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    ERCC

    can't find a thread related to the challenge cup, but see that Dragons thumped Sale 30-12 today at Rodney parade.
    psychoanalysis is wasted on the Irish; Sigmund Freud

    #2
    I see that Worcester are not required to travel to Siberia this year even though the first round of the challenge cup occurs a month earlier than Connacht's game there last year.


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      #3
      Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
      I see that Worcester are not required to travel to Siberia this year even though the first round of the challenge cup occurs a month earlier than Connacht's game there last year.


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      And Newport are whinging about the cost of getting there. http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/r...ieuan-12013682

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        #4
        Indeed, at least they shouldn't get caught in a blizzard like Connacht did last year. As I said at the time, there is no way an English side would have been made to go to Krasnoyarsk and, even a month earlier, they aren't.


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          #5
          Proposals to play the Nigels cup group games and QF in one block in December and january:

          http://www.telegraph.co.uk/rugby-uni...xtures-change/

          European rugby chiefs are calling for a radical restructuring of the domestic leagues as part of the negotiations over the new global calendar from 2019, The Daily Telegraph can reveal.

          It is understood that plans under consideration would mean that the English and Pro 12 domestic fixture lists would be redrawn to ensure that the European Champions and Challenge Cups pool matches are played in one extended block during December and January.

          The plans also include staging the quarter-finals of both European tournaments before the start of the Six Nations Championship to allow more than two months to market and sell tickets for the semi-finals, which have been problematic fixtures in recent seasons.

          The pool matches of the Champions Cup, which get under way on Friday when two-time champions Leicester Tigers open their Pool One campaign against Glasgow Warriors at the Scotstoun Stadium, are currently played in a stop-start fashion over six weekends in October, December and January.


          There follows a two-month wait for the quarter-finals in the final weekend of March, leaving the tournament organisers just three weeks to organise stadiums and sell tickets for the semi-finals, which will be held on the weekend starting April 21. In contrast, tickets are already on sale for Murrayfield on May 5.

          The proposed shake-up is understood to have significant support within both the clubs and unions, who are both stakeholders of European Professional Club Rugby, the tournament’s organising company based in Neuchâtel in Switzerland.


          Under the plans the domestic season would start in October, with four rounds of Premiership and Pro12 matches leading into the autumn Test series.

          The six rounds of European pool matches would then be played in December and January, with the quarter-finals staged ahead of a Six Nations, which would be pushed back by a couple of weeks.


          The Premiership and Pro12 season would then run to the end of the season without interruption apart from for those clubs involved in the European semi-finals and finals.


          EPCR believes playing the pool games back-to-back would provide a more level playing field for competing teams, generate greater interest among supporters and make the European competitions more attractive to broadcasters.


          Negotiations about the next broadcasting deal are expected to begin before the end of the year, with the current deal between BT Sport and Sky Sport due to expire at the end of next season.

          Simon Halliday, the former England wing who is chairman of EPCR, told The Telegraph that restructuring the season to condense European and domestic action into separate blocks could have multiple benefits for both competitions.


          “There is a strong desire to have longer blocks for domestic clubs to be able to get into one competition rather than dip in and dip out all the time,” Halliday said.


          “It is perfectly logical. We need to have a tournament that allows brands to be built and the product – the quality of the rugby – to be outstanding for supporters.


          “If we get longer blocks of time, that would work for us so people can get into the mindset of European rugby.


          “It also would also allow us to be creative in staging back-to-back games and double-headers, the types of occasions that are currently going on in domestic rugby which are bringing crowds in.

          “If we could also get the quarter-final played before the beginning of the Six Nations then we would have a couple of months to advertise it, brand it, look at ways of doing that effectively, and then it would adopt its appropriate place in the calendar.


          “The semi-final of the European Champions or Challenge Cup should be a big event, well marketed and well advertised, and then you would not have any issues of struggling to fill the stadium because you don’t have time to do it or it is in the wrong location.”


          Halliday insists that change is also critical to improve the welfare of the players by avoiding the current situation where players involved in England’s Test match against Australia, outside the world rugby window for Test matches, could be involved in a critical European pool match the following weekend.

          “We have to follow up our words with actions if we are going to properly safeguard the welfare of the players and the season-restructure is the opportunity to define it for players and not put them under this insane pressure to be moving from one quasi-international match to another with no appropriate rest,” Halliday added.


          “Every competition will have to look at itself and try to avoid situations like Saracens have alluded to, when England have an international a week before a big European match. That makes it really difficult for clubs when they know half the squad is going to be very tired moving into a big game.


          “We have got to acknowledge the importance of certain fixtures and it is very different for a European pool match versus a domestic game against the bottom team for example. We need to look at the strengths of the relative tournaments and make decisions around them – not just hammer them together.”
          Last edited by the plastic paddy; 14th-October-2016, 07:06.

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            #6
            If it's broke why not broke it some more? It's what the fans want
            "There are a lot of points that we’ve left behind and this is with a young group. That probably tells you what they’re capable of and that they’re a very good side.

            Probably next year or the year after next they will take some stopping"

            Anthony Foley, May 2016. Axel RIP

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              #7
              What makes for the best spectacle? Slug fests in the cold and the mud of December, January and February!

              It's what the fans want.

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                #8
                I'm looking forward to this evenings game between Glasgow and Leicester.

                I'm hoping for a Leicester win to be honest. I don't want Glasgow coming to Thomond next week cock a hoop.

                Mind you with Leicesters defensive record this season I may have my hopes dashed. Glasgow are going to be extremely difficult opposition for a team who are conceding tries at quite a rate this season.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Corcíoch View Post
                  I'm looking forward to this evenings game between Glasgow and Leicester.

                  I'm hoping for a Leicester win to be honest. I don't want Glasgow coming to Thomond next week cock a hoop.

                  Mind you with Leicesters defensive record this season I may have my hopes dashed. Glasgow are going to be extremely difficult opposition for a team who are conceding tries at quite a rate this season.
                  Not sure an away win for Leicester will help us. Would not want them to come to TP having won 2 from 2 (given Racing current away form I expect a Leicester win next week), especially considering their history there.
                  Good things happen to those who wait, though mostly much too late.

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                    #10
                    Four wins for pro12 teams so far with Dragons beating Brive comfortably in Dave Parade as notable as any result.


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                      #11
                      This organisation is a complete shambles, how the f'ck is the Leinster game on BT? An Irish team versus a French one.


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                        #12
                        BT is free on eir TV. I agree it'd annoying having games split across multiple platforms though

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                        The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not mad.
                        - Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Upfront_1979 View Post
                          BT is free on eir TV. I agree it'd annoying having games split across multiple platforms though

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                          It is the complete lack of consistency that I find infuriating. I can handle English teams on BT/ eir tv, Pro12 on Sky and a share where they clash but Leinster V Castres should be on Sky just as an English club versus a French club should be on BT/eir tv.


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                            #14
                            Originally posted by the plastic paddy View Post
                            This organisation is a complete shambles, how the f'ck is the Leinster game on BT? An Irish team versus a French one.


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                            Because BT have rights to show a range of games...

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by Keyop View Post
                              Because BT have rights to show a range of games...
                              The original line was that BT would show English teams, Sky pro12 teams and where they played each other they would show the respective home games. Simple and transparent.


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