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Selection Controversy threatens to turn World Cup into a Farce


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#21 GaryO

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Posted 06 October 2013 - 12:32 PM

Inadvertently placed this in the wrong thread earlier.

 

Just side stepping the main topic here, but still on the same slant re the selection criteria of the "Home Nations". Though many do not agree with me I always considered the abolishing of the Great Britain team as an unnecessary step. In fact the need to re-introduce GB v Aus/NZ test series/tours is needed for both financial and media recognition especially here and if not in the southern hemisphere . For tournaments such as the up coming WC and the European Nations Cup the sides could split into their Home Nations teams as was always the case with England and Wales, now we have Scotland and Ireland teams that can only bode well for international introduction to some of the "fringe" players who could may well be overlooked otherwise. 

 

Some people say who could GB pick who is good enough from other than England but while it is so topical, in last nights game both Dudson and Flower where immense for Wigan and clearly outplayed their opposite's, and the future quality of personnel is unknown. I know times have changed and we are not getting anywhere near the numbers of high profile converts from South Wales that we once enjoyed, and the question is would we as a national team have been as successful in the past if we were only allowed to have English representatives ( R.Chase excluded) and not the Gt Britian selection process we once had.


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#22 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 07:24 AM

Don't see any problem with the bulk of the eligibility rules, they are widely accepted across world sport. Mo Farah, Sir Bradley & Kevin Pietersen are all British sporting heroes, none of whom were born here, but have different stories and most people don't have a problem with their eligibility.

England's last Union World Cup train on squad had 45 players, 15 of them weren't born in the UK.

The one rule that is different in rugby league is the two year "Election Period". This means that any player who has played a senior international match, may switch to another nation that he is eligible for every two years. I think that rule helps our international game. It allows players from Australia (especially), to play for the lower ranked nations at both the beginning and end of their careers, without ruling them out of ever playing for Australia or New Zealand.

You can't however play in a WC qualifying match for one country and then the real tournament for another. The lack of money and regular, structured calendar in the international game are the big problems, but we're getting there.

The USA selection does seem odd. There are however 6 local league players in the squad, which is quite a high percentage. There will always be selection arguments, it's always been like that and not just in our sport. Athletics in GB is riddled with the same issues.

I don't see that the RLIF are at any fault here. The rules are fine. If certain federations choose to select, none, some or more players from their own comp for their World Cup squad, then that is up to them. They have to have the freedom to decide how best to grow the sport in their own country.

Edited by South Wakefield Sharks, 07 October 2013 - 07:25 AM.


#23 Yakstorm

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 11:01 AM

The controversy around squad selection in 2013 is nothing like 2000.  In 2000 league tried to expand too fast, and we left ourselves way too exposed.

 

Too many nations, across too many venues, left us panicing and we tried to pull teams together to make things work.  The Maori team didn't work, as it simply confused people having what many thought was NZ A and NZ B in the same tournament.  Ireland, Scotland, Samoa, Tonga, Lebanon were all filled with expats who had never played for them before, South Africa and Russia were simply just not up to scratch and were tweaking rules to get enough players (Ian Rubin was from Ukraine).

 

We had nations suddenly playing in a World Cup and no one had ever seen them play in an international tournament before.   Ireland, Scotland and Lebanon really only emerged in the professional international arena in 1998... not enough time to build any creditability.

 

Compare that with now.  USA has 6 domestic players in their squad, plus has players like Petersen, McGoldrick and Paulo who have all played for the Tomahawks before.  Ireland and Scotland play in international tournaments every year these days, and features a squad of players who have rocked up before for the nations.  Wales has a number of born and bred players now.  The Pacific Islanders, especially Fiji have more and more born players rocking up for them, there is also a stronger connection between these Pacific players and their Islands now than back in 2000.

 

Sure we still have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way from where we were....  I agree that I'd love to see nations and players forced a bit more to stay loyal, but I understand we aren't offering enough opportunities yet to justify that.  I don't begrudge someone like Uate chasing a Kangaroos jersey simply because Fiji have only played in one tournament since the last World Cup, but if opportunities were created every year for players like him, then we could become stricter, but at the current stage we aren't quite there yet...


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#24 redjonn

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 01:51 PM

 

Inadvertently placed this in the wrong thread earlier.

 

Just side stepping the main topic here, but still on the same slant re the selection criteria of the "Home Nations". Though many do not agree with me I always considered the abolishing of the Great Britain team as an unnecessary step. In fact the need to re-introduce GB v Aus/NZ test series/tours is needed for both financial and media recognition especially here and if not in the southern hemisphere . For tournaments such as the up coming WC and the European Nations Cup the sides could split into their Home Nations teams as was always the case with England and Wales, now we have Scotland and Ireland teams that can only bode well for international introduction to some of the "fringe" players who could may well be overlooked otherwise. 

 

Some people say who could GB pick who is good enough from other than England but while it is so topical, in last nights game both Dudson and Flower where immense for Wigan and clearly outplayed their opposite's, and the future quality of personnel is unknown. I know times have changed and we are not getting anywhere near the numbers of high profile converts from South Wales that we once enjoyed, and the question is would we as a national team have been as successful in the past if we were only allowed to have English representatives ( R.Chase excluded) and not the Gt Britian selection process we once had.

 

 

I'm one that disagree's.  Personally I think GB should be the touring side, just like you get with the Lions in RU, that is tours down under to Aussie Land and NZ every 4 years - say 2 years apart with one to NZ and another tour to Aussie land and hence visiting each country every 4 years.   Need to build up an international game and having home nations plus France is an approach that will work in the long run. 


Edited by redjonn, 07 October 2013 - 01:52 PM.


#25 South Wakefield Sharks

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 03:56 PM

I'm one that disagree's.  Personally I think GB should be the touring side, just like you get with the Lions in RU, that is tours down under to Aussie Land and NZ every 4 years - say 2 years apart with one to NZ and another tour to Aussie land and hence visiting each country every 4 years.   Need to build up an international game and having home nations plus France is an approach that will work in the long run.


Great Britain is due to tour in 2015. The plan from Richard Lewis was to "park" the GB team for a few years after 2007 to allow the England brand to grow. I think it has been a success, and England and Wales are much more developed than they were in 2007. Ireland and Scotland have come on too since then. The intention was never to scrap GB, despite certain lazy journalists claiming it to be the case.

2015 is probably the right time for GB to tour. Wales would certainly have some players & staff suitable for touring with GB.

#26 GeordieSaint

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 05:17 PM

The one rule that is different in rugby league is the two year "Election Period".

 

And that is the rule they need to change straight after this competition; nobody should be allowed to 'country swap' in my opinion. That said, there needs to be more investment in opportunities for the Pacific Island and Home Nation sides to play against the 'bigger'countries as well.

 

In terms of heritage players, the rules are fine but 'selection committees' need to understand the ramifications of their actions if they choose to ignore homegrown players. The reaction in the US has been pretty devastating and looks like it potentially could severely stiffle development of the game in that country.

 

So in other words, the RLIF probably need to grow a set and address issues, which could be rectified for the betterment of the game on a strategic level rather than trying a short-term tactical fix.


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#27 Lounge Room Lizard

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Posted 07 October 2013 - 05:46 PM

I would imagine all sports have heritage players as well as those who are playing as a result of residency (look at the recently successful England cricket team which at one time had three born and bred South Africans in it I believe).  Wales will actually have some native Welsh players in it this year, which is progress on 2008, and I think Liam Finn is actually Irish and he is playing for Ireland!  All the pacific island nations are largely made up of pacific islanders, Kiwis with New Zealanders and Australia with Australians (and a few pacific islanders/Kiwis thrown in for good measure no doubt).  If you have a mother or father that is Scottish, for example, but you have been born and/or brought up in Australia then you can justifiably be called Scottish as much as Australian just as an Asian person having been brought up in this country often identify as Asian and British.  Therefore, I don't see why anyone would make a big fuss of there being heritage players in some representative teams.  And the world has changed in this area somewhat since 2000.  That was 13 years ago, which is quite a while ago now!

Liam Finn is from Halifax and came up via Siddal to the Pro Ranks. His Dad was Brendan Finn who played at Halifax and later was reserve coach. Sadly Brendan died in the early 90s, think around 1994 and never got to see Liam play for Ireland. 

I dont have a problem with heritage players and they often have helped make a difference not just to a team but to the native players who have been involved in the squad even if not played. The problem is when you have a full team of Heritage players and then only 2 or 3 Native lads in the squad for me. Personally I would like to see a minimum of 6 Natives who were born and live there. The experience the 6 people would gain and pass on to others back home when training with a squad full of players from the Pro and Semi Pro game is invaluable. The more native players that get to enjoy that experience the better. I think its unreasonable in a WC when Italy play Australia, NZ or England for example to put a team of mainly Natives out. But the chance that say 6 young Italians for example, to mix it with the likes of Anthony Minicello and co in training should be encouraged. Italy I think have just 3 Native players in the squad. And with the WC in Europe then Italy should for me had more native players in the squad even if they dont play. 

 And as far as I know, the main criticism coming out of the USA about the American Squad, is that loyal Americans who have given everything to play League have been overlooked by Union players and overseas players that play in America. Many involved in the game including players and coaches are rightly upset about how the American team has been picked and they dont feel its a fair reflection and Americans who should have been in and have been left out for others that have not really shown much commitment to the game. 






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