Podcast: Club Rugby Structures


The KnockOn.ie team of host Rob Murphy and contributors Enda Finn and Dave Mahon discuss the future of the All Ireland League rugby in the season opening podcast to mark the announcement of 2012/13 Ulster Bank League Fixtures.

In the first of what will be many such chats during the season, the panel discuss the possibility of a more regional based structure in future and some of the issues facing club’s in the All Ireland league.


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6 Responses to “Podcast: Club Rugby Structures”

  1. Declan Nerney says:

    Totally agree with Pod cast I think the dream of getting to the AIL far out weighs the actual feeling of being there. Ballina spent 14-16 years scrapping in it and it landed their club in financial trouble, Take a look at Connemarra struggeling every year. The AIL is likened to the latest I phone, everyone wants it but when they get it its a pretty expensive item to maintain with all the new apps (foriegn players).
    I give Sligo another 4/5 years (thats if the AIL last that long, i seriously doubt it though!!)Connemarra likewise. Look at the crowds Sligo got against Mona a couple of seasons back, iv never seen that many people at an AIL match with exception of maybe big Munster clashes. A move to a more regional comp or western conference would be very good. Might develop more 2nds & U20 teams too. Imagine 3 teams traveling from corinthians to Shannon on a saturday to play against their 1st, 2nds and u20s, with players from u20 subbing for 2nds and U20S & 2nds subbing for 1sts. It works for the southern Hemisphere why not us.

  2. katie says:

    A regional comp is ok for teams in galway or big rugby areas.
    here in sligo our nearest game is an hour away anyway, so we would much prefer to travel two hours to dublin to play suttonians or skerries than 1 and 1/2 hours to play tuam or corrib on a sunday!

  3. billy bunter says:

    Sorry Katie but there will always be a few clubs like Sligo that are content for the ail to stay as it is but pretty much 9 out of 10 clubs would share the same view as Declan Nerney. Surely you would still get more supporters going to watch Sligo play Monivea or Westport than going to Clonakilty or Belfast?
    The AIL just isnt working any more even for div 1a and 1b sides. Local interest, crowds and ability to field 2nds, 3rds and under 20′s are all being stangled by the current format not to mention the financial strain it is putting on clubs.

    The other thing a new format would do is completely freshen up and revitalize club rugby. It could be relaunched and perhaps some of the opening day fixtures combined and played at one venue.

  4. JJ says:

    Im involved in a senior club in munster and much prefer the current format of 4 AIL divisions and junior divisions below that than just 1 or 2 national divisions with everyone else playing in their province.
    And Declan your proposal of playing 21s, 2nds and then 1sts on the same day is crazy especially when most clubs need players to play on both their 1st and 2nd teams and if they have a 21s side, 21s and 2nds/1sts.

    What do the critics of the UBL propose for a new format?

  5. Dan says:

    To hell or to Connacht!

  6. Allez says:

    Most critics of AIL rugby come from clubs who aren’t involved.


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