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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
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Post by Pot Hale Sun 18 Sep 2022, 6:24 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:Is Roman Salonoa IQ already... bit of a steal for Ireland as he's a decent player. Let's hope Wales find Jason Jenkins' Welsh granny soon.

He joined Leinster sub academy in 2017 so he’d have qualified on 3 years in Sept 2020. But hasn’t been capped yet. EI team doesn’t cap - only Wolfhounds and Senior team, IIRC.
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:45 am

So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view. It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:14 am

Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


Truly excellent news. And that it's even being reported is one in the eye for all those that said it is just a pipe dream and would never happen. That must really hurt.

Lets just hope that it is implemented, and it's not all just false hope.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:16 am

Lol, same as 5 years ago. Same as 10 years ago. Same as...

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 26 Sep 2022, 9:56 am

Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


There's more chance of me captaining New Zealand at the next Rugby World Cup. It would be more likely that they'll co-opt a couple of Championship sides and bring them up than do this.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:18 am

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


Truly excellent news. And that it's even being reported is one in the eye for all those that said it is just a pipe dream and would never happen. That must really hurt.

Lets just hope that it is implemented, and it's not all just false hope.

Well this is interesting news.

Are the WRU on board with this as well ? It would be a shame if it was to happen as it would be to the detriment of the league we are currently involved in, but I can see why as it makes sense for all involved. There is an old history between the Welsh and English game. Also, the ergonomics of an Anglo/Welsh league just makes so much more sense.

What is happening in the English game ? Two historic clubs going to the wall, controversy with Saracens and Leicester, also it is being bandied about that three other clubs, not to be mentioned are in a mess. Also it is being reported that there are major issues in the English championship.

Did covid affect the English game more than anyone else ? Is this the reason ?

Perhaps it needs a thread of it's own to discuss.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:20 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


There's more chance of me captaining New Zealand at the next Rugby World Cup. It would be more likely that they'll co-opt a couple of Championship sides and bring them up than do this.

The championship sides are not ready, they do not have the infrastructures or the finances to play in the top flight. They would end up going to the wall like Worcester and Wasps if they tried to be competitive. At least the Welsh regions have everything in place to be fit and fighting.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:35 am

Is that old news? I thought Wasps and Wuss were sorted now. Either way, they'll probabaly have championship sides come up - not sure who but could be Yorkshire and Ealing. No point in Cardiff going over unless they sign an additional player in every front 5 position. If two Welsh go over, you can expect the other two to follow shortly after (I also guess this will depend if Dragons are of independent ownership, otherwise the RFU wouldn't allow it).

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:43 am

Worcester supposed to be close to going under now mikey. You'd think that it would be Jersey and Ealing who would be considered to fill in if they wanted immediate replacements as they sit top of the table. Else more liekly to say top 2 up at the end of the year.

Yorkshire (Leeds) are not even the top team in Yorkshire so don't know why you'd want them!

If the impossible dream happened for 2 Welsh clubs you'd have immediate questions on the WRU paying 80% of wages too.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:50 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Is that old news? I thought Wasps and Wuss were sorted now. Either way, they'll probabaly have championship sides come up - not sure who but could be Yorkshire and Ealing. No point in Cardiff going over unless they sign an additional player in every front 5 position. If two Welsh go over, you can expect the other two to follow shortly after (I also guess this will depend if Dragons are of independent ownership, otherwise the RFU wouldn't allow it).

I do not think the Championship clubs are in a position to compete to be honest, they will just end up like Worcester:-

https://lastwordonsports.com/rugby/2016/11/10/major-issues-english-rugby-championship/

That makes for very interesting reading on the subject, I know its an old article, but it's the only one I could find. Also, there could be three other clubs in the Premiership who could go the same way as well. The money is just not there.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:55 am

LordDowlais wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:Is that old news? I thought Wasps and Wuss were sorted now. Either way, they'll probabaly have championship sides come up - not sure who but could be Yorkshire and Ealing. No point in Cardiff going over unless they sign an additional player in every front 5 position. If two Welsh go over, you can expect the other two to follow shortly after (I also guess this will depend if Dragons are of independent ownership, otherwise the RFU wouldn't allow it).

I do not think the Championship clubs are in a position to compete to be honest, they will just end up like Worcester:-

https://lastwordonsports.com/rugby/2016/11/10/major-issues-english-rugby-championship/

That makes for very interesting reading on the subject, I know its an old article, but it's the only one I could find. Also, there could be three other clubs in the Premiership who could go the same way as well. The money is just not there.

Ealing could. Doncaster reckon they are now in a position financially to compete. You could point to the Welsh sides reliant on the WRU to pay the top players as not being in a position to compete at the top end without further financial support going in. It's not going to happen anyway, just the same dream that comes around every few years.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 26 Sep 2022, 10:56 am

LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


There's more chance of me captaining New Zealand at the next Rugby World Cup. It would be more likely that they'll co-opt a couple of Championship sides and bring them up than do this.

The championship sides are not ready, they do not have the infrastructures or the finances to play in the top flight. They would end up going to the wall like Worcester and Wasps if they tried to be competitive. At least the Welsh regions have everything in place to be fit and fighting.

They do have one thing going for them though - they are part of the English rugby pyramid.

Dropping in two "foreign sides" whether from Wales (or Scotland, Ireland or anywhere else) would trigger lawsuits all round from the Championship clubs, presumably from the URC if the clubs dropped out of that league, given that they've contracted to playing in that league and possibly the other two regions who miss out.

It would also raise questions around promotion and relegation - if a Welsh team finished bottom would they drop into the Championship or into the Welsh Premiership and if they drop into the Welsh system would that mean the winners of the Welsh championship can join the Premiership? Then there's HEC cup qualification, player release for internationals, distribution of the TV money and CVC money, Premiership "preference shares", etc.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:26 am

mikey_dragon wrote:Is that old news? I thought Wasps and Wuss were sorted now.  
No, was in yesterday's paper:

https://twitter.com/IgtIan/status/1573943646747037696/photo/1

BKT United Rugby Championship 2022/23  - news and views  - Page 2 LglRwwn

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:29 am

Irish Londoner wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


There's more chance of me captaining New Zealand at the next Rugby World Cup. It would be more likely that they'll co-opt a couple of Championship sides and bring them up than do this.

The championship sides are not ready, they do not have the infrastructures or the finances to play in the top flight. They would end up going to the wall like Worcester and Wasps if they tried to be competitive. At least the Welsh regions have everything in place to be fit and fighting.

They do have one thing going for them though - they are part of the English rugby pyramid.

Dropping in two "foreign sides" whether from Wales (or Scotland, Ireland or anywhere else) would trigger lawsuits all round from the Championship clubs, presumably from the URC if the clubs dropped out of that league, given that they've contracted to playing in that league and possibly the other two regions who miss out.

It would also raise questions around promotion and relegation - if a Welsh team finished bottom would they drop into the Championship or into the Welsh Premiership and if they drop into the Welsh system would that mean the winners of the Welsh championship can join the Premiership? Then there's HEC cup qualification, player release for internationals, distribution of the TV money and CVC money, Premiership "preference shares", etc.

Why would it trigger lawsuits? The PRL are the PRL. They are in charge of their own competition. Doncaster aren't in the PRL.

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:31 am

No 7&1/2 wrote:Worcester supposed to be close to going under now mikey. You'd think that it would be Jersey and Ealing who would be considered to fill in if they wanted immediate replacements as they sit top of the table. Else more liekly to say top 2 up at the end of the year.

Yorkshire (Leeds) are not even the top team in Yorkshire so don't know why you'd want them!

If the impossible dream happened for 2 Welsh clubs you'd have immediate questions on the WRU paying 80% of wages too.

I was just thinking that Ealing are the best (as far as I know) and Yorkshire have the resources, usually they're pretty good but I didn't realise they had regressed.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:33 am

Seems crazy to want to take your teams out of a league on the up and join a league where teams are going bust. The premierships next TV deal will be interesting.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 11:44 am

LeinsterFan4life wrote:Seems crazy to want to take your teams out of a league on the up and join a league where teams are going bust. The premierships next TV deal will be interesting.

It's not "on the up" in Wales is it? That's the point.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:00 pm

mikey_dragon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Worcester supposed to be close to going under now mikey. You'd think that it would be Jersey and Ealing who would be considered to fill in if they wanted immediate replacements as they sit top of the table. Else more liekly to say top 2 up at the end of the year.

Yorkshire (Leeds) are not even the top team in Yorkshire so don't know why you'd want them!

If the impossible dream happened for 2 Welsh clubs you'd have immediate questions on the WRU paying 80% of wages too.

I was just thinking that Ealing are the best (as far as I know) and Yorkshire have the resources, usually they're pretty good but I didn't realise they had regressed.  
Ealing will definitely be in the premiership at some stage but their ground and attendances are poor. A long way off Wuss and Wasps in their pomp. Not exactly the most attractive replacement for TV companies and sponsors.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:08 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Worcester supposed to be close to going under now mikey. You'd think that it would be Jersey and Ealing who would be considered to fill in if they wanted immediate replacements as they sit top of the table. Else more liekly to say top 2 up at the end of the year.

Yorkshire (Leeds) are not even the top team in Yorkshire so don't know why you'd want them!

If the impossible dream happened for 2 Welsh clubs you'd have immediate questions on the WRU paying 80% of wages too.

I was just thinking that Ealing are the best (as far as I know) and Yorkshire have the resources, usually they're pretty good but I didn't realise they had regressed.  
Ealing will definitely be in the premiership at some stage but their ground and attendances are poor. A long way off Wuss and Wasps in their pomp.  Not exactly the most attractive replacement for TV companies and sponsors.

Don't the clubs have to meet a certain criteria before they are allowed to play in the Premiership ? I know London Welsh had to use Oxford FC football ground when they gained promotion a few years back.

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:13 pm

Here is a more up to date article which would kind of explain why the Championship sides may not be ready:-

https://www.rugbypass.com/news/the-challenges-facing-rugby-union-in-2022/

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:23 pm

LordDowlais wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
mikey_dragon wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:Worcester supposed to be close to going under now mikey. You'd think that it would be Jersey and Ealing who would be considered to fill in if they wanted immediate replacements as they sit top of the table. Else more liekly to say top 2 up at the end of the year.

Yorkshire (Leeds) are not even the top team in Yorkshire so don't know why you'd want them!

If the impossible dream happened for 2 Welsh clubs you'd have immediate questions on the WRU paying 80% of wages too.

I was just thinking that Ealing are the best (as far as I know) and Yorkshire have the resources, usually they're pretty good but I didn't realise they had regressed.  
Ealing will definitely be in the premiership at some stage but their ground and attendances are poor. A long way off Wuss and Wasps in their pomp.  Not exactly the most attractive replacement for TV companies and sponsors.

Don't the clubs have to meet a certain criteria before they are allowed to play in the Premiership ? I know London Welsh had to use Oxford FC football ground when they gained promotion a few years back.
I think Ealing meets the criteria. Not 100% sure on that though.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:26 pm

Ealing don't meet the current ground spec. The PRL can just change that though.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:33 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
LordDowlais wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:So apparently, the PRL has been talking with the WRU about allowing two Welsh regions moving to the Premiership to replace Worcester and Wasps if they are dropped/removed from the league due to their debts/administration.

The reported regions are Cardiff and Scarlets according to the The Rugby Paper.

This report has caused endless excitement for those who have wished for the Promised Land to come into view.  It remains to be seen if the story has any legs or not but it's another talking point for the next few weeks.


There's more chance of me captaining New Zealand at the next Rugby World Cup. It would be more likely that they'll co-opt a couple of Championship sides and bring them up than do this.

The championship sides are not ready, they do not have the infrastructures or the finances to play in the top flight. They would end up going to the wall like Worcester and Wasps if they tried to be competitive. At least the Welsh regions have everything in place to be fit and fighting.

They do have one thing going for them though - they are part of the English rugby pyramid.

Dropping in two "foreign sides" whether from Wales (or Scotland, Ireland or anywhere else) would trigger lawsuits all round from the Championship clubs, presumably from the URC if the clubs dropped out of that league, given that they've contracted to playing in that league and possibly the other two regions who miss out.

It would also raise questions around promotion and relegation - if a Welsh team finished bottom would they drop into the Championship or into the Welsh Premiership and if they drop into the Welsh system would that mean the winners of the Welsh championship can join the Premiership? Then there's HEC cup qualification, player release for internationals, distribution of the TV money and CVC money, Premiership "preference shares", etc.

Why would it trigger lawsuits? The PRL are the PRL. They are in charge of their own competition. Doncaster aren't in the PRL.

Because Doncaster and the rest of the teams in the Championship are part of the pyramid of English rugby, if they're blocked from promotion to the next level so that two foreign teams can be allowed in, I doubt very much if they'll just smile politely and stay quiet - the owner of Ealing has put a lot of money into them with the aim of getting them in the Premiership I doubt it he'll just shrug his shoulders and say, "well that's OK Cardiff can have our place".
Also, how financially set are the Welsh clubs - are Cardiff and Scarlets both financially stable and in profit or are they in a similar situation to the English clubs anyway?

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Post by mikey_dragon Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:41 pm

The premiership was due to be ringfenced anyway, not sure if the championship clubs were ready to disute that. As for the Welsh teams' financial situaiton, well not even Scarlets, Cardiff or the WRU are sure about that.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:51 pm

Welsh teams aren't going to the premiership as fairly sure even if 5 teams were needed to be found a couple of business men may look to invest in a championship side rather than buy debt. Also not sure the Welsh teams could survive on the same union funding as the PRL teams do.

I am also not sure the WRU would sanction any of the regions leaving the URC for the PRL which must happen for any crossboarder league involving Welsh teams, unless they intend to play all their games in England.

If the WRU says the 80% wage rule only applies to URC teams how compeditive would teams like Cardiff even be or financially viable. Yes they a private owned but not majority private funded.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Sep 2022, 12:54 pm

I am fairly sure the rules were changed in the last week or so on ground standards which were holding back Ealing and possibly Doncaster and Pirates.

Also losing Wuss and/or Wasps also effects the RFU academies attached to those teams.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 1:22 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Because Doncaster and the rest of the teams in the Championship are part of the pyramid of English rugby, if they're blocked from promotion to the next level so that two foreign teams can be allowed in, I doubt very much if they'll just smile politely and stay quiet - the owner of Ealing has put a lot of money into them with the aim of getting them in the Premiership I doubt it he'll just shrug his shoulders and say, "well that's OK Cardiff can have our place".

Filing a lawsuit against the very entity that you want to promote you into a new league, would be an interesting strategy. They don't meet the eligibility criteria, ground wise. Cardiff do. It's literally in the T and Cs.

Also, how financially set are the Welsh clubs - are Cardiff and Scarlets both financially stable and in profit or are they in a similar situation to the English clubs anyway?

Both made a profit before covid hit (not that profit has any indicator or relevance in pro sport). Now not so much. Will take a few years to get back to where they were in 2020, as with all clubs.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 26 Sep 2022, 1:27 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Irish Londoner wrote:
Because Doncaster and the rest of the teams in the Championship are part of the pyramid of English rugby, if they're blocked from promotion to the next level so that two foreign teams can be allowed in, I doubt very much if they'll just smile politely and stay quiet - the owner of Ealing has put a lot of money into them with the aim of getting them in the Premiership I doubt it he'll just shrug his shoulders and say, "well that's OK Cardiff can have our place".

Filing a lawsuit against the very entity that you want to promote you into a new league, would be an interesting strategy. They don't meet the eligibility criteria, ground wise. Cardiff do. It's literally in the T and Cs.

Also, how financially set are the Welsh clubs - are Cardiff and Scarlets both financially stable and in profit or are they in a similar situation to the English clubs anyway?

Both made a profit before covid hit (not that profit has any indicator or relevance in pro sport). Now not so much. Will take a few years to get back to where they were in 2020, as with all clubs.

I'll wait and see what happens but I'm confident I'll be putting dubbin on my boots and getting measured for an AB kit before this does.....

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 1:28 pm

Brendan wrote: Also not sure the Welsh teams could survive on the same union funding as the PRL teams do.

You'll have to walk me through this. What is the breakdown of each?

If the WRU says the 80% wage rule only applies to URC teams how compeditive would teams like Cardiff even be or financially viable.  Yes they a private owned but not majority private funded.

How do you think the 3 Welsh teams are 'funded' ?

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 26 Sep 2022, 1:58 pm

Given that URC and PRL now share the same offices in order to manage costs better, Anayi has been having more constructive conversations with his PRL counterpart, Simon Massey-Jones about how the two leagues can work together better.

Anayi flew a kite recently in saying that a double-header between teams from both leagues could form part of the game schedules for the proposed quadrennial club world championship - perhaps happening in advance.

If the WRU have been having discussions with PRL to be considered as replacement team providers in the events of Wasps/Worcester going to the wall, then who knows whether it might suit the Welsh union to be rid of two of its regions. The RFU is not going to provide funding for the development of Welsh international players. So the WRU would still be on the hook for that. It would also face legal contractual problems as part of their contractual arrangement with URC under its Participation Agreement and commitment to provide 4 teams. Whilst some might argue that SARU could provide 2 further teams, this may not be acceptable to other shareholders with SARU becoming a dominant participant and seeking a consequent change in the current shareholding structure - SARU have yet to become a shareholder in the URC.

CVC would also have a say in this and might be more persuaded for the two leagues to be merged into a multi-country competition than they have been up to now.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 2:09 pm

When does the current contractual 'team supplying' agreement with Unions and URC end?

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Post by Kingshu Mon 26 Sep 2022, 2:15 pm

Very much doubt this will happen, apart from relegation, would the WRU then be expected to make payments to the Premiership for player release? Is that funding then taken off the two regions?

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 26 Sep 2022, 2:15 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Given that URC and PRL now share the same offices in order to manage costs better, Anayi has been having more constructive conversations with his PRL counterpart, Simon Massey-Jones about how the two leagues can work together better.

Anayi flew a kite recently in saying that a double-header between teams from both leagues could form part of the game schedules for the proposed quadrennial club world championship - perhaps happening in advance.

If the WRU have been having discussions with PRL to be considered as replacement team providers in the events of Wasps/Worcester going to the wall, then who knows whether it might suit the Welsh union to be rid of two of its regions.  The RFU is not going to provide funding for the development of Welsh international players.   So the WRU would still be on the hook for that.   It would also face legal  contractual problems as part of their contractual arrangement with URC under its Participation Agreement and commitment to provide 4 teams.    Whilst some might argue that SARU could provide 2 further teams, this may not be acceptable to other shareholders with SARU becoming a dominant participant and seeking a consequent change in the current shareholding structure - SARU have yet to become a shareholder in the URC.  

CVC would also have a say in this and might be more persuaded for the two leagues to be merged into a multi-country competition than they have been up to now.


The CVC "long game" is likely to be a "four nations" league, coverage across both islands.

The real stumbling block in all this though is going to be the English clubs - their first question is what do the Welsh bring to the party for them of viewers, sponsors, money, etc. and they might think that taking the hit on having a season with two teams missing and no relegation is simpler. A lot depends on whether the clubs actually fold and cease trading or being able to play completely. If they are booted out of the Premiership no investor is going to take on a club with no league to play in, can English rugby really afford to lose a club with the history of Wasps?

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 2:16 pm

Kingshu wrote:Very much doubt this will happen, apart from relegation, would the WRU then be expected to make payments to the Premiership for player release? Is that funding then taken off the two regions?

Why would the WRU make payments to 'The Premiership' ? They make payments to the teams in Wales who agree to give their players to the WRU.

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Post by Pot Hale Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:11 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Very much doubt this will happen, apart from relegation, would the WRU then be expected to make payments to the Premiership for player release? Is that funding then taken off the two regions?

Why would the WRU make payments to 'The Premiership' ? They make payments to the teams in Wales who agree to give their players to the WRU.

Because the WRU and SRU have had to do this previously to have their players released for a test match. RFU have this covered off under their agreement.
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Post by Pot Hale Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:14 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:When does the current contractual 'team supplying' agreement with Unions and URC end?
. Presume you mean the Participation Agreement. New PAs were created last year with the addition of the 2 additional teams from SARU. They generally run for 4-6 years. The Shareholder Agreements were also revised last season with the incorporation of FIR as an equal shareholder in Celtic Rugby DAC, and the setting up of URC to run the new competition with CVC becoming a 28% shareholder over a 4-year period. WRU have only sold two chunks to date to CVC, although that may have increased last season - we'll know when 2022 Annual Report is published.

It would also affect current agreements with EPCR.


Last edited by Pot Hale on Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:31 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Recwatcher16 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:22 pm

"  can English rugby really afford to lose a club with the history of Wasps? "

Yes of course, that is the whole point of a club system that doesn't take down the rest of the competitive structure. Those of a longer memory will remember that is exactly what happened to Richmond, one of the founder clubs of the game.
If there are subsequent commercial requirements on ground size etc, well commercial requirements change dont they.

I can't see welsh sides being brought in at the expense of Ealing and others. Being an old west country supporter I personally wouldn't object to welsh sides coming in but Union controlled/funded, absolutely not.

Clubs will always likely be at the sharp point of any economic downturn compared to Union owned sides and there is no doubt balance sheets have taken a battering funding income losses over the last two years making securing new debt agreements very difficult with minimal collateral.

As for a new combined league, CVC might want it but no-one else this side of the Severn. Playing sides who send over their second/third string sides has zero appeal.


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Post by Pot Hale Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:35 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:"  can English rugby really afford to lose a club with the history of Wasps? "

Yes of course, that is the whole point of a club system that doesn't take down the rest of the competitive structure. Those of a longer memory will remember that is exactly what happened to Richmond, one of the founder clubs of the game.
If there are subsequent commercial requirements on ground size etc, well commercial requirements change dont they.

I can't see welsh sides being brought in at the expense of Ealing and others. Being an old west country supporter I personally wouldn't object to welsh sides coming in but Union controlled/funded, absolutely not.

Clubs will always likely be at the sharp point of any economic downturn compared to Union owned sides and there is no doubt balance sheets have taken a battering funding income losses over the last two years making securing new debt agreements very difficult with minimal collateral.

As for a new combined league, CVC might want it but no-one else this side of the Severn. Playing sides who send over their second/third string sides has zero appeal.


If something like a combined URC/Prem league were to occur, I could see the EPCR comps being changed or abandoned. Squads rotate their players according to the demands of the season. Any revised/combined league would have to have common regs about size of squads, number of foreign players, and ideally a common agreement on player welfare regarding number of minutes to be played during a season.
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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:47 pm

Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Very much doubt this will happen, apart from relegation, would the WRU then be expected to make payments to the Premiership for player release? Is that funding then taken off the two regions?

Why would the WRU make payments to 'The Premiership' ? They make payments to the teams in Wales who agree to give their players to the WRU.

Because the WRU and SRU have had to do this previously to have their players released for a test match.  RFU have this covered off under their agreement.

You mean paying English sides to release players? I'm not aware of the WRU ever paying English teams to release players. Northampton and Bath have both been rightly fined by PRL in previous years for releasing players like Falatau and North to the WRU for out of window test matches. Have you got a link?

There's no need for any process of release to change here, just because 2 teams would be playing in another competition.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 3:50 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:"
Being an old west country supporter I personally wouldn't object to welsh sides coming in but Union controlled/funded, absolutely not.

As for a new combined league, CVC might want it but no-one else this side of the Severn. Playing sides who send over their second/third string sides has zero appeal.


clap clap clap

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Post by LordDowlais Mon 26 Sep 2022, 4:41 pm

I actually think, that it is quite amusing how this has gone from being a pipe dream, and people being deluded, to it now being actual mainstream news and spoken about by the media.

Despite what some people say Welsh rugby can offer a lot to the English game. There is more appetite in Wales for an Anglo/Welsh league than what we currently have. It would bring a breath of fresh air to the English game, and the Welsh supporters would travel because they would not need to book a flight/boat and hotel and have to take days off work to watch their teams play in England, which if we are to be honest is a massive stumbling block for the support of the league. We do not see any away fans.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 26 Sep 2022, 5:42 pm

It may be in the news and it may being talked about. But I'm willing to bet my reputation that it will not happen anytime soon and more likely than not it will never happen.

The teams in the championship who have aspirations would certainly have some very unfavorable views on it.

It's a good story to get attention but I think it will remain just that. A good story

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 5:43 pm

It's the same story as 5 years ago. Still a pipe dream. Of course the Welsh dream it'll happen. Grass is always greener and for some reason you reckon you won't be bottom of this particular league.

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Post by carpet baboon Mon 26 Sep 2022, 5:55 pm

Is there a vote coming up that the RFU will want the WRU to vote with them on?
That's normal when this story reappears

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Sep 2022, 5:58 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:Given that URC and PRL now share the same offices in order to manage costs better, Anayi has been having more constructive conversations with his PRL counterpart, Simon Massey-Jones about how the two leagues can work together better.

Anayi flew a kite recently in saying that a double-header between teams from both leagues could form part of the game schedules for the proposed quadrennial club world championship - perhaps happening in advance.

If the WRU have been having discussions with PRL to be considered as replacement team providers in the events of Wasps/Worcester going to the wall, then who knows whether it might suit the Welsh union to be rid of two of its regions.  The RFU is not going to provide funding for the development of Welsh international players.   So the WRU would still be on the hook for that.   It would also face legal  contractual problems as part of their contractual arrangement with URC under its Participation Agreement and commitment to provide 4 teams.    Whilst some might argue that SARU could provide 2 further teams, this may not be acceptable to other shareholders with SARU becoming a dominant participant and seeking a consequent change in the current shareholding structure - SARU have yet to become a shareholder in the URC.  

CVC would also have a say in this and might be more persuaded for the two leagues to be merged into a multi-country competition than they have been up to now.


The CVC "long game" is likely to be a "four nations" league, coverage across both islands.

The real stumbling block in all this though is going to be the English clubs - their first question is what do the Welsh bring to the party for them of viewers, sponsors, money, etc. and they might think that taking the hit on having a season with two teams missing and no relegation is simpler. A lot depends on whether the clubs actually fold and cease trading or being able to play completely. If they are booted out of the Premiership no investor is going to take on a club with no league to play in, can English rugby really afford to lose a club with the history of Wasps?

I don't agree that their goal is a B&I league. SA is a financial partner and I don't think CVC would cut them adrift when they are looking to buy a share in the SARU. England and Friends league was only going to happen in the 90s, Celtic League put it in a coffin and URC has put the nails in. B&I league only suits Wales and West England. Not sure Scots or Irish gain anything as not likely to get many away fans compared to now. TV deals are about the same. Doubt the SRU and IRFU current set ups would acceptable either. 60 cap rule in Wales might also be an issue.

If a B&I league we might as well send a letter to the T14 saying all the best players in the World will go there. I can't see how a CVC would would write off their two investments. If that is their plan they are spending alot of money and time working in growing the URC as a rival to the Prem to just combine them.

Only way a 22-24 team league works s two divisions or two conferences at which point you might aswell run two leagues.

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Post by Kingshu Mon 26 Sep 2022, 6:20 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Very much doubt this will happen, apart from relegation, would the WRU then be expected to make payments to the Premiership for player release? Is that funding then taken off the two regions?

Why would the WRU make payments to 'The Premiership' ? They make payments to the teams in Wales who agree to give their players to the WRU.

Because the WRU and SRU have had to do this previously to have their players released for a test match.  RFU have this covered off under their agreement.

You mean paying English sides to release players? I'm not aware of the WRU ever paying English teams to release players. Northampton and Bath have both been rightly fined by PRL in previous years for releasing players like Falatau and North to the WRU for out of window test matches. Have you got a link?

There's no need for any process of release to change here, just because 2 teams would be playing in another competition.

Can't see the RFU being happy that they pay a large sum, which includes player release, to the Premiership, but the WRU get the same player release for free? Can't see the premiership allowing Welsh players to be released without a fee, or else Cardiff and Scarlets would face fines, same as other premiership teams would face.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Sep 2022, 6:54 pm

RugbyFan100 wrote:
Brendan wrote: Also not sure the Welsh teams could survive on the same union funding as the PRL teams do.

You'll have to walk me through this. What is the breakdown of each?

If the WRU says the 80% wage rule only applies to URC teams how compeditive would teams like Cardiff even be or financially viable.  Yes they a private owned but not majority private funded.

How do you think the 3 Welsh teams are 'funded' ?

Scarlets chairman Simon Muderack in April 2021 following the heavy defeat to Sale was asked about internationals not showing up performance wise. He talked about how even tjough 80% of players wages for the 38 elite squad in Wales was covered by the WRU they weren't always value for money. That season Scarlets had 14 players in the elite squad. Do you think Sarries or Tigers had 14 players who had 80% of the wages paid for by the RFU rather than the owner.

The 2018/19 accounts for Scarlets had £9.6m from the WRU of which £3m was for TV and competition income leaving £6.6m which covered the then dual contracts that only covered 60% of wages. I am happy for you to give the most recent breakdown of WRU funding to Scarlets.

Do you think PRL clubs are ok with that. The Welsh team would bring in no extra TV income as the current TV deals for the Prem cover the entire UK.

The 60cap rule would also have to apply to the Premiership not just the 4 Welsh teams, PRL not as kind as URC. I am sure plenty owners have issues with this rule already. Would the WRU be happy to pay their money into the PRL and then distribute it to all teams who meet the requirements.

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Post by Brendan Mon 26 Sep 2022, 7:05 pm

Kingshu wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Pot Hale wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Kingshu wrote:Very much doubt this will happen, apart from relegation, would the WRU then be expected to make payments to the Premiership for player release? Is that funding then taken off the two regions?

Why would the WRU make payments to 'The Premiership' ? They make payments to the teams in Wales who agree to give their players to the WRU.

Because the WRU and SRU have had to do this previously to have their players released for a test match.  RFU have this covered off under their agreement.

You mean paying English sides to release players? I'm not aware of the WRU ever paying English teams to release players. Northampton and Bath have both been rightly fined by PRL in previous years for releasing players like Falatau and North to the WRU for out of window test matches. Have you got a link?

There's no need for any process of release to change here, just because 2 teams would be playing in another competition.

Can't see the RFU being happy that they pay a large sum, which includes player release, to the Premiership, but the WRU get the same player release for free? Can't see the premiership allowing Welsh players to be released without a fee, or else Cardiff and Scarlets would face fines, same as other premiership teams would face.

I am fairly sure the PRL would want clear guidelines that would be achievable to all teams. I know for the RFU payments there are some. But the 60 cap rule and subsidy for wages would both be against any agreement. If it was open to all English and Welsh teams there might be a few Welsh marquee players because a player like Zammit could be offered 500k by Glaws for thier 20% and WRU would have to come up with the other 80%.

At least all those Cardiff traveling fans got to take the train to Glasgow this weekend.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 7:12 pm

Kingshu wrote:

Can't see the RFU being happy that they pay a large sum, which includes player release, to the Premiership, but the WRU get the same player release for free? Can't see the premiership allowing Welsh players to be released without a fee, or else Cardiff and Scarlets would face fines, same as other premiership teams would face.

What are you talking about? The WRU also pay fees to the Welsh clubs for player release.

You seem extremely confused. The premiership clubs would be fined for releasing players to another country. If England played an out of window test, the players from the premeirship would play ion it.

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Post by RugbyFan100 Mon 26 Sep 2022, 7:17 pm

Brendan wrote:
RugbyFan100 wrote:
Brendan wrote: Also not sure the Welsh teams could survive on the same union funding as the PRL teams do.

You'll have to walk me through this. What is the breakdown of each?

If the WRU says the 80% wage rule only applies to URC teams how compeditive would teams like Cardiff even be or financially viable.  Yes they a private owned but not majority private funded.

How do you think the 3 Welsh teams are 'funded' ?

Scarlets chairman Simon Muderack in April 2021 following the heavy defeat to Sale was asked about internationals not showing up performance wise.  He talked about how even tjough 80% of players wages for the 38 elite squad in Wales was covered by the WRU they weren't always value for money. That season Scarlets had 14 players in the elite squad.  Do you think Sarries or Tigers had 14 players who had 80% of the wages paid for by the RFU rather than the owner.

The 2018/19 accounts for Scarlets had £9.6m from the WRU of which £3m was for TV and competition income leaving £6.6m which covered the then dual contracts that only covered 60% of wages.  I am happy for you to give the most recent breakdown of WRU funding to Scarlets.

Amazing, you think £6.6m was funding for dual contracts? It is payment for services. How many times? It includes competition money from league and Europe that the scarlets are owed, it includes money for adhering to non welh quotas, it incluides payment for player release and it includes a whole other range of performanced based formula payments THAT THE SCARLETS ARE OWED.

Do you think PRL clubs are ok with that.  The Welsh team would bring in no extra TV income as the current TV deals for the Prem cover the entire UK.

They'd bring in similar to what they'd bring the URC. s4c etc.

The 60cap rule would also have to apply to the Premiership not just the 4 Welsh teams, PRL not as kind as URC.  I am sure plenty owners have issues with this rule already.

Why?
 
Would the WRU be happy to pay their money into the PRL and then distribute it to all teams who meet the requirements.

Why would they have to do that? You're just making things up.

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