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The Partisan

England non-heartlands areas - Representative opportunities

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Hi all,

Here in Australia in a few weeks time we have the annual Affiliated States Championship / Tournament contested by Open age and U/18 teams from Victoria, Western Australia, South Australia and the Northern Territory. The Women's Tournament was a couple of weeks back.¬†(though you'd be hard pressed to find any news about either event from the NRL or ARL ūüėē)

Does anything happen for the non - heartlands areas in England ? 

Vaguely remember seeing details of an NCL rep team in years past.

 

 

 

 


The Rugby League Fan's Mantra for helping the game grow internationally is ten two-letter words - IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.

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I would like to see some kind of county tournament brought back at some point as a level below England (not instead of). Good for some players to get themselves in the shop window.

I'm not sure if an "affiliated states" side would work though. Might as well just call them "The South".

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At academy level any talented Londoners get thrown into the Lancashire team. Not sure what happens with Cumbrians and elsewhere. 

At both open age and academy level you could have a really good tournament between London & South v Cumbria. Yorks and Lancs are way, way out in front of both though.


"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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39 minutes ago, nadera78 said:

At academy level any talented Londoners get thrown into the Lancashire team. Not sure what happens with Cumbrians and elsewhere. 

At both open age and academy level you could have a really good tournament between London & South v Cumbria. Yorks and Lancs are way, way out in front of both though.

A tri series? Cumbria & the South v Lancashire v Yorkshire?


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5 minutes ago, deluded pom? said:

A tri series? Cumbria & the South v Lancashire v Yorkshire?

At senior level any space we find in the calendar should be used for England games. That's the driver. 

At the Academy and Scholarship levels, you could go with Yorks/Lancs/Rest of England. That would be a decent tri-series because London&S, Cumbria and now the North East RL are producing players. The midlands had a burst when the development officers were in place but that died when they were removed (as was obvious).

It might be a little more competitive if you broke up Yorks & Lancs, giving a 6 team tournament between Lancs / Cheshire / West Yorks / East Yorks / Cumbria & NE / London & S. You might even extend it to invite Wales, which would provide their junior teams more competitive games. 

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"Just as we had been Cathars, we were treizistes, men apart."

Jean Roque, Calendrier-revue du Racing-Club Albigeois, 1958-1959

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12 hours ago, nadera78 said:

At senior level any space we find in the calendar should be used for England games. That's the driver. 

 

Why not have it instead of the reserves? I'd much rather watch Yorkshire vs Lancashire than England Knights vs France.


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Mainly I suspect because a full strength York's or lancs team would wallop the combined south of england,.

At senior level it's laughable even at amateur. 

We need more teams all over the country, especially at a decent level for this to be even considered

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Realistically after Yorkshire and Lancashire, the next best potential English "county sides" are Cumbria, Cheshire and Greater London. Beneath that you're looking at the Midlands and the North East.

I think there's scope for doing a competition between at least some of these at age levels, whether that ever translates to the pro levels of the game I'm less sure. Hopefully gives kids in these areas an opportunity to play at a higher level and give them a bit of exposure to the top clubs/academies.

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I think Cumbria vs London could work. Maybe trial it at Academy level or even scholarship level first.

I'd include NE players in the Yorkshire set up for now until they can field a more competitive squad

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Possibly an award for "dumbest question of the month" coming my way, but how much depth is actually in Yorkshire and Lancashire?

If the first-choice squads are far beyond anything the rest of England can produce, there's nothing stopping them fielding reserves or some kind of "representative" side. Think of football pre-season friendlies where you see a "Liverpool XI" against a non-league side which everyone knows will be a main core of fringe/youth players with one or two stars.

 

Also, dare I bring RU into this? Argentina field their 'B' team in the South American Championship against other countries' 1st teams, I think South Africa also had some form of amateur/club rep side playing the African Championship along the same lines. There was also the Churchill Cup where the Home Nations fielded their 'A' teams against the full USA and Canada sides.

 

Lancashire v. London = blowout, but Lancashire B? Or maybe have some restriction in the open age like Lancs/Yorks having to field (for example) Under-23 sides?

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On 12/05/2019 at 00:07, Tommygilf said:

Realistically after Yorkshire and Lancashire, the next best potential English "county sides" are Cumbria, Cheshire and Greater London. Beneath that you're looking at the Midlands and the North East.

I think there's scope for doing a competition between at least some of these at age levels, whether that ever translates to the pro levels of the game I'm less sure. Hopefully gives kids in these areas an opportunity to play at a higher level and give them a bit of exposure to the top clubs/academies.

Greater Manchester and Merseyside would have strong teams!

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Depends what level you are wanting to go to.. at amateur level there is more rep stuff.. for example I played for London & South East against a South & South West side in 2005 (ish) and also for London & South East vs Dublin in the capital challenge in 2004 (ish).. know there used to be a regional champs as well. 

At junior level you get the London origin series where north of the river play south of the river.

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On 14/05/2019 at 17:00, RP London said:

Depends what level you are wanting to go to.. at amateur level there is more rep stuff.. for example I played for London & South East against a South & South West side in 2005 (ish) and also for London & South East vs Dublin in the capital challenge in 2004 (ish).. know there used to be a regional champs as well. 

At junior level you get the London origin series where north of the river play south of the river.

Thanks for the insight. I was thinking more the amateur level stuff and at both senior and junior levels.  Was basically curious to know if someone in Ipswich, Bristol, Southhampton or Cornwall had a chance to represent their region or some form of national team.

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The Rugby League Fan's Mantra for helping the game grow internationally is ten two-letter words - IF IT IS TO BE, IT IS UP TO ME.

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Regional rep teams could have a big role to play in helping spread the game in the same way as the GB Pioneers do. Admittedly, they would need to be self-funded so would not be the best XIII, but you'd still get out decent quality teams. I'm surprised this doesn't happen more. 

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On 11/05/2019 at 07:22, Wellsy4HullFC said:

I would like to see some kind of county tournament brought back at some point as a level below England (not instead of). Good for some players to get themselves in the shop window.

I'm not sure if an "affiliated states" side would work though. Might as well just call them "The South".

At a youth level down here in the southern 'heartland' of Hemel/St. Alban's/north london it happens a bit in terms of rep sides. The Hemel schools have a mini tournament between themselves them and I remember when we got to 14 we'd then have an all Hemel schools team (best of) and we played some of the northern rep school sides...remember one called Spen Valley that d###ed us over

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On 12/05/2019 at 00:07, Tommygilf said:

Realistically after Yorkshire and Lancashire, the next best potential English "county sides" are Cumbria, Cheshire and Greater London. Beneath that you're looking at the Midlands and the North East.

I think there's scope for doing a competition between at least some of these at age levels, whether that ever translates to the pro levels of the game I'm less sure. Hopefully gives kids in these areas an opportunity to play at a higher level and give them a bit of exposure to the top clubs/academies.

If we go right back to basics, shrug off the differences between the codes for one moment, those places producing 'rugby' players - where there is a passion for the basics of passing, tackling, running, and being as hard as nails - are limited across the country.

You may be familiar with Union's amateur 'County Championship'. That has been dominated (underlined, highlighted and in bold) for some time by only four: Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, and... Cornwall. The latter two will contest this year's final, and certainly in the good spirit it has always been played.

My son plays RU for a local club in Cornwall - and is a passionate Warrington supporter - and in his junior set up there are kids with raw talent that would already be on the radar of professional league clubs if they fell within a ten mile radius. In fact, one of the best rugby players (who has turned out for the fledgling Cornish Rebels RL team) never to have put on boots at a Super League club will (probably) be playing for Cornwall at the county final at Twickenham. With six months conditioning and training he would be in any back line.

In the RFL's attempts to expand it has overlooked a natural fit for the sport in the SW. If there is to be a county championship, Cornwall should be in it. It would be a massive missed opportunity otherwise.

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21 minutes ago, absentee thoughtlord said:

If we go right back to basics, shrug off the differences between the codes for one moment, those places producing 'rugby' players - where there is a passion for the basics of passing, tackling, running, and being as hard as nails - are limited across the country.

You may be familiar with Union's amateur 'County Championship'. That has been dominated (underlined, highlighted and in bold) for some time by only four: Lancashire, Yorkshire, Cheshire, and... Cornwall. The latter two will contest this year's final, and certainly in the good spirit it has always been played.

My son plays RU for a local club in Cornwall - and is a passionate Warrington supporter - and in his junior set up there are kids with raw talent that would already be on the radar of professional league clubs if they fell within a ten mile radius. In fact, one of the best rugby players (who has turned out for the fledgling Cornish Rebels RL team) never to have put on boots at a Super League club will (probably) be playing for Cornwall at the county final at Twickenham. With six months conditioning and training he would be in any back line.

In the RFL's attempts to expand it has overlooked a natural fit for the sport in the SW. If there is to be a county championship, Cornwall should be in it. It would be a massive missed opportunity otherwise.

I completely agree with you that the South West of England, along with West Wales, West Yorkshire, some rural parts of the midlands, Hull and the Wigan/St Helen's area historically produces the most top rugby players in the country. I've played union games against Truro school and Bristol Grammar for example and its clear they have some great talent. Not looking at the SW with a strategic aim is a genuine failure of the RFL imo especially after the success of the 2013 WC game at Bristol. A team that serves as a beacon for prospective players and the game as a whole in the area would be a massive boost.

I would add the caveat with the counties thing though that the reason Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cornwall and Cheshire are so well represented is that they have relatively minimal exposure to the union top flight/academy game. For the other counties their best players are in academies/clubs. Thats not to diminish their achievements (several of my friends have played for Yorkshire) but to put them in perspective. 

I think its a shame but we have to be honest a lot of RL clubs struggle to look beyond their own noses when it comes to academies. And to be fair that is true in both codes, but I doubt that without a professional presence in the SW, probably centred on Bristol or Gloucester, RL will ever tap into this resource of players.

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8 hours ago, Tommygilf said:

 

I would add the caveat with the counties thing though that the reason Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cornwall and Cheshire are so well represented is that they have relatively minimal exposure to the union top flight/academy game. For the other counties their best players are in academies/clubs. Thats not to diminish their achievements (several of my friends have played for Yorkshire) but to put them in perspective. 

There seems to be some logic to this, and yet perhaps this overlooks the fact that outstanding players in Lancashire and Yorkshire (and to a significant extent Cheshire) end up in league, while in Cornwall they are being picked up by the Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates. There are also numerous second tier union clubs in the north, leaving aside Sale.

This, I suggest, is evidence of strength in depth and a 'cultural' bias towards the oval ball in these areas. Combined, they simply produce the best players in the country.

I would also caution against thinking Gloucester or Bristol will tap into talent further west. They won't. Cornwall would need some form of standalone team.

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12 minutes ago, absentee thoughtlord said:

There seems to be some logic to this, and yet perhaps this overlooks the fact that outstanding players in Lancashire and Yorkshire (and to a significant extent Cheshire) end up in league, while in Cornwall they are being picked up by the Exeter Chiefs and Cornish Pirates. There are also numerous second tier union clubs in the north, leaving aside Sale.

This, I suggest, is evidence of strength in depth and a 'cultural' bias towards the oval ball in these areas. Combined, they simply produce the best players in the country.

I would also caution against thinking Gloucester or Bristol will tap into talent further west. They won't. Cornwall would need some form of standalone team.

From my own experience the Yorkshire u20s side is made up of those who were close but didn't make the cut at Carnegie or were dropped at 19. Its true many end up at the likes of Doncaster and Rotherham.

Whilst I admire your enthusiasm for Cornish Rugby, from a purely financial point of view Bristol would be a far more logical starting point. Any Cornish/Devon team would likely be at the level of Hemel stags for example, not a bad thing in and of itself but not competing in SL any time soon simply due to a lack of resources.

 

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