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What improves the national team for those in T2

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What improves the national team for those in T2 Empty What improves the national team for those in T2

Post by Brendan Wed Dec 16, 2020 4:45 pm

When we finish the AIs we usually turn to more should be done to grow the game and why aren't the T2 nations improving.  I would like to put forward 3 things that have help nations to make the big jump up in performance via Japan, Fiji and Georgia which has also caused the decline of other teams like Nambia, Samoa, Rominia who have gone from strong T2 teams to weak T2 teams.

Professional league route - Japan.  Few nations can go this route.  The first to go this route could be argued were Ireland and Wales who went from T1 nations in name only in the 90s to being strong T1 nations.  Japan have improved because of this.  It improves the domestic player while also bringing in better non-eligible players who can then play for the country.  It also improves academies and the day to day standards of the player.
Nations trying this route - Spain, Russia, USA, Uraguary (through the SA league)

Under 20s - Georgia.  Georgia are comfortable a T1 nation at u20s.  They use this as a way to get their young players into professional academies which has seen more and more Georgians playing professionally.  As the u20s T1 competition only relegates one team each year being in the top 11 teams is very important.  France resurgence was built off u20s so it's a high standard.  The T2 competition sees 1 team from each Region have one representive plus host and relegated team from T1. Teams Like Samoa and Tonga some years don't even have a team in the T2 competition so are falling behind.  Europe seems to be the only region to have strong T2 u20s and it looks like we are more likely to have one of them promoted to T1 then any of the other T2 nations except Japan and Fiji who are the yoyo teams currently.  It's not just one Europe nation but a couple of them.
Nations Trying this route - Spain, Portugal

7s rugby - Fiji. 7s is a route for backs to show their talent and more are getting picked up.  You know to make the Fiji 7s you have to be good, so teams know taking one these isn't a massive risk.  Looking at the 7s circuit you have teams like Kenya that don't seem to have the structure to get players into 15s.
Teams trying this - Spain, USA, Canada, Samoa

Strong T2 competitions - Europe B6N is the 3rd best competition in international rugby when it comes to teams.  The Pacific Nations cup is a joke and normally home based players.  Only the Americas (N&S regions) are the only ones putting things in place to fix this.  Under the American 6N they will also have two professional (of sorts) leagues.  In Europe a bad team (see Spain, Rominia, Portugal, Germany) all fall down the rankings forcing the union to take action.  For Spain and Portugal it was part of the reason for their improved u20s.  Germany are heading to T4 in Europe.  No other Region has that pressure in not only quailifing for the WC but just to stay a T2 team.
Teams trying - this is out of their control but WR needs to do something as can the rugby Championship.  If the rugby Championship went up to 6 teams then Fiji and Japan could be added to the summer tours for the European T1 nations.  WR also needs to bang heads together and have a serious competition for non European T2 teams.  Having unfair quailifing rules for WCs haven't helped Canada, Samoa, Tonga or Nambia, instead it's aided their decline.  Uruagary have improved because it was so hard for them to get to a WC.

Nambia will no longer be a T2 side if things carry on.  In 1991 they beat Italy and Ireland twice.  Now they would struggle to beat the top4 teams in the B6N and they and Canada are now the weakest teams in the WC.


Last edited by Brendan on Wed Dec 16, 2020 6:38 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Gooseberry Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:40 pm

Not sure you can say the qualification rules for the world cup are unfair on Namibia when a second African country gets a place regardless of how awful they are. They were ranked 23 last time and got in, currently they are ranked 24 and will likely get in. Cant remember the last time they werent at a world cup and werent an embarrassment, its not like this slide is sudden or recent. 1991 was before professionalism and during South Africas ban, so half the team were from across the border.

Japans rise and the real barrier in bridging the gap is money. They can sustain a professional league and have been able to invest in decent coaches and facilities. Its also economically viable to host tests there as people can actually afford the tickets.

Feel Georgias rise is a bit exaggerated, they are still a mile off the level of the 6 nations and reliant on the big european leagues to lift their players to true test standard. The sports at least got a fair audience there and whilst hardly being an economic powerhouse is still better off than the Pislands.

Really the thing thats always going to hold back Micronesian teams is global economics and the realities of professional sport. NZ are struggling to balance the books for the All Blacks as it is, the brands been put up for sale, they really arent likely to want to economically support Fiji by including them in a competition. Japan would be different, and I woudlnt be amazed to see the Championships collapse and be replaced by a ANZJAP competition sometime in the next 5 years. The other Skipper cup nations wouldnt be too happy with Fiji and Japan jumping ship either, and likely would try to resist such a thing happening. Japan alone going would be a huge blow to them as the only nation with any real financial backing and sponsorship pull out of them.

Its a bit beyond the ability of world rugby to fully address the economic imbalance too. The money they do throw at the Tier 2 Unions has a habit of being misused, and the wholes everyone has in their finances for the next decade wont increase the benevolence of the established powerhouses. As its stands keeping professional rugby going at all is looking increasingly difficult, we are likely to see a big squeeze on. That could of course help level the playing field a bit, but thats going to be the result of a decline in investment and the game at the highest levels rather than lifting the mid level teams up.

That said money alone isn't enough. We were constantly told about how the USA were going to be the next powerhouse but still no sign that that massive economy is producing a worthwhile national team or league. They are getting regular visits from Tier 1 teams too. Just seems there isnt the level of interest required for it to really take off there. Again something difficult for world rugby to force.

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Post by lostinwales Wed Dec 16, 2020 5:54 pm

Americas. I had a Mexican friend who liked watching rugby. He said that in American Football is pushed in Mexico but it is a very expensive sport to play, especially with the level of equipment required. Not saying that Mexico has the kind of size profile that would suggest rugby greatness but in an ideal world you'd have thought that Rugby would gain more traction in many more countries, particularly at 7's level.

As far as supporting lesser nations go I think the comment above is very good. I wonder if there is a route to taking foreign kids into professional academies that would protect their nationality (and future availability) and keep the clubs sponsoring them happy.

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Post by Brendan Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:04 pm

The point on the quailification is as follows

In Europe they get 2.25 spots.  When Georgia got an automatic spot Europe was reduced to 1.25 spots so Europe got no benefit. Because Georgia (who were rubbish in 2000 but had WR help to be the 7th best European nation) other nations have to constantly improve. With those 2.25 spots Georgia, Rominia, Spain, Portugal and Russia have all made the WC.  Spain and Portugal because they missed out on WCs now have better foundations to build on.

Because Japan automatically quailifed Asia got 0.25 spots instead of their usual 1.25

But the terribly treated PIs ended up getting 2.5 spots to reward them for their mismanagement and lack of foundations. They normally got 1 spot. If Samoa had of failed to make the 2019 WC it would have resulted in them fixing their mess that is the Union and put responsibility on the powers that be. Instead the mess carries on.

Americas had 2.25 spots.  Winners of USA & Canada got 1 and Winners of whichever team lost and Uraguary also quailifed.  Canada went from first team to get in to now being the 0.25 team.  Uraguary on the other hand had to put in structures to compete and are now much stronger and have more players in the MRL then Canada.

Because WR re-gig the rules to always help the PIs we have seen Samoa and Tonga get weaker with the least number of home born players in their squads and soon we might see none while the other weaker T2 teams are becoming more and more home produced.

At u18s and u20s Georgia is as good as Ireland, Scotland and Italy and better then Japan and Fiji.  That is starting to come through to the full team.  Samoa and Tonga on the other hand are lucky to get a team at the T2 u20s where they struggle.

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Post by Brendan Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:24 pm

For club/region structures we have as follows

Europe
T2 teams entering regions into T3 international competitions with the top teams competing against the weaker T1 club/region teams.
Americas
The two regions (N&S) have set up international leagues to give internationals more games outside the  test arena for their players.  They also set up the America's 6N so Uruagary, USA and Canada could get more tests and also help the T3 nations.

SA have had Nambia and Zimbabwe and I think Argentina in their second level for years.

PIs has only had Fiji get a team in the Australian second Tier.  NZ has done nothing with the Mitre10.  All the restructuring going on at club/regional They would rather look at Asian teams then the PIs.

PIs problems are firmly in the hands of their unions as they neither have the underage system of places like Georgia nor the union governance.  As a result no Union will touch them (mainly Samoa and Tonga) with a 20 foot barge pole to work with them like 6Ns, South Africa and Agentina are with their weaker nations.

WR is doing nothing to help or fix the PIs but just paying lip service while the rest of the T2 fix their own problems or struggle is silence.

WR if they were serious would increase the T2 u20s to cover the next 12 teams. If they don't the final will always between the T1 relegated team and Europe's 8th best team. Most of the PIs playing for other nations have no rugby connection o the PIs that many would force them to play for.

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Post by Brendan Wed Dec 16, 2020 7:43 pm

Gooseberry I must have poorly worded my point on Nambia. It is because they had such a weak quailifing process they have fallen. They became independent from SA in 1990 so I am sure there were alot of South Africans.

Nambia get some international test (normally v European teams) but should get more games v the PIs and America teams.

Playing T3 teams to quailify for the WC does little make them want to change their structures in the same way Spain Uraguary and Portugal had to.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:06 pm

Brendan wrote:The point on the quailification is as follows

In Europe they get 2.25 spots.  When Georgia got an automatic spot Europe was reduced to 1.25 spots so Europe got no benefit. Because Georgia (who were rubbish in 2000 but had WR help to be the 7th best European nation) other nations have to constantly improve. With those 2.25 spots Georgia, Rominia, Spain, Portugal and Russia have all made the WC.  Spain and Portugal because they missed out on WCs now have better foundations to build on.

Because Japan automatically quailifed Asia got 0.25 spots instead of their usual 1.25

But the terribly treated PIs ended up getting 2.5 spots to reward them for their mismanagement and lack of foundations. They normally got 1 spot. If Samoa had of failed to make the 2019 WC it would have resulted in them fixing their mess that is the Union and put responsibility on the powers that be.  Instead the mess carries on.

Americas had 2.25 spots.  Winners of USA & Canada got 1 and Winners of whichever team lost and Uraguary also quailifed.  Canada went from first team to get in to now being the 0.25 team.  Uraguary on the other hand had to put in structures to compete and are now much stronger and have more players in the MRL then Canada.

Because WR re-gig the rules to always help the PIs we have seen Samoa and Tonga get weaker with the least number of home born players in their squads and soon we might see none while the other weaker T2 teams are becoming more and more home produced.

At u18s and u20s Georgia is as good as Ireland, Scotland and Italy and better then Japan and Fiji.  That is starting to come through to the full team.  Samoa and Tonga on the other hand are lucky to get a team at the T2 u20s where they struggle.
That was absolute madness, it's an Asian world cup there should have been at least one other Asian team in the tournament. Although Hong Kong would have probably got that spot, It would have been great to have South Korea in the WC, they are improving at 7's level and have a corporate professional 15s team (like in Japan) who are looking to join Japan's new pro leagues.

Canada are putting in some serious ground work through their professional team the Toronto arrows (who looked odds on to win the MLR this year), they are linking up with he amateur clubs around Ontario which is great to see. Not sure where you are getting that Uruguay have more players in the MLR? That isn't true, although they have been putting in some really good work of their own and now have their own professional team in SLAR.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Wed Dec 16, 2020 8:14 pm

Brendan wrote:For club/region structures we have as follows

Europe
T2 teams entering regions into T3 international competitions with the top teams competing against the weaker T1 club/region teams.
Americas
The two regions (N&S) have set up international leagues to give internationals more games outside the  test arena for their players.  They also set up the America's 6N so Uruagary, USA and Canada could get more tests and also help the T3 nations.

SA have had Nambia and Zimbabwe and I think Argentina in their second level for years.

PIs has only had Fiji get a team in the Australian second Tier.  NZ has done nothing with the Mitre10.  All the restructuring going on at club/regional They would rather look at Asian teams then the PIs.

PIs problems are firmly in the hands of their unions as they neither have the underage system of places like Georgia nor the union governance.  As a result no Union will touch them (mainly Samoa and Tonga) with a 20 foot barge pole to work with them like 6Ns, South Africa and Agentina are with their weaker nations.

WR is doing nothing to help or fix the PIs but just paying lip service while the rest of the T2 fix their own problems or struggle is silence.

WR if they were serious would increase the T2 u20s to cover the next 12 teams.  If they don't the final will always between the T1 relegated team and Europe's 8th best team.  Most of the PIs playing for other nations have no rugby connection o the PIs that many would force them to play for.
Samoa and Tonga have a u20 team every year, however they have to compete in a qualifier in order for the right to represent Oceania in the t2 u20 world cup. Samoa and Tonga get far more games against tier 1 nations then Georgia so not sure what you mean by the bit in bold? Georgia are currently going through their own internal difficulties with many of their fans going mad about how the GRU is being run at the minute.

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Post by Brendan Wed Dec 16, 2020 10:53 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Brendan wrote:The point on the quailification is as follows

In Europe they get 2.25 spots.  When Georgia got an automatic spot Europe was reduced to 1.25 spots so Europe got no benefit. Because Georgia (who were rubbish in 2000 but had WR help to be the 7th best European nation) other nations have to constantly improve. With those 2.25 spots Georgia, Rominia, Spain, Portugal and Russia have all made the WC.  Spain and Portugal because they missed out on WCs now have better foundations to build on.

Because Japan automatically quailifed Asia got 0.25 spots instead of their usual 1.25

But the terribly treated PIs ended up getting 2.5 spots to reward them for their mismanagement and lack of foundations. They normally got 1 spot. If Samoa had of failed to make the 2019 WC it would have resulted in them fixing their mess that is the Union and put responsibility on the powers that be.  Instead the mess carries on.

Americas had 2.25 spots.  Winners of USA & Canada got 1 and Winners of whichever team lost and Uraguary also quailifed.  Canada went from first team to get in to now being the 0.25 team.  Uraguary on the other hand had to put in structures to compete and are now much stronger and have more players in the MRL then Canada.

Because WR re-gig the rules to always help the PIs we have seen Samoa and Tonga get weaker with the least number of home born players in their squads and soon we might see none while the other weaker T2 teams are becoming more and more home produced.

At u18s and u20s Georgia is as good as Ireland, Scotland and Italy and better then Japan and Fiji.  That is starting to come through to the full team.  Samoa and Tonga on the other hand are lucky to get a team at the T2 u20s where they struggle.
That was absolute madness, it's an Asian world cup there should have been at least one other Asian team in the tournament. Although Hong Kong would have probably got that spot, It would have been great to have South Korea in the WC, they are improving at 7's level and have a corporate professional 15s team (like in Japan) who are looking to join Japan's new pro leagues.

Canada are putting in some serious ground work through their professional team the Toronto arrows (who looked odds on to win the MLR this year), they are linking up with he amateur clubs around Ontario which is great to see. Not sure where you are getting that Uruguay have more players in the MLR? That isn't true, although they have been putting in some really good work of their own and now have their own professional team in SLAR.

You are correct on the MLR they had the most from a non-participating country so I had misread it.
Canada is starting to do good work but they fell massively from the 90s (in part due to professionalism). They are only starting to jump onto the USA system. From the T2 forums many of the Canadian fans were annoyed that they weren't partners from the start.

Again though it shows what unions can achieve when the chips are down and they must improve. Sadly the PI unions aren't allowed the same experince

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Post by Brendan Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:24 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Brendan wrote:

PIs problems are firmly in the hands of their unions as they neither have the underage system of places like Georgia nor the union governance.  As a result no Union will touch them (mainly Samoa and Tonga) with a 20 foot barge pole to work with them like 6Ns, South Africa and Agentina are with their weaker nations.

Samoa and Tonga have a u20 team every year, however they have to compete in a qualifier in order for the right to represent Oceania in the t2 u20 world cup. Samoa and Tonga get far more games against tier 1 nations then Georgia so not sure what you mean by the bit in bold? Georgia are currently going through their own internal difficulties with many of their fans going mad about how the GRU is being run at the minute.

The PIs get far more games then any T2 nation (Fiji deserve it). It is easy to do tests with them and hand over a cheque after the game. But getting into bed with them in a competition is not something that any of the Unions will do. After all WR didn't get much for their investment.

If WR did a 12 team T2 u20 instead of the 8 it would allow 4 more teams which would mean

Relegated team from u20 T1
Host
Europe 1 Spain
Africa 1 Nambia
N America 1 USA
S America 1 Uruagary
Asia 1 Hong Kong
Oceania 1 Tonga

Extra teams
Americas - Canada
Oceania - Samoa
Europe 2 - Portugal
Host's choice or Europe 3

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Post by Old Man Wed Dec 16, 2020 11:35 pm

Money and imports, the only way you move from tier 2 up.

Problem is only Japan had the money to invest in a pro league and import players.

The other nations won’t improve unless they find a benefactor that can pump millions into a pro domestic comp on a sustainable basis, which is unlikely


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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:12 am

Old Man wrote:Money and imports, the only way you move from tier 2 up.

Problem is only Japan had the money to invest in a pro league and import players.

The other nations won’t improve unless they find a benefactor that can pump millions into a pro domestic comp on a sustainable basis, which is unlikely

Both North and South America have seperate pro leagues now. Also the top league is still only semi professional, most of the domestic players are still employees of the companies they are playing for. Their new 3 tier domestic pro league was supposed to start in January, not sure if it's been pushed back or not?


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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:17 am

Brendan wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Brendan wrote:The point on the quailification is as follows

In Europe they get 2.25 spots.  When Georgia got an automatic spot Europe was reduced to 1.25 spots so Europe got no benefit. Because Georgia (who were rubbish in 2000 but had WR help to be the 7th best European nation) other nations have to constantly improve. With those 2.25 spots Georgia, Rominia, Spain, Portugal and Russia have all made the WC.  Spain and Portugal because they missed out on WCs now have better foundations to build on.

Because Japan automatically quailifed Asia got 0.25 spots instead of their usual 1.25

But the terribly treated PIs ended up getting 2.5 spots to reward them for their mismanagement and lack of foundations. They normally got 1 spot. If Samoa had of failed to make the 2019 WC it would have resulted in them fixing their mess that is the Union and put responsibility on the powers that be.  Instead the mess carries on.

Americas had 2.25 spots.  Winners of USA & Canada got 1 and Winners of whichever team lost and Uraguary also quailifed.  Canada went from first team to get in to now being the 0.25 team.  Uraguary on the other hand had to put in structures to compete and are now much stronger and have more players in the MRL then Canada.

Because WR re-gig the rules to always help the PIs we have seen Samoa and Tonga get weaker with the least number of home born players in their squads and soon we might see none while the other weaker T2 teams are becoming more and more home produced.

At u18s and u20s Georgia is as good as Ireland, Scotland and Italy and better then Japan and Fiji.  That is starting to come through to the full team.  Samoa and Tonga on the other hand are lucky to get a team at the T2 u20s where they struggle.
That was absolute madness, it's an Asian world cup there should have been at least one other Asian team in the tournament. Although Hong Kong would have probably got that spot, It would have been great to have South Korea in the WC, they are improving at 7's level and have a corporate professional 15s team (like in Japan) who are looking to join Japan's new pro leagues.

Canada are putting in some serious ground work through their professional team the Toronto arrows (who looked odds on to win the MLR this year), they are linking up with he amateur clubs around Ontario which is great to see. Not sure where you are getting that Uruguay have more players in the MLR? That isn't true, although they have been putting in some really good work of their own and now have their own professional team in SLAR.

You are correct on the MLR they had the most from a non-participating country so I had misread it.
Canada is starting to do good work but they fell massively from the 90s (in part due to professionalism).  They are only starting to jump onto the USA system. From the T2 forums many of the Canadian fans were annoyed that they weren't partners from the start.

Again though it shows what unions can achieve when the chips are down and they must improve.  Sadly the PI unions aren't allowed the same experince
This is certainly the most exciting time to be a Canadian fan since the 90s but they need a 2nd pro team. Hopefully a team from Vancover joins the MLR.

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Post by Brendan Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:09 am

Old Man wrote:Money and imports, the only way you move from tier 2 up.

Problem is only Japan had the money to invest in a pro league and import players.

The other nations won’t improve unless they find a benefactor that can pump millions into a pro domestic comp on a sustainable basis, which is unlikely


I don't fully agree with this. Fiji has improved by farming out its players to the Pro leagues in Europe who are happy to take good players.

It isn't easy to get players to improve if they are already behind at u20s and then don't have the higher standards as they develop. Then they have no hope.

As in football for the weaker nations it not so much about having great club sides but having a conveyor belt where enough players get picked up by the bigger teams.

Spain has that for their Pro league and Georgia have it for the u20s.

Russia is trying to create an eastern style pro league that can give their players a competition to get their players full time meaningful game. Throw in some European games and they have the standards to improve. Europe is set up to allow teams to climb standards. The Americas is trying to copy it, building it around the USA.

Can't understand why the Pacific isn't trying to do it building it around Japan and have a three leagues and then have a champions cup and incorporate the PIs somewhere.

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Post by Brendan Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:10 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
Brendan wrote:The point on the quailification is as follows

In Europe they get 2.25 spots.  When Georgia got an automatic spot Europe was reduced to 1.25 spots so Europe got no benefit. Because Georgia (who were rubbish in 2000 but had WR help to be the 7th best European nation) other nations have to constantly improve. With those 2.25 spots Georgia, Rominia, Spain, Portugal and Russia have all made the WC.  Spain and Portugal because they missed out on WCs now have better foundations to build on.

Because Japan automatically quailifed Asia got 0.25 spots instead of their usual 1.25

But the terribly treated PIs ended up getting 2.5 spots to reward them for their mismanagement and lack of foundations. They normally got 1 spot. If Samoa had of failed to make the 2019 WC it would have resulted in them fixing their mess that is the Union and put responsibility on the powers that be.  Instead the mess carries on.

Americas had 2.25 spots.  Winners of USA & Canada got 1 and Winners of whichever team lost and Uraguary also quailifed.  Canada went from first team to get in to now being the 0.25 team.  Uraguary on the other hand had to put in structures to compete and are now much stronger and have more players in the MRL then Canada.

Because WR re-gig the rules to always help the PIs we have seen Samoa and Tonga get weaker with the least number of home born players in their squads and soon we might see none while the other weaker T2 teams are becoming more and more home produced.

At u18s and u20s Georgia is as good as Ireland, Scotland and Italy and better then Japan and Fiji.  That is starting to come through to the full team.  Samoa and Tonga on the other hand are lucky to get a team at the T2 u20s where they struggle.
That was absolute madness, it's an Asian world cup there should have been at least one other Asian team in the tournament. Although Hong Kong would have probably got that spot, It would have been great to have South Korea in the WC, they are improving at 7's level and have a corporate professional 15s team (like in Japan) who are looking to join Japan's new pro leagues.

Canada are putting in some serious ground work through their professional team the Toronto arrows (who looked odds on to win the MLR this year), they are linking up with he amateur clubs around Ontario which is great to see. Not sure where you are getting that Uruguay have more players in the MLR? That isn't true, although they have been putting in some really good work of their own and now have their own professional team in SLAR.

You are correct on the MLR they had the most from a non-participating country so I had misread it.
Canada is starting to do good work but they fell massively from the 90s (in part due to professionalism).  They are only starting to jump onto the USA system. From the T2 forums many of the Canadian fans were annoyed that they weren't partners from the start.

Again though it shows what unions can achieve when the chips are down and they must improve.  Sadly the PI unions aren't allowed the same experince
This is certainly the most exciting time to be a Canadian fan since the 90s but they need a 2nd pro team. Hopefully a team from Vancover joins the MLR.

That's the hope as that is the Rugby heartland of Canada

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Post by Old Man Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:02 am

Brendan wrote:
Old Man wrote:Money and imports, the only way you move from tier 2 up.

Problem is only Japan had the money to invest in a pro league and import players.

The other nations won’t improve unless they find a benefactor that can pump millions into a pro domestic comp on a sustainable basis, which is unlikely


I don't fully agree with this. Fiji has improved by farming out its players to the Pro leagues in Europe who are happy to take good players.

It isn't easy to get players to improve if they are already behind at u20s and then don't have the higher standards as they develop.  Then they have no hope.

As in football for the weaker nations it not so much about having great club sides but having a conveyor belt where enough players get picked up by the bigger teams.

Spain has that for their Pro league and Georgia have it for the u20s.

Russia is trying to create an eastern style pro league that can give their players a competition to get their players full time meaningful game.  Throw in some European games and they have the standards to improve.  Europe is set up to allow teams to climb standards.  The Americas is trying to copy it, building it around the USA.

Can't understand why the Pacific isn't trying to do it building it around Japan and have a three leagues and then have a champions cup and incorporate the PIs somewhere.

Fiji hasn’t really been an active participant in farming out their players, per capita they have the most talented players in the world, that talent gets dispersed throughout the globe via recruitment of schools, clubs etc.

The Pacific region really only has Australia, New Zealand and Japan with pro leagues, Australia and New Zealand don’t have the funds to sponsor any other Pacific teams and Japan’s pro league are all corporate owned teams.

They are all looking out for number one, plenty of Pacific Island players have qualified for both countries, whether you want to debate who went over whilst at school or later is another topic.

The Pacific islands simply don’t have the money.


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Post by Brendan Thu Dec 17, 2020 2:49 am

I know they don't have the money and part of the problem is that the Southern Kings look like a well run organisation compared to Samoa and Tonga.

In order for the Asia Pacific region to work they need the conveyor belt that Fiji, Samoa and Tonga can produce who will be good players but inexpensive to fill out the teams to run 3 leagues that would be good enough to work.  Currently NZ and Oz are trying to do Super Rugby without the SA money. They can't do a 6 team league and be financially viable. Japan has no interest in being a junior partner and will look to be treated the same as the other two leagues. Any Pacific Champions Cup needs strong Japanese teams to work.

A Pacific champions Cup could also tie in the American leagues but if they don't they Americas will just carry on what they are doing and will get stronger as they are effectively putting in the structures and systems to have 6 professional rugby nations compared to the part timers they have been previously.

It's in the PIs interest aswell as Japan, NZ and Oz to have strong academies in the PIs.  To stop player poaching is for the PIs to designate their u20s as their second team and play the academy players in it against each other tying them to their PI nation.

As money drops in the Tasman region less home grown players will want to take up the 80k wage so they will need to be filled.  England is already seeing that with the demise of the Championship as players want to play for fun or play in the top leagues. Few want to be getting hurt for the same money or less than an office job

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