Richard de la Riviere

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About Richard de la Riviere

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  1. There'd have probably been a Welsh team, but it might not have done so well. 1995 was the year they got the likes of the Wigan front row into their team on a heritage basis, and they had the emerging Harris and Cunningham. But that was the last time Wales were able to field several high-profile ex-union players
  2. Maybe Trump'll send us a few quid then!
  3. The RFL were wrong not to take home GB Tests outside of England, and I've twice used 2001 and 2003 as an example on this thread. And prior to that, taking games to Cardiff when we had several top Welshman in the side would have been the obvious thing to do. But given the game has never really been run properly, it didn't happen. Doesn't mean it can't in future. Again, on Sport England, the RFL did deny approx ten years ago that the decision to scrap GB was down to Sport England funding. Perhaps they lied. Who knows? I prefer to think of them as incompetent, not dishonest.
  4. They certainly contributed to the game's profile and to international rugby league teams, but many cross-code signings were utterly reckless and threatened the very future of the sport. Even those who did well like Tuigamala and Gibbs (and to a lesser extent Quinnell) cost eye-watering sums of money which the clubs in question could never hope to recover. Tuigamala was superb, but with Connolly there he wasn't even Wigan's best centre! All in all, the fact we're no longer bringing these guys into the sport is probably no bad thing.
  5. I didn't consult any, but I didn't feel I needed to when I was writing about the effects of scrapping GB on the Scotland, Ireland and Wales teams. You paint a realistic pic of the boys from Brixton and Leeds in an earlier post. But what about the kids brought up on tales from their parents and grandparents about GB? Without doing any research, I suspect there's a few of those. I suspect also that a lot of u20s follow Peacock and Burgess on Twitter and are excited by their GB tweets.
  6. England (or GB) becoming no1 is an entirely different argument. I turn 40 this year and I don't think it will happen in my lifetime. We might win a tournament one day, but we won't be the no1 RL nation on a sustained basis. "The profile of RL in the UK" has collapsed alarmingly in the summer era. There are numerous reasons for that. But what would increase the profile of the game in Ireland, for example? A strong team competing in the latter stages of a World Cup televised free to air in Ireland would be a hell of a start!
  7. there you go again
  8. I don't believe that how the presence of GB affects world rankings which only a handful of people are bothered about is enough of an argument not to bring them back. The Ireland team didn't have problems with players "ducking out" in 1999, in games which were markedly lower profile than the 2000 World Cup. If the RFL paid them properly, which I'd happily support, we'd have strong Celtic sides. My article focused specifically on how scrapping GB adversely affected the Celtic nations. But in terms of the figures you offer, I would point out that international rugby league went on a downward spiral from 1996 which was down to a number of factors including the break up of a the Hanley-Schofield-Offiah team which pushed the Aussies so close, the fact that internationals were no longer on the BBC, and the fact that the RFL were so keep to develop the Super League brand that they did it at the expense of the Challenge Cup and the international game. The 2013 World Cup was something of a turning point, largely because the BBC were involved again and there has seen some welcome growth since, which has seen go back to the early 1990s by using more ambitions venues.
  9. Has development happened BECAUSE Great Britain was scrapped? As far as I can see, there has been an increase in professional Welsh RL players because of the presence of the Crusaders and the Scorpions. There has been an increase in the number of Irish community RL players because domestic competitions have been set up. Neither are relevant to Great Britain. A top quality team similar to Ireland's in 2000 is crucial to the development of Irish RL. Imagine a team that good again when Currie, McIlorum etc are happy to play for them because GB have been reintroduced. Imagine their fixtures are on terrestrial TV back home. They get to the semi final perhaps. That would be the best way to make a lot of Irish people sit up and take notice of rugby league. Ireland were still strong in 2008 because the announcement to scrap GB came midway through that particular World Cup cycle. After that they've been hampered by defections and other players not coming forward to play for them. "The world has moved on" is just empty rhetoric. I'm basing my argument on what was happening in the very recent past. What is happening now in international rugby league in the northern hemisphere isn't working. When a lad like Rhys Evans emerges as a great young Welsh talent and very quickly announces he wants to play for England then you have a system which is broken. Same with Ben Currie. And Danny Brough twice making himself for England. You can't ignore the players and what they want.
  10. Oh come on! Nobody in their right mind is going to describe the GB 1999 side as "halcyon days". But in terms of an open and easy-to-understand international structure, which incorporated England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales fixtures at the same time, we had a system which worked better than it does now, irrespective of the results. There was no hand wringing over eligibility and nation hopping once Ireland had come onto the professional scene. Some absolute greats of the modern era were happy to turn out for the Celtic nations without giving thought to playing for England again, in sharp contrast to today. I have provided you with a structure which I believe would work, based on a decent example from the not-too-distant past. Yet you want to still make sarcastic references to nostalgia. Johnoco was decent enough to admit there is more to my argument than nostalgia - which doesn't feature in my article at all. Surely you can do that too? You know I've already answered your point about the lack of GB games in the past being played in Wales and Scotland. I'd have loved to have seen it happen in 2001 and 2003 and I'd want it to happen in future.
  11. Would the £15m funding for the 2021 World Cup, or future World Cups, be affected? With GB back full time, I would want England to play every year - I haven't once said I would only want them to play once every four years. I'll use 1999 as an example again. The GB&I touring squad of 24 players included six current or future Ireland internationals (Gary Connolly, Francis Cummins, Chris Joynt, James Lowes, Barrie McDermott and Ryan Sheridan), three Wales internationals (Keiron Cunningham, Iestyn Harris and Anthony Sullivan) as well as Scotland's Dale Laughton. That's ten, not far off 50%! Any chance of hitting that sort of figure is now gone without GB playing in three out of every four years. That is what my article is based on - a point you are unwilling to address. So we bring back GB 3 years of 4 as I advocate, and, in time, we get numerous top players into the Wales, Scotland & Ireland squads. Perhaps then a GB squad would only be made up of 50% England internationals - nearly achieved in 1999, when no one was even trying to hit such a target. Then, a separate England team playing France in a best-of-three series, or entering a European Cup, wouldn't necessarily have to be "second string", as GS calls them above in reference to Sport England funding. Moving this on slightly, we also had a brilliant England 'A' team in 2002 and 2003 which gave the touring New Zealand and Australia teams great games - particularly the one at Brentford against the Kangaroos. They were later rebranded as the Knights, but the concept has fizzled away. So I envisage a GB team playing Australia/NZ at the same time as England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales playing in a European Cup, with the latter three being similarly strong as Ireland were in 1999. Throw in England 'A', as they were in 2002 and 2003, and that gives us plenty to be excited about. It also means a huge number of home-grown Super League players will be involved in the annual international programme, which is great for rugby league.
  12. In your first post in this thread, you spoke of funding being paid back to Sport England, yet the funding you speak of here won't be affected. There are benefits to bringing back GB other than financial ones, as my article points out. World Cups would still involve the home nations and not GB, and so that Sport England funding would be unaffected. You seem keen to talk only about funding and nostalgia. Once again, the RFL did deny that scrapping GB was related to Sport England funding.
  13. thanks mate
  14. If they have done it just for this reason, then I agree with you.
  15. How exactly is a thousand words lamenting the weakening of Wales, Scotland and Ireland "playing to rose tinted traditional views"? In the mid to late 1990s, the rose-tinted traditionalists didn't want to see an Ireland RL team exist. Me? I thought it was great and that the presence of Edwards, Martyn, O'Connor and McDermott etc in their team was a fantastic thing.