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URC Division B/Womens/U23

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Post by Brendan Mon Apr 18, 2022 6:25 pm

https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.rugbypass.com/news/urc-looking-at-b-division-that-will-include-cheetahs/

Not sure how many people seen this or what information is out there.  I know there has been rumours going around about different versions of this and hopefully it will happen next season now Covid seems to be slowly becoming less of an issue.

I think having a second division where players move up and down may be better than teams moving up and down.  Imagine the fights if Cheetahs and Griqas replaced Zebre and Dragons.  It also allows teams to bed in and build their base against equal teams.

I would like to see the three remaining Currie Cup teams involved as they have shown to be a good level.  Top 2 team in the Italian Top 10 have also shown to be ok for that level.  I would love to see some of the top Super Cup teams involved such as the Black Lions of Georgia.

Finally The Celts.  I think each country is different but for Scotland and Wales 2-3 spots might work given like the Super 6 where teams must apply and show the funding model.  Not sure that would work for Ireland.

I think Munster and Cardiff showed there are plenty young players who just need more exposed to show how good they are and this would help the URC have better players over time.


Last edited by Brendan on Fri Apr 29, 2022 11:53 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:07 pm

Ireland will have no interest in more teams.
Wales struggle with 4 teams.
The second Italian team are useless.
The Scot’s have made clear they cannot afford a third team.
Expansion is only possible if Saffer teams join.
There are, effectively, only 3 teams to add.
If, a big if, you could find one more team you could have two 10 team leagues.

Trouble is all 4 four Welsh teams could end up in Division 2

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Post by Guest Mon Apr 18, 2022 7:56 pm

(Edit:  just to be clear my post refers to the suggestion that we have two divisions of 10 with the current best 10 in the top one and a new 10 team division made up with the remaining 6 + 4):

I doubt unions would vote for something like this as the possibility of having some teams in a 2nd division wouldn’t be palatable due to the drop in all of the funding from competitions and TV, but stranger things have happened and there’s a lot of selfishness about so it’s not out of the question. May as well just go straight for an 8 team Iro-South African league if that’s what people really want Very Happy  

How would they decide the divisions anyway? I guess they could seed them based on the final Pro16 season with the bottom 6 going into ‘Semi-pro Shyte Division 2’ (TM) and then add in some random clubs. They keep messing with the league every season so it’s about time we had some more changes!

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Post by Old Man Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:02 pm

Will probably only work as a feeder league. As Brendon mentioned, development for player depth. Salaries will be lower, but at least it provides players an opportunity to play rugby fulltime and hone their skills.

The three SA teams will likely to be continuously ravaged by the URC teams.

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Post by demosthenes Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:03 pm

Big difference between a 'B' league and a Div. 2 of the existing league.  I could see the former happening, but not, at present, the latter.  Too much at stake for everyone other than SA and Ireland to risk relegation.

But some form of developmental league structure involving second teams / selects from the existing participants, plus some others, would be interesting.


Last edited by demosthenes on Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest Mon Apr 18, 2022 8:04 pm

If it’s a feeder league below the current Pro16, would it generate any tv income? If not it will be hard to see where the salaries would come from, and the travel costs would be eye watering for sides not generating much revenue.

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Post by Old Man Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:06 pm

Perhaps not a lot, but some, the question is what is the average salary of a young person in his early to mig twenties?

If the feeder league can sustain that salary for developing players they would most likely rather play rugby than sit in a dead end job. It keeps their dream alive

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Post by geoff999rugby Mon Apr 18, 2022 9:33 pm

A feeder league requiring teams travelling between hemispheres is never going to happen.

The money isn’t there

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Post by Brendan Mon Apr 18, 2022 11:50 pm

Article only confirms Cheetahs. Was talk of Russians being involved but Putin by his actions has shot that down.

The European Super Cup as 8 teams, only two of them currently have a league which are the Russians. Belgium and Netherland teams are amateurs. The teams from Spain, Portugal, Isreal and Georgia are a decent standards for a B league.

When the Super Cup was created many were surprised that the Italian league wasn't included and rumour was it was because the URC were doing their own thing that was going to include them. The top teams in the Top10 are a good standard for the lower levels of a league depending on what teams take part.

Wales I am sure would have the hardest time. Would they give teams like Ponty or Merthyr who maybe put a bid together. You would figure that the WRU may try get RCG in.

Scotland have recently launched the Super 6 so they are the one union that has the money and could use it to enter a team like The Southern Knights.

I am sure more information will come out in the coming days. Doubt it would be a season long tournament and maybe be local games and then winners go on to the bigger games playoffs.

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Post by demosthenes Tue Apr 19, 2022 8:31 am

From a Scottish perspective I would expect, depending on the other participants and when the season is scheduled, to see Glasgow / Edinburgh 'B' sides entered rather than one / two of the Super Six teams.

A shorter season to avoid clashes with international dates, and run on a conference system, would make sense.

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Post by geoff999rugby Tue Apr 19, 2022 10:57 am

No need to reduce fixtures to avoid international clashes, the existing schedule always does that.

The only reason we had clashes was because of Covid cancellations.
We did have a clash with a Wales match outside the International window but that is their choice and the regional teams should suffer the consequences.

Also a further reduction would cause ST complaints.
The Celtic and Italian teams have already seen the number of games reduced from 14 to 11 in recent years.
Any further reduction would be unacceptable.
I would not buy a ST if it occurred, I am not alone.

I repeat this second feeder league idea is financial nonsense.
Please tell who will pay for The Southern Knights to travel to SA for example.
Costs are being cut in Ireland and I am certain we are not alone.
This is a time of financial restraint not unwanted additional expenditure.

It’s pie in the sky nonsense


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Post by Brendan Tue Apr 19, 2022 2:50 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:No need to reduce fixtures to avoid international clashes, the existing schedule always does that.

The only reason we had clashes was because of Covid cancellations.
We did have a clash with a Wales match outside the International window but that is their choice and the regional teams should suffer the consequences.

Also a further reduction would cause ST complaints.
The Celtic and Italian teams have already seen the number of games reduced from 14 to 11 in recent years.
Any further reduction would be unacceptable.
I would not buy a ST if it occurred, I am not alone.

I repeat this second feeder league idea is financial nonsense.
Please tell who will pay for The Southern Knights to travel to SA for example.
Costs are being cut in Ireland and I am certain we are not alone.
This is a time of financial restraint not unwanted additional expenditure.

It’s pie in the sky nonsense


Its unclear what the URC or Unions are looking at or how long it will be all we know is the Cheetahs will be in it and they are working on it. It's not me saying it, read the orginal link.
When SR was being reworked the SARU offered the Cheetahs and said they could be based in Australia if needed and also looked at putting them in Europe for a short tournament aswell. Toyota pay a certain amount for international competition to Cheetahs and Cheetahs dropped their legal challange because this was being created. Covid has delayed it and Cheetahs seems to be saying that is no longer an issue and they are just finalising things.
SARU has moved their Currie Cup from the usual June to October to January to June to aligin with the NH season. They have not just moved it but they have moved it mid week where the URC teams for the main are running two squads which is why two of the URC unions have 1 win between them. Currie Cup could have stayed where it was but they have moved it around.
The B&I cup has not been replaced and is needed as young players in Ireland Wales and Scotland that aren't getting URC games are playing at too low of a standard to be able to jump up to URC.

As you say the Unions have been reducing squads due to the need for less players. Maybe this was one of the things the Unions wanted to see before putting a B league in place. I would expect any Irish teams to be the A team heavily using the academies. Unions can now look at the costs (finacial and phyiscal) from the Currie Cup running along side the URC and I am sure they would be able to get access to the costs from the Super Cup for playoff costs.

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Post by Brendan Tue Apr 19, 2022 3:13 pm

There are a few things going on in the back ground not just at URC level.

The international tests outside of the regional tournaments (Summer and AIs) that will include some format for T1 and T2 nations.  This is in part why we are seeing regional unions looking to get professional teams up to create professional international squads.  There is a reason Rugby Europe picked 21/22 to launch the Super Cup and not wait another year and for Covid to go away or for Romania to get their house in order and get a team.

The B 6 Nations is now becoming the 8 Nations which is part of the changes coming.  WR is doing things behind the scenes as are certain Unions.  Due to the loss of the WC hosting to France the SARU have been much more focused on building relations with T2 nations outside of southern Africa which they were working with already.

URC is not going to be changing the format of league and the same teams will take part as will the same set up.  And for us fans that is all we care about and this thread is about some competition underneath it for fringe/young players.

Next season European competitions may or may not change but there will be at least 4 more teams.  There will be 24 in the Champions Cup and 19 in the challange cup, fairly sure they will need another team which could be Cheetahs.

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Post by Kingshu Tue Apr 19, 2022 9:24 pm

There will not be a B division, this URC shield is the replacement for the Band I Cup.

Before the URC launched there was supposed to be a much improved competition launched to develop players in, the reasoning for improving and revamping it were two fold, the BandI cup was finished and didnt serve purpose as well as hoped, and second it was recongised that with no games durning internationals that there would be fewer opportunities for young players to get gametime. To make the URC as strong as possible it wouldn't be a place that players are developed in, its a place that developed players play in, as such they needed a strong competation for players to develop in. I always thought the Cheetahs may end up in it.

At a guess I think it will be more a league than a cup with each team guarenteed a certain number of games, I cant see Ireland entering anyone apart from the Provinical A teams. I guess the Welsh will do the same. Scotland and Italy each have 4 rugby acamadies so guess these will be used and Cheetahs will provide some tough competition bit prob be european based and I guess one other maybe spanish or romanian team, 18 teams in two conferences of 9, play home and away no cross conference games and top 3 in each go into playoffs would be my guess.

But there definitely won't be promotion or relegation from the URC shield.

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Post by Brendan Tue Apr 19, 2022 11:35 pm

Kingshu wrote:There will not be a B division, this URC shield is the replacement for the Band I Cup.

Before the URC launched there was supposed to be a much improved competition launched to develop players in, the reasoning for improving and revamping it were two fold, the BandI cup was finished and didnt serve purpose as well as hoped, and second it was recongised that with no games durning internationals that there would be fewer opportunities for young players to get gametime. To make the URC as strong as possible it wouldn't be a place that players are developed in, its a place that developed players play in, as such they needed a strong competation for players to develop in. I always thought the Cheetahs may end up in it.

At a guess I think it will be more a league than a cup with each team guarenteed a certain number of games, I cant see Ireland entering anyone apart from the Provinical A teams. I guess the Welsh will do the same. Scotland and Italy each have 4 rugby acamadies so guess these will be used and Cheetahs will provide some tough competition  bit prob be european based and I guess one other maybe spanish or romanian team, 18 teams in two conferences of 9, play home and away no cross conference games and top 3 in each go into playoffs would be my guess.

But there definitely won't be promotion or relegation from the URC shield.

Agree on no promotion/relegation of teams.

Baseball do it with the minor league where young and struggling players go to get their confidence back and hone thier skills.

Hopefully it means more clarity for the young players who are wasting away on the fringes currently.

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Post by Brendan Fri Apr 29, 2022 11:52 am

Just an update.

Martin Anayi said main priorities for the league in terms of add on structures is u23s and/or Womens (but might not be all 16 teams more teams from each country).

He is clear that there will be no second division that has promotion relegation like the Prem and T14. I think the Cheetahs was not on about a league like that but more an affiliated league.

Not sure what people's thoughts are on an u23s. I assume it would work like soccer where you are allowed a set number of over 23s who need to get match fit.

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