Eligibility back on the agenda



  • @majorrage said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    The pressure on NZ to sort these contracts out to ensure a larger player base for the PI's being involved in super rugby is only going to increase.

    There is certainly a balance to be found between ensuring NZ rugby and the All Blacks are what the funding goes to, and being fair to NZ born and bred players (and school scholarship players) who may want to represent Samoa, Tonga, Fiji etc.

    All Black squads are about what 30-35, and given he current injury toll, it's probably fair to expect up to 50 to be used. So given that there are 150 signed super rugby players in NZ, to only have 15 allowed to play elsewhere seems a little stingy.

    Would love to see a question posed to PI team players if they would rather play their domestic rugby in SH or NH.

    Agree.

    I'm actually a bit disappointed to learn how restrictive the NZRU could ntravtscappear to be.

    But it's hard to support multiple national teams with just 5 pro teams.



  • Nz rugby below the ABs is a money sink, we can't afford to pay for the training and development of PI players and still fight off the NH clubs. I think two or three in a squad is very generous, as that's what most have - there's only a few non PI non. NZ players about, like Ardron



  • @machpants said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    Nz rugby below the ABs is a money sink, we can't afford to pay for the training and development of PI players and still fight off the NH clubs. I think two or three in a squad is very generous, as that's what most have - there's only a few non PI non. NZ players about, like Ardron

    Ioane another (has he even played this year?)



  • He's long gone, Japan I think



  • @majorrage said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    All Black squads are about what 30-35, and given he current injury toll, it's probably fair to expect up to 50 to be used. So given that there are 150 signed super rugby players in NZ, to only have 15 allowed to play elsewhere seems a little stingy.

    Maybe there are only 15 (if that) at Super Rugby standard. The average PI capped player in Super Rugby is a bench player. A majority of the development work NZ does for the Islands is through the Mitre 10 Cup where if you look through the Tongan/Samoan sides you will see most broke through.

    There is absolutely no need to open up more Super Rugby slots when there are virtually limitless spots at ITM Cup level.

    The 15 number also fails to include the dozens of players who play as NZer for several seasons then after not achieving AB selection defect - Fotuiali'i, Jack Lam, Lee-lo, Paul WIlliams, Lee-lo, Shields etc.



  • @rotated said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    @majorrage said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    All Black squads are about what 30-35, and given he current injury toll, it's probably fair to expect up to 50 to be used. So given that there are 150 signed super rugby players in NZ, to only have 15 allowed to play elsewhere seems a little stingy.

    Maybe there are only 15 (if that) at Super Rugby standard. The average PI capped player in Super Rugby is a bench player. A majority of the development work NZ does for the Islands is through the Mitre 10 Cup where if you look through the Tongan/Samoan sides you will see most broke through.

    There is absolutely no need to open up more Super Rugby slots when there are virtually limitless spots at ITM Cup level.

    The 15 number also fails to include the dozens of players who play as NZer for several seasons then after not achieving AB selection defect - Fotuiali'i, Jack Lam, Lee-lo, Paul WIlliams, Lee-lo, Shields etc.

    That is because the Super Rugby standard dual-qualified players sign restritive NZRU central contracts. there are dozens and dozens of Super Rugby standard dual-qualified players in the comp.

    NPC level dual-qualified players don;t sign restrictive central contracts and the players have nothing to 'lose'. In fact it is to their advantage to get some PI caps for visibility and European work permit reasons



  • @rapido said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    That is because the Super Rugby standard dual-qualified players sign restritive NZRU central contracts. there are dozens and dozens of Super Rugby standard dual-qualified players in the comp.

    NPC level dual-qualified players don;t sign restrictive central contracts and the players have nothing to 'lose'. In fact it is to their advantage to get some PI caps for visibility and European work permit reasons

    Of course but Super Rugby is high performance unit that exists in large part to produce and prepare the All Blacks. Being ineligible for the All Blacks is counter productive to that goal.



  • Interesting blog post on the "Tier 2 Rugby" website:

    The Pacific Islands desired eligibility reforms will never happen



  • @stargazer Thanks, that was interesting. I guess it really highlights what a can of worms eligibility has become. The painful truth that for every winner there will be a loser is very much on point. There is no panacea.



  • The reality is such a policy would only worsen things for PI nations as eligible players would elect to play for Tier One nations in the prime of their careers and then elect to take the place of younger players once they're bypassed.



  • Yeah, I don't really agree with Dan Leo and his approach here - although I will concede that is far more likely than what I would push for.

    Basically I think test match fees should be set at the game level, not the side. So for each game that is played, the percentage of gate takings and then match fees (for both sides) are decided there. So for example, the Samoan vs England game at Twickers was where this really kicked off, in that the 23 England players were taking 22k each vs 0k each for the Samoan.

    So lets say 35 in the squad, plus 10 admin (coach, physio etc) which means 90 people in total. Using the England wage of 22k each, then that costs around 2mm GBP. Twickers, capacity 80,000, average direct ticket sale (excluding marketing, catering etc) probably somewhere around 100 GBP, so 8mm GBP. Thus it would be nearly 50% of gate take - perhaps unrealistic there, but why should England players get 22k, Samoan get zilch? If you halve this (11k per player) then it's only 25% of total gate, which still leaves plenty of rooms for unions to profit (remember this number doesn't include profits from catering, beers, broadcast right etc).

    If there is zero financial difference between playing for Samoa/Tonga and playing for England / New Zealand, then surely this gap should close somewhat.



  • @majorrage Financially it's an unfair discrepancy alright, but there a lot of other important factors to take into account. ie if England (say) were to play away from home, their match fees are not decided by the gate receipts of their opponents, the RFU take those costs (and wider costs) on the chin and pay for them from the revenue received elsewhere. So, taking Samoa as an example if England were to tour there, would it be likely to be a first team squad if the match fees etc were to be determined by the Samoan, gate receipts (yeah I know England-or anyone else for that matter-are not renowned for touring the PIs but it illustrates a point).

    If you go down this route then England, as the richest nation (mind you I always thought Ireland were also pretty canny revenue optimisers), would to some extent or another be financing all the other nations. If that were the case why would any nation agree to pay their players the same as the England boys (assuming they could afford to) knowing that if they don't England will cough up? This of course could be an issue all the way down.

    It also assumes that there is good governance of all the other unions. Should the richer nations have a say in the governance of the other unions if they are effectively bank rolling them to a degree?

    I do think though that something needs to be done to assist, in particular the PIs who give so much to the game and are (internationally speaking) living on the breadline. Quite what the answer is though I just don't know.



  • One answer is non-corrupt administrations in the islands.

    Like that is ever going to happen.

    I shall send myself to the punishment booth for re-programming now, but we all know what the score is. And where the money goes.



  • @stargazer said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    Interesting blog post on the "Tier 2 Rugby" website:

    The Pacific Islands desired eligibility reforms will never happen

    Yeah, i read that yesterday. It's a good blog post. I think PI players/fans and NZ media/fans are often guilty of not looking beyond tier 2 rugby past PI rugby. The blog gives a good summary of why some of these suggestions are pissing into the wind when juxtaposing them with the interests of their T2 peers and lower T1 near peers.

    Dan Leo is obviously a good guy doing an important job. He now appears to have a regular column in The Rugby Paper, but there's only so many times you can write about improving the governance and administration of PI rugby.

    The path to increased PI strength in international rugby is:

    1. improving the governance and administration of PI rugby.
    2. with that base attempt to :
    • gain acceptance into tournaments/competitions by wary T1 (e.g. SANZAR) administrators
    • attempt to wedge a slightly more equitable financial distribution for the 'performers' rather than just the 'venue owners/hosts'.
    • woo more dual eligible players (and woo them earlier)


  • @catogrande said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    @majorrage Financially it's an unfair discrepancy alright, but there a lot of other important factors to take into account. ie if England (say) were to play away from home, their match fees are not decided by the gate receipts of their opponents, the RFU take those costs (and wider costs) on the chin and pay for them from the revenue received elsewhere. So, taking Samoa as an example if England were to tour there, would it be likely to be a first team squad if the match fees etc were to be determined by the Samoan, gate receipts (yeah I know England-or anyone else for that matter-are not renowned for touring the PIs but it illustrates a point).

    If you go down this route then England, as the richest nation (mind you I always thought Ireland were also pretty canny revenue optimisers), would to some extent or another be financing all the other nations. If that were the case why would any nation agree to pay their players the same as the England boys (assuming they could afford to) knowing that if they don't England will cough up? This of course could be an issue all the way down.

    It also assumes that there is good governance of all the other unions. Should the richer nations have a say in the governance of the other unions if they are effectively bank rolling them to a degree?

    I do think though that something needs to be done to assist, in particular the PIs who give so much to the game and are (internationally speaking) living on the breadline. Quite what the answer is though I just don't know.

    Yes, all good points.

    Ultimately though, tier 2 rugby will always be tier 2 as long as players will make more direct money (match fee's) paying for tier 1 nations. Granted that outside this, there is a larger exposure and ability to capture more markets for your own brand (JOC ...) but it would be good if players didn't have to choose which country they played for, depending on who would pay them the most money.

    Thats club rugby, not international in my view.



  • @majorrage I'm not happy with the way club rugby is going up here. I don't think that the preponderance of overseas signings is good for us or for the integrity of the game in other countries. How to combat that though is another matter.



  • Another article about the eligibility issue. Different approach.

    Changing Rugby’s Eligibility Rules: a short-term fix for a long-term problem



  • @antipodean said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    The reality is such a policy would only worsen things for PI nations as eligible players would elect to play for Tier One nations in the prime of their careers and then elect to take the place of younger players once they're bypassed.

    That's one option. Another is that the ex-ABs etc will bring knowledge and experience to the teams and the young players will learn something they otherwise couldn't.

    At least some of the whining is about players who somehow get picked once or twice for one country and then fall off the radar. The Sevens loophole gives backs an option which hasn't broken anything yet, so I wonder if there's an option somewhere in the middle. One answer could be to allow changes of allegiance for people with fewer than some number of caps in a qualifying team e.g. 2, so the genuine one-hit wonders don't get stuck, without compromising elsewhere.



  • @godder said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    @antipodean said in Eligibility back on the agenda:

    The reality is such a policy would only worsen things for PI nations as eligible players would elect to play for Tier One nations in the prime of their careers and then elect to take the place of younger players once they're bypassed.

    That's one option. Another is that the ex-ABs etc will bring knowledge and experience to the teams and the young players will learn something they otherwise couldn't.

    At least some of the whining is about players who somehow get picked once or twice for one country and then fall off the radar. The Sevens loophole gives backs an option which hasn't broken anything yet, so I wonder if there's an option somewhere in the middle. One answer could be to allow changes of allegiance for people with fewer than some number of caps in a qualifying team e.g. 2, so the genuine one-hit wonders don't get stuck, without compromising elsewhere.

    They can also transfer that knowledge by coaching after they retire.

    As the second article that I posted explains, there are a lot of (legal and other) issues that need to be sorted. Maximum number of caps is only one of them. Achieving an eligibility rule that is satisfactory to all nations/players will be very difficult.



  • Another thing I am wondering, is the number of islanders moving to live in NZ much less now? Are teams, specifically Samoa who rely on Kiwis of Samoan decent, going to run out of young people who's grandparents were born in the islands? Not soon, maybe, but eventually a much lesser pool of kiwi born, raised and trained PI players.