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  1. If the Aussies were split in the World Cup...

    I can't see how there would be much enthusiasm for this in Australia either, and what happens to a superstar player who happens to be born outside of those states? Unless my mind is going (which is possible) I seem to remember Wendell Sailor(?) being questioned about Aus dominance and his answer was that, potentially, you could have a World Cup with Australia and Australia 'A' but that it would be an insult to RL as a whole. The only sports I can think of allowing "sub-national" teams do so because of exceptional circumstances - in surfing, Hawaii is classed as a separate "nation" from the USA (due to cultural history and I assume the strength in depth they have) and in lacrosse, the Iriquois tribe are allowed to compete as an international team since they are regarded as having invented the sport. But NSW v QLD as an "international" would be a major step backwards IMO.
  2. Argentina

    I'm not sure how much of a hold Union has over those affluent crowds, though. By focusing on different neighbourhoods RL may be able to establish itself in districts where Union has little, if any, foothold. Regarding RayCee's point about targeting the smaller centres, the main problem with that is the sheer size of the country. What I mean is, the players need to have something to aim for, but being champions of your city/province won't mean much if you then can't afford to travel for a national playoffs tournament.
  3. Argentina

    The first thing they HAVE to do is get the game established in Buenos Aires and make some sort of city or province-wide league and try to grow from there. The media in Argentina are often the butt of jokes in that they give the impression that the country basically doesn't exist outside of Buenos Aires (unless of course they run yet another Falklands story), so if you want any coverage, you'll get it by targeting the capital. Another big advantage is that the family nature of the game can be stressed. Football is severely blighted by hooliganism, to the point where the start of the league season was postponed until clubs could show they'd put measures/sanctions in place, so a sport where this (hopefully) isn't an issue would be welcome. The downside of this is that you wouldn't be able to target the major names in the country in case the violence comes with them, so no Boca Juniors RL for a while... Finally, a nod to Toronto. Going on the CBC website the one comment I often see for every match is the affordability of going to games. With Argentina's economy still being fragile, it could be an idea to target the poorer neighbourhoods of B.A. to introduce them to the sport and possibly get teams up and running. It will give an alternative to football in both watching and playing, and the only direct competition is low-level football and basketball.
  4. NZRL Premiership

    What's the RL structure in NZ like? Do players from this rep competition have a realistic shot of being looked at by the Warriors, or is this an equivalent of third-tier rugby where the next step up (which in Aus is filled by the NSW and QLD Cups) is lacking entirely?
  5. French RL exposure vs. other sports

    The wonder of YouTube.... I managed to find France v Italy in the European Championship. If that's the "crowd" for what I assume is the top level of this sport then being the sports correspondent for this must be the worst job on the newspaper!
  6. French RL exposure vs. other sports

    Thanks for that - I'd just assumed with handball that international success would filter down to the national league, but obviously not. Also, is there regional bias in terms of sport - has RL for example always been seen as a "Southern" game in the same way that people who don't really follow it in the UK think it doesn't exist outside the North?
  7. Having read through the "next French team in the UK structure" thread I thought of a question, but didn't want to derail the main thread. The question is, just how much of a minority sport is RL in France? Obviously football rules over everything, I would assume Union is the clear number 2 (for its TV/media exposure if nothing else) but what happens after that? I know the likes of handball and volleyball are highly popular so does RL find itself in fifth place or are there other sports that still beat it?
  8. Those options are extremely limited. Arena football is in dire straits financially and the Arena League (the Premier League of the sport for anyone who isn't aware) is down to just four teams. Other leagues are purely local/regional and are usually on even shakier financial ground - these localised leagues tend to have a lifespan of a decade or so before you see mergers, re-structuring or simply going bust. Canada is a viable option if you want to have a full-time career playing football, although even then players in the unglamorous positions on the lowest end of the wage scale need to take second jobs in the off-season to supplement their income. The problem for Americans is that teams are required to have a minimum number of Canadians both in their matchday squad AND actually out on the field during a game, so opportunities are more limited than they would be in a completely open-door league. It's a MAJOR stretch to call any indoor football league "semi-pro", unless you're defining it as simply being paid to play no matter what the money actually is. Top players in these lower leagues (and by that I mean, the levels below the Arena League) are looking at $300 per game at the very most, if there is a win bonus or "Player of the Week" bonus involved it may only be an extra 100-150 on top. Again, that's if a team is being very generous. One route that RL should definitely look at is players from the smaller colleges. When people talk about "college football" they are nearly always referring to the top end of Division 1 level - the top 128 teams. The lower end of division 1, Division 2 and Division 3 have around 300+ teams combined, where 99.9% of the players know they have no shot at the NFL, but if League offered them a new possibility to have a pro sports career.....
  9. Langtree Park to be renamed

    It could be worse - Estonia's national football team plays at the Le Coq Arena. About the only thing mildly amusing about this is the prospect of Saints playing at a Wicked stadium
  10. What kind of standard is this league like? Are we talking village teams or are there a few Elite 1/2 reserve sides involved?
  11. I can see two main problems with the international game growing among the lower-tier nations - one is player depth. If you have the choice between League as a true amateur or low-grade Union for money (even if It's only expenses), you'd have to assume a large percentage will look for the money. Secondly, there's the issue of giving the minor nations meaningful competition amongst themselves. Union realised this years ago with the European Nations Cup (effectively the lower divisions under the 6 Nations), and recently introducing qualifying rounds for the Challenge Cup (which Enisey in Russia have taken huge advantage of). RL needs to find some way to make something similar like a Euro Club Cup for the winners of the Serbian, Czech, Italian leagues, as an example. As much as Scotland's performance has been great, for every shock like that you'll get PNG shipping 50-60 points whenever they step up to play Aus or NZ. Why not have a Four Nations Division 2 to at least give some extra competitive games?
  12. Something else to consider is that the second largest Turkish city in the world after Istanbul is.....Berlin. I know in football the Turkish Super Cup has definitely been played in Germany, so the overseas communities could have a role to play if they get interested in RL. The dream target would be getting the "Big Three" involved, even if It's just amateur teams with the right to use the name. Besiktas v. Galatasaray RL anyone?
  13. Scoring system wrong?

    Standard 4 points for a try but an extra bonus point awarded if the try is scored by the fattest player on the pitch if he has to run 10 or more metres to score. Touchline conversions and drop goals get an extra point if they are taken by anyone other than your recognised kicker. Olympics taekwondo/judo inspired rule - if a team concedes a certain number of penalties the opposition are awarded 2 points. If they still haven't got the message and they go over-limit again they concede a further 2, and so on... Add a 50-10 kick alongside the 40-20 so the attacking gets possession even closer to the try line. Speedway-inspired "joker" rule - if a team is trailing by a suitably large margin, they can call for a 10-minute period in which all their scores count double. Finally, make the "Four Nations" tournament into the spectacle fans really want to see - Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cumbria and Rest of the World.
  14. Canadian Military and Rugby League

    If you've ever seen the US Army, Navy or Air Force playing American football, their style is far, far closer to League than it is to anything you'd see in the NFL. Hardly any forward passing, their tactics revolve around tackle-breaking, running lines and lateral passes. There are times when it literally looks like RL with pads on. I'd imagine the Canadians would be similar as this style of play is meant to take advantage of superior fitness levels.