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Springbok-mania has taken hold - Boks to join the 6 Nations????

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Post by doctor_grey Fri 23 Jul 2021, 11:53 pm

First topic message reminder :

Yes, I know the article from The Telegraph is just repeating the thoughts and/or wishful thinking of the Sharks Chief Exec, but it does seem like a reasonable progression.  The article is below:

South Africa 'definitely' joining Six Nations, says Sharks chief executive
by Gavin Mairs, in Cape Town

The Springboks will "definitely" join the Six Nations following the investment of private equity firm CVC in the championship, a leading South African administrator has claimed.

The leading South African sides have already agreed to join the Pro 14 clubs next season to form the United Rugby Championship and it is expected to be confirmed in the next two weeks that they will also take part in the European Challenge Cup next season, which could see the likes of Saracens drawn against the Stormers, Bulls, Sharks and Lions from December.

Ed Coetzee, the chief executive of the Sharks which are promoted by Jay Z's Roc Nation sports agency, believes it is now inevitable that the Springboks will also look to Europe for their international competition.

This year’s Rugby Championship already looks doomed after an eight-week travel ban between Australia and New Zealand was imposed on Friday because of the pandemic restrictions.

When asked if South Africa will join the Six Nations, Coetzee said: "I think it will definitely happen. I think if we asked them now, they would say never.

"But if we also asked them if we would play in Europe, they would have said never.

“So I think it is a natural progression - it's bound to happen. I think there might be a promotion and relegation. I think Georgia are also pushing hard and Italy haven't been great.

"You have the likes of private-equity guys, CVC, coming into rugby and they are not coming in to lose money. They want commercially sound, scalable competitions - it just makes sense.

"The only thing we have in common with New Zealand and Australia is that we are in the southern hemisphere. There is about a 15-hour journey to Sydney - how do you compete?”

The original plan for the South African franchises was to join the European Champions Cup from 2022, but Coetzee said they would now go straight into the Challenge Cup.

“It is really exciting,” added Coetzee. “We want to be sustainably successful in Europe, that is where we want to be. We have to earn the right to play there.”

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 26 Jul 2021, 2:27 pm

This could be interesting in the unlikely event of it moving forward.
We already know that the English and French clubs are not happy with the amount of time their internationals are away from the club game so won't like an extra game in the mix, however on the other hand CVC are in partnership with the English clubs and separately with the 6Ns, something would have to give.

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Post by lostinwales Mon 26 Jul 2021, 2:30 pm

Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Not saying you can't do it but the 6N works on getting big crowds into stadia. Those crowds will often be made up of people who have planned that trip for a very long time in advance, because the dates and places are set in stone months in advance. It doesn't necessarily make for the best rugby but there is a danger that in striving for that we lose what makes the tournament special.

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Jul 2021, 2:36 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:This could be interesting in the unlikely event of it moving forward.
We already know that the English and French clubs are not happy with the amount of time their internationals are away from the club game so won't like an extra game in the mix, however on the other hand CVC are in partnership with the English clubs and separately with the 6Ns, something would have to give.

CVC also involved heavily with the new URC aren't they?

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Jul 2021, 2:38 pm

Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Let me get this right then - England need help at world cups because of one poor six nations?

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 26 Jul 2021, 3:43 pm

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Let me get this right then - England need help at world cups because of one poor six nations?

Think England have finished 5th twice havent they? 2018 and 2021 both under Jones.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Jul 2021, 3:53 pm

Yeah, it's more to benefit Ireland isn't it?

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 26 Jul 2021, 4:02 pm

Rest weeks definitely benefit us

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Jul 2021, 4:06 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:Rest weeks definitely benefit us

Not sure it does really - Ireland have only been competitive in one of the last 6 six nations.

England may have two fifth place finishes recently, but they have reached 3 out of the last 5 world cup finals so not sure they need any assistance in the knock-out games.

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Post by Collapse2005 Mon 26 Jul 2021, 4:39 pm

MichaelT wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Rest weeks definitely benefit us

Not sure it does really - Ireland have only been competitive in one of the last 6 six nations.

England may have two fifth place finishes recently, but they have reached 3 out of the last 5 world cup finals so not sure they need any assistance in the knock-out games.

Think we were competitive in this years 6 nations. Two losses by less than a score one with 14 men for most of the match. Third overall, thats pretty competitive.

In the last 6 years 3rd is our worst result, that certainly suggests a side that is there or thereabouts.

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Jul 2021, 4:56 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Rest weeks definitely benefit us

Not sure it does really - Ireland have only been competitive in one of the last 6 six nations.

England may have two fifth place finishes recently, but they have reached 3 out of the last 5 world cup finals so not sure they need any assistance in the knock-out games.

Think we were competitive in this years 6 nations. Two losses by less than a score one with 14 men for most of the match. Third overall, thats pretty competitive.

In the last 6 years 3rd is our worst result, that certainly suggests a side that is there or thereabouts.

I meant competitive to winning the competition. Theres only 5 matches, so to me to be competitive you should be winning 4 of those. Has a side ever won by winning 3 games? 2015 was a very competitive year with 3 teams finishing level on points, just points scored difference determined the winner. Thats an example of what I mean.

Finishing 3rd in a 6 team tournament is mid-table.


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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:24 pm

MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Let me get this right then - England need help at world cups because of one poor six nations?

England are in the bottom half based off last year's 6N as per my point.

Regards England needing help, clearly they were tired after the 6 previous games and couldn't get up for one more game.  Ireland struggle at WC could be down to having to play 5 games in 5 weeks.  SA on the other hand had to play NZ back to back for the RC so were able to play Wales and England two weeks in a row and they didn't even have to fly to NZ and back in as part of it (which again reduces their prep time)

Playing 2 games, then having a nice week off, play another game and have another rest and finally play the last two.  Plenty time to stop and change things around and give players time to come back or improve things. WC is all about week after week games and no prep time for changes or to rest people unless it's early group stages. 6N does not provide good prep for the WC as is.

Brendan

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:29 pm

lostinwales wrote:
Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Not saying you can't do it but the 6N works on getting big crowds into stadia. Those crowds will often be made up of people who have planned that trip for a very long time in advance, because the dates and places are set in stone months in advance. It doesn't necessarily make for the best rugby but there is a danger that in striving for that we lose what makes the tournament special.

Fixtures could be released right after the tournament giving people 10 months to get things organised.

Brendan

Posts : 3994
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Location : Cork

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Post by Old Man Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:35 pm

Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Let me get this right then - England need help at world cups because of one poor six nations?

England are in the bottom half based off last year's 6N as per my point.

Regards England needing help, clearly they were tired after the 6 previous games and couldn't get up for one more game.  Ireland struggle at WC could be down to having to play 5 games in 5 weeks.  SA on the other hand had to play NZ back to back for the RC so were able to play Wales and England two weeks in a row and they didn't even have to fly to NZ and back in as part of it (which again reduces their prep time)

Playing 2 games, then having a nice week off, play another game and have another rest and finally play the last two.  Plenty time to stop and change things around and give players time to come back or improve things. WC is all about week after week games and no prep time for changes or to rest people unless it's early group stages.  6N does not provide good prep for the WC as is.
Didn’t England have a break in the RWC when their match got called of vs I think it was France?

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:41 pm

Scotland finished in the bottom half of the table and didn't get out of their group at the world cup. Why didn't you focus on that instead of England? It just read as an unecessary dig at England - again - when they are the only six nations team with a really good world cup record.

Think the six nations prepares Wales pretty well - could easily be sitting here with two final appearances. France have reached a final too recently. Its just Ireland who really struggle at world cups when they have success at other levels, so its Ireland who should be singled out as needing to make changes.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:54 pm

MichaelT wrote:when they are the only six nations team with a really good world cup record.

Ireland really do under achieve at international level, Wales always over achieve, England arguably under achieve given the resources, but they generally do better than everyone else at world cups, winning one, and getting to a few finals, France have gotten to two finals. Scotland, well less said the better, but they only have the same resources as Italy.

If we are going by 6N/5N standings, then Wales are the most successful, followed by England. In modern times, call it the last 15/16 years, since we were all proper professional, Wales have won the most titles with 6, England and Ireland 4 and France three, Scotland and Italy zero.

I hope this puts some arguing to bed.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Jul 2021, 7:58 pm

MichaelT wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:Rest weeks definitely benefit us

Not sure it does really - Ireland have only been competitive in one of the last 6 six nations.

England may have two fifth place finishes recently, but they have reached 3 out of the last 5 world cup finals so not sure they need any assistance in the knock-out games.

Think we were competitive in this years 6 nations. Two losses by less than a score one with 14 men for most of the match. Third overall, thats pretty competitive.

In the last 6 years 3rd is our worst result, that certainly suggests a side that is there or thereabouts.

I meant competitive to winning the competition. Theres only 5 matches, so to me to be competitive you should be winning 4 of those. Has a side ever won by winning 3 games? 2015 was a very competitive year with 3 teams finishing level on points, just points scored difference determined the winner. Thats an example of what I mean.

Finishing 3rd in a 6 team tournament is mid-table.


I guess that finishing 5th twice and 1st twice is compeditive but finishing 1st once, 2nd once, and never having a bad W/L ratio. By your logic I guess Wales and England are the only compeditive teams..

Thank goodness the French haven't been compeditive the last 2 years. Or the English haven't been compeditive at WCs since 2003. Not sure many people would agree with your standards of being compeditive.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Jul 2021, 8:02 pm

Old Man wrote:
Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:
Brendan wrote:Do players like Hogg etc returning to their clubs down to not having an international game that weekend. My understanding is that the 7 weeks is all the international window.

It is my opinion for the WC failures by NH teams is due to the rest weeks in the 6N.   6N players 5 game weekends and 2 rest weeks traveling maybe 5 hours by plane for Italy.  RC play in about the same time but travel much further between games.  When it comes to the WC the 6N teams struggle to keep going.  If an 8 nation was 7 straight weeks like a WC the NH team would be better prepared when it came to knockout unlike the current 6N format

Easy format is top 4 play bottom 4 from the previous year in first 4 weeks which would allow squad rotation like WC group stages.  Last three weeks would be the top 4 teams playing each other which would be standard of the knockouts.  The bottom 4 teams would also be very competitive

From last 6Ns
Top 4
SA
Wales
Francs
Ireland

Bottom 4
England
Scotland
Italy
Georgia

For a team like England in the bottom half would have to hit the ground running and that would also benefit them.  If they did good against the top 4 then the last three games could allow them to bring on some players. It would be like a 200m race where only in the final straight would you know who is finishing where.

Let me get this right then - England need help at world cups because of one poor six nations?

England are in the bottom half based off last year's 6N as per my point.

Regards England needing help, clearly they were tired after the 6 previous games and couldn't get up for one more game.  Ireland struggle at WC could be down to having to play 5 games in 5 weeks.  SA on the other hand had to play NZ back to back for the RC so were able to play Wales and England two weeks in a row and they didn't even have to fly to NZ and back in as part of it (which again reduces their prep time)

Playing 2 games, then having a nice week off, play another game and have another rest and finally play the last two.  Plenty time to stop and change things around and give players time to come back or improve things. WC is all about week after week games and no prep time for changes or to rest people unless it's early group stages.  6N does not provide good prep for the WC as is.
Didn’t England have a break in the RWC when their match got called of vs I think it was France?

Yes. England had their two games but aren't use to playing full strenght teams three weeks in a row.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Jul 2021, 8:13 pm

MichaelT wrote:Scotland finished in the bottom half of the table and didn't get out of their group at the world cup. Why didn't you focus on that instead of England? It just read as an unecessary dig at England - again - when they are the only six nations team with a really good world cup record.

Think the six nations prepares Wales pretty well - could easily be sitting here with two final appearances. France have reached a final too recently. Its just Ireland who really struggle at world cups when they have success at other levels, so its Ireland who should be singled out as needing to make changes.

You will notice that I put Scotland in the bottom half too.

When the 6Ns perform so poorly at WCs compared to the RC says it's a 6N issue. 6N teams mess up against poor teams, RC not so much. SA v Japan the only one I can think of.

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Post by 123456789. Mon 26 Jul 2021, 8:26 pm

This would be the most enormous piece of jenga.

The Six Nations establishes the best of the traditional European Rugby Sides. Tournaments need to mean something. Otherwise they dwindle away. The lesson of Super Rugby is that simply melding on sides to existing tournaments into an unwieldy leviathan spanning continents sounds the death knell for great tournaments.

The Celtic League is rapidly following the path of Super Rugby. If we are not careful we will condemn the Six Nations to the same fate.

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Post by MichaelT Mon 26 Jul 2021, 9:02 pm

Brendan wrote:
MichaelT wrote:Scotland finished in the bottom half of the table and didn't get out of their group at the world cup. Why didn't you focus on that instead of England? It just read as an unecessary dig at England - again - when they are the only six nations team with a really good world cup record.

Think the six nations prepares Wales pretty well - could easily be sitting here with two final appearances. France have reached a final too recently. Its just Ireland who really struggle at world cups when they have success at other levels, so its Ireland who should be singled out as needing to make changes.

You will notice that I put Scotland in the bottom half too.

When the 6Ns perform so poorly at WCs compared to the RC says it's a 6N issue.  6N teams mess up against poor teams,  RC not so much. SA v Japan the only one I can think of.

It was England who you singled out in your paragraph of seeing how they perform against the top 4. Not Scotland. Anyway, if you cant see it, nevermind.

I do agree with your overall comment that the six nations teams dont perform as well as the southern hemisphere as far as champions go. England beat three of the rugby championship teams in 2019. Wales beat Australia, France beat Argentina. I would say its more to do with number of games played and season structure though. Also, the northern hemisphere teams tend to use the warm ups as training sessions/ fans think results dont matter and are worried about injuries, whereas the southern teams tend to go for their championship as something to build on before the world cup starts. Maybe moving the six nations to July/ August would be a better idea during the rwc year.

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Post by Old Man Mon 26 Jul 2021, 9:13 pm

123456789. wrote:This would be the most enormous piece of jenga.

The Six Nations establishes the best of the traditional European Rugby Sides. Tournaments need to mean something. Otherwise they dwindle away. The lesson of Super Rugby is that simply melding on sides to existing tournaments into an unwieldy leviathan spanning continents sounds the death knell for great tournaments.

The Celtic League is rapidly following the path of Super Rugby. If we are not careful we will condemn the Six Nations to the same fate.
The reason Super expansion failed was poor teams

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Jul 2021, 11:51 pm

Old Man wrote:
123456789. wrote:This would be the most enormous piece of jenga.

The Six Nations establishes the best of the traditional European Rugby Sides. Tournaments need to mean something. Otherwise they dwindle away. The lesson of Super Rugby is that simply melding on sides to existing tournaments into an unwieldy leviathan spanning continents sounds the death knell for great tournaments.

The Celtic League is rapidly following the path of Super Rugby. If we are not careful we will condemn the Six Nations to the same fate.
The reason Super expansion failed was poor teams

I never get the SR URC comparisons.  It is mainly down to lazy knowledge of SR was a multi country league that grew team numbers.  URC are doing the same so it must be the same.  They overlook that one was sold as the best league in the world and the other was seen as the worse professional league in the world.  When both stopped being untrue one fell in popularity and the URC could only go up as it was viewed so poorly. They also overlook that SR use to have the best players from the 3 best nations but now has 50% of their players are overseas so the standards have dropped and they are no longer the 3 best nations. The URC was originally built by the lower T1 nations (some SH people saw them as T2) with many stars playing overseas, it now has 2 countries who have been No1 ranked team plus the standard of player has increased across the board.  Finally SR apart from the Cheetahs brought in teams that had to be created and get a following.   URC shrank in the early years as in amalgamated or closed teams so that is behind them.  When they added the Italians only half the teams were new (Benetton being an established privately backed team) while each of the SA teams were established teams by the time they came to the URC.

There is no fudging the positions to get teams from certain countries into the playoffs.  There is no 6am games.  There is no one country propping up professionalism in the other Unions.  There is no governing body that also oversees the nations internationals. Yes there are international trips but Ryanair is alot cheaper than any flights in SR ever were.  Even NZ being the smallest country would be as easy as going from Wales to Scotland for domestic games.

So URC is certainly not SR other than SA have 4 teams in it.

Brendan

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Post by doctor_grey Tue 27 Jul 2021, 12:33 am

To add to the comments about the late Super Rugby, I thought it was truly fantastic in its day.  I always liked those classic Brumbies teams from the early 2000s, those Bulls and Sharks teams and Otago too (you see, there was a girl I met in Dunedin).  But it is still surprising to me that NZ followed by Aus looked at the challenges facing that competition, challenges that they helped create, and decided the only solution was radical inward looking naval gazing.  This will not help either the ABs or the Wallabies in the long run.

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Post by Brendan Tue 27 Jul 2021, 12:18 pm

Super Rugby finished mainly down to the Sky deal that the NZRU signed which meant they were a contributor like SA rather than a receiver they had been.  They figured that RA would be good boys and go along with them because they had no choice.  They thought that the NZ product was the only thing the money men paid for and that a SR competition that had the NZ teams would sell around the world.

NZRU didn't expect Oz to be so stubborn and look out for their own interests (It didn't help that NZ tried to bypass the RA and go directly to the teams) and without a common enemy that they wouldn't be good friends.  It seems they didn't think that RA would also look to share revenue meaning without SA NZ would have to give more.  It also seems they didn't think that SA would go North but seemed to think that SA would just stay domestic. Most importantly they didn't realize that TV companies in Europe and USA would nog want to buy the product because of 6am games.  Without those markets finances they are going wish they had the good old days of SR 2019.

SR was a great product but it never did anything to increase funding long term or build up the finacial muscle.  SA tried to but by the time they added the extra teams they had lost to many players overseas meaning they were weak..  Oz could have been stronger if players from NZ had been allowed to go there.  Looking back on it it was madness to think that England and France could support 4 times the number of professional teams as SA even though they all had a similar rugby ecconomy.  If they had gone for a champions league style tournament built off the back of good domestic foundations things would be much better.

Brendan

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