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National Club Competition

Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by The Gunsmith, Apr 14, 2011.

  1. wolverine Allen Oxlade (6)

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    I doubt that an ARC or a National Club Competition would make compelling viewing for an audience sufficiently large to pay for it, as it would always be second rate compared to Super Rugby. As a result, while it may offer a new developmental pathway for more players, it would probably not be profitable, or at least not pay for itself. Reserve grade and second-tier competitions would be significantly expensive, but would't generate significant revenue. Since the ARU doesn't earn anything like the AFL, Rugby cannot afford them. I'd suggest some of the following:

    1) University Cup, featuring 10 teams based in the Australian and NZ cities which have a Super franchise. E.g. Sydney Uni playing ANU, UQ, Melbourne Uni, Otago Uni etc. This could emulate the appeal of South Africa's Varsity Cup, or the NRL Toyota Cup, especially if the majority of players are Colts age, it would be seen as an elite competition for youth, effectively creating Colts feeder teams for the Waratahs, Brumbies, Reds etc. The Toyota Cup does generate ratings that have rivalled some Super Rugby games, and if this competition were staged midweek, games could be broadcast on Fox, and attract a decent crowd from uni students.

    2) A City/Country (NSW) match played on an Origin basis. Staging such a match outside Sydney, even in Canberra, Wollongong, Newcastle, or a smaller regional centre, could promote Rugby to new markets, and create a quality game.
    3) State of the Union match - on an Origin basis. Would be a genuine trial for Wallaby selection, and could provide a more attractive and intense game than any June tests in years, especially the Scotland game this year, or would gain a larger audience here than any November tests.
  2. Brumbies Guy John Solomon (38)

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    NSW already has a City vs Country match don't they?
    qwerty51 likes this.
  3. wolverine Allen Oxlade (6)

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    For club Rugby players it appears. I'd suggest an additional rep match above that level for Super Rugby players.
  4. tigerland12 John Thornett (49)

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    I've always like the idea of an FA Cup style competition, simple knock-out style. They had/have (?) one in the Brisbane Premier League for football and it seems to work.

    It would start at the lower levels like Divison 2 play off in their respective states, then the winners progress to play the Premier division sides. Then when the top 3/4 sides from each state are finalized they can play other inter-state sides.

    This could run throughout the season and eventually building up untill the latter half of the season ending just before the Brisbane/Sydney semi-finals.

    Just a thought, I've always liked this format in football.
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  5. happyjack Sydney Middleton (9)

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    Lots of ideas. The only model that has real industry credibility across football codes that cross regional borders in that of the Heineken Cup (Rugby), Champions League (Soccer). We would have set weekends where local comps have a break and this competition is played based on qualification from your local competition. In Australia this could involve teams from the 3 states that have professional teams, and the top 6 teams from NSW and 3 from QLD. Teams play in 3 pools of 4 before finals in October. Other teams and minor unions could play in 2nd tier comp under same structure just like ECC.
    This is proven to provide a higher level, and create better networking across the country at elite club level while not destroying the integrity of local comps because you have to perform locally to hold your standing nationally in the next year.
  6. WorkingClassRugger Desmond Connor (43)

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    I'd personally love to see this occur. Make it an U20s competition to fall in line with IRB structures. Wouldn't limit it to strictly to Rugby players chasing careers while in Uni, it would also require some cooperation with TAFE structures as well to cater for those who aren't suited to Uni. House them in one of the Uni College's, train full time, assist with maximizing AusStudy and such and employ them within the Uni in some capacity.
  7. nomis Herbert Moran (7)

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    Worth a thought WCR
  8. qwerty51 Rod McCall (65)

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    SANZAR should cough up the money to implement an u20 competition that runs parallel with the TRC as curtain raisers to each game.
    tigerland12 and Stands like this.
  9. WorkingClassRugger Desmond Connor (43)

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    Problem with this idea (it's a good one imo) is that SA will never go for it. They already have the likes of the Vodacom and Varsity Cup's in place. Add in the distances and they'll just cry about the extra expense. We should be looking to do something with NZ. I like the Universities idea. Five from us, 5 from them. Make it a 14 round competition (to fall in line with session times). Domestic team play one another twice and opposition from the other the side of the Tasman once.
    Stands likes this.
  10. Dan54 Bob Davidson (42)

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    Unfortunately Uni idea is likely to get scrapped because clubs are going to be worried about players all going to play for Uni clubs??
  11. Bruce Ross Ken Catchpole (46)

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    There is a simple model for a National Club Competition (NCC) which could work. I think it is more likely to be viable now that the Super competition is virtually coextensive with the club competitions in Sydney and Brisbane. This means that the professional players would be largely excluded from playing in the NCC.

    Clubs bidding for the right to be admitted to the competition would have to satisfy criteria relating to resources and financial viability. It could be anticipated that a number of existing Sydney and Brisbane clubs would apply to take part as I imagine would Tuggeranong. Melbourne and Perth would also be likely starters, and conceivably Adelaide might want to enter given that the city does not have to support a Super team.

    Games would ideally be scheduled on Friday nights or Sunday afternoons so as not to clash with Saturday rugby commitments in the various cities. The Sydney and Brisbane NCC clubs would continue their involvement in their existing competitions. Their participation in the national competition would help to reduce the disparity in playing standards in the Shute Shield and Queensland Premier competitions.

    Initially you might have eight teams playing one round, i.e., seven weeks of the regular season plus two weeks of finals. With this format there would be little need for players to relocate to other states which was a major source of financial strain for the clubs involved in the ARC competition. Also clubs could make use of their existing administrative structures to run an additional team for essentially half a season.
    Hawko and Stands like this.
  12. Dan54 Bob Davidson (42)

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    I really like the sound of this format BR, and would love it to happen , would then be able to chase my own club, as well as a club in NCC.
  13. p.Tah Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    Bruce, will players then flock to these clubs and the non-NCC Shute clubs will be left with the also rans?
  14. Bruce Ross Ken Catchpole (46)

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    Perhaps to some extent, pT, but at least in the intial stages it is only likely to run for about half a season. It might be possible for players to shift to an NCC club for the duration of the competition either in their own city or in another state and then return to their club. That was what essentially happened with the ARC.

    We need to find a way to go forward and this appears to be a way of achieving some genuine high quality sub-professional competition nationally.
  15. p.Tah Peter Fenwicke (45)

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    I like the idea of a super rugby academy comp in Australia with Western Sydney, a secong Qld team and one from Adelaide included. However if your comp brings us the next tier for development I'd support that.
  16. WorkingClassRugger Desmond Connor (43)

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    My only real issue with Bruce's suggestion is apart from Sydney Uni and Tuggeranong (I know very little about the financial strengths of Qld clubs), who else has the necessary finances and resourcing to undertake such an endeavour?

    If Melbourne, Perth or even Adelaide were to enter they would be composite teams as I seriously doubt any one club from either would have the resources (though the Perth clubs are known to pay player's quite reasonable sums) to go it alone. Wouldn't it be better if the clubs in both Sydney and Brisbane looked to 'regionalize' and form similar arrangements. The difference here would be unlike the ARC, where clubs were removed from the equation. In this model say, Western Sydney would be controlled, financed and resourced by the combined bases of the four (Eastwood, Wests, Parra and Penrith) 'western' clubs, North Sydney (Norths, Gordon, Warringah and Manly) and Sydney (the three eastern club plus Souths).

    This would provide a higher calibre competition just below SR but above Club, that directly involves the clubs at their cores. It would also create a defined pathway outside of Academies with players coming through junior ranks, into grade, the NC, SR, Wallabies.

    This is a system that works so very well for NZ, where to most of the NPC player's come from. The clubs. This systems success can be judged not on RWC's but on the ABs continued dominance year after year over all comer's. Why? Because it works beautifully and we should be looking to do the exact same thing, as soon as possible.
  17. WorkingClassRugger Desmond Connor (43)

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    I will state that I do understand the sentiment of many in clubland to 'go it alone'. There's a lot of pride and tradition there that no one wants to let go. I experienced all this first hand when I was 16 coming into the Randwick Colts squad. At the time I agreed with these sentiments. But, as I have matured, I have come to realise that while the level of club competition is good, we need better to develop our talent and in general remain truly competitive on the world stage.

    Sometimes, this requires sacrifice for the greater good. That sacrifice in this case more than any is simply status. The clubs are scared stiff of losing their status and power in which to wield it. My suggestion will allow the traditional clubs to maintain that as it moves them into an ever more pivotal role. The first point of contact and development for emerging talent. To be eligible for a 'region' you would first have to prove yourself at club level.
  18. elementfreak Jim Clark (26)

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    The last one cost that much because all the non-local players were getting put up in hotel rooms for their stay in town. If they got share-houses for the players it would've cut the cost a fair bit.
  19. WorkingClassRugger Desmond Connor (43)

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    They wouldn't really even need those. If you 'regionalise' it, then in order to be eligible to play in a region, you would first need to play in a club within that region. That would mean that most if not all wouldn't require any sort of pre-arranged accommodation as they would already live within it. In terms of stadium hire, that too could be reduced with the use of existing facilities. Don't worry about hiring 10,000 seater or so, use the facilities available to them. Bruce brief suggests a set of criteria. This would ensure that the necessary finances to compete would be secure by each entity prior to inception.

    The only real expensive cost would be travel. But I would suggest a cost sharing arrangement be found to help cover those as well. If you schedule most for evening games then you can fly the teams (most of the time) in on the morning and out after the game. No need for accommodation outside visits to Perth. We also need to remember that the ARC paid player's. This would be an aspirational championship for club player's (and to a lesser extent returning pro's). Payments at least initially won't be anything outside of any such assistance they would be receiving from their clubs.
  20. wolverine Allen Oxlade (6)

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    I'd agree with all this, along with creating a 14 round regular competition.

    It would be limited to Colts players, i.e. Under 19s or 20s. Secondly, player drain is possible, but IMO unlikely. I think the financial and scholastic incentives that have been used by clubs like Sydney Uni to attract the best club players of all ages would be directed more to Under 19s/20s for a Universities Cup than to their open age clubs (e.g. instead of retaining those players in the first grade team in the Shute Shield). Furthermore, competition like the Shute Shield could use a player points index to evenly distribute talent.

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