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  • #10008
    James Maclean
    James Maclean
    Moderator

    Short of a series of typhoons in 2023, Google deciding to create and fund a Scottish League or an ancient Scottish Maori tribe being uncovered, what could be done to see ‘Scotland’ carved into the side of the William Webb Ellis Cup?

    The natural pessimistic answer would be nothing, it’s impossible. But when you see how well Japan did at their RWC with such limited resources, how far Ireland have come on in the past decade and considering the fact that anything is possible in knockout rugby – then why not? Surely in all sport you have to aim for the top, or not bother turning up at all.

    So what would give us the best chance of taking on the best, what would need to be done to achieve it and, perhaps crucially, how would it be funded?

    All crazy, hair-brained and left-field ideas welcome.

    #10009
    James Maclean
    James Maclean
    Moderator

    France 2023 seems a bit too soon, so let’s say we miraculously took over at the SRU tomorrow and targeted the RWC 2027 (mooted as being in the States or Argentina).

    Obviously we need to expand our playing pool beyond just two pro teams, some exiles and a gaggle of kilted Kiwis. So a 3rd pro team has to be the minimum (and probably a 4th to boot).

    But how would it be funded? Conservative estimates put the cost of running and PRO14 team at a minimum of £4million p/a. Sadly Scottish Rugby doesn’t have that lying around.

    So do we axe the Sevens? That would be a shame – especially as they’ve had some success in recent seasons (most notably winning the London 7’s).

    Or do we borrow it? We’ve only just got close to paying off the mountain of debt that’s been hanging over the union forever. So that doesn’t seem ideal.

    Maybe we create a smaller feeder team ala the early days of Connacht. Make it up of old players and young academy players, accept that they’ll be whipping boys for a while but gradually increase their share of the pot over 3/4 years. Or, alternatively, take 33% of Glasgow and Edinburgh’s players and supplement all 3 teams with emerging players from the u20’s.

    Results would suffer and we probably wouldn’t see any Pro14 titles in Scotland for a while, but in this scenario we surely have to sacrifice some club success for the national side. In Japan they used the Sunwolves as a test ground for players from the Top League. Their results suffered, but this helped create the cohesion we saw in their games against us and Ireland.

    This might give us a 3rd team, but not sure how we’d muster a 4th.

    #10010

    HighlandFling
    Participant

    Laxatives in the pre game grub 💩. Worked for the Boks in 95…Although they may catch on by the QFs.

    What happened with London Scottish? It looked like that was all go as a pathway, then it went quiet. Are the SRU still planning on buying into a Premiership team? That one always sounded like madness.

    I think brining back the A team would be a smart move for tying in more young SQ players and getting them a higher level of game. Could also reintroduce a possibles Vs probables game. A small thing, but again it’d help get players used to a higher intensity.

    #10066

    Andrew Willshire
    Participant

    We need to get more Pro teams in Scotland, Ireland have got 4 – Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connacht, Wales have got 4 – Scarlets, Blues, Dragons and Ospreys, and we’ve got just Glasgow and Edinburgh. The collapse of the Borders team was terrible – the one part of the country that actually has rugby in the blood.

    More kids playing is an important one for the long-term – more effort getting kids to play in their local clubs.

    And can we get Vern Cotter back for a bit too? There’s no way we’d have got smashed so badly by Ireland if Vern has been in charge. Sorry Gregor, you’re great but something’s missing.

     

     

    #10458
    James Maclean
    James Maclean
    Moderator

    We definitely need at least another pro team, it’s just that the SRU have repeatedly said they just don’t have the money for another one. Perhaps the CVC windfall could be used for it (reportedly £35 million).

    Pro14: League agrees £120m CVC investment deal in principle

    The Pro14 has agreed a deal in principle to sell a 27% stake of the league to private equity firm CVC Capital Partners. The deal will result in a cash boost of almost £120m to the league owned by the Irish, Scottish and Welsh Rugby Unions.

    The only other way would be an development style pro team packed full of u20’s etc. Not sure if the rest of the PRO14 would be so keen on that.

    It’s a shame the SRU slammed the door on London Scottish as they did. Would have been a much cheaper investment as they’re already set up and have a squad (albeit Champ standard in place).

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