Valleys Rugby (New 5th Region?) set for WRU meeting

   
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  1. #31
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    dullonien's Avatar

    • Wales
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    • From: Aberystwyth
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayatron View Post
    Completely agree with North Wales being a more football dominated area, one reason why I question the drive for North Wales to have a team. However, North Wales is a very small area of Wales and only holds a small % of the population. Completely disagree though with your comparison of language and sports. If that's what your trying to get at? As we both know North Wales is the heartland of the Welsh language while they support football. While the valleys who don't speak any Welsh love rugby. And of course the Valleys is a huge population centre, thanks to mining of course.

    I go to Glamorgan so I live just outside the Valleys in Ponty but I was referring to my whole understanding of Wales. I have many friends from North, Mid, West Wales and Cardiff, including a friend to plays a gay plumber on a well know TV show (claim to fame) and they all love rugby.

    I think perhaps you are underestimating the population centres that love rugby? The Valleys for example are not a few small towns and villages, like I said, it is one of the heaviest population centres of Wales. Hence why they are campaigning for a region to be established. Also perhaps you are focusing on the numbers in the stadiums to much? If Cardiff FC was on S4C every week there numbers would drop. The regions are going through a hard time right now, things will pick up again and the stadiums will fill again. Just like it was when the Blues had there good season in Europe and the league.

    Your focus on Aberystwyth is a bit narrow do you not think? I played rugby there before and a good crowd showed up to watch and it only has a population of 15,000 or so anyway. This impression that Wales is a football country and only pockets of Wales like rugby in my opinion is wrong. Pick up the metro next time your on the train and see what sport will be on the back pages? Again I would bet my bed that it's rugby. If I had to use two words to sum up Wales I would use mining and rugby.
    No I wasn't trying to say Welsh speakers like rugby and English speakers football, only that this is mostly true in mid Wales from my experience. In Aber, Penweddig (Welsh secondary school) is the rugby school, Penglais (English secondary school, which is twice the size) is more football.

    You are correct that it's south Wales where the majority of the population in Wales lives, so you could well be correct that rugby would be the most popular sport in Wales, full stop, but I still have my doubts. Rugby is the national sport, but that doesn't necessarily translate into dominant sport. It also depends on your friends, and the places you go I suppose. Like you, most of my friends from back home watch and follow rugby, although some religiously follow club football as well (it's pointless talking about the national teams, because they're rugby dominated in every way).

    You're correct about the local papers, but they aren't big selling rags. It's still the big papers from England (Times, Guardian, Sun etc.) that sell the most in Wales, and they're all football. I'd like to know the viewing figures for Scrum V in Wales, compared to Match of the Day, that could be the thing that would settle this debate, but I'm not sure if they release figures for individual areas. I've found an average figure of 300,000 for scrum v (on an old 606 thread, so no idea if it's accurate), which is not quite 10% of the population, can't find anything regarding motd etc.

    The big cities in South Wales, Cardiff, Newport, Swansea would have a big bearing on the outcome, and I'd still wager that football was by far the most popular, especially in Cardiff and Newport in terms of club viewing attendances (both live and tv).

    Yeh, my focus on Aber is probably a little narrow, just trying to use examples of what I know best. I'd like to hear other peoples views to see if we can build up a better picture.
    Last edited by dullonien; 18-04-12 at 01:17 PM.

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  3. #32
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    Saintjay's Avatar

    • England
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    • Joined: Sep 2011
    • From: Old Colwyn, North Wales.
    Northampton
    Football is the bigger sport across Wales. I don't think the interest in rugby is much different in the north to the rest of the country. The interest in the national side is great but less so for the regions. I see it as being a little like my home county of Northamptonshire, where the farming/rural community tend to be more into rugby. Prehaps that is because like the mining communities down south they tend to be more welsh speaking and see rugby as part of being welsh.

    One of the things that has watered down the rugby in the north is when the councils sold houses to the local housing associations in Liverpool. Over recent years the number of scousers moving along the North Wales coast has been hugh, you also have an ever growing Irish population as well. You have three of the biggest football teams within an hour or so of north Wales. It is far more easier to go watch those than any of the regions at the moment.

    For international rugby you only have to look at the attendances at the U20 six nations at parc Erias to see the interest is strong. Yet most will tell you they don't follow the regions at all. I can't help but feel only the regions and the WRU are at fault for that. Leicester Tigers seem to be doing a decent job of attracting crowds despite competing with Leicester City. So I don't think you can use football as an excuse. It is the league structure, stadiums, ticket costs among numerous other things that are more at fault. I can't help think that adding another region to an area that is over crowded with four would be a mistake. A region in the north would have just the same chance of being a sucess as a new valley region.

  4. #33
    Senior Member

    Me 1's Avatar

    • Wales
    • 658 posts
    • Joined: Feb 2011
    • From: Wrexham, Wales
    Scarlets
    What could possibly be a curse for the regions down in the south, BBC2 and S4C showing matches on TV, is actually a blessing up here. It has easily drove up support for the game up here, I know many people who watch the games, yes football is still probably the most popular sport in the north, but the support for rugby is here. I am not from the south but my father is and I have travelled there many times. Whilst in some of the bigger cities I would think football is bigger in reality the small towns and villages make up the majority of the population of the country and from what I can tell rugby is the more popular in the most of them (in the south at least, but the population is bigger there). Despite all this, I wouldn't be surprised if match of the day got more figures than scrumV because it mainly focusses on the regions, whereas the premiership get's little coverage on it. Therefore, where the game is most popular(the Valleys) get's little exposure.
    Swansea City getting bigger crowds than the Ospreys can be explained rather easily in my opinion. One reason is that the Swans represent the whole of west Wales, giving them twice the people(if not more) to represent. The other reason is the premier league factor. The premier league is easily the biggest sporting league in the world, giving it exposure throughout all the media, internationally. It's got much more hype around it, meaning more people are aware of everything that happens, whereas the Ospreys don't get as much media exposure. This can also be said of Cardiff City to an extent, as the Championship is still a huge league.
    Football has more people playing it than rugby does but I think that's mainly down to people playing rugby when older. Up here it very rare to seem any people playing rugby at age 8 but by age 12 rugby has a lot more players(when at younger ages, not more than football). Children just tend to get into rugby slower than football as it's a simpler game and don't have the same amount of rules. Plus at my age(17) a lot of people don't play for a team because they don't have the time. They still play football however because they have been for a long time, it's something they've always done. Never the less, many play rugby in a group, because they don't want to get involved with a team.
    At international level rugby dominates football, even in the north. International rugby is far more popular than international football up here, and I'd think pretty much everyone would prefer to support their national side rather than a premier league side which in reality they have no or little affiliation with(If it's your local team then that's another matter, but there are a lot more people in Wales outside Cardiff, Swansea, which are the only football teams that get good crowds).
    A lot of it is down to exposure and due to most reading British papers the football get's more exposure, so more people know about it. Whereas less read Welsh papers and so most people don't know about the games until they see them on their sky box that day, so another reason why less go to the games. If rugby got the same exposure in the British papers I would be certain the rugby would at least get the same size crowds as the football clubs for the regions. Ask almost anyone, even up here, which sport they prefer, many will say rugby. Even if they watch less, it's mostly down to exposure. That's why I think rugby is more popular.

    Anyway, back on topic
    I have nothing major against letting the Valleys getting there own region. I would say the north deserves it more(biased) but we all know that if it will happen it's still a long way away. If they want to be the new whipping boy's, it's up to them. It can only be good for Welsh rugby to have more regions(if it can be afforded, but it sounds pretty good) so you may as well go for it.

  5. #34
    Super Αdmin

    Feicarsinn's Avatar

    • Ireland
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    Leinster
    Quote Originally Posted by psychic duck View Post
    some rivalries are created through great matches

    for example Arsenal and Manchester United weren't particularly teams geographically next to each other, but during the Vieira Keane era, their matches had as much rivalry as a local derby
    Aye, but this requires are certain level of success. United and Arsenal didn't become great rivals because they played out great matches, they became rivals because they were competing directly for trophies. Ospreys and Cardiff could do this if they were meeting in Heineken Cup knockout matches or in the Celtic League finals, but they're not so the rivalry isn't there. It's essentially the same reason that Munster are Leinster's big rivals as opposed to Ulster.

  6. #35
    Senior Member

    • England
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    • From: London
    Ulster
    All the talk about football vs. rugby strikes me as a bit of a red herring. Throughout all of these isles rugby is competing with other sports; it has not stopped the Irish provinces from building significant bases of support in the face of both GAA and football, or Leicester Tigers thriving in the same town as a fair sized football club, and so on. Tradition and success are far bigger factors, and the Welsh regions are sorely lacking in both, and that's the key.

  7. #36
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    • England
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    • From: Nottingham
    Leicester
    Here is an idea....instead of another region why dont the current regions play at local grounds in the vallys instead of playing in half empty souless soccer grounds?

    Each "region" could represent a certain part of south Wales ( i know ground breaking) and in pro 12 games go out and play at local valley clubs. If they require the dull empty expanse of a soccer ground for the HC (which they are almost certain to qualify for) then use it but keep league games with the real rugby following locals.

    Scotland should also try it, Glasgow would get a better atmosphere playing at Dumfries or Annan and Edinburgh would get more vocal support playing at Kelso and Harwick.

    The welsh and scottish regions will never get great crowds so why bother playing in huge grounds? Take the rugby back to the real rugby people, the players and members of the local clubs not the arm chair supporting sky sports watching occasional sports fan.

  8. #37
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    • Wales
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    Ospreys
    Quote Originally Posted by Jayatron View Post
    Your having a laugh?? I've been in Wales for three years and rugby is way more popular, well from what I've seen. You can walk into any village, ANY village, and they will have a rugby team, if it is a town then two teams. Apart from the uni team I have no idea where my 'local football team' are. I can walk into any pub in Wales and talk rugby, and have done so. I talked to my girlfriend's 10 year old sister today about who her favourite Welsh player is. I've worked part time in different schools and only one had a football team. Walk down the road and I promise you that you'll come across a rugby pitch and then maybe a few clubs and then perhaps a football team. Walk down the street and see how many regions or Wales shirts you see compared to football shirts.You guys have to be wrong about this.

    But I suppose you could quote stadium numbers? 20-25K for Cardiff and Swansea games, only 5k for the regions. I wonder how the ratings would match? I'd bet my bed that rugby has more viewers. Then we could take into account playing numbers? And then fans of all ages. I love Wales because it is like New Zealand, rugby mad. When I was there I could walk up to anyone and say the All Blacks are crap do you agree and have a chat, I can do the same here. Back home most people don't know much outside BOD.
    Then you'd lose your bed

  9. #38
    Senior Member

    • Wales
    • 581 posts
    • Joined: Oct 2010
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallshort View Post
    Here is an idea....instead of another region why dont the current regions play at local grounds in the vallys instead of playing in half empty souless soccer grounds?

    Each "region" could represent a certain part of south Wales ( i know ground breaking) and in pro 12 games go out and play at local valley clubs. If they require the dull empty expanse of a soccer ground for the HC (which they are almost certain to qualify for) then use it but keep league games with the real rugby following locals.

    Scotland should also try it, Glasgow would get a better atmosphere playing at Dumfries or Annan and Edinburgh would get more vocal support playing at Kelso and Harwick.

    The welsh and scottish regions will never get great crowds so why bother playing in huge grounds? Take the rugby back to the real rugby people, the players and members of the local clubs not the arm chair supporting sky sports watching occasional sports fan.
    The representation of area's currently happens.. just not going to different grounds.. For example Scarlets = west, mid and north wales, Ospreys = Neath / Swansea area (inc some parts of the valleys), Blues = Cardiff and where the old Warriros region was, Dragons = Newport and the rest of Gwent (and a fair bit of Powys as far as I know)

    So stating they should represent a certain part already is done :|

  10. #39
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    • England
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    • From: Nottingham
    Leicester
    So do you think going to different grounds is a good idea?

  11. #40
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    • Wales
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    • Joined: Oct 2010
    Yes and no.. for example I doubt the blues will get a decent crowd going to ponty, likewise I dont see Scarlets traveling to north wales for games.. for the dragons and opsreys its possible but i just dont see it happening

  12. #41
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    • England
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    • From: Nottingham
    Leicester
    Is it about getting a good crowd or is it about engaging with the grass roots of the region. Dont see what Welsh regions have to lose given the current numbers going to Pro 12 games.

  13. #42
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    dullonien's Avatar

    • Wales
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    • Joined: Nov 2006
    • From: Aberystwyth
    Quote Originally Posted by Tallshort View Post
    Is it about getting a good crowd or is it about engaging with the grass roots of the region. Dont see what Welsh regions have to lose given the current numbers going to Pro 12 games.
    That's a very good point. They may have a smaller crowd for that game, but in the long run it'll expand their fanbase, hopefully resulting in more regulars going to see games. So a short term hit for long term gain.

    Makes sense in theory, but unfortunately the regions are probably thinking they need as much money as they can get, and now! The only one I can see working is the Scarlets moving a few games for north Wales. The U20 crowds showed that the punters are there.

  14. #43
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    • England
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    • From: Nottingham
    Leicester
    Very short term thinking.....

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