Positive movement in the URC on travel

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May 12, 2023, 11:08

So, the latest feedback from the CEO is that they are looking at ways to make it easier for teams to travel. 

That to me is really positive. I think the real problem is the fact that players have to have multiple connections via the Middle East and spend days in airports with very little training time in the week. 

The proposal is to have longer tours. Rather than these stupid one of matches that we saw this this year. 

So there are a total 12 foreign teams that SA compete against. Which means that 6 of those would be on the road and 6 at home against foreign teams. 

Then locally, our teams play 3 times at home and then 3 times in another city. Still a two hour flight, but that can be done in the morning or the night before. 

The only other part that needs to click in now is the European championship. Given that those games were crazy as we had to play a 1 off game abroad and then the next weekend at home. Probably would just be better to play both games abroad during the pool stages. 

There are also talks of getting chartered flights and maybe even centralising the cost of the fllghts in the URC. 

Chartered flights isn't a bad idea, especially if you can get fans to join teams which means that the plane would be pretty much full. 

So looking forward to the next season of URC and hoping we can get a better travel schedule. 

For me would be two trips in the URC and one European Cup. 

The teams can be away for 3 weeks at a time. 

May 12, 2023, 11:23

Its going be tricky with the Champions Cup. The French in particular may not want 3 weekends of Champions Cup matches in a row.

May 12, 2023, 12:32

Also great news is that the URC will likely change the qualification for the Champions Cup to be a straight meritocracy with the top 8 qualifying and ditching qualification spots being award to Shield winners, a system that shafted Glasgow last year and the Sharks this year.

May 12, 2023, 13:50

Yeah, I hate that a team have to qualify because they are based in a specific country. Not sure how it works for Italy and Scotland but you would then have to be fair to all nations and say you get to play too. So Italy should also have a team in the championship. 

The only thing they need to do with the championship is maybe relook at how the draw the schedule. 

They play the pool stages in Dec / Jan and then the knock outs in March. 

Maybe the URC just have to wait for the draw or at least ask the championship cup to tweak the incoming games. 

But in a normal year, SA play test matches right up until Dec with the tour up north. 

So it is normally incoming tours in June, followed by Aug / Sept Championship and then test matches. The URC kicks off in September. 

Definitely a lot of travel and log jam happening here with all the club vs country games

May 24, 2023, 12:11

I see 5,000 Munster fans are expected to be at final on Saturday, that's good to see.

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