Heineken & Challenge Cup 2018/19 Pool Draws

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by The Alpha Bro, Jun 19, 2018.

  1. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    If we scale it down to size you'll have it for about 8 hours and just under a fifth of it for about 2 more in all likelihood.

    Anyway, Shane Jennings looked at me today so you owe me about a year of goodwill.
     
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  3. Tigs Man

    Tigs Man Senior Member

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    What Tigers would give to have two players like Shane and Leo in their set-up currently.
    One of the biggest faults IMO has been failing to find a proper forward captain.
     
  4. FrenchFan

    FrenchFan Senior Member

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    Clean sweep for the French in Europe next season.

    Any of Racing Toulon Montpellier to win it. Still early days for Toulouse who have a much younger squad with 15 players under 25. Racing dominated Leinster in the final and showed the way on how to beat them. French clubs went down on the tinniest of margins (3 pt in final 1 pt in semi)...

    If Clermont are half bothered they will take the Challenge.

    Bumper season coming for our clubs. It's world cup year and the LNR are going to absolutely screw the FFR over the national team.

    Jacques la Moustache won't know if he's coming or going.
     
  5. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    I think the pools are pretty well balanced based on recent form. Seeing Munster as 'Tier 3' shows how strong this competition is!!

    Happy with Pool 3, some good games and away trips. Saracens are obviously favourites in the pool but I think it'll be fairly competitive. Lyon and Glasgow aren't light years ahead of Cardiff. I think we need a couple of signings in the pack to try and match Sarries, could be a bit ugly otherwise.

    Also - couldn't help but chuckle at the Dragons challenge cup group :D.
     
  6. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    About the Blues, saw an interview with Mulverhill the other day and he seemed to indicate that there might not be any new signings but then said they to strengthen at lock and 8... think funds is still a big issue there.
     
  7. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    Funds are an issue across Wales. The pro teams are able to spend a lot less than their Celtic friends across the water.

    Cardiff have signed a decent tighthead already, but are yet to name them. They are looking for a lock, then an 8 before the start of the season. Navidi can cover 8 with Nick Williams, but when Josh is with Wales it leaves a lack of big ball carriers at 8. Lots of decent young players coming through in the pack, but not at Champions cup level at the moment.
     
  8. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    You would like to think that with the Premier Sports deal as well as Peter Thomas writing off debts that this would have eased a tad.
     
  9. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    Structure is important before anything else. If they get it right Welsh rugby will benefit massively
     
  10. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Yeah I agree, and think the Under 23 regions and Irish provincial A sides comp is a great start to ensuring that there is a pathway through for talented youngsters from both nations. Shame we couldn’t get the Scots involved too just to add a few more games for the boys.
     
  11. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    They are losing something like 1.5 million a year at the moment. Of course, incredibly kind of Peter, but the model still isn’t manageable in the longer run.
     
  12. munstermuffin

    munstermuffin Senior Member

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    That's my point on it. If ye get the structures right from ground up it will be brilliant. And will be cost effective too long run. Like Cardiff to be fair have rebuilt nicely and while it is still on going it will be worth it
     
  13. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    I hear a lot about the new RSA that’s coming up. They need to sort out the unfairness in the dual contract allocation and I hear the money from the WRU is increasing. So that’ll help the first teams.

    I think there’s a lot of talent coming through for sure, and the U23 league is crucial. All the regions are still struggling with the resources to ensure the talent stays in Wales once they are established, and those who do stay are concentrated in the teams that are deemed best at the time by the players.
     
  14. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    Any sign of the Under 23 league being televised? You’d think the beeb would have some money to spare what with all the sport they have lost over the last 20 years...

    What sort of increase can you see the new RSA providing? I mean IF the WRU does indeed want to eventually gain control over the Blues (if not all regions) maintaining a fiscal weakness there would surely be in their ‘short term’ interests (as much as I hope that isn’t the case).
     
  15. Bluemoon

    Bluemoon Senior Member

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    Well the RSA covers a lot, but the big thing it covers is the set funding amount that the pro clubs get from the WRU for running the player pathways, and running the regions as pro teams etc. That money is almost certainly going to increase as all the regions need it to compete.

    The issue around the real term monetary gain for each dual contract player a club gets is also said to be being discussed. Eg that having all of the dual contracts down west creates an unfair playing field on a financial basis.

    I don’t think the union want to own the pro clubs for the reason you state - financial risk. How do you keep up with the wage inflation happening in Ireland England and France with 4 teams who rely heavily on TV revenue and the income from the national game. Also the WRU board is a political minefield and most people involved at pro level want the clubs to remain independent from the union - but if they can’t run as businesses who do not make losses, you find we have the Celtic Warriors situation for all 4.

    Good article hear with Martyn Phillips if you are interested:
    Http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/wru-boss-reveals-new-deal-14666760.amp
     
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  16. bushytop

    bushytop Senior Member

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    I remember reading that article back in May, and while it sounds like things are moving forward... Martyn Phillips doesn’t ‘really’ say anything. We all know that the WRU makes a profit while the regions lose money... but the WRU needs the regions. It’s appears to seem a conundrum to all involved.

    The Pro 14 going subscription only next year could be quite pivotal. I for one will subscribe and look forward to seeing how Premier Sports improve production quality but I am a big fan. Im not totally convinced that the subscription numbers required for the Pro 14 rights aquisition to be deemed a success will be achieved though (I hope I’m wrong). If I am wrong and the number of subs impresses the new broadcaster, then the potential follow up contract (or rights auction with other potentially interested parties) could start to level the playing field a little.
     
  17. FrenchFan

    FrenchFan Senior Member

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    I agree. It's going to be hugely competitive with some games close to test match intensity. Not that much of a gap. And going back to the name Heineken Cup will increase the cup's appeal here among fans. With the surge of the club/provincial game in NH, the CCup has the potential to become bigger than the 6N in years to come.

    Toulouse Toulon and Montpellier are at the start of a new cycle albeit with very different squad and recruitment.

    Collazo is the new Toulon head coach. He took La Rochelle from ProD2 to Top 14 leader in just 3 years! If he hits his mojo again with the squad he has oh boy
     
  18. FrenchFan

    FrenchFan Senior Member

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    Castres will not care one jolt about their draw. They’ll use the CCup like they did last season to rotate their squad while targeting league games, not CCup games. They fielded their B side for their away games in Europe resting their best players before key league games.
    They got to the Top 14 playoffs fresher as a result and won the league.
    Munster and Leicester got nothing. In the end Castres got the last laugh....
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2018
  19. FrenchFan

    FrenchFan Senior Member

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    Hilarious to think the top 2 French teams Clermont and SF are out of the HCup. Road is wide open....
     
  20. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    "lEinSTeR pLAy TheIr SeMI fInaLS aT hOme"

    Racing have the La Défense Arena booked for their semi should they make it... I think changes to the norm like that should be announced before the season starts. Poor procedure and precedent set by giving Racing what they want because they elected a terrible home country advantage stadium last year.
     
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