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Poll: England internationals
Sara'sman (IP Logged)
14 January, 2019 15:22

Number of England Internationals per "Normal" Season and per Player

More Int with no limit per individual
More Int with a limit (>10) per player
More Int with a limit of 10 per player
More Int with a limit (<10) per player
As now (~11/12) with no limit per player
As now but with limit of (>8) per player
As now but with limit of 8 per player
As now but with limit of (<8) per player
Reduce to 10, with no limit per player
Reduce to 10, with a limit of 8 per player
Reduce to 10 with a limit (<8) per player
Reduce below 10 with no limit per player
Reduce below 10 with a lower limit per player
Abandon International Matches
Other

You must be logged in to vote.

37 Votes

Show results

Time for another poll!

What is your view on the number of England Internationals that should be played in a normal season (lets say non WC/Lions years to keep it simple) together with any limit for an individual player? Judging from comments in The Guardian, the wider rugby public (particularly non-England fans) favour more games, whilst reading around these boards suggests more varied opinion amongst Premiership club fans.

There can be little doubt that income from Internationals funds rugby in England and around the world, though perhaps less so in France at least until they build their own stadium. However I feel the RFU pay both the Premiership as a whole and clubs individually far too little for providing the assets with which they make their profligate income. I'm also against the argument that the RFU should share their income equally with visitors; the fact that they also need to help fund the "largest number of (amateur) clubs in the world" seems lost on those who also argue that "the largest playing base in the world consistently underachieve". The RFU need to be less extravagant with the use of their funds whilst allowing professional clubs to generate greater income from their assets.

I don't wish to see either the International game dominate club competitions (as can be argued to be the case in most countries) nor to see the International game become secondary i.e. neither like cricket nor football. A balance needs to be kept, though I feel that the trend of squeezing evermore from players needs to be addressed, starting with a more manageable international programme.

Personally I'd like to see a limit of 8 for any individual and a maximum of 10 (5 x SN, 3 x AI (with 1 v Tier 2) and 2 x ST).

[Those of you wishing to limit to 11 (i.e. just exclude the 4th AI) will have to make a choice of 11/12 or 10 or "other" - too many options otherwise]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 15/01/2019 16:16 by TonyTaff.

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
14 January, 2019 16:51
The poll doesn't display coherently on my mobile.

I would forbid internationals outside the windows, play the Six Nations in a block and reduce the Premiership to 10. Matches which clash with internationals, should be in development competition, with a maximum of mature players allowed in the XV and XXIII.

The abomination of Premiership matches during international windows must end, if we are to preserve players while maintaining the appeal of international players to their club employers.



721.05 (*) 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, 2018.

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)
14 January, 2019 17:07
Great subject Sara'sman.

It's an interesting one as whilst I want the National team to do well and appreciate that other teams (Tigers, Wasps, Bath, etc) have gone through periods where they contributed a significant proportion of players to the England team I am not sure it's ever been as extreme as it has for Sarries under Jones.
It's not only the numbers but also the positions impacted. There was one International period where with Skelton and Day injured Jones took all three "first choice" (meaning in a 23) locks plus both Farrell and Lozo (who at the time was Sarries back-up 10. Frequently the majority of the spine of 2,8, 9 and 10 is missing.

Leaves me feeling conflicted as I don't think limiting players ability to be selected to play for the National team is conducive to them playing their best rugby. Surely you want them striving for the pinnacle with their performances?

I think you could balance that out by as you mention restricting the number of England appearances that any International can compete in a season. Ideally a set limit of minutes played over a maximum number of matches (so even if one said 10 matches that wouldn't mean you could have 800 minutes from that player) I think the additional benefit is even if some teams contribute more players than average that system would mean they won't all be missing at once from the club.

I would like to see no maximum player cap but a maximum of 8 games played in an International season with a maximum of 600 minutes game time. That would mean that it would be possible for England to play those Internationals for total 6 Nations and Tier 1 AIs but not the summer tour or extra games. For me that gives the right balance (although possibly not to the players bank-balances!!)
In my ideal world the Summer tour would be Saxons/players outside the normal matchday extended 23 and players returning from injury as would the non Tier 1 AI fixture.

(edit) Hadn't seen TTs post. Very good ideas but I just can't see the GP going down to 10. It would be my preference too with a professional Championship below also of ten with promotion and relegation retained.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 14/01/2019 17:09 by SarrieSaint.

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
darktagnan (IP Logged)
14 January, 2019 23:42
personally - I regard the non 6 nations internationals as a major irritant which regularly muck up the club season. I would sacrifice the extra internationals to keep the clubs going & I really don't give a stuff what the once a season Twickers brigade think no matter how much they spend. Which is of course why this won't happen. Other opinions are of course available smiling smiley

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
Waldo (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 06:21
Of course the problem is Twickers has just spent a fortune on upgrading their coirporate offering - so they are going to chase every penny they can get their mitts on - so I don't see any reduction in Internationals even on the Horizon - wouldn't surprise me if we see more !

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 13:14
Quote:
Waldo
Of course the problem is Twickers has just spent a fortune on upgrading their coirporate offering - so they are going to chase every penny they can get their mitts on - so I don't see any reduction in Internationals even on the Horizon - wouldn't surprise me if we see more !

If the Ah-eff-you went for more internationals outside the windows, I would expect World Rugby to veto.



721.05 (*) 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, 2018.

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
Sara'sman (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 15:28
Quote:
SS
I just can't see the GP going down to 10. It would be my preference too with a professional Championship below also of ten with promotion and relegation retained.

I read similar suggestions to this repeatedly (most often 2 conferences of 8) but have five questions to put to those making such proposals for an expansion of the professional game (the current poorly funded Championship is largely semi pro with few clubs with Premiership ambitions):

Finance - the game is already struggling in this respect with just 12/13 clubs to support (until 2 months ago Leeds were pruning costs everywhere they could). Whilst the RFU needs to pay more to the PRL, we know they are profligate, have financial problems and also need to do more for the wider amateur game. Where is the money for an extra 7/8 clubs coming from?

Players - Our game already relies on large numbers of overseas players, many of them stars, most journeymen. Where will the extra c250 players come from in order to expand the competition? And wouldn't we be better trying to follow the Irish model of limiting non-EQPs?

Infrastructure - Clubs need stadia with 15k capacity (with fans to fill them) and ownership of them to provide non-matchday income. Many of "The 12", ourselves included, haven't yet reached these positions, Irish and Leeds will soon have excellent stadia but they will generate no non-matchday income for them, Pirates want a government grant of 3m to get an expandable 6k dual purpose stadium, Ealing have an inaccessible ground incapable of sufficient expansion even if their owner has the finance, How will the required infrastructure (including training and medical facilities) be provided?

Academy - It is my view that no club could survive in a Premiership without an (RFU funded regional) Academy. Several currently struggle to produce a decent supply of players, some perhaps due to unfavourable catchment areas. How will expanding them from 14 to 20 be implemented? And how will any clubs promoted in the future be awarded an academy?

Supporters We are already seeing a decline in total numbers across the Premiership. Traditionally well supported (successful) clubs such as Leicester and Saints are seeing a significant fall, with more to come judging by comments across these boards. I've no doubt that when our fortune takes a turn for the worse, matchday income will fall substantially. Expanding the Premiership will not increase the number of successful clubs. Where will the supporters for these extra 7/8 clubs come from?

 
Re: Poll: England nternationals
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 16:06
Quote:
Sara'sman
Quote:
SS
I just can't see the GP going down to 10. It would be my preference too with a professional Championship below also of ten with promotion and relegation retained.

I read similar suggestions to this repeatedly (most often 2 conferences of 8) but have five questions to put to those making such proposals for an expansion of the professional game (the current poorly funded Championship is largely semi pro with few clubs with Premiership ambitions):

Finance - the game is already struggling in this respect with just 12/13 clubs to support (until 2 months ago Leeds were pruning costs everywhere they could). Whilst the RFU needs to pay more to the PRL, we know they are profligate, have financial problems and also need to do more for the wider amateur game. Where is the money for an extra 7/8 clubs coming from?

Players - Our game already relies on large numbers of overseas players, many of them stars, most journeymen. Where will the extra c250 players come from in order to expand the competition? And wouldn't we be better trying to follow the Irish model of limiting non-EQPs?

Infrastructure - Clubs need stadia with 15k capacity (with fans to fill them) and ownership of them to provide non-matchday income. Many of "The 12", ourselves included, haven't yet reached these positions, Irish and Leeds will soon have excellent stadia but they will generate no non-matchday income for them, Pirates want a government grant of 3m to get an expandable 6k dual purpose stadium, Ealing have an inaccessible ground incapable of sufficient expansion even if their owner has the finance, How will the required infrastructure (including training and medical facilities) be provided?

Academy - It is my view that no club could survive in a Premiership without an (RFU funded regional) Academy. Several currently struggle to produce a decent supply of players, some perhaps due to unfavourable catchment areas. How will expanding them from 14 to 20 be implemented? And how will any clubs promoted in the future be awarded an academy?

Supporters We are already seeing a decline in total numbers across the Premiership. Traditionally well supported (successful) clubs such as Leicester and Saints are seeing a significant fall, with more to come judging by comments across these boards. I've no doubt that when our fortune takes a turn for the worse, matchday income will fall substantially. Expanding the Premiership will not increase the number of successful clubs. Where will the supporters for these extra 7/8 clubs come from?

Well argued, Andy. My suggestion does not imagine a Magic Money Tree. A 10 team Premiership, continuing relegation, and no increase in the RFU's core funding per Prem club - the savings should be spent on greater incentive for the remaining Prem clubs to field English-qualified players, and facilities improvement grants in the Championship.



721.05 (*) 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, 2018.

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 16:21
I am warming to a theme: World Rugby to charge the host country of any international, played outside the windows, 10m.

That should fix any profligacy, as well as protecting player welfare! Are you listening, Bill Beaumont? winking smiley



721.05 (*) 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, 2018.

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
SarrieSaint (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 20:58
Lots of excellent questions Sara'sman which if I knew the answer to I'd probably be earning squillions sorting out World Peace and an end to famine rather than writing on a rugby forum!

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
Sara'sman (IP Logged)
15 January, 2019 22:19
Quote:
TT
A 10 team Premiership, continuing relegation, and no increase in the RFU's core funding per Prem club - the savings should be spent on greater incentive for the remaining Prem clubs to field English-qualified players, and facilities improvement grants in the Championship.

Thanks for the response Tony. I certainly agree regarding grants to improve facilities. As an aside, a few years back there was considerable anger locally when West Park (Leeds) were awarded a significant sum to develop their (now excellent) facilities with the proviso that they remained amateur, money that many supporters of the former Northern giants Otley believed should have gone to them (and I suspect would have been wasted on wages).

I have a concern regarding your 10 club Premiership proposal, much of which has turned me into a "Ring Fence with a Gate" advocate. I also have a proposal of a structure that I think would address many issues and I'd welcome feedback.

If (Newcastle, Worcester, Irish) and Leeds were in your (semi-pro?) Championship wouldn't this destroy these clubs and create a very uneven league? There would be a huge drain of the better players to Premiership clubs, a massive drop in funding for "The 3", and an inevitable falling off in the number of supporters. "The 4" would have a massive advantage over the rest of the Championship due to their funded academies and vastly superior grounds/training facilities, and would justifiably argue against RFU infrastructure grants going to others, when they received none themselves. We'd end up with 10 + 1 yo-yo rather than the current 12 + 1. [Another aside - I was at Headingley on Sunday - within 6 months it will be better than any Premiership stadium, with terraces on 3 sides (2 covered) and spacious seating on 3 (all covered).]

I'd favour two divisions, Prem1 of 8 teams, Prem2 initially of 6, with clubs funded roughly in the ratio 5:4. To address player welfare, limit players to 25 games (plus play-offs), Prem1 to play 14 games v Prem1 and 8 (all during International periods) v Prem2, the latter being worth 2/1/0 points only for W/D/L. Prem2 to play 11 v Prem1 (2/1/0 pts) and 11 v Prem2 (slight adjustments needed but it can work!). This, with the Prem Cup, provides the same number of games as now (for squad game time and income generation) but significantly reduces the effect of International period player losses. Keep one automatic promotion/relegation between Premierships but close the Gate to a semi-pro Championship until either expansion is feasible or (once every (4) years) a Championship club can demonstrate a stronger all round sustainable case for Premiership status than a weak Prem2 club.

I'd very much welcome feedback!

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
JO'G (IP Logged)
16 January, 2019 12:30
I've long thought that the RFU should move forward to Central Contracts, but do it over a 10 year period

1) Either 8 premiership clubs or split the current 12 into 2 pools of 6. The intention is that proper premiership matches take place only when there is no internationals on; except in the most extreme of circumstances.

2) During the period when Premiership matches take place - the Championship run a matching set of fixtures between themselves

3) Whilst the autumn internationals and 6 nations are taking place - the 2nd strings from the premiership take part in a competition with the Championship sides - to provide games and revenue for all , but also to make a comparison between sides. The points collected by both Premiership and Championship sides went towards their regular season points; but at 50%

4) At the end of the season, a knockout on the top 4/6 Premiership sides leading to a Twickenham final

5) The bottom 2 premiership sides, play off with the top 2 Championship sides for a final to start before the Premiership final, with the winner if a Championship side getting promotion -

however the contentious part would be for the RFU to centrally contract all the U20 RWCup players. they would play for 2 Championship sides (1 x north, 1 x south). If any of the Premiership clubs wanted to get them on 'loan' for the European and Premiership games they paid the Salary to the player directly for those games, plus a bonus for the Championship club. Ideally the RFU would 'direct' the players to the club best suited to give them game time

The idea was that over a 10 year period, nearly all the Premiership England players would be centrally contracted

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
TonyTaff (IP Logged)
17 January, 2019 15:13
Andy, the making of grants to individual clubs will always give rise to jealousy. Allegations of corruption follow as night follows day.

All the RFU can do is publish their criteria and stick to them.

I imagine that they have long since discarded the option of suing, for defamation, the backwoodsmen who make the allegations.



721.05 (*) 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, 2018.

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
Sara'sman (IP Logged)
28 January, 2019 11:12
We've gone quiet again so I'll offer a summary of the Poll (currently 27 contributions - thank you)

Reasonable support (67%) for fewer Internationals
2/27 (7%) want more,
7 (26%) as now,
11 (41%) reduce to 10
5 (19%) reduce to <10
2 (7%) abandon Internationals.

Reasonable support (68%) for limiting an individual player's number of Internationals (amongst those voting for Internationals continuing)
8/25 (32%) no limit,
2 (8%) for a limit of > 8,
11 (44%) for a limit of 8,
4 (16%) for a limit of < 8.

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
Barty II (IP Logged)
28 January, 2019 15:41
Quote:
Sara'sman
Quote:
TT
A 10 team Premiership, continuing relegation, and no increase in the RFU's core funding per Prem club - the savings should be spent on greater incentive for the remaining Prem clubs to field English-qualified players, and facilities improvement grants in the Championship.

Thanks for the response Tony. I certainly agree regarding grants to improve facilities. As an aside, a few years back there was considerable anger locally when West Park (Leeds) were awarded a significant sum to develop their (now excellent) facilities with the proviso that they remained amateur, money that many supporters of the former Northern giants Otley believed should have gone to them (and I suspect would have been wasted on wages).

I have a concern regarding your 10 club Premiership proposal, much of which has turned me into a "Ring Fence with a Gate" advocate. I also have a proposal of a structure that I think would address many issues and I'd welcome feedback.

If (Newcastle, Worcester, Irish) and Leeds were in your (semi-pro?) Championship wouldn't this destroy these clubs and create a very uneven league? There would be a huge drain of the better players to Premiership clubs, a massive drop in funding for "The 3", and an inevitable falling off in the number of supporters. "The 4" would have a massive advantage over the rest of the Championship due to their funded academies and vastly superior grounds/training facilities, and would justifiably argue against RFU infrastructure grants going to others, when they received none themselves. We'd end up with 10 + 1 yo-yo rather than the current 12 + 1. [Another aside - I was at Headingley on Sunday - within 6 months it will be better than any Premiership stadium, with terraces on 3 sides (2 covered) and spacious seating on 3 (all covered).]

I'd favour two divisions, Prem1 of 8 teams, Prem2 initially of 6, with clubs funded roughly in the ratio 5:4. To address player welfare, limit players to 25 games (plus play-offs), Prem1 to play 14 games v Prem1 and 8 (all during International periods) v Prem2, the latter being worth 2/1/0 points only for W/D/L. Prem2 to play 11 v Prem1 (2/1/0 pts) and 11 v Prem2 (slight adjustments needed but it can work!). This, with the Prem Cup, provides the same number of games as now (for squad game time and income generation) but significantly reduces the effect of International period player losses. Keep one automatic promotion/relegation between Premierships but close the Gate to a semi-pro Championship until either expansion is feasible or (once every (4) years) a Championship club can demonstrate a stronger all round sustainable case for Premiership status than a weak Prem2 club.

I'd very much welcome feedback!

Plenty of chat about dwindling support - in order to get/keep people interested, the structure needs to be kept simple. I'd say your suggestion is a pretty decent one but for most of us, that system is pretty complicated and would be off-putting to your 'casual' fan.

I'd just have a similar conference system to the Pro14, with a promotion/relegation playoff triggered if a team finishes bottom of the Premiership or top of the 2nd tier three years on the spin.

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
Sara'sman (IP Logged)
28 January, 2019 16:27
Thanks Barty, though I'm not sure I agree re the casual fan. (S)he would simply see a game against another Prem1 team (outside the International Window, probably with the majority of Internationals playing) or a game against a Prem2 team during the Window (worth only 2/1/0 points, with few/no Internationals playing). For me this is an advantage of not following the Pro14 system; it guarantees (most) important fixtures would be outside the AI/SN.

I think it might also have the advantage of improving English chances in Europe by limiting appearances to 25 (8 Internationals, 6 Europe, 11/14 v Prem1, all _ play-offs) whilst reducing the AI/SN period "punishment").

ETA: I think another advantage of two divisions is that more teams would be playing for a prize (promotion from Prem2) or to avoid relegation (from Prem1 or through the gate in Prem2), increasing interest and thus crowds?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 28/01/2019 16:55 by Sara'sman.

 
Re: Poll: England internationals
Barty II (IP Logged)
29 January, 2019 08:39
I imagine the big brick wall would be people questioning why a win is worth different points depending on who you're playing, that's what I think would be off-putting. Personally think its not a bad idea but don't think it would take off on that basis. But there are hundreds of ways to go about it, none of them perfect! :-)


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