England V Exiles is a wonderful concept
The problem at the moment though is the level of overseas player from the antipodes is in decline for a variety of reasons so such a team isn't as attractive to fans or as much a test to England
Someone earlier however said that they miss a trick by not allowing the players of other home nations in
Imagine last night if the exiles had played Brough and Dobson at halfback together, Kopcak in the front row, Elliot Kear on one wing as well as throwing in the best of all the other non English players in Super League?
Makes it commercially more appealing and a much sterner test - while also providing a great platform for the home nations best players to strengthen their own games by playing with and against other great players
The more I think about it the more it answered so many problems about how to advance the game
Sadly, the Exiles concept has arrived a decade too late. Now watching England play a team that had Steve Renouf, Allan Langer, Jason Smith, Trent Barrett, Richie Barnett, Richard Swain, Stacy Jones, Jim Dymock, Marcus Bai, Lesley Vainakolo, Joe Vagana, Robbie and Henry Paul, Brett Dallas, Jamie Lyon - now that would have been an exciting period (2000-2006).
The current concept is doomed sadly. Partly because of the alarming decline of the Exiles. Last night's team had an average age of 31. Leuluai, Menzies, Hodgson, Puletua, Waterhouse, Richards, Monaghan (all 31-39) are going to be replaced by who in 1-2 years? And this team was getting flogged. It also contained Chris Bailey and Heath L'Estrange FFS.
Yorkshire v Lancashire is not the answer. What might be the answer is England v England Knights played on a free weekend with a big pot of cash to the winners and the Elite training squad being named at the end of the following week. This is then followed by a test in France on Bastille Day week-end.
Edited by Scubby, 15 June 2013 - 11:26 AM.