Tier 2 nations are more valuable

Fri, 30 Mar 2018 08:37

EXCLUSIVE: As the game starts to gain global traction and Tier Two nations undergo their qualification for the 2019 World Cup, it would seem that their involvement in the showpiece event overshadows Tier One nations. 

Watch the discussion from the 26th minute!

While not much attention has been paid to the qualifying process of the smaller nations, they have grabbed the headlines over recent weeks, following Spain's dissatisfaction around them being denied an automatic qualifying spot.

The details of their grievances have been much publicised since the conclusion of their match against Belgium, which has denied them the chance to play at the 2019 World up for the first time since 1999.

"Spain has been fighting to qualify and play in the World Cup for nearly 20 years. 

"The game is growing massively in Spain and that's thanks to the fact that we qualified for the [2016] Olympics and now we have something like 60 000 people playing the game in the country," former Spanish international Guillermo Barcena said.

Former Stade Francais lock Anton van Zyl shared his thoughts on the Spanish side.

"There is a clip where the Spaniard oke [hypes up his team] - I get goosebumps - it puts Braveheart to shame. He is pulling it from everywhere and the guys are getting amped. There is nothing in it for them other than the chance to represent their country and play the game that they love,"

The Late Tackle team feels that Tier Two nations' participation at the showpiece event and the potential of causing a major upset or two could perhaps be bigger and better for the game, instead of the big nations claiming multiple World titles.

"The best moment of the 2015 World Cup was Japan defeating the Springboks. What does that [result] do for the game? Can you imagine Spain getting to the World Cup?" Van Zyl added.

"The reality is, that [Spain qualifying for the World Cup] for me, is almost to a large degree bigger than the professional side of the game - which is so small," Morgan Newman said.

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