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Why Private Clubs are Better for Global Rugby than a Union Run Model

nickdnz

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Just out of interest why do people think that the club model threatens the international one when as this article states it only expands it. At what point have any private clubs made demands that infringe on the current agreements?

As I point out - the Top 14 made certain many Fijian players wouldn't be released for the 2011 RWC.

Regardless of what you feel Leicester have done and will do - it's not like that represents clubs attitudes on the whole.

South African players during the last EoYT were expected to attend Toulon training camps and matches in the middle of the tournament. During the Tri Nations Fourie du Preez was only made avalible from his Japanese club for half the games. You can argue that is the agreement that they signed - but the reality is its clubs offering financial incentives to players to ignore the tests windows.

There is talk of USA players not being released for international matches against the All Blacks if it does fall outside the window which will endanger the match. This may again be totally their right, but I think it demonstrates that clubs are going to put their interests ahead of the international game. Giving clubs control would see those test windows reduced further - I remember a model proposed by several clubs which saw only a three month gap allocated to international rugby - enough time to include only the 6 Nations.
 
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ratsapprentice

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Obviously dont agree with that! Leicester for many years have provided the back bone of Englands team and to my mind have never stopped any player attending a training camp or international match within the agreed window. Also having the best Leicester players playing in a successful England team makes the club more attractive to investors and season ticket holders. Before the Johnson era crowds at Welford rd were in the 100's now they are in the 1000's ok the club was very successful but it was on the back of international and Lions success.

I agree - I'm not arguing against that.
I think that we have the system about right at the moment - the RFU currently have a good relationship with the clubs.
Of course it can be improved - but I don't think there is any need for overhaul.

The IRB need to put more effort into ensuring the Tier 2 nations get a fair crack at the whip in terms of fixtures against higher ranked teams and the fair release of players.
 
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TRF_stormer2010

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Just out of interest why do people think that the club model threatens the international one when as this article states it only expands it. At what point have any private clubs made demands that infringe on the current agreements?

Off the top of my head;

Fiji players not making themselves available for test rugby en masse. Top players from SA, NZ and Aus not playing test rugby although SA has made the compromise to be able to play foreign based players they are only 'semi-available'. Sure we cope but it's a case of boxing with one hand tied down. Argentina playing with B sides in June. France's struggles in test rugby because of the disproportionate burden on their player base in the club season. USA not being able to play with a full strength could lead to not being involved with the Rugby World Cup. Wales having to play tests with weakened teams. England will face NZ in June without players from some of their top teams.

This viewpoint of course sees test rugby with the RWC as the show piece of world rugby and teams should be allowed to be as good as they can be; negating the stronger is not the same as empowering the weaker.

I am not saying that private clubs are making demands (at least in the open) that infringe on current agreements though as much as I am saying that currently agreements is not totally in favour of international rugby and that is a reflection of the pull private clubs have due to money plain and simple and the more pull they get and they are taking what they can every step of the way the more the integrity of test rugby will be impacted. Now if that is a problem or not is a different debate.
 

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You guys should all be politicians, your great at talking in circles and not actually arguing any of the facts presented.

As I point out - the Top 14 made certain many Fijian players wouldn't be released for the 2011 RWC.

Regardless of what you feel Leicester have done and will do - it's not like that represents clubs attitudes on the whole.

The clubs pay the players wages and then are expected to release players without any compensation to play in lengthy tournaments with a high risk of injury and during their pre-season. You would be upset as well if you had invested substantial sums of money in something/someone and not only do you get no use out of it but you let someone else use and abuse it for free. It's the equivalent of me going out and buying a Ferrari with my money, then letting you drive it and smash the **** out of it for free without me ever getting a chance to use it.

As I stated earlier, a balance needs to be struck between international and club rugby. The IRB needs to look at unifying the international schedule and they also need to look at providing clubs with proper compensation in order to secure release of star players.

My proposal would be to have three windows for international rugby:

1. One Window for major international tournaments i.e. Six Nations/Rugby Championship/All International Tournaments
2. One Spring Test Window
3. One Fall Test Window

ABSOLUTELY NO GAMES PLAYED OUTSIDE TEST WINDOWS, it's unfair to the clubs and it's also unfair to the players.

During Rugby World Cup years, The International Tournament Window is cancelled and major tournaments i.e. Six Nations/Rugby Championship are not held as teams play in the World Cup.

I fully believe the IRB should be providing a portion of RWC earnings to respective league governing bodies i.e. PRL and LNR to secure release of star players from all nations involved.

South African players during the last EoYT were expected to attend Toulon training camps and matches in the middle of the tournament. During the Tri Nations Fourie du Preez was only made avalible from his Japanese club for half the games. You can argue that is the agreement that they signed - but the reality is its clubs offering financial incentives to players to ignore the tests windows.

This is a result of the fact that Unions will not agree to a unified international season. It's not the clubs problem that SH Unions want to play internationals outside test windows and it's also not the club problem that your union doesn't want to provide adequate compensation for using a player that you don't pay any money for. Also your Japanese example only proves my point on why we need a unified international calendar. Japanese club rugby is set up around the Japanese season because the Japanese don't have a major tournament to play in and only play internationals during the June and November test windows so their players are always available for those two windows.

There is talk of USA players not being released for international matches against the All Blacks if it does fall outside the window which will endanger the match. This may again be totally their right, but I think it demonstrates that clubs are going to put their interests ahead of the international game. Giving clubs control would see those test windows reduced further - I remember a model proposed by several clubs which saw only a three month gap allocated to international rugby - enough time to include only the 6 Nations.

That's because you want to play the USA outside the designated international window, again not the problem of the clubs. They are in the right for not wanting to release the players as your playing outside the window. If you want to play the USA then play them inside the Test Window and it wouldn't be a problem; however, international rugby is greedy and unions like NZ want to play 4 or 5 games during the November window when they really only have time to play 3.

The present system benefits only the Tier-1 Nations and Tier-2/3 Unions are left out in the cold. Canada is going to play a measly 6 tests this year because of the unfair international calendar. We also have no space allocated for a proper international tournament.
 
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ratsapprentice

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The Unions pay the players a very handsome fee as and when they play for their national team.
The Unions also have the biggest role to play in increasing the player pool from which club players are chosen.

I can't speak for other countries but the RFU does compensate the clubs for the release of players:

In return, the RFU has agreed to pay PRL clubs �102 million over the course of the agreement plus a share of the net revenues from a fourth Autumn International every other year which should take the total RFU payment for PRL Clubs to around �110m over the period of the agreement. Clubs will only receive payment under the Agreement by having players in one or more of the 3 EPS squads and/or through compensation payments under the EQP scheme and/or by running an RFU licensed Academy.

That works out at just under £400k per year, per player. That is considerably more than the club will be paying even the best English players.
The PRL for example have profited massively on the back of the RWC - the 2003 tournament did more for their earnings than any domestic success could have.

I agree that there should be a global calendar - as do most from what I can make out.
I also fully agree that Unions are at fault for the non-release of players if the game falls outside the test window.

What are your opinions on the Churchill Cup?
 

nickdnz

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You guys should all be politicians, your great at talking in circles and not actually arguing any of the facts presented.

The clubs pay the players wages and then are expected to release players without any compensation to play in lengthy tournaments with a high risk of injury and during their pre-season. You would be upset as well if you had invested substantial sums of money in something/someone and not only do you get no use out of it but you let someone else use and abuse it for free. It's the equivalent of me going out and buying a Ferrari with my money, then letting you drive it and smash the **** out of it for free without me ever getting a chance to use it.

As I stated earlier, a balance needs to be struck between international and club rugby. The IRB needs to look at unifying the international schedule and they also need to look at providing clubs with proper compensation in order to secure release of star players.

My proposal would be to have three windows for international rugby:

1. One Window for major international tournaments i.e. Six Nations/Rugby Championship/All International Tournaments
2. One Spring Test Window
3. One Fall Test Window

ABSOLUTELY NO GAMES PLAYED OUTSIDE TEST WINDOWS, it's unfair to the clubs and it's also unfair to the players.

During Rugby World Cup years, The International Tournament Window is cancelled and major tournaments i.e. Six Nations/Rugby Championship are not held as teams play in the World Cup.

I fully believe the IRB should be providing a portion of RWC earnings to respective league governing bodies i.e. PRL and LNR to secure release of star players from all nations involved.



This is a result of the fact that Unions will not agree to a unified international season. It's not the clubs problem that SH Unions want to play internationals outside test windows and it's also not the club problem that your union doesn't want to provide adequate compensation for using a player that you don't pay any money for. Also your Japanese example only proves my point on why we need a unified international calendar. Japanese club rugby is set up around the Japanese season because the Japanese don't have a major tournament to play in and only play internationals during the June and November test windows so their players are always available for those two windows.



That's because you want to play the USA outside the designated international window, again not the problem of the clubs. They are in the right for not wanting to release the players as your playing outside the window. If you want to play the USA then play them inside the Test Window and it wouldn't be a problem; however, international rugby is greedy and unions like NZ want to play 4 or 5 games during the November window when they really only have time to play 3.

The present system benefits only the Tier-1 Nations and Tier-2/3 Unions are left out in the cold. Canada is going to play a measly 6 tests this year because of the unfair international calendar. We also have no space allocated for a proper international tournament.

Right - unfortunately this yet again demonstrates how little you seem to appreciate how international rugby is vital.

For a start - you want to close down all tests outside a Rugby World Cup. Well what you don't seem to appreciate is that it is the international games which FUND domestic rugby in many countries. No All Blacks matches means no domestic rugby in NZ - really beneficial of the tier two players in the NPC which would have to be cancelled from the money made in All Blacks tests. Well done.

Canada never gets any exposure to tier 1 sides and even minimal exposure to tier two - as all their qualifying matches have to be played within a short window (the logistic of which are nearly impossible). I agree, I think Canada getting no exposure to any tier 1 teams as they have to qualify for the cup can only be beneficial to second tier rugby :rolleyes:.

Why should RWC earnings go to the clubs? Guess what - without the money from the RWC countries like Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Namibia, Georgia etc don't get money put into the grass routes or into those players developments. If the clubs really felt so hard done by the Rugby World Cup, then they should make sure they don't sign players who are part of development schemes organized by the IRB. Or better yet, maybe they should be made to compensate the IRB for money they have already put into developing those players.

I'm sorry - but there is something wrong with you if you think any tier 2 rugby will benefit purely based on the charity of private clubs.
 

Canadian_Rugger

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Right - unfortunately this yet again demonstrates how little you seem to appreciate how international rugby is vital.

For a start - you want to close down all tests outside a Rugby World Cup. Well what you don't seem to appreciate is that it is the international games which FUND domestic rugby in many countries. No All Blacks matches means no domestic rugby in NZ - really beneficial of the tier two players in the NPC which would have to be cancelled from the money made in All Blacks tests. Well done.

Never once did I say we would close down tests outside the Rugby World Cup, I said we need three tests windows a year and they need to be unified between the hemisphere's.

I'll repeat it

1. A test window for major tournament's i.e. Six Nations/Tri-Nation's/RWC etc...
2. A Spring test window; and
3. A Fall test window

When it's a RWC year Tri-Nations and Six Nations are cancelled

Canada never gets any exposure to tier 1 sides and even minimal exposure to tier two - as all their qualifying matches have to be played within a short window (the logistic of which are nearly impossible). I agree, I think Canada getting no exposure to any tier 1 teams as they have to qualify for the cup can only be beneficial to second tier rugby :rolleyes:.

Yet more fallacious argumentation from you and your Kiwi arrogance really shines through on this one. Canada doesn't get any tests for the same reasons the US doesn't get any tests... rugby is run like an Oligarchy in that the Tier-1 nations only want to play each other as it makes them more money then playing a Tier-2 nation hence why NZ wasn't willing to giveup a lucrative match against a Six Nations side to play a test against the USA within the international window. Again logistics aren't very hard, simply a matter of will power.

Why should RWC earnings go to the clubs? Guess what - without the money from the RWC countries like Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Namibia, Georgia etc don't get money put into the grass routes or into those players developments. If the clubs really felt so hard done by the Rugby World Cup, then they should make sure they don't sign players who are part of development schemes organized by the IRB. Or better yet, maybe they should be made to compensate the IRB for money they have already put into developing those players.

I'm sorry - but there is something wrong with you if you think any tier 2 rugby will benefit purely based on the charity of private clubs.

Again your taking my argument and spinning it. Ever heard of the idea of revenue sharing? Not all the money from a RWC should go to the clubs but they need to be considered as stakeholders along with the national unions. The RWC 2007 in France made 90 Million Euros in profit. Why didn't the clubs receive some of that money.

I agree with you that nations like Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, Namibia need funding support from the IRB but if nations like Romania, Georgia, Canada, USA and Japan were given proper tests against Tier 1 oppositon regularly and at home, we would make enough money to run our national program in a self-sustaining manner. Our national programs are unsustaining because we are forced to travel to play all our games and we rarely get major international tests.

In defence of Canada, anytime we tour Europe we always play at least one game against a Tier 3 side. In recent years we have played Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Russia. How many Tier 2 have the All Blacks, England, France, Australia, South Africa played in a test window?
 

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As I point out - the Top 14 made certain many Fijian players wouldn't be released for the 2011 RWC.

Regardless of what you feel Leicester have done and will do - it's not like that represents clubs attitudes on the whole.

South African players during the last EoYT were expected to attend Toulon training camps and matches in the middle of the tournament. During the Tri Nations Fourie du Preez was only made avalible from his Japanese club for half the games. You can argue that is the agreement that they signed - but the reality is its clubs offering financial incentives to players to ignore the tests windows.

There is talk of USA players not being released for international matches against the All Blacks if it does fall outside the window which will endanger the match. This may again be totally their right, but I think it demonstrates that clubs are going to put their interests ahead of the international game. Giving clubs control would see those test windows reduced further - I remember a model proposed by several clubs which saw only a three month gap allocated to international rugby - enough time to include only the 6 Nations.

As oppose to the Unions putting their interests ahead of the domestic game? If unions organize games outside the agreed international window they should not expect support from the the clubs they made the agreement with.
 

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In defence of Canada, anytime we tour Europe we always play at least one game against a Tier 3 side. In recent years we have played Belgium, Portugal, Spain and Russia. How many Tier 2 have the All Blacks, England, France, Australia, South Africa played in a test window?

I'm pretty sure every autumn each Tier 2 side gets a game against a Tier 1 opposition. In 2013 Japan played Scotland, Ireland played Samoa, France and Wales played Tonga, Canada & the USA both played New Zealand Maori, and Fiji played Italy and the Barbarians (ok i know that's not tier 1 but they smashed Fiji).

In 2012 England and Ireland played Fiji. Italy played Tonga, Wales lost to Samoa, Canada again played the NZ Maori, Scotland played Tonga and France played Samoa.

Does it make sense for them to have any more games against the Tier 1's? The current schedule allows them to play a larger nation and then tier 2 nations how much money do you think you'll make if a full strength England or New Zealand side turns up regularly and throttles your national team?

Teams develop by playing better opposition, but they don't by getting continually thrashed, as a rugby fan i understand your frustration personally i think the IRB have got it about right with the current scheduling.

http://www.irb.com/newsmedia/mediazone/pressrelease/newsid=2063575.html
 
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jonny24

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Oh, and you were doing so well until that...

Why? It's like the Olympics replacing world championships in other sports in Olympic years.

How many times do you want to play the same five teams over and over again? It's even worse in the SH with the RC. The world cup is a much more exciting tournament. There's match ups that would never happen otherwise, crazy upsets happen, and it draws attention like nothing else. Replacing the 6n and RC would only add to that, focusing all the attention of the international game on its best product. They could even have a short window, with the final qualifying matches, creating more of a build up. And then the later larger window for the WC.

And then, the next year, the 6N and RC would become more interesting, due to the years absence. I think this is a great idea.
 

goodNumber10

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Why? It's like the Olympics replacing world championships in other sports in Olympic years.

How many times do you want to play the same five teams over and over again? It's even worse in the SH with the RC. The world cup is a much more exciting tournament. There's match ups that would never happen otherwise, crazy upsets happen, and it draws attention like nothing else. Replacing the 6n and RC would only add to that, focusing all the attention of the international game on its best product. They could even have a short window, with the final qualifying matches, creating more of a build up. And then the later larger window for the WC.

And then, the next year, the 6N and RC would become more interesting, due to the years absence. I think this is a great idea.

You would because you clearly have no understanding of the importance of the tournament. It's absurd

Rugby is a game built on tradition and values, sometimes to it's detriment and sometimes to it's benefit. The 6 Nations is one of those occasions where it's absolutelyto it's benefit. It generates a huge amount of revenue - even in world cup year and raises the profile in a way that even the world cup struggles to do. To chuck something out the every four years because of the world cup and because a few developing nations want it differently is an absolutely preposterous notion.

i agree more should be done, i'd love to see a second tier six nations with relegation every other year, but as far as i can tell your entire assesment revolves around revenue generation for smaller nations at the expense of current revenue streams for bigger nations.
 

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I think that a global calendar would benefit everyone. If there's a way to do that and retain everything, that would be ideal. Maybe instead of dropping the 6N/RC the other test windows are dropped in WC years.

Speaking of aligning calendars, one thing I've never understood why rugby is a "winter" sport in the UK? Aside from an awkward transition year , why couldn't it be played in the summer? I'm not saying that's what should be done, but something has to shift somewhere.
 

ratsapprentice

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I think both the NH and SH are in agreement that there should be a global calendar - but neither wants to budge.

Rugby is a winter sport in the SH too - if the Saffers played in their summer it would be horrendous. (the heat and the firmness of the grounds).

The British model is Cricket in the summer, Rugby/Football in the Winter.
Cricket can't be played in the winter.

I would personally prefer our rugby to be played in the summer - I think the conditions we play in are a major factor in our poor handling as compared with the SH.
 

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A year without the Six Nations is like a year without sex. Its just not a fulfilling way to live.

I don't see how the IRB can make enough money to provide the compensation for international player use by Tier 2 countries, particularly if you curtail internationals, the main money making event for so many of its members. That does not seem to be a starter for me.

Rugby's brand is International Rugby. Its appeal to many of its fans is largely based around the international game. A large part of this argument in favour of privately run clubs and leagues is that they provide Tier 2 countries with a better international chance - I don't think the original author wants clubs for the sake of it, he wants a stronger international game and sees the clubs as the path. The likely outcome of an attempt to force a massive change in its priorities is to smash the game that the Tier 2 countries want to join. Attempts to grow the game are better working with the model we've got than proposing massive pie in the sky changes that aren't going to happen. Yes, I get that the current set up is immensely frustrating for a number of countries. But the international calender isn't getting trimmed - and if it does, the Tier 2 countries will get even less gametime against the Tier 1 countries.
 

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I think that a global calendar would benefit everyone. If there's a way to do that and retain everything, that would be ideal. Maybe instead of dropping the 6N/RC the other test windows are dropped in WC years.

Speaking of aligning calendars, one thing I've never understood why rugby is a "winter" sport in the UK? Aside from an awkward transition year , why couldn't it be played in the summer? I'm not saying that's what should be done, but something has to shift somewhere.

The November tests are already dropped as are the July tests iirc.


Agree about summer... And aligning the seasons. Just not on dropping the 6N.
 

nickdnz

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Also - what national team wants no warm up games going into a Rugby World Cup...
 
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