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Champions Cup Quarter Finals 2023

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 03 Apr 2023, 2:55 pm

First topic message reminder :

Quarter-finals

Friday, April 7th:
Leinster v Leicester Tigers, Aviva Stadium, 8pm

Saturday, April 8th:
Toulouse v Cell C Sharks, Stade Ernest Wallon, 4pm;
Exeter v DHL Stormers, Sandy Park, 5.30pm

Sunday, April 9th:
La Rochelle v Saracens, Stade Marcel Deflandre, 4pm

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 12:01 pm

LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

100%, there is more to the argument than merit and merit is very difficult to reliably determine anyway with three very different leagues. Even if the premiership didnt drop to 10 it only has 11 teams now vs 16 in the URC and 14 in France so they dont deserve equal numbers of representation right off the bat, nor have their sides shown that they deserve it over the last few years.

I can also only see things getting worse for the premiership, its badly structured and badly run in my view with not enough collaboration with the RFU. The salary cap to me just demonstrates that it is struggling to keep up with other leagues rather than anything else. It isnt about fairness anyway as some teams blow their budgets on a few key players and everyone else gets peanuts. If it was about fairness there would be a minimum salary too. Its just really to stop clubs going under.


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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Apr 2023, 12:08 pm

geoff999rugby wrote:Benetton are a better team than Newcastle or Bath and could hold there own against the three just above them.
Remember they are the core of the Italy side and at full strength are not to be taken lightly.
The current Italy squad is (roughly) 20 Benetton, 8 Zebre, 10 other

They do get bad results but largely because of losing so many players to the Italy squad

Pfffttt....better than the mighty Falcons indeed.

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Fri 14 Apr 2023, 12:11 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

100%, there is more to the argument than merit and merit is very difficult to reliably determine anyway with three very different leagues. Even if the premiership didnt drop to 10 it only has 11 teams now vs 16 in the URC and 14 in France so they dont deserve equal numbers of representation right off the bat, nor have their sides shown that they deserve it over the last few years.

I can also only see things getting worse for the premiership, its badly structured and badly run in my view with not enough collaboration with the RFU. The salary cap to me just demonstrates that it is struggling to keep up with other leagues rather than anything else. It isnt about fairness anyway as some teams blow their budgets on a few key players and everyone else gets peanuts. If it was about fairness there would be a minimum salary too. Its just really to stop clubs going under.


Didn't the Prem match the Rabo this season in the Quarter finals and semis of the Championship Cup? Not bad for a 5m salary cap.

Personally I'd prefer top 6 of each league in the top comp.

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Post by broadlandboy Fri 14 Apr 2023, 12:24 pm

I'd go top 5 from leagues + winner or 6th place from winners league if they're in top 5. 16 teams 4 groups of 4, top 2 from each group into quarter finals

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Post by Collapse2005 Fri 14 Apr 2023, 12:37 pm

Very Happy The Rabo 😂

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Post by Sgt_Pooly Sat 15 Apr 2023, 8:40 am

Collapse2005 wrote: Very Happy The Rabo 😂

Changes it's name every other year!

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 17 Apr 2023, 3:03 pm

Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Didn't the Prem match the Rabo this season in the Quarter finals and semis of the Championship Cup? Not bad for a 5m salary cap.

This year Premiership Clubs haven't operated fully under the 5million salary cap.  There was a change the summer before last that allowed any players signing contracts prior to the cut off point that their increase were not included in the salary cap.  This is for example having a massive impact on the Exeter budget in the summer (I believe it's affecting 4-5 of the current 11 clubs).  

So we probably won't see the impact of the 5million salary cap in Europe until next year.  Exeter are totally getting gutted and with their signings for the summer are not replacing anywhere near the quality that is leaving.  It will be a miracle next season if the Premiership can get 2 clubs into the last 8.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 17 Apr 2023, 3:40 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Didn't the Prem match the Rabo this season in the Quarter finals and semis of the Championship Cup? Not bad for a 5m salary cap.

This year Premiership Clubs haven't operated fully under the 5million salary cap.  There was a change the summer before last that allowed any players signing contracts prior to the cut off point that their increase were not included in the salary cap.  This is for example having a massive impact on the Exeter budget in the summer (I believe it's affecting 4-5 of the current 11 clubs).  

So we probably won't see the impact of the 5million salary cap in Europe until next year.  Exeter are totally getting gutted and with their signings for the summer are not replacing anywhere near the quality that is leaving.  It will be a miracle next season if the Premiership can get 2 clubs into the last 8.

Don't think that's how it worked. Players who signed their contracts before a certain date would only have 75% of their contracts count against the cap. This was because the reduction in the cap wasn't planned in advance and clubs didn't have a lot of time to prepare. Those contracts have mostly ended or are about to end this season. Similarly some teams have managed to keep two marquees as there was a protection inserted for teams that had committed to this in advance.

Now Tigers for instance have lost both of their marquee signings from before Covid and didn't sign their big names to long term contracts so will have been restricted to the £5m + £600k academy credits and marquee signing. They have a salary pot of probably £6.25m. Their squad should be pretty stable for next season. Sarries have got all their big names tied down until next summer so should be strong again and will have their brilliant blindside back from long term injury. Sale will have a similar squad next season. Gloucester have done well with an injury ravaged squad but should be stronger next season.

I don't think it's necessarily right to preach the fall of Prem teams in Europe. I'm not sure any of the teams have the strength to win it but good quarter final representation is a real possibility.

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Post by Recwatcher16 Mon 17 Apr 2023, 9:16 pm

Collapse2005 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

100%, there is more to the argument than merit and merit is very difficult to reliably determine anyway with three very different leagues. Even if the premiership didnt drop to 10 it only has 11 teams now vs 16 in the URC and 14 in France so they dont deserve equal numbers of representation right off the bat, nor have their sides shown that they deserve it over the last few years.

I can also only see things getting worse for the premiership, its badly structured and badly run in my view with not enough collaboration with the RFU. The salary cap to me just demonstrates that it is struggling to keep up with other leagues rather than anything else. It isnt about fairness anyway as some teams blow their budgets on a few key players and everyone else gets peanuts. If it was about fairness there would be a minimum salary too. Its just really to stop clubs going under.


How would you structure the English Premiership ? Just curious.

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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 17 Apr 2023, 9:41 pm

Recwatcher16 wrote:
Collapse2005 wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

100%, there is more to the argument than merit and merit is very difficult to reliably determine anyway with three very different leagues. Even if the premiership didnt drop to 10 it only has 11 teams now vs 16 in the URC and 14 in France so they dont deserve equal numbers of representation right off the bat, nor have their sides shown that they deserve it over the last few years.

I can also only see things getting worse for the premiership, its badly structured and badly run in my view with not enough collaboration with the RFU. The salary cap to me just demonstrates that it is struggling to keep up with other leagues rather than anything else. It isnt about fairness anyway as some teams blow their budgets on a few key players and everyone else gets peanuts. If it was about fairness there would be a minimum salary too. Its just really to stop clubs going under.


How would you structure the English Premiership ? Just curious.

Union run, somewhat arbitrarily created, regions. Obviously always a winner.

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Post by No 7&1/2 Tue 18 Apr 2023, 8:20 am

There is a growing question of central contracts.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Tue 18 Apr 2023, 10:30 am

Welshmushroom wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
LeinsterFan4life wrote:
No 7&1/2 wrote:If they're good enough to qualify great. Shouldn't be given a spot simply because they're an Italian team though. the 3 main leagues need equal representation.
Such a simplistic argument when it's far more complicated than that as I've alluded to earlier in the thread. Btw the leagues absolutely do not need equal representation, if the prem goes down to 10 teams their representation needs to be cut.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with this. I don't see anywhere that it's happening though...it'll more than likely go back to 12 in a few years if things go to plan.

I'm not so sure on this.  From what I gather all of the CEO's at the clubs have agreed 10 teams in the way forward.  The current issue is they cannot decide on who is getting cut.  

Once they make that change and given the Shares redistribution from Worcester & Wasps the remaining 10 clubs will receive considerably higher money from the Premiership Profit share.  I don't see why those 10 clubs would want to reduce it again to share the pot between 12.  Premiership club owners have often just looked at their own benefits instead of looking at the greater good so would be very surprised if they made a change based on any wider ranging benefits.

So for me the only question is will they actually cull to 10 - if they do I just don't see them reversing it even in the long term.

10 clubs get a higher % of Premiership Profit share. But does the tv deal and everything else stay at the same values if the tv companies get 4 weeks fewer fixtures.

There are 2 less teams, so clubs get 2 less home gates Just wait for club to keep season ticket prices steady (effectively putting matchday prices up). Maybe they give out a free scarf or pin to fuzzy the water.

English rugby has benefitted from Sky Sport and BT Sport being in a war to get internet and broadband / TV bundles. It's been very lucrative for a lot of sports. Do they still make enough extra out of internet to 'fund' this?

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 24 Apr 2023, 9:32 am

formerly known as Sam wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Didn't the Prem match the Rabo this season in the Quarter finals and semis of the Championship Cup? Not bad for a 5m salary cap.

This year Premiership Clubs haven't operated fully under the 5million salary cap.  There was a change the summer before last that allowed any players signing contracts prior to the cut off point that their increase were not included in the salary cap.  This is for example having a massive impact on the Exeter budget in the summer (I believe it's affecting 4-5 of the current 11 clubs).  

So we probably won't see the impact of the 5million salary cap in Europe until next year.  Exeter are totally getting gutted and with their signings for the summer are not replacing anywhere near the quality that is leaving.  It will be a miracle next season if the Premiership can get 2 clubs into the last 8.

Don't think that's how it worked. Players who signed their contracts before a certain date would only have 75% of their contracts count against the cap. This was because the reduction in the cap wasn't planned in advance and clubs didn't have a lot of time to prepare. Those contracts have mostly ended or are about to end this season. Similarly some teams have managed to keep two marquees as there was a protection inserted for teams that had committed to this in advance.

Now Tigers for instance have lost both of their marquee signings from before Covid and didn't sign their big names to long term contracts so will have been restricted to the £5m + £600k academy credits and marquee signing. They have a salary pot of probably £6.25m. Their squad should be pretty stable for next season. Sarries have got all their big names tied down until next summer so should be strong again and will have their brilliant blindside back from long term injury. Sale will have a similar squad next season. Gloucester have done well with an injury ravaged squad but should be stronger next season.

I don't think it's necessarily right to preach the fall of Prem teams in Europe. I'm not sure any of the teams have the strength to win it but good quarter final representation is a real possibility.

Gloucester haven't qualified for the Champions Cup. I'm also not pointing to the fall of the Premiership but just stating that the salary cap changes for next season is having a undoubted effect of Premiership quality. There will always be a chance a team can win against the odds but to win a tournament like the Champions Cup you need quality squads.

Premiership sides will still be fielding good first 15's but the quality in behind that just isn't there. They will have to hope they don't get key injuries during the season because that will stack the odds even further against them.

Time will tell how they go next year and you may be right that a good amount qualify. I just don't see it myself. But we will find out which one of our predictions turns out to be correct.


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Post by formerly known as Sam Mon 24 Apr 2023, 11:02 am

Welshmushroom wrote:
formerly known as Sam wrote:
Welshmushroom wrote:
Sgt_Pooly wrote:
Didn't the Prem match the Rabo this season in the Quarter finals and semis of the Championship Cup? Not bad for a 5m salary cap.

This year Premiership Clubs haven't operated fully under the 5million salary cap.  There was a change the summer before last that allowed any players signing contracts prior to the cut off point that their increase were not included in the salary cap.  This is for example having a massive impact on the Exeter budget in the summer (I believe it's affecting 4-5 of the current 11 clubs).  

So we probably won't see the impact of the 5million salary cap in Europe until next year.  Exeter are totally getting gutted and with their signings for the summer are not replacing anywhere near the quality that is leaving.  It will be a miracle next season if the Premiership can get 2 clubs into the last 8.

Don't think that's how it worked. Players who signed their contracts before a certain date would only have 75% of their contracts count against the cap. This was because the reduction in the cap wasn't planned in advance and clubs didn't have a lot of time to prepare. Those contracts have mostly ended or are about to end this season. Similarly some teams have managed to keep two marquees as there was a protection inserted for teams that had committed to this in advance.

Now Tigers for instance have lost both of their marquee signings from before Covid and didn't sign their big names to long term contracts so will have been restricted to the £5m + £600k academy credits and marquee signing. They have a salary pot of probably £6.25m. Their squad should be pretty stable for next season. Sarries have got all their big names tied down until next summer so should be strong again and will have their brilliant blindside back from long term injury. Sale will have a similar squad next season. Gloucester have done well with an injury ravaged squad but should be stronger next season.

I don't think it's necessarily right to preach the fall of Prem teams in Europe. I'm not sure any of the teams have the strength to win it but good quarter final representation is a real possibility.

Gloucester haven't qualified for the Champions Cup.  I'm also not pointing to the fall of the Premiership but just stating that the salary cap changes for next season is having a undoubted effect of Premiership quality.  There will always be a chance a team can win against the odds but to win a tournament like the Champions Cup you need quality squads.

Premiership sides will still be fielding good first 15's but the quality in behind that just isn't there.  They will have to hope they don't get key injuries during the season because that will stack the odds even further against them.

Time will tell how they go next year and you may be right that a good amount qualify.  I just don't see it myself.  But we will find out which one of our predictions turns out to be correct.


Outside of the big French sides and Leinster everyone is hoping not to pick up injuries to key players because depth isn't there. That's the sport pretty much in general.

Yeah, Glaws falling away over the last couple of months is a good example of injuries to front line players hurting them. Losing your first choice front row will do for most sides.

As I said I think we'll get a couple of Prem sides into the quarters but probably not any further unless there's a kind draw. I'd have backed Tigers against a lot of teams but not Leinster or Toulouse. Get Leinster and you know which way it's going as they are a class above. Chiefs got a more sympathetic draw and they are still in it.

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Post by Welshmushroom Mon 24 Apr 2023, 1:29 pm

For me a worrying problem in rugby as a whole is how I suspect French rugby might end up swallowing up rugby world wide.

Here is some concerning information regarding the playing budgets in Pro D2 in 22/23

FC Grenoble Rugby 13,480 M€
SU Agen 13,079 M€
USON Nevers 12,551 M€
RC Vannes 12,052 M€
Provence Rugby 11,599 M€
Oyonnax Rugby 11,223 M€
US Montalbanaise 10,761 M€
Biarritz Olympique 10,202 M€
US Colomiers 8,559 M€
AS Béziers Hérault 8,094 M€
Mont de Marsans 7,777 M€
Rouen Normandie 7,386 M€
Soyaux Angoulême XV 6,676 M€
Stade Aurillacois 5,964 M€
US Carcassonne 5,952 M€
RC Massy Essone 4,711 M€

That tells me France's second division already have bigger spends that most top tier nations teams. Will all of the remaining pro leagues essentially become feeders for the Top14 & Pro D2 if they continue to grow their income streams.

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Post by thebandwagonsociety Mon 24 Apr 2023, 3:04 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:For me a worrying problem in rugby as a whole is how I suspect French rugby might end up swallowing up rugby world wide.

Here is some concerning information regarding the playing budgets in Pro D2 in 22/23

FC Grenoble Rugby 13,480 M€
SU Agen                13,079 M€
USON Nevers        12,551 M€
RC Vannes                12,052 M€
Provence Rugby        11,599 M€
Oyonnax Rugby        11,223 M€
US Montalbanaise 10,761 M€
Biarritz Olympique 10,202 M€
US Colomiers          8,559 M€
AS Béziers Hérault  8,094 M€
Mont de Marsans  7,777 M€
Rouen Normandie    7,386 M€
Soyaux Angoulême XV 6,676 M€
Stade Aurillacois  5,964 M€
US Carcassonne          5,952 M€
RC Massy Essone  4,711 M€

That tells me France's second division already have bigger spends that most top tier nations teams.  Will all of the remaining pro leagues essentially become feeders for the Top14 & Pro D2 if they continue to grow their income streams.

So taking the english cap as £5m per season, converts to c.€5.7m today, then only one ProD2 club is below the english salary cap.

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