Jump to content

RWC 2023 USA?


Recommended Posts

Yes, I would rather send it to the US for the sake of rugby, but then again I would also have awarded 2011 to Japan.

It's really not in the interests of "rugby" though for it to go to the US. They're hardly a world class team (and not even on the brink of it) and the IRB aren't as arrogant as soccer who just believe their product has to be everywhere.

The only choice in the interests of "rugby" is Argentina, where the World Cup really could make a difference.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As for my earlier comments on the health of the game I will concede that on the surface things are far more healthy financially and in the short term than back in the amateur days. And yes Rugby 7's ascension to Olympic status is going to help the cause. However when you consider the degradation of the capabilities of traditional or second and third tier countries to compete against the big five, plus the manner in which the grass roots of the game in countries like Australia is being sacrificed for the elite end of town then it is fair to say that Rugby's stature has not grown as its rivals have nor as it should do on the back of what is supposed to be the second largest international football competition.

When the likes of Wales or any of the Pacific Islands can again become major forces in the game (or in the latter instance such as Tonga or Samoa become feeder nations for the likes of the Wallabies or All Blacks) then Rugby will have restored much of its integral appeal. Throw in a more fluid and running game (not the stultifying kick fest that is northern hemisphere rugby) and greater opportunities for Canada, Romania, Russia, Fiji, Japan and the US to play more regularly against higher grade opposition then the sport can start to break out of the straight jacket it is in now now thanks to the big 5 dominance.

I still think your letting prejudices downplay and underestimate the strength of Union, especially in Oz, at the moment. I can't remember a time when the game has been healthier in Oz - it's certainly a far more supported, watched and higher profile than it's ever been since the days (only 15 years ago) when, apart from whoever was touring from overseas that year, the highlight of the yearly comp was in by how much Randwick was going to thrash their opposition in that year's Grand Final. You'd have to go back to pre-1908, when Victor Trumper persuaded Dally Messenger to jump the fence and help make Rugby League a viable offshoot, to see a time where Union had any where near the profile it enjoys today (and it certainly can't have been in great shape even then if an upstart promoter could overnight transform a rival comp into the dominant State code). Nowadays, on the back of the continually expanding and phenomenally successful Super series, it's Union that is a threat to League's hold, in crowds as well as in attracting talent and stars of the calibre of Wendell Sailor and Lote Tuquiri and others is concerned and it's telling when Melbourne has been so keen to get a Super franchise up and running. The Tri-Nations (and soon to be Four Nations) format now offers a yearly smorgasbord on elite international fixtures that League can only fantasize about matching. And all done without harming the traditional club comp (yes, you can't keep Randwick down) or damaging its junior feeder ranks in the private school system.

Elsewhere in the Pacific, it's precisly to build the emerging and smaller island unions that the IRB launched the Pacific Nations Cup to pit Fiji, Japan, Samoa, Tonga and the Junior All-Blacks against each other and get them acclimatised to regular top-flight competition. And to say the Pacific Islanders aren't feeding the ranks of Union (and League for that matter) in Oz is forgetting the impact the likes of Tuqiri, Samo, Fuifui Moimoi ad infinitum are having here. Indeed, Islanders are all but becoming a dominant feeder group for both major Rugby codes here.

And further, it's hard to make a case that the capabilities of the second tier countries are degrading based on international results of the immediate past - Argentina, semi finalists in the 2007 WC (with Fiji and Scotland quarter finalists in the same year), Wales winning the Six Nations in 2005 and 2008 (with a Grand Slam in the later no less!), Ireland the 2009 Six Nation Champs (again a Grand Slammer). Methinks the Roses and the Tricolours would be wishing they'd "degrade" as effectively!

And the likes of Russia sure aren't being ignored - it after all is the final 7s World Cup host country ahead of the game's Olympic debut in 2016.

I'm not saying it can rest on its laurels and there in't more to be done. I for one, for example, would love to se a combined Pacific Islands side join the Super format (something which is under consideration seemingly each year). And, as I mentioned in an earlier post, it'd be good for the game to see the Celtic Unions influence on the IRB Board lessened (it's still impossible to win a WC hosting without placating Scotland, Ireland and Wales and getting their votes). But, hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, and it's still only 15 years since the IRB threw off the shackles of amateurism. Again, I think they've done amazingly in that time!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rols just a quick clarification, when I was referring to the Pacific Island teams I was trying to say that their status now is lesser than it was in the amateur days as they are now only feeders for the ANZ provincial/state teams or becoming naturalised Aussies or Kiwis, unlike when there was a definite preference to stay with their Fijian, Tongan or Samoan teams. For example for the 2007 RWC the NZ squad had 5 Samoans who could have in more equitable or profitable circumstances for their home union stayed with the Samoans.

As for second tier versus first tier, take a look at the record of Argentina Vs Australia before and after News Limited and the Super 12/14/15 era, where Argentina was able to rack up 3 wins and a draw pre-1996, plus was afforded regular tours either to or from Australia. Since then there has been only 1 win for the Pumas and no tour with 2 matches since 2000.

Then you have Scotland which has been left behind by the growing power of the English and French in the 5/6 Nations, with its record changing from five wins against France in the 90s to only 1 since 2000. I could point to other examples however the general thrust of my argument is that with the advent of professional rugby and the money that has flowed to five major rugby nations the game has become more and more divided between the haves and the have nots.

Re the argument about rugby attracting league stars well that's a no-go because the high profile players who went to Rugby (Lote Tuquiri, Wendall Sailor, Tamana Tahu, Mark Gasnier, Steve Rogers, Sonny Bill Williams) have either returned to league or have not been able to sustain careers at the highest levels of union. And many a rugby addict will tell you the money that has been spent chasing league players has not been worth it contrasted to the investment that should have been put into grass roots.

Then there has been the failure of the ARC (which was supposed to be the Australian equivalent to the NZ ITM or SA's Currie Cup, and the recent decline in crowds for Australian hosted Super 14 games (20,971 in 2008 to 19,767 average per game 2010), and the continued success of both league and the AFL to beat union in TV ratings, and declining participation levels, then our local interest in the game (where we should be a leader internationally) has slipped considerably since the 2003 WC.

International Rugby in 2010 has become polarised between the haves and the have nots, the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere, and the pursuit of short term financial gain over long term deep development. I'm not averse to the sport (having fond memories of the Ellas etc right through to having gone to both Super 12 and tests in recent years), but I firmly believe that rugby is losing out to its competitors in almost every international market. When the IRB stops hoisting huge financial imposts on the RWC hosts (a competition that they were loathe to support in the first place), regulate for proper tours that include regular apprearances by full national teams (and not the recent examples of understrength English or French teams that have come down under), and look at bringing the likes of Canada, US, the Pacific islands, Rumania, Japan etc etc onto a more prefessional and better playing standard then it can really start to grow. FIFA has shown the way with much that it has done with recent world cups, and a RWC in the US or perhaps Italy or Argentina will do the sport a world of good.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think you're looking through rose coloured glasses at an era that was anything but. If Rugby in Oz was a basket case, it was in the 70s, and if the IRB was ever hog-tied by tradition and resting on its laurels, it was pre-1995. I still see Rugby as by far the most vibrant, expansive, successful and forward looking sport in the world today that has done wonders with its image and appeal - quite breath-takingly so.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I still think you're looking through rose coloured glasses at an era that was anything but. If Rugby in Oz was a basket case, it was in the 70s, and if the IRB was ever hog-tied by tradition and resting on its laurels, it was pre-1995. I still see Rugby as by far the most vibrant, expansive, successful and forward looking sport in the world today that has done wonders with its image and appeal - quite breath-takingly so.

Guess we're gonna have to disagree there Rols...course no matter the differences so long as the All Blacks choke again next year we'll all be happy :lol:

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rols just a quick clarification, when I was referring to the Pacific Island teams I was trying to say that their status now is lesser than it was in the amateur days as they are now only feeders for the ANZ provincial/state teams or becoming naturalised Aussies or Kiwis, unlike when there was a definite preference to stay with their Fijian, Tongan or Samoan teams. For example for the 2007 RWC the NZ squad had 5 Samoans who could have in more equitable or profitable circumstances for their home union stayed with the Samoans.

As for second tier versus first tier, take a look at the record of Argentina Vs Australia before and after News Limited and the Super 12/14/15 era, where Argentina was able to rack up 3 wins and a draw pre-1996, plus was afforded regular tours either to or from Australia. Since then there has been only 1 win for the Pumas and no tour with 2 matches since 2000.

Then you have Scotland which has been left behind by the growing power of the English and French in the 5/6 Nations, with its record changing from five wins against France in the 90s to only 1 since 2000. I could point to other examples however the general thrust of my argument is that with the advent of professional rugby and the money that has flowed to five major rugby nations the game has become more and more divided between the haves and the have nots.

Re the argument about rugby attracting league stars well that's a no-go because the high profile players who went to Rugby (Lote Tuquiri, Wendall Sailor, Tamana Tahu, Mark Gasnier, Steve Rogers, Sonny Bill Williams) have either returned to league or have not been able to sustain careers at the highest levels of union. And many a rugby addict will tell you the money that has been spent chasing league players has not been worth it contrasted to the investment that should have been put into grass roots.

Then there has been the failure of the ARC (which was supposed to be the Australian equivalent to the NZ ITM or SA's Currie Cup, and the recent decline in crowds for Australian hosted Super 14 games (20,971 in 2008 to 19,767 average per game 2010), and the continued success of both league and the AFL to beat union in TV ratings, and declining participation levels, then our local interest in the game (where we should be a leader internationally) has slipped considerably since the 2003 WC.

International Rugby in 2010 has become polarised between the haves and the have nots, the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere, and the pursuit of short term financial gain over long term deep development. I'm not averse to the sport (having fond memories of the Ellas etc right through to having gone to both Super 12 and tests in recent years), but I firmly believe that rugby is losing out to its competitors in almost every international market. When the IRB stops hoisting huge financial imposts on the RWC hosts (a competition that they were loathe to support in the first place), regulate for proper tours that include regular apprearances by full national teams (and not the recent examples of understrength English or French teams that have come down under), and look at bringing the likes of Canada, US, the Pacific islands, Rumania, Japan etc etc onto a more prefessional and better playing standard then it can really start to grow. FIFA has shown the way with much that it has done with recent world cups, and a RWC in the US or perhaps Italy or Argentina will do the sport a world of good.

Glad somebody agrees. When I say such things I get labelled as anti-rugby.

The lack of long term thinking in South African rugby including its various unions is just the norm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad somebody agrees. When I say such things I get labelled as anti-rugby.

The lack of long term thinking in South African rugby including its various unions is just the norm.

Mo, if anything pointing out the inequities in world rugby is for the betterment of the game; the last thing we need is for the IRB to become like the ICC; a governing body that avoids the too hard issues whilst milking the biggest cash cows for their own benefit.

I actually raised this issue with former Wallaby Brett Papworth yesterday thanks to a local sports radio talkback show and he certainly agreed with the proposition that international rugby is not as of the same standard now as it was pre-professionalism. However I am sure if you were to talk to some of the current crop of Boks, Wallabies, All Blacks or other major teams that are doing well out of the existing structures they would contradict this opinion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

eusebius - nice misrepresentation of the statistics

Total registered rugby players in the USA - 81678 - Total registered adults 44,544

Total registered rugby players in Australia - 84450 - Total registered adults 38839

Nice try

In total numbers Australia beats the US and porportional numbers Australia creams the US. Porportionally the US would have to have close to 600,000 reigstered rugby players to match the Australian (and as a side, almost 200,000 to match Canada)

Link to post
Share on other sites

eusebius - nice misrepresentation of the statistics

Total registered rugby players in the USA - 81678 - Total registered adults 44,544

Total registered rugby players in Australia - 84450 - Total registered adults 38839

Nice try

In total numbers Australia beats the US and porportional numbers Australia creams the US. Porportionally the US would have to have close to 600,000 reigstered rugby players to match the Australian (and as a side, almost 200,000 to match Canada)

The figures I quoted are from Wikipedia here and here with the Australian adult stas being sourced fcrom the IRB. Now I am not making any further claims to the stats provenance and nor was I attempting to make any comparision on a proportional basis (as it was a blatantly obvious fact that didn't need reference). My point was that with a sizeable chunk of people playing the game in the US it was a reasonable basis to build the game up from.

As for Australian rugby it's total participation levels have receded (see this reference here from the Australian government in 2003 when there were 130,000 total players registered with the ARU) as have average attendances at Super 12/14 games. Throw in the lack of representation from state unions such as the VRU in the Wallabies (check out the Victorian participation in the Wallabies team of 1939 as an example of how the game has become more state parochial and less popular over time in Australia), and as cited previously the failure of the ARC less than 7 years after the 2003 RWC and it has to be said that Rugby Union in Australia is becoming less and less a mass sport and more and more an elite game for the select professional few who either come from NSW, Queensland, the ACT or more and more frequently first or second generation Pacific Islanders.

The ARU and the IRB have lost the plot when it comes to grass roots and international rugby and by cultivating the former in both established and new markets whilst encouraging international teams from second and third tiers to improve qualitatively the local and world games will be far better off.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...