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About Rob

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  1. No. Do elaborate for the skeptical (like me).
  2. I'm a Bradford fan and I still can't see any logic why Bradford should be home to a 'national' rugby league stadium. If we were to have one, it has to be in London.
  3. I enjoyed watching Bradford from Valley Parade which after all, is the true home of rugby league in the city (running for cover!). But I'd much prefer Odsal to be re-developed.
  4. Inquest
  5. What is the weather like in the south of France in February?
  6. Two issues: 1) Pre-season (February) in the UK doesn't conjure up the same image as the summer sun in Auckland. You're simply not going to get that warm, feel good party atmosphere (that I imagine you are thinking of with the Auckland 9's) in a cold winter's day in Newcastle. 2) I don't understand why you think interest in the Magic Weekend is waning. Attendances have risen just about every year and I think last year was another record attendance. If it was going to be a nines weekend, it would need to be in summer, and to make the clubs value it then someone would have to come up with a formula that rewards clubs with superleague competition points for doing well in the tournament. Example: the clubs that win their quarter final get 1 competition point the clubs that win the semi-finals get 2 competition points the tournament winner receives 3 competition points
  7. Does this effect anything? Or is the stadium just for the football club?
  8. I was under the impression there was a quota for UK clubs? Or is it a quota that limits overseas players? If I'm wrong I apologise. However yes I think it would be great if there was a quota to enforce a minimum number of England qualified players in each squad. I also think it would be positive for the game if each club was allowed to sign a French-qualified player and not have that player count against the salary cap. The effect of this would be those clubs which can afford it, would go hunting for French talent, from Union or League, and increase the number of top class players available for the French team. As a game, we need to dare to dream about creating a top-class rivalry with France. Big crowds. Top class stadiums. A bit of controversy. Commercial money flowing into the game. This would help the game enormously in both countries. How is this taken from a pipe dream on a forum to reality? -more clubs exposed to regular competition in the English competition -fixing of rules (such as exemption of French players from salary caps in the UK to attract top class talent into the French squad) -regular fixtures against the French in increasingly ambitious stadiums -the French team becomes more competitive and threaten to win a game -a few controversial on-field incidents to fire things up (think about how origin started off)
  9. With regards to Toronto & Toulouse potentially packing their teams with Aussie journeymen: I believe there should be a quota for both teams. This does not have to be the same for both teams and neither does it need to match whatever the quota is for UK clubs. It should reflect the availability of players in their countries and should change over time to reflect what should be feasible to develop. eg, France has an established (even if low) base of players, plus a pool of RU talent. There is no reason why Toulouse should not be required to field a significant number of French-qualified players. Lets say 10 in the squad for each game. Perhaps this should rise to 15 after a period of 5 years. Clearly Toronto do not have the same base from which to draw players. They should have an appropriately low quota of (lets say) 2 Canadian-qualified players in each game day squad. Again, this quota should rise in line with what you could reasonably expect the local area to produce - maybe it should rise by 1 additional Canadian player to be found for every year they are in the competition. This would ensure that the new clubs remain focussed on long term aims of producing players and not just short term aims of achieving success on the field. Both clubs seem to have plenty cash for investment. We just need the governing bodies produce the correct rules to ensure the clubs direct plenty of their cash to development projects.
  10. It's quite right that we have concerns regarding a number of new clubs who may bring very few away fans. These games will also lack atmosphere on TV. I say this not because its up to away fans to fill the home stadium, but rather the fans and atmosphere is part of the product which we sell to TV. Anyone who knows me or cares to read my previous posts will know that I'm very much an expansionist and I would love to see these teams in Superleague. The benefits of inclusion have been well documented above, and far outweigh the negatives. But we must be careful that we do not 'dilute' the atmosphere at too many games. Yes the game values the TV contract, probably more than the financial contribution from fans, but how valuable will the TV contact be if a significant number of games have few fans and poor atmospheres? Whilst the sport has become a TV 'product', that product does not just include the highly skilled players, but also includes the fans and stadiums which make it look like a great event. The atmosphere of English sports stadiums, especially traditional ones has always been pretty special. There's many sports around the world where the attendances are larger, but do not have the same febrile passion that you find at English stadiums. We dilute this at our peril.
  11. Pure speculation. I'll also speculate that the agreement for Toronto's inclusion, and also the covering of away teams' travel, extends beyond one season.
  12. Maybe they are. They won't improve England at international level by suppressing investment in the Canadian of French teams. Of course they've a responsibility to develop the England national team. One way to improve the England team would be to develop the French national team to the extent that they are able to provide England with some decent opposition. Right now, they're absolutely pants.
  13. If we admit Toulouse then there's a 50% chance that this will no longer be the case!
  14. There's every chance that French and Canadian teams would improve the supply of French and Canadian players to their respective national teams, yes. Judging by the success of the Catalans Dragons, yes there's every chance that a team from France or elsewhere could possibly win the Grand Final and make progress in the World Club Challenge.
  15. There's players at SL, NRL clubs and in the England team which were developed by the clubs you list. Do some Googling and then come back and tell us all the benefits of providing players for the national team have for the game, and you'll be able to answer your own question.