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Exiled Wiganer

The Lions will Roar again

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I expect it to end the season.

so a tour at the time of year the Aussies claim they don't want to watch rl? It will be a one off then, no midweek matches and a warm up v Fiji or presidents 13

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so a tour at the time of year the Aussies claim they don't want to watch rl? It will be a one off then, no midweek matches and a warm up v Fiji or presidents 13

Australians usually move from Winter sports to Summer games as it warms up, come November its Cricket.

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So? Give people something to work towards.

Brough is a good example - he will probably play for Scotland again, and it looks like he won't be selected for England under McNamara - yet somebody like Noble may select him for a GB touring team.

if u want to give celtic players something to work towards give the celtic nations their own team...the celtic tigers! give them a team they have a cats chance in hell of playing for!!! celtic tigers v england would be the nearest thing to a "GB" origin we could muster!!!!

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so a tour at the time of year the Aussies claim they don't want to watch rl? It will be a one off then, no midweek matches and a warm up v Fiji or presidents 13

Depending on what they plan, at least part of the tour would use the same slot as the Four Nations.

 

Australians usually move from Winter sports to Summer games as it warms up, come November its Cricket.

That's the conventional wisdom, though I'm sure we could get by. Play the Australian matches first.

 

If it happens, my guess is that they'll opt for the short tour format we've seen recently. A tour short tour would probably include a warm up and then three tests (4 weeks total). While the last time the 4N was in the southern hemisphere, England played a match against the Maori and then the four week tournament began (a potential for 5 weeks down under, inc.the final).

 

If we could squeeze a couple more weeks out, we could have a warm up match and then two three-match series (e.g. Aus and then NZ). Or a series and e.g. one vs PNG and two vs NZ, like 1992.

 

Whatever is chosen, mid-week games would allow twice as many fixtures and give a boost to our international and media profile. We should probably do the same for the Four Nations campaigns too, now I think about it (England in that case).

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if u want to give celtic players something to work towards give the celtic nations their own team...the celtic tigers! give them a team they have a cats chance in hell of playing for!!! celtic tigers v england would be the nearest thing to a "GB" origin we could muster!!!!

England would just batter them, people won't turn up to watch, it'll be scrapped.

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Here's one thing that might help reduce concerns about an English-only team though: mid-week tour games.

Ahoy-hoy! I think you're on to something here. I like this.

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1. Playing as GB was unique in major team sports because it was a sign of rugby league's failure to develop the game throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The game's 'national' team became Great Britain (or Great Britain and Ireland, occasionally) in order to utilise the rugby union converts from Scotland and Wales, not out of any great enthusiasm for the Union. We may as well revert to having a national side called the 'Northern Union'. And, again, if a side made up of English players cannot play as well playing as England as they would being called Great Britain, then that is an issue for English rugby league to sort out. It is not a reason for rolling back the little progress the game has made in the other nations.

If you look at the history of it, this wasn't the reason that we were GB. It was because the team was a representation of British RL and yes mainly to include Welsh and Scottish converts (even though they were previously included in the 'England' sides that toured).

The Northern Union argument is a false one, sports in this country have a choice to go separately or together. Some choose England (admittedly the 3 biggest) but some choose GB like athletics, Ice Hockey, Basketball and previously Rugby League.

 

2. The problem was that England very rarely got any game time outside of world cups, quite an issue for England's coaches trying to build for the game's premier international competition. It also caused the other three nations to lose their best players if they were called upon to help out GB.

I personally think that those nations should play in competitions that reflect their strength, ie very much second or even third tier competitions.

3. Genuine Welsh players should not be allowed to play for England, full stop (unless they are dual qualified). That is something, again, for the game's authorities - and the players - to deal with. And, as for tradition, the major representative side from these islands was England before the war, so the current situation is traditional. It's just that now the game is laying down new traditions in the three other nations.

As I pointed out earlier, the 'England' side before the war was not strictly 'England' in the modern sense, it was more in the sense of being the English game against the Australian game and reflected this with Welsh and Scottish players playing for England.

The tradition argument is not a huge factor I'll admit but I in my opinion we lost something (that may now be gone for good) when we ditched the Lions. Almost everybody involved in the game had grown up with them and many people became fans supporting GB in the huge Ashes tests of the 80's and 90's. I know as a child I grew up dreaming of playing for GB. They are a direct link but at the end of the day it was GB that were robbed in the last minute of the second test in 1990 and it was GB who battered them 33-10 in Melbourne in 92. It was also GB I saw in 2006 beat the Aussies in Sydney.

Switching to England hasn't quite had the same feeling for me and it doesn't quite work just transferring England over to them. Of course there are a number of factors contributing to this such as our continued failure to beat them but there never seems to be the same excitement around the games. The inverse is true of football, GB had a weaker side in the World Cup but I found I had little affinity with that brand either. There just wasn't the history behind it for it to mean anything.

I can appreciate that the game, like the rest of society, is going through some rough times at present. Major sponsorship problems, top level expansion that has failed/is failing, an apparent cooling towards the game by the major broadcasting partner, and a definite lack of vision in the wake of Richard Lewis' departure, but this is not a time for the game to be withdrawing back into its regional comfort zone.

A Great Britain (with or without Ireland/Northern Ireland) tour down-under once every four years is one thing, but there should not be composite sides in the game's major tournaments. England are big enough to stand on their own!

I fully understand the reasons for the splitting to the home nations and at the time I was in some agreement with it. I think now we have made the decision that we are very unlikely to go back to the old situation of a GB always at the top level. However, I think the idealistic reasons that led to it are very unlikely to ever actually come to fruition.

I do take umbridge also with the idea that it is a backwards step, I accept that it looks this way but as I have pointed out and it has still to be addressed, I think it does these nations damage that we bring GB out so rarely. The Evans brothers might be a travesty but they are also a reality, they haven't flip-flopped (like Brough) but they have chosen to play for England through perfectly legitmate ways, in ways that will stay legitimate.

If the current situation we have now had been in force across the 90's until now, I doubt very much that even Wales would have been competitive never mind Scotland or Ireland. Their success has been included a great number of players that also played for GB. I seriously doubt that many of those players would have done if picking Wales meant never playing at the top-level of RL. Look at the heroic 2000 side, they including two half-backs born and bred in England and their two star players (Cunningham, Harris) were English born too.

So the question is whether their games are really being benefitted by the current system more than they would be with a GB system? I'm very sceptical of whether they are. If we're realistic, none of those nations are likely to be truly competitive in our lifetimes, if ever. RL is not a sport that is kind to plucky minnows and without some radical changes you'd have to question whether any of those nations are likely to be able to create a big enough playing pool. There's very little being done that I don't think could be done under a GB system. The home nations could still play each other as they do now and play in regular competition but leave the main competitions to GB, which would clean up the flip-flopping of players. For instance the last Scotland-Wales game before GB was disbanded drew a crowd of 1,000. The one last year got a crowd of 700. It seems to be much of a muchness.

Like I said, I doubt it will change and despite the length of my posts I don't see it as a huge issue of the game, more a preference thing. Whatever happens, I'll be happy to see GB if they do come back even if just every 4 years. If it was truly regular and set it stone maybe it will be enough to at least persuade some future Harris's, Cunninghams, Evans's and Broughs to play for their first choice home nation.

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