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2 years 3 months ago #55670

I think that the league should be left as it is, the big issue with the Pro12 is marketing because despite what people say the product is every bit as good as Top14 and Premiership Rugby, it's just that very few people are passionate about the league, introducing new teams from SA just introduces a whole new set of issues and won't really serve to increase the prestige of the tournament and interest in it, not long term at least, it may see an upturn for a year or two from those just fascinated by the absurdity of SA teams playing in Europe

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2 years 3 months ago #55682



And that is why you shouldn't expand for the sake of it. Not saying the South African teams would be anywhere near that bad, but a US team probably would be.

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2 years 3 months ago #55684

MulMan wrote: I think that the league should be left as it is, the big issue with the Pro12 is marketing because despite what people say the product is every bit as good as Top14 and Premiership Rugby, it's just that very few people are passionate about the league, introducing new teams from SA just introduces a whole new set of issues and won't really serve to increase the prestige of the tournament and interest in it, not long term at least, it may see an upturn for a year or two from those just fascinated by the absurdity of SA teams playing in Europe


Agree with this and other comments completely, there is far more that goes into making a successful league than the organisers will to put teams together in a group. The needs to be demographics, money, transport, tv, and genuine competitiveness amongst other things. The failure of the american pro rugby league or our own league of Ireland's problems (see Bray this week) shows that the mere existence of a team, even a team that's doing relatively well, is no guarantee of success or attendance. The history of sport is littered with examples of clubs making what seemed like relatively small decisions to move to a new or better ground in a nearby area and completely failing to find their feet, the idea that a league that struggles to fill grounds outside of Ireland and Glasgow will be able to support either travel to South Africa or hosting South African teams in a country outside the league is utterly farcical.

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2 years 3 months ago #55686

After doing a bit of digging I'm fairly sure that this is a done deal, and will be announced Friday.

Actually, I'm looking forward to seeing a South African team playing in the Sportsground. The big question is now, whether it will be two conferences or a single league of 14 teams, my guess is the latter as it will be easier to introduce due to the time constraints.

Thinking about it, if this is the direction the pro12 (pro14 or whatever) is going, it may be preferable in the long run to aim to make 2 divisions, ideally with 10 teams each, and relegation etc.

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2 years 3 months ago #55687

BBC seem to have enough details to suggest this is more than just a kite being flown:
www.bbc.com/sport/rugby-union/40464201

He's suggesting it's not 2 "conferences" as the word is generally used in rugby terms (we really need to have a conference on the meaning of conference), but more like two pools with each country's teams split between the two. Quite what he means by "All the regular local derbies would exist on top of that", I'm not sure.
But the suggestion that Connacht are in line for a million quid might bring me around to the idea :-) (assuming it's a million quid a year, which it probably isn't) ...


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2 years 3 months ago #55688

According to this article, Invalid consumer key/secret in configuration



the input of supersport nearly doubled the pro12s income from tv rights!

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Last edit: 2 years 3 months ago by EnricoPalazzo.
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2 years 3 months ago #55690

I'm a bit confused by the hints at the proposed structure. Not sure how Glasgow and Edinburgh end up playing each other three times. Sounds like you play everyone in your half of the draw twice and then you play extra games against the teams from your own country.
What I really don't like is that he talks about a 6-way playoff. That would be a disaster IMO as it would nearly make the regular season irrelevant and turn it into a 3 week tournament.
The other elephant in the room is the Currie Cup. That is surely worth a lot to the SA teams in TV money and has a big tradition behind it, so I would be surprised if the Cheetahs especially (who are the defending champions) would be willing to give that up.
If they went further and introduced 4 SA teams so they could have four country-based conferences they might have some chance, but this sounds dodgy.
On the plus side, you can get flights to Jo'burg for a little over €500 return and accommodation is cheap so you could probably do the full 2 weeks for less than the price of four weekends in South Wales ...


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2 years 3 months ago #55692

Either the Kings and Cheetahs join the Pro12 or they cease to exist as top level pro outfits, be coming Currie Cup feeders for the remaining 4 Super teams. And the Springboks lose 70 players from their pool for international selection. Whatever the rights and wrongs it's a no brainer for the South Africans.

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2 years 3 months ago #55693

pinky wrote: On the plus side, you can get flights to Jo'burg for a little over €500 return and accommodation is cheap so you could probably do the full 2 weeks for less than the price of four weekends in South Wales ...


I know which trip I would prefer.

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2 years 3 months ago #55695

This is all about TV money. The TV market in the home nations is not getting any bigger any time soon, nor is the Italian market, nor are we going to get average attendances of 25k at Pro12 games. The league needs to generate more income for the teams. The US doesn't really work for TV as you could have a 5-7 hour difference.

SA has a big TV market and has a 1hr time difference.

I do worry about the logistics, they'll have to "tour" up here, maybe play the Irish teams and go home, then a few team go down there and return, then they come back and tour Wales. Something to that effect.

From a TV schedule point of view, it makes more sense to have them play in Europe than play in AUS/NZ, that would be like us having a Japanese team play in the Pro12. I know they have a history of playing together, but, considering the geographical placement of SANZAR it is a very inconvenient relationship.

If they can figure out the logistics, and if the TV money is big, then this might work. Also, it will probably see the end of the Italians getting an auto qualifier into the Champions Cup.

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2 years 3 months ago #55696

Magpie wrote: This is all about TV money. The TV market in the home nations is not getting any bigger any time soon, nor is the Italian market, nor are we going to get average attendances of 25k at Pro12 games. The league needs to generate more income for the teams. The US doesn't really work for TV as you could have a 5-7 hour difference.

SA has a big TV market and has a 1hr time difference.

I do worry about the logistics, they'll have to "tour" up here, maybe play the Irish teams and go home, then a few team go down there and return, then they come back and tour Wales. Something to that effect.

From a TV schedule point of view, it makes more sense to have them play in Europe than play in AUS/NZ, that would be like us having a Japanese team play in the Pro12. I know they have a history of playing together, but, considering the geographical placement of SANZAR it is a very inconvenient relationship.

If they can figure out the logistics, and if the TV money is big, then this might work. Also, it will probably see the end of the Italians getting an auto qualifier into the Champions Cup.


That's already being announced. Qualification is now based on league position only. Top 7 qualify regardless of country

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2 years 3 months ago #55697

As far as I know, the auto qualifier rule is gone next season, as is the playoff, just Top 7 in Pro 12, highly likely to go Top 6 the season after.

The time diff is ok, but the seasons would probably mean that SA teams play all home matches in Sept-Oct and March-April as the summer would be too hot for matches, especially in Bloemfontein, where it will be very hot and is at altitude. The Cheetahs home match on Saturday looked warm, (jumpers not jackets) and it is the middle of winter.

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2 years 3 months ago #55698

pinky wrote: Not sure how Glasgow and Edinburgh end up playing each other three times. Sounds like you play everyone in your half of the draw twice and then you play extra games against the teams from your own country.


Yes, but I still don't see 3 for the Scots. Presumably they shouldn't be in the same group; but they need the same number of games as Irish teams; so I would expect 2, or 4 (if we will have home and away for ours).

So, nice head start for Glasgow in European qualifying in that case, on current form.

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2 years 3 months ago #55704

Definitely feel that I'm in the minority here, but I'm kind of excited about the Saffas joining the league


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2 years 3 months ago #55705

These various leaked hints at league structure were doing my head in but then it came to me in a dream (OK a little artistic licence used there).
Split into two groups as the two articles suggested, with two Irish/Welsh and one from each other country in each group.
You play the other teams in your group twice : 12 games
You play each team in the other group once : 7 games
But that leaves you short on lucrative interpros so you play the teams from your own country in the other group a second time. That makes two more games for Irish and Welsh teams, but only one for the others. So to make up the numbers, the Scots/Italian/SA teams play a third derby.
So 21 regular season games but if, as suggested, there will be a third round in the playoff, the total length of the season will be the same.
As TYWBD said, it gives a bit of an advantage to Glasgow (and potentially Treviso and Cheetahs depending on how competitive their neighbours are) but all in all it wouldn't be the worst structure. As long as everyone plays everyone and the interpros aren't reduced, that's the main boxes ticked.


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2 years 3 months ago #55707

In a 2 tier scenario how does European qualification work? Another playoff? Top 3 from both sides and a playoff between the 4th placed teams disregarding the Saffers.

Isn't there a saying in PR that says when you're explaining you're losing well there's gonna be a whole lot of explaining in whatever happens. It's not as if the league has an image problem as it is

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