Wow, how wrong can an article be? The Olympics hosted rugby FOUR times, not just TWO times! In 1900 France won the gold, and the only two other nations that had teams entered were Great Britain and Germany, except it was the Moseley Wanderers, the club, "representing" the UK, and a club from Frankfurt "representing" Germany; and in 1908 in was Australia, beating a team "representing" Great Britain that was the Cornwall County champions, and they were the only two sides in the competition. Unfortunately the Olympics were held nearly at the same time that the British Lions took a tour Down Under, so the county champion of England represented instead, and only three of the Cornish playlers ever represented England in an international match. I'm an American and I'm appalled that the writers of this article couldn't do any decent research on this issue.
The referee and touch judges aren't even wearing proper socks, for crissakes. Looks really "bush league" if I can use that American idiom. This competition is about equal to class A minor league baseball, and that ain't saying much. »
Check the attendance figures for the games back to April when the "season" started. Very low attendance. San Francisco averaged about 1,000 per match, in a 3,500 seat venue. Not good. Sacramento did a bit better with their attendance. I mean, if I'm going to go up to SF from where I live, in the Santa Cruz area some 80 miles south, I'm going to see the San Francisco Giants play, not the San Francisco Rush!
What you say is true about all the second tier European nations to be honest. There are always one or two "upstart" nations that emerge now and then, talk of moving into the 5N and now 6N, and then that nation goes on a losing streak and gets spanked by a few 6N teams, and that's that. It was Rumania, Portugal, Spain, and now it's Georgia. Italy, instead of Rumania, which had been the number one outside the 5N candidate in the 70's and 80's, got good enough in the 90's to move up to the 6N, and they've done poorly in that competition ever since being "promoted." »
I remember back in the 80's there was talk of Rumania moving into the 5N. Then the sport went downhill there because of economic and political troubles in the 90's. Spain and Portugal were on their way up in the 90's and 00's, but they've levelled off in the quality of their play. Georgia is the new upstart nation in rugby. Maybe they will show some consistency. They can always play some of the 6N teams during the Northern Hemisphere season if they aren't directly I the competition themselves. Will Irish or Welsh fans travel to Georgia to see a match? That's a great question. »