We are on a slow but inexorable downward spiral.
That's what many people seem to think, and yet if you examine the facts they don't support that argument.
In 1971 the First Test between Great Britain and New Zealand was played at Salford and drew a crowd of only 3,764.
Just over 40 years later we played the Kiwis in a World Cup semi-final at Wembley and drew 67,545 spectators.
In Brisbane last Saturday the biggest game in the international rugby union calendar - the Bledisloe Cup - was played between Australia and New Zealand. It drew just over 45,000 people.
This Saturday Australia will play New Zealand, and England will play Samoa at the same venue. This week the NRL revealed that 44,000 tickets had been pre-sold, so the event will probably draw a bigger crowd than the Bledisloe Cup, despite so many people death-riding international Rugby League.
So the "downward spiral" seems to be heading in an upwards direction, particularly when you take last year's World Cup into account.
Of course it could be better, and no one would dispute that we want to see international Rugby League having a wider base and greater support.
Unfortunately the Guardian, like many other British newspapers, is happy to publish stories about international Rugby League being supposedly on its last legs.
But the evidence doesn't stack up.