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Rugby News from unexpected places

Pfitzy

David Wilson (68)
Are we getting to the point where we can have 24 teams at RWC?

I'm thinking 4 pools of 6 is far better than pools of 5 for the whole midweek game/short turnaround bullshit.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
Are we getting to the point where we can have 24 teams at RWC?

I'm thinking 4 pools of 6 is far better than pools of 5 for the whole midweek game/short turnaround bullshit.
There's actually been a little bit of chatter about just that occurring as soon as 2027. And I think we certainly could. There are actually several nations just on the bubble. Looking at Europe while Georgia is still the standard outside of the 6Ns the likes of Spain, Portugal etc. have closed the gap in recent years.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
Are we getting to the point where we can have 24 teams at RWC?

I'm thinking 4 pools of 6 is far better than pools of 5 for the whole midweek game/short turnaround bullshit.

Agreed, but I think 6 pools of 4 would be better with an additional knockout round of 16. It's not perfect as it's a little messy having 4 out of 6 third place getters make it through, but I see this as a better alternative than a longer pool phase. The weakest teams would only play 3 matches instead of 5, which gives them a better chance of being competitive as their lack of depth would be less exposed. Plus you'd add 8 more knockout games to the tournament, which I think would generate more interest.
 

KevinO

Greg Davis (50)
What's happening with the Brazilian side? I remember seeing there scrum smashing teams a few years ago?
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
What's happening with the Brazilian side? I remember seeing there scrum smashing teams a few years ago?

They still have their HP set up in place. The biggest issue for them is the lack of depth below. Though they are implementing structures in order to address that. It will be interesting to see where they go. They no longer have the advantage of having a HP set up while the likes of Chile don't. Chile, Colombia and Paraguay have all or in Paraguay's case in the process of establishing their own HP set ups and the progress made during SLAR was quite impressive.
 

Dan54

Michael Lynagh (62)
What's happening with the Brazilian side? I remember seeing there scrum smashing teams a few years ago?
Yep they smashed the Maori AB scrum in 2018 (I think it was) game. MABs won by 30 odd points, but recall Brazil really tearing their scrum to pieces.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
I read this week that the average age of the Chilean squad is only 24, so they look set to keep improving over the next few years.

USA will go in as favourites for Americas 2, but they're no sure thing. They beat Canada over 2 legs by 9 points while Chile just beat Canada over 2 legs by 8. And in July Chile went close to beating Uruguay in Uruguay (score was 15-10 with Chile held up over the line in the last few minutes).
 

Bandar

Tom Lawton (22)
Even if the USA win Chile can qualify through the final qualifying tournament which will probably include Tonga and maybe Spain or Romania & Kenya or Zimbabwe

The quality of the left tier is improving, the RWC could move to 24 teams without too many blowouts
 

Rugbynutter39

Steve Williams (59)
Uruguay have qualified as America 1 for the next Work Cup after knocking off the USA

USA now play Chile who have eliminated Canada who don’t make an appearance for the first time.
Canada sadly failed to make progress rugby wise after decades ago being quite strong
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
Uruguay have qualified as America 1 for the next Work Cup after knocking off the USA

USA now play Chile who have eliminated Canada who don’t make an appearance for the first time.
The Uruguay result isn't all that surprising. Tends to follow the historic trend between the two and the Eagles had to win by a far larger margin in Colorado for hold out. Los Teros in Montevideo have always troubled the Eagles.

Chile on the other hand. I definitely thought they'd be able to take it to Canada but thought the trip to Victoria would be a little too much for the Chileans. But they turned up and the Canadians were actually fortunate to get the one point win in the first leg.

A largely second string Chile recently got their first ever win over any Argentine opposition in the Arg XV and their progress since essentially moving to professionalism with their core group has been amazing to see. In Santiago, they like Uruguay are a far tougher opponent and it showed. And it's something I am very happy to see. I've for a long time have seen a great deal of potential in South American Rugby and in particular Chile.

They have a far larger player base than Uruguay and Brazil combined but have always lacked the structure in which to leverage those numbers. They now have one and soon to be two HP centres and potentially two SLAR franchises.

But their not the only ones making moves. Look out for Colombia in the next 5 years. Strong participation growth aligned with pathways implementation leading up to their SLAR franchise (Los Cafeteros) and national team. They were the big improvers of SLAR. Brazil are implementing proper development and participation structures that they've sorely lacked after getting the jump on their rival with their HP centre only to see that erode. So that should shore them up as well.

Beyond them Paraguay are in the process of contracting a number of the locals around a dozen or so to start. And Peru will be sending a group of players to play in SLAR for each of the franchises with the goal of entering their own franchise. Up north Mexico are eyeing entry into either MLR or SLAR in the not too distant future as well.

The sad thing is Canada will likely continue to be the loser in this scenario. MLR is finally seeing Dallas come online and there's low level rumbling of a mid west team being imminent that's not Chicago (likely Columbus, Ohio) while there still seems to be little appetite from investors in Canada to put up the $25m for a franchise in BC to join the Arrows. Add to this the fact that the Sth American bloc within the Americas have made their displeasure in Canada's decision to vote for Beaumont over Pichot in direct defiance of the previously decided vote decision of the collective Americas bloc very evident to the end of blowing up the ARC and now implementing a A team development competition that involves all of the nation's previously involved in the ARC with the noted exception of Canada.

A lot of Canadian Rugby fans have been very vocal in their disapproval of RC and this will only drive the discontent. Hopefully, it will result in long term positive change right across the board but that remains to be seen.
 

RebelYell

Phil Hardcastle (33)
The Uruguay result isn't all that surprising. Tends to follow the historic trend between the two and the Eagles had to win by a far larger margin in Colorado for hold out. Los Teros in Montevideo have always troubled the Eagles.

Chile on the other hand. I definitely thought they'd be able to take it to Canada but thought the trip to Victoria would be a little too much for the Chileans. But they turned up and the Canadians were actually fortunate to get the one point win in the first leg.

A largely second string Chile recently got their first ever win over any Argentine opposition in the Arg XV and their progress since essentially moving to professionalism with their core group has been amazing to see. In Santiago, they like Uruguay are a far tougher opponent and it showed. And it's something I am very happy to see. I've for a long time have seen a great deal of potential in South American Rugby and in particular Chile.

They have a far larger player base than Uruguay and Brazil combined but have always lacked the structure in which to leverage those numbers. They now have one and soon to be two HP centres and potentially two SLAR franchises.

But their not the only ones making moves. Look out for Colombia in the next 5 years. Strong participation growth aligned with pathways implementation leading up to their SLAR franchise (Los Cafeteros) and national team. They were the big improvers of SLAR. Brazil are implementing proper development and participation structures that they've sorely lacked after getting the jump on their rival with their HP centre only to see that erode. So that should shore them up as well.

Beyond them Paraguay are in the process of contracting a number of the locals around a dozen or so to start. And Peru will be sending a group of players to play in SLAR for each of the franchises with the goal of entering their own franchise. Up north Mexico are eyeing entry into either MLR or SLAR in the not too distant future as well.

The sad thing is Canada will likely continue to be the loser in this scenario. MLR is finally seeing Dallas come online and there's low level rumbling of a mid west team being imminent that's not Chicago (likely Columbus, Ohio) while there still seems to be little appetite from investors in Canada to put up the $25m for a franchise in BC to join the Arrows. Add to this the fact that the Sth American bloc within the Americas have made their displeasure in Canada's decision to vote for Beaumont over Pichot in direct defiance of the previously decided vote decision of the collective Americas bloc very evident to the end of blowing up the ARC and now implementing a A team development competition that involves all of the nation's previously involved in the ARC with the noted exception of Canada.

A lot of Canadian Rugby fans have been very vocal in their disapproval of RC and this will only drive the discontent. Hopefully, it will result in long term positive change right across the board but that remains to be seen.

Thanks for the detail. Would be fascinating to see South America come on in leaps and bounds - would only be better for Argentina too if they had genuine competition on their door step. I think we can agree that SA are never going to have genuine competition in Africa and Japan neither in Asia, so this would be the best way to have a third continent with real rivalries and top level footy at an international level.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
Even if the USA win Chile can qualify through the final qualifying tournament which will probably include Tonga and maybe Spain or Romania & Kenya or Zimbabwe

The quality of the left tier is improving, the RWC could move to 24 teams without too many blowouts

It probably won't include Tonga as they will have a playoff match against Asia 1 (probably Hong Kong) for a direct spot in pool B. The loser will go to the final qualifying tournament. I'd be surprised if it doesn't come down to who wins between the Americas and European qualifier, but you never know.

I keep wondering whether Algeria could be a bit of a smokey to make this world cup. There is a huge French Algerian population (with most emigrating during and after the 1960's) so presumably plenty of guys in the French professional leagues with Algerian born parents or grandparents. With the African qualifying tournament to be held in France next year I wonder if there are enough of these guys willing to declare for them. If they could pull together a team full of Pro D2 level players they'd have a reasonable chance of winning that or the final qualifier.
 

Bandar

Tom Lawton (22)
It probably won't include Tonga as they will have a playoff match against Asia 1 (probably Hong Kong) for a direct spot in pool B. The loser will go to the final qualifying tournament. I'd be surprised if it doesn't come down to who wins between the Americas and European qualifier, but you never know.

I keep wondering whether Algeria could be a bit of a smokey to make this world cup. There is a huge French Algerian population (with most emigrating during and after the 1960's) so presumably plenty of guys in the French professional leagues with Algerian born parents or grandparents. With the African qualifying tournament to be held in France next year I wonder if there are enough of these guys willing to declare for them. If they could pull together a team full of Pro D2 level players they'd have a reasonable chance of winning that or the final qualifier.
I forgot about the Asia-Oceania playoff. Also the Ivory Coast beat Namibia in an early round of qualifying. Not sure they can repeat it but a great result for them.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
Ok, so Rugby Europe launched what is essentially it's beta test for their vision of professional Rugby beyond the 6Ns this year in the Rugby Europe Super Cup. I've posted about that before. It features two Russian teams and a team from each of Georgia, Israel, The Netherlands, Belgium's, Portugal and Spain. The stated goal was to grow this structure into 16 teams with other targeted nations getting involved and countries like Georgia and Spain entering a second franchise.

Well, Spain looks like it will but not involve in the RESC. The Diables Barcelona will play in a 4 match series in SA against the Cheetahs, Baia Mare from Romania, the Sharks, Stormers and potentially Kenya. This is apparently a precursor to a new competition to be launched next year that may or may not be URC aligned. Kind of crazy times for Rugby at the moment.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
Ok, so Rugby Europe launched what is essentially it's beta test for their vision of professional Rugby beyond the 6Ns this year in the Rugby Europe Super Cup. I've posted about that before. It features two Russian teams and a team from each of Georgia, Israel, The Netherlands, Belgium's, Portugal and Spain. The stated goal was to grow this structure into 16 teams with other targeted nations getting involved and countries like Georgia and Spain entering a second franchise.

Well, Spain looks like it will but not involve in the RESC. The Diables Barcelona will play in a 4 match series in SA against the Cheetahs, Baia Mare from Romania, the Sharks, Stormers and potentially Kenya. This is apparently a precursor to a new competition to be launched next year that may or may not be URC aligned. Kind of crazy times for Rugby at the moment.

Just adding to this. There's apparently a 3rd Spanish franchise based out of Madrid in the works looking to compete in whatever competition the Cheetahs are supposedly looking at. So from Spain in the space of two years they could have 3 pro franchises potentially playing in two different structures.

If there is a second competition in the works (and there's speculation it's URC linked) then I would hope we'll see a combination of the Rugby Europe Super Cup and this competition. If that worked out to be the case then their could be a 10-12 team primarily Europe based league in the near future.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
The short comp both the Barca and Cheetahs will play in this year will also feature a current defending Romanian SupaLiga champs Baia Marie alongside the Sharks and I think Kenya.

Just spitballing here but RESC has Iberians (Spain), Lusitanos (Portugal), Devils (Belgium), Delta(the Netherlands), the Tel Aviv Heat, the Black Lions (Georgia), Locomotive Penza and Eisnei STM from Russia. Combine that with the two mooted Spanish squads above, Baia Marie, the Cheetahs and that's 11 teams right there.

Add to that the Sharks have a deal with Serviette Genf who are currently working their way up the French league system which is great but will have a hard cap eventually and that's a pretty solid 12 team structure. That's even without the Pumas and Griquas who have both been mentioned in the speculation as well.
 

WorkingClassRugger

Simon Poidevin (60)
MLR have released their 2022 season schedule. Featuring Dallas so hopefully that means after 5 years of 'next season' statements we could see the Jackals take to the field. There's been some movement on the expansion front with the league in active talks with two expansion bids on e of which is midwest based. According to posters over on r/mlr it appears to be St Louis. There were two companies registered there in STL Major League Rugby and St Louis Knights Rugby in August. There was also an application for a 25 year lease to build a Rugby stadium. One of the two applicants is involved in registration (no idea if the second person is). Seeing as one is a prominent property developer in the city I'm betting it's him.

No idea of where the 2nd bid is coming from. Apparently all of the league owners met for the first time in person (ever) and have agreed to significantly boost league's marketing budget. Which is good.

Edit: It's been confirmed that one of the original applicants is the principal of the registration. Not the one I thought but I suspect they're likely still somewhat linked as through another business deal. According to a reddit poster from 10 days ago they will be playing in 2023 (as they couldn't get everything sorted in time for 2022) out of Lindenwood University while a purpose built facility is built ahead of 2024.
 
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