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?).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 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)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
romania championship is better than georgian championship; and georgian championship is better than ... Top14???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?
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)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
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."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 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.