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What if England and France get their **** together?

  • 14-01-2019 1:11pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 6,174 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    As the title suggests, I'm wondering what happens if England and France finally get it together with their club game and organisational structure.

    Dai Young this morning came out and as is expected now after a poor showing from English teams, blamed salary caps/squad size etc etc.

    But, what would happen if the RFU by some miracle managed to force the clubs to adopt an Irish style model? It couldn't be the exact same because of the different challenges/benefits of a larger population but say they adopt the general spirit of the Irish system.

    What would happen? Would England grand slam every Six Nations? Would Ireland be able to compete without the advantage of a superior system?

    The same goes for France and to be honest, they worry me more. They're actually trying to improve the situation albeit they're coming from a worse position.


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 21,026 ✭✭✭✭ Squidgy Black


    The structure of both the French and English clubs makes it virtually impossible to move to an Irish setup, as much as people keep suggesting it. There's too much investment/ownership by private individuals/businesses to even contemplate handing over a controlling power of teams to the unions.

    The Irish setup works for us because of the scale. 4 provinces, with a small enough player base, and small geographical base. It isn't as simple as just telling the RFU/FFR to just take over the clubs and run everything through them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    troyzer wrote: »
    As the title suggests, I'm wondering what happens if England and France finally get it together with their club game and organisational structure.

    Dai Young this morning came out and as is expected now after a poor showing from English teams, blamed salary caps/squad size etc etc.

    But, what would happen if the RFU by some miracle managed to force the clubs to adopt an Irish style model? It couldn't be the exact same because of the different challenges/benefits of a larger population but say they adopt the general spirit of the Irish system.

    What would happen? Would England grand slam every Six Nations? Would Ireland be able to compete without the advantage of a superior system?

    The same goes for France and to be honest, they worry me more. They're actually trying to improve the situation albeit they're coming from a worse position.

    Think of a pyramid. The tip of the pyramid is where your absolute top talent is. The guys who get access to the top games and who have the highest level of support.

    Whilst England and France have a much wider base on their pyramids - the apex of each is going to be relatively similar regardless.

    New Zealand have never suffered from smaller playing numbers than England because the guys at the top are well looked after and fit into a system.

    We have been able to replicate that very functionally.

    If England and France get their act together they'll improve (France more so than England). They won't be completely different teams and much of the same players will still filter to the top.

    The club teams however will improve a lot and the national teams will be less vulnerable to injuries.

    The Six Nations would certainly become tighter and away wins less frequent but I don't think there would be a massive shift.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,174 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    The structure of both the French and English clubs makes it virtually impossible to move to an Irish setup, as much as people keep suggesting it. There's too much investment/ownership by private individuals/businesses to even contemplate handing over a controlling power of teams to the unions.

    The Irish setup works for us because of the scale. 4 provinces, with a small enough player base, and small geographical base. It isn't as simple as just telling the RFU/FFR to just take over the clubs and run everything through them.

    I'm not trying to suggest they should or even could adopt an Irish system. I recognise that any positive change is unlikely. I'm just saying that if both of them could adopt the general principle of prioritising player welfare and developing talent rather than throwing players to the wolves and importing. How would that affect Ireland?

    What I'm really saying is, would we actually be that good without the advantages of our system?
    Venjur wrote: »
    Think of a pyramid. The tip of the pyramid is where your absolute top talent is. The guys who get access to the top games and who have the highest level of support.

    Whilst England and France have a much wider base on their pyramids - the apex of each is going to be relatively similar regardless.

    New Zealand have never suffered from smaller playing numbers than England because the guys at the top are well looked after and fit into a system.

    We have been able to replicate that very functionally.

    If England and France get their act together they'll improve (France more so than England). They won't be completely different teams and much of the same players will still filter to the top.

    The club teams however will improve a lot and the national teams will be less vulnerable to injuries.

    The Six Nations would certainly become tighter and away wins less frequent but I don't think there would be a massive shift.

    I agree with you to a large extent. You can only pick 15 players at the end of the day to be on the pitch at any given time. Having a larger population pool means you're more likely to unearth a gem but the structures are really important.

    If you can quantify it, how much of a boost would such a system give the English team? 10%? 20%?

    I agree that the clubs stand to benefit much more ultimately.


  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    troyzer wrote: »
    I'm not trying to suggest they should or even could adopt an Irish system. I recognise that any positive change is unlikely. I'm just saying that if both of them could adopt the general principle of prioritising player welfare and developing talent rather than throwing players to the wolves and importing. How would that affect Ireland?

    What I'm really saying is, would we actually be that good without the advantages of our system?



    I agree with you to a large extent. You can only pick 15 players at the end of the day to be on the pitch at any given time. Having a larger population pool means you're more likely to unearth a gem but the structures are really important.

    If you can quantify it, how much of a boost would such a system give the English team? 10%? 20%?

    I agree that the clubs stand to benefit much more ultimately.

    Any attempt to put a number or prediction on the outcome would be pure guesswork and pointless.

    If someone waved a magic wand and fixed English and French rugby (and a magic wand is probably the only realistic device to achieve that short term) then I think France would be top 3 in the Six Nations with much greater regularity and England would win with slightly more frequency. France have a lot more room to improve than England.

    But as of right now French rugby is utterly corrupt from Laporte down to the team medics and beyond. They may improve with the new rules but the style of French club rugby just doesn't translate well to International level.

    Any chance English rugby had of ring fencing their interests died when the clubs sold a stake to a private equity fund. English club rugby is being developed in the interest of shareholders and not the sport of rugby in England.

    Honestly I can see both teams becoming less competitive moving forward rather than the other way around.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,174 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    Venjur wrote: »
    Any attempt to put a number or prediction on the outcome would be pure guesswork and pointless.

    If someone waved a magic wand and fixed English and French rugby (and a magic wand is probably the only realistic device to achieve that short term) then I think France would be top 3 in the Six Nations with much greater regularity and England would win with slightly more frequency. France have a lot more room to improve than England.

    But as of right now French rugby is utterly corrupt from Laporte down to the team medics and beyond. They may improve with the new rules but the style of French club rugby just doesn't translate well to International level.

    Any chance English rugby had of ring fencing their interests died when the clubs sold a stake to a private equity fund. English club rugby is being developed in the interest of shareholders and not the sport of rugby in England.

    Honestly I can see both teams becoming less competitive moving forward rather than the other way around.

    Probably. Which is a bit grim. Italy have gone nowhere and Wales are still struggling with finances.

    The future might be green and blue (Scotland) for a while.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 19,224 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    troyzer wrote: »
    Probably. Which is a bit grim. Italy have gone nowhere and Wales are still struggling with finances.

    The future might be green and blue (Scotland) for a while.

    It's off topic but I've definitely had a feeling of concern about the sport this season and whilst I can't quite put my finger on it I can't shake the idea either.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,174 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    Venjur wrote: »
    It's off topic but I've definitely had a feeling of concern about the sport this season and whilst I can't quite put my finger on it I can't shake the idea either.

    I think we're relatively sheltered here because Irish rugby has very few structural problems. I mean, it can improve on appealing to a wider demographic etc. But financially it's fine. If you look at all of the other tier 1 and even tier 2 nations, there are problems.

    New Zealand: have always lost players to Europe but now they're losing All Blacks closer to the 23 and earlier in the careers. Super rugby is wobbly and New Zealand can't afford to maintain its dominance if it goes. They don't have the market size.

    Australia: the sport is dying. Nobody cares about it. The traditional player base is drying up as schools move towards league and AFL and the television/attendance figures are drying up as a result.

    South Africa: chronic issues with losing players to Europe and there's always the looming threat of government forced quotas. Which would be the end of the Springboks.

    Argentina: no money. Everyone ****s off to Europe.

    England: as discussed.

    France: as discussed.

    Italy: are **** and going nowhere. Though there are signs of improvement from the club game.

    Scotland: have been in the wilderness for years and now that they're finally producing barrells of international talent, it's all being poached by English and French teams. They're not too bad overall though.

    Wales: the finances surrounding the club game are awful. This has to have a knock on effect on the national team at some point.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,174 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    I wonder if the RFU could do something like creating their own high performance academy, hand picking a few elite prospects to begin with and then releasing them to a club for X number of games a year. They'd have full control over that player and a team like Wasps would accept it because they're getting a part time, free player.

    That seems like a good first step for the RFU to move forward.


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