27 March 2014

Qualification anomalies from the Pro 12 to the new Heineken Cup?

After much turmoil the Heineken Cup battle seems to have reached a resolution and the French and English Clubs can claim victory. It is difficult to argue with that as the LNR and PRL have achieved what they initially set out to do.

The European money will be split three ways between the French, English and the Pro 12 competitions. The new competition will involve a meritocracy for qualification. The Top 14 and Aviva Premiership each guaranteed six teams and a …..


full story

22 January 2014

Once again Ireland dominates the Heineken Cup

At the end of the day only one team can win the Heineken Cup each year. But to consider the success of individual countries it is worth calculating their success rate at qualifying for the quarter-finals of the tournament.

With the pool stages of this year’s Heineken Cup just completed and the seeding for the quarter-finals set, there is an all too familiar look to the proceedings. Even compared to the big spending French Clubs, once again Ireland has punched well …..


full story

17 January 2014

Canal+ deal dramatically distorts the rugby market

While the Heineken Cup is reaching the final round of the pool stages most people have averted their interest from the chaos surrounding the future of the competition. At this point it seems as if everybody has reached the point of fatigue on the subject. The weekly developments have become akin to a bad soap opera, the complete opposite to what is happening on the field of play.

At the same time, and almost below the radar, the Ligue Nationale de …..


full story

07 January 2014

Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership becoming predictable

The 2013/14 rugby season is just at the half-way point and before we turn our attentions to the final pool games of the Heineken Cup and the 6 Nations, it is worth taking a snapshot of the domestic tournaments. Unfortunately there is s certain predictability about the Pro 12 and Aviva Premiership as to who will be in the shake-up to be crowned champions at the end of the season.

This is hardly the ideal scenario with half the season remaining.

The …..


full story

01 October 2013

Time to climb out of the basement

There’s just one more round of domestic competition before the European break takes place. Next week it will be like a breath of fresh air to discuss Heineken Cup rugby rather than Heineken Cup politics. But before that happens the Pro 12, Aviva Premiership and Top 14 play one more game, which for some clubs will be a game of considerable significance.

It may seem a bit early in the season to discuss who will be contenders to finish at the …..


full story