Really good plan, best I've seen to tie all the threads together.Ruckedtobits wrote:Thanks @ormond lad. At least it's clear that Matt Williams follows these threads.
His solutions are a bit wooly, even if well intentioned. Personally, I believe that there's not a lot wrong with the AIL structure and standard. But rather than see wholesale change I'd like to see Provincial / National U.20 teams compete, for two rounds against the teams in Div 1A.
These games would see each Div 1A team play against two Provincial teams with League points available. For the Provincial teams, the results would count in their U.20 interprovincial championship. As the number of games necessary is a mis match for the Provincial sides, the additional games would be played by the National U. 20 Squad in preparation for the 6N Under 20 Championship. (Such games worked this Season with Noel McNamara successful U. 20 team playing a warm-up against Cork Con)
The number of games per Province would be (10 × 2)÷4 with four games for the National Squad. So, a total of four games for each of the Provincial and National Squads with all games in Club grounds and normal AIL scoring to count in overall League outcome. (From my perspective, I would not allow Clubs to play their players selected on their Provincial Squads)
Apart from creating a proper cross-over point between the amateur and professional games, such games would provide the following benefits:
A. A real objective assessment of the quality of the top of the amateur game;
B. An income boost for the Clubs from the Pro game with 2 additional home gates;
C. A realistic opportunity for any Club player to show his worth to Pro Coaches;
D. A further competitive environment for professional coaching development;
E. A 'wild card' element for the AIL, as not all four Provincial teams are equal.
Players in the AIL represent the best amateur players in the country and yet, apart from two random international selections against Scotland, they have no opportunity to play representative rugby. Games such as outlined above, could provide a partial solution to this anomoly.
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