The Saints first half performance was epitomised by that awful tackle attempt from Turner for the Handley try. Saints have been horrendously bad with Leeds not much better. Absolutely shocking for professional sportsmen.
Holes in his argument all over the place. Whilst he is right that our policy has failed, finding suitable partners amongst the current mayhem is not the right course of action. He along with WS on here advocates Assad as a suitable partner. Assad has butchered hundreds of thousands of his countrymen (far more than Al Nusra or ISIS have) over the last four years that has pushed so many Syrian nationals into the hands of extremists like Al Nusra and ISIS through the indiscriminate use of chemical weapons and barrel bombs. What message does that send? You simply cannot criticise regimes like Saudi Arabia on one hand for human rights abuses and then align with murderous regime like Assad's.
Simply blaming our foreign policy as the root cause of the problem is wrong. Yes, at times we get things wrong spectacularly which clearly doesn't remedy the situation. However, politicians are stuck between having to protect the national interest and acting in times of need as per Tunisia otherwise they will simply be voted out of power. But what we need is a politician to stand up and tell us like it is, be utterly truthful for a change. Tell the UK population that the scourge of Islamic Fundamentalism will never go away until we DEFEAT their narrative, which is a fundamentalists centre of gravity - the narrative being the re-creation of the Islamic Caliphate. However, we are not defeating that narrative with ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Taliban et al clearly winning the information campaign. Until we do so, expect attacks like that in Tunisia or 9/11 to continue. There is no simple short-term solution, something politicians crave but a very long one, which may take generations. It will also be very painful and expensive with lots of people being hurt financially and through the loss of life. But sadly it is a necessity. We could start by reducing our need for oil and finance from the Middle East. Then you'll start to see the Wahabist, Deobandi, Salafist elements within regimes like Saudi et al start to cut off their support to fundamentalists. However, the difficulty will be to get countries like Russia and China to act in the same way, as frankly they do not give a flying hoot hence Russia's support to the Syria regime, which is purely for economic gain and continued use of Syrian territory for military purposes. A unified approach is the only way forward.
Therefore whilst the correspondent may claim to be a Middle Eastern expert, his solution will not see the scourge that Islamic Fundamentalism disappear; it will simply grow into another group or form like Al Qaeda or ISIS. We need to play the long term game in order to remove it from the world.
My personal favourite rugby league moment ever is Jiffy scoring for GB at wembley. I had the perfect view of it from my seat in the ground and I still get goosebumps every time I see it.
Whilst I wouldn't campaign to bring GB back I for one would be more than happy if it was to happen.
My favourite (and sadly worst moment) would be the 2013 World Cup Semi-Final. Nearly 70k people went mental when Watkins scored in the second half and the roof nearly came off when Burgess surged over. Sadly we all know what happened at the end but that is the most emotional game of RL I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.
The GB kit is iconic and cool.........many world famous names have warn that jersey with the lions head on their chest.
GB is clearly our most successful and recognisable brand.
I can't think of anything about the modern england team or it's brand that is cool or inspirational..........since the revert to england we've been thoroughly 3rd best.
It should come back as part of the international calendar cycle as previously mentioned.........that way any future RL stars from scotland wales or Ireland have a lions tour to aim towards, not just the limited competition currently available to them with their home nation team.
British Lions Tours will probably help the smaller home nations grow.........you're more likely to decide to play for wales if you can play for GB as well.
A few issues with this:
1. Who says the kit is iconic outside of RL circles and what world famous names will most people be able to real off? I'd suggest Ellery Hanley and Martin Offiah being about the only two widely recognisable.
2. Wigan RL club is a most widely recognisable brand sadly; the vast majority of the population have been starved of international RL for years so mention Great Britain to most people and you'll get told they know the British Lions RU side.
3. We've been 3rd best since the introduction of England simply because we haven't been good enough and fallen behind NZ in our development of players, not because the brand is uncool or uninspirational.
4. As for the developing the home nations, GB will do nothing to develop them other than get some heritage players to stick their hand up occasionally. If you want to develop the home nations, you need to invest in those nations and start to develop player bases at the community level and start to bring the talent through the developmental structures in the northern hemisphere. This has gone backwards in the UK in recent times at has done outside (and arguably in) traditional areas.
GB certainly means a lot to the traditional support of the game but it is far from being our centre of gravity. It is a nostalgic concept and that is what draws people's opinions out. It is about time the game moved on and started to look to the future rather than continuously trying to drag the game back to the past, which arguably wasn't particularly that successful anyway. The world has since moved on; we need to do the same.
The lessons of the past told us that Toulouse weren't ready , ' Toulouse are far too big a club ' ? How and why ? , ' Who's Mike Rylance and what makes his opinion worth listening to ? , Toulouse do have huge potential , and that potential should see them succeed
What future plans do you suggest ?
Past lessons told us:
1. Expecting Toulouse to operate as a part time outfit in a part time league is not the way forward as players can be better paid in Elite 1 (hence their failure in the Championship).
2. Expecting French players to play 12 months a year across two leagues on either side of the channel does not work (see PSG).
3. Giving French clubs plenty of notice to organise themselves to play in SL is an effective model to follow (see success of Catalan).
Three quick past lessons I have been able to identify in 2 mins but despite that, it looks like the RFL have committed Toulouse to repeating the mistakes highlighted in 1 and 2 whilst ignoring the success of 3. I would suggest there is a severe lack of understanding, effective intelligence and leadership within the RFL if they are forcing Toulouse down that route.
So the mid/smaller SL clubs voted for relegation rather than security of licencing ? Seriously
By taking this decision Toulouse will earn huge respect and best wishes , I congratulate them on it and wish them all the best , they will achieve SL status and they will deserve it
Yes seriously...go and look at the vote for the new structure and reducing the league to 12. Wakefield, Castelford, Widnes and London all voted for it (even Bradford who were well on the way to relegation); only Salford out of the traditional smaller clubs didn't due to Koukash being at the helm.
I also have a lot of respect for Toulouse and their decision wishing the all the best for the future. However, they didn't have a choice if they were to try and play in the biggest league in Europe. With a playing budget of £1.3m euros a year, Toulouse are far too big a club to compete in Championship 1 already highlighted by many on this thread and in the French Update one as well. Mike Rylance has written a really good piece in the Jun edition of Forty-Twenty stating "Toulouse has a huge potential which, however, cannot sway the minimalist policy of the SL clubs and RFL." He is absolutely spot on about the minimalist approach in display towards Toulouse despite the lessons of the past. We never learn lessons as we lack leadership and any real future plans.
' beholden ' ? , what are you on about ?
So YOU want a franchised dream league of who exactly ?
The poster suggested Wood and Rimmer's power base is the mid/smaller clubs like Castleford, Wakefield et al rather than the big clubs like Wigan and Warrington. Granted Leeds and most recently Saints supported the RFL's plans for the new structure but you could see the split across the top division between the bigger and smaller clubs.
As for the franchised league dream, personally no apart from French clubs; they should play solely in the top division AND have dispensation from relegation which should solely be for British clubs. Sadly as the previous poster alluded to, the RFL doesn't have the leadership to implement this model despite my proposal being a success with Catalan and the RFL's being an utter failure with Toulouse in the past.
TOXIII have accepted the RFL's offer & will play in League 1 next season
Barking decision from the RFL to even remotely suggest this as an option. The template for integrating French RL sides into the game over here was proven with the Catalans but this has completely been ignored but the RFL lack leadership and a spine when it comes to making tough decisions. Utterly disappointed but sincerely hope the dream for Toulouse is not destroyed once again by the RFL's incompetence.
Really hope Toulouse, Frances 2nd biggest club dosnt join championship 1, its just to semi amateur & maximum salary caps is 350,000 euro. Toulouse would have to get rid of 2/3 of players or get them to take massive pay cuts to fit the cap. Toulouse would be better off having some pride & turning it down
It's a little bit silly isn't it?! I am presuming they will be told you can keep the same salary cap as you have now so you can continue to develop towards SL. But I guess that would just be a common sense approach so utterly unjustifiable.