Sign in to follow this  
Mistress_Marlowe

Tony Collins: How RL’s relaxed rules for diaspora players gave the sport a new lease of life

Recommended Posts

"Whoever wins the trophy, the tournament’s real story is the rise of Tonga, Fiji, Lebanon and the other national sides whose players were drawn from diaspora communities in Europe, Australia and New Zealand".

Great article by Tony here: https://theconversation.com/how-rugby-leagues-relaxed-rules-for-diaspora-players-gave-the-sport-a-new-lease-of-life-88104

 

 

  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The change may have made this World Cup more interesting, but at the price of making the game look inferior to other international sports which don't have to stoop to admitting heritage teams or letting players change nations to have competitive World Cups.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

The change may have made this World Cup more interesting, but at the price of making the game look inferior to other international sports which don't have to stoop to admitting heritage teams or letting players change nations to have competitive World Cups.

From the article:

There is nothing new in national sides harvesting players of immigrant heritage or those qualified to play through residency. In the 2015 rugby union world cup, my analysis found that a third of the players in the France, Japan, Scotland and Wales squads weren’t born in the country they represented.

  • Like 6
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, John Drake said:

From the article:

There is nothing new in national sides harvesting players of immigrant heritage or those qualified to play through residency. In the 2015 rugby union world cup, my analysis found that a third of the players in the France, Japan, Scotland and Wales squads weren’t born in the country they represented.

As he himself wrote, "In the 2015 rugby union world cup, my analysis found that a third of the players in the France, Japan, Scotland and Wales squads weren’t born in the country they represented".  1/3 of the players in 4 out of 20 teams is a far cry from 100% of the players in 7 out of 14 teams plus a few in other teams, especially considering that heritage players only constituted a fraction of that 1/3.

Edited by Big Picture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

As he himself wrote, "In the 2015 rugby union world cup, my analysis found that a third of the players in the France, Japan, Scotland and Wales squads weren’t born in the country they represented".  1/3 of the players in 4 out of 20 teams is a far cry from 100% of the players in 7 out of 14 teams plus a few in other teams, especially considering that heritage players only constituted a fraction of that 1/3.

It might be a far cry but three of those four teams have a long history of playing union and the other one has been playing it for almost a century. They should not be relying on that many heritage players but because it's not rugby league it's all good. 

Edited by deluded pom?
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
21 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

As he himself wrote, "In the 2015 rugby union world cup, my analysis found that a third of the players in the France, Japan, Scotland and Wales squads weren’t born in the country they represented".  1/3 of the players in 4 out of 20 teams is a far cry from 100% of the players in 7 out of 14 teams plus a few in other teams, especially considering that heritage players only constituted a fraction of that 1/3.

Comparing RL and RU is not comparing apples with apples. The key point is, other sports (not just union either) that would claim a far greater geographical spread and depth of available playing talent than RL has, still select 'heritage' players in exactly the same way as RL does at international level, yet strangely, only RL is denigrated for it.

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, deluded pom? said:

It might be a far cry but three of those four teams have a long history of playing union and the other one has been playing it for almost a century. They should not be relying on that many heritage players but because it's not rugby league it's all good. 

It does suggest that with the possible exception of England, northern hemipshere RU has fallen behind southern hemisphere RU in say way as we've seen in RL in recent times.  They're not all heritage players though, a good number qualified through residence or even becoming citizens although having no interest in RU I wouldn't know the breakdown.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, John Drake said:

Comparing RL and RU is not comparing apples with apples. The key point is, other sports (not just union either) that would claim a far greater geographical spread and depth of available playing talent than RL has, still use 'heritage' players in exactly the same way as RL does at international level, yet strangely, only RL is denigrated for it.

That's because only RL is reliant on heritage teams to put on a meaningful World Cup.  Why is that so difficult for many fans to understand?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

That's because only RL is reliant on heritage teams to put on a meaningful World Cup.  Why is that so difficult for many fans to understand?

Why do you think we don't understand? We do. We simply hold a different point of view on the matter.

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, Number 16 said:

Why do you think we don't understand? We do. We simply hold a different point of view on the matter.

You think it shouldn't put the game in a poor light.  Everyone else understand that it not only does, it couldn't fail to either.

Share this post


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

That's because only RL is reliant on heritage teams to put on a meaningful World Cup.  Why is that so difficult for many fans to understand?

Perhaps because some of us can see the long term benefits to RL of having an expanded World Cup, and that such teams can be a spur to domestic development where it otherwise wouldn't happen at all. 

I can understand why people who do not want RL to grow would do their best to pour scorn on it, but not RL fans. That genuinely baffles me.

  • Like 5
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, John Drake said:

Perhaps because some of us can see the long term benefits to RL of having an expanded World Cup, and that such teams can be a spur to domestic development where it otherwise wouldn't happen at all. 

I can understand why people who do not want RL to grow would do their best to pour scorn on it, but not RL fans. That genuinely baffles me.

I think we can all see the long term benefits to RL of having an expanded World Cup, and to be fair the Pacific island diaspora do seem to have genuine ties to those countries considering that a number of them knocked back being paid for playing in this World Cup when they switched.

My concern is how it makes the game look to outsiders whose idea of international sport is that players have to be citizens of the country they represent and that they can't switch once they've played a top-level International.  That isn't about to change IMO and Tony Collins' suggestion that it is seems delusional to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 2015 RU World Cup only Argentina had a squad consisting of players born in the country they were representing

http://www.americasrugbynews.com/2015/09/13/foreign-born-players-rwc-2015/

A quick check of the Tongan players showed a few (didn't check every player) had represented NZ at U19 and/or U20 level. Haven't looked yet but it's a fair bet that this applies to Samoa too.

Just noticed this link also shows the players who have played for other countries at U19/U 20 etc

Edited by Cumbrian Fanatic
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
42 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

It does suggest that with the possible exception of England, northern hemipshere RU has fallen behind southern hemisphere RU in say way as we've seen in RL in recent times.  They're not all heritage players though, a good number qualified through residence or even becoming citizens although having no interest in RU I wouldn't know the breakdown.

Forgive me but I don't do union either but there was a thread where a couple of people were arguing about Scotland beating Australia at Union recently so who are they falling behind other, than the ABs, that they need to use heritage players?

Edited by deluded pom?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

You think it shouldn't put the game in a poor light.  Everyone else understand that it not only does, it couldn't fail to either.

Maybe you should change your moniker to Little Picture, you’re certainly not seeing the big one 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


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

 

My concern is how it makes the game look to outsiders whose idea of international sport is that players have to be citizens of the country they represent and that they can't switch once they've played a top-level International.

So somebody watching for the first time is going to google the teams and check out each players nationality and then turn it off because some of the players weren't born in the counytry they are playing for?

It happens all the time in sport and has done for donkeys years, in athletics, cricket, rugby union, soccer, etc etc.

I really have no idea what you're getting at!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Steve, This is the petition description. 

 

We have just had an amazing RLWC with each Pacific nation competing reaching the quarterfinals. Two of those sides – Fiji and Tonga – went onto the semi-finals. Both beat New Zealand to do so and Tonga – depending on your point of view – could have easily been playing in the final against Australia instead of England had a certain “no try” ruling gone to the video referee.

We have had kings show up to the games and American rock stars fly back on their own money to sing the anthem. We have had crowds in their thousands show up to airports to greet the players or line the streets in protest and support for their national team. Attendance records have been broken at sporting stadiums, crowd support for international teams has never been more passionate and media hype has never been more positive. Our game was rewarded with some of the greatest sporting drama anyone can remember and games of the highest possible standard.
And yet here we are the at the end of March of 2018 and only the one game for the Pacific nations has been set in concrete – a mid-season Test. Those games that are planned; are they being played in New Zealand to take advantage of the supporters there vying for more? No. They are a triple-header in a Sydney suburb shared amongst fans obsessed more with State of Origin and their NRL clubs than underdog Pacific teams.

How is this a reward for those Pacific Nations that brought so much to our World Cup? How is this an incentive to the players who knocked back huge match payments from Australia and New Zealand to honour their heritage and play so passionately for the Pacific Nations underdogs? How is this good for our international game?

The answer as to how to ride the RLWC momentum is quite obvious. These nations need a regular competition. A trophy they can hold up if victorious, a set of games that can reward the players each year as a decent respectable representative career and a tournament that can bring back the fans and give them something to look forward to. Reward them for their passionate support. They need an annual Pacific Cup to ride the World Cup momentum.

Super Star Players like Jason Taumalolo, Andrew Fifita, Michael Jennings, Jarryd Hayne, Suliasi Vunivalu, Anthony Milford Josh Papalii have made themselves available for the Pacific Nations in 2017. Young gun players just starting their careers like Tavita Pangai Jnr and Viliame Kikau might one day be lost to those nations to either State of Origin/Australia or Rugby Union if we don't start paying these players a decent wage and giving them more games.

French Rugby Union clubs were already interested in Kikau before he signed with Penrith. Instead of saying "what a shame" should he eventually succumb to Rugby Union dollars like we did with Semi Radradra, Marika Koroibete, Israel Folau, Lote Tuqiri and other pacific players before him, lets give him and other players incentive financially and through a respectable representative career with a decent amount of games each year through a annual tournament.   

The potential star power in these teams is at state of origin level, the passion in which they play the game is at state of origin level, the passion of the crowds that support them is at state of origin level, the interest they create in our game in New Zealand and the Pacific is at state of origin level and yet their payments are no where near state of origin level. Why is that?   

It seems everybody who follows Rugby League wants more games for these guys except the people who organise such games. Tongan coach Kristian Woolf said Tongan kids in New Zealand don't want to play for the All Blacks anymore, they want to play for Tonga. Damon Salesa, associate professor of Pacific Studies at Auckland University, claimed rugby union could "easily lose Pacific rugby" to Rugby League if we continue to push development of Rugby League in the pacific.

A Pacific Cup would be a great carrot to dangle in front of Rugby League and Union kids in Australia and New Zealand. NRL clubs could benefit with a new player pool of kids wishing to switch over so they have a chance to proudly represent the nation of their heritage. Considering the amount of money Pacific players knocked back to play for these nations, its not unbelievable kids and adult players might switch codes to represent. That is how passionate they are about their heritage. 

Why is it to attain their valid worth a Pacific Rugby League player needs to wear the Maroon of Queensland, the Blue of NSW or Kiwi Black instead of the Red of Tonga or the White of Fiji? Its time the contribution of these players to our game was recognised and their skills and passion was rewarded financially and with a respectable representative career. 

The responsibility falls on the shoulders of the leaders of our game, the RLIF and the NRL to take the opportunities to spread our game when they arise. There are many teams in Rugby League but we are all members of one team. Team Rugby League. We need to always do what is best for that team more then any other. 

 

Edited by B rad

Share this post


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

You think it shouldn't put the game in a poor light.  Everyone else understand that it not only does, it couldn't fail to either.

The heritage player issue is a red herring. The real issue is the number of international RL matches that are actually played. Tonga played their very first test matches against New Zealand and against England in this World Cup. That says it all really. That is nothing to do with heritage players. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Roy Boy said:

So somebody watching for the first time is going to google the teams and check out each players nationality and then turn it off because some of the players weren't born in the counytry they are playing for?

It happens all the time in sport and has done for donkeys years, in athletics, cricket, rugby union, soccer, etc etc.

I really have no idea what you're getting at!

He has genuine concern for 'outsiders' to the sport who, upon  discovering that the realities of international team sports are reflected in RL, are shocked, devastated, appalled and unable to sleep at night. Mmm.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Wiltshire Rhino said:

I don't mind the heritage players but once you've represented a country, NO SWITCHING!!! 

So let's go back to cricket scores ♥️

Edited by MatthewWoody

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
26 minutes ago, MatthewWoody said:

So let's go back to cricket scores ♥️

If given more opportunities to play, you’ve heard it from the horses mouth (i.e. Tongans et al) that they’d stick with their heritage nation...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, GeordieSaint said:

If given more opportunities to play, you’ve heard it from the horses mouth (i.e. Tongans et al) that they’d stick with their heritage nation...

But it's the new rules that has made them so strong and competitive this World Cup. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


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

I don't mind the heritage players but once you've represented a country, NO SWITCHING!!! 

Neither do I, if they constitute less than half of any team like in real international sports.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wales beat South Africa in RU today. Wales' man of the match is a New Zealander who is 30 years of age and only qualified by residence yesterday. That type of qualification is purely mercenary and the WRU should hang its head in shame ... not that it has ever had any.

You can't say that about the heritage players in the RL World Cup. I'll bet it cost most of them money to play in it.

  • Like 1

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  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.


League Express - Online Now

League Express - Every Monday



Rugby League World - Online 28 Jun - July 2018

Rugby League World - July 2018 - Out Fri 29 Jun

Rugby League Books On Sale Here