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Why a GB tour in 2015 is deeply flawed


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#41 Dave T

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:41 PM

I'm not sure I agree about the fact that they played more games in the last 4 years than they did in the 10-15 before that - if you could provide some stats then I'll happily alter my opinion.

I do agree that "nobody gave a ###### if they played or not". But I would also say that is probably the same now, relatively speaking.

Personally I think very little has changed for Wales, Scotland and Ireland since GB disbanded, except that some of their better players have since pledged allegiance to England. Again I'll happily be proved wrong if anyone has the stats to support their opinion.

You are right, little has changed:

 

Ireland - play three games per year now instead of 2 prior to 2008 (played 3 in 2004 when GB were playing)

Scotland - same as above

Wales - play 3 or 4 games per year now, up from 2-3 normally.

 

There is little difference tbh - most of the above play England Knights now.



#42 Methven Hornet

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 06:53 PM

GB is a totally irrelevant, archaic concept and the people advocating its return are nostalgia-fueled idiots.

 

I could see that it was a necessity at one time, when rugby league was not played at any level in Wales, Scotland and Ireland, and even the occasional appearance of Wales was as a result of union converts and players with Welsh heritage.

 

But rugby league has made the decision that it is going to permanently organise and develop, both in the 'home' nations and in wider Europe, and combining nations makes no sense in that scenario. Especially when you're combining, in rugby league terms, one advanced nation with three developing ones.

 



 


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#43 RugbyLeagueGeek

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 07:47 PM

You are right, little has changed:
 
Ireland - play three games per year now instead of 2 prior to 2008 (played 3 in 2004 when GB were playing)
Scotland - same as above
Wales - play 3 or 4 games per year now, up from 2-3 normally.
 
There is little difference tbh - most of the above play England Knights now.

Thanks for that. I knew they had played some games prior to GB disbanding but wasn't sure of exact numbers. Personally I'd love to see them all playing England each Summer in a Euro championship type thing. It'll likely be years before they become competitive, but it would at least guarantee them some high profile fixtures each year.

If GB were still going then players could have the luxury of playing for their home nation in the Summer, and then still have the opportunity of getting selected to play against the big guns in the Autumn internationals.

I understand why people think it's a backward step, but in reality it was only a very short time ago that we were competing as GB anyway. I think when the decision to disband the GB team was made, some of the potential implications (such as players all opting for England) hadn't been fully considered.

#44 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:20 PM

Thanks for that. I knew they had played some games prior to GB disbanding but wasn't sure of exact numbers. Personally I'd love to see them all playing England each Summer in a Euro championship type thing. It'll likely be years before they become competitive, but it would at least guarantee them some high profile fixtures each year.

If GB were still going then players could have the luxury of playing for their home nation in the Summer, and then still have the opportunity of getting selected to play against the big guns in the Autumn internationals.

I understand why people think it's a backward step, but in reality it was only a very short time ago that we were competing as GB anyway. I think when the decision to disband the GB team was made, some of the potential implications (such as players all opting for England) hadn't been fully considered.

They weren't proper games though before 2008. You can't have a proper home nations test if GB are playing.

Is it just me, or does it seem like the ones that want GB to return all seem to be English? The Welsh, Irish and Scottish seem pretty happy to have their own teams.
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#45 RugbyLeagueGeek

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Posted 22 April 2013 - 09:27 PM

They weren't proper games though before 2008. You can't have a proper home nations test if GB are playing.

But everybody keeps telling me that GB are just England anyway, so surely Wales, Scotland and Ireland would still have been at full strength before 2008?

And how were they not 'proper' games? Do Ireland and Scotland play any 'proper' games now? When was the last time they played the full England team, for example?

#46 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:10 AM

But everybody keeps telling me that GB are just England anyway, so surely Wales, Scotland and Ireland would still have been at full strength before 2008?

And how were they not 'proper' games? Do Ireland and Scotland play any 'proper' games now? When was the last time they played the full England team, for example?

They weren't proper games because their best players wouldn't be availae to them if they were good enough to play for GB (which to be fair has only been Cunningham, Harris and Carney in the last 10 years!). They are now the focus of RL in their regions, not some developmental sideshow.

It's funny how you single out Ireland and Scotland for questioning of "proper games", but leave out Wales who have played Australia, New Zealand and England recently in proper tests. All have played France in front of bigger crowds than before the split.
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#47 Dave T

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 06:57 AM

They weren't proper games because their best players wouldn't be availae to them if they were good enough to play for GB (which to be fair has only been Cunningham, Harris and Carney in the last 10 years!). They are now the focus of RL in their regions, not some developmental sideshow.

It's funny how you single out Ireland and Scotland for questioning of "proper games", but leave out Wales who have played Australia, New Zealand and England recently in proper tests. All have played France in front of bigger crowds than before the split.

there were proper games when GB played Wellsy.
Ireland even played in Russia.

Even if there was a chance of losing players to GB - the reality is they didnt (especially Scotland and Ireland).

Wales made one 4n appearance by shocking favourites France in the qualifiers.

If we are serious about Home Nations - they should be facing PNG, Samoa, Fiji etc. and even getting the opportunity for their own tours.

I find it ridiculous that these teams are going into the WC without proper warmups this summer. We need to make it attractive for players to want to play for these teams.

#48 RugbyLeagueGeek

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 07:38 AM

They weren't proper games because their best players wouldn't be availae to them if they were good enough to play for GB (which to be fair has only been Cunningham, Harris and Carney in the last 10 years!). They are now the focus of RL in their regions, not some developmental sideshow.

It's funny how you single out Ireland and Scotland for questioning of "proper games", but leave out Wales who have played Australia, New Zealand and England recently in proper tests. All have played France in front of bigger crowds than before the split.

Equally I could throw back that Ireland played England in a WC semi final (and pushed them close) before GB had disbanded, and therefore played in more 'proper games' than they currently do... I don't think that picking and choosing selected stats really makes either argument conclusive.

 

What I'm getting at is that very little has changed since GB disbanded, despite folk saying that now is a far better scenario for these smaller teams. What has definitely changed is that the likes of Danny Brough and Michael McIlorum have now opted to play for England instead of Scotland and Ireland, respectively.

 

I know that people argue that we need 'home grown' players representing these other home nations - and I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment - but the reality is that will be years away from making these teams competitive on the international stage.

 

In contrast, if you look at NSW and Queensland, then they will look to recruit whatever players make them more competitive, hence the controversies over NZ-born players opting to play Origin.

 

My proposal would see the celtic nations playing more high profile games than they currently do, whilst also allowing their players to play for GB against Aus or NZ in the autumn internationals.



#49 bird

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 09:27 AM

GB is a totally irrelevant, archaic concept and the people advocating its return are nostalgia-fueled idiots.

You obviously missed the Olympics

#50 MOT

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 10:47 AM

there were proper games when GB played Wellsy.
Ireland even played in Russia.

Even if there was a chance of losing players to GB - the reality is they didnt (especially Scotland and Ireland).

Wales made one 4n appearance by shocking favourites France in the qualifiers.

If we are serious about Home Nations - they should be facing PNG, Samoa, Fiji etc. and even getting the opportunity for their own tours.

I find it ridiculous that these teams are going into the WC without proper warmups this summer. We need to make it attractive for players to want to play for these teams.

What's wrong with effectively pooling the international sides, with the best out of the European sides competing for a place in the 4n when it's over here and the best of the other international sides competing for a place when it's in Aus/New Zealand.

 

Like you've said, why can't Scotland, Ireland, Wales etc tour or have PNG, Samoa etc come over here and tour as part of there own comp and or a curtain raiser to the four nations?



#51 RugbyLeagueGeek

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:19 AM

Like you've said, why can't Scotland, Ireland, Wales etc tour or have PNG, Samoa etc come over here and tour as part of there own comp and or a curtain raiser to the four nations?

Wouldn't know for definite, but I suspect money (or lack of) is a big limiting factor. Also - and this is in no way intended to be disrespectful of the likes of PNG and Samoa - but the attraction for a player to tour these pacific nations will probably be a lot less than playing Aus or NZ, so those eligible will still opt to play for England as it offers them more opportunity. Not only that, but I suspect the attraction for a player to tour these pacific nations (and remuneration) may not outweigh the benefits of a longer off-season in terms of recovery and training.

#52 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:34 AM

Equally I could throw back that Ireland played England in a WC semi final (and pushed them close) before GB had disbanded, and therefore played in more 'proper games' than they currently do... I don't think that picking and choosing selected stats really makes either argument conclusive.

Ireland have never made the RLWC semi final.
Picking and choosing stats is one thing. Making them up is another.

What I'm getting at is that very little has changed since GB disbanded, despite folk saying that now is a far better scenario for these smaller teams.

How much do you expect to change in 4 years? It's long term we're looking at. Wales are producing more if their own players than ever.

What has definitely changed is that the likes of Danny Brough and Michael McIlorum have now opted to play for England instead of Scotland and Ireland, respectively.

Come this World Cup, do you think they'd have stuck with those nations if GB were still around? Surely they'd rather have a shot at winning the World Cup with their actual nation than sticking with their heritage nation? Has nothing to do with GB really.

I know that people argue that we need 'home grown' players representing these other home nations - and I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment - but the reality is that will be years away from making these teams competitive on the international stage.

Yes, and? Is that a reason to give up and bring back GB? Absolutely not.

In contrast, if you look at NSW and Queensland, then they will look to recruit whatever players make them more competitive, hence the controversies over NZ-born players opting to play Origin.

I don't see how State of Origin is relevant at all?

My proposal would see the celtic nations playing more high profile games than they currently do, whilst also allowing their players to play for GB against Aus or NZ in the autumn internationals.

How does it? Your proposal doesn't rely in GB being in place. It also doesn't have any logic seeing that no Celtic players would even get into GB.

Your proposal basically relegates the home nations to B status (ala England Knights) and leaves us with one test nation, GB (which is effectively England as it is now).
The way we are now, we have four test nations.

I really cannot see any logic in having GB come back full time, nor can I see the logic in having them split up back to four home nations for the most important competition (the RLWC) if we're meant to be supposedly stronger as GB!
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#53 MOT

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:34 AM

Wouldn't know for definite, but I suspect money (or lack of) is a big limiting factor. Also - and this is in no way intended to be disrespectful of the likes of PNG and Samoa - but the attraction for a player to tour these pacific nations will probably be a lot less than playing Aus or NZ, so those eligible will still opt to play for England as it offers them more opportunity. Not only that, but I suspect the attraction for a player to tour these pacific nations (and remuneration) may not outweigh the benefits of a longer off-season in terms of recovery and training.

 

I'd assume the same regarding financial restrictions but surely that could be reduced if the home nations toured together. England were in South Africa 'bonding', they could have had a run out against the South African side (Rhinos is it?) If the England academy can tour Australia then why can't the full side for Scotland, Ireland and Wales do similar?

 

Equally if you're new to RL, say for example as a Welsh fan, would you rather see your team compete/beat Scotland and Ireland or get trounced by England, Aus and the Kiwis?



#54 Just to be clear

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:41 AM

Like you've said, why can't Scotland, Ireland, Wales etc tour or have PNG, Samoa etc come over here and tour as part of there own comp and or a curtain raiser to the four nations?

Just to be clear, money. In 2006 when the Tri-Nations, featuring GB, was held in Australia and New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga came to Europe to play England and France in the Federation Shield. It was a good idea, the only chance to see live international rugby league at home that autumn when it had become an annual fixture.

The double header at Headingley only attracted around 5,500, an England game at the KC similar, and the final at Widnes was about half of those. Only France's home games did a bit better. People write-off the attendance for Roses matches, but they were more popular than that series.

There is no reason to expect the other home nations to even do that well. While last year Sky were not interested in a series featuring the full England team without Australia or New Zealand. So with little fan and TV interest any tour would make a loss unless the Pacific Islands can afford to invite European teams to come on a tour. So even if it would be a worthwhile investment in improving the international game we are unlikely to see any such tours.

It sucks, but until the fans are willing to support such matches it is difficult to make the case to those running the game that they are worth a large proportion of the limited development money the games has to spend.

#55 MOT

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:45 AM

Just to be clear, money. In 2006 when the Tri-Nations, featuring GB, was held in Australia and New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga came to Europe to play England and France in the Federation Shield. It was a good idea, the only chance to see live international rugby league at home that autumn when it had become an annual fixture.

The double header at Headingley only attracted around 5,500, an England game at the KC similar, and the final at Widnes was about half of those. Only France's home games did a bit better. People write-off the attendance for Roses matches, but they were more popular than that series.

There is no reason to expect the other home nations to even do that well. While last year Sky were not interested in a series featuring the full England team without Australia or New Zealand. So with little fan and TV interest any tour would make a loss unless the Pacific Islands can afford to invite European teams to come on a tour. So even if it would be a worthwhile investment in improving the international game we are unlikely to see any such tours.

It sucks, but until the fans are willing to support such matches it is difficult to make the case to those running the game that they are worth a large proportion of the limited development money the games has to spend.

But the RFL will continue to persist with London?

 

Thanks for the facts and figures but surely running at a loss is worthwhile if (hopefully) it is for the benefit of the international game.

 

In an ideal scenario England's/GB's international games would be on a par with England RU/The Lions and the money that comes with it



#56 Wellsy4HullFC

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

Just to be clear, money. In 2006 when the Tri-Nations, featuring GB, was held in Australia and New Zealand, Samoa and Tonga came to Europe to play England and France in the Federation Shield. It was a good idea, the only chance to see live international rugby league at home that autumn when it had become an annual fixture.

The double header at Headingley only attracted around 5,500, an England game at the KC similar, and the final at Widnes was about half of those. Only France's home games did a bit better. People write-off the attendance for Roses matches, but they were more popular than that series.

Just to be clearer, that England side were effectively the England Knights. 5,500 for a reserve fixture isn't that bad!

There is no reason to expect the other home nations to even do that well. [n]While last year Sky were not interested in a series featuring the full England team without Australia or New Zealand[/b]. So with little fan and TV interest any tour would make a loss unless the Pacific Islands can afford to invite European teams to come on a tour. So even if it would be a worthwhile investment in improving the international game we are unlikely to see any such tours.

Any evidence? Or just an assumption? Because the very reserve series you talked about earlier had some games on Sky.

It sucks, but until the fans are willing to support such matches it is difficult to make the case to those running the game that they are worth a large proportion of the limited development money the games has to spend.

It's up to the game to make the product for the supporters to come to, not the supporters to make the product for the game to sell!
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#57 The Daddy_merged

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 11:47 AM

Ireland have never made the RLWC semi final.
Picking and choosing stats is one thing. Making them up is another.

How much do you expect to change in 4 years? It's long term we're looking at. Wales are producing more if their own players than ever.

Come this World Cup, do you think they'd have stuck with those nations if GB were still around? Surely they'd rather have a shot at winning the World Cup with their actual nation than sticking with their heritage nation? Has nothing to do with GB really.

Yes, and? Is that a reason to give up and bring back GB? Absolutely not.

I don't see how State of Origin is relevant at all?

How does it? Your proposal doesn't rely in GB being in place. It also doesn't have any logic seeing that no Celtic players would even get into GB.

Your proposal basically relegates the home nations to B status (ala England Knights) and leaves us with one test nation, GB (which is effectively England as it is now).
The way we are now, we have four test nations.

I really cannot see any logic in having GB come back full time, nor can I see the logic in having them split up back to four home nations for the most important competition (the RLWC) if we're meant to be supposedly stronger as GB!

Spot on, you talk a lot of sense and agree with most of what you say on RL forums.



#58 Dave T

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:36 PM

Money is obviously an issue - as has been pointed out though, we see plenty of tours by youth teams, so I suspect it is not impossible.

 

If Fiji toured with a fixture list like this:

 

1) Wales (Wrexham) - 5k

2) Scotland (Edinburgh) - 800

3) Ireland (Limerick) - 1500

4) England Knights - (London) - 5000

5) England - (Warrington) - 10k

6) France - (Avignon) - 10k

7) France - (Perpignan) - 8k

 

Whilst this may still lose money (or investment), then this kind of tour could certainly become attractive over time, if consistent and featuring the Pacific teams in particular who are exciting.



#59 thirteenthman

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:41 PM


How much do you expect to change in 4 years? It's long term we're looking at. Wales are producing more if their own players than ever.
 

 

But Wales producing more players of their own has got absolutely nothing to do with GB being disbanded. The 2 semi professional teams and partnerships with the likes of Wigan are driving that. That would still have happened if the GB team was still going.

 

What is does raise is the question of where Ireland and Scotland are going in terms of development. It's all well and good holding Wales up as a shining example of RL development, but the Ireland and Scotland teams in this years WC will be exactly as they were when they first appeared back in 1995 - full of heritage players. And unless someone decides to plant semi pro or pro sides into those countries sometime soon, and to really back development in those countries, I genuinely can't see that changing in the next 18 years or so.



#60 MOT

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Posted 24 April 2013 - 12:44 PM

But Wales producing more players of their own has got absolutely nothing to do with GB being disbanded. The 2 semi professional teams and partnerships with the likes of Wigan are driving that. That would still have happened if the GB team was still going.

 

What is does raise is the question of where Ireland and Scotland are going in terms of development. It's all well and good holding Wales up as a shining example of RL development, but the Ireland and Scotland teams in this years WC will be exactly as they were when they first appeared back in 1995 - full of heritage players. And unless someone decides to plant semi pro or pro sides into those countries sometime soon, and to really back development in those countries, I genuinely can't see that changing in the next 18 years or so.

Are there plans for semi pro sides in Scotland and Ireland and if not, why not?

 

Have we given up on Scotland after the magic weekend? A magic weekend in Ireland would be good!






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