As I write this on Sunday 10th June 2012 there are 1195 days to go to the first match of RWC 2015 in England.
That brings us neatly to my first consideration and probably the most important news item about the tournament in the last few months. Namely that at an IRB meeting in Dublin on May 15th agreed September 18th 2015 as the optimum date for kick off with the final being played on October 31st at Twickenham. The interesting term here is optimum. This date is a compromise as the RFU had put forward a date of 4th September whilst the Sanzar nations had asked for 30th September. Does it really matter well yes! During a World Cup no other professional rugby is allowed so the well be no Premiership before November and even then any players involved in the tournament will be given a compulsory break. I’m not sure if the 1999 tournament had this affect as it’s main host was Wales but seem to remember the French Clubs weren’t happy after 2007 and required mid week matches etc to finish the season.
Personally I don’t understand how this can happen or the wisdom of it and in particular the compromise. RWC 2011 took place fully out of season for NZ yet despite France and England being by far the richest nations and it being England’s tournament. The IRB however seems dominated by SANZAR and they insisted the wanted time to play their Rugby Championship and seemed quite proud that they had agreed a compromise date I suppose the other option being an even later start. New Zealand had already threatened that the might not be able to attend due to loss of money from no Autumn Internationals and image rights. Needless to say their financial payout was upped and changes to the commercial image right rules are being discussed. It’s funny how this wasn’t an issue for RWC 2011. RWC 2015 is going to be the most commercial tournament ever.
So what else is happening? The qualification process is ongoing and I’ll try and update that in a separate article. However, the main news item is that the pool drawer will be made on December 3rd 2012. The 12 automatically qualified teams will be split into 3 bands of 4 teams. The current summer internationals and the autumn internationals will have an effect on the placings and Scotland who were in their lowest ever position of 12th will be very happy with last weeks win. The other home nations and Italy all lost so status quo remains at the moment with NZ, Australia, South Africa and England in the first 4 positions.
The RWC team is looking closely at the 2012 Olympics to see what can be learnt. In particular the use of the football stadia for football matches and how best to engage the local supporters with the tournament as this was seen as a real winning bonus from RWC 2011.
So a lot of international rugby to come over next couple of weeks and then the AI’s and then it will be time for the draw. By Xmas we will know the shape of the pools just waiting for the last 8 teams to qualify. RWC 2015 will feel even closer.
Why not move it more into our summer?
Its our tournament!
I'm sure the Southern Hemisphere International Tournament can move elsewhere. Its not the most important of tournaments. They use it to build strength and momentum going in to the world cup.
Lets have it our way for once.
If this is the way it has to be, then we ought to move the LV cup(or whatever it will be called then) to mid week, as the majority of clubs use it to blood the younger inexprienced players. as for the rest, we will just have to extend our season. Mid week senior squad games are not a good idea, tiredness will lead to more injuries. non of us want that, extend the season and make provisions, where possible, to ensure our players get enough rest before the following season
Squawker2 I hadn't realised the block into the season would be that significant, how many games would be covered in a "normal" season?
For the past season the block to 31st October would hav covered 7 AP matches and 2 LV. There were also 4 pre season warm ups would there be any point in these as they'd have to be completed by mid September.
Hadn't thought of that could they start AP early say mid August and play for a month up to the start of RWC with the international squad players of course? Or would they even want to disjointed, loss of payers and 6 week break. Another consequence of the compromise start date!
I'm with you on this LT!! Our 'summer' would be by far the best option. Interesting to hear Nigel wray's views on this as the clubs of England and France have obviously had little or no influence in this decision.
Surely this is going to have a terrible effect on the cashflow of many clubs as players will still need to be paid, stadia maintained etc. Also will the TV companies be happy with this. Seems like a recipe for disaster.
Aren't they going to be using football stadia's as well?
During the football season?
There is going to be alot of organising and planning to ensure this is successful. Good Luck
It seems obvious to start our season earlier the year before, and play the world cup in our summer break. Allow a few test matches before the tournament begins.
Maybe with the argument London Welsh are having, the premiership rugby may throw a few clubs out as they do not meet the requirement themselves. I doubt it either.
But it would make for a shorter season, allowing easier logistics of the RWC2015
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