I was being sarcastic. But.......If the players you mention were English then how many of them do you reckon would stand a chance of making the England team ?
Look, as I said on the France v Wales thread last week, I'm not having a go at the Welsh lads, they're a team of triers who play with a bit of pride. But why do people try to build them up to be something they're not ? There's a massive difference between being a team representing a country and being and international class team.
I'm a Cumbrian and I guarantee you I could pick a Cumbria team that would comfortably see off Wales (and we haven't got a SL club either). But i wouldn't claim Cumbria to be a powerhouse of the game worthy of any kind of status, even if we have got some 'promising players'. So what's the point of today's game ? What positive did either team get from it ?
International RL won't progress with such one-sided mismatches. Wales shouldn't give up, of course they shouldn't, but they should be playing at the right level of competition and England isn't it. They are being used as sacrificial lambs to the slaughter, and I wouldn't mind if that gave England a chance in 2013. But neither team is any further forward after today.
Some people will no doubt read what they want to read and see my comments as anti-Wales or whatever, but if you look closer you will see that I am saying that Wales should not be put into the situation that we had today. They will progress and they will develop, but not by playing matches against much superior opposition. The international game should be structured, divisionalised even, and teams like Wales, PNG, France. Samoa etc should fight for the right to test themselves against the Big 3 every couple of years. Again, this is not a criticism of where Wales are - its a criticism of a system that forces them to play one-sided games in the supposed cause of international RL. If today is international RL then its no surprise that nobody turns up to watch it anymore. Wales weren't bad, they tried their best and worked their butts off, but it isn't enough at this level. I felt sorry for them having to go through this.
Call me negative, I don't care anymore, but the sad irony is that those of you who think rubbish like today is positive for the international game are the ones who will hold this game and the countries like Wales back. Lets have the soundbites about playing against better players makes you a better player. It doesn't. Nobody learns anything from an 80-12 scoreline. Accept it and you'll always get it. And we'll have threads like this next year, the year after that and the year after that......
There are some strange people on here!!
For those of us who actually enjoy rugby league and want to watch competitive, top level international league, then we need to continue the way we are going. The international game has grown significantly since the 2000 World Cup and still has lots of room for future growth bring more, players, money and publicity to the game, as well as providing lots of enjoyable moments for those of us who like rugby league, and I guess lots of moments for those who like to moan about rugby league.
The facts are that Australia & NZ are top of the pile, England just behind and then a long way behind come the Pacific Nations, France & Wales, and then behind them come the rest. When the World Cup comes around things alter slightly, as a number of players who don't usually want to play international rugby, put their hand up for various heritage countries(eg Shaun Berrigan in the frame for Italy in 2013).
England need to help France & Wales be more competitive at international level. They are the best hopes in the northern hemisphere, but those two nations need to play quality opposition if they are to improve and that means England.
If you actually go to some of these games and talk to people, you don't hear the French or Welsh fans saying they don't want to play England, that they would rather play Scotland or Ireland. You don't hear the players saying that they would rather play against teams dominated by championship players, rather than the elite of the super league.
Of the two squads listed in yesterday's programme, 18/25 for Wales were 24 or younger, for England it was 12/25. The Welsh 'old hands' included the likes of Christian Roets & Owain Brown (NW Crusaders), Jordan James (Salford) and Neil Budworth (Mackay Cutters & Ex London). The English 'old hands' included Gareth Ellis, Adrian Morley, Kevin Sinfield, Rob Burrow and Sean O'loughlin.
There is no comparison. By the time the 2017 World Cup comes around, most of the Welsh squad will still be younger than those 5 English players, but they'll have another 5 years of experience under their belt, and there will have been some more come through by then.
The view of the Aussies 10 years or so ago was that England/GB were so far behind that it wasn't worth bothering with. Fortunately Richard Lewis stuck to his guns and conjured up one way or another for us to play them. We've improved since then, maybe not enough - we'll see next November.
The present international scene is far from ideal but it's an awful lot better than it was in 2000, and with the constraints there are in rugby league, it's probably the best we can get at the moment. A successful World Cup next year is the next big opportunity to change the landscape in a significant way.