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GB team to return?

Short termism

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240 replies to this topic

#181 gingerjon

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

I'm not arguing we should 'only' have GB playing. That was the whole point of the piece I wrote in RLW, published above. We need both. I don't believe it has to be a case of either/or.


Sorry, I know, and I know the original idea was vague but the two going ahead *was* the idea. Underthought and ill-prepared maybe but ... welcome to rugby league.

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#182 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:34 PM

I'm not arguing we should 'only' have GB playing. That was the whole point of the piece I wrote in RLW, published above. We need both. I don't believe it has to be a case of either/or.


Do the Welsh, Scottish and Irish governing bodies get a say in the matter?

Would the shirt have to be re-designed to incorporate green into it?

God Save The Queen wouldn't really be acceptable to the players/supporters from Ireland (the sovereign state) - particularly if the hysteria about players in the Olympics having to sing it.
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#183 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:35 PM

No, no, noooooo!!! (Runs off to bang head against wall).


Well who else would GB be playing? Aus and NZ weren't interested.
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#184 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:49 PM

Do the Welsh, Scottish and Irish governing bodies get a say in the matter?

Would the shirt have to be re-designed to incorporate green into it?

God Save The Queen wouldn't really be acceptable to the players/supporters from Ireland (the sovereign state) - particularly if the hysteria about players in the Olympics having to sing it.


If some people want to get their knickers in a twist about the politics of it all, honestly, I'd just leave them to it and get on with the task in hand. No one would be forced to play for a GB team against their principles, and no one would be forced to watch a GB team against their principles. People can decide whether to sing a national anthem or not, according to their own tastes. That's all just a sideshow, so long as the home nations are still playing regularly too. That's the key. We don't replace the home nations fixtures with GB team fixtures, we are adding GB fixtures back into our international calendar. Hell's teeth, the rugby union manage all this, even football managed to get round such supposedly insurmountable issues to field a GB team at London 2012, why does it have to be made to appear an impossibility in Rugby League? :wacko:

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#185 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Do the Welsh, Scottish and Irish governing bodies get a say in the matter?


How much of the budget of these governing bodies comes from the RFL's coffers?

I don't imagine they'll be arguing much.

#186 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:52 PM

Well who else would GB be playing? Aus and NZ weren't interested.


People used to claim Aus & NZ weren't interested in hosting the World Cup. Despite all that, they were persuaded otherwise and it came to pass in 2008. So, we have to persuade them now that a regularly scheduled GB Lions tour down under would be a worthwhile experience for their players, fans and broadcast partners, and also be financially viable too. Not as a replacement for the World Cup or Four Nations, but in addition to it. The international calendar can be made as flexible as it needs to be, if the necessary will is there.

Or we can just give up, of course.

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#187 Northern Sol

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:53 PM

even football managed to get round such supposedly insurmountable issues to field a GB team at London 2012, why does it have to be made to appear an impossibility in Rugby League? :wacko:


The GB team was Anglo-Welsh, the Scots and Northern Irish boycotted it.

#188 gingerjon

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:56 PM

The GB team was Anglo-Welsh, the Scots and Northern Irish boycotted it.


There were Scottishers in the women's team.
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#189 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

The GB team was Anglo-Welsh, the Scots and Northern Irish boycotted it.


Yes, but they still played in front of packed crowds who really didn't give a toss about all that. That's my point. Let those who bother about the politics stew in their own juice. Everyone else can just get on with enjoying the sport on offer.

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#190 Johnoco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:05 PM

Yes, but they still played in front of packed crowds who really didn't give a toss about all that. That's my point. Let those who bother about the politics stew in their own juice. Everyone else can just get on with enjoying the sport on offer.


As if ANY of that is likely to happen in Rugby League.

#191 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:08 PM

As if ANY of that is likely to happen in Rugby League.


I'm an optimist! :)

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#192 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:22 PM

People used to claim Aus & NZ weren't interested in hosting the World Cup. Despite all that, they were persuaded otherwise and it came to pass in 2008. So, we have to persuade them now that a regularly scheduled GB Lions tour down under would be a worthwhile experience for their players, fans and broadcast partners, and also be financially viable too. Not as a replacement for the World Cup or Four Nations, but in addition to it. The international calendar can be made as flexible as it needs to be, if the necessary will is there.

Or we can just give up, of course.


We don't give up, and that is what a lot of this 'bring back GB' stuff is about. We persevere. Okay, so England are not world beaters at the moment, but I cannot see how incorporating non-English players into the squad is going to improve them in any case. What the current situation highlights more than anything is that the system for producing world-beating English players is still not up to the job - that is where the effort needs to concentrated, not on any identity issues. And, of course, that the development of rugby league in the other home nations isn't as easy, or as rapid, as some thought it would be.

Much easier, then, to withdraw into the laager, circle the wagons around the heartlands (yet again), and not have to bother with all this 'development stuff'. Pretend that we're Great Britain (even including a completely separate state that has nothing to do with GB), that the game is, in fact, spread throughout these islands, and go back to the mediocrity that we enjoyed in the 80s and 90s. Forget these rose-tinted glasses that imagines heroic battles - it was a bloody miserable time where any success was tempered by the realisation that we were going to get stuffed in the decider (and, often, success was managing to score a try in some games/series).

No, for once in its existence rugby league needs to look to its future, not its past. The game needs to be developed in all parts of Britain and Ireland. England, as the standard bearer, needs to create ways of producing players good enough to not just compete with, but beat, Australians and New Zealanders. The other nations need to overcome the difficulties and setbacks they face to produce a higher standard of football. It is not easy, and it hasn't really been tried in the history of the game, but it is the only way.
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#193 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:34 PM

How much of the budget of these governing bodies comes from the RFL's coffers?

I don't imagine they'll be arguing much.


But they're supposed to be independent national governing bodies - that is what the game is telling the the government sports bodies in those jurisdictions, and is the basis on which they win state support. RLI's difficulties in gaining recognition from the sports council was partly down to there being a perception that they were not a subsidiary of a British governing body. If the RFL turn around and then impose a 'national' team on the RLI, even if it is only every four years, and that affects or diminishes Ireland's playing opportunities, then that recognition would, rightly, be questioned.

Similarly, the state sports bodies of Wales and Scotland require a certain amount of independence in their NGBs as a condition for backing them. Even if you were to include a token number of players from each nation in a GB squad, then it still takes them away from their nation during the only international period they have.
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#194 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

Yes, but they still played in front of packed crowds who really didn't give a toss about all that. That's my point. Let those who bother about the politics stew in their own juice. Everyone else can just get on with enjoying the sport on offer.


Yes, but let's not pretend that the general sports viewer is going to view a GB rugby league test in the same way they as they did an Olympic GB soccer game. Just think of the marketing and exposure those Olympic games got, and compare that with the attention a stand-alone rugby league game would get.

And, anyway, I thought GB was only going to be for touring Australia? ;)
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#195 thirteenthman

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

We don't give up, and that is what a lot of this 'bring back GB' stuff is about. We persevere. Okay, so England are not world beaters at the moment, but I cannot see how incorporating non-English players into the squad is going to improve them in any case.


I was under the impression that the reasoning behind bringing back a GB team was to stop potential Wales, Scotland and Ireland players from simply pinning their masts to England, not to improve England's chances of winning. Which it quite clearly wouldn't. All we've achieved by getting rid of GB is to reduce the amount of talent available to the Celtic nations, and in turn made them a worse proposition for the World Cup next year. The argument as to whether they should be picking heritage players is a completely different argument, but I suggest that if every nation in next years World Cup could only pick bona fide home born players, there'd be some pretty weak teams heading to these shores.

#196 Johnoco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

I was under the impression that the reasoning behind bringing back a GB team was to stop potential Wales, Scotland and Ireland players from simply pinning their masts to England, not to improve England's chances of winning. Which it quite clearly wouldn't. All we've achieved by getting rid of GB is to reduce the amount of talent available to the Celtic nations, and in turn made them a worse proposition for the World Cup next year. The argument as to whether they should be picking heritage players is a completely different argument, but I suggest that if every nation in next years World Cup could only pick bona fide home born players, there'd be some pretty weak teams heading to these shores.

There's nothing wrong with using some heritage players. But relying on them is not the way forward.
Besides, the issue that gets most peoples backs up is the switching. If someone genuinely wants to represent Scotland because of a grandparent, that's ok. Just don't switch in a years time.

#197 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:04 PM

We don't give up, and that is what a lot of this 'bring back GB' stuff is about. We persevere. Okay, so England are not world beaters at the moment, but I cannot see how incorporating non-English players into the squad is going to improve them in any case. What the current situation highlights more than anything is that the system for producing world-beating English players is still not up to the job - that is where the effort needs to concentrated, not on any identity issues. And, of course, that the development of rugby league in the other home nations isn't as easy, or as rapid, as some thought it would be.

Much easier, then, to withdraw into the laager, circle the wagons around the heartlands (yet again), and not have to bother with all this 'development stuff'. Pretend that we're Great Britain (even including a completely separate state that has nothing to do with GB), that the game is, in fact, spread throughout these islands, and go back to the mediocrity that we enjoyed in the 80s and 90s. Forget these rose-tinted glasses that imagines heroic battles - it was a bloody miserable time where any success was tempered by the realisation that we were going to get stuffed in the decider (and, often, success was managing to score a try in some games/series).

No, for once in its existence rugby league needs to look to its future, not its past. The game needs to be developed in all parts of Britain and Ireland. England, as the standard bearer, needs to create ways of producing players good enough to not just compete with, but beat, Australians and New Zealanders. The other nations need to overcome the difficulties and setbacks they face to produce a higher standard of football. It is not easy, and it hasn't really been tried in the history of the game, but it is the only way.


Why do you seem to regard it as impossible to have a situation whereby England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales continue to play as well as a Great Britain team? None of what you've said above has to stop to allow a GB team to become a regular part of an RL international calendar again. It doesn't have to be either/or. Why insist on presenting a false choice? Rugby union has its home nations and a British Lions side. Why can't Rugby League?

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#198 nadera78

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:12 PM

Why do you seem to regard it as impossible to have a situation whereby England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales continue to play as well as a Great Britain team? None of what you've said above has to stop to allow a GB team to become a regular part of an RL international calendar again. It doesn't have to be either/or. Why insist on presenting a false choice? Rugby union has its home nations and a British Lions side. Why can't Rugby League?


The RU version has players from four countries playing for it. The real Lions would only have players from England, which defeats the purpose of having the combined team.
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#199 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:16 PM

If some people want to get their knickers in a twist about the politics of it all, honestly, I'd just leave them to it and get on with the task in hand. No one would be forced to play for a GB team against their principles, and no one would be forced to watch a GB team against their principles. People can decide whether to sing a national anthem or not, according to their own tastes. That's all just a sideshow, so long as the home nations are still playing regularly too. That's the key. We don't replace the home nations fixtures with GB team fixtures, we are adding GB fixtures back into our international calendar. Hell's teeth, the rugby union manage all this, even football managed to get round such supposedly insurmountable issues to field a GB team at London 2012, why does it have to be made to appear an impossibility in Rugby League? :wacko:


We're finally going to have a four-year cycle based around regular world cups. First year is going to be the world cup itself, second the 4 Nations. Either the third or fourth is going to be for world cup qualification (hopefully) and the return 4 Nations (do these have to be held in separate years to enable, say, Wales, France, PNG to compete in the 4 Nations). Include the 'break' year that the NRL clubs seemingly require and there doesn't seem to be an awful lot of time left to fit a GB tour in.

As for the Olympic soccer team, let's not forget the nature of the tournament - under-23s, with a sprinkling of over-aged players. There is no way a full Great Britain squad would be put together for anything other than an exhibition game (again, no time in the schedule).

And as for the politics... Three of the home associations, and all four of the official supporters associations were against the forming of the team. Having said that, once the games were upon us everyone settled down to watch the football. And what did we witness? The ugly, pathetic and political hysteria in the gutter press about some players merely standing to attention for God Save The Queen (as is the traditional and respectful way to react). They were, apparently, required to sing.

Would this sort of politics be brought into a Great Britain rugby league event? Would any players from Ireland have to bow their heads, as Brian Carney felt obliged to, at the playing of an inappropriate anthem? The union governing bodies do manage to occasionally field a joint British and Irish Lions side (note: not Great Britain) but at least they do it properly: play in a kit that incorporates the colours of all 4 nations; obtain the agreement of all four nations; don't expect players to stand for an inappropriate anthem.

And they haven't neglected development for most of their histories.
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#200 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

The RU version has players from four countries playing for it. The real Lions would only have players from England, which defeats the purpose of having the combined team.


No it doesn't. When I was down in London waving my red, white and blue flag at the Olympics, I didn't bother to check if the person wearing the GB shirt was English, Scottish, Welsh or Irish, because I didn't honestly care. I'd argue most people would feel the same about a GB RL team thus the issue becomes largely irrelevant. It's the brand that's important.

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