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Pie tries

(Renamed thread) What RL can learn from the union 6 Nations

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But...RL must learn, it's Internationals that capture the imagination of the country....watch, learn and act

Start by bring back lions tours, euro nations comp mid or late season, winner plays England, who are back of a game against the exiles.play in London on ANZAC day....come on, let's have some ideas, ours is the greatest game !

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sadly it doesn't work that way

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Have watched a few NRL games os far this year and there seems to be so many more Samoan, Tongans and Fijians playing at the top level. Obviously they've come through the Australian system, but i'm sure with the carrot of regular internationals rugby against the best nations would see them happily play for their home nation/nation of heritage.

If the International board had some nuts and arranged a regular fixture list that allowed those teams to play regularly against England, NZ and Australia we would see some cracking Internationals.

Quality Internationals are the only way RL is gonna get close to the exposure it should be aiming for.

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Have watched a few NRL games os far this year and there seems to be so many more Samoan, Tongans and Fijians playing at the top level. Obviously they've come through the Australian system, but i'm sure with the carrot of regular internationals rugby against the best nations would see them happily play for their home nation/nation of heritage.

If the International board had some nuts and arranged a regular fixture list that allowed those teams to play regularly against England, NZ and Australia we would see some cracking Internationals.

Quality Internationals are the only way RL is gonna get close to the exposure it should be aiming for.

Agree with the post. We need internationals. Badly.

The biggest obstacle is, indeed, the fact that the International Board has no power. The reason is it has no money worth speaking of. I am not sure whose fault this is, but the blame is often placed at the door of the Australian clubs, who cannot see beyond their own competition. Yes, the NRL is a vibrant and wealthy competition, but is it holding the rest of the game back? Just by not accepting the authority of a properly constituted and run IRLB, it may well be doing so.

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I think its wrong to try and blame aussie rl for the games woes over here.

It really is up to england and france to get themselves sorted out, then the sport might have a chance of actually getting stronger in the northern hemisphere.It might then start being able to compete globally

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I was wondering in what way I could keep this open on this forum but couldn't find any way that it would stay sensible with the original title. The cross-code forum is the place for threads like that. I'll rename the thread but if there are negative union-only posts on it then it gets locked or binned without further discussion.

Moderation actions:

- Thread renamed

- 3 union-only posts deleted

- original post edited

Please remember that this is a rugby league ONLY forum. Union posts and threads are not welcome.

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I think its wrong to try and blame aussie rl for the games woes over here.

It really is up to england and france to get themselves sorted out, then the sport might have a chance of actually getting stronger in the northern hemisphere.It might then start being able to compete globally

Agree. I'm not sure how having PNG, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, etc growing strong enough to regularly challenge England and beat France, Wales, etc will help the game in Europe. It will help the int'l game sure but Europe will still face the same issues.

The best thing that could happen is to have 30-odd Britons playing in the NRL clubs.

Sure people might focus on the negatives but if England begin winning major tournaments or even the WC then who would really be disappointed?

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it isn't a question of 'learning what to do'

we know

it's a question of having the will and resources to do it in the face of one eyed self serving parochialism from within

and just about every other disadvantage you can think of from without.

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Whether they like it or not the lack of any investment in the international game is down to the NRL. It's also to a lesser extent the RFL's fault too. They are the only full time pro competitions in the world and the only leagues that generate any money. The RFL have been doing some good stuff in Europe via the RLEF but what is happeing in the SH? They created a body allegedly similar to the RLEF but it has even less teeth than the RLIF. Union realised the value of a strong international game decades ago and invested their time and money to grow it. The results we can see every other weekend as packed houses watch the 6N. Until RL can grasp this simple notion then we'll dawdle along as we currently are with a few successes here and there to convince the powers that be they are on the right lines. Another example of Australian insularity is their stranglehold on any talent playing in the NRL which has the carrot of SoO dangled in front of them as soon as they show any promise to the detriment of any other nation they may qualify for. Of course that same SoO rule goes out of the window when the authorities want to provide the image of a vibrant WC.

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What the international game (especially in Europe) needs is:

Stronger opponents.

Regular internationals

To get stronger opponents, we need nations to have more players playing full time so there's some depth. The proposed full time Super XIII in France would be a great start. A Welsh club getting back to SL (or involved in the mentioned two-tier SL) would help here also. There are plenty of Islanders in the NRL at present, and another NZ team and definitely a PNG team would be a huge boost to islander numbers.

They also need to be playing at a higher intensity. So more French/Welsh players dotted around SL and NRL would be great. More English players there is already happening.

Then there's regular competition. At the moment, there is a clear gulf in class between the top 3 and the rest. The top 3 need to play each other regularly as they're the money games, but we also need variety. We need more games midseason. There needs to be an international break IMO in both leagues.

In fact, there doesn't really even need to be a break sometimes. With the depth in squads, Aus/NZ/Eng could play each other whilst the SL/NRL seasons are still going. This is what they do in union and it doesn't seem to affect them.

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The real difference is that in RU it is actually the governing bodies who hold the power, be it at national or international level. In RL it is the clubs that hold the power and as long as that situation prevails then you're always going to get self-interest whether that's in the UK or down under. The RLIF is a joke organisation, a toothless entity that has no power whatsoever and zero independence. In most other sports the world governing body sets the agenda and others have to comply - FIFA, FIA, FIM, IRB, ICC, IAAF etc - and hence they get a coordinated approach to the sport. In RL you have a situation where we don't even play to a standard set of rules around the world and an individual country can decide to alter the laws at a local level.

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The real difference is that in RU it is actually the governing bodies who hold the power, be it at national or international level. In RL it is the clubs that hold the power and as long as that situation prevails then you're always going to get self-interest whether that's in the UK or down under. The RLIF is a joke organisation, a toothless entity that has no power whatsoever and zero independence. In most other sports the world governing body sets the agenda and others have to comply - FIFA, FIA, FIM, IRB, ICC, IAAF etc - and hence they get a coordinated approach to the sport. In RL you have a situation where we don't even play to a standard set of rules around the world and an individual country can decide to alter the laws at a local level.

+1

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The lesson is that drama and emotion are as important to sport as the rule set and how entertaining that may or may not make a sport objectively speaking.

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Whether they like it or not the lack of any investment in the international game is down to the NRL. It's also to a lesser extent the RFL's fault too. They are the only full time pro competitions in the world and the only leagues that generate any money. The RFL have been doing some good stuff in Europe via the RLEF but what is happeing in the SH? They created a body allegedly similar to the RLEF but it has even less teeth than the RLIF. Union realised the value of a strong international game decades ago and invested their time and money to grow it. The results we can see every other weekend as packed houses watch the 6N. Until RL can grasp this simple notion then we'll dawdle along as we currently are with a few successes here and there to convince the powers that be they are on the right lines. Another example of Australian insularity is their stranglehold on any talent playing in the NRL which has the carrot of SoO dangled in front of them as soon as they show any promise to the detriment of any other nation they may qualify for. Of course that same SoO rule goes out of the window when the authorities want to provide the image of a vibrant WC.

its a lot easier to create and organise rlef then its southern equivalent to be fair. In distances, people moving and working in different eu countries, govt support etc

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Whether they like it or not the lack of any investment in the international game is down to the NRL. It's also to a lesser extent the RFL's fault too. They are the only full time pro competitions in the world and the only leagues that generate any money. The RFL have been doing some good stuff in Europe via the RLEF but what is happeing in the SH? They created a body allegedly similar to the RLEF but it has even less teeth than the RLIF. Union realised the value of a strong international game decades ago and invested their time and money to grow it. The results we can see every other weekend as packed houses watch the 6N. Until RL can grasp this simple notion then we'll dawdle along as we currently are with a few successes here and there to convince the powers that be they are on the right lines. Another example of Australian insularity is their stranglehold on any talent playing in the NRL which has the carrot of SoO dangled in front of them as soon as they show any promise to the detriment of any other nation they may qualify for. Of course that same SoO rule goes out of the window when the authorities want to provide the image of a vibrant WC.

The NRL has literally been flying by the seat of its pants ever since News Ltd and the war. I don't think any of us quite realise how rudderless the game was in Aus until recently. It was apparently quite eye-opening for the IC when they took over.

And just FYI the lure of SoO for Int'l players is gone as you need to have lived in QLD/NSW by the age of 13 to be eligible.

Blaming the NRL for Europe's problems is avoiding the issue.

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The real difference is that in RU it is actually the governing bodies who hold the power, be it at national or international level. In RL it is the clubs that hold the power and as long as that situation prevails then you're always going to get self-interest whether that's in the UK or down under. The RLIF is a joke organisation, a toothless entity that has no power whatsoever and zero independence. In most other sports the world governing body sets the agenda and others have to comply - FIFA, FIA, FIM, IRB, ICC, IAAF etc - and hence they get a coordinated approach to the sport. In RL you have a situation where we don't even play to a standard set of rules around the world and an individual country can decide to alter the laws at a local level.

There is only one set of laws for RL. The NRL simply has a different interpretation of them, and this is hardly unique to RL.

RU has done the same in trying to fix up the mess at their breakdown, the NBA has different interpretations and in cricket the Indian board refuse to use the same refereeing system as the rest of the nations. I'm sure there are plenty of others.

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Why not do a secret poll between RU and RL fans (i.e. the entire Rugby spectrum) and ask what they would like to see in the perfect game of Rugby (to play or watch) - with the following topics:

-ideal points for a try

-ideal points for a penalty

-Ideal points for a drop goal

-whether scrums should be competitive or even exist

-whether lineouts are wothwhile in the modern era

-how the game should restart after a tackle

-ideal number of players

-ideal number of subs and interchanges

-winter or summer?

-whether a closer game of rugby is preferred at the expense of tries/open play

-retirement distance of defending players when ball is recycled

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Get on free to air TV every week with the same quality of coverage. Bring back Lions tours mid season every 4 years with Aussies coming here mid season every 4 years. GB v Aussies in June would be a brilliant series and have little media competition - plus it will be warm.

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To be fair to the decision makers at the NRL, they do seem to have woken up to the need to strengthen the international game. By all accounts the NRL needed to get its own house in order first before tackling the international issue.

As someone else has said, it is incumbent on RL in the northern hemisphere to sort itself out and not rely on the Aussies to do it for us. In terms of profile, a start would be having as many world cup games on free to air as possible this autumn, with the final live on the BBC and England winning the cup.

My recall is that English cricket got a massive boost when the Ashes series win was shown on Channel 4.

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To my mind, the most important thing RL could learn is to not give up on things too soon at international level (and every other level, I guess).

For most of the last decade, Italy were lucky to get a win a season, but they have gradually become a force to be reckoned with - wins over both France and Ireland, unlucky not to get a draw in England. Teams used to put out their second string against them, but now they have to put out a full-strength side or lose. They've also gone from struggling to fill a 20k ground to playing in the second largest in the tournament (not filling it yet, but it won't be long).

Their side used to be full of journeymen foreigners (as their RL side will likely be in the World Cup), but now their side is predominantly 'proper' Italian, with players like Sergio Parisse being amongst the best in the world.

If it was RL, there would have been calls to scrap the whole tournament after the first season Italy joined as it was a farce and an embarassment to the game, and they would never have a chance of competing with the top sides, so why bother playing them?

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To my mind, the most important thing RL could learn is to not give up on things too soon at international level (and every other level, I guess).

For most of the last decade, Italy were lucky to get a win a season, but they have gradually become a force to be reckoned with - wins over both France and Ireland, unlucky not to get a draw in England. Teams used to put out their second string against them, but now they have to put out a full-strength side or lose. They've also gone from struggling to fill a 20k ground to playing in the second largest in the tournament (not filling it yet, but it won't be long).

Their side used to be full of journeymen foreigners (as their RL side will likely be in the World Cup), but now their side is predominantly 'proper' Italian, with players like Sergio Parisse being amongst the best in the world.

If it was RL, there would have been calls to scrap the whole tournament after the first season Italy joined as it was a farce and an embarassment to the game, and they would never have a chance of competing with the top sides, so why bother playing them?

A city break for the richer union fans in Rome. As I recall it RU was lucky at the time in that tbe six nations started well before austerity and belt tightening. The crowds in Italy were initially massively swelled by away fans

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We could hold our breath until Land Rover etc become involved in RL. Or scream until we're sick. That should help.

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Rugby League can learn next to nothing from how a different sport with completely different strengths and weaknesses organises itself.

Whenever these arguments come up, people ignore the obvious Elephants in the room. For instance we just don't have the numbers playing the game in anything like the same way as Union does and there is no overnight or even 5 year fix to this. We have tried to expand from the grassroots but we are generations away from a situation where Ireland, Scotland or even Wales could compete regularly with England. There are probably more people playing the game in Leeds or Hull than all 3 of those countries.

Union doesn't have this problem. There are differences in size but there are well established clubs and leagues. They are often applauded for sticking by Italy but Italy has nearly 80,000 registered players.

Then there is the problem of the game itself, it doesn't lend itself to giant killings or shock. It lends itself to drubbings if one team is substantially better than the other. So when we try to introduce France or Wales into the fold they inevitably get battered rather than beaten which does nothing for the growth of the sport in that region, especially when similar but much higher profile sports don't have that problem.

We have our own problems that we need to find a solution to. I really dislike it when envious eyes look at the Union and then try to argue that we should replicate it. Union and League are totally different sports. IMO, Scotland, Ireland and Wales are not where our focus should be in the medium term. We should be trying to resurrect a successful France first and foremost as they at least have some foundation to be built upon.

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A city break for the richer union fans in Rome. As I recall it RU was lucky at the time in that tbe six nations started well before austerity and belt tightening. The crowds in Italy were initially massively swelled by away fans

And if they were, so what? The fact of the matter is that playing standards have improved and interest in the game has increased in Italy since they came into the 6 Nations, even though they spent the better part of a decade as the whipping boys. That needs patience, and RL doesn't seem to have it when it comes to the international game.

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To my mind, the most important thing RL could learn is to not give up on things too soon at international level (and every other level, I guess).

For most of the last decade, Italy were lucky to get a win a season, but they have gradually become a force to be reckoned with - wins over both France and Ireland, unlucky not to get a draw in England. Teams used to put out their second string against them, but now they have to put out a full-strength side or lose. They've also gone from struggling to fill a 20k ground to playing in the second largest in the tournament (not filling it yet, but it won't be long).

Their side used to be full of journeymen foreigners (as their RL side will likely be in the World Cup), but now their side is predominantly 'proper' Italian, with players like Sergio Parisse being amongst the best in the world.

If it was RL, there would have been calls to scrap the whole tournament after the first season Italy joined as it was a farce and an embarassment to the game, and they would never have a chance of competing with the top sides, so why bother playing them?

You make good points but remember that Italy defeated the reigning 5N grand slam champions in their first game (by quite a margin too). It would be the equivalent of France or PNG beating a full-strength Aussie team. The RL minnows are much, much further behind the pace than their RU equivalent.

Italy beat Ireland for the first time in the 6N but before they joined the 6N, they had 3 consecutive wins over them. Which international RL team has had three consecutive wins over a recognised RL nation?

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