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Thread: Global rugby competition touted

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    Legend Contributor Flamethrower's Avatar
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    Global rugby competition touted

    Global rugby competition touted
    By DAVID LONG - Sunday News | Sunday, 24 February 2008
    Global rugby competition touted - Rugby news & coverage - Stuff.co.nz


    A global winners-take-all championship game is being planned by rugby bosses, Sunday News can reveal.

    The IRB are backing a money-spinning competition between the Tri-nations and Six Nations teams and the rugby world's top CEOs will be asked to give their approval on the deal in Hong Kong this week when they gather for the colony's sevens tournament.

    IRB vice chairman Bill Beaumont confirmed the move, telling Sunday News: "We are looking at an inter-hemisphere trophy competition which rewards the best against the best.

    "There's a meeting of the tier-one chief executives in Hong Kong where that is certainly an agenda item that everyone will be looking at."

    Beaumont a former England and Lions captain said he and other top brass had grown tired of meaningless tests played during the June and November windows where coaches fielded second-string teams.

    "To me, playing for your country has to be the ultimate," he said.

    "I want to go to an international match not knowing who's going to win and too often in the past I've gone to a game knowing one team is going to win easily and we've got to get away from that.

    "The major thing to come out of Woking (the IRB's global forum last November) was that the European season will finish at the end of May and that we've got to get back to a situation that when test matches are being played you've got the best against the best."

    The IRB are keen on a shortlist of plans for the June and November windows. This will include a series format which would give ranking points to existing matches which culminate in a grand final. The other is a 12-team pool format run over two years between World Cups where each country will play the other nations in its pool home and away, with the winners of the pools playing in a final.

    NZRU CEO Steve Tew said he would go to Hong Kong with an open mind.

    "All we can really say at this stage is it's certainly very encouraging the work that was discussed and being done in Woking has continued," Tew told Sunday News.

    "There are three or four options designed to link the northern and southern hemisphere test matches to try to provide a little more meaning to those games. We only received those in the last day or so and we're going through those now.

    "The CEOs group is not a decision-making forum, it's a consultation," he added. "So we'll go up there and enter into a discussion with those guys and I'm sure everyone will have some ideas to share."

    Meanwhile, Tew rubbished comments in the Kiwi media that the Woking forum was a waste of time.

    "We were pleasantly encouraged by what was achieved up there. If nothing else was achieved we had everyone in a room discussing some of the issues and that's always helpful.

    "But we went further than that. We got agreement that test rugby should have primacy, that the English and French seasons would finish by the end of May from 2009, that the northern hemisphere clubs would be required to release their players for 11 tests a year.

    "We think a lot was achieved and as the meeting in Hong Kong proves next weekend, work has continued and dialogue is ongoing."

    As Tew and his Australian counterpart John O'Neill will both be in Hong Kong, it would be the perfect opportunity to officially announce the test between the All Blacks and Wallabies in the city en route to Europe for the end-of-season tour.

    Tew says that announcement may, or may not happen.

    "We've still got work to do on that Hong Kong game," he said. "But we're keen to get this stuff nailed as soon as possible."

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    Veteran Contributor JediKnight's Avatar
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    Unless this is going to reduce the pinnacle that is the RWC, a match (or series) between the winner of the 6N & Tri-Nations would be the only way to go with this.

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    (formerly known as Coach) Your Humble Servant Darren's Avatar
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    Agree, Jedi

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flamethrower View Post
    "But we went further than that. We got agreement that test rugby should have primacy, that the English and French seasons would finish by the end of May from 2009, that the northern hemisphere clubs would be required to release their players for 11 tests a year.
    Surely that would mean the European clubs are contract-bound to release Argentine players for 11 tests a year like any other nation...Maybe the Argentines will be able to field a full strength side for their 3N tests!

    Quote Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
    Unless this is going to reduce the pinnacle that is the RWC, a match (or series) between the winner of the 6N & Tri-Nations would be the only way to go with this.
    I would suggest that running a pool format over two years in between World Cups would definitely water down the spectacle that is World cup. What's wrong with introducing a provincial tournament which gives players more opportunity to intermingle, and play high level rugby without actually involving nations. Top tier nations could field two teams second tier teams could field their national side. I'd be happy to see Australia split somehow (either East/West with and Brum players in the West and Qld and NSW players in the east or Notrh South (Brum QLD.....:Force: NSW) That will help to improve skills and provide great information for Wallabies selection as well as locking the NH and SH seasons even more closely together making the Tests more likely to be a contest. If you base Pool selection for the WC on position in the International Rankings, then every test becomes a must win affair (Unless winning it will put you in a pool you don't like)

    My 2c

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    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
    Unless this is going to reduce the pinnacle that is the RWC, a match (or series) between the winner of the 6N & Tri-Nations would be the only way to go with this.

    Maybe not. IF an overall points system is workable. It would need to include all 6N and Tri-Nations matches as well as NH/SH Tests with a winner-take all final or 4 team play-off every two years. Exhibition-type matches like the one planned for HK need to be excluded.Don't see that taking the shine off the RWC at all. Rather it would add meaning to and interest in all "Tier-one" test matches over the 2 year period. The sticking point will be where to fit Argentina.

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    Senior Player antiussentiment's Avatar
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    i'm tending to think a global comp that was interprovicial rather than international would be a good thing. like a small champions leauge..?? though given how european rugby works i don't know how you'd organize this.. it would also need to include a jap and pacific/argentine club side maybe one from noth america??

    there would obviously be one sided games.. but the the "rugby global vilage" would grow from it.. and then there would be the "who pays for what" argument..

    auss.

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    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    I didn't say there weren't holes AUSS

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    This is not a global competition.

    This is an IRB scam.

    What of the Western and Eastern Hemispheres?

    The IRB talks up a big story with the Olympic Games to be a global sport and have appointed an agency to lobby this - but this is for Sevens only.

    The IRB's policy is to protect the Celtic Nations for as long as possible and their structures do just this.

    Bernard Lapasset is just but a Gaul in Celtic clothing running to and from Dublin.

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