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Changes Needed: Remove and Italian side and enter a Russian

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I know the Russian league is professional (coz it's called the Professional Rugby League) but are the Georgian and Romanian leagues professional or semi-pro?

Either way I agree with Toko_11:
I also think Russian, Romanian and Georgian leagues are roughly the same level... we would not need to have this discussion if IRB get their heads off the ground and actually do something. how hard is it to make an international qualification involving teams from these three countries.. i don't think anyone would be against it so what is the problem ?
I don't see why the Spanish and Portuguese couldn't get in on that qualification tournament too. Or there could be two qualification tournaments; one for Russia, Georgia and Romania and one for Spain and Portugal (and maybe one more Western European country. Germany?).
 

psychic duck

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the ERC have decided that the Amlin Challenge Cup format will remain the same for next season
 

Jayatron

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I'm a big fan of Georgian rugby, I like Romanian rugby too but i don't think the Russian SuperLeague is overestimate.
Sorry, yes the championship is overestimate, but not the big 3.
Firstly, yes, Russia national team is very bad this year but new coach, news players.
If you take the RWC squad, only Byrnes, Ostrikov, Gratchev,Rachkov were'nt in Russia (since the RWC, Artemyev moved to Northampton; Gresev and Korshunov to Wasps; Gratchev is back to Russia). Maybe 50% of the Romanian squad played in France; about 90% for Georgia.

Secondly, in Russia plays some very good foreign players. Ryan Bambry former Highlanders fly-half for example. 2 others players with Super Rugby experience will join the championship : scrum half Toby Morland (Highlanders, Chiefs, Munster and Blues) and fullback Glenn Horton (ex-Highlandes). Some new-zealand players with ITM Cup experience (Dodd, Gregory...) plays in Russia too. And don't forget one half of the Moldova national team and one half of Kazakhstan national team plays in Russia too. Some internationals from Georgia (Urushadze), Ukraine (Golishev, Orlov) and from others countries too.

I have'nt saw any foreign players in the Georgian championship, and only 10-20% of the national team plays in Georgia
In Romania, only Timisoara have some Samoa/NZ players, but they were'nt pro, they played in amateur clubs from NZ, and only one half of the national team plays in Romania.
The Russian big 3 (VVA Podmoskovye, Krasny Yar, Enisey-STM), it's about 70% of the Russia national team, and all NZ players who are in Russia plays for Krasny Yar or Enisey.
Last year, VVA-Podmoskovye won ahead Grenoble (actual leader in French ProD2) and Enisey won easily against italians teams L'Aquila and Lazio from first division.
In fact, i think romanian championship, russian championship and georgian championship are the same level, but the russian big 3, it's a higher division

PS : sorry, i know my english is not good, i hope you understand what i write :D
I use to train with Ryan. He was with Ballynahinch in the AIB in Ireland when I was there. Very interesting. I always wondered what happened to him. Our club paid for him to be full time and he did help steer us to a clean sweep that season, including the All-Ireland Cup (which I played no real part in as mostly a 2nds player, injury and then leaving in March to play in New Zealand)
However that was in Ulster. I know he played with Otago, the Highlanders (including coming on against the B&I Lions) and an Italian team in the Super 10 but there is an obvious decrease in standard here. From New Zealand to Italy to the amateur league of Ireland? So is Russia lower considering someone like me has played with him? Or is the Russian league a step back up?

Either way the Russians still have a long way to go. And ERC not expanding the Amlin is another hurdle that needs to be overcome. I think in terms of international progression we should be looking towards Georgia, USA, Canada and Japan, even more so now with more continued talk of a professional league in North America.

Perhaps until the ERC let the Georgian and Russian teams in there should be some sort of East Europe Cup? All three countries have pro-leagues so it is a logical step to make them compete.
 

Croket66

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I understand what you want say.

But for example, Ma'a Nonu played in Top League before Auckland Blues, so the level of the Japan Top League is higher than Super Rugby?

Also, i follow you,
if Super Rugby is first division,
italian championship is division 2
AIB league is division 3
and Russian Super League division ... 4?

But explain me how last year, Enisey-STM won over L'Aquila 24-12 and Lazio 37-14, two clubs from italian first division.
Also, last year VVA won ahead FC Grenoble, a ProD2 club 45-40

Players who came in these clubs often have a good experience (SuperRugby, ITM Cup, 6 NationsB (Ukraine, Georgia) + 75% of the Russian national team),
and players who left these clubs plays now at the higher level (Artemyev for Northampton, Gresev and Korshunov for Wasps, Cobilas for Sale, Navickas will play for Bordeaux next year and 2 youngs NZ players from Krasny Yar are now playing for Crusaders Development XV.

This year Kransy Yar won ahead Crusaders Development XV (27-14), VVA loss against Northampton Wanderers (14-36) and loss against Sale Jets, who on the starting XV, 11 players have a Premiership experience this season, including Imiolek, Tuculet, Lewaravu, Addison or Auva`a (19-27)
Now, wait results for Connacht A. v. Enisey and Munster Development v. Enisey.

For 7 others clubs from Russian Super League, the level is lower, these clubs have some players from national team and some internationals from Moldova/Ukraine/Kazakhstan.

So, why russian big-3 can't play in Amlin Cup?

Also, in East Europe, only 4 teams have level to play Amlin Cup : the russian big-3 + Army Tbilissi.
Army Tbilissi is a Georgian team from the government. The club poach all best players from others georgian clubs and from french Federale, french U23 and Romanian teams.
In Romania, i don't see any club who have the level... maybe Timisoara (they have some NZ/Tonga/Samoa players + some members of the national team)
 
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welshglory

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Not really Croket. Nonu is a world class centre, Ryan Bambry is a second division player. Pretty simples
 

Croket66

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bOkay, a better example :
Hooker Irakli Natriashvili :
2 years ago he played in Romania for Farul Constanta
last year he played for Army Tbilissi in Georgian Championship
And this season he is the first choice in a Top14 club (Brive)
So i follow what Jayatran say,
there is an obvious decrease in standard here. From New Zealand to Italy to the amateur league of Ireland? So is Russia lower considering someone like me has played with him?
romania championship is better than georgian championship; and georgian championship is better than ... Top14???

I think if Bambry decrease from Highlanders to Venezia, that's because Super Rugby is to high for this player. In Italy (and Russia) he plays at his real level
And maybe if he came in AIB League, it's because, like you say :
Our club paid for him to be full time and he did help steer us to a clean sweep that season, including the All-Ireland Cup
Also, if ERC don't want add directly russians team, they can create a qualifying tournament between 3 best russians club, georgian champion, and italians teams (+ maybe spanish champion, romanian champion, portuguese champion)
 
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bounce86

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I personally feel there is too much focus on Italian clubs. The Russians champions should be given a chance because I am more interested in seeing Krasnoyarsk
 

Mihnea Cristian Ionescu

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maybe a tier 2 qualifying would be interesting . also the romanian Super-League is getting better , due to the new policy of getting fresh blood from southern hemisphere. that involved a better running and passing game , meanwhile the scrum remains at a high level due to our native players. also chester williams did a good job at Timisoara by winning the championship . there are teams such as Dinamo and CSM Bucuresti that have numerous players born in 1988-1992 that look way better than the previous generation . i think however a qualifing tournament should be awarded to countries such as Portugal , Georgia and Russia (knowing that Romania and Spain have already places in the cup )
 

white bear

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Frankly I do not really understand why Amlin is the Spanish club's Guernica? They even for a very average club in Spain, without national team players. Very strange policy.
 

BZHopenside

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Everyone above them in the league table pulled out for financial reasons, so it was just by default.
 

London_Italian

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"so the title should be changed to 'Changes Needed Remove an Italian side and enter a Georgian'"

Strangely i would have to agree with this. In my humble opinion Georgian rugby in terms of the quality of their national team and the players they are producing is on a par now with Italy. Therefore it is only fair that they are allowed to enter a side into the Amlin if just to give their players a different challenge.
 

dragos03

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Romanian champions RCM Timisoara have been confirmed to replace the Bucharest Wolves selection in the next edition of the Amlin Challenge Cup. I think that Timisoara will perform better than the Wolves, so this should be interesting.
 

Croket66

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"so the title should be changed to 'Changes Needed Remove an Italian side and enter a Georgian'"

Strangely i would have to agree with this. In my humble opinion Georgian rugby in terms of the quality of their national team and the players they are producing is on a par now with Italy. Therefore it is only fair that they are allowed to enter a side into the Amlin if just to give their players a different challenge.
I think you're wrong. except 2-3 players from the back three, and hooker and fly half substitutes, all georgians from national team are playing in France (+ Scotland for Basilaia and England for Sharikadze). The level of georgian premiership is very low and all players from this league are georgians.

Unlike, Russia Super League is more attractive, more interesting. In this league are playing all internationals from Russia national team (only Artemyev, Kulemin and Ostrikov are playing in England) - and 80% of the national team including stars like Viktor Gresev, Denis Simplikevich, Alexander Yanyushkin plays in "the big 3" : Enisey-STM (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia) - Krasny Yar (Krasnoyarsk, Siberia) and VVA-Podmoskovye (Moscow).

Also, few former Super Rugby players (Toby Morland ex-Blues; Glen Horton ex-Highlanders; Ryan Bambry ex-Highlanders) and provincial capped players are playing for a club from "the big 3"

Then, players from ex-URSS with a big potential are playing in this championship. For example moldovan prop Vadim Cobilas played for VVA-Podmoskovye before Sale Sharks; lithuanian lock Karolis Navickas (Bordeaux, Top14) played for VVA-Podmoskovye too. And Ospreys have recruited moldovan hooker from Enisey-STM. Actually are playing in Russia Super League promising players from Moldova, Kazakhstan, Ukraine...


Romania Superliga is very promising. Some players from Tonga, Namibia, South Africa, NZ including internationals like tongan William Helu, fijian Sean Morell and namibians Van Neel, De la Harpe...


These 2 leagues have certainly a higher level than georgian premiership, and maybe are better than some italians teams
 

psychic duck

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I know you're a fan of the Russian league, but you are wrong on this.

Firstly Georgian champions beat the Russian champions last year, so it is hardly clear cut that Russia is a "higher level". Secondly Russia is yet to get so much depth in their player base compared to Georgia's. For example I think Georgia could name quite a few forwards who don't get in the Georgian squad but would get in the Russian pack.

The fact is Georgia's league has so far done a better job producing players than Russia's. A few very average at best Super Rugby players and third Tier Eastern Europeans doesn't mean it is stronger. The Sri Lankan domestic league has former Chiefs and Connacht centre Niva Ta'auso playing in it, it doesn't make it stronger than others.

In fact a "Georgia A" side which was made up almost fully of players from the Georgian league beat Oxford University in a match by more than Russia's actual team did.

A Georgian based team with Chitidze at lock, Berishvili, Tkhilaishvili and Bitsadze in the back row, Begadze and Khmaladze half backs, Chkhikvadze in the centre, Gugava, Machkhaneli and Nikolava in the back three would be more than enough to beat the Russian champions. All of those Georgian based players are capped with Georgia (if not first choice) and would probably give Russia's full team a tough game actually.

The Romanian SuperLiga is the best league outside the big three (RaboPro12, Premiership, Top 14), then the Italian league, followed by Georgia and Russia and then the Iberians.
 

Croket66

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I know you're a fan of the Russian league, but you are wrong on this.

Firstly Georgian champions beat the Russian champions last year, so it is hardly clear cut that Russia is a "higher level". Secondly Russia is yet to get so much depth in their player base compared to Georgia's. For example I think Georgia could name quite a few forwards who don't get in the Georgian squad but would get in the Russian pack.

The fact is Georgia's league has so far done a better job producing players than Russia's. A few very average at best Super Rugby players and third Tier Eastern Europeans doesn't mean it is stronger. The Sri Lankan domestic league has former Chiefs and Connacht centre Niva Ta'auso playing in it, it doesn't make it stronger than others.

In fact a "Georgia A" side which was made up almost fully of players from the Georgian league beat Oxford University in a match by more than Russia's actual team did.

A Georgian based team with Chitidze at lock, Berishvili, Tkhilaishvili and Bitsadze in the back row, Begadze and Khmaladze half backs, Chkhikvadze in the centre, Gugava, Machkhaneli and Nikolava in the back three would be more than enough to beat the Russian champions. All of those Georgian based players are capped with Georgia (if not first choice) and would probably give Russia's full team a tough game actually.

The Romanian SuperLiga is the best league outside the big three (RaboPro12, Premiership, Top 14), then the Italian league, followed by Georgia and Russia and then the Iberians.

When Armia won over Enisey (10-7), 2 clubs played without internationals. Just before, Enisey won 3 tries to one.
But that's true Armia (team from Defense ministry) and Lelo Tbilissi have a good level.
Apparely, in 2014, a competition will be created with clubs from Russia, Romania, Georgia and Ukraine.

Off : that's interesting to know Ta'auso plays for Sri Lankan league. By the way, there are some good players in the Gulf Premiership. Jeremy Manning (Newcastle, Munster), Sean Crombie (Newcastle, Edinburgh) and Ben Bolger (London Broncos - Super League) play for Abu Dhabi Harlequins - samoan hooker Trevor Leota (Wasps, Cheetahs, Stade Montois) play for Dubai Wasps
 
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psychic duck

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Right ...

So this week the Portuguese champions CDUL beat Spanish champions Valladolid 24-11 in the Iberian Cup final last weekend.

... yet it is the Spanish league that gets a side in the Amlin Cup ...

... and not even the Spanish champions are in the Amlin Cup, the side that finished 5th from 10 are playing in the Amlin Cup as the top four in the Spanish league couldn't afford to play.

So the Spanish mid table side is in the tournament ahead of the Spanish champions, and the Spanish champions aren't as good as the Portuguese champions.

Anyway the Spanish mid table side still managed to beat one of Italy's four Amlin Cup sides Rovigo both home and away. The Romanian side Bucharest Wolves also beat the Italian champions Calvisano 42-27.

Yet the champions from the nation who has won 4 of the last 5 ENC tournaments is left out of the tournament is left out, in favour of 4 Italian sides who's champions can't beat the Romanian side, and another who can't beat the Spanish mid table side. Whilst Russia are also left aside, and they appeared in a World Cup more recently than Spain or Portugal and may be stronger than them domestically too.

It really is a big farce that the ERC continue to give Amlin Cup places to 4 Italian teams, when the best of them can't beat the Romanian team, and one of them can't beat the Spanish mid table side. It is also a joke that the Spanish mid table side gets a place ahead of the Portuguese champions who beat the Spanish league champions, and even more of a joke that the strongest Tier 2 European nation along with a nation that qualified as Europe 2 for the last World Cup are left out completely.

As well as being pants on the pitch look at the attendances of these Italian sides ...

Calvisano vs Bath = 800
Rovigo vs Gernika = 600
Mogliano vs Dragons = 885

Only Cavalieri Prato have got over 1,000 for all their home matches.
 
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dragos03

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Decent result for Rovigo in the last match of the pool. They lost 22-40 away at Perpignan but they scored 3 tries and were pushing for the fourth try in the final minutes (despite being a man down at that point because one of the Italian players got a red card).
 

BZHopenside

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Take away Challenge Cup spots for the newly promoted teams from England and France. They should focus on staying up in the league. A little profit sharing of tv revenues so they're not completely out in the cold. 1 spot to the top Portuguese team, 1 to the top Georgian team, and 1 team for Russia.
 
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