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As if our players were not playing too much rugby, NOW THIS !!!!

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Post by LordDowlais Tue 07 Sep 2021, 12:31 pm

First topic message reminder :

Well, how much can they squeeze out of the game ? There are now plans for a 12 a-side tournament where all the best players are drafted, a bit like the cricket 100, please read below:-

World's best rugby players to be auctioned off as shock new 12-aside tournament announced
The new tournament, billed as rugby's answer to cricket's Hundred, is set to take place next year

A new 12-a-side rugby union tournament, which will see the world’s best male and female players compete annually around the world, has been launched.

And it already has the backing of some high-profile names, including former WRU chairman Gareth Davies.

World 12s, a newly formed international company backed by a UK-based financial consortium, claims it can bring £250 million into the global game over the next five years, while attracting a new global fanbase in a vein similar to the IPL and the Hundred in cricket.

They have assembled a board consisting of former RFU CEO Ian Ritchie (Chairman), former NZRU CEO Steve Tew (Non-Executive Director), and former WRU Chairman Davies (Non-Executive Director).

The inaugural World 12s tournament, which could take place in August 2022, is set to see 192 of the world’s best male players from Tier One and Tier Two nations selected via auction to represent eight franchised teams.

The plan is for the maiden tournament to be hosted in England across three concurrent weekends provisionally set for August/September 2022, with each franchise of 24 players, coached by some of the world’s leading coaches, playing in a round-robin format before the knockout stages crown the champions.

With Rugby World Cup 2021 now taking place in New Zealand in 2022, the women’s format of World 12s will launch a year later and will be played in tandem with the men’s tournament.

To help boost the development of the global game, each franchise will be required to select at least two players from Tier Two nations as well as one international Under-20s player.

Speaking at the launch, Ian Ritchie Chairman, World 12s, said: “World 12s is a natural evolution for rugby union. We feel that this is a game for our changing, fast-paced world that can excite a global fan base in the way that we have seen with the IPL or most recently The Hundred in cricket.

" In bringing together the most exciting players under the stewardship of some of the brightest rugby minds with commercial backing, we are looking to propel rugby forward and lay a positive roadmap for how the game is perceived for future generations.

"Early and informal discussions with World Rugby, unions, clubs and player associations have been constructive, and in announcing today we can continue our consultative conversations and collaborations with the relevant stakeholders.”

Former Rugby World Cup-winning All Black coach Steve Hansen, an ambassador for World 12s, said, “The idea of an international 12s tournament involving the world’s best players alongside some of the most exciting developing talent in a short form, fast paced version of the sport is extremely exciting for coaches, players and fans. I believe 12s will complement the existing calendar, attracting a new breed of fans from around the world.”


https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/new-12-side-rugby-tournament-21502548


What in the bloody hell is this all about ? We need our best players playing in our leagues, not in some money making hotch potch of a tournament.

What do you all think ?

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Post by Irish Londoner Tue 14 Sep 2021, 11:36 am

The Oracle wrote:As the Ben Kay article above implies, in the current climate of player welfare, concussion concerns, over playing, etc, this might be the attempt to address that and have a contingency plan/proposal in place  in case the 15 man game that we know and love is in some way binned for being too dangerous.

The only thing is that unless there are no contested scrums, no rucks, or tackles I don't see how this is going to alleviate the issues over player health. There's still going to be contact and with the current levels of player fitness and body bulk that is going to be the issue. Unless this is going to be some sort of version of "sevens meets touch", the physical contact element remains in the sport.

The whole thing seems extremely speculative anyway with no-one involved actually putting their own money into this (lots of "the money will come from somewhere") and given the clubs/unions recent tie up with CVC on the financial side of things I don't see it ever happening at least at the higher levels of the sport.

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 14 Sep 2021, 1:44 pm

Ugo Monye is acting as some kind of ambassador for this proposal. On the BBC Rugby Podcast, he claims to be fielding calls from players who have expressed an interest.

On the same show, Danny Care said he would love the idea of playing alongside some of the best players in the world for a few weeks. He and Monye likened it to the kind of experience you get with the Barbarians, with the promise of a better payout.

If enough quality players want to see where this plan goes, then it won't die yet. Monye conceded that it would need to fit into the rest of the schedule but doesn't regard the global calendar, as it stands, as fit for purpose.

If World 12s offers high compensation for less bruising contact, it's easy to see why players would want to see where it leads. More are choosing to go to Japan these days, as the money is good, without the wear and tear of other leagues, so that trade-off is already on the table.

There's just not enough detail right now for fans to make anything other than a negative judgement. The plan won't get off the ground if it can't attract top name players. Marshalling player interest is probably the easy bit, though. Everything else involves winning over people who have a vested interest in this proposal going away.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:03 pm

Is this the same Ugo Monye who talks about player welfare and reducing game time.

What a hypocrite

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:27 pm

Difference for Care is he knows his international days are gone, so something where he gets to throw the ball around and potentially make a few extra quid on top of his Quins salary is all well and good. For the guys who are picking those cheques up I still think it would have to big a biiger pay day for 12s than would be available. It's also going to be a load of flankers and backs who are wanted.

geoff, what has Monye said on it and the impact of welfare?

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Post by Rugby Fan Tue 14 Sep 2021, 2:37 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Is this the same Ugo Monye who talks about player welfare and reducing game time.

What a hypocrite

Right now, no-one can be called a hypocrite. If an existing stakeholder in the sport came up with this proposal, with no intention of trading away anything else in the calendar, then that would certainly be counter to player welfare.

We still don't know who is putting up the money for this idea but we know it is not World Rugby, EPCR, any of the unions or any of the leagues. This is a rebel proposal to replace part of the existing rugby calendar. Inevitably, no-one is yet saying which games players would need to miss if they are going to take part.

The obvious fear is that our cash-strapped game might be easily swayed by the prospect of some additional funds to try and cram something in along with everything else. That would be counter-productive, and anyone who supports that way forward, while paying lip service to player welfare, would be a hypocrite.

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Post by TheMildlyFranticLlama Tue 14 Sep 2021, 3:00 pm

Rugby Fan wrote:Ugo Monye is acting as some kind of ambassador for this proposal. On the BBC Rugby Podcast, he claims to be fielding calls from players who have expressed an interest.

On the same show, Danny Care said he would love the idea of playing alongside some of the best players in the world for a few weeks. He and Monye likened it to the kind of experience you get with the Barbarians, with the promise of a better payout.

If enough quality players want to see where this plan goes, then it won't die yet. Monye conceded that it would need to fit into the rest of the schedule but doesn't regard the global calendar, as it stands, as fit for purpose.

If World 12s offers high compensation for less bruising contact, it's easy to see why players would want to see where it leads. More are choosing to go to Japan these days, as the money is good, without the wear and tear of other leagues, so that trade-off is already on the table.

There's just not enough detail right now for fans to make anything other than a negative judgement. The plan won't get off the ground if it can't attract top name players. Marshalling player interest is probably the easy bit, though. Everything else involves winning over people who have a vested interest in this proposal going away.

Honestly getting the players interested is probably going to be the least challenging aspect of trying to get this terrible idea off the ground. If the financial backing comes through and this goes ahead, players aren't going to want to miss out. Why wouldn't they, as has already been alluded to this is essentially a few weeks of Barbarian's style jolly with a load of money flying around.

The challenge is going to be actually generating the money to make that happen, and building a support base to pay for it. As hard as a load of, no doubt well compensated, figures in the game try to drum up interest in the idea I'm not seeing much positivity towards it from the paying punters. Maybe Steve and Jake and co should make the most of the dollars currently coming their way before they dry up


Last edited by TheMildlyFranticLlama on Wed 15 Sep 2021, 8:57 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Old Man Tue 14 Sep 2021, 5:19 pm

I don't think it will be up to the players, the clubs will put their foot down to protect their own interest

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Post by Brendan Tue 14 Sep 2021, 8:03 pm

While to most of us £30-50m seems alot of money  it's the income of two Premership Clubs or 1.5 T14 so not a massive amount of money.  If you pay each player 100k half the money is gone between both men and women.

No player is going to play this without keeping their Club contract and no club is going to foot the bill for one of their players getting injured at it.

Add in not one single Club owner or Union boss has said they think it is doable or that they will let their players choose.  I doubt the PRL, NLR or even the URC unions will just give up players without a nice fee for doing so.

I don't think it's cheap to put up 8 teams for 3-4 weeks and rent sports facilities, training equipment, all the backroom staff that are also contracted to clubs etc.  It's not like 3 coaches and  the 24 or so players don't need any people to support them.  There will need to be physios, sports doctors, kit men etc.

Add in 192 players over 8 teams is 24 per squad.  Either position doesn't matter or you could end up with extra players being brought in.  If you have a front row, 8/9 of the squad would have to be front row players to cover all the running.

No point in having money and giving it out quickly if the players are hungry the rest of the year.  If the teams are full of SR and T2 leagues not sure how many people would travel to England or even English people watch it.  It might get some league players coming over to top up their wages if it's open space running.

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Post by Brendan Tue 14 Sep 2021, 8:05 pm

Has any current player come out and said they want to do it or is it only retired people who don't have to worry about earning a contract.

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Post by Brendan Tue 14 Sep 2021, 8:10 pm

Regarding health a safety if we are happy to only see sevens played we aren't going to have safe rugby. We can reduce risk, and we can use technology identify issues but all sport has issues as does everyday life. Just look at the Olympics with all the risk of injury in many of the sports.

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Post by doctor_grey Wed 15 Sep 2021, 8:01 am

Brendan wrote:Regarding health a safety if we are happy to only see sevens played we aren't going to have safe rugby.  We can reduce risk, and we can use technology identify issues but all sport has issues as does everyday life.  Just look at the Olympics with all the risk of injury in many of the sports.
Not sure who coined the expression, but life is a contact sport.  Not trying to be flip, but contact sport is not going away.  No one wants a real holistic study of the long term impact of marathoners and health, but I can tell you anecdotally from my medical experience, there are a huge number of current older or former runners with bad hips, knees, and ankles who struggle to walk properly.  We see them literally every day.  But they have good cardio, so all is well?

I see the wear and tear, and really the downside of sport every day.  It's my job.  But most patients seem generally focused on how to get back in the game.  And for the vast number of curmudgeonly former athletes, they should have stayed active, at least the best they can, but still enjoy the games.  I still play our sport and are happy my sons play.  And I am sore.  That's OK, I enjoy it.    

A last point, if you will.  Sport is not about the professionals.  It is about the rest of us, the overwhelming numbers of participants and supporters who enjoy what we all do.  We make up more than 99.99% of all athletes.  Someone is going to take away my sport, hobby, avocation, and source of enjoyment?  Not bloody likely.

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Post by Rugby Fan Thu 16 Sep 2021, 11:37 pm

Matt Giteau and Schalk Burger are on board as ambassadors now. The organisers also want to get access to top coaches. According to this article, if the proposal has any legs, then a basic agreement with stakeholders needs to be in place by January.

The organisers of a proposed new world 12-a-side tournament want to recruit England head coach Eddie Jones and have insisted they have the finances in place to make the project become a reality.

The World 12s concept was launched last week as a £250 million equivalent to cricket’s IPL, with the proposal for the top international players to be recruited via a franchise system to play in 30-minute matches over three consecutive weekends next August and September.

Ian Ritchie, the former Rugby Football Union chief executive who also went on to become chairman of Premiership Rugby, has brought credibility to the proposal as chairman and has begun exploratory talks with the key stakeholders in the northern hemisphere.

Ritchie, whose former New Zealand RU counterpart Steve Tew is leading negotiations in the southern hemisphere, said the plan to recruit the world’s best talent included coaches as well as players.

The project came to life when Jones’ agent Craig Livingstone approached Ritchie after Jones had used the concept of 12-a-side in his training sessions when he was head coach of Japan and also with England.

Ritchie said the ambition would be to attract Jones and other international head coaches such as Ireland’s Andy Farrell and insisted that it would be beneficial for both players and head coaches to be involved.

“Eddie has nothing to do with the operations side of it but as a rugby concept he has used it and been engaged with it,” Ritchie told Telegraph Sport.

“He has obviously got a full-time job to say the least and we would need to discuss that with Bill (Sweeney, the current RFU CEO).

“If I was still chief executive, I think I would say two things – how much time is it and how much does it detract if at all from the day job?

“But I don't know any of the top coaches who don’t work unbelievably hard. And just as we think the best players in the world will benefit from playing alongside each other, it is the same with the coaches.

“I know there was some negative stuff about Eddie working with Beauden Barrett in Japan. But Beauden was quoted as saying what a great coach Eddie was.

“So who learns about whom - Eddie about Beauden or Beauden about Eddie? And where was that balance of advantage? Most great coaches, and across different sports, are actually very happy to share things. I think most people recognise that is a good thing to do and I think this enhances the possibility."

Ritchie said he hoped to talk to both the RFU and Premiership club owners to present the business plan and address key issues including player welfare, and that the organisers had engaged performance consultants to analyse the impact on workload.

He insisted that as the financial payments to the players would also fall outside the Premiership’s salary cap, it could be a key incentive for the top internationals to remain with their clubs in England and had the potential to bring new audiences to rugby, in a similar way to The Hundred in cricket.

“I believe that we can put an economic model in front of them that makes sense for player release,” Ritchie added. “It's not diluting their commerciality.

“My opinion is that this is complimentary, it is additive. For example a load of 15 year-olds who have never watched rugby very much before and then they say ‘I’d really like to watch a Six Nations game or go to a game in the autumn, that would be brilliant.

“Anybody who runs a business - and sport is a business now - has to embrace innovation, you've got to look at doing something different. If you look at The Hundred in cricket, it's attracted a whole new load of people who have never even watched the cricket game before. And I think this has the possibility of that. And I don't think it's going to stop people going to Harlequins or to Bath, nor would we want it to.”

To get the concept off the ground, agreement would have to be reached by January. Ritchie knows more than most how difficult it is to affect change to the global calendar but insists it is worth a shot.

“I think the interesting thing to me, having done loads of informal conversations, is the number of people who said that they think it is a great idea but ask how are we going to make it happen? Ritchie added.

“My view is that if it is a great idea, and you think it is beneficial, let’s try and see if we can make it happen.”


Matt Giteau, the former Wallaby back, has recently been appointed as an ambassador for the proposal as well as former Springbok Schalk Burger.

“I think we've got some undoubtedly legends of the game who think this is a decent idea” Ritchie added. “I think more of the players when they think about it would hopefully think it's a good idea and I hope the clubs will as well.

“I have watched the Lions documentaries and seen Sir Ian McGeechan say to the players this is something they will never forget for the rest of their lives. Well, what we are proposing is sort of a super Lions – if you get the best 192 best players in the world and mix them up.”
https://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-union/2021/09/16/england-head-coach-eddie-jones-emerges-main-target-ambitious/

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Post by Irish Londoner Fri 17 Sep 2021, 12:04 pm

Has anyone who's not a retired player/coach actually said they'd sign up to it?
On the plus side if it's as "successful" as The Hundred expect lots of free/cheap tickets.

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Post by Rugby Fan Fri 17 Sep 2021, 2:46 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:Has anyone who's not a retired player/coach actually said they'd sign up to it?

On their podcast, Ryan Wilson and Max Lahiff were sceptical but, ultimately, were not going to turn down the prospect of an additional payday without giving it a hearing. Danny Care has already expressed interested when asked. At the moment, though there's no real incentive for players to say anything while there's no firm proposal.



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Post by doctor_grey Fri 17 Sep 2021, 4:57 pm

Players, in the Premiership at least, are normally on 12 month contracts.

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Post by Rugby Fan Sat 18 Sep 2021, 10:26 am

This all seems like an unnecessary complication, when the sport seems to be crying out for a simpler framework. On the other hand, rugby has consistenly squandered financial opportunities.

If someone can work out a way of creating a short, highly compensated series of matches, then it could create space to take fewer low-value, meaningless games. The fear is that, it would just end up being a net addition to the calendar.


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