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7 years 3 weeks ago #14359

Seems an apt time to open this thread

With the Top 14 already having a good player base (French/Georgian/Pacific Islanders/South Africans/Argentinians/Few English and Welsh) and seemingly attracting more rugby internationals from around the world (apparently sexton/roberts/Lydiate/Habana)

Is the Top 14 moving to the next level in terms of talent base?
And will this mean that the top 14 will become the "Barclays Premiership" or "La Liga" of world rugby...

What i mean is, will we be seeing TOP 14 as the premium rugby viewing in Ireland and Great Britain and around the world because the main players from each county will be playing there?

thoughts????

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7 years 2 weeks ago #14378

N17 wrote: Seems an apt time to open this thread

With the Top 14 already having a good player base (French/Georgian/Pacific Islanders/South Africans/Argentinians/Few English and Welsh) and seemingly attracting more rugby internationals from around the world (apparently sexton/roberts/Lydiate/Habana)

Is the Top 14 moving to the next level in terms of talent base?
And will this mean that the top 14 will become the "Barclays Premiership" or "La Liga" of world rugby...

What i mean is, will we be seeing TOP 14 as the premium rugby viewing in Ireland and Great Britain and around the world because the main players from each county will be playing there?

thoughts????


The answer is no, without the sugar daddy approach you have only a few clubs with the population base which could afford to bankroll marquee signings, the likes of Toulouse, Clermont, Toulon where Rugby is the main show in town. The likes of Castre & Mont DeMarsan, Biarritz & Bayonne where the population is smalller than Galway it is the only show in town though...

The good news for the other countries is that rugby in France is every bit as parochial as it is in Ireland (in the main). If Biarritz got relegated to Federal 3 (amateur) their support would not travel the 5km to support Bayonne, the same with other clubs in the South West, the only exception is really Toulon/(Marseilles where soccer is king and the Rugby Club despite efforts has always struggled). Realistically support for Rugby in Paris is so fickle it should probably really be supporting one mega Paris club.


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7 years 2 weeks ago #14391

there is a proposal/ idea being floated apparantly at board room level( blanco is involved) to amalgamate biarritz/ bayonne for european competition. it may never go anywhere as the idea in its current form is for the 2 clubs to retain their identity at domestic level. i dont see how that could work re qualification etc but blanco is reported to be excited by the idea.

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7 years 2 weeks ago #14400

With so many foreigners in key positions, it must eventually have an effect on French team, non? How many French 10's are playing in top teams; not to mention all Italina, Georgian and Argentine props??

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7 years 2 weeks ago #14404

rossie wrote: there is a proposal/ idea being floated apparantly at board room level( blanco is involved) to amalgamate biarritz/ bayonne for european competition. it may never go anywhere as the idea in its current form is for the 2 clubs to retain their identity at domestic level. i dont see how that could work re qualification etc but blanco is reported to be excited by the idea.


That'll never happen (ever), Bayonne would rather go bust first than join with BO.
And Blanco would want control, so that would be the final nail...

Shame really because a Paye Basque side would be pretty strong and add great colour to the tournament as well as highlighting the Basque heritage..


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7 years 2 weeks ago #14408

i think the paye basque side is the general theme of the idea but its for european competition only. both presidents like the idea for obvious reasons but imo it cant work because of qualification rules etc. i cant see erc or lnr allowing a region that doesnt exist at domestic competition into its competitions in erc case or represent them in lnr case.this means they would have to amalgamate fully which as you say will never happen.

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7 years 2 weeks ago #14433

sea_point wrote:

N17 wrote: thoughts????


The answer is no, without the sugar daddy approach you have only a few clubs with the population base which could afford to bankroll marquee signings, the likes of Toulouse, Clermont, Toulon where Rugby is the main show in town. The likes of Castre & Mont DeMarsan, Biarritz & Bayonne where the population is smalller than Galway it is the only show in town though...

The good news for the other countries is that rugby in France is every bit as parochial as it is in Ireland (in the main). If Biarritz got relegated to Federal 3 (amateur) their support would not travel the 5km to support Bayonne, the same with other clubs in the South West, the only exception is really Toulon/(Marseilles where soccer is king and the Rugby Club despite efforts has always struggled). Realistically support for Rugby in Paris is so fickle it should probably really be supporting one mega Paris club.


Alain Affleou, the Bayonne president, rather than Blanco came up with the Basque idea for the H-Cup only. He's more media hungry than Blanco and much richer.

Realistically, there are no more than a half dozen foreign superstars playing in the Top 14 and that's the way it will stay if FFR continue to get their way; restrictions on no-French qualified players start to kick in next season. On the other hand, players from "second-tier nations" will continue to flock to France, where they've always been welcomed with open arms without imposing a large financial burden on clubs.

The bulk of Top 14 revenues come from Canal Plus, where viewing figures dwarf Sky, and subscribers want to see the best French players week in week out. Local sponsors want to see local players as do the municipal and regional authorities, who provide facilities. A superstar always helps but not if it dilutes the identity of the club. Of course, Toulon has gone the other direction and it seems to work also.

S_P: Ahem, Paris has a mega-club, Stade Fran├žais !!!! Racing is not a Paris-based club, it's based in Colombes, Hauts-de-Seine, where they have built a small, but, loyal hardcore support ;-)

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7 years 2 weeks ago #14438

St Placide wrote:

sea_point wrote:

N17 wrote: thoughts????


The answer is no, without the sugar daddy approach you have only a few clubs with the population base which could afford to bankroll marquee signings, the likes of Toulouse, Clermont, Toulon where Rugby is the main show in town. The likes of Castre & Mont DeMarsan, Biarritz & Bayonne where the population is smalller than Galway it is the only show in town though...

The good news for the other countries is that rugby in France is every bit as parochial as it is in Ireland (in the main). If Biarritz got relegated to Federal 3 (amateur) their support would not travel the 5km to support Bayonne, the same with other clubs in the South West, the only exception is really Toulon/(Marseilles where soccer is king and the Rugby Club despite efforts has always struggled). Realistically support for Rugby in Paris is so fickle it should probably really be supporting one mega Paris club.


Alain Affleou, the Bayonne president, rather than Blanco came up with the Basque idea for the H-Cup only. He's more media hungry than Blanco and much richer.

Realistically, there are no more than a half dozen foreign superstars playing in the Top 14 and that's the way it will stay if FFR continue to get their way; restrictions on no-French qualified players start to kick in next season. On the other hand, players from "second-tier nations" will continue to flock to France, where they've always been welcomed with open arms without imposing a large financial burden on clubs.

The bulk of Top 14 revenues come from Canal Plus, where viewing figures dwarf Sky, and subscribers want to see the best French players week in week out. Local sponsors want to see local players as do the municipal and regional authorities, who provide facilities. A superstar always helps but not if it dilutes the identity of the club. Of course, Toulon has gone the other direction and it seems to work also.

S_P: Ahem, Paris has a mega-club, Stade Fran├žais !!!! Racing is not a Paris-based club, it's based in Colombes, Hauts-de-Seine, where they have built a small, but, loyal hardcore support ;-)


Super Club, Stade? Errrrr no, that may have been Guazzini's ambition but they're further away despite the ground redevelopment than they were when he had total control..

They maybe able to get a big crowd for one off games after offloading loads of discounted and complimentary tickets, but they average about 6k for the rest of this season. Sure even having Toulouse in town won't remotely fill out Stade de France for them anymore (47k), and it's unlikely Clermont will either...

www.lnr.fr/statistiques-generales.html#top14

Racing's history is Paris and it still draws support from there, otherwise it'd be like basing a second Leinster team in Dun Laoghaire and then only trying to recruit support from within the borough..

I'd disagree about the number of foreign stats also, Toulouse alone have Burgess, Steenkamp, Albacete, McAlister, Botha, Johnston, Matanavou all of them starting players when fit, and regardless of if the like of Johnston & Matanavou playing for traditionally tier two countries they are star players in France and would be on massive money. There's a trio of Georgians too and Finau Maka's gigantic Nephew who's on an Espoir contract but is expected to make a big splash next year. There's a good reason Toulouse are reputed to have the biggest budget of any rugby club in the world, and that the top five or six clubs would have the biggest budgets in world rugby..

Toulouse will seriously struggle if they are to replace that lot by next season, never mind Toulon's and SF's/ Racing's foreign legions.

In reality it'll take years for FFR/LNR to reduce the 40% of NFQ players currently playing in France, without diluting the quality of the competition drastically. Lesser clubs like Bordeaux/Agen/Castres are back-boned by a lot of lesser NFQ stars also. But overall a very high percentage of all Top 14 side have as much as half their forwards and a third of their backs made up of NFQ's...

With respect to Bayonne, I was talking about the supporters rather than the sugar daddies themselves.


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Last edit: 7 years 2 weeks ago by sea_point.

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1 year 5 months ago #62532

Reviving this thread again to share this article on new concussion rules in France which have caused a bit of a stir. What would you reckon if they introduced this stuff into the Pro14? http://rugbyandthelaw.com/2018/08/14/france-concussion-rules-blue-cards/

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