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

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"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

 

 

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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.

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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.

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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

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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?
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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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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?

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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 

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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!

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3 hours 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.

There is 6 Fijian players in the Australian RU team. Not heritage players, worse, guys who got a sports contract in Australia in their 20s. 

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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. 

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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.

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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

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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...

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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