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The United Rugby Championship is born - starting Sept 2021

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 15 Jun 2021, 12:19 pm

First topic message reminder :

From PRO Rugby:


The ‘United Rugby Championship will kick off in September 2021 as the top clubs from South Africa (Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls) combine with the Guinness PRO14 to create a world-class 16-team league.

The United Rugby Championship will be bigger, bolder and stronger than its predecessors. Teams from five of rugby’s elite nations – Ireland, Italy, Scotland, Wales and South Africa will transform the competition into a league of super clubs, which will embrace difference and champion its athletes on their journey with the URC proudly representing all of those involved with the game.

Off the field the United Rugby Championship will strive to provide a platform for our players to tell their stories so that their achievements in sport and society can inspire the next-generation of rugby talent and the sport’s supporters to prove that rugby is a game for all.

This game-changing agreement between SA Rugby and PRO14 Rugby will strengthen their existing partnership and will drive greater growth of the game for the benefit of all 16 teams in the league.

Martin Anayi, CEO of United Rugby Championship, said: “Fans have always asked more of our league and now we are taking it to new heights. The United Rugby Championship will see World Cup winners, icons of the Guinness Six Nations, the Rugby Championship and stars of the British & Irish Lions tour turning up the intensity in an exciting new league format. Since the origins of the Celtic League in 2001, the vision has been to innovate and evolve in order to create a compelling competition which would challenge our players and teams to be at their very best every single week. Their potential has never been in doubt and now we can provide them with the arena to be the very best.

“Forming the United Rugby Championship will begin to reshape the world of club rugby. We are creating a league that embraces and celebrates difference and where the only way to succeed will be to match the skill and intensity of the international game.

“The arrival of South Africa’s elite teams and the removal of fixtures from international match weekends will make our league stronger across the board. We will see heroes taking on heroes every week in iconic locations to create an appeal that will be unmatched in in the world of club rugby.

“We now have a clear purpose and identity that everyone associated with our league can stand behind. We have listened and we have answered the challenge set by our clubs to take this competition to the next level both on and off the field. North and south will now collide on a regular basis and we cannot wait to see who will rise up as the first champions of the United Rugby Championship.”

Jurie Roux, CEO of SA Rugby, said: “South African rugby has for many years imagined a future aligned with northern-hemisphere rugby and this announcement marks the arrival of that vision.

“Our teams will be pitting themselves against the leading clubs from four nations, steeped in rugby tradition and folklore. They’ll do it without having to cross time zones or acclimatise while 100 per cent of matches will kick off in South African prime time.

“This is a watershed moment in South African rugby history, opening new doors and heralding a new and exciting era for our sport.”

CROSSING NEW HORIZONS IN RUGBY

This agreement will create a pathway for SA Rugby to become a full shareholder in Pro Rugby Championship (PRC DAC) alongside the Celtic and Italian unions. In a sporting landscape looking towards the post-pandemic future this unification of north and south provides everyone involved in the United Rugby Championship with optimism for prosperous days ahead.

Subject to contract, all teams in the United Rugby Championship will be eligible to qualify for EPCR competitions in time for the 2022/23 season.

In comparison to the Guinness PRO14 structure, the 18-round regular season in the United Rugby Championship will see the return of a single-standing table that will prevent clashes with international weekends and leave little margin for error for those chasing the title. Every game will count in the league which will be further strengthened by an expanded knock-out series that aims to deliver more jeopardy with a full schedule of quarter-finals and semi-finals capped off by a Grand Final played in a destination venue.

The United Rugby Championship will set the stage where the diversity of playing styles, languages and fan cultures will clash across iconic locations in rugby heartlands week after week. The new league will also allow South Africa’s former Super Rugby sides to operate in a common time zone which will help open up greater audiences across the league and increase commercial appeal.

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP LEAGUE FORMAT

The URC will use one league table to rank the teams who will reach the knock-out stages and compete to reach the title and become the champions.

Fixtures: The regular season of the United Rugby Championship will take place across 18 rounds with each team’s fixtures comprising of six (6) Home AND away fixtures against their regional pool opponents and12 Home OR away fixtures against the remaining teams in the league.

Regional pools

Irish Pool: Connacht, Leinster, Munster, Ulster

Welsh Pool: Dragons, Cardiff Rugby, Ospreys, Scarlets

South African Pool: Cell C Sharks, DHL Stormers, Emirates Lions and Vodacom Bulls

Italian & Scottish Pool: Benetton Rugby, Edinburgh, Glasgow Warriors, Zebre Rugby Club

Final Series/Play-Offs: One league table will be used to rank teams and after 18 rounds the top eight sides will qualify for the Play-Offs. Teams will be seeded from 1 to 8 and will receive home advantage according to their seeding. A full round of Quarter-Finals and Semi-Finals will take place to produce two teams who will qualify for the Grand Final.

UNITED RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP – CHAMPIONS CUP AND CHALLENGE CUP PARTICIPATION

A total of eight teams from the United Rugby Championship will qualify each season for the following season’s Heineken Champions Cup. The balance of teams will participate in the Challenge Cup.

Subject to the finalisation of contract terms with EPCR, South African teams will be eligible to qualify for the Heineken Champions Cup from the 2022/23 season if they have finished in the United Rugby Championship qualification places from the prior season.

All points won during the URC season will contribute to rankings in the regional pools and the highest-ranking team in each of the four pools will earn a place in the Champions Cup for the following season. This addition to the format is expected to add even greater intensity to these age-old local rivalries.

The remaining four places in the Champions Cup will be awarded to the four highest-ranked teams from the single-standing league table who have not already qualified through the four regional pools.
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Post by Intotouch Tue 29 Jun 2021, 10:24 pm

Cyril wrote:Welcome to the future of English, SA and Irish sides in the business end of the top European tournament. You built it.
because these changes will somehow cause al the top 14 sides to fall in standard and no team outside of these three countries forever and ever and ever…..

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Post by RiscaGame Wed 30 Jun 2021, 12:40 am

Intotouch wrote:
Cyril wrote:Welcome to the future of English, SA and Irish sides in the business end of the top European tournament. You built it.
because these changes will somehow cause al the top 14 sides to fall in standard and no team outside of these three countries forever and ever and ever…..

Not sure you were his intended target.

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Post by Welshmushroom Wed 30 Jun 2021, 6:01 pm

White bringing back 2 more former internationals back to the Bulls. They are heading the right way if they want to mount a credible challenge next season.

To be honest if he can just pry those Saffers from either Munster or Sale he would be very happy.

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Post by PhilBB Thu 01 Jul 2021, 11:19 am

Welshmushroom wrote:White bringing back 2 more former internationals back to the Bulls.  They are heading the right way if they want to mount a credible challenge next season.  

To be honest if he can just pry those Saffers from either Munster or Sale he would be very happy.

The SA internationals will be missing for many, many weeks of the season.
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Post by Welshmushroom Thu 01 Jul 2021, 1:43 pm

PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:White bringing back 2 more former internationals back to the Bulls.  They are heading the right way if they want to mount a credible challenge next season.  

To be honest if he can just pry those Saffers from either Munster or Sale he would be very happy.

The SA internationals will be missing for many, many weeks of the season.

Based on what exactly? Media outlets have all suggested this won't be the case.

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Post by Brendan Thu 01 Jul 2021, 3:27 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:White bringing back 2 more former internationals back to the Bulls.  They are heading the right way if they want to mount a credible challenge next season.  

To be honest if he can just pry those Saffers from either Munster or Sale he would be very happy.

The SA internationals will be missing for many, many weeks of the season.

Based on what exactly?  Media outlets have all suggested this won't be the case.

I don't think it has clicked with some people there are less games and points are going to be at a premium so better players will play more.

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Post by doctor_grey Thu 01 Jul 2021, 5:47 pm

Aside from the actual league structure, you made me realise we will learn something interesting. The Premiership is increasing the number of games whilst the new United league is reducing the number of games (for me, a sensible reduction). Wondering about the health of players after two or three years of this. The Premiership (or is it the PRL or RFU) has a high limit on the number of games in which a player can participate. So we will see who is fresher, which league has a lower injury rate, and so on.

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Post by Brendan Thu 01 Jul 2021, 6:59 pm

doctor_grey wrote:Aside from the actual league structure, you made me realise we will learn something interesting.  The Premiership is increasing the number of games whilst the new United league is reducing the number of games (for me, a sensible reduction).  Wondering about the health of players after two or three years of this.  The Premiership (or is it the PRL or RFU) has a high limit on the number of games in which a player can participate.  So we will see who is fresher, which league has a lower injury rate, and so on.

The two things will be how each of the URC choose to get the most from their squad members and how they fill the squad. Each team should have more money than they had pre-covid yet won't need as big a squad. 4 games might not be alot but it is an extra month off during the season for the none internationals.

I am still curious how they will do the second level to bring through the youngsters. It would be fitting (as in hare and tortoise) that the season the Prem ringfenced and essentially makes the Championship semi pro the Celtic League surpasses it in TV revenue (still to be confirmed) and also sets up a second division to bring on the provisional game.

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Post by PhilBB Fri 02 Jul 2021, 8:45 am

Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:White bringing back 2 more former internationals back to the Bulls.  They are heading the right way if they want to mount a credible challenge next season.  

To be honest if he can just pry those Saffers from either Munster or Sale he would be very happy.

The SA internationals will be missing for many, many weeks of the season.

Based on what exactly?  Media outlets have all suggested this won't be the case.

Based on the fixture list for the South African national team.

Here's a hint: don't swallow the propaganda in the press. Instead, do your own research.
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Post by PhilBB Fri 02 Jul 2021, 8:46 am

Brendan wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
PhilBB wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:White bringing back 2 more former internationals back to the Bulls.  They are heading the right way if they want to mount a credible challenge next season.  

To be honest if he can just pry those Saffers from either Munster or Sale he would be very happy.

The SA internationals will be missing for many, many weeks of the season.

Based on what exactly?  Media outlets have all suggested this won't be the case.

I don't think it has clicked with some people there are less games and points are going to be at a premium so better players will play more.

What's clear is that some haven't checked the fixture list to see the clashes with the international game and international camps.....
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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 02 Jul 2021, 11:31 am

doctor_grey wrote:Aside from the actual league structure, you made me realise we will learn something interesting.  The Premiership is increasing the number of games whilst the new United league is reducing the number of games (for me, a sensible reduction).  Wondering about the health of players after two or three years of this.  The Premiership (or is it the PRL or RFU) has a high limit on the number of games in which a player can participate.  So we will see who is fresher, which league has a lower injury rate, and so on.

Yeah will be interesting. Looking forward to it at this point. I'm hoping the format with less games will end up leading to better matches. Given that we only end up playing some of the teams once I hope that will lead to away sides travelling with their best players.


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Post by profitius Thu 09 Sep 2021, 9:02 pm

https://youtu.be/exWscpYB2-A

A video on how the league was rebranded.
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Post by profitius Fri 01 Oct 2021, 8:38 pm

Record audiences tune in for URC kick-off
3 min read
1 Oct 2021


The launch of the United Rugby Championship last weekend attracted a record number of viewers for a single league round.

Early figures show that domestic audiences alone surpassed the old global record of 853,511 from a derby round in 2017/18 and will continue to climb until all consolidated reports and international viewing figures are in. Round 1 of the URC represented the first airing for the league’s new hybrid model of Free-to-Air (FTA), Pay TV and OTT which is geared towards making the sport as accessible as possible in its core territories and in international markets.

FTA is a fundamental component of the URC’s new broadcast strategy and rooted in fan feedback projects which identified increased FTA coverage in domestic markets as a priority for the new league. Round 1 saw the return of RTÉ and BBC Wales which complemented the reach of existing partners TG4 and S4C while BBC Northern Ireland will screen league action once again when the begin their coverage in Round 3.

Mediaset also made their debut in Italy as FTA access made a welcome return with a strong opening audience. In the UK, Premier Sports continue to be the only place to watch all 151 URC games live while they also began their Irish coverage for the first time. Super Sport brought the new league into the homes of fans in South Africa for the first time as all four of their teams made their bow in the URC.

Round 1 also marked the successful launch of URC TV, the league’s OTT streaming service that is available domestically in the Republic of Ireland and internationally where fans in the US, Australia and many other worldwide territories can watch all their team’s games live and on-demand throughout the season.

Target set for over 1 million domestic viewers per round
Reacting to the record viewership, CEO Martin Anayi, said: “To achieve this milestone based only on domestic viewers in the first weekend proves the interest fans have in our players and teams and we firmly believe we will grow to audiences of over 1 million domestic viewers per round very quickly. Round 1 showcased everything the URC can be with fans back in the stadiums watching some thrilling rugby created by so many different playing styles.

“We saw sharp presentation across all of our broadcasters who do a terrific job in bringing the stories of our games and players to life with engaging personalities and insightful analysis. In a ground-breaking move for our league, we saw the launch of URC TV which allows us to offer fans across the world a direct channel to watch their favourite teams on their terms.”
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Post by Old Man Fri 01 Oct 2021, 8:44 pm

I wonder what the SA viewership was?

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Post by LordDowlais Sat 02 Oct 2021, 6:43 pm

profitius wrote:Record audiences tune in for URC kick-off
3 min read
1 Oct 2021


The launch of the United Rugby Championship last weekend attracted a record number of viewers for a single league round.

Early figures show that domestic audiences alone surpassed the old global record of 853,511 from a derby round in 2017/18 and will continue to climb until all consolidated reports and international viewing figures are in. Round 1 of the URC represented the first airing for the league’s new hybrid model of Free-to-Air (FTA), Pay TV and OTT which is geared towards making the sport as accessible as possible in its core territories and in international markets.

FTA is a fundamental component of the URC’s new broadcast strategy and rooted in fan feedback projects which identified increased FTA coverage in domestic markets as a priority for the new league. Round 1 saw the return of RTÉ and BBC Wales which complemented the reach of existing partners TG4 and S4C while BBC Northern Ireland will screen league action once again when the begin their coverage in Round 3.

Mediaset also made their debut in Italy as FTA access made a welcome return with a strong opening audience. In the UK, Premier Sports continue to be the only place to watch all 151 URC games live while they also began their Irish coverage for the first time. Super Sport brought the new league into the homes of fans in South Africa for the first time as all four of their teams made their bow in the URC.

Round 1 also marked the successful launch of URC TV, the league’s OTT streaming service that is available domestically in the Republic of Ireland and internationally where fans in the US, Australia and many other worldwide territories can watch all their team’s games live and on-demand throughout the season.

Target set for over 1 million domestic viewers per round
Reacting to the record viewership, CEO Martin Anayi, said: “To achieve this milestone based only on domestic viewers in the first weekend proves the interest fans have in our players and teams and we firmly believe we will grow to audiences of over 1 million domestic viewers per round very quickly. Round 1 showcased everything the URC can be with fans back in the stadiums watching some thrilling rugby created by so many different playing styles.

“We saw sharp presentation across all of our broadcasters who do a terrific job in bringing the stories of our games and players to life with engaging personalities and insightful analysis. In a ground-breaking move for our league, we saw the launch of URC TV which allows us to offer fans across the world a direct channel to watch their favourite teams on their terms.”


This absolutely slams home what I have been saying from day 1. I had all the naysayers on here rubbishing my claims, and everyone saying how I was wrong. Anyway, rather than revel in this and rub peoples noses in it, I just hope that the damage done by putting the league behind an obscure paywall channel in Wales has not done any long term, or need I say it terminal damage, yes we need to open the league up to a wider audience if we are to compete and make the pro game in all our countries competitive and putting it back on free to air TV is a massive, massive step forwards in achieving this.

It was back on in my club last night, and we were all watching Scarlets V Lions, and people were all talking about the South Africans coming on board, I have not heard this chat in my club for the best part of 4 years.

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Post by The Oracle Sat 02 Oct 2021, 6:56 pm

LD,

All this article says is that viewing figures were at a record high. No one argued that you would get more viewers on pay per view. Ridiculous if you are claiming that. You’d expect that, obviously, compared to being behind a pay wall.

The claims we rubbished were your claims that a) that the game in Wales would die with it being on Premier Sport and that b) kids would not take up the game in Wales because they couldn’t watch it for free on the TV. Neither of these things have happened!
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Post by Old Man Sat 02 Oct 2021, 7:07 pm

It was back on in my club last night, and we were all watching Scarlets V Lions, and people were all talking about the South Africans coming on board, I have not heard this chat in my club for the best part of 4 years

Are they excited that the SA teams have joined?

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Post by The Oracle Sat 02 Oct 2021, 7:10 pm

Sorry, just to add: what people were saying was that we need the pay per view money/tv contract in order to compete with England and France. Without it we’d fall further and further behind as the TV money is a massive boost to budgets. At the time the BBC/S4C bid was nowhere near the Premier Sports one so staying on free to air would have massively dented the budgets we had which helped our regions retain players and entice ex-pats back over the past few seasons. Of course, everyone would probably prefer free to air to PPV. Who wouldn’t?! But not if it is/was at the expense of our teams. Now, I haven’t seen details of the latest deal which is 75% free to air in Wales, but if they’ve somehow managed to convince BBC/S4C to match the previous bid, or do a joint bid with Premier Sports for the full amount as they had previously, then that is awesome! It would surprise me as BBC couldn’t/wouldn’t bid that much previously, but if they have then that’s great and we get the best of both worlds. I can’t imagine Premier Sports bidding much though if 75% of the Welsh games are free on other channels. But who knows? If we have had to take a massive cut in the TV deal this time around (my suspicion) then that is very worrying. Maybe the SA teams coming on board has helped to ‘buffer’ that and the net result is around the same money per team. Again, if so then great Smile
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Post by Brendan Sat 02 Oct 2021, 7:26 pm

I would be fairly confident that those FTA who came on board are pulling their weight and have realised the value the league had for them.

I don't know if it's official yet but the TV deal was fairly big so the FTA have now given the cash.

I have no doubt CVC played a part in that with 6N games also in their control.

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Post by Old Man Sat 02 Oct 2021, 9:19 pm

This ruling of penalising a hammer/supportplayer going off his feet is very inconsistent by the referees.

Pisses me off, the only sides being blown for it are the South Africans.

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Post by mikey_dragon Sat 02 Oct 2021, 10:00 pm

Old Man wrote:This ruling of penalising a hammer/supportplayer going off his feet is very inconsistent by the referees.

Pisses me off, the only sides being blown for it are the South Africans.

Welcome to the league. The standard of officiating has always been shocking.

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Post by RiscaGame Sun 03 Oct 2021, 2:33 am

The Oracle wrote:LD,

All this article says is that viewing figures were at a record high. No one argued that you would get more viewers on pay per view. Ridiculous if you are claiming that. You’d expect that, obviously, compared to being behind a pay wall.

The claims we rubbished were your claims that a) that the game in Wales would die with it being on Premier Sport and that b) kids would not take up the game in Wales because they couldn’t watch it for free on the TV. Neither of these things have happened!

Or that the Welsh Premiership would steal a march on the pro game. That worked so well, that there are no longer Welsh prem games going to be shown.

Also, whilst Mr “I’m not showing off” is on about his win, how come the fixtures were so late out? Multiple broadcasters again.

Top 14 shown on premier too. Not a bad channel after all.

Congrats to the local “rugby” club for watching rugby again. Wonder if the Thai restaurant will have a chat about it, as well?


Last edited by RiscaGame on Sun 03 Oct 2021, 2:57 am; edited 3 times in total

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:03 am

The Oracle wrote:LD,

All this article says is that viewing figures were at a record high. No one argued that you would get more viewers on pay per view. Ridiculous if you are claiming that. You’d expect that, obviously, compared to being behind a pay wall.

The claims we rubbished were your claims that a) that the game in Wales would die with it being on Premier Sport and that b) kids would not take up the game in Wales because they couldn’t watch it for free on the TV. Neither of these things have happened!

I never said that kids would not take up the game, and the league has suffered in Wales since it was put behind a paywall on an obscure channel that nobody had ever heard of. That you cannot deny.

I hope, that now it is back on BBC Wales, that the league will come back from the ashes, and with the extra exposure, the profile will rise and rugby will become cool in our country again. OK

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:05 am

Old Man wrote:It was back on in my club last night, and we were all watching Scarlets V Lions, and people were all talking about the South Africans coming on board, I have not heard this chat in my club for the best part of 4 years

Are they excited that the SA teams have joined?

Yes, we were all in agreement that adding the SA teams will lift the tide of the league, although not many were too keen to see SA join the 6N after their antics with the Lions.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:06 am

The Oracle wrote:Sorry, just to add: what people were saying was that we need the pay per view money/tv contract in order to compete with England and France. Without it we’d fall further and further behind as the TV money is a massive boost to budgets. At the time the BBC/S4C bid was nowhere near the Premier Sports one so staying on free to air would have massively dented the budgets we had which helped our regions retain players and entice ex-pats back over the past few seasons. Of course, everyone would probably prefer free to air to PPV. Who wouldn’t?! But not if it is/was at the expense of our teams. Now, I haven’t seen details of the latest deal which is 75% free to air in Wales, but if they’ve somehow managed to convince BBC/S4C to match the previous bid, or do a joint bid with Premier Sports for the full amount as they had previously, then that is awesome! It would surprise me as BBC couldn’t/wouldn’t bid that much previously, but if they have then that’s great and we get the best of both worlds. I can’t imagine Premier Sports bidding much though if 75% of the Welsh games are free on other channels. But who knows? If we have had to take a massive cut in the TV deal this time around (my suspicion) then that is very worrying. Maybe the SA teams coming on board has helped to ‘buffer’ that and the net result is around the same money per team. Again, if so then great Smile

PS sports were never going to bid what they did twice, especially as they only had about a third of the audience that they were expecting.

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Post by Old Man Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:10 am

I can fully understand why people were upset with the Lions tour.

But there are a few issues to consider.

Rassie wanted to win.
He was going to have a tactic to slow the game down as his players haven't played international rugby the previous year and needed to find a way for his players to cope with the match intensity that comes with a Lions tour.

What his thinking was with the video can be criticised, however he believed it would make a difference.

the game plan was as boring and predictable as hell.

Did I enjoy the Lions tour, no not really.

But also consider this was a one off issue, as a norm this is not bok rugby.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:13 am

Old Man wrote:I can fully understand why people were upset with the Lions tour.

But there are a few issues to consider.

Rassie wanted to win.
He was going to have a tactic to slow the game down as his players haven't played international rugby the previous year and needed to find a way for his players to cope with the match intensity that comes with a Lions tour.

What his thinking was with the video can be criticised, however he believed it would make a difference.

the game plan was as boring and predictable as hell.

Did I enjoy the Lions tour, no not really.

But also consider this was a one off issue, as a norm this is not bok rugby.

I have seen the same tactics being used in the Rugby Championship as well. Not as much, but they have been used.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:27 am

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:LD,

All this article says is that viewing figures were at a record high. No one argued that you would get more viewers on pay per view. Ridiculous if you are claiming that. You’d expect that, obviously, compared to being behind a pay wall.

The claims we rubbished were your claims that a) that the game in Wales would die with it being on Premier Sport and that b) kids would not take up the game in Wales because they couldn’t watch it for free on the TV. Neither of these things have happened!

I never said that kids would not take up the game, and the league has suffered in Wales since it was put behind a paywall on an obscure channel that nobody had ever heard of. That you cannot deny.

I hope, that now it is back on BBC Wales, that the league will come back from the ashes, and with the extra exposure, the profile will rise and rugby will become cool in our country again. OK

Yes you did! You said that the lack of exposure to the game on free tv (BBC Wales and S4C) would mean that fewer kids would be interested and take up the game and lots would be lost to other sports such as football!

The ‘league will come back from the ashes’??? What on earth are you talking about?!

All through this last few years of arguments and you constantly rubbishing the league one thing is clear - it is YOU who has lost interest in the league. YOU felt disengaged because it was not on your favourite free channels. YOU feel the league is dying. YOU clearly think that it disappeared over the last couple of years while on PS. You write off the league as dead just due to YOUR lack of interest, and then you try to project those views on to everyone else and say the whole league is dying or dead, that there is NO interest in Wales (when it is just some people losing interest). You do not speak for everyone, your experiences do not reflect everyone here in Wales. YOU might be ‘rising form the ashes’ because the games are back on terrestrial TV. But the league is carrying on as normal, with the addition of the SA teams.

Welcome back, LD Smile
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:47 am

The Oracle wrote:Yes you did! You said that the lack of exposure to the game on free tv (BBC Wales and S4C) would mean that fewer kids would be interested and take up the game and lots would be lost to other sports such as football!

Thats not saying kids "would not take up the game" though is it ?

The Oracle wrote:The ‘league will come back from the ashes’??? What on earth are you talking about?!

This is where you need to take your blinkers off. Because as a hard core fan, you have always watched the league with your other like minded group, I have said this to you before, you need to look outside your bubble. People were not watching the Pro14 in Wales as much has you would like to think they were.

The Oracle wrote:All through this last few years of arguments and you constantly rubbishing the league one thing is clear - it is YOU who has lost interest in the league. YOU felt disengaged because it was not on your favourite free channels. YOU feel the league is dying. YOU clearly think that it disappeared over the last couple of years while on PS. You write off the league as dead just due to YOUR lack of interest, and then you try to project those views on to everyone else and say the whole league is dying or dead, that there is NO interest in Wales (when it is just some people losing interest). You do not speak for everyone, your experiences do not reflect everyone here in Wales. YOU might be ‘rising form the ashes’ because the games are back on terrestrial TV. But the league is carrying on as normal, with the addition of the SA teams.

Again, you need to look further afield. I was, and still am not the only person in Wales who is thinking like this. I did not create this thread:-

https://www.606v2.com/t68663-pro14-is-dead

I'm sorry, but I am just saying things as they are, you can deny it if you want, but putting the Pro14 on PS did more to hamper the league in Wales than it did to help it.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:49 am

Also, just to add, I wasn't rubbishing the league as you put it, I was rubbishing the choice to put the league on an obscure paywall channel that nobody has ever heard of.

There's a big difference. OK

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 11:21 am

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:Yes you did! You said that the lack of exposure to the game on free tv (BBC Wales and S4C) would mean that fewer kids would be interested and take up the game and lots would be lost to other sports such as football!

Thats not saying kids "would not take up the game" though is it ?

The Oracle wrote:The ‘league will come back from the ashes’??? What on earth are you talking about?!

This is where you need to take your blinkers off. Because as a hard core fan, you have always watched the league with your other like minded group, I have said this to you before, you need to look outside your bubble. People were not watching the Pro14 in Wales as much has you would like to think they were.

The Oracle wrote:All through this last few years of arguments and you constantly rubbishing the league one thing is clear - it is YOU who has lost interest in the league. YOU felt disengaged because it was not on your favourite free channels. YOU feel the league is dying. YOU clearly think that it disappeared over the last couple of years while on PS. You write off the league as dead just due to YOUR lack of interest, and then you try to project those views on to everyone else and say the whole league is dying or dead, that there is NO interest in Wales (when it is just some people losing interest). You do not speak for everyone, your experiences do not reflect everyone here in Wales. YOU might be ‘rising form the ashes’ because the games are back on terrestrial TV. But the league is carrying on as normal, with the addition of the SA teams.

Again, you need to look further afield. I was, and still am not the only person in Wales who is thinking like this. I did not create this thread:-

https://www.606v2.com/t68663-pro14-is-dead

I'm sorry, but I am just saying things as they are, you can deny it if you want, but putting the Pro14 on PS did more to hamper the league in Wales than it did to help it.


There you go again. This is EXACTLY what you do. A perfect example. You are not saying things as they are. You are saying things as you see them. Your own personal feeling. That is vastly different from 'how they are'. You do not speak for the whole of the game in Wales, although for some reason you seem to claim that you do.

'Rising from the ashes' suggests a league that has completely died, is dead, buried, no-one is watching it, no-one is attending games. That is simply not the case. Look at the attendances for the welsh regions over the weekend. Similar to how they were pre-covid. So no change really.

I'm not a hardcore fan, by the way. Barely attend any games any more and don't watch a great deal on TV. More interested in internationals but even that doesn't get me going like it used to. Nothing to do with the games being on TV though or to do with the league. Just changes in life. Used to go with a big group when we were young, free and single(ish). But we've all had kids, all have competing things on a weekend now. SO our attendance has waned. Being on free TV and the Dragons winning lots wouldn't change that. I prefer cycling now to be honest (and watching it!).

I'm involved in junior rugby and that is thriving, somehow, despite the league being off TV for the past few years Wink We have teams at U6 up to U17, youth and 2 senior sides. All in a village. Caerphilly came down to play us the other week. About 5 different age groups. My son is in the under 8s playing tag. It's usually 7 a side. Guess how many Caerphilly brought down for that age group alone? 24 players!!! So enough for over 3 sides and they had to play in quarters and change the team at each break. And that's Caerphilly town, baring in mind that there are also lots of other teams within Caerphilly county borough all knocking out junior teams (Blackwood, Fleur, Oakdale, Risca, Newbridge, Bargoed, , etc., etc. Just to name a few we've played). So you say I'm blinkered but all I see is lots of rugby going on, kids taking the game up, lots of interest especially at International level. I just don't see the game dying.
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 11:36 am

The Oracle wrote:I'm involved in junior rugby and that is thriving, somehow, despite the league being off TV for the past few years Wink We have teams at U6 up to U17, youth and 2 senior sides. All in a village. Caerphilly came down to play us the other week. About 5 different age groups. My son is in the under 8s playing tag. It's usually 7 a side. Guess how many Caerphilly brought down for that age group alone? 24 players!!! So enough for over 3 sides and they had to play in quarters and change the team at each break. And that's Caerphilly town, baring in mind that there are also lots of other teams within Caerphilly county borough all knocking out junior teams (Blackwood, Fleur, Oakdale, Risca, Newbridge, Bargoed, , etc., etc. Just to name a few we've played). So you say I'm blinkered but all I see is lots of rugby going on, kids taking the game up, lots of interest especially at International level. I just don't see the game dying.

Again, please explain to me why you have to mention all this ? Not once have I said the game is dying, never. Rugby is alive and well in Wales, we both know that, I have never said any different. The game is bigger than the 4 regions.

What I have said though, is the Pro14 is dying in wales, as have others, hence the link to the article written by somebody who is not me, I don't see you taking ambridge with him though.

There is interest in the professional game in Wales, what profitus wrote above is proof of that, the problem is, there are not enough people who have the time, money, or both to enjoy it. People like yourself for example, who enjoys the pro game, but do not have the time to watch it. Imagine you are a single parent, with a child who likes rugby, but the parent cannot afford the subscription fees for your child to watch it, now that child can watch the regions again.

There are thousands of people invested in rugby in Wales, they cannot go to watch the regions as well, they are too busy with their club, whether it is playing, or watching, or just helping out. You cannot be in two places at once. A lot of us fans from Merthyr go to the wern to watch us play, and we can now watch the regions on tele in the club afterwards. Pro rugby is gaining more momentum again, more people are watching it, it's great.

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:06 pm

So how is the league rising from the ashes (your words)? At what point did it die and be cremated, in your opinion?
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:07 pm

The Oracle wrote:So how is the league rising from the ashes (your words)? At what point did it die and be cremated, in your opinion?

The moment it went behind an obscure paywall channel, and the only people watching it, were watching it already. thumbsup

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:09 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:So how is the league rising from the ashes (your words)? At what point did it die and be cremated, in your opinion?

The moment it went behind an obscure paywall channel, and the only people watching it, were watching it already. thumbsup

But it didn’t die! That’s the point. No matter how much you say it did it did not. All of your doom and gloom and scaremongering, and for what?!
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:18 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:So how is the league rising from the ashes (your words)? At what point did it die and be cremated, in your opinion?

The moment it went behind an obscure paywall channel, and the only people watching it, were watching it already. thumbsup

But it didn’t die! That’s the point. No matter how much you say it did it did not. All of your doom and gloom and scaremongering, and for what?!

It has gone backwards in Wales, you cannot deny that ? The numbers for judgement day before the lockdown were down by thousands, and the league wasn't in the public eye in Wales, I can see a difference already, with games being advertised on BBC Wales and S4C, there is a buzz about the league because more people are watching it, how you can deny this I couldn't say. But if the league stayed behind a paywall on PS then it would have been disastrous.

You keep claiming it's only me thinking like this, when it isn't, it might be only me on here, now, but the link I posted shows that there are at least 2 other members who think like me. I could not be more happier that the league is now accessible to a wider audience.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:33 pm

Secondly I never did say it's died, rising from the ashes does not mean it died, it was more of a dust yourself down and go again comment that I was aiming for.

The Pro14 was in serious trouble in Wales, most of the population didn't know anything about it, and as rugby is our national sport, it was kind of depressing.

It so nice to hear the buzz again.

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Post by RiscaGame Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:38 pm

You should stop using that Judgement Day point, because it’s not solely down to Premier Sports coverage of the league. I have told you that more than once (storm, transport issues etc). It’s also not a given that people who won’t pay a mere £12 a month to watch every league game, will pay £10 for two games in Cardiff, so that further disproves your tenuous link.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:46 pm

RiscaGame wrote:You should stop using that Judgement Day point, because it’s not solely down to Premier Sports coverage of the league. I have told you that more than once (storm, transport issues etc). It’s also not a given that people who won’t pay a mere £12 a month to watch every league game, will pay £10 for two games in Cardiff, so that further disproves your tenuous link.

No it doesn't, it just shows you making excuses to back up your point as usual. Storm and transport !!! come on that's a stretch even for you.

As for my tenuous link, funny that for every year the Pro14 was on free to air, the audience for judgement day was going up and people were paying a tenner for two games, yet as soon as it went onto PS and the casual fans lost interest the numbers went down by thousands, but yeah, storms and transport......and......and....and.

You could have at least made a better fist of it, I bet no number of storms and other excuses would stop the population going to Cardiff to watch Wales. Rolling Eyes

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:52 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Secondly I never did say it's died, rising from the ashes does not mean it died, it was more of a dust yourself down and go again comment that I was aiming for.

The Pro14 was in serious trouble in Wales, most of the population didn't know anything about it, and as rugby is our national sport, it was kind of depressing.

It so nice to hear the buzz again.

You’re just embarrassing yourself now. You said it in the opening sentence of your post on the thread you linked above!
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:55 pm

The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Secondly I never did say it's died, rising from the ashes does not mean it died, it was more of a dust yourself down and go again comment that I was aiming for.

The Pro14 was in serious trouble in Wales, most of the population didn't know anything about it, and as rugby is our national sport, it was kind of depressing.

It so nice to hear the buzz again.

You’re just embarrassing yourself now. You said it in the opening sentence of your post on the thread you linked above!

Classy, I remember why I avoided conversing with you on here now, I thought you had changed, but, never mind. OK

You do realise I did not write the article in that link, don't you ?

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 12:58 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
The Oracle wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Secondly I never did say it's died, rising from the ashes does not mean it died, it was more of a dust yourself down and go again comment that I was aiming for.

The Pro14 was in serious trouble in Wales, most of the population didn't know anything about it, and as rugby is our national sport, it was kind of depressing.

It so nice to hear the buzz again.

You’re just embarrassing yourself now. You said it in the opening sentence of your post on the thread you linked above!

Classy, I remember why I avoided conversing with you on here now, I thought you had changed, but, never mind. OK

You do realise I did not write the article in that link, don't you ?

Your post within that thread. Read it. First sentence.
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Post by RiscaGame Mon 04 Oct 2021, 1:24 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
RiscaGame wrote:You should stop using that Judgement Day point, because it’s not solely down to Premier Sports coverage of the league. I have told you that more than once (storm, transport issues etc). It’s also not a given that people who won’t pay a mere £12 a month to watch every league game, will pay £10 for two games in Cardiff, so that further disproves your tenuous link.

No it doesn't, it just shows you making excuses to back up your point as usual. Storm and transport !!! come on that's a stretch even for you.  

As for my tenuous link, funny that for every year the Pro14 was on free to air, the audience for judgement day was going up and people were paying a tenner for two games, yet as soon as it went onto PS and the casual fans lost interest the numbers went down by thousands, but yeah, storms and transport......and......and....and.

You could have at least made a better fist of it, I bet no number of storms and other excuses would stop the population going to Cardiff to watch Wales. Rolling Eyes

I don’t need to make excuses, because I don’t need to justify myself to an absolute nobody like you. You supposedly like debate, but always get found wanting when people counter your points and don’t accept your word as gospel. That’s very typical of your arrogance.

Seeing as you like to take WOL as fact, here is proof I’m not stretching anything. So it is credible to say that the issues could equally have had an effect. People could’ve easily have felt safer not risking travel and there were restrictions in place. It has also been previously discussed on here, how many actual season ticket holders hate the day too, so it is far too simplistic to just purely link Judgement Day VI’s attendance to the switch to Premier.

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/storm-hannah-tears-judgement-day-16189352.amp

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 2:22 pm

It's s typical trait of some of the Dragons supporters on here to get all uppity when debating, like calling people embarrassing and nobodies.

No wonder most of the other Welsh regional supporters do not use this site anymore.

All because they are in a twist because the regions are not behind a paywall anymore, and more people are watching. Rolling Eyes

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Post by The Oracle Mon 04 Oct 2021, 2:25 pm

LordDowlais wrote:It's s typical trait of some of the Dragons supporters on here to get all uppity when debating, like calling people embarrassing and nobodies.

No wonder most of the other Welsh regional supporters do not use this site anymore.

All because they are in a twist because the regions are not behind a paywall anymore, and more people are watching. Rolling Eyes  

Yeah that’s the issue picard
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Post by LordDowlais Mon 04 Oct 2021, 2:57 pm

Anyway, back to the rugby, another cracking weekend of it, and the best game for me was yesterday, even though it was low scoring, Dragons V Leinster was as intense as it gets.

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Post by stevetynant Mon 04 Oct 2021, 9:55 pm

Fair play to the Dragons who could easily have won it at the end but that was the worst I've seen Leinster play for ages. Early season nerves perhaps and things will get better for both sides. Best game of the weekend for me though was definitely Connacht v Bulls

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Post by PhilBB Tue 05 Oct 2021, 9:40 am

LordDowlais wrote:

This absolutely slams home what I have been saying from day 1. I had all the naysayers on here rubbishing my claims, and everyone saying how I was wrong. Anyway, rather than revel in this and rub peoples noses in it, I just hope that the damage done by putting the league behind an obscure paywall channel in Wales has not done any long term, or need I say it terminal damage, yes we need to open the league up to a wider audience if we are to compete and make the pro game in all our countries competitive and putting it back on free to air TV is a massive, massive step forwards in achieving this.

It was back on in my club last night, and we were all watching Scarlets V Lions, and people were all talking about the South Africans coming on board, I have not heard this chat in my club for the best part of 4 years.

Alternatively, you've omitted the greater South African audience from your analysis and the fact that there were more games in this round as there are more teams playing this season....
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Post by PhilBB Tue 05 Oct 2021, 9:42 am

LordDowlais wrote:

I never said that kids would not take up the game, and the league has suffered in Wales since it was put behind a paywall on an obscure channel that nobody had ever heard of. That you cannot deny.

I hope, that now it is back on BBC Wales, that the league will come back from the ashes, and with the extra exposure, the profile will rise and rugby will become cool in our country again. OK

I can deny it. I can deny it because rugby is again cheap in Wales with people demanding lower ticket prices and moaning about Amazon having the Autumn games.
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Post by LordDowlais Tue 05 Oct 2021, 12:06 pm

PhilBB wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:

This absolutely slams home what I have been saying from day 1. I had all the naysayers on here rubbishing my claims, and everyone saying how I was wrong. Anyway, rather than revel in this and rub peoples noses in it, I just hope that the damage done by putting the league behind an obscure paywall channel in Wales has not done any long term, or need I say it terminal damage, yes we need to open the league up to a wider audience if we are to compete and make the pro game in all our countries competitive and putting it back on free to air TV is a massive, massive step forwards in achieving this.

It was back on in my club last night, and we were all watching Scarlets V Lions, and people were all talking about the South Africans coming on board, I have not heard this chat in my club for the best part of 4 years.

Alternatively, you've omitted the greater South African audience from your analysis and the fact that there were more games in this round as there are more teams playing this season....

Did they take the SA audience into consideration ?

LordDowlais

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