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1 hour ago, Eednud said:

Crusaders - Blues game is far superior to the Rebels-Reds shite in the Oz version of Super Rugby last night.

The NZ games started off pretty well, and are getting better every week. The Oz version is miles off the standard of even week 1 NZ

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Force, on return to Super Rugby, 14-7 up against the Waratahs at HT although I’m watching the Raiders-Storm NRL, 6-6 after 24 mins.

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Still find it weird watching Union at the SCG

It was the main venue for Internationals in Sydney until 1985 or 86 then they used Concord Oval for a season or so before using the Sydney Football Stadium then Olympic Park.

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2 minutes ago, Eednud said:


It was the main venue for Internationals in Sydney until 1985 or 86 then they used Concord Oval for a season or so before using the Sydney Football Stadium then Olympic Park.

Yeah I knew that, but given I was 6 when the SFS opened, I didn't really remember it being used before the SFS redevelopment started!

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Richie Gray confirmed he's back available and seems pretty committed to Scotland in an interview on the BBC 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/rugby-union/53367495

Think he could be an important player in this WC cycle. Him, Jonny, Cummings and Skinner is a right good stable of locks anyway.  

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On 13/07/2020 at 19:04, Mark Connolly said:

Sale-ary cap, amirite?

Aye they must be teetering right on the edge. Think it's slightly easier to believe they're keeping to it as they do cut the odd Chris Ashton or James O'Connor.

Also what made it so obvious with Saracens it wasn't the stars that were playing for them, it was the ex internationals or experienced pros who kept them ticking over when the England lot were away - your Callum Clarkes, Michael Rhodes, Alex Lewingtons etc. Sale on the other hand have a great starting XV on paper, but it drops off very quickly pretty much everywhere except back row and fly half from what I know of their players. 

I can't remember who it was but I listened to an interview at the start of the year where they were discussing how with teams trying to use the salary cap for as many stars as they can, a lot of guys who are in the mid-late point of their careers who are good players but have salary expectations are being pushed out; in favour of a star studded group of 15 supplemented by youngsters.

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Sale Sharks are taking a massive risk by taking on Manu Tuilagi.  He's effective when fit but he's made of glass so he's consistently injured.

For that reason I'm glad Glasgow have never looked at him...

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Euro dates announced 

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Saturday 19 September
QF 1: Leinster Rugby v Saracens, Aviva Stadium (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
QF 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92, Stade Marcel-Michelin (18.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
Sunday 20 September
QF 3: Toulouse v Ulster Rugby, Le Stadium (13.30) France 2 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / Channel 4 / Virgin Media
QF 4: Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints, Sandy Park (17.30) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1, Leinster Rugby v Saracens, will play the winner of QF 2, ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3, Toulouse v Ulster Rugby, will play the winner of QF 4, Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)
2020 Heineken Champions Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)

CHALLENGE CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Friday 18 September
QF 4: Bristol Bears v Dragons, Ashton Gate Stadium (19.45) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Saturday 19 September
QF 3: Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, Stade Chaban-Delmas (13.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
QF 1: RC Toulon v Scarlets, Stade Félix Mayol (21.00) France 4 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / S4C
Sunday 20 September
QF 2: Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique, Welford Road (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1, RC Toulon v Scarlets, will play the winner of QF 2, Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3, Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, will play the winner of QF 4, Bristol Bears v Dragons
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)
2020 Challenge Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)

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Euro dates announced 

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Saturday 19 September
QF 1: Leinster Rugby v Saracens, Aviva Stadium (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
QF 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92, Stade Marcel-Michelin (18.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
Sunday 20 September
QF 3: Toulouse v Ulster Rugby, Le Stadium (13.30) France 2 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / Channel 4 / Virgin Media
QF 4: Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints, Sandy Park (17.30) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1, Leinster Rugby v Saracens, will play the winner of QF 2, ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3, Toulouse v Ulster Rugby, will play the winner of QF 4, Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)
2020 Heineken Champions Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)

CHALLENGE CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Friday 18 September
QF 4: Bristol Bears v Dragons, Ashton Gate Stadium (19.45) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Saturday 19 September
QF 3: Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, Stade Chaban-Delmas (13.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
QF 1: RC Toulon v Scarlets, Stade Félix Mayol (21.00) France 4 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / S4C
Sunday 20 September
QF 2: Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique, Welford Road (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1, RC Toulon v Scarlets, will play the winner of QF 2, Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3, Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, will play the winner of QF 4, Bristol Bears v Dragons
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)
2020 Challenge Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)

Are any fans allowed?

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23 minutes ago, John Lambies Doos said:
4 hours ago, ajwffc said:
Euro dates announced 

HEINEKEN CHAMPIONS CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Saturday 19 September
QF 1: Leinster Rugby v Saracens, Aviva Stadium (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
QF 2: ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92, Stade Marcel-Michelin (18.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
Sunday 20 September
QF 3: Toulouse v Ulster Rugby, Le Stadium (13.30) France 2 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / Channel 4 / Virgin Media
QF 4: Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints, Sandy Park (17.30) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1, Leinster Rugby v Saracens, will play the winner of QF 2, ASM Clermont Auvergne v Racing 92
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3, Toulouse v Ulster Rugby, will play the winner of QF 4, Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)
2020 Heineken Champions Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)

CHALLENGE CUP quarter-finals
(All kick-offs local time)

Friday 18 September
QF 4: Bristol Bears v Dragons, Ashton Gate Stadium (19.45) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS
Saturday 19 September
QF 3: Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, Stade Chaban-Delmas (13.30) beIN SPORTS / BT Sport
QF 1: RC Toulon v Scarlets, Stade Félix Mayol (21.00) France 4 / beIN SPORTS / BT Sport / S4C
Sunday 20 September
QF 2: Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique, Welford Road (15.00) BT Sport / beIN SPORTS

Semi-final 1 – winner of QF 1, RC Toulon v Scarlets, will play the winner of QF 2, Leicester Tigers v Castres Olympique
Semi-final 2 – winner of QF 3, Bordeaux-Bègles v Edinburgh Rugby, will play the winner of QF 4, Bristol Bears v Dragons
(Matches to be played on 25/26/27 September)
2020 Challenge Cup final: weekend 16/17/18 October (venue TBC)

Are any fans allowed?

not seen anything about fans but will depend on local restrictions at the time.

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Story on Finlay Christie in the papers (think the Scotsman, don't have it in front of me), who seems to be doing alright for the blues, I've seen some highlights and he looks class. Any chance we'll see him for Scotland do we think? Or would it take a move to Europe before he was considered most likely? 

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1 hour ago, Genuine Hibs Fan said:

Story on Finlay Christie in the papers (think the Scotsman, don't have it in front of me), who seems to be doing alright for the blues, I've seen some highlights and he looks class. Any chance we'll see him for Scotland do we think? Or would it take a move to Europe before he was considered most likely? 

I wouldn't really rule it out completely as Huw Jones  was picked (if i remember correctly) while playing in SA. However the issue is more around the schedule of Super Rugby. THe season starts in mid Feb, which clashes with the Six Nations so in reality he would be having a break after the AI's then starting preseason in January to be ready for the Six Nations, then missing the first 6 or 7 of the 18 rounds of Super Rugby - would a team offer him a new contract in NZ (after his current one expires) knowing he is going to miss that much of the season?

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1 minute ago, honestly united said:

I wouldn't really rule it out completely as Huw Jones  was picked (if i remember correctly) while playing in SA. However the issue is more around the schedule of Super Rugby. THe season starts in mid Feb, which clashes with the Six Nations so in reality he would be having a break after the AI's then starting preseason in January to be ready for the Six Nations, then missing the first 6 or 7 of the 18 rounds of Super Rugby - would a team offer him a new contract in NZ (after his current one expires) knowing he is going to miss that much of the season?

Aye, looking into it a wee bit more he seems to have this year plus another on contract with the Blues, and in an interview seems open to Scotland but keen to make the best of it down there.

So I think will be a question mark until he decides (of course he can also play for NZ and having been there from 7 y/o probably feels as at home there and would jump at the chance to play if he ever got the chance, though seems unlikely) whether international rugby for 4/5 years with Scotland is worth moving back across the world.

Couldn't blame him if he decided against it, but  would be a valuable asset if he did move I think. Never been convinced by Price - prone to a bit of a collapse in form, not especially good at making breaks at int level, service can be iffy, box kicking leaves a lot to be desired; and G Horne is a perfect sub 9 for Scotland - a stupidly dangerous player for tiring defences to deal with - but still not quite able to bring that all round game. 

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Seems the South African and Argentinians are more or less confirmed to be getting cut from Super Rugby, with New Zealand Rugby proposing the remaining competition moving to 5 NZ teams, 2-4 Aussies and a Pacific Islands based team.
 

Lots of rumours the Pro14 will be expanded to a 16 team league with the 4 SA teams joining and the Cheetahs/Kings getting cut. Personally it would be a bit harsh on the Cheetahs who have always done well enough and on balance probably add to the league. If it’s a choice between the Kings and the likes of the Stormers though then bye bye Cheetahs. Could be a truly game-changing tv deal for the current league if that was to happen as well, but this is all mainly Twitter speculation thus far.

No idea what would happen to the Jaguares, or any rumoured Madrid-based replacement in this scenario either. More than 16 teams is unworkable imo but we’ll see what comes out in the coming days.

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For me SA would be better looking at the rest of southern africa to create a league.

Kenya and Uganda have made great strides in the 7's and with a bit of coaching could have a decent 15's team, Namibia are Zimbabwe have a lot of history in the game and Botswana, Madagascar and Zambia are all improving. With a bit of investment you could easily have a 10 team league (6 SA and one per country elsewhere) and there would be enough local players in these countries and you could bolster with the currie cup SA players who are not getting a game in the SA teams.

The South American super league was due to kick off this year but was halted by Covid, which was a fully proffesional league  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Súper_Liga_Americana_de_Rugby starting out with 6 teams but this would be a level way below the jaguares, I would say they could split up the jaguares and create another 3 or 4 teams for this league, but I dont think they have the money to do that

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41 minutes ago, honestly united said:

For me SA would be better looking at the rest of southern africa to create a league.

Kenya and Uganda have made great strides in the 7's and with a bit of coaching could have a decent 15's team, Namibia are Zimbabwe have a lot of history in the game and Botswana, Madagascar and Zambia are all improving. With a bit of investment you could easily have a 10 team league (6 SA and one per country elsewhere) and there would be enough local players in these countries and you could bolster with the currie cup SA players who are not getting a game in the SA teams.

The South American super league was due to kick off this year but was halted by Covid, which was a fully proffesional league  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Súper_Liga_Americana_de_Rugby starting out with 6 teams but this would be a level way below the jaguares, I would say they could split up the jaguares and create another 3 or 4 teams for this league, but I dont think they have the money to do that

I think both of these are really sensible ideas, and I love some of the creative ideas to get pro teams from developing nations playing to a higher standard. I'd be in favour of the PRO14 having a second tier, for example, with a mix of teams from Romania, Georgia, exiles (I think if the SRU  were looking for a third pro club it should be London Scottish) or development sides. Lower tier nations like Spain, Portugal, Germany etc where there's a surprisingly high interest in the sport (I used to live in Barcelona and there's a fair few very good amateur teams in Catalunya and in the Basque country, links to the SW of France I suppose) could have a pro side.

One up/one down a year to give a bit of a springboard to a higher level. Cost is the obvious issue with all that though. 

I think the SA and Argentine RFUs might justifiably be a bit miffed with either of those situations, their top domestic teams playing at what would likely be a lower level is only going to increase talent drain to the NH, but there's no easy solution. Something just feels off about increasing SA teams in the Pro14. I've just about come to terms with the 2 already there but it should remain primarily a league for the European nations that can't sustain separate domestic pro leagues. Love that the Super Liga Americana is (hopefully still)  happening and will be getting a Cafeteros Pro shirt as soon as available!

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