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Thread: Global Rapid Rugby may expand with teams from Japan, South Africa

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    Global Rapid Rugby may expand with teams from Japan, South Africa

    Jake White's view is very interesting

    Nick Taylor The West Australian
    Wednesday, 27 March 2019 8:44AM


    World Cup winning coach Jake White believes Japanese sides are ready to join an expanded Global Rapid Rugby and has predicted a strong South African player influx.
    White, who led the 2007 World Cup winning Springboks and took the Brumbies to the 2013 Super Rugby final, is now with Toyota Verblitz in Japan.
    He was in Perth as an assistant to Robbie Deans with the World XV that was beaten 26-16 by Western Force last Friday night.


    More here
    https://thewest.com.au/sport/rugby-u...ng-b881148605z

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    Yup, players looking for opportunity.

    You'd have to think the Saffas would not be SA-based teams as such (too far west) ... but linked with Asian-based locations.

    ... a-lá the Malyasian Valke

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    Champion SPaRTAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiap View Post
    Yup, players looking for opportunity.

    You'd have to think the Saffas would not be SA-based teams as such (too far west) ... but linked with Asian-based locations.

    ... a-lá the Malyasian Valke
    Yeah they would ruin the time zones. They are far too West. Midnight games in WA and Asia are a tough sell and I really dont think they would work. Although I would agree with a setup similar to the Valke Malaysia one we heard about. Unfortunately for South Africa their timezone is European

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    Afternoon games wouldn't be impossible, but they shouldn't. Most important thing will be to establish a sustainable and credible competition with its own identity, before doing anything silly. Slow and considered, not SR.

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    SARU will look for opportunities in GRR to relocate players affected by the downsizing of provincial player contracts and the constant financial issues at WP their biggest provincial union in terms of player base in clubs and schools.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    Afternoon games wouldn't be impossible, but they shouldn't. Most important thing will be to establish a sustainable and credible competition with its own identity, before doing anything silly. Slow and considered, not SR.
    The travel will become an issue pretty quickly leading to them demanding games are tailored for their teams. Keep it in our time zones. Look to SA as a talent source and if teams want in make them partner in the region.

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    If GRR is to grow it will be to grow within specific timezones - not between time zones.

    There was previously talk about Curry Cup team(s) involvement in a Malaysian team.
    Japan was already going to happen and will re-emerge after RWC 2019.

    Very easy to see a West Aussie Coast conference, and East Aussie Coast Conference (with some E Aust & NZ teams) and a Pacific Conference (with some East Aust and NZ teams and an Americas Conference all playing within specific timezone and a showcase final series between the conference leaders.

    Private ownership with the professional game being run as a professional business. National Unions with a focus on growing the game and providing the platform for National teams.

    But not for a while unless SR and other initiatives totally collapse (which is likely to happen).

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    agreed WCRugger

    What they COULD do is create a southern hemisphere "Champions League" or "Heineken Cup" with qualifiers from Seth Ephrikor, Australasia, PI and maybe Americas, from ALL the professional comps - Stupor, Pro14, GRR and PRORugby, In the meantime, have timezone centric professional competitions, recruiting players from all over, or even aligning "provinces" for player development (both ways). Staffers, Ozzie's, Kiwis, PIs should be able to play for ANY pro team in the SH, and still be eligible for National duties. It would do Oz players far more service to expose them to a professional rugby setup in NZ than force them to stay at the Tahrds. You know, grow the game, cross fertilization, that kind of thing. After all, how many poms play for Liverpool, ManU or The Arse?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    agreed WCRugger

    What they COULD do is create a southern hemisphere "Champions League" or "Heineken Cup" with qualifiers from Seth Ephrikor, Australasia, PI and maybe Americas, from ALL the professional comps - Stupor, Pro14, GRR and PRORugby, In the meantime, have timezone centric professional competitions, recruiting players from all over, or even aligning "provinces" for player development (both ways). Staffers, Ozzie's, Kiwis, PIs should be able to play for ANY pro team in the SH, and still be eligible for National duties. It would do Oz players far more service to expose them to a professional rugby setup in NZ than force them to stay at the Tahrds. You know, grow the game, cross fertilization, that kind of thing. After all, how many poms play for Liverpool, ManU or The Arse?
    Sounds great but it's doubtful thanks largely to certain parties not wanting to play more than X number of games per season. I know from an Australian perspective the teams would likely all be interested as it offers them more games to host etc. So it's unlikely. Even though with SR and GRR there is no the basis for just that. Major League Rugby (PRO Rugby died a slow death after its single season run) and the Liga Americiano de Rugby (LAR) likely won't be ready to compete at such a level for several year.

    What I would like to see is further integration in the NRC. Do away with the extra teams and brands and run the current 5 Australian teams plus and the very least Fiji in a 10 game plus finals competition post both SR and GRR. Again, with at least Fiji involved if not Samoa as well but it would require an 8th team in my opinion for the sake of balance. Which would actually be my preferred model. The 4 SR teams combined with 4 GRR teams. Ideally the Force, Fiji, Samoa and if possible a 2nd Aus based squad.

    A fully professional structure that would provide all parties with 5 more marketable games to host and broadcasters with more content.

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    So, the Currie Cup model making Super Rugby Lite?

    In my opinion, that comes at the NRC from the wrong direction and would fall into all the same pitfalls as SR, particularly given who will be running it. For mine it should come from the other direction like the NZ model - NRC teams represent local underlying club support (like a rep team), with a primary focus on taking local players and putting some professional development into them so they can make the big step to full professionalism with SR/GRR/etc. More than anything what is missing from Australian rugby is the genuine link between club rugby and the professional game. That is the hole the NRC needs most to fill, and I don't think simply having a 2nds replica of 2015 will do it.

    For me, Adelaide is the bellwether. If the structure can't work for them, then it has no scope for growth and will just continue Aus rugby on its current trajectory. SR has given a pretty clear example of what happens when a structure leaves men behind, and the inherent unlikelihood that there will ever be enough money or will to fix it later.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    So, the Currie Cup model making Super Rugby Lite?

    In my opinion, that comes at the NRC from the wrong direction and would fall into all the same pitfalls as SR, particularly given who will be running it. For mine it should come from the other direction like the NZ model - NRC teams represent local underlying club support (like a rep team), with a primary focus on taking local players and putting some professional development into them so they can make the big step to full professionalism with SR/GRR/etc. More than anything what is missing from Australian rugby is the genuine link between club rugby and the professional game. That is the hole the NRC needs most to fill, and I don't think simply having a 2nds replica of 2015 will do it.

    For me, Adelaide is the bellwether. If the structure can't work for them, then it has no scope for growth and will just continue Aus rugby on its current trajectory. SR has given a pretty clear example of what happens when a structure leaves men behind, and the inherent unlikelihood that there will ever be enough money or will to fix it later.
    The Currie Cup much like the ITM Cup feature largely semi-pro players mixed with a smaller number of professionals and no national squad members. What I am proposing is the use of the professional squads from two competitions that would emphasis maximal involvements of national squad members throughout the competition. Weeks where the Wallabies are playing in Aus or even in NZ squad member not required as part of the game day squad would have to turn out for the respective franchise. Additionally, on weeks where the Wallabies were not playing at all. All national squad members and I mean all would have to turn out.

    The link between this and the clubs will come via the Academy structure the SR are re-implementing and I assume the Force have or will have. This would allow for the best talent from the club level to gain regular exposure to professional development and training while remaining active in their clubs rosters. This structure would also open up opportunities during at certain times for Academy members to be drafted in and play at a level above that of the NRC at present and prove their worth.

    Even with the lack of Wallabies this would be very near SR/GRR level of play and compelling enough for fans to want to tune into. I know people here don't like hearing it but games featuring Aus teams do draw the most interest and the use of existing brands will help draw that interest. It also provides both organisation with more content to promote and on sell and the clubs with 5 more important home games to host as a means of generate revenue.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sittingbison View Post
    agreed WCRugger

    What they COULD do is create a southern hemisphere "Champions League" or "Heineken Cup" with qualifiers from Seth Ephrikor, Australasia, PI and maybe Americas, from ALL the professional comps - Stupor, Pro14, GRR and PRORugby, In the meantime, have timezone centric professional competitions, recruiting players from all over, or even aligning "provinces" for player development (both ways). Staffers, Ozzie's, Kiwis, PIs should be able to play for ANY pro team in the SH, and still be eligible for National duties. It would do Oz players far more service to expose them to a professional rugby setup in NZ than force them to stay at the Tahrds. You know, grow the game, cross fertilization, that kind of thing. After all, how many poms play for Liverpool, ManU or The Arse?
    Sounds way too far fetched. I think GRR needs to exist for a while yet before a new comp comes in potentially taking away viewers from the current comp. Most fans will only watch this super inclusive comp and not bother with GRR that much if it was not the pinacle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SPaRTAN View Post
    Sounds way too far fetched. I think GRR needs to exist for a while yet before a new comp comes in potentially taking away viewers from the current comp. Most fans will only watch this super inclusive comp and not bother with GRR that much if it was not the pinacle.
    The one I suggested above which is kind of a twist on this would be played after both SR and GRR. In the RC window.

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    But nothing about only having five teams impersonating super rugby teams maximises the use of national squad members or the Wallabies. That could happen in any competition, provided the schedule allowed and there was the will to make it happen.

    All you are really describing is essentially what we have had forever...no player development outside the Super Rugby squads and cities, players relocated and separating from their clubs, and no real connection made or sustained between the professional and amateur game. All the evidence is that there simply is no pull through, even in the NRC as it is - strong SR links just highlight that it is a reserves comp and no-one is ever bothered with second best, regardless of actual standard. It is one of the biggest complaints SA supporters bring up; SR just replicates CC, diminishing interest in both.

    Which is why the NZ model is far better, differing even from SA in that the teams are their semi-pro players returned to play at home. It isn't just whatever bunch of leftover players at happen to be blowing through the local professional team, they are players who started their career locally returned to play locally. It has an integrity totally absent from SR lite.

    I had a look at the Hurricanes list recently and thought it highlighted the point well. Only half the players in the squad came from their local catchment, so the local M10C team certainly isn't just the Hurricanes leftovers. Instead, half the squad will be back with their home teams, playing against their erstwhile teammates. And most telling, only five of the entire squad weren't still playing for the provincial side at which they first started out. That continuity and loyalty is how you get community engagement and a narrative to your competition, which more than anything is what Australian rugby is lacking. Professional and amateur rugby in Australia might as well be two different sports.

    Community engagement isn't just randomly allocating players from elsewhere to amateur teams for whom they will seldom ever play, it is the sense that the team is genuinely involved with and represents a place. The best way for that to happen is for the team to be local players, developed from amateur to professional locally and still tied to the team for whom they played juniors and grades. It can't happen overnight, but it will never happen at all unless it is cultivated. Unfortunately, there are simply too many shortcuts and too many bankers willing to take them, then bemoan the lack of change. It is why the code is circling the drain.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyS View Post
    But nothing about only having five teams impersonating super rugby teams maximises the use of national squad members or the Wallabies. That could happen in any competition, provided the schedule allowed and there was the will to make it happen.

    All you are really describing is essentially what we have had forever...no player development outside the Super Rugby squads and cities, players relocated and separating from their clubs, and no real connection made or sustained between the professional and amateur game. All the evidence is that there simply is no pull through, even in the NRC as it is - strong SR links just highlight that it is a reserves comp and no-one is ever bothered with second best, regardless of actual standard. It is one of the biggest complaints SA supporters bring up; SR just replicates CC, diminishing interest in both.

    Which is why the NZ model is far better, differing even from SA in that the teams are their semi-pro players returned to play at home. It isn't just whatever bunch of leftover players at happen to be blowing through the local professional team, they are players who started their career locally returned to play locally. It has an integrity totally absent from SR lite.

    I had a look at the Hurricanes list recently and thought it highlighted the point well. Only half the players in the squad came from their local catchment, so the local M10C team certainly isn't just the Hurricanes leftovers. Instead, half the squad will be back with their home teams, playing against their erstwhile teammates. And most telling, only five of the entire squad weren't still playing for the provincial side at which they first started out. That continuity and loyalty is how you get community engagement and a narrative to your competition, which more than anything is what Australian rugby is lacking. Professional and amateur rugby in Australia might as well be two different sports.

    Community engagement isn't just randomly allocating players from elsewhere to amateur teams for whom they will seldom ever play, it is the sense that the team is genuinely involved with and represents a place. The best way for that to happen is for the team to be local players, developed from amateur to professional locally and still tied to the team for whom they played juniors and grades. It can't happen overnight, but it will never happen at all unless it is cultivated. Unfortunately, there are simply too many shortcuts and too many bankers willing to take them, then bemoan the lack of change. It is why the code is circling the drain.
    The issue with players going back to their point of origins is that it would then decimate the Brumbies, Rebels and day I say the Force or whatever entity would represent them. In the Brumbies and Rebels case more than 50% of both squads are sourced directly from either Sydney or Brisbane. And I dare say a fair chunk of the Force squad would be too. The two traditional nurseries still provide 65% of the professional Rugby players with another 10% coming from overseas. You're looking to create 3+ competitive squads using just 25% of the talent. It wouldn't work. None of the franchises outside of NSW and Queensland can claim a majority of locally developed talent. It would be massively lopsided and would achieve nothing.

    What people want to see are teams that mean something to them, in time slots that are easy and convenient to view and are competitive. What I'm suggesting fits the bill for all three. Additionally, let's look at other sports in this country. The NRL, AFL, Soccer and even Cricket are all backed by city/state based club leagues below their highest professional level. The NRL has the NSW Cup and Brisbane Comp. The AFL has the VFL, SAFL, WAFL and the SEAFL (I think that was it is called and it only exists because no equivalent league in NSW/QLD was present to the aforementioned), Soccer has the various NPL State Leagues and below State level Cricket each is backed by districts clubs.

    It's a system that works. And connections between the franchises and the community game can be fostered without an additional layer. And that can be done via the Academy set ups. Players within the Academies train with both the professional org. and the club squad and there's nothing stopping interaction between the coaching set ups from either. Then there's beyond just the seniors. The Waratahs are re-implementing their Academy which will run right down to the U14s. They had 300 kids from a whole range of clubs at the Tahs HQ and training facility over the weekend to run them through their skills and assess where they are. There are more than having an intermediary layer between club and professional football and if done right the level of the club game should rise along with it. I say all this as someone who's always supported the NRC and its intent.

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