Last year’s Six Nations was won before the final round. And so it really put the case forward for adding bonus points to the series. As you know, that has since happened. Another thought struck me, though. It’s a simple proposal. Tell me what you think.
- The winner of next year’s Rugby Europe Championship is promoted to a new “Seven Nations” tournament.
- Teams will then play three home and three away matches in the Seven Nations tournament, thereby making it more balanced.
- The bottom-placed team in this new Seven Nations will have to play a play-off against the European Championship winner, maybe over two legs or maybe one leg in a neutral place, e.g., Twickenham; if the 7th placer wins, they stay up, if they lose, they go down and are replaced by the European Championship winner.
What are the advantages of this?
- There’s even more to play for in the Seven Nations as relegation becomes a factor.
- There’s even more to play for in the European Championship as promotion becomes a factor.
- It gives the smaller nations a chance to break into the big-time and thereby develop Rugby in those countries by playing against the top European sides.
- Teams do not automatically go up/down, and so we don’t have yo-yoing. Particularly, relegation is often seen an effective punishment for Italy — or would be for Georgia in an expanded Seven Nations format. The play-off means that the bottom team, probably now Georgia, will have to prove they are better than the Euro champ. Furthermore, Italy are unlikely to finish seventh any time soon, and thus are unlikely to be relegated.
Honestly, I think this, along with the new Bonus Points system, would mean perfection for Europe’s/the Northern Hemisphere’s premier tournament.
© 2016-2017 Bryan A. J. Parry
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