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Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
PotNoodleHorn (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 09:08
Exclusive: Anglo-Welsh Cup replaced by all-English competition

The Anglo-Welsh Cup will be replaced next season by a 12-team competition involving solely Premiership sides.

The new competition, known as the Premiership Rugby Cup, will give out a total of over £500,000 in prize money with financial incentives riding on every game.

England’s top-tier clubs will be split into three groups of four teams as the inclusion of Welsh regional sides ends after almost 13 years.

All four Welsh regions had featured in a 16-team Anglo-Welsh format since the 2005/6 campaign, but have struggled over the past two seasons with squads stretched during international windows. Each of them finished bottom of their respective pools in 2017/18.

This split comes as Pro Rugby Wales move to establish an under-23 regional competition, with Premiership Rugby preferring flexibility to rigid age restrictions.



Although the Anglo-Welsh Cup was primarily used to develop younger players, it has also proven helpful to Premiership clubs for a variety of other reasons – providing more experienced players with meaningful game-time following long-term injury, for instance.

Premiership Rugby chief executive Mark McCafferty explained he felt that keeping a third competition was “hugely important” for English rugby.

“The Cup competition bridges the gap for young players from A League and under-18 rugby before they make the step into the Premiership or European matches and on to the Test match arena,” McCafferty said.






“It is a development competition with the average age of 24, for the next generation of Owen Farrells and Maro Itojes. The Anglo-Welsh Cup has acted as a finishing school for these young players and the Premiership Rugby Cup competition will do the same.”

This season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup witnessed the emergence of 21-year-old fly-half Joe Simmonds, who starred for eventual winners Exeter Chiefs and forced his way past Gareth Steenson into Rob Baxter’s first team.





Joe Simmonds kicks a conversion
The Anglo-Welsh Cup witnessed the emergence of Exeter's Joe Simmonds Credit: PA




Newcastle Falcons back-rower Gary Graham and Jack Willis of Wasps also appeared in the competition while establishing themselves as two of the Premiership’s most exciting prospects and pressing for England honours.

Many clubs have also taken the chance to develop coaches. At Bath, performance director Stuart Hooper and academy manager Andy Rock ran the team for this season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup matches rather than director of rugby Todd Blackadder.

“It is a different level of pressure for players as they move up the development path and it’s the same with the coaches,” McCafferty added. “If you take the reins, you are directly responsible for the win or loss.

“The competition definitely fulfils a very important purpose. We’ve have a lot of players and coaches come through that route and experience success. That’s why we’ve kept it firmly in our plans.”

As previously, the Premiership Rugby Cup will to be held during breaks from league action over six international weekends around the autumn Tests and the Six Nations. Each team will play four pool games before the semi-finals and final are contested, with one of the second two rounds of group games dedicated to local derbies. The pool draw will be made in July.

The Anglo-Welsh Cup, which itself replaced the long-standing knockout trophy contested by clubs from across the RFU leagues, last held a title sponsor, insurance company LV=, in 2015. Premiership Rugby will now explore options in this field, buoyed by a total BT Sport television audience of 1.3 million this season.

McCafferty also confirmed that the Premiership A League will continue despite administrative issues this season. Whereas Bristol competed while in the Championship, London Irish are to drop out following their relegation to leave a streamlined competition involving teams from 12 top-flight clubs.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
highland sarrie (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 09:11
release from prem rugby

PREMIERSHIP Rugby will launch a new Cup competition next season, involving the 12 Gallagher Premiership Rugby clubs in a format including a new Derby Day round.

With total prize money of more than half a million pounds, the new competition will be played over four pool rounds, including the Derby Day, semi-finals and Final.

To replace the Anglo-Welsh Cup the Premiership Rugby Cup will comprise three pools of four teams each and will kick off with the first two pool rounds starting on the last weekend of October and the second two starting at the end of January.

One of the second two rounds will see Derby Day clashes for the 12 teams before the Cup moves into the knockout phase with the three pool winners and the best runner up moving into the semi-finals.

“The Cup has been a highly successful competition in recent years in helping develop the best new Premiership and England players, in front of big crowds and TV audiences,” said Premiership Rugby Chief Executive, Mark McCafferty.

“The pathway for young players is now clear linking the Under-18s League, the A League and now the Premiership Rugby Cup into one strong route towards Gallagher Premiership Rugby, European competitions and Test matches.

“Many Test players including Owen Farrell, George Ford and Maro Itoje all made their senior debuts in the Anglo-Welsh Cup and some of the most recent Breakthrough Players of the Year have been Jack Nowell, Jonny May and Adam Radwan.

“In addition, the competition has seen many different club coaches taking responsibility for the Cup team and developing their experience and skills in charge.

"This focus on new playing and coaching talent will continue in the new Cup format with young players and coaches experiencing the challenge of bigger crowds and TV exposure.

“This season has seen record TV audiences throughout the competition and success in the Final for Exeter Chiefs to support their quest for another Aviva Premiership Rugby title.

“More than 1.3m fans watched live coverage of the Cup on BT Sport this season, a 37% increase year on year. This competition is fundamental to developing young players for Premiership action in front of big crowds and more intense atmospheres.

“We are sad that our friends in the Welsh Regions will not be involved next season but we have been discussing for some time that they need to move a new structure, prioritising an Under-23 format.”

A Pro Rugby Wales spokesperson added: “The review of development structures and processes we have undertaken together with the WRU over the last 12 months has clearly illustrated the need for us to focus on our 18–23yrs player development through a dedicated U23 competition, which unfortunately means we will no longer have the resources to be able to compete in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed our time in the competition, which has certainly contributed to our player development in the past and we are delighted to see the way it has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years, with record TV audiences in the 2017-18 season.

“We have a great working relationship with the English clubs and Premiership Rugby and hope we can work together in the future as the game continues to evolve. We wish them the very best of luck with their new competition.”

The pool draw for the new Premiership Rugby Cup will be announced at the BT Tower on 6 July.


• New competition to be called Premiership Rugby Cup

• Prize money in every match for the winning team

• Four rounds followed by semi-final and Final

• Final to be staged at the home ground of the highest seeded team

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 10:29
"Flexibility" is all very well, but, absent any disincentive, some clubs will still field their journeymen lags rather than imperil the prize money by fielding the youth.

I would have preferred a hybrid system: You can have 5 over 23s in your squad; if you field 6 your prize money is halved; 7 or more and the entire prize money is forfeited; forfeits to be pooled and made available as grants for academies.



£676.97 (*) donated to the Saracens Foundation due to visits to the Sarries frontpage [www.rugbynetwork.net]

Please read and submit articles for publication. (*) As at October 31, 2017.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
TOKS (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 10:58
TT, you have once again fallen into the trap of being sensible and logical. When will you learn???

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 11:10
Quote:
TOKS
TT, you have once again fallen into the trap of being sensible and logical. When will you learn???

As I typed that I was/am wearing a blazer, but I haven't got the G&T habit, yet!



£676.97 (*) donated to the Saracens Foundation due to visits to the Sarries frontpage [www.rugbynetwork.net]

Please read and submit articles for publication. (*) As at October 31, 2017.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
nicsue (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 11:19
Shame on the RFU - they could have made this so much more exciting by doing something along the lines suggested by TonyTaff. However I guess putting exciting and RFU in the same sentence is where I went wrong.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 11:29
Quote:
nicsue
Shame on the RFU - they could have made this so much more exciting by doing something along the lines suggested by TonyTaff. However I guess putting exciting and RFU in the same sentence is where I went wrong.

Unfortunately, this is PRL's doing. They do seem to be turning into the RFU though - I blame all the artisan gins that have sprung up recently (Sm22)



£676.97 (*) donated to the Saracens Foundation due to visits to the Sarries frontpage [www.rugbynetwork.net]

Please read and submit articles for publication. (*) As at October 31, 2017.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Dave Berko (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 11:30
Quote:
nicsue
Shame on the RFU - they could have made this so much more exciting by doing something along the lines suggested by TonyTaff. However I guess putting exciting and RFU in the same sentence is where I went wrong.

Even thinking it!!!!!

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
DoubleChampions (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 11:33
Unfortunately, this is PRL's doing. They do seem to be turning into the RFU though - I blame all the artisan gins that have sprung up recently (Sm22)[/quote]

This is professional sport gentleman - just use the term Premiership and look to football - the premier league has more power than the FA and we are heading the same way.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
The Bard (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 12:07
So why not have two pools of 6, play the other 5 teams and the the two table toppers go into the final? That way you make best use of the six weekends to fill.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
primavesi (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 13:07
Quote:
TonyTaff
"Flexibility" is all very well, but, absent any disincentive, some clubs will still field their journeymen lags rather than imperil the prize money by fielding the youth.
I would have preferred a hybrid system: You can have 5 over 23s in your squad; if you field 6 your prize money is halved; 7 or more and the entire prize money is forfeited; forfeits to be pooled and made available as grants for academies.

Yes, or, heaven forbid, they could have got the championship clubs involved as well.

As it is, the lack of any non premiership teams is going to kill off what small interest people had in it and make it effectively the A league cup, but branded so that clubs can include it in their season tickets...

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
boomer! (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 13:51
These 'Cup' competitions that are actually mini leagues are a joke.

OK, given the huge gulf now between the lower leagues and the Premiership it may not make sense to have a knockout cup that embraces 4 English leagues, but it would have been nice to have a proper knockout cup tourney that at least included the English Championship.

Just playing against the same clubs that you have at least 2 fixtures already against is just boring.

Fine, if they want to age cap it, so be it but wouldn't it also be nice to have fixtures against Bristol, Ealing, Bedford, Pirates or Jersey?

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Innings (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 13:54
I thought the most interesting idea was to involve four sides from development nations. Including Timisoara Saracens,Sao Paolo Saracens, Seattle Saracens and Moscow Saracens would all take really good rugby to ambitious areas.



Innings

Points win matches: tries win hearts and minds.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Squawker2 (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 18:46
So easy to just go "no more than 5 players over 23" - it's so obvious it probably killed the only staff to suggest it



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Stuart Barnes is a Cock Womble

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Static (IP Logged)
10 May, 2018 22:12
To be honest I am not so interested in what other clubs do with this. We have used it to blood young players and bring them through, now we have Itoje, Isikewe, Malins, Tompkins and Ben Earl all who benefited. To me the interest in winning trophies in the Premiership and Europe and this sets us up as a club better for the future.

If we started putting journeymen in and got no benefit I would worry, others I care less about. I know we have used a blend of experience and youth too, with people like Kelly Brown playing a part. We have done well to get the most we can out of the competition looking at the big picture.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
South Beds Sarrie (IP Logged)
11 May, 2018 12:49
I've actually quite enjoyed the Anglo-Welsh cup games, especially when we won it at Franklin's! This is a bad move as one of its appeals was the occasional visit from a Welsh side. Personally, I'd like to see this as a competition for development Premiership sides and the Championship - 6 groups (not pools) of 4 playing each other once, and then quarter finals etc for group winners plus 2 best runners up. Would be a boost to the Championship. However, involvement in anything like this would presumably kill off the British and Irish Cup. Unfortunately, this just gives fans a third, fourth, or fifth chance to see the same teams each season.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Squawker2 (IP Logged)
11 May, 2018 13:00
Having us and top 4/6 of championship would be interesting - have age rules for AP but not championship and even things out a little



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Stuart Barnes is a Cock Womble

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
GazzaFez (IP Logged)
11 May, 2018 14:54
Quote:
Squawker2
So easy to just go "no more than 5 players over 23" - it's so obvious it probably killed the only staff to suggest it

Totally agree. Seems like a golden opportunity wasted to enforce at least some semblance of a level playing field on this competition. I'm sure with a bit of thought a player eligibility rule could be introduced to cater for all the needs of a club's players without allowing the current situation where some clubs basically take the Mickey. Either that or just come out and say this is NOT a development competition at all.

My preferred option, now the Welsh are out of it, would have been a full blown 'A' league, but only playing either home or away, giving 11 matches and rotating each year to even it up.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Sara'sman (IP Logged)
11 May, 2018 15:11
It strikes me that:

* those proposing a KO cup ignore the fact that the 50% of sides eliminated in Round 1 will miss the income currently received from 2 guaranteed home games and the 3+ further playing opportunities for fringe squad players
* many see this as a development competition along the lines of the A League whereas in reality it is more for fringe squad players and injury returnees needing game time
* those hoping to see Championship clubs involved are unaware of the ever growing chasm in ability between these and the Premiership, nor that top Championship clubs seeking promotion would be reluctant to risk their top players - the now extinct B&I Cup showcased few First XV Championship players, particularly in away teams.

I too would prefer two leagues of 6 (2/3 home, 3/2 away games) with a straight final. Rather than a largely u23 tournament (which could discriminate against older players needing game time) I'd limit sides to (4) players who have started 50%+ of league games in the season up to the date of the fixture.

 
Re: Anglo Welsh Cup GONE !!!
Squawker2 (IP Logged)
11 May, 2018 17:01
I’d say that’s an overly complicated eligibility mechanism , which might encourage gaming of the system

But something has to replace the absurdity of the AW tournament setup



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Stuart Barnes is a Cock Womble


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