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The Daddy

My World League concept and the way forward for club rugby league

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Rugby League in the UK has in recent years had an image of underachievement particularly in comparison to the Aussie league scene which dominates the sporting landscape in Queensland, NSW and to a lesser extent Victoria. League is like premier league soccer over there, it demands a £1 Billion tv deal aswell as radio, online rights etc. How could the clubs and the RFL, improve the awareness of the sport over here and bring it close to the

Aussie hyperbowl level which is associated with NRL and State of Origin?

My proposal is based on two premises:

1. Having a marquee event/competition at the forefront of the sport.

To expand further every major sport has a marquee competition which enables the mainstream viewer to get interested in the sport when they normally would not have a single interest, an example is the Heineken Cup, prior to the competition taking off Union club rugby had just turned pro and the crowds didn't spike as much as the sport had anticipated, now compare union club rugby crowds to just after turning pro to when the Heineken Cup was hitting its peak and you'll note that this competition has contributed in the upsurge of club union in Europe. Fans and locals have the opportunity to see their club play at the highest level and on the biggest stage.

Another example.....when London Broncos were in the World Club Championship, they played Canberra, Brisbane etc at the stoop and for those few weeks the sport was buzzing down south, crowds and press attention was at its highest point than I can remember for the sport in London. That told me that to break into a competitive London entertainment and sports market you have to deliver your best high end product, I firmly believe that this kind of product would assist the sport taking off down south and other emerging areas aswell as consolidating the sport in the heartlands.

2. My other standpoint for the way forward is as David Waite said, the best against the best as much as possible, that's what people want it would expose players over here to a tough standard of league and be the bridge to international comps. As part of this I'd bring super league down to 10 teams but compensate with the extra World League (and European Cup) games.

The concept initially involves NRL, SL and French Super 13 teams, the flaw and short term obstacle would be the gap in talent between the NRL to SL teams and then another large gap in intensity to the French teams, there will be some blowout scorelines in the first few years but what is more important than that is the long term objective of the sport and competition, it takes time to create balance when the Heineken Cup started it had all sorts of issues, the Celtic teams couldn't compete, but over time parity was restored.

Now for this to work the league would be reduced to 10 teams, World League would initially consist of 12 teams, 4 NRL, 4 SL, 4 French, there would be 4 groups of 3 playing each other home and away with the best qualifiers going into the knockout rounds and then the final.

So for example....

Group A

Brisbane Broncos

Wigan Warriors

Toulouse

Group B

Melbourne Storm

Leeds Rhinos

Catalan Dragons

Group C

South Sydney Rabbitohs

St Helens

Avignon

Group D

Manly Sea Eagles

Warrington Wolves

Aude Cathars (hypothetical)

Over time, games could be taken to big stadiums like Elland Rd, Old Trafford etc.

Also worth noting that the next 4-6 teams who don't qualify for World League would be competing in some form of European Cup.

Just thinking out loud...

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Love your idea ,tho as a stand alone comp to start with there will be to many uncompetitive games ,although maybe if we looked to the NFL as an example and have maybe 3 or 4 inter league games during the season between the NRL and SL with points added to that teams current competition points ,the draw can be based on the previous years standings and have a World Club Championship game 2 weeks after the NRL and SL Grand Finals alternated each year between Australia and Britain ,then in future years possibly a stand alone World Championship!

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....when London Broncos were in the World Club Championship, they played Canberra, Brisbane etc at the stoop and for those few weeks the sport was buzzing down south, crowds and press attention was at its highest point than I can remember for the sport in London. That told me that to break into a competitive London entertainment and sports market you have to deliver your best high end product, I firmly believe that this kind of product would assist the sport taking off down south and other emerging areas as well as consolidating the sport in the heartlands..................

Well said that man a brilliant paragraph!!!

Just think of the tens and tens of millions of pounds wasted over 17 years in small towns across oop ter north

All that administration all those debts when a relatively small part of that could have made London competitive and kick on from the 5400 crowds they started in Superleague with.

There's the importance of London to RL in a nutshell.

And what a shortsighted useless bunch SL/RFL and the kick 'em out naysayers have all been towards our mighty capital flagship.

Investment=success......

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Interesting idea, but one the NRL would never go for, and alas the French would struggle a lot too.

I'd love to see an NRL team from the UK and London would be a really interesting venture in my dreams.

I would run an expanded world club champs in a 4 year cycle too, and make sure there was French and NZ representation.

Then for a top flight domestic league, I'd either go for a genuine Superleague in which every team has a chance of winning it (a sugar daddy league) or the other mooted 2-tier Superleague.

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Interesting idea, but one the NRL would never go for, and alas the French would struggle a lot too.

I'd love to see an NRL team from the UK and London would be a really interesting venture in my dreams.

I would run an expanded world club champs in a 4 year cycle too, and make sure there was French and NZ representation.

Then for a top flight domestic league, I'd either go for a genuine Superleague in which every team has a chance of winning it (a sugar daddy league) or the other mooted 2-tier Superleague.

Yes, I suppose that would be a 'flaw', the fact that the NRL clubs might not want to play ball, but they've participated in the comp in 1997, so we can only hope. Also, we have yet to see which direction the new ARL commission is set to take the sport in, it may be insular as it has been in recent years or it may have some form of outreaching international focus which is what is needed.

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Well said that man a brilliant paragraph!!!

Just think of the tens and tens of millions of pounds wasted over 17 years in small towns across oop ter north

All that administration all those debts when a relatively small part of that could have made London competitive and kick on from the 5400 crowds they started in Superleague with.

There's the importance of London to RL in a nutshell.

And what a shortsighted useless bunch SL/RFL and the kick 'em out naysayers have all been towards our mighty capital flagship.

Investment=success......

Huh????

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I'd love to see an NRL team from the UK and London would be a really interesting venture in my dreams.

Gonna need Star Trek-type transporters for that to become a reality. :D

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Gonna need Star Trek-type transporters for that to become a reality. :D

Probably yes, but I can dream!

But part of me wonders about a team playing day all their home games in one block through the summer each week Friday nights in the city centre, and all the others at the start and end of the year back in Oz. Plus each team travelling to the UK has a bye either the week before or the week after and logistics-wise maybe it sounds only 60% daft.

Play at Battersea (there'll be a venue there or nearby fairly soon), sponsored by an airline and it'd be fun whilst it lasted!

I suspect I am on my own with this idea though...

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Probably yes, but I can dream!

But part of me wonders about a team playing day all their home games in one block through the summer each week Friday nights in the city centre, and all the others at the start and end of the year back in Oz. Plus each team travelling to the UK has a bye either the week before or the week after and logistics-wise maybe it sounds only 60% daft.

Play at Battersea (there'll be a venue there or nearby fairly soon), sponsored by an airline and it'd be fun whilst it lasted!

I suspect I am on my own with this idea though...

No, it has been suggested before, certainly having a UK team in the NRL, but it was more (I think) the club being based in Aus. It's the travelling that would be the killer, certainly having a team flying over every other week, and staying in London, would be expensive. And then, I presume, London would have to fly over to Australia and stay there for 11 weeks - big hotel bills!

There could be a solution, though! I worked for BAe in the 1980s, and around the plant I was based in were posters of the HOTOL space plane that had been a concept pushed by the corporation earlier in the decade. It never got further than a concept but the idea was that it would take off, rise into low-earth-orbit, then almost immediately return to earth on the other side of the planet. The publicity said that it would be capable of travelling from London to Sydney in two hours. I thought at the time that it would make the ideal rugby league team bus!

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Huh????

You said "to break into a competitive London entertainment and sports market you have to deliver your best high end product, I firmly believe that this kind of product would assist the sport taking off down south and other emerging areas as well as consolidating the sport in the heartlands....."

So if London Broncos were financed enough to be SL's "high end product" the game would benefit in the same way that NRL benefits from Melbourne Storm or Canberra Raiders.

You yourself said that when the big games hit London the Broncos took off....

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No, it has been suggested before, certainly having a UK team in the NRL, but it was more (I think) the club being based in Aus. It's the travelling that would be the killer, certainly having a team flying over every other week, and staying in London, would be expensive. And then, I presume, London would have to fly over to Australia and stay there for 11 weeks - big hotel bills!

There could be a solution, though! I worked for BAe in the 1980s, and around the plant I was based in were posters of the HOTOL space plane that had been a concept pushed by the corporation earlier in the decade. It never got further than a concept but the idea was that it would take off, rise into low-earth-orbit, then almost immediately return to earth on the other side of the planet. The publicity said that it would be capable of travelling from London to Sydney in two hours. I thought at the time that it would make the ideal rugby league team bus!

I worked at Rolls Royce and there was development work carried out on engine components but I left in 2001, don't know what ever happened after that.

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The flaw is that the concept relies on a French pro league that currently doesn't exist, and when it does it won't be anywhere near the level for this concept to work for a long time.

Also, what do the other clubs do whilst the big teams play in the World League? You've noted a European Cup for those over here (again, there isn't a competitive pro French league at this time). What about the NRL?

I think the concept would be a lot better if it incorporated the situation that currently stands rather than relying on things to change immensely across European pro rugby league.

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Here's an idea if anyone could get the NRL interested how about when we get down to the last 16 in the challenge cup the NRL clubs enter ,making it 32 teams ,naturally a completely random draw making the challenge cup the world club championship ,would deff be worth an experiment, obviously there would be problems ie a championship or lower club being drawen against Brisbane etc ,but would be interesting !

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Here's an idea if anyone could get the NRL interested how about when we get down to the last 16 in the challenge cup the NRL clubs enter ,making it 32 teams ,naturally a completely random draw making the challenge cup the world club championship ,would deff be worth an experiment, obviously there would be problems ie a championship or lower club being drawen against Brisbane etc ,but would be interesting !

Completely unworkable.

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Unworkable additional fixtures. I posted a similar but much simpler idea recently....the thread was called "The Super League to end all Super Leagues" I think. Based on the much more realistic goal of aligning SL & NRL to the same cap level so they eventually become 2 conferences in the same global competition. You can then have inter-conference league games and all leading up to the Ultimate Grand Final between the 2 conference GF champs.

It's completely workable and based on utilising what we already have to maximum effect rather than creating extra games in a sport that isn't presently in wide consumer demand or able to afford to stage them.

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In terms of travel, each team does one 3 week "road trip" a season to play their 3 away games in 1 stint in my model. Totally workable and not unrealistic to think that large-ish away followings would go over with them a la England-Australia cricket.

It's all in my post anyway.

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Unworkable additional fixtures. I posted a similar but much simpler idea recently....the thread was called "The Super League to end all Super Leagues" I think. Based on the much more realistic goal of aligning SL & NRL to the same cap level so they eventually become 2 conferences in the same global competition. You can then have inter-conference league games and all leading up to the Ultimate Grand Final between the 2 conference GF champs.

It's completely workable and based on utilising what we already have to maximum effect rather than creating extra games in a sport that isn't presently in wide consumer demand or able to afford to stage them.

Similar to an idea I suggested earlier on this topic ,similar to an NFL type model

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