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Selection Controversy threatens to turn World Cup into a Farce

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http://www.rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com/index.php/2013/10/selection-controversy-threatens-world-cup-farce/

interesting thoughts!

I was aware euro both members and non members were told not to help the Italian rebels, but not the loss of funding or recognition if they did. Rebels wanted to play one NON MEMBER (both home and away) even willing to fund accommodation and bus from the nearest airport in Italy and it was on the cards, but stopped. I can see why for that nation though.

Heard recently some nations in Europe aren't happy, while on top of that rugby league is dieing or almost dead in places.

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After your conundrum of a post I would only strive to make one point: if as you seem to imply that R/L is the one source of this bed hopping syndrome, that reveals multiple choice selections of their Nationality as a convenience for individuals, who in most cases are simply not good enough to be selected for the Nation they would wish to be representing, well you need to THINK again.

Try RU the instigators of all this within the oval ball codes!

Football which has belied true Nationality for at least 50years!

Cricket, also never seen any obstacle that could not be overcome, regarding parentage etc!

Finally R/L is expanding albeit slowly and it is Bigger that even football in Oz and taking giant strides in NZ as well. So all in all, not really doing too bad considering it is as you say 'dead in the water' what?

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I couldn't make sense of the original post either but the article was nothing new. Any large international RL tournament is bound to be full of mercenaries and there are far too many in a 14 team tournament. If you look deeply into all but 3/4 of the teams it is essentially a heritage world cup. I would suggest that a majority of players in the tournament were not born in the country which they are representing.

I suspect that once that tournament comes into the public eye more we'll be massacred in the press for it as we were in 2000.

It's hardly new news but I must admit it is extremely disappointing and leaves a sour taste that committed players who put in the effort to qualify have been overlooked for players that weren't bothered until the tournament came about.

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After your conundrum of a post I would only strive to make one point: if as you seem to imply that R/L is the one source of this bed hopping syndrome, that reveals multiple choice selections of their Nationality as a convenience for individuals, who in most cases are simply not good enough to be selected for the Nation they would wish to be representing, well you need to THINK again.

Try RU the instigators of all this within the oval ball codes!

Football which has belied true Nationality for at least 50years!

Cricket, also never seen any obstacle that could not be overcome, regarding parentage etc!

Finally R/L is expanding albeit slowly and it is Bigger that even football in Oz and taking giant strides in NZ as well. So all in all, not really doing too bad considering it is as you say 'dead in the water' what?

Firstly, I doubt there are many nations that have qualified for the World Cup and then swapped huge swathes of their squad.

Also, I've never subscribed to the idea that if a team includes 1 or 2 heritage players then it is equivalent to using 5/6 or a whole squad of them.

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I would imagine all sports have heritage players as well as those who are playing as a result of residency (look at the recently successful England cricket team which at one time had three born and bred South Africans in it I believe).  Wales will actually have some native Welsh players in it this year, which is progress on 2008, and I think Liam Finn is actually Irish and he is playing for Ireland!  All the pacific island nations are largely made up of pacific islanders, Kiwis with New Zealanders and Australia with Australians (and a few pacific islanders/Kiwis thrown in for good measure no doubt).  If you have a mother or father that is Scottish, for example, but you have been born and/or brought up in Australia then you can justifiably be called Scottish as much as Australian just as an Asian person having been brought up in this country often identify as Asian and British.  Therefore, I don't see why anyone would make a big fuss of there being heritage players in some representative teams.  And the world has changed in this area somewhat since 2000.  That was 13 years ago, which is quite a while ago now!

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I would imagine all sports have heritage players as well as those who are playing as a result of residency (look at the recently successful England cricket team which at one time had three born and bred South Africans in it I believe).  Wales will actually have some native Welsh players in it this year, which is progress on 2008, and I think Liam Finn is actually Irish and he is playing for Ireland!  All the pacific island nations are largely made up of pacific islanders, Kiwis with New Zealanders and Australia with Australians (and a few pacific islanders/Kiwis thrown in for good measure no doubt).  If you have a mother or father that is Scottish, for example, but you have been born and/or brought up in Australia then you can justifiably be called Scottish as much as Australian just as an Asian person having been brought up in this country often identify as Asian and British.  Therefore, I don't see why anyone would make a big fuss of there being heritage players in some representative teams.  And the world has changed in this area somewhat since 2000.  That was 13 years ago, which is quite a while ago now!

There are two problems. Heritage players should be used to bolster strong squads, not create them. Being proud of your heritage and wanting to represent that is fine but if you are just settling because you can't get picked for England, Australia or NZ then it is not the same.

We also have the fact that a large number of non-heritage players that successfully got those countries to the world cup have just been replaced by big occasion mercenaries.

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There are two rival bodies in Italy - is that not what the OP was about ?

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Don't like the title, get on side

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I couldn't make sense of the original post either but the article was nothing new. Any large international RL tournament is bound to be full of mercenaries and there are far too many in a 14 team tournament. If you look deeply into all but 3/4 of the teams it is essentially a heritage world cup. I would suggest that a majority of players in the tournament were not born in the country which they are representing.

I suspect that once that tournament comes into the public eye more we'll be massacred in the press for it as we were in 2000.

It's hardly new news but I must admit it is extremely disappointing and leaves a sour taste that committed players who put in the effort to qualify have been overlooked for players that weren't bothered until the tournament came about.

I don;t accept for a minute that it is reasonable that we get stick for heritage players. Not when cricket has South Africans and god knows who else representing England..ditto RU etc. Yes, they may have tightened up now, but don't we get the same luxury?

 

Apart from the USA case, which frankly is a disgrace and deserves ridiculing.

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Ooh I do love a good farce...

It wouldn't be rugby league without the 'F' word.

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So 'legitimate' sides:

Australia

New Zealand

England

France

Png

Cook Islands?

Fiji?

Samoa?

Tonga?

Wales?

Defo not:

Scotland

Ireland

Yanks

Italy

Let me be clear personally I think guys whose heritage involves having moved when a young kid with family going back centuries are legitimate whatever the temptations of oz and the kiwis given the vast economic disparity between those two countries and everywhere else in the pacific region I will not accept that guys who have just tried to make some decent money before turning out for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are not 'legitimate'. Good luck to them. Everything else is about genuine progress so the real question is how do we compare to 2008?

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So 'legitimate' sides:

Australia

New Zealand

England

France

Png

Cook Islands?

Fiji?

Samoa?

Tonga?

Wales?

Defo not:

Scotland

Ireland

Yanks

Italy

Let me be clear personally I think guys whose heritage involves having moved when a young kid with family going back centuries are legitimate whatever the temptations of oz and the kiwis given the vast economic disparity between those two countries and everywhere else in the pacific region I will not accept that guys who have just tried to make some decent money before turning out for Fiji, Samoa and Tonga are not 'legitimate'. Good luck to them. Everything else is about genuine progress so the real question is how do we compare to 2008?

I don;t accept for a minute that it is reasonable that we get stick for heritage players. Not when cricket has South Africans and god knows who else representing England..ditto RU etc. Yes, they may have tightened up now, but don't we get the same luxury?

 

Apart from the USA case, which frankly is a disgrace and deserves ridiculing.

We do get stick and we deserve to in my opinion. I'm not talking about Rangi Chase or any of the English examples either.

There is a difference between strengthening a squad in a country that genuinely plays the sport and using it to effectively create a squad from scratch. We do far to much of the latter in rugby league and it brings ridicule on the sport and the tournament to include these sides. In many of our examples they would struggle to put out a squad to compete with Halton Hornets without heritage players never mind an international side. Could the same difference be said of any RU or cricket nation?

I agree with the final poster, I don't mean players that left when they were young or have a strong identity with say both sets of Samoan parents. I mean players that would have played for Australia, NZ or England in a heartbeat before the nation that they are actually playing for.

I also doubt that many other sports allow their nations to flip-flop nationalities as much as ours does.

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Difficult one this! Every country wants to field as strong a team as possible even if this means using NRL/Super League players at the expense of indigenous players from the countries involved. The only way this will change is ever RL gets to the point where there are proper qualifying rounds for a World Cup and only those players who have played in x number of these matches is eligible to play for that country in the Cup. This causes problems in its own right - what about newly emerging players who might not have had the opportunity to play for their country or perhaps were injured during the qualifying events? As it is, RL is not yet strong enough to go down this route.

The eligibility question itself is also a difficult one For example, my son can legitimately play for England (born and raised here), New Zealand (has Citizenship) or the Cook Islands (through me). Altho' we live here, I have raised my children to also think of themselves as being culturally part of NZ and the Cook Islands and wouldn't regard him as being a "mercenary" if he chose to play for any of the teams he is eligible for and would be rightly proud to wear any of the shirts. I'm not sure how you could come up with some rules/regulations that could take this into account.

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We do get stick and we deserve to in my opinion. I'm not talking about Rangi Chase or any of the English examples either.

There is a difference between strengthening a squad in a country that genuinely plays the sport and using it to effectively create a squad from scratch. We do far to much of the latter in rugby league and it brings ridicule on the sport and the tournament to include these sides. In many of our examples they would struggle to put out a squad to compete with Halton Hornets without heritage players never mind an international side. Could the same difference be said of any RU or cricket nation?

I agree with the final poster, I don't mean players that left when they were young or have a strong identity with say both sets of Samoan parents. I mean players that would have played for Australia, NZ or England in a heartbeat before the nation that they are actually playing for.

I also doubt that many other sports allow their nations to flip-flop nationalities as much as ours does.

I don't disagree with you really. But IMO it's a case of ends justifying the means.

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Difficult one this! Every country wants to field as strong a team as possible even if this means using NRL/Super League players at the expense of indigenous players from the countries involved. The only way this will change is ever RL gets to the point where there are proper qualifying rounds for a World Cup and only those players who have played in x number of these matches is eligible to play for that country in the Cup. This causes problems in its own right - what about newly emerging players who might not have had the opportunity to play for their country or perhaps were injured during the qualifying events? As it is, RL is not yet strong enough to go down this route.

The eligibility question itself is also a difficult one For example, my son can legitimately play for England (born and raised here), New Zealand (has Citizenship) or the Cook Islands (through me). Altho' we live here, I have raised my children to also think of themselves as being culturally part of NZ and the Cook Islands and wouldn't regard him as being a "mercenary" if he chose to play for any of the teams he is eligible for and would be rightly proud to wear any of the shirts. I'm not sure how you could come up with some rules/regulations that could take this into account.

This is of course the difficulty. The rules were probably created for situations like your own or for situations where somebody moved when they were younger and felt a part of that nation. However, the rules are abused across many sports and have been abused greatly in RL. I doubt the rules were brought in to allow countries to strengthen their squads through technicalities a la Rangi Chase.

My own child will be born and bred English but will have an Irish mother. If he/she feels an affiliation to their Irish heritage to the extent that they wanted to play sport under the banner of Ireland then I won't have a problem with that. Nationality is not a hard and fast rule.

What I suspect happens in RL (and to a lesser extent other sports) is that people are brought up English, support England in a variety of sports and dream of playing for England RL. However, when they realise they are not good enough they opt to play for Ireland/Scotland because they have a grandparent from there. This could have been me had I been a semi-decent RL player. If this happens a couple of times it is bearable but it becomes a problem when these make up large portions of the squads and in some cases almost the whole squad.

We have in some respects grown numb to this over the years, especially since 2000 but it has reared it's ugly head again with the recent squad selections. In 2000 they were picked out of absolute necessity (which itself should have prevented their inclusion) but this time they have been picked over home-grown players and dedicated heritage players who have played through the qualifying tournaments and other games. It was easier to stomach and justify knowing that the heritage players had put the hard yards in and had in many ways proved their loyalty.

In every respect these World-Cup-only heritage players are mercenaries and are bringing the tournament into disrepute.

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I don't disagree with you really. But IMO it's a case of ends justifying the means.

I understand the necessity but if we are to learn the lessons of 2000 then we need the tournament to have a degree of credibility. I think we had built some up with the 2008 tournament and subsequent qualifying tournaments involving these countries. They aren't completely new like in 2000.

However, I think the drafting in of mercenaries just for the tournament undoes a lot of that good work and is just plain wrong IMO.

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I understand the necessity but if we are to learn the lessons of 2000 then we need the tournament to have a degree of credibility. I think we had built some up with the 2008 tournament and subsequent qualifying tournaments involving these countries. They aren't completely new like in 2000.

However, I think the drafting in of mercenaries just for the tournament undoes a lot of that good work and is just plain wrong IMO.

Totally agree. I just don't think it is totally fair to highlight RL when others have been guilty. That's not to say 'don't criticise' because it is worthy of criticism.

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Difficult one this! Every country wants to field as strong a team as possible even if this means using NRL/Super League players at the expense of indigenous players from the countries involved. The only way this will change is ever RL gets to the point where there are proper qualifying rounds for a World Cup and only those players who have played in x number of these matches is eligible to play for that country in the Cup. This causes problems in its own right - what about newly emerging players who might not have had the opportunity to play for their country or perhaps were injured during the qualifying events? As it is, RL is not yet strong enough to go down this route.

Maybe they could include U16s/U18s, A team games, etc. as representing that nation, so anyone emerging has made themselves available?

The main issue people have is that these players are available but choose not to represent their nation at all. If you're in contention for the national side, chances are you'll have come through the national selection squads at some point.

To pick a side of bandwagoners is a slap in the face to those that have battled to get into the side legitimately.

The eligibility question itself is also a difficult one For example, my son can legitimately play for England (born and raised here), New Zealand (has Citizenship) or the Cook Islands (through me). Altho' we live here, I have raised my children to also think of themselves as being culturally part of NZ and the Cook Islands and wouldn't regard him as being a "mercenary" if he chose to play for any of the teams he is eligible for and would be rightly proud to wear any of the shirts. I'm not sure how you could come up with some rules/regulations that could take this into account.

I have no personal issues with a player wanting to play for their nation of heritage. They have that right. I just think that they need to pay their dues the same as everyone else and show commitment to that nation. These USA players have not done that.

Saying that, the RLIF need to have a structures international programme for that to happen. Internationals on certain weekends so players can be available. That won't happen.

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Inadvertently placed this in the wrong thread earlier.


 


Just side stepping the main topic here, but still on the same slant re the selection criteria of the "Home Nations". Though many do not agree with me I always considered the abolishing of the Great Britain team as an unnecessary step. In fact the need to re-introduce GB v Aus/NZ test series/tours is needed for both financial and media recognition especially here and if not in the southern hemisphere . For tournaments such as the up coming WC and the European Nations Cup the sides could split into their Home Nations teams as was always the case with England and Wales, now we have Scotland and Ireland teams that can only bode well for international introduction to some of the "fringe" players who could may well be overlooked otherwise. 


 


Some people say who could GB pick who is good enough from other than England but while it is so topical, in last nights game both Dudson and Flower where immense for Wigan and clearly outplayed their opposite's, and the future quality of personnel is unknown. I know times have changed and we are not getting anywhere near the numbers of high profile converts from South Wales that we once enjoyed, and the question is would we as a national team have been as successful in the past if we were only allowed to have English representatives ( R.Chase excluded) and not the Gt Britian selection process we once had.


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Don't see any problem with the bulk of the eligibility rules, they are widely accepted across world sport. Mo Farah, Sir Bradley & Kevin Pietersen are all British sporting heroes, none of whom were born here, but have different stories and most people don't have a problem with their eligibility.

England's last Union World Cup train on squad had 45 players, 15 of them weren't born in the UK.

The one rule that is different in rugby league is the two year "Election Period". This means that any player who has played a senior international match, may switch to another nation that he is eligible for every two years. I think that rule helps our international game. It allows players from Australia (especially), to play for the lower ranked nations at both the beginning and end of their careers, without ruling them out of ever playing for Australia or New Zealand.

You can't however play in a WC qualifying match for one country and then the real tournament for another. The lack of money and regular, structured calendar in the international game are the big problems, but we're getting there.

The USA selection does seem odd. There are however 6 local league players in the squad, which is quite a high percentage. There will always be selection arguments, it's always been like that and not just in our sport. Athletics in GB is riddled with the same issues.

I don't see that the RLIF are at any fault here. The rules are fine. If certain federations choose to select, none, some or more players from their own comp for their World Cup squad, then that is up to them. They have to have the freedom to decide how best to grow the sport in their own country.

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The controversy around squad selection in 2013 is nothing like 2000.  In 2000 league tried to expand too fast, and we left ourselves way too exposed.

 

Too many nations, across too many venues, left us panicing and we tried to pull teams together to make things work.  The Maori team didn't work, as it simply confused people having what many thought was NZ A and NZ B in the same tournament.  Ireland, Scotland, Samoa, Tonga, Lebanon were all filled with expats who had never played for them before, South Africa and Russia were simply just not up to scratch and were tweaking rules to get enough players (Ian Rubin was from Ukraine).

 

We had nations suddenly playing in a World Cup and no one had ever seen them play in an international tournament before.   Ireland, Scotland and Lebanon really only emerged in the professional international arena in 1998... not enough time to build any creditability.

 

Compare that with now.  USA has 6 domestic players in their squad, plus has players like Petersen, McGoldrick and Paulo who have all played for the Tomahawks before.  Ireland and Scotland play in international tournaments every year these days, and features a squad of players who have rocked up before for the nations.  Wales has a number of born and bred players now.  The Pacific Islanders, especially Fiji have more and more born players rocking up for them, there is also a stronger connection between these Pacific players and their Islands now than back in 2000.

 

Sure we still have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way from where we were....  I agree that I'd love to see nations and players forced a bit more to stay loyal, but I understand we aren't offering enough opportunities yet to justify that.  I don't begrudge someone like Uate chasing a Kangaroos jersey simply because Fiji have only played in one tournament since the last World Cup, but if opportunities were created every year for players like him, then we could become stricter, but at the current stage we aren't quite there yet...

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Inadvertently placed this in the wrong thread earlier.

 

Just side stepping the main topic here, but still on the same slant re the selection criteria of the "Home Nations". Though many do not agree with me I always considered the abolishing of the Great Britain team as an unnecessary step. In fact the need to re-introduce GB v Aus/NZ test series/tours is needed for both financial and media recognition especially here and if not in the southern hemisphere . For tournaments such as the up coming WC and the European Nations Cup the sides could split into their Home Nations teams as was always the case with England and Wales, now we have Scotland and Ireland teams that can only bode well for international introduction to some of the "fringe" players who could may well be overlooked otherwise. 

 

Some people say who could GB pick who is good enough from other than England but while it is so topical, in last nights game both Dudson and Flower where immense for Wigan and clearly outplayed their opposite's, and the future quality of personnel is unknown. I know times have changed and we are not getting anywhere near the numbers of high profile converts from South Wales that we once enjoyed, and the question is would we as a national team have been as successful in the past if we were only allowed to have English representatives ( R.Chase excluded) and not the Gt Britian selection process we once had.

 

 

I'm one that disagree's.  Personally I think GB should be the touring side, just like you get with the Lions in RU, that is tours down under to Aussie Land and NZ every 4 years - say 2 years apart with one to NZ and another tour to Aussie land and hence visiting each country every 4 years.   Need to build up an international game and having home nations plus France is an approach that will work in the long run. 

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I'm one that disagree's.  Personally I think GB should be the touring side, just like you get with the Lions in RU, that is tours down under to Aussie Land and NZ every 4 years - say 2 years apart with one to NZ and another tour to Aussie land and hence visiting each country every 4 years.   Need to build up an international game and having home nations plus France is an approach that will work in the long run.

Great Britain is due to tour in 2015. The plan from Richard Lewis was to "park" the GB team for a few years after 2007 to allow the England brand to grow. I think it has been a success, and England and Wales are much more developed than they were in 2007. Ireland and Scotland have come on too since then. The intention was never to scrap GB, despite certain lazy journalists claiming it to be the case.

2015 is probably the right time for GB to tour. Wales would certainly have some players & staff suitable for touring with GB.

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