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Rugby Training Mistakes: That One Thing You're Missing

...sorry, last sentence is not there to discredit or put down Skelton, however I'd assume (rightly or wrongly) his natural height and weight would have made him a far more attractive 'draft' than the little guys...

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Rugby Training Mistakes: That One Thing You're Missing

Oh sorry mate, I get what you mean now... I read it differently to how you "said" it.

I agree with your sentiments.. The reality is there are very few people which can ever commit the time to develop a rugby player physique and maintain a family life/work life/social life...

As a married man, I'm lucky enough to have a wife who is into the gym and also outdoor pursuits... it makes for a healthy, active and fun life. But that is what works with me, not everyone wants that or has that.

Male body insecurity is a heck of a lot higher than any credit is ever given - in fact in a world where it was predominantly "male orientated" we're doing a brilliant job at reversing right through the equilibrium and into the other side.

I digress....however it is relevant to the extent that we as rugby enthusiasts are incorrectly shown by way of camera work in any rugby game that in order to be a good player, you must be a mountain... and to some extent the commentary also emphasises this - I can hear Andrew Cotter in my head right now talking - "on comes the great hulking figure of Jim Hamilton, what a giant of a man he is"
"The French have made a tactical substitution and off goes three well spent giants in the front row only to be replaced by another three monstrously huge athletes"... etc

Doesn't it all sound so lavish?

"A monstrous hulking figure of 10st10 comes lumbering onto the field, his sheer size strikes fear into the opposition"... sort of sounds a hell of a lot more appealing than "Here comes that little bloke who weighs less than bakkies left boot.... doubt he'll last long"...

Don't get me wrong, Shane Williams/Peter Stringer are poster children for the little guys, but boy I bet they had to fight a hell of a lot harder to get recognition than the likes of someone like Will Skelton...

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Nick Frisby yellow carded for kicking ball out of tryscorer's hands

Do penalty tries not automatically go hand in hand with a yellow? So cynical priors or not, I'm not sure the referee had a choice....

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

Benetton Rugby Treviso
Rugby Calvisano
Pretrarca Rugby

Just 3 or should I continue?

Regardless what difference does it make?

Italy came onto the scene in 2000. In 1999 Scotland won the 5N but lost to England, in 2000 England won the 6N, Scotland beat England and Italy beat Scotland - they also lost all other matches, but the fact still remains, they fight for their place and they have had their successes as well as their downfalls and to simply say "yeh Italy had their time, not working, throw them on the heap" is everything that is wrong with the modern game. You're talking up the Georgian future as if it is a future for rugby, frankly it most certainly isn't. You're replacing one team with another. Georgian success for Italian demise is not a growing global rugby, in my opinion.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

To comment on your points:

1. I agree, Italy is not a home nation, however they were introduced and that is that, it is a decision that perhaps was incorrect but one which has to be lived with.... can't very well kick them out and go back to 5N now can we....

Second part of point 2, yes their record of play is not great, but they have had some wins against France, Scotland, Wales, sure their record is not great, but you can't exactly set up a relegation procedure where ONLY Italy is liable for relegation if they come last.... which brings me onto:

2. Unfair to just have Italy in there, so all teams must be liable and then: "Scotland get relegated" or indeed any other Nation, but Scotland being one of the first is precisely why a relegation set up would be a tragedy to rugby. I see it so many times on the news where people can comment - Calls for Scotland to be replaced by Georgia, or Italy etc, I personally see that as a negative influence on the game - yeh sure, the game might boom in Spain or Georgia, but I don't see that as a positive if it comes at the detrimental cost of another nation.

"The 6N is the de facto NH/European championship. The top countries should compete" - Your opinion (and I'm sure others share it), but I personally don't. The 6N, imo, bears no resemblance, or relationship to the NH tournaments - especially if you look at the amount of SH players in the NH.... how players are mixed in amongst the different nations - English players in France, etc... the 6 Nations, in your description sounds like an extremely new and fluid competition....when in fact, as mentioned before all stemmed from the 1800's and is quite an incredible tournament for what it is.

4. So the reason to not include any nations of proud rugby heritage is because of a small population and low budgets?... If that is the case then all the more reason to have a water tight closed 6N, proves that tradition is lost, so we should treasure any shred of it!!

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

6 Nations is about tradition, so if Scotland is kicked out, Calcutta cup gets pushed aside... England France is a massively anticipated match with the historic rivalry between the two countries stemming far beyond rugby - ofcourse this is not exactly a big deal, but for the French to beat England it's wonderful, and for the English to beat the French again is great...

Same applies for Celtic teams against England etc...

So yeh, Italy doesn't have a huge about of history or tradition - other than being on the wrong side during the war - for some of it.... so I guess you're suggesting that the rest of the tradition be considered and only Italy relegated? OR perhaps we ignore all that tradition?

UEFA supercup? Um, wendyball? How is that even applicable, unless you're suggesting Georgia are just extremely passionate and will support regardless of their understand of the game (admirable and not unlike other countries)... But regardless, fan travel to Georgia? I see it less likely than other fan travel. Perhaps Georgia will be lucrative, but as lucrative as the current nations? I don't think so.

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

You missed the point about Argentina. My point is WHY Argentina and not Samoa? or Tonga, or Fiji? All nations that have a massive proud rugby history and have been fighting for recognition in 15's for many many years whilst having tiny populations.... so why not them?

And with yo yo competition, I'm talking about no team being able to maintain a continuing growth. If Italy gets relegated then their game will suffer, interest will lessen and their sport will suffer, Georgia may come in and perhaps lose overall...and if Italy is really as poor as everyone state then the tournaments Georgia are part of will then have a "best of a bad bunch" feel, so one team that is not as good as Georgia will get promoted and Georgia will get demoted.... then the next year, it will swap and so on, so forth...

I don't understand why people feel the need to add a relegation set up to the 6N which has been a home nation tournament since it's conception... that is what makes the tournament as massive as it is... I don't understand why it shouldn't be it's own "exclusive tournament"... why didn't the tri nations just introduce relegation and remove the lowest team and replace it with Arg each time?

Or are we suggesting that perhaps because italy was last to join, they should be the only team to be relegated?

As said before, money should be invested to grow their own tournaments with bragging rights all coming out during the autumn/summer internationals and world cups...

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

Of course money matters - Pro rugby is more a business nowadays than it is a sport. Just look at any international match and it'll tell you exactly that.

Photographers and cameramen all around the pitch - their equipment worth a fortune.
Cameras mounted on tracks to race up and down the pitch - again a fortune.
Overhead cable cameras giving you a further angle - fortune.
Officials - 1 referee, 2 touch judges, a fourth official supposedly sitting in an expensive tv laden truck outside watching every angle, all with microphones all with contact etc.
Commentators sitting their with their mics, watching the game and telling the thousands of viewers at home whats happening... I'd also rightly or wrongly assume there are other commentators from other countries???
Then you have stadium staff - groundsmen, security, ticket collectors, vendors of food and drink, most of the big stadiums have a merchandise shop filled with expensive host team gear as well as the retail staff milling about flogging it. Bloke connected to a big speaker telling the crowd the substitutions and the like.
Lighting, firework displays, pre game shows, half time shows....

We've not even blown the starting whistle yet or tossed a bloody coin and already the budget is astronomical!

World rugby is better off developing a new competition for these lower tiered international teams and pushing for fixtures with the 6N teams and the rugby championship teams and then these smaller teams will have their own revenue generating competitions which will fuel all their own rugby development and then they'll get to make their own statements every 4 years in the RWC or in any friendly internationals...

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

Fine disregard... Do you want a yoyo competition? You've seen how well Italy has developed - or not developed greatly in the competition...

What happens if Georgia joins, gets smashed, Italy joins, get smashed, Georgia joins, get smashed.... and so on... boring and useless for each countries development.

Why all this rush to include other nations in other competitions, in fact, why has Argentina joined the tri nations??? Samoa, Fiji, Tonga etc have been a force many years before Argentina decided to get involved, why weren't they given their shot?

I'm all for developing these other nations, but these competitions have been around many many years and within those competitions comes bragging rights and the excitement of undoing the loss in a previous year, or continuing the win.

If anything, why is everyone so focused on Georgia. If you look at the rankings, Argentina sits just above Fiji, if Argentina come in last place in the next rugby championship, shouldn't Fiji be promoted and Arg relegated?

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago

Georgia: Are rugby's Tier 1.5 nation ready for another step up?

I agree with Krip in the sense that the 6N should not start introducing qualifying rules. If Georgia are to be allowed in, then it should be called the 7N.

Rugby teams go through their ups and downs, and I know what ifs are incredibly blurry, however what if it is a qualifying tournament, who else wants a look in? 6 Nations WAS the 5N, which was England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France.... 5N WAS the home nations, which for the purpose of this argument is the England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland... It could even be argued that it might have been a good platform for the Barbarians to be formed off - seeing how the individuals in those nations performed etc (at a long reach anyway)... So sure it's grown, but it's never become a qualifying tournament...

Anyway, back to the what if's... if Georgia want in, what about other "tier 1.5" nations... Can any of the fans of the teams in the current 6N imagine if their team was not in the competition? 6N consisting of Poland, Georgia, Germany, Romania, USA and Canada (idk, I made it up..)... Calcutta cup will gather dust until Eng v Sco have a 'friendly'... the Celts as a group of teams will grow weary not being able to have a decent crack at the English... The French and the English won't be able to get their annual crunch...

I personally think the argument that it will grow rugby globally is a farce, I believe it will cause massive destruction and disruption. Perhaps it's good when Tier 1 nations get a shake up, however removing them from competitions is detrimental to their own continued development.

And then as I said, if it's not a qualifying tournament, who will be next to join? Georgia? Then Romania? Then who else? All of a sudden you'll have a effectively a European RWC...

I think some people are right in suggesting that Georgia and other nations have their own competition which the IRB can invest in and promote. Then who knows? Winners of 6N vs ___ or interim tours etc...

2 Months, 2 Weeks ago