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Honor James

LEBANON RUGBY LEAGUE COMPLETE 2012 WORLD TOUR WITH COOK ISLANDS TEST

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Leaving your wife's complaints to one side for the moment ;) , I'd agree with what your saying. What we desperately need is a RLIF that can, and will actually push these things along. The RLEF are doing great things in the Northern Hemisphere, but the game needs a fully co-ordinated worldwide programme for development.

I agree with that. Any profits from World Cup's, four nations etc should be given to the RLIF to provide funding for such ventures. A 5% levy on gate receipts from Grand Finals or Challenge Cup finals for the same purpose would also help. Any television money from Internationals should also go there. The whole rlif should be independent from the various leagues, e.g. the bloard members should have no dual rioles in Aussie, NZ or GB leagues management.

The RLIF should also be in charge of rule changes for the enitire planet. The way iy is going now whereby counries, especially it has to be said, Australia, just change the rukles to suit themselves is going to end up with two different games if we are not careful.

The last World Cup made a profit. Do you have any idea what happened to that cash?

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Bear in mind this is the Aussies we're talking about - the people who took the WC down to just 10 teams in 2008. In their defence it was a pretty good tournament, and I actually thought the structure worked quite well (I know many will argue that point). But they are over cautious when it comes to Internationals, and once Channel 9 have their input into what would work for them (probably as few games as possible, all involving Australia) I genuinely can't see it being any more than next year. Hopefully common sense will prevail and they'll at least stick with 14 teams. Of course, it would be nice to think that all this would be sorted out soon, so everyone knows where they stand.

The problem for me this time is the lack of a proper qualifying tournament. The fact that 12 teams (I think) automatically qulaified is ridiculous. I'm not suggesting the likes of Ireland, Scotland or the Cook Islands don't deserve to be there, but I would've preferred to see teams such as these having to qualify through some sort of tournament.

I agree about proper qualification. For the 2008 tournament, the two qualifying ties between Scotland and Wales were close and passionate affairs, and the win certainly meant something for the Scottish players and supporters. I just think the RFL were scared of Wales not qualifying for a British world cup.

As has been suggested, semi finalists from the previous competition in automatically with the rest having to qualify. I wonder if, for example, a fully fledged European Competition, played in one country over a few weeks would work? As always, paying for it would be a problem.

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They shouldn't be talking about reducing the numbers of teams in the WC final. Just the opposite. The growth of international RL is amazing and the two three teamm groups in next years WC is a farce. We should, at the very least, add two teams to make four groups of 4 in the finals.

I have to disagree about the three team groups. They provided some of the most exciting competition in 2008. Scotland, Fiji and France all finished with two points, with just points difference giving Fiji the spot. And do you not recall Ireland's endeavours against with Tonga and Samoa? I think splitting the tournament into two depending on the status of the nations is a great innovation.

Like it or not, rugby league at its present state of international development does not lend itself to a traditional "four groups of four" world cup. Apart from the almost certain blow-outs when the big three play a minnow, you've also got the problem that one group will be decided before a ball has been kicked. Every world cup has to have at least one England v Australia game in order to make it pay, To guarantee that they both need to be in the same group meaning that the two weaker nations included with them have no chance of making the quarter finals. Fiji found themselves in that group in both 1995 and 2000 meaning they had no chance of progressing - we had the 3 team groups in 2008 and we saw what they could do!

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Like it or not, rugby league at its present state of international development does not lend itself to a traditional "four groups of four" world cup. Apart from the almost certain blow-outs when the big three play a minnow, you've also got the problem that one group will be decided before a ball has been kicked. Every world cup has to have at least one England v Australia game in order to make it pay, To guarantee that they both need to be in the same group meaning that the two weaker nations included with them have no chance of making the quarter finals. Fiji found themselves in that group in both 1995 and 2000 meaning they had no chance of progressing - we had the 3 team groups in 2008 and we saw what they could do!

The four group winners will get Aus, Eng , NZ and one other into the quarters. The second place finishers in each group would get you the remainder. The close games between minnows that you cite should happen between the bottom three of each group trying to reach the quarters,

It is true any Eng v Aussie will have to wait for the semi or the final but we need to increase the numbers in the final. The group of death format has it's advantages but we need to progress beyond that.

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