Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: World series top of the agenda

  1. #1
    Champion Contributor Jehna's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007

    World series top of the agenda

    World series top of the agenda

    BY Stephen Jones
    November 26, 2007

    RUGBY will this week discuss proposals by Australia (supported with revisions by the Rugby Football Union in England) to add a major event to the calendar: the World Series of Rugby, which would be played by the top 10 nations in the two fallow years of the sport's four-year cycle - the years without either a World Cup or a British and Irish Lions tour to the southern hemisphere.

    It would end in a grand final, which for commercial reasons would be played in Europe, most likely London, Cardiff or Paris, even Barcelona or Rome in a missionary capacity. The beauty of the event would be that it adds just one match, the final, because all the other fixtures already exist.

    The event would take the form of a league table in which all existing games in the Six Nations and Tri-Nations would count. To these would be added tour results in the existing Test windows. To ensure all teams played each other, including Argentina, the tour schedule would be rearranged, and the finishing order constitute World Cup seedings.

    The proposal will be tabled by Australia this week in Woking at the much-heralded Integrated Season Forum, orchestrated by the International Rugby Board, in which 90 stakeholders - unions, clubs, provinces, players, referees, television companies and sponsors - will gather.

    Rugby has serious scheduling problems to solve, and there is a clear grasp among delegates that they must take advantage of the biggest boom in the sport's history, which has seen the commercial power of Test rugby and other areas of the professional game growing beyond any predictions.

    "The forum is a massive opportunity," said Francis Baron, chief executive of the RFU. "We're not saying we have all the answers or any of the answers. We're not imposing our views on fellow unions. We just want to have a good debate and put everything on the table."

    Also to be decided is the fate of northern hemisphere teams playing Tests in the southern hemisphere, cruelly devalued by European teams, with their top players exhausted, sending feeble parties (although New Zealand was the first to send shadow teams on tour, closely followed by Australia).

    To make up revenue, should the window be abandoned in favour of what will be a mini World Cup every two years, or should there be a major extra tournament held two years after every World Cup in which, unlike the World Series, all the top nations gather for an extra event in one venue. England favours the World Series idea.

    There is also the question of the allocation of hosting rights for World Cups, the inclusion of Argentina in a serious event and a plea by New Zealand for what it calls revenue sharing - in other words, it has looked at the colossal incomes of Test matches in Europe, compared them to the relatively low income of Tests in New Zealand and concluded European nations should make what amounts to a charity donation.

    As an official of one of the other European unions said: "Sadly, Robin Hood, if he ever existed, is long dead."

    This threatens to be far from the only proposal by the southern hemisphere that is rejected, a fact of commercial life. Incidentally, the 2005 Lions tour made an pound $18.7 million profit for the New Zealand Rugby Union and $22.6 million for the New Zealand economy.

    Apparently, it was not enough.

    The whole conference will be underpinned by a report from Deloitte, which was asked to investigate the finances of the sport worldwide and to provide costings for the various options for a new international schedule.

    The report, marked as secret but in the possession of The Sunday Times, makes fascinating reading and advises improving existing models rather than profound changes. This is where the World Series would come in.

    "Everyone knows we have to fix the June window," Baron said. "Our southern hemisphere colleagues tell us income and gates are down. We've been sending weak sides. We've got to give commercial value to these tours and stop the pressure on this idea of revenue sharing, which we do not believe in."

    The report revealed that while the September-November Tests provide around $140 million profit for the top European nations, the June window provides only $40 million for the southern hemisphere, and that discrepancy could get wider as southern broadcasters and sponsors mutter at the weak visiting teams.

    The impetus of ranking points and seeding positions, and the battle to make a prestigious grand final, will, it is hoped, restore the true thunder of Test rugby, lost in recent non-contests.

    Baron also intends to encourage all nations to set a prescribed period of rest for players, and to reform the system of allocating World Cups.
    Other Six Nations countries, which have been briefed by England and worked together preparing for the forum, are coming round to the view that World Cups should be allocated five in advance, achieving a sequence of moneyed hosts and development hosts. Surely there will be nobody in the forum happy with the backhanders and intrigue surrounding the current voting system.

    Whatever the strengths of the two hemispheres on the field, there is only one winner off it, even allowing for the fact that Wales and Scotland are carrying heavy debt. Deloitte reveals major discrepancies in the earning power of the countries in the two hemispheres, and also shows the new power of the club game in France and England.

    It describes relations between union and club as "symbiotic", which means that any union still jealous of club power is detached from commercial reality.

    Discussions this week could set rugby out towards a splendid future. Only self-interest could prevent it. Self-interest at the top of rugby has never been exactly rare. This is a chance to leave it outside the conference rooms.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    "Remember lads, rugby is a team game; all 14 of you make sure you pass the ball to Giteau."

  2. #2
    Immortal Contributor The InnFORCEr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    West Leederville

    ARU to oppose two-yearly World Cup plan

    By Adrian Warren 17:39 AEST Fri Nov 23 2007

    The Australian Rugby Union believes the Rugby World Cup would be damaged if proposals to stage it every two years or mix it with other inter-hemisphere tournaments were accepted.

    Biennial World Cups and introducing more inter-hemisphere tournaments are among the options to be considered by the sport's stakeholders at a historic three-day global forum in England next week.

    The forum will also discuss the contentious issue of an integrated world season.

    The IRB executive committee has put forward four options for consideration at next week's meeting to be attended by representatives of IRB member unions and the major southern and northern hemisphere competitions plus players, coaches, managers and IRB council members.

    The four scenarios include retaining the current cycle of a four-yearly World Cup.

    Another option is for a biennial World Cup, while another scenario would allow for inter-hemisphere tournaments in each of the three non-World Cup years.

    The fourth option is for a four-yearly World Cup with one inter-hemisphere tournament halfway through that cycle.

    Australia will be represented at the forum by ARU deputy chief executive Matt Carroll and chairman Peter McGrath, and Dr Martin Raftery, who is on the IRB medical committee.

    "The ARU's position is the Rugby World Cup should only be every four years and it is the crown jewel and any earlier or shorter period between them would be damaging, both to the Rugby World Cup and also to the match programs and the individual nations," Carroll said.

    "Inter-hemisphere tournaments again could be damaging to Rugby World Cup.

    "We will go with an open mind, but our view is that the World Cup is the crown jewel, but the rest of the match programs, the Six Nations, Tri Nations are obviously very important, so they have got to be worked in.

    "Anything else we do needs to have quality games and be meaningful."

    Carroll said the idea of a single three-month window between September and November for non-tournament Tests would be a good move.

    Currently, northern hemisphere nations travel south in mid-year, with their southern hemisphere counterparts returning the favour later in the year.

    Carroll felt both inbound and outbound Tests tours could be squeezed into a September-November window, while the southern hemisphere's Super 14 provincial competition could be expanded to fill the hole created by removing Tests from June.

    "If the Test series moves from June, you could look at the option of an expanded Super 14, not just in the number of teams, but in the number of rounds played," Carroll said.

    He said following an expanded Super 14, the international season would get underway with the Tri Nations competition between Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    The forum will be followed by a June 30 IRB Council meeting which would decide on the format of 2011 Rugby World Cup.

    While some parties favour a reduction to 16 teams, Carroll said Australia favoured retaining the 20-nation format.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    80 Minutes, 15 Positions, No Protection, Wanna Ruck?

    Ruck Me, Maul Me, Make Me Scrum!

    Education is Important, but Rugby is Importanter!

  3. #3
    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Perth, Western Australia, Australia
    RWC should definitely stay every 4 years!

    Wonder if it would be possible to tack an Australian team only round robin onto the Super 14 (then all Australian teams play each other twice - one home and one away) to work out an Australian Champion?

    Wouldn't want anything to interfere with the ARC though - it certainly deserves another season (and more!)

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Dear Lord, if you give us back Johnny Cash, we'll give you Justin Bieber.

  4. #4
    Immortal jargan83's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Earth Capital
    I agree Coach, the RWC should stay every 4 years and should be the jewel in the crown of international Rugby, but the World series idea has some merit. One thing that would have to worked out is that the European clubs hold alot of power over the players who play for them and i think that they would have to brought into line in regards of releasing of players for international duty. I assume this is the IRB's attempt to make sure that countries send full strength sides on tours ie down under to Aus/NZ/Sth Africa in June and again when those 3 sides go to the Northern Hemisphere in Spring. Maybe the European competitions could intorduce a bye week for international weekends so that selected players can be released without missing any club commitments, this could also get nations to get back to actually touring on non-international weekends?? Some food fot thought at least

    Also agree that the ARC deserves another season and much more, i loved it, i'm sure everyone here on the site loved it espeacily the rectangular stadium

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Similar Threads

  1. The cutthroat world of the International Rugby Coach
    By Burgs in forum International Rugby
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 23-12-07, 18:07
  2. IRB Sevens World Series 2007/08 schedule announced
    By Burgs in forum International Rugby
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 19-09-07, 10:21
  3. The road to France
    By Burgs in forum Articles
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-07-07, 15:14
  4. World challenge on IRB agenda
    By Burgs in forum International Rugby
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-03-07, 01:14
  5. Replies: 18
    Last Post: 29-09-06, 08:26

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts