World League Rugby / Nations Championship



  • The official decision hasn't been taken yet, but if this article in the NZH is correct, the decision about the new format will be made next month.

    Essentially the new format will require all 12 nations to play each other once in the calendar year, with a semi-final and final to be played in late November, possibly early December.
    
    The 12 nations will be the current Six Nations – England, France, Italy, Scotland, Ireland and Wales – the current Rugby Championship sides of New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Argentina plus Japan and USA who are going to be invited to join the Rugby Championship.
    
    There will be no promotion or relegation from either the Six Nations or Rugby Championship which means the likes of Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have been left out in the cold for at least 10 years.
    
    From an All Blacks perspective, the international season will kick off in July with three home test as per usual.
    
    The Six Nations will travel south to each play three tests.
    
    These will be randomly allocated so England, for example, could find themselves playing Japan, Australia and New Zealand while Wales could be off to Argentina then South Africa and New Zealand.
    
    The Rugby Championship will then kick off in August and will be a straight round-robin.
    
    The World League will then be completed by the southern sides travelling north in November to play the three teams they didn't play in July.
    
     The top four teams on the table will then play a semi-final and final in the Northern Hemisphere.
    
    The proposal suggests that the playoffs could take place in major grounds such as the Nou Camp in Barcelona or Soldier Fields in Chicago where the All Blacks have played twice before.
    
    If this is all agreed it will mean the All Blacks will have a guaranteed 13 tests a year in non-World Cup seasons. They have played 14 tests in each of the last three years.
    
    But while the actual number of games could be less – NZR may still want to negotiate another Bledisloe Cup fixture as the new format will only see the All Blacks clash once with the Wallabies – the amount of travel could be significantly higher.
    
    There will also be concerns about the All Blacks potentially playing five big tests in Europe at the end of each season, plus the fact the season could drag into December will be a concern.
    



  • Three of my main issues with this format are:

    • there won't be any room for tests against the Pacific nations and other tier 2/3 nations, regardless of their ranking
    • devaluation of the RWC
    • devaluation of Bledisloe Cup (in principle, only one test)


  • @Stargazer said in World League Rugby:

    devaluation of Bledisloe Cup (in principle, only one test)

    Australia have been steadily devaluing it for 16 years



  • @mariner4life True, but that doesn't mean it will stay that way.



  • Can't say that cementing in such a structural divide between tier one and two is going to help grow the game.

    Not particularly interested in having a finals series every year either.

    That being said, if I can't have tours anymore, a broader Championship is a beneficial move. Utterly sick of playing Australia, South Africa ad nauseum.



  • Assuming this proposal is going to go ahead I would prefer it was home and home (in alternating years) rather than round robin. There is something to be said for keeping some air between tests between certain countries to build anticipation rather than trotting out the same fixture sheet every year - the Rugby Championship took less than four years to get old.

    Also... no mention of the Lions - seems like a somewhat significant detail.

    edit: realized the home and home proposal wouldn't work as it would eliminate the 6N as we know it and that wouldn't be allowed to happen (perhaps rightly so)? Playing Australia and South Africa in alternating two-test braces would be refreshing though.



  • I may have asked these questions when it was first mooted, but I've already forgotten any provided answers

    What is the motivation for the change?
    What is the desired outcome?



  • @mariner4life said in World League Rugby:

    I may have asked these questions when it was first mooted, but I've already forgotten any provided answers

    What is the motivation for the change?
    What is the desired outcome?

    alt text

    And some bs about season alignment, player welfare etc.



  • @antipodean my thoughts were an attempt by the Unions to wrest back control of their players and their game from the Clubs?



  • So if, for ex, the ABs make semi and final games - they'll be playing them in NH for half the profit (minus whatever World Rugby take - I wonder how much?) which is nice for money.

    Shit for tier 2 teams, esp after the just trumpeted increased games between tier 1 and 2/3



  • So Italy, Scotland, Japan and USA all get preference over Fiji, Samoa & Tonga?

    With all due respect, but annual fixtures against the above teams (we never play those tight Scots anyway) is hardly gonna do the game any good!



  • @taniwharugby Yup. Of those 4 countries, only Scotland would still be interesting for me to watch. I really am not interested in games against Italy, Japan and the USA; much rather watch games against Fiji, Samoa and Tonga.



  • @Stargazer yeah the Jocks have a bit of appeal purely cos we never play them.



  • Yeah the Pacific Islands are getting the screw job, yet again.

    I am not opposed to giving the concept a shot. Outside of the Lions and RWC the international game (in Australia) stumbles from year to year. You have bursts of interest (series like Ireland, the first 20 minutes of Bled 1), and then weeks of nothing much.

    Having some sort of binding narrative to the season, plus a wider variety of opponents could be a good thing. All the better if it puts more money in the bank.

    I am very uncomfortable locking it down for 10 years though. That's a big red flag right there. Give it 2-3 years and then go from there. But of course that would be a logical decision, which is not really World Rugby's forte...



  • @barbarian yep, by all means give it a shot, but 10 years is an eternity. And shutting out the Pacific Islands for 10 years is a death sentence.

    3 years. Bottom team gets rissoled for highest ranked team not involved.

    Given November's "test" against Japan their fixture in NZ should be a massive earner. Fuck what happens if you get the US and Japan at home in the same year?



  • @barbarian opens the door for plenty of 'poaching'



  • Tests against Japan and USA in NZ:

    Negative: more fringe ABs players will be capped, who would not make the squad for the interesting test matches against better opposition

    Negative: these tests won't be more than warm-up matches for tests against stronger opposition

    Positive: smaller stadiums will get test matches



  • @Stargazer Except the first ones a positive, it will help with depth. As it won't be like the one off EXTRA tests where we have to swap around people like last year, just play a lot more B team- who can be needed come the real games.



  • @Stargazer said in World League Rugby:

    Tests against Japan and USA in NZ:

    Negative: more fringe ABs players will be capped, who would not make the squad for the interesting test matches against better opposition

    Why is that a negative?



  • @barbarian said in World League Rugby:

    Yeah the Pacific Islands are getting the screw job, yet again.

    Are you proposing Nukuʻalofa have six tier one tests a year or something?

    I'm yet to see a model that can integrate the Pacific Islands. It is a false indignance as well; their national teams performance is absolutely not built on the strength of their national union - quite the opposite.


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