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The Daddy

Italy and Argentina's development in RU show just how short sighted the people that run our sport are.

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Several years ago in union circles Italy were not even in the 5/6 Nations and in the first few years of their participation they got pasted and didn't even win a single game........last weekend they defeated France for the second time and are slowly developing into a competitive team and forsee in the next few years further improvement.

Argentina likewise, there was a big debate about whether they should join the top southern hemisphere Rugby Championship competition but that has turned out to be a success.

The point being made here is that after 1 or 2 years of England playing France and Wales mid season in the pinnacle of summer it has been thrown out and replaced with a bogus international team called Exiles. Now I'm not against this concept but it shouldn't be placed above proper international football.

Why can't we stick to playing these teams, allow them to develop and get pasted until they reach England's level? Yes it'll take time but it's the only way we'll get more competitive international teams by giving them more exposure.

They did play against England at the end of last season but that was only to replace NZ and Aus, I'd like to see this comp played mid season and give it 5 years and we'll see France start to get level and Wales a few years after. Generally in international rugby league we need to have the smaller teams playing the big three more often to aid their development.

I can't see why PNG can't play NZ & Aus in a Tri nations down under, possibly including Fiji, our administrators need to be braver and more positive with our sport.

I totally agree.

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None of which are anything to write home about. Vicious circle: games aren't deemed important, fans don't turn out. Players get disheartened and games aren't as fiery as they might be....fans say 'told you it was rubbish'. Etc etc

Games need some biff and the officials of the game need to allow a bit to go, it worked wonders for the state of origin.

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Its not all RL's fault that there was little development in those countries - there was the matter of the RU ban to contend with. RL as a game is not, and never has been rich so they can't afford to finance European development. RU hasn't spread that much if you are honest, certainly not with 100 years of banning RL to help it along either.

Union is played in more or less every nation in Europe. Germany for example has 100 clubs. Its only due to poor administration and the selfishness of the Heidelberg clubs over the years that it hasnt grown much. A number of players get very good money. Jimmy Keinhorst, Warren Heilig (London Skolars) as well as many others have been payed more money for playing Union in Heidelberg than what they would earn at any Championship club plus got free digs etc! EADS, a subsection of Airbus sponsor Munich RFC for example and other big companys have or are involved in helping RUgby Union Clubs and Federations. The Czech Republic, Poland, Netherlands, Ukraine etc play at a similar level to Germany Internationally and its not unknown for a 4000 or more to turn up at some of these games. RUgby Union has spread a great deal but it has had massive advantages. As you rightly point out, a number of people in RUgby Union have done eveything to stop the game being played or be promoted. Thats not to say all people in Union have been like this, as a number have been involved in helping Rugby League in Europe.Rugby League has suffered that there is no money to properly develop the game but some of the people involved in its development have not really helped. Others like Kevin Rudd, Gerald Keenan, Jovan Vujosevic have been instrumental in helping develop the sport and often at their own cost and taking teams to other nations to play. RUgby League is fighting a battle as in Europe American Football, Baseball, Ice Hockey, Basketball, Handball, Volleyball are major sports that are able to throw millions in to their game based on strong grassroots at many nations. Even RUgby Union in some nations can not match these sports despite what the IRB throw in to help

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I've got to say I'm far from being a Union fan but the Six Nations is something else. I genuinely can't help it but I get excited when it comes around every year now.

The games are always on television at home (terrestrial) or at the pub. Most of the games (80%+) tend to be absolute crackers. You certainly don't see any whippings and there's just always a big excitement about it and the huge crowds 70,000+ and the rivalry.

I love the World Cup and Euro too, and whilst I'm not saying Six Nations is better than them, but because you have England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and of course The French that almost-medieval rivalry comes out and we know (perhaps with the exception of Scotland) that anyones game! You don't get that in football because the other three are now rubbish!

Can't speak for Argentina, but I watched Italy v France last weekend and it was brilliant. Seeing the expression of the Italians faces you could see what it meant to them. I remember around 2007 being mildly interested in rugby union when the World Cup was on and thought of Italy as a minnow. They certainly aren't that now! they could well beat Wales! Furthermore there were 67,000 fans at the stadium last weekend - I thought Italy only got crowds of like 30,000.

So yeh well done IRB - the World Cup may be bloody boring sometimes, same with the Aviva Premier and the Celtic League, but the Six Nations is a jewel.

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Can't agree there. Always found the 6N (5 as was) totally boring - way before I was into RL. In fact its probably the reason I always found rugby a complete turn off.

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I've got to say I'm far from being a Union fan but the Six Nations is something else. I genuinely can't help it but I get excited when it comes around every year now.

The games are always on television at home (terrestrial) or at the pub. Most of the games (80%+) tend to be absolute crackers. You certainly don't see any whippings and there's just always a big excitement about it and the huge crowds 70,000+ and the rivalry.

I love the World Cup and Euro too, and whilst I'm not saying Six Nations is better than them, but because you have England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, and of course The French that almost-medieval rivalry comes out and we know (perhaps with the exception of Scotland) that anyones game! You don't get that in football because the other three are now rubbish!

Can't speak for Argentina, but I watched Italy v France last weekend and it was brilliant. Seeing the expression of the Italians faces you could see what it meant to them. I remember around 2007 being mildly interested in rugby union when the World Cup was on and thought of Italy as a minnow. They certainly aren't that now! they could well beat Wales! Furthermore there were 67,000 fans at the stadium last weekend - I thought Italy only got crowds of like 30,000.

So yeh well done IRB - the World Cup may be bloody boring sometimes, same with the Aviva Premier and the Celtic League, but the Six Nations is a jewel.

This post has to be a gee-up.

NH Union is the epitome of everything that is wrong with rugby union. Strip away the hype and it has nothing.

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Its a competely different matter getting another nation up to Test level quality RL than it is at union. RLs a much mre physical, fast and brutally honest game.

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Minor point, but a fact is a FACT. :rolleyes: EADS actually owns Airbus (in addition to Astrium, Cassidian and Eurocopter) and employs a total workforce of more than 119,000. Airbus employs 59,000.

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Its a competely different matter getting another nation up to Test level quality RL than it is at union. RLs a much mre physical, fast and brutally honest game.

I agree IF you want to increase the international game though you have to put some plans in place to achieve that goal. I could see a situation where you had another four competitive RL nations ( France, Wales, Fiji and PNG). The cricket world cup started from a small number of competitive teams but other teans have progressed and become more competitive. Same in union really but I accept that the top level of RL is a further way away from the amateur teams than is the case in union.

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