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Calls for an immediate inquest into the Welsh regions

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Irish Londoner
Cyril
TJ
Welshmushroom
MichaelT
geoff999rugby
LeinsterFan4life
Oakdene
doctor_grey
Pot Hale
PhilBB
y ddraig goch
formerly known as Sam
GeordieFalcon
The Oracle
mikey_dragon
RiscaGame
Brendan
LordDowlais
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Post by LordDowlais Tue 06 Apr 2021, 11:33 am

First topic message reminder :

There is unrest in Wales by the looks of it, in the aftermath of a successful 6N the jungle drums are now beating and people want answers as to why the regions are not doing as well as people think they should be.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/welsh-regions-face-difficult-times-20322120

How long can this keep going ?

Do others on here think the Welsh regions under perform ?

The outcome of this should be very interesting.

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Post by Oakdene Wed 12 May 2021, 11:06 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Also, this stupid comp has cost George North his Lions place.

What a joke.

Guess if the same game had been the Pro14 or Anglo Welsh league it would magically have stopped him from getting injured.

Playing rugby regardless of the competition is always a risk for a professional player.

Your missing the point, again.

This stupid end of season tournament did not need to be played. He should have been resting, but instead he got himself injured in a game that means nothing. If the South African teams could play the Pro14 teams then fair enough, it would have meant something, as we could have had a taster for next season.

I just hope no other Lions get injured in this pointless tournament.

George North should have been resting?   Whilst the other members of the Lions squad were playing and staying competitive?   I don't think George North would agree with you.

The Rainbow Cup was partly designed to ensure that the £6m due from SARU for their participation was paid to the 4 union stakeholders in PRO Rugby.   If it was not played then the monies - badly needed by the Welsh regions - would not have been paid.  No one in WRU or in the Welsh regions was saying that the tournament should be abandoned.  If the PRO14 had continued on with its matches and not curtailed, the monies would not have been paid either.   It's impossible for sport administrators to plan with finality or certainty in the context of Covid with a number of territories having different rates of infection, restrictions and vaccination programmes.  

They should have played it when the pandemic was over. If SA is still struggling to control covid, then the rainbow cup should not have gone ahead. They could have played this competition next season. The way they wanted, and not the farce it is now.

SA will get the pandemic under control in their country, just as we have, it should have been played then.

Wouldn't he have been playing in the Pro 14 for the Ospreys if the Rainbow Cup wasn't being played? The Pro 14 was curtailed to allow the Rainbow Cup to have been played, therefore he could have just as easily got injured playing in that...

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 12 May 2021, 11:34 am

Yes, North would've been playing in a proper Pro 12 league, without this Rainbow Cup.

Injuries could happen at any point. It is likely Gatland's Crossfit sessions will injure players, when they meet up for their camps. Knowing how North can sometimes get patchy form too, he would've wanted and needed games anyway.

From my side of things, I get why they tried to get a comp going. I don't get the delay in announcing what they have yesterday, when it has been known for a while. I have known Dragons were due to play Leinster and Glasgow for a few weeks now and the C-19 issues in SA have been known for a while too. It is annoying that supporters have missed the opportunity to attend games, because of the fixture delay. It is frustrating that there are still fixtures to confirm (think that's what Phil said) and that Dragons still don't know where they are playing the Glasgow game.

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 11:45 am

Well Lord unsupriingly you aren't looking at the whole picture.

Sarries players have missed out on Lions places because they were rested pre 6Ns and are viewed as being off the pace because they are playing semi-pro sides.  I guess you think all the Pro14 players would be different if rested for 6-8 weeks.  If we did this then no players would be called up for the inevitable injuries and the Summer Internationals would be beyond poor.

While we could have ignore the rainbow cup I doubt any of the 4 Unions could have written off the 0.5m they receive for each team because of the competition.  That is a top player gone next year from each team.

The League couldn't scrap the final either after it was played or on the last round of matches.  They tried to get the SA teams over but the situation changed so quickly the UK government wouldn't sanction the SA teams being based in THE UK. The only benefit to extending the league would have been so see if Scarlets or Connacht finished second in Conference B.

If covid drops I would like to see the winners of the European and SA comps play each other (less their Lions) and this may well happen and would be a big TV event as it would be the first SH v NH game between the top teams from each Country. It could be Bulls v Munster which might be 80mins of invisible ball but would still draw a crowd.

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 11:49 am

RiscaGame wrote:Yes, North would've been playing in a proper Pro 12 league, without this Rainbow Cup.

Injuries could happen at any point. It is likely Gatland's Crossfit sessions will injure players, when they meet up for their camps. Knowing how North can sometimes get patchy form too, he would've wanted and needed games anyway.

From my side of things, I get why they tried to get a comp going. I don't get the delay in announcing what they have yesterday, when it has been known for a while. I have known Dragons were due to play Leinster and Glasgow for a few weeks now and the C-19 issues in SA have been known for a while too. It is annoying that supporters have missed the opportunity to attend games, because of the fixture delay. It is frustrating that there are still fixtures to confirm (think that's what Phil said) and that Dragons still don't know where they are playing the Glasgow game.

100% agree.

We know fans are coming back and I would happily see all teams that can have fans get home games over ones who can't. It would hit Munster, Leinster and Connacht most but think it would be worth it. Playing Dragon in Rodeny Parade that is as full as possible would be great.

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Post by PhilBB Wed 12 May 2021, 11:50 am

Pot Hale wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Do you think that salary is OK Phil?  Or too high?  It seems a lot to me but I don't know what others in similar roles earn.  Compared to Pat Lam (I know, I know........ completely different circumstances the teams find themselves in!) Ryan's salary is only around 1/3rd of the cost.

How does it compare to other regional DoR or head coach salaries?

I think, for Ryan, it's pretty steep. Steep by about £84,000

For the Leinster boys, it's cheap

The Leinster coaching bill is €1.1m approx plus win bonus incentives.  Lancaster, McBryde and Contemponi have signed extensions for 2 years.  Cullen only signed for one year for personal reasons.  

https://www.leinsterrugby.ie/teams/management/

All of those for €1.1m?

Excuse me if I struggle to believe that.

Nope - the four honchos in coaching as named above.

So when you wrote "The Leinster coaching bill is €1.1m approx plus win bonus incentives" it was just for those four. Fair enough.
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Post by PhilBB Wed 12 May 2021, 11:52 am

doctor_grey wrote:
PhilBB wrote:https://twitter.com/CardiffRugbyWeb/status/1392117770217787392?s=20

"It's been three weeks since confirmation that the South Africans wouldn't be coming to Europe.

Since then competition organisers haven't put in any replacement fixtures and still haven't confirmed one of the kick-off times for one of the previously fixtured games.

Shambles."

The PrO'14 is so utterly pathetic as to be way beyond a joke.
OK, the Pro14 should have had a backup plan in place.  But, I think it is hard to criticise for not perfectly managing a (hopefully) once in a hundred year global disaster.  They tried an initiative which would be great for Rugby and for us as fans.  They got it wrong because Covid is in charge and makes its own rules that even our best experts struggle to keep up with.  But they looked on the positive side, took the advise of mostly the right people, and tried to make it work.  I would cut the Pro14 management some slack on this.    

a) the "initiative" wouldn't have been great at all. It was always a competition that lacked interest
b) the PrO'Amateur had about 10 months to put a Plan B in place. They didn't. Why? because they are a shambles.

Why are you cutting an alleged professional business 'slack' for failing at their basic job roles?
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 12 May 2021, 11:53 am

Brendan wrote:Well Lord unsupriingly you aren't looking at the whole picture.

Sarries players have missed out on Lions places because they were rested pre 6Ns and are viewed as being off the pace because they are playing semi-pro sides.  I guess you think all the Pro14 players would be different if rested for 6-8 weeks.  If we did this then no players would be called up for the inevitable injuries and the Summer Internationals would be beyond poor.

While we could have ignore the rainbow cup I doubt any of the 4 Unions could have written off the 0.5m they receive for each team because of the competition.  That is a top player gone next year from each team.

The League couldn't scrap the final either after it was played or on the last round of matches.  They tried to get the SA teams over but the situation changed so quickly the UK government wouldn't sanction the SA teams being based in THE UK.  The only benefit to extending the league would have been so see if Scarlets or Connacht finished second in Conference B.

If covid drops I would like to see the winners of the European and SA comps play each other (less their Lions) and this may well happen and would be a big TV event as it would be the first SH v NH game between the top teams from each Country.  It could be Bulls v Munster which might be 80mins of invisible ball but would still draw a crowd.

Who said anything about scrapping it ? Please quote me saying to scrap it.

I am saying it should have been played when SA got their pandemic under control like we have in the UK.

What a very strange statement, even for you. Rolling Eyes

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Post by PhilBB Wed 12 May 2021, 11:53 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Also, this stupid comp has cost George North his Lions place.

What a joke.

Guess if the same game had been the Pro14 or Anglo Welsh league it would magically have stopped him from getting injured.

Playing rugby regardless of the competition is always a risk for a professional player.

Your missing the point, again.

This stupid end of season tournament did not need to be played. He should have been resting, but instead he got himself injured in a game that means nothing. If the South African teams could play the Pro14 teams then fair enough, it would have meant something, as we could have had a taster for next season.

I just hope no other Lions get injured in this pointless tournament.

Had North not played, he'd have gone into a Lions tour with no rugby for about two months.

That would have been crazy.
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Post by LordDowlais Wed 12 May 2021, 11:56 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Also, this stupid comp has cost George North his Lions place.

What a joke.

Guess if the same game had been the Pro14 or Anglo Welsh league it would magically have stopped him from getting injured.

Playing rugby regardless of the competition is always a risk for a professional player.

Your missing the point, again.

This stupid end of season tournament did not need to be played. He should have been resting, but instead he got himself injured in a game that means nothing. If the South African teams could play the Pro14 teams then fair enough, it would have meant something, as we could have had a taster for next season.

I just hope no other Lions get injured in this pointless tournament.

Had North not played, he'd have gone into a Lions tour with no rugby for about two months.

That would have been crazy.

He could have played in the warm ups, we are all already saying we flog the players too much. Also, when is this rainbow cup finishing ? It isn't going to take 2 months is it ?

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 12:38 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:Well Lord unsupriingly you aren't looking at the whole picture.

Sarries players have missed out on Lions places because they were rested pre 6Ns and are viewed as being off the pace because they are playing semi-pro sides.  I guess you think all the Pro14 players would be different if rested for 6-8 weeks.  If we did this then no players would be called up for the inevitable injuries and the Summer Internationals would be beyond poor.

While we could have ignore the rainbow cup I doubt any of the 4 Unions could have written off the 0.5m they receive for each team because of the competition.  That is a top player gone next year from each team.

The League couldn't scrap the final either after it was played or on the last round of matches.  They tried to get the SA teams over but the situation changed so quickly the UK government wouldn't sanction the SA teams being based in THE UK.  The only benefit to extending the league would have been so see if Scarlets or Connacht finished second in Conference B.

If covid drops I would like to see the winners of the European and SA comps play each other (less their Lions) and this may well happen and would be a big TV event as it would be the first SH v NH game between the top teams from each Country.  It could be Bulls v Munster which might be 80mins of invisible ball but would still draw a crowd.

Who said anything about scrapping it ? Please quote me saying to scrap it.

I am saying it should have been played when SA got their pandemic under control like we have in the UK.

What a very strange statement, even for you. Rolling Eyes

So you wanted the League to postpone the cup that was the appetizer for the Pro16 starting in the new season.  They can't delay it until next year because we would have to play 6 games in the Cup and 18 in the League leaving us with games in the international window and 24 game season following a Lions year.

The cup had to be played this season or never.  From next season its The Pro16 with 18 games playing local teams twice and everyone else once. It gives you what you have called for for years which is
1. No games in the internationals windows (can't help the Welsh 4th AI)
2. Every game matters because you play them once, don't be surprised to see the bigger teams sending stronger teams to get 5pts to Wales.
3. More competition as the 3 Irish are joined by the 3 SA as the strongest teams in the league and will force Irish teams to be more ruthless against weaker teams. Even the Lions will be physical and average by the league standard.
4. Fans only get to see home games every two years against other teams so more interest in games.
5. The SARU will act as a counter to those terrible lads from the IRFU providing more refs and strong teams to final break the Irish advantages (If those pesky Irish don't cheat more)

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 12:43 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Also, this stupid comp has cost George North his Lions place.

What a joke.

Guess if the same game had been the Pro14 or Anglo Welsh league it would magically have stopped him from getting injured.

Playing rugby regardless of the competition is always a risk for a professional player.

Your missing the point, again.

This stupid end of season tournament did not need to be played. He should have been resting, but instead he got himself injured in a game that means nothing. If the South African teams could play the Pro14 teams then fair enough, it would have meant something, as we could have had a taster for next season.

I just hope no other Lions get injured in this pointless tournament.

Had North not played, he'd have gone into a Lions tour with no rugby for about two months.

That would have been crazy.

He could have played in the warm ups, we are all already saying we flog the players too much. Also, when is this rainbow cup finishing ? It isn't going to take 2 months is it ?

6 games, 2 european weekends and a final. I think 9 weeks would be considered 2 months in most people's books

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 12 May 2021, 1:05 pm

Brendan wrote:6 games, 2 european weekends and a final. I think 9 weeks would be considered 2 months in most people's books

North was not in two weekends of Europe, nor a final so that point is debunked.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 12 May 2021, 1:09 pm

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:Well Lord unsupriingly you aren't looking at the whole picture.

Sarries players have missed out on Lions places because they were rested pre 6Ns and are viewed as being off the pace because they are playing semi-pro sides.  I guess you think all the Pro14 players would be different if rested for 6-8 weeks.  If we did this then no players would be called up for the inevitable injuries and the Summer Internationals would be beyond poor.

While we could have ignore the rainbow cup I doubt any of the 4 Unions could have written off the 0.5m they receive for each team because of the competition.  That is a top player gone next year from each team.

The League couldn't scrap the final either after it was played or on the last round of matches.  They tried to get the SA teams over but the situation changed so quickly the UK government wouldn't sanction the SA teams being based in THE UK.  The only benefit to extending the league would have been so see if Scarlets or Connacht finished second in Conference B.

If covid drops I would like to see the winners of the European and SA comps play each other (less their Lions) and this may well happen and would be a big TV event as it would be the first SH v NH game between the top teams from each Country.  It could be Bulls v Munster which might be 80mins of invisible ball but would still draw a crowd.

Who said anything about scrapping it ? Please quote me saying to scrap it.

I am saying it should have been played when SA got their pandemic under control like we have in the UK.

What a very strange statement, even for you. Rolling Eyes

So you wanted the League to postpone the cup that was the appetizer for the Pro16 starting in the new season.  They can't delay it until next year because we would have to play 6 games in the Cup and 18 in the League leaving us with games in the international window and 24 game season following a Lions year.

The cup had to be played this season or never.  From next season its The Pro16 with 18 games playing local teams twice and everyone else once. It gives you what you have called for for years which is
1. No games in the internationals windows (can't help the Welsh 4th AI)
2. Every game matters because you play them once, don't be surprised to see the bigger teams sending stronger teams to get 5pts to Wales.
3. More competition as the 3 Irish are joined by the 3 SA as the strongest teams in the league and will force Irish teams to be more ruthless against weaker teams. Even the Lions will be physical and average by the league standard.
4. Fans only get to see home games every two years against other teams so more interest in games.
5. The SARU will act as a counter to those terrible lads from the IRFU providing more refs and strong teams to final break the Irish advantages (If those pesky Irish don't cheat more)

Are you for real ?

The games still need to be played in the calendar year, so when they are played is of no real importance. These games could have been played as a pre season to next season, a few weeks after the Lions tour. Hopefully by then, SA have control of the pandemic in their country, and the competition is what we all wanted, and not this rubbish mish mash that we have now.

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 2:45 pm

So Lord your solution is the Pro14 teams play no rugby for nearly 3 months before the Lions and Summer Internationals.  We then have a 7 week pre preseason competition (normally 2-3 matches) thus making next season a much longer season aswell.

Who is going to pay the 0.5m to each of the teams that the rainbow cup is bringing in.
Who will refund the TV companies for lack of coverage.

How will Unions and owners who are already stuck for money pay those bills.  I guess they could ask someone to organise a loan account for them.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed 12 May 2021, 3:04 pm

Brendan wrote:So Lord your solution is the Pro14 teams play no rugby for nearly 3 months before the Lions and Summer Internationals.

Why has it changed from 2 months to 3 months ?

Brendan wrote:We then have a 7 week pre preseason competition (normally 2-3 matches) thus making next season a much longer season aswell.

Why 7 weeks ? Also, whether they play it now or then, its the same amount of rugby during a window.

Brendan wrote:Who is going to pay the 0.5m to each of the teams that the rainbow cup is bringing in.
Who will refund the TV companies for lack of coverage.

The competition is still being played.

Brendan wrote:How will Unions and owners who are already stuck for money pay those bills. I guess they could ask someone to organise a loan account for them.

See above.

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 4:51 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:So Lord your solution is the Pro14 teams play no rugby for nearly 3 months before the Lions and Summer Internationals.

Why has it changed from 2 months to 3 months ?

Brendan wrote:We then have a 7 week pre preseason competition (normally 2-3 matches) thus making next season a much longer season aswell.

Why 7 weeks ? Also, whether they play it now or then, its the same amount of rugby during a window.

Brendan wrote:Who is going to pay the 0.5m to each of the teams that the rainbow cup is bringing in.
Who will refund the TV companies for lack of coverage.

The competition is still being played.

Brendan wrote:How will Unions and owners who are already stuck for money pay those bills.  I guess they could ask someone to organise a loan account for them.

See above.

Pro14 last round was 22nd of March. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dragons, Benetton, Leinster and Munster played their last game week ending 28th March.
For all but Leinster, Ulster and Benetton the last European round was 4th April.
Lions Match v Japan is 26th of June (3 months after end of Pro14) . The other international matches will be at least one week later. Work out the dates to see if it's two or three months.

So you are happy to start the 21/22 season at least 1 month early and have a break in the middle of the current season.  If you think the Rainbow Cup is pointless with plenty of stars playing what would you say if there was not any  internationals playing in your 21/22 season rainbow cup because of internationals having to be rested as per agreements. Also next season no one is going to want to see their team play 4 games v a derby team which is what you would be asking to happen. Playing it now gives us riggle room if needed at the start of next season.

Money is paid when the competition is played.  I doubt any of the teams could afford to rollover over 0.75m-1m in delayed tv money. Maybe the rich privately owned team that is Benetton but no other team.

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Post by Brendan Wed 12 May 2021, 4:54 pm

You do know that last test for the Lions and South Africa is 7th August 21 and the bulls are playing the Lions on 17th of July (are the bulls players not allowed to have a break)

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 13 May 2021, 12:28 am

Not sure why you’re bothering to try explain this.
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu 13 May 2021, 1:44 am

Pot Hale wrote:Not sure why you’re bothering to try explain this.  
Its comical that it even has to be explained. I just take each game as it comes, any rugby is better than none.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 13 May 2021, 8:15 am

And it's typical of certain members on here to just disagree with other members just for the sake of it.

Just for you PH, I havent asked anyone to explain anything thanks so please take the chip off your shoulder. OK

We are in the middle of a pandemic, people lives come before any rugby. OK

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Post by geoff999rugby Thu 13 May 2021, 11:23 am

LordDowlais wrote:
We are in the middle of a pandemic, people lives come before any rugby. OK

They certainly do
Following on from that it is disingenuous to complain about the structure of the Rainbow cup format (as you have done) when the reason for doing so was to limit travel.

Practise what you preach please OK

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Post by PhilBB Fri 14 May 2021, 9:46 am

LordDowlais wrote:
He could have played in the warm ups, we are all already saying we flog the players too much. Also, when is this rainbow cup finishing ? It isn't going to take 2 months is it ?

The Test players only play one warm up, potentially two. It wouldn't have been enough rugby. That's why all Lions selected players are playing for their employers at the minute.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 14 May 2021, 9:48 am

LordDowlais wrote:And it's typical of certain members on here to just disagree with other members just for the sake of it.


They are disagreeing with you because what you are writing is clearly nonsense. That action could only be seen as "for the sake of it" if IF if you're unable to change your mind when presented with the facts that disprove your argument.

You've had those facts. Have you changed your mind?
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Post by Oakdene Fri 14 May 2021, 11:03 am

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
He could have played in the warm ups, we are all already saying we flog the players too much. Also, when is this rainbow cup finishing ? It isn't going to take 2 months is it ?

The Test players only play one warm up, potentially two. It wouldn't have been enough rugby. That's why all Lions selected players are playing for their employers at the minute.

Agreed, I'm sure Gatland has said that every player in the touring party will start at least one of the first three matches.

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Post by LordDowlais Thu 24 Jun 2021, 12:28 pm

JPR is not holding back when talking about the regions:-

Rugby legend JPR Williams launches withering blast at 'rubbish' Welsh regions and demands they are cut to just two teams

The Wales and Lions full-back great has been giving his no-holds barred views on the state of the regional game

Wales and Lions legend JPR Williams has delivered a no-holds barred verdict on the state of Welsh regional rugby, dubbing it 'rubbish' and calling for four teams to merge into two.

The full-back great of the 1970s wants to see East and West sides, claiming the finances and lack of depth in a Welsh playing base doesn't justify having four professional teams.

In an interview with the Mail, JPR calls for Cardiff and the Dragons to merge into an East Wales team and the same to happen with the Ospreys and Scarlets for a West Wales region.

He says the point of the four regions is to produce players for Wales.

"A lot of them aren't good enough," insists JPR, who reckons the Wales team under Warren Gatland and Wayne Pivac have been punching above their weight in comparison.

While Wales have delivered Grand Slams and Six Nations titles during a golden 13-year period on the international stage, the Blues, Ospreys, Scarlets and Dragons have consistently struggled to compete with English, French and Irish sides.

Much of that, the regions insist, is down to funding issues and the fact they don't have a level playing field.

However, JPR maintains there is a solution to the problem by going down to two teams, with the regions' ongoing financial struggles even more badly affected by the pandemic.

Filtering the better talent into two teams, he clearly feels, would improve the regional standard in Wales.

JPR's comments come a week after Wales star Cory Hill was axed from Pivac's squad after announcing his intentions to quit Welsh rugby.

"We need to bring Swansea and Llanelli and Cardiff and Newport together. I know they won't like it, but financially it makes no sense to have four regional sides," JPR said as part of his interview which appeared in the London newspaper.

"We've got to admit we haven't got that many players in Wales. Wayne Pivac is going against the grain really with the way he wants to play.

"We are playing above ourselves in the Welsh national side at the moment because our regional rugby is rubbish, I'm afraid.

"The sooner we have two Welsh teams - East and West - the better. I said this about 10 years ago and I stand by it. We can't afford to have four regional sides.

"The whole point is to get players fit to play for Wales and a lot of them aren't good enough."

Since regional rugby was brought in by former WRU boss David Moffett 18 years ago, the Welsh sides have won six league titles between them, two Anglo-Welsh Cups and two European Challenge Cups.

When the Ospreys, in particular, were able to go out and pull in big names, they were hugely competitive.

However, their team of Galacticos, which merged the finest Grand Slam winning talent in Wales with stellar signings from overseas like Justin Marshall, Jerry Collins and Marty Holah, plus Irish wing great Tommy Bowe, still fell short of conquering Europe.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/rugby-legend-jpr-williams-launches-20883322

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/rugbyunion/article-9713777/British-Irish-Lions-legend-JPR-Williams-recalls-brutal-1974-tour-South-Africa.html

Does anybody agree with him ? I would say give it this season, with the new league format and then start from there.

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Post by The Oracle Thu 24 Jun 2021, 12:43 pm

My issue with 2 teams is that there will be little space for youngsters to get game time at pro level and to put their hand up for selection.  They’ll end up moving to England (not necessarily a problem) or France (causes more of a problem), but being outside Wales if they do put their hands up for international selection it makes it harder for team Wales to get access to them outside of the normal window.  It is this extra access that Gatland felt was vital to Wales’ 6N success, and what the regions get additional funds from the WRU for (or at least used to).

I’m torn - 4 teams that are not that well funded but forces the regions to use academy prospects which is a bit ‘sink or swim’ and allows good talent to emerge.  Or two teams chock full of the whole 38 man Wales squad that might be decent and get league results but which struggles to hold on to the next cabs off the rank as they can’t get game time.  A tricky balance.

The thing is, we went from 12 (or whatever it was) to 4 for the very reason that we had too few top quality players to fill 12 squads and a lot of the ‘pros’ were just amateur level fillers.  So we went to 4 and we’re now saying that we haven’t got enough for 4.  So we go to 2 and then what if they fail at club level because the fans don’t get behind east and west, the attendances are poor for teams no-one identifies with, gate receipts are down, the teams just live off competition money and struggle to attract additional money from sponsors.  What then?  Go down to 1 team?  These teams, east and west or wherever, won’t get more competition and TV money.  They won’t add the Blues and Dragons money together to double it to just because they’ve merged.  They’ll get 1 team’s TV money, 1 team’s competition money as they’re just 1 team, surely?!  So what’s the point?


Last edited by The Oracle on Thu 24 Jun 2021, 1:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by mikey_dragon Thu 24 Jun 2021, 1:24 pm

He is right about funding. Get more of it and we can have the 4 teams. We go down to 2 and it's over, we'll have even less players with the best ones playing outside of Wales.

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Post by Brendan Thu 24 Jun 2021, 9:41 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:He is right about funding. Get more of it and we can have the 4 teams. We go down to 2 and it's over, we'll have even less players with the best ones playing outside of Wales.

I think the SRU or FIR would love and extra team or two and would be quick to tell the WRU it would be madness to drop from 4.

In Oz a simillar debate is going on. If the IRFU had folded Connacht the growth in player numbers and school and club growth would never have happened. Losing the extra academies would be an even bigger loss for Wales.

Ospreys seem to be building a good squad and if we see a 50% increase in money then maintaining the 4 teams won't be to hard. But once a team goes it is alot harder to bring it back.

If you look at Argentina and the Jags. The Jags improved because of their squad but the national side went downhill each year as new players found it hard to break into the team a develop. When the 5 welsh teams were first created they finish 4 of the top 5. But once the teams bedded in the rising generation were not equal in quantity when it came to number of quality players so they didn't maintain the squad strenght.

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 25 Jun 2021, 3:17 am

From an outside perspective it seems reducing the number of Welsh teams is like a death spiral.  I would certainly do a real deep dive into why the Regions don't seem to be playing the kind of Rugby Wales can frequently and have historically produced.  And have it done by completely independent people. We have had what amounts to a full generation of the Regions by now and it still seems weird they are not better.  And for whatever reason, Ireland maintain their four provincial teams and they are very good.  Maybe there is a lesson there somewhere.

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Post by RiscaGame Fri 25 Jun 2021, 7:52 am

No surprise to see the Wail rip off an article, to put the boot into the pro teams. Although it’s obvious why they do it, as it appeals to its target audience who lap nonsense like this up and gains clicks. No surprise to hear who did it too. Far easier to churn rubbish like this, than produce pieces calling out the WRU. Imagine that eh. A journalist actually writing his own piece, rather than copy pasting from another article.

There’s no logic to his opinion. But then again, this is a bloke who thought he could suck copper coins to trick a breathalyser. You can see a few of the teams have too much strength in some positions, as it is (Dragons backrow, Ospreys/Scarlets hookers and loose heads, Cardiff halfbacks). To reduce the teams, would mean even more youngsters struggling to break through.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 25 Jun 2021, 8:17 am

doctor_grey wrote:From an outside perspective it seems reducing the number of Welsh teams is like a death spiral.  I would certainly do a real deep dive into why the Regions don't seem to be playing the kind of Rugby Wales can frequently and have historically produced.  And have it done by completely independent people.  We have had what amounts to a full generation of the Regions by now and it still seems weird they are not better.  And for whatever reason, Ireland maintain their four provincial teams and they are very good.  Maybe there is a lesson there somewhere.

Yet it's odd that despite the Irish Provinces comfortably outperforming the Welsh Regions the Welsh national team has more success than the Irish one. So I think you then have to look at what the point of the Regions is. Are they to be successful in their own right or are they there to produce players for the national team?

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Post by Pot Hale Fri 25 Jun 2021, 9:04 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:From an outside perspective it seems reducing the number of Welsh teams is like a death spiral.  I would certainly do a real deep dive into why the Regions don't seem to be playing the kind of Rugby Wales can frequently and have historically produced.  And have it done by completely independent people.  We have had what amounts to a full generation of the Regions by now and it still seems weird they are not better.  And for whatever reason, Ireland maintain their four provincial teams and they are very good.  Maybe there is a lesson there somewhere.

Yet it's odd that despite the Irish Provinces comfortably outperforming the Welsh Regions the Welsh national team has more success than the Irish one. So I think you then have to look at what the point of the Regions is. Are they to be successful in their own right or are they there to produce players for the national team?

I suspect that the WRU overall invest more in the national team at the expense of their regions whereas Ireland invest more in the provinces at the expense of their national team.

Both Unions have broadly similar levels of income, they choose to spend it differently. Perhaps WRU have got it right in terms of national team performance record - although not yet at World Cup level. If that's the primary measure you want to use. But if the performance of the regions eventually whittles away at the quality and performance of the national team, then they've a much bigger problem.

The IRFU has its own problems however, with on one side, the growing disconnect between the shareholder amateur clubs in each branch with Lansdowne head office - accentuated by Nucifora - and on the other side, the growing disparity in finances/budgets between Leinster/Munster and Ulster/Connacht. If a URC cap is introduced linked to earnings and playing/coaching staff - I'm not sure if it's the first two who are going to suffer more.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Jun 2021, 11:06 am

Is the Wales team success built off the people who came through at a young age when the Welsh teams were more competitive with the Big 3 compared to now. Alot (not all) of the star players coming through seem to be more from the English schools/academic system than Wales.

The problems both Unions have faced stem from the growing gap between the playing standards of the URC and the domestic league. Back in the day you could pick up players from there but now it's straight out of school and into the system or nothing.

Hopefully with less games the connection between the professional and clubs can be put back together in some way to pick up the late developers.

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Post by MichaelT Fri 25 Jun 2021, 11:20 am

Who are the Big 3?

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 25 Jun 2021, 12:11 pm

Are they under performing in Europe - No, any side that isn't French at this point has shot above their finances.

Are they under performing in the Pro14 - Without a doubt. When your getting outperformed by sides with less budget than you then the argument of Finances is a very mute point.

The reality of regional sides it starts at the top - To many times they have got quality squads but not bothered with a top level Manager. The other point is when the regions got created (due to the previous club system) they had loads of welsh quality players to pick from. But if you look at their track record since we have seen big numbers retire without being replaced with enough quality players. Part of that reason has been because Welsh Regions have always tried to model themselves on the English club game citing that there was a need for loads of foreigners on their books.

Had they actually focused on the Irish model and brought more players through and focused on homegrown they wouldn't be in this mess. The issue they now have is they are running out of players to pass experience on to the younger generation.

The finance argument is a weak one. Part of that reason is because they are constantly driving the value of Welsh players up by bidding against each other for the same resource. I blame the WRU for this as they should just fully contract playing squads and then distribute the players to the regions. If the region has some spare cash they can go pick up one or two quality imports.

Sadly however either the people at the top of the game don't see this or are just plain useless. Either way the Regions will continue on this cycle until they start making some big changes.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Jun 2021, 2:44 pm

MichaelT wrote:Who are the Big 3?
Leinster, Munster and Ulster. Going off attendances, performance, finances. Talking about Welsh teams compared to Irish.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Jun 2021, 3:01 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Are they under performing in Europe - No, any side that isn't French at this point has shot above their finances.

.

Going off the results of Ulster, Edinburgh and Glasgow over the last few years I would say the Regions have over the last few years.

17/18 was a great year for Welsh Rugby with Blues winning the Challenge and Scarlets making the Champions Cup semi. They can do good things when they get on a run.

The Problem as you went on to say is their league form. In the Pro14 both Scots topped their Conferences (3 times in three years). Scarlets finished joint top once and where the only Welsh team to perform. The big problem the Welsh had in Europe was getting into the Champions Cup which is why they struggled in Europe.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 25 Jun 2021, 3:41 pm

Glasgow? Have they done much in Europe?
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Post by The Oracle Fri 25 Jun 2021, 3:42 pm

Anyway, going to 2 is not the answer for me. Need to find a way to make 4 work.
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Post by MichaelT Fri 25 Jun 2021, 4:22 pm

Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:Who are the Big 3?
Leinster, Munster and Ulster.  Going off attendances, performance, finances.  Talking about Welsh teams compared to Irish.

The conversation was starting to talk about national team performances, not club level, so was fair enough to ask who the Big 3 are. Especially as world cup results had also been mentioned.

Don't think anyone has ever used that term in that context before. Big 3 usually refers to the old Tri-Nations teams.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Jun 2021, 7:02 pm

The Oracle wrote:Glasgow? Have they done much in Europe?

Made the quarters a few times and generally finish second in their Group. Sarries were the team they kept coming up against that didn't help them to make a semi

19/20 2nd in group (which had Sale Exeter (winners) and La Rochelle
18/19 Quarters lost to Sarries (winners) who they also got in the Group Stages
17/18 4th had Leinster (winners) Exeter, Montpellier
16/17 Quarters lost to Sarries (winners)
15/16 3rd had Racing (runners up), Saints and Scarlets in their group. Ulster were the only team to not finish 3rd or 4th form the league

So if you top Glasgows group or knock them out get ready for a final or winner position. Happy to stack up any of the Welsh teams over the same period. Only the 3 Irish did better

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Jun 2021, 8:09 pm

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:Who are the Big 3?
Leinster, Munster and Ulster.  Going off attendances, performance, finances.  Talking about Welsh teams compared to Irish.

The conversation was starting to talk about national team performances, not club level, so was fair enough to ask who the Big 3 are. Especially as world cup results had also been mentioned.

Don't think anyone has ever used that term in that context before. Big 3 usually refers to the old Tri-Nations teams.

Sorry, I was referring to the people who were talking about how the Welsh Regions were doing v the Provinces and bringing through talent.

Professional systems have cause nations to have to look at development paths which the regions seem to have struggled with. By all account the Ospreys have looked to fix things and now are starting to see the fruit.

Munster to got left behind over the last 10 years as their team of the 00s were built off the back of the domestic league (much like wales) and had to adjust things to fix the lack of quality. Wales probably has the potential to have a school systems to be feeding into accedemies close to that of Leinster once they get things lined up and it's important the WRU do better with that and that they are held to account.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 25 Jun 2021, 8:26 pm

Brendan wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Glasgow? Have they done much in Europe?

Made the quarters a few times and generally  finish second in their Group.  Sarries were the team they kept coming up against that didn't help them to make a semi

19/20 2nd in group (which had Sale Exeter (winners) and La Rochelle
18/19 Quarters lost to Sarries (winners) who they also got in the Group Stages
17/18 4th had Leinster (winners) Exeter, Montpellier
16/17 Quarters lost to Sarries (winners)
15/16 3rd had Racing (runners up), Saints and Scarlets in their group. Ulster were the only team to not finish 3rd or 4th form the league

So if you top Glasgows group or knock them out get ready for a final or winner position. Happy to stack up any of the Welsh teams over the same period.  Only the 3 Irish did better

It was a genuine question. I’ve just never really associated Glasgow with much success at European level given their success in the Pro12/14 League.
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Post by TJ Fri 25 Jun 2021, 9:00 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:It boils down to money, which is needed to attract better coaches and players. I believe the argument is the WRU are putting money elsewhere rather than into the regions, so you can expect this to continue.

Once again - its well proven that the welsh regions have similar player budgets to all bar leinster. Scarlets are one of the best funded teams.

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Post by mikey_dragon Fri 25 Jun 2021, 9:08 pm

TJ wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:It boils down to money, which is needed to attract better coaches and players. I believe the argument is the WRU are putting money elsewhere rather than into the regions, so you can expect this to continue.

Once again - its well proven that the welsh regions have similar player budgets to all bar leinster.  Scarlets are one of the best funded teams.

That’s not what I meant. We already knew Scarlets had a strong budget btw, you only need to look at their squad for that. I’m not so sure about the other 3.

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Post by The Oracle Fri 25 Jun 2021, 9:11 pm

TJ wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:It boils down to money, which is needed to attract better coaches and players. I believe the argument is the WRU are putting money elsewhere rather than into the regions, so you can expect this to continue.

Once again - its well proven that the welsh regions have similar player budgets to all bar leinster.  Scarlets are one of the best funded teams.


It hasn’t been ‘well proven’ at all! It’s all hearsay and rumour and assumptions. Hence all the arguments over the years!
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Post by Cyril Fri 25 Jun 2021, 10:10 pm

The new Pro (whatever) needs a proper cap that applies to all sides (and properly targets all union payments, especially Irish). It also needs administration outside of Dublin and somewhere else. Only then will you get proper buy in.

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Post by Brendan Fri 25 Jun 2021, 10:34 pm

Cyril wrote:The new Pro (whatever) needs a proper cap that applies to all sides (and properly targets all union payments, especially Irish). It also needs administration outside of Dublin and somewhere else. Only then will you get proper buy in.

It will only work if each Union gives the same amount of money per team as the other Unions. Not to rehash it here but how much each team in the league spend on wages is not easily worked out. You would also have to determine what are accademy costs and what are squad wage costs.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 25 Jun 2021, 10:36 pm

Cyril wrote:The new Pro (whatever) needs a proper cap that applies to all sides (and properly targets all union payments, especially Irish). It also needs administration outside of Dublin and somewhere else. Only then will you get proper buy in.
Looking at the way the premiership is with the salary cap, no thanks.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Fri 25 Jun 2021, 11:10 pm

Brendan wrote:
Cyril wrote:The new Pro (whatever) needs a proper cap that applies to all sides (and properly targets all union payments, especially Irish). It also needs administration outside of Dublin and somewhere else. Only then will you get proper buy in.

It will only work if each Union gives the same amount of money per team as the other Unions.  Not to rehash it here but how much each team in the league spend on wages is not easily worked out.  You would also have to determine what are accademy costs and what are squad wage costs.

Under Prem rules that is decided based on age, amount and number of first team appearances. From memory any player under 24, earning less than £50k a year, who plays no more than five first team games a season is classed as development. Might be wrong but it's something like that.

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