Return of the Heineken Cup

Discussion in 'European Champions & Challenge Cup' started by noah_jo, Jun 4, 2018.

  1. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    The Welsh clubs play in an English league and represent England in Europe. The Italian Clubs play in a cross border league and represent Italy in Europe, it is completely, completely different.
     
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  3. noah_jo

    noah_jo Senior Member

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    That's what we're saying. That they should represent the league in order to achieve the best quality competition
     
  4. Thingimubob

    Thingimubob Senior Member

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    Not quite the how it happened - money was always the key factor for both, mixed in with a bit of historical rivalries / geography.

    In football: The majority of the Welsh sides in the English pyramid (Cardiff, Swansea, Newport etc.) are all either big cities/towns in the south with easy links to western England, or are from the border areas in mid /North Wales, so when their clubs were set up they generally played in the local area leagues with English sides. Also when the proper English pyramid as we know it (or at least the pre-Premier League version) was set up, there literally wasn't a "Welsh League" to join at the time anyway. When one was eventually set up in 1992, all Welsh sides playing in the Football League were invited, but naturally they declined. This was most likely due to them being in an established fully professional league system, which is able to reward success (getting to the Premier League) with bags of money, so the fairly financially vulnerable semi-professional Welsh League set up wasn't exactly an attractive alternative.

    Also your Cardiff / Swansea in the Premier League comparison to the Italian Pro14 sides doesn't quite work, as if either were to qualify for the Champions/Europa League, they go as representatives of the English FA rather than the FAW (which makes me feel a little sick, but oh well) - much like how Italian sides used to qualify as representatives of the FIR, both before and after their entry to Pro12/14 Rugby.

    This is because FAW affiliated sides have their own distinct European qualification route via the top level of the Welsh Leagues / FAW Cup.

    Which leads me to my main question - those of you against having the top Italian side qualifying, would you feel the same if they were back competing in the Italian League and having to qualify that way? If I remember right the top 2 sides in the Italian league (almost always Treviso and Viadana/Calvisano) automatically qualified, plus the third placed side playing off against the 4th placed Welsh region.
     
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  5. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    They shouldn't represent the league, they should represent their unions who run and fund them. We've been forced to represent the league even though it's run by four unions with completely separate interests and it's going to be for the worse of European rugby, it's so incredibly obvious and will come to fruition after next years world cup.
     
  6. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Remove all the French and English clubs, then, cause they're clubs not union puppets.
    Maybe chuck in a couple of South Africans to make up the numbers but you're gonna have to reduce the group stages to maybe two pools, get yourself an alcoholic beverage sponsor and bob's your uncle.
     
  7. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    Why? You set up that way, we didn't .Why should we be forced to do it your way? It's only the case because you have more money, it will almost certainly backfire unless the unions can continue to do far far better with much much less like this year.
     
  8. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    It's because it's a club competition, not a union competition. There's already a competition to see which is the best union in Europe and it's called the Six Nations.
    If sides aren't good enough to qualify for Europe in their league then they don't deserve to be there.

    Professional Union is on it's arse in the North West but I'm not crying for Sale to be shoehorned into the Champions cup for the extra exposure, and money, it brings. If we wanna be there we've got to qualify like everyone else does.
     
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  9. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    It's honestly not worth arguing this any further, that is one of the most stupid and blinkered comments I've ever read in my life.

    That first paragraph may as well be 'England do it this way and we know best so that's that.'

    The second part is pretty irrelevant also considering what I'm arguing for would result in the IRFU making about 25% less off the club game next year.
     
  10. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    It's really not,
    I want a top tier European competition made up of the best clubs from each league. Simple as.
    You don't want that, you want gift spots given out to undeserving sides based solely on their nationality and not their skill level.
     
  11. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    How can you have a top tier European competition without teams from each top tier European nation? What you want is a very marginally stronger competition but not a European one.
     
  12. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Because it takes the best teams from the best leagues.
    If Treviso were one if the top 20 sides in Europe their rank in their league would reflect that and they'd qualify. It's not like they're being barred from competition, they just have to prove that they're in the top 20 sides.

    Do we include Bucharest wolves in the champions cup? Timisoara Saracens?
     
  13. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    No, having the top sides from Romania, Russia, Spain etc... Would follow more closely to your logic because they presumably came top of their league. Mine is to follow the Champions league model where they don't have the top 32 European sides but teams from as many countries as possible that can offer a reasonably competitive side.
     
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  14. Thingimubob

    Thingimubob Senior Member

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    Eh? No ones said that?

    People aren’t saying chuck out any of the English / French sides, just that each major European Rugby Nation / Union have a representative in the European Cup...

    In fact, for example Treviso qualifying as top Italian side for the 2017/18 Cup did not affect the English/French sides in the slightest. Team that missed out because of them qualifying was a pro14 side - Cardiff Blues.

    Again using the Champions League as an example, would it really be better to fill it with Premier League sides ahead of teams from Cyprus, Bulgaria, Sweden etc. because they’ve got bigger budgets and are better because of it?

    Doing that would harm it’s status as a truly “European” competition.

    And yes - I’d love to see the Heineken Cup expanded again to possibly include teams from the likes of Romania etc.
     
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  15. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Cardiff should be ****** off then. No one is making this an England/France issue other than people wanting a pop at the English and French. I want the best sides regardless of nationality. If Treviso qualify then great, they deserve it.


    It's like the Challenge cup doesn't exist or something - all these clubs, including the amateur/semi-pro sides still have access to playing high level european rugby. If they're good enough to qualify for the elite competition to determine the best side then that's great, if they don't then they can still compete (and if they win the Challenge cup then they get automatic entry to the following years champions cup, so, again, if you're good enough you're gonna be there).
     
  16. The Alpha Bro

    The Alpha Bro Fat Boi

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    That's fine but it's not a Top Tier European league which is what you said you wanted earlier considering that not every top tier European nation will be represented which is what we're arguing for.

    It's also in everyone's best interest to have an Italian team there, it's potentially a large market and the only self sustainable sides in the competition are French. Condemning Italy to less prize money and less interesting fixtures will do no one any good.
     
  17. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    Yes it is, because everyone has an equal opportunity of qualifying.

    No one is condemning them to anything, if they're good enough to win the Champions cup they're good enough to qualify for it. Hell if anything it's giving them a better chance of making money because they've a far far far better chance of winning(/progressing to knockout stages in) the Challenge cup than being forced to be the whipping boys in the Champions.
     
  18. Thingimubob

    Thingimubob Senior Member

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    Obviously wasn't great, but I don't think the competition lost anything by having Treviso there instead.

    Argument is always gonna be round in circles between should it be by country/union or by league. I myself didn't mind the compromise between the two that was in place last year, even if it means my team missed out. It's all swings and roundabouts - we qualified this year thanks to the Cheetahs not being eligible, though we would have qualified anyway as we won the CC.

    The main thing I don't like about the current format is that it's smaller than the old version of the HC - I'd prefer 1 extra pool in both the HC and CC to allow for proper representation in both.
     
  19. Tigs Man

    Tigs Man Senior Member

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    Treviso in the challenege cup - 8 wins 6 loses in 3 seasons.
    Treviso in the champ/Heinken - 19 wins 93 loses in 20 seasons.

    Can anyone honestly tell me that under the old format Treviso actually improved that much? or that they brought much to the comp? Was it nice if they got 1 win yes but they didn't even average that a season.


    The CC like the RWC should be looking to expand when those clubs/country are really ready for it. Till then it would be easier to expand the challenge cup.
     
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  20. Leinster Fan

    Leinster Fan Senior Member

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    Well Treviso have improved vastly this season and weren't miles away from qualifying on merit to be fair. I'm not bothered/interested enough to get into a fight over this but I do think that 20 teams suits the top tier comp better but I'd be on board with turning the challenge cup into a 24 team comp with 6 Tier 2 teams as opposed to just 2.
     
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  21. TRF_Olyy

    TRF_Olyy English Arrogance

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    I'd be up for this too - think that there should be a tier 2 side in each group. Helps the lower sides get more exposure to top class rugby, and also evens out the groups a bit (in a qualification system where 3 sides get through as best runners up, having two groups with semi-pros in seems an unfair advantage - even if it doesn't always work out that way).
     
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