogia get a look it (as wrong as this may be)
I don't think it would be that wrong to look at Spain before Georgia. If Spain had all their spanish qualified players in France availabe, I would say they would easily match Georiga. Spain have an ever growing pro/semi pro domestic league and have had some really good attendances for internationals in the last couple of years. They would have qualified for the world cup last year were it not for some corruption on rugby Europe's part.

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Post by Old Man on Mon 08 Jun 2020, 2:20 pm

Brendan wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
St John The Enforcer wrote:Even if Georgia were trouncing Italy on a regular basis they are 4 hours away rather that 1.5. They have 3.5 million people rather than 60 million and no cash.

They also have no professional domestic league, unlike Italy who have 2 fully pro teams along with a semi pro domestic comp. Georgia relies solely on French clubs taking their best players.

They do have a domestic league but best players move to Russia or 6N.  In the third teir of European Rugby their teams were unable to beat the Italian 2nd teir clubs so not a great standard.

If SA want to add their 4 SR teams it creates 3 6 team conferences and by playing everyone in your conference twice and everyone else once you get 22 games.
A conference of the two Scottish and 4 Welsh would be by far the most fluid and interesting conference.

The Italians playing the Irish teams I think would bring them on aswell.  Might even see a few more Irish players go there if they were in the same conference  (be seen regularly by Irish team bosses) following the demise of the Championship as a professional league it would be a good option.

I would be happy to run an 8 team Currie Cup and only count the games played by the 6 teams for their Conference.  Playing Puma and Griquas would be treated like a bye week.

Conference A winners get the "We dislike England More" Cup
Conference B winner gets the "We are better at magic ecconomics"
Conference C winners get the Currie Cup.  You could even do it where the top 6 teams from the previous year Currie Cup are in the Pro18

Everyone is a winner

22 weeks are too long.

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Post by Brendan on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 11:05 am

Currently SR is 16 weeks excluding byes and rest weeks.  There are 6 for the Currie Cup.  So that is already 22 weeks for the SA teams.  Currie Cup is currently only one game against each other.

Under the above system you would have no rest weeks.  You would have an 8 team Currie Cup that would allow only the 6 best SA teams to play in the Pro 14.  This means that you can have promotion/relegation between the Currie Cup and the division below.  The two teams not in the Pro 14 would still have 14 games a season but would need a much smaller squad.  If all 8 teams got European games aswell (even without it) then they would be commercially viable.  Having the top 6 teams mean that if the Griquas or Pumas were better than the Kings they would be rewarded with Pro14 games but the Kings could still run as a professional team, just reduce or loan some of their players the next year.

Currently the Super Rugby teams play 6 games against other SA teams at a high level, the Pro14 teams play 3 games.  The 8 teams in the Currie Cup (as far as I know the Kings are being added to bring it up to 8 teams) play 7 games other teams.

So total so currently
Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Lions - 13 games (6+7)
Cheetahs, Kings 10 (3+7)
Lukas, Griquas 7

Each team would get one more game against SA teams but the Currie Cup matches would be much better standard and interest.
SA would be able to have the 8 professional teams they want while the two weakest would only need a smaller budget than the other 6 teams so could better support themselves.  They also wouldn't have the cliff to fall off if they miss out on the Pro14 like the Kings and Cheetahs faced when being axed from SR.
The Conference games for SA could also be timed where 3/4 weeks before the international team selections you have the SA teams only playing each other so it can be a trial for the international team.  The other unions would agree as it means no SH travel before internationals.

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Post by Old Man on Tue 09 Jun 2020, 12:11 pm

Brendan wrote:Currently SR is 16 weeks excluding byes and rest weeks.  There are 6 for the Currie Cup.  So that is already 22 weeks for the SA teams.  Currie Cup is currently only one game against each other.

Under the above system you would have no rest weeks.  You would have an 8 team Currie Cup that would allow only the 6 best SA teams to play in the Pro 14.  This means that you can have promotion/relegation between the Currie Cup and the division below.  The two teams not in the Pro 14 would still have 14 games a season but would need a much smaller squad.  If all 8 teams got European games aswell (even without it) then they would be commercially viable.  Having the top 6 teams mean that if the Griquas or Pumas were better than the Kings they would be rewarded with Pro14 games but the Kings could still run as a professional team, just reduce or loan some of their players the next year.

Currently the Super Rugby teams play 6 games against other SA teams at a high level, the Pro14 teams play 3 games.  The 8 teams in the Currie Cup (as far as I know the Kings are being added to bring it up to 8 teams) play 7 games other teams.

So total so currently
Stormers, Sharks, Bulls, Lions - 13 games (6+7)
Cheetahs, Kings 10 (3+7)
Lukas, Griquas 7

Each team would get one more game against SA teams but the Currie Cup matches would be much better standard and interest.
SA would be able to have the 8 professional teams they want while the two weakest would only need a smaller budget than the other 6 teams so could better support themselves.  They also wouldn't have the cliff to fall off if they miss out on the Pro14 like the Kings and Cheetahs faced when being axed from SR.
The Conference games for SA could also be timed where 3/4 weeks before the international team selections you have the SA teams only playing each other so it can be a trial for the international team.  The other unions would agree as it means no SH travel before internationals.

That is more or less correct, but that is exactly why SA fans are losing interest. They don’t want that many games, they want Currie Cup to be the showcase, at this stage most don’t want to be part of a lengthy tournament outside the Currie Cup.

Top 7 teams in the premier division, next seven teams in the B division with either Super rugby with max nine teams, single round robin, 8 weeks to completion, or European Champions Cup which by memory takes nine weeks.

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