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Could the Championship clubs get involved in the World Cup

warm up options for clubs

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#1 Scubby

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 10:53 AM

Seems a pretty obvious suggestion that Championship clubs could get involved with some of the nations prior to the WC. They could also make some money out of it and give teams a worthwhile run out etc.

I would imagine teams like PNG, Samoa, Fiji, USA, Cook Islands coming over here cold would welcome a warm-up game. Would imagine they would get pretty well attended too. It would also give Championship clubs some money in the coffers for the winter. Championship clubs are also capable of giving these nations are really good hit-out too.

How would the following look as examples?

Featherstone v Tonga
Halifax v PNG
Sheffield v Italy
Batley v Cook Islands
Whitehaven v Samoa
Leigh v Fiji
York v USA

Promoted correctly I could see some tidy attendances for those sort of games and smiles all round.

#2 keighley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

I think in one of Moorhouses books on RL, i think its called " At the George" with a picture of the hotel on the front, he has an essay about Featherstone playing Papua New Guinea at Post office Road and contrasting the widespread cultures who have taken to our game from Northern miners to tropical rain forest tribesman.

I think your suggestion is an excellent one IF the visiting teams want any extra games. The World Cup will be difficult enough for them and they won't want to risk any injuries.Howver I think you are right that the CC and even CC1 teams will be nearer the standard of the lesser WC teams than our SL teams and the appeal of games against these opponents from exotic foreigh areas might be quite an attraction and draw decent crowds for that level of the game if the visitors do want a warm up game. A shared gate might help with their expenses for the trip to the UK also.

#3 keighley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 11:31 AM

Seems a pretty obvious suggestion that Championship clubs could get involved with some of the nations prior to the WC. They could also make some money out of it and give teams a worthwhile run out etc.

I would imagine teams like PNG, Samoa, Fiji, USA, Cook Islands coming over here cold would welcome a warm-up game. Would imagine they would get pretty well attended too. It would also give Championship clubs some money in the coffers for the winter. Championship clubs are also capable of giving these nations are really good hit-out too.

How would the following look as examples?

Featherstone v Tonga
Halifax v PNG
Sheffield v Italy
Batley v Cook Islands
Whitehaven v Samoa
Leigh v Fiji
York v USA

Promoted correctly I could see some tidy attendances for those sort of games and smiles all round.


I think the York V USA fixture should be changed to a Gloucester V USA game. The USA are already playing at Bristol in the World Cup and a game against our new expansion team nearbhy could be a good publicity and marketing opportunity to promote the Gloucester team in their locality.

#4 Gav Wilson

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:06 PM

Thats a bl00dy brilliant idea.
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#5 Dave T

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:14 PM

Yep sounds a good idea.

SL clubs will probably have plenty of players involved in the WC, whereas CC clubs would be able to put a team out more like their first teams.

One issue maybe it could affect WC ticket sales. Ideally you want people flocking to the WC to see these teams, playing warmups in the host nation could be an issue.

#6 Just Browny

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:19 PM

Yep sounds a good idea.

SL clubs will probably have plenty of players involved in the WC, whereas CC clubs would be able to put a team out more like their first teams.

One issue maybe it could affect WC ticket sales. Ideally you want people flocking to the WC to see these teams, playing warmups in the host nation could be an issue.


I think it's an excellent idea, and I would argue that it could be used to build WC crowds, not detract from them.

If Samoa, say, played Whitehaven, made a real effort to promote their image by giving souvenirs to kids, appearing at fans events, doing the haka in front of the popular side, that will give the people of Whitehaven someone else to support in the WC. One of the problems of international tournaments is a lack of local affinity with competing nations - this could sort it out.

I always shout for Tonga after 1995, for example.

I can confirm 30+ less sales for Scotland vs Italy at Workington, after this afternoons test purchase for the Tonga match, £7.50 is extremely reasonable, however a £2.50 'delivery' fee for a walk in purchase is beyond taking the mickey, good luck with that, it's cheaper on the telly.


#7 Scubby

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:26 PM

I think it's an excellent idea, and I would argue that it could be used to build WC crowds, not detract from them.

If Samoa, say, played Whitehaven, made a real effort to promote their image by giving souvenirs to kids, appearing at fans events, doing the haka in front of the popular side, that will give the people of Whitehaven someone else to support in the WC. One of the problems of international tournaments is a lack of local affinity with competing nations - this could sort it out.

I always shout for Tonga after 1995, for example.


This was a large part of my idea. I would anticipate not only a meet and greet with kids in the week but also a full function afterwards. Hopefully plenty of tickets would have been sold by then anyway. Can't see it affecting ticket sales as the idea is to include the RL family not alienate it. Would imagine a few floaters would toddle along aswell to take a sneaky peak. It would also mean those countries could blow the cobwebs away and not be cold for the tournament. Should be keenly contested games too as the Championship clubs could put out decent line-ups.

#8 Scubby

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:28 PM

I think the York V USA fixture should be changed to a Gloucester V USA game. The USA are already playing at Bristol in the World Cup and a game against our new expansion team nearbhy could be a good publicity and marketing opportunity to promote the Gloucester team in their locality.

Agree about the Bristol thing. The fixtures were just pulled off the top of my head but it would make sense to put countries near their bases.

#9 Dave T

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 02:58 PM

I think it's an excellent idea, and I would argue that it could be used to build WC crowds, not detract from them.

If Samoa, say, played Whitehaven, made a real effort to promote their image by giving souvenirs to kids, appearing at fans events, doing the haka in front of the popular side, that will give the people of Whitehaven someone else to support in the WC. One of the problems of international tournaments is a lack of local affinity with competing nations - this could sort it out.

I always shout for Tonga after 1995, for example.

yep all fair points.

Im sure ive seen it before that teams couldnt play warmups in the host country. That was in union or football though so not a like-for-like comparison.

I do agree that the benefits would outweigh any negatives and could be the best form of last minute promotion.

#10 Methven Hornet

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 03:51 PM

I don't think such an idea will be approved, particularly if past experience is anything to go by. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure pretty sure nations were forbidden from playing any warm-up games in the host nations in both 2008 and 2000. Similarly, I can't think of soccer and union world cups that have allowed warm-ups in the host countries.

I think the idea is that such games would detract from the main event. In addition, the chances are that some of the nations could get turned over by Championship clubs - not a good advert for the game's main international tournament.
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#11 keighley

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 04:41 PM

I don't think such an idea will be approved, particularly if past experience is anything to go by. I'm not certain, but I'm pretty sure pretty sure nations were forbidden from playing any warm-up games in the host nations in both 2008 and 2000. Similarly, I can't think of soccer and union world cups that have allowed warm-ups in the host countries.

I think the idea is that such games would detract from the main event. In addition, the chances are that some of the nations could get turned over by Championship clubs - not a good advert for the game's main international tournament.


That's a valid point, Methven, but many of these smaller nations know their level is not that high. They are just there to compete and improve over time. Most tickets should already have been sold for the main WC before such additional club practice games are announced. It could also help their finances, which could be very important.

Its kind of like the old Kangaroo tours, when club teams used to beat them occasionally but this never detracted from the test series. The attraction of such a game at Keighley or Barrow or Crusaders or Scorpions or any of the new clubs should be more positive an aspect than the negative of a CC team beating one of the minnows of the world cup. In any event, I don't see too many CC clubs beating any of the islander teams or PNG or Italy for that matter once they get their NRL stars on board.

#12 Chronicler of Chiswick

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 05:57 PM

I think in one of Moorhouses books on RL, i think its called " At the George" with a picture of the hotel on the front, he has an essay about Featherstone playing Papua New Guinea at Post office Road and contrasting the widespread cultures who have taken to our game from Northern miners to tropical rain forest tribesman.

I remember talking to the then Featherstone secretary (Terry Jones?) about that game and he said that the PNG players were so cold that they spent about an hour in the plunge bath afterwards trying to warm up!

#13 Evil Homer

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 06:05 PM

I'd rather them organize legitimate internationals in their own countries than play nothing games that would hugely increase costs and massively detract from the tournament. Hopefully this will be forbidden as it has been in the past and in other sports.

NZ v Tonga
PNG v Australia
Italy v Lebanon
Cook Islands v Vanuatu
Canada v Samoa
Fiji v Philippines
USA v Jamaica

Sounds a hell of a lot better to me.

Edited by Evil Homer, 04 November 2012 - 06:05 PM.


#14 Methven Hornet

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Posted 04 November 2012 - 07:24 PM

I'd rather them organize legitimate internationals in their own countries than play nothing games that would hugely increase costs and massively detract from the tournament. Hopefully this will be forbidden as it has been in the past and in other sports.

NZ v Tonga
PNG v Australia
Italy v Lebanon
Cook Islands v Vanuatu
Canada v Samoa
Fiji v Philippines
USA v Jamaica

Sounds a hell of a lot better to me.


I think similar fixtures will happen next year. IIRC England prepared by playing USA in the States in 2000, while Wales played there in 1995.
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#15 Railway End

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:13 PM

I don't think these kind of warm up games would detract from the RLWC at all. If a team like Samoa played with all their NRL and SL players they would probably hammer any CC side.

These kind of warm up matches would also benefit players coming from the Spring/Summer of Australia to get use to the Autumn of Northern England!

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#16 keighley

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 04:33 PM

I'd rather them organize legitimate internationals in their own countries than play nothing games that would hugely increase costs and massively detract from the tournament. Hopefully this will be forbidden as it has been in the past and in other sports.

NZ v Tonga
PNG v Australia
Italy v Lebanon
Cook Islands v Vanuatu
Canada v Samoa
Fiji v Philippines
USA v Jamaica

Sounds a hell of a lot better to me.


The thing is though, organising these games will cost money for hotels, travel etc. The thing with this proposal is that the teams will already be in England for the WC so the expense will be minimal and the income might be pretty decent and increase the visibilty of both the international and the club teams involved. It looks like a win win situation to me.

#17 Evil Homer

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 05:07 PM

The thing is though, organising these games will cost money for hotels, travel etc. The thing with this proposal is that the teams will already be in England for the WC so the expense will be minimal and the income might be pretty decent and increase the visibilty of both the international and the club teams involved. It looks like a win win situation to me.

They would have to stay in England for an extra week to play warm-up games, which would be massively more expensive than hosting home internationals against neighbouring nations. Also, playing Championship clubs would do absolutely nothing for the sport and risk damaging the credibility of the competition. Playing home internationals would promote the WC, allow home fans to get a look at their teams for the last time before departing, allow nations not involved in the WC to get involved and is the logical approach used in virtually all other sports. Not only that but the idea of international sides playing against club teams is totally unconstitutional at the best of times. The idea in the OP is, TBH, absolutely terrible and as I said hopefully common sense will prevail and it will be prohibited.

#18 keighley

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 06:23 PM

They would have to stay in England for an extra week to play warm-up games, which would be massively more expensive than hosting home internationals against neighbouring nations. Also, playing Championship clubs would do absolutely nothing for the sport and risk damaging the credibility of the competition. Playing home internationals would promote the WC, allow home fans to get a look at their teams for the last time before departing, allow nations not involved in the WC to get involved and is the logical approach used in virtually all other sports. Not only that but the idea of international sides playing against club teams is totally unconstitutional at the best of times. The idea in the OP is, TBH, absolutely terrible and as I said hopefully common sense will prevail and it will be prohibited.


I take your point but the travel would already be paid for so there wouldbe a saving there.

The idea of club sides playing international sides is as old as international RL itself. Every, Kangeroo, Kiwi and Lions tour featured more games against club sides than against test match opposition.

#19 Viking Warrior

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 10:27 PM

the OP has come up with arguably the best idea seen on this forum in years...........i would love to see it happen.
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#20 Methven Hornet

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Posted 05 November 2012 - 11:04 PM

I don't think these kind of warm up games would detract from the RLWC at all. If a team like Samoa played with all their NRL and SL players they would probably hammer any CC side.

These kind of warm up matches would also benefit players coming from the Spring/Summer of Australia to get use to the Autumn of Northern England!


I think the organisers would almost certainly take the view that such fixtures would detract from the competition. It's why you don't get such warm-up games in the host country in the FIFA World Cup and the IRB World Cup (and, by the way, Rugby League World Cup competitions).
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