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Euro Championship

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Post by Welshmushroom 14.06.21 13:22

I wonder if the IRB seriously want to grow the game of Rugby worldwide I would love to see a European Championship. My view here is they should do this on the same year as the Lions. That way the main nations would be weaker with key players away with the Lions.

I would probably have the top 9 based on IRB Rankings qualify (similar to the World Cup system) and have the remaining 7 places be played out over 2 rounds from the remaining 28 European Teams (based on the IRB rankings).

That would give all European teams a chance to qualify. You would then have 4 groups of 4 with the winner on every group playing semi finals/final to determine the winner. Given that at least 2 of the 6 nations side would also be drawn into pools with top seeds and the likely other 2 spots going to Georgia & Romania (based on today's IRB Rankings), it wouldn't be a total walk in the park for top seeds especially considering they would be missing key players to the Lions. It would also allow them to blood some players so would serve them well as a development tool. Georgia already have a lot of players playing in France and are part of pro club setups.

I just think this would bring International Rugby to bigger Audiences in places like Spain, Germany, Georgia etc.

Long term if these lower sides really would want to compete at this level there would need to be some changes to being able to play pro club rugby. I'm not sure what the answer on this front would be. Maybe a second division in the Pro 14 bringing in promotion relegation, although I would see Scotland, Wales and Italy not being particularly happy about this. Maybe however over time we could see an influx of those lower nations best player join French outfits.

I just think World Rugby needs to look at these sort of initiatives to try to bring more exposure to different countries. Obviously there's a lot of viewing numbers and sponsorship potential within Europe which is why I would like to see them start here.

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Post by Duty281 14.06.21 13:26

There's already a European Championship for teams below the Six Nations level.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2021_Rugby_Europe_Championship

Wouldn't make much sense to merge the two because the SN teams would annihilate the EC sides.

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Post by GeordieFalcon 14.06.21 13:28

i would love to see a Euro champs...but would it just be more games that the players dont need.

It would need to be a England Saxons, Irish Wolfhounds Level i think or maybe even U23 level for the 6 nation teams...could be interesting.

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Post by lostinwales 14.06.21 14:07

GeordieFalcon wrote:i would love to see a Euro champs...but would it just be more games that the players dont need.

It would need to be a England Saxons, Irish Wolfhounds Level i think or maybe even U23 level for the 6 nation teams...could be interesting.

Age limited would make sense for now. You have to find a way of logically handicapping the main nations to make games outside of the 6N competitive.

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Post by Welshmushroom 17.06.21 10:09

We already see summer tours during this period. The majority of the top tier sides play lower tiered sides anyway. Think this year only Wales and France are the only ones to play top tier sides this summer. England, Scotland and Ireland are all playing essentially development tours.

A tournament such as this would only add another 2-4 games to their summer - depending on how far they got. All the top nations would likely use it to develop internationals anyway much like they do now. Even if they picked stronger outfits it would just give tier 2/3 nations a chance to play at that level.

More importantly it would open up viewing figures to major EU nations which long term could see a growth in the game. If we keep it insular as it is our viewing figures will never increase as the home nations have pretty much already exploited that maximum amount of viewers in their countries.

I accept in order to make tier 2/3 nations competitive in the long term they would need something in place at a club/regional level which would also need to be looked at in the longer term.

Personally I would love to see a change like this.

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