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Top 15 world rankings predictions for 10 years time?

Jockstap

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Now I'm not one of tooting my own horn(metaphorically speaking), but I think Ireland will be No 2 in 10 years if the current upward trajectory since the game went professional continues. Rugby seems to get more popular every year, we have an excellent infrastructure and we're naturally suited to the game.
 

die_mole

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france, england, south africa to rise

new zealand to drop a little bit (just cause i think they have maxed out their resources while other countries have ignored rugby... they also capitalized on the professionalization of the game better than any other country, and i think others are starting to catch up to them)

economically powerful tier 2 nations to get much stronger, us, germany, japan, canada
we have rugby being played in our inner city schools and have schools giving out scholarships for rugby... once we get rugby viewed as a pathway to education lookout
 

Welshdragon2000

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So a year on since I made my last prediction. A few things have changed my mind on a few positions e.g Germany rugby union in turmoil, Spain all but reaching a World Cup etc. A fair assessment? Uruguay's improvement over the past year has really surprised me and i see real potential there now hence the predicted 14th rank.
1. New Zealand
2. England
3. South Africa
4. Australia
5. Ireland
6. France
7. Wales
8. Scotland
9. Japan
10. Argentina
11. Italy
12. Georgia
13. Fiji
14. Uruguay
15. Spain
 

Leinster Fan

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For what it's worth I think New Zealand and England will still be one and two respectively. Ireland will be the closest with France and South Africa in the same bracket as Ireland if they get their act together as both have the player base and talent but both have massive but solvable structural problems at the moment.

Can't see anything but Australia falling back into the pack sadly. Not going backwards at the same rate as the French and the Saffers but the Wallabies don't have the same mass following that the other counties have. They'll do alright for now but it's easy to see them not being able to produce the same talent they have now long term.

Spain seem to me like the Tier 2 team most likely to break through. Rugby seems to be taking off in a big way there and they've all but qualified for Japan which will give them a massive boost. The fact that they're a major western European country rather than an obscure ex-Soviet state will do them no end of good as well and could help Georgia break through because they'd be much harder for the 6N to ignore. Can see Germany going the sane way if they sort out the current dispute.

Japan should at least be competitive by that point and Fiji produce to much talent to ever actually be bad.

With all that in mind I can see something like this (assuming France and SA get their act together, put them four or five down otherwise)

1. New Zealand
2. England
3. Ireland
4. France
5. South Africa
6. Wales
7. Australia
8. Scotland
9. Argentina (Higher if they get a second franchise)
10. Fiji
11. Spain
12. Japan
13. Georgia
14. Tonga
15. Germany (if they sort their current problems out, otherwise Samoa)
 

Le Frére Alpha

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For what it's worth I think New Zealand and England will still be one and two respectively. Ireland will be the closest with France and South Africa in the same bracket as Ireland if they get their act together as both have the player base and talent but both have massive but solvable structural problems at the moment.

Can't see anything but Australia falling back into the pack sadly. Not going backwards at the same rate as the French and the Saffers but the Wallabies don't have the same mass following that the other counties have. They'll do alright for now but it's easy to see them not being able to produce the same talent they have now long term.

Spain seem to me like the Tier 2 team most likely to break through. Rugby seems to be taking off in a big way there and they've all but qualified for Japan which will give them a massive boost. The fact that they're a major western European country rather than an obscure ex-Soviet state will do them no end of good as well and could help Georgia break through because they'd be much harder for the 6N to ignore. Can see Germany going the sane way if they sort out the current dispute.

Japan should at least be competitive by that point and Fiji produce to much talent to ever actually be bad.

With all that in mind I can see something like this (assuming France and SA get their act together, put them four or five down otherwise)

1. New Zealand
2. England
3. Ireland
4. France
5. South Africa
6. Wales
7. Australia
8. Scotland
9. Argentina (Higher if they get a second franchise)
10. Fiji
11. Spain
12. Japan
13. Georgia
14. Tonga
15. Germany (if they sort their current problems out, otherwise Samoa)
Spain and Germany to overtake Italy in 10 years? Not a chance
 

FrenchFan

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This thread is barking off the wrong tree IMO. It overlooks the fact the test game is in decline. The number of RWC contenders has shrunk not expanded.

Australia and SA have regressed as pointed out. France are ranked 10 and on their way out of the Top 10. Just a question of when not if.

The club game is set to surge in Europe. Just witness the intensity of competition and quality of play in CCup with only one team (Leinster) qualified going into the last round of pool games. I think that's unprecedented.

This is where the competition has intensified and expanded with Welsh teams like Scarlets qualifying with a home quarter when previously the Welsh didn't get past the pool stage. Conversely the 6N has shrunk with 4 nations capable of winning.

Georgia would be a strong contender for the Top 10 if they were allowed to compete in the 6N. Fiji have great talent but don't have structure and money. The PI nations are bust. Italy are stagnating. Who is going to fill in? Argentina? Japan?
 

FrenchFan

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Fair enough.
I'm not sure about Laporte's timing for his proposed union contracts. Bernard is a politician now. He's made lots of promises to both amateur and pro rugby to get elected. That's what politicians do. How much will he deliver is hard to say.
I can't see much change happening with direct impact on les bleus between now and Japan 2019. Because those changes should have happened straight after the last WC and they didn't. If they introduced the FFR contracts these will not come into effect immediately as players are still under their current club contracts.

The next WC will soon be around the corner - will they even win one 6N before? doubtful.

I can't honestly see France get out of their pool. Noves position will also likely come under scrutiny before. Don't be surprised if he doesn't go to Japan...

Last June call. Told you so...
 

Derpus

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This thread is barking off the wrong tree IMO. It overlooks the fact the test game is in decline. The number of RWC contenders has shrunk not expanded.

Australia and SA have regressed as pointed out. France are ranked 10 and on their way out of the Top 10. Just a question of when not if.

The club game is set to surge in Europe. Just witness the intensity of competition and quality of play in CCup with only one team (Leinster) qualified going into the last round of pool games. I think that's unprecedented.

This is where the competition has intensified and expanded with Welsh teams like Scarlets qualifying with a home quarter when previously the Welsh didn't get past the pool stage. Conversely the 6N has shrunk with 4 nations capable of winning.

Georgia would be a strong contender for the Top 10 if they were allowed to compete in the 6N. Fiji have great talent but don't have structure and money. The PI nations are bust. Italy are stagnating. Who is going to fill in? Argentina? Japan?
These things are related. The clubs have all the money, siphon off the talent, and the interest snowballs.

Europe is doing to Rugby what it did to Football. Whether you think that is good or bad probably depends on if you are European or not.

Anyways, 'straya are cooked. Producing plenty of talent at the teenage level but it's all being pinched by NZ rugby, Rugby League and AFL. Throw in a lack of funds, plenty of mismanagement and a general lack of interest and we will be looking at the bottom half of the top ten in short order.

South Africa are still producing the playing stocks but not the coaching stocks. Can be managed but currently isn't and political interference is rife. I doubt they'll slip much further but they won't be top 3.

Obviously it changes constantly but it will generally resemble something like:

1. NZ
2. England
3. Ireland
4. South Africa
5. Scotland

Then take your pick from any of Aus, France, Arg, Japan, Wales for the next 5.
 
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Brigantine

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So a year on since I made my last prediction. A few things have changed my mind on a few positions e.g Germany rugby union in turmoil, Spain all but reaching a World Cup etc.
10 years is a long time. I really don't think any of those things you mentioned really change anything much. The selection of 2023 hosts might, but otherwise the things I'd be looking at for clues are:
  • How popular is rugby at the youth level? Is it growing?
  • For the countries currently held back by economic issues, does the economy look like improving?
  • In the more populous countries, (USA, Brazil, Japan, Russia, Germany to a degree) doing well means sustained exponential growth.
On the first one, I need to check the latest numbers but my guess is that they say tier 2 countries are growing, especially the American ones. (USA, Canada, Brazil). The islands are excluded here because they're already saturated. Hopefully the next RWC will add Japan to the 'especially' list. Honourable mention to England maybe? (high player base but not growing especially?). Save a seat here for South Africa in case SARU plays their cards right these next few years re expanding the grass roots.

On the second one, I'd grade the islands poorly, and give the top grades to Eastern Europe (but not Russia), South America, and Africa (but South Africa and Namibia not quite as much). China too, but rugby there is starting at such a low base it won't matter in time.

So the ones to watch out for:
  • 3/3: Brazil
  • 2/3: Uruguay, Japan, USA, Georgia, Romania - and to a lesser extent (i.e. not in the top 15) Russia, Germany, Kenya and Zimbabwe
At the expense of Italy, Samoa, Tonga and maybe Fiji. Not because those countries go backwards at all, they just get overtaken.

  1. England
  2. New Zealand
  3. South Africa (Anywhere from 1st to 5th depending on building broad demographic appeal)
  4. France
  5. Australia (Anywhere from 3rd to 11th depending on popularity vs other codes)
  6. Brazil
  7. Argentina
  8. Japan (Anywhere from 5th to 11th depending on popularity increasing from the RWC)
  9. Ireland
  10. Wales
  11. Scotland
  12. Georgia
  13. Uruguay
  14. Romania
  15. USA
16. Fiji
17. Italy
18. Russia
19. Germany
20. Kenya
21. Samoa

22. Canada
23. Tonga
Nowhere in sight: Namibia


[All of that done by guessing without actually looking at the data, so take the details with a pinch of salt]
 
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Brigantine

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With larger gaps between 5 & 6, between 11 & 12, and between 17 & 18.
 

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Spain and Germany to overtake Italy in 10 years? Not a chance

Opps sorry forgot about Italy somehow. They'll probably do alright given that they seem to be going forwards for the first time in a good while.
 

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These things are related. The clubs have all the money, siphon off the talent, and the interest snowballs.

Europe is doing to Rugby what it did to Football. Whether you think that is good or bad probably depends on if you are European or not.

It's up to the unions to raise their game and match the club game if they can. If they don't the clubs will happily take over (in Europe anyway I don't know elsewhere).

I'm told the buck stops with WR. Just exactly what are WR doing to give Georgia and Romania a chance in the 6N? and support the sinking PI nations?
 

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  1. England
  2. New Zealand
  3. South Africa (Anywhere from 1st to 5th depending on building broad demographic appeal)
  4. France
  5. Australia (Anywhere from 3rd to 11th depending on popularity vs other codes)
  6. Brazil
  7. Argentina
  8. Japan (Anywhere from 5th to 11th depending on popularity increasing from the RWC)
  9. Ireland
  10. Wales
  11. Scotland
  12. Georgia
  13. Uruguay
  14. Romania
  15. USA
16. Fiji
17. Italy
18. Russia
19. Germany
20. Kenya
21. Samoa

22. Canada
23. Tonga
Nowhere in sight: Namibia

This all seems a bit optimistic regarding Tier 2 growth. Brazil are very impressive but they need top class coaches, youth structures etc. I can see them improving and getting to where Japan are now but ten years isn't that long in terms of devolvement.

As I said, Australia are in big trouble because Rugby Union isn't popular there and is declining in popularity which the ARU can't afford. They could easily be the first major SH nation to break regarding the selection of Europe-based players simply out of desperation. They're in more trouble than SA despite having a better team currently.

Can't see Argentina being above Ireland but can see them continuing to outperform us at the World Cup (but definitely not 2019).

Agree with what others are saying regarding the European club game, for better or for worse. I can see a situation where all the top players play in Europe if only because of how poorly Super Rugby is run at the moment. What impact this will have on the test game I don't know.

I think Ireland will hang onto their players for the most part but the Welsh and Scottish teams will probably struggle (as indeed they already do).
 

Brigantine

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Heh, I see someone in particular is getting triggered by any suggestion that New Zealand's current golden age might last less than 17 years.

Go on then, what's your top 15?
 
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Zero

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Heh, I see someone in particular is getting triggered by any suggestion that New Zealand's current golden age might last less than 17 years.

Go on then, what's your top 15?

Not really, just your list isn't a good one. You have Brazil at 6th and Ireland at 9th? Silly stuff.
 

profitius

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Italy will be much stronger in 10 years time. They're bad now BUT they are starting to get their act together. They won't be top 3 but they'll be top 10.


SA's economy is going down the drain since apartheid ended. I think this will stop them regaining their previous high of being number 1 - 3 regulars in the rankings. They will still have a good team though.


Spain and Germany could see rapid growth in this period. Spain are getting massive crowds and they're a relatively wealthy country. Those countries are the next obvious contenders to join the pro14. If they do they'll rapidly improve.


The USA is starting it's own league. It will be aimed towards long term success so maybe we'll see the fruits of it in a decade. I don't think they'll be top 10 then though.


France are in a battle with their clubs at the moment. A losing battle.


Scotland should continue to get stronger. A third team is a must for them. Wales will remain at their current level but I don't see them getting much stronger because rugby is very popular in Wales already while in comparison, the Scots have a lot more room to grow.


I don't see the Pacific island teams rising through the rankings. The faster the game is played the more they'll struggle.


Georgia should get better as the players get technically better but even getting to Italy's level is a way off yet.


Things looking good for Ireland. The economy is getting stronger again and the squad depth will continue to grow for the foreseeable future.


England will be a permanent fixture in the top 3 as long as the RFU keep the club's at bay. They've signed a long term contract with the club's to do that.


NZ will still be tops imo but as I said last year, I don't think they'll be as dominant because other teams will narrow the (big) gap.


Australia will slide down the rankings but they'll always be hard to beat. Of all countries to write off, they'd be last on my list. But it looks like rugby there has regressed in the last 10 / 15 years.


So that's my predictions. In the last decade we've seen the rugby grow globally and the rise of Georgia. I predict that there could be 4 or 5 new "Georgia" like teams in the next decade. Spain the leading contender with Germany, Romania etc the other contenders.
 

Zero

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I must admit, I'm actually laughing here at the thought of Brazil being ahead of Ireland in the rankings in 10 years time, what makes me laugh more is someone genuinely thinks that's a possibility. :D:Do_O
 

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