Thursday, May 25, 2006

Rugby Franchisisation

Rugby union: Twickenham to offer end to relegation

I suppose that's effectively what it is at the moment. Aside from the formality of one team coming up as cannon fodder whilst one Premiership has a twelve month hiatus.

Look at the nationals...the RFU/FDR hasn't even got a sponsor for the country's second tier. No natioanl cup competition any more, just some be-group staged anglo-welsh monstrosity.

The RFU's plan, and it seems they will get it one way or the other, is for a closed shop of professional franchises with academys & development structures with a cheerful little amateur game sitting happily below that.

As it stands there is just no way you'll ever see Waterloo or Orrell or Richmond or London Scottish back...I know thems the breaks but there's always the dream for these clubs. Closing the shop seems damned un-British. It just feels incestuous and stagnant.....

...I can't work out if this is a heart or head thing. Perhaps I'm just an old fuddy duddy.

I suppose this is a sport that's only been competing in leagues for les than 20 years and has only been professional for about 10 or so. Growing pains? It seems a bit cyncical (or perhaps just pragmatic).

Surely they'll need a franchise from Devon & Cornwall and surely one from Yorkshire would be logical but the Leeds Tykes experiment seems to have failed. Could the RFU prop them up?

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