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Pro12 Proposal
sionlikesmusic (IP Logged)
21 April, 2017 11:05
As some of you might have seen, yesterday WalesOnline broke the latest run of a story that has been mentioned before, the idea that the Pro12 might incorporate some South African teams from Super Rugby.

While I doubt that the article is anything more than speculation or a means of strengthening the position of the two SA Super Rugby teams under threat, it is an interesting idea that could - in theory - strengthen the quality of the league, both commercially and competitively.

Personally, I can't see it happening as the travel expenses of x amount of games in South Africa would be too much for certain teams in the Pro12 to make it viable - there's already rumours that Zebre or Treviso (I can't remember which) are going to be wound up at the end of the season, with a replacement team to be based in Rome. The Blues have already posted losses of approx. £1.4m for this year, and with the Dragons' current situation I just can't see it being viable for anyone other than the Irish.

Add to that the fact that this story only ever seems to have legs in the Welsh press, that brings into question how accepted the plan would be by the other nations in the Pro12.

On the one hand, I think there's a credible argument that it would improve the quality of the competition and make it more attractive to audiences. I'm not convinced by those arguments though, I think that while it would be good to play southern hemisphere teams & players it would still be against, arguably, the worst of the bunch. The quality of the rugby being played by the SA Super Rugby teams hasn't been great so far this season, but does that mean it's worse than the Pro12's? I would hope not.

At the very least I think it's an idea that's worth exploring, as it could be a lifeline of investment into this league that's needed. Equally though, would it make people question the credibility of this league even more? Would it be seen as a joke league where failing teams can join to play together?

One thing I'm definitely not convinced by is the comments by Tony McKeever has made about the proposal and what it would do for South African rugby:

“By doing this, SA Rugby would send a potent message to SANZAAR - that they are not agonising over this and are the first of the ‘Big 3’ southern hemisphere teams to break ranks and go north and let that be a message to not mess with us anymore.

“Personally, I think the PRO14 TV ratings will blow Super Rugby away and you might very well see a reversal of the exodus of players from South Africa and rather to these two South African PRO14 teams."

To me, that just reinforces my view that this move is being used as a means of bargaining the existence of the Cheetahs and the Southern Kings considering the threat they are currently under.

Here's the link to the article, if anyone would like to read it.

 
Re: Pro12 Proposal
AHP (IP Logged)
21 April, 2017 13:59
Nothing against SA sides joining the Pro12 in principle - it makes more sense than North American sides as they'd be better, and in the same timezone at least - but not like this. It would be immensely damaging to the Pro12 as a brand to be seen as a dumping ground for teams "not good enough" to be in Super Rugby. Whether or not they'd be competitive in the Pro12 (I think they would) is besides the point; we don't want to be branded as a Second Dvision and that is what we would literally be if the South Africans split their teams between the Pro12 and something else. The best players would inevitably gravitate to the Super Rugby sides.

It should be all six SA sides (or as many Pro sides as they want to keep), or none of them.

 
Re: Pro12 Proposal
binman (IP Logged)
21 April, 2017 20:23
Quote:
AHP
Nothing against SA sides joining the Pro12 in principle - it makes more sense than North American sides as they'd be better, and in the same timezone at least - but not like this. It would be immensely damaging to the Pro12 as a brand to be seen as a dumping ground for teams "not good enough" to be in Super Rugby. Whether or not they'd be competitive in the Pro12 (I think they would) is besides the point; we don't want to be branded as a Second Dvision and that is what we would literally be if the South Africans split their teams between the Pro12 and something else. The best players would inevitably gravitate to the Super Rugby sides.
It should be all six SA sides (or as many Pro sides as they want to keep), or none of them.

Agreed, we don't want to be the guy the girl goes with just to make her ex jealous!

If the SA teams want to come to the pro12 that's great but not as a booby prize, it has to be because it's their desired location and not because they're smarting over getting dumped

 
Re: Pro12 Proposal
Rich. (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 11:04
To me this is a non story that just comes out based on what one person said. In any case the reality is the best players of those teams which go will be spread to the remaining teams and so the quality won't be as high as current (albeit that isn't too bad)

 
Re: Pro12 Proposal
cardiff_steve (IP Logged)
22 April, 2017 12:00
It's entirely dependent on whether there's any tv interest. If there's cash from a tv company on the table they'll take it.

If there were tv money on offer for a Russian, Moroccan or Afghan franchise, they'd also take it. And rightly so.

 
Re: Pro12 Proposal
Rich. (IP Logged)
26 April, 2017 16:56
Latest is whether they might play in the Anglo-Welsh! They may call it the Rorks Drift Cup perhaps .....

Again can't see this happening and it's only use is to keep journalists usefully employed.


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