Why didn’t we think of that before for the Pro12?
Oh wait – we did…
The April 1 date of publication for Simon Thomas’s interview with Guinness Pro12 chief Martin Anayi had us questioning its seriousness, but even if it was a joke we’re happy here at Harpin Manor to see the concept of Pro12 restructuring being discussed in more “mainstream” places.
Why? Because we’ve been harping on the idea of conferences and matches outside of international windows for quite some time now.
Take the post below, which posted in May 2014. And with London Irish in danger of dropping out of the Premiership, imagine adding them, London Welsh and London Scottish to each of the conferences? How about Cornish Pirates, Tbilisi Caucasians and Bucharest Wolves also joining down the line?
It’s all doable if you ask me. All that’s needed is for people to open their minds beyond the notion that for a league to be “fair”, everyone MUST play everyone else home and away.
On the subject of Europe, if we were to have our way with re-structuring provincial rugby on the continent, we’d actually rather go for something similar to that which Mourad Boudjellal floated recently, namely a season-long pan-European “super-league” competition to replace the 3 existing domestic ones. I never thought I’d agree with him, but it is what it is.
However, I can’t see the Premiership & Top 14 clubs all agreeing to that anytime soon, and we in the Pro12 certainly can’t afford to sit around and wait for them to do anything.
There’s one teeny tiny problem with this notion, and it affects the IRFU more than anyone else. To go for this would involve a sacrifice from Irish Rugby, in that it would pretty much eliminate our chances of getting all four provinces into the European Cup.
Still, we need to be pro-active to fix the many ills of our league, and hopefully that interview is a sign that something is being done. JLP
|1||Irish team ending in “-ster”||21||78|
|2||The good Scottish team||21||74|
|3||Another Irish team ending in “-ster”||21||73|
|4||Yet another Irish team ending in “-ster”||21||66|
|8||The bad Scottish team||21||37|
|9||Irish team that doesn't end in “-ster”||21||35|
|11||Not the Benetton Italian team||21||29|
|12||The Benetton Italian team||21||29|
One thing is for sure…a single 12-team league for teams from three or four separate nations is not sustainable.