Champions Cup 2020

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curates_egg
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by curates_egg »

Watched the Clermont game yesterday. They were absolutely breathtaking in the first 50 minutes.
Bath made lots of mistakes, but they weren't actually that bad (if that makes sense). Clermont were utterly ruthless in exploiting almost every mistake.
When they want to play, they will clearly be a match for anyone. Very experienced half-backs and a combination of youth and decent (strong) imports outside them, combined with a pretty gritty pack. Yes, they were at home, with their tails up early, but I wouldn't write them off as challengers yet.

I also watched the Toulouse game and their counterattacking is every bit as good this season. N'Tamack is developing nicely for them (they were without Dupont on Saturday). Montpellier are a horrible club - just full of beefy journeymen; even worse this season.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Oldschool »

It's not beyond the realms of possibility that the PRL wants to sabotage the HCC.
The strategy being to create a B&I League asap (refer some comments coming from Wales).
The current urgency that seems to be apparent might well be driven by the Pro14 moves to expand, starting in SA, already, with talk of including clubs from North America.
Ireland's problem in dealing with all of the above is that the Welsh and the Scots suffer from delusions of grandeur and would sell us out at the drop of a hat.
However Ireland have one huge advantage, it's the Irish teams that the PRL want.
A B&I league would seriously damage Italian rugby and that's not good for the overall health of rugby or the 6Ns in the longer term.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by riocard911 »

Oldschool wrote:It's not beyond the realms of possibility that the PRL wants to sabotage the HCC.
The strategy being to create a B&I League asap (refer some comments coming from Wales).
The current urgency that seems to be apparent might well be driven by the Pro14 moves to expand, starting in SA, already, with talk of including clubs from North America.
Ireland's problem in dealing with all of the above is that the Welsh and the Scots suffer from delusions of grandeur and would sell us out at the drop of a hat.
However Ireland have one huge advantage, it's the Irish teams that the PRL want.
A B&I league would seriously damage Italian rugby and that's not good for the overall health of rugby or the 6Ns in the longer term.
+ 1.

That's exactly why the IRFU should do everything and by every means possible to keep us as kings in our own castle. The PRL just want the provinces - and Leinster in particular - as a cash cow! That said, Leinster might very well thrive in a B&I league. One can't necessarily say the same for Munster, Ulster and in particular Connacht. "Shoulder to shoulder" should be the IRFU's guiding principle not just on the pitch but in the boardrooms, IMO.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Dave Cahill »

Our obligation to the rest of the Celtic Nations ended when they didn't vote for us to host RWC2023. The RFU did vote for us. So, basically, f%~k?'em
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Leoslovechild »

blaker wrote:I love the Heineken Cup but I think it’s in real danger of dying out.
I live in London and the press coverage is limited. There’s match reports but little if any pre/post weekend colour.
Like any competition, many teams are heavy outsiders but, unlike many competitions, approx 50% of competitors are utterly irrelevant. Worse, many have stopped trying. Harlequins, Gloucester and Northampton all played weakened sides this week as an example. Each still had skin in the game.
There have been no surprises off the top of my head.
Sarries, Us, Racing, Toulouse, Exeter all but qualified already.
I don’t know how you turn it around but there’s an increasing sense that Ireland cares far more about it than all the other countries.
Sarries are far from Qualified and will need to beat Racing

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by LeRouxIsPHat »

Dave Cahill wrote:Our obligation to the rest of the Celtic Nations ended when they didn't vote for us to host RWC2023. The RFU did vote for us. So, basically, f%~k 'em
You're not suggesting that people in the UK might vote for something that they think is in their own short term interest and end up f%~king themselves (and everyone else) over are you?

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by riocard911 »

Dave Cahill wrote:Our obligation to the rest of the Celtic Nations ended when they didn't vote for us to host RWC2023. The RFU did vote for us. So, basically, f%~k 'em
Agree totally. I don't give a hoot about the Taffs and the Jocks either. They can join the B&I League if they want to. For the sake of the provinces and Irish rugby generally, I do however think the IRFU is best served by an arena for our professional teams, which does not have us subsuming our interests to the financial concerns of the Nigels. If that's the Pro 14 in its current form, an Irish-SA league or even an Irish-American one, I think that is preferable to any solution which puts us as servants at the English table. The B&I League would be what it says on the tin - B before I - and that potentially by a long shot....

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Dave Cahill »

The B&I league would be massively skewed in the favour of the Irish and English teams. They're the ones with the fans, sponsorships, players, stadia, television deals - the Scots have little to offer, the Welsh even less. The RFU has no interest in any new league format that doesn't include the Irish teams. An Anglo Irish league is more likely than an Anglo-Welsh, Anglo-Scottish or British League.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by riocard911 »

"The B&I league would be massively skewed in the favour of the Irish and English teams." You're probably right, Dave, but giving the two fingers to the Welsh, Scots and Italians does not, in my own humble opinion, make up for the fact, that in any such constellation we would be playing second fiddle to the English. That sticks in my craw. I'm aware of Napoleon's quip about geography being destiny, but from my perspective Ireland is not, should never have been and should never in the future be a satellite of Britain, be it in the sphere of rugby or anything else. "A nation once again..." Y'know yerself. And that's also why the English rugby blazers want us in what ever arrangements they're hoping to spring on us - the Irish, and Leinster in particular, are too successful outside of their orbit. They want to bring an end to that. More fool us, if we let them.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by heno »

Has anyone specifically said that the new proposed league will not include the Italians or South Africans. I would think the most likely will be a merger of the 2 leagues as they are.
Reasons being
1) cvc are now a part owner of something that has them in it now
2) what better markets to try expand into given they already are exposed to rugby
3) cvc won't want to damage the 6 nations that they are also buying into

Also, the format of the pro 14 (also super rugby, also nfl) have shown that once you break with a double round Robin for everyone, you can have a many teams as you want without condemning someone to financial oblivion in a 2nd division.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Ruckedtobits »

Rob Baxter of Exeter is not only an excellent Head Coach, he also understands the benefits to his Club, fans and players of European football. Caught one of his interviews over the weekend where he explained that Exeter have been trying to be successful in Europe for three Seasons as he believes the difference in outlook of European clubs is a real learning experience for his players.

The big factor this Season is that Premiership Clubs at the top end of their League believe that Sarries cannot win the Premiership with a -35 pts handicap and therefore somebody else will pick up the crown. At this point, that looks like Exeter, Saints or Bristol. A fairly unique opportunity.

A B&I League is a pipe dream of Welsh Clubs and some CVC Executives. A core part of their plan is moving the 6 Nations to later in the Season but none of the Unions are keen as they recognise the social, cultural and (TV) competition benefits for the 6N are huge and should not be placed at risk. Two Welsh Club Chairmen are believed to favour the CVC Plan bur Welsh Union and the other two Clubs are against the plan and understand that building the success of their Clubs on the pitch is the real route to financial stability and success.

Believing that success comes from the size of your opponents support base is a nonsense as has been proven in Aussie Rules and even NFL. Being well-run and winning on the pitch is the perfect recipe.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Dave Cahill »

riocard911 wrote:"The B&I league would be massively skewed in the favour of the Irish and English teams." You're probably right, Dave, but giving the two fingers to the Welsh, Scots and Italians does not, in my own humble opinion, make up for the fact, that in any such constellation we would be playing second fiddle to the English. That sticks in my craw. I'm aware of Napoleon's quip about geography being destiny, but from my perspective Ireland is not, should never have been and should never in the future be a satellite of Britain, be it in the sphere of rugby or anything else. "A nation once again..." Y'know yerself. And that's also why the English rugby blazers want us in what ever arrangements they're hoping to spring on us - the Irish, and Leinster in particular, are too successful outside of their orbit. They want to bring an end to that. More fool us, if we let them.

You appear to have a massive inferiority complex as regards the English. The IRFU doesn't. The Premiership has reached maximum mass. It can't go anywhere - and their debt load means they have to expand or die. Investments in developing markets overseas (e.g. RIM) have failed miserably. They have two choices. France or Ireland. France aren't interested. Irish rugby isn't broke, the provinces aren't laden with debt. The teams are successful. The pro14 still has opportunities to expand. The English need us more than we need them as things stand. The IRFU will do whats best for Irish Rugby and will only enter into an agreement of equals.

The CVC deal is rapidly turning into the Rainbow Cup. Despite what a cardiff-centric welsh media is saying, there is no agreement in place as of yet. Cardiff want it, probably the Ospreys too. The WRU (and thus Dragons) don't and I don't see much from Scarlets on the subject. There are still huge issues to be resolved regarding the Italian and South African sides. If the Pro14 had sense, they'd take a couple of mill from CVC as option money, then hang fire for three or four years to see how things work with the Premiership - CVC don't come laden with glowing references from the world of F1 after all
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by The Doc »

Dave Cahill wrote:
riocard911 wrote:"The B&I league would be massively skewed in the favour of the Irish and English teams." You're probably right, Dave, but giving the two fingers to the Welsh, Scots and Italians does not, in my own humble opinion, make up for the fact, that in any such constellation we would be playing second fiddle to the English. That sticks in my craw. I'm aware of Napoleon's quip about geography being destiny, but from my perspective Ireland is not, should never have been and should never in the future be a satellite of Britain, be it in the sphere of rugby or anything else. "A nation once again..." Y'know yerself. And that's also why the English rugby blazers want us in what ever arrangements they're hoping to spring on us - the Irish, and Leinster in particular, are too successful outside of their orbit. They want to bring an end to that. More fool us, if we let them.

You appear to have a massive inferiority complex as regards the English. The IRFU doesn't. The Premiership has reached maximum mass. It can't go anywhere - and their debt load means they have to expand or die. Investments in developing markets overseas (e.g. RIM) have failed miserably. They have two choices. France or Ireland. France aren't interested. Irish rugby isn't broke, the provinces aren't laden with debt. The teams are successful. The pro14 still has opportunities to expand. The English need us more than we need them as things stand. The IRFU will do whats best for Irish Rugby and will only enter into an agreement of equals.

The CVC deal is rapidly turning into the Rainbow Cup. Despite what a cardiff-centric welsh media is saying, there is no agreement in place as of yet. Cardiff want it, probably the Ospreys too. The WRU (and thus Dragons) don't and I don't see much from Scarlets on the subject. There are still huge issues to be resolved regarding the Italian and South African sides. If the Pro14 had sense, they'd take a couple of mill from CVC as option money, then hang fire for three or four years to see how things work with the Premiership - CVC don't come laden with glowing references from the world of F1 after all
Dave - have you seen (I've not noticed in any of the reporting) what the CVC deal actually involves? Is it % ownership of the league (which I think is the case for the Premiership) and therefore permanent or % participation in revenues for a set period of time (a form of licensing) and therefore time-limited.

I agree with what you've said before that any capital paid is just advanced payment of future income streams (somebody should have explained this to the FAI), but if it isn't time-limited then it's a perpetual annuity and the capital seems small
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Oldschool »

Dave Cahill wrote:
riocard911 wrote:"The B&I league would be massively skewed in the favour of the Irish and English teams." You're probably right, Dave, but giving the two fingers to the Welsh, Scots and Italians does not, in my own humble opinion, make up for the fact, that in any such constellation we would be playing second fiddle to the English. That sticks in my craw. I'm aware of Napoleon's quip about geography being destiny, but from my perspective Ireland is not, should never have been and should never in the future be a satellite of Britain, be it in the sphere of rugby or anything else. "A nation once again..." Y'know yerself. And that's also why the English rugby blazers want us in what ever arrangements they're hoping to spring on us - the Irish, and Leinster in particular, are too successful outside of their orbit. They want to bring an end to that. More fool us, if we let them.

You appear to have a massive inferiority complex as regards the English. The IRFU doesn't. The Premiership has reached maximum mass. It can't go anywhere - and their debt load means they have to expand or die. Investments in developing markets overseas (e.g. RIM) have failed miserably. They have two choices. France or Ireland. France aren't interested. Irish rugby isn't broke, the provinces aren't laden with debt. The teams are successful. The pro14 still has opportunities to expand. The English need us more than we need them as things stand. The IRFU will do whats best for Irish Rugby and will only enter into an agreement of equals.

The CVC deal is rapidly turning into the Rainbow Cup. Despite what a cardiff-centric welsh media is saying, there is no agreement in place as of yet. Cardiff want it, probably the Ospreys too. The WRU (and thus Dragons) don't and I don't see much from Scarlets on the subject. There are still huge issues to be resolved regarding the Italian and South African sides. If the Pro14 had sense, they'd take a couple of mill from CVC as option money, then hang fire for three or four years to see how things work with the Premiership - CVC don't come laden with glowing references from the world of F1 after all
When the money for the 6Ns was been divvied up the English and the French argued that they should get more than the rest based on population.
Their argument was conceded notwithstanding the fact that it the success of the Welsh (in particular) and the Irish that has made the tournament such a success in recent times.
There is no doubt that the same argument (population or viewers) will be trotted out once the IRFU have been suckered in.
Leinster would probably be in breach of the salary cap, as things stand, so the slippery slope of wrecking the gold goose of Irish rugby would begin.
To repeat let's just leave the Nigels to themselves.
The Pro14 is a work in progress, the PRL isn't going anywhere and are our competitors, we shouldn't help them.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by riocard911 »

Dave Cahill wrote:
riocard911 wrote:"The B&I league would be massively skewed in the favour of the Irish and English teams." You're probably right, Dave, but giving the two fingers to the Welsh, Scots and Italians does not, in my own humble opinion, make up for the fact, that in any such constellation we would be playing second fiddle to the English. That sticks in my craw. I'm aware of Napoleon's quip about geography being destiny, but from my perspective Ireland is not, should never have been and should never in the future be a satellite of Britain, be it in the sphere of rugby or anything else. "A nation once again..." Y'know yerself. And that's also why the English rugby blazers want us in what ever arrangements they're hoping to spring on us - the Irish, and Leinster in particular, are too successful outside of their orbit. They want to bring an end to that. More fool us, if we let them.

You appear to have a massive inferiority complex as regards the English. The IRFU doesn't. The Premiership has reached maximum mass. It can't go anywhere - and their debt load means they have to expand or die. Investments in developing markets overseas (e.g. RIM) have failed miserably. They have two choices. France or Ireland. France aren't interested. Irish rugby isn't broke, the provinces aren't laden with debt. The teams are successful. The pro14 still has opportunities to expand. The English need us more than we need them as things stand. The IRFU will do whats best for Irish Rugby and will only enter into an agreement of equals.

The CVC deal is rapidly turning into the Rainbow Cup. Despite what a cardiff-centric welsh media is saying, there is no agreement in place as of yet. Cardiff want it, probably the Ospreys too. The WRU (and thus Dragons) don't and I don't see much from Scarlets on the subject. There are still huge issues to be resolved regarding the Italian and South African sides. If the Pro14 had sense, they'd take a couple of mill from CVC as option money, then hang fire for three or four years to see how things work with the Premiership - CVC don't come laden with glowing references from the world of F1 after all
Appearances can often mislead, Dave. You say it yourself - they need us. So what? Why should we bail them out? The Pro 14/ERCC arrangement as it stands works perfectly for Leinster. Why should we change even an iota? Every league has its dud teams. In ours it's currently the Welsh, but look how the Cheetahs and Treviso have improved. Even the Kings got an away win there recently. I just don't see the upside of a B&IL for Leinster Rugby. For us the value of European competition is diminished, while the other provinces are threatened with being consigned to a permanent role as also-rans. Feckit, Munster and Ulster haven't won the Pro 14 in nearly a decade. Do their success chances improve in a B&IL? I think not.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Dave Cahill »

I've seen no mention of a time period/limit for either the premiership or pro14

I have noticed a difference in the language used though. The deal with the premiership is being reported as a 27% "stake" in the premiership whereas the proposed deal with the pro14 is a share of the commercial revenue with ownership not being mentioned.

Interestingly, and something that hasn't been reported that widely, is that if CVC generate revenue above a certain threshold, their share of this revenue goes to 45%
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Ruckedtobits »

Dave Cahill wrote:I've seen no mention of a time period/limit for either the premiership or pro14

I have noticed a difference in the language used though. The deal with the premiership is being reported as a 27% "stake" in the premiership whereas the proposed deal with the pro14 is a share of the commercial revenue with ownership not being mentioned.

Interestingly, and something that hasn't been reported that widely, is that if CVC generate revenue above a certain threshold, their share of this revenue goes to 45%
No deal has been agreed YET, AFAIK and the debate, ongoing, centres on what is the threshold figure above which CVC get higher % share. Remember, IRFU is our shareholder, not the Provinces. Thus the IRFU perspective relates to one profit centre (L), one break-even unit with assets (U), one potential break-even unit with mortgaged assets (M) and one long-term supported unit (C). Negotiating for these 'subsidiaries' requires a very diverse view of the future and it's probable that Leinster have also demanded the continued access to their future surpluses to plough back into domestic rugby.

This story will run a bit yet and IRFU may have a fairly strong hand at this point. There may only be about 5 profitable Clubs in total between UK & France.

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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Dave Cahill »

riocard911 wrote: Appearances can often mislead, Dave. You say it yourself - they need us. So what? Why should we bail them out? The Pro 14/ERCC arrangement as it stands works perfectly for Leinster. Why should we change even an iota? Every league has its dud teams. In ours it's currently the Welsh, but look how the Cheetahs and Treviso have improved. Even the Kings got an away win there recently. I just don't see the upside of a B&IL for Leinster Rugby. For us the value of European competition is diminished, while the other provinces are threatened with being consigned to a permanent role as also-rans. Feckit, Munster and Ulster haven't won the Pro 14 in nearly a decade. Do their success chances improve in a B&IL? I think not.
We "bail" them out because they're England. The bond between English and Irish rugby at club and international level has always been closer than the bonds between us, and the Welsh and Scots. I'd say clubs like Liverpool St Helens, Moseley or Coventry have each had more Irish people wear their colours than the entirety of the welsh club scene. When the Welsh and the Scots f%~ked off to quiver under their shawls, the English showed up. When ourselves and the English do a deal at international level, they stick to it. It was the prospect of losing that connection that took down the Sky deal all those years ago - the rank and file wouldn't stand for it. In a pub you can always tell the rugby fan from the regular punter when England are playing Wales. The regular punter is shouting for Wales, the rugby fan is shouting for England (as long as the points difference or whatever doesn't suit Ireland). No one who has ever gone to a game in Wales (with the possible exception of Scarlets) has ever, EVER, cheered for a welsh team ever again (again, Scarlets etc). Lovely people, don't get me wrong. Warm and welcoming, good craic and yes, great singers, but they are absolute tw@ts when it comes to rugby (third time, Scarlets etc)

The Pro14/ERCC is not supposed to work for Leinster, it's supposed to work for Ireland. And in that regard, it has failed.
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Dave Cahill »

Ruckedtobits wrote:
Dave Cahill wrote:I've seen no mention of a time period/limit for either the premiership or pro14

I have noticed a difference in the language used though. The deal with the premiership is being reported as a 27% "stake" in the premiership whereas the proposed deal with the pro14 is a share of the commercial revenue with ownership not being mentioned.

Interestingly, and something that hasn't been reported that widely, is that if CVC generate revenue above a certain threshold, their share of this revenue goes to 45%
No deal has been agreed YET, AFAIK and the debate, ongoing, centres on what is the threshold figure above which CVC get higher % share. Remember, IRFU is our shareholder, not the Provinces. Thus the IRFU perspective relates to one profit centre (L), one break-even unit with assets (U), one potential break-even unit with mortgaged assets (M) and one long-term supported unit (C). Negotiating for these 'subsidiaries' requires a very diverse view of the future and it's probable that Leinster have also demanded the continued access to their future surpluses to plough back into domestic rugby.

This story will run a bit yet and IRFU may have a fairly strong hand at this point. There may only be about 5 profitable Clubs in total between UK & France.
Apologies, I was referring to the Premiership deal as regards the 45% - I didn't make that clear
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Re: Champions Cup 2020

Post by Oldschool »

The Pro14/HCC is working for Leinster and Connacht.
It also looks like Ulster are about to joins us.
The reason it's not working for Munster is down to a lot of things but it's nothing to do with the Pro14/HCC.
So in actual fact Ireland are doing quite well out of the Pro14/HCC.
Our success in the 6Ns would support that fact.
Ireland via Nucifora are attempting to use the rising tide philosophy.
Leinster is the rising tide.
Ulster having gone through the SA experience (Munster take note) are now more and more prepared to use high quality Leinster(mostly) imports.
Connacht too have gained by being open to hiring Leinster academy players who are surplus to requirements and therefore usually quite young and in need of development.
Munster's main problem seems to be an unwillingness to take a chance with their own young players.
There even seems to be a lack of development of their established players.
In summary the Pro14/HCC is working for Ireland and generally speaking is moving in the right direction.
The main task would seem to be to persuade the Welsh and Scots to get on board.
For whatever reason Ireland doesn't seem to be able to influence them but maybe the Italians and SAs have a role to play here.
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