Depends on your criteria as to what constitutes 'effective'. There is definitely an argument to suggest that higher quality British players have been developed as a consequence of licensing. Just compare the England team from the 2008 World Cup with that competing in this year's 4 Nations. Over that 6-year period the standard of player appears to have improved dramatically.
It could be argued that the standard of player increasing its due to other factors, such as an increase of funding to the development system, the introduction of the non-fed ruling, the increase of TV money in NRL reducing their top talent coming over here, an increase of our top talent going over there, etc.
In always very such sceptical of the argument about licensing producing more junior talent when there have been so many other changes in that time that have likely had a much greater effect.
And it's completely possible. The french game is at the crossroads and reminds me of where the Australian Rugby Union were before Super Rugby. Super Rugby became the catalyst for the sport over there.
What the FFR XIII need to do is put together a project which delivers professional rugby league in France, They already have a pathway through Bein Sports and I would think an 8 team summer league would be a good start and they can develop from there.
I think your link to Super Rugby shows what the best path probably would be: a conferenced competition in SL, which would allow France to build one club at a time and keep big games against the famous English clubs that will bring the most interest to new or floating supporters.
Conferences would also protect the French clubs from relegation whilst keeping them in the same competition as the English. I'd look to introduce Toulouse ASAP, and have a strategy to introduce two further clubs as part of a shift to conferences by the mid 2020s. Plenty of time to negotiate with TV companies.
It makes my blood boil when I think of the opportunity lost in the London region because of the RFL's failure to issue strong governance.....rather than "look at us, we've secured a new TV deal" it should be "we've secured a new TV deal and London will be getting twice what everyone else does and 3 marquee players paid for by the other clubs and if you don't like it, then SKY can show darts instead"!
Now we have a club that is 100% reliant on Hughes to survive past 2015 if they don't get promoted (more chance of me winning lotto).....they will spiral and eventually be over taken by the Skolars who themselves have little chance of making the top tier. Kids with talent will look to the "other lot" for a pathway to riches, because regardless of what Wigan are offering, it's Wigan......hardly the "Kings Road" of sportsman's wish listed destinations.....all because the RFL shat their pants at the thought of IL owning 2 clubs!
Whilst I agree that some targeted expansion sides should get more TV money, that London side was a joke. It would have been wasted money.
Let's say Sky doubled what they have London to around the £2.5m mark. Would DH still have ploughed in £2.5m a year? Or would be have reduced his contribution? There was no management there. No one had a clue what to do with that club. It was an embarrassment to its own long suffering supporters in the end.
Money alone does not make a club work. That club was doomed for a long time. No amount of Sky money and relegation-free seasons would change that. The only thing that would change that is a chief executive with some brains to run the club and hire the right people.
Best bit of reffing I ever saw was when I was an assistant coach at Bradford Uni. A fan from the away team shouted something onto the pitch along the lines of F-ing kill the c...
Needless to say, the ref stopped the game and ordered him to leave the sidelines. Really set the tone for what he expected from the supporters. It was applauded (and the guy also ridiculed by both sets of supporters!).
If you cannot watch the game respectfully, you shouldn't be watching the game. Nipped in the bud.
I've had to stop game to talk to junior coaches abusing me before when I was reffing in my teens. I even had to talk the coach in front of his players who, after a try had been scored, was proceeding to tell his players that they're only losing because I was giving bent decisions. I told him they were only losing because they were giving away penalties for back chatting all the time and I wouldn't accept a coach talking about me like that. It was reported. Whether anything was done about it I don't know but there you go.
There are some absolutely terrible refs out there, don't get me wrong. They can be infuriating. I've seen some literally make rules up because they didn't like someone (and I'm really not joking, it's sad). But abusing them will not help anyone.
Of you're really that bothered about the standard of officiating, video your games and report ridiculous actions (refs should be accountable to). Abuse achieves nothing. Ever.
Why am I naughty? We're all entitled to our opinion. For me this game is bigger than a regular home game but not as big as the CC final, the Grand Final and definitely not as big as international rugby league.
Nothing should be as big as international rugby league.
I have never once said wane is a good coach because I don't think he is a good coach. He's got everything at Wigan money, one of if not the best academies in the country etc etc he as got an head start their compared to most coaches.
But you said a good coach wins something every year? He won the double last year and the LLS the year before. He'd have won the GF this year had Flower not seen red mist within 2 minutes, and very nearly did without him!
You've basically made your mind up on Wane, and are now trying to justify your opinion with criteria that quite frankly is either contradictory or hypocritical.
To say Shaun Wane is not a good coach is just an unjustifiable opinion with what he's achieved with this Wigan side in 3 years.
But anyone can coach Wigan. Just look at Brian No... Err... Ian Millw... Err...Dennis Be... Hmm....
Will they've got loads of money. Look at all the players they've signed... Err...
Well they've got a great youth system so it's just easy to replace players. The person that brought them through and developed them must be a better coach. Who was that...
Not getting hammered by them is a miracle in itself. We have never been this close to beating the Aussies and kiwis we are on the verge of something special finally after all these years.you wouldn't know that though being a London fan as your club hasn't been around long enough!!!!
The difference between McNamara and the other coaches is that he hasn't had to pay the Aussies or Kiwis more than one in a year other than 2011.
In the Noble era, they'd be playing the Aussies and Kiwis 2-3 times a season every season. Noble had a far far better record against them than McNamara ever will.
The Smith era saw a NZ series whitewash and a 4N final in 3 years.
The McNamara era has seen only one win against NZ and zero against Aus in 5 years. That is a terrible terrible record. Miracles? It's an appalling record.
Until there are regular fixtures in the mid season for the PI nations, they will all switch to Origin. I don't blame them. Why play the odd test match at the end of "some" years when you can commit to Origin and pay more rep games in the mid season alone for one hell of a lot more money?
What next for Samoa? Nothing.
What next for international rugby league? Nothing?
What next for Origin? See how much more focus they can take off the rest of the sport to fuel their insular state All-star game.
The vast majority of PI and NZ players are NRL based. I don't understand why they allow for mid week state game once a month for three months, but not mid week internationals between the PI countries once a month for three months? Oh wait, yes I do. It'd take focus off their state game.