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6N "expansion" and future path for the AIs

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Recwatcher16
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Post by TJ Sun 20 Nov 2022, 9:50 am

I used to think that any expansion of the 6N was pointless as the next tier would lose all their games if they came into the 6N but now I think there is a case for a playoff between the bottom team in the 6N and the top team from the second level European comps. Not direct promotion / relegation but a playoff for that 6th place in the 6N. I don't think going to 7N would work - too many games and too many potential mismatches

Quite honestly if Italy / Scotland / Wales / whoever cannot beat Georgia then they don't deserve to be at the top table. Clearly any relegated team would be likely to bounce back up the following year. Would need good "parachute" payments

I would also like to see it being made mandatory that the 6N sides in the AIs play at least one game against tier 2 European teams. this is how Italy got into the the 5N - for a decade they played most of the 5N teams in the AIs. this would also give the 6N teams some opportunity to play a slightly less intense matchs to try out combinations and would give teams like Georgia exposure, money and a real chance to develop


So one year Georgia play England wales and Scotland, the next they play Italy ireland and France. Reverse for Romania ( or whover the next ranked team is) No reason at all why half the AI games could not go to the next level European teams and it would also create an opportunity for the 6N teams to try out fringe players

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Post by Lowlandbrit Sun 20 Nov 2022, 10:59 am

You could expand to 8 by doing it as twin 4N with a round at the end for final seedings, but you'd either have an (commercially at least) unbalanced GBI/others split or potentially go years without some home nations games.

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Post by Mcsweens Sun 20 Nov 2022, 11:23 am

I think 2 pools of 4 would potentially work, and allocate teams to each pool by rankings, giving the lower ranked teams in each pool home advantage, or just draw fixtures out of the hat to determine home and away.

Pool A                   Pool B
Ireland                  France
England                Scotland
Wales                   Italy
Georgia                Spain

Top 2 from each group go into the Semis.
Bottom 2 go into repechage


Alternatively we have full promotion and relegation between 2 tables of 5 or 6. But I don't think we are quite ready for that yet, because if Wales, say, or Scotland get fully relegated that would potentially completely hammer the domestic finances.

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Post by TJ Sun 20 Nov 2022, 11:29 am

Hence my idea of a playoff and parachute payments rather than straight relegation / promotion.

I think its imperative to make a potential pathway for promotion from outside the competition if we want to grow the game in europe

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Post by Mcsweens Sun 20 Nov 2022, 11:36 am

TJ wrote:Hence my idea of a playoff and parachute payments rather than straight relegation / promotion.

I think its imperative to make a potential pathway for promotion from outside the competition if we want to grow the game in europe

I mean the devil is in the detail, but I would be surprised if any union would countenance any drop in income in the event of relegation, and I would be very surprised if any union felt like subsidising traditional rivals' poor performance. I don't think there is any money in the game and not much goodwill.

Very very tricky to balance all competing interests, and the nations in question don't have a good track record at cooperating.

Agree that something has to be done though, and props to Georgia for forcing the issue.

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Post by Poorfour Sun 20 Nov 2022, 2:17 pm

I don't think Georgia need props. They seem to have quite enough of them as it is.
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Post by TJ Sun 20 Nov 2022, 3:02 pm

two pools of four would mean not everyone playing everyone. I for one would be sad not to have a calcutta cup match every year.

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Post by Mcsweens Sun 20 Nov 2022, 4:04 pm

TJ wrote:two pools of four would mean not everyone playing everyone.  I for one would be sad not to have a calcutta cup match every year.

It's one option. Realistically nothing will happen for a few years yet as Georgia have no bargaining power at all.

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Post by Geordie Sun 20 Nov 2022, 4:46 pm

In an ideal world without overplaying etc id love to see a European Championships style competition......

All the European teams from the 6nations b, c, d etc plus the Saxons, Wolfhound equivalent (or even an U23 type side)initially of the 6n teams..

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Post by Recwatcher16 Sun 20 Nov 2022, 5:58 pm

The only way Georgia would join the 6N is if SA joined at the same time for an 8N and you lose at least one of the two rest weekends.
I could see that happening in a couple of years time when the current SAANZAR contract expires.

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Post by Old Man Sun 20 Nov 2022, 6:56 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:The only way Georgia would join the 6N is if SA joined at the same time for an 8N and you lose at least one of the two rest weekends.
I could see that happening in a couple of years time when the current SAANZAR contract expires.

Not so sure there is enough support in Europe for SA to join the 6 Nations.

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Post by TJ Sun 20 Nov 2022, 7:19 pm

I certainly do not want SA in the 6N - apart from anything else it wrecks the SH comp

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Post by No 7&1/2 Mon 21 Nov 2022, 8:24 am

The problem with parachute payments is that you're adding another slice to the cake when unions (and teams) are struggling for cash. They're not going to vote for it re 6ns. The best Georgia can do is try to get those AI games, some prominent summer games and win them. Not only that they'll have to hope others play their first teams as there'll be the excuse and thinking that they're not as good as the result suggests.

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Post by TJ Mon 21 Nov 2022, 8:47 am

yes - 3 AI games are what should be done then once they have won a few then the playoff for the last 6N place.

Going back a good few years it was rare to see / play all the SH nations in the autumn.

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Post by Irish Londoner Mon 21 Nov 2022, 12:12 pm

The short answer is that any promotion/relegation set up would cause huge financial damage to the 6Ns unions - it would all but bankrupt the "Home Nations" who depend on the 6Ns money and would probably kill the game in Italy outright.
No problem with giving Georgia (and some of the other "lower tier" nations) more games - each of the 6Ns side should set aside at least one of the AI weekends for T2 opposition from Europe, be that Georgia, Romania, Russia (at the appropriate time), etc.

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Post by TJ Mon 21 Nov 2022, 3:00 pm

Hence the idea of "parachute payments" to prevent the huge financial damage. Whoever went down following a playoff would bounce back up the following year anyway.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Mon 21 Nov 2022, 5:05 pm

Irish Londoner wrote:The short answer is that any promotion/relegation set up would cause huge financial damage to the 6Ns unions - it would all but bankrupt the "Home Nations" who depend on the 6Ns money and would probably kill the game in Italy outright.
No problem with giving Georgia (and some of the other "lower tier" nations) more games - each of the 6Ns side should set aside at least one of the AI weekends for T2 opposition from Europe, be that Georgia, Romania, Russia (at the appropriate time), etc.
That's completely unfair on the other tier 2 nations though, that deserve game time in the AIs. The PIs and Japan have to be given games and also the South American sides have been very strong this world Cup cycle and continue to get stronger.

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