All Ireland League - Thread

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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby ormond lad » September 13th, 2018, 11:20 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:John O'Sullivan's piece in the Thursday 13th Sept edition of the IT on the same topic gives a more balanced viewpoint. The Leinster Senior (AIL) Clubs and their 35+ Executive Committee, who represent all rugby sections & opinions of the game in Leinster, have twice overwhelmingly questioned the wisdom of the expansion of the number of Professional players now eligible to play against totally amateur teams in Divs 1A and 1B.

It is truly ironic that in the week when current and former Pro players and pundits alike are talking of the "honesty" of Dippy Ryan's revelations of how professional players can sometimes treat, or even ignore, their own safety, that the IRFU chiefs, notably David Nucifora, are trying to convince the amateur, but hugely competent, administrators of Club Rugby in Leinster to forget their concerns about the Health & Safety of their amateur players and allow them to play against teams comprising of perhaps 10 players who are paid to play rugby professionally and train full-time to do so.

Yes, it could indeed be as many as 10 professionals on a few teams within Divs 1A & 1B. The regulation change would allow SIX Contracted Players PLUS any Academy or Development Contracted players already registered to that Club. Having trawled the Provincial Rosters, we count at least 5 Clubs with 6 Contracted players and four of these have at least four Academy or Development contracted players also.

This position could well be compounded because with the demise of the B&I Cup, players outside their Provincial Senior Squad will, quite literally, have no other rugby to play and no other stage upon which to impress their Provincial Coaches.

So, step up the Club stooges who will now face a hard-core of experienced professional players who train full-time, have already logged more S&C hours and collision experience than their amateur opponents will ever accumulate. How can this not be considered a substantial increase in Player Risk

A fair contest? Hardly. A sensible contest? Definitely not, without some sort of evidence that the "risk assessment" of player's Health & Safety has been carried out on something more convincing than the back of an envelope. That is, if any such assessment has been carried out at all.

One might have expected that the Ben Robinson case forewarned the IRFU to the inherent risks to players' safety in our game. To find that they are, once again, allowing amateur players to be exposed to needless additional risk, is almost beyond belief.
So what do we do then?
The provinces/IRFU need the contracted players playing rugby. We have clubs complaining about british and irish cup. Its gone and this celtic cup replaces it and clubs complain about that.
What would you propose if provincially contracted players are not to play club rugby then what do they play?
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » September 14th, 2018, 7:50 am

ormond lad wrote:
Ruckedtobits wrote:John O'Sullivan's piece in the Thursday 13th Sept edition of the IT on the same topic gives a more balanced viewpoint. The Leinster Senior (AIL) Clubs and their 35+ Executive Committee, who represent all rugby sections & opinions of the game in Leinster, have twice overwhelmingly questioned the wisdom of the expansion of the number of Professional players now eligible to play against totally amateur teams in Divs 1A and 1B.

It is truly ironic that in the week when current and former Pro players and pundits alike are talking of the "honesty" of Dippy Ryan's revelations of how professional players can sometimes treat, or even ignore, their own safety, that the IRFU chiefs, notably David Nucifora, are trying to convince the amateur, but hugely competent, administrators of Club Rugby in Leinster to forget their concerns about the Health & Safety of their amateur players and allow them to play against teams comprising of perhaps 10 players who are paid to play rugby professionally and train full-time to do so.

Yes, it could indeed be as many as 10 professionals on a few teams within Divs 1A & 1B. The regulation change would allow SIX Contracted Players PLUS any Academy or Development Contracted players already registered to that Club. Having trawled the Provincial Rosters, we count at least 5 Clubs with 6 Contracted players and four of these have at least four Academy or Development contracted players also.

This position could well be compounded because with the demise of the B&I Cup, players outside their Provincial Senior Squad will, quite literally, have no other rugby to play and no other stage upon which to impress their Provincial Coaches.

So, step up the Club stooges who will now face a hard-core of experienced professional players who train full-time, have already logged more S&C hours and collision experience than their amateur opponents will ever accumulate. How can this not be considered a substantial increase in Player Risk

A fair contest? Hardly. A sensible contest? Definitely not, without some sort of evidence that the "risk assessment" of player's Health & Safety has been carried out on something more convincing than the back of an envelope. That is, if any such assessment has been carried out at all.

One might have expected that the Ben Robinson case forewarned the IRFU to the inherent risks to players' safety in our game. To find that they are, once again, allowing amateur players to be exposed to needless additional risk, is almost beyond belief.
So what do we do then?
The provinces/IRFU need the contracted players playing rugby. We have clubs complaining about british and irish cup. Its gone and this celtic cup replaces it and clubs complain about that.
What would you propose if provincially contracted players are not to play club rugby then what do they play?


For starters, a home and away Interprovincial series. Then why not try for A team fixtures argarinst the Scotst and Italian teams. Playing against their peers, not against amateurs is what develops players.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby ormond lad » September 14th, 2018, 9:12 am

Ruckedtobits wrote:
ormond lad wrote:
Ruckedtobits wrote:John O'Sullivan's piece in the Thursday 13th Sept edition of the IT on the same topic gives a more balanced viewpoint. The Leinster Senior (AIL) Clubs and their 35+ Executive Committee, who represent all rugby sections & opinions of the game in Leinster, have twice overwhelmingly questioned the wisdom of the expansion of the number of Professional players now eligible to play against totally amateur teams in Divs 1A and 1B.

It is truly ironic that in the week when current and former Pro players and pundits alike are talking of the "honesty" of Dippy Ryan's revelations of how professional players can sometimes treat, or even ignore, their own safety, that the IRFU chiefs, notably David Nucifora, are trying to convince the amateur, but hugely competent, administrators of Club Rugby in Leinster to forget their concerns about the Health & Safety of their amateur players and allow them to play against teams comprising of perhaps 10 players who are paid to play rugby professionally and train full-time to do so.

Yes, it could indeed be as many as 10 professionals on a few teams within Divs 1A & 1B. The regulation change would allow SIX Contracted Players PLUS any Academy or Development Contracted players already registered to that Club. Having trawled the Provincial Rosters, we count at least 5 Clubs with 6 Contracted players and four of these have at least four Academy or Development contracted players also.

This position could well be compounded because with the demise of the B&I Cup, players outside their Provincial Senior Squad will, quite literally, have no other rugby to play and no other stage upon which to impress their Provincial Coaches.

So, step up the Club stooges who will now face a hard-core of experienced professional players who train full-time, have already logged more S&C hours and collision experience than their amateur opponents will ever accumulate. How can this not be considered a substantial increase in Player Risk

A fair contest? Hardly. A sensible contest? Definitely not, without some sort of evidence that the "risk assessment" of player's Health & Safety has been carried out on something more convincing than the back of an envelope. That is, if any such assessment has been carried out at all.

One might have expected that the Ben Robinson case forewarned the IRFU to the inherent risks to players' safety in our game. To find that they are, once again, allowing amateur players to be exposed to needless additional risk, is almost beyond belief.
So what do we do then?
The provinces/IRFU need the contracted players playing rugby. We have clubs complaining about british and irish cup. Its gone and this celtic cup replaces it and clubs complain about that.
What would you propose if provincially contracted players are not to play club rugby then what do they play?


For starters, a home and away Interprovincial series. Then why not try for A team fixtures argarinst the Scotst and Italian teams. Playing against their peers, not against amateurs is what develops players.
Will Scots/Italians fund A teams and players required for that. Any scottish sides provinces played in B&I cup were clubs in premiership and the scots pulled out of B&I a few years back and dont look like ever coming back.
The provinces will play 5 games and while they dont play one of the irish provinces in celtic cup that could/should be added and you then play 8 games.
For the most part it will be academy players and young pros playing in this competition playing in the AIL will aid their development considerably especially 19/20/21 year old forwards.
Yes AIL division 1 is amatuer but you'r being quite unfair to the standard of rugby on play there.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » October 4th, 2018, 6:53 pm

Irish rugby does not appear to be alone when it comes to the relationships between the Clubs and the Rugby Chiefs. This piece from the Sydney Morning Herald, particularly given the eminence of those involved, gives a strong indication of just how dislocated the grass-roots feel.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-unio ... 507eh.html

Ireland is at nowhere near the same level of discontent but the IRFU must listen to what the Clubs and their members are saying and stop trying to bully them into working only for the future of the pro game.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby ormond lad » October 4th, 2018, 7:31 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Irish rugby does not appear to be alone when it comes to the relationships between the Clubs and the Rugby Chiefs. This piece from the Sydney Morning Herald, particularly given the eminence of those involved, gives a strong indication of just how dislocated the grass-roots feel.

https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-unio ... 507eh.html

Ireland is at nowhere near the same level of discontent but the IRFU must listen to what the Clubs and their members are saying and stop trying to bully them into working only for the future of the pro game.
What do you want for the clubs that IRFU are ignoring?
Game does need to change in parts though that is very clear.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Leoslovechild » October 6th, 2018, 12:00 am

So the league kicked off this evening an a really good and deserved win by Tart over Lansdowne at Castle Avenue.never seen 6 yellow cards before in a clean game!
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » March 10th, 2019, 12:28 pm

Well into the meaty part of the AIL Season now and lots of fascinating line-ups to come.

At the bottom of 1A, probably four teams now counting their fingers as Y.Mun got 5 points against TCD whilst Terenure did the same against UCC, but Shannon continued their five-match losing streak and UCC just gabbed a try BP going down to Terenure.

All four teams directly in opposition next round with
UCC V Y Munster & Shannon v Terenure

YM finish their campaign against Terenure and that could yet be the key game.

At the top-end, the Cork Con, semi-pro, Squad hammered L'downe and their Dublin equivalent, Clontarf, put 45 on Shannon. TCD hanging on to a top four place among the pros, but Garryowen are snapping at their heels as they try to take up their natural place among the elite of Club rugby in the upper quartet.

Maybe the IRFU should save some time next Season and just announce that the Play-offs will be held between the four best semi-pro Clubs in the Divison and be done with it.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 4th, 2019, 8:35 am

The second last weekend and very few Clubs in the 5 Divisions not involved in Playoff or relegation battles. That's a good validation that the League structure broadly works.

From my assessment only Ballymena (10th Div 1B), Galwegians (10th Div 2A), Dolphin (7th in 2A) and Thomond (10th in 2B) have games which can't change their prospects.

In Div 1A, most of the interest is on 2nd place & relegation battle. Shannon (9th) play Y.Munster (8th) on Friday before, on Sat, Terenure (10th) face C'tarf (2nd) who are trying to hold onto a home Play-off spot.

The following weekend Terenure host Y. Mun, whilst Shannon host league-leaders Cork Con. Lots of interest in Limerick and west Dublin with those fixtures. Shannon now on a 6-game losing streak and looking like favourites to return back to Div 1B. Terenure have beaten UCD, L'downe, UCC & Shannon snce Christmas and only lost to Garryowen & TCD by a cumulative 4 points. Y. Munster aren't out of the woods either, as they lose 6 players to the Munster A team travelling to the USA.

In Div 1B, O. Wesley & Ballinahinch are fighting for the automatic promotion slot at the top and Malone, Naas, Armagh, St. Marys & O.Belvedere chase the Play-off slots. The tightest Division all season and too close to call.

Highfield and MU Barnhall have run away with Div 2A and 2B respectively but the play-off slots are still live. Automatic relegation place has been claimed in Divs 2A & 2C, but 2B relegation is on a knife edge with Sundays Well & Belfast Harlequins & Dungannon disputing the drop. But all other positions in all three Divisions are up for grabs.

Weather prospects for the weekend may not be great but Club rugby will certainly deliver excitement and tension for loyal followers over the next two weekends
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby mildlyinterested » April 4th, 2019, 10:00 am

Trinity missing a lot of players tonight for game against UCD.

No Baird, Dunne, Clarkson, Turner, Kelly, Silvester.

Imagine UCD will be in a similar situation.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 4th, 2019, 9:37 pm

Win for Trinity by 12-18. 4th place play-off slot secured.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby blockhead » April 4th, 2019, 10:07 pm

So how about the Bateman Cup Final?
City of Armagh v Garryowen.
Where? Dublin (Templeville Road) to be precise
When? 20th April (Same day as Munster are away in Coventry)
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby TrapperChamonix » April 4th, 2019, 10:14 pm

mildlyinterested wrote:Trinity missing a lot of players tonight for game against UCD.

No Baird, Dunne, Clarkson, Turner, Kelly, Silvester.

Imagine UCD will be in a similar situation.


Only 1 of them played in the victory over Cork Con
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 5th, 2019, 10:41 pm

Young Munster BP win 33-7 against Shannon in Greenfields tonight. Shannon now in 10th place with UCC now 8th and Munsters in 6th, ahead of UCD.'Nure off the bottom with a game in hand over Shannon.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 6th, 2019, 5:21 pm

More excitement in every Divison of AIL. 9th placed Terenure turn over 2nd place Clontarf 15-16. O. Belvo beat O. Wesles in Div 1B to knock Wesley off the top.

Lots of away wins at every Division. The competition is a decent demonstration that Club Rugby is alive and well.

BTW, the Enniscorthy story continues to grow with another big win against their Munster opponents in the Round-Robin provincial qualifiers. Another Leinster provincial team joins the top-table.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 13th, 2019, 11:48 pm

While the rugby that matters to the journalists and money-men was being played in the Sportsgrounds in Galway and Dublin'S RDS, the rugby that matters to Club supporters, who buy the majority of the tickets at the big fixtures at the Aviva,was being played in the last round of the All Ireland League regular season Divisions across the four Provinces.

Of the 50 teams in the five 10-team Divisions, 41 of them had a distinct interest which mathematically impacted on play-off, promotion or relegation in every Division.

In Div. 1A, shock of the day was Clontarf's 8-36 win against Lansdowne, just a week after their surprise defeat at home by Terenure. Clontarf grab an unexpected home play-off against the same opponents whilst Dub Univ play Cork Con.

Terenure's Lazarus-like recovery from the foot of the table, brought them salvation at last, in their home victory against Young Munster 22-15. A superb post-Christmas run by Terenure, with only Cork Con bettering their league points in the past 4 months.

Ballinahinch produced the goods to finish top in Division 1B with Old Wesley, Naas and Malone completing the top four. Ballymena will however play in 2A next year and UCC join the 1B play-offs after their 9th place in Div. 1A.

Cork's Highfield will go the opposite direction to 1B, with Cashel, Navan and Queens Univ joining Connacht's Buccaneers in the multi-Province Play-offs.

Galwegians slip down to 2B where MU Barnhall finished top and in the Play-off slots Greystones, Rainey OB and Sligo, will be joined by 2A's play-off contender Blackrock - getting further away from their traditonal position at the upper echelons of Irish rugby.

Ballina topped Div. 2C, followed by Midleton, Bruff and Malahide, and those three teams will be joined by 2B 9th place finishers Skerries, who just missed out in escaping this position in the tightest of all the League finishes.

Enniscorthy completed the clean sweep of Provincial round-robin fixtures and will be worthy arrivals into the All Ireland League. Seapoint will face Clonmel in trying to maintain their status in the 2C Division of the All Ireland league.

Lots of tries, defensive bravery and no little stylish rugby in every Division and its only a pity that the IRFU don't appear to appreciate the importance of nurturing the Clubs at this level. It is through the participation and enthuasiasm from the touchlines that kids get the appetite and passion for the game. Lose this and the game at National level could travel the same direction as soccer.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Peg Leg » April 14th, 2019, 9:57 pm

Great post RTB, much obliged.

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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 19th, 2019, 8:55 pm

Anybody have the text of Matt Williams piece about AIL from Friday IT?
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby ormond lad » April 19th, 2019, 11:05 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Anybody have the text of Matt Williams piece about AIL from Friday IT?

ost of the world’s professional rugby clubs are not financially independent. They rely on wealthy presidents to tip in cash, or are propped up by their national governing body.

In the case of the All-Ireland League clubs, many rely on the sale of international match tickets for income. Many clubs would be insolvent without this revenue. None of these business models are sustainable.

Whether it’s Super Rugby, Top 14, the English Premiership or Pro14, attendances at the vast majority of club games are below 20,000 spectators. Many are below 10,000. While rugby has attracted new supporters, it is clear that the majority of people who are coming to professional club games are drawn from the rugby community.

In the late 1990s clubs at all levels, from AIL up, commenced player payments. They started paying out more than they earned. That is not a sustainable business model.

In an all too common story, ego-driven administrators overspent on player contracts and stripped clubs of their assets. Assets that were accumulated through a century of selfless work by amateur volunteers.

To support the provincial teams, a semi-professional Division 1A and 1B is required
In Ireland, the AIL clubs are struggling yet coaches are well-paid. While the payment of players is officially banned, it still goes on. Under the table payments or pay from a “third party” happens. I had this reconfirmed to me this week from sources within the AIL.

Some sunlight needs to shine in the dark places of the AIL and a new strategy is required. To support the provincial teams, a semi-professional Division 1A and 1B is required. Players could be paid a sustainable amount of money if they win. This model is working in the Shute Shield in Sydney.

To be in this semi-professional league, clubs must prove they are financially sustainable.


In France, all clubs in the Top 14 and Pro D2 are audited. This is a process the IRFU could undertake to support the AIL.

If the books don’t stack up, clubs are relegated to a division they can afford. It’s amazing how quickly the clubs become accountable.

The processes regarding the revenue created by and the distribution of international tickets within the AIL needs to be reviewed. I know the IRFU is an organisation of high integrity. It needs to urgently review these processes as there are strong rumours regarding the illicit sales of international tickets.

Matt Williams: Ireland finally up to speed with World Rugby Sevens
Matt Williams: Time to outlaw the cheats and save our game
Matt Williams: Irish teams must follow golden rules of knock-out rugby
AIL Divisions 2A, B and C need to return to amateur status. If the independent auditing of a Division 2 club confirms that they are financially capable and ambitious they can then compete for promotion.

Farcical situation
This process works extremely well in France.

The exception is when clubs then contract foreign talent, for short term success and stop resourcing their local talent. This creates a downward spiral.

The cost of bringing in overseas talent forces the club to stop resourcing its academy. Then the club has to keep buying overseas talent because its academy has stopped producing players.

World Rugby must assist the fight against this short-term thinking, by enforcing that foreign players live for eight years in another country before they can represent that country at the international level.

Leinster have created one of, if not the best, talent production systems in the world
Currently, at the end of a three-year contract a player can change his rugby nationality. This is a farcical situation. Eight years is a strong commitment but three years is a holiday.

It is obvious watching this year’s Six Nations that South Africans, New Zealanders, Australians and South Pacific Islanders have been parachuted into national teams, making a mockery of national representation.

But all is not lost.

Examples of clubs that are sustainable and successful will be on display at the Aviva on Sunday. Toulouse and Leinster are at the top of their respective domestic competitions, both draw large home support and both have invested deeply in their academy systems to produce players for their professional teams.

Toulouse are now in the third year of a five-year plan. Their aim is to return to playing their unique “Toulousain” game, based on footwork, post contact skills and support.

To enable this, the club is reducing the number of contracted foreign players and increasing the number of skilled players produced by their academy.

Leinster commenced their long-term development of local players 20 years ago. In that time they have created one of, if not the best, talent production systems in the world.

Both clubs have sustainable business models that should be emulated by others.

A weak link in Irish sustainability is the lack of resource supplied from the four major provinces down to their AIL clubs. Resources do not always take the form of money.

Local community
The New Zealand and Canterbury centre Ryan Crotty, told me that he and his fellow national players regularly return to their local clubs to cook BBQs, help coach the under 15s or whatever was needed.

In Australia, the Wallabies have the opportunity to play a few games for their clubs each season.

The local community turn out in their thousands to see their local boys. Clubs make money, children are inspired and the players love coming home.

Just one AIL round with the top Irish rugby professional available for their AIL club would energise the local rugby communities.

The provincial teams must support their AIL communities because it is these communities that attend the professional clubs’ matches. The AIL clubs are the bums on seats for the provincial teams.


To help themselves, the AIL clubs must rethink their raison d’etre – their reason for being.

Short-term thinking got clubs into this mess. Long-term strategies are required to solve it.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby ormond lad » April 19th, 2019, 11:05 pm

Ruckedtobits wrote:Anybody have the text of Matt Williams piece about AIL from Friday IT?

ost of the world’s professional rugby clubs are not financially independent. They rely on wealthy presidents to tip in cash, or are propped up by their national governing body.

In the case of the All-Ireland League clubs, many rely on the sale of international match tickets for income. Many clubs would be insolvent without this revenue. None of these business models are sustainable.

Whether it’s Super Rugby, Top 14, the English Premiership or Pro14, attendances at the vast majority of club games are below 20,000 spectators. Many are below 10,000. While rugby has attracted new supporters, it is clear that the majority of people who are coming to professional club games are drawn from the rugby community.

In the late 1990s clubs at all levels, from AIL up, commenced player payments. They started paying out more than they earned. That is not a sustainable business model.

In an all too common story, ego-driven administrators overspent on player contracts and stripped clubs of their assets. Assets that were accumulated through a century of selfless work by amateur volunteers.

To support the provincial teams, a semi-professional Division 1A and 1B is required
In Ireland, the AIL clubs are struggling yet coaches are well-paid. While the payment of players is officially banned, it still goes on. Under the table payments or pay from a “third party” happens. I had this reconfirmed to me this week from sources within the AIL.

Some sunlight needs to shine in the dark places of the AIL and a new strategy is required. To support the provincial teams, a semi-professional Division 1A and 1B is required. Players could be paid a sustainable amount of money if they win. This model is working in the Shute Shield in Sydney.

To be in this semi-professional league, clubs must prove they are financially sustainable.


In France, all clubs in the Top 14 and Pro D2 are audited. This is a process the IRFU could undertake to support the AIL.

If the books don’t stack up, clubs are relegated to a division they can afford. It’s amazing how quickly the clubs become accountable.

The processes regarding the revenue created by and the distribution of international tickets within the AIL needs to be reviewed. I know the IRFU is an organisation of high integrity. It needs to urgently review these processes as there are strong rumours regarding the illicit sales of international tickets.

Matt Williams: Ireland finally up to speed with World Rugby Sevens
Matt Williams: Time to outlaw the cheats and save our game
Matt Williams: Irish teams must follow golden rules of knock-out rugby
AIL Divisions 2A, B and C need to return to amateur status. If the independent auditing of a Division 2 club confirms that they are financially capable and ambitious they can then compete for promotion.

Farcical situation
This process works extremely well in France.

The exception is when clubs then contract foreign talent, for short term success and stop resourcing their local talent. This creates a downward spiral.

The cost of bringing in overseas talent forces the club to stop resourcing its academy. Then the club has to keep buying overseas talent because its academy has stopped producing players.

World Rugby must assist the fight against this short-term thinking, by enforcing that foreign players live for eight years in another country before they can represent that country at the international level.

Leinster have created one of, if not the best, talent production systems in the world
Currently, at the end of a three-year contract a player can change his rugby nationality. This is a farcical situation. Eight years is a strong commitment but three years is a holiday.

It is obvious watching this year’s Six Nations that South Africans, New Zealanders, Australians and South Pacific Islanders have been parachuted into national teams, making a mockery of national representation.

But all is not lost.

Examples of clubs that are sustainable and successful will be on display at the Aviva on Sunday. Toulouse and Leinster are at the top of their respective domestic competitions, both draw large home support and both have invested deeply in their academy systems to produce players for their professional teams.

Toulouse are now in the third year of a five-year plan. Their aim is to return to playing their unique “Toulousain” game, based on footwork, post contact skills and support.

To enable this, the club is reducing the number of contracted foreign players and increasing the number of skilled players produced by their academy.

Leinster commenced their long-term development of local players 20 years ago. In that time they have created one of, if not the best, talent production systems in the world.

Both clubs have sustainable business models that should be emulated by others.

A weak link in Irish sustainability is the lack of resource supplied from the four major provinces down to their AIL clubs. Resources do not always take the form of money.

Local community
The New Zealand and Canterbury centre Ryan Crotty, told me that he and his fellow national players regularly return to their local clubs to cook BBQs, help coach the under 15s or whatever was needed.

In Australia, the Wallabies have the opportunity to play a few games for their clubs each season.

The local community turn out in their thousands to see their local boys. Clubs make money, children are inspired and the players love coming home.

Just one AIL round with the top Irish rugby professional available for their AIL club would energise the local rugby communities.

The provincial teams must support their AIL communities because it is these communities that attend the professional clubs’ matches. The AIL clubs are the bums on seats for the provincial teams.


To help themselves, the AIL clubs must rethink their raison d’etre – their reason for being.

Short-term thinking got clubs into this mess. Long-term strategies are required to solve it.
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Re: All Ireland League - Thread

Postby Ruckedtobits » April 20th, 2019, 7:23 am

Thanks @ormond lad. At least it's clear that Matt Williams follows these threads.

His solutions are a bit wooly, even if well intentioned. Personally, I believe that there's not a lot wrong with the AIL structure and standard. But rather than see wholesale change I'd like to see Provincial / National U.20 teams compete, for two rounds against the teams in Div 1A.

These games would see each Div 1A team play against two Provincial teams with League points available. For the Provincial teams, the results would count in their U.20 interprovincial championship. As the number of games necessary is a mis match for the Provincial sides, the additional games would be played by the National U. 20 Squad in preparation for the 6N Under 20 Championship. (Such games worked this Season with Noel McNamara successful U. 20 team playing a warm-up against Cork Con)

The number of games per Province would be (10 × 2)÷4 with four games for the National Squad. So, a total of four games for each of the Provincial and National Squads with all games in Club grounds and normal AIL scoring to count in overall League outcome. (From my perspective, I would not allow Clubs to play their players selected on their Provincial Squads)

Apart from creating a proper cross-over point between the amateur and professional games, such games would provide the following benefits:

A. A real objective assessment of the quality of the top of the amateur game;
B. An income boost for the Clubs from the Pro game with 2 additional home gates;
C. A realistic opportunity for any Club player to show his worth to Pro Coaches;
D. A further competitive environment for professional coaching development;
E. A 'wild card' element for the AIL, as not all four Provincial teams are equal.

Players in the AIL represent the best amateur players in the country and yet, apart from two random international selections against Scotland, they have no opportunity to play representative rugby. Games such as outlined above, could provide a partial solution to this anomoly.
Ruckedtobits
Brian O'Driscoll
 
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