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Pro 12 plus maybe Friends 20/21

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Post by Brendan Sat Sep 19, 2020 1:51 pm

First topic message reminder :

As one season finishes it seems the new one seems to start sooner each year.  Here is the breakdown of teams over the last three years. Places (based on league points) and points are order 19/20, 18/19, 17/18

Leinster (Champions and clearly the team to beat)
Place 1, 3, 2, Average 2
Points 69, 76, 70 total 215
Always have finished top of their conference and winners for the last three years
Goal - Win, anything else is failure

Munster
Place 3, 2, 4 Average 3
Points 51, 77, 69 Total 197
Yet another table where Munster fall short yet again.  Each of the last three years have been knocked out by Leinster
Goal - Top Conference (2nd in league) to finally avoid Leinster in the playoffs to make the final

Glasgow
Place 7, 1, 1 Average 3
Points 38, 81, 76 Total 195
Was this year a WC hangover or is it the start of the slide back to the chasing pack.  Losing key players is taking it's toll. No longer the best team in Scotland.
Goal - Win back dominance in Scotland

Ulster
Place 4, 4, 6 Average 4.33
Points 44, 63, 62 Total 169
Improving each year and seem like one of the teams to challange Leinster.
Goal - Get back to the final

Scarlets
Place 4, 9, 3 Average 5.33
Points 47, 52, 70 Total 169
Last year killed them but on their day a match of anyone. Best team usually in Wales.
Goal - make the final

Edinburgh
Place 2, 10, 5 Average 5.66
Total 51, 51, 68 Total 170
Like Scarlets last year killed them.  Have conquered Scotland and have one of the best coaches in the league.  Possibly the 2nd best team for next season if Cockers has cracked rotation.
Goal - make the final

Connacht
Place 6, 5, 10 Average 7
Points 40, 61, 39 Total 140
Excluding the first year under Keane have been playoff contenders each year.  But they need to push on and not just be happy fighting for a playoff sport.
Have to push for Top 4

Benetton
Place 8, 7, 7 Average 7.33
Points 36, 57, 55 Total 148
Consistency has got them middle of the table which is a good place to build from rather than just the place to stay.
Goal - time to push for Top 6

Blues
Place 9, 8, 8 Average  8.33
Points 33, 54, 54 Total 141
Again consistent in their place but have fallen down and past by their peers.  Have to be looking over their shoulders at Dragons and Zebre.
Goal - time to get above 8th.

Ospreys
Place 12, 6, 9 Average 9
Points 17, 58, 54 Total 119
Which year was the anomaly, when they finished 6th or 12th.  An old team who live on past glories. Last year 6th may have been down to the drop in form of Scarlets and Edinburgh.
Goal - stop the rot

Dragons
Place 10, 11, 12 Average 11
Points 24, 26, 20 Total 70
Slowly improving.  No longer unable to win away from home and building nicely.
Goal - has to be 9th

Zebre
Place 11, 12, 11 Average 11.33
Points 21, 19, 36 Total 76
Have alot of young players coming through.  Last year wasn't great but the other two were improvements on previous years.
Goal - Finished 10th and pick up some big wins.


Last edited by Brendan on Mon Sep 21, 2020 12:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Kingshu Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:52 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:
Kingshu wrote:I'm not sure if you are being serious about the Welsh teams being superior when you say "I was talking about the late 90s and early 2000s when I mentioned the clear superiority of the Welsh. Put your specs on, Pot!"

Lets look at it
2003 Celtic league, Munster won, no Welsh superiority then
2002 celtic League Leinster win, no Welsh superiority then
2001, its an Welsh Scottish  so to compare head to head need to use heinkien cup.
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 01-02 Munster final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 00-01 Munster Semi Final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 99-00 Munster Final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 98-99 Ulster winners
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 97-98 Cardiff quarterfinal
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 96-97 Cardiff Semi final
Best Welsh or Irish team in HCup 95-96 Cardiff Final
Before that there was no Heineken Cup.

So when you say when Welsh teams were superior to Irish teams you mean from 1995-98 as after 98 Irish teams have clearly been superior.


No, Munster were basically an anomaly in Ireland up until the late 2000s. When you take the whole picture, the Welsh were monumentally stronger in 2003. It would be like trying to claim that, I don't know, Connacht were as good as the Ospreys because they've won the same number of European Cups.

The issue was that too much talent was distributed too thinly in the Welsh clubs, hence creating the regions in 2003, where a Welsh team won the competition and the other regions were pretty good as well.

This is the league table in 2003/04. It's a pretty clear hierarchy.

Pro 12 plus maybe Friends 20/21 - Page 3 Screen10

Why not just try to discuss the topic instead of denying reality?

Yes 03/04 was a good year for Welsh teams, but up to and including that year, Irish team had made 3 Hcup finals winning one, compared to the superior Welsh teams making one final, winning zero.
In the League Irish teams won two finals and provided two losing finalists, while the superior Welsh won one and provided one losing finalist.

The Welsh were more competative then, but the facts do not back up any Welsh superiority. Even the year you posted to show one season of Welsh superiority isn't straight forward that season in the Hcup the best the Welsh achieved was one team in the Quarter final, whereas an Irish team made the semifinal.

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Post by Guest Tue Sep 29, 2020 9:55 pm

You're literally doing what I said was stupid to do: looking at a very narrow metric.

Welsh rugby was better, the issue was the talent was too thinly distributed through too many clubs. Hence, they moved to regional rugby and in their first season, where former rivals became team mates, they dominated.

Again - please just discuss the topic instead of trying to deny reality!

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:03 pm

Only problem with the Welsh dominance theory is only one year since the creation of the league has there not been at least two Irish teams in the top 4 and that wax the year the regions were created.  (To catch up to the Irish). There has been a few years of 3 Irish teams in the top 4.  More increasingly we are seeing years of no Welsh team in the top 4 in the league.

What the Welsh have shown is that going from 8 to 5 teams showed the Welsh were better for one year, then the Irish adapted and got back on top.  Apart from Scarlets a few years ago what other Welsh team has had a period of improved since the regions were created.

With the 4 big South African joining the league it is going to really challange the current teams.  They can either adapt or crumble.  Stormers and Bulls will steamroll teams just like Munster.  Lions and sharks will run teams like Glasgow.  If the SA teams take 4 of the playoff spots and Leinster take 1 will the others adapt or give up.  If the SA teams dominate the league will it then be the Bru16

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:15 pm

I think it’s late 90’s you have to go back to to see the likes of Neath and Cardiff dishing out a good beating to Leinster on a regular basis, but those days are long gone. The Irish teams have been pretty good since 2000 onwards. They took to professionalism a lot better.

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Post by TJ Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:34 pm

rugby racing and beer

Funny how everyone but the welsh think it a great league and are doing well.  The problem for wales is not the league in any way nor the irish.  Its themselves with poor structures in wales and this absurd need to spend millions on keeping aging stars meaning no depth to squads.  AWJ alone takes more than the two best paid players in Scotland.  You complain about Sexton.  How much club rugby does AWJ play?

Everywhere else but wales gates are improving, quality is improving, fans are happy

But the problem is the league!  Yeah right

BTW - which banned welsh troll are you returning under another name?

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Post by Kingshu Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:40 pm

rugby racing and beer wrote:You're literally doing what I said was stupid to do: looking at a very narrow metric.

Welsh rugby was better, the issue was the talent was too thinly distributed through too many clubs. Hence, they moved to regional rugby and in their first season, where former rivals became team mates, they dominated.

Again - please just discuss the topic instead of trying to deny reality!

Deny the reality, lol, how come they didn't dominate Europe or do better than the Irish in it that year? One swallow does not make a summer. Yes it was a good year for Welsh teams in the year, but the following year 2 Irish team made the top 4 and just 2 years after Irish teams made up the top 3 spots.

So Welsh superiority was 1995-1998 and maybe one season 03/04 when they made 5 of the top 6 places (but were outperformed in Europe by the Irish). whereas I can point at 1998-2003 and 05-present as Irish dominance.

Your arguement was before 03/04 Welsh talet was spread too thin, or the Welsh teams would have been better, we'll never know, history has Irish team outperforming Welsh teams except for 95-98.

So if we just start at the so called Welsh superiority at 03/04 yes the Welsh teams dominated the league, but an Irish team did better in Europe so while not clear cut, we'll say Welsh teams edged that year.
The next year 04-05 a Welsh team won the league, but Irish teams came 2nd and 3rd, so no clear Welsh superiority, in the hcup that year 04-05 no Welsh team made the knock outs, whereas two Irish teams did, maybe call it evens,or if anything slighty towards Ireland.
05-06 3 Irish teams made the top 3 in the league and again no welsh teams made the knock outs in the Hcup whereas 2 Irish teams did, and one went on to win it. Clearly 05/06 the irish teams are superior.

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 29, 2020 10:58 pm

On your point of the Welsh and italians getting hard done by in the restructure of Europe.  Who of the participating teams/unions sided with the changes.

Since the changes happened the Irish have had 4 teams in twice (next year will be the Third) and never failed not to get three in.  The Scots have got one in every year and have also got two in.  Even Italy got a team in on merit.  The Welsh on the other hand have struggled and never had more than two
14/15 Ir3 W2 S1 It1
15/16 Ir3 W2 S1 It1
16/17 Ir4 W1 S1 It1
17/18 Ir3 W2 S1 It1
18/19 Ir3 W2 S2 (First year places where on Merit)
19/20 Ir4 W1 S1 It1
20/21 Ir4 W2 S2 (one extra spot which dragons got)
Total places 50 places
IRFU 24, under old rules 22 (1 extra for Leinster wining Cup)
WRU 12, under old rules 22 (1 extra for Blues winning I think)
SRU 9, under old rules 14
FIR 5, under old rules 14
So 7 years and 4 of those years the Scots have equalled the Welsh for number of teams qualified.

Scots had to do some internal fixing to sort out Edinburgh including investing in a good coach.  They set up the Super 6 to help improve the squads of the two pro teams to help them do better in the league.  Added to that they also brought in Jim Mallander to oversee the pathway for young rugby players to progress to the Pro teams and on to the national team.  Just because teams and countries are successful in the Pro14 doesn't mean that they haven't done alot behind the scenes to get there.

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 29, 2020 11:39 pm

Also don't see how the school system comes into it when compared to other places.

Cheetahs has the best rugby school in the world by most accounts in Greys College.  Doesn't do the cheetahs much good.  Most of the English clubs have schools attached to them that produce plenty of rugby talent.

I can't understand how the school system in South Wales isn't of a higher standard in terms of skill and competition when compared to the D4 private schools.  The D4 private schools are so good that schools from Kildare are catching them up. Professional setup produces gym monkeys in school.

14/15 &15/16 saw a rural school closer to Limerick than Dublin win and be runners up in schools cup.  The school has about 185 students.  So yes Leinster have a great school system but what Union apart from Wales, New Zealand and the PIs aren't built on the back of private schools (and odd poor person school) system.

WRU should have one of the best school competitions in the NH with the numbers of underage players in such a small area.

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 2:20 am

Brendan wrote:Only problem with the Welsh dominance theory is only one year since the creation of the league has there not been at least two Irish teams in the top 4 and that wax the year the regions were created.  (To catch up to the Irish). There has been a few years of 3 Irish teams in the top 4.  More increasingly we are seeing years of no Welsh team in the top 4 in the league.

What the Welsh have shown is that going from 8 to 5 teams showed the Welsh were better for one year, then the Irish adapted and got back on top.  Apart from Scarlets a few years ago what other Welsh team has had a period of improved since the regions were created.

With the 4 big South African joining the league it is going to really challange the current teams.  They can either adapt or crumble.  Stormers and Bulls will steamroll teams just like Munster.  Lions and sharks will run teams like Glasgow.  If the SA teams take 4 of the playoff spots and Leinster take 1 will the others adapt or give up.  If the SA teams dominate the league will it then be the Bru16

Just a note, the SHARKS have a better win/loss ratio than Bulls or Stormers vs the NZ super rugby teams.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:46 am

Old Man I know you wanted to keep it all domestically but what is your view of the domestic stuff they are looking to do (such as the 14 team cup competition)

From what I see the NZRU took a gamble and it has failed miserably.  They wanted to set up a competition that thought would keep the standards of Super Rugby but will have one that's a much worse standard.

SA win by getting European money and getting paid in euros.  They get their tournament in a time zone that works. They get places in any SH competition if run by SANZAAR.

RA get the 5 teams they wanted

NZ will have to fund a 6th team (which the report said they couldn't afford).  They get weaker Oz teams than SR had. They lose the physical challange that the SA teams provide.

It is interesting to see statements from the Australian forwards coach say that with SA teams gone the SH competitions won't have to worry about phyisicallity any more, has to be a major concern for the ABs on the international side of things.  Over the last WC cycle we saw teams being to be able to use physicality to nullify the ABs.  These moves look to carry on that.

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:32 am

Brendan my hope/wish/dream is for SARU to work a 10 year plan to build the Currie Cup to where the Gallagher Premiership and French top 14 is.

Granted we have lost a hell of a lot of players, hence building from 7 teams to 14 over a ten year period can work.

As the Currie Cup regains prominance revenue will increase.

The biggest challenge SARU face is how to increase revenue.

Currently we earn roughly similar amounts in broadcast revenue, however due to our economic status and weak rand we do not remotely earn the same from ticket sales.

Our tickets are ridiculously cheap , hence revenue from that will always lack.

Our merchandise sales and sponsorships are very low.

So SARU needs to find ways to earn more in those sectors.

How to replace ticket revenue?

Well in my view that is simple, have paid memberships where individuals can pay R100 pm - £5 , if you have 50 000 support members per province, which
i believe is realistic when you consider a 56 million population.

That provides £3 000 000 per province, that makes up half the wage bill for players.

Then search for sponsors actively.

As for New Zealand and Australia, they are understandably sour about this whole thing, if Australia believe they need not worry about physicality anymore, good luck to them, NZRU certainly disagrees with that.

I am being honest, the reasons I don’t want SA in Europe is based on three very important factors.

The season is too long.
I hate a conference system.
I don’t like the idea of having fixtures where one week you team plays in the Pro14 and the next in the ECC, then back again to Pro14.

I am also in doubt whether there will be significant gain in revenue by moving into the Pro 14.



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Post by Pot Hale Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:20 am

Old Man wrote:Brendan my hope/wish/dream is for SARU to work a 10 year plan to build the Currie Cup to where the Gallagher Premiership and French top 14 is.

Granted we have lost a hell of a lot of players, hence building from 7 teams to 14 over a ten year period can work.

As the Currie Cup regains prominance revenue will increase.

The biggest challenge SARU face is how to increase revenue.

Currently we earn roughly similar amounts in broadcast revenue, however due to our economic status and weak rand we do not remotely earn the same from ticket sales.

Our tickets are ridiculously cheap , hence revenue from that will always lack.

Our merchandise sales and sponsorships are very low.

So SARU needs to find ways to earn more in those sectors.

How to replace ticket revenue?

Well in my view that is simple, have paid memberships where individuals can pay R100 pm - £5 , if you have 50 000 support members per province, which
i believe is realistic when you consider a 56 million population.

That provides £3 000 000 per province, that makes up half the wage bill for players.

Then search for sponsors actively.

As for New Zealand and Australia, they are understandably sour about this whole thing, if Australia believe they need not worry about physicality anymore, good luck to them, NZRU certainly disagrees with that.

I am being honest, the reasons I don’t want SA in Europe is based on three very important factors.

The season is too long.
I hate a conference system.
I don’t like the idea of having fixtures where one week you team plays in the Pro14 and the next in the ECC, then back again to Pro14.

I am also in doubt whether there will be significant gain in revenue by moving into the Pro 14.


All valid concerns.   It remains to be seen what kind of Championship they will create with 16 teams - the presumption is that it would be two conferences.  Although, early in discussions about expansion, pools were considered as an option.  So you could have 4 Irish, 4 SA and two more pools with 2 Welsh, 1 Scottish and 1 Italian.

The development of the Currie Cup into a standalone, commercially successful, comp is attractive although you have to wonder where the hearts of Roux and Erasmus lie.
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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:35 am

In my view only way to legitimize the comp is a single round robin where everyone plays everyone.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:40 am

I don't think Covid has helped the SARUs choices as they need money now and quickly.

They had looked at going alone and enter as a league into Europe but think Covid meant it wasn't possible.

As you say one of the main problems is money and being in a league that does contracts in Euro means values should be better than any Rand base competition.

I would assume the SH version of the Champions Cup that will no doubt be brought in to have extra games will mean the domestic competition will have importance if the top 1-2 teams qualified based on form (much like early SR worked with SA). I would assume that the SARU is going to be looking at the legal avenue for SR and all the loss revenues. NZRU pulled the plug and the other unions just reacted (or that at least is what will be argued). You would assume a comprise to that threat will be keep SR (change format) and put the Cheetahs in and cover the costs.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:18 am

Old Man wrote: In my view only way to legitimize the comp is a single round robin where everyone plays everyone.

You have to remember that the Conference isn't like SR and the top teams gets through no places for countries. The playoffs is then to see which team is the best of the best. SR under SR18 & SR16 & SR15 was that they used the Conference to pick country winner but overall league and not Conference to pick the other 5 teams.

My preferred format would be as follows
2 self contained conferences is 8 teams. Teams blocks (Ire, SA, WAL & Soc/Ita) are in the same conference once every 3 years. Keeps the league feeling new and you would get one year at a team once in three years it would build great rivalry and fans would know if they don't watch Glasgow this year then it will be three years till the next chance.

That would give each team 14 games. I would then have the top two from each Conference play a mini league for the the top 4. Results in the Conference stand for the two teams from the same conference. Play the other two teams home and away. Do the same for 3rd and 4th. Bottom 4 teams in each conference would do a knockout home and away 5v8, 6v7. Rank each of the 8 teams like champions cup do for semi and final.

Total 18 games for Top 8 teams. 9 home games. Tv figures would be good for the mini leagues and you couldn't throw a game because you might end up in the same tournament at the end.

Bottom 8 teams play 16-18 games and could be used as a quailifing process for the CC qualification if 9th spot.

I was of the opinion of the Irish and SA shouldn't start in the same conference but have that as year 3, but I think I would prefer that now as it would really push teams like Munster and Ulster to have to improve.

A fair conference would be Ireland, Scotland and Italy in one and SA and Wales in the other, 5 good teams, 2 ok teams, one poor team.

If you did the above Conference Leinster to win would have to play Home and Away Munster, Ulster, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Sharks, Stormers
If Stormers won they would have played Sharks, Bulls, Lions, Scarlets, Leinster, Glasgow.
That's 12 strong games plus the next two teams down would be hard fought wins.

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 11:53 am

OK, so you are basically saying there are four blocks of four teams.

Ireland
SA
Wales
Scotland and Italy.

year one SA and Ireland, Scotland/Italy and Wales,

Then rotate the next year.

That ain’t a bad idea, as long as you qualify from your pool then.

But why have a mini league? You are going to have a play off anyway for finals?

Quarter, semi and finals.

That is 14 pool matches plus another three matches to the final.

This way everyone gets their derbies etc.

17 weeks plus perhaps two weeks rest is a 19 week tournament. Long enough.

If you really want more matches and there is space in the calendar then do a quick knock out cup, 16 teams to 8 to 4 to 2 is another four weeks.


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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:23 pm

Instead of the playoffs the top 2 teams from each Conference would go to a 4 team playoff. Example would be Leinster and Glasgow from Con A and Stormers and Scarlets for Con B
Leinster would play Stormers and Scarlets home and away as would Glasgow. The games between Leinster and Glasgow would be the results they got in the league. Who ever topped the 4 team group would be the winner. I don't like the playoffs

Actually I prefer your Cup idea for the extra games and put it as a European spot for the winner so it has a value.

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 12:28 pm

Ok, so instead of play offs we have the mini leagues, I like that. Not a big fan of play offs either, I much prefer a consistent performer should win the trophy than a one off performance

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:19 pm

I would do it for the two from each Conference for a winner and do the same with 3rd & 4th in Conference so they have something to play for too.

Would be big crowds and good for the TV contacts.
Top 8 teams in the league are probably 4 SA, 2 Irish, Glasgow, and one of Scarlets, Edinburgh or Ulster.

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Post by Gooseberry Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:52 pm

Old Man wrote:I much prefer a consistent performer should win the trophy than a one off performance


Something something world cup final Whistle

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 1:58 pm

Gooseberry wrote:
Old Man wrote:I much prefer a consistent performer should win the trophy than a one off performance


Something something world cup final Whistle

RWC is a short format tournament, same as European Champions Cup, After playing 20 matches or so during a club season why not have the log leader win the trophy?

Having said that I won’t have an issue if RWC worked the same way.

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Post by profitius Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:25 pm

How strong exactly are the 4 South African sides? Compared to the cheetahs for instance. The Cheetahs won the currie cup but I presume the others were missing players. How many players were they missing?
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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 30, 2020 3:51 pm

They are all stronger than the cheetahs.

If you take performance on average during the seasons then alrhough the Bulls won three championships the Sharks and Stormers historically have the best win ratios vs NZ teams, Sharks on 50% Stormers on 45%, Bulls 40% and Lions 35%

That gives you a rough idea.

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Post by Kingshu Wed Sep 30, 2020 5:28 pm

I really don't like that format, Brendan. I'm not in favour of regional conferences, you end up with strong and weak ones, it wouldn't be fair on Connacht being stuck with Leinster, Munster and Ulster every year. Overall its not balanced, which it what a league should be, balanced to everyteam has the same oppurtunties.

Also you mention 'Top 8 teams in the league are probably 4 SA, 2 Irish, Glasgow, and one of Scarlets, Edinburgh or Ulster."
Think you mean one of Scarlets, Edinburgh or Munster, as Ulster are the 2nd best province now Smile

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Post by Kingshu Wed Sep 30, 2020 6:11 pm


Fairest way is a domestic comp for each union followed by a conference play each team home and away, no cross conference games.

This plan allows Cheetahs to stay and possible Griquas or Pumas.


Two conferences of 9 drawn by league position (like now) 3 SA, 2 Irish, 2 Welsh, 1 Scottish and 1 Italian team in each conference. (Drawn like present, so will save the details of 1st and 3rd Irish in Conference A/B etc).

It appears if we get a global calender there will be 8 games before the 6 nations start. My plan is to start the season with a domestic Competition, games against teams that are also in your Conference count toward the Domestic Comp and the overall League. I'll give examples of possible Comps, to make it easier, also seen as some games count towards the League it would have to come under this, and work with the Pro 14, CVC, the TV partners etc.

GUINNESS Pro 18 inter provincial series:
Four provinces play each other home and away. Top of league wins (no playoffs, just old fashioned top wins- which will keep some people happy). 6 game weeks, 6 teams per team, 2 of which count in the conferences. So taking this years conferences Munsters 2 games V Connacht in the inter pros also get used for the conference, the 2 V Ulster just count towards the inter pro title.

Wales play the Guinness Pro 18 regional series, set out same as above. Scotland and Italy the same.

Guinness Pro 18 Currie Cup. It is more complicated so I'll come back to it, and just go through a European teams journey.

Playing these before the 6 nations means that first team players should be on display to get them match fit before the 6 Nations so would be full blooded affairs, it also gives teams a chance to win a domestic trophy and bragging rights. All derbies are kept. It also generates a lot of interest domestically with the league proper starting after (which these can be a build up too and part off)

Gameweek 7 European teams play each other, and gameweek 8 they skip and so into national camp early (get about a extra 12/13 days in camp)

After the 6 Nations the Pro 14 starts proper with the european teams already having played 2 games against a team in their conference in the domestic cup and 1 other in game week 7. The conference plays out home and away (No cross conference games). Top 3 in each play off for Cup, 4-6 play off for a Shield.

Final can be a double header, first game is Shield final, 2nd game is Grand Final. (Which increases chance that the host nation has a representive). If 8 teams qualify for Europe, then its the 6 Cup playoff teams, plus the Shield finalists (which makes it worth pushing for).

20 round season is one less than now (6 domestic, 2 of which are also Conference, plus a further 14 conference games), or 21 rounds same as now, if round 8 is skipped to get everyone into national camp early.
Each team gets 11 home games (currently its 10 or 11 depending on draw).
Trip to SA only needed once for a 3 game series, and SA teams only need to travel north twice for two, three game series. Which should reduce travel and costs.

Coming back to SA sides and the Guinness Pro 14 Currie Cup, as it can take different formats depending on what SA rugby wishes.
Could have 6 team currie cup game home and away, would need to play 2 more rounds than a European team, (possible start a week earlier and dont get to rest game week 8)
8 team Currie cup in two conferences of 4 and a grand final (one extra game week).
Knock out currie cup?
6 or 8 teams play once either home or away?

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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:16 pm

profitius wrote:How strong exactly are the 4 South African sides? Compared to the cheetahs for instance. The Cheetahs won the currie cup but I presume the others were missing players. How many players were they missing?

Very strong. Could probably finish in the top 6, and I would be surprised if all 4 didn’t.

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Post by profitius Wed Sep 30, 2020 7:44 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
profitius wrote:How strong exactly are the 4 South African sides? Compared to the cheetahs for instance. The Cheetahs won the currie cup but I presume the others were missing players. How many players were they missing?

Very strong. Could probably finish in the top 6, and I would be surprised if all 4 didn’t.

Yeah but could they live with Leinster's third string side? Smile
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Post by mikey_dragon Wed Sep 30, 2020 8:04 pm

profitius wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
profitius wrote:How strong exactly are the 4 South African sides? Compared to the cheetahs for instance. The Cheetahs won the currie cup but I presume the others were missing players. How many players were they missing?

Very strong. Could probably finish in the top 6, and I would be surprised if all 4 didn’t.

Yeah but could they live with Leinster's third string side? Smile

Yes, but I doubt Dragons could.

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Post by Kingshu Wed Sep 30, 2020 9:56 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
profitius wrote:How strong exactly are the 4 South African sides? Compared to the cheetahs for instance. The Cheetahs won the currie cup but I presume the others were missing players. How many players were they missing?

Very strong. Could probably finish in the top 6, and I would be surprised if all 4 didn’t.

To be honest they will be good, not the same level as Leinster Ulster or Munster, but at the level of Edinburgh, Scarlets,Glasgow, certainly capable of winning but not among the favourites.

It means the best SA team would be at best 4th favourites, prob 5th or 6th.

The Super Rugby sides used to be a lot better, but over the last few years with over 100 SA players playing professionally overseas, they are not as good as they were. Their player budget is only £3.5 million which is prob worse than Zebre. However they have quality players coming though each year.

Once in the Pro 14 and HCup (the most lucrative club comp in the world) they will be able to attract back and keep hold of the best players, and still have the quality players come though, they will become serious contenders for both the Pro 16 and HCup.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 30, 2020 10:55 pm

3.5m seems small but the cost of living is maybe a 3rd so in real terms it's about the same as most of the top teams.

Last two years has seen a big improvement in SR for the SA teams and they were doing really well before lock down.

Like England and France they have massive player numbers so don't think there is much between 2nd and 4th choice SA players. Teams will not be that weak and would expect them all to be top 4 in their Conference. They will be able to run like the Cheetahs which all the teams struggled with but they won't be able to be steam rolled like the Cheetahs were.

I think coaches from both the Pro12 and SA teams will be very hit and miss in the first year as the work each other out simillar to Cheetahs who won all at home and loss all away their first year.

Playing in front of 20-30k (hopefully) will be a big adjustment for many players and teams in the league and the atmosphere will be hostile (In a nice way). Not many places like it in the league (Munster, Clermont etc in European rugby).

I'm sure my father-in-law will get his Bulls tickets for a few games as he is in NE England and has been to a game in years

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Post by Kingshu Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:36 am

Brendan wrote:3.5m seems small but the cost of living is maybe a 3rd so in real terms it's about the same as most of the top teams.

Last two years has seen a big improvement in SR for the SA teams and they were doing really well before lock down.

Like England and France they have massive player numbers so don't think there is much between 2nd and 4th choice SA players. Teams will not be that weak and would expect them all to be top 4 in their Conference. They will be able to run like the Cheetahs which all the teams struggled with but they won't be able to be steam rolled like the Cheetahs were.

I think coaches from both the Pro12 and SA teams will be very hit and miss in the first year as the work each other out simillar to Cheetahs who won all at home and loss all away their first year.

Playing in front of 20-30k (hopefully) will be a big adjustment for many players and teams in the league and the atmosphere will be hostile (In a nice way). Not many places like it in the league (Munster, Clermont etc in European rugby).

I'm sure my father-in-law will get his Bulls tickets for a few games as he is in NE England and has been to a game in years


I think cost of living does make a big difference, they brought in a new model last year
"Super Rugby, PRO14 and Currie Cup Premier Division sides will be limited to a salary expenditure of R60m (£3.1m) and this will be phased in over the next three years. The Griquas and Pumas will be limited to R15m (£780k). An unlimited number of development players are allowed to be signed, providing they stay with a budget of R10m (£520k) for Super Rugby and PRO14 sides - reduced to R7.5m in year two - and R1m (£52k) for all other teams."

The big 4 unions used to have squads of over 100 players, this was planned to be reduced to 45. This was so talented players would be more evenly spread.
Plus there will be about 80 young upcoming players (players of national interest) that will have their wages supplemented by the SA union.

With the Kings gone, the budgets may increase for the other 5 (4 if they are not supporting cheetahs for the super 8 or whatever)

So budgets around £3.6 -4.2 million all considered.



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Post by RugbyFan100 Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:11 pm

Great article on this years Pro? here:

https://www.dai-sport.com/it-should-be-a-luxurious-feast-but-instead-new-guinness-pro14-season-resembles-a-dogs-dinner/



Posted on 30th September 2020 by Editor

A new season of Guinness PRO14 rugby begins on Friday with a sense of the unknown hanging over the competition. The Covid-19 pandemic means the competition will begin behind closed doors with the tournament set to introduce further South African sides. Steffan Thomas looks at the strengths of the PRO14 and why it should be so much better.

The Guinness PRO14 returns this weekend. A domestic competition packed with some of the best players in the world with some of the strongest provincial sides in the northern hemisphere.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? But what should be a competition full of top-class rugby has been reduced to a dog’s dinner thanks to some crazy scheduling.

Supporters should be enjoying a rugby feast with players such as Johnny Sexton, Tadhg Furlong, Peter O’Mahony, Bundee Aki, Iain Henderson, Jonathan Davies, Leigh Halfpenny, Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric, Hamish Watson, Leone Nakarawa, Monty Ioane and Ruan Pienaar.

But these high-profile players will hardly be seen in their club or provincial colours this season due to an extended season of international rugby. A competition which should excite supporters does the opposite with it being a league set up for the purpose of servicing international rugby with supporters an afterthought.

According to Cardiffrfcfans.com last season Ireland and British & Irish Lions outside-half Sexton only played 125 minutes of PRO14 rugby excluding the play-offs. He didn’t play much more in the 2018-19 season appearing for a mere 359 minutes.

Similarly, Tadhg Furlong played 63 minutes, Alun Wyn Jones 723 minutes, Ross Moriarty 660 minutes and Jacob Stockdale 344 minutes. And they wonder why the Pro14 is seen as the poor relation to the Gallagher Premiership and the Top 14. If ever a competition needed a globally aligned season it was the PRO14.

This season will be worse than most with a one-off Nations Cup which includes England, Ireland, France, Scotland, Wales and Georgia and Fiji to be played this autumn with the Six Nations remaining in its usual spot.

While even the most gifted psychic could not have foreseen a global pandemic and the devastation it would leave in its wake, the PRO14 has still not helped itself.

One of rugby’s worst kept secrets was finally revealed this week with crack South African Super Rugby franchises the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions being brought into the competition to create a PRO16 from the 2021-22 season onwards.

On the face of it this could seriously enhance the quality and profile of this much maligned league. Unlike the previous two South African participants these are powerhouses of the southern hemisphere game and would be contenders to win it every season.

But along with the absence of a globally aligned season what is lacking in this competition is a lack of tribalism and deep-rooted rivalry outside of the inter-provincial derbies.

Imagine yourself being a Cardiff Blues season ticket holder.

An hour up the road you have Bristol, 90 minutes up the road you have Bath, with Gloucester, Exeter Chiefs and Worcester Warriors a similar distance away. To play these clubs regularly would rekindle old rivalries and get supporters excited again.

Is there really going to be any sort of tribalism at the prospect of facing sides who are a 12-hour flight away? The lack of away support is a massive issue which this move won’t fix, to say nothing of the travel uncertainties in the current global pandemic.

The lack of a salary cap also hinders the competitiveness of the league – a point which will be hammered home this season more than ever.

Leinster have dominated the PRO14 for the past three seasons and are the side everyone else aspires to be like.

But is having one side completely dominate the competition – they were unbeaten last season – good for the league?

This is no criticism of Leinster but some would argue it does nothing for generating extra excitement.

The Gallagher Premiership and the Top 14 have salary caps in place and there are many reasons the PRO14 should follow suit. Leinster’s playing budget is thought to be in the region of 10.8 million euros.

The Irish enjoy taking the moral high ground over big spending French and English clubs but in actual fact Leinster’s playing budget is higher than Saracens, who have been relegated from English rugby’s top flight for breaking the agreed salary cap, and French outfit Toulon who spent 8.55 million euros on their squad.

Of course, it has to be acknowledged that the vast majority of Leinster’s squad are homegrown players but their spend is significantly higher than their PRO14 rivals with Munster’s estimated spend in the region of 8.5 million euros, Ulster’s 7m euros and Connacht’s 6m euros.

In contrast, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced players to take significant pay cuts, the Scarlets budget was £7.7m, the Ospreys £6.4m, Cardiff Blues £5.9m and the Dragons £4.8m.

There is a huge gulf in playing budgets throughout the league and in such uncertain financial times wouldn’t implementing a fair salary cap be the right thing to do?

Fans should enjoy the Guinness PRO14 when it kicks-off on Friday night for there will be some enjoyable rugby and any sport is precious in these times.

But they should also reflect on how much better this competition could and should be.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:16 pm

Why do some folk have a huge issue with players being rested? Our season in the NH is too long, the players need rest. These folk seem to be awfully quiet when English clubs rest and rotate players chin.


Edit, it's Dai Sport. Must have been written by Rugby Fan 100.

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Post by Old Man Thu Oct 01, 2020 12:26 pm

Well, if there is an issue with slary caps then the South African sides are all at the bottom of that list.

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:04 pm

Old Man wrote:Well, if there is an issue with slary caps then the South African sides are all at the bottom of that list.

Well if you're going to be playing in the Pro14 you can expect more of them to sign contracts for overseas teams.

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Post by Old Man Thu Oct 01, 2020 1:30 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:Well, if there is an issue with slary caps then the South African sides are all at the bottom of that list.

Well if you're going to be playing in the Pro14 you can expect more of them to sign contracts for overseas teams.

Yes, hence my doubt there is much benefit for us to join Europe, we will now just become travelling shopping baskets

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Post by Brendan Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:37 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Great article on this years Pro? here:

https://www.dai-sport.com/it-should-be-a-luxurious-feast-but-instead-new-guinness-pro14-season-resembles-a-dogs-dinner/



Posted on 30th September 2020 by Editor

A new season of Guinness PRO14 rugby begins on Friday with a sense of the unknown hanging over the competition. The Covid-19 pandemic means the competition will begin behind closed doors with the tournament set to introduce further South African sides. Steffan Thomas looks at the strengths of the PRO14 and why it should be so much better.

One of rugby’s worst kept secrets was finally revealed this week with crack South African Super Rugby franchises the Bulls, Stormers, Sharks and Lions being brought into the competition to create a PRO16 from the 2021-22 season onwards.

On the face of it this could seriously enhance the quality and profile of this much maligned league. Unlike the previous two South African participants these are powerhouses of the southern hemisphere game and would be contenders to win it every season.

But along with the absence of a globally aligned season what is lacking in this competition is a lack of tribalism and deep-rooted rivalry outside of the inter-provincial derbies.

Imagine yourself being a Cardiff Blues season ticket holder.

The lack of a salary cap also hinders the competitiveness of the league – a point which will be hammered home this season more than ever.

But is having one side completely dominate the competition – they were unbeaten last season – good for the league?

This is no criticism of Leinster but some would argue it does nothing for generating extra excitement.

The Gallagher Premiership and the Top 14 have salary caps in place and there are many reasons the PRO14 should follow suit. Leinster’s playing budget is thought to be in the region of 10.8 million euros.

The Irish enjoy taking the moral high ground over big spending French and English clubs but in actual fact Leinster’s playing budget is higher than Saracens, who have been relegated from English rugby’s top flight for breaking the agreed salary cap, and French outfit Toulon who spent 8.55 million euros on their squad.

Of course, it has to be acknowledged that the vast majority of Leinster’s squad are homegrown players but their spend is significantly higher than their PRO14 rivals with Munster’s estimated spend in the region of 8.5 million euros, Ulster’s 7m euros and Connacht’s 6m euros.

In contrast, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic which has forced players to take significant pay cuts, the Scarlets budget was £7.7m, the Ospreys £6.4m, Cardiff Blues £5.9m and the Dragons £4.8m.

There is a huge gulf in playing budgets throughout the league and in such uncertain financial times wouldn’t implementing a fair salary cap be the right thing to do?

Fans should enjoy the Guinness PRO14 when it kicks-off on Friday night for there will be some enjoyable rugby and any sport is precious in these times.

But they should also reflect on how much better this competition could and should be.

1. Resting players
Everyone knows the IRFU rest their players the most yet their three teams most affected are usually top 4 performers in the league and also representing the league in Europe.  I can understand Osprey fans being upset as they had their worse season but Bennetton and Glasgow improved once theirs came back because they played.
It's funny he uses Blues fans, as Connacht beat them 29-0 in Galway.  Did Connacht fans care, of course not, picked up 5pts, kept them scoreless for a team that would be seen as their equal. Imagine Connacht fans increased as they have one from bit on feeds to playoff fights.

2. Wages
Seeing these figures can we now put to bed the rubbish of the Welsh teams being financial poor teams fighting against the rich union team.  Compared to Blues and Ospreys Connacht are doing great as are Benneton.
The author also can't say it's so unfair they are using the kids against us then include the expensive player's wages to show how strong their squad are in the league. The reason that the Irish have strong squads is because second string players know they will still get 10 starts and 10 subs, they wouldn't stay I'd they only got 2 starts and 10 subs.

3. Competition between teams
Does the writer not watch the Premership. In the last 5 years there has been two winners who are wad and shoulders above the rest. There have been 4 finalist (Bath 14/15, Wasps 16/17).  Sarries were in 4/5, Exeter 4/5.  Up until yesterday Sarries would have been in second while heavily rotating) if no points had been deducted this year.
In the last 5 years there has also been one year Leinster didn't make the final.  The difference is in that time Connacht/Ulster (depending if you count this year) Munster and Glasgow have all made a final once while Scarlets made it 2 years in a row.
Teams are much more yoyo now in the Pro14 where a bad year will drop you down the table like a stone.

4. Structure
Again has the write not looked across the boarder.  No one knows when the Championship is starting and it is possible it won't. Newcastle have been doing nothing while they wait for the Prem to finish.  Pro14 starts this weekend as we've know for ages. (Still think that Sarries should be invited to the league and keep Cheetahs for the year and just do one match per team).
The issue with the SA teams is down to government regulation just like any of the three leagues could be culled again in the 20/21 season.

5. Rivalries.
Quinn's see Sarries as rivals but Sarries don't because Quinn's are rubbish.  Sarries view Leinster as their main rivals and Exeter as their second.  I am beginning to see Edinburgh as Munster's rivals due to the last three years of close games and fighting it out neck and neck last year.  Same goes for Ulster and Glasgow with them being simillar to each other for the last 7/8 years.
I can see Sharks and Glasgow building rivalries because of their playing style.  Munster and Bulls will be rivals and some if their games will be epic for fight and niggle.  Stormers will be rivals with Leinster from the off as they would both see themselves as being the best team in the strongest country (Not saying Stormers are the best right now)

This article is more of the same. We the poor teams think the league is rubbish because we are rubbish and we want to play against men even though we lose to the boys.

At what point do the Blues start to look at themselves and wonder why they are the problem not the league.  I haven't heard the FIR or Benetton complain about how the league is failing them and not helping them.  I didn't hear SARU give out about the league but deem it good enough for their best teams.  Cheetahs are going to sue because they think the league is so good. They didn't sue when they were removed from SR because they were joining the league.

Final point is does the writer know that Ruan Pinnear isn't at Ulster and played loads at Ulster when he was there. More trying to dig at the Irish but failing.

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Post by Brendan Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:49 pm

Old Man wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:Well, if there is an issue with slary caps then the South African sides are all at the bottom of that list.

Well if you're going to be playing in the Pro14 you can expect more of them to sign contracts for overseas teams.

Yes, hence my doubt there is much benefit for us to join Europe, we will now just become travelling shopping baskets

I think the teams will be able to keep players and  expect the wage cap to increase once commercial contracts for the Pro16 are signed.  Maybe the SARU will do the Irish model and give central contracts for the top 15 home based players.

Do we know how much prize/competition money the SA teams were getting from SR.  Think Pot said Irish and Welsh was about €13m which would be about 3million per team per year. Add in the extra game revenue and you would assume that prize money and gate income would be more than enough to cover an increase.

I doubt that travel costs will be more than SR and add in its much easier to get flights to Europe than to the other SANZAAR nations so flights might be cheaper.

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Post by Old Man Thu Oct 01, 2020 3:54 pm

Remember our ticketing is much cheaper, so our gate revenue won’t come close to what the European teams are getting, sponsorship is also lacking

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Post by Pot Hale Thu Oct 01, 2020 4:59 pm

Brendan wrote:
Old Man wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:Well, if there is an issue with slary caps then the South African sides are all at the bottom of that list.

Well if you're going to be playing in the Pro14 you can expect more of them to sign contracts for overseas teams.

Yes, hence my doubt there is much benefit for us to join Europe, we will now just become travelling shopping baskets

I think the teams will be able to keep players and  expect the wage cap to increase once commercial contracts for the Pro16 are signed.  Maybe the SARU will do the Irish model and give central contracts for the top 15 home based players.

Do we know how much prize/competition money the SA teams were getting from SR.  Think Pot said Irish and Welsh was about €13m which would be about 3million per team per year. Add in the extra game revenue and you would assume that prize money and gate income would be more than enough to cover an increase.

I doubt that travel costs will be more than SR and add in its much easier to get flights to Europe than to the other SANZAAR nations so flights might be cheaper.

It is ridiculous that the WRU and IRFU are getting the same Competition Income from PRO14 and EPCR comps. Hopefully the addition of the 4 SR teams will sort this inequity out.
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Post by Brendan Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:28 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
Brendan wrote:
Old Man wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
Old Man wrote:Well, if there is an issue with slary caps then the South African sides are all at the bottom of that list.

Well if you're going to be playing in the Pro14 you can expect more of them to sign contracts for overseas teams.

Yes, hence my doubt there is much benefit for us to join Europe, we will now just become travelling shopping baskets

I think the teams will be able to keep players and  expect the wage cap to increase once commercial contracts for the Pro16 are signed.  Maybe the SARU will do the Irish model and give central contracts for the top 15 home based players.

Do we know how much prize/competition money the SA teams were getting from SR.  Think Pot said Irish and Welsh was about €13m which would be about 3million per team per year. Add in the extra game revenue and you would assume that prize money and gate income would be more than enough to cover an increase.

I doubt that travel costs will be more than SR and add in its much easier to get flights to Europe than to the other SANZAAR nations so flights might be cheaper.

It is ridiculous that the WRU and IRFU are getting the same Competition Income from PRO14 and EPCR comps.  Hopefully the addition of the 4 SR teams will sort this inequity out.

While they are getting the same for prize money the gates, sponsership, advertising etc are much more in the Irish team's favour.

They where talking to Leinster Rugby about no fans on the radio and they said they lost out on 1.5m for the Munster semi. That's some money for one game but shows the money that is available to teams in the league if they put in the efforts. Would love to know the T14 and Premership equivalent.

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Post by Brendan Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:35 pm

Does anyone know how tickets work for away fans.  You would assume that if away teams get x number/% of tickets to sell then that would bring in income for the SA teams.

You would assume 1000 tickets to sell for away games at Munster, Leinster and Ulster matches would raise good amounts of cash as they would be sold at fairly high prices.

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Post by Old Man Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:44 pm

As far as I know there isn’t currently a system in place like that, but I am sure if they deem it as an 8mportant revenue stream it will be negotiated as part of the pro16 agreement.

Afterall our stadiums are big, so allocating 5000 tickets for lets say Munster to sell to their supporters to watch them play the Bulls at Loftus should not be an issue. I suspect your biggest hurdle is a Munster supporter can fly here and buy a ticket at the gate for £5-6.


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Post by Old Man Thu Oct 01, 2020 5:45 pm

Oh, apologies I only now realise you meant SA teams in Europe

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Post by mikey_dragon Thu Oct 01, 2020 7:52 pm

Kingshu wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
profitius wrote:How strong exactly are the 4 South African sides? Compared to the cheetahs for instance. The Cheetahs won the currie cup but I presume the others were missing players. How many players were they missing?

Very strong. Could probably finish in the top 6, and I would be surprised if all 4 didn’t.

To be honest they will be good, not the same level as Leinster Ulster or Munster, but at the level of Edinburgh, Scarlets,Glasgow, certainly capable of winning but not among the favourites.

It means the best SA team would be at best 4th favourites, prob 5th or 6th.

The Super Rugby sides used to be a lot better, but over the last few years with over 100 SA players playing professionally overseas, they are not as good as they were. Their player budget is only £3.5 million which is prob worse than Zebre. However they have quality players coming though each year.

Once in the Pro 14 and HCup (the most lucrative club comp in the world) they will be able to attract back and keep hold of the best players, and still have the quality players come though, they will become serious contenders for both the Pro 16 and HCup.

That seems inaccurate. They’ll probably be competing with Leinster, and I don’t doubt Munster will turn a few of them over in Munster. But just look at the difference a few of them can make to a team like Sale.

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Post by Kingshu Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:24 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:Great article on this years Pro? here:

https://www.dai-sport.com/it-should-be-a-luxurious-feast-but-instead-new-guinness-pro14-season-resembles-a-dogs-dinner/



Posted on 30th September 2020 by Editor

A new season of Guinness PRO14 rugby begins on Friday with a sense of the unknown hanging over the competition. The Covid-19 pandemic means the competition will begin behind closed doors with the tournament set to introduce further South African sides. Steffan Thomas looks at the strengths of the PRO14 and why it should be so much better.

Imagine yourself being a Cardiff Blues season ticket holder.

An hour up the road you have Bristol, 90 minutes up the road you have Bath, with Gloucester, Exeter Chiefs and Worcester Warriors a similar distance away. To play these clubs regularly would rekindle old rivalries and get supporters excited again.


I like how he uses Cardiff as an example and its something thats been mentioned a few times before, now if he used Connacht (or another Irish province, the closest non Irish professional teams are Scarlets, Glasgow, Ospreys Cardiff, Dragons and Edinburgh.
Or used the Glasgow and the closest non Scottish team is Ulster. For Edinburgh the closest non Scottish team is Newcastle, 2nd closest is Ulster.
For Italian, French teams would be closer, but there is no rivally there, and they dont look forlornly at them I think they generated more in the Pro 14 and if given the choice of playing Ulster, Glasgow, Leinster, or French teams, they would prefer the Pro 16.
For SA teams flying to Europe, it doesn't really make much odds where they land.
So for 4 of the 16 teams, there are closer professional teams, for the other 12 though.....

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Post by Brendan Thu Oct 01, 2020 9:54 pm

When they play in Europe it doesn't seem to matter that they are close enough. They don't get great attendance figures

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Post by Brendan Thu Oct 01, 2020 10:18 pm

This year in the Challange Dragons had Worcester and got 4k to the game the same as their other to games.

On the other hand Bordeaux got 17.5k for Edinburgh (highest in the group stages) but 5k less for their lowest home game.

Yet again big games get bigger crowds

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Post by Irish Londoner Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:40 am

Where does "Dai Sport" get the idea that any of the English clubs mentioned consider Cardiff or Scarlets "rivals"?
Maybe in the days of "rugby special" when there were no real leagues but I'd suggest Exeter see their rivals as Saracens, Bristol, Bath and Sale or maybe even Leinster, Ulster, Toulouse, Racing or Clermont.
Is there any evidence that when Welsh clubs play English clubs in Europe that their attendances increase, once you've allowed for travelling English fans? Do large numbers of Welsh fans travel to games against the English clubs?
If I'm running a club in England what does adding Welsh teams bring to the party that I haven't already got with the current set up?

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Post by Gooseberry Fri Oct 02, 2020 12:06 pm

Before it became a B team competition the Anglo Welsh cup was well supported and attended, and had some spicy fixtures (notable Tigers at Ospreys). But that time has passed now. A lot of people would like to see some more grudge fixtures in the calendar but theres already too many PRL clubs and the money for them is in playing the French, not the welsh.

In terms of pushing up the quality of rugby in the league getting the Safricans in is a big deal. Financially I'm sure it does shake out for all parties, the one thing they will have looked into in detail when making this leap the money. Even more so in the current situation that is going to be the main driving factor in decisions about competitions.

Whether its the best thing for the fans is much more open to opinion.

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