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central park

A lions tour is it folly?

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If it's an official International, then unless I'm mistaken under RLIF rules the clubs must release them for it.

But that relies on the players actually wanting to make themselves available for it.

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Having a high standard of teams from Wales or Ireland would do 50x more for the game than satisfying some peoples rose tinted glasses view that pretending England are GB will solve all our ills - it

won't.

How long will it take to make Wales or Ireland a 'high standard'? 50 years? France have been playing league since the 1930s and still can't compete internationally with England, Aus or NZ.

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Such thinking goes totally against what is needed to build on last year's World Cup.

What is needed to build on the World Cup? From reading many posts on this subject on this forum there doesn't seem to be a general consensus.

 

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But that relies on the players actually wanting to make themselves available for it.

 

Exactly. The number of players who need urgent operations at the end of the domestic season, or simply feel the need for a 'full off season', falls dramatically when its a World Cup year. 

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Just a reality check mate, the FFRXIII isn't really awash with cash to make such expensive trips to the Pacific Islands. I agree with your point on playing more games while in NZ and it should be against NZ provinces and NZ Maori.

 

They can't be that poor if they can afford to travel to NZ. I'm not saying they should go on an all expenses paid jaunt round the Pacific islands, I'm saying why can't they play PNG and Fiji whilst they're there. One stop off at Kokopo is hardly going to bankrupt them and they could play Fiji in NZ.The comment about them playing NZ Maori or Provinces instead is exactly the kind of attitude holding the game back, where nations would rather play these fake, invented teams than actual test matches. England did the same when they were last in the SH for the 2010 Four Nations. 

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How long will it take to make Wales or Ireland a 'high standard'? 50 years? France have been playing league since the 1930s and still can't compete internationally with England, Aus or NZ.

France were the last team to beat Australia in a series unless I am mistaken but for whatever reason fell away.

If it takes 50 years, so be it, perhaps they should have addressed the issue 50 years ago. We need more countries playing RL to a decent level, not less. Looking for quick fixes is a major problem for RL, just for once let's stick with a long term plan.

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Iconic jersey v iconic jersey - the biggest sporting contest in RL. GB Lions v Australia - which fool wouldn't want that.

 

Me. I couldn't care less if those games were fantastic in the 60s/70s. For one, I wasn't born then and secondly, there were only four countries playing the sport at that point, so RL was heavily reliant on playing the same teams again and again. It's one of the gripes I have with following RL, some fans are so desperate to live in the past rather than move forward and see the bigger picture. 

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Gentle people of the rugby league world... please don't feed the trolls or respond to them in ways that force us to take their side.  Please play nicely.  Use the ignore or report functions rather than getting personal or abusive yourself.

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How long will it take to make Wales or Ireland a 'high standard'? 50 years? France have been playing league since the 1930s and still can't compete internationally with England, Aus or NZ.

 

England have been playing since 1895 and still can't compete with Australia and NZ.

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England have been playing since 1895 and still can't compete with Australia and NZ.

 

Australia had around a 50 year period of never beating us in a series.

 

It didn't seem to put them off.

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How long will it take to make Wales or Ireland a 'high standard'? 50 years? France have been playing league since the 1930s and still can't compete internationally with England, Aus or NZ.

 

 

in the 90's RU only had 2 competitive  NH teams......it took them around 5 years to become competitive....

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in the 90's RU only had 2 competitive  NH teams......it took them around 5 years to become competitive....

And how did they manage that?

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Australia had around a 50 year period of never beating us in a series.

 

It didn't seem to put them off.

Two points:

 

1) Despite not winning for 50 years, were any of those series competitive? Being competitive doesn't necessarily mean winning, but it means the results needs to be in some doubt.

 

2) Has the world of sport changed at all since this period? I would be surprised if globalisation hasn't massively changed the way international sport is watched and perceived since this period that you're referring to.

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And how did they manage that?

 

I'm guessing by bedding them in and letting them grow, rather than expecting them to be world beaters after one match, like RL fans seem to do.

 

IMO, there are two ways for a 'quick fix' in IRL:

1. The 'Italy' approach and build a team on heritage players who will be competitive against top nations, ie beating England. Lebanon and Greece are potential examples, along with the Pacific islands. 

2. Pick a country in the EU, have SL clubs sign a junior player to their academies and give them full time trying to build them up and make their country more competitive.

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I'm guessing by bedding them in and letting them grow, rather than expecting them to be world beaters after one match, like RL fans seem to do.

I'm guessing it was more to do with the fact that these countries have multiple full-time professional clubs playing at a top tier of European competition (e.g. Heineken Cup) that form the basis of the national teams.

 

In Rugby League, Wales with two semi-pro clubs on a miniscule salary cap and Ireland with zero professional clubs is not a basis for producing competitive international teams.

 

That's why I came up with an arbitrary figure of 50 years. In reality it may never happen - regardless of how much we would like these teams to develop - unless there is a significant shift that sees these countries hosting top-flight clubs playing in Super League.

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In Rugby League, Wales with two semi-pro clubs on a miniscule salary cap and Ireland with zero professional clubs is not a basis for producing competitive international teams.

 

I agree, but that's why we need their juniors being signed up to SL academies. There are plenty of Welshmen in the SL atm, but there could be more in future with the likes of Wigan signing up players to their academy. The same needs to happen with Ireland, however at the moment they have no juniors and are heavily reliant on heritage players. It goes back to point no.2 I mentioned. Look at the amount of Fijians coming through in the NRL, that can only improve the national team and promote RL more in Fiji, so more kids pick up the game. Hopefully the same thing can happen with junior Papuans and NRL academies. SL needs to replicate that with juniors from other countries to help grow the game. At the end of the day, there's only two fully pro leagues in the world and unless another starts up, we're always going to need SL and the NRL to help develop the international game. 

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I'm guessing it was more to do with the fact that these countries have multiple full-time professional clubs playing at a top tier of European competition (e.g. Heineken Cup) that form the basis of the national teams.

In Rugby League, Wales with two semi-pro clubs on a miniscule salary cap and Ireland with zero professional clubs is not a basis for producing competitive international teams.

That's why I came up with an arbitrary figure of 50 years. In reality it may never happen - regardless of how much we would like these teams to develop - unless there is a significant shift that sees these countries hosting top-flight clubs playing in Super League.

you are wrong, what happened was mergers, regional clubs, scrapping of P&R and a European league.

All of which RL has rejected!

Semi pro leagues in each country underneath the pro clubs again rejected in RL

scrapping P&R to produce new players, even though proved a success in RL its been scrapped

mergers....lets not go there

So to summerise they cut the talent to a few reginal teams by merger and then played in an environment of European rugby with no fear of relegation and financial reward for producing international players......there was still a national league for the semi pros to play in and a vibrant amateur game all ran by the respective governingbodies....

lewis tried this and hit that many walls he quit!

Now we are reverting back to 1994 (or it feels that way)

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The Lions are a thing of the past for rugby league and any Lions team would simply be England under a different guise.  One of the weaknesses in rugby league is that many fans and pundits still cling to things gone by.

 

On top of all that of course is the potential reality that come October 2014 there won't BE a Great Britain identity anymore.  We will have been forced by Scotland to forget the idea for good.

 

England is where it is at and is the brand that has been attracting a growing number of spectators to watch matches over the last few years.

 

We desperately need a Four Nations competition back in this country in 2015.  We saw from the higher turnout at Wembley in the world cup that we are building.  20,000 more people attended that than the Four Nations double header held there two years previously.  If we continue that trajectory in 2015 by holding another double header there then it won't be long before we are selling out Wembley for internationals and surely THAT is far more important to the sport overall than some outdated notion of Great Britain?  Not to mention leaving a yawning gap in the home based international calendar that would result any positive spectator legacy from the world cup die a death?

What nonsense. The Lions are a thing of the past because only England play the game yet we 'desperately need a Four Nations competition' ? What, so England can can embarrass the likes of the Irish again and again ? Do you actually think before you write ?

The Lions are what RL was all about. There was and is no bigger honour in the game than being a British Lion. The Australians respected them, the British sporting landscape respected them and people such as you dismiss the concept as little more than a classical oddity. Try telling that to many of the legends of our sport that made their name within the concept. Prescott breaking his arm, the fabled Battle of Brisbane, the Wild Bull of the Pampas, Mal Reilly, Eric Ashton. The Lions played across the world and have a pedigree stretching back to the early years of the 20th century.

We've got a thread on here talking about Wigan investment in Wales. We've got Welsh players in SL, we've got Brough representing Scoland. The Lions have always been English or Welsh predominantly. That hasn't changed. It wasn't a problem then and it isn't now. It instilled pride in players and pride in the British game. Since its disappearance, RL struggles to even gain a paragraph in the mainstream media. The Lions never struggled with that.

The idea that England RL can or will replace the concept of the British Lions is immature. The Lions were an idiosyncrasy of RL. They made it the game that it was. The loss of that idiosyncrasy is a large part of the fall from grace of the game in this country. The sooner it is back, the better.

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I believe that developing regular international competition with advance planning is the way to go but there could be room for a Lions tour every 4years as long as it is doesn't replace any of these competitions. I think they should play the pacific island nations instead of club sides during the tour as it will help promote the sport in these nations. This would also work the other way if the test series was at home. Aus or NZ could play France, Italy plus the home nations between tests.This would generate lots of interest and give competitive games to these nations.

I think a Eng vs Celts game may work mid season as a build up to this but only in a tour year, every other year should focus on regular international competitions.

Ps. There is also James Hasson from Manly to add to the list of non English players

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Any Welsh or Scottish players who played for the Lions was a RU player, not a born and bred RL player so claiming them is disingenuous.

Why do people refuse to accept that GB means exactly that, not English men (and mostly Lancashire and Yorkshire at that) claiming to represent the whole of the British Isles. Let's develop some genuine non English talent and then come back and think about it.

And the claim that it will restore (!!!) our credibility with the wider public is just clutching at straws as most of them don't even know there was a RL lions.

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Ps. There is also James Hasson from Manly to add to the list of non English players

 

So basically, England + Brough (who's English anyway) and a couple of Aussies. Well worth bringing back GB tours for!

 

The only way we should be touring countries is for stuff like GB Pioneers, where they go to countries just starting up the game and help them to develop and teach them about RL. Why do we need to tour to Australia? We're playing them this year in the Four Nations. 

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Any Welsh or Scottish players who played for the Lions was a RU player, not a born and bred RL player so claiming them is disingenuous.

Why do people refuse to accept that GB means exactly that, not English men (and mostly Lancashire and Yorkshire at that) claiming to represent the whole of the British Isles. Let's develop some genuine non English talent and then come back and think about it.

And the claim that it will restore (!!!) our credibility with the wider public is just clutching at straws as most of them don't even know there was a RL lions.

 

Well said. If we get genuine Scots and Welshmen considered 'good enough' to play for GB, then it says that Scotland and Wales are good teams who will be competitive with England and therefore we won't need GB anymore. I really don't understand why some people fail to see that! Agree on the point about Lions and credibility, the majority of the country don't even know that they exist and the ones that do are RL fans anyway, or at a push some RU fans. 

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If we get genuine Scots and Welshmen considered 'good enough' to play for GB, then it says that Scotland and Wales are good teams who will be competitive with England and therefore we won't need GB anymore.

No it doesn't - it says that some talented individuals are capable of playing for GB. It doesn't necessarily follow that this will equate to a full team of quality talent.

 

So in the short term, these quality Scots and Welshmen opt to either (1) sod off to RU where they can maximise their earnings, or (2) opt to play for England (e.g. Eoin Morgan in cricket) because representing their national team of birth doesn't enable them to play at the highest level.

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