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Mick J Shaw
British and Irish cup
Mick J Shaw (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 11:42
I understand that the British and Irish cup is going to be scrapped, if so what will replace it as the season will be 8 matches short. Just a question guys

 
Mikey C
Re: British and Irish cup
Mikey C (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 12:45
The futures of the Championship and British & Irish Cup are always high up the agenda and today I can reveal there will be significant change next season.

Whilst a proposal to expand the Championship from 12 to 14 teams from 2018-19 has been placed on temporary hold, the unloved British & Irish Cup will be scrapped and replaced by a new domestic competition involving the 12 tier two teams.

The decision to bin Championship play-offs in favour of a first-past-the-post system was the catalyst for some clubs to demand expansion to 14.

However, whilst the idea has not been completely dismissed and will be revisited, a consensus could not be reached, with some clubs voicing fears over squad sizes and the need to divide RFU and sponsorship money 14 ways rather than 12.

Speaking to Nigel Melville, the RFU’s director of professional rugby on Friday, he told me exclusively: “We’ve been discussing with clubs the future direction of the Championship and one of the options under consideration was to go to 14 teams.

“Others wanted to stay at 12 and it certainly won’t be happening next season, but there’s a follow-up meeting later this month ahead of a Professional Game Board meeting, and maybe a 14-team league is something we’ll look at in future.

“I’m looking at the whole thing in terms of the global season – where we’re heading above and below and how it all fits together.

“We’re taking all ideas on board and nothing is off the table as far as the Championship is concerned.”

Meanwhile, I doubt anyone will lament the passing of the British & Irish Cup. Personally, I thought the tournament had merit and, properly financed and run, it may have evolved into a very good tournament that could also have encompassed developing nations like Germany, Spain, Georgia, Portugal and Belgium.

However, clearly very few sides took it seriously.

The Scots pulled out early on and when the Welsh reduced it to rubble by fielding their appallingly monikered and equally hopeless ‘Premiership Select’ teams, the writing was on the wall.

So, from next season the B&I Cup is no more and the Championship clubs will go it alone, most likely splitting into three regionalised pools of four to produce six additional group fixtures, with quarter-finals, semi-finals and a final on top, although that is still to be decided.

Melville explained: “We thought that the B&I Cup might go because there’s no great appetite from the three sides (English, Welsh and Irish) and it’s not really working. There’s a lot of travelling involved and the variance of teams has been very up and down.

“There’s not a lot of spectator support for it, or commercial support either, so we want to look at other domestic-based options, probably regionally as well to cut down on the travelling and increase the number of local derbies.

“We’re currently looking at what the format should be because we need to make sure clubs get the right number of home games.”

Will that new cup competition fire the public imagination? I doubt it, but at least it will continue to provide development opportunities for younger players and, as long as the prize money is maintained, clubs will have an incentive.

Whether the Championship remains at 12 teams or increases to 14, I still believe the authorities have got the second tier of English rugby all wrong.

If the idea is to enable teams to bridge the gap between the Championship and Premiership, it is clearly failing miserably and there needs to be a far more radical rethink on what purpose the division is serving and where it needs to get to.

In these pages many, many years ago, I advocated an eight-team ‘Pro 8’ in which only clubs with genuine Premiership ambitions would be allowed to compete and who would have to aspire to Premiership standards over a set period of time.

By pooling the RFU’s money within a smaller group of teams, who could play home and away twice to produce a 28-match season, those clubs could increase their playing budgets to something near the level required to build competitive full-time squads.

I’d have blocked off automatic promotion and relegation below the top 20 teams (12 Premiership, eight Championship), turned National One into the pinnacle of the semi-professional/community game and employed that as the main base for dual-registration.

Nothing that’s happened in recent years convinces me this still isn’t the right way to go.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
OldNick (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 15:09
In short...
The RFU has not announced a replacement yet.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 26/02/2018 15:11 by OldNick.

 
Cov_InPeace
Re: British and Irish cup
Cov_InPeace (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 20:22
In long... an outstanding bit of detail there, Mikey C, many thanks for taking the time to post.

I've got to say that in my opinion closing off any division is a retrograde step. Surely most clubs want to be able to progress up the pyramid if they can, otherwise what's the point of having a league?

I understand that you might want minimum facility standards in NL1, rising as you go into the Championship, and then again into the Prem, but beyond that I don't see why clubs shouldn't be free to move up and down the ladder depending on their results.

Imagine how we'd feel if we were condemned to a future in NL1, is my point I guess.

Anyway, thanks again, it's an interesting insight into the landscape that we are (hopefully) moving towards.

Russ.

 
timdouglas1
Re: British and Irish cup
timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 20:55
It does make you wonder why we can't have the equivillent of what used to be called the John Player Cup. It was massive in the 70's, and with the right promotion, and the prospect of a final at Twickenham, it could really take off

 
Cov_InPeace
Re: British and Irish cup
Cov_InPeace (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 21:14
Quote:
timdouglas1
It does make you wonder why we can't have the equivillent of what used to be called the John Player Cup. It was massive in the 70's, and with the right promotion, and the prospect of a final at Twickenham, it could really take off

Gets my vote! I suppose it would have to be sponsored by Quorn, Brussel Sprouts, or Lynx for Men these days, but it would be great to see some of the Prem sides going to places like Caldy...

 
timdouglas1
Re: British and Irish cup
timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 22:13
I expect the Premiership teams would be against this because of their European fixtures, and also the potential of being humbled by the likes of Caldy, Cambridge and the like

 
Wazeroonie
Re: British and Irish cup
Wazeroonie (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 22:25
Quote:
Cov_InPeace
In long... an outstanding bit of detail there, Mikey C, many thanks for taking the time to post.
I've got to say that in my opinion closing off any division is a retrograde step. Surely most clubs want to be able to progress up the pyramid if they can, otherwise what's the point of having a league?

I understand that you might want minimum facility standards in NL1, rising as you go into the Championship, and then again into the Prem, but beyond that I don't see why clubs shouldn't be free to move up and down the ladder depending on their results.

Imagine how we'd feel if we were condemned to a future in NL1, is my point I guess.

Anyway, thanks again, it's an interesting insight into the landscape that we are (hopefully) moving towards.

Russ.

[www.indyonline.co.uk]

Unless Mikey C's real name is Neale Harvey then it didn't take very long to complete haha. Cut and paste job - or plagiarism as it was called in my college essay writing days(Sm102)(Sm100)

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
Kimbo (IP Logged)
26 February, 2018 23:37
As much as it would be nice to have the national cup competition reinstated, the thought of a level four club coming up against a Prem side is pretty unedifying.
The game has polarized since those days.
I think the best we could hope for is a cup contested between level 2 and downwards sides, with level 2 joining late on.

 
timdouglas1
Re: British and Irish cup
timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
27 February, 2018 05:28
I kind of accept that Kimbo, but a Premiership club of some sort would be a massive crowd puller for a club of let's say Macclesfields stature. If they bring in a derivative like the FA have done in football where a certain percentage of a teams previous game had to play, there could be a chance of an international or two, or maybe even a very well know name or two playing at your local ground. The interest would be absolutely huge, and reap great financial rewards for clubs that might be feeling the pinch. The last thing rugby needs is another London Welsh

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
OldNick (IP Logged)
27 February, 2018 06:42
The RFU does not have the power to force the Premiership to play such a competition, let alone to play their senior players. We are in a time when they are trying to reduce the games played by senior players and to increase meaningful games played by academy players, so this cup would at best feature the premiership in team names only.

 
Mikey C
Re: British and Irish cup
Mikey C (IP Logged)
27 February, 2018 15:23
Just couldn’t get the link to work, I never thought people would think I wrote it.

 
Cov_InPeace
Re: British and Irish cup
Cov_InPeace (IP Logged)
27 February, 2018 20:30
Quote:
Mikey C
Just couldn’t get the link to work, I never thought people would think I wrote it.

Hey Mikey, no problem. I'm sure The Indy aren't likely to be dragging us to court anytime soon. smiling smiley

Fwiw, and as a general point to everyone who hasn't done much of this, it's better etiquette to link to articles where possible and quote excerpts rather than post the whole thing.

The concept is that it's traffic to a site that helps get the author/publisher paid, so it's good for everyone if people have an option to visit and read the full article for themselves.

For anyone wondering, the 'Insert URL' button (the one with a planet and chain link as an icon) is the key to linking to websites. If you write your text first, and then highlight it, select the icon, and paste the link in the box that pops up, then as if by magic you can do things like Tim's Brilliant Blog.

But don't stress the technicals, if you just copy and paste the address straight from your browser into your post, e.g. [coventryrfc.me], it'll still generally work - or I'll tidy it up when I notice it.

The most important thing for anyone worrying about it; don't let the technology stop you posting. It's opinions that make it interesting, not formatting. smiling smiley

Cheers again for the info,

Russ.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 27/02/2018 20:41 by Cov_InPeace.

 
timdouglas1
Re: British and Irish cup
timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
27 February, 2018 20:35
Nick, I agree with your post, and you are correct, but does it actually make it right? If The Premiership and The Championship are ring fenced, then this means the likes of Plymouth, Blackheath and Rosslyn Park, and many big clubs outside the top two divisions will not get a chance to play the big teams. With no chance of promotion, I feel a lot of supporters will lose interest in going to games, which could result in many clubs going to the wall. European rugby for me is a joke. I believe only the top 4 teams in each league should be able to participate, which would free up plenty of weekends for a knockout cup akin to the old John Player Cup. I know money talks, and Sky and BT whack a load of money into rugby, but I don't imagine much of it is drip fed into grassroots rugby or lower league clubs.
Just a thought, but how much power does the RFU have regarding The Premiership? Is there a reason why they can't bring in a rugby union version of the FA Cup? It's only my own thoughts I admit, but if Nigel Melville and whoever else is in charge of the RFU got their heads together and organised such a competition, with elite players turning out for the big clubs, might it just work? I think it would generate a lot of interest

 
jnjmaxwell@hotmail.com
Re: British and Irish cup
Maxee (IP Logged)
28 February, 2018 06:40
My interest having been peaked by Coventry Bears involvement and some coverage of Toronto Wolfpack on Australian TV last night, I found myself researching the way the The Rugby League Challenge Cup works.

[en.wikipedia.org]
(skip to section on Round Details)

A similar entry system for a truly national Rugby Union Cup could work. As per previous posts, The Premiership Clubs would likely have no interest.

I'm personally a bit upset. The thought of following Cov away in a competitive fixture in Cork, Belfast or Cardiff was very appealing even if the competition itself was admittedly poor.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
Kimbo (IP Logged)
28 February, 2018 08:20
Quote:
Maxee
My interest having been peaked by Coventry Bears involvement and some coverage of Toronto Wolfpack on Australian TV last night, I found myself researching the way the The Rugby League Challenge Cup works.
[en.wikipedia.org]
(skip to section on Round Details)

A similar entry system for a truly national Rugby Union Cup could work. As per previous posts, The Premiership Clubs would likely have no interest.

I'm personally a bit upset. The thought of following Cov away in a competitive fixture in Cork, Belfast or Cardiff was very appealing even if the competition itself was admittedly poor.

But Superleague is run by the RFL, who can, therefore, dictate the competition structures.

Sadly, the RFU has no real power over the self-aggrandizing Premiership cabal where it matters.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
almostatyke (IP Logged)
28 February, 2018 19:21
Hey Guys, Carnegie fan here, albeit one who is a Nuneaton lad (hence my moniker). I have witnessed the B&I cup (aka micky-mouse cup) over several seasons and it has just not worked at all. From 100 point drubbings of Scottish teams to playing Irish Provinces who suddenly find international-standard players when required, it has been useless. Even the rfu couldn't find anything worse to replace it.
One observation: do not regard the Championship as the second tier of English rugby. The second tier is the Anglo-Welsh teams that Premiership clubs put out, the Championship is clearly another level down. Over recent years we have had several "star" players leave us and generally they bench-warm and play the occasional A-W cup match when poached by a Premiership team.

 
covkid53
Re: British and Irish cup
covkid53 (IP Logged)
28 February, 2018 23:07
The salient words (paraphrase) "sponsorship divided by 14 instead of 12" sums the entire situation up. Even with Wasps here, we as a league one club, have higher average gates than 9 of the Championship clubs. This shows they are mostly all desperate for money, in other words they are playing above themselves. Unless a club can support itself with a mix of gate money, club income and yes, league and local sponsorship, they should not be in the division. 14 teams and a properly funded championship cup is the way to go, but they won't.

 
Rinkadink
Re: British and Irish cup
Rinkadink (IP Logged)
01 March, 2018 09:21
Quote:
covkid53
The salient words (paraphrase) "sponsorship divided by 14 instead of 12" sums the entire situation up. Even with Wasps here, we as a league one club, have higher average gates than 9 of the Championship clubs. This shows they are mostly all desperate for money, in other words they are playing above themselves. Unless a club can support itself with a mix of gate money, club income and yes, league and local sponsorship, they should not be in the division. 14 teams and a properly funded championship cup is the way to go, but they won't.

Championship clubs are also responsible for their growth, something which seems to get glossed over and blame laid solely at the RFU's door when it's not the case. Bedford are obviously an exception to this, one of the clubs to have a sizable support base and see an increase in average attendances this season; I would imagine Cov will see something similar next season. Despite being a Championship club for the best part of a decade Bristol have grown on and off the field and Exeter were successful with the current system, I would imagine Ealing will continue to build too so it is possible.

Obviously not every club can go from tier 2 to domestic champions but the Championship as a collective does need to accept that making a more attractive, vibrant and larger product is key to securing more funding, be it from the RFU, PRL, TV deals, or sponsorship. They are supposed to be professional entities after all not overgrown amateur clubs running on hand outs.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
OldNick (IP Logged)
01 March, 2018 10:07
The RFU has appointed EY (formerly Ernst & Young) to carry out a review into the structure of the Championship and other second tier competitions.
The terms of reference have not been made public and although the RFU have issued a press release about it I can find nothing (yet) on their website, so we can't find out what guidance the RFU have issued as to what findings they expect from EY.

 
CharlieBravo
Re: British and Irish cup
02 March, 2018 06:05
It's typically pathetically inept of the RFU to commission yet another review. They seem to set up commissions to review commissions, but the most worrying thing is that nothing tangible or significant by way of progress is achieved.
To a man they seem to be completely out of contact with grass roots rugby. Bit like politicians' awareness of the man in the street.

 
timdouglas1
Re: British and Irish cup
timdouglas1 (IP Logged)
02 March, 2018 06:57
The man in the street Cliff? We are far too insignificant to exist surely?

 
covkid53
Re: British and Irish cup
covkid53 (IP Logged)
02 March, 2018 16:51
I did kind of gloss over the growth issue so I agree that some clubs can continue to grow. It is noticeable however that clubs in the championship have failed spectacularly to increase their attendance at league games. Especially those without a catchment area of any size. Coventry and Warwickshire have populations of 347000 and 600,000 so plenty to tap into, even Jersey who are relatively well off has only a population of under 100000 so their gates rarely exceed 2000, but with their financial clout are doing OK. But Hartbury college ? Should this club be where they are wholly sustained by external finance ? Rugby clubs need to be vetted by the RFU more rigorously, second tier rugby should not be played with fans stood behind a rope in a muddy field. There hasto be ground suitability checks made, surely ?

 
Sam Skennel
Re: British and Irish cup
Sam Skennel (IP Logged)
03 March, 2018 08:50
I'm sure there will be some sort of governance - certainly *should* be, but what can Coventry Rugby do that would support growth and sustainability?

There are all sorts of ideas, but the installation of an artificial surface gives a whole range of options. Certainly there will need to be some investment before we see any kind of return, but I really do believe that with the right and proper stewardship, there is a route there for "us" to be a really successful rugby club and sustainable business.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: British and Irish cup
Peter Redhead (IP Logged)
04 March, 2018 11:37
Quote:
OldNick
The RFU has appointed EY (formerly Ernst & Young) to carry out a review into the structure of the Championship and other second tier competitions.
The terms of reference have not been made public and although the RFU have issued a press release about it I can find nothing (yet) on their website, so we can't find out what guidance the RFU have issued as to what findings they expect from EY.

Given E Y and other major auditors performance in business, I am not at all confident on any recommendations they could put forward.

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