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Australian Rugby / RA

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
I think 6 pools of 4, with a round of 16 (a structure that has been used a fair bit in soccer) is a lot better than 4 pools of 6. The weakest 8 teams only play 3 games, pool phase doesn't drag out, and you get another 8 knockout games which would be awesome. A couple of the round of 16 games may be uncompetitive, but it'd still be more tense than if it's just another pool game. And it'd be great for more t2 sides to get to play knockout games.

The issue with this is you make pool games largely irrelevant whereas there is currently a lot of interest in the pool games because good teams miss out on the quarter finals.

I don't think rugby has the depth to have a round of 16 yet and I think it defeats the purpose of expanding the RWC if you take games away from teams 17-20.
 

Mr Pilfer

Bob Loudon (25)
Yeah I think both formats would have issues. 4 pools of 6 seems better to me with just the top 2 going through to quarter finals, but I agree watching the likes of Romania play 5 games is a bit much.

They could instead keep the 4 pools of 5 teams but have say 6 teams play off for the last 2 spots prior to the world cup, kind of like they do in the cricket.
 

Highlander35

Andrew Slack (58)
That's the stupidest part of any Cricket World Cup. Cricket World Cups are always compromised because the goal is always to ensure India plays a minimum of 7 games, if not 8-10.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
The issue with this is you make pool games largely irrelevant whereas there is currently a lot of interest in the pool games because good teams miss out on the quarter finals.

I don't think rugby has the depth to have a round of 16 yet and I think it defeats the purpose of expanding the RWC if you take games away from teams 17-20.

You'd have a lot more inconsequential pool games with 6 team pools though (with only top 2 progressing). Sure, with 4 team pools you take away 1 game for teams 17-20, but they would all have a fighting chance of making the round of 16, and I think it's a reasonable price to pay for the extra knock out games. The pool games would still determine rankings going into the round of 16, which would be crucial, and good teams would get knocked out in that round.

Right now there's probably 15 teams (down to Tonga in the rankings) who at least seem capable on their day of pulling off an upset in a round of 16. 16th (currently Portugal) is a step down, but the group from 16th-23rd are all of a similar level and would probably all have a chance to make a round of 16. The bigger issue in my mind is getting a few more teams to at least that level so there's more than 25 teams capable of making the world cup and not losing by 100+. But this seems possible for at least a handful of teams in Europe and South America. Chile's progress from 2019 to 2023 was huge for example.
 

Eddie's Eyebrows

Allen Oxlade (6)
I quite like the idea of:

Pools - Phase 1: 24 teams - 8 pools of 3 - top 2 progress
Pools - Phase 2: 16 teams - 4 pools of 4 - top 2 progress
Quarter Finals: 8 teams - winners progress
Semi Finals: 4 teams - winners progress
Final
 

Highlander35

Andrew Slack (58)
Double pool stages are simply awful. I don't want a 16 team World Cup, but I think I'd prefer that over any qualifier stage immediately preceding any World Cup.

The real issue is probably that long term, RWC qualification needs to be looked at in general. 12 (maybe 13 depending on host performance) are at the next World Cup before the current one is over. The remaining 7 spots are assigned on an ad hoc basis to ensure that the no teams "expected" to make it have a particularly difficult route to the Cup.

Now, I'm not saying that we need full regional qualification tournaments a la FIFA at every level (Vanuatu v All Blacks for example would go beyond laughable to genuinely dangerous), but it's certainly somewhat ridiculous.
 

Wallaby Man

Trevor Allan (34)
I quite like the idea of:

Pools - Phase 1: 24 teams - 8 pools of 3 - top 2 progress
Pools - Phase 2: 16 teams - 4 pools of 4 - top 2 progress
Quarter Finals: 8 teams - winners progress
Semi Finals: 4 teams - winners progress
Final
The issue with 8 groups of 3 is that it will be almost a month before the second phase starts. Having 3 teams means that only 1 fixture can be completed per week from that pool. It just won’t work out. Having this format would push the tournament out to 2 and a half months in length.

Think most likely it would be 4 groups of 6. 5 weeks of fixtures, top 2 make it through, qtr, semi, final. Total of 8 weeks (even shorter if compressed with midweek games)
 
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Wallaby Man

Trevor Allan (34)
Not having mid week games is a failure of this World Cup. It might not be a perfect system in terms of fairness but it’s the perfect system for engagement, which is what should be no.1 priority for all world cups. If teams aren’t strong enough to have depth in the squad then bad luck. Good events are usually compressed in nature. Currently the World Cup is almost half a Super Rugby season
 

Braveheart81

Will Genia (78)
Staff member
Not having mid week games is a failure of this World Cup. It might not be a perfect system in terms of fairness but it’s the perfect system for engagement, which is what should be no.1 priority for all world cups. If teams aren’t strong enough to have depth in the squad then bad luck. Good events are usually compressed in nature. Currently the World Cup is almost half a Super Rugby season

This was never the issue. It was always the fact that the lower seeded teams got awful draws with more short turnarounds because they were mostly playing the midweek games to fit around the top sides being in the prime slots on Friday/Saturday/Sunday.

I agree that it is a letdown not having games every day but I think that needs to be resolved by increasing the number of teams, not reverting back to a pretty unfair draw.
 

Bullrush

John Hipwell (52)
Not having mid week games is a failure of this World Cup. It might not be a perfect system in terms of fairness but it’s the perfect system for engagement, which is what should be no.1 priority for all world cups. If teams aren’t strong enough to have depth in the squad then bad luck. Good events are usually compressed in nature. Currently the World Cup is almost half a Super Rugby season
Bad luck? Luck has nothing to do with it.

Give all the midweek games and short turnaround times to the Tier 1 nations with all the money depth to handle it then.
 

Brumby Runner

David Wilson (68)
Not having mid week games is a failure of this World Cup. It might not be a perfect system in terms of fairness but it’s the perfect system for engagement, which is what should be no.1 priority for all world cups. If teams aren’t strong enough to have depth in the squad then bad luck. Good events are usually compressed in nature. Currently the World Cup is almost half a Super Rugby season
Having two pools playing exclusively on weekends and the other two exclusively mid-week would seem to be fair? Would need to have a ten day break for the midweek sides leading into the quarters, but still fair if its the two mid-week pool winners and runners up that contest a particular couple of quarters.

All semi contestants then would have similar break between quarters and semis.
 

Proud Pig

Ted Thorn (20)
Just go 4 pools of 6, 5 pool games slightly bigger squads to allow teams to rotate their squad more to manage loads.
I completely agree with this approach.
If you increase the squad sizes you can also compress the time between group games as rotation is so much easier.
You don't want the tournament to run any longer than the current 8 weeks.

If you went with 6 groups of 4 you either have to rank the qualifiers to the next round, of either 16 or 8, which is inherently unfair or you end up with two pool rounds leading into a round of 8 which would make the tournament to long.
Anything that doesn't start with 4 groups simply doesn't work to lead to knockout rounds.
I guess you could go 8 groups of 3 into a round of 16 but I think that would mean the pool games would have very little interest as each group would have a power team, a mid ranger and weak team.
 

Slim 293

Stirling Mortlock (74)
I agree...

6 groups of 4...

More matches - shorter turnaround times for some weeks with weekday games - more content, more money - larger squad sizes etc. etc. etc.

Pool stages > top 4 from pools go into round of 16 > quarters > semis > GF.

In fact, the tournament shouldn't need to run any longer than it does now because they already essentially have bye weeks to accommodate 5 teams in every pool.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
I agree...

6 groups of 4...

More matches - shorter turnaround times for some weeks with weekday games - more content, more money - larger squad sizes etc. etc. etc.

Pool stages > top 4 from pools go into round of 16 > quarters > semis > GF.

In fact, the tournament shouldn't need to run any longer than it does now because they already essentially have bye weeks to accommodate 5 teams in every pool.

Someone some time ago back when Russia was apparently interested in bidding drew up a format on the T2 forum. It essentially resulted in more games. Four to be precise (52) over the same time frame. But with better spacing in terms of rest.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
If you went with 6 groups of 4 you either have to rank the qualifiers to the next round, of either 16 or 8, which is inherently unfair or you end up with two pool rounds leading into a round of 8 which would make the tournament to long.
It's a cup tournament, it's never going to be as 'fair' as a league where everyone plays each other. There's always an element of the luck of the draw no matter the format.

I'd be shocked if the broadcasters go for 6 team pools over 4 team pools and a round of 16, but I guess we'll find out. There's a lot of precedent for the 6 pools of 4 in soccer - the Euros have this format, and the Womens world cup had it until this year when they expanded to 32 teams. The 6 3rd placed teams just get ranked on a separate table with the top 4 going through. It's not entirely fair as they didn't play the same teams, but it's not that big of a deal. The best team should still win the tournament.
 

half

Alan Cameron (40)
Given my record on this site I tho I would upfront say this is not me saying this, rather its the big boss, Hamish McLennan,

From the OZ. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sp...g/news-story/d816e30c34c397b13ce202a929660f59

""""The real culprits are the game’s custodians who have allowed the code to wither on the vine when the alarm bells were ringing louder than ever.

For far too long, national and state rugby administrators have neglected their obligation to protect and grow the game, instead living off the successes from decades ago and the unwavering loyalty of the true believers.

Instead of making the tough calls that needed to be made, they prioritised self interest and Band-Aid solutions knowing it was only a matter of time before their house of straw got blown away.""""
 
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