"...The IRB is introducing a World Trophy qualifying tournament the year before the World Cup, a move designed to make the second and third tier teams more competitive.
"The World Trophy tournament, played at one venue, with places determined from the regional championship competitions will be highly competitive," Millar said.
"The tournament along with the upgrading of the regional championships will replace the existing qualifying process that has in the past duplicated existing match schedules and the repechage process that sees teams qualify very late in the lead up to RWC," Millar added..."Reuters
As you can see the IRB isn't just planning on cutting four teams out of the world cup and not doing anything for the other nations.
This, in my opinion, is a much better idea. Some of these nations that we are talking about add absolutely nothing to the world cup and would learn nothing by getting smashed in every single game. The fans back home watching their teams getting smashed would simply turn off their tv's, and watch other sports in which their country was more competitive at.
This way they will have more opportunity to get meaningful and worthwhile competition and would be able develop and improve at a much faster rate.
Also having five teams in each world cup group disadvantages the weaker sides. Teams like New Zealand, England, France and South Africa normally have lots of depth and can afford to field weaker teams against the worst teams in their group and protect their key players for the bigger games. Other nations can't do this and are forced to play all their "star" players in every game and by the time they get to challenge a big team are likely to have at least a couple of their players running at considerably less than 100%.
By reducing the group games these nations will be better off.
"...The irb are f***ing dumbasses. Cutting the pool from 20 to 16 is a horrible thing to do unless they decided to create a world cup 'b' division to replace it. Cutting the number will kill the chance for rugby to expand in a lot of countries, what are they thinking?.."DC
You are completely wrong with your above statement. As much as I dislike the IRB I do not believe that they can be faulted for this decision. As long as they do work on the World Trophy and ensure that it gets the funding that it deserves to be successful then it will be successful. All they have to do to motivate nations to take it seriously is to offer the carrot of automatic qualification for the world cup tournament and or a guaranteed tour of their country by a top nation. This will do more to improve rugby than letting an extra four weak nations into the world cup.
Whoa didn't know about the World Trophy Tournament but it sounds great to me, now knowing there may finally be a 'WORLD' competiiton consisting only tier 2 and 3 nations. Now that's global rugby. I'm looking foward to this. :bravo:
look I'm not taking anything away from scotland, and what I guess I wanted to say is they are a 1st tier team (*and rightfully so*).
my point was just that, even as a 1st tier team people don't expect them to win the world cup (*and I'm really not trying to be an ass here, Scotland could probably surprise friend and foe, but I still don't think something like that would happen*).
And yet they don't want the 3rd tier teams to attend, maybe if they can play at the world cup and play against top side opposition every once in a while we wouldn't have a 3rd tier , we'd have 1st and second tier, or atleast more countries in the 2nd tier.
that's all I was trying to say, again.
Anyway, now that they have that world trophy thing in the pipeline I guess this whole thing is moot anyway.
The World Trophy does sound really promising. I think that it will ensure that some of the second and third tier nations will get more meaningful rugby. It will also allow the IRB to scrub some of the qualifying process that means teams have to travel all over the place for one-off games.
I believe that the IRB should also reward some of the nations that do well during this tournament with guaranteed games and tours of or by some of the top nations.
It would be great to see a nation such as Georgia touring New Zealand, and even if they didn't play the All Blacks they would still get some great games against provincial and Rep sides. The Georgian players would learn a lot and they would be well-supported by the local crowds.
It would also be great if another top nation - say South Africa had a quick tour of the USA. Imagine how that would pump up the popularity of rugby in the USA.
So what if these ideas would cost lots of money - the IRB could have a ten-year plan to really promote rugby in targeted markets like the USA, China, South America, Russia and other places.