Posted by: (IP Logged)
Date: 07 July, 2020 11:44

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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 21/07/2020 13:37 by P G Tips.

Posted by: Optimist (IP Logged)
Date: 07 July, 2020 14:59

The whole 'global calendar' thing is too much for my brain to compute - but one thing i've come round to is a ring-fenced Premiership. So, no relegation after Saracens. But possibly consider promotion available until GP is up to max. 14 clubs. Maybe - the team finishing top of Champ a/ isn't obliged to accept promotion, and b/ if they do accept it they also have to pass a number of criteria to ensure they will be a competitive and sustainable addition to the Prem.

Posted by: Montyuk (IP Logged)
Date: 07 July, 2020 23:12

For live rugby it has to be club. Getting hold of international tickets is 'too hard'. Like you PG I enjoy the international matches but these are (were) more a watch in the pub with your mates; and don't have the atmosphere of a trip to the Rec.

Atmosphere and the Rec. In the same sentence, who'd have thunk it smiling smiley

Adopted player 2019/20: Tom Ellis

Posted by: OldMarovian (IP Logged)
Date: 08 July, 2020 07:58

Really interesting subject. I think the answer is at least partly framed by how much you enjoy/follow the club or National game. I think for most National team still trumps club allegiance so that is seen as the ultimate goal. A successful national team.

I regularly change my mind about whether central contracts would be a good thing or not for England. Right now Eddie Jones has more access and more control over "his" players than any England head coach has ever had. I'm not sure that I'd be in favour of the current system but with England having even more of the club players time.

For me it all starts with the balance of the season. So much could (would?) change substantially if we didn't have the issue of club and Country seasons clashing. If that alone could happen I think the current system of club and Country is the best solution. My feeling is the clubs are much better suited to developing talent en masse than the RFU is and we as a country benefit from that. I also think such seperation could allow you to have a bigger England squad including bringing back the Saxons who could play or tour at the same time as the main team but be coached by seperate coaches being groomed for England in the future (think Baxter and Gustard taking the Pumas tour under Lancaster) to pay for that I'd change two things. The end to the ridiculous £25K a game for Internationals. Cut that in half. If the players aren't happy earning £12K for representing their Country find some that are. In the above system you wouldn't need to pay the same release fee to the clubs. Also the Saxons tours would generate revenue.

If you weren't able to change the season it is much trickier. I would still cut the match fee but the big change would be the end of the RFU and successful clubs subsidising the unsuccesful in the league. The new agreements with mean that you get more money for Academy credits is also going to reduce to below £80K the most that EPS players can gain back in credits for their club.
That is beyond idiotic. You incentivise clubs that do nothing to produce talent for England and you get those that do to subsidise the National team and their competitors.
The amount per EPS player is something like £180K? of which £80K can go towards the cap (getting a player to replace the absent player, good luck with that) Another, I think £40K goes to the club but can't be spent on cap and the last element is distributed between the clubs to pay for "access" to EPS players ... whether you produce them or not.
I'd change that to the club that produce England talent get that whole amount against the cap. It's arguable that that amount is too low but you can also argue that that what clubs pay their players isn't the RFUs problem and as long as they are paying within the market range for access to their players it is reasonable.

Posted by: warrenball (IP Logged)
Date: 08 July, 2020 09:27

I am not sure how much our views matter, the game is being run more and more by tv companies and investors like CVC. The RFU have squandered large sums of money over the years and now have to put on far too many internationals just to bolster their coffers.

I love both club, country and the Lions but feel the internationals have been devalued by the sheer number of games each year. Playing the top SH teams every two or three years would make the games more special but money will decide how often we play. The Barbarians should also not be forgotten.

Posted by: jayeatman (IP Logged)
Date: 08 July, 2020 15:45

Start with the market: Where is the demand?
Then figure out how to satisfy that demand without killing the players.

Seems to me there is spectator, TV & sponsor demand for all three tiers:
Internationals (WC, 6N & AIs, not so much summer tours except Lions of course)
European Cup
Domestic League

Clearly the top players can't play in all of the games of all 3, there has to be a cap.
The number of internationals need limiting so that the clubs get a look in with their stars.
Clubs need to have strong enough rosters so that they can filed teams during international windows.
The clubs probably need a better compensation package when they lose players to the country.
That just leaves the minor issue of a global calendar! You really need to align the 6N and the championship. Given our summers are milder than theirs, it points towards the 6N moving, an unlikely prospect. TBH though I think it would still be a success whenever it was held.

Posted by: OutsideBath (IP Logged)
Date: 08 July, 2020 18:47

The only internationals I have any interest in are the WC and England v the All Blacks, so for me club rugby definitely takes priority.

Whatever happens Iíd certainly like the international/club matches not to coincide although wouldnít welcome summer club rugby to make this possible.

There are too many international matches although with the current financial crisis I donít see how they can be reduced.

Posted by: Bath Supporter Jack (IP Logged)
Date: 09 July, 2020 09:16

My overall interest is in Bath Rugby and the Lions.

Evidence of this is I have a season ticket for Bath and have signed up for part of the Lions trip next year.

When I lived in London I probably used to go to a couple of Internationals at Twickenham. Living in Bath I find it too much of a faff so go to one game a year.........always invited by one of my suppliers!

I would like to have only two Autumn watching four distracts and messes up my Bath enjoyment..............however I also recognise the source of funding.

I would like rugby to become more sustainable.......................and what is happening now is going to achieve that.

I could quite happily watch Oldfield Old Boys or Bradford on Avon and so the intensity of an International or a Premiership gap is not essential as much as getting to know how the players play and watching them improve and play better as a team.

Two brilliant teams, made up of supreme athletes, coached and trained within an inch of their lives actually can (does) lead to a quite a sterile spectacle. Whereas a mistake by one team capitalised by the other can lead in the end to expansive exciting rugby.

In terms of player burn-out I would go to squads of 17 players with no substitution other than in the event of injury so maybe a sub of one prop and a utility back..............there are a lot of well discussed consequences to this but most obviously would be smaller (cheaper) squads.

Posted by: jayeatman (IP Logged)
Date: 09 July, 2020 11:48

I do enjoy the 6N, although I'd support a return to 4 or 5N with promotion/relegation to a second tier.
I agree 4 AIs is too many.
Fact is though, internationals are where the sport gets most of its money from.
I agree with the idea that rugby matches should be 15v15 not 23v23, forwards should prepare to play 80 mins not 50.
I also agree that club matches do not need to be test match standard or intensity, therefore see no real impediment to having club games the same weekend as internationals.

Here's an idea: If you could align 6N & championship, turn the AIs into a sort of play off competition. Top two from each play a round robin, so 3 games. Same for 3rd & 4th from each. Next 2 play with top 2 pacific nations (Japan, USA, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa etc). That way OB gets his ENGvNZL rather more often. Hopefully!

Posted by: Stopsy (IP Logged)
Date: 12 July, 2020 20:05

Tigers arenít really a members club as 2 board member shareholders own the majority of shares. As a shareholder, even if I could get every other shareholder to vote with me except those 2, I wouldnít be able to win.
In my opinion, Englandís greatest success came as a result of a really competitive league which has been diluted by the greed of the clubs in introducing play offs.
Ireland and wales have seen international success but have diluted the club/region game to an immaterial side show of second teams in the main.
If the RFU and the clubs could look at the benefit of the whole game rather than the snouts in troughs mentality I think we could see the best of all worlds.

Posted by: hasta (IP Logged)
Date: 12 July, 2020 21:35

The playoffs have existed for 17 years and have resulted in 7 different champions. The previous 15 years had 4 different champions. I struggle to see how the competitiveness of the league has been diluted. The competitiveness of Bath has, but I suspect the rest of the league care less about that.

The Irish regions have won 6 Heineken cups and 11 Celtic/ProX leagues. Are they really diluted?

The Welsh are a joke.

Posted by: Stopsy (IP Logged)
Date: 16 July, 2020 15:11

In the good old days of Bath/Tigers domination (what amazing memory I have to go that far back) the champion was often decided by the outcome of the 2 fixtures against each other and every other game had to be won, an exaggeration but I hope you understand my drift. With the Play Offs you can throw games selectively and still be in with a shot. I suspect the salary cap has done more to even out the teams than the Play Offs with the obvious exception of Saracens.

As for the Irish regions, I agree that their first teams are very good but they are rarely seen in the pro 14.

Would you be happy watching Bath B team in the league for 50% of the games?

Posted by: hasta (IP Logged)
Date: 16 July, 2020 17:52

I think that's more about the strength of the league than anything else. Leinster can send out B teams and win, because the league is full of weak Welsh, Italian and South African teams.

Posted by: joethefanatic (IP Logged)
Date: 17 July, 2020 05:33

I think that's more about the strength of the league than anything else. Leinster can send out B teams and win, because the league is full of weak Welsh, Italian and South African teams.

There are reports that the super rugby Saffer teams will be joining soon. That'll ginger things up a bit!

... IMHO, of course.

Now in Honolulu

Posted by: BathMatt53 (IP Logged)
Date: 17 July, 2020 13:11

Would you be happy watching Bath B team in the league for 50% of the games?

If the other teams were doing the same then I wouldn't be too bothered tbh. Would the overall quality of the rugby be hugely worse? I doubt it as the U20s games and even local club rugby etc are pretty enjoyable if you get two evenly matched teams.

[Adoptee 19 / 20: The High ball and counter attack meister, Tom Homer]

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