Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Martyn Sadler

Half measures not good enough for Great Britain

73 posts in this topic

If that is the case I guess we should turn back the clock, stay as GB and give back all the 10s of millions of pounds of funding we have received from Sport England for elite performance and pathways (including the latest grant). It is not Sport Scotland or Sport Wales or Sport GB - it is Sport England. 

Great Britain was always a cosy way of strengthening the national side to include Welsh and Scottish Union players (Boston, Davies, Valentine etc). When that dried up it was basically England in another jersey plus Brian Carney. Using Gilmour, Joynt and Brough as examples is ridiculous they would have chosen England 20 times out of 20 if they were in with a chance of the England 17 for a 4 Nations or series.

In all the "golden" years GB were winning epic games at Wembley or filling old Trafford, how much money did the RFL put into grass roots RL in Cardiff or Belfast or Glasgow? In fact, how many amateur RL clubs existed there full stop?

The game has moved on - thankfully.

 

Edited by Scubby
7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, Scubby said:

If that is the case I guess we should turn back the clock, stay as GB and give back all the 10s of millions of pounds of funding we have received from Sport England for elite performance and pathways (including the latest grant). It is not Sport Scotland or Sport Wales or Sport GB - it is Sport England. 

Great Britain was always a cosy way of strengthening the national side to include Welsh and Scottish Union players (Boston, Davies, Valentine etc). When that dried up it was basically England in another jersey plus Brian Carney. Using Gilmour, Joynt and Brough as examples is ridiculous they would have chosen England 20 times out of 20 if they were in with a chance of the England 17 for a 4 Nations or series.

In all the "golden" years GB were winning epic games at Wembley or filling old Trafford, how much money did the RFL put into grass roots RL in Cardiff or Belfast or Glasgow? In fact, how many amateur RL clubs existed there full stop?

The game has moved on - thankfully.

I completely agree.  Rivière (is that even his real name) is totally ignorant* of the fact that without Welsh and Scottish Union converts there would never even have been a "Great Britain" team in the first place.  Prior to 1948 no such team even existed, accounts of those earlier matches always referred to England because it was an England team.

He is also ignorant of the fact that even when the GB team was more than just England, its record against Australia was nothing to write home about.  During its last 30 years of existence (i.e. from 1977 to 2007) GB only managed 7 wins in 42 matches against against the Kangaroos, not even one per series.

* The active participle of the verb ignore is the right word for someone who's ignoring relevant facts.

Edited by Big Picture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also in the 60 year period between 1948 and 2007 how many home tests did Great Britain play in Wales, Scotland or Ireland. Answer = 0

Edited by Scubby
7 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I said on the other thread, nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. By all means, remember your tradition (very important) but don't always pine for the past as there are key lessons and elements that people never remember. We are notorious as a sport for not learning our lessons. This article is a prime example.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
40 minutes ago, Scubby said:

Also in the 60 year period between 1948 and 2007 how many home tests did Great Britain play in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Answer = 0

I don't want to get all semantic with you, Scubby, but Great Britain shouldn't ever play a test in Northern Ireland - unless it's against Northern Ireland (or all of Ireland).

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 minutes ago, MrPosh said:

I don't want to get all semantic with you, Scubby, but Great Britain shouldn't ever play a test in Northern Ireland - unless it's against Northern Ireland (or all of Ireland).

Fair comment. Although we were wearing the badge and passing off as GB&Ireland by the end (or to just to select Brian Carney perhaps). Didn't bother with anything other than GSTQ though :/

Edited by Scubby

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well said Richard, I am in total agreement, you are correct in that we should make GB the prime team once again and bring about the separation of the Home Nations for the quadrennial world cups.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The massive elephant in the room that people like RDLR (and a lot of other people in RL) keep ignoring is that if a player 'defects' from a national side, he wasn't actually from that nation anyway. Anyone who half heartedly would represent Ireland until a better offer came from England, quite simply wasn't serious about it in the first place. Those home nations aren't losing Welsh or Irish players...they're losing English players pretending to be Irish or Welsh. FFS is it just me?  Can nobody see it?

Rugby League : where nationality is fluid.

4 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GaryO said:

We should make GB the prime team once again and bring about the separation of the Home Nations for the quadrennial world cups.

That makes sense - weaken the home nations by playing separately for the game's premier event...?!

Edited by GeordieSaint
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MrPosh said:

I don't want to get all semantic with you, Scubby, but Great Britain shouldn't ever play a test in Northern Ireland - unless it's against Northern Ireland (or all of Ireland).

A lot of Northern Irish people would disagree with you...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Johnoco said:

The massive elephant in the room that people like RDLR (and a lot of other people in RL) keep ignoring is that if a player 'defects' from a national side, he wasn't actually from that nation anyway. Anyone who half heartedly would represent Ireland until a better offer came from England, quite simply wasn't serious about it in the first place. Those home nations aren't losing Welsh or Irish players...they're losing English players pretending to be Irish or Welsh. FFS is it just me?  Can nobody see it?

Rugby League : where nationality is fluid.

Nobody is pretending anything. 
Ask a person born in England by Irish parents if he feels Irish. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Johnoco said:

The massive elephant in the room that people like RDLR (and a lot of other people in RL) keep ignoring is that if a player 'defects' from a national side, he wasn't actually from that nation anyway. Anyone who half heartedly would represent Ireland until a better offer came from England, quite simply wasn't serious about it in the first place. Those home nations aren't losing Welsh or Irish players...they're losing English players pretending to be Irish or Welsh. FFS is it just me?  Can nobody see it?

Rugby League : where nationality is fluid.

Exactly, but coming from any of the HN is access to representing GB, whether the player is English, Irish, Scottish or Welsh.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, GeordieSaint said:

That makes sense - weaken the home nations by playing separately for the game's premier event...?!

I have already stated on another thread Geordie why I prefer an ashes series.

Edited by GaryO

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, MatthewWoody said:

Nobody is pretending anything. 
Ask a person born in England by Irish parents if he feels Irish. 

You're chatting to one. Both my parents were from Ireland and it's something I'm very proud of and were I any good at RL, would quite possibly choose Ireland and mean it. But it doesn't make me Irish.

And if I did represent Ireland, then opting to play for England afterwards shouldn't even be an option.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Johnoco said:

The massive elephant in the room that people like RDLR (and a lot of other people in RL) keep ignoring is that if a player 'defects' from a national side, he wasn't actually from that nation anyway. Anyone who half heartedly would represent Ireland until a better offer came from England, quite simply wasn't serious about it in the first place. Those home nations aren't losing Welsh or Irish players...they're losing English players pretending to be Irish or Welsh. FFS is it just me?  Can nobody see it?

Rugby League : where nationality is fluid.

Can you really say that any of the lads who played for Ireland in the 2000 World Cup were "half hearted" in their performances?

I suppose your viewpoint on this whole issue will be shaped by what you actually want from an Ireland team. I want them to go as far as possible in a World Cup so that people in Ireland unfamiliar with rugby league might take notice and fall in love with the game. For that to happen, they need this generation's Joynt, McDermott, O'Connor, Martyn to be playing for them, but unfortunately McIlorum, Bridge and Currie haven't wanted to put their hands up in recent years because England were given the plum fixtures that GB would have had. And that is the crux of the entire debate in my eyes.

Would you say Danny Brough "wasn't serious" when he's played for Scotland? Remember the video of him singing Flower of Scotland in the Derwent Park dressing room after the draw with the Kiwis? That was a bloke who twice decided to switch from Scotland to England because GB had been scrapped. Scotland only got him back because Smith & McNamara inexplicably decided not to pick him. Like you, I'd rather he'd never considered defecting to England, and the only way that would have happened is if GB hadn't been scrapped. 

Wales did lose a Welsh player. Rhys Evans may have gone back to play for them in 2013, but when he came onto the scene with a real bang as a kid, he was quick to announce that he wanted to play for England over Wales, and when you look at it from a player's point of view - the 'winnable' plum fixtures and the money - it's not hard to see why. Unlikely to win an England cap, he went back to Wales, but hasn't played in the last three years.  

 

Edited by Richard de la Riviere
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, Big Picture said:

I completely agree.  Rivière (is that even his real name) is totally ignorant* of the fact that without Welsh and Scottish Union converts there would never even have been a "Great Britain" team in the first place.  Prior to 1948 no such team even existed, accounts of those earlier matches always referred to England because it was an England team.

He is also ignorant of the fact that even when the GB team was more than just England, its record against Australia was nothing to write home about.  During its last 30 years of existence (i.e. from 1977 to 2007) GB only managed 7 wins in 42 matches against against the Kangaroos, not even one per series.

* The active participle of the verb ignore is the right word for someone who's ignoring relevant facts.

GB beat Australia in 1978, 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1997, 2001, 2004 & 2006 which is nine times, but I don't see how their win/loss record is in any way relevant to the points raised in the article and in this thread. It would be just as irrelevant for me to point out that we haven't beaten them once since GB was scrapped - in fact, perhaps it is relevant because a GB team would have had Briers & Brough in the halves between 2009 & 2013, and would have been significantly improved in the most important area on the field!

The England team prior to 1948 contained plenty of Welshmen. Even if that wasn't the case, I don't see the relevance of this point. 

My real surname is 'de la Rivière', which goes back generations on my mum's side. I love your use of the word 'even'! 

Edited by Richard de la Riviere
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Scubby said:

If that is the case I guess we should turn back the clock, stay as GB and give back all the 10s of millions of pounds of funding we have received from Sport England for elite performance and pathways (including the latest grant). It is not Sport Scotland or Sport Wales or Sport GB - it is Sport England. 

Great Britain was always a cosy way of strengthening the national side to include Welsh and Scottish Union players (Boston, Davies, Valentine etc). When that dried up it was basically England in another jersey plus Brian Carney. Using Gilmour, Joynt and Brough as examples is ridiculous they would have chosen England 20 times out of 20 if they were in with a chance of the England 17 for a 4 Nations or series.

In all the "golden" years GB were winning epic games at Wembley or filling old Trafford, how much money did the RFL put into grass roots RL in Cardiff or Belfast or Glasgow? In fact, how many amateur RL clubs existed there full stop?

The game has moved on - thankfully.

 

Shortly after scrapping GB, the RFL strongly denied that they did it for Sport England funding. 

Whether heritage players or not, the Great Britain & Ireland team fielded ten Wales, Scotland and Ireland internationals during their eight Test matches in 2001 and 2002, with Carney and Harris making it a dozen by 2004. The fact that many of them would have chosen England if the rules had been as they are now only serves to strengthen the argument of people who want GB to return as they were in the decade prior 2007. That is assuming you want the three Celtic nations to be as strong as possible. Of course, I appreciate some fans will be totally against heritage players and will want these nations to field only players who were born there or who are seen as genuinely Scottish/Irish/Welsh. If that's the case then fine, it's a perfectly valid viewpoint, but at least two of them would struggle to even qualify for a World Cup.

You raise a good point in the 3rd paragraph. surely nobody would object to funding finding its way to the relevant bodies. 

The game hasn't moved on though has it? Hence the existence of this very thread and the other 20-odd page one! Like it or not, there is more to wanting GB to return than nostalgia.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, GeordieSaint said:

I said on the other thread, nostalgia can be a dangerous thing. By all means, remember your tradition (very important) but don't always pine for the past as there are key lessons and elements that people never remember. We are notorious as a sport for not learning our lessons. This article is a prime example.

Genuinely stumped here. My article isn't about nostalgia. It's about the effect that scrapping GB had on the Ireland and Wales teams in particular and the lessons that the game should (and maybe has) learned from that.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Scubby said:

Also in the 60 year period between 1948 and 2007 how many home tests did Great Britain play in Wales, Scotland or Ireland. Answer = 0

The RFL missed huge opportunities in 2001 and 2003 in not taking the first Ashes Tests to the Millennium Stadium, in the way that the opening Test of a series used to be at Wembley. They would have made a far greater impression on the Welsh public than the subsequent Magic Weekend, even with the lack of a Welsh accent in the dressing room! 

If GB return full time, then I'll be hoping they take such Tests to Cardiff & Edinburgh. If we can replicate the number of Welsh/Scottish/Irish internationals that were in the side from 2001-2004, then the game would really be on to something. 

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The one thing I don't get about some of those who are vehemently opposed to the return of Great Britain, judging by this and the other thread, is the inference that people like myself are flatcappers and concerned only with nostalgia. Those who think that are missing the point. 

There's plenty of evidence that Wales and Ireland can field very strong teams when we also have Great Britain, as they did in the 2000 World Cup. And there's plenty of evidence that players will choose England over the Celtic nations if GB is taken away, thus weakening them. It's therefore perfectly valid to want the return of Great Britain to strengthen the playing squads of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Read the article - that is clearly my argument and, with the exception of Johnoco, nobody on this thread has even tried to address it. 

Edited by Richard de la Riviere
3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Richard de la Riviere said:

The one thing I don't get about some of those who are vehemently opposed to the return of Great Britain, judging by this and the other thread, is the inference that people like myself are flatcappers and concerned only with nostalgia. Those who think that are missing the point. 

I think you miss our point and to be fair to the likes of Scubby and I, we've discussed this in depth on the other thread. You've based the argument on the home nations ability to recruit English born players. I personally think it's a very narrow argument. You fail to take into account:

a) Funding - the English national side gets significant funding via Sport England. Will this be lost and how will it be replaced?

b ) Team Cohesion - each nation plays numerous games together prior to the WC; this builds cohesion and understanding - a key reason why England have beaten the Kiwis and run the Aussies close recently. How will this be developed by playing together potentially once every four years? 

c) Development - the game in the home nations has had more organic growth post-GB with more Welsh and Irish accents in the pro squads. How is this sustained?

d) Governance - the RFL don't run RL across the home nations. Will they be happy with their national sides being irrelevant other than in a World Cup year? Will the RFL resume funding the home nations? 

e) World Cup Qualifying - how can the home nations (bar England) get access to their best players for qualifying tournaments if they are away with GB - is that fair? 

f) International Game - the RLIF is seeking to broaden its portfolio and more countries the opportunity to play as the game spreads across the world. How will GB effect the home nations ability to play in the Confed Cup, World 9s etc? 

g) Nationalism/Independence - culturally the UK is changing with nationalism on the rise in all home nations. Other than those who remember GB RL, how will other generations see such a construct or home nations full of English/Australian accents? 

Just a few points and queries but there are more - but important ones and show the complexity of the issue; not just a few English/Australian players propping up Wales, Ireland and Scotland. The world has changed since GB was in existence as the main playing entity in these islands; our sport has changed too. I can live with GB as a touring entity every so often but NOT to replace the home nations. If the future RLIF plans can materialise, the game will change even more and for the better and help support the development of the game in Wales, Ireland etc. Why would we few who remember GB in the 90s want to stop this by making those nations largely an irrelevance?

Edited by GeordieSaint
5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No other sport bothers as much about qualification and therefore shoots itself in the foot as much in the media as RL does - bonkers

The point of the GB side was the profile it had as the RL top team - its essentially a barbarians side if you look at its origins and included players of 'other nationalities' as it was quaintly called back in the 50's as well as the RU players

It was also the vehicle that kept international footy alive in Aus and NZ - it was a draw card

We should allow the best qualified players to play for GB on tour in the antipodes and that includes heritage players if they qualify - there are precedents for this both in GB colours (and far less in England colours)

Its a great opportunity to set the international scene alight again with GB tours in the biggest RL market on the planet - stop being so precious about where people were born for a team like that - the Aussies don't care, NZ don't care, why should GB - if you qualify, you can be picked

Outside our sport hundreds of thousands over a season turn out to watch international RU - a real league of nations, and that's just the England team!

We have traditionally been stupid not playing the best players in our league that qualify let alone those that do in the NRL

We need to be smarter and get the brand working and as supporters get behind it

And lets not forget the GB coach will not be the national coach - that opens it right up in my view so why hamstring say Powell before he even gets the job

Who wouldn't want to play for the best RL team on the planet - that is what the GB brand could become if you let it absorb the external elements that other national teams already use simply by sticking to the rules of international sport let alone international RL, which overall reflects those

We either want success or we don't and we can do it within the rules

RDLR is simply winding people up - its his job - and playing to rose tinted traditionalist views - thankfully looking at this board we have all moved on but we now need to grasp the nettle and take it to the next level - that way when that team tours as it will, it has a chance, it appeals to us here and the kid in the street in Sydney which is they key, and it has a real chance of winning and not getting buried in its first tour

If we use just English SL players a few injuries would bury the GB team - and as a touring team there should be enough to play mid week matches as well as they used to in the past - what an opportunity to use the youth players across all our nations as well as the Knights and those players in the NRL that qualify - not just the England team and the knights as a back up

We can use it to mine the NRL because it is a brand that will attract on the international stage far more than England as a brand within RL - we could even steal a few RU players to keep the traditionalists happy, as there are Aus and NZ RU players that will qualify for one or more of the home nations - they get a shop window in the NRL and SL

The opportunities are endless - we should stop looking at it as a Yorks\Lancs team because it isn't and should never be that - since we lost GB the Aus brand is the only one left with any gravitas and they don't care about that the way they should - they will if we can beat them regardless of who is on the field - that's fish and chip paper the day after, the fact GB won is in the books forever.

 

 

2 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Richard de la Riviere said:

Can you really say that any of the lads who played for Ireland in the 2000 World Cup were "half hearted" in their performances?

I suppose your viewpoint on this whole issue will be shaped by what you actually want from an Ireland team. I want them to go as far as possible in a World Cup so that people in Ireland unfamiliar with rugby league might take notice and fall in love with the game. For that to happen, they need this generation's Joynt, McDermott, O'Connor, Martyn to be playing for them, but unfortunately McIlorum, Bridge and Currie haven't wanted to put their hands up in recent years because England were given the plum fixtures that GB would have had. And that is the crux of the entire debate in my eyes.

Would you say Danny Brough "wasn't serious" when he's played for Scotland? Remember the video of him singing Flower of Scotland in the Derwent Park dressing room after the draw with the Kiwis? That was a bloke who twice decided to switch from Scotland to England because GB had been scrapped. Scotland only got him back because Smith & McNamara inexplicably decided not to pick him. Like you, I'd rather he'd never considered defecting to England, and the only way that would have happened is if GB hadn't been scrapped. 

Wales did lose a Welsh player. Rhys Evans may have gone back to play for them in 2013, but when he came onto the scene with a real bang as a kid, he was quick to announce that he wanted to play for England over Wales, and when you look at it from a player's point of view - the 'winnable' plum fixtures and the money - it's not hard to see why. Unlikely to win an England cap, he went back to Wales, but hasn't played in the last three years.  

 

I was at the WC QF against England at Headingley in 2000 and wouldn't describe that team as half hearted at all. In fact I took several members of my family (not into RL) and they all enjoyed it. But at that time I was viewing it as a springboard, with the same viewpoints as you say. But here we are 17 years later and if that game was taking place today it would still be full of heritage players all 'stepping up' for the bigger games - and that's the point. Look at Ireland football under Jack Charlton and the stick they got but they still had plenty Irish players and are going OK these days with all Irish players.

If you were German and a pro RL player, it would be nice to represent your country but you can't just pretend they exist (I know there is a German RL side) and similarly if you are Welsh or Scottish, you can't just switch cos there's a bigger fixture next week - or at least you shouldn't be able to. The idea should be to grow those countries, which has been happening up to now. But if time and money is now to be spent on a GB side, it all takes away from that focus.

I think calling it GB now is putting the cart before the horse IMO.

3 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



League Express - Mon 10th April 2017

Rugby League World - April 2017