If the likes of Georgia and Romania count as "valid" then France, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa and PNG also are.
I said 10-14. I was thinking of: Argentina, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, Ireland, Wales, Scotland
. And I was also thinking of Samoa
(who beat Wales last year) and Tonga
who are still seen as a draw when they tour the UK and Oz/NZ, are pretty competitive and have fully professional squads.
All of them are 'valid' and I've put blue as Tier 1 and red as Tier 2. I still believe that only England, Australia, and New Zealand RL teams are of that level.
Sadly, I think we've missed the boat. Ask anybody about international rugby and they'll think about union. We'll never compete with them on that stage so why worry?
Our product at club level is far superior and they know it. Let's just concentrate on pointing this out to the masses, continually win the TV ratings war and rub the unionites noses in it.
We should be using our strengths to strengthen our weaknesses.
Unfortunately with the way the world is turning International really has become key, to the extent that Rugby Union can fully fund itself adequately generally off the revenues and support of the international game. Instead of giving up I believe we should follow.
A very sensible post but I have serious doubts that a game in full retreat to its heartlands is ever going to have a competive Welsh or French team Certainly if last years tri-nations tournament was anything to go by.
Like it or not Rugby League in the northern hemisphere is in crisis with the game already serving as a feeder league for the NRL or RFU. As I have posted before, within 5 years thev England RL coach will fly out to Australia where the majority of the squad will be. A bunch of NRL players will raise the standard of the England team no doubt but it will be because players reach their potential in the NRL not Super League.
Some posters on here need to wake up and smell the coffee, and I certainly don't know what the gamechanger will be to turn League's fortunes around but then a lot of posters and voices within the game are quite happy with the prospect of an M62 Small Town game even if it is a feeder league. As ye sow so shall ye reap
Agreed and I think I have an adequate solution. I wonder what you and Old Frightful think of this. I've put it in points to make it easier, feel free to say at which point you start disagreeing!:
1. Rugby League's strength is in it's domestic
2. Yet by growing the international scene, this will cause the domestic leagues to strengthen too.
3. After all many more fans are attracted to international sport and their nation then by club sport (surely that cannot be disputed?)
4. The level that England and New Zealand play their Rugby League is in a professional manner that is worth putting on television, that is of greater quality to the domestic leagues and is worth paying money to view.
5. The level that Other International Teams play their Rugby League is not better than Super League and is not worthy of mass television coverage or expensive tickets.
6. Thus we shall take England and NZ as our "minimum desired level" and as the aim that other countries need to reach.
7. The three 'upcoming' nations are likely to be France, Wales and Papua New Guinea.
8. Sport is fueled by competition, and the greater number of competitive teams there are, generally, the better and more exciting the sport is.
9. Getting a good game ON the pitch will in turn raise revenues, attendences, television and matters OFF the pitch.
10. Competitiveness is decided by the skills of the individual players, but also the size of a playing pool a nation or team has access too.
11. Players get better at a sport by: regularly playing it, becoming fully paid professionals, playing against the same players that they will be facing in international competition.
12. England and New Zealand (the "minimum desired level") players play in Super League and the NRL, hence Welsh, French and PNG players will HAVE
to regularly play in these competitions week in week out, to become as competitive as English/Kiwi players.
13. There are two ways of getting French/Welsh/PNG players into SL/NRL clubs:
- Creating Welsh/French/PNG clubs to compete in the SL/NRL, and making them clubs play home-grown players.
- Quota-ing Welsh/French/PNG players in English & Australian clubs.
14. The RFL have tried option 1, with success to some extent (Catalans -> France), or with no success as all (Celtic Crusaders -> Wales) for reasons that don't matter.
15. But even with some success option 1 takes a long time.
16. Hence we are left with option 2.17. To put option 2 into practice, I propose EVERY single NRL club to have four PNG players on their books and that one PNG MUST be in the starting 17. I propose that EVERY single SL club have two Welsh and two French players on their books and that one Frenchman and one Welshman be in the starting 17.
18. These players could have special 'salary cap rules' (eg not included, or only 50% of whatever)
19. This will cause the standards of SL and NRL to drop, but only for a short while and not significantly.
20. At this rate: France, Wales and PNG will reach England/NZ status in FIVE-EIGHT years. This is significantly quicker than what Option 1 would have done and is a significantly less risky strategy too.
21. Then the quota-ing can be minimalising (say down to 3 players)
22. We will then have SIX "valid" teams in time for 2017 World Cup (and with 6 teams we will be able to properly square up to Rugby Union).
23. Thus international Rugby League will be stronger (as television companies, sports fans, media and sponsors will be more attracted to the new COMPETITIVENESS)
24. Thus domestic
Rugby League will be stronger (more money in the game)
25. Thus Rugby League will be stronger.
We are using our strengths, to strengthen our weaknesses.
By the end of it we could have in 5-10 years time: a competitive World Cup every 4 years, a competitive Northern Tri-Nations every year, and a competitive Southern Tri-Nations every year.
Edited by ShotgunGold, 12 February 2013 - 12:17 AM.