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WRU move to kill off Ospreys

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Comments

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Scarlets and Ospreys, the only regions that have ever actually been anything other than a waste of space in this league.


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,176 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    Here's the story.

    https://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/rugby/rugby-news/scarlets-ospreys-set-merge-major-15921430

    Pretty massive stuff. The Scarlets were supposed to be big enough to survive as a single entity, it's a real shame it's (apparently) come to this.

    Nobody lives there. That's the issue.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    These regions won't exist in 5 years.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,218 ✭✭✭✭ bilston


    Scarlet Ospreys...what a terrible name


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,728 Former Former


    Also, a new pro team in Colwyn Bay. They're having a laugh.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    This really is a last roll of the dice for the WRU. They won’t get another chance at this. Get their regions wrong again and that’ll be that.

    If you were a scarlets or ospreys fan you’d be wondering why bother.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Also, a new pro team in Colwyn Bay. They're having a laugh.

    IRFU to setup a province on the Aran Islands in solidarity.


  • Registered Users Posts: 9,184 ✭✭✭ Burkie1203




  • Registered Users Posts: 19,230 ✭✭✭✭ Venjur


    Burkie1203 wrote: »

    Jesus. This is going to be a clusterf**k. All a bit grim, fans must be really struggling now. Downsizing to three regions was probably not a bad solution. But another new region...? I'll be interested to see what the rationale behind this turns out to be.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 14,138 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Zzippy


    awec wrote: »
    Scarlets and Ospreys, the only regions that have ever actually been anything other than a waste of space in this league.

    Cardiff won the Challenge Cup last season, and have beaten Munster, Connacht and Ulster in the last two seasons. Dragons are indeed a waste of space.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    This could actually be a FANTASTIC move and I've been banging this drum for ages!

    1. North Wales actually has an identity that the entire region will get behind.
    2. You've immediately created an us v them north/south rivalry that will spice up derbies
    3. The N Wales team can also claim to be the "real" Welsh team, with the stronger use of the Welsh language up there
    4. Ferry to Holyhead and 45minute train ride = plenty of traveling Irish fans!


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    This could actually be a FANTASTIC move and I've been banging this drum for ages!

    1. North Wales actually has an identity that the entire region will get behind.
    2. You've immediately created an us v them north/south rivalry that will spice up derbies
    3. The N Wales team can also claim to be the "real" Welsh team, with the stronger use of the Welsh language up there
    4. Ferry to Holyhead and 45minute train ride = plenty of traveling Irish fans!
    Not sure if you're serious or not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,543 ✭✭✭✭ Eod100


    awec wrote: »
    IRFU to setup a province on the Aran Islands in solidarity.

    Craggy Island, anyone that gets in Joe's bad books gets sent there..:P


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    awec wrote: »
    Not sure if you're serious or not.

    Why?


  • Registered Users Posts: 6,176 ✭✭✭ troyzer


    I think the idea with the RCG team is that it'll get significant private investment and effectively be off the books of the WRU.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    Why?
    Nobody cares about rugby in north wales. With this approach, they are completely screwing over Ospreys fans by pretty much winding up their team. Their most successful region.

    Scarlets are also getting screwed because they're going to go through some sort of revamp as part of this.

    So what will happen:

    1. New team gets setup
    2. Initial novelty factor shows promising crowds
    3. WRU declare it a success
    4. North wales team gets humped pillar to post each week
    5. Crowds dwindle
    6. North wales team goes bust
    7. Arse falls out of it all again.

    This north wales team will be like a weaker version of the Dragons (who should coincidentally count themselves fortunate to exist).


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    troyzer wrote: »
    I think the idea with the RCG team is that it'll get significant private investment and effectively be off the books of the WRU.
    Private backers would have to pump serious money in to get a competitive team together, and somehow manage to generate income to maintain it.

    The Welsh regions have struggled to generate interest in the densely populated, rugby-supporting south, but somehow, through some sort of magic, the WRU think they're going to find success in the sparsely populated, football-supporting north.

    And to top it off, they think Ospreys fans are just going to go support the Scarlets. Swansea, the second biggest city in Wales, with no pro rugby representation.

    Madness ted.

    Must be really awkward being the representative of the Dragons when the regions all get together for a wee chat with the WRU.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    The WRU have struggled to unify a diverse rugby fanbase beneath hastily constructed identities. Irish rugby fans take for granted how important a unifying provincial identity has been in smoothing over the transition from the club to the provincial game, and it still took time. North Wales just need to be as competitive as Kings, Dragons and Zebre to start off, and since they regularly sell out U20s matches in Colwyn Bae (~6k), there is already a fanbase there to build on.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    The WRU have struggled to unify a diverse rugby fanbase beneath hastily constructed identities. Irish rugby fans take for granted how important a unifying provincial identity has been in smoothing over the transition from the club to the provincial game, and it still took time. North Wales just need to be as competitive as Kings, Dragons and Zebre to start off, and since they regularly sell out U20s matches in Colwyn Bae (~6k), there is already a fanbase there to build on.

    The Kings, Zebre and the Dragons?

    You’re giving us the hard sell, eh?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 10,543 ✭✭✭✭ Eod100


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    The WRU have struggled to unify a diverse rugby fanbase beneath hastily constructed identities. Irish rugby fans take for granted how important a unifying provincial identity has been in smoothing over the transition from the club to the provincial game, and it still took time. North Wales just need to be as competitive as Kings, Dragons and Zebre to start off, and since they regularly sell out U20s matches in Colwyn Bae (~6k), there is already a fanbase there to build on.

    Yeah and provinces have advantage of a clearly defined geographical boundary. The tinkering with the Welsh regions seems a mess. Probably a stupid question, but can they not continue on as is?


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    Eod100 wrote: »
    Yeah and provinces have advantage of a clearly defined geographical boundary. The tinkering with the Welsh regions seems a mess. Probably a stupid question, but can they not continue on as is?

    People from North Wales know where they are from!


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    awec wrote: »
    The Kings, Zebre and the Dragons?

    You’re giving us the hard sell, eh?

    I'm curious - what point do you think I was making there?


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,543 ✭✭✭✭ Eod100


    Not sure it's fairly likely but raises an interesting point too.

    https://twitter.com/simonrug/status/1102698552726294528


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 49,413 CMod ✭✭✭✭ awec


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    I'm curious - what point do you think I was making there?

    That so long as theyre no worse than the worst right now that it’s ok.

    It’s a very low bar. Like the bar is pretty much laying on the ground.

    The league has no business admitting another team of that standard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 10,543 ✭✭✭✭ Eod100


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    People from North Wales know where they are from!

    Don't doubt it but point is that boundaries not as clearly defined as provinces. Whole region thing gets diluted even more if they're going to make a hybrid of Scarlets and Ospreys. Along with the cutting of squads and upheaval that will cause.

    I think from outside looking in and probably ignoring the politics of it, Dragons are very lucky to remain in place. Their Pro14 and European record over the years has been pretty dire. Not sure how they're expected to turn that around.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    awec wrote: »
    That so long as theyre no worse than the worst right now that it’s ok.

    It’s a very low bar. Like the bar is pretty much laying on the ground.

    The league has no business admitting another team of that standard.

    Because your concern was that the North Wales team would be beaten out of the gate each week, and the crowds will die off. The bar being so low actually increases the likelihood that the project can succeed. The NW coastline alone is a region of 500k people that has had no meaningful rugby in the professional era, and as long as the team can be competitive every once in a while, it will be enough to keep the crowd (a crowd who, like I say, fill the stadium for U20s matches).


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 15,519 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Neil3030


    Eod100 wrote: »
    Don't doubt it but point is that boundaries not as clearly defined as provinces. Whole region thing gets diluted even more if they're going to make a hybrid of Scarlets and Ospreys. Along with the cutting of squads and upheaval that will cause.

    I think from outside looking in and probably ignoring the politics of it, Dragons are very lucky to remain in place. Their Pro14 and European record over the years has been pretty dire. Not sure how they're expected to turn that around.

    That actually could work in their favour - think of the Munster fans in counties like Kilkenny or Laois, who felt the team represented them more than a team from Dublin.


  • Registered Users Posts: 12,553 ✭✭✭✭ errlloyd


    I wonder if without the benefit of the provinces would Ireland have placed their four professional franchises differently. I think Cork at the time probably had a much stronger claim to a professional franchise than Galway.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,728 Former Former


    Neil3030 wrote: »
    That actually could work in their favour - think of the Munster fans in counties like Kilkenny or Laois, who felt the team represented them more than a team from Dublin.

    I think such people had a Damascene conversion when Leinster started winning things.

    Any new region is going to be absolutely brutal. People won't want to turn up to watch a team getting hockeyed every week.


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