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BKT United Rugby Championship 2022/23 - news and views

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 01 Sep 2022, 10:45 pm

First topic message reminder :

Things building nicely for the start of the new season, first of the pre-season games underway getting ready for kick-off in Round 1 on Friday 16 Sept with Benetton at home facing Glasgow.  

Welsh region Cardiff Rugby take on Munster at their Arms Park HQ hoping to make a better start to their season with new recruits Toby Faletau and Thomas Young returning from the Premiership, two raw receipts from Dragons, multi-capped international, Liam Williams moves across from Scarlets, and the hefty Tongan backrower, Lopeti Tomani, comes in from Toulon.

Zebre have Leinster at home, and 3 derbies with Scarlets v Ospreys, Lions and Bulls,  and Ulster v Connacht.  Edinburgh and Dragons finish out the round.

All teams have recruited across the off-season so should be interesting to see how those pan out.

The Italian, South African, American and Irish unions have organised a mini-comp for development players during Oct, courtesy of the SA franchise Cheetahs.   With the squads likely to be filled with academy and upcoming youngsters, initial concerns about them impacting the URC senior squads have been ill-founded.

By the time we get to Round 6 before test players depart to prepare for Nov internationals, there should be a good picture of how teams are faring in the league this season and where they might finish.

Oh and a new 3-year deal for title sponsor for the URC has been announced - BKT - a global brand in tyre manufacturing - who knew? The title applies globally except in South Africa who have an on-going deal with Vodacom currently.

The blurb reads: "BKT’s sponsorships first started in the USA where its tires equip the iconic giant trucks of Monster Jam in all their incredible shows. Today its wide range of sponsorships include Rugby World Cup France 2023, cricket’s IPL (India) and the Big Bash League (Australia), European football leagues; La Liga (Spain), Serie BKT (Italy) and Ligue 2 (France) and also basketball’s Euroleague."

Roll on the Autumn.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Fri 02 Sep 2022, 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
Pot Hale
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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 28 Nov 2022, 12:38 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:if you want professional rugby in Wales there are two options - the URC or an internal Wales based competition, the English are never going to let you in anymore than the FA are going take in Rangers and Celtic, this pointless pining for an era when apparently unlimited tens of thousands appeared at the Gnoll or Sardis Road to watch games against Bath and Gloucester are gone (if they ever were true) and they ain't coming back.

I think this is true.

But what is also true, is that the only thing that will enable pro domestic rugby to flourish in Wales is either an anglo-welsh league or a British and Irish League.

That's why Welsh pro domestic rugby is absoltely f***ed.

First question re an Anglo-Welsh league would be what's in it for the English compared to their current set up and the short answer is Wales bring nothing to the party that isn't already there.

I can see a B & I league at some point if only because CVC will see it as a way to make money for them but I'm not convinced it would do a great deal for Welsh clubs who would probably end up in the second division - also any B & I league is absolutely going to be on subscription TV behind a paywall - it's the only way to get money - which according some posters on here means that Welsh fans aren't interested anyway if the games aren't on FTA television preferably on Saturday afternoons and of course a B & I league will still involve long away trips - either in England or to Scotland and Ireland like the URC at present.

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.
Wales currently sits in the no mans land of not properly privately owned and self financing clubs but not union controlled clubs either, I don't anyone outside Wales cares which direction the pro clubs take but it has to pee or get off the pot soon.
Welsh rugby needs to sort itself out in it's own backyard before anything else happens.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 28 Nov 2022, 12:58 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Which ones would be reduced or disappear then?

Christ we've done this to death.

Increased sponsorship, increased matchday income, increased broadcast income, away fans at the home games, actual travel possibilities to away games, better officiating, more routine kick off times, no Unions taking players out for emerging tours in South Africa, no south african teams, fewer boat and airplane trips, better carbon footprint, no Union ownership of multiple entrants, better TV coverage on proper sports channels, league owned by the teams taking part, not the Unions who just want to ensure players are prepared for tets rugby, salary cap ensuring even playing field.....

I could go on and on and on........

Yeah we seem to have it covered. No reason why there would be increased sponsorship, or match day income, or broadcast per team. Some home games would have more away fans, some would have less (English clubs).

Why would Unions fail to secure release of their players during international windows? The RFU would obviously still do this along with any game where they put in a game outside the window.

Better officiating; well its at a good level now but the English prem always has loads of detractors so doubtful the one eyed fan would be happy anyway.

Routine kick offs; perhaps you'll have the 8pm Fridays, 5pm ish prob on Saturday and the 2 30 kick offs for TV, unless they put more slots in for evenings as there would be more games.

Carbon footprint, yeah could well be overall, may not be if you actually do get more fans travelling.

No Union ownership; well there would be the Irish and Scotish for one of the proposals you made.

League owned by the clubs; who knows the RFU may want a slice of that pie.
Better TV, who knows, depends where the rights are sold. May be the same ones as the URC.

Salary cap; who knows again, the top English clubs want an extension of the limit they can spend and could use the expansion to get rid of it or push it to a level that makes it meaningless.

So all in all, a wish list that isn't very realistic.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 28 Nov 2022, 1:00 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:if you want professional rugby in Wales there are two options - the URC or an internal Wales based competition, the English are never going to let you in anymore than the FA are going take in Rangers and Celtic, this pointless pining for an era when apparently unlimited tens of thousands appeared at the Gnoll or Sardis Road to watch games against Bath and Gloucester are gone (if they ever were true) and they ain't coming back.

I think this is true.

But what is also true, is that the only thing that will enable pro domestic rugby to flourish in Wales is either an anglo-welsh league or a British and Irish League.

That's why Welsh pro domestic rugby is absoltely f***ed.

First question re an Anglo-Welsh league would be what's in it for the English compared to their current set up and the short answer is Wales bring nothing to the party that isn't already there.

I can see a B & I league at some point if only because CVC will see it as a way to make money for them but I'm not convinced it would do a great deal for Welsh clubs who would probably end up in the second division - also any B & I league is absolutely going to be on subscription TV behind a paywall - it's the only way to get money - which according some posters on here means that Welsh fans aren't interested anyway if the games aren't on FTA television preferably on Saturday afternoons and of course a B & I league will still involve long away trips - either in England or to Scotland and Ireland like the URC at present.

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.
Wales currently sits in the no mans land of not properly privately owned and self financing clubs but not union controlled clubs either, I don't anyone outside Wales cares which direction the pro clubs take but it has to pee or get off the pot soon.
Welsh rugby needs to sort itself out in it's own backyard before anything else happens.

More money from the RFU or them funding players (or a good chunk of their wages) may still make sense for a lot of clubs. You'd see them less potentially at club level but would free up money for more South Africans!

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 28 Nov 2022, 1:35 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 28 Nov 2022, 2:03 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

So what's the CVC money that Ireland and the other nations have accepted other than private funding ?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 28 Nov 2022, 2:07 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

So what's the CVC money that Ireland and the other nations have accepted other than private funding ?

I think you have answered your own question there.

The situation is (and was) the same without the CVC money. Union owned model works brilliantly in Ireland. I'd love to know how on earth that would work in Wales. Nobody has ever come up with a solution that makes the 4 pro sides suddenly competitive in Europe and the URC.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 28 Nov 2022, 3:29 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

So what's the CVC money that Ireland and the other nations have accepted other than private funding ?

I think you have answered your own question there.

The situation is (and was) the same without the CVC money. Union owned model works brilliantly in Ireland. I'd love to know how on earth that would work in Wales. Nobody has ever come up with a solution that makes the 4 pro sides suddenly competitive in Europe and the URC.
When you say "Ireland" you mean just Leinster right? Munster haven't looked like winning a HC since 09 and haven't won a league title since 11'. Leinster's success is down to the schools and academy system, their ability to retain players is due to the Union model.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 28 Nov 2022, 3:38 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

So what's the CVC money that Ireland and the other nations have accepted other than private funding ?

I think you have answered your own question there.

The situation is (and was) the same without the CVC money. Union owned model works brilliantly in Ireland. I'd love to know how on earth that would work in Wales. Nobody has ever come up with a solution that makes the 4 pro sides suddenly competitive in Europe and the URC.

From what I can find online the most recent WRU turnover figure is £94.3 million and the IRFU turnover about 116 million euros - roughly £100 million at the exchange rate which isn't that big a difference. If Ireland can run four pro teams and the semi-pro/amateur structure underneath then then surely Wales can so the same with similar revenues?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 28 Nov 2022, 4:01 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

So what's the CVC money that Ireland and the other nations have accepted other than private funding ?

I think you have answered your own question there.

The situation is (and was) the same without the CVC money. Union owned model works brilliantly in Ireland. I'd love to know how on earth that would work in Wales. Nobody has ever come up with a solution that makes the 4 pro sides suddenly competitive in Europe and the URC.

From what I can find online the most recent WRU turnover figure is £94.3 million and the IRFU turnover about 116 million euros - roughly £100 million at the exchange rate which isn't that big a difference. If Ireland can run four pro teams and the semi-pro/amateur structure underneath then then surely Wales can so the same with similar revenues?

If you can find that online, you will be able to find out what the WRU spends their money on, and what the IRFU spends their money on. Whih will provide the answer to your question.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 28 Nov 2022, 4:03 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:

Welsh rugby needs to decide what direction it's going to move in - posters can chunter about "union owned teams" all they like but the simple fact is that it works for Ireland, Scotland and New Zealand who are all small population countries operating on small (compared to England and France) budgets.

Glasgow and Edinburgh lost to Leinster 2nds and Benetton at the weekend. Have Scotland won anything since the two sides were Union owned? Are the two sides still for sale?

Union owned teams only works for Ireland. NZ Rugby has just had £200m of provate money put into it,.

So what's the CVC money that Ireland and the other nations have accepted other than private funding ?

I think you have answered your own question there.

The situation is (and was) the same without the CVC money. Union owned model works brilliantly in Ireland. I'd love to know how on earth that would work in Wales. Nobody has ever come up with a solution that makes the 4 pro sides suddenly competitive in Europe and the URC.
When you say "Ireland" you mean just Leinster right? Munster haven't looked like winning a HC since 09 and haven't won a league title since 11'. Leinster's success is down to the schools and academy system, their ability to retain players is due to the Union model.

No, not really. Munster would be far worse off if they weren't Union owned. They'd perhaps even have gone bust (they still owe their sugar daddies over 6 million Euros remember). Connacht wouldn't be a pro side if they weren't Union owned.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 28 Nov 2022, 6:12 pm

I think all 4 Irish sides are consistent and competitive - this year aside for Munster but I expect them to be a lot better next season. A bad year for an Irish side might be a decent year for a Welsh one; and an Irish side wouldn’t stay poor for more than one consecutive season. That’s always been the case. I’m not knocking it, it works brilliantly for Ireland.

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Post by carpet baboon Tue 29 Nov 2022, 10:56 am

carpet baboon wrote:
PhilBB wrote:Is my memory failing me or did some prolific posters on here claim PRL weren't interested in the Welsh?

Oh I'm one of them (I don't think I'm prolific more occasional)

And I'm still right. They don't have the slightest interest in the Welsh teams. They really don't, not one bit.

But I do love it when this story appears again.

It's so much fun watching all the excitement followed by the crushing deflation of unrequited love.

Turns out I was right

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 12 Jan 2023, 5:57 pm

URC have confirmed the postponed Round 6 fixtures from October will now take place at the end of February 2023.

Those games, the Cell C Sharks v Ulster and Emirates Lions v Glasgow Warriors, were postponed due to severe illness in the visiting squads.

The rearranged fixtures will take place in between R14 and R15 on Saturday, February 25.

The Cell C Sharks will host Ulster in Durban at 12:00 UK / 14:00 SA and the Emirates Lions will welcome Glasgow Warriors to Johannesburg where kick-off time is slated for 14:10 UK / 16:10 SA.
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