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The British Lion

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  1. Observing the international scene of late, I really feel now is a pivotal moment. Pivotal moments have previously existed - such as with the Welsh team of the 90's, with all the Union converts....we missed it. And with Celtic Crusaders 'potential'impact also. The French in the 80's early 90's...gone and missed. How many times do we need to miss the moment to ride the crest of a wave? But, I mean for the whole organisation as a whole. Southern Hemisphere The Southern Hemisphere have the VERY BEST opportunity to build something very special and completely dominate the Northern hemisphere, I believe. With all the defections to Tonga and Samoa, via heritage, plus all the New Zealand talent, and also the sleeping giant potential of PNG....thats definitely 5 teams (including Oz) to play in the SAME Oceana Cup....please don't do 3 teams tier 1, 3 teams tier 2. Just play a flipping regular series - it will improve those chasing regularly, and increase the playing rostas of NRL clubs of senior players. The NRL needs to take a wider view of the International game. (Obvious comment). This will make them more dollars in the long run.....stay the same, you'll always get the same hey. The Southern Hemisphere is RIPE (Unlike us in the Northern Hemisphere) for a competitive comp right now that would be attractive, and attract massive crowds - courtesy of Tonga and Samoa and their huge passion. If it doesn't happen soon, the wave will die down, and normal service will be resumed! Im not talking 'developing' nations' here - these guys should all be tier 1 (in terms of playing ability) funds should be distributed fairly through the International RL Federation....Yes, I know it doesn't have the freehold to say what's what yet....that's why we need the IRLF to be the chief decision maker, and appointments made to it from both the NRL and SL (Initially) to be those people who broker the games International calendar. Currently, it seems to be making plans but without authority. Northern Hemisphere Here are my thoughts, feel free to shoot me down with my misgivings or any other opinions. We are currently light years behind the Southern Hemisphere, due to the NRL's heavy popular influence on the region, and the fact many players play in the NRL from a multitude of Pacific Island backgrounds....i applaud it. We often in England criticise the cross over of players to other national teams - if we make them all tier 1 nations, job done? No more switching? But, the NRL is developing players. What could Super League do? Well -we are all aware of Toronto, and a possible Ottawa, but lets leave that aside for now....but an aside thought should be, how about the more Canadian born, or heritage players (to begin with) they play in their first team = salary cap exemption. I'll leave that there. Same for Catalans (and a potential Toulouse) - the more homegrown French players in this instance = salary cap exemption - reward these outpost clubs developing with the ability to retain and develop their players! = potentially better International tests with England in the medium to long term? And here's an outlandish idea - Wales, Scotland and Ireland If you're born in England, but choose one of these countries through genuine heritage, you are NOT allowed to then play for England. For genuine home grown players from these nations, if a SL club signs them and develops them - then again, no salary cap measure for them. Its all risk, but helps raise up players from other nations. England Home grown talent from the town or boundaries - no salary cap at all considered....develop links with amateur teams. Yes I know this is getting better for some clubs - but reward with FULLNESS those who raise up players from the towns or cities clubs.... Salary Cap issues are the talk of the current day. I appreciate my thoughts could be flawed. I just want a blueprint for future exciting, thriving international game, and great club game.
  2. I really don't know the answer for The Broncos. Such a nomadic life. It had good traction when they were at Charlton, and averaging 2nd in SL for crowds etc. I guess Londoners don't identify with being a 'Londoner' - there needs to be a more settled regional identity. Also, to attract people to a new product - it has to look 'the business.' I know people are all saying its ideal as the crowds are low (Ealing) but, it's a bit of a catch 22. Entertainment in London sports or otherwise is mainly world class. Playing at what looks like a leading Amateur clubs ground isn't going to produce the Razzle Dazzle. Also, there likely needs to be a 1. short term, and 2. long term plan to engage with a new audience, and attract new fanbases. The rise of the Skolars, (and maybe others) would help in rivalry too..... Good to aspire to hey?!
  3. Does anybody know what the regular supporting attendance at home games there is for 'Swinton?' I do believe unless Swinton make a big switch to being 'Manchester' they will always be what they are now, wrongly or rightly. If they play it clever, they can maintain their heritage, but have a brand new dawn as Manchester. I agree somewhat, Manchester will always be a football mad city - but there is room for a decent club in RL and support base. Not sure on Rochdale, Oldham etc....they are by very definition Greater Manchester with their own definition of region. Swinton are part of Salford (correct me if im wrong) so strongly need their own identity to grow on.
  4. I hope so that this will be the case in the future. You guys at London need a serious change. I admire massively the long term commitment from your current owner. But, I don't believe it's ever going to help you get over the mark. And, what you're doing currently is brilliant. Why did Richard Branson withdraw his funding btw all the way back then?
  5. Such a genuine argument - they do only have 2 northern teams. But, it's their international game which gives them the popularity in England.....the RFU may never achieve more Northern teams in their prem, but, they will always muster support in RL heartlands due to their excellent international programme. I long for the day that RL has such a focus on internationals. Just being honest.
  6. International games HAS to be the pinnacle to aim at. Sending England Knights, is a no. It will not attract anybody. If the scores are big to begin with, so what? It gives the other nations high levels to reach at. We must provide the opposition at the highest level. Love it. But, please, please, don't be England Knights. And don't split into 2 groups of 3.
  7. Daz39 You've done exactly what I hoped you wouldn't do....take offence. And I apologise if so. Your club has had an AMAZING journey from the echelons of the bottom tier to SL. Great achievement! I applaud it. Yes - you were 'League Leaders' and even memorably knocked the Wire out of the play-off's years ago which was gutting for me. I WANT a successful Huudersfield in SL. My question is - how do you build your fanbase? And for the rest of SL. Bcos a half empty facility is not attractive to speccies on the TV. Sorry bud, just speaking truth.
  8. Mate, I said that in my opening statement -without Moran, we wouldn't be able to
  9. Hey all, I make no secret as an expansionist enthusiast, that I am excited and hopeful that the RFL and SL will do great due diligence, and all being well, see the admittance (through the proper promotion channels) Toronto, and Toulouse.....and who knows beyond that....Ottawa, Montreal, New York (Although my own jury is out on that bid currently). I have re-assessed my thinking in terms of clubs who just don't seem to be puling in the crowds, or adding anything to SL (in my opinion). Hope I don't take a flacking! 1st - Huddersfield - yes they produced a great performance on the field, but how can the game or club help to attract more fans? 2nd - Salford - Again producing great performances (and my 2nd favoured team, having lived there for a few years) I really hoped when Koukash came in and the move to the new stadium, their future would kick on. Now it seems they live in a stadium which Sale Sharks have more visability with (fly over the M60 and you'll see the branding, a few thousand very loyal fans, and literally being ran as a community club, losing their best prospect players to others) Now seemingly the coach looking to go elsewhere...... HOW does the game assist these clubs, what would you do? 3rd - London - I LOVE the fact London are in SL again - but will I visit Ealing? Im sorry, no. It just doesn't scream excitement to me (and if it doesn't me, then it won't attract en masse the newbie) 4th - Wakefield - Again, great performing team, who wouldn't want David Fifita in their team?! Chris Chester doing a great job. But are they ever going to attract a crowd bigger than they have? Then there's the likes of Widnes, Bradford, and Leigh who have always had potential but never quite got there.... Please don't shoot me down for highlighting your club - I want them to do well, as Im sure other RL fans do. How does the game help your club to the next level? Is it all in a 'name' of a town? Is it really about 'big city' clubs? When I think about Warrington, my own club. The Wilderspool days (I started watching in the early 90's as a kid) seeing them go from near distinction and a merger with Widnes, to where we are now....(ok, it's always our year) but the crowds have drastically improved. New stadium - and one which we earn revenue from, that's hugely important. If Moran was to withdraw his funding of the club im not sure how we would fare. The population of Warrington is 220,000 - so crowds of 10,000 - theres still a huge deal of people to reach for! I guess my question is - what criteria is needed to help clubs struggling to be exciting, and profitable clubs who add value to the SL? Is it purely down to the club? Or, does SL now have a responsibility to help bring them up? What would you do?
  10. First up - so great to see Catalans on the up! First the Challenge Cup (v my team Warrington, that was a long trip back home from Wembley!) Then Camp Nou, and their continuous development in terms of how competitive they are, and good to watch. Players like Gigot - who really should be a household name, he's such a fantastic French player. What next? I really hope Bernard Gausch does take more games on the road across the 'Catalan' region. However....how do they transfer this form to the National team of France? Here are my thoughts. Feel free to agree or disagree. 1. We really have to hope Toulouse get promoted to SL, or, SL promote Toronto and Toulouse artifically to make a 14 team comp. 2. I'd make Steve McNamara the French national team coach. Yes - as well as being Catalans coach. 3. French Federation to insist on more internationals to the IRLF. One of those things to be a 3 match test series each year v England (not a Leigh sports village) until they continue to improve.) In fact - I already believe they are better than their one match test performances. Pride and purpose needs putting into the tests for them. Not just one off token tests. Consistency and regularity is key of competitive fixtures....build it up, bad blood, make it into something no one wants to lose! Not just a token fixture. 4. Somehow, the Catalans need to implement key positions such as stand off, hooker, loose etc for French player development. They are currently relying on overseas imports for key positions (same could be said for English SL clubs.) This is a key time for Catalans and FRL, riding on the crest of a wave. I hope somebody is doing something to build strategy and momentum to capitalize on this.
  11. Agree with this - Im a Wire fan, and don't particularly like Leeds 'as a fan' but Super League needs big City asset clubs. This is the ideal time to promote the top 2 championship clubs (on merit) 1st and 2nd - hopefully thats Toronto and Toulouse come the end of the year. As someone mentioned though, it'll likely not happen as clubs don't want to reduce their slice of the sky pie.
  12. Apologies if this has already been covered. I couldn't see that it has. If Leeds continue in what looks to be a huge struggle for them, and they finish bottom - do you think the SL and The RFL will stop this happening? London, also, having only just made it back to SL, and people believing we need a successful London team in the comp (I am one of those btw) With Toronto and Toulouse sitting 1st and 2nd, could the authorities be justified in promoting both these teams to make the numbers up to 14, ditch the stupid loop fixtures, and provide expansion, and security for 2 big name teams? How would you fans feel about this? Im not overly keen on overriding the promotion and relegation set up. However, personally I believe it would be smart to protect Leeds and London, and promote 2 expansion teams, in Toulouse and Toronto. Thoughts?
  13. Unbelievable - I didn't know that. The only reason I have an interest now in Wire v Wigan in Magic weekend is the bringing back of ther Locker Cup. Stroke of genius right there. BUT, if RL is to go bigger and greater, they need to desperately stop these loop and overkill fixtures. It's boring!
  14. Agreed! Ive said before, Ill say it again. Its massive overkill. Warrington v Wigan games should be games no-one wants to miss out on! Even as a Wire fan, Im bored of the overkill. 2 league games a year, plus if we meet in the cup. THAT should be IT!
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