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About jenson

  1. Very positive about a global international week, especially off the back of a great event in Campbelltown last week. That's the most significant part of this announcement. Hoping over 4 years it develops momentum for France, Wales, Scotland and Ireland to build stronger squad foundations as it has for the Pacific nations. Down under, we just got rid of City-Country because it was a dated concept. So ye olde Lions revival seems out-of-touch, especially when the game is crying out for a greater number of competitive nations. I could be wrong as nostalgia and tradition done right can create excitement, but I'm skeptical that Joe Public in NZ or Aus will get any more excited about watching GB than they would for a highly competitive England.
  2. Great performance from the men in white. It had all the makings of an ambush but they showed great composure and discipline to wear Samoa down. The playmakers showed their class. Hopefully Samoa (and the undercards from Tonga, Fiji & PNG) gained confidence and combination to put in competitive performances at the end of the year. Also hoping the growth of this weekend inspires commitment to a similar SL break with Scotland, Wales, France, Ireland in the years to come. Gives everyone something to plan for and build off.
  3. Brilliant squad, and great for international rugby league to have a team with a realistic chance of knocking over a tier 1 nation. The Tongan squad is great too. I'm all for notions of loyalty and patriotism, but in an increasingly mobile world where 'nationality' is increasingly convoluted, Rugby League is acknowledging this complexity and allowing representation of diverse heritages. It might be borne out of necessity - even desperation - to get better competition at the top level, but it might also be a point of difference in the competitive sporting landscape and help these lower tier nations build competitive, interesting RL identities.
  4. Was wondering the same myself. Haven't seen it mentioned. A few more I forgot - John Asiata, Suaia Matagi and Nelson Asofa-Solomona all qualify too. Aparently Milford and McGuire confirmed their eligibility. With Widdop out, this game is shaping as a cracker.
  5. Absolutely. A hard-fought, physical win in a hastily organised game would do wonders for English confidence. NB I edited the OP to take Lolohea out. No strong reason ... other than his Tongan heritage ... oops. Nu Brown is still solid, though.
  6. Frank Pritchard is out of the mid-season test, but eligibility changes give Samoa their strongest squad ever. England as underdogs? Samoa could give the whole World Cup a shake if they can develop some of these combinations. Shout out if I've missed any: 1. Young Tonumaipea 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Joey Leilua 4. Tim Lafai 5. Antonio Winterstein 6. Ben Roberts 7. Anthony Milford 8. Sam Kasiano 9. Kaysa Pritchard 10. Junior Paulo 11. Sia Soliola 12. Sione Mata'utia 13. Josh McGuire 14. Leeson Ah Mau 15. Jesse Sue 16. Issac Liu 17. Nu Brown Leilua, McGuire seem most likely to get Aussie call-ups. Kasiano might get NZ interest. But there's plenty of depth. NRL: Pat Vai Vai, Kirisome Au'ava, Frank Winterstein, Raymond Faitala-Mariner, Bunty Afoa, Sam Lisone, Ken Maumalo, Peter Mata'utia, Pat Mata'utia, Chanel Mata'utia, Daniel Vidot, Matt Wright, Peta Godinet, Erin Clark, Mason Lino SL: Krisnan Inu, Harrison Hanson, Willie Isa, Junior Moors, Lama Tasi. Thomas Lealuai has Samoan heritage so might be a veteran presence if overlooked by NZ.
  7. Certainly seems like a tough sell for NRL clubs given their current funding, the number of games already played, and the seeming lack of interest in the existing WCC, but a nice thought starter. To move in that direction, you could look at individual club matches rather than a full tournament. NRL clubs often get itchy feet and take games on the road. Do an NRL match or two in Toronto with a Wolfpack and Super League game on the same day or weekend. Take the same three games to Florida (if they're serious about League 1), throw a USARL game in and make it a Rugby League festival with all the community engagement and coaching that goes with it. Instead of one SL game, could they take the whole Magic Weekend? Another idea might be inviting a few UK clubs to the Auckland Nines, and host the WCC games in Aus/NZ at the same time.
  8. If the game ever grows that far and wide, it could be good to see consolidation at the top rather than expanding leagues. Perhaps only 2 fully professional divisions (10-12 teams each, same salary cap) in a Trans-Atlantic Super League, run entirely separately from any country-specific board. Promo and relegation between Top and Chanpionship divisions. Lower leagues in England, France, USA, Canada etc, would be the 'third tier', and the winners of each national comp would play-off against other winners for the right to enter the professional structures. Of course, if the game was 'that' big, you'd probably look at North American, British and European conferences and have fairly equal representation across the board, but that's a much bigger pipe dream
  9. Love this mid-season approach. The pre and post seasons might be ambitious given current club commitments. World Cups should be definite end of season events though.My bad on the double post - new user!!
  10. The NRL is the best Rugby League comp in the world. Super League is second. But what is the next best - Championship, NSW Cup, Qld Cup?