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GB team to return?

Short termism

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#201 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:26 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?


I am not actually against having a Great Britain team, I just see it as unnecessary at this time. As others have pointed out, no one other than English players would get anywhere near it. It wouldn't be a step up for England's players, so they would be just as well using the time to develop their own national squad. And where is the time in the schedule where there isn't a four-yearly world cup, a 4 Nations or a gap/rest-year?

Why doesn't the game set itself a target? Develop rugby league in these islands to such an extent that a reasonable number of Welsh, Scottish and Irish players have the prospect of making the squad on merit. Then re-introduce a combined British and Irish side that actually is a step up in standard.

And we can then head south and play a series against a combined Australia/New Zealand squad! :)
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#202 Lesmets

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:26 PM

Do Ireland ,Wales and Scotland really exist tho as genuine rep teams or are they just fabricated teams forced together to make up numbers ?
Without genuine professional leagues or clubs in these countries I don't see the point other than to feel warm and fuzzy that the game is global when in reality it just sucks up funding ,I'm from N.Ireland so when GB went away I had to revert to New Zealand(grandparents rule)
I don't think there is anything wrong with an international game of GB Australia,France and NZ with a few 2nd tear nations like PNG etc ,and if the product is right other nations can join in under legitimate rules rather than fabricated teams of players with tenuous links to nations!
Wo don't have to have test footie every year ,how about we have a year free for a proper World Club Championship end of season with Top clubs from SL and NRL just a thought!

#203 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:28 PM

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.


Hang on, a lot of people on these forums were ecstatic that many of the medal winners were from Yorkshire!!!
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#204 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

Do Ireland ,Wales and Scotland really exist tho as genuine rep teams or are they just fabricated teams forced together to make up numbers ?
Without genuine professional leagues or clubs in these countries I don't see the point other than to feel warm and fuzzy that the game is global when in reality it just sucks up funding ,I'm from N.Ireland so when GB went away I had to revert to New Zealand(grandparents rule)
I don't think there is anything wrong with an international game of GB Australia,France and NZ with a few 2nd tear nations like PNG etc ,and if the product is right other nations can join in under legitimate rules rather than fabricated teams of players with tenuous links to nations!
Wo don't have to have test footie every year ,how about we have a year free for a proper World Club Championship end of season with Top clubs from SL and NRL just a thought!


Wales, Ireland and Scotland have genuine, national, rep teams at varying levels. As far as Scotland is concerned (probably true for the other two as well), we have the team that have just competed in the tournament with Ireland and England Knights. This is the one that includes anyone with even the slightest qualification - if you have at least one grandparent from Scotland, you're in. This was controversial amongst many in the Scottish game when introduced for the 2000 World Cup by the RFL. Before that the team had mainly been amateurs with, perhaps, three professionals.

Then you have the Scotland 'A' rep team, made up of players from the grass-roots game. In a sense this is the true rep team that shows the strength of the domestic game. Then there are the students, together with the u16s and u18s rep teams, where a lot of development work has been going in.
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#205 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:36 PM

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.


Where there's a will, there's a way. There was supposed to be a GB tour this year, after all, within the very calendar whose virtues you are now using to argue that such things cannot be accomodated. It didn't happen, but that doesn't mean it could never happen.

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.


Did anyone of those people paying to watch the GB football team give a stuff about any of that? Didn't look that way to me. And most of the grounds were full to see them play.

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.


I wouldn't expect players to do anything they don't want to do. Sing the anthem, don't sing the anthem, it's up to them. If the papers make a fuss, good! Better than being ignored!! No one forced Brian Carney's arm up his back to play for GB. He could have turned down the invitation. Maybe he thought the opportunity to play against the best in the world was a more important consideration, an opportunity that he would never have now, the way we organise the international game. Is that really progress?

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#206 HKR AWAY DAYS

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:38 PM

My thoughts are that any potential GB team must be used for tours only and in no way hinder the development of the home nations and Ireland.

If we are serious about it, we should easily be able implement a GB side into the international calendar and I think it would benefit a lot of nations that don't get regular games, like Fiji and Samoa.

Think out loud here, we have a cycle of 4 years for every work cup, so:

Year 1: World Cup;
Year 2: 4Nations;
Year 3: 4Nations;
Year 4: 4Nations (in this year's case 3Nations);
Year 5: World Cup again.

I really like the way we had a 4Nations tournament in the southern hemisphere and we invited the best team outside of the 'super powers' to play the 'big three' and vice versa when it was in the northern hemisphere. It rewarded that side for being the 'best of the rest' with all respect. I'd like to see us continue that but when the GB side tour or the Aussies/Kiwis come over here, we have a competitive competition between Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and even the England Knights, as well as one for Somoa, Fiji, Tonga, PNG, Cook Island so that they are involved in the calendar more as well. (That is 13 international sides playing meaningful games across the globe).

So we'd have:

Year 1: World Cup;
Year 2: 4Nations (northern hemisphere);
Year 3: GB tour + other competitions mentioned above;
Year 4: 4Nations (southern Hemisphere);
Year 5: World Cup again.

Am I completely mental, or might something like this actually work, keep the 'big guns' playing each other regularly, and also allow the emerging nations to develop too?

Edited by HKR AWAY DAYS, 09 November 2012 - 05:39 PM.


#207 John Drake

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 05:39 PM

Hang on, a lot of people on these forums were ecstatic that many of the medal winners were from Yorkshire!!!


TRL isn't a representative sample of the British public. ;)

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#208 Johnoco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:14 PM

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.

Come on John, people back GB athletes in the Olympics because they come (generally) from all corners of GB. If year after year all the athletes came from Yorks & Lancs, I'm pretty sure the Scottish and Welsh viewers and eventually southern Englanders would lose interest.

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#209 Johnoco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:15 PM

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.

Come on John, people back GB athletes in the Olympics because they come (generally) from all corners of GB. If year after year all the athletes came from Yorks & Lancs, I'm pretty sure the Scottish and Welsh viewers and eventually southern Englanders would lose interest.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

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#210 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 06:33 PM

Do Ireland ,Wales and Scotland really exist tho as genuine rep teams or are they just fabricated teams forced together to make up numbers ?
Without genuine professional leagues or clubs in these countries I don't see the point other than to feel warm and fuzzy that the game is global when in reality it just sucks up funding ,I'm from N.Ireland so when GB went away I had to revert to New Zealand(grandparents rule)
I don't think there is anything wrong with an international game of GB Australia,France and NZ with a few 2nd tear nations like PNG etc ,and if the product is right other nations can join in under legitimate rules rather than fabricated teams of players with tenuous links to nations!
Wo don't have to have test footie every year ,how about we have a year free for a proper World Club Championship end of season with Top clubs from SL and NRL just a thought!


Sorry, had to break off for my tea half-way through my reply!

It does depend on what your definition of 'fabricated' is. Originally England had its own national rugby league team, and the rest (Irish, Welsh, Scottish) played in a 'fabricated' Other Nations squad. Great Britain rugby league team was created so that the English game could take advantage of those Welsh, Scottish and Irish players that were in the game. Was that a case of fabrication? After all Great Britain isn't a nation, or even a sovereign state.

And you do bring up a point that has bedevilled the game of rugby league from the off. Unless the people playing the game are doing so at the highest level, they don't count. Thus, in the past if a nation couldn't sustain professional football it wasn't worth bothering about - hell for a long time amateur RL was severely neglected in Britain. If a national side couldn't reach test level, then forget it. Other sports don't do this. Soccer has a national side for almost every nation on earth, union isn't too far behind, and have you seen how many nations play cricket. It doesn't matter that most of these nations play at a very low level, their national team largely represents the strength they are at.

Serbia doesn't have a professional league, doesn't have any professional players as far as I know, yet they have a national side. I'm sure that their players are as proud to represent Serbia as any professional player is to represent their test playing nation.

You seem to want an international game of GB, Australia,France and NZ with a few 2nd tier nations like PNG, but that is exactly what worries me about these mutterings about 'bringing back GB'. I don't think it is about an extra level of representation, an occasional tour like the union version, I suspect it is the same old story when it comes to rugby league development. Things get difficult, like trying to take development in Scotland, Wales and Ireland - and England! - onto the next level, and the game gets scared. "We overreached ourselves! The game will never amount to anything! What will happen if Sky pull out! Retreat to the heartlands! Where the hell is the M62???".

The recent past wasn't just some Great British nirvana - it was pretty miserable most of the time following GB internationals - and neither the international or domestic game of the 80s or 90s is worth re-visiting.
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#211 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:07 PM

Where there's a will, there's a way. There was supposed to be a GB tour this year, after all, within the very calendar whose virtues you are now using to argue that such things cannot be accomodated. It didn't happen, but that doesn't mean it could never happen.


No one wanted to play GB and, anyway, this is the year that is to disappear from the international schedule (we've had a 5 year gap between WCs, it will be 4 from now on).

Did anyone of those people paying to watch the GB football team give a stuff about any of that? Didn't look that way to me. And most of the grounds were full to see them play.


Probably not, although I suspect the Olympic crowds won't be the regulars turning up to support their national teams at Hampden, Wembley, Millennium or Windsor. They were there, primarily, to watch an Olympic event rather than a meaningful football international. Besides, I think you made a point about bringing politics into the occasion - that certainly happened here via the gutter press!

Another thing is that had a rugby league tournament been held at London 2012, I'm sure the stadiums would have been packed with enthusiastic spectators. They wouldn't necessarily have been there because they were keen on the game, just that they wanted to see an Olympic event. Their enthusiasm probably wouldn't translate itself into greater support for international rugby league. Surely the potential support for the international game in England - the support over and above what we have for the club game - wants to see an England team, in England shirts, with an English identity (identity, not brand!) take the field, not a combined team.

I know that in soccer I want to see Scotland (well, perhaps not so much at the moment), not Great Britain. The latter would be much too much like kissing your sister. :unsure:

I wouldn't expect players to do anything they don't want to do. Sing the anthem, don't sing the anthem, it's up to them. If the papers make a fuss, good! Better than being ignored!! No one forced Brian Carney's arm up his back to play for GB. He could have turned down the invitation. Maybe he thought the opportunity to play against the best in the world was a more important consideration, an opportunity that he would never have now, the way we organise the international game. Is that really progress?


"Sing the anthem, don't sing the anthem" - the hysteria we witnessed during the Olympics notwithstanding, surely a representative side should have shirts/flags/emblems/anthems that the team can unite around and be inspired by. And this comes back to my point about why we had a GB team in the first place - to take advantage of the quality Welsh players (mainly) to increase the chances against Australia.

"No one forced Brian Carney's arm up his back" - no, but the RFL changed the name of the team to GB & Ireland, changed the badge to include all four nations, introduced green piping around the collar, just to incorporate Brian Carney in the team. And then they forget about the anthem - are the game's officials so ignorant as to think it appropriate to play GSTQ for an Irish team (or a team that includes Ireland)? Can you imagine how that would have gone down in places like Cork and Limerick?

If we're eventually to have a combined side again, let's do it right.
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#212 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

My thoughts are that any potential GB team must be used for tours only and in no way hinder the development of the home nations and Ireland.

If we are serious about it, we should easily be able implement a GB side into the international calendar and I think it would benefit a lot of nations that don't get regular games, like Fiji and Samoa.

Think out loud here, we have a cycle of 4 years for every work cup, so:

Year 1: World Cup;
Year 2: 4Nations;
Year 3: 4Nations;
Year 4: 4Nations (in this year's case 3Nations);
Year 5: World Cup again.

I really like the way we had a 4Nations tournament in the southern hemisphere and we invited the best team outside of the 'super powers' to play the 'big three' and vice versa when it was in the northern hemisphere. It rewarded that side for being the 'best of the rest' with all respect. I'd like to see us continue that but when the GB side tour or the Aussies/Kiwis come over here, we have a competitive competition between Wales, Ireland, Scotland, France and even the England Knights, as well as one for Somoa, Fiji, Tonga, PNG, Cook Island so that they are involved in the calendar more as well. (That is 13 international sides playing meaningful games across the globe).

So we'd have:

Year 1: World Cup;
Year 2: 4Nations (northern hemisphere);
Year 3: GB tour + other competitions mentioned above;
Year 4: 4Nations (southern Hemisphere);
Year 5: World Cup again.

Am I completely mental, or might something like this actually work, keep the 'big guns' playing each other regularly, and also allow the emerging nations to develop too?


It could work, but it would probably be better leaving it until you could include at least a few non-English players on merit.

The one problem with your schedule is that you've got two consecutive years when the southern hemisphere is hosting a tour. Might it be better to have the GB tour the year after the world cup? This would be right at the start of the world cup cycle, so the individual nation's preparations would be affected, neither would it get in the way of any world cup qualifiers (if they are brought in again). After that each nation has a clear run through to the next world cup in which to get their preparations right.

And we could have the GB tour to the south, Aussies and Kiwis up her for the 4 nations, then back down there for the return.

The only problem now is to get those non-English players up to the standard...

And in that vein, why not take up the idea that I think RoughyedSpud put forward. If, as expected, the number of imports reduces over the next few years, and the Exiles team is no longer feasible, why not re-introduce the Other Nationalities team. That was originally made up of Welsh, Irish and Scottish players when there weren't enough to make strong enough sides for each nation. Include the best professionals from each nation (call them Other Nationalities, Celtic Nations or whatever) and see if they can give England a decent challenge. When and if they can, or if some of the players approach the level of England's performance, then reconsider introducing Great Britain and Ireland.
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#213 Lesmets

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:36 PM

Sorry, had to break off for my tea half-way through my reply!

It does depend on what your definition of 'fabricated' is. Originally England had its own national rugby league team, and the rest (Irish, Welsh, Scottish) played in a 'fabricated' Other Nations squad. Great Britain rugby league team was created so that the English game could take advantage of those Welsh, Scottish and Irish players that were in the game. Was that a case of fabrication? After all Great Britain isn't a nation, or even a sovereign state.

And you do bring up a point that has bedevilled the game of rugby league from the off. Unless the people playing the game are doing so at the highest level, they don't count. Thus, in the past if a nation couldn't sustain professional football it wasn't worth bothering about - hell for a long time amateur RL was severely neglected in Britain. If a national side couldn't reach test level, then forget it. Other sports don't do this. Soccer has a national side for almost every nation on earth, union isn't too far behind, and have you seen how many nations play cricket. It doesn't matter that most of these nations play at a very low level, their national team largely represents the strength they are at.

Serbia doesn't have a professional league, doesn't have any professional players as far as I know, yet they have a national side. I'm sure that their players are as proud to represent Serbia as any professional player is to represent their test playing nation.

You seem to want an international game of GB, Australia,France and NZ with a few 2nd tier nations like PNG, but that is exactly what worries me about these mutterings about 'bringing back GB'. I don't think it is about an extra level of representation, an occasional tour like the union version, I suspect it is the same old story when it comes to rugby league development. Things get difficult, like trying to take development in Scotland, Wales and Ireland - and England! - onto the next level, and the game gets scared. "We overreached ourselves! The game will never amount to anything! What will happen if Sky pull out! Retreat to the heartlands! Where the hell is the M62???".

The recent past wasn't just some Great British nirvana - it was pretty miserable most of the time following GB internationals - and neither the international or domestic game of the 80s or 90s is worth re-visiting.


No it's not a case of wanting it just to be GB Aus and NZ ,but for 100 years head start on union the game didn't grow much beyond the heartland ,so maybe put the money spent on expansion into the grass roots and concentrate on the great comps we already have!

#214 Old Frightful

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 07:52 PM

No it's not a case of wanting it just to be GB Aus and NZ ,but for 100 years head start on union the game didn't grow much beyond the heartland ,so maybe put the money spent on expansion into the grass roots and concentrate on the great comps we already have!

Congratulations!

Yet another of your posts with the word "union" in it.

          NO BUTS IT'S GOT TO BE BUTTER......                                 Z1N2MybzplQR6XBrwB9egniMH8xqYQ5s.jpg                                                                                                                     


#215 Lesmets

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:03 PM

Congratulations!

Yet another of your posts with the word "union" in it.


Yes it's my goal to bring down League by the use of the word Union ,ohh look there it is again!!!!

#216 davewd

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:17 PM

I cannot see Ireland/Walesor Scotland going on tour matches on their own any time this centuary. Wether there are any players good enough or not from said countries , a touring side called GB will probably generate more interest than just a England side.

#217 Johnoco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 08:47 PM

I cannot see Ireland/Walesor Scotland going on tour matches on their own any time this centuary. Wether there are any players good enough or not from said countries , a touring side called GB will probably generate more interest than just a England side.

People keep saying this as though its a fact.

What evidence is there that more people are inclined to support a GB side as opposed to England? Is it just a case of some people repeating it enough?

Why didn't these people support GB en masse in also the past like when they won the WC? Stevo says they arrived home virtually unheralded, so how popular was it exactly?

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together


#218 thirteenthman

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:03 PM

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.


How many is some though? And at what point are the numbers reduced? I agree that reliance on heritage players isn't the way to go long term, but how are the likes of Ireland supposed to compete in World Cups (which they were automatically entered into) without using heritage players? The standard of their league set up isnt going to produce professional standard players. The only reason Ireland were given full international status was because of the performances of teams packed with heritage players. And why have many of those heritage players switched their allegiances from Ireland? Because we got rid of the GB team. Guys who used to play for Ireland have ditched them for the chance to play in the 'big matches', which means playing for England. If we hadn't ditched the GB team, Brough, Harrison, Bridge, Evans, etc., probably wouldn't have switched, and the likes of Ireland and Wales would still get the benefit of them.

Yes, the game should be looking to develop homegrown players in Ireland and Scotland, but if the game wants these teams competing at the level they are now, then they will have to use heritage players for a very long time to come.

#219 thirteenthman

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:06 PM

People keep saying this as though its a fact.

What evidence is there that more people are inclined to support a GB side as opposed to England? Is it just a case of some people repeating it enough?

Why didn't these people support GB en masse in also the past like when they won the WC? Stevo says they arrived home virtually unheralded, so how popular was it exactly?


To be fair, it wouldn't have made any difference if they were called England though would it? The game was at a low ebb in the 70s, attendances across the game proved this, so its a bit unfair to cite the reaction to the 1972 WC win as evidence. However, I would agree that there's nothing to suggest that bringing back the GB team would instantly give the game a huge boost at the turnstiles.

#220 Johnoco

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 11:12 PM

How many is some though? And at what point are the numbers reduced? I agree that reliance on heritage players isn't the way to go long term, but how are the likes of Ireland supposed to compete in World Cups (which they were automatically entered into) without using heritage players? The standard of their league set up isnt going to produce professional standard players. The only reason Ireland were given full international status was because of the performances of teams packed with heritage players. And why have many of those heritage players switched their allegiances from Ireland? Because we got rid of the GB team. Guys who used to play for Ireland have ditched them for the chance to play in the 'big matches', which means playing for England. If we hadn't ditched the GB team, Brough, Harrison, Bridge, Evans, etc., probably wouldn't have switched, and the likes of Ireland and Wales would still get the benefit of them.

Yes, the game should be looking to develop homegrown players in Ireland and Scotland, but if the game wants these teams competing at the level they are now, then they will have to use heritage players for a very long time to come.

I agree in essence with a lot of what you are saying. But the fact is those players should not have been *allowed* to switch anyway- that's the real issue.

It will be a long route to get homegrown Celtic players up to a half decent standard. But there isn't really a way round this. It will take some years.

No I don't care if you're if you're into different bands

No cause for so much hatred, I'm just a different man

Pull off that cover, I will too, and learn to understand

With music deep inside we'll make world unity our plan

 

7 Seconds -Walk Together, Rock Together





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