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  1. NZ tests against Australia & England, how progressive.
  2. PNG have already beaten Great Britain fairly convincingly in 2019 so the first shock victory is under their belt in that regard. I’d love to see them get more games against NZ, Tonga, Samoa, Australia, England & Fiji in coming years to really see how they’re improving.
  3. I don’t think it would be such a big deal if England just used a weaker team in the Euros without putting the Knights label on it. Stronger teams do regularly in a lot of sports without drama. With some creative scheduling you could probably run both a 3 test series and the Euros with some overlap and England play in both with a larger squad of 35-40.
  4. England Knights only beat France B 18-6 a couple of months ago and France were England’s closest game until the semi final. Going back to having the Knights playing France would be ridiculous and quite frankly arrogant.
  5. Lebanon should be free as well, food for thought. Plenty of potential for a 4N tournament with England, France and 2 of PNG/Fiji/Lebanon/Ireland/Wales but that would disrupt the Euro Cup. I still think PNG & Fiji should both be part of a Pacific Cup but I can see one or both of them being excluded or missing out on any big games in tier 2 unfortunately.
  6. They should be the primary target of any PI approach, their potential is massive. In saying that if it’s in tiers they might get left out of the top tier unless it is 6 teams, so maybe they’d prefer to tour England if they miss out of games against Australia, NZ, Samoa etc.
  7. Why wouldn’t PNG be locked in as well? Strength wise they beat Fiji this year and were unlucky not to beat Tonga, they have the most potential long term out of all those and the stadium to host internationals. They all should be there really if they’re doing a Pacific Cup, then maybe one can tour afterwards. Rough for England but randomly excluding a Pacific Nation for a Pacific Cup would be bizzare.
  8. If they’re doing a Pacific Cup tournament why would any team exclude themselves or be excluded to tour England? Australia, NZ, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, PNG & Cook Islands should all be playing in that, split over 2 tiers again most likely. Maybe one will tour after that depending on the format.
  9. Assuming the seedings are done correctly any sacrificial lamb would be outside the top 8 ranked teams. So to earn a finals spot they have to beat one of the top 8 teams, pretty fair I’d say.
  10. We just changed to this structure from 2 tournaments under the other structure, arguably more successful tournaments. I’d argue there was no need to change format after 2017 except the increase to 16 teams. It’s not like we’re throwing decades of tradition out the window here. I think we should have stuck with the format that was working for us, added teams 15-16 to pools C&D and embraced it as our own. We aren’t Football or Union, we hardly get to be excited for Internationals before they’re over and it’s back to an off-season and 30+ weeks of club games. Internationals are far rarer in our game so I’d honestly much rather watch England, Australia, NZ, Tonga, Samoa, France, Fiji & PNG play against each other than England put 90 of Greece or Jamaica. We get so few internationals as it is we shouldn’t be ashamed to use a format that sees more quality games. It still gives everyone a chance of getting to the finals if they’re good enough and the same number of teams in the World Cup so Greece and Jamaica don’t miss out on their stories. Convoluted? Hardly. The format could be worked out in 1 minute of looking at it, especially without the crossover games of 2013-2017, 16 teams solves that.
  11. Just curious where you’ve heard this, I must have missed it. Even 4 weeks still enables tournaments with more teams like a 6 nations with 2 pools of 3 and a final. England isn’t going to get much of a tour while an Oceania Cup is on, especially if the 4 weeks thing is true.
  12. That’s been suggested above and is the best option in my opinion. It’s the 2013-2017 format we had with a team added to pools C & D to bring it to 16. Still gives everyone their time on the big stage but adds a lot more competitive matchups to the pool stages.
  13. 4 Nations was good for its time, from memory it was discarded for something bigger and better that never actually happened. I think the concept should be revived as a 6 Nations if it were to come back, played at least once every World Cup cycle, preferably twice with full regional tournaments the other year. I’d have Australia, NZ & England as permanents, France or PNG as auto-qualifier when hosted in their region and then 2 qualifiers. I feel like France and PNG’s ability to host games, produce players and overall potential should be rewarded in situations like this. Tonga/Samoa/Fiji/Wales/Ireland etc would definitely take issue with that though even though 2 spots each tournament would still be up for grabs. Round robin 6 teams would be best but 5-6 games would be a tough sell for some countries. 2 pools of 3 means some teams would travel for only 2 games, mind you they could definitely organise games in their bye weekend.
  14. I missed that, thanks. We had 3 years as well until fairly recently. From memory they changed it not long after Meninga selected Radradra. France would be the main beneficiary of the rule internationally through Catalans & Toulouse so no surprise they’d like to see it return. It can work the other way as well like Radradra. Scary to think Kikau, Olam, Sivo etc could be selected for Australia.
  15. Taane Milne as well. They all played their club’s last NRL game except Sims who was suspended but would have been able to play all WC games. Disappointing so many withdrew under those circumstances.
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