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RayCee

Northern Hemisphere International Options

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It's clear that the NRL should have accepted that it gave its blessing to the 2018 Denver test. It's reluctant agreeing to the match has hurt the NRL's pride as has backtracked and gone against its own word. To be so defiant to the RLIF, it obviously is stating that it will in future not be answerable to the RLIF. World Cups will still be held but if international RL in future has any effect on the NRL, it will dictate what will happen or not. It puts the RLIF in an awkward position of having a role subservient to the NRL. 

How can the Northern Hemisphere RL have a strong International calendar that doesn't depend on the NRL's agreement? Surely the RLIF and the RLEF need to work more closely in making sure that while the SH has it's Pacific test programme, the NH has something relevant too. I feel the Four Nations has been good but has run its course. Pacific Is nations should be helped down under and England turn its efforts to helping the NH RL. I put something together here:

https://rugbyl.blogspot.com/2018/05/northern-hemisphere-internationals.html

The NH needs to do something to lift the game in that area. Imagine the incentive for players in countries within North America and Europe to have annual fixtures at international level. The Four Nations has been good for England but what about the rest of the NH? The NRL is only interested in what benefits it and it's time the NH accepted that and stood on its own feet. 

Edited by RayCee

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Ive said it before and ill say it again - bin the Aussies from international footy full stop, they don’t care about it so what?

The reason international teams get stronger is because they play together regularly - SOO does that but no other nation has the ability to do this for its top line players hence no one else will ever win consistently against them

If everyone else got on and created a viable international calendar without them the NRL would pale into insignificance within a generation

just look at the opportunities arising from international development FFS - a Balkan SL, the US and Canada, the African nations and their first footsteps - don’t tell me its not worthwhile investing some serious time and energy and money into all of this by creating a meaningful international competition - what the NRL earns will be a drop in the ocean if RL grasps the opportunities in front of it globally

SOO is killing the kangaroos dream it should not kill off international footy - the NRL and its clubs are after the financial prize and want to run the RLIF which is unacceptable in any governance structure - look at the mess they made of the RLWC in their own back yard and the huge debts their clubs run up - backwards looking businesses screaming out for new investment in a billion dollar industry? Anyone else see the irony in that?

Bin them and create something good - let their athletes aspire to play for the back yard teams while everyone else aspires to represent a nation against a nation on a world stage - it wont be long before the Aus players start to sulk at the lost financial opportunities as well as the lost legacies they could have had - as good as Thurston is SOO is actually quite meaningless if you live anywhere else but Aus as entertaining as it can be - if it wasn’t for the international matches he has played and his club footy where he has played his very best he wouldn’t register on my radar

Look at Fifita and see what Tonga meant to him - the tide is turning, SOO will open up in the next few years as its the only thing left to replace international footy for NRL players who aren’t allowed to play international footy as the NRL clubs are clearly looking to prevent any other nationality in the comp from doing in the future - they are already starting to walk away from international expansion and competition because its not theirs to play with - stupid short sighted dumb

Let them walk off that cliff with their eyes wide open - players will ignore contracts to play international footy and a small comp on a large continent will end up rueing its own ridiculous decision making

By creating a new world international structure without the NRL clubs having any say at all we save the sport - they don’t prop the rest of the world up financially anyway and give nothing to any other nation without trying to own them first - look at the pacific nations - the argument that its their players so they can dictate national team policy is very very wrong - its time for a new revolution!

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SOO has definitely taken away from International RL and most Australians are comfortable with that. The rest of the world has to do something. I hope it doesn't become like a rabbit caught in headlights and does nothing or simply kowtows to the wishes and whims of the NRL. 

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Fear not. Nigel is sorting this as I write.

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Dont disagree with any of that to be honest....internationals should be the pinacle of any sport and the main reason i got into league(born and bread in darkest East London, so not excactly a rugby heartland of either code) was watching GB INTERNATIONALS back in the day, not club sides. I,ll wager thats how most people not from the "Heartlands" did too? Speaking to mates of mine (who arnet massive fans, but show an interest) during the last world cup, they were far more likely to watch the international games then tune in to SL/NRL and were more likely to remember watching the Lions then Bradford Northern from years gone by!

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If the players were gained sufficient monetary reward from internationals it would be less of a problem. That is players would ensure contracts written accordingly.

In addition up the salary cap here so that the clubs could attract those non Aussie internationals, allowing them to play internationals. Assuming financial reward for playing internationals.  It would be financial rewarding if we fans then attended in record numbers.

 

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I've said a number of times that the RFL needs to stop being dependant on the Aussies. 

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Agree with the above.  Tell the Aussies to sod off and tell any Home Nations player that if they are going to play in the NRL then they will no longer be considered for international RL.

The game has an unprecedented opportunity to grow the number of international teams and IMHO I would rather see the Home Nations look to play theses countries than suck up to the Aussies.

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For mid season international matches France is the only real viable Northern hemisphere option and this has been the case ever since RU went professional. Prior to that Wales could have given England a game but even these matches were never seriously developed as they should have been. The trouble is the game has consistently shown little appetite to take the steps needed to sufficiently develop the game there. 

Edited by Damien
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On 5/30/2018 at 10:18 PM, Damien said:

For mid season international matches France is the only real viable Northern hemisphere option and this has been the case ever since RU went professional. Prior to that Wales could have given England a game but even these matches were never seriously developed as they should have been. The trouble is the game has consistently shown little appetite to take the steps needed to sufficiently develop the game there. 

England should bring on France, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.

Invest in their youth and send Coaches there to develop the raw talent, get them playing the game in Schools.

Lead the way and show those inward looking NRL loving Aussies up.

Edited by Allora

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On 5/30/2018 at 8:18 AM, Damien said:

For mid season international matches France is the only real viable Northern hemisphere option and this has been the case ever since RU went professional. Prior to that Wales could have given England a game but even these matches were never seriously developed as they should have been. The trouble is the game has consistently shown little appetite to take the steps needed to sufficiently develop the game there. 

Until the US and Canada start to develop pro RL players, that is unfortunately correct.

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Just now, Big Picture said:

Until the US and Canada start to develop pro RL players, that is unfortunately correct.

I will not live to see these events even if I live a lot longer than I think I may.

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4 minutes ago, Allora said:

England should bring on France, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland.

Invest in their youth and send Coaches there to develop the raw talent, get them playing the game in Schools.

Lead the way and show this inward looking Aussies up.

Bring them on how exactly?  When everything about the RFL screams out "small time regional sport with limited appeal", the youth in those places aren't going to want play this game in anything like the necessary numbers.  That perception has to be changed first, and the RFL has never shown any competence at changing it.

Edited by Big Picture
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Just now, Big Picture said:

Bring them on how exactly?  When everything about the RFL screams out "small time regional sport with limited appeal", the youth in those places aren't going to want play this game.  That perception has to be changed first, and the RFL has never shown any competence at changing it.

I was being facitious
How will the game grow in North America when it barely survives in its homelands?

 

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2 minutes ago, Big Picture said:

Until the US and Canada start to develop pro RL players, that is unfortunately correct.

How many are the Wolfpack bringing through their ranks or developing?

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33 minutes ago, Allora said:

How many are the Wolfpack bringing through their ranks or developing?

Two are currently on loan at London Skolars.

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Start with 9s. At least three 9s comps a year. 1 in England, 1 in France, 1 roaming. 1 mid season, 1 post season, 1 beginning of the season if we can find somewhere warm.

The barrier to entry is much lower for 9's so that more countries can join, it gives those countries an opportunity seek investment and sponsorship and gives their players something to aim for. If it can make a bit of money through TV and sponsorship and sales that can be used to pay for some of these players to become full-time while doubling up as development officers in their nations to get 13s leagues set up and train referees and coaches and organise facilities etc and have a database of sponsors etc from the 9s that can be channeled through to 13s.

Hopefully after a couple of years success in England, France and Roaming ones we will be able to extend to 4,5,6,7 events and plough all that money in to development officers throughout the NH.

It also doesnt need to take the place of full test matches, but is instead in addition to, as England 9s team wouldnt necessarily be Englands 13's team etc.

Besides the big nations of England, France, Wales, Ireland, and teams like the USA and Lebanon who can put out a decent squad, it would give nations like Italy and Jamaica more chance to integrate the heritage and domestic players, aswell as sides like Serbia who deserve some recognition for their efforts at amateur level.

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1 hour ago, Allora said:

I was being facitious
How will the game grow in North America when it barely survives in its homelands?

From high-profile RL being played here attracting investors, sponsors, broadcaster and players to the game.

1 hour ago, Allora said:

How many are the Wolfpack bringing through their ranks or developing?

One each from Canada and the US on loan to London Skolars at present.  There's a Canadian RU winger playing in Wales who reportedly might not have a future in RU's pro ranks, he could be worth signing too.

The Wolfpack are still too low-profile a team to generate a lot of interest from North American athletes.  Whether playing in the tarted-up version of the old RL Championships which masquerades as a Super League and includes teams from the English equivalents of places like Lethbridge and North Bay can change that is debatable.

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The product is good, the management not. No vision, no long term planning. My suggestion of a real NH international programme has no chance. I put it out there to say ideas like that should be looked at but no one will be looking at anything. It will remain a case of circle the wagons and protect what’s left rather than go on the offensive.

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I am not against internationals and only hope the scene gets stronger, however, the sport’s strength is in the club game. That is as true for NH as it is for SH.

I am not against the Wolfpack (although who from the RFL signed off on Wolfpack when there is already the Wolves?) and hope they succeed, but the UK holds long held rivalries with European nations and that is where the quickest wins will be for internationalists (for simple number of potential competing nations as opposed to N America, if nothing else).

Therefore, with that rationale, RL in the NH needs to somehow utilise the strength of European proximity & rivalries and the club game to grow the sport. I have long held the belief that quasi RLEF national “club” sides made up of domestic players should be competing in the Challenge Cup. The Serbs, Italians, Lebs, Yanks, Cannucks, Jamaicans, Czechs, Scots and Irish all included. Thus rewarding domestic players sometimes overlooked for World Cups with “international” competition against traditional English club opponents. Potentially even upstaging them and making the next round. From there, the international scene can keep growing. 

To cut ties with the NRL and expect international fixtures for England against the likes of France and NRL-less Scot, Welsh, Irish, Italian et al squads to somehow be the saviour of the sport is simply a fantasy because there just isn’t the suitable standard of opposition for England to go it alone.

Edited by Sports Prophet
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18 hours ago, Sports Prophet said:

I am not against internationals and only hope the scene gets stronger, however, the sport’s strength is in the club game. That is as true for NH as it is for SH.

I am not against the Wolfpack (although who from the RFL signed off on Wolfpack when there is already the Wolves?) and hope they succeed, but the UK holds long held rivalries with European nations and that is where the quickest wins will be for internationalists (for simple number of potential competing nations as opposed to N America, if nothing else).

Therefore, with that rationale, RL in the NH needs to somehow utilise the strength of European proximity & rivalries and the club game to grow the sport. I have long held the belief that quasi RLEF national “club” sides made up of domestic players should be competing in the Challenge Cup. The Serbs, Italians, Lebs, Yanks, Cannucks, Jamaicans, Czechs, Scots and Irish all included. Thus rewarding domestic players sometimes overlooked for World Cups with “international” competition against traditional English club opponents. Potentially even upstaging them and making the next round. From there, the international scene can keep growing. 

To cut ties with the NRL and expect international fixtures for England against the likes of France and NRL-less Scot, Welsh, Irish, Italian et al squads to somehow be the saviour of the sport is simply a fantasy because there just isn’t the suitable standard of opposition for England to go it alone.

Which means that once again, the answer is to get the game established in the North part of America.  Nothing else can possibly raise the game's profile in Europe to the point where big numbers of young guys will want to play it and reverse the slow decline which other posters have noted.

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Why can’t England play the other home nations and put out an ‘appropriate’ strength side to keep the games competitive and provide more opportunities for player development?

This happens in other sports without issue, and at the end of the day, if the sport is trying to gain converts outside the heartlands, are they going to know who England’s best players are?

It’s pretty similar to what has brought Italy on across the code divide - when they joined the Six Nations, they were getting beaten by the second string sides in a 20k ground they couldn’t sell out. Now, they’re still losing mostly, but against the full strength teams and  in a much bigger ground.

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5 hours ago, Big Picture said:

Nothing else can possibly raise the game's profile in Europe to the point where big numbers of young guys will want to play it and reverse the slow decline which other posters have noted.

Why is N America such an easier option than Europe at raising profile of the sport?

You are still searching for a rich benefactor to set up a team in a new local market? In Europe, at least you are not competiting with a similar, contact/collision style sport like Gridiron which is entrenched in the US sports market.

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4 hours ago, WelshpoolMarauder said:

Why can’t England play the other home nations and put out an ‘appropriate’ strength side to keep the games competitive and provide more opportunities for player development?

They can, and do. England students, pioneers etc... but don’t expect those fixtures to get anymore than 100 spectators, let alone any media coverage.

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