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Some Good News
Posted by: Moorio_Wasp (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 17:07

Maybe itís just me thatís overjoyed by this, but thanks to Sale qualifying for the HCC, thereís only 5 English teams in the challenge cup. This means 3 proper trips guaranteed. Will make a change from the last two years, having an english team in our group.

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: mrkwasp1 (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 17:32

I tried to find out who has qualified but failed does anyone have a list ?

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: MarleyWasp (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 18:33

The 20 teams will be divided into four pots of five teams. Each pool will consist of one team from each pot and each pool must have one team from the Premiership, Pro 14 and Top 14 before Pot 4 is drawn

The pots will be as follows:

Pot 1:
Wasps
Scarlets
Castres
Two of Bristol, Cardiff or Stade.

Pot 2:
One of Bristol, Cardiff or Stade
Worcester
Edinburgh
Toulon
One of Leicester, Dragons or Bordeaux

Pot 3:
Two of Leicester, Dragons or Bordeaux
London Irish
Zebre
Pau

Pot 4:
Agen
Bayonne
Brive
Enisei-STM
Calvisano.

In the cases of the teams that could be in one of two pools, a draw prior to the main draw will decide who goes in which pool. Depending on how it goes it could result in a side being automatically placed in a pool. For example if Zebre are the only Pro 14 side in Pot 3 and Wasps have drawn a French side from Pot 2, Zebre would automatically be placed in our pool.

With Pot 4, Calvisano can't be drawn in the same pool as Zebre.

From what I've heard, it's likely that Enisei will not be playing in Siberia as the first pool matches are later this season. Last season their non-Siberian home games were in Sochi, but previously they've played in Moscow, Krasnodar and Tbilisi, which might be a money spinner given the Georgians in their squad and if the opposition had a highly popular Georgian prop...

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: neils (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 18:40

Tbilisi is a pig to get to. Moscow would be ok if they give us enough time to get a visa!

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: Shugs (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 18:41

Thanks Moorio Wasp - that's a great way of looking at it. I'm still gutted that we missed out on the premier competition but I guess every cloud.......,

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: Skippy (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 18:46

So, the worst possible outcome is
+ Briz/Worcs/Lezza from pot 2 (pointless because we go there once a season anyway)
+ Lezza/Irish from pot 3 (we'll be going there anyway)
+ Enisei and the games still held in Siberia.

Other than that, there some fantastic trips in there. Had great cracking visits to Calvisano, Bordeaux, Edinburgh and Cardiff in the past.

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: MarleyWasp (IP Logged)
Date: 04 June, 2019 18:53

We can't draw another English side.

Our Pot 2 and Pot 3 options are:

Stade, Toulon or Bordeaux and Dragons or Zebre

Or

Cardiff, Edinburgh or Dragons and Bordeaux or Pau.

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: anderm (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 07:52

With how things are going currently we are likely to get

Edinburgh (or maybe Toulon as we always seem to draw them!)
Dragons
Enisei

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: RogerE (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 08:48

If it's Enisei then getting a visa is time consuming and expensive.

You have to take, and leave with the consulate, your passport, and be fingerprinted.

You also need to know exactly when you will be going and leaving, and a letter of confirmation from the hotel you will be using, when you apply for the visa, which can take anything from.

It'll also cost in excess of £115 per person, and might be anything from 10 days up to 6 weeks for the passport to be returned.

All in all it makes the ESTA system for visiting the US seem easy and cheap.



Roger

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: RossM (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 08:59

Quote:
RogerE
If it's Enisei then getting a visa is time consuming and expensive.
You have to take, and leave with the consulate, your passport, and be fingerprinted.

You also need to know exactly when you will be going and leaving, and a letter of confirmation from the hotel you will be using, when you apply for the visa, which can take anything from.

It'll also cost in excess of £115 per person, and might be anything from 10 days up to 6 weeks for the passport to be returned.

All in all it makes the ESTA system for visiting the US seem easy and cheap.

Does this go for the team as well?

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: MarleyWasp (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 10:04

Quote:
anderm
With how things are going currently we are likely to get
Edinburgh (or maybe Toulon as we always seem to draw them!)
Dragons
Enisei

Except we have to be drawn against a French side and Pro 14 side from Pots 2 and 3...

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: Petergwilson (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 12:16

My brain hurts.

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: RogerE (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 12:50

Quote:
RossM
Quote:
RogerE
If it's Enisei then getting a visa is time consuming and expensive.
You have to take, and leave with the consulate, your passport, and be fingerprinted.

You also need to know exactly when you will be going and leaving, and a letter of confirmation from the hotel you will be using, when you apply for the visa, which can take anything from.

It'll also cost in excess of £115 per person, and might be anything from 10 days up to 6 weeks for the passport to be returned.

All in all it makes the ESTA system for visiting the US seem easy and cheap.

Does this go for the team as well?

I should imagine that the Club will use a specialist agency, and these will be able to get everything sorted, relatively, easily.

I understand that the Russian Federation consulate employs an outside firm to do all the "donkey work" for things like sports teams visiting. They need to have visas and biometrics done, but they will go and visit the team - at a cost!
The team members will need to surrender their passports to the embassy/consulate for the duration of getting the visa approved



Roger

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: anderm (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 15:58

I've had Russian Visas in the past for work, a 3 month that was upgraded to a 12 month one which would allow me to come and go as I wanted (although never went more than once due to leaving the company).

Was normally a long process with lots of forms and only due to the company paying a large premium it was completed in a couple of weeks as I needed to go out quickly.

I was invited to visit Russia by the Russian Olympic Committee as that was who the agent used to get the Visa's signed off by.

I work in the Motor Industry so the ROC had nothing to do with us.....

Getting in and out is not a pleasant or quick experience either, passport control is not something completed in a few minutes, in fact leaving took longer than arriving.

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: Trev's Big Tackle (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 16:04

I work for a travel agent and we offer a holiday specifically tailored to avoid the need for a visa as it's such a pain to get! If you enter St. Petersburg by ferry from Helsinki you can stay 2 nights without a visa. That's no good for getting to Enisei though!

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: anderm (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 16:28

Quote:
Trev's Big Tackle
I work for a travel agent and we offer a holiday specifically tailored to avoid the need for a visa as it's such a pain to get! If you enter St. Petersburg by ferry from Helsinki you can stay 2 nights without a visa. That's no good for getting to Enisei though!

It was St.Petersburg I went to.

Just looked at where Enisei are, its a long way in!

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: Trev's Big Tackle (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 17:12

It's about as far as China!!

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: westwaleswasp (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 17:31

It might be hard to get into Russia, but I will take Russian gangsters over a night out in Newport. Far safer...)

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: MarleyWasp (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 18:14

It really is unlikely we'll end up in Krasnoyarsk given the temperatures there between November and January. Historically, apart form their first match against Connacht, it's only French sides that have played in Krasnoyarsk. English sides have all played in Sochi or Tbilisi in January, with the exception of Worcester who played them in Moscow one October.

From whay I've heard, Enisei are fed up with spending a fortune on travel for matchesand get very little back in terms of ticket sales, which isn't a shock when you consider the distance. They want to make "home" games more profitable. Whilst they will never get opposition fans traveling in large numbers, there is a case for playing matches against teams with Georgian internationals in Tbilisi. Zurabi is one of the most popular players in Georgia, and whilst they probably would end up with a hostile crowd, they're likely to get a bigger crowd than the 300-500 they get in Sochi.

Given UK citizens don't need to apply for a visa in advance and Tbilisi is no more difficult to get to than Sochi, you'd be more likely to get British supporters traveling to Tbilisi.

Re: Some Good News
Posted by: DGPWasp (IP Logged)
Date: 05 June, 2019 19:13

The wiki page for next season's competition sets it out more clearly than any other source I've come across.

We know this much...
Pot 3 we are sure to get one of Pau/Zebre/Bordeaux/Dragons. Only one of those I don't much fancy as a weekend away.
Pot 4 it's one from Agen/Bayonne/Brive/Calvisano/Enisei. I'm sure all 5 of those would offer a cracking weekend away, aside from the potential travel nightmare of Enisei.

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