Good weekend for the Irish provinces. Three resounding victories (Leinster's demolishing of Northampton was particularly satisfying - perhaps they're back with a shout for the HC this year) and a famous away victory for Connaught at Toulouse.
2013/14 Rugby Thread
@bruk - if I look back over the past 10 years of club rugby I have it say it's been pretty varied, different clubs and countries enjoying periods of dominance in domestic leagues and in Europe. International rugby is still the showcase, we are a way off what has happened in football and in any case internationals will always have more tv money than the clubs so a football situation is much harder to envisage.
@aa - certainly sounds worrying for Welsh game, the WRU must be the only organisation more political with more vested interests than RFU ! They haven;t really learnt anything from the period when their best players went to League.
An AP with Newport, Llanelli and Cardiff?
I'd like to see them protected from relegation for a few seasons but it would be a great return to old rivalries and I'd be happy to make the short hop over the bridge to watch brizzle play there (if we get back up).
A Bath statement released on Monday read: " Bath Rugby can today confirm that Gary Gold has left the Club with immediate effect.
"The decision was taken following a re-structure in the rugby department and with the best interests of both Gary and the Club in mind.
"No further comment will be made until it is appropriate."
The director of rugby leaves due to a restructure... hmmm.... Don't tell me he punched Henson too!
Indeed wrecker and thats what the welsh think too! Irish, Italians and scots will be screwed mind. If I was irish I'd be very worried. Cant help but wonder if letting all the team wales players go has been to build up some spare cash and put pressure on wru. No one in wales cares about the rabo and warching Leunster reserves v ospreys.
It's a win/win surely?
The welsh fans return to their beloved clubs rather than the "regions". The AP gets additional spice with the welsh games. The welsh clubs (hopefully) get some good moneys and benefit from increased crowds (triple the prices when quins visit!) and hopefully BT dip their hands in their pockets. I'm sold.
There is no way Wales can resort to a club structure, Ospreys are the only region that married two clubs semi successfully The Blues alienated all the Pontypridd fans and the Scarlett's have always been a stand alone which is why the WRU had to bail them out. Newport kind of works but is the poor relation, they may have the best fan base though.
As an Osprey fan going to watch rugby at the Liberty is a miserable experience as it is a footy stadium and a crowd of 10,000 rattles around inside the place, gets full when playing the Scablets
Hope they come up with something but someone is going to lose out big time, Scots Italians Irish Welsh take your pick.
They intent isnt to go back to clubs afaik. Its for the regions to jump ship. Ospreys v Bath at the library would be very different from ospreys leinster. Away support would help for a start.
I'm just quoting the link on walesonline. Don't blame me!
Cardiff Blues and Llanelli Scarlets are essentially franchises given out by the WRU through the Participation Agreement, while Newport Gwent Dragons are actually 50 per cent owned by the Union.
If the PA isn’t renewed, then the WRU have indicated the regions would effectively cease to exist.
But Cardiff RFC, Llanelli RFC or Newport RFC would still exist and that could be the form the teams take in the Aviva.
Ospreys v Bath at the library would be very different from ospreys leinster. Away support would help for a start.
I'd go watch that. The osprey fans might be surprised to see a bristolian cheering their team on though!
From Gog perspective yes.
We might get regional rugby quicker than we thought
Don't think it will be plain sailing for the current regions as they will loose funding from the WRU.
They could struggle and if the WRU can entice some of the players to central contracts it could get very messy indeed.
It all depends on the deal they get in the premiership if they manage to get one that is.
Anyway it's clear RR in Wales is struggling so something has to change,interesting times ahead.
Who would centrally contacted players play for?
The Scarlett's were meant to cater for the gogs, who knew that gogs were into rugby
Who would centrally contacted players play for?
WRU are still contracted to play in the Rabo for 2 more years,if the regions jump ship then the WRU are obligated to have teams play in the league so they need to form new teams for this.
These new teams will have the players on central contracts to keep them in Wales.
This is what the WRU want all along.
Word on the street is there will be 3 new regions east,west and north,so a strong possibility there might not be an Ospreys team if this goes ahead,Kerdiff Scalies and Newport will be in the premier and the new regions in the rabo.
It's also possible that the regions will sign the new agreement with the wru for another 5 years.
So where are these new clubs in Wales going to get players from? The WRU,who seem even more power mad than your average blazer,are rather unlikely to allow centrally contracted players to jump ship. Can't see them being too willing to fund them either. We are screwed mind,but in ten years you won't know as the 6N will have died as fall out.As things stand,how many of the Welsh teams are going to survive in the Prem without
I'd like to see them protected from relegation for a few seasons
Welsh can't compete with money that the top English sides have,even with a share of the BT money. If you expand the Prem to take another 3 Welsh sides,their cut is 38 million divided by 15...Surely less than the Welsh are funded by their Union.And for every Cardiff v Bath, there is a Cardiff v London Irish.
Of course the most competitive way would be to have a British league made up of the the top 8 from England and the top 4 from the Rabo, hang on; we can make that the top 5 so the Welsh get a team in... With a second tier of professional clubs involving the lesser lights such as Edinburgh,Cardiff and Zebre and two sides promoted and relegated each year.
I still can't help but feel that this is still a power play by EPL. There would be no more Exeters/London Welsh,which would be a shame. And ambitious English clubs would be screwed by the addition of 4 Welsh clubs clogging up the Championship.
If you expand the Prem to take another 3 Welsh sides,their cut is 38 million divided by 15
Where did you get £38m from? The BT deal is a LOT more than that.
There is no reason that the Prem couldn't take 3 or more sides (welsh or english). The PRL have been lobbying for it for ages.
Deal is 152 million,over 4 years =38 million.
It's still a good bit more that the WRU is paying them currently (£6.6m/four regions) but BT would have to increase the deal for an expanded AP, as has been stated elsewhere.
Which brings in the statement from Sky that they didn't feel the BT deal was worth the product. As I stated above, I still think it is grandstanding by EPL. Nor do I see how the Welsh clubs could survive or even be competitive without centrally contracted players. Up here the SRU refused to spend on the regions until Murrayfield was paid for (didn't use lottery) as a result it is only the last two years that they have been able to fund the two regions to begin to be on a par with the rest of the Rabo. Without the WRU money it would take the breakaway clubs 10 years to get on the same footing.
So here are my questions; how long do you propose they stay protected? How long will the lower clubs in England put up with it,can't see the likes of Bristol who have a prem set up buying into it.
When the dust settles and EPL wants the Hiney cup money again ,how many Welsh Prem teams will be in Europe.
If there are Welsh regions,where does the allocation of Welsh places go?
I think if welsh teams were playing in a meaningful league I reckon a few backers might appear. Ospreys, blues and scablets would do ok. Only one team goes down... they are all better than worcester or sale or reading
For arguments sake lets say the current regions go to the EPL and the WRU sets up some new regions, would the WRU and the Welsh clubs in the EPL then get together and have a friendly chat to negotiate the release of players for Internationals or will the WRU throw the dummy and not select anyone that plays for the EPL Welsh clubs?
If they did that then the cash cow of the 6N would dry up, who would pay to go and see a Welsh Team made up of players from Llandovery Crosskeys etc taking on england and getting humped by a 100 points, TV wouldnt pay to watch that, WRU would be a laughing stock.
I would hope the players would refuse to play in that situation as well.
None EPL Welsh clubs Welsh Exiles
Gavin Henson - Bath
Lee Byrne - Clermont Auvergne
Luke Charteris - Perpignan
James Hook - Perpignan
Dan Lydiate - Racing Metro
Jamie Roberts - Racing Metro
Mike Phillips - Racing Metro
George North - Northampton
Paul James - Bath
Craig Mitchell - Exeter
Tavis Knoyle- Bath
Martyn Roberts - Bath
Rhys Gill - Bath
Jon Davies - Clermont (from 2014)
Ian Evans - Toulon (from 2014)
The Fridge - Sale
Waiting for a taxi!
And the above tells a lot about why the regions want to jump ship. Why is the WRU so skint?
Why is the WRU so skint?
I think they are in the black at the moment,that's why their not affraid of the regions if it goes to court.
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the Webb Ellis Trophy going south yet again without a fight, you are going the right way about it"
I don't think the WRU is skint. It's still paying off the debt for the millenium, but arent poor by any means. A lot of fans never identified with the regions, hence the lack of support.
Essentially if there two sets of welsh teams; they would be competing for the best players, so the better off teams would have all of the welsh internationals anyway (better wages). If this ended up being the AP welsh teams then the WRU would need to negotiate release for internationals.
Sky would say that it wasn't worth it wouldn't they? To me, their product isn't worth the money. I don't like them or Murdoch and I'm happy that their monopoly has been challenged.
So again, how will the clubs survive if the WRU keeps the regions? None of the English clubs do anything but lose money hand over fist. The French that they seem to envy are owned BY the likes of France's version of Murdoch. Of course the French have until December 31st to cancel their e158 deal...which could really throw the cat amongst the urban fowl,as the prospect of getting in bed with the French will mean all bets are off for the English.
None of the English clubs do anything but lose money hand over fist.
That's not correct. Exeter, Gloucester, Northampton, Harlequins, B*** and Leicester all recorded profits last season. Sale and Worcester nearly broke even.
Generally the clubs without a ground suffer;
Do you have more up to date figures for that? I find it incredible that Sale nearly broke even lat year bearing in mind they paid so much for such a large bucket of poo.
I hadn't realised quite the behind the scenes turmoil of the WRU and the regions. Completely understandable why players would head to England and France where there is at least a bit more stability and guarantee of some decent matches, not to mention the money etc. What Welsh international in their right mind would commit to a region with everything that is going on at the moment- there isn't really any guarantees for them about leagues/ cups they would play in, the structure of the clubs... what a mess.
Exeter have been in profit every year they've been in the AP. Gloucs and tigers in profit last season. Saints been in profit for 12 seasons running. Not so sure about quins and b*** though.
Anglo Welsh it is then!
Done deal apparently,5 m PA.
Best of luck to them and hope they can get the crowds back.
Gogledd Cymru in the Rabo!
Sounds good to me
Got a link Beici?
I would be more likely to believe the piece in the times today that shows how close the various parties actually are. Are you sure the guy who started that thread isn't just reading off of here or YOU?
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