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    Should 6N be moved to the end of season?



    Yes: Should Six Nations rugby move to the end of the season?
    <DIV =LeadPara>David Moffett </DIV>
    <DIV =LeadPara>Former group chief executive of the Welsh Rugby Union </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The northern hemisphere rugby season is a dog's breakfast. They start off playing a few rounds of club rugby, then the domestic cup begins, followed by the European Cup, then the autumn internationals and so the pattern goes on throughout the season. It is a nightmare. One of the things that they should be doing is moving the Six Nations so that it represents the last part of the season. That has to be a better platform for what I regard as the best rugby competition in the world. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>It is not so long ago that the idea was mooted that the competition was a foregone conclusion between France and England but that is no longer the case. The Six Nations is becoming better and closer every year. When I was in Wales, they won the grand slam for the first time in 27 years; this season Ireland are the favourites. You will get a lot of people saying that it can't be moved, that television doesn't want it. Well, television will adapt and it can be done. Arguing that the pitches will be too hard later in the season is rubbish; they will be better if anything. Traditionalists are playing a very loose card to say something should stay simply because it has always been that way. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>What they have in the Six Nations is something extremely special, but it should be the climax of the season. To accommodate that, the two countries that are the stumbling blocks to change, France and England, need to look out of their own backyards. In the southern hemisphere there are two professional competitions: the Super 14 and the Tri-Nations. In the northern hemisphere there are simply too many tournaments. As a result, France have said they will boycott the next Heineken Cup because of fixture congestion in World Cup year. I would take that as an opportunity to say "Au revoir France" if I were the home unions and change the face of the domestic season. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>It would be possible to reduce the number of games by creating a British league which could be played in pools, or conferences as they do in American Football. The NFL is the most valuable sporting competition in terms of sponsorship and television revenue outside of the Olympics and the football World Cup. They fundamentally believe that less is more: quality not quantity is what they are looking for. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>However, until somebody takes a leadership role in European rugby and tells France that the other unions will not be held to ransom, and will form a league containing the optimum number of matches to maximise revenue yet not kill the players in the process, the status quo will remain. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>Part of the rationale needs to be to integrate the season between the hemispheres and that means somehow resolving the main issues between them. The most pressing of these is when the international windows are held. The south is quite happy with the summer tours, the Tri-Nations and then the autumn series; it is the structure of the season in the northern hemisphere that is going to have to change. Moving the Six Nations would be a good way to start, but ultimately, this is a futile argument: it is never going to happen. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>You get into this chest-thumping with people saying "We're never going to change" - and in France they will not change for anything. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>© Copyright 2007. The Guardian. All rights reserved. </DIV>
    <DIV =TailParas>The Guardian</DIV>
    Seas suas agus troid!

    #2
    <DIV>A British League eh? Sometimes I wonder do these journalists intentionally want to start Munsterforever off on one of his anti-English tirades.</DIV>
    <DIV></DIV>
    <DIV>I'd agree with the topic of the article though, I'd love to see the 6 Nation moved to April/May with the HEC and if possible the Magners League,finishing at the end of March. It would make for a much better flow to the rugby season imo.</DIV>
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    Comment


      #3
      Yeah, it hinders both the HCup and the Magners League the way the
      season is at the moment. Moving the Six Nations to the end of the
      season allows both of the other two competitions to develop a good
      head of steam in the build-up to their finals, and would also whet the
      apetite even more for the Six Nations.

      Comment


        #4
        It's such a good idea it will never happen!
        Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

        Comment


          #5
          Of course it should. Which is almost a guarantee that it won't happen anytime soon. Like us signing proven pace &amp; power, in a player(s) still in their prime,for our backline.

          Comment


            #6


            A "British League" - that's us, the Ladies, Connachtand Idaaleeout of it so ! Bet Paddy Bamford's' boys would rush to join.


            Maybe we can start on of our own with the Italians and throw in a few Romanian and Spanish teams....theBulmers Vino Verde League.

            Comment


              #7


              Having said that it's another good idea about fixing the Rugby Calendar into finite slots that will be shunned by the blazers. To hell with TV, they'll wrap their schedules around it someway and in some cases might even relish the challenge of putting something decent to put on against the 24 hour football on SKY in April/May. Arguing that pitches are too hard at that time is ridiculous - we don't exactly live in a drought zone and the games are played in world class Stadia with manicured lawns, not the back pitch in Derryknockane or Coonagh. FFS they still had to close the Cardiff roofin May.


              If the rugby authorities are serious about rejigging the calendar they could do worse than toslim the World Cupdown to 12 Nations with a "Bowl" type tournament running alongside.Far too many dead-rubbers and 122-0 classicsthere. We could save 3 weeks at least by running the RWC with fewer teams.

              Comment


                #8
                good point!

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                  #9
                  Well if it happens before LR is finished where will Ireland play?
                  Grandpa Simpson: The last time the meteors came, we thought the sky was on fire. Naturally, we blamed the Irish. We hanged more \'n a few.

                  Comment


                    #10
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                    Proposed season. In November during WC years there would be no Nov. internationals. Magners league finishes end of Jan. That gives 16/17 weeks for ML &amp; GP, so extra fixtures to make 22 in could be run mid-week. This is just four mid-week/christmas games, one per month… This could be arranged around the derby matches…and the mid week games would be in the early part of the season when players are fresh...


                    HEC group stages would be feb and first two weeks in March with end of March/April for the Six nations. This would be run off over six weeks..


                    This would lead to the HEC knock-out stages and the summer tours…


                    The 6N wouldn't move much and there would be a step up in competition as the season progresses.

                    Comment


                      #11


                      GP and Magners leagues finished at the end of january? How could they fit in all the games? Thats maximum 18 weekends to play 20 + games.


                      All6 HC group games to be played off in one month with no breaks?


                      Club game to diasappear for the whole 6 nations?


                      Maths do not add up at all.
                      My computer thinks I'm gay
                      What's the difference anyway
                      When all the people do all day
                      Is stare into a phone

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Hoof Hearted


                        If the rugby authorities are serious about rejigging the calendar they could do worse than toslim the World Cupdown to 12 Nations with a "Bowl" type tournament running alongside.Far too many dead-rubbers and 122-0 classicsthere. We could save 3 weeks at least by running the RWC with fewer teams.


                        That was precisely what the RFU offered in their application to hostthe next RWC (or this one, or the one after that, I can't remember) - in response, they got a grand total of 2 votes - their own.


                        New infraction avoidance policy: a post may be described as imbecilic, but its author should never be described as an imbecile.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Old Dog
                          Originally posted by Hoof Hearted


                          If the rugby authorities are serious about rejigging the calendar they could do worse than toslim the World Cupdown to 12 Nations with a "Bowl" type tournament running alongside.Far too many dead-rubbers and 122-0 classicsthere. We could save 3 weeks at least by running the RWC with fewer teams.


                          That was precisely what the RFU offered in their application to hostthe next RWC (or this one, or the one after that, I can't remember) - in response, they got a grand total of 2 votes - their own.





                          Yeah but not because people didn't like the idea. The French bought votes by offering games to us, the Scots and the Welsh and we bit their hand off.


                          I have to say I like the 6N where it is. Makes the spring months a whole lot more bearable. If there was no 6N I'd be miserable in February.


                          To reduce congestion,aEuropean league of two divisions of two conferences each is the way to go IMO (that could accommodate 40 teams). The best sides playing in the top division for the European Cup, theweaker sides playing in the lower division for the Plateand promotion. Every teamwould play 18 gamesand the top two fromeachconferencewould also compete in theplay offs. Maximum of 20 games. Plenty of room left for the 6N, AIs, summer tours, Lionstoursand RWC without too much player burnout.


                          Of course, nobody will ever go for it.

                          Comment


                            #14


                            Better if it was notproposed as part of a RWC Tournament bid by the RFU. We know the French bid had Wales and Scotland in tow from the beginning (and maybe ourselves if LR was available), God knows what other considerations were being puton the table during that orgy of rugby politics. So it was the wrongplace to put in such a proposal, sensible as it is.


                            I suppose we'll hear the wrangling about this continue after the umpteenth one-sided Pool game next season finishes with an 60+ margin. And before anyone says it, I know not all the Pools are handy.


                            Makes you wonder who actually devises the NH calendar. They seem to give plenty of ammunitionto the likes of Blanco and the English sugar-daddies of the EPL - unless of course they're the same people!!

                            Comment

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