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Selection Controversy threatens to turn World Cup into a Farce

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The one rule that is different in rugby league is the two year "Election Period".


And that is the rule they need to change straight after this competition; nobody should be allowed to 'country swap' in my opinion. That said, there needs to be more investment in opportunities for the Pacific Island and Home Nation sides to play against the 'bigger'countries as well.


In terms of heritage players, the rules are fine but 'selection committees' need to understand the ramifications of their actions if they choose to ignore homegrown players. The reaction in the US has been pretty devastating and looks like it potentially could severely stiffle development of the game in that country.


So in other words, the RLIF probably need to grow a set and address issues, which could be rectified for the betterment of the game on a strategic level rather than trying a short-term tactical fix.

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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!

Liam Finn is from Halifax and came up via Siddal to the Pro Ranks. His Dad was Brendan Finn who played at Halifax and later was reserve coach. Sadly Brendan died in the early 90s, think around 1994 and never got to see Liam play for Ireland. 

I dont have a problem with heritage players and they often have helped make a difference not just to a team but to the native players who have been involved in the squad even if not played. The problem is when you have a full team of Heritage players and then only 2 or 3 Native lads in the squad for me. Personally I would like to see a minimum of 6 Natives who were born and live there. The experience the 6 people would gain and pass on to others back home when training with a squad full of players from the Pro and Semi Pro game is invaluable. The more native players that get to enjoy that experience the better. I think its unreasonable in a WC when Italy play Australia, NZ or England for example to put a team of mainly Natives out. But the chance that say 6 young Italians for example, to mix it with the likes of Anthony Minicello and co in training should be encouraged. Italy I think have just 3 Native players in the squad. And with the WC in Europe then Italy should for me had more native players in the squad even if they dont play. 

 And as far as I know, the main criticism coming out of the USA about the American Squad, is that loyal Americans who have given everything to play League have been overlooked by Union players and overseas players that play in America. Many involved in the game including players and coaches are rightly upset about how the American team has been picked and they dont feel its a fair reflection and Americans who should have been in and have been left out for others that have not really shown much commitment to the game. 

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