I am already looking forward to it. Floated the idea organising a trip for the Kings Lynn RL club facebook page and already plenty of interest. Ran a trip to the semi-finals at Wembley at RLWC13 and filled a coach plus a few others who made their own way. The RFL should be pulling out all the stops and filling all 3 grounds; absolutely no excuse not to.
My personal view is that if we are to have a Four Nations match at Wembley in 2016 for example, you can link the Olympic Stadium event to it and start developing the concept and ideas in people's minds. That can be achieved across a variety of areas including ticket opportunities. Linking events and promoting ourselves is something I personally believe we are really bad at. We should always be looking 2/3 events in advance and continuing to plan, refine and develop well in advance.
So how many of the top pro union sides are actually in London ?
They may be in Middlesex or Berkshire but only Saracens is actually on a 'London' postcode and that is only NW4, the outskirts !
Could argue their desertion of the Capital (London Welsh play in Oxford, London Irish in Reading and as for London Wasps . . . ) means the other code has accepted their sport doesn't work in London and need to look outside the M25 ?
Slightly strange argument when you think the centre of English RU is in London... whilst I don't agree with some of D Collin's comments, if we are to grow our sport meaning corporately and sponsorship-wise, we need a bigger presence within the capital. That doesn't necessarily mean having a top-draw SL club in London. Our major events however, need to be in London and I'd actually be an advocate of moving RL HQ down to the capital (lets say Wembley). I appreciate that is away from the core of the sport in this modern day and age where communications mean you can connect to the otherside of the world instantaneously, this should not be an issue (only 2.5hrs on a train anyway). As much as we may not like it, London is the epicentre of this country so I firmly believe we need a much stronger in the capital in order to tap into the media, sponsorship and commercial interests.
As it stands, we're damned if we intervene, damned if we don't. If we stay out as we do then we can't get all sniffy when our strategic interests and friendly allies start to get pounded, for example, ISIS getting into Jordan might seem nothing to us but it would lock us out of the area for generations. If we go in then we'll just give the frothy nutjobs another excuse to paint us as the bad guys.
I'd personally support us sending an armoured battle group to Jordan, if they'd have us, just to shore up one of our few proper allies in the area, not necessarily as an offensive combat force but as a defensive threat. I'd also be taking advantage of Iran being "enemy of our enemy" and getting a diplomatic surge going to try to normalise relations with them.
We have quite a few strategic interests and partners in the region. Whilst people may not like it, Israel and Saudi Arabia are two vital partners simply for the intelligence alone, never mind the natural resources and economic clout many of the Gulf States provide to the UK economy. So it begs the question, do we want to retain these absolutely vital interests or become more isolationist and see the country suffer?
I get your point about Jordan but I can't imagine they'd want a Western foreign power providing security on the ground for them. They are having real issues with fundamentalism at the moment and our presence may tip it over the edge. They are seeing a rare period of national unity at the present on the back of that poor pilot and King Abdullah is harnessing that as much as possible whilst he can. He may struggle to sustain it as the Islamists become more vocal and subvert the government.
The whole thing is a mess, exacerbated by the incompetence of the western powers.
What are you expecting? Everyone to play nice and coherently? Conflict is never simple and is always a mess, even more so when you take into account the number of actors taking part and the number of different interests each actor has. Your link about Turkey is a clear example of this; to them Kurdish Independence is a bigger national security risk than ISIS at present. To the Kuwaitis and other Gulf States, it is the risk of losing regional power to the Shia. To us, well, we are stuck in the middle of trying to balance prevention of a humanitarian crisis, protecting economic interests and a pursuing/protecting against a growing terrorist threat.
What would you have us do? Nothing or get involved? We actually did nothing when Assad let off a few chemical weapons in his own backyard and that has resulted in radicalism of many previously moderate Syrian rebel units. We have done very little in supporting moderate elements within the FSA to the detriment of that organisation. We have got involved in bombing ISIS across Iraq and Syria that has resulted in places like Kobane and Mt Sinjar remaining out of the grip of ISIS but has potentially led to a boost in recruitment for the organisation as a Western crusade is underway again. So what would you have us do?
None of those links remotely prove we are funding ISIS by the way.