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  1. Though Union apparently has that presence in Canada — I'm not sure that I believe all of their claims — you seem to be overrating it. With a few exceptions, those 324 clubs have no significant standing in their communities and they don't get press coverage. They're very likely including all school kids who play among their junior numbers too, though RU certainly wouldn't be those kids' only sport. I can tell you why Dave Silcock's group failed years ago because I was involved with them for a few years. Dave and his three partners got very little support from the established leagues and they couldn't get sponsorship without getting the game off the ground first, so they were funding the majority of expenses out of their own pockets. I can say for a fact that Union was playing dirty too, making their task of getting their league off the ground more difficult. In 1994 Ottawa's Al Charron, then a member of the Canadian national Union team, was very interested in trying RL but they got wind of it and threatened to ban him just as the UK Unions did for many decades. In time the combination of very little support from overseas and having to battle the headwind of Union opposition bled Dave and his partners to the point where they had to call it quits. You obviously haven't been listening to Eric Pérez very closely. He wants to bring these clubs in so that RL can tap into the billions of dollars in TV rights and sponsorship available here in America, i.e. to boost the financial income of the game in the northern hemisphere. I too am critical of the Wolfpack not having brought more than the one Canadian player through, but I am happy to see the back of the Yanks whom they had around earlier. If Ryan Burroughs leaves and joins New York or another US-based team I'll be happy to see that too. From my perspective the best way for them back up what Pérez said about RL being the most Canadian sport which wasn't previously known to Canadians would be to bring Canadian players through. I understand that traditional fans won't like this, but Toronto, New York, Montréal, etc. replacing Widnes, HKR, Wakefield, Huddersfield, Castleford, etc. might be exactly what northern hemisphere RL needs to get out from under Union's shadow and shake the regional sport tag at last. One thing is certain, the tarted-up version of the old RFL Championship which has been masquerading as a "Super League" since 1996 hasn't been able to achieve that and the game in Europe has fallen further behind the Australasian game in that time.
  2. I was thinking of Tonga and Samoa more than Fiji. Fiji does have links with the game going back to the 1960s when a number of Fijian players went to England and played for teams like Rochdale.
  3. Your question points to the flaw in the idea that boosting the Pacific island nations this way — the quick and easy approach to expanding the number of competitive nations in RL — can truly help the sport. Sure it's quicker and easier than doing the more difficult work to put real roots down anywhere, but it's already dropped real RL nations like France in the rankings and now it could weaken another real RL nation too. Is there enough of a benefit to offset that? I'm not sure myself.
  4. Six Nations Oct/Nov 2018

    A 2018 rugby league Six Nations on cards but Ireland not keen on England B.
  5. You need to grasp that North America is a very different place from the rest of the world. In this part of the world we generally see Union (on those rare occasions when anyone here even thinks about it) as an inferior sport which we gave up generations ago. At first glance to most among the few of us who ever even see it, it's an overly complicated game and a stupid one to boot. RL on the other hand is easily recognizable as being very similar to the most popular sport by miles in these parts, so RL is consequently a much better fit for us. So Union can try and try and try to establish their game on this rocky and inhospitable soil, but they won't succeed. They'll just burn through millions in the attempt instead.
  6. 2018 Series v NZ

    They're not remotely the same, what planet do you live on??? The media which decides what is and isn't big time are pretty much all in the south, and so are the decision makers of pretty much all of the companies with big money budgets for sports sponsorship. As a consequence filling a big stadium in the south is much more valuable and lucrative for a sport than doing that in the north.
  7. 2018 Series v NZ

    Of course it's different, completely different in fact. Twickenham is a big stadium in the UK's biggest and most important city so playing there (and filling it) most of the time makes a good impression on the country's media and big money sponsors. The smaller northern venues routinely chosen for these and other matches don't do anything comparable for RL.
  8. 2018 Series v NZ

    True, but that began when very few countries played RU. Though it's been kept around, those countries now play many other opponents in a typical year, and lower-tier countries play quite often too, even the likes of Belgium. Other than England playing NZ, what other international RL is going to played next year? Oh yes I remember now, two of the World Cup semi-finalists will take part in a Mickey Mouse triple-header in Sydney because they can't manage standalone matches. What a cock-up!
  9. 2018 Series v NZ

    I still remember how shocked the Aussies were at the tiny 4.1 metre deep goal areas there at the 2013 World Cup Final. Given the difficulties of finding suitable-length grounds in Britain possibly there could be a workaround: allow grounds to be as short as 95 metres long rather than 100, and in those cases only reduce the distance between the lines and continue to number them as if they're a full 10 metres apart so that on TV it looks like a full-length field of play. Otherwise substandard venues like Old Trafford could then squeeze in goal areas with the bare minimum depth. Not ideal, but at least then the game could be presented at all times and in all countries with one consistent set of field markings as seen in major sports.
  10. 2018 Series v NZ

    That they do: back to the time when the number of countries playing the game could be counted on the fingers of one hand. Times have changed since then though.
  11. 2018 Series v NZ

    The game needs to ditch its attitude of making do with short fields of play and make sure that top-level matches at least are on full-length 100-metre fields with deep goal areas like we've seen in the World Cup this year.
  12. 2018 Series v NZ

    Bad news. The same two teams playing each other multiple times is something never seen in big time international sports, it's the mark of a small time sport which hardly any countries play.
  13. 2018 Fixtures

    That's because the ball being put into play via the foot is what makes Rugby League one of the 5 types of football in the world, which therefore do not include brain damage ball, aka gridiron.
  14. If the RL pond stays small, their club can potentially be a big fish in that small pond without having to work and growing bigger, and they like it that way.
  15. Very true, and the 1897 split in Aussie Rules similar to the RL/RU split was resolved over time with the original governing body in Victoria (the VFA) falling by the wayside so their fanbase covers the whole population more or less.