So I’ve had some time on my hands and thought I’d explore the title of this article a little further.
Admittedly the only source I have used is Wikipedia and yes, I know it’s like going to McDonalds for a steak, but as I say, I had a little bit of time.
A quote to rile
I recently read this article about Guy Noves and the struggling French national side. In the article was a quote that resonated with me to the point of riling me up. That quote is: “I know some of the reasons for it but I don’t really want to list them because otherwise, they’ll say I’m complaining“. This is in response to his team’s performance.
I honestly don’t believe a national head coach should ever feel that they have to hide opinions about the state of the game in their country. It seems absurd.
Numbers tell a story
On the back of this, I had a look at the playing rosters of the Top 14 clubs. In particular, I focused on one metric, that of nationality. And to be fair, I was pretty shocked, to say the least, at what I found.
I haven’t been through every league on the planet, of every sport, but there is a belief that the English Premier League (Football) has rather alarming figures as well. And to be honest, it hasn’t served the English very well (currently ranked 15th in the world).
Chelsea Football Club
Having a look at the roster of current EPL champions, Chelsea, paints the picture I expected.
- Squad size : 27 players
- English players : 4 players
That’s a staggering 85.1% who are foreign.
The picture looks better if you look at the players out on loan, 33 players of which 18 (54%) are English. Better numbers, but when you consider some of the “BIG” clubs they are playing for (Chippenham Town, Forrest Green Rovers), I am not surprised at the state of English football.
But I digress. Back to rugby.
Home Nations observation
Given how strong the game is in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales I decided to look at 4 major clubs:
The numbers speak for themselves really. I honestly don’t think I need to explain any further.
The numbers certainly paint a picture, albeit bleak, you can see why the French are in such a rut. There are so many things that need to be addressed. I can think of a few issues such as capping foreign players, salary caps, exploitation of young Island players and investigating why a “scholarship” was established in a South African school.
There is just so much going on and I feel sorry for Guy Noves because he really hasn’t got much to work with now does he?
Author: Dave McBrier
Originally from South Africa, but have been living in the U.K for the last 12 years. Absolutely love everything associated with the oval shaped ball.