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Again, I plead for a Pacific Nations annual championship. Canada, United States, Uraguay, Chile, Tonga, Fiji, Samoa, and Japan would make a great annual championship. Argintina is left out because they are now part of the Quad_Nations championship. This would give these 8 countries quality annual international games. We are all ranked from about 9th to 23rd, so it could be quite competitive.
Posted 21:00 22nd March 2012
Thanks for all the comments people. It is much appreciated.
Personally I would not be for a proposal of promotion/relegation as I think it would be unsettling. Teams need to be assured that they can develop a game plan without the risk that the next year they will be in a lower competition with lesser revenue.
Funding for the IRB to help improve the playing numbers in Tier 2 Nations is very important though. In somewhere like Romania, the IRB also need to win the 'hearts and mind's of the public to change the view that Rugby is so intrinsicly linked to their former regime: a regime that caused so many autrocities.
I do think there is also room for a change to the system currently. Tier 2 Nations need not necessarily play in for instance the 6 Nations or newly named Rugby Championship, but they could have matches against England Saxons, New Zealand Maori, Ireland A etc. That would still be a huge step up for them, and could be a benefit to Home Nations as well. A match against the fesity georgian Pack would be a hell of an experience for a English B side for example.
Where I see the bigger problem personally though is that teams such as Samoa, Fiji and Tonga who are already rugby mad do not get a fair crack. They should be involved more and not just have to play the Pacific Nations Cup which I don't not see as much benefit to them to be quite honest. You feel that the IRB are quite conservative in their ways and want to keep the status quo. Something which needs to change if they really want to globalise the game.
Posted 13:03 22nd March 2012
Would those who advocate relegation and promotion think a little about their idea?
The 6 Nations is the main income for all 6 Unions if you involve Romania etc the income will cease for the relegated teams, assuming Italy or Scotland lose a tight game against them in Romania, therefore bankrupting them and the total income will drop dramatically for everybody else as the tv companies will not pay the same for England v Romania as England v Scotland etc. Add to this do you really consider Twickenham etc will be a sell out if Romania are playing rather than Scotland?
Romania play in their own 5 Nations tournament with Portugal, Russia, Georgia and Spain and have a very good level of game against them and develop that way they are not starved of international competition as was Argentina so any comparisons with them joining the tri nations is invalid.
Think through your proposals before posting romantic ideas. The introduction to the 6 Nations of other teams would bankrupt others and has no basis on need..
Posted 07:21 22nd March 2012
Nice article, 'big' russian winger? Big is certainly not a way I'd describe Vas....
Posted 07:04 22nd March 2012
@ edhutson - I really like your idea. I think a non-automatic relegation would be ideal too. Obviously whoever it is, is going to struggle to make the step up initially so it would only be fair to give these sides an opportunity to establish themselves. The bottom side in the "European super cup" would go up against the 'European nations cup' winners, in preferably a two-legged tie.
Then you just need to sort out a pathway for teams like Samoa, Fiji, Tonga, Canada, the USA, Brasil, & Uruguay.
Posted 06:52 22nd March 2012
Posted 21:42 21st March 2012
Excellent piece, thanks
Posted 21:00 21st March 2012
Sad really, Hopefully they'll be up there again someday.
Posted 19:47 21st March 2012
i dont think it would be fair or good for italy or scotland to get relegated from the 6N, however these teams need a fair crack at the whip, i think we should expand the 6 nations into 8 teams, name it the european super cup or something and take the top two teams from the B six nations to start off with, then operate with a relegation system, with just one team being relegated. this could also benefit scotland and italy who might start to play attacking rugby rather than defend, but also bring on the 'lesser nations' such as romania, georgia and russia who will be exposed to top class opposition. its a win-win situation, getting rid of the 6N will be sad, but its for the greater good, look at the 'rugby championship' in the southern hemisphere, they have accepted argentina and its only fair if we do the same.
Posted 17:33 21st March 2012
I think having these teams play against club sides would do nothing for there self esteem or their growth. In my opinion a brand new eupopean championships should be set up to replace the current tiered system of competitions. Ill admit that doing away with the 6N would not be a popular idea, but i find the idea of a full on european championships very exciting. More and more people each year seem to label the 6N as a stale competition with poor games. The current club v country problems, due to the 6N being bang in the middle of the club season, are an issue which is being highlighted more and more. The likes of the sides mentioned in the letter need more competitive games against the top sides . The creation of a new summer competion (played 4 yearly between World Cups) would solve all 3 of these problems.
Posted 16:41 21st March 2012
Excellent Letter, should be sent to the IRB, we have to give countries like romania a chance to develope /regain their positions in World Rugby. I would love to see the National teams of Romania, Georgia,Russia, Spain & Portugal be allowed enter in a regular competition, something like promotion/relegation in the 6N's or have them play in the leagues around Europe or in the Aimlin Challenge Cup.
Rugby Union is at a pivotial crossroads and really needs to embrace new ideas and have a bolder more dynamic vision.
Posted 15:28 21st March 2012
this article was a romping good read, well done sir. also quite a sad account of how erstwhile strong and respected teams can dip rapidly into obscurity
it's fascinating that many socialist dictatorships were able to produce excellent sportsmen (team and individual) while simultaneously massacring their own populations in the name of equality. romania aside, look at football teams like the soviet union in the 80s, hungary in the 50s, north korea in the 60s...sprinters like juantorena from cuba...i suppose the main reason is that these regimes routinely banned their own nationals from emigrating, which inevitably meant that the most talented athletes stayed at home. either that, or drugs, as ye say
the irony of it all is that ex-communist regimes like romania and russia are now the beneficiaries of marxist thinking within international sporting bodies like the IRB who seem intent on expanding tournaments like the rugby world cup to the point where it becomes diluted of almost all its competitiveness - all in the name of "giving everyone a leg up", seemingly
Posted 14:51 21st March 2012
Posted 13:57 21st March 2012