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English clubs could join with the URC to create a Super League

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Post by Pot Hale Thu 19 Oct 2023, 12:40 pm

It's been reported in media that talks are taking place between the URC and Premiership Rugby that would see English clubs joining the 16 teams in the URC to create a two-division super league.

The timing for such a change is rumoured to be in about 3 years to coincide with the start of the new world club championship.

The creation of such a league would allow greater sharing of backroom costs for administration and management, and provide a more attractive proposition for TV companies bidding to air the rights across the four participating countries broadcast territories in South Africa, UK, Italy and Ireland.

It would also restore the possibility of some English-Welsh fixtures - depending on which teams in which division - that would hopefully boost crowds and match-day revenues for the Welsh regions.

Reaction to the proposition has been mixed.

Thoughts anyone?


https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/talks-over-british-and-irish-super-league-take-place-at-world-cup-as-club-game-faces-massive-shake-up/a1906146672.html
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Post by Hazel Sapling Thu 19 Oct 2023, 1:00 pm

10 teams in England with 16 teams from URC would be a division of 14 and a division of 12 unless Italy/SA/Scotland/Portugal/Spain can come up with two teams between them to make it 14.

As with all of these things, the devil is in the details and there have been several false dawns before

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 19 Oct 2023, 1:14 pm

Why not two leagues of 13. Then a team gets a rest every few weeks. Player welfare and all that

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Post by Unclear Thu 19 Oct 2023, 5:07 pm

Presumably it will be "conferences" not divisions (who is going to sign up to being second division) with play offs etc. How do things get split between conferences if there is a drive to maintain local derbies from some? How will the travel between Europe and SA work? The article concedes it will affect the Champions Cup, will it be a way of reducing game numbers by getting rid of that competition? What about the Premiership salary cap? Lots of questions, and too early for any answers.

Ultimately money will drive this to success or back on the scrap heap. If the big clubs think they can make more money with a "super league" then it will be difficult stop completely.

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Thu 19 Oct 2023, 6:03 pm

Unclear wrote:Presumably it will be "conferences" not divisions (who is going to sign up to being second division) with play offs etc.  How do things get split between conferences if there is a drive to maintain local derbies from some?  How will the travel between Europe and SA work?  The article concedes it will affect the Champions Cup, will it be a way of reducing game numbers by getting rid of that competition?  What about the Premiership salary cap?  Lots of questions, and too early for any answers.

Ultimately money will drive this to success or back on the scrap heap.  If the big clubs think they can make more money with a "super league" then it will be difficult stop completely.  
I guess that the HC could still be a thing as you could get put in a group with the teams in the opposite conference and the French teams.

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Post by carpet baboon Thu 19 Oct 2023, 6:36 pm

I would file this in the same category as all the "Welsh regions in talks with PRL"
Little to no actual truth in it but serves to get column inches in the hope for a better negotiating position/sponsor/TV deal delete as applicable.
The URC are looking for a new TV deal would be worth this idea floating round in the hope BT/TNT decide to get in early.
PRL need some good publicity and this could attract sponsors.

But until someone high up is willing to put their name to it and state it's happening I doubt it's anything at the moment

Posted this elsewhere. Thought I would add it here

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Post by Intotouch Thu 19 Oct 2023, 9:46 pm

What fresh hell is this?

I know the URC and prem share offices in London so this type of idea was bound to be considered at some point but really and truly are they determined to undermine and devalue the h cup? They make more money but the European cup as was crashes and dies from the boredom of repeated matches against the same opponents. Or do they make more money? If the prem clubs still spend more than they earn this won't solve their financial problems.

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Post by TJ Fri 20 Oct 2023, 4:42 am

PRL will never go for it. Pie in the sky.

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Post by Old Man Fri 20 Oct 2023, 8:04 am

I haven't really thought about the impactand popularity of the URC in Europe much the last year, do the Celtic nations and Italy's supporters love it, what do everyone think about it, has it been a success and has itimproved the tournament?

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 20 Oct 2023, 9:39 am

Old Man wrote:I haven't really thought about the impactand popularity of the URC in Europe much the last year, do the Celtic nations and Italy's supporters love it, what do everyone think about it, has it been a success and has itimproved the tournament?

The quality of the rugby and the competitiveness of matches has improved with the addition of the SA teams. the competition for top 8 is absurdly fierce with European qualification on the line. SA have done so much for the league and have come in at the right time with the unfortunate troubles in welsh rugby lowering their competitiveness (with the hopes that the rebuild in Wales ups the standards over the next couple of years).

For the Scottish clubs, turnout for matches is still really high with the match day experience being much improved, particularly at Edinburghs new pitch.

Tv product is still crud though. I subscribed to Premier sports the first season they had it and then swiftly cancelled it. awful. I miss my rugby being distributed via BBC Alba. no idea what the commentary was saying but that was part of the fun.

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 20 Oct 2023, 9:58 am

TJ wrote:PRL will never go for it.  Pie in the sky.

If more clubs go belly up they might - an 8 team for example would not work for all sorts of reasons

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Post by geoff999rugby Fri 20 Oct 2023, 9:59 am

Old Man wrote:I haven't really thought about the impactand popularity of the URC in Europe much the last year, do the Celtic nations and Italy's supporters love it, what do everyone think about it, has it been a success and has itimproved the tournament?

Cant speak for other nations but the Saffers joining has certainly heighten interest in Ireland

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Post by Tramptastic Fri 20 Oct 2023, 10:07 am

geoff999rugby wrote:
TJ wrote:PRL will never go for it.  Pie in the sky.

If more clubs go belly up they might - an 8 team for example would not work for all sorts of reasons

Agreed, correct if im wrong but from the 2000s onwards it always seemed like the PRL wanted a clear distinction between themselves and the RFU. Now that things are, financially, going a bit wobbly it seems they are looking for a bit more help and/or financial injection.

There doesn't seem to be many millionaires willing to stick their hands in pockets so I wouldn't be surprised if the PRL are having a look at all options. Details to be hashed out but after 2 decades of player pay overinflation, lack of support from the RFU and lack of investors and a big dollop of pandemic, things are not so rosey.

Lack of resource always motivates change in society. In this case its lack of financial resource. Alarms are going off in english club rugby, expect some unexpected solutions.

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 20 Oct 2023, 10:38 am

Old Man wrote:I haven't really thought about the impactand popularity of the URC in Europe much the last year, do the Celtic nations and Italy's supporters love it, what do everyone think about it, has it been a success and has itimproved the tournament?

I actually think its been one of the best moves for the league in the last 10 years. Attendance numbers across the board look pretty good in Ireland, Scotland, Italy & SA (compared to the numbers they were getting in Super Rugby).

Only Wales has been poor but to be fair it was poor before SA joined. Part of that I think is that 2 of the 4 teams are in competition with Football. Another one simply doesn't have the population and the last one simply being bottom of the pile (but have always argued should have been the Welsh Leinster given the history of the game in the area).

I reckon the league will go from strength to strength in years to come....

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Post by BigGee Fri 20 Oct 2023, 11:09 am

The second season was an improvement on the first to be sure.

The overall standards of the matches has improved, more teams have been competitive and the knockouts were surprisingly good. With great crowds.

It does seem to be on an upwards trajectory.

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Post by Old Man Fri 20 Oct 2023, 12:47 pm

From an SA perspective it seems the locals have enjoyed the URC as well, and overall it seems positive

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 20 Oct 2023, 4:45 pm

What's been really amazing is both season I didn't actually expect those winners. Wonder if this year someone else will win it? There are a few teams with the squads capable of it.

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Post by BigGee Fri 20 Oct 2023, 4:46 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:What's been really amazing is both season I didn't actually expect those winners.  Wonder if this year someone else will win it?  There are a few teams with the squads capable of it.  


What you mean is, it is incredible that Leinster have not won the league for 2 years now Laugh Laugh

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Post by Welshmushroom Fri 20 Oct 2023, 4:51 pm

Pretty much English clubs could join with the URC to create a Super League 1f602 English clubs could join with the URC to create a Super League 1f602

To be fair they dominated this league for so long....

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Post by LeinsterFan4life Fri 20 Oct 2023, 5:20 pm

Welshmushroom wrote:Pretty much  English clubs could join with the URC to create a Super League 1f602  English clubs could join with the URC to create a Super League 1f602

To be fair they dominated this league for so long....
We've had a spell but all and all the diversity of winners throughout the celtic league/pro X/URC has been pretty good.

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Post by Pot Hale Tue 24 Oct 2023, 2:37 am

Interesting article in Telegraph about Premiership Rugby “racing” to cut a new TV deal with TNT. Value of current 3-year deal is £110m and analysts say that TNT will likely seek a discount on last deal given the loss of 4 clubs already and a lower quality product as a result.  

Wonder when the rights for EPCR and URC will be up for renewal?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/10/23/premiership-rugby-tv-deal-tnt-sports-before-auction-ends/
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Post by LeinsterFan4life Tue 24 Oct 2023, 7:43 am

Pot Hale wrote:Interesting article in Telegraph about Premiership Rugby “racing” to cut a new TV deal with TNT. Value of current 3-year deal is £110m and analysts say that TNT will likely seek a discount on last deal given the loss of 4 clubs already and a lower quality product as a result.  

Wonder when the rights for EPCR and URC will be up for renewal?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/10/23/premiership-rugby-tv-deal-tnt-sports-before-auction-ends/
The article mentions a playoff between the winner of the championship and the bottom of prem to decide promotion/relegation? Does that mean the 10k stadium rule is gone?

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Post by mikey_dragon Tue 24 Oct 2023, 9:52 am

Welsh teams would be foolish to do so, unless their budget is set to go up to 10 million per region. And even then, we currently aren't finding the players locally, so they'll need to come from overseas.

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Post by Welshmushroom Tue 24 Oct 2023, 10:05 pm

Pot Hale wrote:Interesting article in Telegraph about Premiership Rugby “racing” to cut a new TV deal with TNT. Value of current 3-year deal is £110m and analysts say that TNT will likely seek a discount on last deal given the loss of 4 clubs already and a lower quality product as a result.  

Wonder when the rights for EPCR and URC will be up for renewal?

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/business/2023/10/23/premiership-rugby-tv-deal-tnt-sports-before-auction-ends/

Not sure but EPCR is reviewing the Premiership Champions Cup this year. It is highly doubtful they will keep 8 qualifying spots in a 10 team league.

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