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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/06/20 in Posts

  1. 20 points
    Near €2 Million given by the town council to the 2 local professional rugby clubs to share. €900,000 for the Dragons it seems - with also a promise to help develop ground improvements. 80-100 people employed at the clubs.
  2. 17 points
    They must have plenty of replica shirts to get shut of.
  3. 16 points
    I think the success that Australian Union has had on the international scene, where it has punched way above its weight for the size and status of the sport there, warps people's perceptions. They also tour the UK every year. Similarly the lack of Kangaroo games and tours on these shores in the last couple of decades probably makes people think the sport is smaller there than it is.
  4. 15 points
  5. 13 points
    to try and sum up... Some Toronto fans dont care about the make up of the team they support.. that is equally evident in the UK, if you win the grand final do you care who is in the team? (some of you will say yes you do, and some will say no you dont... its a difference of opinion lets leave it there). Some Toronto fans arent worried, at the moment, about junior development.. it is also abundantly clear that some in the UK are not that worried about it either... This is not a purely Canadian/Torontonian issue.. frankly there is a little bit of glass houses and stones here. We all tend to agree that Junior development takes some time.. so we shouldnt be expecting results straight away but it should be being started, we are talking "putting balls in hand" here.. IMO this is also a way to get community buy in and build supporter bases and not just junior development in terms of getting players onto the roster. There is a genuine concern about the player pool being thinned too far with no players being added to it from Toronto/canada. Even Toronto fans would surely see this, whether it is seen as that important is a different matter. But equally this would happen with a shrinking sport in the UK anyway. The general argument against this all is that a successful Toronto can solve issues rather than be the issue: With success juniors will want to get involved in Canada and a growing Junior set up will come, equally a successful Toronto could make the sport more appealing for juniors in the UK and may lift numbers for UK game.. across the uk as other areas want to get involved. They can also increase the money pot and the sponsor pool etc etc All the concerns are genuine, all the counter arguments are genuine too.. no one (except some very small exceptions who the mods normally pick up on) want the sport to die, we all want the best for it. The problem is there is no right or wrong answer in this, people are trying to do what they think is right and then they have to basically see how it goes (especially when the world throws up things you cannot control). In the end the proof will be in what is happening in years down the line.. can we please just leave it there and treat the posts about Toronto for what they are rather than the continual dive into all of this? Pretty please?
  6. 13 points
    Phil Clarke - U-Boat Captain.
  7. 12 points
    Do those 'pub teams' include the one that nearly went out of business because its owner threw his teddy and had a massive sulk when things didn't go his way?
  8. 12 points
    There is nothing wrong with the scrum. What is wrong is the lack of vision from players and coaches. The teams are set up on the field in a way that offer the potential of great attacking opportunities and inventive plays. Trouble is coaches are too lazy to work this out. I also saw the Canberra game at the weekend and they put on a push against the head. There is also sorts of different things you can do to invent different plays at a scrum to give variation to monotonous scoots or 5 drives and a kick which in my opinion makes many games for the large part look the same, week after week. Scrums are not the problem a lack of vision and tactical invention is.
  9. 11 points
    I think this is right. When the Wallabies come over and play in front of packed crowds at Twickenham while we let the Kangaroo tours become a distant memory, is it any wonder that the wider public get the wrong impression of the relative size of the sports. It is not up to people to research how great Australian Rugby league is.... it is up to us to show them.
  10. 11 points
    Hopefully they'll create a stand which can accommodate people who are larger than midgets to sit down in
  11. 11 points
    Hi everyone, I'm Steve Bartlett, the General Manager of Rhondda Outlaws. I've been following this thread for a while and I think its great to see healthy debate about something as new and exciting as Euro XIIIs. I've decided to jump on now to offer myself up to answer questions because I can see there is some confusion around the competition and the motivation of clubs joining and I've also noticed some incorrect things being repeated and I don't want rumours to become 'the truth'. So, ask me anything. If I can answer I will. Some things are commercially sensitive (either for the Euro XIIIs organisers or the Rhondda Outlaws) and some things aren't know to us yet so if your question falls in to that category, I'll let you know but other than that, I will try to be as open as possible.
  12. 11 points
    Because rl in Europe needs crowds to survive,
  13. 11 points
    Unusual. McManus is usually quite reserved and even handed with his comments.
  14. 11 points
    Hi everyone. I should probably post on here a bit more but I tend to steer clear of all RL forums for a few reasons. I've got a general rule to not reply to anyone who won't reveal their identity and I find the views on most forums to be uninformed, though I do think there's a better level of understanding on this forum than the others. Everyone wants different things from journalists and I've no drama with that. Some people will like my work and others won't. I don't think a single journalist in the game is universally liked. There are certain journalists I rate very highly and others I do not. That's just the way it is. Though I must say I did chuckle when I saw the 'lick a bit of ringpiece' comment. Since lockdown I've experienced the following... Had one club owner threaten to take an injunction out so I had to reveal my source on a particular story I broke (obviously, this was a ridiculous threat that couldn't be followed through). Had two Super League CEO/chairman refuse to speak to me after I broke the pay cuts being implemented at all clubs (I think another said the same to Martyn, too). Another refuse to do an interview with me as he 'didn't want to be accused of being the person leaking confidential information to me'. Another CEO hasn't spoken to me since writing a transfer story around five weeks ago. A player's fiancee accused me of having an impact on their mental health as a result of a story I wrote. A public Twitter argument with Wakefield CEO Michael Carter after saying clubs need to be held accountable for a lot of wasted money if Super League clubs decide to realign with the RFL. That's before mentioning that in the last ten days I accused Super League of lying to supporters about the unanimous salary cap vote (no other journalist has touched that story, by the way) and a column on clubs having far too much control on issues which also caused a stink with CEOs as one warned me. So, with respect, I'll disagree with you on that one! As I said, you can't please everyone. Some want you to chase scandals that are conspiracy theories and then criticise you for not proving it to be true. Others believe you have a duty to be a cheerleader. A Salford fan, as an example, said he would no longer buy League Express because we broke the Niall Evalds story... apparently we should wait for clubs to announce it before we report it! FWIW, I don't think there is enough done to hold people accountable. Just my opinion, but I think there is too much emphasis by journalists (not all, I'm speaking generally) to write follow-up pieces - getting reaction to what has already been put out elsewhere to fill their space. It allows them to cover the story and justify it with a fresh perspective on the story but it isn't getting new information out there on the most part. As for online, the same applies, too many are happy regurgitating rather than investigating. This is often, but not always, by aspiring journalists, who I tell over and over again if you want to make it in the profession, you have to produce original content that others aren't. Sadly this often falls on deaf ears. I'm sick of certain publications stealing our stories and not even attributing it to us, and there are many journalists out there who, if they read this, will know exactly who I'm on about. You'll see it happen every Monday after the trade papers come out. In essence, I don't believe there are enough journalists willing to break stories. How many journalists out there actually break them? A handful. I will try to come on here more often if anyone has questions, though I can't promise. I try to be as active as possible on Twitter with replies so feel free to get in touch!
  15. 10 points
    There are so many things wrong with this concept that I will just say "No!".
  16. 10 points
    I have to say it seems that you have pretty much missed the entire point of my post.
  17. 10 points
    I did all 60 questions for our charity's quiz night earlier in the year. As someone at the end said, "They were good questions, enjoyed the evening and I learnt a lot, but it'd have been nice to be able to answer one."
  18. 10 points
    Absurd. The corner flag cut down the field space in a way that does not exist anywhere else on the ground. It is an artificial obstacle. It was a great rule change that allowed athletes to flourish. It does show how great some of the try machines of yesteryear like Boston, Van Vollenhoven and Offiah were as with this rule they would likely have 10% more tries over their career.
  19. 10 points
    Off course the teams are not worried. Along comes a White Knight out of the blue, who no one has ever had any dealings with or really ever heard of, offering them money to cover all their travel and hotel accomodtion, plus draft players to improve thier club. These are clubs that some cant even afford to travel within their home countries to complete fixtures but are now having a carrot dangled in front of them to travel all over europe at NO cost.....wow that is some incentive to sign up do you not think ??? Plus he has a signed TV contract for a European wide amatuer rugby league competition with clubs coming from nations that have no background to the game,dont know the game, and have no clubs such as Portugal and Austria . All you have to do is sign this form then we can announce your club as an entry. No questions need to be asked ,dont worry I have it all covered .Its ground breaking .!!!!!!! We have a great Facebook page .I am actually a very good media salesman,just check my Linkedin.I know how to promote and push forward my ideas,thats my job and I will also release some really great video introductions to the teams. Media promotion thats what I do. I am a businessman not a rugby league man really. But I have guys around me who know what they are doing. Whats the TV deal...how can we help to promote the game in our home country,,which channels in Europe will be showing the game,which games ,will we really be on TV...Off course I have a deal signed more details will be released later ..its all in hand .The Tv channels will love this. But pro teams like Toronto and Super league clubs like Catalan cant get a TV deal..how can an amatuer competition in its first year get such a deal.......just trust me on this. Erm hang on ..what about the cost of this, what will I have to pay , how much do I have to pay for these draft guys will the TV deal involve my club having to pay for it like they do for BAR TV in Australia .....dont worry we can sort that out later. Erm OK what about the standard of the draft players.....dont worry we have it sorted and they will improve the standards of your club. How long will they be at the club and how long will we have to pay for their keep.What happens if we lose the first game....It will all be explained later . What criteria do we need to meet for were we play, ...any rugby field will do What about the proposed "Fan membership" how will this work,....Its rugby league, show them the game and they will flock to support the clubs . Erm Ok what about insurance are we covered to play..off course dont worry . Is it RLEF sanctioned....why ? we dont need their sanctioning for a club competition. I am a bit worried about any hidden costs,when will we know how much its going to really cost us.....I have it all covered..trust me I have sponsors and TV and can afford to run this on my own. Who are the fifty other teams that have applied......Thats not for you to worry about..I have teams queing up to join. Im a bit worried about the likes of Serbia,Greece and Germany saying they dont want to be part of this......Yes thats their down fall..its a bit political.....they have plans to run their own competition under the RLEF...But I have seen their figures..its impossible ..wont work..they dont know what they are doing... This is what I have picked up talking to guys and also through my personal contact. Off course they dont have to be worried . Everything has been explained before they sign on the dotted line !!!!! I would be very worried if I had signed up without knowing the finer details. But again good luck to the eight teams that have been confirmed. Spent to much time on this ,its getting like Brexit ,everyone has their own opinion See you in Rotterdam next year Eddie for a few beers watching a game ?
  20. 10 points
    Lovely video and branding based around the Power of Together. Think it's an excellent idea, with a really strong theme on a few levels, not least in a hopefully post-covid sport.
  21. 9 points
    Big 3 Dominance (Wigan, Saints, Leeds) But they need 9 other teams!!! There's not 9 teams of the calibre of your Warrington's & Hull FCs. You cannot include Clubs like Castleford, Huddersfield, HKR, Salford & Wakefield in a Closed Shop elite whilst at the same time denying the likes of Featherstone, Halifax, Leigh & Widnes. That is Rugby League's great dilemma. Until you get 9 true super clubs, not just those making up the numbers, i.e undisputed powerhouses with proven financial muscle far above the others, you can't really include some and not others in a Franchise/ licence system, therefore p&r must be maintained.
  22. 9 points
    I don`t think this Argyle character is going to satisfied until he has the Super League trophy, Challenge Cup trophy and probably just as importantly if not more so a World Club Challenge trophy in the Wolfpacks clubhouse.This guy wants to build a Rugby League powerhouse that can match it and beat teams like we saw on t.v. tonight. You Pommies should embrace it and develop your clubs to make it as much a challenge for him as possible , nothing but good can come out of it .
  23. 9 points
    Their landlords refuse to offer the club a percentage of the takings that go over the bar, since it is their fans that are putting up the money they are merely saying to the fans you can give us the money or give them the money, your choice. One of the first things Lenagan did when he took over was move the clubs admin out of the stadium, he reckoned the rents charged for their office space was excessive. Whelan always understood that you don't make money from a sports club but you do from a stadium, Lenagan also knows it also. Lenagan is applying pressure to get his club a fair cut of the money the fans of his club handover. Totally ethical, he is looking after Wigan rugby and their supporters, that is his first duty.
  24. 9 points
    Good news for those worried about the integrity of the World Cup!
  25. 9 points
    Activities Dutch clubs have participated in and been replicated all over Europe and this is just the tip of the iceberg Eddie. Yep they are doing nothing but bringing in higher levels of governence,higher levels of coaching, higher level officials. All LONG term to ensure the sustainability and growth of the game. Not everything regarding development takes place on the park or involves game time. 1) Following successful level 2 coaching and match officials courses in Barcares, near Perpignan - involving cluster group Netherlands, Belgium and Ireland RL – as part of the part-EU funded Training and Education project, there has been agreement to recognise and adopt joint technical qualifications between the RLEF and French Federation for the first time. 2) In the build-up to the RLEF Congress in Serbia - one of the project’s cluster leaders - the week-long professional development programme included coaches; Mike Aughey (Ireland), Aitor Davilas (Spain), Bob Doughton (Germany), Tiziano Franchini (Italy), David Lahr (Czech Republic), Slobodan Manak (Serbia) and Thijs van der Zouwen (Netherlands). 3)The Nederlandse Rugby League Bond has hosted a coach education exercise as part of the EU-backed Training and Education Portal project, which saw 18 participants from their own and neighbouring Belgium’s community clubs take part. RLEF Coaching Manager Martin Crick oversaw the busy five-day event with the Federazione Italiana Rugby League’s principal educator Tiziano Franchini, a member of the RLEF coach development squad, leading on the delivery of the level 1 sessions.The TEP has received €466.000 from the EU’s Erasmus+ project. It is intended to build the capacity of the RLEF’s 21 European members through high quality training and mentoring. 4)The Nederlandse Rugby League Bond has hosted a match official education activity in Rotterdam as part of the EU-backed Training and Education Portal project. 5)As a result of the recently completed, 18-month, Leadership Devolution Project, 31 technical educators have been qualified and 224 new Level 1 coaches and match officials are now supporting the continuing growth of rugby league in Europe. The scheme, part-funded by the European Commission who granted €195.000 - the remainder coming from the Rugby League International Federation - included 17 partner countries.Five Full Members - England (RFL), France (FFRXIII), Ireland (RLI), Scotland (SRL) and Wales (WRL) – assumed roles as ‘senior leaders’ of five regional clusters. They oversaw the work of and mentored five RLEF ‘leader’ graduates from the complementary Governance Foundation Project (2012-13) - Netherlands (NRLB), Germany (RLD), Latvia (LRL), Czech Republic (CZRLA) and Italy (FIRL) – who in turn acted as mentors to a tranche of ‘learner’ nations - Poland (PRXIII), Belgium (BRLA), Malta (MRL), Denmark (DRLF), Hungary (HRLF), Sweden (SWRL) and Greece (HFRL). “The project saw 33 activities run in Europe,” said RLEF General Manager Danny Kazandjian. Held at Sparta Rugby Club in Capelle aan den Ijssel, on the outskirts of Rotterdam, 11 participants from France, Greece, Belgium and Holland took part in the four-day activity, led by the French Federation’s head of match officials, Thierry Alibert, culminating in a Level 1 MO course delivered by the hosts. Alibert provided overall assessment, while RLEF Match Official Development Squad member George Stilianos from Greece led on training, including new Belgian Rugby League Association match official educator candidates Marco Morasci and Christophe Weyenberghe. But if your not involved why should all this good work be disclosed.What interest is it to the fan.:-)
  26. 9 points
    Eddie. The RFL who run the community game back home not just the pro game, are full members of the RLEF. Any clubs wanting to play overseas need to apply and fill out forms to get permission. Protocol mate. Even a Dutch club has to fill out forms to go and play in say Czech or Germany. Now if any club does not follow these simple rules then they are not sanctioned to play and this can cause a lot of problems. One Balkan League club arranged to play a friendly game against an unsanctioned club in the Lebanon last year. The fall out over this is still being felt by the club. These type of actions lead to rebel breakaway organisations and the game has seen to many of them over the years. What I am getting at is until the RLEF sanction the Euro XIII all the clubs are running a risk of being banned from playing in any RLEF competitions therefore basically destroying domestic leagues. Its not about being like union as you also ask. It's about structure and organisation which has taken twenty years to grow to what the RLEF is today mate. Its all uncertainty as it stands at the moment and I hope the clubs are aware of the possible consequences. Edit. I have been on the end of being banned by the RLEF and no teams were allowed to play against any Dutch clubs. I stood down for the good of the game but it took five years and a new board to bring Holland back into the RL family.
  27. 9 points
    I suspect the recent tolerant attitude of Rams and Dogs supporters towards each others clubs may largely be a product of this forum and other social media rather than any change in the attitudes of the die hard, rank and file faithful on the terraces Nick. I also think that the creation of Superleague has left a feeling of "us versus them" among the part time club support, and left us with a bit of the "All for one" spirit, which might have diluted out some of the traditional antipathy between once bitter rival clubs. On that basis, I for one would be happy to see even the Dogs give a good kicking to any of the current SL incumbents, without a shred of jealousy. TBH, I have no real antipathy to the Eagles, just a mild curiosity about how they manage to achieve so much with so little. The last time somebody managed a similar feat it involved loaves and fishes, and a crowd considerably bigger than anything the Eagles ever get near.
  28. 9 points
    Slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
  29. 9 points
    The people inside Rugby League have little regard for the scrum and see it as a way of getting play restarted. My opinion on the League scrum is based on how it reflects on us as a sport. 1. Today, it reflects very poorly. The scrum is pathetic and (whether we like it or not) it is compared unfavorable to the scrum in the other code which is positioned as a gladiatorial contest of epic proportions (but equally pathetic in reality). 2. If we remove it I fear there is a real danger that our sport will appear too dull and repetitive to the casual viewer. Which leaves me with the suggestion that we should return it to a contest... not because I like it but because I think it would be best for our sport.
  30. 9 points
    I use "Derek from Castleford" as an example persona of the typical RL fan. I too fall into such a bracket (although I'm not quite old enough to have held a ticket for 40 years and I live (for most of the time) in Leeds). But the question is whether there are enough of people like us? The evidence suggests that there may not be and you can either shrug your shoulders and accept that, or acknowledge that something has to change. I think my point about over-catering to Des from Cas is a fair one. The game is very good at making sure that it caters to the one person that buys 20 match tickets a year, but very bad at catering to the 20 people who might each buy one match ticket a year. Take yourself out of that persona and try to look at RL as an 'outsider' - a first time fan. Does a typical English RL game look like the sort of you'd willingly spend money on? Does it look like a vibrant, popular, exciting product that you'd want to spend your money on? Or does it look like something that not that many people are bothered about, delivered on the cheap and nothing special compared to the many, many other ways you can spend your money in the modern leisure market? This isn't about 'Corey and Rihanna' as you glibly put it, but about broadening the game's appeal generally. Magic Weekend is a classic missed opportunity - it's essentially the same thing we always sell, sold to the people we always sell to - only with the added hassle of getting to Newcastle thrown in. It could be delivered in a way that doesn't upset Des from Cas too much, but is different enough to appeal to more than just him and his ilk. Loop fixtures are another example of how the wrong attitude keeps us in our usual bubble. The clubs know they aren't popular, but they persist with them anyway because they perpetuate the myth that they are necessary. Loop fixtures are only 'necessary' if you look at things purely from a perspective of utility maximisation - sweating the assets if you will - rather than from the perspective of how we add value to the product. The band of accountants and lawyers that run our clubs all have that 'utility maximisation' mindset (as you'd expect an accountant to have), so they would much rather extract as much out of the players as possible, rather than investing in the product and the players to add value and create something that more people would be willing to pay more for. As for what we can or should do, I think the sport firstly needs to get rid of this hubris that "we're a great product", look at what we can learn from other sports and even other businesses and actually get the basic 'four Ps' of marketing right. Personally, if I was at the RFL, I'd massively rebrand and overhaul things like the Challenge Cup - it just looks tired and dated. Why would a casual fan go to that when other sporting events offer so much more for their entry fee? That burk from Rugby AM shouting at people through a megaphone does not a fan park make. Let's actually work out what we want the Challenge Cup to be because at the moment, it isn't appealing to anyone and it seems like the only reason we're persisting with it is because "that's what we've always done". I'd look at pricing. The game simply has to get off this treadmill of discounting that it has been stuck on for far too long. Existing fans have got used to the discounting and when it comes to new fans, we're arguably at a point where our cheap prices, in comparison to other sports, are doing us a disservice. If we look too cheap, people won't believe us when we say that we're better than the competition. If you want an example (and perhaps an analogy for RL comes across) it's a lot easier to sell Ed Sheeran for $100 than it is for $2. I'd put greater onus on the clubs to promote themselves more effectively. I'd make aspects of central funding contingent on clubs delivering commercial growth and I would modify the salary cap to an FFP model, preventing under-performing clubs from holding back those that can grow. We have to make this sport easier to buy. In a world where I can order something from the other side of the world and it'll be at my door in a few days, it's frankly stupid that we insist that, in order to be a "proper" RL fan, you have to live within a narrow band of land in the north of England. For the months of the year that I'm not living in Leeds it is very difficult for me, even as an RL fan, to "buy" RL. That's just dumb. And yes, I'll shake this hornets nest again, I'd introduce alternative forms of the sport such as 7s or 9s. We have to acknowledge that whilst Des from Cas might love the intricacies of a forward battle, many people don't. Instead, they want to see the flair players doing their stuff, creating viral moments and delivering the unexpected. Done right, it could go a long way to challenging the perception of RL being a sport where northern blokes watch fatter northern blokes fight over an egg in the same way that T20 changed the perception that cricket was just something for pensioners to fall asleep to. Yes, Des from Cas might not like the idea of a 9s weekend in London or Manchester surrounded by people who use Twittergram and Facetube, but he'll still be able to watch the derby with Wakefield the following week and nobody would begrudge him that pleasure.
  31. 8 points
    Some big news: https://pacifique13.com/en/2020/07/08/pacifique-treize-granted-affiliate-status-with-ffrxiii/ https://www.intrl.sport/news/pacifique-treize-granted-affiliate-status-with-ffrxiii/ https://www.ffr13.fr/actualite-a-la-une/pacifique-lassociation-sportive-pacifique-xiii-voit-le-jour/
  32. 8 points
    It’s interesting that certain lower league fans here are so dead set against a closed shop Super League but are advocating two tens. There’s thirty-seven clubs in the UK league system, what about the other seventeen? Or is it self-interest reining supreme, again?
  33. 8 points
  34. 8 points
    Hello. I was not ignoring your post here. Just giving the natural evolution of events some time to evolve. The recent few postings are exactly why I wanted this thread turfed into the by now ginormous Toronto Wolfpack one I spoke of. EVERY SINGLE TWP thread eventually spirals downwards into.....why don't TWP start an academy and develop from the ground up?...and/or....the TWP business model is not the way we do things in RL don't you know....and/or....all TWP do is sign-up ageing SL/NRL players looking for a final pay packet.....and/or...TWP and their principle backer (there are more than David Argyle BTW), have soooooo much money they are able to out-bid other teams for players - not fair....etc...etc....etc. I just get sooooooo tired of reading the same old stuff time after time from the same posters.
  35. 8 points
    Shall we just assume that nobody's view of the Folau signing has changed and avoid another round of the same conversation.
  36. 8 points
    While I love your enthusiasm, you must be the first person in history to be excited about going to any of those three places!
  37. 8 points
    The Italian Government refused to recognise Rugby League as a sport in Italy (similar issues still occur today) which meant there were issues in securing venues and insurance for players and teams. They were also prevented from using the word 'rugby' by the Italian RFU (hence they were called Federazione Amatori Italiani – Gioco di XIII) Whilst you might think that the Italian RFU didn't make any threats to players, former dual internationals like Vincenzo Bertolotto and Alberto Comin have spoken publicly about being told if they continued to play Rugby League, they would no longer be permitted to play Rugby Union as it was a 'professional game' (ironic as Amatori stands for Amateur). There is also documented evidence of this happening in other countries, including England, New Zealand, South Africa, France, Germany, Wales and Australia, so it isn't a long stretch to think that perhaps it could have happened elsewhere. Maybe Italians do like Union more than League, maybe League will never successfully establish a foothold in the country, but back in the 60's it certainly wasn't playing on a level playing field.
  38. 8 points
    Hi Eddie, To understand our reasons for joining this comp, we have to go back to 2017 when we established our open-age mens' team. We started out with a group of men and about 90% of them had never watched a game of Rugby League before let alone played one. So that first year was all about teaching the boys the game. Then as we went in to 2018 we still had the same core players and they had a season under their belts so we were able to focus more on the technical aspects like attacking structure, tackle technique, etc. All the time the players were developing and improving and this ultimately led to us going the whole of 2019 almost undefeated (we lost away to Bridgend in the final round of the regular season) and were crowned Welsh Champions. Then in January this year we entered the Challenge Cup for the very first time. We shipped 15 tries against Barrow Island and it highlighted to us how much more we needed to do if we want to compete with the well established clubs in the heartlands. But the big challenge is that we don't get many games in the Welsh Premier so we are playing the same teams constantly and we only have a few months over the middle of summer. We have seen from when our players go off to represent Wales in the Welsh Dragonhearts campaigns at the end of the season that they come back much better players for the extra experience and game time. When we first heard about the Euro XIIIs it seemed like a great opportunity to get the additional game time and experience that our boys need for their development as well as helping to grow the club. The final reason for joining is simply because life is very short and so we shouldn't miss an opportunity to fly around Europe and play the sport we love and have a great party afterwards. I realise that is a very long answer to a very short question so in summary: We decided to join the competition to help develop our players, grow our club and enjoy the rare experience of going somewhere new and playing the sport we love. The great thing about this competition is that it is running before our domestic comp. We normally only get the lads engaged when they are finished with their Union clubs but next year they'll come to the Outlaws earlier for pre-comp training and friendlies and then after Euro XIIIs we'll be straight in to preparations for the Welsh Premier so its likely we'll keep the squad together for a full 8 months rather than just the usual 3. I would say about 95% of our boys are cross-code. We have a couple who focus only on League but because they only get about 8 games a year of League they are still very committed to the Union clubs where they'll get 20+ games. We are hoping if we can extend our season (by increasing the number of teams in Wales and through our involvement in Euro XIIIs) then we will see more and more of the boys focus on League throughout the year.
  39. 8 points
    How many cars can get around the only colour television in Featherstone?
  40. 8 points
    Stop being so diplomatic, tell us what you really think.
  41. 8 points
  42. 8 points
    Whilst I do have plenty of concerns around things like funding and management of this competition, let's assume that Dean Buchan has deep pockets and is happy to underwrite the whole thing, and in addition pay the respective broadcasts costs for the games for a broadcaster to pick up (whilst no TV company would pay for this competition, plenty would take free content provided it is up to a certain broadcast standard) and that logistics, venues, insurance, referees is all covered, my question is, why are they over-extending themselves so much? Where they could have just had one draft, they've announced at least four (US, UK, Australia, Italy) and based these across three-regions. Where they could have settled on stronger clubs across Europe, they have picked a lot of clubs who have either not played in 12 months or are completely new / reformed such as: Dublin Blues - Reformed after years of no activity North Brussels Gorillas - No games for over 18 months, Budapest - No games for over 18 months Anadolu XIII - Brand new club Birmingham Jaguars - Brand new club Throw in Valencia who only have one game to their name, that's 6 of the 10 clubs named with very few runs under their belt and with talk that 4 of the remaining spots will be filled with a new Italian club, and then teams from Portugal, Moldova and Austria, it is really adding some extra pressure which they could have minimised. Same, where they could have left it at 8 teams and done something like played it over a week in a central location to keep costs down, etc, they doubled the number of entrants and it will have teams flying across the continent over four separate weekends. And where they could have simply presented this to the RLEF and got sign off months ago, they went their round about way. And just finally, where they could say 'this is big enough', they are still recruiting clubs and still looking to add a Women's competition to run in conjunction. Now these are all hurdles which can be overcome, but wow, talking about adding pressure to one-self. Considering where we are at with 'European Development' competitions, they could have still impressed everyone with a whole lot less and taken a bit more of a 'Minimal Viable Product' approach to it all. Naturally, each to their own, and if Dean has opened up the cheque book, then he can arguably do with it whatever he wants, but this does feel a bit like what happens when you get too many excitable people in a room together brainstorming, and there is no one there to ask the question 'why would we do that?'. T I hope they can make it work, and that it doesn't turn into a logistical clusterf#!k in year one which kills it all off, but it will be hard work for them and I certainly hope Dean is going to put a few people full time on the payroll to help try and manage this, because they'll need it.
  43. 8 points
    Coronavirus is, of course, forcing us all to queue to get into shops and so it was that, yesterday afternoon, I found myself outside a Salisbury supermarket. Turning round, I noticed that the man who had joined behind me was wearing a dark blue top, with the three crowns of Oxford University and a '13' in between them. Underneath were the initials 'OURLFC'. I was wearing my Catalans Dragons celebratory, cup-winners polo shirt, and we got talking. He turned out to be a physio for the varsity RL club. He sounded pretty upbeat about the immediate future of university RL, and added that, for his club, the highlights of the year were usually the local derbies against Oxford Brookes University and, needless to say, the varsity match clash with Cambridge. He was very complimentary about one of the Leeds Rhino medical team - I think he said someone called Andy Bacon - from whom he had learnt a lot. He said his favourite playing ground was the Honourable Artillery Club in London. I think he may have been there with the Royal Navy's RL team, as it sounded as if he had a similar role with them. Then we got to the front of the queue and went our separate ways inside the store. But what a small world! What chance, I wonder, of two RL followers being next to each other (2m apart of course!) in a shop queue in deepest, southernmost Wiltshire!
  44. 8 points
    Crowds of up to 5,000 allowed in French sport stadiums from July 11, with a review on higher numbers to follow. With the two governments working on plans for an "air bridge" between the countries for tourism purposes, it may well be that Catalans can play at home this season after all. The prospects for a meaningful SL season look in a lot better shape than they did only a few weeks ago. Maybe even Championship and L1 too, if our government follows suit by the Autumn. https://twitter.com/DragonsOfficiel/status/1274266436157026304?s=20
  45. 8 points
    FFS you asked I answered Always get a clever response. So far I have put forward my views after 40 years in the game as a top division pro player, amateur coach in the heartlands, founder of a club in North Wales and setting up RL in Holland amongst other things. Over the length of this thread I have exposed all my rugby involvement. Now l don't know what you have done but I'm sure people would be interested. So let's stop the clever come backs (because no matter if someone answers your questions you change direction) ,and tell everyone what your involvement in rugby league is /has been. Getting bored with your games ??? Or like Euro XIII is it not for disclosure.
  46. 8 points
    The way I see it,though I may be wrong, is that maybe the RLEF wanted evidence that this Euro XIII have the means to provide what they are promising. Here is a guy proposing to organise, run and fund a competition, with promised expansion in 2021, on a scale that would change the face of European RL forever. After all if the Euro XIII people have sat down with the RLEF and discussed their plans and how it is being financed then surely the RLEF would have snapped their hands off. No one would turn away this type of investment from the game. NO ONE. As a governing body I'm sure you would agree, before they give permission for its members to become involved in such a game changing plan, they have to make sure that it is a legitimate proposal. Maybe Euro XIII couldn't or wouldn't provide evidence that the finance, TV deal and government funding that is being proposed was in place ( or would be in place) to allow the competition to proceed. If this was the case then off course the RLEF are not going to sanction it on promises alone. Now if Euro XIII did prove the funding is in place and after background checks everything was above board and RLEF still turned this guy away for political or personal reasons then every member of the RLEF board should resign in the morning. What reasons would they have NOT to bring Dean Buchan into the fold and encourage him if his proposals passed scrutiny??
  47. 8 points
  48. 7 points
    Or maybe clubs who are trying to survive through unprecedented times and just might need matchday income to make it viable when they’re already struggling like hell to make ends meet - and have done great things just to keep their head above water through all this
  49. 7 points
    We really don't need egos and politics holding the game back in Europe. The RLEF will be essential for referees and continent wide sanctioning, clearly though the EUROXIII guys have some sort of finance and determination to get things moving. I don't find it difficult to believe that the RLEF could get progress bogged down in meetings and factional interests, but also think they still have to be the top arbiter for the game in Europe. The two organisations have to work together. A frustration with the IRL brought about the madness of World Rugby League and has set us back nearly a decade with SportAccord. Bypassing the RLEF (and it seems certain National Governing Bodies) doesn't strike me as a hugely positive step. The strategy, aims and point of this competition remains unclear, which to me doesn't bode well for its success.
  50. 7 points
    Not necessarily. We exclude a lot of potential new fans if we take a view that they're practically worthless to us until they buy a season ticket. I'm convinced that there will never be an NFL or MLB team in London, but it doesn't stop those respective sports from trying to sell to people who will only ever buy tickets 1-4 times a year. We shouldn't dismiss the value of people who can't or don't want to make a season-long commitment. The more people we get watching this sport and the more demand we can create for it - even from a mass of casual fans - the more valuable we make it to broadcasters, to sponsors and to Joe Public who might be tempted to see what all the fuss is about.

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