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Rugby News from unexpected places

Rugbynutter39

Michael Lynagh (62)
There's a tweet going round about a new proposed league featuring the Cheetahs plus a team from each of Scotland and Italy, a combined Zimbabwean and Kenyan franchise, two from Spain, Georgia, Romania and Russia. To be launched in April and play its first season in October. Kind of hard to judge it's legitimacy but rumours of this have been making the rounds for a while.

It's interesting in regards to the RE Super Cup and the crossover of nations. The SC has a team from each of Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Georgia, Israel and Russia. Which are with the exceptions of the two Russian clubs (who are committed for two seasons) committed via their Unions to 4 seasons. Romania are also apparently keen on entry to the SC upon sorting out their issues with funding from the govt. and both Poland and Czechia are in the process of developing entrants.

If both leagues are up and running at the same time then Spain could have 3 professional franchises, Georgia would either have to require the Black Lions to double up or find a 2nd franchise likely in Batumi. Russia will have a new Moscow based franchise potentially not involved in their domestic pro league.

There are positives and negatives. The big negatives is having two competing structures. Both operating in the same markets. The Romanian participation in the rumoured structure would be Baia Mare (the strongest club in Romania with a lot of the national team on their roster) while the Union are looking at entering a franchise in the Bucreasti Wolves in the near future. Now as long as competing in this doesn't exclude players from national selection then broadening the domestic pool of players competing at a higher level will on benefit the national teams. Something I think has been witnessed in the REC this season.

But it would be better for everyone if they worked together to create a united competition. At least in my opinion.
Interesting how Poland girls performed well in their recent 7s invitation. Shows the promise in some of these counties and where more pro opportunities could help take them to another level. My skepticism on this rumour is getting the funding for this sort of league as not sure commercially would stack up personally without world rugby funding etc.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Interesting how Poland girls performed well in their recent 7s invitation. Shows the promise in some of these counties and where more pro opportunities could help take them to another level. My skepticism on this rumour is getting the funding for this sort of league as not sure commercially would stack up personally without world rugby funding etc.

It's been linked to a sports marketing company HQ'd in London. RedStrike. I'm not sure on the funding either to be honest. I think something like this could be doable from a European Rugby perspective but adding in a Sth African & Zim/Kenyan involvement will make things a little messier. It's supposedly being launched in April so I guess we'll know more by then.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Caught two women's games last night. One from the Europeans Womens Rugby Championship and the other from the WRWC qualification event in Dubai.

In the European game the Netherlands hosted Spain. It wasn't pretty for the Netherlands. The Spanish bombed probably 10 try scoring opportunities through handling or a wayward last pass and still won 0-69. But when they put it together it was seriously impressive with crisp passing and offloading. It really showed that the current WRWC qualification process and numbers don't provide the pathway it should as a Spain A squad beat Colombia 45-0 two weeks ago who feature in the WRWC event in Dubai.

Talking about Colombia. They beat Kazakhstan to move forward to the final qualification game to be played to determine who makes it to NZ. The Final score was 18-10 to the Tucanes in what was a highly entertaining game. They'll play Scotland next weekend. Scotland will be favourites but I'm looking forward to it.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
No Namibian team but still a step for developing countries+


Finally officially confirmed. What's really great is it will be a full round robin so each team will get 9 games. Some really interesting things going on at present. An interview with the Portuguese HC mentioned not only are Italy visiting in June (Italy have started to really engage with their T2 neighbours of late) but they are looking at following the likes of Georgia and pressing for entry into the CC 1st in the future. Apparently the majority of their foreign born players are Sth Africans of Portuguese descent.

There's also the rumoured league I mentioned on the other page. The SLAR teams had put forth a proposal for a level of cross-competition engagement.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Spain are one game away from returning to the RWC for the first time since 1999. This comes after they put in an excellent first 60 minutes in Madrid against Romania to build a 38-7 lead before Romania managed a valiant later mini-comeback to finish the game 38-21. Another very entertaining game. This has Spain as outright 2nd on the REC table and in place to occupy the Europe 2 spot for France with two games to go. With next week's game against Portugal being decisive in whether they qualify directly or have to battle it out in the repechage.

They have the advantage of hosting it in Madrid which will hopefully see a packed stadium for this pivotal game. Portugal play a very open game plan much like Spain (though Spain can also play more forward oriented when needed) so it should be a hell of a game.
 

Bandar

Bob Loudon (25)
Spain are one game away from returning to the RWC for the first time since 1999. This comes after they put in an excellent first 60 minutes in Madrid against Romania to build a 38-7 lead before Romania managed a valiant later mini-comeback to finish the game 38-21. Another very entertaining game. This has Spain as outright 2nd on the REC table and in place to occupy the Europe 2 spot for France with two games to go. With next week's game against Portugal being decisive in whether they qualify directly or have to battle it out in the repechage.

They have the advantage of hosting it in Madrid which will hopefully see a packed stadium for this pivotal game. Portugal play a very open game plan much like Spain (though Spain can also play more forward oriented when needed) so it should be a hell of a game.
It's been a cracking tournament, still any of the top four can make it with direct qualification with only two matches to play.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
It's been a cracking tournament, still any of the top four can make it with direct qualification with only two matches to play.

Easily the best in the time I've been following it. Yes, the Dutch have had a rough go of it but they have a generation of really good players emerging and will learn a lot from this experience. The REC is apparently expanding to 8 teams from next season. Not officially confirmed but heavily hinted at by the Czech Union on their site. They are more than worth persevering with at this level.

The Georgians are essentially locked in. It would take some huge upsets to change that. I suspect we'll see Russia's remaining games forfeit due to current actions which will make it nigh on impossible for anyone to knock them off. Outside of that Spain are the only other team in charge of their destiny at present. Win next weekend and they're in. Lose and things become tight.
 

Bandar

Bob Loudon (25)
If (big if) Romania knock off Georgia in Bucharest in the next round Spain will have to win in Tbilisi to be certain of qualifying as Romania have the Dutch in the last round.

Very exciting times.

Expansion is interesting, Belgium, and Germany have also been good at this level recently.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
@WCR and others, what regular competitions do these players play in when not for their national side?

Depends on the nation. Georgia has a mixture of players from their national league the Didi 10, the newly established Black Lions from the RE Super Cup and Currie Cup and usually for REC their pro's from the ProD2/Federale 1 levels. Romania has an almost entirely Romanian Rugby SupaLiga based squad. That's their domestic professional competition. Russia draws from their professional professional league as well with the odd France/English based player. The Dutch are primarily domestic with a few coming in from ProD2 and Federale 1. What they have on their side is a large number of U20s currently in French Espoirs academies plus the Delta from RESC. Spain is a mixture of players from the Division de Honor, Super Cup and various levels of play in France. Portugal pretty much the same.
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
If (big if) Romania knock off Georgia in Bucharest in the next round Spain will have to win in Tbilisi to be certain of qualifying as Romania have the Dutch in the last round.

Very exciting times.

Expansion is interesting, Belgium, and Germany have also been good at this level recently.

I actually think it's not that unlikely Romania pull off the upset. Georgia deserve to be favourites, especially if they are at full strength, but I wouldn't have them at overly short odds. Romania have the home advantage and more to play for. The game against Spain aside, they've had some good results over the last few months.

In their games against Portugal and Spain they've started really poorly then come home strong. They're probably due a decent start.
 

Members Section

Bob Davidson (42)
Easily the best in the time I've been following it. Yes, the Dutch have had a rough go of it but they have a generation of really good players emerging and will learn a lot from this experience. The REC is apparently expanding to 8 teams from next season. Not officially confirmed but heavily hinted at by the Czech Union on their site. They are more than worth persevering with at this level.

The Georgians are essentially locked in. It would take some huge upsets to change that. I suspect we'll see Russia's remaining games forfeit due to current actions which will make it nigh on impossible for anyone to knock them off. Outside of that Spain are the only other team in charge of their destiny at present. Win next weekend and they're in. Lose and things become tight.

A lot would have to play out with whats happening in eastern Europe atm. I cant see the 2 postponed games going ahead for this years tournament nor Russia traveling to Portugal.

The Rugby Europe Super cup has been thrown a massive curve ball. Black Lyon were spose to play the last catch up game before finals in Russia.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
A lot would have to play out with whats happening in eastern Europe atm. I cant see the 2 postponed games going ahead for this years tournament nor Russia traveling to Portugal.

The Rugby Europe Super cup has been thrown a massive curve ball. Black Lyon were spose to play the last catch up game before finals in Russia.

Yeah. That's not happening now. The win will likely be awarded to the Black Lions so will the rest of their REC games.
 

Rugbynutter39

Michael Lynagh (62)
Yeah. That's not happening now. The win will likely be awarded to the Black Lions so will the rest of their REC games.
Glad to hear Russian games not going ahead - I feel so challenged by what is happening in Ukraine and with Russia as have Ukraine and polish friends in oz. As an example of the fear of other former Eastern European countries like Poland I have my polish friends whose family in Poland is looking at options to live with extended family in Germany due to fear this is the start of putins Russia reunification strategy.

Anyhow glad to hear FIFA now booted out Russia from all competitions. I would like to see the same in rugby as this is bigger then sport.
 

Bandar

Bob Loudon (25)
Glad to hear Russian games not going ahead - I feel so challenged by what is happening in Ukraine and with Russia as have Ukraine and polish friends in oz. As an example of the fear of other former Eastern European countries like Poland I have my polish friends whose family in Poland is looking at options to live with extended family in Germany due to fear this is the start of putins Russia reunification strategy.

Anyhow glad to hear FIFA now booted out Russia from all competitions. I would like to see the same in rugby as this is bigger then sport.
Rugby Europe did it over the weekend I believe.

 

Pfitzy

Jason Little (69)
Any Russians who have a problem with it can take it up with Putin, I guess.

People are dying thanks to the actions of one aggressor. Sport is secondary to that.
 

WorkingClassRugger

David Codey (61)
Any Russians who have a problem with it can take it up with Putin, I guess.

People are dying thanks to the actions of one aggressor. Sport is secondary to that.
I've had discussions with people around the exclusion of Russia from the world scene. They while agreeing what's happening in Ukraine is wrong seem to think the point of 'what about the innocent Russian people?' merits consideration. My response has been this far that is not a touch of the grief and devastation innocent Ukrainians are experiencing to suffer through so tough shit.
 

Members Section

Bob Davidson (42)
I've had discussions with people around the exclusion of Russia from the world scene. They while agreeing what's happening in Ukraine is wrong seem to think the point of 'what about the innocent Russian people?' merits consideration. My response has been this far that is not a touch of the grief and devastation innocent Ukrainians are experiencing to suffer through so tough shit.

I see that point how ever

"what about the non apartheid supporters" they lost their entire careers for in the long run the greater good
 

Omar Comin'

Chilla Wilson (44)
It'll be interesting to see how Russia's suspension is dealt with in the European qualifying table. If games involving Russia are no longer counted that will benefit Romania as their record against them in the qualifiers is 1-1 whereas Spain beat them twice.

The other option is to count their remaining games as walkovers, which would benefit Spain as well as Portugal and Georgia who would get automatic wins.

Someone will be unhappy whichever option they choose!
 
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