DC to join Pro 12?

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Mon Sep 18, 2017 11:43 pm

I just don't think they're going to promote the game by sending club teams over there, regardless the timing. It'll serve only as a treat for the already established rugby community, and won't even cause a ripple beyond that. When the All Blacks played the US at Soldier Field even my American friends here in Turkey were talking to me about it, and these people barely knew what rugby was. Getting one of the major test nations to play the US there annually is the best way to go about promoting the game effectively, while also helping the Eagles themselves to improve, of course.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:38 am

rowan wrote:I just don't think they're going to promote the game by sending club teams over there, regardless the timing. It'll serve only as a treat for the already established rugby community, and won't even cause a ripple beyond that. When the All Blacks played the US at Soldier Field even my American friends here in Turkey were talking to me about it, and these people barely knew what rugby was. Getting one of the major test nations to play the US there annually is the best way to go about promoting the game effectively, while also helping the Eagles themselves to improve, of course.


The aim, as I understand it, is not to create a top-down hubbub like the NZ game, which was one-and-done, but to have something that supports the grass roots in the area. So this game was preceded by training camps for local clubs with the Newcastle and Sarries players, there were coaching courses for the local club coaches, there were scholarships for local players, etc. It's not designed to get Americans in Turkey interested, it is to spread the reach a bit wider in Philadelphia and boost the grass roots. And yes, provide a treat for those already bought in, but in theory to have a big event to draw in those on the fringes and boost participation and local numbers.

Granted, they screwed the actual game bit up royally this time, but it's not a bad idea in theory. I just don't see the US game building from top-down - which is why I like the prospect of MLR as it's building out from existing foundations.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 6:50 am

It's not designed to get Americans in Turkey interested

I would suggest that you are completely wrong on this point, which you also appear to have intentionally misrepresented somewhat. The comment about Americans in Turkey talking about the game was quite clearly made as an indication of just how far the All Blacks v USA game had gone in terms of promoting the sport and raising its profile among the wider American public beyond the established rugby community. That's why I think major international teams playing the Eagles at major venues is the best way to go about selling the game to the American public at large, while also providing the US national team with more exposure to top level rugby.

If the United States still requires English club players to go over there and run training camps for them then I think there is something seriously wrong. They've been playing the game longer than most countries, won two Olympic golds a century ago, have competed in every World Cup but one and have more registered players than any of the Celtic nations. Again, I'm not suggesting the English clubs are doing anything sinister and evil, I just think it's a bit of a pointless exercise. What rugby in the US needs right now is a much larger following in order for professional rugby to become a viable and marketable proposition - which it currently isn't, evidently.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:28 am

You don't think there'll be any benefit for local clubs to have Maro Itoje and Owen Farrell running training sessions? Hell, my local club got a boost in participation when we managed to get Davey Wilson!

My point about the All Blacks vs USA game is that it was a great day out for 71,000 people, but did it really drive participation or long-term numbers? Yes, lots more people than usual knew it was happening, but what did that actually accomplish?

The problem with regular major international games is that a) the ABs game had cachet from being a very unusual event, b) other nations are harder to sell than "The All Blacks" - just look at Australia's test there the year after and how much smaller the fuss was - and c) Americans as a people like winners. They only got interested in football when their team went on a run in the World Cup and getting thumped by major teams is unlikely to draw repeat fans. I just don't think American rugby can be grown from the top down.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:17 am

On your first point, absolutely. It would benefit clubs in New Zealand to have those guys showing up to run a training session. But this is quite simply not what American rugby needs most now. They're hardly babes in the wood at this.

Neither to I believe the primary objective of the All Blacks v USA game was to drive long-term numbers. America already has more than any of the Celtic nations, as mentioned. The match was designed primarily to raise the profile of the sport. In that respect it exceeded even the wildest expectations, filling the stadium, featuring in newspaper headlines, and getting every day Americans with no prior involvement in rugby talking about the game. Obviously increased participation would be a desirable spin-off result. I don't have the figures on playing numbers since the match, but there is no question about the success of the fixture itself. It also put money in the coffers of both unions, &, of coure, it provided an invaluable learning experience for the Eagles themselves.

The only point you've made here which I might be inclined to agree with is that the thumping the US received from tiny little New Zealand may not have had an entirely positive effect on the Yankee psyche. In fact, the 1913 All Blacks visit to California, during which they beat a national selection 3-51, combined with the growing popularity of American football in the east, has often been cited as the death of that state's flourishing pre-WWI collegiate rugby scene - as I've previously discussed on another thread. But if only they'd persisted, they might have eventually caught up.

So basically if your goal is to give the established rugby community a treat in one part of the US or another, and have star players run training programs despite the wealth of local expertise already available, then by all means continue to fly these British club sides back and forth across the Atlantic Ocean. But if you want the wider American public to sit up and take note, so that the sport becomes a viable and marktable product for TV companies as well as events organizers (ultimately paving the way for a successful, televized Pro Rugby comp), then get the All Blacks and other top national sides over there again and again, because they are the code's global brands.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:25 pm

You've not addressed my points about the AB vs USA match being such a spectacle because it was such a rarity and also because of the marketing brand of the All Blacks. England used to come every year (admittedly with a shadow side, but still capped internationals) and no-one outside of the rugby community cared. Australia went to Soldier Field with big fanfare and promotion in 2015 and got just over 20k.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 12:49 pm

I'm not sure the success of the AB v US was down to the fact it was a rarity. American sports fans, as we all know, relish nothing more than their annual finales - the Super Bowl basically being the biggest one-off sports event not only in American but the entire world, drawing a TV audience of around 150 million.

So ideally they might want to look at making the AB v US match an annual fixture, at least in non-World Cup years when the AIs are staged. If New Zealand is going to travel to Europe anyway, it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience. The American public would then have a chance to get used to it and accept it as part of their own annual sporting calendar.

Meanwhile, 20K for the Wallabies is not a disaster, but you'd obviously want to improve on that. I don't think we can include the Churchill Cup in the conversation, if that's what you mean. That was an amateur competition involving A teams, as you mentioned, and England were certainly not the team then that they have become in the professional era.

Just as a thought, if the All Blacks were to set up an annual fixture in the US en route to Europe for the AIs, the Wallabies could perhaps do the same in Japan. Let's face it, if there are two nations we really want to bring up to speed right now, they are the US and Japan with their huge populations and strong economies. But with rugby having a slightly higher profile in the Land of the Rising Sun, where pro rugby is long established, the Wallabies might have more of a chance of pulling a large crowd there. (We'll see in November, of course).
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:03 pm

rowan wrote:I'm not sure the success of the AB v US was down to the fact it was a rarity. American sports fans, as we all know, relish nothing more than their annual finales - the Super Bowl basically being the biggest one-off sports event not only in American but the entire world, drawing a TV audience of around 150 million.

So ideally they might want to look at making the AB v US match an annual fixture, at least in non-World Cup years when the AIs are staged. If New Zealand is going to travel to Europe anyway, it shouldn't be too much of an inconvenience. The American public would then have a chance to get used to it and accept it as part of their own annual sporting calendar.

Meanwhile, 20K for the Wallabies is not a disaster, but you'd obviously want to improve on that. I don't think we can include the Churchill Cup in the conversation, if that's what you mean. That was an amateur competition involving A teams, as you mentioned, and England were certainly not the team then that they have become in the professional era.

Just as a thought, if the All Blacks were to set up an annual fixture in the US en route to Europe for the AIs, the Wallabies could perhaps do the same in Japan. Let's face it, if there are two nations we really want to bring up to speed right now, they are the US and Japan with their huge populations and strong economies. But with rugby having a slightly higher profile in the Land of the Rising Sun, where pro rugby is long established, the Wallabies might have more of a chance of pulling a large crowd there. (We'll see in November, of course).


The Churchill Cup wasn't an amateur competition - it was in the 2000s, and for a period England were the best team in the world and world champions (not necessarily at the same time). And wasn't England A, but a fully capped England side.

I like the idea of a regular US vs ABs game, but when the US keep getting destroyed by 70 points every game, do you really expect the interest to keep coming? The US like their internal spectacles - they're not much for international competitions unless they're winning or at least competitive.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:25 pm

Yes, you're right about the Churchill Cup being a 2000s competition. My memory was a bit weak on that one. But in checking the dates I also noted that England weren't always involved, and only fielded A teams (XVs & Saxons, included). If the exact team which had raised the World Cup trophy at Stadium Oz in 2003 had rocked up to Soldier Field to play an official test against the Eagles that year, I think you'd probably have got a full house - or close to it.

International rugby also has a much higher profile now due to the succes of the World Cup tournament itself, inclusion in the Olympics, and the growth of professionalism in general, which has intersected nicely with the globalization effect - coverage of rugby being carried to all corners of the planet via satellite TV and the internet, of course. So I'm pretty sure the current England side would draw a sizable crowd if it played an official test in the US today.

My experience of the US, where I was directly involved with sports, tells me the public would indeed go for an annual test match with the All Blacks, especially in the Fall window when nothing else of major importance is going on there (prior to Thanksgiving). The scorelines would be a concern, but you'd hope to see the Eagles improve and begin to close the gap. After all, this is how the Wallabies were brought up to speed.

I also think it's a bit of a strange attitude, after something has proved successful, to say 'Oh, we best not do that again in case it fails next time,' but when something has proved a failure everyone wants to talk about 'doing it again' :roll:
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby morepork » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:10 pm

rowan wrote:Yes, you're right about the Churchill Cup being a 2000s competition. My memory was a bit weak on that one. But in checking the dates I also noted that England weren't always involved, and only fielded A teams (XVs & Saxons, included). If the exact team which had raised the World Cup trophy at Stadium Oz in 2003 had rocked up to Soldier Field to play an official test against the Eagles that year, I think you'd probably have got a full house - or close to it.

International rugby also has a much higher profile now due to the succes of the World Cup tournament itself, inclusion in the Olympics, and the growth of professionalism in general, which has intersected nicely with the globalization effect - coverage of rugby being carried to all corners of the planet via satellite TV and the internet, of course. So I'm pretty sure the current England side would draw a sizable crowd if it played an official test in the US today.

My experience of the US, where I was directly involved with sports, tells me the public would indeed go for an annual test match with the All Blacks, especially in the Fall window when nothing else of major importance is going on there (prior to Thanksgiving). The scorelines would be a concern, but you'd hope to see the Eagles improve and begin to close the gap. After all, this is how the Wallabies were brought up to speed.

I also think it's a bit of a strange attitude, after something has proved successful, to say 'Oh, we best not do that again in case it fails next time,' but when something has proved a failure everyone wants to talk about 'doing it again' :roll:


I can tell you that very few people here would struggle to give two shits about that fixture. If you tried to do it anywhere in the south or the midwest that goes up against college football, then forget about it. There is no way it would attract broadcasters to make it viable.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:31 pm

An annual All Blacks v Eagles fixture, you mean? But it sold out the first time and made the sports headlines, so I don't see why not. Personally I wouldn't dream of staging it anywhere in the south or the midwest. Well, aside from Chicago, that is; which is kind of midwest. But staging it at the same venue would actually be a good idea in terms of building up the local fan-base. & I do also have my own experience in American sports to draw upon here. I think it could work, and all indicators so far are positive on that count.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby morepork » Tue Sep 19, 2017 2:46 pm

They flocked to a brand, not to a game.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:46 pm

rowan wrote:Yes, you're right about the Churchill Cup being a 2000s competition. My memory was a bit weak on that one. But in checking the dates I also noted that England weren't always involved, and only fielded A teams (XVs & Saxons, included). If the exact team which had raised the World Cup trophy at Stadium Oz in 2003 had rocked up to Soldier Field to play an official test against the Eagles that year, I think you'd probably have got a full house - or close to it.

International rugby also has a much higher profile now due to the succes of the World Cup tournament itself, inclusion in the Olympics, and the growth of professionalism in general, which has intersected nicely with the globalization effect - coverage of rugby being carried to all corners of the planet via satellite TV and the internet, of course. So I'm pretty sure the current England side would draw a sizable crowd if it played an official test in the US today.

My experience of the US, where I was directly involved with sports, tells me the public would indeed go for an annual test match with the All Blacks, especially in the Fall window when nothing else of major importance is going on there (prior to Thanksgiving). The scorelines would be a concern, but you'd hope to see the Eagles improve and begin to close the gap. After all, this is how the Wallabies were brought up to speed.

I also think it's a bit of a strange attitude, after something has proved successful, to say 'Oh, we best not do that again in case it fails next time,' but when something has proved a failure everyone wants to talk about 'doing it again' :roll:


But they did do it again and it did fail. They repeated the game just one year later, this time hosting Australia, at that time the second best team in the world, on a charge having just won the Rugby Championship (and beaten New Zealand). It was doing the same thing again - big international team, home game, even the same city and stadium to get repeat business. Yet just a third of the people showed up - it wasn't the All Blacks, they'd been last year so it wasn't new and exciting, they'd been last year and watched the US get repeatedly run over and so it wasn't a good time.

Soldier Field was sold out to a brand - the invincible All Blacks with their tribal war dance, unusual accents, and exotic names, the undisputed leaders of the rugby world coming to take on the mighty America. Most of the people in the crowd wouldn't've known the difference if you'd played the NZ World Cup XV or the NZ Maori or the Provincial Barbarians. It wasn't about the players; it was an event. Your idea that the England world cup XV would've sold out Soldier Field is not credible - the average American doesn't know Jonny Wilkinson from Dave Walder or Jason Robinson from Leon Lloyd and the fact that most American journalism got NZ confused with NZ Maori and the NZ Rugby League team when talking about previous US-NZ encounters suggests that "England A" wasn't the sticking factor.*

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*You are right that the Churchill Cup was uncapped - I was getting confused with the fact that we toured N.America in 2001 while the Lions were on, which was capped. First emergence of Lewis Moody and the recurrence of Josh Lewsey that tour.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby morepork » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:05 pm

If England did pitch up with their wold cup team to take on the septics, Mel Gibson would have made a movie about it by now, casting brave patriotic 'Murricans against the tanless ogres from the colonial old country. With eagles and guns.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:17 pm

So send the All Blacks every year, on their way to the AIs. It's only been done once and exceeded all expectations. It would be crazy not to do it again. & keep doing it until it fails. & If & when it fails, that will be the time to stop doing it. Your idea seems to be, okay, that worked out really well, but let's not do it again in case it fails, and meanwhile the club game failed, but let's do it again and see if it gets better. Surely you can see how ironic this approach is. I say, go with the tried and proven, get the All Blacks over there for an annual test that will hopefully etch itself into the American sports fans' psyche, and focus on raising the profile of the game to the point Pro Rugby may actually become a viable and marketable proposition.

They don't need anonymous English club teams going over there to run training camps. That idea's so conservative it's depressing. Americans like to think big. I like to think big. British people are overly conservative by nature, and that was reflected by the fact it took the Southern Hemisphere nations to get the World Cup off the ground - in the face of northern forecasts of doom and gloom. It's a clash of philosophies, and the history of this sport shows us just how damaging British conservatism has been - and could've been had the Southern Hemisphere (and France at times) not stood up to them.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:38 pm

rowan wrote:So send the All Blacks every year, on their way to the AIs. It's only been done once and exceeded all expectations. It would be crazy not to do it again. & keep doing it until it fails. & If & when it fails, that will be the time to stop doing it. Your idea seems to be, okay, that worked out really well, but let's not do it again in case it fails, and meanwhile the club game failed, but let's do it again and see if it gets better. Surely you can see how ironic this approach is. I say, go with the tried and proven, get the All Blacks over there for an annual test that will hopefully etch itself into the American sports fans' psyche, and focus on raising the profile of the game to the point Pro Rugby may actually become a viable and marketable proposition.


No, it has been done twice. Once with New Zealand and once with Australia. It showed massive diminishing returns. Now, I get the argument that NZ's brand makes them different to other team s(considering I made it to you), but that is because the Soldier Field game was new and unique. Make it a yearly event and familiarity will quickly breed contempt, especially if you keep smacking them each year. It could only etch itself into the American psyche if it's not a yearly parade of getting shat on - Americans like winners and they're not going to turn up for proven certain defeat.

Also, I don't want the club game done again. It's a stupid idea, poorly executed, and I have railed against it in this very thread. However, the fact of the matter is that it is *going* to happen again, at least twice more, whether I want it to or not. So, if it has to happen, I'm interested in them doing it better.

I'll also note that I have no animus against NZ playing an annual test against the USA. Whip up a silly trophy with a vaguely Anglo-Kiwi name and go nuts! I think it would diaappear into the ground within 5 years, but you are more than welcome to go for it.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:55 pm

Perhaps you missed the part that I am talking about sending the All Blacks every year. That's what I wrote, but somehow Australia slipped into your response. I discussed them much earlier in the thread but dispatched them to play Japan instead (they will do so this year, in fact, so let's see how that goes). You may think the Soldier Field game was only a success because it was new and unique. I don't. I think American sports fans today are a little more savvy than that. But you just don't seem to grasp the irony of your argument - that a tried & proven method should be discarded in case it fails next time. I keep telling you, that if it worked once, there's no reason it won't work again and again, and only when and if that turns out to be wrong should the method be discarded. That's plain logic. If the Americans improve, like the Wallabies did - and they certainly have the resources - fantastic.If they don't, at least they tried. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:14 pm

rowan wrote:Perhaps you missed the part that I am talking about sending the All Blacks every year. That's what I wrote, but somehow Australia slipped into your response. I discussed them much earlier in the thread but dispatched them to play Japan instead (they will do so this year, in fact, so let's see how that goes). You may think the Soldier Field game was only a success because it was new and unique. I don't. I think American sports fans today are a little more savvy than that. But you just don't seem to grasp the irony of your argument - that a tried & proven method should be discarded in case it fails next time. I keep telling you, that if it worked once, there's no reason it won't work again and again, and only when and if that turns out to be wrong should the method be discarded. That's plain logic. If the Americans improve, like the Wallabies did - and they certainly have the resources - fantastic.If they don't, at least they tried. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as the saying goes.


Tried and proven. Hmm. Since you're determined to entirely discard the Australia game, which is the only other piece of evidence, you're left with one data point. That's not proving anything - that's showing that Americans will turn out for a well marketed one-off occasion.

I'm saying that it's worked once, but the only other comparable fixture showed a massive drop off, and that I can see several very good reasons why beasting the Americans each year would cause their casual fans to turn off. You're saying it's worked once, so doing it every year will mean that it will work every year and there won't be a massive drop-off from every game being a hammering. I think that's... optimistic, to say the least, but we have no other data points so we'll have to agree to disagree unless it does become a yearly event.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby morepork » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:16 pm

I'm with Puja on this. Humping the egrets annually is not going to improve their rankings in the foreseeable. They came to see the ABs for the same reason they show up to watch Man U. Try selling the Stoke City Potters and compare.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:27 pm

Again, I'm talking about the All Blacks, not Australia. I haven't guaranteed it will work every year. I've repeatedly suggested that the highly successful All Blacks v Eagles test should be repeated - until it fails. Your approach is the highly successful All Blacks v Eagles test should not be repeated - in case it fails. You suggest my approach is optimistic. I'd suggest yours is amazingly pessimistic. The objective I'm focused on is raising the profile of the game to pave the way for a successful Pro Rugby competition. British club sides crossing the Atlantic to play low key fixtures and run training camps for kiddies just seems a bit pointless. But once again, it's a clash of philosophies. British conservatism has held the game back in many ways, and only the more progressive thinking of the Southern Hemisphere nations and France has moved it forward.
Last edited by rowan on Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:30 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby morepork » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:29 pm

Sweet Jesus. It's another sweeping cultural canvas attacked with crayons.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 10:44 pm

Just to get things straight, the progressive thinking of the Southern Hemisphere nations and France don't appear to actually be doing anything in America currently, do they? For all your talk of "British Conservatism", the Premiership clubs are actually doing something. What exactly are the SH's plans?

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:02 pm

Didn't the All Blacks play Ireland in front of another full house at Soldier Field last year? & didn't the NZ Maori get a capacity 20 K into a stadium over in Philadelphia for a match against the Eagles? & then there's the World Cup itself, of course, which put the sport on the international map and gave the Eagles something to strive for, other than playing Canada. Yes, the English have done their bit, but again it's the woefully conservative approach of theirs that failed. The Churchill Cup, for crying out loud? Are you aware of just how offensive the very name of that tournament is to many people? & England sends an A team, trotting about in drab white uniforms like something out of the Victorian era. Even in FIFA, the power had to be wrested away from the English before the game began to move forward internationally.
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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby Puja » Tue Sep 19, 2017 11:32 pm

rowan wrote:Didn't the All Blacks play Ireland in front of another full house at Soldier Field last year? & didn't the NZ Maori get a capacity 20 K into a stadium over in Philadelphia for a match against the Eagles? & then there's the World Cup itself, of course, which put the sport on the international map and gave the Eagles something to strive for, other than playing Canada. Yes, the English have done their bit, but again it's the woefully conservative approach of theirs that failed. The Churchill Cup, for crying out loud? Are you aware of just how offensive the very name of that tournament is to many people? & England sends an A team, trotting about in drab white uniforms like something out of the Victorian era. Even in FIFA, the power had to be wrested away from the English before the game began to move forward internationally.


And their plans for the future are...? It's all very well to mock what the Premiership clubs are doing, but what are the New Zealanders doing right now?

Plus, it's funny that you should deride the Churchill Cup (named after a famous person who was half-American and half-English, so fairly thematic). It was organised and paid for by the RFU, at a time when no-one else was playing the US or Canada. It was the regular international competition that you consistently keep complaining about no-one offering, it made a constant loss for the 9 seasons it ran (finishing only when the IRB integrated Tier 2 nations into the global calendar in 2012) which was all absorbed by the RFU, including the participation fees that the NZRU charged when the Maori were involved. But do keep telling us about your two altruistic sponsorship jaunts to placate AIG.

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Re: DC to join Pro 12?

Postby rowan » Wed Sep 20, 2017 7:05 am

We don't know their plans for the future, but I'm sure they'd be ready and willing to come to the party, as they've already demonstrated - with great success. The All Blacks are going out there and showing the world how to play rugby, week in week out. It's like asking, what has Brazil ever done for soccer, or what has the US ever done for basketball? I'm sure plenty of Americans are tuning in to watch All Blacks games via satellite TV or internet streaming. Yes, the RFU, despite having completely ignored continental Europe for most of the 20th century while France was single-handedly fostering the game there, did deign to send their A team to a tournament named after a war criminal over the best part of a decade, but we can see that this was an overly-conservative approach which didn't capture the wider American public's imagination - much like a club game between a couple of British teams. Again, it comes down to what you want to achieve. I'm sure that exercise was beneficial for the Eagles, though, to be honest, they haven't really shown any real overall improvement since (aside from turning the tables on the nose-diving Canadians). My view, as stated, is that America already had the players and the know-how, but what it lacks is a successful professional competition. That needs to be sold to the public to flourish, which means raising the profile of the game. & there's nothing bigger in the game than the All Blacks, perhaps its only real global brand. It's proved a highly successful formula so far, so why would you discard it instead of trying it again? That just doesn't make any sense at all.
If they're good enough to play at World Cups, why not in between?


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