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KCR

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Pacific Super 12 and beyond

Multiple publications have reported that the 2022 Super Rugby season could feature two Pacific Island teams: Moana Pacifika, based in Auckland, and a Fijian side participating in what would be a new Pacific Super 12.

Cheers Nico, there’s some quality players in that group. This team would definitely be better than none and they are there already so they can train straight away and no time away from family.

BREAKING: Australia and New Zealand pull the pin on league World Cup

Putting my own bias up front I prefer representative football to the NRL, but I do understand why Australia and NZ have taken the step of not sending players. Player welfare is important. What I don’t understand is why they have removed the teams from the competition entirely. They would certainly be able to make competitive teams from the players already based in Europe and the UK.

I don’t think that this would harm the competition, in fact I think that it would make it more unpredictable and competitive. Seeing some older faces in the international jersey could actually be something worth watching more than say a series of beltings and a finals game.

I get why the NRL players won’t travel but if they’re already there let them play.

BREAKING: Australia and New Zealand pull the pin on league World Cup

Cheers Sam, good to know that a worthwhile tournament can take place without the NRL players if need be.

Should the Rugby League World Cup go ahead?

Do the ARLC only have a say on Australia or every player in the NRL? Because a solution could be to leave Australian NRL players at home and use the UK based Aussie players. However NZ and the Island teams probably wouldn’t have the depth to be competitive if all NRL players were required to remain in Australia.

Should the Rugby League World Cup go ahead?

Brilliantly written article Irish, thank you. Can’t wait for the game this weekend.

A letter to our French rugby friends

How many did he let in? If you’re interested in history. When he made his debut the Wallabies where ranked 2nd in the world, when he left they were outside the top 5. Clearly not a great time for the Wallabies as I said.

Dragons release Israel Folau, door open for rugby league return

If a fullback that can’t kick or tackle is one of the best wallabies then it must have been a dark time for the wallabies.

Dragons release Israel Folau, door open for rugby league return

wouldn’t pay too much attention to Livimore’s comment. As you pointed out his actions didn’t match his words, he was wrongly trying to cast economic doubt on the Dolphins who are worth more than $100, 000, 000. Not only was he completely hypocritical he was just wrong.

Inner-city Brisbane needs a boutique stadium before Ipswich

I don’t know Scotland probably has about 80 local players to choose from. But you are right overloading international talent would be a problem, but well managed imported talent could be beneficial. Daniel Braid at the reds and Potgieter at the Tahs spring to mind. They were single additions that helped the rest of the squad improve.
I said earlier that the issue is a headscratcher and I meant it there are examples of importing talent being necessary. Right now the Force have the most foreign talent and they have been the good news story of the competition. Signing four Argentine players gave them the opportunity to continue playing top level rugby in a test friendly competition. They had to sign these players and others to be competitive, if they continued to go seasons without victory local interest would die and development would suffer. In this case is large level importing a necessary evil?
Living in Australia I think that there is too much focus on NZ, there is a wide world of rugby out there full of colourful places and personalities. I am not against importing players from around the world or doing deals with Japan, USA and Argentina to swap talent, think bigger than NZ.
It would take some work to find talent less charted rugby nations, however I actually think that it is something RA would be good at. It is all about networking, you could have some scouts that live in Hong Kong, Romania, Namibia, Kenya and Georgia send a group email saying Brad from QLD wants a tall lineout option and wait for videos to roll in. That is very simplified but you get what I mean it could be done and it could benefit a lot of parties.

The Thursday rugby two-up: Super Rugby review

It is a bit of a headscratcher, if some sort of cross Tasman competition continues then I think that importing players would benefit the competition and I don’t think that it would have a massive impact on the Wallabies as an Australian player in the top 3 of their position would still find a starting role in the club. What does concern me is what happens at the lower levels in both countries.
Earlier this year I read an article that spoke about the negative impact that the Singapore based Asia Pacific Dragons GRR team was having on Otago club rugby. As the coach had links to this region many players left club rugby in Otago to play in Singapore, leaving club rugby in Otago at a lower standard compared to previous years. The concerns were that prolonged drops in quality at this level would decrease the quality moving up the chain. Also in Australia over reliance on foreign imports could have the opposite problem in Australia. if pathways for young players are blocked they may choose to take their talents to other codes. I wouldn’t be against imports to improve the competition, but some regulations would have to be in place.
I also don’t understand why it has to be NZ players going to Australia. Why not search for players from countries without fully professional leagues, or with underdeveloped leagues. Places like Eastern Europe, Namibia or Kenya, surely elite players from these countries would jump at the chance to play in professional rugby in Australia.

The Thursday rugby two-up: Super Rugby review

Greats article JK, I appreciate the tenacity and passion that you have for the subject. I think that you have made some great points, except I disagree with having a super bowl. As I said in another thread the Bledisloe is our super bowl, the two best versing each other in a meaningful competition. Compare the Reds Crusaders game this year to the opening Bledisloe last year to see the different levels of fan engagement. Also such a concept would be superfluous with 3 Bledisloe games as well as the Champions League.

I really like the Champions league/ Trans Tasman concept that you have proposed, I think that it keeps fans of all teams invested. I have often felt that Super Rugby has created some of the best quality games in a calendar year but has lacked the connection with fans at times. SRAU and Aotearoa looked to have found that meaning and should fight tooth and nail to retain it. Thank you for your articles and look forward to more in the future. Cheers.

Stop complaining that Super Rugby Aotearoa is too intense and boring

I am probably in the minority here but I don’t see the point of a one off game between AU and NZ provincial teams unless it is part of a larger tournament.
The national teams already play each other 3 times a year. If we don’t verse everyone on their own turf we should just stay apart and build anticipation for the tests. It’s like that saying we can’t miss you if you don’t leave.
In saying that if Australian and NZ teams were part of a larger world or Asian championship then that could be worth a look.
I could be wrong but all I am saying is that a championship game would have to be marketed extremely well to get interest. You would want a superbowl, but you could get another standard exhibition game, I am of the opinion that the bledisloe is our superbowl. But that is just an opinion, the upside to a one off championship is that it would be relatively inexpensive and easy to organise so it could be worth a try, cheers.

The Thursday rugby two-up: Super Rugby review

In the 90s centre was a far more glamorous position than it is today, occupied by the likes of Renouf, Meninga and Ettingshausen. Centres in those days were more central to the action, they were secondary play makers and often dazzling try scorers.
So selecting a centre back then would be like selecting a FB now.

Phil Gould slams a key Queensland Origin selection for game two

There’s a lot more to rugby than a single tournament every 4 years.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

Thanks Wayne just gave it a quick listen. He did reiterate some points that I had made, namely that this would be good for the OG pro 12 teams and the 4 South African sides. That much was obvious but the specific advantages for English and French clubs were not addressed. He stated that Leinster was keen for the competition but not the English and French. All he said of them was that they would want to play a variety of clubs and then named 3 European clubs. The French and English interests were not really mentioned, now I understand that the show is for pro 14 so they won’t get a mention but it is something worth thinking about. Clearly there is significant revenue from supersport, I don’t know how much of this the individual clubs see but it would be at least some increase. Because of this I imagine that the clubs will fall in line. But if the fans begin to tire of not being able to follow their team physically or if the negative impacts of travel affect the on field product the fans will voice their objections, particularly in England and France.
There was an interesting part that I found a little concerning, where Mr Anayi completely butchers the history of the state of origin. He gets the dates wrong the first game of Origin was in 1980 not the 60s as he stated, he said that it was a club game it is actually representative but the worst is that he seemed amazed that it was so successful. Everyone, at least in QLD, knew that it was going to be revolutionary to the sport. It was an event bigger than sport and that is because it was built on passion and history. The fans, players and state leagues were demanding it to the point where they couldn’t be ignored, such support was always going to ensure success. The fans of pro 12 are not passionately demanding the inclusion of South African teams in fact there are some who don’t want them. This venture seems to be born of business not passion, as a result they are convincing fans instead of listening to them.
I am not saying that they won’t be successful. I am confident that they have done the appropriate cost benefit analyses and will make it work. They will have to work hard to continually make sure that the inclusion of South African provinces is a benefit recognised by the owners, players, staff and fans of all of the European teams. I sincerely hope that they do make it work, it would be a loss to our sport to have these great nations of our game be less than successful. Cheers.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

Farwell Lunar Pups, the world did not deserve you.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

RANT ALERT read the rest at your own risk, it is almost entirely theory based but still entertaining you have been warned.
I don’t know how expanded the viewership would be. As has been mentioned South Africa is in the west European time zone, I would imagine that many South Africans are already watching Heineken cup.
Also the money would come from sponsorship, so given the strength or weakness of the rand are extra South African viewers going to be worth it for companies trying to spruik their products. When you consider that each South African team would be replacing a UK or European team, perhaps these sponsors would have preferred extra viewers in Cardiff, Glasgow or Treviso, that is once again assuming that those South African viewers aren’t already watching their compatriots in Euro teams in the Heineken cup.
Aslo I imagine that French and English club owners aren’t in too much of a hurry to help strengthen South African rugby. If South African rugby is strong their provinces will be able to hold onto more top players, which means that they won’t be going to England or France. This won’t have much of an impact on the Celtic or Italian teams.
The English and French will definitely hate the travel and all of the costs financially and physically involved in such travel. The South Africans, Italians and Celts have already signed up for this, the English and French haven’t.
On the upside South African teams will add prestige to the competition, however the Heineken cup is already considered to be the equivalent of Super Rugby by European fans so how much prestige they add is debatable.
The real benefit for European rugby, not so much the clubs, is that it could make way for the Springboks to join an expanded 6nations, as they would be completely aligned with the rest of Europe at that point. The clubs would agree to this as they still go to the national unions for handouts when times are tough. As I said before I respect and want the best for Celtic and South African Rugby and hope that everything works out.
Rant over, thank you for letting me vent. Cheers

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

I am glad that you mentioned club comp as it is important to know that what is good for Northern Hemisphere rugby is not always aligned with what is good for private club owners. It is actually good for Global rugby, both North and South, to have multiple strong nations including South Africa.

My theory is that a weakened South African rugby is better for European club owners as it makes it easier for them to buy South African players.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

I don’t have an answer, but I do have another question. What’s in it for French and English clubs to help South African provinces?

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

Still some questions, are the Jaguares still moving to Spain and would such a team replace an existing European team? Also how do the European Pro 14 fans feel about this?
The BBC site has some answers, there seems to be mixed fan reaction. It is difficult see if the majority of opposition comes from the Pro 14 fans or fans from England and France not wanting South African teams in the Euro comp. They seem to welcome the added competition of the more successful SA former Super Rugby teams, and the ability to have them on their soil. They lament not being able to travel to away games, the travel toll in general, the name and the conference system. So a mixed bag.
Also the site claims that URC competition creators don’t want any changes to the format so a new team, the Jaguares or Cheetahs, would have to be at the expense of another.
The site also states that despite the pool system there would be one combined table and the top 8 teams would qualify for the URC finals. The 4 pool champions, and the next best 4 on the combined ladder would qualify for Europe pending approval of the SA teams into the European championship. So a lot of news to look forward to.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

All UCR teams play each other at least once so it is slightly better. There is a slight difference on BBC site to this article. The BBC suggests that the top 8 on a single combined table will qualify for KO finals.

The pool champions do however, automatically qualify for Europe, if this is the case the pools will not be as significant for the URC as a stand alone competition. Interested to see which is the case.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

Agree with a lot of what you have said. But I have enjoyed both SR Aotearoa and SRAU a hell of a lot.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

I might have read that wrong, but appeasing an underperforming union is not a great start. I just assumed the pools were to ease travel burdens and maintain local rivalries.

It is slightly better than Super Rugby’s conference system as at least the URC teams all play each other at least once.

Trying to have a large multicontinental tournament while maintaining local tribalism and controlling travel is almost like putting all the shopping in one bag, but wanting that bag to be light.

It is a balancing act, but it is possible and as I said earlier good luck to them.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

Atlantic Pro Rugby, or Pro Rugby Atlantic I like geographical context in my sporting names eg European Champions league, NBA, NRL A-league etc.
Super 12 and Super Rugby aren’t as good as SR Aotearoa and SRAU as competition names, the latter let the viewer know what they will be watching.
I did like the original Celtic League but that name has not been accurate for some time.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

Best of luck to all involved they both deserve and need it. Hopefully the SA teams have found a home and the pro 12 teams will have some new eyes on the product.

Watching rugby in the limited time I was living in Europe, I found the then Magners league to be the most entertaining viewing experience now they have a larger population watching them. Once again best of luck, don’t mess it up.

Pro14, South African rugby clubs form United Rugby Championship

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