Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Future of club rugby in the province

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Future of club rugby in the province

    This has been discussed in various threads in the last few weeks/months.
    What needs to change for amatuer rugby to improve(survive??) across the province?
    There is plenty of issues across the board at adult and age grade level.
    I have posted my opinions in the youths thread and junior league thread but the topic deserves its own thread.

    How do we improve club rugby in the province?
    There is 15 senior clubs in the province(was 16 but Kanturk have been relegated) split quite evenly between the 5 AIL divisions(3 in 1A, 4 1B, 3 2A, 2 2B and 3 in 2C)
    We have j1 league of 3 divisions. In North Munster there is the j2 league with 2 groups while South Munster has a j2 league with several groups while also having a j3 league.

    Buster in the webb cup, and previously in the junior leagues thread, suggested doing like is done in part of Leinster where all teams compete in the same pyramid but is that really the answer? Im not sure that it is. In the metro leagues division 1 to 11. There is very few clubs who have their 1st team competing in the competition and those that do they mainly are social clubs who only field 1 team(Examples include Guinness, Parkmore, AIB). Exceptions include Stillorglin. We dont have the depth of clubs with enough teams fielding to warrant such a change. And i dont see that helping the teams in the qualifying leagues compete better or it helping senior clubs and their 2nds.

    So do we change the seconds league? There has been a North and a South league for quite some time but in the past there has been a division 1 and 2 competition. Do we go back to that? Or do we put smaller groups in the North/South seconds and then have sides play home/away and then semis before playing sides from the other half of the province.

    Do we change 20s rugby? Do we look to reduce numbers of games at that level and then get more of the kids playing 20s playing adult rugby in the same season.
    What should be done as the clubs are struggling in many areas.

    #2
    There are 2 threads to this.
    1. Senior Rugby / Ulster Bank League
    2. J1 & J2.

    1. From where I am standing it looks like the UBL will be reduced to 2 divisions of 10 and the end of next season, with 3 regional leagues underneath - Munster/Connacht, Leinster and Ulster with promotion and relegation from Div 2 with a round robin of the provincial leagues deciding who gets promoted from the provincial leagues.

    2. Regarding Junior Rugby it needs to be split between competitive rugby and social rugby. Those playing social rugby should not have competitions, matches should all be friendlies. Competitive Rugby should be organised in small clusters with teams playing in local competitions with the winners playing in a form of Pan Munster similar to the under age competitions at under 16 & 18. Social teams should play fixtures against teams that their 1st XV are playing on a Saturday.
    Not perfect by any means but promotes participation.
    Its deja vu all over again!!!

    Comment


      #3
      Originally posted by Crescent boy 2 View Post
      There are 2 threads to this.
      1. Senior Rugby / Ulster Bank League
      2. J1 & J2.

      1. From where I am standing it looks like the UBL will be reduced to 2 divisions of 10 and the end of next season, with 3 regional leagues underneath - Munster/Connacht, Leinster and Ulster with promotion and relegation from Div 2 with a round robin of the provincial leagues deciding who gets promoted from the provincial leagues.

      2. Regarding Junior Rugby it needs to be split between competitive rugby and social rugby. Those playing social rugby should not have competitions, matches should all be friendlies. Competitive Rugby should be organised in small clusters with teams playing in local competitions with the winners playing in a form of Pan Munster similar to the under age competitions at under 16 & 18. Social teams should play fixtures against teams that their 1st XV are playing on a Saturday.
      Not perfect by any means but promotes participation.
      Where are you getting the idea the AIL will be reduced to just 20 teams from?
      Clubs have, when asked, consistently said no to this. Is it being forced on them?

      And while the Numbers kind of stack up(next seasons 2A: 3 Ulster, 2 Connacht 2 Leinster, 3 Munster. 2B:0 Connacht, 4 Ulster, 4 Leinster, 2 Munster and 2C: 1 Connacht, 4 Leinster, 3 Munster, 2 Ulster) to regionalised divisions what benefits are there to doing this?

      What exactly do you do to differentiate between competitive and social rugby. Social rugby should have competitions. Some of the best competitions ive seen/played in have been the "social rugby" leagues and cups in Metro rugby in Leinster and the J4 winters cup etc.

      Comment


        #4
        If you take your numbers - 9 Ulster teams, 8 Munster, 10 Leinster & 3 Connacht. It doesn't take a lot to get to 3 divisions of 11 in 3 regional leagues. Clubs in the lower divisions of the UBL are tired of the big travel bills and the lack of local derby games that would draw a crowd. This solution solves both issues. Academy players get assigned across the 1a & 1b teams so they get meaningful games to learn their trade as was the case in the 1990s when the AIL was a legitimate training ground for professional rugby that followed.
        Taking the competition out of social rugby removes the situations like we had this year with the Webb Cup. If you have to have a competition, run them like the 10s that Garryowen run every year.
        Drastic situations require drastic measures to solve them.
        Its deja vu all over again!!!

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by Crescent boy 2 View Post
          If you take your numbers - 9 Ulster teams, 8 Munster, 10 Leinster & 3 Connacht. It doesn't take a lot to get to 3 divisions of 11 in 3 regional leagues. Clubs in the lower divisions of the UBL are tired of the big travel bills and the lack of local derby games that would draw a crowd. This solution solves both issues. Academy players get assigned across the 1a & 1b teams so they get meaningful games to learn their trade as was the case in the 1990s when the AIL was a legitimate training ground for professional rugby that followed.
          Taking the competition out of social rugby removes the situations like we had this year with the Webb Cup. If you have to have a competition, run them like the 10s that Garryowen run every year.
          Drastic situations require drastic measures to solve them.
          Having regional leagues like that wont cut costs for many sides particularly Connacht/Munster with sides in Sligo and Cork..
          There still will be significant travelling and the clubs dont want that or regionalised divisions. As has been debated by the AIL clubs and IRFU on several occasions. Clubs have turned down regional groups.
          Academy players are assigned across the 1A/1B clubs anyway.
          What exactly do you mean by social rugby anyway? The metro divisions 8/9/10/11 in Leinster are defined as social rugby but have leagues as well as cups. Social rugby should still have leagues/cups

          Comment


            #6
            Teams go from 4/5 overnight trips to 1. Of course they will go for that saved them roughly €12k a year. The issue you quote only applies to Munster clubs which would be in a minority in a vote situation. All other clubs would save significant sums in travel costs.
            Regarding social rugby, it's not social.if teams are more concerned about winning trophies than playing rugby.
            Its deja vu all over again!!!

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Crescent boy 2 View Post
              Teams go from 4/5 overnight trips to 1. Of course they will go for that saved them roughly €12k a year. The issue you quote only applies to Munster clubs which would be in a minority in a vote situation. All other clubs would save significant sums in travel costs.
              Regarding social rugby, it's not social.if teams are more concerned about winning trophies than playing rugby.
              Do they have all these over nights?
              Clubs may save themselves this and that but this has been put to them before and the senior clubs want the prestige of an all ireland league and not some form of regional senior league.

              Then the j5(metro division 11) sides ive seen etc are not social rugby teams then as they are very concerned with winning cups as much as simply playing.

              Comment


                #8
                That was then, a lot has changed since the last time the clubs were asked to vote on the league structure. The next review is scheduled for the end of next season so watch this space.
                Are the j5 clubs so obsessed with winning that they object after they get knocked out of a competition??? I doubt it.
                Its deja vu all over again!!!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Crescent boy 2 View Post
                  That was then, a lot has changed since the last time the clubs were asked to vote on the league structure. The next review is scheduled for the end of next season so watch this space.
                  Are the j5 clubs so obsessed with winning that they object after they get knocked out of a competition??? I doubt it.
                  And what makes you think the clubs will vote for this change? I see no reason why Corinthians or Nenagh or Tullamore would simply want to play just their local teams. There is still significant travel for a lot of clubs and these changes wont help with crowds too much
                  ive seen it plenty of times with j5 sides. Look at number of clubs who field teams that wont have played in league but do in the cup. They stack teams and many get thrown out of leagues/cups for stacking teams.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    The clubs will vote for change for 2 reasons.
                    1. IRFU will present package as a no option fait accompli
                    2. Clubs themselves are ready for change.
                    To answer your point on only playing local clubs. Galway Corinthians in a Munster/Connacht league would play Highfield & Sunday's Well, Nenagh, Cashel, Thomond, OC, Midleton,Bruff & Sligo and Galwegians - the majority of which they have played against in the last couple of seasons. Don't think they would shed many tears about not traveling to Belfast, Derry, Armagh or Dungannon.
                    Its deja vu all over again!!!

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by Crescent boy 2 View Post
                      The clubs will vote for change for 2 reasons.
                      1. IRFU will present package as a no option fait accompli
                      2. Clubs themselves are ready for change.
                      To answer your point on only playing local clubs. Galway Corinthians in a Munster/Connacht league would play Highfield & Sunday's Well, Nenagh, Cashel, Thomond, OC, Midleton,Bruff & Sligo and Galwegians - the majority of which they have played against in the last couple of seasons. Don't think they would shed many tears about not traveling to Belfast, Derry, Armagh or Dungannon.
                      Clubs dont want that though and having 3 regionalised divisions how exactly do we then have promotion/relegation from it. Numbers are quite even now but it can change considerably within 1/2 seasons.
                      I dont see clubs voting for this change. They didnt before and wont now.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Crescent boy is fairly bang on in his assertion that the league structure is going to change in summer '18. Thats what most are expecting and thats what came out of the results of the review circulated to the clubs last summer.

                        Crescent boy, apart from your thoughts on social rugby (not sure where i stand there), i agree with pretty all of what you've said here.

                        As for what to do outside the AIL, a bare minimum for me is for the 20's and seconds leagues to be on alternate weekends so that clubs can be more certain of fielding teams. The branch should be embarrassed by the number of walkovers given in both leagues this season in North Munster. The handling of the competitions was a farce. The players just don't exist anymore to be putting out 3 adult teams (excluding 3rds - Social Rugby) in one weekend. The branch needs to face up to that reality. If it means less games in each league to ensure there isn't clashes then do it. The fewer number of players that are there anyway will be be getting plenty of rugby as long as clubs are able to field teams. What we had this year was some clubs focussing on 2nds, and others focussing on 20's because none of them could do both. Then when a club focussing on 2nds was scheduled to play a 2nds match against a club focussing on 20's there was no game played, just a walkover given, and vice versa. There was little rugby played as a result. Young Munster won the North Munster 2nds league this past season, receiving 7 walkovers along the way!!! Garryowen, Bohs, Thomond, Bruff, Crescent and, i believe, Nenagh O. were all evicted from the North Munster 2nds league this season for giving too many walkovers.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          One wish goingforward – under no circumstances should league semi finals or playoffsbe on the same weekend as British and irish cup Champions cupsemi finals. it was a disguisting decision this year it could havebeen prevented, the games should have been moved , It really showed a lack of respect by the IRFU towards club rugby, they need tolearn from it and make sure it never happens again.


                          A bit of promotionfor club rugby is also needed by the IRFU. Put clips of more matcheson the website and more coverage on against the head. use some webstreams. The lack ofcoverage of the UBL semis was shocking, its a brilliant league, very high standard lets promote and show it to people

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by PEATB0G View Post
                            Crescent boy is fairly bang on in his assertion that the league structure is going to change in summer '18. Thats what most are expecting and thats what came out of the results of the review circulated to the clubs last summer.

                            Crescent boy, apart from your thoughts on social rugby (not sure where i stand there), i agree with pretty all of what you've said here.

                            As for what to do outside the AIL, a bare minimum for me is for the 20's and seconds leagues to be on alternate weekends so that clubs can be more certain of fielding teams. The branch should be embarrassed by the number of walkovers given in both leagues this season in North Munster. The handling of the competitions was a farce. The players just don't exist anymore to be putting out 3 adult teams (excluding 3rds - Social Rugby) in one weekend. The branch needs to face up to that reality. If it means less games in each league to ensure there isn't clashes then do it. The fewer number of players that are there anyway will be be getting plenty of rugby as long as clubs are able to field teams. What we had this year was some clubs focussing on 2nds, and others focussing on 20's because none of them could do both. Then when a club focussing on 2nds was scheduled to play a 2nds match against a club focussing on 20's there was no game played, just a walkover given, and vice versa. There was little rugby played as a result. Young Munster won the North Munster 2nds league this past season, receiving 7 walkovers along the way!!! Garryowen, Bohs, Thomond, Bruff, Crescent and, i believe, Nenagh O. were all evicted from the North Munster 2nds league this season for giving too many walkovers.
                            But unless im recalling incorrectly didnt quite a lot of clubs not want any form of regionalised divisions in the last league review as they felt it negatively affected them in terms of promoting the league.
                            Possibly 20s and seconds leagues should be on alternate weekends but the structure of both grades needs to be looked at massively. There is little to no point of the stronger senior clubs 2nds teams being in the same division as the weaker sides. There is far too many walkovers in the competition but changing it so the better sides play each other more and the weaker sides the same would be a major step to help teams field more as nobody wants to keep togging out just to get hammered each week.
                            I dont think we can be in the position to evict clubs from the seconds competition for not fulfilling games especially when it means guys who've played quite a bit of AIL if dropped or get a small injury have no team to play for if their 2nds are pulled because having played x amount of senior games are totally ineligible to play j2.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by janesboro View Post
                              One wish goingforward – under no circumstances should league semi finals or playoffsbe on the same weekend as British and irish cup Champions cupsemi finals. it was a disguisting decision this year it could havebeen prevented, the games should have been moved , It really showed a lack of respect by the IRFU towards club rugby, they need tolearn from it and make sure it never happens again.

                              A bit of promotionfor club rugby is also needed by the IRFU. Put clips of more matcheson the website and more coverage on against the head. use some webstreams. The lack ofcoverage of the UBL semis was shocking, its a brilliant league, very high standard lets promote and show it to people
                              Disgusting is a bit hyperbolic.
                              Ideally the games wouldnt be played on those weekends and the IRFU probably will learn but clubs need to be more proactive in looking for changes to the season.
                              Against the Head isnt on for a large part of the season and as RTE doesnt have any provincial coverage any more in any form - live or extended highlights - then of course that will dominate proceedings on the show.
                              There regularly is web streams of games is their not.
                              Clubs need to be cleverer in their own marketing of the league. What clubs offer to people going to games in many cases could be so much better. Shannon and their tie in with Russells Bar is a good example of that. Clubs should be using their underage teams to attract crowds. Get parents of kids playing to go to games. Have kids be mascots/ball boys/play half time. Any kid that does that their parents get a voucher for food in club house or what ever.
                              The league is brilliant and good yes the IRFU could do more like publishing the starting teams on the website on a Friday nignt/Saturday morning.
                              Getting more video content.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X