I find it odd that you seem to blame us for the Super League War when it was an Australian idea and it was they that suffered civil war. we were just a pawn in their internal struggles. Maybe you know more than I do but we actually toured Australasia in October 1996, why didn't we play Australia like we usually would have? I can't imagine (but I'm willing to be proven wrong) that it was because we didn't want to play them.It would be madness to completely disregard the effect of the switch to summer and the Super League war on internationals but they are a convenient and easy excuse for a decline that is far more complicated. There have been a number of other changes in the world that would still have happened such as an increase in globalisation and professionalism of sports. I think it's naive to think that the Australians would still be willing to effectively stop their season in June, including moving State of Origin to accomodate an uncompetitive GB side.The tours in the UK since the switch to summer have all taken place when they did previously but we've seen a reluctance from Australian players to take part at the end of a long hard season. This is because of a lack of prestige involved in beating a side you've beaten for the last 40 years rather than a mass opinion change after the Super League War.The reality is that if we could guarantee a competitive and vibrant tour like the current Lions RU one, they'd be begging us to come over.The penultimate point is just wrong I'm afraid. The significant numbers of British playing in Australia is purely down to monetary factors. In 2005 the NRL salary cap of $3.3m dollars worked out at around £1.32m. At the time the British cap was around the same as now, £1.65m. However now, the NRL cap is $5.85m and due to the exchange rate this works out at £3.5m, more than double ours. In the past any British RL player had to take a risk and a pay cut to move to Australia, now they can do so whilst earning significantly more than in the UK. Tomkins is rumoured to have been offered $1m a year or £600k. This is easily double any Super League player.
The Super League War was an attempt to usurp the legitimate governance of Australian Rugby League by Rupert Murdoch and News Corps. Unfortunately rather than showing solidarity with the ARL the RFL and the NZRL aided and abetted Murdoch in his scheme. They froze the ARL out. From a moral viewpoint that was a despicable thing to do and it was motivated by short term greed. The RFL were not passive pawns in this. They would have known full well the consequences of their actions of betraying the ARL and the NSWRL.
This act of betrayal ripped the international game apart and would have exposed the bare faced self interest of the RFL. An organisation I might add that was regularly embarrassed at meetings of the old International Board when BARLA were praised by the ARL for spreading the game internationally in the face of RFL inactivity.
In terms of seasons the point I was making was when the Australian game was reunited and the season was being planned again the international game was merely an after thought. All good will towards the New Zealanders and British had gone. The British had stabbed their Australian friends in the back and they were not going to go out of their way to help British rugby league for the greater good of the game.
British players playing in Australia is not just due to the salary cap and the bigger money on offer. It is also about wanting to play the highest standard of rugby league possible. When the UK still had a Winter season lots of the top players went and had stints in Australia to prove themselves as players and test themselves. If you look at the top British players in the late 1980s and early 1990s nearly all of them went and played in Australia during the off season. Hanley, Edwards, Schofield, Offiah, Davies, Lydon, Connolly etc. That had a huge positive impact on the British game. British players realised they were the equals of their Australian counterparts and when they played them in Test Matches they weren't awe struck. Also the exchange of experiences and ideas meant that the British game kept up to date with Australian developments.
However with the switch to a Summer season hardly any of the subsequent generation of players, apart from Adrian Morely, played in Australia. Andy Farrell, Sean Long, Jamie Peacock, Kieron Cunningham, Keith Senior, Kevin Sinfield etc. all missed the rugby education that is playing in Australia. No wonder the British international teams declined and no wonder the British players were star struck when it came to playing the Aussies.
You even see on this forum over debates about whether top British internationals could "make it" in the NRL. Of course they would. So would the the top 30 or 40 players in the UK if they were given the opportunity. The Australians are not super men they just happen to play in a more competitive competition that hardens their skills and their character.
The only way for the British international teams to improve is to get as many of our top players playing in Australia as possible. The British season moving to the Summer has made doing so much more difficult and has limited the connections with the Australian game. New Zealand offers a case in point, New Zealand's international chances were revolutionised when the majority of their players started playing in The NRL. The same would be true for the British too.