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Rugby League Yearbook 2014-15


Member Since 06 Nov 2010
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#3066492 French league article

Posted by Gambass on 04 February 2015 - 10:44 PM

- Some people have launched a new project called "Objectif Ligue XIII" with the aim to create a new "professional" league based on the 8 existing Elite 1 teams + a certain number of new teams based based in large urban areas (Bordeaux, Montepllier, etc.)
- The project has been shown to the federation late december and the people from Objectif Ligue XIII have been told to come back with more factual evidences that their project can be launched.
- Due to lack of progress with the federation, Objectif Ligue XIII have decided to go public with their project a few days ago which triggered this public answer from Carlos Zalduendo which can be sum up as : "It's ######".

#3012660 RLIF reveals World Cup 2021 bidding process

Posted by Gambass on 12 October 2014 - 10:13 PM

Good point, England in a WC final in Paris would see 20,000-25,000 English fans alone going over. Without England in the final I think you could still see 10k+ from the UK to boost the crowd. 60-70k at the Stade De France would be huge for our game.


I love the enthusiasm, but realistically these kind of figures are pie in the sky.
At the moment, rl doesn't get any national traction, It doesn't ring any bell for most north of Toulouse. If for some reason the AFL decided to move their grand final to Paris, it would flop, just like a RLWC final would flop.
For a french WC not to be a total failure, it will have to be centred on medium southern cities where the game gets recognition (Albi, Perpignan, Avignon, etc.) plus a couple of nearby large cities (Toulouse and possibly Lyon) thrown in. But even there, that will be quite a gamble.
Of course, if there was a serious plan to (re)establish  RL as a strong second tier sport by then (by setting up a full pro domestic competition or by having 3 or 4 SL sides), that would be a whole another story. Sadly it's not the case (Toulouse in Championship is not a plan, it's stupidity).

#2947600 So will Jeopardy - Bradford v Wakefield - see a bumper crowd next week?

Posted by Gambass on 21 June 2014 - 11:39 AM

Bradford's home attendances in 2012 fell by 16% under licensing.

Bradford's home attendances in 2013 fell by 27% under licensing.

Bradford's home attendances in 2014 are currently down by 21%.


Jeopardy must be to blame.

No, really.


Jeopardy doesn't improve things though.
This 'jeopardy' game had a worst relative decline than other 'non jeopardy' games.
Anyway, who gives a f*** ? That a few extra hundred people may or may not be attracted to the stadium for a couple of games because of this so called 'jeopardy'  is not going to change anything. We are only talking of a few extra thousand quid for the whole game. That's as marginal as it gets.
In the meantime, in this brave new world of P&R we are going to:
- Lose the only non M62 english club in SL
- Make it impossible for an extra french club to join the SL, thus making impossible for an enough competitive french team to emerge.
- Make it harder - if not impossible - for a non M62 english club to join the SL
- Make half of the SL clubs jeopardizing their long term future for short term succes (which it what P&R does the best), creating a de facto two tiers SL.
These points do matter, and are all much, much more important that the few hundred extra spectators that may - or may not - be attracted to the stadium in Braford or Wakefield.

#2944466 Totally disillusioned with international rugby league

Posted by Gambass on 14 June 2014 - 12:23 PM

The USA qualified for the last world cup by playing in the USA against SA and Jamaica using mostly home grown players from their domestic league, which has grown since then. They can do it again. Once they qualified they did indeed pick a team of ex pat Americans and ditched some of their domestic players who helped them qualify but I think the team that did play all had as bona fide American connections or  American passports.


Italy also qualified by playing in Italy and barely defeated a Lebanon side to qualify on points difference I think. As with the USA the Italian League is growing. The use of heritage players to get a good performance at the WC was great publicity for the game in each country which must have enhanced the knowledge and interest in the game.


No it was not. For instance, I can't find a single article related to the RLWC on the Gazzetta delo Sport (major sport newspaper in Italy) website.
A new sport in a country with an allready established sporting landscape has really not a lot to offer to his members. The possibility of representing his own nation in sporting's events for people who would never had a shot at otherwise is one of the few advantages a new sport has. RL has managed to spoil it. Congrats.

#2940126 So will Jeopardy - Bradford v Wakefield - see a bumper crowd next week?

Posted by Gambass on 06 June 2014 - 09:08 AM

Regarding the "paper" thing, most of the ones researching the merits of P&R vs franchising are taking the english football system as a prime exemple of how P&R works. Yet, english football really lives on his own world with so much money going on and such a high density of very well supported club through its pyramidal system. A density that is barely matched anywhere else in the world in any sport.
P&R between 2 professionnal leagues of roughly equal well supported clubs is one thing.
P&R between one professionnal and one semi-professional league and between very differently supported clubs is a whole another thing. (and on top that for a sport that have a real need to expand its professional game)
On a side note, I'll point out that there are quite a large number of leagues that have gone from P&R to some sort of franchising over the last 10 years or so (ice hockey in Russia, Germany, Finland or Austria; volleyball in Poland or Italy, Euroleague in basketball, etc.). Yet, none - or none I've heard of - have gone to some sort of franchising to P&R. SL being the only exception.
What are the odds for the RFL to be the sole one to get it right ?

#2939099 Fiji to enter 2015 NSW Cup

Posted by Gambass on 04 June 2014 - 08:36 AM

Here is a question - how come if the pacific island teams can make a stab of it competing in the second tier of Australian Rugby league, then the French teams (I am thinking Toulouse) can't do it in the second tier of British Rugby League? Am I missing out on some huge funding to the pacific island teams?


Because France is not PNG or Fiji...The Hunters are making headlines in PNG, Toulouse in Championship will make 5 lines in the local paper.
Just ask yourself: if a british handball or basketball team were invited in the french second tier, would it drives any extra support for the club or the sport in Britain ? I guess not..

#2933776 Rugby league in London, what next?

Posted by Gambass on 23 May 2014 - 09:56 AM


The debate about top down v bottom up will continue but the successes of top down are nil. The successes of bottom up are here but miniscule. The CC1 clubs are here, they exist. Broncos may not ( but I hope I am wrong) soon. Fantasy may be in the eye of the beholder.



Yea right, What about Catalans then ?
I'm sure that ice hockey would have been popular in Texas or California if only they had chosen a bottom up approach. Oh wait...
You may fancy a bottom up way of doing things, but you can't argue that's a better way for expansion. In a bottom up approach, heartland clubs have too much of an advantage (easier to find sponsorship, easier to attract fans, local and natural rivalries, larger and better player base to chose from, less money and time wasted in travel costs, etc.), that non heartland clubs have close to zero chance to make their way up.

#2921819 Towns involved in French RL

Posted by Gambass on 27 April 2014 - 02:28 PM

I'm not. Toulouse, then Avignon-Vaucluse, then Aude may be later playing in a fully professional European League structure is the way forward. If you ever got to that stage and beyond go to integrated conferences. France's future is playing against the best Britain can offer.


And how do you see that to ever happening ? Because everything that we have seen from the RFL lately (no more french clubs in Challenge Cup, stopping funding of scottish/welsh/irish federations, bringing back P&R, cutting the SL to 12 teams, etc.) is screaming one and one only thing; their will to retreat to the M62.
I'd agree that having a genuine european, non RFL run, Super League that could in time have 3, 4 or 5 french clubs would be the optimal option to develop the game here, but at that point it definetly looks like a pipe dream.
The RFL is not contracted (morally or otherwise) to develop the game in France and in continental europe. The only way such a development could occur will be due to the good will of the RFL to do so, and there is simply no evidence that the RFL will ever show such a good will (quite the contrary in fact).

#2920589 Towns involved in French RL

Posted by Gambass on 24 April 2014 - 02:49 PM

Hopefully something good will come from it! Toulouse are ready for the pro step up and probably Avignon as well, but I can't see them in SL anytime soon. There needs to be a 'backup', if you like, should Catalans ever find themselves in danger of relegation. 


'Backup plan' should really become plan A as far as I'm concerned as it becomes crystal clear that there is no will - and probably never will be - from the RFL to see the SL as nothing but the top of the english game except for a gimmicky french outpost. For instance, were french interests even remotely considered when it came to the 'policy review' of last year ?
With that in mind, french RL seems pretty much condemn to stagnation (at best).

#2920198 Towns involved in French RL

Posted by Gambass on 23 April 2014 - 11:47 AM

Limoux, L├ęzignan and Carcassonne all sit in the Aude d├ępartement which have a population of 350,000 habitants. Carcassonne is the biggest town of the 3 with a population of 50,000 habitnats and a urban area of 100,000.
An aude team of some sort based in Carcassonne should be able to draw enough fans to be viable. The big elephant in the room here being the professionnal carcassonne's RU side, but hopefully, they are soon to be relegated to amateur ranks.

#2919954 Lord Derby Cup Final Update

Posted by Gambass on 22 April 2014 - 04:21 PM

There was no guaranteed or annual promotion last time. This time TO would have a sound chance of promotion to SL by 2016. Also the away support will help swell crowds


The appetite for SL2/championship in the french general audience is null, meaning there won't be any extra funding (home fans, sponsorship...) for the team next year. And with roughly the same team than this year, the prospect of Toulouse, first finishing in the Top 4, then beating full time sides to find his way to SL is as likely as Australia winning the next soccer world cup.
So no, no difference, it is as ridiculous than the first time.

#2853002 the supposed french tv deal?

Posted by Gambass on 16 December 2013 - 08:38 AM



For the french experiment in SL to be a long term viable option and to make any difference to the game over here, it simply just can't start and stop with the Dragons. There is a need for a pathway to bring more french clubs in SL over a set period of time (say 4 or 5 clubs over 20 years).
With P&R back, there is simply no pathway anymore (and on a side note I simply can't believe that bringing again a french team in SL2/Championship seems somehow still discussed). New french clubs will only happen with a full franchising or a licensing system .
And without any genuine rivalry for the Dragons to built on and without any shoot for the titles (with the club jeopardizing his middle/long term future for short term success -which is what p&R does the best), the fans apathy will continue to grow and ultimatly lead to the catalan side to fold.
By the way, I'll understand if the RFL/english clubs/sky/the general english audience don't want to go that way. But, otherwise, the goalposts need to stop moving and a long term developpement plan has to be agreed both sides of the Channel.