@ El gamba and Mike, agree with both of you.
Yes, Imo this is a good thing as it will give more opportunities/options to young rugby talent in this country and, as El Gamba says, they might even come back to Oz later on which would benefit Oz rugby.
We all have choices to make in life and personally, I have as much respect for a young westie who wants to spend all his life playing rugby near mum and dad as I have for a young lad who just dreams of playing rugby and touring the world for as long as he can.
However, I have realised that many people in our hemisphere do not share my opinion and will judge:
- sometimes the players themselves, calling them mercenaries
- often the euro or Japanese clubs for 'poaching' foreign talent.
So yes, am all for the NRC and love the fact young blokes will benefit from it, not only 30-40 rugby players called 'the wallabies'. rugby is a sport for everyone, not only an elite of 30 players.
Just a comment re "NRC represents more opportunities for Oz talent": many players will also use it as a platform to get overseas deals.
Sure some of them will try to get SR contracts but realistically I think many young players will just try to use it as a platform to market themselves and live off professional rugby. For some this will mean get SR contracts and maybe one day be a wallaby, but for many others they will simply look at getting opportunities to pursue a pro rugby career, no matter where it is. And when it comes to that, Europe or Japan offer much better deals than their NRC teams. No doubt some players will choose to move overseas if they are good enough. So we might get a lot of turnover. Imo its not a matter of 'if' but rather 'how many'.
Nice article Yousef, thanks for that. A few discrepancies with what I have read in French media though.
"Moreover, there will be a two-legged playoff tie between the seventh-placed teams in the Top 14 and English Premiership to decide the 20th spot.". Has it been confirmed? The French media say it will be a 1 off match, not 2 legs, played next month (May 2014) for next season cup. Then it will be a play-off series (2 rounds) between the 7th top14, 7th Premiership and 8-9 Pro 12.
Re French tv rights, we should know the winner for the euro comps by June this year. Its currently 15M euros/season (aud22M) and with more networks involved this year it could well reach 30M euros, hence an overall 100M euros/season - aud 150M/season (top 14 + euro comps).
Agree that most euro clubs will be pretty cashed up and even the salary caps in place are somehow misleading: in top 14, its around 10 millions euros/season. That's supposed to cover 'published' salaries but in French rugby (of france in general) there are a lot of kick-backs or 'avantages en nature". No doubt the Botha, Habana and co are offered nice houses, a car, some extra remuneration (PR rights, sponsorships etc) which makes it even harder for SH teams to compete salary wise.