SSi Forum



My proposal for European Rugby:

Create 3 regions - West, Central and East, 7 in each.
With 4 Irish, 3 Welsh, 1 Scottish, 1 Italian, 6 French and 6 English teams - 21 teams. Regional, so you wouldn’t have 3 from the West country and 3 from the Midlands, they’d be spread out.

No more than 7 non-resident players in each squad.

Feeder regions. Return the remaining teams to respective domestic competitions. Reinvigorate local rugby in-line with the NPC/Currie cup models.

Have Champion of Champions Cup. Winner of European competition vs winner of Super Rugby.

Controversial and unpopular I’m sure this will be with some. I think it’ll focus energy and reinvigorate domestic games.


I think that massive rearrangement is one of the things that could make a difference - in fact, I was having pretty much this conversation in Pwllheli this morning - but I personally think that the first necessary step is to rebuild school/club rugby from the ground up (much, much later contact, much, much more emphasis on skills) and shifting the season so (at the very least) much more of it happens in the summer, on harder grounds.

But… it’s a tricky equation, because so much of what rugby is in Wales is about community - to what extent should we be willing to undermine those community structures just in order to win? Is that why we play rugby?

[Although much later contact and much more focus on skills would be generally good, anyway…:wink: ]


Completely agree!! Building schools and moving away from these pseudo-academies. Cardiff had this weird combo of schools into an academy. I’d rather build the clubs. Lots of variety. Have a proper local league in each region.


Did you see the BBC program on this, “Alfie, How do you beat the All Blacks?” The info which most impressed him was that the kids didn’t necessarily start Rugby any earlier, but all the schools had everyone playing and the First XV are top teams from every school playing at top level from 14 to 19! They end up very good indeed. What also struck me was the fact that Clubs have 50 or 60 teams! In Harrogate we had 3! At Dunvant? About 3, I think! So we need to build from the bottom up and enthuse the kids of both sexes to want to carry on playing after school!


There was rough play in Awstralia at a swyddfa bost . The man in front of me had the red jersey with Cymru across the back . So I leaned forward and called out Shw mae hwyl and he leaped into a side-step , rolling maul and stiff elbow about 2foot off the ground. The lady in front staggered away and he said “I’m a hooker”. She looked horrified.


Duw, sa i’n gallu siarad! I’m so emotional I can hardly speak.

I’ve just watched the 70th birthday tribute to Gareth Edwards and have been transported back to my rugby heaven. I am just a year or two older than Gareth and have followed him and the Welsh dream team since my early teens in Scotland till now at Cardiiff Arms and its successors, Stade Colombe and its successors, Lansdowne Road, Murrayfiled and Twickenham. I still have my triple, triple crown tie. :smile: My playing days ended in 1968 and I have no doubt that the game and the skill of its players have improved immensely since then. I agree, however, with the participant in the programme who claimed that Gareth would still hold his own as an inspired scrum half in today’s game.

It was fantastically moving for me this evening to see his greatest outside halves, Barry John and Phil Bennet as well as so many other Welsh and Lions heroes who have acquired for me almost mythological significance.

As Cerys Matthews famously said - “Dw i’n falch bo fi’n Cymro” / “I’m glad I’m Welsh” :smile:


ah yes, I remember it well! Mind, last time I saw Barry on TV, I was shocked and didn’t recognise him! I thought he looked a lot better tonight! Poor Phil Bennet - I never appreciated because he wasn’t Barry and Barry was my ideal outside half!


A lot of rugby tomorrow! Our game is on BBC and S4C so language is up to you in UK , not sure about Slovenia, @tatjana. We play Australia, who we have been losing to regularly! I presume it is on Aussie TV at a horrible hour of the mornng! Sorry folks!


Will catch up online for sure. I’ll find the way.

About loosing regularly … some losses were prety tiny so you never know. This year there are some standard players missing like Jamie Roberts and Sam Warburton so the game might be a bit different. I’m glad Leigh Halfpenny is still our full back and “kicking man” (I presume). He will miss one penalty or conversion for fortune (as I say) and all the rest he will do just fine.

Umm … I’m still waiting to hear about him learnig Welsh. :slight_smile: I would be hapy if he’d dig my invitation tweet from the depths of Twitter and give it a try with us (or maybe he already did that …).

Well, so all the best Cymru! (no promisses this time, I’m afraid).


Scotland v Samoa As an example of fast running rugby it would be hard to find better! OK i have a soft spot for Samoa (don’t tell my neighbours,)and I am sorry Samoa are losing. Fit young rugby players are about their only valuable export and their Rugby Union is broke. i hope they get a goid chunk of today’s gate money! Another Samoa try! But it is all brilliant running rugby, If you canwatch it on iplayer, do! On BBC1!


Lovely try, Cymru! I had been feeling bad since Aus score! but Leigh -magic! No more from me, too much boing on will wait til end and lost,but well played. No way could you say we were slaughtered! Next week Georgia one of my favourite sides! We should win, but no promises!


Terrible glutton, me! Watchung Ireland/South Africa, then France/All Blacks! Highlights of England/Argetina recorded for later!


I was glad to see that the Vice President of the WRU was in the stand supporting Wales. His Mam would have smiled!


Also, David Hasselhoff was also there as apparently he is a big WRU supporter and his Girlfriend lives in Glynneath, although I’ve never seen him in the Tesco Express yet.

What about the Newcastle Falcons 57:0 Cardiff Blues result, while their best players were busy elsewhere?


I admit to going off ‘club rugby’ with the advent of professionalism. Are any Blues from Cardiff? Are any Falcons from Newcastle? And poor Samoa, Fiji,etc have all their best players grabbed by the All Blacks or Europe, and their unions arenbankrupt! Grrr!


I’m not sure about Newcastle, now. Although looking at their names at least some seem local. The Welsh regions have a lot of local players and I think that Ireland even more so. Ok there are also plenty of foreign nationals mixed in. You will know about Scotland. Laidlaw is a famous rugby family name.

Cheating a bit, moving on to footy - I love the fact the Gateshead goaly, James Montgomery is a local lad and related to the great Jim Montgomery (Monty) who I remember and played a respectable 627 games for his home town, Sunderland :slight_smile:

I take your point, though.


As with the Welsh language, when it comes to sport, I’m just a humble spectator. However, it seems to me the fact that both Cardiff and the Scarlets were thrashed this weekend, must be partly due to the fact that some of their local lads were playing in another match. :wink:


In various sides, perhaps! Certainly for Samoa, Fiji etc mention og “so and so playing in Europe now!” Cuts down on travel expenses if they pick those!


The Blues squad had 16 players making debuts, under the age of 25 and from their academy this weekend. That’s pretty local. As for their first team - Gethin Jenkins is from Ponty, Ellis Jenkins from Church Village, Dacey from Merthyr, Warburton, Navidi, Seb Davies (Welsh speaker), Lloyd Williams (Welsh speaker) all from Cardiff, Rhun Williams from North Wales (Welsh speaker). I’d say they’re pretty local…


Yes, I’d say that Welsh rugby squads are mostly made up of local(ish) players.