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RoyalBlueStuey
21-12-06, 01:36 PM
Can anyone think of a reason why this doesn't make sense :

London Welsh ask to play in the Magners League (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/6199419.stm)

getofmeland
21-12-06, 01:43 PM
Well I dont blame them, as currently anything below the Premiership in the English League is underfunded...

Teams like the Pirates, and such others manage in the league, just about, but there is such a depth of tallent available in the lower leagues, under the Guinness Premiership, a good example is Bristol, they have a lot of players that were with them in their NL1 days...

The RFU should be looking to bridge this gap in funding, I would love to be able to watch some NL1 Rugby on Sky or BBC on a weekend but currently restricted to one game a week in the Guinness Premiership... its time for someone to invest in the NL1..

RoyalBlueStuey
21-12-06, 01:57 PM
Agreed but wildly quixotic schemes involving struggling 2nd tier teams playing rugby in the top tier another country's league isn't the way forward.

Plus I've never encountered a more cockernee rugby team than London Welsh.

An Tarbh
21-12-06, 02:42 PM
Yeah they're not up to the standard and it would mean extra games which isn't welcome, if it's at the expense of one of the other welsh teams then fine but if not then it's not welcome imo.

Prestwick
21-12-06, 10:45 PM
BBC Sport: London Welsh mooting move to Magners League. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/rugby_union/english/6199419.stm)

Wales might just get it's 5th region back. The 2nd best exiles club, London Welsh, want to move to the Magners League if the conditions in the current English league set up change in the next few years.

They do insist however quite bluntly that it will remain an idea until they can get the funding to get into the Magners League, get a decent web site and so forth. They will not be seeking any help from the WRU so (for now) the current big four of Welsh rugby can breathe a sigh of relief.

gjohn85
21-12-06, 10:51 PM
Don't want London Welsh as a fourth region, I want the Celtic Warriors, better still, I want Ponty back!
Nah, could be the right step forward for the side. Will be interesting what the outcome will be.

Prestwick
21-12-06, 11:12 PM
The problem with the Celtic Warriors was that it didn't make financial sense, especially when being owned by a WRU lumbered with the debts incurred from building a brand spanking new national rugby stadium.

It neeeded to go. The WRU was already paying 2 Million per region anyway (with a smaller amount going to the single club teams) and in its position couldn't afford to sustain a 5th club on its own.

When presented with the choice of sabotaging the long term future of Welsh Rugby by keeping the Warriors or dissolving the franchise, he dissolved the franchise. A correct decision in my book.

Cymro
21-12-06, 11:50 PM
To be honest I think its an interesting idea! They are a great club with allot of history. To be honest they would probably be better than Borders and Connacht. My oinly quibble is theur funding.

They say they can fund themselves but I dunno how they could sustain it!

Cymro
21-12-06, 11:52 PM
London Welsh is by far a very historical club for Welsh players and I would welcome them into the Magners League!

O'Rothlain
22-12-06, 01:42 AM
What next, London Irish?

Intersting idea. I'm not opposed to it one bit.

Bullitt
22-12-06, 07:07 AM
Guess it means I'll never get to laugh at their "ground" on The Rugby Club's ND1 roundup anymore...

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 07:26 AM
To be honest I think its an interesting idea! They are a great club with allot of history. To be honest they would probably be better than Borders and Connacht. My oinly quibble is theur funding.

They say they can fund themselves but I dunno how they could sustain it!
[/b]

There's quite a gulf between NL1 and the Magners League. You've a high opinion of London Welsh who are only mooting this idea cause they're too crap to be included in a ringfenced system of the top 2 league so they think they're worthy of a place in the Magners league, absolute madness.

As for saying they're probably better than Connacht and Borders, that seems an overstatement if ever there was one, you have Borders in the HEC and Connacht have twice gotten to the semi finals of the challenge cup which is of a far higher standard than NL1. Even Borders have finished ahead of more established Welsh clubs like Newport and Bridgend before the franchises came on stream so not much chance of London Welsh holding their own.

RoyalBlueStuey
22-12-06, 07:44 AM
Guess it means I'll never get to laugh at their "ground" on The Rugby Club's ND1 roundup anymore...
[/b]

I was unaware such a thing existed...I've never seen cameras at 'loo. Do they just cover the southern clubs.

If they've been at Blundellsands I was the one with the pint looking depressed....oh wait that's all of us.

It'd be bonkers to let London Welsh into the Magners. Is there no rugby culture in North Wales or Inverness/Aberdeen? Surely that's where expansion needs to happen.

What's wrong with this picture? :

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6c/Welsh-Rugby-Regions-2003.jpg

SB

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 07:48 AM
it would be bonkers alright, even in England they're looking at reducing the number of clubs in the premiership to 10 so it would be bonkers to increase the matches in the ML at the same time. Now I doubt the premiership proposal would see the light of day unless there's some serious compensation for the clubs but the fact remains it's about reducing the workload of players not increasing it.

Prestwick
22-12-06, 12:15 PM
It'd be bonkers to let London Welsh into the Magners. Is there no rugby culture in North Wales or Inverness/Aberdeen? Surely that's where expansion needs to happen.

What's wrong with this picture? :

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6c/Welsh-Rugby-Regions-2003.jpg

SB
[/b]

As a student of RGU in Aberdeen, I feel best placed to answer that question.

The main problem is that you have a top SPL soccer team (Aberdeen) up there as well as legions of Irish student (usually trainee pharmacists) who, yes, like rugby, but mainly play alot of gailic games. Aberdeen Uni and RGU both have very strong Gailic football teams for example but weak Rugby and even soccer teams.

The main Rugby club is the old Aberdeen RFC but that has it's ground a bit out of town. Its easier to get to Pittodrie on the coast near Brig 'o' Don than it is to get to A-RFU's ground.

Haha, deviating slightly, I remember training for the Aberdeen OTC's Rugby team in Seaton Park, dodging heroin syringes and broken glass or torn up Tennants cans. We did have an amazing Canadian full back though who did ballet as a hobby. He was fast, aggressive and sublime. Just what you need from a REAL (running) Full Back!

Anyway, however, I totally think Scotland could easily get a 4th region going based out of Aberdeen and playing in Aberdeen FC's Pittodrie ground. Its easy to get to, lots of seats and the only thing that I could think of that could keep punters away are the horrible -5 degree North Sea winds that blow over the place in Winter.

But I would say the Club would get more Irish and English Student supporters more than actual locals. Aberdeen's 120,000 odd inhabitants are mostly made up of outsiders (at least 30,000 are students!) so it'll take time to sell it to the good people of Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeenshire.

SmokeyMonkey
22-12-06, 12:27 PM
What's wrong with this picture is that it's out of date because the Celtic Warriors are defunct:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6c/Welsh-Rugby-Regions-2003.jpg

New pic:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/ae/WalesRugbyRegions.svg/375px-WalesRugbyRegions.svg.png

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 12:57 PM
<div class='quotemain'>

It&#39;d be bonkers to let London Welsh into the Magners. Is there no rugby culture in North Wales or Inverness/Aberdeen? Surely that&#39;s where expansion needs to happen.

What&#39;s wrong with this picture? :

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/6c/Welsh-Rugby-Regions-2003.jpg

SB
[/b]

As a student of RGU in Aberdeen, I feel best placed to answer that question.

The main problem is that you have a top SPL soccer team (Aberdeen) up there as well as legions of Irish student (usually trainee pharmacists) who, yes, like rugby, but mainly play alot of gailic games. Aberdeen Uni and RGU both have very strong Gailic football teams for example but weak Rugby and even soccer teams.

The main Rugby club is the old Aberdeen RFC but that has it&#39;s ground a bit out of town. Its easier to get to Pittodrie on the coast near Brig &#39;o&#39; Don than it is to get to A-RFU&#39;s ground.

Haha, deviating slightly, I remember training for the Aberdeen OTC&#39;s Rugby team in Seaton Park, dodging heroin syringes and broken glass or torn up Tennants cans. We did have an amazing Canadian full back though who did ballet as a hobby. He was fast, aggressive and sublime. Just what you need from a REAL (running) Full Back!

Anyway, however, I totally think Scotland could easily get a 4th region going based out of Aberdeen and playing in Aberdeen FC&#39;s Pittodrie ground. Its easy to get to, lots of seats and the only thing that I could think of that could keep punters away are the horrible -5 degree North Sea winds that blow over the place in Winter.

But I would say the Club would get more Irish and English Student supporters more than actual locals. Aberdeen&#39;s 120,000 odd inhabitants are mostly made up of outsiders (at least 30,000 are students!) so it&#39;ll take time to sell it to the good people of Dundee, Inverness and Aberdeenshire.
[/b][/quote]

I&#39;d say given the fact that the standards are declining in gaelic football then I&#39;d say interest might drop off in university teams abroad and you&#39;ll find that a greater number should be signing up with the rugby teams given the state of the game in the country at the moment.

RoyalBlueStuey
22-12-06, 01:40 PM
What&#39;s wrong with this picture is that it&#39;s out of date because the Celtic Warriors are defunct:
[/b]

It was more an illustration that North Wales could possible do with a rugby team...The Aberdeen option is a good&#39;n...perhaps with the odd game at Inverness too.

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 02:22 PM
I honestly don&#39;t think another team is an option unless they take over from one of the current crop.

Prestwick
22-12-06, 02:58 PM
The only way that you&#39;d be able to fit enough teams into a league like the Magners and keep the number of games down is to essentially split it into two divisions.

However that would be a very silly state of affairs to be honest, unless Ireland is willing to give up a space, I seriously doubt that there would be the capacity.

The same problem faces any entry of one, even two Italian teams. That how can you best deal with the increase of games?

If we had the ideal conditions for the entry of one or two new teams however, Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland would be fertile territory although expect similar crowd numbers to that of say Border Reivers and expect most of them to be Students initially!

Occasional games at places like Stonehaven, Peterhead, Dundee and Inverness would be a good way of spreading the name of the team and selling it to the North East of Scotland.

The very last thing you want to do however is to just call it "Aberdeen Rugby" as that would essentially kill any support for it outside of Aberdeenshire.

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 03:04 PM
The thing with the current format is that it suits us as we get the home and away derbies with all the teams whereas in the first few years Munster and Leinster were kept apart in the 2 divisions and given the crowds those games get there&#39;s not much chance of going back to that situation.

That&#39;s probably one of the main arguments against having a Super 14 format if the number of teams were increased.

Prestwick
22-12-06, 03:26 PM
Having two divisions or conferences in the ML would be illogical anyway, especially when we are (trying at least) to work towards an ad-hoc unified European league with the existing leagues as they are acting as conferences.

Sadly, in order to make European rugby competitive, you won&#39;t be able to introduce new teams. Sad but thats the fact.

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 03:47 PM
There&#39;s too many competitive teams in Europe for a Super league to be viable. It&#39;s a nice idea and all but we&#39;re getting as close to a permanent system with the way it is now, most likely looking at reducing the number of teams in both England and France which will take some doing.

RoyalBlueStuey
22-12-06, 04:52 PM
If we had the ideal conditions for the entry of one or two new teams however, Aberdeen and the North East of Scotland would be fertile territory although expect similar crowd numbers to that of say Border Reivers and expect most of them to be Students initially!

Occasional games at places like Stonehaven, Peterhead, Dundee and Inverness would be a good way of spreading the name of the team and selling it to the North East of Scotland.

The very last thing you want to do however is to just call it "Aberdeen Rugby" as that would essentially kill any support for it outside of Aberdeenshire.
[/b]

I&#39;m sure some of that tacky Braveheart nonsense could be employed to come up with something suitable. Something along the lines of The Highland something-or-others

snoopy snoopy dog dog
22-12-06, 04:53 PM
There&#39;s too many competitive teams in Europe for a Super league to be viable. It&#39;s a nice idea and all but we&#39;re getting as close to a permanent system with the way it is now, most likely looking at reducing the number of teams in both England and France which will take some doing.
[/b]
I think the big clubs might be in favour of it given certain conditions. We regularly hear how Connacht, Newport Gwent Dragons and Border Reivers aren&#39;t viable entities in the Magners League. Assume those three teams are permed from a new European Super League. Add two Italian teams to the mix and that brings the representation of those four countries up to 10. Then say for example the league is going to have 36 teams. That would allow the Top 14 and Guinness Premiership remain en bloc. Split the league into four conferences of nine teams and have conference rivals play each other twice. That&#39;s 16 games. Play two teams from each of the other conferences (once off games) and you have a 22 game regular season followed by an eight team knockout competition.

Perhaps the Conferences could look like this:

Magners Celtic Conference
Edinburgh
Glasgow
Llanelli
Cardiff
Ospreys
Leinster
Ulster
Munster
London Irish (here due to the Irish exiles connection)

Guinness Conference
Newcastle Falcons
Sale Sharks
Northampton Saints
Leicester Tigers
Gloucester
Bath
Worcester
Bristol (west country clubs kept together)
Wasps

Anglo-French Conference
Saracens
Harlequins (keeps both genuine London clubs together)
Paris Stade Francais
Clermont Auvergne
Toulouse
Brive
Montauban
Narbonne
Agen

Franco-Italian Southern Conference
Biarritz
Perpignan
Castres
Bourgoin
Bayonne
Montpellier
Albi
Treviso
Calvisano

I know it&#39;s all pie in the sky (and 99.9999999999% certainly wouldn&#39;t happen) but it could potentially draw more money than the current system. It also erases about 10 needless games from the calender (EDF Cup, GP and Top 14 playoffs along with the dead wood in the ML are gone) each season while maximising local derbies. The system placates Serge Blanco in his bid for a higher representation in the Heineken Cup (for Top 14 teams) and effectively ring fences the Premiership. If the league took off, an additional 4 teams could be added in places such as Barcelona, Madrid (with both cities now seemingly getting the backing of football clubs), a return of some of the Celtic teams cut adrift (Connacht, Dragons, Borders) in this plan, a new Italian team or a team based out of Bucharest.

The primary hurdle to overcome would be that of TV deals having to be torn up which would result in legal action.

RoyalBlueStuey
22-12-06, 04:56 PM
(keeps both genuine London clubs together)
[/b]

Don&#39;t Sarries play in Watford?

Can this plan not include a South West team too? If we are going down the road of franchises then Yorkshire and the South West really need to be covered.

Prestwick
22-12-06, 04:58 PM
Yes, the best team in the GP do indeed play in Watford :D

RoyalBlueStuey
22-12-06, 05:00 PM
Yes, the best team in the GP do indeed play in Watford :D
[/b]

Does that mean you qualify for Mockney status?

It was the same at the Everton v Luton game....you&#39;d think Luton was down by the Bow bells (guvna, cor blimey)

snoopy snoopy dog dog
22-12-06, 05:08 PM
<div class='quotemain'>
(keeps both genuine London clubs together)
[/b]

Don&#39;t Sarries play in Watford?

Can this plan not include a South West team too? If we are going down the road of franchises then Yorkshire and the South West really need to be covered.
[/b][/quote]
My apologies. So are Quins the only remaining London club? My geography of London and the south of France is hazy at best!

I&#39;m sure there are better proposals which are more region oriented. My proposal was drawn up in less than 5 minutes. It&#39;s only one man&#39;s hurried "solution" to the current fixture build up. And, yes, Yorkshire (Leeds possibly?) and the South West (Cornish Pirates? Plymouth?) could be prime candidates for expansion or relocation of teams.

Prestwick
22-12-06, 05:30 PM
There&#39;s too many competitive teams in Europe for a Super league to be viable. It&#39;s a nice idea and all but we&#39;re getting as close to a permanent system with the way it is now, most likely looking at reducing the number of teams in both England and France which will take some doing.
[/b]

Oh yeah, thats true, but think about it. How did the NFL and the NHL come into being? By symbolic merging of leagues and divisions.

We already have the leagues (the GP, the ML, the French and Italian leagues) and thus the divisions. We already have a center piece cup competition: the Heineken cup!

Thus the answer is pretty easy: a four division super league with the top two teams from each league get to play in the playoffs. The winner gets the HC and wins the league! :D

We preserve the existing league structure, cut back number of games all the way back by removing the pointless domestic competitions and still preserve the high octane competition of the HC!

Also it&#39;ll get rid of the stupidly uncompetitive situation in the Magners League where at least one team from each of the Celtic nation gets into the HC. If this system was put in place, teams in the ML would for the first time have something to compete for other than bragging rights.

The European Challenge Cup can be downgraded for all the little teams outside of Western Europe and maybe a similar sub-super league for the Spanish, German, Romanian, Georgian and Russian teams can be set up too! :D

An Tarbh
22-12-06, 06:51 PM
It&#39;s a great idea, but do you fancy selling it to the Clubs and Unions?

Prestwick
22-12-06, 07:05 PM
Well that should be easy!

The Unions are too much in turmoil to notice and the clubs are too bone idle to object to anything that doesn&#39;t harm their bottom line.