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Why South Africa moving North could give T2 countries the help they need

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Sgt_Pooly
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Post by Brendan Sat Sep 11, 2021 3:49 pm

The current systems and tournaments aren't working in the professional era and WR hasn't been great and developing the game outside of the traditional areas apart from Georgia which has left each Region to look after itself.  Only two areas seem to be actually having success.

Europe with half the members and over half the professional teams in a small area, they were always going to succeed.  The Americas are the other which have looked to do limited professionalism and tried the American 6 Nations to provide more internationals to the T2/3 nations.  Asia, Africa and Oceania due to numbers and finances have struggled to adapt to professionalism and apart from Fiji and Japan are falling quickly into weaker teams heading to T3 rather than T1.

With South Africa heading north at Club level and a push rightly or wrongly to 6N, it is forcing people to look at aligning better teams and to allow teams the same standard of competition as the European teams get.  It would involve having a global calender which realistically is going to be the the NH calender as it would suit more members of WR now.  Only Oz and NZ are going to oppose it.

In the perfect world Region 1 would be Europe and Region 2 the rest of the world.  Due to the distance Region 2 isn't going to as there is way to much travel.  You could do three Regions of Europe/Africa, Americas and Asia/Oceania but Oceania have two much of a drop off between T1 and everyone else.  So the solution is 2 Regions of Europe/Africa and America/Oceania/Asia.

With a 7 week window for the 6Nations you can have 8 teams.  Not great but it provides the best results.  As it is URC and SR did travel and play the same week so can be done.  Having 8 teams mean we go from 10 to 16 teams getting good international competition and 16 more teams fighting it out for the remaining 4-8 spots at WC time. T3 can stay local with a WR Cup between the winners.  In WC years the bottom T2 teams can play the top T3 with the winners securing T2 status for the next WC cycle.

Region 1     Region 2
SA 1             NZ 2
England 3    Argentina 6
Ireland 4      Australia 7
France 5      Japan 10
Scotland 8   Fiji 11
Wales 9        Samoa 13
Georgia 12  Tonga 15
Italy 14         Uruguay 16 or USA 17
*****************************
Romania 18       USA/Urugary 17
Portugal 19       Canada 21
Spain 20            Hong Kong 22
Russia 23          Brazil 26
Netherlands 24  Chile 28
Namibia 25       Korea 31
Belgium 27        Colombia 32
Switzerland 29 Mexico 42
*****************************
Regional Champions
Europe - Germany/Poland 30/33
Africa - Zimbabwe/Kenya 34/35
Asia - Philippines 41
Americas - Paraguay 47
Oceania - Cook Islands 53

For the club level there would be two regional competitions plus each country would look to have a professional teams to allow Unions support their players fulltime with the better players going to the big 5 leagues

Regional Champions & Challange Cups
Region 1         Regional 2
T14                 SR
Prem              Japan
URC               MLR
See below    SLAR

European Super Cup - Russia, Georgia, Israel, Netherlands,  Belgium, Spain, Portugal.  The plan is to grow this slowly so easy enough to add in Switerland, Germany, Rominia
Russian and Romania have about 4 more good professional clubs each.
South African Rugby Challenge has the SA teams plus a Namibian and Zimbabwe team. Georgia are also looking to be a part of this for their team in the Super Cup.
There were plans for a third teir European/African tournament but it can be easily set up to give more rugby to the URC Nations to get more teams.  Something like 4 each from Super Cup, Rugby Challange, Top10 (italy), Super6 and the top 4 A teams league Ireland and Wales played plus top 4 England Championship.

If we have 24 in the Champions Cup and 24 in the Challenge Cup. 16+14+14=44 so 4 semi-finalist from the T3.

So to sum up the teams are more or less there already as are the club sides.  Teams like Switzerland can be added in easily.  Mexico might be tricky but good players can probably spread around the MLR.  The main problem is Asia outside of Japan.

Some might say that Region 2 looks weaker and that is true but Japan is the equivalent of France and the SR like England. MLR and SLAR aren't the URC but those two leagues are going to improve the T2 nations there more than internationals.  Currently it looks like there is no plan for anything above SR or Top league which won't improve either league nor build extra finances.

What are your thoughts

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Post by Old Man Sun Sep 12, 2021 10:33 am

You really believe the Boks are moving north?

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:19 am

Old Man wrote:You really believe the Boks are moving north?

They have for their Club/Region set up already, with Oz and NZ determined to only focus on their little bit of the world (even excluding any connections to Japan).

Top 4 teams are in the URC and the SARU are actively looking to get at least the Cheetahs into international competitions which all seem to be based in Europe.  I think Griquas and Pumas would also be fine at the same level as the recent Currie Cup showed.  You also have Georgia joining up with the SARU to play in the Rugby Challenge so SA is integrating itself into European Club Rugby and also politically.

SA is now the most politically connected Union of any WR union and are still one of the biggest markets in WR.

The Private Equity Firm Silver Lake is investing in NZ and Oz.  CVC are already invested in 6N, Prem, URC and key point is they are looking at SARU.  I don't know how SANZAAR will stay together when you have two private equity firms fighting it out.  That is on top the already fractured relationship between NZ/Oz v SA/Arg over the SR fallout.

I don't think the 6Ns will become the 7N and then Oz and NZ go to all the other T1/T2 teams in their area and try get a block together.   I think it will be much more WR knowing what is happening and looking to organise a balanced change.  There is talk that after 2023 there are moves happening, but I don't know how real the information they are based is. It is connected with an Afrikaans newspaper in the know.

All I know is that if SA stays in SANZAAR they will need to travel to Japan aswell as their trips to Oceania, all which are at silly times for watching rugby.  On the other hand they can come North and have the same/less travel, more money and better tv times.  Look how easy SA teams joined the euro cups.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 8:55 am

WR needs to do something or rugby will become more Europe focused.

1. Africa and Asia at T2 are becoming T3 and it won't be long before neither area can compete with the current T2. We need to remember that their were two better teams than Russia who weren't allowed to compete yet Russia did ok (especial if you consider what would happen if any other region had a team disquailified)
2. Samoa and Tonga have gone from as good as the Celts to struggling to beat European T2.
3. U20s is a massive issue. In 2009 when they moved to 12 teams from 16 Italy, Canada, Japan and USA were relegated leaving 4 RC, 5 Euro, 3 PIs.  Fast forward 10 years and there were 7 euro (+2) 4 RC, and Fiji/Japan.  The T2 has seen Italy and Georgia getting promoted with Japan, Fiji and Portugal looking to cement their place as top T2.  Add on that only one from each Region can take place so either Samoa or Tonga and USA or Canada.  Not great from building.  The loser basically gets two games.  Europe on the other hand has 8 teams looking for one spot driving competition, Spain only got through in 2016 yet finished second overall which shows that the euro winner is good enough to win T2.
4. The Americas needs to be linked in or USA, Canada and Uraguary will not progress and become like PIs.  MLR has helped Canada but no good if the T2 Europe and have that plus a strong B6N.

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Post by Old Man Mon Sep 13, 2021 9:39 am

I am just concerned with the voting power the European block will have if SA move the Boks north. Rugby will basically be controlled by the European block, and that cannot be healthy.

Procrastination and complacency comes to mind.

The other issue is if there are three "time zone" regions the Americas really only have Argentina who are top ten and finals potential at RWC.

In Asia Pacific you have NZ and OZ and Japan if they continue to improve.

Whereas in the Euro time zone you sit with the Six Nations teams and South Africa.

Quite an imbalance.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 11:38 am

Old Man wrote:I am just concerned with the voting power the European block will have if SA move the Boks north. Rugby will basically be controlled by the European block, and that cannot be healthy.

Procrastination and complacency comes to mind.

The other issue is if there are three "time zone" regions the Americas really only have Argentina who are top ten and finals potential at RWC.

In Asia Pacific you have NZ and OZ and Japan if they continue to improve.

Whereas in the Euro time zone you sit with the Six Nations teams and South Africa.

Quite an imbalance.

The ideal would be three Regions but can't work so would have to combine the Americas and Pacific. You have Oz, NZ, Age, Japan and Fiji.

I highlight that it isn't balanced but due to Europe having half of all teams at every single breakdown of WR rankings hr only fair way is Europe and then everyone else which is impractical.

The voting is easily fixed.  You give the T1 nations (as listed in the heading) 2 votes and T2 one vote giving both regions equal votes.  The regional unions would then give the power to the weaker Region on contentious issues.

If you take something like the Gobal calender NH has 18 votes from 6N.  It's in Arg and SAs interest to have the NH season so their players aren't doing 12 month seasons.  Georgia, Romania and Europe will provide 4 more votes and possibly Fiji would like it too.  Only NZ and Oz are against it and the rest are probably unaffected.  So Europe already has the balance of power and it would seem unsusal for the 6N and SA to not have aglined goals with URC and CVC.  SANZAAR have lost any power they had as we saw with the recent WR election where European tentacles have a wide reach while SANZAAR doesn't have much outside of the RC unions.  The reason it was close was because all of america was behind their man. It finished 28-23

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:07 pm

In the late 90s you had 5 strong nations, NZ, Oz, SA, Fra & Eng.  You then had 8 ok nations in Arg, Fiji, Sam, Ton, Ire, Scot, Wal & Italy.  Finally you had teams like Canada, Romania etc that were weaker still but could put it up to the 8 middle teams on their day.

The big move came in 95 with professionalism and then early 2000s.  The 5 big nations sorted professionalism so stole a march.  Then in the early 2000s Italy was included in the 6N and Argentina and Italy worked out you can farm your best players to other leagues so have professional players without the money (Fiji has since followed this, and Samoa and Tonga look to be starting). Having your only choice as sending players to Oz and NZ were they had to get permission to choose a PI team or they would lose their professional contract didn't work out for the PIs.

The second big change was the creation of regional leagues built on a shoestring budget built up over time.  URC improved the Celts big time with them now viewed as having joined the top 5 teams.  The PIs on the other hand were not able to so have fallen down to group 3.  The European Super Cup, MLR, SLAR are now all copying this model.  I would also say that Challange Rugby can be like that for Southern Africa.

Finally the Champions and Challange Cup are the reason that Europe has improved and why regional and domestic leagues succeed.  Without the Euro Cups the URC would not be what it is.  I also think some money men have got involved in domestic rugby because of taking your team to Europe.

The problem the rest of the world faces is how not to isolate themselves at Club level and rot away with no measuring stick.  SR, Japan, MLR & SLAR are set up to be independent leagues shut off from everyone and so can't grow as much as if there was a Pacific Nations Champion and Challange Cups.  It can't provide enough money.  European and African Rugby with SA coming North know that if they invest the can get into the Challange Cup.  Teams like Morocco and Tunsia if they secure the funding will be welcomed back into European competitions at Club level.  Namibia and Zimbabwe know that if SA teams like Cheetahs is include in some European Competitions then with investment they would be included too.

It was interesting to see the Russians talking with different nations of set up a professional league with the mindset of if good enough come on in. Also Isreal are investing in the European Super Cup. That will see them improve. Other T3/4 nations just don't have that pathway.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 13, 2021 12:40 pm

Brendan wrote:Finally the Champions and Challange Cup are the reason that Europe has improved and why regional and domestic leagues succeed. Without the Euro Cups the URC would not be what it is. I also think some money men have got involved in domestic rugby because of taking your team to Europe.

Sorry, I cannot agree with this one jot. Especially the Challenge cup, which is a joke. The English and French do not take it seriously, the broadcasters do not take it seriously, and the whole Europe competition both cups are not a patch on what they were when they were union run and called the Heineken cup. We were taken up the garden path with lies regarding that, and there is less money in the European competitions now.

What do you have to back your claims up for this ?

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Sep 13, 2021 1:43 pm

The Challenge Cup in the last 5 years has produced 3 French winners, 1 English and 1 Welsh. Of the losing finalists 3 have been English and 2 French.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:53 pm

Champions and Challange Cups lay bare the standards of the individual teams and leagues.  It is true that some teams don't take the Challange and to a lesser extent Champions Cup serious it is wrong to say the top teams don't. If you aren't good enough in your league then you have alot more learning to do than teams that have the basic league standards.

Sale will be better this year in the Premiership down to the fact of the beating they got from La Rochelle.  Bristol won the Challange Cup and then went on to top the Premership table because they learned to adapt. Tigers the reverse took beatings in Europe a year or so before their league decline because they didn't bother fixing the small problems exposed in Europe but not the league.

I agree that the TV companies don't take it serious but unless you make a set day only for Challange games it won't change.  It's the reason soccer does Europa League on its own day. Why should TV companies not show the big games.

The URC's strenght is the breakdown, T14 phyiscallity and Prem set piece (in my view).  Sarries were the best team in England but weren't in Europe because their style fell apart against the more physical teams of France or Leinster who bossed them at the breakdown.  They had to adapt and improve and then became kings of Europe.  Without Europe Sarries would not have improved their standards. Their standards then drove Exeter etc to catch up to Sarries.

Crusaders don't have that same push to improve, neither do any teams in the MLR, Japan or SLAR.  The Bulls have won everything in SA for the last two years. In this coming year they will learn more from the URC than they have from their isolated wins.  It could be argued the Benetton lost has improved Bulls more than the rest of the SA games did. They know how to beat SA teams but during the CC they are trying to beat URC teams.
Their defence has improved alot because Benetton exposed it.  SR resulted in most of the teams playing a certain way because they were all in the same league playing to the same interpretations.  Europe has much more variety in its leagues because European games don't allow leagues to settle on a one style game plan anymore.

Celtic league standards have been driven by Munster, Leinster and Ospreys whose standards were driven by the English and French styles through the European competitions.  I am sure Tigers, Wasps, Toulon, Toulouse etc have all improved by being a part of Europe rather than just being a hindrance. Munster and Leinster kept coming up short in the 00s due to being too one dimensional. This forced them to change forcing the league to change.

The learning of the players at Club level allows players to improve at international.  No coincidence that the French clubs adapting and improving in Europe has seen France keeping their phyiscallity but add a better attacking plan.  If the top teams weren't doing it in the Euro Cups could their players do it for France. Montpellier & Saints are two teams who refuse to adapt so are middle of the road in their league and rubbish at the business end in Europe.

Getting rid of either competition would be bad.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 2:57 pm

No 7&1/2 wrote:The Challenge Cup in the last 5 years has produced 3 French winners, 1 English and 1 Welsh. Of the losing finalists 3 have been English and 2 French.

People see what they want. Winning the Challange Cup is usually a springboard for better things. Even Benetton used the Challagne as a springboard for the Rainbow Cup.

People always forget if their team does rubbish they are rubbish rather than dish the cup they do poorly in.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:09 pm

So just a sweeping statement with nothing to back it up ? OK fine. That's just your opinion.

I honestly think you are way off the mark on this. It wasn't the fact that other leagues forced the level of the Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Italians up.

The Italians are dire, as a nation they are inept. Scotland have not really achieved anything on an international stage, and their two teams have not won anything of note outside of Glasgow winning the Pro14 a few years back. The Welsh regions are not much better, with a few league wins and a couple of second tier European wins. Ireland have not done much as of late since their Grand Slam win a few years back, and whilst the provinces dominate the league, that is due to the IRFU funding them, when was the last time they won an European cup ?

Wales were really poor during the times you mention because we lost about two or three generations of rugby players to league, it took us up until 2003/4 to finally catch up and we were dragged kicking and screaming into professionalism. It has nothing to do with our clubs/regions/provinces trying to emulate teams from France and England, because, to be blunt, we haven't. Only Leinster could say that, and that is because they have oodles of money and more strength in depth than you can shake a stick at, but it does not seem to help the national side funnily enough.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon Sep 13, 2021 3:57 pm

2017/18 with Leinster, last making the final in 18/19.

The last time Ireland won the 6 nations...2018.

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Post by Brendan Mon Sep 13, 2021 5:11 pm

Lord how do you explain the PIs and Celts who were on a similar trajectory yet somehow the Celts turned it around and have managed to be as good as the previous big 5.  How have these nations managed to do it with majority home based players.  The simple answer is the URC.

If these players were playing in other leagues the national teams would not have had the success.  Ireland and Wales have had more success in the last 15 years at international level than the previous 10 of professionalism and it's not close.

The URC teams improve by playing bigger packs because they have to adjust and adapt.  If you can't see why the inter league competitions are better than stand alone competitions I would suggest you look at English football the years after their 5yr ban and what teams use to beat the best of England.

Also if you can't see the finacial gain from an inter-league competition v not having one I would point you to the Lions CEO comments around 2017, the European civil war of 2015 or just the extra amount each team gets from 3 extra home games plus participating fee.

Italy were building nicely until 2015 when they had to let all their stars go because they didn't know what was happening with Pro12 and Europe. So Italy actually back up the importance of the URC to the smaller nations.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:45 am

I agree with LD somewhat that the Challenge Cup isn't such a big deal. The majority of sides put out weaker teams at least until the knockout stages or if they're in with a strong chance of progressing.

They'll always be the odd side that really go for it, but on the whole (As a Falcons fan), it's not seen a primary goal for the season.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Sep 14, 2021 6:58 am

Newcastles only aim is to stay up. Sorry the Boro coming out.

As for LD think he's wrong. Bar the fact there are fewer weaker teams qualifying simply due to their nationality threshold not much different to the comps. If the English and French aren't taking the 2nd comp seriously yet still dominating, well, what's the need in taking it seriously?

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:28 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Newcastles only aim is to stay up. Sorry the Boro coming out.

As for LD think he's wrong. Bar the fact there are fewer weaker teams qualifying simply due to their nationality threshold not much different to the comps. If the English and French aren't taking the 2nd comp seriously yet still dominating, well, what's the need in taking it seriously?

Perhaps in general the UK and French have stronger squads than the lower Pro14 sides? I would say in general that is pretty true, without looking into it too much.

It's also not that easy to catch the games, you generally only see a few games on over a weekend.

The Champions/HC, whatever it is called......is a whole different competition. Teams genuinely compete and put out their strongest XV until they are mathematically out.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Sep 14, 2021 7:50 am

Yes squad strength comes into it. The guys at the top of the table who qualify for the Champions Cup will likely have a stronger squad than those qualifying for the Challnege Cup.  If the English and French can still put out in your view weak teams and still be in the final and winning it most times over the Pro then that's not their issue.

To bring that back round to how that can help the national team though, any games where youngsters can get more experience is great. Covid forced the English clubs to field youngsters in the league and loom how many have pushed themselves to the fore in a way that would have taken much more time.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:33 am

Brendan wrote:Italy were building nicely until 2015 when they had to let all their stars go because they didn't know what was happening with Pro12 and Europe. So Italy actually back up the importance of the URC to the smaller nations.

I'm sorry, this is nonsense. Italy have never been been building nicely, they have gotten worse over the years, but what evidence do you have to suggest they were building nicely ? Also, 2015 was 6 years ago. Come on.

Brendan wrote:Lord how do you explain the PIs and Celts who were on a similar trajectory yet somehow the Celts turned it around and have managed to be as good as the previous big 5. How have these nations managed to do it with majority home based players. The simple answer is the URC.

I cannot talk about other countries, but in Wales it was due to the fact that we were dragged into professionalism, and we started to reproduce players for the game after rugby league fleeced us during the late 80's and 90's. The European comps had nothing to do with it. The green shoots started sprouting at around 2003 world cup where we took a very young side to the world cup and pushed New Zealand and England close.

I notice now though that you have changed the goal posts and are saying that it is the Celtic league/Pro14/URC that has done the job, not us wanting to emulate clubs from other leagues and the European comps. If you had said our league was the reason from the start I would have agreed with you, but you didn't and now you are trying to move the goal posts. Well done. Laugh

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Sep 14, 2021 8:37 am

Jesus. The logic gaps in that.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:45 am

Play nice boys...

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:13 am

He's got me blocked anyway....but that was me playing nice. Got to be able to point out the gaping holes and I wasn't personal in it. Tell me where the line is though and I'll tow it.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:32 am

I'm just sending a pre-pre warning....you tend to see how these things begin and then people get banned/threads locked, it gets messy and too much paperwork is involved.

We all love a bit of reasonable debate Very Happy

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:40 am

Ha, I'll watch out for the red pen then. Thought it would be Newcastle being cannon fodder which I would get the stern voice for.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:42 am

Haha...not much to argue with there!

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:01 pm

I don't know why he brings it back to Wales and the URC. He can read up on all the regional leagues that look to the URC as the model to use.

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 14, 2021 12:38 pm

While lower level teams don't put their best team out for Challange games they still bring different challenges, but are a similar level so their core skills come to the fore.  Any small improvements a team makes can be seen as progress where as the league doesn't show it.

If Dragon play Leinster they can be run over, run round because they are more skillful and Dragons get a free pass but any small improvements can't be seen. But if they are playing a team that is as skilful but more Phyisical, Dragons can win by negating the phyiscallity by using their superiority in the breakdown.  Dragons then become better at dealing with Phyiscal teams thus allowing them to deal better with Leinster. Equally like Tigers Munster and Glasgow exposed a massive weakness which in turn the Prem teams used and saw Tigers fall. Leinster did the same with Saints which was then copied by Sarries.

Another key part is it exposes the players and coaches to different styles and trends and refs that they wouldn't get from their own league. If another team beats someone in your league you can see what they did that maybe isn't happening in your league.

The key point of multi league competitions is it puts you against people more at your standard but you might not know.  League is alot less balanced and you know the teams too well in your league so you do the same thing you always do against them.  When you come up against a new style it can lay bare a weakness you didnt know you had.
Case in point is the Bulls have worked out SA teams styles but Benetton exposed their poor defence.  They went away and worked on it ending with the defensive improvements seen in the Currie Cup final.

SLAR and MLR would improve more from 4 games against each other than they would from another season of playing the same teams and refs playing like they always have.

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Post by LordDowlais Tue Sep 14, 2021 2:33 pm

Brendan wrote:I don't know why he brings it back to Wales and the URC.  He can read up on all the regional leagues that look to the URC as the model to use.

You brought the URC into it.

Here is is.

Brendan wrote: How have these nations managed to do it with majority home based players. The simple answer is the URC.

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 14, 2021 9:03 pm

URC was the first regional league set up that was not financially viable when it started and relied on the participating Unions to support it.  As per the thread it is a key part of developing rugby.

Your iusse seems to be with the nations of the old Pro12 rather than talking about the issues raised in the thread.  Those nations aren't perfect but if you want to see what Welsh Rugby would have been without the Celtic League look at Italy.  Treviso were as good as the Welsh clubs in the 90s with big stars but struggled in a domestic league until pro12.  It is easy to say the 2003 WC was the kick start for Wales overlooking the formation of the Regions in the summer of 2003 and Ospreys (a region playing in the Celtic league) was the backbone of that Welsh run of slams and 6Ns.

Rugby is going to have a central power base of Europe and Africa.  The individual unions are putting the blocks in place to tie these two areas together.  It is no coincidence that the URC has succeed but SR has failed because of the set-up followed and the creation of the European Cups played a big part of that.  The European Cups are built off the back of three individual leagues who each generate their own income.  This allows the European Cups to build on top of the brand's.  SR did it the other way were the three domestic leagues fell apart while SR brand tried to replace it them if SR had been built on top of the NPC, Currie and NRC you would not have had player drain from SA to the same extent and SR could have topped up wages.

Either Europe and Africa are the only area to develop or WR needs to knock heads and help set up a Pacific Champions and Challagne Cup to tie in regional rugby of the 4 main leagues around the Pacific.  Europe and Africa are doing it and have money to back it.  Despite what some think Japan can't grow in a bubble shut out from the rest of the world.  The J league works because of the Asia Champions league, rugby will be no different.

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Post by Brendan Tue Sep 14, 2021 10:16 pm

Just so people are clear here is the pre v post covid world

Pre-covid
RC and SR had sorted itself out and were going to have things sorted.
The American 6N was organised to help give USA, Canada, Uraguary, Chile and Brazil meaningful games.
Japan were about to set up a domestic league better suited to growth than the company league which was not spread out enough across the country.
SH man looking to have secured the votes to become top man at WR.

Post-covid
American 6N is no more
SR has become the TT with much less of a global presence and with it less money for the teams and more teams to support.
SA moved all their teams North
Argentina looked to move their team to Spain to join the URC.
American Union went bankrupt
Japan's big plans end up with keeping 24 of the 25 teams they already had but lost one who gave up rugby. Still company teams and still with the same problems but more upset after the changes.
USA wants the Pacific Cup started back up but others dont
No one wants to work together
Both WR top positions filled by NH

Meanwhile is Europe/Africa Georgia and SA make an agreement to allow a Georgian professional team take part in Challange Rugby.
European T2 set up a regional league with minimum spend and secure funding.
England sorts ringfencing (unofficially)
France and URC sign their biggest TV deals ever.
SA teams welcomed into European Cups
Russians and SA discuss ideas to give an international home to the Cheetahs.

As I said the problem is Europe/Africa are already working together and actively trying to build onto the financial base they already have. With the added working together comes the political ties. The rest of the world is looking to only keep what they have but are actually building back worse.

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Post by doctor_grey Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:04 pm

LordDowlais wrote:I cannot talk about other countries, but in Wales it was due to the fact that we were dragged into professionalism, and we started to reproduce players
A Soviet type breeding program, eh?  
Something clandestine is clearly going on in those hidden valleys over the dyke.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:22 am

doctor_grey wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I cannot talk about other countries, but in Wales it was due to the fact that we were dragged into professionalism, and we started to reproduce players
A Soviet type breeding program, eh?  
Something clandestine is clearly going on in those hidden valleys over the dyke.

Laugh

But seriously, you must be aware of the time I am talking about ? All our best players went north, then when all them went, our replacements went, then when all the replacements went, the half decent players were going north. It did wonders for the the GB team, and even Wales got to a semi final in a world cup in league, we even beat England once or twice.

It ruined Welsh rugby union, some of the players came back circa 1995, but union wasn't properly pro in Wales at the time, from about 1987 til about 2000 we were screwed. Graham Henry came to Wales to steady the ship in the later 90's but we were so low on players he had to invent the grannygate. We had people like Shane Howerth, Bret Sinkinson, Andy Marinos anybody who had eaten a Welsh cake or had been on holiday here were being capped because of the lack of professionals we had.

But slowly and surely, we started producing gems again that we could keep, because they were being payed properly. Then, as time went by, we started buying into professionalism, players like Stephen Jones, Shane Williams, Dwayne Peel, Mefin Davies, Robert Sidoli, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Micheal Owen we were producing again.

To be honest, we are still suffering to a point, why ? Our coaches. We need players who were brought up fully pro and have now retired to start getting into fully pro coaching. We are seeing it, Dwane Peel, Stephen Jones ect... but we are still miles behind in that respect.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:47 am

LordDowlais wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I cannot talk about other countries, but in Wales it was due to the fact that we were dragged into professionalism, and we started to reproduce players
A Soviet type breeding program, eh?  
Something clandestine is clearly going on in those hidden valleys over the dyke.

Laugh

But seriously, you must be aware of the time I am talking about ? All our best players went north, then when all them went, our replacements went, then when all the replacements went, the half decent players were going north. It did wonders for the the GB team, and even Wales got to a semi final in a world cup in league, we even beat England once or twice.

It ruined Welsh rugby union, some of the players came back circa 1995, but union wasn't properly pro in Wales at the time, from about 1987 til about 2000 we were screwed. Graham Henry came to Wales to steady the ship in the later 90's but we were so low on players he had to invent the grannygate. We had people like Shane Howerth, Bret Sinkinson, Andy Marinos anybody who had eaten a Welsh cake or had been on holiday here were being capped because of the lack of professionals we had.

But slowly and surely, we started producing gems again that we could keep, because they were being payed properly. Then, as time went by, we started buying into professionalism, players like Stephen Jones, Shane Williams, Dwayne Peel, Mefin Davies, Robert Sidoli, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Micheal Owen we were producing again.

To be honest, we are still suffering to a point, why ? Our coaches. We need players who were brought up fully pro and have now retired to start getting into fully pro coaching. We are seeing it, Dwane Peel, Stephen Jones ect... but we are still miles behind in that respect.

Ah the World XV's.

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Post by BamBam Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:09 am

A selection policy that has clearly stood the test of time

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:19 am

But seriously, you must be aware of the time I am talking about ? All our best players went north, then when all them went, our replacements went, then when all the replacements went, the half decent players were going north. It did wonders for the the GB team, and even Wales got to a semi final in a world cup in league, we even beat England once or twice

Been happening to our domestic game for a decade now.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:43 am

Feel for you Old Man, we lost Nick Abendanon.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed Sep 15, 2021 9:48 am

Old Man wrote:But seriously, you must be aware of the time I am talking about ? All our best players went north, then when all them went, our replacements went, then when all the replacements went, the half decent players were going north. It did wonders for the the GB team, and even Wales got to a semi final in a world cup in league, we even beat England once or twice

Been happening to our domestic game for a decade now.

Yes, and I do not agree with it, you know my stance on this anyway. OK

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:31 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Old Man wrote:But seriously, you must be aware of the time I am talking about ? All our best players went north, then when all them went, our replacements went, then when all the replacements went, the half decent players were going north. It did wonders for the the GB team, and even Wales got to a semi final in a world cup in league, we even beat England once or twice

Been happening to our domestic game for a decade now.

Yes, and I do not agree with it, you know my stance on this anyway. OK

What realistically is there to agree/disagree with though in all honesty? Players go where they get paid more....as in all walks of life. Pay them more and they'd stay....if you can't afford to do that, who's fault is it?

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 15, 2021 10:43 am

It is nobody's fault, SARU can't afford to pay more, that is the reality.

However it is also a reality that the SA domestic game suffers because of it.

It is what it is

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Post by LordDowlais Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:01 am

Yes nobody is doing anything wrong, but the home nations really do take advantage of the situation more than any other tier one nations. I do not agree with how we take advantage of it. OK

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Post by doctor_grey Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:18 am

LordDowlais wrote:
doctor_grey wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:I cannot talk about other countries, but in Wales it was due to the fact that we were dragged into professionalism, and we started to reproduce players
A Soviet type breeding program, eh?  
Something clandestine is clearly going on in those hidden valleys over the dyke.

Laugh

But seriously, you must be aware of the time I am talking about ? All our best players went north, then when all them went, our replacements went, then when all the replacements went, the half decent players were going north. It did wonders for the the GB team, and even Wales got to a semi final in a world cup in league, we even beat England once or twice.

It ruined Welsh rugby union, some of the players came back circa 1995, but union wasn't properly pro in Wales at the time, from about 1987 til about 2000 we were screwed. Graham Henry came to Wales to steady the ship in the later 90's but we were so low on players he had to invent the grannygate. We had people like Shane Howerth, Bret Sinkinson, Andy Marinos anybody who had eaten a Welsh cake or had been on holiday here were being capped because of the lack of professionals we had.

But slowly and surely, we started producing gems again that we could keep, because they were being payed properly. Then, as time went by, we started buying into professionalism, players like Stephen Jones, Shane Williams, Dwayne Peel, Mefin Davies, Robert Sidoli, Tom Shanklin, Jamie Roberts, Micheal Owen we were producing again.

To be honest, we are still suffering to a point, why ? Our coaches. We need players who were brought up fully pro and have now retired to start getting into fully pro coaching. We are seeing it, Dwane Peel, Stephen Jones ect... but we are still miles behind in that respect.
Yes, I do, mate. Just saw the opportunity for a laugh.

The advent of professionalism showed how unprepared most of us were. Still only 25 years on, I think we are finally coming to grips with it. It's not just players needing to be raised in professional environments but the coaches and especially the sports national governing bodies as well. thumbsup

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 15, 2021 11:38 am

LordDowlais wrote:Yes nobody is doing anything wrong, but the home nations really do take advantage of the situation more than any other tier one nations. I do not agree with how we take advantage of it. OK

Not sure the home Nations take advantage more than any other T1 nation. How many nations play Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, USA, Canada and Japan as the 6Ns even though they play less tests than other T1 nations.

What the Euro/Africa Nations are doing are not wrong. The problem is that if the rest of the world don't also do it then when they finally do it they will be to far behind and end up like SR rather than our beloved URC that put the structures in place and built slowly.

No "rest of the world" leagues realistically are playing enough games to be financial viable by itself and will be a drain on the Union/owners without the right structures in place.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:10 pm

Old Man wrote:It is nobody's fault, SARU can't afford to pay more, that is the reality.

However it is also a reality that the SA domestic game suffers because of it.

It is what it is

Which is why the SARU teamed up with Europe rather than go it alone, have allowed Georgia to join their domestic competition and looked at ways to get at least Cheetahs into international competitions which helps pay the bills in a way SR did not allow for.  If Cheetahs are successful the system will allow for adding in Griquas and Pumas as funds allow They don't care which teams the Cheetahs team with as long as they get more games and a path to the Challenge Cup which will pay the bills.  Oz and NZ want teams ready now and won't put in the time to make it work in the future. Surely as part of the Sliver Lake deal the NZ/RA could of got them to fund a Pacific Cup allowing access to more money.

The URC alone will pay the same bills as SR (If not more) but the SARU main talking point is the Champions and Challange Cups which are add-ons unavailable in SR.  Oz and NZ on the other hand look to grow SR in the future by adding teams rather than adding extra   they won't add other teams because they aren't good enough missing the point that SR failed because of Money and not being able to build domestic structures.  SARU get that which is why you are seeing  the better players from Cheetahs Griquas and Pumas loaned to the URC teams so the Currie Cup can stay compeditive and why the SARU has focused in on their D2 sides.

I have been ready impressed with Roux and the SARU since losing the WC bid. They got their teams into the Pro14 and were smart enough to have 4 spots available. They restructured their wage and squad structures to keep more players at home. With SR fall they have gone about their business talking to others while the TT has been a disaster and I wonder how viable it is if relations between the Unions don't change.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:14 pm

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Yes nobody is doing anything wrong, but the home nations really do take advantage of the situation more than any other tier one nations. I do not agree with how we take advantage of it. OK

Not sure the home Nations take advantage more than any other T1 nation.  How many nations play Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, USA, Canada and Japan as the 6Ns even though they play less tests than other T1 nations.

What the Euro/Africa Nations are doing are not wrong.  The problem is that if the rest of the world don't also do it then when they finally do it they will be to far behind and end up like SR rather than our beloved URC that put the structures in place and built slowly.

No "rest of the world" leagues realistically are playing enough games to be financial viable by itself and will be a drain on the Union/owners without the right structures in place.

Sorry replied incorrectly.

Have sustainable leagues for T2 to take advantage of residence is needed. USA a case in point with the MLR now taking in plenty uncapped players.

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Post by Old Man Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:40 pm

Brendan wrote:
Old Man wrote:It is nobody's fault, SARU can't afford to pay more, that is the reality.

However it is also a reality that the SA domestic game suffers because of it.

It is what it is

Which is why the SARU teamed up with Europe rather than go it alone, have allowed Georgia to join their domestic competition and looked at ways to get at least Cheetahs into international competitions which helps pay the bills in a way SR did not allow for.  If Cheetahs are successful the system will allow for adding in Griquas and Pumas as funds allow They don't care which teams the Cheetahs team with as long as they get more games and a path to the Challenge Cup which will pay the bills.  Oz and NZ want teams ready now and won't put in the time to make it work in the future. Surely as part of the Sliver Lake deal the NZ/RA could of got them to fund a Pacific Cup allowing access to more money.

The URC alone will pay the same bills as SR (If not more) but the SARU main talking point is the Champions and Challange Cups which are add-ons unavailable in SR.  Oz and NZ on the other hand look to grow SR in the future by adding teams rather than adding extra   they won't add other teams because they aren't good enough missing the point that SR failed because of Money and not being able to build domestic structures.  SARU get that which is why you are seeing  the better players from Cheetahs Griquas and Pumas loaned to the URC teams so the Currie Cup can stay compeditive and why the SARU has focused in on their D2 sides.

I have been ready impressed with Roux and the SARU since losing the WC bid.  They got their teams into the Pro14 and were smart enough to have 4 spots available.  They restructured their wage and squad structures to keep more players at home.  With SR fall they have gone about their business talking to others while the TT has been a disaster and I wonder how viable it is if relations between the Unions don't change.

Yeah, one rhing seems clear with SARU, they have faced the realities surrounding the financial challenges they face and doing something about it. Whilst looking at pathways for teams like the Cheetahs etc

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Post by LordDowlais Wed Sep 15, 2021 12:41 pm

Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Yes nobody is doing anything wrong, but the home nations really do take advantage of the situation more than any other tier one nations. I do not agree with how we take advantage of it. OK

Not sure the home Nations take advantage more than any other T1 nation.  How many nations play Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, USA, Canada and Japan as the 6Ns even though they play less tests than other T1 nations.

What the Euro/Africa Nations are doing are not wrong.  The problem is that if the rest of the world don't also do it then when they finally do it they will be to far behind and end up like SR rather than our beloved URC that put the structures in place and built slowly.

No "rest of the world" leagues realistically are playing enough games to be financial viable by itself and will be a drain on the Union/owners without the right structures in place.

I do not know where to start with this. I mean no disrespect, but it does not make sense, not one jot.

Wales, England, Ireland, France and more so Scotland all cap SH players, you do not see Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, capping our players. Blame the leagues all you want, but the 6N teams cap more players from the SH than the other way around, all on stupid residency and grandparent rules, it's farcical.

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Post by Brendan Wed Sep 15, 2021 1:37 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Yes nobody is doing anything wrong, but the home nations really do take advantage of the situation more than any other tier one nations. I do not agree with how we take advantage of it. OK

Not sure the home Nations take advantage more than any other T1 nation.  How many nations play Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, USA, Canada and Japan as the 6Ns even though they play less tests than other T1 nations.

What the Euro/Africa Nations are doing are not wrong.  The problem is that if the rest of the world don't also do it then when they finally do it they will be to far behind and end up like SR rather than our beloved URC that put the structures in place and built slowly.

No "rest of the world" leagues realistically are playing enough games to be financial viable by itself and will be a drain on the Union/owners without the right structures in place.

I do not know where to start with this. I mean no disrespect, but it does not make sense, not one jot.

Wales, England, Ireland, France and more so Scotland all cap SH players, you do not see Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, capping our players. Blame the leagues all you want, but the 6N teams cap more players from the SH than the other way around, all on stupid residency and grandparent rules, it's farcical.

Small dogs don't eat bigger dogs, they eat tiny dogs.

Oz & NZ cap any player who is good enough who qualifies for them. They don't pass people up example being Sevu Reece who if he hadn't treated his spouse badly would currently be playing for Fiji and Connacht, so it's not they don't just can't afford the right people.

Richer leagues bring in better people so logic says more better players will be capped.

If SR was the big financial animal it was in the late 90s how many of the current Fiji team would have become ABs instead of Fijian.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Wed Sep 15, 2021 2:01 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
Brendan wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:Yes nobody is doing anything wrong, but the home nations really do take advantage of the situation more than any other tier one nations. I do not agree with how we take advantage of it. OK

Not sure the home Nations take advantage more than any other T1 nation.  How many nations play Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, USA, Canada and Japan as the 6Ns even though they play less tests than other T1 nations.

What the Euro/Africa Nations are doing are not wrong.  The problem is that if the rest of the world don't also do it then when they finally do it they will be to far behind and end up like SR rather than our beloved URC that put the structures in place and built slowly.

No "rest of the world" leagues realistically are playing enough games to be financial viable by itself and will be a drain on the Union/owners without the right structures in place.

I do not know where to start with this. I mean no disrespect, but it does not make sense, not one jot.

Wales, England, Ireland, France and more so Scotland all cap SH players, you do not see Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, capping our players. Blame the leagues all you want, but the 6N teams cap more players from the SH than the other way around, all on stupid residency and grandparent rules, it's farcical.

Because that is were the money is. Pacific Islanders, historically move to NZ....because that's were the money is.

Money is the driver in all these situations, just be somewhat thankful that you're not supporting one of the bottom feeders as it must be a tough pill to swallow.

SA don't have it that bad I don't think, theres obviously still a lot of national pride there. You rarely see a top talent that SA are keen to cap jumping ship, it's usually the guys that aren't quite going to make it through the system. Luckily for SA, they seem to churn out quality players at a constant rate, especially in the back 5.

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Post by LordDowlais Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:06 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:Because that is were the money is. Pacific Islanders, historically move to NZ....because that's were the money is.

Money is the driver in all these situations, just be somewhat thankful that you're not supporting one of the bottom feeders as it must be a tough pill to swallow.

SA don't have it that bad I don't think, theres obviously still a lot of national pride there. You rarely see a top talent that SA are keen to cap jumping ship, it's usually the guys that aren't quite going to make it through the system. Luckily for SA, they seem to churn out quality players at a constant rate, especially in the back 5.

Nope, I do not buy that sorry. We could pay the SH born player a million quid a week, that does not mean they cannot still play for their country of origin.

What ever reason why they come up here, it's not to play for Wales/Scotland/Ireland/England or France, it's for the money, but we end up capping them anyway.

For my liking, I would scrap the grandparent rule, and I would put the residency rule to 10+ years.

LordDowlais

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Post by MichaelT Wed Sep 15, 2021 3:27 pm

LordDowlais wrote:Nope, I do not buy that sorry. We could pay the SH born player a million quid a week, that does not mean they cannot still play for their country of origin.

What ever reason why they come up here, it's not to play for Wales/Scotland/Ireland/England or France, it's for the money, but we end up capping them anyway.

For my liking, I would scrap the grandparent rule, and I would put the residency rule to 10+ years.

Think I would have to be privy to every conversation that say the IRFU had with CJ Stander before believing that he wasn't brought to Ireland with an aim to representing them internationally. Yes it was his choice ultimately, and I remember reading somewhere that he ended up in Ireland because he was offered more than Glasgow could offer at the time, but he wasn't just capped 'anyway', it looked all planned.

CJ Stander is just the one off the top of my head, I am sure there are others - so-called 'Project Players'.

MichaelT

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