This discussion about the Magners League, and where it stands as a competition begun on another thread, where a discussion was being had about if it was a Super 15 style competition with the regions/provinces being SuperClubs, or is it more of a domestic style competition in the mould of the Aviva Premiership or Top 14. The discussion also centreed around the competitions below it, particularly in Wales and Ireland, and whether they were of sufficient standard to breed Magners League players and in turn international stars. My take on the discussion is this. For me the Magners League is caught between two stalls, and is almost a hybrid of the competitions mentioned above. It has the characteristics of the Super 15 in that there are teams from a number of countries, who are basically Super teams made up of the best players from within those regions/provinces. The difference however is this. In New Zealand and South Africa, their domestic competitions are not played at the same time as the Super 15, they are played after, which in effect means that more of the better players are available to play in domestic matches. In Ireland and Wales this is not the case. The Magners League players ony ever seem to play in the domestic compeition if recovering from injury, which in effect means that the domestic compeition is not of the same high standard of the ITM or Currie Cup. This makes the jump to playing Magners League rugby more difficult, as there is a real gulf between playing levels. Add to this that the Super 15 is a shorter competion with fewer games, and is also the top focus of those teams, and it becomes even less similar to the Magners League, which is played on a home and away basis like the Aviva and Top 14, and also has the added distraction of one competion, which teams value winning more, the Heineken Cup, and other competions for some teams like the Anglo Welsh Cup, and British and Irish Cup. The Magners League is a domestically structured competition, masquerading as an international one. It needs to decide what it is in order to give the teams competing the best chance of development, and allow the competing unions to structure their next tier of rugby (Principality Premiership or AIL) accordingly. My suggestion would be using the Super Rugby format, and the Mganers being played as a shorter competion, comprising of all teams playing each other once, giving 11 regular season games. The play offs would remain, meaning a potential total of 13 matches in that competition. Now not withstanding the fact that this year is a World Cup year, as that does complicate things slightly, the way I would see it working is the Magners League beginning at the start of September as it currently does. The teams involved would also have Heineken Cup games to play, so the season could work like this. 5 Magners Legaue Rounds 2 Heineken Cup Rounds 2 Magners Legaue Rounds 3 weeks break for international window 2 Magners Legaue Rounds 2 Heineken Cup Rounds 2 Magners Legaue Rounds 2 Heineken Cup Rounds Magners League Semi Final and Final. That is 22 weekends, and takes us to the point in the season that we are at now. It keeps the Heineken Cup games on the same weekends they always are, so does not adversely affect the Aviva Premiership or Top 14 teams. It also means that when the 6 Nations begins, the Magners Legaue has finished, menaing that theams do not lose their pbest players for 7 weeks. What would then happen is that the AIL and Principality Premiership also begin, giving them 18 weeks to fit in a condensed, more intense competition, which would feature all Magners League players not at that time away on international duty. The only stumbling block to this is the Heineken Cup knockout phases, which are currently spread from the first weekend in April to the penaultimate weekend in May, which would be no good for the Magners teams. The solution is fairly simple however, and is to play them on successive weeks in April, which would not have a huge effect on the Top 14 and Aviva Premiership, but would require a minor reshuffle of their seasonal structure, although it may benefit them as well, as at present teams that are trying to attain success in both those competitions and the Heineken Cup have to flit weekly between competitions which is not always easy to do. I genuinely belive that this would make the Magners League a better and stronger compeititon, and would also address the gulf in class between the Principality Premiership and the Magners. That competition could be run over 18 weeks, with for example a top tier of 12 teams, playing in two conferences, playing each team in their conference home and away, giving 10 games, followed by a knockout phase based on conference rankings to give an overall champion. Likewise the leagues in Scotland, Ireland and Italy could be run on a similar basis. I suspect that many may feel that there is nothing wrong with the current Magners Legaue set up, but I am interested to hear everyones views on the subject, so fire away, I am prepared to be shot down in flames, as long as what is said is constructive.