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Rugby News from unexpected places

mxyzptlk

Colin Windon (37)
I asked the Kiwi barman who the teams were. He told me that it was the University league and was the level below the professional comp. Looked like there was about 15-20,000 at these games.

A University league pulled in a five-figure crowd? Was it a final, or is Japan really gearing up for their run at hosting the World Cup?
 

Mr Wobbly

Alan Cameron (40)
Was over in Japan recently and caught a bit of rugby on TV. The professional league receives quite good exposure on the Saturday night news (FTA) and in the papers as well. I was also in a bar one night and was watching some rugby on the big screen - the standard looked quite good and I asked the Kiwi barman who the teams were. He told me that it was the University league and was the level below the professional comp. Looked like there was about 15-20,000 at these games.

Nice little touch at the end of games where the teams line up on the 10m lines bow to each other and the the 2 captains go forward and bow to the referee.

Better news coverage is one of the benefits of Japan's world cup efforts. Prior to the RWC, rugby was pretty much invisible in the mainstream media.

University matches often pull bigger crowds than Top League games - especially when the bigger unis play. Most of the uni league games are broadcast, on pay TV and on delay, pretty good coverage though.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
Reports out of Japan suggest that the Top League is about to undergo a restructure to two divisions and a South Korean squad and potentially a Hong Kong team will enter via this restructure.


I think it's a step towards further Super Rugby expansion within Asia. Korea in particular will hopefully be very jealous of Japan's success and try to replicate it.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
I think it's a step towards further Super Rugby expansion within Asia. Korea in particular will hopefully be very jealous of Japan's success and try to replicate it.


Whether or not we'll ever see an Asian conference is SR or even more than one or two teams is still very uncertain. However, I think there's potential to use the Top League as a vechicle to creating some semblance of an Asian professional league structure. At the very least a structure that could see more Asian players have the opportunities to play the game professionally. It will be interesting to see how it evolves.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
Here's a prediction for you guys: The African qualifier for the 2019 world cup will be Algeria.

Their Federation was recently established and in their first official test match they beat Tunisia 16-6. Don't think they have full WR membership yet, but they should get it soon and when they do they'll be able to enter official African competitions and work their way up the divisions.

The match with Tunisia was a real launch of rugby in Algeria where it's a very small sport. But the diaspora in France is huge and there are many professional players that would be eligible. The team that beat Tunisia (who are ranked 39th in the world) was predominantly amateur/semi-pro and a lot weaker than a team they could probably put together for a world cup qualifier - my understanding is they could have a team filled with Top 14 and Pro D2 players. And Mourad Boudjellal, who's parents are Algerian has already offered the new Algerian Federation a match against Toulon, so they have well-connected friends!

I reckon if they can give themselves a chance to qualify that they'll be stronger than the likes of Namibia and Zimbabwe in 2018.
 

mxyzptlk

Colin Windon (37)
Whether or not we'll ever see an Asian conference is SR or even more than one or two teams is still very uncertain. However, I think there's potential to use the Top League as a vechicle to creating some semblance of an Asian professional league structure. At the very least a structure that could see more Asian players have the opportunities to play the game professionally. It will be interesting to see how it evolves.

I wonder if it'd be possible to see some teams like Russia's Enisei leave the EPCR and join an Asian professional league. Geographically, they're far closer to Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, even Singapore than they are to the rest of Europe.
 

Beer Baron

Bill McLean (32)
Not entirely unexpected places, but what was the make up of the pumas side that took on the eagles - resulting in a 35 all draw?? Also good to see Uruguay not far off the pace.
 

mxyzptlk

Colin Windon (37)
Not entirely unexpected places, but what was the make up of the pumas side that took on the eagles - resulting in a 35 all draw?? Also good to see Uruguay not far off the pace.

Most were from club sides in Argentina; 3 are on the Jaguares side for the upcoming Super Rugby season. Similar with the USA, with 8 of their players playing in Europe, and the rest belonging to American clubs (one at Trinity). Have to double-check, but it was something like 5 or 7 first-caps for the USA.
 

liquor box

Jim Lenehan (48)
Unsure of where to post this-

We have just had a world cup and are expanding Super Rugby and I have noticed the brochure for Amart all sports has League, soccer and AFL jerseys and NO rugby jerseys.

I hope someone at ARU headquarters is concerned
 

waiopehu oldboy

Jason Little (69)
Small sample size I know but AMAS Browns Plains & Springwood each have a rack of Reds gear, a mixed-team rack (mostly NZ teams but this is SEQ so I guess it kinda follows) & some gear on the clearance racks. I don't recall seeing any Reds gear in their last mailer, tho.
 

2bluesfan

Nev Cottrell (35)
Not strictly "from unexpected places" but sad news this morning as it has been announced that Poppy, the Counties Manukau mascot, has passed away and been laid to rest in her usual watching place at the Pukekohe Stadium. Poppy, always dressed in Counties colours, was the most loyal goat mascot any team could have wanted (I think - not perfectly sure as she appeared chained to a tree stump most of the time.) No official word on the Steelers' website yet.
 
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