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Bring Back GB / Ashes Tests etc (Merged Threads)


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#41 Methven Hornet

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 07:05 PM

With the changes to the structures of our leagues and potentially a few new sides coming into the semi pro game Coventry bears been 1 hopefully we'll get to see another South Wales club love to see another London club Medway?, possibly Nottingham outlaws? But going forward would live to see the rfl work towards getting a Scottish club in the championship certainly think there's potential for small success at that level thoughts?

 

The problem being that all of these great new semi-pro clubs are springing up in one end of Great Britain, and Scotland is at the other. One answer would be to eventually create a Championship 1 (north), and start to fill the gaps that exist in northern England outside the heartlands. The likes of Gateshead, other teams in the N.E., and other towns that don't have a Championship or NCL presence. 


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#42 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:41 PM

As someone said earlier there is no point moaning about the media coverage of the Union British Lions tour to Australia. Union Lions tours are a massive one in every 4 year events that attract travelling support from all the Home Nations. In Union terms it is nearly the equal of the World Cup. It is exactly the same as moaning about the media being obsessed with the Ashes Series in cricket for the next few months. Again the cricket Ashes is a massive historic event.

 

What Rugby League needs to do compete on equal terms and once upon a time the Great Britain rugby league team used to tour Australia once every 4 years. A team that contained English, Welshmen and lots of high profile Union converts. The team used to stand a good chance of success and it attracted widespread interest. As did the return tours the Australians made to the UK. 

 

Since the Super League era the representative game in rugby league has sharply regressed. If rugby league wants the media lime light it needs regular Test Series between Great Britain and Australia and Great Britain and New Zealand. It needs to put on events that the general public would be interested in. Instead RFL has the England v Exiles match at which the Warrington crowd of 8,000 decided to boo the Wigan players in the England team. 

 

There is no point moaning about the coverage over sports get if they happen to put on top quality events that capture the general public's imagination. The next thing someone will complain about is the media coverage of the Football World Cup!



#43 deluded pom?

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 08:58 PM

 
What Rugby League needs to do compete on equal terms and once upon a time the Great Britain rugby league team used to tour Australia once every 4 years. A team that contained English, Welshmen and lots of high profile Union converts. The team used to stand a good chance of success and it attracted widespread interest.
 
!

That's not the way I remember it. You would struggle to get the results of the non Test matches and the coverage of the Tests was nothing to write home about (pun intended). There would be no footage on either Grandstand or the national news with only a brief mention if you were lucky. I well remember Tony Gubba telling us how the GB lock forward (sic) had been sent off on the 1979 tour. British newspapers rarely sent their RL reporter on a six week jaunt.

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#44 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 10:16 PM

It is all relative. The media coverage of sport before the advent of satellite TV and the internet was small fry. It was pay television that revolutionised professional sport in the UK in terms of money and media exposure. Until 2001 Union Lions Tour was pretty moderately covered. It was Sky TV and the travelling supporters who made into the massive event it is today.

The issue is that the brief revival in the interest in international rugby league from 1990 to 1994, when you had 3 competitive series with big crowds and loads of media attention, was squandered by the subsequent Super League War. The home Tests against Australia in 1990 and 1994 were massive national sporting events with 6 or 7 million people watching on BBC TV. Since the Super League War the international game has never recovered. Rugby league had product that it could sell to the general public and they promptly threw it in the bin. The players in the '90, '92 and '94 teams were household names and celebrities unlike today's players.

Blaming other sports isn't going to solve rugby league's problems, most of which are self inflicted rather than the result of some grand media conspiracy. Go back 20 years and who in the UK gave a t*ss about cycling or rowing? Cyclists and rowers are now big names media personalities and stars. Whinging won't solve rugby league's profile issues.

#45 Johnoco

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 11:07 PM

Which Welshmen were in the GB side that weren't Union converts? Were there any?

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#46 Duff Duff

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 11:29 PM

How many Great Britain test matches against Australia and New Zealand were ever played in Cardiff?

I fear the chance to capitalise on the interest in rugby league in Wales during that period was lost. By the time Union went professional it was too late.

#47 bimbo101

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 01:29 AM

Great Britain still needs bringing back.The brand was massive.It doesn't matter if its all English players,England qualifies as Great Britain,we didn't need Australians and Kiwis to fill the Great Britain squad.Get GB back and the players from the other home nations will come through eventually but we should be knocking down walls to get the International game going once again.



#48 Johnoco

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 02:48 AM

The brand was never massive at all. Otherwise the crowds wouldn't have been so bad (in general)

And of course it matters if the team is all English, it is meant to represent the British Isles.

Edited by Johnoco, 23 June 2013 - 02:51 AM.

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#49 Dave T

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 03:24 PM

It is all relative. The media coverage of sport before the advent of satellite TV and the internet was small fry. It was pay television that revolutionised professional sport in the UK in terms of money and media exposure. Until 2001 Union Lions Tour was pretty moderately covered. It was Sky TV and the travelling supporters who made into the massive event it is today.

The issue is that the brief revival in the interest in international rugby league from 1990 to 1994, when you had 3 competitive series with big crowds and loads of media attention, was squandered by the subsequent Super League War. The home Tests against Australia in 1990 and 1994 were massive national sporting events with 6 or 7 million people watching on BBC TV. Since the Super League War the international game has never recovered. Rugby league had product that it could sell to the general public and they promptly threw it in the bin. The players in the '90, '92 and '94 teams were household names and celebrities unlike today's players.

Blaming other sports isn't going to solve rugby league's problems, most of which are self inflicted rather than the result of some grand media conspiracy. Go back 20 years and who in the UK gave a t*ss about cycling or rowing? Cyclists and rowers are now big names media personalities and stars. Whinging won't solve rugby league's profile issues.

Did GB games ever get 6-7 million viewers on BBC?

 

I remember moaning about the coverage we got back then too, and let's be 100% clear, our players most definitely were not household names and celebrities!



#50 Duff Duff

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:15 PM

6 million viewers on the BBC? That is about as much as they would have got in 1990 and 1994 for Ashes Tests being the centre piece for Grandstand on BBC 1 on Saturday afternoons.

For those of you with short memories this is what international rugby league used to look like and it didn't suffer any comparison with soccer or Rugby Union.



The biggest tradegy and victim of the Super League War was the international game. The ARL warned the RFL what would happen if it got into bed with Murdoch and much of the goodwill towards the international aspect of rugby league in Australia was been lost because of the actions of the RFL and the NZRL.

#51 Just Browny

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:20 PM

In some ways I wsih we'd never had those 2-3 good crowds at international matches in the early 1990s. It certainly would have saved internet RL forums from mountains of guff being spouted about how that was typical in the period before then.

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.


#52 Dave T

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 04:33 PM

6 million viewers on the BBC? That is about as much as they would have got in 1990 and 1994 for Ashes Tests being the centre piece for Grandstand on BBC 1 on Saturday afternoons.

For those of you with short memories this is what international rugby league used to look like and it didn't suffer any comparison with soccer or Rugby Union.



The biggest tradegy and victim of the Super League War was the international game. The ARL warned the RFL what would happen if it got into bed with Murdoch and much of the goodwill towards the international aspect of rugby league in Australia was been lost because of the actions of the RFL and the NZRL.

Any evidence that RL on Grandstand would have pulled in those kind of figures? I have not found anything which supports that (or contradicts it).

 

I'm not sure what you mean by 'this is what international RL used to look like'. What are you referring to? For the few videos you can post of GB v Aus with healthy crowds - there were 4 large international Wembley crowds between 1990-1995 there were plenty of poor crowds for games against NZ, France, PNG etc.

 

In 1990/1 GB had the following home crowds:

 

v France at Leeds - 6554

v Australia at Wembley - 54569

v Australia at Old Trafford - 46,615

v Australia at Leeds - 32,500

v France at Leeds - 5284

v PNG at Wigan - 4193

 

There are some shockingly low crowds for a team packed with household names where apparently 7m people are interested in them.

 

I think there has been some very poor strategies implemented around some internationals, but looking at past times with rose-tinted glasses on is not helpful.



#53 Duff Duff

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:36 PM

The good crowds and the high profile of Ashes Test matches was not a blip. It lasted for a ten year period from 1986 to 1996.

 

The crowds for Australia v Great Britain matches over the period were as follows.

 

1986

 

1st Test Manchester 50,583

2nd Test Leeds 30,808

3rd Test Wigan 20,169

 

1990

 

1st Test Wembley 54,569

2nd Test Manchester 46,615

3rd Test Leeds 32,500

 

1994 

 

1st Test Wembley 57,034

2nd Test Manchester 43,930

3rd Test Leeds 39,468

 

1996 Super League Series

 

1st Match Wembley 41,135

2nd Match Manchester 40,324

3rd Match Leeds 39,337

 

You also had three very well attended World Cup matches at Wembley over the same period with crowds of 73,631, 41,271 and 66,540. To dismiss these figures as irrelevant is rather strange. They weren't a flash in the pan. It is undeniable that the International game has regressed hugely since then and with it the national profile of Rugby League within the UK. 

 

For first rate opposition read Australia and New Zealand. Not France, not PNG, not Wales and certainly not The Exiles.



#54 Dave T

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 05:56 PM

The good crowds and the high profile of Ashes Test matches was not a blip. It lasted for a ten year period from 1986 to 1996.

The crowds for Australia v Great Britain matches over the period were as follows.

1986

1st Test Manchester 50,583
2nd Test Leeds 30,808
3rd Test Wigan 20,169

1990

1st Test Wembley 54,569
2nd Test Manchester 46,615
3rd Test Leeds 32,500

1994

1st Test Wembley 57,034
2nd Test Manchester 43,930
3rd Test Leeds 39,468

1996 Super League Series

1st Match Wembley 41,135
2nd Match Manchester 40,324
3rd Match Leeds 39,337

You also had three very well attended World Cup matches at Wembley over the same period with crowds of 73,631, 41,271 and 66,540. To dismiss these figures as irrelevant is rather strange. They weren't a flash in the pan. It is undeniable that the International game has regressed hugely since then and with it the national profile of Rugby League within the UK.

For first rate opposition read Australia and New Zealand. Not France, not PNG, not Wales and certainly not The Exiles.

why didnt you quote the crowds v NZ during the same period?

I highlighted the 4 good Wembley crowds - 90, 92, 94 and 95. I discounted the 40k crowds because a) they were very disappointing for the time and B) we got 42k last time we played the Aussies in London 2 years back.

#55 Duff Duff

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 07:02 PM

Sub 40,000 crowds for Australia disappointing? What planet are you on. What was the capacity of Elland Road at the time? Probably about 40,000. 

 

Compared to the crowds of the 1970s and 1980s and most of the crowds in the 2000s anywhere approaching 40,000 is very good. 

 

The last game England played against Australia at Wembley sort of proves my point. If England/Great Britain play high quality opposition in a competition with a meaningful format and in large stadiums like Old Trafford, the City of Manchester, Elland Road and Wembley the crowds will come. 

 

That England haven't played a 3 Test series against Australia for nearly 10 years is ridiculous. Even 3 Test series against New Zealand have proven to get decent 20,000 + crowds at medium sized stadiums in Wigan, Hull, Huddersfield etc.

 

It is pretty basic stuff. 



#56 Dave T

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:36 PM

Sub 40,000 crowds for Australia disappointing? What planet are you on. What was the capacity of Elland Road at the time? Probably about 40,000. 

 

Compared to the crowds of the 1970s and 1980s and most of the crowds in the 2000s anywhere approaching 40,000 is very good. 

 

The last game England played against Australia at Wembley sort of proves my point. If England/Great Britain play high quality opposition in a competition with a meaningful format and in large stadiums like Old Trafford, the City of Manchester, Elland Road and Wembley the crowds will come. 

 

That England haven't played a 3 Test series against Australia for nearly 10 years is ridiculous. Even 3 Test series against New Zealand have proven to get decent 20,000 + crowds at medium sized stadiums in Wigan, Hull, Huddersfield etc.

 

It is pretty basic stuff. 

Read my post -  I am talking about the Wembley crowds!

 

When we got 40k for the 1996 Test it was very disappointing considering we had got 15k more a few years earlier, and even 65k the year earlier for the WC final.

 

Whilst you put all your focus on three test series' against the Kiwis or the Aussies, I actually quite like the series we have had. My favourite structure was the Tri Nations, where we played two Tests against the Kiwis and two against the Aussies and then hopefully another in the final. This was potentially 5 tests against the best and when they want to decent grounds it paid off (Eastlands 38k).

 

I'd prefer that to return tbh, with additional games against Wales/France for the Tri Nations teams when they are not playing that weekend.



#57 Dave T

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 09:40 PM

 

The last game England played against Australia at Wembley sort of proves my point. If England/Great Britain play high quality opposition in a competition with a meaningful format and in large stadiums like Old Trafford, the City of Manchester, Elland Road and Wembley the crowds will come. 

 

That England haven't played a 3 Test series against Australia for nearly 10 years is ridiculous. Even 3 Test series against New Zealand have proven to get decent 20,000 + crowds at medium sized stadiums in Wigan, Hull, Huddersfield etc.

 

It is pretty basic stuff. 

SO basically you suggest playing Australia and New Zealand in proper tournaments.

 

Ok then:

 

In the 1990's GB/Eng played the Aussies or Kiwis a total of 30 times.

In the 2000's GB/Eng played the Aussies or Kiwis a total of 35 times.

 

I agree that the ground selection hasn't been brilliant, but then these small grounds should have been sold out months in advance if they were too small.



#58 Duff Duff

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:29 PM

Whatever the RFL says the Super League Series games against "Australia" were not Test Matches and the ARL Commission does not recognise them as such. A small point but it does show how the RFL and the NZRL put two fingers up to the ARL in the mid 1990s. Australian feelings of betrayal go some way to explaining their insular attitude towards the international game. Before the Super League War the Aussies had been very forward in trying to grow the game in the UK and France and felt they had that generosity thrown back in their face.

The Tri Nations was OK but it did have the problem of neutral matches and also the issue of ending up with New Zealand and Australia in the final, which could make it a hard sell. The 2004 edition was a great tournament until the horrid final! However the Four Nations format is a massive step backwards as it reduces the number of quality Test Matches. Warm ups matches against Wales, France and PNG are great but they are not the main event. (Wales, France, PNG etc should play against each other as much as possible).

I think bi-lateral series are just better at guaranteeing the games you want to promote and are better at attracting media and public attention. In terms of stadia the crowds tend to grow or reduce to meet the capacity. Holding Tests against Australia away from club grounds at "special stadia" like Old Trafford, COMS or Elland Road is proven to increase the gates.

Finally the lack of a regular international schedule is a real issue. Australia, New Zealand and England should be obliged to tour each within a set timeframe to mantian interest and make sure there are high profile internationals every year.

As it is Rugby League is getting out gunned by the likes of cricket and rugby union and in terms of media interest and profile so something needs to change. I am not sure that an over expanded World Cup with lots of joke teams in it is the way forward. 14 is far too many. 10 or even 8 would be much better.

#59 Johnoco

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:32 PM

Can you tell me when RL was NOT outgunned by cricket and RU? Seriously?

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

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#60 Dave T

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Posted 23 June 2013 - 10:41 PM

Whatever the RFL says the Super League Series games against "Australia" were not Test Matches and the ARL Commission does not recognise them as such. A small point but it does show how the RFL and the NZRL put two fingers up to the ARL in the mid 1990s. Australian feelings of betrayal go some way to explaining their insular attitude towards the international game. Before the Super League War the Aussies had been very forward in trying to grow the game in the UK and France and felt they had that generosity thrown back in their face.

The Tri Nations was OK but it did have the problem of neutral matches and also the issue of ending up with New Zealand and Australia in the final, which could make it a hard sell. The 2004 edition was a great tournament until the horrid final! However the Four Nations format is a massive step backwards as it reduces the number of quality Test Matches. Warm ups matches against Wales, France and PNG are great but they are not the main event. (Wales, France, PNG etc should play against each other as much as possible).

I think bi-lateral series are just better at guaranteeing the games you want to promote and are better at attracting media and public attention. In terms of stadia the crowds tend to grow or reduce to meet the capacity. Holding Tests against Australia away from club grounds at "special stadia" like Old Trafford, COMS or Elland Road is proven to increase the gates.

Finally the lack of a regular international schedule is a real issue. Australia, New Zealand and England should be obliged to tour each within a set timeframe to mantian interest and make sure there are high profile internationals every year.

As it is Rugby League is getting out gunned by the likes of cricket and rugby union and in terms of media interest and profile so something needs to change. I am not sure that an over expanded World Cup with lots of joke teams in it is the way forward. 14 is far too many. 10 or even 8 would be much better.

The initial concept of the Tri Nations meant that we were guaranteed 4 tests a year against the best two nations, which is more than previous.






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