Shamrock Thoughts: The Rugby Championship Expansion

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The Rugby Championship (or also known as the Quad Nations) is one of the best rugby tournaments in the world only rivaled by the Six Nations. This is genuinely looked at as the championship of Southern Hemisphere nations, but also many rugby fans think this tournament is with the best rugby nations in the world. I think there is some truth to that as in the last World Cup all four nations in this tournament were in the semi-finals. Plus it boasts one of the most successful rugby teams, but also one of the most successful sports teams in the world: The All-Blacks of New Zealand. They also have two other nations who are very successful as well with both winning two world cups each: The Wallabies of Australia and Springboks of South Africa. And with the Pumas of Argentina having a semi-finals appearance under their belt, there is good reason why people who are fans of these nations say this is the best tournament in the world.

That being said, as I talked about in my article about the Six Nations, if the sport wants to become more popular then it needs to expand. Yes, that even means expanding The Rugby Championship. It worked for this tournament when it expanded in 2012 from the Tri Nations tournament to include Argentina. While the results don’t show from within the tournament, Argentina has improved dramatically since joining as evidenced in the 2015 edition of the World Cup where the Pumas made it to the semi-finals. So how should it expand? By adding four more nations to the tournament. Those nations I believe should join should be Japan, Samoa, Fiji, and Tonga. This could help bring more intrigue and excitement for the sport especially in the Southern Hemisphere. And it also can make these countries improve at the sport by being exposed to seeing the best rugby that is played. The competition would get better too as more nations will try to send their best athletes to play rugby. Also it would help significantly in finances with television deals and a lot of other things. The other thing is making this tournament exclusive with no promotion/relegation. These are the eight best nations in the Southern Hemisphere/Pacific regions and nowhere else comes close.

So how would the logistics work? Well, as similar to how the Six Nations works, you play seven matches against the rest of the nations (one match per each nation) and whoever has the most points wins the championship. The current format has each squad play six matches (two against each nation). This would add more intrigue and one more match would be played so more money would be garnered for the tournament. It’s a win-win.

So what are your thoughts on it? I would like to hear from fans about this.

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