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http://www.the42.ie/world-rugby-test-4277910-Oct2018/

This has been doing the rounds lately and World Rugby are now backing the idea... It sounds terrible for so many reasons, I'll list the ones that come to mind:

1. What's the point? We have a RWC and every rugby fan loves test matches;
2. This presumably requires two additional teams to join the Rugby Championship, do we really need to add precessions against Fiji and Japan to a tournament already lacking competitiveness.
3. The format appears to be skewed in the SH's favour if I'm reading it correctly, the first rounds to be played between the NH and SH will be in the traditional test series spots when the SH are fresher and at home. In addition there's even more travelling for the NH.
4. It seems straight up robbed from UEFA's European Nations League which captivated nobody. There may have been a slight improvement in viewers but international soccer is no where near as healthy as rugby.
5. It's Augustin Pichot's idea, he's a ******* idiot.
 

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Yeah, ******* pointless
 

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4. It seems straight up robbed from UEFA's European Nations League which captivated nobody. There may have been a slight improvement in viewers but international soccer is no where near as healthy as rugby.
I wouldn't describe the current state of international rugby as 'healthy'. It's in decline and if WR do nothing the game will continue to decline.

I'm pretty certain the French and English union will fight this. They're proposing a league based on relegation-promotion. If this went thru, the French union are looking at relegation.
 

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hold on. 12 nations, so it's the RC's 4 teams, the 6 Nations teams and 2 more. But who will be the other 2? I don't think it's so clear cut that it would be SH teams. If it's Japan, then it's not really a SH team, and only Australia and NZ would benefit from the travelling if they have to go to Japan. I think South Africa is the farthest of all the top 10 nations from Japan, so there's no benefit there really.

And when is this going to be implemented? AFAIK it would only happen after the new global season would be implemented, so I don't think the SH teams would benefit as much.

But I don't think we should shoot this down so early. I think if anything it will force teams not to send under strength teams on tour like it's been happening all too much in the past.
 

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I think if anything it will force teams not to send under strength teams on tour like it's been happening all too much in the past.
Does this really happen that much?
NH sides only really send weakened sides to Argentina, for obvious reasons
 

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Does this really happen that much?
NH sides only really send weakened sides to Argentina, for obvious reasons
I think it does. During England's recent tour to SA there were a lot of talks about England being under strength. But that it had more to do with Injuries and Suspensions than not selecting certain players.

But the problem is that the NH teams doesn't give their star performers a sabbatical like the SH teams do during Super Rugby, in that they are being rested for a certain period, or only allowed to play a certain amount of matches consecutively.

If memory serves me right, guys like Hartley, Vunipola (who only played 1 or 2 matches), Jonathan Joseph, Wade & Youngs were not part of the squad at all or only played the last match.
 

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Just a pea brained idea. It would completely devalue the World Cup. Allow teams to organize tests against each other as they see fit in November/ the Summer, we don't need this poorly thought out mess that is just going to reaffirm rugby as a sport only largely played and dominated by a select few countries.
 

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Wade hasn't played for England for 5 years, Youngs did play (there was the infamous interview walk off), believe the rest were injured
 

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don't want this idea to come in. what's the point?. the Six Nations is competitive enough already - as for the Rugby Championship, we don't need any more teams in it. its bad enough with 4. one thing I do hope when the new global calendar comes in is that we don't have a situation where we play one of the Southern Hemisphere big boys 4 times a year. its tedious. For example, in this WC cycle England played Oz 4 times in 2016, again in Nov 2017 and also this year. in my view when we tour a SH country in the summer we shouldn't then play them in the next couple of Autumns. for instance we played the Boks in June, we shouldn't in my view be playing them in the Autumn until 2020. as much as I enjoy the Autumn games the lack of a game against the AB's before this year has been frustrating, particularly when we've played the Wallabies endless times. there needs to be more variety in the schedules for the Autumn. hopefully with the new drive to get tier 2 teams more exposure v tier 1 nations this happens.
 

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Just a pea brained idea. It would completely devalue the World Cup. Allow teams to organize tests against each other as they see fit in November/ the Summer, we don't need this poorly thought out mess that is just going to reaffirm rugby as a sport only largely played and dominated by a select few countries.
What's the difference between what is happening now and this idea? Apart from that there are points on offer and a trophy to be won...

The way I see it plenty of teams tour already more than 1 country in the June window, while the November tours are all one game against a European team.

Would it really devalue the World Cup?

Cricket and Soccer have both a Champions League/Euro tournament during non-world cup years. And that doesn't devalue the World Cup in any way.
 

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This is essential for Test cricket (which is a bunch of friendlies) but less so for rugby. Ticket sales and interest in November tests are at near record levels in the NH.

Regardless I support it if the 12 spots are based on ranking, solely as a way of breaking the stranglehold of woefully underperforming unions like Italy, Australia and France at the expense of unions like Georgia and Romania (that appear more proactive). It might also make it easier for unions to secure their players for internationals rather than being subservient to clubs.

That said, the existing proposals for the top two Tier2 nations to get Tier1 tests until 2032 mitigates some of the above (although we've yet to see that being honoured in my opinion).

I also prefer the thought of a genuine Europe wide comp and a Pacific / Oceania wide comp every four years (two years after RWC) - maybe 8-10 teams in each, to give exposure to the top Tier2s without jeopardising the sanctity of the 6N and RC.

Something has to be done to change the status quo in my opinion. With so few Tier 1 nations, when one of them has a big wobble (like the Aussies and possibly France if they continue to sink) it threatens the entire sport.

Similarly when countries like Argentina and SA hit an economic slump, really bad things can happen to the main competitions like Super Rugby, whose future composition doesn't look set in stone. Look at how desperate some unions are for extra tests (e.g. Wales & Argentina) and you can see that not everything in the garden is rosey.
 

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I also prefer the thought of a genuine Europe wide comp and a Pacific / Oceania wide comp every four years (two years after RWC) - maybe 8-10 teams in each, to give exposure to the top Tier2s without jeopardising the sanctity of the 6N and RC.
I like that idea. I'd happily sacrifice the 6 nations in the Lions year for that to be honest.

Heineken, I don't really think the Euros or Champions league are in anyway comparable. Firstly, we have a champions league equivalent in the Heineken cup and the Euros work because international football is essentially meaningless for two years in between them and the world cup.

To be honest I read this and I'm immediately skeptical, it's a Pichot idea, Pichot has only ever wanted to serve Argentinian rugby (maybe you could say South American if you want to be generous) and this idea stops Argentina from being bottom feeders down south as well as ending traditional test rugby which they've never excelled in. It makes as much sense to me as his idea to have Argentina in the 6 nations did, none...
 

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Just a pea brained idea. It would completely devalue the World Cup. Allow teams to organize tests against each other as they see fit in November/ the Summer, we don't need this poorly thought out mess that is just going to reaffirm rugby as a sport only largely played and dominated by a select few countries.
which it is already. Ask the PI nations, Georgia Romania etc.
 

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I don't know how you could say this doesn't devalue the world cup, it absolutely does. Especially as rugby is dominated by the top handful of countries (and even within that it's rarely competitive with the all blacks clearly above the rest).

Euros vs World cup comparison doesn't work because...well, it's EURO not the world, it doesn't have some of the world's top teams in.
That's like saying the Six Nations devalues the world cup.

Champions league vs World Cup is even more bizarre as one is club and the other international.
 

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I don't know how you could say this doesn't devalue the world cup, it absolutely does. Especially as rugby is dominated by the top handful of countries (and even within that it's rarely competitive with the all blacks clearly above the rest).

Euros vs World cup comparison doesn't work because...well, it's EURO not the world, it doesn't have some of the world's top teams in.
That's like saying the Six Nations devalues the world cup.

Champions league vs World Cup is even more bizarre as one is club and the other international.
By Champions league I meant the Cricket tournamnent. I should've said ICC Champions Trophy.

But I get what you guys are saying, most of those tournaments are a knockout style tournament, while this will be a league and it will last over 6 months.
 

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A champions trophy idea every 4 years would be good, as would a regional championships every 4 yrs.

Tier 1 teams should not be playing each other every year.
 

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Regardless I support it if the 12 spots are based on ranking, solely as a way of breaking the stranglehold of woefully underperforming unions like Italy, Australia and France at the expense of unions like Georgia and Romania (that appear more proactive). It might also make it easier for unions to secure their players for internationals rather than being subservient to clubs.

Something has to be done to change the status quo in my opinion. With so few Tier 1 nations, when one of them has a big wobble (like the Aussies and possibly France if they continue to sink) it threatens the entire sport.
doesnt the proposed relegation-promotion address these issues? I think it does. It would shake up the system.
 

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Consider this November International Tests Tour of The Northern Hemisphere a use of a better name the Nations League. You can draw up your own table. Let the points system work like a World Cup where W=4, D=2, L=0 and BP=4 tries / losing margin < 7, except for the double ranking point system applied by World Rugby during a RWC tournament not to apply.

Here's the fixture list for you maniacs. (The starred fixture being the most competitively ranked game for that weekend)

WEEK 1
Japan v New Zealand (11 v 1)
Wales v Scotland (3 v 6)
England v South Africa (4 v 5)*
Ireland v Italy (2 v 14)

WEEK 2
Italy v Georgia (14 v 13)
Scotland v Fiji (6 v 10)
England v New Zealand (4 v 1)*
Wales v Australia (3 v 7)
Ireland v Argentina (2 v 9)
France v South Africa (8 v 5)

WEEK 3

Italy v Australia (14 v 7)
Wales v Tonga (3 v 12)
England v Japan (4 v 11)
Scotland v South Africa (6 v 5)
Ireland v New Zealand (2 v 1)*
France v Argentina (8 v 9)

WEEK 4

Italy v New Zealand (14 v 1)
Scotland v Argentina (6 v 9)
England v Australia (4 v 7)
Wales v South Africa (3 v 5)*
Ireland v USA (2 v 15)
France v Fiji (8 v 10)

Current World Rugby Rankings (only till 15)
1 New Zealand 92.96
2 Ireland 90.12
3 Wales 85.94
4 England 85.68
5 South Africa 83.52
6 Scotland 83.02
7 Australia 82.86
8 France 79.10
9 Argentina 78.01
10 Fiji 76.54
11 Japan 75.24
12 Tonga 73.84
13 Georgia 73.13
14 Italy 72.56
15 USA 71.66

Fixture list by Team

upload_2018-10-30_15-47-42.png
 

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Argentina are a mere point behind the FFR charade. They look set to overtake and make the 8th spot theirs.

In fact having beaten both Australia and South Africa in the RC, they should be ahead of France.

The FFR charade are sure to drop to 9th. They have all the makings of a SECOND division team.
 

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Noises from Australia that this has been signed off on. They had better stick to a commitment to promotion and relegation. If so, this could be a real vehicle for change.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-...nals-for-sanzaar-nations-20181119-p50gy2.html

I think it is too early to say that there will never be final in the SH, but given how often the SH nations want to play in the US and England, then they'd probably be in favour of it for revenue and exposure purposes.

At this stage only France and England could probably be relied upon to generate a good crowd for a final that didn't feature their sides. I have to say fans in those nations ars superb in their support of matches for neutral nations. French fans even turn up in decent numbers for neutral Tier2 matches.
 
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