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Roll-up Roll-up its Circus Time

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Topic: Roll-up Roll-up its Circus Time
Posted By: PiffPaff
Subject: Roll-up Roll-up its Circus Time
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2021 at 06:24
Who noticed the RFU published the long awaited Future Competition Structure Review yesterday?

Although it was removed after a few hours because it hadn't been approved for release. Its possibly coming out today or over the weekend.

They seemed to have put the National back into the National Leagues with the "re-design" of Nat 2 which at first look doesn't do much for the environment.

Nat 2 South(ish) is more blurred than most, at the moment it will have

Bournemouth, Worthing, Redruth, Old Reds, Clifton, Dings, Barnstaple and Weston-super-mare

Then joined by Birmingham Moseley, Luctonians, Bourneville, Newport (Salop) and Stourbridge

with the Final piece.............. Chester

Apparently all based around mileage


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Replies:
Posted By: kingsheathlad
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2021 at 07:11
Birmingham Moseley are in National league 1.Am I missing something, apologies for my ignorance 

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Cauliflower ear


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 26 Mar 2021 at 07:18
Think its based on finishing positions from the truncated 2019/20 season and with Mose finishing in the bottom 4 all those clubs have been "auto-relegated". The actual League will be made up of finishing positions from next season 21/22 so I would suggest don't finish in the bottom 4!

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Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 16:07
It would seem its now out for general release  https://lancashirerugby.co.uk/news/1537-future-competitions-structure" rel="nofollow - https://lancashirerugby.co.uk/news/1537-future-competitions-structure

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Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 31 Mar 2021 at 18:21
Unfortunately you cannot change the shape of the country. It is always going to be a long way to Redruth or to Aspatria -or indeed to Canterbury.

You are also not going to always get the right number of teams in any region.

So you either level transfer - as Chester are in the example. You could have moved Henley West and probably Hinkley South East - but they seem to prefer fwer moves where possible and without messing with google maps I am not sure it actually reduces milage.

Oor you relegate one more Northern side and promote one more South Western side.
But what would you do if Darlington, Sale and Leeds were relegated the following season - or Elthamians, Blackheath and Rosslyn Park.

It is so much moving the deck chairs on the Titanic. It does not solve anything and there is most change at the levels where least was wrong.

Currently we expect one team up from the Championship at the end of the the current short season, that leaves them with 11 for 21/22/ I do not believe they will want to continue with 11 teams going forward. So there may be one, three or five teams promoted with no relegation to bring them to 12, 14 or 16 . In which case, there may be fewer relegation slots from National 1.

However, if you are national 2 you probably need to win your league - or maybe not.




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Blood and Sand


Posted By: Bunkermentality
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2021 at 12:02
Originally posted by PiffPaff PiffPaff wrote:

Who noticed the RFU published the long awaited Future Competition Structure Review yesterday?

Although it was removed after a few hours because it hadn't been approved for release. Its possibly coming out today or over the weekend.
....

I've seen an unofficial copy of the competitions structure. It includes links to the proposed leagues. Unfortunately (!) the links do not work. Does anyone have a link or copy of these covering the South East of England that they can share?


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 03 Apr 2021 at 12:34
The Lancashire site has links that cover the whole country

Levels 3-6
http://lancashirerugby.co.uk/images/RFUDocument1-12.1FCSL3-6regionalmodels30.03.21.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://lancashirerugby.co.uk/images/RFUDocument1-12.1FCSL3-6regionalmodels30.03.21.pdf

Levels 7-11 - you will need to zoom in the text is small.

http://lancashirerugby.co.uk/images/RFUDocument2-12.2FCSLevel7belowCBbasedmodels30.03.21.pdf" rel="nofollow - https://lancashirerugby.co.uk/images/RFUDocument2-12.2FCSLevel7belowCBbasedmodels30.03.21.pdf




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Blood and Sand


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2021 at 16:07
I do feel that they have only done half the job.
I feel they should have been able to at least fill in the yellow highlighted entries

As far as I can see the new structure is the old structure (with a minor tweak in the North West).
Except that all the yellow lines will be filled in with 2nd Xv teams to make up for all the teams promoted to level 6.

There is no attempt to show the current 2nd XV structure or how that would be affected by losing those sides.

And no attempt - again except in the North West - to look to see if it is possible to reduce travel by changing the structure once you merge the second team leagues into the pyramid.




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Blood and Sand


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 04 Apr 2021 at 16:26
What's worrying about all this, the RFU put the information on the Website over a week ago and then realised they hadn't gone thru the proper channels and removed it same day. However its not reappeared all you get is a blank page  https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/future-competitions-structure-proposed-plan-recommendations-published" rel="nofollow - https://www.englandrugby.com/news/article/future-competitions-structure-proposed-plan-recommendations-published

I understand the CB Council Reps got info and were asked to pass it on/speak to their clubs. Be interesting to know which CBs have done this because this sounds a tad "covert" in the sense that if CBs are told by their Clubs to vote against these changes then the CB Reps are will have to. 

If the Clubs remain silent its likely your County Rep will vote the whip and the RFU want this doing whether you like it or not.

So if you are at Chairman/Secretary status of a Level 3 down Club, have you seen the documents?


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Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 12:23
I tend to agree, if you think it is a mistake, speak to your club chairmen.
You may as well also write personally to your CB rep.
But it might be futile.


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Blood and Sand


Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 14:07
There is nothing new in this for most Clubs. The Level 3/4 proposals are those that have been discussed at length within the NCA. The only new areas are the flexibility at Level 7 and below and the introduction of Junior XVs up to Level 7 which is a change from the previous discussion point.

The Junior XV idea won’t suit Level 3/4 Clubs as their teams are usually better than Level 7. 

The Lancashire document seems to me a kite-flying exercise. The NCA has yet to decide how the Level 4 Leagues will be structured and this subject was discussed at length on this Forum last year. 

I have to say I was initially against cutting the League sizes until I talked at length with our players and heard their opinions. That swung me behind a shorter season.


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 15:40
But the end of season cup make a mockery of that, as it adds back all the games that were cut - with more travel.


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Blood and Sand


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 15:57
.... and there CQ is the rub of the green.

Smaller Leagues, less games better for player welfare according to FCS Review Group

Have a Cup based on Group stages then knockout rounds at the end of the season giving you 3 plus games. FCS Review Group it's what clubs want.........player welfare no longer a point for validation.



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Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 18:33
The End of Season Cup is for Level 5 down, the 12 team Leagues, and is optional with mid-season entry. It is also what players who responded from those Clubs wanted.


Posted By: SmilingD
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 19:34
I know that there are at least two CBs who are actively canvassing their clubs opinions - Lancashire have it all over their website and Eastern Counties have sent a survey out to all clubs to enable the Council Rep to be sure they understand clubs views. And don't forget that the NCA has a council rep too.

I would be surprised if other CBs and/or council reps aren't also canvassing opinion. But remember that there are votes on Council that have no relationship with clubs in the English league system - the Oxford and Cambridge Unis, students, the Army, Navy, RAF etc etc.

Last time round Council voted in favour of change but most geographic CB reps opposed it - the result was quietly dropped.



Posted By: Robb
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 20:44
Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:

The End of Season Cup is for Level 5 down, the 12 team Leagues, and is optional with mid-season entry. It is also what players who responded from those Clubs wanted.

A chance to play at Twickers is very much an incentive. As someone from a  club who has been to a Twickenham final, I can tell you the experience is something so worthwhile.


Posted By: Camp Freddie
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 21:28
Robb, it doesn't say the final will be a Twickenham, it says (I think) a prestigious ground. Once again the RFU are being parsimonious with the stadium opening, which I'm pretty sure, we as club members still own.



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The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.


Posted By: Oldman1
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 21:51
I attended a schools final's day at Twickers some years back. I was told that then it cost £40,000 to open the ground for games. If that is still the case I'm sure those wonderful council members will avoid opening for a non professional game1



Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 05 Apr 2021 at 23:43
I’m reminded by some of these posts of Donald Sutherland in Kelly’s Heroes - “what’s with the negativity?”!

These Council decisions are the end of a game which has been playing out for about 5 years now. CBS have canvassed their Clubs on several occasions, players and Clubs have been surveyed and the NCA has had several meetings on this restructure. I’m astonished that anyone involved in rugby from Level 3 down thinks this is anything new. Have you not been discussing this at your Club for the last 3years?


Posted By: DICKON
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 00:09
Halliford - have you seen the data on which the re-org is based? I have, and there is neither majority player support for any form of league re-org beneath the national leagues, nor does player behaviour in the last 10 years (with the carrot of a Twickenham final) support a Cup at any level beneath the national leagues, let alone one that will simply allow clubs with cash to burn to rescue a disappointing league season.  The planned re-structure is flawed on many levels, and (as I have pointed out many times on this forum and in the press) should not be waved through. One up, 2 down in a 12 team league will mean vast number of meaningless matches for many clubs, there will be a significant increase in transfers between leagues (removing cb’s as the basis for leagues ensures this), and the first couple of seasons will also see some huge mismatches. There was hardly a supporting voice in any of the presentations I attended, and once again I reiterate that the time and money is better spent on sharing best practice from those clubs that are flourishing. 


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 06:47
Dickon agree 100%.

Halliford all the "surveys" they did re: Future Comps aren't worth squat. Low sample size, skewed questions and moreover ignoring the "negative" points which disagreed with the FCS/RFU Comps plans. 

The Webinars on the other hand showed strong support against lower 15s entry in two of the four regions. The North was something like 75% against and similar for the Cups (which at the time was going to be straight knockouts.

CF makes a good point about the Final venue, the FCS document makes this statement on cups.

7. Cup Rugby As indicated above there is a strong demand from players for a varied diet of competition through both league and cup rugby. Feedback has also indicated that an issue with the existing delivery of cup rugby is that it clashes with the intensity and frequency of leagues, often leading to high numbers of walkovers or cancellations in early rounds. This feedback was pivotal in establishing the recommendations for new cup competitions at Level 5 and below. The key features of the proposed new cup competitions are: • Delivered after league season – all cups will take place after the league season has been completed. This removes the burden and clash between league and cup games being integrated into the fixture schedule. Furthermore, a team’s finishing league position will qualify them into the relevant tier of competition at the level they are playing at. For example, teams finishing 1st to 3rd will compete against teams finishing in the same positions from leagues across the country or region, ensuring meaningful matches. • Mid-season entry – entry into the cup (at all levels) will be optional and the deadline for teams submitting their entry will be mid-season (Jan/Feb). This will help support teams and players who may need breaks later in the season or have no interest or desire for the cup. Conversely for some teams this model maintains interest and excitement to the end of season for those who want or need more matches. • Pool competitions at Level 5 and top tier of Level 6 – teams will be grouped into pools, thus guaranteeing additional fixtures (minimum of 3 and maximum of 6) including with additional fixtures at home. The winners of each pool will then progress into the knockout rounds. • Waterfall competitions at bottom tier of Level 6 and Level 7 and below – teams will be drawn against one another in straight knockout matches. Teams losing in the 1st round will drop down into a Plate competition while 1st round winner’s progress. This will guarantee at least two additional games for entrants. There may be opportunities to regionalise in the early rounds to remove the burden of significant travel for some teams in the early stages. • Community Game finals day - the intention would be to try to ensure all cup competitions culminate in a National Community Game Finals Day held at prestigious grounds to provide a memorable experience for teams and players. 

So, no Twickenham final and as Robb says the memories that go with that. Now if that was included in the surveys how many of those players surveyed would have been positive about Cups?

Past Nat. Cups = Treading the hallowed grounds of TW2, FCS Cups = Birmingham Moseley? Sixways? somewhere central...... think you'll find a high percentage of players in the survey down in the South East (and the rest of the country) now fancy the cup a lot less if they aren't going to Twickers!


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Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 08:11
Dickson, I agree with you on the Survey data. The point I’m making is that Clubs have had years to oppose this and haven’t. I remember going to a Surrey meeting at Cobham about 3 years ago and finding our opposition to the changes being in a minority. The majority was hardly representative - only 12 Clubs turned up - but apathy doesn’t win fights. The NCA arrangements are fully supported. I agree that the Lower XV arrangements are contentious, I did some work for the NCA on this and reached the conclusion that no one solution would suit every Division. 

Clubs have had years to get their arguments across, what have those who don’t like these arrangements been doing?


Posted By: DICKON
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 09:36
The clubs have been doing what they can within the confines of what the RFU have allowed to this point Halliford, namely attending the sessions on the re-org and roundly opposing them. The next step has to be to place huge pressure on the 62 members of the Council to oppose the changes too - this will need to happen quickly, and I will be making sure my reps understand the strength of opposition to the changes beneath the National Leagues (and I agree with you that the changes at Level 4 and above have the necessary support). I predict here that if the changes do go through, another big re-org will be upon us within a couple of seasons (noting that this re-org includes a caveat around 'rapid restructuring every 3 years'). It will be interesting to see whether that happens with or without RFU support...


Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 12:52
Dickon, apologies for the autocorrect misspelling on my previous post, my concern is that the Clubs who disagree have been drowned out by those that do agree. That Surrey meeting at Cobham had several Level 5-8 Clubs, all of whom wanted a Cup, smaller Leagues and, thus, the opportunity to rise up faster. If you can get a broad cross-section of Clubs to oppose these changes vocally then I’ll happily put your views to those RFU Council members to whom I have access.


Posted By: workerbee
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 15:59
In the Northwest there is an issue with allowing 2nd XV into the leagues, Lancashire are 100% against and clubs at level 7 and below will not take part in RFU leagues if it happens (they already have their own leagues) but would re join the RFU leagues but not if 2nd XV were allowed. They believe that if Semi Pro clubs second XV joined they would attract players away from the smaller clubs, I am not sure how many players would be attracted as it only relates to 5 clubs at most. Another argument is that it would cause many miss matches , this already happens in the Northwest Norwiral 2nd XV premier league as there are only about 5-7 competitive teams and scores against some of the smaller clubs can be over 60 points with some over 100, this is not good for anyone. 


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 16:38
So WB you believe putting Level 3 & 4 2nd XVs in with Level 7 1st XVs is more of an even match than playing 2nd XVs of Level 5 Clubs? Interesting point of view.

Of course in NOWIRUL Premier you can't get promotion and as you say probably only have 5 or 7 competitive fixtures but fixtures you do have as it pays for other clubs not to cry-off as it has an adverse effect on their 3rd and 4th XVs lower down in NOWIRUL. You also have a nice knockout Cup in NOWIRUL.

Pretty sure at NCC Level 7 in 22/23 you'll have less League games against easier opposition with no cup to play in and League that you still can't get promoted out of. So if you are looking for less rugby, no  cup rugby for your 2nd XV and the likelihood that sides will concede more often then make sure you push the Cheshire Rep to vote for the proposed changes.


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Posted By: Thatbloke
Date Posted: 06 Apr 2021 at 17:43
Problem with bringing 2nd XV's into the system is that their strength very seldom matches the "standing" of the 1st XV. If a club is running 4 or 5 senior teams then the 2nd XV is likely to be much stronger than a club just running the 2. The reality is that you could have a stronger Level 5 2nd XV than the 2nds of a Level 3 or 4 club


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 10:04
Surely that is why they should be promoted and relegated seperately from their 1st team.

You might not want second teams in the top levels - if only because with the current funding situation, a premiership second XV is as strong as a championship club. So you want a separate Premiership A league

Aside from a side like Richmond II,  I do not think there would be any second teams capable of playing above level 6 for a whole season. But I think they and the other  teams in the shield premier would be mismatches at level 7.

So you are going to need leagues like the Shield premiership and the Noriwul Premiership for the second teams of the level 2 and 3 sides.

But, you would then have a problem if some of the clubs in one county vehemently objected and broke away to form their own league.


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Blood and Sand


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 11:08
cq, think workerbee is pushing for his 2nd XV (Caldy) to be allowed to play at Level 7 in the NCC because he feels NOWIRUL doesn't provide a level of competition for them. wb seems to think that those 2nd XVs from Level 4 and 5 Clubs are no longer a challenge and that 1st XVs at Level 7 will up the competitive level, it won't. What it will create at Level 7 is a log-jam of 2nd XVs at the top of Level 7 Leagues.



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Posted By: Free Fall
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 11:32
I maybe wrong (and I’m usually), but, it sounds like a lot of 1st Team only Clubs are worried they will be beaten and then relegated by other Clubs 2nd XV to me? 

If a 2nd XV wins the League, they are in, then they earned the right to be promoted and play at the next Level. 

I don’t agree with 2nd XV being promoted to just fill spaces in the Leagues, promotion has to be earned, by winning the League or finishing 2nd. 

2nd XV/Academy teams of Premiership Clubs are a different matter, there are 12 Academies/2nd XV, they have a League and they can play against each other, otherwise, they will just be the 12 Teams in Championship in a few seasons! 


Posted By: Mark W-J
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 11:59
How do you manage registrations with two teams from one club?  The 2nd XV is often used to get 1st team players back to match fitness after injury, and some players switch between 1st and 2nd teams almost on a weekly basis depending on form and availability.  And what is to stop a club whose 2nd team are chasing promotion but whose 1sts have nothing left to play for from dropping a load of ringers down to help the 2nd team out at the business end of the season?


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 12:16
Except FF, lower XVs (not just 2nd XVs) won't be allowed (at the moment) to go any higher than Level 7. So you could have three 2nd XVs finishing 1st,2nd and 3rd in a Level 7 League while the 1st XV who finish 4th would be promoted in their place. In addition should a 2nd XV sit at the top of a Level 7 League they will get automatically relegated if their 1st XV get relegated into that league (Clubs need to read the small print on lower XV entry criteria its a eyeopener)

MWJ yep another concern. 


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Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 12:50
Great to see most of the arguments that came up 3 years ago when I looked at this for the NCA being rehehazelnutd here! 

Another issue is how Level 7, presumably amateur, teams would feel playing a 2nd XV from a Level 3/4 Club which could have semi-professional retained players in their side. 

My own conclusion with the NCA work was not to allow 2nd XVs into the main League structure but to enhance and support the existing 2nd XV Leagues/Merit Tables. For example there could be an end-of-season play-off between the League leaders in each of the 4 Divisions. These matches would have to be played on the same dates as 1st XV League matches to avoid too many players being "dropped" but could provide some extra incentive.

The RFU did offer some years ago to provide administrative support to those Leagues and I'm not sure that got taken up. 


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 13:23
I think when you get down to the meat of the community game from 6 down the greatest challenge to any club is the amount of miles expected to satisfy away games, certainly when you get to the end of the season. I know last year our club at level 6 did over 2000 miles, post this review this has now risen with one fixture being a 300 mile round trip. To answer your question IMHO i doubt we would care who we played it has to be better than being sat on a coach for 8 hrs when many of our players have young families and work for themselves I cannot understand for the life of me why to satisfy a game 100 miles away we drive past so many clubs at our level but in a different league structure 


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 13:47
everest, it would seem to relieve the distance travel issue at Level 7 they've increased it ever so slightly at Level 6. One newly created League in the North sees Lancs & Cheshire Clubs travelling over to Lincolnshire and vice versa.

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Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 14:02
PiffPaff - yes agreed in our particular case we would do less miles if we played in one of the lower French Leagues !!!
I guess the question should be what is the real difference between level 6 and 7, based upon the many years we have played at this level it is normally apparent the 1 team is far stronger than any other team and normally runs away with the League, it is normally also the case that they are as strong away from home as well as at home which again offers many miss matches. If we took our club we could build 75% of a league from level 6 and 7 within a 1 hour drive of our club house, the furthest trip we would have to do would be maybe 2 hrs to complete the league, back in the day our fixture guy used to ensure this was the case, it all looks ok on paper but when you field 2 to 3 teams there is a significant ripple effect when you find yourself leaving on a saturday at 8am in the morning on a £700 coach - much more work to do on this i am sure


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 14:51
er......very little work to do I'm afraid everest, as apparently the FCSG (Future Competitions Structure Group) have spent the best part of two years coming up with the current plan which will be voted in....or not by the RFU Council next week. If voted in, then full steam ahead in 2022/23.

You may need to learn Francais if you want to play local.


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Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 15:28
PiffPaff - ouch - 177mile average away round trip, playing in 5 different counties and not one game in our own county, this is how we are trying to improve the community game we need to get promoted to the Prem just to cut down on the miles - very unrealistic expectations of the RFU 300 mile round trip to fulfill a game of rugby at level 6 - madness 


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 15:34
They have not changed the league structure at the lower levels just promoted some teams and added in a sprinking of second teams without putting names on them. I cannot even guarantee they are the correct number of slots.

So Wimborne still get to go to Cornwall - but never play any Hampshire sides. (caveat it appears Ellingham and Ringwood II already play in the Dorset league so do play Wimborne III while E&R's first team play in Hampshire league both end up at level 9 in the new pyramid).

I am sure that with a little bit of coding and a few minutes of time on AWS they could have come up with new leagues that mimimised travel - either total distance or single journey. But that would have meant setting up a whole new set of league committees.




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Blood and Sand


Posted By: workerbee
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 15:56
I think that whilst  the majority of Clubs at level 5,6,7 are happy with their position there are a number of clubs that are ambitious and would like to move through the pyramid. It is essential that these clubs are aware of the cost of travel which will no longer be funded by the RFU .In one option at level 6 in the North west there could be 3 Cumbrian clubs and one IOM, which would be a serious cost in the budget



Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 16:21
Camquin - lets hope that common sense prevails and of course everyone benefits not great where i am sat at this stage

great comments from all  


Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 16:36
wb, that would be case if this was 2015.

What is this Travel funding you speak of?

You do know clubs have to make a payment of players declaration, if they don't and they do (pay) the punishment can be relegation to the lowest of the low. 

Do I detect any irony in your statement?

Are Caldy (Nat 1) looking over their shoulders at er....... Anselmians (Level 7)? because I can't see anyone near you that fits your description.


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Posted By: Monkey Boy
Date Posted: 07 Apr 2021 at 23:38
Originally posted by workerbee workerbee wrote:

In the Northwest there is an issue with allowing 2nd XV into the leagues, Lancashire are 100% against and clubs at level 7 and below will not take part in RFU leagues if it happens (they already have their own leagues) but would re join the RFU leagues but not if 2nd XV were allowed. They believe that if Semi Pro clubs second XV joined they would attract players away from the smaller clubs, I am not sure how many players would be attracted as it only relates to 5 clubs at most. Another argument is that it would cause many miss matches , this already happens in the Northwest Norwiral 2nd XV premier league as there are only about 5-7 competitive teams and scores against some of the smaller clubs can be over 60 points with some over 100, this is not good for anyone. 

Second XV’s at clubs that pay being in the same division as first XV’s that don’t..................mmmmm I can’t see any issues there workerbee can you?

The one attraction clubs without big chequebooks have is they can say you can play first team and play at a decent standard of league rugby.  When that attraction is taken away as the big boys 2s are in the same league and climbing then you’ll see a lot of clubs struggle


Posted By: castleparknight
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 07:10
Just a question here - if a club is very fortunate to have two squads of players that are very good and have the ability to play at a very decent level of rugby then why should they have to deny their second string playing at a decent level and play in the leagues? Yes, if a club was to cynically switch players between their squads with no justification other than to artificially influence a league position one could see potential for dissatisfaction from other clubs, but surely there can be a method of regulating this?

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Onward and Upwards C'mon Donny!


Posted By: Sir_Q
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 09:02
Is the Australian solution such a bad idea? 1st XV leagues are exactly mirrored for 2's, 3's etc. All sides get to play the same opposition as the 1st XV, every other week when drawn at home becomes a club day with staggered kick offs etc. Far easier to manage and organise and if an oppo doesn't have a 3rd/4th etc then you find a friendly fixture or have a weekend off.
What i particularly liked about the Aussie format is that due to staggered kick off times, you'll always have enough players to fulfil the next fixture as players will play 50/60 mins for the 3's for instance and they then become the bench for the 2's and so on. Everyone gets to play and the club is being used for a large part of the day with a well supported 1st XV finale as the main event.


Posted By: Mark W-J
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 09:29
Originally posted by Monkey Boy Monkey Boy wrote:

Second XV’s at clubs that pay being in the same division as first XV’s that don’t..................mmmmm I can’t see any issues there workerbee can you?

In my (admittedly limited) experience, the clubs who are paying are usually 100% focussed on getting their 1st XV promoted, often to the detriment of the rest of the club.  When London Nigerians folded a couple of years ago, part of the problem was that they only had one team, so when they lost a chunk of their squad they had no more players to fall back on.

Originally posted by castleparknight castleparknight wrote:

Just a question here - if a club is very fortunate to have two squads of players that are very good and have the ability to play at a very decent level of rugby then why should they have to deny their second string playing at a decent level and play in the leagues? Yes, if a club was to cynically switch players between their squads with no justification other than to artificially influence a league position one could see potential for dissatisfaction from other clubs, but surely there can be a method of regulating this?
This is a problem we've faced as we climb back up the leagues - the Merit Tables that the Druids complete in aren't competitive enough if we want a seamless transition between 2nd and 1st XV, which we need if we're going to operate a squad that's capable of getting us promoted.


Posted By: castleparknight
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 09:59
This is why I do not see a problem with having a second 15 playing at a decent level - if they are able let them.

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Onward and Upwards C'mon Donny!


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 10:17
Because the Australian system works for 10 or 12 big clubs in each of the two main cities. All the good players move to those favoured clubs All the other clubs play in minor leagues and know they will lose their good players to the big clubs. It is exactly what the Lancashire clubs do not want.

It also relies on relitively short travel distances, good weather - so people are happy to sit around all day drinking beer and having a barbie. However, they still play short games to fit them all in. It is not designed for a freezing wet muddy January in Bolton with the sun not showing its face due to the clouds and setting about four o'clock.

It is also based on closed leagues. No prmotion or relegation. The top clubs in each state are all in the one big city and have short travel times between them. They only introduced a National league after cheap flights made it possible - and that was a city wide side - drawn from players at the clubs - so the equivalent of our county sides but paid.


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Blood and Sand


Posted By: French Connection
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 10:25
Here in the French Federal leagues (certainly Fed 2 and 3) the 2nd team play the same club as the 1st at the same venue. 2nd XV at 1.30pm, 1st XV at 3.00pm. Makes for a great day of rugby and no need to faff about with 2nd team fixtures. Clubs only have 2 teams and it's also obligatory to field a 2nd XV. A much better system in my opinion.


Posted By: Camp Freddie
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 10:30
CPK, I think you're looking at it from the perspective of a high level club wanting their lower fifteens to get more competative fixtures. There are many more clubs as you go lower down the pyramid who won't have those stronger second teams and are looking at it from the perspective of facing a good hiding from semi professional squads.

One problem to resolve would be the improvement of lower XV leagues across the Country. We are blessed in the North West with NOWIRUL, I'm not sure all other areas are.

CQ, I thought it was always sunny in Bolton ?


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The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 13:55
Don't shoot me but I have had an idea, why don't all clubs at level 6 and below get a fixture secretary who could phone around other fixture secretary's and organize local fixtures which control the destiny and ambition of your club. We could run a local cup competition at the same time. Obviously keep a long away day in there so that every other year players and supporter's can enjoy a beano to the seaside and a very late bus back. Obviously if you were to call the game off or lets say god forbid someone forgets to post the score through you wouldn't get fined or docked any points. Maybe some better friendships and long term associations could be made ???
madness maybe i know, sure it would never work but just a thought  


Posted By: Novocastrian
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 14:34
Originally posted by everest everest wrote:

Don't shoot me but I have had an idea, why don't all clubs at level 6 and below get a fixture secretary who could phone around other fixture secretary's and organize local fixtures which control the destiny and ambition of your club. We could run a local cup competition at the same time. Obviously keep a long away day in there so that every other year players and supporter's can enjoy a beano to the seaside and a very late bus back. Obviously if you were to call the game off or lets say god forbid someone forgets to post the score through you wouldn't get fined or docked any points. Maybe some better friendships and long term associations could be made ???
madness maybe i know, sure it would never work but just a thought  

BINGO!

Unfortunately, some 2nd XVs are far too strong for other 2nd XV counterparts - and my club have been on the wrong end of some 100 point defeats to National League 2nd XVs. It isn't an easy solution. 

At least, with fixture secretaries, they should try and arrange matches.

I've never understood the necessity for league fixtures for 2nd and 3rd XVs. It actually leads to more mismatches than an arranged fixture. Surely a competitive fixture and a good local cup competition is all that is needed. 

We're trying to bring back 'club days' where you arrange 1st-3rd/4th XV fixtures across the whole club on the same day. 




Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 14:38
All of these posts are illustrating the complexity of delivering good rugby for lower XVs of stronger Clubs.

Having matching fixtures doesn’t work for Clubs at Level 2 where not everyone has more than one team. Even some at Level 3 might struggle.

Playing games consecutively happens already, if we have 2 home teams the other match kicks off earlier, especially in winter as we have only one floodlit pitch.

Some Clubs traditionally build up very strong squads below 1st XV, Richmond are an exception where their 2nd and 3rd XVs play in the top level of the London Reserve League, but there are other examples.

I suspect that since League entry for lower XVs is optional that many Clubs will not join and will stay in the Reserve Leagues they already have and then look to enhance the fixture list with midweek and floodlit matches. That is our current view.


Posted By: billesleyexile
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 14:41
Originally posted by everest everest wrote:

Don't shoot me but I have had an idea, why don't all clubs at level 2 and below get a fixture secretary who could phone around other fixture secretary's and organize local fixtures which control the destiny and ambition of your club. We could run a local cup competition at the same time. Obviously keep a long away day in there so that every other year players and supporter's can enjoy a beano to the seaside and a very late bus back. Obviously if you were to call the game off or lets say god forbid someone forgets to post the score through you wouldn't get fined or docked any points. Maybe some better friendships and long term associations could be made ???
madness maybe i know, sure it would never work but just a thought  

slight tweak to your proposals...just to finesse them.


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keep the faith


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 14:59
Blimey - I know you will be thinking this guy is nuts, but what about we could organize some 7's tournaments towards the end of the season for all those players not on the brink of divorce or totally broken in half. Wait for it maybe a big one in London Spread over a few grounds ending for some with a crack at Twickers against some prem clubs - what memories that would make, and i will tell you what lets go totally outside the box - Tour ?

thats it im getting unnecessary back to work that would never work


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 15:57
Next you will be suggesting we pick the ball up and run with it.


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Blood and Sand


Posted By: Thatbloke
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 15:59
And wear shorts with pockets to keep your fags in! 


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 16:00
Camquin - mate come on, pick it up and box kick it your living in the past


Posted By: Thatbloke
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 16:01
Or spin pass it at 100mph to a team mate 2 yards away


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 16:19
mind you looking at this a different way, 8 hrs on a coach there and back for an away game at level 6, 3 cans per hour equals 24 cans, 24 cans in a case - some logic in there somewhere certainly from a supporters point of view eh!


Posted By: DICKON
Date Posted: 08 Apr 2021 at 18:14
We cannot change our geography but I do think we should be applying a different approach to a re-org in the extremities of the country compared with the hubs. My no 1 issue with the suggested re-org is that it takes a sledgehammer to the whole lot, when large parts of the game are functioning very well. As I say, don't let the RFU dress it up as player lead, cos their own data does not support this, and that data was only supplied by the players who bothered to reply to the survey who are the ones most likely to have something to say. To wit, the Cups - no matter how many players tell you they want a Cup, the evidence of the last decade or so is that when you ask for availability, it is the Cup weekends that the players seek to avoid, hence an ever increasing round of walkovers - moving the Cups to a dedicated period at the end of the season will mean it now clashes with a time when lads seek to take a break. I can only see clubs that pay players seeking to get involved, and I don't think that is what the RFU have in mind...


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 09:29
Dickon - totally agree, certainly down in the South West i know this has been brutal, history clearly shows that at level 6 it is generally the case that one club will totally dominate the league and go through with minimal losses and some significant victories along the way, not 100% sure but last season one league induced over 2000 miles of travel throughout the season, statistically more than Bath. When you look at the level 7 structure below setting aside maybe the 2 top and bottom teams at each level there was not really that much difference in quality, however significant difference in location. Looking at this proposal there is not much difference in total miles all be it the compass has changed. Whilst looking at the big picture maybe a win, however Cornwall to Dorset to Plymouth at level 6 - That is IMHO an unrealistic expectation on the players at this level in this day and age 


Posted By: Halliford
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 13:23
I do recall a suggestion to detach Cornwall and tow it up the Bristol Channel, thus making Cornish Pirates and Bristol a local derby. Can't recall why the idea was rejected!


Posted By: oneagainstthehead
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 14:37
Originally posted by Halliford Halliford wrote:

I do recall a suggestion to detach Cornwall and tow it up the Bristol Channel, thus making Cornish Pirates and Bristol a local derby. Can't recall why the idea was rejected!
Because if Cornwall was detached it would simply stay where it was. The rest of Great Britain, however, would float off, probably running aground on Norway.

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Speak softly, but carry a big stick.


Posted By: Camquin
Date Posted: 09 Apr 2021 at 17:46
I like the idea that 7 second teams will enter the structure in both Devon and Cornwall. I believe there are ten 2nd teams in Cornwall and about 34 in Devon.  It shows just how little thought has gone into the new structure.

It is a case of something must be done, this is something, we will therefore do this.


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Blood and Sand


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2021 at 14:23
does anyone know what has happened from the RFU on this, if so were there any amendments 



Posted By: PiffPaff
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2021 at 15:28
Nope, its being voted in or not tomorrow. Massive opposition to lower XV entry but the Council Members will vote the party line which means it will all go thru. 

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Crouch, Bind, Tweet!


Posted By: everest
Date Posted: 15 Apr 2021 at 15:48
In all honesty where we sit in the structure and should it stay as is, it will finish senior rugby as we know it 




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